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Monday, March 31, 2008
· Airline hires temps to fill plane. Flybe has given the term low-fare airline an entirely new meaning: it is paying 172 people to fly back and forth across England and the Irish Sea to help it meet a target for passenger numbers at Norwich airport.
· Rape Trial Postponed Because Of Wardrobe Problems. A Frederick County judge has delayed the rape trial of an Adamstown man after the defendant complained that a courtroom attire provided by his public defender didn't fit. The judge granted the continuance last week after 40-year-old George Mathis appeared in his prison uniform for the start of his trial. Mathis is accused of strangling, beating and raping a former girlfriend.
· Woman guilty of sex with 14-year-old to be sentenced. A 27-year-old woman accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy is scheduled for sentencing today after pleading no contest to a felony sexual assault charge, online court records show.
· Dozens Injured At Wrestlemania When Fireworks Fall On Crowd. At least 40 people were hurt when fireworks and cables landed on the crowd packed in the Citrus Bowl for Wrestlemania on Sunday night, according to the Orlando Fire Department.
· Married Troops Can Live Together in Iraq. When American soldiers get off duty in Iraq, the men usually return to their quarters, the women to theirs. But Staff Sgt. Marvin Frazier gets to go back to a small trailer with two pushed-together single beds that he shares with his wife.
· Driver found shot in LA freeway wreck. Rescue crews responding to a wreck on a Los Angeles freeway found a driver fatally shot in the head early Sunday, while another driver was shot and wounded in a separate attack about 30 miles away.
· Camels line up for Gulf beauty contest. More than 10,000 camels from across the Gulf will be competing for millions of dollars in prize money at a beauty pageant for the "ship of the desert" in Abu Dhabi next week.
· Physicists convert first known sound recording. The voice of an unknown woman singing in a lamp-lit Paris laboratory nearly 150 years ago came to life Friday amid the crackles and buzz of a historic breakthrough recording made 17 years before Edison invented the phonograph.
· Dad Kills 3 Kids In Md. Hotel, Tells Front Desk. Baltimore police say a man has killed his three young children at a downtown hotel. Police spokesman Sterling Clifford says the man called the front desk at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards on Sunday afternoon and said he had just killed his children.
· Housing secretary to resign. The U.S. housing secretary will resign Monday morning under pressure after accusations of improper allocation of federal contracts, the Wall Street Journal reported in its Monday edition. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson will step down on Monday morning. Jackson has faced calls for his resignation after lawmakers have said he behaved improperly in awarding federal contracts.
· Baggage Handlers Arrested At Fla. Airport. Three baggage handlers at the Tampa International Airport have been arrested for dealing with stolen property, according to arrest reports. The trio is accused of dealing electronic goods that included laptop computers, digital cameras and iPods that were stolen from the luggage.
· Heather Mills to Judge Miss USA Pageant. Heather Mills soon will be back in front of the cameras. The former Mrs. Paul McCartney, who recently wrapped up a very public divorce from the ex-Beatle, is among the celebrity judges just announced for the upcoming Miss USA Pageant.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
· Muslims more numerous than Catholics. Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday. "For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said. He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population, while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.
· Woman trying to help after crash bitten. An Indiana woman who tried to help after a car crash was punched and bitten by the man she was trying to assist, police said. "It was just crazy. I was just trying to help," 28-year-old Danielle Herndon said.
· Countrywide execs to get millions. Countrywide Financial Corp.'s top executives will get hefty payments in the company's merger with Bank of America, filings with U.S. regulators indicate. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and President David Sambol, who built Countrywide into the largest mortgage lender in the United States before it collapsed with the housing bubble, are to receive stock next week worth $19 million.
· Teen makes mistake of trying to rob 84-year-old former U.S. Marine. A boy in his mid-teens learned Wednesday afternoon that it is not a good idea to try to rob a former U.S. Marine at knifepoint, even if the former Marine is 84 years old, police said today. The boy said, "Old man, give me your wallet or I'll cut you," Sgt. Steve Bair said. The man told the boy he was a former Marine who fought in three wars and had been threatened with knives and bayonets, Bair said. The man then put his bags on the ground and told the boy that if he stepped closer he would be sorry. When the boy stepped closer, the man kicked him in the groin, knocking him to the sidewalk, Bair said. The ex-Marine picked up his grocery bags and walked home, leaving the boy doubled over on the ground.
· Judge Orders Release Of Woman Charged With Kidnapping Newborn. A woman accused of kidnapping a newborn from a Central Florida hospital could be out of jail as soon as Monday after a judge orders her release on Saturday. Seminole County Judge Ralph Eriksson ordered Jennifer Latham, 39, released from custody. She did not have to pay a bond and will be set free under a pre-trial release program.
· Cities pay huge salaries despite fiscal crises. A city nurse earned $350,000. A fire department battalion chief pulled in more than twice as much as the mayor. And a municipal park ranger took home $188,000 in overtime on top of his $71,000 salary. Such generous payouts were criticized for hastening the fiscal downfall of the city of Vallejo, which narrowly averted bankruptcy this month. But the nurse, firefighter and ranger aren't from Vallejo - they're among hundreds of top earners working for the cities of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
· Female Escort Jailed After Stealing TV From Alleged Non-Paying Customers. Authorities investigated a bizarre robbery on Saturday after a female escort allegedly stole an expensive television from two men who she said refused to pay her for her services.
· Cheetahs attack woman at cat sanctuary. Authorities say the owner of a Florida wildlife sanctuary has been hospitalized after she was attacked by two cheetahs. The Palm Beach County sheriff's office says Judy Berens has about 40 puncture wounds to her extremities and back. She was airlifted to Delray Medical Center, but it appears that her injuries are not life-threatening.
· TV, Film Actors' Unions Sever Ties. Unions representing film and television actors will negotiate separately with producers in upcoming contract talks after board members of the TV actors union voted Saturday to sever a long-standing agreement between the two guilds.
· Amateur Sleuths Name Anonymous Dead. Four days a week Todd Matthews earns $11.50 an hour working for an automotive parts supplier. He punches in at 4:15 a.m., punches out nearly 11 hours later, then drives half a mile to his little beige house on a hill where, in the distance, he can glimpse the Appalachian mountains. He spends the next seven to eight hours at his desk, beneath shelves lined with miniature plastic skulls, immersed in a very different world.
· Cities switch off lights for Earth Hour. From the Sydney Opera House to Rome's Colosseum to the Sears Tower's famous antennas in Chicago, floodlit icons of civilization went dark Saturday for Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to highlight the threat of climate change. The environmental group WWF urged governments, businesses and households to turn back to candle power for at least 60 minutes starting at 8 p.m. wherever they were.
· Google goes dark for Earth Hour. Google made an environmental gesture today by turning the lights out on the U.S. version of its search page. The black background doesn't save energy, but it's Google's way of observing Earth Hour.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
· Missing NY pastor found at Ohio strip club. Police say a pastor who was reported missing from his home in western New York has been found at an Ohio strip club. A police officer patrolling the K.C. Lounge parking lot Friday morning in the Dayton suburb of Riverside spotted the pastor's car.
· Man's Oxygen Tank Ignites Near Grill. A 55-year-old Melbourne, Florida man suffered severed injuries to his face and hands after an oxygen tank he was using for medical purposes caught fire as he cooked on an outdoor grill.
· Principal improves test scores, but ousted over losing basketball team. He's a principal loved by his students and credited with a lot of success. But, that's not stopping the Green School Board from getting rid of its high school principal. “This school is so much better, fights are down and test scores are up,” said Adrian Mays. Unfortunately, Principal David Hopper is also Coach Hopper - and despite a dramatic improvement in academics, coach Hopper has had two losing basketball seasons.
· AP: Mayor's scandal hurts Detroit's image. After decades of population loss, high crime, racial tension and disinvestment, Detroiters began to attach themselves to a newfound sense of pride that followed baseball's 2005 All-Star Game at Comerica Park and the Super Bowl in 2006.
· Klugman Sues NBC Over 'Quincy' Profits. Former "Quincy, M.E." star Jack Klugman sued NBC Universal Friday, claiming the studio is lying about the show's profits and owes him money. Klugman, 85, played the crime-busting Dr. R. Quincy on the show from 1976 to 1983.
· Houston cracks down on illegal immigration. Mayra Figueroa — a naturalized U.S. citizen, community organizer and licensed driver — had no reason to fear being arrested, no need to worry about deported. Then she was pulled over by a Houston police officer, who told her he found it suspicious that a Latina was driving a late-model car. The first thing the officer requested? Figueroa's Social Security card, as proof of citizenship.
· Chase mortgage memo pushes 'Cheats & Tricks.' A newly surfaced memo from banking giant JPMorgan Chase provides a rare glimpse into the mentality that fueled the mortgage crisis. The memo's title says it all: "Zippy Cheats & Tricks." The document recommends "handy steps" to loan approval. Among them: If all else fails, simply inflate the applicant's income. "Inch it up $500 to see if you can get the findings you want," the document says. "Do the same for assets."
· Arms dealer's dad wanted 'nice' doctor son. Efraim Diveroli's father hoped his son would become a doctor or lawyer. What he got instead is a 22-year-old international arms dealer who faces a congressional inquiry for allegedly selling old Chinese ammunition to the U.S. military to equip allies in Afghanistan.
· Spector defense team not ready until fall. Phil Spector made a brief court appearance Friday in which his new lawyer said he could not be ready for the music producer's murder retrial until September at the earliest. The lawyer also filed a writ asking that a neutral judge be appointed to decide if Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler should be disqualified from Spector's second trial because of alleged bias.
· FBI: Combs/Shakur Documents Appear Fake. Papers purporting to be FBI reports linking associates of music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs to a 1994 attack on rapper Tupac Shakur appear to be fakes, the agency said Friday. The documents had been cited in recent Los Angeles Times and Associated Press stories. James Sabatino, a convicted con man who is serving a federal prison sentence for fraud, filed the documents last fall in Miami federal court as part of a $19 million lawsuit against Combs, claiming Combs never paid him for arranging a recording and video session by the late Notorious B.I.G.
Friday, March 28, 2008
· Nipple ring search procedures faulty, TSA admits. The Transportation Security Administration said Friday its officers at a Texas airport appear to have properly followed procedures when they allegedly forced a woman to remove her nipple rings - one with pliers - but acknowledged the procedures should be changed.
· FBI Focusing on 'About Four' Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks. The FBI has narrowed its focus to "about four" suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army’s bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned. Among the pool of suspects are three scientists — a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist — linked to the research facility.
· Man Caught Having Sex with a Picnic Table. A man in central Ohio is accused of having sex with his picnic table. The investigation began when a tipster gave police three DVDs showing Arthur Price having sexual intercourse with a metal round table on his deck.
· Kid Robs Store With Rock. Police in Franklin, Tennessee said a 10-year-old girl tried to rob a Mapco Express convenience store late Monday night. He said he wasn't sure what the girl wanted until she threw a rock that struck him in the chest.
· Australian barbecue planned for man thrown in fire pit. Assault charges have been filed by US authorities against two men suspected of throwing an Australian tourist into a burning fire pit on a Californian beach. Carl Gregory and Roseann Iovine plan to host an "Australian barbecue" on April 13 to support the man's recovery. About 300 people are expected at the barbecue.
· Teller speechless after losing $5,000 bet. Penn Jillette lost on "Dancing With the Stars," so his comedy-and-magic partner Teller lost $5,000. Teller had placed a bet on Jillette to conquer the sixth season of the popular ABC dance competition. The odds against Jillette were 30-1 so Teller stood to win $150,000.
· Latest from Obama: Had Wright not retired, I'd have left church. Sen. Barack Obama says in an interview scheduled to air on TV Friday that he would have left his church if his pastor had not retired and had not acknowledged making comments that "deeply offended people."
· Obama's pastor getting $1,600,000 home in retirement. Public records of the sale show Trinity United Church of Christ initially obtained a $10 million bank loan to purchase the property and build a new house on the land. But further investigation with tax and real estate attorneys showed that the church had actually secured a $1.6 million mortgage for the home purchase, and attached a $10 million line of credit, for reasons unspecified in the paperwork. “Some people think deals like this are hypocritical. Jeremiah Wright himself criticizes people from the pulpit for middle classism, for too much materialism,” said Andrew Walsh, Associate Director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion.
· Judge: Learn English or go to jail. A Pennsylvania judge known for creative sentencing has ordered three Spanish-speaking men to learn English or go to jail. The men, who faced prison for criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, can remain on parole if they learn to read and write English, earn their GEDs and get full-time jobs, Luzerne County Judge Peter Olszewski Jr. said. The men, Luis Reyes, Ricardo Dominguez and Rafael Guzman-Mateo, plus a fourth defendant, Kelvin Reyes-Rosario, all needed translators when they pleaded guilty Tuesday. "Do you think we are going to supply you with a translator all of your life?" the judge asked them.
· Parents Didn't Expect Daughter To Die During Prayer. The mother of an 11-year-old rural Weston girl who died of untreated diabetes said she didn't know her daughter was terminally ill as she prayed for her to get better instead of taking her to the doctor. Authorities said Madeline Neumann died Sunday from an undiagnosed and treatable form of diabetes.
· Pittsburgh Mom Left Baby In Car To Buy Drugs. A 22-year-old woman left her baby in a car with the engine running on Wednesday while she went to buy drugs for the father of her baby, who is under house arrest.
· Older Americans wealthier, living longer. Older Americans have more money and are expected to live far longer than prior generations, U.S. government researchers said on Thursday. They said the average net worth of older Americans - those 65 or older - has increased almost 80 percent over the past 20 years. And those who reach the age of 65 are now expected to live an average of 19 more years.
· Colorado chef steals $50K, loses it in scam. An executive chef stole $50,000 from his employer only to lose it in a foreign lottery scam in which he hoped to win $1.5 million, Detective Paul Arnold of the Avon Police Department said. Thomas Jefferson Newsted, 33, bought the tickets and later got an e-mail from a man in South Africa saying he had won $1.5 million in the lottery, but had to wire $60,000 in fees and taxes to get the $1.5 million.
· Bear Stearn's CEO Sells His Stake. What was once valued at $1 billion has been sold for $61 million. On the block were the 5.66 million shares of troubled investment bank Bear Stearns owned by its former long-standing chief executive James Cayne.
· Pennsylvania Man Stopped at Candian Border Admits Killing Parents to Avoid Rehab. A man who police say killed his 74-year-old parents to avoid going to rehab was charged with murder Thursday after he tried to enter Canada. Richard Reed, 44, was stopped late Wednesday after a Canadian customs officer in Fort Erie, Ontario — across the border from Buffalo, N.Y. — noticed that the car Reed said belonged to him was actually leased to his mother, authorities said.
· Man Charged After $32,200 In Fake Money Found In His Lap During Stop. A man pulled over on a routine traffic stop was arrested in Orange County on Wednesday after troopers found $32,200 in fake money in his lap, authorities said. Alvaro Gonzalez, 32, was arrested on a charge of possession of forged bills.
· Developer sues to recover 9/11 costs. The developer of the World Trade Center in New York is seeking $12.3 billion in damages from the airlines and other companies associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks, his spokesman said Thursday. September 13, 2001. Larry Silverstein, president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, has recovered $4.6 billion in insurance payments, spokesman Bud Perrone said.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
· 3 dead as pickup carrying 25 illegal immigrants hits SUV. A pickup truck crammed with suspected illegal immigrants collided with an SUV near the Mexican border today, killing three people and injuring at least nine others. Police said there could have been as many as 25 people in the truck when it crashed before dawn. The truck's driver, believed to be injured, ran off.
· Bonds' name removed from San Francisco Giants stadium. It didn’t matter if it said "PacBell," "SBC," or "AT&T" on the outside; to many San Francisco Giants fans, the ballpark on the city’s waterfront was always known as "The House That Barry Built." But now, less than a year removed from Barry Bonds’ setting of the all-time, home-run record, the average fan will have a hard to finding evidence that the slugger ever played there. His name, his image, as well as any mention of his feat, have been scrubbed from AT&T Park.
· Narcotics cop made illegal search look like a break-in. A 23-year Atlanta Police Department veteran pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to violate civil rights by searching a private residence without a warrant, federal prosecutors said.
· TSA Forces Woman To Remove Nipple Rings. A woman was forced by the Transportation Security Administration to remove her nipple rings before she was allowed to board a flight, Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred said Thursday. "The woman was given a pair of pliers in order to remove the rings in her nipples," said Allred. "The rings had been in her nipples for many years."
· Deputy Shocks Girl, 11, With Taser At Elementary School. An Orange County sheriff's deputy on Thursday shocked an 11-year-old girl with a Taser gun at an elementary school after the girl punched her in the face, authorities said.
· Family of woman who died at airport files claim. The family of Carol Gotbaum, the woman who died last year while in police custody at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, filed an $8 million claim Wednesday against the city and its police department. Gotbaum was left alone in a holding cell and strangled herself while trying to escape her handcuffs.
· After blowing up 10 cell towers in Afghanistan, Taliban realizes it misses the phone service. Taliban attacks on 10 telecom towers have prompted cell phone companies to shut down service across southern Afghanistan at night, angering a quarter million customers who have no other telephones. Even some Taliban fighters now regret the disruptions and are demanding that service be restored by the companies.
· Copper thieves strike cerebral-palsy facility. Copper thieves have hit the facility of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona. "It's like stealing wheelchairs from an old-folks home," said Matt Patterson, 37, whose daughter Amanda attends day care at the facility.
· No one yelled 'fore'? Paul Prudhomme, the famous Cajun chef, was cooking Tuesday morning during a practice round at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when he felt what he thought was a bee sting on his right arm. He shook his arm, and out came a .22 caliber bullet. "Within five minutes, he was back to doing his thing," said Col. John Fortunato of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
· L.A. Times apologizes for Diddy-Tupac story. The Los Angeles Times apologized for using documents that were apparently fabricated in a story implicating associates of Sean "Diddy" Combs in a 1994 assault on rapper Tupac Shakur. "The bottom line is that the documents we relied on should not have been used," Editor Russ Stanton said in a story posted Wednesday night on the newspaper's Web site. "We apologize both to our readers and to those referenced in the documents ... and in the story."
· Egg McMuffin Inventor Dies. A Southern California McDonald's restaurants official says Egg McMuffin inventor Herb Peterson has died in Santa Barbara at age 89. Peterson came up with idea for the signature McDonald's breakfast item in 1972.
· Robin Williams, wife divorcing after 19 years. After nearly 19 years of marriage, Robin Williams and his wife are getting divorced. Marsha Garces Williams filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on March 21 in San Francisco Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The two met when Garces Williams worked as a nanny for Williams' son Zachary, whom he had with his previous wife, Valerie Valardi.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
· Court Strikes Down State Law Protecting Fliers. A federal appellate court on Tuesday rejected New York State’s attempt to penalize airlines for not providing adequate services to passengers trapped on planes at airports for more than three hours. Under the New York law, airlines could be fined up to $1,000 per passenger if they failed to supply water, fresh air, electric power and working restrooms during lengthy delays.
· Chicago's Dumbest Thief. Ruben Zarate entered a muffler shop in Chicago yesterday and declared a robbery. He allegedly waved a gun around and demanded money, according to police. When he was told the money was in a safe and that the manager who knew how to open it was not there, the suspect had a brilliant idea; at least he thought it was brilliant. He gave the shop employees his cell phone number and asked them to call him when the manager arrived so he could open the safe for him.
· American Airlines Cancels 200 Flights Today, Affecting 26,000 Passengers. American airlines says it is grounding all of its MD-80 jets for safety checks today, affecting 200 flights and more than 26,000 passengers. DEVELOPING
· Dad who microwaved baby to be sentenced. Jurors who rejected a young father's claim that he was insane when he burned his infant daughter in a microwave must now decide his punishment. Prosecutors are asking that Joshua Mauldin be sentenced to life in prison for stuffing his daughter Ana in a microwave and turning it on for 10 to 20 seconds.
· D.B. Cooper Evidence Unearthed. There could be a major break in the biggest crime mystery in Northwest history.The FBI in Seattle is beginning analysis of a long-buried parachute - the same type used by skyjacker D.B. Cooper when he jumped from an Northwest Orient Airlines 727 with a 25 pound money bag containing $200,000 ransom on Thanksgiving eve 1971.
· Pastor admits stealing IDs from flock. The former pastor of a Pennsylvania church acknowledges using parishioners' personal information to obtain credit cards. The Rev. Raymond Clayton pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Williamsport to a charge of access device fraud.
· Actor Richard Widmark dies at 93. - Hollywood actor Richard Widmark, who often portrayed killers, cops and Western gunslingers, has died after a long illness. Widmark's wife, Susan Blanchard, says he died at his home in Connecticut on Monday.
· Eastwood's termination: 'Somebody got a bee under their bonnet.' After Clint Eastwood learned last week that his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger no longer wanted him on the state parks commission, he spoke with Bobby Shriver, the governor's brother-in-law, who had also been dropped. Somewhat incredulous, they joked about it, each saying the other should be more offended.
· Man Finds Wife On Fire. A Phoenix man came home to a gruesome scene Monday: his wife on fire in the front yard. When the man arrived home shortly after 10 p.m., police said, he found his wife, Donna Owens, 67, sitting in a chair on the front lawn, engulfed in flames. Police said she had fallen asleep while smoking.
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.
· Cigarette company paid for lung-cancer study. A prominent scientist accepted money from the tobacco industry through a hastily created non-profit group that helped finance research that suggested CT scans could boost the long-term survival rates of lung cancer patients, The New York Times reports.
· Smugglers' deadly cargo: Cop-killing guns. A deadly trade is occurring along the U.S. border with Mexico, federal officials say - a flood of guns, heading south, used by drug thugs to kill Mexican cops. One of the "guns of choice" is a .50-caliber rifle that can fire a slug through both a car door and bulletproof vest from 100 yards.
· Man Steals Car At Jail Minutes After Release. Frank Singleton turned a misdemeanor into a felony, without even leaving the jail parking lot. Just minutes from being released from jail Tuesday, Singleton tried to hijack a car in the parking lot of a West Palm Beach jail.
· Pilot suspended after firing gun in cockpit. A US Airways pilot who accidentally discharged his handgun in the cockpit during a flight has been suspended from the federal program that permits pilots to carry firearms and has been removed from flight duty pending the outcome of an investigation, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.
· Mob turncoat Lewis Kasman was just 'like a son' to John Gotti Sr. John Gotti must be spinning in his grave: The late Gambino crime boss' self-proclaimed "adopted son" is a rat. Lewis Kasman, a multimillionaire mob wanna-be, has been secretly taping conversations with gangsters since late 2005, federal prosecutors revealed Tuesday.
· Mom Charged After 3-Year-Old Found Wandering In Busy Street. Investigators said Shameka Parker, 28, told officers that she dropped her children off at a babysitter's house in Palm Bay Tuesday. However, police said the babysitter was not aware that she was supposed to take care of the children. A 7-year-old was also found wandering alone in Parker's home after the 3-year-old was found in the street, police said.
· Nude wife photos stir up Sarkozy UK visit. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has started his first official visit to the UK -- the day after an auction house announced it is to sell nude pictures of his new wife, according to agency reports.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
· Man Fatally Shoots Wife While Installing Satellite TV. Officials are trying to decide whether to file charges against a Missouri man who fatally shot his wife while trying to install a satellite TV system in their home. The man said he fired shots through the wall from the inside of their home after several unsuccessful efforts to punch a hole through the exterior wall.
· Chelsea Clinton Startled by Monica Query. Chelsea Clinton had a quick retort Tuesday when asked whether her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. "Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business," Clinton said during a campaign visit for her mother, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
· Boy shot outside Oakland memorial service. A teenager attending a memorial service for 15-year-old Jose Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez, who was shot to death March 19, was wounded Monday evening outside a San Antonio District church by a drive-by gunman.
· Brain-damaged woman at center of Wal-Mart suit. Debbie Shank breaks down in tears every time she's told her 18-year-old son was killed in Iraq. Shank, 52, suffered brain damage in a car accident nearly eight years ago. It was the beginning of a series of battles for her family - one of the biggest with Wal-Mart's health plan.
· U.S. says missile parts mistakenly sent to Taiwan. The U.S. Defense Department accidentally shipped ballistic missile components to Taiwan, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Four nose-cone fuses for intercontinental ballistic missiles were shipped instead of the helicopter batteries that Taiwan had requested.
· Good Samaritans Encounter Thief Twice. A Good Samaritan couple got not one, but two chances to stop a burglar who made off with a store's Good Friday profits. Authorities arrested a suspect for robbing a downtown Sacramento store after the couple ran into him again - at a bar.
· 93-Year-Old Charged In Sex Sting. Florida prosecutors are moving ahead with a case against a 93-year-old man picked up during an undercover prostitution sting. Frank Milio, according to police records, tried to pay $20 to an undercover officer in Manatee County. Another man, Carlos Uderhill, also 93, will not be charged, telling police he just wanted to chat with the buxom woman who smiled at him as he drove past.
· Model loves her 63-year-old billionaire boyfriend for his brain. Model Kristy Hinze says she was instantly attracted to her 63-year-old billionaire boyfriend by his brains. The 27-year-old granddaughter of the late Queensland politician Russ Hinze has been dating Texan billionaire Jim Clark, the founder of Netscape, for two-and-a-half years.
· Minister Accused Of Wanting To 'Play Doctor,' Have Sex With 15-Year-Old. A Winter Park minister is accused of wanting to "play doctor" and have sex with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Investigators said music minister Jack Aldrich from First United Methodist Church in Winter Park made contact with an undercover officer posing as an underage girl.
· At Least 2 Injured When Car Plows Into Post Office. A car Monday crashed into a post office in Burbank, leaving at least two people injured, according to the Burbank Police Department and Derek Bell. The incident occurred about noon when an elderly driver crashed into the building.
· Security Lapse Exposes Facebook Photos. A security lapse made it possible for unwelcome strangers to peruse personal photos posted on Facebook Inc.'s popular online hangout, circumventing a recent upgrade to the Web site's privacy controls.
· Man declared dead feels 'pretty good.' Four months after he was declared brain dead and doctors were about to remove his organs for transplant, Zach Dunlap says he feels "pretty good." Dunlap was pronounced dead Nov. 19 at United Regional Healthcare System in Wichita Falls, Texas, after he was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident.
