It took a while, but you knew it was coming, didn't you? Nadya Suleman, also known as "Octomom" because she world's longest-surviving set of octuplets has signed a deal to star in a reality television series.
However, Octomom is somewhat denigrating, and the reason for that is because, after the somewhat miraculous octuplet birth, it came to light that Nadya Suleman already had six children, and used in vitro fertilization for all of them, plus the octuplets. Admittedly, she herself said that she was basically obsessed with having a large family.
Suleman agreed to be filmed for a proposed television show by 3Ball Productions, attorney Jeff Czech said. Unlike many series, it won't be a 24x7 operation. Czech told USMagazine.com:
"[Nadya and the producers] are hoping to have an arrangement whereby several events in the children's lives would be filmed in a documentary series. One of the events in the children's lives might be their first birthday.”The show has no title yet, and Czech wouldn't disclose how much Suleman will get paid. There's always the chance that Suleman will get perks besides just cash; part of the deal that Jon and Kate Gosselin made for their series "Jon and Kate Plus 8" was a tummytuck for Kate and hair plugs for Jon.
The piano stretches across the floor in a shop and it seems to have attracted a big audience.
The pianists demonstrating what it can do, manage to knock out an impressive tune as they jump across the keys at speed.
Looks like great fun.
Link to Video:
AHN | May 31, 2009"
THIS IS A FOLLOW-UP TO A STORY I POSTED ON 5/29/09
Warren, PA (AHN) - A Pennsylvania town newspaper has publicly apologized for running a classified personal ad that may be an assassination threat against President Obama and reported the incident to the local police.
The Times Observer based in Warren also stopped running the ad that appeared on the newspaper's Thursday issue as the Secret Service was called in to investigate the person who placed the ad.
John Elchert, the publisher of Times Observer, said one advertising staff did not suspect anything wrong with the ad that read: "May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!"
Upon realizing that all four presidents were assassinated, the newspaper reported the matter to the police.
The newspaper did not reveal the name of the person who placed the personal ad, but said the name was turned over to the Warren City Police, which forwarded it to federal authorities.
By Marnie O'Neill
The Sunday Telegraph
May 31, 2009 12:00am
A QUADRIPLEGIC whose disability was compared to the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve, has been jailed for up to 10 years for conspiring to manufacture ecstasy.
Paul Baker, 36, of Colyton in Sydney's west, is the first quadriplegic in NSW history to receive a full-time custodial sentence.
District Court Judge Robert Toner's decision last Wednesday will force jail authorities to spend thousands of dollars modifying a cell for Baker - once they find a prison that can accommodate his considerable needs.
The NSW Department of Corrective Services has admitted it is yet to find a permanent jail cell for Baker, who is morbidly obese and needs 98 hours of care per fortnight, which will be provided by an independent care agency.
He cannot eat, drink, go to the toilet or wash by himself and requires a hoist to transfer him to bed from his motorised wheelchair - which he controls with a slight movement in one hand.
In court, Baker's lawyer compared his condition to that of Christopher Reeve, who became a quadriplegic after a horse-riding accident and died in 2004.
"We set up a committee to deal with (Baker) because we knew he would probably be getting a custodial sentence," a Corrective Services spokesman said.
"At the moment he is in Long Bay (jail) hospital in the aged-care and frailty unit. He'll be in there for an assessment and planning period while we look at various jails to figure out which would be most suitable to cope with his level of disability."
The department said it would cost about $200,000 per year to look after Baker, double the cost of an average "secure" prisoner.
Some $4000 was spent on modifying a truck to convey him from court to jail last week. It will be used again when, and if, authorities decide to relocate him.
His cell will have to be fitted with a hoist, special furniture and air-conditioning because Baker can no longer control his own body temperature, authorities said.
A former director of import companies, Baker pleaded guilty in 2007 to one count of conspiring with three other men to manufacture one tonne of ecstasy.
The court heard that Baker ordered importation of glassware used in the manufacture of the drug and a pill press found in his home. These were also used in a clandestine lab at Badgerys Creek.
The drug was to be manufactured with other chemicals and combined with 11 200-litre containers of methylamine, imported from China in 2005.
Police moved in before any drugs were made, the court heard. Judge Toner sentenced Baker to a maximum of 10 years six months, with a non-parole period of three years and six months.
Baker became a quadriplegic in 1995, after a car accident.
Conspired with others to make more than a ton of ecstasy … Paul Baker outside his home yesterday.
Photo: Adam Hollingworth
February 8, 2009
A CAR crash has already given Paul Baker a life sentence - next week it will be up to the NSW legal system to decide if he gets another.
Baker, 36, who is a quadriplegic, has pleaded guilty to conspiring with three other men to manufacture more than a tonne of ecstasy in 2005.
The charge carries a maximum of life imprisonment either in jail or by home detention. The decision on whether he is to become the first quadriplegic in NSW to serve a custodial term has fallen to Judge Robert Toner, who will next week hear sentencing submissions in the Downing Centre District Court.
Baker's solicitor, Michael Jokovic, declined to comment on the care needs of his client, which prison officials privately believe will outstrip the $301,000 average annual cost of keeping an inmate in the high-security supermax prison at Goulburn.
In written submissions to the court by Baker's defence, occupational therapist Sue Lukersmith said there was not a jail cell big enough to accommodate him and the equipment for his care. She evaluated assessments from 12 doctors and specialists on Baker's quadriplegia and also examined his care needs at his home in Colyton.
Baker, who uses his slight movement in one hand to get around on a motorised chair, became a quadriplegic in a motor vehicle accident in 1995.
Baker, a director of a number of import companies, pleaded guilty in 2007 to one count of conspiracy to manufacture a large commercial quantity of MDMA or ecstasy. The court heard that Baker was involved in the purchase of glassware used in the manufacture of the drug and a pill press was found in his home. These were used in a clandestine laboratory at Badgerys Creek.
The drug was to be manufactured with other chemicals and combined with 11 200-litre containers of methylamine, imported from China in 2005.
Police who broke up the syndicate said Baker was unaware of the plan until some months later but then helped his co-offenders research information, acquire other chemicals and equipment and search for properties for the covert lab.
In her report to the court, Ms Lukersmith said Baker required a minimum of 108 hours of personal care a week in a daily care regime of four shifts, which included his showering and feeding.
She listed among his requirements air-conditioned accommodation because he can no longer control his body temperature.
Her report said specialist equipment Baker required included electric wheelchairs, beds and hoists and voice-activated controls for lights and television. "He is dependent upon attendant carers for all aspects of personal care. This includes transfers, showering, drying, dressing, grooming, personal hygiene, toileting and eating," Ms Lukersmith said. She did not think the prison hospital system could provide Baker "with the minimum requirements" outlined in her report.
These included experienced personal attendant care and the training of any new carers that would be needed with staff shift changes.
A Department of Corrective Services spokesman said: "The department can't go into details about care issues in this case because it might be seen as trying to influence the sentencing process. However, where a court hands down a jail sentence, then the department has a duty to provide imprisonment."
Erie police searching for suspect in drive-by shooting
Erie Times News
Published: May 29. 2009 2:50PM
Erie police are searching for a 23-year-old man accused of a drive-by shooting early today.
Police said Sylvester D. Tate shot four times at a man in the 300 block of West 20th Street about 2 a.m.
The victim, who identified Tate as the shooter, was not injured.
Police said that after speeding away from the scene, Tate crashed his Chevrolet Trailblazer into a utility pole in the 400 block of West 26th Street.
Tate fled the scene after crashing the vehicle, police.
Police found a handgun inside the vehicle that had been reported stolen Jan. 30. Police did not say who reported the gun stolen.
Police have issued a warrant for Tate's arrest. Tate, whose last known address was in the 200 block of West 21st Street, is being charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, receiving stolen property and several traffic violations.
The city plans to charge convicted criminals up to $60 a night, depending on their ability to pay, when a new 100-bed lockup opens in October, Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith says. Thus, the city could recoup most of its cost of about $70 a day.
"These people are the ones who cause the cost to operate a jail, so they ought to be the ones to pay it, not private citizens," Smith says.
The economic recession is spurring several local governments to turn to pay-to-stay programs, says Sara Totonchi, public policy director for the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, which fights legislation that imposes such fees on inmates.
"In these difficult economic times, policymakers are looking for different options to save money," Totonchi says.
Springfield is one of at least five city and county jails that this year started billing inmates for jail time if they are found guilty.
• In Utah, the Salt Lake County Metro Jail charges inmates $40 each day, Sheriff James Winder says. The Box Elder County Jail in Brigham City, costs $10 per day. Since the plan started April 1, about a third of the inmates have paid the fee, Box Elder's jail commander Sandy Huthman says.
• Missouri's Taney County, which includes Branson, charges $45 for a day at the jail in Forsyth, county prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Merrell says.
•Richmond, Va., began charging inmates $1 per day April 15. The few who can't afford that small amount can work jobs in the jail to earn the money, Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. says. The city hopes to raise between $60,000 and $200,000 a year, he says.
Woody says Richmond started the fee because taxpayers are tired of footing the bill to house criminals while other vital services are being cut from municipal budgets.
"I'm just getting on board to relieve some of the responsibility off of taxpayers," Woody says.
Not everyone can pay. In Springfield, unpaid accounts will be turned over to a collection service, Smith says, and debtors could end up in small claims court.
The Douglas County Jail in Roseburg, Ore., also uses a collection agency, jail spokesman Dwes Hutson says. The jail has charged inmates $60 per day since 2002 but recently cut the fee to $20.
"We found that inmates got such a huge bill that it was hard for them to pay," Hutson says. "We collect more money charging a more reasonable rate."
In Salt Lake County, indigent inmates are not billed, and some who participate in improvement programs can work off their debt, Winder says.
A few jails have been collecting similar fees for years. Klamath County Jail in Oregon has charged $60 per day since 2003, District Attorney Ed Caleb says. Overland Park, Kan., bills inmates $35 for a day in the county jail, Overland Park Municipal Court Administrator Robin Barnard says. Last year, though, Overland Park collected only 39% of the user fee, Barnard says.
Totonchi says the fee can be a burden on inmates' families, who often end up footing the bill. Jailers acknowledge that the fee can be difficult to collect.
"We're not stupid. We realize we're not going to recover 60 bucks from everybody," Springfield's Smith says.
Loew reports for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore.
A Pennsylvania newspaper should be expecting a visit from the Secret Service soon. The Warren Pennsylvania Times-Observer published an ad on Thursday that called for the assassination of President Barack Obama.
It wasn't like the ad was a want ad for an assassin; rather, it was one of those small personal ads that you might see run in the classified section of a local paper, but rather than saying something like "Happy Birthday, So-and-So," the ad said "May Obama follow in the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley & Kennedy!" All four of those presidents, of course, were assassinated in office.
The PT-O posted an apology:
"An errant classified 'personal' ad which appeared in Thursday's Times Observer has drawn the attention of law enforcement officials.I can understand perhaps not making the connection, but I can't understand how anyone would think running this ad would not attract the attention of the Secret Service. The paper surely knows who the person who placed the ad is, and there will be a visit, that's for certain.
"A person from Warren placed the ad, which apparently alludes to the wish that President Obama meet an untimely end by linking him with four assassinated presidents. The ad representative didn't make the connection among the four other presidents mentioned and mistakenly allowed the ad to run.
"Upon realizing the mistake early Thursday morning, the ad was immediately discontinued and the identity of the person who placed the ad was turned over to Warren City Police as per newspaper policy. The local police department forwarded the information to federal authorities, as per department policy.
"The Times Observer apologizes for the oversight."
Image from YouTube
A video posted on YouTube shows a man being beaten and robbed outside a nightclub in Lutz
By JOSH POLTILOVE | The Tampa Tribune
Published: May 28, 2009
William T. Bogan
TAMPA - A strong armed robbery in Lutz was captured on videotape and placed on YouTube.
Hillsborough County deputies have arrested the man they say shot the footage, and they are continuing to search for two people who removed the victim's wallet.
The attack occurred in the early morning hours of March 31 at L.A. Hangout Bar, 16411 N. Florida Ave. in Lutz.
Alexander R. Fernandez, 21, of Tampa, was struck in the face by an unknown person while inside the bar. Fernandez left the bar so he could get a bat from his vehicle. Deputies say William T. Bogan, 25, of Thonotosassa, was recording the events on a digital video camera and that Fernandez returned to the front parking lot looking for the person who struck him.
That's when Bogan told an unknown male to hit Fernandez, deputies say.
"As seen on the video the victim was tackled from behind and landed on the pavement," a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office news release states. "An unknown individual kicked the victim in the head while he was incapacitated on the ground. Another subject removed the bat from the victim's hand."
Bogan told people to remove Fernandez's money, and two males took Fernandez's wallet.
Fernandez was struck in the head with a bat.
Fernandez was treated at University Community Hospital. He has since been released, but details on his condition weren't immediately available.
Days after the incident, Bogan returned to the L.A. Hangout Bar and distributed copies of the video, deputies say. The video was placed on YouTube by Bogan, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.
"We were investigating the incident and went to the bar and found out that copies had been distributed," she said.
Deputies got a search warrant and went to Bogan's home Wednesday. Inside, they found Bogan and several others: Owen Reid, Perry Quinn Paremore, Whitney Bogan and Fedell Jackson.
William Bogan was charged with solicitation to commit strong armed robbery. His bail was set at $2,000, and he has since been released from jail.
Reid, 22, of Thonotosassa, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. He was seen narrating in the beginning of video, but Carter said he won't face additional charges for being involved in the video.
Paremore, 25, of Thonotosassa, was charged with marijuana possession. He was seen in the video but also won't face charges for that, Carter said.
Whitney Bogan, 23, of Thonotosassa, was charged with marijuana possession. Bogan, who is William Bogan's brother, was released on his own recognizance.
Fedell Jackson, 24, of Tampa, was charged with marijuana possession. He was released on his own recognizance.
Deputies are seeking the public's help finding the two people who took Fernandez's wallet.
NOTE: YouTube has removed the videotape
Man sentenced for breaking into jail to deal drugs
Fri May 29, 4:13 pm ET
TEXARKANA, Ark. – A man caught breaking into the Miller County Jail last summer will soon leave his cell there for one in an Arkansas prison. Bobby Finley, 20, was accused of planning to sell drugs and tobacco inside the jail. pleaded guilty Thursday to five felony counts and was sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison. But the sentences are to run consecutively and top out at five years.
Guards caught Finley using bolt cutters to get through the chain-link fence that surrounds the jail. said Finley had cocaine and marijuana in his possession.
"In 19 years of prosecuting you always encounter cases that make you believe you've seen it all — until you see a case of this nature," Deputy Prosecutor Carlton Jones said. "It never ceases to amaze me."
Finley was found mentally competent to stand trial following a psychological evaluation.
Finley will get credit for time served for the 316 days he spent in jail since getting caught.
In his deal with prosecutors, Finley was sentenced to five years each on two possession counts and three years each on three counts of furnishing prohibited substances: cocaine, marijuana and tobacco.
When Finley was arrested last summer, investigated and said Finley was a moment away from getting inside the fence.
"This is the first one I've ever worked where somebody went to so much trouble to remove an obstacle so they could bring contraband into the jail," Clark said at the time. "It's definitely a first for me."
Original Story with Picture and Video
Posted Tue May 26, 2009 6:49pm AEST
Updated Wed May 27, 2009 7:17am AEST
A New South Wales south coast grandmother has had an unexpected $2 million windfall from a lottery ticket left forgotten for four years.
The 73-year-old, who has not been named, recently came across the unregistered ticket in an envelope of other unchecked tickets in a dressing table drawer.
She says she had left it a further two weeks and was not going to worry about it.
"My husband said to me that it would be too old to check," she said.
"But I took the ticket to the agent and they put me on the phone to someone from NSW Lotteries who told me it was worth $2 million."
The retired dairy farmer says she went limp and could not tell her husband the good news until they had left the shop.
However she says she has no plans for a spending spree despite not having much while growing up and some lean times on the farm.
"We will use the money to help the family down the track but they don't know we've won," she said.
"They'll find out when we leave this world."
Fake 'no parking' signs fool Tarpon Springs police, who write 233 tickets near Tarpon Turtle restaurant
By Demorris A. Lee, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Thursday, May 28, 2009
FAKE: The signs installed by developer Mike Bronson were mounted on round poles and had no city sticker on the back of them.
[DEMORRIS A. LEE | Times]
TARPON SPRINGS — Police blame a local developer for installing "no parking" signs around a popular city restaurant that resulted in 233 tickets being written in a two-year span.
At the same time, acting Tarpon Springs police Chief Robert Kochen acknowledged his department's failure to properly handle the matter in 2007.
"We messed up," Kochen said. "We did not look at this thing like we should have."
In a 23-page report released this week, Kochen said developer Mike Bronson admitted recently to installing the signs along the city's right of way after initially denying it.
"Mike Bronson advised that back around April of 2006 he installed all of the 22 signs due to the parking problems caused by customers of the Tarpon Turtle," Kochen wrote in the report.
Bronson could not be reached for comment.
The investigation was prompted by Commissioner Peter Dalacos, who recently had concerns about how the situation was handled in 2007 during an ongoing dispute over noise and parking at Jack Willie's Tarpon Turtle.
"I'm glad Mr. Bronson admitted to the act and the Police Department has been very proactive in this matter," Dalacos said. "I still have concerns about what action we can take to, at a minimum, have Mr. Bronson reimburse those tickets that were paid."
The report says criminal charges against Bronson would not be feasible at this time, but makes no mention of other possible penalties.
The signs installed by Bronson were mounted on round poles and had no city sticker on the back of them. The city's authorized signs are mounted on galvanized U-shaped poles with holes.
"The Police Department's patrol officers were doing their job and they had no reason (at the time) to believe any of these signs may have been unauthorized by the city," Kochen said.
Tarpon Springs is now working with the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Courts to identify any outstanding parking ticket warrants that may have been issued for nonpayment. The city wants those tickets purged from the system. The city also wants to see if it can "remedy (or reimburse) the fine amounts that have been charged for the tickets."
The parking tickets were $20, with $15 going to the city and $5 going a fund that supports school crossing guards.
During a City Commission meeting earlier this month, Don Alvino, the owner of the Tarpon Turtle, alleged that Bronson was using the "no parking" signs to harass his customers.
Alvino and Bronson were business partners with Alvino initially leasing the Tarpon Turtle from Bronson with a five-month option to buy. In September 2006, Alvino exercised the option and purchased the restaurant for $3.4 million.
Since that time, Alvino says, Bronson has been out to destroy his business.
The investigation of the parking signs led Kochen to conclude that the city made several missteps.
In May 2007, Alvino had a meeting with the head of the city's code enforcement, Ed Hayden, about complaints being lodged against the restaurant. In that meeting, it was learned that the signs were fake.
During the investigation, Bronson told police he received permission from Sgt. Allen Mackenzie, who at the time handled all traffic-related matters involving signs and traffic studies.
Mackenzie, who retired from the department on Feb. 14, 2007, said he had no such conversation with Bronson, the report said.
Bronson was ordered to remove the signs in May 2007, but code enforcement officials never documented the incident and they never followed up.
"Apparently some signs were removed back in May of 2007 at the request of code enforcement, but the issue was not fully resolved because the signs remain there today," Kochen wrote in his report.
"Although I believe Officer Hayden was acting with good intentions, he did make some mistakes in this matter."
Kochen said a traffic study is currently being conducted to see where signs will actually be placed in the area.
For safety reasons, Kochen asked Bronson to leave his illegal signs up until a determination is made for the placement of city signs.
Officers were told not to write tickets in the area until the study is complete. Kochen said the matter will be completed quickly.
But the decision to keep the illegal signs up incensed Alvino, whose business was limited to 177 seats and weekend-only outdoor entertainment at a recent City Commission meeting.
"The city is not pro-small business," he said. "They already have taken away the number of seats I can have, they took away my ability to have outdoor entertainment during the week and now they are depriving me of on-street parking, even though they know the signs are illegal. It just doesn't make sense."
[Last modified: May 28, 2009 12:17 PM]
ALOHA - For most folks it's not a dilemma. Given a choice between "a day without sunshine" and a day without jail time, most people will skip the orange juice and stay out of jail.
But Raibin Raof Osman isn't most people. The 20-year-old Aloha man had a sleep-over at the Washington County Jail on Memorial Day after calling 9-1-1 to complain that McDonald's left out a box of orange juice from his drive-thru order.
Osman was booked Monday night on accusations of improper use of 9-1-1. He bailed out Tuesday. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor punishable in Oregon by up to six months in jail and a fine of $2,500.
MATTAPAN, Mass. (CBS) ?
Va. man pleads guilty to robbing a S.C. bank after boasting of crime on
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A man who confessed to robbing a South Carolina bank in a message posted on MySpace has pleaded guilty. Federal prosecutors said Thursday that 27-year-old Joseph Northington of Roanoke, Va., will be sentenced later for using a firearm during a crime of violence.
Authorities said Northington robbed a bank in North Augusta of almost $4,000 in January while visiting a friend, who called investigators after seeing surveillance pictures of Northington.
Prosecutors said before his arrest, Northington posted a message to his MySpace account reading: "On tha run for robbin a bank Love all of yall."
Northington faces seven years to life in prison. His attorney did not return a phone call Thursday.
Northington's MySpace page is still up, his status listed as "wanted."
Woman wins $13m with 10-month-old Lotto ticket
May 28, 2009
A WOMAN who delved through a bundle of old Lotto tickets because of her family's money worries has come up with more than $13 million.The woman, a West Australian university student in her 30s, won $13,185,273 after checking a 10-month old lottery ticket she'd received as a gift from her father.
