Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


3rd Grader expelled for having a "hit list" of people he wanted to kill

Third-grader expelled for making ‘hit list’

By Richard Wilson
Staff Writer
Updated 1:13 PM Thursday, April 30, 2009


HAMILTON — A third-grader was expelled from a local private school after a “hit list” of students and a teacher was found in his desk.

A menacing report was filed Tuesday, April 28, with the Hamilton Police Department indicating that a student at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1285 Main St., had written down names of students and a teacher that he wanted to kill.

Michael Mayo, the school’s principal, said he acted on a tip and found the list in the student’s desk. The student has been removed permanently from the school, Mayo said.

“We never believed for a second that people were truly in danger,” Mayo said. “But this sort of thing in this day and age, you just can’t do that. It will never be acceptable.”

The children and their parents were notified about the threats. Mayo said the student was troubled and had received counseling in the past.

“We still care for this person and we are in constant prayer for that person now,” Mayo said.

Hamilton police are investigating the incident, but no charges have been filed at this time, said Hamilton police spokesman Rich Burkhardt.

Immanuel Lutheran Church provides education for children in preschool through eighth grade, with class sizes of about 22 students, according to their Web site. Mayo said the school has an enrollment of 125 students of mostly preschoolers.



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Thursday, April 30, 2009


Man brings pot pipe to court

Man put marijuana pipe in security tray at St. Lucie courthouse, deputies say

Will Greenlee
Thursday, April 30, 2009

Clinton J. Gordon

Clinton J. Gordon

FORT PIERCE — A 39-year-old man was arrested after a security officer determined he had something unusual among the items to be checked at a security checkpoint at the downtown courthouse.

“As the items were checked (the security officer) determined that one item was a marijuana smoking pipe,” an arrest report states.

A deputy checked out the pipe and concluded that, indeed, it was a pot smoking pipe by the smell and residue, the report states.

Clinton J. Gordon, of the 2700 block of Wildwood Lane, faces a misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia charge in connection with the 10:30 a.m. Tuesday incident.

The private security officer had reported to a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office deputy that Gordon came in the courthouse and “surrendered his items at the security checkpoint.”

Gordon was released Tuesday from the St. Lucie County jail on $500 bail, a jail official said.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Man ask to join brother in jail gets wish

Brotherly love lands Circle man in jail

Chris Freiberg

Published Thursday, April 30, 2009 

FAIRBANKS — Authorities say that a Circle man assaulted a Fairbanks police officer so he could go to jail with his brother.

David Jacob Ginnis, 35, has pleaded guilty to one count of assault or battery on a police officer. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with the full sentence suspended.

The officer was patrolling the downtown area Monday night when he noticed a small crowd had gathered to watch two men fighting near the Lacey Street side of the courthouse. One of the participants in the fight was arrested on a criminal trespass charge.

The man was sitting in the back of the patrol car when Ginnis, who appeared intoxicated, approached the officer and asked if he could speak with his brother. The officer allowed them to speak for five minutes, but when he told Ginnis he had to take the man to jail, Ginnis asked if he could come as well if he assaulted the officer, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.

The officer told him that would “not go well” for him, but Ginnis shoved the officer with his fist. The officer took Ginnis to the ground and arrested him without further incident, according to the complaint.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Woman steals $12,000,000 in gold-uses her handbag




Last updated: 2:09 am
April 30, 2009
Posted: 1:56 am
April 30, 2009

What a gold digger!

A larcenous longtime employee of a major Queens jewelry manufacturer walked off with a staggering 500 pounds of gold she smuggled out piece by piece over six years -- in her handbag, prosecutors said yesterday.

Teresa Tambunting, 50, of Scarsdale, sneaked the hoard out of a Long Island City vault by stashing "a few ounces" at a time in a false bottom she created in the lining of her pocketbook, authorities said.

"I am a very sick woman. I took the gold," she told her stunned bosses once the jig was up, according to sources.

Officials at Jacmel Jewelry caught on that they were being bled dry after doing an internal audit in January and noticing they were missing as much as $12 million worth of gold, which now trades for around $900 an ounce.

"The defendant is accused of establishing a virtual mining operation in Long Island City which siphoned off millions of dollars' worth of the precious metal," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Tambunting had worked for Jacmel for 28 years, joining the company shortly after emigrating from the Philippines, and had been made a vault manager in 1991. She was paid $160,000 a year and was one of only a handful of "highly trusted" employees who had access to the company's safe, sources said.

But even those people were subject to searches by security -- which Tambunting got around with the makeshift hole in a beaten-up black leather, banana-shaped purse she carried for years.

A few days after company officials started going over their books to see if they had made an accounting error, Tambunting walked into work wheeling a piece of luggage containing 60 pounds of "fine gold" -- or buck-shot-sized pellets of unrefined precious metal.

When asked if that was all she had taken, she said yes, but days later, she changed her tune and came in with her lawyer --and a couple of dozen five-gallon paint buckets filled with 447.8 pounds of gold necklaces, rings, earrings and other jewelry. There was enough gold to fill 12 large storage bins.

The size of Tambunting's haul stunned employees.

"When they walked in the first time, they were shocked and their jaws dropped," a source said. "When she came back three weeks later, their jaws dropped even heavier."

The stash took company officials nearly three weeks to inventory. During that period, they discovered some pieces that dated back to early 2004. Then they went to the DA.

In all, the value of the returned gold is roughly $7.3 million, meaning $4.7 million remains missing. Some of that, sources said, could have been lost in routine manufacturing processes.

They said Tambunting and her husband, Edgardo, a director at Cantor Fitzgerald, appeared to be living within their means, but probers were still investigating their finances.

The couple lives with their three children in a million-dollar home.

Jacmel Jewelry President Jack Rahmey called Tambunting "a longtime employee and a trusted one," but declined to comment any further.

She was released Tuesday on $100,000 bail. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Her lawyer did not return messages.

Officials say as much as $12 million worth of gold -- which trades at roughly $900 a troy ounce -- disappeared. With a single gold bar weighing 400 troy ounces, or 27 pounds, that's the equivalent of 833 pounds of gold, or just shy of 31 gold bars.

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli


HEAVYWEIGHT SCHEME: Prosecutors say employee Teresa Tambunting took 500 pounds of gold from a Queens jewelry manufacturer (bottom) to her Scarsdale home (top).
HEAVYWEIGHT SCHEME: Prosecutors say employee Teresa Tambunting took 500 pounds of gold from a Queens jewelry manufacturer (bottom) to her Scarsdale home (top).

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Sisters, age 65 and 70 arrested as heroin dealers

Stroud Township sisters, age 65 and 70, sold drugs, cops allege
Top Photo
Julio Cesar Checo, left, Elaine Volkert, middle, and Elizabeth Grube.Contributed photos
Pocono Record Writer
April 30, 2009


STROUDSBURG — Two elderly sisters arrested Tuesday don't look like drug dealers, but police charge they made about $10,000 a week selling heroin out of their Stroud Township homes for at least the past six months.

Elizabeth Grube, 70, and her sister Elaine Volkert, 65, both of Ehler Street off Route 611 in Stroud Township, are charged with distributing drugs for an Allentown dealer.

"If you saw these ladies in the grocery market you would never in your wildest imagination believe them to be accused of being major heroin dealers in the county of Monroe," said David Christine, Monroe County district attorney.

Police executed a search warrant at the women's homes April 14, according to court papers. Police report they found 1,000 bags of heroin at Volkert's home and 400 bags of heroin at Grube's home.

According to documents, the women told police that for several months they had been buying hundreds to thousands of bags of heroin at a time from an Allentown drug dealer known as "Little Tony," later identified as Julio Cesar Checo, 28, of Allentown.


Police said Checo would deliver drugs to either their homes or the Burger King parking lot on Route 611 at the Stroud Mall. Both women told police that the day before police searched their homes, Checo delivered heroin to them.

Under the supervision of police, the women then made arrangements to meet Checo for a drug deal last Thursday in Stroud Township. When he arrived, he was arrested. The two women were arrested Tuesday.

The arrests came after a weeklong investigation by police from Stroud Area Regional Police, Monroe County Drug Task Force and State Attorney General's Office — with tips from the public, Christine said.

"People see things going on in the neighborhood, they're vigilant and law-abiding and they want it to stop, so they make complaints to police," Christine said. "Police send out undercover officers, use informants to make buys and get probable cause and a search warrant is issued. In this case it is a textbook case."

The sisters have been released on their own recognizance. Checo is in Monroe County Correctional Facility and will face a preliminary hearing next week, Christine said.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Deputy resigns after his wife, mother-in-law take patrol car out for a joyride

Apr 28, 9:00 PM EDT

Fla. deputy resigns after his wife, mother-in-law take patrol car out for a joyride

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- A Polk County deputy has turned in his badge after his wife and mother-in-law took his patrol car out for a joyride. Officials said the 44-year-old deputy resigned Monday after serving 21 years with the sheriff's office.

The arrest report said his wife and mother-in-law face charges of vehicle theft, theft of a firearm and impersonating a law-enforcement officer. His wife also faces charges of possession of a firearm of a convicted felon.

A third person riding in the back seat also was arrested.

Witnesses reporting seeing the patrol car driving erratically in Lakeland on Sunday morning. The deputy apparently didn't know the car was taken.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Judge denies inmate's request to change name to 'Sinner'

Inmate's religious name change request denied

CORY MATTESON /Lincoln Journal Star

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 - 03:21:21 pm CDT

A Nebraska State Penitentiary inmate’s religiously based name change request has been smote down by Lancaster County District judge.

Jonathan L. Thomas, 23, had asked that his name be changed to “Sinner Lawrence Bilskirnir.”

The reason for the name change had to do with Norse religion, according to court documents.Story PhotoLancaster County District Judge Steven Burns wrote in his judgment that Thomas said he wanted the name change “because he is a heathen and Thor is his ‘High God.’”

However, Burns wrote, Thomas’ criminal and child support cases supercede the name change request.

Thomas is in prison on three Lancaster County felony convictions — attempted burglary, possession of methamphetamine and theft by receiving stolen property. His projected release date is Jan. 18, 2014.

He also has had three child support cases filed against him.

Burns wrote that several government agencies have an interest in keeping track of Thomas. “Granting a name change to the defendent in this circumstance would interfere with those governmental needs,” he wrote.

Burns wrote that Thomas’ reasons did not meet the burden of proof.

“Simply because a person is a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, they do not change their name to Moses,” Burns wrote.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Baskin-Robbins Offering 31-cent Scoops to Honor Firefighters

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baskin-Robbins Offering 31-cent Scoops to Honor Firefighters

As a way of honoring firefighters, tonight Baskin-Robbins will be selling scoops of ice cream for 31 cents. Yes, get your spoons ready!

Proceeds from Baskin-Robbins' 31 Cent Scoop Night sales will go toward a $100,000 donation to the National Volunteer Fire Council's National Junior Firefighter Program.

The promotion runs tonight, from 5 - 10 PM, at any participating Baskin-
Robbins location. My guess is "participating" pretty much means them all, but still ...

If you're worried 31 Cent Scoop Night might slip your mind, don't be. If you send "scoop" in a text message to 31310, Baskin-Robbins will text you back later in the day to remind you.

Baskin-Robbins' site says:

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program gives fire departments and youth nationwide the resources, tools, and information they need to help develop, grow, enhance, promote, and participate in their local programs.

In the program, youth learn about local fire, rescue, and emergency medical services response organizations in a safe, controlled, educational, and fun way while providing departments with an excellent recruitment mechanism.

A donation of $100,000 will be made by Baskin-Robbins to the NVFC National Junior Firefighter Program. At select local stores throughout the country, you may also have a chance to donate to your local fire station.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Woman bites off part of boyfriend's lip

Posted on Tue, Apr. 28, 2009

Woman allegedly bites boyfriend's lip after fight


The Associated Press

SAN ANGELO - A woman has been charged with aggravated assault with a weapon , her teeth , after allegedly biting off part of her boyfriend's lip in a domestic dispute. Aubrey Joyce Garcia, 27, was accused of biting Antonio Zaragoza, 33, during a fight Sunday night.

She was arrested after police were called to a home where the two were fighting, police said.

Garcia remained in the Tom Green County Jail on Tuesday. Her bail is $30,000. Bradley Miles, her attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Zaragoza was treated at a hospital and released.

Teeth are considered a weapon because they allegedly were used to disfigure a person, officials said.

If convicted, Garcia faces up to 99 years in prison.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Radio Shack Employee Arrested for Punching Customer

Radio Shack Employee Arrested for Punching Customer  
Posted: 10:45 PM Apr 28, 2009
Last Updated: 10:45 PM Apr 28, 2009


A worker at Radio Shack was arrested for punching a customer.

Officers arrested 52-year-old James Knol of Eau Claire on Sunday night for disorderly conduct and battery.

According to the police report, 56-year-old Leigh Carey was trying to return something at the Radio Shack on Clairemont Avenue.

Carey told investigators Knol wouldn't let him, so he asked to talk to a manager.

That's when he says Knol started punching him and a witness called 911.

Knol is due in court May 19.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Men try to steal pickup truck that doesn't run



Pine Bluff Commercial


April 28 2009

9:15 pm

A Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy leaving the adult detention center Sunday became suspicious when he saw a group of men pushing a pickup down the street, and even more suspicious when he saw a county decal on the side of the truck.

Within a few minutes, two of those men, Matthew Dillard, 18, and Matthew Jordan, 20, were under arrest for theft of property. Authorities are still searching for two other men who ran from the scene.

Reading from an affidavit from sheriff’s Lt. Steve McFatridge during a court hearing Monday, Deputy Prosecutor Jill Reed said Cpl. Andy Hoots was in the area of Fourth Avenue and Alabama Street at about noon Sunday when he saw three men pushing the pickup, and a fourth man behind the wheel of the vehicle.

Reed said the men ran when they saw Hoots, who caught Jordan at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street. Dillard was arrested by Pine Bluff officer Ralph Issac at Fifth Avenue and Walnut Street a few minutes later.

McFatridge reported that the truck had been parked across from the detention center and would not run, but was being kept for parts. It was valued at more than $500.

Reed said Dillard and Jordan, who are cousins, have pending charges of attempted commercial burglary and criminal mischief, stemming from an arrest in 2008.

Circuit Judge Jodi Dennis set bonds of $2,500 for each of the two, and told them to come back to court May 11.

Also Monday, Dennis set a $2,500 bond for James C. Williams, 62, after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with second-degree forgery.

An affidavit from Detective Bill Wiegand reported that Williams had gone to Pine Bluff National Bank on Friday and tried to cash a check that had been reported stolen.

Reed said Williams claimed he had gotten the check from a woman, but admitted he signed the name of the account holder on the check.

Williams told the court he would represent himself.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Cop robs bank, uses police vehicle as getaway car

Cop robs bank, uses police vehicle as getaway car

April 28, 2009 • 10:23 am
Diana Fasanella

A German police detective faces charges of armed robbery after he allegedly walked into a bank without a mask, held up tellers with his police-issued pistol and made his getaway in an unmarked patrol car. 

Bungling and bumbling

Bungling and bumbling

Juergen Richter got away with close to $12,000 before a closed circuit TV recording led police to the 55-year-old man who they say robbed the Baden-Wurttemberg bank, Ananova reported. 

A police spokesman Norbert Schaetzle said Richter was having severe financial problems and wanted to solve them quickly. 

“He may as well have just walked into the bank, told them his name and where police could find him afterwards,” Schaetzle said. The inept robber had dealt with failed criminal plans over the years and should have known better, he added.

 Inspector Clouseau strikes again

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Woman Sues Chase For Telling Hubby About Secret Cash

Woman Sues Chase For Telling Hubby About Secret Cash


April 27, 2009

A Chase bank employee is being blamed for dropping the dime about a Long Island dentist's $800,000 individual account to her husband. The NY Post reports that while Nazita Aminpour and David Shamash "have a joint account at a Chase branch in Kew Gardens, Queens," Aminpour also had the secret account. Well, secret until a bank employee cold-called Shamash, "telling him he should take his small fortune out of the low-interest account and make other investments with Chase."

Aminipour's suit says that once Shamash heard about the money, he "began harassing [Aminpour], asking for money from the funds that he can invest in the stock market and to cover a margin call he had on his stock account." The suit adds that Shamash "alienat[ed]" Aminipour until she gave him $155,000 "to save her marriage and restore order in the marital home." Aminipour says Chase violated non-disclosure laws and wants the bank to pay her the $155K plus legal fees.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Pastor says his $660,000 salary and raise was Lord-approved

(Follow-up  to  story posted on April 23rd)

New Riverside Church pastor says his raise was Lord-approved


Monday, April 27th 2009, 4:00 AM

Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, Pastor of The Riverside Church.
Giancarli for News

Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton

Pastor of The Riverside Church


The incoming pastor of Riverside Church broke his silence over his massive pay package Saturday, saying God was behind him as he took the reins of the iconic Manhattan sanctuary.

"God told me all week, 'I got you.'" the Rev. Brad Braxton said to thunderous applause.

Braxton was installed as senior pastor despite some parishioners filing a lawsuit to trim his $600,000 in salary and perks.

The minister, a former professor at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, ascended to the pulpit to cheers from the congregation of 2,700.

Braxton, 40, tackled the controversy over his compensation, saying critics were "mistaking molehills for mountains."

In a sermon titled "Fear Not," Braxton vowed his priority would be "the sacred business of moving mountains."

Braxton, the married father of a young daughter, launched into his list of lofty goals, including promoting condoms to curb AIDS in Africa, immigration reform and gay marriage.

"I wonder if that will make the front page of the Daily News," the preacher said in reference to The News' page one headline last week, "Furor Over 600G Pastor."

News columnist Juan Gonzalez chronicled congregational infighting over Braxton's pay package, which includes a monthly housing allowance of $11,500 in addition to a base salary of $250,000.

Billy Jones, chairman of the Church Committee, challenged the facts of the lawsuit from the pulpit, saying Braxton's annual compensation tops out at $450,000.

Jones insisted that Braxton's base pay was similar to what his predecessor made and his perks do not include a full-time maid or any "equity payment" to help him buy a house.

The bulk of the congregation applauded when Jones noted that a judge denied a motion to delay Braxton's installation.

Parishioners like Naomi Griffin, 63, a 25-year member of the church, praised Braxton as "a spiritual man" and blasted the lawsuit as the work of idle minds.

"These dissidents don't seem to want to do things right," Griffin said.

At a service last night, Gov. Paterson, who was married at Riverside 17 years ago, said Braxton's "rare combination of skills" made him the right man to lead the church.With Erica Pearson

(Read first story posted on April 23rd)

Monday, April 27, 2009


Woman uses Taser on Trooper

Deseret News 

Trooper gets hit with own Taser

Published: Saturday, April 25, 2009 10:43 p.m. MDT

A woman who fought with a Utah Highway Patrol trooper on Saturday managed to use the trooper's Taser on him.

The trooper, suspecting a truck to be stolen, pulled it over near 1800 W. North Temple about 7 p.m. He attempted to arrest the female passenger, but the woman became belligerent, said UHP Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, and began fighting with the trooper, even drawing blood while hitting him with her shoe and biting him.

When the trooper tried to use his Taser, it didn't fire, Nigbur said, so he discarded it. But during the course of the fight, the woman picked it up.

She struck the trooper with the Taser, emitting a shock known as a "dry stun," Nigbur said.

A dry stun doesn't have the same effect as deploying the Taser's electrodes, he said, which deliver a shock to larger muscles of the body.

The trooper fought back, using his baton to rain blows on the woman.

A K-9 officer arrived as backup and let his dog take the woman down. But even in handcuffs, the woman continued to fight, and the backup trooper deployed his Taser to collapse the woman, Nigbur said.

By that time, the male driver of the truck had fled the scene, but he was arrested by Salt Lake police a short time later.

The injured trooper was taken to the hospital but is expected to be OK, Nigbur said. The woman was also taken to a hospital for treatment.

— Joseph M. Dougherty

© 2009 Deseret News Publishing Company | All rights reserved

Monday, April 27, 2009


Church giving sermon entitled 'Great Sex for You' need to find new home

Apr 26, 10:09 PM EDT

Church giving series of sermons entitled 'Great Sex for You' may need to find new home

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- A church giving sermons about sex may have to find a new home. Brevard Public School District's risk-management department has threatened to boot New Hope Church out of Sherwood Elementary because of a worship series titled "Great Sex for You."

Church leaders mailed 25,000 fliers, asking residents "Is Your Sex Life A Bore?" The three-week program kicked off inside the school auditorium. Pastor Bruce Cadle had said the Christian church has been "shamefully silent" on the taboo topic.

Mark Langdorf, the director of risk management, says the mailers generated complaints, were not appropriate for elementary school children and shouldn't be used to advertise the sermon in the school.

Langdorf says the church's lease contract is under review.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Flu Special Report: The Basics


Flu Special Report: The Basics

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 26 April 2009 02:37 pm ET

A flu virus.
A false-color image of an influenza virus, or virion, taken with transmission electron micrography. The flu's protein-laced fatty coat (orange) toughens up in cold weather, helping it survive. Credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith
A flu virus. A false-color image of an influenza virus, or virion, taken with transmission electron micrography. The flu's protein-laced fatty coat (orange) toughens up in cold weather, helping it survive. Credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith Flu and Virus Special Report at Flu and Virus News, Features and Images Recreated influenza virions from the 1918 flu that killed an estimated 50 million people. Credit: CDC/Terrence Tumpey

With swine flu outbreaks creating what U.S. health officials Sunday called a public health emergency, LiveScience presents a 4-part Flu Special Report this week to examines the science of influenza, what you can do to be safe, and the risk of a pandemic. Part 1 today: Flu basics.

The flu virus is most commonly spread in liquid droplets made airborne by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms – such as fever, body ache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, and dry cough – begin showing in adults one to four days after being infected.

The new strain of swine flu is spreading from human to human, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't yet know how contagious it is. Bird flu, which has in recent years concerned scientists, has been slow to transmit between humans.

A study in 2006 showed that modern travel could contribute to spreading a flu pandemic across the United States in as little as three months.

An adult can begin spreading the flu virus one day before and three to seven days after symptoms show, and children can remain contagious even longer. Some infected individuals show no symptoms, yet they can still spread the virus to others.

Among the best preventative measures you can take, according to the CDC:

For the elderly and the young, flu vaccines can be crucial but they only work when designed for a specific flu strain.

Year-round problem

Many people think of the flu as a winter disease since incidence typically peaks from December to March. It's actually a year-round problem.

But people tend to stay indoors more in the winter, making person-to-person transmission of influenza, which is caused by a virus, easier, said Jennifer Morcone, a spokeswoman for the CDC. Further, a study in 2007 revealed that the influenza virus thrives on cold temperatures and low relative humidity, allowing them to remain virulent longer in the air or on surfaces after being sneezed out of an infected person.

Each year anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu. Anyone can contract it, but children, the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions are more likely to experience complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. However, the swine flu currently sweeping through Mexico and the United States has proven more problematic among healthy young adults.

The flu can also worsen chronic health problems: asthmatics are more likely to have asthma attacks and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have their condition worsen.

On average, 36,000 people in the United States die from influenza and related complications each year, according to the CDC. More than 200,000 are admitted to hospitals for treatment.

A pandemic in 1918 killed more than 20 million people worldwide.

The flu is sometimes confused with the common cold, and for good reason. Both are respiratory illnesses brought on by viruses. They share many of the same symptoms, and it is nearly impossible to make the distinction based on the variety of symptoms alone.

Flu symptoms, however, are generally more intense, especially fever and fatigue, and can lead to dangerous complications.

Viral roots

Influenza is a virus – a pack of protein and DNA that lacks the capacity to self-reproduce. So it infects a cell, hijacks the inner machinery and uses it to reproduce. The virus reproduces until there are so many copies that the cell bursts and the virus spills out, spreading to other healthy cells.

