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How bad might Atlantic hurricane season be this year?

How bad might Atlantic hurricane season be this year?

The Anatomy of a Hurricane

How bad might Atlantic hurricane season be this year?

The Atlantic hurricane season will be “near-normal” with two to four major hurricanes expected in 2019, according to national forecasters. But the southeastern U.S. still grappling with impacts from the only two major hurricanes to make landfall during 2018 shows even a near-normal season can prove devastating.

“Even though those ranges are centered on what an average season would bring, that is a lot of activity,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It doesn’t mean the season is going to be quiet. You need to start getting prepared now as with every hurricane season.”

>>Read: ‘Gray Man’ ghost makes appearance before major hurricanes, legend says

The best preparations may not help victims find relief, however. As the new hurricane season picks up, victims from recent natural disasters are still waiting for Congress to approve a $19.1 billion relief bill. On Friday, final passage of the plan was blocked by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who forced a delay until Congress returns for legislative business in the first week of June when the new hurricane season officially begins.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, and an average season produces 12 named storms with six becoming hurricanes and three turning into major hurricanes. For 2019, NOAA predicts nine to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher are given a name), of which four to eight could become hurricanes (74 mph winds or higher) and two to four could be major, classified as Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher. In 2018, there were 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes, of which two — Florence and Michael — were classified as major.

>>Read: Hurricane safety: 15 tips that could save your life during a storm

WSB meteorologist Glenn Burns cautions that no matter the level of the storm, it is important for people to take proper precautions. “You can have a Category 4 hurricane that moves quickly across the area, but even if you have a Category 2 that moves slower, that would be more impactful because of the duration,” he said.

Hurricanes are fueled by warm, moist air continually rising up from the ocean’s surface. As the air rises and cools, the water in the air forms clouds. The clouds continue to form, creating huge bands that spin, blow and grow larger as they are fed by the ocean’s heat and evaporating water.

>> Read more trending news 

Since 1995, we have been in the active phase of the Atlantic Hurricane Cycle, said Judith Curry, professor emeritus and former chair of Atmospheric Science at Georgia Tech and president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network. Recent elevated hurricane activity in the Atlantic is comparable to a period in the 1930s to 1950s during which some of the worst landfalls occurred, she said.

Current El Nino conditions, the periodic warming of the sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, may suppress the intensity of hurricane season by increasing wind shear over the Caribbean Sea, blowing apart storms or preventing them from developing altogether, said Bell.

>>Read: Hurricane Safety: What are hurricane categories and what do they mean?

But this year, El Nino, last seen in 2015, is relatively weak, said climate experts, and its effect could be countered by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea along with a wind system that affects West African regions, both of which set the scene for increased hurricane activity.

As the storms begin to form, forecasters will refine their predictions to focus on intensity and landfall, but that presents the greatest challenge.

“We can go out five days and be spot on as to where the storm is going to hit,” said Burns. “Intensity is the biggest problem in hurricane forecasting.”

Hurricanes tend to lose strength over land, but they can be very unpredictable. “The key challenge is predicting rapid intensification, especially when it occurs just before landfall, such as happened last year with Hurricane Michael,” said Curry. “Rapid intensification is driven in part by small-scale, random processes that are difficult for the models to predict.”

Hurricane Michael, classified as a Category 3 storm when it moved into southwest Georgia on Oct. 10, was the first major hurricane to hit the state since the late 1800s. 

The main impact from hurricanes inland is flooding rain and tornadoes, Burns said. “Tornadoes can spin up, boom and they are gone. They are small…and they are difficult to find in the outer bands. We have to be very diligent,” he said.

In preparation for storm season, state agencies led by GEMA will soon participate in a statewide hurricane exercise designed to test disaster plans and procedures, officials said.

When hurricanes lead to a state of emergency in Georgia the Emergency Operations Plan is activated. The plan was updated in 2017, an above average season which brought six major hurricanes.

