TOMS RIVER, N.J.
Boardwalk fire tied
to Sandy damage
The massive fire that destroyed part of a Jersey shore boardwalk and dozens of businesses began accidentally in wiring damaged in Superstorm Sandy, and should prompt coastal property owners to get their own equipment inspected for similar danger, officials said Tuesday.
The boardwalk fire in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights started Thursday in aged wiring that had been compromised by salt water and sand during the Oct. 29 storm, federal and county investigators said at a news conference. The wind-whipped blaze destroyed more than 50 businesses in the two towns.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said the fire should be a cautionary tale.
“I’m sure on every boardwalk everywhere (at the Jersey shore), there may be compromised wiring,” he said. “We don’t want to start a panic mode. We just want to be reasonable. If you’re a property owner and you think your electrical work came in contact with water and sand, we strongly recommend you have it inspected.”
Obama to host
President Barack Obama will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House later this month.
The Sept. 30 meeting marks their first face-to-face talks since March, when the U.S. president visited Israel. Obama’s trip was followed by a restart in peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The White House says Obama and Netanyahu will discuss the peace talks, Iran, Syria and other regional issues.
Obama and Netanyahu will both be in New York next week for meetings at the United Nations. Netanyahu says his stops in New York and Washington will focus on halting Iran’s nuclear program.
Egyptian police arrested the main English-language spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday along with other senior members of the group, all charged with inciting violence, state media and a security official said.
Gehad el-Haddad had emerged has one of the group’s most well-known faces, appearing regularly in foreign media to defend the Brotherhood’s policies during Mohammed Morsi’s year as president and following Morsi’s July 3 ouster by the military. His father, Essam el-Haddad, was a senior foreign policy aide to Morsi and has been in detention with Morsi since the coup.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki criticized the arrest as politically motivated, saying “we are opposed to all politicized arrests, of course including this one, and detention, and remain focused on encouraging the interim government to move forward on an inclusive process that brings representatives from all sides.”
a gargantuan gator
A Louisiana man’s weekend alligator hunt has resulted in a colossal catch.
Jim White, of Ventress, was hunting Saturday in West Baton Rouge Parish on Solitude Point when one of his lines indicated there was something on it. WAFB-TV reports what he found was a 13-foot, 4-inch alligator that weighed 760 pounds.
White said the state doesn’t record weight in its record books, only length. The longest alligator ever caught in Louisiana was 19-feet, 2-inches. White’s catch didn’t make the books for length, but the weight is still worth noting.
White, an engineer technician with the Department of Transportation and Development for the past 35 years, said this is by far the biggest alligator he’s ever caught. He said he’s filled 21 tags so far this season, with 16 more to go before the season ends Oct. 4.