· Virginia Tech victims' families offered settlement. Families of those killed in the Virginia Tech massacre would receive $100,000 each under a settlement the state is proposing to prevent lawsuits, according to a victim's relative who received the proposal.
· NY Gov. Paterson says he used cocaine. New York's new governor, who disclosed last week that he and his wife both committed adultery several years ago, said he used cocaine in his 20s and smoked marijuana when he was younger.
Monday, March 24, 2008
· Priscilla Presley Victim of Phony Cosmetic Doc. TMZ has learned Priscilla Presley is the victim of a botched cosmetic procedure. What's worse - it was at the hands of a gigolo who was sent to prison for perpetrating an injectable scam on Hollywood's elite. Daniel Serrano was injecting industrial, low-grade silicone similar to what's used to lubricate auto parts in Argentina into the faces of these women. Several women, including Shawn King, Larry's wife, and Diane Richie, Lionel's wife at the time, held injection parties in their homes, according to TMZ.
· Clinton 'misspoke' on Bosnia trip. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said she "misspoke" last week when she said she had landed under sniper fire during a trip she took as first lady to Bosnia in March 1996. The Obama campaign suggested it was a deliberate exaggeration on Clinton's part.
· Hulk Hogan Sued Over Son's Car Crash. Hulk Hogan is being sued by attorneys for the man who was critically injured in a car crash involving the celebrity wrestler's son. John Graziano's attorneys filed suit on Monday in Clearwater against Hogan. The suit says he and his estranged wife, Linda, are liable as the parents of 17-year-old Nick Bollea.
· 'Barbie Bandit' Ashley Miller To Prison; No Jail For Johnston. Only one of the so-called "Barbie Bandits" will be going to prison. Ashley Nicole Miller, 19, was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for her role in the bank heist that ended in a shopping spree. Miller will only have to serve two years.
· Oregon man's property ransacked after Craigslist hoax. A pair of hoax ads on Craigslist cost an Oregon man much of what he owned. The ads popped up Saturday afternoon, saying the owner of a Jacksonville home was forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking, said Jackson County sheriff's Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan.
· Mom, 4 kids found dead in Iowa home. A woman and her four children were found dead in their home Monday morning, and authorities were searching for the woman's husband, authorities said. Officers said they were not able to find the woman's husband, Steven Sueppel. Court records show that a Steven Sueppel who lives at the address where the bodies were found was indicted last month on federal charges of stealing about $560,000 from the bank where he worked.
· Detroit Mayor Charged In Sex Affair. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and as Detroit's youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages surfaced that appear to contradict his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged the popular yet polarizing 37-year-old mayor with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.
· Businessman Falls To Death At Daytona Hotel. A 31-year-old businessman sitting on the railing on his balcony died when he apparently lost balance and fell six stories to the ground. Police said John Sise was spotted by a security guard sitting on a railing at the La Playa resort located on Atlantic Avenue Sunday.
· Chicago Police Arrest Six Iraq War Protesters for Squirting Fake Blood on Easter Churchgoers. Six Iraq war protesters disrupted an Easter Mass on Sunday, shouting and squirting fake blood on themselves and parishioners in a packed auditorium. Three men and three women startled the crowd during Cardinal Francis George's homily, yelling "Even the Pope calls for peace" as they were removed from the Mass by security guards and ushers.
· Wausau-area cops bust underage root beer keg party. The Zebro home in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin showed all the signs of an underage drinking party March 1: cars blocking the road, dozens of rowdy kids and a keg. And yet, every partyer's breath test revealed an alcohol-free gathering. Dustin Zebro, 18, and his friends said they threw the party after D.C. Everest High School administrators suspended their friends from sports.
· JPMorgan could up Bear Stearns offer to $10 a share. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was discussing a deal that would increase fivefold its offer for Bear Stearns Cos. to $10 a share, The New York Times reported Monday. The talks Sunday were an attempt to satisfy Bear Stearns stockholders upset over JPMorgan's offer of $2 a share for the struggling investment bank, the newspaper said on its Web site, citing people involved in the negotiations.
· Journalist in Pellicano Case Will Get Her Day in Court. The long series of events leading to the trial of the Hollywood private investigator Anthony Pellicano on charges of racketeering and wiretapping began in 2002, when a journalist, Anita M. Busch, found a note saying “Stop” taped to her car, a fish and a rose in a tin tray on the hood, a bulletlike hole piercing the windshield.
· 1986 message in bottle drifts 1,735 miles. Merle Brandell and his black lab Slapsey were beachcombing along the Bering Sea when he spied a plastic bottle among the Japanese glass floats he often finds along the shore of his tiny Alaskan fishing village. He walked over and saw an envelope tucked inside. After slicing the bottle open, Brandell found a message from an elementary school student in a suburb of Seattle.
· Where to stash your cash. The credit crisis teaches a valuable lesson: Put safety first - and save your money so you'll be ready to get in on a stock market rebound. Keeping money in "cash" generally means putting it where it is guaranteed not to lose value and can be accessed quickly, with no fees or taxes. As some investors have learned the hard way, not all investments touted as "cash-like" meet those requirements.
· BMW dealer auctions new M3 for $60K on eBay, doesn't want to honor the deal. BMW of Lincoln, Nebraska posted an auction on eBay for a brand new M3 Sedan for $60,000. Perhaps they were hoping for the kind of eBay madness that would push the price to six figures (something other dealers are doing right on the show floor). If that's what they were after, well, they didn't get it. The car was won by a gentleman in California for the listed price: $60,000. The problem is that the dealer doesn't want to give him the car. Not long after the auction ended, the winning bidder got a call from BMW of Nebraska telling him the auction was "a mistake," and that he couldn't have the car.
· Wall St. Journal Makeover. The Wall Street Journal’s transition to more breaking news and shorter articles will continue in the coming weeks with a makeover of its Marketplace section, editors and reporters there said. The Journal’s front page has changed markedly since Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation bought the paper’s parent, Dow Jones & Company, in December. The front page has reduced its focus on business news and long explanatory, investigative or offbeat articles. Mr. Murdoch has said that he wants to broaden The Journal’s appeal with more general-interest news. Now, the front page has shorter articles and more breaking and nonbusiness news, and particularly favors politics. The paper has set aside pages for world news and added a sports page.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
· Mom Stabs Son In Psychiatrist's Office. A Florida woman repeatedly slashed and stabbed her 15-year-old son during a supervised visit at a psychiatrist's office, police said. The teen is in critical condition.
· New Jersey judge charged with misconduct. Former Municipal Court judge Richard Sasso has been charged with seven counts of judicial misconduct, including being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol while on the bench and disorderly conduct at Torpedo's Go-Go Bar in Bound Brook.
· Harry Potter author: I considered suicide. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has revealed she thought of killing herself while penniless and suffering from depression as a single mother. At the time, Rowling had separated from her first husband and was living in a cramped apartment with her baby daughter.
· Miami man told FBI of alleged Spitzer sexscapades. Almost four months before Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a sex scandal, a lawyer for Republican political operative Roger Stone sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Spitzer "used the services of high-priced call girls" while in Florida, adding the man in question hadn't taken off his calf-length black socks "during the sex act."
· Oprah Winfrey Faces Double Lawsuit. Attorneys for the queen of daytime are fending off two separate lawsuits this week, one filed by an audience member at The Oprah Winfrey Show who claims she was injured when the excitable audience stampeded for choice seats during a taping, and another from a Boston mother who claims she fed Harpo Studios the idea for Winfrey's ratings-grabbing stab at televised altruism, Oprah's Big Give, and has yet to receive credit or compensation.
· 2 held in millionaire developer's death. A chauffeur and his cousin are being charged in the 2006 stabbing death of a millionaire developer accused of real estate fraud, police said Saturday. Andrew Kissel, 46, was found tied up and stabbed to death in his Greenwich mansion just days before he was to plead guilty in a multimillion-dollar fraud case.
· Woman Tried To Run Over Husband 20 Times. A Port St. Lucie, Florida woman is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and child abuse after authorities say she tried to run over her husband in the family minivan, as her baby sat in the back seat.
· Ex-'70s radical free for 5 days on clerical error. A former member of the radical 1970s group Symbionese Liberation Army is back in custody after a clerical error miscalculated her prison release date by a year, a California Department of Corrections spokesman said. Sara Jane Olson, freed Monday, was apprehended Saturday "without incident," authorities said.
· After 38 years, man's stolen Mustang is back. A Los Angeles man is getting his Mustang back — 38 years after it was stolen. The vehicle has an extra 300,000 miles and a different paint job, but Eugene Brakke's 1965 Mustang is evidently running just fine.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
· High-speed chase of doughnut truck ends in arrest. An Illinois man was arrested after police chased a stolen delivery van loaded with doughnuts across two Iowa counties at speeds of up to 100 mph. In all, nine officers joined the chase into Tama County. “What strikes me as a bit out of the ordinary in this case is the number of officers who were able to respond,” said Assistant Tama County Attorney Rich Vander May.
· Driver Blames Speeding On Poorly Dunked Oreo. A state trooper who stopped the 1993 BMW says its driver, 28-year-old Justin Vonkummer of Millerton, N.Y., blamed the driving problems on an errant Oreo. Police say Vonkummer told the trooper that an Oreo had just slipped from his fingers as he dunked it in a cup of milk, and that he was trying to fish it out when he lost control of his car.
· Police: Mom Let Man Get Daughter Pregnant. Police arrested a Larenceville, Georgia mother earlier this week on charges she harbored a man who impregnated her 14-year-old daughter. According to arrest warrants, both suspects are Mexicans in the country illegally.
· Passport contractor exec is Obama adviser. The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly looking at the passport files of presidential candidates is a former CIA official and a consultant on foreign policy to the Barack Obama campaign.
· Man steals police cruiser to drive home from bar. Police say Josh Osborne, 21 of Nitro, W. Virginia initially took a bus to downtown Charleston where he drank at a bar. When he was ready to go home, officers say he stole the Charleston Police cruiser from the parking garage near the Civic Center - and drove it around with the lights and siren on. Osborne told police that the keys were in the cruiser, and the temptation to take it was too hard to resist.
· Registered sex offender runs for mayor of small Texas town. A registered sex offender arrested in a police sting for trying to arrange sex with a 15-year-old girl on the Internet is running for mayor of his small town. James Brian Sliter, 42, said he's sorry and needs to prove he can be an asset to his suburban Dallas community.
· Bicyclists blamed twice as often as drivers. Bicyclists were twice as likely as drivers to be at fault in the nearly 2,000 collisions that killed or severely injured Bay Area bike riders in the past decade, an analysis by The Chronicle shows.
· White House: Computer hard drives tossed. Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.
· School must remove $50K fence at park. A private school will have to dismantle a $50,000 fence it installed without permission at a Peoria, Arizona park. Some neighborhood residents saw the fence as exclusionary.
· Man sentenced to 8 years for trying to lure girl for sex. A man whose conviction in a child enticement case was thrown out but then reinstated was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison and four years of extended supervision. Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Timothy Van Akkeren sentenced Mitchell D. Pask, 44, who was found guilty by a jury in September of trying to lure a 9-year-old girl into a Sheboygan park shelter for sex.
· Salt Lake Interior Designer Killed By Falling Statue In His Home. Authorities on Friday said that an interior designer, who was found dead at his Millcreek area home, was accidentally crushed by a ceramic statue.
Friday, March 21, 2008
· Turkey Hunter Mistakenly Shoots, Kills Camouflaged Man In Tree. A camouflaged hunter sitting in a tree was accidentally shot and killed Friday by another hunter trying to shoot a turkey, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
· Naming of Lunatic Asylum Insults Advocates. It's an intriguing and provocative name that translates to Web hits, phone calls and tour tickets: The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia. Many say words like "lunatic" and "retarded" have gone the way of "colored" and "Negro" and should never be resurrected.
· Arkansas Judge Apologizes For Forgotten Inmate. Judge Jerry Hunton said Thursday he regretted the story of Adriana Torres-Flores' four days in a holding cell made national news. It was a "horrible incident" that occurred in Washington County, he said. Torres-Flores, 38, was forgotten in a small cell March 6 for four days without food, water or access to a toilet after attending court and having her bond revoked by Judge William Storey. She pleaded not guilty that day in court on charges related to DVD piracy.
· Gov. Paterson's old flame Lila Kirton never saw affair admission coming. A week ago gubernatorial gal pal Lila Kirton was so confident of her rising stock in state government, she was busily deciding who would sit where in the offices of soon-to-be Gov. Paterson. Paterson's disclosures less than 24 hours after his swearing-in of marital infidelity stunned Kirton and quickly outed her as the governor's former lover. Friends say the 49-year-old married attorney never got a heads-up.
· Starbucks ordered to pay $100M in tips. A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors. San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction that prevents Starbucks' shift supervisors from sharing in future tips, saying state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities. Starbucks spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil said the company planned an immediate appeal of the ruling, calling it "fundamentally unfair."
· Statehouses often look like frat houses. Of all the wisecracks heard in the marble halls of New York's Capitol after Gov. Eliot Spitzer's downfall in a call-girl scandal, one jest enlightened as much as it stung: Spitzer's got to be the only guy in Albany who PAYS for sex. It is an open secret that there is a lot of fooling around going on at the statehouse. And at other statehouses, too.
· GGW Greenlights Minor Dupré Video. Joe Francis tells E! News he's going ahead with the release anyway, albeit not for at least a few days while his lawyers debate the repercussions. "We are getting pressure from her lawyer," Francis said at his Santa Monica, Calif., office Wednesday. "As soon as we withdrew the million dollar offer—he is just mad because her price has dropped. Even if she was only 17, we could still release it. There was no sexual contact. There's only nudity."
· Police: Couple Broke Into Church For Sex. Baker County Florida deputies investigating a report of a suspicious person at North Prong Cemetery Church found a woman inside and a man hiding under the church. They told investigators they broke in so they could have sex on the altar.
· Ex-SLA member freed from Calif. prison. The former Symbionese Liberation Army fugitive who hid for years by posing as an ordinary housewife has been released from prison after serving time for trying to bomb police cars, corrections officials said Thursday.
· Legal deal restores good vibrations to Beach Boys. The settlement of a long legal dispute over rights to the Beach Boys' name has restored good vibrations among the three surviving original members of the famed group, attorneys in the case said on Thursday. The agreement, reached on Wednesday after two days of talks mediated by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, put to rest years of litigation that strained relations among members of the group.
· Fire victims at home with steel framing. When Dave Aguilar got a second chance to build his family's dream house after the 2003 Cedar fire swept through their Blossom Valley neighborhood, he and his wife, Nanci, decided to take a step they had considered and rejected the first time: They built the home with steel framing instead of wood.
· Thousands stuck with fake art prints. A ring of art counterfeiters has sold thousands of prints since 1999 bearing the forged signatures of Picasso, Miro, Dali and other famous artists to buyers around the world. Sale prices ranged up to $50,000 for counterfeit prints that came with forged artists' signatures and fake certificates of authenticity that were sold in galleries, at art shows and through Internet auction site eBay.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
· Inspector arrested in NYC crane collapse. A city inspector has been charged with lying about checking on a construction crane that later collapsed, killing seven people in a dense Manhattan neighborhood. Edward Marquette, 46, was arraigned and released without bail Thursday on charges of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing.
· Woman dies after ray strikes her. A spotted eagle ray leaped from the water off the Florida Keys today and struck a woman who was on a boat with her husband and children, pushing her backwards onto the boat deck and killing her, officials said. A Florida official said the woman died when she hit her head on the boat deck.
· Geraldine Ferraro resents being lumped in with the Rev. Wright in Obama speech. Former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro said today that she objected to the comparison Sen. Barack Obama drew between her and his former pastor in his speech on race relations Tuesday. In the speech, Obama sought to place the inflammatory remarks of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a broader context, in part by placing them on a continuum with Ferraro's recent remark to the Daily Breeze that Obama is "lucky" to be black.
· Michigan Congressman Wants 50-Cent Tax Hike on Every Gallon of Gas. A Michigan congressman wants to put a 50-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline to try to cut back on Americans' consumption. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wants to help cut consumption with a gas tax, but not surprisingly, many motorists don't agree with the idea.
· Attorney: Spitzer hooker was 17 in 'Wild' videos. A $1 million offer to the call girl linked to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was rescinded because she'd already shot footage for "Girls Gone Wild." Now it might be the video maker who will lose out. A lawyer for Ashley Alexandra Dupre, now 22, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Dupre was 17 when the footage was filmed. After hearing from her attorney, the company said the video's Internet release will be delayed.
· Released Hillary documents shed light on Lewinsky affair. Hillary Rodham Clinton was home in the White House on at least seven days when her husband had sexual encounters there with intern Monica Lewinsky, according to Sen. Clinton's schedule, released Wednesday among 11,000 pages of papers from her years as first lady. The schedules show she was home on Feb. 28, 1997, the day the report by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr says Bill Clinton had a sexual encounter with Lewinsky in an Oval Office bathroom in the early evening, staining her blue dress.
· TV Producer Charged With Stock Fraud. An Emmy Award-winning television producer was charged with inflating the revenue and stock price of his publicly traded production company as part of a multimillion dollar stock fraud scheme. Drew Levin, 54, the founder of Team Communications Group, Inc., was indicted by a federal grand jury on 13 counts, including conspiracy, falsifying his company's books and records, making false statements in annual and quarterly reports and lying to the company's auditors, the U.S. attorney's office said. Levin, who produces mostly made-for-TV programs and documentaries, faces up to 200 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
· Orlando Airport Gate Area Closed Over Rat Problem. An Orlando International Airport spokeswoman said authorities expect to reopen a customs checkpoint Friday that was shut down because of a rodent problem.
· Bin Laden warns EU over Prophet cartoons. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden threatened the European Union with grave punishment on Wednesday for publication of cartoons mocking Islam's Prophet Mohammad. In an audio recording posted on the Internet coinciding with the birthday of Islam's founder, bin Laden said the drawings, considered offensive by Muslims, were part of a "new crusade" in which Pope Benedict was involved. "It's only ominous when he says 'don't listen to our words, watch for our actions' ... that means they clearly are intending to attack in Europe."
· Wells Fargo to Sell Online Safes. Recognizing not all banking customers want a safe deposit box, Wells Fargo & Co. plans to sell online vaults as a secure and convenient alternative for storing vital records. When the service rolls out this summer, Wells Fargo believes it will be the first major U.S. bank to offer an Internet alternative to the safe deposit boxes that have been an industry staple for decades. Always on the lookout for new sources of service fees, Wells Fargo will charge nearly $180 per year for its biggest online safe. The monthly fees will be: $4.95 for 1 gigabyte of storage: $9.95 for three gigabytes; and $14.95 for six gigabytes.
· Driver Dies After Being Shot By Officer In Busy Orlando Intersection. A motorist shot and critically injured by an Orlando officer during an apparent undercover drug enforcement operation died from his injuries early Thursday, according to police.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
· Brite Divinity School still plans to honor fiery pastor. Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth is sticking by a decision to honor Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright despite controversy over his rhetoric and relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.
· TV anchor's cop husband charged with rape. A suburban police sergeant who is married to a New York City anchorwoman was charged Wednesday with raping a 17-year-old girl hours after he helped arrest her boyfriend at her house.
· The U.S. sends Palestinian Authority $150 million. The United States agreed on Wednesday to transfer $150 million in budgetary support to the Palestinian Authority to boost President Mahmoud Abbas' government.
· Rapist released after guilty plea. A man convicted in 1989 of raping a 13-year-old girl during a satanic ritual pleaded guilty Monday in District Court to a sexual offense against another, younger girl. He was then released from the Yellowstone County Montana jail.
· Victim had sexual relationship with son and his wife, police say. A Lewiston, Oregon woman who was allegedly strangled by her son may have been carrying on a sexual relationship with both him and his wife, according to court documents. Matthew Audet, 22, was being held in the Androscoggin County Jail following his initial appearance in court Tuesday on a charge of murdering his 47-year-old mother, Debra Audet.
· Apple may offer free music access. Apple Inc. is negotiating with record labels over a deal to give iPhone and iPod customers free access to the entire iTunes music library if they pay extra for the devices.
· Sean Penn to Fox News: "The end is near." "I almost wish Jerry Falwell were alive to see this. Almost," Penn shouted to the crowd. After dropping some names of conservatives who are still with us - "Bill O'Reilly, who is too stupid to talk about," and "Sean Hannity, the butt boy of Rupert Murdoch," Penn said, "We know something more. We know their end is near."
· Suicide at Mel Gibson's Home. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ a construction worker committed suicide at Mel Gibson's house today. It happened at Mel's Agoura Hills home - near Malibu. The construction worker was 47-years-old. TMZ was told he hanged himself.
· Woman Goes for Leg Operation, Gets New Anus Instead. A German retiree is taking a hospital to court after she went in for a leg operation and got a new anus instead, the Daily Telegraph is reporting. The woman woke up to find she had been mixed up with another patient suffering from incontinence who was to have surgery on her sphincter.
· Spitzer's hooker loses $1 million offer over videos. Stop that $1 million check: It turns out the call girl linked to Eliot Spitzer had already shed her clothes for "Girls Gone Wild" as an 18-year-old while partying in Miami, Florida, the video company's founder said Tuesday. According to a "Girls Gone Wild" press release, Ashley Alexandra Dupre visited Miami in 2003 to celebrate her 18th birthday. After fighting with a friend and getting thrown out of her hotel, Dupre found a nearby "Girls Gone Wild" bus, the company said. She signed legal papers and spent a full week on the bus, filming seven full-length tapes that included nudity and same-sex encounters, according to the company. "It's kind of like finding a winning lottery ticket in the cushions of your couch," Joe Francis said.
· Runaway Bride's Former Fiance Marries Another Woman. John Mason, the man who was once engaged to runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, has gotten married - to another woman. His father, Claude Mason, tells People magazine that John Mason married Shelley Martin in a quiet ceremony Saturday in Duluth.
· STDs still a threat to many teens. The results of a national study released last week show that one in four young women, ages 14 to 19, are infected with at least one of the Big Four sexually transmitted diseases: HPV, chlamydia, genital herpes and a common parasite called trichomoniasis. Almost half of black teens and 20 percent of white girls are infected. Among the infected women, 15 percent had more than one of these diseases.
· Sarah Jessica Parker voted 'world's unsexiest woman.' Sarah Jessica Parker has revealed her heartache over being voted the 'world's unsexiest woman' in a men's mag poll. Parker, 43, has had a hard time dealing with the news that men do not find her as attractive as advertisers do, claiming the result of the Maxim poll was "brutal."
· Mom yells, flips middle finger at Florida church day care. A 35-year-old woman was arrested for disorderly conduct when she extended her middle finger and yelled obscenities at another woman outside a church playground. She was intoxicated, smelled of alcohol and had urinated herself, according to her Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office arrest report. She also was trying to pick up her child from day care.
· McCanns win $1 million libel damages. The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have accepted $1.1 million libel damages and an apology over stories published in two British newspapers that alleged they were involved in the disappearance or death of the girl.
· Kennedy allegedly dumps diesel fuel into Nantucket Sound. By now every Cape Codder has heard senior US senator Ted Kennedy proclaiming his resistence to the Cape Wind project on Nantucket Sound because, as he said, "that's where I sail." He has called Nantucket Sound "a national treasure", but his love and respect do not extend to his own habits as these photos of him dumping diesel fuel from the bilge of his yacht Mya into the same waters he tries to prevent others from using for renewable energy projects, according to CapeCodToday.
· Court Calls LeBeouf's Puff Bluff. No thank you for smoking, Shia LaBeouf. A $1,000 bench warrant was issued for LaBeouf on Tuesday after the star of "Transformers" and the upcoming "Indiana Jones" film failed to appear in court on a charge of lighting up where he shouldn't. The 21-year-old was cited last month for unlawful smoking, according to the warrant, which didn't contain details on the circumstances or location of the offense.
· Verizon Recovers Man's Missing Recording. An 80-year-old man who thought he'd lost the only recording of his dead wife's voice can hear her again, any time he wants. When Verizon upgraded Charles Whiting's telephone service, his wife's voice, saying, "Catherine Whiting," disappeared from his voicemail system. She had died in 2005 and Whiting said he listened to her voice every day for comfort. He blamed Verizon for the loss, saying, "Now they took her voice away." But Verizon had archived all the old greetings and messages. Company spokesman John Bonomo said Tuesday that a contractor found the recording and restored it to the new voicemail system.
· Berry Names Daughter Nahla Ariela Aubry. Halle Berry's newborn daughter is named Nahla Ariela Aubry, her publicist Meredith O'Sullivan told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Nahla was born Sunday to Berry, 41, and her beau, model Gabriel Aubry, 32. It's Berry's first child.
· Lynndie England blames media for photos. Lynndie England, the public face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, told a German news magazine that she was sorry for appearing in photographs of detainees in the notorious Iraqi prison, and believes the scenes of torture and humiliation served as a powerful rallying point for anti-American insurgents.
· Writer Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90. Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey" and won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday, an aide said.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
· Justices Agree on Right to Own Guns. Americans have a right to own guns, Supreme Court justices declared in a historic and lively debate that could lead to the most significant interpretation of the Second Amendment since its ratification two centuries ago.
· Lloyd's insures winemaker's nose for $8 million. The Lloyd's of London insurance market has insured the nose of a leading wine maker and taster for $7.9 million, covering the Bordeaux producer against the loss of his nose and sense of smell.
· Update: Obama admits hearing controversial remarks. Barack Obama admitted what he previously had denied: that he was present when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright had made some of his outrageous comments. “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church?” Obama said. “Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely."
· Record-setting young pilot dies at 26. Vicki Van Meter, celebrated for piloting a plane across the country at age 11 and from the U.S. to Europe at age 12, has died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Crawford County coroner said.
· Texas Woman Sues American Airlines After Flight Turns X-Rated. Harris County, Texas, native Centava Dozier, 21, filed a $200,000 lawsuit Monday against American Airlines, alleging that a passenger masturbated in the seat next to her and then ejaculated on her hair.
· Piece of nylon may have caused crane collapse. Investigators say the prime suspect in the deadly crane collapse on New York's East Side is a $50 piece of nylon that broke while lifting a six ton piece of steel. The result: Seven people dead.
