Boater finds brick of likely cocaine, snorts some, dies
A Merritt Island videographer died in a Miami hospital Thursday after he snorted an unknown substance -- possibly cocaine -- from a brick he found floating off the Middle Keys, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office says.
Thomas Swindal, 53, and his brother Kenneth were trolling in about 200 feet of water on Wednesday when, Detective Mark Maison said, they found what they believed to be a kilo of cocaine and brought it aboard the boat, tossing it into the bait well.
They kept on fishing and, Kenneth Swindal told detectives, he looked back a short time later and saw his brother open the package and ingest some of its contents.
He said about an hour and a half later, Thomas Swindal began to run around the boat, throw things in the water and even gaffed the engine, which fell off the boat and sank.
He continued acting strangely, running around with knives and pliers, so Kenneth Swindal threw all the sharp objects, as well as the package, off the boat.
Because they had no means of communication -- Thomas Swindal had tossed their cell phone off the boat -- and the boat lost its engine, the brothers climbed to the top of the boat and began signaling for help. A nearby vessel responded and called for help. The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded and transported the two to shore, where they were met by paramedics.
Thomas Swindal was taken to Fishermen's Hospital and later transferred to South Miami Hospital, where he died Thursday. An autopsy is planned.
The Sheriff's Office says never, ever bring aboard your boat "any object [you] suspect to be contraband." And, the agency says, "it certainly is never safe to ingest any substance if you do not know what the substance is or what the potency of the substance might be."
Woman accused of chasing boyfriend with machete near West Palm Beach
The Palm Beach Post
9:26 p.m. EDT, July 29, 2011
A 22-year-old suburban West Palm Beach woman was arrested on Thursday for allegedly chasing and cutting her former boyfriend with a machete after she hit him with a wooden stick and bit his arm, according to police.
Ana Celly Rodriguez De Jesus is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report, a deputy was dispatched to the 1000 block of Cynmar Drive, in suburban West Palm Beach, around 7 p.m. on Thursday in reference to a domestic battery.
When the deputy arrived, an unidentified 20-year-old man said that he had been involved in an argument with his ex-girlfriend, Rodriguez, over money. He said that Rodriguez hit him with a wooden stick, scratched his face and bit his arm, police said.
He said Rodriguez grabbed a machete and chased him outside, where she cut his arm. The deputy noted that man had scratches to his face, a bite mark on his arm and a 3-inch cut where he claimed to have been struck with the machete.
In a police report, she admits slapping, hitting and chasing the man with the machete. She said her ex-boyfriend also hit her with a wooden stick.
Woman Robs Convenience Store of $94, Gets 18 Years in Prison!
July 27, 2011 at 3:00pm
Connie Murray will spend the next 18 years behind bars, with no chance at parole, after she robbed a convenience store last August of $94 in cash.
On Friday, a jury found 40-year-old Connie Murray Dumas guilty of armed robbery and possession of a pistol during a violent crime, a release from the 16th Circuit Solicitor's Office states.
The solicitor's office says Dumas entered the One Stop convenience store on Albright Road on August 9th, pointed a small automatic pistol at the clerk and demanded money. The robbery was caught on the store's security camera.
Dumas was able to get away with $94 in cash from the store, the solicitor's office states, but a witness was able to give police a description of Dumas and her vehicle. She was pulled over a short time later by Rock Hill police.
According to the release, Dumas initially signed a confession, saying she robbed the store because her home was in foreclosure. During the trial, she recanted that confession saying she didn't commit the robbery because she had "ample available money" in a North Carolina bank account.
Throughout the trial, Dumas maintained that she didn't have a gun in the store and what was seen on camera was her car keys and cell phone.
Does something seem wrong here?
Student rights group targets Boca High cellphone searches
Updated: 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Posted: 9:23 p.m. Monday, July 25, 2011
A civil-rights group is calling on Boca Raton High School to stop its practice of searching confiscated student cellphones and punishing students who don’t provide access to their text messages or other content.
The National Youth Rights Association of Washington, D.C., on Monday outlined its concerns in a letter to Boca Raton High Principal Geoff McKee.
This complaint, which is the organization’s first challenge on this issue, contends the school’s practices “infringe upon the fundamental freedoms of its students and run counter to the holdings of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the Florida Legislature.”
The letter acknowledges the high school’s right to seize student phones that are viewed as “disruptive and distracting to learning.”
But administrators should not be inspecting these devices to examine photos, text messages and other content, said Jeffrey Nadel, president of the 10,000-member association, which fights for the rights of young people nationwide.
According to the youth rights group, the school also has threatened students with in-school suspensions if they refuse to provide passcodes that are needed to access the phones in the same way passwords are needed to use computers and email accounts.
“We really saw this as a particularly egregious set of circumstances,” said Nadel, who cited complaints from current and former students. “You don’t teach young people to be good American citizens by infringing on their fundamental rights.”
McKee said he had not yet seen the letter, but he promised to give it consideration. It’s true that administrators have seized and examined cellphones, he said.
“I understand the grounds for the concerns expressed, and with input from our district legal department, I intend to review our policy regarding student cellphones,” McKee said.
A 2004 state law allows students to take wireless devices to school, but Palm Beach County School Board policy says they must be turned off and put in pockets or backpacks while in class, on buses and at school events. Camera phones are prohibited.
The Boca Raton High School student handbook cites the board policy, but also adds two sentences that the rights groups blasted as “unconstitutional.”
Those lines are: “Students are responsible for the content of text messages, images, and other information on cellphones. Illicit phone contents will lead to added consequences.”
Nadel asked for that language to be removed from the handbook. It’s unclear if other schools’ handbooks have the same wording as Boca High.
McKee said the issue is making sure that the phones do not contain things like photos of test sheets or harassing text messages.
“Our focus for discipline is on inappropriate use of cellphones,” he said.
But the complaint says the school must stop after students surrender their phones, and students should not be presumed guilty of wrongdoing.
“Given that there exist no reasonable grounds to suspect any further violations of school rules or of the law, any search of the actual contents of the phone certainly would not be reasonably related to the objective of the seizure — which is to prevent disruptive conduct,” Nadel wrote.
Meanwhile, the school district continues to explore ways to remove the ban on student cellphones to take advantage of new technologies and boost achievement. Officials have said these rules, while helping to protect children from cyber-bullying and prevent high-tech cheating, are also out of touch with today's world of instant communication and contrary to federal recommendations to turn classrooms into smartphone hubs.
Administrators say they’ve been pleased with the results of pilot programs featuring smartphone or PDA-based instruction. Teachers said the technology can capture students' attention in previously unimaginable ways, with tools such as video demonstrations and personalized lessons.
Did an alert retired cop just thwart another Fort Hood massacre?
Texas police say a newly-arrested Muslim American Army private has admitted planning to attack fellow troops at the famous Fort Hood Army base in Killeen.
He'll likely face federal charges after FBI agents found a large amount of bomb-making materials in his hotel room not far from the base.
The 21-year-old had gone AWOL from Fort Campbell, Kentucky after refusing deployment to Afghanistan on religious grounds and then being charged with possession of child pornography during his discharge process.
Kileen is the site of Fort Hood, scene of the 2009 massacre of 13 military personnel. Another American Muslim soldier, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, has been charged with those killings. He faces the death penalty if found guilty in a trial set to begin in early 2012.
"Thanks to quick action by a Texas gun dealer in alerting local police to a suspicious character," Rep. John Carter said today, "and a prompt and vigorous response by the Killeen Police Department, we may well have averted a repeat of the tragic 2009 radical Islamic terror attack on our nation's largest military installation."
Abdo appeared in a local gunshop Tuesday afternoon, according to Greg Ebert, a retired police officer now working there. Ebert said Abdo purchased shotgun shells, a magazine and six one-pound canisters of gunpowder.
But he then asked Ebert numerous questions indicating little knowledge of the gunpowder.
"That's a red flag for me," Ebert said. "He should know" if he's buying that much. Ebert checked with his boss and then alerted police.
In the hotel room police say they also found uniforms with Fort Hood patches, battery-powered clocks and shrapnel.
Thief dresses like armored truck guard -- and walks out of Queens check-cashing spot with $15K
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, July 28th 2011, 4:00 AM
A clever crook, dressed as an armored truck guard, waltzed out of a Queens check-cashing joint last week with almost $15,000 in cash, cops said.
After stepping into Lorenzo's Enterprises on 31st St. in Astoria about 10:15 a.m. Friday, the disguised bandit said he was there for a pickup and was given the load of cash, police said.
The employees never suspected the man, who was clad in a GARDA Armored Courier uniform, was a thief.
It wasn't until a few hours later, when an actual guard from the same armored truck company arrived for the cash, that the workers realized they had been had, cops said.
But the suspect - a Hispanic male, believed to be in his early 30s - was long gone. Police are investigating whether the man is a former employee or has other ties to the armored truck company.
Thug brothers, Jonathan and Luis Baez, attack pilot at Miami airport after getting booted off plane
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, July 28th 2011, 2:26 PM
Jonathan and Luis Baez, both of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, were arrested at Miami International Airport on Wednesday night for the assault, which left the pilot bruised and bloodied and delayed the San Francisco-bound flight more than two hours.
The scuffle started after a flight attendant noticed that Jonathan Baez, 27, had passed out without buckling his seat belt as the plane pulled away from the gate.
The attendant tried to wake Baez, but he was groggy and appeared plastered on booze or high on drugs, cops said.
After the attendant told the crew that Baez wouldn't buckle up, the pilot stopped taxiing and turned around, cops said.
When Baez finally came to, the attendant told him he had to get off the plane.
"He was apparently barely compliant at that point," American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said. "He was exhibiting symptoms of intoxication. He was not walking well when he went up the aisle."
Luis Baez, 29, decided to follow his brother, and the two screamed obscenities at the pilot.
"When you fly to San Juan, I will have you killed," one of the goons shouted, according to police.
Crew members escorted the brothers off the plane, but Jonathan ran back, punched the pilot in the face and then punched a female flight attendant who tried to step in, cops said.
Luis then joined in the vicious beatdown, and the two hoodlums chased the pilot into the terminal, cops said.
Eventually, some passengers and crew members tackled the brothers and held them down until police arrived.
"There was a scuffle … so about three or four of us went out there and tackled the guys," passenger Ken Venting told KGO television. "So we just did what we needed to do to help out."
The Miami-based pilot was cut up, bruised and shaken after the attack, police said.
Another pilot showed up, and the 176 passengers and six crew members took off for San Francisco at around 11:30 p.m., two hours after the scheduled take off.
Jonathan and Luis Baez were held at Miami-Dade County jail on $9,000 bond and $12,500 bond on assault and battery charges.
"I think it's fair to say that both these gentlemen won't be flying with us again," Smith said.
Officials fear for infants born to prescription drug addicts
"We saw the number of crack babies that died, and this is just another version of that," Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said. "We all need to be concerned."
According to state health records, 635 Florida babies were born addicted to prescription drugs in the first half of 2010 alone. South Florida doctors and intensive care nurses report an dramatic uptick in babies born hooked on pills that their mothers abused while pregnant.
"They go through withdrawal symptoms," said Mary Osuch, the head nurse at Broward General Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit. "They're crampy, miserable. They sweat. They can have rapid breathing. Sometimes, they can even have seizures."
According to the White House Office on Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem.
Marsha Currant, who runs the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center near Fort Lauderdale, says prescription drug addiction overtook crack in 2009 as the main problem afflicting the pregnant women who are treated there.
"In the very beginning, it was really 100% crack cocaine," said Currant, who started keeping track of drug trends in 1995. "We see a lot more prescription drugs now."
Currant says new mothers who are hooked on prescription drugs are often reluctant to seek help for fear the authorities will take their babies from them.
"We wanted to have a place where women didn't have to chose between getting treatment and having their children go into foster care," she said.
Compounding the problem, women who are addicted to prescription drugs and find themselves pregnant cannot safely go off the drugs without medical supervision. They need to be weaned off slowly, or the baby will go into withdrawal in the womb.
At the Susan B. Anthony Center, one mother who became hooked on prescription drugs after her husband died says she felt her baby suffering while she was getting clean.
"I know that I'm going through stuff getting off the pills. So what's she going through? She can't talk. She's just a baby," Jessica said.
Thanks to the center, Jessica was weaned off oxycodone before her baby, Casey, was born. But she fears the long-term effects of her drug abuse on her daughter, who has been suffering from respiratory problems.
"I want to make sure that she doesn't hurt anymore," Jessica said. "She doesn't deserve that, because she's a princess."
Jessica graduated from the center's recovery program last week.
LINK TO VIDEO:
Thanks to pumpi76 for the tip.
Times Square 'weed man' files lawsuit for his right to beg for marijuana money
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, July 26th 2011, 7:50 PM
The "Weed Man" of Times Square demands his constitutional right to beg.
Joshua Long - who carries a sign saying "Help! I need money for weed" - filed a federal suit Tuesday complaining that his First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights have been violated by repeated arrests.
"Though the First Amendment protects Mr. Long's right to stand on the sidewalk with his sign, he has been, and continues to be, regularly and wrongfully, arrested, charged and harassed by police officers," the suit says.
"These arrests and other harassment have diminished Mr. Long's ability to lawfully beg in Times Square."
Long, 30, has been issued multiple summonses, arrested at least six times, pepper sprayed and harassed by cops, according to court papers in Manhattan Federal Court.
"He certainly has the right to stand on the sidewalk and ask for money," said Long's lawyer, Matthew Brinckerhoff. "I can only conclude that the police don't like his message."
Long is seeking a court order protecting Long's right to beg and unspecified damages and lawyer fees.
City officials declined comment pending receipt of the suit.
Wealth disparity between whites and minorities at 25-year high, recession to blame: study
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, July 26th 2011, 12:47 PM
The median net worth of white households is 18 times that of Hispanic households and 20 times that of black households - the widest disparity between whites and minorities in a quarter-century, according a study released Tuesday.
The median wealth of a white U.S. household in 2009 - for which numbers recently became available - was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center.
The gap is the widest its been since the census began tracking such data in 1984. The ratio then was roughly 12 to 1.
In 1995, the gap grew smaller, with a ratio of 7 to 1. That was during a period when the nation's economic expansion propelled many low-income groups into the middle class.
During that period of economic prosperity, the median white household had a net worth of $134,992 for white families. The number was $18,359 for Hispanic families and $12,124 for black families.
Then the Great Recession - which cratered home values and destroyed millions of jobs - widened the gap again.
Many white families garner their wealth from stocks and corporate savings. Minority families, on the other hand, are more invested in their homes, and purchased residences during the housing boom of the early to mid-2000s, especially in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.
