Tropical Storm Irene became the first hurricane in the 2011 Atlantic Season, moving over Puerto Rico and hitting the U.S. Caribbean territory with heavy winds and rain.
The storm left over a million Puerto Ricans without power and residents awoke Monday morning to flooded and debris-strewn streets. Hurricane Irene knocked down trees across the island and caused several rivers to overflow, according to The Associated Press.
There were no reported deaths or injuries, but Puerto Rico’s Governor Luis Fortuno declared a state of emergency and urged residents to stay inside to avoid fallen power lines and other hazards. more >>
Students in the town of Joplin, Mo., returned to school yesterday as the city continues its attempt at a return to normalcy following the devastating EF-5 tornado that ravaged the town on May 22. What isn't normal, however, is the renovated department store in a local mall that has temporarily become the Joplin Public Schools' new high school.
Greg Boyd, Joplin High School's assistant principal, told The Associated Press that school officials expect to call North Park Mall the school's home for the next three years.
Interestingly, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, D.C. has offered to donate up to $1 million toward the new school building and the purchase of new laptop computers for all of the high school's students. more >>
A Christian minister and activist wants to send a message to President Barack Obama while he and his family are vacationing at Martha's Vineyard this week: remember the nation's poor and needy.
The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, plans to hold a demonstration on Thursday, Aug. 25, in front of the White House to protest what he sees as an "irresponsible" decision by Obama to leave Washington, D.C. while the nation is in turmoil.
"It's clearly irresponsible and sends the exact wrong message when we are struggling with these hard economic times...and it shows a profound disrespect for the poor and for the struggling for the president to take this incredibly expensive vacation," Mahoney told The Christian Post Thursday. more >>
The "going green" movement isn’t just attracting hippie tree huggers. There is fresh evidence that church congregations around the country are moving toward a more environmentally friendly plan to save money and mother earth.
From a religious perspective, some congregations believe that global climate change is a moral crisis.
U.S. congregations are examining their habits and asking what their faith demands of them in response to the mounting concerns of global warming. more >>
A flat tax advocacy organization recommends states cut taxes and discontinue retail tax holidays, saying the temporary tax break for parents shopping for school supplies does not benefit low-income individuals as previously believed. However, retailers, threatened by a possible drop in anticipated sales, point to their own evidence suggesting that both businesses and state’s benefit from tax holidays.
The Tax Foundation asserts that the retail tax holiday is "poor tax policy," that does not increase spending or help low-income families.
According to the foundation, the nine to ten day period in late July and early August when some states offer consumers the opportunity to buy office necessities, clothing, computers and even U.S. Energy Star label appliances and guns without paying state taxes, is decreasing. more >>
Mother Nature seems to be having fun with the East coast. From a severe heat wave to possibly double the number of hurricanes in a typical season – this could be a year of extreme weather for Eastern residents.
On Thursday, federal weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased their prediction for the number of storms expected to form in the Atlantic Ocean this year. At a maximum this season, the number has doubled to 14 to 19 storms, with 7 to 10 of them being hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Three to five of the hurricanes are predicted to bring 111 mph winds.
The increase in storms is thought to be caused by warmer than usual ocean waters and favorable atmospheric conditions. The possible redevelopment of La Nina, a weather pattern that reduces wind strength over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic, is also thought to be a major contributor. During a period of La Nina, the sea surface temperature across the Pacific Ocean is lower than usual by 3 to 5 degrees. more >>