Truesee's Daily Wonder

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Man nabbed 3 times in week for skipping on tab

Man nabbed for eating, then skipping the tab

by Allen Powell II, The Times-Picayune

Tuesday June 30, 2009, 4:00 PM

An Arizona man with a taste for alcohol and no money to pay for it has been arrested three times in the past week for running up tabs at Jefferson Parish restaurants and then refusing to pay his bill.

Michael Bryant


Michael Bryant, 36, of Tucson, was booked with defrauding an innkeeper after he ate at restaurants and then laughed at business owners when they asked him to pay his bill.

Bryant is being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna in lieu of $1,000 bond. But he has been released twice due to prison overcrowding.

The first incident occurred June 22 at Melancon's Annex in Metairie, according to an incident report from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. Bryant ordered a beer while he looked over the menu. He ordered a lunch plate and another beer, then two more beers while he ate his meal.

The report said that Bryant eventually began to fall asleep at the table. When the owner asked him to pay his $23 check and leave, Bryant allegedly laughed and told the owner he didn't have any money because he was homeless. When the owner threatened to call the police, Bryant again laughed and refused to pay.

Bryant is accused of pulling the stunt again at Pitre's Restaurant in Westwego on Thursday, and at Sun Ray Grill near Gretna on Monday, according to reports. At Sun Ray, he ordered four margaritas with his cheeseburger for a total of $30.99 and then tried to sneak out of the business. The report said that Bryant was chased down and detained until police arrived.

Col. John Fortunato said that Bryant has been released because overcrowding at the jail requires the Sheriff's Office to release many non-violent offenders. The jail must maintain a certain number of beds for violent offenders, such as those arrested on armed robbery charges, and officials there rate each offender based on their alleged crime. Bryant is accused of relatively minor offenses under the system.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Woman arrested cocaine found in 3-year-old son's system

West Bank woman arrested after cocaine found in her 3-year-old son's system

Allen Powell II

The Times-Picayune

Heather Bubrig

A West Bank woman has been booked with child desertion and improperly supervising her 3-year-old son after authorities said the boy ingested cocaine when she went on a weekend drug binge.

Heather Bubrig, 28, of 2732 Ridgefield Road was booked Monday with child desertion, improper supervision of a minor and illegal use of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor. Bubrig remains at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in lieu of $9,500 bond.

Bubrig and her son went to the Siesta Motel at 5353 West Bank Expressway in Marrero on Friday, where she bought crack cocaine and spent several days smoking it, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office arrest report. The child somehow ingested some of the drug.

Deputies came to the room because Bubrig was wanted on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. They noticed her son "reeked of a foul odor" and was filthy, according to the report.

The child was taken to Oschner Medical Center-West Bank, where doctors discovered he had eczema and had not had his medication for several days. During the examination, doctors also found cocaine in the child's system after a urine test, according to the report.

The child's condition and whereabouts were not available late Wednesday.

Bubrig, who has a previous conviction for unauthorized use of a movable, was on probation at the time of her arrest.

The motel is known as a hot spot for narcotics activity and prostitution, according to the arrest report.

Motel owner Nanu Patel, who acknowledged that there have been problems at his business, said that he is working to clean it up. He said that he's owned the motel for a short time, and that it is very difficult to monitor what people do once they rent a room.


Wednesday June 17, 2009, 8:35 PM

Updated June 28, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Man had boss killed to save job?

Man had boss killed to save job?

Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:53am EDT
 MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police have arrested a man whom they suspect hired a contract killer to murder his boss in a desperate bid to avoid being laid off, newspaper El Pais reported on Tuesday. 


The head of audiovisual services at the Barcelona International Convention Center contracted a Colombian man who shot and killed the director of the convention center on Feb 9, according to police.


The director had planned to lay off the arrested man as part of a restructuring project, police said.

In fear of losing his job, the head of services, through his sister, contracted a team of six Colombians who planned and carried out the killing, El Pais reported.

Police have also detained the sister and six Colombians.

The shooting marks one of the most extreme actions by Spaniards who fear losing jobs, homes and businesses during a recession in which unemployment is rising faster than in any other developed country.

Other cases include an indebted Spanish builder who kidnapped his bank manager at gunpoint and the head of a construction firm who threatened to set himself on fire unless debts he was owed were paid.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Clothing chain only hires Jehovah's Witnesses


Polish clothes chain only hires Jehovah's Witnesses

?????: ?????? ??????? ?????? ??????????
 RIA Novosti Margarita Melikyan

WARSAW, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - A popular clothes chain in Poland has announced that it will hire only Jehovah's Witnesses, national media said on Monday.

The unusual work requirement was announced by the Occasion chain for its staff in shops in Lodz and Warsaw, the Gazeta Wyborcza has reported.

A spokesman told the newspaper that Jehovah's Witnesses made the best workers in their shops as they were conscientious and had no bad habits.

"We had an employee before who said he was member of the Jehovah's Witnesses during an interview. He did his job very well. He was nice and frank and customers liked him. No one left the shop empty-handed," the spokesman said.

The Jehovah's Witnesses group was founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1872. Its members believe that the end of the world is imminent and that only those faithful to their creed will be saved

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Flight canceled after pilot was drunk

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Flight canceled over copilot's indiscretion

The Japan Times
Staff writer

Japan Airlines Corp. was forced to cancel a flight from Hawaii to Narita airport last week because a copilot was detained by police for urinating in a public place, the airline said Monday.

The 53-year-old copilot was scheduled to work a flight leaving Honolulu at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday but did not show up at the airport in time, so the company had another copilot, who was scheduled to fly at 9:05 a.m. Thursday, replace him, JAL said. The company found out Wednesday night that Hawaii police had detained the copilot. He was not released until Thursday, and JAL had to cancel the Thursday flight, affecting 297 passengers.

The police refused to inform the airline why the copilot had been detained, saying they could only reveal the information to family members. The copilot underwent a brief trial, was fined $25 and released Thursday morning, JAL said.

The copilot told JAL he had drunk half a bottle of wine and two small bottles of beer at a restaurant near a hotel at around 5:30 p.m., followed by three small bottles of beer at a bar at the hotel at around 6:30 p.m., JAL said.

He then took a walk outside the hotel and urinated behind a tree at around 7:30 p.m., whereupon he was arrested.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Man tries to rob hotel with a butter knife

Motel clerk says robber threatened her with butter knife

Rapid City Journal

Journal staff 

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rapid City police say they have a suspect in custody after an attempted robbery about 6 p.m. Sunday at the Howard Johnson Express Inn, 950 North Street.

The front desk clerk told police a man pointed a butter knife at her and asked her for money. When she refused, the man left the hotel, walking west, police said

The clerk gave police a detailed description of the man. Police searched the area, and about 7 p.m., an officer noticed a man matching the description of the robber standing outside an apartment in the 900 block of Fillmore Street, just north of the hotel. Police recovered a knife they believe was used in the attempted robbery.

Police arrested Robert Lee McKinney, 34, of Rapid City. He has been charged with first-degree robbery and is in custody at Pennington County Jail.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Woman takes kneeling woman's cash in church


Posted: 3:36 pm
June 29, 2009

WESTBURY, N.Y. -- Nassau County police said a congregant at a Long Island church disregarded at least one of its commandments: Thou shalt not steal. Police said the 46-year-old woman reached over a pew and took cash from a purse while its owner knelt Sunday at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Westbury. Police said an usher saw the theft, and officers stopped the woman as she left the church.

Police said they determined the same woman stole cash from another worshipper's purse while that victim took communion May 10.

The woman has been released on an appearance ticket after being arrested on petit larceny charges. She faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

A telephone message left at the church wasn't immediately returned. The woman's phone rang unanswered.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Police issue permit for XXX block party


New York Post

Last updated: 10:40 am
June 29, 2009
Posted: 2:06 am
June 29, 2009

The NYPD issued a parade permit for a Chelsea block party that featured fetish freaks parading nude, fondling each other and whipping the bare buttocks of attendees -- all captured on video for the Internet.

The bawdy bacchanal June 21 on West 28 Street, between 10th and 11th avenues, drew several thousand who paid $10 each to attend, sources said.

Some of what took place was clearly XXX-rated.

Two YouTube videos show naked men parading down the street, some fondling each other's genitals.

One man -- nude except for a cap and shoes -- can be seen bound to a post and bent over as his bare butt is whipped.

Another shows a crowd around a man wearing leather chaps with his hands bound above him while his genitals are restrained.

Another tattooed man seems to turn a dial on a remote-control that causes him to groan.

Asked about their handling of what occurred, a NYPD spokesman replied, "We were aware of the event and did not get any complaints during the event

Monday, June 29, 2009


Mayoral candidate wants to grow medical marijuana industry

Mayoral write-in candidate wants to grow medical marijuana industry in Flint

Kristin Longley 

The Flint Journal

Ryan Garza | The Flint JournalMayoral write-in candidate Ronald Higgerson talks about his plans to make the city a manufacturing hub for medical marijuana if elected as mayor while standing outside of Flint Central High School. Higgerson envisioned the school as a marijuana growing site, part of what he sees as the larger Flint Cannabis Research Center.

FLINT, Michigan -- Ronald Higgerson has his own cure-all solution for Flint's ills -- marijuana.

But he doesn't want everyone smoking it -- just growing, harvesting and selling tons of it as part of a local medical marijuana industry.

If Flint voters elect him mayor in August, Higgerson plans to make the city a manufacturing hub for the drug, putting unemployed laborers to work. The political unknown is running as a write-in candidate for the Aug. 4 mayoral election.

His ideas are, well, a little out there. But he has high aspirations.

"We will base this off the (General Motors) model of production," his Web site says. "Give the city of Flint citizens one seed, and they will give you back 100,000 plants."

Not only would it create jobs, Higgerson says, the medical marijuana industry could also unite a city with a history of racial tension.

"It's not controlled by white or black," he said. "It's legal here and it's not going away, so let's get our heads out of the sand and get to work."

It doesn't mean he's all about getting high, Higgerson insists.

"I am not advocating kids to party," he said. "I don't want any kids to do any drugs before they're 18."

Though his ideas sound wacky, Higgerson is stone cold sober about his plans to transform Flint from "Vehicle City" to "Cannabis City," in which millions of marijuana users across the United States could get their supply from Flint.

Believe it or not, medical cannabis could be the key to Flint's revitalization, he said.

"This will be very serious work," he says on his Web site. "After work, the last thing you will want to look, smell, taste or touch is cannabis."

A maverick candidate if there ever was one, Higgerson, 46, has entered the mayor's race even though he realizes the odds are against him -- at least for now. Voters in Flint and across Michigan overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana use, but the drug is still illegal under federal law.

Standing outside the now-closed Flint Central High School last week, Higgerson envisioned the school as a marijuana growing site, part of what he sees as the larger Flint Cannabis Research Center.

Gesturing animatedly, Higgerson frequently gets off track and changes topics as he speaks.

But his message is clear.

"The people voted," he said. "Let's regulate it, tax it and educate."

Higgerson -- not to be confused with the Genesee County assistant prosecutor with the same name -- is a fourth-generation Flint resident and former truck driver turned struggling artist who paints and sculpts. His great-grandparents owned and operated the local Budapest Cafe in the late 1920s.

He attended Atherton schools and went to college, only to stop a couple credits short of getting a degree in art, he said. He said he was a marijuana activist back in the 1970s and '80s.

He lived in California and Nebraska for awhile before returning to Flint in 2007 and now lives on the city's east side. Higgerson admits he's not perfect, citing a past drunken driving conviction and a "not-so-good" personal credit rating.

But he said he's advocating for the cannabis research center for the benefit of all patients in need of medical marijuana. Higgerson himself said he uses the drug to help with lingering back pain from a car accident.

"I could get it for myself and help a couple other patients if I wanted," he said. "What I want to do is something for the entire city."

As for personal politics, Higgerson is a self-described "Flint liberal with radical-centrist tendencies," though he doesn't consider himself a politician and won't make campaign appearances.

Higgerson knows he has less than a slim chance of winning the mayoral election as a relatively unknown write-in candidate -- let alone a write-in candidate with some of the ideas he's suggesting.

He's up against candidates Dayne Walling and county Commissioner Brenda Clack, both of whom have campaigned hard and survived the primary to make it on the ballot.
Higgerson said he's not doing much campaigning.

"Even if I had a million dollars and a name, it's a slim chance," he said. "I know my ideas are controversial. But I always knew this is the issue I really would push."

The way Higgerson sees it, the brand-new medical marijuana industry is a way to create jobs in a city battered by manufacturing declines.

His campaign Web site outlines an elaborate effort to change federal law to allow for more "open and honest" production and research of the drug. Among his plans for Flint: construct a research center near the Flint River to partner with local universities and create "municipal grow rooms" in vacant buildings.

But even though news reports show the cannabis industry is growing in states such as California and Colorado, Higgerson faces an uphill battle.

While it's legal for those who have state-issued cards to possess the drug, there's nothing in the law that spells out how people get hold of it, said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

"They can't lawfully obtain a seed from a neighbor or a friend," he said. "Before anyone starts talking about producing or distributing it or studying it, the law needs to be fixed."

As for Higgerson's ideas, Leyton said he's not convinced of marijuana's effectiveness as a medicinal drug, but understands it helps some patients deal with terminal illness.

"I'm not convinced, but based upon the fact that 63 percent of Michigan residents voted 'yes,' we ought to have a law that doesn't talk out of both sides of its mouth," he said.

Sunday June 28, 2009, 12:00 PM

Monday, June 29, 2009


Michael Jackson's 20 Best Videos

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Mayor told by Town Council to Shut Up

Charlotte Observer
June 28, 2009 Last updated 9:25PM

Mayor barred from talking to employees

By Mario Roldan
NewsChannel 36
Posted: Friday, Jun. 12, 2009

In a bizarre move, Indian Trail's Town Council voted to prohibit Mayor John Quinn from talking to town employees. Quinn is not to enter work areas at Town Hall without first getting approval from the town manager.

"I'm not usually speechless but it is unusual," a stunned Quinn told NewsChannel 36. "I believe this campaign against me is an effort to discredit me."

Quinn says that when he inquired about having an office at Town Hall, he was wrongly accused of trying to use the public building to run his insurance business.

We're told staff just wanted to make sure he knew he couldn't.

"I was offended," Quinn said. "I was angry."

These days several people seem angry. Council passed a resolution by a 4-1 vote to limit the mayor's actions.

"I have done nothing that is illegal, unethical or immoral," said Quinn.

Councilmember Dan Schallenkamp accuses the mayor of harassing people when he doesn't get his way at Town Hall.

"If you disagree with him, you may be branded by him as a liar," Schallenkamp said. "I've personally experienced that."

Quinn calls himself a watchdog, trying to reform government waste.

"My positions have rubbed some people the wrong way," said Quinn.

"The understatement of year, yes," responded Schallenkamp.

Schallenkamp told us that Quinn's "constant vigilante witch-hunt in search of corruption" wears everybody out because they are nothing but "aberrations."

"Although he may be meaning well, his methods, his behavior and lack of professionalism are causing disruptions," Schallenkamp said.

Schallenkamp says that Quinn has resorted to recording council conversations with a voice recorder.

"He held it (the recorder) up to another council member's face, sort of trying to incite comments, perhaps angry comments," said Schallenkamp. "It's immature. In my opinion, if he can't convince even one other elected official that he has an issue or a cause that's worthy, then perhaps it's not a worthy cause."

Quinn claims he uses a recorder to protect himself.

"I had decided it would be a good idea for me to have that in case something was said or to clarify because I've been accused of doing things," Quinn said.

June 28, 2009 Last updated 9:25PM

Sunday, June 28, 2009


'Roadshow' antique appraised at $1,700,000

Jade set valued at a million dollars

'Roadshow' films Raleigh visit

The News Observer
Staff Writer

Published: Sun, Jun. 28, 2009 02:00AM

Modified Sun, Jun. 28, 2009

The popular PBS series, which travels around the country helping folks assess the value of collectibles and family heirlooms, set a record in Raleigh for the highest number of ticket requests in the show's history.

More than 34,000 tickets were requested for the Raleigh tapings, besting the previous record-holder, San Jose, Calif., which drew 29,000 requests. Of the 34,000 tickets requested in Raleigh, approximately 6,000 were distributed.

But the big news at the Raleigh tapings held an even more impressive figure.

An unidentified woman from Eastern North Carolina arrived early Saturday morning with jade pieces from China's Chien Lung reign (1736-1795), and appraisers gave the items what they called a conservative estimated value of up to $1.07 million.

Show officials say the set is the highest-valued item in a collection ever appraised on "Antiques Roadshow."

The pieces belonged to the woman's father, who was a military liaison in China in the 1930s and 1940s, show officials said.

According to Asian art appraiser James Callahan, who examined the pieces, the dealer who sold them to the owner's father was a connoisseur who steered him toward quality items.

"The dealer selected very fine pieces," he said. "I've never seen anything like it."

Callahan says the value of the pieces depends on the market for them in China and that the Chinese government often wants to get such pieces back.

Callahan said the woman had some idea that her pieces were valuable, but she had no clue they were that valuable. Roadshow workers said her reaction when she learned the value was at first stunned silence, followed by, "<snip>!"

The four jade pieces included a small bowl, a vase with a ruby in it, a larger bowl and a figurine of an unidentified animal. The pieces contained markings indicating that they were made for the Emperor of China.

Not-so-spooky spear

While others at the show weren't likely to hit that kind of jackpot, most were thrilled to get any information on their heirlooms.

For the Baker family from Alamance County, just learning that the human hair hanging from their grandfather's ceremonial tribal spear was not an entire human scalp seemed reward enough.

The Bakers brought many unusual items with them Saturday, but the menacing spears stood out in the large crowd at Raleigh's Convention Center. Robert Baker said the items were collected in the 1930s by his grandfather, Leonard Baker, a well-known Maryland collector.

Mary Baker said the "scalp" terrified her children when they were small.

"They didn't tell us at the time, but they said they had nightmares," she said. When the grown Baker children, who were with their parents Saturday, learned it was not a scalp, they exclaimed, "Well I wish we'd known that then!"

Of the thousands of people who attended the show Saturday, only a fraction will appear on TV, Roadshow staffers said. They estimate perhaps 50 people will make the cut.

Marsha Bemko, executive producer of "Antiques Roadshow," said there are a lot of things to factor in, but there's a good chance the jade items will make it in a show.

Why such a turnout?

Bemko also said she believes this taping generated so much interest because "North Carolina is filled with older things and because a lot happened here. There are a lot of armories and potteries here."

But Baker also said the poor economy means people have a greater need to sell valuable items.

She does note, however, that most items appraised on "Antiques Roadshow" do not get sold, because sentiment often trumps profit.

"People do get excited around the $50,000 mark," she said. "However, people are more likely to sell it if it's a yard sale find. But if an item has sentimental value, even if it's in the six-figures, they often won't sell."

The episode taped this weekend is scheduled to air in the upcoming season of "Antiques Roadshow," which begins in January.






 These Chinese pieces were valued at $1.07 million. - COURTESY OF

These Chinese pieces were valued at $1.07 million. - COURTESY OF 'ANTIQUES ROADSHOW'

 Mary and Robert Baker of Alamance County with a tribal spear sporting human hair, not, as they had thought, a scalp. - STAFF PHOTO BY BROOKE CAIN

Mary and Robert Baker of Alamance County with a tribal spear sporting human hair, not, as they had thought, a scalp. - STAFF PHOTO BY BROOKE CAIN


 The crowd snakes through the Raleigh Convention Center during the

The crowd snakes through the Raleigh Convention Center during the 'Antiques Roadshow' taping. More than 34,000 tickets were requested -- a record. About 6,000 were granted. - STAFF PHOTOS BY BROOKE CAIN

Sunday, June 28, 2009


On way to holdup call police see suspect at second robbery

On way to holdup call, officer sees suspects at second robbery scene


Star Telegram

June 25, 2009

KELLER -- Police thwarted a robbery spree Wednesday night after an officer stopped a car that authorities believe was used in two holdups within minutes of each other.

Officer John Martin spotted the car in the parking lot of a convenience store on his way to the first holdup call.

After two men were arrested, police discovered an undisclosed amount of cash under a car seat, according to police reports.

"He (Martin) had a description of the suspect’s car and happened to see it as a man ran to it and jumped into the passenger side," Keller police Lt. Brenda Slovak said Thursday. "It turned out the man was running from a second holdup."

The robbery spree began shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday at Tetco, 104. S. Main St.

A man posing as a customer grabbed some cash after he acted like he was going to buy some items, Slovak said.

Within seconds, the man fled and the clerk called police.

Just minutes later as police responded to the Tetco holdup, authorities said the same man entered Bear Creek Mini-Mart in the 100 block of Bear Creek Parkway, posed as a customer and grabbed some cash after acting like he was going to buy some items.

The man ran out of the store and jumped into a silver Saturn, according to police reports.

That’s when Martin saw the car and stopped it before it left the parking lot of Bear Creek Mini-Mart.

Authorities believe a 23-year-old Fort Worth man was driving the car and a 26-year-old Fort Worth man had been the man walking into the stores.

Police did not release the names of the suspects because they had not been arraigned.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Man broke into home, stayed for a week

Burglar made himself at home, cops say - While a family from this Hamilton County community was away on vacation, 19-year-old Nicholas Truesdell broke in and "used the residence as his own" including driving the family car, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department.

By Carrie Whitaker 

Cincinnati Enquirer 

June 27, 2009



According to his arrest report, Truesdell forced open a rear window of a four-bedroom home on Kingscove Way on June 16 and stayed for a week while the family was on vacation.

He also took the family's 2007 Nissan Altima from the garage and drove it around for more than 48 hours, slept in the master bedroom, watched television and used the computer at the house, according to the affidavit filed in municipal court.

Truesdell is charged with burglary, a second-degree felony, and unauthorized use of a vehicle, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Truesdell lives about two miles away on Friartuck Lane, according to his arrest report.

He was arrested at the sheriff's D-5 substation on Beechmont Avenue at noon on Friday. It's unclear if he turned himself in, or was at the police station for another reason.

He was arraigned on Saturday, but it is unclear when he will reappear in court.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


15 Most Bizarre Wills Ever Written

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Former mayor arrested for public indecency

Naked ex-mayor arrested at campsite

Gainesville’s Musselwhite denies causing earlier trouble

Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, June 26, 2009

A former mayor found sitting naked and holding a beer at a Rabun County campsite told police he wasn’t the same naked man seen walking around earlier.

Mark Musselwhite, 43, said he was hot and had been in the creek, according to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources incident report. He apparently didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.



Mark Musselwhite was elected to the Gainesville City Council in 2000, serving for six years, including as mayor of the town.

Musselwhite, of Gainesville, was arrested last weekend after being confronted by state DNR authorities. He was charged with public indecency.

“He told me he was the ex-mayor of the city Gainesville and he was a very political person,” DNR Ranger Brandon Walls wrote in the report.

Walls and a deputy sheriff went to the campsite Saturday evening after a complaint of a man walking naked in Earls Ford Road, according to the report. Musselwhite appeared to be intoxicated, and several alcoholic beverages were at the campsite, Walls said.

Walls said he had spoken to Musselwhite earlier in the day regarding an ATV the former mayor was driving.

“He looked at us and said hello,” according to the report.

Musselwhite then asked why he was being visited.

“I said the complainant had specifically said his campsite, and the fact that he was still nude made me think it was him,” Walls wrote.

Musselwhite denied that he was the nude man identified in the complaint.

An unidentified female was also at the campsite.

Musselwhite, a Republican, was elected to the City Council in 2000. He served on the council for six years, including as mayor of the town. In 2006, he lost a bid for a state Senate seat.

Musselwhite previously served as deacon of First Baptist Church in Gainesville.

He could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


House catches fire twice in 2 days

Lake Success home catches fire twice in 2 days


News Day

11:46 PM EDT, June 25, 2009

Nassau fire marshal Michael Mennello was on the phone Wednesday night, explaining to a homeowner why her Lake Success house had caught fire the night before, when he heard a call over the radio: The house was on fire again.

"I said, 'You better just meet me at the house,' " Mennello said Thursday.

Both fires at the $1 million, unoccupied two-story home were deemed accidental and appeared to be related to construction work, Mennello said. No one was hurt in either fire.

The first fire, on Tuesday night, started when polyurethane fumes from a freshly coated wood floor were ignited by an air-conditioning system, Mennello said.

The second fire, on Wednesday night, was caused when of plastic bags filled with sawdust spontaneously combusted, he said.

The home was sold earlier this year for $1.145 million to a Great Neck man. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The Tuesday fire caused extensive damage to the attic and roof, Mennello said. Manhasset-Lakeville firefighters needed an hour to put out the fire, Mennello said.

Fumes on the first floor were sucked into the central air-conditioning, then ignited in an air handler in the attic, he said.

The Wednesday night fire caused less damage and was doused in about 20 minutes, he said.

That fire was caused by a buildup of heat in the bags caused by decomposing wood shavings, moisture from water used to put out the Tuesday fire and high heat, Mennello said.

"The temperature in the home was elevated" because of the first fire, he said.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Man deposits drugs in bank drop

 TPD: Man deposits drugs in bank drop


Matt Gilmour 


June 26, 2009

A teller at the drive-through of the South Monroe Street Wachovia Bank received an unusual deposit Wednesday: $200 and a small plastic bag containing marijuana and cocaine.

Cameron B. Jefferson, 38, was arrested on charges of possession of cocaine and possession of cannabis (less than 20 grams), Tallahassee Police spokesman David McCranie said.

According to the arrest report, the teller notified a supervisor that a customer in a white SUV had sent her a deposit canister containing $200, a deposit slip and a bag of marijuana with another bag of white powder inside.

TPD was called about 4:30 p.m., and Officer Jamie Martinez stopped the only white SUV in the teller line. He detained the driver, Jefferson, who was identified by the teller as the customer who made the deposit, according to the report.

Jefferson told Martinez that he sent the canister with $200, according to the report. He became frustrated that the transaction was taking so long and asked several times for his money back.

Jefferson told Martinez, "If you said I did it, then I did it," according to the report. When asked if he accidentally grabbed the plastic bag when putting his money in the canister, Jefferson said "I put it ...," then refused to comment further.

Martinez searched Jefferson's vehicle and found the remnants of three marijuana cigarettes, according to the report.

McCranie said the incident was a reminder of how important it is for members of the community to report crimes.

"We know from experience that, as a general rule, drugs lead to violence," McCranie said. "By calling the police, this citizen may have prevented another crime from occurring in the future."

Jefferson was taken to the Leon County jail and released on $3,000 bail.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Casket had 100 pounds of pot

Jun 26, 2009 10:12 am US/Central

Dallas Cops Find 100 Pounds Of Pot In Casket

DALLAS (AP) - A casket minus a cadaver yielded nearly 100 pounds of marijuana after a traffic stop by Dallas police.

William Dale Crock of Cave City, Ark., was jailed Friday on $100,000 bail on a marijuana possesion charge, plus traffic and seat beat violations. Lew Sterrett Justice Center online records had no listing for an attorney for Crock.

Crock was arrested Wednesday when bundles of marijuana were discovered under the casket's cover and pillow.

Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse told The Associated Press that the van turned up during surveillance on a suspected drug house.

Police stopped the van in Mesquite, after noticing Crock not wearing a seat belt, plus he allegedly ran a red light and did an improper lane change.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to the casket in the van



Friday, June 26, 2009


Burglar turns himself in � kind of

Michigan Breaking &Entering suspect turns himself in — kind of

6/25/2009, 6:07 a.m. EDT

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- Police wish all their cases were this easy to solve. A breaking and entering suspect inadvertently turned himself into the police after committing his crime on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old man walked into the Department of Public Safety around 4 a.m. He was bleeding from cuts on his arms and hands and apparently was drunk. He told officers he had seen someone breaking into a building.

WWMT-TV, WOOD-TV and the Kalamazoo Gazette reported the man told police he wanted to stop the crime, so he climbed into the building and scuffled with the other person.

When officers investigated, it became clear to them the witness actually was the suspect.

The Kalamazoo police say in a statement it "cannot always count on suspects to report their own criminal activity."

Friday, June 26, 2009


Mother of 555 pound teenager charged with neglect

Posted: Thursday, 25 June 2009 9:01PM

Mother of 555 pound teenager charged with neglect
WBBM  News Radio 780

(CBS) A mother is being charged with neglecting her obese teenage son, raising issues about whether the government has the right to intervene in one's family life.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Alexander Draper grew up to reach a dangerous 555 pounds by the age of 14. That's when law enforcement stepped in.

"The first and foremost concern is Alexander's health," Lt. Shea Smith told CBS News.

Alexander's mother, Jerri Gray, was charged with unlawful neglect of a child for allowing him to become obese.

"There have been opportunities to get Alexander some treatment over the course of the last several months and unfortunately some of those things have not been taken advantage of," Smith said.

But Gray, released from jail Monday on $50,000 bond, says she does not have enough money to get her son the treatment he needs.

Alexander is in the custody of the Department of Social Services, who in a statement to CBS News said they only intervene when "health care professionals believe a child is at risk of harm."

"Obviously her son is certainly in need of some medical attention," Lt. Smith said.

Jerri Gray and her defense attorney, Kim and Grant Varner, appeared on The Early Show Thursday to discuss the situation.

Asked how his weight gain got so out of control, Gray said, "Well, a lot of times it had to do with lifestyle. A lot of times I had to work fulltime second shift or fulltime, third shift. And I wasn't home a lot."

Gray told guest host and "Britain's Got Talent" judge Amanda Holden she had been monitoring her son's diet, but that there were times she had to purchase fast food, when she'd have to sleep between shifts.

Asked if there are steps she could've taken earlier to have helped him not reach that level of weight, Gray said, "When I had a second shift hob, I would've rather been home, so that I could've spent more time focusing on preparing more low-fat type-meals."

While Alex is under state care right now, Gray believes her son needs to be with her. "Mentally he needs to be with me. We both need to be included together in whatever program that they have to offer so that we both can benefit from it. So as our lives go on together, then we will have learned how to control it and keep it under control."







                      STORY FOUND IN   NEWSWEEK



Jerri Althea Gray (left) with her son, Alexander Draper
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office-AP
Jerri Althea Gray (left) and her son, Alexander Draper (right)

What Makes a Parent Negligent?

After courts questioned the way they cared for their sick kids, two mothers in different states ran away with their children. Why 'neglect' is such a complicated concept, and why loving a child isn't always enough.

Kate Dailey
Newsweek Web Exclusive
May 23, 2009 
Updated: 1:05  a.m. ET May 23, 2009

The word "neglect" implies that someone has given up caring. But in cases of medical neglect by parents, it can be just the opposite. Recent, highly publicized cases of child medical neglect highlight this paradox. Take Daniel Hauser, the Minnesota boy currently on the run with his mother to avoid court-ordered medical treatment for his cancer. His parents care deeply about his health and well-being, but in a way that conflicts with the best-accepted medical practices for treating Hodgkin's lymphoma (They want to treat him with holistic therapies).

In some cases, parents don't have the ability or resources to give their children the help they need, but also can't bear to give them up, which may be the case with a South Carolina woman, Jerri Althea Gray. Gray and her son, Alexander Draper, fled the state on Thursday, May 21, allegedly to avoid a court hearing to determine if she was being medically negligent in caring for her son. If so, custody of the child would be turned over to the state Department of Social Services. Alexander, 14, weighs 555 pounds, and though authorities have cited his weight as a main concern, they also allude to more pressing medical problems that prompted social services to take action. (The South Carolina DSS issued a statement saying their involvement is always "limited to cases where health-care professionals believe a child is at risk of harm because a parent is neglecting to provide necessary medical care. DSS would not take action based on a child's weight alone.")

That day, both Gray and Draper were discovered at a laundromat in Maryland. Gray was arrested on a S.C. warrant for violating a child custody order and taken to a correctional facility in Baltimore. Her son was examined by paramedics and turned over to the Maryland Department of Social Services while arrangements were being made to get him back to his home state.

With the case of Daniel Hauser, the state was able to make a very clear argument for what they consider neglect: Daniel had cancer that was 90 percent curable with a certain treatment, and his parents were refusing that care. (Whether or not you think it's neglect is a different matter: a Newsvine poll posted on Thursday is split almost down the middle.)

We don't have nearly as much information about Alexander Draper's condition, except that the charges of neglect are in some way related to his extreme obesity. But his mother's arrest has raised questions. What constitutes medical neglect when cases aren't as clear-cut as Daniel Hauser's? It's neglect if a mother isn't giving her sick child proper medication. But what if she's missing doctor's appointments for a chronic condition? Not feeding a child is neglect, but what if a father only feeds his son donuts and soda? There's clear precedent for the state to step in if a parent isn't doing anything to stop cancer that could kill a child in six months. But what if a parent isn't doing anything to stop the onset of type 2 diabetes, a condition that could cause serious lifelong problems and eventual death?

As a matter of necessity, cases of neglect taken on by the DSS in most states are ones that are incredibly dire. "I don't think any social-service agency that's operating at all sensibly will try to look very far in the future if you're talking about things like diet," says Carl E. Schneider, a professor of internal medicine and law at the University of Michigan and a member of the president's commission on bioethics. "They're always under-funded, they always have all these acute cases to worry about, and in terms of allocation of those limited resources, you have to go where those acute problems are."

In fact, the social-service stories that often make the news are ones where agencies didn't intervene in time: where they failed to protect severely abused children. Sadly, the cases only attract public attention when the neglect results in death or serious harm.

But aside from structural problems within the social-service system, Schneider points out the extremely challenging position the state faces when the issue is medical neglect. "[The state] can tell you to take better care of your child, and if you just don't do it, then what? It's hard to sanction parents," he says. "Are you going to fine some parent who is probably poor to start off with? Are you going to put the mother in jail? That won't do the kid any good. After that, you have to start talking about taking the child away, and that is unlikely to be a good thing."

The effects of poverty can't be overlooked when evaluating cases of possible neglect. Doctor's appointments and medicine are expensive. The government provides social services to help parents who don't have the financial or emotional means to care for a child, but understanding, accessing and corralling those services—which can be spread out through different departments and branches of government—can prove challenging for even the most organized parent. And the parents who end up working with social services are often facing circumstances that make being organized nearly impossible. Many don't get paid sick leave, so taking a child to a Medicaid doctor across town can mean losing a day's pay or even a job if the absences are repeated. Often, says Schneider, "these are parents who are leading very, very difficult lives with all kinds of horrifying problems to deal with, and the child is only part of the difficulty of their lives. They have very few resources for helping themselves, much less helping the child."

In situations like these, the state has to make a choice between endangering a minor's physical health by doing nothing, or endangering his emotional health by taking away whatever stability the family provides. Even when parents love their children, the government often has to determine if that love is enough. It's never easy, it's always heartbreaking and—worst of all—the child loses out, one way or another.





Thursday, June 25, 2009


Couple weds and ends marriage same day

So the honeymoon is over?


Thu Jun 25, 1:31 pm ET

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Polish couple living in Germany fell out after tying the knot and decided to end their marriage on the same day.

"He said he never wanted to see her again and wanted an immediate annulment, and she said the same thing," a spokesman for police in the northern city of Hanover said Thursday.

