Sept. 13, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hurricane Katrina has brought an outpouring of generosity among people wanting to help its victims. But U.S. officials say the disaster may have also brought out scam artists, hoping to make money off the tragedy. The Internet now hosts at least 4,000 Web sites claiming to be Hurricane Katrina relief funds. Authorities believe many could be bogus.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is urging Americans to be on the lookout for what he calls a "devious few" trying to take advantage of the crisis. The FBI has so far reviewed more than two thousand sites. They found about 60 percent were foreign and likely to be fraudulent.
Watch complete coverage of Hurricane Katrina from the CBS Evening News:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The husband-and-wife owners of a New Orleans-area nursing home where 34 people died in Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters were charged Tuesday with negligent homicide.
The case represents the first major prosecution to come out of the disaster in New Orleans.
The owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home in the town of Chalmette "were asked if they wanted to move (the patients). They did not. They were warned repeatedly that this storm was coming. In effect, their inaction resulted in the deaths of these patients," Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti said.
Salvador A. Mangano and his wife, Mable, surrendered and were jailed on 34 counts of negligent homicide. Each count carries up to five years in prison.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Louisiana health department says the death toll in the state from Hurricane Katrina has climbed to 423. That's up from 279 yesterday.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Despite concerns about germs and other risks from filthy New Orleans floodwaters, public health officials aren't seeing many cases of disease.
Instead, they're seeing injuries: more than 148 cases in just the past two days. Workers report these include chainsaw wounds and carbon monoxide poisoning related to the use of generators.
A specialist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said such injuries are worrisome, because they'll likely become more common as hurricane rebuilding continues and more survivors return to the city.
Meanwhile, an engineer predicts it could be three months before the New Orleans' public water system is fully operational. Though some homes have running water, he says it's still mostly untreated Mississippi River water.
(CBS) — Even in areas where tons of debris line the cleared streets where rarely a house is left, landlords in Mississippi are being told that they can't evict tenants in order to rent to someone else — most likely a hurricane evacuee — for more money. With tens of thousands of people having no place left to live, county judges are trying to make sure renters are not pushed out, CBS News correspondent Lee Frank reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The head of the Port of New Orleans says today offers "a historical moment." He says a freighter loaded with coffee and wood products from South and Central America arrives today. Port President Gary LaGrange says two weeks ago, officials thought hurricane damage would keep the port down for six months.
(CBS/AP) — President Bush on Tuesday for government failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Mr. Bush said at joint White House news conference that otherwise focused on the conditions he and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani see as necessary for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
(CBS/AP) — More than 75,000 evacuees from Gulf Coast states affected by Hurricane Katrina are being sheltered by the Red Cross.
Other up-to-date statistics:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting FEMA Director David Paulison says emergency workers are going "to move on." The man picked by President Bush to replace Michael Brown says the federal emergency agency will devote all its resources to helping victims of Hurricane Katrina.
(CBS) — After weeks of bipartisan criticism of the federal storm response culminating in the resignation of FEMA Director Michael Brown, swift changes are underway. And New FEMA Director David Paulson and his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, are expected to outline new relief efforts at a press conference Tuesday morning, CBS News correspondent Peter Maer reports.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A coroner says autopsies will be done on more than 40 bodies found in a flooded New Orleans hospital. Doctor Frank Minyard of Orleans Parish says it isn't clear yet how the patients died. Other officials have said some were dead before Katrina arrived but high temperatures after the storm could have led to other deaths.
(AP) — FEMA says it expects to provide temporary housing for some 200,000 hurricane victims for up to five years, most of them in Louisiana. It plans to use trailer homes to create "temporary cities," some with populations up to 25,000.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Running water has been restored to some homes in New Orleans, but it's mostly untreated. A National Guard engineer says taking a bath right now is like jumping into the Mississippi River. He expects it will be at least three months before the city's water system is fully operational.
The news is worse in nearby St. Bernard Parish, whose 66,000 residents are being told that no one should expect to live there again before next summer. FEMA expects to house thousands of hurricane survivors in "temporary cities" made up of trailer homes. Most would be in Louisiana.
CAPITOL HILL (AP) — The Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill to allow hurricane victims tap into their retirement accounts without penalty. It would also encourage people to donate things like cash, food and schoolbooks. In the House, a tax relief bill under consideration also includes help for businesses affected by Katrina, as well as state and local governments trying to fix damaged property.
KENNER, La. (AP) — New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International Airport marks a significant milestone today.
A limited number of passenger flights will resume — four in all. An airport spokesman says it's a symbolic move but practical too, since it's the largest airport in the state. Mario Rodriguez says it's not a formal reopening, since the airport never closed to emergency flights following Hurricane Katrina. Terminals are being evaluated for damage and repairs have begun, especially on two terminals that suffered significant storm damage.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A team of 30 Homeland Security Department investigators is being sent to the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast to ensure that federal funds are properly distributed in the rescue, relief and rebuilding process which is expected to exceed $100 billion.
Some contracts, including five with emergency housing and construction companies, were awarded hurriedly without undergoing competitive bidding processes. In addition, the Bush administration has waived prevailing wage requirements that ensure government-contracted workers in disaster areas are fairly compensated.
Among the most controversial Katrina contracts is $16.6 million to Kellogg, Brown & Root — a subsidiary of Halliburton, the company formerly headed up by Dick Cheney.
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