Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017

The Latest: 2 men arrested for stealing utility pole

By The Associated Press

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Irma (all times local):

6:50 a.m.

Sheriff's officials in Florida say two men are accused of trying to steal a $2,500 utility pole days after Hurricane Irma caused severe flooding in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Sheriff's officials say 42-year-old Blake Lee Waller and 46-year-old Victor Walter Apeler were arrested on grand theft charges Wednesday after someone reported seeing them load the pole onto a sports utility vehicle.

A police report says an officer noticed a light pole missing from an area on top of a bridge and then spotted a vehicle driving with the pole on top. He stopped the vehicle and arrested the men.

The report says Apeler told investigators he was moving the pole because it was on the ground so close to traffic lanes. A database search found Apeler had 72 scrap metal-related transactions for recycling since January.

A picture of the shirtless men sitting handcuffed on the sidewalk quickly drew attention on the sheriff's office Twitter feed.

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3 a.m.

Florida emergency workers have been urged to immediately check the welfare of those in nursing homes after eight people died in a scorching facility that lost its air conditioning during Hurricane Irma.

Victims Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were as old as 99, and there were worries the count could grow.

Sen. Bill Nelson called the deaths "inexcusable."

Elsewhere in South Florida, other alarms were sounded for older residents.

In Coral Gables, an apartment building was evacuated after authorities said its lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants.

And at the huge, 15,000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, where there were also widespread outages, rescue workers went door to door in the 94-degree heat checking on residents and bringing ice, water and meals.

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2017-09-14 10:53:00 GMT

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