NATURAL DISASTER

Hartford’s hurricane relief center was where evacuees from Puerto Rico could come to get help: help finding housing, jobs, winter clothing -- whatever supplies or services they needed to restart their lives in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda held a “Rally And Lobby Day for Puerto Rican Families” Wednesday in Hartford. The event was put on at the Capitol to get support for a disaster relief bill proposed in the House of Representatives.

Holyoke Public Schools

Schools districts in Massachusetts that have been educating students recently arrived from Puerto Rico will soon be getting a portion of $15 million in state funding. 

Updated 12:46 p.m. ET

A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that the agency's plan to end its distribution of emergency food and water in Puerto Rico and turn that responsibility over to the Puerto Rican government would not take effect on Jan. 31.

In the days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, residents of some of the hardest hit rural areas found themselves stranded — cut off from more populated areas by mudslides, crumbled roads and bridges, and toppled trees and power lines. In those early days, the only food and water many of these communities received arrived by helicopter, sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria, parts of Puerto Rico are showing clear signs of recovery. But in Vieques, a remote island with nearly 9,000 residents eight miles off the main island's coast, recovery is a long way off. There, some live in dingy conditions as they wait for help to rebuild, while others gather what they can to do it themselves.

Gregorio Velazquez Rivera, an 81-year-old who is blind, has left his destroyed home — which is totally unlivable — virtually untouched in the months since the hurricane.

Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Daderot / Creative Commons

Students who relocated to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands because of Hurricane Maria will be immediately eligible to pay lower in-state public higher education tuition rates under a proposal unanimously approved on Tuesday by the state Board of Higher Education.

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Firefighters were struggling to contain four wildfires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, after a blaze broke out Wednesday morning within the LA city limits. The wildfires have burned a total of more than 100,000 acres, threatened more than 12,000 homes and other buildings and shut down 265 schools.

Pedro Juan Garcia Figueroa came up to Bridgeport from Puerto Rico on November 17. He wanted to thank the city for the nearly 200,000 pounds worth of supplies it collected during an event on October 1 -- a telethon organized by CTBPT United for PR.

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