Potentially historic high winds are expected to keep fueling the wildfires raging in California.
A Southwest Airlines flight attendant is suing the company after she says two pilots installed a camera to peep at her and passengers in the bathroom.
And actress Felicity Huffman was released early from federal prison.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: California Is Burning & the South Is Flooding
States of emergency have been declared in parts of California as wildfires continue to rage. The conditions are expected to worsen throughout the weekend. The National Weather Service has described the expected wind event as “historic.” Wind gusts could reach 80 miles per hour in some areas. Combined with low humidity and high temperatures, this means the wildfires are likely to spread at a rapid pace.
The Kincade Fire in northern California has scorched more than 23,000 acres and forced about 2,000 people to evacuate their homes. The fire sparked on Wednesday near where a PG&E transmission tower had malfunctioned. It has not yet been determined whether the faulty equipment caused the fire. The utility company is planning new power outages to prevent additional fires. The outages could impact approximately 2 million people. Click here for updates on the planned blackouts.
In southern California, the largest fire impacting residents is the Tick Fire in Los Angeles County. More than 4,000 acres have burned and officials say that as many as 10,000 buildings are still under threat from the flames.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Gulf Coast is under threat from the remains of Tropical Storm Olga. The storm was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, but the system is still expected to bring flooding to parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. On Friday, Olga also triggered tornadoes in Alabama, one of which touched down near Mobile.
Other parts of the southeast and midwest will see rain through the weekend due to Olga. Flood watches were also issued for portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama by the National Weather Service.
OFF-BEAT: Flight Attendant Accuses Pilots Of Being ‘Peeping Toms’
A flight attendant for Southwest Airlines has sued the company after she says two pilots installed a camera in the plane’s bathroom in order to watch her and airline passengers. Renee Steinaker filed a federal lawsuit in Arizona District Court over the incident, which she says occurred on a flight from Pittsburgh to Phoenix in February of 2017. She says young children were among those who used the bathroom with the hidden camera.
Steinaker says that she went into the cockpit when one of the pilots, Captain Terry Graham, got up to use the lavatory. This is standard procedure, as there must be two people in the cockpit at all times. Steinaker says that she noticed an iPad on the windshield that appeared to be streaming video from the bathroom. She could see Graham in the video at the time.
Co-pilot Ryan Russell admitted that the iPad was live-streaming video from the bathroom. He told Steinaker that the cameras were recently installed on all of the planes and “ordered” her not to tell anyone about it. Steinaker took a picture of the iPad and reported the incident to the airline. Steinaker alleges that her managers retaliated against her and that she was “stalked and monitored… in a threatening and bizarre manner.” According to her attorneys, Steinaker says that her manager warned her against telling anyone about the incident because ““if this got out, if this went public, no one, I mean no one, would ever fly our airline again.”
Southwest Airlines said in a statement that the company does not install cameras in the lavatories. The company has not commented further due to the pending legislation. According to the lawsuit, both Russell and Graham are still flying for Southwest Airlines.
Steinaker’s attorney, Ronald Goldman, said in a statement, “The cockpit of a commercial airliner is not a playground for peeping toms. Behavior that distracts and distresses crew members during flight compromises safety. Every day that these two pilots are allowed to fly for the airline is another day that our client fears she will have to work with pilots she alleges have caused her significant harm.” Read more details about the case here.
WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Felicity Huffman Released From Prison Early
Felicity Huffman is a free woman after being released early from federal prison on Friday. The actress had been sentenced to 14 days behind bars after admitting to wrongdoing in the college admissions scandal but was released after serving 12 days.
Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud after confessing that she had paid $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Huffman was the first parent sentenced as part of the Justice Department’s investigation. Prosecutors charged more than 50 people in the scandal.
During her trial, Huffman’s attorney had argued that she deserved a lighter sentence because she paid far less money than other defendants, some of whom were accused of paying up to $500,000 to help get their children into prestigious colleges. Huffman’s lawyer also pointed out that she had not involved her daughter in the scheme.
Huffman was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and serve 250 hours of community service. She will remain on probation for a year.
More than a dozen others indicted in the admissions case are fighting the charges, such as actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Massimo Giannulli. In addition to wire fraud and money laundering charges, prosecutors have added bribery to the list of charges. Loughlin and her husband were accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California, by making the girls appear to be recruits for the crew team. If convicted, the charges could lead to a sentence of more than 40 years in prison.
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- Actors Ted Danson and Jane Fonda were arrested Friday during a climate change protest.
- The Pentagon has awarded Microsoft a $10 billion cloud computing contract over Amazon.
- President Trump wants Apple to bring back the iPhone home button.
- Ewan McGregor says plans for a Disney series focused on Star Wars legend Obi-Wan Kenobi has been in the works for several years and he’s excited to finally be able to talk about it.
- The Houston Astros won Game 3 of the World Series. The Washington Nationals lead the series 2-1.
CHECK THIS OUT
Want a free bag of Snickers? The company is giving them out on its website.
Snickers had initially promised to give away 1 million fun-size candy bars if the federal government would change the date of Halloween to the last Saturday of October, as opposed to October 31. A Change.org petition garnered more than 150,000 signatures but the date isn’t changing. (Halloween isn’t a federal holiday, so technically the federal government couldn’t have changed it).
Regardless, Snickers has decided to follow through on its pledge of free candy just for the fun of it. Snickers fans can sign up to receive a gift card for one bag of candy through October 31 at onemillionsnickers.com. The page will say “we are refilling our candy bowl” when that day’s limit is reached.
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here.