There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. Swine flu (H1N1) and the much hyped avian flu (H5N1) are both Type A.

Type A: Infects people, pigs, birds, horses, seals, whales, and other animals. Wild birds are natural hosts. Divided into subtypes based on two surface proteins – hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). There are 15 HA and 9 NA subtypes, and these can be combined in various ways. Currently, the three most common subtypes in general human circulation are H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2. These can cause epidemics – defined as a high incidence of disease in an area or population – and also a widespread geographic or global disease called a pandemic.

Type B: Normally occurs only in humans. No subtypes. Known to cause human epidemics, but not pandemics.

Type C: Only causes mild respiratory illness in humans, and is not included in flu vaccines. Not capable of epidemic or pandemic spread.

Types A and B are further characterized into genetic variants called "strains." New strains are constantly evolving and take the place of older ones. While your body may have built up resistance against one strain, it may not be able to fend off its replacement.

Link to Part II, III,IV and  other videos

Monday, April 27, 2009


Man sets house on fire trying to kill spider with lighter

Man sets house on fire while trying to kill a spider with a lighter

A man had to be rescued after setting the front of his house on fire while trying to kill a spider with a lighter.

Telegraph UK

Last Updated: 12:20PM BST 27 Apr 2009

Firefighters say the man, in his 40s, had been trying to set fire to the spider as it crawled up the front of the semi-detached property

But sparks reached material behind the cladding and caused a fire within the walls, shortly before midnight.

Three fire engines raced to the scene in Portsmouth, Hants, and found the man trying to put out the flames with a garden hose.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus removed the cladding and spent two hours putting the fire out.

Watch manager Steve Pearce said: "The man was trying to put the fire out with a garden hose when we arrived.

"The whole thing had clearly scared the life out of him.

"There was a gap in the cladding where he was trying to kill the spider and so the sparks got through to the material behind and started spreading upwards towards the roof.

"Our concern was that it would reach the roof and the property would be lost.

"We sent firefighters up into the loft to put it out and fortunately we were able to stop it in time.

"Surprisingly there wasn't much damage to the house other than to the cladding.

"We obviously had a chat with the man but I don't think he'll be doing this again."

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Pilot suspended after landing at wrong airport

Pilot suspended after landing at wrong airport
Burnley Express
Published Date: 24 April 2009
AN airline which is banned from flying to Europe has this week announced that it has suspended a pilot and co-pilot who landed at the wrong airport in Lusaka, Zambia.
The pilot for Angola's flag carrier TAAG landed the Boeing 737 at Lusaka City Airport when he should have landed at Lusaka International Airport during a stopover from Harare to Luanda in April.

"Because this is a serious incident, Angola's Aviation Authority and TAAG have opened an investigation into the matter," a spokesman said.

"TAAG regrets the grief this has caused to passengers and reiterates its promise to deliver a service with the highest security standards."

The state carrier was banned from EU airspace in 2007 but Angola expects the airline to be allowed to fly to Europe later this year.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Meet the oldest living man in America

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Man charged with tattooing gang insignia on boy, 7

Man pleads not guilty to tattooing 7-year-old boy

Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009
The Associated Press
FRESNO, Calif. A Fresno man charged with tattooing a gang insignia Man a 7-year-boy while the father held him has pleaded not guilty.

Travis Gorman entered his plea Friday in Fresno County Superior Court. He faces felony charges of aggravated mayhem and street terrorism.

Fresno police say the 20-year-old tattooed the boy's belly with a dog paw. It is the insignia of the Bulldogs, who are Fresno's largest criminal street gang.

A warrant has been issued for the father, identified as 26-year-old Enrique Gonzalez.

Investigators learned of the crime Tuesday when the boy's mother brought the child to the offices of a multi-agency gang task force.

Information from: The Fresno Bee,

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Man Fired, Returns Home To Find House Burning


Man Fired, Returns Home To Find House Burning
Fire Victim Worked As Emergency Counselor

POSTED: 5:20 pm PDT April 24, 2009
UPDATED: 4:16 pm PDT April 25, 2009

OREGON CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon City man just couldn't catch a break Friday -- first he lost his job and then he returned home to find his house on fire.

Victor Gonzalez said there was a silver lining to getting fired Friday.

"If I hadn't gotten fired from work, I wouldn't have come home, and I don't know how far the fire would've gotten. So I guess that's a good thing," he said.

The single father lost his job and his house in a matter of two hours Friday morning.

The fire broke out just after 9 a.m. at the house on Canyon Ridge Drive. Luckily, everyone got out safely thanks in part to Gonzalez's 12-year-old daughter.

He said he knew everything would be OK with his daughter there to help out.

Gonzalez said he worked as an emergency department social worker, helping people deal with traumatic situations like fires. His past work with emergency situations is helping him to deal with the situation.

"You can choose to laugh or you can choose to cry and I'm choosing to laugh because I don't want to know what's going to happen if I cry," he said.

Now half of his roof is gone, his top floor is charred and firefighters soaked every inch of his house. Gonzalez isn't sure what his insurance will cover or if the house can even be repaired.

For now, he's just grateful everyone's OK and proud to have his daughter Audriana in his corner.

"She's been my partner in raising the family since we went through a divorce, and we couldn't be where we are without her," he said.

Gonzalez said it all started at about 7 a.m. when he started a fire in his wood stove to keep his two daughters and his niece cozy. He was called into work unexpectedly, but then was told he was let go.

When he returned home, he saw smoke on the roof. Gonzalez made sure to get everyone out of the home and then told his oldest daughter, Audriana, to call 911.


Gonzalez tried to fight the fire with his garden hose, but it grew too big, too fast. Even when fire crews arrived, it took them 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

Fire investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire, but they believe it may have started from embers coming out of the wood stove chimney.

Link to 911 call and video

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Mom arrested at home with meth lab and 3 kids

Mom caught at home with meth and 3 kids

Kids were 5, 2 and 9 months old.
Updated: Friday, 24 Apr 2009, 9:58 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 24 Apr 2009, 8:46 AM EDT

WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) - Three Warsaw individuals were arrested Thursday afternoon after Sheriff Deputies located two meth labs with children present.

According to the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department, officers responded to lot #678 in the West Haven Mobile Home Park on Thursday with Child Protective Services on a welfare check. Once inside, a working methamphetamine lab was found inside the mobile home where there were three children living with their mother.

As the officer's were awaiting the Kosciusko County Drug Task Force to arrive, the children's father was seen inside a vehicle driving by the residence. Sgt. Shaw pulled over the vehicle within the mobile home park and found a mobile methamphetamine lab.

Dale E. Shepherd Jr., 24, and Brittany M. Wright, 22, of lot #678, Warsaw, were both preliminary arrested on dealing/manufacturing methamphetamine, class B felony and neglect of a dependent, class D felony. The driver of the mobile meth lab vehicle, Toby D. Jackson, 27, of Warsaw, was also arrested and preliminarily charged with dealing methamphetamine.

All suspects bonds were set at $10,000.00 each. Shepherd was also found to have an outstanding civil body attachment warrant for $7097.01. Child Protective Services took custody of the three children at the residence who's ages were 5 years old, 2 years old, and 9 months old.


Link to pictures

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Mother tried to sell infant son for $10,000
WVa mother charged with trying to sell infant son

Associated Press Writer

April 24, 2009


A West Virginia mother was in jail Friday, accused of trying to sell her 5-month-old son for $10,000 to get money for a new apartment.

Rebecca Sue Taylor, 19, of Charleston offered to sell her baby to another woman identified as Leigh Burr after saying she was unable to bond with the infant and needed money for a new apartment, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Burr, no age or address available, said Taylor later cut the asking price to $5,000.

The women had been talking about Taylor serving as a possible surrogate mother for Burr when Taylor offered to sell her the baby she already had, police said in the criminal complaint.

Charleston Police Sgt. E. L. Hodges said Burr reported the offer to police on Sunday. Taylor was arrested Wednesday.

Hodges said the child is in state custody. He said he did not know anything about the baby's father.

Hodges said the two women were acquaintances, but he did not know the extent of their relationship. He also said he did not know anything about Taylor's financial situation or whether she was employed.

Burr does not have a published phone number and could not be reached for comment Friday.

Hodges said he's heard of similar cases across the country, but said such crimes are rare in West Virginia.

"We've been lucky," he said.

Taylor was being held Friday at South Central Regional Jail with bond set at $2,500. She has asked for a court-appointed attorney, though one has not yet been appointed, officials said.

A felony charge of offering the purchase or sale of a child carries a fine of $100 to $2,000 and one to five years in prison.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Teen steals from cars to get money to pay lawyer

Wis. teen allegedly steals from cars to get money to pay lawyer to defend him on other charges
8:00 PM CDT, April 24, 2009

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - A teen allegedly broke into cars to raise money to pay a lawyer to defend him on other charges. A criminal complaint said a resident caught the teen inside his Chevrolet Camaro in his garage about 4:30 a.m. April 16 and tackled him and held him for police.

Officers found a GPS system, nine CDs and seven video games in his backpack. The criminal complaint said he took the items to help pay for a lawyer.

He was charged with felony burglary, possession of burglar tools and bail jumping.

The teen was charged previously with drug possession, disorderly conduct and theft of movable property.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Doctors remove 40-pound tumor from woman

German doctors: 40-pound tumor removed from woman
By RACHEL NOLAN, Associated Press Writer

Friday, April 24, 2009


(04-24) 09:52 PDT BERLIN, Germany (AP) --

A German doctor said Friday that surgeons have successfully removed a 40-pound (18 kilogram) malignant bone tumor from a Saudi Arabian woman.

Dr. Heinz Zurbruegg, a surgeon at the private Capital Health clinic in Berlin, said the 35-year-old had only a few weeks to live when she arrived in Germany for care in September.

But he said that after five operations by the surgeons, no traces remain of the bone tumor that once ballooned from her pelvis and represented a third of her body weight.

He said she is now well enough to return home and that if follow-up exams continue to show no sign of any tumor, the next steps will be to reconstruct the partially removed pelvis and give her an artificial hip.

The woman, who spoke on the condition that her identity not be disclosed, said she traveled to Germany after doctors in Riyadh said they would have to amputate her leg to remove the bone tumor.

She said the tumor had kept her bedridden for five years, but she now can walk with crutches. She also said her husband and three young daughters are delighted by the doctors' success.

Link to picture of tumor area and other medical wonders

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Alaska's Sex offender's gift of lottery winnings undelivered

Sex offender's promised gift of lottery winnings undelivered so far
April 25, 2009, 12:23AM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska's first big lottery produced more twists than anybody anticipated, and it's not over yet.
The winner of the $500,000 jackpot in January was a convicted sex offender who said he intended to donate $100,000 to Standing Together Against Rape, the Anchorage-based charity that the lottery was intended to benefit.

But Alec Ahsoak didn't give any of his winnings - $350,000 after taxes - to STAR. The advocacy organization never heard from him, STAR executive director Nancy Haag said this week. She said the group is looking ahead and not dwelling on it.

"I know that probably in the moment he probably was very excited and probably thought he could do more with his money than he really was able to," Haag said.

Ahsoak, 54, was attacked on the street within days of claiming his prize. Authorities say the attacker's motive related to Ahsoak's history as a sexual offender.

Ahsoak was not obligated to give away winnings. It was lottery operator Abe Spicola who said Ahsoak intended to give the money to STAR, after news broke about his history as a repeat sex offender. Ahsoak never denied or corrected the statement.

STAR ended up collecting about $11,000 as its share of the proceeds from the Lucky Times Pull-Tabs lottery, Haag said.

Efforts to reach Ahsoak weren't successful. No one answered the door at the inn where he's living. A manager said he usually keeps to himself. An attorney for Ahsoak, Lance Wells, also didn't return a call.

Spicola, the Lucky Times owner, said he didn't want to put more attention on or bring any more hardship to Ahsoak, considering all he had been through. He said people need to remember that perpetrators of sexual abuse often have been victimized themselves.

He said he hadn't been able to reach Ahsoak, either.

"He's changed his number. He's not returning calls. ... ... cannot even get calls returned through his lawyer," Spicola said.

"He just wants to disappear for a while and live his life, I think."

Lucky Times withheld $150,000 of Ahsoak's winnings for federal taxes. Spicola said he was trying to reach Ahsoak to finalize some paperwork.

Alaska law requires operators of pull-tab, bingo and other games of chance to team up with charities and give them at least 10 percent of the take after prizes. STAR paired with Spicola's Lucky Times Pull-Tabs for Alaska's first big payout and is doing so again this year.

Spicola said Lucky Times is running two sizable lotteries this year. One, with a $250,000 prize, will benefit an organization called Veteran's Aviation Outreach. That drawing is now scheduled for Labor Day, he said.

The other, with a $500,000 prize, will benefit STAR. Spicola said the drawing will be just after midnight on New Year's Day. Lucky Times should sell more tickets this time around, with more time and more experience, he said.

Just days after coming forward to win Alaska's biggest jackpot, Ahsoak was targeted walking out of 5th Avenue Mall downtown.

Brandon Hughes, 20, of the Los Angeles area, is accused of beating Ahsoak with a metal pipe or tie rod. He is in jail awaiting trial on charges of first-degree assault and tampering with evidence. Reagan King, 18, who authorities believe helped Hughes flee and get rid of the weapon, was arrested over the weekend on a charge of evidence tampering. Hughes knew a relative of a victim or victims of Ahsoak, according to authorities.

Ahsoak was convicted in 1993 of molesting two girls and sentenced to four years in prison. Police arrested him again in 2000 for molesting a different girl he was baby-sitting. He was sentenced to six years in prison in that case.

Ahsoak is registered as a sex offender.

Some of his victims and their parents have said that they didn't think he should get the money and that it instead should go to his victims.

Ahsoak said in January that he had been in treatment and was trying to turn his life around.

He talked about buying a house or cabin as well as vehicles with his winnings. It's not clear that happened.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Lost $11,000 Rings Returned to Owner

Lost $11K Rings Returned to Owner
Rings Found At Sterling Heights Restaurant

POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
UPDATED: 8:15 pm EDT April 22, 2009

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich -- The cleaning crew at Andiamo's restaurant in Sterling Heights returned two pricey rings to a Macomb Township woman.

Nadine Ventimiglia washed her hands in the restaurant bathroom and took off her rings. She had to go to a different sink to get a paper towel, and forgot about the rings.

When she realized what she had done, she called the restaurant the next day, but the rings were gone.

Then, the restaurant owner called her back, and said one of the people who cleaned the restaurant had found the rings.

Ventimiglia told Local 4, "I was stunned, absolutely stunned. My rings were very special to me, and to have someone actually find them and turn them in and be honest enough to do that with today's economic times is amazing to me."

Linda Preka owns Nobile Cleaning Services. She said she always encourages honesty among her workers and has rewarded the employee who returned the rings.
Link to Video

Friday, April 24, 2009


Man blowtorches son's butt as punishment

The Morning Sun


Two charged with burning child with blowtorch
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clare Managing Editor

Two Clare County men accused of punishing a 6-year-old boy by burning him with a blowtorch are scheduled to be in court May 5.

Gerald Hall, 36, and his brother, Glen Hall, 43, face a preliminary hearing in Judge Joshua Farrell's 80th District courtroom in Harrison to determine if there is sufficient evidence for the two to stand trial on first-degree child abuse charges.

Both men were charged on Wednesday.

The two are accused of burning Gerald Hall's son's buttocks on at least one occasion, police said.

Although first-degree child abuse is a 15-year felony, Glen Hall could face more time in prison if convicted.

Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis put the elder Hall on habitual offender notice, meaning he could be sentenced to one and a half times the maximum if convicted.

Glen Hall is on parole after serving time in prison for a drunken driving causing serious injury conviction in 2003 in Isabella County, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.

He also was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon in Clare County in 2008, according to MDOC records.

Both men remain in the Clare County Jail on $150,000 cash bonds, according to court records.

Troopers from the state police post in Mt. Pleasant launched an investigation into the two in October, following a referral from the state Department of Human Services, Sgt. Del Putnam said.

Warrants were issued for the mens' arrests based on one specific incident but police believe that the blowtorch was the "main act of discipline used" on the boy, who has recovered physically and is currently in protective custody, Putnam said.

It took some time to get much of the medical information for the investigation, Putnam said.

Putnam said the case is "one of the worst" he's seen.

Gerald Hall was arrested Tuesday, and his brother was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his place of work after a warrant was authorized, Putnam said.


Friday, April 24, 2009


Man, 84, fights off carjackers with groin kick

Man, 84, fights off carjackers with groin kick

April 24, 2009
3:10 pm
TACOMA, Wash. - An 84-year-old man has a black eye, but he still has his car, after fighting off two would-be carjackers. Ted Mazetier said he stopped Wednesday night to help two men with a disabled car when one punched him in the face and demanded his keys. Mazetier said he kicked the man in the groin and the other in the belly. The two men fled as a passer-by stopped to help.

Police later arrested two suspects for investigation of assault.

Mazetier said he'll think twice before stopping again to help someone on the street. He'll be 85 in June.

Video Link to interview with Ted Mazetier

Friday, April 24, 2009


Fake dentist arrested after removing nine teeth in one sitting

Fake dentist arrested after he removes nine teeth in one sitting
• 23 Apr 2009 •
The Euroweekly News

He admitted to having no qualifications when officers questioned him

Guardia Civil from Nijar have arrested a 27-year-old man from Motril (Granada) accused of practising as a dentist without the proper qualifications. Police officers launched the investigation at the end of March after being alerted to a dentist who had set up practice in San Isidro (Nijar). They were informed that a woman from Campohermoso had been recommended to him by a friend, and on March 29 he paid her a home visit. After one oral examination he extracted nine of her teeth, some of which were expensive implants that were in perfect condition.

After her painful ordeal, the bogus dentist did not provide any evidence of his qualifications, nor did he provide her with an invoice. Instead he made an appointment for the following day to collect the money. As a result of the physical trauma she was subjected to, the woman had to seek medical attention the following day at the casualty unit of the Campohermoso Hospital.

The Guardia Civil investigation led them to locate a converted garage that was being used as a makeshift clinic, and to the fake dentist. An inspection of the premises revealed how he had installed an old barber's chair, and officers found syringes, a drill and even a 50-kilogram bag of plaster. The site lacked all the necessary hygiene and sanitary facilities. During an interview with the bogus dentist, he started displaying signs of nervousness when attempting to answer officers' questions. His apparent nervousness increased even further when officers discovered business cards with his name on, claiming that he was a prosthodontist.

Faced with such a weight of evidence against him, the man admitted to have been practising without qualifications or professional title. He said he had learnt some of the basics from his brother who is a dentist.

Officers remanded him in custody to prevent him from carrying on with his dangerous pretence.

At the time of writing, officers are still waiting for a full statement from the victim, who due to the painful state of her mouth, is unable to speak.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Driver runs stop sign has 209 marijuana plants in the car

Over 200 pot plants found in car after traffic stop

Posted: April 23, 2009 10:12 AM EDT

Updated: April 23, 2009 06:34 PM EDT

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. - The Charlotte County Sheriff's Street Crimes Unit made a traffic stop on a driver who ran a stop sign Wednesday night and found 209 marijuana plants in the car.

According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred at Birchcrest Blvd. and Gibralter Drive in Port Charlotte.

When deputies approached the driver, 23-year-old Matthew Allen Ward, they observed a large plastic tray in the back seat with the pot plants.

Deputies said they detected the smell of recently burned marijuana coming from inside the car. Ward appeared nervous and was shaking, and then deputies saw a plastic baggie and rolling papers sticking out of his right front pocket in plain view.

Total weight of the marijuana seized was 43.2 grams. Based on the evidence collected, Street Crimes deputies had probable cause to charge Ward with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Without a Valid Driver's License. He was transported to the Charlotte County Jail with bond set at $9,000.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


NY parents accused of taking children on burglary

NY parents accused taking children on burglary
Wednesday, April 22 07:05 pm

A mother was accused on Wednesday of driving a getaway minivan with her two young children inside after burglaries at two New York City homes.

Prosecutors said Erika Santana, 23, drove the van with her four-year-old and five-month-old children inside after Hugo Lantigua, 22, who is the baby's father, and Pedro Camillo, 19, broke into two houses in the borough of Queens.

Santana, Lantigua and Camillo face charges including burglary, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, and face up to 25 years in prison.

"It is unthinkable that a mother and father would put their children in harm's way while allegedly committing these crimes. It is even more unimaginable that they would allegedly do so with a loaded handgun in their vehicle," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by David Storey)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Prison tryst interrupted

Prison tryst interrupted

Karen Voyles
Gainesville Sun 
Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 10:43 p.m.

A Gainesville woman accused of sneaking into a minimum-security prison for a rendezvous with her boyfriend early Wednesday was arrested when the couple were discovered.

The boyfriend reportedly jumped out of a window and remained a fugitive at midday Wednesday.

Gainesville police arrested Victoria Thorp, 19, inside a dormitory at the Santa Fe Work Release Center on NW 39th Avenue shortly after 3 a.m.

Police Lt. Wayne Ash said the woman Thorp had apparently climbed through an unbarred window to see Aquilla Wilson, 18. Wilson was serving time at the minimum-security state facility for Citrus County drug convictions.

"It appeared that she climbed through the window for a little tryst, and when they got caught, he left and left her there," Ash said.

Thorp was being held at the Alachua County jail on charges of aiding a prisoner's escape and introduction of contraband into a prison. A search for Wilson - who was considered a fugitive as soon as he went through the window - was under way.


Aquila Wilson



 Victoria Thorp

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Boys, 10 and 11 arrested for selling pot at school

April 23, 2009

Police: Warren Township boys, 10 and 11, dealt pot at school

Vic Ryckaert and Robert Annis

Two Warren Township fifth-graders -- ages 10 and 11 -- have been arrested after police say they were caught conducting a marijuana deal at school.

Details were sketchy, but Warren Township spokesman Dennis Jarrett said a student told school officials he saw a classmate at Brookview Elementary sell a "marijuana-like substance" to another student Tuesday morning.

"We are getting to a state of emergency," said the Rev. Byron Alston, director of Save the Youth, an Eastside social services program. "When you have elementary students selling dope in the school, we've got a serious problem."

According to a police report, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department field technician later confirmed the substance was 1.88 grams of marijuana -- enough for one or two joints.

The boys were arrested on juvenile charges of dealing and possessing marijuana and taken to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center. Both were suspended, pending an investigation.

Their ages raised concern.

"It's kind of shocking that it would happen at an elementary school, especially this one," said parent Doug Stephenson, 41, Indianapolis. "Brookview has always been a well-disciplined, well-managed school, with strict policies on dress and behavior. This is the first time we've ever heard of a problem like this."

Indiana University studies on drug, alcohol and tobacco use start with Grade 6. Most state and national studies on youth drug use do not include kids younger than 12.

In 2008, IU's Indiana Prevention Resource Center found that overall drug use among the state's students had dropped, and that the average age for first trying marijuana was 13.8 years.

Randy Miller, director of Drug-Free Marion County, said it is rare for children this young to be involved in selling marijuana.

"It certainly brings into question what they've been exposed to along the way," Miller said. "You're certainly not going to find 10- and 11-year-olds saying this is a way to make money."

Alston wondered where the boys got the drug. Police and school officials did not answer that question Wednesday.

"They had to get it from somebody they know, and somebody had to teach them how to do it," Alston said.

Messages left at the two students' homes were not returned Wednesday evening.

Class time at Brookview, 1550 Cumberland Road, wasn't affected, Jarrett said, but Principal Timothy Hanson spoke to students afterward.

"The principal took the opportunity to talk to the other students about the importance of making good choices, and that bad decisions wouldn't be tolerated at Brookview Elementary," Jarrett said. "It's a shame that it happened, but it does show that one kid did the right thing. It shows (anti-drug) education is working."

