|September 2006 Archives|
[Some Source Links May Unexpectedly Drop]
Return to TabloidColumn.com
Return to Tabloid Archives Sitemap
Monday, April 30, 2007
· Inmates Take Swipe at Toilet Paper Cuts. Toilet paper is becoming a sought after commodity at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility after officials began limiting inmates to one roll at a time to trim costs. Officials say the prison has long had a limit, but they learned recently that it hadn't been enforced. Increased enforcement began this month.
· N.J. governor says he set 'very poor example' by not wearing seat belt. An emotional Gov. Jon S. Corzine was discharged from a hospital Monday and begged forgiveness for not wearing a seat belt during a crash 18 days earlier in which he was critically injured. “I understand that I set a very poor example for a lot of young people, a lot of people in general,” a teary-eyed Corzine said.
» N.J. governor caught speeding on return to mansion. Gov. Jon S. Corzine left the hospital today where his motorcade was caught driving 70 miles per hour on Interstate 295 where the posted speed limit is 55.
· Spector trial delayed after defense lawyer falls ill. The murder trial of Phil Spector hit a fresh snag on Monday after a defense attorney representing the legendary music producer fell ill, court officials said. The trial will now resume on Wednesday after Spector's flamboyant lawyer Bruce Cutler was forced to seek medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.
· Woman hit, killed by Legoland coaster. A 21-year-old employee at the Legoland amusement park was killed in a roller coaster accident, police and park officials said Monday. The woman, who was not identified, died immediately Sunday after being hit by a coaster car, police said. She had apparently jumped over a security fence to pick up a wallet that a passenger had lost near the track when the accident happened. "We're shocked," Legoland manager Henrik Hoehrman said. Nothing like this has happened before."
· Police say man may have "stumbled" in front of squad vehicle. An unidentified man is dead after being struck by a Lafayette police cruiser. Sgt. Mark Francis said the victim may have "stumbled" in front of the police car, which resulted in him being struck by the right front panel of a squad vehicle. It is unknown how fast the police cars were traveling at the time of the fatality, but Francis said they may have exceeded the speed limit.
· ABC News to name names in DC Madam scandal during sweeps. "As the old saying goes, 'I need to dance with the guy who brung me,' " Deborah Jeane Palfrey wrote in an e-mail to a Washington Post reporter. "I have promised ABC News that the '20/20' interview will be an exclusive one." ABC is expected to air a report on Palfrey and her clients on "20/20" on May 4, during sweeps.
· Trembling Spector, shrunken shadow of former genius. Pale, gaunt, his hands trembling, Phil Spector sits silently in a Los Angeles courtroom, a shrunken shadow of the man who revolutionized pop music 40 years ago.
· FDA Approves Beef-Flavored Prozac for Dogs. Millions of Americans take Prozac to treat depression, but now a new pooch-friendly version of the antidepressant is available for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. The FDA has approved a chewable, beef-flavored tablet called Reconcile. It's designed to minimize a dog's distress from being left alone.
· Swimmer drowns in posted 'no-swimming' area. Police say a man who drowned Sunday afternoon at Eagle Creek Park went under in 10 to 12 feet of water after moving from a shallow area. Authorities were treating the death as an accident and looking into whether alcohol might have been involved. The sanctuary is posted as a no-swimming area.
· Do you take this drunk guy’s brother? Villagers at a wedding in eastern India decided the groom had arrived too drunk to get married, and so the bride married the groom's more sober brother instead, police said Monday.
· Salvation: Just click and confess. Confession websites have become popular places to post your sins - or to read about the transgressions of others. Lust, pornography and a litany of sexual transgressions top the sinners' hit parade. Theft, lying and alcohol abuse also make frequent appearances. One person confesses: "I have done enough drugs to make Keith Richards envious!!" Another admits wishing death on her enemies.
· NAACP to Bury "N" Word. The NAACP is going to hold a symbolic funeral for the "N" word, the Rev. Wendell Anthony said Sunday. Anthony, president of the civil rights organization's Detroit branch, said members and supporters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will conduct services and a "eulogy" for the racial slur. The mock funeral will be held during the NAACP national convention July 7-12 in Detroit.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Vegas ‘flipping’ boom ends up like most bets. The foreclosure rate in Nevada leads the nation as owners unable to sell became saddled with unbearable debt payments. In Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, one of every 30 homes began the process toward foreclosure last year.
· Hillary drops her maiden name. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has dropped the use of her maiden name "Rodham" in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton identifies herself as "Hillary Clinton" in her campaign press releases and on her campaign website. The lone mention of her maiden name is in a campaign biography that says "Hillary's father, Hugh Rodham, was the son of a factory worker from Scranton."
· 4 dead after violence in Kansas City. The chaos began with police finding an elderly woman dead and her car missing. It ended when officers fatally shot the man driving the car — but only after he fired on a police officer and later people at a shopping center, killing two of them.
· Law Will Force Teams Playing in New Jersey to Take 'New York' Out of Names. Normally it is Jersey fans who gripe that they don't get any respect from pro sports teams that play at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford but have "New York" in their names. But three New York assemblymen recently sponsored a bill to stop football's Giants and Jets and soccer's Red Bulls from using the Empire State's name or abbreviation because they don't play their home games in New York.
· Blind pilot flies halfway round world. A blind British pilot landed his microlight aircraft in Sydney Monday to complete a record-breaking flight halfway around the world. Miles Hilton-Barber left London on March 7 and flew more than 21,000 kilometres (13,500 miles) to raise funds to fight blindness in developing countries.
· Ex-'Idol' Finalist Charged With Battery. Former "American Idol" finalist Jessica Sierra was arrested early Sunday on felony battery charges for allegedly hitting a man on the head with a heavy glass at a cafe, police said. Sierra, 21, was booked in the Hillsborough County Jail on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. She was also charged with possession of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a correctional facility after officers found a small amount of the drug while searching her.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
· Minorities fare worse in traffic stops. Black, Hispanic and white drivers are equally likely to be pulled over by police, but blacks and Hispanics are much more likely to be searched and arrested, a federal study found.
· Tenet Faces Backlash Over Memoir. The backlash has built up even before the official release of former CIA Director George Tenet's memoir, with criticism about his version of the run-up to the Iraq war, interrogation techniques and other events.
· Edwards: Roll back tax cuts, increase taxes on rich. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said on Sunday he would consider raising taxes on the wealthy in addition to his earlier proposal to roll back tax cuts ushered in by President George W. Bush.
· Tanker truck explodes, melts Bay Bridge. A section of freeway that funnels traffic off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed early Sunday after a gasoline tanker truck overturned and caught fire, authorities said. The heat from the fire was intense enough to melt part of the freeway and cause the collapse, but the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns.
· French outpace Americans in French-bashing. The French dislike themselves even more than the Americans dislike them, according to an opinion poll published on Friday. The survey of six nations, carried out for the International Herald Tribune daily and France 24 TV station, said 44 percent of French people thought badly of themselves against 38 percent of U.S. respondents who had a negative view of the French.
· 82 inmates cleared but still held at Guantanamo. More than a fifth of the approximately 385 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared for release but may have to wait months or years for their freedom because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to line up places to send them. In many cases, the prisoners' countries do not want them back.
· Prostitution scandal has Washington in new 'shock and awe.' The demise of a call-girl ring and pending trial of an alleged madam claiming thousands of clients has the capital riveted by the chance powerful men may now be caught with their trousers down. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 50, dubbed the DC Madam, has a list of 10,000 to 15,000 customers from 2002 to 2006.
· Box of condoms leads to evacuation. Several classrooms at Des Moines Area Community College were evacuated after college officials became nervous about a suspicious package. College officials called police and postal inspectors after the box was delivered Thursday. What they found inside wasn't a bomb — it was a box containing 500 condoms.
· Lawyer rebuked for delaying case to go shopping. A lawyer has been disciplined by the Virginia State Bar for telling a judge she had to postpone a case because of a commitment in another court when in fact she went shopping instead.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Joey Buttafuoco ends Calif. jail term. Joey Buttafuoco, whose 17-year-old lover shot his wife in the face more than a decade ago, was released from jail after serving three months for illegally possessing ammunition, authorities said.
· Several Cars Hit Pedestrian, None Stop. Authorities in Orange County, Fla., are searching for a hit-and-run driver who killed a man crossing a road Saturday night, according to police. Florida Highway Patrol officers said several other vehicles possibly hit the man and did not stop.
· Trump gives donation to Schwarzenegger. Billionaire Donald Trump gave $10,000 to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help pay off his campaign debts, a little more than a month after the governor guest-starred on Trump's TV show "The Apprentice: Los Angeles," according to a campaign filing. "He's clearly using his personal friendships and his celebrity to pay off his campaign debt, and that's just wrong," said Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a group that tracks campaign donations.
· Man arrested for allegedly stealing 26 cars to see girlfriend. Whenever Antonio Moreno wanted to see his girlfriend, police say, he'd jump in a car and drive right over. But there was a problem. The 26 cars Moreno jumped into all belonged to someone else, according to authorities who arrested the 31-year-old Inglewood man near his home.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
· Man finally arrested in mugging of elderly New York woman. She was brutally mugged in a crime that outraged New Yorkers, but the 101-year-old victim said the attack hasn't intimidated her. "I'm not fearful at all," Rose Morat said Friday as police made an arrest in the case. "Whatever is going to happen is going to happen." Jack Rhodes, 44, was arrested on charges of robbery, grand larceny, burglary and assault, police said.
· Ex-Jersey gov talks marriage to boyfriend after winning joint custody of daughter. It's divorce, gay American style. Fresh from winning Round 1 of an already ugly divorce fight, Jim McGreevey, the gay former governor of New Jersey, gushed yesterday about plans for a civil union to live-in lover Mark O'Donnell.
· N.J. gov. crash shows travel practices. The high-speed automobile accident that critically injured Gov. Jon S. Corzine has focused attention on the practices of governors' official drivers across the nation. According to an Associated Press survey of travel policies nationwide, governors' drivers — who are state law enforcement officers — are expected to obey traffic and safety laws and not to speed or use warning lights just because their bosses are running late or want to get somewhere quicker.
· Former Mets employee admits selling steroids to "dozens" of players. In a new steroids bombshell, a former New York Mets clubhouse employee has admitted distributing various performance-enhancing drugs to "dozens of current and former Major League Baseball players." Kirk Radomski, 37, pleaded guilty today to distributing anabolic steroids and laundering the proceeds of the illicit business, which operated from his New York home.
· Ashes of Star Trek's Scotty finally fly to space. The cremated remains of actor James Doohan, who portrayed engineer "Scotty" on "Star Trek," and of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper soared into suborbital space Saturday aboard a rocket. It was the first successful launch from Spaceport America, a commercial spaceport being developed in the southern New Mexico desert.
· Deputy secretary of state resigns after name found on D.C. madam list. Randall Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid, abruptly resigned Friday after his name surfaced in an investigation into a high-priced call-girl ring, U.S. government sources said. His name was on a long list provided by the alleged prostitution service run by the so-called D.C. Madam. Tobias, 65, who is married, told ABC News there had been "no sex" during the women's visits to his condo.
· Spector's ex tells of gun threats. A former girlfriend of music producer Phil Spector has told his murder trial that she was threatened with two guns after he became drunk. Dorothy Melvin told the Los Angeles court she fled Mr Spector's house when he brandished a pistol and shotgun after a night's drinking.
· Boyfriend charged in killings of 2 boys. A man who told police he was disciplining his girlfriend's sons over chores when the situation escalated pleaded not guilty Friday to fatally stabbing the boys and sexually assaulting their 13-year-old sister.
Friday, April 27, 2007
· Video Exposes Woman Who Claimed She Was Paralyzed. A Florida woman who sued a hospital for malpractice after she claimed a medical mistake left her paralyzed was caught walking on camera. Wanda Davis Johnson claimed her life was forever altered following surgery at Mercy Hospital when she was allegedly left paralyzed from the waste down, unable to walk or stand. After viewing the tape, the judge threw Johnson's lawsuit against the hospital and the doctors out of court.
· Chicago officer faces new charges in bartender beating. Prosecutors announced 14 additional felony charges Friday against a Chicago police officer whose videotaped beating of a female bartender made international headlines. Anthony Abbate, a 12-year department veteran, was charged with seven counts of official misconduct, one count of communicating with a witness, three counts of intimidation and three counts of conspiracy.
» Above The Law: Chicago Cops Out Of Control. CBS2 reporters obtained an Internal Affairs document that shows 7,175 complaints filed against the Chicago police last year. Confidential records and sources reveal in 99 percent of cases no officers were suspended. That raises questions about how Internal Affairs handles abuse complaints. Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor, said "They can abuse civilians with absolute impunity.” “A brutality complaint is 94 percent less likely to be sustained in Chicago than anywhere else in the nation, unless the crime is caught on tape," Futterman added.
· Clinton says her southern twang a virtue, "America is ready for a multilingual president." Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she sees her sometimes Southern accent as a virtue. "I think America is ready for a multilingual president," Clinton said during a campaign stop at a charter school in Greenville, S.C.
· Gay N.H. bishop to make union official. The Rev. V. Gene Robinson became the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop. Now, he and his partner want to be among the first gay couples in New Hampshire to officially unite under a soon-to-be-signed civil unions law.
· N.J. governor will pay for medical costs of crash. Multimillionaire Gov. Jon S. Corzine will forgo his state health insurance and spend hundreds of thousands of his own money to pay for his medical care from a serious car accident, a spokesman said Friday.
· Detroit cop accused of forcing couples to have sex. A police sergeant is accused of pulling couples over with his cruiser and forcing them to engage in sex acts while he watched, threatening them with penalties if they refused. Detroit Sgt. Roosevelt Tidwell, 39, pleaded not guilty Thursday and has been suspended from his job with pay.
· TV producer accused of racism, sexism. A Hollywood union has accused an executive producer of "Law & Order: SVU" of making racist and sexist remarks, claiming he often refers to Asian-Americans as "Chinamen."
· AT&T announces $158.5 million going away present. AT&T Chief Executive Edward Whitacre, whose contract was set to expire next year, unexpectedly announced today that he will retire in less than two months. According to the Wall Street Journal, Whitacre is looking at a sweet retirement package valued at $158.5 million.
· Man Charged for Spending Money Deposited By Mistake. A Nebraska man has been charged with felony theft after he spent $80,000 his bank deposited by mistake in his account. George J. Costa, 45, was charged with theft of lost or mislaid property.
· Woman Slain at Funeral for Shooting Victim. A woman linked to a weekend shooting death was gunned down Thursday afternoon outside a local mortuary while attending the first victim's funeral, police said.
· '$100 Laptop' to Cost $175. The founder of the ambitious "$100 laptop" project, which plans to give inexpensive computers to schoolchildren in developing countries, revealed Thursday that the machine actually costs $175, but it will be able to run Windows in addition to its homegrown, open-source interface.
· Economy weakest in 4 years. Economic growth slowed to the slowest pace in four years in the first quarter, as the government's key measure of the U.S. economy came in far weaker than expectations. Among the biggest factors in the weak growth was a slumping U.S. housing market, which subtracted almost a percentage point from growth.
· LA Times sports writer says he is transsexual. A veteran sports writer for the Los Angeles Times said in his column Thursday that he is a transsexual. Mike Penner told readers of his struggle to embrace his gender, and said when he returns from vacation in a few weeks he will be known as Christine Daniels. He did not say whether he was having surgery or why he's changing his last name.
· Saudi Arabia arrests 172 in anti-terror sweep. Police have arrested 172 militants who were plotting to attack Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, storm its prisons to free the inmates and use aircraft in their attacks, the Interior Ministry said Friday. The militants planned to carry out suicide attacks against “public figures, oil facilities, refineries ... and military zones,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement, adding that some of the military targets were outside the kingdom, but it did not elaborate
· Man On Crusade To See Corzine Pay For Belt Flap. Gov. Jon Corzine was riding in the front passenger seat of a chauffeured SUV without a seat belt. Now, Larry Angel has made it his mission to make sure Corzine pays for violating the law. At worst, Angel's lawsuit could lead to a $46 fine. But it shows that some residents aren't totally sympathetic to the governor's plight. And it highlights the fact that the state police have yet to file their own complaint against Corzine.
· Sandra Bullock's husband attacked by stalker. An obsessed fan tried to run over the husband of Sandra Bullock in an attack at the couple's home in California, police said Thursday. Police said that a woman, Marcia Valentine, attempted to mow down Jesse James during the incident at the couple's home as Bullock and James' 10-year-old son Jesse Jr looked on.
· Explosive found at Austin women's clinic. A package left at a women's clinic that performs abortions contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or death, investigators said today. "It was in fact an explosive device," said David Carter, assistant chief of the Austin Police Department. "It was configured in such a way to cause serious bodily injury or death."
· Spector to rely on 'invisible witness.' Phil Spector's defense will rely on an "invisible witness" to prove that he did not shoot actress Lana Clarkson, one of his lawyers said yesterday: science. Science will show that Clarkson shot herself, that Spector was not standing close enough to shoot her, that his DNA was not on the gun and that his clothing bore no trace evidence to prove guilt, the defense told jurors.
· Baldwin makes TV apology, consults with Dr. Phil. Actor Alec Baldwin will apologize to his daughter on national television on Friday for calling her a "thoughtless little pig," according to excerpts from a pre-taped ABC interview released on Thursday.
· Plaintiff claims $69k in damages for $6,300 bad check. Debbie Herzog filed suit against Rhino Solutions Group of Alton and its owners in Madison County Circuit Court April 18, seeking to collect damages in excess of $69,000 for a $6,300 bad check.
· Immigration-related cases swamp courts. Immigration-related felony cases are swamping federal courts along the Southwest border, forcing judges to handle hundreds more cases than their peers elsewhere. Judges in the five judicial districts on the border carry the heaviest felony caseloads in the nation. Each judge in New Mexico, which ranked first, handled an average of 397 felony cases last year, compared with the national average of 84.
· Dems Fault Bush Over Iraq in 1st Debate. Democratic presidential hopefuls flashed their anti-war credentials Thursday night, heaping criticism on President Bush's Iraq policy in the first debate of the 2008 campaign. "The first day I would get us out of Iraq by diplomacy," said New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, one of eight rivals on the debate stage. "If this president does not get us out of Iraq, when I am president, I will," pledged Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
» 2008 Democratic Candidates Rely on Private Jets. A flock of small jets took flight from Washington Thursday, each carrying one of the eight Democratic presidential candidates to South Carolina for the first debate of the political season. For Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, it was wheels up shortly after they voted in favor of legislation requiring that U.S. troops begin returning home from Iraq in the fall. No one jet pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions. The campaign expense for each candidate was between $7,500 and $9,000.
· Film Lobbyist Jack Valenti Dies at 85. Jack Valenti was not just Hollywood's top lobbyist. He was one of its biggest stars. The 85-year-old Valenti, who died Thursday of complications from a stroke in March, led the movie industry out of the prudishness of old Hollywood and into an age of freer expression with the creation of the film rating system that has endured nearly 40 years.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
· MIT dean quits in resume padding scandal. The dean of admissions at MIT, a vocal critic of students who pump air into their college applications, has been forced to quit after she was busted for lying on her own resume.
· Two police officers plead guilty in 92-year-old woman's killing. Two police officers pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched drug raid. A third officer still faces charges in the woman's death.
· Baldwin: 'If I never acted again I couldn't care less.' Divorced dad Alec Baldwin, caught yelling at his daughter on a voicemail message, said Wednesday he asked NBC to let him out of his "30 Rock" contract so he can devote his time to the issue of "parental alienation." "If I never acted again I couldn't care less," Baldwin said in a pre-taped appearance for ABC's "The View."
· Heinz plays ketchup with green gang. Teresa Heinz has a $35 million Gulfstream V, speed boats - including hubby John Kerry’s 42-foot-long Scaramouche that gets less than one mile per gallon - and a fleet of fuel-sucking SUVs. Ta-raaaaay-za’s now the covergirl for N magazine’s upcoming green issue where she lectures about how the rest of us can save Mother Earth. And even though the ketchup heiress and her spouse jet between five energy-sucking megamansions, Heinz puts her foot down when it comes to the environmentally safe chemicals she insists be placed on her Nantucket lawn.
· Lawyer's Price For Missing Pants: $65 Million. When the neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced Roy Pearson's pants, he took action. He complained. He demanded compensation. And then he sued. Man, did he sue. Two years, thousands of pages of legal documents and many hundreds of hours of investigative work later, Pearson is seeking to make Custom Cleaners pay a whopping $65,462,500.
· India court orders Gere's arrest for "obscene" kiss. An Indian court ordered the arrest of Hollywood star Richard Gere on Thursday for kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS campaign event this month saying it was an obscene act committed in public.
· Men get lost trying to steal copper in mine. Emergency crews say they believe two men went into a Massey mine in Hughes Creek on Tuseday and now may be lost. Deputies say they're told several men actually went into the mine to steal copper - two never came out. Massey has sent a mine rescue team in to see if they can locate them.
· Man sues railway company after truck hit by train. A Colchester County man whose truck collided with a passenger train in March 2005 is suing Via Rail Canada Inc. and Canadian National Railway Co. for alleged negligence and improper conduct. His lawyer, Gerard Scanlan of Truro, said in a telephone interview Wednesday his client is claiming he was not given sufficient warning of the approaching train.
· Snoop Dogg Denied Entry Into Australia. Snoop Dogg has been refused entry into Australia because of his extensive criminal record, the immigration minister said, the second time this year the rapper has been barred from entering another country.
· Man arrested with 68 driver's licenses. A Kansas man faces arraignment next month on charges stemming from the discovery of 68 driver's licenses in the car he was driving when he was stopped on a suspected traffic violation. Asked for his license, the Kansas City, Kan., man produced three of them, along with two Social Security cards, the patrol said. The trooper became suspicious, and a search of Fletcher turned up nine more driver's licenses.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
· Alec Baldwin leaving the country - again. Actor Alec Baldwin, who has been heavily criticized for leaving his 11-year-old daughter an insult-laced voicemail message, has reportedly decided to leave the country - and the TV business for good.
· Federal raid triggers Chicago protest. Residents of a predominately Hispanic Chicago neighborhood took to the streets in protest after heavily armed U.S. immigration agents raided businesses. "Soldiers bombarded our neighborhood," Baltazar Enriquez told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It looked like they were marching into Iraq."
· "Girls Gone Wild" founder charged with sexual battery. "Girls Gone Wild" video mogul Joe Francis was charged with sexual battery in Los Angeles on Wednesday, two days after being jailed in Florida in the fallout of another sexually-charged case. Francis, 34, has built a $100 million empire selling videos of young women baring their breasts in public and engaging in alcohol-fueled sex acts.
· What happens in Vegas, doesn't stay in Vegas. San Mateo County, California's two "top cops" — Sheriff Greg Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos — were detained by Las Vegas police Saturday night during a raid at a suspected brothel off the Las Vegas strip. The cops said they thought they were at a legitimate massage parlor, and shocked to learn they had actually visited an alleged brothel.
· Woman Attacked By Dogs Wants Breed 'Exterminated.' A woman who was a victim of a pit bull attack on Monday has said enough of the attacks and enough of the dogs. Joann Jungmann is in the hospital after two pit bulls jumped her. Jungmann's arm is bitten to the bone and her legs are punctured. The dogs' owner said he's sorry about the attack.
· Girl Hit By Car While Running From Pit Bull. Police said a car hit a 13-year-old girl after she ran into traffic while running from a pit bull Tuesday night. Witnesses said friends of Shalika Scott were taunting her and threatening to sick the pit bull on her. Pernell Taylor said she ran, but the dog bit her on her neck and stomach.
· Homeland security officer arrested after raid. When federal agents raided Buffalo, New York massage parlors last month, they were shocked to find a Department of Homeland Security law enforcement officer’s gun and uniform in an apartment linked to one of the parlors. Officer David J. Wolkiewicz, 51, appeared before a federal magistrate judge Tuesday, where court papers indicate he has admitted that he helped run a parlor where prostitution allegedly took place.
· Roseville, Ca. to get $115 million school thanks to 11 voters. A $115 million bond measure for a new high school in Roseville, California was passed Tuesday in an election involving only 12 voters. Eleven of the 12 voters cast ballots in favor of the new high school. Only a dozen voters were eligible because they are the only ones who live in the westside neighborhood where the school will be built.
· O'Donnell Leaving 'The View.' ABC has been unable to come to a contractual agreement with Rosie O'Donnell. As a result, her hosting duties on "The View" will come to an end mid-June. Despite controversy — or maybe because of it — O'Donnell was good business for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co. Ratings for "The View" during February sweeps were up 15 percent in key women demographics over the same time in 2006.
· Threatening notes complain of cheerleader coverage. The FBI offered a $5,000 reward Tuesday for help tracking down whoever mailed dozens of threatening letters - including some containing a potentially harmful insecticide - complaining about too much TV coverage of college cheerleaders.
· Teacher has sex with 16-year-old at church. School officials placed a Jackson Middle School teacher on paid administrative leave on Tuesday after she was found in a van with a 16-year-old student. Janet Lea Hughes, 32, of Viera, was arrested Monday night after two undercover Titusville police officers found her with a student in a van parked at First Presbyterian Church.
· Opening Statements Begin in Spector Case. More than four years after a beautiful actress was shot to death at Phil Spector's hilltop castle, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that at times the music producer is "sinister and deadly." Spector appeared tense during the televised proceeding as the prosecution laid out the murder case against him in opening statements. Prosecutor Alan Jackson said Spector is someone "who, when he's confronted with the right circumstances, when he's confronted with the right situations, turns sinister and deadly."
· Mexico City lawmakers legalize abortion. Mexico City lawmakers voted to legalize abortion during the first three months of pregnancy, a landmark decision likely to heighten church-state tensions in the Roman Catholic country and lead to a bitter court battle.
· 'Dancing With the Stars' Loses Mills. With a farewell speech tucked into the top of her sparkly costume, Heather Mills came prepared to be eliminated from "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday. "We knew we were going out," said the estranged Mrs. Paul McCartney when she learned her fate. "We were in the bottom two last week. We're not surprised."
· Alec Baldwin Leaves Talent Agency. Alec Baldwin has parted ways with his agents at a major Hollywood talent agency, his spokesman said Monday. Baldwin left Creative Artists Agency for personal reasons, said spokesman Matthew Hiltzik. He did not elaborate.
· Miss America Helps Cops in Sex Sting. Miss America can add crime fighter to her resume. Lauren Nelson recently went undercover with police in New York for a sting targeting sexual predators. Officers with Suffolk County's computer crimes unit created an online profile of a 14-year-old girl that included photographs of Nelson as a teenager.
· Hogs quarantined after eating tainted pet food. Salvaged pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical was sent to hog farms in as many as six states, federal health officials said Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if any hogs that ate the tainted feed then entered the food supply for humans.
· Lawmaker leaves panels after FBI raid. An Arizona congressman temporarily stepped down from two more House committees on Tuesday and got caught up in the probe of the firings of U.S. attorneys, less than a week after the FBI raided his wife's insurance business.
· CBS rejects ad showing Daly and beer. A television commercial featuring golfer John Daly singing in a honky-tonk bar amid reveling beer drinkers and later shown grabbing a beer from a friend while driving a golf cart has been rejected by CBS. "It did not meet the standards of the CBS network," spokeswoman LeslieAnn Wade said Tuesday.
· Apple’s Jobs ‘was warned’ on options. Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, was warned in 2001 about the accounting implications of backdating stock options for top executives at the company, Apple’s former chief financial officer said on Tuesday.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
· Kid takes "Show & Tell" to new heights. A Southlake elementary school was evacuated for more than an hour on Tuesday after a fourth-grader showed up with a hand grenade, authorities said. "The boy wasn't mad at anyone," Cpl. Mike Bedrichsaid, "He just thought it would be cool to bring it to school."
· Vatican: Gay marriage evil, abortion is terrorism. The Vatican's second-highest ranking doctrinal official forcefully branded homosexual marriage an evil and denounced abortion and euthanasia as forms of "terrorism with a human face."
· Knoxville father makes boy wear sign as punishment for using drugs. A father took extreme measures to discipline his 14-year-old son, who he claims was abusing drugs. The boy was forced to wear a large sandwich board sign that said "I abused & sold drugs," while standing in front of Cedar Bluff Middle School.
· Mexico's health czar seeks better care for Mexicans in California. Mexico's new secretary of health visited San Francisco on Monday to learn about the health needs of the millions of Mexican immigrants living in California. "Californians should care about the health of immigrant workers because the state's economy relies on their labor," said Mario Gutierrez. Almost 6 million of the estimated 11 million Mexican immigrants in the United States are uninsured.
· Lynch: Truth more heroic than hype. Former Pfc. Jessica Lynch today told a House panel how she was distraught at her hero status after returning from Iraq where two comrades died fighting. It added insult to injury, literally, to hear "the little girl 'Rambo'" version of events being portrayed in the media, she said. Lynch added: "The truth is always more heroic than the hype."
· Fat Workers Cost Employers More. Overweight workers cost their bosses more in injury claims than their lean colleagues, suggests a study that found the heaviest employees had twice the rate of workers' compensation claims as their fit co-workers.
· Machine guns stolen from SWAT van. Memphis police were looking Monday night for the thieves who stole seven weapons from a SWAT team van parked in South Memphis. Taken were three machine guns, two semi-automatic handguns, and two 12-gauge shot guns, Lt. Jerry Gwyn said.
· Teacher Caught Stripping at Club. Chattanooga detectives who busted an adult entertainment club for having an underage dancer found another surprise - a dancer who is also a teacher in Kennesaw. According to police, one of the dancers at Club Coffee was a 15-year-old runaway from Florida. They also arrested stripper Marquita Jett, after finding her with a gun. Then they found out that Jett is a teacher in Kennesaw.
· CBS Radio Show Hosts Suspended After Prank Call. CBS Radio suspended two hosts from a New York radio station today after an Asian-American advocacy organization complained about the broadcast of a prank phone call to a Chinese restaurant that was peppered with ethnic and sexual slurs. In the skit, the caller attempts to order “flied lice,” brags of his prowess in kung fu and repeatedly curses at several employees. The Organization of Chinese Americans, an advocacy group, demanded an apology from the show’s two hosts and from CBS Radio, and called for the firing of the hosts and their producer.
· Rosie to Sheryl Crow: "Have You Seen My Ass?" The answer, presumably, is no - but Rosie O'Donnell made her point, pooh-poohing Sheryl Crow on "The View" for suggesting that we all use just one square of toilet paper per trip to the loo.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ambivalence [am·biv·a·lence] n. 1. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow. 2. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
· Judge and prosecutor admit sexual relationship. A Douglas County judge and a female prosecutor admitted having sex in his chambers, and on more than one occasion he slipped into the women's showers at the courthouse so they could be together.
· Captain America Arrested With Burrito In Pants. A Brevard County doctor dressed up in a Captain America outfit was arrested with a burrito in his tights. What he allegedly did at the police station got him into more trouble. Doctor Raymond Adamcik, 54, would probably rather forget about the weekend when he was arrested on charges of battery, disorderly conduct, drug possession and trying to destroy evidence. It's not what you would expect from a doctor or Captain America.
· Legal loophole gives mentally ill access to guns. When a judge deemed Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho a danger to himself due to mental illness in 2005, that ruling should have disqualified him from buying a handgun under federal law. It didn't. And his slaughter of 32 people last week has raised questions about the efficacy of instant background checks for firearms purchases by the mentally ill.
Monday, April 23, 2007
· Virginia Tech killer "creeps out" escort. Chastity Frye, who works for an escort service, says she spent an hour, all alone, with Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui last month. FBI agents questioned her this weekend. "Well, they asked me what happened, and then they asked me if anything stuck out," Frye said.
· Girls Gone Wild founder cries as he's sentenced to jail for contempt. Blowing his nose and wiping away tears, the multimillionaire founder of the ''Girls Gone Wild'' video empire pleaded guilty to contempt of court Monday and received a jail sentence of 35 days. Joe Francis, 34, is facing state charges for allegedly offering a jail guard $100 for a bottled water and having prescription sleeping pills in his Bay County Jail cell.
· Nurse convicted in suitcase murder case. A jury convicted a nurse Monday of killing her husband and placing his body parts in three suitcases she tossed into Chesapeake Bay. Melanie McGuire, who sobbed as she heard the verdict, was convicted of murder, desecration of a corpse, perjury and a weapons offense.
· Rapper killed during robbery attempt. Aspiring rapper Allen Hicks, 22, was killed by the owner of a popular Oakland pizzeria after Hicks armed with a pistol and accompanied by two other men, tried to rob store owner Catarino Piedra. "I was scared," Piedra told The Chronicle. "I had to defend my family. I was in fear for me and my kids." "The shooting has left two families traumatized," Officer Roland Holmgren, a department spokesman said. "This thing had potential - who knows where the suspects were going to take the situation? But by no stretch of the imagination are we agreeing with or justifying what the owner did."
· Did trooper's affair cause Corzine crash? A police officer says he sent a message confronting the trooper over an extra-marital affair just before the April 12 crash. New Jersey State Police are investigating an allegation that the trooper who was driving Gov. Corzine's SUV two weeks ago when it crashed going 91 m.p.h. may have been distracted by e-mails sent to his mobile phone.
· Fat models stay in Africa as West wants Size Zero. Skinny African girls may get to strut on Western catwalks but the fat ones have to stay at home. This is the message being delivered to the 500 or so Ghanaians who have registered with the country's only international modeling agency, Exopa. "A lot of them want to go. But not everyone has the chance to go because of the size the Europeans want them to be," said Exopa's director Sima Ibrahim.
· Professor fired over Va. Tech discussion. An adjunct professor was fired after leading a classroom discussion about the Virginia Tech shootings in which he pointed a marker at some students and said "pow."
· NYPD Sergeant Investigated For Imus-Like Slur. Taking his cue from fired radio host Don Imus, a police sergeant insulted three police officers by calling them "hos" during a recent roll call at a Brooklyn stationhouse, the women claimed Monday. "We felt violated and humiliated," Officer Tronnette Jackson said at a news conference.
· Wis. Man Pays Wrong Woman For Lap Dance, Calls 911. According to the Dodge County Sheriff's Department log, a man called the emergency 911 number early Saturday after he gave $20 to a woman at a Clyman, Wis. club. The woman did not work at the club and left with his money. Failing to get a lap dance, the man called the sheriff's department. Officers are trying to locate the woman.
· Couric an expensive, unfixable mistake. CBS executives deny it, but there's a growing feeling within the network that Katie Couric is an expensive, unfixable mistake. Despite her A-list celebrity, her $15 million salary, and a promotional blitz worthy of a Super Bowl, the former star of NBC's Today has failed to move the Nielsen needle on No. 3 Evening News since her debut seven months ago.
· Soldier: Honor troops like Va. Tech dead. An Army sergeant complained in a rare opinion article that the U.S. flag flew at half-staff last week at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech but the same honor is not given to fallen U.S. troops here and in Iraq.
· Sheryl Crow: Wipe out global warming by limiting toilet paper usage. Singer Sheryl Crow intends to wipe out global warming by limiting the use of toilet paper. Crow recently said "One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting." "One square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required," Crow added.
» Crow's concert rider for parking her entourage. Sheryl Crow's contract for concert venues require amble parking for her touring entourage which includes sufficient room for three tractor trailers, four buses, and six cars.
· Mayor pledges to make San Francisco a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed Sunday to maintain San Francisco as a sanctuary for immigrants and do everything he can to discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids. The mayor cannot stop federal authorities from making arrests, Newsom told about 300 mostly Latino members of St. Peter's Church, but no San Francisco employee will help with immigration enforcement.
· McGreevey's Wife Tells All in New Book. The wife of former Gov. James E. McGreevey describes him in her upcoming memoir as self-absorbed and controlling and says that, among other demands, he insisted she move out of the governor's mansion before his official resignation or it would make her "look like white trash."
· Crook wins damages for injury during theft. A Canadian man who admitted shoplifting C$106 in razor blades has been awarded C$12,000 ($10,645) for injuries he suffered when he was tackled by store security guards.
· Teacher pleads not guilty to rape of 13-year-old boy. A former Blackstone teacher accused of having sex with her student had a previous sexual relationship with a former student at another job and has a history of "grooming" young men to be her lovers, prosecutors said in court yesterday. Prosecutors allege the sexual relationship began when Giguere befriended a 13-year-old boy in her eighth-grade English class.
· Man Gets 5,000 Calls for YouTube Posting. Ryan Fitzgerald is unemployed, lives with his father and has a little bit of time on his hands. So, he decided to offer his ear, to anyone who wants to call. After posting a video with his cell phone number on YouTube on Friday, the 20-year-old told The Boston Globe he has received more than 5,000 calls and text messages. Fitzgerald said he wanted to "be there," for anyone who needed to talk. "I never met you, but I do care," a spiky-haired Fitzgerald said into the camera on his YouTube posting.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
· Illegal Mexican kills St. Louis woman, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. A suspected drunken driver was charged Saturday with involuntary manslaughter after his car plowed into the back of another vehicle, killing a young woman. The suspect, Pedro Santos, 27, was arrested about 3 a.m. Saturday, about three hours after the crash, hiding in woods not far from the scene. Santos admitted to police that he had entered the country from Mexico illegally.
· California's Mortgage delinquencies at 78% for prime loans. Investment bank Goldman Sachs is increasingly concerned about the health of California's real estate market. Delinquencies on prime and subprime adjustable-rate mortgages in California soared by 78% and 60% respectively, vs. 33% and 24% across the U.S.
· Cops: "We didn't know he was deaf." Harry Tessien, a pizza deliveryman who has been deaf for 25 years, saw flashing police lights. After pulling over, he was pelted with nylon beanbags, which contain 40 grams of lead shot and are meant to stun a suspect. Officer Michael Hicks deployed his Taser as well. "The police opened fire on me," said Tessien, 45, who was heading home after a few beers at a club. "I was unarmed and I put my hands out in front, saying over and over, 'I'm deaf, stop shooting.'"
· Imus Fallout Claims Show Producer. Don Imus' right-hand man is following his former boss into the radio ether. Longtime Imus in the Morning executive producer Bernard McGuirk was fired Thursday for what theoretically could be characterized as conspiracy to emit racist and misogynistic remarks.
· Prison releases felon after getting phony fax. Officials released a prisoner from a state facility after receiving a phony fax that ordered the man be freed, and didn’t catch the mistake for nearly two weeks. It contained grammatical errors, was not typed on letterhead and was faxed from a local grocery store. The fax falsely claimed that the Kentucky Supreme Court “demanded” Rouse be released.
· Student Candidate Lies About Va. Tech Cousin For Votes. A candidate for Southern Oregon University student body president has admitted she was lying when she claimed she had a cousin who was killed in the Virginia Tech shootings. Brandi Freeman spoke at a candlelight vigil with tears streaming down her face, claiming she had lost her cousin in the shootings that left 32 dead at Virginia Tech. By Friday, Freeman admitted to making up the story to appeal to voters for the student body election next week. She also said she suffers from bipolar disorder.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Innocuous [in·noc·u·ous] adj. 1. Having no adverse effect; harmless. 2. Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid. [the seemingly innocuous e-mail actually contained a malicious virus].
· Dad Wants $20K, Says Lesbian Book Disturbed Teens. A Bentonville, Ark., man is seeking $20,000 from the city after his two teenage sons found a book on lesbian sex on a public library bookshelf. He also wants the library director fired. Earl Adams said his 14- and 16-year-old sons were "greatly disturbed" after finding the book, titled "The Whole Lesbian Sex Book." Adams said the book caused "many sleepless nights in our house."
· Gore Team Told To 'Stand By' For Presidential Run. The more time that passes, the more it seems that former vice president Al Gore may indeed run for the White House next year. According to the Daily Telegraph, staff members who worked on Gore’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2000 have been approached to work on a possible campaign for 2008. “I was asked whether I would be available towards the end of the year if I am needed,” one of Gore’s former campaign workers said.
· Virginia Tech Gunman Purchased Magazines on eBay. The Internet activities of the Virginia Tech gunman provided more insight Saturday into how he may have plotted for the rampage, with revelations that he bought two ammunition magazines on eBay.
· Texas jury awards $9 million to beating victim. A jury awarded $9 million to a black man who suffered permanent brain damage after being beaten and dumped in a field by four men in 2003. Billy Ray Johnson, 46, lives in a nursing home because of the injuries he suffered in the beating. In the criminal case, the men accused of assaulting him were fined and sentenced to probation and jail time, but none served more than 60 days behind bars.
· Man Drowns In Casino Moat. A man fleeing security drowned early Saturday after leaping over a railing into a moat surrounding a casino, authorities said. Police said the man, identified as Anthony D. Swopes, 21, of Kansas City, fled while being questioned about his identification at the Isle of Capri casino.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
· Jihadist Video Shows Boy Beheading Man. The boy with the knife looks barely 12. In a high-pitched voice, he denounces the bound, blindfolded man before him as an American spy. Then he hacks off the captive's head to cries of "God is great!" and hoists it in triumph by the hair.
· Soup-Poisoning Father Gets 5 Years. A Georgia man who admitted that he poisoned his children's soup in an attemt to get money from the Campbell Soup Co. was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes also ordered William Allen Cunningham, 41, of Stockbridge to have no further contact with the children or his ex-wife.
· Waiters indicted in $3 million credit card fraud. The diners didn't know it, but their credit cards were going to pay for more than their meals, prosecutors said. Waiters in about 40 restaurants, in New York and elsewhere, quietly recorded customers' credit card information and passed it on to people who used the information to make more than $3 million worth of worth of illegal purchases, according to prosecutors.
· Calif. Station Sued for Imus Reruns. CBS Radio is suing a small radio station for airing reruns of Don Imus' program since his firing for sexist and racist comments about the Rutgers University women's college basketball team.
· Man who set himself ablaze may face arson charges. Authorities have recommended that arson charges be filed against a 50-year-old Fountain Valley man who doused himself with gasoline, said he wanted to die and then set himself on fire in Long Beach City Hall Thursday. A security guard tackled Haouy Nguyen and doused the flames.
