Hurricane Florence could impact Southeast by Fri

A rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence chugged across the Atlantic on Sunday toward a possible direct hit on the U.S. Southeast late this week, triggering warnings to people up and down the coast to get their emergency kits ready, map out escape routes and fill sandbags.

Red flags flying on beaches warned swimmers to stay out of waters already roiled by the distant storm, and cruise ships and Navy vessels were being steered out of harm’s way. People rushed to buy bottled water, plywood and other supplies.

Florence crossed the 74 mph threshold from tropical storm to hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 mph (140 kmh). As of 5 p.m., it was centered about 720 miles (1,160 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 7 mph (11 kmh).

Drawing energy from the warm water, it could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 mph (209 kph) or more by Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The Miami-based hurricane center said that it is too early to know what path the storm will take but that it could roll ashore in the Carolinas by Friday.

Forecasters urged residents from South Carolina to the mid-Atlantic to get ready — and not just for a direct blow against the coast. They warned that Florence could slow or stall after coming ashore, with some forecasting models showing it could unload a foot or two of rain in places, causing devastating inland flooding.

“Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said. The state’s emergency management agency said it is “preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster.”

In Charleston, South Carolina, along the coast, city officials offered sandbags to residents. Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune urged people to secure their homes but said it’s too early to know if evacuations will be ordered.

Myrtle Beach hardware stores and supermarkets were busy ringing up sales of bottled water, plywood and generators.

“Literally, they are filling buggies full of water, shopping carts full of water,” Ryan Deeck, grocery department manager at a Walmart, told The Sun News. “They’re coming in and buying water and plates, and that’s about all they’re buying.”

North Carolina officials started getting bulldozers and chain saws ready.

Across the Southeast, people were urged to put together emergency supply kits, prepare their homes and research evacuation routes.

Florence’s effects were already being felt along the coast, with dangerous swells and rip currents in some spots. On North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the town of Nags Head posted no-swimming flags on beaches.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the coast, some residents picked up hurricane supplies during their normal weekend shopping, The Daily News reported. Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn’t worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days.

“I’ll see by Wednesday how that goes — we got over 48 hours before that happens,” Cesal said.

The Navy planned to send ships from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia out to sea. Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line re-routed its cruise ships.

The governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency far ahead of the storm to get ready.

2 NFL players kneel during anthem on opening Sun.

– No longer welcome on an NFL sideline, Colin Kaepernick turned to social media to make his point on the NFL’s opening Sunday.

In a tweet, Kaepernick gave a shout-out to “my brothers,” Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Watson, who were the only two players in the league to take a knee during the national anthem during Sunday’s early games.

“They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated,” Kaepernick said in the tweet , which was accompanied by a picture of the Dolphins kneeling before their game. “Love is at the root of our resistance.”

It was Kaepernick, then with the 49ers, who sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting policy brutality and social injustice in America.

Since opting out of his contract after that season, Kaepernick has been unable to land a contract on an NFL team and is suing the league for collusion.

But his voice is still being heard. Last week, Nike introduced an ad featuring the quarterback and his message: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” One fan in Cleveland for the Steelers-Browns games was spotted in the stands wearing a Kaepernick jersey.

While Stills and Watson were kneeling during the anthem, teammate Robert Quinn raised his fist. Niners receiver Marquise Goodwin did the same at San Francisco’s game at Minnesota. Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. of the Jaguars stayed in the locker room while the anthem was played.

Hours before Kaepernick’s tweet, President Donald Trump took to twitter to dig at the NFL, linking low ratings for Thursday night’s opener between Atlanta and Philadelphia (lowest for an opener since 2008) to players who refuse to stand for the anthem.

“If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!” he tweeted.

CBS and Fox, which carried Sunday afternoon’s games, have said they did not plan on televising the anthem.

However, NBC did show the anthem on Thursday night, and no players kneeled or protested in other ways.

That included Malcolm Jenkins, who raised his fist during the anthem last season but did not for the opener. During pregame warmups, he wore a shirt that read “Ca$h bail = poverty trap.”

Jenkins said he would like to move the focus away from the anthem.

“I think there’s a huge need for us to turn the attention to not only the issues, but what players are actually doing in their communities to promote change,” he said. “We’re trying to move past the rhetoric of what’s right or what’s wrong in terms of the anthem, and really focus on the systematic issues that are plaguing our communities.”

Delaware agencies monitoring Hurricane Florence

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Delaware Gov. John Carney says state officials are closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Florence, which is heading toward the U.S. for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week.

Carney said in a statement Sunday that while it’s too early to tell what impact Delaware will experience, residents should begin taking steps to prepare and monitoring local forecasts. 

MORE: Florence is now a hurricane, heading to southeast US

He says emergency management officials are communicating and coordinating with other state agencies, local partners, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and authorities in surrounding states.

The storm’s sustained winds reached 75 mph, just over the threshold for a hurricane, on Sunday morning as it was swirling across the Atlantic, about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda.

Serena Williams fined $17K at US Open

– Serena Williams was fined a total of $17,000 for three code violations during her loss to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open final.

On Sunday, a day after the match, the tournament referee’s office docked Williams $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching, and $3,000 for breaking her racket.

The money comes out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up to Osaka, whose 6-2, 6-4 victory on Saturday made her the first tennis player from Japan to win a Grand Slam singles title

In the second set’s second game, Ramos warned Williams for getting coaching, which is against the rules in Grand Slam matches. She briefly disputed that ruling, saying cheating “is the one thing I’ve never done, ever” — although afterward, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged he was trying to send Williams a signal.

A few games later, Williams received another warning, this time for smashing her racket, and that second violation automatically cost her a point, leading to more arguing. Eventually, Williams called Ramos “a thief,” drawing the third violation for “verbal abuse” — and costing her a game, putting Osaka ahead 5-3.

“I have never cheated in my life!” Williams told Ramos. “You owe me an apology.”

Under Article III, Section P of the Grand Slam Rule Book, “verbal abuse” is defined as “a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting or otherwise abusive.” The section says a player is subject to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation.

There are separate categories for coaching (“Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching”) and for abuse of rackets or equipment.

Officer loses job after charged in Dorney shooting

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A police officer has lost his job after being charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a man reported to have been hanging on or jumping on moving cars near an eastern Pennsylvania amusement park.

South Whitehall Township’s manager, Renee Bickel, said officials decided not to keep probationary officer Jonathan Roselle on the force following expiration of his probation period.

The Lehigh County district attorney’s office said Roselle, 33, had an “unreasonable” belief that his safety was endangered when he shot Joseph Santos on July 28.

MORE: Officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in Lehigh Co. shooting | Police fatally shoot man said to be damaging cars in Lehigh County

istrict Attorney Jim Martin, in announcing the charges last month, said Roselle was directing traffic near Dorney Park when a “frantic” woman stopped and said someone had tried to enter her vehicle. When the officer arrived Santos climbed on the hood of his vehicle and pounded on his windshield and side windows, then walked away but wheeled around and approached, ignoring the officer’s commands to stop and get down on the ground, and the officer fired five times, he said.

Santos, 44, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, had been engaging in “somewhat bizarre” behavior and was walking toward the officer, but wasn’t running or rushing toward him, had no visible weapon and didn’t present any threatening posture, Martin said. The officer had a flexible baton, stun gun and pepper spray, he added.

“In my opinion, this was the act of a relatively inexperienced officer who held a subjective fear for his own safety but made a decision which objectively was unreasonable in light of the facts as they existed and appeared at the time he discharged his weapon and killed Mr. Santos,” Martin said.

Jerseys on, wallets open as NFL season kicks off

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Football fans have their jerseys on and their wallets open as pro football season arrives in places where sports betting is newly legal.

New Jersey won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in May clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose.

There was an hour-long line waiting to place bets at Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino as kickoff approached.

MORE: Gov. Murphy signs New Jersey sports betting bill into law | Gambling returns to 2 once-shuttered Atlantic City casinos

Chris Matthews of Clementon, New Jersey put $50 a piece on the Browns, Patriots and Packers.

Robert Stovall of Rahway put $100 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Phil Henderson of Mahwah put $500 on the other side of that game, picking the New Orleans Saints to win.

Other states where sports betting is currently offered include Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

Stand Down holds event to help veterans in need

– “I served my country, served Pennsylvania and I’m here for my veterans’ benefits,” said Doris Thomas.

Thomas, a local Army veteran, is one of several hundred veterans excited to take advantage of the 25th Annual Philadelphia Stand Down event.

“We’re here for our medical, our healthcare. They’re supposed to help us get our VA benefits and help us get back on our feet,” Thomas stated.

Stand Down set up a one-stop shop event at the VA Hospital in West Philadelphia to help veterans get what they need: clothing, food, medical exams, counseling, employment services and more.

“They need to know that we’re here. Somebody’s out there. Somebody’s got their back,” said director of Philadelphia Stand Down Ed Speller.

Veterans at the event say one of the biggest issues for them is housing.

“Too many vets are on the street. Too many,” said Wayne Williams.

“If you fight for America, how can you be homeless?” Phil Sullivan asked. “There shouldn’t be homeless vets.”

The veterans say, in general, adjusting to life post-deployment is a huge challenge. They’re asking everyone at home to listen.

“Military people served and lived all over the country and you’re supposed to work with employers and organizations that are military and veteran friendly,” Thomas explained.

Organizers say each year, nonprofits jump at the chance to set up a table and help reach this critical population. Stand Down says it wants to help as many veterans as it can.

“So that there’s no vet left behind. No vet not being served,” Speller said.

“I think it’s a great event. I think it needs to be done more often. More follow up. More closely guarded,” said Williams.

Stand Down is a volunteer led nonprofit dedicated to providing aid to all veterans in the Delaware Valley. Donations are always welcome. They can be sent to Stand Down 520 Quincy Avenue, Penndel, Pennsylvania 19047.

For more information on Philadelphia Stand Down, see here

Del. man, 62, accused of illegal sex acts w/ teen

SMYRNA, Del. (AP) — A Delaware man is facing rape charges for what authorities say were illegal sex acts involving a 17-year-old. 

Patrol officers were checking on a vehicle parked off a roadway in Smyrna on Thursday when they found 62-year-old Robert Halama of Dover in the car with the teen.

The Smyrna Police Department said in a news release that sexual activity had been occurring inside the car and that detectives determined Halama and the victim had engaged in illegal sexual acts multiple times over several months

Halama was charged with 12 counts of fourth-degree rape. He was arraigned and taken into custody in lieu of $60,000 secured bond. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Man charged in stabbing death of teen girl in NJ

LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — A man has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of a teenage girl in New Jersey.

The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office announced Sunday that 20-year-old Bryan Cordero-Castro of Long Branch is charged with first-degree murder, weapon possession and attempted escape in the death of a 16-year-old girl.

Prosecutors said Long Branch police responded to a report of a stabbing shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday. The juvenile victim was taken to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, where she died just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Her name hasn’t been released.

Prosecutors said the victim and suspect were known to each other and there is no threat to public safety.

A listed number for Cordero-Castro couldn’t be found Sunday and it’s unclear whether he has an attorney.

Body found floating in Wilkes-Barre creek

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a person whose body was found floating in a northeastern Pennsylvania creek.

Police and emergency responders in Wilkes-Barre were called to Mill Creek in the city’s Miners Mills neighborhood just before 5 p.m. Friday.

Officials said the body was recovered about an hour later amid rainy and muddy conditions in the steep terrain.

Deputy coroner Dan Hughes said police and the Luzerne County coroner’s office are investigating.
 

Nike's sales surge after Colin Kaepernick ad

(FOX NEWS) — Nike’s online sales have surged in the wake of it’s “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.

A report from Edison Trends said the company’s online sales grew 31 percent from Sunday through Tuesday. The surge was better than the 17 percent increase recorded last year during the same period, the report stated.

The digital research company amassed the data after studying purchases from three million Americans through receipts, Fortune reported. The company looked for any Nike product purchased through the company itself and 200 other retail outlets.

“There was speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales but the data does not support that theory,” the company said in a statement.

MORE: Good for business? Nike gets political with Kaepernick ad | Tiger Woods calls Nike Kaepernick ad ‘beautiful’

The ad was met with both praise and outrage upon its release. People threatened boycotts and posted videos and photos of shoes set on fire, Nike gear thrown in the trash and swoosh logos cut out of products. Ozarks, a small private Christian college in Missouri, said its athletic teams would no longer wear apparel manufactured by Nike.

President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized NFL players for kneeling in protest during the national anthem, said Nike was getting “killed” in the wake of the campaign.

“Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

Others have applauded the move by Nike, including golfer Tiger Woods.