"What's pushing the wealth of whites is the rebound in the stock market and corporate savings, while younger Hispanics and African-Americans who bought homes in the last decade - because that was the American dream - are seeing big declines," said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who studies income inequality.
*Asians lost their top ranking to whites. Median household income for Asians dropped from $168,103 in 2005 to $78,066 in 2009.
*Across all race and ethnic groups, the wealth gap between the rich and poor grew.
*About 35% of black households, 31% of Hispanic households and 15% of white households had zero or negative worth in 2009. In 2005, that number was 29% for blacks, 23% for Hispanics and 11% for whites.
With News Wire Services
Man wakes up in South African morgue after being mistaken for 'dead'
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, July 26th 2011, 8:55 AM
His cries for help terrified employees at the mortuary in the Eastern Cape province of Libode.
"Two workers heard screaming from the refrigerators," Sizwe Kupelo, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape Health Department, told ABC News. "They thought it was a ghost and they ran for their lives."
The man, who did not want his name released but is described as a grandfather in his 60s, had apparently suffered an asthma attack and fell unconscious.
"The family called a private undertaker who took what they thought was a dead body to the morgue," Kupelo said, according to South Africa's News24.
Relatives did not call paramedics, but instead phoned the mortuary, assuming he was dead. The morgue's owner told The Associated Press that the worker who picked up the supposedly dead man "examined the body, checked his pulse, looked for a heartbeat, but there was nothing."
Ayanda Maqolo was there when the elderly man woke up and started screaming after having been in the refrigerator with other corpses for at least 21 hours.
"He asked, 'How did I get here?'" the owner recalled the man saying. The owner added that the chilling experience even gave him "nightmares."
"I couldn't sleep last night," he told AP. "But today I'm much better."
Kupelo said the health department wanted to publicize the incident because it exposes a real problem.
"This is why we're saying as a health department that people should call health services to have their relatives declared and certified dead, and not these private mortuaries," he told ABC News. "Those guys aren't trained paramedics. They're about business."
The "dead" man, who suffered from dehydration, was hospitalized briefly after the incident. He has since returned home to his family, Kupelo said.
The South African man was fortunate. Last month a woman in Russia was mistakenly declared dead and woke up at her own funeral. The shock caused her to suffer a heart attack, which officially killed her.
Elected official arrested for assaulting disabled person
Fairhaven Police Department
Elected town official Joseph Morra is arrested for assaulting a disabled person.
According to Fairhaven police, the victim who uses a cane to walk told them he was having a hard time parking his vehicle in a designated handicapped parking space in the parking lot of the Seaport Inn and Marina Friday night.
The problem was caused by another vehicle that was taking up two handicapped parking spaces despite that vehicle not having a handicapped license plate or placard visible.
The victim told police that he began taking photographs of the offending vehicle with his cell phone. He stated he was approached by Joseph Morra, who was the vehicle owner. The victim informed police that Morra displayed a badge to him and ordered him off the property while uttering several insulting expletives. According to police, the victim says Morra allegedly poked the victim in the chest and sternum several times then shoved him, nearly knocking him to the ground. As the victim attempted to take Morra’s photograph with his cell phone, Morra reportedly slapped it from his hand, causing it to break into several pieces on the pavement.
Fairhaven Police tell NBC 10 that while officers were speaking with the victim, Morra came out of the Seaport Inn and yelled at them to get the victim off the property, using a barrage of profanity and derogatory remarks.
Mora was arrested Monday evening after a warrant was issued Monday morning by Third District Court. He has been charged with assault and battery on a disabled person, intimidation of a witness, impersonating a police officer and malicious destruction of property valued at over $250.
Morra is an elected member of the Fairhaven Planning Board, as well as a constable who was appointed by the New Bedford City Council.
Catholic church's plea could rule out damages for priests' abuse
Victims' lawyers condemn 'scandalous' defence that Catholic priests are not legally employees of the church
Sunday 24 July 2011
Victims of sexual abuse by priests will no longer be able to sue the Catholic church for damages if a landmark judgment rules that priests should not be considered as employees.
In a little publicised case heard this month at the high court, the church claimed that it is not "vicariously liable" for priests' actions. The church has employed the argument in the past but this was the first time it had been used in open court and a ruling in the church's favour would set a legal precedent.
The use of the defence raises further questions about the church's willingness to accept culpability for abuse. It follows a ing report into abuse at the diocese of Cloyne in Ireland which prompted the Irish president, Mary McAleese, to call on leaders of the church "to urgently reflect on how, by coherent and effective action, it can restore public trust and confidence in its stated objective of putting children first".
Those planning to bring claims in relation to the high court case expressed dismay. "As children, we weren't given an innocent, carefree and safe environment," said one. "We weren't given a peaceful structure in which to grow and develop normally. By some miracle, some of us are still here to voice the words of so many who can't. Only a small number of victims ever come forward. The full potential of who we could have been as adults has been stolen."
The church's defence has been condemned by lawyers. "I think the Catholic church's attempt to avoid responsibility for the abhorrent actions of one of its priests is nothing short of scandalous," said Richard Scorer of the law firm Pannone, which specialises in abuse cases. "The Catholic church would be better served by facing up to its responsibilities rather than trying to hide behind spurious employment law arguments."
The ruling is being made as part of a preliminary hearing into the case of "JGE", who claims to have been sexually abused while a six-year-old resident at The Firs, a children's home in Portsmouth run by an order of nuns, the English Province of Our Lady of Charity. "If we fail, it would mean that no other victims of Catholic priests would be able to be compensated," said Tracey Emmott of Emmott Snell, a specialist in working with sexual abuse claims who is representing JGE.
JGE alleges that she was sexually abused by Father Wilfred Baldwin, a priest of the Roman Catholic diocese of Portsmouth and its "vocations director", who regularly visited The Firs during the 70s. Her legal team claim the nuns were negligent and in breach of duty, and that the diocese was liable for Baldwin's alleged abuse as he was a Catholic priest engaged within the work of the diocese.
Previous hearings in the House of Lords and the court of appeal relating to other church organisations have found that ministers should be treated as employees. But there has been no judgment yet on whether the relationship between a Catholic priest and his bishop is akin to an employment relationship.
"They claim that the relationship between the bishop of the diocese and the parish priest in question does not amount to anything akin to a relationship of employment, and therefore there cannot be any 'vicarious liability' for the priest's acts," Emmott said.
"That is to say, whatever sexual abuse their priests might commit, it is not their responsibility. They are absolved of blame. We need to show that, while Father Baldwin wasn't strictly an employee of the church, he was acting on the bishop's behalf and that the bishop clearly had a degree of control over his activities."
Criminal proceedings against Baldwin, who was the subject of a police investigation, concluded when he died of a heart attack in 2006.
Did Chuck E. Cheese Give The Middle Finger To My 4-Year-Old?
(Courtesy: Jesse Anderson)
Last Sunday, Corbin went with his family to celebrate his birthday at a Chuck E. Cheese's eatery. He even got to pose for a picture with the restaurant's namesake rodent. But when Corbin's parents got home and uploaded the pictures to Facebook, they noticed something peculiar; it looked like nice ol' Chuck was flipping off the camera.
Corbin's father Jesse tells Consumerist that the family took their concerns about the photo to Chuck E. Cheese's HQ but were given the brush-off. "If they had just said 'We're sorry' it would have ended right there," he says.
A rep for the eatery tells the Las Cruces Sun-Newsthat things are not what they appear to be in the photo.
"He has big wide paws, like a glove, and they're lumpy and not clearly defined," the rep says about the mascot's costume. "His glove is a thumb and three fingers, so what you see is his index finger extended — not his middle finger."
Jesse, who maintains a sense of humor about the situation, tells Consumerist that — if it was wardrobe-related — Chuck E. Cheese's might want to rethink its costume design or how they tell employees inside those costumes to pose for the camera.
He explains to Consumerist that his intention in going public with the photo was to stir up some debate and maybe make some other parents more aware for when it comes time to take their kids' photos with the big mouse.
Portland Man Brings BB Gun to a Drug Deal, Gets Punched in the Face
Jul 24, 2011
Officers learned that the man, later identified as 50-year-old Christopher Phillips, got into a confrontation with an unknown male before a citizen reported him to the officer. Phillips pulled a BB gun on the unknown male who responded by punching Phillips in the face. Officers believe that the fight was drug-related.
Phillips was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment and was issued a citation for Disorderly Conduct and Attempted Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Drug driving test at your fingertips
Magazine issue 2822
24 July 2011
A FINGERPRINT is all you need to determine whether someone is under the influence of drugs.
Paul Yates from Intelligent Fingerprinting, a company spun out from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, and colleagues, have developed a handheld device that police can use to detect breakdown products from drugs excreted through sweat pores in the fingertips.
The device applies gold nanoparticles coated with antibodies to a fingerprint. The antibodies stick to antigens on specific metabolites in the fingerprint. Fluorescent dyes attached to the antibodies will highlight the presence of any metabolites. The technique was first used to detect nicotine, but now works on a range of drugs, including cocaine, methadone and cannabis.
It is hard to prove that someone is drug driving, for example, says Yates, because existing tests are invasive, can be contaminated, or aren't sensitive enough. The new device could detect nanograms of metabolites in minutes, he says. The device was announced at the UCL International Crime Science Conference in London last week.
Perry County mother charged with unlawfully entering school bus to help a son she thought was ill
Saturday, July 23, 2011, 12:00 AM
If Tara Keener had known that her 5-year-old son was only sleeping, she might not have acted this way.
But Keener, an emergency room nurse, didn’t know. All she knew was what she could see through the windows of a big yellow school bus as she walked down her Perry County driveway. Other kids were standing over the kindergartner’s assigned seat, yelling that Xander was slumped over.
Juliette Dunn arrested for giving 4-year-old and 10-month-old beer and cocaine
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, July 22nd 2011, 12:52 PM
Juliette Dunn, 29, who lives in Success Village, Conn., was sitting with a friend Lisa Jefferson on a playground when another mom flagged down officers and complained that she was feeding her child beer, the Connecticut Post reported.
When cops approached, they spotted an empty 40-ounce Steele Reserve beer on the ground next to the 4-year-old boy and a baby bottle that smelled like alcohol.
Witnesses told officers that earlier that day Jefferson had told her son to chug the beer - and then called him an alcoholic when he finished, according to the report.
The children were taken to a local hospital where they tested positive for alcohol and the 10-month-old tested positive for cocaine.
When being interviewed by a social worker, the 4-year-old mentioned that he liked "Natural Ice beer, Budweiser beer, but didn't like the taste of Dog-Bite beer," police told the newspaper.
Dunn and Jefferson were arrested and charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child and two counts of second-degree assault.
They are both being held on a $100,000 bond.
Woman’s bullets fell out of gun just before she tried to shoot cop
FRANK MAIN Staff
July 21, 2011 5:45PM
Shandra Kidd didn’t realize her gun was empty when she tried to shoot a Chicago Police officer.
All the bullets fell out when she was running from the officer.
Unfortunately for her, the officer’s gun was loaded. And the officer shot her in the buttocks.
On Thursday, Kidd was sentenced to 55 years in prison for attempted murder and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
In May 2007, officers were investigating a report of shots fired near 78th and Burnham when they stopped a car Kidd was riding in. She ran and when an officer caught her, she stuck a gun in the officer’s chest and pulled the trigger.
But the gun didn’t go off.
The officer and Kidd struggled and they fell down. When they got up, she stuck the gun in the officer’s chest again and pulled the trigger.
Again, it didn’t go off.
That’s when the officer shot Kidd, 22, of the 7700 block of South Phillips.
Police later found that the cylinder of Kidd’s gun had opened during the chase and all the bullets fell out.
Judge Neil Linehan sentenced Kidd on Thursday.
“This is a fitting and a just sentence for anyone who would be so bold as to fire a gun at a police officer,” Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said. “We are grateful that this officer was uninjured in this incident and we will continue to prosecute violent crimes against police officers to the fullest extent of the law.”
LINK TO PHOTO:
Can I Get That Knuckle Sandwich With Ketchup?
July 21, 2011 7:08 PM
According to the warrant, Jennifer Schwenker entered the Marietta McDonald’s on Bells Ferry Road with her children and service dog on July 12. Allen was off duty at the time and had her own child in the restaurant when she confronted Schwenker about the dog being in the restaurant.
Schwenker explained to Allen that the dog was a service dog and by federal law has the right to be in any public place including the McDonald’s. Allen continued to berate Schwenker, following her around the restaurant and even into a bathroom. During the incident, one of Schwenker’s twins disappeared. When the mother threw her cup to the ground and ran outside to look for her child, part of the drink soaked Allen’s pants.
Video of the incident shows Allen handing her child to someone else, several McDonald’s employees holding Allen back and then Allen following Schwenker into the parking lot, where she is accused of hitting Schwenker in the face.
Schwenker has reportedly hired an attorney to represent her in the case. Allen is now looking for another job.
Hyatt turns up heat on picket line
4:07 p.m. CDT, July 21, 2011
Payson police officer demoted for ‘sexting’
Exchange of messages with drug informant spurs pay cut for reprimanded officer
July 19, 2011
A slew of salacious pictures and sexually explicit cell phone messages have prompted the demotion of a Payson police officer, for the second time in a year.
Josh LaManna, a veteran officer, was demoted from a narcotics officer to a patrol officer in May and given a 10-percent pay cut for a string of violations, including sending a photograph of his genitals to a confidential police informant.
Chief Don Engler said in a report that LaManna had brought dishonor and discredit to the department.
The demotion comes just months after then-Lt. Donald Garvin was demoted to sergeant after carrying on several relationships, including an affair with the wife of a Department of Public Safety officer and another with a woman applying for a job with the police force. Engler warned Garvin to end both relationships.
LaManna’s behavior raised some of the same issues, according to a police report acquired by the Roundup through a Freedom of Information request.
The detailed investigations of Garvin and LaManna paint a picture of a police force plagued by drinking incidents in bars, affairs and questionable judgment.
Payson Mayor Kenny Evans said “I think the personal impact on the families ought to make it pretty clear to anyone who is considering something like this, that the town standard is going to be enforced.”
Evans said he hoped the two cases would prove to be isolated incidents.
“There seems to be a wider, general public perception that certain behaviors utilizing social media that would never be accepted in another form seem to be OK. Maybe it’s a generational theme, but as long as I’m here, that old-fashioned approach is going to be the standard,” he said.
While Garvin was single at the time of the alleged relationships, LaManna is married.
Sometime in early April, LaManna met a 28-year-old Payson woman who had agreed to work as a confidential informant for the department after getting in trouble on undisclosed charges, according to a police report.
