Constant fireworks frazzle nerves in U.S. city that never sleeps

By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Complaints are skyrocketing about thundering fireworks exploding over otherwise quiet U.S. neighborhoods, fraying nerves already frazzled by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Even in the city that never sleeps, weary New Yorkers in the first half of June lodged a one-hundredfold increase in complaints compared to the year-ago period, of explosions that begin before sundown and rattle windows into the morning. The city’s 311 hotline received 2,492 fireworks complaints from June 1-16, up from just 25 in the same period in 2019.

The pyrotechnics occur almost nightly across the five boroughs of New York, once the U.S. epicenter of coronavirus infections, which recently achieved the nation’s lowest rate of virus spread.

“We have been terrorized by the fireworks for weeks now,” said Tanya Bonner, a government policy consultant in her 40s who lives in upper Manhattan, where Columbia University’s athletics complex had been converted into a COVID-19 field hospital.

“It is very bad up here. This area also has many essential workers – and they need rest.”

Bonner, who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma and must leave her apartment windows open, said she can sleep only by turning her television volume “way up” even though “the fireworks happen so close to my window that it is impossible to drown it out.”

To get some shuteye, another upper Manhattan resident said she closes all windows and muffles the blasts by turning on a noisy air conditioner, a fan, a white noise machine and screwing in some tight-fitting earplugs.

“Fireworks are illegal in New York City,” New York Police Detective Sophia Mason responded in an email. But neighboring New Jersey legalized some fireworks in 2017.

From Jan. 1 through June 14, the New York Police Department has seized fireworks on 26 occasions, made eight arrests, issued 22 criminal court summonses, and responded to 2 fireworks-related injuries, Mason said.

In Massachusetts, which has the country’s strictest prohibitions against fireworks, police blamed a spike in complaints in Boston and other municipalities on a stretch of warmer weather after months of stay-at-home orders.

“It’s just been months now of young people being inside, being bored,” said Lieutenant Sean Murtha of the Worcester Police Department, roughly 47 miles (76 km) west of Boston.

“It’s been a stressful time for everybody, an oppressive time,” said Murtha, who noted recent reports of gunshots that turned out to be fireworks were double the five-year average, totaling 27 in May, the most recent data available.

In upstate New York, Syracuse residents said they were being pushed to the brink by the pyrotechnics and more than 530 have signed a petition demanding Mayor Ben Walsh “crack down on constant fireworks” that have been booming since May.

“These are not merely a nuisance, but extremely traumatic for service members with PTSD,” Scott Upham Jr., a Syracuse resident who started the petition, said on Change.org.

Others said the noise was particularly bothersome for people with autism and family pets and worried that the fireworks create a fire hazard.

Mayor Walsh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Additional reporting by Aleksandra Michalska; Editing by Richard Chang)

Hong Kong rings in 2020 with democracy chants instead of harbor fireworks

By Jessie PANG and Mari Saito

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Thousands of Hong Kong revelers welcomed in 2020 on neon-lit promenades along the picturesque Victoria Harbour, breaking into pro-democracy chants as the clocks struck midnight after more than half a year of often violent unrest.

Protesters briefly blocked Nathan Road, a key artery leading through Kowloon to the harbor, after forming human chains across the Chinese-ruled city and marching through shopping malls, urging people not to give up the fight for democracy in 2020.

The protesters fled when police came to clear the road of umbrellas, street furniture and debris and a three-meter-tall skeleton of a metal Christmas tree. Several arrests were made.

Authorities had canceled the popular new year fireworks for the first time in a decade, citing security concerns. A “Symphony of Lights” took place instead, involving projections on the city’s tallest skyscrapers after the countdown to midnight.

There were small-scale pyrotechnics on waterfront rooftops, but the grandiose fireworks launched from vessels in the center of the harbor, broadcast around the world every year, were absent.

The carnival atmosphere on the harbor was interrupted as parts of the crowd of thousands watching the show began chanting protest slogans, such as “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times” and “Five demands, not one less.”

