Two California residents who were found dead near their fire-ravaged home had been packed and ready to evacuate but changed their minds due to erroneous information, according to a report.
Philip Ruble, 68, was found inside a charred Toyota pickup truck at the home, while Millicent Catarancuic, 77 was found in an embankment in the area six days ago, CNN reported, citing Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.
“After speaking to family members, it is believed the pair was aware of the fire in the area,” Honea said. “They had packed their belongings in preparation to evacuate but later decided not to evacuate based on erroneous information that the fire was 51 percent contained.”
Ruble and Catarancuic lived in Berry Creek, which has been all but destroyed by the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex, whose death toll has risen to at least 15.
Berry Creek was under an evacuation order as of 3:15 p.m. Sept. 8 – and the information was posted on social media and on a fire information line, according to CNN.
Police also drove around with evacuation sirens and went door to door where possible, Butte County spokeswoman Megan McCann told CNN, which reported that it is unknown where the two fire victims saw or heard the containment figure before the fire quickly grew the day they died.
In addition to 15 fatalities, 13 people are unaccounted for in the North Complex Fire, which has been burning for almost a month and is the eighth largest in California history.
Some 273,000 acres have been burned and more than 780 structures have been destroyed in the fire, according to CNN.
Biden campaign raised record $3.8M during presidential debate
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Tuesday evening’s chaotic presidential debate between Joe Biden and President Trump may have been derided as a “s–t show” and a “hot mess” but the 90-minute showdown still managed to fatten the Democratic nominee’s coffers with a record amount of cash.
The Biden campaign on Wednesday announced it had hauled in a massive $3.8 million in the single hour between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. as the two candidates duked it out in their first face-to-face match-up in Cleveland, Ohio.
During a call with reporters, Biden communications manager Kate Bedingfield said the multi-million-dollar cash injection was the largest the former veep has raised in a single hour and of any campaign on Democratic fundraising platform, ActBlue.
The Trump campaign has not yet announced their fundraising figures from Tuesday night.
While the Biden campaign was beset by financial woes throughout the brutal primary race and trailed Trump’s fundraising figures earlier this year, the 77-year-old candidate now has $466 million in the bank, about $100 million more than the GOP.
The former Delaware senator has seen huge cash injections into his campaign since announcing Kamala Harris as his vice president and has also benefitted from fundraising events with Democratic heavy-hitters like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign which once boasted an enormous $1.1 billion war chest is now down to $325 million amid reports of profligate spending and poor management by former campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Trump in July replaced Parscale with Bill Stepien who has since reigned-in the campaign’s spending and is now auditing Trump 2020’s finances.
Parscale was arrested outside his Florida home earlier this week when his distressed wife called the police and said the former operative had a gun and was threatening to harm himself.
De Blasio says mask-less cops should face ‘penalties’
NYPD officers who don’t wear masks should face “penalties,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday — nearly seven months into a pandemic and after months of dodging the issue.
“Our officers should be held to the same standard as all citizens, all public standards,” de Blasio said during a press conference.
“If they don’t, there should be penalties,” he added of the governor’s executive order issued in April requiring face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.
The mayor went on to claim the “vast majority are in fact wearing masks” — while at the same moment, reporters counted at least 18 cops huddled outside the press room at 1 Police Plaza with only three wearing masks.
At least 16 more were seen congregated near an elevator bank with none wearing masks.
Residents, lawmakers and press have raised concerns about the lack of mask-wearing by NYPD members since the start of the pandemic.
At the height of the virus, a maskless Chief of Patrol Terance Monahan was spotted shaking hands outside City Hall. Dozens of cops have also been seen in the halls of police headquarters gathering in close quarters without face coverings.
The apparent flouting of the safety guidance comes despite new data showing the coronavirus is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths among law enforcement across the country.
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Sen. Brad Hoylman called on Police Commissioner Dermot Shea to enforce the executive order among the rank and file.
“Wearing a mask is the law,” Cuomo said. “But the police officer who’s supposed to enforce the law doesn’t wear a mask.”
The governor tapped the NYPD to help enforce a mask crackdown on the NYC subways system with a $50 fine in mid-September.
Just days into the enforcement, one cop called a straphanger who questioned his lack of face covering a “male version of Karen.”
The city’s top cop has repeatedly claimed the issue has been exaggerated.
Wednesday was the first time the mayor acknowledged the issue.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to questions on whether the department would issue a policy or discipline its members.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore
Boy, 10, severely injured by explosive in box of ornaments
A 10-year-old Michigan boy lost two fingers and suffered a minor head injury after finding an explosive in a box of Christmas ornaments.
Brittany Moist said her son, Connor, was visiting his great grandparents near Dewitt on Friday when he found the container of holiday decorations, which had been purchased from a yard sale last year, WLNS reported.
One of the ornaments — a silver one attached to a circular wire — caught his eye because it looked like a smoke bomb, she said.
“It had a hook on it like all the other ornaments and it had a little wick on it and he thought it was a smoke bomb, so he took it downstairs,” the mother told the station.
Connor’s godmother, Shanda Storie, who was there at the time and saw Connor with the silver device said she tried to stop the boy from lighting it.
“I said ‘wait Connor’ and as I was walking toward him to grab it from him he got excited and he lit it,” Storie said.
That’s when the device exploded — mangling the index and middle finger on the child’s left hand, and leaving him with burns, hearing loss, and requiring five stitches on his forehead.
The boy was taken to a hospital, where doctors performed emergency surgery and had to remove the two fingers, his mother said.
“They rushed him down to like, do the X-rays and then straight to emergency surgery and then I met him in his room and he was already bandaged up, he was really scared,” Moist told WLNS.
Connor will now undergo physical therapy and counseling.
“He’s been waking up at night afraid because he remembers what happened. If he hears a loud noise he panics. He’s not dealing with the explosion very well,” Moist said.
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