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Gimme shelter: North Carolinians take refuge from Florence’s fury

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Junia MacDaniel just wants to get home to her Chihuahuas.

All 14 of them are back in the double-wide trailer MacDaniel shares with her husband in New Bern, North Carolina.

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The MacDaniels are seeking shelter from the monster storm Hurricane Florence, and they decided it was best to leave their little dogs behind.

They were among 12,000 North Carolinians staying in shelters after being displaced by the slow-moving storm that is expected to bring powerful storm surges and dozens of inches of rain to the eastern part of the state.

“This has been a really large evacuation and sheltering operation, probably the largest we’ve done, so that has not been an easy lift. I think it’s working,” said Keith Acree of North Carolina’s Department of Emergency Management.

North Carolina began feeling the effects of Florence’s wind and heavy rain on Thursday afternoon but the storm was not expected to make landfall until late night or early on Friday.

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Avis Miner, 57, brought her friend and five grandchildren to a shelter in Washington, about 100 miles east of Raleigh, after leaving their trailer home in Aurora. She worried that if they stayed home “we’d be blown away.”

In shelters on Thursday, people crowded on cots, inflatable mattresses and blankets on the floors and in hallways of gymnasiums, clustering in corners to talk and outside to smoke.

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More than 200 people had arrived at Wilmington’s Trask Middle School by Wednesday afternoon, along with 20 dogs, nine cats and a bird. More sought safety at another shelter in the city.

“It wasn’t safe,” said David Sullivan, a 76-year-old retired tow boat captain who evacuated his downtown Wilmington apartment. “I just figured come here and be safe.”

Debbie Green, director of social services for Pamlico County, said she is always worried about people being too isolated and vulnerable to make it to a shelter and, she said, “There are always people that are not willing to leave.”

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Still, the shelter she is overseeing in Grantsboro, about 130 miles east of Raleigh, was 81 percent full by noon on Thursday and Green expected that number to swell. “People will come in the middle of a storm,” she said.

MacDaniel, who has sat out previous storms, said everyone told her that Florence would be different.

“All the other storms we stayed put. But they told us this storm was the doozy,” MacDaniel said. “We have never flooded before but we didn’t really want to take no chances.”

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Now, she’s counting the hours until she can return home to her Chihuahuas.

“When it clears up just a little bit, momma’s going home … I just miss my dogs.”

Additional reporting By Ernest Scheyder in Wilmington, North Carolina; Editing by Frank McGurty, Toni Reinhold

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart

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On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.

After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you,  you f**king n****r."

Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"

"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"

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‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling

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Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.

One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).

"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."

"None," Davis replied.

"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.

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2020 Election

Trump is doing everything he did in 2016 to get elected — and it’s failing this time: columnist

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On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Dan Balz wrote that President Donald Trump is relying on the same old bag of tricks that let him lurch blindly to a surprise victory in 2016 — but that that playbook is unlikely to get him elected again, let alone deliver sound domestic or foreign policy.

"After a week in which the threat of recession rocked global financial markets, his trade war with China showed no signs of progress and the government of Israel got into a nasty dispute with two members of Congress, President Trump went to bed Thursday night with other weighty issues on his mind. 'Great news,' he tweeted. 'Tonight we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena [Southern New Hampshire University] in Manchester!'" wrote Balz. "This is the frivolous mind-set of the president of the United States. Trump’s flurry of statements over the past few days have brought into focus once again something fundamental about him: He has little understanding of what it means to govern. He would rather tweet from the bleachers."

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