|March 2006 Archives|
[Some Source Links May Unexpectedly Drop]
Return to TabloidColumn.com
Return to Tabloid Archives Sitemap
Friday, March 31, 2006
· Immigration tensions spark flag-burning. This week’s tensions over immigration reform literally caught fire in the Phoenix area on Thursday when students raised a Mexican flag over Apache Junction High School — and then other students yanked it down and burned it.
· Rice: 'Thousands' Of Tactical Errors Made In Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded Friday that the United States probably has made thousands of "tactical errors" in Iraq and elsewhere, but said it will be judged by its larger aims of peace and democracy in the Middle East.
· Capitol Hill police to issue an arrest warrant for Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Capitol Hill police plan to issue an arrest warrant today for Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.). The warrant is related to the incident Wednesday when McKinney allegedly slapped a Capitol Hill police officer. Charges could range from assault on a police officer, which is a felony carrying a possible five year prison term, to simple assault, which is a misdeamenor.
· Courtney Love Sells 25 Percent Of Nirvana Songs. Rolling Stone has reported that Love sold 25 percent of the publishing catalog to Larry Mestel of Primary Wave Music Publishing. Mestel is also the former chief operating officer of Virgin Records. Neither Love nor Mestel will name the dollar figure, but a source close to the deal said Mestel has likely paid more than $50 million for the rights.
· New legal troubles for Joey Buttafuoco. Joey Buttafuoco, the Long Island body shop owner who gained notoriety in the 1990s when his teenage girlfriend shot his wife, has been ordered to stand trial on a felony charge of illegally possessing ammunition. Authorities said Buttafuoco violated terms of his probation by possessing ammunition found during a search of his San Fernando Valley home.
· Strip Club May Be Condos After Patron Photos Posted. Owners of a strip club in Flagler County, Fla., where protesters have been taking photos of patrons and posting them on the Internet said they may tear down the club if the town allows condominiums to be built on the property.
· TSA security in Denver 'roughed up' 83-year-old grandma. Sally Moon had to cool off before she could see straight enough to write a complaint about a security agent's treatment of her elderly mother at Denver International Airport. "I don't know if she thought my mom had a bomb in her Depends or what," Moon said.
· 'Sketch Pad' Nude Club Owner Pleads Guilty. The owner of a strip club that made international news with its "art night" promotion has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges that he violated Boise's anti-nudity law. Christopher Teague, owner of Erotic City, attempted to skirt the city's anti-nudity ordinance last year when he gave patrons sketch pads and pencils so they could draw the nude dancers.
· Update: Supermodel Charged With Attacking Housekeeper. It looks like Naomi Campbell's temper may have gotten her into trouble again. Police in New York have charged the model with second-degree assault for allegedly cracking her housekeeper in the head with a phone during an argument. Police say the housekeeper received four stitches to the head.
· 'Friends' Star LeBlanc Files for Divorce. Matt LeBlanc has filed for divorce from his wife, citing irreconcilable differences, but his publicist says the two remain "friends." The former "Friends" TV star filed papers in Superior Court on Thursday to dissolve his three-year marriage to his wife, Melissa LeBlanc.
· Philly Plumbers Upset by Waterless Urinals. This city's hoped-for bragging rights as home of America's tallest environmentally friendly building could go down the toilet. In a city where organized labor is a force to be reckoned with, the plumbers union has been raising a stink about a developer's plans to install 116 waterless, no-flush urinals in what will be Philadelphia's biggest skyscraper.
· Inside Trading: Congress for sale. It remains perfectly legal for a member of Congress to buy and sell stocks based on information that's not available to the public. Last year it was reported that a "political intelligence" firm tipped off its clients to an undelivered speech by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on asbestos liability. The information was profitable to those in the know. "This is simply wrong that members of Congress can exchange information ... and get rich on it," says Rep. Brian Baird, who is co-sponsor of a bill to prohibit insider trading by members of Congress and their staffs.
· Mother Teresa statue offends Muslims. Muslims in Albania's northern city of Shkoder are opposing plans to erect a statue to Mother Teresa, the ethnic Albanian Catholic nun in line for elevation to sainthood by the Vatican. Muslim groups in Shkoder rejected the local council plan for a Teresa statue, saying it "would offend the feelings of Muslims."
· Update: Man Accused Of Killing Teen For Walking On Lawn Enters Insanity Plea. A man accused of killing his 15-year-old neighbor for walking on his well-kept lawn pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday. Charles Martin, 66, is charged with aggravated murder and is being held on $2 million bond.
· Casino buys bathtub where MLK assassin stood. The flophouse bathtub James Earl Ray stood in to shoot the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been sold to an online casino for $7,600, the tub’s owner said Thursday.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
· Mom Of 3 Charged In Boy Sex Case. A married 34-year-old woman in Cocoa, Fla., was charged with repeatedly having sex with a 14-year-old boy. Kimberly Page was arrested and charged with 12 counts of sexual battery.
· Baseball launches steroids probe. The alleged steroid use by Barry Bonds and other players will be investigated by Major League Baseball. "Nothing is more important than the integrity of the game of baseball," commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell will lead the investigation.
· Atheists Sue Over Roadside Memorials To Slain Troopers. The Utah Attorney General's Office has asked a judge to toss out a lawsuit filed against the state over roadside crosses honoring troopers killed in the line of duty. The lawsuit was filed by the American Atheists, who say the crosses are religious symbols that violate the separation of church and state.
· Dad Sues Coach For Calling Player 2-Year-Old. Attorney Michael Oddenino sued the coach of his daughter's junior varsity softball team, charging that the man called his girl a 2-year-old and frequently called other players idiots. The suit was seeking $3 million for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, a civil rights violation and sex discrimination. A California judge dismissed the case, saying there's nothing wrong with a coach pushing an athlete to excel, even by using words that might seem rude, demeaning and or intimidating.
· Praying Won't Help. In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.
· CNN's Havana correspondent jumps to Al-Jazeera. Lucia Newman, CNN's first and only correspondent based in Havana, has jumped to the new Al-Jazeera International network, which plans to begin operations later this spring.
· LA OKs Payment to Slain Rapper's Family. Los Angeles has approved a $1.1 million payment to the family of rapper Notorious B.I.G. as punishment for police negligence during the slain musician's civil lawsuit trial.
· Sir Tom says it's not unusual to love the Queen. It's not unusual for Tom Jones to meet Queen Elizabeth but the knighthood was something special. The 65-year-old Welsh singer became Sir Tom today, receiving the honor from the queen at Buckingham Palace.
· Mom Lets Son Be Abused for $600. A woman confronted a neighbor accused of sexually assaulting her 7-year-old son and threatened to call police, but then accepted $600 in hush money and let the man molest the boy again, authorities said.
· Fla. Man Crashes Car After Snake Attack. A man crashed his car after a pet snake he had wrapped around his neck began attacking him, authorities said. Witnesses reported that Courtland Page Johnson, 30, of East Naples, was driving erratically and crashed his PT Cruiser into several barricades about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He got out of his car, wrestled with the snake and then drove off.
· Congressional candidate "proves" media coverage of war wrong. How far will critics of media coverage of the Iraq war go to prove reporters are wrongly focusing on the negative? Howard Kaloogian, a leading Republican running for a seat in Congress, posted on his official Web site a tranquil picture taken in “downtown Baghdad,” he said, during his visit to the city. It turns out the photo was actually a suburb of Istanbul, not Baghdad.
· U.S. Hostage Jill Carroll Released In Iraq. Kidnapped U.S. reporter Jill Carroll has been released after nearly three months in captivity, Iraq police and the leader of the Islamic Party said Thursday. Her editor said she was in good condition.
· Muslim group sues over cartoons. A group of 27 Danish Muslim organizations have filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper that first published the contentious Prophet Muhammed cartoons, their lawyer said Thursday.
· McKinney in fracas with officer. A U.S. Capitol Police officer is considering filing assault charges against Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) following an altercation yesterday in which she allegedly hit him after he asked to see identification, according to a source familiar with the incident.
· Police To Crack Down On Student Walkouts. Los Angeles law enforcement officials plan to crack down on students who leave campus Wednesday by issuing truancy citations. LA School Superintendent Roy Romer says students leaving campus will be automatically considered truant.
· XL Ambulances Brought Into Service For XL Patients. A Las Vegas company is putting a new extra-large ambulance into service to handle extra-large patients. A company official said that in the last six months, AMR has handled 75 calls involving patients that weighed more than 600 pounds.
· Frist fires opening shot on immigration. The Senate opened an election-year debate on immigration on Wednesday, with Majority Leader Bill Frist saying he will oppose a controversial proposal to allow illegal immigrants to eventually work toward legal status. Frist rejected the legalization process - put forward by the Senate Judiciary Committee - for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, a plan he said "most Americans would see as amnesty."
· Ex-New Orleans cops indicted in taped beating. Two former New Orleans police officers who were caught on videotape beating a retired teacher were indicted on felony charges that could send them to prison for years.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
· Rob Reiner resigns from Calif. commission. Actor-director Rob Reiner, accused of abusing his role as head of a California commission by spending state funds to promote a campaign to fund preschool, resigned from the job on Wednesday.
· U.S. Ends Undocumented Immigrant Stings. The Bush administration has stopped using fake health and safety meetings at job workshops to snag illegal immigrants. Marcy Forman, director of the Homeland Security Department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) divison, said that it had stopped using sting operations for rounding up undocumented immigrants.
· Fla. Judge Blames ADHD for Hasty Arrests. A judge who had 11 people arrested for accidentally going to the wrong courtroom told an ethics board he was "horrified" by what he had done and blamed the problem on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
· Lieutenant governor clocked at 101 - but not ticketed. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was pulled over — but not ticketed — by S.C. Highway Patrol officers for doing 101 mph. Bauer said Tuesday he was “embarrassed and humiliated.”
· Marchers say gringos, not illegals, have to go. While politicians debate the fate of some 12 million people residing in the U.S. illegally, the Mexica Movement, one of the organizers of the mass protest in Los Angeles this week, has already decided it is the "non-indigenous," white, English-speaking U.S. citizens of European descent who have to leave what they call "our continent."
· Houston, you got a problem...crack! Songbird Whitney Houston has become a half-toothless crack addict who hangs out in dangerous drug dens and sees "demons" in fits of dope-induced paranoia, a new report claims. The once-gorgeous, velvet-voiced crooner who wooed Kevin Costner in "The Bodyguard" now "spends her days locked in her bedroom amid piles of garbage, smoking crack," according to the report.
· Lobbyist Abramoff Sentenced In Corruption Case. Disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a former business partner were sentenced Wednesday to five years and 10 months in prison for fraud related to their 2000 purchase of the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet.
· Ex-Personal Assistant Sues Phil Spector. Record producer Phil Spector, awaiting trial for murder, is being sued for more than $5 million by his former personal assistant, whose claims include sexual harassment.
· Teens Arrested in Water Facility Break-In. Authorities charged two teenagers in connection with a break-in at a water facility in Blackstone, Mass. and expected to charge a third as more than 9,000 area residents waited Wednesday to hear if their drinking water had been contaminated. A 5-gallon container with an odor was found on top of the tank, but authorities do not yet know what, if anything, was put into the water.
· Luxury Mercedes seized from wife of Ferrari smash Swede. Police in Beverly Hills said on Tuesday they had seized a $400,000 Mercedes Benz sports car from the wife of a Swede whose $1 million Ferrari was written off in a crash last month.
· Hiker finds $1 million in jewels. Shahla Ghannadian cried Sunday for most of the flight home to Toronto. Hours earlier, while sightseeing in Sausalito, her husband lost her Louis Vuitton purse. But it wasn't just any Louis Vuitton purse. This one contained jewelry worth more than $1 million.
· Lawyer in midst of divorce sues dating service. A California man in the process of getting a divorce said on Monday he was suing a popular online dating service that barred him from joining until his marriage is officially over. John Claassen, a 36-year-old lawyer, said he was ready to resume dating but maintains that Pasadena, California-based agency eHarmony is violating his civil rights by not letting him use its service before his divorce is official.
· Missing woman found alive. A woman who was missing for one week and whose friends feared she could be the fourth victim of a serial killer was found alive Tuesday afternoon in a Jacksonville crack house, investigators said. "She was on a crack binge," said Holly Hill police Cmdr. Mark Barker, referring to 31-year-old Theresa Marie Mills.
· Duke Lacrosse Team's Season Halted Over Rape Allegations. Duke University's highly ranked lacrosse team will not play again this season until school administrators learn more about allegations that several team members raped an exotic dancer at an off-campus party, the school said Tuesday.
· New Orleans to Sell Flooded Buses on EBay. Starved for cash, the New Orleans school district is taking a long shot and hoping to sell its flooded, unsalvageable school buses on eBay. Some submerged to their roofs in the black flood waters, the yellow school buses were widely photographed in the days after Hurricane Katrina and have become an icon of the city's devastated school system.
· New Orleans to be emptied for next storm. Everyone in New Orleans must evacuate the low-lying city the next time a hurricane threatens and no shelters will be offered for those who stay, officials said on Tuesday. Hoping to avoid a repeat of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when thousands struggled to survive after ignoring evacuation orders, they said planes, trains and buses would be used to move people out and the Superdome football stadium would not be open for refuge.
· Millions pledged for tsunami go unpaid. Figures released yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that the US handed over just under $300 million. Germany, which made a commitment for a little over $300 million, has paid out less than $100 million, while less than half of the $250 million offered by France eventually arrived.
· Letterman pays tribute to racing team member. David Letterman paused on the “Late Show” to offer condolences to the family of race car driver Paul Dana, who died of injuries suffered in a crash at the IRL IndyCar Series race near Miami. Dana was a driver on a race team partly sponsored by Letterman.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
· 80 Eyes on 2,400 People. From Anchorage it takes 90 minutes on a propeller plane to reach this fishing village on Alaska's southwestern edge, a place where some people still make raincoats out of walrus intestine. This is the Alaskan bush at its most remote, yet by mid-February, more than 60 cameras watched over the town, and the Dillingham Police Department plans to install 20 more — all purchased through a $202,000 Homeland Security grant meant primarily to defend against a terrorist attack.
· Mother accused of abducting children. A woman accused of abducting her two children from their father, then dressing and acting like a man so she could assume his identity, has agreed to return to Arizona, where she faces kidnapping charges. (With Photo).
· Girl's hand severed in accident during walkout. A student's hand was severed Tuesday when a sport utility vehicle she was riding in crashed on the way to an immigration rally, the first major injury reported in Texas during two days of student walkouts protesting immigrant legislation in Congress.
· Rose backs steroid punishment. Pete Rose backs punishment of baseball players caught using steroids under the major league's new testing policy. "In my case, I broke the rules and I've been suspended 18 years,'' said Rose, who agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball following an investigation of his gambling. "So if guys broke the rules the last two years then they have to be handed out some kind of sentence.''
· Religion Of Peace? In the wake of the cartoon jihad and mosque-on-mosque violence in Iraq, most Americans now think Islam has more violent believers than any other faith. Yet many still view it as a "peaceful religion."
· Update: Man Jailed For Starving Dog While He Went To Disney World. A man who let his dog starve to death in a basement closet while he took his 7-year-old daughter to Disney World was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail.
· More remains discovered near WTC site. Construction workers cleaning toxic waste from a vacant skyscraper near the World Trade Center site have found more bone fragments and human remains, officials said Tuesday.
· Man Pays $4334.33 At Burger King. This fast food bill was a real whopper. A man was charged $4,334.33 after placing his $4.33 food order for four burgers at a Burger King in California last week. The electronic debit charge drained a checking account and left George Beane wondering how he'd pay his mortgage.
· The Art of Britney Spears. For the first time since perhaps forever, Britney Spears is being taken seriously. All she had to do was lie pregnant, prone and naked on a bearskin rug. Spears did not pose for the sculpture. She and her well-documented 2005 pregnancy merely inspired it.
· 200,000 Join Labor Protest in France. Nationwide strikes disrupted airline, train and bus services, and sent more than 200,000 protesters into the streets across France on Tuesday as unions joined in solidarity with students angered by a new youth labor law.
· Students Rally On Streets, Downtown Freeways. More than 36,000 students from throughout Los Angeles County skipped classes and marched through streets and on various freeways Monday to protest an immigration bill being debated in Congress.
· Driver fights ticket for bumper sticker. Denise Grier saw blue lights in her mirror and pulled over. As it turns out, she was stopped for having an anti-Bush bumper sticker on her 2001 Chrysler Sebring. The bumper sticker — "I'm Tired Of All The BUSH—" — contains an expletive. The officer said DeKalb had an ordinance about lewd decals and wrote out a ticket for $100, said Grier.
· Judge Refuses to Delay New Orleans Vote. A federal judge Monday refused to delay New Orleans' April 22 mayoral election, but told lawyers on both sides of the case to identify any problems that might hinder displaced residents' ability to vote and then solve them.
· Blake Lawyers Charge Jury Misconduct. Lawyers for Robert Blake, the actor who was found liable in a civil case for $30 million in his wife's death, asked for a new trial Monday, alleging juror misconduct.
· It's Apple Vs. Apple in British Court. Two legendary companies in the music industry are to meet Wednesday in a London courtroom to fight it out over what might be the world's most recognizable logo: A simple piece of fruit. Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' record company and guardian of the band's musical heritage and business interests, is suing Apple Computer, claiming the company violated a 1991 agreement by entering the music business with its iTunes online music store.
· Bonds: 'my life is in shambles.' Seven home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth, this should be a time of unbridled joy and excitement for Barry Bonds. Not so, he says. “My life is in shambles. It is crazy,” Bonds said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. “It couldn’t get any crazier. I’m just trying to stay sane.”