A Pennsylvania woman who vanished after calling 911 to say she had been abducted and stuffed in the trunk of a car along with her young daughter apparently faked the abduction, booked a flight to Orlando, where she checked into a hotel under an alias and then took her daughter to visit a Disney theme park, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Bonnie Sweeten, 38, was taken into custody in Orlando after being apprehended by the FBI and Orange County police at the Grand Floridian resort and is being charged with false reports and identity theft, Bucks County, Pa., District Attorney Michelle Henry said this evening.
Sweeten will not face any federal charges at this time, the prosecutor said.
Her 9-year-old daughter, Julia Rakoczy, was with authorities in Orlando and was to be picked up by her father, Henry said.
While Sweeten's motive for fleeing was unclear, Henry indicated that domestic and financial problems were likely at the root of it.
She said Sweeten used a a co-worker's driver's license when she bought airline tickets and flew to Orlando after reporting the abduction.
Link to photo and video:
Last Updated: 1:18PM BST 27 May 2009
Telegraph UK- Rachel Wilder, 53, has ordered her 19-year-old son Harry to carry a credit-card sized tracker while he travels across Australia, Thailand and South Africa in his gap year.
She can track him to within 15ft of his exact location and the system can even send her a text message alert if he goes anywhere he shouldn't.
Mrs Wilder keeps tabs on his movements by logging on to a website at the family home in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, every day.
Mrs Wilder, an inventory clerk, said: "It is fantastic to be able to keep an eye on Harry and track his journey.
"I can tell which street he is in so I can make sure he doesn't wander into any dangerous areas.
"I feel like I am sort of with Harry on his travels which gives me peace of mind and means he doesn't have to check in with a phone call.
"I have no way of knowing if a street in Australia is dangerous but if he was in Bangkok, for example, I could see if he walks in an area which might not be safe and ring or text him.
"The point of a gap year is to go away and not be hounded by your parents but equally as parents, it's quite nice to know where they are without constantly ringing up."
Harry has been in Australia with a group of friends since April and will travel to Thailand next month before heading to South Africa in July.
He is due to start a degree in Business Management at Oxford Brookes University in September.
The 2in thick GPS device - called Traakit - was developed by Harry's uncle David Clayton, 65, who launched it on the internet two weeks ago.
It triangulates its position by taking co-ordinate readings from four satellites which feeds the information back to a computer, which then maps out where it is in the world.
The technology means it updates instantly so Mrs Wilder - who has two other sons, Jamie, 18, and George, 12 - can keep tabs on Harry in real-time.
Suprisingly Harry, whose father John, 56, is a school bursar, says he is happy to carry the tracker as protection against the dangers of backpacking.
Speaking from the Brisbane, Australia, he said: "It's not so much of a concern here, but in somewhere like Thailand, if you were to get kidnapped or driven off into the jungle, people would be able to find you from the signal.
"One of my friends was killed in Australia a month ago falling off a waterfall, so people are worrying a bit.
"Not that it's happened yet, but if I didn't want mum to know where I was going I can always leave the thing in the car."
Mr Clayton, 65, who developed Traakit with his business partner Tim Young, 58, hopes the device will be used to help track missing children.
He said: "It's worked very well so far for Harry but we have been approached by parents who want to put on in their child's school bag or clothing.
"We have also had several women want to buy one because they think their husband might be cheating and they want to put it in the back of their car and keep tabs on where they are going."
Traakit costs £279 plus £11 a month service charge or can be rented for £50 a month.
Four Bodies Found In Vacant Funeral Home
GARY -- Four bodies in a funeral home isn't unusual.
Four unidentified bodies left behind in a vacant funeral home is "unbelievable.
"What in the world is a body still doing in this building?" Burrell thought when he saw a body bag on a table inside the former Serenity Gardens Funeral Home, 934 E. 21st Ave.
He notified Lake County Coroner David J. Pastrick, who arrived Tuesday morning with a crew to investigate the scene.
They found four bodies, including one in the bag, one in a corrugated burial box and two in caskets.
Pastrick believes they could have been there since 2006, when the Indiana State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services revoked the business license for Serenity owner Darryl Cammack.
"They are unidentifiable," Pastrick said of the remains.
Cammack, who lost his funeral home license in Illinois in 2003, had been sanctioned by the Indiana board in 2005 after at least eight customers filed complaints against him.
"That building has been vacant since I started coming over to that church in Gary in 2005," Burrell said.
His church bought the building at a tax sale and intends to renovate it.
"We have lots of plans and goals we want to pursue," Burrell said. The church now is located next door to their proposed new site.
Gary police are working with state agencies in the investigation.
Lake County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen, who was chairman of the state board in 2005, said Cammack could be charged with breaking several laws.
Pastrick said he doesn't know the origin of the bodies, but believes if the deceased were local, he would have been contacted by relatives about a delay in burial.
"I can't even imagine a funeral director doing something like this. This is my field. It's unbelievable," Pastrick said.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – The Serbian Orthodox Church has dismissed a priest running a treatment center for drug addicts after videos showed patients being kicked and punched.
Bishop Artemije, in charge of the Rasko-Prizrenska diocese, said he ordered an inquiry into the activities of priest Branislav Peranovic at the Crna Reka center, about 300 kilometers (187 miles) southwest of the capital Belgrade.
"We will shut down the facility if the reports about beatings and violence persist," Artemije said in a statement.
The bishop said he decided against closing it "after numerous pleadings by the patients and their parents."
"We are also asking state authorities to investigate the matter and punish those responsible," the statement said.
Last week, the, the church's top body, asked Artemije to shut down the center that houses about 200 patients near the southwestern city of .
Two separate videos made public by Belgrade's Vreme weekly and B92 TV showed one of the centre's employees and Peranovic repeatedly beating patients with a shovel, and kicking and hitting them inside a room decorated with icons.
The government's human rights watchdog Sasa Jankovic has filed criminal charges against the center and Peranovic.
This week Serbian health authorities said the Crna Reka center was not registered to undertake drug rehabilitation.
Peranovic told B92 TV the beatings were a "hard and unwanted, but necessary part of treatment."
He said that on admission, patients and their parents had to sign a written consent approving the use of violence "for therapeutic purposes."
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Robert Woodward)
An institution tied to the Serbian Orthodox Church will be sued for torture after shocking footage of addicts’ rehabilitation was released.
The ‘Crna Reka’ Centre for Spiritual Rehabilitation of Addicts in Serbia has become the focus of controversy after the ‘Vreme’ magazine on Friday published footage on which two men are brutally punching a drug addict in the face as part of his “rehabilitation”.
The footage also shows the addict being beaten with a shovel.
"WARNING--VIDEO IS VERY DISTURBING!"
LINK TO VIDEO:
The institution is connected to the Serb Orthodox Church and one of the priests, who is well acquainted with the ‘torture system’, claims that drastic measures need to be taken to rehabilitate drug addicts.
- Everybody who is an addict knows what I’m talking about – priest Branislav Peranovic told the B92 television station.
According to an article by the BBC which reported on this and contacted the Centre, the institution’s management believes that the brutal beating up of drug addicts is a crucial and necessary part of their therapy, stressing that this all takes place with the consent of the parents.
Sasa Jankovic, a human rights monitor in the Serbian government, told the BBC that the Centre’s usual procedure is to surround the addict who is then hit by anything at hand.
- They hit with bats, shovels, pipes, fists, brass knuckles, belts… anything they can get their hands on – Jankovic said who claims that the priest, Peranovic, is especially skilful with the therapy.
- He knows how to hit, his hands are often bloody. When he punches or kicks, his garb is all over the place. He practices in martial arts – one of the former addicts who was treated at the Centre told Jankovic.
After a number of psychologists and doctors gave their opinions about the case, Jankovic said he is planning to file a lawsuit against the Centre for torture.
- This is not therapy, it is a criminal act – he concluded.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:19 AM CDT
Fort Smith police investigated two store robberies Monday night and early Tuesday morning, including one in which a clerk gave the suspect his own money to buy insulin.
Police were first dispatched to E-Z Mart at 3411 Country Club Ave., which has been robbed frequently in the past, concerning a near-robbery that resulted in the clerk giving the suspect his own money to help the man purchase insulin, according to a police report.
The clerk told police that at around 10:45 p.m. he was outside the store when a black male he did not know approached him and told him he needed something from inside the store. He said the man appeared to be 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, about 125 pounds and wearing a dark colored “bucket hat,” a blue and white horizontally striped shirt and long, baggy blue denim shorts, according to the report.
Once inside the store, the clerk said, the man lifted his shirt slightly, revealing what appeared to be the tan colored grip of a handgun secured by his waistband. The clerk said the suspect told him, “I hate to do this, but I need $40 from the cash register,” according to the report.
The clerk said he asked the man to show him the gun and told him that he could not give him the money from the register because the money was not his to give. The suspect, he said, then told him that he needed the money to buy insulin. He said he reasoned with the suspect, explaining to him that the money was the store’s and that he, the suspect, would go to jail if he took the money. The clerk told the suspect that instead he would give him the $40 from his own pocket. The suspect thanked the clerk, shook his hand and said he would come back to see him. The suspect left as another customer came in, the report states.
About two hours later, Fort Smith police were dispatched to Jet Away, 3638 Midland Blvd., in response to another robbery. The store employee who called police said that a black male wearing a black shirt, blue denim shorts and a blue bandanna, robbed the store armed with what appeared to be a .22-caliber rifle, according to a police report.
The Jet Away clerk told police that he noticed the suspect after he had stepped out of the food preparation area. The suspect, he said, pointed the rifle at him and demanded money from the register, according to the report.
The suspect fled the store with a black plastic sack filled with the store’s money. He was seen heading north toward Spradling Avenue, the report states.
Sgt. Levi Risley of the Fort Smith Police Department said the robberies are not believed to be connected.
By Associated Press
4:12 PM MDT, May 26, 2009
Frank Milford, 101, and his wife Anita, 100, are the longest married couple in the UK, they celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary today.
They have lived together since they married on 26 May 1928, and now they have reached their oak wedding anniversary, and match Percy and Florence Arrowsmith who reached the same milestone in 2006.
Frank and Anita celebrated their wedding anniversary with a party at their care home in Plymouth Devon, with their family and friends.
Frank and Anita have two children, Marie, 78, and Frank, 73. They also have five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
The couple said that the secret of their happy marriage is, “a little kiss before bed, trips to bingo, and good plain English food”.
Anita added, “Couples these days don’t last long because they don’t take enough time for each other. “There just isn’t enough respect.
“Our advice to young couples would be to make time for a little romance every day.”
Frank, a retired dock worker added, “We’re very proud of what we have achieved.
“When we started we had low wages and worked very hard.
“The war years were tough, a bomb even dropped on our house.
“But we have come through it. Young people today want it all too fast.”
Frank and Anita said they met at a YMCA dance in 1926, and they were married two years later at Torpoint register office in Cornwall.
1926 was the same year that the first £1 note came into circulation, and Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.
Link to Video:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 » 05:13am
A British dog's accidental drug use has helped police uncover a cannabis factory.
Holly the West Highland terrier began behaving oddly, according to her owner Valerie Baily.
'She just wouldn't wake up in the mornings, and she was having about 12 hours sleep at night. I had an awful job to get her up.'
It turned out the house next door was being used to cultivate more than 200 cannabis plants.
It was rigged up so fumes from the cannabis operation would go out of a chimney, but air vents, which were located at about the same height as Holly's nose, were left open.
Holly also seemed to have developed a case of the munchies.
'She had her own breakfast, and if the other dog hadn't eaten his, she'd was in eating his as well,' say Mrs Baily.
Investigating officer PC Tim Emery says the police are still searching for the people responsible for the illegal factory.
Updated: Monday, 25 May 2009, 10:21 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 25 May 2009, 9:13 PM CDT
MALBIS, Ala. - Trey Taylor is in charge of creative worship at Bay Community Church in Malbis. This past Sunday he and other church leaders came up with a really creative idea.
"We gave away $50,000," he said. The church handed each member in the 2,000 member congregation money. But the gesture came with a stipulation.
"The instructions were simple, you can't give it back to the church and you can't spend it on you and your family," said Taylor.
Some members got $20, others got as much as $100. "Every person that was here got an envelope."
Taylor says when some members saw the white envelopes come around, they thought the pastor was going to ask for tithes and offerings, but boy were they wrong.
"The reason behind it was simple. We wanted our people to turn around and bless somebody," Taylor said.
Taylor says this might sound a little crazy. But he tells us the government has an Economic Stimulus Package, well this is the church's version of a Faith Stimulus Package. "An act of faith...absolutely, 100-percent."
The church's leadership admit tithing is down amongst churches. But the pastoral team says now is the best time to help others.
15 Words You Won’t Believe They Added to the Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary is constantly updating, adding new words to reflect the vibrant changes in language and culture. Here are some recent additions
n. In the fiction of JK Rowling: a person who possesses no magical powers. Hence in allusive and extended uses: a person who lacks a particular skill or skills, or who is regarded as inferior in some way.
The people at the Oxford English Dictionary acknowledge that the work of an author entering the dictionary is rare, but the use of "muggle" had become so widespread they had to include it, ensuring that the future will remember us for standing in line at Borders in wizard costumes.
Wait, does this mean if we invent a new word right now they'll be forced to include it in a few years, as long as enough readers use it? Good. Guys, the word is "dongtacular."
n.A method of collectively finding one to blame for a mistake no one is willing to confess to. Often occurs in the form of a meeting of colleagues at work, gathered to decide who is to blame for a screw up.
There already is a word for when a group of people blame someone for a mistake. It's called blaming. Blamestorming, however, cutely mimics "brainstorming" and office politics dictates the more cringe-inducingly "clever" a word sounds, the more often in needs to be used.
"We're so witty! Just like the people on The Office! Somebody should make a sitcom about us!"
Ah, there's nothing like a cutsey pun to sum up this awkward and nervous era when we finally acknowledged there was such a thing as gay people without treating it as a national emergency, yet were not so cool with it that people felt OK about openly acknowledging their gayness.
Thus we had to invent this word to represent the rush of personal pride felt by the perceived ability to instinctively tell if someone prefers sausage to tacos, whether they wanted you to know it or not.
Now, remind us, is "grrrl" a word used by "grrrl" types, or the people who make fun of them? You know what, it doesn't matter, because, there's no vowel.
What the is that? Call us tools of the male chauvinist patriarchy, but even the wacky sound effects from the 60s Batman TV show had vowels in them. That's right, this is less of a word than ZWWAP!
Hey, thanks Hollywood, for making enough of these that we had to invent a whole new word. So will fourquel be next? Quadrology? Will we all be buying the Star Wars sixantium box set?
n. a person closely resembling a smaller or younger version of another.
Hey, remember when you thought we couldn't get any lower than "muggle"? Those were the days, right?
Nothing puts a society as firmly in its place as when you realize the language has been permanently changed by a franchise about a horny spy that repeated the same jokes and catchphrases dozens of times across two sequels. Is this one from the same movie where Mike Myers drank the cup full of ? We don't remember.
In a curious twist, there is no word for an Amish youth who has an aptitude for barn raising or a Scientologist youth who's developed some skills in picking the lock on his cage. Still, it's probably hard to make a really ty pun for either of those so that might explain things.
Remember the dot-com bubble of the late 90s, when the internet was new and exciting and every novelty erotica site you found was like Christmas morning, only with fisting? Cyberslacking is the word product of that. In retrospect, using the internet to kill time at work wasn't the Tron-like revolutionary experience this word implies, so regular "slacking" would suffice just as well.
Sometimes when attractive people get a raise or ugly people have to eat out of a trough in the cafeteria, the people on the wrong side of that scenario are tempted to equate it to generations of violence, oppression and bigotry experienced by any number of people who actually know what discrimination is.
So just stick "-ism" on the end and there you go.
Really, it's looking like a memorable pun is all that's required for a word to be embraced by society as a whole. So even if you have something that has saved millions of lives like, say, genetically modified crops, if you can think of a kick ass and mildly amusing way to dumb it down and liken it to a shambling, murderous corpse-man, congratulations. You're making language!
Slightly more annoying than making nouns into verbs for no reason ("hold on, I'm Twittering!") is the trend of pluralizing them with "age". No need to say "make love" when "humpage" will do just as well. And hell, we can label all fire alarms with ", burnage!" to make it that much clearer to everyone.
While resilience is already a perfectly good word that means the exact same thing, bouncebackability does sound much more like something a semi-literate alcoholic might put on a resume, giving it that added appeal of mouthbreathability words like resilience lack.
The sad part about this one is that it only sounds completely insane until you realize it's mostly done by politicians, after which it sort of makes perfect sense. They know they're full of , but hope this somehow can preemptively stop anybody from pointing it out.
"Now, you're all going to accuse me of being a racist here, but let me explain why I think minorities shouldn't be allowed to drive..."
Googling yourself is like masturbation: everyone does it, but it's still embarrassing to get caught. Getting caught and then referring to what you're doing as ego-surfing is like trying to explain to the bus driver that you're simply looking for your bus pass which, when you last saw it, was drifting somewhere around your foreskin, instead of just pulling up your pants and walking home.
Doubtlessly coined by a level 80 Druid tank somewhere in the World of Warcraft, it's a sad day for the species when what you may recognize as that in which everything exists, needs a special term to differentiate it from the "real" world of Facebook friends and LOLcats.
Soon you'll hear it used in sentences like, "So all of the crops are dying and the air is turning poisonous? Bah, who cares about all that stuff that happens in lame old Meatspace."
Man has 21 children with 11 mothers!
Updated May 25, 2009
On paper, he has 20 possibly 21 children.
With a minimum wage job, he can't afford to support them all.
Desmond Hatchett, 29, says he wasn't out to set a record, though he certainly holds it in Knox County Juvenile Child Support Court.
Hatchett's children range in age from newborn 11.
There are at least 11 mothers; probably several more.
Constitutionally, there is nothing the state of Tennessee can do to limit him from having more.
On Friday, his name appeared on the docket 11 times; Representing about 15 of his 21 children.
Desmond Hatchett spent part of Friday afternoon jailed while a child support referee decided how to split up the $400 he brought to court.
If he doesn't pay what he owes, he will go back to jail because he is on an automatic jail order.
The mothers of Hatchett's children are supposed to get anywhere from $25 to $309 a month, but when his paycheck is garnished amongst them all, some women only get a $1.98 a month.
Last Updated: 12:13AM BST 26 May 2009
Four suspects were arrested late on Sunday outside a maximum security facility in the southern town of Presidente Venceslau in Brazil's Sao Paulo state after the mini-chopper, 14 mobile telephones and the equivalent of 500 dollars in cash were found in their rented car, according to reports in local media.
They had been stopped for a routine inspection because of their proximity to the prison, which holds organised crime bosses and other dangerous inmates.
Brazil's criminals often continue illicit activities while serving time, relying on mobile phones that are smuggled inside using increasingly creative methods. In the past, carrier pigeons and doctored Bibles have been used.
More guppy than shark, Keith O'Dell Jr. is still new at the game of pool.
Of course he is. He's just 25 months old. But the tender age and innocent face all part of this toddler's
He's not only good for his age. He's better than some people 10 times his age.
Anchor and reporter Jerry Gretzinger asks Keith's dad, "When did you first discover he had a knack for
"It was right around christmastime," Keith Sr. says.
He says he and his wife love to shoot pool and their son always saw them play at home. Still, they were a
little surprised when "Keithy" asked for his own table.
"Keith found a small 36 inch pool table and we said there is no way we are getting this for you" dad
But keith persisted and got the table, though he quickly lost interest in his new toy.
It wasn't challenging enough.
Like any 2 year old, Keith sometimes loses his focus, but when this kid is on his game it's almost hard to
"I find myself saying that a lot," says Keith Sr. "You've got to be kdding me."
Already being called "the child prodigy" and "the Tiger Woods of pool"... Keith Jr. is racking up some
celebrity status. He's already filmed a commerical for the American Poolplayers Association, been featured
in 2 national billiards magazines, and is about to appear on some national daytime talk shows. Dad, a
semi-pro player himself, says he didn't see the big deal at first.
That is, until Jr. beat him.
"Beat me in the rack of 9 ball," he admits, "and I said I am never playing 9 ball with him ever again."
Is he hoping Keith Jr. will be the Tiger Woods of pool?
"Maybe, eventually, hopefully," he says. "We're treating him like a normal kid we dont want that to get
out of hand."
Link to Video:
Last Updated: 8:38AM BST 22 May 2009
Bethany Jordan, six, was born with many of her organs back to front but amazed doctors who had warned her parents, Lisa, 37, and Robert, 44, there was little chance she would survive birth.
Her problems mean that, while she looks a picture of health, she cannot stand up to some of the normal rigours and strains of an average child.
Bethany, of Stourbridge, West Midlands, sufferers from Ivemark Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder, characterised by a poorly-formed cardiovascular system and organs in the wrong place.
Strangely, when she exercises too much, her heart can be seen beating through her back.
There are so few sufferers that very little is known about the condition or what could be its cause.
Her mother Lisa, who is a full-time mum, said: "To look at her she just looks like a normal girl, but underneath her skin everything is back to front and jumbled up.
"When she was born the doctors said her insides were like a jigsaw.
"It has been a bit of a nightmare but she is my star and I love her the way she is - I always will."
Before Bethany was born, doctors at Birmingham's Women's Hospital discovered her jumbled-up insides following routine pregnancy scans.
Tests showed her brain was normal and Lisa chose to go ahead with the birth, despite the odds being stacked against her.
Dr Patrick McKiernan, who is Bethany's liver consultant at Birmingham Children's Hospital, said: "Essentially her organs are back to front and it's very rare to see something like this.
"She is doing very well despite all of her problems, I think she's a very tough little girl."
Ingrid Gladki, spokesman for the Ivemark Syndrome Association, said: "It's still a mystery as to why it occurs and I think more money needs to be put into research into it."
|Tustin Mains, 6, is credited with helping to save his father's life after Phillip Mains passed out due to a diabetic episode while driving his children home from supper Sunday evening. Tustin jumped onto his father's lap and drove the vehicle from near the Platte River Mall past Cody Park before a police officer arrived to perform some heroics of his own.|
"The service is designed to let the individual decide what will happen with their online profiles after they're gone," she said.
Granberg developed Webwill as her final thesis at Beckmans College of Design
by Ian Johnston
Last Updated: 11:37AM BST 24 May 2009
Mr Taylor, 38, was taking off in his £1.9 million aircraft for a business trip when he noticed his gates were open and a white van was speeding away from his home in Binham.
Having had other break-ins in the past, Mr Taylor was determined not to let this thief get away. And the fleeing burglar, who realised he was being followed, made an equally determined effort to get away during the ensuing chase of nearly 50 miles.
First he drove to Wells-next-the-Sea, performing a u-turn designed to throw Mr Taylor off the scent.
He then drove through Walsingham to Fakenham and tried to lose himself among other white vans in the town. Mr Taylor was forced fly higher because of air traffic regulations about flying over congested areas.
But dumper truck company executive, who has four children, managed to stay on the trail and the chase continued to Guist, where the burglar performed a sharp left and headed towards Hindolveston and Melton Constable.
At one point, the burglar went to ground in some woods and, for about 20 minutes, Mr Taylor hovered overheard.
The businessman said: "I was cross. I thought 'You are not going to get away from me'. I was determined to catch him because I have had break-ins before – but I have never had to chase anyone in a helicopter before.
"The thief knew I was following him all the time. I ended up chasing it around half of north Norfolk.
"The van was probably going at about 50 to 60mph but the helicopter is capable of 190mph and I was overhead or sitting behind him all the time."
He called his sister Caroline, 28, and his mother Anne on his satellite phone and they joined in the chase in their cars, managing to get the licence plate number of the van. His mother was forced to give up the hunt when he car ran out of petrol.
Eventually the burglar decided to abandoned the van in the village of Stody and flee on foot. However police traced him using the number plate and he was arrested at his home in Briston.
Mr Taylor said: "It annoys me that people are prepared to break in to other people's property. I did not want to let him get away when I had the opportunity to go after him."
On Friday, a 28-year-old man admitted stealing firewood, pitchforks, diesel cans and a tractor battery and was given a conditional discharge.
The chase cost Mr Taylor about £2,500 in fuel – much more than the cost of the stolen goods – but he said the "principle" was what was important.
However he expressed his disappointment at the court ruling. "I am annoyed that he got away with a slap on the wrist," Mr Taylor said.
PC Jason Pegden, of Norfolk Police, summed up the surprise that a chase straight out of US TV drama 24 or an episode of The Bill, in which DCI Jack Meadows uses a helicopter to track a suspect in London, had come to Norfolk.
He said: "I've never come across anything like this before."
Boston Globe Staff
State Police seized 543 pounds of marijuana and about $200,000 in cash, while arresting five men, as they broke up a major drug delivery Wednesday in Peabody, Essex County prosecutors said this afternoon.
State troopers set up surveillance at a Costco parking lot on Route 1 in Danvers on Wednesday morning. At about noon, a rented truck arrived. Troopers allegedly observed men loading pallets of marijuana from the tractor-trailer onto the rental truck, Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett's office said in a statement.
Teams of troopers, agents from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Peabody police followed both vehicles as they headed in different directions.
Police later arrested three men at 134R Newbury Street in Peabody and found that the pallets of marijuna had been unloaded there. Meanwhile, another team followed the tractor-trailer to Route 128 and stopped it just before the Massachusetts Turnpike, arresting two other men and finding the approximately $200,000 in cash.
Brian J. Toto, 42, of Revere; Phillip Watson, 37, of Saugus; Michael Schrimpf, 36, of Saugus; and R.J. Norton Jr., 41, and Melvin Vanmeter, 38, both of Indianapolis, all pleaded not guilty today in Peabody District Court. Each man faces charges of trafficking Class D marijuana over 200 pounds and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
Judge Robert Brennan set bail at $250,000 for each defendant and set another hearing for June 18. The men, if convicted, face a maximum of 15 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory term of three years, prosecutors said.
4:00AM Sunday May 24, 2009
By David Fisher
The New Zealand Herald
One of the fugitives sought over Westpac's missing millions has told friends she is drinking Chinese beer, enjoying the heat of Asia - and planning on returning to New Zealand.
Aroha Hurring, 22, has charted her and the fugitives' progress from New Zealand to Hong Kong, Macau and into mainland China on her Facebook page.
On China, she says: "It's crazy. The only thing I hate is that they look at me funny."
It is five days since it emerged Rotorua couple Leo Gao and Kara Yang-Hurring skipped the country after a Westpac staff member accidentally allowed a $10 million overdraft on their bank account, on or about May 5.
The bank spotted the error after $6.7m was withdrawn. They were only able to claw back less than half, leaving Gao with $3.8m.
A spokeswoman for Police National Headquarters said yesterday there were no developments in the investigation, which had traced "two individuals of interest" to Hong Kong.
Westpac has sought court orders that would eventually give it power over the business owners' assets if the money was not returned.
The couple's Rotorua BP service station went into receivership on May 8. By then they had already left the city, although it wasn't until 12 days later that it became known police were investigating the disappearance of the family - and the money.
Gao and Yang-Hurring, along with her seven-year-old daughter Leena, have been missing since. Gao's mother has also disappeared, along with his business partner Huan Di Zhang and Yang-Hurring's sister Aroha Hurring.
Yesterday, the Herald on Sunday learned Aroha did not leave New Zealand until after the others had already skipped the country.
A friend has been monitoring her Facebook page which carried the message: "Aroha Hurring is having a Tsingtao beer. It's 30 degrees plus - the heat is good though."
Just days before, Aroha was on the West Coast of the South Island, where overnight temperatures had dropped to zero.
She moved there from Otago about three years before with boyfriend Jesse Fenton, but had been behaving erratically since the couple separated just over a month ago.
Her trip from New Zealand into Asia began with a phone call, said the friend, who did not want to be named.
"She told me her sister had rung her from China and she was thinking of going over.
"She wanted to know where she was ringing from. She had the country area code so I Googled it."
The number was 00853 - the international code for Macau.
Like Hong Kong, Macau is a "special administrative district" of China allowing activities banned elsewhere. Among those are gambling - Macau is renowned as the Las Vegas of Asia.
Although frustrated by the lack of a passport and money to leave New Zealand, Aroha told a few friends she was "heading to China".
Then she was gone - and it was just over a week before the news of the missing money broke.
Since arriving, Aroha has updated family through her sister Chloe's Facebook page.
She writes about being in Hong Kong then crossing the border to China. She posted the update about China on Wednesday - the day police revealed they were hunting the missing money. It does not mention whether she is with her sister, Kara Yang-Hurring, or with Gao.
"I wish you were here," she wrote to her sister. "It's [a] bit weirder here in China. You have to be more aware...Jewlery, they snatch off you. But Hong Kong is richer. Got vidz [videos] of Ferarri and the boy racer cars."
Aroha also wrote about how impressed she was with the "bling" on the cars, including diamantes adorning the rear wipers. "Got vid of them too. Got heaps of videos of the buildings. You wouldn't believe at night it light up hard out. And you're allowed two smoke inside. I'm have one now while writing this to you.
"I'll keep in touch. Hard out till I get back. Love ya heapz!"
Friends have been writing messages of support.
But a close friend told the Herald on Sunday: "It didn't really seem like something she would do.
"She's obviously over there with them. I knew she was going - she told quite a few friends. We thought they were full of ."
The friend said there were fears the fugitives could be caught in China, a country notoriously harsh for prison inmates. The concerns were greatest for Leena.
He said the news would have been particularly hard on Kara and Aroha's mother Suzanne Hurring, a strong figure in a close family of four girls.
She has had one phone call from Kara since her daughters vanished but hung up because she "knew what she had done".
Last night, Suzanne said she had not heard from either daughter since. She did not know where they were and did not want to speculate. "We [the family] are in the middle of all of this and we just want to chill out."
Gao's brother Carter also came forward last night to say he had nothing to do with the missing money. Carter had worked with his brother at the Rotorua BP, and shared a home with their mother and Kara Yang-Hurring. "I wanted to stay here. I'm here. If I was involved, I'm not here."
The only staff member at the closed BP station has been left without a job, and is owed $2000 in holiday pay. Shybu Antony said he was given no warning the station was about to go into receivership, although he knew the business was struggling.
The last time he spoke to Gao was on the morning of May 8. Gao hadn't been at work since April 24, and Antony was told he was on holiday in the South Island.
He phoned his boss to check nothing was wrong. "He said: 'Nothing. I'm coming back in two days' and hung up."
Later that day a detective came to the station and showed Antony a picture of Kara, asking if he knew her whereabouts.
That night, the receiver rang to tell him he had lost his job.
Helaine Aim, who owns a neighbouring takeaway and was friendly with Kara, was shocked her friend could be on the run. "I just can't believe she would do that with her daughter. She was a good mum."
- ADDITIONAL REPORTING: HEATHER MCCRACKEN and ANNA LEASK
A school in Chico, Calif., that had 46 rooftop
solar panels valued at nearly $50,000 stolen
from its rooftop in February, has now learned
how –and why– the heist occured.
An attorney for 32-year-old Christopher Bess, who was identified on surveillance video taken in the area of the school, said that his client stole the solar panels because he needed them to buy drugs. Bess entered into a plea bargain in court on Tuesday, and because he has a prior assault conviction can face up to 7 years in prison for the crime.
But the story gets even more interesting.
Bess was in jail and awaiting sentencing for a felony drug charge, a result of the surveillance footage which allowed police only to arrest him on a drug-transportation charge –but not for the solar heist–, when he made a call from prison to a friend, asking him to “empty out” the solar panels from two rented storage units where they were being hidden. Needless to say, his calls were being covertly monitored and the police were immediately dispatched to the location where 17 of the solar panels turned up along with various other stolen property.
His lawyer said that Bess could have faced a 15 year sentence had he gone to trial and been convicted on all counts.
The storage shed, rented under his girlfriend’s name, also contained stolen bicycles, lawn-care equipment, plus cold-weather gear stolen from a local non-profit group that assists military veterans.
“What was found in the storage shed, his behavior, is indicative of a drug addict going on a run,” the suspect’s lawyer observed.
Bess was ordered held without bail pending next month’s sentencing.
"The joke going around is that senior management must be worried that they have to replace 13 people," she said. "We don't know if we're going to get paid next week -- the whole payroll processing department is gone."
A spokeswoman for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation told the Sun only 15 percent of lotto tickets sold in Canada are bought in the prairie provinces, yet big wins aren't unusual there.
In October 2005, a group of 17 oil and gas workers southeast of Edmonton shared the largest jackpot of $54.3 million, the report said
Necklace Blocks Bullet Saves Woman's Life
Posted: 3:38 pm EDT May 21, 2009
Updated: 4:18 pm EDT May 21, 2009
Moral of this story: Don’t try to bribe the IRS with pizza, officials aren’t that hungry.
Ramesh G. Khilnani, 51, a native of India and a Houston-area resident, learned that lesson to the tune of the two-year prison sentence he received from a federal judge on Friday for bribing a public official.
In February 2008, the restaurant owner asked the IRS agent investigating him if she wanted to “work” for him after the audit showed Khilnani owed about $49,000 in back taxes from 2004 to 2007, a release from the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson said.
The auditor reported the suspicious incident to her supervisor and started recording her future meetings with Khilnani.
That’s how the IRS got him for not only nearly $50,000 in back taxes but also for offering the agent a $2,500 bribe. He delivered $2,000 of the bribe before his arrest, the release said.
Authorities said Khilnani, who is subject to deportation to India after he serves his sentence, “repeatedly offered the agent pizza from his restaurant as part of the deal.”
(CNN) -- For years, Candace Eloph searched for her half-brother, who was given up for adoption in 1977.
She found him -- living across the street.
"I never thought it would happen like this. Never. Ever," Eloph of Shreveport, Louisiana, told CNN
television affiliate KTBS.
Three decades ago, Eloph's mother gave birth to a boy at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. She was
16 and gave him up for adoption.
"They took him from me," said Eloph's mother, Joellen Cottrell. "I only got to hold him for a split second."
Cottrell searched for her son over the years, without success.
She eventually left Louisiana and had other children. But she did not keep her son a secret.
"My girls always knew they had a brother," she told KTBS. "I always told them. They knew it from the very
beginning. And I've always looked for him."
Fast forward three decades.
Eloph moved into a house in Shreveport. Across the street lived a 32-year-old man named Jamie Wheat.
"We were sitting one day, talking, and she said, 'You know what? I had a brother born January 27, 1977,
that was adopted,'" Wheat said. "I was like, I'm adopted."
Surprised, Eloph mentioned that her mother was 16 at the time. His mother was 16, too, Wheat replied.
All the details fit, and Cottrell and Wheat decided to take a DNA test.
The results: There's a 99.995 percent probability that the two are related.
Wheat's adoptive parents are excited about this new stage in their son's life.
"It just almost knocked me out for the joy," Wheat's adoptive mother, Ann, told KTBS.
Added his adoptive father, Ted Wheat: "It was just surprising that they lived across the street from us for
two-and-a-half years. When they told us, we said, 'This is the greatest news it could be.'"
Reunited with his birth mother, Jamie Wheat plans to make up for lost time.
"I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me," he said. "I can move forward. Like a new beginning."
MEXICO CITY -- Security camera footage shows that guards at a Mexican prison nonchalantly stood by as 53 dangerous inmates walked out -- and didn't rush into action with their guns drawn until well after their convoy of escape vehicles had disappeared into the inky night.
The footage, first published by Reforma newspaper Thursday and then released publicly by the Attorney General's Office, provides a rare inside look at lax security inside Mexico's prisons, a problem that makes prosecuting drug smugglers vastly more difficult. Interpol described the worst of the criminals, who escaped without firing a shot, as "a risk to the safety and security of citizens around the world."
Interpol issued an international security alert for 11 of the prisoners involved in the 2-minute-and-52-second prison break Saturday in Cieneguillas, in the northern state of Zacatecas
About a dozen of the prisoners were drug cartel suspects. Several had been jailed for kidnapping, said Ricardo Najera, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.
The inmates stole 23 guns from a prison storage room before escaping, Najera said.
The video shows bored-looking guards watching TV before one of the prisoners opens a gate to his cell block and then orders a group of inmates to follow him into the guards' room. It is unclear if the prisoner had a key to the cell block or if the gate was unlocked.
The guards step aside, making no moves to stop the escape, until they are shoved into the cell block by the inmates, some of whom are armed.
Prisoners then cover the camera with a blanket.
Meanwhile, a second security camera outside the prison filmed the arrival of gunmen in police cars with flashing lights shortly before 5 a.m. Two guards run to open the front gate without questioning the drivers.
Eight gunmen wearing jackets with federal police insignia then enter the prison building and escort the inmates to the cars waiting in the prison parking lot. After they are gone, one guard with his hands bound by plastic luggage ties is seen walking calmly down an empty hall.
Only after the convoy is well out of the picture can guards be seen running toward the gate, some crouching with their guns drawn. Reforma added in a caption that the guards appeared to overacting for the cameras, "in Jim Carrey style."
Najera said 51 people have been ordered jailed for 30 days pending an investigation into their possible involvement, including the director of the prison and all 44 guards on duty during the escape.
He said only 15 of the fugitives had been convicted, and that it was illegal to keep them in the same cell block as the 38 whose cases were pending. The prison director was being questioned about why the 53 were kept together, Najera said.
Najera said the police uniforms the gunmen were wearing were either outdated or fakes, and the vehicles they came in were not real police cars. Investigators, however, have not ruled out the possibility federal police involvement.
Interpol said Mexican authorities identified 11 as the most dangerous of the 53 escapees. The alert -- an "orange notice" -- provides identifying details for each fugitive to all 187 member countries of the Lyon, France-based international police agency.
The government is offering up to 3 million pesos ($230,000) for information leading up to capture of any of the gunmen and 1 million pesos ($77,000) for the fugitives, Najera said.
Two of the fugitives had been arrested on Jan. 22 by soldiers who seized 11.4 tons of marijuana at a chile-drying warehouse that belongs to the brother of Sen. Ricardo Monreal of Zacatecas, Najera said.
Monreal has temporarily stepped down to cooperate with the investigation, although Najera said he is not considered a suspect in the case and has not been questioned.
Mexico has struggled to reduce corruption and ineptitude in its justice system. President Felipe Calderon has acknowledged that jailed drug traffickers often operate from behind bars, and has extradited a record number of traffickers to serve time in more secure U.S. prisons.
Two prison guards are serving up to 19 years for aiding the escape of Mexico's most-wanted drug lord, alleged Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. He rode out of federal prison in Jalisco state in a laundry cart after bribing guards in 2001.
And Otto Roberto Herrera Garcia, who helped turn Guatemala into a corridor for U.S.-bound cocaine, escaped in May 2005 from a jail in southern Mexico City. That jail's warden, his deputy and 10 others were arrested for allegedly accepting bribes to facilitate his freedom.
Associated Press Writer Alexandra Olson in Mexico City contributed to this story
In more repressed times, people were not always allowed to express themselves freely, for fear of persecution. Gossiping, criticizing the government or even talking about current events were often punishable by death. In order to communicate at will, clever rhymes were constructed and passed around to parody public figures and events.
The first nursery rhymes can be traced back to the fourteenth century. While the Bubonic Plaque ravaged England, peasants used a rhyme to spread the word about equality. The "Adam and Eve" rhyme made peasants realize that they were important to the economy and contributed to the Peasants Revolt of 1381. Under the guise of children's entertainment, many rhymes that were encoded with secret messages throughout history have endured the test of time and are still with us today.
Other nursery rhymes don't seem to carry a particular message at all, but convey a macabre sense of humor. They have been so ingrained in us since childhood that we hardly notice that babies are falling from trees, women are held captive or live animals are being cooked. It's only when you stop and absorb the actual words of these catchy, sing-song rhymes that the darkness and absurdity is realized. A handful do not reference historical events at all, but instead seem to convey warnings or common sense wisdom.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King's Horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
In children's books, Humpty Dumpty is portrayed as a large egg, usually dressed like a little boy. It's a sad story, as he gets busted up and nobody can fix him. However, the real story behind the rhyme dates back to the English Civil War. Humpty was a huge cannon mounted atop a high wall-like church tower. During the Siege of Colchester, The tower was hit by enemy cannon fire and Humpty suffered a great fall. There was no fixing the cannon or the tower, and the Humpty Dumpty rhyme was born.
This rhyme dates back to the Great Plague of London in 1665. The symptoms of bubonic plague included a rosy red ring-shaped rash, which inspired the first line. It was believed that the disease was carried by bad smells, so people frequently carried pockets full of fresh herbs, or "posies." The "ashes, ashes" line is believed to refer to the cremation of the bodies of those who died from the plague.
Baa Baa Black Sheep references the importance of the wool industry to the economy from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century. The rhyme is also thought to be a political satire of the export tax imposed in Britain in 1275 under the rule of King Edward I.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the battle was lost
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail
This simple rhyme is a reminder for children to think of the possible consequences of their actions. It has often been used to illustrate the chain of events that can stem from a single thoughtless action.
This rhyme is a reference to Bloody Mary. The garden refers to growing cemeteries, as she filled them with Protestants. Silver bells and le shells were instruments of torture and the maiden was a device used to behead people.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers;
I took him by the left leg,
And threw him down the stairs
While Mother Goose seems like a kind, grandmotherly sort, the gander in this rhyme appears to be quite a . This sixteenth century rhyme is a reminder to children to always say their prayers.
In this strange nursery rhyme, the man apparently was careless in going to bed and didn't wake up. We can only assume it's a message to be cautious when you're on your way to bed.
The American roots of this odd rhyme come from a young pilgrim who saw Native American mothers hanging cradles in trees. When the wind blew, the cradles would rock and the babies in them would sleep.
This nursery rhyme also has it's roots in America, unlike most that started in England. It was a different time back then for women, and for views on divorce, too, which is why this rhyme served to warn young girls about infidelity. Peter's wife was supposedly a harlot, and Peter's remedy for the situation was to kill her and hide her body in a giant pumpkin shell.
This rhyme most certainly originated long ago, before PETA existed. It was likely based on a spoof by a court jester who thought it would be hilarious to trick the king by putting live birds into a pie shell. At the time, cooked blackbirds were considered a delicacy and would have been served to the king.
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!
This is actually a continuation of "Sing a Song of Sixpence" and refers to what common folk imagined that royalty did all day. The live birds that were put in the pie are back for revenge in this verse.
This poem originated in France. The characters refer to King Louis XVI, Jack, and his Queen Marie Antoinette, Jill. Jack was beheaded (lost his crown) first, then Jill came tumbling after during the Reign of Terror in 1793.
Take a key key and lock padlock her up,
Lock padlock her up, lock padlock her up,
Take a key key and lock padlock her up,
My fair lady.
This nursery rhyme refers to the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England. Boleyn was accused of adultery and incest and was ultimately executed for treason.
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her;
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;
Fancy that to swallow a cat!
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady that swallowed a dog;
What a hog, to swallow a dog;
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a cow,
I don't know how she swallowed a cow;
She swallowed the cow to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a horse...
She's dead, of course!
These absurd lyrics were written by Rose Bonne and made popular in 1953 by Burl Ives. A woman who has a relatively small problem makes it progressively worse, which ultimately leads to her death.
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor daughter a dress.
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare
And so was her daughter, I guess!
This rhyme is reputedly about Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Wolsey refused to facilitate a divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon for King Henry VIII. The King wanted a divorce so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. The doggie and the bone in the rhyme refer to the divorce, the cupboard is a reference to the Catholic Church and Wolsey is Old Mother Hubbard. The divorce was later arranged by Thomas Cramner and resulted in the break with Rome and the formation of the English Protestant church.
Little Miss Muffet was written in the sixteenth century by Dr. Muffet, the stepfather of a small girl named Patience Muffet. Dr. Muffet was an entomologist famous for writing the first scientific catalog of British insects.
Farmers have long known the beneficial qualities of ladybugs as a natural predator of destructive insects. After harvests and before the fields were burned, this rhyme would be chanted in hopes of the ladybugs surviving and coming back the following year. There is also speculation that this rhyme originated from the Great Fire of London in 1666.
This rhyme was originally collected by James Orchard Halliwell and published in 1842. Solomon Grundy is more widely known now as a D.C. Comics character.
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?
This rhyme does not appear to have any hidden historical references, but carries a valuable message that holds true today.
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice
The vicious farmer's wife in this rhyme is believed to refer to Queen Mary I, the daughter of King Henry VIII. Mary, a staunch Catholic, was so well known for her persecution of Protestants that she was given the nickname "Bloody Mary." When three Protestant bishops were convicted of plotting against Mary, she had them burnt at the stake. However, it was mistakenly believed that she had them blinded and dismembered, as is inferred in the rhyme.
Little Bo peep has lost her sheep
And doesn't know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they'll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.
Little Bo peep fell fast asleep
And dreamt she heard them bleating,
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were all still fleeting.
Then up she took her little crook
Determined for to find them.
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they left their tails behind them.
It happened one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side
All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling,
And tried what she could,
As a shepherdess should,
To tack again each to its lambkin.
Little Bo Peep doesn't seem to refer to anyone or event in history, but is a warning about the consequences of irresponsibility.
Little Boy Blue come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow the cow's in the corn.
But where's the boy who looks after the sheep?
He's under a haystack fast asleep.
Will you wake him? No, not I - for if I do, he's sure to cry
Little Boy Blue may refer to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1475-1530). Wolsey was an arrogant and wealthy self-made man and had many enemies in England. After obtaining his degree from Oxford at the age of fifteen, he was dubbed the "Boy Bachelor." The words "come blow your horn" likely refer to his incessant bragging.
The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh
The ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh
Oh, the big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh
On the last day of September.
The captain said it will never, never do
Never, never do, never, never do
The captain said it will never, never do
On the last day of September.
The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea
The bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea
The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea
On the last day of September.
We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea
The deep blue sea, the deep blue sea
We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea
On the last day of September.
The origins of this depressing dirge are unknown. However, there is speculation that it refers to the Manchester Ship canal, which was built for ocean-going ships and opened in 1894. It is the eighth-longest ship canal in the world, and is only slightly shorter than the Panama Canal.
"Who killed <snip> Robin?" "I," said the Sparrow,
"With my bow and arrow, I killed Robin."
"Who saw him die?" "I," said the Fly,
"With my little eye, I saw him die."
"Who caught his blood?" "I," said the Fish,
"With my little dish, I caught his blood."
"Who'll make the shroud?" "I," said the Beetle,
"With my thread and needle, I'll make the shroud."
"Who'll dig his grave?" "I," said the Owl,
"With my pick and shovel, I'll dig his grave."
"Who'll be the parson?" "I," said the Rook,
"With my little book, I'll be the parson."
"Who'll be the clerk?" "I," said the Lark,
"If it's not in the dark, I'll be the clerk."
"Who'll carry the link?" "I," said the Linnet,
"I'll fetch it in a minute, I'll carry the link."
"Who'll be chief mourner?" "I," said the Dove,
"I mourn for my love, I'll be chief mourner."
"Who'll carry the coffin?" "I," said the Kite,
"If it's not through the night, I'll carry the coffin."
"Who'll bear the pall? "We," said the Wren,
"Both the and the hen, we'll bear the pall."
"Who'll sing a psalm?" "I," said the Thrush,
"As she sat on a bush, I'll sing a psalm."
"Who'll toll the bell?" "I," said the bull,
"Because I can pull, I'll toll the bell."
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Robin.
This English folksong is believed to reference the death of Robin Hood and reflects the respect that common folk has for him.
Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.
Up and down the City road,
In and out the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.
This ney rhyme dates back to the 1700s. The ney community developed a slang all their own because they mistrusted strangers and police. "Pop goes the weasel" was actually slang for "pawn your coat" and the Eagle refers to a pub, said to have been frequented by Charles Dickens. The pub was bought by the Salvation Army in 1883 and all drinking and music stopped.
By Lisa Sink of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: May. 21, 2009
Brookfield - Don't start planning that cemetery wedding reception just yet.
A Brookfield city panel on Thursday tabled a request by Wisconsin Memorial Park to rent its chapels and Family Center reception hall for non-funeral related events, including wedding receptions, baptisms, private parties, business events and training seminars.
The three-member Plan Review Board, led by Mayor Jeff Speaker, said city ordinances do not allow such expanded use of the reception hall.
Park officials were told they either would have to better demonstrate that such wider use was a central part of their own or modern-cemetery operations, or the city would have to change its ordinances to allow such use by cemeteries.
Board members did not appear convinced of the former, nor necessarily willing to do the latter. But they tabled the request, urging Wisconsin Memorial Park to work with city staff for possible solutions.
Ald. Mark Nelson said he understood cemetery uses can change. But he worried about a "slippery slope," where the grounds would be rented for inappropriate uses.
"Pretty soon you have polka bands and kegs of beer."
He also said allowing people who have relatives buried there to rent the Family Center for wedding receptions "wouldn't be appropriate."
Nelson did praise the cemetery at 13235 W. Capitol Drive for being a "good community citizen and a good neighbor."
He cited its events on Memorial Day, help with the Moving Wall - a Vietnam War memorial - when it visited Brookfield, and benefits for local charities.
The board did, however, grant the cemetery a temporary use permit to hold a walk-a-thon charity benefit there June 22.
The permit allows the cemetery to have food and live entertainment in the Family Center for the more than 200 expected to attend the benefit for Hebron House of Hospitality, which operates several homeless shelters.
Kelly Coleman-Kohorn, cemetery director of operations, said after the meeting she was "a little disappointed" but hoped a compromise could be reached.
May 21, 2009 5:21 p.m. EST
Windsor Genova - AHN News Writer
London, U.K. (AHN) - Police in London have arrested a drunk American Airlines pilot before he could fly a plane with 204 passengers from Heathrow Airport to Chicago, USA.
The pilot, whose name was not revealed, was arrested after he failed a breathalyzer test, American Airlines said in a statement issued Thursday. The alcohol test was conducted by police called in by airport security staff who noticed the pilot was drunk.
"Employees at all levels of the company are not allowed to be on duty while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and regular screening is carried out," American Airlines said, according to Sky News.
The flight was delayed by 75 minutes as the airline looked for a substitute pilot for the Boeing 777 plane.
Thu May 21, 2009 2:14pm EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - A flight attendant was jailed for 18 months on Thursday for leaving a bomb hoax note on board an Emirates aircraft he was working on and sparking a scare that led to London's Gatwick Airport briefly closing.
Australian national Matthew Carney, 24, left a message in the toilet of a flight from Dubai to London in March which read: "Explosive material can be found in the FWD (forward cargo department). We have the Taliban to thank for this."
A passenger on board the Boeing 777 found the note 10 minutes before the plane was due to land and raised the alarm. When the flight arrived at Gatwick it was taken to a secure holding area and surrounded by armed police.
The 164 passengers and 16 crew were taken off the plane and interviewed and Carney was arrested shortly afterwards.
He pleaded guilty to communicating false information, namely a bomb hoax, at Lewes Crown Court, police said.
The court was told that earlier in the flight Carney told his co-workers he had "found" wires hanging down from behind a mirror in a toilet in the economy section, the Press Association reported.
But senior cabin crew members who inspected the area found the wires were not attached to anything and the plane carried on to Britain.
Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said that because of the earlier incident, Carney was arrested and his luggage searched.
Inside a pair of his shorts was found a piece of paper with the words "Cargo contains explosives," which handwriting experts linked to the note left in the toilet.
His lawyer Andel Singh said Carney had been under a great deal of stress and was "extremely tired" at the time having worked on flights on different time schedules throughout the world.
"He apologizes wholeheartedly and sincerely to all those individuals who were even the slightest bit inconvenienced," Singh said.
Sullivan said the hoax had left Emirates with a bill for 42,000 pounds ($66,340) for arranging ongoing flights and other measures, while some passengers were left with a fear of flying and said they would never set foot on an aircraft again.
(Reporting by Michael Holden)
NASHUA – Police saw through the tape that a city man put over his face before trying to rob his neighborhood bank, and arrested him early this morning, detectives report.
Steven Colantonio, 49, of 26 Scripture St., apt 3, is scheduled to be arraigned this morning on a felony robbery charge, punishable by up to 3 ½ to seven years in prison, police report.
Employees at St. Mary’s Bank, 14 Spruce St., called police at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that a man wearing tape on his face had demanded cash from a teller.
The man didn’t claim to have any weapon, and left before police were called.
The bank turned over video from security cameras, and a detective recognized Colantonio from prior arrests. Police arrested him early this morning.
Police didn't say what kind of tape Colantonio used, and no one could be reached for comment on the press release this morning.
- Andrew Wolfe
Link to photo of Steven Colantonio:
Updated: Wednesday, 20 May 2009, 9:23 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 May 2009, 9:22 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - A doctor in rural Australia used a handyman's power drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.
Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike on Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his father, Michael, said Wednesday. By the time Rossi got to the hospital, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.
The doctor on duty, Rob Carson, quickly recognized the boy was experiencing potentially fatal bleeding on the brain and knew he had only minutes to make a hole in the boy's skull to relieve the pressure.
But the small hospital was not equipped with neurological drills — so Carson sent for a household drill from the maintenance room.
"Dr. Carson came over to us and said, 'I am going to have to drill into (Nicholas) to relieve the pressure on the brain — we've got one shot at this and one shot only,'" Michael Rossi told The Australian newspaper.
Carson called a neurosurgeon in the state capital of Melbourne for help, who talked Carson through the procedure — which he had never before attempted — by telling him where to aim the drill and how deep to go.
"All of a sudden the emergency ward was turned into an operating theater," Michael Rossi told Fairfax Radio on Wednesday. "We didn't see anything, but we heard the noises, heard the drill. It was just one of those surreal experiences."
The procedure took just over a minute, said anesthetist Dr. David Tynan, who assisted Carson.
"It was pretty scary. You obviously worry, (are) you pushing hard enough or pushing too hard, but then when some blood came out after we'd gone through the skull, we realized we'd made the right decision," Tynan told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Rossi was airlifted to a larger hospital in Melbourne and released Tuesday — his 13th birthday.
Carson was modest about his feat.
"It is not a personal achievement, it is just a part of the job and I had a very good team of people helping me," he told The Australian.
Michael Rossi was more effusive.
"He saved our son's life," he said.
Carson did not immediately respond to messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press. The hospital said he was busy delivering a baby.
Link to video:
Police are searching for a couple who have taken off with up to ten million dollars, after it was mistakenly transferred into their account.
An Asian couple understood to have fled New Zealand after a banking error involving millions of dollars, may be in China.
A Rotorua Review source today confirmed that a police liaison officer was sent to China to search for the couple after $10 million was deposited into their bank account. It is understood that the sum of money involved is $6m, with $4m having already been recovered.
When asked by the Review whether he could confirm the China link, Detective Sergeant David Harvey said: "I'm not prepared to offer any comment at this stage."
The couple, who ran Rotorua service station BP Barnetts, are understood to have applied to Westpac Bank for a $10,000 overdraft and mistakenly had $10 million paid into their account.
Westpac media relations manager Craig Dowling would not comment on the specifics of the case due the police investigation and court actions requiring confidentiality.
"I can say that Westpac is pursuing vigorous criminal and civil action to recover a sum of money stolen," he said, adding that the incident had prompted a review of how it had occurred.
Mr Dowling said that both civil and criminal actions were being pursued.
Police had asked international police liaison organisation Interpol to help find the couple.
BP Barnetts closed its doors earlier this month after its operator, Heights Service Limited, went into receivership.
The service station, at the intersection of Otonga, Old Taupo and Devon roads, was owned by Huan Di Zhang and Hui Gao. The pair was listed at a West Harbour, Auckland address.
Rotorua's The Daily Post newspaper reported that the company owed money to creditors.
The creditors report, being prepared by Corporate Finance Limited, is not due until 19 July. Corporate Finance Limited would not comment on the matter.
Officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant David Harvey of Rotorua CIB was prepared only to say that an investigation had been launched into a substantial sum of money that had been "mistakenly advanced" from Westpac.
Police had received a complaint from Westpac relating to people living in Rotorua.
He refused to say how much money was involved.
Police were investigating because the Westpac bank considered what had happened was theft or fraud, through the use of a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage, Mr Harvey told Rotorua's Daily Post newspaper.
He confirmed some of the money mistakenly advanced had been withdrawn from the bank account but was not prepared to say how much money was involved.
He expected the investigation to "take some time".
Banking Ombudsman Liz Brown told The Daily Post that generally speaking it was a criminal offence for someone to spend money accidentally put into their bank account if they knew the money wasn't theirs.
In her 15 years as banking ombudsman she had been involved in 10 to 20 cases of this nature. They were legally referred to as "payment by mistake".
She was unable to recall how much money was involved in each case.
"There haven't been cases of millions of dollars but certainly ones where there have been several thousand dollars," she said.
Massey University banking lecturer Claire Matthews said the lucky recipients would probably not get away with it.
"They've taken funds that they're not entitled to, that are not theirs," she told Newstalk ZB.
"They've effectively, I guess, become thieves but it is only going to be a matter of time."
The business owners would be hard pressed to argue they honestly believed they were entitled to such a huge sum of money, she said.
Westpac said this morning court action had begun to recover the money but refused to comment further.
Raman Ramschod owns St Andrew's Superette in the same block of shops as Barnetts. He said he had regular dealings with them and had never had any problems.
"I had no problems with them - they seemed okay to me," he said. "He seemed a pleasant person and she was quite nice."
There was "definitely not" any indication that they or the store were in any difficulties, he said.
Rotorua Review and Stuff
2:00 a.m. May 20, 2009
Shenoa Vild hates to wear makeup. Face goop is simply not for her. She happens to think she has a naturally healthy, vibrant complexion. After meeting her, I have to agree.
But Vild, a waitress, says her former boss had an entirely different opinion.
He wanted Vild to wear makeup.
So, she says, she got canned.
Vild had worked at Trophy's in Mission Valley for five years without wearing makeup. Apparently, for all that time, it didn't matter.
But the restaurant was sold earlier this year, and she says the new management wanted the women to doll up. Vild says she got the ax in late April when she wouldn't.
Employers have the right to do this. A few years ago, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is not discrimination for employers to make women wear makeup. (Who are these judges? Maybelline stockholders?)
But just because it's legal doesn't make it right.
Mark Oliver, the new owner, said he couldn't go into details as to what happened with Vild. Oliver did say she was the only employee who was unable to deal with the transition.
Trophy's, like the other restaurants in the small chain, was a sports bar. Oliver is making it more upscale.
“Shenoa could still be here if she wanted,” said Oliver, who used to be a part owner of George's at the Cove in La Jolla. “I had no problem with anybody else. If she would have made the same accommodations that the new ownership was asking, she'd still be here.”
If Vild were a terrible waitress who gave customers a hard time or got orders wrong or kept dropping plates, I'd say fire away. But a former co-worker and a former boss told me she was a good, popular waitress.
(Full disclosure: Vild provided the names and numbers.)
Vild's former boss, Nicole Alex, said Vild was aces. She even trained new workers.
Alex left the restaurant, too, but she holds no grudge. Oliver was fair about her leaving, she said.
I asked Alex if customers ever complained about Vild's appearance.
Still, “she's facing a real uphill battle,” said Peter Zschiesche, executive director of the Employee Rights Center in San Diego. Employers have wide latitude on hiring and firing, particularly when it comes to at-will, or nonunion, employees.
One might fault Vild for refusing to budge on the issue, but I give her credit for not caving. It's not the same as, say, putting on a uniform. You're applying something to your skin. And if you overdo it – Tammy Faye, anyone? – you could face ridicule, not praise.
“I always thought I looked silly wearing makeup,” Vild, a 27-year-old North Park resident, told me. “And I don't think I need it.”
It's not as if Vild isn't interested in her appearance or is a complete rebel. When the new management instituted a dress code of nice jeans and pressed white shirts, Vild said she had no problems conforming.
The Trophy's waitresses used to wear gym shorts and blouses.
Word is the management didn't like Vild's beach-girl look. She bleaches her hair blond. Funny, since we, um, live in a beach town. And funny, since when I went in the restaurant recently to check out the place, I saw a surfboard bolted on the wall.
My bet: That surfboard is going to be following Vild out the door.
While I was at the restaurant, I decided to have lunch. Maybe my powers of observations are lame, but I couldn't tell if my waitress was wearing any makeup.
She was very pleasant and she didn't drop my club sandwich into my lap. That's about all I care about. She told me the place is undergoing remodeling. She's only been there a couple of weeks.
Look, I have no problem with the establishment going for a makeover and Oliver putting his own stamp on the joint. You buy a place of business, you run it as you see fit. It's your Benjamins.
But Vild makes good points about how makeup can be a pain and how it's not necessarily for her. It costs money and it takes time to put on. For the waiters, it's a different story. All they have to do is be clean-shaven.
Too bad the law doesn't support people like Vild.
Times are tough enough. If Vild did get the heave-ho for this, well, I'm not handing out any trophies.
P.S. Just days ago, Vild landed a job tending bar. No makeup required.
An indictment unsealed Monday charged pastor Garry Souffrant, 33, wife Yvonne Souffrant, 33, and brother Gamaliel Souffrant, 43 -- all Broward County residents -- with conspiring to defraud banks and launder drug traffickers' profits to buy more than a dozen residential properties in South Florida and Georgia from 2002 to 2008.
The 59-count indictment also charged Garry Souffrant, pastor of God First Ministries in Miami Gardens and a former supervisor at Boca Raton Fire Rescue, with conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine.
Prosecutors say the family's total haul from the fraudulent activity was $7 million.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael ''Pat'' Sullivan said the alleged conspiracy grew out of a Northwest Miami-Dade cocaine organization headed by Ali Adam and Graylin Kelly, who have been convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Sullivan said all three defendants -- using a brokerage company called Progressive Real Estate of Broward as a front -- accepted large sums of cocaine profits from the drug dealers and their associates to buy homes and luxury cars, including a 2004 Rolls Royce Phantom.
According to the indictment, the defendants acted as straw buyers on behalf of the traffickers, allowing them to use their cocaine profits to purchase homes and lease automobiles while hiding the source of the dirty income.
In addition, the defendants allegedly diverted several million dollars in mortgage loan proceeds to continue to fund the scheme for their personal use -- including buying new homes in Davie and Pembroke Pines.
''They used drug money to obtain loans,'' Sullivan flatly declared at the defendants' bond hearing Monday.
He argued that Garry Souffrant should not be allowed any bond before trial, and that his wife, Yvonne, and brother, Gamaliel, should pay bail of $100,000 -- saying they were a danger to the community and flight risks.
Defense attorney Larry Handfield, representing Garry Souffrant and his wife, tried to downplay the alleged drug connection, arguing there was no direct evidence, only the words of convicted traffickers seeking lower sentences. The couple, arrested by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service last week, are scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
Attorney Herbert Walker III, representing Gamaliel Souffrant, made the same case and also entered a not-guilty plea for his client. Souffrant, who left Haiti for South Florida as a boy and attended public schools, is a lawful permanent resident. He was in New York for his son's graduation from Fordham University and returned over the weekend to surrender on Monday.
Magistrate Judge Ted E. Bandstra denied bond for Garry Souffrant, but allowed a $100,000 bail for his wife and a $50,000 bail for his brother.
A spokesman for Miami Fire Rescue said authorities informed the department of the charges against Souffrant on Monday. Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius E. Carroll Jr. noted that the charges have ``nothing to do with his position as a fire captain.''
He also said that Souffrant would be placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
Two of his colleagues from Miami Fire Rescue showed up at the bond hearing to support Souffrant, a firefighter for 19 years who works at headquarters.
Assistant Fire Chief Allen Joyce described Souffrant as a dedicated worker responsible for buying supplies and other services for fire stations.
''I was glad that I was here to represent him as a great worker,'' Joyce said, declining comment about the charges.
If convicted, all of the defendants face up to five years in prison on the mortgage fraud conspiracy count; 20 years for the money laundering conspiracy; 20 years for mail fraud; and 10 years for receipt of stolen bank funds.
Garry Souffrant also faces up to life in prison on the drug conspiracy charge.
He paid for those false teeth, and he wanted them back.
Even if they were in somebody else's mouth.
So authorities say Staten Island resident Joseph Nativo, 47, pulled a revolver on his former business associate and took them.
Nativo, a contractor who lives on the 200 block of Shirley Avenue in Eltingville, is accused of slamming the revolver down on a desk at his business, Atec Contracting on 360 Targee St. in Stapleton on May 7, then demanding that 40-year-old Gennario Sibbio take the chompers out of his mouth and hand them over.
He also demanded Sibbio give up $1,200 in cash, two cell phones, a Bluetooth wireless device and his jacket.
Nativo tells it differently, though -- sure, he demanded the teeth back, since he paid for them in the first place, but he never pulled out a gun.
Police referred to Sibbio as Nativo's "former business partner," but Nativo characterizes him as an ex-worker who stole from the company.
"He's not my partner. He's my employee," Nativo said. "I fired him, let him go. I paid for his new teeth to be put in... I told him to leave the company. I asked for my teeth back."
Attempts to reach Sibbio were unsuccessful today.
Police arrested Nativo on Monday, charging him with a single count of first-degree robbery.
He was arraigned and released on $1,000 bail until his next court appearance July 1.
The other items, Nativo said, also belonged to him.
"He owes me over $27,000 from the company," Nativo said. "I took his phones. I took his car. Everything that I gave him, I took it."
Joseph Sorrentino, Nativo's lawyer, said the allegations against his client were Sibbio's way of retaliating for his firing.
"We believe, certainly, that the allegations of the complaint are at worst untrue, at best exaggerated."
Nativo said multiple witnesses can vouch that he never pulled out a gun.
"We yelled and we argued, don't get me wrong," Nativo said, "but in the end, those teeth belonged to me."
-- Reported by John Annese
3:21pm UK, Wednesday May 20, 2009
This passer-by manages to capture footage of a man driving his car while reading a book.
The woman recording the footage from another car, is shocked and can be heard telling viewers that it is not a map, but a novel.
She cannot believe her eyes
Link to video and picture of man reading a book while driving:
Last updated: 11:34 am
May 19, 2009
Posted: 3:16 am
May 19, 2009
New York Post
NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y
A Long Island burglar who tried to live outside the law of gravity was nabbed early yesterday when he fell through a false ceiling and landed at cops' feet, police said.
Nassau police said Seamus Troy II, 19, of New Hyde Park, had stolen a car and broken into an eyewear store on Hillside Avenue in New Hyde Park at 6:45 am.
Responding officers were told by a witness the burglar was still inside.
The cops looked but could not immediately find Troy -- until he crashed through the ceiling and fell onto the floor right in front of them, a police spokesman said.
Troy was charged with various offenses, including burglary and car theft.
By Jennifer Baker
May 18, 2009
Timothy Akers should be a familiar face for law enforcement – the 40-year-old man has been arrested 101 times, according to Cincinnati police.
Investigators hope to make his 102nd arrest soon, said Detective Tamar Skelly with Crime Stoppers.
Akers, a parole violator whose last known address was Cheviot, remains at large on April 2 charges of misuse of a credit card and receiving stolen property, Hamilton County court records show.
Cincinnati police accuse him of using an 81-year-old woman’s credit card March 18 to make several purchases at the CVS Pharmacy on Seventh Street downtown. The credit card was taken during a recent burglary offense, records state.
Akers served about 3½ years in a state prison in London, Ohio, after he was convicted of an April 2005 robbery offense at a Rally’s Hamburgers in Hamilton County during which he threatened a female clerk, records show.
When he was released from prison in March 2008, he was put on parole for three years, said JoEllen Culp, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehbalitation and Correction in Columbus.
Prison records show Akers has been in and out of Ohio prisons and on parole at various times over the past 21 years for several offenses out of Hamilton County:
• May 1988 after he was convicted of theft. He served six months and was released on Aug. 12, 1988.
• November 1997 on a domestic violence charge in violation of a protection order. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and released in July 1998.
• December 2001 for assault and harassment by an inmate. He was given a one year sentence and released in Aug. 9, 2002.
• March 2003 for vandalism. He was released in October 2003.
• Akers also has been in and out of the Hamilton County jail at least 36 times since 1997, said Steve Barnett, spokesman for the county sheriff’s office.
Some of the more recent charges are for offenses such as grand theft auto, disorderly conduct, intoxication, obstruction of official business and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Akers has not been convicted on all of the various crimes he has been charged with over the years, Barnett pointed out.
Link to mug shots:
May 18, 2009 Last Updated
By Rebecca Ferrar
Knoxville News Sentinel
Thursday, May 14, 2009
When two men broke into her home, Wanda Bray defended herself with what she had - a bowl of chili and some household objects.
"The woman fought them off," said Capt. David Honeycutt of the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department, of the 58-year-old Bray. "She threw a bowl of homemade chili and got after them with a broom."
Authorities later arrested three men in connection with the home-invasion robbery, and two of them were also charged with a convenience store heist.
The robbery occurred at about 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Arthur community of Claiborne County.
After Bray threw "household objects" at the robbery suspects, they fled the scene, a Sheriff's Department press release states.
The victim told deputies the robbers ran into her home and demanded her medication.
"They probably got away with some blood pressure pills," Honeycutt said.
Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray said that while Honeycutt was investigating the home-invasion robbery, his investigation took him to a location where authorities discovered a vehicle used in another robbery last week of the Tiger Ma
Police: Convicted bank robber returns
to scene for second failed crime
By JOHN GALLAS
If at first you don't succeed, rob the same bank again.
But Shawn Carl Bullock failed -- again, Ormond Beach police said Tuesday.
Bullock, 35, already served 3 1/2 years in prison for robbing the Bank of America at 299 N. Nova Road in Ormond Beach in 2003. Police say he presented a note to a teller at that same bank on March 6. The note implied he had a gun and he got away with cash -- just as he did six years ago.
The next day during a traffic stop, Daytona Beach police found $1,000 in 50- and 100-dollar bills along with drugs on Bullock, police said. But it was Bullock's family who recognized him from bank surveillance photos police released, and on Monday he was charged with the bank heist.
Bullock of Ormond Beach was charged with robbery and grand theft, and was held Tuesday at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $52,000 bail.
Internet ad leads cops to stolen property
PATRICIO G. BALONA
May 12, 2009
DELAND -- An Internet ad for GPS units police say were stolen attracted more than customers for a DeBary man accused of burglarizing cars.
A DeLand detective checking out Web sites selling stolen merchandise tracked down the navigating systems, too.
But before DeLand police could pick up Timothy Mulroney for the 4 a.m. April 16 car burglaries, he was arrested by sheriff's deputies four days later for breaking into several mailboxes and a van in a DeBary neighborhood, according to a Sheriff's Office charging affidavit.
On Thursday, DeLand police interviewed the jailed Mulroney, 18, and charged him with burglary of a conveyance, dealing in stolen property and grand theft, DeLand police Sgt. John Anderson said.
On April 16, DeLand police responded to reports of three cars broken into in the neighborhood of Bent Oaks Boulevard. Three cars in the subdivision had the driver's side windows smashed and GPS instruments were removed from the cars, a DeLand police report states.
According to the report, a crime-scene analyst for DeLand police found an ad for the stolen satellite gadgets on craigslist.com. The person advertising left a number for a cell phone. Police called Mulroney and tried to set up an undercover purchase, but Mulroney did not call back.
And then, on April 20, deputies arrested Mulroney and two others, Jared Toledo, 20, and Majin Toledo, 22, addresses unknown, when a neighbor called to complain that someone had broken his mailbox.
Jared Toledo told deputies Mulroney kicked down about 10 mailboxes while driving through the Glen Abbey subdivision looking for cars to break into, a sheriff's charging affidavit states. The trio left after getting into an unlocked van and stealing a stereo, the affidavit states.
The Toledos and Mulroney were arrested and charged with felony unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure/conveyance for the April 20 incident.
When DeLand police spoke to Mulroney in jail Thursday, he admitted committing the burglaries and assisted detectives in recovering the stolen goods, Anderson said. The GPS units were in a bedroom closet in the DeBary home of Mulroney's mother, the DeLand police report states.
Port Orange man calls 9-1-1 to report robbery of drug money
By JULIE MURPHY
The men even called 9-1-1 to have deputies help them recover the money.
"Yeah I was scared," said Wesley Fehl of Port Orange. "I had two guns pointed at my head."
Fehl, 22, said Tuesday by phone that he and Kenneth Jones, 20, South Daytona, drove to a house on Sunset Boulevard near Holly Hill about 6:30 p.m. Monday to buy marijuana from two acquaintances of Jones.
"They invited me inside the house so they could do this," he said. "They both jumped me. My buddy had walked outside. When he came back in they threw him to the ground."
By then, Fehl had already been relieved of the $12,000, his wallet, and cell phone. Jones' acquaintances ran out of the house and drove off.
Fehl and Jones jumped into their own vehicle, drove after their assailants and called 9-1-1 to report the robbery, sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said in a written report.
"I was just held at gunpoint trying to buy drugs. We're following the dude right now," the caller told a Sheriff's Office dispatcher
The dispatcher urged the men not to follow the car and put themselves in further danger, Davidson said.
"But he's got my money," the caller said. "I don't want him to get away with my money."
Fehl still feels that way.
"I don't think police have gone back to the house yet," he said. "As far as they know, they aren't in trouble. And, I want my money back."
But investigators followed up, Davidson said. Suspects were identified and after warrants were issued for their arrest, the home was raided.
Craig Anthony Williams, 34, who lives in the house, was arrested and charged with one count of armed robbery. He was being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bail allowed Tuesday night.
Investigators continue to look for Lavarus Peterkin, 29, Daytona Beach. He is described as about 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo on his right hand.
Because the investigation is ongoing, Davidson would not say if deputies found marijuana in the house when it was searched. He didn't know if the guns had been recovered.
While all of the men have criminal records, Fehl's is the longest and includes drug-related arrests, according to court records.
Pending the completion of the investigation, charges could be filed against the victims -- including a third man, Patrick Marsh, 22, Lake Helen, who was not with Fehl and Jones but reportedly supplied the money, Davidson said.
"We're still evaluating everyone's actions," he said Tuesday.
By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:59PM BST 15 May 2009
Brendan MacFarlane's singing has attracted more than 200,000 hits on YouTube, leading to an invitation to appear in America on the Maury's Most Talented Kids show.
He was spotted by talent scouts who were impressed by his version of Ray Charles's I Got A Woman, but is unable to fly to the US because his mother has his passport and is refusing to hand it over.
The schoolboy from Perth is at the centre of a dispute between his mother Angela White and his father George MacFarlane, who separated last year.
Lawyers were hoping to persuade Perth sheriff court yesterday to order Ms White to hand over the passport, but the schoolboy will have to put his ambitions on hold for at least a month after she failed to turn up.
The court was told that Ms White was unwell and she has been asked to bring a medical certificate to court for the next hearing.
Brendan previously claimed that he wanted to "be a star" and had "begged" his mother to hand over the passport. Mr MacFarlane, who has custody of his son, added: "She said it was because I'm going to make money out of him but that's just not true. We just want to go places and sing."
The singer was booked on chat show host Maury Povich's prime-time show, which has an audience of over three million people, and has been told he is still welcome to come to appear if the dispute can be resolved.
Ms White claimed recently that she did not want to stop the trip but wanted Brendan's father to discuss the issue with her.
Last updated: 3:14 am
May 17, 2009
Posted: 2:04 am
May 17, 2009
A brazen thief snatched a laptop from a US marshal in a Bronx park yesterday and dodged a bullet when the marshal shot at him -- only to be caught red-handed by the NYPD, law-enforcement sources said.
The marshal, who is assigned to Puerto Rico, was in a Jeep at a parking lot next to Van Cortlandt Park when a man approached just before 9 a.m. and grabbed the computer through an open window.
The marshal, whose name was not released, jumped out and fired a round at the thief as he darted off, a police source said.
Police did not charge the marshal, who admitted to firing the gun.
Christian Cepeda, 30, of Yonkers, was allegedly carrying the computer when he was captured not far from the scene. He was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
But things got even worse for Cepeda when his cellphone rang while he was being questioned and the caller told the cops that the phone, too, had been stolen -- during a meeting arranged over Craigslist.
FORT WALTON BEACH - A woman driving down Lovejoy Road was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia - including a Brillo pad.
An Okaloosa County Sheriff's deputy watched the suspect drive a white van down Lovejoy Road and stop for 10-15 seconds. The deputy followed the van and pulled it over.
According to the report, the driver admitted to using crack cocaine in her vehicle in the past few days. The officer searched her van and found a brown bag with a Brillo pad, which the driver said was used for smoking crack cocaine.
The deputy also found a small black pouch containing a crack pipe and a wooden poker. The driver denied ownership of the pouch, but based on her previous admissions, specifically regarding the Brillo pad, she was arrested for drug possession.
Two subdue him, but he disposes of evidence
Published: May 16, 2009
If he had thought about it, Bobby Ray Mabe probably wouldn't have attacked the man trying to rob his store early Thursday.
But when a man holding something under his shirt asked for a Mountain Dew, then demanded money, Mabe and a patron grabbed the man.
"If he had had a gun he would've shot me," Mabe said yesterday. "But he had a banana."
Mabe owns 109 Biz Center off Thomasville Road, a computer cafe that features sweepstakes games. Patrons buy sweepstakes cards, and then find out on a computer whether they have won a cash prize.
When a man came in just after 1 and asked for the Mountain Dew, Mabe had just paid out $2,000 to a winner. Now someone was trying to take what little money he had left.
"It just flew all over me, and before I knew it, I had my hands on him," he said.
Mabe and the patron held the robber in a chair while they waited for Forsyth County sheriff's deputies to arrive. Meanwhile, the would-be robber ate the banana.
"And the deputy said, ‘Aha! He ate the evidence,'" Mabe said. "But we had the banana peel, and they took a picture of it."
John Steven Szwalla, 17, of 340 Yukon Trail, Wallburg, was charged with one count of attempted armed robbery.
Deputies joked about charging him with destroying evidence, said Major Brad Stanley, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
Szwalla is in the Forsyth County Jail, with bond set at $50,000. He also was charged yesterday with common-law robbery by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.
Maj. Brian Grubb of the sheriff's office said that the robbery was at the Kangaroo Express on Hickory Tree Road and happened just before the attempted robbery at Mabe's store.
Grubb said he had no other details about the incident.
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
John Steven Szwalla, 17, was charged with common-law robbery after he tried to rob a store using a banana tucked under his shirt to look like a gun, according to the sheriff's office.
Attorney gets arrested at courthouse for possession of marijuana
Deputies say they found pot and pipe in her bag
Attorney gets arrested for having pot and pipe in court - An attorney was arrested heading into the Bexar County Courthouse after deputies found marijuana and a pipe in her purse. She claimed it wasn't hers, but it didn't matter.
Amanda Stanzilis, Reporter
Attorney Regina Criswell was arrested at the Bexar County Courthouse after deputies say they discovered two ounces of marijuana and a chrome-colored marijuana pipe in her bag.
Deputies say Criswell was heading into the Courthouse to go to work. As is standard, security guards went through everyone's bags including Criswell's. That's when they say they found the baggie and pipe. Deputies were called over, and questioned Criswell. The 50 year old woman admitted she knew the drugs were in her bag, but said they belonged to a client.
Deputy Ino Badillo said, "It doesn't matter who you are. You can't be in possession of narcotics. Period."
Badillo says this is the first time he can remember an attorney being arrested for drug possesion at the Courthouse.
|Reported by: Brent Roulier
Last Update: 5/12 8:06 pm
Surveillance video captured the suspect robbing this Chase Bank at 8200 E. Via Paseo Del Norte in Scottsdale on April 9, 2009.
On Monday, Scottsdale police arrested three people, one of whom investigators believe is the serial bank robber.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix, 38-year-old Blair John Daehling and his wife, 32-year-old Brandy Heidrick-Daehling have been charged for their roles in several bank robberies committed throughout April and May.
Blair earned the name because surveillance images show him wearing different wigs during different robberies that have taken place in Scottsdale, Chandler and Phoenix.
At about 12:15 p.m. Monday, a man robbed the First Fidelity Bank located at 74th Street and Camelback Road in Scottsdale.
As the suspect entered the bank, off-duty Maricopa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Jim Jeselun noticed something strange.
"It was a gut feeling I had from being a sheriff's deputy for 10 years," Jeselun said. "The guy was just out of place wearing a long sleeve shirt on a super hot day and a big afro wig. I just sensed he was going to rob that bank."
According to an MCSO press release, Jeselun, who retired from the sheriff's office in 2007 and became a reserve deputy in 2008, was working nearby when he noticed the suspect in a black Jetta outside the bank.
The press release stated, "Jeselun immediately went to the vehicle, copied down the plate number and waited nearby for the man to exit. When the suspected robber came out, Jeselun said the robber took off at a high rate of speed."
Jeselun called police after people at the bank confirmed that it had been robbed. He secured the bank building and later provided the information to police needed to apprehend the suspect, according to the press release.
"Actually, it was kind of fun," said Jeselun.
Scottsdale police officers found the suspect vehicle on the southbound Loop 101 at Indian School Road and followed the car until it arrived at Dobson Road and Mesa Riverview Drive in Mesa.
As officers prepared to make a traffic stop, the suspected robber ran from the vehicle but was captured a short distance away. Another man was arrested along with the Daehlings, according to Scottsdale Police.
Detectives located a wig in the car and believe the suspect robbed a Scottsdale Desert Schools Federal Credit Union on Wednesday May 6.
A recent press release stated that the "Bad Hair Day Bandit" also committed the following robberies:
The press release also stated, "The Bad Hair Day Bandit has threatened a weapon in three instances and in every occurrence he brandished a blue bank bag, which he used for the money."
Link To Photo Of Bad Hair Bandit and Slide Show:
|Reported by: Keith Baker
Reported by: Cary Williams
Last Update: 4:12 pm
TAMPA, FL -- A Tampa woman refused to be a carjacking victimn said she was approached by an armed man who jumped into her car on Thursday.
The woman, who only wants to be identified as Adrianna, pulled out her own gun. "I just leaned forward and punched him in the forehead with my gun," she said. The man "screamed like a girl and almost dropped his gun" as he ran away, she added.
Tampa Police have arrested one suspect so far in what they see as a pattern of carjackings. A-Keem Carr was arrested on related charges, but two others are believed to be preying on motorists in the Westshore area.
So far, two carjackings and four attempted carjackings have occurred over the last two weeks. In one case, a man from Land O' Lakes was pumping gas when an armed suspect approached demanding the car keys.
The man refused because his 6-month-old son was still in his car seat and the suspect took off.
Another incident involved a woman who was closing her business when she was approached by an armed man who took her van. Her credit cards were used at a business in St. Petersburg and the van was found later along 39th Street in St. Petersburg. A. Keem Carr was charged in that crime.
Other carjacking attempts included a woman standing next to her car in the Regency Apartments when she was approached but she screamed and scared off the bandit.
Adrianna was pulling into the International Mall when the armed man jumped in her car. She talked about defending herself. "I didn't want to have to shoot...anyway over a car. But if it was going to be him or me..."
Tampa Police warn the suspects are becoming more aggressive and may be prone to violence
Link to Video Slide Show and Photo of Robber:
Posted: 10:58 am EDT May 14, 2009Updated: 5:45 pm EDT May 14, 2009
The human body is a great, sweaty, fluid-filled machine, moving and mixing chemicals with precision and coordination, making everything from memories to mucus. Here we explore some of the complex, beautiful or just plain gross mysteries of how you function.
Published: May 14, 2009 at 6:23 PM
Published: May 14, 2009 at 4:10 PM
Did you know that Memorial Day ranks as the 3rd most deadly holiday due to drunk driving accidents? Funeralwise.com wants Americans to stop and think before drinking and driving this Memorial Day Weekend. To raise public awareness of this serious issue, Funeralwise.com is encouraging anyone who plans to drink and drive over the holiday weekend to create a funeral plan in advance. They made need it sooner than they think.
You can join in the fight against drunk driving because Funeralwise.com will donate $10 to Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for the first 10,000 funeral plans created using our online funeral planner through May 25th. Your funeral plan will not only be helping MADD but you'll be taking an important step for your family as well. All you need to do is take a few minutes to complete a simple 4-step funeral plan.
Thank you. Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!
Funeralwise.com wants Americans to stop and think before drinking and driving this Memorial Day Weekend. To raise public awareness of this serious issue, Funeralwise.com is encouraging anyone who plans to drink and drive over the holiday weekend to create a funeral plan in advance. For people who do not intend to drink and drive, Funeralwise.com is providing a tangible way they can help fight drunk driving by donating $10 to Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for the first 10,000 funeral plans created on its website through May 25th.
An Indian father with seven daughters has not washed for 35 years to help ensure his next child will be a boy.
Kailash Kalau Singh told a friend that a “seer” once told him 35 years ago if he did not take a bath he would be blessed with a male child, according to Hindustan Times. So he stopped.
Instead of washing with water, Singh bathes by standing with one leg beside a bonfire and smokes marijuana while praying to Lord Shiva. The “fire bath” helps to kill germs and infection, he claims.
The 63-year-old man’s professional life suffered when customers of his grocery store stopped shopping there due to his “unhealthy personality.” He had to close the store and now tills fields in the holy city of Varanasi.
Kalau claims his commitment to not bathing was due to national interest. He vows to end his pledge when all problems confronting the nation end. His neighbors in the village of Chatav differ and say his washing boycott really is about his suspicions and not having a son.
Most Indians prefer sons, who are typically regarded as breadwinners, while girls are seen as a burden because of the matrimonial dowry demanded by a groom’s family and the fact that their earnings go to their husband’s family.
No washy washy? It’s a miracle he has seven daughters.
I’m melting, I’m melting!
Woman accused of growing marijuana plants in college dorm room in Maine
UNITY, Maine (AP) -- Police said a Unity College student who failed to do a thorough cleaning of her dorm room before leaving campus faces criminal charges after security guards found several marijuana plants growing there. The Waldo County Sheriff's Office said a 19-year-old was charged with cultivation, sale and use of marijuana.
The college held its graduation ceremonies Saturday. The Morning Sentinel in Waterville said security guards were checking dorm room the following evening to make sure they were emptied when they discovered the plants in plastic containers.
Police said fewer than 10 plants were seized.
The suspect was scheduled to appear in court July 7.
Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.com/
MANNING, S.C., May 13 (UPI) -- Police in South Carolina said a waitress allegedly shot a customer in the arm and struck the customer with the gun during a heated argument.
Crystal Samuel said she was waiting for a takeout breakfast order at the Waffle House in Manning, S.C., when a waitress, identified by police as Yakeisha Ward, 29, allegedly told her friends they could not eat their food while waiting for Samuel's order, WLTX-TV, Columbia, S.C., reported Wednesday.
"I said what is your fuss about. I said we haven't paid for our food. She (Ward) said well you all got to leave. How you want us to leave and we ain't paid for the food yet," Samuel said.
Samuel said she threw a waffle at the waitress "but it didn't hit her."
"That's when she (Ward) jumped across the counter and we got into it," she said.
Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett said the women took their argument outside and Ward retrieved a gun from her car. He said Ward's gun discharged during the altercation and a bullet fragment struck Samuel in the arm. Ward also struck Samuel in the head with the gun before deputies arrived and ended the confrontation, Garrett said.
Ward was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. She was released after posting $500 bond.
May 12, 2009
DALLAS - Like most twins, 11-month-old Justin and Jordan have a lot in common. But it's what they do not have in common that has a lot of people, including their parents, calling them a miracle of science.
"I have twins, but they're by different fathers," said Mia Washington.
The twins' parents contacted FOX 4, wanting to go public with their story. Washington admits she had an affair that resulted in two babies, born at the same time, fathered by two different men.
"Out of all people in America and of all people in the world, it had to happen to me. I'm very shocked," Washington said.
The parents went to Dallas DNA Lab Clear Diagnostics after noticing the twins have different facial features.
According to the paternity test, there's a 99.999 percent chance Justin and Jordan do not have the same father, and zero percent chance they do. The lab has never seen this type of result, nor do they expect to see it again....
May 12: Two 56-year-old women reconnect after DNA tests confirm they were switched as newborns at an Oregon hospital. TODAY's Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford discuss the amazing story.
HEPPNER, Ore. - On a spring day in 1953, two baby girls were born at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in eastern Oregon. They grew up happily, got married, had kids of their own and became grandparents. Then last summer their lives were turned upside down.
Kay Rene Reed Qualls found out that she and DeeAnn Angell Shafer were switched at birth.
They recently met for the first time and underwent DNA tests after a woman who knew both their mothers called Qualls' brother with her suspicion
Qualls' brother, Bobby Reed, said the 86-year-old woman knew his mother and had also lived next door to the Angell family.
"She said she had something she had to get off her chest," he told the East Oregonian newspaper in a story published Monday.
Rumors of a mix-up
The woman, whom he declined to identify by name, told him that his mother, Marjorie Angell, had insisted back in 1953 she had been given the wrong baby after the nurses returned from bathing the two newborns, but her concerns were brushed off.
May 12 2009
A CALLOUS thief has admitted targeting a funeral by taking the keys from the hearse of a rival undertaker.
David Leslie Wood, 48, of Bridge Court, Middlesbrough admitted theft at Teesside Crown Court.
As previously reported in the Evening Gazette, the vintage Rolls Royce Phantom 6 funeral car containing the body of Patricia Thorburn was outside the Salvation Army Citadel in Trimdon Avenue, Middlesbrough, after the funeral service on Tuesday September 23 when the heartless thief struck.
Shocked mourners were left in disbelief as the dignity of the 65-year-old’s final journey to Acklam Cemetery was destroyed. The dashboard of the car, which belonged to Joel D Kerr had to be stripped out and the hearse “hot wired”. It is believed the theft, which caused major disruption and a one hour delay in the funeral plans, was carried out by Wood after he accused Mr Kerr of taking business - something Mr Kerr denied.
Wood was expected to go on trial yesterday but pleaded guilty.
Speaking after yesterday’s hearing Irene Jessop, funeral director with Joel D Kerr funeral service in Marton Road, Middlesbrough, said: “We are very relieved and pleased that Mr Wood pleaded guilty for the awful crime he committed.”
The incident happened at around 2pm in the citadel car park as the family were preparing to go to the cemetery for the funeral.
Speaking at the time Ms Jessop, said: “The level of disrespect is unbelievable, dreadful.
“The cars were left unattended for only five to 10 minutes at the most. We had got the deceased and family members out of the citadel and were ready to leave when the hearse driver said the keys had gone. I have been a funeral director for 16 years and have never experienced such disrespect.”
One shocked family member who asked not to be named said at the time: “I can’t understand what type of person would steal the keys to a hearse on the way to a burial. It is sickening.”
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks said Wood last appeared in court in 1996 but had gone 20 years without offending.
He said businessman Joel D Kerr had to pay £250 for a replacement secondhand lock ignition but the repair to the trim and the cost of matching the locks on the vehicle had not yet been itemised.
Judge Les Spittle adjourned the case for a background and pre-sentence report and Wood will appear in court again in around three weeks time.
He told Wood that he could anticipate some “financial costs by way of compensation” to Mr Kerr and added that he would like to involve the probation officer to find an appropriate community order.
The judge added: “The victim here is not going to bear the cost of your activity.”
Ordinary bad dreams may be the brain's way of helping us regulate our negative emotions, while nightmares may reflect a glitch in that process, according to researchers.
Scientists and non-scientists alike have long puzzled over the exact function of dreams. In recent years, research into the psychology and brain activity associated with dreaming has given more clues as to why our sleep is filled with often bizarre, and sometimes frightening, images.
Writing in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, Drs Ross Levin and Tore Nielsen suggest that run-of-the-mill bad dreams are part of the brain's method of processing emotions. In fact, they say, emotional regulation may be the primary function of REM sleep, the sleep stage during which most dreams occur.
In contrast to your standard dream, nightmares - technically, a bad dream that startles you out of sleep - may arise when that emotion-regulating process goes wrong.
Bad dreams are nothing out of the ordinary. Studies show that most of our dreams are not happy ones.
"The 'default' dream is basically the bad dream," explained Levin, a psychologist at Yeshiva University in New York who specialises in treating sleep disorders. We seem to be hardwired to attend to negative emotions - which, in the context of evolution, is not surprising, according to Levin, since vigilance offers a survival advantage.
"If you missed a threat, you were lunch," the researcher noted.
Process fear memories
Dreams - or, more broadly, REM sleep - may serve to process fear memories so that the system does not become overwhelmed. Bits of our memories "get thrown into a room together and jumbled around," Levin explained, which puts them in a new context and diffuses the fear attached to them.
Studies show that during REM sleep, activity in certain brain regions - including the limbic system, which is involved in emotional regulation, as well as memory - spikes considerably.
With nightmares, though, the dreamer wakes up, disrupting normal emotion processing, according to Levin and Nielsen. Waking up is a relief in the moment, Levin noted, but it may ultimately serve to "reinforce" the feeling that the threat was real.
Nightmares are common
Most people have the occasional nightmare, particularly during times of high stress. Research suggests that 85% of adults have at least one per year.
Nightmares only become a problem when they distress people during the day as well, according to Levin.
People who are generally prone to anxiety in response to stress are at greater risk of problem nightmares. Their nightmares may lead to more distress in waking life, which may in turn spur more nightmares, Levin and Nielsen point out.
The good news is that the greater understanding of the origins of nightmares has allowed more effective therapies, according to Levin.
For example, he said, so-called imagery-rehearsal therapy - where a person imagines, then changes, the stuff of their nightmares while awake - has proven highly effective. - (Amy Norton/Reuters Health)
SOURCE: Current Directions in Psychological Science, April 2009.
May 11, 2009 3:27 p.m. EST
Indianapolis, IN (AHN) - An Indianapolis hospital threw a makeshift prom for a teen patient whose illness prevented her from attending her school's dance.
Hospital staff and Community Health Network Foundation members transformed Community Hospital North's atrium into a restaurant Saturday night for a pre-prom dinner for high school senior Leah Westrick, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Westrick has been suffering for three weeks with a non-life-threatening infection at the hospital. Her boyfriend and close friends attended the mini-prom.
Fishers High School principal even showed up to crown Westrick and her boyfriend, senior Gabe Hulecki, prom queen and king, the UPI reported.
Westrick has been hospitalized since April 18 after getting an E. coli infection on a spring break trip to Mexico.
Ryan Chelli, a hospital spokesman, said a clinical manager at the hospital, nurse Amy Sprague, had the idea to bring the prom to the patient.
Okla. police arrest would-be burglar after he returns to the scene of the crime with more tools
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Police said officers arrested a would-be burglar when he returned to the scene of the crime after failing the first time to get in. Police said officers were called about 8:30 p.m. Sunday to the pharmacy of a medical center where witnesses said someone had tried to break in - but had left.
Officers said as they were responding the man returned with additional tools - but still couldn't get inside.
Police said a 30-year-old man was arrested for second-degree burglary as he was leaving the pharmacy the second time.I
nformation from: KOTV-TV, http://www.newson6.com
By Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: May. 8, 2009
Hartford - A 20-year-old shoplifter with a bottle of whiskey in his pants delayed his escape from a liquor store this week just long enough to write his name and address on a raffle ticket before running out the door, a criminal complaint says.
Authorities say Shawn M. Piering of Hartford can be seen on security camera video stuffing the bottle of Jack Daniel's into his clothing. Then he decided to try his luck at winning a ticket to a Slinger Speedway race through the store's weekly raffle drawing, B&S Liquor owner Steve Jost said Friday.
After filling out the form at the store's counter, Piering snatched two more whiskey bottles before he fled the store, the complaint says.
A store clerk working Wednesday evening watched Piering fill out the raffle ticket, Jost said.
"So she wasn't going to chase him after he ran out the door," he said. The box for tickets had been emptied the previous day, so the clerk simply opened the box after calling police. Officers recognized the man's name from other incidents and drove to his home on E. Monroe Ave.
"This is one of the stupidest crimes I've ever seen," Jost said.
Police and the store owner could watch the crime unfold: More than a dozen security cameras, inside and outside the store at 696 Grand Ave., captured the thief's every move.
When officers confronted Piering at his home Wednesday, he appeared to be intoxicated, the complaint says. Though Piering turned over the store's missing liquor bottles, he struggled with an officer attempting to arrest him.
Thursday, Piering was charged in Washington County Circuit Court with misdemeanor retail theft, resisting an officer and disorderly conduct. Judge Patrick Faragher set a May 28 hearing on the charges.
Faragher prohibited Piering from entering B&S Liquor and ordered him to maintain absolute sobriety as conditions of his release from the County Jail on a $750 signature bond.
WYOMING, Ohio, May 11 (UPI) -- A photograph of U.S. President Barack Obama is at the center of an Ohio legal case in which two women were arrested, authorities say.
Police in Wyoming, Ohio, allege Marla Anderson, 24, struggled with her mother while attempting to take the photograph of the newest president from a Wyoming home, the Cincinnati Enquirer said Monday.
Anderson was arrested Friday following the alleged conflict and nearly 10 hours later, police detained 31-year-old Tamika Cornwell, who allegedly drove Anderson to the Wyoming home.
Specific details, including the identity of Anderson's mother and the motive for the tussle, were not reported.
Hamilton County Municipal Judge Julia Stautberg Monday set Anderson's bond at $17,500 and Cornwell's at $12,500, the Enquirer said.
The newspaper said Anderson is facing charges of aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence. Cornwell, who allegedly brought 3-year-old son with her last Friday, stands accused of complicity to aiding and abetting, endangering children and tampering with evidence.
Basketbawful worked some magic, citing a Turkish-language
newspaper in a cuh-ray-zy story involving Zaza Pachulia
of the Istanbul Pachulias, but more notably, the NBA’s
His uncle, residing in Russia, died last week and left him $100 million. Zaza confirmed the incident, stating that he received a phone call from Moscow from a lawyer explaining the situation, but he said at first he taught it was a joke.
He also said that his uncle in Russia loved him very much and he is not surprised the uncle left everything to him and two sons. The lawyer told him that there is a condition on the will. This condition is that Zaza has to get married and stay married for 5 years.
Wasn’t this a Richard Pryor movie? The Georgian-born Pachulia will certainly look for a woman that is good with plow and so forth. There are worse reasons to get married, though. Like pregnancy. Or just dating someone for a really long time and not really feeling like breaking up with them. Especially if she has a nicer car than you do. Then you might as well hang around until you do something stupid and she gets rid of you.
Black belt teen strikes back at bully, and rallies community against racism
April 30, 2009 04:21 AM EDT
KESWICK, ONT. — The 15-year-old black belt thought he was doing his tormentor a favour when he elected to fight back with his weaker left hand.
He had heard his white classmate throw an angry racial slur in his direction after an argument during a gym class game of speedball, and now the student was shoving him backward, refusing to retract the smear.
The white student swung first, hitting the 15-year-old with a punch to the mouth.
The 15-year-old heard his father's voice running through his head: Fight only as a last resort, only in self-defence, only if given no choice, and only with the left hand.
His swing was short and compact, a left-handed dart that hit the white student square on the nose.
The nose broke under his fist, igniting a sequence of events - from arrest to suspension to possible expulsion - that has left the Asian student and his family wondering whether they are welcome in this small, rural and mostly white community north of Toronto, one that has been touched by anti-Asian attacks in the past.
The 15-year-old, the only person charged in connection with the April 21 school fight, faces one count of assault causing bodily harm.
But a remarkable thing happened this week.
On Monday, 400 of his fellow students, wearing black in solidarity and carrying signs of support, walked out of Keswick High School to rally in protest in front of their school.
Organizer Mathew Winch, a Grade 12 student, said the school has fewer than 10 Asian students, but everyone wanted to stand up against bullying and racism. The story even hit the front page of local newspapers.
After the public outcry, the York Regional Police hate crimes unit reopened the case. Although the other student has not been charged, further charges are possible, a spokesman said yesterday.
The case is particularly sensitive because of a series of attacks on Asian fishermen in the same area in 2007 - given the name "nipper tipping" by locals - which led to a high-profile investigation by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Five such cases in 2007, ranging from violent car chases to fishermen on piers being pushed into the water, led to criminal charges. As a result of the publicity, many other Asian anglers came forward to say they had been abused or harassed while fishing in the Lake Simcoe area.
The Asian boy's father is a martial-arts master who trained with the Korean national team. He brought his family to Canada in 2004.
They settled in Keswick in 2006, and his son, who is still learning English, has studied hard to become a top student.
He proudly showed off a report card with a 90-per-cent average. The boy has struggled a little socially, his parents said, which makes the outpouring of support from his classmates all the more remarkable.
"It's the first time in my life I ever fought someone. I've been trained not to attack. It's total self-defence," the boy said. "I felt sorry because I broke his nose, but I can say he deserved it because he called me the racial comment. He started the fight, he punched me first."
He said the boy called him a "<snip>ing Chinese," a comment he instantly knew was far from a joke.
"It's upsetting," he said. "I don't know how better to tell it."
For the moment, both students are suspended from Keswick High School, but the Asian student's parents have been told he could be expelled and forced to find a new school.
They are shocked and saddened by the ordeal.
The day after the fight, an older cousin of their son's antagonist approached him in the school cafeteria and uttered a similar slur, compounding their sense of despair.
"He said, 'You punched my cousin you Chinese <snip>,' " the 15-year-old said. That student was overheard by a teacher and suspended.
His father explains that the easiest course would be to move somewhere else and get a fresh start for his son. But he can't do it.
"I don't want to run away. If another Asian kid comes to this school, what happens to him? Will he run into problems? Will they think they can just kick him out? I don't want to set that example," he said.
"Personally, for my kid, I should move. But as a Canadian I cannot move."
11:52pm UK, Thursday May 07, 2009
Emily Donoghue discovered her birthday was two days later than she thought
Emily Donoghue from South Wales believed she was born on May 3, 1909, until this week when her son found out that she was actually born two days later.
The family uncovered the mistake after they were made to provide a copy of Mrs Donoghue's birth certificate to ensure she received a congratulatory telegram from the Queen.
John Donoghue, 78, said: "We couldn't make it out because she'd insisted it was the third and we took her word for it.
"Nobody bothered to look for the birth certificate until we had to send it off."
John Donoghue, Son
I think she must have been celebrating on the third all her life. We don't know why, maybe because they didn't make much of birthdays when she was young.
"We told her 'You've had your way all these years, you've got to start listening to us now'. We said 'You will have to celebrate your 100th on the fifth'.
"So what we did was take her for tea on the third, and on the fifth they had a party at the nursing home with a cake saying 'Congratulations Emily 100 today'.
"She had a lovely day, all the family went."
Mr Donoghue said his mother was the youngest of nine children and was the only one still living.
She was born in Newport but followed her childhood sweetheart Jack Donoghue to London when she was 16 years old.
They married and returned to South Wales a few years later.
The couple have three sons and a daughter, followed by nine grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-children
Link to picture Emily Donoghue
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS -- At first, the congregation thought Pastor John had gone bonkers. Here he was passing out money rather than passing the collection basket.
"I was stunned," said Chessie Bleick, who was at the Sunday worship service in late March when ushers at Forest Hill Church disbursed $15,000 among the congregation, handing each worshipper a red envelope containing a $50 bill.
"Everybody was kind of panicked, saying, 'What am I going to do with this?' "
Their answer came from the pulpit as the Rev. John Lentz told the biblical parable about the master who, before embarking on a long journey, left behind large sums of money for each of his servants.
When the master returned, he discovered the first two servants worked their shares, making more money for him. But the third servant failed to take a risk and simply buried his.
Lentz told his Presbyterian flock: "Let's live this parable. Let's bring it to reality. Use this money to make more. You may do whatever you can do creatively to double or triple your $50."
Lentz calls it his stimulus package. No one is obligated to put the money to work -- or even give it back.
"We don't know what will happen," Lentz said recently.
The money was handed out March 29 and is expected to be returned May 31. The hope is that the original $15,000 will be returned to the church's bank account and there will be a healthy profit for the church's social-service programs.
"It's time to put our creative talents and imaginations to work to help support the missions of the church," said Diana Woodbridge, who is making and selling University of Michigan stadium blankets. "So far, I've doubled my money and I'm going for more."
Many are using their $50 to buy supplies to make food items or arts and crafts to be sold at a church bazaar on May 16. Some pooled their money to buy a big-screen TV to put up for auction.
Keith and Laurie Logan are selling soft drinks and snacks at the local girls' high school lacrosse games.
Julie and Gary Lustic hired themselves out to do yard work, finding more jobs than they can handle.
"It's amazing," said Julie Lustic, who charges between $10 and $15 an hour. "I didn't think there would be such a big response."
Living this New Testament story, known as the parable of the talents, is not a Forest Hill original. Other churches in the area have doled out seed money as well.
Two years ago, Federated Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Chagrin Falls, handed out $35,000 in $50 bills to its congregation. People went to work with hammers, glue, yarn and thread. A pilot charged $30 for a half-hour plane ride. A biker charged $30 for a 12-mile ride on his Harley-Davidson Road King.
In eight weeks, the congregation returned more than $75,000, paying off the $35,000 loan and making a $41,000 profit.
The money was divided among three church missions: A school in South Africa, a foundation that gives seed money to poor people trying to start businesses, and an interfaith group that houses Cleveland-area homeless people.
"It allowed members to realize the gifts they had and how they could use them to help people," said Federated's membership administrator, Melinda Smith. "It was a real community builder for the congregation."
About 10 years ago, Lyndhurst Community Presbyterian Church handed out $3,000 in $20 bills to its congregation and got back $8,000.
The Rev. Harry Eberts is thinking about doing it again, not for the need of money, he said, but for how it brings people together.
"We need to keep thinking about how we can connect people," he said. "When we did this, the stories about people getting together were better than the money."
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian authorities sent a debt collector to a man's house after he underpaid his trash collection bill by 36 euro cents, about 50 U.S. cents, a newspaper said on Thursday.
The man, from a village in Lower Austria province, told that he had accidentally overlooked the 36 cents after the decimal place on his bill for 236.36 euros ($315).
The slip-up set the bureaucratic ball rolling, said a spokeswoman from the court which chased the debt.
"We also don't completely understand why the court reacted this way to such a trifling invoice," she said. The bailiff's visit cost the man 5 euros.
A gun-toting granny clad in pajamas and house shoes robbed an east Fort Worth convenience store early Thursday, telling the clerk, "I am doing this for my grandkids."
The robbery occurred at about 3:45 a.m. at the RaceTrac at 1840 Eastchase Parkway.
According to a police report, the woman entered the store, grabbed an orange drink, then told the clerk she needed two cartons of Newport cigarettes and two cigarillos.
The clerk said that when he turned around after retrieving her items, the woman pulled a handgun from beneath her pajama top and ordered him to open the main register.
She threatened to shoot the clerk if he did not comply, warning that "this gun has a hairline trigger."
The woman fled with the money, cigarettes and cigarillos.
She is described as black with a light complexion, 40 to 50 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall, and 160 to 190 pounds. Anyone with information about her identity is asked to call the robbery unit at 817-392-4370.
— Deanna Boyd
Woman who kept mom's body and benefits charged
Fri May 8, 2009 10:57am EDT
MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida woman has been indicted for keeping her dead mother's body in a bedroom for six years while collecting more than $200,000 in pension benefits, U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday.
Penelope Sharon Jordan of Sebastian, Florida, was charged by a federal grand jury last week with Social Security fraud and theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami said.
Police found the decaying body of her mother, Timmie Jordan, on a bed in a spare bedroom at the mother's home in late March, when they were called to investigate a report of nuisance cats.
Penelope Jordan told police her mother had died in 2003.
The indictment alleged Jordan concealed her mother's death in order to receive both her U.S. Social Security benefits and her military survivor's benefit.
Jordan collected $61,415 from Social Security and $176,461 from the military pension during the six years, prosecutors said.
She could face up to 15 years in prison.
Local media reported that the 61-year-old woman told police her mother died of old age and she kept the remains because she couldn't afford burial expenses. An autopsy found no signs of foul play.
According to a local paper, police found many cats on Jordan's property but she denied they were hers.
(Reporting by Jim Loney, editing by Jane Sutton and Sandra Maler)
According to interview records released Tuesday, Penelope Sharon Jordan had maintained the ruse over the deception of the fate of Timmie Jordan since 2003.
BY Lamaur Stancil • SCRIPPS-TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS • March 24, 2009
SEBASTIAN — The woman who kept her mother’s remains in a bedroom of their home for six years told police she never reported the death because she couldn’t afford burial expenses, according to a report by Scripps-Treasure Coast newspapers.
According to interview records released Tuesday, Penelope Sharon Jordan had maintained the ruse over the deception of the fate of Timmie Jordan since 2003. The story she gave to a Sebastian officer Monday morning was that her mother, who was born in 1913, was living in Melbourne. However, officers said Penelope Jordan couldn’t provide an address for where her mother was staying.
The officers said they discovered the truth when she allowed them inside her Wimbrow Drive home. Timmie Jordan’s decaying body was found on a bed in a cluttered bedroom, the arrest affidavit said.
The 61-year-old day care teacher told police her mother died from old age in 2003, according to interview records. An autopsy performed Tuesday at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Fort Pierce showed no evidence of foul play, police spokesman Steve Marcinik said. Detectives will attribute Timmie Jordan’s death to natural causes, Marcinik said. The body has been sent to the University of Florida for another review, which may take several weeks.
Penelope Jordan admitted to continuing to collect her mother’s Social Security checks past her reported death, according to the police interview. Detectives charged her with grand theft and fraud. The government mailed $800 checks to the Jordan home monthly, totaling $60,000 since 2003, the arrest affidavit said.
Police said Timmie Jordan’s passing may have remained secret for so long because there were no immediate family members livingnearby.
“We’re aware of a sister of Penelope’s who lives in Africa,” Marcinik said. “I’m told she has been notified about what happened.”
Many of the residents in the 500 block of Wimbrow moved into their homes in the six years since Timmie Jordan’s reported death. Others, such as Theda Furtado, have lived in the neighborhood for decades and recalled the Jordans as a family that kept to themselves.
“We moved in 31 years ago, and they were always very standoffish,” Furtado said. “They had a tall chain link fence around their property for a while.”
Authorities were alerted to the Jordan home after a complaint about nuisance cats from the home Friday. Indian River County Animal Control manager Jason Ogilvie said his officers have been called to the neighborhood several times a year to trap cats there.
“(Penelope Jordan) always denied the cats were hers,” Ogilvie said. “But our officer saw eight of them on her front door step Friday.”
The front door to the home was open, but no one was home, which led the animal control officer to call police to check if there had been a burglary, Ogilvie said.
“The cats have been a problem ever since we’ve lived here,” Furtado said.
Jordan was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail Tuesday at the Indian River County Jail.
May 8, 2009
Stolen cell phones delivered to FBI offices in Monroe; Tennessee man arrested
A Tennessee man is being held on two counts of forgery after he had a load of cell phones shipped to the address of the FBI office in Monroe, police reported Friday.
FBI notified Monroe detectives Thursday after they received a call from a Minnesota cell phone distributor that they had shipped some phones to 300 Washington St., Monroe, and had been paid with counterfeit cashier’s checks. They knew they were counterfeit because cashier’s was spelled “cahier’s.”
Leaving your wallet somewhere can ruin your day.
A bank robber leaving his inside the bank he just robbed can ruin a whole bunch of days — like up to 20 years worth.
Especially if the wallet contains a couple of photo IDs.
But that’s what Albert Vincent Perkins, 39, of Kansas City did Thursday, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
He was, reportedly, a nervous sort.
The FBI said a man carrying a wallet in his hand entered the First Federal Bank at 4227 Blue Ridge Blvd. about 9 a.m. Thursday. He placed the wallet on the counter and told the teller to be quiet and give him all the $100 bills.
The teller put $3,129 into a plastic bag the man gave her.
The robber, who acted “agitated and nervous,” then left the bank, leaving behind the billfold. The teller and a customer both identified the robber as being the man in a driver’s license photo and another photo ID found in the wallet.
About 10 hours later, Kansas City police stopped a vehicle matching the description of the one used in the bank robbery.
Perkins was inside the car, presumably without his driver’s license.
By ADAM D. KRAUSS
Foster's Daily Democrat
DOVER — Arie Johnston, the Garrison School student with eyes for spotting money, was just what Parvin Jannati needed, her sister says.
Parvaneh Anderson filled in some of the details behind 10-year-old Arie's discovery Saturday when he was in Alton helping his grandmother with the town cleanup and spotted a fire-damaged bag containing $8,160.
What's more, she said Arie's good deed to return the money may undo a lifetime of tough luck for Jannati, 54, a native of Tehran, Iran, who has experienced "continuous bad luck throughout her life."
Things only got tougher last October when a fire at her 370 Main St. apartment dwelling in Alton left her with nothing.
"She was not in a good condition," Anderson said Thursday night. "She had a breakdown" and, with her belongings gone, she had to leave town because she "couldn't take it anymore."
She did have, however, the money and her passports in a backpack. That is, until the power of a fire hose got hold of it. At least that's the reason Anderson said she got from police when she asked how the bag could have ended up across the street, where it apparently spent the winter.
Wondering why someone was keeping that much cash in a bag?
Well the money came from an insurance claim after Anderson borrowed her sister's car a few months before the fire — just in time for a strong storm to blow through and send a tree crashing down on top of it.
The car was totaled, Anderson said, and "my insurance paid for it because it was my responsibility. Insurance gave her a check and she cashed it."
Jannati was planning to give some of the money to her sons — and she's not one for banks, Anderson said.
"She's from the old country," Anderson said.
Jannati's been in Nevada visiting their mother and brother, but she knows about the discovery. "She couldn't believe it," Anderson said. "If you knew her life this is something good that has happened to her."
There have been car accidents and surgeries, and it's gotten to the point that "anything she touches something bad happens — to the point we want to stay away from her," Anderson said, laughing.
Anderson said the family was grateful for Arie.
"I want to meet with him in person and reward him and give him a thank-you card with money," she said.
As for what Jannati plans to do with her money? "Pay the credit cards," her sister said.
Arie said he never thought of pocketing the money. He let his grandmother, Nancy Merrill, know what he found and the rest is history.
"I hope my kids do the same thing," Anderson said.
DAYTON, Ohio – Police found a man accused of shoplifting because he put his address on a job application before leaving the store. Police said a 49-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor theft charge after employees said he stole T-shirts and pants from a clothing store.
Police said the man stuffed the items under his shirt and the waistline of his pants before going to the checkout counter to fill out a job application. The items set off an alarm when he left the store.
Police said the man wrote his actual address on the job application, and police arrested him there while he was ironing a pair of jeans he was accused of stealing.
He remained in the Montgomery County jail Thursday on a $1,000 bond, awaiting a court date.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com
6 seriously injured in Prince George's gas explosionAssociated Press 2:52 PM EDT, May 7, 2009
FORESTVILLE - Authorities say six people have been seriously injured in a gas explosion at a Maryland strip mall.
Fire department spokesman Mark Brady says crews were called Thursday afternoon to a shopping center in Prince George's County for a report of a natural gas leak.
He says shortly after authorities evacuated the shops, an explosion occurred in one of the stores, causing significant damage to the mall. Five of the injured were firefighters.
Brady says a gas company employee was working on a gas line at the time of the blast. He says debris is scattered across the parking lot.
Link: Explosion caught on tape
A West Baltimore teen says police picked him up and dropped him off in a park two counties away, barefoot.
Howard County police say they got a call from a gas station in the 8300 block of Baltimore National Pike, where officers met a teenage boy who said he was stranded. A Howard County officer took the boy home.
City police have suspended two detectives. Nine-year veteran Milton G. Smith III and six-year veteran Tyrone S. Francis, who are assigned to the department's elite Violent Crimes Impact Division, have been assigned to administrative duties.
The State's Attorney's Office will decide if criminal charges will be filed after City police are finished with their investigation.
Officers Accused of Leaving Teen in State
Video Link to teenager
May 7, 2009
The last thing one expects to see running down the aisles of Wal-Mart in Abbeville while shopping is a nutria. But according to a lawsuit filed this week, a nutria called “Norman” is what Rebecca White saw in an aisle.
Randal and Rebecca White of Abbeville hired Anthony Fontana to represent them in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Rebecca was in the grocery aisle shopping on Oct. 11, 2008. Her basket was full of food when suddenly and without warning, a large nutria came from behind the Coke rack and ran straight towards Rebecca, the lawsuit said.
Rebecca, fearing for her safety, pulled the shopping cart towards her to protect her from the nutria andas she did, the cart rolled over her left foot causing her to stumble and causing her to suffer an injury.
Wal-Mart’s employees came to assist her and told Rebecca that, “she had an encounter with Norman” a name the employees had given the nutria, the lawsuit stated.
Rebecca was transported to Abbeville General by Acadian Ambulance for treatment.
The lawsuit state that Wal-Mart and its employees are negligent. The lawsuit said Wal-Mart did not:
• Warn her of the nutria prior to her entering the store.
• Did not take steps to protect her from the nutria.
• Did not warn her that she is shopping at her own risk because there is a wild animal loose in the store.
• Did not attempt to capture the nutria.
As a result of the above, White suffered:
• Pain, suffering and mental anguish.
•Fear of being bitten by a wild animal causing a panic attack.
• Painful disabling injury to her back and foot.
• Interference with her daily activities.
An elderly Florida woman is facing theft charges after she found a wallet and mailed it back to its owner, minus the cash.
What's in your wallet?
A Publix grocery store security video caught the woman, who was not named, pushing her cart over a wallet that had fallen to the floor to hide it until the victim left the area, according to TC Palm.
On Monday, the 76-year-old Jensen Beach woman returned to the store and was recognized by a manager who contacted police.
When police questioned the woman, she said she mailed the wallet back to the owner but kept the $115 that was inside because she found it and was entitled to it.
Posted: 3:20 pm EDT May 6, 2009Updated: 4:59 pm EDT May 6, 2009
Salem police Lt. Dave Okada said the 41-year-old man was jailed Tuesday on charges of criminal mistreatment. He said the father acknowledged putting the electronic dog collar on his four children and shocking all of them at least once.
According to Okada, the father didn't do it as a punishment. Rather, he thought it was funny.
The children, all younger than 10, are in the custody of their mother.
The case has been referred to state Department of Human Services.
By TERRI SANGINITI • The News Journal • May 6, 2009
Two New Castle teenagers were arrested Sunday, accused of repeatedly stealing an SUV in the middle of the night, taking it on joyrides and returning it to the owners' home.
Andrew Harrison (left) and Daniel Rojas, both 18, are charged
with felony theft and other offenses
The owners of the 2003 Acura MDX became suspicious when they noticed the smell of tobacco and gasoline and that the gas gauge seemed to fluctuate.
The owners also set a trap inside the vehicle that led to the pair's arrest after a month-long investigation, according to police records.
Andrew Harrison, 18, of the 900 block of Young St., and Daniel Rojas, 18, of the 900 block of Gray St., each was charged with felony theft and four other offenses.
Rojas, the reported driver, also was charged with leaving the scene of a collision and another traffic violation, said New Castle City police Lt. Adam Brams.
It started several months ago when the teens were rattling car doors to find an unlocked vehicle and came upon the unlocked MDX parked on West Third Street, police said.
There also was a spare set of keys inside, Brams said.
Since then, the pair repeatedly took the SUV on joyrides and returned it to its original parking space -- while keeping the spare keys, police said.
In September, they returned the SUV with an estimated $1,750 in damage.
The owners reported the damaged to police. On Dec. 13, they also found a broken passenger side mirror, valued at about $400.
Meanwhile, the owners were growing suspicious about odd odors in the SUV.
At one point, they returned it to a dealer thinking there was a gas leak, only to be told that someone spilled gasoline on the seat and rear carpet.
The victim's husband then decided to "take a motion sensor from the home alarm system and place it in the SUV," police said.
Just after midnight March 31 -- 30 minutes after he installed it -- the alarm activated and the owners reported that the vehicle had been stolen from their Old New Castle home.
Responding Officer Tina Shughart spotted the SUV and tried to stop it in the 1200 block of Delaware St.
The driver and passenger pulled over, bailed out and ran.
Brams said the officer got a good description of the pair and thought she recognized them, which led to their arrest Sunday.
Both suspects were committed to Young Correctional Institution after failing to post $3,000 bail each.
MAY 5--Two California men were indicted today on federal charges that they illegally smuggled
MAY 5--Two California men were indicted today on federal charges that they illegally smuggled Asian songbirds into the country, most recently last month when one of the defendants, returning from a trip to Vietnam, was found with 14 live birds strapped to his legs. As seen in the below evidence photo, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at Los Angeles International Airport discovered the birds under the pants of Sony Dong. According to a Department of Justice press release, CBP agents inspected Dong and "found bird feathers and droppings on his socks, as well as birds' tail feathers visible under his pants." A subsequent search "discovered 14 live birds attached to two flat pieces of cloth that were wrapped around his calves. The birds included three red-whiskered bul-buls (which is listed as an injurious species under federal law), four magpie robins and six shama thrush." The birds each appear to have been placed in sleeves that were hooked on to the cloth around Dong's legs. A second man, Duc Le, 34, was later arrested in connection with the bird smuggling. According to a criminal complaint, Dong told investigators that he purchased birds for $50 each and re-sold them for $300-$400 apiece. into the country, most recently last month when one of the defendants, returning from a trip to Vietnam, was found with 14 live birds strapped to his legs. As seen in the below evidence photo, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at Los Angeles International Airport discovered the birds under the pants of Sony Dong. According to a Department of Justice press release, CBP agents inspected Dong and "found bird feathers and droppings on his socks, as well as birds' tail feathers visible under his pants." A subsequent search "discovered 14 live birds attached to two flat pieces of cloth that were wrapped around his calves. The birds included three red-whiskered bul-buls (which is listed as an injurious species under federal law), four magpie robins and six shama thrush." The birds each appear to have been placed in sleeves that were hooked on to the cloth around Dong's legs. A second man, Duc Le, 34, was later arrested in connection with the bird smuggling. According to a criminal complaint, Dong told investigators that he purchased birds for $50 each and re-sold them for $300-$400 apiece.
Link to Press Release
Lady Luck: W.Va. woman wins 5 lottery cash prizes since September, including $100,000
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Brenda Bailey is on a roll.
Since September, the 59-year-old South Charleston woman has won five West Virginia Lottery cash prizes, totaling $167,600.
All of Bailey's winnings came from the Lottery's instant games. Her latest win is her biggest -- the $100,000 top prize in the Price is Right game.
Bailey claimed that prize Tuesday. Her other winnings from various instant games include $50,000 in April, $1,000 in March, $6,000 in January and $10,000 in September.
Lottery Director John Musgrave says none of his staff can recall a similar streak of luck.
May 3, 2009
#15. The Colossal Squid
On average, the Colossal squid is only about 3 feet longer than the Giant, but it’s much heavier, and it has light-emitting organs that marine biologists suspect may act as a cloaking device. That’s like a Klingon Bird of Prey that doubles as a Calamari buffet.
via National Geographic
#14. The Leafy Sea Dragon
The Leafy Sea Dragon is a type of seahorse that has evolved leaf-like fins that act as camouflage to give the fish the appearance of a clump of floating seaweed. If I had a salt-water aquarium, it would be filled with these things.
#13. The Frilled Shark
The Frilled Shark is one of only 5 species within the order Hexanchiformes; the order of the most primitive types of sharks, most closely resembling fossil specimens from the Jurassic period. The Frilled Shark was thought to be extinct long ago, until the remains of one washed ashore in Japan in the19th Century. Most recently a living specimen was caught in shallow water on January 21, 2007.
via National Geographic
#12. The Ocean Sunfish
As a kid I spent countless summer days catching all sorts of sunnies, bluegill, and other panfish at the lake. But since a fish’s size is directly proportional to it’s container, and its ecological niche within that container, these fish have their gigantic ocean counterparts as well. Weighing 2,200 lbs, the Ocean Sunfish or Mola Mola is the heaviest bony-fish in the world.
Axolotl, or the Mexican neotenic mole salamander is quite unique. While other amphibians are born with gills as larvae and breathe air as adults, Axolotl retains its larval attributes, including its gills through maturity. Also, it looks like a Mudkip.
via The Science Channel
#10. The Angler Fish
Deep Sea Anglerfish has an odd blue bioluminescent “lure” on it’s forehead. But their mating habit is even more strange. The tiny parasitic male bites into the side of the larger female, and attaches like a lamprey. The skin around the male’s mouth eventually fuses to the female, blood vessels join between both creatures, the male’s eyes, stomach, and other unnecessary organs atrophy, and he becomes essentially a sexual organ for the now hermaphroditic female.
The Hatchetfish is named for its thin, silvery, hatchet-like appearance, but is on this list for the fact that its eyes are permanently fixed overhead in what looks like an adaptation to the ever-present horror of predators lurking overhead.
#8. Deep Sea Tunicates
Deep Sea Tunicates are one of many strange prehistoric marine animals being discovered as the Antarctic ice is disrupted. These meter-long worms are thought to be some of the first lifeforms to colonize the Antarctic ocean floor.
via National Geographic
Another species recently discovered in the Antarctic is the Trilobitoide. These creatures closely resemble the extinct Trilobites that died out during the mass extinction at the end of the Permean age 250 million years ago.
via Wikipedia via WeirdSeaMonsters
#6. The Giant Isopod
Another example of gigantism, the Giant Isopod is nearly identical to the tiny pillbugs that you’re likely to find crawling underneath that soggy burlap sack in your garden, except that it’s found in the ocean and is bigger than your cat.
via Oddee via Buzzfeed
The Blobfish, nicknamed the Ziggy fish, lives so deep in the ocean that rather than expending energy on swimming in the immense pressure, its body is made of a gelatinous mass slightly less dense than water, allowing it to simply float slightly above the floor. The fish eats whatever food happens to be in front of it at the moment, proving that a creature with an utter lack of ambition still has a niche somewhere.
via Wikipedia via Greenpeace
#4. Dumbo Octopus
The Dumbo Octopus has fins on the sides of it’s head that resemble the ears of Disney’s Dumbo the Elephant. And yes, it can use them to get around.
#3. Piglet Squid
This cute little guy swims upside-down, making its tentacles appear to be growing out its head, and making its head look like a chubby, limbless body.
#2. Barreleye Fish
You know how most fish can’t move their eyes very far? The Barreleye Fish can move it’s eyes around inside its head in any direction it wants. Since the fish’s head is transparent, it can look straight through it’s own head.
#1. The Psychedelic Frogfish
Native to the waters of Indonesia, the Psychedelci Frogfish has forward-facing eyes, a face with fleshy cheeks and chin that can flatten or elongate, pectoral fins adapted for walking along the sea floor, and a jet-propulsion system for swimming forward. It’s a fish, a frog, a zebra, and jet in one. Frogfish pwns platypus any day.
via MentalFloss via Wikipedia
May 4, 2009
ALLIANCE - Over the last three years female students at Mount Union College in Alliance have been reporting robberies. These were not your usual robberies.
"The thief has been stealing women's underwear, diaries, photos and lotions," says Alliance police Sgt. D.W. Bair.
On Wednesday they think they found their man, and when they raided the home of 25-year-old Thomas Williams, they couldn't believe their eyes.
"It was unlike anything I have ever seen," Bair said.
They seized over 250 pairs of women's underwear, dozens of stolen photos, diaries, lotions and film.
"According to a retired FBI profiler, this was his fetish, his fantasy," Bair said.
There is no evidence that he assaulted any of these women, believed to total 20 victims in all. But, police were alarmed at what they found in a travel bag.
"We found a rope, duct tape and handcuffs. And nearby, we found a stolen handgun. These items have a specific purpose - we don't know exactly what that purpose is, but you can draw your own conclusion," Bair said.
The victims were all female students at Mount Union, and all of them lived in off campus housing.
On campus, many female students didn't even know about the break-ins or the arrest.
"The talk of campus is swine flu, not this. In fact, this is the first time I've even heard about it," says Mount Union student Alissa Fetsko.
Williams was charged with receiving stolen goods, and bailed himself out of jail Thursday morning.
Police ask anyone who thinks they were a victim, or know someone who has been to call Alliance Police.
Link to video
The Baltimore Sun
May 5, 2009
An off-duty correctional officer shot and wounded a 15-year-old who was part of a group of juveniles that tried to rob him with a toy gun, city police said. Shortly after midnight Monday, the correctional officer, who works at the Central Booking and Intake Center, was waiting for a food order at Wo Hing carryout in the 1600 block of W. North Ave. when three juveniles tried to rob him, according to Anthony Guglielmi, a Baltimore police spokesman. The officer pulled out a weapon and fired two shots, striking one of them; the other two juveniles fled, Guglielmi said. The wounded boy was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in critical condition but stable, Guglielmi said. The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which oversees Central Booking, said in a statement that officials did not believe the officer's weapon had been issued by the state agency, but a review was under way. Both DPSCS and the Baltimore Police Department declined to release the officer's name.
Gus G. Sentementes
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:10 PM on 03rd May 2009
A paramedic was facing disciplinary action today after he walked into a supermarket crowded with shoppers wearing just a thong.
The ambulanceman had been on duty when he strode defiantly into the Tesco store wearing just the underwear and a pair of socks after staff refused to serve him while he was wearing his ambulance uniform.
Police were called in and interviewed the medic about his actions which were said to have left shop staff and customers embarrassed and stunned.
Supermarket showdown:The Tesco store in Addlestone, Surrey, where a paramedic stripped down to his thong and socks after being refused alcohol because he was wearing his uniform
The man, aged in his 40's, had walked into the large Tesco shop at Addlestone, Surrey wearing his full all-in-one green coloured ambulance uniform.
He selected a bottle of wine but become annoyed when the check-out assistant told him it was the store's policy not to sell alcohol to people wearing uniform.
The paramedic then stormed out of the shop, walked to his vehicle in the car park and took off his uniform.
However, he didn't stop there - and stripped right down to the thong and pair of socks he was wearing. Then he walked back into the shop and asked the same cashier:
'Now, I'm not wearing my uniform any more. Will you serve me now?' The assistant refused and the manager was called, along with the police.
Refused: Tesco would not serve the man while wearing his full ambulance uniform (posed by models)
Rachael Monkton, who had been in the Tesco store shopping when the incident took place, said: 'He was shopping with a woman when the girl at the check-out said she couldn't let him buy alcohol.
'He got a bit agitated and the manager was called over but she took the side of her employee.
'So the paramedic stormed out, leaving the woman at the tills and when he came back he was just in his underwear.
'People were staring at him and laughing - I couldn't believe my eyes. Normally people would pay to see a man in uniform strip but we got a free show,' added Rachael.
A spokesman for Tesco confirmed that it was company policy not to serve members of the emergency services if they were wearing uniform and stood by the cashier's actions.
'It is absolutely right that the cashier did not serve him when he was in uniform but what happened afterwards was unprecedented,' he said.
'We realise that the customer may not have understood why he was refused alcohol but it was simply a member of our staff following company policy and the actions which followed were wholly unnecessary,' the spokesman added.
The paramedic, who is employed by the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust, Surrey division, was understood to have been spoken to by his managers and to be facing the possibility of suspension and disciplinary action.
It was the second time in as many months that a customer at the Addlestone branch of Tesco has stripped in the store in protest at actions of the staff.
In February, 68-year-old Norman Matthews took off his clothes after being wrongly accused of stealing a scratch card from the customer service desk.
HELENA, Mont., May. 1, 2009
(AP) A Montana man who replied to a jury summons with an expletive-filled affidavit has apologized to the court on a judge's orders. The Smoking Gun Web site on Thursday posted the affidavit submitted by Erik Slye of Belgrade to the Gallatin County District court in January.
The document shows Slye asked to be excused from jury duty because he didn't want to lose income. It calls court workers "morons" and says that the service was "a complete waste of time."
The automobile painter was ordered by a judge to apologize to court clerks at a hearing last week.
His wife Jennifer says her husband couldn't be reached for comment Friday. She says she was the one who wrote it.
Sydney's curious case of the cereal intruder
Caught on cerealcam ... the brekkie bandit.
A mystery intruder has been plundering cereal and sleeping on the couches for weeks at one of Sydney's marketing agencies.
Staff at the The Marketing Store were perplexed and slightly amused when, almost daily, they would arrive at their Ultimo office to find a trail left by their unwanted nocturnal visitor.
"My office was the starting point for it,'' said the agency's Asia Pacific president Doug Chapman.
"I'd come in and I'd notice somebody had been sleeping on the lounge or doing something in my office.
"All the cushions would be on the floor and it would be all messed up. I kind of wondered whether it was someone bonking on the lounge.''
Even more peculiar, was the absence of large amounts of cereal - about six bowls a night - from the stocks in the office kitchen, and evidence that the showers had been used.
Fingers were initially pointed around the office.
"I put the word out through the office but nothing eventuated,'' he said.
"About four weeks ago I came in and it was in a particularly bad state - there were some tablets lying around, and some tobacco or weed on the floor.''
After reporting the matter to the building landlord and checking security passes, the company ruled out an employee, concluding the intruder had to be entering the building overnight.
But office security cameras never managed to point in the right spot to detect anyone, Mr Chapman said.
While the company hires creative people to promote clients' brands, it was a moment of genius from the woman who runs the kitchen that snared the unwanted visitor.
She came up with the idea of hiding a camera in a cereal box.
"She knew we were either huge eaters or someone was stealing cereal,'' Mr Chapman said.
"She got a cereal box and hid a small camera inside and put it on a benchtop in the kitchen.''
The camera was linked to a computer and activated by motion sensors, snapping clear photos of the intruder on his next visit and emailing them to staff, Mr Chapman said.
They showed the man slipping into the office via an overhead ventilation panel (the office is on the building's fifth and top floor) and then leaving via the fire escape.
On his next visit, the intruder was greeted by a security guard. The company called police, warned the man, but decided against pressing charges.
"We didn't want to press charges but we did warn him - told him it's a bit off-putting for the girls, and those who have to work late night.
"We took it very seriously ... although it was a little funny getting the daily updates.
"But we knew he wasn't stealing anything ... he could've easily taken computers, he didn't take any drinks.
"He was a particularly neat guy. He'd come in at 4am, have breakfast - and it was a hearty breakfast, six bowls - clean up after himself, shower and then leave.
"He'd made his home here.''
The company doesn't know what the man's motives were - he wasn't interrogated - but it didn't appear that he was a typical vagrant.
"He was fairly young, in his mid 30s, and very clean cut for someone that was supposedly homeless.''
The company's office in Ultimo is situated close to a number of university and TAFE campuses, and also near a lot of students accommodation.
May 3, 2009 5:25 p.m. EST
On Friday, 3,000 passengers came down the gangway of the cruise ship Carnival Splendor. But they didn't set foot on Mexican soil, which was where they were supposed to be. Rather, fears of catching the swine flu had forced the ship to change course and head back across the border to San Francisco.
Cruise lines around the United States are yanking their advertised stops to Mexican ports, penciling alternative ports of call as precautions against a disease for which 787 cases have now been reported around the globe. Of those cases, 506 have been reported in Mexico.
On April 29, Carnival announced that it had cancelled all stops in Mexican ports until Monday. The company was searching for alternative stops and was offering the option of rescheduling cruises for a future date.
On Saturday, Royal Caribbean cruise line said it had suspended trips departing from South Florida to Cozumel by four of its ships and would instead spend additional time in Key West, the Bahamas, or Jamaica and add another day at sea. Cruises leaving from Los Angeles have a "fully revised itinerary," according to a company statement, which includes stops along the West Coast and Canada.
The revised itinerary includes a notice to passengers that "the weather on the revised itinerary is considerably colder. Guests should remember to pack clothing that is appropriate for this new itinerary."
While these changes may be disappointing to cruise travelers, they can be a boon to local merchants not accustomed to the heavier tourist traffic. In San Francisco, each cruise ship accounts for about $1 million spent at shops and businesses, notes television station KGO. And the number of cruise ships scheduled to stop there has doubled, from nine to 18.
May 3, 2009 3:36 p.m. EST
Miami, FL (AHN) - Key West is seeing a silver lining in the swine flu scare.
The Southernmost City is reaping about $400,000 in extra disembarkation fees from cruise ships that were destined for ports of call in Mexico, but changed destinations because of the H1N1 virus.
"There is an increase in ships being rerouted to Key West," said Alyson Crean, a spokeswoman for the city. "We're receiving about 19 extra calls this month."
The amount of money the city charges ships to dock in Key West varies depending upon the size of the vessel, but Crean said an average of about $20,000 goes into the city's coffers from each ship. City business will also likely see a bump in income in May from all the passengers that disembark from the extra ships.
Carnival Cruise Lines, which has ships that stop off in Key West, has modified all trips that began April 30 through May 11 that include stops in Mexico, Joyce Oliva, a spokeswoman with the company said.
"Guests who do not wish to sail on a modified itinerary may opt to receive a refund in the form of a future cruise credit equal to the full amount paid for the voyage," Carnival said in a statement.
The credit is good for any trip departing through 2010, Oliva said.
Five Carnival ships destined for Mexico will stop off in Key West instead of the original port of call, Cozumel.
More ships could be on their way if the situation stays dire for Mexico, where the virus has claimed the lives of at least 19 people. Oliva said that for passengers on ships scheduled to leave after May 11, an update will be provided soon.
But being a tourist destination also carries with it risks when dealing with an infectious illness like the swine flu. Any one of the thousands of tourists who visit the Keys, could be introducing the virus to the popuuulaaatiooon. There have been no confirmed cases of H1N1 in the Keys, but local county and school district officials are on guard.
"It is our belief that prevention will be the best defense against this illness," Sunny Booker, the Monroe County School District's safe schools coordinator said in a statement.
The district announced a list of procedures it is taking to try to prevent the virus from impacting students and teachers. Chief among the efforts is to encourage hand washing.
Each teacher will receive a supply of hand soap for their classrooms. Elementary and middle school students will be encouraged t0o build in hand-washing breaks throughout the school day.
Posters will be hung throughout the schools reminding students and staff the importance of good hygiene. Custodians are being instructed to "vigorously wipe down all door handles and desks and other surfaces each night with specialized cleansers."
The school district is also telling its students that if they feel sick, they should stay home. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of typical flu viruses, but the district does not want to take chances.
By Gary Taylor | Sentinel Staff Writer 3:45 PM EDT, May 1, 2009
Radio personality Shannon Burke makes his first appearance in Seminole circuit court, Friday, May 1, 2009, in Sanford. He was arrested Thursday and charged with shooting his wife and dog. Bail was set at $10,000. Burke works for Orlando station 104.1 FM. (Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel)
Link to 911 tape and full story
The Herald SunA BURGLAR has been rescued by police and fire crews after becoming stuck on the roof of a Sydney factory.March 3, 2009
Police were called to a three-storey factory in Leichhardt, in Sydney's inner-west, about 1.50am (AEST) last night to find the 53-year-old on the roof.
Officers believe the man was trying to break into the factory but wet weather and the steep colourbond roof caused him to get stuck.
Numerous attempts were made to rescue the man, eventually requiring a fire truck with a large ladder and a Polair helicopter to illuminate the rooftop. The man was finally retrieved at 4.50am.
He allegedly had numerous items on him, including a helmet with a light, bolt cutters, tin snips, a small ladder, backpack, tarpaulin, ropes and harnesses.
The man was arrested and taken to Newtown police station where he is being questioned.
The call was a prank.
Taking the 1 p.m. 9-1-1 emergency call as a high-priority when it was received by dispatchers, the Glenn County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol and Fish and Game units sped to the Ideal Mobile Home Park in Hamilton City with lights and sirens. An ambulance was on standby.
When deputies arrived, they found a door was open. They were able to get inside, but no one was home.
Sheriff's Sgt. Travis Goodwin said investigators learned who the boy was and that he was supposed to be at school. Deputies located the boy at the SPARK after-school program at Hamilton Elementary School.
The boy eventually confessed to making the whole thing up, Goodwin said.
Sheriff Larry Jones said the boy had apparently gotten a new cell phone from his parents that hadn't been activated and concocted the prank. Emergency 9-1-1 calls can still go through, even if a phone isn't activated yet, he said.
Detectives did ask the child why he made up such a story.
"He didn't really say why," Goodwin said.
The boy was cited for making a false police report and misuse of the 9-1-1 system, both misdemeanors. Authorities opted not to take him to the juvenile hall, Goodwin said.
Both the father and mother of the child were located and found to be OK. The cell phone was taken by investigators as evidence.
Link to Everything you wanted to know about Swine Flu:
Last Updated: 3:27PM BST 02 May 2009
The 22-year-old student at the University of Central Lancashire spray painted a battered Skoda Fabia to match the car park and entrance to her art studio.
Her work, created as part of her drawing and image making course at the university, creates the illusion that the car is see through.
She was given the car from a breakers yard and worked for three weeks to ensure that it blended perfectly with its surroundings.
"I was experimenting with the whole concept of illusion but needed something a bit more physical to make a real impact." said Miss Watson, who is from Ashton under Lyne.
"People have been stopping in the street to look and coming up and almost bumping into it, so it's had the desired effect."
The car is reminiscent of the work by pavement artist Julian Beever, whose attempts to trick people's minds into seeing perspective on the flat surfaces of paving stones.
Steve Jackson, owner of Recycling Lives, the firm that gave Miss Watson the car, said: "When I first saw the photos I was convinced it was something which had been done on the computer, but when you look more closely you see the effort and attention to detail she has put into it. It is just amazing.
MEXICO CITY – Mexico reported no new deaths from swine flu overnight — more reason to be optimistic that the worst is over at the epicenter of the outbreak. But the virus keeps spreading around the world, with new cases confirmed in Europe and Asia, and governments banning flights and preparing quarantines.
The World Health Organization said it has sent 2.4 million treatments of anti-flu drug Tamiflu to 72 developing countries, taking the drugs from a stockpile donated by Roche Holding AG.
"At this point it's important that all countries have access to antivirals," said Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO's global alert and response director.
The WHO has decided not to raise its alert to a full pandemic, since the virus has yet to cause sustained transmission outside North America. But Ryan warned against complacency.
"These viruses mutate, these viruses changes, these viruses can further reassort with other genetic material, with other viruses. So it would be imprudent at this point to take too much reassurance" from signs the virus is weaker than feared.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said it's too early to declare victory.
"We have seen times where things appear to be getting better and then get worse again," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. agency's interim science and public health deputy director. "I think in Mexico we may be holding our breath for sometime
China worked aggressively to track down people who may have been near a sick Mexican tourist, sealing 305 people inside a Hong Kong hotel where he stayed and hospitalizing 15 fellow passengers. The man developed a fever after arriving in the Chinese territory and was isolated in stable condition Saturday.
South Korea reported Asia's second confirmed case — a woman just back from Mexico — and other governments also prepared to quarantine passengers, eager to show how they have learned from the deadly SARS epidemic in 2003, when Hong Kong was criticized for imposing quarantines too slowly.
The U.S. is taking "all necessary precautions" now to be prepared if the swine flu develops into "something worse" President Barack Obama said Saturday.
"This is a new strain of the flu virus, and because we haven't developed an immunity to it, it has more potential to cause us harm," Obama said. "Unlike the various strains of animal flu that have emerged in the past, it's a flu that is spreading from human to human. This creates the potential for a pandemic, which is why we are acting quickly and aggressively."
The global caseload was 717 and growing — the vast majority in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Swine flu cases also were confirmed in 13 other countries — in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific — and experts believe the actual spread is much wider than the numbers suggest.
Mexico has taken extraordinary measures to combat the epidemic, ordering all nonessential government and private businesses to shut down for five days, at a tremendous cost to its economy. In the wide valley where traffic and crowds can be stifling even on a Saturday, Mexico City streets were strangely quiet, its usually crowded markets shuttered and even parks locked down.
"I'm going crazy in my house with this confinement," retiree Rocio Lara said in Mexico City. "There is nowhere to go, nowhere to spend your time."
Mexico City's mayor Marcelo Ebrard said they had expected exponential growth in the number of persons complaining of swine flu symptoms, and that the outbreak seems to be slowing instead.
It should soon become clear whether the epidemic is really stabilizing in Mexico, but many questions remain about how the disease kills, said the leader of an international team of flu-fighters now operating in the capital.
"That is the big question: Is it stabilizing or not? And it is too early to say, but I think we are getting systems in place where we are going to be able to get a handle on this soon," said Dr. Steve Waterman of the CDC.
Waterman also warned against taking false comfort from the fact that only one person has died outside Mexico, saying more deaths are likely as the epidemic evolves.
The U.S. government said schools with confirmed cases should close for at least 14 days because children can be contagious for seven to 10 days from when they get sick. More than 430 U.S. schools had closed, affecting about 245,000 children in 18 states.
With the disease on its doorstep, mainland China suspended all direct flights from Mexico, and sealed off the Metropark Hotel, where the 25-year-old Mexican stayed before he became Asia's first confirmed case late Friday. Health workers in white bodysuits patrolled the lobby, and mask-wearing police enforced a seven-day quarantine. One guest, Olivier Dolige of Paris, said they were taking Tamiflu as a precaution — and trying to make the best of it.
Speaking with The Associated Press using his computer's video-conferencing program, Dolige said he will turn 43 on Tuesday in quarantine. "I think about having my birthday with water and bad cake," he wrote. "No champagne."
Scientists trying to determine the mortality rate said this virus does not appear to match the ferocity of past killers.
"Most people think it is unlikely this is going to be as virulent as the 1918 epidemic. From what we know so far, it doesn't seem like it is as virulent," Waterman said.
"The virus has been circulating for over a month in a city of 20 million of high population density. It could have been much worse," agreed CDC epidemiologist Marc-Alain Widdowson.
The two CDC doctors spoke during a tour of Mexico's Intelligence Unit for Health Emergencies, where teams of doctors and scientists monitor the outbreak in real time and plasma screens enable frequent video conference calls with leaders from the Atlanta-based CDC, the World Health Organization and other institutions.
Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova cited other indications that the disease is not very contagious: Mexican investigators who visited 280 relatives of victims found only 4 had contracted the disease, and that the number of people hospitalized with suspected cases is declining. But he stressed that it's too early for the government to declare the epidemic is subsiding.
Getting fast and effective care is important, said Hugo Lopez-Gatell Ramirez, deputy director general of epidemiology at the center. Among the 16 confirmed swine flu deaths in Mexico, the average time victims waited before going to a doctor was seven days. For those who were sickened but recovered, the average wait was three days.
Lopez-Gatell said that even before the swine flu outbreak, Mexican authorities had been monitoring a higher-than-usual number of flu cases and an unusual phenomenon in which otherwise healthy young adults were falling ill with pneumonia in greater numbers. There had been 15 flu outbreaks in this year's flu season, as opposed to the 5 or 6 that Mexico normally sees.
He said that put Mexico on guard and led to a fast reaction when unexplained illnesses began in March. Despite some international criticism of the Mexican response, Lopez-Gatell said no mistakes were made.
"We would have done everything the same if we had it to do over again," he said.
May 1, 2009 5:25 pm US/Eastern
NEW YORK (CBS)
Two suspected pot dealers were arrested after police said the pair tailgated an unmarked police car.
Jonathan Gonzalez, 23, of Leominster, and Felicia Deneen, 19, of Framingham, were arrested Wednesday at 10:10 p.m. after police stopped them on River Street, Lt. Paul Shastany said.
Two officers riding in an unmarked car on Union Avenue noticed a car tailgating them. They pulled into a driveway to let the car pass, and then stopped the car on River Street, Shastany said.
The officers asked the driver, Deneen, for her license and registration, when they made a discovery.
"She opened up the glove box, and in plain view were several individually wrapped baggies of marijuana," Shastany said. "There were five individual baggies that were packed for sale, in the officers' opinions."
The officers ordered Deneen and her passenger, Gonzalez, out of the car.
When Gonzalez got out, he reached into his pocket, removed something and dropped it on the ground. The officers said it was cocaine, Shastany aid.
"Gonzalez said, 'The weed is mine, but I didn't drop the coke,"' Shastany said. "They (the officers) said they saw him drop it, but he still denied it."
Deneen told officers the marijuana and the cocaine were both hers, police said.
Police also found a single hydrocodone pill, which is a prescription pain reliever, while searching the car.
Deneen, of 18 Arbetter Drive, and Gonzalez, of 394 Merriam Ave., were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine.
Deneen was also charged with possession of hydrocodone and cited for following too closely.
Gonzalez has an open assault and battery case in Middlesex Superior Court stemming from a carjacking incident last September in Framingham. He was indicted on charges related to that case three weeks ago.
Both Gonzalez and Deneen pleaded not guilty at their Framingham District Court arraignments yesterday.
Gonzalez was ordered held on $1,000 bail, while Deneen was released without bail. Both are due back in court on June 26 for a pretrial conference.
Police in Oregon are looking for more patients of a man they say practiced medicine without a license, including minor surgery and procedures on a living room couch.
Scott Hanson, 22, of Crooked River Ranch, was arrested Tuesday and charged with six counts of identity theft, second-degree assault, forgery, tampering with drug records and multiple counts of theft after one of his patients, a friend, realized he was not a doctor, as he had told her and his other patients.
He was also charged with six counts of recklessly endangering another person, third-degree sexual abuse, sexual harassment and various charges relating to possession of a controlled substance.
Redmond Police Capt. Brian McNaughton told ABCNews.com that police know of three patients but "absolutely" believe there are more.
"Who knows how sterile any of the instruments were," he said, noting that these people were at risk of infections, or worse. "If you were treated by this individual, seek professional advice as soon as possible."
"He was doing anything from treating people for infections to injury to minor surgery," he said.
An exam and prescription medication, which was dispensed on the spot, McNaughton said, would cost "patients" around $50. The surgical procedure -- there was only one police are aware of -- involved "maybe cutting off some skin and stitching things up," McNaughton said.
The charges of sexual abuse and harassment stemmed from one of his exams, McNaughton said, declining to further detail what led police to those charges.
But Hanson's mother, Renee Hanson, told ABCNews.com that police and the media have blown this up into something it's not.
"This is absolutely horrible, what the news has done," she said. "I'm so embarrassed. He's not performing multiple surgeries."
Renee Hanson said her son had planned to become a doctor, but that she didn't have the money to send him to medical school. Those plans, she said, are obviously over now.
McNaughton said Hanson told his patients -- both male and female -- that he was a resident physician at Mountain View Hospital in Madras, about 25 miles away from Redmond.
"One of the victims knew him for years, hadn't seen him for years," McNaughton said. "Came back and said, 'I went to medical school and became a doctor.'"
But Mountain View Hospital spokeswoman Christine Smith told ABCNews.com that the hospital didn't even know who Hanson was until the media started calling for comment.
"The only thing I know is he's never been employed by the hospital nor has he been part of our medical staff," she said.
Renee Hanson's public records list her as being a registered nurse at Mountain View, but Smith said she could not comment on whether Renee Hanson has ever been on staff there.
McNaughton said police understand that Renee Hanson works at an area hospital, but have received conflicting reports about which one.
She, however, denied to ABCNews.com having anything to do with her son's alleged crimes. "I'm having to leave town because of it," she said.
McNaughton said Hanson told police the medications he gave to patients included morphine. Police are now investigating where he got the drugs and what they actually are. "Some of the stuff we seized had the labels changed," he said.
A search warrant of Hanson's house, where he was arrested, also turned up various medical supplies and other evidence.
Hanson is now being held at the Deschutes County Jail on $50,000 bail.
QUARTZ HILL, Calif. (AP)
Don't mess with a marching band girl, especially one armed with a baton.
A 17-year-old high school marching band student beat up two assailants who tried to mug her as she walked to school in this high desert community about 40 miles north of Los Angeles, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.
The girl punched one of the men in the nose, kicked the other in the groin and beat both with her large baton before she ran away on Friday morning, officials said.
"The moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust.
He said two men approached the girl from behind, grabbed her coat and demanded money. Deputies searched near Quartz Hill High School for the muggers, looking for a man who was holding his bloodied nose and the other limping.
No arrests have been made, but Rust said it appears the girl made her point to her assailants.
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