The woman would buy drugs and then turn them over to LaManna and Sgt. Jason Hazelo who worked on the special enforcement unit.
One Sunday evening, she met LaManna and Hazelo and turned over drugs she had purchased. As LaManna was patting the woman down, Hazelo stepped off to the side to take a phone call. LaManna continued his search, making several flirtatious comments, according to Engler’s report.
Later that night, the woman received several text messages from LaManna, one instructing the woman to contact him on his personal cell phone and not his work line because he could get in trouble, the woman later told Engler.
“I just got to be careful not to get caught,” LaManna texted, adding, “…when I reached into those front pockets I was hoping to slip a bit. Maybe, holes in your pockets.”
The woman maintained she told LaManna to stop texting her repeatedly. However, a phone record revealed the woman “was more of an active participant in this matter than she had initially reported,” Engler said.
In fact, every message the woman sent telling LaManna to stop, failed to go through, according to the report. A record of LaManna’s text messages shows that they carried on a conversation for at least several days. LaManna texted the woman that he imagined her while he slept with his wife and could not wait to see her breasts.
He repeatedly asked her to send a picture of her breasts and sent her a photograph of his genitals. He assured the woman that he could “pull off just about anything” and was “excessively secret.”
When questioned, LaManna admitted to the relationship, saying the text messages had “evolved into very illicit sexual messages.”
However, LaManna argued that the conversations occurred when he was off duty and were consensual, since the woman also sent flirtatious messages.
Regardless, Engler found that LaManna’s inappropriate relationship with a confidential informant not only violated the code of ethics, but also put criminal cases at risk.
In addition, Engler learned LaManna had discussed classified information with his wife, which was shared in the community.
LaManna was also delinquent in completing police reports, although he led supervisors to believe that they were current.
This came on top of the five other times LaManna was disciplined.
On Aug. 3, 2010 supervisors wrote up LaManna for drinking excessively at the Buffalo Bar. On Sept. 14, he received a reprimand for requesting time off and then attending a barbecue with a potential informant and on Sept. 28, for “his lack of understanding the trust of the public, his consumption of alcohol and reports.”
On Feb. 1, 2011 supervisors again reprimanded him for “lack of activity and use of his personal phone.”
LaManna will now serve a year of disciplinary probation, during which time he can have no outstanding reports or disciplinary action. As a patrol officer, he will make $24.45 an hour, a $2.55 cut.
Baltimore police officer charged in heroin conspiracy
Records: Officer conducted suspected drug deals at Northwest District station
The Baltimore Sun
7:49 p.m. EDT, July 19, 2011
City officer Daniel G. Redd has been arrested and charged with leading a heroin distribution operation
A Baltimore City police officer was arrested and charged Tuesday with leading a heroin distribution operation, including allegations that he arranged drug transactions while on duty and met conspirators in the parking lot of his district station, records show.
The officer, Daniel G. Redd, 41, was taken into custody Tuesday at the Northwest District police station, officials said. Several law enforcement sources say Redd had been under suspicion for years, but within the past six months city police asked the FBI to investigate.
The ensuing wiretap investigation, according to records, showed that Redd was at the top of a "significant drug trafficking" organization that "flooded the streets of Baltimore with heroin," FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely said in a statement.
The arrest is the latest black eye for the city Police Department, which in the past six months had more than 50 officers implicated in a kickback scheme involving a towing company and saw an on-duty officer fatally shot by other officers as they responded to a disturbance outside a nightclub. The kickback scheme has resulted in a slew of guilty pleas, while Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed a commission to study the fatal shooting of Officer William H. Torbit.
Police said Redd's arrest shows that the agency is determined to root out corruption.
"The allegations against Daniel Redd are an affront to and undermine the integrity of the hard-working men and women of the Baltimore Police Department," Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said in a statement. "We will not tolerate corruption among our ranks."
Redd is believed to be the first city officer charged with having a role in drug trafficking since city police officers William King and Antonio Murray were charged in 2005 with shaking down drug dealers and re-selling their product on the street. The officers were each sentenced to 100 years in prison.
On his Facebook page, Redd lists "Training Day," a movie in which Denzel Washington plays a corrupt police officer in Los Angeles, as one of his favorite movies.
Despite the investigation into Redd's alleged activities, he remained on the street making arrests. Court records show Redd is listed as a police witness in a handful of cases that are still pending, including attempted murder and robbery charges against two men.
But according to one source familiar with personnel matters, the department prevented him from ascending the leadership tree by repeatedly passing him over on the agency's promotional list.
At a brief afternoon court hearing, Redd, who is charged with firearms violations in addition to heroin distribution charges, was ordered held pending a detention hearing, with Assistant U.S. Attorney James Wallner citing "dangerousness and risk of flight."
Redd did not respond to the allegations during the hearing.
Documents show the drug organization was headed by Redd and a man named Abdul Zakaria, also known as Tamim Mamah. A search warrant affidavit alleges that Zakaria, 34, of Owings Mills, and others obtained heroin from suppliers in Africa and distributed heroin to Redd and two other men named in the indictment: Dyrell Garrett, 33, of Randallstown, and Malik Jones, 40, of Owings Mills.
Redd is accused of distributing heroin to others, including Shanel Stallings, 32, who is named in the indictment.
Conversations intercepted on wiretaps show that on March 2, Redd, who was on duty, made a series of calls to Mamah in which FBI agents say the pair used heavily coded language to arrange a drug deal. Stallings called Redd and said simply, "40," which FBI Agent Craig Monroney wrote referred to 40 grams of heroin.
"Alright … let me .. let me make a call," Redd said, according to records.
Redd then phoned Mamah, and said, "Hey, I need 40."
About an hour later, Redd told Stallings to meet him "at the district," which authorities say refers to the Northwest District police station.
That belief was reaffirmed on March 31, when Redd was overheard telling Mamah to meet him "at my station." Video surveillance from the Northwest District police station obtained by agents shows Redd retrieving something from his vehicle and walking out of view, records show. A short time later, Redd is observed climbing out of Mamah's white Lincoln Navigator.
Police believe Redd was giving Mamah heroin, and that Mamah turned the drugs over to Garrett.
Officers then attempted to stop Garrett to retrieve the heroin, but Garrett fled, prompting a high-speed chase in which he was able to escape. Police later found his vehicle abandoned, with a cell phone and a BG&E bill with his name inside.
Authorities wrote in documents that they also captured Redd arranging deals for 500 grams of heroin, and in another instance offering protection for Stallings as she completed a drug transaction for him.
"I'm a have my phone open on the side and I'm a scroll down to your name so that way … I'll just hit the talk button," Stallings told Redd during the March 6 conversation.
At another point, Redd complains that he is losing customers, according to records. "I need some <snip> money. I ain't getting no phone calls, ain't no nothing, it ain't looking good," he said. "You start losing people if you keep, people gotta keep waiting, they go to somebody else."
Mamah was arrested on May 13 after getting into a foot chase with a city police detective assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, records show. The detective, Brian Shutt, wrote in documents associated with that arrest that officers recovered 205 grams of suspected heroin from his vehicle, and documents unsealed Tuesday show another 400 to 500 grams was recovered from his home in the 8300 block of Church Lane.
Court records show Mamah is from Ghana. Last week the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that they had broken up a drug ring in which couriers smuggled heroin from Ghana into the United States through Dulles International Airport, which officials said highlighted West Africa as a "major hub for international drug trafficking."
A search warrant also names Redd as a supplier to other, unindicted men.
Redd joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1994, but was fired in 2002 after being found asleep on the job at the reservoir at Druid Hill Park, where he was supposed to be on anti-terrorist duty, The Sun reported in 2004. Redd sued and was rehired under a court order, and the city had to pay him $75,000 in back pay.
"This is not what taxpayers of Baltimore expect from police officers," the Police Department's then-legal counsel said after Redd and another officer were disciplined. "You have to send a message to troops that gross neglect of conduct will not be tolerated."
Garrett was convicted in 2008 of marijuana possession and in 2005 received two years supervised probation for drug distribution charges. Jones, Stallings and Zakaria did not appear to have a prior record.
New study shows U.S. students miss boat on geography
10:32 a.m. CDT, July 19, 2011
Ask a group of twelfth-graders how the Great Lakes formed, and about half can pinpoint the primary cause: glaciations.
Quiz eighth-grade students about the geography of the Southwest, and a third will identify from a multiple-choice listing that arid conditions make water a scarce public resource.
Such responses to a national exam released today reveal the tenuous command that many U.S. schoolchildren have on basic geography, including knowledge of the natural environment, how it shapes society and other cultures and countries.
Fewer than a quarter of high school seniors scored proficiently on the geography test, down from 25 percent in 2001 and 29 percent in 1994, when the national geography exam first was administered. The decline seen in the twelfth-grade scores was the most dramatic of any grade tested.
That means only 21 percent of 12th-graders had at least a solid grasp of geography and could, for instance, explain why Mali is considered overpopulated or explain why the economies of developing countries often are limited to a few agricultural products or raw materials.
Students in grades four and eight fared better.
An estimated 23 percent of fourth-grade students scored at the proficient and advanced level, virtually flat with the 22 percent in 2001, while the performance of eighth-graders was mixed.
More eighth-grade students scored at the proficient level – 27 percent as compared with 29 percent in 2001 – but slightly fewer students placed in the top advanced tier, with 3 percent of test-takers as compared to 4 percent in 2001 earning the highest designation, results show. To score in the top level, students had to show an extensive knowledge of geography that included everything from explaining urban population changes based on a graph or pinpointing a similarity between Los Angeles and San Antonio.
The geography test marks the third social studies exam released this year. Civics and history results previously were released. Across all three disciplines, high school seniors fared the worst.
“The pattern of disappointing results for our twelfth graders’ performance across all three social science subjects should be one of great concern to everyone,” said National Assessment Governing Board Chairman David Driscoll in a statement.
The test results, on a scale from 0-500, also showed:
Married couples happier when wives are thinner, study finds
7/18/11 11:12 a.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (ABC News Radio) - Marriages are more satisfying for both partners when wives are thinner than their husbands, according to a new study.
The four-year study of 169 newlywed couples found that husbands were more satisfied initially and wives were more satisfied over time when the fairer sex had a lower body mass index -- a common measure of body fat. The study was published in the July issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science.
"There's a lot of pressure on women in our society to achieve an often unreachably small weight," said Andrea Meltzer, a doctoral candidate at the University of Tennessee and lead author of the study. "The great take-home message from our study is that women of any size can be happy in their relationships with the right partner. It's relative weight that matters, not absolute weight. It's not that they have to be small."
Just how relative weight impacts marital bliss is unclear, but Meltzer has a theory.
"One idea is that attractiveness and weight are more important to men," she said. "That might be why we see this emerging at the beginning of the marriage for husbands, and their dissatisfaction might be affecting wives' satisfaction over time."
The finding held up even when other marital stressors, such as depression and income level, were ruled out. But relative weight is not the only factor that affects marital satisfaction, Meltzer cautioned.
"Obviously a lot of things play into relationship satisfaction and this is just one of them," she said. "It's not a guarantee to be happy in a relationship."
Men and women tend to be happier in a relationship when the men are "more powerful in a benign way," according to Susan Heitler, a couple's therapist in Denver and author of PowerOfTwoMarriage.com.
"The good news is there are many dimensions that symbolize power for men," she said, adding that height, weight, earning capacity, intelligence, education level, personality, even a big smile are all empowering traits. "Those signs of bigness lead to a subconscious feeling within the woman of more security and, in turn, more marital satisfaction."
Paranoid meth suspects call 911 on themselves
SPRINGFIELD — A pair of apparently paranoid Effingham residents suspected of making methamphetamine called 911 for help early Tuesday morning, and, instead of assistance, the two men ended up in jail.
Effingham sheriff’s deputies responded to a call on a home invasion at residence on Interstate Circle in Faulkville about 4 a.m.
“When the deputies arrived, the two came running to the door and reported they could hear people in the back bedroom who had broken into the home,” sheriff’s spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.
A quick check of the residence found no intruders.
“They pointed out to the deputies outside where the ‘suspects’ were, climbing into a boat and getting away,” Ehsanipoor said. “There was no one there, and deputies realized the two men were hallucinating.
“They were so high they called 911 on themselves.”
Investigators who later arrived discovered a meth lab at the residence.
Arrested were Brian Johnson, 28, of Bloomingdale, and Brian Austin, 25, also of Bloomingdale.
Austin was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, and crossing a guard line with a controlled substance after deputies found he had the additional drugs in his possession as he was being booked into jail.
Johnson was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, and conspiracy to commit a drug related offense.
Neighbors Sherry Horton, 32, of Bloomingdale, and William Hendrix, 35, also of Bloomingdale, who were already under investigation also were arrested. They were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.
All four suspects were being held in the Effingham County jail.
Bride arrested after her wedding was a no-show today for a hearing in district court
Published: Monday, July 18, 2011, 3:21 PM
Updated: Monday, July 18, 2011, 10:53 PM
A Leoni Township bride arrested in dress and veil Saturday afternoon was a no-show today in Jackson County District Court.
Tammy Lee Hinton, 53, was scheduled to appear for her arraignment at 1 p.m.
If she does not see a judge before the end of the business day, a warrant was expected to be authorized for her arrest.
Blackman-Leoni Township Public Safety Deputy Director Jon Johnston said, if the bench warrant is issued, the department will work with the court to locate Hinton.
Public safety officers from the township arrested her on a 2009 felony warrant immediately following her wedding at City of Zion Ministries on Cooper Street, an officer earlier reported.
She went to jail, had a mug shot taken, and was bonded out of jail, presumably in time to continue the celebration.
Heidi Lynn Knowles, Vancouver Mom, Arrested for Trying to Sell Newborn at Taco Bell
Police say Heidi Lynn Knowles (aka Heidi Gasaway), a 36-year-old mom from Vancouver, Wash., attempted to get even more value from her menu by trying to sell her 3-day-old son for $500 to a woman at the Taco Bell at 7006 Highway 99, in Vancouver.
About 9:30 p.m. Thursday, officers were called to Kay's Motel, 6700 N.E. Highway 99. A woman had called 911 to report that Knowles approached her in the restaurant, handed the newborn to her and offered to sell him to her.
Deputies found Knowles at the motel with the infant, who appeared to be in good health. They called for officials with Child Protective Services who took custody of him, Sample said.
Answering a call from Seattle Weekly on Sunday, a Taco Bell employee asked permission to "just hang up on his <snip>in' ass" and did so.
As for Ms. Knowles, she has denied trying to sell her kid, and also apparently claims that she has no idea when he was born or who his real father is.
Regardless, she's now facing pending felony charges of child-selling.
