July 10, 2013
The recent loss of nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in the Yarnell Hill fire is a devastating loss for the entire state of Arizona. As we mourn this terrible tragedy, we are reminded of the substantial risks our first responders take and the courageous service they provide to our communities.
Please join the Law Offices of Michael Córdova in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the fallen firefighters and their community of Prescott, Arizona.
In the wake of this heartbreaking event, many are questioning how they can help. Below is a list of options for donating to the families of the firefighters who perished:
- The United Phoenix Firefighters Association, which donates 100% of proceeds to the families of the 19 firefighters. Donations can be made at Chase Bank to account #987218757
- American Red Cross– text REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation to be charged to your next wireless bill or visit www.redcross.org/donate
- Directly to the Yarnell Fallen Firefighters website at yarnellfallenfirefighers.com/to-donate/.
- United Way of Yavapai County’s Yarnell Fire Fund: donate in person at any National Bank of Arizona branch or online at www.unitedwayyavapai.org
- Arizona State Credit Union is accepting donations at all branches, and will match up to $20,000 of direct contributions
- The National Fallen Firefighter Foundation: www.regionline.com/yarnellhill
October 11, 2012
In Aurora, Colorado Ashley and her husband Andy Adams found out they would be having quadruplets in March which seemed like the biggest news they could possibly receive until further examinations showed Ashley had thyroid cancer. The cancer was in stage 1 and had spread to her lymph nodes.
They had been married for four years and decided to start a family. After unsuccessfully trying to conceive, Ashley underwent infertility treatments.
“When the doctors told us we were having quads, we were extremely terrified and ridiculously excited all at the same time,” said Andy.
Four months into Ashley’s pregnancy her doctors diagnosed her with thyroid cancer. It is not rare to diagnose cancer in pregnant women because that is normally the time they have their first broad health examinations done.
Multiple-birth pregnancies are often complicated, said Julie Scott, a high-risk obstetrician at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. Due to possible complications, Ashley decided to wait until after the babies were born to undergo cancer surgery. She delivered three girls and a boy on August 26.
A few weeks after Ashley gave birth she had her surgery. The surgery was a seven-hour procedure that included a thyroidectomy and lymph node removal.
Ashley and her family are now waiting for the test results to determine a treatment plan. She may need chemotherapy, iodine radiation or possibly both. After her cesarean section and cancer surgery, Ashley is now recovering and the quadruplet babies are developing healthy.
September 11, 2012
Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez, 28 years old, was on duty in Afghanistan on October of 2010 when he slipped down an embankment and landed on a buried bomb. He lost both legs and his right arm due to the explosion.
Dominguez spent months undergoing multiple surgeries and physical therapy sessions since October when the incident occurred. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and partner Gary Sinise Foundation are donating a new “smart home” to Dominguez and his wife to aid in his recovery.
“I consider this foundation like part of my family. They’ve taken great care of me, with no strings attached, and I couldn’t have asked for more,” Dominguez said.
The home is in Reserve at Paseo del Sol community in Temecula, California. It was specially built to help Dominguez lead an independent life. The home has shelves and kitchen cabinets that lower for easy access to items, an elevator, and doors that open as part of an electronic-sensor system run from an iPad.
“Our team has worked with our subcontractors and vendors to create an exceptional home for an extremely deserving American hero,” said manager for Standard Pacific Homes, Marty Langpap.
Dominguez is from New Mexico but chose to live in Temecula after he fell in love with the city during the many visits he had. It is close to San Diego where he receives his outpatient care. Temecula eagerly anticipated his transfer and welcomed him with American flags on the morning of his arrival. Temecula police and firefighters, representatives from the foundations, city officials, city residents and actor Gary Sinise were there to celebrate as Dominguez accepted his new house.
Ned Wallace, president of Wallace Air Cargo Group Inc., donated a whopping $450,000 for Dominguez’s $600,000 “smart home.” The rest of the money was raised through fundraisers which included a benefit concert starring Sinise and his band. The furnishings for the home were donated by Shubert Design Furniture in St. Louis.
August 14, 2012
Scientists at the Florida Museum of Natural History examined a 164.5-pound, 17.5-foot pregnant Burmese python carcass on Friday after it was brought there from the Everglades National Park. They found a record of 87 eggs inside the python which gave them important clues about the reproductive capability of the species. Scientists say exploring the snake’s biology is essential in understanding how to stop the python’s spread around the world.
“I think one of the important facts about this animal is its reproductive capability. There are not many records of how many eggs a large female snake carries in the wild. This shows they’re a really reproductive animal, which aids in their invasiveness,” said park wildlife biologist Skip Snow.
Everglades National Park and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are working with other agencies on the Burmese python problem. The Burmese python is a non-native but established species in Florida that is one of the deadliest, most competitive predators in the southern part of the state, according to the university. The snakes have no known predator and population range from the thousands to hundreds of thousands. The Burmese python was first found in the Everglades in 1979 yet it is native to Southeast Asia.
State laws prohibit people from owning Burmese pythons as pets or taking them across state lines without a federal permit. Florida has the world’s most awful problem with amphibians and invasive reptiles, the university said. The journal Zootaxa, Krysko published a study last year which found that 137 non-native species were introduced to Florida between 1863 and 2010. Pet trade was determined as the number one cause.
July 20, 2012
In Aurora, Colorado citizens were at a theater for the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” movie when a greatly armed gunman attacked. He tossed tear gas at the audience before opening fire on them, killing 12 and wounding 38, authorities said.
Batman fans waited for the movie to begin in the darkened theater when all of a sudden the shooting began. Chaos broke out as the black clad gunman who wore a gas mask randomly shot at the screaming moviegoers as he walked up the theater’s steps, said witnesses.
The gunman had gone to the back door of the theater and tossed a canister in before starting the shooting, according to federal law enforcement. A few people in the audience thought the thick smoke and gunfire were a special effect accompanying the movie. The smoke smelled like a Fourth of July firework, said reporter Adam Witt. After a few gunshots he figured out what was really going on.
“I hit the floor and hid behind the seats in front of me, pulling my wife down to hide with me,” Witt said. “It was the longest minute of my life. The gunshots just kept coming. I knew it could be over any second. I knew my wife could be gone any second. It was absolutely surreal. I felt something hit my left arm and my first thought was, ‘At least it’s just my arm.’”
Witt and his wife got up and began to run. He said he held his wife’s hand as they rushed out of the theater. “There was a moment where I lost her hand, but I grabbed her shirt,” he said. “We didn’t let go of each other.”
As police officers swarmed the theater they encountered bloody victims rushing out. Other victims remained inside with gruesome injuries according to the emergency calls with dispatchers.
Police officers rushed many of the wounded victims to hospitals in their patrol cars. Police first said 14 people had died but changed the death toll to 12 later Friday morning, according to Aurora Police Lt. Jad Lanigan. Several people remained in critical condition at the hospitals. The victims being treated ranged from a 3 month old to a 45 year old, the hospital said.
“I don’t know how else to explain it, it’s horrific,” said Tracy Lauzon, director of EMS and trauma services at Aurora Medical Center.
The shooter was identified by two federal law enforcement officers as 24 year old James Holmes from Aurora. Holmes had tear gas, an “AK type” rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, said a federal law enforcement official.
Police arrested Holmes shortly after the shooting had ended in the parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman said. “He did not resist. He did not put up a fight,” he said.
The perpetrator is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, although no formal charges have been filed yet, according to the Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator.
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