She doesn’t relish the attention, she said, but is happy that the students are thrilled by it. And at least two strangers have sent the school new chain saws, inspired by her deed.
Though Sister Margaret Ann said the officer who took the video said the police would have cleared the road themselves, she said it likely would have taken a while and the police had more important tasks.
“If you can do something, do it,” Sister Margaret Ann said. “Don’t wait for someone else to do it.”
The Police Officers Who Were Quite Appreciated
Before a 12-hour shift on Sunday, three Gainesville police officers stopped for a selfie.
Lots of people take selfies, but this one stood out. This time, the people in the selfie were, well, as some would say, hot.
So said the hundreds of thousands of people who reports said shared or commented on the police department’s photo on Facebook while expressing, ahem, spirited admiration, we’ll call it. Afterward, the three officers — John Nordman, Michael Hamill and Dan Rengering planned to use their newfound fame to shoot a calendar and donate the proceeds to Irma relief efforts.
“I didn’t even do anything,” Mr. Rengering, the one on the right, said in an interview on Friday. “I just kind of stood there and took a picture. So many other people have done so much more, even in our department.”
Three years ago, he might have been an unlikely sex symbol. He topped out at 320 pounds, but lost 60 pounds so he could join the SWAT team, he said. He kept on losing weight, and is now down to around 225 to 230 pounds. To be internationally praised for his looks, he said, is a welcome development.
As is often the case in viral fame, the sheen can only last so long. The Gainesville Sun obtained screenshots that appeared to show Mr. Hamill making anti-Semitic comments on his Facebook page, and the department said it would “review the matter.” The department deleted the original image of the selfie, a department spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post. On Friday afternoon, Mr. Rengering said next week’s photo shoot was still on, as far as he knew.
The Shoot-at-the-Hurricane Guy
Let’s be clear about this: It was a joke. Ryon Edwards, of DeLand, Fla., did not actually want anyone to fire their guns at the hurricane, he said.
But his Facebook event, “Shoot At Hurricane Irma,” scheduled for last Sunday, attracted thousands of supporters. “LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST,” the all-caps description read.
Again, this was a joke. But not everyone treated it as such, including the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, which tweeted some guidance.
As his event reached the eyes of more and more people, Mr. Edwards, 22, grew concerned. Not everyone, including some members of the news media, seemed to be in on the gag.
“The attention is a little stressful because I feel that some will misconstrue the meaning of this event and make me look kind of like a moron,” he said on Sunday.
If there were any reports of anyone actually shooting their guns at the hurricane, we have not heard them. It seems reason may have prevailed.
And Mr. Edwards said he was given a valuable lesson: “I’ve learned that about 50% of the world could not understand sarcasm to save their lives,” he wrote in a post on the Facebook event.
The Sheriff Who Wanted to Check Warrants at Shelters
Before the storm landed in Florida, Grady Judd, the sheriff in Polk County, tried to make it clear on Twitter on Sept. 6 that people wanted for crimes could not seek shelter with everyone else.
Some people found the announcement far less than reassuring. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida immediately condemned it. Nexus Services, an immigrant rights organization, and Andres Borreno, who said he was told he would have to submit to a background check when he tried to enter one of the county’s shelters, later sued the sheriff for Fourth Amendment violations.
“The purpose of these pedestrian ‘checkpoints’ is to conduct a fishing expedition to find any possible basis, no matter how tenuous, for issuing citations to or arresting human beings seeking refuge from a Class 5 hurricane,” the lawsuit read.
Mr. Judd told The Orlando Sentinel that the lawsuit was “obviously frivolous.” A Polk County sheriff’s office spokeswoman said on Friday morning she would ask Mr. Judd for comment, but did not return an email by Friday evening.
The Woman Who Had a Baby as the Storm Approached
Not now. Not yet.
Those were the first thoughts Dana Zwally, whom you may have not met through the same kind of media coverage as the others mentioned here, had when the initial ache pulsed through her abdomen on Sept. 4. They jarred her attention away from the news reports about Hurricane Irma. The next day, Ms. Zwally, Kenneth Wise and their 3-year-old son, Landon, packed their Ford Explorer with clothes and a hospital bag already prepared with bottles, wipes and diapers. They drove for almost four hours from Key West, Fla., struggling to fill up on gas and make it through the evacuation traffic that clogged Route 1 outside of the Keys.
Late on Sept. 5, the family arrived at Baptist Hospital of Miami. Just after midnight on Sept. 7, Alayna Rae was born, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces.
Three days later, they were discharged. As Hurricane Irma’s final outer bands brought gusts and rain through the Miami suburbs, the streets dark without power and littered with broken branches, they stopped at pharmacies, desperate to fill Ms. Zwally’s prescriptions for Motrin and a painkiller.
Just before midnight on Monday, they arrived at the basketball arena at Florida International University, where the Red Cross was housing evacuees from Key West. Ms. Zwally, crippled with pain from the surgery and no medication, grew worried they would be turned away.
Jose Tirado, an F.I.U. facilities worker, ran to a nurse in the shelter, asking for advice about how to care for a newborn. He and other F.I.U. staff members opened a classroom where Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies had been staying, fashioning a “nursery sign” and collecting baby wipes, formula, diapers and clothes.
“It felt like we could breathe again,” Ms. Zwally said. “It shows you what to be thankful for.”
Continue reading the main story