· Judge rips McCartney's ex-wife in ruling. In his ruling on the divorce between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, a British judge said Mills was "less than candid" in her dealings with the court. Judge Hugh Bennett released a summary of his ruling Monday but had withheld the full judgment until the outcome of Mills' appeal. Bennett on Monday ordered McCartney to pay Mills $48.6 million in their divorce - or $1,385 per hour for the four years they were married. Mills had sought an award of $250 million, the court said.
· New York Gov. Paterson admits to sex with other woman for years. New York's new First Couple agreed to speak publicly about the affairs in their marriage in response to a variety of rumors about David Paterson's personal life that have been circulating in Albany and among the press corps in recent days. Given the call-girl scandal that erupted last week and forced Spitzer's stunning resignation, Paterson conceded that top government officials are bound to come under closer scrutiny for their personal actions.
· Update: Wife denies gay NJ ex-governor's claims of three-way trysts. Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey says he and his wife Dina Matos McGreevey used to engage in three-way sex with his ex-aide and driver. Dina Matos McGreevey has denied the allegation.
· Doctors warn of superbug infection in face-lifts. A dangerous drug-resistant bacterial infection has been showing up in a small number of patients who undergo face-lifts, doctors reported on Monday.
· Thief Steals Disabled Boy's Wheelchair. Police are searching for a thief who stole a $4,400 wheelchair from an 11-year-old boy who has scoliosis leaving him unable to walk. Michael Thorne and his family said they were at a soccer tournament in Jacksonville when someone grabbed the boy's special wheelchair.
· Man In Wheelchair Carjacks Van At San Francisco Airport. A man in a wheelchair outside of San Francisco International Airport's Terminal 1 Monday morning carjacked a hotel van for a short joyride, airport Duty Manager John Ginty said.
· Obama Speech To Confront Racial Issues. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will try to calm the uproar over racially tinged sermons by his former pastor during a speech in Philadelphia Tuesday.
· Credit card data stolen from supermarket chain. A computer hacker stole thousands of credit card numbers after breaching security at two U.S. grocery store chains owned by Belgium-based Delhaize Group SA, the companies said on Monday.
· Metal Detectors Selling Out As Beachgoers Hunt For High-Priced Gold. In a new type of gold rush, beachgoers are using metal detectors to hunt for lost treasures as the price for the precious metal hits record highs. Beachgoer Fay Powell said she's been using a metal detector to search for gold items that now sell for more than $1,000 an ounce.
Monday, March 17, 2008
· Boy Says Teacher Forced Him To Urinate In Lunchbox During Class. Orange County Public Schools is investigating claims that a student was forced to use a lunchbox as a toilet in front of his class at Meadowbrook Middle School. Quonterious Thomas, 13, says his language arts teacher said he could wait until the end of class or use her lunchbox in the back of the classroom. The sixth grader said he used her lunchbox.
· RIAA Pockets Filesharing Settlement Money, Doesn't Pay Artists Whose Copyrights Were Infringed. None of the estimated $400 million that the RIAA received in settlements with Napster, KaZaA, and Bolt over allegations of copyright infringement has gone to the artists whose copyrights were allegedly infringed. Now the artists are considering suing the RIAA, according to the Consumerist.
· Oops - CNBC's Cramer Said 'Don't Move' From Bear a Week Before Collapse. Hopefully your financial portfolio didn’t include stock in Bear Stearns, but it might have if you had listened to CNBC’s Jim Cramer. After it was announced March 16 that J.P. Morgan Chase was purchasing Bear Stearns Cos. for $2 a share, the stock plummeted over 80 percent at the open of trading on March 17.
· Stunned Bear Stearns investors eye legal claims. Angry Bear Stearns Co Inc shareholders have wasted no time in calling their lawyers to pursue possible legal claims over the company's $2-a-share fire sale to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
· ABBA drummer victim in bizarre death. A drummer for the Swedish pop group ABBA has died after an apparent accident at his home in Spain, a Civil Guard spokeswoman said Monday. Police believe Ola Brunkert may have fallen against a glass partition separating his home's kitchen from the garden, and the glass broke and fatally cut his throat.
· Ohio police officer charged in shooting death of woman in raid. A white police officer has been charged in the shooting death of a black woman during a January drug raid that touched off protests and much discussion about race relations in a northwest Ohio city, where one in four residents is black.
· The McGreeveys' secret. A former driver and aide for former N.J. Gov. Jim McGreevey says Dina Matos McGreevey must have always known her husband was gay - because he was the other man in bed with them, according to the New York Post. In an explosive interview with The Post, the McGreeveys' longtime man-in-the-middle, Teddy Pedersen, recounted explicit details of alleged, titillating, three-way sex romps he had with the now-divorcing duo, starting during their courtship and continuing into the marriage.
· Boy Gets Electric Shock Trying to Climb Into Zoo's Ape Exhibit. Authorities say a nine-year-old boy got zapped by electricity when he tried to climb into an exhibit at the National Zoo's ape house in Washington.
· Tampa sued to collect on 147-year-old promissory note worth millions. In the early months of the Civil War, the city of Tampa needed ammunition and other supplies to defend against attack but apparently was short on cash. So it issued a promissory note for $299.58 to storekeeper Thomas Pugh Kennedy on June 21, 1861. Kennedy's great-granddaughter says the city never made good on its loan. Now, Joan Kennedy Biddle and her family are suing to collect the payment plus 8 percent annual interest. The total bill: $22.7 million.
· JP Morgan Agrees to Buy Bear Stearns for $2 a Share. JPMorgan Chase set a deal to buy stricken rival Bear Stearns for a rock-bottom price, while the U.S.Federal Reserve expanded lending to securities firms for the first time since the Great Depression to prop up the financial system. JPMorgan is paying just $2 a share for Bear, a huge discount from its per share price of $172 last year.
· Manson site may contain more bodies. For years, rumors have swirled about other possible Charles Manson family victims - hitchhikers who visited them and were not seen again, runaways who drifted into the camp then fell out of favor. Results of just-completed followup tests suggest bodies could indeed be lying beneath the parched ground of Death Valley National Park.
· Dennis Quaid recounts twins' near-death experience. Actor Dennis Quaid, whose newborn twins nearly died in hospital last year after being given an accidental drug overdose by staff, is on the warpath against medical mistakes. In an interview with the CBS news program "60 Minutes," scheduled to be broadcast in the United States on Sunday, he said as many as 100,000 Americans are killed in hospitals by medical mistakes. "It's bigger than AIDS. It's bigger than breast cancer. It's bigger than automobile accidents and yet, no one seems to really be aware of the problem."
Sunday, March 16, 2008
· Obama's church accuses media of character assassination. The Chicago church attended by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) issued a statement Sunday contending that coverage of his pastor’s inflammatory remarks amounted to character assassination and “an attack on … the history of the African American church.”
· Florida School District Knows Sex Scandals. The arrest Thursday of a middle school teacher accused of having sex with a teenage student has thrust a Florida school district made famous by Debra Lafave into an uncomfortable yet familiar position. Stephanie Ragusa, a 28-year-old special education teacher, was arrested Thursday and charged with five counts of lewd and lascivious battery for what sheriff's deputies in Hillsborough County described as a consensual sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male student.
· LAPD "Wrong Doors Unit" fixes damage to mistaken raids. When Los Angeles cops busted through Mae Phillips' front door last month looking for her grandson, they blew out the door jamb, ripped out casing and drywall, and left the shattered remains hanging by the hinges. Enter LAPD's little-known "Wrong Doors Unit." "Mistakes do happen now and then," said Mark Jenkins, a civilian carpenter with the Los Angeles Police Department.
· Another Baby Dies After Forgotten In Car. A baby died after her father forgot to take her to day care Friday morning. Houston police said the father discovered his mistake when he got to the day care at 5 p.m. to pick up the child and realized the 7-month-old infant was still in his car.
· Inside the world of high-priced hookers. Truly high-end call girls call it "The Brick." That's $40,000 in hundred-dollar bills in a package, payment for a long weekend on a yacht in the Caribbean with a super-wealthy "date" or a week-long trip to Europe to keep company with a sheik.
· Parents Left Child In Car For Hours To Drink At Central Fla. Bar. An 8-year-old child was left in a car for more than two hours while the child's parents were drinking inside a local bar, according to police. Patrol officers and detectives with the Special Victims Unit found the child locked in a vehicle before 1 a.m. Saturday.
· Man Crashes Car Into Radio Station. An angry listener may be responsible for a car that crashed into Portland radio station studios Friday afternoon. Employees said the car came within feet of the receptionist.
· Autopsy shows Houston sheriff's deputy killed in car wreck was driving drunk. Civil rights activists say "anti-immigrant hysteria" helped lead to the arrest of a Mexican truck driver after a car accident that killed a Harris County sheriff's deputy who was driving drunk. Jose Jesus Vieyra, 57, is accused of causing a crash that killed sheriff's Deputy Craig W. Miller on Feb. 21. Authorities say Vieyra caused the crash by veering his commercial truck in front of Miller's vehicle.
· 83-year-old woman foils purse snatcher. An 83-year-old great-grandmother thwarted a would-be purse snatcher with a gas nozzle and an iron grip. Bernie Garcia said a young man approached her at a gas station as she was buying fuel for her van and asked for money. When she told him she had spent all her spare change on gas, he tried to grab her purse.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
· Crane Collapse Crushes Building, Killing 4. A nearly 20-story-tall crane toppled backwards from a 25-story building in Manhattan, flattening several stories of a nearby building and killing at least four people, according to city officials. Numerous others were injured, and an unknown number may be trapped in the rubble.
· Muslims nations: Defame Islam, get sued? The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from what they consider defamation. Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world's Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols.
· Call girl laments use of exotic photos. The lawyer for the call girl linked to the downfall of Gov. Eliot Spitzer lashed out at the media on Friday for thrusting the 22-year-old woman into the "public glare" without her consent and publishing revealing photos. Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt told the AP Friday that he had e-mailed Dupre, offering her $1 million to pose nude for his magazine.
· Hotel Closes Over Legionnaires' Disease. A hotel located in the tourist corridor of Orlando voluntarily closed its doors on Friday after two guests contracted Legionnaires' disease, a respiratory illness that can be fatal.
· Storm Follows Atlanta Twister, Killing 1. Storms killed one person Saturday in Georgia, less than 24 hours after a tornado with wind up to 130 mph cut a 6-mile path through downtown Atlanta, blowing windows out of skyscrapers and injuring dozens.
· Autopsy: Marine's neck wound could be post-mortem. A 20-year-old pregnant Marine had a superficial wound to her neck that may have occurred after death, according to autopsy results released Friday.
· Sheriff Wants to Give 1,500 Seized Cigars to Troops in Iraq. Normally, 1,500 cigars seized in a drug bust would be incinerated. The Oakland County sheriff wants Michigan troops serving in Iraq to do it for him. The county's Narcotics Enforcement Team seized the stogies during a traffic stop of a convicted drug felon.
· Court Says OK for Gere to Visit India. Richard Gere is free to go back to India - and he may have a new reason to book a trip. India's top court suspended an arrest warrant Friday against Gere, wanted for allegedly breaking public obscenity laws by kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at a public AIDS awareness event last year. "Gere is allowed to come and leave. He can't be arrested," said Anil Grover.
Friday, March 14, 2008
· Hospital Fires Workers for Spears' Files. UCLA Medical Center will fire some employees and discipline others for snooping at the confidential medical records of Britney Spears while she was hospitalized in its psychiatric ward.
· Controversial minister off Obama's campaign. A Chicago minister who delivered a fiery sermon about Sen. Hillary Clinton having an advantage over Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential race because she is white is no longer a part of the Obama campaign. Rev. Jeremiah Wright said of America's treatment of African-Americans: "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America.
· National Guard Drops Dummy Bomb On Apartment Complex. No one was hurt when a bomb dropped from an Air National Guard jet crashed intoan apartment complex in Tulsa, Okla. late Thursday night. The 25-pound bomb, equipped with a dummy warhead, was found partly imbedded in the complex foundation when a couple returned home.
· McCartney's ex-wife to get $50 million. British rock 'n' roll great and former Beatle Paul McCartney reportedly will pay wife Heather Mills nearly $50 million as part of their divorce settlement. McCartney is said to be worth about $1.6 billion.
· Weather Channel Founder: Sue Al Gore for Fraud. The founder of the Weather Channel wants to sue Al Gore for fraud, hoping a legal debate will settle the global-warming debate once and for all. John Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing for fraud proponents of global warming, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits.
· Student Sues After Being Awakened In Class. Danbury, Conn. officials have been notified they are being sued by a student who was awakened in class by a teacher who made a loud noise. Documents filed with the Town Clerk, a prelude to a lawsuit, claim that a sleeping student suffered hearing damage when his teacher woke him up by slamming her hand down on the boy's desk.
· Father sentenced for killing toddler over broken Xbox. A man who killed his 17-month-old daughter in a rage over a broken Xbox has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison. Tyrone Spellman, 27, of Philadelphia, killed Alayiah Turman with at least five blows to the head, prosecutors said.
· Dupre's MySpace page evolves with scandal. In three days, Ashley Alexandra Dupre went from being an unknown 22-year-old aspiring musician to the fifth most-searched subject on Google because of her alleged sexual encounters with New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Dupre was seemingly aware that the press would have access to her friends and every word, photo and comment on her profiles, so she began by deleting connections between her friends on Facebook.
· Crystal strikes out with Yankees. Billy Crystal whacked himself in the helmet with his backswing, found his shoelaces and socks sabotaged and watched his team lose. Oh, and the New York Yankees rookie struck out in his one and only at-bat as a big leaguer. "It was the strangest, greatest moment of my life," he said Thursday.
· Update: Sheriff recommends charging boyfriend in toilet case. The sheriff is recommending charges in the case of a western Kansas woman who sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for so long that her body became stuck to the seat.
· Legal Cloud Lingers Over Spitzer. Resigning won't spare Eliot Spitzer from the heat of a criminal investigation - federal prosecutors must still decide what to do with the case of the disgraced New York governor and the prostitutes.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
· New gadgets may come loaded - with a virus. From iPods to navigation systems, some of today's hottest gadgets are landing on store shelves with some unwanted extras from the factory - pre-installed viruses that steal passwords, open doors for hackers and make computers spew spam.
· Hundreds Of Churches Ripped Off By Longtime Treasurer. A man who worked as a treasurer for hundreds of churches for nearly 30 years is accused of siphoning off $1 million to a private account so he could buy collectable cars.
· Ashley Dupre, Spitzer Hooker, Hits Nearly a Million Downloads on iTunes. Ashley Dupre, the 22-year-old woman at the center of Eliot Spitzer’s fall from grace, is seeing her music career take off as her single “What We Want” has already sold nearly one million downloads on the popular music site iTunes. ‘What We Want” carried a nine-cent price tag but by the time her name broke in the Spitzer case it jumped to 98-cents per download. [With AUDIO]
· Boys Attempt To Hold Up Police Station. Two boys are under arrest after they attempted to rob a Port St. Lucie, Florida police station and said, "We'll be famous now," according to authorities. Port St. Lucie police said the two boys - ages 12 and 14 - walked into the lobby of a regional station on Wednesday afternoon and demanded money from an aide behind the glass enclosure.
· Boyfriend: Phobia caused woman's 2-year bathroom stay. A 35-year-old woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for so long that her body was stuck to the seat had a phobia about leaving the bathroom, the boyfriend said. "She is an adult; she made her own decision," said her boyfriend, Kory McFarren. "I should have gotten help for her sooner; I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it." The Kansas woman's skin had grown around the seat in the two years she apparently was in the bathroom. "We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital. The hospital removed it," police said.
· The governor's gal: 'I have been broke and homeless.' The woman at the heart of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal is a 22-year-old would-be singer from New Jersey, according to media reports Wednesday. The New York Times said that Ashley Youmans - now known as Ashley Alexandra Dupre - was identified in court documents as Kristen, the high-priced prostitute who met with Spitzer at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on February 13.
· Photos Of Eliot Spitzer's Hooker. Meet "Kristen," the high-priced hooker who trysted with Eliot "Client-9" Spitzer last month at that Washington, D.C. hotel. The 22-year-old prostitute's real name is Ashley Alexandra Dupre (though she was born Ashley Youmans), according to a New York Times report.
· Disgraced NY Governor Won't Need New Job. Eliot Spitzer probably doesn't need to get a day job when he leaves the governor's office next week. The scion of a wealthy Manhattan real estate developer, Spitzer is a millionaire who could easily live off his share of his father's real estate business. Spitzer could have afforded many more luxuries. He reported $1.9 million in income to the IRS in 2006, according to his last publicly available tax return. Not including last year, his earnings have been $14.9 million since 1998, and that total only hints at his family's wealth. His father, Bernard Spitzer, is said to be worth at least $500 million.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Embellish [em·bel·lish] tr.v. 1. To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate. 2. To add fictitious details to exaggerate the truth: "A fanciful account that embellished the true story."
· Update: School clears kids in contraband candy caper. School officials have decided to go light on an eighth-grader caught with contraband candy in New Haven, Connecticut. Michael Sheridan, an eighth-grade honors student who was suspended for a day, barred from attending an honors dinner and stripped of his title as class vice president after he was caught with a bag of Skittles candy in school will get his student council post back, school officials said.
· 'Girls Gone Wild' founder enters plea. "Girls Gone Wild" video empire founder Joe Francis pleaded no contest to child abuse and prostitution charges Wednesday under an agreement allowing him to go free after nearly a year in jail. Francis, 34, returned to Florida after posting a $1.5 million bond this week in Nevada. Francis makes an estimated $29 million a year on videos of young women in sexually provocative situations.
· Francis Free, Blasts "Inbred" Florida Officials. Two days after getting sprung from a federal lockup in Reno, Nevada, the Girls Gone Wild mastermind turned up in a Panama City, Florida, courtroom on Wednesday and accepted a deal from prosecutors. "I cannot believe that I've been in jail and this was illegal," he said. "[Panama City] is a corrupt town, run by corrupt officials. This is just a whole crock...a sham with trumped-up charges. "I am in a town of about 7,000 inbreds who are totally corrupt."
· Noose Found Dangling In Home Depot Aisle Shocks Shoppers. A hangman's noose found dangling in an aisle of a Central Florida Home Depot store has prompted an investigation to find who is responsible.
· Judge to rule in bitter McCartney divorce case. Former Beatle Paul McCartney is expected to find out on Monday how much of his fortune he must hand over to estranged wife Heather Mills when a judge rules on their acrimonious and highly public divorce.
· AOL Launches Paperless Coupons Service. AOL wants you to stop clipping coupons or even printing them out. The company is launching a new service, Shortcuts, for manufacturers to distribute coupons on the Internet. Instead of clipping them out of your newspaper insert, you can simply choose the ones you want online and add them to an account tied to a grocery store's loyalty program. To redeem those coupons, you simply present your loyalty card at the register.
· Locklear Doc's 911 Scare Released. Heather Locklear is apparently fine, despite some confusion as to the contrary. Paramedics arrived at the actress' Thousand Oaks, California, home on Saturday evening after receiving two calls from a man identifying himself as a psychiatrist—one in which he expressed concern that a patient might attempt suicide, and a follow-up call made 15 minutes later.
· Authorities arrest second suspect in UNC student slaying. Police arrested a second suspect early Thursday in connection with the death of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson.
· Ferraro steps down from Clinton campaign. Former congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro is resigning her fundraising position with Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign after controversial comments she made about Clinton's rival, Sen. Barack Obama.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
· Spitzer's Troubles Ready-Made for Jokes. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer became the butt of jokes among comedians. "It's just mind-blowing that he spent $4,300 on a hooker," said New York comic Lisa Landry. "It just shows how high the cost of living is in New York. That same hooker would cost $50 in Newark."
· Obama Says Ferraro Dividing Democrats. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama assailed as "slice and dice" politics Geraldine Ferraro's assertion that he wouldn't be where he is in the presidential race if he weren't black.
· Suspension Over Sweets. What does it take for a school to suspend an eighth-grader, bar his attendance from an honors dinner, and strip him of his post as class Vice President? If you guessed drugs, alcohol, or a firearm, think again. A bag of candy is reason enough. This week, a Connecticut school levied these very punishments on an honor student with no history of misconduct, just for buying a bag of Skittles from his classmate. School officials are hiding behind their "Wellness Policy"—which prohibits bake sales, classroom pizza parties, and the sale of candy—as justification for the harsh disciplinary action.
· Southwest grounds 41 planes due to failed inspections. One day after suspending three employees and only days after it was hit with a record $10.2 million fine, Southwest Airlines said Wednesday it grounded 41 planes Tuesday night in the wake of its recent admission that it had missed required inspections of some planes for structural cracks.
· 'Deeply sorry' Spitzer resigns. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said today he is "deeply sorry" that he did not live up to what was expected of him. "I sincerely apologize," he said before announcing his resignation amid involvement in a prostitution ring.
· Arrest made in UNC student's slaying. A person has been detained in connection with the killing of University of North Carolina student Eve Carson. WTVD showed video of police dragging a man in handcuffs out of a house and placing him in a squad car, then taking him out of the car at another location.
· Man rushing for medical help arrested and jailed. Mark Brannon, whose family says he blacked out as he was driving, allegedly told the deputy he was sick and in need of medical help. But instead of getting medical assistance, Brannon - who does take pain medication - was arrested for DUI. Randy Brannon says his father "blew a zero on the breathalyzer, but they wouldn't release him until 2:00 a.m."
· Mayor Decries 'Lynch Mob Mentality.' Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick lashed out at the news media at the end of his 70-minute State of the City Address on Tuesday. He accused them of creating a "lynch mob mentality" in the scandal over his exchange of sexually explicit text messages with a former top aide.
· Man linked to S.C. missing couple found dead. A man named as a person of interest in the disappearance of a Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, couple appears to have committed suicide, authorities said.
· Is Salvia the Next Marijuana? On Web sites touting the mind-blowing powers of Salvia divinorum, come-ons to buy the hallucinogenic herb are accompanied by warnings: "Time is running out!" and "stock up while you still can." That's because salvia is being targeted by lawmakers concerned that the inexpensive and easy-to-obtain plant could become the next marijuana. Eight states have already placed restrictions on salvia, and 16 others, including Florida, are considering a ban.
· Probers check to see if Eliot Spitzer used tax dollars for trysts. As Gov. Spitzer mulled whether to resign Tuesday, probers looked to see if he used tax dollars for trysts with high-priced hookers totaling up to $80,000. A source familiar with the probe said IRS and FBI investigators found at least nine instances going back 18 months in which Spitzer made multiple cash transfers linked to Emperors Club VIP. Although the cash used to pay for a $4,300 prostitute named "Kristen" apparently came from Spitzer's account, he used taxpayer dollars to fly to and from his illicit rendezvous.
· Spitzer tripped up on laws he enforced. Eliot Spitzer knew how to catch bad guys by following the money. As attorney general, he once broke up a call-girl ring and locked up 18 people on corruption, money-laundering and prostitution charges. He ruthlessly investigated the pay packages of Wall Street executives and was so familiar with shady financial maneuvers that he rose to become the top racketeering prosecutor in Manhattan. But in the end, it appears that Spitzer may have been done in by the same behavior he built a career out of prosecuting. In fact, it seems he was tripped up by some of the very financial accounting methods he used so successfully against multibillion-dollar Wall Street firms.
· Cut Abercrombie name from ER, advocates say. A children's advocacy group wants to keep a children's hospital from putting clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's name on a new emergency room. Abercrombie, known for its racy marketing campaigns aimed at teenagers, has pledged $10 million toward the construction of the emergency department at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
· Televangelist's minister husband pleads guilty to assault. The husband of televangelist Juanita Bynum has pleaded guilty to assaulting her. After being sentenced to three years probation, Bishop Thomas Weeks III turned to his wife and apologized.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
· Spitzer Resignation Expected Wednesday. Gov. Eliot Spitzer is set to resign Wednesday, sources tell CBS 2 HD political reporter Marcia Kramer, but insiders say he's going to use the resignation as a bargaining chip to cut a deal with federal prosecutors and he won't step down until that happens. The talks have been going on since Tuesday morning.
· 'Mary Ann' from 'Gilligan's Island' busted. 69-year-old Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island," is serving six months' unsupervised probation after allegedly being caught with marijuana in her car.
· 1 in 4 teen girls has sexual disease. At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group.
· Ferraro's remarks about Obama decried. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she disagrees with Geraldine Ferraro, one of her fundraisers and the 1984 vice presidential candidate, for suggesting that Barack Obama only achieved his status in the presidential race because he's black.
· How Eliot Spitzer (AKA "Client 9") arranged meeting with hooker. On the eve of Valentine's Day, Gov. Eliot Spitzer made sure the girl was on a train from Penn Station, withdrew a wad of cash from an ATM and gave orders that his Washington hotel room door be left open. Her name was "Kristen," and she was "an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5-feet-5 inches and 105 pounds," the hooker booker told him. And their alleged two-hour tryst may very well destroy the governor's once-promising career.
· Money transfers spurred Spitzer probe. Sources familiar with the investigation said Tuesday that Gov. Eliot Spitzer's troubles began with a federal money-laundering probe. Spitzer hit the federal radar when a bank reported to the Internal Revenue Service that a significant amount of money had been suspiciously transferred from one account to another. The FBI Corruption Squad linked the account transfers to a prostitution ring.
· Spears' lawyer to K-Fed: "Don't leave a $2,000 tip for a $365 check." - Britney Spears' new lawyer has a tip for Kevin Federline: If you're going to ask for your legal bills to be paid, don't leave a $2,000 tip for the waiter on a $365 check. Attorney Stacy Phillips, who recently took over Spears' case, told a court Monday that the pop star has already spent more than $1 million on her child-custody case and objects to paying nearly a half-million dollars in legal fees for her ex-husband.
· Group will offer nation's 'worst teacher' $10K to quit. Critics who say unions block education reforms and make it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers will offer 10 instructors it deems the nation's worst $10,000 to quit their careers. The Center for Union Facts, a Washington-based nonprofit, will launch a campaign Tuesday spending $1 million on ads and a billboard in New York's Times Square. It also says it's starting a Web site with data documenting how far unions go to protect bad teachers.
