AccuWeather’s early prediction for the 2019 hurricane season is in

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — AccuWeather issued one of the first predictions for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season Wednesday, with a forecast that calls for five to seven hurricanes.

That number of storms would represent a slight decline from last year, which produced eight hurricanes, including Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle at devastating Category 4 strength.

The weather forecasting company called for a near-normal or slightly above normal number of storms for the season, with runs June 1 to Nov. 30. But even an average or below-average season can produce a catastrophic storm. Forecasters are fond of pointing out that the “quiet” hurricane season of 1992 produced Hurricane Andrew.

“We think this year will be not quite as active as last year,” said Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist. “But it only takes one hurricane to completely devastate an area.”

The company predicted two to four of the hurricanes would reach Category 3, or major hurricane, strength, which means wind speeds of at least 111 mph.

The company also predicted the season would see 12 to 15 tropical storms, down from 15 last year. A tropical storm, which has structure similar to that of hurricanes, with winds rotating around an area of low pressure, produces winds of 39 to 73 mph. The next step up is a Category 1 hurricane.

— Sun Sentinel

Good Samaritan was carjacked by the motorist he pulled over to help on I-26, SC cops say

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — A good Samaritan who pulled over to help after an apparent car crash on Interstate 26 was instead carjacked by the man he was trying to help, according to Lexington County deputies.

Mikel Edison King, 36, of Blythewood, is charged with carjacking, and deputies expect additional charges, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

“Based on what deputies determined at the crash scene and during interviews with the victim, King carjacked a man near an overturned vehicle at mile marker 91 on I-26,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in a release. “The man stopped to see if King needed help. King acted as though he had a gun and forced the victim drive him to the Newberry County line.”

After dropping King off, the victim drove back to Lexington County to notify authorities, Koon said. Newberry County deputies found King a short time later and arrested him. He remains in the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Carjacking is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison, under South Carolina law.

— The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Marjory Stoneman Douglas students walk out to protest lack of mental health resources

MIAMI — Some students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walked out of school Wednesday to protest insufficient mental health resources on campus following two Parkland shooting survivors’ suicides last month.

The Miami Herald’s news partner CBS 4 Miami reports that the walkout happened around 11 a.m. and took about 15 minutes as Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies blocked traffic. At least one student complained that the resources provided at the school are not enough for students needing help.

Within one week, a Parkland sophomore and the best friend of a Stoneman Douglas school shooting victim took their lives, new blows to a community still suffering from the shooting that left 17 dead on Valentine’s Day last year.

Stoneman Douglas sophomore and gun control activist Lauren Hogg tweeted about her dismay Wednesday morning.

“I’m just gonna put this out there- Giving kids bananas and asking them not to kill themselves without actually talking about mental health is NOT the mental health support we need at school,” she wrote.

Hogg subsequently tweeted a photo of mandarin oranges, bananas and granola bars in front of a banner that read “Be Passionate Be Strong Remember You Are Loved Be Proud To Be An Eagle.”

CBS 4 Miami also reported that Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie held a meeting at 1 p.m. updating the community on available mental health resources and support, including the 211 helpline and Eagles’ Haven Wellness Center.

— Miami Herald

Baby born inside California McDonald’s

FRESNO, Calif. — A woman gave birth to a baby at a McDonald’s restaurant in Madera, Calif., police say.

It happened Monday night when the woman went into labor in the lobby, according to a Madera police Facebook post.

When officers and paramedics from Pistoresi Ambulance arrived, they realized there was no time to transport the mom.

So they helped deliver the baby at the fast food restaurant, ushering into the world a healthy baby boy.

The woman and baby were then taken to the hospital, where they are doing well, police said.

“It’s not everyday you get to help deliver a new born baby at McDonald’s,” the post read.

As unique as the situation may seem, this isn’t the first time a baby has been born at a McDonald’s.

In fact, a baby was born in late March inside a McDonald’s restroom stall in Illinois.

— The Fresno Bee