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Wind speeds have reached 140 mph as it heads toward the east coast of Florida

Chevron is evacuating nonessential personnel from oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a statement from the company:

“Nonessential personnel are being evacuated from our Petronius and Blind Faith facilities, but production from all Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico assets remains at normal levels. 

As part of our hurricane preparedness procedures, we have a fuel supply strategy team monitoring inventory availability by location, scheduling and staging resupply. Chevron and Texaco stations are independently owned and operated in the US Southeast region. We have been supplying as much fuel as possible in advance of the storm. 

We also proactively communicated that Chevron has a zero-tolerance policy for unlawful price gouging, which goes directly against our values as a company. While we are not able to control the pricing of individually owned and operated facilities, our branded fuel supply agreements do require that station owners and/or operators comply with all laws during a State of Emergency. 

The Chevron Pascagoula refinery in Mississippi is currently following hurricane procedures and paying close attention to the track and forecast of the storm.”

US says it plans to create fake social media accounts to monitor immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers can now use fake social media accounts to monitor immigrants seeking visas, green cards and citizenship.

The new plan is a policy change from July that reverses a Homeland Security Department ban that cited privacy issues.

A statement from USCIS said the agency will use the fake accounts only “to access social media content that is publicly available to all users of the social media platform,” adding its personnel will respect users’ privacy settings and won’t “friend” or “follow” users.


USCIS said it doesn’t proactively monitor social media accounts.

“We use social media information to investigate an existing request for immigration benefits, as part of our background and security check process,” the statement said.

In June, the State Department started requiring visa applicants to give their social media information.

However, the new USCIS policy may violate Facebook’s and Twitter’s terms of use, which both prohibit users from creating fake accounts.

“It is against our policies to use fake personae and to use Twitter data for persistent surveillance of individuals. We look forward to understanding USCIS’s proposed practices to determine whether they are consistent with our terms of service,” Twitter said in a statement to Fox News.

Dave Maass, a senior investigative researcher for the civil liberties advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the new policy “undermines our trust in social media companies and our ability to communicate and organize and stay in touch with people.”


There has been bipartisan support for more social media background checks since the 2015 massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., in which 14 people were killed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Man accused of arson after firefighters put out a brush fire near Hollywood Bowl

Police Friday evening arrested a man accused of setting a series of brush fires near the Hollywood Bowl.

The first fire was reported at 2301 N. Highland Ave. at 1:30 pm Friday afternoon.

By 1:39 pm a team of 64 firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department had arrived on the scene. They were able to contain the blaze in less than half an hour.

Ultimately, a quarter acre to a half acre of grass got burned, said Nicholas Prange, an LAFD spokesperson. It appears that no structures were damaged.


Another three or four fires were also reported along Cahuenga Blvd. but firefighters were able to get to them quickly and they never got as big as the first fire, Prange said. The fire department believes they were set by the same man.

Witness statements and evidence from the scene led police to arrest a man in his late 50s or early 60s on the Mulholland Drive bridge spanning the 101 free way at about 4pm Friday in connection with the fires. He has since been booked on suspicious of arson of forest land.

The identity of the man has not yet been released, and Prange said no motive has yet been determined.

Bakersfield struggling with recycling as markets continue to drop

Nearly a year after the Bakersfield City Council decided to “weather the storm” of the plummeting recycling market, conditions have worsened, and officials hope to hang on until things get better.

Previously, recycling companies could earn between $10 to $25 per ton of recycling, said Varner Brothers CEO Jacob Panero.

In 2018, those companies needed to pay $70 just to get rid of that ton.

Now, costs have increased to $90 to $120 per ton, with no sign of a recovery.

“We don’t think that there’s any relief in sight,” Panero said. “It’s bad across the board, and it’s the same screwed up market for everybody.”

China had been accepting around 60 percent of the world’s recycling, but in 2018, the country drastically reduced the types of material that it would accept. Paper and low-grade plastic (the kind numbered three and above) became much harder to sell as recyclers could not find markets that would take the material.

Facing the decline in the markets, the City Council decided in September of last year to maintain its program with relatively few changes in the hope that new markets would soon open up.

While those markets have yet to evolve, there are signs that paper facilities are being developed in the United States, and officials believe that the situation simply cannot get worse.

“We just have to continue to weather the storm and see if it can get better,” said Bakersfield Solid Waste Director Kevin Barnes.

He said the cost of recycling had increased by $720,000 over the last year, even as fees have remained unchanged.

“We’re still recycling. We’re still able to move the material,” he said. “So it doesn’t threaten it in the sense that you simply cannot move the material.”

It’s just gotten more expensive.

But luckily for Bakersfield and Kern County, paper and plastic recycling only represent a small portion of the overall material taken in at local sites.

“Recycling is so much more than that it’s not even funny,” said Chuck Magee, a manager at Kern County Public Works. “The markets that we specifically lost when China quit taking material were basically the low grade plastics and the papers. That’s really what got shut down, because there were still markets for the other stuff.”

He said the county recycled around 800,000 tons of material each year, and a quarter of that material was low-grade plastics and paper.

The rest — metal, appliances, mattresses, carpets, grass, and even concrete — can still be recycled cheaply.

And the county is taking in more every year.

Over the last two years, the county increased its overall recycling tonnage by around 70,000 tons.

“We’ve just really set up good programs for them to try to get as much as possible,” Magee said. “So hopefully one day, when the other materials come back online, we’ll get more.”

He said he was optimistic about the overall recycling market, and noted that the plastics numbered one and two are still recyclable.

As both Bakersfield and Kern County continue their plastics and paper recycling despite the unprofitability of the programs, rates are not expected to increase.

Despite the rocky waters, recycling will continue.

The storm now has winds up to 105 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center

Florida residents buy supplies in preparation for Hurricane Dorian on August 29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.Florida residents buy supplies in preparation for Hurricane Dorian on August 29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said in a press release that the state is preparing for Hurricane Dorian with all available resources, with 2,500 Florida National Guard members activated and another 1,500 on standby.

The governor is also working with federal, state, and local emergency officials to prepare for the storm, which is forecasted to hit the state’s east coast as a major hurricane — possibly even a Category 4, the statement said.

Here’s how the state is preparing:

  • Food and water: Florida has 819,000 gallons of water and 1.8 million meals ready for distribution. Another 200,000 gallons of water are on the way, bringing the total to more than 1 million gallons. The state has pre-deployed 860,000 bottles of water to preparing counties.
  • Schools: Schools will close on Tuesday in Martin and Volusia counties. Daytona State College, Valencia College, University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and Florida Polytechnic University will also close for varying periods.
  • Emergency response: 15 urban search and rescue teams are on standby. State agencies like the Florida Highway Patrol, Department of Highway Safety, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement have prepared emergency response resources.
  • Medical response: County health departments are pre-identifying and preparing resources, and the Department of Elder Affairs is working to meet needs of elderly and disabled Floridians.

Australia lowers Great Barrier Reef outlook to ‘very poor’

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The government agency that manages Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has downgraded its outlook for the corals’ condition from “poor” to “very poor” due to warming oceans.


The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s condition report, which is updated every five years, is the latest bad news for the 133,360 square miles of colorful coral network off the northeast Australian coast as climate change and coral bleaching take their toll.

The report issued Friday finds the greatest threat to the reef remains climate change. The other threats are associated with coastal development, land-based water runoff and human activity such as illegal fishing.

“Significant global action to address climate change is critical to slowing the deterioration of the reef’s ecosystem and heritage values and supporting recovery,” the report said. “Such actions will complement and greatly increase the effectiveness of local management actions in the Reef and its catchment.”


The report is the agency’s third and tracks continuing deterioration since the first in 2009. The deterioration in the reef’s outlook mostly reflects the expanding area of coral killed or damaged by coral bleaching.

The report said the threats — which include the star-of-thorns starfish that prey on coral polyps — are “multiple, cumulative and increasing.”

“The accumulation of impacts, through time and over an increasing area, is reducing its ability to recover from disturbances, with implications for reef-dependent communities and industries,” the authority’s chairman Ian Poiner said.

“The overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is very poor,” he added.

A study of coral bleaching on the reef, published in the journal Nature in 2017, found 91% of the coral reef had been bleached at least once during three bleaching events of the past two decades, the most serious event occurring in 2016.

A fourth major bleaching struck later in 2017 after the Nature study was published.

The United Nations’ World Heritage Committee expressed concern about bleaching in 2017 and the report Thursday could lead to the World Heritage-listed natural wonder being reclassified by UNESCO next year as “in danger.”

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said she was not surprised by the downgrade in the reef’s condition given the damage done by recent cyclones and latest bleaching events in successive years.

She said her government was “building resilience in this important global reef” and was keeping its Paris commitment to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030.

“I want to make the point that it’s the best-managed reef in the world,” she said.


While the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, reefs around the world are under stress from warming ocean temperatures.

Los Angeles police hunt for man believed to have shot security guard near Metro station

Los Angeles police were searching Thursday night for a man believed to have shot a security guard near the Hollywood and Western Metro station, according to preliminary reports.

The shooting occurred at 9:23 p.m. at the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, said Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The armed suspect, described as a Latino man in his early 20s who is 5-feet-10 and 150 pounds, was wearing a white hoodie and white shorts and was last seen headed south on Western Avenue from Hollywood Boulevard.

The guard was taken to a hospital in unknown condition, Im said.

Home sweet home: Mosley family still can’t believe their ‘Extreme Makeover’ house is theirs

In just 96 hours the Mosley family received their dream house, and they still can’t believe they get to call it their “forever home.”

A day after their big “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” “move that bus” reveal, the excitement, shock and surprise is still hitting the family hard, said matriarch Jessica Mosley.

“The stir of emotions leading up to getting off the bus and hearing the roar of all of our family was exciting itself,” she said. “It was so emotional once they moved the bus, I told somebody I must have really low expectations because it blew my mind. It was so overwhelming. It was a good cry.”

As if getting a new house wasn’t exciting enough, Thursday was also proclaimed Mosley Family Day by Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh.

HGTV crews, John Balfanz Homes, Inc., and hundreds of volunteers worked around the clock the last week to construct a new home for the family of seven. 

The result is a huge upgrade from the one story, three bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom home owned by Mosley’s mother, Pam Chapin. 

They can now call a modern, boho Spanish, 2,400 sq. ft. house with five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms their home on Enger Street in west Bakersfield.

“I was excited and sad because we have so many old memories in the old house, but now we have a new house and we’re going to start with new memories,” said Cheyenne Mosley, 16, when asked what she thought when she first saw the home Wednesday.

Mosley is a social worker for Kern Bridges, a local foster care and adoption agency. She has two biological children and in 2017 adopted three children after meeting them on a foster care campout.

Last year, the family lived with Mosley’s father, but after he died in a motorcycle accident, they moved in with her mother in Rosedale.

Chapin said she could still feel his presence in the new home. 

“I was really sad at first because my husband and I lived here and the kids came over to swim and barbecue all the time,” she said. “When I walked through the door and looked to the left, he was there,” referring to some of his personal items that have been put on display.

“I’ll probably sit and look at that all the time,” she added.

How long will it take the family to realize this new house is all theirs? “Probably forever,” they all answered.

“I had to sit in my room by myself and I’m sitting on the bed like I’m a guest, and I don’t want to touch anything,” Mosley said. “The kids have been very emotional as well. Miguel going into his room fell and sobbed and wept and so did Darren, the designer.”

Mosley said this experience has humbled her children and allowed them to see there are good people in the world. She hopes her family’s story will open other people’s eyes to adopting older children.

“If it wasn’t for me, Cheyenne, Annie and Miguel would have emancipated out of foster care, they were pretty much deemed unadoptable,” she said. “The stigma that comes along with foster care sometimes in the media, in the stories you hear, are always the bad side of foster care and adoption. I hope this brings light to people who are considering it. If you show up, it’s more than some people did.”

The family’s episode is expected to air sometime in 2020 on HGTV.

Sex offender indicted in 1988 Texas cold case murder

A grand jury in Texas on Wednesday indicted a registered sex offender in the 1988 cold case murder of a 36-year-old woman after newly processed DNA evidence allegedly linked him to the crime, according to several reports.

Daniel Andrew MacGinnis, 60, was arrested at his home Tuesday after DNA found on clothing worn by victim Patricia Ann Jacobs matched his profile, which was on file in Texas and California from prior convictions, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

Jacobs' body was found in the Neches River in Port Arthur, Texas. 

Jacobs’ body was found in the Neches River in Port Arthur, Texas.  (Google Maps)


Port Arthur District Attorney Bob Wortham said the DNA was finally processed with technology unavailable at the time of Jacobs’ murder.

She was reported missing October 1988, after she didn’t come from work. Her body was found a day later in the Neches River.

MacGinnis was interviewed during the initial homicide investigation but police didn’t make a connection, according to the Enterprise.

MacGinnis was convicted of sexual assault four years before Jacobs’ murder and was convicted of forcible rape two years later. He was also found guilty in 2007 of attempted aggravated kidnapping of a 39-year-old woman.

Texas Rangers and the police reopened the case after a request from Jacobs’ daughter.


MacGinnis’ DNA may be checked against other unsolved cases to see if there is a match, the Enterprise reported.

His bond has been set at $1 million.