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New Orleans pulls 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from storm drains

Reuters

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The colorful beaded necklaces that are a signature of New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebration have left the city known as “The Big Easy” with a big mess.

New Orleans city officials said on Thursday that more than 46 tons – or 93,000 pounds – of Carnival beads were among 7.2 million pounds of trash pulled from clogged catch basins along a five-block stretch of a downtown parade route, the Times-Picayune newspaper reported.

“Once you hear a number like that, there’s no going back,” Dani Galloway, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Works, said during a news conference on Thursday. “So we’ve got to do better.”

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

A representative from the city’s public works department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The removal was part of a four-month project in response to heavy flooding in the city in August, the newspaper reported. The effectiveness of the city’s drainage systems came under fire after an Aug. 5 storm dumped up to 6 inches (15 cm) of rain, causing street flooding and underpasses to fill up.

The clean-up effort between late September and late January cleared about 15,000 of the city’s estimated 68,000 storm drains, the newspaper reported. The Mardi Gras beads were found along the St. Charles Avenue parade route.

Mardi Gras is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, a period of reflection and abstinence on the Catholic calendar.

By tradition, Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day that calls for excessive partying in preparation for the somber season of sacrifice to follow.

Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 13 this year.

Partygoers are known to wear and toss beads – known as “throws” in New Orleans – from the streets and balconies in the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and other areas where partiers jostle through crowds.

At the news conference, Galloway asked residents to help clear catch basins and said the department was considering preventative methods, such as temporarily installing “gutter buddies” to keep the carnival beads from rolling down the drain.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; editing by Colleen Jenkins and G Crosse)

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Omarosa Is Convinced She Knows Who Wrote that Anonymous New York Times Op-Ed

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The former White House aide said she dug through her emails and she got herself some clues.

The Late Show host Seth Meyers might have said it best: So after Trump’s public praise of Vladimir Putin, his attorney general’s meetings with Russians, his campaign chairman’s money laundering, his deputy campaign chairman’s tax fraud, his personal fixer’s secret shell company, his national security adviser’s lies to the FBI, his son’s attempt to get dirt from a foreign adversary and son-in-law’s secret back channels with that adversary, the person who could end up taking down the president of the United States is Omarosa.

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Omarosa is still making her press rounds to promote her book about her time in the White House. But aside from exclusive tapes questioning POTUS’s mental health, she’s now weighing in on that New York Times Op-Ed everyone’s talking about, where a senior official in the Trump administration anonymously claimed to be part of the resistance from within.

“I took some time and went back and looked through all of my emails, particularly emails out of the vice president’s office, because the first time I read the op-ed, it just seemed kind of familiar to me,” Manigault Newman told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “After looking at memos and correspondence from the vice president’s office, I’m pretty convinced that it came from that way. Not just because of the term ‘lodestar,’ but because of the style and tone of it.”

The person she said she narrowed it down to as a likely suspect was Nick Ayers, a political strategist who has served as Pence’s chief of staff since July 2017, is one of the vice president’s most trusted aides.

Trump said last week that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the essay, declaring it a breach of “national security.” Shortly after the piece was published, the president also raged on Twitter, likening the story to treason.

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18-Year-Old Solves Six Rubik’s Cubes Underwater in Single Breath

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Here’s one dude who’s unlikely to find trouble updating his Instagram bio.

Vado Marchelashvili, from the country Georgia, went underwater for one minute and 44 seconds and did something few can do above water with triple the time span. He solved six Rubik’s Cubes in one breath in an attempt to break a world record.

Officials with the Georgian Records Federation observed the teen as he attempted to break the now previous record-holder Anthony Brooks, who in 2014 solved five Rubik’s Cubes in a single breath, setting the world record at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

To prepare for the event, the teen said he trained several hours a day for six months. “I trained a lot planning to break a record — and to ensure my safety, because even a small mistake could be dangerous and life-altering,” he said following the event, Reuters reports.

“I think my result will stay as a record for a long time,” he added. “I hope to break many other records.”

One thing’s for sure: I won’t be the guy attempting to break that record.

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Drunk Dude Accidentally Takes 300 Mile Uber Ride

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Suddenly, I’m not as upset about my last drunk text.

Kenneth Bachman made it home to Sewell, New Jersey safely after a night of drinking his face off at a party earlier this year, thanks to a sober Uber driver. Thank God for Uber, right? But, once Kenneth made it home, the price tag of the blurry trip became clear: $1,635.93. Now’s probably a good time to mention the party he left was in Morgantown, West Virginia.

He explained to a Philly TV station he had been out with buddies near the campus of West Virginia University when he said he wanted to call it a night, so he ordered an Uber ride, which he didn’t quite recall doing, and then fell asleep.

“We went to a frat party and then went to the bar. I was getting drinks all night; I probably spent like $200 at the bar after already drinking all day,” said Kenneth. “Basically, I kinda just blacked out. The last thing I remember was being at the bar and then I just woke up in the Uber next to an older dude telling me I was an hour out from Jersey.”

Moral of the story? People in West Virginia party like fucking rockstars.

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