Right after the civil ceremony Wednesday, the 50-year-old man began arguing with his bride and tried to cut her hair with a kitchen knife, police said.

The 34-year-old woman called police, who issued the man with a restraining order, which he readily accepted, police said.

Two attempts at a rapprochement later that evening by telephone ended in more shouted exchanges before the man went to spend his wedding night in a local shelter for homeless people.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Man tries to run down wife but crashes

Man charged with driving truck at spouse

Submitted By David Hench
Portland Press Herald
Staff Writer
on Thursday, Jun. 25 at 2:08 pm

Updated at 2:08 p.m.

A Biddeford man faces a charge pf reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly tried to run down his wife with a dump truck in Standish Wednesday.

Todd Thomas, 40, and his wife had been drinking at a friend's house on Smith Mill Road, the woman told Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies. They started to argue, and she left walking with her dog, she told the deputies.

Thomas allegedly drove at her in his 1988 Chevrolet 3500 dump truck, missed, went off the road and crashed into some trees, authorities said. He then ran, they said.

A Windham police dog started to track him, but police found him first at another house.

He is being held on $1,040 bail at Cumberland County Jail.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Mother charged with changing daughter's grades

Jun 25, 9:25 PM EDT

Pa. mother charged with changing daughter's grades

HUNTINGDON, Pa. (AP) -- A high school secretary illegally changed grades in a school computer system to improve her daughter's class standing, according to criminal charges filed Thursday.

Caroline Maria McNeal of Huntingdon is accused of using the passwords of three co-workers without their knowledge to tamper with dozens of grades and test scores between May 2006 and July 2007 at Huntingdon Area High School in central Pennsylvania, the state attorney general's office said.

McNeal, 39, is alleged to have improved her daughter Brittany's grades and reduced those of two classmates to enhance Brittany's standing in the 2008 graduating class.

School officials corrected the grades before the students graduated, prosecutors said.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said the case involves "a serious violation of the public trust."

"Our citizens depend on people in public positions, including school employees, to protect the safety and security of these records and not use confidential information for their own benefit," Corbett said.

McNeal was charged with 29 counts of unlawful use of a computer and 29 counts of tampering with public records. Each count is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine, said Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Corbett's office.

No telephone number was listed for Caroline McNeal. Brittany McNeal is not charged with any wrongdoing.

Jill Adams, the school district superintendent, said prosecutors have asked school officials not to comment publicly about the case.

"We would like to have it be finished, over and done," she said.

In all, McNeal is accused of altering nearly 200 scores and grades covering four school years.

The situation came to light in October 2007, when an employee of the high school guidance office discovered conflicting SAT scores for Brittany.

Scores provided directly by the College Board showed a cumulative score of 1370, while an unknown source had previously entered 1730, according to court papers.1

Further investigation revealed that the data had been entered from Caroline McNeal's computer starting more than a week before SAT scores for other students were entered.

Three other secretaries at the school told investigators they had shared their passwords with Caroline McNeal during vacations or other prolonged absences.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Church lets struggling members take what they need from collection plate

Posted by Doug Stanglin at 01:53 PM/ET, May 18, 2009

Last updated June 21, 2009

USA Today


A North Texas pastor still passes the collection plate at Cross Timbers Community Church, but now he tells struggling members of his congregation to take what they need, KDAF-TV reports.

Toby Slough, pastor of the non-denominational church in Argyle, Texas, says the church has given away half a million dollars in the past two months. Some has gone to single moms and widows in trouble, some to a local mission, some to people behind on their utility bills.

Slough says it all started early this year when he told his congregation to take money from the plate if they needed it, even though donations were down. That day, he tells the Dallas-Fort Worth TV stations, the church took in the largest offering ever.

Then, Slough says, he gave a ride to a jobless man who was down to his last bus pass. That's when he decided to turn the collection plate into a giving plate.

"In these economic times, we can't be so into church business that we forget what our business is, and that is to help people," Slough says.





Thursday, June 25, 2009


Store Gives Lost $19,000 Ring To Wrong Woman




New York Post

Last updated: 3:01 am
June 25, 2009
Posted: 2:29 am
June 25, 2009

This ring was some discount -- even for Target.

A Long Island store employee handed over a lost $19,000 diamond ring to the wrong woman after the customer falsely claimed it was hers, cops said yesterday.

The ring had slipped off the 42-year-old owner's finger as she was reaching into her purse at a Target store in Commack on May 6. She then left the store without realizing it was gone.

An employee soon spotted the jewel-encrusted ring and ran out to the parking lot to return it.

Unfortunately, he found a different woman with a similar hair style and black raincoat, and asked her if she had lost a ring made up of 12, half-carat princess-cuts placed around a platinum eternity band.

According to police sources, the woman at first said, "Oh, maybe."

Then the worker showed her the pricey jewelry and she said, "S--t, that's my ring!"

"Thank you very much, have a nice day," the sneaky bauble bandit said. She hasn't been seen since.

The victim -- a mom of three who asked that only her first name, Maryann, be used -- soon returned to the store after realizing the ring was gone and was stunned to find out it had been handed to another woman.

"She wasn't looking to go steal something, but they put it in her hand and I guess she thought it was hers," Maryann said. "She could be wearing it right now."

She also was upset at the worker, who handed the ring over without trying to get the woman to describe it, or otherwise prove she owned it.

Maryann said it had been a 10th-anniversary gift from her contractor-husband.

Police have been trying to track down the ring thief, but the woman paid cash for her purchases, leaving no paper trail.

Yesterday, they released a blurry security photo of the woman, and asked anyone with information to call (800) 220-TIPS. There is a $5,000 re ward.

"The ring meant a lot to me," she said. "My husband worked hard to buy me that ring. No mat ter what the circumstances, it's not hers. The insurance company paid me, but I don't want the money, I want the ring back."


SHOCK BAND: The finger that bore Maryann's $19,000 anniversary ring is bare yesterday after it slipped off her hand and...
SHOCK BAND: The finger that bore Maryann's
$19,000 anniversary ring is bare yesterday a
fter it slipped off her hand and...
SHOCK BAND: The finger that bore Maryann's $19,000 anniversary ring is bare yesterday after it slipped off her hand and...
a Target employee gave it to this customer (above).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Man Plays Porn Movie Over Stereo System to Keep Children Away

Cops Say Philadelphia Man Blared Porn to Keep Children Away

Man arrested for corruption of minors charge

Published: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updated June 23, 2009

Phoenixville News

PHOENIXVILLE — A Phoenixville man was arrested Saturday on corruption of minors charges after he allegedly played a pornographic movie over his stereo system in the direction of children playing near his residence.

Michael W. Buck, 27, of the 2000 block of Mallard Circle, Phoenixville, is charged with multiple counts of corruption of minors and disseminate explicit sexual material to a minor; and one count of disorderly conduct.

According to court documents, Cpl. Mike Barrett said he was dispatched to the 2000 block of Mallard Circle for a report of a male playing a pornographic movie over his stereo system around 7:31 p.m. May 31.

Upon arrival, Barrett said he was met by seven parents who were standing in front of Buck's residence.

"The parents stated that there has been an ongoing problem with (Buck)," said Barrett. "Buck, who has no children, has issues with the neighborhood children playing and riding their bikes in the cul-de-sac. On this day, there were eight children playing around (the area)."

Barrett said the ages of the children ranged from two-and-a-half to 14 years of age.

Parents informed police that around 7:10 p.m., they began to hear what was "a woman vocalizing her pleasure during sexual intercourse."

"This was being played over a stereo system," said Barrett. "The parents stated that Buck had positioned his stereo speakers so that they were pointed out the front window of his house towards the street. One parent stated that they were one-and-a-half blocks away and could hear the woman having sex.

"The pornographic movie/recording continued approximately 15 minutes until the parents took all of their children inside their homes. Once all of the children were taken inside, Buck turned off the recording."

During his investigation, Barrett said he approached Buck's residence, and knocked on the front door.

"I observed Buck sitting on his couch," he said. "When I knocked, he partially sat up, look over at me, and then sat back down. I continued to knock and ring the doorbell, but he refused to come to the door.

"I then went to the rear door of the residence where he was sitting. I knocked on the door and he came to the door. He was highly agitated but would not open the door. He asked what I wanted, and I said I was there about the pornography that was being played. He stated 'Do you hear it anymore?'"

Barrett said he asked Buck again to open the door to talk to him, but Buck refused and walked away.

"It was at that point that I left the residence and continued my follow-up with the parents and children," he said.

Buck was transported to West Chester Saturday, where he was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Chester Darlington.

He was released after posting $5,000 cash bail.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, June 18, at 9 a.m. in Phoenixville District Court.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


County's crime rate at 20 year low after family jailed

County's crime rate at 20 year low after family jailed

A county's crime rate has fallen to a 20-year low after a crimimal family was jailed, a chief constable has reported.


By Richard Savill
Published: 6:46PM BST 24 Jun 2009

County's crime rate at 20 year low after family jailed
Ricky Johnson who was jailed along with other members of his family Photo: INS

Telegraph UK --Five members of the Johnson gipsy family were each jailed for up to 11 years for a string of raids on stately homes, including Britain's biggest domestic burglary, which netted them up to 80 million pounds.

Another 10 members of the gang received sentences for raids on business premises in Thames Valley, the Midlands and Gloucestershire.

Since their arrest, Gloucestershire Police said the county's crime rates have fallen to a level last seen in the 1980s.

Figures show there were 44,136 recorded crimes in Gloucestershire in 2008/09 compared to 45,685 in 2007/08, representing a three per cent drop.

This followed a significant drop of about 16 per cent from the 2006/07 figures, when 52,388 crimes were recorded.

The Gloucestershire chief constable, Timothy Brain, said the jailing of the Johnsons had disrupted a major crime network in the county.

Of the Johnsons, he added: "What that operation showed is that no-one is untouchable."

The gang, who were sentenced last year, broke into stately homes wearing balaclavas, scoured rooms, and escaped in stolen cars while leaving little or no trace.

Their attacks included Ramsbury Manor, the 17th Century Wiltshire home of Harry Hyams, a reclusive property tycoon and art collector. Burglars seized items worth about pounds 30 million in February 2006, in Britain;s biggest private house burglary.

Other victims included the Formula One motor racing advertising tycoon Paddy McNally and the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire Sir Philip Wroughton.

Detectives believe the Johnson family plagued the south of England for 20 years. The family was based at a static caravan park in Evesham, Worcs, where they plotted the raids.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Man charged with DUI and bribing police

Published June 23, 2009 04:42 pm - A man under arrest for driving under the influence had an additional charge added after he attempted to bribe two Athens police officers to “go away,” according to Capt. Marty Bruce.

Man charged with bribing police: 'I will give you $100 to go away'

By Kelly Kazek
Athens News-Courier

A man under arrest for driving under the influence had an additional charge added after he attempted to bribe two Athens police officers to “go away,” according to Capt. Marty Bruce.

Hector Gonzalez Matos, 29, of 420 N. Clinton Street was charged Monday with DUI and bribery of a public servant after officers Josh Garlen and Cortny Barksdale responded to a call about a fight at 704 N. Marion Street, Bruce said.

Bribery of a public servant is a class C felony.

The officers discovered Matos and another individual had been involved in the fight. Bruce said the report does not say what the fight was about.

After resolving the dispute, Garlen and Barksdale advised Matos to walk home because he was too intoxicated to drive.

As the officers were getting ready to leave, Garlen noticed Matos in his vehicle backing onto the street and stopped him, Bruce said.

Before the officers arrested Matos for driving under the influence, Matos said, “I will give you $20 to go away.”

When officers refused the offer, Matos said: “OK, I will give you $100 to go away.”

Matos was transferred to the Limestone County Jail.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Groom who did not attend his wedding is sued for divorce

'I do' becomes 'I didn't' . . . marry her, that is

Henry Pierson Curtis 

Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer

June 23, 2009

KISSIMMEE - Marriage and divorce follow standard patterns across the United States, except for the case of Ditzel v. Bowser.

The bridegroom swears he never got married. The bride says he just didn't want to attend the ceremony.

So on May 24, 2008, the wedding of Matthew J. Ditzel to Heather M. Bowser went on without him.

A marriage license states they became husband and wife on the Kissimmee lakefront. Yet that didn't happen. One of the bride's co-workers, a notary public, illegally signed and stamped the document.

A year later, lawyers argue over the wreckage of love. The groom's request for an immediate annulment was denied by Circuit Judge Jeffrey M. Fleming.

At issue now is how the couple should part.

Details of this rare union comes from Osceola County Courthouse files. Just how rare it is remains unknown. Although about 150,000 marriages are conducted yearly in Florida, no one tracks how many involve bogus licenses or how often the state's 400,000 notary publics commit fraud.

Ditzel, 30, remains steadfast the marriage never happened.

Bowser, 31, counters that her husband agreed all along to a proxy marriage.

She says he wants an annulment merely to avoid divorce fees and sharing joint property from their 10-year love affair.

Those assets include a $1,500 "promise" ring and a $9,000 engagement ring.

The couple decided to get hitched last year in March. That's when they picked up their marriage license. To be valid, it had to be signed within 60 days and returned to the same courthouse where their lawyers do battle.

Far from amicable, the case has produced an order for protection and two arrests.

On July 3, Ditzel accused Bowser of domestic violence. A temporary protection order was granted but dismissed weeks later. Then, on Oct. 10, Ditzel called Osceola County Sheriff's Office to report he had been married without his knowledge, arrest records show.

The notary, Veronica Gonzalez, lost her job at Wyndham Resorts in Orlando and lost her state notary commission for falsely certifying that she married the pair. Reached at home last week, she declined to comment on all marital matters.

Gonzalez pleaded no contest April 30 to false acknowledgment by a notary public, a misdemeanor, and received a year's probation.

She was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution to the victim of her notarized fraud.

The victim's identity is sealed in court records.

Bowser lost her job as well at Wyndham Resorts, where she earned $36,500 a year as a title assistant.

She, too, was arrested and awaits trial on three fraud-related felony charges.

Ditzel's lawyer, Thomas E. Rhodes, says there's no reason to discuss divorce when a legal marriage never happened.

"Our premise is it never took place," Rhodes said. "It never met the statutory requirement. That's the bottom line."

Fleming might agree. But court notes of the most recent hearing indicate a trial most likely will be needed to resolve the case.

That's what the bride wants, a trial.

Nina DeFlora, Bowser's lawyer, did not return telephone messages.

Court notes show she already alerted the court, "They have witnesses to state that Mr. Ditzel made announcement that they were married, there is a celebratory dinner, announcements made about rings, and they consummated like bunnies."

The case continues.


The Divorce Cake

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Man advertises he's selling pot on Craigslist

By Robert Sears
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jun 24, 2009
06:17 AM

Drug dealers take note: Potheads aren’t the only ones who know what 420 means.

Quincy police arrested a man advertising his wares with the words “420 help is here” on the online classified site Craigslist. Drug detectives knew that in the cannabis culture, 420 means getting high on marijuana.

The Craigslist item said “Give me a ring if you need some help,” and listed a phone number, which a detective called Friday.

He told the man who answered, later identified as Christopher J. Gray, 30, of Marlboro, that he wanted to buy a quarter-ounce of marijuana. A meeting was set up for later that day in a parking lot on Southern Artery.

Gray was cautious when he met two detectives posing as customers, and asked if they were cops, police Capt. John Dougan said. Apparently satisfied when the officers said they were not, Gray allegedly said: “Well, I trust you. You look normal,” and sold them a small bag of marijuana for $45.

Gray pleaded innocent at his Quincy District Court arraignment Monday to marijuana distribution and marijuana possession charges. He was told to return to court July 8.

There have been other cases of Craigslist being used to sell drugs locally. Hanover police responding to two Craigslist ads for marijuana arrested four people in March 2006.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Woman puts bank robber in sleeper hold

Jun 23, 4:28 PM EDT


Retired police officer puts suspect in sleeper hold to stop bank heist at Calif. grocery store

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (AP) -- Cyndi Orel worked as a police officer for 25 years and never caught a bank robber. She was apparently saving that hobby for retirement. The retired Long Beach police officer foiled a bank robbery at a grocery store Saturday when she put a 220-pound bank robber in a chokehold until he passed out. Orel is about 5 feet 7 inches and 128 pounds

"I never caught a bank robber," Orel said Monday at press conference held by the Orange County sheriff's office. "This was pretty exciting just because of the nature. You don't have time to think about it. You just react."

Orel was at the Mission Viejo Albertsons store when a bank employee shouted that a man with a gun was trying to rob the branch. As another shopper scuffled with the robber, Orel put a sleeper hold on him, blocking blood to his brain and making him pass out twice. Later, they discovered the man did not have a gun.

Orel credited the man who helped subdue the robber, but sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said she was "being modest because if it wasn't for the control hold that she placed on him he would not have been rendered unconscious."

Orel said she learned the move at the police academy 28 years earlier, and only used it a few times during her years on patrol. She retired in 2006 but said she keeps active by running laps and lifting small weights.

Deputies arrested a 52-year-old man from Las Vegas, who they believe committed eight to 10 bank robberies, Amormino said.




                                 FOLLOW - UP STORY

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bouncer gives would-be robber the deep six

Laguna Niguel man took part, with ex-cop, in bringing down suspect.

The Orange County Register



Ronald Felix just wants to tell his part of the story in which it was civilians who foiled a would-be robber's plans.

How he approached the robbery suspect at the Mission Viejo Albertson's Saturday. How he grabbed the suspect's arm thinking he had a gun. And how retired police woman Cynthia Orel assisted him in eventually taking the suspect down.

"I just felt like nobody wanted me to be part of it," said Felix, 48, when he saw Orel being praised for her bravery throughout several news outlets Monday.

Authorities identified the robbery suspect as Tony Baik Fennell,  52, of Las Vegas, who is now believed to have been involved in at least eight bank robberies from Norco to Utah, at least two of them in Orange County.

Orel told her story at a news conference Monday of how she assisted Felix in taking down Fennell inside the Albertsons Saturday after she had him in a carotid restraint.

At Monday's news conference, Orel mentioned a man named "Ron" several times, saying it was a team effort. Lt. Mike Gavin, police chief for Mission Viejo, said Tuesday both Orel and Felix were instrumental in taking the suspect down.

On Tuesday, Felix - a night club bouncer from Laguna Niguel - told his side.

It was around 12:30 p.m. when Felix was cashing his check at the Bank of America inside the Albertson's. Felix remembers seeing Fennell on aisle 15 after he finished cashing his check.

"He was staring at me as soon as I walked out the bank," he said.

Once Felix was at the cash register about to pay for his nutrition bars, he heard the bank manager yell, "He just robbed a bank, stop him!"

Felix said he jumped in front of the suspect and told him he was not going anywhere. That's when he saw the suspect reach into his pocket. Thinking the man had a gun, Felix grabbed his left arm. Then he grabbed his other arm and pushed him toward a bench.

"Hey, pal, you're not going anywhere," Felix said he told the suspect.

Felix said he pinned him and Orel came up and put a chokehold on him.

Felix said that at 195 pounds he had a good hold of the suspect. He said he's appreciates Orel's assistance, and that he was never afraid.

As a bouncer for the White House in Laguna Beach, Felix said he is used to dealing with confrontations and drunken people.


"I'm appreciative that she helped me out," he said. ".I just want to get my story out there."


Ron Felix, 48, is a part-time bouncer

 in south Orange County who confronted

a robbery suspect.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Police find suspect's hiding place when his cell phone rings

Jun 23, 9:31 PM EDT

One cell leads to another: Ring tone leads Salem, Ore., police to hiding

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- When a suspect being chased by police rolled his car over police spike strips and his tires went flat, he dashed into a field of grass where he thought he could hide. The police called out a dog and handler to find the driver. And then they heard a cell phone ring.

The ring tone led them to a 48-year-old man. He was booked on multiple charges, including parole violation.

The arrest followed a 70-mph chase through Marion County Saturday night that ended in Woodburn. Officers said the driver almost hit one car.


Information from: Statesman Journal,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Man tried to sell bread as crack cocaine

Fort Pierce man suspected of trying to sell bread as crack cocaine

Will Greenlee

TC Palm
Originally published 10:16 a.m., June 22, 2009
Updated 12:48 p.m., June 22, 2009



FORT PIERCE — A 40-year-old man who is suspected of trying to sell bread as crack cocaine to pay bills is facing charges, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday.

A deputy about 12:50 a.m. Sunday saw a man identified as Timothy Allen Riggin, of the 600 block of Avenue E, peeking around the rear building of the Nowalk Motel.

Riggin ran from the deputy, but was apprehended near U.S. 1. Investigators turned up several pieces of faux crack cocaine in his pocket, according to the affidavit.

“When I located the counterfeit crack, the male immediately said it was bread,” the affidavit states. “I asked him what he meant and he said it is fake crack.”

Riggin, listed as unemployed, said he was trying to sell the bogus crack to pay bills, according to the report.

He faces a felony possession of counterfeit controlled substance with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a convenience store charge and a misdemeanor count of resisting without violence.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Politician cited for public drunkenness after being unconscious

Tim Frankenfield, Plainfield Township supervisors chairman, cited for drunkenness after falling at meeting

Douglas B. Brill

Monday June 22, 2009, 4:37 PM

The chairman of the Plainfield Township Board of was cited for public drunkenness after he fell unconscious following a meeting he arranged, police said.

Tim Frankenfield, who is also the township's fire marshal, fell Thursday night after an emergency management meeting at the township municipal building, police said.

Frankenfield, 42, was found on his back with a half-empty bottle of liquor next to him, police said. Police said Frankenfield had hit his head against the corner of a wall, which today was cracked.


A transcript of a 911 call shows Frankenfield was unconscious for five minutes, from 7:45 p.m. to 7:50 p.m., which was moments after the conclusion of a meeting Frankenfield called among two supervisors, two fire officials, the township emergency management coordinator and the patrolman who ultimately cited him.

Frankenfield was carried on a stretcher to an ambulance, where a breath test revealed his blood-alcohol level was 0.17, police said.

Frankenfield, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to a separate public drunkenness charge, faces a $119.50 fine.

Fire company officials acknowledged Frankenfield smelled like alcohol during the meeting, police said. But police said it wasn't clear when or where Frankenfield had been drinking.

There were no indications anyone else at the meeting was drinking, police said.

Frankenfield did not immediately respond to a call for comment

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Nail Technician charged with assualt tried to rip fake nails off customer

Nail spa altercation could end in assault charges
Tahlia Ganser 
Skagit Valley Herald
June 19, 2009 - 09:35 AM


Last Updated: June 19, 2009 - 09:36 AM

MOUNT VERNON — A 48-year-old nail technician could face an assault charge over a dispute with a teenager about a set of 1-inch long, pumpkin-orange fake fingernails.

The nail technician from Mukilteo denies she grabbed the 13-year-old Burlington girl. But the technician said they argued over the design of the girl’s nails and that the girl tried to leave without paying.

Both the teen and the technician left the scene unhappy — one without the specific design she wanted on her nails and the other without getting paid what she felt she was owed.

A Mount Vernon police officer was called to a nail spa on East College Way on Wednesday afternoon with a report that a nail technician had grabbed a girl and tried to remove her fake fingernails, according to police spokeswoman Jill Boudreau.

The technician said during an interview in her shop Thursday that the girl, her mother and grandmother came into the spa together. The girl picked out a set of nails with an intricate design that combined silver glitter, black scrolls and fake rhinestones.

The technician said she spent about 30 minutes gluing the nail set on the girl. Then she retrieved her supplies for the design. She soon realized she only had enough of the black scroll stickers for eight or nine nails.

She told the girl that she couldn’t do them all exactly the same, but she had similar designs, the technician said.

The Burlington teen became upset, and her mother joined in the argument, Boudreau said.

The girl and her mother didn’t want to pay, the technician said. She said she replied that without payment, the girl couldn’t keep the nails.

The teen told police the technician grabbed her hand and tried to pry the nails off.

The technician says the argument was strictly verbal.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” the technician said.

It’s basically a case of the technician’s word against the teen’s, Boudreau said.

One witness refused to cooperate with police.

The technician said she has worked in the manicure and pedicure business for 20 years and has never had an incident like Wednesday’s.

Police are referring the case to the city’s prosecutor for a possible misdemeanor assault charge.

The technician said the nails plus her labor were worth about $30. Once the police arrived, the girl and her mother agreed to pay $10.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Man mistakenly sends text message to cop to buy pot

June 20, 2009 11:08 am US/Eastern

Text Inadvertently Sent To NJ Cop Leads To Arrests



A man who allegedly wanted to buy some marijuana was arrested after he mistakenly sent a text message to a southern New Jersey police officer.

Salem Police Cpl. Christopher Pew was off-duty when he received the message on his personal cell phone this week.

Since he did not know the person who sent the text or whether it was a serious request, Pew agreed to meet the texter at a local shopping center, and the person described what vehicle he would be driving.

That eventually led to the arrests of two Pennsville residents, 22-year-old John Milligan and 20-year-old Kelly Reilly, who were charged with loitering to commit a controlled dangerous substance offense.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Angry woman calls911 then keys police car

Woman 'keys' Syracuse police vehicle when officers don't move it fast enough

Police say SPD cruiser 'keyed' by angry woman
Monday, June 22, 2009
Syracuse News
By Sue Weibezahl Porter
Staff writer

A Syracuse woman, annoyed with police officers for blocking her car, allegedly called 911 to report the "emergency," then keyed their patrol car because they didn't move it quickly enough, police reports said.

Daphne Diaz, 23, was charged Saturday afternoon with criminal mischief.

Officers initially were called to Parkside Commons at 2119 E. Fayette St. to investigate a harassment complaint. While they were interviewing people, the woman, later identified as Diaz, approached them and insisted they move their cruiser because she needed to get to work. Officers told her they would be a few more minutes.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Boy, 7, has library priviledges suspended over residency

Nazareth rescinds 7-year-old Tatamy boy's library priviledges over residency

Express-Times staff

Sunday June 21, 2009, 12:33 AM

Express-Times Photo | BILL ADAMSDominick Philip,7,
was recently told he can no longer use the Nazareth library because
he lives in Tatamy.

Dominick Philip's mother says her little boy was crushed by news that he can no longer visit the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.

"He was crying and saying he was never going to the library again," Melissa Philip recalls. "He just didn't understand what he did wrong."

The 7-year-old didn't do anything wrong. He just had some fun at the library on the day a Morning Call photographer turned up to snap photos.


Dominick led a parade of other kids around the library, a planned activity, and got his picture in the Allentown paper. The photographer included Dominick's hometown -- Tatamy -- in the caption; that's where the trouble started.

You see, Tatamy residents aren't part of the Nazareth library system. They're part of the Easton Area Public Library system.

A library employee checked Dominick's address after seeing his photo in the paper, then called and left a message on the family's answering machine with the news, Melissa Philip says.

"As a parent, it just makes you upset," she says, noting that it's outrageous someone took time to research her son. "It's a little over the top."




Tatamy boy can use Nazareth library card till end of 2009 -- UPDATE

 Bill Wichert

Monday June 22, 2009, 2:48 PM

Express-Times Photo | BILL ADAMS
Dominick Philip, 7, of Tatamy now can use
his Nazareth library card until the end of the
year. He is shown with his library card for Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.

A 7-year-old Tatamy boy who was told last week that his Nazareth library card was invalid now can use the card until the end of the year.

Lynn Snodgrass-Pilla, director of the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity, said today that Dominick Philip would be permitted to use the card through year's end.

"We're completely OK with what's going on here," Snodgrass-Pilla said in a telephone interview.

Snodgrass-Pilla hung up before providing additional information about the recent situation surrounding the boy's library card.

Melissa Philip, the boy's mother, mistakenly received a Nazareth library card for her son about a year ago -- an error that was revealed after Dominick's photo was published Thursday in The Morning Call of Allentown.

As a Tatamy resident, Dominick Philip is not permitted to receive a library card in Nazareth, but he can get a $5 annual subscription to the Easton Area Public Library. That subscription only permits the use of Easton Area facilities.

Believing that Melissa Philip lived within the Easton Area School District, a staff member at the Palmer branch of the Easton Area Public Library erroneously affixed a sticker to Dominick's Easton Area card that allows him to use the Nazareth library. The Access Pennsylvania sticker is not available to residents of Tatamy, which does not contribute funding to a library.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Thief told 'you need a weapon I have to fear for my life'

Thief told 'you need a weapon'


The Mercury


June 22, 2009 12:36pm

A MAN who demanded cash from a Bridgewater service station was told by the attendant: "You need a weapon".

The 27-year-old, who ended up stealing from the cash register, confronted the attendant at the United service station in Green Point Rd on March 3 last year.

John Maxwell Newall today pleaded guilty to a count of stealing in the Supreme Court in Hobart.

The father-of-two was at the end of a four day amphetamine binge when he walked into the service station and said "I want the money!," Crown Prosecutor Jane Williams told the court.

But the attendant was unmoved.

"You need a weapon," he said. "I have to fear for my life. You can't just have the money."

Newall took $400 from the register when the attendant opened it after serving a customer.

"Sorry, I have no choice, I have to do it," he said.

Newall took the money to a nearby McDonald's restaurant where he bought a hamburger before heading to the casino where he lost the remainder on poker machines.

He was arrested after police identified him from surveillance footage the following day.

Defence lawyer Isabelle Crompton said Newall has a difficult youth after the separation of his parents had had a long time problem with drugs and alcohol abuse.

"He's well aware that what he did is wrong and he's very sorry," she said.

"He has instructed me to convey his remorse to the court today."

Justice Alan Blow sentenced Newall to two months jail on top of the sentences he is currently serving for unrelated offences.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Jib-Jab: Superhero Obama

Jib-Jab: Superhero Obama - "He's Come to Save the Day!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009


No matter what your political persuasion, this is darned hilarious. The folks at Jib-Jab, who have lampooned just about anything you can think of, including last year's Presidential campaign, premiered its new Barack Obama Superhero video at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner last night.


Obama was there, of course, to participate in the merriment.

The video starts with the tune "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" in the background:

When arkness had descended all across the land,
A lone voice in the distance uttered "Yes! We can!"
He gave good speeches
Never sweat
He was real good at the Internets
He's Barack Obama!
He's come to save the day!

Watch the whole hilarious video:


Sunday, June 21, 2009


Body left in funeral home closet for 5 years

Body left in casket has cops' interest


Ariel Barkhurst
San Antonio Express-News
June 21, 2009 12:00 CST

Investigations continued Saturday into the discovery of a body of a woman — dead for several years— in a rusty casket at the abandoned Forest Park Funeral Home on the East Side.

When Forest Park vacated the location this month, the body of Ada T. Young was left behind because the family had not paid for a funeral, administrator William Hardy said.

San Antonio police are investigating the incident as an alleged abuse of a corpse.

Sgt. Edward Rohmer said the body was transported to the Bexar County medical examiner's office after it was found Friday. The medical examiner's investigation will help determine whether police pursue criminal charges against Hardy or the owner of the funeral home, Clara Bell, Rohmer said.

“It depends on whether it was natural (death) and whether they can positively ID the person,” Rohmer said.

On Friday, Hardy said the funeral home had been in possession of Young's body since 2004, when she died and received a chapel funeral. Her closest surviving family member, a granddaughter, could not pay for the funeral or burial, Hardy said.

“I have always carried that body,” Hardy said. “Every time we went to a new location, I had that body with me. I helped them.”

But when Forest Park recently left its location in the 1900 block of Rigsby Avenue, Hardy said he did not move the body again.

“I have a very ill sister,” he said, “and she's at hospice, and I had a tough week from an illness perspective, and I didn't get around to doing anything about it. But she's been dead since 2004. And her granddaughter has not done anything about it.”

The family could apply for a county burial, according to Joseph Conde, funeral director for M.E. Rodriguez Funeral Home, which handles Bexar County's pauper burials. If the family's income status qualifies, the county will bury the body. And if the family doesn't apply, the funeral home could, Conde said.

“The funeral home should've had the audacity to call Bexar County and say, ‘We have a body, and the family can't pay,'” Conde said.

When asked if he was aware of the county burial option, Hardy said he was not.

The abandonment of Young's body, kept in a storage shed behind the former funeral home, was reported by Tina Leggett and her husband, Reginald McCraney, who live above the business. Leggett said she and McCraney had been in the shed with Hardy and had seen the casket mostly hidden beneath papers and other materials.

But after Forest Park left, Leggett said McCraney got curious about the casket.

“My husband said, ‘Let's go ... pull it out,'” Leggett said. “And I was like, ‘And do what with it?' But he said, ‘Let's just pull it out.' So we did. It (casket) was all rusted, so we could tell something was wrong. Then he opened it, and you could smell that smell.”

Young's body, Leggett said, was dressed in a gold funeral gown with a maroon corsage, and the casket was silver with maroon trim. The body was badly decomposed, she said.

Leaving behind a body could pose legal liabilities, said J.D. Pauerstein, an attorney who represents several funeral homes.

“It is illegal, under several provisions of the civil and criminal statues in Texas,” Pauerstein said. “The penal code has a provision in it that says it's a criminal offense to treat a human corpse in an offensive manner. There's a basis to prosecute someone who abandons a corpse.”

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Choked and arrested for asking policeman for badge number

Arrested for asking a policeman for his badge number

The Guardian has obtained this police footage of Emily Apple and Val Swain being arrested by surveillance officers after asking for their badge numbers at the Kingsnorth climate camp last year. The two women speak to Paul Lewis about their arrest, imprisonment and official complaint

Paul Lewis, Marc Vallée, Laurence Topham and Elliot Smith

Guardian Uk

Sunday 21 June 2009



Sunday, June 21, 2009


Man arrested for paying fine with fake money

Trying to use counterfeit bill to pay traffic fines gets man in deeper trouble

Fort Worth Star Telegram

June 20, 2009


A man trying to pay his traffic fines found himself in even deeper trouble when he slapped a counterfeit $20 bill on the counter at Fort Worth Municipal Court.

A marshal escorted the man to a teller Wednesday to pay $70 in fees, according to a Fort Worth police report. The teller performed a routine ink test on the bill that suggested it was a fake.

Upon closer examination, the bill was "soft in texture" and "runny in nature," the report stated.

The teller handed the bill to the marshal, who hauled the suspect back to his office and notified police. The suspect was arrested for his traffic warrants.

It wasn’t clear whether he knew he had a fake bill. Charges are pending while police investigate, the report said. — Alex Branch

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Man wins spelling title after 51 years

June 21, 2009

Virginia man wins spelling title after 51 years

It took Michael Petrina Jr. 51 years to finally win a national spelling bee.

The Arlington, Va., man bested 45 other spellers older than 50 to win the AARP's annual National Spelling Bee Saturday in Cheyenne. The 64-year-old's winning word was "woad," a plant whose leaves yield a blue dye.

AARP spokeswoman Joanne Bowlby says Petrina won his state's national spelling bee when he was 13, but then lost at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

In second place Saturday was 55-year-old Scott Firebaugh of Knoxville, Tenn., and in third place was 66-year-old Gil Couts of Bigfork, Mont.

Petrina won $500, a trophy and dictionary kit.

The AARP bee started in 1996.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Church blesses fathers with beer

Church blesses fathers with beer

Bottles of beer will be given to fathers who attend church, in an alternative "blessing" for Father's Day. 

Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Published: 9:00PM BST 20 Jun 2009

A senior bishop has backed the move, which is part of a Church of England initiative to put a Christian emphasis on the annual celebration of fatherhood.  Concerns over the lack of men attending services year-round has led clergy to offer a range of incentives today, including free beer, bacon rolls and chocolate bars. 

It is the first time that the Church has attempted to treat Fathers' Day in the same way as Mothering Sunday, which has traditionally formed part of its calendar.

The plan to distribute ale has upset groups working to tackle alchohol abuse, but the Rt Rev John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester, said that it could help churches to attract more men.    He argued that the free beer was intended to be symbolic of "the generosity of God".

Men at St Stephen's church in Barbourne, Worcester, will be handed bottles of beer by children during the service.   A prayer will be said for the fathers before the gifts are distributed. 

The Ven Roger Morris, archdeacon of Worcester, who will be leading the service at St Stephen's today, said that it was a practical way of sending a message to fathers.

"I don't see any other time that we can stop and remember fathers, and this is a gesture saying 'Here's something that will bless you,'" he said.

Posies of flowers are given to mums on Mothering Sunday and we wanted to give a laddish, blokeish gift to the men.   A bottle of beer hits the mark. The whole of life is to be celebrated in church.

"However, Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, criticised the Church, claiming that it was acting irresponsibly.   

"Bearing in mind country is facing rising health harms from its high level of alcohol consumption, anyone in a position of authority or respect should perhaps think twice about promoting alcohol to the public," he said. 

Bishop Inge said that it was wrong to claim that the move would encourage alcholism, and encouraged churches to use it as a way to reach out to men.

"Jesus created a lot more wine at a point in the party when some thought that there had already been enough drinking.   He was all in favour of partying, " the bishop said.  "We give wine away every Sunday, so giving away beer could be said to going downmarket a bit, but it's an attempt to speak of God's generosity.  "It's something that could be used as part of a service to encourage fathers to come.   Once they are in church, hopefully they will be challenged by the deeper questions around fatherhood

The bishop said that the Church was keen to support fathers and "to do everything possible to encourage them to take their responsibility very seriously".

A survey conducted by Opinion Business Research (ORB) found that less than a fifth of men claim to attend some type of church service once a month, compared with more than a quarter of women.

Some churches are trying to lure men back with the offer of free food. St Michael's, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, is holding a Hog Roast on the church forecourt and St Mary's, Arnold, Nottingham, will serve bacon rolls as men arrive at its service.

The Church has also published resources for clergy to use to hold special Fathers' Day services, including prayers for children to thank their fathers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sunday: The Longest Day of the Year

Sunday: The Longest Day of the Year

Robert Roy Britt

Live Science

Editorial Director

posted: 20 June 2009 09:30 am ET


If you've been waiting for the chance to get more done during the day, Sunday is your day, but only by a fraction of a second.

Like a giant timepiece, Earth and sun are configured for the summer solstice once again. This year it happens June 21, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun will be up a fraction of a second longer than the day prior or the day after. (The length of the full day, including night, does not change, of course.)

To grasp how it works, one must understand Earth's <snip>eyed leanings and some celestial configurations that even the ancients knew something about.

Our planet is tilted 23.5 degrees on its spin axis. On June 21 this year (some years it's June 20), the North Pole is pointing toward the sun as much as is possible.

Imagine Earth as an apple sitting on one side of a table, with the stem being the North Pole. Tilt the apple 23.5 degrees so the stem points toward a candle (the sun) at the center of the table. That's summer for the top half of the apple. Now keep the stem pointing in the same direction but move the apple to the other side of the table: Now the stem points away from the candle, and it's winter on the top half of the fruit.

The setup at June solstice puts the sun as high in our sky as it can go.

Scientists put the exact moment of the solstice at 1:45 a.m. ET, which is 05:45 Universal Time (keep in mind that the sun is always up somewhere, and the gods don't favor any time zone).

As long ago as the fourth century B.C., ancient peoples in the Americas understood enough of this that they could create giant calendars driven by sunlight. They built observatories of stone to mark the solstices and other times important for planting or harvesting crops. Shrines and even tombs were also designed with the sun in mind.

The sun comes up each day (except at the poles) because our planet rotates once on its axis every 24 hours or so. It is Earth's tilt, and our 365-day orbit around the sun, that explain much about how our world changes during the year.

Seasons: As Earth orbits the sun, the orientation of the planet's axis, in relation to the sun, changes constantly. A quarter of the way around in the orbit, fall sets in. By winter, we'll be on the other side of the sun, with the North Pole pointing away from the sun. That winter solstice, around Dec. 21 each year, will be the Northern Hemisphere's shortest day, and researchers in Antarctica will be basking in 24-hour sunlight.

Shifting stars: As we orbit the sun, the part of the night sky that's in our view changes. A given star sets about 4 minutes earlier each night. Over a month, this amounts to two hours. In winter, this all means that we're looking at stars that during the summer were in our daytime sky, overwhelmed of course by the glare of the sun. Since we complete a circle every year, the stars of summer, such as the Big Dipper, are always the stars of summer.

Endless summer: At the North Pole, the sun rises once a year, around March 19. It rises until the summer solstice, then sinks but does not truly set until around Sept. 24.

During summer on the top half of Earth, our planet is actually farther from the sun than during winter, a fact owing to our non-circular orbit around the sun. The difference is about 3 million miles (5 million kilometers), and it makes a difference in radiant heat received by the entire Earth of nearly 7 percent. But the difference is more than made up for by the longer days in the Northern Hemisphere summer with the sun higher in the sky.

Which brings up a common question: If the June solstice is the longest day of the year, why are the dog days of August typically hotter? It takes a while for the oceans to warm up, and a lot of weather on land is driven by the heat of the oceans.

The rise of the sun is seen at a 2,300-year-old structure in Peru, between Tower 1 and Cerro Mucho Malo at the June solstice, 2003, viewed from the western solar observatory. The sunrise position at the solstice has shifted to the right approximately 0.3° from the year 300 BC. Credit: Ivan Ghezzi

The rise of the sun is seen at a 2,300-year-old structure in Peru, between Tower 1 and Cerro Mucho Malo at the June solstice, 2003, viewed from the western solar observatory. The sunrise position at the solstice has shifted to the right approximately 0.3° from the year 300 BC. Credit: Ivan Gh


Each year on June 20 or 21, the sun is as far north as it can get from the celestial equator, marking the solstice. Credit: Starry Night Software

Each year on June 20 or 21, the sun is as far north as it can get from the celestial equator, marking the solstice. Credit: Starry Night Software

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Jewel thieves caught after getaway driver refuses to break speed limit

Jewel gang caught after getaway driver refuses to break speed limit

A getaway driver who refused to break the speed limit during a police chase led to a gang of jewel robbers being caught and sent to prison for a total of 20 years.

                                                                                                                                                                           Published:2:00PM BST 20 Jun 2009 Telegraph -UK -Neil Murray, 34 was behind the wheel of a stolen high speed Alfa Romeo when the robbers fled with £60,000 worth of gems from the heist.

As they raced from Simon Pure Jewellery Design in the town centre at Guildford, Surrey, where they terrorised two women shop assistants, passers by noted down the number of the escape vehicle.     

Police quickly picked up their trail and were pursued in squad cars with overhead support from the force helicopter.

But as the gang tried to escape, the driver Murray, from Tottenham, took his foot off the pedal every time they went through restricted areas.

Within 30 minutes of fleeing the shop the three man gang was arrested and were on Saturday behind bars.

Murray and accomplice Bradley Jayes, 31, from Islington each got five years while Darren Tomlinson, also from Islington who pleaded guilty to another jewellery store robbery, one count of handling a stolen car and one count of conspiracy to burgle, was jailed for 10 years.

In mitigation at Guildford Crown Court, John Warrington, who was defending Murray, said: "The ordeal for the woman lasted less than a minute and far from a fast getaway the police noted that at times the car was going under the speed limit                                                                                    Simon Pure Jewellery in Guildford

 Simon Pure Jewellery in Guildford

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Teenage Employee Gives Unknown Man $26,000

Teenage Employee Duped in $26,000 Heist

By Natalie O'Neill
Miami News Times
Friday, Jun. 19 2009 @ 11:14AM
via Flickr CC

It's safe to say: When there's a big black bag of cash, a decent story almost always follows. Just ask airport novelists. Or Robert De Niro, back when he was in good movies.

But as 18-year-old teller Michael Rodriguez learned a couple of rainy Saturdays ago, that stuff's best saved for the glitz of fiction.

June 6 was a slow day at Cash-a-Check on Biscayne Boulevard and 137th Street. Rodriguez -- a one-year employee with a waterfall of brown curls -- answered the phone around 4 p.m. A ponytailed co-worker named Tammy Fleurelus was on the other line. She informed the naive teenager he would need to fork over some cash for the boss's wife Martha Seas, according to a North Miami Beach Police report. The Mrs. would call in few minutes, Fleurelus explained.

The phone rang again. A voice introduced herself as Seas and "asked him how much money there was in the vault," the police report states. Then she politely instructed the boy to take out $26,000, and hand it to a broker, who would be in shortly. No need to worry, she told him, the gentleman would recite a secret number code: 1203.

"I was like, "Are you sure I don't have to call my manager?" Rodriguez says. "She told me, 'No, I already spoke to her.'"

So stack by stack, he filled a black bag with crisp $100 bills. Within half an hour, a short man wearing a fedora and a gray pinstripe suit strolled into the store, shaking his umbrella. He spouted off the code, and Rodriguez handed over the loot. But once the dapper fellow was out the door, Rodriguez got a bad feeling. He called a manager, who "started screaming and went crazy," he says. Nobody was scheduled to pick up that much cash, she told him.

Rodriguez then called the cops. He says: "Cops made me feel dumb. They were like, "You just gave away a bag of money?"

The case is still open, according to North Miami Beach Det. Denise Love. Nobody has been charged. (Fleurelus could not be reached at the company for comment. Her phone number was unlisted.)

Adds Rodriguez: "They were so smart and slick... It's like one of those movies."

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Man calls 911 to report being robbed by drug dealer

Suspected Melbourne dealer faces charges



MELBOURNE — A suspected marijuana dealer is facing robbery charges after police said he held up a client who ended up calling 9-1-1 to report the heist.

Michael Parda, 20, of Melbourne was charged with robbery with a firearm, possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, after the victim called to police to report he was robbed of $550 during a deal for two ounces of marijuana, reports show.

Parda will have a July 23 hearing on the charges, according to records.

Melbourne police said the victim wanted to buy marijuana from an unknown dealer and was directed to meet with Parda last Saturday on the 4000 block of Dow Road.

Parda, armed with a .380 caliber handgun, met the victim, pulled out the weapon and demanded cash during the meeting, officials said.

Parda took the money then fled the scene in his car. The victim called 9-1-1 to report the robbery, police said.

Minutes later, police pulled over Parda, who then told officers, “I didn’t want to rob a good person. I didn’t think a guy buying drugs would call the cops,” reports show.

Officers also found 37 grams of marijuana Parda’s vehicle along with the stolen cash, reports show.

Parda was taken to Brevard County Detention Center.


Michael Parda, 20, of Melbourne was charged with robbery with a firearm, possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, after the victim called to police to report he was robbed of $550 during a deal for two ounces of marijuana, reports show.

Michael Parda, 20, of Melbourne was charged with robbery with a firearm, possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, after the victim called to police to report he was robbed of $550 during a deal for two ounces of marijuana, reports show.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Cemetery has a deal to die for

A deal to die for: Indianapolis cemetery holds `buy 1, get 1 free' sale on select grave sites

Associated Press

Last update: June 18, 2009 - 2:24 PM

INDIANAPOLIS - It's a buy-one, get-one-free sale — at a cemetery, of all places. Memorial Park Cemetery on Indianapolis' far east side is offering plots at the bargain-basement price in one section of its grounds. It's not another telling sign of the recession. General Manager Mark McCronklin says it's a promotion the cemetery has run for several years around Memorial Day.

McCronklin says it's just a closeout sale on one section, and the cemetery is doing very well.

Signs along the street outside the cemetery also advertise that no one with bad credit will be turned down.


Signs along the street outside the cemetery also advertise that no one with bad credit will be turned down.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Veteran is world's oldest man

British WWI veteran becomes world's oldest man



Britain's oldest man, and oldest surviving First World War veteran Henry



AP – Britain's oldest man, and oldest

surviving First World War veteran

Henry Allingham, celebrates his 113th …


Fri Jun 19, 7:16 am ET

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – British World War One veteran Henry Allingham is the world's oldest man at 113 following the death of the previous holder of the title, Japan's Tomoji Tanabe, Guinness World Records said on Friday.

"Henry Allingham is now officially the oldest man in the world," said a spokeswoman for the organization widely recognized as the authority on record-breakers.

Tanabe, who ate mostly vegetables and believed the key to his longevity was not drinking alcohol, died on Friday aged 113 and had held the record for the oldest living male since January, 2007.

Allingham was born in London on June 6, 1896, and took the British title on January 19, 2007 aged 110 years 227 days, Guinness World Records said in a statement.

"We're pleased to see an English man take the world record -- the last time someone from England held the title was Frederick Butterfield, who died on March 9, 1974, aged 110," said Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records.

Allingham is one of only two surviving World War One veterans in the United Kingdom and the last surviving founder member of the Royal Air Force, according to British media.

His friend and chaperone, Dennis Goodwin, said: "It's staggering. He is philosophical. He will take it in his stride, like he does everything else."

Allingham's life has spanned three centuries and six monarchs, starting with Queen Victoria. He has five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.

Guinness World Records said the oldest living person is American Gertrude Baines, 115, who was born on April 6, 1894.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison)



Friday, June 19, 2009


City Attorney found asleep in neighbor's trash can

Jeff City Attorney found asleep in neighbor's trash can

Posted: Jun 18, 2009 6:26 PM EDT Updated: Jun 19, 2009 10:11 AM EDT
Shayla Reaves

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Larry Wilder, the attorney for Jeffersonville's city council, has a lot of people wondering how he ended up asleep in a neighbor's trash can.

No one has any problems with Wilder's skills as the city council's attorney - he's lost only one case in 17 months on the job. But some people are now questioning his personal choices after a neighbor found him sleeping in his trash can early Tuesday morning.

That neighbor called 911 for help, and WAVE 3 obtained a transcript of the call:

Jeffersonville police.

I've got a ... and don't laugh ... I've got a man halfway in my garbage can, the garbage is turned over and there's man in it ... laying in it. I don't know if he's drunk or what.


He's going to start for 3503 Elk Pointe Boulevard. There's a subject in this guy's trash can, he's drunk and he's half in and half out.

Did you put him in the trash can sir?

No Ma'am.

WAVE 3 obtained three pictures that were taken anonymously, showing Wilder asleep inside the can.

It's not clear if the neighbor knew the person inside was Wilder.

Jeffersonville Police Chief Tim Deeringer tells us police get calls all the time for people drinking and every call doesn't always lead to an arrest. He says it is a tool officers are taught to use at their discretion, even in situations like Wilder's case.

"When officers arrived on the scene, they made contact with that person and he was identified as Larry Wilder," Deeringer said. "He wasn't belligerent, he wasn't out of control. Mr. Wilder was asked if he could walk to his home. He said he could and he was turned over to two adult children at the house."

The news is still sinking in throughout the community, including the city council, where members say he's good at his job.

But Jeffersonville City Council President Connie Sellers says "it is very embarrassing when you say you find the city attorney in a garbage can. I can't set my morals to his - I mean he is an excellent attorney - what he does in his personal life ... it's his personal life."

"Sometimes smart people do things you wouldn't expect them to do," said City of Jeffersonville Spokesperson Larry Thomas."You've got a smart guy who made a bad decision."

We called Wilder to get his side of the story, but he didn't call us back before this story ran.


Police tell us no charges are expected to be filed although Sellers says the City Council could meet to discuss this issue shortly.




Friday, June 19, 2009


Woman fined $1,920,000 for illegally downloading 24 songs

From Times Online
June 19, 2009

Single-mother digital pirate Jammie Thomas-Rasset must pay $80,000 per song

Mike Harvey, Technology Correspondent

A woman in Minnesota has been ordered to pay $80,000 a song to record companies for illegally downloading tracks and violating copyright laws.

A federal jury ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and awarded record companies $1.92 million.

The single mother of four from Minnesota was found liable for using the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download the songs over the internet.

Thomas-Rasset, 32, had been convicted previously, in October 2007, and ordered to pay $220,000 in damages, but the judge who presided over that trial threw out the verdict and ordered a retrial after he misdirected the jury.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and big music labels have sued thousands of people for downloading and sharing music illegally, with most agreeing to settlements of between $3,000 and $5,000.

Thomas-Rasset was the first among those being sued to refuse a settlement and instead took the case to court, turning her into the highest-profile digital pirate in America.

She sat glumly, chin in hand, as she heard the jury's finding of wilful infringement, which increased the potential penalty. She raised her eyebrows in surprise when the jury's penalty of $80,000 (£49,000) per song was read out.

Outside the courtroom, she called the $1.92 million figure "kind of ridiculous" but expressed resignation over the decision.

"There's no way they're ever going to get that," she said. "I'm a mom, limited means, so I'm not going to worry about it now."

Her lawyer, Kiwi Camara, said that he and his client had not decided whether to appeal or pursue the RIAA's settlement overtures.

Cara Duckworth, for the RIAA, said that the industry remained willing to settle. She refused to name a figure, but acknowledged that Thomas-Rasset had been given the chance to settle for $3,000 to $5,000 earlier in the case. "Since day one we have been willing to settle this case and we remain willing to do so," Ms Duckworth said.

In December, the RIAA said that it would stop suing people who download music illegally to concentrate instead on getting internet service providers to take action. The move away from litigation represented an important shift in strategy for the music industry group, which had filed lawsuits in the US against some 35,000 people for online music piracy since 2003.

The focus on ISPs penalising illegal file-sharers is one of the main proposals in the new Digital Britain report published this week.

In testimony, Thomas-Rasset denied she shared any songs. The self-described "huge music fan" raised the possibility for the first time in the long-running case that her children or ex-husband might have done it. The defence did not provide any evidence that any of them had shared the files.

The recording companies accused Thomas-Rasset of offering 1,700 songs on Kazaa as of February 2005, before the company became a legal music subscription service after a settlement with entertainment companies. The music industry tried to prove only 24 exemplary infringements.

The court heard that Thomas-Rasset made the songs available on Kazaa under the screen name "tereastarr" – the same nickname that she acknowledged having used for years for her e-mail and several other computer accounts, including her MySpace page.

MediaSentry, the copyright security company, traced the files offered by "tereastarr" on Kazaa to Thomas-Rasset's IP address and to her modem.

The recording industry has blamed online piracy for declines in music sales claiming it has lost billions of dollars through illegal file-sharing.



FILE - This Oct. 4, 2007 file photo shows Jammie Thomas-Rasset ... 

Jammie Thomas-Rasset

Friday, June 19, 2009


Happiest day of the year is June 19

Happiest day of the year is June 19, according to formula

Britons should have plenty to smile about on Friday June 19 as it's officially the happiest day of 2009.


Published: 8:21AM BST 19 Jun 2009

Woman smiling: Happiest day of the year is June 19, according to formula
Friday June 19 is officially the happiest day of 2009 Photo: GETTY

Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall has devised a formula to pinpoint the day we are all most likely to feel the cheeriest.

The former NHS psychologist and Cardiff University lecturer said people should forget credit crunch worries because the secret of happiness lies with things which are free.

Dr Arnall, 44, who runs the happiness clinics, said feel-good sensations are enjoying time with friends and loves ones, appreciating nature in the sunshine and looking forward to the weekend and a holiday.

His complicated mathematic formula is: O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He.

Put simply, he gave values to each symbol and added being outdoors (O) to nature (N) multiplied by social interaction (S), added memories of childhood summers (Cpm) divided by the temperature (T), and added excitement about holidays (He).

British spirits, dampened by the credit crunch, have been boosted by the sunny start to summer, the longest days of the year with daylight until 10pm, the nearing of payday next Friday and optimism tennis star Andy Murray could win Wimbledon.

Dr Arnall, from Brecon in Powys, Wales, said: "People's minds are on the credit crunch – but that doesn't take away from the equation's primary factors, which are spending time with people you love and being outdoors in the warm weather.

"The most important things you can do to be happy are free. People may be less able to afford other leisure activities but it's free to walk in the park or paddle in a stream.

"It refreshes you and you forget your other worries.

"And the most important thing in our lives are our relationships – and no amount of money can buy that.

"I've spoken to miserable multimillionaires and people who have no money but are very happy because they have amazing friends.

"Any psychologist, life coach or happiness expert will tell you that relationships with people are what makes you happy.

"The bottom line in every class I've run is that this is how you feel happy.

"It's simple. If you heard on the radio that the world would end in 10 minutes, who would you call? Call them now and tell them what of think of them – and that will make both of you happy."

The Happiness Formula - O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He

O = being outdoors and outdoor activity

N = nature

S = social interaction

Cpm = memories of childhood summers and other positive thoughts

T = temperature

He = excitement about holidays


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Thieves Leave Real Names At Store Before Heist

Jun 17, 2009 5:24 pm US/Mountain

Thieves Leave Real Names At Store Before Heist

Terry Jessup

LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) ?

the thieves left their Real names, phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses on a card they filled out before they filled their basket.


  The crime can be reviewed and critiqued since it was all captured on the store's security cameras.




The Lone Tree police are scratching their heads over a bungled shoplifting at a consignment store. It wasn't the crime of the century, but it has to rank right up there on the stupidity meter.

Plato's Closet south of Park Meadows Mall is a popular discount store, but two young women who showed up Tuesday night must have thought consignment meant "free." The women walked into the store about 6:30 p.m., picked out several hundred dollars worth of clothes, originally costing close to $1,000, and loaded them into a basket.

"At the end, they took off right out the door," said Patty Eaton, Plato's Closet Owner. "There was a car waiting, and (they) took our merchandise."

It was a common enough shoplift, but in this case Eaton said the culprits left something behind.

"They left their name, phone number, address, e-mail address," Eaton said.

Not fake names -- their real ones on a card they filled out before they filled their basket.

"They're not stupid criminals, they're teenagers," Eaton said. "That's really what it is. They didn't think the process out at all."

It can be reviewed and critiqued since it was all captured on the store's security cameras.

The girls also made another tactical error. They apparently didn't know the Lone Tree Police Department is almost directly across the street.

"The police are one block over, so they were here as soon as we called them -- within minutes," Eaton said. "Because of the information that they left for us, they were on the phone talking with the two individuals immediately because they did answer their phone."

The Lone Tree police told the women to bring the merchandise back. Eaton said that hasn't happened and she will press charges. There is now a warrant out for their arrest.

"Because it's a clothing store, and kids think they're invincible, you will get caught," Eaton said.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Man beaten, robbed for bologna sandwich

Man beaten, robbed for bologna sandwich in Oklahoma City

From staff reports

Published: June 18, 2009


Roger Hamilton told police he was sitting on a bus station bench, preparing to put mayonnaise on his bologna and cheese when a man wearing headphones began staring at him. ,   

Hamilton, 24, told police he asked the man if he could help him, but before he knew it, the man punched him in the mouth and snatched his sandwich.


When police arrived at the Hudson Street bus station Wednesday, they found Hamilton with a swollen lip and his face covered in blood.

Hamilton told police he did not know the man or why he assaulted him and stole his sandwich. He described him as a black man who appeared to be in his 30s.

The police report values the sandwich at 76 cents.




Thursday, June 18, 2009


Robber follows woman who drove straight to sheriff's office

Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2009

Man nabbed after trying to rob woman and following her - to Madison County sheriff's 

An Edwardsville woman talked hysterically with a police dispatcher for more than 7 minutes as she drove from rural Edwardsville to the Madison County Sherifff's Department, followed by a man who just stuck a gun in her face and tried to rob her.

On the 911 call, the woman is heard frantically telling her three young children, "Get down on the floor!"

The Michigan man who police say followed her from Staunton Road to almost the doorstep of the sheriff's office is in custody.


Carleous Clay Jr.
Carleous Clay Jr. - Provided/BND

Madison County Sheriff's Capt. Brad Wells said the suspect followed the woman from a gas station near Illinois 143 and Interstate 55 Monday evening and tried to rob her while she was in her vehicle.

The woman, who had her three small children in the vehicle with her when it happened, called 911. The woman, being directed by a dispatcher, drove toward the Madison County Sheriff's Department in Edwardsville. The suspect actually followed her until he realized where she was arriving.

The suspect, 26-year-old Carleous Clay Jr. of West Olive, Mich., was captured shortly afterward. Prosecutors charged him Tuesday with attempted armed robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Wells gave the following account:

The victim was getting gas when she noticed a man drive into the gas station in a black Chevrolet Impala. The man entered the gas station and came outside. The woman left the gas station and headed east on Illinois 143. She saw the man driving behind her.

The woman felt uneasy about the situation and turned into a subdivision, where she went down a cul-de-sac. She stopped her vehicle in the 100 block of Emerald Hills. The man pulled alongside her and asked for directions to the interstate.

The woman knew something was fishy because the man had just left the interstate area. Clay asked the woman for something on which he could write. Clay then showed a black handgun and told the victim not to move, or he would shoot.

The victim fled, driving across a vacant lot. She called 911.

Sheriff's Lt. Gary Burns directed dispatcher Tim Fulcher to have the woman drive toward the sheriff's office. While the woman was on the 911 call, she said the suspect was following her.

"The suspect was running red lights to keep pace with the victim," Wells said.

Deputies were dispatched to try to intercept the suspect. As the woman arrived at the sheriff's office, the suspect turned around in a bank parking lot across the street.

The suspect headed east on Illinois 143 and was stopped near Pin Oak Road in Edwardsville by Deputy Scott Gurley. Clay was taken into custody there, but no gun was found in his vehicle.

Gurley's police dog, however, found the gun near Kiowa Street in Edwardsville. The weapon turned out to be an Airsoft-type gun that resembles a real gun.

During the 911 call, which lasted 7 minutes and 38 seconds, the dispatcher more than once had to calm the woman.

"The whole thing was really handled well, not only by the telecommunicator, but the victim herself," Wells said. "She kept her composure, she was able to tell the telecommunicator where she was at."

The vehicle Clay was driving had been reported stolen Monday in Michigan. He also was wanted for a parole violation in Michigan. Clay has served prison time for robbery charges.

Clay was being held Tuesday in the Madison County Jail with bail set at $100,000 by Circuit Judge Charles Romani Jr



Thursday, June 18, 2009


$500,000 stolen from ATM customers

ATMs on Staten Island rigged for identity theft; bandits steal $500G

BY Alison Gendar

Monday, May 11th 2009, 4:00 AM

One suspected member of the Staten Island ATM-rigging crew is caught on videotape.

One suspected member of the Staten Island ATM-rigging crew is caught on videotape.

The scam used a 'skimmer' to slyly acquire card information from unsuspecting bank customers.

The scam used a 'skimmer' to slyly acquire card information from unsuspecting bank customers.

With their intricate scheme, the men are believed to have stolen more than $500,000.

With their intricate scheme, the men are believed to have stolen more than $500,000.

A band of brazen thieves ripped off hundreds of New Yorkers by rigging ATMs to steal account and password information from bank customers.

They used the pilfered info to swipe half a million dollars from their victims' bank accounts - the latest twist in increasingly aggressive identity-theft scams, police said.

"This crew is sophisticated," said Deputy Inspector Gregory Antonsen, head of the NYPD's special investigations division. "And they are coming up with new ways to steal your identity every day."

The scam is part of a chronic assault on people's identity.

From pickpockets hoping to hit pay dirt with a stolen purse to service workers in hotels, hospitals and restaurants selling confidential information, personal data is a hot commodity and under constant threat.

The NYPD is hunting the rigged-ATM crew after the havoc they created stealing from Sovereign Bank customers.

They sauntered into Staten Island branches on Henderson Ave. and Amboy Road and installed devices on the bank's ATM machines, police said.

The first - a skimmer - went over the slot where customers insert their ATM cards. The skimmer reads, and stores, the personal information kept in the magnetic strip on the back of the bank card.

The second gizmo was a tiny camera hidden in the lighted signs over the ATM.

The pinhole camera lens pointed directly onto the ATM keypad and filmed victims typing in their supposedly secret PIN codes.

The crew stole more than $500,000 from more than 250 victims - money the bank is now reimbursing.

"They would download the information collected by the skimmer and synchronize it with the video, and they would have your bank accounts and your PIN number, and [start] grabbing all they can," Antonsen said.

The thieves would then create their own phony ATM cards and use their victim's PIN to dip into accounts, often going to other banks, like Citibank, to make the withdrawals.

Robert Schwartz said he was checking his accounts online last month when he noticed two suspicious withdrawals - one for $600, plus a $3 ATM charge, and a second, a few minutes later, for $403.

"They took out the maximum for the day. I was just lucky I noticed it before they hit me for another $1,000," said Schwartz, 44, a UPS driver.

Schwartz called the the bank, which put an immediate hold on his account, thwarting a third attempted withdrawal. The bank refunded his loss.

Pictures of three crew members were captured by the banks' surveillance cameras as the thieves installed the devices or withdrew money, said Lt. Ruperto Aguilar, head of the NYPD's identity theft squad.

Skimmers, now illegal, have turned up on bank ATM machines and gas pumps and in the pockets of crooked waiters at high-end restaurants, police said.

"I always keep my eyes open, but they still got through to my account," Schwartz said. "I don't know how the hell they did it, but they did."

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Man who dressed as mom kept casket in living room

                 FOLLOW-UP TO STORY POSTED ON JUNE 17, 2009--

                              "Man Dressed Up as Dead Mom to 
                               Collect Benefits"

Mother of all scams just gets weirder: Thomas Prusik Parkin kept casket in his living room

William Sherman

Thursday, June 18th 2009, 4:59 AM

Tina Zimmer

Thomas Prusik Parkin, who is accused of impersonating his dead mother, Irene Pusik, stands beside her coffin during wake at Brooklyn funeral home in 2003.

The gravestone of Irene Prusik, mother of alleged fraudster Thomas Prusik Parkin. Adams for News

The gravestone of Irene Prusik, mother of alleged fraudster Thomas Prusik Parkin.

Thomas Prusik Parkin and Mhilton Rimolo (below) are escorted to the Brooklyn Supreme Court by detectives. Adams for News

Thomas Prusik Parkin and Mhilton Rimolo (below) are escorted to the Brooklyn Supreme Court by detectives.

Adams for News

A Brooklyn man accused of dressing as his dead mother to collect $1 million in benefits and loans kept a casket in his living room, investigators said.

City marshals made the discovery when they showed up to evict Thomas Prusik Parkin and his brother from a Park brownstone at the center of the alleged scam.

It's unclear why Parkin had the coffin - another bizarre detail in a case so twisted it shocked probers from the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

"Mark Twain said truth is stranger than fiction, and this is a great example of that," Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes said yesterday as Parkin was indicted.

He was hit with 47 counts of grand larceny, forgery and conspiracy. His alleged accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo, also was indicted.

They face up to 25 years in prison if they're convicted. After pleading guilty, they were ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Parkin, 49, allegedly began posing as his mother, Irene Prusik, after she died in 2003.

He filed a blizzard of bogus documents with government agencies, collecting $62,000 in Social Security payments and $65,000 in state rent subsidies, officials said.

Rimolo, 47, is accused of posing as Irene Prusik's nephew and escorting Parkin - who walked with a cane and wore a wig, makeup, nail polish and long, red dresses.

"He said he's not Norman Bates," Hynes said, referring to the twisted character from the movie "Psycho" who dons his dead mother's clothing.

"This guy is not stupid; this guy is very smart. His schemes were brilliant."

Bureaucrats, banks, lawyers, mortgage brokers and title company representatives were all fooled by the cross-dressing con, prosecutors said.

Just two months ago, Parkin allegedly posed as his mother to get a $938,250 mortgage on a $2.2 million Park Slope brownstone - despite the fact it was owned by someone else who bought it in foreclosure in 2003.

Parkin and his family lived in the home for decades and stayed after it was sold.

Until the marshals showed up in March, he managed to avoid eviction and paying rent with a flurry of legal actions in which he posed as his mother and even invented a son and a nephew, officials said.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Court brawl leads to arrest

June 17, 2009

Municipal court brawl leads to arrest

Meghann M. Cuniff
The Spokesman-Review

A brawl that began when a man tried fleeing a courtroom this morning ended with the man, a deputy and three attorneys falling onto a bench of bystanders, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Micah W. Hasselstrom, 34, ran when Spokane Municipal Court Judge Tracy Staab ordered him jailed with increased bail after he said he didn’t plan on appearing in court again, a news release said.

Hasselstrom’s public defender, Tony Tompkins, grabbed his leg to hold him in place as Deputy John Pederson tried handcuffing him, and a struggle ensued, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Public defenders Francis Adewale and Andy Hess joined the struggle, and the group fell onto the bench, knocking a 68-year-old woman to the floor and partially burying her under the group.

Hasselstrom was arrested for third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, attempted third-degree escape and violation of no-contact order.

Hasselstrom was in court on the violation charge when the incident occurred.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Gang leaves business card at crime scene

Staten Island bandit dooms gang by leaving business card at crime scene

BY Thomas Zambito


Wednesday, June 17th 2009, 4:00 AM

Schwartz for News

Anthony Kalika of Staten Island, alleged member of burglary ring, is taken by law officials to Brooklyn court.

A brazen gang of New York bandits was smart enough to pull off a multistate spree, but so dumb they left a real business card at one crime scene.

The card bearing the name of Anthony Kalika, 19, of Staten Island, listed his proficiency at trades like electrical wiring and plumbing, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

"You Name It, I Can Do It," read the card, which was found in a car abandoned at the scene of one burglary.

Nine members of the ring from Brooklyn and Staten Island, were charged in the series of middle-of-the-night break-ins at chain stores such as Best Buy and Petco in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Prosecutors say the gang also posed as cops during several gunpoint robberies.

On Nov. 15, 2008, five gang members kidnapped a Staten Island pot dealer at gunpoint from the Pleasant Plains train station for his stash of drugs and money, prosecutors say.

The victim was handcuffed and driven to a Staten Island beach, where he was forced to his knees while one gang member clicked a round off behind his head, prosecutors say.

Kalika was a key player in an attack that gave "the drug dealer the impression he was about to be executed," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Skinner.

"He [Kalika] not only participated in it, but he's the one who put the handcuffs on the victim," Skinner said.

State criminal charges were dropped by the Staten Island district attorney when the victim in the staged execution recanted his identification of the suspects, Skinner said.

Skinner said the feds bolstered the case with recent wiretap evidence and statements from co-conspirators that linked gang members to the kidnapping.

The nine arrested yesterday were charged with crimes that include burglary, extortion, credit card theft, marijuana trafficking and identity theft.

The first break-in occurred in January on Staten Island, followed by one in suburban Greenburgh a month later.

They allegedly moved on to a store in Copley, Ohio, in March and one in Scranton, Pa., in April.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Man dressed up as dead mom for 6 years to collect benefits

Man dressed up as dead mom for 6 years to collect benefits

June 17, 2009
3:03 pm
Diana Fasanella

A New York man was charged with criminal impersonation after he dressed up as his dead mother for six years to collect government benefits.

Thomas Parkin allegedly concealed the 2003 death of his mother, Irene Prusik, by giving false information for her death certificate and then collecting more than $115,000 dollars in Social Security and housing benefits using her identity.

Authorities say the 49-year-old man went so far as to perpetuate the scam by wearing a wig and dress while renewing his mother’s driver’s license earlier this year. 

The ruse began to unravel amid a dispute over the mother’s home, which was sold at foreclosure in 2003. Parkin challenged the purchase by suing the new owner on his mother’s behalf so he wouldn’t be evicted.

As the property dispute dragged out, both sides eventually contacted the district attorney to accuse each other of fraud. By the time investigators arranged a meeting with the family in May, they already had proof Prusik was dead.

The investigators played along as Parkin showed up for the interview “wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails and breathing through an oxygen tank,” prosecutors said.

A second man, identified as Mhilton Rimolo, is accused of pretending to be Prusik’s nephew to help him during visits to collect government checks.

Parkin also was charged with grand larceny, forgery and other charges. He was set to appear in court in Brooklyn on Thursday. Both men were held on $1 million bail.

Following his arrest, Parkin told authorities that because he held his mother when she breathed her last breath, “I am my mother.”







Original Story




New York Post

Last updated: 1:26 pm
June 17, 2009
Posted: 12:08 pm
June 17, 2009

Move over, Norman Bates.


A Brooklyn psycho played dress-up as part of an elaborate scam, accused of wearing a wig and nail polish to impersonate his dead mother in order to collect thousands in Social Security benefits and rent subsidies.

Over the course of six years, Thomas Prusik-Parkin, 49, fooled several government agencies using heavy makeup and a fake ID, the Brooklyn DA's office announced this morning at a news conference.

The hoax was even captured on surveillance camera and used as part of the DA's case against Prusik-Parkin, said Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.

He was arrested Monday and will be arraigned today on grand larceny, forgery and conspiracy charges.

Hynes called the crime "unparralleled in its scope and brazeness."

His mother, Irene Prusik, who lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn, died in 2003 at age 73.

The DA said a second man, identified as Mhilton Rimolo, is accused of pretending to be Prusik's nephew during visits to collect government checks.

The 47-year-old man was also caught on surveillance video walking alongside Prusik-Parkin dressed in drag.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Widow, 69, pulls pink pistol on handyman trying to steal jewelry

Widow pulls pink pistol on handyman she believes was trying to steal her jewelry

8:32 p.m., Tuesday, June 16, 2009



NAPLES — With her pacemaker and frail body, few would describe Christa Taft-Mueller as an intimidating woman.

But the 69-year-old widow is no pushover when she’s packing her pink-handled Walther P22 semi-automatic handgun. Just ask a local handyman.

On Monday afternoon, Taft-Mueller pulled the gun on a handyman who was supposed to be repairing the pocket door leading to her bedroom, but who she says she found arched over her jewelry box.

“My hands were shaking so much,” Taft-Mueller said in her German accent. “And the guy said, ‘Is that pistol loaded?’ I said, ‘Of course it is. It’s ready for you. It’s ready for you, honey.’”

The handyman, whose name is not being released by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, said he was only looking for an outlet to plug in a tool. He was not charged with a crime because the Sheriff’s Office said nothing was missing from Taft-Mueller’s jewelry box.

“There was no evidence that a crime occurred,” Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten said.

Rob Gardner, vice president of Orlando-based Handyman Connection, said he trusts the handyman wasn’t attempting to steal anything. Gardner’s company has employed the handyman since 2006 without incident, he said.

“I think it was just an honest mistake on her part,” Gardner said.

Taft-Mueller couldn’t disagree more.

Since her husband died of cancer last September, Taft-Mueller has relied on hired handymen to fix things around her East Naples home on Moon Lake Drive. After the sliding door to her bedroom fell off the track recently, she called Handyman Connection, a company she’s hired maybe a half-dozen times before.

When the handyman arrived around 1 p.m. on Monday, Taft-Mueller said he went right to work on the door. She grew suspicious, however, when she said he closed the door and was alone in her bedroom for about five minutes.

Taft-Mueller said that when she opened the door to check on the handyman, he was bent over the jewelry box on top of her night stand. The handyman said it was all a mistake, and that he was only looking for an outlet to plug in a light inside her dark bedroom, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

If that was the case, Taft-Mueller questioned why he didn’t use the outlet on the side wall next to the night stand, or one of the three outlets within a few feet of the door he was repairing.

“He said, ‘I’m looking for an outlet.’ I said, ‘In my jewelry box?’” Taft-Mueller said. “I started trembling and I got real scared that he was a thief.”

When the handyman went out to his truck, Taft-Mueller called the Sheriff’s Office and found her loaded pink pistol in her bedroom.

“It’s kind of like a lady’s gun,” Taft-Mueller said. “A guy wouldn’t want to own a gun that is pink. He would want something that’s blue and black and brown. Not a pink one. That would be sissy.”

When the handyman came back inside, she held him at gunpoint.

“I said, ‘You (expletive), you’re not going anyplace,’” Taft-Mueller said.

The Sheriff’s Office dispatcher told Taft-Mueller to put the gun down, and told both her and the handyman to go outside to wait for responding deputies. She was hospitalized briefly because her chest was tight and she was having a hard time breathing after the encounter.

“We’re not anticipating charges in this incident,” Batten said.

Gardner said this is the first time that anything like this has occurred to one of his franchise employees since he went into business in 2001. He said he wishes the best for Taft-Mueller, and is sorry for any confusion.

“I’m just happy our guy got out of there safely, to be honest,” Gardner said.

When told that the Sheriff’s Office didn’t expect to charge the handyman with a crime, Taft-Mueller said, “You’re kidding.” If she would have known that, she said, she would have handled things a bit differently.

“I would have shot him,” Taft-Mueller said. “I definitely would have shot him. Definitely





Safety tips for hiring a handyman:

* Decide what specifically needs to be done and make a detailed list.

* Make sure your handyman is licensed and insured.

* Ask detailed questions about their skills and experience.

* Get references from previous customers.

* Get a written estimate of their work.

* Get a contract for services they will perform, payment schedule and completion date.

* Contact your Better Business Bureau to verify their history of complaints.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Woman, 77, escorts armed intruder from home at gunpoint


Princeton woman, 77, escorts armed intruder from home at gunpoint


Diana Graettinger

Bangor Daily News
MACHIAS, Maine — A 77-year-old Princeton woman faced down a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun and sent him running after she pointed her own gun at him, according to court documents.

Doris Gatchell’s daughter, Eileen Newman, said Monday that family members had since nicknamed their mother “Annie Oakley.”

Suspect Dean T. Moore, who was arrested shortly after the Friday, June 12, incident, made his first appearance Monday in Washington County Superior Court. He faces up to 30 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000 on each of the two most serious charges of burglary with a firearm and robbery. He also has been charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, theft and criminal restraint. On Monday night, Moore remained in Washington County Jail unable to come up with the $15,000 bail set after his arrest.

Doris Gatchell’s daughter, Vanessa Gatchell, 50, was home watching television on South Princeton Road when she heard footsteps in the hallway at about 4:30 p.m., according to court documents made available Monday. Doris Gatchell had just left the house and Vanessa Gatchell thought her mother had returned because she had forgotten something. “She called out, but there was no answer,” according to the affidavit on file with the court.

Vanessa Gatchell went into the hallway and found Moore armed with a gun and a knife just standing there, the affidavit said.

The woman asked Moore not to hurt her and offered him money, according to the court documents. He refused to leave and demanded liquor, the affidavit said. “Ms. Gatchell opened two bottles of wine for [Moore], and he directed her to the front room where they both sat,” the affidavit said.





























They talked about 30 minutes during which “he told her he was not afraid to hurt someone and he had used guns and knives before,” the court documents said. At some point during the conversation, Moore discarded the knife, but kept the shotgun, according to the documents.

The woman asked him to leave and said no one would have to know he had been there, but Moore declined to leave, the affidavit said.

Eventually Doris Gatchell returned home. Moore hid the firearm from view as Doris Gatchell entered the front room, the affidavit said. The two women then went into the kitchen, and Vanessa Gatchell told her mother that Moore had a gun and she “thought he was going to shoot them both,” the affidavit said.

Doris Gatchell retrieved her own gun and, according to the court documents, went into the front room and stood behind Moore’s chair.

Eileen Newman told the BDN on Monday that her mother, Doris, had a concealed weapons permit and had a gun “stashed” somewhere in the house. She said her parents at one time owned a sporting goods store that sold firearms. Her father, Ken, is deceased.

Doris Gatchell told Moore she had a gun and ordered him to leave, the affidavit said. “Mrs. Gatchell escorted the defendant out the door. Once on the porch [Moore] dropped his gun and then picked it up again. It was only at that point that Mrs. Gatchell saw the gun,” the court documents said.

The Gatchells then called the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Michael St. Louis said Monday that when police arrived they at first were not sure whether Moore had run into the woods near the house or had gone back to his home about a quarter of a mile from the Gatchell residence.

Police surrounded Moore’s house and tried to contact him, according to St. Louis, but there was no response. After about 90 minutes, however, Moore stepped out onto his front porch to smoke a cigarette and that was when police arrested him and took him to jail, St. Louis said. Officers found the firearm in Moore’s garage and later recovered the knife from the Gatchell residence, the chief deputy said.

The Maine State Police, the Baileyville and Calais police departments, the Maine Warden Service and the U.S. Border Patrol assisted on Friday night, he said. In court on Monday, Attorney Jeffrey Davidson of East Machias was appointed to represent Moore.

Deputy District Attorney Carletta Bassano said Monday that Moore is expected to appear for a hearing to reassess his bail on June 22 in Washington County Superior Court.

According to the affidavit, Moore has a long criminal history including a prior conviction for robbery and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. In 1998, Moore fled across the U.S.-Canadian border after he robbed a Calais convenience store clerk at knifepoint and stole more than $800. He quickly was apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, returned to the U.S. and later sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Clerk shoots robber after cellphone deflects knife

Updated: 4:16 p.m. June 16, 2009


Roswell clerk shoots attacker after cellphone deflects knife

By Mary Lou Pickel

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, June 15, 2009

The robber came in the door of the Beverage Mart liquor store in Roswell, waving a big, black hunting knife.

He wanted the money in the knapsack. Now!

He lunged at the clerk, Joseph Wescott, 59, who leaned back to get away from that 10-inch gleaming blade. The knife hit the cell phone in Wescott’s breast pocket instead.

That bought time. Time enough for Wescott to reach for the Glock .40 he kept under the counter.

It was Monday night, about 8:30 p.m., and that’s when accused robber, Carlos Jeanpierre, 24, of Atlanta, realized this might be the end.

He ran for the door, but not before Wescott got off a round, hitting him in the side. The bullet went in the right side and lodged in the left side of the abdomen.

“He’ll live,” said Roswell Police Lt. James McGee. The doctor was trying to remove the bullet, and police will match it against the gun, McGee said.

Storeowner Mike Burnett watched the crime take place afterward on the store video and spoke with Wescott, who is the father of a Roswell Police officer. The son had bought his dad both the gun and the phone, Wescott said.

The phone was a little one, similar to a Razr, said Burnett. It still worked after the attack, because that is what Wescott used to call police, he said. The phone is in evidence now.

It’s unclear if Jeanpierre was a regular customer at the liquor store, but he has been a regular with the Roswell Police.

Jeanpierre has been charged with several offenses previously in Roswell, including criminal trespass, simple assault, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, burglary, theft by receiving and cruelty to children, McGee said.

Burnett, a former engineer, has owned the liquor store about six months. He said he bought it with the stipulation that Wescott continue working there because he has experience in running the business.

Burnett’s son, Robert, stood by his dad Tuesday in the liquor store, wearing a black shirt that said, “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Should Be a Convenience Store, not a Government Agency.”

Burnett has a gun too.

“This business tends to be a high-cash business,” Burnett said. “It’s good protection.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Women Dine, Dash and Crash into IHOP

June 16, 2009

Diners dash, crash into IHOP in Detroit


A dine-and-dash gone wrong ended up with a car in the IHOP Restaurant on East Jefferson in Detroit this morning.

And despite a couple of patrons in the dining room when the car crashed through, no one was injured, IHOP manager Raymond Jefferson said.

"I’ve have weird things happen but not of this magnitude," said Jefferson, who's managed the restaurant at 2701 E. Jefferson near Chene for three years. "I’ve been around for 10 years of fast food, but not somebody driving through a building."

Four diners in their early 20s and late teens ran from the restaurant just after 6 a.m. after not paying for their meals, Jefferson said. But their server chased them out the door, trying to stop them or at least get a license plate number.

But the car swerved around the corner of the restaurant, nearly hitting the server, and the driver lost control, Jefferson said.

"They tried to swerve around her -- they must have been going 60, 70 miles per hour," he said. "You wouldn’t believe how she (the driver) jumped this curb."

None of the people in the car or the server was injured. Detroit Police officers are still reviewing the incident and charges are pending, according to investigators.



Related Story:

Yahoo News

June 16, 2009

9:00 PM EST

Women dine, dash and then crash into Detroit IHOP

DETROIT – Four women trying to skip out on their bill at an International House of Pancakes ended up plowing into the Detroit restaurant as they sped away. No one was injured in the accident Tuesday morning. Restaurant manager Raymond Jefferson told the Detroit Free Press the women ran from the IHOP just after 6 a.m. without paying their bill. Their server chased them out the door.

But one of the women lost control of the Mercury Cougar as they drove away, crashing through the restaurant's wall and smashing at least one large window.

The driver was ticketed at the scene.

The driver's father told The Detroit News his daughter had more than $200 in cash on her at the time and was talked into dining and dashing by friends.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Woman said 'love you' to handcuffed brother in court she was ordered to jail for 10 days

        Often-probed judge in another incident

Melissa Harris

Baltimore Sun                     

June 16, 2009

Woman cried out 'love you' to handcuffed brother in court

A Baltimore circuit judge, who has three times been the subject of judicial disciplinary investigations, ordered a spectator to jail for 10 days for crying out "love you" to her handcuffed brother in the courtroom - and then reversed himself after a public defender spoke up on her behalf.

As Tamika Clevenger left a Baltimore courtroom Friday, she shouted, "Love you, Nick," which set off Judge Alfred Nance. He ordered a sheriff to pull Clevenger from the hallway and found the 24-year-old in contempt.

Nance undid the sentence about a half-hour later at the request of Jill Trivas, a public defender who was in court for a different case but told Nance she felt that he had been too harsh.

"I respect Judge Nance a lot; he's one of the judges here who will give you a fair trial," Trivas said. "But it still upset me to see this girl get locked up. She had started to cry. She had children who were dependent upon her."

Nance, Judge Marcella Holland, who is in charge of Baltimore Circuit Court, and Judge John P. Miller, who presides over the criminal docket, did not return messages seeking comment Monday.

According to a video recording of the proceeding, the confrontation began after Clevenger stood in the back of Nance's courtroom, blew a kiss to Nicholas Jones, waved goodbye and then began talking and motioning to a woman in the same row.

"Ma'am, your talking is over," Nance said. Turning his ire to the other woman, who had stood up from the bench in a strapless top, Nance said, "Young lady, step in the hall. The beach is three blocks down and to the right. It's not in this courtroom."

As Clevenger walked out with the woman, she yelled "love you" to Jones, prompting Nance to order a sheriff to bring her back.

Nance asked Clevenger her name and age, and then swiftly pronounced the punishment: "Ten days, Baltimore City Detention Center."

"I didn't do nothing," a shocked Clevenger said.

"You yelled out in my courtroom," Nance replied. "I love you, too. Ten days, Baltimore City Detention Center. Take her. Don't bring that stuff in my house. Period."

Worried about her child at home, Clevenger began to cry.

"Your baby will be there" when you get out, Nance said. "You want me to send him to social services? I'll send him [to jail] too."

Nance, 61, is known for demanding proper attire and etiquette from anyone in his courtroom.

"Attorneys are hard-pressed to complain because they fear retaliation," said Page Croyder, a former deputy state's attorney who ran for judge in 1998, in part, because of allegations of improper conduct against Nance. "Attorneys know perfectly well that nothing is going to happen to these judges."

In 2000, a commission that monitors judges' conduct interviewed four women, then current or former prosecutors, who complained of Nance's explosive temper and said he had made comments about their appearance and touched their faces, according to a December 2000 Sun article. At that time, State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy complained about his behavior.

The Commission on Judicial Disabilities issued a reprimand, finding that he had demeaned women in court and in chambers and had been "rude" and "hostile" to attorneys in a medical malpractice case.

A brief review by The Baltimore Sun of video from Friday morning's docket revealed other questionable comments before Nance's confrontation with Clevenger.

At one point, Nance suggested to a female public defender that "he must be in for a good spanking" because the woman had "never yelled" at him "that softly before." The attorney, Anne-Marie Gering, had merely announced her presence at the trial table.

"A reprimand doesn't mean anything to people like this," Croyder said. "The commission does nothing to people."

Others have accused him of improper comments during jury selection, saying that he forced women to announce their marital status and once told a prospective juror, who was single, to "stand up and let us see [you]. ... There may be a single guy out there," according to a 2000 Sun article.


By that time, Nance, three years into his tenure on the bench, had been forced to take "corrective action" - the details of which were never released - after jailing an attorney for leaving his courtroom for six minutes.

Allegations surfaced again in 2004 when Nance was accused of massaging a young prosecutor's shoulder and criticizing the way a prospective juror wore his yarmulke, a Jewish head covering, in court. After publicly defending himself against allegations of misconduct, the commission dismissed the charges.

On Friday, Nance accused Clevenger of bringing "the streets" into his courtroom and that Trivas cared about her more than Clevenger cared about herself.

"Judge Nance had warned the audience not to speak out or act out, and I had warned Ms. Clevenger myself after she had spoken up in another courtroom and been admonished by the judge there for her behavior," said Creston P. Smith, the attorney for Jones, who is facing felony drug charges.

Nance asked Clevenger where she lived. When she said the Flag House Courts projects in East Baltimore, Nance said he had "family that lives in Flag House" and began to list his local roots, saying he had attended elementary school on Federal Street, junior high on Harford Road and high school on North Avenue.

"You don't see any part of those streets in my courtroom," Nance told her. "I sent all kinds of signals that you don't do and handle yourself in my courtroom the way you handle yourself on the street."

He concluded by telling her that Trivas' goodness was the only reason he was granting her freedom.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Police find $100 bills blowing in the wind


Cop finds $3,100 blowing on road

Officer wins praise for going 'out of his way' to track down its worried owner, who lost the money on the Camp Hill Bypass.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
 Patriot News

Jose L. Castilao was driving back to New Jersey on Friday night after working an event at the West Shore Country Club when he couldn't find the folder with his $3,000 payment.

He spent a fitful night in the club's parking lot, hoping he left the money inside. But in the morning, employees couldn't find it, either.

Meanwhile, early Saturday, Camp Hill police Officer Lane P. Prior was getting ready to track speeders on the borough's bypass when he spotted $100 bills blowing around plus a black leather folder with contact information for the Main Event in Manalapan, N.J.

Castilao was on his way home when he got a call from the company's owner, Artie D. Mandato, that the money was found.

"[Prior] went out of his way to do research and figure out whose it was," Mandato said. "He even stayed off duty after his shift to meet Jose when he returned to pick it up."

All part of the job, Camp Hill police Chief Gregory "Jan" Ammons said.

"We reunite owners with property all the time, but not like this -- $3,100 of cash money blowing down the roadway," Ammons said. "It speaks well of the officer. He did a good job."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Student Denied Diploma Bowed Blew Kiss To Family

Diploma Denied To Student Who Bowed, Blew Kiss To Family

Superintendent Suzanne Lukas Keeps Diploma From Bonny Eagle H.S. Student

POSTED: 10:58 pm EDT June 15, 2009
UPDATED: 12:05 am EDT June 16, 2009

The Bonny Eagle High School senior's mother wants an apology, and her son wants his diploma, News 8's Will Lewis exclusively reported Monday night.

Mary Denney said she can't believe how her son's taking a bow and blowing a kiss on stage led was grounds for the superintendent to withhold his diploma.


"I'm like, 'Did she not hand him his diploma?' I'm like, 'What's going on?'" Mary Denney said.


She said she and Justin both signed a code of conduct regarding the graduation when she picked up graduation tickets on Friday, but she doesn't think he violated it.


"There was no misbehavior. Showboating is not misbehavior," Mary Denney said. "A bow, a kiss to your mom is not misbehavior. There was no need of my son not getting his diploma."


Before the school began handing out diplomas, some students pulled out beach balls. One student was forced to sit away from his classmates with staff while police escorted another student behind the stage.

"No arrests were made. The individual that was escorted off the stage was asked to leave the civic center. He was to the point where the deputy was starting to get to the point where he wanted to arrest the individual, but gave him several opportunities to settle down. Eventually, he took off his cap and gown and threw it at the deputy and walked out the civic center," Cumberland County Sheriff's Department Deputy Chief Kevin Joyce said.


The deputy returned to the crowd and took another beach ball away from the students, but Mary Denney said School Area District 6 Superintendent Suzanne Lukas was still upset.


"When she got up there and started speaking, they threw out a couple more balls and she turned around and said, 'More people may not be graduating today if this continues,'" Mary Denney said.


While in his seat or waiting in line for his diploma, Justin Denney never touched a beach ball. After his name was called, he took a bow, blew a kiss to his family and pointed to friends, but he didn't get his diploma, leaving a whole family in disbelief.

"I said, 'What did she ask you?' And, he goes, 'She said, 'There's no fooling around up here,'' and he just kind of looked at her because he wasn't fooling around. He didn't consider that fooling around or misbehaving in any sense of the word, and she goes, 'Why do you feel you deserve your diploma?' He goes, 'Because I worked hard and I earned it,' and she goes, 'No go take your seat,'" Mary Denney said.


The crowd booed, but Justin Denney still doesn't have his diploma. Now, his mother wants her son to get what he's worked so hard for.


"It was appalling, and I want justice for my son. I want her to apologize to my son and I want her to hand him his diploma while he is in his cap and gown," Mary Denney said.


Both of Justin Denney's grandparents are ill and one of their wishes was to see their grandson graduate from high school, something they didn't get to see happen Friday.


Mary Denney said she is planning a graduation party for her son in two weeks, which, by then, she said she hopes she will have a photograph of her son with his diploma.


News 8 tried to contact the district's superintendent and the school's principal, but neither returned the calls by Monday evening.



Monday, June 15, 2009


Top 23 Funny YouTube Clips You Haven't Seen Yet

Monday, June 15, 2009


Robber ask for diamonds at 'Black Diamond' ski equipment store

Robber apparently confused over loot at 'Black Diamond' company
June 15th, 2009 @9:32am
Andrew Adams                                     

SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Deputies are looking for a man who robbed what he may have thought was a diamond company. Black Diamond Equipment actually manufactures climbing and skiing equipment.

Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies say the robber entered the company on 3900 South near 2000 East early Saturday morning.

The robber brandished an ice pick, threatened the shift manager and demanded precious metals and money. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the manager told the robber that the company does not deal in diamonds or precious metals.

Lt. Don Hutson said, "Not sure if he was unfamiliar with what this business was, that it's mountaineering gear and that type of thing."

The night crew let the robber take computers and climbing equipment.

The suspect is described as a Polynesian man in his 20s or 30s with a full-sleeve tattoo on his right arm. He was wearing a large, distinctive square-faced watch on his left wrist.

Sheriff's deputies say he's about 6 feet 3 inches tall with a medium build and a shaved head. He was driving a white 1990s Ford Escape-type SUV.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Woman wakes up in the morgue after being declared dead

Old Woman Dies, Then Mysteriously Awakes
An old woman from the Polish village Jablonowa was declared dead, however, she awoke a few hours later in a coroner’s bag.
Old Woman Dies, Then Mysteriously Awakes
Published: June 14, 2009 16:18h

WARSAW, Poland, (UPI) -An 84 year old Polish woman from the village of Jablonow near Zwolen, which the doctor from the emergency services declared dead, woke up a few hours later at the morgue, reports the police spokesperson Radomu January Majewski, reports PAP.

The unnamed woman lost consciousness, because of which her husband called an ambulance.

“The doctor confirmed her death, so the family started preparing for her funeral, whilst the funeral company took the body to the morgue. However, a few hours later a morgue worker noticed that the bag was moving and he called a doctor who determined the return of life functions” added Majewski.

The woman was immediately hospitalised in Zwolen, and transferred to the intensive care unit. Her condition was serious on Saturday. The director of the hospital informed the police who have now started an investigation, says the spokesperson.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Man calls police to report robbery working meth lab found

Published June 14, 2009 02:36 pm - Before calling the police over to your house, it might be a good idea to dispose of the smoking meth lab in the back room first.

Robbery complaint leads to meth bust at home of man making complaint

By Patrick McCreless

The Cullman Times

Before calling the police over to your house, it might be a good idea to dispose of the smoking meth lab in the back room first.

Hanceville Police arrested Billy Floyd Norris, 33, Sunday at his residence on County Road 616 for unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Capt. Jimmy Rodgers said officers allegedly discovered a working meth lab at Norris’ residence while responding to a robbery call.

“He reported he had been robbed by his roommates,” Rodgers said. “We were never able to verify that.”

Rodgers said during the course of the investigation of the alleged robbery, Norris told officers there was a meth lab at the location.

“Supposedly he and his friends had been making meth all night,” Rodgers said.

When officers located the lab, they discovered it was still active, Rodgers said.

“It was actually still producing meth,” he said.

Also recovered at the scene were several ounces of crystal meth, all the ingredients used to manufacture the drug, drug paraphernalia, a 50-caliber rifle and two shotguns.

Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) agents were called to the scene to take samples and positively identify the seized chemicals and drugs. Officers then contacted a private cleaning company to dispose of the hazardous waste at the residence.

“They removed two to three barrels of contaminated products,” Rodgers said.

Norris is incarcerated at the Cullman County Detention Center on a $1 million bond.

Unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance is a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison. Unlawful possession of a controlled substance in a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Unique 90- cents stamps sells for $400,000

Stamp recovered after 40 years is sold

Published: June 14, 2009 at 11:12 PM

NEW YORK, June 14 (UPI) -- A unique U.S. stampstolen in 1967 and recovered almost 40 years later has sold at auction for more than $400,000, the auctioneer said Sunday.


Dr. Arthur K.M. Woo, a prominent collector, bought the "Ice House Cover," Scott Trepel, president of Robert A. Siegel Auctions in New York, said in a statement.

The item was auctioned Saturday.

The "Ice House Cover" is an envelope bearing a 90-cent Abraham Lincoln stamp. It gets its name because it was mailed in 1873 from a Boston ice company to its ice house in Calcutta.

The envelope was discovered in India by a U.S. collector. In 1967, it was stolen from J. David Baker, an Indianapolis collector, by a team of thieves targeting members of the American Philatelic Society.

The FBI recovered most of Baker's collection in 1974, but the "Ice House Cover" remained missing. In January 2006, an elderly couple -- who said they found it while clearing out a dead relative's house -- brought it to a dealer in Chicago, wanting to know if it was worth anything. The dealer turned it over to the FBI and Baker's widow was eventually determined to be the rightful owner.




King Features Syndicate

The "Ice House" cover is the only known envelope that has one of the 90-cent stamps attached to it.

close window

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Kindergaten class sees hard-core porn in school




New York Post     

Last updated: 5:21 am
June 14, 2009
Posted: 2:18 am
June 14, 2009

Debbie does grade school.

An auditorium full of unsuspecting Brooklyn students -- some as young as 5 years old -- got a surprise lesson in reading, writing and raunchiness on May 29 when hard-core porn was accidentally screened at PS 17 in Williamsburg.

The kindergartners, first-graders and fifth-graders were exposed to a topless woman and sex acts in the 45 seconds the obscene clip played on the jumbo screen -- as shocked teachers screamed, "Don't look at it!" and frantically tried to turn it off.

Finally, one horrified teacher ripped the DVD player's plug out of the wall to silence the smut.

"My son told his friend he saw a naked lady at school," fumed Rona Easton, whose 6-year-old son, Cass, viewed the stunning reel with his kindergarten class. "I thought he was just being silly. It's appalling."

"My daughter is 6 years old; she doesn't need to see that," said another angry parent whose daughter is also in kindergarten. "I don't even like to kiss in front of her because I think she's too young. So I'm very angry."

The five classes were in the auditorium for a "film festival," and were supposed to watch "Camp Rock," a Disney Channel movie starring the Jonas Brothers, according to a letter Principal Robert A. Marchi sent home to parents the day of the incident.

A teacher powered up the DVD player, then walked away to get the G-rated disc.

But the decidedly un-Disney skin flick was already loaded into the machine -- and began to play.

"A very explicit pornographic video came on the screen," Marchi wrote. "This was extremely upsetting to the students and staff members in attendance . . . I am deeply sorry that this episode took place at PS 17. I know that we will make every effort to find out who was responsible for this despicable act."

Parents first heard the DVD player had been locked in the principal's office before the impromptu X-rated screening but were later told it was moved to another office where anyone could have accessed it.









CUT! PS 17 Principal Robert Marchi (above) is furious after kids saw 45 seconds of hardcore porn, a la Jenna Jameson, instead of the Jonas Brothers.

CUT! PS 17 Principal Robert Marchi (above)

















CUT! PS 17 Principal Robert Marchi (above) is furious after kids saw 45 seconds of hardcore porn, a la Jenna Jameson, instead of the Jonas Brothers.
CUT! PS 17 Principal Robert Marchi is furious after
kids saw 45 seconds of hardcore porn, a la Jenna J
ameson (above), instead of the Jonas Brothers.




CUT! PS 17 Principal Robert Marchi (above) is furious after kids saw 45 seconds of hardcore porn, a la Jenna Jameson, instead of the Jonas Brothers.
CUT! PS 17 Principal Robert Marchi is furious
after kids saw 45 seconds of hardcore porn,
a la Jenna Jameson, instead of the Jonas
Brothers (above).

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Umpire ejects entire crowd

High school umpire tells entire crowd: You're out!


The Des Moines Register

June 13, 2009


Few high school baseball umpires have gotten more mileage out of one "Yer outta here!" than Don Briggs.

Briggs briefly ejected the entire crowd — estimated at more than 100 fans — during a game between Winfield-Mount Union and West Burlington on Thursday night in West Burlington.

"It was something else — I'll tell you that," Winfield-Mount Union coach Scott McCarty said.

Dave Anderson and Bud Legg of the Iowa High School Athletic Association said they know of no other sanctioned high school event in Iowa where an entire crowd has been asked to leave.

"I have no recollection of that ever happening," Anderson said.

The ejection came in the fifth inning of the game, after McCarty left the dugout to argue whether a batted ball was fair or foul.

West Burlington coach Jeff Housel, who said he did not see or hear time called, tried to send a runner from third base to score during the debate — but Briggs sent the runner back.

Briggs said the crowd became unruly, and had been unruly during the game. McCarty and Housel, however, said the situation was overblown.

Because no administrator from West Burlington was in attendance, Briggs said, the rules indicate that the head coach of the home team makes management decisions at the site.

Briggs said Housel declined to eject the crowd, so he did so himself. He called West Burlington police on a borrowed cell phone to monitor and assist in the situation.

"I know it sounds like I'm the bad guy — but it was the crowd," Briggs said. "If I got the control to ask one person to leave, I feel like I can ask them all to leave."

The crowd, estimated to be more than 100 people, lingered. Some people refused to leave. Others moved 30 feet away to a sidewalk officially off school property.

The delay lasted nearly 40 minutes.

Eventually, West Burlington Superintendent James Sleister arrived and persuaded the umpire to allow the game to continue.

Fans returned and the game resumed, under the agreement that "anyone making a negative comment toward the officials would be ejected from the premises and could be charged with disorderly conduct," according to the Burlington Hawk Eye.

"I talked to people from both school districts and both coaches, and they didn't seem to believe that the crowd was anything out of the normal," Sleister said. "They questioned some calls, but they said nobody was yelling loudly or yelling profane. I think it was an overreaction."

Briggs said the situation required some type of action. "In one area, most of the people were really being mouthy — not all of them, but most of them," he said. "And they don't say nothing when you look at them. They waited until you turned your back.

"I can get it to the point where we can play it safely with the kids. There was a lot of people yelling and arguing, so I made the decision. The kids were great, so I didn't have any problems with the kids."

The game was almost as eventful as the delay.

Winfield-Mount Union led 11-3 in the fifth inning before West Burlington rallied to win, 12-11, on a steal of home in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"I've heard a lot worse during a game, I guess I'll say that," McCarty said. "But it turned into a playoff atmosphere after that (delay). People were cheering, making plays. They had a great diving stop. It turned into a heck of a game."

For Briggs, who said he has umpired Iowa high school games for about a decade, there is no hesitation to umpire again.

In fact, he was preparing call a game Friday night. The matchup: a junior varsity between WACO of Wayland and ... Winfield-Mount Union.

"I'm not really worried," Briggs said. "They should know I won't take nothing from them."

Housel, the West Burlington coach, said it was a once-in-a-lifetime night.

"Like I told the other coach after the game," Housel said, "this is one you'll never forget."

Sunday, June 14, 2009


High school football coach accused of cooking coke dealer's body

Mass. men accused of cooking coke dealer's body


Posted June 8, 2009

Updated June 10, 2009

Associated Press Writer

A  high school football coach and another man killed a cocaine dealer to avoid paying a debt, dismembered his body and cooked the remains at a concrete business, prosecutors said Monday. Daniel Bradley, 47, of Westwood, and Paul Moccia, 48, of Dedham, pleaded not guilty Monday in Wrentham District Court to murder charges in the death of Angel Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from Guatemala who lived in Framingham.

Moccia met Ramirez near the concrete company in Walpole that Bradley co-owns and shot him in the back with a .357-caliber pistol, said Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Robert Nelson.

Moccia owed Ramirez $70,000 from drug deals and decided to kill him instead of paying up, authorities said.

Bradley dismembered the man's remains and then tried to get rid of the evidence once and for all, Nelson said.

"It was cooked," he said.

Prosecutors didn't say how they arrived at their theory, or how the body was cooked or disposed of.

Defense attorneys said their clients are innocent and noted prosecutors haven't produced a body.

Prosecutors believe forensic evidence from the concrete factory will bolster their case against the suspects, Nelson said.

Investigators found blood spots inside the concrete business, RJ Bradley Co. Inc., Nelson said, as well as on a pair of Bradley's boots at his Westwood home.

Bradley is an assistant football coach at Xaverian Brothers High School; the school didn't return a message left after business hours Monday.

Moccia is a longtime Mass Pike toll collector. Colin Durrant, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Transportation, said Monday that Moccia has been suspended without pay and a disciplinary hearing has been scheduled.

Both men were ordered held without bail in Wrentham District Court. A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for July 7.


Daniel Bradley stands in district court Monday, June 8, 2009, in Wrentham, Mass., during his arraignment for first-degree murder of Angel Antonio Ramirez, who has been missing since March.
Erin Prawoko, Pool
Daniel Bradley stands in district court Monday, June 8, 2009, in Wrentham, Mass., during his arraignment for first-degree murder of Angel Antonio Ramirez, who has been missing since March



Daniel Bradley, left, and Paul Moccia, right, stand in district court Monday, June 8, 2009, in Wrentham, Mass., during their arraignment for first-degree murder of Angel Antonio Ramirez, who has been missing since March.

Daniel Bradley, left, and Paul Moccia, right, stand in district court Monday, June 8, 2009, in Wrentham, Mass., during their arraignment for first-degree murder of Angel Antonio Ramirez, who has been missing since March.


Relatives of Angel Ramirez sit in district court Monday, June 8, 2009, in Wrentham, Mass., during the arraignment of Daniel Bradley and Paul Moccia, not visible, for the first-degree murder of Ramirez, who has been missing since March.

Relatives of Angel Ramirez sit in district court Monday, June 8, 2009, in Wrentham, Mass., during the arraignment of Daniel Bradley and Paul Moccia, not visible, for the first-degree murder of Ramirez, who has been missing since March.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Woman finds $5,000 in cab rides gets interesting

Restaurant gets money back, despite cabbie

$5,000 | Woman finds it, tells driver -- night gets 'interesting'


June 14, 2009
Staff Reporter
Sun Times

The bag Ginny Narsete found on the back seat of the taxi bore the logo of a Mexican restaurant, but the contents "didn't feel like a taco," she said.

"It felt weird," added Narsete, 57, of Lisle, who was riding the cab to a train station Thursday night and had planned to take the bag to the trash as a favor to the driver. "It felt heavy."

Ginny Narsete of Lisle, pictured with husband Jim, found a bag containing $5,000 lost by a restaurant manager.
(Keith Hale/Sun-Times)

Narsete looked in the La Bamba bag and found two bundles of cash totaling $5,000, along with a bank deposit slip. The money had been dropped accidentally by a La Bamba manager who had meant to take it to the bank.

Narsete, who owns her own small cabin rental business in Ohio, said she didn't even consider keeping the money. She told the driver what she had found and asked him to take her to a police station so she could turn over the cash.

But she said the cabdriver began acting strangely, insisting that the money should be taken to a cab stand, and drove Narsete around and around, running up the fare.

"He wouldn't let me out of the car," Narsete said.

Narsete phoned her husband for advice, and Jim Narsete got on the phone to yell at the driver to take his wife to a police station -- or he'd call 911.

At the station, police determined that the cash did indeed come from La Bamba and called the restaurant, which gratefully took back the money.

"There are good people in this world," said Ramiro Aguas, co-owner of the La Bamba chain, which has 19 locations, including one downtown and another in Lincoln Park. "It was very nice of her to bring that money back."

Narsete doesn't want any reward -- she said she was just glad to help. Her only regret now is telling the cabdriver what she'd found because she may have put herself in an unsafe situation.

What happened to the driver? At the police station, he took Narsete's last $20 for the fare, and disappeared into the night, she said.

"The police ended up driving

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Student charged with keeping teachers from grading

Student charged with keeping teachers from grading

High school student charged with designing computer software to shut teachers out of grading
Associated Press
Last updated: 1:45 a.m., Sunday, June 14, 2009


CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. -- A high school computer whiz didn't get a high grade for a recent feat: designing software to shut teachers out of the grading system.


A New York State Police spokeswoman says 16-year-old Matthew Beighey has been charged with unauthorized use of a computer and third-degree identity theft. He was ordered to return to court Wednesday.

The school district says the teenager temporarily blocked teachers' ability to enter grades at the high school in upstate Clifton Park. They needed technical support to regain access.

                       RELATED STORY

Shen computer case has familiar ring

Student charged this week with identity theft is same one accused last year, officials say
 The Times Union

First published in print: Saturday, June 13, 2009


CLIFTON PARK -- Matthew C. Beighey is a Shenendehowa student with a knack for computers he keeps putting to the wrong uses, police say.

Last fall, the 16-year-old sophomore was accused of posting personal information on 250 district employees on his personal Web site. And now police say he built an application to shut teachers out of the grading system.

State Police spokeswoman Maureen Tuffey said Beighey was arrested Wednesday and charged with two misdemeanors: unauthorized use of a computer and third-degree identity theft. He was issued an appearance ticket and ordered to return to court Wednesday. His parents could not be reached for comment.

District spokeswoman Kelly DeFeciani said the student never got access to the grading system, but he temporarily blocked teachers' ability to enter grades.

"If I log on with an incorrect password three times, it locks me out," she said. The district's user names all are easily determined based on a specific number of letters from their first and last names, she said. The employees have unique passwords that enable them to access the grading and attendance system.

The student built a computer application using teachers' names that entered false passwords three times, she said, making it impossible for teachers to get into the system. They would then have to call the technical support staff to unfreeze their access.

"We began seeing, at 12 o'clock at night, we'd have a group of teachers locked out," DeFeciani said. "He actually went through and created a user ID and started throwing in random passwords. Teachers weren't able to get in and enter their grades."

Teachers were able to change their passwords and will file year-end grades on time.

The student has been disciplined, although DeFeciani declined to say how or whether he was still able to attend classes. She did not disclose his identity but said he was the same student who had accessed personnel records in October.

The files contained Social Security numbers, drivers' licenses numbers, home addresses and other data on past and present transportation employees, many of them bus drivers.

He was charged with identify theft, a felony, for using another student's identity to access the district's computer system. Beighey was 15 at the time, so his case was referred to Family Court and his name was not publicly released. Tuffey would not discuss the resolution of the earlier case, saying any incident that occurred when Beighey was 15 would be sealed.

At the time of the earlier incident, Beighey informed the district of his own actions through an anonymous e-mail. The data he retrieved accidentally was left on an unsecured part of the computer network.

At the time, the district said the student previously had been disciplined for violating the acceptable use policy for using district computers.



16-year-old Matthew Beighey


Saturday, June 13, 2009


Can't afford a home? Rent a walk-in closet

Link to Video and pictures of closet:

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Founder of anti-drug program caught in drug sting

Founder of anti-drug program is held in drug sting


June 13, 2009

Kendall Craig Farris

Kendall Craig Farris (Booking Photo / June 12, 2009)


Kendall Craig Farris, who heads the Over the Wall Foundation in Marina del Rey, is arrested after an undercover Redondo Beach officer is sold fake methamphetamine and ecstasy tablets.

By Jeff Gottlieb
June 13, 2009
Kendall Craig Farris' website is filled with influential endorsements for the drug prevention program he founded. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl called them "amazing tools which our schools and communities desperately need" and thanked Farris for meeting with him and his staff.

Something went wrong, however, and Farris was arrested Thursday at a Starbucks in El Segundo after Redondo Beach police set up a drug buy over the phone.

Farris, 47, arrived at the coffeehouse in a taxi, police said. An undercover officer gave him an envelope containing $480 in exchange for methamphetamine and ecstasy tablets, which turned out to be fake, authorities said. Farris was arrested at 3:40 p.m.

Farris was arraigned Friday on charges of selling a substance that he alleged was drugs. He is being held on $106,500 bail and could not be reached for comment.

Farris, according to his website, was founder of the Over the Wall Foundation in Marina del Rey and a recovering alcoholic and addict. His mission, he says, is "to help youth, schools, and families prevent drug and alcohol abuse before it starts, and intervene in any drug abuse which may already have begun."

He is the author of "Drugs, Kids and Crime: Surviving Our Drug Obsessed Culture."




Local Drug Counselor Busted in Narcotics Sting


June 13, 2009


REDONDO BEACH -- The founder of a Marina del Rey-based anti-drug organization has been busted in an undercover drug sting.

Kendall Craig Farris is charged with selling pills to an undercover Redondo Beach police detective.

The 47-year old former addict is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Over the Wall Foundation.

He was arrested Tuesday at the Starbucks coffee shop on Sepulveda Boulevard in El Segundo.

The bust was made after Farris handed over an envelope in exchange for $480 dollars.

The envelope was supposed to contain methamphetamine and Ecstasy.

Inside it was filled with rock salt and antihistamines.

Farris won praise from local agencies for turning his life around to preach against drugs to schools and youth groups.

He started Over the Wall in 2007 after overcoming 15 years of drug and alcohol abuse that landed him in prison.

He was convicted of various crimes, including robbery, theft and forgery, which he said he committed to fund his drug habit.

While in prison, he wrote a book, "Drugs, Kids and Crime: Surviving our Drug Obsessed Culture," which drew attention from schools and youth groups.

After his release, Farris started giving talks about his experience and even developed a workshop program.

Betsy Spier, a marriage and family therapist who is on the Over the Wall board of directors, said she was shocked by the arrest.

She said she did not know if Farris had relapsed or needed money, but that he had having trouble sustaining the foundation.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


ATM ripped out of bank wall

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ATM ripped out of bank wall


The scene of the ATM raid at the Bank of Ireland in Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny, yesterday. Four masked men stole a JCB mechanical digger and drove it into the front of the building, partly demolishing it. They fled in two stolen cars with a trailer carrying the ATM.
Photograph: Dylan Vaughan


Irish Times

“AUDACIOUS”, WAS how gardaí in Co Kilkenny described a spectacular early morning bank raid in the town of Graiguenamanagh yesterday.

Four masked men stole a JCB mechanical digger and drove it into the front of the Bank of Ireland branch – partly demolishing it. They fled in two stolen cars with a trailer bearing an ATM, believed to have contained “a substantial sum of money ”.

The raid occurred at about 5.30am across the street from a Garda station which, like many in rural areas, operates on a part-time basis, and was closed at the time.

A man who lives just yards away “heard a digger going and knew something was being knocked down”. He leaned out of an upstairs window in his house and managed to film the incident on his mobile phone camera.

Gardaí, who arrived at about 6am, are examining the footage as well as CCTV film from the bank.

An eyewitness who did not wish to be named told The Irish Times he came across “four men wearing black balaclavas” on the street outside the bank. They told him to “f*** off”, and he saw them place the ATM on a green trailer. The one-storey building was badly damaged and engineers were due to inspect it. Supt Gerry Redmond said once the structure was deemed safe to enter, his priority would be to remove remaining cash from safes inside.

Supt Redmond appealed to the public to be on the lookout for the stolen vehicles used by the gang to escape. A blue hatchback Volkswagen Golf, registration number 08 D 29796, had been stolen in Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, during a burglary on Thursday morning. And an “old style” blue BMW, for which he had a partial registration only of “94 D”, and a “flat green trailer” were stolen in the Graiguenamanagh area yesterday morning.

The JCB was stolen from a building site on the edge of the town. Supt Redmond said the gang could have gone east into Co Carlow, or towards New Ross and south Co Wexford.

The people of Graiguenamanagh are unlikely to have banking facilities for some time. Bank of Ireland is the only bank in the town, and a spokeswoman said customers should avail of services in neighbouring towns.

Perhaps reflecting current antipathy towards financial institutions, local people expressed little sympathy. One young man said he was “delighted” by the “cheeky” raid; an older man said the raiders had “done no worse than the robbers in charge of the banks”. Another said: “I’m not one bit sorry; the f****** have been robbing us for long enough.”

Onlookers agreed that the scale of the damage meant the bank would have to be entirely rebuilt. One man described it as “a terrible eyesore; you wouldn’t see the like of it in communist Europe.”

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Man had broken leg for 29 years

Man had broken leg for 29 years

A businessman has discovered he has been walking around with a broken leg for 29 years.


Ben Leach

Telegraph UK
Published: 11:26AM BST 13 Jun 2009

Steve Webb: Man discovers he has had broken leg for 29 years
Steve Webb discovered he has had a broken leg for 29 years and will now have an operation to grow back 6cm of dead bone Photo: GEOFF ROBINSON

Steve Webb, 49, broke his left leg in a motorbike crash when he was 20-years-old. But after suffering decades of pain he found it had never actually healed.

Mr Webb, from Dagenham, Essex, said he only realised he still had the injury after it showed up on a hospital scan.

He had feared the leg might have to be amputated under the knee but instead he is about to have an operation to stretch the broken bone back together.

"I think it's extraordinary. Everyone tells me that having a broken leg for nearly 30 years is unheard of.

"I've had trouble with my leg ever since the accident but I was repeatedly told the bone had healed so I carried on walking on it."

Mr Webb, a plumbing merchant, broke his leg when he crashed his Suzuki T250 Hustler motorbike into a lamppost when he was just 20.

The bone pierced his skin and he spent two months in hospital after his leg became infected and swollen.

He spent 17 months in a plaster cast and doctors believed his leg had healed but when he went into hospital for an operation on his toe they found it was wobbly and still broken.

He then had electro magnetic therapy for nine months, but five years after the accident he was still in pain. Doctors then found his leg was still broken so they put it in a metal plate.

Mr Webb had the metal plate for 24 years, then last year he suddenly had pains in his leg again.

Scans showed an infection in the bone and when the metal plate was removed they showed the bone was still broken after more than 29 years.

He will now have a metal Ilazarov frame fitted around his leg and foot to stretch the bone 1mm each day for seven to nine months. Then he will be in plaster for a further three months.

He has been told the new procedure, which he will have done at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, has a 99 per cent chance of success.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Man blames his infant for hit-and-run accident

Police: Man blames his infant for hit-and-run

Top Photo
David Ponzer


Foster's Daily Democrat
Friday, June 12, 2009


PORTSMOUTH — A local man is charged with lying to authorities about his involvement in an alleged hit-and-run accident by telling them his son was driving the vehicle.

The problem with his story, police say, is David Ponzer's son is an infant.

Ponzer, 44, of 62 Porpoise Way, is charged with Class A misdemeanor counts of conduct after an accident and providing a false report to police following a motor vehicle accident on Dec. 31.

Ponzer was slated to go to trial this week on the charges, but his case has been continued.

A police affidavit filed by Officer Christopher Kiberd indicates a driver came to the police department on Dec. 31 and filed a report that his pickup truck had been struck from behind on Market Street by a motorist driving an older model Volvo station wagon.

The reporting party told police the driver of the vehicle who hit him did not stop, and that the Volvo in question would be missing its grill as a result of the accident.

Court papers indicate that on Jan. 2, the motorist who reported the accident had done some investigating of his own, learned the suspect Volvo was parked at Ponzer's address and provided police with the Volvo's grill.

According to the affidavit, Kiberd responded to the 62 Porpoise Way residence and found a damaged Volvo matching the description in the driveway with part of its grill missing.

The officer questioned Ponzer about who "normally" drives the Volvo and was told by Ponzer that his son drives the vehicle, but he told police his son was not at home.

Police informed Ponzer the vehicle had been in an accident and that they needed to speak to his son.

Police allege Ponzer told them his son is named William Ponzer and was born March 4, 1993.

Authorities say Ponzer told police he would have his son contact police.

Kiberd's affidavit indicates he was leaving the residence when he "happened upon one of the neighbors" and asked if they had seen Ponzer's son driving the vehicle recently.

"The subject laughed and informed me Ponzer's son is still an infant," Kiberd wrote in the affidavit.

Police followed up and found no police records for a William Ponzer matching the description, but did find a William David Ponzer who they say is David Ponzer's father.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Man wins $1,000,000-- no wait -- just $5,000

Man wins $1M -- no wait -- just $5K

Published: June 12, 2009 at 3:31 PM

OSHAWA, Ontario, June 12 (UPI) -- Video poker games that told an avid player near Ottawa twice he had won prizes totaling $1 million were wrong, and the man took home $5,000 instead.


The glitches happened to the unidentified man last weekend on separate Bonus Poker Deluxe video slot machines, the Toronto Star reported Friday.

Staff at the Rideau Carleton Raceway told the man they couldn't pay him, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., which regulates all gaming in the province was notified.

OLG spokesman Don Pister said all 296 video poker games in Ontario with that game on it were shut down as a precaution.

"It was showing credits in the value of millions ... that cannot be generated on that machine," as there is a $40,000 cap on each machine, he said.

Technical officials with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario were examining the software and Pister said there was nothing suspicious about the fluke.

"I don't think the person had anything to do with it," he said, adding there was no evidence of tampering on the machines.



Friday, June 12, 2009


Dog gets high on pot found in park

Jun 12, 8:33 PM EDT

Dog runs away from owner and gets 'stoned' after eating marijuana at Seattle park


SEATTLE (AP) -- A dog that ran off from its owner in Seattle's Seward Park found and ate some marijuana and got high. Owner Jen Nestor Waddell told KING-TV the 11-year-old black Lab mix named Jack was "just stoned" May 12 after they returned home from the park. The dog's eyes glossed over and he had trouble walking.

The vet said Jack had swallowed a large amount of dried, harvested marijuana. After some medication to induce vomiting and a night of rest Jack was back to normal.

Waddell told police about the drugs and joked they could borrow Jack to find them if they paid the $1,500 vet bill.



Friday, June 12, 2009


Mayor Angry Over Inmate Hosting Lavish Party Behind Bars

NY Mayor Angry Over Behind Bars Bar Mitzvah

Mayor Amazed Corrections Officials Allowed Inmate to Host Lavish Party in Jail

June 11, 2009

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg condemned city correction officials who allowed an inmate to host a bar mitzvah for his son behind bars at a city jail known as The Tombs where 60 guests rocked to the klezmer strains of the hora and dined on a fully catered kosher meal.

Con man holds Bar Mitzvah in NYC jail
Con man holds Bar Mitzvah in NYC jail
(AP Photo)

Tuvia Stern, 48, who was being held at the jail while on trial for larceny, was twice given unprecedented free reign of the grim Manhattan detention center that is adjacent to the city's criminal courts.

Stern hosted a bar mitzvah celebration for his son on Dec. 30 and then four months later held an engagement party for his daughter at which 10 guests attended, according to Stephen J. Morello, spokesman for the city's Department of Corrections.

While just yards away inmates ate city-supplied meals with plastic utensils, Stern's guests ate from silverware on fine china in the facility's visitors area.

Several prominent rabbis were in attendance and music was provided by as Yaakov Shwekey, a popular Orthodox Jewish singer, according to the New York Post which first reported the story and was confirmed by corrections officials.

In addition to metal forks and knives, guests flaunted other contraband inside the jail including cell phones.

At a press conference today, Bloomberg said the party was not "something that should have taken place. I don't care how you define it or how you sugar coat it."

He said he had ordered an investigation into the incidents and called reports of the party surreal, a "through the looking glass" occurrence.

Five corrections officials including two chiefs, two chaplains and a warden have been disciplined and are under investigation, Morello said.

"They have been disciplined for being aware of the plan, being involved in the plan, and failing to inform their superiors," he said.

"Uppermost management including the commissioner [Martin Horn] are outraged," he said.

Corrections chaplain Rabbi Leib Glanz was suspended for two weeks. Another chaplain, Muslim Imam Umar Abdul-Jamil, who in 2006 had been disciplined for anti-Semitic comments, was docked two weeks' vacation.

Warden George Okada, and two chiefs, Peter Curcio and Frank Squillante were also docked vacation time.

Stern first entered the correction facility in February 2008. He was convicted of larceny and sent to an upstate facility in April, just days after his daughter's engagement party. He was first arrested in 1989 for stealing $1.7 million and spent nearly 20 years on the lam, mostly in Brazil.





Friday, June 12, 2009


Gas station robber leaves his name and address at scene

Police say gas station robbery suspect left key clue behind -- a piece of paper with his name, address

by The Grand Rapids Press

Wednesday June 10, 2009, 9:28 AM

KENTWOOD -- As an armed robber fled from a Speedway gas station Tuesday, he probably did not realize the clue he left behind.

It landed him in jail less than 90 minutes later, when officers staked out his apartment.

How did police know where to find him? He left his address at the scene of the crime, authorities say.


The 42-year-old robber entered the Speedway at 4404 Eastern Ave. SE about 1:20 p.m., telling the clerk he had a gun, police said. He held the weapon under a piece of paper.

After getting cash, the suspect dropped the paper as the clerk made a motion toward the weapon. Speedway employees and police soon discovered the paper apparently contained the robber's name.

Witnesses also gave Kentwood Police a description of the getaway van.

Grand Rapids officers staked out his Traditions Apartments residence at 43rd Street and Breton Avenue SE. The suspect drove up to the complex about 2:30 p.m.

He bailed from the van as police moved toward him but was captured after a brief chase.

Police later determined the gun was a homemade fake.

Kentwood Police Chief Richard Mattice said the suspect's arrest could be important in solving other crimes. Investigators were looking for links between the man and several other robberies, including one at a Kentwood party store.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Meet the smallest girl in the world

Meet the smallest girl in the world

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jyoti Amge does her homework, with refreshment close at hand
Jyoti Amge does her homework, with refreshment close at hand

Tiny Jyoti Amge is already a 'mini' celebrity in her hometown of Nagpur, India.

But she has one big claim to fame - at just under two-foot tall the teenager is the smallest girl in the world.

Standing just one foot 11.5ins at 15-years-old, she is half the size of her two-year-old nephew.



"When I tell people my age they don't believe me," she said.

Weighing just 12lb - only 9lbs more than her weight at birth, Jyoti dreams of becoming an actress and is believed by many to be the reincarnation of a goddess.

"When I was three I realised that I was different to the rest of the kids," she said.

"I thought that everyone was bigger and I should get bigger too."


Jyoti Amge and her school friends
Jyoti Amge and her school friends


Jyoti has her own mini grey uniform and school bag and even a tiny desk. But she looks like a doll next to her teenage classmates.


When I was three I realised that I was different to the rest of the kids


She said: "I am proud of being the smallest girl. I love all the attention I get.

"I'm not scared of being small, and I don't regret being small.

"I am sure there are many people in this world who are dwarves like me.

"I'm just the same as other people. I eat like you, dream like you. I don't feel any different."

Despite her tiny size Jyoti insists on living as normal a life as possible - including going to the local school where she is an average and sometimes naughty student.

"I used to get stressed and couldn't go out much but now I like going out and speaking to people," she said.

"When I first went to school everyone was so big I used to get scared but I'm okay now, I like it.

"I have a different desk and chair that were made for me. I'm a normal student.

"I would like to be an actress when I grow up. My dream is to do films." Jyoti has already had a taste of fame in a pop video for Indian star Mika Singh.

"They asked her to appear in the video for a song on his album," said her mum Ranjana Amge, 45.

However, Jyoti's dreams of stardom could be ruined because of fractures to both her legs that have never healed due to problems with her size.

"First I could walk, but I slipped on ice during a holiday and hurt my leg. Because of that I'm not able to do anything. I find it strange that my legs just don't heal. They should heal quickly. I don't like it, it causes me pain."

Doctors believe Jyoti is a pituitary dwarf but have never been able to pinpoint her condition.

Jyoti's mum said: "No-one knows why she is so small. We consulted a specialist and he said she will be this size all of her life.

"Jyoti is small, yet cute, and we love her very much."

People in the region of India where the family live flock to see the pretty teenager and some even treat her as a goddess.

Ambitious Jyoti dreams of making it as a Bollywood actress.

She said: "I would love to act in films. I would love to travel to London and to see the different world there.

"I want to see America as well. I'd love to work in a big city like Mumbai."

Now Jyoti is to be featured in Channel 4's Bodyshock series on Thursday, June 11 at 9pm.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Hairy Wolfboy to get reality show

Hairy guys need love, too. Reality show for “Wolfboy?”

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 1:32 PM PT

By Diane Mapes

It’s hard enough for anybody to find love, but what do you do if you have a genetic disorder that leaves you completely covered with hair?

In the case of circus star Larry Ramos Gomez, better known as “Wolfboy,” you get your own reality dating show. At least that’s the plan hatched by Zoo Productions, creators of such reality TV fare as “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” and “Girls Behaving Badly.”
Recently divorced, the 31-year-old Mexican, who performs daredevil acrobat acts with his brother Danny, suffers from an extremely rare form of hypertrichosis, a genetic disorder that causes excessive hair growth in places you wouldn’t normally expect it, such as the face. The reality show, tentatively titled “Wolfboy: Divorced and Looking for Love,” will document Gomez’ search for a girlfriend and his quest to find acceptance as a normal guy.

Mary Altaffer / AP


Excessive hairiness and hirsutism, which affects women, can be relatively common and brought on by either family history or secondary factors like polycystic ovary syndrome. But the form of hypertrichosis Gomez suffers from is extremely rare, with only 50 described cases on record since the Middle Ages.

The condition, which Dr. Aires, director of the division of dermatology at the University of Kansas Hospital, characterizes as a “genetic puzzle that has not yet been solved,” can be inherited. But not always. Gomez’s son, for instance, is not excessively hairy. However, should he have a daughter, she would, based on recent genetic research, likely inherit the disorder since it appears that his particular form of hypertrichosis is “X-linked,” Aires says.

In the Gomez brothers, who have generalized congenital hypertrichosis, all of the normally invisible vellus hairs are replaced with thick coarse terminal hairs.


Hypertrichosis is a complex disorder, but it’s easier to understand if you first realize that all human beings are essentially covered in hair, Aires says.

“All of us are sort of wolf people, but the hair we’re covered with is invisible; it’s vellus hair,” he says. “After puberty, the hair on men’s faces and their chest transforms into the thicker terminal hair. But there are a very small number of people in whom all the areas of the body that would have vellus hair, have terminal hair.”

Another disorder known as congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa (CHL), results in hair that is long and silky and stems not from vellus hair but from the lanugo hair that covers all infants in the womb.

“Everyone has lanugo hair and you’ll often see babies born with hairy shoulders and hairy backs and parents panic, but that hair comes out and it doesn’t mean anything,” says Dr. Aires. “There are some conditions, though, where the lanugo hair persists. That’s extremely rare.”

Not all hypertrichosis is as severe as that of “Wolfboy.”

Localized hypertrichosis, as the name suggests, is where people will experience abnormal hair growth in one or two odd places on their body, such as their elbows (known as hairy elbows syndrome or hypertrichosis cubiti), their ears (hairy pinna) or their tailbone, referred to as faun tail deformity. These forms can be associated with bone abnormalities.

Of course, that doesn’t explain sudden growths of ear and nose hairs which can be common among aging men.

There are also cases of acquired hypertrichosis, either due to some type of body trauma (an injury or inflammation) or certain medications.

“Acquired hypertrichosis is not generally going to give you the werewolf appearance but a lot of people will just look hairier than they should,” says Dr. Aires. For example, children taking immunosupressive medications for organ transplants will develop dark peach fuzz.

If Gomez gets his own reality dating show, he could become as legendary as Jo Jo, the Dog-faced Boy or The Bearded Lady. Jo-Jo, born Fedor Jeftichejev, was an extremely popular sideshow performer who toured the world with Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth in the early 20th century.  The woolly Julia Pastrana, also known as “The Marvelous Hybrid or Bear Woman” was widely exhibited in the U.S. and Europe before her death in childbirth in 1860. Her body was then mummified, along with that of her infant, and put on display by her husband-manager.

Then there was the Gonzales family — consisting of a hairy father, a “normal” mother and five excessively hairy children — who became the bewhiskered “Jon and Kate” of the 16th century and were celebrated throughout Europe.

Unfortunately, others with this rare condition did not fare as well. Ruthlessly exploited, they were labeled as monsters or “wild men” or “human terriers” and said to be the result of a sexual union between human and ape. 

As for treatment, Dr. Aires says that while there are a number of hair removal options available — shaving, waxing, electrolysis, laser, and depilatories — there is no hypertrichosis cure. 

A spokesperson for Zoo Productions says Gomez does trim the hair on his face, but he doesn’t attempt to shave it off anymore since it “just grows back.”

“Obviously, people with skin conditions are not monsters,” Aires says. “Maybe the show will be good and will serve to humanize someone with this unusual condition.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009


18-month-old baby taken to hospital high on pot

Last update - 20:15 11/06/2009
Baby brought to Safed hospital high on marijuana
By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent
A one-and-a-half-year-old boy high on marijuana was brought to a children's intensive care unit for treatment on Thursday, after his parents noticed that he was overly sleepy, apathetic and walking unsteadily.

"The baby arrived at the hospital with his mother after repeated unsuccessful attempts on her part to wake him," said Dr. Yuri Viener, head of the children's intensive care unit at Ziv Medical Center in Safed.

The baby, who lives with his family in a northern Galilee community, underwent multiple tests after doctors suspected he ingested a toxic substance, and a urine test revealed evidence of marijuana in the boy's system.
The boy, who received respiratory treatment, along with Oxygen and fluids, woke up after five hours and is in stable condition.

Dr. Viener said it is rare that a baby would be exposed to large amounts of narcotic substances, but that even minimal exposure can cause respiratory problems, including cessation of breathing.

He stressed that parents must be extremely cautious with children of all ages when it comes to dangerous substances at home.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Parking space sells for $300,000

The Boston Globe 

$300,000 price sets record - for parking

Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff / June 11, 2009


Housing prices may be down, but the cost of a coveted parking space is up.

An unidentified buyer yesterday paid $300,000 for a private parking space in the Back Bay, making it the most expensive parking space in Boston, according to Listing Information Network, which tracks the city's real estate market.

Debra Sordillo, the Coldwell sales agent who brokered the deal, said several residents at 48 Commonwealth Ave. engaged in a bidding war for the space, driving the asking price of $250,000 up to the record-breaking $300,000. The winning bidder did not want to be identified, she said.

The price is more than what many people pay for a house, but Sordillo said prime parking spaces near the Public Garden are in short supply.

"There's only so many parking spaces in the city," said Sordillo. "And in this part, there's very few."

In the last year, parking spaces in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill have fetched an average selling price of $134,000, Listing Information Network said. A year earlier, the average cost of a parking spot in those areas was $127,000. The number of parking space sales has also increased in the last two years, from 18 in 2007 to 26 last year.

The owners who sold yesterday's record-breaking parking space live in the historic brownstone at 48 Commonwealth, a multi-unit building prominently located on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Berkeley Street. Sordillo said they are also attempting to sell their posh two-bedroom unit with direct elevator access. The $2.5 million price includes a parking space in the building's underground garage.

The $300,000 space came with few amenities other than the prime location; it is outdoors and uncovered.

The previous record for an open-air parking space was set in 2006, when a buyer paid $250,000 for a space behind 31-33 Commonwealth Ave.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Woman knocks out thief with 12-pack of beer

Beer Proves Once Again To Be Deterrent To Crime

Alcohol has been the downfall of many ne'er-do-wells,  but never quite like this. After a man stole Kayte Taylor's wallet near a Santa Rosa, Calif., market on Saturday, the 28-year-old did what most women would — she grabbed a 12-pack of Miller Lite and shot-putted it at the thief.

Shot putting Miller Lite

The tasty beer missile hit its mark — knocking the man off of his getaway bike, where Kayte's friends descended on him and retrieved the wallet. Boom goes the dynamite. It's Miller Time.


Taking chase, Kayte reached the sidewalk to see the guy pushing and trying to mount a bicycle. It dawned on Kayte there was something useful in her hand. A 12-pack of Miller Lite — bottles. Her friends' eyes widened as Kayte hoisted the box to shoulder height, reared back and shot-put the beer at the burglar maybe 12 feet away.

Pow. Down he went. Four women were on him like kids on a burst piñata. Kayte took back her wallet.

The police then showed up and were in a very arresty mood.

What onlookers failed to notice is that Taylor's throw of 11 feet, 2 inches was a woman's outdoor record for light beer (bottles). Be assured that the Chinese are assembling a women's beer shot putting team as you read this.


                                 UPDATED VERSION

This guy was lucky the beer was lite


Published: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 4:03 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 4:03 a.m.

Dusk neared Saturday as 28-year-old Kayte Taylor and three girlfriends pulled up to Sam's Market on Santa Rosa Avenue to buy beer.

Kayte and the one pal who accompanied her inside chatted merrily as Kayte reached into the cooler. Just then a man strode up, bumped Kayte and snatched her wallet from her other hand.

"He's got my wallet!" Kayte yelled as the robber headed for the door.

Taking chase, Kayte reached the sidewalk to see the guy pushing and trying to mount a bicycle. It dawned on Kayte there was something useful in her hand.

A 12-pack of Miller Lite -- bottles. Her friends' eyes widened as Kayte hoisted the box to shoulder height, reared back and shot-put the beer at the burglar maybe 12 feet away.

Pow. Down he went. Four women were on him like kids on a burst piñata. Kayte took back her wallet.

Rather than keep wrestling with the crook, the women let him up but took hold of his bicycle. He demanded it, pleaded for it, but he wasn't getting it.

When he started down the avenue on foot, one of Kayte's friends -- the one who's a security guard and was in uniform -- tailed him until police arrived to arrest him.

The ladies observed while rehashing the incident that several male bystanders had just stood there, not one making a move to help. Maybe it was the shock of seeing a guy put down by a 12-pack.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Wrecking Company Demolishes Wrong House

Homeowner Says Crews Demolished Wrong House

Posted: 3:43 pm EDT June 10, 2009Updated: 6:00 pm EDT June 10, 2009

CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. -- This is a story that may leave you shaking your head.


A Sandy Springs man got a phone call Monday that his family home in Carroll County was gone. Torn down. Demolished.
“We had heirlooms in there…my mom’s dining room set…her hutch with her dishes in there,” said homeowner Al Byrd.

Byrd said he cannot believe his eyes.

The house his father built, brick by brick, with his own hands has been mysteriously demolished.

“You can’t imagine. It’s just incredulous that something like this can happen and no one contact the owner,” said Byrd.

Byrd grew up in the home with his nine brothers and sisters. It’s a three bedroom house on a little road bearing his family’s name.

“We were taught that you could do anything that you wanted to do as long as you were willing to work hard and pay the price,” said Byrd.

Byrd’s cousin shot video Monday of a bulldozer in the yard of the house with dumpsters loaded with rubble.

The demolition company said it had paperwork.

“I said, ‘Paperwork for what?’ and he said, ‘For the house, to demolish the house.’ I said, ‘I’m the owner of the house, I haven’t given anybody any authority to demolish this house,’” said Byrd.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Jovita Moore asked Byrd if the demolition company had an address.

“I said, ‘What address did you have?’ and he said, ‘They sent me some GPS coordinates.’ I said, ‘Don’t you have an address?’ (and) he said, ‘Yes, my GPS coordinates led me right to this address here and this house was described,’” said Byrd.

Byrd said he suspects the intended target was actually across the road.

Byrd said his house held decades of memories. While he was talking to Moore, the enormity of what is now gone appeared to set in. Byrd could hardly speak.

The man who cuts the grass told Byrd about a month ago that the power box was missing and there were holes punched into the walls. They both thought it was vandalism. Now, Byrd believes it was part of the preparation for the demolition.

The demolition was done by a Marietta company who told Byrd it was hired by a company out of Texas. Moore tried to contact the Texas company, but her calls have not been returned.




Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Woman throws out mom's old mattress stuffed with $1,000,000


Woman throws out old mattress... with mother's $1m life savings stashed inside

Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 8:17 AM

10th June 2009


An Israeli woman threw out an old mattress -  not realising it was stuffed with her mother's $1million life-savings.

The culprit, identified only as Anat, had bought the new bedding as surprise for her elderly relative.

But when her mother found out about her gift she 'almost fainted' before revealing the contents of the mattress.

Desperate search: The woman searches a landfill in Tel Aviv for the missing mattress

Desperate search: The woman scours a landfill in Tel Aviv for the missing mattress

Over the years, she had crammed it full with Israeli shekels and American dollars. Her stash amounted to $1m.

Anat ran outside to discover the bedding had already been taken away by rubbish men, sparking a frantic - and so far fruitless - search through tons of waste at three landfill sites in Tel Aviv. 

Yitzhak Borba, a manager at one of the dumps, said she appeared 'totally desperate' but the mattress was hard to find amid the 2,500 tonnes of rubbish left every day.

Workers search for the mattress that reportedly contains one million dollars on the landfill site of Efeh, Tel Aviv


Workers search for the mattress that reportedly contains one million dollars on the landfill site of Efeh, Tel Aviv

Workers search for the mattress that reportedly contains one million dollars on the landfill site of Efeh, Tel Aviv

He said he had increased security at the site to keep would-be treasure hunters at bay.

For her part, Anat said it could be worse. 'My mother told me that I should just leave it,' she todl Army Radio.

'It is a very, very sad story - but I've been through worse.

'It's a matter of proportion in life. People need to know how to accept the good and the bad.'

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Facebook removes page of $232,000,000 Powerball winner

Facebook removes purported page of S.D. Powerball winner

Jeff Martin
June 8, 2009
A Facebook profile set up in the name of a South Dakota rancher who won a $232 million Powerball jackpot recently has been disabled by the popular social networking site, Facebook spokesman Simon Axten said Tuesday.

The profile, set up soon after Neal Wanless collected his prize Friday, quickly collected more than 120 "friends."

"Must be nice! Being a single mom of 3 kids, I could definitely use a lottery win right now … maybe then I could actually afford a house … keep on dreaming … right?" one poster wrote.

The Facebook page was created using Wanless' real name, complete with a profile picture of a cowboy riding into the sunset — the cowboy's face was not clearly visible. On the profile's information page was: "Looking For: Dating."

"We've investigated this account and disabled it," Axten said in response to questions about whether the profile was legitimate.

"Facebook has always been based on a real-name culture," Axten said in a statement. "We think this leads to greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment for our users.

"It's a violation of our policies to use a fake name or operate under another person's identity, and we encourage users to report anyone they think is doing this, either through the report links we provide on the site or through the contact forms on our Help page."

Axten did not identify who set up the profile. The Facebook spokesman said he couldn't comment on the possibility of charges, but the company generally doesn't press for them against people who build fake accounts.

"We feel that our resources are better spent building and improving our systems for detection and responding quickly to reports," Axten said.

Wanless couldn't be immediately reached for comment on the situation.

Before the profile was shut down, the page included several messages of well-wishes and an icon of a pink heart with the message "Neal is sending free hugs to friends."

There also are jubilant responses to winning the lottery from the person managing the profile, such as this one: "YESSSSSSSSSS!"

Mike Nitz, an associate professor of communication studies at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., says it is "certainly possible to create a false identity on Facebook.

"All you need is an e-mail, and that's really it," says Nitz, who uses Facebook for his classes.

But many issues — such as who owns the photos and other content posted to Facebook — are far from being resolved.

"It's really kind of a wild, wild West out there with the legal issues," Nitz says.

Martin reports for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Pregnant Man Gives Birth to Second Child

'Pregnant man' Thomas Beatie gives birth to second child

A US man who was born a woman before undergoing gender realignment surgery has given birth to a second child, ABC News reported on its website on Tuesday.


Published: 11:02AM BST 10 Jun 2009

Thomas Beatie and Susan Juliette Beatie: 'Pregnant man' gives birth to second child
Thomas Beatie and Susan Juliette Beatie Photo: GETTY

Thomas Beatie, who is legally male but decided to keep his female sex organs during chest reconstruction surgery and testosterone therapy, attracted worldwide headlines last year after revealing his pregnancy.

The 35-year-old gave birth to a baby girl in Oregon last July and on Tuesday celebrated the arrival of a second child, a baby boy, ABC News reported.

Mr Beatie was last year dubbed the 'pregnant man' after appearing on Oprah Winfrey's television talkshow to discuss his pregnancy.

"I feel it's not a male or female desire to have a child. It's a human need. I'm a person and I have the right to have a biological child," he said.

Mr Beatie revealed that he'd been "shocked" by the amount of publicity the couple had received, insisting they were just like any other family.

"We are a man, woman and child. It's ironic that we are so different but yet, we're just a family, just the same as anyone else," he said.

When asked why he made many people uneasy, he said, "I think that people are not used to seeing the image of a pregnant man.

"And it's causing a lot of people to think. … I used my female reproductive organs to become a father."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Girl, 10, arrested for fighting sister, 13

Girl, 10, arrested for fighting sister

Published: June 9, 2009 at 7:55 PM
FLOWER MOUND, Texas, June 9 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old girl was arrested and charged for fighting in a park with her 13-year-old sister, police in Texas said.


The older sister said the fight broke out after her younger sister refused to follow her instructions, KDFW-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth reported Tuesday.

"She pushed me, so I just walked away from it," the 13-year-old said. "The third time she pushed me, we just started fighting."

The girls, who were visiting family in Flower Mound with their mother, returned to the family home with a police officer in tow.

"'This is criminal, and one of them is going to have to go to jail and it's probably going to have to be your younger one because she was the aggressor,'" their mother quoted the officer as saying. "And I said, 'Are you kidding me?' and he said, 'No, no.'"

Lt. Clay Pierce of the Flower Mound Police said it was being treated as a case of family violence. The girl was charged with Class A misdemeanor assault.

"By state law we are required to take action and what we did, we detained the youngest one," he said.

"Both of them had some injuries. The one showed more serious injuries, so the other one was detained."

The case has been turned over to the Denton County district attorney for further review.

The girls' names are not being reported by UPI because they are juveniles.



 The girls have been identified as Reagan Green, 10 and 13-year-old Desiree Green.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


ATM stolen from bank falls off trailer

ATM stolen from bank falls off trailer


Monday June 8, 2009

PHENIX CITY, Ala. -- Ripping an ATM from its concrete base isn't easy. Losing it seems even harder. Thieves at an Alabama bank managed to do both.

Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith says the thieves used a stolen backhoe, a pickup truck and a flatbed trailer to pull off the job at a Wachovia branch in the eastern Alabama city early Monday.

Smith says the thieves loaded the ATM onto the trailer and headed north on Summerville Road. He says that along the way, the ATM fell off the trailer.

Smith says the thieves had abandoned the backhoe at the bank and had no way to load the ATM back onto the trailer, so they drove away without it.

Smith says the backhoe and the ATM have been processed for evidence.


Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2009

Thieves abandon stolen backhoe, ATM

Machine, still full, found in street

Ledger Enquirer
Alan Riquelmy -
Here’s the plan — take a stolen backhoe, pickup truck and flatbed trailer, rip an ATM off its concrete base in downtown Phenix City and head north on Summerville Road.

One problem, as some would-be thieves discovered early Monday, is that the ATM just might spill off the trailer into the middle of the road.

That’s where police found it — worse for the wear, but still full of cash.

 “It sounded like a good plan at the time,” said Police Chief Ray Smith. “Lucky for us, it fell apart.”

About 3 a.m. Monday, officers responded to an alarm at the 13th Street Wachovia Bank, where they found the stolen backhoe. They then fanned out some patrols, eventually finding the machine near South and North Railroad streets on Summerville Road, Smith said.

The suspects were gone by then, though it doesn’t appear they got anything for their trouble.

Smith said the thieves apparently towed the backhoe to the bank, unloaded it and used it to get the ATM onto the flatbed trailer. Leaving the backhoe, they drove north on Summerville Road, pulling the ATM until it tumbled off.

That’s when the suspects, realizing they couldn’t get the heavy machine back on the trailer, left, Smith said.

Police already have processed the ATM and backhoe for evidence, the police chief said. Smith said he intends to release photo and video evidence, if recovered.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Coach teaches boys to steal

Published: Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Arlington coach put Little League boys up to burglary, police say

Diana Hefley
Herald Writer

ARLINGTON -- An Arlington Little League coach is accused of showing some of his players how to steal more than second base.

Investigators allege that George Spady Jr. was with his son, a nephew and another player from his baseball team when he broke into a vacant shop and took overhead lights and bolts. The boys were encouraged to assist with the break-in, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Edirin Okoloko wrote in court documents.

Spady, 31, was charged Monday with second-degree burglary, a felony.

Snohomish County sheriff's deputies were called to one of the players' homes after the boy told his stepfather that his coach had taken him along to break into a shop in Arlington, Okoloko wrote.

The stepfather was angry that an adult would use the boys to commit a crime, and, even worse, "that the adult was his son's baseball coach," Okoloko wrote.

The boy told investigators that Spady's son crawled through a vent on the back side of the shop and unlocked the door for his father. Spady, his son and Spady's nephew then went inside and came out with light fixtures and some other items, according to court documents.

The boy told investigators that Spady yelled at him to go inside and grab more from the shop, and told him to hurry up because he saw a truck drive by, Okoloko wrote.

The boy told police he didn't take anything from the shop.

Spady told police he'd driven onto the property to go "four-wheeling" with the boys, Okoloko wrote. He told the sheriff's deputy he didn't see the numerous "No Trespassing" signs posted on the shop, near the driveway and in other locations on the property.

Investigators reported that Spady told them the front door to the shop was unlocked and he couldn't recall if anyone went through a vent to get inside, Okoloko wrote.

Spady was apologetic, the deputy reported.

He admitted taking shop lights and bolts but didn't take anything else; he handed over the lights to the sheriff's deputy. He said he didn't have the bolts with him, according to court documents.

The boys are not expected to be charged with a crime.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Top Ten Dead Celebs That People Want To Meet

Top Ten Dead Celebs That People Want To Meet; The Survey Says:

June 9, 2009 7:10 a.m. EST

Celebrity News Service Staff

Britain's Princess Diana is second only to Jesus Christ as the dead person people would most like to meet.

The former wife of Prince Charles - who was killed in a car crash in 1997 - came ahead of playwright William Shakespeare, scientist Albert Einstein and actress Marilyn Monroe in the poll, bur couldn't match the 33 per cent of the vote given to the son of God.

A spokesperson for TV dinosaur drama 'Primeval', who conducted the survey of 3,000 people to mark the launch of the DVD release of the show's third series, said: These results show that Jesus Christ will always be the British Public's 'Superstar'.

"But we were fully expecting Princess Diana to top the poll as she won the hearts of the nation and no-one has ever really forgotten her place within the Royal family or the impact she made on ordinary people."


Other famous people appearing in the top 10 were artist Leonardo da Vinci, in sixth place, musicians Elvis Presley and Freddie Mercury in seventh and ninth, and children's author Roald Dahl in eighth.

The top 10 was rounded off by famed rights campaigner Martin Luther King.

Top 10 dead celebrities people would most like to meet:

  1. Jesus
  2. Princess Diana
  3. William Shakespeare
  4. Albert Einstein
  5. Marilyn Monroe
  6. Leonardo da Vinci
  7. Elvis Presley
  8. Roald Dahl
  9. Freddie Mercury
  10. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


House boarded up with resident inside

House boarded up with resident inside


Star Tribune

Last update: June 8, 2009 - 8:10 AM


On May 12, the day the city inspector came to board up his house, Ted Poetsch was eating lunch. After living all of his 53 years at 823 Penn Av. N., Poetsch had an hour left to pack his stuff and get out.

Cane in hand, he lurched around, throwing a few things in bags, putting Kitty in the carrier. He heard the contractor outside starting to drill into the door frame.

Poetsch made his way down his narrow stairway, resigned to the end he had resisted for three years, through personal financial missteps, the false promise of a foreclosure "rescue" and a court victory that gave him short-lived hope.

He came to the door and realized that he was too late. A truck had driven away from the house, prompting those outside to think the tenants were gone. Poetsch had been boarded up inside his house.

City officials say Poetsch had ample warning that they were coming that day, but they say his brief incarceration was an unprecedented mistake. In many ways, Poetsch's experience is emblematic of the forces that have fastened plywood over so much of the North Side and urban neighborhoods across America.

The house at 823 Penn, vacant and already a target for thieves, is now owned by Fannie Mae. In September, the federal government took over the mortgage giant in a multibillion-dollar bailout after it was brought to the brink of collapse by the housing meltdown.

Poetsch got no such assistance. The city determined that the house was potentially unsafe and that Poetsch was essentially a squatter in the only home he had ever known. Now this North Side neighborhood has one fewer neighbor and one more boarded house.

"Everybody loses," said Poetsch's onetime attorney, Josh DuBois, who helped Poetsch get out of his boarded house that day in May.



Link to Video:

Monday, June 8, 2009


Daughter breaks mom's legs while learning how to drive

Springfield mother struck by daughter learning how to drive

The Republican Newsroom

Saturday June 06, 2009, 3:34 PM


SPRINGFIELD - A 17-year-old girl who was practicing how to drive in a cinema parking lot struck her mother and broke her legs, Springfield police said.

Sgt. Thomas E. Long said the mother was sitting on a fence when she was struck with the 2001 Ford Windstar van Saturday morning.

"She was stopped, but not being familiar with the vehicle, she accelerated and hit her mom," Long said.

He said the girl was trying to put the car in park. The mother was brought to Baystate Medical Center. The accident was reported at 10:48 a.m. at 1250 St. James Ave., the movie theater parking lot behind Springfield Plaza, he said.

The owner of the car, the girl's father, Treavor Blair, 39, of 181 Nursery St., was cited for allowing an unlicensed operator to operate the vehicle, Long said.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Man caught speeding tells police someone stole his pot

Posted: June 8
Updated: Today at 6:40 AM

Cops: Speeder said he was chasing pot thief

Times Leader staff


WEST HAZLETON – Police say a man they arrested in a traffic stop told them he was speeding because he was chasing someone who stole marijuana from him.



While borough police were conducting “Buckle Up” – a special grant program to target drivers not using seat belts late Friday night, they stopped a vehicle they said was driving at an extremely high rate of speed and switching lanes without using turn signals.

During a traffic stop, police say they observed a glass bowl used for smoking marijuana on the front seat in plain view. Police also found 15 individually packaged baggies of marijuana and 13 ecstasy pills during a search of the vehicle.

Police say the driver, Ryah Neaus, 21, of 824 Seybert St., Hazleton, told them he was speeding “because he was chasing the person who just robbed him of his Apple iPhone and three bags of marijuana.”Neaus was charged with possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

He was also cited with careless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.

Monday, June 8, 2009


The World's Smallest Microwave

Heinz creates world's smallest microwave (and you can plug it into your laptop)

Sean Poulter

The Daily Mail
Last updated at 4:15 PM on 08th June 2009 

It is the world's smallest, portable microwave and can be powered via a link to the USB port on a laptop computer.

The turquoise device -called the Beanzawave - has been created in partnership with Heinz to allow workers tied to their desks to create a warm snack, or hot drink, to see them through the day.

However, it might also sustain a hard-working student through the many hours of lonely revision.


Heinz has come up with a novel device that will heat up food at the desk of busy workers

And the convenience of powering it from a laptop computer means you could tuck into a hot snack while flying on holiday or even on the train.

To date, the device, which stands just 7.4inches tall by 6.2in wide and 5.9in deep, is only a prototype.

However, experts at the Microwave Association insist the sophisticated miniaturised technology does exist to turn the eye-catching gadget  into a reality.

The mini-micro has been designed by microwave expert Gordon Andrews and Stephen Frazer, an authority on industrial design and managng director of Frazer Designers.

Apart from its size, the key breakthrough is the use of a combination of mobile phone radio frequencies to create the heat to cook both on the outside and within in under a minute.

Mr Andrews, the managing director of GAMA Microwave Technology, said it is possible to 'tune' the radio-frequencies to provide the best results with any small product.

'It is possible to heat a pie, a burger, a cup of soup or tea in quick time,' he said. 

'There is the option of powering it with lithium ion batteries that would make it completely portable, which would be a help to fishermen, campers or sportsmen.'

Mr Andrews said he created the oven after being approached for help by Heinz, who wanted a portable microwave that would work with its Snap Pots.

heinz microwave

The Beanzawave is powered from a USB cable plugged into a computer

The main drawback, with component prices at current levels, is the fact that the mini-micro would carry a hefty price of around £100.

However, just as mobile phones have become cheaper, so the cost of production could fall to the point where it becomes profitable to manufacture on a large scale.

Mr Andrews said the product conforms with all the safety standards of a normal microwave oven, including protective walls and a door mechanism which kills the power when it opens.

Heinz claims there is a ready market for the ovens. Its research found 69 per cent of office workers find they are so busy at their terminals that they do not have a chance to go out for lunch every day.

Heinz Beanz marketing manager, John Alderman, said: 'Heinz Beanz and Hoops Snap Pots are one of the most innovative and successful new product launches in this category for the last two years, boasting sales of over £22million.

'They were designed in response to the changing eating habits of Brits, who require a quick solution to mealtimes, a trend which is even more relevant in today’s environment.

'The single serve microwavable Snap Pots allow people to quickly heat and eat. We are therefore delighted to be working with Gordon as the Beanzawave is the perfect partner to Heinz Snap Pots, allowing a nutritious snack to be whipped up anywhere in just 60 seconds.'

Heinz said that any decision on whether to support production will depend on the feedback it receives from the public.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Gun instructor stops armed robber outside his home

FCI employee thwarts would-be robber outside his Waterbury home

By Ethan Fry
News Times
Updated: 06/05/2009 11:29:53 PM EDT




Robert Dwyer, a counselor at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, has trained with 9 mm handguns every year in his other role as a weapons instructor for the Department of Justice.

So he knew just what to do when an assailant approached him Tuesday night outside his Waterbury home brandishing a handgun.

The man had followed him from a bank automated teller machine about a mile away from his house, Dwyer said.

He noticed something was amiss when he pulled into his driveway and saw another car speed down a dead-end side street. From there, things got interesting.

"Somebody was walking down the street," Dwyer said Friday. "All of a sudden he started saying 'Yo, yo.' Then he comes on up and pulls a 9 mm out and says, 'This is a robbery, yo.'"

That's when Dwyer's expertise with weapons kicked in. "I reached down and grabbed the gun by the upper receiver," he recalled.

A struggle ensued, during which a shot was fired that did not hit either man. Dwyer said because of the way he grabbed the gun, the spent shell casing could not be ejected from the chamber, and the gun jammed.

Not that he knew that.

"At that point I wasn't exactly sure. I didn't know the gun wasn't working at that time," he said.

So as his struggle with the would-be robber, later identified by police as 25-year-old Eddys Marte, spilled into the street outside his home and Marte was able to get away from him momentarily, Dwyer sought cover behind a car, fearing he could be the target of a gunshot.


But by then, his two sons, Robert Jr., 27, and Christopher, 25, had heard the commotion and left the house to come to his aid.

Christopher tackled Marte, Dwyer said, and he and Robert Jr. subdued the assailant and kicked the gun away while a neighbor called police.

"My children got into the fray, so I had to get back into the fray," he said.

After officers took Marte into custody, he was charged with a bevy of crimes -- attempted first-degree robbery, attempted first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.

He was arraigned Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court and ordered held in lieu of $600,000 bond. He is now behind bars at New Haven Correctional Center.

Dwyer, who also served eight years in the Army before his career in corrections began, was thankful Friday for his familiarity with 9 mm guns, but said he never thought he'd get the kind of hands-on experience he did Tuesday.

"We shoot and I train with them each year," he said. "In some of my training I've had classes in weapons retention and disarming somebody if they get your weapon."

Bill Katzing, his supervisor, commended Dwyer's heroics Friday, saying in an e-mail it was "hard to believe this actually happened."

"I can't tell you how proud I am of Bob and what he did," Katzing noted. "This man is a law enforcement professional and is a true hero."

Though glad everything worked out OK, Dwyer said Friday the entire incident could have been avoided were the assailant more discerning in choosing potential victims.

"I drive a Daewoo," Dwyer said. "I would've looked for a better car than mine."

Monday, June 8, 2009


China's Elephant Man With World's Largest Face

Sunday June 7, 2009

With tumors on his face and head that would make even the most compassionate of souls like Mother Teresa say “ B! What is that?!” Huang Chuncai, 31 bravely underwent a potentially life ending surgery to get part of his 33 pound tumor removed. Yep, not only is it a tumor, but it’s 33 pounds of it, too. But he has to further undergo another surgery to remove rest of the tumor .Known as "China's Elephant Man," Huang Chuncai suffers from exceptionally large tumors that have stunted his growth, left his bones undeveloped, caused his spine to buckle and restricted his breathing. Now, Huang undergoes a risky surgery


                    WARNING!!!! ---"EXTREME DISFIGURATION"




Sunday, June 7, 2009


Marine Recruiter Charged with Pimping 14-Year-Old to Entice Recruits

Friday, June 5, 2009

Marine Recruiter Charged with Pimping 14-Year-Old to Entice Recruits

Staff Sgt. Bryan Damone Cunningham, 33, of San Pedro, California has been arrested for an interesting, though morally bankrupt (and illegal) method of enticing recruits to enlist.

He has been charged with felony pimping and kidnapping, and police are looking into whether he used sex with a 14-year-old girl to entice potential recruits. Cunningham pleaded not guilty to seven felonies last Thursday. However, it seems he was pretty much caught with his pants down; police in Orange discovered Cunningham and two other men in a car with the 14-year-old girl.

The two men, ages 18 and 19, were potential Marine recruits, and the girl, since returned to her parents in Hemet, which is E/SE of LA, told police that she met Cunningham online and had sex with all three men.

The question of using the girl to entice recruits is an open one. Hemet police Lt. Joe Nevarez said:

"It's not proven ... but when you look at it, this is a grown man, a Marine staff sergeant. Why would he be taking them out to have sex with a 14-year-old girl?"
Cunningham is being held on $1 million bail and has a court hearing June 18. The two other men are being charged with sex with a minor.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


$300,000 Public Toilet Almost Ready

Hub's super bowl is nearly ready

Problems stalled $300,000 toilet

By Michael Levenson
Globe Staff / June 7, 2009

Boston is no stranger to miraculous feats of engineering. The city has seen 3 miles of highway buried beneath downtown, the world's longest one-way tunnel extended into the Harbor, and the opening of a quarter-mile-long cable-stayed bridge gracefully spanning the Charles River.


Now, the city is preparing for the latest addition to its pantheon of construction marvels, the opening on the waterfront of a coin-operated toilet that took more than two years and $300,000 to bring from drawing board to reality. And it still hasn't had its first flush.

"This was the perfect storm," said Peter O'Sullivan, the city's director of street furniture, who is in charge of sidewalk restrooms, kiosks, bus shelters, and the like. "There were more complications on this one than on any toilet we've worked on."

City officials commissioned the gleaming commode on the edge of Christopher Columbus Park near the North End as a basic convenience for tourists who line up for ferries to the Boston Harbor islands. It is the seventh city toilet out of a planned 10 that have been built since Mayor Thomas M. Menino vowed to bring such a fundamental amenity to Boston in 1997, after admiring a public toilet in San Francisco. Most have been installed in a few months.

Not this one. Getting it built has whipped up a tragicomedy of frustrations, delays, and engineering prob lems that shows that, when it comes to building in downtown Boston, things rarely go according to plan. "Every time I walk by, it seems like they're digging it up again," said Joanne Hayes-Rines, president of the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park. "I think you get conditioned to all this after you live with the Big Dig for 15 years."

Thankfully for taxpayers, a city contract stipulates that all costs, including any overruns, are paid by Wall Decaux Inc., which builds Boston's toilets and bus shelters in exchange for the right to sell ads on them. The toilets typically cost $250,000.

"We don't pay a penny," said Michael Galvin, Boston's chief of public property and construction management. "Nothing. And we haven't from Day One."

Work on the restroom began simply enough in March 2008, a year after the city first developed the initial plans. But soon after the digging began, workers discovered that the sewer lines were not where they appeared on engineering diagrams. They modified the toilet's plumbing, received city approval for the changes, lowered the unit into place, and bricked over the site. But the toilet sat more than 2 inches above the sidewalk, a violation of wheelchair-accessibility law.

Workers left the unit in the ground for the winter, because the city bans construction from November to April. This spring, they removed it, dug a deeper hole, and lowered it back into place. Worried that sewage would wash into the harbor, they added another pump. Then they relaid the bricks.

"It's just amazing that it's taken that long to put in," said William Walker, president of Water Transportation Alternatives, a ferry service whose passengers have had to scurry several hundred yards inside a nearby hotel to use the facilities. "It's just the contractors that put it in - they've been moving it up and down and up and down."

Yesterday, Walker surveyed the sleek, glass-and-steel restroom, which sat inside a fenced-in construction site, as four workers tested its plumbing and electrical connections. Wall Decaux said it was not surprised by the toilet travails.

"It's really the nature of doing product installation in a dense urban environment and in an old and historic city like Boston," said the company's president, Martin J. McDonough.

Now city officials say the toilet is nearing completion. But no one is quite ready to say when it will open to the public. They estimate it might take another two weeks. "Our technicians are testing it as we speak, so I'm not sure," McDonough said. "But I think it's safe to say, it will be flushing soon."

 Globe Newspaper Company.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Death row inmate sues to get victims' vintage Chevy

Inmate sues to get victims’ Chevy

Associated Press

June 7, 2009, 11:30AM


TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida death row inmate is suing to get a vintage Chevy pickup owned by the couple he is convicted of killing.

William Deparvine was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing Richard and Karla Van Dusen. His lawsuit over their car has now dragged on for two years, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

The dispute is over a red 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne truck Van Dusen bought and refurbished in the late 1990s after he divorced. He went to weekend car shows with it and won trophies. After he remarried, however, he decided to sell the truck, and Deparvine responded to a classified ad he took out.

On Nov. 26, 2003, the day after Deparvine met with Van Dusen, 58, and his wife, 49, their bodies were found in a dirt driveway in northwest Hillsborough County. Both had been shot in the head.

Authorities said Deparvine planned to rob and kill the couple but wanted to make it look like he bought the truck and someone else shot them. He typed up a bill of sale indicating the truck had been sold for $6,500 and signed Richard Van Dusen’s name.

At trial, Deparvine, 57, claimed he was innocent, but jurors found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

From his cell, he has claimed the bill of sale proves he owns the truck, and he has filed pages of handwritten court pleadings in his case.

“I will have to give him credit,” said Robert Vessel, an attorney for Richard Van Dusen’s daughter. “He’s one of the best jailhouse lawyers I’ve seen.”

It may not be enough to get the truck back. Van Dusen’s daughter said her cousin helped her sell it soon after Deparvine’s conviction. She was too scared to sell the truck on her own because of what happened to her father.

William Deparvine

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Injected with HIV by dad as baby teen is inspiration

Injected with HIV by dad as baby, teen inspires



Brryan Jackson lifts his 5-year-old sister Shannyn Jackson over his head as they AP – Brryan Jackson lifts his 5-year-old sister Shannyn Jackson over his head as they play Thursday, June …
By BETSY TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Betsy Taylor, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jun 6, 9:02 pm ET

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Brryan Jackson has been left out of birthday party invitations and asked not to use water fountains. His daily routine at one point included 23 pills, three IV medications and two injections. But the toughest part of growing up with AIDS for him may be knowing how he got it.

When he was a baby, his father entered his hospital room and injected a syringe of HIV-tainted blood into his tiny body. At times during his childhood, he was expected to die.

Now 18, he'll put on his black cap and gown Saturday and graduate from Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, near St. Louis. Shielded from the public for much of his life since his father's high-profile criminal trial a decade ago, Brryan is now an outspoken advocate for people with AIDS, and the power of faith and forgiveness.

"I expect to break the barriers between what people think this virus is, and what it really is," Brryan said Thursday during an interview at his home. "I hope to eliminate a lot of ignorance and change people's minds."

Then he breaks into a few lines from a Lazlo Bane song: "I can't do it all on my own; I'm no Superman."

Brryan's mother, Jennifer Jackson, and his father, Brian Stewart, were together for about two years, off and on, in the early 1990s. After Jackson became pregnant and had the child, Stewart denied he was the father. Paternity tests proved he was.

In 1992, Brryan was 11 months old when he was hospitalized with asthma. After leaving the hospital, he was constantly sick. Doctors ruled out one illness after another.

Finally, in 1996, the child was near death when he was diagnosed with AIDS. But doctors were puzzled about how he got the disease. He wasn't born with it, and had not had blood transfusions. That's when suspicion turned to Stewart.

Stewart worked at a St. Louis hospital as a phlebotomist — his job was drawing blood from patients. Brryan's mother said Stewart came to Brryan's hospital room during that 1992 stay and suggested she go get a bite to eat.

Prosecutors said he had a syringe filled with HIV-tainted blood tucked inside his lab coat. They said he waited until he was alone with the boy and injected him.

There were no witnesses, but at trial in 1998, Jackson and others testified that Stewart had access to tainted blood and previously had threatened to use it as a weapon.

The defense contended the boy could have been infected other ways, perhaps from a medical procedure. But prosecutors argued that Stewart wanted the family out of his life, and didn't want to pay child support.

"Obviously, the first thing is, what a horrible thing to do to a person. And then, how do you do that to your own child?" said Ross Buehler, the former St. Charles County prosecutor who handled the case.

Stewart was convicted of first-degree assault and received the maximum sentence, life in prison. At sentencing, Judge Ellsworth Cundiff said he was in the same category as "the worst war criminal" and added, "I believe when God finally calls you, you are going to burn in hell from here to eternity."

To distance himself from his father — and to protect his identity growing up — Brryan changed his name from "Brian." He has not been in contact with Stewart but said he has forgiven him.

"God wants us to forgive people," he said. "Am I going to make myself as low as he is? ... I've got to be the better person."

Stewart, now 42, remains in a Missouri prison and is eligible for parole in two years. He declined to be interviewed for this story and said he did not wish to have an attorney comment on his behalf.

Buehler said he occasionally talks to Jennifer Jackson and called Brryan courageous for his AIDS education work. "He's a remarkable kid," Buehler said.

In many ways, Brryan is a typical teen. He became a cheerleader after his sister dared him to try out for the squad; he's learning how to play the guitar.

With improvements in AIDS treatment, he's down to just five medications these days. He said at his last doctor's visit, they didn't draw blood because he has overall been in good health.

Still, he has missed long stretches of school battling AIDS and admits that some days, it's hard to get out of bed.

Friends say Brryan is known for talking animatedly with his hands and making people laugh. And he's fiercely loyal.

Kendra Sontag, 16, said if she has a bad day, Bryyan will often show up at her door to make sure she's all right. His sunny outlook has made her a stronger person, Sontag said.

"He could be mad forever but he chooses to forgive, because that's what God would do," she said.

Brryan's also quite a flirt.

"He likes to hit on the ladies, I'm afraid," Sontag said.

That's where the stigma of his disease can crop up. Sontag said at least one girl has been told to stop talking to Brryan by parents worried about their daughter's involvement with a boy with AIDS.

As always, Brryan moves ahead. He plans to eventually go to college, and hopes one day to go into politics, but for the upcoming months, he'll spend his time advocating for others with AIDS.

Brryan has started a nonprofit called Hope Is Vital. He will work this summer with Project Kindle, a Valencia, Calif.-based organization that sponsors summer camps for children affected by the disease. He also serves as a speaker with that group and a St. Peters, Mo.-based ministry, Upward Bound Ministries.

Project Kindle's founder, Eva Payne, said when Brryan first started attending Camp Kindle seven years ago, he was shy and frequently cried.

"Every year, he was a little more confident," she said. And when another girl broke down a few years ago, because she was having trouble talking about being HIV-positive, Brryan offered his support.

"He said he can be her voice, until she's ready," Payne recalled.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Judge Wants to Collect a Year's Salary While in PRISON

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent (shown in February) is about to begin a 33-month prison sentence.

Nick de la Torre Chronicle

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent (shown in February) is about to begin a 33-month prison sentence.

Galveston's Judge Kent to quit next year

Prison-bound jurist tells Obama he will quit June 1, 2010


Houston Chronicle

June 2, 2009, 8:36PM

WASHINGTON — Prison- bound U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Kent told President Barack Obama on Tuesday he fully intends to keep his $174,000-a-year post for another year — a notice that further fueled the angst of members of Congress who vowed a fast-track impeachment

“I hereby resign from my position as United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas effective June 1, 2010,” Kent wrote the president, putting the effective date in italics. Until that date — or his impeachment — he will continue to draw a salary from taxpayers.

Kent’s letter, however, only served to galvanize House action, with Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, saying: “Ensuring that a corrupt judge does not receive another penny of taxpayer dollars is one of the most important jobs for this Congress and a priority for the Judiciary Committee.”

Kent, convicted of obstruction of justice and set to begin a 33-month sentence in coming weeks, submitted the one-line letter on the eve of impeachment proceedings by the House Judiciary Committee. Those proceedings will still start today.

The White House had no immediate comment.

Dick DeGuerin, Kent’s Houston-based attorney, said Kent delayed the date of his resignation because it will take that long anyway for the House and Senate to complete impeachment.

“There’s no reason for going forward, now that Kent has notified the president of his unconditional resignation,” DeGuerin told the Houston Chronicle.

DeGuerin accused lawmakers of pressing ahead “for the publicity value” and to “fight for a microphone.”

Impeachment is “going to be brutal, it’s going to be ugly and it’s going to be nasty,” DeGuerin said. Lawmakers “are taking advantage of a man who has been totally destroyed and has stepped up and accepted his punishment.”

Plea deal didn’t specify

Kent was sentenced on May 11 after pleading guilty in February to obstruction of justice for lying to a judicial inquiry looking into allegations that he had repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted a court employee.

The 59-year-old jurist admitted in the plea deal that he had non-consensual sexual contact with two female court employees between 2003 and 2007. But the 12-page plea agreement did not specify that Kent would resign or relinquish his salary.

Federal judges can be removed from the bench only after impeachment — a process that requires the House to file charges and the Senate to convict.

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, said Congress will impeach Kent “well before the end of that year because he’s taking up a position on the bench and we need a judge sitting on that bench.”

Two victims to testify

Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, a former Texas attorney general and state Supreme Court judge, said the judge “does not deserve another paycheck from American taxpayers.”

Kent “betrayed the public trust, broke the law and trashed the oath that he swore to uphold,” said Cornyn.

Witnesses before the House Judiciary Committee hearing will include two federal court employees whom Kent has admitted to molesting — court case manager Cathy McBroom and legal secretary Donna Wilkerson.

McBroom’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Kent “could have gone quietly with a resignation effective immediately without these women having to once again testify to the world as to what he did.”

Added Wilkerson’s lawyer, Terry Yates: “I think if he resigns in a year, he’ll be already impeached and convicted in the Senate by then.”

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Man arrested posing as marijuana doctor

'Doctor' not in the house; he's in jail

Suspect allegedly prescribed pot, claimed to be 'sexologist'

Antelope Valley Press
Friday, June 5, 2009.