2019 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names






















Source: NOAA

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Protests and demonstrations have led to violence in at least 30 cities across the United States in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Floyd, 46, died after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed a Minneapolis police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage.  As of Monday, at least 40 cities across 16 states have imposed curfews.  Live updates for Monday, June 1 continue below:  Curfew will be in effect for next two nights in Washington DC Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 1: Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday announced that the city will enforce a 7 p.m. curfew for the next two nights amid protests following the death last week of George Floyd. Bowser has enacted a curfew Sunday that didn’t go into effect until 11 p.m. The decision Sunday sparked criticism from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh MeEnany. “I think when you look at some of the befuddling actions, like right here in D.C., the mayor of D.C. didn’t issue a curfew until 11 p.m.,” McEnany said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” according to The Hill. “Well, guess what? At 10 p.m. you had St. John’s Church burning. Several other cities had curfews at 4 p.m., at 5 p.m., at 6 p.m.” Florida police officer suspended after video showed him pushing kneeling protester Update 11:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Interim Fort Lauderdale police Chief Rick Maglione said an officer who appeared to shove a protester without provocation Sunday as she was kneeling near him has been suspended from duty as authorities investigate the situation. Maglione said the situation began when an officer asked for help after she became surrounded by protesters. A short while later, some protesters began to attack a police car, smashing windows and jumping on the vehicle as a police officer sat inside. “In the middle of that event ... our officer, as he passed a female that was on the ground already, appears to shove her as he goes by her,” Maglione said. “That officer has been removed from any contact with the public. He is relieved from duty, basically, while this matter is investigated.” Maglione said officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have opened a criminal investigation into the situation. Mayor Dean Trantalis said he thought the situation was “offensive” and “should never have happened.” “I appreciate the fact that the department has relieved him of duty while this investigation happens,” he said at a news conference Monday. “I understand the state attorney has opened a file, an investigation to make sure that we get to the bottom of this and If it’s determined by those agencies that something wrong was done we will follow with swift disciplinary action.” New York City mayor: Police cars driving into crowd of protesters Saturday ‘unacceptable’ Update 11:20 a.m. EDT June 1: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that two police cars caught on video driving into a crowd during a protest Saturday of police brutality was “dangerous” and “unacceptable,' according to The Guardian. “There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind,” the mayor said, according to the newspaper. In a video that went viral Saturday, protesters could be seen carrying a yellow metal barricade to block a police SUV in Brooklyn, The New York Times reported. While some demonstrators began to throw things at the vehicles, both of them sped up into the crowd, according to the Times. The newspaper reported it was not clear whether anyone was injured in the incident. De Blasio said he had directed city officials to investigate the situation, the Times reported. Obama: Protests and political action necessary ‘if we want to bring about real change’ Update 11:10 a.m. EDT June 1: Former President Barack Obama said people need to be active in both protests and the political process if they want to bring about real, lasting change as protests erupted nationwide due to the death last week of George Floyd. “If we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics,” Obama said in a post published Friday on Medium. “We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.” Obama noted that while the focus is often on the federal government’s response to events like Floyd’s death, “the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.” “The more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away,” Obama said. “I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life. But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.” At least 12 arrested during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon Update 10:20 a.m. EDT June 1: Police in Portland, Oregon, said they arrested at least a dozen people after peaceful protests in the city spurred by the death of George Floyd turned violent. Authorities said they also detained two juveniles during Sunday night’s protests. Police said thousands of demonstrators marched Sunday to the city’s Justice Center. The gathering remained peaceful until around 11:30 p.m., when authorities said some demonstrators began to throw things at officers. When the crowd refused to disperse, police said they deployed “Riot Control Agents to disperse the crowd.” In response, some demonstrators threw what police described as fireworks at officers before the crowd broke into smaller groups, some of which set fires, smashed storefront windows and vandalized buildings and parked vehicles, authorities said. Police Chief Jami Resch said she met Sunday with demonstration leaders. “We agreed that the majority of demonstrators AND the police want a peaceful protest and are frustrated by those who are engaging in violence and destruction because it is not helpful for change