· Senate Panel Approves Immigration Bill. Immigrant supporters claimed their first major victory since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks after a bipartisan group of senators approved legislation that would give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship.
· Ex-Village People singer faces jail sentence. The singer who dressed as a policeman in the flamboyant late 1970s disco band "Village People" has been arrested after disappearing while drug and gun charges against him were pending.
· Teacher Fired For Reality Show Gig. The Bakersfield, Calif. School District fired a 26-year-old substitute teacher after she appeared on a reality TV show. Brooke Thompson, 26, appeared on VH1's "Flavor of Love" show, which chose a girlfriend out of several contestants for rapper Flava Flav. At one point during the show, Thompson spit in the face of another contestant. She later said the spit was prompted by a suggestion from the show's producers.
· Southfield, Michigan has proposed a policy that could force police officers to write more traffic tickets and make more arrests, according to city and union officials. The proposed policy is one way the city is trying to capture more revenues. The city expects to see a $3-million shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year.
· Panda painted onto single hair. Chinese micro-painter Jin Yin Hua has painted an image of a giant panda on a single human hair. The artist took 10 days to create the mini-masterpiece using a single rabbit hair as a paintbrush.
· Clooney, Pitt, Damon a Go for 'Ocean's 13.' Now that George Clooney's an Academy Award winner, he and his crew are returning to their thieving ways. Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon will star in "Ocean's 13," the third flick in their franchise about a gang of lovable crooks, distributor Warner Bros. announced Monday.
Monday, March 27, 2006
· Boy, 8, accused of sexual harassment. The boy's mother, Tammy Barth, said her son was playing in gym last week when a girl student said he and two other boys may have grabbed her buttocks. He was then questioned in an informal hearing by school officials, where the second-grader was asked to sign a notice of emergency removal form for sexual harassment without a parent present.
· Moussaoui: I was part of plan. Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified today that he knew about plans to crash planes into the World Trade Center. "I had knowledge that the two towers would be hit, but I did not have the details," Moussaoui told jurors. He said he and convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid were supposed to fly a plane into the White House.
· The person with the most guns wins. A 60-year-old man was identified Monday as the victim of a home invasion shootout in Craig, Colorado. The homeowner grabbed a .410 shotgun and shot the intruder in the chest as he entered the home, but the shot did not stop him, police said. Police said the intruder then fired two rounds from a 30.30 rifle through a closed bedroom door. The homeowner then grabbed his 30-06 rifle and shot the intruder again as he broke through the door.
· Wife of slain pastor 'sorry.' The preacher's wife charged with murder in the death of her husband wanted his congregation to know "she was sorry for everything she has done," said a friend who visited her in jail Sunday.
· ABC's "Extreme" Exploitation. Not content with humdrum stories of poverty, heartache, and distress, the producers of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" have compiled a creepy wish list of woe for the next season of the hit ABC television series. It appears that victims of hate crimes and violent home invasions and families coping with the loss a child killed by a drunk driver make for good TV.
· Update: Judge to Consider Challenges to New Orleans Mayoral Race. With less than a month before New Orleans' first elections since Hurricane Katrina, the voting plan and even the date are still in dispute. Civil rights groups returned to federal court Monday morning to try to block the April 22 mayoral election, arguing that too many black residents scattered by Katrina won't be able to participate.
· Muslim told to leave wife after "divorce" in sleep. A Muslim couple in India have been told by local Islamic leaders they must separate after the husband uttered the word "divorce" in his sleep. When local Islamic leaders heard this, they said the husband's words constituted a divorce under an Islamic procedure known as "triple talaq." The couple, married for 11 years with three children, were told they had to split.
· Tobacco payout isn't combating smoking. Anti-smoking activists have been on a crusade to determine how cities spend the millions it receives every year under the $206 billion 1998 legal settlement between 46 states and the major tobacco companies. San Diego, for example, doesn't appear to have spent “one red cent” on anything related to smoking-prevention or health.
· Coach banned from high school for appearing in gay porn. A tumbling coach who worked with cheerleaders at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, Ill. has been banned from the campus because principal Dennis Litteken learned the 22-year-old gymnast had starred in gay porn videos.
· Spring break at Wal-Mart. Skyler Bartels, a Drake University sophomore from Harvard, Neb., spent part of last week finding out whether he could live inside a Wal-Mart store. He wandered the supercenter in Windsor Heights for 41 hours, subsisting on Wal-Mart products.
· Revealing Streisand book in advance of tour. Just in time for Barbra Streisand's latest planned comeback tour comes a scandalicious new bio packed with fresh dirt on the world's most reclusive diva.
· Bombs In Colorado Resemble Device Exploded In Tennessee. Three explosive devices detonated at the homes of aviation industry employees in western Colorado were similar to a device that exploded at a company's corporate office in Tennessee last month, authorities said Sunday.
· The price of chopsticks. China's appetite for disposable chopsticks eats up 25 million trees each year. With forests fast disappearing, now the pressure is on for people to adopt less wasteful eating habits.
· Poll finds U.S. warming to gay marriage. Opposition to same-sex marriage dropped sharply across the country during the past two years, though just over half of Americans still oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
· Jumbo Jet Evacuation Drill 'Great Success;' 33 Hurt. Airbus officials are calling Sunday's fast-paced evacuation drill aboard the world's largest passenger jet a "great success" even though 33 people were hurt. In the simulated emergency, nearly 900 people were able to exit the Airbus A-380 super-jumbo in less than 90 seconds. However, one man broke his leg and 32 other people suffered minor injuries.
· Rape charges proceeding against man in 21 year-old case. A Connecticut woman who said she was raped 21 years ago while attending the University of Virginia testified Friday in the case of her alleged attacker. The case resurfaced last year when William Beebe wrote to his accuser to apologize and attempted to apologize for harming her, then admitted raping her. Beebe was reaching out to make amends as part of the 12 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous program when he wrote Seccuro apologizing for "harming" her.
· Rice Accepts DJ's Apology for Racial Slur. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she has accepted the apology of a disc jockey fired for using a racial slur when talking about her. Dave Lenihan of KTRS in St. Louis apologized on the air immediately after making what he said was a slip of the tongue last week.
· Stars and their skeletons. Celebrities may have fame and fortune, but that doesn't make their uncomfortable family secrets go away. When "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher revealed her childhood sexual abuse by an uncle in this month's Vanity Fair, she joined a parade of Hollywood celebs with skeletons rattling in their family closets. Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Mariah Carey and Woody Harrelson all have kin who ran afoul of the law — from bank robbery and a "self-defense" killing to sex offenses and murder for hire.
· Indy Car Driver Dies After 2-Car Crash. Driver Paul Dana died after a two-car crash Sunday during the warmup for the season-opening IRL IndyCar Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The other driver, Ed Carpenter, was awake and alert at a Miami hospital, IRL officials said.
· Lawmakers To Review Bar Busts. Lawmakers plan to review a state drinking crackdown that uses undercover agents to arrest drunk people in bars. "Somebody hanging around the hotel, a little stumbling on the way to their room? I don't think that was what we were focusing on," said Rep. Peggy Hamric, R-Houston, who authored a proposed rewrite of the statute authorizing the agency.
· Katrina children dumber than Texas kids. Young Hurricane Katrina refugees living in Texas scored considerably worse on a statewide standardized exam than Texas children, and thousands of them could be held back. Teachers and state officials blame the low scores on New Orleans' poor school system.
· Half-million protesters clog L.A. streets. They surprised the police, and maybe themselves, their T-shirts turning block after block of downtown Los Angeles streets white in a demonstration so massive that few causes in recent U.S. history have matched it. Police said more than 500,000 people marched Saturday to protest a proposed federal crackdown on illegal immigration.
· Al Qaeda Tested Poison Beer, Burger Plot. An alleged al Qaeda terrorist plotting a bomb attack on Britain told accomplices to sell contaminated beer at soccer games or poisoned hamburgers from street vending stalls, an FBI informant told a court Friday.
· IKEA billionaire founder proud to be frugal at 80. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, ranked 4th richest man in the world, drives a 15-year-old car and always flies economy class, in part to inspire his 90,000 employees worldwide to see the virtue of frugality.
· Afghan Court Drops Case Against Christian. An Afghan court on Sunday dismissed a case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity because of a lack of evidence and he will be released soon, officials said.
· Low-Cost Rocket Fails First Flight. The low-cost, built-from-scratch Falcon 1 rocket faltered a minute after liftoff on Friday, dashing the hopes of PayPal founder Elon Musk that after four years and roughly $100 million, his creation would be spared the fate that awaits most debut rocket flights.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
· Dixie Chicks turn death threats to song. In 2003 the Dixie Chicks were condemned as traitors in America after telling a London audience they were ashamed that their president came from Texas. Now the group's angry new song addressing that controversy looks set to become a hit.
· Jay Leno Wins Round in Photo Lawsuit. Jay Leno has won a round in court with a ruling that comedy deserves a break. The lawsuit by Claire Walter, 40, of Irondequoit, claimed Leno violated the state's Civil Rights Law by commercially using an unflattering photo of her in an on-air joke without her permission in 2003.
· Afghan Judge Denounces Foreign Pressure In Convert Case. An Afghan judge held firm Friday in the face of international demands to reconsider the charges against an Afghan man who faces a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity - and reports emerged that the man might be freed soon.
· Keith Carradine Sues Detective Pellicano. Actor Keith Carradine is suing Anthony Pellicano claiming the indicted Hollywood detective invaded his privacy by wiretapping his phone line. Carradine and his fiancee allege in the complaint filed Friday that Pellicano conspired with the actor's ex-wife and two former phone company workers to illegally eavesdrop on their conversations.
· Loses to train & wins big. Have the judges in Albany, New York been hitting the bottle? The state's highest court has decided the Transit Authority should be held liable for a train hitting a Queens man - even though the man was illegally trespassing on the subway tracks after a night of drinking. The ruling by the state Court of Appeals Thursday makes Juan Soto a millionaire with $400,000 to spare.
· Tens Of Thousands Protest Tough Immigration Laws. Thousands of people across the country protested Friday against legislation cracking down on illegal immigrants, with demonstrators in such cities as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta staging school walkouts, marches and work stoppages.
· Ava Gardner bio details Sinatra fury. When Frank Sinatra came to Britain with Ava Gardner, first as his mistress and then as his wife, they brought all the fury and passion with them that had made their affair the talk of Hollywood. Their visits in the 1950s were so explosive that they fought at their flat, in taxis, in nightclubs and even in a car in front of Sheila Sim and her husband Richard Attenborough.
· Ex-Ranger Rogers may avoid jail. Former Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers can avoid jail time for shoving a TV cameraman before a game last June if he completes an anger-management course, a Tarrant County prosecutor said Friday.
· Affidavit details missing teen's lost decade. It all began when eighth-grader Tanya Kach skipped class in 1996. She spent the next 10 years living and having sex with the 37-year-old school security guard who caught her playing hooky, according to police reports. Kach, now 24, surfaced this week thanks to local deli owner Joseph Sparico, with whom she shared her story. Sparico called police.
Friday, March 24, 2006
· Warrant Issued for Parents of Oregon Family Stranded in RV. Arizona authorities have issued a warrant on drug-related charges for two of the six people rescued from a snowbound motor home this week, a newspaper reported Friday.
· Don Johnson may be looking for a used boat with a gator. Former "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges" star Don Johnson's multimillion dollar 17-acre Woody Creek, Colo. ranch could be on the market after a lender took steps to sell the property to pay off a $10.6 million note, the Aspen Daily News reported.
· Bombs planted around Grand Junction, Colorado. At least three crude bombs exploded today and two more were disarmed outside Grand Junction homes, prompting warnings from authorities as they fanned out across this western Colorado city looking for suspects and more devices.
· Katrina sheriff in trouble after distributing ice to needy. Randy Walker swears he would have died from his diabetes after Hurricane Katrina had a sheriff not seized two FEMA trucks filled with ice and distributed it to residents, many of whom had to keep their insulin cold. Now, that sheriff could be prosecuted on charges of interfering with a federal operation. Sheriff Billy McGee had worked out a deal to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of interfering, intimidating and impeding a federal officer, but the case has since been transferred to the U.S. Attorney's office.
· Bus cleaner retires aged 100. A Los Angeles man who worked cleaning buses for the Metropolitan Transport Authority for 76 years has finally called it quits on his 100th birthday. Arthur Winston was only absent for one day during his working life - when his wife died in 1988.
· Hasselhoff Abuse Claims Unsealed. David Hasselhoff's divorcewatch is heating up now that previously sealed documents have been released to the public. In the documents, she claimed the former Knight Rider vowed to "break through my security gate, drive his car through the house, beat the door down and go into the house and take all of my jewelry and sell it."
· 911 calls not answered as operators take breaks together. Thousands of calls to Chattanooga's 911 call center have been going unanswered, according to records examined after a caller was unable to report a kitchen fire because three of four dispatchers were taking breaks at the same time.
· Top Muslim clerics: Convert must die. Senior Muslim clerics are demanding that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."
· Company-paid trips to strip clubs gender discrimination? Some women on Wall Street want to know how it can be fair — or legal — for their managers and male colleagues to exclude them when they fraternize at strip clubs, often with the women's clients. Hydie Sumner, a financial consultant, was awarded $2.2 million after suing Merrill Lynch for gender discrimination.
· Teacher sentenced after sex with 4 boys. Thirty-eight-year-old Toni Woods, a former 6th grade teacher in Braxton County, received 4 to 20 years in prison. Woods was arrested last March after telling police she had sex with four boys - all under the age of 16.
· ABC Exec: "Bush Makes Me Sick." Matt Drudge has obtained and published a random 18-month-old e-mail from GMA Weekend Executive Producer John Green. In the message, Green says "Bush makes me sick." "If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke," he wrote.
· 'Brokeback' cheated me, says Quaid. Actor Randy Quaid filed suit yesterday, claiming he was cheated out of big bucks by the producers of "Brokeback Mountain." The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges producers of the award-winning flick falsely represented the project as "a low-budget, art house film, with no prospect of making any money" when they signed on Quaid.
· Lawyers for Bonds plan to sue over steroids book. Barry Bonds' lawyers say they will ask a judge today to confiscate all profits from a new book alleging that the Giants slugger used steroids, arguing that the book was based on illegally obtained grand jury transcripts.
· Dick Cheney's Suite Demands. After posting the performance contracts of artists like Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, and U2, The Smoking Gun has finally obtained the backstage demands Vice President Dick Cheney's standard "tour" rider, which includes a not-so-shocking demand: "All Televisions Tuned to Fox News."
· Don't lose your keys. In a study of the cost of replacing keys in 50 makes and models of vehicles in the Washington, D.C., area, The Center for Auto Safety found that the average cost of an old-fashioned mechanical key was $12, while the average local dealer price of a “smart” or electronic key was $152. The highest key replacement cost was $335 for a 2004 Lexus IS300.
· It Doesn't Even Need A Question Mark. TVnewser usually ignores the double entendres and sexual references uttered on Fox News, because they are rather plentiful. But this screen grab, from FoxNews.com Wednesday night, is simply too good to pass up: "Female Pedophiles Get Off Easy?"
· Sheriff's Deputies Poisoned. Two Sarpy County, Neb. Sheriff's Deputies were apparently intentionally poisoned with methamphetamine in their food. Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis tells KPTM that the deputies became sick after eating food at an area restaurant last week. He also says that one tested positive for methamphetamine today.
· Young people turn to the Web for news. A study released yesterday by the Pew project finds that the Internet has become the primary news source on the average day. “For many of these young broadband users, the Internet is their main course for news."
· Hypersonic jet ready for launch. A new jet engine design able to fly seven times the speed of sound is scheduled to launch over Australia on Saturday. The scramjet engine, known as Hyshot III, has been designed by British defence firm Qinetiq.
· Wife Suspected After Pastor Found Slain In Parsonage. Police said the daughter of a minister is a suspect in the death of her husband, a charismatic and popular pastor in Tennessee. Police from Selmer, Tenn., headed for Orange Beach, Ala., Thursday to talk with Mary Winkler. Church members found her husband, Matthew, shot to death Wednesday night in a bedroom in the church parsonage.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
· U.S. Hiring Hong Kong Co. to Scan Nukes. In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.
· Update: Another reason to stop smoking. A fire apparently started by a cigarette broke out aboard a cruise ship early Thursday as it sailed through the moonlit Caribbean, injuring 11 people and scorching about 100 rooms. One elderly American passenger died from a heart attack, the cruise ship company said.
· Blaze breaks out aboard U.S. cruise ship, 1 dead. A fire broke out Thursday on the Jamaica-bound Star Princess cruise ship, and one person died of a heart attack, according to cruise line officials. Two people suffered significant smoke inhalation and nine others had "minor complications from smoke inhalation," said a statement from Princess Cruises, which is owned by Carnival.
· Police: Toy guns not for cars. Durham residents are being cautioned not to carry their kids' toy guns in the car after a Whitby father was involved in a high-risk takedown during a routine traffic stop this week. Sgt. Jeff Galipeau said several traffic officers and a thirtysomething Whitby man became involved in a "very stressful situation" when his son's "realistic looking" toy pistol fell out of the glove compartment when the man was going for his documents.
· Company Sued Over Selling E-Mail Addresses. New York's attorney general sued an Internet company Thursday over the selling of e-mail addresses in what authorities say may be the biggest deliberate breach of Internet privacy ever. The consumers thought they were simply registering to see a Web site offering free iPod music players or DVD movies and video games, Spitzer spokesman Brad Maione said. On sign-up pages, Gratis promised it "does not ... sell/rent e-mails."
