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Jilly_in_VA's Journal
Jilly_in_VA's Journal
March 31, 2022

UPDATE: Wears Valley wildfire spans 3,700 acres, currently 5% contained

Despite rain moving across East Tennessee overnight, officials reported the fire that broke out in the Wears Valley community of Sevier County has now burned 3,700 acres.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said that the Wears Valley wildfire, officially referred to as the Hatcher Mountain-Indigo Lane fire, has burned over 3,700 acres and is currently 5% contained as of Thursday morning.

At least 100 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the blaze but Waters said no fatalities or missing persons have been reported.

More than 200 fire personnel are working in the area to combat the wildfire. Waters said Thursday that five firefighting vehicles were damaged as part of the fire.

It's not getting any better, folks. The wind is driving it.

March 31, 2022

How tensions between the police and media boiled over one chaotic night in LA

Bodycam footage shows police shooting rubber bullets at reporters. Smartphone videos capture police taking them into custody. Throwing them to the ground. Striking them with batons.

Over the past two years, 200 journalists have been arrested or detained while doing their jobs, right here in the U.S. Journalists have complained that police kept them far from the action, shut them down, even brutalized them and destroyed their equipment — in short, intimidated and prevented them from reporting.

One night of chaos in Los Angeles stands out, however, both for illustrating the collapse of the relationship between these two powerful institutions — the police and the news media — and for helping to spark reforms in California.

A year ago this month, as police prepared to sweep Echo Park Lake of homeless encampments, protests broke out. The reporters who descended on the scene to record it were caught in the middle, as police were unable or unwilling to distinguish between reporters and activists.


March 31, 2022

U.K. Spy Chief Says Russian Army Is a Mess, Downed Own Plane

Vladimir Putin “massively misjudged the situation” in ordering the invasion of Ukraine and surely knows just how poorly things are going for Russian forces even though his closest advisers are hiding the truth from him, according to the head of Britain’s spy services.

In a speech at the Australian National University in Canberra on Thursday morning, GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming said the Russian leader’s “unprovoked and premeditated attack on Ukraine” has been “shocking in every sense of the word.” He also said Putin, a former KGB officer, was caught completely flat-footed by what he found.

“It’s clear he misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people,” Fleming said. “He underestimated the strength of the coalition his actions would galvanize. He underplayed the economic consequences of the sanctions regime. He overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory. We’ve seen Russian soldiers—short of weapons and morale—refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.”

Throughout the past 36 days, Putin has consistently been misled by top Russian military and intelligence officials about the army’s progress in Ukraine, declassified U.S. intelligence has reportedly shown. During a stop in Algiers on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Putin’s inner circle is not telling him the truth about the war and the true bite of economic sanctions on Russia’s economy. An unnamed senior U.S. intelligence official told the Associated Press that Putin’s advisers are “scared” to give him an accurate version of events, and that those deceiving him include Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.


March 31, 2022

Soldiers 'Irradiated' From Digging Trenches in Chernobyl

Several hundred Russian soldiers were forced to hastily withdraw from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine after suffering “acute radiation sickness” from contaminated soil, according to Ukrainian officials.

The troops, who dug trenches in a contaminated Red Forest near the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, are now reportedly being treated in a special medical facility in Gomel, Belarus. The forest is so named because thousands of pine trees turned red during the 1986 nuclear disaster. The area is considered so highly toxic that not even highly specialized Chernobyl workers are allowed to enter the zone.

Energoatom, the Ukrainian agency in charge of the country’s nuclear power stations, said the Russian soldiers had panicked and fled.

“It has been confirmed that the occupiers who seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and other facilities in the Exclusion Zone set off in two columns towards Ukraine’s border with Belarus. The occupiers announced their intentions to leave the Chernobyl nuclear power plant this morning to the Ukrainian personnel of the station," the agency said in a statement on Telegram, adding that a small number of Russians still remained at the facility.

The agency said it had also confirmed reports of Russian forces digging trenches in the Red Forest, “the most polluted in the entire exclusion zone.”

Another fcukup by the Russian army..........

March 31, 2022

Wears Valley wildfire now 1,000 acres and 0% contained; mandatory evacuations issued

Mandatory evacuations have been issued in Wears Valley as crews work to contain a now 1,000-acre wildfire at the Hatcher Mountain Road and Indigo Lane area.

The fire remained 0% contained as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency.

The EMA is ordering mandatory evacuations for those in the Wears Valley and Walden's Creek areas. The EMA created a dynamic map people can access and type their address into at this link, which will show if you are in the evacuation area.

As of 1 a.m. Thursday, the fire evacuation circle had been extended for the Dupont Area from South Rogers Road to the Blount County Line of Sevier County. It is unclear if this evacuation is for the same Wears Valley fire or a different one within the Wears Valley evacuation zone.

"If you are unsure if you are in this area, you should evacuate," the EMA said.

Knoxville Fire Department also sent two additional engine companies with eight firefighters to assist with the Sevier County wildfires. KFD also said they will help rotate members to allow firefighters time to rest.

Some scary echoes of the 2016 Gatlinburg fires. High winds are making the fires spread rapidly.

March 30, 2022

Another senior dumped

Last week I went back to work, finally, at the shelter (yay!) and last night I was working my new gig, which is the foster clinic, where all the "foster parents" bring their critters in for shots, medical checks, and whatnot. I had gone back in the back to get some litter for one of the foster cat parents and happened upon one of the Animal Control officers unloading a HUGE orange cat into a kennel in Intake. I asked her kiddingly, "Are you sure that's not a mountain lion?" because the cat was absolutely enormous--not fat, just BIG. She said, "No, he's just a big, sweet old boy." When I went back out front I sneaked a peek at his papers, which were lying by the computer. He's an owner surrender, 12 years old, nothing major wrong with him apparently, but there's a place on the papers for "annoying habits" and she'd written "loud meowing" and "throws up when he gets a hairball or eats too fast". Then under "reasons for surrender" she wrote "moving" and "asthma and allergies". Really, Karen? Suddenly you developed allergies? Sounded to all of us like she just got tired of him. He is a very sweet boy. When I went back to check on him before I left, he was crouched in the kennel with his face pressed against the corner. I have seen that enough to know what it means. Poor guy. I will see him again on Friday when I go in to clean, maybe tomorrow if the clinic has any appointments scheduled (none so far).

On the good news front, remember Tiger, the blind cat that hated everyone? He's been in foster care for several months and is doing well. They had to remove his eyes but he doesn't seem to be bothered. He gets along with the other cat in the house and the foster mom and visitors. AND he has a potential adopter!!!!

March 30, 2022

Monkeys Near Florida Airport Becoming Simian Celebrities

As departing jetliners roared overhead, an aging vervet monkey moped on a mangrove branch one recent afternoon in the woods he inhabits near a South Florida airport, his ego bruised.

Mikey, as he is called by his human observers, has long been the laid-back alpha male of a troop of monkeys ruling this tract of land, tucked off a busy runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. But this day he lost when challenged by a feisty youngster called Spike. Mikey fled screaming and was now sullenly staring at humans watching him from 15 feet (4 meters) away.

“Did you have a bad day?” asks Deborah “Missy” Williams, a Lynn University science professor who has been studying the troop and others nearby since 2014. She is also founder of the Dania Beach Vervet Project, which seeks to preserve this unique colony. “We will leave you alone so you can ponder.”

The United States has no native monkeys, but the smallish vervets have roamed Dania Beach since the late 1940s after a dozen brought from West Africa fled a now long-closed breeding facility and roadside zoo. Today, 40 descendants are broken into four troops living within 1,500 acres (600 hectares) around the airport. Florida also has a few colonies of escaped macaques and squirrel monkeys.

Florida wildlife officials often kill invasive species to protect native animals. But they tolerate the vervets, if they stay put. The monkeys are local celebrities, their travails detailed by TV and newspapers, and popular visitors with nearby workers, who feed them despite signs saying that’s illegal.


March 30, 2022

Widow of D.C. officer who died by suicide says Jan. 6 "changed him"

The widow of an officer who died by suicide after responding to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is pressing Congress to pass legislation recognizing the trauma suffered by law enforcement officers who take their own lives, which she told CBS News would be a fitting legacy for her husband.

Four officers who responded on Jan. 6 died by suicide within seven months of the attack.

Earlier this month, Erin Smith received an email from Washington, D.C., with the result she had spent more than a year fighting for. The city had ruled that her husband's suicide — nine days after Jan. 6, 2021 — was caused by injuries sustained in battling the rioters, and as such, his death was found to have occurred in the line of duty.

"Honestly, I couldn't believe it," Smith told CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane in an exclusive interview.

She believes that the District was initially reluctant to grant the line-of-duty designation, because "with a suicide comes a stigma and something that the police department doesn't want to face or recognize."


March 30, 2022

Putin feels Russian military misled him, U.S. official says

U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about the poor performance of Kremlin troops in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported and CBS News confirmed.

A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss recently declassified intelligence, said Wednesday the intelligence finding indicates that Putin is aware of the situation on information coming to him and there is now persistent tension between him and senior Russian military officials. President Biden, in an exchange with reporters, would not comment.

But the administration is hopeful that divulging the finding could help prod Putin to reconsider his options in Ukraine. The war has ground to a bloody stalemate in much of the country, with heavy casualties and Russian troop morale sinking as Ukrainian forces and volunteers put up an unexpectedly strong defense.

However, the publicity runs the risk of further isolating Putin, who U.S. officials have said seems at least in part driven by a desire to win back Russian prestige lost by the fall of the Soviet Union.

How many advisors will fall out of closed windows next week?

March 30, 2022

We All Know Teachers Are Underpaid. But Who Imagined It Was This Bad?

Just before her 16th birthday, Cara Rothrock got her first job working at a 1950s roadside restaurant and ice cream stand, only a few miles from her parents’ house in a small town in Floyd County, Indiana.

She poured soft serve. She cooked burgers and fries. She cleaned counters and took orders and ran food out to customers seated at picnic tables. All behind the glow of a bright, neon-lit parrot and a sign that read, “Polly’s Freeze.”

That was 199​​4. A few years later, Rothrock went off to college in Bloomington, Indiana. And because her parents—both teachers—couldn’t afford to help out much with her expenses, she held onto her job at Polly’s, commuting two hours home on weekends to pick up shifts. She spent the money as she earned it, investing in her education so that she could pursue her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher, just like her mom and dad before her.

After graduation, she landed a teaching position close to home. But with a starting salary of $29,000 and nearly that much in student loans, she didn’t feel comfortable enough financially to leave Polly’s. Not yet.

“As I tried to get a house of my own, a car, I found that, as a teacher, there was really no choice. I kind of needed to work a second job,” she explained in January from her third grade classroom at a public school near her hometown.

In South Korea, teachers are called "nation builders" and given the pay and respect that titled deserves. In Finland, only the best students are selected for teacher training and a master's equivalent is required. Pay is commensurate. Here......

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Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
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About Jilly_in_VA

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

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