2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins

Thursday marks the start of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Are you prepared?

Although all is quiet now in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are calling for an above-average season.

Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes. Two to four of those hurricanes could be a Category 3 or higher.

The numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare preseason storm that formed in April.

An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“While I hope this seasonal hurricane outlook gets our attention, we need to remember that it is not all about the numbers,” Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield said. “It only takes one hurricane over our community to make for a bad year. South Florida residents need to be prepared regardless of what the seasonal outlook says. Also, these outlooks don’t tell us where or when the hurricanes will be. It would be wise for us to prepare for this and every hurricane season.”

Mayfield is the former director of the National Hurricane Center.

Local 10 News is committed to providing daily tropical updates in the first 10 minutes of every newscast throughout the season, which runs until Nov. 30.

Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm. 

Remember to stay up to date on the all the latest storm news by downloading the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID.

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Portland’s liberal image tempered by history as ‘Skinhead City’

In this stereotyped mecca of liberal idealism lies a deep-seated subculture that just recently shocked the country: the white supremacist movement in Portland.

Not long ago, that phrase might have seemed oxymoronic. But a recent triple stabbing has cast a spotlight on the city’s tensions between the alt-right and the alt-left.

“Portland has a long history of a battle between the right and the left,” said Randy Blazak, a professor of criminology at the University of Oregon.

It’s a long-simmering conflict that heated up after President Donald Trump’s election. And experts say Portland — like other liberal hotbeds — could see more conflict in the months to come.

‘You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism’

The most recent feud played out both inside and outside a hearing for slaying suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian.

Christian is accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to protect two African-American girls, including one wearing a hijab, on a Portland light-rail train.

“Go home, we need American here!” Christian shouted at the girls, according to a probable cause affidavit. “I don’t care if you are ISIS.”

On Tuesday, Christian had barely entered the courtroom when he started shouting in his blue jail uniform.

“Free speech or die, Portland!” Christian bellowed. “… Death to the enemies of America. … You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.”

Just outside the courtroom, vitriol flew from the other direction.

One man identified himself as a friend of Christian’s and was instantly met with profanity from some supporters of the victims.

“F*cking Nazi, you’re a fascist!” one person shouted at the man.

“I bled for my race,” he replied, as he tightened the red shoelaces on his boots.

Red shoelaces have historically been used by racist skinheads “to identify themselves as white power skinheads,” the Anti-Defamation League said.

It’s not clear what the man meant when he said he bled for his race. Sheriff’s deputies escorted him out before any more trouble erupted.

It’s far from the first time Portland has been linked to Nazi extremism.

Flashback to 1988 murder

At the Portland metro station where bloody victims emerged last week, mourners wrote messages in chalk to honor those killed.

One message stirred memories of another gruesome murder: “Remember Mulugeta Seraw.”

“The murder of Mulugeta Seraw really put Portland on the map for all the wrong reasons,” said Blazak, who is also chairman of the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes.

Seraw, an Ethiopian immigrant, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat by a group of Portland skinheads in 1988.

“This city had a wake-up call,” Blazak said. “It was kind of a sleepy, progressive city where we recycled everything. And then all of a sudden we had these roving gangs with Nazi skinheads attacking — and in this case killing — an immigrant.”

‘Skinhead City’

Skinheads had been known to recruit from the heavily white states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho — part of a “Northwest Imperative,” The Oregonian reported.

And in the years following Seraw’s death, Portland gained the unsavory nickname of “Skinhead City.”

“We became famous in the 1990s as ‘Skinhead City’ because of the rival gangs of right-wing racist skinheads and anti-racist skinheads who are doing physical battle in the streets,” Blazak said.

Last week’s deadly train incident “is kind of the latest manifestation of that,” he said.

Protests on the rise since the election

In recent years, Portland has enjoyed a reputation as a friendly, peace-loving, quirky city — an image further fueled by its portrayal in the IFC comedy “Portlandia.”

But conflicts have escalated in recent months, Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman said.

“With the election of President Trump, I think our protest activity — the number of events we have — has increased,” he said.

