NTSB says Kobe Bryant helicopter crash left ‘devastating accident scene’

UNTV News   •   January 28, 2020   •   918

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called on Monday (January 27) for the public to give it any photographs or video that might have been taken of the weather in the area of the helicopter wreck that killed basketball star Kobe Bryant.

The crash on Sunday (January 28) left a “devastating accident scene,” NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said.

“We have a request for the public. We’re looking for photos of the weather in the area of the crash. If you have photos that can help us, again, in the area of the crash, if you could send those photos to witness-at-ntsb-dot-gov,” she said.

Air traffic controller recordings showed the pilot was flying too low to be monitored in fog.

“The pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer,” Homendy said. “Radar data indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet and then began a left descending turn. Last radar contact was around 9:45 a.m. and is consistent with the accident location.”

Coroner’s investigators said on Monday they had recovered three bodies from the crash site and were searching for more remains.

The Sikorsky S-76 chopper slammed into a steep hillside on outside Calabasas, California, about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, killing all nine people on board, igniting a brush fire and spreading debris over hundreds of feet of grassy terrain.

The NTSB offered no update on the search for victims but said investigators were expected to be on the scene for as many as five days.

Bryant, who won five NBA championships in his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, was known since his playing days to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid the Los Angeles area’s glacial traffic. (Reuters)

(Production: Jane Ross, Krystian Orlinski)

California shuts down again as U.S. coronavirus crisis expands

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday (July 13) ordered a massive retrenchment of the state’s reopening on Monday, shutting bars and banning indoor restaurant dining statewide and closing churches, gyms, and hair salons in hardest-hit counties.

Newsom’s move, which undoes weeks of reopening efforts in parts of the most populous U.S. state, comes as several rural counties are experiencing strains to their hospital systems, while cases mount in large metropolitan areas including Los Angeles and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The surge in cases has also prompted two of California’s largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, to announce that they will be online only in the new term. In addition, neighboring Oregon is mandating the use of protective masks outdoors as local leaders around the United States scramble to curb a rising number of coronavirus cases nationwide.

The number of people hospitalized in California with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has risen by 28% over the past two weeks, with a 20% increase in those needing intensive care, Newsom said at a conference call with reporters in the state capital of Sacramento.

Statewide, 6,485 patients were hospitalized with coronavirus as of Sunday, with 1,833 of them requiring intensive care, according to state data. (Reuters)

Apple to re-close more stores in seven states, bringing total to 77

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

REUTERS – Apple Inc said on Wednesday (July 1) that it would re-close more than two dozen stores in seven states, including its home state of California, bringing the total closures to 77 as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Starting Thursday (July 2), stores will close in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

As of Wednesday, additional stores had already closed in Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah.

Apple has taken an city-by-city approach to opening and closing stores, evaluating data for each community.

In cities where stores remain open, Apple requires face coverings for employees and customers while also performing temperature checks and frequent cleaning, the company said.

Apple has said its retail employees will continue to be paid through the closures. (Production: Angela Moore)

Number of Californians with COVID-19 keeps rising; governor declares budget emergency

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday (June 25) declared a budget emergency in the most populous U.S. state, blaming expenses and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Declaring a budget emergency allows the state to tap into its rainy day fund. California anticipates a $54.3-billion budget deficit due to costs and a drop in revenue linked to the pandemic.

The state’s budget crunch lies in the shadow of coronavirus cases that continue to mount.

Nearly 5,350 people tested positive for the coronavirus in California the past 24 hours, Newsom said. The increase was smaller than Wednesday’s (June 24) record of 7,149 new cases. But the number of Californians becoming very ill continued to rise, using about 34% of the available intensive care beds in the state, up from 29% on Wednesday.

A total of 4,240 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday in the state, using about 9% of total available beds, Newsom said.

The surging cases have prompted the state to put 11 counties, representing about half of California’s population, on a watch list of places that might be required to roll back recent efforts to reopen their economies. (Reuters)

(Production: Jane Ross)

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