· Wisconsin teen 'freaked out,' didn't intend to kill. A teenager accused of gunning down his principal told detectives in a videotaped interview that he didn't mean to kill him but "freaked out" when the principal tackled him in a school hallway.
· U.S. posted 63,000 Social Security numbers on Web. The Social Security numbers of 63,000 people who received Agriculture Department grants have been posted on a government website since 1996, but they were taken down last week.
· Corzine's driver faces police review. An internal state police panel of accident experts will decide if Governor Corzine's driver was at fault in last week's crash. At first, state police said it was the driver of a red pickup truck that caused last week's crash and that speed played no part in the wreck. Then came word that trooper Rasinski was using the SUV's emergency lights to move traffic out of the way as Corzine headed to Princeton to broker a meeting between disgraced radio star Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. Crash data showed Rasinski was going at least 91 mph seconds before the crash. Now police believe that the driver of the red pickup was trying to avoid Corzine's car, believing there was an accident or other emergency.
· 'Transgender' candidate on prom king ballot. When school officials announce the name of the Fresno High School prom king on Saturday, Cinthia Covarrubias will be wearing a tuxedo just like the six boys vying for the honor. Gay youth advocates called it a landmark victory for campus gender expression and said they believe it's the first time in the United States that an openly transgender student has run for prom royalty.
· Professor axed for VT stunt: Re-enacted tragedy to tout pro-gun perspective. An Emmanuel College professor has been fired after re-enacting the Virginia Tech massacre in his classroom in order to air a pro-gun viewpoint that offended students at the Catholic liberal arts school, the professor charged yesterday. Nicholas Winset said he was terminated and permanently barred from campus following a Wednesday lecture in which he dramatized the massacre to show that deranged gunman Cho Seung-Hui could have been stopped if another student had been carrying a gun.
· BA Cuts Branson From In-Flight Bond Film. British Airways cut a cameo by Richard Branson from its in-flight version of the latest James Bond film and blurred out the tail fin of a Virgin Atlantic plane seen in the movie. BA's entertainment team cut a cameo appearance by Branson, chairman of the rival airline Virgin Atlantic, that appears in the original version of "Casino Royale," a spokesman confirmed Saturday. In the original film, Branson can be seen turning around after walking through a metal detector at Miami Airport.
· Drivers To Be Charged $8 To Enter Midtown New York City. A controversial new plan is about to be implemented to improve the quality of life in New York City. This weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to introduce an $8 congestion fee for drivers who enter Manhattan below 86th Street.
· Alec Baldwin Explains Himself on the Web. As Alec Baldwin's angry words to his daughter were being broadcast around the world, the 49-year-old actor explained himself Friday on his Web site. "Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child," he wrote. "I'm sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child."
· Clerk Wins $200,000 by Mistake. A store clerk's slip-up at the cash register has paid off big time. Wayburn Allen on Tuesday accidentally rang up two duplicate Powerball tickets for a customer in this western North Carolina town. At the end of the day, after she was unable to sell the second ticket, Allen paid for it herself. The next day, Allen returned to the store and found the ticket matched all five numbers , earning her a $200,000 jackpot.
· Gadget Is Parolees' Last Call. The judge gave Steven Williams a choice: Go to jail awaiting trial for reckless driving, or stay out on bail and wear a new kind of ankle bracelet that can detect any signs of drinking alcohol. Williams chose the bracelet.
· 25 handguns missing from sheriff's department. The state attorney general is sending an investigator to the Washington County Sheriff's Department, which says about 25 handguns are missing from its evidence room.
Friday, April 20, 2007
· Scientologists provide "grief counseling" to Virginia Tech students. The Church of Scientology has dispatched "ministers" to provide "grief counseling" for shell-shocked youth at Virginia Tech - but critics suspect the sect hopes to convert the vulnerable students. "They did this at Ground Zero [after 9/11]," says Rick Ross. "They did this in New Orleans [after Hurricane Katrina]. They look for very high-profile disaster that can be milked for photo ops to promote the Church."
· Va. Gunman's Family Feels Hopeless, Lost. The family of Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho told The Associated Press on Friday that they feel "hopeless, helpless and lost," and "never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence." "Our family is so very sorry for my brother's unspeakable actions. It is a terrible tragedy for all of us," the family said.
· Update: Two die in NASA standoff. A gunman killed himself and a male hostage while holed up in a barricaded building at NASA's Johnson Space Center, police say. Houston Police spokesman Capt. Dwayne Ready said a female hostage survived the ordeal. It is not know what, if any, relationship the killer had with his hostages.
· Judge Won't Drop Charge In Political Dog-Doo Fight. A Democratic volunteer facing a criminal charge for leaving dog poop at the office of Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave lost a bid Wednesday to have the case dropped. Prosecutors say Kathleen Ensz left dog poop wrapped in one of Musgrave's mailings at the congresswoman's Greeley office last June because she was angry over repeatedly getting such mailings.
· 150-story skyscraper could become tallest in U.S. Chicago's planning board has endorsed a proposal for a twisting lakefront tower that would become the nation's tallest building. With Thursday's approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, the design and site plan for the 2,000-foot Chicago Spire goes to the city zoning committee next week.
· Busted ex-officer crocked & loaded. A former policewoman busted for drunken driving had a blood-alcohol level of 0.47 - six times over the legal limit and the highest ever recorded in Washington State, cops said yesterday.
· Pet food tainted on purpose? Imported ingredients used in recalled pet food may have been intentionally spiked with an industrial chemical to boost their apparent protein content, federal officials said Thursday.
· Alec Baldwin calls daughter, 11, 'rude ... little pig.' On the recording, Alec Baldwin can be heard admonishing his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, "You are a rude, thoughtless little pig." "You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being," he says, apparently upset that she did not answer her phone for a planned call. "I don't give a damn that you're 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you're a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn't care about what you do." The recording was published Thursday by celebrity news site TMZ.com, which said the call was placed on April 11.
· Computer blamed for racial slur on sofa label. Doris Moore was shocked when her new couch was delivered to her home with a label that used a racial slur to describe the dark brown shade of the upholstery. The situation was even more alarming for Moore because it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out the tag. A Chinese software company acknowledged its translation program was at fault and said it was a regrettable error. Huang Luoyi explained that when the Chinese characters for "dark brown" are typed into an older version of its Chinese-English translation software, the offensive N-word description comes up.
· Tough Love from Britney's Dad. Britney Spears has been to rehab. Now it looks like she may be headed for family therapy. The pop princess received a public tongue lashing from her father, Jamie Spears, on Friday in the form of an email sent to the New York Post calling her out for bad behavior.
· Victim played dead as Cho shot himself. Colin Goddard was mere inches from killer Cho Seung-Hui during Monday's massacre, and he heard the gunman end his own life after killing at least 30 people, Goddard's mother said. After bullets had been fired all around him inside a classroom at Norris Hall, Goddard, a 21-year-old international studies major, played dead as the killer stood over him.
· Rules should have barred weapon purchase. A judge's ruling on Cho Seung-Hui's mental health should have barred him from purchasing the handguns he used in the Virginia Tech massacre, according to federal regulations.
· Va. Tech Shooter Was Picked on in School. Long before he boiled over, Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui was pushed around and laughed at as a schoolboy in suburban Washington because of his shyness and the strange, mumbly way he talked, former classmates say.
· Jury chosen for murder trial of music legend Phil Spector. A 12-member jury was on Thursday chosen to hear the murder trial of legendary music producer Phil Spector, which is expected to get underway in earnest next week. Nine men and three women will sit on the jury panel, which was selected after four days of questioning by prosecution and defense lawyers at the Los Angeles Superior Court.
· Bill Clinton: "Vice president Gore might run for president." Bill Clinton said on Larry King last night that the Democrats running for president "are gifted people and they deserve to be seriously listened to," and "you have got the prospect that vice president Gore might run."
· 'Ghost ship' puzzles rescuers. Australian rescuers were on Friday trying to solve the "Mary Celeste" style mystery of a yacht found floating off the coast with its engine running, food on its table ready to eat, but no crew.
· Bar of soap gives caffeine kick in the shower. Inventors have created a soap infused with caffeine which helps users wake up in the morning. The soap, called Shower Shock, supplies the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee per wash, with the stimulant absorbed naturally through the skin, manufacturers say.
· Suspect arrested in Edmonds college bomb threats. Lynnwood police have arrested a 16-year-old Edmonds Community College student suspected of making several bomb threats this morning as a ploy to skip class. "In the calls, he referenced Virginia Tech. He said the bomb would go off at 11 a.m. in the library," she said. The caller didn't "come across as credible," she said, but police treated it seriously in light of Monday's massacre. The teen was arrested at his home in Lynnwood, where he lives with his parents, police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions said.
· Asian tycoon left legacy to fortune-teller. Asia's richest woman left her wealth to her fortune-teller in her last known will, Hong Kong media reported Thursday, predicting a costly legal battle to control her multi-billion-dollar estate. Nina Wang, who died aged 69 earlier this month and had no children, left a legacy estimated as worth at least 4.2 billion US dollars after transforming her company Chinachem into a real estate empire.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
· Preacher’s wife found guilty of manslaughter. A preacher's wife showed no emotion when a judge announced late this afternoon that she had been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her husband. Mary Winkler, 33, told jurors Wednesday that her husband, Matthew, abused her physically and sexually, but she said the shotgun went off accidentally as she pointed it at him.
· Rapper Cam'ron: Snitching on killer would hurt "Code Of Ethics." Rap star Cam'ron says there's no situation — including a serial killer living next door — that would cause him to help police in any way, because to do so would hurt his music sales and violate his "code of ethics," he says in this Sunday's 60 Minutes broadcast.
· Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Va. Tech Funerals. The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to protest at victims’ funerals only hours after 32 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. They also may protest at other events on the Virginia Tech campus. The anti-gay religious group is best known for protesting at the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq.
· Update: Edwards' $400 haircuts a "mistake." Democrat John Edwards is trying to get out of a hairy situation, reimbursing his presidential campaign $800 for two visits with a Beverly Hills stylist. Two $400 cuts by stylist Joseph Torrenueva, who told The Associated Press that the former North Carolina senator is a longtime client, showed up on Edwards' campaign spending reports filed this weekend. Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz said it never should have been there. "The bill was sent to the campaign. It was inadvertently paid," Schultz said. "John Edwards will be reimbursing the campaign."
· When is it OK to put a student away? Cho Seung-Hui's behavior raised red flags long before he slaughtered at least 30 people on the Virginia Tech campus and killed himself, and many people now wonder what, if anything, could have been done to head off the atrocity. Officials said that despite the warning signs, there was nothing that could, or should have led them to put him in jail or commit him.
· Democratic majority leader: "Iraq war is lost." The war in Iraq "is lost" and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday. "I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week," Reid told journalists.
· Disgraced former New Jersey gay governor teaching ethics at university. Former Gov. James E. McGreevey is teaching ethics, law and leadership at Kean University. "It seems to me, Jim McGreevey teaching law and ethics is a little bit like Doctor Kevorkian teaching health maintenance," state chairman Tom Wilson said.
· "Nappy by Nature" salon owner not offended by Imus' statement. Tina Beatty admits most of her customers have nappy - or naturally funky - hair. Her salon on Charleston's West Side is even called Nappy By Nature. So when she heard radio host Don Imus' controversial remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team ("that's some nappy-headed ho's there"), she wasn't particularly offended by the "nappy" reference.
· Families cancel NBC appearances over gunman video. Some family members of the victims killed at Virginia Tech university canceled interviews with NBC on Thursday because the television network aired video and photographs of the killer it received in the mail. Police handling the investigation into the shooting also expressed disappointment at the airing of the images and rants by Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 people and then himself in the worst shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.
· Psychiatrist: Showing Video Is 'Social Catastrophe.' The videos of Seung-hui Cho, the man who fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech and then killed himself, shouldn't have been released because they don't offer the public any greater understanding of the gruesome crime, said Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist. "If you can take [talk show host Don] Imus off the air, you can certainly keep [Cho] from having his own morning show."
· Mother Shoots Toy Gun at Kindergarten Class. The mother of a kindergarten student was banned from a school after officials said she walked into a classroom, pointed a toy gun at students and pulled the trigger several times.
· Lesbian wolf pack guilty. In an instant, four tough lesbians from New Jersey were transformed into crying convicts yesterday after being found guilty of pummeling a filmmaker in Greenwich Village last summer.
· Student Arrested Over Va. Tech Remarks. A University of Colorado student was arrested after making comments that classmates deemed sympathetic toward the gunman blamed for killing 32 students and himself at Virginia Tech, authorities said. During a class discussion of Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech, the student "made comments about understanding how someone could kill 32 people," university police Cmdr. Brad Wiesley said.
· Update: Iowa barbers call Edwards' $400 haircut 'impossible.' Iowa barbers put down their shears and sputtered words like “preposterous” and “impossible” Wednesday when they heard of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards spending $400 for a haircut. In the Quad-Cities, $10 or $12 is about average. “If I charged $400 for a haircut, they’d come after me with white coats,” said Leo Fier, who has been cutting hair for 49 years at his shop in DeWitt, Iowa.
· Update: Airport Hits Cabbies for Refusing Fares. Taxi drivers who refuse service to travelers carrying alcohol at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport face tougher penalties despite protests from Muslim cabbies who sought a compromise for religious reasons, officials said Monday. The Metropolitan Airports Commission said new penalties were needed to ensure customers get safe and reliable taxi service, and voted to suspend a driver's airport taxi license for 30 days for the first offense and revoke it for two years for a second offense.
· Va. Tech Gunman: 'I Had To Do It.' A gunman's final tirade is the focus of video and other materials mailed by the Virginia Tech shooter to NBC headquarters in New York. NBC said the package contained a rambling and often-incoherent, 1,800-word video manifesto on CD, plus 43 photos, 11 showing him aiming handguns at the camera.
· Killer's Image Tied to Dark Movie. The inspiration for perhaps the most inexplicable image in the set that Cho Seung-Hui mailed to NBC news on Monday may be a movie from South Korea that won the Gran Prix prize at Cannes Film Festival in 2004.
· Radio Station's Free Breast Implant Contest Sparks Controversy. A Florida radio station's contest offering a free breast implant to the woman who "parties the hardest" is drawing controversy over the surgeon who will be performing the operation. The man chosen to perform the surgery, Dr. Barry Kaplan, was investigated by the Problem Solvers last year after he was put on probation and fined after some of his patients said he botched their surgeries.
· Horses may be drugged for Rolling Stones gig. Preparations to sedate as many as 300 horses stabled at Belgrade's racecourse to keep them calm during a Rolling Stones concert have enraged Serb animal lovers who are lobbying to have the gig moved to another venue.
· Bullet in heart removed after 39 years. A Vietnamese soldier who was shot by U.S. troops in 1968 and has lived with a bullet lodged in his heart for nearly four decades underwent surgery and the slug was successfully removed, doctors said.
· Survey Reveals Most Satisfying Jobs. Firefighters, the clergy and others with professional jobs that involve helping or serving people are more satisfied with their work and overall are happier than those in other professions, according to results from a national survey.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
· Gunman contacted NBC News during massacre. Sometime after he killed two people in a dormitory but before he slaughtered 30 more in a classroom building Monday morning, Cho Seung-Hui sent NBC News a rambling communication and videos about his grievances, the network said Wednesday. Among the materials are 23 QuickTime video files showing Cho talking directly to the camera, Capus said. He does not name anyone specifically, but he talks at length about religion and his hatred of the wealthy.
· Mother sues utility over son's fall from electric tower. The mother of a boy who was shocked by a 19,700-volt power line and fell 35 feet after climbing an Illinois electric tower on a $5 bet is suing the utility for allegedly failing to properly warn of the tower's dangers.
· Slain preacher's wife denies pulling trigger. Mary Winkler told a Tennessee jury on Wednesday about her volatile marriage to a preacher she said berated her, forced her to watch pornography and to wear "slutty" costumes for sex.
· Bus Crash Passengers Here Illegally. More than half of the passengers on a bus that nearly plunged over a bridge on Interstate 80 Monday are in this country illegally. A spokesperson for Immigration and Customs enforcement said 13 men and 11 woman, all but one from China, are illegal immigrants.
· Woman sues town, funeral home after falling into grave. An elderly Georgia woman who broke her hip when she fell into an open grave during her friend's funeral is going forward with a lawsuit. Marian May, of Marietta, Ga., slipped when she was trying to place flowers on the casket. "It is not much fun being down there, where it's nice and black, and you are looking up and I am saying 'Jean, I don't want to go with you,'" May said.
· IRS commissioner to lead Red Cross. American Red Cross selected Mark Everson, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, to be its new president Wednesday, filling the post as the charity restructures itself after intense criticism over its response to Hurricane Katrina.
· Birkhead and Stern are unlikely friends. Larry Birkhead has only kind words to say about Howard K. Stern, his former adversary in the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case. Birkhead isn't as generous with his comments on Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, who is seeking visitation rights. "It's puzzling for her to display affection to me and then for the attorneys to say she's going for custody and Larry was just a sperm donor and a one-night stand," he says. "Then they all come and shake my hand. You've gotta scratch your head and say, 'What's going on here?'"
· Man shows up to court drunker than when he was arrested for DUI. David Milam was jailed for contempt of court after he allegedly showed up intoxicated at his DUI trial. Milam had a blood alcohol content of .27, more than three times the legal limit of .08. When he was charged with DUI about five weeks ago, his blood alcohol content was .22, court records show.
· Driver's Fondling May Have Caused 8 Traffic Deaths. The driver of a sport utility vehicle that rolled and killed eight of 14 passengers was charged Tuesday with transporting illegal immigrants resulting in death. Survivors told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Rigoberto Salas-Lopez was fondling a woman while driving, contradicting the driver's claim that he was trying to avoid an animal when the vehicle went off the road and rolled at least five times early Monday.
· Court Backs Ban on Abortion Procedure. The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure Wednesday, handing abortion opponents the long-awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench.
· Rutgers Coach Parlays Don Imus Flap Into Book Deal. Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, in the public eye for much of the last two weeks after Don Imus called her players "nappy-headed hos," has signed a contract to write her autobiography.
· Actress Kitty Carlisle Hart Dies at 96. Kitty Carlisle Hart, whose long career spanned Broadway, opera, television and film, including the classic Marx Brothers movie "A Night at the Opera," has died at age 96, her son said Wednesday. Hart had appeared for years on the popular game show "To Tell the Truth" as a celebrity panelist.
· Killer's Roommates: Cho Had Imaginary Supermodel Girlfriend. His dormitory roommates, Joseph Aust and Karan Grewal, steered clear of Cho when they lived with him. They said Cho was quiet and didn't interact with them. Though Cho's behavior was always strange, Aust said he noticed some changes in recent weeks. Cho also had an imaginary girlfriend named "Jelly," who was a supermodel, his roommates said.
· Edwards contributors paying for $400 haircuts. Democratic White House hopeful John Edwards insists on first-class pampering - enjoying $400 haircuts on the road and plunking down nearly $500 for swank spa treatments, according to campaign records. Edwards, who touts himself as the poor man's champion, tucked the vanity treatments into his 5,236-page first-quarter Federal Election Commission filing under "consulting" expenses.
· Teen wasn't faking his death, school staff charged. A Carroll County grand jury has indicted six former staff members at Bowling Brook Preparatory School on charges of reckless endangerment in the death of an East Baltimore teenager who lost consciousness while being restrained at the school for juvenile offenders. Asked what the staff did during the 41 minute delay, Barnes responded, "Nothing. ... They thought he was faking."
· Secret Service officer accidentally shoots another officer at White House. Two Secret Service officers were injured on Tuesday after a gun held by another Secret Service officer accidentally fired inside the White House gate, according to a spokesman, Darrin Blackford.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eclectic [e·clec·tic] adj. 1. Composed of elements drawn from various sources 2. Not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. "An eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the business.
· Killer's parents hospitalized 'with shock.' The parents of mass killer Cho Seung-hi were hospitalized with shock and had not attempted suicide, contrary to reports in Korean media. Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that Cho's parents, who ran a dry cleaning shop in Centerville, Virginia, had been hospitalized after learning of ther son's killing rampage at Virginia Tech University. Rumors earlier spread through Korean media sources that Cho's parents had attempted suicide.
· Pet Food Recall Expanded on New Finding. An industrial chemical that led to a nationwide recall of more than 100 brands of cat and dog foods has been found to contaminate a second pet food ingredient, expanding the recall further. The chemical, melamine, is believed to have contaminated rice protein concentrate used to make a variety of Natural Balance Pet Foods products for both dogs and cats, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
· Woman's eBay sale for Buddism doesn't go too well. Things didn't work out as planned for a St. Paul woman who wanted to sell nearly all her possessions on eBay. Lisa Perry, 45, had hoped to sell everything in one huge auction. She had said she wanted a fresh start, and was embracing the Buddist principles of "releasing attachment to things." Bidding this week on eBay topped out at $880, well under her $2,000 reserve.
· Gere, Shetty accused of obscenity over kiss. Hollywood star Richard Gere and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty have landed in legal trouble after a light-hearted hug and kiss at an AIDS awareness event last weekend, a press report said. Gere
· Bermuda cut from O'Donnell's gay cruise. A summer cruise for gay and lesbian families organized by Rosie O'Donnell has cut Bermuda from its planned itinerary because of possible protests by church groups in the British island territory.
· State Senate approves free beer samples. The Senate approved a bill on an unanimous voice vote Tuesday that allows grocery and liquor stores to hand out samples of up to 6 ounces of free beer per day to people of legal drinking age.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
· N.J. gov.'s SUV going 91 mph before crash. The SUV carrying Gov. Jon S. Corzine was traveling about 91 mph moments before it crashed, Superintendent of State Police Col. Rick Fuentes said Tuesday. The speed limit along that stretch of the parkway is 65 mph. Corzine also was not wearing his seat belt as he rode in the front passenger's seat.
· Professor: Shooter's writing dripped with anger. The former chairwoman of Virginia Tech's English department was so concerned about Cho Seung-Hui's anger in the fall of 2005 that she took him out of a creative writing class and taught him one-on-one. Lucinda Roy said Tuesday that police had asked her not to discuss details of the Virginia Tech shooter's writings because of the ongoing investigation, but she said the anger he expressed was palpable.
· Massacre Gun: $571 for 9 mm Glock and 50 Bullets at Roanoke Store. Seung-Hui Cho bought his first gun, a 9mm handgun, on March 13 at a Roanoke, Va. gun store. John Markell said Cho's gun and a box of 50 bullets cost $571. He said Cho paid by credit card and left the store with the gun. Markell said Cho was "a clean-cut college kid," and the transaction was entirely legal under Virginia law.
· Roommates Describe Gunman as Loner. He was a stranger in a crowd of 26,000. Cho Seung-Hui was even unknown to the young man who for nearly a year slept just feet away from him. “He was my roommate,” said Joe Aust, a 19-year-old sophomore. “I didn’t know him that well, though.” Mr. Aust, who was an engineering major, and another student who shared their suite, Karan Grewal, 21, painted a picture of a loner who ate his meals alone in the dining hall and shunned any attempts at friendship.
· Killer's Note: 'You Caused Me to Do This.' Cho Seung-Hui, the student who killed 32 people and then himself yesterday, left a long and "disturbing" note in his dorm room at Virginia Tech, say law enforcement sources. Sources have now described the note, which runs several pages, as beginning in the present tense and then shifting to the past tense. It contains rhetoric explaining Cho's actions and says, "You caused me to do this," sources said.
· Contents of note signed by "Ismail Ax." The note included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on the inside of one of his arms. Cho Seung-Hui had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women. A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus. [Tribune article may require registration]
· "Disturbing note" left by killer. Sources say Cho killed two people in a dorm room, returned to his own dorm room where he re-armed and left a "disturbing note" before entering a classroom building on the other side of campus to continue his rampage.
· UPDATE: VA Tech Gunman Identified. The Virginia Tech Police Department has confirmed the identification of the gunman responsible for the multiple fatalities at Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus. The individual has been identified as Cho Seung-Hui, 23. Cho was enrolled as an undergraduate student in his senior year as an English major at Virginia Tech. Cho, a South Korean native, was in the U.S. as a resident alien with a residence established in Centerville, Va.
· Internet radio broadcasters dealt setback. Internet radio broadcasters were dealt a setback Monday when a panel of copyright judges threw out requests to reconsider a ruling that hiked the royalties they must pay to record companies and artists.
· Police Cite Person of Interest in Va. Tech Dorm Killing; Dead Gunman Yet to Be ID'd. A tranquil college campus in Virginia became a killing field Monday morning. At least 33 people are dead in the worst mass shooting in modern American history. In a Tuesday morning interview with "Good Morning America's" Diane Sawyer, Virginia Tech president Charles Steger said the shooter who killed himself was a student of Asian descent who resided in a Virginia Tech dormitory. He referred to the man as "the second shooter" and said they are still investigating the possibility of two shooters.
· Parents Demand Firing of Virginia Tech President, Police Chief. Parents of a Virginia Tech student expressed outrage Monday at what they call an inadequate response by college brass to the worst mass-murder shooting in American history. John and Jennifer Shourds of Lovettsville, Va. demanded the immediate firings of University President Charles Steger and Virginia Tech Campus Police Chief W.R. Flinchum who he said "screwed up" the handling of separate shooting incidents that left 33 students dead, including the shooter.
· Woman: Bowel caused alleged shoplifting. A woman arrested for shoplifting has blamed the crime on irritable bowel syndrome, authorities said. Helen Gallo, 61, of Clearwater, was arrested Sunday after allegedly shoplifting from a Cape Coral grocery store, The Daily Breeze reported. Gallo reportedly told authorities that she could not wait in line because she has irritable bowel syndrome.
· Gibb to rebuild near burned Cash home. Barry Gibb, the former Bee Gee who bought the house that Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, lived in for decades before their deaths in 2003, said on Monday he plans to build a new home near where the house stood before burning down last week.
· For Illegal Immigrants, Housing Slump Takes Toll. From Fresno to Sacramento, big tangles of wire and PVC pipes clutter vacant lots in silent subdivisions, waiting for houses to be built — some day. Dozens of “For Sale” signs already dot the lawns across new residential communities. And right next to the ubiquitous billboards from builders are fresh signs offering homeowners help to avoid foreclosure. But another set of losers is less visible: the immigrant workers, mostly illegal, who rode the construction boom while it lasted and now find jobs on building sites few and far between.
· Juror free to go after judge fury. A Manhattan man was freed yesterday from jury purgatory - ending a four-day "imprisonment" that began when he begged off a high-profile trial of alleged lesbian thugs. Bruce Nussbaum, assistant managing editor of Business Week magazine, had been chosen as a juror in the case. But he angered Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin when he suddenly asked the judge if his family would be in any danger from the accused lesbian marauders.
· Ticket taxes fund corporate jets. The federal government has taken billions of dollars from the taxes and fees paid by airline passengers every time they fly and awarded it to small airports used mainly by private pilots and globe-trotting corporate executives.
· 24-year-old Chinese man on visa believed to be shooter. Authorities were investigating whether the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history was a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa. The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said. Investigators have not linked him to any terrorist groups, the source said. Police believe three bomb threats on the campus last week may have been attempts by the man to test the campus’ security response, the source said.
· "I Want to Clear My Name." He is Asian, he lived in the dorm where the first shooting occurred and he recently broke up with his girlfriend - he also happens to have a web blog packed with pictures in which he poses with firearms. On the Internet, Wayne Chiang is as good as convicted. He has received 37,000 hits on his Web site over the past several hours, many containing death threats, he says.
· Utah nanny admits to sex with youth. The ex-nanny of a 13-year-old Salt Lake City boy admitted Monday to having sex with the youth. David Michael Busby, 28, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree felony sodomy on a child. As part of a plea agreement, 31 other charges were dismissed.
Monday, April 16, 2007
· Taser used on dad leaving Houston hospital with baby. A Houston couple said both the Houston Police Department and the Woman's Hospital of Texas are responsible for endangering their newborn when the husband who held the baby in his arms was hit by a taser as an off-duty police officer as he attempted to leave the hospital early Thursday morning. "He was holding the baby when [the officer] tasered him. My baby hit the concrete floor," said William Lewis' wife.
· 'Everyone Started Panicking and Jumping Out the Window.' Student Accounts: "Heard screaming through the walls and everyone started to panic. Heard shots down the hallways, everyone started to panic and jumping out of the window. We heard almost 40 or 50 shots. They were going on from the time we heard them and jumped out the window to almost two minutes later. Window was two or three stories. When I landed I was in a daze, standing outside of the building."
· Gunman Kills 32, Deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history. A gunman opened fire in a Virginia Tech dorm and then, two hours later, in a classroom across campus Monday, killing at least 32 people in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history, government officials told The Associated Press. The gunman was killed, bringing the death toll to 33. [Developing]
· Rappers get free pass following Imus controversy. While most people found radio host Don Imus' comments about the Rutger's women's basketball team offensive, people at South Carolina State University were lining up to hear similar words from rap artists. In one song from a performer at Friday's concert, the n-word is used more than 100 times. When students were asked about the concert and the lyrics, one student, Kendra Johnson, says, "The radio host was out of line when he said it. Some rap artists may be out of line, but they don't mean no harm."
· $1 billion 'don't have sex' campaign a flop. More than $1 billion of federal money has been spent on promoting abstinence since 1998 - posters printed, television adverts broadcast and entire education programmes devised for hundreds of thousands of girls and boys. The trouble is, new research suggests that it hasn't worked. At all.
· Firefighters leave stove on, burn fire station. Jacksonville firefighters returned from an emergency call on Saturday to find a blaze in their own station, according to authorities. District Fire Chief Randy Wyse said the firefighters left a stove on in Station 17 when they rushed out to answer a call Saturday night.
· Congressional junkets picking up steam. Congress is keeping Andrews Air Force base plenty busy this year ferrying lawmakers all over the globe at taxpayers’ expense. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi took his wife, nine Democrats and two Republicans - Reps. Dan Lungren of California and Mike Rogers of Alabama - on a whirlwind tour of the Caribbean last week. After stops in Honduras and Mexico, they stopped in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the delegation stayed at the five-star Caneel Bay resort.
· $204,000 not enough to buy Pope's VW. A 1999 metallic gray Volkswagen Golf believed to once belong to the pope went up for sale on eBay, but the auction ended Saturday without a winner. For the second time in two years, eBay hosted an auction for a car said to be Pope Benedict XVI's old hatchback. Though bids surpassed $204,000, the reserve price wasn't met.
· Smith diaries: 'We have a buy-it-now situation.' Two diaries written by Anna Nicole Smith in the early 1990s failed to sell at an auction this weekend, but are now available for a minimum bid of $25,000 each, an the auction house said Sunday.
· Artist jailed over bomb hoax. A frustrated artist who planted a fake bomb outside the National Gallery of Victoria will spend three months behind bars. Colin Douglas Barnett, 46, of Cranbourne North in Melbourne's southeast, pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to one count each of creating a bomb hoax and causing a public nuisance, and two counts of making a false report to police.
· Prisoner flees in hijacked helicopter. Two men hijacked a helicopter Sunday and forced the pilot to land in a prison courtyard, where they picked up an inmate in a dramatic jailbreak, the pilot told Belgian television.
· Louisiana Teen, 16, Accused of Paying Another Teen $5 to Kill Dad. Police have arrested a 16-year-old from Shreveport who is accused of paying another teen $5 to kill his father. Cops are still looking for the youth allegedly hired for the hit.
· Man falls when Aspen chairlift breaks. A man fell ten feet when a chairlift on Aspen Mountain broke and tilted towards the ground because of metal fatigue, but was not hurt. Aspen spokesman Jeff Hanle said the unidentified man skied away and did not require treatment Saturday.
· Home pot farm goes up in smoke. Authorities say Juan Carlos Fernandez, 44, who walked his bulldog daily and waved at kids on Julie Lane, was running a marijuana farm undetected inside a 2,200-square-foot home in a neighborhood where peonies grow from window boxes and American flags hang from front porches.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
· Northwest Pilot Arrested With Cocaine After Border Chase. A Northwest Airlines pilot made a U-turn at a U.S.-Canada border crossing, then led deputies on a chase in his Hummer before being subdued and found to be holding cocaine, a sheriff's officer said Sunday.
· Homeless Man Runs For Mayor Of Naperville. Often seen sitting by the parking garage next to a Barnes and Noble, 56-year-old Scott Huber is homeless and has been since February 1999, when he said he was evicted from his Naperville, Illinois home. Huber said he wants to be mayor to right a local political and judicial system that is corrupt and caused him to be in his situation.
· NASA paid $26.6 million to Columbia astronauts' families. Documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel through a federal Freedom of Information Act request show that former FBI Director William Webster helped negotiate out-of-court settlements with the seven families.
· Church leader plans museum, tabernacle for Branch Davidian site. A new religious community is rising from the ashes of the Branch Davidian compound, 14 years after nearly 80 people died in a blaze that ended an armed standoff with federal authorities. About a dozen believers gather each weekend in a chapel for services led by Charles J. Pace, leader of The Branch, The Lord Our Righteousness.
· Owner of cheerleading school convicted of sex with 16-year-old. The owner of an Oxnard cheerleading school has been sentenced to three years in prison for having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student and giving her the drug Ecstasy.
· 'Grey's Anatomy' Wins GLAAD Award. "Grey's Anatomy," the ABC hit show whose lead actor was criticized for using an anti-gay slur, was awarded outstanding individual episode Saturday by an organization that monitors depictions of gays and lesbians in the media. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awarded "Grey's Anatomy" for the episode "Where the Boys Are." The show got unwanted attention last year when actor Isaiah Washington used a slur to talk about a castmate in an on-set dustup. He later apologized and sought counseling.
· Lawyer: Rove Didn't Mean to Delete Email. Karl Rove's lawyer on Friday dismissed the notion that President Bush's chief political adviser intentionally deleted his own e-mails from a Republican-sponsored server, saying Rove believed the communications were being preserved in accordance with the law.
· Police: Man who caused Corzine crash inexperienced, not erratic. After Gov. Jon S. Corzine was critically injured in a car accident this week, state police set out to find the person who caused it: the driver of a red Ford pickup seen driving erratically. A day later, they found the truck and its 20-year-old driver. But instead of an out-of-control or reckless person behind the wheel, what they found was an inexperienced and frightened one.
· Charlie Sheen, Woman Settle Lawsuit. Charlie Sheen has settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed a character used on his hit TV show "Two and a Half Men" was based on her. Ursula Auburn sued Sheen last year, claiming the "wacky neighbor and female stalker Rose" on the show was based on her.
· Banker accuses slain preacher's wife of fraud. The day before a Tennessee preacher was shot to death, a banker tried to reach his wife several times about an account in her name that was nearly $5,000 overdrawn, a corporate fraud investigator testified Saturday. Mary Winkler, Prosecutor Walt Freeland said, had been cashing fraudulent checks sent to her by con artists overseas. She had set up accounts in various banks and was creating false balances by juggling funds between them, he added.
· Preacher's Wife on Trial: 'My Ugly Came Out.' A preacher's wife told authorities she shot her husband after a long buildup of domestic problems, according to an audiotape that prosecutors played Friday at her murder trial.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
· 911 operator: "Another one bites the dust." When 911 operator Jenny Montanino needed help with a woman who was choking, 911 supervisor Dave Cook said "I am not getting on with a hysterical caller." By the time help arrived, Nancy McGhee was dead. The investigation shows Cook laughing after the woman died, saying "Another one bites the dust," and "I guess she bit off more than she can chew."
· Entertainer Don Ho dead at 76. Entertainer Don Ho died Saturday morning in Hawaii, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann told local media. The singer suffered a heart attack, Hannemann told The Honolulu Advertiser.
· Lawmaker Under Fire For 'Illegal Alien' E-Mail. A Florida lawmaker is coming under fire for sending what he thought was a funny e-mail message to his colleagues. Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, sent a message from his state e-mail account that said, "Don't forget to pay your taxes - 12 million illegal aliens are depending on you!"
· Future of Imus charity ranch questioned. Don Imus's banishment from the public airwaves also deprives him of a critical platform to raise money for the sprawling Imus Ranch, where children with cancer and other illnesses get a taste of the cowboy life. It's an expensive operation. The ranch hosted 90 children from March 2005 through February 2006 and spent $2.5 million — or about $28,000 a child — at least 10 times what the Make-A-Wish spend on kids.
· Forbes: Jordan divorce most costly ever. Divorce has its price — and no celeb, it appears, knows that better than Michael Jordan. The basketball superstar's split last December from his wife of 17 years, Juanita, is No. 1 on Forbes.com's list of "The 10 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces." Juanita Jordan could possibly "get more than $150 million in a settlement, making the Jordan divorce the most expensive in entertainment history," Forbes said.
· Sharpton Gets More Security After Death Threats. The National Action Network has increased the Rev. Al Sharpton's security due to a number of death threats in the wake of the firing of radio host Don Imus by MSNBC and CBS Radio. There will also be added security at the National Action Network's headquarters in Harlem. “We have no way of knowing the seriousness of these threats, but they have intensified greatly in the last two days as Rev. Sharpton was figured prominently in the firing of Don Imus," Attorney Charlie King said.
· O.J. Book Auction Postponed; Nicole's Family Wants In. Yet another method has been discovered to keep the Goldman family from pocketing any money. An auction scheduled for Tuesday during which the rights to O.J. Simpson's failed publishing venture, If I Did It, were to be sold to the highest bidder was postponed after Lorraine Brooke Associates, the company that struck the deal for the ex-NFL star, filed for bankruptcy Friday.
· Tennessee officer claims racial bias in firing. Police Sgt. Patrick Welles got a call for backup and told the dispatcher he was busy but would be there shortly. It turned out he was busy having sex with a woman in his patrol car, investigators say. The 12-year veteran was fired for conduct unbecoming an officer and other departmental violations, including misuse of city property. But now the black officer has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit, claiming white colleagues on the Chattanooga force did similar things - or worse - and were allowed to keep their jobs.
· With Imus Gone, Critics Turning to Rap. Fighting in vain to keep his job, radio host Don Imus claimed that rappers routinely "defame and demean black women" and call them "worse names than I ever did." Some critics are moving down the radio dial to take on hip-hop, boosting the growing movement against harmful themes in rap. "We all know where the real battleground is," wrote Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock. "We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· State Bar panel denies Nifong's request to dismiss. A State Bar panel on Friday denied Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's request for dismissal of the most serious allegation against him - that he withheld DNA evidence favorable to three defendants in the Duke lacrosse case.
· Original James Bond actor dies. Barry Nelson, an MGM contract player during the 1940s who later had a prolific theater career and was the first actor to play James Bond on screen, has died. He was 89.
· Teens Shrink Wrap Highway, Cop Runs Into It. Three teenagers could find themselves in big trouble after a pulling a prank that could have killed somebody. The teens strung plastic shrink wrap across a county highway in Mt. Pleasant. They sat at a nearby intersection and waited for a car to plow through it. Their first victim: A Mt. Pleasant police officer.
· 46-year-old may be tried as juvenile. Will a 46-year-old man accused of committing a murder more than 30 years ago be tried as a juvenile or adult? Cook County Juvenile Judge Paul Stralka will hear evidence next month to decide what course the case against Fred Rogers will take.
· Happy Valley not so happy. Investigators said Friday they think a man shot five family members to death before setting fire to their rural Happy Valley, California house, where he died of burns and smoke inhalation. All but one of the six people found dead in the Happy Valley home died of gunshots to their heads, said Wayne Booker, a deputy sheriff and deputy coroner.
Friday, April 13, 2007
· Taxpayers may bail out subprime mortgage borrowers. Want to pick up the check for every homeowner who buried themselves with a risky mortgage? It's a big one - on the order of $120 billion. Lawmakers and consumer groups in recent weeks have been calling for federal government assistance for those at risk of defaulting on their mortgage.
· Cleveland Principal Sex Offender Status Debated. A former principal of a Cleveland elementary school convicted of statutory rape for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old student will soon be released from prison. The sex offender label she will carry is being debated. A status hearing will determine wether Dr. Nancy Marks, 62, is a sexual predator, a habitual sex offender or a sexually oriented offender.
· Illinois Principal Shown Having Sex With Teacher On Video. An elementary school has been rocked by scandal after an X-rated DVD showing the principal and a teacher was leaked to parents. The video reportedly shows the principal, Leroy Coleman, in his office having sex with a science teacher, Janet Lofton, at Sandridge Elementary School in Lynwood, Illinois. The DVD goes on for two hours. Another woman, also a teacher, appears on the video as well.
· ABC News Reporter: "Don't feel too sorry for the Dukies." ABC reporter Terry Moran says "The outpouring of sympathy for Reade Seligman, Collin Finnerty and David Evans is just a bit misplaced. They got special treatment in the justice system - both negative and positive. The conduct of the lacrosse team of which they were members was not admirable on the night of the incident, to say the least. And there are so many other victims of prosecutorial misconduct in this country who never get the high-priced legal representation and the high-profile, high-minded vindication that it strikes me as just a bit unseemly to heap praise and sympathy on these particular men."
· After Imus, DeLay Calls for Rosie to Be Fired. Fanning the flames of discontent sparked by the Imus controversy, former congressman Tom DeLay is making a plea for his fellow conservatives to get Rosie O'Donnell fired for her recent remarks. O'Donnell's spurned controversy by questioning the cause of who was really behind the collapse of World Trade Center tower 7.
· Titanic resurfaces as luxury watch. Steel and coal from the Titanic have been transformed into a new line of luxury wristwatches that claim to capture the essence of the legendary ocean liner which sank in 1912. To make the watches, which were offered for sale for the first time in Basel for between $7,800 and $173,100, the Swiss company created an alloy using the slab from the Titanic with steel being used in a Harland and Wolff replica of the vessel.
· Diner scarred for life after sausage explodes in her face. A woman diner was left with horrific burns after a Portuguese sausage dish exploded in her face. The victim was eating with friends when the accident took place at the Sporting Clube de Londres in west London. [with disturbing photos]
· Eddie Murphy Named Spice Baby Daddy. When it comes to the birth certificate for Melanie Brown's newborn daughter, there's a big blank spot where the child's moniker should be. But the former Scary Spice has had no trouble listing the baby-daddy's name: Eddie Murphy.