Brookview, which serves students in Grades K-5, has 473 students enrolled this year, according the state Department of Education.

Hanson and Warren Township Schools Superintendent Peggy Hinckley didn't return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

Stephenson, the Brookview parent, applauded school officials for notifying police right away. But he said a message left on his answering machine by the school was exceedingly vague and didn't say why police were at the school.

Rob Garl, treasurer of Brookview's parent-teacher association, said officials gave general information.

"We were simply told that it was inappropriate for school and inappropriate for society or something to that effect," he said.


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Parishioners' sue new senior minister over $600,000 salary

Head of Riverside Church defends Rev. Brad Braxton's $600K annual compensation

Thursday, April 23rd 2009, 4:00 AM

The head of the Riverside Church Council is defending a more than $600,000-a-year package for the church's new senior minister - a setup that has sparked a court fight among members of the congregation

The Rev. Brad Braxton's pay is "in line with compensation packages of other religious leaders in Manhattan who minister to congregations of a similar size and scope," the council chairman, Billy Jones, said in a statement released through public relations guru Howard Rubenstein.

As the Daily News revealed Wednesday, Braxton's lavish package includes a $250,000 annual salary, a monthly "living allowance" of $11,500, plus separate allowances for a maid, entertainment, travel and professional development expenses. There's even an annual payment into a fund for Braxton to save money to buy a home.

Church leaders resisted disclosure of the contract's specifics in a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court this week. Church sources say it amounts to double what the Rev. James Forbes, Braxton's predecessor, received in the final years of his 18-year tenure.

Thanks to the "living allowance," Braxton, a 40-year-old former professor at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, his wife and young daughter have moved into a penthouse apartment at the Montana, a luxury high-rise on the upper West Side where apartments rent for up to $18,000 a month.

A Riverside spokesman declined a request for an interview with Braxton. A woman who answered the door to the couple's apartment also declined to talk.

Jones said Braxton's employment contract "was presented to the congregation on three separate occasions and was voted on, and approved by the congregation in our budget meeting."

Several church members dispute that claim.

"If what they say is true, why would we still be asking to see the compensation package?" said Virl Andrick, who sits on the church budget committee and is a 25-year member of the congregation.

He is among a group that went to court to try to block Braxton's installation, scheduled for Sunday.

The dissidents say they never got details of what their new pastor would cost when they voted to hire him. They've asked for a full meeting of the congregation May 3 to question Braxton and church leaders about thecontract.

They are worried the huge endowment the socially liberal Morningside Heights church received from John D. Rockefeller Jr. decades ago shriveled in the stock market collapse to barely more than $100 million.

At the same time, the church is running a huge operating deficit each year, but can draw no more 5% from the endowment to cover shortfalls.

"That means the operating budget over the next three years will have to be catastrophically reduced," said Richard Stone, a former church leader and lawyer for the Braxton opponents.

There is no excuse for shelling out so much money for one minister in the midst of an economic meltdown for both the country and their own church, they say.

Jones and church leaders see things differently. They point to Braxton's "breadth of responsibilities." In addition to meeting the spiritual needs of the congregation, his duties include "overseeing a staff of 150 people ... overseeing a full-time day school of 128 students and running 80 church and community programs," Jones said.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone has urged the two sides to reconcile their differences.




Reverend Brad Braxton. 

Reverend Brad Braxton 





New Riverside Church pastor Rev. Brad Braxton's $600K compensation prompts parishioners' suit

Wednesday, April 22nd 2009, 4:00 AM

Manhattan's Riverside Church - one of the country's most illustrious religious institutions - is paying its new senior pastor, the Rev. Brad Braxton, more than $600,000 in annual compensation.

That's twice what Braxton's predecessor, James Forbes, one of the country's best-known preachers, was getting after running Riverside for more than 18 years.

It amounts to almost 10 times what William Sloane Coffin, the legendary anti-Vietnam War clergyman, was paid in his last year as senior minister at Riverside in 1987.

Braxton was selected in a vote of the congregation last fall and is to be officially installed Sunday.

A group of church dissidents claims the members were never told about the lavish package.

Those dissidents filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week to stop Braxton's installation, revealing a growing divide among the church's 1,500 members.

The Wall Street-like package, the dissidents say, is outrageous for a man of the cloth - especially when you consider Riverside's long history of advocating social justice.

Church sources say it includes:

On top of that, Braxton immediately hired a new second in command at more than $300,000 a year.

"Where's the social justice in this?" said Diana Solomon-Glover, a member of the church choir and one of the petitioners in the suit.

"We have an economic crisis in the country, and none of the church staff are getting raises this year, but a few people at the top are getting these huge salaries?"

In a hearing Tuesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Lewis Bart Stone denied the dissidents' request to delay Sunday's installation. The judge urged church leaders to provide the opposition a fair chance to be heard by the church membership.

He adjourned the case until after a special meeting of the congregation scheduled for May 3.

The two sides should find a way to achieve "some form of fellowship and reconciliation between members of the church," Stone said, to "prevent a split."

"They [the dissidents] don't want to accept that the majority has already spoken," said Sarah Conly, who backs Braxton. The vote last fall to appoint Braxton was overwhelming, his supporters say.

"I don't know why they even brought this case into court," said Jean Schmidt, vice chair of the Church Council, one of the key officials who brought in Braxton.

"If the members of the church had known what his total compensation was when we voted, we wouldn't have chosen him," said Virl Andrick, a 25-year member of the church and of its budget and planning commission.

Only a tiny group in the leadership has details of the contract, he said.

"There's a problem with the process," Andrick said. As an interdenominational church, Riverside is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches, but the two denominations have very distinct governing philosophies.

Congregational churches "have complete transparency on finances," Andrick said. "Members know everything about the church's finances and the pastor's salary."

Baptist churches, on the other hand, tend to keep vital information among key church leaders.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Security guard punched after couple steals diapers



Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - Page updated at 12:46 PM

Couple shoplift $18 worth of diapers in Spokane

By By; Jody Lawrence-Turner

The Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE — A couple allegedly shoplifted $18 worth of diapers from a Spokane Safeway last weekend, possibly part of a growing trend of desperation crimes triggered by the recession.

Shoplifting arrests have increased by nearly 80 percent from 2007 to 2008 in Kootenai County, according to the Sheriff's Office. In Spokane County, authorities have seen an increase in property crimes that exceeds any level in the past 10 years, according to a crime analyst at the Spokane Police Department.

Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told The Spokesman-Review last month that an economic downturn leads to more crimes committed to meet necessities.

On Saturday, a security guard stopped the couple walking out of Safeway on Francis Avenue at North Monroe Street about 5:30 p.m. with Huggies in their cart, authorities said. The man yelled, "Sorry," then punched the security guard, leaving a mark on the guard's cheek, according to a Spokane County Sheriff's Office press release.

The security guard grabbed the man's shirt to stop his escape, but the shirt ripped off, Sgt. Dave Reagan said. The man ran from the area.

Meanwhile, the woman continued to a silver SUV with the diapers, Reagan said. After the security guard ordered her to stop, the woman got into the passenger side, then slid into the driver's seat and drove away. Police were trying to locate the couple. The Washington plate on the vehicle was similar to 546YBG, Reagan said.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Employee steals from Wal-mart post them for sale on employee bulletin board

Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.
Last modified on 4/21/2009 at 6:30 pm

Police: Man tries to sell items taken at Wal-Mart

By Gazette News Services

GREAT FALLS - An employee at the Wal-Mart in Great Falls faces felony theft charges for allegedly taking electronics from the store and posting the items for sale on an employee bulletin board.

Remo Spencer was arrested Saturday at Wal-Mart.

Spencer had posted an ad on an employee bulletin board indicating that he had several iPods and computers for sale.

A manager became suspicious and reviewed surveillance footage, discovering the thefts.

Police say Remo returned eight laptop computers and seven iPods valued at nearly $7,000.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Man Finds Suspect Watching TV In His Home

Man Finds Suspect Watching TV In His Home


A Sacramento man got quite a surprise when he returned home and found a stranger chilling out on his living room couch and watching TV.  And that's not the only thing the accused burglar did in the man's home. 

25-year-old Joshua Ochoa is behind bars this morning facing burglary charges. He was busted when Joseph Magee returned home from a workout and found Ochoa sitting in the living room watching ESPN.  And that's not all.  Ochoa made himself right at home taking a shower, eating a few bagel bites and drinking some apple juice.

Ochoa told police that he thought he was in his brother's apartment and found the front door unlocked. But the homeowner insists he left the door locked.

 Link to Interview

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Man faked robbery to get girl back


Police: Man faked robbery to get girl back

Published: April 21, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Authorities in Florida said they arrested a man who allegedly faked an armed robbery to gain sympathy from his estranged girlfriend.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said Derick Culberson, 22, of Palm City, told deputies Friday night that two men armed with a silver pistol stole his vehicle's GPS device and bound his hands and ankles with plastic zip ties, reported Tuesday.

Investigators said inconsistencies in Culberson's story made them suspicious and they discovered zip ties in his truck that were similar to the ones on his wrists and ankles when deputies arrived on the scene.

The sheriff's office report of the incident states Culberson eventually admitted to inventing the robbery "in an attempt to make his girlfriend feel bad for leaving him."

"Culberson admitted to tying his own hands and feet, and further inventing the suspects' vehicle and weapon descriptions that he gave to sheriff's office dispatch and deputies," the report states.

Culberson was arrested and charged with misdemeanor false report of the commission of a crime. He was released Saturday from the Martin County jail after posting $250 bail.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Mom orders daughters out and drives off

April 20, 2009

9:15 pm 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- Usually, it's an empty threat: "If you kids don't stop fighting, I'm going to stop this car right now and leave you here!"

But a mother from an upper-crust New York suburb went through with it, ordering her battling 10- and 12-year-old daughters out of her car in White Plains' business district and driving off, police said Tuesday.

Madlyn Primoff, 45, a partner in a Manhattan law firm, pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of endangering a child. A temporary order of protection was issued, barring her from contact with the children, who were physically unharmed.

Primoff's lawyer, Vincent Briccetti, would not comment Tuesday on details of the case. But he said, "Madlyn is a great mother connected with a great family, and she is grateful for the outpouring of support from friends and family."

There wasn't much support from strangers, however. Mothers interviewed near the scene said they couldn't imagine doing what Primoff did, though some understood the urge.

Iris Gorodess, 49, of Mahopac, who has four children ranging from 10 to 19 years old, said she sympathized with Primoff's actions, right up to the point where she pulled away.

"I used to pull over and make the kids change seats. Also, I make sure the kids have their iPods and their games. And I have a minivan, so they're not up my neck all the time.

"But I can't see pulling away. That has to be too scary for the children."

White Plains police said Primoff ordered the arguing girls out of the car Sunday evening as they were driving home. She left them at Post Road and South Broadway, an area of shops and offices 3 miles from their home, then drove off, the police report said.

The report does not say whether the girls had cell phones.

Police would not say if Primoff ever returned to look for the girls, but they said, without explaining how, that the 12-year-old eventually caught up with the mother. The 10-year-old was found by a "Good Samaritan" on the street, upset and emotional about losing her mother, police said.

The girl gave police her mother's name and their address in well-to-do Scarsdale, and they asked Scarsdale police to check Primoff's $2 million house. Shortly afterward, Primoff called Scarsdale police from home to say the 10-year-old was missing, said Scarsdale Detective Lt. Bryant Clark.

He directed her to White Plains police headquarters, where she was arrested.

Dr. Richard Gersh, director of psychiatric services at the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in Manhattan, said Primoff's behavior was not appropriate.

"It is a traumatic situation for a child to be abandoned by a parent like that. You can imagine what emotional issues might arise," he said.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The tallest people alive

This list includes people who are "ALIVE!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Chewing tobacco trail leads to charges in tavern burglary

Published - Monday, April 20, 2009

Chewing tobacco trail leads to charges in tavern burglary

A DNA profile recovered from chewing tobacco spit led to criminal charges against two La Crosse men accused of stealing a safe containing more than $3,000 in cash and beer tokens from a town of Campbell bar.

The owner of Sher-Bear Tavern at 328 Goodard St. told officers a large safe bolted to a kitchen counter was stolen early Feb. 5 after a door was pried open with a crowbar, according to the criminal complaint filed today in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
The key to unlock the safe was found untouched near the safe.

A fisherman found the safe and a tavern voucher for a six-pack of beer Feb. 9 on a sandbar in the Kaskaskia River south of Carlyle, Ill.

Officers collected a sample from the trail of chewing tobacco spit leading away from the tavern, the complaint stated.

DNA from the saliva matched Brian Scholl, 21, who was arrested Tuesday, according to the complaint.

From the La Crosse County Jail, Scholl called a woman who was storing his car and asked her to remove the safe, which he believed still was in his trunk, the complaint stated.

A search of the vehicle produced a receipt for a $77.44 hotel room rented to Joel Cruz, 21, the day after the burglary about 30 miles from where the safe was discovered, according to the complaint.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Judge orders defendant's mouth taped shut

Inmate duct taped

Nicklas Frasure

POCATELLO -- The first hint that Nicklas Frasure's hearing was going to be unusual came at the outset when the man attempted to fire his court-appointed counsel. It eventually culminated with the man's mouth bound with duct tape in an attempt to quell his frequent and irrational outbursts.

Frasure, 23, appeared before Sixth District Judge Peter D. McDermott Monday morning for an evidentiary hearing on reports of a probation violation for a 2008 felony theft conviction. Frasure's counsel, Kent Reynolds, requested near the outset that his client undergo a competency exam, a point Frasure hotly contested.
"I'm totally fine," Frasure said. "I have a sense of humor. I'm not bad looking. I can walk on my hands."

Frasure's tangential and odd comments persisted throughout the hearing, with his mood rapidly changing from incredulity to outrage to apparent mirth regarding his court appearance. At one point, Frasure referred to his appearance as a form of "terrorism."
"I'm not only innocent, but a victim," Frasure said. "I need to be released."

McDermott, whose general demeanor toward defendants is patient and gentle, tried unsuccessfully on numerous occasions to quiet Frasure's insistent non sequiturs until after the prosecutor and his own attorney had concluded.
Frasure's mother took the stand to describe her son's behavior, including escalating bouts of drinking and erratic behavior. The woman said Frasure had been much better after his release from State Hospital South in Blackfoot in October but had quit taking his medications shortly after his discharge.

"The last two months he started being really bizarre," the woman said.
The woman described how her son had calmly told her that a voice had told him to "take a shotgun and blow your head off."

The presence of his mother on the stand increased Frasure's outbursts, many of them referring to his needless persecution and his religious faith. Frasure continued to interrupt the proceedings, asking his mother to admit to murder.
McDermott continued to warn Frasure to no avail about his outbursts and told him he would have a chance to address the court and pose questions of witnesses. He finally threatened to duct tape the man's mouth if he did not be quiet.

After several more lengthy and jumbled outbursts and additional warnings about a gag being employed, McDermott finally indicated he'd had enough, ordering the bailiffs to duct tape the man's mouth. The proceedings halted for several minutes while bailiffs retrieved the tape, tore a piece from the roll and applied it over the man's mouth.
Reynold's renewed his request for a competency exam.

"He's obviously not mentally competent," Reynolds said.
McDermott told Reynolds he would continue to take the request under advisement and continued the evidentiary hearing. Frasure continued to speak throughout the hearing despite the gag, insistently asking his mother if she were guilty of murder.

"I don't know how to proceed when Mr. Frasure is totally psychotically disabled," Reynolds said, causing McDermott to ask the woman if she felt her son was mentally ill and might harm her. The woman replied "yes" to both questions.
Frasure's probation officer, Julie Guiberson, took the stand and opined that the man was a threat to both himself and others, and particularly to his mother.

"He is probably the most mentally unstable person I have ever supervised," Guiberson said.

Guiberson noted that one of the probation provisions that Frasure was alleged to have violated was a requirement to take all prescribed medications. She said that Frasure had admitted to having stopped taking his medications due to side effects.

At the close of the hearing, Frasure's gag was removed and he again engaged in a rambling discourse. McDermott thanked the man for his comments.

McDermott declined to make a determination regarding Frasure's alleged probation violations, deciding to commit the man to a secure Department of Correction facility in Boise for evaluation and treatment rather than the non-secure facility in Blackfoot.

"I want to see you get better," McDermott told Frasure.

"You want to arm wrestle?" was Frasure's reply before being led from the courtroom by bailiffs.


By John Bulger


This document was originally published online on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Dr Pepper picks up wedding tab


Dr Pepper picks up wedding tab

Published: April 20, 2009 at 7:23 PM

A Virginia woman who auctioned off a bridesmaid spot on eBay said the sale also resulted in free beverages when it was won by soda company Dr Pepper.

Kelly Gray said the auction last summer was meant as a way to raise money for her wedding to Karl Gau, which took place Sunday in Virginia Beach, but the soda maker's victory meant that she received not only a $10,000 donation toward wedding costs, but also a free supply of Dr Pepper for the reception, the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday.

Gray said news of Dr Pepper's donation led several other businesses to supply the wedding cake, DJ photo booth and other wedding must-haves.

The bride said she had an ice sculpture at the ceremony carved to resemble a vintage Diet Dr Pepper bottle as a tribute to the benefactor.

"I thought it would cool, kind of a good way to give back," she said. "If it wasn't for Diet Dr Pepper, it wouldn't have been this dream wedding."

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Rare blue diamond to bring $8.5 million

Rare blue diamond to bring $8.5 million

April 20, 2009 • 4:29 pm

 A rare, 7.03-carat blue diamond, expected to bring up to $8.5 million at auction, is on display in New York.

Just a little $8.5 million trinket

Just a little $8.5 million trinket (AP Photo)

 Sotheby’s New York previewed the vivid blue diamond today which is slightly smaller than a dime and shaped like a cushion. It will be sold in Geneva on May 12.

 The conditions that are required to form a colored diamond seldom occur in nature, making them extremely rare. Sotheby’s said the gem also was notable for its clarity. 

The diamond was unearthed last year in the Cullinan diamond mine, northeast of Pretoria, South Africa. The stone was cut from a 26.58-carat diamond in the rough.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Mothers, sons reunited 2 years after baby swap

Mothers, sons reunited 2 years after baby swap in Russian clinic

16:10 | 20/ 04/ 2009

MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Two families have exchanged their toddlers after a DNA test confirmed that the children were confused in a maternity ward, Russian media said on Monday.

The two boys, who were born on March 1, 2007, in Mtsensk in the Central Russian Oryol region, were confused by a nurse hours after their birth, the popular Komsomolskaya Prada daily reported. As a result, Russian woman Anna Androsova was discharged from hospital with a dark-haired, brown-eyed boy named Nikita, while Zarema Taisumova left for Chechnya with a blonde, blue-eyed baby named Adlan.

Though the children bore little resemblance to their families, the parents did not suspect anything until Androsova found a hospital label with Taisumova's name on it.

Androsova met with the Taisumovs, but they did not believe her. The Russian woman then sought a DNA test, which confirmed she was not the biological mother of the child she had raised as her own.

In December 2008, the Mtsensk District Court ruled that the children should be brought up in their biological families, and ordered the families to swap again.

Androsova won 150,000 rubles ($4,400) in compensation from the maternity ward. The second family also plans to sue the clinic.

The nurse who made the mistake has been fired.


Monday, April 20, 2009


Chewing Gum Touted as New Diet Strategy


Chewing Gum Touted as Diet Strategy


Robert Roy Britt,

Editorial Director

posted: 20 April 2009 10:13 am ET

bubble gum
Chewing sugar-free gum might help you eat less. But to use this as a diet strategy would be to blow the findings out of proportion. Image credit: Dreamstime

A new study funded by a chewing gum manufacturer suggests that its brand of sugar-free gum might reduce calorie intake in some people.

The study, presented at the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting in New Orleans, was reported over the weekend by some media outlets with little context. Yet like all heath-related studies, this one should not be considered in isolation nor should it spur a new diet strategy.

In the study, 115 men and women came in for two sessions. In each session, they had a sandwich, and then hung around three hours and participated in a survey about their hunger and energy levels. They each chewed Extra sugar-free gum for 15 minutes hourly for three hours during one session but not the other session.

In the surveys, the chewers reported decreased feelings of hunger and cravings for something sweet, and also reported feeling more energetic and less drowsy, the researchers said in a statement. After the three-hour period, the participants were presented with a variety of snacks they could eat at will. The gum chewers consumed 40 fewer snack calories and 60 fewer sweet snack calories.

"This research supports the role of chewing gum as an easy, practical tool for managing snack, especially sweet snack, intake and cravings," said lead researcher Paula J. Geiselman, chief of women's health and eating behavior at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University.

The study was funded by Wrigley, maker of Extra gum.

The rest of the story

However, even sugar-free chewing gum is not without potential side effects. And clearly much more research is needed on the multitude of potential effects associated with artificial sweeteners.

Sorbitol, the sweetener used in Extra and some other gums, is a laxative, for example.

A study last year, detailed in the British Medical Journal, found that excess sorbitol can cause chronic diarrhea, other stomach problems, and unintended weight loss. That study — incredibly small, it should be noted — involved a detailed analysis of two patients who consumed more than 18 grams a day of sorbitol by chewing gum and eating other artificial sweets. (One stick of chewing gum contains about 1.25g sorbitol.) After both patients started a sorbitol-free diet, diarrhea subsided and they gained their weight back.

Beyond chewing gum, the case for artificial sweeteners gets very sticky, and different sweeteners may have different effects.

A study on rats last year, reported in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience, suggested that ingesting the artificial sweetener saccharin confuses the body's ability to regulate food intake, and may actually cause weight gain for some. In short, the artificial sweetener might trigger the expectation of real food to come, so the body coaxes a person to then eat more, concluded Purdue University researchers Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson.

"The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar," the researchers wrote.

Lots of tips, few strategies

Back to chewing gum as a weight-loss technique: There are myriad ways to cut calories and trim that waistline.

Another study out today — this one supported by the egg industry — suggests that eating eggs for breakfast can help you "manage hunger while reducing calorie consumption throughout the day." Men who ate eggs rather than bagels consumed fewer calories the rest of the day, perhaps owing to the satiating role of protein, the thinking goes.

This work, also presented at the Experimental Biology meeting, is yet another that may have some merit but which should not by itself spur a diet strategy. Eggs also contain lots of cholesterol, and the FDA still suggests you limit egg yolk intake to no more than four per week.

Most experts agree the best approach to a healthy you involves eating a variety of good foods in moderation, avoiding soda, sweets and other junk food, and regular exercise.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Identical twins beat parking rap

Identical twins beat parking rap

April 20. 2009

9:15 AM EST

Swiss officials say they are powerless to act against identical twins who have run-up hundreds of parking tickets and blamed each other for the offences.


They say they cannot punish Harold and Michael Lengen, 38, for parking offences committed while driving around Winterthur.

Police say that in the last year alone the twins have collected 29 parking tickets on a car which they both share.

But every time they refuse to pay them and tell courts that the other was driving.

And police say that as they are identical twins it is impossible to rely on visual evidence to prove who was driving the car when they got the ticket.

A police spokesman said: "It is immensely frustrating for our officers. Every time we hand one of them out a ticket we know what is going to happen next and that they will never pay it.

"But there really is nothing we can do."

Monday, April 20, 2009


Buglars caught in taxi owned by victim

Buglars caught in taxi 'owned by victim'

Two burglars were caught after booking a taxi home from a raid in a car driven by one of their victims.


Last Updated: 6:55AM BST 20 Apr 2009

Telegraph UK--The female cabbie recognised Robert Brooks, 28, and Neil Goode, 27, and called police after dropping them home.

The pair were jailed for a total of four-and-a-half years at Leicester Crown Court after admitting burglary.

The 36-year-old woman taxi driver, who did not want to be named, said: "I was so nervous.

"I said to them 'You've not just burgled that house, have you?' and they started laughing.