“That’s problematic for me only because that takes more money to have those events go safely. I have to pull officers and detectives from their normal day-to-day activity, so certain crimes just now aren’t getting investigated, or the investigations that are being worked on just take longer to work through the investigative process.”

In the two days after Trump’s inauguration, protesters caused about $1 million in damage, Marshman said.

Blazak, the Oregon criminology professor, said Portlanders are known to be passionate about politics.

“There is kind of a radical history in this town and in this region on both sides of the political spectrum,” he said.

So who are the alt-right and alt-left?

The terms are relatively new, but the concepts are not.

For years, the alt-right has existed in the cyberworld, “but now they’re kind of spilling over into the streets,” Blazek said.

“They’re disaffected with mainstream conservative speech, (but) they don’t want to be associated with overt white supremacist neo-Nazi groups, and they want to express anti-immigration views, anti-multicultural views, economic protectionism.”

He said alt-right protesters are typically “moderate-income working-class white males who are left out of the globalization and … feel left out of all the progress that’s happening,” the professor said.

“And they want to assert their voice because they feel like the tendency is to defer to the minority voice, and they feel like they’re not part of the conversation.”

By contrast, the alt-left — also known as the Antifa — is bent on stopping the rise of right-wing groups.

“The Antifa isn’t a group, it’s an idea. It stands for ‘antifascist,’ ” said Ryan Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “They frequently engage in violence to make their point.”

He cited a 2012 case in which alt-left activists “walked into a high-end restaurant in Chicago where a white supremacist group was eating and literally beat them up with baseball bats.”

Blazak said the recent train killings, combined with political rhetoric, portends “a long, hot summer in Portland as these groups kind of line up against each other.”

What’s next for ‘bastions of liberalism’

It might seem self-defeating for right-wing activists, and especially alt-right activists, to try to make headway in traditionally liberal hot spots like Portland and Berkeley, California.

Recent planned visits by Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter to the University of California, Berkeley, were met with protests, including some that turned violent.

Blazak said he’s not surprised alt-right members are trying to raise their profiles in such cities.

“There’s this mantle of free speech that they’re hanging their hats on,” he said.

“Under the first amendment, they have a right to express themselves … but it’s used in a very provocative way to bring out the opposition and essentially martyr themselves in these street battles between the left and the right and to show themselves as almost the victims of the oppressive left-wing regime.”

But Joey Gibson, organizer of the group Patriot Prayer USA, said his group’s planned rally in Portland on Sunday is “really not about provoking, it’s about fighting for your right to assembly and to show what you believe in.”

Gibson said he’s libertarian and not alt-right. He said one of his goals is to help “turn a blue state into a red state.”

That could be a huge challenge.

“Portland is as left as you can get,” said Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

He said what’s happening with the alt-right in Portland is actually reflective of what’s happening across the country.

“What the alt-right is trying to do is they are going into these bastions of liberalism and hoping and willing to engage in physical conflict with counterprotesters,” he said.

“The story isn’t an Oregon thing. It’s a national story.”

Follow this story

Portland’s liberal image tempered by history as ‘Skinhead City’

In this stereotyped mecca of liberal idealism lies a deep-seated subculture that just recently shocked the country: the white supremacist movement in Portland.

Not long ago, that phrase might have seemed oxymoronic. But a recent triple stabbing has cast a spotlight on the city’s tensions between the alt-right and the alt-left.

“Portland has a long history of a battle between the right and the left,” said Randy Blazak, a professor of criminology at the University of Oregon.

It’s a long-simmering conflict that heated up after President Donald Trump’s election. And experts say Portland — like other liberal hotbeds — could see more conflict in the months to come.

‘You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism’

The most recent feud played out both inside and outside a hearing for slaying suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian.

Christian is accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to protect two African-American girls, including one wearing a hijab, on a Portland light-rail train.

“Go home, we need American here!” Christian shouted at the girls, according to a probable cause affidavit. “I don’t care if you are ISIS.”

On Tuesday, Christian had barely entered the courtroom when he started shouting in his blue jail uniform.

“Free speech or die, Portland!” Christian bellowed. “… Death to the enemies of America. … You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.”

Just outside the courtroom, vitriol flew from the other direction.

One man identified himself as a friend of Christian’s and was instantly met with profanity from some supporters of the victims.

“F*cking Nazi, you’re a fascist!” one person shouted at the man.

“I bled for my race,” he replied, as he tightened the red shoelaces on his boots.

Red shoelaces have historically been used by racist skinheads “to identify themselves as white power skinheads,” the Anti-Defamation League said.

It’s not clear what the man meant when he said he bled for his race. Sheriff’s deputies escorted him out before any more trouble erupted.

It’s far from the first time Portland has been linked to Nazi extremism.

Flashback to 1988 murder

At the Portland metro station where bloody victims emerged last week, mourners wrote messages in chalk to honor those killed.

One message stirred memories of another gruesome murder: “Remember Mulugeta Seraw.”

“The murder of Mulugeta Seraw really put Portland on the map for all the wrong reasons,” said Blazak, who is also chairman of the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes.

Seraw, an Ethiopian immigrant, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat by a group of Portland skinheads in 1988.

“This city had a wake-up call,” Blazak said. “It was kind of a sleepy, progressive city where we recycled everything. And then all of a sudden we had these roving gangs with Nazi skinheads attacking — and in this case killing — an immigrant.”

‘Skinhead City’

Skinheads had been known to recruit from the heavily white states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho — part of a “Northwest Imperative,” The Oregonian reported.

And in the years following Seraw’s death, Portland gained the unsavory nickname of “Skinhead City.”

“We became famous in the 1990s as ‘Skinhead City’ because of the rival gangs of right-wing racist skinheads and anti-racist skinheads who are doing physical battle in the streets,” Blazak said.

Last week’s deadly train incident “is kind of the latest manifestation of that,” he said.

Protests on the rise since the election

In recent years, Portland has enjoyed a reputation as a friendly, peace-loving, quirky city — an image further fueled by its portrayal in the IFC comedy “Portlandia.”

But conflicts have escalated in recent months, Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman said.

“With the election of President Trump, I think our protest activity — the number of events we have — has increased,” he said.

“That’s problematic for me only because that takes more money to have those events go safely. I have to pull officers and detectives from their normal day-to-day activity, so certain crimes just now aren’t getting investigated, or the investigations that are being worked on just take longer to work through the investigative process.”

In the two days after Trump’s inauguration, protesters caused about $1 million in damage, Marshman said.

Blazak, the Oregon criminology professor, said Portlanders are known to be passionate about politics.

“There is kind of a radical history in this town and in this region on both sides of the political spectrum,” he said.

So who are the alt-right and alt-left?

The terms are relatively new, but the concepts are not.

For years, the alt-right has existed in the cyberworld, “but now they’re kind of spilling over into the streets,” Blazek said.

“They’re disaffected with mainstream conservative speech, (but) they don’t want to be associated with overt white supremacist neo-Nazi groups, and they want to express anti-immigration views, anti-multicultural views, economic protectionism.”

He said alt-right protesters are typically “moderate-income working-class white males who are left out of the globalization and … feel left out of all the progress that’s happening,” the professor said.

“And they want to assert their voice because they feel like the tendency is to defer to the minority voice, and they feel like they’re not part of the conversation.”

By contrast, the alt-left — also known as the Antifa — is bent on stopping the rise of right-wing groups.

“The Antifa isn’t a group, it’s an idea. It stands for ‘antifascist,’ ” said Ryan Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “They frequently engage in violence to make their point.”

He cited a 2012 case in which alt-left activists “walked into a high-end restaurant in Chicago where a white supremacist group was eating and literally beat them up with baseball bats.”

Blazak said the recent train killings, combined with political rhetoric, portends “a long, hot summer in Portland as these groups kind of line up against each other.”

What’s next for ‘bastions of liberalism’

It might seem self-defeating for right-wing activists, and especially alt-right activists, to try to make headway in traditionally liberal hot spots like Portland and Berkeley, California.

Recent planned visits by Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter to the University of California, Berkeley, were met with protests, including some that turned violent.

Blazak said he’s not surprised alt-right members are trying to raise their profiles in such cities.

