PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff's deputy and a motorist are lucky to be alive after they were sucked into a flooded storm drain during a torrential downpour, then dragged underwater for around 30 seconds before emerging — soaked but unharmed — on the other side of a highway.

Deputy William Hollingsworth was helping stranded drivers amid the rapidly rising water early Friday when he saw the motorist disappear beneath the surface. Hollingsworth "rushed to his aid without regard to his own safety," Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons told reporters.
The pair traveled nearly 100 feet (30 meters) under four lanes of Highway 98, Simmons said. The episode was recorded by the deputy's body camera — although the underwater portion of the video is completely dark, filled only with the muffled sounds of rushing water.
After emerging on the other side, Hollingsworth calls out to the driver while wading toward him, shouting "Buddy I got you! Oh Jesus!" Red and blue lights from his police cruiser reflect off the pitch-black water. The motorist, who wasn't identified by name, yells, "I almost died."
The two hold onto each other as they head back across the road, still in disbelief.
"I've never held my breath like that in my life," the deputy says. "Me neither," the motorist agrees.
Other law enforcement officers arrive and the pair recounts their experience.
"Thank you man, for like, being there when I came out," the driver tells Hollingsworth. "When I came out, you were right behind me."
Later, sitting in a law enforcement vehicle, the driver gives the deputy a firm handshake.
"Me and you, man!" he says, "That's an experience for life and I appreciate you."
ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Dana Dolan was driving through her small Nevada hometown when she thought she had come upon a gory crash. The ground surrounding Elko's stretch of Interstate 80 looked as if it had been covered in blood. As the red color shifted and moved, she realized instead it was an infiltration of crickets, some bigger than her thumb.
"It's almost like a biblical plague," Dolan told The Associated Press last week, laughing at the absurdity of the situation that is playing out in Elko, where she's lived for six years.
Tens of thousands of Mormon cricket eggs buried about an inch deep in the soil began to hatch in late May and early June. For weeks, the red critters have been invading swaths of northern Nevada and causing chaos, said the state's longtime entomologist Jeff Knight.
The invasion of the cannibalistic crickets has hit especially hard in Elko, a small town of about 20,000 near Idaho and Utah known for its gold mining.
The big red bugs leave behind a stench so horrible, akin to burning flesh, that it forces residents to plug their noses while driving. The critters stick to tires and the bottoms of shoes, and their carcasses are everywhere, even in gyms. When they move, it sounds like rain, Dolan says.
Residents and workers have tried to use brooms, leaf blowers, pressure washers and snow plows to get rid of the crickets, only for them to return. State officials have erected signs throughout Elko County warning drivers of slick highways, a popular hangout spot for insects that won't think twice about eating their dead friends.
The red creatures blanket highways and scuttle over barriers, seeking food. They crackle and pop under the wheels of trucks, creating something like an oil slick, said Jeremiah Moore of Spring Creek, whose vehicle slid off the road after a highway encounter with the Mormon crickets.
"I ... was coming home and as I came around the corner, I came around a little too fast and I about ended up in the ditch full of water," Moore said. "It was pretty intense."
One hospital even hired four temporary, part-time employees whose main duty was to clear the campus of the crickets long enough for patients to enter the building. The group called itself the Cricket Patrol.
"We're just trying to keep them moving on their way," said Steve Burrows, a spokesperson for Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital.
When the Cricket Patrol wasn't on duty, Burrows said, other hospital employees stepped in.
There was the medical worker in the cardiology unit who, still in his black scrubs, went outside the hospital's ambulance bay between seeing patients to swat crickets away with a broom, Burrows said. And the IT specialists who helped with clean-up efforts.
Outbreaks of Mormon crickets, which are native to the Great Basin and Intermountain West, have been recorded throughout history across the west — from Nevada and Montana to Idaho, Utah and Oregon. There are records of infestations dating to the 1930s, according to entomologist Knight.
Legend has it the insects got their name when they started devastating crops planted by Mormon settlers who had moved into the Salt Lake valley in Utah, Knight said.
"The settlers prayed for relief," Knight said. "That came in the form of seagulls. Seagulls ate the crickets...That's also why they're the state bird of Utah."
In Oregon, state lawmakers in recent years have allocated millions of dollars to assess the problem and set up a Mormon cricket and grasshopper "suppression" program.
