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KFDM 6 :: News - Top Stories - Carnival cruise ship back on the move
Thursday, February 14 2013, 07:27 PM CST
Carnival cruise ship back on the move

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- The crippled Carnival cruise ship is once again moving toward Alabama after crews repaired a broken tow line that had briefly delayed the trip

Watch KFDM and stay with for updates.

On board, passengers described overflowing toilets, sewage backed up in showers, scarce food and people getting sick, bringing the scene into sharper focus after a week at sea. What began as a four-day voyage in the Gulf of Mexico has turned into a vacation nightmare, not at all the luxury cruise touted in brochures.

Passengers were expected to make it to shore Thursday night—only to then face an hours-long bus ride or other travel hassles to finally get back home. Frustrations with the cruise line were simmering on and off the ship, as passengers and their relatives questioned why it has taken so long to get back to dry land after an engine-room fire disabled the ship Sunday.

"There’s poop and urine all along the floor," Renee Shanar, of Houston, said from her cellphone aboard the ship. "The floor is flooded with sewer water ... and we had to poop in bags."

The ship was in sight of the Alabama shore Thursday afternoon when the tow line broke.

Until the repair is complete, the ship is "dead in the water and when they reconnect safely, they then proceed on their way," Coast Guard Petty Officer William Colclough said.

The 14-story ship still has to negotiate a tricky shipping channel before it could dock. Before the line broke, the ship was traveling about 5 mph.

Television images from CNN showed passengers with signs of "Help" and "I love you" hanging from their cabin rooms. Others walked around the deck, some waving to the helicopters flying above. People in boats, presumably officials from Carnival, the Coast Guard and Customs, have boarded the ship.

Shanar, who is on the ship with her husband, said the couple had a cabin with no windows, so they have been sleeping outside for days. She said the food has been distributed on the 9th floor, and some of the elderly have needed younger people to bring it to them. They were initially only given cold cuts, like turkey and vegetable sandwiches. Then another cruise line dropped off hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but the line for that fare was nearly four hours long.

"And then people started getting sick from the food," she said.

The company has disputed the accounts of passengers who describe the ship as filthy, saying employees are doing everything to ensure people are comfortable.

Terry Thornton, senior vice president for Carnival Cruiselines, said they received an extra generator that allowed them to serve hot food on the ship Wednesday night, and that the food services will be fully operational when they are docked.

That isn’t expected until at least 8 p.m., perhaps later and the massive ship still needs to travel through tricky turns and cross currents—all without the help of its engines.

"This is going to be a long day," Thornton said. "There is no way we can speed up the process."

When passengers arrive in Alabama, their stay will be short. Carnival said in a statement late Wednesday that passengers were being given the option of boarding buses directly to Galveston, Texas, or Houston—a roughly seven-hour drive—or taking a two-hour bus ride to New Orleans, where the company said it booked 1,500 hotel rooms. Those staying in New Orleans will be flown Friday to Houston. Carnival said it will cover all the transportation costs.

"I can’t imagine being on that ship this morning and then getting on a bus," said Kirk Hill, whose 30-year-old daughter, Kalin Christine Hill, is on the cruise. "If I hit land in Mobile, you’d have a hard time getting me on a bus."

Hill is booking a flight from Amarillo, Texas, to New Orleans to meet his daughter when she gets there.

Vance Gulliksen, a Carnival spokesman also said the company chose to bus people to New Orleans because it "offered additional capacity and flexibility which was important to us."

Thelbert Lanier was waiting at the Mobile port for his wife, who texted him early Thursday.

"Room smells like an outhouse. Cold water only, toilets haven’t work in 3 ½ days. Happy Valentines Day!!! I love u & wish I was there," she said in the text message, which was viewed by The Associated Press. "It’s 4:00 am. Can’t’s cold & I’m starting to get sick."

Robert Giordano, whose 33-year-old wife Shannon is aboard the cruise liner with a group of friends of hers from Edmond, Okla., said he has yet to speak to someone at Carnival. All his information has come through pre-recorded phone calls, the most recent one Wednesday afternoon when he was told the ship would "probably" arrive in Mobile late Thursday or early Friday. He got better information, he said, when the "Today" show called him.

"A complete utter surprise to me. I’m excited but I didn’t know about that," Giordano said. "That’s the biggest frustration for me now is that the media knows more than the family members do and certainly more than the passengers do on the ship."

Gulliksen said the Triumph is now expected arrive in Mobile between 8 and 11 p.m. Thursday. He said the company has tried to keep families updated and established a toll-free number for friends and relatives. Gulliksen said about 200 Carnival employees are in Mobile waiting to assist passengers upon their arrival, and some will go on board to assist when the ship sails in.

The ship left Galveston for a four-day cruise last Thursday with 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members. The ship was about 150 miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula when an engine room fire knocked out its primary power source, crippling its water and plumbing systems and leaving it adrift on only backup power.

No one was injured in the fire, but a passenger with a pre-existing medical condition was taken off the ship as a precaution.

In Mobile, officials were preparing a cruise terminal that has not been used for a year to help passengers go through customs after their ordeal.

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones questioned the plan to bus passengers to other cities, saying the city has more than enough hotel rooms and its two airports are near the cruise terminal.

"We raised the issue that it would be a lot easier to take a five-minute bus ride than a two-hour bus ride" to New Orleans, Jones said. Jones said Carnival employees will be staying in Mobile.

Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled more than dozen more planned voyages aboard the Triumph and acknowledged that the crippled ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before the engine-room blaze. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation.

Gulliksen said the Triumph’s recent mechanical woes involved an electrical problem with the ship’s alternator on the previous voyage. Repairs were completed Feb. 2. He said there was no evidence between the previous problem and the fire.

Passengers are supposed to get a full refund and discounts on future cruises, and Carnival announced Wednesday they would each get an additional $500 in compensation.

Once docked, the ship will be idle through April.

model was dead.

"We can confirm that Reeva Steenkamp has passed away," Steenkamp’s publicist Sarit Tomlinson said. "Our thoughts and prayers go to the Steenkamp family, who have asked to have their privacy respected during this difficult time, everyone is simply devastated. She was the kindest, sweetest human being; an angel on earth and will be sorely missed."

Tomlinson said Steenkamp, known simply as Reeva, was one of FHM’s (formerly For Him Magazine) 100 Sexiest Women in the World for two years running, appeared in countless international and national advertisements and was one of the celebrity contestants on the reality show "Tropika Island of Treasure," filmed in Jamaica.

She and Pistorius were first seen publicly together in November at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg. Later, she began mentioning the athlete in public messages on Twitter.

She also tweeted messages urging women to stand up against rape as well as her excitement about Valentine’s Day. "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow?" she tweeted. "It should be a day of love for everyone."

Pistorius made history in London last year when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games, propelling him to the status of an athletics superstar.

Having had both his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday because of a congenital condition, he campaigned for years to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes. Having initially been banned because of his carbon fiber blades—which critics said gave him an unfair advantage—he was cleared by sport’s highest court in 2008 and allowed to run at the top events.

He competed in the 400 meters and on South Africa’s 4x400 relay team at the London Games, making history when his selection for South Africa’s team was confirmed at the very last minute. He also retained his Paralympic title in the 400 meters in London.

South Africa’s Sports Confederation and Olympic committee released a statement on Thursday saying they had been "inundated" with requests for comment but were not in a position to give out any details of the shooting. The International Paralympic Committee also said it wouldn’t comment in detail apart from offering its condolences to the victim’s family.

South Africa has some of the world’s highest murder rates, with nearly 50 people killed each day in the nation of 50 million. It also has high rates of rape, other assaults, robbery and carjackings.

U.N. statistics show South Africa has the second highest rate of shooting deaths in the world, second only to Colombia.

"The question is: Why does this story make the news? Yes, because they are both celebrities, but this is happening on every single day in South Africa," said Adele Kirsten, a member of Gun Free South Africa. "We have thousands of people killed annually by gun violence in our country. So the anger is about that it is preventable."

Carnival cruise ship back on the move

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Beaumont crew patches plume from water line

Dangerous storms plague North Texas

Bolivar Peninsula volunteers make barrels of fun

Sales tax revenues continue growth in Southeast Texas

Raw Video: City responding to towering plume of water

Fire damages Vidor home

Breaking News: Suspect in Kuruppu killing formally charged with capital murder; bond set at $2 million

Dallas program requires people convicted of abuse to turn over guns

California enacts unprecedented water restrictions as drought goes on

Man defies judge's order to remove "too tall" fence

School shooting victims, families speak out against campus carry

Driver escapes injury in Jasper rollover accident

'Paws' therapy dogs visit LU students for stressful finals week

Kountze Police investigate fatal shooting

Suspect in store owner's murder surrenders

RAW VIDEO: Perp walk of suspect in store owner's murder

Breaking News: One suspect in store owner's murder surrenders

Families say sewage back-up still a problem in Amelia neighborhood

Man accused of stabbing released from hospital, charged

Officers: road debris poses threat to safety, drivers should report threats

Orange deputies at boating accident scene on Sabine River

Sewer problems? Who to call in Beaumont

Dramatic video of Libyan survivors aboard sinking rubber boat

Baby Angel -- mother dies, but he is kept alive by extreme means

Fast food restaurants converting to healthy food

Oldest surviving copy of Ten Commandments to go on display

Garland suspect's mother speaks out

Today is last day for early voting for Saturday election

Golf tournament benefits AGC

Mike Huckabee enters White House race

Symphony plans 'SOST on the Town' May 7

LIT to award 300 degrees at May 15 graduation

ISIS claims responsibility for Garland attack

Driver who texted "Too drunk to care" sentenced in fatal crash

Entergy: Regional transmission group saved customers $25 million

Neighborhood watch group discusses how to help slain store owner's family

Breaking News: Man accused of firing at police surrenders; tells KFDM he wasn't shooting at officers

Neighbor reacts to search for man accused of exchanging gunfire with officers

Delaware street closed for repairs

Woman seeking man she kissed at race hears from his wife

LU students and faculty react to shooting at Garland

Little time left for early voting

CASA inducts five new advocates

PA accident: Woman trapped in vehicle, extricated, flown to hospital

Visitor Bureaus celebrate Tourism Week

Orange deputies find body near Rainbow Bridge

Drugs, guns, cash recovered in task force bust

Man nearly impaled when pipe crashes through truck

Silsbee police and SISD investigate vandalism on High School doors

CNN sources: second shooter in Garland identified

Investigators identify two suspects in Garland attack

Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson announces White House campaign

Rescue efforts continue for man who jumped from ferry

KFDM learns name of suspect accused of firing at PAPD

GasBuddy -- Texas gas prices up 7.1 cents for week

Britain's new princess named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Man jumps overboard from Galveston Ferry; rescue underway

Breaking News: Major accident in Port Arthur

Officials: Port Arthur police have arrest warrant for man who, police say, fired shot at officers

BPD: Man stabbed married couple and himself

Authorities: Two gunmen killed outside Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland

Witness talks about scene after Orange County plane crash

Beloved store owner laid to rest; Memorial fund set up for Kuruppu family

KFDM exclusive interview: Dr. Ben Carson Announces His Run for President

Authorities: Two gunmen killed outside Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland

PAPD and SWAT manhunt after shots fired

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has a big announcement

Live at scene: Firefighters battling fire at pellet plant

Man shares story to help save lives during prom season

Elderly man crashes into Beaumont grocery store

Family and friends remember the life of Owen Goodman and his love of soccer

UPDATE: Plane crash leaves two men in critical condition

Firefighters investigating apartment fire

Plane crashes in Orange County

Services for beloved Beaumont store owner Metthananda Kuruppu

BISD making major changes at Smith Middle School

Harbor Hospital employees laid off, one woman calls them "wonderful people"

Troopers urge 4-wheeler safety

Memorial fund established for family of slain store owner

BISD makes major changes at Smith Middle School

FBI searching in Southeast Texas for fugitive wanted for sex trafficking of children

Lumberton head-on collision injures two; police suspect driver of Impala on drugs

UPDATED -- Six officers charged in death of Freddie Gray

Memorial student finishes 11th out of 700 students in national math competition

Fire destroys two homes in Jasper

City to close Delaware between U.S. 69 and Concord

Entergy plans to build new power generating station in western portion of service area

TxDOT-- oversized transport to block SH146, I-10

MDA pulls the plug on Telethon; cites 'new realities of television'

TxDOT announces I-10 lane closures in Orange County

"Stand By Me" artist Ben E. King dies at 76

TxDOT approves $1 million for SE Texas bridge projects

Two children injured in four-wheeler accident in Orange County

Texas Senate passes bill for tax-free gun sales weekend

Parole Protest: Sandy's fight

Harbor Hospital closes temporarily, woman wonders if father received unsanitary treatment

Neighborhood in disbelief after store owner's murder

Nigerian witch doctor sentenced for drug violations

Port Neches officers catch burglary suspects in the act; recover stolen items

Alligator trainer recounts being bitten by gator

Beaumont Animal Services: view animals for adoption on website

AAA: Texas gas prices jump 7 cents in week; Golden Triangle lowest in Texas

Exxon's Q1 profits fall 46 percent amid oil price decline

Study says fewer families buying homes in U.S.

Baltimore -- Police turn over report to prosecutor

Experts have new treatment to fix blood flow problem in the womb

Governor re-appoints SRA manager to Texas State University Regents

Local Law Day to honor area students and legal leaders

Police give prosecutor report on Freddie Gray death

Regina Lindsey to become new President of Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce

New survey: Percentage of Texans without health insurance drops dramatically

Community reacts to store owner's death

Neighbors react to store owner's murder

Harbor Hospital in Beaumont closed following court injunction

Photo released of man who killed clerk in robbery today

Three indicted for the January murder of Lamar student

Texas A.G. says Gwen Ambres can legally run for Beaumont City Council

Police release name of west Beaumont store clerk owner and killed by robber

Lineman killed restoring power in Tyler County

Regional Visitors Center to celebrate National Tourism Week

Conspiracy worries prompts Texas troops to 'monitor' U.S. military training exercise

Texas lawmakers consider legalizing cannabidiol for epilepsy

James Ware reports live from the scene of convenience store clerk's murder in west Beaumont

West end store owner shot and killed during attempted robbery

Family survives brush with death

Southeast Texans examine damage from worst hailstorm here in more than 30 years

LU students from Nepal trying to help earthquake-ravaged region

Rebuilding trust after Baltimore riots is about more than black and white

NFL giving up tax free status; calls it distraction

Entergy beefs up power restoration team to 1,300 workers

Supreme Court hearing arguments over gay marriage

CrimeStoppers needs your help to solve auto burglaries

SE Texas storm victims now have to deal with damages

Nepal aid pouring in after earthquake

Nome issue Boil Water Notice

Texas House votes unanimously to trim sales tax

Texas asks Appeals Court to uphold Voter Id law

National Guard seeks to calm Baltimore

Jasper Sheriff releases top-ten-most-wanted list

Children survive close call when tree crashes into home

Texas teacher is National Teacher of the Year

Texas professor fails his entire class

Officers douse fires, assess damage following Baltimore rioting

Rioting prompts state of emergency in Baltimore

Daredevil to walk on top of 400-foot-high, spinning Ferris wheel

Power is restored to Jasper through Lake Rayburn Dam station

Services honor Judge Lupe Flores

P.A. woman sentenced to 40 years for murder of her husband

Families in southern Jasper County without power after strong winds

Child accidentally killed, community supports family

Stormy winds push train from Mississippi River bridge near New Orleans

Our sister station WBFF has in depth coverage of the Freddie Gray protests

Cock fighting ring busted in Southeast Texas

Jasper-Newton Electric Co-op restores power to 12,000

Extreme weather pummels North Texas

Occupants of vehicle rescued from Mill Creek waters

Entergy issues statement on power outages to 40,000 customers

Jasper-Newton Coop issues statement on major power outage

Caught On Video: Alligator bites trainer at Spring festival

Wind-whipped storms cause power outages, closures throughout SE Texas

School cancellation, delay update

Colmesneil ISD delays start of classes

Downed tree closed Highway 62 in Buna

Go Fund Me account set up for Saratoga child accidentally run over

Family and friends remember Judge Lupe Flores during a vigil

Jasper County Sheriff’s Office Top 10 Most Wanted

Early voting starts today (Monday)

Local student visits Haiti; helped Haitian children

Golfers play to support Beaumont police at 31st annual benefit tournament

Families in Hardin County pick up mess left behind after strong winds

Center in Crystal Beach opens as place for veterans to heal

Breaking News: Father accidently runs over his toddler

Possible medical emergency leads to fatal crash

Cooks Lake, Peck roads closed power lines down

Sterling family reacts to Crystal Boyett's sentencing

Murder conviction prompts sheriff and child advocates to speak up against child abuse

Fierce storm races across Jasper, Newton counties today

Breaking News: Jury decides on maximum 20 year sentence, $10,000 fine for Crystal Boyett

KFDM celebrates 60th anniversary

Louisiana troopers arrest Houston man with 11 kilos of cocaine

Flint Hills Resources Port Arthur contributes $10,000 to LSC-PA foundation

Beaumont police searching for attacker who may be targeting Hispanic victims

Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after government pushback

Second company recalls ice cream products because of Listeria

Future energy prices? Houston meet talks oil, gas, prices, power

Vigil lets crime victims know they're not alone

More than dozen injured in high school musical stage collapse

High Crime Neighborhoods: Which neighborhoods in Beaumont have the most arrests, how to make neighborhoods safer

Jury finds Crystal Boyett guilty of manslaughter with a deadly weapon

Beaumont man arrested for shooting a weapon at Roberts Park

Friends, co-workers remember Judge Flores

AAA: Texas gas price average jumps 8 cents in week

CPSO Dive Team to be certified for underwater investigations

OPD: Police fire shots at SUV after man drives toward officer

Crystal Boyett trial concludes day two of testimony

Obama says American, Italian hostages killed in counterterrorism operation

Report-- alarm broken for 13 months at former president's house

Grand jury indicts Beaumont man for shooting and killing wife

Suspected hit and run driver arrested after hitting 4-year-old; driver returned to scene

Alter's Jewelers debut eco-friendly diamond on Earth Day

Higher property taxes raise concerns on the Bolivar Peninsula

Help raise awareness for Southeast Texas nature treasure

TREK recalls over a million bikes

Fair Housing conference tomorrow in Port Arthur

Firefighters reschedule 'Fill the Boot'

Teen sentenced to 40 years for 2013 murder

Trial underway of woman accused of causing daughter's death

Crystal Boyett trial-Day 1 of testimony

USPS considering drone-launching mail truck

Court upholds Bartholomew Granger capital murder conviction

CSPS arrest man for carnal knowledge of juvenile

Friends remember Judge Lupe Flores' life and legacy

Blue Bell pulls all its products off shelves

BPD says it places empty patrol cars around city to make roads safer

CrimeStoppers needs your help to solve murder

You can win tickets to CHRISTUS LiveWell Conference

Jefferson County Judge Lupe Flores dies at 65

Hadnot sentenced to 87 months for drug trafficking

Texas Senate advances school voucher plan

DA: Boyett was traveling 157 mph

Blue Bell issues voluntary recall

Justice is Served Dinner for CASA is tonight

Kraft changing recipe for mac-and-cheese

Jury picked in Boyett trial

Reaction to Texas House passing open carry bill

Five years since Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Bill could bring casino to Pleasure Island

Port Arthur kicks off Fill the Boot for MDA

Houston area man in Newton jail on drug charges

Jasper man with child in vehicle evades Troopers

Groves Police arrest man for burglary of Church

Jury selection in Crystal Boyett trial

SE Texas, SW Louisiana join forces for coastal restoration

BISD board sets executive session for forensic audit update

Jasper County S.O. Missing Teen is back home

Utah woman to be sentenced in deaths of her 6 newborns

Watch local hail storm video

Two month old baby killed by family's pit bull

Online petition to stop Millet Harrison from being released from Rusk State Hospital

Beaumont police investigating shooting at apartment complex on Helbig

Stabbing near PA port raises questions about the area's safety

PAPD: man stabbed four times Sunday

Proposed bill aims to reduce beach litter, create jobs and more

Scores of residents turnout for Relay for Life event

Divison over housing complex in China

Beaumont Police investigate major accident

Greg Bostwick updates us on the severe weather coming tonight

Study shows teen e-cigarette use triples

Recent rains cause problems for farmers, DD6: 'Green Pond Gulley' could help

Kelly community hold workday to help others

Firefighters in Vidor battle home fire

Woman robbed at Lake Charles casino

Family of murder victim believes someone in neighborhood has answers

Man who fled police across 3 counties, jailed in La.

Acrobat takes terrifying fall in Houston

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Business News

International trade figures due from Commerce Department

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Among a host of economic reports due out later this morning is the Commerce Department's release of international trade data for April. The Institute for Supply Management will put out its service sector index for May a little later and in early afternoon the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book, a summary of economic conditions in the various states. In Frankfurt, Germany, the European Central Bank's governing council is set to meet to set monetary policy for the 19-nation Eurozone.

Consumer News

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News


NEW YORK (AP) -- If you're a little fuzzy about the plot points of "Entourage," Jeremy Piven says you can still enjoy the movie.

Get This


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Jailers in Oklahoma charge there was more than salvation in a Bible.

Science/Tech News


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Associated Press has learned the FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video or, at times, cellphone surveillance technology.


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