efforts,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, while we were meeting, some individuals started to engage in violent acts toward Officers, which continued despite warnings to disperse. Officers deployed riot control agents to disperse the crowd for the safety of all.' NBA coaches: ‘We cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage’ Update 9:40 a.m. EDT June 1: The National Basketball Coaches Association released a statement Monday sharing condolences and prayers for the family of George Floyd and condemning his death. “The events of the past few weeks -- police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism are shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the group said. “Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation, but the reality is that African Americans are targeted and victimized on a daily basis. As NBA coaches, we cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage.” Coaches said in the statement that they will work with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies in the cities where they are based “to create positive change in our communities.” “We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it,” the statement said. 1 dead after authorities, protesters exchange fire in Kentucky; police investigating Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 1: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that he’s authorized an investigation into a police-involved shooting that left one person dead during protests over the death of George Floyd. Beshear said the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Kentucky National Guard were dispatched around midnight to 26th Street and Broadway. “While working to disperse a crowd, LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard were fired upon,” the governor said. “LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in a death. Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event.” DC mayor: Some protesters brought tools, supplies with them Update 9 a.m. EDT June 1: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Friday that some protesters brought “tools and supplies” with them to demonstrations Sunday over the death of George Floyd. “We know that we have people that came here with tools and supplies and they re-upped their supplies,' Bowser said during an interview Monday with NBC’s “Today” show. 'They went to different parts of the city. So, we think there was a mix of people here but certainly people here who do this type of protest and demonstration.” Ask if the demonstrators were believed to have been “professional protesters,” Bowser told the “Today” show, “We’ve seen some of these tactics before so we know that they were among the groups here.” She described the tactics used as “the types of tools they use, restocking, setting fires here and there to try to draw in the police to various locations.” 2 killed, police officer injured during protests in Iowa Update 8:35 a.m. EDT June 1: Two people died and a police officer is injured Monday following a series of shootings reported during protests overnight in Davenport, Iowa, police said. One person died in a shooting reported at the Walmart on West Kimberly Road and one person died in a separate shooting in the 1100 block of West 15th Street, according to police. Officials said rioters ambushed police officers in a vehicle around 3 a.m., firing several shots, some of which hit a police car while officers were inside. Police Chief Paul Sirkorski said one officer was injured. Police were later able to find the vehicle and arrested several people after it crashed during a pursuit. Sirkorski said the officer was “doing okay” Monday morning. “What we experienced tonight, last night was completely unacceptable and it does not honor the memory of Mr. Floyd,” Sirkorski said at a news conference Monday. Mayor Mike Matson said that in light of the overnight violence, a curfew will be enacted for all of Scott County on Monday. He said he has also requested the help of the Iowa National Guard. Facebook pledges $10 million toward ‘efforts committed to ending racial injustice’  Update 7:51 a.m. EDT June 1: Facebook will donate $10 million to “efforts committed to ending racial injustice,” the social media juggernaut announced early Monday. Several Boston police officers injured, more than 3 dozen protesters arrested Sunday night Update 5:37 a.m. EDT June 1: The Boston Police Department has confirmed multiple officers were injured during Sunday night’s protests, and 40 demonstrators were arrested. According to the department, at least seven officers were transported to local hospitals for treatment of injuries, numerous others were treated at the scene of the violent clashes and at least 21 police cruisers were damaged during the protest.  Citing ‘violence and thefts,’ Washington county declares state of emergency Update 5:14 a.m. EDT June 1: Washington’s King County, which includes the city of Seattle, declared a state of emergency early Monday due to “violence and thefts associated with some of the local protests.” “King County values and respects the peaceful expression of political views, and supports all people in exercising their First Amendment rights,” the county government said in a news release. Derek Chauvin’s 1st court appearance postponed 1 week Update 4:55 a.m. EDT June 1: The first court appearance for the former Minnesota officer charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd has been postponed until June 8. Chauvin, the officer seen in a video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, originally had a hearing set for 1 p.m. Monday. Court records cite no specific reason for the delay. Chauvin was moved to the Hennepin County Jail from the Ramsey County Jail Sunday. Birmingham protesters tear down Confederate monument, set fire to Thomas Jefferson statue Update 4:32 a.m. EDT June 1: Protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, were captured on video Sunday night looping a rope around the neck of a monument to a Confederate naval captain before dragging it to the ground. The statue, depicting Charles Linn, could be seen in the aftermath lying face down with “BLM” painted in large red letters along the back of his leg, The Washington Post reported. In addition to smashing the namesake of Birmingham’s Linn Park, protesters also set a statue of Thomas Jefferson ablaze. Police fatally shoot man at Louisville protest they say opened fire first Update 4:12 a.m. EDT June 1: A man has been shot and killed during protests in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, shots were fired at them first. The shooting occurred around 12:15 a.m., and the victim has not been identified. Washington activates statewide National Guard Update 3:38 a.m. EDT June 1: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has called up the National Guard for statewide deployment. “We must not let these illegal and dangerous actions detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd,” Inslee said in a statement. He also noted that members of the Guard engaged in crowd control must remain unarmed to ensure public safety. “But we also will not turn away from our responsibility to protect the residents of our state,” Inslee said in the statement. Florida police officer suspended after shoving kneeling protester Update 3:14 a.m. EDT June 1: A police officer has been suspended after video showed him shoving a kneeling woman during a Sunday afternoon protest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to The Washington Post, the video shows police walking through throngs of protesters as several people dropped to their knees and held their hands overhead. As one officer passed a black woman kneeling at his feet, he reached down and shoved the back of her head, sending her falling forward into the pavement. Nearby protesters erupted in shouts and several people threw water bottles at the police. The officer retreated, followed by other officers who appeared to be yelling at him over his actions, the Post reported. George Floyd's son says heart ‘really touched’ by mass protests Update 2:59 a.m. EDT June 1: Quincy Mason Floyd had not seen his father, George, since he was a young child. On Sunday night, the younger Floyd attended a Bryan, Texas, protest and spoke with CNN affiliate KBTX. 'Everyone is coming out and showing him love. My heart is really touched by all this,” Quincy Mason Floyd told the local station. DC’s historic St. John’s church set ablaze during Sunday protests Update 2:51 a.m. EDT June 1: A fire was set in the basement of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square from the White House, during Sunday night demonstrations calling for justice in the death of George Floyd. Tanker truck driver who plowed into crowd of Minnesota protesters charged with assault Update 2:32 a.m. EDT June 1: Bogdan Vechirko, the man who drove a tanker truck into a crowd of protesters on a Minnesota interstate Sunday, has been charged with assault, according to Hennepin County Jail records. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety described Vechirko’s actions as “inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators.”  He is being held without bail. The Massachusetts National Guard arrives in Boston Update 2:02 a.m. EDT June 1: The Massachusetts National Guard has arrived in Boston to disperse the remaining protesters, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio told CNN. Police have already made two arrests after two protesters jumped a fence and tried to get onto State House property, the network reported. Austin police fire on protesters after a day of peaceful demonstrations Update 1:42 a.m. EDT June 1: Police in Austin, Texas, opened fire on protesters early Sunday with what demonstrators described as rubber bullets, The Washington Post reported. The clash followed a day of peaceful protests in the Texas capital with witnesses stating the shots were fired by a group of officers on a nearby overpass at protesters who had been descending on police headquarters. .At least three people were struck by the projectiles, including a young woman who was hit in the back of the head, the Post reported.
  • One person has been arrested after eight homeless people in California were given food laced with pepper spray, authorities said. The Associated Press reported that the poisonings took place in Huntington Beach over the span of a week in mid-May. Huntington Beach is located in Orange County, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles. “Homeless individuals were poisoned with food laced with oleoresin capsicum, which is twice as strong as the pepper spray used by police,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a news release. The victims’ reactions to the poisoning were filmed, Spitzer said. “The victims suffered a variety of symptoms including seizure-like symptoms, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and intense mouth and stomach pain,” the news release said. “Several of the victims required hospitalization.” The name of the person charged in the case had not been made public as of Monday morning. A scheduled news conference on the case was postponed due to protests in the city stemming from last week’s police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Protests, some violent, have sprung up across the U.S. following the death of Floyd, who was accused of forgery. Cellphone footage from a bystander shows officers holding a handcuffed Floyd face down on the pavement. One officer, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes, according to the footage. Floyd became unresponsive and later died. Four officers were fired following the May 25 incident and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Sunday that the state attorney general would be taking over all prosecutions in the Floyd case, according to the AP.
