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Deep South Drenching Continues as Flood Watches Light Up Gulf Coast

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas, Louisiana, and beyond. 

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For Americans living in the deepest part of the south, this summer has been a rough, wet mess.

Hurricane season in the United States is always an iffy time of year for folks living near the Gulf of Mexico, with a number of major storms battering the area over the course of several months.  2021 was no exception, with Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana just a scant few weeks ago, knocking out power to over 1 million people during one of the hottest times of the year.

Now, as recovery efforts continue, another storm is set to soak the south. 

Tropical Storm Nicholas in the western Gulf of Mexico will be a major rainfall flood threat to parts of the Texas and Louisiana coasts, in addition to strong wind gusts and storm surge.

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Nicholas is centered about 250 miles south-southeast of the border between Texas and Mexico. It’s helping to produce widespread showers and thunderstorms throughout a broad area of the western Gulf of Mexico right now. Some bands of rain associated with Nicholas have already spread into the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

The storm could still strengthen as well.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued along the coast of Texas from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to High Island, as well as some inland counties near the Texas coast and the southeast Houston metro area. This means tropical-storm-force winds (39+ mph) are expected in these areas beginning as soon as Monday morning farther south and Monday night farther north.

A hurricane watch is also now in effect for a part of the middle Texas coast, from Port Aransas to Freeport. Hurricane conditions could occur in this area by Monday night.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas, Louisiana, and beyond.

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Brian Laundrie’s Notebook Contains Details of Gabby Petito’s Death

Perhaps some closure can finally be afforded to Gabby’s family.

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At long last, some form of closure could be coming to the family of Gabby Petito.

Petito was at the center of one of the most bizarre crime stories of 2021, after her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned home from a joint cross-country road trip without her and immediately refused to cooperate with authorities who were investigating her disappearance.  Then, shortly after arriving back in Florida, Laundrie himself went missing.

Weeks late, Laundrie’s partial remains were found in a nature preserve near this family home along with a notebook.  Laundrie was determined to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Now, after months of waiting and wondering, the contents of the aforementioned notebook have been revealed.

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Petito’s family was in Florida on Thursday morning, roughly four months after their daughter was found strangled to death in Wyoming. An attorney representing Laundrie’s family said they had reached an agreement about how the couple’s property – including a notebook found with his remains – will be distributed.

The notebook contained “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death,” according to the FBI.

“Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI, specifically the Wyoming, Denver, New York and Tampa offices, all of their task force members and their assisting agencies,” Petito/Schmidt family lawyer Rick Stafford said in a Friday statement. “Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI’s Victim Services Department for all they have done for them. Victim Services has been there for support from the earliest stages of this investigation and helped their entire family navigate through the worst moments of their lives.”

The story had captured the attention of world, and while this is undoubtedly a heartbreaking end to the tale, perhaps the Petito family can now take the next steps in their recovery.

At long last, some form of closure could be coming to the family of Gabby Petito. Petito was at the center of one of the most bizarre crime stories of 2021, after her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned home from a joint cross-country road trip without her and immediately refused to cooperate with authorities who were investigating her disappearance.  Then, shortly after arriving back in Florida, Laundrie himself went missing. Weeks late, Laundrie’s partial remains were found in a nature preserve near this family home along with a notebook.  Laundrie was determined to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Now, after months of waiting and wondering, the contents of the aforementioned notebook have been revealed. Petito’s family was in Florida on Thursday morning, roughly four months after their daughter was found strangled to death in Wyoming. An attorney representing Laundrie’s family said they had reached an agreement about how the couple’s property – including a notebook found with his remains – will be distributed. The notebook contained “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death,” according to the FBI. “Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI, specifically the Wyoming, Denver, New York and Tampa offices, all of their task force members and their assisting agencies,” Petito/Schmidt family lawyer Rick Stafford said in a Friday statement. “Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI’s Victim Services Department for all they have done for them. Victim Services has been there for support from the earliest stages of this investigation and helped their entire family navigate through the worst moments of their lives.” The story had captured the attention of world, and while this is undoubtedly a heartbreaking end to the tale, perhaps the Petito family can now take the next steps in their recovery.

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US Ponders Diplomatic Evacuation as Putin Moves on Ukraine

Sign #475 that things are going south in Ukraine…

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The way Vladimir Putin tells it, we’re all just overreacting to his placement of hundreds of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.

Of course, this is classic Putin.  The Russian President has long understood the ins-and-outs of the antagonization game, and is likely just pushing buttons for the sake of pushing buttons…at least in his recent diatribes.

But there is little doubt that he’s up to something, and the US isn’t going to take any chances when it comes to innocent Americans who are now in the line of potential fire.

The U.S. is weighing whether to evacuate family members of diplomats stationed in Ukraine as Russia masses more than 100,000 troops on its borders, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Under the plan, family members would be ordered to return home while non-essential employees would be able to leave voluntarily. An announcement may come within days, according to the people, who asked not to be identified before a decision is reached.

The ruble erased gains on the news, falling 0.1% against the dollar. Yields on most Russian local currency sovereign bonds rose on Friday.

The operation would be no small task.

The U.S. employs about 180 American citizens and 560 Ukrainians at its embassy in Kyiv, according to the embassy website. That doesn’t include family members, so the number of U.S. citizens living in embassy housing is probably much higher.

While Putin has consistently suggested to the global media that this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion, these actions by the US State Department speak volumes.

The way Vladimir Putin tells it, we’re all just overreacting to his placement of hundreds of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Of course, this is classic Putin.  The Russian President has long understood the ins-and-outs of the antagonization game, and is likely just pushing buttons for the sake of pushing buttons…at least in his recent diatribes. But there is little doubt that he’s up to something, and the US isn’t going to take any chances when it comes to innocent Americans who are now in the line of potential fire. The U.S. is weighing whether to evacuate family members of diplomats stationed in Ukraine as Russia masses more than 100,000 troops on its borders, according to people familiar with the matter. Under the plan, family members would be ordered to return home while non-essential employees would be able to leave voluntarily. An announcement may come within days, according to the people, who asked not to be identified before a decision is reached. The ruble erased gains on the news, falling 0.1% against the dollar. Yields on most Russian local currency sovereign bonds rose on Friday. The operation would be no small task. The U.S. employs about 180 American citizens and 560 Ukrainians at its embassy in Kyiv, according to the embassy website. That doesn’t include family members, so the number of U.S. citizens living in embassy housing is probably much higher. While Putin has consistently suggested to the global media that this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion, these actions by the US State Department speak volumes.

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