Hurricane Michael slams into Florida, Man charged in 11-year-old girl’s abduction and sexual assault

Hurricane Michael slams into Florida with 155 mph winds


Panama City, Fla. — Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 mph, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. mainland.

Michael blew ashore near Mexico Beach, a tourist town about midway along the Panhandle, a lightly populated, 200-mile stretch of white-sand beach resorts, fishing towns and military bases.

Its winds roaring, it battered the coastline with sideways-blown rain, powerful gusts and crashing waves, swamped streets, bent trees, stripped away limbs and leaves and sent building debris flying. Explosions apparently caused by transformers could be heard.

“The window to evacuate has come to a close,” Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said.

The meteorological brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, becoming a furious Category 4 by early Wednesday, up from a Category 2 less than a day earlier. It was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle.

“I’ve had to take antacids I’m so sick to my stomach today because of this impending catastrophe,” National Hurricane Center scientist Eric Blake tweeted as the storm — drawing energy from the Gulf’s unusually warm, 84-degree water — grew more scary.

More than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast were urged to evacuate. But emergency authorities lamented that many people ignored the warnings and seemed to think they could ride it out.

Hurricane-force winds extended up to 45 miles from Michael’s center. Forecasters said rainfall could reach up to a foot, and the life-threatening storm surge could swell to 14 feet.

The storm appeared to be so powerful that it is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over Georgia early Thursday. Forecasters said it will unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence’s epic flooding.

Man charged in 11-year-old girl’s abduction, sexual assault

Woodbridge, Va. — A man who police say has no fixed address has been charged in the abduction and sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl who was walking to school.
News outlets report 26-year-old Adam-Seth Nathaneal Walter was arrested Tuesday, the same day Prince William County police reported the girl was grabbed.
The man, who police would identify as Walter, is accused of assaulting a woman who spotted him with the girl and then forcing his way into the woman’s house. He then fled with the girl to another location, where he sexually assaulted her before releasing her. The abduction prompted three schools in the area to implement additional security measures.
A police release says Walter is a convicted violent felon. He’s charged with multiple offenses. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Wint Searched For “Hide-out” Cities For Fugitives After Quadruple Murder

(Washington, DC) — Investigators say the man accused of killing a family of three and their housekeeper in 2015 searched the Internet for countries without extradition treaties with the U.S. and “hide-out” cities for fugitives. Daron Wint is on trial for the killings of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, the couple’s son Philip and their housekeeper Vera Figueroa in Northwest Washington. A computer expert testified yesterday that Wint’s phone was used to Google search “five countries with no U.S. extradition treaty” as well as “10 hideout cities for fugitives.” He also searched for several news stories related to the murders. Wint’s attorneys claim he was not involved in the killings and his brother and half brother carried out the crimes.

Final Gonzales Maryland Poll Before Election Released

(Annapolis, MD) — The final Gonzales Maryland Poll before the November election is out. The survey has Governor Hogan beating Democratic challenger Ben Jealous by 18 points in the governor’s race while capturing a third of the Democratic vote and 20-percent of black voters. In the race for Maryland Attorney General, incumbent Brian Frosh has lost 20 points from a September poll and now leads Republican Craig Wolf by nine points, but 23-percent of registered voters are undecided between the two candidates. The Gonzales Poll also found that 64-percent of Marylanders favor the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico that will replace NAFTA while only 13-percent are opposed.

Harold Fisher

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Harold T. Fisher is a broadcast journalist and author. He is currently the host of the news/talk program, “The Daily Drum” on WHUR-FM and H-U-R Voices, Sirius/XM Channel 141. Highlights of his journalism campaigns include the aftermath of the earthquake in Port Au Prince, Haiti; coverage of the 2008 Democratic and Republican conventions; the Jena 6 protests in central Louisiana; the Midwestern floods of 1994 and hurricane Andrew in 1992.

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