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The reward for information leading to the arrests of three inmates who fled a Southern California jail rose to $200,000, dramatically upping the ante in a manhunt that has shown little progress since the spectacular escape five days ago.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night approved $50,000 rewards each for Hossein Nayeri, 37, Bac Duong, 43, and Jonathan Tieu, 20. That comes on top of the $50,000 that federal authorities previously announced for their capture.
The manhunt has focused on the county's large Vietnamese population. Orange County sheriff's Lt. Dave Sawyer says Duong and Tieu have links to violent Vietnamese gangs and could be "embedded" in the community.
"It's unfortunate that, for the people law enforcement are dealing with to try and apprehend these individuals, money talks," said Todd Spitzer, chairman of the supervisors.
The men were last seen Friday during an early morning head count at Orange County Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana. An evening head count was delayed by a fight authorities now say may have been an intentional diversion, sheriff's official said. When the head count was finally taken, the men had vanished.
An investigation quickly determined the men cut through steel bars and into the jail's duct work, using it to climb to the roof. They then cut through a section of razor wire and, rapelling down makeshift rope made of bedsheets, slipped away to freedom.
Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said security changes were immediately made at the prison.
"The preliminary investigation into the escape and how it occurred has caused the sheriff concern," Hallock said. Inmate count practices were among issues being reviewed, he added.
All three men were awaiting trial for violent crimes. Nayeri had been held without bond since September 2014, charged with kidnapping, torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary. Nayeri and two other men are accused of kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner in 2012, driving him to a spot in the desert where they believed he had hidden money and then torturing him.
Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown told the The Orange County Register that Nayeri was a likely candidate to have planned the escape. She described him as diabolical and compared him to legendary film villain Hannibal Lecter.
Salvatore Ciulla, Nayeri's lawyer, told Los Angeles ABC7-TV that authorities, and thus the media, have essentially convicted Nayeri before his trial, which had been scheduled for next month.
"I would just like to see him turn himself in, and we could move forward with this case," he told the station.
Duong was being held without bond since last month on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and other charges.
Tieu had been held since October 2013 on $1 million bond on charges of murder, attempted murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. His case is believed to be gang-related.

Public transportation in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., was also shut down as local officials called on residents to hunker down and stay off the streets for a second day.
As of early Saturday, more than 60 million people were under blizzard, winter storm or freezing rain warnings. The storm's effects stretched from Georgia to Massachusetts, according to Some 250,000 customers were without power due to the storm that has roared up the East Coast, according to the Weather Channel

Air traffic ground to a halt across much of East Coast, with more than 8,300 flights canceled nationwide by Saturday morning. Underscoring the severity of the storm, all flights were halted Saturday at four of the nation’s busiest airports: Philadelphia, Washington Dulles, Washington Reagan National and Baltimore/Washington International.
At least nine people died in storm-related crashes in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia, the Associated Press reported. In Virginia alone, nearly 1,000 car crashes were reported by late Friday. In Fort Washington, Md., one man died of an apparent heart attack while shoveling snow, WUSA-TV reported.
Eleven states from Georgia to New York declared states of emergency.

'Stay at home and off the roads'

“Now is the time for Marylanders to stay at home and off the roads,” said Maryland governor Larry Hogan. “This is the safe choice. It will also allow emergency services vehicles to maneuver and road crews to begin the long process of clearing highways and streets."
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered cars without chains or snow tires to stay off the streets to avoid creating problems for snow removal,
The heaviest snow was continuing to fall across Maryland and Delaware on Saturday morning, but will shift toward southern New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts by the afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service said.
The top snowfall total from the storm so far is 28 inches in Terra Alta, W. Va., as of early Saturday morning, reported.
On Capitol Hill in Washington, few people were out on the streets as snow swirled and gusts of winds blew. Many locations across Maryland and Washington D.C. already topped 1 foot, with more on the way. An additional 8 to 15 inches is forecast along the D.C. to Long Island corridor.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser urged residents not only to stay off the roads in vehicles but also not to walk on the snow-covered streets. She said too many people were walking down the middle of the largely empty streets, hampering the work of snow plows and endangering themselves.' "Visibility is poor and you cannot be seen," Bowser said. "We need you to  tay home."
In Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell banned all but essential personnel from driving on the roadways in Kent and New Castle counties. "With so much snow accumulating on our roads, conditions are becoming dangerous for any more traffic than absolutely necessary," Markell said Saturday,
Along the Delaware and New Jersey coasts, icy floodwaters pushed inland by the storm were surging into neighborhoods.

 Tidal flooding swamps coastal areas

In New York City,  with six inches already on the ground, snow was falling at up to three inches per hour Saturday morning, according to Kathryn Garcia, commissioner of the city’s Department of Sanitation.
City sanitation trucks, equipped with plows and tire chains, were making repeated clearing runs on streets across the city’s five boroughs, trying to prevent any street from building up to the 15-to-20-inch total predicted in updated National Weather Service forecasts. “We are trying to stay ahead of the storm, but it is a pretty intense storm,” Garcia told WCBS Newsradio 88 shortly before 8 a.m.
Постоянна връзка към вградена снимка

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