An army of insurance agents and claims adjusters is scouring destruction along the tornadoes’ paths to begin assessing damage and processing claims. The wreckage is so widespread that the full scope of losses won’t be known until at least late March. “I grew up here, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Lori Wells, agent for the Kentucky Farm Bureau in Fort Mitchell. She was one of half a dozen Farm Bureau agents and adjusters surveying damage in southern Kenton County. The National Weather Service said an F3 tornado with winds between 158 and 206 mph is believed to have hit there. Hurricane strength winds start at 74 mph.
When the weatherman told Magoffin County residents to get to a safe place because a tornado was nearly upon them, Elezene Holbrook started down the steps into her basement. Sometime between the first step and the last, the apparent tornado passed directly over her house. "It was over so quick," said Holbrook, 90. "I didn't even have time to really get scared. Everything went to crashing, and then it was over."
Gov. Beshear Saturday signed an executive order that will allow Kentuckians displaced by the storms to get up to a 30-day supply of needed medicines from a pharmacist. This is the first time this particular executive order has been issued. People who depend on regular supplies of maintenance medicines may have lost track of their medications in the aftermath of the storms.
People across Kentucky and southern Indiana have begun the process of cleanup and repair from Friday’s massive tornado outbreak that killed more than 30 people in the two states, injured scores of others and left widespread destruction. The Red Cross’s Vicki Eichstaedt has been helping coordinate relief efforts in the devastated community of Henryville, Indiana.
The people of eastern Kentucky are mobilizing to help their neighbors. A group of churches in Mount Sterling is collecting relief supplies for the people of nearby West Liberty. Organizing the effort is city Public Works Director Steve Lane. A work crew led by Lane cleared a path into West Liberty on Friday evening, just after the Tornado struck.
The vast majority of the 175 indigenous languages still spoken in the United States are on the verge of extinction.
Linguist Elizabeth Little spent two years driving all over the country looking for the few remaining pockets where those languages are still spoken — from the scores of Native American tongues, to the Creole of Louisiana. The resulting book is Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Lost Languages.
There's a Mystery Machine sitting outside Andrew Borakove's nondescript warehouse on a quiet street in Lincoln, Neb.
"I can never be depressed driving around town, because there's always some 4-year-old waving to me manically," Borakove says.
The mystery about the Scooby Doo replica van starts to fade, however, once you notice the bumper stickers on the back. Black background, white font, like a "Got Milk?" ad: "Happiness Is a Warm Gong." "Gongs, Not Bongs." "My Child Is an Honor Gong Player."
Spanish politicians spent $220 million on the sparkling new Castellon airport on Spain's Mediterranean coast — $40 million alone was spent on TV ads and other marketing. They also paid $600,000 for ferrets and falcons to kill birds that endanger aircraft.
Yet no plane has yet taken off. Construction, which began in 2004, went over budget, partly to fund a 75-foot statue of a local politician out front.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a key endorsement Sunday morning when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia endorsed Romney on NBC's Meet the Press.
Cantor cited the economy as the top issue of the campaign.
"What I have seen is a very hard-fought primary. And we have seen now that the central issue about the campaign now is the economy," Cantor said. "I just think there's one candidate in the case who can do that, and it's Mitt Romney."
Kentucky's death toll from a wave of violent storms Friday climbed steadily on Saturday, reaching 20 fatalities with an estimated 300 injured and at least one man missing. The storms were the worst to hit the eastern part of Kentucky in almost 25 years. EF3 tornados hit Magoffin, Menifee and Morgan counties, east of Lexington, and an EF2 tornado hit Laurel County, in southeastern Kentucky, the National Weather Service said. The EF scale, which goes from 0 to 5, rates tornadoes based on wind speed. An EF3 storm has speeds of 136 mph to 165 mph. An EF2 measures 111 mph to 135 mph. An EF2 or higher is considered a significant tornado.