· Corzine not belted in during crash. Gov. Jon S. Corzine was apparently not wearing his seat belt as required by law when his official SUV crashed into a guardrail, leaving the governor hospitalized in critical condition, a spokesman said Friday.
· Delaware Co. Priest Defrocked For Alleged Assaults. The Vatican has defrocked a former priest accused of sexually assaulting and whipping boys as they enacted the Passion play, the Philadelphia archdiocese announced Thursday. The Rev. Thomas J. Smith "engaged in depraved and sadistic behavior" that included putting pins in his mouth and pricking the boys until they bled, whipping boys playing Jesus until they had welts, and coercing them to get naked with him in a hot tub.
· Comic's language a problem for leaders of campaign to end violence against women. Leaders of Chicago's effort to halt violence against women don't find it funny that the Chicago Foundation for Women has tapped for participation in its $250,000 campaign a comedian who often uses the words "bitch" and "ho" in his act. Comedian Jay Deep appears in televised and print ads, as well as ads on the backs of CTA buses, on billboards and bus shelters, all part of the initiative called "What Will It Take? Building the Safest State for All Women and Girls."
· Cleared Duke players consider suing DA. Despite an apology from the prosecutor who pursued rape charges against their clients, the lawyers for three exonerated former Duke lacrosse players were weighing a lawsuit against him, and legal experts said their case could have merit.
· Hot-to-trot travelers make most of layovers. The online community Web site Craigslist is being used as a matchmaker by computer-savvy travelers trolling for casual sex in Logan's concourse as a last-minute souvenir of their trip to Boston. “Looking for a quick airport encounter now at gate d, airtran,” one man broadcast Sunday at 7:06 a.m. on the popular online classifieds site. Last Friday, at Terminal B, shortly before 7 p.m., “Horny married guy looking (for sex) with another discreet dude,” was posted.
· Friday The 13th: What Are the Odds? Friday the 13th brings out the scaredy cat in all of us, but fortunately, our imaginations are almost always worse than the reality. The chances of anything really bad happening are minuscule. And even those small odds can be lengthened with a little knowledge. Take a look at these scenarios and their odds.
· Newly fired Imus meets with Rutgers players. Hours after he was fired by CBS, radio host Don Imus met Thursday night with the Rutgers women athletes whom he had ridiculed with racist and sexist comments. The Rutgers women's basketball coach called the meeting with Imus "productive."
· Sheriff's SUV Stolen In Central Florida With Weapons Inside. Authorities in Orange County, Fla., are searching for one of two men who jumped inside a sheriff's sport utility vehicle with weapons inside and sped off. Investigators said an Orange County sheriff's deputy was working a call outside a pawn shop Thursday night when two men jumped into his SUV.
· Cops Angry Councilman Rallied With Hells Angels. Chandler's police union is taking shots at Vice Mayor Lowell Huggins over the councilman's biker-garbed presence at a Hell's Angels rally in Cave Creek Easter Sunday. "The vice mayor of a city that is dealing with its own gang violence problems is out celebrating the anniversary of one of the pre-eminent gangs in the country," said Joseph McAuliffe, a patrolman and treasurer of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association.
· N.J. governor critical after SUV crash. New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine was in critical condition Friday but expected to recover after his motorcade was hit on the Garden State Parkway and crashed into a guardrail, breaking his leg, six ribs, his sternum and fracturing a vertebrae.
· Teen Mother Accused Of Stabbing Newborn 135 Times. A 17-year-old stabbed her newborn baby 135 times and disposed of her body in a garbage can outside her home in Oakdale, authorities alleged Thursday.
· Jailed preacher of hate in court battle to stay in Britain. A hate preacher blamed for indoctrinating one of the July 7 bombers is using human rights law to fight deportation from Britain, it emerged today. Sheikh Abdullah El-Faisal - a Jamaican-born Muslim convert who urged followers to kill Jews, Hindus and Americans - is due to be freed from prison within weeks after serving two thirds of a seven-year sentence for inciting murder. The Home Office has begun legal moves to deport the fanatic, who Ministers say is a continuing threat to national security.
· Millions of illegal immigrants follow law on filing returns. Carlos Diaz broke the law when he crossed the border and took a job as an office janitor. But he's not about to break another by failing to pay his income tax. "I've been talking to other people who've done it, and I want to follow the law," said Diaz, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who squirmed in his seat at a neighborhood tax preparer's office.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
· Flights Delayed When Controller Goes To Bathroom. An air traffic controller's bathroom break delayed the takeoff and landing of four planes at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport last week. Two Southwest Airlines flights had to circle the airport for 18 minutes before landing.
· Mexican traffickers wage publicity war. Drug traffickers are waging a highly effective publicity campaign in Mexico that began with a chilling show of brutality in Acapulco: two police officers' heads, streaming with blood, were stuck on metal spikes outside a downtown building with a fluorescent cardboard sign. "So that you learn to respect," it read in thick black letters.
· White House: 'We screwed up' on deleted e-mails. The White House "screwed up" by not requiring e-mails from Republican Party and campaign accounts to be saved and is trying to recover any documents that may have been deleted, a spokeswoman said Thursday. The admission came after the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused the White House of trying to hide messages related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, which has stirred up a hornet's nest on Capitol Hill.
· CBS fires Don Imus from radio show. CBS fired Don Imus from his radio show Thursday, the finale to a stunning fall for one of the nation's most prominent broadcasters. Imus initially was suspended for two weeks for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on the air last week, but outrage continued to grow and advertisers bolted from his programs.
· D.A. apologizes to Duke lacrosse players. The local prosecutor who charged three Duke lacrosse players with raping a stripper apologized to the athletes Thursday, acknowledging that the North Carolina attorney general's decision to drop the case was correct. "To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused," Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong said in a statement.
· Wolfowitz sorry for hiring 'mistake.' World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz acknowledged Thursday that he erred in helping a close female friend get transferred to a high-paying job. "I made a mistake for which I am sorry," he said. At issue is the generous compensation of $193,590 for bank employee Shaha Riza, who has dated Wolfowitz.
· Imus: 'I've apologized enough.' Amid the outcry over his on-air racial slur last week, shock jock Don Imus said Thursday that he had "apologized enough" and that he will not go on "some talk show tour." "I'm not going to go talk to Larry King or Barbara Walters or anyone else," Imus said on his radio show, which originates from WFAN-AM in New York and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS. "The only other people I want to talk to are these young women at the team, and then that's it," Imus said.
· Rutgers Players to Appear on 'Oprah.' The Rutgers' women's basketball team and coach C. Vivian Stringer were scheduled to appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Thursday as furor continues over remarks made about the team by radio host Don Imus.
· Best Buy Geek Sued For Peeking At Woman In Shower Via Video. A woman and her mother Wednesday sued Best Buy Stores after a Geek Squad technician allegedly recommended by an employee of the electronics firm videotaped the woman taking a shower.
· Man attacked by lesbian gang, claims hate crime against straight man. A man who was beaten and stabbed after a street fight with seven avowed lesbians testified Wednesday that he thought he was going to die after they jumped him last year. "I remember being surrounded, my hands up in my face," Dwayne Buckle testified at the trial of four of the women.
· Imus Fundraiser Goes on Despite Furor. Embattled broadcaster Don Imus pushed ahead with his annual on-air charity fundraiser Thursday, a day after MSNBC pulled the plug on his TV show because of his latest racial slur. "This may be our last Radiothon, so we need to raise about $100 million," Imus said at the start of the event, which has raised more than $40 million since 1990.
· E-mails may aid Katrina homeowners' case. Attorneys for homeowners suing State Farm Insurance Cos. after Hurricane Katrina have long accused the insurer of pressuring engineers to alter reports on storm-damaged homes so that policyholders' claims could be denied. Now, some of these lawyers claim they have evidence to prove their allegation — internal e-mails from an engineering firm that helped State Farm adjust claims after the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane destroyed thousands of homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
· Vet Jailed 71 Days For Not Stealing Hot Dogs. Thomas M. Wimberly, an elderly veteran living on social security, spent 71 days in jail because he forgot to pay for two hot dogs at a convenience store. The 75-year-old from Wichita, Kansas is the latest in a long line of farcical cases which illustrate how poorer citizens get lost in the illogical inconsistencies of our criminal justice system.
· Man loses leg trying to swipe cash machine. A man accused of using a chain and pickup truck to yank a 1,500-pound ATM from a market failed to escape police when his prosthetic leg fell off during the getaway. Gregory Daniels, 48, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of burglary for the attempted heist from Pomona Ranch Market, police said.
· Pittsburgh Councilwoman Carlisle charged with theft. Pittsburgh Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle was arraigned this morning on three charges of theft by deception, three charges of criminal conspiracy, three charges of violation of the state Ethics Act, five Election Code violations, and three charges of failing to file required financial disclosures. The complaint says she "diverted" $43,160 through consultants.
· PETA calls for ban on carriage rides. An animal rights group today urged a ban on horse-drawn carriages Downtown after an allegedly drunk driver earlier this month hit a carriage, throwing the driver to the ground. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says similar crashes - most involving sober drivers - have taken place in many cities where the rides are offered.
· Ex-Grateful Dead Manager Sentenced. A former manager for the Grateful Dead has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for tax evasion, prosecutors said. Ronald Leon Rakow, 69, was ordered to begin his prison term in June for evading payment of $2.2 million in taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday.
· Pa. DJ Fired for Repeating Imus Comments. A radio station fired its longtime morning DJ Wednesday after he encouraged listeners to repeat talk-show host Don Imus' racially charged comments in an on-air contest. Gary Smith told WSBG-FM listeners to call and say "I'm a nappy-headed ho" for Tuesday's "Phrase that Pays" contest.
· Update: Snoop Pleads No Contest in Gun, Pot Case. A stone-faced Snoop Dogg pleaded no contest to felony gun and drug charges Wednesday and avoided what could have been a yearslong prison sentence. The 35-year-old rapper, born Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., agreed to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service. He faced charges of gun possession by a felon and sale or transportation of marijuana.
· Police notify wrong family of woman's death. For a brief but grueling few hours Saturday morning, Debbie Clark thought her daughter, Jennifer Jordan, 23, had died in a car accident in Sheridan. She hadn't spoken to her daughter in two years, and thoughts of missed opportunities engulfed her as the Mills police officer informed her of the death at 2:30 in the morning Saturday.
· Brad, Angelina float for $268 million. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are treating themselves to an Italian luxury yacht fitted with a swimming pool, a heliport and a submarine. The yacht will be built in the shipyard of Civitavecchia, a port town north of Rome, by luxury shipbuilder Privilege Yard SpA, which said today that the couple has commissioned an 85-metre-long yacht for $US268 million. Delivery is set for July 2009.
· Airboat flips, dumps tourists in alligator-infested waters. A group of American tourists got a little more adventure than they wanted during an airboat ride in the south Florida Everglades. A commercial airboat carrying five adults and four children flipped to its side yesterday in the alligator-infested waters.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
· MSNBC pulls plug on 'Imus in the Morning.' MSNBC has canceled its "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, the network announced Wednesday. The decision comes following remarks deemed racist and sexist that radio talk-show host Don Imus made last week about the Rutgers women's basketball team that prompted a number of advertisers to drop the program. The television cable channel had previously just suspended Imus for two weeks.
· New indictment: Federal Tax Rap for "Girls Gone Wild" Boss. Joe Francis, the "Girls Gone Wild" founder, was indicted today on federal tax evasion charges for illegally deducting more than $20 million in phony business expenses from his 2002 and 2003 corporate tax returns. According to a two count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Reno, Nevada, Francis, 34, sought to conceal income through the use of offshore companies and nominees.
· Muslims on alert after hate crime. Two hours before the Islamic Center of Clarksville, Tennessee held its prayer service, called Jummah, a Quran was found vandalized on the front steps. The front of the Quran, Islam's holy book, read "Mohammad pedophile" while an expletive was written inside, smeared under two strips of bacon, according to a Clarksville Police report. The report labeled the incident a hate crime. The bacon strips are offensive to Muslims because they are forbidden from eating pork.
· CFO of Menu Foods sold half his shares weeks before massive pet food recall. The chief financial officer of Menu Foods sold about half his shares in the company just three weeks before a massive recall of its pet food products, trading reports show.
· California diocese threatened with contempt. A federal bankruptcy judge is threatening the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego with contempt for allegedly attempting to hide assets to avoid payment to clergy sexual abuse victims.
· ABC: Duke Lacrosse Case Charges Dropped. The office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he is dismissing all charges against three Duke Lacrosse players, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case. Defense attorneys released documents showing the accuser changed key details of her story in the weeks and months after the alleged assault.
· Lawyer: Woman Thought She Was Constipated, Not Pregnant. A 25-year-old woman arrested in the death of her newborn daughter didn't know she was pregnant. Defense lawyer Thomas Cascione says Laura Sergio of Brooklyn thought she was constipated at the time. He says her parents she was pregnant and gave her prune juice and a laxative for the constipation.
· Slavery comment prompts apology. Facing a controversy that has mushroomed beyond its borders, the St. Louis County Board is apologizing. During a heated debate over a proposed countywide smoking ban, Bill Kron had asked Keith Nelson if he would have supported slavery if his constituents had supported it. Nelson replied that he would — if the vast majority of his constituents had voted for it.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Dogmatic [dog·mat·ic] adj. 1. Expressing rigid opinions; Prone to expressing strongly held beliefs and opinions. 2. Asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.
· Astronaut's Bondage Photos Found. A police search of former astronaut Lisa Nowak's car turned up bondage photos on a computer disk. She is accused of trying to kidnap a rival for a space shuttle pilot's affections in February. NASA fired Nowak after police say she drove from Houston to Florida to confront the other woman and then pepper-sprayed her.
· Don Imus Loses 2 Advertisers. Staples Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. have pulled their advertising from Don Imus' radio show in the wake of the furor caused by his comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team. The two companies on Tuesday added to the fallout that began when the now-suspended radio show host called the players "nappy-headed hos" on his April 4 show.
· Update: Sen. John Edwards wife calls neighboring property "slummy." When Sen. John Edwards ran for president four years ago, the North Carolina Democrat declared that President Bush had divided the nation into "two Americas ... one America that does the work, another America that reaps the reward." Turns out that the other America lives right next door to the 28,000-square-foot, $5.3 million mansion Mr. Edwards has built near Chapel Hill, N.C. The Edwards' neighbor, Monty Johnson, lives on 42 acres that the Johnson family has owned for decades. Mr. Johnson, 55, has been known to brandish firearms to chase away trespassers, which frightens the former senator's wife, who called the Johnson property "slummy" and condemned its owner as a "rabid Republican."
· Snoop Dogg Hit With Gun and Drug Charges. Snoop Dogg was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Pasadena on felony gun and drug charges, Los Angeles County prosecutors said. The 35-year-old rap star faces charges of gun possession by a felon and sale or transportation of marijuana.
· Proposed House Bill Affects All Pa. Gun Owners. If House Bill 760 is passed, the bill would require owners to register their guns yearly, like car owners register their cars. Under the bill, gun owners would have to pay $10 for each gun they own unless it is an antique. Owners would have to pay the fee each year.
· Driver Calls OnStar after Stolen Vehicle Breaks Down. According to Indiana State Police, two people are under arrest Wednesday morning after their car broke down on I-69 north of State Road 35. A trooper was sent to assist a stranded vehicle Tuesday after the occupants called OnStar for help. When police ran their Michigan license plate, they say the 2007 black Cadillac came back as a possible stolen vehicle out of Detroit, Michigan.
· CBS News Fires Producer for Plagiarism. A CBS News producer was fired and the network apologized after a Katie Couric video essay on libraries was found to be plagiarized from The Wall Street Journal.
· Hurley-Nayar Wedding Criticized. A Hindu religious activist has filed a complaint in a western Indian court saying that Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar's Hindu wedding made a "mockery of Hindu customs," a news report said Wednesday. The complaint goes on to say that Hurley did not remove her footwear while walking around the sacred fire at the ceremony and wore revealing clothes.
· Judge Tosses Date-Dissing Web Suit. A Florida-based Web site that invites women to warn others about men they've dated cannot be sued in a Pennsylvania court by an attorney who said its postings falsely claimed he was unfaithful and had sexually transmitted diseases.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
· Johnny Cash Home Burns To The Ground. According to Fire Chief Jamie H. Steele, Johnny Cash’s former home burned to the ground on Tuesday during a large renovation. Sealant caught fire, causing the blaze to burn throughout the home, according to officials. Cash and his wife June Carter Cash lived at the home until their deaths in 2003. Barry Gibb, a member of the Bee Gees, bought the lakefront property in January 2006.
· Woman Stumbles Upon 'Oprah' Sweepstakes Scam. Oprah Winfrey is known for her generous giveaways on her popular talk show, so when Mable Bailey received "The Oprah Show" summer sweepstakes letter in the mail, she believed it. "When I first got it, I just knew I was a winner," Bailey said. The blue letter with Winfrey's face in the upper left-hand corner claimed Bailey had won $81,000 as part of the sweepstakes. Included in the letter was an advance check in the amount of $2,800.50.
· AG expected to drop all charges against Duke players tomorrow. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is expected to hold a press conference [Wednesday] to announce the outcome of the Duke lacrosse case. It is widely expected that at he will announce he is dropping all remaining charges still pending against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans.
· Fired employee fires back. An accounting-firm employee who was fired last week shot and killed a woman and wounded two men at the suburban Detroit building where he worked, then led officers on a 120 mph chase, police said.
· Anna Nicole judge goes on leave after marijuana citation. A judge charged with smoking marijuana in a city park - and perhaps best known for his bit role in the Anna Nicole Smith case - will take a leave of absence beginning Wednesday.
· Birkhead: 'I Told You So!' Anna Nicole Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead said Tuesday that DNA tests have proven he is the father of her infant daughter. Birkhead emerged from a closed court hearing to announce the results. Smith's companion, Howard K. Stern, has been caring for the girl, Dannielynn, who could inherit a fortune in the wake of her mother's February death. After the hearing, Stern said he would not fight for custody. An expert in genetic evidence said the DNA analysis has proven Birkhead is Dannielynn's father.
· Illegal accused of raping 11-year-old girl. Syracuse police say they have enough evidence to charge Benito Martinez with first-degree rape, but they have to find him. The suspect has been missing since the incident happened early Saturday morning. Police say Martinez is in the country illegally, and are concerned he may try to escape charges in Mexico.
· Immigration Activists Call for Boycott. Immigration activists are calling for a repeat of last year's boycott and massive marches for immigrants' rights that drew more than 1 million people to the streets in dozens of cities nationwide. The so-called "Great American Boycott II" is being planned for May 1, organizers for the March 25 Coalition said Monday. The group is made up of immigrant rights organizations and others who frequently plan rallies around the country.
· "Girls Gone Wild" Creator Arrested at Airport. Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis was arrested Tuesday in Florida. The U.S. Marshal's Office in Panama City, Fla., tells PEOPLE Magazine that Francis, 34, was arrested at 6:30 a.m. at the Panama City airport on a warrant seeking his arrest for criminal contempt of court. He is currently being held at the Bay County jail, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Office says.
· Man Charged With DUI After Hitting Horse. A man was charged with drunken-driving after hitting a horse-drawn carriage in downtown Indianapolis Sunday, knocking the driver of the carriage to the ground.
· Coffee and cigarettes may protect against Parkinson's. People with Parkinson's disease are less likely to be smokers and coffee drinkers than their healthy siblings, according to a study of family members. The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that some substance in tobacco might protect the brain against this devastating neurological disorder and sheds new light on coffee's effects on the disease.
· Man loses $32,000 he gave a psychic to bless. A man who gave a psychic $32,000 to bless returned the next day to find she and the money have disappeared, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office reports. The strange case began when Manuel Lanaverde, 29, of Arcadia heard ads the psychic ran on two local radio stations, promising she could change your luck.
· Female Prison Guards Are More Likely Than Males to Have Sex With Inmates. According to government statistics, most sexual contact between corrections staff and inmates occurs between female employees and male prisoners. "One misconception about staff sexual abuse of inmates is that it only involves male staff engaging in sexual relations with female inmates. As the statistics indicate, the scope of the problem also includes female staff with male inmates, male staff with male inmates and female staff with female inmates," wrote the Department of Justice in a report by its Office of the Inspector General.
· Apologetic Imus Suspended; Critics Not Satisfied. Don Imus gets paid a bundle for opening his big mouth on a daily basis. Now, he's desperately trying to extricate his foot from said orifice to save his job. So far it's working. Following a flurry of onair apologies from the shock jock Monday, CBS Radio and MSNBC announced they were suspending Imus for two weeks effective Apr. 16 for his comments last week referring to Rutgers University's predominantly African-American women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."
· Al Roker: Time for him to go. The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it, says Roker. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.
· ‘Sanctuary’ cities stick up for illegal immigrants. There's now a growing number of "sanctuary" cities and towns - from Seattle to Cambridge, Mass. - where local authorities are effectively rejecting the federal government's call for tougher enforcement and instead bestowing a measure of local acceptance. In New Haven, Conn., for example, officials have prohibited police from asking about an immigrant's legal status, and in July the city will introduce municipal identification cards, providing undocumented immigrants with a "locally legal" form of ID that will make it easier for them to apply for bank accounts and sign rental leases. Overall, at least 20 cities and towns have approved pro-immigration measures over the past three years.
· Birmingham City Councilman Arrested For Public Intoxication. Birmingham City Councilman Joel Lynn Montgomery was arrested for public intoxication early Saturday morning according to the Birmingham Police Department. [with disturbing photo]
· Howard K. Stern hires Ramsey parents' lawyer. Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer-turned-partner has hired a prominent Atlanta attorney to represent him in possible litigation against media companies he believes are falsely implicating him in the death of the former Playboy Playmate and her son, Daniel. Lin Wood said he had been retained by Howard K. Stern, who is one of three men claiming to be the father of the starlet's infant daughter.
· Beer truck, bus collide killing 20. Twenty people burned to death and about 40 were injured when a beer truck and a passenger bus collided and caught fire in southern Sri Lanka, police and the government said on Tuesday. "It was a head-on clash in a bend. Both vehicles caught fire," said Jayantha Gamage, deputy inspector general for the Southern Province.
· Study on cruise ships' waste will continue. With the official blessing of the King County Council, work will continue on a study of whether it is feasible and desirable for the 150 Alaska-bound cruise ships that visit Seattle's waterfront every summer to pump their wastewater ashore rather than dumping it in the ocean.
Monday, April 9, 2007
· Doctor sues hospital he says kicked him out after Muslim ritual. A radiologist who was kicked out of the University of Maryland Medical Center after he performed a Muslim ritual has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the hospital. According to the lawsuit, Hussain, 61, was washing his hands and feet in a bathroom sink as part of a ritual called Wuduh when a security guard came into the bathroom and ordered him to get out "immediately or else."
· Elizabeth Edwards: scared of "rabid Republican" neighbor. Elizabeth Edwards says she is scared of the property owner across the street from her Orange County home - and she doesn't want her kids going near the gun-toting neighbor. Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, views neighbor Monty Johnson as a "rabid, rabid Republican" who refuses to clean up his "slummy" property just to spite her family, whose lavish 28,000-square-foot estate is nearby on 102 wooded acres. The Edwards' property and home, which includes an indoor basketball court, an indoor handball court and an indoor pool, is valued at $5.3 million. "I have to budget. I have to leave within my means," Johnson said. "I don't have millions of dollars to fix the place."
· Update: Imus To Be Suspended From MSNBC. Don Imus will be punished for his controversial comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team. NBC News has decided to suspend him, allowing him to finish the week on MSNBC, but suspend the simulcast of his radio show for the two weeks after that.
· 114-mph driver threatened to hit 'next oncoming vehicle' during police chase. A 22-year-old man who reportedly led police on a 114-mph chase and threatened to crash into another vehicle if officers didn't back off has been charged with two felonies in connection with the incident.
· Minister Found Beaten to Death in Virginia Parsonage. Investigators were working to learn more about Nancy Copin's background and associates in Snow Creek on Saturday, two days after the minister of a tiny, rural congregation was found beaten to death in her parsonage home.
· 13th DNA exoneration expected in Dallas. James Curtis Giles spent 10 years in prison for a gang rape he has long said he did not commit. On Monday, more than a decade after his release and after several years of living as a registered sex offender, he was expected to become the 13th Dallas County man to be exonerated since 2001 with the help of DNA evidence.
· Gays arrested at Kentucky seminary sit-in. Members of a gay rights group were arrested after staging a sit-in at a Baptist seminary whose president is drawing criticism for his comments on prenatal treatments that would influence a child's sexual orientation.
· NYC couple hail cab for 2,400-mile ride. Betty and Bob Matas have retired and are moving to Arizona, but like many New Yorkers they don't drive, and they don't want their cats to travel all that way in an airliner cargo hold. Their solution: "Hey, cabbie." They plan to leave Tuesday on the 2,400-mile trip to Sedona, Ariz., with Douglas Guldeniz driving his yellow SUV cab 10 hours a day for a flat fee of $3,000, plus gas, meals and lodging.
· Cell phones are becoming increasingly important to people living on the street. There are days like the one last week when John Marzette is low. The 41-year-old homeless man is low on job prospects, low on cash and low on minutes for his cell phone. Though it may seem strange to own a cell phone when you don't have a roof over your head, homeless advocates say the phones are becoming increasingly important to people living on the street. They offer the best chance homeless people have at getting a call back from a potential employer.
· 93-year-old bartender celebrates 75th year in business. For Angelo Cammarata, a drink a day keeps the doctor away. Meanwhile, a few brews and a lot of memories have kept the customers nearby for three-quarters of a century. So it goes for America's longest-serving bartender, who Saturday began his 75th year pouring beers for customers and friends alike - since the end of Prohibition in 1933.
· MIT Professor: Global warming not a concern. MIT scientist and meteorology professor explains there is no compelling evidence that the warming trend we've seen will amount to anything close to catastrophe. "Much of the alarm over climate change is based on ignorance of what is normal for weather and climate."
· Taliban behead Afghan translator. The kidnapped translator for an Italian journalist was beheaded in southern Afghanistan, Afghan authorities and a purported spokesman for the Taliban said. Ajmal Naqshbandi, a freelance journalist and translator, was kidnapped along with a driver and Daniele Mastrogiacomo of the Italian daily La Repubblica, in southern Helmand province on March 5. The driver, Sayed Agha, was beheaded, and Mastrogiacomo was released March 19 in a much criticized swap for five Taliban militants.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
· Mall's Easter Bunny Arrested, Charged With Stealing. Police said an 18-year-old who worked as the Easter Bunny at a Columbus, Ohio mall allegedly stole a woman's credit card and used it while on the job.
· School Renames Easter Bunny 'Peter Rabbit.' A Rhode Island public school has decided the Easter bunny is too Christian and renamed him Peter Rabbit, and a state legislator is so hopping mad he has introduced an "Easter Bunny Act" to save the bunny's good name.
· Sheehan's Peace Group Fights Over Money. With allegations of money mismanagement, threats of court action and members leaving, a group that has sponsored war protests in President Bush's adopted hometown has been anything but peaceful. The Crawford Peace House recently lost its corporate charter with the state, and tens of thousands donated during Cindy Sheehan's 2005 war protest are unaccounted for, according to members.
· Flight canceled after pilot's foul language. Northwest Airlines canceled a flight set to leave from Las Vegas to Detroit after the captain cursed on a cell phone in a bathroom, then swore at one of the 180 passengers on the plane, officials said on Saturday.
· Easter Services Canceled After Pastor Finds Church Locked, Sold. A church in Brevard County, Fla., was forced to cancel Easter services Sunday after a pastor discovered the church locked up and sold to the highest bidder.
· Coldest April Easter in 57 years. Minnesota is seeing the coldest Easter Sunday in 57 years. Other parts of the country are freezing, too. Friday's Twins game is canceled in Chicago, and Atlanta could see its coldest Easter Sunday in 120 years.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ephemeral [e·phem·er·al] adj. 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "The ephemeral nature of slang." 2. Living or lasting only for a day, as with certain plants or insects.
· Captain Charged in Cruise Ship Sinking. The captain of a cruise ship that sank in the Aegean Sea was charged Saturday with negligence, a government official said. Two French passengers are missing after the Sea Diamond hit rocks and foundered Thursday near Santorini island. The rest of the 1,154 passengers and 391 crew were safely evacuated.
· Ark. teacher accused of using trash can to punish student. A former Norfork teacher accused of using a trash can to punish a learning disabled student is to go on trial in May on a misdemeanor charge. Loretta DiAnne Cruse, 59, of Gassville pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
· High School teacher charged indecent sexual assault. A Beaver County, PA high school teacher was charged yesterday with indecent sexual assault involving a 15-year-old girl. David M. Costanza, 28, was being held last night on $50,000 bond in the Beaver County Jail.
· Roseville Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Minor. Roseville Police arrested a Silverado Middle School teacher for allegedly engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Twenty-eight-year-old Christine Spaich was arrested at her Roseville home Saturday and booked into the Roseville Police Department Jail on suspicion of having sex with the 16-year-old male.
· Occidental CEO got more than $400 million in 2006. Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s chairman and chief executive took in more than $400 million in compensation last year, the company said in a filing, one of the biggest single-year payouts in U.S. corporate history.
· Huckabee questions Romney hunting claim. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was wrong to suggest he was a lifelong hunter even though he never took out a license, campaign rival Mike Huckabee said Sunday. "I think it was a major mistake," said Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor. "It would be like me saying I've been a lifelong golfer because I played putt-putt when I was 9 years old and I rode in a golf cart a couple of times."
· Forget the lemonade stand, kids finds unique way to make money. There's a bear up a tree in your yard. What do you do? For 10-year-old friends Drake Harp and Britt Wade, the answer was easy: put up a sign and charge $2 to check it out.
· Tough day leaves Tiger 1 shot off lead. Tiger Woods getting into the final group at the Masters made it feel like a typical Saturday at Augusta National. Nothing else did. Not Woods finishing bogey-bogey, only to charge up the leaderboard while on the practice range. Not a scoreboard that showed no survivors to par for the first time in history. And certainly not a wind chill factor that never climbed higher than 47 degrees. They might hand out a green parka, not a green jacket.
· Elsie McLean, 102, oldest golfer to ace hole. Elsie McLean thought she might have lost her ball on the par-3, 100-yard fourth hole at Bidwell Park. Instead, the 102-year-old woman became the oldest golfer ever to make a hole-in-one on a regulation course.
· At least 80 immigrants found in home near Phoenix. Authorities found at least 80 suspected illegal immigrants in a house west of Phoenix and arrested two suspected smugglers, a police official said.
· 'Onion Field' Killer Dead at 76. Jimmy Lee Smith, the lifelong criminal whose role in the 1963 kidnapping and killing of a police officer inspired Joseph Wambaugh's true-life crime novel "The Onion Field," has died in jail at age 76, a state prisons official said. Smith was once sentenced to death for the killing of Officer Ian Campbell, and his parole after 19 years in prison drew public outrage when he was released in 1982.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
· No screaming allowed on roller coaster ride. No screaming on the Screamer! A suburban amusement park has gotten so many complaints from neighbors about bloodcurdling screams that it has instituted a no-shrieking rule for its scary new thrill ride, the Scandia Screamer, a gigantic, windmill-like contraption that sends people plunging 16 stories to Earth at nearly 60 mph. Riders who let out a screech - or just about any other noise - are pulled off and sent to the back of the line.
· Principal Sues Youths Over MySpace Fakes. A school principal sued four former students who he claims posted parody MySpace.com profiles saying he smoked pot, kept beer at school and liked having sex with students.
· Karate Kid Fends Off 4 Muggers Over Gold Chain. A 17-year-old brown belt, John Benedict Jr.'s dedication to martial arts has paid off after he helped fend off would-be muggers during a robbery attempt outside a local mall.
· ‘Just shoot me,’ suspect in fatal bank heist begs. When a third suspect was caught Friday in a bank robbery investigation that led to the fatal shooting of an FBI agent, he had a request for officers: "Just shoot me." Francisco Herrera-Genao, 22, was tired and cold, half-naked, and caked with mud and twigs after a night in the woods.
· Sex offender gets 11-year sentence on new charge. A registered sex offender from Granite City who offered a woman prescription drugs and as much as $200 for nude pictures of her 9-year-old daughter was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in prison. Ronald Atwood, 57, could have faced up to 14 years behind bars under a plea agreement with Madison County prosecutors.
· Pranksters Glue Doors Shut at California High School. Students could not get into a California high school Friday after vandals plugged locks on all exterior gates and doors with super-strength glue. "A teacher who always gets there early called me on my cell phone and said, 'Guess what?"' said Carlsbad High School principal Margaret Stanchi. "But I didn't guess this." Roughly 100 doors were sealed shut sometime before the first staff arrived, Stanchi said.
· Britney says K-Fed her ‘biggest mistake.’ Britney Spears and Kevin Federline have hammered out the details of their split, and it’s reportedly going to cost the “Toxic” singer $13 million. What’s more, Star magazine says that Spears was reluctant to finalize the split. Among the details, according to the tab: A 2004 prenup called for K-Fed to get $250,000 for each year of their marriage, but Spears upped that figure to $500,000 to speed up the negotiations. He receives half the proceeds from their Malibu mansion, which is on the market for $13.5 million, and $25,000 a month in child support.
· Spector Prosecution Files New Motions. Prosecutors in the Phil Spector slaying case asked a judge Friday to limit the defense from suggesting shooting victim Lana Clarkson was suicidal because of a declining career.
Friday, April 6, 2007
· 98% of illegal border-crossers never prosecuted. For all the tough talk out of Washington on immigration, illegal immigrants caught along the Mexican border have almost no reason to fear they will be prosecuted. Ninety-eight percent of those arrested between Oct. 1, 2000, and Sept. 30, 2005, were never prosecuted for illegally entering the country, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data. Those 5.2 million immigrants were simply escorted back across the Rio Grande and turned loose.
· Child psychiatrist accused of molesting. A child psychiatrist who once headed the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was arrested amid allegations he had molested male patients dating back to the 1960s.
· Vonage lawyer: Ruling a 'bullet to the head.' Vonage Holdings Corp. cannot service new customers while it appeals a finding that it infringed Verizon Communications Inc. patents for making phone calls over the Internet, a federal judge ruled Friday.
· Cruise Ship Sinks on Mediterranean Reef. A Greek cruise ship that struck a volcanic reef and forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists sank on Friday, 15 hours after it began taking on water off the coast of a Mediterranean island. A Frenchman and his daughter were missing, officials said. The Merchant Marine Ministry said 1,195 passengers and 391 crew members were on board.
· Update: 'Girls Gone Wild' Boss Won't Surrender. The founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos defied a federal judge Thursday, calling him a "judge gone wild" and refusing to surrender to U.S. marshals on a contempt citation. The 34-year-old Joe Francis, who makes an estimated $29 million a year through the videos of girls exposing their breasts, drew the contempt order Wednesday after lawyers for the women said Francis threatened them during negotiations. Francis told The Associated Press late Thursday that U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak "had lost his mind."
· Teacher finds a new use for clothespins. A substitute teacher's tool for silencing chatty kindergartners - clothespins - doesn't wash with school officials. Four boys said spring-type clothespins were placed over their upper or lower lips for talking too much in class, Amanda-Clearcreek Primary School principal Mike Johnsen wrote in a letter to parents this week.
· 12-Year-Old Left Alone After Police Arrest Father. A northeast Baltimore mother said she's angry and frustrated after her 12-year-old child was left alone to sit on a curb while police arrested her father and took him to central booking.
· Federal Official in Student Loans Held Loan Stock. A senior official at the federal Education Department sold more than $100,000 in shares in a student loan company even as he was helping oversee lenders in the federal student loan program.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Venality [ve·nal·i·ty] n. 1. The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption. 2. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain: "The venality of a corrupt court."
· Florida housing sex offenders under bridge. The sparkling blue waters off Miami's Julia Tuttle Causeway look as if they were taken from a postcard. But the causeway's only inhabitants see little paradise in their surroundings. Five men - all registered sex offenders convicted of abusing children - live along the causeway because there is a housing shortage for Miami's least welcome residents.
· Playboy Editor Acquitted. The editor-in-chief of Playboy Indonesia was acquitted Thursday of charges that he violated the Muslim nation's indecency laws by publishing pictures of scantily clothed women.
· Disney opens Fairy Tale Weddings to gay couples. The Walt Disney Co. has changed its policy to allow same-sex couples to participate in a popular Fairy Tale Wedding program it runs mainly at its two U.S. resorts and cruise line, a Disney spokesman said on Thursday. Disney previously had allowed gay couples to organize their own weddings or commitment ceremonies at rented meeting rooms at the resorts, but had barred them from purchasing its Fairy Tale Wedding package and holding the event at locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World that are set aside specifically for weddings.
· $17,000 found under old NJ slot machines. It's the casino equivalent of reaching under your couch cushions and finding a buck or so in loose change. Only the take at the former Sands Casino Hotel topped $17,000 worth of coins that fell under or around slot machines over the past three decades.
· Online Hoax Ad Strips Home of Everything. An online ad offering everything in the house for free left one landlord with quite a shock. By the time she realized what was going on, the house had been stripped of its light fixtures, hot water heater — even the kitchen sink. Laurie Raye said she traced the damage to a fake ad on craigslist, a San Francisco-based Internet site for classifieds.
· Anna Nicole Smith's private diaries revealed. Two diaries penned by Anna Nicole Smith in the early 1990s reveal a troubled young woman deeply in love with her octogenarian husband and often depressed and concerned about her weight. "I've been really stressed out lately and depressed and I can't quit eating. I feel like a pig," the former Playboy Playmate, who died February 8 in a Florida hotel from a drug overdose, wrote in an entry dated August 16, 1992.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
· Ford CEO paid $39.1 million for four months. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co.’s new president and chief executive officer, received compensation valued at $39.1 million during his four months on the job last year, according to an analysis of a federal regulatory filing made Thursday.
· Killer: "I’m not a prostitute!" During the weeks before he was brutally beaten to death, a 41-year-old Guatemalan man tried repeatedly to win the favor of the woman who killed him, Machelle Green admitted Wednesday. A jury on Thursday afternoon found Ms. Green guilty of second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. She earlier told the jury “He offered me $15 and $20 if I’d have sex with him,” Green said. “I told him I’m not a prostitute. This time he offered $200, so I said OK.”
· Keith Urban countersues Keith Urban. Keith D. Urban, the painter, has filed court documents claiming that the lawsuit filed by the famous singer Keith Urban about the painter’s Web site is baseless and a tool to intimidate him.
· Lesbian Couple in Wyo. Denied Communion. Leah Vader and Lynne Huskinson, a lesbian couple who got married in Canada last August, sent a letter recently to their state legislator decrying a Wyoming bill that would deny recognition of same-sex marriages. Soon after, the local paper interviewed the couple on Ash Wednesday and ran a story and pictures of them with ash on their foreheads, a mark of their Roman Catholic faith. It wasn't long after that that the couple received a notice from their parish church telling them they have been barred from receiving Communion.
· Ohio Firefighter Arrested In Wig and Bikini. A volunteer firefighter from southwest Ohio is due in court this morning on charges of drunken driving, public indecency and disorderly conduct after being arrested in a park wearing a woman's blond wig and bikini.
Steven Cole, 46, of Waynesville is to be arraigned in Mason Municipal Court.
· Illegal immigrant is charged with killing two Virginia Beach teenagers. When Alfredo Ramos - an illegal immigrant - allegedly drove drunk and crashed into a car in Virginia Beach killing two teenage girls - he had already been convicted of being drunk in public in Virginia Beach and chesapeake, and a DUI in chesapeake, but never received any jail time. Chesapeake Police say they never contacted immigration officials after his arrests in their city, even though they knew he has no social security number, no license, nothing but an illegal ID.
· Update: Girls Gone Wild Founder Ordered To Jail. Just days after narrowly avoiding jail time, the multimillionaire founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos was again ordered to jail Wednesday for contempt of court. Joe Francis, 34, has until noon Thursday to turn himself in to authorities.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Esoteric [es·o·ter·ic] adj. 1. Difficult to understand; abstruse. 2. Not publicly disclosed; confidential. 3. Of rare, special, or unusual interest: Her software success was based on an esoteric programming language.
· Rapist spared jail as judge agrees girl, 10, looked older. A man who raped a 10-year-old girl was spared a jail sentence yesterday after a High Court judge agreed that the victim looked older. Describing the case as "wholly exceptional", Mr Justice Roderick Evans said he understood why Liam Edgecombe, a 20-year-old painter, had thought that the child was 16 when they had sex last year. Judge Evans said "The prosecution accepts that you believed she was 16 and that that belief was reasonable. She was looking for a man and got what she wanted."
· VA Hospital Removes Wrong Testicle From Veteran. An Air Force veteran has filed a federal claim after an operation at a Veterans Administration hospital in which a healthy testicle was removed instead of a potentially cancerous one.
· Police: Man set girlfriend afire. An Indianapolis woman was in critical condition after her boyfriend set her on fire during an argument, police said. Michael Wilson, 33, was held today on preliminary charges of aggravated assault and arson. “Wilson, who is still in Wishard Hospital in good condition, is accused of pouring gasoline on his his girlfriend, Nupur Srivastava, and setting her on fire yesterday,” Lt. Doug Scheffel said.
· Greg Norman in nasty divorce. Golfer Greg Norman's divorce has turned nasty after a bitter row in which his estranged wife tossed out his sporting momentos from their home in Jupiter Island Florida. Norman's wife may have been jealous because Norman has been dating tennis legend Chris Evert.
· Teacher who threw feces at boy may keep job. A Toronto school principal who pleaded guilty to throwing human excrement at a 12-year-old boy may get her job back, officials said on Tuesday. "It's quite possible she'll end up back in her old position," said Grant Bowers, a lawyer for the Toronto District School Board.
· Special Ed Teacher Arrested For Sex With Boy, 16. A 53-year-old teacher's assistant in a special education program at Downey High School was arrested for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old boy, Downey police said.
· Man Charged With Raping 9-Year-Old Boy. A man is being charged with raping a 9-year-old boy who was trying to sell him magazine subscriptions and taunting the boy’s mother when he saw her months later.
