Daily News Bulletin: Louisiana flooding unearths caskets from cemeteries

Louisiana flooding unearths caskets from cemeteries

The record flooding in Louisiana is causing caskets to float to the surface in several cemeteries, according to KBMT-TV.

Caskets floating to the surface is a problem that happens at low-lying cemeteries during flooding, especially in the South. Last fall, cemeteries in South Carolina dealt with unearthed caskets during that state’s record flooding in October.

Floating caskets were also reported during hurricanes such as Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008.

“We have lots of experience, unfortunately with Katrina, Rita and Ike, in recovering caskets and it’s just not good for family members to be out in the cemetery,” warned Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Investigator Zeb Johnson in an interview with KMBT.

He said that while it can be heartbreaking for loved ones, it can also be dangerous.and said residents shouldn’t attempt to retrieve concrete vaults and caskets.

“Do not go to the cemeteries,” Johnson said. “These vaults weigh 1,600 to 1,800 pounds; caskets are full of water and if they are full of water, we know how to handle that and take care of it.”

The Sabine River, which forms part of the border between Louisiana and Texas, is seeing all-time record high flooding this week due to last week’s phenomenal rain.

Interstate 10 in southeast Texas has shut down due to flooding, the Associated Press reported.

Deweyville, Texas, is currently seeing its highest flood levels on record, forcing the town’s 1,000 residents to evacuate. The river should crest at an all-time record height of 33.5. feet later Tuesday or early Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. (USA Today)

In A First, NFL Executive Admits Football Is Linked To Brain Damage

A discussion on Capitol Hill about concussion research brought a startling moment Monday, as an NFL executive acknowledged for the first time that football has been linked to a degenerative brain disease.

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president for health and safety, admitted the connection when he was asked about research by Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, who has reported finding signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of 90 out of 94 former pro football players — and 45 out of 55 former college players.

Both Miller and McKee were testifying at the hearing by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. After McKee urged taking steps “immediately” to limit the risk to young athletes, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., asked Miller if he thinks football and CTE are linked.

“Well certainly Dr. McKee’s research shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to that question is certainly yes,” Miller said. He added, “but there’s also a number of questions that come with that.”

Schakowsky then reminded Miller that Dr. Mitchel Berger, a neurosurgeon who’s also the NFL’s lead physician on brain injuries, had said something very different as recently as this year, around the time of the Super Bowl.

As Steve Fainaru, an ESPN reporter who was at Monday’s hearing, tells Morning Edition, Berger “answered no to the exact same question” that Miller was asked in Washington on Monday.

The NFL, Fainaru says, “has for years basically punted on this question. They’ve never really come close to acknowledging that football can cause brain damage. And that question has been at the center of a class-action lawsuit against the league, a lot of really bad publicity that the league has endured for years. So, I think for people who follow this, it was really quite surprising.”

In recent seasons, the NFL has changed rules and protocols in an attempt to reduce the number and severity of helmet-to-helmet hits in the game. But in January, the league issued an injury report “that said the number of concussions diagnosed in 2015 had increased by 32 percent from the previous year.” (NPR)

After their child ended up in trash, couple to get $28M

 Catheryne Lucero and Raul Manzano thought the body of their infant son, who died soon after his birth on Sept. 1, 2014, was being cremated.

Instead, his remains ended up in a dumpster behind a gas station in North Miami, Fla., four days later.

Now the couple have been awarded $28 million after a jury determined that the Carey Royal Ram’n Mortuary was negligent in its transport of the child’s body, CBS Miami reports.

A homeless man searching for food amid the trash found the baby in a cardboard box. A toe tag provided police with “a big clue,” the Miami Herald reported at the time, as it suggested the boy had been dead for some time and perhaps came from a funeral home.

The discovery was heavily covered by the media, and “the really bad part is the parents had been watching the reports … and were thinking what a tragedy this is,” Neal Hirschfeld, their lawyer in the civil trial, tells the Miami Herald. “They were so distraught.”

Shortly after the baby was found, Jarren Hood, son of the funeral home owner, told the police that he was supposed to take the body to the crematorium but went home instead; someone then stole the box from his van.

A state panel in May found that Hood “committed negligence, incompetency, or misconduct” during the transport, and the funeral home, which is still in operation, was fined, per Hirschfeld. Hood was charged only with resisting arrest in the incident. (Another funeral home laid out the wrong body.)(USA Today)


Kobe Bryant holds up a sign as part of a donation contest where fans have a chance to win courtside seats to his last game. (Omaze)

The final game for Kobe Bryant is coming up and courtside seats are going for nearly $20,000. But avid fans have a chance to win two front-row seats.

Bryant has partnered with the charitable fundraising website Omaze to give two lucky people the ultimate fan experience. Along with the tickets, the winner and a friend get to high-five Bryant as he takes to the court before that last game.

If the winner doesn’t live in Southern California, they will be flown out to Los Angeles and placed in a four-star hotel.

To enter, you have to donate at least $10 to Omaze. The money goes to three non-profit organizations the basketball legend cares about: Positive Coaching Alliance, After-School All-Stars Los Angelels and the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.

And the more you donate, the more chances you have to win those coveted seats. To enter, click here Omaze.com/experiences/kobe.(ABC)


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