The Mormon cricket is not a true cricket but a shield-backed katydid. They are flightless but travel together in "bands" that can range in size from 5 acres (2 hectares) acres to hundreds of acres, Knight said.
Yet the invasion in Elko this year isn't unprecedented for its size but for its timing.
The crickets hatched far later than their usual springtime birth, delayed by an especially wet spring and snow-packed winter in northern Nevada, Knight said.
Each spring — or summer, in this case — the crickets born that year will mate and lay a new generation of eggs in the soil. Those eggs are meant to hatch the following spring, but some will lay dormant in the soil for up to 11 years, Knight said. Eggs can accumulate in the dirt for years until a drought comes along, triggering the sleepy eggs to hatch all at once. And then the cycle repeats.
In his nearly 40 years working for the Nevada Department of Agriculture — 32 of those as the state entomologist — Knight said he can recall four invasions. The infestation in the early 2000s "was most impressive in my mind, looking at the overall scope," he said.
Knight remembers one time driving from Reno to Utah on Interstate 80 and being surrounded by a swarm of red nearly the entire drive.
"Then we can go almost 10, 15 years without hardly seeing any," Knight said of the crickets. "From about 2008, we hardly had any crickets, until about 2019. "
Elko's new red residents won't be moving out until at least mid-August, much to everyone's despair.
But where do the crickets go when they leave?
They die, Knight said. The male crickets after they mate. The female crickets after laying their eggs.
SACRAMENTO – Federal wage and hour investigators have seen corrupt employers try all kinds of scams to shortchange workers and to intimidate or retaliate against employees but a northern California restaurant's attempt to use an alleged priest to get employees to admit workplace "sins" may be among the most shameless.
During litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor in federal court, an employee of Che Garibaldi Inc., operator of Taqueria Garibaldi, testified that the restaurant offered employees a person identified as a priest to hear confessions during work hours. The employee told the court the priest urged workers to "get the sins out," and asked employees if they had stolen from the employer, been late for work, had done anything to harm their employer, or if they had bad intentions toward their employer.
Ultimately, the employer agreed to a consent judgment, and Judge William B. Shubb in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ordered Che Garibaldi and owners and operators Eduardo Hernandez, Hector Manual Martinez Galindo and Alejandro Rodriguez to pay $140,000 in back wages and damages to 35 employees. Che Garibaldi Inc. operates two Taqueria Garibaldi restaurants in Sacramento and one in Roseville.
The court's May 8, 2023, action follows an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division that found Taqueria Garibaldi denied employees overtime pay for hours over 40 in a workweek, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. They also learned the employer paid managers from the employee tip pool illegally, threatened employees with retaliation and adverse immigration consequences for cooperating with the department, and fired one worker who they believed had complained to the department.
"Under oath, an employee of Taqueria Garibaldi explained how the restaurant offered a supposed priest to hear their workplace 'sins' while other employees reported that a manager falsely claimed that immigration issues would be raised by the department's investigation," said Regional Solicitor of Labor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco. "This employer's despicable attempts to retaliate against employees were intended to silence workers, obstruct an investigation and prevent the recovery of unpaid wages."
In addition to aiding the recovery of $70,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, the judge ordered the restaurant and its owners to pay the department $5,000 in civil money penalties due to the willful nature of their violations.
"The U.S. Department of Labor and its Solicitor's Office will not tolerate workplace retaliation and will act swiftly to make clear that immigration status has no bearing on workers' rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act," Pilotin added.
The court also ordered the defendants permanently forbidden from FLSA violations. Specifically, the court ordered Taqueria Garibaldi not to take any action to stop employees from asserting their rights, interfere with any department investigation, or terminate, threaten or discriminate against any employee perceived to have spoken with investigators.
The division's Sacramento District Office conducted the investigation. The department's Regional Solicitor's Office in San Francisco litigated the case.
A family of poppy farmers in Slovakia has been having trouble getting rid of hundreds of swans that have become addicted to poppy seeds and sometimes even overdose on them.
Poppy farmers near the Slovakian town of Komarno first reported the presence of swans in their fields back in February. It is believed that they were originally attracted by the large puddles of water that formed in the area, but after pecking at the flowers all day, many of them became addicted to the opium-containing seeds and refused to leave. Back in May, Slovakian media reported that around 200 swans had made a poppy field near Komarno their home, causing around €10,000 in damages to the flowers and getting so high on the natural narcotic that many of them couldn't even fly anymore.
