News Headlines 7/7/21

EIGHT MORE VICTIMS RECOVERED FROM COLLAPSED CONDO: The remains of eight more victims were recovered Tuesday (July 6th) from the rubble of the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, bringing the confirmed death toll to 36, with 109 people still missing. The eight victims were the most found in a single day since the June 24th collapse. County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said they were still looking for any open spaces where some people may have survived, but stated, “Unfortunately, we are not seeing anything positive.” The searchers continued to carry out their work through rain and wind from Tropical Storm Elsa, even as it hampered their efforts somewhat.

ELSA WEAKENS TO TROPICAL STORM, LANDFALL EXPECTED THIS MORNING: Elsa weakened to a tropical storm early Wednesday (July 1st) from a Category 1 hurricane after bringing winds and heavy rain to the Tampa Bay region, and was on track to make landfall on Florida’s northern Gulf Coast between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Forecasters said Elsa would cross north Florida as a tropical storm and then move  into Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before heading out in the Atlantic Ocean by Friday.

CDC: DELTA STRAIN MAKES UP MORE THAN HALF OF U.S. CORONAVIRUS CASES: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday (July 6th) that the delta variant is now making up more than half of the coronavirus cases in the U.S. Surveillance data indicated the Delta variant surged from 30.4 percent of cases for the two-week period ending June 19th to 51.7 percent of cases between June 20th and July 3rd. As the administration is continuing to urge that people get vaccinated, the national rate is still at around 55 percent of Americans ages 12 and older who are fully vaccinated, and there are states and communities which are less than that and are vulnerable to the variant, which is more highly transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was itself more transmissible than the original Covid virus.

REGULATOR ORDERS AMUSEMENT PARK NOT TO RESTART WATER RIDE AFTER FATAL ACCIDENT: An Iowa regulator yesterday (July 6th) ordered an amusement park in Altoona not to restart a popular water ride until an investigation is completed, after an 11-year-old boy was killed Saturday and his brother was left hospitalized in a medically-induced coma after heir boat flipped  over. Adventureland Park voluntarily stopped operating the Raging River ride after the accident, in which one of the round boats carrying six members of a family flipped over. Father David Jaramillo spoke about what happened on ABC’s Good Morning America yesterday, saying, “When it flipped over, all of us were trapped in the safety seat belts. I see the silhouettes of my sons trying to grab each other, grab us.” The ride was last inspected on Friday, the day before the accident.