Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

September 02, 2017 - 12:00 am


The Latest: AP EXCLUSIVE: EPA surveys toxic waste sites

HIGHLANDS, Texas (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it has reviewed aerial imagery showing 13 Superfund sites in Texas that have been flooded by Harvey and are "experiencing possible damage" due to the storm.

EPA's statement comes hours after The Associated Press reported that its journalists had visited seven Superfund sites in the Houston area in recent days. They found the sites to either be underwater or showing signs they were inundated before floodwaters receded.

The EPA statement confirms the AP's reporting that the federal agency has not yet been able to physically visit the Houston-area sites, saying the sites have "not been accessible by response personnel."

The AP used a boat to visit one site, and it accessed others with a vehicle or on foot.

The EPA hasn't immediately responded to questions about why its personnel have been unable to do so.


The Latest: Memorial held for Texas coach

HOUSTON (AP) — Friends and family have gathered to remember a former Texas high school football and track coach who disappeared while driving during Harvey.

The Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph reports that about 200 people attended the memorial Saturday for Ruben Jordan at Liberty Baptist Church in Tyler. Grady Turner remembered Jordan as unselfish with a "kind, loving spirit."

Jordan's body was found Monday in Houston. The 58-year-old was last seen on Aug. 26 helping people through floodwaters.


An equal opportunity storm: 'Harvey didn't spare anyone'

HOUSTON (AP) — Harvey did not discriminate in its destruction.

It raged through neighborhoods rich and poor, black and white, upscale and working class. Across Houston and surrounding communities, no group sidestepped its paralyzing deluges and apocalyptic floods.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner feared that a full-fledged evacuation of the nation's fourth-largest city in the face of the oncoming storm would be dangerous and advised residents to remain in place. So when Harvey submerged roughly 30 percent of Harris County, all demographics were inundated.

There is every expectation that Houston's poor and working class will struggle most to rebuild, as they lack the resources of the affluent.

But in this moment, as waters begin to recede, Houston residents of all colors and socio-economic statuses find themselves united in their loss, despair — and resilience.


Astros return to Houston for 1st game since Harvey

HOUSTON (AP) — Baseball returned to Houston on Saturday with the Astros giving the flood-ravaged city a few hours of entertainment at the end of a terrible and trying week.

The Astros beat the New York Mets 12-8 in a doubleheader opener, the first professional sporting event in the city since Hurricane Harvey.

The crowd of 30,319 included victims of the storm who were staying yards away at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which is the city's biggest shelter and is housing more than 9,000 people. The Astros provided 5,000 tickets to each game for the mayor's office to distribute at the convention center.

The Astros wore patches on the upper left side of their jerseys with the team logo and the word "STRONG" in block letters as a tribute to those who were affected by the storm. As George Springer approached home plate after hitting a two-run homer in the second inning, he pounded the patch three times with his right fist and pointed to the fans.


The Latest: Trump meets with first responders in Louisiana

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has visited with emergency responders and others in Lake Charles, Louisiana, who helped during Harvey.

At a Louisiana guard armory, Trump thanked the emergency responders for their efforts.

He was accompanied by his wife, first lady Melania Trump, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Trump came to Lake Charles after first visiting Houston, which was severely flooded after Harvey made landfall more than a week ago.

In Texas, Trump visited a shelter and a church where people are picking up food toiletries and other supplies.

It was the president's second visit to the battered region this week. He is returning to Washington Saturday night.


Venezuela opposition activist says barred from traveling

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Prominent Venezuelan opposition activist Lilian Tintori says she has been barred from leaving the country for planned meetings with leaders from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Tintori posted a photo on Twitter of herself at Caracas' international airport Saturday holding a document ordering the seizure of her passport. The previous day she was ordered to appear before a judge on Tuesday to answer questions about a large sum of cash found in her vehicle.

She alleged that she is being kept from traveling because President Nicolas Maduro doesn't want her to speak about Venezuela's humanitarian crisis.

Tintori is the wife of the nation's best-known opposition activist, Leopoldo Lopez. He spent three years in a military prison before being released in July and placed under house arrest.


The Latest: California wildfire reaches giant sequoia grove

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities say a fire burning near Yosemite National Park has entered a 2,700-year-old grove of giant sequoias.

California fire officials said Saturday the wildfire entered the Nelder Grove late Friday night.

Giant sequoias are among the largest and longest-lived organisms on Earth.

The Nelder grove holds 106 of them, including one of the world's largest, the 24-story-high Bull Buck sequoia.

It was unclear of any of the trees had been destroyed. California Department of Fire spokespeople say they have no new information on firefighters' efforts to save the grove.

Fire officials say the high number of already dead trees in the area is hampering their fight against the more than 8 square mile (20 square kilometer) wildfire.

Giant sequoia survive in only a few dozen scattered groves in Northern California.


2nd Utah police officer on paid leave over nurse arrest

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A second Salt Lake City police officer has been put on paid leave as authorities investigate the use of force in a nurse's arrest.

The July 26 incident captured on police body-camera video showed Detective Jeff Payne dragging nurse Alex Wubbels from a hospital and handcuffing her after she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient in a car-crash investigation.

The video has caused outrage since it was released Thursday.

Prosecutors have asked for a criminal investigation, prompting the police department to put two officers on paid administrative leave.

The second officer hasn't been formally identified, but officials have said they also were reviewing the conduct of Payne's boss, a lieutenant who reportedly called for the arrest if Wubbels kept interfering.


US: Russia vacates shuttered posts after joint walkthrough

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States says Russia has complied with its order to shutter its San Francisco consulate and trade offices in Washington and New York.

But the U.S. is disputing Russia's claim that U.S. officials threatened to break down the doors as part of a plan to search the premises.

A senior State Department official says that personnel from the Russian Embassy joined State Department officials for walkthroughs of the three properties so the U.S. could verify the Russians had vacated ahead of the Saturday deadline. The official says it's untrue that the FBI is "clearing the premises."

The official also says the U.S. is giving "sufficient time" for families to pack up and leave apartments at the consulate. The official isn't authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.


Harvey changes the equation as do-little Congress returns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey has scrambled the equation for Congress as lawmakers get ready to return to Washington on Tuesday from their summer break.

A daunting workload awaits. It includes funding the government by month's end and increasing the borrowing limit to avoid a catastrophic first-ever default.

The immediate focus will be on Harvey aid. That bipartisan imperative has pushed aside talk of a government shutdown and President Donald Trump's feuding with GOP lawmakers.

The House and Senate are expected to vote quickly on the first $7.9 billion aid installment to help with recovery and rebuilding needs in Houston and beyond.

Additional billions will be tucked into a catchall spending bill later in the month that'll keep the lights on past the end of the current budget year, on Sept. 30.

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