"I called the police as soon as I dropped them off."

Brooks and Goode carried out a string of burglaries in Leicester to fund their spiralling drug addiction - one of which was on the home of the taxi driver in October 2007.

On December 12, 2008, the pair called a taxi firm to pick them up from a house in Narborough Road South, Leicester.

The driver, a mother from Leicester, saw the pair coming towards the cab with bags packed with computers, mobile phones and jewellery worth more than £1,000

They asked her to put the bags - which also contained children's Christmas gifts - into the boot of the car before telling her to drive them home.

When Brooks and Goode, both Braunstone, Leicester, got into the back of the cab they started emptying out jewellery and money from a pair of ladies' handbags and joked about their haul.

Police arrived at Brooks' home minutes after he and Goode had been dropped off.

James Varley, defending Goode, told the court: "He committed one of the most bungled attempts at a burglary that has ever graced this court."

The court heard that both stole to feed their drug habits and had only been released from prison the month before the raid on the home.

Both pleaded guilty to burglary.

Goode was sentenced to 34 months' imprisonment while Brooks was given 20 months.

The court heard Goode was responsible for 15 break-ins between August and December last year, in which he stole nearly £14,000 worth of property.

Brooks had been banned from touching cars for two years after a string of 150 crimes.

Inspector Jon Brown, of Blaby police, said: "Booking a taxi to get away from the scene of a crime was quite a stupid thing to do - it's certainly not the standard modus operandi.

"House burglaries are a very personal crime and the taxi driver showed great community spirit to contact us as she did, allowing us to bring these prolific thieves to justice."


Sunday, April 19, 2009


An Open Letter from Mexico to my American Neighbors

An Open Letter from Mexico to my American Neighbors

Sun Apr 19, 2009

10:56 AM EDT


I am Mexican, I live in Mexico, work in Mexico, raise my family in Mexico and will die here, in Mexico.

The finger pointing has GOT to stop. Decades have passed, trillions of YOUR tax dollars have been spent and you are no closer to winning your "War on Drugs" than you were 40 years ago. It's time to start taking a look in the mirror, instead of memorizing sensationalist headlines, stats, and figures.

We are really not as different as you would think, the difference is the CORRUPTION IN MEXICO is out in the open, for the world to see. Whereas, in the U.S. it is still practiced behind closed doors.

The weapons said to be entering Mexico from the U.S. and falling into narco's killing hands: Another he said, she said. Mexico says 90%, new stats say 17%...and? These arguments and comments are like fighting to death over whether the sky is baby blue or sky blue..The truth is weapons are entering. Where they bought in a gun swap, wal-mart, or your local gun shop? Who knows, but doubtful. Again, that's not the point.

Another detail you seem to be hung up on is: Cartel Kingpins wouldn't want your semi-automatic UZI's, .50 cal and more...THAT IS TRUE.

THESE guys have no use for what you have to offer. They have the money to get anything from anywhere at the drop of a hat...BUT do you think ALL narcos are kingpins? Do you think the guy selling out of the local "tiendita" is a Capo? Do you think the extortionists, kidnappers, and "plaza" collectors are all on the Forbes' list? The cartels don't deliver "cartel" issued fully automatics to every Jose, Jesus, and Juan that work for them, most find their own, based on their own preference, and YES...they like what you have to offer even if it means they have to tap the trigger of a semi-automatic assault rifle 60 times in 60 seconds instead of getting an autospray...But that is NOT your problem.. If it is legal for these weapons to be bought and sold as "recreational, sport, or home security" that's fine and dandy...I don't feel you should lose your rights for "someone" allowing them to walk out of your country, I simply want you to take a closer look at who's getting weapons and where they end up.

Immigrants...I personally, do NOT, agree with ANY type of illegal immigration: from any country to any country..There are legal methods and they should be strictly abided. BUT, it has been happening for DECADES. Do you honestly think millions of illegal immigrants have waited until nightfall to slip over the cracks into your country? Open your eyes, please.

Just as my country has helped the immigrant pack their bags and hold their hand to the border, YOUR country has left the back porch light on and the key beneath the mat. For decades it was all find and dandy: Americans had cheap labor in so called "undesirable" jobs. A maid, nanny, and gardener in every home was available to all. Mexico had no reason to really focus on those unimportant little issues such as poverty, unemployment, and education. Wallets fattened on both sides of the border at the cost of the WORKING CITIZENS on both sides of the border. The economic crisis has changed all that, eyes are opening. Those once undesirable jobs are now in demand by American citizens and your stuck with millions of "undocumented" laborers in a country which is now struggling to support their own.

I understand your anger. It's all WRONG! Illegal immigration is WRONG. The war on drugs is WRONG. Trillions of dollars to foreign countries and for what? To keep the drugs flowing, and the VIOLENCE out. How's that working?

NAFTA? Wow! Mexican trucks are bad, they're all dangerous and Mexicans take American jobs, right? How about those corporations, American big wigs who are cutting your throats to offshore your jobs? Of course, that would be the foreigners's fault for accepting a job offered in their own country, right?

The truth is WE created a monster. The U.S. was thrilled to demand drugs and immigrants, and Mexico was more than happy to supply it all, after all, what are neighbors for if we can't help each other out, right? Now we are all fu*ked. We can all sit around pointing fingers, @!$%#ing and complaining, "Damn Mexicans and Pinche Gringos". We can sit on forums and vent our hate, we can cry. We're are, after all, victims, right?

No, we are idiots: victims of our own greed and laziness who allowed it to happen on both sides of the border, your and mine. For those of you who claim Mexico is not a democracy, how's your own democratic system working for you? Are you happy?

Mexico and our citizens were ignorant enough to sleep thru almost a century. We were silent little, conformists: Blind, Deaf, and Dumb. Somehow we thought casting a vote in the ballot might make a difference, and when it didn't, time after time, we just fell silent. Democracy is not about voting, the job doesn't end there, it begins. It is up to us, citizens, to provide the checks and balances and make our demands and needs, our united voices, not only heard, but placed into action. We seem to think to be a proud patriot of our country we must settle for what is offered, good or bad. There is no shame in admitting fault, mis-steps, and error as an individual or a nation: quite the contrary, it will maintain strength and unity; something we both have lost over time.

Mexico is finally beginning to awaken. You may laugh and you may shoot back any type of b.s. you choose, but we are. We finally have a President with the "huevos" to fight a century of corruption and go head to head with Cartels all the while implementing employment, social, and educational programs that have been ignored and denied in the past.

We have placed our cards on the table. We are a mess: corruption, deceit, violence, drugs, poverty. We have admitted our faults and errors and are beginning to SEE, HEAR, AND SPEAK. We have not and are NOT failing, we are only beginning to find our footing and see reality. Looking in the mirror is and facing the truth is often not pretty, as an individual or a nation, but it MUST be done..

Instead of pointing fingers at each other, we need to begin with our own. The he said-she said bull@!$%# has gone on long enough with absolutely NO positive results on either side of the border. We don't need to be friends to be neighbors, but do we need to be enemies? The U.S.-MEXICAN standoff is just that: It'll continue to keep us standing for decades while all crumbles to hell around us.

Peace/Paz to You and Yours

Sunday, April 19, 2009


100 Year old woman oldest competitor in bowling history


Yahoo! News

Centenarian rolls into bowling history in Nevada

Associated Press Writer Martin Griffith
Associated Press Writer 9:10 pm 

RENO, Nev. – A 100-year-old woman from New Jersey has become the oldest competitor in the history of the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships.

Emma Hendrickson of Morris Plains, N.J., was presented Saturday night with a plaque and a medallion to commemorate her 50th consecutive appearance in the tournament. She also received a pendant with her birthstone in recognition of her status as the tournament's oldest participant.

The great-great-grandmother rolled a 115, 97 and 106 for a 318 series during team competition at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

Hendrickson, who celebrated her birthday less than a month ago, said her teammates sometimes help her line up because her eyesight has diminished over the years.

"I can see the ten pins standing clearly, but it's difficult to see what pins are standing for spares," she said.

Hendrickson previously shared the record with Ethel Brunnick of Santa Monica, Calif., who competed in 1987 at 99.

Hendrickson's bowling activity is supported by her 27 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her husband and two children have passed away.

"I think it's what keeps her going," granddaughter Karen Mariani, 45, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It's something she did with her husband, with our mother."

She has no plans to stop; she has already signed up to compete in the 2010 event in El Paso, Texas.



Sunday, April 19, 2009


Bogus waiter tricks customers at 2 restaurants

Story Created: Apr 18, 2009 at 11:17 AM MDT

Story Updated: Apr 18, 2009 at 11:17 AM MDT

By Associated Press

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) - Hoboken police say a man posing as a waiter collected $186 in cash from diners at two restaurants and walked out with the money in his pocket.

Diners described the bogus waiter as a spikey-haired 20-something wearing a dark blue or black button-down shirt, yellow tie and khaki pants.

Police say he approached two women in their 20s dining at Hobson's Choice on Hudson Street around 7:20 p.m. on Thursday. He asked if they needed anything else before paying. They said no and handed him $90 in cash.

About two hours later he approached three women in their 40s dining at Margherita's Pizza and Cafe on Washington Street. He asked if they were ready to pay, took $96 in cash and never returned with the change they asked for.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The most amazing bicycle video you will ever see

The most amazing bicycle video you will ever see (go to 3:10!!!!) Don't skip to 3:10 it is worth watching all of it!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Eight-inch long Tilly Britain's smallest dog

Eight-inch long Tilly could be Britain's smallest dog

Standing just six inches tall and measuring eight inches from nose to tail, Tilly the Chorkie could be the smallest dog in Britain.


Last Updated: 1:42PM BST 19 Apr 2009

Eight-inch long Tilly could be Britain's smallest dog
Tilly is possibly the smallest dog in the Britain Photo: Dominic Cocozza / Barcroft Media

A cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Chihuahua, Tilly was born on January 15 at which time she was around three inches long and weighing less than four ounces.

Now fully grown, her owner Karen McPhearson has been told her growing days are over.

"Tilly is so boisterous and enthusiastic for someone so small," says Karen of East Kilbride.

"We took her to the vets last week and we were told that she will not grow any more.

"She has not got any bigger since she was four weeks old and now weighs just one pound four ounces and is just eight inches long and about eight inches tall from head to floor or six inches from her back to the floor."

Earlier this month, reports suggested that a Chiuahuah-Jack Russell cross puppy, aptly named Tom Thumb, could hold the record for Britain's smallest dog.

Measuring less than four inches from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail and weighing around three ounces the pup is considerably smaller than Tilly.

But at only three weeks of age, the tiny puppy has plenty of growing time left.

For Karen however, records are not so important as she and her husband Norrie, 46, now have another addition to their growing collection of dogs.

"Tilly weighs just one pound four ounces but she has a big appetite," says 45-year-old Karen.

"Apart from her usual five meals a day of dog food, she loves to drink tea and eat baby ruskies.

"Norrie and I are always running around after Tilly, her parents Sasha and Tyson (both Chorkies) and our fourth dog, CJ. a Japanese Akita.

"They can be quite a handful but they are definitely worth it."

Despite her tiny frame Tilly does not hold the record for the world's smallest pup.

That record, recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, belongs to Chihuahua Heaven Sent Brandy, a four-year-old Chihuahua from Florida in the USA, who is six inches long.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Nurse called out of surgery and laid off

Wis. nurse called out of surgery and laid off

Wed Apr 15, 8:20 pm ET
Last updated Fri. Apr. 17, 5:25 pm ET

MADISON, Wis. – A nurse was called out of surgery so a manager could tell her she was being laid off. Dean Health said the surgery was minor and the patient wasn't affected, but the manager who summoned the nurse from surgery violated medical protocol. Dean Health spokesman Paul Pitas said the incident happened at Dean's West Clinic in Madison on Wednesday or Thursday.

Pitas said there was a period of time in which a nurse wasn't present during the procedure. He said while there were other clinical staff present, the absence of a nurse is a violation of patient care procedures.

The Madison-based health care provider announced Wednesday that it planned to "immediately" lay off 90 employees.

Pitas declined to name the employees involved or what type of surgery the nurse was attending when she was called away.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal,

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Lottery winner gives $10,000 prize to charity

Lottery Winner Gives Prize to Charity 

MSN Tracking Image

Lottery winner gives prize to charity
'It was the right thing to do,' he says of $10,000 donation to United Way staff and news service reports
updated 2:27 p.m. ET, Fri., April 17, 2009

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A Kalamazoo-area man who won $10,000 in the Michigan Lottery's Club Keno game has donated his winnings to a charity.

Soon after winning the money on March 11, Jim Dancy of Richland decided others needed it more than he did. So he gave it all to the Greater Kalamazoo United Way.

"I was heavily influenced by my close friend Julie, who taught me to think of others first, and to stop and think about what life is really about. I know the needs in the community are great right now, so for me it was the right thing to do," Dancy said in a statement released by the Michigan Lottery.

Dancy is co-founder, vice president and chief operating officer of Innovative Analytics, a biological research company in Kalamazoo. He said he felt good about his decision and was confident that United Way was the correct recipient.

"I feel very good today, knowing I could help a little — probably my 'best day' in a long time. When everyone was thanking me, I was thinking how much you all do every day, and thought it should really be the other way around: I should be thanking you. So, thanks for your work," he said.

Mike Larson, Greater Kalamazoo United Way's president and chief executive, called the gesture an "incredible act of kindness and generosity" and said the donation couldn't have come at a better time.

"With the increased need that area service providers are experiencing and the reduction in resources available to so many area nonprofits, this gift will help improve the lives of many in our community," he said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Saturday, April 18, 2009


Woman leaves house after 18 years

Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 12:54 UK


Sue Curtis takes some of her first steps outside after being trapped inside for 18 years

An agoraphobic woman who was too scared to leave her home for 18 years has ventured outside for the first time.

Sue Curtis, 40, from South Shields on Tyneside, developed the phobia during a panic attack at a local library.

Because of her fear of spaces she was married in her front room and as she could not attend her father's funeral his coffin was brought into the house.

But after researching self-help techniques on the internet, she has now walked a short distance down the road.

The mother-of-two now hopes to "push herself further and break down her fear".

Speaking of the moment she first succumbed to the condition, Mrs Curtis said: "I started to feel like something was pushing me down into the ground and I just freaked out.

I slowly sidled to the edge of bed, crawled on my hands and knees to the window
Sue Curtis

"So I just grabbed the bairns (children) and said we've got to go home. I felt like everything was just closing in on me I thought I was dying."

For the next 18 months she was unable to leave her bed, only being compelled to move by the sounds of her children playing outside.

She added: "I heard the bairns in the garden playing in the snow and I got angry with myself and I thought I'm missing out on them.

"So I slowly sidled to the edge of bed, crawled on my hands and knees to the window and looked out all wide-eyed.

"One of the bairns looked up and waved and said 'there's mam', and I said 'hi son' and shot back into bed."

After searching for advice on the internet, Mrs Curtis began to make use of therapeutic techniques and now believes she is on the road to recovery.

She says she is determined to "get past the barrier" and eventually wants to renew her wedding vows in a church.

It's a wonderful story and it sounds like she's making real progress
Psychiatrist Dr David Cousins

Agoraphobia typically involves fears of activities such as leaving home, entering public places or travelling alone.

Sufferers also often experience anxiety, depression, obsessive behaviour and panic attacks.

Drugs or psychological therapies can be used to help treat the condition.

Dr David Cousins, a psychiatrist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, said as many as one in 30 people can be affected by agoraphobia.

He said: "It often boils down to fear of losing control and the embarrassment of what would happen, and they retreat away from that and the anxiety disappears."

Commenting on Mrs Curtis's case, he said: "It's a wonderful story and it sounds like she's making real progress.

"The difficulty with this situation is how do you get services to these people who cannot get out and the internet is proving to be a wonderful resource."

                     Link to Susie Curtis

Friday, April 17, 2009


Teacher Admits Taking Students To Gay Strip Bar

Teacher Admits Taking Students To Gay Bar

Web Produced By: Ian Preuth 
Reported by: Deb Silverman
Last Update: 4/16 7:38 pm
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- An Edgewood high school teacher resigns after admitting to taking students to a Dayton gay bar where the teenagers got their hands on alcohol.

Lori Epperson submitted a letter of resignation Thursday. She also sent an email to her supervisor and the school principal in which she admits to taking four female students to a club called Masque.

Sources tell 9News that Epperson's 18-year-old daughter was among the teens.

School officials launched an investigation after learning about the incident. They describe it as "inappropriate" conduct for a teacher.

Epperson had a contract with Butler Tech but taught marketing at Butler County's Edgewood High School. This was her first year teaching, according to school officials.

In an email obtained from Epperson's personnel file, Epperson explained that she didn't agree with the girls wanting to go to the gay establishment, but if they were to go, she thought she should go with them.

Epperson wrote, "I talked with their parents to get permission which they did give. I assured them there would not be any drinking. I also made it very clear to the girls there would not be any drinking. They agreed."

According to the club's Web site, you have to be 18 years old to enter. One of the girls was 17, according to school officials. Epperson goes on to write that the girls asked to go to a different part of the bar and when she went to look for them they had run into someone they knew.

She writes, that person gave the girls shots and cosmopolitans. When she learned what happened she immediately took the teenagers home.

"I apologize for not telling you the truth from the beginning," wrote Epperson. "I accept the consequences and believe I should not be in the environment where I make a negative impression on kids. I made a very bad decision that I have regretted ever since." she wrote.

School officials say they don't think there's any legal action they can take against Epperson. They are working with legal counsel to determine if they can go after the bar where the teens were allegedly served alcohol.

The board is expected to accept Epperson's resignation at the next meeting.

When a 9News crew went to her house for comment, the person working in the yard said Epperson did not want to talk.

                                 Link to video

Friday, April 17, 2009


Unemployed Newport woman wins $1 million bought lottery ticket in 2005

Out-of-work Newport woman wins $1 million

Kennebec Journal Morning Sentinel
Staff Writer
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel


NEWPORT -- A Camp Benson Road resident learned Tuesday morning that she had won $1 million on a Texas Hold 'em Maine State Lottery scratch ticket -- that she had purchased four years ago, from a store that has since burned down.

Brenda Ripton said Thursday night that she had received a check for $700,000 earlier in the day.

The federal government took 25 percent and the state 5 percent, but it's all good for Ripton.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Ripton, who will be 58 in two weeks. "Me and my husband Philip are both out of work."

Ripton said she purchased the scratch ticket four years ago from the Dixmont Corner Store, which has since burned.

Her winning ticket was part of a second-chance lottery, in which non-winners fill out the back of the ticket.

The state printed 2.5 million of the Texas Hold 'em tickets and it has taken this long to sell them all, Ripton said.

"I totally forgot about it -- I didn't have a clue," she said.

A woman from the Maine State Lottery called Ripton on Tuesday morning and advised her to sit down, she said.

"I didn't believe them," she said. "I thought someone was pulling a joke on me."

Ripton said she will give some of the money to her five children.

Daughter Amanda Ripton is about to marry Jason Pelletier, and others have college loans to pay, she said.

Brenda Ripton has worked as a secretary and in retail, and her husband has worked in construction.

Both have been out of work for more than a year, she said.

Ripton said she also will give some money to her church, Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church in Plymouth.

The couple have no immediate plans to move out of their mobile home, she said.

"We'll probably stay put for now," Ripton said. "I'm content. I'll figure it out but I'm in no hurry. I'll just enjoy not being strapped for money."

Friday, April 17, 2009


26-year-old man with body of a two-year-old

26-year-old man with body of a two-year-old

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Mail
Surgeons have been astonished by the medical rarity of a 26-year-old man trapped in the body of a two-year-old toddler.


Jerly Lyngdoh
Jerly Lyngdoh: trapped in the body of a two-year-old


UK-Jerly Lyngdoh with his tiny head and delicate 2ft 9ins long body.

But it's only when he opens his mouth to reveal a full set of adult teeth that the truth about the world's oldest baby is revealed. Experts believe glands which secrete growth hormones may be damaged in the 22 lbs medical miracle.

'Jerly's infantile features are remarkable, and the only thing he shares with an adult are his teeth,' said pediatrician Dr J. Ryndong.

'We think this is a case of pan-hypo pituitarism leading to poor secretion of growth hormones from the pituitary gland. He is a genuine rarity,' he added.

Jerly - who is still dressed in baby clothes by his parents - measures up at just four inches taller than China's He Pingping, officially the world's smallest man.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Hoax armed robbery call backfires

Hoax call backfires for woman


North Shore Times

Last updated 09:36 17/04/2009
A young woman's hoax call about an armed robbery designed to distract police so she could drive home after drinking backfired on her.

A young couple who had been out drinking around 1am this morning thought they could outsmart police with a hoax call after they were told not to drive home, North Shore area commander inspector Les Paterson says.

After telling police they would walk to a nearby taxi stand, they instead they called 111 and reported a bogus incident of masked men with guns on the forecourt of a service station about 500 metres away.

"They had the brief pleasure of watching a bunch of police cars whiz past, they then jumped in their car intending to drive off in the opposite direction but a police officer took a detour on a 'hunch' and located them."

The pair denied making the call so the police communications centre redialled the number that had rung 111 and to the young woman's embarrassment the phone she was holding started ringing.

She then admitted her actions, Mr Paterson says.

A 22 year old east Auckland woman was arrested for making a false complaint and attempting to drive with excess breath alcohol and will appear in the North Shore District Court next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Woman, 86, made burglary suspect cry


Woman, 86, made burglary suspect cry

Published: April 16, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Police in Wales said an 86-year-old woman used her metal crutch to beat a 26-year-old burglary suspect to tears and forced him to sit and wait for officers.

Gwyneth Davies, who is recovering from pneumonia, broken ribs and a hip fracture, told police she was on her way to bed when she discovered the man in her kitchen, The Sun reported Thursday.

Davies said she struck the man four times with her metal crutch and ordered him to sit on a stool in her kitchen while she called the authorities.

"I lashed out. He was bent over the worktop pretending to cry," Davies said. "It was better than going to the pictures. The police arrived and asked if I was all right. I said, 'You're asking the wrong one!'"

Detective Constable Justin Noble said police officers were impressed with Davies.

"She's my new heroine," he said.

The suspect was arrested and charged with burglary.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


80-Year-Old Snatches Gun, Robber Runs

80-Year-Old Snatches Gun, Robber Runs

POSTED: 4:19 pm CDT April 15, 2009
UPDATED: 5:26 pm CDT April 15, 2009


OMAHA, Neb. -- An 80-year-old store owner snatched a gun from a robber who had just pointed it at the man during a Wednesday morning holdup.

 Perhaps it was old-age wisdom that conquered the youthful illusion of invincibility, or perhaps Floyd Westbrook was just paying attention.

 Westbrook was about to close up shop at Sugar Hill Package Liquor near 65th Street and Ames Avenue when the robber came wearing a ski mask and holding the weapon.

The gunman demanded money and Westbrook opened the register. When the gunman saw the cash Westbrook saw an opportunity.

"I grabbed it and jammed his hand back," Westbrook said. He got a better grip on the gun than the robber.

"I felt I had just as good a chance as he did with him having that gun out that far," Westbrook said. "I knew if I got my hands on him, I had him. I knew that."

The robber was left holding $19. Westbrook was holding the gun. The robber broke into a sprint for his life, hollering "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

Westbrook said fear never crossed his mind. He said he knew the gun was his when the robber went for the cash.

The incident was Westbrook's first encounter with a robber in 40 years. He said he's not going anywhere.

"I ain't gonna do nothing different," Westbrook said.

                 Click Link below for picture and video

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Pay-per-view funeral service now available

Mourners to take advantage of pay-per-view funeral service

Mourners who cannot make it to a loved one's funeral are now able to watch the service on the internet.