Valley Press Staff Writer

PALMDALE - A Palmdale man who deputies said posed as a surgeon, doctor and "sexologist" was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of illegally prescribing medical marijuana, sheriff's officials said Thursday.

Michael Rene Washington, 30, was arrested when deputies on a bicycle patrol found him standing outside a duplex apartment bearing a sign on its door reading: "Medical Marijuana Evaluations and Recommendations, 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM, Mon - Sun, In Compliance with Prop 215 and Senate Bill 240, Compassionate Patient Resources," sheriff's officials said.

"He was posing as a doctor to sell certificates for medical marijuana," said Sgt. Ron Maples of the Palmdale Partners Against Crime team. "He was also charging $150 an hour as a sexologist."

Washington was booked on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license and possession of marijuana. He has been charged with petty theft with a prior offense and practicing medicine without a license, authorities said.

Washington apparently sold the medical marijuana certificates for $25 each, said Sgt. Kyle Bistline of the PAC team.

Bistline said some of the falsified certificates Washington provided to patients have been accepted at medical marijuana dispensaries.

Not knowing the number of certificates Washington has sold, detectives are looking for people who have purchased them from him. Bistline said people who paid for the forms are victims of petty theft.

Deputies said they found numerous plaques bearing Washington's name hanging on the walls. One said Washington was a "Doctor of Sexology" with a degree from a school in England and another said he earned a medical degree in 2008 from an institution called "Vassor University," deputies said.

During questioning by deputies, Washington said he was a doctor but did not have a license to practice in California.

"We asked if he can prove that he is a doctor, and he told us that we can go online and print out the certificate," Bistline said.

Washington also allegedly was selling forms asserting he was the attending physician of certificate holders so they could get medical marijuana, Bistline said.

Deputies pedaled to the duplex in the 500 block of East Avenue Q-5 about 2 p.m. Wednesday after Palmdale Building and Safety investigators asked them to check the property, which has been targeted by vandals and trespassers. The duplex has not been certified for occupancy, officials said.

The deputies discovered a woman standing in a driveway and Washington a few steps away.

Code enforcement officers secured the house, which is unfit to be occupied, authorities said.

Washington was booked at Palmdale Sheriff's Station and is held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Grandma gets her diploma at 90

Gurnee grandma gets diploma at 90

Depression-era woes forced her out of school


June 6, 2009

As a teenager during the Great Depression, Eleanor Benz, now 90, watched her parents struggle to provide for seven children.

In her senior year at Chicago Public Schools' Lake View High, Benz dropped out of school to help.

"I only had a few months left, but a job opened up where my sister worked, and that was a rare thing in 1936 to find a job before you finished high school," said Benz of Gurnee.

"It was turn your paycheck over, keep a couple of dollars for yourself. Then with getting married and raising kids, I never did go back."

Fifteen children, 54 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren later, last week she received the sacrificed diploma from Lake View along with a yearbook from her sophomore year, 1934, and her registration records from 1936 -- items discovered by Lake View's school secretary.

"I was overwhelmed by it all," Benz said.


Eleanor Benz, 90, received her high school diploma on May 30. Right, Benz at 18.


Born in Chicago on May 23, 1919, Benz was raised in the Lake View neighborhood. She worked for several years after leaving school, then married John F. Benz, a young printing apprentice, in 1941 before moving to Mundelein.

"I had 15 children within a span of 23 years, but I always had a book in my hands," Benz said.

She later went to night school for typing and bookkeeping, but still, no high school diploma. It was on the eve of her 90th birthday that her children learned what had always nagged their mother.

"One of my sisters was writing a paper about the Depression and (she) interviewed Mom," Benz' daughter, Laurie Harrington, said. "When she asked what Mom's greatest disappointment was, she answered, 'Having to quit school a half year before I would have graduated.' "

Her children contacted Lake View, reaching Karen Siciliano -- herself a 1961 Lake View graduate.

"The school secretary took this on as a mission," Harrington said.

"I thought, 'What a wonderful thing for these kids to try to grant their mother's wish'," Siciliano said. "I started searching the archives and finally found her in the 1934 yearbook. It turns out she was only a few months shy of graduation."

Apprised of the situation, the school's principal approved Benz' diploma. And because the 2009 class was graduating, there were extra caps and gowns around. One was sent -- with a 1936 tassel -- and a wooden replica of Lake View in the 1930s.

All were presented to Benz at her 90th birthday party on May 30.

"She put the cap on immediately," Harrington said.

"I was ecstatic," Benz said. "My diploma is dated Feb. 1, 1936, and signed by Olice Winter. He was the principal then. I feel blessed. Although, you know nowadays, even a high-school graduation isn't enough. You need to go to college."

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Bankrupt company leaves behind bodies

Published: June 4, 2009

MANSFIELD, Mass. - A bankrupt Massachusetts medical device maker left behind some gruesome assets when it shut down earlier this year.

Innovative Spinal Technologies lists nine human bodies, including “eight previously used” cadavers, among its property in a federal bankruptcy filing.

Federal bankruptcy trustee Warren Agin told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro that the bodies are frozen in the company’s former headquarters and do not pose a public health threat. He said arrangements for proper disposal are being made.

The Mansfield-based company made tools for minimally invasive back surgery, and the bodies are kept in an area where doctors were trained to use the devices.

The company shut down in February and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month.


Link To Video:ttp://


Saturday, June 6, 2009


8 lottery winners who lost their millions

8 lottery winners who lost their millions

Having piles of cash only compounds problems for some people. Here are sad tales of foolishness, hit men, greedy relatives and dreams dashed.


For a lot of people, winning the lottery is the American dream. But for many lottery winners, the reality is more like a nightmare.

"Winning the lottery isn't always what it's cracked up to be," says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice (1985, 1986), to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.

"I won the American dream but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It's called rock bottom," says Adams.

"Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language -- 'No.' I wish I had the chance to do it all over again. I'd be much smarter about it now," says Adams, who also lost money at the slot machines in Atlantic City.

"I was a big-time gambler," admits Adams. "I didn't drop a million dollars, but it was a lot of money. I made mistakes, some I regret, some I don't. I'm human. I can't go back now so I just go forward, one step at a time."

Living on food stamps

William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security.

"I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare," says Post.

A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. It wasn't his only lawsuit. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings. Other siblings pestered him until he agreed to invest in a car business and a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., -- two ventures that brought no money back and further strained his relationship with his siblings.

Post even spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector. Within a year, he was $1 million in debt.

Post admitted he was both careless and foolish, trying to please his family. He eventually declared bankruptcy.

Now he lives quietly on $450 a month and food stamps.

"I'm tired, I'm over 65 years old, and I just had a serious operation for a heart aneurysm. Lotteries don't mean (anything) to me," says Post.

Deeper in debt

Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lottery in 1993. Now she's deeply in debt to a company that lent her money using the winnings as collateral.

 She borrowed $197,746.15, which she agreed to pay back with her yearly checks from the Virginia lottery through 2006. When the rules changed allowing her to collect her winnings in a lump sum, she cashed ithe remaining amount. But she stopped making payments on the loan.

She blamed the debt on the lengthy illness of her uninsured son-in-law, who needed $1 million for medical bills.

Mark Kidd, the Roanoke, Va., lawyer who represented the Singer Asset Finance Company who sued Mullins, confirms her plight. He won a judgment for the company against Mullins for $154,147 last May, but they have yet to collect a nickel.

"My understanding is she has no assets," says Kidd.

Back to the basics

Ken Proxmire was a machinist when he won $1 million in the Michigan lottery. He moved to California and went into the car business with his brothers. Within five years, he had filed for bankruptcy.

"He was just a poor boy who got lucky and wanted to take care of everybody," explains Ken's son Rick.

"It was a hell of a good ride for three or four years, but now he lives more simply. There's no more talk of owning a helicopter or riding in limos. We're just everyday folk. Dad's now back to work as a machinist," says his son.

Willie Hurt of Lansing, Mich., won $3.1 million in 1989. Two years later he was broke and charged with murder. His lawyer says Hurt spent his fortune on a divorce and crack cocaine.

Charles Riddle of Belleville, Mich., won $1 million in 1975. Afterward, he got divorced, faced several lawsuits and was indicted for selling cocaine.

Missourian Janite Lee won $18 million in 1993. Lee was generous to a variety of causes, giving to politics, education and the community. But according to published reports, eight years after winning, Lee had filed for bankruptcy with only $700 left in two bank accounts and no cash on hand.

One Southeastern family won $4.2 million in the early '90s. They bought a huge house and succumbed to repeated family requests for help in paying off debts.

The house, cars and relatives ate the whole pot. Eleven years later, the couple is divorcing, the house is sold and they have to split what is left of the lottery proceeds. The wife got a very small house. The husband has moved in with the kids. Even the life insurance they bought ended up getting cashed in.

"It was not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," says their financial advisor.

Luck is fleeting

These sad-but-true tales are not uncommon, say the experts.

 "For many people, sudden money can cause disaster," says Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner in Palm Beach, Fla., and founder of the Sudden Money Institute, a resource center for new money recipients and their advisors.

"In our culture, there is a widely held belief that money solves problems. People think if they had more money, their troubles would be over. When a family receives sudden money, they frequently learn that money can cause as many problems as it solves," she says.

Craig Wallace, a senior funding officer for a company that buys lottery annuity payments in exchange for lump sums, agrees.

"Going broke is a common malady, particularly with the smaller winners. Say you've won $1 million. What you've really won is a promise to be paid $50,000 a year. People win and they think they're millionaires. They go out and buy houses and cars and before they know it, they're in way over their heads," he says.

Are you really a 'millionaire'?

Part of the problem is that the winners buy into the hype.

"These people believe they are millionaires. They buy into the hype, but most of these people will go to their graves without ever becoming a millionaire," says Wallace, who has been in the business for almost a decade.

"In New Jersey, they manipulate the reality of the situation to sell more tickets. Each winner takes a picture with a check that becomes a 3-foot by 5-foot stand-up card. The winner is photographed standing next to a beautiful woman and the caption reads: 'New Jersey's newest millionaire.'"

Winning plays a game with your head

Bradley, who authored "Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall," says winners get into trouble because they fail to address the emotional connection to the windfall.

 "There are two sides to money. The interior side is the psychology of money and the family relationship to money. The exterior side is the tax codes, the money allocation, etc.""The goal is to integrate the two. People who can't integrate their interior relationship with money appropriately are more likely to crash and burn," says Bradley.

"Often they can keep the money and lose family and friends -- or lose the money and keep the family and friends -- or even lose the money and lose the family and friends."

Bill Pomeroy, a certified financial planner in Baton Rouge, La., has dealt with a number of lottery winners who went broke.

"Because the winners have a large sum of money, they make the mistake of thinking they know what they're doing. They are willing to plunk down large sums on investments they know nothing about or go in with a partner who may not know how to run a business."

What if you get so (un)lucky?

To offset some bad early decision-making and the inevitable requests of friends, relatives and strangers, Bradley recommends lottery winners start by setting up a DFZ or decision-free zone.

"Take time out from making any financial decisions," she says. "Do this right away. For some people, it's smart to do it before you even get your hands on the money.

"People who are not used to having money are fragile and vulnerable, and there are plenty of people out there who are willing to prey on that vulnerability -- even friends and family," she cautions.

"It's not a time to decide what stocks to buy or jump into a new house purchase or new business venture.

"It's a time to think things through, sort things out and seek an advisory team to help make those important financial choices."

As an example, Bradley says that people who come into a windfall will typically put buying a house as No. 1 in list of 12 choices, while investing is No. 11.

"You really don't want to buy a new house before taking the time to think about what the consequences are.

"A lot of people who don't have money don't realize how much it costs to live in a big house -- decorators, furniture, taxes, insurance, even utility costs are greater. People need a reality check before they sign the contract," she says.

Evelyn Adams, the N.J. lottery double-winner, learned these lessons the hard way.

"There are a lot of people out there like me who don't know how to deal with money," laments Adams. "Hey, some people went broke in six months. At least I held on for a few years."

Friday, June 5, 2009


Man arrested for buying drugs with slaughtered pig

High on the hog: Slaughtered pig traded for crack, Syracuse police say

Robert A. Baker

The Post-Standard

Friday June 05, 2009, 3:44 PM

Syracuse, NY -- A Fulton resident was arrested Thursday for drug possession after police witnessed a drug transaction that was paid for, in part, with a half of a slaughtered pig, Syracuse police said.

Police were conducting surveillance about 7:40 p.m. in the 200 block of Merriman Avenue when they saw the two men conduct a drug transaction including the half of pig, Lt. Joe Cecile said.

The half of pig and $10 were used to buy a $50 bag of crack cocaine, police said.

The accused buyer, Angelo Colon, 45, of 303 Honeyhill Road, Fulton, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. Colon told police this was not the first time he drove into Syracuse with a slaughtered pig to trade for drugs, Cecile said.


The accused seller, Omar Veliz, 42, of 232 Merriman Ave., was charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. Veliz also was charged with a felony and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Veliz told police the pig was for a celebration for a relative being released from jail, Cecile said.

As police arrested the pair, a crowd gathered around them. When the officers turned from the suspects, the pig was gone, Cecile said.

Friday, June 5, 2009


South Dakota Rancher, 23, Wins $232,000,000 Powerball Jackpot

SD rancher wins $232 million jackpot

Neal Wanless, 23, reads a statement as he claims a $232 million Powerball
AP – Neal Wanless, 23, reads a statement
 as he claims a $232 million Powerball lottery prize,
 Friday, June 5, 2009  5:12 PM 
 Associated Press Writer

PIERRE, S.D. – If this were a movie, nobody would believe it: A rancher struggling to eke out a living in one of the poorest corners of America claimed one of the biggest undivided jackpots in U.S. lottery history Friday — $232 million — after buying the ticket in a town by the name of Winner.

Neal Wanless, 23, said he intends to buy himself more room to roam and repay the kindness other townspeople have shown his family.

"I want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with this great fortune. I will not squander it," he promised, wearing a big black cowboy hat and a huge grin.

Wanless, who is single, lives with his mother and father on the family's 320-acre ranch near Mission, where they raise cattle, sheep and horses. They don't own a phone, a mobile home of theirs was repossessed last year, and records show they have fallen $3,552 behind in their property taxes.

Wanless bought $15 worth of tickets to the May 27 30-state Powerball drawing at a convenience store in Winner during a trip to buy livestock feed. He will take home a lump sum of $88.5 million after taxes are deducted.

The Wanless home stands in a grove of trees in Todd County, home to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. It was the nation's seventh-poorest county in 2007, according to the Census Bureau.

Dave Assman, who owns farmland next to the Wanless ranch, said he is happy the family won't have to worry about money any more. "They've been real short on finances for a long time," Assman said. "They are from real meager means, I guess you'd say."

"I hope they enjoy their money," said county assessor Cathy Vrbka, a family friend. "They work hard, backbreaking hard work."

Wanless' father, Arlen Wanless, 54, has made a living in recent years mainly by buying and selling scrap metal, but his fortunes dropped with the price of iron, said Dan Clark, an auctioneer from Winner and a friend of more than two decades.

The younger Wanless told lottery officials that he spent the last week working on the ranch and that he intends to continue that lifestyle, albeit on a larger piece of land. According to lottery officials, he recently told his horse, Eleanor, "It'd be nice if we go for a longer ride than usual on a bigger ranch of our own."

"My family has been helped by the community, and I intend to repay that help many times over," Wanless said. He gave no details.

An Oregon family turned $40 worth of tickets into $340 million Powerball prize in 2005, and at least four other winners collected larger jackpots than Wanless' prize.

The store where Wanless bought the winning ticket will get a $50,000 bonus. Sharon Ulmer, manager of the store, said she is glad the Wanless family won.

"From what I understand they don't have a lot, so the money definitely went to a good place," Ulmer said. "I know it went to a good home. They can use it."

Friday, June 5, 2009


Police chase after garage break-in leads to 500 pounds of pot


Garage break-in leads to largest-ever Matteson pot bust 


June 5, 2009
Staff Writer

For one married Matteson couple, their second house wasn't a ritzy vacation home on a lake or a piece of property to be rented out for some extra monthly cash.

Instead, their unassuming second home 1 1/2 miles away was left vacant. Except for the nearly 500 pounds of marijuana hidden away in the garage, uncovered after two thieves broke in and stole half the drugs, leading police on a chase.

Evlicia Jackson-Long, 30, and Roy Long, 32, of 21301 Barn Owl Drive, were charged with felony possession of marijuana and distribution of marijuana after investigators turned up the stash, police said.

Police said that although the couple lived at their Barn Owl Drive residence with their three children, they used the second home in the 6200 block of Streamwood Lane to hide their drugs.

The investigation began after a neighbor spotted two men breaking into the Streamwood Lane garage about 1 p.m. May 1 and called police, police said.

When an officer arrived on the scene, the men fled in a Buick LaSabre, leaving a gallon-sized bag of marijuana between the garage's door and storm door, police said.

Police pursued the men, and Matteson police Sgt. Tom Johnson pulled the car over on Interstate 57, south of the Lincoln Highway exit.

Inside the vehicle, officers discovered clear bags and cardboard boxes containing about 237 pounds of marijuana, police said.

The men in the car, Antoinne Kelly, 29, 829 White Oak Lane, University Park, and Anthony Morris, 41, 1530 Fifth Ave., Chicago Heights, were charged with felony possession of marijuana, police said.

"They heard from someone that there was some major weed in there, some major weight," Matteson police Detective Michael Jones said.

After the arrest, police searched the garage and found an additional 235 pounds of marijuana, as well as empty cardboard boxes, packaging tape, digital scales and a marijuana-cutting machine.

The couple was arrested and charged on May 15.

Police said the seized pot had a value of between $400,000 and $600,000. The marijuana did not appear to come from any drug cartel outside of the United States.

Police officials said it was the largest seizure of marijuana in the history of Matteson.

According to police, the couple were operating a marijuana packaging business within the residence.

"Sooner or later, you're going to get caught," Matteson police Sgt. Jeremy Sims said. "It's better not to get involved. Greed had a lot to do with it."

Arvin said the investigation "still has many avenues."

"There may be additional charges in the future depending where the investigation goes," he said.




Evlicia Jackson-Long, 30, (left) and Roy Long, 32, were charged with felony possession and distribution of marijuana. 

Friday, June 5, 2009


Man argues to increase lawyer's fee

James McMillan, paralyzed in S.I. Ferry accident, wants his lawyer to get full fee

John Marzulli

Wednesday, June 3rd 2009, 12:59 PM

Ward for News

James McMillan, a surviving victim of the Staten Island ferry crash, wants to give his lawyer his full fee.

Take my money, please!

Believe it or not, that was the plea Wednesday from a former fish market worker who got $18 million from the city after being paralyzed in the Staten Island ferry accident.

James McMillan was back in Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday, urging a magistrate to reverse another judge's ruling which reduced his lawyer's fee by $2.5 million.

If lawyer Evan Torgan's fee of one-third of the settlement is restored, the money would come out of McMillan's pocket - but that suits him fine.

"I don't need that extra," McMillan said. "I want him to have it. He worked for it."

McMillan suffered a broken neck on Oct. 15, 2003, when the Andrew J. Barberi ferry crashed into a concrete pier, killing 11 passengers and injuring scores of others.

The city settled 146 cases - but Torgan told Mayor Bloomberg to stick his $10 million offer and gambled on a trial.

A federal jury awarded McMillan $22.9 million in September. Judge Jack Weinstein reduced it to an $18 million settlement and cut Torgan's fee to 20%.

The judge expressed concerns that McMillan didn't understand the retainer he signed in his hospital bed only four days after the catastrophic accident.

"If I could only tell the judge this man [Torgan] did a great job for me and I'm satisfied," said McMillan, who sported a fancy ring and massive watch.

"There's a hundred lawyers on TV saying, 'I'm the best,' but this man has walked with me through many things people wouldn't understand.

"He said, 'James I'm your lawyer' and I needed that comfort."

After McMillan signed with Torgan, he turned away the legendary Johnnie Cochran when he showed up at his hospital bedside.

McMillan's brother Tyrone testified that he explained to the victim that he didn't have to fork over the extra fee.

"I told him this is the jungle lawyers work in, but he said it was the right thing to do because he agreed to it and should honor it," said Tyrone McMillan.

Read more:

Friday, June 5, 2009


Man shot after busting into police station with a knife

Attacker at Queens Police Station Is Shot by Officers
Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

The Flushing police station where officers wounded a man they said was wielding a knife.


Published: June 4, 2009

Just inside the blue double doors of the 109th Precinct station house in Flushing, Queens, the paces of standard police work shuffled along in the expected ways. A man picked up a copy of an accident report. A detective helped a couple fill out a complaint form. A police officer and another detective conferred near a central desk, and a community affairs officer was near the entrance.

Then, just before 11 a.m. Thursday, chaos erupted when Armando Torres, a 35-year- old Queens resident, burst in with a carving knife with an 8-inch blade, the police said.

The community affairs officer started to say, “Can I help you?” according to the police. An officer stationed at the switchboard also saw Mr. Torres, but saw the weapon as well, and shouted, “Knife! Knife!” the police said.

In the space of a few minutes, a man would be stabbed, three officers would fire their guns, and Mr. Torres would be shot and hospitalized.

Police officials were still trying to determine why Mr. Torres would stab someone who appeared to be a stranger, and why he would enter a police station brandishing a knife. But through the accounts of witnesses, the police were able to detail how the violence began, and how it ended.

On the steps of the station house, at 37-05 Union Street, Mr. Torres encountered Armando Ferreira, 48, who had come to pick up an accident report. Mr. Torres nicked Mr. Ferreira in the back from behind, and then slashed him on the arm when Mr. Ferreira tried to defend himself, the police said.

Then, Mr. Torres ran into the station, the police said. Knife in hand, he ran past the community affairs officer, past a desk and toward some stairs at the back leading to the detective squad on the second floor, the police said.

An officer and the detective near the desk gave chase. So did another detective, who had been taking a domestic complaint from Stephen Squerciati, 37, a construction worker, and his fiancée, Marie Woychowski, 35.

Mr. Squerciati said Mr. Torres tripped and fell as he ran through the room. “This guy was waving a knife up the stairs,” he said.

After Mr. Torres got up and started climbing the stairs, the officers ordered him to come down and drop the knife, the police said. Mr. Squerciati said that he heard the command 7 to 10 times.

Mr. Torres came down the stairs but did not drop the knife, said the Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne. At the bottom of the stairs, he “comes at them with the knife,” Mr. Browne said.

By now, the two detectives and the officer had drawn their weapons. They fired five shots, striking Mr. Torres several times in the left arm and left side of the chest, Mr. Browne said. Mr. Torres took a few steps into the room, stumbled and fell to the floor, breaking off the knife blade from the handle, Mr. Browne added.

The two detectives and the officer had never fired their weapons at a suspect before Thursday, Mr. Browne said. The three officers, whose names were not released by police officials, all tested negative for alcohol, Mr. Browne said, which is a routine measure the department takes after any police shooting.

Mr. Torres was taken to New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens and was in stable condition on Thursday, the police said. He faces charges of weapons and felony assault, they said.

“If there is one constant in the N.Y.P.D., it is that your world can change in a heartbeat, even in the station house,” said Mr. Browne, who said the police had not determined Mr. Torres’s motive.

It was not clear whether there was any link between Thursday’s attack and a previous arrest of Mr. Torres, also within the 109th Precinct. In 2007, according to a criminal complaint, Mr. Torres was accused of beating his roommate on the head with a metal bar and then slashing his midsection. He pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge and later received a conditional discharge.

At a residential building at 147-25 Northern Boulevard, where Mr. Torres lives, neighbors said the ex-wife and children of his brother, Nelson, were staying there with him. Mr. Torres has lived in the apartment for about eight years, friends and people in the building said. Apparently, they said, Nelson, who lived there, too, moved out after having an argument with his ex-wife , but remains close to his brother.

Residents at the building said Mr. Torres worked in construction or landscaping.

A man who identified himself only as Javier, 25, who works in the building, said Mr. Torres was from El Salvador. “He seemed like a normal person,” he said. “He would drink sometimes. I saw him yesterday in the laundry room around 11 a.m.”

Mr. Ferreira, a construction worker, later returned to the station to speak to the police. He said that he had been reading his accident report on the steps of the station when Mr. Torres came up a ramp behind him, nicked him in the back with the knife and slashed him on the left forearm badly enough to require three stitches.

Mr. Ferreira said that he dashed into the station house and that Mr. Torres, who did not say a word to him during the attack, ran past him into the building.

“I heard a lot of yelling from the police and demands from them that he drop the knife,” Mr. Ferreira said. “For me, they did their job to protect people.”

Al Baker, Mick Meenan and Rebecca White contributed reporting.


Link to video:

New York Daily News


A man is treated after being stabbed in the back and arm at random outside of the 109th Police Precinct in Queens on June 4, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Pastor invites his flock to bring guns to church

Valley station church to hold gun service

Peter Smith


Louisville, Kentucky

June 3, 2009What’s this?

A Valley Station Road church is sponsoring an "Open Carry Church Service" in late June, encouraging people to wear unloaded guns in their holsters, enter a raffle to win a free handgun, hear patriotic music and listen to talks by operators of gun stores and firing ranges.

Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church said the first-time event is "basically trying to think a little bit outside the box" to promote "responsible gun ownership and 2nd Amendment rights." 

The event, slated for late Saturday afternoon, June 27, is being promoted with online posters, including one using a red font resembling splattered blood with the words: "Open Carry Church Service."

Pagano said the poster wasn't intended to glorify bloodshed and that the lettering was just "a font that somebody developed." And he said he didn't want the event to be confused with regular Sunday worship at the Assemblies of God congregation.

"It's just a celebration we're doing to coincide with Fourth of July," he said. "There are people who own firearms and do so responsibly and enjoy them as a sport, maybe like golfing or bowling."

Some worry about the message that is being sent.

"Even if I were perfectly comfortable with open-carry handguns or gun rights, it seems to me a completely whole other thing to connect those rights to Jesus Christ," said the Rev. Jerry Cappel, president of the Kentuckiana Interfaith Community, a coalition of local leaders from various religions.

Tying in the event "with one who explicitly called us to put down the sword and pick up the cross and love our enemies and turn the other cheek, it just makes no sense," he said. 

The Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper of Lexington, who has lobbied against laws such as one allowing citizens with permits to carry concealed weapons, said the event "would nauseate Jesus."

The Rev. Marian McClure, incoming executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches — which has lobbied for some gun restrictions — said she called Pagano after The Courier-Journal contacted her about the service. 

"Pastor Pagano assured me that the event is designed to help people who own handguns to be very responsible, and that the proceeds will all go for charitable causes in the community," she said in a statement. "Those two commitments are consistent with the high value the Assemblies of God churches place on human life."

Pagano said any proceeds exceeding the cost of the event will go to a local charity. People are also encouraged to bring canned food for the needy.

New Bethel Church has about 125 to 150 members, said Pagano, who has been pastor since 2000. The Marine veteran also works as a Louisville Metro Police chaplain.

Pagano said the event was planned several months ago — long before Sunday's shooting death of an abortion doctor at his Kansas church refocused attention on, among other things, churches and guns.

Other churches, including Baptist, independent and Unitarian Universalist congregations, have also been targets of gun violence over the past several years.

Pagano said a major impetus for the event was concern among many gun-rights advocates about then-presidential candidate Obama's legislative record in favor of some firearms restrictions — despite Obama's attempt to reassure gun owners.

Sales of guns rose significantly at the time of Obama's election, and a majority of gun owners supported his Republican opponent, John McCain, according to exit polls.

Pagano said the issue deserved discussion, but his approach at the time was, "Listen, guys, we can do this (discussion) as a religious person and be responsible about it," rather than "all this fear-mongering, ammo-hoarding."

That prompted the idea of an Independence Day-themed event, he said.

Pagano said he planned to invite managers of gun-related businesses and a police officer to talk about gun issues.

Win Underwood, one of the owners of Bluegrass Indoor Range, said he would try to attend the event if family responsibilities allow.

"I'm not aware that anybody's ever done anything like this before," he said.

New Bethel members regularly have outings at the firing rang, he said.

"You would be surprised how many churches use shooting for recreation with fellowship," he said.

Underwood said he's a religious person himself and believes the First and Second amendments are closely tied in the nation's Revolutionary War history.

"Guns are the one thing that secured freedom of religion for our country," he said.

Dave Lowley, an elder at the church and a military veteran, supported the event as part of the congregation's efforts to conduct creative evangelistic outreaches.

"We're advocating gun safety and gun awareness," he said.

Joseph Girdler, superintendent of the Assemblies of God Kentucky District Council, said he didn't know the details of the event but Pagano informed him of it.

He praised Pagano's creativity and community service in areas such as the police chaplaincy.

The service "would be an encouragement" for those who carry firearms legally, Girdler said. "If he wants to have a service to speak about those endeavors, it would be a great thing," he said.

But Pam Gersch of Louisville, who helped organize local participation in the Million Mom March against gun violence in 2000, said such violence has only worsened in the years since.

"People have a right to carry guns, but I also think they have a responsibility to do it with other people's safety in mind," she said. "If people want to carry guns to a church and the church is condoning it and the members think it's OK, that's their right to do that."

But she added: "You open the paper every day and there's multiple murders. We're not making any progress as far as responsibility goes with guns."

Pagano said he's open to dialogue.

"Not every branch of Christianity is pacifistic," he said. If someone is "not against the First and Second amendments, I'll be glad to sit down with anybody to say, 'How can we do this better?'"

"Pastor Pagano assured me that the event is designed to help people who own handguns to be very responsible, and that the proceeds will all go for charitable causes in the community," she said in a statement. "Those two commitments are consistent with the high value the Assemblies of God churches place on human life."

Pagano said any proceeds exceeding the cost of the event will go to a local charity. People are also encouraged to bring canned food for the needy.

New Bethel Church has about 125 to 150 members, said Pagano, who has been pastor since 2000. The Marine veteran also works as a Louisville Metro Police chaplain.

Pagano said the event was planned several months ago — long before Sunday's shooting death of an abortion doctor at his Kansas church refocused attention on, among other things, churches and guns.

Other churches, including Baptist, independent and Unitarian Universalist congregations, have also been targets of gun violence over the past several years.

Pagano said a major impetus for the event was concern among many gun-rights advocates about then-presidential candidate Obama's legislative record in favor of some firearms restrictions — despite Obama's attempt to reassure gun owners.

Sales of guns rose significantly at the time of Obama's election, and a majority of gun owners supported his Republican opponent, John McCain, according to exit polls.

Pagano said the issue deserved discussion, but his approach at the time was, "Listen, guys, we can do this (discussion) as a religious person and be responsible about it," rather than "all this fear-mongering, ammo-hoarding."

That prompted the idea of an Independence Day-themed event, he said.

Pagano said he planned to invite managers of gun-related businesses and a police officer to talk about gun issues.

Win Underwood, one of the owners of Bluegrass Indoor Range, said he would try to attend the event if family responsibilities allow.

"I'm not aware that anybody's ever done anything like this before," he said.

New Bethel members regularly have outings at the firing rang, he said.

"You would be surprised how many churches use shooting for recreation with fellowship," he said.

Underwood said he's a religious person himself and believes the First and Second amendments are closely tied in the nation's Revolutionary War history.

"Guns are the one thing that secured freedom of religion for our country," he said.

Dave Lowley, an elder at the church and a military veteran, supported the event as part of the congregation's efforts to conduct creative evangelistic outreaches.

"We're advocating gun safety and gun awareness," he said.

Joseph Girdler, superintendent of the Assemblies of God Kentucky District Council, said he didn't know the details of the event but Pagano informed him of it.

He praised Pagano's creativity and community service in areas such as the police chaplaincy.

The service "would be an encouragement" for those who carry firearms legally, Girdler said. "If he wants to have a service to speak about those endeavors, it would be a great thing," he said.

But Pam Gersch of Louisville, who helped organize local participation in the Million Mom March against gun violence in 2000, said such violence has only worsened in the years since.

"People have a right to carry guns, but I also think they have a responsibility to do it with other people's safety in mind," she said. "If people want to carry guns to a church and the church is condoning it and the members think it's OK, that's their right to do that."

But she added: "You open the paper every day and there's multiple murders. We're not making any progress as far as responsibility goes with guns."

Pagano said he's open to dialogue.

"Not every branch of Christianity is pacifistic," he said. If someone is "not against the First and Second amendments, I'll be glad to sit down with anybody to say, 'How can we do this better?'"


Ken Pagano Pastor of New Bethel church talked about the importance of raising awareness of gun safety, which will be discussed at the "Open Carry Church Service" at New Bethel Church on June 27th. (By Aaron Borton, Special to The Courier-Journal) June 3, 2009




Thursday, June 4, 2009


Orlando homeowner includes Rolls Royce in sale

Orlando homeowner includes Rolls Royce in sale

By Mary Shanklin

| Sentinel Staff Writer June 4, 2009

Jim Benson

Jim Benson has been trying to sell his house in a historic district of downtown Orlando for about a year and a half. His asking price for the house is $699,000, and now he hopes his offer to include a 1967 Rolls-Royce will attract a buyer. (Tom Burton, Orlando Sentinel / May 29, 2009)


Jim Benson is kicking in more than the appliances to help sell his historic home in downtown Orlando.

He is also giving away his vintage Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

Frustrated with trying to sell the $699,000 house for the past year and a half, the 81-year-old put up yard signs recently advertising the car giveaway. The gleaming black Rolls hasn't sold the house so far, but Benson is hopeful.

"Someone who might want a classic home might appreciate a classic auto to go with it," said Benson, whose interests of late have turned to restoring pipe organs.

Selling a house in today's foreclosure-underpinned market is difficult for anyone: On average, Orlando-area homes took more than three months to sell in April, compared with less than a month at the height of the buying frenzy in July 2005, according to figures kept by local Realtors. Owners of custom homes have to work even harder to lure qualified buyers.

Realtor Margaret Barnes said the number of showings at the Benson house has increased in recent weeks, though she was unsure whether the car had anything to do with it.

Home sellers have given away cars before. Cambridge Homes, for instance, has tossed in a Mini Cooper with a purchase. But the keys to a chauffeur-worthy Rolls?

Benson knows he's competing against houses with furnishings staged by interior designers. His son has told him that buyers want granite counter tops and luxury master suites. Benson's yellow-brick, columned house at Broadway Avenue and Concord Street has none of those things.Both the house and the car, however, share a more understated appeal.

The four-story home rests on dense, fortresslike wooden beams that weigh more than cast concrete. Its long-hewn floor planks dwarf today's laminates.

Similarly, the 40-year-old car has no halogen headlights or LCD screens, but the back seat smells like hand-tooled leather from prized cowhide. The doors shut with a vacuum-seal sound rather than a metallic clang. The engine of the 2-ton behemoth, Benson said, runs so well that it "has never had a wrench touch it."

Benson said he first fell in love with the car of British royalty in the mid-1960s, when he was stationed with the U.S. Navy in Scotland and on temporary assignment in London. Four years after returning to the States, he still longed for the classic auto and went back for one. In England, he found a used 1967 Shadow in good condition for $12,000. After paying $1,000 for shipping, it was his. Silver Shadows, produced in greater numbers than other Rolls lines, retail today from less than $20,000 to $50,000 each.