The latter refers to the goals of the anti-government movement, which include universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.

The protesters are angry at what they see as creeping Beijing influence in the city which was guaranteed wide-ranging autonomy when it returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Beijing denies interference and blames the West for fomenting the unrest.

“I hope people can continue fighting in 2020,” 28-year-old engineer Eric Wong said.

“We should not forget the people in jail who could not count down to the new year with us.”

On Nathan Road, protesters in a chain stretching for several kilometers raised lit-up smartphones as passing cars and buses honked in support and tourists in party hats and 2020-shaped glasses took pictures. Many protesters held up cards reading “Let’s keep fighting together in 2020.”

The chain later spilled over on to the road, and some protesters built barricades and hid behind umbrellas until police chased them away. A water cannon truck, flanked by an armored jeep, patrolled the road at midnight.

“This year there are no fireworks, but there will probably be tear gas somewhere,” said 25-year-old IT worker Sam. “For us it’s not really New Year’s Eve. We have to resist every day.”

Dozens of people had earlier laid flowers at the Prince Edward metro station, scene of some of the most violent clashes with the police this summer.

The protests began in June in response to a now-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, and have evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.

The protest movement is supported by 59% of city residents polled in a survey conducted for Reuters by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. More than a third of respondents said they had attended an anti-government demonstration.

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In a New Year’s Eve video message, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the unrest had caused sadness, anxiety, disappointment and rage.

“Let’s start 2020 with a new resolution, to restore order and harmony in society. So we can begin again, together,” Lam said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping extended his best wishes to Hong Kong residents in a speech carried by state television.

“Without a harmonious and stable environment, how can there be a home where people can live and work happily?” he said. “We sincerely hope for the best for Hong Kong and Hong Kong compatriots.”

Police, who reject allegations of brutality and say they have shown restraint, have arrested nearly 6,500 people since the protests began escalating in what is the worst political crisis faced by the city in decades.

Protesters have thrown petrol bombs and rocks, with police responding with tear gas, water cannon, pepper spray, rubber bullets and occasional live rounds. There have been several injuries.

On Jan. 1, tens of thousands of people are expected to join a pro-democracy march, starting from a park downtown and ending in the heart of the central financial district.

The previous march organized by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) drew an estimated 800,000 people in early December.

“January 1, see you in Victoria Park,” people gathered on the waterfront chanted.

(Reporting by Jessie Pang, Mari Saito, Twinnie Siu, Sarah Wu, Tyrone Siu, Joyce Zhou, Simon Gardner in HONG KONG and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; writing by Marius Zaharia; editing by Mike Collett-White, Philippa Fletcher, Timothy Heritage and Nick Macfie)

Morningside’s Fourth of July week begins Monday, July 1st – July 5th Praise! Prayer! Prophecy! Evening Services broadcast LIVE!

Fireworks at Morningside 7-4-17

Morningside’s Fourth of July week, Grand Opening Celebration is coming soon,  July 1st thru July 5th! The week if filled with Praise, Prayer, and Prophecy as we honor our country and begin a new season of revival with a ribbon cutting to open Prayer Mountain Chapel!  Every day there will be communion and healing services with dozens of pastors ministering daily on top of the lush, green hills of Prayer Mountain!

Be a part of our studio audience for special edition live tapings of “The Jim Bakker Show,” “Life with Lori,” and “The Lance Wallnau Show” on Grace Street. On the evening of the 4th of July, we will have two of the original cast members from “The Andy Griffith Show”; Rodney Dillard and Charlene Darling along with the bluegrass Dillard Band for an evening of music, stories, and humor from Mayberry, America’s favorite hometown. After this walk down memory lane, there will be a fireworks show in the front parking lot of Grace Street building.

Please follow our link to the schedule of events for this amazing week of glorifying God, Prayers for our nations and honors the 58 years of the Jim Bakker Ministry.

Every night beginning at 6 pm ct please join us for worship followed by incredible teachers and prophets that will inspire you! If you can’t be here, please join us LIVE on the PTL Network from your Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or go to jimbakkershow.com or ptlnetwork.com to tune in!

Monday, July 1st   Worship begins at 6 pm ct with The Southeast Gospel Choir followed by:  

Speaker -Bishop Ron WebbConsidered by many to be “A Pastor To Pastors” his ministry is centered around restoration and a sincere belief that we must reach the lost at any cost. His encouraging show “Leadership from Behind the Scenes” is featured on the PTL Television Network bringing biblically based lessons that will change the way you look at your church, life, and those who lead you.

Tuesday, July 2nd – Worship begins at 6 pm ct with Tammy Sue Bakker and PTL Band & Singers followed by:

Speaker David Barton, Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, has been described as “America’s historian,” and was named in Time Magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals.

Speaker Brad Cummings is the CEO of Windblown Media, and Shiloh Road Publishers, and has a passion for “telling compelling stories that unveil God’s heart to the spiritually curious.” He is one of the co-writers and publisher of the #1 NY Times bestselling novel, The Shack, which has sold over 18 million copies and has been translated into 40 different languages.  

Wednesday, July 3rd – Worship begins at 6 pm ct with Tammy Sue Bakker and the PTL Band & Singers followed by:

Speaker -Hubie Synn  Known as the “wandering prophet”, the Lord used him to prophesy and confirm the message of the Harbinger to Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. He is a certified public accountant by trade and now travels the world as a minister, speaker and published author. He has ministered to many and witnessed the miraculous take place. Hubie Synn truly walks in his faith and inspires others to do the same,   

Thursday, July 4th LIVE taping begins at 7 pm ct featuring “An Evening of music, stories and humor from Mayberry” with The Dillards Featuring two of the original cast members…Rodney Dillard and Charlene Darling – (Maggie Peterson)

Stay tuned at 8:30 pm for more music with Tammy Sue Bakker and the PTL Band & Singers.  At 9:30 pm let the FIREWORKS begin!

Rodney Dillard is very well known as a founding member of the legendary group The Dillards also known as the Darlings of the Andy Griffith Show. With over 50 years of recording both traditional Bluegrass and his own brand of ‘DILLARDGRASS, his work has influenced musicians all over the world.

Actress Maggie Mancuso Petersen is best known as Charlene Darling on The Andy Griffith Show, Maggie has also appeared on other TV shows such as Love American Style, Green Acres, Return to Mayberry and The Love God.

Friday, July 5th – Worship begins at 6 pm ct with Tammy Sue Bakker and the PTL Band & Singers followed by:

Speaker -Lance Wallnau who has shared platforms with Ben Carson, Mike Pompeo and best-selling authors Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell. His best-selling book, “God’s Chaos Candidate” is credited as being the catalyst that mobilized thousands of Christians to vote for President Donald Trump. His insights on America, the Presidency and the prophetic are in demand all over the world.  

 

Stay tuned for any updates!  We hope to see you here at Morningside!  

 

Get Ready for a Big Smiles and a Happy Family 4th of July at Morningside!

Fireworks at Morningside 7-4-17

By Kami Klein

It’s time again for our annual 4th of July Celebrations at Morningside!  On Wednesday July 4th we hope you will join us for this All Day, FREE event celebrating the birth of our Nation!  

Your day at Morningside will be filled with Amazing music, Worship, Giveaways, a Free Picnic Lunch and our beautiful Firework Display to top off the day!  

Beginning at 10:30 am, please join us for our pre-show on Grace Street for incredible gospel music with award winning Tammy Sue Bakker!

Mike and Cindy Jacobs

Mike and Cindy Jacobs

At 11 am We will be celebrating the return of our amazing guests Cindy and Mike Jacobs for a very special taping of The Jim Bakker Show!  Cindy Jacobs is a respected prophet who travels the world ministering not only to crowds of people, but to heads of nations. Perhaps her greatest ministry is to world influencers who seek her prophetic advice. Mike Jacobs is Co-founder of Generals International with his wife, Cindy. Generals International is a prayer-based organization that exists for the purpose of changing lives and transforming nations. Mike and Cindy are passionate about the message that God cares about every individual, He cares about every nation, and He still speaks to us today. Mike and Cindy are the perfect guests to celebrate our 4th of July event!

4th of July on Grace Street, Morningside

4th of July on Grace Street, Morningside

Following the show, around 3pm,  we will board shuttles to head down  to Peaceful Valley for a patriotic picnic lunch and meet and greet with Pastor Jim and Lori Bakker!  They look forward every year to spending this time with you!  

At 7 pm we’ll be back on Grace Street for an inspirational evening service led by Cindy and Mike Jacobs! Coming together for this time of worship means so much to us and every year our hearts fill with the Holy Spirit as we celebrate the love of Christ and for God’s hand on this nation!

Finally, at 9 pm, gather your family and friends together for oohing and aahing at our absolutely stunning Fireworks display!

This is going to be an All American, Family, 4th of July and we hope you don’t miss it!  

Be sure to come early for the best seats.  Remember, it all begins at 10:30 am Wednesday, July 4th!   

We need to know how many will be joining us for the picnic so please ,Don’t forget to follow this link to RSVP!!  

Happy Birthday America!

 

Philadelphia fans set fire, damage property after Super Bowl win

Fans celebrate the Philadelphia Superbowl LII victory over the New England Patriots in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. February 4, 2018.

(Reuters) – The Philadelphia Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory set off rowdy celebrations in Philadelphia as people who poured into the streets set at least one fire and damaged property early on Monday, images on social media showed.

Joyous football fans burst into jubilation in gatherings at bars and took their party into the streets, jumping up and down, setting off pyrotechnics and singing the fight song “Fly Eagles Fly.”

Some went further and ignited a fire in the middle of a street that firefighters soon extinguished. Other images showed a light pole tipping over and the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News website Philly.com reported smashed windows and toppled awnings.

Police in riot gear and on bicycles formed lines to control crowds and push people back, social media images showed.

Some people broke a display window at a department store near City Hall, and looters broke into a convenience store, grabbing merchandise and screaming, “Everything is free,” Philly.com reported.

Nearly all the light poles on one side of City Hall were toppled, and a car outside a hotel was tipped on its side, Philly.com said.

Philadelphia police and fire officials did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for information.

The Eagles, coming into the game as underdogs, defeated the five-time National Football League champion New England Patriots 41-33 in Minneapolis on Sunday.

In Boston, local media reported somber Patriots fans spilling out of local bars and heading home in the cold winter drizzle as temperatures dipped into the 30s (Fahrenheit).

“We haven’t had a single incident, thank God,” said a Boston police dispatcher.

Over in Amherst, Ma., State and University of Massachusetts police had more trouble as about 2,000 people flooded the streets near UMass Amherst and began throwing objects, setting off smoke bombs, fireworks and starting fistfights. The Boston Globe reported a number of injuries and that at least six people were arrested as police used pepper spray to disperse the angry fans.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Rich McKay; Editing by Toby Chopra)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! The Celebration continues at Morningside! Join us Live!!

American Flag - VOTE

By Kami Klein

Today is the Birthday of the United States of America, a country founded on a firm faith in God.  This is a nation born for freedom!  We have been through war and strife, times that would test anywhere in the world, but with our God nothing is impossible! His continuing hand of blessing upon this country can and will give us strength.  Morningside is celebrating and giving thanks all week long for our 4th of July events!  

On Tuesday afternoon please join us live as we picnic on Grace street where we will be listening to the wonderful  Lindley Creek Bluegrass Band at approximately 3:00 pm, CST.  Later, beginning at 7:00 CST, the evening festivities begin with worship led by the talented James Huey, followed by a very special service with Cindy and Mike Jacobs.  A spectacular fireworks display will begin at 9 pm CST   with all of the Morningside family!  If you are in the neighborhood, we would LOVE to have you there with us!

All of this will be Live on Demand on The Jim Bakker Show website, PTL Television Network website, Roku and Apple TV!  Be sure to check our schedule for more inspirational and educational events for the remainder of this week ending on Saturday night, July, 8th!  

God Bless you on this 4th of July Holiday!  We hope you are spending it with your loved ones.  Please join us as we continue to pray for this amazing nation and for the leadership of this country!  

 

We love you!

 

Countdown to Independence Day Here at Morningside!

By Kami Klein

Morningside is hard at work creating a Celebration week filled with family, faith, fellowship, and FIREWORKS!  We want to celebrate our great nation in a big way, learning from anointed prophets and teachers, praising God and spending joyful time together!  Begin your mornings with communion and prayer led by Pastor Joe Campbell and end every exciting day with worship, joyful, moving musical performances by James Huey, Tammy Sue Bakker, the PTL Band and singers and truly inspired speakers including Hubie Synn and Bobby Conner to lift your spirits!

We hope you have made plans to join us here for our 4th of July week beginning on Saturday, July 1st and ending the following Saturday, July 8th!  Don’t miss the educational and exciting seminars that will be held each day, hosted by experts such as Ray Gano, John Shorey, Security expert Darren Parker, Bill Whaley, Frank Davis, Michelle Bacarella, Dr. Sherrill Sellman and Chris Fortner.  There will be valuable seminar giveaways every morning too!

Watch a live taping of The Jim Bakker Show on Tuesday the 4th, Wednesday the 5th and Friday the 7th with amazing guests like Cindy and Mike Jacobs, Pat and Karen Schatzline,Tom Horn, Donna Howell, , Jennifer Leclaire Derek Gilbert and more!

And please don’t forget our Partners Picnic that will be held in Peaceful Valley on the 4th of July!  Jim and Lori Bakker will be there for a meet and greet and look forward to sharing this patriotic family time with you!  That night after worship stay with us here at Morningside for an incredible fireworks display!

God Bless America!  And God bless all of our friends to Morningside!

Hope to see you!

 

4th of July Celebration At Morningside!

By Kami Klein

Morningside is ready to light up the skies and celebrate the birth of our country with an entire week of events beginning on Saturday, July 1st until Saturday, July 8th!  With fascinating and informational Preparedness and Survival seminars, fantastic guest speakers, a partner’s picnic on the 4th, a spectacular fireworks display, joyful worship, and so much more, this week promises to be something wonderful for all ages!  

Please join us as we welcome John Shorey, who will be teaching survival classes all week as well as Bill “The Junk Man” Whaley, preparedness expert Dr. Paul Williams, and security expert, Darren Parker. We also have special guests, Mike and Cindy Jacobs, Pat and Karen Schatzline, Tom Horn, Jennifer LeClaire, Donna Howell and Derek Gilbert for live tapings on The Jim Bakker Show as well as other prophetic and knowledgeable speakers who will be making appearances.  We then invite you to come worship with us every night for our evening services led by the remarkable James Huey! Join James as he welcomes amazing speakers such as Bobby Conner and Hubie Synn!  

 

We hope that you will join us as we honor this great country with fun, food, fireworks and fellowship at Morningside! Check out our 4th of July festivities here!

Experts scour site of deadly blast at Mexico fireworks market

Police officers walk amongst the wreckage of houses destroyed in an explosion at the San Pablito fireworks market outside the Mexican capital on Tuesday, in Tultepec, Mexico,

By Noe Torres

TULTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – Teams of forensic investigators pored over the charred remains of fireworks market outside Mexico City on Wednesday after a series of blasts a day earlier killed at least 31 people and injured dozens more in a disaster marked by disbelief and tears.

Videos of the blasts at the San Pablito market showed a spectacular flurry of pyrotechnics exploding high into the sky, like rockets in a war zone, as a massive plume of charcoal-gray smoke billowed out from the site.

It was the third time in just over a decade that explosions struck the popular marketplace in Tultepec, home to the country’s best-known fireworks shopping and located about 20 miles (32 km) north of Mexico City in the adjacent State of Mexico.

Eruviel Avila, the state’s governor, said the explosions injured at least 72 people while another 53 remained missing.

“Everything was destroyed, it was very ugly and many bodies were thrown all over the place, including a lot of children. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said 24-year-old housewife Angelica Avila as tears ran down her face.

Avila spoke outside a nearby hospital as she waited for an update on the health of her brother, a fireworks salesman, who she said was burned and also suffered a heart attack.

The federal attorney general’s office opened an investigation, saying in a statement late on Tuesday that six separate blasts kicked off the destruction.

Director of Tultepec emergency services Isidro Sanchez told local television earlier on Tuesday that a lack of adequate safety measures was the likely cause of the blasts.

The vast majority of the market’s 300 stalls were completely destroyed by the explosions, said state official Jose Manzur, adding that the site was inspected by safety officials just last month and no irregularities were found.

In late 2005, explosions struck the same Tultepec fireworks market just days before independence day celebrations, injuring scores of people.

Another explosion gutted the area again almost a year later.

The market was particularly busy on Tuesday as many Mexicans buy fireworks to celebrate the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

(Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Simon Gardner)

108 Killed in India Fireworks Explosions

People stand next to debris after a broke out at a temple in Kollam in the southern state of Kerala, India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India (Reuters) – Indian police have detained five people after a fireworks display at a Hindu temple set off explosions and fire killing 108 people, an officer said on Monday, in one of the worst accidents at a religious festival.

Thousands of people were gathered at the temple at Kollam in the southern state of Kerala on Sunday for the pyrotechnic show to mark the start of the Hindu year when sparks ignited a cache of fireworks stored inside the temple grounds.

The district administration said it had not given permission for the fireworks display following complaints of noise and pollution.

Police officer Anantha Krishnan said the five taken into custody were employees of a fireworks manufacturer who was given the contract for running the show at the Puttingal Devi temple.

The head of the manufacturing unit was injured, one of 380 people who were in hospitals across the state with burns as well as injuries caused by flying concrete and debris.

But police had not been able to reach members of the temple management, Krishnan said.

Kerala is studded with temples managed by rich and powerful trusts that often flout local regulations. Each year temples hold fireworks displays, often competing to stage the most spectacular ones, with judges who decide the winners.

On Monday, grieving relatives of the victims were scouring the temple grounds for possessions of their loved ones among the shoes, handbags and other articles strewn in a pile of debris and a puddle, dark red with blood.

“There were so many men and women lying on the ground, lifeless,” said Anish Kumar, a resident.

The scale of the tragedy has ignited demands that fireworks shows be banned at crowded places in Kerala. The chief of the state unit of the Indian Medical Association, A. V. Jayakrishna, said he planned to file a petition before the Kerala High Court on Monday curbing the use of fireworks.

Such has been the outrage across the nation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Kollam within a few hours with a team of doctors.

Opposition politicians led by Rahul Gandhi also visited the temple site, demanding a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire which took place amid a state election to choose a new assembly.

Modi has faced public criticism for failing to respond quickly to disasters such as the floods in Chennai late last year. Large parts of the city were under water for days before government help arrived.

But Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party said he was focused on the task in hand.

“Ever since the Gujarat earthquake, in any disaster, the prime minister wants to be hands on,” said BJP spokesman M.J. Akbar, referring to Modi’s work in his home state when the 2001 quake hit.

“Where he keeps aloof – and rightly so – is in all these artificial, emotional, sound-bite controversies. He is consistent in his interventions and in his silences.”

For a map locating the temple: http://tmsnrt.rs/1SXsCVB

(Reporting by D.Jose; Additional reporting by Doug Busvine in NEW DELHI Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Nick Macfie)