By Chris Irvine
Last Updated: 10:59PM BST 15 Apr 2009

The £30 pay-per-view funerals by webcam have been launched by Shorpe's Woodlands Crematorium.

It means those grieving will be given a unique password to access the live video anywhere in the world.

North Lincolnshire Council welcomed the system, which has been set up by Kettering-based Wesley Music.

Council cabinet member for neighbourhood and environment Councillor Len Foster said: "I'm sure it will be welcome to any family or friends who cannot attend the service of a loved one for whatever reason."

Jason Threadgold, funeral director with J Naylor Funeral Directors, said: "It's definitely a good idea. It's not always possible for people to come from foreign countries to go to funerals at short notice. I think it's a very good idea."

The Rev Cameron Martin, of St Peter's Church, at Bottesford, added: "I think it's a super idea. I think it's a wonderful idea. I think it's a way family and friends can engage with the service," he said.

Last year Southampton Crematorium launched a similar internet scheme where friends and relatives could pay £75. While critics claimed the service was macabre, funeral directors defended the system, arguing the mourners as far away as Australia and Canada were already benefiting from it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Mother delivers twins while having heart attack

Mother stuns medics by delivering miracle twins while having heart attack doctors said would kill her

Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:29 AM on 16th April 2009


A mother has miraculously given birth to healthy twins - minutes after being struck down by a devastating heart attack.

Nina Whear, 38, battled back from death to deliver the babies after her soldier husband Andy, 39, said a heartbreaking last goodbye to her.

She was given a 7 per cent chance of pulling through as a hospital chaplain was sent in to comfort her in her last moments.

Nina Whear

Mother Nina Whear with twins Alfie and Evie, who she gave birth to minutes after a heart attack, their father Andy, and ambulance technicians, Vicky Goddard (right) and Kirsty Bolton (left)

But Nina amazed army sergeant Andy, doctors and nurses by beating the odds - and became the proud mum of twins Evie and Alfie, who weighed 3lb 11oz and 4lb 10oz respectively.

The first-time mother said: 'It was the most frightening night of my entire life, it really was.

'It is unbelievable.

"I am just so grateful and now every morning I think about how I might not have seen that day.'

She added: 'I am so grateful to the staff at the hospital and the ambulance team and all those who helped me.

'And now I have got two beautiful babies too.' 

Nina gave birth by Caesarean section on January 6 after paramedics dashed to her home to find her 'blue from head-to-toe and covered in sweat'. 

As Nina, who was 38-weeks pregnant, went into labour she suffered an aortic dissection, which means the wall of her aorta had torn open.

That forced blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and prised them apart, threatening to kill her.

 Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

Nina Whear was dashed to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital after paramedics found her blue and covered in sweat

Paramedics arrived just in time to give her oxygen - and saved her life on the spot.

Critically ill Nina was then whisked to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being transferred to a specialist heart unit at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, where she had emergency open heart surgery.

Fearing the worst, doctors advised Andy, who had sped more than 100 miles north from his army base at Aldershot, Hants, to say goodbye to his wife.

But amazingly Nina, a former Prince's Trust team leader from Lamas, near Norwich survived.

'I had quite a difficult pregnancy and I was only getting about 40 minutes sleep a night because every time I lay down I couldn't breathe,' she said.

'But that night it didn't ease at all, and it got worse and worse. My mum was staying as Andy was doing his last shift in Aldershot before his paternity leave.'

'So I had to go into her room and signal for her to call an ambulance because I didn't have the oxygen to talk."

Nina, who works for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, added: 'I don't have an awful lot of memory of that part of the night, but I know they carried me downstairs, put me in an ambulance and it was really icy, and took me to the hospital.

'I remember them bringing Andy through and we were left alone to say our goodbyes.
"I was very calm because I thought if I was going to die I wanted to do it calmly.

'When I woke up after the operation I still couldn't talk, but I tried to signal to the nurse to say that I couldn't believe I was alive, although I don~t think she understood what I meant.

'I was so shocked that I didn't even think about the fact I had just had twins, I was just amazed to be alive.'

Andy, who arrived at the hospital in shorts and flip flops, admitted he was in bits during the ordeal.

The soldier said he feared he would lose his wife and babies in one day.

Andy said: 'I couldn't stop blubbing.

'All I could think was what if I don't come back with any of them? All the different scenarios were going through my head, like whether the twins would be okay but Nina wouldn't, or whether Nina would be okay but the twins wouldn't.

'It was horrible.'

Nina still has to visit hospital regularly as she had three blood clots in her body as well as fluid on her lungs.

The mum-of-two now wryly describes herself as 'Frankenstein's bride' because of all her surgery scars.

As a result of her drastic surgery Nina will not be able to pick up the twins until they are 20 weeks old and is no longer able to enjoy her extreme sports hobbies of bungee jumping and white water rafting.

Vicky Goddard, one of the ambulance crew who helped to save her life, said: 'As soon as we arrived we knew it was absolutely critical we got her to hospital as soon as possible - the only diagnosis we needed at that point was looking at her.

'She was so covered in sweat that we thought she had rubbed something like Vicks on her chest and she was blue from head-to-toe. For an adult to have a blue chest is very serious.' 

She added: 'We gave her oxygen immediately and we were only at the house for 13 minutes before she was put in the ambulance.

'Timing was absolutely everything. If we hadn't got her to hospital she may not be here now.'

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Man stabs brother over can of pork and beans

April 15, 2009

9:18 EDT


Gilliam, La.- 

Two brothers who had been drinking all day got into an argument when they got ready to fix supper and one stabbed the other over a can of pork and beans, Caddo Parish sheriff's deputies said.

Deputies said Willie Casst, 54, and his brother, Agusta Wells, 63, both of Gilliam, had been drinking all day Tuesday. They were getting ready to eat when they started arguing about the beans, deputies said.

Wells swung at his brother but missed; Casst got a kitchen knife and stabbed Wells in the left arm and shoulder blade, deputies said.

Deputies didn't know what it was about their meal that set things off.

"The one who got stabbed said it was over pork and beans. That all he would say. The other one said, 'Take me to jail,'" Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said.

Wells was taken to North Caddo Medical Center in Vivian for treatment.

Casst was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


In 2005 man won $900,000 in Va Lottery wins additional $90,800 this Easter

Lightning Strikes Twice: Man Who Won $900,000 In 2005 Wins An Additional $90,800

April 15, 2009

Steve Granger of Henderson, North Carolina, had a feeling. “If I have a feeling for a number, I’ll play it,” he said.

He did more than just play it. He played it 20 times. Mr. Granger bought 20 Virginia Lottery Pick 4 tickets, all with the number combination of 5-1-1-7, for the April 12 night drawing. They all won!

He wagered “exact order” on 16 tickets, so each of them won $5,000. He wagered “50/50” on the other four tickets, each of which won $2,700. His winnings totaled $90,800.

Remarkably, this isn’t the first time Mr. Granger has had several winning tickets in the same drawing. On September 28, 2005, he won $900,000 with nine top-prize winners in the Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 drawing.

“I’ve always been lucky,” he said. He bought all of the tickets at Bracey Mini Mart, located on Highway 903 in Bracey, Virginia.

Pick 4 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The chances of matching all four numbers in exact order are 1 in 10,000.

Nearly 95 cents of each dollar spent on the Virginia Lottery by players goes back to the Commonwealth in the form of contributions to education, prizes and retailer commissions. Since 1999, all Virginia Lottery profits have been designated solely to K-12 public school education in the Commonwealth. In that time, the Lottery has turned over more than $4 billion for Virginia’s public schools. The latest annual profits of $455 million currently represent about 6 percent of state funding for public education in Virginia. In 20 years, the Lottery has sold more than $20 billion in tickets, awarded more than $1 billion in retailer commissions and paid more than $10.9 billion in prizes to players.

Picture available click link below:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Caveman clobbers robber with ladder

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Employees At Domino's Fired After Posting Video On YouTube


Video link of dirtiest McDonald's and Domino's Pizza Staff putting cheese in nose and sneezing in food

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Boy, 13 accused of robbing bank

13-year-old boy accused of robbing bank


Wed Apr 15, 9:02 am ET

PEORIA, Illinois (Reuters) – A 13-year-old boy who police say was caught red-handed a block away was accused on Tuesday of robbing a bank in Peoria.

The unidentified boy was charged with felony armed robbery in juvenile court, accused of threatening a teller with a gun and demanding cash.

He was found hiding in a nearby garage about 30 minutes after Monday's robbery, stained red from a dye pack that had been placed in the bag of money.

"It's the youngest person I can remember," said Sheriff Michael McCoy, a four-decade veteran of the sheriff's office.

Prosecutors were considering whether to seek to have him tried as an adult and face up to 30 years in prison.

(Reporting by Andy Kravetz)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Most Amazing Art Design Technology and Video in the World.

The illusion project highlights artwork that is 'unique?--amazing for its skills, level of creativity and vision. From Lego art, living grass graffiti to foot painting--will cover art, design, photography and videos

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Mom drives son and friends around to steal from cars

Apr 14, 8:54 PM EDT

Montana  mom accused of driving her son and his friends around city to steal items from cars

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- A 37-year-old woman was accused of driving her son and his friends around the city as the teens stole items from cars. Police learned about the case Saturday morning when the woman's husband called authorities to report he found a pile of stuff in his back yard that he suspected had been stolen. Court records said over $3,000 in items were stolen, including a set of golf clubs and power tools.

The woman was charged with accountability to theft and accountability to criminal trespass to a vehicle, along with endangering the welfare of children.

Two 18-year-olds also face the accountability charges and five juveniles were arrested in the case.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The World's Filthiest McDonald's called McNasty


April 11, 2009 11:30pm

Adelaide Now

Sunday Mail


IS this the filthiest fast-food joint in Australia? Countless discarded brown paper bags and burger wrappers lay strewn across the floor, piled up in trampled heaps around the tables and chairs.

Abandoned soft drinks, squashed chips and other rubbish cover the table tops as diners sit eating amidst the detritus.

Welcome to McDonald's on Hindley St. These pictures were taken in the dining area at 3am last Sunday by Adelaide law student Jeremy Brown while on a night out with friends.

After entering the premises for a snack, the 22-year-old Hawthorndene resident said he was so disgusted by what he saw that he decided to film it on his mobile phone.

"I went in there and we were all aghast how grotty it was, and I thought I'd capture it on film because people wouldn't believe how messy it was," he said.

The video has since been posted on the internet site YouTube, attracting a worldwide audience.

Mr Brown said McDonald's employees had told him that the filthy area was a regular occurrence.

But he was reluctant to blame staff, who he said appeared to be working "flat out".

"I think it was short-staffed, there were big queues to get food," he said.

"I spoke to someone at the counter, and she said it was often like that."

The appalling state of the restaurant, which is in the heart of Adelaide's entertainment strip, has shocked MPs and union officials.

Peter Malinauskas, secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, said it was the sort of dining and working environment "one might expect to see in a Third World city, not McDonald's on Hindley St".

"It's appalling that customers would leave their rubbish like this in the first place," he said.

Independent MP Bob Such, who has long campaigned for improved hygiene standards in restaurants and food outlets, said he expected better of McDonald's.

"It's not very nice is it? It's a safety hazard as well as a food hazard. People could easily trip over that stuff," he said. "One would have thought a big franchise like that would insist on high standards."

Tony Tropeano, of the Hindley St Late Night Traders Group, called for more council inspections.

"It's a complete disgrace, particularly when dealing with food," he said.

"The authorities should get down off their high horse and see this at street level."

Adelaide City Council, which is responsible for inspecting city restaurants, said although it had previously received complaints about the restaurant, it had found "no issues" in past inspections.

Council spokeswoman Natalie Di Fava refused to give details about those complaints.

McDonald's SA market manager Josie Mangini said the store's management had been "counselled" over the mess.

"The state of the dining room was completely unacceptable," she said.

"McDonald's prides itself on high standards of cleanliness.

"We have spoken to the crew and the managers, and they have been counselled to maintain the utmost standards. It was completely disappointing."

Ms Mangini said two cleaning procedures were not followed, involving a clean "travel path" through the restaurant and when crew clean all of the tables. "A lot of things weren't going right that night," she said.

When the Sunday Mail visited the restaurant in the early hours of Friday morning, staff members were clearing tables every 10 minutes.

One teenage diner, who asked not be named, said the restaurant appeared cleaner than normal.

"It's just the numbers of people who come in and out of here that make such a mess," she said.

The store manager, who would only give her name as Sandra, confirmed a complaint had been made last Saturday night but said she was unable to comment further.

According to the Food Act 2001, inadequately cleaned food premises can be fined up to $2500 on the spot.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Bra saves woman's life in robbery shooting

Bra saves woman's life in robbery shooting

A Brazilian woman who was shot in the chest by robbers on a bus survived the attack because she had stuffed money into her bra.


By Our Foreign Staff and Agencies in Rio de Janeiro
Last Updated: 12:04PM BST 14 Apr 2009

Local media reported that the woman was travelling on the bus on Saturday in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia when it was held up by two armed men.

The incident took place in Bahia's capital, Salvador, where 58-year-old Ivonete Pereira travelling to her summer home in the nearby town of Lauro de Freitas.

Because of frequent bus attacks in the region, she hid 150 reals (£45) in 20 and 10-real notes coiled inside the left cup of her bra.

When the bus passed through the Boca do Rio neighborhood, the robbers suddenly announced their intention. A shoot out ensued with a police officer on the scene and a stray bullet hit Miss Pereira.

Her bra was stuffed with just enough cash to absorb most of the impact, although she still had to be taken to hospital to have the bullet removed.

A retired police sergeant was shot dead during the clash with the assailants, who managed to escape.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Boy, 2, found near alligators while babysitter slept on toilet

Boy, 2, found near alligators while babysitter slept on toilet

April 13, 2009 • 3:50 pm
By Diana Fasanella

A Florida babysitter was charged with child neglect Friday after she fell asleep on the toilet and the 2-year-old in her care wandered into an alligator-infested canal. 

Foiled again

Foiled again

Police said a witness called 911 when he found the unharmed boy around 2 p.m. on a Port St. Lucie canal bank where two alligators were spotted, according to TCPalm. 

The babysitter, Brandy Albright, was discovered asleep on her toilet in the efficiency where she lived next to the boy and his mother. It was unclear how police determined where the boy lived. 

The child was returned to his mother, and 26-year-old Albright was taken to jail. 

You snooze, you lose.

Brandy Albright

Brandy Albright







Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Most emailed photos and slide show


Monday, April 13, 2009


6 Odd Historical Tax Facts

6 Odd Historical Tax Facts

Heather Whipps

LiveScience's History Columnist

posted: 13 April 2009 01:52 pm ET

That collective groan being heard around the country can only mean one thing — it' s tax time! The painful tradition of modern income tax collection in the United States is 96 years old this month, though the federal government had dabbled in it on and off since the Civil War as a way of balancing the books when money was tight. From the early days when the tax wasn't even collected to the incredible 94 percent rate paid during one period, here are six things you probably didn't know about the system's history.

1. Working out the kinks

The first personal income taxes in the United States were levied in 1861 by an act of Congress, mostly to foot the bill for the newly erupted and very costly Civil War. There were so many questions and problems with the new system, however, that nothing was collected until the following year.

2. No money necessary, thanks

Income tax, along with many other taxes imposed during the Civil War, was repealed after 1865 because the government simply had no need for the extra revenue. The majority of federal income came from taxes on tobacco and alcohol, which were hot commodities at war's end.

3. Maybe they had it right ...

Another newly enacted income tax was actually declared unconstitutional in 1895. The law stated that any tax must be levied in proportion to each state's population; this flat tax wasn't, and was quickly shooed aside by the Supreme Court.

4. Look out Al Capone

When the modern incarnation of U.S. income tax was introduced in 1913, the word " lawful" was included in the text, referring to the kind of revenue that could be taxed. With the loose definitions of that term under question, the government deleted the word in a 1916 amendment. As a result, many bootleggers and criminals who had previously evaded the law were jailed on tax evasion.

5. Supporting the war effort

Think you give a lot to Uncle Sam today? Just be thankful you weren' t paying income tax in 1945, when the country' s top earners doled 94 percent of their salaries over to the government, mostly to recoup costs incurred from the war effort. Taxation rates for the highest income brackets hovered between 82 and 92 percent until 1963.

6. SOS, IRS!

In 1940, the instruction booklet that went along with the United States' standard 1040 income tax form was two pages long. For the 2008 tax year, it is 95 pages long. No wonder more Americans than ever are enlisting someone to help prepare their taxes, even to file their returns online.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Top 100 memorable internet videos

Monday, April 13, 2009


Man arrested for throwing $41,000 in cash out taxi window

Man arrested for throwing cash out taxi window

April 13, 2009
Diana Fasanella
10:18 AM

A Taiwanese man has been charged with public endangerment and destruction of currency after throwing bank notes worth around $41,000 out of a taxi cab window. 

The 55-year-old man, who was not indentified, lobbed the money out of the taxi’s window in a crowded part of Taichung city yesterday, according to Adelaide Now

Disorder erupted in the streets as people scrambled to grab up the cash, police said. Some passers-by turned the money over to police, while others pocketed it. 

The man was believed to have thrown out more money on an earlier road trip that started in the country’s capital of Taipei. 

He also burned about $16,500 and had two more sacks of cash, the proceeds from a property sale. 

The taxi driver eventually turned the man in to police. 

Police said the man was thought to have a nervous condition and was not in a normal state of mind. 

Monday, April 13, 2009


Russian doctors find tree growing in man's lung

Russian doctors find tree growing in man's lung





MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Surgeons in Russia's Urals Region were staggered to find a 5-centimeter high spruce growing inside a man's lung, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported on Monday.

The discovery was made while Artyom Sidorkin, 28, from the Urals city of Izhevsk, was undergoing surgery.

Sidorkin had complained of extreme pain in his chest and had been coughing up blood, doctors suspected cancer.

"I blinked three times and thought I was seeing things," Izhevsk surgeon Vladimir Kamashev told the paper.

Medical staff believe Sidorkin had somehow inhaled a seed, which later sprouted inside his lung. The spruce, which was touching the man's capillaries and causing severe pain, was removed.

"It was very painful. But to be honest I did not feel any foreign object inside me," Sidorkin said.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Cat goes on crime spree

Sunday, April 12, 2009


$9000 fine library book returned after 110 years

April 12, 2009

Book returned after 110 years

BROCKVILLE -- An overdue library book with a storied past has been returned to its home 110 years late.

Though the book's fine would total more than $9,000, the 83-year-old American who returned it to a museum south of Ottawa last week isn't being forced to pay up.

Dale Fenton Baird, of Denver, handed the 12-cm thick Webster's Dictionary over to Lyn Heritage Place Museum.

His great uncle Mutt borrowed the book from Lyn Public Library in 1899. The entire Baird family moved from the village of Lyn to New York state later that year.

The leather-bound book was still in good condition despite having once been pulled across an ice-covered St. Lawrence River on a skid.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Man jailed owes $530,000 in back child support for 14 children 13 baby mamas

Thomas Frazier, father of 14 children, jailed for owing more than half-million in child support

Bryn Mickle 

The Flint Journal

Saturday April 11, 2009, 8:00 AM

FLINT, Michigan -- Fourteen children by 13 different women in Genesee County and more than $530,000 in unpaid child support.


Even in a county with $700 million in uncollected child support, Thomas Frazier may hold the unenviable title of biggest deadbeat dad.

After years of dodging support payments, Frazier was thrown in jail this week and given the choice of doing 90 days or coming up with about $28,000.

"This guy gives fathers a bad name," said Genesee County Friend of the Court Jack Battles.

Thomas Frazier

Before leaving the Flint area in 2002, Frazier amassed court cases for 14 children born since 1989 and has not paid any money on any of his Genesee County child support cases in at least the past six years, according to court records.

Frazier, 42, portrays himself as the victim.

The victim of a system that he says saddled him with debt for children he claims aren't all his and the victim of a poor upbringing that he said caused him to seek affection from older women.

"I tried to find someone who would love me for me," said Frazier, who believes he may have fathered his first child at age 15.

Authorities say Frazier is a serial womanizer who bounces from state to state and hasn't paid child support in years.

Frazier owes Talisha Tyler about $40,000 for a 14-year-old daughter. Tyler said he has never even bought so much as a diaper.

"Thomas has never been involved in her life -- period," said Tyler.

A Genesee County judge on Thursday ordered Frazier to spend 90 days in jail unless he comes up with $4,100 for Tyler.

Even if he comes up with that money, the judge ordered him to spend 90 days in jail on another case. On top of that, the judge gave him 45 days jail on six other cases.

In all, Frazier is looking at three months in jail unless he comes up with at least $27,900.

Tyler would just as soon see him go to prison for much longer.

"He's a fast talker," she said. "He's not going to pay it."

Frazier doesn't dispute that he owes a sizable amount, but said it was unrealistic for the county to expect him to pay so much support.

"At one point, I owed like $3,000 (a month)," he said. "Nobody makes that much."

He said he believes in his heart that only three of the children -- two daughters and a son -- are actually his.

The rest, he says, were born of women he may have slept with but who lied and claimed he was the father, giving the court false addresses for Frazier so that he could never show up to contest paternity.

Local officials, however, say Frazier has a story for everything.

In October, Friend of the Court officials said Frazier gave them a false Social Security number and tried to convince investigators he was someone else.

He remained under the radar until late last month when he got pulled over in Iowa for a broken taillight on his Mercedes Benz.

In his pocket, police found $5,000 in cash and plane tickets to Florida.

Frazier said he is unemployed and local officials said they do not know what he does for a living.

Frazier said he was actually on his way back to Flint and planned to use the $5,000 as a good faith payment on his child support.

The cop tossed him in jail on child support warrants and then had him delivered Wednesday to the Genesee County Jail.

Frazier says he "messed up" and wants to take care of his mistakes, but hopes the Friend of the Court will knock down his bill to a more manageable $200,000 and set him free.

"There's not a lot I can do in jail," Frazier said.

Frazier's plan for freedom won't get a lot of support from the Friend of the Court.

"We will seek prison," said Battles, who says he's heard a litany of excuses from Frazier.

Battles said he's willing to work with Frazier but said it's going to take a lot more than $5,000.

"It will take six digits," said Battles.

His current jail term aside, Frazier is also looking at further legal woes for his probation violation cases.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton is not in a forgiving mood, noting that Frazier was rolling around in Mercedes Benz with thousands of dollars and plane tickets at the same time he wasn't paying his child support.

"Shame on him for abandoning his children while he lives 'The Life of Riley,'" said Leyton.

Frazier, who has already spent five years on probation for attempted non support of a child, does have one piece of advice for his children.

"Use a condom," he said. "You don't want to end up like your dad."

Saturday, April 11, 2009


'Vatican's Good Friday mass interrupted by "Girls Gone Wild"

Posted on Sat, Apr. 11, 2009

'Girls Gone Wild' interrupts Good Friday mass

Philadelphia Daily News

Sweet Jesus!

That just might have been the reaction of a Bucks County woman at about 2 a.m. yesterday, when her regularly scheduled Comcast program - Good Friday Mass at the Vatican - abruptly changed to a 30-second "Girls Gone Wild" ad.

The seemingly unholy programming snafu was caused by a test for the Emergency Alert System, said Jeff Alexander, a Comcast spokesman.

"We're obliged to do emergency tests that are usually done in the overnight hours," Alexander said last night.

The test automatically tunes viewers to a preselected channel that is supposed to provide emergency information.

Since yesterday's test was just that, the preselected channel also aired its regular programming, which in this case was a paid advertisement for a "Girls" video. The ads are notoriously racy.

Alexander noted that no actual pornography was shown during the glitch.

Although the test affected Comcast's "entire" local footprint, only one person called the company to complain, he said. *

- David Gambacorta


Saturday, April 11, 2009


Woman watches her home being burglarized on webcam

(CNN) -- Jeanne Thomas was sitting at her desk at work when she decided to check the security camera that she installed in her home. The Thomas home had been burglarized before, so she installed a monitoring device where she can watch a live video feed of the camera in her home.

Steven Morales, 19, was arrested in the invasion of a Boynton Beach, Florida, home.

Steven Morales, 19, was arrested in the invasion of a Boynton Beach, Florida, home.

Curtis Williams, 20, was also charged in Wednesday's home invasion.

Curtis Williams, 20, was also charged.

When Thomas decided to pull up the feed of her house Wednesday morning, she couldn't believe what she saw. There was someone inside her home, someone she didn't know. Thomas picked up the phone and called 911.

"I'm watching my home on live monitor, and there is a black man in my house, and he is robbing it," she told the dispatcher. The woman on the other end of the call asked Thomas where she was, and Thomas replied, "I'm in Fort Lauderdale, at my work."


To watch the  video of burglars in her home and listen to the 911 call.  Click the link below 


Thomas' home is in Boynton Beach, Florida, more than 20 miles away, yet she was watching over the Internet as two men walked through her home, picking up items.

Police later arrested Curtis Williams, 20, and Steven Morales, 19.

According to the Boynton Beach Police, Williams and Morales entered the house through a pet door. As the 911 dispatcher was calling police to the scene, Thomas stayed on the line, giving a play-by-play of what she was seeing.

"He's in my house. I am seeing him walk around my house. He's in my bedroom right now," she said. The bedroom cannot be seen in the video, but the door from the living room into the bedroom is visible.

Thomas watched as the men wandered through her home, taking valuables such as her TV and Wii gaming console.

"This is unbelievable," she told the 911 dispatcher. "The cat is freaking out. The dogs are hiding."

One of the burglars took a bag of shredded cheese from the refrigerator and could be seen on the video stuffing it in his mouth. None of them noticed the small camera that resembles an air freshener.

"They walked right up to it and didn't know what it was," Thomas said later.

A few minutes after Thomas called 911, the video shows police officers entering the home.

According to the police report, "Williams and Morales had placed the victim's 37 inch flat screen TV, a safe, gaming machine with several misc. games (total value approx. $3000) on the victim's bed."

Williams and Morales told police that two other people, not seen on video, were also involved in the incident.

All four suspects were arrested and charged with burglary of a dwelling and attempted grand theft.

Thomas' husband thought she was nuts for spending $250 on the webcam system, telling her she would never catch anyone. But to her, it now seems like a smart investment.

Thomas hopes it will be a lesson for burglars.

"You never know who is watching you," she said.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Dry Cleaners Offer Free Services For Unemployed

Dry Cleaners Offer Free Services For Unemployed

Huffington Post

April 10, 2009

5:55 PM

Free Dry Cleaner


This story may be an oldie, relatively speaking, but it's still a goodie -- and a viral one at that! Dry cleaners around the country are offering their services at no cost to unemployed customers who need their suit cleaned for an interview. It all began at Upper East Side dry cleaner First Professional Cleaners. A handwritten sign in their window reads, "If you are unemployed and need an outfit clean for an interview, we will clean it for free." According to the Daily News, it's owner Carlos Vasquez's way of giving a helping hand. "It's just something I do to give back to the community," explains Vasquez. "It's to thank them for the support that I get around here, for letting my business keep going by bringing me their clothes." And he's not alone.

High Point-based "A Cleaner World" cleaners made a similar announcement less than two weeks ago. ABC News' local affiliate in Durham reports that for unemployed job seekers, A Cleaner World "will clean a suit or a blazer and slacks, plus two shirts per week. Women can get a suit and two shirts or blouses or two regular dresses per week."

And Elite Cleaners in Minneapolis has also generously followed suit. Owner Don Chapman has donated his services to 2000 unemployed -- an offer he estimates will cost him $32,000.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Court fines woman for calling her son too much

Austrian pensioner fined $475 for phoning her son

21:50 | 04/ 09/ 2009
Print version

VIENNA, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - An Austrian court has ordered a 73-year-old woman in the southernmost Austrian state of Carinthia to pay 360 euros ($475) for frequent calls to her son, local media said on Thursday.

The woman's son filed a lawsuit saying he was tired of answering the almost 50 phone calls a day he received from his mother over a 2 1/2-year period, the Kleine Zeitung newspaper reported.

The court ruled that the pensioner's phone calls could be characterized as stalking.

Meanwhile, the woman said she just wanted to talk to her son.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Man brings meth and pot to jail while visiting

Man arrested in jail visit after drugs found on him


Advocate Florida parishes bureau

Published: Apr 11, 2009 - Page: 5B

A man who went to the Livingston Parish Detention Center to bail a woman out of jail ended up behind bars himself, Livingston Parish deputies said Friday.

Harvey E. LeBlanc, Jr., 29, who listed his address as unknown, was arrested after a search by deputies found both methamphetamine and marijuana in the vehicle in which LeBlanc was sitting in the jail parking lot, said Perry Rushing, chief of operations for the Sheriff’s Office.

“At the jail, we have these signs all over that say you are subject to search,” Rushing said.

After deputies noticed LeBlanc was “acting kind of funny,” they searched the truck, Rushing said.

As a result of the search, he said, deputies turned up several packages of methamphetamine as well as a small amount of marijuana and a partially burned marijuana cigarette.

At a penal institution, authorities do not have to have a warrant in order to search a vehicle, Rushing said.

After discovering the drugs, deputies booked LeBlanc on criminal counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and entering contraband into a penal institution.

Rushing said LeBlanc and a another man had gone to the jail late Wednesday to bail out a woman and the driver of the vehicle was inside the building at the time of the search.

Rushing said he did not know the name of the woman prisoner.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Teen Text's Racks Up $5000 bill

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Teen's Texts Rack Up a Nearly $5,000 Bill

I previously wrote about a teenager who sent or received 14,528 SMS messages in a month. While in that case her family had unlimited text messaging, the subject of this story apparently had such plan on her phone, and racked up nearly $5,000 in fees with 20,000 text messages.

The exact total was $4,756.25. Cheyenne, CO resident Dena Christoffersen, 13, gave her parents, Gregg and Jaylene Christoffersen, a nasty surprise. The family had no text message plan on their Verizon service, and assumed that meant no text messaging could be done. Instead it meant they were simply charged for each one, incoming and outgoing.

Assuming a 31-day month, and taking into account the fact that most of the sending and receiving occurred in school, this amounts to 80+ SMS messages (in and out) each hour during an 8-hour school day.

One might imagine this somewhat affected her grades, and thus, in addition to the bad financial news, it turns out that Dena went from A's and B's one semester to F's in two months.

The prior story I wrote about occurred during winter break, so the teen wasn't affecting her grades.

Dad's reaction? He took a hammer to the phone. And Dena has been grounded for the rest of the school year. Fortunately for the family, Verizon has apparently dropped the bill down to a reasonable level, though what reasonable means is unclear.

Friday, April 10, 2009


shoplifters leave recently developed pictures behind

Port St. Lucie shoplifting suspects make it too easy for police to track them down

Will Greenlee
Originally published 10:12 a.m., April 10, 2009
Updated 10:12 a.m., April 10, 2009

Christy McGaw

Christy McGaw

Tammy Sharp


PORT ST. LUCIE — Packets of recently developed pictures that were abandoned in carts of stolen merchandise at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in St. Lucie West helped officials track down two alleged thieves, according to a police report released Friday.

A self-checkout cashier on Thursday noticed that two women reportedly scanned and paid for $70 worth of goods, but that the bagged groceries in their carts appeared worth much more.

When the self-checkout cashier asked to see their receipt, the women took off. Store officials found almost $200 worth of items that hadn’t been scanned or paid for, including razors, vitamins and “other small items” stashed in a previously opened box of Summer’s Eve Douche.

The store official also found two packages of recently developed pictures. The self-checkout cashier identified women in the photos as the two who fled when asked for their receipt.

Christy McGaw’s name and phone number were on the envelopes, and she returned to the store when called. Tammy Sharp, 37, came with her and admitted being with McGaw, 40, when the self-checkout cashier tried to stop them.

McGaw, on probation following an earlier retail theft conviction, said she left to get more money from her car but decided to leave after realizing she’d left her wallet and money at home. Sharp denied knowing unscanned items were in the carts.

Both list the same home address in the 1800 block of Southeast Manth Lane and both are listed as unemployed.

Each faces a retail theft charge.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Woman wins $25,000 counting jelly beans

Jellybean guess is good for $25,000

Cristina Boyle

Friday, April 10th 2009, 4:00 AM

Jessica Silverman wins $25,000 dollars after guessing how man jellybeans are in a jar, this is the second time she has guessed jellybeans in a jar correct.

Jessica Silverman wins $25,000 dollars after guessing how man jellybeans are in a jar, this is the second time she has guessed jellybeans in a jar correct.

Harlem woman took home $25,000 Thursday for guessing the exact number of jelly beans in a jar - for the second time in her life.

The first time Jessica Silverman struck it lucky was 21 years ago, when she was a 5-year-old kindergarten student and the trophy was a stuffed toy dragon.

This time, the prize will help her put a deposit on a new home after she correctly guessed there were 7,954 treats on display at a stand in the Hilton hotel on Sixth Ave. Tuesday.

"I'm a lucky girl, and I was in the right place at the right time," Silverman said. "This is going to the 'Get Jessica a first apartment' fund."

Silverman was randomly passing the stand, set up by insurance firm DeWitt Stern at the annual Co-op and Condo Expo, when she was convinced to try her luck.

"I just walked by the booth because I was meeting friends for coffee," she said. "Someone manning the booth told me to take a stab at $25,000 - it was a very good stab."

Silverman, the director of development for fashion designer Norma Kamali, said she was in disbelief when she got a call saying she had won.

"I'm never entering another contest again," she said. "I want to end my guessing career on a good note."

Friday, April 10, 2009


Burglar drills hole in pharmacy roof trips silent alarm

Burglar drilled hole in pharmacy roof

The Associated Press
9:16 PM Wednesday, April 8, 2009


SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio — Police in northeast Ohio say a man who cut a hole in a ceiling and lowered himself into a pharmacy with a television cable foiled his plan to steal drugs when he unknowingly set off a motion detector.

Sheffield Lake police Capt. Tony Campo says 32-year-old Robert Mitchell came prepared for the early Tuesday morning burglary with an extension ladder and a backpack filled with about 25 tools.

Campo says Mitchell spent a considerable amount of time drilling a hole in the roof large enough for him to slip through. Police arrived minutes after Mitchell tripped the silent alarm at about4:30 a.m.

Campo says a surprised Mitchell was arrested inside the Rite-Aid about 20 miles west of Cleveland and charged with felony breaking and entering.

April 8, 2009 - 08:10 p.m. EST


Thursday, April 9, 2009


Man uses microwave to make crack cocaine

Man uses microwave to make crack cocaine

April 09, 2009 • 4:32 pm
By Diana Fasanella

A Florida man facing six felony charges, including possession of a firearm with altered serial numbers, admitted to making crack cocaine in a microwave. 

Happy microwave

Happy microwave

Javaris V. Kirk of Fort Pierce was arrested yesterday during the execution of a search warrant after St. Lucie County Sheriff’s officers found traces of cocaine in glass bowls, 5.5 Ecstasy tablets and a 9mm pistol with scratched-off serial numbers. Marijuana and four hydrocodone pills also were found in Kirk’s residence, according to TCPalm. 

Kirk faces charges including manufacturing cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of MDMA, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with altered serial number and possession of a controlled substance. 

Javaris Kirk

Javaris Kirk

The 28-year-old, unemployed man told investigators he was a convicted felon and the gun was bought off the street. He added that he was manufacturing crack cocaine by using a microwave.




Thursday, April 9, 2009


6 year old sentenced to traffic school by Judge

        6-year-old sentenced to traffic school

    Kid refused to buckle up

Updated: Thursday, 09 Apr 2009, 10:18 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 09 Apr 2009, 10:17 AM EDT

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Even though mom got the ticket a Los Lunas magistrate judge isn't letting her child off the hook for refusing to buckle up.

The child's mother, who was ticketed for failing to restrain her child, asked Judge John "Buddy" Sanchez if he could help discipline her 6-year-old.

The boy always took his seat belt off despite her pleas, the mother said.

"He took off his seat belt, I pulled over again and put it on and he took it off right in front of the cop," said Jessica who did not want to release her full name.

In January Jessica was stopped and ticketed. She landed in front of Judge Sanchez last month and asked him to talk to her son.

"She didn't want to plead guilty to it because it was her son that was actually not obeying her," Sanchez said.

He agreed that it was Jessica's son who needed to learn a lesson so he ordered ther to take her young son to traffic school.

"But there was nothing because of his age," said Jessica.

That's when the judge reached out to a Los Lunas driver's education instructor Avilio Chavez.

"I thought he was kidding," Chavez said. "He wanted to send him to defensive-driving class or driver-improvement class."

After some discussion Chavez and Sanchez agreed on a simpler solution to teach the young lawbreaker a lesson.

"Full seat-belt school," Sanchez said.

Jessica agreed to take her son to a seat-belt safety class, which is expected to start in a month. They'll attend together and also learn other traffic safety measures.

"Having somebody that young is an interesting concept," said Chavez who added that the youngest student he's ever had in his class was 15.

"We just want to make sure everyone's safe," Sanchez said.

But it looks like the lesson has already been learned.

"I think it's a very good idea," said Jessica. "He did it all the time until Judge Buddy Sanchez talked to him."

Sanchez said anyone who goes through his court for failure to restrain a child could now have to take the class along with their child.

                         Video of Judge giving an explanation

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Man shoots himself in ankle firing at ex's friend

NEW YORK, April 9 (UPI) -- Police in New York said a man shot himself in the ankle while firing his .45-caliber pistol at his girlfriend's ex-beau.


Investigators said the victim, Derick Jordan, 25, stopped at the home of his ex-girlfriend, Jasmine Ortiz, 22, at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday to drop off some clothes for their 4-year-old daughter, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Jordan began arguing with Ortiz's new boyfriend, Lance Williams Jr., 30, and the second man eventually pulled out his gun and shot Jordan in the left leg, police said. The suspect continued firing, but managed only to shoot himself in the ankle, investigators said.

"He's obviously not a very good shot," a law-enforcement source says.

Jordan identified Williams as the shooter while they were both being wheeled into Lincoln Hospital on gurneys and police handcuffed the suspect.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


FBI involved in Oprah Winfrey sweepstakes scam

FBI involved in Winfrey sweepstakes scam

April 9, 2009
Last Update: 10:37 am

The FBI has been called in to look into the $1 million scam allegedly sponsored by Oprah Winfrey's talk show.

Winfrey's camp was alerted to the issue by fans complaining about an email they had received, claiming they had been electronically selected to compete in an Oprah Millionaire Contest Show.

Con artists prompted recipients to fill out a questionnaire and send money for travel arrangements and tickets to the show.

Officials from The Oprah Winfrey Show reported the scam to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, and both offices have posted a warning to consumers on their Web sites, reports the New York Post.

Two previous cons involving Winfrey's show have been handled by the Illinois Attorney General's Office, an Internet scheme in November 2006 and another over a fake sweepstake in April 2007.

This is the first scam reported by Winfrey's office to the FBI.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Angry woman takes revenge on boyfriends car

This woman found out her boyfriend was cheating on her with her best friend and took out her anger on his new car.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Woman jailed after showing up in court on DUI charge drunk

Smell of booze turns court trip into jail time

Doug Nurse

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

When showing up in court on a DUI charge, it’s best not to show up with alcohol on your breath.

Lauren Nicole Smith, 28, of Milton was ordered to Municipal Court on Friday on a DUI charge. It seems that on Sept. 12, Milton police found her parked in the middle of the road at Ga. 9 and Bethany Bend Road, so drunk she couldn’t figure out how to open her car door. She had a blood-alcohol level of .34. The legal limit for driving is .08.

Friday, her trouble started upon arrival at court. She showed up on time, 10 a.m., but during a routine check for weapons at the door, bailiff George Gordon detected a whiff of alcohol, a definite no-no.

The law says you can’t take a plea from somebody who may be intoxicated. After a short conversation with Municipal Court Judge Barry Zimmerman, his honor issued a bench warrant citing her on the spot for contempt of court. Milton police then took her to the Alpharetta City Jail to serve a two-day sentence.

Her DUI case was continued to a court date in June.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Woman Finds $357,959 Cashiers Check Returns It

Woman Finds $357,959 Cashiers Check And Returns It

Calif. Woman Finds Cashiers Check For $357,959.55 On The Ground And Returns It


LOS ANGELES, Apr. 8, 2009



(AP) - As she walked from a post office, Talon Curtis thought she'd found one of those gimmicky sweepstakes offers on the ground that scream something like "$357,959.55" in big bold letters and "This is not a real check" in much smaller type. But just as she was about to do her part for a cleaner planet and deliver the paper from the parking lot to a trash can, she noticed it was a real cashier's check with a real signature.

"I couldn't believe it. I almost passed out," Curtis, who works as a loan negotiator, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I have never seen a check that big. Not in my possession, anyway."

She immediately set out to find its rightful recipient, but it was Saturday afternoon and the banks were closing. On Monday, with help from KCAL-TV reporter Dave Malkoff, she located the check's owner, who had arrived at her bank in a panic.

"I think she had walked in at the same time the bank manager called me back," Curtis said. "I could hear her walking up to him. and I could hear all this commotion in the background."

Curtis said she spoke briefly with the woman on the phone about a possible meeting, but Pacific Mercantile Bank instructed her to mail the check to them instead.

Not willing to take a chance on the mail, Curtis delivered it personally. A bank employee confirmed it had arrived.

Curtis said she never thought of keeping the check for herself, and she declined the woman's offer of a reward. Still, she's just a little disappointed.

"I just wanted to see her face," Curtis said, laughing. "I just wanted to let her know that there are honest people left in this world."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Customs Officers stops passenger carrying 2--$100,000 bills

Weirdest stuff stopped at customs
We've investigated the slew of weird and wacky things to pass through (or be confiscated by!) customs at the NYC-area airports and beyond. Take look at what we found ... <br><br>Were they planning to go shopping with these? Officers on Sunday stopped a passenger arriving from Seoul, Korea who was carrying two counterfeit $100,000 bills. The rare bills were originally produced in 1934 during the Great Depression to be circulated between the Federal Reserve Banks and never to the public. <br><br> The 1934 Woodrow Wilson Gold certificate is the largest denomination of U.S. currency printed. According to the Smithsonian Institute, the printing on the bill includes the phrase, "This is to certify that there is on deposit in the Treasury of the United States of America One Hundred Thousand Dollars in Gold payable to bearer on demand as authorized by law." <br><br>See the other wacky things agents have confistacted recently ...
We've investigated the slew of weird and wacky things to pass through (or be confiscated by!) customs at the NYC-area airports and beyond. Take look at what we found ...

Were they planning to go shopping with these? Officers on Sunday stopped a passenger arriving from Seoul, Korea who was carrying two counterfeit $100,000 bills. The rare bills were originally produced in 1934 during the Great Depression to be circulated between the Federal Reserve Banks and never to the public.

The 1934 Woodrow Wilson Gold certificate is the largest denomination of U.S. currency printed. According to the Smithsonian Institute, the printing on the bill includes the phrase, "This is to certify that there is on deposit in the Treasury of the United States of America One Hundred Thousand Dollars in Gold payable to bearer on demand as authorized by law."

See the other wacky things agents have confistacted recently ...
Published: 04/07/2009 12:20:38

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Top 25 Things Vanishing In America

25 things vanishing in America, part 2: Butcher shops

Jason Cochran
Apr 7th 2009 at 7:00AM
When was the last time you went to a butcher? Not the person stashed at the back of the grocery store, far from the light of day, but an honest-to-goodness butcher in his own storefront, who shoots the breeze and can gauge with his hand the exact weight of a cut before it hits the scale? If you're living in America, chances are you've never been to one at all. They've become as antiquated as five-and-dimes and general stores.

There's an old-fashioned butcher, Anthony, near my house, and I know full well that I'm lucky to have him. I make a point of patronizing places that I want to see stick around. I know I could get my meat cheaper at the supermarket, but I also know that every dollar I spend with my butcher makes it possible for him to be my butcher.

Stepping into Anthony's shop is like stepping into another world, and he's the only food seller I frequent who will actually ask me how I plan to cook what I buy from him. He asks because he knows his trade well, and he does it because he has time to listen to the answer and help me out, the way neighbors do. He keeps an extra chair by the window for elderly neighbors who want to come in and chat. It's usually occupied.

In generations past, butchers stocked kitchen tables around the neighborhood, and because families were the main market, butchers did their most brisk trade in cheaper cuts of meats, like kidneys. Once meat started showing up cling-wrapped at the supermarket, people started looking to professional butchers as artisans. That brought volume down and wiped most of them off the map.

Now, much of a butcher's business has shifted from family fare to high-quality, expensive cuts like racks of lamb and prime rib. You'll pick up chuck when you're at the Kroger, but you turn to a butcher for special occasions. Ultimately, that makes him a fringe vendor or a party caterer, not a guy who delivers your staples, and it means his days are numbered.

When I cook something from my supermarket, I simply eat it. When I cook something from my butcher shop, I can't shake the feeling that I could never do it justice. Recently, I went in my butcher shop for bacon. Before my eyes, he pulled out a whole side of pig, literally yanked the skin off the slab of meat, and sliced off the freshest stuff imaginable. (It was delicious. It also made me feel a little guilty--when we buy stuff on a foam tray from the Safeway, we don't have to deal with the connection that it actually came from a living thing.)

My butcher has been working with meat since he was 9 years old. His grandfather ran a butcher shop, and the tradition was passed down. His place -- gleaming white counters, a chopping block the size of a table, an old-fashioned clanging cash register -- has been running for more than 50 years. His own kids, though, aren't interested in continuing with such a blue-collar trade. When Anthony retires, the trade will die with him.

I'm hoping that the recession will help butchers. More Americans are scaling back our restaurant patronage and cooking instead, so more of us are starting to realize the true quality of some of the over-preserved stuff we've been putting in our shopping carts. Maybe we'll turn to butchers because we'll be able to trust the quality and freshness of what we're eating. I know I'm probably fooling myself.

It's a good thing Alice found Sam the Butcher when she did. Do you think they'd have hooked up if he was punching the clock in the hind end of Wal-Mart? He'd probably have been fired for chatting her up.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Former pastor charged with stealing $84,000 from church for botox

Former Staten Island pastor charged with stealing more than $84,000 from his church

by Staten Island Advance

Monday April 06, 2009, 3:01 PM

The Rev. William Blasingame of St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church in Staten Island's Stapleton section is in trouble with the law.

The former pastor of a prominent North Shore Episcopal church stands accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his parish to pay for plastic surgery and Botox injections, as well as prescription drugs.

The Rev. William Blasingame, 66, who resigned in January as pastor of historic St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church, Stapleton, stole a total of $84,537 over the three years starting in January 2005, authorities contend.


He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted at trial of the two felonies with which he is charged, second-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Father Blasingame manipulated the church's bank accounts to pocket money from two funds, authorities allege -- the Friends of St. Paul's foundation, which was established to fund the maintenance, upkeep and beautification of the church grounds, and a discretionary fund he oversaw that was meant to provide small stipends to parishioners in need.

The priest would never let anyone else access those two accounts, said Richard Mingoia, the church's senior warden and treasurer, and with good reason -- he allegedly was writing checks to himself from the upkeep account, and using the discretionary fund as a personal piggy bank.

Father Blasingame used the money to pay for club memberships, plastic surgery, Botox injections, car insurance for his personal vehicle and expensive clothes, a law enforcement source said yesterday.

Much of the money, which was separate from the salary he drew from the church, went for prescription drugs from an online pharmacy, Mingoia said.

And despite the obsession with his appearance, including a $245 pair of shoes imported from London, the priest led a squalid existence in the rectory, Mingoia said.

"We had to have five 40-yard Dumpsters to take out the debris. Animal feces, liquor bottles, you name it. I can't even describe the horror scene," he said.

Mingoia said he first realized something was amiss with the bookkeeping when he was updating the church's bank information online and stumbled across the upkeep account, which showed Father Blasingame had written checks to himself.

He appealed to the Episcopal Diocese of New York to have Father Blasingame reveal the contents of the two accounts, but the discretionary fund the priest allowed access to had been created only in March 2008 and contained but $200.

Father Blasingame resigned for medical reasons, effective Jan. 1, and went on a disability pension. Mingoia said the priest initially was treated at Richmond University Medical Center and then transferred to Summit Oaks Hospital in New Jersey, which specializes in the treatment of chemical abuse and mental illness.

When the church officers cleared out the rectory, they found documents with the account number of his original discretionary account, and found the records of his payments to plastic surgeons and details of other transactions.

After consulting with the diocese, Mingoia gave the books to Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan's office.

A forensic investigation into the church's accounting followed, and Father Blasingame surrendered to the district attorney's NYPD detective squad on Friday morning, according to Donovan spokesman William J. Smith.

Father Blasingame was arraigned in Stapleton Criminal Court Friday, and is slated to return May 12.

Although the priest's car was parked outside the house on the 200 block of Vanderbilt Avenue where authorities say he has been staying of late, he did not answer the door and did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Father Blasingame's lawyer, James Hasson, called the allegations against him a "bad mistake," and suggested Mingoia has it in for his former pastor.

"I think this Mingoia made a big mistake in accusing him of stealing money," Hasson said. "It's crazy. There's some kind of a vendetta out there, and there's more than meets the eye."

Hasson pointed to Father Blasingame's 31 years as the church's pastor, and said he "lives a very simple life and drives a heap of the car."

The back seat of his car -- a beat-up 1987 Volvo 760 Turbo with a sticker for the Palm Beach Yacht Club on one window and a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker on the back -- was littered with books and papers.

A large, faded poster for the church covered much of the back seat, surrounded by books, including a hardcover Bible and several paperback mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun.

Mingoia flatly rejected Hasson's claim of a vendetta, saying the church at this point is interested in restitution.

"There's no vendetta, believe me. Everybody in the church was heartbroken," he said.

Father Blasingame has been a notable presence in Staten Island social circles and was a member of the music committee at Manhattan's National Arts Club.

For 15 years, excluding last year, he hosted the church's signature fundraiser, "Victorian Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols."

Two weeks before his arrest, Father Blasingame took out a quarter-page ad in the Advance offering a "very large" reward for the return of his dog, Andrew.

The dog was "illegally surrendered" to the Staten Island Center for Animal Care and Control, then adopted, while he was hospitalized, he said. "The reward is very large. Surely the adopter has a heart," the ad read.

Mingoia said Andrew was discovered in the rectory, flea-ridden and undernourished. A neighbor brought the dog to a veterinarian and later had it put up for adoption, he said.

The ad did not include the priest's name, and Father Blasingame was reluctant to talk publicly about the dog when contacted by a reporter last month.

"I don't want any personal publicity," he said. "I have reasons for that."

-- Contributed by John Annese

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Woman calls 911 over lack of shrimp in fried rice


Diner Dials 911 over
Shrimp Order

kDFW Fox 4 TV

Created On: Tuesday, 07 Apr 2009, 10:17 AM CDT

HALTOM CITY, Texas - A woman dialed 911 on Monday afternoon to report that she didn’t get extra shrimp in her fried rice order.

The incident happened at A&D Buffalo's in the 4000 block of East Belknap Street.

Restaurant' employees said the woman originally left with her order, but came back claiming she did not get her full $1.62 worth of extra shrimp. Since she had already left the building with her food, they refused to give her a refund.

"She started yelling and screaming, brought her boyfriend in and they started making a scene in here," said Alex Kim, the restaurant's attorney.

Employees said that's when the irate woman called 911 to try to get help from the police.

"I always get the shrimp fried rice, so I said I'm going to get extra meat this time. But he didn’t even put extra shrimp in there," she told the 911 operator.

The woman also told the operator that she demanded either a refund or the additional crustaceans, and that she decided to place the emergency call when she was met with resistance.

"I'm just saying, to get a police officer up here, what has to happen?" the caller asked the operator.

A Haltom City police officer was dispatched to the scene, but the woman was no longer at the restaurant when he arrived.

Police spokesman Cody Phillips said she likely will not be punished for her call.

"You have to make a phone call in a non-emergency situation and remain silent or be abusive or obscene to the 911 call taker. She was none of those things," Phillips said.

The incident mirrors a March episode in Florida in which a woman dialed 911 about her McDonald's order. In that case, police arrested the woman.

Restaurant employees said they actually expect to see the woman again. She is a frequent customer. And if she does come again, they will be more than happy to take care of her, they said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Man cleans with gasoline while smoking

April 7, 2009

Appleton arson suspect tells police smoking, cleaning with gasoline don't mix

Prosecutor files charges in fire that displaces 11

John Lee
Post-Crescent staff writer

Ernest D. Krajniak, 47, of Appleton, has been charged with arson for starting a fire in his apartment building.

Ernest D. Krajniak, 47, of

Appleton, has been charged

with arson for starting a fire in

 his apartment building.


CHILTON — A 47-year-old Appleton man charged with arson for starting a fire in his apartment that forced 11 neighbors from their homes told police he was just cleaning his apartment.

With gasoline. While smoking.

Ernest D. Krajniak said the fire started when he tossed his lit cigarette into a pile of gas-soaked clothes and cushions at the building on Appleton's southeast side.

Instead of pulling the building's fire alarm, he yelled "fire" a couple times before walking to the Menasha Police Department to ask for an ambulance to take him to be treated for burns to his face, arms and back.

"Krajniak stated that he wasn't thinking," according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by Calumet County Dist. Atty. Ken Kratz.

He told police he knew gas is flammable. "I should have never used that," he said.

Calumet County Judge Donald Poppy set a cash bond for $2,500 when Krajniak appeared in court Monday.

Krajniak was treated at a hospital for burns he received in the fire for a day after the blaze, which was reported at 5:45 p.m. Friday.

Witnesses told police Krajniak bought gas twice that day at a nearby station. He told police he planned to clean his apartment with the gas, and pulled everything out of his closet and piled it in the bedroom. The pile was near about five gallons of gas he had poured into plastic ice cream buckets.

Krajniak told police it was a mistake to throw the cigarette and he was sorry for what had happened.

Firefighters said the blaze caused extensive damage to the first-floor apartment where it began and heavy smoke damage throughout the building.

Tenants from 11 other apartments in the building were forced from their homes, and officials expect they won't be able to return home until later this week.

A preliminary hearing to determine if probable cause exists to proceed with the charges is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Pilot steals plane intercepted by U.S. fighter jets

Apr 6, 2009 10:37 pm US/Central

Pilot Of Stolen Flight School Plane Arrested


                                                                         [email protected]


The suspected pilot of a plane stolen from Canada and flown into the U.S. trailed by fighter jets was captured Monday night near the rural stretch of road in Missouri where he landed.

The single-engine, four-seat Cessna was intercepted by U.S. fighter jets over Wisconsin, where it prompted the evacuation of the state capitol, but kept flying south after the pilot failed to respond to radio calls and other signals.

Mike Kucharek, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado, said the Cessna 172 was stolen from Thunder Bay, Ontario, about 2:30 p.m. Monday. The pilot was flying erratically and didn't communicate with the fighter pilots from the Wisconsin Air National Guard who intercepted the plane at the Michigan-Wisconsin border, he said.

The pilot had acknowledged seeing the F-16s but he didn't obey their nonverbal commands to follow them, Kucharek said.

The pilot finally landed the plane on a road at Ellsinore near Poplar Bluff in far southeastern Missouri, said Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

A man named Adam Dylan Leon, 31, was taken into custody about 9:30 p.m. in the same area, said Sgt. Marty Elmore, a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Brown said the plane came from the Confederation College Flight School at Thunder Bay International Airport.

The plane landed about six hours after the reported theft, and had enough fuel for about eight hours of flight, NAADC officials said.

"We tailed it all the way," Maj. Brian Markin said. "Once it landed our aircraft returned to base."

In Madison, Department of Justice spokesman Bill Cosh said the state Capitol was evacuated shortly after 5 p.m. as a precaution because of the airplane.

Many workers had already left for the day. Gov. Jim Doyle was not in the building. He had been in Chicago Monday.

Capitol police ordered everyone out of the building and told them to go at least a block away. Police cars with sirens on drove on the sidewalks by the doors of the Capitol. Others drove on the streets of the Capitol square, telling people to move away.

People were allowed back in the building about an hour later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


World's oldest person celebrates 115th birthday in LA

April 6, 2009


World's oldest person celebrates 115th in LA

Gertrude Baines, right, poses with her pastor Warren Smith, left, as she celebrates her 115th birthday on Monday, April 6, 2009, at the Western Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles. Guinness World Records on Monday presented Baines with a certificate naming her the oldest person living. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Damian Dovarganes

LOS ANGELES - The world's oldest known living person celebrated her 115th birthday Monday.

Gertrude Baines was honoured at Western Convalescent Hospital with music, a letter from the president, and two cakes. Baines said little during the celebration as friends sang to her and she received a proclamation from Guinness World Records acknowledging her as the world's oldest person.

"Who would take Los Angeles for the place that would have the world's oldest person?" Robert Young, a scientist and senior consultant with Guinness, said later in an interview. "Living that long is like winning the genetic lottery."

Born in 1894 in Shellman, Ga., Baines became the world's oldest living person when a 115-year-old woman, Maria de Jesus, died in Portugal in January.

Baines' physician said she only has two complaints.

"Number one, she doesn't like the bacon. It's not crisp enough," the doctor, Charles Witt Jr., told KCAL-TV. "And the other thing is she fusses about her ... arthritis of her knees. She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around."

Baines father, born two years before the Civil War in 1863, was likely a slave, Young said. Baines has outlived her entire family. Her only daughter died of typhoid fever when she was a toddler.

Featured on local television newscasts in November when she cast her ballot for Barack Obama for president, Baines said she backed him "because he's for the coloured." She said she never thought she would live to see a black man become president.

Baines received a letter from Obama, wishing her a happy birthday.

Baines worked as a maid in University of Ohio dormitories until her retirement, and has lived at the Los Angeles convalescent hospital for more than 10 years.

Since 1986, Young said, the world's oldest person title has been held by a woman for all but 44 days.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Phone in Teen's Pocket Calls Police as He Brags of Burglaries

Mobile Phone in Kid's Pocket Calls Police as He Brags of Burglaries; Found With Hot Stereo in Hands

Ray Stern in News
Monday, Apr. 6 2009 @ 12:11PM
mobile phone with bust message.jpg

Machines turning on their human masters:

It sounds like the plot of science fiction movie, but it actually happened to a Peoria punk who police say likes to burglarize vehicles.

The 16-year-old was bragging to his homies about stealing from a car when his mobile phone spontaneously called the police. Perhaps his phone had a one-touch button to call 911, or the kid dialed the numbers by mistake while scratching himself. But little did the chatty guy know, cops began listening in on his conversation.

Click on the button below to hear the recording released by Peoria cops. At one point, it sounds like the kid is describing how tough it was to steal a stereo.



"It was bolted down -- I had to rip it out," a voice can be heard saying on the recording released by Peoria cops. "It took all my energy to lift it out of the car."

His friends seem to be unimpressed with a stolen Cricket phone, lamenting that it's not a Blackberry.

Despite long interludes of silence or muddied, unintelligible voices, the cops continued to eavesdrop. They used cell-phone-signal triangulation to get a bead on the kid's approximate location and dispatched a squad car to the area of 9100 West Kings. There, cops found the kid with a stolen car stereo in his hands, says Mike Tellef, police spokesman.

The Peoria boy was released to the custody of his parents or guardian and written up for felony vehicle burglary, which will be prosecuted in juvenile court, Tellef says.

The dilemma for the parents in this case: Take the mobile phone away as punishment -- or force him to carry with him always, as a conscience-booster.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Funeral wake turns into brawl over beer

Ark. funeral wake turns into brawl over beer

The Associated Press

Friday, April 3, 2009

MAGNOLIA — Sheriff’s deputies say a Texas woman started a brawl at a wake in Arkansas when she arrived with a beer can in her hand.


Anna Sindelar, 52, of Splendora, Texas, faces a third-degree domestic battery charges, as does Cynthia J. Hall, 46, of Magnolia, over the fight March 29. Deputies say Sindelar arrived at the Christies Chapel Church with a beer can in hand and that she refused to leave.


Sindelar allegedly grabbed a man by the face, leaving scratch marks on his lower right cheek and causing him to bleed. Hall, the man’s mother, then allegedly slapped Sindelar and kicked another woman in the chest.


A sheriff’s report claims Sindelar became “passively aggressive” with deputies and said that “no backwood country cop” was going to take her to jail.

Monday, April 6, 2009


90 Pounds of marijuana found in picture frames

Customs says paintings framed in marijuana

Associated Press

POSTED: 03:02 p.m. EDT, Apr 05, 2009

DOUGLAS, Ariz.: It wasn't the beauty of the paintings that caught of the eye of customs agents.

It was their drug-sniffing dog turning up his nose at the art that stopped the show.

Federal officials in Arizona say a man was taken into custody after Customs and Border Protection officers found 90 pounds of marijuana hidden in the frames of six large paintings in his vehicle.

Officers selected the man's vehicle for a routine inspection Friday at the border crossing in Douglas, Ariz., and their dog showed an interest in the paintings.

An X-ray revealed the marijuana in the frames.

The agency says the paintings were professionally done and the frames were nicely constructed.

The man was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He had not been charged.

DOUGLAS, Ariz.: It wasn't the beauty of the paintings that caught of the eye of customs agents.

It was their drug-sniffing dog turning up his nose at the art that stopped the show.

Federal officials in Arizona say a man was taken into custody after Customs and Border Protection officers found 90 pounds of marijuana hidden in the frames of six large paintings in his vehicle.

Officers selected the man's vehicle for a routine inspection Friday at the border crossing in Douglas, Ariz., and their dog showed an interest in the paintings.

An X-ray revealed the marijuana in the frames.

The agency says the paintings were professionally done and the frames were nicely constructed.

The man was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He had not been charged.

Monday, April 6, 2009


86 Year old message received

April 4, 2009

After 86 years, message received

Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

The nearly century-old note is tattered but still readable.

Darin Winkler was out walking the banks of the Spokane River with his kids last weekend when he saw something that looked …

Well, let me put it this way: After you hear this story, the song “Message in a Bottle” may be stuck in your head for days.

“Spring and high water brings up various kinds of things on shore,” said Winkler, who lives in the River Run subdivision on the Spokane River, just south of Spokane Falls Community College. “We saw an old flattened basketball and a bunch of bottles. Mostly they were whiskey bottles, Mad Dog 20-20 bottles, things like that. But this one stood out.”

It looked like an antique bottle, with an old-fashioned cork stopper.

So Winkler and his kids, Evan and Iris, walked up and took a closer look. That’s when they saw it.

A message in a bottle.

Winkler grabbed the bottle and took it back to his house. He carefully teased the note out of the bottle. The paper was a little damp, flaking in places, but mostly intact. The first thing he saw took his breath away: “March 30, 1913.”

Some parts of the note had deteriorated, but large portions of the pencil-written note remained decipherable.

Here’s what it says, with missing parts noted with ellipses:

March 30, 1913

Dear friend,

Who ever finds this bottle, please write in …. at Rockford, within the next two years … and let me know it …. Will put it in … Spokane … North East … state of Wa …

Yours truly,

Emmett Presnell

Rockford, Wash.

RFD #1 Box 5

Admittedly, this is not one of those storybook messages in a bottle. No map showed the buried treasure. No damsel in distress wrote it from a desert island. It contained no SOS to the world. Yet this message has its own modest story to tell.

After some sleuthing on the Internet and in the Spokesman-Review archives, Winkler was able to find out plenty about that long-ago bottle-tosser.

Emmett Presnell was born in 1892 in Missouri and came with his parents Edwin and Sarah Presnell to the Lind, Wash., area in 1900, where they homesteaded. They moved to the Rockford area around 1912 and had a farm on Rural Free Delivery Route No. 1, where they raised wheat and cattle.

Emmett then went on to join his brother Karl in a big cattle and wheat operation about eight miles southwest of Cheney. He farmed there for the next 60 years. He never married and never had children of his own. He lived on the farm with his brother’s family, according to nephew Tom Presnell, 86, now retired in Spokane.

When Tom was asked this week to describe his late uncle, he said, “Emmett was a real dependable person. He lived a pretty clean life.”

Emmett would have been about 20 when he got the notion to send out a message in a bottle. We can surmise that he was out tending cattle on the banks of Rock Creek or Hangman Creek when he decided to launch that bottle downstream (those two creeks are feeders of the Spokane River). Or maybe he was having a weekend picnic somewhere on the Spokane River itself.

Winkler’s theory is that the bottle got washed up on a bank or into a tangle of logs, and stayed high and dry for most of the next nine decades, thus explaining its relatively good condition. Recently, possibly even last year, high water may have refloated the bottle and sent it down the river to where Winkler found it, directly across from the old Natatorium Park.

When Emmett died at age 85, on May 13, 1978, in a local nursing home, that bottle was probably still stuck in a riverbank somewhere. We doubt if Emmett would have even remembered launching that bottle.

Yet, on behalf of Winkler and his kids, we would like to send our own message out into the unknown:

Emmett, we finally found your bottle.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Thieves Try To Sell 400 Computers On Craigslist

Apr 4, 2009 6:17 pm US/Pacific

Thieves Try To Sell 400 Computers On Craigslist





Contrary to popular belief, you can't sell just anything on Craigslist, as a few thieves discovered in Orange County.

Authorities have found nearly all of 400 computers stolen from an Orange County distributor after the thieves tried to sell them on Craigslist. The interested buyers turned out to be sheriff's deputies.

Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Ted Boyne says Saturday that investigators arrested three suspects after answering their online ads for the 380 computers. More suspects are being sought.

The machines were reported stolen from Getac Inc. in Lake Forest March 21 and 22.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


$10,000 missing after police cut security camera wires

Video sharpens focus on raid
Store owner's hidden back-up shows cops snipping security-camera wires
video 2
video 3

Philadelphia Daily News

THE NARCOTICS officers knew they were being watched on video surveillance moments after they entered the bodega.

Officer Jeffrey Cujdik told store owner Jose Duran that police were in search of tiny ziplock bags often used to package drugs. But, during the September 2007 raid, Cujdik and fellow squad members seemed much more interested in finding every video camera in the West Oak Lane store.

"I got like seven or eight eyes," shouted Officer Thomas Tolstoy, referring to the cameras, as the officers glanced up. "There's one outside. There is one, two, three, four in the aisles, and there's one right here somewhere."

For the next several minutes, Tolstoy and other Narcotics Field Unit officers systematically cut wires to cameras until those "eyes" could no longer see.

Then, after the officers arrested Duran and took him to jail, nearly $10,000 in cash and cartons of Marlboros and Newports were missing from the locked, unattended store, Duran alleges. The officers guzzled sodas and scarfed down fresh turkey hoagies, Little Debbie fudge brownies and Cheez-Its, he said.

What the officers didn't count on was that Duran's high-tech video system had a hidden backup hard-drive. The backup downloaded the footage to his private Web site before the wires were cut.

Although Duran has no video of the alleged looting, he has a 10-minute video that shows the officers using a bread knife, pliers, milk crates and their hands to disable the surveillance system.

The officers didn't "touch the money with the system looking," said Duran, who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic 15 years ago and has no prior criminal record in Philadelphia.

They touched "the money after they destroy all the system," he said.

Duran, 28, of South Jersey, a technology buff, said that he was upset that the officers had wrecked his $15,000 surveillance system.

"That was his main complaint - that they destroyed his surveillance system," Duran's attorney, Sonte Anthony Reavis, said last week. "I believed him."

Duran's video bolsters allegations by eight other Philadelphia store owners who said that Cujdik and other officers destroyed or cut wires to surveillance cameras. Those store owners also said that after the wires were cut, cigarettes, batteries, cell phones, food and drinks were taken. The Daily News reported the allegations March 20.

The officers also confiscated cash from the stores - a routine practice in drug raids - but didn't record the full amount on police property receipts, the shop owners allege.

Six more store owners or workers, including Duran, contacted the Daily News after the March 20 article. All six described similar ordeals involving destroyed cameras and missing money and merchandise.

The officers arrested the stores' owners for selling tiny bags, which police consider drug paraphernalia. Under state law, it's illegal to sell containers if the store owner "knows or should reasonably know" that the buyer intends to use them to package drugs.

Duran alleged that the officers seized nearly $10,000 in the raid on his store, on 20th Street near 73rd Avenue. He said that the money included a week's worth of profits and cash to pay his three employees.

The property receipt filed by the officers said that they had confiscated only $785.

Told of the new allegations, George Bochetto, an attorney representing Cujdik, said that he stood by his earlier response:

"Now that the Daily News has created a mass hysteria concerning the Philadelphia Narcotics Unit, it comes as no surprise that every defendant ever arrested will now proclaim their innocence and bark about being mistreated.

"Suffice it to say, there is a not a scintilla of truth to such convenient protestations."

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that he's disturbed by the store owners' allegations.

"It's pretty serious and I want to get to the bottom of it," Ramsey said last week.

Cujdik is at the center of an expanding federal and local probe into allegations that he lied on search warrants to gain access to suspected drug homes and became too close with his informants.

Ramsey said that Duran's video now "needs to be made part of this larger investigation."

The video also calls into question the validity of the search warrant that enabled the officers to raid Duran's store.

In a search-warrant application, Officer Richard Cujdik - Jeffrey Cujdik's brother - wrote that he "observed" a confidential informant enter Duran's store to buy tiny ziplock bags at about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2007.

The informant left the store two minutes later and handed two bags to Richard Cujdik, according to the search-warrant application.

Two-and-a-half hours later, at about 7 p.m., the Cujdik brothers and four other officers, including Tolstoy, Thomas Kuhn, Anthony Parrotti and squad supervisor Sgt. Joseph Bologna raided the store.

The Daily News watched the time-stamped Sept. 11 surveillance footage between 4 and 5 p.m.: Not a single customer asked for or bought a ziplock bag.

"At the time, I had no reason to question the validity of the warrant," said Reavis, Duran's attorney.

When told by the Daily News that no bags were sold during that time frame, Reavis expressed shock.

"That's manufacturing evidence," Reavis said. "If the basis for the search warrant is a lie, that's perjury. It's illegal. It's criminal on the officer's part."

Richard Cujdik also wrote in the search-warrant application that the same informant had bought ziplock bags from Duran twice before - on Sept. 5 and 6, 2007. Duran said he was unable to locate the footage from those days.

The Daily News attempted to contact each of the officers who took part in the raid. Except for Bochetto's response on behalf of Jeffrey Cujdik, none returned messages seeking comment.

The footage from the day of the raid is crystal-clear:

Duran is chatting on his cell phone in front of the cash register when the officers enter the store. With gun drawn, Tolstoy is in the lead. Most of the officers are wearing vests or shirts with the word "Police."

Tolstoy handcuffs Duran. The officers ask routine questions: Does Duran have a gun? Does anyone live on the second floor? Are there dogs in the basement?

Then Sgt. Bologna looks up and waves his finger toward the ceiling: "Whaddya got, cameras over there? . . . Where are they hooked up to?"

In fact, every officer seems fixated on the surveillance system.

"Where's the video cameras? The cassette for it?" Richard Cujdik asks.

"Does it record?" Jeffrey Cujdik quickly adds.

Officer Kuhn then steps up on a milk crate that he had placed underneath a ceiling camera and struggles to reach it. "I need to be f---ing taller," Kuhn mumbles as another officer laughs.

"You got a ladder in here, Cuz?" Kuhn asks Duran.

"Yo," Tolstoy calls out from behind the register. "Does this camera go home? Can you view this on your computer, too?"

"I can see [at], yeah, home, yeah," Duran replies.

"So your wife knows we're here, then?" Tolstoy asks.

"My wife? No. She not looking the computer right now," Duran says.

"Hey, Sarge . . . Come 'ere," Tolstoy shouts out.

Bologna ambles over to the front counter.

Jeffrey Cujdik leans in and whispers, "There's one in the back corner right there."

"It can be viewed at home," Tolstoy says.

As the others talk, Officer Parrotti reaches up to another camera in front of the register. He pulls the wire down and slices it with a bread knife taken from the store's deli.

"OK. We'll disconnect it," Bologna assures Tolstoy. "That's cool."

Meanwhile, Parrotti's hand covers the camera lens and he appears to yank the camera from the ceiling.

The screen goes black.

"They could watch what's happening at the store at your house?" Bologna asks.

The audio cuts out.

There is footage of Kuhn looking for a camera outside the store and of Richard Cujdik searching Duran's white van. In the audio portion of the video, Richard Cujdik asks Duran, "Is that your - whose white van is that?"

Then Richard Cujdik simply asks for the keys and heads outside. The search warrant for the store makes no mention of a van. The Daily News could not find a search warrant for the van in court records.

The officers arrested Duran on misdemeanor charges of possessing and selling drug paraphernalia, specifically tiny ziplock bags.

The next day, while Duran was in jail, his brother-in-law Anthony Garcia entered the store, which had been locked after the officers left.

The place was trashed, Garcia said. Goods had been knocked off shelves onto the floor. The oven and deep fryer were left on and the refrigerator door was left open, spoiling the food inside.

"It looked like they were having a party in there," he said. "There was a lot of money missing."

Garcia said that Duran's van was left unlocked with the keys in the center console.

The initial police report says that the officers "also recovered in the store . . . eight (8) overhead cameras." The officers, however, do not list the cameras on any property receipt or state why they took them, according to police documents.

During the raid, Jeffrey Cujdik told Duran that he was seizing the cameras and computer monitor "as evidence because you're selling drug paraphernalia. So we gotta get rid of it. . . . You got yourself on video selling drug paraphernalia."

Duran's cameras, however, were digital and contained no tape and, therefore, no evidence.

Commissioner Ramsey said that he couldn't think of any official reason for police officers to cut camera wires.

He said that the officers could confiscate surveillance equipment, including the cameras, if they believed that the footage provided evidence connected to the drug-paraphernalia case. But, Ramsey added, the officers must include the equipment on a property receipt and explain why they had confiscated the cameras.

"You wouldn't just cut it and take it, because that's somebody's private property," Ramsey said.

During the raid, Richard Cujdik told Duran that the ziplock bags were illegal. Duran tried to explain that he bought the store fully stocked and the bags were already inside.

"OK, it don't matter," Richard Cujdik told him. "You should know your business."

In February 2008, Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon sentenced Duran to nine months' probation after he pleaded "no contest" to the charges. He paid $5,000 in attorney's fees.

And Duran, who was renting the first floor that housed the store, lost his lease. The building owner said that Duran had to leave to prevent the city from taking the building in forfeiture, Duran said.

He now operates a grocery in Camden County, but remains angry about the raid.

"That's not fair, what they did to me," Duran said. "That's no way to treat me when they don't know me.

"You work 18 hours [a day] and they come in and do that?"
A still image taken from a security-camera backup system video shows a hand with a knife reaching to cut the cord to a camera during a police raid of a West Oak Lane store. The camera was positioned behind the front counter.
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Sunday, April 5, 2009


Milwaukee home is a real zoo!

United Press International - News. Analysis. Insight.™ - 100 Years of Journalistic Excellence


Officials: Milwaukee home an amateur zoo

Published: April 4, 2009 at 1:58 PM

MILWAUKEE, April 4 (UPI) -- Officials in Milwaukee say a 5-foot crocodile and a 14-foot python were among the animals found inside a south side home.

Officials said the home's unidentified owner had been keeping the large reptiles along with two monitor lizards, four snapping turtles and five additional snakes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

The animals were found inside the home Friday by police officers, who were at the home for unspecified reasons.

Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said the home's owner did not receive any violation citations as a result of the makeshift zoo. However, police noted such exotic animals are illegal in the city.

An unidentified official at the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission shelter told the Journal Sentinel the animals all appeared to be in good condition at their new home at the shelter.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Judge orders parrot to appear in court

Judge orders parrot to appear in court

Published: April 5, 2009 at 2:48 PM
BOCA RATON, Fla., April 5 (UPI) -- An African Grey parrot must appear in a Florida court as part of a civil lawsuit over its rightful owner, a judge says.


Palm Beach County Judge James Martz ordered the $2,000 parrot to appear in his court Monday to help decide which Boca Raton, Fla., woman owns the bird, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Saturday.

On one side of the legal battle is 52-year-old Angela Colicheski, who insists she purchased the parrot 13 years ago. She alleges her parrot flew away 3 years ago, only to reappear in the possession of 47-year-old Sarita Lytell.

Lytell alleges she found her parrot, also an African Grey, around the same time of the disappearance of Colicheski's bird, but refuses to hand over her beloved pet.

Colicheski's attorney, Spencer Siegel, told the Sun-Sentinel his client hopes to win her lawsuit by having Lytell bring her parrot into court.

"The bird wears an identification ring on his claw," Siegel said. "And we feel that it's necessary (to prove ownership) if the numbers on the ring become essential."

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Woman divorces husband for cleaning too much

German woman divorces husband for cleaning too much

Thu Apr 2, 10:19 am ET

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German woman has divorced her husband because she was fed up with him cleaning all the time.

German media reported the wife got through 15 years of marriage putting up with the man's penchant for doing household chores, tidying up and rearranging the furniture.

But she ran out of patience when he knocked down and rebuilt a wall at their home when it got dirty, Christian Kropp, court judge in the central town of Sondershausen, said Thursday.

"I'd never had anyone seek a divorce for this," he said.

(Reporting by Franziska Scheven; editing by Myra MacDonald)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Man pays neighbor $2500 to impregnate his wife fails after 72 attempts

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Robber caught standing in line waiting for pizza

Robbery suspect caught waiting for pizza
Christopher Collette    
3/17/2009 9:44:33 AM
Date last updated:  4/02/2009 8:24:19 PM


The clerk of the store gave the suspect, 48-year-old Mary Gorsuch, several hundred dollars and then watched the suspect walk across the street to a pizza parlor.


BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Police arrested a woman suspected of robbing a small variety store in Maine.

Just after noon on Monday, 48-year-old Mary Gorsuch of Biddeford is believed to have entered Paul's Variety on Alfred Street and demanded money from the clerk, claiming she would "blow [the clerk's] head off" if she didn't comply.

The clerk gave Gorsuch several hundred dollars, and then watched her walk across the street to a pizza parlor. The clerk called 911, gave police a description of the suspect and told them she had just entered the pizza shop.

Officers found Gorsuch waiting for a pepperoni pizza she had ordered. She was taken into custody and charged with robbery.

Despite the suspect's threat, no weapon was located and there were no injuries. It is unclear whether a weapon was shown at anytime during the incident.

Gorsuch was already on federal probation for armed robbery of a banking institution in the Bangor area. Police expect that probation will be revoked.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Incredibly bizarre animal crossbreeding

Animal Crossbreeds via

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Couple goes to prom with outfits made of duck tape


Friday, April 3, 2009


Bank robbery suspect caught trying to change his appearance

Suspect who tried to change appearance nabbed with shaving cream on his ear

Christelle Hobby - Apr. 3, 2009 03:02 PM
The Arizona Republic

A Mesa bank robbery suspect who tried to change his appearance was arrested after police noticed he'd missed a number of spots while shaving and still had shaving cream on his ear when officers confronted him, police said Friday.

When police searched the home of Apris Sifo, 30, they not only found a bank bag stuffed with money taken in the robbery of a Wells Fargo bank branch, but also 26 pounds of marijuana.

Police said a man matching Sifo's description entered a Bashas' supermarket at Power and McDowell roads Thursday afternoon, approached the Wells Fargo counter and presented the bank teller with a note stating that he had a gun and wanted money.


The teller gave the man money from her cash drawer, which he stuffed into a blue bank bag.

According to police, the thief fled on foot, but was seen by a witness entering a nearby home.

When Mesa police confronted Sifo, he had changed his clothes and appeared to have hastily tried to shave.

When police searched the home, they found a blue bag containing the money as well as three notes with “I want your money” written on them.

An estimated 26 pounds of marijuana was also found inside the suspect's bedroom, police said.

According to police reports, Sifo confessed that he intended to use the money and sell the marijuana in order to support his methamphetamine addiction.

When asked why he gave the note to the teller, Sifo told police, “I've seen it on TV.”

No weapon was found. Sifo is being charged with armed robbery and possession of marijuana for sale, police said.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Thieves steal 20,000 plastic Easter eggs from the church

 Apr 3, 2009 12:01 pm US/Pacific

Thieves Steal 20,000 Plastic Easter Eggs





A California church's annual Easter Egg hunt may not happen this year after thieves took a trailer containing 20,000 plastic eggs and other items needed for the holiday tradition, CBS station KOVR-TV reports.

Roseville police say someone took the trailer from the parking lot of Bayside Church's administrative office on Melody Lane in Roseville sometime in mid-January.  The trailer contained 20,000 plastic Easter eggs, a public announcement system, and other supplies needed for their community Easter egg hunt at Cirby Elementary School on April 11.

The stolen trailer is a white 2005 six-foot by twelve-foot Pace American box trailer.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Roseville Police Investigations Unit at (916)774-5070, or Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916)783-6867.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 3, 2009


Probation Officer finds meth lab during unexpected visit

Probation Visit Uncovers Meth Lab

Alyssa Bunn 
April 2, 2009 7:32 pm
Police in Franklin County, Indiana say they uncovered an unexpected surprise while paying a visit to two people on probation Monday afternoon.

According to police, state troopers were conducting a home visit at the Brookeville residence of 34-year-old Lloyd Conn and 21-year-old Tiffany Hollins when they discovered an active meth lab, a gun, and truck loads of stolen property.

Both are registered with the Franklin County Probation Department.

During the search of their home on Smoky Hollow Road, police confiscated the meth-making materials and the gun, along with a stolen riding lawn mower and box trailer, and five pickup truck loads of items believed to be stolen.  Investigators remained at the home for hours overnight sorting through the property.

Conn and Hollins were arrested on felony charges of manufacturing methamphetamine.  The pair is also facing child endangerment charges after authorities found two children under the age of 3 in the home.  The children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The case remains under investigation and police say additional charges may be added.
Kentucky Post

Friday, April 3, 2009


$600,000 Golden Porsche 911 Stolen


'Golden Porsche' worth $600,000 stolen in Moscow

15:18 | 03/ 04/ 2009
Print version

MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - A Porsche 911 plated with real gold and worth an estimated $600,000 was stolen on Friday afternoon in the southeast of Moscow, a police source said.

The officer said that the owner of the exclusive vehicle had decided to sell the car and found a client via the Internet. The client arrived to take a look at the "Golden Porsche" and after two laps of test drive on a parking lot near the Volgogradskoye highway sped off in an unknown direction.

"After waiting for him to return, the owner turned to the police for help," the source said.

According to the owner, he used some 20 kg (about 45 lbs) of real gold to upgrade his car, which had an initial price of $120,000.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Domino's Pizza Gives 11,000 free pizza away by mistake

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Domino's Forced to "Bailout" Franchise Owners After Gaffe

Domino's Pizza is out thousands ... of free pizzas, that is, after someone discovered an online promotion the company scrapped, but failed to deactivate.

Someone entered "bailout" in the Domino's promo code window on their website and discovered he would be eligible for a free medium pizza.

You can imagine the "feeding frenzy" once word hit the Web and Twitter on Monday night, and 11,000 free pizzas were delivered before the code was deactivated Tuesday morning.

Besides failing to deactivate the promo, it looks like they never fully implemented it, as there shold have been some limits to prevent the overuse of the code.

Domino's has strepped up and agreed to bail out its franchisees, picking up the tab as it obviously should have, since it was the company's mistake.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


World's first Hotelicopter

The Hotelicopter 

Welcome to The Hotelicopter.

Experience the adrenaline rush of taking off and flying high in the largest helicopter ever produced.

The Hotelicopter features 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms for adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience.

Queen-suite-bed.png Each soundproofed room is equipped with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel. Room service is available one hour after liftoff and prior to landing. See more pictures in the Photo Gallery.

The Hotelicopter’s excellent crew and staff make your security and safety their number one priority. Our vehicle meets or exceeds all safety, operating, and maintenance requirements outlined by the FAA in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) relating to transport category rotorcraft.

The Hotelicopter is due to fly its maiden journey this summer.

See The Hotelicopter in action!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Mom drugs daughter,13, wants boyfriend to get her pregnant




Police: Mom drugs daughter so man can impregnate her

The Tribune-Review

Thursday, April 2, 2009


A mother in Fayette County has been charged with giving her 13-year-old daughter drugs and alcohol so the woman's boyfriend could get the girl pregnant, police said Thursday.

Shana Brown, 32, is no longer able to have children but wanted to have a baby with her current boyfriend, Duane Calloway, said Uniontown Police Det. Donald Gmitter. The pair decided to drug the girl so Calloway, 40, could have sex with her without her knowledge, he added.

"There's some sick people on this case," Gmitter said.

Brown has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and was to turn herself into police later Thursday, Gmitter said. Brown's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.

Calloway faces several counts of attempted rape. He was arrested Wednesday and remains in Fayette County Jail.

The three incidents occurred in Brown's home in Uniontown, according to the criminal complaint.

The girl told police the plot was apparently hatched sometime in December after she rejected her mother's proposal that she allow Calloway to impregnate her and then marry him.

In the following months, Calloway attempted to rape the girl three times, Gmitter said.

The first time, in February, the girl was alone with Calloway while her mother went out to buy pizza, according to the criminal complaint. Calloway began groping her and she kicked him away, the documents stated.

A few weeks later, the girl believes her mother spiked her Pepsi with rum, according to police. The girl told them she felt ill after drinking the Pepsi, passed out and later threw up. She was also partially naked when she woke up and Calloway was in the room, according to the criminal complaint.

The third incident occurred in mid-March, when the girl told police she came home early from school because she was not feeling well. She said her mother forced her to drink tea, and then she immediately fell asleep.

The girl said she pretended she was asleep until Calloway made a move, at which point she bolted upright and he left the room.

In a search of the Brown residence, police said they found an empty rum bottle, Tylenol PM and a pill crusher.

 The Tribune-Review


Thursday, April 2, 2009


Burglar almost knocks himself out during break-in

Burglar almost colds himself during attempted break-in

Reported by: Keith Baker
Last Update: 4/01 11:35 am


 ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Two burglars who tried to break into a St. Pete home went away empty-handed.  One of them likely had a bad headache for his efforts.

Surveillance video captured pair as they tried to break into a home on 36th Avenue North Tuesday afternoon.

One placed himself in a football stance and ran the length of the yard into the porch door with his body.  The latch held quite nicely.  The impact sent the would-be thief flying backwards and onto the ground, where he's seen writhing in pain.

Giving up on the body shots, one of the suspects tossed a brick through a window to get inside.  That didn't work out either.  The house was equipped with an alarm that began blaring away.

The bandits left in their getaway car empty-handed and probably sore. 

The car is described as a small, red two door with a hood scoop and lower ground effects.

Police say both suspects are black males 18-25 years old.  One has light skin and weighs about 150 pounds.  The other suspect has dreadlocks and weighs about 170 pounds.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Man robs store with 9-year old daughter

Man robs store with 9-year-old in tow

Man robs store with 9-year-old in tow

This image released by the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office shows the robber, right, pointing a gun at the teller while a young girl, in pink, stands next to him.

Story Published: Mar 31, 2009 at 10:10 AM PDT

Story Updated: Apr 1, 2009 at 9:20 AM PDT[email protected]

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Sheriff's deputies are on the hunt for a man who robbed a mini-mart east of here while a young girl stood at his side.

The robber walked into an AM/PM Mini Mart just off I-90 at exit 101 around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Kittitas County Undersheriff Clayton Myers said.

He approached the counter, drew a gun and demanded money from the register, Myers said. The clerk complied and the man then left with the little girl, without further incident.

"I don't think I've ever heard of a little girl with her dad on an armed robbery," Myers said. "How anyone could endanger a child like that? You never know how someone is going to react when you pull a firearm out. How the clerk's going to react, somebody walking in? Absolutely can't even imagine it."

Why would a man bring his daughter to an armed robbery?

"Sounded like a man in desperation," store manager John Beaty said. "Said something on camera to the effect of lost his job and trying to support his little girl. Tough times."

Beaty says the night clerk thought the gun was a phony and told the robber that.

"Right here the guy is threatening to throw hot coffee on him," Beaty said, while pointing to surveillance video.

The night clerk gave the man less than $200. The robber told his daughter to leave. Probably not realizing what has happened, the girl skipped to the car outside.

The robber spent a few more minutes in the mini-mart.

"He's sort of begging him: 'Just let me and my little girl get away,' " Beaty said.

Myers says the robber was in his late 30s to early 40s, about 5 feet 10 to 5 feet 11 inches tall with a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. He weighed about 190 pounds and had glasses, a dark color P-Coat, blue jeans and white tennis shoes. The robber at some point said his name was Robert.

The girl was described as roughly 9 years old with dark color length hair and was wearing a pink coat. Myers said her first name might be "Meadow." Officials asked that the girl's face be shown in the hopes that someone will recognize her and call police.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office at (509) 925-8534.

In the meantime, police are looking at local schools and checking unemployment records.

Watch the story

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Man wins $1,000,000 on scratch ticket

March 31, 2009

Saskatchewan man wins $1-million on scratch ticket


REGINA - John Black has won $1 million, but that won't stop the Saskatchewan man from working and buying lottery tickets.

Black, of Frobisher, Sask., bought several "Set For Life" tickets along with a Lotto 6-49 ticket after his shift as an oilfield manager ended last Wednesday.

He then ordered dinner at a restaurant in the small community about 250 kilometres southeast of Regina and scratched his tickets and found the $1-million prize.

"I bought a couple CDs and I'd like to get a haircut," he joked Tuesday at a news conference in Regina.

Black admits he likes to gamble. When he came to Regina this week to claim his prize, he also hit the Regina Casino.

"Actually I won a lot. I just wanted to try out games and I played a few and won. I thought I was on a pretty lucky streak for a while there but I went out and bought 19 more 'Set For Life' tickets and didn't win anything."

Black said he'll be at work Wednesday and has no plans to quit.

He and girlfriend Kendyl Curtis plan on buying a new truck or two, paying off some  debt, and setting up a trust fund for his one-year-old daughter.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Man cries after attempt to rob liquor store fails

Attempted robbery goes awry in Trenton

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

TRENTON -- A man who tried to rob a liquor store Monday night sat down and cried when he encountered resistance from the senior citizen behind the counter, police said.

Edwin Calix, 19, was arrested and charged with robbery by cops who arrived at Sykes Liquor Store on the 300 block of South Broad Street moments after the 8:30 p.m. attempt.

Police say Calix walked into the liquor store and asked for the price of a liter of Hennessey. While 76-year-old Jeff Wadkins was checking on his request, Calix allegedly grabbed a liter bottle and bolted for the door.

"This kind of thing happens all the time," Wadkins said last night.

Keying a magnetic lock switch, Wadkins was able to secure the front door and trap Calix inside, police said. That's when, police said, Calix pulled out a handgun, pointed it at Wadkins and demanded he be let out of the store. But Wadkins said he was already on the phone with police at that point.

"He said, 'I don't want to shoot you,'" Wadkins said of Calix. "I had the police on the phone already and I said to the police, 'did you hear what he said?'"

Wadkins said he knew the would-be robber posed no threat. "It was a fake gun, he wasn't armed," he said.

According to police spokesman Sgt. Pedro Medina, Calix then panicked. "The suspect ran to the back of the store attempting to find a way out, but it was not his lucky day," Medina said.

Unable to locate a second doorway, police said, Calix threw what he had brandished into the basement, returned to the front of the store, sat down and began crying.

"He just came up and sat on the floor and started crying," Wadkins said, adding he had never seen that before. "I had guys try to break the door down, one guy almost did it one time."

Wadkins said he probably would have let Calix out if thought the gun was real, but was not going to release the lock as long as the suspect was unarmed. "I certainly wasn't going to turn him loose," Wadkins said.

As they both waited for police officers to show up, Wadkins said Calix kept crying, and said only a few things that were comprehensible. "I believe he said, 'I have a child,'" Wadkins said.

After the attempted robbery, the threats at what was intended to be gunpoint, and after the tears, Wadkins was asked, did he feel sorry for Calix?

"I guess," he said after some thought.



Staff writer Michelle McGuinness contributed to this report.
Times of Trenton

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


April Fools' Day On The Web : 2009

April Fools' Day On The Web : 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Man, 114, caught with 254 sacks of marijuana

Very elderly man caught with huge marijuana haul

Wed Apr 1, 12:33 pm ET

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria's anti-narcotics agency confiscated 6.5 tones of marijuana Tuesday from the home of a man who claimed to be 114 years old.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it had found 254 sacks of cannabis at the home of Sulaiman Adebayo in Ogun state, north of the commercial capital Lagos.

"The quantity of drugs suggests a large scale involvement ... There is more to the case than Pa Sulaiman," NDLEA chairman Ahmadu Giade said in a statement.

Adebayo, who said he had been a farmer all his life, told police he thought the sacks contained rice.

The agency said he claimed to have attended the inauguration of a famous hall in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, in 1895 as a small boy and said he was 114 years old. There was no independent confirmation of his age.

Marijuana is grown illegally on large-scale farms in many parts of Nigeria and is smuggled across its porous borders to neighboring countries.

Lax customs control and corruption have also made Africa's top oil and gas producer a conduit for hard drugs from Asia and Latin America into Western markets.

(Reporting by Tume Ahemba; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Help! I'm locked inside my car

Woman to 911: Help! I'm locked inside my car

Amy L. Edwards

| Sentinel Staff Writer 9:45 AM EDT, April 1, 2009

A 911 dispatcher had to tell a woman how to unlock her car on Sunday.

A woman called Kissimmee police to say she was locked inside her car at the Walgreen's on John Young Parkway near Poinciana.

"My car will not start. I'm locked inside my car," the unidentified woman said.

"Nothing electrical works. And it's getting very hot in here, and I'm not feeling well."

The dispatcher asked the woman if she was able to manually pull the lock up on the door.

The woman said she would try, and then, she said, "Yes, I got the door open."

                                 911- Audio Tape Link,0,270094.story

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Ohio man charged with drunken driving on bar stool

In this photo released Tuesday, March 31, 2009, by the Newark (Ohio) Police

 AP – In this photo released Tuesday, March 31, 2009,

 by the Newark (Ohio) Police Department, a motorized bar …

Tue Mar 31, 9:10 pm ET

NEWARK, Ohio – Authorities in Ohio say a man has been charged with drunken driving after crashing his motorized bar stool. Police in Newark, 30 miles east of Columbus, say when they responded to a report of a crash with injuries on March 4, they found a man who had wrecked a bar stool powered by a deconstructed lawn mower.

Twenty-eight-year Kile Wygle was hospitalized for minor injuries. Police say he was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he told an officer at the hospital that he had consumed 15 beers. Wygle told police his motorized bar stool can go up to 38 mph.

Wygle has pleaded not guilty and has requested a jury trial.



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