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Heavy rain and gusting winds were expected to continue to pummel the northern Gulf Coast as the storm moved from Louisiana across Mississippi and Alabama.
Tropical storm warnings remained in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida as of Saturday afternoon.
Tropical storm watches were also issued from Cape Fear to Duck, N.C., and in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, according to the National Weather Service.
From there, the storm is expected to turn northeast and weaken into a tropical depression Sunday before regaining strength over the Carolinas late Sunday night or early Monday   morning.

Claudette also spawned a suspected tornado that slammed through at least 50 homes in Alabama just north of the Florida border, flattening a mobile home park, tossing trees through homes and even blew the roof off of a high school gym.
There were no early reports of serious injuries or deaths.
In Florida, whipping winds knocked over an 18-wheeler, which slide through multiple utility poles and caused one to slam into an SUV – and another possible tornado ripped the roofs off of two houses.
Louisiana and Mississippi saw flash flooding and heavy rains.

The National Hurricane Center declared Claudette a named storm at 4 a.m. Saturday, after the storm made landfall southwest of New Orleans. By Saturday afternoon, it was 80 miles north-northwest of Mobile, Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was moving north-northeast at 14 mph. Most of the heavy weather was happening far to the north and east of the center.
At 7:50 a.m. ET, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that that the third named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season had shifted “Inland Over Southeastern Louisiana.”
NATIONAL WEATHER FORECAST: HEAT CONTINUES TO THREATEN WEST, TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS ISSUED FOR GULF COAST
“Heavy Rains and Tropical-Storm-Force Winds Continue Along Portions of the u66

“A turn toward the northeast is expected later today, followed by a motion toward the east-northeast tonight or Sunday. On the forecast track, the system should move farther inland over Louisiana during the next few hours, move across portions of the southeastern states later today and on Sunday, and then over the western Atlantic Ocean on Monday,” the agency explained.
Maximum sustained winds for Claudette reportedly remain at around 45 mph with higher gusts and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles east from the center. 

The NHC noted that a National Ocean Service station on Petit Bois Island, Miss. had recently recorded maximum winds of 39 mph with a gust to 46 mph.

The NHC said Claudette is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Saturday night, become a post-tropical cyclone on Sunday and re-develop as a tropical storm over the western Atlantic Ocean on Monday.
Nevertheless, the storm was expected to produce heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding across coastal Mississippi and Alabama, and the far western Florida Panhandle through the afternoon.
Considerable flash, urban and small stream flooding impacts – in addition to “new and renewed minor to isolated moderate river flooding” – were also anticipated to continue throughout the weekend along the Gulf Coast, with flood impacts spreading northeastward into the interior Southeast.

Flooding had already begun on Friday night, with local media reporting high water over roads, stranded vehicles and water rescues; flood warnings and watches were in effect in addition to a widespread tropical storm warning.
“Tropical storm conditions are occurring along portions of the central Gulf Coast from east of Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton County line, Florida, including New Orleans. These winds will spread inland and continue through this afternoon,” the NHC warned in a Twitter post.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the areas east of Morgan City to the Okaloosa/Walton County line, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans.
Claudette is expected to produce rainfall totals of five to ten inches and isolated areas of 15 inches across areas in the central Gulf Coast.

By Friday, up to four inches of rain per hour was falling on parts of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.
 
Additionally, the NHC said a few tornadoes were possible Saturday across southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, the western Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia and tornado warnings were widely issued.

All of this comes as the Southwest and western U.S. has been impacted by a sweltering and relentless heatwave and as Mexico was threatened by Tropical Storm Dolores, which was expected to make landfall on its west-central coast Saturday night.

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California Restaurant, Fed Up With Restrictions, Encourages ‘Unvaccinated’ Customers Only

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Arestaurant in California that has been defiant against COVID-19 restrictions for months is now displaying signs encouraging its customers to show “proof of unvaccination.”

Basilico’s Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach has frequently rebuffed coronavirus lockdowns and mandates, often going against the state’s suggestions to provide safety measures to slow the spread of the virus.

In December, it refused to shut down during a lockdown order initiated by Governor Gavin Newsom. Then, when officials issued several orders for establishments to mandate face coverings, the Orange County restaurant declared itself a mask-free zone and required that diners remove them before entering.

Now, Basilico’s Pasta e Vino is displaying multiple signs on its door encouraging its customers to be “unvaccinated.”

“More American counties, cities, and businesses doubling down on anti-American lockdown mandates? Well ‘Basilico’s Pasta e Vino’ just tripled down: From day one, never complied, banned masks, and now … requiring proof of being Un-vaccinated!,” the restaurant wrote in a social media post.

The signs on display read “Notice: proof of being UNvaccinated required,” with a message underneath stating, “We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity. Thank you for pondering.

“Though the signs suggests that proof is required to enter the building, an employee of the restaurant told the Los Angeles Times that they are not actually checking patrons for information regarding their vaccine status.Nonetheless, restaurant owner Tony Roman said the message represents another “missile of defiance.”

“With warning signs of another impending lockdown, and many business owners again emboldening those who I refer to as ‘the lockdown tiny tyrants’—this time by imposing proof-of-vaccination policies—we chose to fire another missile of defiance to further make our point in defense of American liberty and freedom,” Roman said, according to The Times.