· 'Girls Gone Wild' Boss Heads to Florida. "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis is being released from a Nevada jail so he can return to Florida to face charges related to the filming of underage girls. His lawyer told a federal judge in Reno on Monday that Florida has agreed to lift its no-bail arrest warrant against the filmmaker, who is being held here on federal tax fraud charges. Francis has amassed a fortune marketing videos of young women, posing bare-breasted and in provocative situations.
· The ruins of Michael Jackson's Neverland. The merry-go-round stands rusting and lifeless. An elaborate floral display that used to stand proudly at the front of the mansion has wilted, leaving just bare earth. The tepees are collapsing in on themselves and a tent covering the bumper cars is falling to bits. Unless Michael Jackson can pay off part of his $300 million debts, his legendary Neverland ranch will be sold next week at auction on the steps of the Santa Barbara County courthouse.
· Aussie magazine apologizes for Prince Harry story. Australian women's magazine New Idea on Monday apologized for breaking a global media blackout on Britain's Prince Harry serving with the military in Afghanistan.
· Madonna, Mellencamp head to rock hall. Madonna, pop music's quick-change artist, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday and paid tribute to people who encouraged her and even critics who panned her for helping drive her career.
· Billy Crystal to Don Yankees Pinstripes. Billy Crystal will get to "look mahvelous" in pinstripes. The actor will sign a one-day, minor league contract with the New York Yankees and play in Thursday's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Crystal, an avid Yankees fan, will work out with the team on Wednesday and will wear uniform No. 60 for the game - to be played one day before his 60th birthday. The Yankees said Monday they have the approval of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
Monday, March 10, 2008
· San Francisco welcomes illegal immigrants in new advertising campaigns. San Francisco’s taxpayer-funded advertising campaign will feature television and radio advertisements as well as multi language brochures detailing the city’s sanctuary policy for illegal immigrants. “We have created a public awareness campaign so that immigrants know The City won’t target them for using city services,” said Nathan Ballard, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s spokesman.
· BREAKING: Gov. Eliot Spitzer Is Expected To Resign Over Hooker Scandal. The New York Times reported Monday that Gov. Eliot Spitzer has told senior advisers that he had been involved in a prostitution ring — a stunning turn of events for a politician who built his legacy on rooting out corruption. The New York Times, on its Web site, reported today that a federal wiretap had recorded Spitzer arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute. Spitzer, 48, is married and has three daughters. [Developing]
· BREAKING: Wiretap Recording Said to Implicate Governor as Client. Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation. An affidavit in the federal investigation into a prostitution ring said that a wiretap recording captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.
· BREAKING: Spitzer's Expensive Love Nest. The Web site of the Emperors Club VIP displays photographs of the prostitutes' bodies, with their faces hidden, along with hourly rates depending on whether the prostitutes were rated with various numbers of diamonds, with seven diamonds being the highest. The highest-ranked prostitutes cost $5,500 an hour, prosecutors said.
· Update: Concern over control of Heath Ledger's estate. Heath Ledger's father has assured the family that his son's former partner Michelle Williams and Heath's daughter Matilda will not be abandoned. Ledger's uncles have warned his former partner not to trust Heath's father Kim and his financial management and have advised her to seek legal representation. Mike and Haydn Ledger accuse Kim of mismanaging their father's estate to the tune of $2.5 million.
· Florida Medical Records Sold At Utah Surplus Store. The medical records of some Central Florida Regional Hospital patients were sold last month at a Salt Lake City surplus store for about $20, a newspaper reported. "I find it inexcusable," said Susan Mezzoni, a Lake Mary, Fla., woman whose husband's records were among those sold.
· Jury acquits man arrested in same sting as Craig. A Minneapolis man arrested in the same airport bathroom sex sting that netted U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has been acquitted. Vince Tuzon, 39, pleaded not guilty, saying he wasn't guilty because the police officer initiated the foot-tapping. A Hennepin County jury apparently agreed.
· KKK store, civil rights activist landlord may go to court. A black civil rights activist is fighting to close a store that sells KKK robes and T-shirts emblazoned with racial slurs. David Kennedy is confident he can make it happen. After all, he says he owns the building.
· Army probes tabloid leak over Harry. Military chiefs are investigating a soldier who tried to cash in on Prince Harry's secret frontline posting to Afghanistan by blowing his cover during the agreed news blackout.
· 'Car Surfing' Blamed In Teen's Death. An 18-year-old man using a shopping cart to "car surf" was killed when a Cadillac sport utility vehicle he was holding onto hit a speed bump and threw him to the ground, according to authorities.
· "L Word" ending run on Showtime. "The L Word" is set to take its final bow. Showtime has renewed the lesbian drama for a sixth and final season, which will make it one of the premium network's longest-running series.
· Amtrak Officer Shot In Foot With Own Gun During Scuffle. A woman was in custody Sunday night in connection with the shooting of an Amtrak officer, NBC 10 reported. The officer was shot in the foot by his own weapon, according to police. The shooting happened shortly before noon Sunday at a McDonald's restaurant inside 30th Street station. A witness said a woman who appeared to be homeless had asked for a refill on her coffee. Workers said she had been there for hours and needed to pay for another one.
· 'Suspicious liquids' used in plane crash attempt. Passengers carrying suspicious liquids on board a Chinese airliner were involved in what officials have called an attempted terror attack last week, the national aviation authority saidMonday. A government official from the Muslim-dominated region of Xinjiang had said the flight crew had foiled Friday's alleged attempt to deliberately crash a plane flying from the region's capital of Urumqi to Beijing.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
· AP probe finds drugs in drinking water. A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.
· Girl in Clinton's '3 am' ad is an Obama fan. A young woman in Seattle says she was surprised to see herself in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's now-famous 3 a.m. ad, and wants folks to know she's a supporter of rival Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama. Casey Knowles, now 17, says that "stock footage" shot of her six years ago was used in the ad.
· Senators: Where is Iraq's oil money going? Senators are asking congressional investigators to determine whether Iraq has enough oil revenue to pay for its own reconstruction, an effort that has been bankrolled to this point mostly by U.S. taxpayers.
· Scamming lawyer for 9/11 victims sues casinos for her gambling addiction. A 9/11 victims lawyer who swindled clients to feed her gambling habit has turned the blackjack tables on the casinos - she's suing them for letting her ante up, according to the New York Daily News. Arelia Taveras has filed a $20 million racketeering lawsuit claiming her career as an ambitious lawyer and TV commentator spun out of control after she became addicted to high rolling.
· Virginia Targets Adults Who French Kiss Kids. State legislators passed a law Saturday that would require adults who French kiss a child younger than 13 to register as a sex offender. Those convicted of tongue-kissing a child would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
· Thrift store worker returns $30,000 found in donated clothing. A thrift-store worker in Pomona says she didn't think twice about returning $30,000 she found in donated clothing. Barbarita Nunez was sorting clothes on Tuesday at the Veterans Thrift Store when she found a small box. Inside was an envelope with $30,000 cash.
· Lawsuit: Planned Parenthood Overcharged Government $180 Million. A fired executive is suing Planned Parenthood, claiming affiliates in California overbilled the government by $180 million for birth control pills.
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.”
· Md. police officers ignore speed cameras. No matter what the cameras say, some drivers are refusing to pay dozens of $40 speeding fines. Who? Police officers. In the last eight months of 2007, Montgomery County's new speed cameras recorded 224 cases in which police vehicles were recorded traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit. The police union says officers shouldn't pay because the citations are issued to the owner of a vehicle, in this case the county, and not to the driver.
· Elderly driver pins Calif. man against bank building. A 51-year-old Sacramento man is in critical condition after he was pinned against a bank's wall by an out-of-control driver. The California Highway Patrol says the victim was approaching a Wells Fargo bank automatic teller machine Friday afternoon when he was struck by an Acura Integra driven by an 82-year-old Citrus Heights woman.
· Anthrax Reporter Held in Contempt. A federal judge held a former USA Today reporter in contempt of court Friday and ordered her to pay up to $5,000 a day if she refuses to identify her sources for stories about former Army scientist Steven J. Hatfill under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
· Fla. Woman Survives 5-Story Fall. A Dade City woman plummeted at least five stories from the balcony of an apartment building, but amazingly, she survived. Police said they found 34-year-old Catrina Misonznick lying on the asphalt Friday outside the nine-story Coastal Towers apartments.
· Heath Leaves Everything to Parents, Sisters. Before Heath Ledger scaled the heights of Brokeback Mountain, he was looking out for the folks back home. In a will he drafted in 2003 and filed in his native Australia, the actor left everything he owned to his parents and three sisters. The will predates Ledger's relationship with Michelle Williams and the birth of their two-year-old daughter.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
· Lawmaker: Terrorists to Cheer Obama Win. An Iowa Republican congressman said that terrorists would be "dancing in the streets" if Democratic candidate Barack Obama were to win the presidency. Rep. Steve King based his prediction on Obama's pledge to pull troops out of Iraq, his Kenyan heritage and his middle name, Hussein.
· Update: Arrest made in Memphis mass murder case. The brother of one of the victims in the slayings of six people has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder, police said Saturday. Jessie L. Dotson, 33, was arrested Friday night and is the brother of victim Cecil Dotson, 30, police said. The bodies - four adults and two children - were discovered Monday at a small rental house where three other children also were found critically wounded.
· Man leaves wife, 4 kids to be with 15-year-old Amish girl. A 33-year-old man's decision to run away with a 15-year-old Amish girl has left his family nearly destitute. Julissa Jaimes says she and the couple's four children are unsure of their future as her husband, Osvaldo, sits in a Mexican jail awaiting possible extradition to Michigan. Michigan authorities say he planned to marry the teenager.
· Utah High School Teacher Admits To Sex With Teen Boy. A social science teacher at a southern Utah high school pleaded guilty to charges that she had unlawful sex with a 17-year-old boy, officials said. Cris Lyn Morris, 29, was placed on administrative leave from Hurricane High School.
· Update: Police Release Photos of Suspect in UNC Senior's Slaying. Police asked for help identifying a man in surveillance pictures whom they want to question in connection with the killing of Eve Carson, 22, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
· Update: Police charge man in Auburn college killing. Courtney Lockhart, 23, of Smiths Station has been charged with capital murder in death of Auburn freshman Lauren Burk, Auburn police said Saturday. Specifically Lockhart is charged with capital murder during a kidnapping; capital murder during a robbery; and capital murder during an attempted rape, according to a police statement.
· New York city council introduces resolution for two Muslim holidays. Robert Jackson, a Muslim member of the city council, and other members have introduced a resolution that calls on the state Legislature to make Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha official school holidays. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg argues that the city should not add two major Muslim holy days to the holiday list. "If we closed school for every [religion] there wouldn't be any school," Bloomberg said.
· Disgraced sprinter Jones reports to jail. Former Olympic champion Marion Jones, sentenced in January to six months prison for lying about using steroids, Friday reported to a Texas jail, US Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said.
· Update: Mom charged in child power-washing. The mother who was videotaped while spraying her 2 1/2-year-old daughter with a high-pressure water hose at an Orlando car wash on Feb. 24 has been arrested and charged with child abuse.
· Teacher Charged Students $5 For Cup Of Beer At House Keg Party. A Central Florida elementary teacher house-sitting and baby-sitting for a fellow teacher purchased a keg and charged $5 per cup at a party, which was attended by about 60 students, police said on Friday.
· Rep. John Lewis settles discrimination lawsuit. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader who spent a lifetime fighting discrimination, quietly reached a taxpayer-funded financial settlement with a former employee who charged in a lawsuit that she suffered race, age and gender discrimination while working in Lewis' Atlanta office. Lovelean (Love) Williams, an African American woman who worked 13 years for Lewis, said she was passed over for promotion to a job that went instead to a white male and that was paid $6,000 less than that white employee for doing the same work. When she complained to Lewis, Williams said in court papers, she was fired —just eight months shy of retirement.
· Safety probe puts FAA in hot seat. The Federal Aviation Administration should "clean house from top to bottom" and has too cozy a relationship with the airlines, the head of a congressional committee investigating airline safety inspections said Friday.
· The last living 'doughboy.' Frank Buckles joined the Army at 15 and set sail for World War I on the same ship used in the rescue of the Titanic. A couple decades later, he was forced to eat from a tin cup for more than three years as a World War II POW. Now, at 107, he's a national hero.
· Boeing Supporters Target McCain. Angry Boeing supporters are vowing revenge against Republican presidential candidate John McCain over Chicago-based Boeing's loss of a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract to the parent company of European plane maker Airbus. McCain said the deal was killed in 2004 after a former Boeing executive improperly recruited an Air Force official while she was still overseeing contracts involving prospective Boeing deals. Both served time in prison, and taxpayers saved $6 billion on the bogus tanker deal, according to McCain.
· 'NYPD Blue' star evades rape charge. No criminal charges will be filed against "NYPD Blue" star Esai Morales over allegations that he raped his ex-girlfriend, a prosecutor's office spokeswoman said Friday.
· Radio host Michael Savage's suit against Islamic group in court. A federal judge said Friday that she was leaning toward tossing out conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage's copyright theft lawsuit against an Islamic lobbying group who used portions of the popular program to solicit donations and call for an advertising boycott of "The Savage Nation."
· Chinese hackers: We tapped into Pentagon. They operate from a bare apartment on a Chinese island. They are intelligent 20-somethings who seem harmless. But they are hard-core hackers who claim to have gained access to the world's most sensitive sites, including the Pentagon.
· 'Gilligan' creator gets Hollywood star. Sherwood Schwartz, who created the TV comedy classics "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Brunch," gleefully thanked the leading ladies of those shows Friday when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
· Lisa Marie Presley blasts media over pregnancy. Singer Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis Presley, blasted the media on Friday for what she called "degrading stories" and "manipulated pictures" that forced her to go public with her pregnancy.
Friday, March 7, 2008
· Stylist Shoots Angry Client. A hairstylist shot an unhappy client after she complained about her haircut, police said. Lauren Newton, 28, was getting her hair cut Thursday by Monique Reed when the two began to argue about the style, police said.
· 'Hillary Clinton's a monster.' Hillary Clinton has been branded a "monster" by one of Barack Obama's top advisers, as the gloves come off in the race to win the Democrat nomination. In recent TV appearances Mrs Clinton had looked desperate and on the back foot.In an unguarded moment during an interview with The Scotsman in London, Samantha Power, Mr Obama's key foreign policy aide, let slip the camp's true feelings about the former first lady.
· Boy Band Mogul Pearlman Pleads Guilty. For years, Lou Pearlman wowed banks and investors with slick talk and a lavish lifestyle. But when the one-time architect of the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync set his hand on a courtroom Bible, he set the act aside. Pearlman pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding. The plea was the result of a lengthy federal probe alleging he bilked investors and banks out of more than $300 million.
· Invalid votes keep Clinton, Obama stuck. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton can reach the 2,024 delegates needed to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee without delegates from Florida and Michigan. But those two states' primary results don't count.
· Update: Subprime mess CEOs defend pay to Congress. Two high-profile former Wall Street CEOs and the head of the nation's largest home lender defended their oversized pay packages to Congressional lawmakers Friday, arguing that recent reports grossly exaggerated their compensation.
· Court's homeschooling ban shocks many parents in California. A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution. The ruling was applauded by a director for the state's largest teachers union.
· Debate Rages Anew on Vaccine-Autism Link. Top federal health authorities Thursday reiterated that vaccines do not cause autism after government health officials acknowledged that a vaccine, by worsening an underlying genetic condition, may have triggered autismlike symptoms in one girl. The case is viewed as an important milestone by autism groups that maintain that vaccinations are connected to autism.
· TSA contaminates flyer's sterile feeding tube. James Hoyne, 14, has a feeding tube in his stomach and carries a back-up in a sealed clear plastic bag. Hoyne said two weeks ago a TSA officer insisted on opening the sterile equipment, contaminating his back-up feeding tube which he later needed. "I said 'Please don't open it' and she said 'I have to open it whether you like it or not. If I can't open it, I can't let you on the plane,'" Hoyne said of his conversation with the TSA screener.
· Pro golfer charged with cruelty for hitting hawk. An animal rights group wants the PGA Tour to take action against player Tripp Isenhour, facing charges for hitting a hawk with a golf shot because it was making noise as he videotaped a TV show. Isenhour was charged Wednesday with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird, misdemeanors that carry a maximum penalty of 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.
· Driving teacher got DUI during lesson. A driving instructor accused of being drunk while teaching a lesson in Ipswich, Mass. pleaded not guilty on Thursday. A portable Breathalyzer test administered after the car was stopped by police showed Winsky had a blood-alcohol level of .223, nearly three times the Massachusetts legal limit of .08, police said.
· Governor's high-flying commute draws flak. Schwarzenegger has eschewed living in Sacramento, preferring his Brentwood mansion and traveling back and forth in his private jet. Some question his concern for the environment.
· Judge denies new bail for Francis. "Girls Gone Wild" mogul Joe Francis has lost his bid to be released from a Nevada jail without fear of being extradited to Florida. The 34-year-old video empire founder is facing trial in Nevada for tax evasion. He's wanted in Florida on charges related to filming underage girls on spring break. Francis has been jailed for nearly a year while caught in a tug-of-war between the two states.
· 'We Did It' Letters Eyed in NY Bombing. Capitol Hill offices received letters Thursday containing a photo of the Times Square military recruiting office before it was bombed and including the claim "We Did It." The manila envelopes contained a photo of a man standing in front of the recruiting station before it was bombed. The photo was the kind commonly sent as a holiday greeting card.
· Judge to set rules for Simpson trial. The judge in O.J. Simpson's armed robbery case is weighing whether to drop any charges against the former football star and whether two co-defendants should be tried separately.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
· Homeowner Equity Is Lowest Since 1945. Americans' percentage of equity in their homes fell below 50 percent for the first time on record since 1945, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That marks the first time homeowners' debt on their houses exceeds their equity since the Fed started tracking the data in 1945.
· Spears' Father Gets $2,500 Per Week. Being Britney Spears' father is now a paying gig - through most of the summer, at least. A court has ordered the troubled pop star's estate to pay James Spears' $2,500 per week and authorized him to lease a car.
· Whoopi: Swayze Is the Reason I Won Oscar. Whoopi Goldberg says her friend Patrick Swayze - who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - is the reason why she won an Oscar for "Ghost." The 52-year-old actress-comedian said Swayze persuaded director Jerry Zucker to cast her in the film amid "some resistance." According to Goldberg, Swayze said, "I'm not making this movie unless you put Whoopi Goldberg in there."
· Safety investigators: Southwest planes "not airworthy." Discount air carrier Southwest Airlines flew thousands of passengers on aircraft that federal inspectors said were "unsafe" as recently as last March, according to detailed congressional documents obtained by CNN. The planes were "not airworthy," according to congressional air safety investigators.
· $75 million in gift cards could become worthless. Sharper Image gift cards that many people received for Christmas are now worthless. And other gift cards in your wallet could lose their value, too. As more retailers file for bankruptcy or go out of business, more than $75 million in gift cards are at risk of becoming worthless pieces of plastic this year.
· UNC Mourns Student Body President's Death. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community is mourning the loss of its student body president, who was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds early Wednesday morning.
· Pit Bull Bites Man, Man Grabs Nail Gun. A man, bitten by a pit bull, was arrested after reportedly threatening the pet's owner with a nail gun. Police say William Turman, 48, fired several shots during the encounter.
· Vegas Clinic May Have Sickened Thousands. Nearly 40,000 people learned this week that a trip to the doctor may have made them sick. In a type of scandal more often associated with Third World countries, a Las Vegas clinic was found to be reusing syringes and vials of medication for nearly four years. The shoddy practices may have led to an outbreak of the potentially fatal hepatitis C virus and exposed patients to HIV. Plenty of lawyers are wading into the mess. Television ads called "health alerts" are soliciting clients.
· Cemetery full, French mayor tells locals not to die. The mayor of a village in southwest France has threatened residents with severe punishment if they die, because there is no room left in the cemetery to bury them. In an ordinance posted in the council offices, Mayor Gerard Lalanne told the 260 residents of the village of Sarpourenx that "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish." It added: "Offenders will be severely punished."
· Men who do housework may get more sex. American men still don't pull their weight when it comes to housework and child care, but collectively they're not the slackers they used to be. The average dad has gradually been getting better about picking himself up off the sofa and pitching in, according to a new report in which a psychologist suggests the payoff for doing more chores could be more sex.
· New Mexico Town Split Over Immigrant's Removal. Karina Acosta's senior year at Roswell High came to an abrupt end after she was ticketed for blocking a fire lane outside a school and driving without a license. The officer who stopped her - a Roswell policeman assigned to the school - asked her for proof of legal U.S. residency. Acosta, an illegal immigrant, had none. The officer telephoned immigration authorities, and Acosta, 18 and pregnant, was sent back to Mexico.
· Car Wash Abuse Allegation Investigated. Investigators are searching for a woman on Thursday who was videotaped while spraying a girl with a pressured water hose at an Orlando car wash. Surveillance cameras captured the woman holding the girl with one hand and holding the hose in the other hand at an arm's length distance.
· Police investigate Times Square blast. An explosive device caused minor damage to an empty military recruiting station in Times Square early Thursday, shaking guests in hotel rooms high above "the crossroads of the world."
· Patrick Swayze Diagnosed with Cancer. Patrick Swayze, who starred in Dirty Dancing and Ghost, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his doctor says. "Patrick has a very limited amount of disease and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far," Dr. George Fisher says in a statement.
· Lawmaker Wants FBI to Drop Clemens Probe. A congressman asked the FBI to drop its investigation of Roger Clemens because the pitching great had suffered enough from the probe into steroid use. In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Rep. Anthony Weiner wrote: "Whether or not Roger Clemens may have committed perjury should not compete with real national security threats for the FBI's time, attention and resources."
· Rare Helen Keller pic discovered. Researchers have uncovered a rare photograph of a young Helen Keller with her teacher Anne Sullivan, nearly 120 years after it was taken on Cape Cod. The photograph, shot in July 1888 in Brewster, shows an 8-year-old Helen sitting outside in a light-colored dress, holding Sullivan's hand and cradling one of her beloved dolls.
· Warren Buffett topples Bill Gates as world's richest. Financier Warren Buffett has overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest man, according to Forbes annual billionaire's list, which this year saw Russia, China and India making increasing inroads.
· Hollywood braces as Pellicano trial opens. When federal authorities began investigating private investigator Anthony Pellicano six years ago, many in Hollywood held their breath. Now as opening statements begin Thursday in a downtown Los Angeles federal courthouse in the wiretapping and racketeering case against the former celebrity sleuth, a few more gasps are likely. And given the potential witness list, a few more bombshells may be dropped.
· Diana's butler refuses to testify. Diana's butler Paul Burell is refusing to testify at the inquest into the princess' death after the coroner called him back to explain inconsistencies in his testimony. The coroner's court says Burell has refused give further evidence - either in person or by video-link from abroad.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
· In Zimbabwe, $1 U.S. now buys $25 million. The Zimbabwe currency tumbled to a record low of 25 million for a single U.S. dollar Wednesday, currency dealers said. Analysts trace Zimbabwe's economic collapse to a government decision in 2000 to transfer land from whites to blacks, which resulted in often violent seizures of farms and disrupted the agricultural-based economy.
· More FBI privacy violations confirmed. The FBI improperly used national security letters in 2006 to obtain personal data on Americans during terror and spy investigations, Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday.
· Chicago may ban little plastic bags. Tiny plastic bags used to sell small quantities of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and other drugs would be banned in Chicago, under a crackdown advanced Tuesday by a City Council committee. Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) persuaded the Health Committee to ban possession of "self-sealing plastic bags under two inches in either height or width."
· The world's smallest gun. The SwissMiniGun is the size of a key fob but fires tiny 270mph bullets powerful enough to kill at close range. Officially the world's smallest working revolver, the gun is being marketed as a collector's item and measures just 2.16 inches long.
· Clinton Hints at Shared Ticket. Hillary Rodham Clinton, fresh off a campaign-saving comeback, hinted Wednesday at the possibility of sharing the Democratic presidential ticket with Barack Obama - with her at the top. Asked on CBS's "The Early Show" whether she and Obama should be on the same ticket, Clinton said: "That may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket.
· Update: Vermont towns vote to arrest Bush and Cheney. Voters in two Vermont towns on Tuesday approved a measure that would instruct police to arrest President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for "crimes against our Constitution." The measure instructs town police to "extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them."
· Makers of Airborne Settle False-Ad Suit With Refunds. The makers of Airborne, a line of popular herbal supplements that was marketed as a “miracle cold buster,” have decided to settle the false-advertising complaints in a class-action lawsuit for $23.3 million, according to one of the plaintiffs in the suit. Airborne said that a double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted with “care and professionalism” by a company specializing in clinical trial management, GNG Pharmaceutical Services. GNG is actually a two-man operation started up just to do the Airborne study.
· Clinton Scores 3 Wins; McCain Clinches Nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton scored three victories in a night of revival that denied Barack Obama a ripe opportunity to drive her from the Democratic presidential race. Clarity came only to the Republican side, where John McCain made the nomination his own.
· FCC looks into "60 Minutes" blackout. The Federal Communications Commission is investigating a mysterious signal loss by an Alabama CBS affiliate during a "60 Minutes" segment about the state's imprisoned former governor. The news item concerned allegations that Don Siegelman, a Democrat who is serving a seven-year term for corruption, was railroaded by Republicans in the Justice Department.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
· Woman killed by train while marking anniversary of father's death. A California woman who sheriff's officials say was commemorating the one-year anniversary of her father's death was struck and killed by a freight train Monday night.
· Vermont Town Votes on Bush 'Indictment.' Voters in Brattleboro, Vermont town are deciding Tuesday whether to approve a measure calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on charges of violating the Constitution.
· Is the media love fest with Obama over? The day before primaries in Ohio and Texas that could effectively seal the Democratic presidential nomination for him, a smiling Obama strode out to a news conference at a veterans facility in San Antonio. But the grin was quickly replaced by the surprised look of a man bitten by his own dog. Reporters from the Associated Press and Reuters went after him for his false denial that a campaign aide had held a secret meeting with Canadian officials over Obama's trade policy. A trio of Chicago reporters pummeled him with questions about the corruption trial this week of a friend and supporter.
· Cop's wife gets life for love triangle murder. A woman who donned a black mask, ordered her ex-lover's wife to her knees and shot her twice in the head was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday.
· Washington Soldier Accused of Killing 2, Pouring Acid on Bodies. A Fort Lewis soldier killed two other soldiers — a married couple — and poured acid on their bodies in an attempt to dispose of them, a prosecutor said Monday. Spc. Ivette Gonzalez Davila, 22, was ordered held without bond for investigation of aggravated first-degree murder as well as kidnapping.
· Hitchhiker Asks Woman Doing Good Deed Where She'd Like To Die. A Central Florida woman who said she was trying to do a good deed by offering a ride to a hitchhiker said she was attacked and asked where she would like to die before escaping. The mother of two children, who asked not to be named, told police that she was leaving a bar in Orange County Sunday when she offered the man a ride.
· Police: Woman Borrows Gun, Kills Husband. A woman is accused of borrowing a gun from a neighbor and then shooting and killing her husband Monday in their home south of Macclenny, according to the Baker County Sheriff's Office.
· Millions awarded in Jackson taping suit. The owner of a air charter service was ordered to pay attorney Mark Geragos and an associate several million dollars for ordering the secret videotaping of Michael Jackson and the lawyers as they flew with the pop star to his surrender on molestation charges in 2003. Superior Court Judge Soussan G. Bruguera ordered XtraJet owner Jeffrey Borer and his company to pay Geragos at least $10 million and possibly up to $18 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
· Noose Left In Family's Front Yard Tree; Boy Arrested. A 15-year-old Oviedo boy was arrested Sunday on suspicion he put a hangman's noose in a new neighbor's front yard tree in an apparent attempt to intimidate the family.
Monday, March 3, 2008
· Man Killed In Wendy's Shooting Went Back For Child's Toy. A man killed during a random shooting at a West Palm Beach Wendy's restaurant was a fire-rescue lieutenant waiting in line to get a forgotten toy for his child, authorities said.
· Man Dies After Falling On Knife While Cooking. A man was killed Sunday when he burned himself and then fell on a knife he was holding, all in front of his 8- and 10-year-old sons, according to the Anderson County coroner. Chief Deputy Coroner Charlie Boseman said that Michael Downing, 32, was grilling food for himself and his sons Sunday afternoon, when he burned his hand on the grill. Downing was holding a steak knife at the time, and while reacting to being burned, he tripped and fell onto the knife.
· $2 million homes burn on 'Street of Dreams.' Five luxury homes burned today north of Seattle in what could be a case of ecoterrorism, officials said. A sign with the letters "ELF" was found in the "Street of Dreams" development. ELF may stand for Earth Liberation Front, which the FBI has called an ecoterrorist group.
· Chicago now highest taxed city in the nation. Early Saturday, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger struck a deal with board members, who approved a 1 percent increase in the sales tax - driving Chicago's overall sales tax to double digits at 10.25 percent, easily among the highest of any big city.
· Topless Protester Sues Daytona Beach. An Ormond Beach woman who exposed her breasts to protest laws that bar women from publicly going topless has filed a lawsuit claiming she was falsely arrested twice.
· Wal-Mart opens Arab-America store in Dearborn. As Arwa Hamad strolls a new Wal-Mart, an eight-foot display of olive oil stops her in her tracks. "Oh, wow," she says, marveling at the sight of so many gallons of Lebanese extra virgin. "We could go through one of these in a week in my house." Hamad, 34, has shopped at Wal-Mart before, but never one like this. She is overcome with nostalgia as she spots Nido powdered milk and Al Haloub Cow, canned meat she calls the "Arabic Spam."
· Queens Building Uses 'Mosquito' To Quiet Teens. Teenagers who hang out inside one apartment building in Queens are getting an earful these days. A new security device called 'The Mosquito' has been installed in the lobby of a building on 170th St. where there have been chronic problems with noisy teens. The wall-mounted device emits a high-frequency screech that can only be heard by people aged 13 to 25. Most older people cannot hear it.
· Obama Adviser Denies Trade Remarks. Barack Obama's senior economic policy adviser said Sunday that Canadian government officials wrote an inaccurate portrayal of his private discussion on the campaign's trade policy in a memo obtained by The Associated Press. Obama advisor Austan Goolsbee disputed a section on NAFTA that read: "Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign. He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."
· White House aide resigns over plagiarism. A White House official who served as President Bush's middleman with conservatives and Christian groups resigned Friday after admitting to plagiarism. Twenty columns he wrote for an Indiana newspaper were determined to have material copied from other sources without attribution.
· Some crack convicts could soon be set free. New sentencing guidelines were expected to lead Monday to the early release of more than a dozen federal inmates convicted on crack-cocaine charges. Approximately 1,600 federal inmates are currently eligible to ask a court to reduce their sentences because of December's decision by a federal agency to make retroactive reduced sentences for some crack-cocaine related convictions.
· Gun that killed JFK assassin in pop culture auction. It is billed as the best pop culture collection ever assembled - ranging from the gun used to kill the assassin of President John F. Kennedy to the Wicked Witch of the West's hat from "The Wizard of Oz."
Sunday, March 2, 2008
· Police: Dating ban teen may have led to killings. A teenage daughter's anger over not being allowed to date a boy may have led to the killing of her mother and brothers, police said. All were shot and stabbed, and the family home burned to the ground. Four teenagers, including the girl, have been charged with murder.
· Cab driver arrested in abandoned baby case. A cabdriver who dropped off a baby at a firehouse, claiming someone had left her in his car, was arrested Saturday and charged with making up the tale to help an overwhelmed family abandon the child.
· Man Blames Wife Beating On Gas Prices. A 77-year-old man told a deputy he roughed up his 74-year-old wife because he was upset about the high cost of gas for driving her to and from dialysis treatments, according to police.
· Utah home search planned in ricin case. FBI agents hope to search a Utah house linked to a man whose hospitalization led to the discovery of deadly ricin in a motel room he had occupied. Roger Von Bergendorff, the focus of the investigation, had lived in the house near Salt Lake City for than a year before moving to Las Vegas about a year ago.
· Lawmakers blast Boeing defense contract snub. US lawmakers have reacted angrily after the US military awarded a 35-billion-dollar aircraft deal to Europe's Northrop Grumman/EADS group, in a major blow to US manufacturers Boeing. "It's stunning to me that we would outsource the production of these airplanes to Europe instead of building them in America," said Republican Senator Sam Brownback about the Pentagon's decision.
· Rapper 'Shocked' by Daughter's Killing. The rap star Juvenile is "shocked and devastated" by the shooting death of his young daughter, the girl's mother and another child, his manager said Saturday. The 32-year-old rapper is still trying to cope with the death of 4-year-old Jelani; her mother, 39-year-old Joy Deleston; and the woman's daughter Micaiah, 11, whose bodies were found Thursday night in their home, said manager Aubrey Francis.
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."
· Nicholson films make case for Clinton. He was The Joker in Batman, but Jack Nicholson says he wasn't fooling around when he said in "A Few Good Men" that there was nothing sexier than saluting a woman. Nicholson, who is backing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, took his endorsement to the Internet on Saturday with a humorous collection of clips that put his support into the mouths of his most film famous characters.
· Ship Built With WTC Steel Christened. The Navy has a new amphibious assault ship as part of its fleet, one that was made with special material. The USS New York was built with scrap steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center. It was christened Saturday as a source of strength and inspiration for the nation.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
· Students Punished After Buying Lunch With Pennies. It's plastered on their shirts and these eighth graders wear it proudly because on Thursday they pulled a prank at the Readington Middle School, paying for their lunches entirely in pennies.
· Toxin mystery at Las Vegas motel deepens. As police tried to piece together how a rare, deadly poison ended up in a motel for transients, the 57-year-old man who could hold the key lay unconscious in a hospital. Adding to the mystery, police said firearms and an "anarchist type textbook" were found in the same room where the ricin was discovered two days later.
· Food Network Cans "Impossible" Chef. "Dinner: Impossible" chef Robert Irvine has been fired from the Food Network's kitchen. After it was discovered that Robert lied about his credentials - including having designed Princess Diana's wedding cake - Food Network honchos investigated the situation and today released a statement saying they "have not renewed Robert's contract for future seasons."
· 'Girls Gone Wild' Founder's Trial Delayed. A federal judge postponed the tax evasion trial of "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis on Friday but did not immediately rule on whether the racy filmmaker could be released from jail. The judge also granted a defense request to postpone the tax trial until August. He also said he would rule in the "very near future" on a revised bail proposal an attorney for Francis said would end Francis' legal limbo that has kept him in jail for nearly a year.
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."
· Boeing loses in $40B Air Force tanker deal. The U.S. Air Force on Friday announced one of the largest military acquisition programs in U.S. history, saying the service had chosen Northrop Grumman over Boeing to replace its aging air refueling tanker fleet. The announcement was a surprise to many in the business industry who expected Boeing to be favored over the company, which will use a European company's airframe, Airbus, for the tanker.
· Broadway actor sentenced in sex case. A Broadway actor who played the beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail and three years' probation for sexual encounters with a 15-year-old drama student.
· Frank Sinatra Jr. gets Palm Springs star. Frank Sinatra Jr. has joined his famous dad and sister on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. The 64-year-old singer received star No. 307 on Palm Canyon Drive.
Friday, February 29, 2008
· Boy, 17, charged with killing deputy mom, 2 sisters. A 17-year-old boy was arrested Friday and charged with killing his mother, who was a sheriff's deputy, and his two small sisters, authorities said. Anthony Tyrone Terrell Jr. was charged with murder in the shooting deaths at the family home near Lawrenceville, Georgia.
· Update: Man in critical condition after deadly toxin ricin found in his Las Vegas motel room. Police say a man is in critical condition after the deadly toxin ricin was found in his Las Vegas motel room. Las Vegas police Lt. Lewis Roberts says the man has been in a coma since he was found in his room at the Extended Stay America Motel on Thursday. He's one of seven people hospitalized after the ricin was discovered.
· Florida outage caused by 'human error.' While still preliminary, the results of an investigation by FPL revealed on Friday that human error was the primary factor immediately responsible for the power outage. The final count of customers affected totaled 584,000 customers.
· Bank robber returns money, says sorry. Saying sorry wasn't enough for a Brooklyn bank robber who returned the stolen cash Thursday. After robbing a bank of $1,000 Friday, Catherine Kaczanowski, 48, came back to hand $700 to a teller, said Detective Harry Antoine of the NYPD major crime squad.
· Treasury secretary wants to dump pennies. A penny for your thoughts? Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson thinks the answer to that question should be not much. In fact, if he had his way, he would like to get rid of the penny.
· Body of model found in Paris river. The body of Katoucha Niane, one of the first African women to attain international stardom as a model and a vocal opponent of female genital mutilation, was found in the Seine River, police said Friday. Known simply as Katoucha, the former top model for Yves Saint Laurent and other top designers was found Thursday near the Garigliano bridge in Paris, judicial police in Paris said.
· Time Magazine: Why Is Obama's Middle Name Taboo? John McCain couldn't apologize quickly enough after Bill Cunningham, a conservative talk radio host, warmed up a Cincinnati rally with a few loaded references to "Barack Hussein Obama." Asked afterwards if it was appropriate to use the Senator's middle name, McCain said, "No, it is not. Any comment that is disparaging of either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is totally inappropriate." So who gets to say Hussein? At the Oscars, host Jon Stewart took innuendo about as far as it can go, saying that Barack Hussein Obama running today is like a 1940's candidate named Gaydolph Titler.
· State Democrats say Clinton camp may sue. The Texas Democratic Party warned Thursday that election night caucuses scheduled for Tuesday could be delayed or disrupted after aides to Hillary Rodham Clinton threatened to sue over the party's complicated delegate selection process.
· Deadly toxin found at Las Vegas hotel. Police in Las Vegas, Nevada, are investigating the discovery of ricin at a hotel room on Thursday. Authorities were called to an Extended Stay America hotel around 3 p.m. after a man brought a bag holding a small container to the manager's office. The man said he found it while retrieving items from a hotel room. It's "100 percent ricin," said Capt. Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
· Singer dies days before Hall of Fame induction. Dave Clark Five lead singer Mike Smith died of pneumonia Thursday, less than two weeks before the band is to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was 64.
· Woman Gives Birth To Child Nearly Her Own Size. A northern Kentucky woman believes she is the smallest woman who ever gave birth to such a large baby. Stacey Herald, 33, gave birth to an 18-inch daughter who is not much smaller than her mother. “I'm 28 1/2 inches, head to heel,” said Herald, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta.
· Vermont latest to eye lower drinking age. More than two decades after the country established a uniform drinking age of 21, a nascent movement is afoot to allow 18- to 20-year-olds to legally buy alcohol under some circumstances.
· Prince Harry pulled out of Afghanistan after news of his deployment was leaked. British news organizations say the army is pulling Prince Harry out of Afghanistan after news of his deployment was leaked in the press. The BBC on Friday quoted military sources as saying Harry would be sent home after 10 weeks serving on the front lines.
· Australian magazine broke Prince Harry story. Australians angrily condemned the decision of a weekly women's magazine to break the news blackout on Prince Harry's deployment to Afghanistan. The story was published in Australian tabloid magazine New Idea last month but not followed up by other media. New Idea's website was flooded with readers expressing their fury and calling for the resignation of its editor.
· Anchor uses own newscast to unveil run for office, stirs criticism. Longtime KEZI Portland anchor Rick Dancer led off the 11 o'clock news with word that a Republican had announced his candidacy for Oregon secretary of state. The candidate: Rick Dancer.
· Arrest Made In Little League Break-In. An 18-year-old was arrested on Thursday in connection to the break-in and theft of items, including cash, cand and equipment, from the Oviedo Little League concession stand.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
· FBI opens inquiry into Clemens' testimony. The FBI has launched an investigation into whether baseball great Roger Clemens perjured himself in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee earlier this month.
· Ex-con gets life in CNN Center shooting. An ex-con who spent four years in prison for a fatal robbery in Florida will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted Wednesday of killing his ex-girlfriend at the CNN headquarters complex last April.
· 'Dumb as bricks' robbers target biker meeting. Two masked and machete-wielding men who barged into a club in Sydney, Australia, couldn't have picked a worse night for their robbery - a monthly meeting of bikers. About 50 burly bikers fought back with tables and chairs - pretty much anything that wasn't bolted down. One would-be robber was tied up; the other is in the hospital.
· Newborn survives fall through train toilet. A newborn baby girl fell through the toilet in a moving train and onto the tracks moments after her mother prematurely gave birth, surviving nearly two hours before being found, relatives said Thursday.
· Man Accused Of Targeting Women Online To Cash Bad Checks Arrested. Police in West Jordan, Utah have arrested a man suspected of scamming thousands of dollars from young women. Several women have lost in excess of $30,000. All the women were targeted on myspace.com.
· McCain's birthplace prompts queries about whether he can be president. The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain, his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate.
· Drunk man on riding lawnmower leads officers on low-speed chase. Authorities in Vancouver, Wa. are deciding whether the driver of a riding lawnmower can be charged with drunken driving. The 53-year-old man was arrested Monday after leading police on a 3 mph chase.
· Another wheel chair dumping incident at jail. "That's humiliating to treat him this way." That's how paraplegic Benjamin Rayburn's mother, Vivian, describes this latest wheel chair dumping at the Orient Road Jail. In this incident from October of 2006, four deputies dumped Rayburn onto the floor. They let him lie there, took away his wheel chair and then did nothing as he tried to get up and fell back to the floor.
· Woman Found Naked After SUV Crash. A woman was listed in stable condition Wednesday after she was found unconscious and naked on the side of state Road 408 following a crash involving the sport utility vehicle in which she was riding, Orlando police said.
· House OKs new taxes on big oil companies. The House approved $18 billion in new taxes on the largest oil companies Wednesday as Democrats cited record oil prices and rising gasoline costs in a time of economic troubles. Republicans said the measure unfairly targeted a single industry. "It punishes the oil and gas industry. This is wrongheaded. It will result in higher prices at the gasoline pump. It's spiteful and wrong," said Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La.
· Dover to Sell Home Where Authorities Found Body, Cats. A house in West Dover where police found a body and 150 cats, may soon go up for auction. Authorities said Pamela and Candy Haas kept their dead mother in a container in the home while collecting her social security benefits.
· Whoopi Goldberg accepts Oscar apology. Whoopi Goldberg has accepted an apology from producer Gil Cates for not including her in a montage featuring Oscar hosts during Sunday's Academy Awards telecast. Cates called her Tuesday and "talked about the fact that he had made an oversight, pure and simple.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
· Man Caught by Police While Having Sex with 11-year-old Girl. A South Florida man accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's pre-teen daughter for years was reportedly "caught in the act" on Tuesday by a Miramar police officer. 35-year old Donald Edward Johnson was arrested and charged with sexual battery on a victim under 12 years old. During questioning by detectives, Johnson allegedly admitted to having sexual relations with the girl since she was 7 years old.
· Killer ex-cop gets life, no parole for 57 years. A former Canton, Ohio, police officer who killed his pregnant girlfriend was sentenced today to life in prison with no chance of parole for 57 years. By then, Bobby Cutts Jr. will be 87 years old.
· "Dateline" to be judged by jury. A New York judge has refused to throw out a $100 million lawsuit brought by the family of District Attorney Louis "Bill" Contradt Jr., who committed suicide after police, accompanied by a camera crew from "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator," showed up at his house to arrest him. Police say Conradt solicited sex from a decoy online posing as a 13-year-old boy as part of a sting operation conducted jointly by "Dateline NBC" and the internet watch dog group Perverted Justice.
· Dead Baby Found On Hospital's Driveway. The body of an infant girl was found by a hospital security guard Tuesday night. Denver police said the infant, which appeared to be white or Hispanic, was found in a basket in front of an emergency call box at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.
· William F. Buckley Jr. dies. William F. Buckley Jr., the erudite Ivy Leaguer and conservative herald who showered huge and scornful words on liberalism as he observed, abetted and cheered on the right's post-World War II rise from the fringes to the White House, died Wednesday. He was 82.
· Snake eats family dog as kids watch. A 16-foot python stalked a family dog for days before swallowing the pet whole in front of horrified children in the Australian tropics, animal experts said Wednesday.
· Update: Mayor loses job after posing in underwear. The mayor of a small Oregon town who came under fire for racy pictures of her posted on the Internet was recalled in a close vote Monday. According to the person who spearheaded the recall drive, Ron Miller, the vote was 142 in favor and 139 against the recall of Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist. She came under fire after she posted photos of herself posed in lingerie on a fire truck on her MySpace page.
· Anderson Seeks to Annul 2-Month Marriage. Court documents show that Pamela Anderson is seeking an annulment, rather than a divorce, from husband Rick Salomon. The actress is seeking to annul the two-month marriage based on fraud. No other details were available, and Anderson's publicist did not immediately return an e-mail request for comment Tuesday.
· Stolen key helped N.C. students cheat for years. North Carolina school officials busted a years-long cheating ring in which high school students used a master key to enter teachers' offices at night and, in at least one case, used a camera phone to copy exam answers. The cheating apparently went on for several years, with the key being passed from one year's graduates to the next and with an ever larger circle of students keeping the secret.
Word of The Day by WordThink
feckless [feck·less] adj. 1. Careless and irresponsible. "The kids were feckless during spring break." 2. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective - unlikely to be successful. "It was a feckless attempt to make the company a success."
· Ohio school suspends boy over haircut. A kindergarten student with a freshly spiked Mohawk has been suspended from school. Michelle Barile, the mother of 6-year-old Bryan Ruda, said nothing in the Parma Community School handbook prohibits the haircut, characterized by closely shaved sides with a strip of prominent hair on top.
· Sex-change therapy denied, killer claims. A killer who sued to have a sex change claims her body is becoming more masculine again because she's being denied treatment in prison as she awaits a ruling in her bid for the surgery.
· McCain Repudiates ‘Hussein Obama’ Remarks. A conservative radio talk show host who helped introduce Senator John McCain before a rally here Tuesday used Senator Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times, while disparaging him, prompting Mr. McCain to apologize and repudiate the comments afterward.
· Michael Jackson's Neverland Auction Set. Want Michael Jackson's merry-go-round? How about his locomotive, or his curtains? Those items and more could hit the auction block next month as the pop star's Neverland Ranch will be put up for public sale unless he pays the more than $24 million he still owes on the property, according to a Tuesday court filing.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
· Man brings gun to snowball fight. A teenager was fatally shot by a neighbor who became enraged after he was hit by a snowball, police said. Teven Rutledge was having a snowball fight with a friend on Sunday, his 16th birthday. They hit a neighbor, who came back with a gun and shot the boy in the head, according to police.
· Man Trying to Unfreeze Door Sets Fire. Authorities in Green Bay say a man was trying to unfreeze a door to a shed that had frozen shut. Authorities are involved because the man used a blow torch for the job. He unfroze the door. The man also set the shed on fire.
· Gotti: The Last Photo. Here's the last photo ever taken of John Gotti, the murderous degenerate who once headed the Gambino crime family. Gotti, the so-called Dapper Don, posed for the Bureau of Prisons photo on October 17, 2001, less than eight months before he died, at age 61, at the federal prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri.
· Latest Scare: Energy-Saving Bulbs Pose Health Risks. Energy-saving, spiral fluorescent bulbs that may help in the battle against global warming could pose a health risk to babies, small children and pregnant women, according to two new studies.
· Teens accused of beating disabled woman. Two teenagers hid overnight in a house and spent more than six hours torturing a disabled woman after her mother left in the morning, authorities said. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said the teenage boy and girl tied up the 18-year-old woman, clubbed her, kicked her, shaved her head and soaked her with water before making her walk barefoot outside in the snow.
· 'Doomsday' seed vault opens in Norway. A vast underground vault storing millions of seeds from around the world has opened in a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Ocean. Dubbed the "Doomsday Vault," the seed bank is considered the ultimate safety net for the world's seed collections, protecting them from a wide range of threats including war, natural disasters, lack of funding or simply poor agricultural management.
· Pfizer pulls TV ads with heart expert Jarvik. Pfizer Inc said on Monday it was pulling television advertisements for its Lipitor cholesterol drug featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart, because they created "misimpressions." The commercials, which portray Jarvik in various outdoor activities, also raised eyebrows after news reports that a stunt double was used in a scene with a man rowing across a lake.
· Oscar Snub Leaves Whoopi Sad, Choked Up. Whoopi Goldberg seemed sad and choked up on "The View" Monday when her fellow co-hosts discussed how she was not included in a montage featuring Oscar hosts during the Academy Awards telecast. Goldberg appeared stumped that the academy would leave her out of the one clip, as well as repeat host Steve Martin.
· Will dig find Nazi treasure or fool's gold? Digging will resume Tuesday at a site in the southeastern German town of Deutschneudorf, where treasure hunters believe there are almost 2 tons of Nazi gold and possibly clues to the whereabouts of the legendary Amber Room, a prize taken from a Russian castle during World War II.
· Valerie Bertinelli: I Cheated, Too. Valerie Bertinelli says despite her girl-next-door image, her marriage to Eddie Van Halen was hurt by infidelity and drug use - by her, too. "I wasn't an angel, either. I cheated, too," Bertinelli said on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" broadcast Monday. "He claims to this day that I cheated first, but I don't know. I don't know about the timing."
· Indicted Arizona congressman says he won't resign. Republican Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona said Monday that he will not step down after recently being indicted. A grand jury in Arizona indicted Renzi on charges that he promised to support legislation in exchange for a land deal that netted him more than $700,000, the Justice Department says.
· Man dies after shark attack off Florida. An Austrian tourist died Monday after being bitten by a shark while diving near the Bahamas in waters that had been baited with bloody fish parts to attract the predators.
· Bob Geldof says bigger than Condi Rice. John Lennon once said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, but rocker-turned-activist Bob Geldof has a somewhat more modest target - he says he's more powerful than Condoleezza Rice.
Monday, February 25, 2008
· Obama photo causes stir. A photograph circulating in the Internet of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama dressed in traditional local garments during a visit to Kenya in 2006 is causing a dustup in the presidential campaign over what constitutes a smear. The Associated Press photograph portrays Obama wearing a white turban and a wraparound white robe.
· Dad Says Demons Made Him Throw Child From Bridge. According to court documents, a Baltimore father accused of throwing his young son from the Francis Scott Key Bridge told police that demons made him do it. Stephen Nelson, 37, is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of 3-year-old Turner Jordan Nelson. The boy's body has not been found.
· Restaurant Owner Claims Record With 134-Pound Burger. A Detroit area restaurant owner believes he broke the Guiness World Record for "largest hamburger commercially available." After 12 hours of preparation and baking, the 134-pound burger emerged at Mallie's Sports Bar and Grill on Saturday.
· FCC fines Fox stations for raunchy reality show. The Federal Communications Commission has rejected Fox's arguments that an episode of the defunct reality program "Married to America" did not violate the nation's indecency laws because offending body parts were pixilized.
· Passenger dies after pleas for help are refused. An American Airlines passenger died after a flight attendant told her he couldn't give her any oxygen and then tried to help her with faulty equipment, including an empty oxygen tank, a relative said.
· Bank of America loses a million customer records. A "small" number of backup tapes with records detailing the financial information of government employees were lost in shipment to a backup center, Bank of America said on Friday.
· Thomas silent as Supreme Court talks on and on. Two years and 142 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up. It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries.
· Mother Charged With Murdering Her Children. A single mother on Long Island will be arraigned Monday on murder charges in the deaths of her three small children. Police arrested 27-year-old Leatrice Brewer in her hospital bed a dozen hours after she led police to a grisly scene at her home.
· Teachers strike back at students' online pranks. Tech-savvy teenagers are increasingly paying a heavy price – including criminal arrest – for parodying their teachers on the Internet. Tired of fat jokes and false accusations of teacher-lounge partying or worse, teachers and principals are fighting back against digital ridicule and slander by their students – often with civil lawsuits and long-term suspensions or permanent expulsions.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
· 8-Year-Old Robbed Woman. An 8-year-old boy is accused of strong-arm robbery after a woman said he stole her purse, according to police. The victim told police the boy came up behind her while she was loading her car, took her purse and ran off.