"They came gradually. We counted more than 200 swans here," farmer Balints Pam told reporters, adding that in all his years planting poppies, he had never seen anything like it.
Swans are usually crazy about rapeseed, and farmers believe that they confused the poppies with their preferred delicacy, which not only made them addicted, but caused serious health issues. Apparently, because the large water birds have an insatiable appetite, several dozen of them have already overdosed on poppy seeds, while many others lost their capacity for flight, making them easy targets for predators.
After suffering serious damage to their crops, poppy fields have been trying to get rid of the swans for a while now, but the addicted birds refuse to relocate. Because swans have a protected status in Slovakia, farmers are not allowed to hunt or even disturb the birds, even if they are on their property.
"In preparation for next season, the farmer should apply for an exception to be allowed to scare away the protected birds. The swans that are already there can only be scared away with bare hands. At the moment, nothing else can be done," said Jans Kalavskis, representative of the Slovak State Nature Protection Service.
Animal lovers and volunteers from groups like the Slovak Environmental Protection Agency have been trying to relocate the opium-addicted swans, in an effort to wean them off of poppy seeds, but experts are concerned that they might return to the fields as soon as they have the chance.
A few years back, we also wrote about opium-addicted parrots causing havoc on Indian poppy farms.
PROVO, Utah — Multiple lanes in both directions on I-15 in Provo were closed Sunday temporarily due to a semi-truck crash.
Utah Highway Patrol officials said the semitrailer overturned near 1460 North (between Orem University Parkway and Provo Center Street exits).
The truck was hauling a load of french fries and the driver suffered only minor injuries, UHP said.
Traffic cameras from the Utah Department of Transportation showed the wreckage of the trailer wrapped around a light pole in the freeway median. Debris from the trailer was also seen scattered along both sides of the freeway.
UHP troopers and fire engines blocked off the four leftmost lanes on the southbound side, as well as two northbound lanes.
A "Bobcat"-style skid loader was brought in to shovel the spilled fries off the northbound lanes, then piled up and hauled away.
By around 7:15 p.m., all northbound lanes except for the carpool/HOV lane were back open. Southbound, however, was still largely congested until about 9:45 p.m.
To begin the work week Monday morning, lanes were clear of the french fries and traffic resumed normally.
Boston police were investigating the fraudulent enrollment of an adult woman who used falsified identification and paperwork to register as a high school student over the academic year, according to a letter from the Boston Public Schools superintendent obtained by 5 Investigates.
According to the letter, at various points during the 2022-2023 school year, she attended Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Brighton High School and English High School, utilizing the student transfer process and enrolling under multiple pseudonyms.
The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families said the woman is a former employee for the state agency.
Sources tell 5 Investigates she is 32 years old and was hired as a social worker by DCF from 2016-2017, during parts of 2018 and from December 2021 through February 2023.
"The Department of Children and Families received a report and is investigating," a written statement from DCF said Tuesday evening. "(The worker) is no longer employed by DCF as of February 2023."
The school district says a Boston Public Schools staff member noticed irregularities in the paperwork on file and reported it to district leadership, who contacted Boston police.
A Boston police report says red flags were raised by administrators at English High School on June 14.
According to the report, a man who was not identified went to the school and told administrators that he would be withdrawing his daughter because of the bullying she was allegedly receiving.
The police report said school officials found the decision odd since the woman was enrolled at the school less than a week earlier.
"Concerned that there may be some sort of custodial issue with the parents, the school began to ask from the district all of the enrollment paperwork," the police report said. "It was when looking through the paperwork that a school administrator had noticed that one of the forms submitted for enrollment was not right."
"While the investigation is in its early stages and remains ongoing, school officials have not identified any incidents of harm to students or staff," the letter obtained by 5 Investigates says. "At this time, families of students who may have interacted with this individual are being contacted directly by school staff and investigators."
Police said the person has been discharged and ordered to stay away from Boston Public Schools facilities.
"I am deeply troubled that an adult would breach the trust of our school communities by posing as a student," Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a written statement. "This appears to be a case of extremely sophisticated fraud. As soon as BPS personnel identified irregularities with the student's enrollment, the case was referred to the Boston Police who are now undertaking a criminal investigation."
5 Investigates spoke with the woman's father, who said she was in need of mental health help and is receiving treatment now.