· Rio's obese treated like horses. Rio de Janeiro hospitals have been sending obese people to share medical test equipment with horses at the local race track, drawing complaints from activists who say the practice is humiliating. "When people weigh more than the standard equipment can support they have to be directed to the Jockey Club, which is the only place in Rio where they have the appropriate equipment," a spokeswoman said.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
· American Taliban Seeks Reduced Sentence. The lawyer and parents of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh asked President Bush on Wednesday to commute his 20-year prison term, citing the case of an Australian man who was sentenced to less than a year for aiding terrorism. Lindh, 26, was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 by American forces sent to topple the Taliban after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
· NYC gives away 5 million official condoms in 1st month. The city's new official condom is a "sensation," according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, which announced Wednesday that City Hall gave away a record 5 million in the first month of a distribution program.
· Three Yale Students Arrested for Burning American Flag. Three Yale University students were arrested and charged with arson and other offenses after they allegedly set fire to an American flag hanging from the porch of a New Haven neighborhood home.
· Obama Bests Clinton in Primary Fundraising. ABC News has learned that the $23.5 million Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., raised for his presidential campaign for use in the primaries is more than that raised by the Democratic frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Clinton.
· 1 Doctor Prescribed Smith's Drugs. One doctor authorized all 11 prescription medications found in Anna Nicole Smith's hotel room, most of them in the name of the Playboy Playmate's companion, according to documents released by the medical examiner's office Wednesday. The medical examiner's office said psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich authorized all the medications found at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., where Smith was found unresponsive before her death Feb. 8.
· Eighth-Grader Faces Terrorism Charge. A middle school student who allegedly confronted a girl with a knife and was later found with a backpack full of restraining devices and weapons faces a series of charges, including terrorism, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said.
· Another idiot paints his face. Michael Edward Thompson, of North Carolina, was busted Sunday by Hickory Police Department officers and charged with inhaling toxic vapors. Thompson, who was popped behind a Circuit City at 7 AM, was booked into the Catawba County jail.
· Richards Denies Snorting His Dad's Ashes. Keith Richards was joking when he claimed to have snorted his father's ashes along with cocaine, a spokesman said Wednesday. "It was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke, and it is not true.
· 15 British sailors "pardoned" by Iranian president. Iran is to free the 15 UK sailors and marines taken captive a fortnight ago as a "gift" to Britain. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said they would be released after a news conference currently being held in the capital Tehran.
· Woman dropped on head alleges 'negligent dancing.' A woman is suing her dance partner, claiming he dropped her on her head after flipping her into the air at an office party. Lacey Hindman, 22, was a victim of "negligent dancing," says her lawyer, David M. Baum. In the suit, Hindman claims that during a party at a Chicago bar and restaurant in April 2006, David Prange grabbed her by the forearms and tossed her in the air, and then she crashed to the wood floor.
· Would You Like Engines With Your Flight? Buying an airline ticket used to be simple, if not wildly variable in price. Now consumers have more options — and more fees — when they fly. Spirit Airlines recently announced that as of June 20 it will begin charging $10 each for checked bag — $5 if the fee is paid online. A third bag and each one after that will set you back $100. Cokes will be $1 each. Northwest Airlines is setting aside some exit row and aisle seats for customers willing to pay $15 extra.
· Cell phones in the sky: Not now, not ever. After two years of study and thousands of comments, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to maintain its ban on the use of cell phones in flight. Reportedly, the reasoning behind the decision was that the agency is still uncertain as to whether or not cell phone signals interfere with cockpit operations and/or ground-based cellular networks.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pugnacious [pug·na·cious] adj. 1. Quarrelsome or combative in nature; belligerent. 2. Expressing an argument or opinion very forcefully: Rather than maintaining a calm demeanor, his boss was quite pugnacious.
· Prosecutors: Spector threatened ex-lover. Prosecutors in the Phil Spector murder case have asked a judge to allow testimony from a one-time girlfriend who said the record producer pointed a gun at her head in two separate incidents decades ago.
· Mariah Carey next in line to adopt an orphan. Mariah Carey is allegedly planning to adopt a Mexican orphan. The 'Hero' singer reportedly visited Mexico's Frank Gonzalez orphanage with her lawyer recently and rumours are now rife she is considering adopting a
· Man tries to solve homeless problem - with pellet gun. A disturbing crime has some of Orlando's most vulnerable on edge. Police were investigating a series of drive-by shooting attacks on the homeless. It was a pellet gun, and while it may not be deadly force, some of the homeless worry they haven't seen the last of the attacks. "This guy leans over the seat and starts going pop, pop, pop, pop, shooting at us," said Bobby Shadley.
· Jackson Hewitt owner accused of fraud. Federal investigators on Tuesday accused a Jackson Hewitt franchisee with dozens of storefronts in metro Detroit of cheating the Internal Revenue Service out of nearly $18 million by writing tax returns with phony income and withholding forms, bogus deductions and false expenses.
· Accused Scammer Wins $2,100 On Lotto TV. A man awaiting trial on charges accusing him of bilking $135,000 from three people in a home-repair scam won $2,100 on the Ohio Lottery's television game show. Timothy Snyder, 44, of St. Louisville, had a winning scratch-off ticket that earned him an appearance "Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich," which aired Saturday night. Dan Huston, an assistant county prosecutor, said last week that he hoped Snyder fared well on the lottery show so, if convicted, he would have money to repay the victims. He could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison if convicted.
· Student who "mooned" teacher sues school board. A high school senior and his parents sued the school board Tuesday, claiming he was denied due process and should not have have been transferred to another school for "mooning" a teacher.
· Pet owners making own dog and cat food. Some dog and cat owners frightened by a contamination scare are forsaking the pet-food aisle and grinding up meat in their own kitchens instead. Sales of pet food recipe books have also shot up since the nationwide pet-food recall began two weeks ago.
· Public housing kicks smoking habit. Tenants in some public housing complexes can no longer light up in the one place that seemed safe from smoking bans: their own homes. From California to Maine, at least 36 public housing authorities have made their apartments smoke-free, says Jim Bergman, director of the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project.
· Halle Berry gets star on Hollywood Walk. Halle Berry has an Emmy, a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Now she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A teary-eyed Berry received the 2,333rd Walk of Fame star in a ceremony Tuesday in front of the Kodak Theatre
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
· Journalist jailed for record time freed. A freelance videographer walked out of federal prison Tuesday after spending more time behind bars than any other journalist for refusing to testify to a grand jury.
· Ala. Woman on Horseback Charged With DUI. A woman who went for a horseback ride through town at midnight and allegedly used the horse to ram a police car was charged with driving under the influence and drug offenses, police said Tuesday. "Cars were passing by having to avoid it, and almost hitting the horse," said Police Chief Brad Gregg.
· Woman dead after CNN Center shooting. A woman has died according to Atlanta's Grady Hospital following a shooting Tuesday at the CNN complex, in what Atlanta police called a "domestic situation." The woman, who witnesses said appeared to be pregnant, was shot and the gunman was then shot by a Turner security guard.
· Keith Richards: `I Snorted My Father.' Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all. In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.
· Man with tuberculosis jailed for not wearing mask. Behind the county hospital's tall cinderblock walls, a 27-year-old tuberculosis patient sits in a Phoenix jail cell equipped with a ventilation system that keeps germs from escaping.
· No Charges in Water Intoxication Death. Prosecutors said Monday they will not file criminal charges in the death of a 28-year-old woman who participated in a radio station's water-drinking contest. At one point during the contest, a listener who identified herself as a nurse called "The Morning Rave" program to warn the disc jockeys that the stunt could be fatal, according to an audio tape of the broadcast. "Yeah, we're aware of that," one of the DJs responded. Another DJ laughed: "Yeah, they signed releases, so we're not responsible. We're OK."
· Slain woman had restraining order. A University of Washington researcher was shot to death in her office Monday morning by a former boyfriend who then turned the gun on himself, police said. The 26-year-old woman was granted a restraining order last month against Jonathan Rowan, according to court documents.
· Amendment to protect sued passengers has Democratic critics. Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.) proposed an amendment directed at a dangerous new threat to national security. His motion was in response to the "John Doe" lawsuit filed by six "Flying Imams" who were kicked off a plane and now plan to sue the passengers who turned them in. King said his amendment would protect anyone who makes a reasonable, good-faith report of suspicious activity from being the target of a lawsuit. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, took the floor to oppose King's motion - and to defend the lawsuit against John Does. "We should be tolerant," he argued; people shouldn't be singled out because they "look different." Many House members started booing Thompson. Finally, a member of the leadership realized how this would look to Americans watching on C-SPAN: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) was seen staring at Thompson and repeatedly drawing his hand across his throat - an urgent signal to get off the floor.
· Mexico City to be one, giant Wi-Fi hotspot by 2008: mayor. All of Mexico City will be one free, wireless Internet hotspot by 2008, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard announced Monday. The project "will accelerate the technological development of the city," Ebrard said after signing a contract with the Chinese telecoms and networking giant ZTE.
· Eight-graders charged with trying to poison teacher. Two eighth-graders were arrested on charges they tried to poison their science teacher by pouring a fabric freshener into her soda, authorities said Monday. The teacher, 51-year-old Jacqueline Hutchins, was not hurt, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. She noticed an odd taste when she sipped her Pepsi.
· Grandad builds his own 90-seat pub to beat the smoking ban. A grandfather was so outraged by a Wales-wide ban on smoking in public places he built his own private pub. Property developer Kerry Morgan, 50, feared the simple pleasure of smoking and drinking a pint was about to disappear forever.
· No drunk driving charge for Zamboni operator. Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 percent. A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren’t motor vehicles because they aren’t useable on highways and can’t carry passengers. Peragallo, 64, did admit at his trial that he drank beer and vodka after grooming the ice, and had a shot of Sambuca with his breakfast coffee and two Valium pills before work.
· Pit bull dog owner bites policeman. The owner of a pit bull bit a policeman after his dog ran away during a confrontation with officers. Two policemen stopped the dog owner for walking the animal without a leash and a muzzle Sunday.
Monday, April 2, 2007
· Anna Nicole's Partner Drops DNA Appeal. The lawyer-turned-partner of Anna Nicole Smith dropped his bid Monday to halt the use of DNA to prove the paternity of the former Playboy playmate's infant daughter when it appeared a Bahamas court was going to reject his appeal. In withdrawing the appeal, Howard K. Stern agreed to pay $10,000 in legal costs incurred by Birkhead and the Bahamian government department in charge of birth certificates.
· Latest art controversy: Obama as Jesus. Some call it art. Other call it blasphemy. A new piece of art showing Senator Barack Obama as Jesus Christ is now on display at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
· Mom offers 7-year-old daughter for sex. A 33-year-old woman was arraigned Sunday on charges alleging she offered to let an undercover investigator take pornographic photos of her 7-year-old daughter and have sex with the girl, authorities said.
· 28 Men Arrested In Online Child-Sex Sting. The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested and charged 28 men, including a TV news employee and Disney employee, with soliciting sex from a minor after a weeklong undercover sting. Investigators said the men went to Polk County thinking they were going to have sex with a child but were instead met by police officers.
· Passing Bill That Keeps Drug Prices High. If you have ever wondered why the cost of prescription drugs in the United States are the highest in the world or why it's illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico, you need look no further than the pharmaceutical lobby and its influence in Washington, D.C.
· Bowlers busted for illegal steroids. It was just a matter of time before the nationwide steroid scandal hit home for Sault Ste. Marie residents, but most people probably thought it would be a football issue.
· Famous clown gets tiny bike back. Bello Nock, the daredevil clown, was all smiles Sunday when he was reunited with his lost little bike. The star of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus thanked Ricky Robinson, who found Bello's shiny foot-high, 6-inch-wide contraption Friday night outside a restaurant on Manhattan's West Side. Without the bike, the man once named "America's Best Clown" by Time magazine would have had to adjust his show.
· John Seigenthaler Leaves NBC Anchor Spot. "NBC Nightly News" weekend anchor John Seigenthaler signed off for good this weekend after the network decided not to renew his contract due to budget cuts.
· Twice-assaulted teacher calls it quits. A Baltimore middle school teacher who resigned two weeks ago after twice being physically assaulted by students learned Friday that the city school system is now moving to pull her state certification. “Teaching in a city school is the job I signed up for, and it’s not my intention to skip out before the end of the year,” said Waverly Elementary/Middle School art teacher Julia Gumminger. “But I got into this to teach, not to fear for my safety.”
· If you see Chris Hansen, it's trouble. Chris Hansen of NBC News has supplanted Mike Wallace as the TV journalist you'd least like to see emerge from behind a closed door. For dozens of men cornered on the "Dateline NBC" series "To Catch a Predator," the sight of Hansen dashes their warped dreams of sex with a child they'd "met" over the Internet. They'd be arrested and shamed on national television.
· 'Our worst fears': Missing brothers found dead. A volunteer search team found the bodies of two young brothers encased in ice in a lake on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota Sunday, more than four months after they disappeared, authorities said.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
· Jury awards $1.4 million to teacher who was punished for refusing to change failing grades. A Louisiana school system must pay more than $1.4 million to an English teacher who was suspended and demoted after refusing to change the Ds and Fs she gave to 70 percent of her students, a federal jury has found.
· Google brings web service through toilet. Presiding over a company with a market value of $143 billion apparently gives Silicon Valley's most famous billionaires a good sense of humor - and a case of corporate potty mouth. Senior executives at Google Inc. launched their annual April Fools' Day prank Sunday, posting a link on the company's home page to a site offering consumers free high-speed wireless Internet through their home plumbing systems.
· Community Sues To Oust 3-Year-Old. A Florida homeowners group wants 3-year-old Kimberly Broffman to take her Big Wheel and hit the road. They've banded together to oust the toddler from their Tampa-area community, which bans residents under 18. The child's grandparents, Judie and Jimmy Stottler, admit Kimberly's been living there in violation of homeowners' association rules for three years. They said her mother has a drug problem, and isn't capable of caring for the child.
· Strange tale of voyeurism. A 40-year-old man is in the county jail with no bond, accused in a strange case of voyeurism and burglary. Citrus County Florida Sheriff's detectives say an 11-year old victim woke up to feel her blanket being pulled from her body. The child saw a pole with a hook on the end sticking through her window screen. Investigators found semen on the exterior wall of the child's bedroom, indicating a man had been outside the child's window masturbating as he tried to pull off her covers.
· Pet Owners Likely to Get Little in Lawsuits. Pet owners are not likely to get much compensation if they individually sue pet food-maker Menu Foods over the death of a dog or cat, although they might fare better if they joined forces in a class action suit, legal experts say. "I would love to find an attorney to take on this company," said Brenda Hitchcock of Tampa, Fla. Hitchcock said she racked up $4,000 in veterinarian bills trying to save her 5-year-old cat "S.S." to no avail. She said she still has two pouches of the recalled food to prove her case.
· 'That Announcer Guy' finally gets due. Don LaFontaine has worked in Hollywood for decades, reached the top of his craft, earned plenty and won accolades. Yet, as he might say: In a world where exposure is everything, putting a face to the voice behind 5,000 movie trailers can give a guy a whole new perspective.
· Visitors flood Amsterdam's red-light district. Amsterdam's sex workers came to work early on Saturday to offer a free look at the city's famed red-light district. Organizers staged the open day to counter bad publicity surrounding the 800-year-old district after harrowing reports of forced prostitution, human trafficking and organized crime.
· Jail Employees Accused of Sex Assault. An internal investigation into the Monroe County jail has led to sex charges against seven people who worked there. It started with a tip made to a probation officer. The accusations at the Monroe County jail range from kissing a prisoner in the kitchen to having sex with inmates. Those accused of the sex crimes include six prison guards and a contracted kitchen worker.
· How Gitmo can cripple careers. Military lawyers appointed to defend terror suspects held at the Guantanamo prison have paid a steep price for doing their jobs well. In a world where the rule is get promoted or get out, being assigned to defend Al Qaeda suspects is a career killer.
· Girls Gone Wild Founder Faces Jail. The multimillionaire founder of the Girls Gone Wild videos waited to learn Saturday if he would go to jail for yelling obscenities at attorneys representing underaged girls featured in one his videos.
· Newt Gingrich Decries 'Ghetto' Nature of Bilingual Education. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with "the language of living in a ghetto" and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages. "The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote," said Gingrich.
· Stewardess Busted For Hidden Handgun On Flight. A uniformed flight attendant was arrested at Dulles International Airport after she turned herself in for allegedly carrying a concealed handgun aboard a flight from Atlanta, authorities said Saturday. The TSA, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were investigating how the gun passed through security unnoticed in Atlanta.
· Artist seeks new home for Jesus. The chocolate sculpture of a nude Jesus is being held in a secret location, but it could have a new home soon. The artist who created "My Sweet Lord" said he's gotten offers from around the world to buy or exhibit the controversial figure booted from a Manhattan gallery.
· Update: Girl in prison for shove released. After spending a year behind bars for shoving a teacher's aide at her high school, Shaquanda Cotton walked out of a central Texas youth prison Saturday pretty much like many 15-year-olds would: eager for a hug from her mom and pining for a Big Mac.
· Cats may be more sensitive to pet food contaminant. Cats' greater sensitivity to a chemical found in plastics and pesticides could explain why they have died in larger numbers than have dogs after eating contaminated pet food that has been recalled in North America, experts said Saturday.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
· Debra Opri Bills Birkhead Kings Ransom. According to TMZ, Larry Birkhead got a Fed Ex on Saturday, and it was not good news. It was a bill for legal services from Debri Opri, the lawyer he fired two weeks ago. The total: $620,492.84. Opri billed her services out at $475 an hour. Opri billed $161.65 for an Outback Steakhouse dinner. The bill was for $111.65. Opri left a $50 tip and billed Birkhead - who wasn't even there. Opri billed Birkhead $4,265 for Cingular roaming service while she was in the Bahamas, and on October 23, Birkhead was billed $25.75. The item - "laundry service Zawacki." Zawacki is Opri's husband, who joined Opri on the trip.
· Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service. Two McLean High School students have launched a court challenge against a California company hired by their school to catch cheaters, claiming the anti-plagiarism service violates copyright laws. A company called Turnitin tries to root out cheaters by comparing student term papers and essays against a database of more than 22 million student papers as well as online sources and electronic archives of journals. In the process, the student papers are added to the database.
· Baptist Hospital Admits Employee Stole Patient IDs. South Florida's largest health care organization is trying to determine the scope of damage done by an employee who the Hospital now admits used his access to patients records to allegedly steal their identities and make credit card purchases of things like expensive watches and TVs.
· Pet food recall expanded to include some dry pet food. Federal testing of recalled pet foods turned up a chemical used to make plastics but failed to confirm the presence of a cancer drug also used as rat poison. The recall expanded Friday to include the first dry pet food such as cat kibble.
· Murder charge follows boy's death. Seeing the 4-year-old boy sucking his thumb, Christopher Montgomery grew angry. Then Montgomery hog-tied the boy with a drawstring of a hooded sweatshirt, police said. The boy’s mother revealed that information today after she learned an autopsy showed her son, Elijah Simpson, had died from a fractured skull.
· Drugs That Killed Anna Rx'ed to Howard Stern and Others. The Broward County Medical Examiner confirmed that none of the 11 drugs that were found in Anna Nicole Smith's hotel room were prescribed to Smith. FOX News anchor Greta Van Susteren obtained documents from Dr. Joshua Perper's office which shows that of the 11 drugs, eight were prescribed to Howard K. Stern, two were prescribed to Alex Katz and one was prescribed to Anna's personal shrink, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich. We don't know who Katz is, but Perper acknowledged one thing that was clear - Dr. Eroshevich wrote all 11 prescriptions.
· Muslim men now suing airline passengers. Six Muslim men removed from a plane after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing not only the airline but the passengers who complained — a move some fear could discourage travelers from speaking up when they see something unusual. "Airport signs say, `Report suspicious behavior,'" said Gerry Nolting. "There's no disclaimer that adds, `But beware if you do that, you might get sued.'"
· Gunmen kill two migrants on U.S.-Mexico border. Unknown gunmen fired on a truck packed with suspected illegal immigrants in southern Arizona early on Friday, killing two people and wounding a third, police said. Spokeswoman Dawn Barkman said two children were among at least 14 people packed into the extended-cab pickup truck.
· Fired teacher indicted in S.C. sex scandal. A former middle school teacher accused of having sex with five boys was indicted Friday by a grand jury, the Laurens County prosecutor said. Allenna Ward, 24, is due in court Monday on five counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and six counts of lewd acts on a minor, prosecutor Jerry Peace said. The married teacher is accused of having sexual encounters with the 14- and 15-year-old boys at the school, a motel, a park and behind a restaurant, according to arrest warrants.
· Cabbie says he was stiffed on $8,200 fare. A taxi driver told police he was stiffed on an $8,200 cross-country fare by a female passenger he shuttled from Beverly Hills, Calif. to North Carolina. The meter in Levon Mikayelyan's taxi cab hit the staggering fare after a 2,600-mile journey that ended at a Holiday Inn in Chapel Hill. Mikayelyan said the rider's family paid him only $800, Chapel Hill police spokeswoman Jane Cousins said Friday. "We do get reports of people who are not able to pay cab drivers, but certainly not with this amount," Cousins said.
· Cheerleading most dangerous "sport." Emergency room visits for cheerleading injuries nationwide have more than doubled since the early 1990s, and the rate of life-threatening injuries has startled researchers. Of 104 catastrophic injuries sustained by female high school and college athletes from 1982 to 2005 — head and spinal trauma that occasionally led to death — more than half resulted from cheerleading, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. All sports combined did not surpass cheerleading.
· Snoop SHOCKED about being denied visa. Snoop Dogg says he was shocked at being denied a British visa this week, although he remains hopeful authorities will allow him to share a "message of love and harmony."
· Singer Marie Osmond Getting Divorced. Marie Osmond and husband Brian Blosil are divorcing after 20 years of marriage, the pair announced Friday. Osmond, 47, and Blosil, a record producer, have eight children, some of whom are adopted. The two married in a Mormon ceremony in 1986, and briefly separated in 2000.
· Australian judge faces fraud over speeding ticket. A former Australian judge, who blamed a dead woman for a speeding offence in his car, has been charged by police and could face a hefty jail sentence over his attempts to avoid a $62 traffic fine.
· The ghostly Angel of the Vatican. When retired policeman Andy Key went on a trip to Rome, he was struck by the beauty of sunlight streaming through a window in the Vatican. As the Pope made an address nearby, he decided to capture the stunning image on his camera.
Friday, March 30, 2007
· Update: Chocolate Jesus Show Canceled. A planned Holy Week exhibition of a nude, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ was canceled Friday amid a choir of complaints. The "My Sweet Lord" display was shut down by the hotel that houses the Lab Gallery in midtown Manhattan, said Matt Semler, the gallery's creative director. Semler said he submitted his resignation after officials at the Roger Smith Hotel shut down the show.
· Wife charged after husband shoots her lover. A husband who killed his wife's lover after finding them together escaped a murder charge from a grand jury, which instead indicted the wife for causing the shooting by claiming she was being raped.
· New Orleans judge orders suspects freed. A judge on Friday ordered the release of up to 42 criminal defendants, saying they aren't being adequately represented by the city's financially struggling indigent defenders office. A prosecutor said about half of the 42 are already out of jail. Among them are people accused of violent crimes.
· With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming. The 53-year-old actor, a passionate pilot, encouraged his fans to "do their bit" to tackle global warming. But although he readily admitted: "I fly jets", he failed to mention he actually owns five, along with his own private runway. Clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months means he has produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions – nearly 100 times the average consumption. [with photo of Travolta compound]
· Controversial chocolate Jesus outrages Catholics. A controversial artist outraged New York Catholics yesterday with plans to display a nude 6-foot chocolate Jesus during Holy Week. Cosimo Cavallaro's anatomically-correct candy Christ, titled "My Sweet Lord," was made from almost 200 pounds of dark chocolate. "It's an all-out war on Christianity," fumed Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. "They wouldn't show a depiction of Martin Luther King Jr. with genitals exposed on Martin Luther King Day, and they wouldn't show Muhammed depicted this way during Ramadan. It's always Christians, and the timing is deliberate."
· Pedestrian killed "dead as a door knob" by Lauderdale police car. A Fort Lauderdale police car, rushing to the scene of a reported shooting, struck and killed a pedestrian last night. A police spokesman wouldn't name either the officer or the pedestrian, or the circumstances of the accident, but one witness said "that man was dead as a doorknob."
· Blood Sprays Out of Sewer, On City Worker. A Minneapolis city worker is worried about blood in the sewer system because he said, while he was cleaning the system, blood sprayed out of a hole and got all over him. "We could tell it was blood, I mean large amount of blood," said Minneapolis Sewer Maintenance Worker Ron Huebner. It was a mix of human and animal blood used in medical testing at a nearby lab.
· ‘Gin and tonic bandit’ arrested for skipping bills. A scofflaw who came to be known as the gin and tonic bandit went to the same restaurant each Wednesday, ordered two drinks and a rib-eye steak, then skipped out on his $25.96 bill. His dining, drinking and dashing days may be over.
· Mexican ‘Ice’ becomes drug enforcement nightmare. Ice is a powerful form of the stimulant methamphetamine and is very addictive. Mexican drug traffickers, who are mass-producing ice in big labs south of the border, then smuggling it throughout the U.S. Drug agents raided a "superlab" near Guadalajara and in Mexico City seized $205 million in cash, but the Mexican traffickers are undeterred and are moving east, making Atlanta a major U.S. distribution hub.
· $1.75 million raised for black UCLA students. A private group led by several prominent UCLA alumni has raised $1.75 million to fund scholarships for black freshmen, hoping the additional financial aid will help increase black enrollment.
· Prosecutors: Revoke Hilton's probation. prosecutors said Thursday they will ask a judge to revoke Paris Hilton's probation in a reckless driving case, a move that could lead to a jail term. The decision followed an investigation into whether the hotel heiress and reality star violated terms of her probation by driving last month with a suspended license. Hilton could face up to 90 days in jail.
· Britney Spears, K-Fed Settle Divorce. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline reached a settlement in their divorce Thursday, a spokesman for Federline's attorney said. After a five-hour meeting with their attorneys present, Spears and Federline signed "a global settlement on all issues of their marriage," said Michael Sands, a spokesman for Federline's attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
· 10-Year-Olds Charged In Attack On Homeless Man. Two 10-year-olds in Daytona Beach, Fla., are accused of attacking a homeless man who was hospitalized after a piece of concrete was smashed into his face, according to police.
· "D.C. Madam" Seeks $500,000 Federal Handout. Citing "irreconcilable personal and professional differences" between herself and her court appointed public defender, former Washington, D.C. madam Deborah Palfrey is now asking the court to hand over $500,000 for her to hire a private attorney.
· Handcuffed Woman Steals Deputy's Car. A traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase when a woman detained in the back of a Travis County Sheriffs patrol car squeezed under the cage window into the driver's seat and drove away.
· Caretaker Beat, Dragged 84-Year-Old Woman. Columbia, South Carolina police are searching for a woman they say assualted an 84-year-old woman. Officers say they're searching for 41-year-old Tina Sumter. She will be charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, kidnapping and abuse of a vulnerable adult. Officers say Sumter tied a rope around the woman's neck, and began dragging her from room to room. At one point, officers say she doused the victim with hot water when she refused to give her money.
· Victoria choir's Samson a suicide bomber. The Victoria Philharmonic Choir is creating a stir with its version of Handel's Samson oratorio. The choir's version of the classic story turns the Biblical tale on its head by portraying Samson as a suicide bomber in 1946 Jerusalem. The change is the idea of artistic director Simon Capet, who said he wants to "get people talking about music."
· Abandoned Grocery Store Stinks Up City. A fully-stocked grocery store was discovered abandoned in New York, with groceries left rotting on the shelves and a foul odor that disturbs residents and passersby. The old Bleecker Grocery was closed by New York City marshals almost two months ago. The problem is, nobody has bothered to clean up the place ever since.
· Woman's Home Set On Fire - For Third Time. Florida authorities are searching for answers after a Westside family said they've been terrorized by a string of fires that charred their home and yard almost claimed two lives. The State Fire Marshal's Office is calling the fires "suspicious."
· Fence execs sentenced for illegal hiring. Two executives at a company that once helped build a fence to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican border were sentenced Wednesday to six months of home confinement for hiring undocumented workers.
· T.J. Maxx, Marshall's: At Least 45 Million Card Numbers Stolen. Discount retailer TJX Cos. has revealed that information from at least 45.7 million credit and debit cards was stolen over an 18-month period. The data that was stolen covers transactions dating as far back as December 2002 at T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and other stores in North America and the United Kingdom.
· Teen's imprisonment highlights racial tensions. A teenager has been jailed for more than a year for shoving a teacher's aide at her high school, sparking anger and heightening racial tensions in rural Texas. Shaquandra Cotton, now 15, claims the teacher's aide pushed her first and would not let her enter school before the morning bell. A jury convicted her in March 2006 on a felony count of shoving a public servant, who was not seriously injured.
· Halle Berry talks about suicide attempt. Hollywood star Halle Berry attempted to commit suicide over a failed relationship but backed out at the last minute. "I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming, when I had an image of my mother finding me," she says.
· Circuit City: You're fired, but reapply for less pay. Circuit City announced layoffs aimed squarely at better-paid workers, implying that wages are as subject to discounts as flat-screen TVs. The electronics retailer said Wednesday it will lay off about 3,400 store workers immediately and replace them with lower-paid new hires as soon as possible.
· Severed limbs wash up in two locations in New York. Severed human legs were found washed up in two locations on the North Shore over the past two days, including on a private beach belonging to Cablevision Systems chief James Dolan, and police believe they may match a headless torso found almost a month ago across Long Island Sound. "The condition of the leg found in the bag indicates to us that it could be a possible homicide," said Det. Sgt. Richard Laursen of Nassau's Homicide Squad.
· Acid attack on woman shocks Ethiopia. Kamilat Mehdi, 21, had a bright future ahead of her. She dreamed of getting her degree and becoming an air hostess. All that changed one night when she was walking home from work with her two sisters and a stalker threw sulphuric acid in her face. She is now lying in hospital disfigured beyond recognition. [photos]
· Factory struggles after immigration raid. Michael Bianco Inc. was a success story, a small leather factory in a struggling city that landed military contracts at such a rate that its work force more than quadrupled in the span of a few years.
· Iran: Britain Must Admit Navy Trespassed. Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Britain must admit that its 15 sailors and marines entered Iranian waters in order to resolve a standoff over their capture by the Mideast nation.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
· Chicago police chief embarrassed, to take on thug cops. Anthony Abbate should have walked in and out of a Cook County courthouse like any other accused criminal, Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline said. Instead, the burly Chicago cop, who is accused of pummeling a petite female bartender during a drunken rage, was shielded from the media by on-duty Chicago officers, ticketing the cars of reporters trying to cover Abbate's hearing, and threatening them with arrest. Upon leaving, Abbate was then allowed to slip out a rear entrance, avoiding cameras and reporters.
· New defense tactic: Lacing food with rat poison "just a practical joke." An attorney for a 23-year-old man accused of lacing his ex-girlfriend's sub sandwich and drink with rat poison last year argued at trial Tuesday that the entire situation was nothing more than a practical joke. "It was an immature prank," Michael Hanna said as he awaits sentencing for the third-degree felony.
· "Racial taboos" cited in latest teachers accused of sex with boys. The arrest of two women teachers on charges of having sex with their male students has brought cries of lingering racism in one of South Carolina's most conservative counties and evoked some of the South's oldest and deepest-seated racial taboos. Both women are white. The boys - six in all - are black.
· Aide: U.S. attorneys fired over politics. Eight federal prosecutors were fired last year because they did not sufficiently support President Bush's priorities, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff says in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday to Congress.
· Man Pleads Guilty to Child Endangerment in Wife's Suicide Plunge. A man accused of helping his wife commit suicide by allowing her to drive the family minivan off a 300-foot cliff with their children inside pleaded guilty Wednesday to child endangerment in a deal that will likely spare him any prison time.
· Incriminating Videotape Leads Deputies to Burglary Suspect. An incriminating videotape led deputies to a burglary suspect and some unique stolen items. Orange County Florida deputies found the videotape left behind inside a stolen car.
· Border Patrol agent kills man who crossed from Mexico. A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man who threatened him with a softball-sized rock at the border, the agency said Tuesday. The agent fired an M-4 assault rifle after seeing the man's arm cocked back with a rock in his hand. Other people continued to throw rocks at the agents, spokesman David Kim said. A Molotov cocktail that had failed to explode was later found nearby.
· Mistake means tax cheat can keep $100 million. Poorly written Justice Department documents cost the federal government more than $100 million in what was supposed to have been the crowning moment of the biggest tax prosecution ever. Judge Paul Friedman said he couldn’t order Walter Anderson to repay the federal government $100 million to $175 million because the Justice Department’s binding plea agreement with Anderson listed the wrong statute.
· Ex-wife becomes a man; ex-husband seeks end to alimony. Lawrence Roach agreed to pay alimony to the woman he divorced, not the man she became after a sex change, his lawyers argued in a Florida court Tuesday in an effort to end the payments.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Disingenuous [dis·in·gen·u·ous] adj. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating. 'It was disingenuous of her to claim she had no financial interest in the legal case.'
· Judge pulls gun in Florida court. A Jacksonville, Florida judge drew his handgun when an accused child molester was attacked by the victim's father in court. "I didn't know if he was going after me or the bailiffs or the defendant," Circuit Judge John Merrett told The Times-Union. The father, who had not seen the defendant before the court appearance, hurdled a railing and landed several punches on the handcuffed and shackled man before bailiffs restored order.
· Urbina sentenced to 14 years in prison. Former Major League baseball pitcher Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch, the Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.
· The case of the missing sewage. About 15 million gallons of partially treated sewage water disappeared from a 250,000 square-foot storage lagoon into a sinkhole, but officials don't know where it went after that.
· San Francisco Leaders OK Plastic Grocery Bag Ban. City leaders approved a ban on plastic grocery bags after weeks of lobbying on both sides from environmentalists and a supermarket trade group. If Mayor Gavin Newsom signs the ban as expected, San Francisco would be the first U.S. city to adopt such a rule.
· World's tallest man marries. The world's tallest man has married a woman who is more than 2 feet shorter than him, a Chinese newspaper reported Wednesday. Bao Xishun, a 7-foot-9 herdsman from Inner Mongolia, married 5-foot-6 saleswoman Xia Shujian.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
· Texas governor signs bill expanding deadly force rights. Gov. Rick Perry signed into law today a bill that gives Texans a stronger legal right to defend themselves with deadly force in their homes, cars and workplaces. The new law will also provide civil immunity for a person who lawfully uses deadly force in any of the circumstances spelled out in the bill.
· Wynonna Judd's Husband Arrested On Sex Charges. The husband of country singer Wynonna Judd was arrested in Texas and charged with sexual assault on a child under the age of 13, a Taylor County Jail spokesperson confirmed to CBS today. Daniel Roach (aka D.R. Roach) is being held on a $750,000 bond.
· Fifty percent of adults would not vote for Clinton. Half of voting-age Americans say they would not vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) if she became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, according to a Harris Interactive poll released Tuesday. 69 percent of those 62 and older said that they would not vote for Clinton, and 45% of all respondents said that they dislike Clinton’s political opinions and Clinton as a person.
· Pastor admits taking church money for gambling. The pastor of a downtown Portland church has acknowledged taking church money intended for charity and gambling with it. The board of First Christian Church asked Rex Loy to resign after an audit determined that at least $30,000 was taken in 2006 from a fund designed to help struggling members with rent, bills and food. Loy told church members he is taking leave to go to rehab.
· Subway Hero Sues Lawyer Over 'One-Sided' Contract. A quick-acting commuter who became an instant hero after saving a teenager who fell in front of an oncoming subway train has sued a lawyer he says manipulated him into signing an unfair, one-sided contract. Wesley Autrey Sr. said in court papers that he was induced to sign by "fraud" and that it gives the lion's share of everything he earns to his lawyer.
· Was Griffin's Crash a Hoax? Eddie Griffin's ultra-expensive crash in a $1.5 million Ferrari Enzo has been all over television and the Internet today, but could the pricey wipeout really be a brilliant marketing ploy? In the video obtained by CBS2 News in Los Angeles, it shows the car slamming into a concrete barricade. But, to quote Dr. Henry Lee from the O.J. Simpson case, "Something wrong." Roll the video and take a close look at the guy standing next to the concrete barrier. He doesn't even flinch as the car comes crashing just feet in front of him.
· Senate ‘emergency’ war bill includes $100 million for presidential conventions. Like their counterparts in the House, the Senate has larded its version of an “emergency” war spending bill with nearly $20 billion in pork-barrel outlays, including $100 million for the major political parties’ 2008 presidential conventions.
· Yacht Club Tries To Save Choking Diner, Gets Sued. A man whose wife died a week after she got a piece of meat stuck in her throat while eating dinner at the Chicago Yacht Club says the Yacht Club bears responsibility for her death, since its employees tried, unsuccessfully, to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on her. The city of Chicago is also named as a defendant in the suit, but the suit does not explain why the city is being sued.
· Tests Show Tony Snow's Cancer Has Returned. Presidential spokesman Tony Snow's surgery to remove a small growth showed that his cancer has returned and spread to his liver, the White House said Tuesday.
· Drunk women can consent to sex, judges rule. A drunken woman can still consent to sex, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. Three senior judges were giving reasons for clearing a 25-year-old man of raping a student, aged 19, after both had been drinking heavily.
· Despite $204 million budget, U.S. loses 600,000 fugitives. Teams assigned to make sure foreigners ordered out of the United States actually leave are grappling with a backlog of more than 600,000 cases and can't accurately account for the fugitives' whereabouts, the government reported Monday. Even though more than $204 million was allocated for 52 fugitive operations teams since 2003, a backlog of 623,292 cases existed as of August of 2006.
· Romney offers student fundraisers a commission. A millionaire thanks to his work as a venture capitalist, Mitt Romney is acutely aware of the motivating power of money. His presidential campaign hopes it will have a similar effect on college students, which is why it’s offering them a cut of their fundraising. Participants in ”Students for Mitt” will get 10 percent of the money they raise for the campaign beyond the first $1,000.
· Roof fall dancer tenant sues. A tenant is suing her landlords after falling through a skylight while dancing on the roof. Anna Mayers was celebrating her 24th birthday party at the flat she rented with university friends when the near-fatal accident happened. Mayers suit could affect the warnings landlords have to give their tenants about dangers in and around their properties.
· Britney won't go broke. Even with a seven-figure payoff to Britney Spears' second husband, the troubled beauty's bank account will continue to swell - even if she decides never to work again. Documents drawn up by the legal team that prepared her ironclad premarital agreement - plus extensive research by Forbes magazine - reveals the mother-of-two has an estimated net worth of $124 million.
· Wal-Mart increases charitable donations. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. increased its U.S. charitable giving 10 percent last year to $272.9 million, the world's largest retailer said Tuesday, likely defending its position as the country's largest corporate donor of cash.
Monday, March 26, 2007
· Jewish Seminary to Admit Gays. The seminary considered the flagship institution of Conservative Judaism said Monday it will start accepting gay and lesbian applicants, after scholars who guide the movement lifted the ban on gay ordination.
· Senate aide charged with carrying weapon. A Senate aide was arrested Monday on charges of bringing a firearm into the Russell Senate building, U.S. Capitol police told NBC News. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the police, said the aide worked for Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. He entered the building at 10:50 a.m., she said, and was in possession of an unregistered firearm.
· Border Inspector Gets Nearly 6 Years, An American border inspector was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in prison for taking cash and cars from smugglers, allowing them to shuttle illegal immigrants from Mexico into the United States.
· Cleaning a chandelier isn't as cheap as it used to be. The Smithsonian Institution announced Monday that its top official, Secretary Lawrence M. Small, has resigned amid criticism about his expenses. An internal audit found that Small had made $90,000 in unauthorized expenses, including private jet travel and expensive gifts, and that Small charged the Smithsonian more than $1.1 million for use of his home since 2000. The housing expenses included $273,000 for housekeeping, $2,535 to clean a chandelier and $12,000 for service on his backyard swimming pool.
· Six off-duty Chicago cops accused in bar attack. Authorities are investigating claims that six off-duty Chicago police officers were captured on video assaulting four men in a bar, the second report of police involved in an assault to surface in a week. Patrol officers responded to a 911 call after the attack, but left after speaking to one of the off-duty officers, the alleged victim's attorney said.
· Anna Nicole died from overdose. Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose, authorities announced Monday. “We found nothing to indicate any foul play,” said Chief Charlie Tiger of the Seminole police department.
· Pee Diddy-Dogg tour in "chaos." A European tour of Diddy and rapper Snoop Dogg has been thrown "into chaos" after Snoop was refused a British visa, reps say. It is believed the entry problems stem back to last April when Snoop and several pals were arrested in London after a skirmish that injured seven police officers.
· Florida foreclosures lead nation. The once red-hot Florida housing market leads the nation in delinquencies, according to the latest report on foreclosure filings from RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosure properties. In addition to Florida, other once-hot markets showing weakness include California, where filings shot up nearly 79 percent compared with a year ago, and Nevada, which for the second straight month had the nation's highest foreclosure rate relative to the number of households.
· $1 short of buyer, Lay's desk back on eBay auction. After 10 days on the eBay auction block, the late Ken Lay's custom-made desk proved a dollar too rich for bidders' blood, so it has gone back up there at a going-out-of-business price. Only one person offered the $25,000 minimum for the desk, but that failed to meet the secret "reserve price" set by the nonprofit Saving Animals Across Borders. The reserve price, group founder Sean Hawkins said Sunday evening, was $25,001.
· High school 'Jihad' rally turns deadly. Police challenged a group of suspected militants Monday at a high school in Pakistan after hearing that they wanted to "motivate" students for holy war, sparking a gunbattle that left six people dead, police said.
· Are Chicago voters crazy? Four years ago, Mayor Daley got re-elected by a landslide and tore up Meigs Field a few weeks later. This time, there's a different kind of "after-the-election" avalanche - bad news. Since breezing to re-election with 71 percent of the vote, the you-know-what has hit the fan.