For about eight years, Benson's collectible has been garaged at his son's home in Kissimmee. Tom Benson tools around the neighborhood in it each week to keep it in good condition. Even when Jim Benson kept it near him in Orlando, the regal set of wheels was cloistered in his garage.

"I didn't tell many people I owned it because people get the wrong idea — that you're rich," he said. "Better to play it low key."

Benson said he still prizes the quality of both the car and the house, but he no longer drives the one, and his knees complain about the flights of stairs in the other.

"I don't have a need for the house. I don't have a need for the car," Benson said. "But I've never fallen out of love with them."


Jim Benson bought his 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for $12,000. He says the engine runs so well that it ?has never had a wrench touch it.? His son stores the car at his Kissimmee home and drives it weekly to keep it in good condition.


(Tom Burton, Orlando Sentinel / May 29, 2009)

Jim Benson bought his 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for $12,000. He says the engine runs so well that it ?has never had a wrench touch it.? His son stores the car at his Kissimmee home and drives it weekly to keep it in good condition.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Moms lift car off body of trapped 8-year-old

Superwomen lift car off crushed boy

Superwomen ... Abigail Sicolo and Donna McNameehad

Superwomen ... Abigail Sicolo and Donna McNameehad


 The Sun UK

June 4, 2009


TWO "superwomen" saved a schoolboy's life — by lifting a CAR off his trapped body.

Mighty mums Donna McNamee and Abigail Sicolo sprang into action when eight-year-old Bailey Fowler was run over on their street.

The little lad screamed in agony beneath the weight of the engine of the 1400kg (3086lb) Renault Clio.

But neighbours Abi, 29, and Donna, 24, grabbed the bumper and managed to haul the car up so Bailey could be pulled free.

The schoolboy broke his leg and suffered crushing injuries needing plastic surgery in the accident — but was yesterday expected to make a full recovery.

His family thanked Abi and Donna — and believe Bailey would have died if he wasn't freed so quickly.




The boy was playing water pistols with friends outside his home when he ran into the road and was hit by the car.

Mum-of-four Donna said: "It all happened so quickly. I was in my garden when I heard screaming and ran out.

"At first I thought it was one of my children. I had to help so I did the first thing that came into my head.

"All we could see were these little legs under the car. He was trapped right under the engine and screaming.

"But we knew we had to get him out. We just bent over, grabbed the underneath of the car and lifted.

"I must admit lifting the car was hard work. It's not something I practice for."

Abi's only child Jaydon, seven, was playing with Bailey at the time of the accident in Newport, Gwent.

She said: "I had to look under the car and check it wasn't my son.


"I saw a boy with blonde hair just lying there trapped - I was relieved it wasn't Jaydon but we had to try and get him free.

"The poor boy was screaming throughout - it was horrific.

"The car was so heavy. I bruised my arm and shoulder when we were lowering it.

"We're not heroes anyone would have done it."

Both women were surprised at summoning up the superhuman strength to lift the vehicle — because neither have a firm exercise regime.

Abi said: "You don't need to exercise when you have a young family to run around after.

"We do plenty of lifting and carrying around the house so perhaps that's why we could manage it."

Donna's dad Anthony McNamee, 42, helped the two to heave up the car before an ambulance arrived to take Bailey to hospital

He said: "The girls were magnificent - they are like Superwomen. We had to physically lift the car off the ground high enough for others to pull him clear.

"It was a horrible experience which I would never like to see again - I've never seen anything like it."

Bailey's dad Paul said: "We're really shaken up at the moment but it's great to know we've got neighbours like this around us."

His mother Wendy added: "He's in a bad way at the moment, but he's such a happy little boy and he's not letting it get him down too much. I don't know what I would have done without my neighbours."

Gwent Police are investigating and said enquiries are continuing with the driver of the Clio.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Great Grandmother, 72 Tasered and Jailed at Traffic Stop

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

72-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Tasered at Traffic Stop

All right, explain this one to me? A 72-year-old great-grandmother was tasered and arrested during a traffic stop in TX. Hard to believe she would have been a threat to the police officer, but there are some extenuating circumstances.

First, Kathryn Winkfein definitely was speeding excessively. The speed limit was 45, she was doing 60. She admitted the speeding, in fact, to MyFoxAustin. According to a police spokesperson, however, she didn't want to sign the ticket, but instead asked to be taken to jail.

Constable Richard McCain said:

"He explained to her, sign the ticket stub, it's not an admission of guilt. It's a promise to appear in court. She didn't want to. She said take me to jail.

"She refused to get off the side of the road, he said to her, Ma'am, you're under arrest. She used profanity."
At that point, according to the arresting officer, she became violent, and he tased her. Winkfein says the story is all a lie:
"I wasn't argumentative, I was not combative. This is a lie. All of this is a lie, pulled away from him, I did not."
                        Link to Video:


Thursday, June 4, 2009


Man admits robbing 6 banks � all on Thursdays

Man admits robbing 6 banks — all on Thursdays
Wed Jun 3, 8:23 pm ET

TRENTON, N.J. –AP- If it's Thursday, it's time to rob a bank. That was the schedule followed by a man who admitted robbing six New Jersey banks on consecutive Thursdays between late January and early March. Peter Bielecke pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to a single count of bank robbery, but admitted he robbed five others as well.

The 41-year-old said he robbed banks in Brick, Toms River, Lakewood, Howell and Old Bridge on successive Thursdays.

No reason was given for choosing that particular day of the week, but authorities said the pattern made it that much easier to track him. He was arrested after a March 5 robbery in Old Bridge.

He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 25.



                         ORIGINAL STORY

FBI, local law enforcement collaboration helped catch Ocean County serial robber

MaryAnn Spoto

The Star-Ledger

Monday March 16, 2009, 6:47 PM

Peter A. Bielecke was indicted Thursday for six bank robberies in Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean counties.

When Wall Township Police Officer Doug Borst spotted the white 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis on Route 34, he jotted down the license plate number and he relayed the information to police, providing the final piece of information authorities needed to nab a suspect wanted in connection with a string of bank robberies.

As a result, an hour after Borst spotted the Marquis on March 5 -- just a few hours after the latest heist -- the man police claim was responsible for six robberies in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties was in custody.

The collaborative efforts between federal, state and local authorities had paid off. On Thursday, 40-year-old Peter Bielecke of Brick, a convicted felon who served prison time for attempted kidnapping, was indicted on federal bank robbery charges for those heists.

"He did six (robberies) in six weeks," said Frank O'Neill, supervisor of the violent crime squad of the FBI's Red Bank office. "He would still be doing them if we hadn't have (collaborated). We were able to cut his bank robbery career short because of the outstanding cooperation we had."

"We are solving a lot of bank robberies and the way we're doing it is a collaborative, coordinated effort between the FBI and the local agencies," O'Neill said.

The FBI is called in on every bank robbery, providing another set of eyes and ears to help local police and county prosecutors.

In this case, it wasn't long into the investigation authorities knew they had a serial robber on their hands, O'Neill said.

The first heist occurred Jan. 29 at a Provident Bank branch in Brick. The second was Feb. 5 at an Investors Savings Bank, also in Brick. Witnesses in both robberies gave similar descriptions of the bandit and said he passed a note to tellers saying he had a gun.

Beyond that, O'Neill would not reveal what other information led police to believe the same man had committed both jobs.

"After those two banks, we knew based on factors that we looked at that we had a serial robber and that there were some things we could hang our hat on to allow us to go out and be proactive and try to maybe catch him in the act," O'Neill said.

Law enforcement agencies also knew police weren't getting solid leads from the public. From images taken from surveillance cameras, police were having a difficult time discerning specific physical features of the culprit, O'Neill said.

Authorities tried to guess where the bandit would strike next, but were foiled each time. They set up surveillance in Brick; he hit a bank in neighboring Toms River as his third job. They set up more surveillance but the bandit struck a week later, in Lakewood.

From the beginning, police throughout the area were put on alert. The FBI recruited manpower from as many as 10 local police departments as the bandit struck further from his first targets, O'Neill said. Officers, aided only by images taken from surveillance photos, were instructed to be on the look-out for a man fitting those descriptions.

"They (investigators) gave the cops good descriptions, good directions, and the officers were on the ball," Brick Police Chief Nils Bergquist said.

On Feb. 26, an FBI agent spotted a man fitting the bandit's description near a bank and for the first time, investigators got a description of a car: a white Mercury Marquis. The information was then disseminated to police agencies.

The next day, the bandit struck again, at a Community Savings Bank in Howell. From witness descriptions, police knew it was the same man.

Then Borst, the Wall Township officer, spotted the Marquis on March 5, two hours after a Synergy Bank in Old Bridge was robbed. He followed the car into Brick, where he lost sight of it.

Brick police officer Jason Matthews spotted it a short time later, parked on a local street, in front of a house. Detectives kept the car under surveillance until Bielecke came out of the house and drove to a nearby shopping center where he was arrested.

Bielecke was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on six counts of bank robbery.

"By giving the street officer the information - that was the key - the officer equipped with that information is able to be on the lookout and that's what happened in this case," said Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Mom accused of duct-taping daughter's boyfriend

Mom accused of duct-taping daughter's boyfriend

The Associated Press


Published: Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2009 - 8:54 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2009 - 9:14 pm

ADELANTO, Calif. -- Authorities say a San Bernardino County woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap her daughter's boyfriend and haul him away to Northern California.

A sheriff's spokeswoman said Tuesday that Anna Gaffney and Linda Chevalier went to the young man's home on Saturday afternoon and tried to tie him up with duct tape. The victim told authorities the women said they were taking him to Northern California to get him away from Gaffney's 21-year-old daughter.

Authorities say both women were arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping.

Officials say the girlfriend was later arrested for investigation of dissuading a witness and extortion for allegedly trying to get her boyfriend to recant his statements to authorities.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Bank robbers ran out of gas

Two arrested following Daytona Beach bank robbery

Gary Taylor

| Sentinel Staff Writer 4:41 PM EDT, June 2, 2009

Two men are in custody following a bank robbery this afternoon in Daytona Beach.

The robbery occurred about 12:15 p.m. at the Riverside Bank, 1290 S. Nova Road, Daytona Beach police Investigator Jimmie Flynt said.

A man entered the bank and approached a teller and demanded "all your hundreds and fifties." The teller complied and the man ran out of the bank, Flynt said. Witnesses saw the man get into a green Jeep Cherokee which was found abandoned in the 500 block of Bellevue Avenue where it ran out of gasoline, he said.

The driver of the Jeep, identified as Jason Warren Dietrich, 35, called a friend to pick him up, while the robbery suspect, Randall Fredric Walker, 38, paid a stranger $50 to take him home, Flynt said.

Dietrich, who faces a charge of principal to robbery, was arrested after he retrieved his Jeep, Flynt said. Walker, who is accused of bank robbery, was arrested at his home, where some of the stolen cash was recovered.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Robber, cries, begs, store owner gives him bread and $40

Jun 3, 8:11 AM EDT

NY store owner gives $40, loaf of bread to contrite would-be thief after he begs forgiveness


GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) --A rifle-toting convenience store owner said he decided to show mercy on a would-be robber after seeing the man collapse into tears and claim he was only committing the crime to support his starving family.

The Long Island store owner provided the bat-wielding man with $40 and a loaf of bread and made him promise never to rob again.

"This was a grown man, crying like a baby," Mohammad Sohail, owner of the Shirley Express convenience store about 65 miles east of New York City, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

The man dropped the bat, picked up the bread and tucked the $40 into his waistband before fleeing, said Suffolk County police Sgt. John Best.

Sohail, who moved to the United States from Pakistan about 20 years ago, said he was getting ready to close his store shortly after midnight on May 21 when the man in his 40s entered with a bat in his hand. Sohail said he tried to stall for a moment and then grabbed a rifle he keeps behind the counter and ordered the assailant to drop the bat.

The would-be thief dropped to his knees and begged for forgiveness, Sohail said.

"He started crying that he was out of work and was trying to feed his hungry family," he said. "I felt bad for him. I mean, this wasn't some kid."

He said he tossed $40 to the man, who then stood up and told Sohail he was inspired by the act of mercy and wanted to become a fellow Muslim. Sohail said he led the man in a profession of Muslim faith and the two ended up shaking hands.

Sohail said he went to the back of the store to get some milk to give to the man, but when he returned the man had fled. He said he called police and reported the attempted robbery, but he doesn't want to press charges if the man is ever caught.

Best said detectives have reviewed a store surveillance video of the attempted holdup, but said it would be difficult for anyone to identify the suspect because he was wearing a mask.

Sohail, who said he had never been the victim of a robbery attempt, said he didn't expect any accolades for what he had done.

"I'm a very little man. I just did a good job," said the married father of one. "I have a good feeling in my heart. I feel very good."




Link to video:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Man wakes up from brain surgery as talented artist

Masterstroke: Man who couldn't even draw stickmen wakes from brain surgery... as a talented artist

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:05 PM on 01st June 2009 

Stoke of genius: Alan Brown was unable to draw even stick-men before his stroke

Stroke of genius: Alan Brown was unable to draw even stickmen before his life-saving brain operation

For most, stroke and brain surgery can be devastating but for Alan Brown it sparked a previously unseen talent... as an artist.

When Alan, 49, emerged from a gruelling 16-hour operation following his stroke, he found he had become a reborn 'Michelangelo' and was able to paint and draw with incredible detail.

Alan, from Malvern, Worcestershire, believes the surgery must have 'flicked a switch' in the creative part of his brain.

Until the stroke, Alan was unable to draw or paint, and the best he could manage was a simple 2D stickman.

The father-of-three spent two months recovering in intensive care before he was well enough to write and 'doodle' to pass the time and this is when he discovered his bizarre new talent.


Alan, who is divorced, said: 'I was out of the danger zone but still in intensive care and a nurse came up to me and said I looked bored and suggested I start drawing.


'She gave me a pencil and some paper and photograph of her dog which I copied almost perfectly.

'She looked at it and asked me if I was an artist. I said no and she said I should look into doing a course. Since then I've never looked back.'


Alan has just completed a fine art degree and has plans to open his own gallery

Alan has just completed a fine art degree and has plans to open his own gallery


Alan, who used to run a double-glazing firm, collapsed at his home six years ago after suffering a bout of migraines.

He was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan where doctors discovered a burst blood vessel, or aneurysm, in his brain.

He was transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for surgery.


  alan brown paintings

Creative streak: A display of Mr Brown's work

During a mammoth 16-hour operation - which involved a team of 15 surgeons - Alan almost died twice after suffering a major stroke.

He said: 'Going through this illness brought out a creative side of me that I never even knew existed.'


'I had never even set foot in an art gallery, let alone tried creating my own art work.'

Alan, who has three children, Joshua, 16, Ellie, 10 and Maisy, eight, is now about to graduate from Worcester university with a Fine Art Degree.

He has also decided to open his own art gallery in Malvern after turning his back on selling double-glazing.

He said: 'The stroke left me without the use of my left arm which would mean I'm pretty useless at work.

'I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and art felt like my calling.

'I'm incredibly proud of my work. I don't have a particular style because I love all kinds of art from portraits to landscapes.'

Last month, Yorkshireman Chris Gregory, 30, shocked his family when he woke up from a brain-op with a thick Irish accent.

A spokesman for Headway, the brain injury association, said: 'It is always encouraging to hear about people with acquired brain injuries discovering new skills and talents.

'Brain injury can be devastating and can mean having to relearn even the most basic of life skills, but there is life after brain injury.

'An injury to the brain can result in varying and unpredictable effects.

'While most of the effects involve a loss of functioning, in some cases people have been known to acquire or discover new skills, although the exact reason for this is not fully understood.'

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Man Gets Robbed After Tweeting That He is on Vacation

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Twitter Robbery of Arizona Man Could Freak Some Folks Out

Twitter -- you know what it is, obviously, please, in addition to followin PTG   and myself? -- doesn't have many downsides, provided you're not some cranky old person that hates "those dang kids and their blog machines!" Or if you're Twitter user "@IzzyVideo" who recently tweeted that he and his family were going on vacation. Good times, right? Um, no. He got robbed, likely as a result of the social media site's ability to reach hundreds of thousands of people.

On May 24th, Izzy dropped this:

We made it to Kansas City in one piece. We're visiting @noellhyman's family. Can't wait to get some good video while we're here. :-)
And then four days later ...

Well, it's confirmed. Someone stole my Mac Pro and two displays while I'm visiting relatives here in Kansas City.
But, fortunately (I guess) the robbers left his Xbox. Now, before everyone decides to freak out and blame the Twittermachinez for this horrible travesty, let's go ahead and point out the same thing that Izzy did: his Twitter account automatically updates his Facebook status. That means Izzy could have accidentally sent this message out to thousands of people (I'm not his friend, so I have no clue how many he has) in addition to the over 2,000 folks that follow him on Twitter.

And the other thing, as I tell my parents often, is that we live in a very transparent world when it comes to internet personalities -- most of the "interwebz people" aren't hidden behind some odd name or false front anymore, particularly if they earn their living online. Which means that if you see Person X tweet that they're somewhere on vacation, and that person has a website where they make a living, you can probably find out where they live (or at the very least, check the registration for the site) or at the very least get your Google/White Pages on.

Izzy actually has his full name, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and mobile phone number on his website. That's not particularly shocking, because it's his business site, but the thing is with a mobile number and a first and last name, you can track anyone in the world down to their home address pretty quickly. Which is what someone, obviously, decided to do.

Either that or one of Izzy's friends is a real jerk. The lesson? Well, it's not that "Twitter is evil" or the "Internet will kill us all" as many people will probably shout once they see his story all over the news (it's been picked up by ABC, NBC, CBS and then tweeted by IJustine, who's actually bigger than all of those, somehow).

The lesson is that you have to be careful when you broadcast something on the interwebz. Yes, it's that simple: just think before you tweet, folks.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Girl, 5, raised by cats and dogs

Russian police 5-year-old girl raised by cats and dogs

Wed May 27, 2009 7:07am EDT

MOSCOW, May 27 (Reuters) - Russian police have taken into care a 5-year-old girl who has been shut up in a flat in the company of cats and dogs for her entire life, police said on Wednesday.

The girl, who lived in the Eastern Siberian city of Chita, could not speak Russian and acted like an dog when police took her into care.

"For five years, the girl was 'brought up' by several dogs and cats and had never been outside," a police statement said.

"The unwashed girl was dressed in filthy clothes, had the clear attributes of an animal and jumped at people," it said.

The flat had no heat, water or sewage system.

A police spokeswoman said the girl, known as Natasha, is being monitored by psychologists in an orphanage. Her mother was being questioned but her father has not been found yet.

She appears to be about 2-years-old, though her real age is five, refuses to eat with a spoon and has taken on many of the gestures of the animals with which she lived, police said.

"When carers leave the room, the girl jumps at the door and barks," the police said.

Feral children, the stuff of folklore all over the world, usually exhibit the behaviour of the animals with whom they have had closest contact, a condition known as the Mowgli Syndrome after the fictional child from Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" who was raised by wolves in the jungle.

Such children have usually built strong ties with the animals with whom they lived and find the transition to normal human contact extremely traumatic. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Farah Master)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Spiderman Arrested Again!

French 'Spiderman' Alain Robert arrested climbing Sydney skyscaper

Alain Robert, the French skyscraper climber nicknamed "Spiderman", was arrested after scaling a 41-storey building in downtown Sydney with his bare hands.


Published: 9:12AM BST 02 Jun 2009


Around 200 people gathered to watch as Robert, known for scaling some of the world's tallest and best-known buildings without ropes or other equipment, climbed to the top of the Royal Bank of Scotland Tower.

Police closed off a section of the busy street below, causing gridlock. The crowd cheered as Robert reached the top. He then climbed back down, where waiting officers arrested him.

The 46-year-old has climbed more than 70 skyscrapers around the world, including the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower, Taipei 101 and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, according to his Web site.

Robert began climbing as a young boy, scaling rock cliffs in the area around his home. His buildering career began at the age of 12 when he forgot his keys and was locked out of his parents' eighth-floor apartment.

Instead of waiting for them to return home, he simply scaled the exterior wall to his home.

Robert continues his climbing career despite suffering from vertigo brought on after two accidents in which he broke multiple bones.

He has been arrested many times, in various countries, by law enforcement officials waiting for him at the end of his climb. The arrests and trials are normally little more than brief formalities and he has always been discharged.


 Link to video:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Bank robber jumps off 5-story parking garage running from police

Jun 1, 9:36 PM EDT

Police: Fleeing Calif. bank robber leapt off 5-story parking garage, was critically injured

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities in Southern California say a bank robber leapt off a five-story parking garage while fleeing police and was badly injured.

Pasadena police spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens says the man in his early 30s was hospitalized in critical condition Monday. Police are trying to determine his identity and whether he was trying to kill himself or escape.

She says a California National Bank branch was robbed about 9:15 a.m. and a witness followed the robber, reporting via cell phone that he had run into the structure.

The man ran to the roof after officers arrived and jumped to the concrete below, suffering multiple fractures including broken legs.

Investigators found cash in the parking garage.

Monday, June 1, 2009


5 People Who Won the Lottery in Spite of Themselves

May 28th 2009
By Jeremy Taylor


5 People Who Won the Lottery in Spite of Themselves

Monday, June 1, 2009


2 Convicted murderers walk out of prison wearing guard uniforms

May 30, 2009 12:15 pm US/Eastern

2 Murderers Escape Ark. Prison In Guard Uniforms

Convicts Serving Life Without Parole Escape Wearing Corrections Officer Uniforms





Two convicted murderers put on corrections-officer uniforms and walked out of an Arkansas prison during a shift change, officials said Saturday as they searched for the men.

Jeffrey Grinder, 32, and Calvin Adams, 39, escaped Friday evening from the Cummins Unit prison in Grady more than three hours before officials realized they were missing, corrections department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.

Both men were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole at the prison about 60 miles southeast of Little Rock.

The guard uniforms the inmates put on are made in the prison. Video surveillance shows the men put them in the prison library after the 6 p.m. headcount and walked out of the prison during a shift change less than 20 minutes later, Tyler said.

Grinder and Adams drove away in a maroon or burgundy colored, 4-door sedan that had been left for them. Officials realized the men were missing after coming up short during the 10 p.m. inmate headcount, Tyler said.

Grinder was convicted of capital murder in 2004, and Adams was convicted of capital murder in 1995. Both men have family in Arkansas and out of state.

"It is possible they could have left Arkansas," Tyler said.

Corrections officials are trying to develop leads on where the men are and hoping someone will spot them, Tyler said.



UPDATE: Escapees sought after in Michigan

Reported by: Brent Solomon 

Last Update: 3:59 pm
Jeffery Grinder and Calvin Adams escaped a prison in Grady wearing guards uniforms
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Five prison guards were placed on leave Monday after two convicted killers from a high-security unit Grady escaped by putting on jail guard uniforms that are made at the prison and walking to a car that had been left for them.

The fugitives, who escaped Friday evening, were spotted in the Missouri Bootheel on Saturday but later seen in Michigan, where one of them has relatives, Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said Monday afternoon.

Tyler said the five officers were on unpaid leave while the department investigates the escape of Jeffrey Grinder and Calvin Adams. Tyler would not name the five officers, but said they had been guarding the entry and exit points of the prison.

Gov. Mike Beebe on Monday called the escape "inexcusable" and said he was waiting on the department's investigation on how it occurred. He said he was sure there would be some ramifications.

Among the jobs for inmates at the Cummins Unit is making uniforms for jail guards and law officers. Video surveillance shows the men put the uniforms on in the prison library after the 6 p.m. headcount and walked out of the prison unchallenged during a shift change less than 20 minutes later, Tyler said.

Grinder and Adams drove away in a car that was left for them.

Tyler said the men were spotted northwest of Kalamazoo. Adams has relatives in Michigan, including his mother, but Tyler said it wasn't his mother who reported seeing the fugitives.

"We feel real confident about (the sighting)," Tyler said.

Officers in Michigan searched an area and tracking dogs picked up a scent, which they lost at a paved road.

"It could indicate they got back in the car and left," Tyler said. "We are working with Michigan and will continue to be a presence in the Bootheel."

Grinder, 32, and Adams, 39, were each convicted of capital murder and were serving life sentences without parole.

Tyler says the men were spotted Saturday in two southeast Missouri communities, Hayti and Braggadocio.

Grinder and Adams are believed to be traveling together.

Tyler said the department is investigating how the inmates obtained the uniforms and were able to leave the prison without anyone noticing something was amiss.

"We know that they used officer uniforms and they walked out the front," Tyler said. "We don't know where the uniforms came from, but the suspect has to be the garment factory."

Tyler said that inmates who work in the garment factory are searched upon entering and leaving the building, which is separate from the prison facility.

Authorities are also trying to find out who left the automobile for the fugitives.

Adams is from Leachville and was convicted of capital murder in 1995 in the 1994 kidnapping and shooting death of banker Richard Austin, 25. Austin's wife was wounded and was able to walk more than a mile for help. Grinder is from Yellville and was convicted of capital murder, aggravated robbery and burglary in the 2003 beating death of Pat Gardner, 77, who lived near Springdale.

Tyler said the fugitives did not display a weapon in any of the three sightings. She noted that they were each serving life without parole and pose a heightened risk to the public "because they don't have a whole lot to lose."

Beebe said he didn't know what action would be taken against department employees over the escape, and said he was waiting on more details on how it occurred.

"We don't know whether it was a breakdown at the gate where they left, we don't know if it's a breakdown with whoever was watching the cameras, we don't know whether it was a breakdown within the library. We don't know how much of it was inside in terms of cooperation," Beebe told The Associated Press. "Until we know all that, it's kind of hard to know what the ramifications will be, but I'm sure there will be some."


Monday, June 1, 2009


$250,000 falls out of Brinks Armored Truck on city street

Monday, June 1, 2009
Money falls out of armored truck

Updated: 06/01/2009 04:40 PM


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Hundreds of thousands of dollars lying on a city street. It was a shocking discovery for two people on Syracuse's Northside.


One man walking out of a barber shop and another man walking to his car on North Salina Street discovered at least $250,000 had fallen out of an armored Brinks truck. At first, both men say they thought the bags were trash.

"I saw it and thought who dumped that trash off? As I got closer I realized that these bags were full of money, lots of money! Plastic bags full of hundred dollar bills and twenty dollar bills and I thought oh my goodness," said Syracuse Antiques Exchange owner David Jenks.

"Two postal bins rolled over, the money spilled. I tried to catch the one bag before it went down the drain and in the water," said Liverpool resident Hanson Herring.

Jenks took the money into his store where there happened to be a police officer inside.






Thousands still missing after armored truck loses its load

Last updated 11:32 am

WSYR-TV Syracuse, New York

Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) - Hundreds of thousands of dollars fell out of an armored truck along North Salina Street in Syracuse on Friday night. While much of the money was recovered, about $60,000 is still missing.

The Brinks armored truck was carrying about $336,000 when the money somehow fell out of the truck. Two men, David Jenks and Hanson Herring, saw the money on North Salina Street and helped secure it. But Syracuse Police are now trying to figure out where roughly $60,000 of the money went.

Jenks, who owns the Syracuse Antiques Exchange near the corner of North Salina and Wolf Streets, says he had no idea what he stumbled across when he saw the bags of cash in the street.

“They were just clear plastic bags, they looked like trash bags,” Jenks said. “That’s what I thought when I first saw them.

“At first we thought it was trash,” Herring said. “We walked over, and looked at it, and it’s money!”

Jenks says the two men immediately flagged down a nearby police officer, who called for backup. All the bags of cash were put inside the Syracuse Antiques Exchange to keep them safe.

Syracuse Police are giving us an update on their investigation into the missing cash later today, and we’ll bring you the update as soon as we get it.

We had previously reported that the money fell out of Loomis truck, when in fact, a Brinks truck was carrying the money and Loomis had no involvment.



Monday, June 1, 2009


Bride rushes into burning building to save family in wedding dress

Bride saves family from burning house

By Daniel Tepfer
Connecticut Post
Updated: 06/01/2009 12:56:11 AM EDT

BRIDGEPORT -- A North End family was trapped in their home Sunday, flames licking at the walls when suddenly their savior appeared, charging through the thick curtain of smoke in a wedding dress.

Later, the Eitelberg family sat huddled on a lawn across the street from their West McKinley Avenue colonial as firefighters blasted water into the blackened remains of their home. They lamented the loss of their two-story house, but were happy that they and their pets had been spirited to freedom.

A short distance away their rescuer, Georgette Clemons, of Bridgeport, was surrounded by her wedding entourage as she neatly folded her blackened and stained wedding dress.

"It's been an eventful day," she said matter of factly.

Shortly before 5:30 Sunday evening, Clemons, formerly Georgette Fogary, had just been married to Charles Clemons and was being driven from Testo's restaurant where the reception was held when she spotted smoke coming from the Eitelberg's home.

Hanifah Bost, who was driving the car, said Clemons suddenly yelled, "Stop the car, stop the car."

"There was smoke coming from this house and as soon as I stopped the car, Georgette got out in her wedding dress and ran toward the front door." She said Clemons ran through the smoke into the house and she ran after her.

"I don't know what she was thinking, she had just got married," Bost said.

Clemons said she saw flames on the outside of the house and yelled  for the occupants to get out. She said she could see someone inside and when they didn't come out, she ran in to get them.


"The woman was yelling about her animals and didn't want to get out so I had to pull her out," Clemons said.

The occupants, including two dogs and two ferrets, out safely, Clemons then ran next door to warn the neighbors of the fire.

"My shoes got messed up, but what are you going to do?" Clemons said later. "At least the people are OK." Firefighters arrived as a thick blanket of smoke covered the neighborhood. Residents, who had come out of their homes to see the fire, ran back covering their faces from the smoke.

"I smelled smoke and then in two seconds the whole place was up in smoke," said neighbor, Sean O'Regan. "It was unreal."

"There was smoke at first and then flames erupted," added Jim O'Donnell.

Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Martin said when firefighters arrived flames were shooting out of the second-floor windows.

"The right side of the house appears to have total damage. The people were out when we arrived, and fortunately there were no injuries," he said.

Martin said it appears the fire started in the rear of the house, but the Eitelbergs did not know what started it.


Georgette Clemons

Monday, June 1, 2009


Police beating of drunk driver on tape

POLICE officers who dragged a drunken driver from his car and bashed him with their fists, boots and batons are being investigated by the NSW Police Professional Standards Command and the NSW Ombudsman.

Police bashing caught on tape

By Nick Leys and Brendan Hills

Daily Telegraph

May 31, 2009 12:00am


The investigation will determine whether unjust force was used during the arrest of Mount Druitt man Sione Peaua, 43, who was beaten by as many as five police officers after a 45-minute car chase on May 25 last year.

Video footage from a police patrol vehicle and the Polair police helicopter was tendered in court on Friday during Peaua's trial for serious traffic offences.

The videos show Peaua being dragged from his four-wheel drive after it hit a power pole, then being punched, kicked and bashed with retractable batons as he struggled on the ground.

Peaua, a Tongan father of six who is a boilermaker and local rugby league coach, had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.13 when he went on a high-speed rampage through Mount Druitt and Rooty Hill in a Toyota LandCruiser.

For the early part of the chase - during which speeds of 145km/h were reached - Peaua had his six-year-old daughter in the vehicle.

On Friday, he was sentenced to four months in jail after pleading guilty to driving with a suspended licence, mid-range drink-driving and dangerous driving.

Police prosecutor Alan Baghurst unsuccessfully argued in court that incriminating video footage should not be released to the public and described it as "not a pretty sight''.

He said both sets of footage were being investigated by the NSW Police Internal Affairs unit.

Ian Lloyd, QC, representing Peaua, told the court both sets of video were the subject of a NSW Ombudsman's inquiry. Peaua would be making a statement to the inquiry, Mr Lloyd said.

The court heard that Peaua did not receive any lasting injuries from the beating.

Mr Lloyd, however, called it a "savage and unjustified attack''.

A statement from Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione's office said the investigation had been initiated by police and was being ``closely oversighted by the NSW Ombudsman''.

Both videos were tendered to the court, along with photographs of Peaua's injuries. He suffered severe bruising to his upper arms and thighs, as well as an injury to his hand and left forearm.

The Sunday Telegraph understands Peaua is considering launching a civil action against police in relation to the injuries.


LINK TO VIDEO OF HIGH SPEED CHASE:,22049,25562843-5001021,00.html


LINK TO VIDEO OF BRUISES:,22056,5055817-5010140,00.html


It is also understood a female constable who was at the scene contradicted statements by other officers that Peaua had resisted arrest and assaulted police before they used force to subdue him.

Two charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police were dropped by the police prosecutor. Peaua's legal defence received a $41,000 cost order as a result.

A fact sheet tendered to the court said Peaua had also been sprayed with a "burst'' of capsicum spray, but did not mention him being punched and kicked.

The fact sheet said Peaua grabbed one officer's left foot "with both hands'' and had "continued to pull away from police, swinging his arms around forcefully''.

Several critical moments of the beating were missed because the Polair crew panned the helicopter's camera away as police lashed out and used batons.

Nor is it clear why, at the beginning of the beating, three police officers stand in front of the police patrol car's video camera, obscuring vision of the incident.

The statement from the Commissioner's office says: "Standard operating procedure for police helicopters involved in pursuits is to resume patrol once an offender is in custody.''

In the sound track of the incident, a police officer can be heard saying, "Don't you f****** move'' before telling Peaua to lie on his side.

Peaua then screams, "Get me out of here'' and is told by the officer: "You shut the f*** up, c***, and lay there.''

Peaua: "You know what I'm going to do to you.''

The officer then tells Peaua: "Let go of my f***ing leg.''

Peaua can then be heard screaming, "What the f*** are you doing to me?''

Close examination of the Polair vision reveals four officers standing over a handcuffed Peaua, trying to hold him down, when one officer kicks him twice in the back of the thigh.

The same officer then punches him and kicks him again in the back of the thigh before punching him in the vicinity of his arm.

The vision then cuts to a wide shot, in which two officers can be seen punching and kicking.

As the shot becomes wider, it appears one or more officers is using a retractable baton.

Police began the pursuit when Peaua refused to stop after they saw him hit the kerb while making a turn in Zoe Place, Mount Druitt.

During the chase, Peaua ran seven red lights, drove on the wrong side of the road 11 times and knocked down two give-way signs before slamming into a power pole on the Great Western Highway at Rooty Hill.

Peaua, who was still serving a licence suspension from 2006 and had a prior drink-driving conviction, pleaded guilty to charges of driving with a suspended licence, mid-range drink-driving and dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to four months' jail and suspended from driving until 2014.

Peaua has lodged an appeal, which will be heard in the District Court later this year. He was granted conditional bail.


March 2024   February 2024   January 2024   December 2023   November 2023   October 2023   September 2023   August 2023   July 2023   June 2023   May 2023   April 2023   March 2023   February 2023   January 2023   December 2022   November 2022   October 2022   September 2022   August 2022   July 2022   June 2022   May 2022   April 2022   March 2022   February 2022   January 2022   December 2021   November 2021   October 2021   September 2021   August 2021   July 2021   June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe