People marched down Orlando’s streets with rainbow flags and others lined up to wait hours for a “One Pulse” tattoo Saturday as supporters tried to boost the somber city’s spirits while more victims of last weekend’s nightclub shooting were buried.
Across from the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, where Christopher Andrew Leinonen’s funeral was held, hundreds lined the street holding signs bearing “We Support You” and other messages. The 32-year-old Leinonen was with his friends at Pulse early last Sunday when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire, leaving 49 clubgoers dead and wounding 53 others. Mateen died later after being shot by police.
Around Orlando, people prayed on the street and left balloons, flowers, pictures and posters to honor the victims.
Dozens of people waited two to three hours at Realm Tattoos to get one of the recently drawn “One Pulse” tattoos etched into their skin. The tattoos are free, but people are encouraged to leave a donation for the victims. The money will be distributed by Southern Nights, another LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that aspiring firefighter Cory James Connell, who was among those killed in Pulse, was named an honorary firefighter during a memorial service Saturday. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs made the proclamation that officially made Connell a firefighter. Connell, a regular at the Orange County Fire Rescue Department, was 21 when he died.
— Associated Press
In 120-degree temperatures, some airplanes might not take off. Power grids strain as the outside air keeps transmission lines from cooling. And for desert dwellers, a cold bottle of water and some shade can mean the difference between life and death.
Parts of the Southwest, long accustomed to triple-digit temperatures, are preparing for a heat wave and, in Phoenix, officials are warning residents that the mercury may rise to 120, approaching Phoenix’s all-time record of 122.
Excessive heat contributed to 84 deaths in the state last year, said officials in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous. Officials already confirmed this year’s first heat-related death: an elderly woman who died from heat exposure in her back yard in early June.
The Arizona Department of Health Services is warning residents to watch for signs of heat illness: thirst, red skin, cramping, exhaustion and a lack of sweat. The agency told local officials to prepare for an increase in heat-related illnesses.
The Phoenix parks department will post extra rangers at hiking trails to warn visitors of the dangers and ask them to be off the trails by noon.
Arizona’s power companies are preparing additional maintenance crews and securing extra power to keep cool air blowing, said Jacob Tetlow, general manager of operations for Arizona Public Service.
Airlines will monitor temperatures, as excessive heat can throw off performance calculations and prevent planes from taking off, said Polly Tracey, spokeswoman for American Airlines.
At Redeemed Outreach Center in downtown Phoenix, volunteers pass out cool water for anyone who walks by, many of whom are homeless.
— Associated Press
Washington protesters form blockade: More than 100 protesters formed a human blockade Saturday on train tracks in Vancouver in response to a recent fiery oil train derailment along the Columbia River. Organizers with the Fossil Fuel Resistance Network, a group that formed after the June 3 train crash near Mosier, Ore., say they expect to be arrested. According to a news release, the protest was held to highlight risks associated with fossil fuel extraction, transportation and consumption.
— Associated Press