· Police: Boyfriend on roof punches weaving driver. A man fighting with his girlfriend clung to a car roof and punched her through the window as she drove more than a mile on a busy road, hitting several other cars, police said.
· Florida DUI Rehab Director arrested for .336 DUI. The director of the Comprehensive Offender Rehabilitation and Education program established to provide classes for people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was suspended from her job Wednesday in the wake of her DUI arrest Monday. Margot "Peggy" Cioffi, 59, had a blood alcohol level of 0.336. The legal driving limit in Florida is 0.08 percent.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Systemic [sys·tem·ic] adj. A systemic problem or change is a basic one, experienced by the whole of an organization or a country and not just particular parts of it: "The recession was the result of a systemic change within the structure of the country's economy."
· Bronx tot critically hurt by flying golf club amid family fight. Police say a man wielding a golf club in a household dispute seriously hurt his 6-month-old granddaughter when the club head broke off and smacked into her as she sat in her stroller.
· Nader to Discuss Election Plans. Ralph Nader could be poised for another third party presidential campaign. The consumer advocate will appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday to announce whether he will launch another White House bid. Nader kicked off his 2004 presidential run on the show.
· Girl saves siblings as fire destroys house. As flames consumed her home and prevented her parents from rescuing her and two younger siblings, a quick-thinking 12-year-old girl saved the other children Saturday by kicking out a second-story window and helping them down, firefighters said.
· Man Accused of Stealing 7-Year-Old's ID. Police in a Chicago suburb say the Internal Revenue Service has told a 7-year-old boy he owes back taxes on $60,000 because someone else has been using the youngster's identity to collect wages and unemployment benefits.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
· New York Times editor blames slow-witted readers for dustup over McCain article. The embattled executive editor of the New York Times defended its John McCain story Friday with a novel explanation for the flood of critical e-mails the newspaper received: slow-witted readers. "I was surprised by how lopsided the opinion was against our decision, with readers who described themselves as independents and Democrats joining Republicans in defending Mr. McCain from what they saw as a cheap shot," editor Bill Keller said. The problem, Keller went on, is that readers didn't get it.
· Update: Woman charged in bus crash is illegal immigrant using fake ID. The woman charged in Tuesday’s deadly Lakeview School bus crash is an illegal immigrant using a fake name and false ID, authorities said Friday at a news conference in Cottonwood, Minnesota.
· Bank accidentally gives man $5 million. A man was charged with withdrawing $2 million from an account after a bank confused him with a man who has the same name. Benjamin Lovell was arraigned Tuesday on grand larceny charges. The 48-year-old salesman said he tried to tell officials at Commerce Bank in December that he did not have a $5 million account. Lovell said he was told it was his and he could withdraw the money.
· Will Smith wins libel pay out over Hitler slur. Hollywood actor Will Smith won a public apology and damages in London's High Court Friday over a false allegation that he had described the former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as a "good person."
· Black Crowes Say Maxim Review a Fraud. The Black Crowes are lashing out at Maxim magazine for reviewing the band's new album - apparently without actually hearing it first. The band's manager, Pete Angelus, said the magazine explained that its review was an "educated guess." "It speaks directly to the lack of the publication's credibility," Angelus said in a statement. "In my opinion, it's a disgrace to the arts, journalism, critics, the publication itself and the public. What's next - Maxim's concert reviews of shows they never attended, book reviews of books never read and film reviews of films never seen?"
· Super-speed Internet satellite blasts off in Japan. Japan launched a rocket Saturday carrying a satellite that will test new technology that promises to deliver "super high-speed Internet" service to homes and businesses around the world. The Associated Press said the satellite would offer speeds of up to 1.2 gigabytes per second.
· Spears Allowed to Visit Young Sons. Kevin Federline on Friday agreed to give ex-wife Britney Spears visitation rights with their two young sons, nearly two months after the troubled pop star last saw them, his representatives said.
· Lohan Settles Lawsuit With Busboy. A busboy looking to clean up has settled a lawsuit against Lindsay Lohan over a 2005 car crash. Lohan's Mercedes-Benz collided with Ortega's van as he was making a turn in October 2005. Though the California Highway Patrol concluded that Ortega caused the crash by making an illegal U-turn, he sued Lohan seeking at least $200,000 in damages.
· $1.2 billion stealth crashes. A B-2 stealth bomber plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on Saturday, the first time one crashed, but both pilots ejected safely, Air Force officials said.
Friday, February 22, 2008
· Woman Charged in Minn. Bus Crash Deaths. The driver of a van that hit a school bus in a crash that killed four children was charged Friday with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two lesser charges, Minneapolis authorities said. The woman told investigators she was from Mexico, and immigration officials believe she is in the country illegally.
· Man Runs Over Wife After Fight Over Who Drives Home. A Central Florida woman was critically injured early Friday when her husband ran over her in a Publix supermarket parking lot minutes after they fought over who would drive home from a bar, according to police. "For whatever reason, she decided to lie in the parking lot," Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Channing Taylor said. "He was looking for her on the sidewalk."
· Superdelegates Jump to Obama. The Democratic superdelegates are starting to follow the voters—straight to Barack Obama. In just the past two weeks, more than two dozen of them have climbed aboard his presidential campaign, according to a survey by The Associated Press.
· Jury: Letter was 'road map' to murderer. Julie Jensen's words from the grave provided the key evidence to convince jurors that her husband was guilty of murdering her with poison, they said. "She left a road map to her murder," juror Sandra Schott said. "And her murderer."
· Officer in Clinton motorcade killed in accident. A police officer was killed Friday in a motorcycle accident as Sen. Hillary Clinton's motorcade made its way through downtown Dallas, the presidential candidate said.
· More questions than answers in firefighters' deaths. Drugs and alcohol did not play a role in the deaths of two Boston firefighters who died in a West Roxbury restaurant fire in August, according to a report released on Friday that was conducted by a Boston Fire Department inquiry board. But a top Boston Fire Department official said the board's report raises more questions than it answers. In a letter to city officials obtained by the Boston Herald, Boston Fire Department Commissioner Roderick Fraser cast doubt on his own department's report, saying investigators did not examine toxicology or autopsy reports and relied on firefighter interviews.
· Arizona GOP lawmaker indicted. Rep. Rick Renzi was indicted Friday on multiple federal charges, law enforcement sources tell CNN. In a 35-count indictment handed up by a grand jury in Arizona, Renzi is charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering extortion and insurance fraud.
· Clinton Donors Worried by Campaign’s Spending. Nearly $100,000 went for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, even though the partying mood evaporated quickly. Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000. And top consultants collected about $5 million in January. Even small expenses piled up in January: the campaign spent more than $11,000 on pizza and $1,200 on Dunkin’ Donuts runs.
· Security relaxed at Obama speech, crowd seemed "friendly." The Secret Service told Dallas police to stop screening for weapons while 17,000 people were arriving at a campaign rally for Barack Obama, a report said. Police said they stopped checking people for weapons at the front gates of Reunion Arena, adding that the crowd seemed "friendly."
· Death of former cop's third wife ruled a homicide. A pathologist has determined that the death of the third wife of former police Sgt. Drew Peterson was a homicide, James Glasgow, the state's attorney in Will County, said Thursday. "We have been investigating this as a murder since reopening the case in November of last year," Glasgow said in a written statement. "We now have a scientific basis to formally and publicly classify it as such."
· Kirstie Alley denies weight-gain stories; may 'litigate' to end rumors. Kirstie Alley, whose weight woes have been tabloid fodder for years, says rumors that she has regained the weight she lost on Jenny Craig are "not true."
· Professor who had noose on door reprimanded for plagiarism. Columbia University said Thursday it has sanctioned for plagiarism the African-American professor on whose office door a noose was found last fall. Madonna Constantine, professor of psychology and education at the university's Teachers College, was not dismissed, the university said.
· Woman, “tired of looking at it,” burns down city building. An Oklahoma woman is in jail facing arson charges after authorities say she burned a city building. While the arson charges are serious, authorities say her reasoning behind the crime is rather strange. “After interviewing the suspect she had stated to the effect she was tired of looking at the old building."
· Landlord gets creative with rental ad. When it comes to finding renters, Ace Holland hasn't had very good luck. He says after kicking out three tenants because of drug use he was going to make it clear to future renters: if you use drugs, he won't be renting to you. "They can afford to do their drugs but they can't afford to pay their rent." So Holland didn't just put up an ordinary 'for rent' sign, he made one of his own. "If you want to rent this place, you have to be willing to take and pass a drug test."
· Scam bilked California seniors out of $190 million. William Miller dreamed of traveling to Italy with his wife and fixing up their modest house with the money he saved while working for 36 years for Chevron Corp. Instead, he lost $450,000 — half his retirement nest egg — after investing with a company that authorities later said netted more than $190 million in a huge Ponzi scheme targeting seniors.
· Clinton: Obama 'Change You Can Xerox.' Hillary Rodham Clinton accused presidential rival Barack Obama of political plagiarism Thursday night, but drew boos from a Democratic debate audience when she ridiculed him as the candidate of "change you can Xerox."
· Daytime dozing may be warning sign of stroke. Older people who have significant trouble staying awake during the day have more than four times the normal risk of having a stroke, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. They also found a higher risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems in seniors who regularly nod off during the day without planning to.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
· Cops: Addict coaxed to make fatal jump. A man has been charged with coaxing a mentally deficient crack addict to jump from a building for money or drugs. Police said Anthony Morris Jr., 28, coaxed 44-year-old Melvin Brown to jump from a two-story building last March. Brown died of a skull fracture the next day.
· Apostrophes in names stir lot o' trouble. It can stop you from voting, destroy your dental appointments, make it difficult to rent a car or book a flight, even interfere with your college exams. More than 50 years into the Information Age, computers are still getting confused by the apostrophe. It's a problem familiar to O'Connors, D'Angelos, N'Dours and D'Artagnans across America.
· New lawsuit from Duke lacrosse team. More than three dozen members of the 2006 Duke University men's lacrosse team and members of their families filed suit against Duke University, its President Richard Brodhead and other officials, Duke's medical center, and the City of Durham and city officials for emotional distress and other injuries in connection with false rape charges and a corrupt police investigation against team members in 2006.
· Utah students hide guns, head to class. The student gets dressed and decides which gun to conceal under his clothes. "After Virginia Tech, I thought 'I'm not going to be a victim,' " he said, explaining why he takes advantage of Utah laws permitting students to carry guns on campus.
· McCain: Reports on lobbyist a 'smear.' Sen. John McCain, responding to published reports about his relationship with a lobbyist, says he "will not allow a smear campaign" to distract from his presidential campaign. The New York Times quoted anonymous aides as saying they had urged McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman to stay away from each other prior to his failed presidential campaign in 2000.
· Airline Passenger Had Box Cutter In Hollowed-Out Book. A 21-year-old Clearwater man was arrested at Tampa International Airport this weekend after security personnel found a box cutter in a hollowed-out book, authorities said. Officers also found books in the man's backpack titled "Muhammad in the Bible," "The Prophet's Prayer" and "The Noble Qur'an."
· Organizer of green card-marriage scam gets sentenced. A woman has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for organizing a green card-marriage scam for hundreds of immigrants in New York City. Federal authorities say she accepted anywhere from $8,000 to $16,000 from people who needed green cards to stay in the U.S.
· Barack Obama pauses during campaign speech to blow his nose. Audience breaks out in applause. It's probably safe to say that you have arrived as a politician when your audience applauds when you blow your nose.
· Google to Store Patients' Health Records. Google will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as it tests a long-awaited health service that's likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search leader.
· FAA Investigates Whether go! Pilots Fell Asleep During Flight. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether two go! Airlines pilots fell asleep during an interisland flight. The incident centers on a flight on Feb. 13 that did not land when it should have and was out of contact for an extended period of time.
· Paparazzi hounding Spears arrested. Sheriff's deputies arrested two cameramen photographing Britney Spears at a hair salon and two other photographers outside a trendy nightclub in a crackdown that follows a year of frenzied paparazzi swarms around the troubled pop star and other celebrities.
· 'On Strike' Mom Accused Of Neglect. A Central Florida mother of four boys was arrested on Tuesday after telling authorities that she went "on strike" more than a month ago, leaving the teens home alone for hours every day because they would constantly fight.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
· Thieves snatching bronze off graves. Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Fort Pierce reported 16 bronze vases missing from gravesites. Crestlawn Cemetery in Vero Beach said thieves made off with at least a dozen bronze vases and seven bronze placards that were pried loose from gravestones.
· Navy has 10 seconds, $60 million to kill satellite. U.S. Navy gunners in the Pacific were watching the sea and sky Wednesday, waiting for perfect conditions to take a kill shot on an errant satellite 150 miles above them.econnaissance satellite that failed hours later. They have just a 10-second window to fire.
· Spears 'not capable' of dealing with traffic case. A judge put the brakes on Britney Spears' driving-without-a-license case Wednesday after her lawyers said they don't believe the troubled pop star is capable of resolving the matter.
· Sharper Image finally goes belly-up. After years of declining sales, The Sharper Image - known for creature comforts and gadgets like robotic massage chairs and $170 toothbrushes - has gone belly-up, declaring bankruptcy Wednesday.
· Thong by coed's body a 'taunt' for police? A pair of women's underwear found with the body of a college student who had been kidnapped and strangled may have been left behind to taunt authorities searching for a serial rapist, Reno police said.
· Federal judge quits after embarrassing DWI arrest. A Boston-based federal bankruptcy judge resigned Friday, two days after pleading guilty to drunken driving in New Hampshire. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Somma's resignation Friday is effective April 1, and he'll be on leave until then, said Gary Wente, Circuit Executive of the First Circuit federal courts in Boston. Somma was in drag, including a cocktail dress and high heels, when he was arrested by the Manchester police after rear-ending a truck.
· Wal-Mart apologizes to Muslim woman. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. apologized to a Muslim woman who said she was mocked because of her face veil. "Please don't stick me up," a cashier told the shopper, according to The Council on American-Islamic Relations.
· NBC reprimands employee for using picture of bin Laden behind Obama story. NBC News said Tuesday it has reprimanded the employee responsible for mistakenly flashing a picture of Osama bin Laden on MSNBC as Chris Matthews talked about Barack Obama. "This mistake was inexcusable," MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.
· Bounty Hunter "Dog" to return to the air. Celebrity bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman is set to return to television after his reality TV show was pulled from the air three months ago in a controversy over his use of a racial slur, cable channel A&E said on Tuesday.
· Judge holds reporter in contempt in anthrax case. A federal judge held a former USA TODAY reporter in contempt of court on Tuesday for failing to identify sources who named former Army scientist Steven Hatfill as a possible suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people.
· Former teacher sentenced in sex case. A former middle school teacher was sent to prison for six years Tuesday for having sexual encounters with five teenage boys. Authorities said Allenna Ward, 24, met 14- and 15-year-old boys at the school where she taught as well as at a motel, a park and behind a restaurant.
· Vallejo On Brink Of Bankruptcy. The city of Vallejo is on the brink of becoming the first California city ever to declare bankruptcy, City Council members said Tuesday. Vallejo may run out of cash as early as March, council member Stephanie Gomes said.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
· 50 Deadly Snakes Kept Inside Central Fla. Home. A Central Florida man will be allowed to keep a collection of cobras, vipers and rattlesnakes inside his residential home despite an effort to have them removed. The city wants the snakes removed but it can't force Brian Radenberg to get rid of the snakes because the 37-year-old has state permits allowing him to keep the reptiles.
· Pizza robbery lands freed killer back in prison. The man whose killing of a 6-year-old girl once made him the youngest person in modern U.S. history sentenced to life in prison accepted a plea deal Tuesday in a robbery that occurred while he was free on probation. Lionel Tate, 21, is already serving 30 years behind bars because the robbery of a pizza delivery man violated his probation in the murder case.
· TV chef spiced up his past exploits. Celebrity chef Robert Irvine blew into Florida two years ago with the panache of royalty, the ego of a TV star and a plan to turn St. Petersburg into "the next Monaco." He launched a show on the Food Network, Dinner: Impossible, and was writing a cookbook. Soon the muscle-bound Brit was downing oysters, clinking glasses and telling incredible tales of knighthood, being a White House chef, and being the personal friend of Prince Charles.
· Tom Cruise's Lawyers Among 244 Names on Pellicano Witness List. Prosecutor Daniel Saunders has issued his list of potential government witnesses in the Anthony Pellicano case. The government may not call them all, but there are 244 names on the witness list for the trial set to begin Feb. 27, in which Hollywood private eye Pellicano faces federal charges of racketeering and illegally wiretapping celebrities.
· Teen Dies After Hit & Run Crash By Illegal Immigrant. A Michigan teenager died Monday night after being run down by a hit and run driver. The 20-year old driver, an illegal immigrant, is in jail with a bond set at $750,000. Sergio Onofre is charged with Failing to Stop at the Scene of the Crash, Operating While Intoxicated, Driving with a Suspended License, Burglary, and Obstruction of Justice. Investigators say Onofre went off the road and hit Daniel Turner, then kept on driving dragging the 14 year old.
· Man facing charges of groping teen, threatening officer. A man arrested over the weekend for groping a teenage girl in a movie theater while her father sat nearby made lewd advances toward his arresting officer and told her he had ingested mushrooms, according to a police report.
· Lohan's nude Marilyn shoot. A topless Lindsay Lohan took it all off to recreate her idol, Marilyn Monroe's naked last photo shoot in the latest issue of New York magazine. Lindsay Lohan is following in the footsteps of the most famous blond bombshell of them all, Marilyn Monroe. In the current issue of New York magazine, the 21-year-old star of Mean Girls and Freaky Friday poses nude for photographer Bert Stern in a recreation of one of Monroe's most famous photo shoots, done shortly before she died.
· Amtrak will screen passengers' bags. Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers' carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.
· Martha Stewart Buys Emeril Franchise. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is bringing in a new celebrity: popular TV chef Emeril Lagasse. The New York-based media and merchandising company founded by domesticity maven Martha Stewart announced Tuesday that it bought the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing.
· Castro resigns as president. Fidel Castro announced his resignation as president of Cuba and commander-in-chief of Cuba's military on Tuesday, according to a letter published in the state-run newspaper.
· Advocate For Wrongfully Accused Struck, Killed. A man, 26, who served time behind bars as a juvenile before a judge overturned his conviction, was fatally run over by a truck following an argument in Santa Ana, it was reported Monday.
Monday, February 18, 2008
· Dwindling donations force church to sell its private jet. Dwindling donations to the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park have prompted its high-profile pastor, Mac Hammond, to put the private business jet on the market. Church officials say donations have fallen $40,000 to $70,000 short of its weekly budget in recent weeks.
· Baltimore schools to pay failing students to pass tests. Baltimore city is about to formally begin paying failing students to pass a state assessment test. City school officials will roll out the plan on Tuesday, saying the results of pre-tests should give them a better idea of which students qualify for school cash. Students would receive up to $110 if they make gains on a state assessment test.
· Autism Group Demands CBS Apologize for 'Big Brother' Contestant's Remark. A contestant named Adam, who claims to work for an autism foundation, said he would spend his winnings on a hair salon for people with developmental disabilities "so retards can get it together and get their hair done."
· Baby detained, dies in Honolulu airport. Officials are calling for an investigation into the death of a 14-day-old baby at Honolulu International Airport. The baby had been flown to Honolulu for emergency heart surgery. He died while detained inside a customs' room at the Honolulu airport with his mother and a nurse.
· Croc Hunter's Son Unfazed by Snake Bite. Like father, like son? The 4-year-old son of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin wasn't at all alarmed when he was recently bitten by a baby boa constrictor, according to his mother. "He picked one of them up and it bit him on the finger, and he was so proud to have copped his first hit," Irwin's widow, Terri, said Monday.
· Police Told Daughter To Stop Calling Before Her Murder. A Central Florida woman whose 17-year-old daughter was killed in a murder-suicide apparently committed by her ex-boyfriend said the teen was told by police to stop calling for help or she'd be arrested. Police said Clay Coffner shot his estranged girlfriend in the head outside her DeLand home before turning the gun on himself.
· Apparent clue to JFK death likely a fake, DA's office says. A transcript that reads like a conspiracy theorist's dream - Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby plotting to kill President John F. Kennedy - is part of a batch of long-hidden items and documents revealed on Monday. Says Oswald to Ruby in the transcript, "I can still do it, all I need is my rifle and a tall building; but it will take time, maybe six months to find the right place; but I'll have to have some money to live on while I do the planning."
· Woman Caught Beating Grandson. A woman is accused of beating her young grandson so badly he lost consciousness, police said. According to police, Delores Henderson, 55, was walking down the street, hitting the two-year-old in the stroller and slamming it into the curb.
· Murder Suspects Say Victim Ordered Hit On Himself. Two men arrested for the murder of 35-year-old mortgage consultant William Cybulski say the victim faced a debilitating illness and ordered a hit on himself for $5,000.
· Obama 'Robbed' in New York. Barack Obama's primary-night results were strikingly underrecorded in several districts around the city - in some cases leaving him with zero votes when, in fact, he had pulled in hundreds, the Board of Elections said yesterday.
· Friends as kids; now kidney links them. Two grade-school friends who reconnected online after more than a decade are becoming more than bosom buddies - one is donating a kidney to his rediscovered pal.
· Female Guard Accused Of Having Sex With Inmate. A prison guard has been issued a summons on accusations that she had sex with a male inmate at San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo. Dominique Romero, 32, also known by the surname Rivas, faces a charge of sexual contact inside a correctional institution.
· Ex-Homecoming Queen Beats Sister With Fake Leg In Trailer. A former homecoming queen is facing a slew of charges Thursday, accused of attacking her sister with a prosthetic leg and then threatening to burn down a neighbor's home.
· Girl Buried Up to Neck Rescued From Pacifica Landslide. A girl buried up to her neck in a landslide at a Pacifica beach was recovering after being rescued by a man who dug furiously to free her as debris rained down.
· Lawyer admits affair with judge. A public defender has acknowledged having a "single intimate encounter" with a Federal Way Municipal Court judge who resigned after boasting at a holiday party of the relationship.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
· NIU shooter's girlfriend: He wasn't a monster. The girlfriend of the gunman who killed five people and himself at Northern Illinois University on Thursday said there was "no indication he was planning something." Jessica Baty said she still loves Steven Kazmierczak. "He was anything but a monster," she said.
· Same Gun Dealer Sold to 2 Campus Killers. The online gun dealer who sold a weapon to the Virginia Tech shooter said it was an unnerving coincidence that he also sold handgun accessories to the man who killed five students at Northern Illinois University.
· Man Accused Of Molesting 2-Year-Old During Mother's Smoke Break. A man in Orlando is accused of molesting a 2-year-old at a busy park while her mother turned her back to get a cigarette. The woman said she took her eyes off her daughter and 5-year-old son for about three minutes.
· Bronx superintendent put daughter in boiler, killed teen for using computer. A crazed Bronx building superintendent confessed Saturday to strangling his 14-year-old daughter and dumping her unconscious into the basement furnace. The still-burning corpse of Anna Matias was pulled from the furnace that heats the building's boiler.
· Phoenix Police to Check Arrestees’ Immigrant Status. The police in this city at the center of the immigration debate will soon ask all people arrested whether they are in the United States legally and will in certain cases report the information to the federal authorities, Mayor Phil Gordon announced on Friday.
· Phil Spector breaks his silence before second trial for murder. Phil Spector, the American music producer who faces a second murder trial later this year, is about to break his media silence to talk on British television about the case against him and about his extraordinary career.
· Florida Boy Finds Live Grenade With Metal Detector. An 8-year-old boy and his friend found a live, World War II-era hand grenade while searching for buried treasure with a metal detector. Sidney Mathis and his friend had found nails, bolts and a toy car by sweeping the detector over a field near their home Thursday. But it was their other find that alarmed Sidney's father, Chris Mathis. He arrived home Thursday to find the boys about to put the grenade into a bucket of water. Chris Mathis grabbed the grenade and dangled it outside the window of his sport utility vehicle as he drove away from the apartment complex.
· Carpenters Fans Try to Save Former Home. Owners of The Carpenters' former home aren't feeling on top of the world about the legions of fans who keep stopping by to pay tribute. The five-bedroom tract house, where siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter lived and penned some of their greatest hits, was featured on the cover of their 1973 hit album "Now & Then." It was also where an anorexic Karen Carpenter collapsed in 1983 before dying.
· Serial rapist, killer on the loose. A 19-year-old college student missing for nearly a month was strangled by a serial rapist who has attacked at least two other women, police in Reno, Nevada, said Saturday. "I'm worried this guy is still out there, and I'm worried somebody else is going to get hurt," Deputy Police Chief Jim Johns said.
· Free business book is Web sensation. The Oprah touch doesn't just work for traditional books. More than 1 million copies of Suze Orman's "Women & Money" were downloaded after the announcement last week on Winfrey's television show that the e-book edition would be available for free on her Web site, http://www.oprah.com, for a period of 33 hours.
· Wal-Mart picks Blu-ray in HD DVD disaster. Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Friday abandoned the flailing HD DVD format, potentially ending a war over next-generation DVDs as it joined Best Buy and Netflix in supporting rival Blu-ray technology.
· Vanity plate sold for $14 million. A license plate with nothing but the number "1" on it went for a record $14 million at a charity auction Saturday. Saeed Khouri, a member of a wealthy Abu Dhabi family, wouldn't say how many automobiles he owned or which of them might carry the record-breaking single-digit plate.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
· Deputy charged in wheelchair-dumping incident. A sheriff's deputy who was videotaped dumping a paralyzed man from a wheelchair onto a jailhouse floor has been charged with felony abuse of a disabled person, a sheriff's official said.
· Woman Says Being Declared Dead Ruins Life. A Nashville woman said that having to prove she’s alive over and over is ruining her life. Laura Todd said an 8-year-old typo is affecting everything from her credit to her tax return. "I don't think people realize how difficult it is to be dead when you're not,” she said, adding "being dead off and on has made everyday life a hassle."
· Judge declares missing adventurer Fossett dead. A Chicago probate court judge Friday declared millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett dead five months after he disappeared while on a solo flight over the Nevada desert. Judge Jeffrey Malak made the ruling after an emotional presentation from Fossett's wife of 38 years.
· $100 million suit filed over Super Bowl loss. A lawsuit filed Friday by a former St. Louis Rams player and others seeks millions of dollars in damages from the alleged taping of Rams practices by the New England Patriots before the 2002 Super Bowl.
· Boston Rocker Tells Huckabee to Lay Off. The chief songwriter for the band Boston has more than a feeling that he's being ripped off by Mike Huckabee. In a letter to the Republican presidential hopeful, Tom Scholz complains that Huckabee is using his 1970s smash hit song "More Than a Feeling" without his permission.
· Impeachment fizzle: Boulder lacks votes to take on Bush. A move to draft a Boulder City Council resolution supporting the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney likely won't get enough support to get off the ground Tuesday.
· Gunman's Friendly Exterior Masked Past. Steven Kazmierczak's quiet, dependable and fun-loving exterior masked troubling details from his past that emerged as a stunned community struggled to understand what caused the 27-year-old to open fire on a class at NIU, leaving six people dead. A former employee at a Chicago psychiatric treatment center said Kazmierczak was placed there after high school by his parents. She said he used to cut himself, and had resisted taking his medications.
· Marine vehicle delay blamed for deaths. Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes.
· Al Gore could still be President. Al Gore on the second ballot: A scenario that a few weeks ago seemed preposterous is beginning to look plausible to some nervous Democrats looking for a way out of the deadlock between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It goes like this: We love them both, but neither is a sure bet when it comes to electability. It's not about gender and race, each has more mundane vulnerabilities. Hillary's negatives will drive white men to John McCain; Obama's inexperience will require a gut check on the part of voters. What if the super delegates decide not to decide, denying either candidate the requisite number of delegates to secure the party's nomination. Democrats want to win. The new rallying cry: Gore on the second ballot.
· Experts Question Spears Lawyer's Moves. An attorney who claims to represent Britney Spears has filed papers to move her case from the Los Angeles County Superior Court to federal court, but legal experts question whether his legal strategy is viable and whether he can represent the troubled pop star at all.
Friday, February 15, 2008
· Alleged Serial 911 Caller Made More Than 27,000 Calls. Authorities have arrested an alleged 911 cell phone caller who made more than 27,000 emergency calls, overwhelming California Highway Patrol and Hayward 911 systems. When asked why he made the calks, he replied: "Because it's free."
· NIU gunman stopped taking medication. The man who gunned down five people at Northern Illinois University in a suicidal rampage became erratic after halting his medication and carried a shotgun to campus inside a guitar case, police said Friday.
· Ohio ex-cop convicted in lover's death. A former police officer who tearfully told jurors he accidentally killed his pregnant lover was convicted Friday of murdering her and their unborn child. Bobby Cutts Jr. could face the death penalty. He had claimed he accidentally killed Jessie Davis by putting an elbow to her throat, then panicked.
· Twin Brothers Shove Intruder From 2nd Floor Window. Seventeen-year-old twin brothers confronted a burglar in their Olympia, Washington home, shoved him out of a second story window and chased him after he fled.
· Man tied to windshield death sentenced. A motorist accused of hitting two pedestrians while driving drunk and making it home with one of them lodged in his windshield was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison.
· Mom shot by 3-year-old faces charges. A mother who says she was shot in the mouth by her 3-year-old son while she slept has been charged with child neglect and simple possession of marijuana. Authorities say 27-year-old Sadie Davidson faces the neglect charge because the child was not properly supervised when he found the gun in a drawer.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eponym [ep·o·nym ] n. A person whose name is or is thought to be the source of the name of something, such as a city, country, or era. "George Washington is the eponym of Washington DC."
· Update: Former student kills 6 at university, sparks 'chaos.' A gunman dressed in black stepped from behind a curtain at the front of a large lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and shot 21 people, six of them fatally, before shooting and killing himself. "It was just complete chaos," said one witness. Students gathered later for a candlelight vigil as police investigate.
· Trooper runs over Good Samaritan. A man who had stopped to help a crash victim on Route 2 was struck and killed by a police cruiser in Phillipston on Wednesday night, according to the Massachusetts State Police.
· Jane Fonda uses vulgar slang on `Today.' NBC News is apologizing again — this time for Jane Fonda. The 70-year-old actress used a vulgar slang term on the "Today" show Thursday while talking about the play "The Vagina Monologues." Fonda is appearing in a 10th-anniversary performance and was on "Today" with author Eve Ensler.
· Pa. man released after being questioned in meat-cleaver slaying. A Pennsylvania musician who claims he called an upper East Side therapist shortly before a meat-cleaver-wielding maniac killed her was grilled by cops Thursday for eight hours - and then released.
· Bono-sponsored art auction raises over $40 million for AIDS. An art auction conceived by U2 frontman and campaigner Bono together with British artist Damien Hirst raised 42.5 million dollars in New York late Thursday for UN-backed health programs in Africa.
· Actress Bai Ling Accused of Shoplifting. Bai Ling's good looks and eccentric outfits have frequently put her picture in celebrity magazines, but that doesn't mean she can take the magazines for free. The Chinese actress was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of shoplifting two celebrity magazines and two packets of batteries at Los Angeles International Airport. The items had a total value of $16, said Sgt. Jim Holcomb of the airport's police department.
· 'Rhoda' actor David Groh dies at 68. David Groh, the handsome, hardworking character actor who was best known to television viewers as the easygoing man Rhoda Morgenstern married and divorced during the run of Valerie Harper's hit 1970s sitcom "Rhoda," has died.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
· Chicago: Another St. Valentine's Day massacre. A gunman shot 18 people, killing four, at Northern Illinois University's DeKalb campus outside Chicago Thursday, then fatally shot himself, police said. The gunman used a shotgun and two handguns.
· FEMA Trailers for Katrina Victims Tainted by Toxic Chemical. Today, the government finally admitted that FEMA trailers, used by Hurricane Katrina survivors, contain a toxic carcinogen, formaldehyde, and now, those hurricane evacuees must leave their trailers.
· Man Accused of Posting Bond for Strangers in Exchange for Sex. A man is accused of using court records as a way to find victims for sex crimes. An alert judge stopped him in his tracks. Jason Lee is a registered sex offender. He is accused of looking up women on the Clerk of Court's website. Lee is now behind bars on un-related charges.
· Steven Spielberg turns over stolen painting. Steven Spielberg led the FBI straight to a stolen $700,000 Norman Rockwell painting someone snatched from a Missouri gallery. It was in his collection in California. Spielberg wasn't the thief, and he doesn't know who took Rockwell's "Russian Schoolroom" - an oil of 16 pupils looking at a bust of Lenin.
· Did New Orleans Mayor Take Aim At Chief? A firestorm of controversy ensued after New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, sporting a broad smile, seemed to aim an assault rifle at Police Superintendent Warren Riley in a Times-Picayune newspaper photo.
· O.J. Simpson's Girlfriend Hospitalized With Severe Head Injury After "Fall." O.J. Simpson's girlfriend Christie Prody was hospitalized Tuesday in Miami for what police are calling a "severe head injury," Entertainment Tonight has reported.
· Sheriff apologizes to man dumped from wheelchair. The Hillsborough County, Florida, sheriff on Wednesday offered a personal apology to a disabled man who was dumped onto the floor from his wheelchair while in deputies' custody. "I am personally embarrassed and shocked by the horrific treatment Mr. Sterner received," Sheriff David Gee said.
· Pastor: IRS Probes Huckabee Endorsement. Southern Baptist pastor Wiley Drake said Wednesday that he is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for his endorsement of GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in a press release written on church stationery. Under federal tax law, church officials may legally discuss politics, but they cannot endorse candidates or parties without putting their tax-exempt status at risk.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Insidious [in·sid·i·ous] adj. 1. Working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner: insidious rumors; an insidious disease. 2. Beguiling but harmful; alluring: insidious pleasures.
· Sportscaster Josh Booty, Arrested on Suspicion of DUI. Fox Sportscaster Josh Booty, arrested early this morning on suspicion of drunken driving, was Tased during the booking process at the Orange County Jail when he became involved in an altercation with sheriff's deputies, officials said.
· Woman indicted for stealing thousands from rehab center. An East St. Louis woman is indicted for stealing more than $50,000 from a rehab center she was suppposed to be running. Janese Jordan, 41 was arrested Monday morning by federal agents.
· Officer fined $18,000 for arresting firefighter on emergency call. A battle between a police officer and a firefighter in the middle of an emergency call is costing the officer almost $18,000. News 4 has obtained police video that shows a Hazelwood police officer arresting a fire captain in the middle of efforts to move an injured driver.
· McCartney's wife expected to leave Britain after divorce. Paul McCartney's estranged wife Heather Mills will quit Britain once their divorce battle is completed, her father predicted Wednesday as their High Court showdown continued for a third day. Mark Mills, 66, told reporters he thought his daughter would move to either the United States or France.
· Mel Gibson meets terms of probation. Mel Gibson has met terms of his no-contest plea to misdemeanor drunken driving after his notorious 2006 arrest in which he made derogatory comments about Jews, a judge found Wednesday. Gibson will remain on probation for about 18 more months, but won't have report at Superior Court again after Judge Lawrence Mira approved his progress.
· Strike Two? Actors urge talks to avert strike. Four of Hollywood's biggest stars have taken out adverts in US trade papers urging their leaders to start contract talks in a bid to avert a strike. Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro want the Screen Actors Guild to negotiate with studios over a contract which ends on 30 June.
· HP Settles Spying Scandal Claims. A lawyer for a New York Times reporter and three BusinessWeek reporters who were spied on as part of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s boardroom surveillance scheme says the four have settled claims against the company.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
· Senate to Sen. Craig: You discredited the chamber. The Senate Ethics Committee issued a "letter of admonition" to Sen. Larry Craig on Wednesday in connection with his arrest in a Minneapolis airport sex sting last year. The Senate Ethics Committee accused Craig of improper conduct and criticized Craig for using more than $200,000 in campaign funds to pay his related legal fees.
· The world's smallest bodybuilder. At 2'9", Aditya "Romeo" Dev is the world's smallest bodybuilder. While most dwarfs have large heads compared to their bodies, Romeo is perfectly proportioned, and despite his diminutive stature has triceps, biceps, calves and thighs that would make many a full-grown man blush.
· Franklin slams Beyonce Grammy intro. When Aretha Franklin is unhappy, she does not mince words. On Tuesday, the longtime Queen of Soul slammed Beyonce Knowles' intro to Tina Turner at Sunday's Grammy Awards, in which Knowles called Turner, not Franklin, "the queen."
· Tax rebate checks in the mail by spring. The checks aren't in the mail, but they will be soon. President Bush signed legislation Wednesday to rush rebates ranging from $300 to $1,200 to millions of people, the centerpiece of government efforts to brace the wobbly economy. First, though, you must file your 2007 tax return.
· Man Says He Is JFK's Son From 'Love Affair.' A Canadian man has revealed a stunning claim - that he is the biological son of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Jack Worthington, 47, is asking the Kennedy family for a DNA sample so that he can be matched scientifically.
· Yahoo! reportedly in talks with News Corp. Yahoo! Inc., fighting off a takeover bid from Microsoft Corp., is in talks with News Corp., according to a report on The Wall Street Journal's web site. The talks, according to the Journal are an attempt to fend off Microsoft's offer, which was initially valued at $44.6 billion.
· Professor's secret S&M life is over. The kinky 67-year-old college professor who was almost strangled during an S&M session at a Midtown club said he's deeply ashamed and is finally through with his double life. His life was saved last Friday by a dominatrix who was assigned to check on him after her colleague left him with a dog collar around his neck and a leather mask over his face, suspended a few inches off the floor. She realized his foot was turning blue because one of his high heels had slipped off.
· Senator apologizes for 'black baby' comment. A Utah senator has apologized for comments he made during debate over a bill yesterday that some of his colleagues perceived as racist. Republican Sen. Chris Buttars compared Senate Bill 48, which addresses equalizing school construction funds, to a black baby, calling it "a dark, ugly thing."
· U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050. The U.S. population will soar to 438 million by 2050 and the Hispanic population will triple, according to projections released Monday by the Pew Research Center.
· S.F. police took a week to find corpse in van. The bizarre case of a San Francisco computer software developer who was apparently slain in December - and whose body lay undiscovered in the back of a van in a police impound yard for a week - finally became public Tuesday, as investigators said they were looking for two suspects who shared a home with the victim.
· Builders halt campaign gifts over housing response. A home builders' group on Tuesday halted donations to federal congressional campaigns over concern that Congress and the Bush administration have not done enough about the housing slump.
· Drunk driving charge for Hilton brother. Paris Hilton's younger brother, Barron, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of drunken driving, authorities said. Hilton, 18, was carrying a fake driver's license and was also arrested for investigation of carrying a falsified state document, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
· Pettitte tells Congress that teammate Clemens revealed HGH use in conversation. Roger Clemens told Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte nearly 10 years ago that he used human growth hormone, Pettitte said in a sworn affidavit to Congress. Pettitte disclosed the conversation to the congressional committee holding Wednesday's hearing on drug use in baseball.
· STRIKE OVER: Hollywood Back To Work. Here's the official WGA announcement to striking writers: On Tuesday, members of the Writers Guilds East and West voted by a 92.5% margin to lift the restraining order that was invoked on November 5th. The strike is over.
· Exxon Gets $242 Million by Waiting to Tell Venezuela of Order. Exxon Mobil Corp. waited 24 hours to inform Venezuela's state oil company of a court order freezing a New York bank account, a tactic that netted $242 million.
· Woman accused of including meth with money in bank deposit envelope. Credit unions accept deposits - just not of methamphetamine. A woman who allegedly deposited an envelope containing money - and a bag of meth - at a credit union in Bremerton, Wash., has been arrested and charged with drug possession.
· Coleman says he's secretly been married. Gary Coleman is a not-so-newlywed. The former "Diff'rent Strokes" star married 22-year-old Shannon Price in August on a mountaintop in Nevada, but they have been keeping their vows under wraps, the pair told "Inside Edition."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
· Disabled Man Dumped On Floor By Deputy. A sheriff's deputy in Hillsborough County, Florida, has been suspended after she was caught on tape dumping a handicapped man on the floor. The incident happened last month at a jail in Tampa, Florida. The victim says the deputy dumped him out of his chair because she didn't believe he was a quadriplegic. [with video]
· Anchors Shop With Each Other's Credit Cards. CBS4 anchors Jim Benemann and Molly Hughes found out for themselves how easy it is to use someone else's credit card after trading cards and heading to stores in a Denver area shopping center.
· Ex-prison boss: Drunken orgies tainted system. Florida prison officials took part in "drunken" orgies and ran the system like the mafia, a former prison boss tells CNN. James McDonough says he had to clean up the prison culture, but it wasn't easy. "They were like frat boys out of control."
· Clinton Not Ready to Release Tax Returns. Resisting calls from Barack Obama to release her income tax returns, Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she would only do so if she secures the Democratic presidential nomination.
· Benoit Death Investigation Officially Closed. The investigation into the deaths of wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and son has been closed. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office announced the end of the investigation Tuesday. Investigators said Benoit strangled his wife, Nancy, and their son, Daniel, to death before killing himself.
· Cigarettes become props at Minn. tavern. Minnesota bans smoking in bars but one tavern is trying to get around it by turning itself into a stage, its customers into actors and cigarettes into props. When state lawmakers enacted the ban last year they included an exemption for theatrical performances.
· Pitcher says MLB, Selig knew he took steroids. John Rocker claims he flunked a drug test ordered by Major League Baseball in 2000 and that he, Alex Rodriguez and other Texas Rangers were advised by management and union doctors following a spring training lecture on how to effectively use steroids. "Bud Selig knew in the year 2000 John Rocker was taking the juice," the former pitcher said Monday of the baseball commissioner on Atlanta radio station 680. "Didn't do anything about it."
· Patty Hearst wins with French bulldog at Westminster dog show. Far, far removed from the days when her image as a machine gun-toting revolutionary captivated a nation, Patricia Shaw Hearst was in more genteel surroundings Monday. She was tending to Diva at Madison Square Garden, petting her soft head on dogdom's biggest day.
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."
· GM offers buyouts to all U.S. workers. General Motors is offering buyouts to 74,000 employees - its entire U.S. hourly workforce. The company said it will offer buyout packages worth up to $140,000 to all of its workers represented by the United Auto Workers union. GM had a $38.7 billion loss for 2007, the largest annual loss ever for an automotive company.
· Writer Sues Mel Gibson Over 'Passion.' A screenwriter sued Mel Gibson and his production company on Monday, claiming he was misled by the actor-director into accepting a small payment for writing "The Passion of the Christ," and was refused extra money when the film became a blockbuster.
· Documents: Manager got car to Britney. Britney Spears' father sought to fire her business manager because he circumvented court orders by providing the pop star with a car after she was released from a psychiatric ward, according to court documents released Monday.
Monday, February 11, 2008
· Mistrial in baby-in-microwave case. A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case of woman accused of killing her month-old baby by burning her in a microwave, finding that new defense witnesses bolster her innocence claim.
· Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexual abuse loses extradition battle. An Israeli judge ruled Sunday that a disgraced Brooklyn rabbi accused of sexually abusing children more than two decades ago can be extradited to the U.S.
· Florida bride dies during marriage's first dance. Kim Sjostrom wanted a real-life version of the film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which played in the background as friends fixed her hair and makeup before her own marriage ceremony. But less than an hour after she and Teddy Efkarpides were wed, Sjostrom crumpled in her husband's arms during a Greek song that means "Love Me."
· Mother Gives Birth, Loses 9-Year-Old Daughter On Same Day. A Leesburg mother was in turmoil Monday morning after losing a daughter and giving birth to a son all in the same weekend. Phatisa Steele, 9, was hit by a truck.
· Another bank robber tries to use taxi in escape. A suspect in three bank heists, including one on Monday morning, faces charges that he robbed a bank and used a taxi cab to get to and from the bank. Kenneth Kurfis, 42, was charged wiith armed robbery and grand theft.
· Woman gives 13 year boy STD. It took a 13-year-old boy going to the bathroom to get a 20-year-old woman arrested for having sex with him. Police say that's because the teen was infected with chlamydia. He caught it after Tabitha Hollandsworth of Middletown, Ohio allegedly had sex with him last September.
· Man tries to light cigarette with propane torch. A man who tried to light a cigarette using a propane torch set off an explosion that started a fire in his detached garage Sunday. He is hospitalized in critical condition with third-degree burns.
· E-mail scammers now resorting to death threats. For years, they played on greed. E-mail scammers and spammers have long offered lavish rewards to those naive enough to post cash to spirit money out of a foreign country or to collect on a lottery ticket. Now cyber-thieves are turning to a sharper edge: death threats and outright extortion.
· Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat. Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.
· Labrador named Jet earns his wings. Authorities say a 65-pound Labrador retriever named Jet survived a six story leap from a Tampa airport parking garage. Police and Jet's owners say the 2-year-old dog accidentally leaped over a parking garage railing and walked away from the landing — 60 to 80 feet below.
· Aruban police question van der Sloot again. Aruban authorities questioned Joran van der Sloot in the Netherlands about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, the Aruban prosecutor's office said Friday. It happened less than a week after a Dutch television program aired video footage showing the young man saying he was with the missing Alabama teenager when she died.
· Heather Mills set to question Sir Paul McCartney in court. Heather Mills will be able to cross-examine Sir Paul McCartney personally over his earnings when the estranged couple go to court today to hammer out a final divorce settlement.
· Winehouse Dominates Grammys. Trapped half a world away by the place she promised to never "go, go, go," a vibrant, exuberant Amy Winehouse dominated the Grammys on Sunday night, winning five awards and delivering a defiant performance of her autobiographical hit "Rehab" via satellite from London.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
· N.J. Woman Declared Dead By Mistake, Twice. A 57-year-old New Jersey woman has been declared dead twice in the past year by the Social Security Administration, despite the fact that she is very much alive.
· Sex offender wins $10 million lottery. A convicted Level 3 sex offender has won $10 million in the Massachusetts State Lottery. The Worcester Gazette & Telegram reports 56-year-old Daniel Snay, of Uxbridge, could now face charges because he failed to notify authorities that he had moved, according to Connecticut State Police.
· Man Wrongly Convicted Gets $5,000 For Almost Year Sentence. 61-year-old David Sanders, who served almost a year in prison for a crime he didn't commit, has been awarded the maximum the state of Wisconsin can pay him: $5,000 plus legal fees. Sanders attorney recieved $18,240.
· Attorney accused of injuring prosecutor with handshake. An attorney has been charged with physically assaulting a federal prosecutor in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom by shaking her hand up and down so hard that it injured her shoulder.
· Family supports son accused of school killing plot. Dakota Gates is accused of plotting to kill classmates and school officials. His family thinks he's being held for what they believe was normal behavior. Dakota's mother says "He has a wonderful imagination and I think that it's just been blown out of proportion."
· PETA Opposes Kentucky's Tribute To Fried Chicken. Animals rights advocates are squawking at a measure that would make fried chicken Kentucky's official picnic food. State Rep. Charles Siler is sponsoring legislation to assign the designation to KFC's "finger lickin' good" chicken, first served by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1940.
· After Spat, Man Runs Over Girlfriend's Head. Authorities say a 25-year-old woman is in critical condition after her boyfriend ran over her head as he drove away following a fight between the two. Kern County Sheriff's Lieutenant Dennis Smithson said Rosalinda Camacho and Christopher Cribb were driving home from Los Angeles early Saturday morning when they started arguing.
· Heath Ledger's final farewell ends in sunset swim. Mourners at Hollywood star Heath Ledger's funeral in Perth celebrated the acclaimed actor's life by stripping off and diving into the surf at his favorite beach, reports said Sunday.
· Yahoo to reject Microsoft's $44.6 billion bid. Yahoo Inc. will spurn Microsoft Corp.'s $44.6 billion merger offer, a source familiar with the matter said Saturday, adding a dramatic new twist to one of Silicon Valley's biggest buyout dramas.
· Newspaper plane security stunt condemned. The Civil Aviation Authority in New Zealand has condemned a newspaper stunt involving a reporter boarding a plane at the country's biggest airport carrying a knife and a fake revolver.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
· Man hid wife in drum for 23 years. A man who hid his wife's body for 23 years in a steel drum in the couple's backyard was convicted Saturday of her murder. Frederick Boyle, 58, claimed he hid the body of Edwina Boyle out of panic after finding her dead in bed with two bullets in her head and one of his neckties around her throat.
· Cop And Teacher Arrested On Sex Charges. A Turlock, California mother called police to say that her 17-year-old daughter was having a relationship with one of her teachers, Carl Kubicek, 35. After police investigated, Kubicek was arrested and charged on multiple counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a juvenile. During the same investigation, the Turlock Police Department is saddened to say that the same 17-year-old victim was sexually assaulted by one of their officers, Officer Jorge Cruz, while participating in the "Turlock Police Department Explorer Program."
· MSNBC's Chelsea comment angers Clinton. A distasteful comment about Chelsea Clinton by an MSNBC anchor could imperil Hillary Rodham Clinton's participation in future presidential debates on the network, a Clinton spokesman said. In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on Friday excoriated MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting the Clinton campaign had "pimped out" 27-year old Chelsea.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Colloquialism [col·lo·qui·al·ism] n. 1. An informal word or phrase that is more common in conversation than in formal speech or writing. Colloquialisms can include words such as "gonna" and phrases such as "ain't nothin'" and "dead as a doornail."
· State Foster Care Worker Accused Of Sexually Abusing Adopted Son. An Orange County man, who works at a state-contracted foster care facility, was arrested on Thursday, accused by authorities of sexually abusing his adopted 17-year-old son.
· McNamee says he injected Clemens' wife. In the ever-stranger saga of Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, the latest element to emerge might be the oddest yet. McNamee added a new name to the list of people he says he injected with drugs: Debbie Clemens.
· Coroner: Renfro OD'd on heroin, morphine. The death last month of troubled 25-year-old actor Brad Renfro was caused by a heroin and morphine overdose, according to the coroner's report released Friday. The Los Angeles County coroner's office ruled Renfro's death was accidental.
· Citizenship on hold for many immigrants. President Bush is asking Congress to spend money to help businesses root out illegal workers but he did not request additional funds to help legal immigrants become American citizens more quickly. In his budget proposal issued this week, Bush asked for $100 million to expand E-Verify, the system employers use to check whether they are hiring documented workers.
· At trial, stepdad blames abused child for her death. After police discovered the frail, battered body of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown in her home in 2006, authorities say her stepfather was quick to admit he had bound her to a chair with duct tape and beat her on a daily basis.
Friday, February 8, 2008
· Illegals Begin Leaving Arizona as New Law Approaches. For the first time, Mexican officials in Arizona admit there is hard evidence illegal immigrants are preparing to leave the state because a new employer sanctions law is making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to keep a job. 30,000 illegal immigrants said in a survey last week that they planned to leave Arizona sometime before March 1, when the state’s tough new employer sanctions law goes into effect. Under the law, employers can lose their business licenses if they hire undocumented workers.
· Italian court decides 'real love' motivated 34-year man to have sex with 13-year old girl. A 34-year-old Italian man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl has had his sentence cut by a two-thirds because a court decided there was "real love" between the pair.
· Landlord: Clinton staff stiffed me on rent. Physician Terry Bennett said he rented a New Hampshire building to people who worked for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign — and skipped town without paying the bill. Making matters worse, Bennett said, the 3,000-square-foot building was left trashed. "I sent about 20 e-mails," said Realtor Michael Whitney. "I hear the Clinton campaign is out of money."
· Baby tossed 300 feet by twister found alive. Firefighter David Harmon thought he'd found a doll. Then it moved. As soon as he rolled Kyson Stowell over, the 11-month-old "took a gasp of air and started crying." The baby had only minor injuries, but his mother was one of 56 people killed by this week's tornado outbreak.
· Ex-Hollywood madam Fleiss arrested. Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss was arrested Thursday on charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and driving under the influence, authorities said. Fleiss operates a coin-operated laundry, called Dirty Laundry, in a town 60 miles west of Las Vegas. [with disturbing photo]
· 6 die in shooting at Mo. council meeting. Ten days after losing a federal lawsuit against a St. Louis suburb he insisted harassed him, a gunman stormed a council meeting and opened fire, killing two police officers and three city officials.
