Seven in critical condition after suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at Union County hotel


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UPDATE: Four people have since been released from the hospital after 11 people were initially hospitalized after inhaling dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide at the Hampton Inn in Marysville on Saturday. Read the full update on this story.

MARYSVILLE — Eleven people were transported from the Hampton Inn in Marysville in Union County to area hospitals Saturday night — including seven considered in critical condition — in what local officials are calling carbon monoxide poisoning.

Marysville Fire Chief Jay Riley said the exact source of the carbon monoxide was unclear as of late Saturday evening, but any potential sources had been shut off and the building was cleared of people.

Carbon monoxideWhat you need to know to stay safe

All of the injured taken to hospitals had been in the pool area. Riley did not have ages of any of the victims immediately available, but said there were both children and adults.


A huge emergency service operation was launched after reports of carbon monoxide poisoning
A huge emergency service operation was launched after reports of carbon monoxide poisoning ( Image: REUTERS)

Two others were treated at the scene, and five more later sought treatment on their own at Memorial Health Hospital in Marysville, Marysville Police Chief Tony Brooks said.

What happened at the Hampton Inn in Marysville, Ohio?

Brooks said the first call came into 911 about 5:30 p.m. that a 2-year-old girl had either fallen into the pool or was found in the pool unconscious at the hotel at 16610 Square Dr. More calls to authorities about unconscious people followed, with others reporting symptoms such as dizziness and a burning in the throat, Brooks said. 

Carbon monoxide: More tips to make sure your home is safe

The Marysville Fire Department and Marysville Police called for help from multiple departments, and the hotel was evacuated. All the other guests and staff left on their own, officials said, and hotel management made accommodations to have them stay at other hotels.

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Coast Guard searching for man who fell from a boat that capsized off the Lower Keys


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A search is underway for a man who fell from a small boat Saturday night off the Lower Keys, according to authorities.

Erik Rundle was last seen around sunset on the capsized boat in the Man of War Harbor— located west of Fleming Key, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Twitter.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the search and rescue operation of the man who they believe is around 40-years-old.

“We are assisting the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in trying to locate him,” sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt said Sunday afternoon.

Anyone with information about Rundle’s whereabouts is asked to call the Coast Guard at 305-292-8727.

This story is developing.


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Hiker dies in Arizona after falling 700 feet while trying to take a photo





 
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A hiker camping in an Arizona mountain range fell hundreds of feet to his death while trying to take a photo, authorities said.

The hiker, identified as 21-year-old Richard Jacobson, was camping with a friend in the Superstition Mountains just east of Phoenix this week. On Monday around 12:45 a.m., the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, its search and rescue unit was sent to the Flatiron Trail “after a 911 caller reported his friend had taken a fall from the mountain.”

Jacobson had gone to the edge of the mountain to take a photo when he slipped, authorities said. He fell an estimated 700 feet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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CDC travel warning flags 5 Caribbean destinations as ‘very high’ risk for COVID-19


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Federal health authorities on Monday warned against travel to 15 countries and territories, including Costa Rica, the United Arab Emirates and five Caribbean destinations, because of “very high” risk levels of coronavirus.

By issuing Level 4 advisories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants” in those locales. The new additions expand a list of more than 100 destinations to receive the agency’s highest travel warning.

In the Caribbean, the CDC urged people to “avoid travel” to Jamaica, Saint Barthelemy, the Dominican Republic and two island territories of France: Guadeloupe and Saint Martin. The agency also issued its highest coronavirus warning for Peru, Colombia, Fiji, Kuwait, Mongolia, Niger, Romania and Tunisia.

Monday’s alerts deal with some of the most popular beach destinations for Americans. According to federal travel data, more than 4.6 million U.S. citizens traveled to the Caribbean from January through September last year. That exceeds the number of U.S. visitors to any other overseas region, including all of Europe.

Other Caribbean tourist spots designated as highest-risk include the Bahamas, Barbados and Sint Maarten, which is part of the Netherlands and on the same island as Saint Martin.

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Adele postpones Las Vegas residency a day before first show: ‘I’m gutted’



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Adele has postponed her Las Vegas residency due to COVID-19-related production delays, the singer announced a day before her first show was set to kick off. 

“I’m so sorry, but my show ain’t ready,” Adele said in a tearful video posted to Twitter Thursday. “We’ve tried absolutely everything that we can to put it together in time and for it to be good enough for you, but we’ve been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and COVID – half my crew are down with COVID, they still are – and it’s been impossible to finish the show.”

She added: “I can’t give you what I have right now.”

The “Easy on Me” singer added she was “gutted” by the last-minute cancellation. Her Las Vegas residency, titled “Weekends with Adele” and announced in November, was set to kick off Friday at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace and run through April. 

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Watch: Video shows man strangling woman with a shoelace at Miami airport bus stop

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Sleeping woman wakes up to man touching her on United flight, feds say. ‘Get away’


 
 

A woman who drifted off to sleep in her seat during a United Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Virginia opened her eyes to find the man next to her touching her breast, federal officials said.

When she yelled “get away from me,” the man hopped out of his seat and headed to the back of the plane, where he told a flight attendant he “sexually assaulted the woman sitting next to him,” according to prosecutors.

Ivan Lopez, Jr., 26, is now facing a charge of “abusive sexual contact aboard an aircraft in flight” after the Dec. 24 flight bound for Washington Dulles International Airport, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a Jan. 19 news release. If found guilty, he could face up to two years in prison.

McClatchy News reached out to Lopez’s lawyer for comment on Jan. 19 and was awaiting a response.

 

“The indictment alleges that she awoke to Lopez repeatedly rubbing her right breast. When the passenger opened her eyes, she allegedly observed Lopez leaning over her and his right hand was placed on her right breast,” officials said in the news release.

The woman told an investigating FBI special agent that Lopez’s hand touching her breast was “not accidental,”, the affidavit states. She accused Lopez of touching her for roughly 10 seconds.

A flight attendant told the FBI agent that Lopez admitted to grabbing the woman when he went to the back of the plane and “further stated that he thought he was in trouble and that he was sorry.”

Then, the flight attendant said they immediately moved Lopez’s seat from the 12th row to the 21st row to keep him away from the woman. After, Lopez apologized to the flight attendant again and said “that he had a disability,” according to the affidavit.

When the FBI agent interviewed Lopez the same day, he said “he wanted to get the woman’s attention by poking her on her right shoulder, so that he could ask her what she was listening to through her headphones,” the agent wrote.

However, the agent wrote, Lopez said turbulence caused him to “accidentally” poke “her breast.”

The official concluded in court documents they believe Lopez committed “a simple assault.”

McClatchy News has reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for further information.

The office’s news release also said another man, Elias Fethamlk — who was aboard a separate flight headed to Washington Dulles International Airport — is charged “with one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants, and one count of simple assault.”


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Fethamlk, 40, is accused of assaulting a flight attendant on an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Dec. 2, according to prosecutors.

McClatchy News reached out to Fethamlk’s lawyer on Jan. 19 and was awaiting a response.


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These tips can help you deal with flight delays, cancellations


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Air India to reschedule U.S. flights over 5G concerns


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Air India’s flights to the U.S. could see some cancellations and rescheduling due to the roll-out of 5G services there, which is likely to cause a major disruption to flights.

“Due to deployment of 5G communications in USA, our operations to USA from India stand curtailed/ revised with change in aircraft type from January 19th, 2022,” Air India posted on Twitter.

Airline officials declined to comment about the number of cancellations likely. One senior official said rescheduling of flights “was a work in progress” and that the problem was a “serious” one.

Air India operates flights to New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco.

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Three women busted in drunken beatdown of Delta workers at JFK airport, say feds


 
 

A trio of unruly would-be passengers at John F. Kennedy Airport viciously beat down two Delta Air Lines employees after a flight crew decided they were too drunk and belligerent to board a flight to Puerto Rico, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Long Island residents Jordan Nixon, 21, Janessa Torres, 21, and Johanna Zavala, 44, were set to board a midday flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sept. 22 after their morning flight reservation was changed.

In the intervening hours, the women ordered nine drinks at an airport bar and showed up to their gate visibly drunk, according to prosecutors.

Zavala had difficulty walking, while Nixon smelled of alcohol and held a to-go cup filled with an orange liquid that also smelled like alcohol, the feds said.

A Delta gate employee informed the flight crew of the three passengers’ state, and a flight crew member and the captain of the flight determined that the trio would not be allowed to board, according to court papers filed by prosecutors.

A security officer was called to inform the three women, and told the group that while they wouldn’t be allowed on the flight, they could rebook on another flight later that afternoon, prosecutors said.

But the women refused to leave the jetway, and began cursing and screaming at the security guard, according to court papers.

“Nixon began to tap on [the security guard’s] head and removed his radio, which had been clipped on his person. Nixon then struck [the security guard] repeatedly with his radio as he struggled unsuccessfully to regain control of it,” prosecutors wrote in a memo asking a judge to set bail in the case.

Zavala punched in the face a Delta gate employee who was trying to stop the mayhem and help the security guard, prosecutors said.

As the gate employee called for backup, the trio punched and kicked the security guard, who had fallen to the floor — and Torres stepped on the guard’s face, according to the feds.

The flight crew was able eventually to shield the security guard behind a glass pane to stop the assault and neither employee has returned to work at the airport since that day, according to prosecutors.

Attorneys for Torres and Zavala did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Nixon’s attorney, Peter Guadagnino, said he and his client would assess the evidence in the case.


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These Mexico Destinations Will Require Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test to Enter Bars, Restaurants, and More


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Several popular tourist destinations in Mexico have started requiring or recommending vaccines for indoor activities, including bars.

Starting Friday, the state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located, will require people to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours to enter places like bars and clubs, as well as concerts and stadiums, according to the state government. The new mandate applies to people 18 and older.

Similarly, Baja California has recommended businesses like bars and restaurants ask guests 18 and older to show proof of vaccination or a PCR test taken within five days of entering, according to the state government. However, Baja California stopped short of mandating the policy, noting showing proof of vaccination would be at the discretion of individual business owners.

And Tlaxcala, which sits east of Mexico City, will require proof of vaccination to enter places like hotels, shopping centers, cafeterias, supermarkets, and taquerías, according to Forbes Mexico.

The new rules come as Mexico is reporting more than 26,400 new cases each day, according to Reuters, which is tracking COVID-19 cases around the world. Cases in Mexico are currently the highest the country has ever reported.

In Mexico overall, about 58.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently classifies Mexico as a “Level 3” destination, indicating a “high” level of COVID-19 transmission in the country. The agency recommends Americans be fully vaccinated before traveling there, but only warns unvaccinated Americans to avoid travel to the country.

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CDC guidance to become optional for cruise lines as COVID continues to spread

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Cruise lines will no longer be obliged to follow COVID guidance on ships as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, which was extended and modified in October, will expire Saturday at which point the health agency’s COVID guidance for cruise ships will become voluntary, the CDC confirmed to USA TODAY Wednesday. This means cruise lines can choose whether to follow the health agency’s guidance or not.

The health agency “is transitioning to a voluntary COVID-19 risk mitigation program” the CDC said in a statement shared by spokesperson David Daigle.

The program includes guidance and recommendations for cruise ships to keep operating in a way that fosters a safer and healthier environment for passengers, crew and impacted communities, according to the CDC.

►CDC monitoring cruise ships for COVID: Here’s how to check whether your ship is on the list.

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“Cruise ships operating in U.S. waters choosing to participate in the program on a voluntary basis agree to follow all recommendations and guidance issued by CDC as part of this program,” the CDC continued, noting the recommendations are aimed at reducing the spread of COVID.

Vessels operating in U.S. waters and sailing international itineraries that choose not to participate will be classified as “gray” on the health agency’s “Cruise Ship Color Status”website to indicate the CDC hasn’t reviewed the health and safety protocols put in place by that ship’s operator. Cruise ships that opt-out and sail only in U.S. waters will not be listed at all.

The CDC has relayed the information about the voluntary program to cruise industry members and expects cruise lines to indicate whether or not they will participate “in the coming week.”

As of Monday, reported COVID cases had increased 53% from a week earlier, averaging more than 750,000 new infections per day, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

The CDC added that more information about the voluntary program will be released Saturday, when the CSO expires.

CSO expires at the heels of CDC’s travel warning

The order, first announced in October 2020, was created by the CDC to lay out a phased approach for the safe resumption of cruising in U.S. waters.

The expiration of the CSO comes just over two weeks after the CDC issued a warningagainst cruise travel on Dec. 30 after clusters of COVID-19 cases emerged on ships departing from the U.S. and around the globe.

Cruise Lines International Association, the leading trade organization for the cruise industry, said Wednesday that the CDC’s decision to move forward with transitioning its CSO to a voluntary program recognizes that the cruise industry has upheld an “unwavering commitment” to COVID mitigation.

“Cruise is the only segment of travel and tourism that requires, prior to embarkation for both passengers and crew, exceedingly high levels of vaccination (approaching 100% compared to only 63% of the U.S. population) and 100% testing of every individual (21 times the rate of the U.S. on land),” CLIA said in a statement shared by Bari Golin-Blaugrund, vice president of strategic communications for CLIA.

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