The restaurant has been hit with more than $152,000 in fines from the state Division of Occupational Health and Safety (Cal/OSHA) for violating COVID-19 safety precautions, according to The Times.But in a video posted to the restaurant’s Instagram in July, Roman said that he does not intend to pay the fines to the “American traitors at OSHA.”

Basilico’s latest action comes amid a startling rise in COVID-19 cases across the state. In the past week, California has reported an average of nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases a day, more than four times the number from a month ago, according to data compiled by The Times.

As the virus continues to spread, largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant, one-third of California counties have begun encouraging even fully vaccinated people to wear face coverings indoors.In San Mateo, where nearly 90 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, officials reinstated a mask mandate on Monday “out of an abundance of caution.”The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a mask mandate for all public school students in early July that opposes July 9 guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating that vaccinated students could remain unmasked during in-person classes.On Monday, Newsom said that 75 percent of California’s eligible population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 77 percent of the adult population have done the same.”Get vaccinated. Protect yourself. Protect your loved ones,” Newsom tweeted.

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Larry Elder Wins in Court: California Must Put Him on Recall Ballot

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Conservative talk show host Larry Elder won his court challenge Wednesday to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who must place him on the list of candidates in the Sep. 14 election to recall incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

As Breitbart News reported Tuesday, Elder’s campaign sued the Secretary of State after she excluded him from the list of 41 candidates to replace Newsom, if a majority of voters choose to recall him. The reason given was that Elder allegedly failed to file complete tax returns. Elder’s campaign denied that accusation, noting that he had turned in five years of tax returns on time, and also arguing that the law requiring candidates to submit tax returns did not apply to recalls anyway.

Elder also noted the Secretary of State had exempted Newsom from the requirement, saying he was not a “candidate.”

Judge Laurie Earl agreed with the latter point: “Preliminarily … I am not convinced that Election Code section 8902 applies to recall election, and if it did, I am of the opinion, I am inclined to find that Mr. Elder substantially complied.”

After lawyers for all parties had a change to present their case, Earl made her ruling final:

I don’t find that the recall election is a direct primary election ballot … By reaching that finding, I don’t find that Mr. Elder was required to file tax returns at all … I would grant the petition, and issue a peremptory and writ of mandate, directing the respondent, and all persons under her control, to file Mr. Elder’s nomination documents … qualifying him as a candidate and place his name and ballot designation on the ballot, and any sample ballot and voter pamphlet for a candidate for Governor of the State of California in the September 14th recall election.

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She also required the Secretary of State to include Elder’s statement of qualifications to be included in the voter pamphlet.

She ruled that while she did not need to order Weber to review Elder’s tax returns, the Secretary of State could give him the opportunity to file supplemental tax returns if necessary.

If Democrats hoped to keep Elder — a charismatic black conservative with a devoted popular following — off the ballot, the move may have backfired, as he has scored an important victory against the Democrat-run state government.

Former Monterey Park mayor Betty Chu, who also sued on behalf of Elder, had called the Secretary’s attempt to exclude Elder from the ballot “voter suppression,” throwing Democrats’ recent allegations against Republicans back at them.

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Fireworks Accidentally Explode at Ocean City Beach, One Injured

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Fireworks went off Sunday at Maryland’s Ocean City Beach, injuring a worker who was setting up for a July 4 celebration.
Videos of the explosion appeared on Twitter at approximately 10:30 a.m.. including one from Gilly Gene, who was at the beach and saw the incident.

So this just happened in Ocean City, MD. pic.twitter.com/B0djA8JxF7
— Gilly Gene (@GillyOfThe412) July 4, 2021

Another video of the incident showed the explosion and a massive pillar of smoke as people passed by on bikes and others watched the scene unfold:

BREAKING: Truck full of fireworks exploded in Ocean City, Maryland pic.twitter.com/Po8kWA0SIO
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 4, 2021

In a Facebook post, the Ocean City Fire Department said it was notified of a vehicle fire at Dorchester Street and the beach.

However, firefighters arrived at the scene to find no vehicle on fire but “an unintentional discharge of fireworks that were being set up on the beach for the Town’s fireworks show,” the department explained.

The post included photos of emergency crews and vehicles at the scene:

“During the unintentional discharge, employees of the fireworks company received minor injuries and refused transport to the hospital by Ocean City Paramedics. No beach or boardwalk patrons were injured,” the fire department continued.
According to Fire Chief Richie Bowers, fire marshals were on the scene and investigating the initial cause of the discharge.

“Prior to the fireworks being off loaded from the vehicle, Fire Marshals secure a safe zone around the fireworks and put other safety protocols in place. It is this very zone and safety protocols that kept anyone else from being injured,” he noted.

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The OSFM is monitoring the fireworks explosion in @OCMaryland. Ocean City Fire Marshals Office is the lead agency and will be conducting the investigation into the incident. They have released a statement of their FB page. #OCFireworksExplosion pic.twitter.com/TmMIPubsqY
— Maryland State Fire Marshal (@MarylandOSFM) July 4, 2021

According to WBAL, a fireworks show was scheduled for later in the day for July Fourth celebrations near North Division Street and the Boardwalk.
Meanwhile, Americans are still expected to honor the nation’s 245th birthday with numerous fireworks displays to celebrate patriotism and freedom, Breitbart News reported.

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