· Sister of Dying Man Refuses to Donate Bone Marrow to Save His Life. The sister of a man who is dying of leukemia is refusing to donate bone marrow to the British man, according to a London newspaper. Simon Pretty, a father of three, told the Daily Mail that his sister Helen Pretty would not donate her bone marrow, which is a perfect match and could save his life. Without the donation, Pretty could be dead by the end of the year.
· Last Mustang Ranch Building Destroyed. The last remaining building on the grounds where the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel once stood went up in flames Sunday. The 48-room, 20,000-square-foot structure known as the Mustang Ranch II annex was destroyed as part of a firefighting training exercise.
· Dairy Creates Wine-Flavored Ice Cream. After about two years of product development, Boonville's Mercer's Ice Cream has created ice cream in three different wine flavors. There's Ala Port Wine, Peachy White Zinfandel and Red Raspberry Chardonnay.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
· Tot pushed to be like bomber mom. The next wave of Palestinian suicide bombers could include little girls with ribbons in their hair. Three years after Reem Saleh al-Riyashi blasted into infamy as the first Palestinian mother to launch a suicide bomb attack, her 4-year-old daughter is being primed to follow in her fanatical footsteps.
· Sheriff: Slain Student Burned On Grill. Investigators say Timothy Wayne Shepherd, 27, confessed Wednesday to strangling Tynesha Stewart because he was angry she had begun a new relationship. "We have determined through this investigation that the defendant dismembered Tynesha Stewart and . . . he burned the body parts," Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas said. "There are no remaining body parts."
· Role model: Lawmaker drove to state Capitol illegally. A Michigan lawmaker is a serial traffic scofflaw who drove to work last week on a suspended license in a vehicle with an invalid plate. Rep. Bert Johnson, contacted by the Free Press after a reporter watched him drive out of the Capitol parking lot, said Friday that he planned to pay a multitude of fines and seek restoration of his driving privileges Monday.
· Psychic Chat Drives Fire Marshal to Quit. A fire marshal who admitted consulting online psychics at work didn't need a crystal ball to tell him it was time to resign. Tom Weber, a 22-year fire veteran, was put on administrative leave nine months ago after he was accused of asking an online psychic on a department computer whether he and others would be successful in getting rid of Middleton's fire chief.
· Judge: Man must display victim's picture. A judge has ordered a man who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide to display a large picture of the victim in his home after serving two years in prison. Circuit Judge Robert Doyel said Friday that the picture must be at least 2 feet wide and displayed prominently. It also must include lettering that says: 'I'm sorry I killed you.'
· Big Dig lawyers want documents sealed in wrongful death suit. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority wants a state judge to seal documents in the wrongful death suit filed after the Big Dig tunnel collapse. It says if the documents were released it could affect the nation's transportation security.
· Man Sentenced After Seeking To Have Sex With Toddler. A man was sentenced to seven years in federal prison Friday after traveling from Saudi Arabia to Vallejo, California with the intent of sexually abusing a 2 1/2-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said. Nabil Al Rowais, 37, must also remain under supervised release for eight years after leaving prison.
· Locksmith cracks open antique safe, finds combination inside. The mystery what a locked antique safe found behind a historical society's furnace might hold had this town abuzz until a locksmith finally got it open. Its contents: the safe's long-lost combination.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
· Jury convicts woman in second antifreeze death. A former 911 operator was convicted Saturday of murdering her boyfriend by poisoning him with antifreeze. Lynn Turner could face a death sentence in the 2001 killing of Randy Thompson, a Forsyth County firefighter and the father of her two children. She is already serving a life sentence for the 1995 death of her husband, Glenn Turner, a Cobb County police officer.
· Pair allegedly offered kid for cash and SUV. A couple are charged with trying to sell a 15-month-old girl for $3,000 and a sport-utility vehicle. Charles G. Hope Jr., 32, and Amber M. Revlett, 26, both of Owensboro, planned to use the money to pay off his fines for previous criminal charges, said Daviess County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Thompson.
· Students Save Out-Of-Control School Bus. Three boys were hailed as heroes after they took control of their school bus when their driver lost consciousness. Police said 20 students were on their way to the Emily C. Reynolds Middle School when the bus drifted into oncoming traffic Thursday. Thirteen-year-old Sean Schreiber jumped on the brake while his 12-year-old brother, Chris, and 12-year-old Jason Conti wrestled with the wheel.
· Sculptor's dog-killing past threatens WSU project. The discovery that Wichita-born sculptor Tom Otterness deliberately shot and killed a dog 30 years ago -- an act that ended up as an art film - could threaten plans by Wichita State University to put one of his pieces on campus next year. The school commissioned the $450,000 piece, a giant bronze millipede, last year.
· Postal worker sues over forced breaks. A Florida man is suing the U.S. Postal Service over his lunch break. Kenneth Fox, 55, said his painful arthritis requires him to keep moving, but his bosses are forcing him to take lunch breaks. The military veteran decided to sue the postal service under the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying the mandatory lunch breaks are a violation of his rights.
· Update: Transgender Florida city manager loses job. Largo, Florida, city commissioners have fired the city manager Steve Stanton. Stanton plans to have a sex-change operation, but Commissioner Gay Gentry says the vote early today was not about sex. Says Gentry, "You have to believe us, you have to trust us, it is not about transgenderism." After a six-hour hearing last night, the commissioners finalized the firing of the 48-year-old Stanton, who had announced last month that he plans a new life as a woman.
· Wal-Mart gives bonuses averaging $651 per worker. Wal-Mart made its annual bonus for store employees public for the first time in two decades Thursday, saying that about 80 percent of hourly workers in its stores would split more than a half-billion dollars. The company said it awarded more than $529.8 million in bonuses to a total of 813,759 Wal-Mart store and Sam's Club hourly workers in the U.S.
· Naomi Campbell released from community service. The pavement might as well have been a catwalk: With a subtle smile, Naomi Campbell strutted out of a Manhattan garbage truck garage in a shimmering, bare-shouldered gown and stiletto sandals, stepping into a silver Rolls Royce and pulling away as paparazzi snapped pictures.
· Bus driver fired over duct tape incident. No charges will be filed against a bus driver accused of putting duct tape over the mouth of a 6-year-old girl last week on a bus trip between United High School near Monmouth and the elementary school in Alexis.
· Teacher In Sticky Situation After Allegedly Taping Boys' Mouths Shut. A second grade teacher at Denver's Oakland Elementary School is under investigation after allegedly using Scotch tape on the mouths of two of her students. "I was shocked," said Gina, who asked us not to disclose her last name. "It was like no, not in these days and times. A teacher is not going to touch your child and tape them, and basically assault your child."
· Jailed P.I. Pellicano Weds Ex-Wife. Anthony Pellicano, the jailed private eye under federal indictment in a Hollywood wiretaps case, married his former wife in a courtroom ceremony Friday. While the couple sealed their union with a passionate kiss, prosecutors may suspect a less romantic reason for the wedding - to keep Kat Pellicano from testifying in the case.
· Officers Blamed for Tillman Case Errors. Nine officers, including up to four generals, should be held accountable for missteps in the aftermath of the friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, a Pentagon investigation will recommend.
· Nicole Smith diaries sell for more than $500,000. Anna Nicole Smith's private thoughts written in two diaries have been sold for more than $500,000 to a German businessman who planned to sell the information to the media, an auction house official said.
· French UFO fever crashes website. France's national space agency has opened its UFO files to the public by launching a website which documents reported sightings over five decades. So many people have already tried to look at the files that it has become impossible to access the site. France is the first country to open up fully its UFO files to the public.
· A thorny venture in weight loss. Drop the word "hoodia" into any popular online search engine and you'll be treated to a smorgasboard of Web sites hailing a "miracle cactus" from South Africa that can change your life by tricking your brain into thinking your stomach is full. There's a source in Southern Arizona who says he's got the real thing, and he's hoping to ride the hype into a solid business venture.
· Man charged in $100,000 Paris Hilton watch theft. Eleven people have been charged with the theft of passenger property at Los Angeles International Airport, prosecutors said on Friday, including a baggage screener accused of stealing a $100,000 watch from Paris Hilton's bag.
Friday, March 23, 2007
· Illegal immigrants allowed at least five strikes. Documents released in the controversy about eight fired U.S. attorneys show that federal prosecutors in Texas generally have declined to bring criminal charges against illegal immigrants caught crossing the border — until at least their sixth arrest.
· Zsa Zsa Gabor's Husband Provides DNA Sample. Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband provided a DNA sample Friday in the ongoing dispute about the paternity of Anna Nicole Smith's infant daughter, and said he wanted to raise the child if he was the father. Frederic von Anhalt said he's "almost sure" the test will prove he's the father of 6-month-old Dannielynn. He says he carried on a decades-long affair with the former Playboy Playmate of the Year.
· O'Donnell, Sheen Back 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. A controversial new film about 9/11 is raising eyebrows, not only for its content, but also for the people involved in the project: Rosie O'Donnell and Charlie Sheen. Sheen believes the government may have been behind the attacks, saying so in a recent interview, while O'Donnell has been using her Web site. The conspiracy theorists believe that the government blew up the twin towers and covered up the evidence by making it appear that commercial airplanes flew into the buildings. They also believe al-Qaida had nothing to do with the attacks.
· Gay retirees get first low-cost housing. The nation's first low-cost housing development specifically for gay, lesbian and transgender retirees opened its doors in Hollywood on Thursday with a promise to provide a dignified haven for elderly homosexuals to live out their days. Funding for the $20.8 million development came from California state and Los Angeles city agencies.
· Robbery suspects run out of gas. Two teens suspected of robbery were in jail Friday after police say they had to stop for gas after the holdup. A Texas patrol officer arrested the 17- and 18-year-olds minutes after the Thursday morning holdup, when the officer saw their vehicle at a gas station less than a mile from the robbery.
· Alcohol, tobacco among worst drugs. Alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than illegal drugs like marijuana or ecstasy, according to a new British study. In research published Friday in The Lancet magazine, Professor David Nutt of Britain's Bristol University and colleagues proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks posed to society. Their ranking listed alcohol and tobacco among the top 10 most dangerous substances.
· Rat Poison to Blame for Pet Food Contamination. ABC News has learned that investigators have determined that a rodent-killing chemical is the toxin in the tainted pet food that has killed several animals. A source close to the investigation tells ABC News that the rodenticide, which the source says is illegal to use in the United States, was on wheat that was imported from China and used by Menu Foods in nearly 100 brands of dog and cat food.
· Survey ranks Nevada the most dangerous state. For the fourth year in a row, Nevada has ranked as the most dangerous state in the country. The survey pits Nevada's 8.56 murders for every 100,000 people against the national average which 5.6. Add the statistics for rape, robberies, assault, burglaries and auto theft, which are all far above the national average, and that's how Nevada got where it is.
· Ex-Deputy to Plead Guilty in Lobby Case. Former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles has decided to plead guilty to one count of obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation, The Associated Press has learned. Griles, an oil and gas lobbyist who became an architect of President Bush's energy policies while at the Interior Department between July 2001 and July 2005, is the highest ranking Bush administration official implicated in the Washington lobbying scandal.
· Law Might Not Protect Good Samaritan. A woman accused of rendering a friend a paraplegic by pulling her out of a wrecked car "like a rag doll" may not be protected by California's good Samaritan law, an appellate court ruled.
· Nurses charged with endangering kids after walk-out. Ten nurses who abruptly resigned from their jobs last year at a Smithtown nursing center were charged Thursday - along with an attorney who advised them - with endangering children.
· Ship jumper: Yup, I was drinking. A man who jumped from a cruise ship off Florida's coast and was rescued about eight hours later by the Coast Guard said Thursday that it is a miracle he is still alive. Michael Mankamyer said before he went overboard, he ordered room service and began drinking. ''I don't remember much after that. Apparently, the alcohol took over with my medication that I was on,'' he said.
· Suspects Took Turns Assaulting Boy. According to an indictment issued Wednesday, convicted child molester George Edenfield and his father took turns sexually assaulting six-year-old Christopher Barrios while the molester's mother watched, then they choked the boy to death.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
· Suspected Burglar Found Dead In Store Vent. Dallas police say storekeepers of an Express Food Mart came upon a grim discovery: the scene of the slow and painful death of an overnight intruder. The store has security cameras and burglar bars, but that didn't stop the thief from attempting to slide down the store's ventilation shaft where he apparently suffocated.
· Kohl's security officer charged with indecency with 16-year-old girl. Authorities have charged a Kohl's department store loss prevention officer with seeking sex from a 16-year-old girl after he found her shoplifting, according to court documents. An arrest affidavit said Ryan Johnson told the girl that she had enough merchandise to be charged with a felony and that, "If you have sex with me right now, your record will be clean."
· New fire boat sinks. The city of Newport News, Virginia's $385,000, state-of-the-art fire boat sank Wednesday, still tied up at a dock and without ever being put to use. The boat, moored at a marina, was discovered with its stern sitting on the river bottom and the bow sticking up out of the water.
· Farm aid plumps up Iraq funding. Three months after promising to curtail spending on pet legislative projects, House Democrats have salted the Iraq emergency spending bill with $3.7 billion for farm interests that make significant donations to Democrats.
· Harry Houdini could be exhumed. For all of his death-defying stunts, Harry Houdini couldn't escape the Grim Reaper: the unparalleled performer, age 52, expired on Halloween 1926. Many of his trade secrets went with him to the grave - but rumors that Houdini was murdered soon took on a life of their own. Eighty-one years later, Houdini's great-nephew wants to exhume the escape artist's body.
· All Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Players to Be Dropped Soon. The remaining charges against three Duke University lacrosse players originally indicted for rape may be dropped sometime within the next few days.
· Update: Chicago cop beating case now includes threats against bartender. A friend of the Chicago cop that beat up a bartender is suspected of trying to bribe and threaten the bartender to keep her quiet, sources said. A friend of Officer Anthony G. Abbate allegedly warned the owner of Jesse's that police might find drugs in his car and his bartender's car if they spoke to authorities about the beating, sources said.
· Dad Says 2-Year-Old Son Shot Him. Minneapolis police are trying to find out how a 2-year-old boy allegedly ended up with a gun and shot his father. The 24-year-old man walked into Abbott Northwestern Hospital last Saturday with a gunshot wound to his arm. The man told police that his 2-year-old son had taken the gun from his mother's purse and fired it at him.
· It's $250 a pop for a balloon on the loose. People will want to hold onto their balloons in New Hampshire if the Senate agrees with a House vote yesterday to ban balloon releases. The bill passed yesterday could bring a $250 fine for a single balloon let loose, and a $500 fine for a second offense. Politicians say balloons pose a serious threat to turtles and seabirds that live along New Hampshire's coastline. "Do we now get balloon police?" Rep. Randolph Holden asked.
· Congressman: Parts Of Iraq Are As Safe As Detroit. Republican congressman Tim Walberg from Michigan said that parts of Iraq are no more dangerous than Detroit is drawing criticism from the mayor's office and the state Democratic Party.
· Update: Edwards Will Continue Presidential Run. John Edwards said Thursday his wife's cancer has returned, but said he will continue his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. "The campaign goes on. The campaign goes on strongly," Edwards told reporters, his wife by his side.
· Texas Man Murders His 'Nagging' Wife. Police in Texas arrested a man in connection with the fatal shooting of his wife on Monday, police said. Police responded to a 911 call in which Freddie Willhite can be heard saying he shot his wife in the stomach. During the course of the call Willhite was asked why he shot his wife and he said she enticed him and ridiculed him his entire life.
· Charged Astronaut Gets Job Developing Navy Training Courses. The former astronaut fired by NASA after she was charged with trying to kidnap a romantic rival will develop flight lesson plans as part of her new military assignment. A Navy spokesman said Captain Lisa Nowak will work on developing curriculum and training programs when she joins the staff of the Chief of Naval Air Training Command in Corpus Christi next month.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Nefarious [ne·far·i·ous] adj. Infamous by way of being extremely wicked. Wicked in the extreme; abominable; iniquitous; atrociously villainous; execrable; detestably vile.
· `Nanny' Laws Are Added to the Books. Lawmakers around the country are passing or proposing laws to regulate the grease your doughnuts are fried in, the calls you make from the road, what you listen to when you cross the street, even the bat your kid hits a baseball with. Attempts by the government to modify public behavior have a long history, from Prohibition in the '20s to safety belt laws in the '80s and smoking bans in the '90s. In recent years, lawmakers have increasingly focused on food.
· The trials and tribulations of becoming a billionaire. When James Dyson invented the bagless vacuum cleaner, he thought he’d have buyers waiting in line. But the lack of excitement from manufacturers led him to believe that some major companies were not in the business to sell vacuums—but to sell vacuum bags.
· Ugly defendants 'more likely to be found guilty than attractive ones.' The researchers at Bath Spa University came to their conclusions after asking 96 volunteers to read a transcript of a fictitious mugging case. Half of the participants were given a picture of an attractive suspect, the others one of a supposedly ugly defendant. The script was the same in either case. Analysis of the results revealed that attractive suspects were more likely to be acquitted, despite there being no extra evidence in their favor.
· Lawsuit: Clinic Used Wrong Sperm. A couple can proceed with a lawsuit against a fertility clinic they filed after the wife gave birth to a daughter whose skin they thought was too dark to be their child, a judge has ruled. The couple says that they have been forced to raise a child who is "not even the same race, nationality, color … as they are," the judge said in the ruling.
· New Jersey to MSNBC: Pay up! New Jersey provides millions and millions of dollars in tax breaks and grants to companies that promise to stay in the state and create jobs. Angered over MSNBC's plans to take the money and run to Manhattan, State Senator Shirley Turner is looking for some real payback. MSNBC is closing down its Secaucus operations after 10 years and moving to studios in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center. As one of the first to participate in New Jersey's Business Employment Incentive Program, New Jersey had given MSNBC about $7.8 million in grants to come and stay at least 15 years.
· Unlikely bank robber. A 6-foot tall, 250-pound, 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with an armed bank robbery Wednesday morning at the Associated Bank. "In my entire career in law enforcement, I do not know of any 14-year-old ever robbing a bank, particularly an armed robbery,” police chief Pat Carrigan said.
· Mystery Creator of Anti-Clinton Ad ID'd. The mystery creator of the Orwellian YouTube ad against Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democratic operative who worked for a digital consulting firm with ties to rival Sen. Barack Obama. Philip de Vellis, a strategist with Blue State Digital, acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that he was the creator of the video, which portrayed Clinton as a Big Brother figure and urged support for Obama's presidential campaign.
· John Edwards to Discuss Wife's Health. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards accompanied his wife, Elizabeth, who has been treated for breast cancer, on a doctor's visit Wednesday. His campaign said they would hold a news conference in their hometown Thursday to discuss her health.
· Purdue student's body found in electrical closet. A body found slumped over machinery in a dormitory's high-voltage utility room was identified Tuesday as a 19-year-old Purdue University student who vanished in January, school officials said. A maintenance worker investigating a "pinging" sound on Monday discovered the body of Wade Steffey, a freshman who was last seen in the area January 13. It appeared Steffey tripped and fell onto a power transformer, Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
· Naomi Campbell Has Cop Carry Her Handbag. Runway diva Naomi Campbell Tuesday deputized one of New York's Strongest to be her personal valet, making the gun-toting sanitation cop carry her bag like a paid flunky while she goes through her court ordered community service.
· Woody Harrelson's Father Dies in Prison. Woody Harrelson's father, Charles Harrelson, died of a heart attack in the Supermax federal prison where he was serving two life sentences for the murder of a federal judge, officials said Wednesday. The actor was just 7 when his father was first sent to prison, for murdering a Texas businessman. He was in college when his father was convicted of the judge's assassination.
· Letterman's Larry 'Bud' Melman actor dies. The balding, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry "Bud" Melman on David Letterman's late-night television shows has died after a long illness.
· Schwarzenegger on Limbaugh show after calling him 'irrelevant.' Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made nice with Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, calling in to his radio program a day after he dismissed the conservative host as "irrelevant." Limbaugh, who a day earlier had accused the governor of abandoning the conservative cause, treated Schwarzenegger cordially. But he pressed him on recent political moves, such as his $12 billion universal health care proposal, that have angered conservatives.
· Team Cracks Century-Old Math Puzzle. An international team of mathematicians says it has cracked a 120-year-old puzzle that researchers say is so complicated that its handwritten solution would cover the island of Manhattan.
· HotEnough.org Courts Good-Looking People. Jason Pellegrino says the problem with Internet dating services is not enough really hot-looking people. So he and a business partner have created HotEnough.org, a sort of online version of Studio 54, the exclusive '70s disco where gaining admission was a pitiless Darwinian exercise. HotEnough.org is for "fit, good-looking" people. Prospective members must submit pictures and must be rated an 8 or higher by people already in the club. Once they're in, they are permitted to e-mail other "hotties" for $9.95 a month.
· Chicago Woman Sues Over Pet Food Recall. A Chicago woman sued Menu Foods on Tuesday, alleging the pet food manufacturer delayed announcing a recall of 60 million containers of dog and cat food despite knowing its products were contaminated and potentially deadly. Dawn Majerczyk, 43, said her orange tabby, Phoenix, fell sick last week just two days after he ate a single package of Special Kitty.
· Bill Gates backs immigration reform on Mexico trip. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, the world's richest man, said on Tuesday the United States should reform its immigration laws and give more flexibility to higher-skilled foreign workers.
· Boxer criticized for Gore e-mail. Al Gore, global warming rock star, will grab the media spotlight today before Sen. Barbara Boxer's Environment and Public Works Committee - and Boxer is using Gore's appearance to help raise money for her 2010 re-election campaign. In an e-mail sent earlier this month, Boxer asked her supporters to sign an online thank-you card to Gore "for his many years of leadership and hard work," which she plans to give to him today. So far, more than 63,000 people have signed the card, according to a campaign consultant. Next to the link for signing the card is a link to "contribute today" to the Friends of Barbara Boxer, which takes the user to instructions on how to donate online.
· Departing Delta CEO refusing bonuses. Turning his back on a potentially lucrative payday, Delta Air Lines CEO Gerald Grinstein said Monday that he is refusing any stock, stock options or cash when the carrier emerges from bankruptcy. Under a post-bankruptcy compensation plan unveiled Monday, Grinstein could have been expected to net about $10 million, including such bonuses, over about three years.
· First visitors step onto canyon skywalk. Indian leaders and former astronauts stepped gingerly beyond the Grand Canyon's rim Tuesday, staring through the glass floor and into the 4,000-foot chasm below during the opening ceremony for a new observation deck.
· School sued after girl punished for wearing Tigger socks. Toni Kay Scott, 14, was sent to an in-school suspension program called Students With Attitude Problems last year for violating a dress code, said a lawsuit against the Napa Valley Unified School District. She had donned socks with the Tigger character from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons on them.
· Missing Boy Scout left camp to hitchhike home. A 12-year-old Boy Scout who survived in the North Carolina mountains for four days scarfed down chicken fingers after being reunited with his overjoyed parents and explained that he wandered away from his troop because he missed his family. "He was homesick," said Kent Auberry, father of Michael, at a hospital news conference Tuesday. "He started walking and at one point when he was walking he thought maybe he'd walk as far as the road and hitchhike home." A dog caught Michael's scent less than a mile from the campsite where he had wandered away Saturday.
· Britney Spears Leaves Rehab. Britney Spears has left rehab. The pop star checked out of Promises Malibu Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Facility "after successfully completing their program," the pop star's manager, Larry Rudolph, said in a statement released by Jive Records late Tuesday. "We ask that the media respects her privacy as well as those of her family and friends at this time." Spears, 25, entered the facility Feb. 22, after a bout of bizarre behavior that included shaving her head, getting tiny lips tattooed on her wrist and beating a car with an umbrella, with photos of the incidents instantly beamed worldwide.
· Million-dollar homes rented for $150 a month. Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto has selected the first four of eight Native Hawaiian families that will each rent one of his multimillion-dollar homes in the exclusive oceanside Kahala area for $150 a month. The low-income families could move into the furnished Kahala Avenue homes, purchased in 2005 for $2 million to $3.4 million each, as soon as this weekend.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
· Court Orders Smith Baby Paternity Test. A Bahamian judge ordered a DNA test Tuesday on Anna Nicole Smith's infant daughter to identify the girl's father, an attorney for the baby's grandmother said, in what could signal an end to a bitter custody feud sparked by the death of the former reality TV star last month.
· Toddler Found Wandering Twice In 4 Days. First it was a FedEx delivery man who found a 2-year-old girl wandering the streets last week, then a mailman discovered her on Monday. Now, the toddler and another sibling have been removed from the custody of their mother.
· Online anonymity lets users get nasty. When a California woman recently gave birth to a baby just two days after learning she was pregnant, April Branum quickly learned that posters on message boards aren't always nice. People made cracks about Branum's weight (about 400 pounds), analyzed her housekeeping ability based on a photo of her home, and called her names. "A pig is a pig," one person wrote. Another suggested that she "go on the show 'The Biggest Loser.'"
· Celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon faces multiple charges of sex assault. A celebrity fashion designer already facing charges in three sexual assaults has been accused of assault by four more people, and prosecutors added 13 new counts Monday. Anand Jon Alexander, 33, has been in jail in lieu of $1.3 million bail since March 6. Newsweek named Alexander a person to watch.
· Station fires worker suspected of inserting porn in news show. A Phoenix television station fired an employee suspected of inserting pornography into a broadcast of a news show featuring former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. About 30 seconds of porn was inserted into the broadcast.
· Edwards Claims His Mega-Mansion is Carbon Neutral. Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards showed his best dance moves trying to avoid questions about how energy efficient his 28,000-square-foot mansion really is and how much the power bill costs each month. “We have committed to operate this house in a carbon-neutral way, which means in addition to using energy saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesn’t cover it, we’re going to purchase carbon credits on the market,” said Edwards.
· Texas is the unlikely home of biggest gay church. They say everything is bigger in Texas. But the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas makes one Texas-sized claim that few would expect in the conservative Bible Belt state - it says it is the world's biggest gay church. "I think this shows that God has a tremendously great sense of humor," said senior pastor and rector Jo Hudson.
· Searchers find Boy Scout weak but OK. Searchers with the help of a sharp-nosed dog named Gandalf found a 12-year-old Boy Scout on Tuesday who had disappeared into the North Carolina wilderness over the weekend, authorities said. Michael Auberry was found about 1½ miles from the campsite from which he disappeared.
· 13-Year-Old Utah Girl Wins Stinky Sneakers Contest. Thirteen-year-old Katharine Tuck's sneakers smell as bad as they look. Now, at least, the Utah seventh-grader can afford some new ones. On Tuesday, she out-ranked six other children to win $2,500 in the 32nd annual National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest, stinking up the joint with a pair of well-worn 11/2-year-old Nikes so noxious they had the judges wincing.
· Valet crashes amputee's car - then hits him. A valet accidentally drove an amputee's specially equipped car through a Pensacola hospital's front entrance, knocking the car's owner from his wheelchair.
· Study Finds One-Third in Washington D.C. Illiterate. About one-third of the people living in the national's capital are functionally illiterate, compared with about one-fifth nationally, according to a report on the District of Columbia. Adults are considered functionally illiterate if they have trouble doing such things as comprehending bus schedules, reading maps and filling out job applications.
· Computer Tech Accidentally Erases Info on Alaska's $38 Billion Oil Fund. Perhaps you know that sinking feeling when a single keystroke accidentally destroys hours of work. Now imagine wiping out a disc drive containing an account worth $38 billion. While reformatting the disk drive during a routine maintenance check, a technician mistakenly reformatted the backup drive as well and, suddenly, all the data disappeared. A third line of defense — backup tapes that are updated nightly — were unreadable.
· Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit. With bidding stalled on some of the least desirable residences in Detroit's collapsing housing market, even the fast-talking auctioneer was feeling the stress, saying "The lumber in the house is worth more than that!" At a weekend sale of about 300 Detroit homes, a boarded-up bungalow on the city's west side brought $1,300 and a four-bedroom house near the original Motown recording studio sold for $7,000.
· Heather Mills wins praise in TV dancing debut. Heather Mills McCartney, vilified in the British press over her bitter divorce from former Beatle Paul, made her debut in a U.S. television dancing contest on Monday with the judges calling her an inspiration.
· McDonald's to launch campaign against 'McJob' entry in dictionary. Fast food giant McDonald's is set to begin a campaign to redefine "McJob" entries in British dictionaries, which it believes are both incorrect and insulting to its workers, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
· Woman accused of ordering dogs to attack saleswoman. A Polk County woman has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for allegedly telling her two dogs to attack a door-to-door saleswoman.
· World's Smallest Horse Has Tall Order. At just a hair over 17 inches tall, the miniature horse is more inclined to walk under fences than jump them. And her owners have sheltered the mare from ever gaining "circus-sideshow" or "one-trick-pony" status. As the world's smallest horse, 5-year-old Thumbelina, weighing in at 57 pounds, has a bigger mission: to raise $1 million for children's charities.
· Mastermind of USS Cole attack confesses. A Yemeni portrayed as an al-Qaida operative and a member of a terrorist family confessed to plotting the bombings of the USS Cole and two U.S. embassies in Africa, killing hundreds, according to a Pentagon transcript of a Guantanamo Bay hearing.
Monday, March 19, 2007
· State Bar Says Nifong Skirted System in Duke Case. In a legal brief filed Monday, the North Carolina State Bar suggests Nifong wants the organization to interpret the law according to his view of it. It also said it doesn't buy Nifong's explanation for withholding DNA evidence and claimed he's twisting words to make his argument fit. The charges and the ensuing debate stems from indictments won against three Duke University lacrosse players last year following a party at which a woman claimed she was raped.
· Anna Nicole Judge Busted For Marijuana. A judge who played a role in the recent Anna Nicole Smith proceedings was cited for smoking marijuana in a city park, police said Monday. Judge Lawrence Korda was smoking marijuana while sitting under a tree Sunday, police said. Three officers training there caught Korda and field-tested the joint, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper.
· Somebody has to pay for those R2-D2 mailboxes. The cost of mailing a letter will go up to 41 cents on May 14, but you'll be able to lock in that price — no matter how rates rise in the future — by buying the new "forever" stamp.
· Couple Sentenced For Having Sex In Front Of Child. A mother and her boyfriend were sentenced to three years probation on Monday for having intercourse in front of the woman's 9-year-old daughter to teach the girl about sex.
· 'Dukes of Hazzard' nixed in Cincinnati. The Dukes of Hazzard are getting driven out of town over the Confederate imagery in their good ol' TV show. Edith Thrower, president of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP said "It's very clear how we feel about the Confederate flag and the long and arduous fight we have conducted to get rid of that symbol of a very unpleasant time in our history."
· Police: Girl Broke In Home; Man Broke Her Nose. A 17-year-old girl suffered a broken nose after police said she broke into an Altamonte Springs house and was punched in the face by a resident she was allegedly trying to rob before being detained by him. The robbery victim was not injured.
· Airline pilot more than six times over alcohol flying limit. An American Airlines pilot turned up for work while almost six and a half times over the drink limit to fly a plane, a court has heard. James Yates, 46, smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet when he turned up for duty at Manchester Airport.
· Elderly Woman Shot 5 Times, Survives. An 88-year-old woman was shot five times while she slept Monday morning and was recovering in a hospital, authorities said. The Orange County Sheriff's Office was investigating why Yuki Harris was targeted.
· Ralph Fiennes' stewardess was a prostitute. The flight attendant who admitted having in-flight sex with actor Ralph Fiennes has revealed she worked in an Auckland brothel while employed by Qantas Airlines. Lisa Robertson, 38, told the Sunday Telegraph she worked in the Pelican Club in Auckland, then earned up to $2300 a night as a prostitute when she returned to Sydney.
· Jack LaLanne, 93, is still going strong. Jack LaLanne, who became a fitness guru to a generation of American housewives, still works out two hours a day and stays away from white flour and sugar - even at the age of 93. "I can't die," LaLanne says. "It would ruin my image."
· No taxes on $3.6 million pastor's mansion. A Redford Township church that believes wealth is God's reward is raising eyebrows for buying its pastor a $3.65 million mansion and taking it off the tax rolls. This month, township officials grudgingly conceded they had no choice but to remove the 11,000-square-foot home overlooking Maybury State Park from its assessment rolls, losing $40,000 annually in taxes.
· Wisconsin man wrongly imprisoned for rape for 18 years is now convicted of murder. A man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit was convicted today of murdering a photographer, whose charred bones were found in a burn pit outside his home.
· Child Takes Revenge On Drug-Dealing Mom. A 28-year-old mother was arrested after her 6-year-old daughter tipped police off to her drug dealing ways. The girl was interviewed by police Friday after her father reported she had been hit in the face with a curling iron while visiting her mother earlier in the week, Milwaukee Police Capt. Darlene Jenkins said.
· Bogdanovich accused of $100,000 bribery scam. Actor/filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and his business manager have been sued for allegedly shaking down a man trying to get his son into the film industry. In a lawsuit filed in New York, Iaroslav Jikov alleges the Oscar-nominated director of "The Last Picture Show" and William Peiffer demanded $100,000 to hire Jikov's son as a director's assistant on Bogdanovich's next film.
· Man Gets $122,000 For Bite By Sister's Cat. A nasty bite on the hand that a man got from his sister's Siamese cat is worth $122,400. A jury on Friday awarded Michael Sabo, 57, the money for an injury he got when the cat, Randy, bit his right hand in March 2004.
· Mobile targets the 50+ generation. A mobile phone with a built-in emergency button has been produced for elderly and older people. Instead of a camera or music player it has a loud speaker tuned for those who are either partially sighted or use a hearing aid, a big screen and huge buttons.
· MySpace Launches Politics Channel. MySpace.com has made space for politics. The social networking site announced Sunday that it has launched the Impact channel. MySpace is the largest Internet social network site in the world, drawing some 90 million users worldwide. So far, Sen. Hillary Clinton's MySpace page listed some 359 friends; Sen. Barack Obama's page had 66,080 friends.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
· Atlantic City casino dealers OK union. Your blackjack dealer may soon be a member of the United Auto Workers union. After many failed attempts to unionize dealers in this gambling city, more than 80 percent of the floor employees at Caesars Atlantic City casino have voted to join a union. Full- and part-time table game, keno dealers and simulcast employees voted 572-128 late Saturday to become part of the United Auto Workers, according to the national union.
· Record Heat: 99 degrees in Phoenix. For the fourth consecutive day, Phoenix, Arizona roasted in record high temperatures. It was 99 degrees Saturday, breaking the old record for the date of 92 degrees set in 1972. It was also 99 degrees on Friday, which shattered the old record of 95 set in 1921.
· Axed anchor to leave town? He'll sleep on it. Fired WABC/Ch. 7 anchor Steve Bartelstein said he's going to explore other TV opportunities - even if it means leaving New York. Last week, Bartelstein was fired when station management got fed up with his workplace habits - a surprising move considering his role in the station's top-rated morning newscast. The last straw in a string of questionable activities was when he missed being on the air for a news break because he was sleeping in his office.
· 'Drunk' New York firemen demoted for parade. Members of New York's fire department - many of whom are Irish-Americans - will no longer be marching at the head of the 246-year-old St Patrick's Day parade after they were accused of skipping planning meetings, ignoring direction and spending the day getting drunk. John Dunleavy, the chairman of the parade said: "What I have a problem with is members of the uniformed services showing up on the parade route intoxicated at 12 o'clock."
· Teacher gets 10 years for sex with pupil. A Delaware sixth-grade science teacher who was accused of having sex with a 13-year-old student has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Rachel L. Holt, 35, had pleaded guilty to second-degree rape.
· Largest airliner in the world to land at LAX. The biggest airliner the world has ever seen will land Monday at Los Angeles International Airport. The Airbus A380 is longer than the Spruce Goose, and its wingspan stretches almost as far as a football field. Its two passenger decks have room for 555 seats. Airport police expect tens of thousands of people to crowd the streets and sidewalks near LAX to catch a glimpse of the Airbus A380 on its inaugural visit to the United States.
· Nagin Suspects a Plot To Keep Blacks Away. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has suggested that the slow recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina - which has prevented many black former residents from returning - is part of a plan to change the racial makeup and political leadership of his and other cities.
· Female Teacher Busted For Sex With At Least 2 Boys. A female high school teacher near Cleveland, Ohio has been accused of having sex with at least two of her students. Renee Smith, 36, faces two felony counts of sexual battery for an incident in which she had sex with a 17-year-old boy. At least two male students admitted to having sex with Smith, officials said.
· Major recall of pet food has animal owners frantic. Pet owners were worried Saturday that the pet food in their cupboards could be deadly after millions of containers of dog and cat food sold at major retailers across North America were recalled. Menu Foods - a major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands - recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths. Menu Foods said it makes pet foods for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers.
· FBI: Foreign extremists sign up to drive school buses. Members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States, counterterror officials said Friday, in a cautionary bulletin to police. An FBI spokesman said "parents and children have nothing to fear."
Saturday, March 17, 2007
· Broken fluorescent bulb sparks debate. Those swirly fluorescent lights are fast becoming the darlings of the energy-conscious crowd, but can also become a costly cleanup nightmare if you break one. A Prospect, Maine woman recently found that out when she accidentally shattered a single bulb in her daughter's bedroom, only to find out the resulting mercury spill could cost as much as $2,000 to clean up. An environmental response specialist found mercury readings were more than six times the state’s acceptable level at the spot of the broken bulb.
· Gay advance leads to killing. Two men have been arrested in the killing of a Florida man police say may have been stabbed because he was gay. Authorities say a witness came forward and said Ryan Skipper was killed because he made an advance toward one of his attackers.
· Bizarre Story of Woman, Safe, Crack, Guns and Boyfriend. An Athens, Tennessee officer spotted Terrina Bates lugging a metal safe while walking along Highway 39. After changing her story multiple times, she finally told officers she stole it from her boyfriend, Gregory Bell. Police say Bell came to the police station and opened the safe containing
"eight grams of crack cocaine, two pistols with the serial numbers filed off and approximately $2500 in cash."
· Target Stores transferring cashiers who avoid pork. In the wake of community criticism, Target Corp. is reassigning its Muslim cashiers who refuse to ring up pork products for religious reasons to other jobs at the stores. Muslim cashiers at Target declined to scan bacon and other pork products, and would call over another cashier to ring up the products, or in some cases, ask customers to do it themselves.
· Proof that sex with teachers can have harmful effects a boy. In a tragic twist to a familiar story, a teenager who had sex with his married 30-year-old teacher was fatally shot outside the woman's home, and authorities have charged her husband.
· Media outlet has alleged D.C. madam's records. A federal judge ruled Friday that the alleged "Washington Madam" cannot sell phone records and other business records, but her attorney said copies of those records have already been handed over to a media outlet. "The horse is out of the barn," he told CNN. "It's too late for the judge to close the door." Earlier, Deborah Jeane Palfrey's civil defense attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said that the deal to turn over the documents would be finalized next week and that the identity of the media outlet would become evident when it files stories on the contents of the records.
· Ambulance chasers replaced by "drive-by litigators." Since August, the "Disabled Patriots of America Inc." and one of its members, "tester" Bonnie Kramer of Cleveland Heights, have sued at least 29 Cleveland-area businesses and the city of Shaker Heights in U.S. District Court, alleging they have restrooms, parking spaces, counters, water fountains, ramps and other facilities that violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. "The suits are kind of sleazy," said Janna Starr, director of disability rights at the nonprofit Disability Policy Collaboration in Washington, D.C. "They really only benefit the lawyers — there's no recovery (of damages) for plaintiffs under these types of (lawsuits)."
· FBI file links Kennedy to Monroe's death. For four decades there have been rumors that Marilyn Monroe's death was not a simple suicide. Now a Los Angeles-based Australian writer and director, Philippe Mora, has uncovered an FBI document that throws up a chilling new scenario.
· Phil Spector murder trial set to begin in L.A. Phil Spector murder trial set to begin in L.A. The trial, delayed repeatedly since Spector was indicted in 2003, will be shown on live television amid fascination with the 1960s musical genius turned recluse who once described himself as having "devils that fight inside me."
· Birthday Balloon flies 942 miles. Harry Johnson III found a deflated balloon with a note attached to it in his pasture a couple weeks ago. It was from A.J. Tauber in Omaha, Neb. A.J.’s family released a balloon in honor of the boy’s birthday and asked the finder to mail a response. “It would have been easy to overlook, and I almost threw it in the trash, but I noticed a note on the balloon,” said Johnson. “I sent him a birthday card with $5 in it and returned the note with it.”
· Lesbian kiss falls flatter than a pancake. Two young women sharing a kiss didn’t seem inappropriate to the other couple in the restaurant booth that night, Jackie Smith and the woman with whom she shares her life, Toni Smith. But someone watching the scene was offended. So later, the IHOP manager confronted them in the lobby and told them to get out.
· Cops Say Driver Was DUI When She Crashed Cemetery. The driver of a car that smashed into a Cathedral City mausoleum, leaving a passenger in critical condition and damaging the tomb, was suspected of being under the influence, the Cathedral City Police Department reported Friday.
· Doctors warn of dangers of superhero costumes. When Spider-Man dons his costume, he gains superhuman speed and agility. When children do the same, they increase their chances of ending up in hospital. In one case, a six-year-old boy suffered a head injury and a broken foot when he fell from a first floor window pretending to be Spider-Man.
· Cheers! Man celebrates his 28th DWI. Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies have arrested a man on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, marking his 28th such offense. Joseph Brill, 53, was driving on a revoked license when deputies saw him park in a driveway in a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood and fall out of his pickup truck Wednesday evening.
· Passenger Urinated in Air-Sickness Bag. SkyWest Airlines apologized to a passenger who said he wasn't allowed to use the restroom during a one-hour flight and ended up urinating in an air-sickness bag. James Whipple said he had two "really big beers" at the Boise, Idaho airport. While on a flight to Salt Lake City on March 7 he wanted to use the cabin restroom.
· Pet Food Maker Announces Major Recall. A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, PetSmart, Safeway, Kroger and other stores recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.
Friday, March 16, 2007
· Trump: Bush 'worst president' ever. George W. Bush will be remembered as the worst US president ever, real estate mogul Donald Trump said Friday, adding that Senator Hillary Clinton could be Bush's White House successor. "Bush is probably the worst president in the history of the United States," Trump told CNN.
· Orlando Bus Driver Fired Over Muslim Jokes. An Orlando bus driver was fired Thursday after Hilal Isler of upstate New York said she and her husband, Volkan Isler, were offended. The Muslim couple said the driver first told a blonde joke, then said "And now they're telling us we're supposed to be nice to these Muslim terrorists who are trying to kill us all," Hilal Isler recalled him saying. "Here in America, we call them 'rag-heads' or 'towelheads,' but that's not right. What they wear on their heads is more like a sheet. We should be calling them sheetheads."
· Carol Burnett sues over use of Charwoman. Carol Burnett has filed a $2 million copyright infringement lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, claiming her cleaning woman character was portrayed on the animated series "Family Guy." The U.S. District Court lawsuit, which was filed Thursday, said the Fox show didn't have the 73-year-old comedian's permission to include her cleaning woman character, Charwoman, in an April 2006 episode.
· Man Jailed for Joint Set Free. Tyrone Brown, the man sentenced to life in prison for violating probation with a single marijuana cigarette, is a free man. Brown is African-American, poor and without connections. His harsh sentence was contrasted with the mercy shown to a white criminal who murdered someone, then repeatedly violated his parole with cocaine. The privileged criminal, who was the son of a Baptist minister and the brother-in-law of a U.S. congressman, was never sent to jail, and now even his probation has been lifted. Brown was involved in an armed robbery that yielded $2. He, too, was first sentenced to probation, but when he violated it just once with a marijuana joint, he was sentenced to life. He has served 17 years. Both men were sentenced by the same judge, Keith Dean.
· Man Faces Drunk Driving Charges, With Toddler in Car Seat. A Mount Washington father is waking up in jail Friday morning, after being arrested for drunk driving earlier this week. What makes 31-year old Scott Frickman's arrest unusual is that police said he was found passed out in his pickup truck, with a beer still in his hand and his 2-year old son sleeping in his car seat.
· Duke Lacrosse Accuser Not Answering Investigators' Key Questions. The woman who accused three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team of sexual assault is not being forthcoming with special prosecutors, law enforcement sources say. The accuser has met at least twice with prosecutors from the North Carolina attorney general's office, giving incomplete answers when asked about the alleged assault and the events surrounding it.
· After 8 hours, overboard cruise ship passenger rescued. A man who jumped from a cruise ship off Florida's coast early Friday was rescued about eight hours later by the Coast Guard, officials said. The ship reported that Michael Mankamyer, 35, had jumped from the balcony in his room and into the water around 12:45 a.m., a Coast Guard statement said. A witness said Mankamyer was intoxicated.
· Birkhead pulls the plug on his attorney. Larry Birkhead's attorney Debra Opri issued a statement this morning, saying "Larry Birkhead and I have terminated our attorney-client relationship effective immediately."
· Cowell says he's bigger than Springsteen. Simon Cowell says he's bigger than The Boss. In an interview to air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," the "American Idol" judge says he's worth five times more to Sony BMG than Bruce Springsteen.
· Delp Suicide Note: 'I Am a Lonely Soul.' Brad Delp, the lead singer for the band Boston who killed himself last week, left behind a note in which he called himself "a lonely soul," according to police reports released Thursday. His fiancee, Pamela Sullivan, called police March 9 after noticing a dryer vent tube connected to the exhaust pipe of Delp's car. In the garage, police found a note taped to the door leading into the house. "To whoever finds this I have hopefully committed suicide. Plan B was to asphyxiate myself in my car."
· New York gunman may have been angry at pizzeria. A gunman who killed two unarmed volunteer police officers and a bartender had been repeatedly kicked out of the pizzeria where the shootings began and may have been angry that a friend who worked there was fired, police said.
· Regis Philbin fine after heart surgery. Daytime television host Regis Philbin was cracking jokes with nurses a day after heart surgery, co-host Kelly Ripa told the "Live with Regis and Kelly" audience on Thursday. Ripa said Philbin, 75, had bypass surgery on Wednesday morning and is already "up and joking around with nurses."
· George Soros invests in controversial Halliburton. Billionaire investor George Soros, who has committed $5 million to the liberal group MoveOn said on Wednesday he bought 1.9 million shares of Halliburton at a cost of $62 million. Halliburton was the only company mentioned by Osama bin Laden in an April 2004 tape in which he claims that "this is a war [in Iraq] that is benefiting major companies with billions of dollars."
· Wikipedia Falsely Reports Sinbad's Death. Actor-comedian Sinbad had the last laugh after his Wikipedia entry announced he was dead, the performer said Thursday. Rumors began circulating Saturday regarding the posting, said Sinbad, who first got a telephone call from his daughter. The gossip quieted, but a few days later the 50-year-old entertainer said the phone calls, text messages and e-mails started pouring in by the hundreds.
· 'Bongs Hits 4 Jesus:' Student Protest Goes to Supreme Court. Joseph Frederick, a student rebel halfway through his senior year of high school, tried the patience of his principal when he displayed a drug-referenced sign — Bong Hits 4 Jesus — at a public parade in Juneau, Alaska in 2002. Principal Deborah Morse, who had previously disciplined Frederick for other acts of protest, confiscated the banner and suspended Frederick, sparking a feud that has gone all the way to the Supreme Court.
· Droid R2-D2 to collect mail. Thirty years ago, in theaters near and far, far away, a movie opened the imaginations of millions, combining the magics of mythology and special effects to launch the "Star Wars" phenomenon.
· Rumsfeld Hospitalized for Heart Treatment. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was admitted to Washington Hospital Center for a heart procedure. Rumsfeld was discharged Thursday from Washington Hospital Center, according to a hospital spokesman.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
· Man in 12-step apology case gets 18-month sentence. A man who sexually assaulted a University of Virginia student in 1984 and apologized to her two decades later as part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday. William Beebe, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual battery for his attack on Liz Seccuro.
· Zsa Zsa's husband sues Bill O'Reilly for calling him a fraud. Prince Frederic von Anhalt has sued Fox and Bill O'Reilly after the talk show host called him a fraud for claiming he could be the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby. Von Anhalt, who is married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, filed the defamation suit seeking at least $10 million in damages Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. “Look, this guy's a fraud,” O'Reilly said, according to a transcript of the show. Since the show aired, von Anhalt says people give him dirty looks when he goes to the grocery store.
· Mama mia! That’s an expensive pizza. They say there's no pizza in the U.S. like New York City pizza, and Upper East Side restaurateur Nino Selimaj proves it. He's dishing up a specialty pie that should make his competitors green with envy. Actually, it's Selimaj who is seeing green. He's charging $1,000 for a 12-inch pie. And people are paying it.
· Disney introduces its first black princess. The Walt Disney Co. has started production on an animated musical fairy tale called "The Frog Princess," which will be set in New Orleans and feature the Walt Disney Studio's first black princess.
· Man Says Stopping For Directions Got Him Jailed For Weeks. Miroslaw Radowski has never gone to trial, but he has already served the maximum jail sentence for a crime he said he didn't commit. The Polish immigrant was arrested in December for trespassing at a Brevard County middle school. Radowski spent the next 71 days in jail. That's 11 more days than the maximum sentence allowed by law, but he hasn't even been convicted.
· Eco-warrior wife of celeb prefers helicopter to an 80-mile train ride. Another example of one rule for them - and another for the rest of us. Trudie Styler, wife of Sting and self-styled eco-warrior, recently took a helicopter to travel 80 miles from Wiltshire to Devon, a journey that would have taken less than two hours by train.
· Ex-baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn dies. Bowie Kuhn, who saw baseball become a business of free agents making multimillion-dollar salaries during 15 tumultuous years as commissioner, died Thursday. He was 80. Kuhn died at St. Luke's Hospital following a short illness, his spokesman Bob Wirz said.
· You want us to do what for $20? A former court security officer has been convicted of offering to pay a couple behind on a fine $20 an hour to have sex while he watched. The couple testified that they were skeptical when Robert Theriault told them they would be testing sheets and condoms as part of an insurance company survey to see if they increased sperm count.
· Atlanta transit chairman caught performing oral sex on another man in airport restroom. Ed Wall, board chairman of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, has been arrested after an undercover police officer said he saw him performing sex acts in an airport bathroom with a man he met over the Internet. Wall, 43, and the other man were engaging in oral sex in a handicapped bathroom stall at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, police said. But they left the door slightly ajar, allowing the undercover officer to see them.
· Tampa Voters Tempted With Free Entry To Strip Club. Vote and get in a Tampa strip club for free. Joe Redner said he was disgusted by the small voter turnout during the March 6, city election, when less than 16 percent of registered voters went to the polls. But Redner is looking to change that. He's offering free admission to his Mons Venus strip club when you hand over your "I voted" sticker at the door. The cover charge is usually $20.
· Police warn Mills on 'crying wolf.' British police have warned Heather Mills McCartney, the estranged wife of former Beatle Paul, about using the emergency phone number 999 too often. "We are duty-bound to respond, but clearly people who make lots of calls to the police run the risk of being treated as the little boy who cried wolf," he added.
· WABC anchor snoozes and loses his job. Steve Bartelstein has run out of second chances at WABC/Ch. 7. The anchor, who has messed up several times on the job only to get another shot, was fired after sleeping through a newsbreak he was to anchor last Thursday morning on the horrific Bronx house fire. He was in his Ch. 7 office at the time.
· Woman Lit Chicago Fire With Money. A woman told investigators that she was trying to warm her feet by lighting a dollar bill on fire when the blaze spread through an apartment building and killed four people, a prosecutor said.
· Shock treatment sought for autistic man. Bradley Bernstein's parents say an electric cattle prod is the only thing that stops him from banging his head and violently punching his eyes, nearly blinding himself. The Illinois couple's fight to continue shock treatment on their severely autistic 48-year-old son and the uproar over a Massachusetts school that uses similar treatment.
· Defendant Nurse Saves Plantiff In Pa. Civil Court. A tenant in court defending herself from a civil complaint by her landlord suddenly had to shift gears. La Tina Osborne, a pediatric nurse, was speaking when she noticed that the plaintiff, Genevieve Zumuda, 77, wasn't breathing. Osborne placed Zumuda on the floor and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A court clerk assisted. Someone went for help, and paramedics arrived and used a defibrillator to regain a heartbeat. Zumuda was taken to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, where she was in stable condition Wednesday.
· Study: Weekend heart attacks riskier. Heart attack patients have a slightly higher risk of death if they go to the hospital on the weekend, when they are more likely to miss or wait longer for crucial treatments, one of the largest studies of the issue finds. Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University School of Medicine cardiologist, said differences in staffing levels and communication may play a role in the different death rates.
· School Administrator, Wife Accused Of Hosting Students' Keg Party. Authorities said an assistant high school principal and his wife, who is a middle school teacher, are accused of throwing a keg party where students paid $5 to drink.
· Pete Rose admits he bet on Reds 'every night.' Pete Rose bet on the Cincinnati Reds "every night" when he managed them and, despite his lifetime ban because of gambling, would like another chance in a major league dugout.
· Mexico's capital plans to legalize abortion. Mexico City is preparing to legalize abortion - the first region to do so in heavily Roman Catholic Mexico - a move the influential church has vowed to challenge.
· Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confesses 9/11 role. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, admitted to those attacks and numerous others during a U.S. military hearing on Saturday, according to an edited transcript released by the Pentagon. In a statement from him, read by a U.S. military representative, Mohammed said, "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z."
· Ted Turner apologizes for remarks on Chinese. Media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner apologized Tuesday for comments he made about China and Chinese people before the Bay Area Council last week in a talk on global warming. Bay Area leaders had objected to his use of the term "Chinaman." When asked before an audience of 1,000 business and community leaders last Thursday about how to win China's cooperation in reducing greenhouse gases, Turner said: "The Chinese are very smart. Just think: Have you ever met a dumb Chinaman?
· Gunman kills pizza man, 2 N.Y. volunteer police. A gunman shot and killed a pizza parlor employee and two unarmed volunteer police officers who pursued him, then was shot to death by other officers in a series of shootings in a crowded Manhattan neighborhood Wednesday. The bedlam began around 9 p.m., when the gunman went into the pizzeria, asked for a menu and then shot an employee 15 times in the back, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
· Jury: Child-killer Couey should get death. A jury on Wednesday recommended that John Evander Couey, a convicted sex offender who last week was found guilty of abducting, raping and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, be sentenced to death.
· Smoking Ban Proposal Meeting Draws Packed House. A new law would give Belmont, California the toughest smoking ban in the nation - possibly in the world. The crackdown aims to curb the harmful effects of second-hand smoke by preventing puffs not just in parks and around public buildings - but in private apartments and city streets as well.
· Chiquita Charged in Terror Investigation. Banana company Chiquita Brands International was charged Wednesday with doing business with a terrorist organization. Federal prosecutors said the company and several unnamed high-ranking corporate officers did business with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. The company also did business with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, according to prosecutors.
· 13-year-old racks up 128 charges during alleged crime spree. Andrew Riley, 13, is charged with 128 felonies, in Athens County Juvenile Court. They include burglary, theft, vandalism and witness intimidation. The delinquency charges stem from a crime spree that has lasted more than a year, authorities said. "In my 30 years of doing this, I’ve never had a juvenile that young with so many charges," Athens County Prosecutor C. David Warren said last night.
· Post-Abortion Greeting Cards: "You did the right thing." A nonprofit organization has unveiled a series of electronic greeting cards that concerned friends and relatives can send to a woman after she chooses to have an abortion.
· Judge drops charges against HP's Dunn. A judge dropped all charges against former Hewlett-Packard Co. board Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, who was accused of fraud in the boardroom spying scheme that rocked one of Silicon Valley's most respected companies.
· Judge rules against Sudan in bombing. A federal judge said Wednesday that Sudan is responsible for the bombing of the USS Cole but he needs more time to determine damages for the families of the 17 sailors killed when terrorists bombed the ship in 2000.
· It's costly to be wrongly convicted in the U.K. Three men who spent a combined total of 46 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of murder will have to pay for their prison board and lodgings, Law Lords have ruled. Their lawyers had argued it was wrong to expect people wrongly imprisoned to pay for what is effectively their "board and lodgings," and what the court agreed was for "life necessities."
· Former governor who had gay affair wants child support. Former Gov. James McGreevey, who resigned from office after revealing that he was gay and had an affair with a male staffer, is seeking custody of his 5-year-old daughter and child support from his estranged wife.
· Teenage Thief Arrested After Returning To Scene For Cell Phone. A man was arrested Tuesday morning after Titusville police said he returned to a house he had just robbed to retrieve his cell phone that he left behind. Garrett Nichols, 18, of Titusville, was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of armed burglary and two counts of grand theft.
· Berkeley wants to become co-plaintiff in Rumsfeld war crimes trial. The Berkeley City Council was in the spotlight Tuesday night as it grappled with whether to become the first U.S. government entity to support the prosecution of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials for war crimes.
· Delayed CIA Memoir Coming Next Month. The much-delayed memoir of former CIA director George Tenet is coming out April 30, his publisher said Tuesday. Tenet, whose tenure at the CIA was marked by the Iraq war and the Sept. 11 attacks, is best known for telling President Bush in 2002 that he had "slam dunk" evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
· The Who Ends Concert During First Song. Fans of the Who left a Tampa amphitheater disappointed after lead singer Roger Daltrey walked off the stage during the band's first song. Several minutes after Daltrey's departure, guitarist Pete Townshend announced that Tuesday night's show had been canceled. He told the crowd that Daltrey had bronchitis.
· Colo. couple find faceless dollar coin. Mary and Ray Smith can't make heads or tails of a new presidential dollar coin they found last week. It doesn't have either. A week after the revelation that some of the coins slipped out of the U.S. Mint without "In God We Trust" stamped on the edge, the Smiths said Tuesday they found one with nothing stamped on either flat side. It does have "In God We Trust" on the edge. What's missing is the image of George Washington on the front and the Statue of Liberty on the back. Instead, the Smiths' coin is just smooth, shiny metal.
· Body overlooked in bustle of hurricane rebuilding. As his family and neighbors focused on rebuilding homes and lives battered by Hurricane Rita, few gave much thought to Larry Euglon's long absence. "All the neighbors asked where Mr. Larry was," said Osborne Johnson, who lived across the street from Euglon for more than 20 years. "We decided he had evacuated with other people and didn't have the chance to come back." In fact, he never left. The skeletal, mummified remains of the 51-year-old recluse were recently discovered lying on his bed inside his home, which had no major storm damage but was still enveloped by thick branches from two splintered oak trees. Now people wonder why it took nearly 18 months for Euglon to be found in this southeast Texas city.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
· Update: NYC livid over attack on woman, 101. Here's a tip for the guy who beat up a 101-year-old woman in a walker and took off with her purse: Get out of New York. The vicious mugging, caught on surveillance tape, has sparked outrage in a city where people are accustomed to hearing about strange and violent crimes. Police have launched an all-out manhunt, but it's not just the cops who want the villain's head.
· Deputies Lose Badges in Wake of Jail Sex Scandal. Two female deputies accused of having sexual contact with inmates at the Sacramento Main Jail have resigned, News10 first reported Monday. The deputies are believed to have been involved in phone sex several times, and possibly some physical contact with inmates, according to sources.
· Your New ID-Theft Worry? Photocopiers. Most digital copiers manufactured have disk drives - the same kind of data-storage mechanism found in computers - to reproduce documents. As a result, the seemingly innocuous machines that are commonly used to spit out copies of tax returns for millions of Americans can retain the data being scanned. If the data on the copier's disk aren't protected with encryption or an overwrite mechanism, industry experts say sensitive information from original documents could get into the wrong hands.
· Judge orders sale of Simpson book about murders. A judge ordered on Tuesday that rights to O.J. Simpson's aborted book, "If I Did It," be sold at auction to help satisfy a civil judgment against the former football star - meaning the book could find its way into stores. The ruling comes four months after Simpson's book about how he could have committed the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, was scrubbed by News Corp. media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
· New Orleans Pumps Were Faulty. The Army Corps of Engineers, rushing to meet President Bush's promise to protect New Orleans by the start of the 2006 hurricane season, installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm.
· Couple Held in Death of 4-Year-Old. A Spokane couple was ordered held Monday on $500,000 bond each in the death of the man's 4-year-old daughter. Detectives said the child had been forced to wear a shock collar, beaten with belts and suffered human bite wounds.
· Gay advocates demand apology from Marine General. A gay advocacy group Tuesday demanded an apology from the Pentagon's top general for calling homosexuality immoral. In a newspaper interview Monday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had likened homosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.
· IRS Agent Accused Of Trying To Cheat Govt. An Internal Revenue Service agent was arrested Monday on charges that he engaged in tax fraud, finding ways for him and others to dodge taxes by claiming that their income was offset by deductions belonging to a company he operated out of his home.
· Paul McCartney Leaving Capitol Records After 40 Years. Paul McCartney is splitting with the record company he’s called home for most of the last 43 years. McCartney will be the first artist signed with Starbucks’ new record label.
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."
· Texas proposes condom giveaway for prison system. Experts concerned about the spread of HIV in Texas want to give condoms to convicts. A proposal before a House committee would allow non-profit groups to give away condoms in state prisons. Experts say sex - consensual or not - happens frequently, and one in every 50 inmates has HIV.
· Van Halen still in disarray at Hall of Fame induction. Two of the biggest rock bands of the 1980s took different paths to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday - indie favorites R.E.M. with a happy reunion and party band Van Halen with a fragmentary turnout.
· Mexico's richest man casts controversial shadow. The world's third-richest man, Carlos Slim, is gaining rapidly on Bill Gates and Warren Buffett with a fortune that grew $19 billion last year. It's also a sign of the wealth gap in Mexico's monopoly-laden economy. Since Slim bought the telephone monopoly in a 1991 privatization, he's used Telmex as a cash cow to build an empire that includes Latin America's largest mobile phone company; provides banking, brokerage and Internet services; sells insurance and oil industry equipment; and operates retail stores and restaurants.
· Appeals court: Oakland legally removed religious club's flyer. A federal appeals court has ruled that the city of Oakland acted legally when it pulled down a flyer posted by two city employees who had formed a religious club to promote "the natural family, marriage and family values."
· N.M. lawmakers approve cancer vaccine. New Mexico is on the verge of becoming the latest state to require girls entering sixth grade to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitting virus that can cause cervical cancer, a spokesman for the governor said.
Monday, March 12, 2007
· $18 million emergency communications system not used in tornado chaos. In the chaos after a tornado killed nine people in Enterprise, Alabama, emergency workers had trouble talking to one another because they tried to use their cell phones instead of the state's $18 million emergency communications upgrade, officials say. "People were frustrated, but all they had to do was turn on their radios," state Homeland Security Director Jim Walker said.
· Update: Human Growth Hormone Rap for Stallone. Sylvester Stallone faces stiff fines after trying to bring vials of a muscle-building hormone into Australia, where it is restricted. Lawyers for Stallone, the 60-year-old star of the "Rocky" and "Rambo" movie franchises, represented him in a Sydney court on Tuesday where he faces one charge of importing a banned substance. The maximum penalty for bringing it into Australia illegally is a fine of $86,000 and five years in prison. Stallone is unlikely to face the maximum penalty.
· Stolen Car Set On Fire Sparked SoCal Blaze. A wildfire burning among houses in the hills southeast of Los Angeles was ignited by flames from a stolen car that was intentionally set ablaze during strong Santa Ana winds, a fire official said Monday.
· Woman Looking for Cocaine Dealer Mistakenly Calls Cops. A woman looking for a cocaine dealer called a number on her son's cell phone only to discover later that she had phoned a police officer, authorities said. Ramona Williams, 42, was arrested on a drug complaint.
· Halliburton to move headquarters to Dubai. Texas-based Halliburton is moving its headquarters and chief executive to Dubai in a move that immediately sparked criticism from some U.S. politicians. The company said it was making the moves to position itself better to gain contracts in the oil-rich Middle East.
· CNN news anchor: I was sexually abused by Catholic priest. CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts says he became a victim of sexual abuse at the age of 14 and the abuse lasted three years. "It took me nearly 20 years to gather the strength to help put my abuser behind bars," Roberts said. "Now, a year after 'justice' was done, I am ready to tell my story publicly in ways I never have before."
· Film Questions Michael Moore's Tactics. As documentary filmmakers, Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine looked up to Michael Moore. Then they tried to do a documentary of their own about him - and ran into the same sort of resistance Moore himself famously faces in his own films. The husband-and-wife directors spent over two years making the movie, which follows Moore on his college tour promoting 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11." The film shows Melnyk repeatedly approaching Moore for an interview and being rejected; members of Moore's team also kick the couple out of the audience at one of his speeches.
· Israel recalls El Salvador envoy after drunken episode. Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found bound, drunk and nude, a spokeswoman said Monday. The longtime diplomat, Tsuriel Raphael, has been removed from his post after El Salvador police found Raphael in the yard of his residence, tied up wearing bondage gear, gagged and drunk. The embarrassing affair was one of several involving Israeli diplomats in recent years. Israel's ambassador to France died of cardiac arrest in a Paris hotel with a "woman who was not his wife," and Israel replaced its ambassador to Australia, Naftali Tamir, after he said Israel and Australia are "like sisters" because both are located in Asia and their peoples don't have the Asian characteristics of "yellow skin and slanted eyes."
· Cheers! Baptist church reaches out for members. Dozens show up at the Bottleworks brewpub to drink beer and talk about issues ranging from racism in St. Louis to modern-art controversies to the debate about embryonic stem cell research. First-timers are invited to check out the church on Sunday, and Journey leaders say many have. Theology at the Bottleworks is just one of The Journey’s ministries, but it has helped the church grow from 30 members in late 2002 to 1,300 today. "We want to go where the people are," Rev. Darrin Patrick said.
· Another Man Attempts to Steal Copper - With Usual Results. Authorities say a man trying to steal copper from highline electric poles was electrocuted when he touched a live wire. When deputies arrived, they discovered Terry Padgett, 36, had been holding a long pole with a cutter on the end.
· Regis Philbin to have bypass surgery. Regis Philbin, 75, co-host of "Live with Regis and Kelly," announced on the Monday morning show that he will undergo triple bypass surgery this week. "Darn it, I don't want to do it. Nobody wants to do it," Philbin griped to his co-host, Kelly Ripa. "But they tell me. I had a second opinion. So they are all in agreement that it should be the bypass. And so that's what I'm going to do."
· Comedian dead in apparent suicide. Richard Jeni, a standup comedian who played to sold-out crowds, was a regular on the "Tonight Show" and appeared in movies, died of a gunshot wound in an apparent suicide, police said Sunday.
· Update: Alleged D.C. madam might expose 10,000. Fifty-year old Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the California woman accused of running a $2 million Washington prostitution ring, denied any role in illegal activities and said for 13 years she headed a "legal, high-end erotic fantasy service." Palfrey says she had 10,000 clients contained in lists since 1993 which, according to her Web site, weigh in at "46 pounds of detailed and itemized phone records." Palfrey may have no other choice but to "liquidate her only remaining asset," records involving some 10,000 clients, said Washington attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley.
· New Jersey funnels money for needy back to casinos. A stone's throw from the glittering, billion-dollar casinos, thousands of people live in grinding poverty in run-down houses surrounded by drugs and prostitutes. These are the neighborhoods that the state requires casinos to help by setting aside a portion of their revenue for development projects. Yet since 1993, the state agency charged with doling out the casino money to needy areas in Atlantic City and throughout New Jersey has been funneling some of that cash back to the casinos themselves.
· Drug dealer busted for selling "expensive" baking soda. A suspected drug dealer who ripped off cocaine customers by selling them baking soda was arrested after selling the powder to an undercover agent in Marin City, police said. The alleged baking soda schemer, identified as 25-year-old Dante Ray Hayes of San Francisco, was charged Friday with selling the baking soda, said Deputy District Attorney Tom McCallister.
· Immigration bill may finally get jump-start. After years of debate and deadlock, Congress seems to have all the ingredients this year to revamp a broken immigration system and devise a way to handle up to 12 million undocumented immigrants while tightening border security.
· Driver tries to beat one train and gets hit by another. Two people have been killed in a collision involving an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train Sunday night. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says the driver of the car tried to beat a southbound CSX freight train across the tracks, but apparently didn't see a northbound Amtrak train.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
· Tribal leaders evicting people to make way for a casino. Tribal leaders yesterday evicted three people who had lived for years on the smallest Indian reservation in California to make way for a casino, leading to a standoff that lasted hours.
· Muslim party 'by year's end.' A new Muslim political party will be formed by the end of the year, top Islamic cleric Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali said. Speaking through an interpreter, the mufti has told ABC radio Australian Muslims need proper political representation.
· Has Ann Coulter Hit Her Tipping Point? Following her use of a gay slur about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards this month during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference, some on TV are wondering whether Ann Coulter's shelf life is expiring. Many were angered by her use of the "f-word". Coulter later said she considered it a "schoolyard taunt." At least four daily newspapers have dropped Coulter as a columnist, citing her comment about Edwards.
· Update: Newborn Kidnapped From Texas Hospital Found Alive in New Mexico. A newborn kidnapped from a Lubbock hospital was found safe in a New Mexico home on Sunday, police said. The infant had been kidnapped early Saturday by a woman posing as a medical worker, who walked out of Covenant Lakeside Hospital in Lubbock with the 5-pound baby hidden in her purse, police said.
· Jews 'partly responsible' for their troubles: Churchill. The Second World War prime minister Winston Churchill argued that Jews were "partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer" in an article publicized for the first time Sunday. The article was discovered by Cambridge University historian Richard Toye in the university's archive of Churchill's papers.
· Attack on NYC woman, 101, caught on tape. For a moment, the man in the grainy video looks like a good Samaritan holding the door open for an elderly neighbor. Then he turns and delivers three sharp punches to the 101-year-old woman's head. "The next thing I knew, I had a big bang on the side of my face," said Rose Morat, who suffered a fractured cheekbone and lost her purse and $33 to the mugger.
· Mom Drove Her 13-Year-Old Son To School Fight. The mother of a 13-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly driving her son to a fight with another boy, then cheering him on as he struck his smaller opponent. Police say the mother shouted down another woman who tried to break up the fight across from Sutter Middle School on Monday. A student caught the scene on video.
· U.S. changes clocks early in bid to save energy. Don't forget to set your clocks ahead. With the earlier start and end later this year — Nov. 4 — of daylight saving time, some, but not all, digital systems and software are ready for the shift.
· Parole supervisor admits marijuana theft, resigns. A Multnomah County parole supervisor has resigned after admitting to stealing marijuana from a department property room and smoking it in front of co-workers at a holiday party, officials said Friday.
· Stephen King Ventures Into Comic Books. There are few things Stephen King hasn't tried when it comes to his work. He's already the master of horror fiction, a tour guide through disturbing and fantastical worlds, a writing coach, a nonfiction author, a screen writer and even a director. He can now claim a new genre with the recent Marvel Entertainment comics publication "The Dark Tower," based on his books of the same name.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
· Police hunt nurse impostor who stole ill baby. A woman posing as a nurse walked into a baby's hospital room, told her family she needed to take the ill newborn for tests and then stole her, police said Saturday. Lt. Scott Hudgens of Lubbock, Texas, police begged the kidnapper to drop off 3-day-old Mychel Darthard-Dawodu, who needs treatment for jaundice. Officers are hunting a 5-foot-3-inch woman seen on security cameras in pink scrubs with purple and blue flowers.
· Car Wash Attendant Steals Car. A woman said her car was stolen by someone who was supposed to be washing her car. Marva Robinson said she took her Chevy Tahoe to the Sparkle Car Wash & Lube in Dallas Tuesday for a wash and an oil change. She said she was waiting for her car when she saw the attendant drive away in her car.
· Another teacher accused of sex with student - is now pregnant. She was a child protection worker who taught family studies and now she's a high school teacher accused of having sex with one of her teenage students.
· West Virginia Senate OKs legislative pay hike. While West Virginia leaders of teachers unions still waited at the Capitol for word about a possible 3.5 percent raise for their members, the Senate voted to hike lawmakers' annual pay by 33 percent to $20,000 - one of the highest-paid part-time legislatures of its kind in the country. That likely won't sit well with teachers and other public employees who have been pushing hard this session for raises, union representatives said.
· Colo. teens held after mother found dead. For nearly a month after she was stabbed to death, Linda Damm's body lay in the trunk of her car inside her garage while her 15-year-old daughter and friends used her debit card to "do teenage stuff," police say.
· Police Catch Child Trying to Sell Pot. Police said they caught an 8-year-old trying to sell marijuana to other children at a counseling center. Police were called to the Westlund Child Guidance Clinic after another boy told a teacher the 8-year-old had tried to sell pot to him. Investigators found the marijuana in a box of Lego toys belonging to the boy.
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.”
· 'Sopranos' Can Film In North Jersey Town. Tony Soprano is now welcome in the North Jersey town of Bloomfield. Earlier this week, the town's mayor and council had denied a filming permit to Soprano Productions Inc., saying they found the HBO mob drama a derogatory portrait of Italian-Americans.
· Medical trailers sit while hospitals overflow with patients. Nearly a year after they arrived in New Orleans to aid in health care availability following Katrina, several double-wide FEMA trailers designed to be used for medical services sit untouched while hospitals continue to overflow with patients, according to several doctors familiar with the situation.
· Democrats cancel Fox News debate. Nevada Democratic Party officials said on Friday they were canceling a presidential debate co-sponsored by Fox News, following a joke chairman Roger Ailes made about Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
· If alive, Osama bin Laden turns 50. Osama bin Laden, if he's alive, celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday, and his friends in the Taliban prayed for his long life. The al Qaeda leader's long silence has fueled speculation that the world's most-wanted fugitive may have died, though many in the international intelligence community reckon Islamist militant Web sites would circulate word of his death. "He is alive. I am 100 percent sure," Taliban spokesman Mullah Hayatullah Khan told Reuters, adding that senior leaders were in touch with bin Laden, reinforcing a widely held view that he is hiding near the rugged Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
· Man Allegedly Cut Bracelet for 'Springer.' A judge imposed $50,000 cash bond Friday for a man accused of cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet to ride by limousine to Chicago and be on "The Jerry Springer Show."
Friday, March 9, 2007
· California high school students openly smoke medical marijuana. Some California teens are giving a new meaning to "high" school. Students are finding easy access to medical marijuana cards and presenting those cards to school authorities as a legitimate excuse for getting high. "Students are getting them for things like sleeplessness and stress - it just draws into question how easy is it for people to get their hands on these cards."
· Salma Hayek Engaged, Expecting a Baby. Next up for Salma Hayek is a wedding - and a baby carriage. The 40-year-old actress is engaged to businessman Francois-Henri Pinault and is pregnant with their first child, her spokeswoman, Cari Ross, said Friday in a statement.
· Courtney Love Sued Over Rehab Bill. A swanky California drug treatment facility claims that Courtney Love spent three months there in late-2005 and has since ignored demands to pay her outstanding $181,000 tab.
· Teen Survives Being Shot in the Heart with a 3 Inch Nail. Can you imagine getting shot in the heart - and then living to tell the tale? A 17-year-old from Dexter will be telling the story for years to come. Had Matt Robinson pulled the nail out - the St. Louis doctor who performed heart surgery on him says he would have died. Dr. Hendrick Barner pulled the nail out about four hours after the accident. While inside, the nail acted like a plug - leaving no space for blood to seep out.
· Justice Department: FBI acted illegally on data. The FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA Patriot Act to secretly obtain personal information about people in the United States, underreporting for three years how often it forced businesses to turn over customer data, a Justice Department audit concluded Friday.
· Plane diverted due to wire, magnet concealed in Iraqi's rectum. An Iraqi immigrant with a suspicious device lodged in a body cavity was detained Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said. A jetliner bound for Philadelphia, meanwhile, was diverted to Las Vegas after they realized they forgot to pull his luggage from the plane.
· Man dies waiting for help on parked Jet Blue flight. It took 23 minutes to get medical attention to a passenger suffering a heart attack on a plane sitting at the terminal at Kennedy Airport, according to Fire Department and Port Authority records. The man died within the hour last Wednesday, authorities said, and his fellow passengers want to know what took so long to help him.
· Gingrich had affair during Clinton probe. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he said in an interview with a conservative Christian group.
· State finally revokes trucker's driver's license. A trucker who had a lengthy record of driving offenses before causing a fatal crash on the Maine Turnpike has lost his driver’s license for good, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced Wednesday. Scott Hewitt’s driving record, which included 63 convictions, 23 license suspensions and a previous fatal crash, outraged many Mainers and prompted the Legislature to crack down on motorists with suspended licenses who refuse to stop driving.
· Two Teens Plead Guilty To Stealing Train. Two Ohio teenagers may have thought they were commandeering a train to freedom, but their stunt only landed them back in detention. The two traveled eleven miles down the track before stopping for fallen branches laying across the line. Authorities said the older teen grew up around trains, so he knew how to start the locomotive and knew to blow the horn at crossings.
· Priests to purify site after Bush visit. Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.
· Jailed Man Is A Videographer And a Blogger but Is He a Journalist? Josh Wolf, a 24-year-old blogger, has spent more than six months behind bars in California - the longest contempt-of-court term ever served by someone in the media - for refusing to turn over a videotape he shot of a violent San Francisco demonstration against a Group of Eight summit meeting. Unless a mediation session today can break the impasse, he will likely remain imprisoned at least until the current grand jury's term expires in July.
· Decision To Remove Religion From Yearbook Reversed. A northern California school is in the hot seat tonight over words removed from yearbook ads. Liberty High the East Bay said no to religious references in the senior ad section of their award winning yearbook - they went ahead and changed some parents' messages. But two weeks ago they changed their policy to be on the same page as the other district schools and allow religious references. That was before this years pages went to print. So the school will be spending $8,000 to change 25 ads and allow God, Jesus and even Allah back into the yearbook.
· Billionaires are richer; Russia, India on rise. The world's richest are getting younger and richer with more Russians and Indians cropping up among the 946 people on Forbes magazine's 2007 billionaires list unveiled Thursday. Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates was the richest man for the 13th straight year, with $56 billion, followed by Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with $52 billion. Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim remained No. 3, with $49 billion.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
· Mom Charged With Killing Daughter With Lysol. A teenage mother was ordered to stand trial Tuesday, on charges of poisoning her infant daughter when the child would not stop crying. Investigators testified that Shyla Chapman, 19, told them she sprayed Lysol in the face of her daughter, Tamme Mae Logan, after the baby would not stop crying.
· House to push ban on F-14 parts sale. An effort to bar the Pentagon from selling surplus parts for the F-14 fighter jet — a plane now flown only by Iran — will be introduced in the House. "I don't believe most Americans are aware of the fact that the Iranians have a fleet of F-14s and that we sold them to them," Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said.
· SEC suspends 35 stocks in spam crackdown. Federal regulators suspended trading in 35 companies in a crackdown on spam e-mail sent by unknown market manipulators who profit from a rise in the share price of thinly traded companies.
· Roommate lived with body to get money from dead teen's parents. Ashley Ann Pierce's roommate continued to live with her dead body for three weeks in their apartment so she could impersonate Pierce and ask her parents for money, police said Thursday.
· Obama pays 17-year-old parking tickets. As he prepared to announce his campaign for the White House, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama took care of some unfinished business at Harvard University - paying about $400 in parking tickets. Obama paid Cambridge $375 on January 26 for 17 parking tickets received between 1988 and 1990, she said. He paid neighboring Somerville another $45 for late fees on two parking tickets from the early 1990s.
· School district sued over graduation held in church. The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Newark public school district, saying a school's decision to hold its graduation ceremonies in a Baptist church violated a Muslim student's religious freedom. The New Jersey ACLU said Wednesday that it was suing the school district because its decision to hold graduation in the church prevented West Side High School senior Bilal Shareef, a Muslim, from attending.
· Illinois man's electric bill jumps 200%, pays in pennies. A southern Illinois man who's fed up with higher electric rates has come up with a way to show his displeasure while paying his bill. Robert Hancock said his monthly power bill jumped nearly 200 percent - to $526.62. So he's going to send Ameren 52,662 pennies.
· Judge: Accused child molester can go to Disney World. Frank D. Atherton appeared in court last month on child molestation charges. What's he going to do now? He's going to Disney World. Atherton, accused in Boone County outside Rockford of sexually assaulting three children under the age of 13, was given approval by a judge Feb. 26 to travel to Florida for a two-week vacation.
· Cause of Smith's death known, but kept mum. The cause of Anna Nicole Smith's death has been determined, but it will not be announced for one to two weeks in order to give police more time to finish their investigation, the medical examiner's officer said Wednesday. Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper wants to make sure none of the investigators' findings change any of his own findings, his office said.
· 6 Years in Swallowed Cell Phone Case. A man convicted of shoving a cell phone down his girlfriend's throat was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison. Marlon Brando Gill, 25, had faced a maximum sentence of seven years in prison after a jury convicted him last month of the second-degree assault.
· New Exec To Oversee Couric's Struggling Newscast. Katie Couric will be in the anchor chair as usual but things may nonetheless be different, very soon, at the CBS Evening News. The network is expected to name Rick Kaplan as the new executive producer, taking over the broadcast as early as Monday.
· Formerly half-ton man can leave house at last. A man who once weighed well over half a ton left his house for the first time in five years Wednesday - wheeled outside on his bed to greet neighbors and see a mariachi band. "The sky is beautiful and blue, and what I want is to enjoy the sun," said Manuel Uribe, who had once been certified by doctors as weighing 1,235 pounds. Though still unable to leave his bed, Uribe has lost 395 pounds since he began a high-protein diet a year ago. He now weighs about 840 pounds.
· Man burns genitals in 'Jackass' stunt. Attempts to do a movie stunt landed one man in the hospital with burned genitals and another facing criminal charges. The men were trying to do a stunt from one of the "Jackass" movies, in which a character lights his genitals on fire. Jared W. Anderson, 20, suffered serious burns to his hands and genitals, according to the criminal complaint. Randell D. Peterson, 43, who sprayed lighter fluid on Anderson and lit him on fire, was charged with felony battery and first-degree reckless endangerment.
· Man's Body Shipped Home In Unsealed Cardboard Box. A wife of a decorated Vietnam veteran is outraged Tuesday after her deceased husband's undressed body was shipped to Kentucky in an unsealed, damaged cardboard box. "Nobody should have to go through this, nobody," Charelene Groves said. "This is the most inhumane thing I've ever seen in my life."
· Big Bopper autopsy puts rumors to rest. J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson suffered massive fractures and likely died immediately in the 1959 plane crash that also killed early rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, a forensic anthropologist said Tuesday after exhuming the body. The performer's son, Jay Richardson, hired Dr. Bill Bass, a well-known forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, to look at the remains in Beaumont, Texas. There have been rumors a gun might have been fired on board the plane and that the Big Bopper might have survived the crash and died trying to get help.
· Refrigerator will toss you can of beer. When John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle. So the engineering graduate built himself a reminder of life on campus: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control.
· UC Berkeley biology student arrested in theft of Nobel Prize. A UC Berkeley biology student was arrested today on suspicion of stealing the first Nobel Prize the university ever received, a medallion that had been in a display case at the Lawrence Hall of Science, campus police said.
· Troopers clock 'Blues Traveler' singer's SUV going more than 100 mph. Blues Traveler singer and harmonica player John Popper was arrested near Ritzville after the vehicle he was riding in was clocked going 111 mph, the Washington State Patrol said Wednesday. A police dog searched the vehicle, finding numerous hidden compartments. Inside those compartments were four rifles, nine handguns and a switchblade knife. They also found a Taser and night vision goggles. The vehicle also had flashing emergency headlights, a siren and a public address system, the Patrol said. "Popper indicated to troopers that he had installed these items in his vehicle because (in the event of a natural disaster) he didn't want to be left behind," the Patrol said.
· Robbery Suspect Wears Bag in Court. An armed robbery suspect took no chances on Wednesday in allowing a victim to see his face. Oji Ngozi, charged in an October 2003 armed robbery, wore a shopping bag with two small eye holes over his head at a motion hearing Tuesday to suppress photographic evidence used in a police lineup.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
· Bill would block credit cards for illegals. U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced legislation Monday that would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving credit cards from American financial institutions.
· Feds Seek To Gag D.C. Madam. Federal prosecutors want to gag an indicted former Washington, D.C. madam who has recently threatened to go public with details about her former customers. Government lawyers claim that some discovery documents contain "personal information" about Palfrey's former johns and prostitutes that is "sensitive."
· Ga. truck driver claims half of $390M. A Georgia truck driver stepped forward Wednesday to claim half of a $390 million jackpot, the richest lottery prize in U.S. history. "I'm still numb," Ed Nabors of Rocky Face, Ga., about 90 miles north of Atlanta, said in a deep Southern drawl. He elected to take home his winnings in a lump sum instead of annual installments, and will get $116.5 million before taxes.
· O.J. Simpson Says Anna Nicole Smith's Baby Might Be His. O.J. Simpson reportedly said he is "throwing his hat into the ring" regarding the paternity battle over Anna Nicole Smith's baby, citing his "slow-moving sperm."
· Ex-Con Guilty in Fla. Girl's Slaying. A sex offender was found guilty Wednesday of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old girl and burying her alive in a case that led to a crackdown around the country on people convicted of sex crimes. The young girl had been raped before she was buried alive in a plastic garbage bag.
· Documents reveal astronaut romance. Astronaut Bill Oefelein was in orbit aboard the space shuttle in December when he was sent a steamy e-mail from a girlfriend awaiting his return: "First urge will be to rip your clothes off, throw you on the ground and love the hell out of you." Fellow astronaut Lisa Nowak apparently discovered that e-mail — and some other romantic messages to Oefelein — before she set off on her bizarre, 900-mile road-trip to confront her rival for Oefelein's affections.
» NASA Fires Astronaut Lisa Nowak. An astronaut charged with trying to kidnap a woman she allegedly believed was a romantic rival was fired by NASA on Wednesday, a month after she was arrested in Florida.
· Rosie Says She's Treated for Depression. Rosie O'Donnell says she began being treated for depression after the Columbine school shootings and hangs upside down for up to a half-hour a day to improve her mental state.
· Evangelical leader says Giuliani's divorce a problem. A Southern Baptist leader said Tuesday that evangelical voters might tolerate a divorced presidential candidate, but they have deep doubts about GOP hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who has been married three times.
· Spa Left Woman With Skin 'Like Raw Meat.' It used to be that salons were just for hair and nails. Now, Americans are undergoing all sorts of procedures at so-called "medical spas," from laser hair removal to Botox injections to skin bleaching. But procedures can be dangerous, even deadly, if they're performed improperly. The Society for Dermatologic Surgery says it has seen a 41 percent rise in botched treatments. The damage done can last a lifetime.
· Senate Panel to Examine Credit Card Fees. A Senate panel today is examining complex billing and interest-rate practices for credit cards that critics say confuse consumers and can push them deeper into debt. Aides to the Senate subcommittee highlighted the case of Wesley Wannemacher of Lima, Ohio, a Chase card customer who they said got into trouble in his account and ended up paying interest of 30 percent with a $4,400 balance as of Feb. 1. Wannemacher had $3,200 in purchases, interest charges of $4,900, 47 overlimit charges totaling $1,500, late fees of $1,100, for total charges of $10,700, according to the subcommittee. He paid $6,300, leaving the $4,400 balance - which Chase agreed to waive after he contacted the subcommittee staff.
· After Quickie Wedding, Groom Runs Over Bride. The honeymoon didn't last long. James Olwine, 33, is accused of trying to run over his new wife after a weekend wedding in Las Vegas. Police received an emergency call from someone reporting a couple fighting in a car Monday as they traveled on Highland Drive, about 10 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
· CBS News finally figures out that people just want the news. "I think in some ways we owed it to the industry to try new things," CBS News President Sean McManus said. "But we found at 6:30 with only 22 minutes of programming time, people basically want you to tell them what happened in the world that day . . . That's probably the biggest lesson we learned."
· Tampa school locks students out of restrooms. Students who attend Freedom High School in New Tampa say this week, freedom is in short supply. Ever since vandalism showed up on bathroom walls across campus, school administrators have locked up all but one set of restrooms throughout the school day.
· Child on plane screamed 'Mommy come get me!' "I've got her, and you're not going to get her." Beth Johnson heard those words from her ex-husband, shortly before he crashed his rented single-engine plane into his former mother-in-law's southern Indiana home, killing himself and the couple's 8-year-old daughter.
· Car carrying pot crashes into trooper's cruiser. It might have been one of the easiest drug busts in the history of the South Carolina Highway Patrol: A car with 43 pounds of marijuana crashed into a trooper's cruiser, authorities said.
· Woman Accused Of Sex With Boys While Fire Chief Husband Watched. A Central Florida woman is accused of luring three young boys into a hot tub while naked and then having a sexual encounter while her husband, who is an Osceola County Fire Department battalion chief, watched.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Man Accused Of Smuggling 14 Guns, Bags Of Marijuana On Orlando Flight. A 22-year-old Kissimmee, Fla., man was arrested on U.S. weapons violations after authorities said he smuggled a suitcase containing 13 handguns, a M-16 type automatic weapon and marijuana on board a Delta flight at Orlando Airport.
· ACLU sues over detained immigrant kids. Civil liberties and immigration advocates sued federal officials Tuesday on behalf of children confined to a former Texas prison-turned-center for immigrant families awaiting possible deportation.
· Company Hired Illegal Immigrants to Keep Up With Military Contracts. The owner and three managers of a New Bedford leather manufacturer that's won more than $91 million in U.S. military contracts were arrested Tuesday for allegedly hiring illegal immigrants. The company, Michael Bianco Inc., hired illegal aliens as it tried to meet deadlines to supply backpacks and other products to the military.
· Skinny inmate escapes through food slot. The small windows on Gary City Jail cell doors are just the right size for a tray of food to slide in or a skinny inmate to squeeze out, police learned on Saturday. A correctional officer found Artez Kenyetta Knox, 28, walking in a jail hallway after police said the 130-pound man took off his clothes, shoved them through the food slot and then wiggled through himself.
· Gold Coast high roller sues Crown for lost $30 million. A Gold Coast property developer who excluded himself from Crown Casino is suing the gaming venue for the $30 million he lost in little over a year, amid claims they lured him back with cash and other inducements.
· Yoko Blocks Premiere of Film on Lennon. The world premiere of "Three Days in the Life," a documentary about John Lennon, was canceled after lawyers for the slain Beatle's widow, Yoko Ono, warned that she had not authorized any public viewing of the film.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
· Denver Unveils Parking Meters For Homeless. The city of Denver has recycled old parking meters to help in the fight against homelessness. The old parking meters have been placed at various locations in downtown, including Skyline Park. The idea is to encourage people to put the money into the parking meters instead of giving to panhandlers. Money raised from the meters will go to organizations fighting homelessness.
· Teen Rape Suspect Released Due To Overcrowded Facility. A teen accused of rape has been accused of shooting his alleged victim in the middle of a downtown Cleveland rush hour. He was released because on the day he was incarcerated, the juvenile detention facility was overcrowded, with just 72 beds to accommodate 173 juvenile offenders.
· Senate: Airport screeners can unionize. The Senate voted Tuesday to give 45,000 airport screeners the same union rights as border patrol, customs and immigration agents, despite a veto threat from the White House. "It's absolutely absurd," said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. "Terrorists don't go on strike. Terrorists don't call their union to negotiate before they attack."
· Russia Journalist Worked on Weapons Story. A journalist who fell to his death from a fifth-story window had received threats while gathering material for a report claiming Russia planned to provide sophisticated weapons to Syria and Iran, his newspaper said Tuesday.
· Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Trial. Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted Tuesday of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI in an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters.
· Police Say Man Told Toddler: Stab Mommy. Police say a man repeatedly stabbed his teenage wife, then gave the knife to his toddler son and told him: "Now you stab Mommy." Fermin Rodriguez, 21, attacked his 17-year-old wife Sunday night, after accusing her of cheating on him, police said. He slashed and stabbed her multiple times, then handed the knife to his 2-year-old son and told him to stab her, police said. Police would not say whether the boy did as his father said.
· Father, daughter crash into ex-in-law's house. A pilot took his 8-year-old daughter up in a small plane Monday and crashed it into his former mother-in-law's house in southern Indiana, killing himself and the girl, authorities said. A preliminary crash investigation leads "us to believe that this was an intentional act," Indiana State Police spokesman 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Companies pull ads from Coulter's Web site. At least three major companies want their ads pulled from Ann Coulter's Web site, following customer complaints about the right-wing commentator referring to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot." Verizon, Sallie Mae and Georgia-based NetBank each said they didn't know their ads were on AnnCoulter.com until they received the complaints.
· Woman Holds Up Bank With Box Of Baby Wipes. The woman said it was a bomb, and placed the plastic container on the bank teller's counter demanding money. The teller handed over cash, and the woman ran out of the Chase Bank on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. Nassau County police say the plastic box was loaded - with baby wipes.
· Jerry Springer named new host of NBC's `America's Got Talent.' "The Jerry Springer Show" host and "Dancing with the Stars" alum will be the new frontman of "America's Got Talent," NBC executive Craig Plestis announced Monday. Springer is "the perfect ringmaster" for the TV talent competition, Plestis said in a statement. "To say the least, he is known for presiding over an unpredictable show where the unexpected is the typical order of each day."
Monday, March 5, 2007
· Body Parts Delivered to Michigan Home. Two packages containing human body parts - including a liver and part of a head - meant for a medical research lab instead were delivered to a home. The body parts, sent from China, were mistakenly delivered by a DHL express driver. ``My husband started to unwrap one and said, 'This is strange, it looks like a liver,''' Ludivine Larmande said. ``He started the second one, but stopped as soon as we saw the ear.
· School Bans Founder Over 24-Year-Old Pot Arrest. The founder of a Central Florida charter school can no longer be on campus or have contact with students because of a 24-year-old felony conviction for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Florida law prohibits anyone convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude to serve in a position that requires contact with students.
· State Farm teddy bear falls short for elderly woman. Elizabeth Lynch, 91, a postmaster of Pearlington for more than 40 years, always paid her State Farm insurance policy a year in advance and followed suggested guidelines for coverage. When Hurricane Katrina struck, her roof collapsed, and she looked to her policy for help. Her claim was denied. Instead, the insurance company sent over a small teddy bear wearing a red and white State Farm shirt, saying it would be comforting to "hug the little fellow" in her time of need.
· A $5 ladder trumps a $30 million fence. A 10-foot-high wall snakes along the U.S.-Mexico border south of here, and behind it another fence, steel mesh and even higher. Cameras sit atop 50-foot poles, and stadium lights can turn night here to day. It's a daunting sight that looks utterly secure. Until you notice the dozens of divots. "Everywhere you see a divot, that's where someone has gone over with a ladder," said Damon Foreman, a young Border Patrol agent, pointing to the nicks across the top of the secondary fence. Sold for $5 on the Mexican side, the ladders are made of rebar and can be carried with one hand at a quick run. "Ten guys are over that fence in a minute," Foreman said.
· Calif. city tries squirrel birth control. Officials have tried poison, gassing and euthanasia to control a breeding frenzy among squirrels in a city park here. Now, they plan to give birth control a shot. Under a new program to start this summer, squirrels in Palisades Park will be injected with an immuno-contraceptive vaccine to stunt their sexual development.
· Couple Spark Wal-Mart Explosion. A Wal-Mart Supercenter in Palm Coast, Fla., was closed this weekend after police said a man and woman set a fire in the sporting goods section, causing a propane tank to explode. Surveillance video showed the pair kissing before a fire sparked in the store.
· Former AG Ashcroft provides help to highest bidder. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft offered XM Radio his consulting services in the days following the proposed merger between XM and Sirius, but his lobbyist services were rejected, an XM spokesman said. Ashcroft was subsequently hired by the National Association of Broadcasters, which is fiercely opposed to the merger. Ashcroft has since sent a letter to his successor Alberto Gonzales blasting the proposed merger, according to The Wall Street Journal.
· Fire Report Leads To Mother's Arrest. Firefighters in Prince George's County made a startling discovery when responding to a house on reports of a fire. Police say five children were found alone inside the house. Police say the children, ranging in ages from six months to six years, were trying to cook food. It was the burning food that alerted neighbors. Even more alarming, police say there was human waste and debris all over the floor.
· Dogs stolen at gunpoint returned to owners. Four purebred Yorkshire terriers stolen at gunpoint during a home invasion robbery more than a week ago were returned to their owners after a man turned himself in to police. Three puppies, valued at $2,500 each, and a full-grown family pet named Tan-ja were reunited with their owners at the Wilshire Division police station Saturday night. One puppy remained missing, police said.
· Asian markets plunge across board. Markets in Asia and Europe fell again Monday, extending their slide into a second week as investors worried about a possible global slowdown dumped stocks that had surged in recent weeks. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index fell for a fifth day, tumbling 575.68 points, or 3.34 percent, to 16,642.25 points, dragged down by major exporters such as Canon Inc., Sony Corp, and Toyota Motor Corp., whose earnings are eroded by a stronger yen.
· Suspect in Wife's Dismemberment Captured. A man suspected of killing and dismembering his wife was captured Sunday as he fled from searchers through the snow in a wooded area of northern Michigan, police said. Stephen Grant had been the subject of a manhunt since police discovered what they believe to be the torso and other body parts of his wife, Tara Lynn Grant, in and around the couple's house in a suburb of Detroit.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
· Jackson Charging $3,500 for 30 Seconds. Smiling and waving to screaming fans, Michael Jackson arrived in Japan on Sunday for his second visit in recent years to host an exclusive party where admirers pay $3,500 to spend 30 seconds with the pop icon.
· Mayor: New Orleans 'piled it on' for $77 billion lawsuit. Only $1 billion of the $77 billion the city is seeking from the Army Corps of Engineers is for infrastructure damages it says it suffered because of levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina. The rest is for such things as the city's tarnished image and tourist industry losses. The city "looked at everything and just kind of piled it on," Mayor Ray Nagin said. "We got some advice from some attorneys to be aggressive with the number, and we'll see what happens," he said.
· Coulter under fire for anti-gay slur. Prominent politicians from both parties and a gay-rights group on Saturday condemned right-wing commentator Ann Coulter for her reference Friday to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot." "Ann Coulter's use of an anti-gay slur yesterday was un-American and indefensible," Edwards said in a posting on his Web site.
· PSA: Don't sleep in a dumpster. A man who had been sleeping in a dumpster was dropped into a garbage truck in downtown Minneapolis on Friday when the bin was emptied by a Waste Management employee. Several residents at the River Tower Condominiums heard someone yelling.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Homogeneous [ho·mo·ge·ne·ous] adj. 1. Uniform in structure or composition. 2. Of the same or similar nature or kind: "The corporation maintains tight-knit, homogeneous board members."
· California teens arrested for enforcing law. Los Angeles County officials are undecided whether to prosecute two 18-year-olds for apparently trying to enforce a city ordinance in Glendora, California. Keleigh Marshall and Christina Giammalva were arrested Feb. 19 for placing stickers on yard signs for Glendora City Councilman Gary Clifford, a candidate for re-election next Tuesday. Glendora law prohibits placing political campaign signs on public property. The stickers read: "This sign violates Glendora city ordinance."
· Kanye West Gets Food Delivery From U.K. If Kanye West were to walk into the British Raj's dining room and order dinner, it would cost the rapper about $17.50. But since the restaurant is delivering - from Wales to New York - it's going to cost a bit more. For a feast of onion bhajees, chapati breads, biryanis, pappadums, a specially prepared fish dish and vegetables on the side, the bill will top $3,900, plus travel and accommodation for the restaurant's head chef.
· Some Sell Their IDs For Illegal Aliens. Asked by a federal judge why she sold her birth certificate, Rosie Medellin said she needed a few bucks and didn't really think it through. Bobby Joe Flores said he sold his ID documents to buy drugs. Margarita Moya and her son did it to raise money for medicine for a loved one. Their documents were destined for illegal immigrants.
· Obama's ancestors were slaveowners. Barack Obama has been criticized for not being "black enough" because he isn't descended from slaves. Now it turns out the Illinois senator is actually descended from slaveowners. In the campaign trail's latest side trip into ancestry, genealogist William Reitwiesner compiled a family tree and found that a great-great-great-grandfather of Obama's white mother owned slaves.
· Girl, 14, Accused Of Stealing Fifth Car In Five Months. She's just 14 years old, but Orange County deputies said it was the fifth time in five months she's been in handcuffs. Deputies said the teenager has stolen five cars in last five months and that's just the ones they know about.
· Starbucks steams at "Starstrucks" Indian coffee chain. Starbucks Corp. is opposing Indian entrepreneur Shahnaz Husain's plans to start a chain of coffee shops called Starstrucks, the Mint business paper reported. The U.S. coffee shop chain has told India's Controller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademark that the name is deceptively similar to its own name, the paper said.
· Expert in Russian poisoning case is shot. FBI agents say they are assisting police in suburban Washington who are investigating the shooting of a Russian expert — a man who spoke out on "Dateline NBC" last weekend and strongly suggested that remnants of the KGB were responsible for the bizarre poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko.
· Freak Accident Leaves Woman Stuck In Ceiling. A woman plunged through a second story floor and got wedged into the ceiling of a mattress store in Center City Saturday. Business inside a Center City Sleepy's Mattress store on Chestnut Street stopped for a time, as firefighters worked to free a woman caught between floors.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
· Man Sues After Parlor Misspells His Tattoo. A Chicago man is suing a tattoo artist and parlor for allegedly misspelling a tattoo on his chest that was dedicated to the city. Michael Duplessis alleges the tattoo was supposed to read CHI-TOWN in capital letters. But he says it came out with town spelled T-O-N-W.
· Was San Francisco's Mayor Drunk For This One Too? San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's administration will change its policy after an official proclamation, bearing Newsom's name, was issued to a gay porn studio being honored last week apparently without the mayor's knowledge, city officials said. Conservative activists and pundits nationwide belittled the city after Newsom's office declared Feb. 23 to be Colt Studio Day, honoring the 40th anniversary of a San Francisco movie company whose Web site invites visitors to "come inside to experience the hottest man-on-man action."
· Government red-light runners cost $8,000 in Houston fines. Houston's new red-light cameras nabbed more than 100 government and school vehicles since the enforcement program began last fall, resulting in about $8,000 in fines, police records show. Metro and school buses, police cruisers and public works trucks were among the vehicles caught running red lights, according to data released under the Texas Public Information Act.
· $37 million courthouse has no room for DA's offices. Preliminary plans for a four-story, $37 million state courthouse in downtown Bangor, ME includes room for eight courtrooms and offices for 11 judges, but no space for the Penobscot County district attorney and his staff. "If we had another $5 million, we could make space for them," Justice Warren M. Silver said. "Sadly, we came to the conclusion that we can’t fit the DA’s office in the building."
· Man Buried for 8 Hours in Snow Survives. A man buried by an avalanche for almost eight hours emerged with little more than scratches after a relative found him using a probe. Ryan Roberts, 34, said Friday he was astonished he survived the avalanche. "I guess I was just allowed to live another day," Roberts said in a telephone interview after his release from Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Roberts said he tried to outrun the avalanche by driving his snowmobile at about 80 mph, but leaped off the machine as it sped toward trees.
· Stern to Birkhead: I Own You, and Your Little Girl Too. As Stern continues to lose control of the whole Anna Nicole circus, he's pressuring the would-be daddy into making him look like the good guy. Stern has allegedly tried to force Birkhead into signing a contract saying they will appear side by side in upcoming exclusive interviews on "Entertainment Tonight," but Larry won't ink the deal. "Howard wanted Larry to sign so that it looked like ... it wasn't just Howard benefiting from these deals," a source says. After Daniel died, Stern reportedly cut a deal with CBS Paramount TV, which syndicates "ET," for $3 million, and his price went up after Anna Nicole died.
· Police Believe They Found Missing Mom Torso In Garage. With a search warrant, sheriff's deputies and evidence technicians were granted access in and around the home of Tara and Stephen Grant on Friday. During the search, police said they believe they found Tara Grant's torso in the garage of the Grant home, and husband Stephen Grant is missing. "When all is said and done, I'm going to shove that search warrant where the sun doesn't shine," Stephen Grant's attorney David Griem said.
· Isaiah Washington claims NAACP best actor award. "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington claimed a best actor prize at the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards Friday night. Washington, who has been sharply criticized for uttering a gay slur on the set of his hit show, won best actor for a drama series.
· Spielberg Unknowingly Bought Stolen Art. Norman Rockwell paintings often resonate because of their depictions of everyday life, but the life of one of his paintings has been anything but mundane. "Russian Schoolroom," a Rockwell painting stolen from a gallery in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Mo., more than three decades ago, was found in Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg's art collection, the FBI announced Friday.
· Woman In Jail For Stealing Girl Scout Cookie Money. A former Girl Scout troop leader who pocketed cookie money must serve 30 days in jail and pay more than $4,000 in restitution. Tera Leigh Douglas, 28, also has to complete 100 hours of community service.
· Video shows uncle teaching nephews to smoke pot. A 17-year-old faces a felony charge of injury to a child after police found a videotape that appears to show him and another man teaching his 2- and 5-year-old nephews to smoke marijuana, police said.
· Geico 'Cavemen' May Get Their Own TV Show. Those Geico "cavemen" shouldn't be so upset after all — they may get their own television series. ABC said Friday it had ordered a pilot for a comedy, tentatively titled "Cavemen," that features the characters used in a series of ads by the insurance company.
· Car thief chooses jail for health benefits. Melissa Matthews, a 20-year-old woman who has been convicted many times, sits in Pierce County Jail, where she's getting her cancer treatment paid for. Matthew's story prompted outrage. Four months ago, Karen King was diagnosed with a syndrome that restricts her ability to breathe. Because of her illness, she finds herself in a vicious cycle unable to work and unable to afford medication. "A friend had told me, go commit a crime and I'll get all the help I needed," King said. Another person to express outrage was the victim of Matthew's latest crime, a struggling single mother who says the theft of her car brought her to the brink of homelessness. "She goes and steals my vehicle and gets the royal treatment for being in prison," said Kimberly Wilson, car theft victim.
Friday, March 2, 2007
· Astronaut charged with kidnap attempt. Florida prosecutors charged an astronaut Friday with trying to kidnap a romantic rival, but they declined to file an attempted murder charge recommended by police. Lisa Nowak, 43, was formally charged almost a month after she was arrested at an Orlando airport parking lot.
· Anna's Mom Tries to Stop Funeral. Lawyers for Anna Nicole Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, have filed a petition in a Bahamas court, essentially trying to stop the funeral before Anna's body is buried. Currently, the hearse carrying Anna's body has come to a stop, just yards from the church where the funeral is set to take place.
· Teen Who Posted `Catch Me' on Web Caught. A 16-year-old fugitive believed to have posted a "Catch me if you can" message on his MySpace Web page was captured Friday, three days after his escape from a detention center, an official said. Jordan Danski escaped Tuesday with two other teenagers from the Macomb County Juvenile Justice Center where he was being held on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, police said.
· Gunmen dognap L.A. family’s five puppies. Two men forced their way into a family's home at gunpoint and stole five dogs, including four purebred Yorkshire terrier puppies advertised for sale in a newspaper, police said Thursday.
· Tax Man To Sandwich Shop Owner: 'No Free Lunch.' Since 1992, when Loren Goodridge bought his first Subway restaurant, he has allowed his employees a free meal of a sandwich, chips and a drink every shift they work. "I throw away bread every day that we don't use, and I don't pay tax on that," he said. "But if I give it to my employees, I have to pay a use tax on that. It just doesn't make sense." Goodridge now must pay $2,500 in back taxes, interest and penalties for three years' worth of free meals.
· Postal Service fixes long waits by removing clocks. The missing clock didn't stop postal customer Al Cunningham from noticing the amount of time spent waiting for service. The Watson Post Office is one of the nation's 37,000 post offices in which clocks have been removed from retail areas as part of a "retail standardization program" launched last year. "We want people to focus on postal service and not the clock," said Stephen Seewoester, Dallas spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.
· Bahamian gated community cashing in on Anna Nicole. The Bahamian gated community which houses the church where Anna's funeral will take place tomorrow, is desperately trying to cash in on the media spectacle - by charging news crews and paparazzi agencies thousands of dollars to get inside. Each crew that wants to get inside the community of Sandy Port is required to pay $2000 per camera and $5000 to set up a live feed ... and they want their money now! Interested parties must submit a form with an authorized credit card number before midnight last night, or they won't be allowed through the gate for today's service.
· Skydiver survives two mile fall. Jersey's Michael Holmes was skydiving in New Zealand when his parachute failed and he found himself heading for the ground at 120mph. Despite falling 12,000ft Michael survived. He fell into a blackberry bush at around 80 mph and suffered a punctured lung and broken ankle.
· 'Barbie Bandits' caught. Last night, police arrested two young women, a bank teller, and a fourth accomplice in connection with Tuesday's robbery of a Bank of America branch in Acworth, Georgia. The inside job was allegedly pulled off by Ashley Nicole Miller and Heather Johnston, both 19, with the assistance of bank employee Benny Herman Allen, 22, and Michael Chastang, 27. While the incident appeared to be a bank robbery, cops now consider it a felony theft and have charged the quartet accordingly.
· Rat-Related Pizza Hut Closings. The stomach-turning factor was on parade Thursday as New Yorkers learned that three Pizza Huts, owned by the same company that owned a Greenwich Village KFC/Taco Bell that was overrun with rats and closed by the city Health Department, had rodents, too.
· Teacher Accused of Having Sex With Five Boys. Authorities say a 23-year-old female middle school teacher was arrested Wednesday, accused of having sex with five boys at the school, at a motel, and in a park and behind a restaurant.
· Angelina Jolie to Adopt Vietnamese Child. Angelina Jolie has filed papers to adopt a Vietnamese child, the country's top adoption official said Friday. Jolie and her superstar partner, Brad Pitt, have three children: 5-year-old Maddox, adopted from Cambodia; 2-year-old Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia; and another daughter, Shiloh, who was born to the couple in May.
· Sex with adult stepdaughter still incest. Ohio's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a state law barring incest applied even when the victim was the perpetrator's willing 22-year-old stepdaughter. Attorneys appealing a man's 120-day sentence said the sex was consensual and argued the law was designed to protect children, not adults. The court disagreed.
· Man Tries to Cash $50K Check From God. Kevin Russell found out it's not easy trying to cash a check from God. The 21-year-old man was arrested Monday after he tried to cash a check for $50,000 at the Chase Bank in Hobart, Indiana that was signed "King Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Servant," Hobart police Detective Jeff White said.
· Al Gore Inadvertently Breaches Airport Security. Former vice president Al Gore was involved in a security breach at the Nashville Airport when an American Airlines employee led him and his entourage around security, a clear violation of policy.
· AP: Even Ignoring Paris Hilton Makes News. So you may have heard: Paris Hilton was ticketed the other day for driving with a suspended license. Not huge news, even by celebrity-gossip standards. Here at The Associated Press, we put out an initial item of some 300 words. But it actually meant more than that. It meant the end of our experimental blackout on news about Paris Hilton.
· Bus Plunges Off Ga. Highway Ramp; at least 6 Die. A charter bus carrying a college baseball team from Ohio plunged off a highway ramp early Friday and slammed into the pavement below, killing at least six people and scattering sports equipment across the road, authorities said.
· Girl's 5 weeks of hiccups finally end. She sipped pickle juice, held her breath, breathed into a bag, even went to a neurologist, but for more than five weeks nothing would stop a 15-year-old girl's rapid hiccups — until they finally just stopped on their own. Her mother called the media two weeks ago to try to find more help for her daughter, who ended up on NBC's "Today" show.
· Dentist to rich, famous sues Cory Lidle estate over plane crash. A dentist to the rich and famous has filed a $7 million lawsuit against the estate of late New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, claiming his home was destroyed when the ballplayer's small airplane crashed into his apartment building.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
· Joe Nichols to sing at Anna Nicole Smith funeral Friday. Country singer Joe Nichols will sing two songs at Anna Nicole Smith's funeral Friday. Howard K. Stern, Smith's attorney and companion, specifically requested Nichols because he sang Smith's favorite country song, "On the Wings of a Dove," according to Entertainment Tonight.
· Heather: "Hope My Leg Stays On!" Some might see Heather Mills' artificial leg as a drawback for "Dancing with the Stars," but Mills plans on using it as a weapon! In an interview with "EXTRA" correspondent Terri Seymour, Mills says, "Hopefully my leg will stay on ... it's very unlikely [it will come off] though it'd be funny to knock one of the judges out!"
· Arrest May Be Close in 'Barbie Bandits' Case. Police investigating the so-called "Barbie Bandits" case said they may have an arrest later Thursday as detectives worked through the night and into Thursday chasing hundreds of leads.
· McCain Regrets Saying U.S. Lives 'Wasted' In Iraq. Republican presidential contender John McCain, facing criticism from Democrats, on Thursday said he regretted using the word "wasted" to describe the more than 3,100 U.S. lives lost in the Iraq war. "I should have used the word, sacrificed, as I have in the past," the Arizona senator said after Democrats demanded he apologize as Sen. Barack Obama did when the White House hopeful recently made the same observation.
· Dog With College Degree Called to Court. An attorney challenging the authority of an Ohio city's police chief wants the department's police dog to appear in court as an exhibit, because he says the dog and the chief both have criminal justice degrees from the same online school.
· Parents Question How Student With 35 Arrests Is Still In School. A 14-year-old with almost three dozen arrests, including one Tuesday, will head back to his middle school classroom. Darious Williams has 35 felony arrests. Because of his status as a special needs student at Wolf Lake Middle School, he keeps coming back to the classroom. Parents wonder when enough will be enough. "He should be in a school for felons," said a one parent.
· Robber was robbed. A man charged with robbing a bank, for the second time since 2005, tried to show police the loot, but discovered he had been robbed, Fayetteville police said. Police later charged motel maintenance man David Mims, 49, with breaking into the room and taking some of the cash.
· DMV Office Destroyed By 80-Year-Old Driver. Police in Deerfield Beach said no one was seriously injured after an 80-year-old woman crashed her car into the town's Department of Motor Vehicle offices.
· Smith to Have 'Over the Top' Memorial. Anna Nicole Smith will be buried in a custom-made gown next to her 20-year-old son following an "over the top" memorial service with a tightly controlled guest list, said a friend helping to organize the memorial.
· $20 million private jet for televangelists questioned. For the past several months, televangelists Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Fort Worth have been traveling the globe in a new $20 million jet. It is a jet they pledged would be used for the purpose of serving their ministry. So, are the Copelands practicing what they preach? According to flight records, the Copeland's jet, on its way to an evangelical seminar in Australia last October, made a two day layover in Maui. Then it was on to the Fiji Islands for another stop, another stop in Hawaii, a stop at Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, and a week later, a jet trip to southwest Texas where they visited a wild game hunting ranch.
· Maxwell apologizes for ref remark. Boston Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell apologized on the air Wednesday night for saying that a female referee should "go back to the kitchen" after he disagreed with one of her calls. Maxwell subsequently said "Go in there and make me some bacon and eggs, would you?" Last night, Maxwell said "If I said anything that might have been insensitive or sexist in any way, then I apologize."
· Ohio wants special car plates for sex offenders. Lawmakers in Ohio said on Wednesday they want to force convicted sex offenders to use a fluorescent-green license plate on their cars so they can be easily identified. A Republican and a Democrat in the state legislature in Columbus have joined forces to propose the law, which echoes measures in several U.S. states that require convicted drunken drivers to use a yellow, pink or red plate on their cars.
· Mom to record companies: Drop suit or let's go to trial. The record companies have thrown in the towel in their battle with a soccer mom over copyrighted songs downloaded onto her home computer. But Patricia Santangelo wants to keep fighting. The record companies filed their motion in December, essentially attempting to end their nearly two-year case against Santangelo that has also seen them sue two of her children. But they filed for dismissal "without prejudice," meaning they want to reserve the right to refile a copyright infringement lawsuit against her. Santangelo wants the five record companies to either drop the case unconditionally or take it to trial.
· Picasso Works Stolen From Granddaughter. At least two Picasso paintings worth a total of nearly $66 million were stolen from the house of the artist's granddaughter in Paris, police said Wednesday. The paintings, "Maya and the Doll" and "Portrait of Jacqueline," disappeared overnight Monday to Tuesday from the chic 7th arrondissement, or district, a Paris police official said.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
· Pa. principal accused of selling meth. A middle school principal was charged with dealing crystal methamphetamine after police found the drug in his school office. John Acerra, 50, of Allentown was arrested Tuesday in his office at Nitschmann Middle School in Bethlehem, where police said they found meth on his desk.
· City official faces firing over sex change plan. The Largo, Florida City Commission voted to begin the process of firing a top official less than a week after he announced plans to pursue a sex-change operation. The 5-to-2 vote Tuesday started a three-step process to remove City Manager Steve Stanton from the job he's held for 14 years. Stanton, 48, confirmed last week that he is a transsexual.
· Finally: Anna to be Buried in the Bahamas. A Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld a judge's ruling that allowed Anna Nicole Smith to be buried in the Bahamas, agreeing evidence supports that's what the former Playboy Playmate wanted. The trial court concluded that Smith's "last ascertainable wish" was to be buried alongside her son.
· Anna Nicole's Death Certificate. Anna Nicole Smith's death certificate names Howard K. Smith as the "Informant," and describes his relationship to Anna as "Nominated Executor." The certificate also states that Anna's level of education is "8th or less."
· Young women laughed while robbing bank. Georgia authorities Wednesday were searching for two young women, possibly teenagers, who robbed a supermarket bank branch, laughing as they held up a teller with nothing but sunglasses to disguise their faces.
· Inmates at no-smoking prison trade hostage for cigarettes. Two inmates housed in a smoke-free prison traded a hostage for cigarettes after a six-hour standoff. Billy Grubb, 32, and Bradley Johnson, 25, attacked the guard Monday night, said Howard Carlton, warden of the Northeast Correctional Complex. "As the night progressed they started saying, 'Look, we'll give up if you let us have some tobacco. If you do that, we'll go back to our cell,"' Carlton said. "They got them some cigarettes, they smoked them and went back to their cell and locked themselves back in."
· Robert Blake Appeals $30M Civil Verdict. Robert Blake's attorney on Wednesday appealed a $30 million wrongful death verdict against the actor, saying jurors discussed O.J. Simpson, ignored the lack of evidence that Blake killed his wife and decided to "send a message that celebrities and rich people cannot get away with murder."
· Latest speculation: Pneumonia, Not Drugs, Killed Anna Nicole Smith. Preliminary tests have revealed that the former Playboy Playmate had a severe case of pneumonia and prescription drugs she was taking only exacerbated the symptoms, according to a story in the latest issue of the tabloid.
· Bill would mandate nicer term for illegals. A Florida state legislator whose district is home to thousands of Caribbean immigrants wants to ban the term "illegal alien" from the state's official documents. "I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals" said Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami. "An alien to me is someone from out of space."
· Inspector off duty after giving OK to 'rat' eatery. A New York City health inspector has been removed from field duty after giving a passing grade to a fast-food restaurant infested with rats. The inspector's written report said she found 76 fresh rodent droppings when she surveyed the Manhattan KFC Taco Bell last week. She told the restaurant to clean up, sanitize its equipment and hire an exterminator. But she allowed the eatery to stay open.
· Wolfgang Puck Catering says 3,500 people may have been exposed to Hepatitis A. Public health officials Tuesday issued an alert urging precautions against acute hepatitis A for the more than 3,500 people — apparently including high-profile Sports Illustrated swimsuit models — who appeared at recent events featuring food prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
· Update: Calif. Diocese Plans Bankruptcy Filing. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said Tuesday that it planned to file for bankruptcy protection to put off going to trial in more than 140 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests. San Diego would become the fifth U.S. diocese to file for bankruptcy protection. It also would become the largest, with nearly 1 million parishioners.
· Computer glitch causes Dow average to fall faster than normal. When the Dow Jones industrial average plunged to its low of the session Tuesday, it happened with incredible swiftness — a matter of seconds — because of a computer glitch that kept some trades from being immediately reflected in the index of 30 blue-chip stocks. The Dow plunged about 200 points in a matter of minutes, and dropped as much as 546 points — its worst decline in more than five years, and one that sent the blue chips into negative territory for the year.
· Pot bust leads to $700,000 in stolen bonds. Five men ejected from an Amtrak train for smoking marijuana were discovered with a cardboard box holding $700,000 in U.S. savings bonds, apparently stolen from a Nevada house, authorities said.
· Auditors criticize stem cell institute's spending. State auditors Tuesday criticized California's $3 billion stem-cell institute for lax travel and entertainment rules that let its officials sometimes get chauffeured rental cars, pricey meals and first-class air fare.
· Jackson 'Evaluating' Las Vegas Offers. Michael Jackson is "reviewing and evaluating" proposals for his future including several offers to perform in Las Vegas, his spokeswoman said Tuesday, but he doesn't feel any pressure to make a quick decision. Raymone K. Bain confirmed that, after a period of globe-trotting, Jackson is currently living in Las Vegas.
· Woman accused of using infant as car down payment. Three people were arrested on charges of swapping a 5-month-old boy for a down payment on a used Dodge Intrepid and cash, police said Tuesday. Nicole Uribe, 23, is accused of trading the baby to Jose-Juan Lerma, 47, and his wife, Irene, 27, in exchange for the down payment and an unspecified amount of cash.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
· Washington Mom Taught Children To Fake Retardation. A woman in Washington state has admitted she taught her two children to fake retardation in order to collect more than $330,000 in government aid.
· Mom accused of giving teens beer. A woman whose 15-year-old son was killed in an alcohol-related wreck 18 months ago has been charged with providing beer to minors last week during a party at her house, authorities said Tuesday.
· Walmart: Shoplifting OK depending on your age. A police officer was shocked to learn recently that America's largest retailer will no longer prosecute shoplifters under the age of 18 or older than 65, according to a report he filed.
· Texas tries to protect counties unable to comply with privacy law. Texas officials scrambled Tuesday to protect hundreds of Texas county officials from possible arrest if they were unable to comply with a state attorney general's opinion requiring them to strip Social Security numbers from public documents.
· Armed Robber Hails Cab In Failed Getaway. Police said Eric Mays, of Columbia, was armed with a knife when he robbed the Wawa's convenience store along Route 30 in East Lampeter Township at about 1 a.m. Police said Mays got away in a taxi.
· Campbell Regrets Hitting Maid With Phone. Naomi Campbell says she very much regrets losing her temper and hitting her maid with a cell phone over a pair of missing jeans last year. "I felt very remorseful for having thrown the phone at someone that didn't deserve it," the 35-year-old supermodel tells the TV show "Extra" in an interview set to air Tuesday. "I have a deep sense of shame for the things I've done."
· Red Bull sues bars for serving lesser brand. The manufacturer of Red Bull energy drink claims several bars are duping customers by secretly substituting a cheaper competitor. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester, Red Bull alleges that bar magnate Ronnie Davis and several taverns he operates — Soho East, Daisy Dukes, and Coyote Joe's — serve Mad Croc to customers who order Red Bull.
· Black Tuesday: Dow Plunges in Massive Stock Selloff. The Dow plummeted on fears of a cooling Chinese economy, poor durable goods orders, Greenspan's prediction of a recession, and Taliban's claim of Cheney's attack. DEVELOPING
· Swiss paper publishes bogus Gucci ad. Some people will do anything to appear in the papers. But few have the audacity of a man in Switzerland, who conned one of the country's biggest media companies into publishing a two-page ad he created of himself posing semi-naked beside a bottle of Gucci perfume. He told them to publish it, then send the $50,000 bill to Gucci, which they did.
· $5 million suit for text-messaging racial slurs at school. A Long Island family has filed a $5 million civil rights lawsuit against their son's high school, claiming it did nothing to stop students from text-messaging racial slurs and scrawling an offensive word on his locker.
· Honus Wagner baseball card sells for record $2.3 million. The "Holy Grail of baseball cards,'' the famous 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco card once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky, has sold for a record-setting $2.35 million, the seller of the card said.
· Foxy Brown: I'm a Victim of Police Brutality. Foxy Brown turned up in a Brooklyn church to tell her side of the story of how a visit to a Florida beauty supply store went awry and ended in her arrest. Police said that Brown spat on the store's owner and then got into a scuffle with an officer in the parking lot. "The only crime I'm guilty of is being a young black woman," Brown said.
· Deputy Accused Of Sex With 14-Year-Old. A southwest Florida sheriff's deputy was arrested and fired after being accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The Lee County Sheriff's Office reports that Moises Montalvo had consensual sex with the girl in June 2006. The 23-year-old corrections officer and the teen met through a church group.
· Cops Eye Laptop In Collision. Police say a man who appeared to be driving while using his laptop computer died Monday when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic near Yuba City and collided with a Hummer. California Highway Patrol officers investigating the accident say they found the victim's computer still running and plugged into the cigarette lighter of his Honda Accord.
· Coffee toss results in unlawfully throwing missile charges. Two days after a North Carolina woman emerged from seven weeks in jail for launching a cup of ice at a passing car, a man has been accused of tossing a cup of coffee from his car into another vehicle, then briefly fighting with the other driver at an intersection in suburban Fairfax County, Va. When it was over, the alleged coffee-hurler - a 29-year-old Loudoun County resident - was hauled off to jail on a felony charge of unlawfully throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
· Postal regulator proposes 2-cent letter rate hike. A new “forever” stamp — good for mailing a letter no matter how much rates go up — was recommended Monday by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission. The panel also called for a 2-cent increase in first-class rates to 41 cents. While most mail will cost more, banks and churches get a drop in rates.
· NY Youths in Plea Deal in MySpace Case. Two New York men accused of trying to extort $150,000 from MySpace.com by developing code that tracked visitors pleaded no contest Monday to illegal computer access in a bargain with the prosecution.
· Pa. restaurant creates 123-pound burger. The newest addition to the menu at Denny's Beer Barrel Pub is one whopper of a burger. The Beer Barrel Main Event Charity Burger weighs in at 123 pounds, a meaty monstrosity that its cooks maintain shatters the world record of 105 pounds shared by two restaurants in New Jersey and Thailand.
Monday, February 26, 2007
· Anna's Home Will Go To Highest Bidder. Horizons, the Bahamian oceanfront estate in which Anna Nicole lived, was purchased back in October by South Carolina real estate mogul G. Ben Thompson for $950,000. Thompson and his son-in-law, S. Ford Shelley, have a written document that states they have "a good and marketable title to that property," and with all of the publicity, now intend to sell it for $10 million.
lowers raises heart risk. Popular painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can raise blood pressure and thus the risk of heart disease among men, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. Men who took such drugs for most days in a week were about one-third more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure than men not taking them, the researchers found.
· Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth.” Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy. Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service. In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.
· ABC's Bob Woodruff Describes Recovery. Bob Woodruff searched for the word, but it wasn't quite there. It was an internal organ, that he knew. He was describing a soldier's injuries when indecision stopped him. "Intestines," a producer sitting to his left in an ABC News conference room Monday gently reminded him. The newsman met with reporters for the first time since a roadside bomb in Iraq tore off part of his skull 13 months ago.
· Court Issues Stay in Smith Burial Case. A Florida appeals court issued a stay Monday in the dispute over Anna Nicole Smith's body, ruling that her remains cannot be moved to the Bahamas until the court hears a challenge from the starlet's estranged mother.
· U.S. restaurants promote "extreme eating." Many U.S. chain restaurants are promoting "extreme eating" with dishes that pack at least a day's worth of calories and fat, without giving customers facts about their orders, a consumer group said on Monday.
· The Case Of The Vanishing Bees. As growing season begins in California's Central Valley, there is nothing quite as busy as a beekeeper. Farmers pay them to put their hives in their fields and orchards. "It means the difference between profit and loss for them," says beekeeper Lance Sundberg. But beekeepers like Sundberg have a mystery in their hives this year. Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate.
· Nigerian gets 18 months for $115,000 scam. Femi Ikuopenikan, 36, a Nigerian living in Houston, was sentenced in St. Louis this week to 18 months in federal prison for helping cheat two Jefferson County brothers out of $115,000. Officials said he persuaded them to invest in an Internet bank in what is commonly called the "Nigerian scam," which promises millions to investors who help officials or diplomats take money out of that country.
· Man paralyzed in Georgia police chase takes case to Supreme Court. Officers in Georgia were chasing a speeding Victor Harris in 2001 when a cruiser rammed Harris' Cadillac at roughly 90 miles-per-hour, sending him into an embankment and leaving him paralyzed. Harris sued Deputy Timothy Scott for violating his civil rights by using excessive force. Scott said he was trying to end the chase before anybody got hurt.
· Parking tickets by the truckload. UPS receives an average of more than one San Francisco parking ticket every hour, giving the company the unenviable distinction of being the city's No. 1 parking violator. Last year, United Parcel Service paid $673,334 in fines for 11,788 tickets - an average of one ticket every 45 minutes throughout the year. As one delivery driver put it, "If we had to drive around looking for parking, we wouldn't get our job done."
· Girl lost in poker game pleads for help. A teenage girl in southern Pakistan, whose late father lost her in a poker game when she was 2 years old, has asked authorities to save her from being handed over to a middle-aged relative.
· Tough love. A 49-year-old Tampa woman choked her 16-year-old daughter with an electrical cord during an argument over the girl's suspension from school, according to police. The girl told police she started to "black out" during the choking, and the cord left bruises and burn marks on her neck.
· Scholars Criticize New Jesus Documentary. Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by the Oscar-winning director James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets. One of the caskets bears the title, "Judah, son of Jesus," hinting that Jesus may have had a son. And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven.
· Krispy Kreme launches whole wheat doughnut. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., still recovering from the low-carb diet craze that starved the company’s earnings, unveiled a whole wheat doughnut Monday. The 100 percent whole wheat doughnut with 180 calories has a caramel flavoring and is covered with the doughnut-maker’s original glaze.
· Judge Dismisses CIA Leak Trial Juror. A juror was dismissed from the trial of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Monday after court officials learned she had been exposed to information about the case over the weekend.
· Anna Nicole Smith Fight Goes to Bahamas. Legal experts predict Anna Nicole Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, will have a tough time winning custody of her baby when the case moves to the Supreme Court of the Bahamas on Monday. Howard K. Stern, the former model's partner, is listed on the birth certificate as the father and "there is a very strong legal presumption that what is stated in that document is accurate," said Thomas A. E. Evans, a prominent Bahamas attorney.
· Names for mentally ill to be excised. Idiots, lunatics and imbeciles abound in Ohio. You can look it up in state law. A century or so after "lunatic asylums" gave way to "state hospitals" and decades after "mental health centers" arrived, archaic and offensive words describing the mentally ill live on in the Ohio Revised Code. At least for now.
· Critics bash Mexican truck decision. The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction Friday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress. They said Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border.
· Big night for Scorsese. After losing out five times, director Martin Scorsese was awarded his first Oscar on Sunday for his mob informer movie "The Departed." And moments after Scorsese walked offstage, clutching his Oscar, "The Departed" was named best picture.
· Oscars for Al Gore Global Warming Film. Former vice president Al Gore used the success of his documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" to expand his efforts to educate people about global warming - and to tell a few jokes. The film turned Gore's road show about climate change into a film that won Academy Awards for best documentary and best song.
· Prison officials to innocent prisoner: Don't let the door hit you on your way out. Alan Crotzer hopes this will be the year the Florida Legislature passes a bill to compensate people like him: He was wrongfully imprisoned for 24 years for a brutal armed robbery and rape in Tampa. DNA testing eventually cleared him. Crotzer walked empty-handed from prison on Jan. 23, 2006. He wasn't offered rent vouchers or job referrals, like the guilty inmates who complete their sentences. Neither was he eligible for prerelease transition services - training on how to reenter society, job counseling and psychological assistance that inmates are given in the months before their release.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
· Anna Nicole judge gets CBS offer. The appetite for his antics may be wearing thin in South Florida, but the networks and cable TV only seem to want more of Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin. And at least one morning program, CBS's Saturday Early Show, is interested in having the quirky Seidlin host a new segment.
· Slavery ties Sharpton to Thurmond. The Rev. Al Sharpton is a descendant of a slave owned by relatives of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond — a discovery the civil rights activist called "shocking" on Sunday. Sharpton learned of his connection to Thurmond, once a prominent defender of segregation, last week through the Daily News, which asked genealogists to trace his roots.
· Boy credited with helping ID kidnap suspect. A Florida sheriff expressed optimism Sunday that authorities would arrest the suspect in the kidnapping of a 13-year-old Florida boy by the end of the day. The Manatee County Sheriff's office released two photographs of Vicente Beltran-Moreno. Police said he has short dark hair and brown eyes, is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and goes by the nickname "Nacho."
· Shocker: KFC Passed Inspection 1 Day Earlier. The New York City Department of Health said Saturday the rat-infested KFC/Taco Bell in Greenwich Village actually passed inspection one day before CBS 2 cameras caught the rodents running all over the place. After the rats were revealed the very next day, the department was re-examining "whether there was a problem with the Thursday inspection."
· Virginia expresses 'profound regret' for slavery. Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously to express "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery. Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Supercilious [su·per·cil·i·ous] adj. 1. Full of contempt and arrogance. 2. Behaving as if or showing that a person thinks they are better than other people, and that their opinions, beliefs or ideas are not important, condescending: "He spoke in a haughty, supercilious voice."
· 'Instinct 2' named worst movie of the year. Sharon Stone should have trusted her first "Basic Instinct" and left it alone, according to voters of the Razzies, which mocks the worst of Hollywood. "Basic Instinct 2" won four Razzies on Saturday, including worst picture and worst actress for Stone.
· Students Attack Teacher Over Confiscated iPod. A popular high school teacher suffered a broken neck Friday during a scuffle with students over an iPod. The incident happened just before noon after Germantown High School math teacher Frank Burd confiscated an iPod, a prohibited electronic device, from a 11th grade member of his class.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
· Hank Williams Jr. Assault Case Dropped. A misdemeanor assault case against Hank Williams Jr. has been dismissed, 10 months after a cocktail waitress accused the country singer of yelling obscenities and choking her at a local hotel, a prosecutor said. A private attorney hired by her parents demanded $250,000 from Williams two days after the alleged assault, but denied that the case was driven by money.
· Jesus: Tales from the Crypt. Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you 'The Titanic' is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he's sinking is Christianity. In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the startling claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected - the cornerstone of Christian faith - and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.
· Stolen Property Found In Home Of Denver's City Attorney. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper ordered that City Attorney Larry Manzanares be placed on "investigatory leave" after learning that a stolen laptop computer was found in Manzanares' home. When asked how he obtained the computer, Manzanares replied, "Well, rather foolishly, and I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I bought it from a guy in a parking lot."
· Declaration of Independence for $2.48. A rare, 184-year-old copy of the Declaration of Independence found by a bargain hunter at a Nashville thrift shop is being valued by experts at about 100,000 times the $2.48 purchase price. Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, is selling the document in an auction March 22nd at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, North Carolina. The opening bid is $125,000 and appraisers have estimated it could sell for nearly twice that.
· Text messages land teacher in hot water. A middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to state trooper instead of a dealer, police said. Trooper Trevor Pervine was at dinner with his wife and parents celebrating a birthday when his phone started buzzing with messages about a marijuana purchase.
· Former ACLU Chapter President Arrested for Child Pornography. Federal agents arrested Charles Rust-Tierney, the former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, Friday in Arlington for allegedly possessing child pornography.
· 5-Year-Old Child Killed At Rodeo Parade. A day of festivities turned tragic with the death of a 5-year-old girl at the Tucson Rodeo Parade. Five-year-old Brielle Boisvert was killed when she was knocked from her horse and trampled. The rules that parade participants are given state that no one under the age of eight may ride a horse in the parade. However, Rodeo Parade officials admit they do not enforce that rule.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ambivalence [am·biv·a·lence] n. 1. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow. 2. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
· When playing hooky doesn't pay. Police didn't have much difficulty arresting two teenagers Friday who are accused of phoning in a bomb threat at Southwest Middle School. That's because the two teen boys - along with a third still being sought - used the telephone at the house they were burglarizing, but they didn't call the school, they delivered the threat by dialing 911. "Clearly that was not the brightest plan," police said.
· Phoenix airport tests x-ray scanner that can see through clothes. The Phoenix airport on Friday became the first in the United States to test new X-ray technology that can see through people's clothes and show the body's contours with blush-inducing clarity. Critics have said the high-resolution images created by the "backscatter" technology are too invasive.
· Harley-Davidson union OKs deal; strike ends. Unionized workers at Harley-Davidson Inc.’s largest manufacturing plant approved a new labor agreement Thursday, ending a strike that halted motorcycle production for three weeks.
· Kidnapped boy safe after 'extremely traumatic day.' The family of a 13-year-old kidnap victim thanked everyone involved in his search Friday after police said he freed himself from his bonds and called for help.
· Child finds $1,300 in thrift store book. Rhiannon Barnes may be the luckiest 15-month-old ever. Or maybe her baby sitter is the fortunate one. While playing with a thrift store book purchased for 25 cents, Rhiannon uncovered $1,300 in cash stuck between the pages. Her baby sitter Sheila Laughridge said she only bought the book at Rhiannon's insistence and was surprised when the toddler found a brown paper bag full of $100s, $50s, $20s and $10s.
· Preacher Gets '666' Tattoo, Calls Self Antichrist. More than 12 members of a Doral, Fla.-based church showed up at a tattoo parlor to get the number 666 tattooed on themselves as a show of faith to preacher Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda who is now sporting a '666' tattoo of his own. "I am Jesus Christ, man," Miranda said.
· 'Psychic' housewife gets 16 years for stabbing husband. A woman who fatally stabbed her millionaire psychotherapist husband, whom she met as a 14-year-old girl in treatment, was sentenced Friday to 16 years to life in prison for murder. Susan Polk received the maximum sentence after acting as her own lawyer in a trial permeated with theatrics, including discussion of her psychic powers and cross-examination of her own sons.
Friday, February 23, 2007
· Woman Allegedly Shoots at Tailgater. A woman who told authorities she was fed up with tailgaters pulled out a gun and shot at the tires of a pickup that got too close, police said. Bernadette Headd, 39, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and use of a firearm during a felony.
· Trustees Seek DNA From Brown's Body. Trustees for James Brown filed a motion Friday asking a judge to allow DNA samples to be taken from the body of the late soul singer to prove the paternity of anyone claiming to be one of his children.
· When Astronauts Lose It. What would happen if an astronaut came unglued in space and, say, destroyed the ship's oxygen system or tried to open the hatch and kill everyone aboard? NASA says the astronaut's crewmates should bind his wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him down with a bungee cord and inject him with tranquilizers if necessary.
· U.S. apologizes for arresting Iraq politician's son. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq has issued an apology for the detention of a top Shiite politician's son. Ammar al-Hakim and his bodyguards were arrested as they were entering Iraq from Iran.
· Fla. Judge Mocked Over Anna Nicole Case. From the state that brought you the hanging chad, now comes the crying judge. Some members of the bar and other court-watchers are cringing over the way Judge Larry Seidlin wept - no, sobbed - on live, national TV as he announced a ruling Thursday in the dispute over where Anna Nicole Smith should be buried. Some are accusing the brash former New York cab driver of showboating for the cameras, or worse, auditioning for his own courtroom TV show, with his one-liners, his personal asides, and his smart-alecky Bronx delivery during the six-day hearing. They say that he let the hearing drag on way too long, that he made inappropriate jokes for a dispute over a body, that he acted as if it were all about him. "He's like Judge Judy's wacky little brother," legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin quipped on CNN.
· Update: Health Dept. Closes Village KFC For Rat Invasion. They are big. A pound or a pound and a half. Rats! Plump, healthy-looking and oh-so-agile. CBS 2 cameras caught dozens of them early Friday morning through the window of this closed KFC-Taco Bell in the West Village. And now CBS 2 has learned that the Department of Health will keep the restaurant closed until it can reinspect it. Rat infestations are not a new problem for this KFC.
· Golfer Sues Over Vandalized Wikipedia Page. Pro golfer Fuzzy Zoeller has filed a lawsuit over the vandalizing of his Wikipedia page, which recently described him as a former wife and child abuser who was hooked on alcohol and prescription drugs. According to Zoeller, 55, his Wikipedia profile was altered in late December from a computer with an IP address that tracked back to Josef Silny & Associates, a Miami law firm.
· Court: No Dancing In NYC Bars. You can listen to the music in a New York City bar, but you better not begin tapping your feet because it could lead to dancing. A state appeals court ruled that an 80-year-old law banning dancing in New York City bars, restaurants and certain clubs is legal.
· Library antics on YouTube stir probe. Local YouTube.com misadventures are under investigation by Brookfield police, after they received reports that three youths videotaped themselves spitting into library books and inserting the books into their trousers.
· Last Airbus A380 buyer may cancel. United Parcel Service Inc., the last remaining customer for the Airbus A380 superjumbo freighter, said on Friday it reached an agreement for Airbus to push back delivery dates of the planes and left open its option to cancel the order outright.
· Rats Everywhere At New York City Restaurant. It's hard to believe how bad the rat problem is at a downtown Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell in Greenwich Village. The New York City Department of Health recently said the restaurant had a clean bill of health. However, after the rats were captured on video, the Health Department vowed to do another inspection.
· Retired American Tourist in Costa Rica Kills Mugger With Bare Hands. An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended of two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said. A retired member of the U.S. military aged 70 put suspect Warner Segura in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus.
· Woman claims officer berated her as she grieved. A Lake County woman and her husband have filed a $1.4 million federal civil-rights lawsuit against Burlingame police, accusing an officer of berating and belittling her as she wailed over her brother's death. Officer Jarel Peters shoved Angela Ostini into a chair, yelled at her and threatened to haul her in for a mental evaluation if she didn't stop crying.
· South Bay Lawmaker Abandons Outlawing Spanking. A controversial bill to ban spanking in California took a dramatic turn Thursday at the state Capitol. The assembly's second-ranking Democrat, Sally Lieber, entered the Capitol Thursday to deliver her anticipated no-spanking bill.
The bill originally would have banned parents from spanking kids under the age of 3 years old, but the Democrats were ridiculed in editorials and comedy shows.
· Actor Facing Murder Rap: I'm No Monster. Former "Sopranos" actor Lillo Brancato Jr., who faces a real-life murder charge in a police officer's death, said he isn't the thug he believes he has been made out to be. "I'm not the monster that they portray me as in newspapers, a cold-blooded killer and all of that. I'm not that person at all," he told WCBS-TV in a jail interview that aired Thursday. Brancato made his debut starring opposite Robert De Niro in "A Bronx Tale" in 1993.
· Clinton-Obama tussle reveals real issues. The long-term impact of the Tinseltown tussle between the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns is no big deal, but it raises a big issue in the 2008 race for president. CNN's Bill Schneider asks if either can be elected. "There are some Democrats that wonder if either one can win," political analyst Stu Rothenberg says.
· Customers get billion-dollar power bills. Perhaps his $24 billion electric bill will teach Richard Redden not to leave the heat running. Thanks to a printing error, Redden and more than 1,300 Weatherford utility customers this week received billion-dollar electric bills marked as late notices.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
· Judge's Wife: People Say He Should Have His Own TV Show. Not since Judge Ito has a black robe so thoroughly failed to mask the colorful personality of the man beneath it. For more than a week, Florida circuit court Judge Larry Seidlin has run the Anna Nicole Smith court hearing with a jarring combination of comic wisecracks, stunningly personal commentary and naked emotion. "People who know him, and people who meet him on the street all say the same thing, 'You should have your own television show,'" Seidlin's wife, Belinda, said Thursday night.
· Bank of America defends illegal immigrant card program. Bank of America Corp. is defending its decision to offer credit cards to people who don't have U.S. Social Security numbers, amid criticism that the program effectively endorses illegal immigration. The bank's pilot program, revealed last week, focuses on Hispanics in the Los Angeles area.
· U.S. arrests almost 200 in immigration crackdown. U.S. agents arrested about 195 people in more than a dozen states in a crackdown on illegal immigrants involving a maintenance business for theme restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, officials said today.
· Judge Gives Smith Body to Baby's Guardian. The guardian of Anna Nicole Smith's infant daughter should get custody of the model's body to bury her, a judge ruled Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear what Milstein would do.
· Britney in rehab for 3rd time in a week. Britney Spears' in-again out-again rehab saga found her back in a Malibu facility on Thursday, halting an emergency court hearing in which estranged husband Kevin Federline planned to discuss custody of their two children.
· Anna Nicole's methadone doctor offers unique bedside manner. Anna Nicole Smith and a shirtless Dr. Sandeep Kapoor are getting hot and heavy at a West Hollywood, Calif. gay bar in 2005, in what looks like some sort of photo shoot. Both Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern can be seen looking on as Anna gets groped and licked by Dr. Kapoor.
· Midas shop solves customer's fuel problem. A couple from Washington state faces charges after auto workers found more than 150 pounds of marijuana in their pickup's jerry-rigged gas tank and alerted police. "Their bad luck is their vehicle had some fuel problems and they ended up taking it into a Midas Shop," a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agent said.
· Britney Spears' ex gets emergency hearing. As Britney Spears was reportedly checking out of a drug rehabilitation center for the second time in a week, her estranged husband was making plans to go to court amid a custody dispute over their two children. Kevin Federline and his lawyer were scheduled to appear at a downtown courthouse Thursday for an emergency hearing.
· Woman Found In Car Engine Compartment At Border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers said they arrested a man for allegedly trying to smuggle a Chinese woman into the country by hiding her inside a car's engine compartment.
· Air traffic controllers retrained after incident. Air traffic controllers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport have been retrained after a pilot declared a low-fuel emergency but wasn't allowed to land on the runway he requested, because a controller supervisor said that type of landing would delay other flights.
· Update: Fiennes' fling was on way to STD awareness seminar. Just how friendly were the skies when Ralph Fiennes recently jetted from Australia to India? Very. Fiennes, who was reportedly headed to Mumbai with UNICEF as part of an - irony alert - STD-awareness campaign, is said to have chit-chatted with the airline stewardess before they took their tête-à-tête to a more private setting, namely, the cramped quarters of the airline crapper.
· Man Falls 16 Stories And Lives To Tell About It. A Wisconsin man has a new lease on life since he fell 16 stories from a hotel window and lived to tell about it. "Before the fall and now after the fall it's kinda like two parts of my life, it feels like," said Josh Hanson. "I don't have any idea why I took off running," said the 29-year-old who ran through a Hyatt hotel window and landed on an awning.
· School Banned Jesus Costume. A Christian legal group has sued a school district on behalf of a 10-year-old boy who claims his rights to religion and free speech were violated when he was not allowed to wear a Jesus costume during Halloween activities.
· San Francisco Mayor Admits Alcohol Abuse. Mayor Gavin Newsom said he doesn't know if he's an alcoholic but admitted that drinking had "gotten in the way" of his job performance. Newsom, in his first sit-down interview since acknowledging an affair with a top aide's wife and announcing he would seek treatment for alcohol use, told KPIX-TV on Wednesday that he's been attending nightly counseling sessions and that they are helping him examine why he felt the need to "drink to an extreme."
· On tape, a victim's final, futile pleas. In her last hours on earth, special-education teacher Kathleen Weinstein summoned reasoned arguments and impassioned pleas, begging the teenager who had forced his way into her car to let her live. In a remarkable 46-minute audio-tape recording that will become the centerpiece of Michael LaSane's Ocean County murder trial, the 44-year-old teacher's pleas dissolve into sniffles and chilling silence, a drama resurrected from her coat-pocket microcassette recorder three days later when her suffocated body was found.
· Man Died Of Smoke Inhalation In Liquor Store Fire. According to the medical examiner, the man who died in a liquor store fire that started after an apparent robbery attempt and barricade suffered from smoke inhalation. Also on Wednesday, police found a .25-caliber Colt pocket pistol in the rear of the liquor store. Police said it was cocked with a live round in the chamber and one in the magazine.
· Restaurateur Rips Food Critic in Ad. One of New York's most prominent restaurateurs took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Wednesday, accusing the newspaper's chief food critic of lacking the bona fides to do the job.
· "Dream Award" offered for cheap dreams. Students who will graduate this year from a Rochester city high school are eligible to apply for a $500 Richard L. Stear Memorial Dream Award. Applicants must graduate this year with a grade point average of 3.0 or better, and write a short essay describing his or her dream.
· Auto Salesman, Karate Expert Foils Would-Be Thief. A Northern California car salesman didn't think twice before stopping a guy he thought was trying to get away with a jaguar. It turns out he had a few tricks under his belt.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
· Sex abuse victims' advocates go after Southern Baptists. The victims' advocates who dogged the Roman Catholic Church over sex abuse by its clergy have now turned their attention to the Southern Baptists, accusing America's largest Protestant denomination of also failing to root out molesters.
· Obama, Clinton Rivalry Flares Over Donor. The Clinton campaign demanded that Obama denounce comments made by the DreamWorks movie studio founder, who told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in Wednesday's editions that while "everybody in politics lies," the former president and his wife "do it with such ease, it's troubling."
· Smith's Mother Wants Grandson Exhumed. Anna Nicole Smith's estranged mother told a judge Wednesday she wants to exhume her grandson in the Bahamas and bring his body to Texas to be buried along with his starlet-mother in her native state.
· Britney walks out of rehab - again. Britney Spears checked into Promises treatment center yesterday, but she just couldn't deal with it and left for home. It's the same story as last week, when Britney was in and out of rehab within 24 hours.
· Some In Commerce City Want New Name. Commerce City, Colorado has a new sports stadium, thousands of new homes, a new cultural center, and an old, industrial image. Now, there's a growing movement sparked by those who want a new name for the city of about 35,000 northeast of Denver. Mayor Sean Ford, for one, opposes any change. "If you have an ugly girlfriend and she changes her name, she is still ugly," Ford said.
· Patient's family sues Jackson, hospital. The family of a woman who died two years ago is suing Michael Jackson and a hospital, claiming the gravely ill patient was moved to make room for the pop star when he arrived with flu symptoms.
· Goldmans get O.J. Simpson's royalties, judge says. A judge on Tuesday ordered that royalties or other earnings due former football star O.J. Simpson from his past work in movies, TV shows and commercials be paid directly to the family of murder victim Ron Goldman. But the judge rejected a bid by Goldman's family to collect on Simpson's future earnings.
· James Brown to finally get buried. The six adult children of singer James Brown have agreed with his partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, on where the entertainer will be buried, an attorney for the woman said Tuesday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Synergism [syn·er·gism] n. Interaction of discrete agencies or conditions where the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual parts. "All the stockholders saw considerable synergism in the merger." [also Synergy].
· Man Returns From Visit, Trips on Corpse. A Haight-Ashbury man returning home from an extended vacation tripped and fell on a corpse in his bedroom after finding his apartment had been ransacked, police said. Authorities have not released the name of the resident or the victim, identified only as a white male, but are treating the death as suspicious, said Sgt. Neville Gittens.
· 40 Illegals Found in Trailer in Texas. Forty Brazilian immigrants were found loaded inside a stifling tractor-trailer about 75 miles north of the Mexican border, authorities said. No injuries were reported. Border Patrol agents discovered the immigrants Saturday at a highway checkpoint in Falfurrias, officials said. A patrol dog alerted agents to the scent of people.
· Slow News Day: Cow Leads Police On Chase. Upton police went on a cow chase after an escaped bovine from neighboring Grafton came rumbling down Route 140. NewsCenter 5's Lynn Jolicoeur reported that the cow is fat, and sometimes moves slowly. She's not your typical escapee.
Tuesday, February 2, 2007
· Judge Lets Stern Go to Bahamas, Begs for Return. It's not every day that a judge helps a key witness hop a jet out of the country, but Judge Larry Seidlin just offered Howard K. Stern a choice of two private jets to take him back to the Bahamas for the night. Seidlin said that he had procured the services of two jets, one owned by a local sports-team owner and another by a heart doctor.
· Med. Examiner: Anna Deteriorating Faster Than Usual. Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper telephoned the court to tell the judge that the body of Anna Nicole Smith is deteriorating faster than normal, according to people who did the embalming. Sitting on the stand, Howard K. Stern started to sob loudly when he heard the news.
· Britney Back in Rehab. Britney Spears is back in rehab. Sources say the singer has checked into an in-patient facility in Los Angeles. We're told the move came after family members pressed her to check in. Spears entered the facility this morning.
· Blair to announce Iraq withdrawal plan. Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce on Wednesday a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks. The announcement comes even as President Bush implements a surge of 21,000 more troops for Iraq.
· Teen 'sport killings' of homeless on the rise. The attackers often are teens who strike with no provocation. "It all started off as a game," said Nathan Moore, a teen in prison for murdering Rex Baum, a homeless man living on the streets in Milwaukee. "We just started hitting him." Violent attacks against the homeless are at the highest level in almost a decade, with 20 deaths last year.
· Battle for the Body: Stern, Birkhead Arrive In Court. Howard K. Stern and Larry Birkhead, the two men who claim to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby, are in the Florida courtroom of Judge Larry K. Seidlin right now to determine what will happen to Smith's body.
· Cutbacks in the classroom, upgrades on the field. Just days before the Kettle Moraine School District's superintendent embarked this month on discussions preparing residents for $1.2 million in classroom program cutbacks, a letter went out to some of those same residents seeking $460,000 in funding the installation of artificial turf for the football field.
· Man charged with rape at Duke party. Police made an arrest Monday in connection with a Duke University freshman's allegation that she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party earlier this month. Michael Jermaine Burch, 21, of Junction Road in Durham, was charged with second-degree rape.
· Anna Nicole Stoned - Stern Sees $$$$. A stunning video shows a barely functional Anna Nicole Smith, stammering and stuttering, as Howard K. Stern rhapsodizes about how much money the clip will be worth. The tape, which aired Monday night on Greta Van Susteren's show on FOX News Channel, shows an eight-months pregnant Smith, her face painted like a clown and clearly stoned out of her mind. As she talks to a doll in a baby carriage as if it's real, Stern repeatedly says, "Is this a mushroom trip?" He then adds, "I'm kidding."
· Rescuer: Dog may have saved climbers. Three climbers who tumbled off a ledge on Mount Hood were taken away in an ambulance after they hiked down much of the state's highest peak with their rescuers — and a dog who may have saved their lives. "The dog probably saved their lives" by lying across them during the cold night, said Erik Brom, of the Portland Mountain Rescue team.
· "Reef" Tires Create Fla. Ocean Nightmare. Less than a mile offshore from Ft. Lauderdale's high-rise condos and beachside bars, where glitz and glamour mix with spring break revelry, lies an underwater dump — up to 2 million old tires strewn across the ocean floor. A well-intentioned attempt in 1972 to create what was touted as the world's largest artificial reef made of tires has become an ecological disaster.
· Dog Electrocuted By Metal Grate In Park. A Chicago couple is demanding answers after their dog was killed in Grant Park. The lab mix named 'smokey' was electrocuted when he stepped near a metal grate Saturday afternoon.
· New footage of JFK in Dallas released. Previously unreleased footage of John F. Kennedy's fateful motorcade in Dallas moments before he was gunned down was released on Monday, a surprising new detail in a saga that has gripped the United States for four decades.
· Update: Stallone's hotel, plane searched in Sydney. Sylvester Stallone's hotel room, private plane and limousine were searched, Australian media reported, just days after prohibited items were seized from his luggage at Sydney airport.
Monday, February 19, 2007
· Armed with French, quick-thinking pilot thwarts hijacking. A cunning pilot thwarted a hijacking by discreetly warning the passengers in French — a language the gunman didn't speak — that he would knock the attacker off-balance with a rough landing, and that they should be ready to pounce. The ploy worked.
· Stallone says customs seizure a misunderstanding. Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, attending the premier of his new Rocky movie on Saturday, said Australian customs' seizure of several items from his luggage at Sydney Airport on Friday night was a misunderstanding.
· Michael Richards a No-Show for Mock Trial. The former Seinfeld star was a no-show Saturday for a mock trial in Los Angeles to address jos racial tirade during a stand-up routine last November. The event was organized by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the four African-Americans Richards targeted with the N-word, and took place at Loyola Law School.
· Britney having shaver's remorse. Britney Spears is already having a case of shaver's remorse, and was spotted yesterday hiding her newly-bald pate with a blonde wig and a cap. In the latest episode in Shears-gate, E! Online's Marc Malkin reports that Britney was lounging poolside at the Mondrian Hotel yesterday afternoon - wearing a short blonde hairpiece.
· Can Conservatives Do Comedy? In 2009, Rush Limbaugh is the country's president and Ann Coulter is his vice president. The two right-wing pundits sit around the Oval Office, smoking cigars and making fun of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. If that scenario sounds like a dream come true for conservatives and a nightmare for liberals, that's the point. It's the opening skit in the series premiere of "The Half-Hour News Hour," the conservative version of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show."
· Kelly reveals Osbournes' HIV secret. Kelly Osbourne fought back tears as she told an audience that a member of her family was HIV positive. Introducing a performance by the Scissor Sisters, she said the cause was special to her because a member of her family had been diagnosed with HIV.
· Bahamas official resigns over photos with Anna Nicole Smith. Immigration Minister Shane Gibson resigned Sunday night in a flap over his relationship with Anna Nicole Smith, apologizing to the Bahamian people for any embarrassment he may have caused the country. Photos recently appeared in a Bahamas newspaper showing Gibson in bed with the former Playboy Playmate and embracing her. Both were fully clothed, but the pictures stoked a controversy because Gibson had fast-tracked Smith's application for permanent residency on the island chain.
· Conn. State Workers' Info Ends Up on Web. More than 1,700 state workers recently learned that some of their personal information, including their names and Social Security numbers, had been inadvertently posted on the Internet.
· JFK Assassination Window Sold For $3 Million. The window that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald aimed his rifle out of to shoot President John F. Kennedy 44-years ago has been sold for $3 million on an Internet auction site.
· Is Anna Nicole Smith just famous for being famous? Robert Thompson, head of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, hates the phrase "famous for being famous." You can't be famous for your celebrity, he says; you have to somehow achieve fame in the first place. But what, then, of Anna Nicole Smith, who seemingly had no talent beyond her physical assets and an ability to get in gossip columns?
· San Diego Diocese considers bankruptcy. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said in a letter to parishioners this weekend that it is considering declaring bankruptcy to avoid going to trial on more than 140 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests.
· Mount Hood rescue under way. Three climbers who fell from a ledge while ascending Mount Hood have been located and rescuers were using ropes to reach them early Monday, while five others who were stranded have been taken down the mountain to a lodge, according to rescue officials. Two of the climbers who fell off a mountain ledge suffered minor injuries, but all others were unharmed, according to Russell Gubele, command officer for Mountain Wave Search and Rescue.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
· Apple CEO Jobs attacks teacher unions. Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs lambasted teacher unions today, claiming no amount of technology in the classroom would improve public schools until principals could fire bad teachers.
· Man accused of operating unlicensed dentist office in his apartment. An Ossining, New York man has been operating an unlicensed dentist's office out of his apartment, police say Friday. Alfonso Ruiz-Molina, 40, was arrested after police found a dental chair, lights, drills, syringes and painkillers inside his apartment. Officials say there was even a scheduling book.
· Ken Griffey Jr. finally reveals what broke his hand. The Cincinnati Reds center-fielder said he was wrestling with his daughter and two younger sons on his yacht in the Bahamas this past December when the oldest jumped in and knocked him off balance. He landed awkwardly on his left hand.
· Driver’s License Emerges as Crime-Fighting Tool, but Privacy Advocates Worry. On the second floor of a state office building in Boston, three facial-recognition specialists are revolutionizing American law enforcement. They work for the Massachusetts motor vehicles department. Last year they tried an experiment, for sport. Using computerized biometric technology, they ran a mug shot from the Web site of “America’s Most Wanted” against the state’s database of nine million digital driver’s license photographs. The computer found a match.
· Woman, 84, pleads guilty to having sex with 11-year-old boy. An 84-year-old Portland woman who confessed to having sex with an 11-year-old boy in her foster care reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted sex abuse, officials said.
· Anna Nicole Smith embalming completed. The body of starlet Anna Nicole Smith was embalmed Saturday, under a court order issued a day earlier. Two embalmers finished the job around noon, according to Joshua Perper, the Broward County medical examiner. They promised not to discuss, write about, photograph or draw the body.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Innocuous [in·noc·u·ous] adj. 1. Having no adverse effect; harmless. 2. Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid. [the seemingly innocuous e-mail actually contained a malicious virus].
· Which Bald Celebrity Does Britney Look Most Like? Britney Spears' shocking new shaved head took many fans by surprise. However, many other celebrities have cut off their hair. Which one does Britney look most like?
· Psychiatrists: 'massive cry for help.' Britney Spears' decision to shave her head and tattoo her body hours after checking out of a rehab clinic is a massive cry for help, top celebrity psychiatrists said. Experts believe the pop princess is rapidly spiraling out of control and could end up on the same path as Anna Nicole Smith, who died this month after years of drug and alcohol abuse.
· Inventor of the TV Remote Dies. Hit the mute button for a moment of silence: The co-inventor of the TV remote, Robert Adler, has died. Adler, who won an Emmy Award along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley for the device that made the couch potato possible, died Thursday of heart failure at a Boise nursing home at 93, Zenith Electronics Corp. said Friday.
· Fla. Man Guilty Of Molesting Girl On Flight. A 46-year-old Palm Harbor businessman could face up to 25 years in prison after being convicted in federal court Friday of sexually touching an 8-year-old girl who was sitting next to him on an airplane.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
· Man Sues IBM for $5 Million After Adult Chat Room Scandal. A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room during the workday is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal. James Pacenza, 58, of upstate Montgomery, says he visits chat rooms as treatment for traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam.
· Air stewardess: secrets of my five-mile high sex romp with Ralph Fiennes. The attraction had been immediate and overwhelming from the moment they first made eye contact. But as Qantas stewardess Lisa Robertson leaned over towards Hollywood star Ralph Fiennes to offer him a drink, she could not have imagined how the evening would unfold - or that she would end up in a passionate tryst with him in the aircraft lavatory.
· Britney Goes Bald. Britney Spears is back in the U.S., and she's sporting a brand new look. Spears was photographed at the valley tattoo shop "Body and Soul" in Sherman Oaks, getting a tattoo reportedly of a pair of red and pink lips on her wrist. But the biggest change to the pop singer's style? She shaved her head bald.
· Wife: Jason Kidd A Serial Abuser, Adulterer. In a blistering legal counterattack on her estranged husband, the wife of NBA star Jason Kidd has filed a lawsuit accusing the athlete of "years of physical abuse" and serial adultery. Joumana Kidd, who last month was branded an erratic spousal abuser by the New Jersey Nets guard, made her allegations in a counterclaim filed late yesterday in New Jersey Superior Court.
· NBA bans Hardaway from weekend All Star game after anti-gay comment. The NBA has banned Tim Hardaway from this weekend's All-Star game festivities in Las Vegas. NBA commissioner, David Stern, explained why, "We acted immediately, we told him he couldn't do anymore work for us because his views don't represent our views."
· Mummified body found in Hampton home. Southampton police responding to burst water pipes in a Hampton Bays home found the mummified body of the owner - dead for more than a year - sitting in a chair in front of a television, officials said Friday. The television was still on.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Autonomous [au·ton·o·mous] adj. 1. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. 2. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: "an autonomous judiciary."
· Power finally restored to elderly woman after 1992 hurricane. An elderly woman who had been living without power in her home due to hurricane damage was finally seeing the light Friday night, when power to her home was restored. What makes her story amazing is that the hurricane which put her in the dark was Andrew, almost 15 years ago, and she's been living without power to her house since August 24, 1992.
· CNN anchor is expensive date. CNN's Anderson Cooper, one of New York's most eligible men, appeals to both genders. When a lunch date with the CNN anchor went on the block at the Puck Building the other night at the benefit for Bailey House, which helps AIDS victims, British bachelor Oliver Hicks bid aggressively and won the date for $21,000. "Anderson is cute," said Hicks.
· Lying to doctor can mean health risks. There's an open secret in medicine: Patients lie. They lie about how much they smoke and whether they're taking their medicine. They understate how much they drink and overstate how much they exercise. They feign symptoms to get appointments quicker and ask doctors to hide the truth from insurance companies. "Doctors have a rule of thumb. Whatever the patient says they're drinking, multiply it by three," said Dr. Bruce Rowe.
Friday, February 16, 2007
· Anna Nicole's Will. The will is dated July 30, 2001 and was drafted prior to Dannielynn's birth and Daniel's death, and therefore indicates that Anna only had a son. The will entrusts all of Anna's property and names Howard K. Stern as executor.
· Scientology Called 'the Kabbalah of 2007.' The latest craze in Hollywood doesn't come in a bottle, has nothing to do with weight loss and can't be snorted, videotaped, worn or dressed up in cutesy clothing. It's Scientology, the high-profile religion that, depending on whom you talk to, is either the world's best chance at achieving peace or a bad science-fiction-novel-turned-cult that's turned Tom Cruise into a hyperactive zombie.
· Tim Hardaway: 'I Hate Gay People.' Former Miami Heat superstar Tim Hardaway told a local sports radio show that he "hates gay people," and he's gotten a lot of peoples' attention especially in South Florida.
· Recovered sculpture accidentally thrown out. Cops have solved the copper crane caper, but there's a sad ending to the story. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, which recovered Triangle Park's stolen ''origami crane'' sculpture, mistakenly tossed it in the trash. The sculpture, stolen in November, is believed to be buried under tons of trash at the Santa Cruz County dump. ''Somebody thought it was garbage,'' sheriff's Sgt. Fred Plageman said.
· Man Grabs Shark With Bare Hands. A man who caught a 4-foot shark with his bare hands off an Australian beach said on Friday he only tried the feat because he was drunk on vodka. "He was just thrashing around in the water ... starting to turn around and try to bite me and I thought 'well, it's amazing what vodka does'," Phillip Kerkhof said.
· Ricky Martin Defends Obscene Gesture. Ricky Martin, who was a headliner at the 2001 inauguration ball for President George W. Bush, has a message for the American commander in chief about war. At a recent concert, the 35-year-old singer stuck up his middle finger when he sang the president's name in his song "Asignatura Pendiente," which includes the words, "a photo with Bush." The gesture last Friday prompted cheers from thousands of fans in the San Juan stadium.
· Yoga teacher convicted of stripper's murder. A man was convicted Thursday of killing a classically trained dancer who chased her dream of stardom from the Midwest to Manhattan but wound up working in a strip club. Paul Cortez, 26, was found guilty of second-degree murder for slashing the throat of his ex-girlfriend, 21-year-old Catherine Woods, on November 27, 2005, in her Manhattan apartment.
· Batman Sighting Puts Schools on Lockdown. Three schools in the north Phoenix suburb of Cave Creek were on lockdown for about 45 minutes Wednesday morning after a student at Desert Arroyo Middle School reported seeing a person dressed as Batman run across campus, jump a fence and disappear into the desert, Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said.
· SWAT team wakes suspect to let him know he's in a 4-hour standoff. Justin Stasney might have had a good reason for not responding to officers who surrounded his home. He was asleep in a recliner when the SWAT team found him after a four-hour standoff, authorities said. "He did not know we were there until we put our hands on him," police said.
· Hollywood making Milli Vanilli movie. Disgraced pop duo Milli Vanilli will soon get a movie made about their less-than-spectacular career, following in the cinematic steps of such icons as Ray Charles and Johnny Cash.
· Actress Keri Russell Marries in New York. Keri Russell, who starred in TV's "Felicity," married contractor Shane Deary in Manhattan on Valentine's Day, her spokeswoman said Thursday. Russell and Deary, both 30, became engaged last year. Russell is expecting her first child this summer, Jill Fritzo, the actress' publicist, said last month.
Thursday, February 15, 2007