· Illinois county spends $260,000 for one voter. Henry County, Illinois followed the letter of the law, and it's proven costly. Like every county throughout the U.S., Henry County had to install special voting machines to meet the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. 49 voting machines were purchased costing $260,000. But on Tuesday, only one person apparently used them.
· Prostitute wanted payment from broker, not revenge. A Calgary prostitute testified she was just trying to get paid what she was owed when she showed up at RBC Dominion Securities one morning in January 2004. Cassandra Stolarchuk, 29, spent more than an hour in the witness box Tuesday. Former broker Jim Whitehouse, 51, is suing RBC Securities for wrongful dismissal and is seeking $3.5 million in compensation. RBC is counter suing for $6 million, claiming Whitehouse damaged its reputation.
· 5-inch metal pin does $6.7 million in damage to Raptor. One night last October in the Utah desert, an Air Force mechanic double-checked the landing gear on a gleaming new F-22 Raptor fighter jet. The mechanic spotted a 5-inch metal pin and an attached streamer fastened to the front landing gear. It needed to be removed before the plane could depart on its late-night mission. In an instant, the piece leaped from the mechanic's grip and into the still-turning jet engine. Sparks flew. Metal screeched. Stomachs dropped. On Wednesday, the Air Force released its investigation of the incident and tallied the repair bill - $6.7 million plus.
· Hospital asks Jesus to change name. Bosses at a Stockholm hospital have asked a nurse called Jesus to change his name, after concerns that it might cause confusion among patients. According to Jesus, an auxiliary nurse at Huddinge hospital, his superiors were worried that patients told "Jesus will be coming soon ," might get the wrong idea.
· Doherty Pleads Guilty Then Kicks Reporter. Moments after pleading guilty to seven drug charges Thursday, Pete Doherty lashed out at reporters covering his court appearance and kicked one in the arm.
· Woman says man kept her captive for 10 years. For 10 years, Tanya Nicole Kach says she was told that her parents didn't want her, that she was stupid and no one cared about her but the middle school security guard who was keeping her in his home. It took her a decade to build the confidence to come forward, but on Wednesday she finally learned the truth as he she hugged her father, Jerry Kach, in a tearful reunion.
· Tobacco giant offers beer, cigarettes for signing petition. A cigarette company is using free beer, smokes and scantily clad women to recruit people to fight a potential tax increase. R.J. Reynolds launched its campaign against a proposed 32-cent tax hike Monday night at a West Columbia, NC bar.
· Aruba has new Holloway lead. Aruban authorities reportedly have a new witness in the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway and plan to conduct another search for her body on the Dutch Caribbean island. The witness provided specific information that prompted investigators to organize a search in sand dunes along the northern tip of the island, said Gerald Dompig, Aruba's deputy chief of police.
· Bouncer charged in student's slaying. Charges have been filed against the bouncer at a Manhattan bar where a graduate student was last seen alive, CNN has learned. An indictment accusing Darryl Littlejohn of the murder of Imette St. Guillen is expected to be unsealed on Thursday, when he will be arraigned.
· Australia's finest red-faced over prince snaps. Australian police were embarrassed on Thursday after having to discipline an officer assigned to guard Prince Edward for taking unauthorised photographs of the his hotel suite.
· American and his girlfriend arrested in hotel bombings. An American man and his Uruguayan girlfriend were arrested Wednesday, accused of killing two people and injuring at least seven with bombs that severely damaged two hotels. Police puzzled over their motive, discounting terrorism but saying they had religious reasons and that the American appears to be mentally ill.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
· Talk show host fired after on-air racial slur. A radio personality at 550 KTRS in St. Louis was fired on the spot this morning after using the word “coon” on the air in a conversation about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
· Clinton vows to block bill criminalizing illegal immigrants. Invoking Biblical themes, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton joined immigration advocates Wednesday to vow and block legislation seeking to criminalize undocumented immigrants. Clinton, a potential 2008 presidential candidate and relative latecomer to the immigration debate, made her remarks as the Senate prepares to take up the matter next week.
· Woman In Fake Botox Case Charged With Manslaughter. A woman who allegedly administered fake Botox injections into the buttocks of a client who died afterward could face up to eight years in prison if convicted of the felony manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license charges filed against her Tuesday. Martha Mata Vasquez, 39, of the Salinas area, is accused of injecting cooking oil into the buttocks of Olivia Castillo, 46, causing her death.
· Boxer claims he was partying at governor's mansion. Former IBF junior bantamweight champion Danny Romero, who has fought just once in the past three years, told police officers that Gov. Bill Richardson would "take care of" his arrest on aggravated drunken driving charges, according to a police report.
· Clothing Magnate Bernard Lacoste Dies. Bernard Lacoste, who spent more than 40 years at the helm of the Lacoste clothing empire best known for its crocodile-embossed polo shirts, has died, the company said Wednesday. He was 74
· Court backs police in sting. The Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favor of police who obtained a search warrant for a man's home in anticipation that he would accept mail delivery of child pornography he ordered as part of a sting operation. The unanimous ruling in the case United States v. Grubbs, said such "anticipatory" warrants obtained by police do not violate the Fourth Amendment rights protecting individuals from unlawful searches and seizures.
· Man Arrested After Asking Officers To Test Crack Pipe. Phillip Williams doubted whether he was being sold actual crack cocaine, police said. So he approached two uniformed Tampa officers and allegedly asked them to test his crack pipe so he could be sure. The report said Williams, 47, was getting the real thing, and he was arrested shortly after approaching the officers.
· Postal Service rejects Iraq veteran because he suffered an ankle sprain. While Sgt. Jason R. Lyon was serving with the Army in Iraq, he suffered a sprained ankle when he jumped off a Humvee. He also nearly had his head blown off by a roadside bomb that killed three of his friends. Military doctors have certified the Hamburg, NY serviceman physically fit to return to combat duty in Iraq. But the U.S. Postal Service says he is physically unfit to deliver mail.
· GM offers workers up to $140K to leave. General Motors is offering hourly workers as much as $140,000 each to leave the troubled automaker as it extends its push to cut labor costs and put an end to billions of dollars in losses.
· Man's Toddler Son Wanders Into Strip Club. A Kansas man was arrested at a Tulsa strip club after police say his toddler son wandered from an unlocked car into the club over the weekend.Christopher Greg Killion, 31, was arrested Saturday on a complaint of "encouraging a minor child to be in need of supervision."
· IRS plans to allow preparers to sell data. The IRS is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns. If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will be able to sell information from individual returns - or even entire returns - to marketers and data brokers.
· Jesse Jackson rallys blacks against New Orleans election. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is touring Southern cities this week to rally opposition to next month's mayoral election in New Orleans, saying too many Hurricane Katrina victims scattered around the country will be unable to vote. New Orleans was about 70 percent black before Katrina, and some blacks fear they will lose political power if the elections go forward now. Two dozen candidates are running for mayor, including the incumbent chocolate mayor Ray Nagin.
· Radio Personality Charged In Attack On Show Host. A Florida radio personality was charged with simple battery after he allegedly rushed a stage in Orlando and punched a radio show host at a competing station, breaking his nose.
· Gallup Doesn't Want Or Need CNN. Citing low viewership and its own ambitions, The Gallup Poll is cutting its ties to CNN this summer. Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Gallup Poll publisher Steve O'Brien confirmed that his company's partnership with CNN is not being renewed. It runs through the end of June, he said.
· A series of deadly errors. A senior Colorado transportation engineer noticed a bridge girder above Interstate 70 buckling shortly before the 40 tons of steel sagged to the highway in May 2004, according to federal accident investigators. Unfortunately, Sharon Wilson, a manager in the bridge-design branch of the Colorado Department of Transportation, didn't alert anyone to her concerns. An hour later, it collapsed and the beam sheared off the top of a Dodge Durango, instantly killing a family of three.
· Missing Family Found Alive After 2 Weeks. A family that disappeared more than two weeks ago after leaving for a short trip in an RV was found alive Tuesday in a remote area of southwestern Oregon. Two adults were found after they left the RV, which had gotten stuck in snow, to seek help. Hours later, rescuers located the others and they were reunited in Glendale, about 80 miles north of the California border.
· Extreme Makeover: Prince Edition. Claiming that his $70,000-a-month tenant Prince undertook an extremely tacky makeover of his Los Angeles mansion, an NBA star recently sued the mercurial singer over the purple-hued alterations. According to the lawsuit, Prince/MPG Music violated its eight-month lease by "painting the exterior of the [house] with purple striping, 'prince' symbol, and numbers 3121." Prince's new album, "3121," is scheduled for release tomorrow.
· Downtown Orlando: One big bird dropping. Signs warning of bird droppings were posted along a stretch in downtown Orlando this week after cars, benches, sidewalks, plants and even people are hit and covered by the white bird waste.
· Nevada Trooper Gets House Arrest Pending Trial In Fatal Crash. A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper will be on house arrest pending trial on felony charges in a crash that killed four people. Police say Joshua Corcran's marked patrol car was going 113 miles an hour when it slammed into the other car.
· Microsoft to delay launch of Windows Vista. Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to delay the consumer launch of its much-anticipated Windows Vista operating system to January 2007 from its earlier target of the second half of 2006, sending its shares down nearly 3 percent.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
· Scientology foes blast Cruise in ad. “Thanks, Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology, for your expert advice on mental health,” blasts an ad in LA Weekly. The ad goes on to say that a woman was killed “by the schizophrenic son she was told to treat with vitamins instead of psychiatric care.”
· Miami dancer sues show for dismissal over bra size. A Miami-based dancer is suing the owners and producers of the Broadway musical "Movin' Out" for more than $100 million in damages on grounds that she was emotionally abused and fired after her breasts grew too large for her costumes.
· Car thief got directions from car owner's father. An alleged car thief in Ohio got the right driving directions from the wrong person. After Michael Chapman allegedly stole Norma Harris' gold 2001 Buick LeSabre from her front yard on March 8, he needed directions to get out of town. He got it three miles away and twenty minutes later from Harris's father.
· Canada concerned over Afghan facing death for being a Christian. Canada has joined the list of countries closely watching a court case in Afghanistan, where under Islamic law a man could be sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.
· Man Tries to Move Into Hepburn Home. A man has been arrested after trying to pass himself off as the new owner of a large shoreline house - the former home of the late Katharine Hepburn. Police got suspicious when a man and woman in a pickup truck pulling a trailer full of furniture drove up to the house. Two other cars also arrived with the pickup truck to help with the move.
· UPDATE: Teacher's sex charges dropped. State prosecutors said Tuesday they were dropping charges against a former Tampa teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student. The decision, announced hours after a judge rejected a plea deal for Debra Lafave.
· New Orleans mayor refuses car-removal offer. A Texas car crushing company offered to pay New Orleans as much as $5 million to take the tens of thousands of flooded cars off the streets and Mayor Ray Nagin refused the offer. In his usual wisdom, Nagin is working on a contract to PAY to have the cars removed - at a cost of $23 million over the next six months.
· Lafave Plea Deal Rejected. A judge rejected a plea deal Tuesday that would have stopped the trial of a Tampa teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student. Accepting Debra Lafave's plea agreement would undermine the credibility of the criminal justice system and "erode public confidence in our schools," Marion County Circuit Judge Hale Stancil wrote. Update: Prosecutors rejected the judge's ruling and dropped all charges.
· Bush says he's not pulling out of Iraq during his term. President Bush said Tuesday the decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq will fall to future presidents and Iraqi leaders, suggesting that U.S. involvement will continue at least through 2008.
· Daytime TV tied to poorer mental scores. Older women who say talk shows and soap operas are their favorite TV programs tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive skills, researchers reported Monday.
· White Mom Claims IHOP Discriminated Against Her. A woman claims she's a victim of racial discrimination after a visit to a local restaurant. Karen Gotlieb, 38, said she took her daughter and three of her daughters' friends to an IHOP restaurant, and claims the waitress demanded she pay before being served. She said after prepaying $40 for her meal, she noticed other patrons being served without prepaying. "I said, 'You want me to pay for my meal before I eat it?' I said, 'Do I really look like someone who needs to skip out on a bill for a few rooty, tootie, fresh and fruities?'" Gotlieb said.
· Shot-Out TV Part of Elvis Exhibit. Elvis Presley had a reputation as a night owl and a new exhibit at Graceland gives a peek into his nocturnal activities. Among the collection is a television set with a bullet hole in the screen. Presley had a habit of occasionally breaking out a firearm from his gun collection and opening fire at TVs and other items. As the story goes, entertainer Robert Goulet was performing on TV when Presley blasted the 25-inch RCA that's part of the exhibit called "Elvis After Dark." "There was nothing Elvis had against Robert Goulet. They were friends," spokesman Kevin Kern said. "But Elvis just shot out things on a random basis."
· Vitamins could harm, say new studies. New studies indicate that vitamin supplements, used by 70 percent of U.S. households, may actually be doing more harm than good. In the case of beta carotene, which was believed to fight cancer, the studies say it appeared to promote lung cancer among former smokers.
· Amazon.com Under Fire For 'Abortion' Search Results. Amazon.com said it has modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term "abortion" after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased. Until the recent change, a user who visited the Internet retailer and typed in the word "abortion" received a prompt asking, "Did you mean adoption?"
· Nagin rejects limits on rebuilding in New Orleans. All New Orleans residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina should be allowed to rebuild if they choose, and the city will not stand in the way of reconstruction in areas considered vulnerable to flooding in future storms, Mayor Ray Nagin announced Monday.
· FBI, you've got mail - NOT! Budget constraints are forcing some FBI agents to operate without e-mail accounts, according to the agency's top official in New York. "As ridiculous as this might sound, we have real money issues right now, and the government is reluctant to give all agents and analysts dot-gov accounts," Mark Mershon said.
· Teacher Charged With Giving Pot To Student. A Chantilly, NC High School teacher is accused of giving marijuana to a student. Thomas Newlun was arrested early Monday morning on charges of marijuana distribution and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to Fairfax County police, Newlun allegedly gave a small amount of marijuana to a 17-year-old student after class last Friday. The boy then gave the drugs to a school security officer.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Attrition [at·tri·tion] n. 1. A gradual, natural reduction in membership or personnel, as through retirement, resignation, or death. 2. A gradual diminution in number or strength.
· Police: Man Killed Boy For Walking Across Yard. Irritated but calm, Charles Martin called 911 and told the dispatcher that he had finally done something about the neighbor boy - the one, Martin said into the phone, who had been harassing him for years. "I just killed a kid," Martin said.
· Court: No sex toys in Mississippi. A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a Rankin County adult store, which challenged the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that bans the sale of sex toys.
· Fortune Found in Flood-Damaged Home. The woman who owned the flood-damaged home in New Orleans knew nothing about the $30,000 in one hundred dollar bills inside her walls. She was as shocked as the young volunteer from Georgia who found it while helping tear out moldy Sheetrock.
· Anti-War Artists Give Benefit Concert. Michael Stipe, Susan Sarandon, Cindy Sheehan and others marked the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq with a concert to benefit groups campaigning against the war. Sarandon, who said she was in talks to portray Sheehan in a film, said the activist "gave a face to all that was going on."
· Rabbi says wrath of God behind Israel bird flu. An outbreak of deadly bird flu in Israel is God's punishment for calls in election ads to legalize gay marriages, according to
Pat Robertson Rabbi David Basri, a prominent sage preaching Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism that is popular with many celebrities.
· $25 million to first company to produce 250MPG car. The foundation behind the first private manned space flight is turning its attention to the car industry's final frontier: fuel economy. The California-based X Prize Foundation is offering a $25-million award for the first mass-produced vehicle that offers a quantum jump in fuel-efficiency.
· I'm boss, Hil tells Bill. After being surprised by her husband's role in the Dubai ports deal, Sen. Hillary Clinton has insisted that Bill Clinton give her "final say" over what he says and does, well-placed sources said. The former President agreed to give his wife a veto to avoid his habit of making controversial headlines that could hurt her chances of returning to the White House.
· Dreyfuss Goes to College, Gets Married. Last week, Richard Dreyfuss had a close encounter of the marrying kind. In Harrisonburg, Virginia, last week for a talk at James Madison University, the veteran actor went way off script. On Thursday, he ditched campus for the nearby courthouse, where he picked up a marriage license and exchanged vows with his girlfriend.
Monday, March 20, 2006
· Carlie Brucia's mother sentenced to 90 days in jail. The mother of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, the girl whose abduction was captured by a security camera two years ago and aired on television worldwide, was sentenced to 90 days in jail Monday after pleading no contest to drug and prostitution charges.
· Plane crash in Branson kills four. A twin-engine plane crashed and burned Monday in a cluster of theaters near the heart of this resort city, not far from the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, killing all four people aboard. Terry Ware, who works for a plumbing company near the crash site, said "You could hear the people screaming... You couldn't get close enough to help them before the fuel went off."
· Whitewater investigation finally ends. The seven-year, $70 million Whitewater investigation that toppled an Arkansas governor and dogged Bill Clinton for most of his presidency officially drew to a close Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the last remaining appeal.
· Company Makes Good Living Through 'Patent Trolling.' While most technology companies make money by developing software, building hardware or providing services, Forgent Networks Inc. has taken a different route: It produces threats and lawsuits that try to cash in on ideas. With a skeleton crew of 30 employees and the help of a law firm, Forgent has built a business out of suing — or threatening to sue — companies, even though it offers no related products and does no development of the technology itself.
· Mom Found Guilty After Son Burned To Death. A mother is headed to prison after her infant son was burned to death on a baseboard heater. Elizabeth Rader Hodge, 22, was accused of smoking marijuana when her 6-month-old son, Gage, rolled over onto a heater and slowly burned to death.
· Government accused of rewriting science. A renown U.S. scientist says he is limited by the Bush administration as to who he can talk with and what he can say because of Bush's political strategies. James Hansen, chief of NASA's top institute studying the climate, told Scott Pelley of the CBS program 60 Minutes government officials are attempting to rewrite science.
· Justices Pass on Internet Obscenity Case. The Supreme Court turned back an appeal on Monday from a photographer who claimed a federal decency law violated her free-speech rights to post pictures of sadomasochistic sexual behavior on the Web.
· Dell to Double Staff in India in 3 Years. Dell Inc. plans to double the number of its employees in India to 20,000 in three years, Chairman Michael Dell said Monday, in what appeared to be moves by the world's largest personal computer maker to beef up its presence in one of the world's fastest growing markets.
· 'Law & Order' actor: I know more about war than troops. According to actor and comedian Richard Belzer, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are too uneducated to be expressing support for the U.S. military mission since they're just "19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job" and "they don't read twenty newspapers a day."
· Donald Trump's Wife Gives Birth to a Boy. Donald Trump's wife gave birth to a boy Monday, the billionaire developer announced. "Everyone's perfect," Trump said in a telephone interview on MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning," about 20 minutes after the arrival of his fifth child. Trump, 59, said the new baby was already making him feel younger.
· Ads offer to swap rent for sex. "Upscale executive seeks beautiful female 18-24 to live in his luxury condo in Coral Gables for $1/month in exchange for some light duties. Help take care of dog, cook occasionally. Sex 2x/week. Serious inquires only. Please email a picture for consideration." The Coral Gables man who offered that startling pitch in a recent posting on the popular website Craigslist.com is among a growing pool of men who routinely seek sexual favors in the room-for-rent section of Internet ads.
· Confused lawyers threaten blogger. Crazy, confused "lawyers" from the San Diego firm of Branfman and Associates claiming to represent the creators of the "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" movies have sent a threatening letter to Neil Gaiman, claiming that he linked to their site (he didn't) and that doing so is illegal (it isn't).
· Messy daughter fights back by humiliating dad. An exasperated father has discovered to his cost that cyberspace is not the ideal arena for family feuds. Two weeks ago Steve Williams became so fed up with his daughter's messy bedroom that he built a website featuring pictures of his slothful offspring's lair in an attempt to shame her into action. But the public humiliation proved a short-lived victory. While it did spur his daughter, Claire, into tidying up her room, it also whet her appetite for revenge. With the help of her father's friends, the 20-year-old business student has now set up a rival website that displays photos of him in a variety of compromising situations.
· Cop's Daughter Set Deadly Blaze. Arson has killed an off-duty Philadelphia police officer. Police have charged the officer's 13-year-old daughter with murder. Philadelphia police officer Tyrone Talington was killed Sunday morning by massive flames that ate their way through his Oxford Circle home... flames his 13-year-old daughter Brittany Talington is charged with setting. Police believe she committed the deadly act after her 32-year-old father disciplined her.
· Mother Of Boy In Lafave Case Doesn't Want Trial. The mother of a teenage boy in the Debra Lafave case said the teacher accused of having sex with her son should not face trial because of the publicity it will generate. The woman said she hopes Circuit Judge Hale Stancil lets the former teacher get a plea deal, even if it means she will serve no time behind bars.
· ‘Impeach Bush’ chorus grows; popularity slides. The only person more unpopular than Bush right now is Dick Cheney, the vice-president, who bottomed out at 18% in a recent poll. Bush joked at a Washington dinner last week: “When Dick first heard that my approval rating was 38% he said, ‘What’s your secret?’ ”
Sunday, March 19, 2006
· Genderless school bill causes flap. A state bill is pending that could require the removal of all gender references from textbooks, including “mom” or “dad.” If the bill passes, gender-neutral bathrooms may also be required in state funded schools according to the Capitol Resource Institute. The institute cites SB 1437 as one of the most outrageous bills that has been introduced this year in the California legislature.
· Illegal radio broadcasts interfering with airline pilots in Miami. Pilots coming and going from Miami International Airport are getting an earful of something unexpected: Hip-hop tunes from a pirate radio station.
· Man, 21, jailed for having disorderly house. Mike Herchenbach was sure he would get a fine. He’d pay a couple hundred dollars, like his roommates, and go on with his life, even if it wasn’t his party that got out of hand.
· Andrea Yates' Husband Remarries Ahead Of Retrial. Rusty Yates remarried Saturday in the church where the funeral for his five children was held and less than two days before his ex-wife's murder retrial was to begin. Yates married Laura Arnold, 41, during a private ceremony attended by 100 people at Clear Lake Church of Christ, where they met.
· Man Who Attacked Rosa Parks Offers Apology. A man who beat civil rights icon Rosa Parks and took $53 from her during a break-in at her Detroit home in 1994 says he dreams of redemption. In a prison interview published Sunday in The Detroit News, Joseph Skipper, 40, repeatedly apologized for the attack.
· Caught in the Web, 2 deputies lose jobs. Hillsborough, Fla. sheriff's Deputy Daniel Green said he did it because he was bored. Deputy Barry Michael told an internal affairs detective he did it out of curiosity. Both are now out of jobs. Green was fired this month and Michael took early retirement in lieu of dismissal, after an investigation found that while on duty, the deputies accessed a state database more than 100 times to check driving histories of their peers and superiors. They even looked up actors John Travolta and Tom Selleck.
· Blake Works As Ranch Hand, Plans Comeback. A year after Robert Blake was acquitted in criminal court of killing his wife, the former tough guy actor spends his days exercising horses and planning a comeback. He acknowledges the past year has often been a time of despair, particularly the civil trial last fall in which a jury ordered him to pay his wife's family $30 million.
· Heist seemed promising in theory. Two masked men burst into a credit union in Benicia, CA just before noon Thursday with weapons drawn. They ordered employees to drop to the ground and hand over the money. The problem is, the men picked a "cashless credit union," where the money is deposited into a vault inaccessible to most employees.
· Jackson's California Playland Goes Dark. Trains once packed with laughing children no longer roll around the grounds. The arcade that pulsed with rap music, the curse words edited out, has fallen silent. No one waits at the gate with ice cream for youngsters to arrive. After years of rumors about its demise, the fantasy playland Michael Jackson created as a celebration of childhood and a retreat from his troubles is going dark.
· New prostitution ordinance has cheerleaders breathing easier. High school cheerleaders in Las Vegas don't have to worry about being busted for prostitution. The Nevada Supreme Court has tossed out a Clark County ordinance targeting pushy hookers. The justices said the law was written so vaguely, cheerleaders could be arrested for flagging down drivers for a car wash.
· Judge Needs More Info In Britney's Libel Lawsuit. In the case of Britney Spears' alleged sex tape, a Beverly Hills judge wants to see more. More information, that is, before she rules on whether to dismiss the pop star's $20 million libel suit against Us Weekly, calling it "a very close case."
· Spielberg series sued for haircut. A family from the Mescalero Apache tribe is suing the producers of a Steven Spielberg TV series for cutting their daughter's hair for the show. The family said the hair of Christina Ponce, aged eight, was cut without regard for their tribal customs.
· 500-Pound Moose Lands In Car's Passenger Seat. A 500-pound moose crashed through the windshield of a car in Leominster, Mass., and ended up sitting in the passenger seat with its head sticking through the glass. (w/photo)
· Risk factors for heart attack. A Canadian-led global study, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, examined close to 30,000 people from 52 countries. Collectively, these nine factors account for a full 90% of all first heart attacks in the world.
· Nearly 4 million Botox treatments in 2005. The number of cosmetic procedures climbed to more than 10.2 million last year, most of them office-based, minimally invasive cosmetic fixes such as Botox injections. The number of plastic surgeries declined by 5 percent over the last five years, while minimally invasive cosmetic procedures jumped by 53 percent over the past five years.
· Thief drives off with truck - and tracking device, FBI says. A thief who stole a tractor-trailer truck loaded with $4.8 million worth of cell phones last month also stole a piece of high technology he did not anticipate, police said. The trailer was fitted with an electronic tracking device that let investigators zero in on its location.
· Judge Halts Notorious B.I.G. Album Sales. A judge halted sales of Notorious B.I.G.'s breakthrough 1994 album "Ready to Die" after a jury decided the title song used part of an Ohio Players tune without permission. The jury Friday awarded $4.2 million in punitive and direct damages to the two music companies that own rights to Ohio Players recordings.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
· New Orleans officers cleared, were given permission to loot. Four New Orleans police officers have been cleared of allegations that they looted a Wal-Mart store after Hurricane Katrina, but each was suspended 10 days for not stopping civilians from ransacking the store, the Police Department said. The probe stemmed from an MSNBC report that showed the officers filling a shopping cart with shoes, clothes and other items.
· What's 'indecent'? Consider what the Federal Communications Commission tried to do again this week: clarify what constitutes "indecent" programming in American media. Critics charge that the FCC is constantly changing the standards, and it's true. The line does shift. If it didn't, it would still be indecent for TV to show a married couple sleeping in one bed.
· Man charged in lottery scam. A second worker at a Carlisle truck loading dock has been charged in an unsuccessful lottery scam in which a pool of 18 workers almost split $850,492 in winnings. James A. Koons Jr., 37, of Schuylkill County is accused of creating a bogus ticket for the Oct. 19, 2005, drawing by scanning losing tickets into his home computer and altering their numbers, Attorney General Tom Corbett says.
· Judge blasted for sex offender sentence. A prosecutor who agreed to a plea bargain for a man accused of repeatedly raping two young boys defended the decision to avoid a trial, saying the goal was to protect the victims while ensuring some prison time for the defendant. The sentence that Judge John Connor of Franklin County Common Pleas Court gave defendant Andrew Selva - five years' probation with no time behind bars - has top state Republicans calling for his removal from the bench.
· Doctor's license suspended over ad. The state has suspended the medical license of a Seattle physician for five years for placing a graphic escort service advertisement on an Internet Web site. Dr. Kevin C. Elliott posted an online ad in January 2005 offering his services as an escort for $300 an hour. The ad included nude photographs of himself and graphic descriptions of his physical characteristics and sexual capabilities.
· Voters elect dead councilman back into office. Voters in the town of Bisbee, AZ stuck by their incumbent city councilman - even though he died nine days before the election. Bob Kasun easily defeated Jeff Harris on Tuesday by a margin of 246 to 83. The 79-year-old four-term councilman died March 6 of lymphoma and renal failure. His funeral was Monday.
· Lights are going out all over town that bans smoking. The California town of Calabasas led the western world by imposing a ban on public smoking yesterday, provoking celebration, bemusement and anger among its residents.
· 'South Park'-Scientology Battle Rages On. South Park" has declared war on Scientology. Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the animated satire, are digging in against the celebrity-endorsed religion after a controversial episode mocking outspoken Scientologist Tom Cruise was yanked abruptly from the schedule Wednesday - with an Internet report saying it was covert warfare by Cruise that led to its departure.
· Drama Teacher Resigns in Play Flap. A Missouri high school drama teacher whose spring play was canceled after complaints about tawdry content in one of her previous productions will resign rather than face a possible firing. A handful of Callaway Christian Church members complained about scenes in the fall musical "Grease" that showed teens smoking, drinking and kissing.
· Volkswagen Removes Billboards From 3 Cities After Complaints. Volkswagen said Friday it will remove billboards in New York, LA and Miami after receiving complaints that a word used in an advertisement was offensive to Hispanics. The ad for the new GTI 2006 had a photo of the sports car accompanied by the words "Turbo-Cojones." Cojones, which means testicles in Spanish, has become a casually used term for boldness or guts in English.
· Two more women die after taking 'abortion pill'. Two more women have died after using the so-called "abortion pill" RU-486, regulators said Friday in a warning that brought renewed calls for pulling the drug combination from the market. The organization that provided the drugs to the two women said it would start following the approved instructions for their use.
· Italian telecom's chief caught speeding at 193 mph. One of Italy's top executives was caught speeding on a motorway in northern Italy at 193 miles per hour while trying out his new car. Riccardo Ruggiero, who runs Telecom Italia, the country's main telecoms operator, told police he was just putting his new Porsche Carrera through its paces.
· Man steals ice cream truck with sleeping kids inside. A man was arrested Wednesday after stealing an ice cream truck. He said he didn’t notice the two children inside. Abrar Shah said he didn’t want to wake his children, so he left them in the ice cream truck while shopping at the Wal-Mart.
· Train Kills Seven on Reality TV Show. Seven residents of a Uruguayan town were killed on Friday when they were run over by a train they were moving manually as part of a reality television show aimed at raising funds for a local hospital, police said. Several hundred townspeople from Young, about 235 miles west of the capital of Montevideo, were hauling a locomotive and two attached cars down a track pushing and pulling from different sides when some participants fell under the wheels.
· Pregnant Teen Waitress Gets $1,000 Tip. The couple at one of waitress Amanda Newkirk's many tables seemed ordinary enough. The woman ordered a turkey burger, fries and two Coors Lights. The man had a bacon cheeseburger and sweet tea. Their bill came to $26.35. They left Newkirk $1,000.
Friday, March 17, 2006
· FCC Complaint against Oprah's Show Dismissed. Howard Stern and his fans had complained that some of the content on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" show was just as, or even more explicit than what is aired on Stern's show. One of Winfrey's shows focused on sexual activity among teenagers and some of the acts they engage in, but the FCC dropped the complaints against her show.
· Strippers Win Right to Meal Breaks. Australian strippers have won the right to take time off after taking their clothes off. The award entitles unionized strippers to overtime, rest periods, meal breaks and maternity leave.
· Pot Paintings On House Not Illegal. Having marijuana in your house is illegal, but having marijuana images on your house is not, according to town officials. Five months after Christopher Seekins was arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana in his home, neighbors have complained about the giant marijuana leaves he has spray-painted on the outside of his home on High Street.
· Angelina is top lesbian pin-up. Angelina Jolie is the woman most lesbians want to have sex with. The stunning brunette has been voted the ultimate girl-on-girl fantasy, by readers of gay magazine Diva.
· Sarandon: "Hillary is a great disappointment." Susan Sarandon doesn't think Sen. Hillary Clinton belongs in the White House. "I find Hillary to be a great disappointment," the lefty actress tells More magazine. "She's lost her progressive following because of her caution and centrist approach. It bothered me when she voted for the war.
· Archives: How common are four-leaf clovers? There are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leafer hiding amid the blades of grass. Those are pretty tough odds, but certainly not impossible.
· Hospital Therapist Accused Of Molesting Comatose Children. Camera phones are now banned at the Children's Hospital and Health Center's convalescent unit. The precautions were prompted by one man: Wayne Albert Bleyle, a respiratory therapist accused of molesting brain-damaged, comatose boys and girls, taking cell-phone photos of himself in the act, and posting them on the Internet.
· Two school officials face charges of sex with students. A 38-year-old teacher's aide at Boyden-Hull High School has been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old male student. Kelli Jean Cuperus, of Hull, is one of two Iowa school officials charged this week with sexually exploiting students in unrelated incidents in different parts of the state.
· Resolution in Ritter Death? The family of John Ritter may be ready to close a chapter on the TV icon's sudden death. A settlement involving the family's wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital where Ritter died has been reached, reports said. Ritter's wife, Amy Yasbeck, was seeking more than $25 million in damages.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Insidious [in·sid·i·ous] adj. 1. Working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner: insidious rumors; an insidious disease. 2. Beguiling but harmful; alluring: insidious pleasures.
· Patron Who Distracted Gunman Saved Others. As a homeless man opened fire in a Denny's restaurant, a patron's decision to try to stop the gunman cost him his life, but allowed others to flee to safety, authorities said Thursday.
· Lawmakers Consider Bill That Could Pardon Rosa Parks. The legal record of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks in Alabama may soon be cleared. A bill that would pardon Parks and everyone ever arrested under the state's segregation laws has been approved by an Alabama House committee.
· Dozens of teachers resign amid cheating scandal. A growing scandal over teachers who paid to get credit for courses they never took has cost nearly three dozen educators their jobs, and hundreds of others are being investigated. The Miami-Dade County School Board in Florida voted 5-4 on Wednesday to fire six teachers and accept the resignations of 26 others.
· Theaters may ask to jam cell phones. Movie theater owners faced with falling attendance are considering asking federal authorities for permission to jam cell phone reception in an attempt to stop annoying conversations during films, the head of the industry's trade group said on Tuesday.
· Jackson Closes house on Neverland Ranch. Michael Jackson has closed the house on his Neverland Ranch and laid off some of the employees there but has not completely shuttered the sprawling estate, the pop star's spokesman said.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
· Are you fit to be Dutch? The camera focuses on two gay men kissing in a park. Later, a topless woman emerges from the sea and walks onto a crowded beach. For would-be immigrants to the Netherlands, this film is a test of their readiness to participate in the liberal Dutch culture. Despite whether they find the film offensive, applicants must buy a copy and watch it if they hope to pass the Netherlands' new entrance exam.
· Airline screeners fail government bomb tests. Imagine an explosion strong enough to blow a car's trunk apart, caused by a bomb inside a passenger plane. Government sources tell NBC News that federal investigators recently were able to carry materials needed to make a similar homemade bomb through security screening at 21 airports.
· White kids most likely to abuse inhalants. Kids who try to get high by sniffing glue, lighter fluid and other chemicals are more likely to be white and come from families that make more than double the poverty level, according to a federal study.
· Vehicle Plows Into Calif. School Group. Police say they have arrested the driver of a vehicle that barreled onto a sidewalk in Culver City, Calif., killing a teacher and injuring eight middle school students who were on their way back from a field trip.
· Two Men Arrested After Mistaken 911 Call. Two men were jailed on arson complaints after one of them hit the wrong button on a cell phone, giving 911 dispatchers an account of a plot to set a vehicle on fire.
· Who is Carla Martin; why is she in trouble? Until Monday, Carla Jean Martin, 51, was a mid-career attorney working in relative obscurity at the Transportation Safety Administration. Now she's a fixture in the news. It began with the disclosure of conduct that threatens to derail the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. Martin is accused of improperly contacting a half-dozen aviation safety witnesses in violation of a judge's order.
· Elderly lovers stopped on dangerous Italy joy ride. The zig-zagging car gave them away. When Italian police pulled over the vehicle, they found a completely naked 70-year-old woman who had been trying to have sex with the driver.
· French students protest work. Protests spread across France today as thousands of students marched against controversial government reforms intended to reduce unemployment among young people. Unemployment rates among under-25s in France is 23%, compared with 11% in the UK.
· Senate OKs hiking debt limit to nearly $9,000,000,000,000. The Senate voted Thursday to allow the national debt to swell to nearly $9 trillion, preventing a first-ever default on U.S. Treasury notes. The bill passed by a 52-48 vote. The increase to $9 trillion represents about $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
· New loves bloom from Lafaves' failed union. Debra Beasley Lafave's legal future is in limbo, but not her love life. As a Marion County judge considers whether to accept a plea deal that would keep Lafave out of prison, both she and her ex-husband have moved on to new relationships. Lafave arrived in Judge Stancil's courtroom last week wearing both a court-ordered ring around her ankle - a monitoring device - and a shiny new ring on her finger.
· Thief Swipes $1,500 In Sex Toys From Hotel. Someone's swiped the vibrators. Jacksonville police want to know how sex toys and romantic goods were stolen during a weekend convention. Police are investigating the rip-off of more than $1,500 worth of sex toys during the Southeastern Erotic Cultural Conference.
· Man charged with sexual battery of blind students. A man was charged Wednesday with sexual battery of at least three students at the Tennessee School for the Blind, the sheriff said. Wayne Rasmussen, 69, was arrested following a three-month investigation in which three girls who attend the Nashville school told officers they were sexually abused.
· Video May Hold Clues to PCH Wreck. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's investigation into a mysterious crash that destroyed a rare $1-million Ferrari in Malibu last month is now focusing on a videotape that was purportedly shot from inside the vehicle at the time of the accident, according to sources close to the case.
· Jessica Simpson snubs Bush. Concerned about politicizing her favorite charity, singer-actress Jessica Simpson Wednesday turned down a invitation to meet with President Bush, a snub that left Republicans dismayed.
· Report: Tom gets 'wed' on cruise. The London Sun is reporting that Tom Cruise and fiancée Katie Holmes have declared their love for each other in a bizarre “wedding” ceremony — on a ship. The couple exchanged rings emblazoned with triangular Scientology symbols as fellow cult members John Travolta and Kirstie Alley looked on.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Axiom [ax·i·om] n. 1. An established rule, principle, or law. 2. A self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim 3. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument.
· Husband's Ashes Returned After In-Law Sells Them. A Stroudsburg, Pa., woman whose husband's cremated remains were accidentally sold in a garage sale last weekend has gotten them back. The ashes of Brian Hanlon were in a 10-inch-high statuette of an eagle. Jane Hanlon had left it on a mantle along with some items she was selling before moving. And her mother, Sarah Volpe, not realizing what it was, sold it for $30.
· Gretzky's Wife To Be Called To Testify. When a grand jury convenes in the NHL betting case, the wife of hockey's most storied player will be subpoenaed to testify, New Jersey's attorney general confirmed Wednesday.
· Ex-con with five bodies in back yard acquitted of murder. A charismatic ex-con who was found with at least five sets of human remains buried in his yard was acquitted of murder Wednesday but convicted of abusing the corpses of two suspected drug dealers.
· Elizabeth's Husband Wants Some Property. Actress Shannon Elizabeth's estranged husband filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking half of all property and assets the pair accumulated during the five years they lived together before they were married.
· Hostage treated "nicely" after confirming he was Canadian. A Canadian aid worker kidnapped in the Gaza Strip told CBC News he was treated roughly until his captors realized he was not American. After confirming his citizenship through his Canadian passport, Adam Budzanowski said his captors treated him "nicely."
· Fair worker gets probation in fatality. A carnival ride maintenance supervisor was spared prison time and given 2 1/2 years on probation instead, after pleading guilty yesterday to manslaughter in the death of a man thrown from the spinning Sizzler ride during a church fair. Prosecutor Richard L. Greco said the ride's car appeared to be held together with three wrong-sized bolts and an improper nut.
· High Court Justice Feels Threat From 'Irrational Fringe.' Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she is being threatened by society's "irrational fringe." Ginsburg said she believes the death threats that also targeted retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have been spurred by conservative criticism of the high court.
· Phil Collins separates from wife. Rock musician Phil Collins is separating from his third wife after six years of marriage. The former Genesis drummer and his Swiss wife Orianne confirmed they had been living apart since the beginning of the year.
· Three Enter Hospital Elevator, Four Leave. A security guard quickly determined that the wife of a man rushing into Reading Hospital about 4 a.m. Tuesday shouting for a wheelchair was about to give birth. Gary M. Wagner helped Josefa Daboin from the car into a wheelchair and got her and husband David Daboin into an elevator, where the husband kept pushing 2 for the maternity ward. But before the elevator made the less-than-one-minute trip, Josefa was yelling that the baby was out.
· FCC: CBS Facing $3.6M Fine for Indecency. A government crackdown on indecent programming resulted in a proposed fine of $3.6 million against dozens of CBS stations and affiliates on Wednesday — a record penalty from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC said an episode of the CBS crime drama "Without a Trace" that aired in December 2004 was indecent. It cited the graphic depiction of "teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy."
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
· Update: Deaf beauty queen was using cell phone when train hit her. Austin police now say the reigning Miss Deaf Texas was killed by a freight train apparently while text-messaging family and friends on her cell phone.
· Women Fight Off Carjacker, Hold Him For Deputies. A man who tried to carjack a woman is waking up in the Orange County jail. Detectives said the victim fought back. When the woman whose car he tried to steal started screaming, another woman jumped in to help. The two women held the unidentified man on the ground until deputies arrived.
· School Secretary Charged with Statutory Rape. Another Tennessee school employee is accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenager. June Franks, 24, is a secretary at Highland Christian Academy in Pulaski.
· NY Files $250M Fraud Suit Vs. H&R Block. New York state filed a $250 million fraud suit Wednesday against H&R Block Inc., the nation's largest tax preparing service, charging the company fraudulently steered customers into a losing retirement account plan.
· Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Molesting Her Husband. Lisa Lynnette Clark, the 37-year-old woman accused of child molestation after marryng a 15-year-old boy, will remain in jail for the remainder of her case.
· Jury Awards $5.6M in Screwdriver Case. A Circuit Court jury on Monday awarded $5.6 million to the family of a man who had the shaft of a screwdriver implanted into his spine by an orthopedic surgeon, the family's attorney announced. Dr. Robert Ricketson had contended he acted properly when he operated on Arturo Iturralde in 2001 because two titanium rods he planned to attach to Iturralde's spine were discovered missing during the operation at Hilo Medical Center.
· College paper's editor fired over Mohammed cartoons. An editor who chose to publish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in the University of Illinois' student-run newspaper last month has been fired, the paper's publisher announced Tuesday.
· Michael Douglas Criticizes Brad Pitt. Watch out Brad, Michael Douglas is taking some shots regarding your divorce from Jen... and at you and girlfriend Angelina Jolie. "I don't know about Brad Pitt, leaving that beautiful wife to go hold orphans for Angelina," Douglas snipes in GQ's April issue.
· Starbucks Giving Away Free Coffee This Morning. The company is offering customers a complimentary cup of freshly brewed coffee. The offer's good at its more than 7,500 Starbucks around the country between 10 a.m. and noon in a promotion dubbed the National Coffee Break.
· Revenue-hungry airline to charge for aisle seats. Struggling U.S. airlines, looking for new ways to generate revenue, are getting bolder about charging for pretty much anything that makes air travel a little more comfortable - including aisle seats. First came charging passengers for in-flight meals. Then, reservations done by phone cost extra. And now, one major airline, Northwest Airlines, is trying to charge passengers for the right to sit in aisle seats and emergency-exit rows.
· Former Baseball Star Dwight Gooden Arrested. Former baseball star Dwight Gooden was arrested Tuesday on charges of violating the terms of his probation, an official with the Department of Corrections said. "He went to his regular meeting with his probation officer, admitted to the officer that he had used cocaine. She did a drug screen, and he tested positive for cocaine," a spokeswoman said.
· Moussaoui judge: Death penalty still on table. A federal judge decided Tuesday to let the government continue to pursue the death penalty against Zacarias Moussaoui, though she gutted about half of the prosecutors' case by barring six witnesses.
· Man Pulls Gun After Oatmeal Prank. A 20-year-old man who awoke after a party to find himself covered in syrup and dry oatmeal is the one facing a criminal charge after authorities say he turned a gun on the man who admitted pulling the prank.
· Sean Connery Sues Country Club for $1M. Sean Connery is suing a country club for allegedly using his "worldwide celebrity" to fatten its reputation and refusing to pay money owed him after he ended his membership. Connery is seeking more than $500,000 for breach of contract and more than $500,000 for "unjust enrichment" from the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Superior Court.
· People Think Talking From The Toilet Is A Bunch Of Crap. Americans still have some way to go to catch the Germans, but apparently nearly 4 out of 10 people think it's okay to talk on a cell phone in the bathroom. While that may seem like a lot, it's actually down from 62% in 2003.
· Trial in starvation case to start. The 46-year-old woman, weighing just 81 pounds, was found dead in the fetal position on an excrement-smeared mattress. The room held only the bed, a TV set, some moldy food and plastic cups full of urine. The doorknob was installed backward, so that when it was locked from the outside, Mary Elizabeth Kilrain could not get out.
· Fake $1B Bank Notes Found In Apartment. Federal authorities investigating a man who smuggled money into the country have seized 250 counterfeit bank notes in billion-dollar denominations, they announced Tuesday.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
· Gawker puts celeb stalking on the map. New York celebrity life just got harder with today's launch of Gawker.com's "Stalker" feature that posts celeb locations on the Internet, complete with a map, within minutes of each sighting.
· Wallace to retire as regular ‘60 Minutes’ anchor. Mike Wallace, the hard-driving reporter who has been with “60 Minutes” since its start in 1968, said Tuesday he will retire as a regular correspondent on the show this spring.
· RFK's killer eligible for parole. Robert F. Kennedy's killer is eligible for parole this week, and the decision could ultimately rest with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a potential conflict for the governor because he is married to the victim's niece. Sirhan Sirhan shot Kennedy on June 5, 1968, minutes after the New York senator claimed victory in the California presidential primary election.
· 'Housewives' Star Engaged To Michael Bolton. Singer Michael Bolton and "Desperate Housewives" actress Nicollette Sheridan are engaged, according to "Access Hollywood." The couple dated for several years in the 1990s and broke up. They rekindled their romance last year.
· Gourmet dine & ditcher banned from Rome. A 42-year-old gourmet food junkie has skipped out on her restaurant bill so many times that she has been banned from the city of Rome, police said on Monday.
· Crash kills former game show host, wife. A former TV game show host and his wife were killed Monday morning when their small plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay, authorities said. Rescue crews were searching for a third person also aboard the plane. The bodies of Peter Tomarken, 63, host of the hit 1980s game show "Press Your Luck," and his wife, Kathleen Abigail Tomarken, 41.
· Miss Deaf Texas Killed by Train. The reigning Miss Deaf Texas died Monday afternoon after being struck by a train, officials said. Tara Rose McAvoy, 18, was walking near railroad tracks when she was struck by a Union Pacific train, authorities said.
· Driver Sues for Right to Flip the Bird. A Lawrence County, PA motorist is going to federal court to protect a very specific part of what he claims are his free speech rights: the right to show his middle finger. Thomas Burns of New Castle was cited last April after he became frustrated with a PennDOT traffic delay and he flipped his middle finger at a construction worker. The worker reported the gesture to a police officer who cited Burns.
· Robertson Finds Radical Muslims 'Satanic.' Television evangelist Pat Robertson said Monday on his live news-and-talk program "The 700 Club" that Islam is not a religion of peace, and that radical Muslims are "satanic."
· Millionaire faces death penalty. Prosecutors pressed for the death penalty Monday for a millionaire who was convicted of hiring a hit man to kill his socialite wife. James Sullivan was found guilty Friday of arranging the fatal shooting of Lita Sullivan, his 35-year-old second wife.
· Male drivers waste six million hours a year. A British study shows male drivers waste nearly six million hours a year lost on the road because they won't ask for directions. Men who are lost wait an average of 20 minutes before giving up and asking for directions, while women only wait 10 minutes before seeking help.
· Navy gets picky about tattoos. Nothing says Navy like a sailor's cap and a tattoo. At least it used to. Now, the Navy is getting picky about the ink under the skin of swabbies. Regulations now limit sailors to five tattoos.
· Isaac Hayes Quits 'South Park.' Isaac Hayes has quit "South Park," where he voices Chef, saying he can no longer stomach its take on religion. Hayes, who has played the ladies' man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.
· Black Sabbath, Blondie Enter Rock Hall of Fame. Between an ugly feud among Blondie members spilling over onstage and a rancorous letter from the absent Sex Pistols, the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class did not enter quietly on Monday. The animosity even made Ozzy Osbourne, inducted with Black Sabbath, seem sedate.
· Daytona Prostitutes Hunting Serial Killer. Women involved in prostitution in Daytona Beach, Fla., have reportedly armed themselves and are searching for a serial killer behind the slayings of three residents.
· Marijuana again tied to memory problems. People who regularly smoke marijuana may find their memories growing hazy over time, a study published Monday suggests. In a study of long-term and shorter-term marijuana users, researchers in Greece found that both groups performed more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive abilities than a comparison group who'd only occasionally used the drug.
· Motorcyclist Clocked At 155 MPH Jailed. A motorcyclist has been given a couple of days to think about the record he set - at least in the minds of state troopers. Brian Samuel Willis, 20, was clocked zooming down Interstate 12 on Sunday at 155 miles per hour - more than two times the speed limit 70, state police said.
Monday, March 13, 2006
· Former NFL Cheerleader Avoids Jail In Barroom Brawl. A former Carolina Panthers cheerleader avoided jail by pleading no contest to charges that she punched a Tampa bar patron in a case that made national headlines. Under the deal with prosecutors, Victoria Renee Thomas, 21, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of battery and unlawful display of a license.
· Michael Keaton on $100 a day. Find a movie director with a great script and former "Batman" star Michael Keaton is willing to work for $100 a day. That is what Keaton, Robert Downey Jr. and Bebe Neuwirth were paid for the movie "Game 6," which opened on Friday.
· Woman Gets Beer From Her Kitchen Faucet. It almost seemed like a miracle to Haldis Gundersen when she turned on her kitchen faucet this weekend and found the water had turned into beer. Two flights down, employees and customers at the Big Tower Bar were horrified when water poured out of the beer taps. By an improbable feat of clumsy plumbing, someone at the bar in Kristiandsund, western Norway, had accidentally hooked the beer hoses to the water pipes for Gundersen's apartment.
· Alabama Cow Has Mad Cow Disease, Gov't Says. A cow in Alabama has tested positive for mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department confirmed Monday, the third case in the U.S. The animal was a beef cow but hadn't entered the food supply for people or animals, said the department's chief veterinarian, John Clifford.
· Birthday Girl Killed By Stray Gunfire In Chicago. Stray gunfire pierced a window and killed a 10-year-old girl during her birthday party, the second time in as many weeks that a child has been shot to death in their South Side neighborhood.
· Clooney Faults Democrats on Iraq War. George Clooney has faulted Democrats for their timidity in the months before the start of the Iraq war, saying many party leaders muted their criticism of the Bush administration rather than risk being branded as unpatriotic. "The fear of (being) criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war," Clooney said in a profanity-laced posting on The Huffington Post blog site.
· Government blunder could rule out death penalty for Moussaoui. An angry federal judge unexpectedly recessed the death penalty trial of al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui to consider whether government violations of her rules against coaching witnesses should remove the death penalty as an option. The coaching violated the rule set by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that no witness should hear trial testimony in advance.
· Amabassador Blasts Bruce Willis' Comments. Colombia's ambassador to the United States is criticizing Bruce Willis for comments he made during a press conference to promote his new film, "16 Blocks." The actor said the United States should consider "going to Colombia and doing whatever it takes to end the cocaine trade."
· Candidate For Governor Busted For Open Container In Parade. Gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman appeared to violate the state's open container law by drinking from a can of Guinness while seated in a convertible during a St. Patrick's Day parade. Texas law prohibits opened alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a motor vehicle.
· Newlywed Gets Cuddling Ticket Tossed. Here's a tip for couples on a romantic drive to Oregon's Coastal Mountain range: feel free to cuddle up close in the car. And for that privilege, thank newlywed Faith Miller, who likes to snuggle up next to her husband when the two head out for a drive.
· This is what he gets for following etiquette? A letter of apology sent to a robbery victim spelled arrest for a Japanese man after police investigating the case identified him from the handwriting. NHK television said the man had pushed his way into the house of a 78-year-old woman in the town of Misato, western Japan, and stole 15,000 yen ($125) after threatening her with a knife. He later wrote the victim a letter saying he was sorry and returning the cash.
· Lawsuit prompts liabilty questions about suicidal students. About 2 a.m. one sleepless night, sophomore Jordan Nott checked himself into George Washington University Hospital. He was depressed, he said, and thinking about suicide. Within a day and a half of arriving there, he got a letter from a GWU administrator saying his "endangering behavior" violated the code of student conduct. He faced possible suspension and expulsion from school, the letter said, unless he withdrew and deferred the charges while he got treatment.
· Reporters Exempt From Eavesdropping Bill. Reporters who write about government surveillance could be prosecuted under proposed legislation that would solidify the administration's eavesdropping authority, according to some legal analysts who are concerned about dramatic changes in U.S. law.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Voracity; Voracious [vo·ra·cious] adj. Consuming or eager to consume great amounts of food; ravenous. 2. Having or marked by an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; greedy: "A voracious reader."
· Media skimping on news. Consumers can find news in many more places these days, but paradoxically are seeing fewer stories covered with less depth, a study issued on Sunday concluded. Take out traffic, weather and sports and half of local television news is filled with crime and accident stories, illustrating a lack of depth, the report said.
· Aussie charged for driving outbackward. Police charged an Australian driver with "reversing further than necessary" after he traveled backward for more than 25 miles along one of the country's busiest highways. Police said the man told them reverse was the only gear in the car that worked and that he was traveling home to the small regional town of Numurkah, 56 miles farther on his way.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
· Hecklers harass families of US soldiers killed in Iraq. Women sang and danced holding signs saying "thank God for dead soldiers" at the funeral of an army sergeant who was killed by an Iraqi bomb. For them, it was the perfect way to spread God's word: America was being punished for tolerating homosexuality.
· A Golden Age for a Pinup. Bettie Page was plunging into the day's work: autographing pinups of herself in various Naughty Girl personas, with kitschy bangs, high heels, mesh hose and tasseled underwear. The task ahead was arduous given her many ailments, including diabetes and stabbing pains in her back, legs and hands. But the 82-year-old Page — a taboo-breaker who helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s — is not a quitter.
· Lawsuit Involving Patriotic Necklace Moves Forward. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn says that the case of a 13-year-old student who had sued the Schenectady City School District because officials stopped her from wearing a homemade red, white and blue beaded necklace to school can move forward.
· Janet Jackson Will Bail Out Michael - Again. Janet Jackson's brother Michael will not be singing "What Have You Done for Me lately?" to her after today. Janet has arrived at her family's home in Encino, Calif., with her business advisers. Their goal: to bail Michael out of his current monster of a predicament: pay his employees and restore the insurances that have lapsed at Neverland.
· Bill would tax illegal drugs. A bill before the Kentucky General Assembly would require drug dealers to purchase tax stamps and require buyers to pay taxes on the illegal drugs they purchase or face tax evasion charges. The measure would require drug dealers to buy a tax identification number from the Kentucky Department of Revenue, which is barred by law from sharing the information with law enforcement.
· Fox TV bans the word 'retarded' from air. Fox Broadcasting President Peter Ligouri has banned use of the word "retarded" in response to a complaint from a Down Syndrome advocacy group. Regional chapters of the National Down Syndrome Society said it received complaints from viewers of "American Idol" about a commercial for a new Fox show, "The Loop," which included the statement: "You have a retarded squirrel look on your face."
· Controversial teacher reinstated. The social studies teacher who made national headlines for drawing a comparison between President Bush and Hitler once sent his students to Denver's Columbus Day parade, where people are routinely arrested while demonstrating against a man they blame for genocide and oppression against native people.
· Urinating in public is a crime - even without a law prohibiting it. Emptying one's bladder in a public place is a crime, even if there is no specific law prohibiting the practice, a state appeals court ruled.
· Donald Rumsfeld makes $5m killing on bird flu drug. Donald Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu. The US Defence Secretary has made more than $5 million in capital gains from selling shares in the biotechnology firm that discovered and developed Tamiflu, the drug being bought in massive amounts by Governments to treat a possible human pandemic of the disease.
· Satellite sleuth closes in on Noah's Ark mystery. High on Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey, there is a baffling mountainside "anomaly," a feature that one researcher claims may be something of biblical proportions. The Genesis blueprint of the Ark detailed the structure as 6:1 length to width ratio (300 cubits by 50 cubits). The anomaly, as viewed by satellite, is close to that 6:1 proportion.
· Report: Web Searches Can ID CIA Employees. The identities of 2,600 CIA employees and the locations of two dozen of the agency's covert workplaces in the United States can be found easily through Internet searches, according to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune.
· Bush Shocked by Arrest of Former Adviser. President Bush on Saturday said he was shocked and saddened to learn that former domestic policy adviser Claude Allen was charged with theft for allegedly receiving phony refunds at department stores.
· Frist wins Republican straw poll. More than 20 months before any real votes are cast, Republican Senate leader Bill Frist of Tennessee won a straw poll on Saturday of party activists choosing their early favorite in the 2008 White House race.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
· Osama bin Laden's niece to star in reality TV show. Osama bin Laden's niece, an aspiring singer who posed for a sexy photo shoot in a men's magazine last year, has signed up for a reality television show about her life and her as-yet unfulfilled "quest for stardom."
· Arab companies? Feds are worried about the mafia at ports. Justice Department lawyers warned eight months ago that a nefarious element had infiltrated important East Coast ports, but they weren't talking about terrorists or Arab shipping companies. They were talking about the mafia.
· Nevada state trooper "just doing his job" before fatal crash. A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper was driving at least 100 mph before his patrol cruiser slammed into another car last month, killing four people and injuring a pregnant teen, the trooper's lawyer said.
· Woman sues club over stripper's kick. A woman is suing a Largo strip club after a pole dancer accidentally kicked her in the face with a high-heeled shoe, breaking her nose. The customer and the club owner have different stories of how her nose was broken.
· Texas town welcomes rattlesnakes, handlers. James Wells and his 1,200 pounds of rattlesnakes were first in line for the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in this small West Texas town. Wells, from nearby Roscoe, has been collecting Western Diamondback rattlesnakes for 25 of the roundup's 48 years and was waiting before 7 a.m. to garner premium prices - $5 per pound.
· Compared to some high schools, Harvard's a bargain. The Bronx private school will charge tuition of $31,200 next school year for sixth- through 12th-graders, more than $3,300 higher than this year's rate at the esteemed university. Bus rides are not included. Riverdale is among several elite New York City high schools that has surpassed or is approaching the $30,000 mark.
· Ex-White House aide arrested in alleged refund scam. A former adviser to President Bush was arrested this week in Maryland and charged with swindling two department stores out of more than $5,000 in a refund scam. Montgomery County police said Claude Allen, 45, was arrested Thursday and charged with carrying out a felony theft scheme at Target and Hecht's stores.
· Judge Tells Man to Stay Away From Ronstadt. A Colorado man accused of stalking singer Linda Ronstadt for nearly a decade has been ordered by an Arizona judge to stay away from her. Ronstadt has upcoming concerts and fears for her safety because of Bernie Salazar Ortiz's long history of stalking her and his schizophrenia, court documents indicate.
· Court backs student's "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner. An Alaska high school violated a student's free speech rights by suspending him after he unfurled a banner that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" across the street from the school, a federal court ruled Friday. Joseph Frederick, a student at Juneau-Douglas High School in Alaska, displayed the banner - which refers to smoking marijuana - in January 2002 to try to get on television as the Olympic torch relay was passing the school.
· Driver trapped in speeding BMW. A motorist was trapped in his car driving at almost 130mph for 60 miles after the accelerator jammed. Kevin Nicolle, 25, was unable to stop the automatic BMW going at top speed.
· Mars Probe Embarks on Special Mars Mission. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passed the biggest test of its life by safely entering orbit around the Red Planet, joining a constellation of circling spacecraft.
Friday, March 10, 2006
· Caught On Tape: Driver Rams Pregnant Women's SUV. A driver was arrested on charges of angrily ramming into a sport utility vehicle that carried two pregnant women and pinning it against a wall. No one was hurt. Earl Boyd also gestured at the women and almost forced their vehicle into oncoming traffic, police said Friday.
· Lawmakers: Wal-Mart threatens US payment system. A group of lawmakers said an industrial bank owned by Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, could threaten the stability of the U.S. financial system and drive community banks out of business.
· Junior Gotti gets mistrial ... again. Gambino crime family scion John A. "Junior" Gotti dodged a legal bullet for the second time in eight months Friday when a federal jury deadlocked on racketeering charges against him, leading to a mistrial.
· Buddhist priest ,73, blames lust in sex arrest. A Buddhist priest who was arrested on suspicion of having paid sex with a teenage girl said he was under stress and had given in to lust. Itsushi Ehara, 73, chief priest at a temple in the western Japanese prefecture of Hiroshima and also head of a nursery school, paid the 15-year-old girl $675 to have sex in a hotel in downtown Tokyo, a police spokesman said on Friday.
· Chicago schools require blind students to pass driver's ed. Most high school students eagerly await the day they pass driver's education class. But 16-year-old Mayra Ramirez is indifferent about it. Ramirez is blind, yet she and dozens of other visually impaired sophomores in Chicago schools are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam in order to graduate - a rule they say takes time away from subjects they might actually use.
· Suspected Bombs Turn Out To Be Movie Props. Clermont County, Ohio, authorities spent Friday morning investigating possible explosive devices found in a barn. However, the "bombs" turned out to be movie props. Officers were called to a residence outside of Cincinnati just after 6 a.m. Friday. A bottle collector told officers that he had found what appeared to be pipe bombs inside an abandoned barn.
· 102 More People Have Become Billionaires. The number of billionaires around the world rose by 102 to a record 793 over the past year, and their combined wealth grew 18 percent to $2.6 trillion, according to Forbes magazine's 2006 rankings of the world's richest people.
· Ferrigno Files Suit Over Brother's Store. Lou Ferrigno is suing his brother, Andrew, and Andrew's wife, Janie, who live in Bethlehem, Pa., and their business, Ferrigno Fitness of Greenwich Township, claiming they are unlawfully trading on the name and image of the former action star.
· Tim McGraw, Faith Hill 'Mad As Hell' About Katrina. Country music couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill met with reporters Wednesday to talk about their upcoming tour, but ended up venting their frustrations with the federal government's cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Hill, who grew up in Jackson, Miss., and McGraw, a native of Delhi, La., have spent time in the devastated areas helping with relief efforts and raising money for victims.
· Big Brother is watching your monthly payments. Walter Soehnge's JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level, so he and his wife decided to send in a larger payment, a check for $6,522. When the amount didn't post to their account, they got on the phone. They were told that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted.
· Hell's Angels rumble with Disney. The Hell's Angels Motorcycle Corp. is suing a division of Walt Disney, Buena Vista Motion Pictures and a film production company for infringing on its trademark in the development and production of "Wild Hogs," a comedy about middle-aged bikers.
· Lance Armstrong Comforts Dana Reeve's Son. Lance Armstrong spent Wednesday morning comforting 13-year-old Will Reeve, less than two days after his mother, Dana Reeve, died of lung cancer. "I would say that his spirits were pretty good considering that, in the last 18 months, he's lost his father, his mother and his grandmother," Armstrong said.
· Jackson ordered to close Neverland. Michael Jackson was ordered to shut down his Neverland Valley Ranch on Thursday by California authorities who have fined the pop star $169,000 for failing to pay his employees or maintain proper insurance. Jackson's sprawling ranch in the central California foothills was closed, at least temporarily, by an agent of the State Labor Commissioner after the office discovered that his worker's compensation policy had lapsed in January.
· Leif Garrett Ordered to Stay in Rehab. Leif Garrett was ordered to remain in a strict live-in drug rehabilitation program for another month, despite telling a judge he was "going down the right path" after spending 42 days there.
· Midway to beef up security after embarrassing breach. Aviation security officers will undergo "comprehensive retraining" and Midway Airport's three perimeter checkpoints will be redesigned in response to an embarrassing breach that allowed an intoxicated man to sneak onto the tarmac, officials said.
Thursday, March 9, 2006
· Bus driver accused of stranding 6-year-old. A Davenport school bus driver has been arrested and fired after allegedly dropping off a 6-year-old boy six miles from home. Kathryn Gilbraith, 53, is accused of telling the boy to get off the bus and walk home after he missed his stop on Monday. A woman found the boy crying in a central Davenport neighborhood and called police. Gilbraith admits the boy was upset, but it didn’t affect her decision because "6-year-olds get upset if a leaf falls."
· Tennis Dad Gets Eight Years in Drug Death. A father who drugged his children's tennis opponents, leading to one player's death, was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted Thursday.
· Mom Accused Of Child Endangerment For Bomb Prank On Sons. A Mira Loma woman who allegedly tried to play a prank involving a fake bomb on one of her two teenage sons ended up in custody on suspicion of child endangerment, a sheriff's sergeant said Thursday.
· Dubai firm gives up stake in U.S. ports. United Arab Emirates-owned DP World said Thursday it would transfer its operations of American ports to a U.S. "entity" after congressional leaders reportedly told President Bush that the firm's takeover deal was essentially dead on Capitol Hill.
· Doc May Have Been Drunk in Operating Room. The chief of neurosurgery at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California was wrestled to an operating room floor by deputies and arrested after allegedly throwing a drunken fit when a nurse refused to let him operate, authorities said.
· Locklear Judges Judge Unfit. Heather Locklear is on the hunt for a less judgmental judge. One week after her soon-to-be ex-husband, Richie Sambora filed court papers challenging the objectivity of the first judge assigned to handle their divorce case, Locklear has filed similar documents, alleging that the second judge assigned to the case is prejudiced against her.
· The tallest man in the world continues to grow and suffer. Two years ago Russian newspapers published a dramatic story about Leonid Stadnik, a village resident of Ukrainian province. The man suffers from his own height: Leonid was 8 foot, 4 inches tall back in those days. It has recently become known that the tallest man in the world is still growing.
· Trooper Mailed Obscene Pictures To Ex, Police Say. Police said a Pennsylvania state trooper harassed an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, mailing them obscene pictures and harassing notes. Cpl. Laurence Fisher, of Potter County, is suspended without pay after an internal investigation indicated that he used law enforcement resources to get information about the boyfriend, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
· Former mayor draws three years probation on tax charges. Former Washington, DC, Mayor Marion Barry is on probation for three years. The sentence came today in connection with charges that he failed to file federal or local tax returns for 2000.
· Corned Beef Controversy. A corned beef controversy is over in Omaha after the Catholic Church granted a special dispensation Tuesday morning. Omaha's Ancient Order of Hibernians ordered corned beef for its annual St. Patrick's Day feed, but the Irish holiday's position on a Friday this year puts it in direct conflict with the Catholic rule to eat no meat on Lenten Fridays.
· Update: $241,000 stripclub tab finally settled. The lawsuit over a former communications executive's $241,000 tab racked up at Scores nightclub has been settled, an attorney for Scores said Wednesday.
· Poll: Many see benefit to economy from illegal immigrants. A large majority of Californians believes undocumented immigrants are performing jobs that others don't want and favor a temporary worker program to legalize their status here, a new poll being released today shows.
· Wal-Mart In Court Fight Over 'Wal-ocaust' T-Shirts. A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in federal district court in Atlanta in a fight over his T-shirts that compare the retailer's business practices to the Holocaust. Charles Smith has been marketing shirts that read, "I (heart) Wal-ocaust" T-shirts. Wal-Mart filed a cease-and-desist order in an attempt to make him stop printing the shirts.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Colloquialism [col·lo·qui·al·ism] n. 1. An informal word or phrase that is more common in conversation than in formal speech or writing. Colloquialisms can include words such as "gonna" and phrases such as "ain't nothin'" and "dead as a doornail."
· Hasselhoff's Wife Claims Domestic Violence. Less than a month after filing for divorce, the estranged wife of David Hasselhoff has filed for a court order on a claim of domestic violence by the former "Baywatch" star, according to court records. Actress Pamela Bach, 42, made the filing Monday against Hasselhoff, 53, in Los Angeles Superior Court.
· The truth hurts? Teachers unions are mad at John Stossel. The New York State United Teachers demands an apology for his "gutter level" journalism, "an irresponsible assault on public school students and teachers." This is because he hosted an ABC News TV special titled "Stupid in America."
· Former Gay Prostitute Loses State House Race In Texas. A former gay prostitute garnered more than 45 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary but fell short in his bid for the party's nomination for the Texas House. Dallas actor and salesman Tom Malin acknowledged last month that he had worked as a gay prostitute when contacted by The Dallas Morning News.
· Billing leak exposes 17 million customers. Seventeen million customers of the online payment service iBill have had their personal information released onto the internet, where it's been bought and sold in a black market made up of fraud artists and spammers, security experts say.
· MSNBC Host Calls Aurora Council 'Worst People.' At least one Aurora City Council member isn't laughing after the recently passed Christmas light ordinance earned the city the moniker of worst people in the world on a cable television show. The new law mandates that holiday decorations must not go up until 60 days before a holiday, and must come down 60 days after one.
· Job in restaurant for Zeta Jones. Many actors work in restaurants while struggling to find their big break, but Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones has done it the other way around. The actress worked for a week as a chef in a Michelin-starred New York restaurant to prepare for a role in an upcoming film. She spent her time sautéing and chopping in the kitchen, and even made a brief appearance as a waitress.
· Another Turn in Ferrari Saga. Sheriff's officials investigating the crash of a Ferrari in Malibu last month are asking how a small private transit company could create its own police department and allegedly hand out law enforcement identification to civilians, including the car's owner.
· Read the fine print. A woman who spent $300 for an iPod on EBay only to receive an empty iPod box has received most of her money back. Mary Ann Butt bought the iPod as a Christmas present for her 17-year-old son but was stunned when the package arrived and inside was an empty box. Thinking it was a mistake, Butt sent an e-mail to the seller, who argued that the product listing on EBay was just for the box, not the actual iPod.
· DUI defense lawyers challenging widely used breath test machine. Timothy Muldowny's lawyers decided on an unconventional approach to fight his drunken driving case: They sought computer programming information for the Intoxilyzer alcohol breath analysis machine that determined he was drunk to see whether the test was accurate. Their strategy paid off. The company that makes the Intoxilyzer refused to reveal the computer source code for its machine because it was a trade secret.
· Toilet Paper Dispute Overflows Into Fight At Motel. An argument over toilet paper overflowed into a fight, sending one motel maid to the hospital and another to jail. The maids at the Siesta Motor Lodge in North Charleston armed themselves with a plunger and mop after accusing each other of taking toilet paper from each other's cleaning carts, North Charleston police said.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
· Judge Wants To Instruct Teachers Not To Have Sex With Students. An Orange County judge wants to offer an unusual presentation to teachers. He wants to tell them not to have sex with students. Judge Bob Wattles presentation still has to be approved by the Orange County School Board.
· Illegal workers hold 1 of 20 civilian jobs. As many as 12 million illegal immigrants now live in the United States, up from an estimated 8.4 million in the 2000 Census, according to a new study released Tuesday. The estimate by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center also said that illegal workers fill nearly one out of every 20 civilian jobs.
· Teens Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Pot From State Police. Three 17-year-old St. George boys, one the son of a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, have been arrested for investigation into the thefts of more than 23 pounds of marijuana from the UHP's evidence locker in Cedar City.
· Three Students Held in Ala. Church Fires. Three college students were arrested Wednesday in a string of nine rural Alabama church arsons last month that allegedly were set first as "a joke" and later as a diversion, federal agents said. Benjamin Nathan Moseley and Russell Lee Debusk Jr., both students at Birmingham-Southern College, appeared in federal court Wednesday and were ordered held on church arson charges.
· Student Bank Robbers To Finish School Before Prison. Three Ann Arbor students who were charged with robbery will finish high school before being sent to prison. Charles Heath, Brian Jackson and Brian White pleaded guilty to armed robbery at a Key Bank branch on Aug. 22, 2005.
· NY Attorney General Sues Major Radio Chain. Gifts, trips and cash were used to pave the way for air time for certain songs at radio stations owned by one of the nation's largest chains, according to a lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The accusation was denied by the company, Entercom Communications Corp. of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., which owns and operates more than 105 radio stations.
· LaFave back in court today. Former teacher, Debra LaFave will be back in a Marion County courtroom this afternoon. LaFave faces charges for having sex with a 14-year-old student while visiting Ocala two summers ago.
· Woman Sues Walgreens For "Crazy" Comment On Presciption. A Palm Beach woman is suing Walgreens, saying she picked up a prescription and found an extra message attached in the section reserved for patient information - "CrAzY!!"
· Police Officer Delayed Red Traffic Signal To Check Tags. A Tampa police sergeant awaiting discipline in four internal investigations may have violated motorists' Fourth Amendment rights by manipulating traffic signals to check license plates, public records show.
· Homeland Security gives tiny Alaskan town a lot of camera power. Dillingham is a quiet fishing village in Southwest Alaska, home to 2,400 people and not a single streetlight. What it does have, however, is 80 surveillance cameras, focused on the port and the town, courtesy of a $202,000 Homeland Security federal grant.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Clandestine [clan·des·tine] adj. 1. Kept or done in secret, often in order to conceal an illicit or improper purpose. "The CIA maintains clandestine operations in many countries."
· Fire Chief Accused Of Sex Acts With Sheep. A veteran of the Mesa, AZ Fire Department is on paid leave for alleged bestial acts with a neighbor's sheep. Maricopa County sheriff's deputies took 52-year-old LeRoy Johnson into custody at his home Saturday. The city's deputy fire chief, a 26-year veteran, was booked on three misdemeanor charges including disorderly conduct, trespassing and public sexual indecency.
· A bad way to go. A dairy worker and his 8-year-old son died in a manure pit on the farm where they lived, authorities said Tuesday. Luis Gutierrez, 27, and Luis Armando Gutierrez went to feed calves Saturday night and apparently stumbled upon the manure pit in the dark, investigators said.
· Mexico Tightens Security for Cuba Migrants. The Mexican government said Tuesday it was stepping up security at detention centers for illegal Cuban migrants after a group of detainees fought police officers and held a guard against his will — the seventh uprising or mass escape by Cubans in a year.
· First New Orleans Bank Robbery Since Katrina Leads To Vail Man. Authorities say a construction worker from Vail, Colorado has been turned over to the FBI and is being held on federal bank robbery charges in New Orleans. This is the first robbery there since Hurricane Katrina hit.
· Bobby Brown arrested on 14-year-old violations. Singer Bobby Brown has been arrested for minor motor-vehicle violations dating back 14 years. The 37-year-old entertainer was in town Friday to watch his daughter in a high-school cheerleading tournament that night when a police officer conducted a warrant check.
· Donor Pulling $100,000 Reward Money In Kesse Case. An anonymous resident who donated $100,000 of reward money in the Jennifer Kesse missing person case is pulling the cash after a "behind the scenes" conflict with Crimeline.
· Lawsuit: Resort let the bedbugs bite. A Chicago booking agent and her husband sued a Catskills resort Tuesday for $20 million, saying her body and mind were scarred after she suffered some 500 bedbug bites while staying at the hotel last summer.
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
· Woman Sues Restaurant After Falling Off Piano. A woman is suing a Sarasota restaurant after she fell while dancing atop a lounge piano. The 57-year-old woman fell backward off the piano to the floor of the restaurant.
· Outrage After Teen Gets 10 Years for Oral Sex With Girl. A wild New Year's Eve two years ago has landed a Georgia teen in prison for 10 years on charges of child molestation in a case that has state legislators reworking the strict law that put him in jail.
· Bonds exposed. Beginning in 1998 with injections in his buttocks of Winstrol, a powerful steroid, Barry Bonds took a wide array of performance-enhancing drugs over at least five seasons in a massive doping regimen that grew more sophisticated as the years went on, according to Game of Shadows, a book written by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters at the forefront of reporting on the BALCO steroid distribution scandal.
· Trump: If She Weren't My Kid, I Might Date Her. Donald Trump shocked "The View" yesterday when "The Apprentice" boss announced that, if he weren't her father, he'd like to date daughter Ivanka. "who are you, Woody Allen?" "View" co-host Joy Behar stammered.
· Conan teams up with his old sidekick. Conan O'Brien and his former sidekick on NBC's "Late Night," Andy Richter, are reuniting for NBC, and this time Richter is the leading man. The network has ordered "Andy Barker P.I.," a detective comedy pilot starring Richter, which O'Brien co-wrote and is executive producing.
· 'Bored' Boys Charged With Setting Library On Fire. A 12- and 13-year-old boy were charged with arson after telling sheriff's deputies in Brevard County, Fla., that they set a public library on fire because they were bored, according to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.
· Christopher Reeve's Widow Dies at Age 44. Dana Reeve, who fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis through the Christopher Reeve Foundation, named for her late actor-husband, has died, the foundation said. She died of lung cancer.
· Babs needs a spell-checker. Songstress Barbra Streisand spells her first name funny, but now it appears the Democratic diva desperately needs spell-check. Among the errors in a recent post on her personal website, were "curruption," "dictatoriship," "warrented" and "desperatly." Streisand's PR rep, Dick Guttman, sheepishly explained: "The errors … are regrettable and have resulted in a change in how the actress' own contributions to the blog will be posted."
· Woman Uses Counterfeit $100 Bill To Purchase Girl Scout Cookies. A woman used a phony $100 bill to pay for Girl Scout cookies and made off with the change before the Scout's mother determined the currency was counterfeit, police said.
· Yanni Arrested In Florida On Domestic Battery Charge. The pianist Yanni was arrested at his Manalapan home after an alleged domestic dispute with his girlfriend, authorities said. Yanni, whose legal name is John Yanni Christopher, was arrested and faces a domestic battery charge.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Oxymoron [ox·y·mo·ron] n.pl. A phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, for example, “wise fool” or “to make haste slowly.”
· California Supreme Court rules on oral sex. California's justices overturned state law requiring adults 21 years or older who are convicted of having oral sex with 16- and 17-year-olds to automatically register as a sex offender for life.
· Two Plead Guilty to Recording Jackson. Two men pleaded guilty Monday to charges of secretly videotaping Michael Jackson more than two years ago as he flew to Santa Barbara with his attorney to surrender in a child-molestation investigation. Jeffrey Borer and Arvel Jett Reeves admitted they installed two digital videorecorders to record "a professional entertainer" and his lawyer as the pair traveled on a private jet from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara in November 2003. Borer was the owner of XtraJet, which operated a Gulfstream jet that carried Jackson. Reeves was the owner of Chino-based Executive Aviation, which provided maintenance service for XtraJet's aircraft fleet.
· Bumper Crop of Drugs Found. Mechanics at the Gibbons car dealership in Dickson City, PA say they've found strange things in vehicles before, but nothing like this. On Monday, they found 16 pounds, about 14 bags, of marijuana, in the bumper of an elderly couple's car. Police believe the couple when they say they had no idea it was there.
· Runaway bride dolls disappear as quickly as she did. Like the woman who inspired their creation, Runaway Bride bobblehead dolls disappeared quickly during a sports promotion in her hometown. The dolls, given to the first 1,000 people through the doors at the Gwinnett Gladiators ice hockey game Sunday, were gone in about 10 minutes. The minor league ECHL team named the trinket the "Runaway Bride Any Similarity to Actual Persons is Unintended and Purely Coincidental" Bobblehead Doll.
Monday, March 6, 2006
· Madonna Says Daughter Asked if She Was Gay. Madonna says she had some explaining to do when her daughter, Lourdes, asked about that kiss with Britney Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. "(Lourdes) is really obsessed with who is gay," says Madonna in an interview in Out magazine's April issue. "And she even asked, 'Mom, you know they say that you are gay?'
· Court upholds campus military recruiting law. A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that universities that get federal funds must allow military recruiters on campus, even if their law schools oppose the Pentagon's policy prohibiting openly gays and lesbians from serving.
· 35 Cities, 35 Toilet Seats. If you're considering booking Mary J. Blige for a concert or TV appearance, be prepared to make a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. That's because the 35-year-old R&B singer's performance contract stipulates that her dressing room include a "private toilet (with new toilet seat)."
· 'Feces Smearing' Fliers Target Mayoral Candidate. A mayoral candidate in Winter Park, Fla., accused of smearing dog feces on another man during an apparent outburst of anger is fighting back after anonymous fliers about the incident have circulated around the city.
· Armed Woman, 75, Dons Steelers Ski Mask, Holds Up Bank. Police have captured an elderly woman who they say tried to rob a bank with a gun in West Mifflin, PA on Monday morning. Officers said the attempted holdup happened at a National City Bank inside a Shop 'n Save grocery store in the Century Square shopping plaza at about 10:30 a.m. Police said that Marilyn Devine, 75, from Baldwin, wore a Steelers ski mask during the holdup and escaped in a tan Ford Escort with $5,000. After a five-mile pursuit at speeds of 45 mph, police pulled Devine over.
· South Dakota governor signs law banning nearly all abortions. The governor of South Dakota on Monday signed into law severe restrictions on abortion, in a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of the practice 33 years ago.
· Toddler shoved during hate incident. A 27-year-old Farmingville, NY man was arrested and charged with hate crimes after Suffolk police said he walked into a self-service laundry and kicked a 2-year-old boy while yelling anti-Hispanic slurs at the child and other people in the Patchogue establishment yesterday.
· Discount Donuts for slain officer's family. It will be a week tomorrow when New Hartford, NY police officer Joe Corr was killed protecting the community in which he grew up and lived in. Now, on the heels of that, "daylight donuts" in New Hartford has decided to help the Corr family through this tough time. They have decided to hold one special day in remembrance of the fallen officer who stopped by the doughnut shop on a daily basis.
· Doctor Says Bicyclist Faking Blindness. A motorist accused of blinding a bicyclist in a hit-and-run accident was cleared of charges after a doctor said the victim was faking his injury. James Arrigoni, 45, of San Anselmo, had been accused of swerving his pickup truck into a cyclist who made an obscene gesture with his finger a year ago.
· Hearse driver arrested for biting policeman. A drunken hearse driver has been arrested in the western German town of Krefeld after biting a police officer taking him in for an alcohol test, police said on Monday.
· Conservative Jews to Consider Ending a Ban on Same-Sex Unions and Gay Rabbis. In a closed-door meeting this week in an undisclosed site near Baltimore, a committee of Jewish legal experts who set policy for Conservative Judaism will consider whether to lift their movement's ban on gay rabbis and same-sex unions.
· Some telecommuters work in the nude. Some 10 percent of worldwide telecommuters wear nothing at all while working at home, according to a recent survey. About 39 percent of respondents of both sexes said they wear sweats while working from home, but 12 percent of males and 7 percent of females wear nothing at all, according to a survey of 941 telecommuter workers worldwide.
· Gadget Lets Authors Sign Books From Afar. Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away.
· Muslims urged to make West 'bleed for years.' A taped message attributed to Osama bin Laden's deputy calls on Muslims to attack the "economic infrastructure" of the West and stop Western countries from "stealing" Mideast oil, according to recordings posted on Islamist Web sites Sunday. The statement calls on al Qaeda's followers to launch attacks that will make Western powers "bleed for years."
· Best picture goes to gritty drama 'Crash.' In a year when best picture nominees thrived on controversy, the Academy Awards' top honor went to the film that attacked its issues most bluntly. Philip Seymour Hoffman "Capote," and Reese Witherspoon "Walk the Line," were awarded best actor and actress honors. "Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee won best director for his film about the homosexual relationship that grows between two sheepherders in remote Wyoming.
· Jennifer Tilly Chooses Poker Over Oscars. Actress-turned-poker-star Jennifer Tilly has become so infatuated with high stakes Texas Hold 'Em, that for the first time in more than a decade, she's skipped the red carpet of the Oscars for the green felt of the poker table.
· Cruise 'Most Tiresome Tabloid Target.' Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Paris Hilton won worst-of prizes Saturday at the Razzies, an Academy Awards spoof mocking the worst of 2005. But they were upstaged by Jenny McCarthy, who received three Razzies for worst picture, actress and screenplay as producer, star and writer of the gross-out romantic comedy "Dirty Love."
· Playboy: Jessica Alba will stay. Playboy won't pull its March issue over actress Jessica Alba's claim that she was made an unwitting cover girl to fool readers into thinking she is nude inside, the magazine said.
Sunday, March 5, 2006
· Coroner: Peanut-butter kiss didn't kill teen. A 15-year-old girl with a peanut allergy did not die from kissing her boyfriend following his peanut butter snack, a coroner said Friday, countering reports that drew international attention last year. Saguenay coroner Michel Miron said Christina Desforges' death had a different cause. But he refused further disclosure, saying he first wanted to report to the provincial coroner and examine more test results.
· Clooney Wins Supporting-Actor Oscar. George Clooney won the supporting-actor Academy Award on Sunday for "Syriana," in which he effaced his glamor-boy looks behind the bearded, heavyset facade of a CIA patriot who grows jaded over U.S. policy in the Middle East.
· Warnings Issued After N.H. Teen Dies During 'Choking Game.' When school resumes Monday in Whitefield, N.H., students will get warnings about a dangerous game that claimed the life of one of their classmates last week.
· Feds Keeping Court Cases Secret. Despite the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of public trials, nearly all records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants who completed their journey through the federal courts over the last three years. Instances of such secrecy doubled from 2003 to 2005.
· Black resident gave out KKK fliers, police say. Ku Klux Klan fliers that were distributed in a Suffolk apartment complex last week came from a black tenant who wanted to shock young African-Americans, Suffolk police said.
· Brother admits Jacko's 'thing for young children.' Jermaine Jackson feared his kid brother Michael might be guilty of child molestation, but backed him at trial because he thought the pop star would commit suicide in prison, according to a bombshell book proposal.
· Couple Accused Of Having Sex With Baby Sitter. A Randle, Wash. couple has been charged with rape of a child following accusations that they had sex with their 13-year-old baby sitter and plied her with alcohol.
· New Orleans mayor campaigns - in Houston. "There are 23 candidates running for mayor. Very few of them look like us," he said. "There's a potential to be a major change in the political structure in New Orleans." A recent poll showed Nagin, who is black, trailing Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, a member of one of Louisiana's most prominent white political families and a New Orleans mayoral candidate, by 35 percent to 25 percent.
· Muslim charged with attempted murder at UNC. A recent University of North Carolina graduate was charged with nine counts of attempted murder Saturday, a day after authorities say he drove through a popular campus gathering spot in an attempt to avenge Muslim deaths. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a 22-year-old Iran native, told investigators he wanted to "avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world."
· Phil Mickelson hits spectator - buys him a watch. Mickelson overcooked his 3-wood into the gallery and it took a fortuitous hop toward the green. Then he found the man he hit, and noticed his watch was broken. Lefty pulled two $100 bills from his bag to pay for it. "It wasn't a Rolex," Mickelson said.
· Teen Finds She's Pregnant at 11th Hour. A New Mexico high school basketball star who had an upset stomach on the way home from a game found to her surprise that she was about to give birth. "I was shocked," Kayla Alire told the Santa Fe New Mexican. "I was just so amazed." A few hours after she realized she was pregnant, Alire had given birth to a 6 pound, 4 ounce boy.
· Secret Service dogs live it up. While President Bush was checking into the presidential suite at one of Delhi's top hotels, a group of canines belonging to his security detail were enjoying similar comfort nearby. The German Shepherds and Labradors are staying in rooms which cost more than $200 a night.
· Roads, bridges, you name it. After it seemed that almost every bridge, highway, section of highway, rest stop, rotary, underpass and overpass in Connecticut had been named for someone no one ever heard of, the Legislature rested. Critics such as Yale University professor Dolores Hayden calls the roadside name signs "litter on a stick."
· One-plane garage with a view Residential airparks make commuting a breeze. When Burl Skaggs is preparing for his commute to work, he doesn't check the morning traffic news. He checks a weather map the night before.
Saturday, March 4, 2006
· Gibson to Speak Ancient Tongue at Oscars. Mel Gibson will give audiences a preview of the ancient language spoken in his upcoming movie, "Apocalypto." During a brief appearance on the Academy Awards on Sunday, Gibson will speak Maya, the only language in the film. His last movie, "The Passion of the Christ," was performed in Latin and Aramaic.
· Florida State Attorney's Son Belligerent After Arrest. A police report released Friday said that after he was arrested, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle's son banged his head against a window, made obscene gestures, spit, and repeatedly said, "Do you know who you're dealing with?"
· Stars to Arrive at Oscars in Green Cars. Oscar nominees Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal and Frances McDormand are among those expected to step out of green vehicles and onto the red carpet at the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday.
· Army to open criminal probe of Tillman death. The Pentagon has directed the Army to open a criminal investigation into the death of former NFL star Pat Tillman, CNN learned on Saturday. An inspector general ordered the Army Criminal Investigative Division to determine if Tillman's death resulted from negligent homicide, sources said.
· Disney employees cleared - Woman's gang rape story is bogus. The Orange County Sheriff's Office just announced that it has arrested the woman who claimed she was raped by several men who work at Walt Disney World. They say the woman made up the story, and that the sex was consensual. The woman, Elizabeth Sunde, 26, is being charged with making a false police report.
· Abdul Causes Security Breach at Airport. Paula Abdul was allowed to board a plane at the Las Vegas airport without passing through a security checkpoint, prompting all passengers and luggage to be screened when they landed in California, officials said.
· Professor Allegedly Shows Explicit Video. A criminal justice professor at Grand Rapids Community College has resigned after showing a video in class of a man having sex with a pig, students and a faculty representative said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Auspices [aus·pi·ces] n.pl. 1. With the protection or support of someone or something, especially an organization: "Financial aid is being provided under the auspices of NATO."
· Craig wants to go nude in first Bond film. Daniel Craig has announced that he is prepared to go nude in his first Bond film. The actor, who is currently filming Casino Royale in the Bahamas, told producers that he would be willing to do a full frontal scene.
· Update: Ferrari Case Takes New Twist With Possible Tie to Bus Agency. As sheriff's detectives investigate last week's crash that destroyed a $1-million Ferrari, they are now looking into an obscure nonprofit organization that provides disabled people with transit in the San Gabriel Valley.
· Starbucks gets serious about breakfast. As no-frills breakfast kings like McDonald's Corp. and Dunkin' Donuts have gotten more serious about their coffee, Starbucks Corp. has gotten more serious about its breakfast. It started selling toasted egg sandwiches alongside its scones, muffins and other breakfast breads in hometown stores three years ago, and the effort is expanding.
Friday, March 3, 2006
· Update: Johansson Not Holding Grudge Over Groping. Scarlett Johansson wasn't amused when fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi groped her on the red carpet at January's Golden Globe Awards, but she's willing to forgive him. "It was definitely in poor taste," Johansson said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. "I'd been prepping for two hours with hair and makeup and getting dressed. And the first interview I do, someone who I have never met before fondles me for his own satisfaction."
· Mom Calls Police After Son Found In Neighbor's Home. Police in Pawtucket, RI said Thursday a crime-fighting mom busted her own son for allegedly breaking into a neighbor's house. She did it for the good of her son, she told police, after coming home around noon Tuesday and thinking it was strange that her 16-year-old son's friend was loitering outside a neighbor's house.
· 'Trial' of Bush prompts meeting. Top school officials will huddle privately this morning to discuss a classroom war crimes "trial"of President Bush at Parsippany High School that suddenly is drawing national attention. Joseph Kyle, whose class is trying Bush for alleged "crimes against civilian populations"and "inhumane treatment of prisoners," was not invited, Perlett said.
· Many Admit They Lie At Work, Survey Finds. The adage "believe half of what you see and none of what you hear" would seem to be good advice to follow at work. In a recent survey, 19 percent of workers who were asked admit they tell lies at the office at least once a week. And nearly a-quarter of managers said they've fired an employee for being dishonest.
· Obesity epidemic 'bigger threat than terrorism.' America's obesity epidemic will dwarf the threat of terrorism if the country does not reduce the number of people who are severely overweight, Richard Carmona, the US surgeon general, said yesterday.
· Update: Movie theater apologizes. The movie theater that kicked out a disabled 19-year-old man for laughing too loudly during a comedy has apologized and offered to give the teen and his family a private screening.
· 20 Calif. Students Suspended Over Web Site. A middle school student faces expulsion for allegedly posting graphic threats against a classmate on the popular MySpace.com Web site, and 20 of his classmates were suspended for viewing the posting, school officials said.
· HOV Cheater Ordered To Hold Sign By Highway. The driver who was caught using a mannequin to drive in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane on Highway 36 was sentenced Thursday. Greg Pringle, 54, was ordered to pay a $100 fine and must spend one hour on four different days on the side of the highway in Westminster with a sign saying "HOV lane not for dummies."
· Man Pleads Guilty To Fathering Baby With Daughter. A Spartanburg County man is heading to prison after admitting to having a baby with his 16-year-old biological daughter, authorities said. Timothy Gossett pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Gossett told deputies he didn't think the victim was his daughter because she didn't look like his other kids.
· Confidential movie budgets show how those millions are spent. The Smoking Gun has obtained internal budget documents detailing where the money was allocated on an assortment of big-budget Tinseltown productions. The records provide a line-by-line account of spending on each movie.
· Fear for Safety at School. The hammer in Ruby Johnson's hand may as well be an exclamation point on the escalating safety problems at Detroit Public Schools. Johnson is a veteran teacher. Since being robbed at gunpoint at work last June, she carries a hammer every day to protect herself.
· Mortgage Manager Arrested After Restroom Cam Found. A mortgage company manager in Hobe Sound, Fla., was arrested after a worker found a camera connected from an office restroom to a monitor on his desk.
· Burnett to Appear on 'Desperate Housewives.' Carol Burnett, paying a visit to "Desperate Housewives" as stepmother to Bree Van De Kamp, won't be dispelling any wicked stepmom myths. "Just make her a little bitchier," Burnett said she advised series creator Marc Cherry after reading about her icy, distant character.
· Rocker Glitter Sentenced for Molestation. A Vietnamese court on Friday sentenced former British glam rocker Gary Glitter to three years in prison for molesting two Vietnamese girls, with the judge condemning him for "disgusting and sick" behavior.
· Ex-FEMA chief: Chertoff should be fired. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff should be fired for his handling of Hurricane Katrina, former federal emergency management chief Michael Brown said Thursday, accusing Chertoff of lacking disaster management knowledge.
Thursday, March 2, 2006
· Teacher Suspended After Comparing Bush To Hitler. A Colorado high school teacher was on administrative leave Thursday after he criticized President George W. Bush, capitalism and the United States' foreign policy in his geography class at Overland High School.
· Suit: W.Va. Police Chief Denied Gay Man CPR. A small-town police chief was accused in a federal lawsuit Thursday of stopping a would-be rescuer from performing CPR on a gay heart attack victim because he assumed the ailing man had HIV and posed a health risk.
· Band Sticker on Bike Causes Bomb Scare. A sticker on a bicycle that said "this bike is a pipe bomb" caused a scare Thursday at Ohio University that shut down four buildings before authorities learned the message was the name of a punk rock band, a university spokesman said.
· Father fails to return to jail after release for organ-donor test. An Kentucky inmate who was released from jail so he could find out whether he could donate a kidney to his 15-year-old son has not returned to jail, officials said. U.S. marshals believe Byron Keith Perkins, 37, left his mother's home in Campbellsville on Wednesday with his girlfriend, who also is a fugitive with a felony warrant out of Green County, said Chuck Gilbert of the U.S. Marshals Service.
· Boy called ex-teacher for sex. Although prosecutors say the 14-year-old Westford, Mass. boy Susan Clickner allegedly targeted for sex was "traumatized'' by the lurid encounter with his teacher, Clickner said she's been receiving telephone calls from the boy asking for sex.
· Md. Senator Saves Political Opponent's Life. State Sen. John Giannetti was waiting for his take-out order of penne pasta and meatballs at an Italian restaurant when he saw a man choking. Giannetti rushed over, performed the Heimlich maneuver and dislodged a chunk of seafood - saving the life of his political rival. The choking man, Jim Rosapepe, is challenging Giannetti in the Democratic primary for the suburban Washington district.
· Polish Playboy to help teenage model expelled from school. The Polish edition of Playboy offered to come to the aid of a 19-year-old Polish girl who has been expelled from her high school after she posed nude for the men's magazine.
· Day care worker arrested for alleged sex abuse. A 37-year-old day care worker was arrested for allegedly raping and sexually abusing a four-year-old boy, police say. Sources tell us in what amounts to a bizarre confession that the suspect is actually accusing the four-year-old boy of seducing her. But police are not buying that explanation as they investigate several instances of rape and sexual abuse inside the day care center over a six-week period.
· Teacher Suspended After Student Urinates In Closet. A teacher has been recommended for suspension after she did not allow a student to use a restroom, resulting in the student urinating in a trash can in a classroom closet, school officials said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ethereal [e·the·re·al] adj. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible. "Her fragrance lingered in the room, an ethereal reminder of her presence." 2. Highly refined; delicate. "Ethereal beauty."
· High court tackles political boundry case - while Ginsburg sleeps. A key Supreme Court justice said Wednesday that Texas Republicans appeared to hurt minority voters when they redrew congressional boundaries. Near the end of the argument Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dozed in her chair. Justices David Souter and Samuel Alito, who flank the 72-year-old, looked at her but did not give her a nudge.
· Man Arrested For Pulling Gun On Car Dealership Employee. A man is facing assault charges in Lake County for reportedly pulling a gun on a car dealership employee. Deputies said Seeram Outar brought his Chevy Avalanche in for service to the Bill Seidle Chevrolet dealership on Tuesday.
· Man Charged With Killing TV Actress. A suspected gang member was charged Wednesday with fatally shooting teen actress Tara Correa-McMullen, who portrayed a former gang member on the TV show "Judging Amy." Damien Watts, 20, who already was in custody on a separate shooting case, was charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
· Palm Beach County puts photos of crime victims on playing cards in jail. Card games behind bars soon could be a good deal for cold-case investigators and a financial windfall for jail inmates. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office plans to give inmates playing cards with photos and information about slain and missing people. Once inmates start shuffling the decks, investigators hope they'll dish out leads about dead-end, years-old investigations in exchange for reward money.
· This bug packs a punch. What can you do with a GE Model T58-8F helicopter turboshaft engine, converted to a jet? With Ron Patrick’s custom VW Beetle you can have lots and lots of dangerous fun exploiting all 1350 horsepower.
· "We put this jerk on the cover?" A few weeks ago, Newsweek put the ballyhooed skier Bode Miller on the cover of its Olympic Preview issue. The tag line was "Miller Time." But in Turin, Italy, Miller, astoundingly, became the biggest bust of the games. Not only did Miller fail to win even a single medal but he seemed to care more about preserving his renegade image than explaining his dismal performance. Newsweek, feeling properly chagrined, saluted this development in its Conventional Wisdom section, writing, tongue-in-cheek, "We put this jerk on the cover?"
· Man Accused Of Rigging Apartment To Explode. A man is accused of rigging his apartment to explode and throwing an explosive device at a neighbor's front door. Jon Garrow, 43, was arrested this week after neighbors reported a strong natural gas odor coming from his apartment. Police discovered Garrow had allegedly removed the hose from his gas stove and rigged some exposed electrical wires so they could ignite a spark if someone opened the front door.
· Technology Facilitates Caller ID Spoofing. Last fall, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy's office started getting phone calls from constituents who complained about receiving recorded phone messages that bad-mouthed Murphy. The constituents were especially upset that the messages appeared to come from the congressman's own office. At least, that's what Caller ID said. "People thought we were making the calls," Murphy said. The calls, which the Pennsylvania Republican estimated in the thousands, were apparently placed with fake Caller ID.
· High School Wrestlers Practice On Animals. Two brothers from the Cleveland area have grappled with lions and tigers and bears to help hone the skills that are now taking them to the state wrestling tournament.
· Swedish hockey heroes "could lose Olympic gold." Just four days after the Swedish ice hockey team's stunning achievement in the Winter Olympics, the sweet smell of success has been overshadowed by a bitter dispute which could result in the team's disqualification.
· New Colorful $10 Bill to Debut. Appropriate for the upcoming spring blooming season, your wallet is about to get more colorful. The newly redesigned $10 bill is going into circulation. The new $10 — featuring shades of orange, yellow and red — will join colorized versions of the $20 bill and the $50 bill.
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
· Face-biter gets 15 years in prison. A man who bit off a piece of his girlfriend's cheek was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison after the victim told the judge that her injury was much more than physical.
· Children services worker has affair with mom's ex-husband; takes mom's kids away. A mother in Brevard County, Fla., who had her children taken away by the Department of Children and Families claims her rights were violated when a worker in the case had an improper affair with her ex-husband, who eventually gained full custody of the kids.
· San Francisco Mayor Dating Scientologist. Gavin Newsom, the yet-to-be-officially-single mayor of San Francisco, was recently seen in Los Angeles hobnobbing with his new girlfriend Sofia Milos, an actress on "CSI: Miami," and strong proponent of Scientology. On Newsom's agenda while in town: a visit with Milos to the annual dinner of the Citizens Commission for Human Rights - a group co-founded by the Church of Scientology.
· Former teacher faces more sex charges. A former Wythe County Virginia teacher accused of have a sex with a student faces more charges. According to the Commonwealth's Attorney, 41-year-old Karen Susan Patton now faces three new felony charges of having sex with a second 13-year-old boy.
· Detroit teacher robbed inside elementary school. Detroit Police are looking for a gunman who robbed a teacher at a Detroit elementary school this morning. Police say the suspect held a gun to the woman's head and took her purse before running away.
· Police arrest 83-year-old woman on child rape charges. An elderly woman from The Dalles is accused of molesting an 11-year-old-boy. Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley says 83-year-old Georgie Audean Buoy faces rape charges.
· CBS sues Howard Stern for fraud. CBS Radio says that Howard Stern was acting behind its back in his final months with the company, and intends to demonstrate that in court. In a suit filed Tuesday, the broadcaster alleges that Stern signed a secret agreement with Sirius Satellite Radio that would give him a payment of Sirius stocks worth over $200 million in January 2006 if he met subscriber targets.
· The best and worst states for taxes. If you live in Maine, New York, Connecticut or Washington, D.C., you are a big spender at tax time, like it or not. Alaska or Alabama? You get to keep a bigger slice of what you make.
· San Francisco supervisors ask lawmakers to impeach Bush. San Francisco's supervisors jumped into national politics Tuesday, passing a resolution asking the city's Democratic congressional delegation to seek the impeachment of President Bush for failing to perform his duties by leading the country into war in Iraq, eroding civil liberties and engaging in other activities the board sees as transgressions.
· 7-Year-Old Passes Cocaine Around Classroom. Philadelphia police said a 7-year-old girl brought cocaine to her second-grade classroom and passed it around. Authorities said one child told her mother that she had eaten some of the powder, but was found to be OK when examined at a hospital.
· Study: One in 1,000 Know First Amendment. Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment. Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.
· State Trooper Charged In Online Teen Sex Sting. A State Trooper allegedly caught in an Internet sex sting, appeared in Federal Court late Monday afternoon. A 19-year member of the force is accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a person he thought was a 14-year-old boy. It turned out to be an FBI agent.
· Dayton apologizes for dig at S. Dakota. Sen. Mark Dayton apologized to Sen. John Thune and the people of South Dakota after telling Fortune magazine that Rochester's Mayo Clinic "is worth a hell of a lot more than the whole state of South Dakota."
· Teens Allegedly Steal, Crash Land Plane. Two 14-year-old boys escaped with minor injuries after crash-landing a small plane that authorities say they stole from an airport hangar. The single-engine Mooney M20C belonged to one of the boys' parents, and the pair was trying to run away from their homes.
· Anna Nicole Earns Supreme Sympathy. Anna Nicole Smith is making friends in high places. The TrimSpa spokesmodel and former Playboy Playmate appeared before the Supreme Court Tuesday for yet another round in the ongoing battle over her late husband's estate.
· Does Cleveland Police Logo Contain Image Of Pig? You see them driving around everywhere, but have you ever taken a closer look at a Cleveland police cruiser? Some people are saying that there's a hidden image in the logo on the side of the car. A recent newspaper article did some editing, taking away borders and edging on an image of the logo - and the result was the image of a pig.
· Man accidentally shoots himself while driving. The moral of the story is, it's probably not a good idea to drive with a loaded weapon tucked between your legs. Wichita police said a 25-year-old man was driving south on West Street shortly before 4 p.m. Monday when a gun went off in the car. The victim told police the gun was in his pocket. But there was no hole in the man's pants pocket, Sgt. Steve Hiser said.
· Transgender Woman Arrested For Using Women's Room. Helena Stone is upset that she's been arrested for using the women's restroom at Grand Central Terminal. The 70-year-old transgender phone repair worker said she's been arrested three times by transit police in the last six months.
· Rob Lowe leads 'West Wing' reunion. Rob Lowe and eight other alumni of "The West Wing" are set to return for the White House drama's final episodes. Lowe, who quit in 2003 partly because he was getting less screen time, will reprise his role as speechwriter Sam Seaborn in the show's final two episodes.