That's right, the Evergreen State's law books come equipped with a statute that directly addresses the act of selling one's offspring or buying someone else's.
There are, however, a rather large number of exceptions to the law, including parents selling children to one another.
1) It is unlawful for any person to sell or purchase a minor child.
(2) A transaction shall not be a purchase or sale under subsection (1) of this section if any of the following exists:
(a) The transaction is between the parents of the minor child; or
(b) The transaction is between a person receiving or to receive the child and an agency recognized under RCW 26.33.020; or
(c) The transaction is between the person receiving or to receive the child and a state agency or other governmental agency; or
(d) The transaction is pursuant to chapter 26.34 RCW; or
e) The transaction is pursuant to court order; or
(f) The only consideration paid by the person receiving or to receive the child is intended to pay for the prenatal hospital or medical expenses involved in the birth of the child, or attorneys' fees and court costs involved in effectuating transfer of child custody.
(3)(a) Child selling is a class C felony.
(b) Child buying is a class C felony.
Not among the exceptions: "If the transaction takes place within 50 feet of a Nacho Cheese Chalupa."
Busted by Facebook: Some on probation learn the hard way that online posts can backfire
If you don't want to do the time, stay offline. Or at the very least, don't “friend” your probation officer.
Convicted of possessing methamphetamine and Ecstasy, Scott W. Roby learned that the hard way. The Louisville man had his probation revoked this month — and was sentenced to two years in prison — in part for violating conditions that required him to stay alcohol-free and out of bars and liquor stores.
Roby had invited his probation officer to be his friend on Facebook, then Roby posted pictures of himself drinking — including one in which he was holding a beer while posed next to “Buddy Bat,” the mascot for the Louisville Bats, said prosecutor Dinah Koehler.
In another Facebook post, according to court records, Roby asked: “Anyone wanna go get smashed tonight one last time before the end of the Earth?”
Judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the Kentucky Department of Corrections say that with increasing regularity, offenders on probation are losing their freedom or incurring other sanctions after posting pictures online of themselves clubbing, using “beer bongs,” posing with firearms or bragging about out-of-town trips they've made without their probation officer's permission.
Louisvillian Donnie Lee Griffith Jr., 22, for example, who also was on probation, went to prison last year on theft and burglary convictions after posting a Facebook photo in which he was holding a jar of clear liquid over a caption that said, “Moonshine rocks and so do I!”
In another post, according to court records, he reported that he was “drinking like a fish.”
Chelsea Otto, also 22, got 60 days tacked on to her 1-year sentence for cocaine possession in 2009 after she boasted that she drank “like 20pina coladas” during an unauthorized weekend jaunt to Clearwater, Fla.
In another post, she exclaimed, “We SHUT Hotel down!” referring to a 4th Street Live! nightclub.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Audra Eckerle said she's revoked probation for two offenders in part for their Facebook posts in recent years, including one who brandished a firearm in violation of his probation rules.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Adams, who prosecuted Otto, said he's had a half-dozen cases in which offenders on probation incriminated themselves through social-media sites.
Probationers are required to stay away from alcohol, drugs and firearms and out of places that derive most of their revenue from alcohol sales.
The state doesn't track revocations triggered by social-media postings, but Lisa Lamb, a Corrections Department spokeswoman, said officers have used social media heavily for four years, both to find absconders and to monitor offenders on probation.
One officer, Shannon Blalock, who works out of the department's Murray office, does nothing but troll online and train other officers to do the same.
Blalock said some judges peruse social-media sites themselves, looking for violators.
Kentucky is not the only place where offenders are getting kicked off probation for implicating themselves online.
In Connecticut, according to press accounts, a woman convicted of killing a teenager while driving drunk had three years added to her sentence in 2009, in part because she was shown posing with alcohol in virtually every picture on her Facebook page — “worshipping at the altar of alcohol, debauchery and lewd behavior,” a prosecutor said.
The ABA Journal recently reported that the first thing some criminal-defense lawyers tell clients now is to shut down their Facebook accounts.
In Jefferson County, judges and lawyers say the stunning thing is that offenders often disclose their indiscretions online even knowing their probation officer is watching.
Griffith, for example, was thrown out of a pretrial diversion program after friending his officer, Olivia Payne, then posting photos of himself out of town and drinking at nightclubs. “Get a clue, strap on yo' shoes and get your --- to the Pink Door,” he said in one post.
When Jefferson Circuit Judge Susan Schultz Gibson gave Griffith a choice of shutting down his Facebook page — or continuing it with Payne still looking over his shoulder as his friend — he chose to keep it.
Then he posted a report saying he'd been arrested for drunk driving, which Payne read. That was the last straw for Gibson, who revoked Griffith's probation and sent him to prison.
Why would somebody tell on himself in what amounts to an online confession?
“That is the $100,000 question,” said Louisville attorney John Dolan, who defended Griffith.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ryane Conroy, who prosecuted him, suggested that it is a “<snip>iness that they won't be held accountable.”
Other lawyers chalk up such cases to sheer stupidity.
Griffith, who was released on shock probation after serving about six months behind bars, didn't respond to messages left on his Facebook page, which no longer shows him drinking.
Otto, who has moved to St. Louis, also didn't answer messages left on her now-sanitized page.
Roby is in prison and his lawyer, Scott C. Cox, said he had no comment, other than to note that his client's Facebook postings were only part of the reason his probation was revoked — as was true in some of the other revocations. Roby also was cited for failure to report to his probation officer and changing his address without notifying the officer.
The posting 'high'
Experts on the psychology of social media, including Joseph Mazer, an assistant professor of communications at Clemson University, said it is so easy to post information online that the convenience “overrides a person's ability to critically consider the reach of social networking sites.”
Kieron O'Hara, who studies issues of trust and privacy online as a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, said, “Posting is such a ‘high' that people will often ignore what they really know is their best interests.
“We shouldn't underestimate how pleasurable and addictive some people find social networking” — and that in turn causes people to “give their privacy away so cheaply,” he said in an email.
Writing last month in a blog for the Houston Chronicle — “Facebook and the 5th Amendment” — former prosecutor Murray Newman said “bad posting decisions” are more prevalent among younger defendants, who seem to think they'll be more popular among their peer group by showing how “thuggish” they are.
Postings are fair game
But Newman said Facebook confessions aren't limited to the young and foolish.
“Drunk-driving defendants of all ages seem to enjoy taking pictures of themselves at closing time looking like Keith Richards on a bender,” he wrote.
In an interview, he said, “I tell clients to consider Facebook their own personal probation officer and that it will report you for the slightest violation.”
Civil libertarians seem to have no problem with corrections officials monitoring social-media sites.
“To the extent individuals voluntarily post information on social-networking sites that are accessible to others, the use of that information to establish a violation of probation or parole is likely to withstand any claims of invasion of privacy by the poster,” Bill Sharp, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky, said in an email.
He added, however, that courts must be careful to verify the defendant really was the poster. He cited a recent decision in which the Maryland Supreme Court held that a judge improperly admitted information from a social-networking site where the only evidence that the page belonged to a witness was that it contained his birth date and photograph.
In another recent Maryland case, a judge said photographs of a man on probation for a drunk-driving death — one showing him sitting next to a nearly full bottle of rum and another next to an empty bottle — didn't on their own justify revocation, absent evidence he drank the alcohol, which he denied.
Still, Newman advised, “Just remember that because Facebook is fun and gives you the opportunity to act like a high-schooler again doesn't mean that you necessarily should.”
Sears apologizes for $69 iPad 2 snafu
2:33 PM CDT, July 18, 2011
Sears Holdings Corp. has apologized to customers for an errant online listing by a third-party sellers that offered two Apple iPad models at too-good-to-be-true prices.
"Unfortunately, today one of the Marketplace third party sellers told us that they mistakenly posted incorrect pricing on two Apple iPad models on the Marketplace portion of the website," the retailer said on its Facebook page Friday night. "If you purchased either of these products recently, your order has been cancelled, and your account will be credited. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
The third-party seller was a company called GSM On Sale. According to media reports, its Sears offer listed the 16-gigabyte, Wi-Fi-only iPad2 for $69. The tablet retails for $499 on Apple's website. The other iPad model listed on the Sears Marketplace website was a 32-gigabyte, Wi-Fi-only iPad2 for $179, compared with Apple's normal retail price of $599.
On Monday, visitors to GSM On Sale's website were greeted with a message saying: "Our online store is currently closed for maintenance."
Sears spokeswoman Kimberly Freely said Monday that the error was discovered on Friday but did not know how long the incorrect pricing had been live on the website or how many units had been ordered. When asked whether GSM On Sale remained a vendor partner, Freely said Sears does not comment on vendor relationships.
The iPad 2 mix-up isn't the first time Sears has had trouble with third-party sellers on its e-commerce platform. In May, the company apologized after a religious group found that pornographic DVDs were being sold through the site by a vendor partner.
Study: Grandparents may be safer drivers than parents
July 18, 2011
AP Photo courtesy of Jonathan Henretig
Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist, is the lead author of a study that says that children may be safest in cars when grandparents are driving instead of mom or dad.
Chicago — Kids may be safest in cars when grandma or grandpa are driving instead of mom or dad, according to study results that even made the researchers do a double-take.
“We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers,” said Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the study’s lead author.
Previous evidence indicates that car crashes are more common in older drivers, mostly those beyond age 65. The study looked at injuries rather than who had more crashes and found that children’s risk for injury was 50 percent lower when riding with grandparents than with parents.
The results are from an analysis of State Farm insurance claims for 2003-07 car crashes in 15 states, and interviews with the drivers. The data involved nearly 12,000 children up to age 15.
Henretig, 64, said the study was prompted by his own experiences when his first grandchild was born three years ago.
“I found myself being very nervous on the occasions that we drove our granddaughter around and really wondered if anyone had ever looked at this before,” he said.
Reasons for the unexpected findings are uncertain, but the researchers have a theory.
“Perhaps grandparents are made more nervous about the task of driving with the ‘precious cargo’ of their grandchildren and establish more cautious driving habits” to compensate for any age-related challenges, they wrote.
The study was released online today in the journal Pediatrics.
Northwestern University Professor Joseph Schofer, a transportation expert not involved in the research, noted that the average age of grandparents studied was 58.
“Grandparents today are not that old” and don’t fit the image of an impaired older driver, he said. “None of us should represent grandparents as kind of hobbling to the car on a walker.”
Grandparents did flub one safety measure. Nearly all the kids were in car seats or seat belts, but grandparents were slightly less likely to follow recommended practices, which include rear-facing backseat car seats for infants and no front-seats. But that didn’t seem to affect injury rates.
Corpse in O-H-I-O photo honors deceased's passion, family says
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
So when he died on July 1, his daughter Juli decided to give the 80-year-old a fitting sendoff: by snapping a photo of an O-H-I-O cheer before his funeral, with Mr. Miracle taking his usual position as the "I" from an open casket.
No one close to the Miracles thought anything of it, even after the photo went viral yesterday. But bloggers nationwide pointed to the picture as the ultimate example of just how far some Buckeye fans go to show their passion.
Some called the picture awesome, fun and a unique tribute to a true fan. Others questioned its appropriateness, saying they were disturbed by seeing Mr. Miracle's body used in such a public way.
Juli Miracle, of Newark, said she did it for her father because it captured his fun-loving spirit and love for the Buckeyes.
"I didn't do it for anybody but Dad and I," Ms. Miracle said. "To me, it was the best honor and tribute to do for him and OSU."
She said that she even led the congregation in an "O-H-I-O" at the end of his funeral service.
The Rev. Mark Chow, who officiated over Miracle's funeral at First United Methodist Church in Newark, said Ms. Miracle meant the photo as a tribute to her father.
"He was a fun-loving man who loved to tease," Chow said.
For the visitation, Ms. Miracle and her mother also put a candy bar in Mr. Miracle's hand to playfully honor his work in the church kitchen.
Ms. Miracle submitted the photo to the Ohio State website www.osu.edu/O-H-I-O with the headline, "Now Dad is the permanent 'I'."
Ohio State officials posted the picture this past weekend, but it was briefly taken down because a junior staff member feared it might offend some people, university spokeswoman Liz Cook said. Officials restored it to the site yesterday morning.
Several ethicists and religious leaders say the family's choice shouldn't be judged.
Families know how best to honor their loved one, said Monsignor Joseph Hendricks, pastor of St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church in Dublin.
Royal Rhodes, a religious-studies professor at Kenyon College, said there is a long tradition of family photos of the dead in various poses, as well as athletes and sports fans decked out in their team gear.
"It is a bit like the sensibility one finds in the comic film Weekend at Bernie ' s , in which the corpse is dressed up and positioned so as to give the impression he is still alive," Rhodes said.
Dispatch reporter Jim Woods contributed to this story.
LINK TO PHOTO:
July 15, 2011
Cops: Indiana Woman Hid Meth Inside Bible In Jail Smuggling Bid
A woman is facing felony charges for allegedly hiding methamphetamine inside a Bible that she attempted to leave for an inmate at an Indiana county jail.
But the smuggling bid was thwarted when jailers noticed that the Good Book appeared to have been tampered with. A further examination revealed that the meth (and some tobacco) had been stashed inside the book’s binding.
The Bible and the seized contraband are pictured in the above police evidence photo.
Cops Tuesday arrested Sara Roseberry for trying to smuggle the items to a friend locked up at the Jennings County jail (Roseberry herself is now being held there in lieu of $100,000 bond). The 21-year-old defendant is pictured in the mug shot at right.
Is Tiger Woods Running Out of Money?
With only a few endorsement deals left, a recent divorce settlement, a hefty house mortgage, and even a pay cut from Nike, Tiger Woods' lifestyle is looking a lot less glamorous.
When news broke a few weeks ago that Tiger Woods had signed an endorsement deal to hawk a heat rub in Japan, it was hard not to think of "Lost in Translation," or of the "Entourage" episode when Vincent Chase goes to China to do an energy drink commercial because he's out of money.
Although Woods was likely paid in the single-digit millions for the spot -- in which he takes a swing, rubs his back, and says, "Go Vantelin!" -- it's a far cry from campaigns for PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP - News), Gillette, and Accenture (NYSE: ACN - News). The last time Woods showed up in Japanese TV ads was in 1997, when he promoted Asahi Wonda coffee, back before he became a phenomenon. So the deal with Kowa (maker of the rub) seems more like a moment of desperation than a return to form.
It's no secret that Woods, once king of the sports world, has suffered financially since his fall from grace. His endorsement list shrank and his marriage ended in a divorce settlement reportedly worth $100 million. But now he may actually be hurting for funds. At the very least, there are signs that he isn't generating enough to comfortably cover his costs.
Earlier this week, the golfer's agent, Mark Steinberg, announced he would be joining the agency Excel Sports. Although that means Excel gets Woods too, the icon was conspicuously absent from the announcement. Steinberg left IMG at the end of May. It took two weeks, but on June 7, Woods announced via Twitter that he would be leaving with Steinberg.
IMG declined to comment on the details of Steinberg's departure, or on Tiger Woods, but a trusted Fortune source with reliable information tells us that IMG was none too broken up about losing Woods, because his endorsement earnings have fallen so dramatically. The source says IMG's commissions for 2011 -- they'll continue to get a chunk of Tiger's endorsement deals through 2013 -- will be as low as $1.5 million.
©Hunter Martin/Getty Images
That's a huge drop from two years ago. With giants like Gillette, Accenture, Tag Heuer, and Gatorade having jumped ship, Tiger's major deals are down to three: Nike (NYSE: NKE - News), Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS - News), and Kowa. His EA Sports video game, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour '12," set a first-week franchise record of 225,000 games sold. But our source also tells us that Tiger's Nike money fell by as much as 50% in 2010 (to about $10 million, down from $20 million in 2009) and that he will get the same reduced amount for 2011. The reason? Nike penalized him for his indiscretions, reducing his payment for two years as a response to his public behavior. Nike had no comment.
That Nike would have renegotiated Tiger's contract to give him a temporary pay cut may be hard to believe, but Bob Dorfman of Baker Street Advertising says, "That's not surprising. They're not going to release him entirely, because that's not the way they are, but [a pay reduction] would not surprise me at all."
As for the Kowa deal, Dorfman estimates its value at $4 million. Doug Shabelman of Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing believes it's worth around $3 million.
Recent valuations of Tiger's overall endorsement earnings for 2011 have been between $60 million and $75 million. But based on our information about Nike, and on the Kowa estimates, the real number is likely closer to $20 million.
Woods' agent adamantly denies the assertion that the golfer is facing financial strain. "Tiger Woods is financially sound and strong, contrary to wide-ranging rumors and inaccurate figures in the media," Steinberg wrote in an email. "Stating anything else is incorrect and factually baseless."
The Woods P&L
Another factor that has undeniably fizzled is Tiger's tournament winnings. Woods won no majors in 2009, the first year that's happened since 2004. He went completely winless in 2010, and this year he's so far missed the U.S. Open, AT&T National, and British Open due to a knee injury. According to the PGA Tour website, Tiger's 2011 winnings so far total $571,363. Those are like pennies compared to the $10.9 million, $5.8 million, and $10.5 million he earned in 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. In 2010, that dropped to $1.3 million.
Woods is still young, and undoubtedly one of the greatest golfers alive, but as he continues to stay off the links, that money stream dries up. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods Dubai, a billion-dollar project that was first set to open in 2009 with a golf course, pricey real estate, and restaurant, was scrapped in February.
As Tiger's revenues have declined, his expenses have only climbed. To begin with, there's the reported $100 million divorce settlement. And last August, Woods took out a $54.5 million mortgage on his home in Jupiter Island, Florida. According to the public document, Woods is required to pay off the mortgage in full by January of 2016, giving him a mere five and a half years to shed the debt. He's therefore paying more than $10 million each year, including his $431,042 in annual property taxes.
That 2010 property tax information comes from the district offices of Martin County, FL, where the home Woods now occupies alone is located. The property, which Woods purchased in 2006 for $44.5 million, is valued at around $47 million (the county values the house at $26.48 million, the land at $20.5 million). His 2010 improvements to the dwelling and the property cost him $6 million, including three separate residential pools, a tennis court, a golf green with a few holes, an elevator, and a 14,736-square foot improvement to the interior of the house -- evidence that Woods is not used to living cheaply. But the pace of his home improvements has slowed, according to online records of the county appraiser's office. So far there have been none in 2011.
Mark Steinberg says simply that there is no debt on Woods' Jupiter Island home, and declined to elaborate. But the Martin County clerk's office confirmed that their records show that the mortgage has not been paid off.
The Jupiter Island mega-mansion isn't the only Woods property. Among others, in 2007 he bought his mother property near his own, in Jupiter Island, for $2.4 million. In 2010, construction on that cost him another $2.6 million. Presumably, it's Woods himself that pays and will continue to pay all taxes on the home.
Between the divorce settlement and his recent mortgage, Tiger has faced recent debts to the tune of at least $160 million, though it's unknown how much of this he has now paid down. His endorsement earnings will not come close to this in 2011, and he's no longer adding much to his pot with golf winnings. Nike's decisive slash to his contract has not helped matters.
"Tiger remains one of the most popular and visible athletes in the world, demonstrated by television ratings, tournament attendance and various empirical polls," Steinberg says. "His endorsement future is strong and any additional partnerships will be announced at the appropriate time."
To fix up his financial short game, Tiger Woods is going to have to start making money again the old-fashioned way: by playing the sport he's known for
Thanks to Truecritic for the tip
Inmate, girlfriend, guard charged with smuggling pot into jail
3:40 p.m. CDT, July 14, 2011
A Cook County Jail inmate who is awaiting trial in the brutal beating of two women with a baseball bat during a robbery in Bucktown last year has been charged with smuggling marijuana into the jail, prosecutors said today.
Prosecutors charged that Heriberto Viramontes arranged to have his girlfriend, Kira Lundgren, bring in a package of marijuana during visiting hours on June 11. Lundgren was arrested on her way out of the jail and the package was discovered during a search of Viramontes’ cell.
Also arrested on June 11 and charged was a jail guard accused of letting Lundgren smuggle contraband into the jail, Jerome Prusa, 50, of Westchester, according to the Cook County sheriff's police.
On June 11, Lundgren hid a small amount of marijuana in her shoe and went to Division 10 of the jail to visit Viramontes, according to a sheriff's statement. Once in the visiting room, she took the marijuana out and taped it to the underside of a table.
An undercover officer investigating smuggling into the jail division then came to the same visiting room and was approached by Prusa, who pointed the officer to the marijuana Lundgren had allegedly left and asked if it could be given to Viramontes at the same time.
Prusa then let the undercover officer into a secure area of the jail with the contraband and then back into the visiting room, according to the sheriff's statement.
Both Lundgren and Prusa were immediately arrested. The drugs were later found in Viramontes' cell when guards tossed it, the statement said. Police found two knives in Prusa's uniform when he was taken into custody.
He has been de-deputized and suspended pending an employment hearing and has resigned his position as an auxiliary officer for the LaGrange Park Police Department, the statement said.
Viramontes, 32, and Lundgren, 22, each were charged with one count of bringing contraband into a penal institution. She is free on a $10,000 bond, records show.
Prusa, who is free on a $40,000 bond, has been charged with four counts of official misconduct, two counts of possession of a weapon in a penal institution, one count of bringing a weapon into a penal institution and one count of bringing contraband into a penal institution.
According to records Prusa has been with the sheriff's department since July 2005.
Viramontes and his former girlfriend, Marcy Cruz, 26, are awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint. Authorities allege that Viramontes struck Stacy Jurich, 24, and Natasha McShane, 23, with a baseball bat as they walked home in the Bucktown neighborhood on April 23, 2010. Cruz allegedly waited in a vehicle and drove Viramontes from the scene, authorities said.
McShane, a native of Northern Ireland, bore the brunt of the beating, sustaining head injuries that have left her unable to walk, speak or dress herself, the Tribune reported earlier this year.
PD: Babysitter had sex with 14- year-oldPosted: Jul 14, 2011 11:11 AM EDT Updated: Jul 14, 2011 11:23 AM EDT
Clinton police have arrested a 19-year-old babysitter, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy she was hired to care for.
Police said Loni Bouchard and the boy had a sexual relationship that was consensual and lasted half a year.
Charges were brought against Bouchard after the boy's mother learned about the relationship.
She was charged on Tuesday with second-degree sexual assault, two counts of impairing the morals of a child, and permitting a minor to possess alcohol.
July 13, 2011
The college degrees you should have gotten
Though the job market is tough for everyone and we're all tightening our belts, there are some particular fields faring much better than others. Certain college degrees lead to nice starting salaries and hefty mid-career salaries, even in a state of economic slump
In general, engineering wins the award for best college major with a total of seven spots on the top-ten list of college degrees leading to highest salaries. The first five spots for best college degrees are engineering, with petroleum engineering sitting in the number one position. It is the highest college degree in starting pay, with an average of just over $90,000 salary. And mid-career median pay, on average, ends up around $160,000, far exceeding the other five engineering degrees on the top-ten list.
Other Engineering Degrees
Aerospace, chemical, electrical and nuclear engineering occupy the next four spots on the top-ten list. Potential starting salaries for all four of these college degrees is around $60,000, and the average mid-career salary for these degree-holders is around $100,000. Not far below those numbers are two additional engineering degrees: biomedical and computer. Engineering, in all its specialties, is one of the top five in-demand degrees in the current job market.
Math and Sciences
Unfortunately for those of us who prefer words to numbers, the other three degrees on the top-ten list don't cater to wordsmiths. Applied mathematics, physics and economics are the options, with average starting salaries from $48,000 to $56,000 and mid-career salaries all ending up right around the $100,000 mark. Accounting, though not in the top-ten for earning potential, is the top in-demand degree in the job market, according to a recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The easy, albeit general, conclusion to draw is that the higher-demand, higher-earning college degrees are numbers-oriented, versus those in liberal arts or the "soft" sciences. There are exceptions, however. For those not mathematically inclined, there are some options.
Government majors start out with an average salary of around $40,000 - certainly not the highest starting salary among the college degrees. However, mid-career salaries average at around $87,000, topping the mid-career salaries of degrees in computer information systems, geology, chemistry and accounting.
When evaluating college degrees, it's important to look at mid-career salary point as well as the average starting salary. Computer information systems, geology, chemistry and accounting degrees can all get you a starting salary that's higher than the average $41,000 a beginning government worker will earn; so at first glance, government seems like the poorer choice, but it offers that higher mid-career salary which, for most workers, is the amount they'll earn for a much longer time.
Liberal Arts and Business
Besides government, there are a few surprises in the non-numbers oriented college degrees. Several that can lead you to a mid-career salary above $70,000 include film production, marketing, advertising, history, philosophy and fashion design. You might not earn the $100,000 per year that you could with one of those top-ten engineering degrees, but if you're happy in your chosen field then job satisfaction may be enough to compensate for that lost $30,000 potential in earnings.
Two Surprising Degrees to Avoid
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is another one of those degrees that looks great at first glance, with a nice starting salary: the average starting pay is $52,700, which is in the top 20 of average starting salaries. A great choice, right? But by mid-career, most nurses will cap out at a salary not much higher than what they began with. The average mid-career income is $68,200, less than $16,000 more than the starting pay.
Another surprise is that architecture, a degree commonly perceived as one with high earnings potential, is actually on the low end in both starting ($42,000 a year) and mid-career average salary ($78,000). With the student loans that accompany a five-year bachelor's program, which an architecture degree usually requires, it's a big investment for a not-so-great return. If design and building are the passion you want to pursue, urban planning and construction management are better options as far as salary potential. A degree in urban planning can lead to a mid-career salary of $82,000, and construction management has an average mid-career salary of $87,000.
The Bottom Line
The best college degrees is the one that combines your interest and skill. Hopefully, that coincides with market demand and higher earning potential. Don't rely on assumptions about careers perceived as high-earning; do the research to find out what the job potential truly is, in terms of hiring rates, starting salary and average mid-career earnings.
Court picks name for child in parental disagreement
July 14, 2011 12:00AM
The Family Court has been forced to choose a name for a little girl whose parents could not agree.
A COURT has been forced to step in and choose the name of a two-year-old Australian girl because her parents couldn't agree.
The little girl was yet to have her birth registered, with each parent calling her by a different name.
The Family Court of Australia recently decided that the first name the mother chose should be used and ordered that the girl be registered by that name.
She has already been known by her father's surname.
The couple's relationship broke down before the girl was born.
Justice Colin Forrest was asked to rule on a name, as well as the amount of time the child and her brother spent with each of the parents.
"I am drawn to the conclusion that the father's opposition to the name (chosen by the mother) is yet another example of his determination to control the mother and her parenting of these two children," Justice Forrest said.
The court heard that the mother offered a compromise of having the two names hyphenated, but the father vehemently opposed the suggestion.
The mother said she picked the girl's name because of the name's meaning and the way the toddler looked when she was born.
But the father claimed the name the mother picked was blasphemous in his Islamic faith and the hyphenated name suggested was as offensive to him as the name the mother had chosen alone.
Justice Forrest said an imam gave evidence there was nothing about the name that was offensive to Islam.
But the imam told the court he did not know the meaning of the name the father had selected for the child and did not know whether or not it was offensive to Islam.
Police charge mother in Nashville airport altercation
Woman refused to let officers screen daughter
5:42 AM, Jul. 13, 2011
Andrea Fornella Abbott is charged with disorderly conduct.
Erin Quinn | The Tennessean
A 41-year-old Clarksville woman was arrested after Nashville airport authorities say she was belligerent and verbally abusive to security officers, refusing for her daughter to be patted down at a security checkpoint.
Andrea Fornella Abbott yelled and swore at Transportation Security Administration agents Saturday afternoon at Nashville International Airport, saying she did not want her daughter to be “touched inappropriately or have her “crotch grabbed,” a police report states.
After the woman refused to calm down, airport police said, she was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to jail. She has been released on bond.
Attempts to reach Abbott on Tuesday were unsuccessful. The report does not list her daughter’s age. The mother and daughter were traveling from Nashville to Baltimore on Southwest Airlines.
“(She) told me in a very stern voice with quite a bit of attitude that they were not going through that X-ray,” Sabrina Birge, an airport security officer, told police.
“No, it’s not an X-ray,” she told Abbott. “It is 10,000 times safer than your cell phone and uses the same type of radio waves as a sonogram.”
“I still don’t want someone to see our bodies naked,” Abbott said, according to the police report.
At one point, Abbott tried unsuccessfully to take a video with her cellphone.
TSA policy revised
The arrest comes on the heels of public outrage over a video showing a pat-down of a 6-year-old girl at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The April video prompted a new policy that took effect last month in which airport security screeners must try to avoid invasive pat-down searches of children.
TSA says it will instruct screeners how to make repeated attempts to screen young children without invasive pat-downs. The instructions should reduce the number of pat-downs on children, TSA says.
Man with 106 arrests nabbed in Uptown robbery
Michael Woods (Chicago police / July 13, 2011)
10:59 a.m. CDT, July 13, 2011
A 52-year-old man with 106 arrests on his record was arrested again Tuesday afternoon, accused of robbing a disabled person in Uptown, Chicago police said.
Michael Woods, of the 900 block of West Wilson Avenue, has been charged with strong-arm robbery of a handicapped victim over 60, battery and resisting arrest, said Chicago Police Officer Darryl Baety.
The incident happened about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of West Lawrence Avenue, Baety said. Woods and an accomplice allegedly approached and tried to steal $60 the victim had in his hand.
The victim fought off the would-be robbers and other witnesses intervened to restrain Woods, Baety said. The struggle was still going on when police arrived.
An officer ordered Woods to stop fighting, but Woods disobeyed and struck the officer several times, Baety said. He was soon arrested.
Records indicate Woods has been arrested 106 times for felonies, misdemeanors and other city ordinance violations. He has been convicted 18 times. This appears to be the first time he has been arrested in 2011.
Pontiac man to Lake Orion police officer: You're arresting 'God'
Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
A Pontiac man has been arrested on allegations of drunken driving after Lake Orion police say he was driving down the wrong side of the road and claimed to be God.
Kandy Sylester Jones, 35, was arraigned Monday in 52-3 District Court on charges of drunken driving and driving on a suspended license.
This was Jones’ third time being arrested for drunken driving and a second time he has been arrested for driving on a suspended license.
He is being held on a $5,000 cash bond.
The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. July 6 when a resident living on Smith Court, off Lapeer Road, called 911 about two men arguing and yelling profanities in an area where small children were playing.
An officer was dispatched to the scene and spoke with the manager of the rental units in the area.
The manager also heard the quarreling, police said.
The officer walked around the area and spotted two men matching the descriptions given by the caller, police said.
The men were on a pontoon boat docked at an address on Heights Road, just south of Smith Court and adjacent to the rental properties.
The officer drove to the address on Heights Road and approached the two men, who were drunk, police said.
Jones, who wasn’t wearing a shirt or shoes, told officers he was God and had spit and drool covering his chest, police said.
The second man wasn’t as drunk and explained to the officer Jones was visiting and had drank a large amount of alcohol, police said.
The officer warned the men to stop the fighting and swearing and watched as they went back to the rental units.
A few minutes later, the officer reported seeing Jones driving a silver car the wrong way on Heights Road, which is a one-way street, police said.
Jones pulled up next to the officer, parked the car and got out, police said.
The officer stopped Jones and had him go through sobriety tests, which he failed, police said.
A preliminary breath test showed his blood alcohol level to be 0.137 percent.
Jones, however, continued to insist he was fine, even though he couldn’t walk without falling, police said. Officials added that Jones told the officer he was arresting God.
He has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1994, with convictions for possession of controlled substances, police said.
Jones will be back before a judge July 14 for a pre-exam conference before 52-3 District Court Judge Lisa Asadoorian.
LINK TO PHOTO:
LINK TO STORY:
LINK TO 911 TAPE:
Thanks to Truecritic for the tip
Police: Muncie mother provides alcohol to juveniles
A 15-year-old told officers Lindsey R. Jones gave her and her underage friends alcohol for baby-sitting Jones' children
12:16 AM, Jul. 11, 2011
MUNCIE -- A Muncie woman was jailed Thursday after police determined she had allegedly compensated teenagers for baby-sitting her kids by providing them with alcohol.
Lindsey R. Jones, 30, 2308 W. 10th St., is preliminarily charged with six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, three counts of neglect of a dependent and possession of marijuana.
According to a probable cause affidavit, police were dispatched to Jones' 10th Street address about 12:40 a.m. Thursday after a neighbor called to report possibly intoxicated juveniles at a nearby residence.
When officers arrived, six juveniles admitted they were drinking at the house. One of the juveniles told police she was baby-sitting Jones' three children, ages 11, 7 and 3.
The girl said Jones "provided them with alcohol in exchange for baby-sitting her children," and that she had invited five friends over to drink with her. Child Protective Services representatives were called to the scene, where they removed Jones' three children from the house.
Jones was apprehended Friday morning after she appeared for a hearing at the Youth Opportunity Center. She was taken to the Delaware County jail, where officers located a bag in her possession reportedly containing marijuana.
Thursday's alleged incident is not the first time Jones has been accused of providing alcohol to a minor.
In 2009, Jones, then 28, was arrested after she allegedly punched a teenager she had been drinking with near her home.
In that case, police were called to Jones' residence after a 17-year-old boy said Jones had struck him in the jaw. Officers then located Jones' one-year-old son sleeping in a bedroom. He was placed in the custody of relatives by CPS.
Formal charges in that case are yet to be filed, according to court records.
In 2006, Jones, then of Elletsville, was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Johnson County. She also has convictions out of Monroe County for driving while intoxicated (2005) and criminal conversion (2004).
Jones was being held Sunday at the Delaware County jail under a $23,500 bond.
The Star Press
Prosecutors did not file charges in Dec. 28 incident involving store owner and robber
With his hand shoved in the right pocket of his black Columbia jacket, Josue Angel walked into a gas station-doughnut shop early one morning last December and demanded cash. He had a gun and wasn't afraid to use it, the El Salvadoran immigrant told the owner of the Laurel store.
At first, Mapher Ibrahimi, a 48-year-old married father of two, complied - he opened the register and let Angel fill his pockets.
But as Angel turned toward the door, Ibrahimi unzipped his black winter coat, pulled a .40 caliber Heckner & Koch semi-automatic from the holster on his hip and followed him outside.
This was the second robbery in three weeks at the store and the fourth in 17 months.
Outside, Ibrahimi yelled for Angel to stop.
According to police reports, Ibrahimi said Angel then turned in a "scary way."
The store owner opened fire - releasing a volley of six hollow-point bullets into the cold winter air.
A moment later, Angel, 29, of Laurel, was on the ground, bleeding from a single shot to his buttocks in a nearby parking lot. The man with an "Only god can judge me" tattoo across his chest died later that morning at the Prince George's County Trauma Center.
While Angel was apparently unarmed, running away and shot from behind, prosecutors decided earlier this year not to file charges in the Dec. 28 shooting. They also didn't take the case before a grand jury.
"The law is not crystal clear. One can make arguments for charging or for not charging," Deputy State's Attorney William Roessler said. "In the end, we felt the self-defense claim would ultimately prevail."
Despite the prosecutor's decision - which surprised legal experts contacted by The Capital - the case raises questions about what constitutes the line between self-defense and murder.
"It just doesn't look like self-defense to me," said George Harper, an attorney representing Angel's widow, Nancy Aldano. He plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Ibrahimi in the coming weeks.
"It looks like he chased him down and killed him," Harper said.
When Angel walked up to the store at about 3:30 a.m. with his face partially shrouded by a blue scarf, Ibrahimi thought he was just another customer, according to a 54-page police report obtained by The Capital under the state's Public Information Act.
Outside the Dunkin' Donuts-Chevron station, the owner snuffed out his cigarette and followed Angel inside. He was greeted with a threat.
"Give me the money or I will (expletive) kill you," Angel said quietly enough that a clerk at the doughnut counter didn't hear him.
Mohamed L. Dieye and customer Stephen Koran said they didn't realize what was happening until Angel bolted out the door.
In an interview with police, Koran recalled Ibrahimi followed the robber outside and opened fire.
"As soon as he got out the door (he started shooting). It wasn't even a second," Koran said, according to a police recording. "I just thought he was a little reckless for shooting."
What transpired outside the gas station on Route 198 not far from the Laurel Park race course was neither fully captured on video nor witnessed by Koran or Dieye. For details, police and prosecutors were forced to rely primarily on Ibrahimi's version of events.
According to Ibrahimi, he yelled for Angel to stop. In response, Angel spun around.
"He looked at me right away with his hand in his pocket. That scared me so much I shot the first shot," Ibrahimi told Detective Jason McNemar, explaining he thought Angel was turning around to shoot. "My estimate at that moment, I be dead."
Ibrahimi, a Jordanian immigrant, fired a total of six Federal-brand rounds as he chased Angel around the building. Five casings were found in front of the store and one was discovered around back, behind the Starting Gate Servicenter.
Ibrahimi told detectives he kept firing because Angel kept turning around toward him.
Only one of the shots connected with Angel, striking him in the right buttocks.
The bullet tore through his right femoral artery before exiting the front of his thigh. He ran for several hundred feet before collapsing in an adjacent parking lot, leaving a trail of blood behind him.
Dieye called 911. Dozens of county paramedics and police officers - including one who sold Ibrahimi his gun - descended on the gas station.
While paramedics transported Angel to the hospital, officers secured the scene with crime tape, covered bullet casings with cups and started interviewing witnesses.
From Angel, police recovered $94 in cash, a diamond ring, Timberland glasses, a Samsung digital camera and a pack of Ice Breakers gum.
Ibrahimi was taken to a police interview room in Crownsville, where he waited more than 90 minutes for detectives to return from the scene. He was read his Miranda rights, but spoke to detectives without an attorney.
For prosecutors, the question of whether to charge Ibrahimi boiled down to what happened when he confronted Angel outside the store.
It didn't matter that Angel - an illegal immigrant with only traffic crimes on his record in Maryland - was trying to run away at the time of the shooting, Roessler said. Under his reading of state law, a store owner is allowed to pursue a thief and try to reclaim his property.
"The owner was under no obligation to remain in his store or to retreat," Roessler said.
He added that since Angel said in the store he had a gun, Ibrahimi was within his rights to use lethal force when he saw the man swing his arm around.
"If you believe the store owner, and we have nothing to contradict him, then he responded legally," said Roessler, stressing that he found Ibrahimi to be serious, candid, soft-spoken and "believable."
Harper, the attorney representing Angel's widow, disagrees. In a June 6 letter to the State's Attorney's Office, he argued Ibrahimi became the aggressor as soon as he left the store in pursuit of Angel.
"Once (Angel) had exited the store and begun his retreat, Mr. Ibrahimi had a duty to retreat," Harper wrote in the letter. "The peril was not so imminent that he could not safely retreat. He did not stand his ground to defend himself, he pursued."
To support his argument, he cited one of the standard instructions judges give jurors in cases involving claims of self-defense.
"Before using deadly force, the defendant is required to make all efforts to retreat," the jury instruction reads, according to Harper.
In an email, Harper went on to question Ibrahimi's account of what happened. Specifically, he noted the fact that Angel was shot in the rear.
Roessler agreed the location of the bullet wound raised some questions for his staff, but he said it did not mean Ibrahimi lied about Angel swinging his arm around in a threatening manner.
Ibrahimi declined to comment for this article, but his attorney stressed his client did nothing wrong.
"He was totally in the right. His reaction was wholly appropriate," said Peter O'Neill, arguing there was no guarantee Angel was not going to return and shoot Ibrahimi.
"It is a shame he had to die, but he put himself in that position," O'Neill said.
The decision not to pursue charges against Ibrahimi drew mixed reviews last week from several private attorneys contacted by The Capital.
Some argued prosecutors made the right choice; few jurors in the county would even consider convicting a shop owner for shooting a robber.
"The jury would probably carry him out (of the courtroom) on their shoulders," said veteran defense attorney and former prosecutor T. Joseph Touhey.
Others said the location of Angel's wound called for prosecutors to take action.
"I could certainly see a good argument for voluntary manslaughter. ... Just because you are a robbery victim, you don't get a pass to kill the robber," said David E. Aaronson, professor of law at the American University Washington College of Law and author of "Maryland Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary."
"I think the state's attorney had an obligation to at least present it to a grand jury," said Andrew D. Levy, a Baltimore defense attorney and adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. "It's not that I think a jury would definitely convict, but they certainly could have."
Harper and Aaronson questioned what message the State's Attorney's Office sent to the community by not filing charges.
"Vigilante justice should not be sanctioned by the state legal system," Harper said.
Roessler countered that the job of a prosecutor is only to consider the facts of a particular case and how they relate to Maryland law. They can't make decisions based on how the public might interpret them, he said.
Plus, he added, such an argument can go both ways.
"If we prosecuted (Ibrahimi), then we might be sending a message that store owners can't defend themselves and that store owners are free targets in Anne Arundel County," Roessler said.
Jailed for cashing Chase check at Chase bank
LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News
Posted on July 6, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Updated Thursday, Jul 7 at 4:01 PM
AUBURN, Wash. - Buying his own home was a big accomplishment for construction worker, Ikenna Njoku, of Auburn. He’s only 28 years old.
Intruder Awakens South Windsor Resident In Her Home, Asks To Use Bathroom
Suspect Has Violent Criminal History In California
By DAVID OWENS
The Hartford Courant
10:19 PM EDT, July 6, 2011
Heath Elliot Cain (Courtesy South Windsor Police Department / July 6, 2011)
A local man with a violent criminal history was arrested on Wednesday after he let himself into a woman's home early in the morning, woke her up and told her he needed to use the bathroom, police said.
Pamela Bowen said in an interview that said the man, Heath Elliott Cain, 36, stayed for about 15 to 20 minutes but did not harm her. She said she prayed throughout the ordeal that she would be OK.
Police said that a short time after Cain left Bowen's Homestead Drive home, officers tracked him down with the help of a police dog.
Cain, of 135 Norton Lane, was arraigned Wednesday on several charges in Superior Court in Manchester. Court records from California show that he served time in prison after a conviction on assault charges in the late 1990s.
Bowen said on Wednesday afternoon that Cain did not seem to be drunk or under the influence of drugs. Some of the things he said were incoherent, and other times he seemed lucid, she said.
"He said to me, 'I'm not going to hurt you lady, I just want to use your bathroom,'." Bowen said.
After waking her up, he told her at various times that he wanted to purchase the home, that he used to live there with another family and that someone had dropped him off and he was looking for his car, Bowen said.
She said she repeatedly asked Cain to leave, and followed him downstairs to her kitchen, where he looked at photos on her refrigerator, then opened the refrigerator to get a drink.
At one point, Cain went into the bathroom, then came out with a towel, Bowen said.
"That's when I really got scared," she said. "I said, 'What are you doing with that towel?'?"
Cain responded that he had to wipe down the door knobs he had touched because he left his DNA on them. He tried to put the towel in the washing machine to get rid of his DNA, but Bowen said she told Cain she wasn't turning on the machine. He eventually left through a garage door.
Before he walked into Bowen's home, police said, Cain defecated on the walkway leading up to it. Police also found his underwear on the walk.
Cain later told police that he got into the house through the unlocked front door.
Bowen said it won't be unlocked ever again.
South Windsor police Lt. Richard Riggs said several people called the department earlier on the same night to report that someone had rang doorbells at their homes. In once instance, Riggs said, a man approached a home, rang the doorbell then told the person in the house that he was handcuffed and needed a ride to his house. The homeowner locked her door and called police.
Police charged Cain with second-degree criminal trespass, second-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct and held him in lieu of $50,000 bail for arraignment Wednesday in Superior Court in Manchester.
During that arraignment, prosecutors added a charge of first-degree burglary and a judge increased Cain's bail to $150,000. He is due back in court Aug. 9.
Cain served seven years in prison for California after he shot his then-girlfriend in the head and stabbed a hospital pharmacist in the late 1990s, according to California court records.
He was charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a firearm, robbery, assault with a knife and burglary. A jury acquitted him of attempted murder and kidnapping, apparently believing Cain's statement that was trying to shoot himself and not his girlfriend when he hugged her tight and fired the pistol. He said he intended to shoot himself in front of her, not shoot her.
After driving his girlfriend to the hospital, according to the court records, Cain forced his way into the hospital pharmacy, threatened to stab the pharmacist, then "slurped the contents of several medication bottles."
He was convicted on the assault charges.
Courant reporter Jesse Leavenworth and Senior Information Specialist Cristina Bachetti contributed to this report.
New "win a baby" game draws fire
The scheme, which the media have dubbed "win a baby," has already run into trouble on ethical grounds with critics calling it inappropriate and demeaning to human reproduction.
Britain's Gambling Commission has granted a license to fertility charity, To Hatch, to run the game from July 30.
Every month, winners can scoop 25,000 pounds' ($40,175) worth of tailor-made treatments at one of the UK's top five fertility clinics for the price of a 20 pound ticket bought online. The tickets may eventually be sold in newsagents.
The lottery is open to single, gay and elderly players as well as heterosexual couples struggling to start a family.
If standard IVF fails, individuals can be offered reproductive surgery, donor eggs and sperm or a surrogate birth, the charity says, though the winner will only be able to choose one treatment.
Winners will be put up in a luxury hotel before being chauffeur-driven to a treatment center. They will also get a mobile phone and a personal assistant to help with queries.
Camille Strachan, founder and chair of the charity, who has had fertility treatment of her own, told Reuters she wanted to create the "ultimate wish list" for those struggling with the stress of being unable to conceive.
"The license couldn't have come at a better time with drastic (government health service) budget cuts ... where in most cases IVF is the first on the hit list, rendering most couples resorting to private treatment."
But some medical and ethical groups condemned the game and the Gambling Commission said the issues it had thrown up may need further scrutiny.
Britain's fertility regulator, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said using IVF as a prize was "wrong and entirely inappropriate."
"It trivializes what is for many people a central part of their lives," it added in a statement.
Josephine Quintavalle, from the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said "creation of human life should not be reduced to a public lottery ... this demeans the whole nature of human reproduction."
The Gambling Commission said it had noted reaction to the scheme but said it had no regulatory powers to intervene and that any decision to revoke a license would be a government one.
"This particular example, perhaps, has thrown up some questions which may need looking at and whether that is by us or the government I don't know," a spokesman said.
"There has been concern expressed about this, but from our perspective it's a pretty straightforward granting of a license application for a lottery operator.
Around one couple in seven suffers from fertility problems in the UK, according to the fertility regulator. Latest figures show 40,000 patients were treated with IVF in 2008 which led to 15,000 babies being born as a result of that treatment.
Woman charged with putting antifreeze in smoothie
SALT LAKE CITY – A woman was being held on an attempted murder charge Wednesday after police say she spiked her roommate's peach smoothie with antifreeze three years ago.
Selena Irene York, 33, was arrested this week in Eugene, Ore., where she remained jailed pending extradition back to Utah.
Police say Ed Zurbuchen, now 78, nearly died when York bought him a smoothie at a nearby store, dumped out half of it and poured in antifreeze before he drank it.
The Sept. 29, 2008, case went cold until a jilted boyfriend of York's recently came forward with new information, authorities said.
Police in Vernal, Utah, received a letter in April from Joseph Dominic Ferraro, who was awaiting trial on an unrelated case in Oregon but had information about the crime, according to court documents. The documents say he provided specific details of where York bought the smoothie and the antifreeze.
The biological father of York's teenage daughter, Zack Elderkin, later told investigators that the girl told him at the time about the man they were living with and how they planned to "knock him off."
Ferraro said he came forward with the information after York drained his bank accounts and sold both of his cars while he was in jail. He said she told him back in 2008 she planned to obtain power of attorney over Zurbuchen's finances, then kill him.
Authorities say they questioned York again in late June after receiving the letter and she admitted poisoning Zurbuchen. She claimed she only did it because she wanted him to "stop being mean" to her children.
When Zurbuchen was taken to a hospital after drinking the smoothie, He suffered from dizziness, speech problems and numbness on his face, authorities said. Tests determined he ingested ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze.
At the time, York acknowledged giving Zurbuchen the smoothie but denied putting antifreeze in it, and police didn't have enough evidence to charge her.
Vernal police declined to comment Wednesday.
It wasn't immediately clear if York had an attorney or when she would be brought back to Utah.
Zurbuchen, however, still lives in Vernal and says he hasn't had a peach smoothie since.
"Heavens no," he said Wednesday.
He said York was an acquaintance who fell on tough times and he allowed her and her daughter to stay with him for a while.
"I never thought she'd be sleeping upstairs in my room fabricating how to kill me," Zurbuchen said. "That just blew my mind. ... I'm just lucky I'm here."
July 6, 2011
Parkway reopened, police still seek attacker
Maryland State Police have reopened all lanes of the Baltimore Washington Parkway but are continuing to seek a person who took a hammer to a speed enforcement vehicle. The man also had a shotgun, but police said no shots were fired.
Still, the incident shut down for hours a major highway between Baltimore and Washington, creating havoc on the roadways, and sent heavily armored police to the highway and roads near BWI Airport. An empty BW Parkway is seen above, in a picture by The Sun's Jed Kirschbaum.
The latest update from Maryland State Police:
The search is continuing this evening for an armed man who vandalized a speed camera vehicle parked along the Baltimore Washington Parkway in Anne Arundel County late this morning.
The suspect is described as a white male, aged 60-65 years, approximately 5’8” tall and 150 lbs, with gray hair. He is said to have been wearing a red and blue plaid shirt, possibly flannel, with blue jeans.
The male victim is not being identified at this time. He was not physically injured in the incident. He is an employee of the company contracted by the State Highway Administration to conduct speed camera enforcement in construction zones on Maryland interstates.
Shortly before 11:30 a/m. today, the victim was parked in his white Jeep SUV, with cameras mounted on the hood, along the southbound shoulder of the BW Parkway, just north of the Rt. 195 exit. The victim said the suspect walked out of a wooded area to his right and was armed with a shotgun and a hammer.
The suspect tapped on the rear window of the Jeep with his shotgun. Alarmed, the victim began blowing his horn. The suspect then walked to the front of the Jeep and struck the windshield repeatedly, leaving large spider web type breaks in the glass.
In fear for his safety, the victim jumped out of his vehicle and crouched near the guardrail. He said the suspect was yelling, but it sounded incoherent and he could not understand what the man was saying.
Moments later, the victim said the man walked back into the woods the same way he came, still carrying the shotgun and hammer. No shots were fired.
Troopers from the Maryland State Police and officers from the Anne Arundel County Police responded quickly and established a perimeter around the area. SWAT teams from both departments responded, as did support units that included K-9 teams and State Police helicopters. Due to the proximity of an armed suspect to the BW Parkway, troopers closed the road both north and southbound for the safety of motorists.
State Highway Administration personnel responded and diverted traffic at I-695 to the north and Rt. 100 to the south. Maryland Transportation Authority Police officers also assisted with the search and in securing the area perimeter.
The immediate search of the area did not lead to the location of the suspect. The BW Parkway was reopened to traffic at about 2:45 p.m. today.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A man who said he was upset over his treatment by the government is accused of crashing his van into a Social Security Administration office in Traverse City.
Douglas McCallum, 47, of Kingsley rammed the van on Sunday night into the front of the office, which was closed, police said. He was arrested nearby for malicious destruction of property and was released from custody Monday.
"It was a fit of rage caused by years of being screwed over by the government," McCallum told the Traverse City Record-Eagle.
McCallum said he was frustrated because officials continued to deny his disability claim after six years.
Formal charges were pending. McCallum wasn't injured, police said.
According to police, McCallum ran over the office's sign and positioned the van so the rear faced the office's front entrance. A witness told police the van then crashed twice into the building before he got out.
Robert Simpson, who has worked 26 years for the Social Security Administration, said it's the first time he's seen a frustrated claimant act out violently.
"Most people are reasonable," said Simpson, who manages the Traverse City office. "They have to meet the requirements of the law and if they don't agree with the determination, they have appeal rights."
The office opened for business as scheduled Tuesday, and visitors now must enter through a secure employee entrance. Repairs to the entrance and lobby are expected to take several weeks.
LINK TO PHOTO OF BUILDING:
July 5, 2011
Face Behind The Name: Meet Marilee Ann Kolynych, Alleged Domestic Bacon Portion Enforcer
Meet Marilee Ann Kolynych.
The Pennsylvania grandmother, 63, is set for a preliminary court hearing Thursday in connection with her arrest last week for endangering the welfare of her nine-year-old grandson.
Kolynych was busted after she chased the boy from her home and pinned him down on the front lawn, where she blasted him in the face with a garden hose. Police reported that the woman was angry with the child because he had consumed more bacon than anyone else during breakfast. The boy told a Clifton Heights Police Department officer that he had “been getting tortured by his grandmother…all day for an incident that took place during breakfast.”
The boy was not harmed during the June 28
NYC rationing toilet paper at Coney Island
Last Updated: 10:08 AM, July 4, 2011
Posted: 1:06 AM, July 4, 2011
Hey buddy, can you spare a square?
The city is so hard up for cash that it's rationing toilet paper in women's public restrooms -- to the point where bathroom attendants are doling out a few measly squares per patron -- along the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk.
The Post witnessed stone-faced Parks Department employees leave toilet-paper dispensers empty last week and instead force astonished female beachgoers to form "ration lines" in the bathrooms.
Regina Ballone, 25, of Brooklyn visited a boardwalk bathroom at West 16th Street Wednesday and was "grossed out" at the thought of someone else handling her toilet paper.
"Never in my life have I experienced anything like this," she said. "I walked toward a stall, and a bathroom attendant stopped me by shouting, 'Hey, mami! There's no toilet paper here,' and she whipped out a big roll for me to grab some."
Beachgoers also have been forced to line up for their paltry allotment of the city's cheap, single-ply toilet paper at the boardwalk's other women's restroom at Stillwell Avenue.
Benedikte Friis and Ann Damgaard, both 22, from Denmark, said they enjoyed visiting Coney Island last week -- except when it came to the bathrooms.
"It's very weird that someone decides how much paper you get because they don't know what situation you're in," said Friis, 22, laughing in disbelief. "You might need more!"
Toilet-paper rationing isn't an issue in the men's rooms -- but only because they apparently don't have any to ration. The toilet paper was gone whenever a The Post reporter went to inspect the men's rooms.
The Parks Department refused to say how much it budgeted for toilet paper and other supplies, with a spokeswoman saying only, "Bathroom supplies are stocked daily, and our budget for these supplies is consistent.
"There's no need to ration, and we'll make certain our staff does not do so," added the rep, Meghan Lalor.
But bathroom attendants privately insisted that the department isn't adequately stocking the boardwalk with enough bathroom supplies, which is why they are forced to ration what they have.
Dianna Carlin, owner of the Lola Star Boutique, said the bathrooms should be in better shape considering boardwalk merchants agreed to pay the city fees this summer to keep them open longer.
"I gave $1,000 but would've been better off buying $1,000 worth of toilet paper and dropping it off," she said.
Suitcase Prison Escape: Maria Del Mar Arjona Tries To Sneak Juan Ramirez Tijerina Out Of Mexican Jail
07/ 4/11 10:43 PM ET
CHETUMAL, Mexico -- Police say a woman was caught trying to sneak her common-law-husband out of a Mexican prison in a suitcase following a conjugal visit.
A spokesman for police in the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo says staff at the prison in Chetumal noticed that the woman seemed nervous and was pulling a black, wheeled suitcase that looked bulky.
Spokesman Gerardo Campos said Monday that prison guards checked the bag of 19-year-old Maria del Mar Arjona and found inmate Juan Ramirez Tijerina curled up inside in the fetal position.
Ramirez is serving a 20-year sentence for a 2007 conviction for illegal weapons possession.
Arjona was arrested and charges are pending.
|India temple holds $22B in treasures|
|Updated 7/4/2011 11:35 AM ET|
An Indian police officer stands guard at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum, India. A vast treasure trove has been found there.
The government has increased security since the treasure's discovery in recent days, which has instantly turned the 16th-century Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple into one of the wealthiest religious institutions in the country.
Four vaults recently opened at the temple in Trivandrum, the capital of the southern state of Kerala, held a vast bounty that unofficial estimates peg at $22 billion.
The treasures unearthed so far include statues of gods and goddesses made of solid gold and studded with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones, crowns and necklaces, all given as gifts to the temple over the centuries.
The volume of gold and silver coins was so enormous that the investigators weighed the coins by the sackful, rather than counting them, officials said.
The temple, built by the maharajas who ruled the then-kingdom of Travancore, remained under the control of the erstwhile royal family after India's independence in 1947.
India's Supreme Court ordered the inspection of the vaults after a lawyer petitioned a local court asking the state government to take over the temple, citing inadequate security. The current Maharaja of Travancore had appealed to the Supreme Court against the petition.
The inventory began last week and the final vaults were to be unlocked Monday afternoon. The public knew the temple had treasures but not the quantum.
Before the trove was uncovered, there was almost no visible security at the temple, save for a few local security guards patrolling the complex with batons, mainly for crowd control.
Kerala's police chief, Jacob Punnoose, said he sent extra police officers to guard the temple and is planning a high-tech security system to protect the treasure.
"We plan to enhance security in a manner which will not interfere with the activities of the temple or devotees," Punnoose said.
The security plans include the installation of digital electronic networks, closed circuit cameras and metal detectors at the entrance and exits of the temple.
Manoj Abraham, city police commissioner, said two battalions of special armed police would provide security outside the temple complex.
"Later, we will discuss with temple authorities and members of the former royal family what kind of permanent security system should be put in place," Abraham said.
Every year, devout Hindus donate millions of rupees worth of cash, gold and silver to temples. Some temples in India are so wealthy, they have formed trusts which run schools, colleges and hospitals that offer free treatment to the poor.
The discovery has sparked a debate over the future of the treasure trove.
Vellappally Nateshan, a Hindu leader, said the wealth should remain with the temple authorities.
Some social activists in Kerala have demanded the treasure be handed to a national trust to help the poor.
Kerala's top elected official, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, however, assured the people that the wealth would remain with the temple.
"It is the property of the temple. The government will protect the wealth at the temple."
Chandy said the government would bear the cost of stepping up security at the temple and ensure that worshippers were not inconvenienced.
Police: Pregnant woman shoots boyfriend near children
Police in Daytona Beach say a pregnant woman shot her boyfriend in an apartment full of children.
Investigators said Patricia Jaggon, 27, got in a fight with Bobby Cord, 58, Saturday night at an apartment on Jean Street.
They said when he went looking for his belongings to leave fight broke out between Cord and Jaggon. Jaggon then pulled out a gun from under a pillow in the master bedroom and shot him. Cord was hit in the right arm and chest.
Jaggon called the police and when they arrived they asked where the suspect was, in which Jaggon said, "Here I am."
Police said seven kids were inside the home at the time, ranging in age from one to 12 years old.
One of the children inside during the incident told police that Jaggon said, "after she kills him [Cord], she was going to put lemons in a sock and hit herself with them."
Additionally, in the police report, one of the children told police Jaggon messaged them saying she was going to kill Cord because she is tired of him and she is with him because "he drives a nice car."
Jaggon is six months pregnant. She's now charged with attempted murder.
Cord was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center.
Twitter: Serving 200 million tweets daily
Twitter users send out 200 million tweets each day, according to 2011 statsfrom the social networking service.
During the first half of the year, 1 billion updates hit the site every five days.
For some perspective, Twitter notes on its blog that "the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace."
What are users tweeting about? Here are this year's top trending topics, according to Twitter, grouped by World Events/News and Pop Culture.
1. AH1N1 - Swine Flu
2. Mubarak - former Egyptian president
3. Easter - Christian holiday
4. Cairo - capital of Egypt
5. #prayforjapan - sentiment following the March earthquake and tsunami
6. Chernobyl - site of nuclear disaster in 1986
7. Libia/Libya - site of an ongoing civil war
8. Fukushima - Japanese nuclear power plant
9. William & Kate - Newly named duke and duchess of Cambridge
10. Gadhafi - Libyan political leader
1. Rebecca Black - pop singer
2. Femme Fatale - newly released Britney Spears album
3. Charlie Sheen - actor
4. #tigerblood - hashtag popularized by Charlie Sheen
5. Nate Dogg - rapper
6. Anderson Silva - Brazilian mixed martial artist
7. Tom & Jerry - famous cartoon
8. Mumford & Sons - British rock band
9. Bieber alert - referring to artist Justin Bieber
10. Queen Gaga - referring to artist Lady Gaga
3 Marines face charges of adultery, marrying for financial gain
Marine Cpl. Ashley Vice says she and two others have been charged with conspiracy, making false official statements, fraud and adultery for allegedly marrying to collect thousands in financial assistance offered by the military to heterosexual married couples.
"The bottom line is that every Marine knows if they violate the law, they will be held accountable for their actions," 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a Marine spokeswoman at Camp Pendleton, told CNN.
"Regardless of sexual preference, we will hold all Marines accountable to the same standards."
Dooley would not release details about the case, saying the "investigation is ongoing."
Vice told CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego that she wanted to live off base with her girlfriend, Jaime Murphy, as a couple. Murphy is a civilian.
But on her salary, she couldn't afford it.
So she says she found a Marine, Jeremiah Griffin, who agreed to marry her so she could receive the $1,200 per month living stipend the Marine Corps gives to married couples living off base.
A year and a half later, Murphy did the same thing and married Marine Joseph Garner, Vice and Murphy told KGTV, according to footage that aired Thursday.
Vice said she was questioned by the Marine Corps about the living arrangements.
"I honestly didn't even try to hide it," she said. "I just said this is what's going on. They asked me who Jaime is ... I told them."
The three Marines are accused of pocketing about $75,000.
"There's no conspiracy here," Murphy told KGTV. "There's no trying to steal from anybody. We just wanted to be together and she wanted to serve her country."
Vice and the two others face up to a year in prison if convicted on all counts. They also face the possibility of a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of all pay.
Originally published July 1, 2011 at 9:55 PM | Page modified July 2, 2011 at 10:04 AM
Retired cop arrested in 1957 slaying of child
Authorities say an unstamped train ticket found among an ex-girlfriend's belongings unraveled a half-century-old alibi and led to the arrest of a Seattle man in connection with the slaying of a 7-year-old Illinois girl in 1957.
Christine Clarridge and Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporters
Jack Daniels McCullough, 71, is being held in King County Jail in lieu of $3 million bail and is awaiting extradition to Illinois, according to a statement by the Dekalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell. He has been charged with murder in the death of Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Ill.
McCullough, who changed his name from John Tessier in 1994, is a longtime Washington state resident who served as a police officer in Lacey and Milton, according to a document of probable cause. When he was arrested this week, he was working as the night watchman at The Four Freedoms House of Seattle, a 300-unit retirement home in North Seattle, where he lived with his wife.
The disappearance of Maria Ridulph in December 1957 terrorized the community of Sycamore, about 70 miles west of Chicago, and shocked the nation. Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and President Dwight D. Eisenhower both took an active interest in the case, according to reports.
Maria's 8-year-old friend said the two girls had been playing in a neighbor's front yard when a man named "Johnny" came up and asked to give them a piggyback ride. The friend went inside for a moment, and when she returned, Maria was gone.
Maria's decomposed body was found five months later about 100 miles from her home.
McCullough, who was 18 at the time, was an early suspect but had an alibi, claiming he had been in Chicago when Maria was abducted. The case went cold after he joined the military.
The investigation was reopened last year, according to court documents filed in King County District Court, when police re-interviewed a woman who dated McCullough at the time of the abduction.
The document of probable cause revealed that when investigators last year asked McCullough's ex-girlfriend to look for pictures and other items from their time together, she found an unused and unstamped train ticket from Rockford, Ill., to Chicago.
McCullough had claimed he'd taken the train from Rockford to Chicago on the day of the abduction to enlist in the military, according to the document, which was mistakenly left unsealed and reviewed by a Seattle Times reporter who was not allowed to make a copy.
The unused ticket, dated on the day the girl went missing, poked holes in McCullough's alibi, according to court documents, and refocused attention on McCullough.
"He had been a very good suspect in the beginning. He lived about a block and half away from the victim, he fit the description and his clothes matched, but he had an alibi that he was someplace else," said Donald Thomas, chief of the Sycamore Police Department. "Once his alibi crumbled, we found about a dozen other facts that helped us build our case."
Court documents say investigators discovered that a collect phone call purportedly made by McCullough to his ex-girlfriend from Chicago was actually made from his own home in Sycamore on the day of the girl's abduction. They also discovered he had given a ride to a family member at a time when he should have been on the train, court documents say.
After McCullough got out of the military, he became an officer at the police departments in Lacey and Milton, according to the court documents.
According to the document of probable cause, McCullough was dismissed from the Milton Police Department after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl. It wasn't immediately clear whether he was ever prosecuted. No one could be reached at the Milton Police Department to confirm his employment.
Dawn Gothro, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, said McCullough, using the name John Tessier, had withdrawn from Washington state's police pension system in April 1976.
News of his arrest was met with shock and disbelief among residents at The Four Freedoms House of Seattle.
Gaylee Shelton, 73, said McCullough and his wife were well-known throughout the community. He was a "nice guy" who held a disaster-preparedness seminar for residents after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
"In all my life, I never would have guessed," said Rena Rooney, 88, looking over a copy of a brief news article detailing the charges in Illinois. "It's such a shame. He was so good to us."
LINK TO PHOTOS:
11-year-old charged in brother's killing
Boy is youngest to face a charge of murder in Indiana in about 90 years
An 11-year-old Morgan County boy on Friday became the youngest person to face a murder charge in Indiana in about 90 years.
Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega charged the boy with murder and criminal recklessness in the fatal shooting of his 6-year-old brother at a home south of Martinsville.
Initial reports from the Morgan County sheriff's office indicated the shooting may have been accidental, but Sonnega said investigators sometimes discover evidence that leads to an unexpected outcome.
"You always have to keep an open mind, especially with the death of a child," he said. "This is very sad, very tragic, but we've got a job to do, and we have to be objective."
A Morgan Superior Court judge ordered that the circumstances surrounding the shooting be kept confidential, but Sonnega said details might be revealed Wednesday when the boy appears for an initial hearing in juvenile court. The boy was being held in a juvenile detention facility Friday, he said.
The Indianapolis Star does not typically release the names of juveniles charged with crimes unless they are charged in adult court.
The boys were alone when the 6-year-old was shot in the head in a home in the 1800 block of Oliver Court, south of Martinsville, police said.
The 11-year-old called 911 to report the shooting about 6:15 p.m. Thursday.
Officers arrived and found the 6-year-old on a bed in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. The boy was taken to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where he died at 8:03 p.m. Thursday, police said. Judge Christopher Burnham's order after a probable cause hearing Friday barred Sonnega from disclosing details of the case, he said.
The boys were cared for by their mother and her boyfriend, but Sonnega declined to say where the adults were at the time of the shooting. The adults arrived at the hospital before the boy died, police said.
Prosecutors and police were investigating possible neglect charges against the adults, Sonnega said.
"Obviously this is a very tragic time for them. We'll address that issue down the road."
Sonnega said he could not disclose whether the boy was shot with a handgun, rifle or shotgun. He also declined to say if the 11-year-old cooperated with investigators.
Sonnega said the murder and criminal recklessness charges might change as new evidence is discovered.
"There's a lot of things we need to find out," he said. "We've got to err on the side of safety, and we have to act appropriately.
"Murder can be knowingly or intentionally," Sonnega said. "There is a slight difference. Knowingly means when you engage in conduct you know there is a high probability of the outcome."
The prosecutor also asked the question many in the community are wondering: "What is it we're not doing as responsible adults in not teaching gun safety to our children?"
Sonnega said he was disturbed that the community had been rocked by two shootings involving children in about three months. The suspect in a March 25 school shooting, Michael Phelps, waived his right to a jury trial Friday. The victim in that shooting is still recuperating.
Neighbors of the brothers in Thursday's shooting reacted with sadness.
"He (the 6-year-old) was a good kid," neighbor Jessica Purgason said. "He was quiet. He just wanted to play. That's all he was about."
The 11-year-old boy is one of the youngest defendants ever charged with murder in Indiana. In the early 1920s, an 11-year-old was charged with murder and was tried as an adult in Starke County. But he was not convicted.
If Morgan County prosecutors seek to try the boy as an adult in this case, they would have to convince the county's juvenile court judge that there is strong evidence against him, that he can't likely be rehabilitated in the juvenile system, and that waiving him to adult court is in the best interest of the safety and welfare of the community.
(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama’s approval has hit an all-time low among the poorest Americans, according to the Gallup poll. Meanwhile, when compared to the other income brackets reported by Gallup, Obama's approval is highest among the richest Americans.
In the week of June 20-26--the most recent week published by Gallup--only 45 percent of Americans in the lowest income bracket reported by the polling company (those earning less than $2,000 per month) said they approved of the job Obama was doing as president.
Gallup publishes the president’s weekly approval numbers among Americans in four income brackets: those earning less than $2,000 per month, those earning between $2,000 and $4,999 per month, those earning between $5,000 and $7,499 and those earning more than $7,500.
In Gallup's most recent survey, Obama had majority approval in none of these income brackets.
However, of the four, his approval was highest--47 percent--in the richest bracket, those earning more than $7,500 per month.
His approval rating last was 42 percent among those earning $2,000 to $4,999 per month and 43 percent among those earning $5,000 to $7,499 per month.
Prior to last week, when it hit an all-time low of 45 percent, Obama’s approval rating among the poorest bracket reported by Gallup had never dropped below 47 percent. It had hit that level twice: first in the week of Nov. 8-14, 2010; then again in the week of April 25-May 1.
In addition to being at an all-time low among the poorest Americans, Obama’s approval rating is also nearly at an all-time low among the next poorest group of Americans reported by Gallup, those who earn between $2,000 and $4,999 per month. The only time his approval among this group was lower than the 42 percent it was last week was in the week of Aug. 23-29, 2010, when it dropped to 41 percent.
According to Gallup, Obama’s highest approval rating among the poorest Americans came in the week of March 16-22, 2009, just two months after he was inaugurated and one month after he signed his $787-billion economic stimulus law. That week, his approval was 68 percent among Americans earning less than $2,000 per month.
In March 2009, the unemployment rate in the United States was 8.6 percent. This month, it is 9.1 percent.
Vineland police looking for polite burglar who offered to fix damaged screen door
Press of AtlanticCity
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 10:30 pm
VINELAND — He may have been sorry, but that’s little consolation for Maria Cardona.
Police said Cardona got a considerable shock when she found a man insider her home in the 1000 block of New Pear Street after noon Monday.
The 39-year-old Cardona confronted the man, who apparently entered her house by cutting through a back door screen. Police say Cardona and the burglar shared a conversation:
Cardona: “What are you doing in my house?”
Burglar: “I was just looking for a guy named Greg.”
“No Greg lives here.”
“Is this 1021?”
“No, this is 1022.”
“I’m so sorry. I meant to break into 1021.”
Police say Cardona was upset and frightened with the situation, but asked the subject nicely to leave her residence or she was going to call the police. Before leaving the home, the burglar offered to make amends, police said.
“Cardona said the subject offered to repair her damaged screen window if she wanted,” police said in a report.
Cardona declined the offer and asked the man to leave.
Authorities said Cardona and her disabled 20-year-old son, who was also in the house when the man entered, were not injured. Nothing was taken, they said.
Speaking from her house on Wednesday night, Cardona said nothing like this has ever happened to her before.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “This is a quiet neighborhood. He just came out of nowhere.”
Cardona said she thought she did the right thing by confronting the man.
“You have to stand your ground,” she said.
Cardona said the man made her nervous as he told her about his family and kept a hand in his pocket.
“I thought he had a knife or something,” she said.
Cardona said the man further took her by surprise when he offered to repair the screen door. She said that was an offer she had no intention of accepting.
“He was really polite,” Cardona said. “He just scared me, though. I just wanted him to get out.”
Police also said that Kathryn DiFrancisco, who also lives in the 1000 block of New Pear Street, told them the suspect may have been the same man who asked her for a glass of water a few minutes before entering Cardona’s home.
Police describe the suspect as being a thin white male in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with “shabby” facial hair and blue eyes. The man was wearing a black T-shirt, dark denim jeans with three white stripes on the side, and black-and-tan sneakers. The man has a tattoo across the knuckles of his left hand.
The investigation is ongoing.
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