7:50 p.m. February 27, 2009
CHULA VISTA Romeo Montillano wanted to be a Chula Vista police officer.
The Police Department wanted Montillano in handcuffs.
Police spokesman Bernard Gonzales said investigators identified Montillano as the suspect in a robbery at the Kmart on East H Street last Dec. 8. Then they learned he was signed up to take the police department's entrance examination two months hence, Gonzales said.
Then, even knowing he was wanted, Montillano showed up to take the test. Eventually.
In the robbery, a man stole a television set, DVD player and telephone from the store, then beat up store employees who confronted him in the parking lot.
Detective Ruth Hinzman telephoned Montillano. He told her he was in Las Vegas, but would be back in about three weeks to take the police exam, Gonzales said.
A skeptical but thorough Hinzman checked with her colleagues to confirm Montillano was signed up for the exam.
In a second call to Montillano, police Agent Henry Martin asked if he was planning on attending an orientation for police applicants on Feb. 18. Montillano said he would, Gonzales said, but he was a no-show.
End of the story? Not even close.
Montillano called police to apologize for missing the orientation, Gonzales said. He said his vehicle had been impounded in Las Vegas and he was trying to raise the cash to get it back.
At that point, detectives were convinced Montillano would realize he'd be arrested if he showed his face anywhere near police headquarters, and that they were now looking for a fugitive, Gonzales said.
Five days after the missed orientation, police say the city got an e-mail from Montillano, saying he planned to catch a bus from Las Vegas to San Diego so as not to miss the entrance exam, Gonzales said.
Detectives doubted Montillano would show up, but they made plans to arrest him just in case.
So Hinzman and Martin were waiting at the registration table when one of the police hopefuls walked up and signed in: Romeo Ogilve Montillano.
The officers, momentarily stunned, called Montillano out of the exam room and into a nearby office, where they arrested him, Gonzales said. While he was being busted, Montillano asked two questions.
The first: Would he still be able to take to take the test?
No, he was told, his name was being removed from the list of applicants.
The second: Could he re-apply and maybe take the test later?
Montillano was booked into jail on suspicion of robbery, making criminal threats and grand theft in connection with the Kmart episode, Gonzales said. They later found that Montillano had been arrested in November on suspicion of a misdemeanor theft from another Chula Vista business
Saturday, February 28, 2009
SEATTLE — A King County sheriff's deputy kicks a 15-year-old girl, slams her to the floor of a jail cell, strikes her and pulls her hair in violence captured on videotape.
Prosecutors released the surveillance video in Friday in the assault case against Deputy Paul Schene, who is accused of using excessive force on the girl.
The footage shows the attack beginning after the girl enters the cell at suburban SeaTac City Hall and kicks off one of her shoes toward the deputy.
Schene, 31, pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree assault in Superior Court on Thursday.
The incident last November began after the girl was brought in for an auto theft investigation, according to court documents.
"We believe this case is beyond just police misconduct, it's criminal misconduct," King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg said. "This is clearly excessive force."
Satterberg added the case is uncommon because cameras captured the entire incident.
Schene was investigated previously for shooting two people — killing one — in the line of duty in 2002 and 2006. Both times his actions were found to be justified, said Ian Goodhew, prosecutor's deputy chief of staff.
Calls by The Associated Press to Schene's lawyer Anne Bremner were not immediately returned Friday. Bremner, however, released a statement to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in which she said the video does not tell the whole story. Bremner had asked Judge Catherine Shaffer to not release the video to the media.
"As we argued to the judge, it will inflame public opinion and will severely impact the deputy's right to a fair trial," Bremner said.
In the video, a deputy kicks the girl, pushing her back toward the wall. The deputy then strongly backs the girl against the wall, and slams her to the floor by grabbing her hair. A second deputy enters the holding cell, while the first deputy holds the girl face down to the floor. The first deputy appears to hit the girl with his hands. The girl is then lifted up and led out of the cell while the first deputy holds her hair.
The second officer shown in the video was a trainee at the time and is not under investigation, Goodhew said.
According to court documents, the girl complained of breathing problems after the incident and medics were called to check her. A short time later, she was taken to a youth detention center and booked for investigation of auto theft and third-degree assault, the latter accusation dealing with her conduct toward the deputy. The girl has pleaded not guilty to taking a motor vehicle without permission, Goodhew said Friday, adding she was never formally charged with assault.
Schene told investigators through an e-mail conversation with his lawyer that once he was assaulted by the girl kicking her shoe at him, he entered the cell to "prevent another assault," according to court documents. Schene also said that the girl failed to comply with instructions in the holding area.
Prosecutors said Schene did not explain why he struck the girl after he had her in a holding position on the floor.
A New York City firefighter has been arrested on charges that he was growing more than 100 pounds of marijuana in the basement of a home in Queens, according to court records.
The firefighter, Patrick Murray, 33, was arraigned Wednesday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on charges of manufacturing and possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, according to Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District. Investigators said that Firefighter Murray belonged to a larger drug-trafficking ring.
Firefighter Murray did not enter a plea and was released on $250,000 bond, Mr. Nardoza said. If convicted, he faces 5 to 40 years in prison.
Firefighter Murray came under scrutiny during a broader investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
For about a year, the agency has been investigating a narcotics trafficking organization that grows marijuana in houses in Queens and sells it throughout the New York region, according to a complaint filed in court.
On Tuesday, the complaint said, federal investigators received a tip that Firefighter Murray was taking high-intensity discharge lights from so-called grow houses in Queens and loading them into a rented truck. The lights are used to grow marijuana indoors, the complaint said.
The tip led investigators to 88-23 237th Street, in Queens Village, the complaint said. There, they found Firefighter Murray sitting in a parked truck in the driveway, and he told investigators he was just making a U-turn, the complaint said.
Investigators searched the house and found a room in the basement with about 100 marijuana plants, the complaint said. The investigators recovered keys from Firefighter Murray that unlocked doors to the house and the room in the basement where the plants were found, the complaint said. It did not say who owned the house.
The agent investigating the house estimated the value of the marijuana found in the basement at $500,000.
Firefighter Murray, a five-year veteran of the department, has been suspended without pay, said James Long, a department spokesman. Firefighter Murray was based at Engine Company 292 in Woodside, Queens, Mr. Long said.
The Gainesville Sun
The identity of man found dead inside a car in College Park on Monday afternoon has been confirmed as that of a Gainesville engineer missing since Feb. 11.
AARON DAYE/The Gainesville Sun
Now city employees are answering questions about why the man's car was ticketed seven times by city employees, beginning the day after he was last seen alive.
Gainesville police said that a preliminary autopsy on the body found in the backseat of the 2001 silver BMW 330i confirmed that it was John Waldo, 42, an engineer at AvMed, who was last seen alive Feb. 11 at Calico Jack's Oyster Bar, 3502 SW 2nd Ave., in Gainesville.
"But the autopsy was inconclusive — there was no obvious cause of death," said Gainesville Police spokesman Keith Kameg. Investigators are awaiting toxicology results, which may take up to six weeks, before they will likely narrow their focus in trying to determine the cause of Waldo's death.
At 4 p.m. Monday, a resident of College Park called police about a car that had been parked in the 1900 block of NW 2nd Avenue for several days and had been ticketed seven times by city employees.
Police detective Bennie Smith said Waldo was seated face-forward on the passenger side of the back seat, was fully clothed and had the car's ignition key in his possession when he was found. A loaded pistol was found inside the trunk of the car.
"We don't expect the cause of death to be foul play," Smith told The Sun on Wednesday afternoon.
City records show a ticket officer issued seven tickets to Waldo's BMW, with the first ticket being issued Feb. 12, the day after Waldo was last seen alive.
According to Kameg, Smith said the reason the ticket officers apparently did not notice someone slumped over in the BMW may have been because the window tint on the car was illegally dark.
"Even the person who called this in was not real sure if they had seen him clearly," said Kameg.
Bob Woods, spokesman for the city of Gainesville, said that the city's ticket officers are not trained police officers but work out of the city's public works department. The police department had been charged with enforcing parking in the city until January 2008, when the duty was assigned to public works.
Woods said that after three parking tickets are issued, a car is flagged for additional enforcement such as booting or towing, However, Woods said it could take several days for the system to register the tickets, which was apparently the case for Waldo's BMW.
According to Woods, the city will now make a point of alerting ticket officers about specific vehicles that police are looking for.
by Nicole Ethier - Feb. 26, 2009 05:44 PM
The Arizona Republic
A 19-year-old Mesa father was arrested after he allegedly turned on the clothes dryer his year-old son was playing in, police said Thursday.
Mesa Police responded to a home in the 10900 block of East Flossmoor Avenue about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday after reported that Jose L. Rocha closed the dryer door and turned it on, causing the toddler to tumble in the machine. The toddler received a large bruise on his back, according to police reports.
Rocha and his girlfriend, the child's mother, fled before police arrived but later returned.
The incident allegedly began when the child was sitting in the dryer and Rocha and the child's mother wanted to take a picture.
The mother told police she heard the dryer turn on and the child scream as she was grabbing the camera. Another family member told police she had witnessed Rocha remove the child from the dryer after hearing the dryer turn on and the child scream.
Police said Rocha denied shutting the dryer door. Instead, he told police he spun the dryer with his hands, causing the child to land on his back and bruise.
The child was treated at the scene and remains in the custody of his mother, said Steve Berry, Media Relations Detective for the Mesa Police Department.
Rocha was arrested on two outstanding warrants and booked into jail on suspicion of child abuse.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Police apparently disagreed and arrested him about 3:50 a.m. Monday after pulling packages of the candy known for melting in your mouth, not in your hands, from his pockets at the Pilot truck stop in the 7100 block of Okeechobee Road, according to a recently released arrest affidavit.
It wasn’t the first time Ambrose, 31, had been arrested this month — on Saturday he created a “spectacle” at a Super 8 Motel and was arrested and charged with disorderly intoxication and causing a public disturbance, police said.
In the most recent case, in addition to the three packs of peanut M&Ms, Ambrose reportedly absconded with two black T-shirts, a 20-ounce Bud Light and single packages each of Circus Peanuts candy, chewing tobacco, Wonka Nerds candy, Planters cashews, Reese’s Pieces and Sour Patch candy. Also allegedly taken were two each of large Snickers candy bars and beef jerky packages.
An officer approached Ambrose at the cashier counter, and initially he denied taking anything.
“This officer could clearly see the pocket on the right side of the defendant’s pants were bulging and M&Ms packages could be seen,” the affidavit states. “This officer started removing the candy from his pocket and (another officer) started removing more candy and a T-shirt from his left pockets.”
Ambrose said he bought everything but had no receipt. A clerk and a supervisor said they’d rung up no purchases for Ambrose, who appeared to have been drinking. Ambrose, listed as homeless in Fort Pierce, faces a retail theft charge.
“While in the patrol vehicle the defendant was screaming out the window that he had served in the military over in Iraq so he could steal all the M&M’s he wanted,” the affidavit states.
Ambrose’s claim of military service could not be immediately verified. He was held Wednesday in the St. Lucie County jail on $5,000 bail, a jail official said.
In the earlier case, Ambrose had “thrown himself onto the ground and was curled up to a black handbag,” at the motel when officers arrived, according to a police report.
Officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from Ambrose. He said “he had nowhere to go and he can’t go back to his home state because they have methamphetamine.” Ambrose then stated that Fort Pierce “only had crack,” which keeps him high for a little while and was “safer for him.”
Officers placed him under arrest for disorderly intoxication after a fifth warning. He was released Sunday on $250 bail. Ambrose also was arrested in April on charges including disorderly intoxication, simple assault and panhandling, a jail official said.
Had Diego Jose Feliciano been satisfied with merely flipping off a motorist on Florida;a Turnpike Friday morning, it's possible he could still be a free man..
Instead, he allegedly waved a revolver at the driver who, unlucky for him, happened to be a Miami police officer. The Hollywood man wound up on his knees on the highway with his hands behind his head as a Miramar police officer placed him under arrest.
Feliciano, 56, was charged with aggravated assault, according to Miami police.
His excuse, according to police: He said he ``was under a lot of stress because his father died yesterday and was going to be buried tomorrow at 11 a.m.''
According to an arrest affidavit, Feliciano was driving a 2002 Ford pickup north on the turnpike at about 7:40 a.m. when he began to yell and make obscene gestures toward Miami Officer Joseph Amaya, who was driving to a shooting range in Medley.
Amaya, who was in an unmarked unit, said he noticed Feliciano after changing lanes near Northwest 41st Street in order to move into a SunPass lane. ''As I was next to the defendant's vehicle, he put his window down, leaned his torso out of the window [while yelling] and proceeded to show me his left middle finger,'' Amaya wrote in the report.
Amaya said Feliciano then grabbed a revolver and held it up in his right hand so that he could see the gun. Amaya then called 911 and backed off, said Officer Jeff Giordano, a Miami police spokesman.
The Florida Highway Patrol and Miami-Dade County police were notified.
Feliciano was pulled over near Northwest 52nd Avenue in Miramar, where he was arrested by Miramar police.
A loaded Colt .32 was found in his truck.
Feliciano was being held Friday in Broward County's main jail. He was to be transferred to Miami-Dade.
Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich contributed to this report.
A Gadsden funeral home owner has been charged with abuse of a corpse after a decomposing body was found in the back of a hearse Tuesday night.
Harold Watson, Sr., 76, owner of Watson and Sons Funeral Home was taken into custody Tuesday night and charged this morning with the felony, Gadsden Police Sgt. Mark Henderson said.
Forensic tests are expected to confirm the identity of the body found in the back of Watson’s hearse, parked on his property with several other junk vehicles in a lot of East Broad Street.
The body is believed to be that of a 52-year-old woman who died of natural causes on Nov. 13, 2007, Etowah County Coroner Michael Gladden said.
Gadsden police officers were called to investigate a suspicious odor coming from the hearse just before 5 p.m. The parking lot is about a block from the intersection of Hood Avenue and East Broad Street and a couple of miles from Watson’s Funeral Home on West Meighan Boulevard.
The body was in a shipping container, common in the funeral industry, he said. A death certificate for the woman states she was cremated on Nov. 20, 2007.
After the woman’s death, her family requested that she be cremated, but never signed a form authorizing Watson to have her cremated, and did not pay, Henderson said. Watson kept her body at the funeral home at the intersection of Sixth Street and West Meighan Boulevard.
“They were supposed to come back but never did,” Henderson said. “He just kept her there, thinking they might.”
Henderson said Watson told police that the odor became so bad a few weeks ago that he decided to move the body to another location.
“He put her in the hearse and took it over to this property,” Henderson said.
The hearse was parked against an abandoned building.
After someone noticed the odor coming from the hearse, they saw the shipping box and called police.
"If this who we think it is, we know why she died," Gladden said. "If it's not her, then we'll have an autopsy."
The woman's body will be transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences lab in Huntsville today for tests to determine her identity.
Last updated at 3:46 PM on 24th February 2009
Jailed: Lisa Walker was sent to prison for the second time after failing to ensure her daughter went to school
A single mother has been jailed for the second time for continuously letting her 11-year-old daughter play truant, despite living just 100 yards from school.
Lisa Walker, 41, was given a 60-day sentence by magistrates after admitting her fourth offence in five years of failing to ensure her three children went to school.
Her tearaway daughter Danielle missed 90 per cent of her schooling last summer and more recently, with the threat of prison hanging over her mother, she still only attended lessons 60 per cent of the time.
Walker, a jobless mother-of-three living off benefits, failed to co-operate with attempts by the authorities to help her. Her main explanation for her daughter's truancy was 'some mornings she won't get up'.
She was given a 56-day jail sentence during the summer holidays in 2004 and yesterday Leeds Magistrates' Court heard the experience had done nothing to solve the problem.
Nigel Augustin, prosecuting, said council officials had been working with the single mother and her child to 'encourage' her back to Whingate Primary School in Leeds.
'The defendant failed to take an opportunity offered to her,' he said.
Walker was visited several times last July and August and a child protection conference had been called in which Walker agreed to make an effort to get Danielle to school.
'Unfortunately, of course, that didn't happen,' said Mr Augustin.
Between June 3 and September 12 last year Danielle failed to attend morning and afternoon registration on 81 of 90 occasions with her mother's knowledge.
That shocking record improved marginally when the decision was made to prosecute, although during this academic year she has still missed a majority of classes.
Shocking record: Danielle, 11, attended school just nine times out of 90 over a two month period, despite living just 100 yards away
Passing sentence, bench chairman Phyllis Caffoor said:'We have had to consider that she is an 11-year-old child whose life will be significantly disadvantaged if she does not receive the required education.
'You have not responded to previous orders. You have not co-operated with all the various agencies who, on numerous occasions, have endeavoured to assist you and facilitate Danielle's attendance at school.'
Walker was asked if she understood and replied: 'Yeah, course mate.'
Members of her family wept as she was led away in handcuffs, swearing at reporters in court.
Walker's other children are Dominic, 20, and Jade, 17. They were playing truant, along with six-year-old Danielle, when Walker was first jailed, for her second offence.
The mother was given a further suspended sentence in 2006 over Danielle missing school.
Today neighbours living near the family's rented terraced house in Armley, Leeds, slammed the wild child and offered sympathy to her mother.
One neighbour said: 'The little girl is not very nice and I feel sorry for her mum. She causes trouble with everyone on the street.
'She is mouthy and she throws sticks at people's houses and runs away.'
Another, who also asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said: 'I've seen her take the girl to school some mornings but there are some days you don't see them at all.
'It's like she just gave up trying because there was nothing she could do.
'I don't see her causing trouble when she's supposed to be in school because we are so close to the school here that she would probably get spotted.
'But she is allowed to roam about at night doing what she wants. She doesn't seem to care about anything or anyone.
'She doesn't have a male figure in her life and I think the mum has given up trying to give her some discipline.'
Ros Vahey, deputy chief executive of Education Leeds, said: 'Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure their children go to school.
'Attendance is something we take very seriously and legal action is very much a last resort, but in exceptional cases we have to use the full force of the law.
'We will now continue in our efforts to bring this child back into full-time education so she can get the most out of her time at school.'
4:11 PM ESt
Stuart, Fla (AP) A uspected robber in his physical prime thought he saw an easy target outside a Stuart Best Buy. But police said that the 75-year-old victim chased down 29-year-old man, who had just snatched the victim's brand new laptop computer and printer on Sunday.
The victim told police he was waiting in front of the store for his wife to pick him up when the man grabbed the packages and ran.
Authorities said the suspect made it about 8 feet before the man grabbed him. Moments later, an off-duty deputy saw what was happening and joined the struggle.
The man was charged with robbery by sudden snatching and battery on a person over age 65. He was being held on $12,500 bail.
Man stabs son in left buttock after he refused to take off his hat in church
The Baltimore Sun 4:35 PM EST
February 24, 2009
BALTIMORE (AP) — Police said a 58-year-old man stabbed his teenage son after he refused to take off his hat at church earlier in the day. The father and his 19-year-old son got into an argument on Sunday afternoon. That's when police said the father went to a car, got a knife and stabbed his son in the left buttock and fled.
The son was taken to University of Maryland Medical Center for treatment. The father's name was withheld pending his arrest.
Bay Area News Group
A Danville woman won a $2 million house in Marin County with a raffle ticket she bought as an anniversary gift for her husband, who had just been laid off from his job.
"I'm floored," said Susan Wells, who hadn't told her husband she had purchased the ticket. "I can't even believe this has happened. Needless to say, my husband is very surprised."
On Wednesday, Brad Wells, who is in his early 50s, was laid off from his job as a sales executive for a high-tech Silicon Valley electronics company. Susan Wells also is unemployed.
"I got laid off on Wednesday and the company went bankrupt on Friday," he said. "It's been a really rough ride for the last year. This gives us an unbelievable lift."
Susan Wells said that she bought the raffle ticket on a whim to secretly celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary.
The couple, who do not have children, own their home in Danville and said they would have to think about whether to take the Marin house or the alternative prize, about $1.2 million in cash.
"We're discussing that right now," she said. "We're still trying to make that decision."
After getting the winning phone call Saturday, Brad Wells immediately went to the Community Action Marin Web site to look at the 4,400-square-foot home on a hilltop in San Rafael.
"The views are spectacular," he said. "We really love the house. But the cash sounds good, too."
They planned to celebrate by having dinner with their neighbors.
Community Action Marin netted about $1.3 million from the raffle, the second year it has held the event, down from $2 million last year, according to Russ Hamel, Community Action Marin's director of development.
Incorporated in 1966 as the county's official antipoverty agency, nonprofit Community Action Marin is now Marin's largest private social services organization. More than 4,000 people benefit from its services every day.
In the current recession, however, Hamel said the agency has seen a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in demand for its services.
"These are from middle-class people who have lost their jobs," he said. "Like the people who won the house."
Auburn, NY -- Stephen A. Turo, of Genoa, sat on a chair covered with a blanket in the back of a rental truck, shivering in the 18-degree cold, as Cayuga County Judge Thomas G. Leone arraigned him Monday on a 24-count indictment alleging sale and possession of prescription painkillers.
Turo, 56, of 1138 Maple St., by his own estimate weighs about 700 pounds. He was accompanied to the arraignment by his wife and daughter, and he sucked oxygen from two plastic tubes fed by a portable machine during the proceeding.
It was an unusual setting for a court proceeding: a 10-foot box truck backed up to the loading dock in the rear of the Historic Post Office in Auburn. Leone and a dozen other court personnel stood in the swirling snow for the 15-minute proceeding.
If found guilty of just one of the felony charges, Turo could be sent to state prison for 25 years. If he lands in prison, he would be the heaviest inmate ever housed by the state Department of Correctional Services, spokesman Erik Kriss said.
The Genoa man pleaded innocent. Leone set bail at $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond, even though Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher T. Valdina said Turo posed no risk of flight. Turo has until 5 p.m. today to post bail.
"Thank you, your honor, for coming down," Turo told Leone as the arraignment ended.
After the arraignment, Leone said Turo needed to be present at the proceeding to avoid any misunderstanding about the charges or his rights. The judge said he would not go to Turo's home for the arraignment.
"That's a dangerous precedent to set,' Leone said.
Turo remained in the truck to be fingerprinted and have his "mug" shot taken by a sheriff's investigator.
The whole process, including the time Turo sat in the back of the closed truck waiting, took less than 90 minutes.
Turo's wife, Claudette, had been arraigned last week on a 17-count indictment that also alleged possession and sale of prescription painkillers.
The trip to Auburn was the first time Turo has been out of his home in several years. He is unlikely to appear back in court until his case is settled. He waived his right to attend any future court sessions, to argue motions on April 16 or to bargain with the District Attorney's Office. His attorney, Douglas Bates, will handle the plea negotiations.
"I don't know what outcome our office will ultimately approve of, but gross obesity in and of itself is no defense," Valdina said after the arraignment.
Kriss, the state prison spokesman, said if Turo is convicted and is sent to state prison, the prison system will accommodate him.
"No one on our medical staff can recall an inmate that heavy being in our custody," Kriss said, "but they did say whatever size inmate we get and however heavy, we will make sure they will have the right bed and all the rest of that stuff so that they can have their needs met."
The prison system has four medical facilities across the state, Kriss said, and Turo could end up in one of those facilities.
Cayuga County Sheriff David S. Gould said his corrections staff will make whatever adjustments are necessary to house Turo in the county lockup in Sennett if he is housed there.
"We would do whatever we had to do," the sheriff said. "We could do it. ... It would be something different, but we could do it if we had to."
Monday, February 23, 2009
HOUSTON — A federal judge pleaded guilty Monday to lying to investigators about sexually abusing his secretary in exchange for prosecutors dropping five sex-crime charges alleging he groped two women.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent also retired Monday, effective immediately, possibly avoiding impeachment by Congress.
Kent's guilty plea to an obstruction of justice charge came as jury selection in his trial was set to begin.
According to the plea agreement, prosecutors will seek no more than three years in prison for Kent when he is sentenced on May 11. Obstruction, a felony, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The jurist, who once shouted in court that he would bring "hordes of witnesses" in his defense, spoke barely above a whisper as he pleaded guilty to lying to a judicial committee investigating the sex-related charges.
"Judge Kent believes this compromise settlement was in the best interests of all involved," his attorney, Dick DeGuerin said in a statement after the hearing. "A trial would have been embarrassing and difficult for all involved."
Kent, 59, had been facing six charges involving two women — five related to federal sex crimes and the obstruction charge.
If he had been convicted of the most serious federal sex crimes charges against him, Kent could have received a sentence of up to life in prison.
Kent, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, has been on the bench for nearly 19 years, serving most of that time as the lone judge in Galveston. Federal judges are appointed for life and can only be forcibly removed through impeachment by Congress.
Kent had vigorously maintained his innocence. DeGuerin had said the judge's conduct with the two women was mutual and consensual.
Prosecutors had said they would present evidence showing there was nothing consensual about what Kent did with the two women, Cathy McBroom, his former case manager, and Donna Wilkerson, the judge's current secretary.
The Associated Press does not normally name alleged victims of sexual abuse, but McBroom's attorney and her family have used her name in publicly discussing the case. Wilkerson appeared outside the federal courthouse with her lawyer, who used her name to reporters.
Both women were in the courtroom as Kent entered his guilty plea.
"I'm very happy this part of the process is over," McBroom said. "I feel extremely relieved and I look forward to the sentencing."
"This wouldn't have happened if she didn't have the courage to come forward," her lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said. They declined to take questions from reporters.
"We're happy today," said Terry Yates, Wilkerson's attorney. "The judge has accepted responsibility for what occurred. We look forward to May 11 (the sentencing date) and seeing that justice is done in this case."
Authorities first investigated Kent after McBroom filed a complaint against him in May 2007 and the Judicial Council of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals began a probe.
McBroom accused Kent of harassing her over a four-year period, culminating in March 2007, when she said the judge pulled up her blouse and bra and tried to escalate contact until they were interrupted.
The judicial council suspended Kent in September 2007 for four months with pay but didn't detail the allegations against him. It also transferred him to Houston, 50 miles northwest of Galveston, where he had worked since being appointed in 1990.
A Justice Department investigation of McBroom's claims led to Kent's indictment in August on three federal sex charges.
Last month, prosecutors added two more sex charges and the obstruction charge, accusing Kent of trying to engage his secretary in a sex act and then lying about it to the judicial council.
DeGuerin had said Kent and his secretary were involved in a longtime affair and he didn't reveal it to the judicial council because he was being a "gentleman."
Cops Bust Truck Driver With 1,400 Pounds Of Pot Mixed With Frozen Food
February 22, 2009 10:42 a.m. EST
Miami, FL (AHN) - Police in Arizona busted a Connecticut semi tractor trailer driver after they say they found more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana mixed with frozen food products inside the rig's trailer.
The truck was stopped by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer for an equipment violation on I-17 early Sunday morning. A search of the trailer revealed 1,400 pound of pot mixed in with the frozen food the truck was hauling.
The truck is owned by M&G Enterprises of East Hartford, Conn., the DPS said. The driver was making a run from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. to Westborough, Mass., KPHO TV reported.
Police arrested 40-year-old Thomas Belliveau on charges of transportation of marijuana for sale.
Police estimate the drugs were worth $2.1 million.
Robber asks cashier for pen, uses it to write holdup note
Asbury Park Press
A Red Bank man walked into a department store, asked a cashier for a pen, then
used it to write a holdup note, police said.
Eric Greene, 23, of West Bergen Place, fled from the Marshalls store with a bag of
cash, but with help from police in two other communities, he was taken into custody
about 5 1/2 hours later, authorities said.
Shrewsbury Plaza on Broad Street around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, approached the
cashier and asked for a pen. Greene wrote a threatening note, demanding money
and indicating he had a weapon, although no weapon was shown, police said.
money in a Marshalls bag, then ran away, said Spencer.
in surrounding communities. Red Bank Sgt. Errico Vescio realized the description
was similar to Greene. Vescio then went to Shrewsbury, reviewed some evidence
with police there, and was able to help identify Greene as the man responsible for
the robbery, said Red Bank Capt. Stephen McCarthy.
Park, said Spencer.
Township, with bail set at $50,000.
A Montenegrin man made an unsuccessful suicide attempt in front of shocked funeral home staffers after he purchased a coffin, climbed in and shot himself.
Would you buy a coffin from these guys?
Milo Bogisic paid cash for the casket at Palma Funerals in Podgorica before he wrote out his obituary and climbed into the coffin. He then put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
The 52-year-old man survived the blast when the bullet passed through his chin and nose, missing his brain, Ananova reports.
Police said Bogisic was having family problems and was even more devastated when he “hadn’t managed to end it all.”
To add insult to injury, the funeral home refused to give him a refund on the coffin.
|Baby in California born with 12 functioning fingers and toes, in a rare case of polydactylism|
Friday, 06 February 2009
Friday, 20 February 2009
|A six-pound infant born in San Francisco, California has six perfectly formed and functional fingers and toes on his hands and feet, so that it isn't considered a disability or deformity, say doctors at Saint Luke's Hospital who were amazed by the oddity.
In a medical rarity, super baby Kamani Hubbard was born two weeks ago with 24 working digits. He is healthy and home with his parents in Daly City, California. Polydactyly, a congenital disorder is not uncommon in humans and animals, including cats, but to happen on both hands and feet is a rare hereditary condition.
View the video on YouTube : Baby Born In Bay Area With 12 Functioning Fingers, 12 Toes
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The 25-year-old thief got the nasty surprise after sneaking into a house in the northern German port city of Bremen.
He was rifling through jewellery in an upstairs bedroom when the homeowner surprised him with several blows from behind.
The 39-year-old 'victim' overpowered the intruder and detained him until police arrived.
Police today said the suspect, being held in custody in nearby Lueneberg, was carrying a knife at the time and may be linked to other thefts.
BEIJING – At least 44 miners died and 21 remained trapped underground after a gas blast ripped through ain northern China on Sunday, state media said.
The Taiyuan, the capital of province.said the pre-dawn blast occurred while 436 workers were in the Tunlan Coal Mine in Gujiao city near
Rescuers said the death toll had risen to 44 by 11 a.m. local time, Xinhua said in a brief dispatch without providing details. State television channel CCTV reported that 21 workers remained trapped.
Earlier reports said 340 miners had escaped but 96 were trapped underground. Those reports said 11 miners had died after being taken to hospitals.
An official with the provincial government duty office confirmed the accident, but did not have any details. He would give only his surname Chen.
The mine is owned by Shanxi Jiaomei Group, China's largest producer of coking coal and an operator of 28 mines.
Although China has worked to cut mine accidents by closing more than 1,000 small, dangerous mines last year, the country's mining industry is still the world's deadliest. About 3,200 miners died in accidents last year, a 15 percent improvement over the previous year.
Many of the smaller mines have lax safety measures, and are plagued by fires, explosions, floods and other accidents.
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, February 21, 2009
(02-21) 10:39 PST Wampum, Pa. (AP) --
An 11-year-old boy has been charged in the death of a pregnant woman who was found shot in a bedroom of her western Pennsylvania farmhouse, police said Saturday.
A statement from state police said the boy was charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child in the killing of 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk. The victim was 8 months pregnant.
The statement said the boy had been arraigned in District Court and placed in the Lawrence County jail.
Officers couldn't immediately say Saturday whether the boy and the woman were related and wouldn't give any other details.
Police said Houk's 5-year-old daughter found her mother's body Friday morning in a bedroom of their home in a wooded area in the community of Wampum.
The home, located at the end of a half-mile-long driveway along a road scattered with abandoned and burned-out trailers, was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a Pennsylvania State Police vehicle was parked out front early Saturday afternoon. Next to the house was farm equipment and a barn filled with hay.
A neighbor, Cameron Tucker, said Houk was engaged and had been renting the house for no more than a year. Tucker said he had never met Houk's fiance, but that both of them had children.
"She was very protective of her kids," he said, adding that she seemed very excited about her pregnancy.
Tucker's wife sometimes drove Houk's daughter to the bus stop because she went to preschool with the Tuckers' 5-year-old.
WPXI-TV identified the dead woman's father as Jack Houk. There was no immediate response Saturday to a call by The Associated Press seeking comment from a Jack Houk of New Castle, a town next to Wampum.
A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.
The rural community is about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
A Georgia man who won the state lottery twice on Valentine's Day eve says he owes his good luck to his wife, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said.
Lottery Millionaire Jumbo Bucks game while having breakfast with his wife last Friday, then bought another ticket that paid $250,000 later that day while he was buying her a card.
McAllister wasn't available for comment, but he did issue a written statement through the Georgia Lottery crediting his wife with being his lucky charm.
It was because of Valentine's Day, he said. If it hadn't been for my wife, I probably wouldn't have won either time."
(02-20) 11:29 PST OAKLAND -- A 23-year-old visitor from the East Coast had just gotten money from an ATM when he told his friend on a cell phone that he had a bad feeling about two men approaching him at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland.
His worst fears were realized when one suspect, Victor Veliz, 18, held a folding knife with a 5-inch blade to his neck and the other, Christopher Gonzalez, 18, threatened to shoot him Thursday night, authorities said.
In a blind panic, he lashed out at his attackers, grabbing the knife from one of them and punching the other as his friend listened in horror on the phone.
Without realizing it, authorities say, the man stabbed Gonzalez in the chest. Gonzalez stumbled to his family's home around the corner, collapsed into his father's arms and died.
Veliz, who is affiliated with a gang, was arrested at Gonzalez's home after police allegedly found him with the East Coast visitor's cell phone. He will be charged with murder in the death of his accomplice, along with a robbery count, prosecutors said.
The robbery victim suffered only cuts in fighting off his assailants. He ran from the station, flagged down an Oakland police officer on Fruitvale Avenue and turned over the bloody knife. His name was not released.
The man was "scared senseless" when he was attacked about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, said Allison Danzig, an Alameda County deputy district attorney. He acted in self-defense and will not be charged, she said.
When police told him that Gonzalez had died, "he was very saddened and very upset," Danzig said.
Gonzalez's father, Javier Gonzalez, said Friday that his son had cried out for his parents and sister when he burst into his home on San Leandro Street. He died there.
Javier Gonzalez sobbed at the loss of his son, who worked with him in his roofing business and at Oakland Raiders games.
"I'm angry at both of them," he said of the robbery victim and Veliz. "They took my son away from me. He was a hard-working kid."
He added, "My son is dead. I want somebody to pay for this."
The incident wasn't the only violence near a BART station Thursday night. In Daly City, police said, a triple shooting outside the BART station that left one man dead and two others wounded may have resulted from a mistaken belief that the victims were gang members.
Two of the four men who were in a 1995 Buick Regal when the car was sprayed with bullets were wearing red baseball caps, and the color red is associated with a Latino gang, said Daly City police Lt. Jay Morena.
But the victims were not gang members, Morena said.
The dead man, a 21-year-old from San Francisco, has not been identified, and no arrests have been made.
This article appeared on page B - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle
The Los Angeles police department (LAPD) has confirmed it will start an internal investigation after a picture of a battered and bruised Rihanna was leaked online.
As previously reported, TMZ.com somehow obtained a photograph of the “Umbrella” singer after her alleged attack by Chris Brown. (Pictured right)
"The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence," the LAPD said in a statement on Thursday (February 19).
"A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination."
Brown, 20, was arrested on a charge of making criminal threats on February 8th after an altercation with an unnamed woman, believed to be Rihanna, in Los Angeles.
Brown has since issued a statement saying he is "sorry and saddened" by the incident. The “Forever” star also stated he’s seeking counseling from his church pastor.
Although Rihanna told police this incident wasn't the first time Brown had been physically abusive towards her, according to the police source, "she may have thrown the first punch" on this occasion.
BREAKING NEWS: Photo of Rihanna After Alleged Chris Brown Assault Released
Thursday February 19, 2009
In the disturbing picture, the singer appears to have a swollen, bloody lip, two black eyes and marks on her forehead.
Rihanna -- who turns 21 years old tomorrow -- has been lying low in her native Barbados following the alleged attack the morning of the Grammys, which started when another woman sent a text message to Brown, Us Weekly reports in its newest issue, on stands now.
Brown, 19, was arrested for making criminal threats, but has yet to face charges from the Los Angeles District Attorney.
He released a statement on Feb. 15 saying he was "sorry and saddened...over what transpired."
Thursday, February 19, 2009
(02-19) 08:34 PST PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) --
Police say a trail of candy wrappers helped them find five Florida teens suspected of breaking in to a nearby home.
Officers responded to a burglary report Tuesday in Palm Bay on Florida's central Atlantic coast. An officer then followed a trail of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups packages in the backyard. The officer noticed another wrapper on the front porch of a house near the victim's home.
Officers found several juveniles at the other house. Police say the teens confessed to the burglary and informed officers that the stolen property was in the attic.
Three of the teens face armed burglary charges and two others face charges of resisting arrest without violence and tampering with evidence.
Information from: Florida Today
HONG KONG – A Chinese woman who freaked out at Hong Kong's international airport after missing her flight has hit the big time on YouTube after her hysterics were filmed and uploaded to the video sharing website.
The middle-aged woman was seen charging at a security guard at the departure gate, before screaming "aieyyahhhhh," at the top of her lungs in a rant that lasts about three minutes.
The woman, sprawled on the ground, was seen wailing. An elderly man travelling with her tried to pull her to her feet but she shouted in Cantonese: "I want to go, I want to go."
Cathay Pacific said it had already closed the aircraft's doors and had offloaded the woman's baggage, and so was unable to allow her to board the flight to San Francisco.
"Don't be so upset, don't be so emotional," a male Cathay Pacific staff member is heard saying on the video.
Cathay Pacific said the incident occurred earlier this month, and the video appeared to have been loaded onto YouTube late last week. By Monday, the "woman going insane after missing her flight video" had over 400,000 hits.
In 2006, another sensational outburst by a stressed-out Hong Kong man captured the imagination of many people in this fast-paced, money-obsessed, Asian financial capital.
The middle-aged man, who chastised and swore at a youngster in a six-minute-long diatribe aboard a double decker bus, was dubbed "Bus-Uncle" and a video of the incident received close to two million hits.
His quote "I have pressure, you have pressure" became a catch-phrase and sparked navel-gazing at the pressure that many over-worked Hong Kong citizens suffer.
As for the woman at the airport, Cathay Pacific said it put her and her two travel companions on a later flight to Los Angeles, at no extra cost.
02/17/2009 10:25 AM
February 19, 2009
1:05 PM EST
BERLIN (Reuters) – A German businessman lost more than 10,000 euros ($13,000) in a public toilet, authorities said on Thursday.after forgetting the cash in a
Hesse state police said the man took the "five-figure" sum with him as he stopped to relieve himself in a motorway service station near Haiger in western Germany. He then drove off.
A police spokesman said it was not clear why the man took half an hour to notice his loss -- by which time the money had gone.
(Reporting by; Editing by Phakamisa Ndzamela)
TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A University of South Florida official announced he will resign after he was accused of stealing a $100 bike that was parked at the school.
Abdul Rao, senior associate vice president for research, said Tuesday that he has signed a document stating that he will leave his $384,280-per-year position at the school Friday, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Wednesday.
Rao previously said in a statement that he took the bike from a parking area on the loading dock of the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute to help a day laborer in need of transportation, The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune reported.
The security tape of the incident, which was later posted on Youtube, shows a woman leaving a red mountain bike in the parking area at 2 p.m. Monday. At about 8:50 p.m., Rao and another man arrive in a van and look at the bicycles before choosing the bike left by the woman and loading it into the van.
Christine Dillingham, the woman who parked the borrowed bike at the school, told the St. Petersburg Times that she "basically wanted to see (Rao) take responsibility for his actions. Stepping down seems to show he did that."
Timothy Boyd, who had loaned the bike to Dillingham, said Rao told him after the bike was returned that he had only intended to borrow it for one day. However, Boyd said he wants Rao charged with theft.
PENSACOLA, Fla. Authorities said a burglary suspect was literally caught with his pants down while trying to run away. A deputy responded to an alarm at a convenient store early Tuesday morning and reported seeing a 37-year-old man exiting through a smashed-out front door while carrying several packs of cigarettes.
Deputies said the man tried to flee, but the handfuls of cigarettes prevented him from holding up his pants, which fell down and tripped him before he could make it out of the parking lot.
The man was charged with criminal mischief, burglary, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was being held on $12,000 bail.
Feb 20, 2007 11:04 pm US/Central
February 17, 2009
AP-Authorities say a 3-year-old wandered out of a McDonald's in Queens while his mother went to get napkins, and then he got on a subway and traveled four stops before transit workers noticed him and called police.
Christian Marquez was reunited with his mother about a half-hour after he disappeared Tuesday from the fast-food restaurant. He walked into the No. 7 line station at Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, somehow got past the turnstile and stepped onto a westbound train. The 10-minute trip covered about 4 miles.
The mother realized her son was missing just before 2 p.m. and asked police eating at the McDonald's to help her. Meanwhile, transit workers saw the child in the train, called police and stopped the subway.
Christian was unharmed. His mother's name wasn't released.
February 17, 2009
3:30 PM EST
SALT LAKE CITY – It took a wedgie and a headlock to pin down a man suspected of breaking into a car. Yvonne Morris, a technician at the Brickyard Animal Hospital, said she chased a man who broke into a co-worker's car, but he kept squirming away from her.
The third time, Morris grabbed hold of the man's boxer shorts and pulled. said she then she put a headlock on the man until help could arrive.
The man was booked into the outstanding warrants.on suspicion of vehicle burglary, and
Troy Brisport, 34, was charged with kidnapping and felonious assault. Bail was set Tuesday at $400,000.
He picked up the woman Wednesday night in Detroit after she told him she had nowhere to stay, and brought her to his home in Toledo, about 55 miles away, police said.
The woman told police that after she fell asleep Brisport handcuffed her wrists and ankles, gagged her, undressed her and put her in an adult diaper, then read Bible passages, said police Capt. Ray Carroll.
She apparently was not sexually assaulted, Carroll said.
However, court documents alleged that Brisport tried several times to suffocate the woman using a pillow and blanket.
The woman told police she escaped Saturday after Brisport fell asleep. Police found her dressed only in a T-shirt and the adult diaper and still wearing handcuffs.
There was no immediate response Tuesday to a call seeking comment from jail officials, and there was no indication whether Brisport had an attorney to speak for him.
As if the craziness of the octuplets wasn't bad enough, now comes news that a 13-year-old boy has become a father. What is this world coming to?!?
Baby-faced Alfie Patten may be 13 years old, but he looks like he's 8 -- and just a few days ago, he became a first-time father. His much larger 15-year-old girlfriend, Chantelle Steadman, just gave birth to their 7 lb. 3 oz. bouncing baby girl, Maisie Roxanne, reports the UK's Sun newspaper.
Alfie and Chantelle had a one-time sexual encounter when Alfie was 12. What was Alfie's reaction when he found out Chantelle was pregnant? "I thought it would be good to have a baby," said Alfie in a prepubescent voice that has yet to break.
Neither Alfie nor his "girlfriend" seem to have the remotest clue about how having a child at such a young age might affect the rest of their lives. And Alfie, who doesn't even get an allowance yet, admits that he doesn't even know how much diapers cost, but says, "I think it's a lot."
Alfie, who is just 4 feet tall, revealed how scared he was to tell his mother about his impending fatherhood. "When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble," he recalls. "We wanted to have the baby but were worried how people would react. I didn't know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good, though, and care for it."
Alfie's father Dennis admits he doesn't think that his son really understands the enormity of his situation -- but says Alfie seems desperate to be a devoted and responsible father. Dennis says that Alfie wanted to be the first to hold Maisie after the hospital birth. He tenderly kisses the baby and gives her a bottle. "He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his Playstation," Dennis says. "But he has been at the hospital every day."
Maisie was conceived after Chantelle and Alfie -- just 12 at the time -- had a single night of unprotected sex. They found out about the baby when Chantelle was 12 weeks pregnant. The young couple kept it a secret until six weeks later when Chantelle's mother Penny, 38, became suspicious about Chantelle's weight gain and confronted her.
"We didn't think we would need help from our parents," says Chantelle. "You don't really think about that when you find out you are pregnant. You just think your parents will kill you."
But Penny figured out what was going on after buying Chantelle a T-shirt that revealed her swelling tum.
Chantelle admits she and Alfie -- who are both being supported by their parents -- will probably be accused of being grossly irresponsible. "We know we made a mistake, but I wouldn't change it now," she says. "We will be good loving parents.
"I have started a church course and I am going to work helping other young mums," Chantelle says. "I'll be a great mother and Alfie will be a great dad."
2/14/2009 1:05:00 AM
Clinton County Juvenile Court Magistrate Roger Bowling will soon be back on the bench.
Bowling, 58, who was charged Dec. 9 with two misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, appeared Jan. 23 in Hillsboro Municipal Court where the case was transferred after Clinton County Municipal Court Judge Chad L. Carey stepped aside. Judge David McKenna, of Hillsboro Municipal Court, and Prosecutor Fred Beery, brought the case against Bowling.
A spokesperson in the Clinton County Municipal Court said the possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed with prejudice under a plea agreement. For the possession of marijuana charge, the court ordered a $158 bond forfeiture.
A Wilmington resident, Bowling was charged after Wilmington police executed a search warrant at his home for illegal narcotics. Police detectives found marijuana, marijuana seeds and stems, pipes with residue, rolling papers and burnt marijuana cigarettes, according to a media release from the Wilmington Police Department.
At the time the charges were filed, police said anonymous tips led to a three-month investigation. During the investigation, detectives “developed probable cause,” said police, prompting the issuance of the search warrant.
After he was charged, Bowling was removed from the bench and initially placed on paid administrative leave, according to Clinton County Juvenile Court Administrator David Hockaday.
Clinton County Probate Judge Allen Gano said Bowling was later placed on leave without pay.
Judge Gano said Bowling has gone through the steps required under the county’s drug policy. “The drug policy urges us to take steps to rehabilitate,” he said.
Bowling began rehabilitation “on his own initiative,” Gano said. “He was taking the steps that fit into the county policy. We followed that from the beginning. I’m pleased with the way he has dealt with it. I’m satisfied at the sincerity of his efforts. As the county policy would have us do, he will get a second chance,” the judge said.
There was never an indication in any of Bowling’s work performance there was a problem, Gano said.
Bowling is expected to return to the bench at the end of February or beginning of March. “This is the right thing to do under the circumstances,” Gano said. “After a good deal of consideration and discussion with him, it was an appropriate decision. He’s done the rehabilitation and I’m satisfied he will be able to perform.”
Gano said the magistrate’s decisions are always reviewed by the judge.
Bowling has served as a Clinton County magistrate for more than 10 years.
As juvenile court magistrate, Bowling oversees a number of juvenile cases, most of them traffic offenses, said Hockaday. Bowling also handles a variety of other cases, including juvenile misdemeanor drug cases.
Leopold Wrobel, 51, was convicted of violating an antisocial behavior order directing him to cease whistling the tune at neighbors Michael and Kathleen Sharpe. Magistrates at a Chesterfield, England, court also found him guilty of two counts of harassment, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
Prosecutor Michael Treharne said Wrobel's behavior may seem silly "but if something happens on an on-going basis and goes on and on and on, eventually it reaches the stage of being absolutely intolerable."
Kathleen Sharpe, 66, told the court Wrobel was always waiting with his whistling whenever she left her house.
"I'm so relieved, it's been an absolute nightmare. It's affected our health and all the family," she said after the sentencing.
Wrobel claimed he was not the perpetrator and only whistled at his dog, but closed-circuit TV footage shown to the court depicted him repeatedly whistling when the couple left their house or arrived home.
The Miami Herald reported Saturday that Abess passed out the $60 million to 399 current staff members and 72 former employees after selling his majority stake in National Bancshares. (OTCPK:NABA)
The impromptu bonuses exceeded more than $100,000 in certain cases.
''I retired seven years ago, and all of a sudden I get this wonderful letter and phone call,'' Evelyn J. Budde, a former City National Bank of Florida vice president, said of the gift.
''I was shocked,'' said William Perry, another former vice president who spent more than 43 years working his way up the executive ladder after being hired as a janitor.
For Abess, who sold his 83 percent stake to the Caja Madrid banking group for $927 million last November, it was a way of giving back to his loyal workers.
''Those people who joined me and stayed with me at the bank with no promise of equity -- I always thought some day I'm going to surprise them,'' he told the Herald.
Miami, FL (AHN) -- The doctor who helped 34-year-old Nadya Suleman become pregnant with eight babies is also responsible for a 49-year-old woman preparing to have quadruplets, the Los Angeles Times reported.
That woman went to Dr. Michael Kamrava seeking just one baby, but she is five months pregnant expecting four babies after Kamrava implanted her with seven embryos months after he helped Suleman. The woman is hospitalized with no insurance, the Times reports.
The case not only raises questions and concerns over Kamrava's practice, it also raises concern about the need for more regulation in the fertility industry, Kirk O. Hanson, an ethics professor and executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, told the Times.
There are no laws about how many embryos can be transferred to a woman, but the American Society of Reproductive Medicine does establish guidelines based on a woman's age and other circumstances. Members of that organization are looking into both cases involving Kamrava.
The woman having the quadruplets asked the LA Times not to identify her. She has three grown children from a previous marriage, but wanted another child with her second husband, who is in his early 30s and doesn't have any children.
The woman, who is from New Port Richey, was driving on DeCubellis Road when the black pickup truck crashed into the back of her car, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.
The driver motioned for her to pull over to the shoulder, which she did. The woman got out of her car to check the damage on her bumper and noticed that the three people in the pickup truck -- two men and a woman -- looked familiar, the report said. She realized she had seen them moments earlier at the Publix. Then one of the men opened her passenger door, stole her purse and then they all took off, according to the report.
In investigating the crime, authorities viewed video from Publix and identified the thief as Jonathan Carpenter, 36, of New Port Richey. He was arrested Thursday on a charge of vehicle burglary. According to his arrest report, he confessed to taking the woman's purse -- though he said the car was struck "unintentionally."
Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said the case is still under investigation and gave no information on the other two suspects. Carpenter is being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $17,013 bail
The Seattle Times
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A man in Washington state made sure a pair of burglars didn't get away with his three flat-screen televisions - he moved their getaway car.
Patrick Rosario was in the basement of his Bellevue home on Tuesday when he heard the burglars upstairs.
The Seattle Times says the 32-year-old Rosario, who had been laid off from his job as a Washington Mutual manager, called 911 while he sneaked out of the house.
He saw a white van sitting in front of his house with the motor running and the keys in the ignition, and he got in and drove it to a friend's house.
Police say the burglars left the televisions, a laptop computer and a jewelry box by the door and took off on foot.
The sheriff's office said no arrests had been made.
Gus G. Sentementes
The Baltimore Sun
February 14, 2009
The screams of a neighbor, a man Dawn Ryan knew only in passing, woke her about 3:30 a.m. yesterday. Looking out a window, she saw his house on fire and yelled to her husband, Jack, who called 911 and then bolted out of their Perry Hall home in his pajamas.
About the same time, Stacey Cosentino awoke to a bright orange glow beaming into her bedroom window. As her eyes adjusted, she realized her next-door neighbors' rear deck was on fire. She, too, prodded awake her husband, Richard, who jumped out of bed and ran outside.
In the middle of the night, as smoke, heat and flames buffeted them, the two men embarked on a remarkable rescue with just their hands, quick thinking and an aluminum ladder.
They saved four members of an extended family they hardly knew in the seven minutes before the first Baltimore County firefighters arrived.
"Extraordinary heroism" - that's how the Fire Department's spokeswoman described their acts, which helped rescue the family: 5-year-old Colin Chen; 7-year-old Jade Chen; father Liang "John" Chen; his wife, Chun Chen; grandfather Yan Chen; and grandmother Yu Chen.
All six were hospitalized, but the children were released from the hospital last night. The adults remained in critical condition last night; the grandfather suffered the worst injuries.
At one point, Jack Ryan ran into the burning house to rescue the grandfather, who had rushed back into the house to save his wife and grandson. Ryan found him collapsed in the foyer and yelled to Cosentino to help carry him out.
"I tried to stop him, but he ran in," Ryan, a teacher for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 24, said at his house hours after the rescue.
Sitting next to him was Cosentino, his left sneaker bearing a smear of the grandfather's blood.
"That was just the most horrible experience," said Cosentino, 42, an assistant dean at George Washington University's School of Engineering and Applied Science. "I can't even believe it."
The fire, which remained under investigation, destroyed the two-story Colonial-style home in the 5000 block of Forge Haven Drive in the Glenside Farms development. Most of the rear wall and the roof burned away or collapsed. State property records show that Yan Chen and his wife bought the house in 2002.
The flames were so intense that the exteriors of three neighboring houses were also damaged.
Elise Armacost, the Fire Department spokeswoman, said the family of six was in the home when the fire broke out. The mother, daughter and grandfather escaped on their own, though the grandfather was critically injured when he ran back inside.
Encountering one another outside the burning house, Cosentino and Ryan spotted the grandmother and boy pleading for help from a second-story front window. They yelled to her to drop the child to them but she was too scared. Perhaps overcome by heat and smoke, she at last let the boy fall into their arms, the men said.
Moments later, the woman jumped, and the men caught her. Neither woman nor child was injured in the jumps.
"That's the only picture I see right now - their faces mashed against the glass," Cosentino said.
Next, Ryan discovered that the grandfather had run back into the house, and he and Cosentino carried the unconscious man out.
Moments later, the neighbors saw the father, John Chen, standing outside a second-story window on a ledge. Dawn Ryan got an aluminum ladder, which the neighbors propped against the house for the man to climb down to safety.
The grandfather and mother were taken to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Colin and Jade were sent to Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Their father and grandmother went to Maryland Shock Trauma Center but were later transferred to Hopkins.
The Ryans, who have lived in the neighborhood for six years, and the Cosentinos, who have lived there for five, said they didn't know the Chen family well. But when they saw them facing disaster, they didn't hesitate to rush to help.
"We just knew it was the right thing to do," said Dawn Ryan. "This is what neighbors do."
05:30 PM PST
KING 5 News
TACOMA, Wash. – A four-year-old boy went on a wild ride in his mom’s parked car after he managed to slip it into gear all by himself.
It happened Thursday morning at 38th Street and South Tacoma Way.
Police say the mother and her boyfriend left the boy in his car seat in the back seat as they went into a Money Tree payday loan store. The mother took the keys with her.
Somehow, the little boy unbuckled himself, climbed into the front and put the car in neutral.
The car went rolling backwards, out of the parking lot and onto a very busy 38th Street. The car did a big U-turn and ended up crashing through the front of a CompuCare store.
"First thing I did was thank God we weren't open yet because, usually, there's someone sitting by the window that the kid ran through,” said assistant manager Jeremy Franklin.
A salon next door was open and employees there heard everything.
"We heard just like this crashing sound. And like glass shattering and stuff,” said salon worker Rachael Long.
They ran outside and saw the 1995 Cadillac with a little boy inside who just wanted out.
"He just jumped out of the car, jumped into her arms, and is just sobbing,” said Long.
Tacoma Police say an officer is still writing up a report and that it is illegal to leave a child unattended inside a vehicle.
The Department of Social and Health Services says it doesn’t think it has had any contact with the family before, but it will look into the incident.
Petersburg police Detective Claiborne Hamilton (left) and Petersburg police Sgt. Chris Walker’s relationship was confirmed recently by a DNA test.
MELODIE N. MARTIN
February 12, 2009
For most of his life, an unsolved mystery lingered in the back of Petersburg police Sgt. Chris Walker's mind.
Then one day at work, he began hearing a name that rang familiar: Claiborne Hamilton -- a Richmond police veteran and newly hired detective at the Petersburg Bureau of Police.
The name was similar to one revealed, after the death of the grandmother who had raised Walker, as that of his real father. Walker researched the name on the Internet but didn't find anyone who fit the profile.
But Detective Clay Hamilton did.
Following up on his hunch, Walker visited Hamilton's desk and casually asked him some questions. He found that Hamilton was 53, about the right age and -- matching up with his mother's account -- grew up in the Richmond area, hung out with people in Goochland County and dated a girl named Billie Joe.
Walker, 37, spoke to his mother on the phone that night and told her generally about Hamilton. She insisted that his father's first name was Clayton, not Claiborne.
Walker then asked if she knew a Billie Joe Walker.
"There was a pause on the phone, and she said, 'That's your dad,'" Walker said, referring to Hamilton. Billie Joe was his mother's old nickname, coming from Bobbie Gentry's 1967 song "Ode to Billie Joe."
Walker then called Hamilton and told him, "I think you're my father."
"It shocked me, but I always believed that there may have been a possibility at the time," Hamilton said. "When I first talked to him on the phone, I cried."
Results of a DNA test came back a week and a half ago and confirmed that the two Petersburg police officers, who never met each other before working together, are father and son.
Hamilton said he had a brief romance with Walker's mother when he was 15. She was a few years older and separated from her husband at the time.
Hamilton said he lost touch with her after she became pregnant, went back to her husband and moved away. He said he tried to locate her and the baby he suspected was his son, but was unsuccessful.
Despite the separation, Hamilton and Walker followed similar paths in life, including stints in the military and choosing to work for urban police departments despite growing up in the suburbs.
They have spent the past month getting to know each other's families: Walker's wife and 5-year-old son, and Hamilton's wife, 12-year-old son, 35-year-old daughter and granddaughter, 8. They plan to have a family get-together that will include Walker's mother.
"I feel like we've got a lot of time that we've missed. Of course you can't ever make up for lost time. We're going to do what we can to make it up," Hamilton said.
Walker credits faith, as well as fate, for bringing them together.
"There's no hard feelings from me because I knew he did everything he could to locate me. He's my dad, and I love him, and I look forward to a lot of years with him," Walker said. "God works in mysterious ways."
A regular customer at a San Francisco bank was arrested after he allegedly robbed the branch and left his ATM card behind, police said Thursday.
Daudet Muimpe, 33, walked into the Bank of America at 500 Battery St. about 3:45 p.m. Monday and asked a teller for help with his ATM card, authorities said.
As the teller was placing bills in her money drawer, the robber reached over the counter, grabbed some cash and ran, police said.
The problem was, Muimpe had been in the bank before, and the teller recognized him, authorities said.
Investigators also had no problem identifying him because he left the ATM card behind, police said. Officers arrested him shortly after the holdup.
Thu Feb 12, 4:27 pm ET
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Police believe a church burglary has been solved through DNA found on a half-eaten doughnut. A 22-year-old man was charged with burglary in the January 2007 break-in at Woodhaven . Police said a number of musical instruments were taken, but officers found a box of doughnuts in the church's kitchen and noticed a bite had been taken from one of the doughnuts.
Deputies sent the half-eaten doughnut to the Indiana State Police lab for testing. Authorities received confirmation in November that DNA left on the treat matched the man, who is serving a prison sentence at thefor an unrelated home burglary.
LOS ANGELES – A big share of the financial burden of raising Nadya Suleman's 14 children could fall on the shoulders of California's taxpayers, compounding the public furor in a state already billions of dollars in the red.
Even before the 33-year-old single, unemployed mother gave birth to octuplets last month, she had been caring for her six other children with the help of $490 a month in food stamps, plus Social Security disability payments for three of the youngsters. The public aid will almost certainly be increased with the new additions to her family.
Also, the hospital where the octuplets are expected to spend seven to 12 weeks has requested reimbursement from Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, for care of the premature babies, according to the . The cost has not been disclosed.
Word of the public assistance has stoked the furor over Suleman's decision to have so many children by having embryos implanted in her womb.
"It appears that, in the case of the Suleman family, raising 14 children takes not simply a village but the combined resources of the county, state and federal governments,"wrote in Wednesday's paper. He called Suleman's story "grotesque."
On the Internet, bloggers rained insults on Suleman, calling her an "idiot," criticizing her decision to have more children when she couldn't afford the ones she had and suggesting she be sterilized.
"It's my opinion that a woman's right to reproduce should be limited to a number which the parents can pay for," Charles Murray wrote in a letter to the . "Why should my wife and I, as taxpayers, pay child support for 14 Suleman kids?"
She was also berated on talk radio, where listeners accused her of manipulating the system and being an irresponsible mother.
"From the outside you can tell that this woman was playing the system," hostsaid on the "Kennedy and Suits" show on KFI-AM. "You're damn right the state should step in and seize the kids and adopt them out."
Suleman's spokesman, Mike Furtney, urged understanding.
"I would just ask people to consider her situation and she has been under a tremendous amount of pressure that no one could be prepared for," Furtney said.
Furtney said he, Suleman and her family had received death threats and had been getting messages that were "disgusting things that would never be proper to put in any story."
In her only media interviews, Suleman told NBC's "Today" she doesn't consider the public assistance she receives to be welfare and doesn't intend to remain on it for long.
Also, a Nadya Suleman Family Web Site has been set up to collect donations for the children. It features pictures of the mother and each octuplet and has instructions for making donations by check or credit card.
Suleman, whose six older children range in age from 2 to 7, said three of them receive disability payments. She told NBC one is autistic, another has , known as ADHD, and a third experienced a mild with "tiny characteristics of autism." She refused to say how much they get in payments.
In California, a low-income family can receive Social Security payments of up to $793 a month for each disabled child. Three children would amount to $2,379.
The Suleman octuplets' medical costs have not been disclosed, but in 2006, the average cost for a premature baby's hospital stay in California was $164,273, according to the . Eight times that equals $1.3 million.
6:27 am EST February 11, 2009
CAPE HAZE, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities said they've arrested an Englewood East man who apparently forgot to fill up when he was robbing a gas station.
The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said 23-year-old David Eric Hampton used a Bowie knife to rob a Cape Haze gas station early Sunday. Deputies say Hampton pulled the 12-inch blade and demanded money. But when he left, a customer followed him and called 911.
While deputies were looking for signs of the robber, a newspaper carrier told them that a man in a car matching the one from the robbery had run out of gas nearby.
Hampton was arrested several hours after the robbery and charged with robbery with a weapon and loitering/prowling. He was released Monday on $10,500 bail.
LAFAYETTE, Colo. (AP) - A man who reached into his pocket to pay for lunch at a hospital cafeteria in Lafayette accidentally shot himself with the gun in his pocket. Police and officials at Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center said it was an unfortunate accident.
Officials said 59-year-old Steve Tapp of Thornton was treated at the hospital and released. No one else was hurt.
Officials said Tapp, who was visiting family at the hospital, shot himself in the right thigh Tuesday. Security guards responded and took the gun.
Tapp faces possible misdemeanor charges of unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
The hospital forbids guns, although no sign was posted Tuesday stating the policy.
Rihanna and Chris Brown perform
at the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York
1:25 AM EST
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Chewing gum makers Wrigley on Monday suspended a commercial featuring Chris Brown after the popular R&B singer was arrested on suspicion of attacking a woman widely reported to be his singer girlfriend Rihanna.
The clean-cut Brown, 19, one of the fastest-rising stars of the last two years, was free on $50,000 bail, a day after the couple hurriedly canceled separate performances at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Both the Brown and Rihanna camps were silent on Monday. Police sources told the Los Angeles Times and celebrity Web site TMZ.com that the woman who reported she had been attacked by Brown in the early hours of Sunday was 20-year-old Rihanna, singer of hits "Umbrella" and "Disturbia."
Wrigley said in a statement it was "concerned by the serious allegations" made against Brown, who was booked by police on suspicion of making a felony criminal threat.
The company said that while Brown should be afforded due legal process "we have made the decision to suspend the current advertising featuring Brown...until the matter is resolved."
Brown, who was competing against Rihanna in a Grammy category, was a spokesman for Doublemint gum and his hit song "Forever" was part of that advertising campaign.
Brown is also a pitchman for the long-running Got Milk? campaign, in which celebrities are photographed with a milk mustache. The Milk Processor Education Program said his participation was scheduled to end this week, as planned.
"The Milk Mustache campaign is taking the allegations against Chris Brown very seriously," the Washington, D.C.-based trade group said in a statement. "We are very proud and protective of the image of the Milk Mustache campaign and the responsible message it sends to teens."
The incident appeared to be out of character for Brown, who has been dating Barbados-born Rihanna for about a year and helped produce her album.
She was variously reported to have been left bruised, bleeding and even bitten in the attack, which took place shortly after she and Brown left a pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills on Saturday night.
Police said the woman "suffered visible injuries" in the incident, which started in a car and continued as both parties got out. Los Angeles prosecutors are considering whether to formally charge Brown, who could face up to three years in prison if convicted, legal sources said.
Celebrity Web site Radaronline quoted an unidentified eyewitness who said she had seen Rihanna being treated at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday.
"Rihanna was clearly very upset by what happened and I could hear her screaming. Rihanna was trying to get her point across about something. She sounded like she was crying," the eyewitness told Radaronline.com.
Rihanna's publicist issued a brief statement on Sunday saying: "Rihanna is well. Thank you for concern and support."
Fans of both Rihanna and Brown, who made his name at age 16 with the single "Run It", were shocked by the incident.
People magazine pondered what had gone wrong, calling it a "Fairy-tale romance gone awry". One of hundreds of postings on the Us Weekly Web site said; "I just don't understand. it's so out of character of him. i really want to know the real story. i just can't believe he beat some girl. doesn't seem like him what so ever."
MINQUADALE, Del. (AP)
4:22 PM EST
A Delaware man is accused of hiding marijuana in diapers.
New Castle County police say Dysheen Randell, 26, was smoking marijuana and planning to sell it when probation officers stopped by his house for a routine check. Randell tried to hide the marijuana inside diapers that were for two infants in the home.
Police found 45 grams of the drug in one diaper and 34 grams inside another. Police also found prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.
Randell has been charged with possession with the intent to deliver marijuana and other drug offenses. He's also charged with two counts of unlawful dealing with a child.
Randell's brother, Joseph Randell-Douglas, 18, and another man, Robert Perdue, 23, face the same charges.
Following Brown's arrest late Sunday night on suspicion of making a criminal threat and subsequent release, plenty of questions remained: Was there a physical attack, and if so, against whom was it committed?
Los Angeles Police Sgt. Bridget Pickett said authorities continued to investigate what took place early Sunday in the ritzy Han Park neighborhood shortly after Brown and longtime girlfriend, pop superstar Rihanna, were seen happily sitting together at the annual pre-Grammy party hosted by Clive Davis.
Officers received a 911 call about an incident in which a woman accused Brown of hurting her. Authorities have not identified who that woman was, citing confidentiality for victims of domestic abuse.
The 19-year-old Brown, who had left the scene before authorities arrived, turned himself in to police while the Grammy Awards were going on Sunday without him — and also without Rihanna, who, like Brown, canceled her scheduled appearance.
Brown was released after posting $50,000 bail. Pickett described the singer as "professional" during processing.
Rihanna's publicist declined to say why the singer did not appear, saying only that she was "well" and expressing thanks for the concern. Brown's representatives also refused to discuss the allegations or his arrest.
A phone message left with Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, was not immediately returned Sunday night.
News of the incident broke as stars were showing up the Grammys. Police said in an initial news release, sent 90 minutes before the show began, that the woman accusing Brown showed visible injuries.
Still, Brown was not booked on suspicion of physically hurting the woman. Pickett said a criminal threats charge indicates a person makes a threat and has the capacity to carry it out.
"There may be domestic violence charges added later, but that will be up to the district attorney's office," Pickett said.
Less than an hour after the ceremony ended, Brown left a police substation with his attorney as numerous photographers tried to get a shot of him on the way out.
Pickett said Brown did not appear to have any physical injuries. She said she did not know who placed the 911 call and a police spokeswoman said the department would not release the tape.
Brown did not win in either category for which he was nominated: pop collaboration with vocals for "No Air" and male R&B vocal performance for "Take You Down."
AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report.
Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times
Fairey stands between two of his works hanging inside his Los Angeles studio.The Los Angeles graphic designer hasn't gone entirely mainstream.
Friday, February 6, 2009
(02-06) 06:56 PST Pittsburgh (AP) --
The Federal Communications Commission has fined the CBS radio affiliate in Pittsburgh $6,000 for a talk show prank promising $1 million to a caller.
The FCC says KDKA host Marty Griffin told listeners the money was in a briefcase handcuffed to someone in the studio.
The money was promised to the 13th caller on Thanksgiving 2007. That listener called in and stayed on hold for 45 minutes thinking he had won the money.
CBS argued the offer was "preposterous" and clearly a joke. But FCC investigations chief Hillary DeNigro said Thursday that Griffin misled listeners by calling the contest "the real deal."
KDKA has 30 days to pay the fine or appeal. Michael Young, the station's senior vice president and general manager, had no comment.
Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SAN BRUNO (BCN)
Feb 6, 2009 11:29 am US/Pacific
Fri Feb 6, 8:42 pm ET
EAGAN, Minn. – An elementary school principal could be disciplined for allegedly forcing a 6-year-old boy to unclog a toilet with his bare hands. The principal of Rahn Elementary has been on paid leave since mid-December while the school district investigated a complaint from the boy's parents. The school board proposed on Thursday. The nature of the discipline wasn't made public.
The boy's parents claim their son told them the principal made him clean out a toilet bowl that the boy had accidentally clogged on Dec. 12. The boy told his parents he wiped himself with paper towels, instead of , causing the clog.
The principal declined to respond to the claims Thursday. He also didn't say what disciplinary action was proposed and whether he'd appeal.
Friday, February 6, 2009
(02-06) 10:20 PST Stockton, CA (AP) --
A suspected bank robber is behind bars after a woman whose car he hit during the getaway declined a share of the booty to keep quiet.
Stockton police identified the alleged robber as 46-year-old Jerry Han.
According to investigators, Han walked into a branch of Bank of the West at noon Thursday and handed an employee a note demanding money.
Investigators say Han fled with the cash, but a few minutes later collided with another car. The driver told police that Han explained he had just robbed a bank and offered her a share of the take to keep quiet.
The woman called police. Han was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
Information from: The Record
Associated Press Writer
Thu Feb 5, 10:24 pm ET
WHITTIER, Calif. – The veil of secrecy octuplets' mother Nadya Suleman shrouded herself in for more than a week was lifted Thursday with the release of public documents showing that the 33-year-old struggled with depression for years until she finally began to realize her childhood dream of having a huge family.
Suleman, who now has 14 children, told doctors she battled with depression for years after she was injured in a riot in 1999 at thewhere she worked.
The doctors' reports were included in more than 300 pages of documents released to The Associated Press by the state Division of Workers' Compensation on the same day NBC released excerpts of Suleman's first interview since giving birth last month. Among other things, the documents reveal that Suleman collected more than $165,000 in disability payments between 2002 and 2008 for an injury she said left her in near-constant pain and helped end her marriage.
Meanwhile, Suleman told NBC what her mother and others have said since the octuplets were born: that she always wanted a huge family to make up for the isolation she felt as an only child.
"That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family," she said. "I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that ... I really lacked, I believe, growing up."
In the interview — scheduled to air on the "Today" show Monday and again Tuesday on "Dateline" — Suleman calls her childhood "pretty dysfunctional."
In the state report, however, doctors indicate she had a happy childhood. She told them she was an above-average high school student, enjoyed being a cheerleader, had many friends and stayed out of trouble. She said her parents were loving and supportive.
As an adult, however, she said she often battled depression as she struggled to get pregnant and particularly after her injury.
In the report, Suleman told a doctor she had three miscarriages. Another doctor disputed that number, saying she had two ectopic pregnancies, a dangerous condition in which a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than in the uterus. She told NBC she struggled for seven years before finally giving birth to her first child in 2001 through.
She told a doctor who conducted a psychological evaluation for a workers' compensation claim that the first birth was "the most wonderful, best thing that's ever happened in my life."
Suleman said all her children have been born through in vitro fertilization, with sperm donated from a friend. The first six range in age from 2 to 7. The octuplets are doing fine, said officials at Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower Medical Center, where they were born Jan. 26.
According to the state documents, which were released to the AP following a public records request, Suleman was injured Sept. 18, 1999, when a riot involving nearly two dozen patients broke out in the women's ward of thein Norwalk.
As she was helping other staffers restrain a patient, a desk thrown at her by another patient hit her in the back. It caused damage to her spine and left her complaining of headaches and intense pain throughout her lower body for years.
She attributed it in part to the breakup of her marriage to Marcos Gutierrez, whom she had wed in 1996. She told a psychiatrist the bouts of depression she was suffering as a result of her injury were unfair to her husband.
"I don't want to keep bringing him down. I want him to move on with his life," she told a psychiatrist.
The couple split in 2000 and divorced last year. Gutierrez has not returned calls to phone numbers listed for him, and his divorce lawyer, Roberto Gil, declined comment.
Suleman has come under criticism from TV and radio commentators, bloggers and others who accused her of irresponsibly having more children than she appears prepared to care for. Some say she had the octuplets to cash in with a TV or book deal.
Although the two publicists she hired last week acknowledge she is reviewing such offers, one of her friends said Suleman simply loves children and didn't get pregnant for profit.
"She's not even interested in that right now," said Jessica Zepeda, who lives down the street. "It's funny and sad in a way, there's a lot of people saying really negative things and they don't know her."
Suleman's mother said she expects people's opinions to change now that her daughter is going public.
"She's a very likable person," Angela Suleman said Wednesday. "She's basically normal except for this obsession she's always had with children."
She's also a good mother, Angela Suleman said.
Her daughter, who was born in Fullerton, studied to be a psychiatric technician after graduating from a high school in La Puente in 1993.
She received a bachelor's degree in child and adolescent development from California State University, Fullerton, in 2006 and was studying there for a master's degree in counseling when she became pregnant with the octuplets.
"She may not be able to finish her master's degree now and she was so close to wrapping it up," her mother said.
Publicist Mike Furtney said Nadya Suleman has told him it's her dream to eventually earn a Ph.D. in some field involving counseling.
Metropolitan State Hospital payroll from 1997 until last year, though it appears she did little work after September 1999 because of her injury.show Suleman was listed on the
Furtney said Thursday that Suleman was "feeling great" and looking forward to being reunited with her octuplets, who are expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks.
"She's happy to be out of the hospital, although she misses her children," he said. "She can't wait until they join her."
The octuplets were born nine weeks prematurely and will be released from the hospital individually as they hit a near-normal newborn weight.
"At this point in their development, they are not mature enough to coordinate the suckling and swallowing at the same time to be bottle-fed," said Dr. Mandhir Gupta, the hospital's neonatologist.
Associated Press writers Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, Raquel Maria Dillon andcontributed to this report.
02-05) 13:35 PST Mauston, Wis. (AP) --
A religious leader pleaded no contest Thursday to charges that he stashed a rotting corpse for two months in a follower's bathroom. Alan Bushey was charged last year with hiding a corpse, causing mental harm to a child and theft. Investigators said the body of a 90-year-old member of his religious group was concealed at another group member's home in a scheme to collect the dead woman's Social Security checks.
Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth agreed to drop the mental harm and theft counts in exchange for Bushey's plea, according to online court records.
Bushey, 58, of Necedah, faces up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. His sentencing is set for May 5.
His attorney, Thomas Steinman, didn't immediately return a telephone message left at his office Thursday. Southworth's office declined to comment.
Prosecutors accused Bushey and follower Tammy Lewis of leaving 90-year-old Magdeline Middlesworth's body on a toilet in Lewis' home after she died there in March.
A criminal complaint said Bushey led the Order of the Divine Will sect and told Lewis that God would revive Middlesworth. The decaying body was found in May after Middlesworth's family expressed concern.
Lewis pleaded no contest in November to obstructing a police officer and was fined $350.
Wed Feb 4, 10:05 am ET
BEIJING (Reuters) – A 99-year-old Chinese man has gone on trial inaccused of swindling some 750,000 yuan ($109,700) from an American, the oldest criminal defendant ever in the city, domestic media said Wednesday.
Zhou Zhiping, born in 1910, claimed to be a former provincial governor during the Nationalists' rule of, which ended when the Communists took power in 1949, the Beijing News said.
Zhou said he had close connections with government leaders and could help with the unfreezing of assets of the former Nationalists held in the United States, the report said, without elaborating.
Due to his age, Zhou was released on bail. The prosecutor also did his questioning at Zhou's house rather than the court, the newspaper added.
The elderly defendant, who has poor hearing, denied all the accusations in court. He could be jailed for at least 10 years or even for life if found guilty, the report said.
(Reporting by Liu Zhen, editing by Ben Blanchard and Sanjeev Miglani)
Wed Feb 4, 4:57 am ET
PATNA, India (Reuters) – Ansentenced a 75-year-old doctor to jail for accepting half a dollar (35 pence) as bribe nearly a quarter of a century ago, officials said on Wednesday.
caught Balgovind accepting 25 rupees (51 cents) from a sweeper in 1985 for issuing a fake medical certificate, police said.
The case dragged on for years and Prasad was convicted in 1992 and given a one-year jail term. He was freed as he appealed the sentence.
On Tuesday, a higher court in India's eastern state ofstate reduced the one-year term to three months, saying the bribe amount was too small, but directed the police to take Prasad into custody as he was guilty of the crime.
"The case was also dragging and the bribe money was too small, so Prasad thought he would get a reprieve from the court," prosecution lawyer Vipin Kumar Sinha told reporters after the verdict. "But all the charges has been proved against him."
Indian justice is often delivered at a glacial pace and a case can drag for decades with endless hearings.
(Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Sugita Katyal)
Tue Feb 3, 3:04 pm ET
VIENNA (Reuters) – An Austrian woman has begun a 500-day jail sentence for ignoringand failing to pay a cumulative fine of around 24,000 euros ($30,860), police said Tuesday.
They said the 38-year-old Graz was jailed after ignoring 700 attempts by to notify her of the fines over a 2-year period.from the southern city of
"Of course we have had people ignore three, four, five or even 10 reminders, but 700 ... that is unheard of," said police official Herbert Mattersdorfer.
A police spokesman said that under Austrian law, the woman could only spend 42 days at a time in jail for this offence, so her term would be split into several stints behind bars.
(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Nick Vinocur)
6:20 PM EST
CLEVELAND – Police insay a man called 911 because he felt he was in danger — then asked the dispatcher to hold on while he made a drug deal. Police Lt. Thomas Stacho said Tuesday that Alejandro Melendez was arrested after the call and was charged with possessing cocaine.
Police said Melendez called 911 late Saturday and reported that two men with guns were watching him.
Police records show he hung up, so the dispatcher called back.
Melendez answered and asked the dispatcher to hold on, but the dispatcher could still hear what was being said.
A voice can be heard on the recording of the call saying: "What you need? A 10-pack? You need a 10-pack? All right." Police say "10-pack" is slang for a bundle of heroin.
The dispatcher called police, who found Melendez at the location he gave, had the dispatcher call his cell phone again, and said they found cocaine in his trousers.
There was no immediate indication Tuesday if Melendez, 20, had an attorney to speak for him.
Monday, February 02, 2009
The mother of octuplets born in California last week is seeking $2 million from media interviews and commercial endorsements to help pay the costs of raising the children, the Times of London reported.
Nadya Suleman, 33, plans a career as a television childcare expert. It was learned last week that she already had six children before giving birth to eight more. She now has 14 children younger than 8 years old.
Although still confined to a Los Angeles hospital bed, Suleman reportedly intends to talk to two influential television hosts this week — media mogul Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer.
Her family has told agents she needs cash from media deals.
Suleman is being deluged with offers for book deals, TV shows and other business proposals, but according to her publicist she hasn't decided what she might do once she leaves the hospital.
On Friday she retained the Killeen Furtney Group public relations firm to handle what company President Joann Killeen says are hundreds of offers arriving daily. They include requests for paid interviews, TV show appearances, book deals and other opportunities.
Killeen says Suleman is "the most sought after mom in the world right now," but she hasn't decided what she'll do next, other than care for her children.
But Suleman's earning power could be diminished by the growing ethical and medical controversies surrounding her octuplets' birth. Experts believe that the unnamed fertility specialists who gave her in vitro fertilization (IVF) should not have implanted so many embryos, and in choosing to carry all eight to term, Suleman ignored guidelines, risking both the babies' health and her own.
Public reaction has been mixed: Many have asked how an unemployed single mother can raise 14 children, as her first six have already strained the family budget. Angela and Ed Suleman, Nadya’s parents, bought her a two-bedroom bungalow in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier in March 2007, but soon fell on hard times and had to leave their own home.
Published: 23 Jan 09 12:37 CET
A 30-year-old Swedish lottery millionaire has been arrested on suspicion of having shot and killed a man outside a restaurant north of Stockholm in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The suspect, who once won 1.2 million kronor in a lottery show broadcast live on TV4, is supected of killing a 29-year-old man outside the Magasinet restaurant in Upplands Väsby north of Stockholm in front of crowd of witnesses.
The 30-year-old made contact with the police just hours after the attack on Thursday and was arrested at an address in Upplands Väsby.
Police found the suspected murder weapon in a rubbish disposal room in the town.
"We believe the assailant threw the weapon away as he fled," police spokesman Lars Lisberger told news agency TT.
Both the victim and the suspect were known to the police.
Police received a call at 1.20am and arrived together with emergency workers to find one man dead from gunshot injuries and a group of people who had witnessed the killing gathered outside the restaurant.
“Witnesses have been questioned overnight and it appears that it stems from some prior history between the men,” police spokesman Fredrik Ladenstedt said on Thursday.
Monday, February 2nd 2009, 1:59 AM
Singer Jennifer Hudson performs during the pre-game show prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jennifer Hudson took a deep breath and she sang.
One hundred and ninety-five years after Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner," Hudson redefined our national anthem last night as a statement of hope, faith and - yes - even a hint of defiance.
The Oscar-winning singer returned to the public spotlight for the first time since the shocking murder of her mother, brother and niece in October.
She did it on the biggest stage in the country: Super Bowl XLIII.
By the time Hudson finished, the Dreamgirl had turned that stage into a platform to declare that she, too, will survive.
Hudson wore a blue jacket over a white suit, a look that subtly blended with the uniforms of the multiservice military color guard that played the music.
She wore an armful of bracelets and large hoop earrings. Once she was ready to come back to the public eye, clearly, she was going to give the crowd a show.
Her take on the anthem was a blend of gospel and soul. She kept the tempo deliberate, climbing easily up to the high notes for "the rocket's red glare" and then again for the climax.
In other words, she owned the song like no one has done since Whitney Houston seized it at the 1991 Super Bowl.
Houston's version of the song, which remains probably the most popular in Super Bowl history, also had an emotional overtone, coming as it did on the eve of the first Gulf War. It was eventually released as a single and reached the top 20 on the pop charts.
Hudson's drama was more personal.
Her emotional roller-coaster ride was all the more stunning because she had been riding the American dream over the previous two years.
She was on the third season of "American Idol," a contestant who was eliminated early - too early, many show fans felt.
So she picked herself up and landed a starring role as Effie, the fired singer in the 2006 movie version of the hit Broadway musical "Dreamgirls."
Effie was "the one with the voice," but Hudson showed she was more than that. She stopped the show with Effie's big number, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," and won over audiences with her acting ability.
Hollywood was so impressed, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2007.
In an acceptance speech that was almost as memorable as her performance in the movie, she gave profuse thanks to her family as she recounted her struggle to reach the top.
Last fall, her new album was released.
She was about to start touring to promote it when tragedy struck on Oct. 24. Her mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, her brother Jason, and little nephew Julian were murdered in her hometown of Chicago.
Ex-con William Balfour, her sister's estranged husband, was later arrested and charged for first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Feb. 23.
Hudson flew home and disappeared from public sight for weeks, issuing statements thanking her fans for their condolences and support.
She has now begun to re-emerge, filming a video for her song "If This Isn't Love" and planning appearances for the charity MusicCares.
There will be another big stage next Sunday when she sings at the Grammy Awards.
But last night was the biggest test - and the big breath she took before she began singing said she understood that.
When it was over, she exhaled.
News of the World ©
Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps is embroiled in a drug controversy, after News of the Worldpublished photographs of the American swimming superstar smoking what appears to be a bong.
The glass pipes are often used to smoke marijuana.
If the allegations prove correct, Phelps could risk his chance of adding to his medal tally at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The story claims Phelps partied for two days with students in November at the University Of South Carolina in Columbia, with one witness telling News of the World "he was out of control".
Reportedly Phelps knocked backed beers and shots of spirits, before being offered a bong from which he inhaled deeply.
"You could tell Michael had smoked before," the article reported a witness as saying.
"He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do.
"He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits."
The scandal doesn't stop there, the British newspaper also claims that Phelps' sponsors attempted to strike a deal for the damaging photos to be destroyed, including offering their client as a columnist for three years and other lucrative incentives.
This is not the first time Phelps has been in trouble with the law; in 2004 he was sentenced to 18 months probation for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Phelps has released a statement confirming the authenticity of the picture (if not quite confirming what exactly he was smoking):
I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
TOKYO (Reuters) - A blaze broke out at a fire station in Japan this week after a firefighter left a cooking stove burning as crew members left the station to respond to emergency calls.
Most of the duty staffers were out on a call when their colleague, alone at the station and cooking dinner for the crew, was himself called out.
In his haste to respond to the call, he forgot to turn the stove off, said Seiji Hori, a Nagoya City Fire Department official. Ten fire trucks from other stations put out the fire, Hori added.
"We are an institute that should be in a position to educate people about fire, so we are extremely sorry that such an incident happened," Hori said, adding that they would consider ordering-in for dinner from now on.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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