  • Nearly 6.2 million people worldwide – including almost 1.8 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Monday, June 1, continue below:  54 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 1: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that 54 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number is slightly lower than the 56 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Former CDC director predicts another 20,000 will die of COVID-19 in next month Update 10:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Tom Frieden, who headed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, told Axios Health on Monday that he believes another 20,000 people will die of novel coronavirus infections in the next month. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told Axios that people are under the mistaken impression that we’re coming out from under the threat of the novel coronavirus. Businesses in all 50 states that were shuttered due to the pandemic have begun to reopen in recent days. “We hit pause (on the virus), and now we’re hitting play, and we don’t know what the next song’s going to be,” she told Axios. Stocks pull back on Wall Street as trade worries flare again Update 9:45 a.m. EDT June 1: Stocks opened lower Monday on Wall Street as traders worry that trade tensions could flare again with China and as protests spread across the U.S. against police brutality, potentially threatening more outbreaks of the coronavirus. The S&P 500 index fell 0.4% in the first few minutes of trading Monday, led by declines in technology and health care companies. The index is coming off its second month of solid gains. Overseas, Hong Kong’s market rose after President Donald Trump didn’t pull out of a trade truce reached earlier with China. But traders still worried that more trade friction was on the way. Bars, nightclubs allowed to reopen in Georgia Update 8:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Several more businesses will be allowed to reopen Monday across Georgia including bars and nightclubs, according to WSB-TV. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the decision on Friday. “Bars and nightclubs can decide to reopen if they comply with strict sanitation and social distancing rules, all crafted to reflect industry practices and mitigate health risk,” Kemp said, according to WSB-TV. “To open their doors, bars and nightclubs must meet thirty-nine mandatory measures to ensure patron well-being.” WSB-TV reported summer schools and overnight summer camps will be allowed to resume, and pro sports will also be able to do team activities, but live entertainment venues will stay closed for now. >> Read more on WSBTV.com Global cases near 6.2M, death toll tops 372K Update 7:26 a.m. EDT June 1: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 372,377 early Monday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 6,189,560 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,147. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,790,191 cases, resulting in 104,383 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 514,849 cases, resulting in 29,314 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 414,878 cases, resulting in 4,855 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 276,156 cases, resulting in 38,571 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 239,479 cases, resulting in 27,127 deaths. • Italy has reported 232,997 cases, resulting in 33,415 deaths. • India has reported 191,041 cases, resulting in 5,413 deaths. • France has confirmed 189,010 cases, resulting in 28,805 deaths. • Germany has reported 183,508 cases, resulting in 8,546 deaths. • Peru has reported 164,476 cases, resulting in 4,506 deaths. Armenian prime minister tests positive for coronavirus Update 6:48 a.m. EDT June 1: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed Monday he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. “It appeared yesterday that I had tested positive for coronavirus. I had no symptoms, but considering my plan to visit military units, I decided to take the test and it came back positive,” Pashinyan said on Facebook, The Washington Post reported. Pashinyan, who said he will be working from home throughout his illness, also confirmed his entire family has also contracted the disease, and the suspicion is that the virus was passed along by “a waiter, who brought us glasses of water” during a recent meeting. “I saw that he was wearing no gloves and rebuked him, but I think they were working without gloves earlier. The waiter has also tested positive for coronavirus,” Pashinyan said. Armenia has confirmed 9,282 cases of the coronavirus, resulting in 131 fatalities to date, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.  2 Connecticut tribal casinos set to reopen amid lingering coronavirus concerns  Update 6:25 a.m. EDT June 1: Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun are touting “limited” re-openings despite Gov. Ned Lamont saying he thinks it’s too early for them to do so, NPR reported. 'I think the idea of opening up on June 1 is early,' Lamont said, adding, “It's earlier than Las Vegas. It’s earlier than any of our regional casinos want to do. I'd like to have more time.' Tribal leaders, however, feel they have done the due diligence required to open safely, such as mandating Foxwoods’ reopening is contingent on maintaining strict 25% occupancy. “We feel like we’ve put forward a plan to mitigate the risk,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation, told NPR. “Don’t go with the perception of what casinos were. Let’s focus on what we’re doing, and you have to come and see it.” Meanwhile, nearby Mohegan Sun is implementing similar safety guidelines but also requiring table-game players to remain separated by plexiglass and dice to be disinfected between rolls. Find answers to mortgage, rent relief options due to coronavirus Update 5:48 a.m. EDT June 1: Homeowners and renters worried about mortgage and rent payments are not entirely alone. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, more than 8% of U.S. homeowners, or about 4.7 million households, have sought help through mortgage relief programs, representing a roughly 2,000% increase since early March. Meanwhile, the number of the nation’s 40 million renters paying late has doubled since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, The Washington Post reported. In fact, data analytics real estate firm Amherst estimates as many as 28 million renters, or nearly 23% of all U.S. households, are at risk of eviction or foreclosure as a direct result of the virus’ financial toll, the Post reported. Click here for answers, compiled by the Post, to common questions about moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures passed due to the pandemic. US coronavirus deaths top 104K, total cases near 1.8M Update 12:28 a.m. EDT June 1: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.7 million early Monday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,790,172 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 104,381 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 370,770 cases and 29,784 deaths and New Jersey with 160,445 cases and 11,698 deaths. Massachusetts, with 96,965 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,846, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 120,260. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 50,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 111,951 cases, resulting in 4,172 deaths • Pennsylvania: 76,129 cases, resulting in 5,555 deaths • Texas: 64,652 cases, resulting in 1,675 deaths • Michigan: 57,397 cases, resulting in 5,491 deaths • Florida: 56,163 cases, resulting in 2,451 deaths • Maryland: 52,778 cases, resulting in 2,532 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 42,000 cases; Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 34,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 21,000 cases; Arizona and Iowa each has confirmed at least 19,000 cases, followed by Wisconsin with 18,403, Alabama with 17,952 and Mississippi with 15,523; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 13,438 and South Carolina with 11,861; Utah, Kentucky, Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; New Mexico and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 6,418. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Idaho man is puckering up to beat another world record. David Rush has once again put his name into the Guinness World Record books.  This time, drinking a liter of pure lemon juice in just 16-point-five-three-seconds.  The previous record was just over 17-seconds.  App users, tap here to see the video. Rush has set over 100 Guinness World Records in order to advocate for STEM education.
  • Grab a tissue and watch the video below as Gatorland sadly says goodbye to Blackwater, one of their star alligators, who passed away Saturday night.  The video shares how they first adopted Blackwater from Ookefenokee Swamp in Georgia, where the alligator was living in a tiny pool in Blackwater Pond. Blackwater was sick with pneumonia when he first arrived at the park, but he was nursed back to health and grew to be more than 13 feet long. Gatorland’s Savannah Boan befriended the reptile and shared her love for the animal through shows and on the parks blog.   People, including trainers at Gatorland, were surprised at the relationship between the two.   During mating season male alligators like to fight and Savannah noticed Blackwater had been injured. Park officials secluded the big fellow from the other gators to try to rehabilitate the beast.  He seemed to be doing well, but took a turn for the worse and passed away Saturday during a rainstorm.  “We lost a really, really cool alligator,” said CEO Mark McHugh in the vlog. Savannah held the gator’s head in her lap and cried.  She wrote on her blog, “He was my very best friend and I'm so sad to let you know that he passed away. 😢 Rest In Peace sweet Blackwater.” “Savannah’s goin’ to take a little time off “ said McHugh  “she deserves it.” App users click here to watch the video. 

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump ignored advice from GOP lawmakers and allies on Sunday to address the nation as urban unrest spread around the nation in response to the death of black man at the hands of police in Minnesota, as the President instead retreated to his favorite social media platform, and lobbed verbal jabs at his critics. 'Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors. These people are ANARCHISTS,' the President wrote on Twitter. 'LAW & ORDER,' Mr. Trump added in another tweet. Asked about tweets where President Trump said looters would be shot, one GOP ally said he told the President to stop. 'Those are not constructive tweets, without any question,' said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Fox News Sunday. Some urged the President to address the nation, as a way to rally Americans. 'Americans are looking for leadership,' said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), in a direct Twitter appeal to the President. Instead, the President attacked Democrats, and his likely opponent in November. 'The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!' Mr. Trump wrote. While the President stayed out of sight on Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden went into his home town of Wilmington, Delaware to meet with protesters. 'We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,' Biden said in a statement on Instagram. 'The President hid in the White House bunker because there were protesters across the street,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).    'Tells you all you need to know,' Cicilline added.