“I think Nike is trying to get out ahead of it and trying to do something special and I think they’ve done that,” Woods said at the BMW Championship. “It’s a beautiful spot.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tractor-trailer flips onto guard rail on I-295

– Crews were on the scene of a tractor-trailer accident on I-195 northbound early Sunday morning.

A tractor-trailer flipped over a guard rail near the Mullica Hill exit just before 4 a.m., closing one lane of traffic.

No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 29 for updates.

Crews on scene of partial house collapse in Mantua

– Crews were on the scene of a partial house collapse in Mantua Sunday morning.

The collapse occurred shortly after 6 a.m. on the 3900 block of Aspen Street.

Neighbors tell FOX 29 two people live in the affected home, but that they were not inside at the time of the collapse.

No injuries have been reported.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 29 for updates.

Tiger Woods calls Nike Kaepernick ad 'beautiful'

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — Tiger Woods endorsed Nike’s latest “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick with a message nearly as succinct.

“It’s a beautiful spot,” Woods said.

The two-minute ad, which made its debut during the NFL opener, highlights superstar athletes LeBron James, Serena Williams and others, and touches on the controversy of NFL player protests during the national anthem.

Woods, a Nike athlete since turning pro in 1996 who rarely delves into divisive issues, said Friday he was a fan of the apparel giant featuring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback known for his social protests.

“I think Nike is trying to get out ahead of it and trying to do something special and I think they’ve done that,” Woods said at the BMW Championship. “It’s a beautiful spot and pretty powerful people (are) in the spot.”

The ad aired during the first commercial break in the third quarter of the Eagles-Falcons game on Thursday night. Kaepernick watched the first television airing on NBC at an event held at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Woods has been a big part of Nike Golf through his 14 major championships, no moment more indelible than when his chip shot on the 16th green at the Masters hung on edge of the cup for two seconds — with the swoosh facing the camera — before dropping. His “TW” logo has made him an embodiment of the brand.

He said Nike didn’t consult his opinion on the ad that featured Kaepernick.

“They did not tell me it was coming,” Woods said. “When corporate does things that are outside of golf and outside of my realm, that’s what they do.”

Nike’s swoosh logo was omnipresent on hats, polos and spikes for golfers at Aronimink Golf Club.

Tony Finau, the leading candidate to be the final Ryder Cup pick for the U.S. team, said the Nike campaign with Kaepernick “definitely stands out”

“As far as Kaepernick and all that’s concerned, we all have the freedom of speech and he’s using it in a way that’s non-violent which is something you just have to respect as an American,” he said. “They came out with a campaign that they feel is who they are. As an athlete of theirs, it’s not my job to agree or disagree with whatever they do.”

Kaepernick’s deal with Nike for the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign was the most polarizing issue in sports this week, prompting heated debate on several topics including athletes protesting social injustice and Nike wading into political waters. Some fans responded to Kaepernick’s sponsorship deal by cutting or burning gear with Nike’s signature swoosh logo. Others argued the backlash and calls for a Nike boycott showed how the debate has morphed beyond how to react to athletes trying to highlight issues like racial inequality and police shootings of unarmed minorities.

President Donald Trump, a critic of protests during the anthem, tweeted Friday, “What was Nike thinking?”

Serena Williams, who will play her in ninth U.S. Open final, said last week at the tournament that she was proud of Kaepernick. He was in Flushing Meadows to watch Williams play.

“I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored (for Kaepernick),” she said.

Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

PGA Championship winner and two-time U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka said the biggest winner might be the publicity sparked for Nike.

“I mean, let’s put it this way, their name is in the paper and people are talking about it,” he said. “So Nike is doing what they want to do.”

Naomi Osaka upsets Serena Williams to win US Open

NEW YORK (AP) – Serena Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument as the U.S. Open women’s final descended into chaos, with fans booing and play delayed before Naomi Osaka wrapped up a 6-2, 6-4 victory for her first Grand Slam title.

The biggest issue for Williams on the scoreboard Saturday was that she was outplayed by a younger version of herself in Osaka, a 20-year-old who is the first player from Japan to win a major singles tennis title.

What this match will forever be remembered for is the way Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, demanding an apology after he initially warned her for receiving coaching, which is not allowed during Grand Slam matches.

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More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports