JetBlue founder unveils Utah-based Breeze Aviation
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS (AP) — An air travel entrepreneur has introduced a new Utah-based airline carrier 20 years after launching JetBlue.
Utah native David Neeleman unveiled the official name of his fifth carrier startup Breeze Aviation on Friday, the Deseret News reported. He previously launched Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue and Azul.
Southwest acquired Morris Air in 1993, while WestJet and Azul are top-five carriers in Canada and Brazil, respectively, officials said.
“I never started an airline just to start an airline,” Neeleman said. “Right now, we see some pretty gaping holes in the industry.”
Neeleman has not yet announced potential routes for the carrier, but has said he plans to identify and leverage nonstop flights between currently underserved airports.
Neeleman’s approach is to prioritize a customer-centric system by taking methods from Uber and Amazon and launching an app-based toolkit that would allow passengers to find tickets, change or update travel plans, and add other travel necessities such as car rentals and accommodations, he said.
“The goal is to have our customers ... never having to speak with anybody, if they don’t want to,” Neeleman said. “Add a car, add a hotel, cancel a flight, make changes, it will all be there at your fingertips. Completely hassle-free flying.”
Rescues by chopper, front loader as flood hits northwest US
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Residents in the foothills of the towering Blue Mountains in rural northeast Oregon were plucked from their flooded homes by helicopter and others rode to safety in the bucket of a front-end loader as relentless rain and melting snow pushed multiple rivers over their banks.
An earlier heavy snowfall in the mountains combined with two days of steady rain and warming temperatures to unleash floodwaters on the city of Pendleton and rural, mountain foothill communities to its east late Thursday and Friday. The Umatilla River crested just before 10 p.m. Thursday at more than 19 feet, nearly four times the average height for that date. Rivers all around the region overran their banks, setting records as they went.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Umatilla, Wallowa and Union counties late Friday to help communities deal with the severe flooding. The declaration means Oregon can mobilize the National Guard if needed.
Authorities were still conducting search and rescue operations Friday with two helicopters, trying to reach residents still boxed in by high water in rural communities like Gibbon and Bingham Springs. They also described a chaotic scene from late Thursday, when rescue personal had to improvise to get the last few residents out of a rapidly flooding area of Pendleton using heavy machinery usually used for road maintenance.
“The last few residents that we evacuated, we used a front-end loader and put them in the bucket. The current was pretty heavy, and there were a lot of obstructions underwater,” Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts said. “It was difficult to navigate.”
ICE faces suit over treatment of 5-year-old with head injury
HOUSTON (AP) — The mother of a 5-year-old Guatemalan boy sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the medical care he has received in detention for a head injury suffered before the family was arrested.
The lawsuit filed late Friday in California asks a judge to order the child to be taken to a pediatric neurologist or pediatric neurosurgeon. It also seeks to prevent ICE from trying to immediately deport the family.
The boy fell out of a shopping cart in December, fractured his skull and suffered bleeding around his brain. About a month later, he and his family were detained by ICE during what they thought was a routine check-in. The boy, his 1-year-old brother and their mother were taken to ICE’s family detention center at Dilley, Texas, while their father was taken to a detention center in California.
The child’s relatives and advocates allege that ICE is not properly treating symptoms caused by the accident that began before he was detained. The boy has severe headaches and is hypersensitive to normal levels of sound, according to his aunt and Dr. Amy Cohen, an advocate working with the family. He is also starting to wet himself, according to his aunt. They allege the boy’s mother has pleaded for medical care, but has been disregarded.
ICE has defended the care the boy has received at Dilley. The agency says medical staff at the detention center conducted multiple check-ups and found no lasting neurological issues. After The Associated Press first inquired about the case on Monday, ICE took the boy to the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he was found to have a normal MRI and no signs of continued bleeding in his skull.
The boy was not seen at the hospital by a pediatric neurologist, according to medical records obtained by his family’s attorneys. According to the records, hospital doctors consulted the neurosurgery department and determined that no follow-up was necessary because the MRI was clear.
Cohen said the boy had an appointment to see a neurologist before the family was detained by ICE. The symptoms his family reported began before their detention and could be caused by a head injury even if the initial bleeding is gone, meaning that an MRI would not be enough, she said.