“There’s this mantle of free speech that they’re hanging their hats on,” he said.

“Under the first amendment, they have a right to express themselves … but it’s used in a very provocative way to bring out the opposition and essentially martyr themselves in these street battles between the left and the right and to show themselves as almost the victims of the oppressive left-wing regime.”

But Joey Gibson, organizer of the group Patriot Prayer USA, said his group’s planned rally in Portland on Sunday is “really not about provoking, it’s about fighting for your right to assembly and to show what you believe in.”

Gibson said he’s libertarian and not alt-right. He said one of his goals is to help “turn a blue state into a red state.”

That could be a huge challenge.

“Portland is as left as you can get,” said Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

He said what’s happening with the alt-right in Portland is actually reflective of what’s happening across the country.

“What the alt-right is trying to do is they are going into these bastions of liberalism and hoping and willing to engage in physical conflict with counterprotesters,” he said.

“The story isn’t an Oregon thing. It’s a national story.”

Follow this story

Woman accidentally run over by boyfriend’s truck in Marathon

A Marathon woman was airlifted to a Miami hospital on Tuesday night after she was run over by her boyfriend’s truck.

The woman’s boyfriend told Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies that she was intoxicated, so he went to get her some food. As he was driving away, he was unaware that she was running after his truck.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said it seemed as though the woman attempted to jump into the bed of the truck when she fell, and the back tires ran over her leg.

Both the woman and her boyfriend told deputies that there was no one was “at fault.”

The woman’s leg was severely fractured in the incident, and she had to be airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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US Air Force vet gets 35 years prison for trying to join ISIS

A US Air Force veteran convicted for providing material support to ISIS was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday.

Tairod Pugh was convicted by a federal jury in 2016 on charges of trying to give material support to ISIS and of obstruction of justice, according to the US Justice Department indictment.

“The defendant turned his back on his country, and the military he once served, to attempt to join a brutally violent terrorist organization committed to the slaughter of innocent people throughout the world,” stated Acting United States Attorney Bridget Rohde.

Prosecutors allege that investigators discovered a letter on Pugh’s desktop computer saying he wanted to “use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic States,” and a chart of crossing points between Turkey and Syria, where ISIS controls some territory.

Eric Creizman, Pugh’s lawyer, said at the time of Pugh’s conviction that he believed that there was reasonable doubt in the case.

“Our client maintained his innocence since day one, so we went to trial and put up the best fight we possibly could,” Creizman said. “It was a well tried case, an interesting case, because the whole thing was what they could glean from his state of mind from things he did, on the Internet and on the computer.”

“I think this case is good for the justice system. It’s good for the world to see that in this country, you get a trial by jury,” Creizman said. “In the Islamic State, people accused of crimes don’t get such fair treatment.”

Crossing the Middle East

Pugh, a convert to Islam, served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990, according to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors presented evidence at the trial that Pugh traveled from Egypt to Turkey in an attempt to cross into Syria to join ISIS for jihad, the news release says.

One piece of evidence was a letter Pugh wrote just before leaving for Turkey.

“I am a Mujahid. I am a sword against the oppressor and a shield for the oppressed. I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic State. There is only 2 possible outcomes for me. Victory or Martyr,” Pugh wrote in the note, prosecutors say.

In Turkey, authorities were suspicious that Pugh was heading to Syria, denied him entry, and sent him on a return flight to Egypt, US officials say.

While detained in Egypt, authorities found that he was carrying “four USB thumb drives that had been stripped of their plastic casings and an iPod that had been wiped clean of data,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

He was then deported to the United States, where the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force got a warrant for his devices, the Department said.

The FBI found the letter in which Pugh spoke of using his “talents and skills” to defend the Islamic State, as well as recent Internet searches for ISIS propaganda videos.

Pugh was trained in installing and maintaining aircraft engines, and navigation and weapons systems, according to the Justice Department.

In 2001, while working for American Airlines, one of Pugh’s coworkers told the FBI that Pugh “sympathized with Osama bin Laden, felt that the 1998 bombings of US embassies overseas was justified and expressed anti-American sentiment,” according to his criminal complaint.

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