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MALONE BULLDOZES OVER KATRINA RED TAPE

NBA star brings trucks to haul away debris despite resistance from FEMA.

Did anyone see this?  I missed it but this is great!  Good Job Karl!

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*When former Utah Jazz all-star Karl Malone brought his logging company in Arkansas into Pascagoula, Miss. to clear out debris left behind by Hurricane Katrina, his team was met by a brick wall named Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and orange cones nicknamed the Army Corps of Engineers. Both said Malone wasn’t authorized to bring his machinery into the area to clear private property.

Bob Anderson, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said FEMA and the corps by law could only allow approved contractors to clear debris and that only government agencies could work on “public rights of way.”

The Mailman wasn’t trying to hear it.

“There was a lot of red tape, and I ain’t got time for that,” he told AP. “I found out that if you’re going to do something good, just go ahead and do it. Once I get in my machine, no one is going to get me out. We just said ‘the hell with it.’ FEMA didn’t approve, but we did it for the people.”

Malone, an experienced truck driver and logger born in Bernice, La., spent 12 hours a day behind the wheel of his heavy machinery clearing 114 lots via the 18 vehicles he brought into Pascagoula, including a backhoe, three bulldozers and several RVs for him and his crew.

“We were totally self-contained with our own food and everything,” said Malone. “We didn’t want to take even one bottle of water away from these people. When we told them we were doing this for free, they looked at us like we were crazy or something.”

Malone said landowners were told that debris had to be moved out to the street before it could be hauled away.

“How is a landowner who just lost everything going to pay $15,000 or $20,000 to have a lot cleared?” he asked. “I mean, there were two or three houses on top of one another in some places.”

The one-time power-forward, who spent 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz and one with the Los Angeles Lakers, said he was moved by the indomitable spirit of the people who vowed to rebuild.

“Everything about this just felt right,” the NBA vet tells AP. “My mom died two years ago, and in our last conversation, she told me that one day I would have to step up on a grand scale and help people. I knew this was it.”


Posted by loni on 03/27 at 02:24 PM in Celebrity

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