· Super Bowl evades mass shooting. A would-be bar owner angry at being denied a liquor license threatened to shoot people at the Super Bowl and drove to within sight of the stadium with an AR-15 assault-style rifle and 200 rounds of ammunition before changing his mind, federal authorities said. Kurt William Havelock, who ultimately turned himself in, had vowed to "shed the blood of the innocent" in a manifesto mailed Sunday to media outlets, according to court documents.
· Clemens to continue lobbying on the Hill. His face-to-face lobbying efforts not quite complete, Roger Clemens was heading back to Capitol Hill. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner planned a second day of informal sit-downs Friday with members of the congressional committee looking into the Mitchell Report on drug use in baseball — and, more specifically, looking into Clemens' denials of allegations by his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, about injections of steroids and human growth hormone.
· Court Has Mystery Hearing in Spears Case. The court commissioner who placed Britney Spears under conservatorship held a closed-door hearing on an unspecified emergency motion Thursday, a day after the troubled pop star was suddenly released from a psychiatric hospital and ended up being pursued through the city by paparazzi.
· Turner 'almost done' buying up ranchland. CNN founder Ted Turner, the largest private landowner in Nebraska and the United States and the nation's largest bison rancher, said Wednesday that he is about done buying new ranches. He said he would like to reach 2 million acres nationwide before he dies — about 40,000 acres more than he currently owns.
· "Jena Six" Member In School Arrest. One of the "Jena Six" defendants was arrested yesterday for allegedly assaulting a fellow student at a Texas high school. Bryant Purvis, 19, was busted on the misdemeanor charge following an 8:30 AM altercation at Hebron High School in Carrollton, where his family relocated from Louisiana.
· Police Swabbing Mouths During Traffic Stops. Police officers in Daytona Beach are swabbing the mouths of persons of interests during traffic stops with special DNA kits in the hunt for an elusive serial killer.
· Obama suggests Clinton show tax returns. Democrat Barack Obama suggested Thursday that Hillary Rodham Clinton follow his lead and release her and her husband's income tax returns so the public can see where the $5 million she loaned her presidential campaign came from.
· Cher agrees to 3-year deal in Vegas. She has released 25 albums that have sold more than 100 million copies and has enjoyed a career that has included concerts, recordings, Broadway, TV, film acting and directing, and books. Now she's taking her show to Vegas. Cher announced Thursday she'll be one of the headline acts at Caesars Palace. "I started in Vegas at Caesars, so I've come full circle," she said.
· CEO Blames Sugar Dust for Georgia Refinery Blast. An explosion and fire at a sprawling sugar refinery rattled this Savannah suburb Thursday night, severely injuring dozens of people and sending authorities into a nearby river to search for possible victims, officials said.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
· Update: Berkeley now welcomes the military - after federal funds threatened. As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs, the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center. Berkeley mayor Tom Bates said the city didn't mean to offend anyone in the armed forces.
· Accuser releases photo "proof" of Clemens steroid contraband. Lawyers for Brian McNamee, the trainer who has accused ex-client Roger Clemens of using performance-enhancing drugs, today released photos purporting to show syringes, blood-specked gauze pads, and drug vials used by the embattled baseball star on about 16 occasions between 1998 and 2001.
· Mugger Who Licks Woman's Toes Gets Probation. A Minneapolis man has been sentenced to five years of probation after police say he robbed a woman of her keys and cell phone then took off her shoes and licked her toes.
· Three children die after teens use gasoline in fireplace. Three children died and an 18-year-old relative of the victims was severely burned in a fire that apparently started when teenagers used gasoline to try to stoke a fire in a fireplace.
· Legislator labels unmarried teen parents 'sluts.' A Colorado lawmaker used a derogatory term Wednesday to describe unmarried teen parents as sexually promiscuous and complained that society condones premarital sex. “There’s no sense of shame today," Rep. Larry Liston said, according to the The Gazette of Colorado Springs. "Society condones it. ... I think it’s wrong. They’re sluts. And I don’t mean just the women. I mean the men, too.”
· Overweight man squashes wife to death. An overweight man was jailed for five years after he killed his wife by sitting on her during a domestic dispute. The 282 pound man 'sat on his wife's chest for at least two minutes and broke her ribs in 18 places', said Jan-Michael Seidel.
· Deputies Fatally Shoot Suspected Child Rapist. Two deputies opened fire on a child rape suspect in east Orange County on Wednesday afternoon. Deputies tracked the convicted sex offender to Vienna Drive when shots were fired. The man who was shot and killed is believed to have multiple victims.
· Court: Mom can't sue over circumcision. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that a mother who didn't like the way her baby's circumcision looked cannot sue a Fridley hospital for medical malpractice.
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.”
· Parents: Spears' life at risk after discharge. Why was she released? That's the lingering question after Britney Spears was discharged from the hospital Wednesday over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist and against the wishes of her father, who has been named as her conservator. Jamie and Lynne Spears, in a joint statement given to The Associated Press through their attorney, said they were "extremely disappointed" to learn their daughter had been allowed out.
· Masked pranksters blindfold and kidnap bank manager at gunpoint 'for a laugh.' Fake kidnappers in masks seized a bank manager at gunpoint as a prank on his 40th birthday. Tony Sharp thought he was the target of a Securitas-style raid but it was a stunt was set up by a friend in revenge for an earlier trick.
· TV reporter killed in skiing accident. A former television correspondent for ABC was killed Wednesday morning after skiing into a tree at Keystone Ski Resort. 61-year-old John McWethy was skiing on an intermediate trail when he hit the tree.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
· Police: Baby's Brain Separated From Skull After Being Shaken By Mother. A Central Florida woman was arrested Tuesday, accused by authorities of shaking her 3-month-old girl after medical staff discovered scratches on the child's chest and side.
· 3 companies indicted in pet food case. Two Chinese businesses and a U.S. company were indicted Wednesday in the tainted pet food incidents that killed dozens of animals last year and raised worries about products made in China.
· Ledger died of prescription overdose. Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills, the New York City medical examiner's office said Tuesday. "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine," the examiner's office said.
· John McCain and mother 'defy age.' John McCain, at 71 regarded by many as too old to be the next U.S. president, has found the perfect response to the age question: his sprightly 95-year-old mother Roberta. "Last Christmas, she went to France," McCain said. "She landed in Paris and wanted to rent a car. They told her she was too old - so she bought one."
· Holloway Suit Vs. Dr. Phil Can Proceed. A judge refused to dismiss a defamation suit Tuesday against CBS and television psychologist "Dr. Phil" McGraw brought by two brothers who were questioned in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. William Cremer, the lead attorney for Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, praised the decision by Superior Court Judge Edward A. Ferns. "I'm going to take Dr. Phil down," he said outside the courtroom.
· Man makes fans miss end of Super Bowl. Police have arrested a man on suspicion of crashing his car and causing a power outage that disrupted the Super Bowl for thousands of football fans. Luis Mendoza, 31, was arrested on misdemeanor driving under the influence charges for allegedly running into a power pole and short-circuiting TV reception for 8,300 customers in Brentwood during the final minutes of the Super Bowl.
· Video shows Missouri state representative switching seats with his wife after hitting man with his truck and leaving the scene. A surveillance tape made at a high school parking lot early on New Year's Day shows a large pickup pulling onto the lot, the driver getting out and moving to the front passenger seat, and the passenger moving to the driver's seat before the truck drives off. Authorities contend that Rep. Brad Robinson, D-Bonne Terre traded places with him was his wife, Tara Robinson, after allegedly hitting a man on a roadway several minutes before the tape was made.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Auspices [aus·pi·ces] n.pl. 1. With the protection or support of someone or something, especially an organization: "Financial aid is being provided under the auspices of NATO."
· Underaged sex while on bail leads to jail. A man has been jailed for 13 months after having sex with a 13-year-old girl, while on bail for having sex with a 12-year-old girl. Adam Troy Skilling, 20, appeared in court yesterday and admitted two charges of having sex with girls aged under 16.
· Hospital Worker Accused Of Performing Sex Act On Boy. A respiratory therapist at Arnold Palmer Hospital was arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, Altamonte Springs police said. Kathleen Schulte, 47, was charged with sexual assault and unlawful sexual act with a minor.
· Inmate killed himself with jailhouse phone cord. The software engineer who killed himself Sunday at the Clackamas County Jail found the means inside his booking cell - a telephone with a foot-long cord. Brian Truman Hebener, 51, was locked up alone when he hanged himself about 7:30 p.m. from the cord of a wall-mounted phone. Oregon City police arrested him earlier that evening after an altercation with a neighbor.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
· Defense strategy: 'I didn't murder her, I just had sex with her dead body.' A man accused of murdering teenage model Sally Anne Bowman says he had sex with her dead body but did not kill her, a court has heard. Chef Mark Dixie, 37, claims he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and had "taken advantage of the situation" as the girl lay in a pool of blood.
· Priorities: Woman Puts Seatbelt on Case of Beer but not Baby. Investigators say a Florida woman accused of drunk driving had a case of beer buckled up safely, and a one year old girl sitting in the backseat without a seatbelt or car seat.
· Court Docs: Spears Controlled by Manager. A restraining order against Britney Spears' friend and manager Sam Lutfi alleges that he drugged her, took over her life and finances and for months controlled the ravenous pack of paparazzi.
· Virginia Beach plans to drop charges against Abercrombie store. Virginia Beach officials said Monday that they plan to drop obscenity charges filed against an Abercrombie & Fitch store manager at Lynnhaven Mall, where police confiscated two large posters of partially dressed models over the weekend.
· Clearwater officer cleared in french fry flap. Clearwater police have cleared a police officer of accusations he acted inappropriately last month when he arrested a 75-year-old grandmother at a McDonald's drive-through.
· Fat people cheaper to treat, study says. Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money, researchers reported Monday. It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.
· Parents get $30,600 after son's crocodile death. A Chinese court has ordered a holiday resort and a crocodile keeper to pay $30,600 in compensation to the parents of a nine-year-old boy who was devoured by the reptiles last year.
· Poor security cited at landmarks. Inadequate security has left national icons such as the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty vulnerable, according to a government report on the U.S. Park Police. When two protesters dressed as superheroes climbed onto the statue's lap at the Lincoln Memorial and hung a banner in August, Park Police were absent from their post and private guards did nothing to stop them, the inspector general's office said.
· United to Charge $25 for Second Checked Bag. Starting next spring, United Airlines will begin charging certain domestic passengers for more than one piece of checked-in luggage to help offset the soaring cost of jet fuel.
Monday, February 4, 2008
· FBI wants palm prints, eye scans, tattoo mapping. The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people's physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists. But it's an issue that raises major privacy concerns - what one civil liberties expert says should concern all Americans. The bureau is expected to announce in coming days the awarding of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to help create the database that will compile an array of biometric information - from palm prints to eye scans.
· Judge halves amount of damages Westboro church must pay. A federal judge in Baltimore today substantially reduced the amount of damages Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based anti-gay group, and three of its members will have to pay for their protest at a Marine's funeral in Westminster. The judge more than halved the total $10.9 million award to $5 million.
· Drunk float driver kills brother. A rider on a parade float was crushed and killed at the rear of the Superdome in Lousiana Saturday evening. State police said the 21-year-old driver towing a float in a Carnival parade ran over and killed his 16-year-old brother. The driver, Kain Sayer, was booked with careless driving, first-offense drunk driving, and vehicular homicide.
· Florida Department of Children & Families spokesman arrested on child porn charges. A spokesman for the Department of Children & Families was arrested Friday on child pornography charges, authorities said. Al Zimmerman was charged with eight counts of using a child in a sexual performance.
· Shop pulls "Lolita" bed for young girls. A chain of retail stores in Britain has withdrawn the sale of beds named Lolita and designed for six-year-old girls after furious parents pointed out that the name was synonymous with sexually active pre-teens.
· Video: Suspect says Holloway's body dumped 'like an old rag.' An investigative judge said Sunday that sufficient reason exists to reopen the inquiry against Joran van der Sloot, a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway from the island of Aruba. The announcement came shortly after Dutch television aired a program in which Van der Sloot told a man he considered to be his friend that he was with the 18-year-old on a beach near her hotel when she died, and that he arranged for a friend to take her body to sea and dump it. "He went out to sea and then he threw her out, like an old rag," he said.
· Sex Offenders Living Under Bridge Asked To Leave. Approximately a dozen sex offenders living under a bridge linking Miami to Miami Beach have until Monday to find another place to call home, officials said.
· Fox Wins With Super Bowl Upset. In one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, one of the night's big winners was sure to be Fox. It wasn't just the Patriots that were seeking history on Super Bowl Sunday. Fox was hoping New England's pursuit of an undefeated season, coupled with the underdog New York Giants would break the record 94.08 million viewers who watched the 1996 Super Bowl. Fox had more luck than the Patriots.
· Yahoo may consider Google alliance. Yahoo Inc would consider a business alliance with Google Inc as one way to rebuff a $44.6 billion takeover proposal by Microsoft, a source familiar with Yahoo's strategy said on Sunday.
· Pine-Sol barmaid fined. A bartender who served a customer a Pine-Sol disinfectant and coke has escaped conviction in Melbourne Magistrates Court. But she was fined $3000, given an 18-month good behaviour order, and lost her responsible service of alcohol licence that prevents her from ever serving alcohol again.
· Prices, Lending Spare ND's Home Market. Homeowners in California or Florida may be hurting, but in North Dakota, you can still sell a house for more than you bought it and get a favorable loan, too. While home sales are slumping nationwide, North Dakotans are finding buyers — even in the winter.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
· Holloway Suspect: 'I Know What Happened.' In surveillance recordings airing on a Dutch TV special this evening, Joran van der Sloot, a former suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, says the American teen appeared lifeless on an Aruban beach three years ago during a romantic tryst, and "she'll never be found." He said he called a friend who dumped her body in the ocean.
· Spears to stay in hospital 14 more days. Fallen pop princess Britney Spears got her stay in a psychiatric ward extended Sunday, as doctors decided to keep her hospitalized an additional 14 days, someone close to the pop star told the Associated Press.
· NFL Sacks Church Super Bowl Parties. Football fans at churches around the country are praying for a Hail Mary play in time for Sunday's Super Bowl. Some congregations that throw parties to watch the big game and possibly convert a few nonbelievers may be in violation of National Football League policy and could face legal action. According to the league, the churches are violating NFL copyright by airing games on large-screen TV sets.
· Generous Stranger Gives Lucky Couple Blank Check. At a bar called Dr. Salami's, there were about 20 people in the lounge when a man walked in and bought everyone a round of drinks. He then gave the waitress a $100 tip. Then he stopped at a table with a young couple, asking if they had kids. They said yes, and he handed them a blank check to write in whatever amount they wanted. They did, and it cleared - for $100,000.
· Man says exorcism led to wife's death. A man accused of killing his wife says he was trying to exorcise a demon from her when the devil entered his body and caused her to die, according to a police probable cause statement.
· After 63 years, death photo of famed reporter surfaces. The figure in the photograph is clad in Army fatigues, boots and helmet, lying on his back in peaceful repose, folded hands holding a military cap. Except for a thin trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth, he could be asleep. But he is not asleep; he is dead. And this is not just another fallen GI; it is Ernie Pyle, the most celebrated war correspondent of World War II.
· Police seize photos from Abercrombie store. Police, saying they were responding to citizen complaints, carted away two large promotional photographs from an Abercrombie & Fitch store on Saturday and cited the manager on obscenity charges.
· Grandmother Forced To Pay Before Getting In Ambulance. A 76-year-old grandmother is accusing a Staten Island doctor's office of putting profits over people. She says she was asked for a $5 co-payment just as she was being put into an ambulance.
· Man drives into crime scene with gun, drugs in car. A motorist who drove past a police barricade into the midst of a fatal hit-and-run accident scene near Tacoma on Friday night was arrested after officers spotted cash, a gun and suspected drugs in his car. During the arrest, the man told deputies, "I'm probably gonna wind up on one of those 'dumb crook' shows."
· Lawsuit Alleges Restaurant Owner Strip-Searched Black Employees for Missing Money. Four black former employees of a north Georgia restaurant say they were unfairly strip searched by white managers and that three of them were fired after they complained.
· Anti-smoking pill may kill you faster than the smoking would have. Government regulators said Friday the connection between Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix and serious psychiatric problems is "increasingly likely." The Food and Drug Administration said it has received reports of 37 suicides and more than 400 of suicidal behavior in connection with the drug. In November, the agency began investigating reports of depression and suicidal behavior among patients taking the popular twice-daily pill.
· Clues from an old snapshot solve drowning mystery. A treasured old photograph, a police investigator's long-shot appeal to the public and a retiree's sharp memory have combined to solve a 15-year-old drowning mystery.
· 5 Women Dead In Clothing Store Massacre; Shooter on Loose. A gunman fatally shot five women in a robbery at a store in a suburban Chicago strip mall before fleeing Saturday, leading police to sweep through neighboring shops as terrified customers watched. The victims, including at least one employee, were killed at the Tinley Park Lane Bryant clothing store.
· For 50 Years, Nuclear Bomb Lost in Watery Grave. On Feb. 5, 1958, a B-47 bomber dropped a 7,000-pound nuclear bomb into the waters off Tybee Island, Ga., after it collided with another Air Force jet. Fifty years later, the bomb — which has unknown quantities of radioactive material — has never been found.
· Breakthrough in Writers Talks. A breakthrough in contract talks has been reached between Hollywood studios and striking writers and could lead to a tentative deal as early as next week, a person close to the ongoing negotiations said Saturday.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
· Two Georgia cops have gunfight on Atlanta street. Two off-duty officers from different police departments wounded each other in a gunfight in the middle of a road in an Atlanta suburb, authorities said.
· Nun Accused Of Sexual Assault To Spend 1 Year In Jail. A Roman Catholic nun who pleaded no contest to sexually abusing two Milwaukee boys years ago will spend a year in jail. A judge sentenced Sister Norma Giannini, 79, to one year in jail and nine more years on probation. It has been a four-decade-long struggle for the two victims who first came forward to the church in 1996.
· Arrest sought again in Holloway case. Aruba's chief public prosecutor has requested that Joran van der Sloot, a suspect in the Natalee Holloway case, be arrested for a third time. Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries said that in an undercover camera operation, "we've found what became of Natalee and who's responsible."
· Woman Punched For Trying To Charge Ride. There have been a number of reports of cab drivers balking at customers who try to pay with credit cards, but a woman is accusing a cabbie of actually punching her after she tried to charge a ride.
· NYC sting operation targets taxis. When a cabdriver tried to get Matthew Daus to pay a fare with cash instead of a credit card, Daus knew that wasn't right. As the head of the commission that regulates city taxis, he would know. Since last week, between 60 and 100 commission inspectors and police officers have been posing as everyday New Yorkers and tourists and looking for violations of the "Taxi Passengers Bill of Rights."
· Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter. The rodent was pulled from his stump by members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, top-hat- and tuxedo-wearing businessmen who carry out the tradition.
· Unveiled: Michael Jackson finally shows off his children to the world. It would be pointless trying to judge a family resemblance, given that the man they're supposed to take after doesn't even look like himself any more. But celebrity watchers still believe that these children are the offspring of Michael Jackson. [Photos]
· Appeals Court Buries the Hatch. Richard Hatch is still stuck on the island. A federal appeals court in Boston upheld the Survivor winner's conviction on tax-evasion charges, further rejecting his claim that he was under the impression that the show's producers were going to pay the taxes on his $1 million prize.
· Spears' Dad Has Temporary Control. Britney Spears' father, James Spears, was put in charge of the troubled pop star's welfare during a surprise court appearance by him and mother Lynne Spears, a day after their daughter was whisked to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Just as Spears' immediate family was taking charge of her life, Sam Lutfi, the man seen escorting her about town and sometimes speaking on her behalf, was removed from the picture with a restraining order.
· Goodell Defends Destroying Evidence in Spygate Scandal. Roger Goodell defended his decision to destroy notes and videotapes linked to the New England Patriots' cheating scandal Friday, a day after Sen. Arlen Specter asked why the NFL commissioner trashed the evidence.
Friday, February 1, 2008
· Snipes acquitted of tax fraud, conspiracy. Action star Wesley Snipes was found not guilty of federal tax-fraud and conspiracy charges Friday, but was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return.
· Mentally disabled women blown up. Two mentally disabled women were strapped with explosives today and sent into busy Baghdad markets, where they were blown up by remote control, a top Iraqi government official said. The bombs killed at least 98 people and wounded more than 200 at two popular pet markets, authorities said.
· Exxon Mobil's $11.7 Billion Quarter Sets Record. Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $40.6 billion - as the world's largest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end.
· Quotes hinting at confession in Holloway case confirmed. The Dutch television crime reporter, Peter R de Vries, says he has solved the Natalee Holloway case. In recent weeks, he has been filming with a hidden camera on Aruba and this has, he says, clarified the facts behind the young woman's disappearance. Mr de Vries, who has made his information available to the Aruban Public Prosecutor's Office, will not state who he believes is responsible for Ms Holloway's disappearance. He says all will be revealed in his television programme on Sunday.
· Berkeley council tells Marines to leave. The Marines in Berkeley have got to go. That's the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 6-3 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station "is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
· Microsoft Bids $44.6 Billion for Yahoo. Microsoft is offering $44.6 billion in cash and stock for search engine operator Yahoo Inc. in a move to boost its competitive edge in the online services market. The unexpected announcement Friday comes as Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, seeks new ways to compete more efrfectively against the search and online advertising powerhouse Google Inc.
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."
· Spears in Hospital; Mom Says She's OK. With Britney Spears whisked out of the public spotlight Thursday and committed to a hospital psychiatric ward, it's now up to a team of professional caregivers to reverse her downward spiral. Spears, accompanied by more than a dozen police officers, was taken to the UCLA Medical Center before dawn Thursday in what one officer would only say was an effort to "get help" for the troubled pop star.
· Hollywood Defends Ledger in Video. It was a striking example of Hollywood protecting its own: After an aggressive lobby from powerful film industry figures, "Entertainment Tonight" decided against airing a video that shows the late Heath Ledger hanging out at a party where drugs were being taken.
· Family Displaced by Fire for Second Time in Four Years. When members of the Gordineer family found flames licking through a bedroom in their apartment last week, the dread was all too familiar. Sue and Frank Gordineer and their four children had already lost one home to fire little more than three years ago, when a blaze linked to welding work on a fire escape destroyed the apartment they had rented for 16 years on Nov. 25, 2003. Then, on Jan. 24, it happened again.
· Finger-Thin Cables Tie Internet Together. The lines that tie the globe together by carrying phone calls and Internet traffic are just two-thirds of an inch thick where they lie on the ocean floor. The foundation for a connected world seems quite fragile, an impression reinforced this week when a break in two cables in the Mediterranean Sea disrupted communications across the Middle East and into India and neighboring countries.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
· Drew Peterson Wants to Divorce Missing Wife. Former Illinois Sgt. Drew Peterson wants to divorce his wife who vanished more than three months ago, The Herald News reported on Thursday. "Yeah, but I don’t think I can for a year or so," Peterson told the newspaper about his divorce plans.
· Bill Clinton appeal: Slow down the economy to fight global warming. Former President Bill Clinton was in Denver, Colorado, stumping for his wife yesterday. In his speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."
· Teacher To Student: "You Were Good." A Mississippi teacher admitted to cops that she had sex with a 15-year-old male student to whom she sent explicit text messages and trysted with in her Jaguar. Rebecca Bogard, 27, referred to the boy as "her little 'sex fiend'" in one text message.
· Former priest jailed for exorcism murder of nun. A former priest began a seven-year jail term Wednesday for murdering a young nun during an exorcism ritual when she was bound, chained to a cross and denied food and water for days. Irina Cornici, 23, died from dehydration, exhaustion and suffocation.
· Legally blind golfer, 92, shoots a hole-in-one. Leo Fiyalko made a hole-in-one on the 110-yard, par-3 fifth hole at Cove Cay Country Club in Clearwater, Florida.
"It was my first hole-in-one, and I never saw it," Fiyalko said.
· Bicyclist tasered after riding at night without proper lights. A man riding a bicycle with improper lighting equipment was shot with a Taser stun gun Wednesday night as he ran from a deputy who tried to stop him for the infraction.
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."
· Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought Unions. In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world's largest retailer waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers. Clinton now says she no longer shares Wal-Mart's values and believes unions "have been essential to our nation's success."
· Detroit Mayor Pleads for Forgiveness. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded for forgiveness from his family and his constituents Wednesday in an emotional televised speech, his delayed response to recently revealed racy text messages that contradict his sworn testimony that he did not have a physical relationship with a key aide.
· PSA: If you're carrying 50 pounds of pot in your car, obey all traffic laws. Two men were arrested after 50 pounds of marijuana were found in their car following a traffic stop on Tuesday in Volusia County, officials said. According to Volusia County sheriff's deputies, a silver Dodge pickup was pulled over at about 3:20 p.m. after authorities observed several traffic infractions, including failure to signal a lane change.
· Russia's most famous - and glamorous - female bodyguard killed as her Porsche is carjacked. Russia's most famous female bodyguard Anna Loginova has been killed after failing to prevent her own Porsche being carjacked. The glamorous 29-year-old died from head injuries after clinging on to the door handle of the Cheyenne and being dragged along the street at high speed as the car screeched away.
· Young journalist sentenced to death in Afghanistan for reading about women's rights on the internet. A 23-year old has been sentenced to death for downloading information about women's rights in Afghanistan. Journalist Pervez Kambaksh was reading about the role of women in Islamic socieites. But he was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohamed.
· Video of workers abusing cows raises food safety questions. A video showing California slaughterhouse workers abusing dairy cows - a violation that raises questions about U.S. food safety - was released by the Humane Society of the United States on Wednesday. The video, which one lawmaker said raises questions about the safety of the nation's food supply, shows Hallmark Meat Packing Co. workers administering repeated electric shocks to the downed cows - animals that are too sick, weak or otherwise unable to stand on their own.
· Spears taken from home in ambulance again. Britney Spears was taken from her house by ambulance early Thursday, police told The Associated Press. A Los Angeles police officer, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the 26-year-old pop star was being taken to "get help" but did not give the ambulance's desination.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
· Update: Vermont anti-Bush petition lambasted. A town petition making President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest for crimes against the Constitution has triggered a barrage of criticism from people who say residents are "wackjobs" and "nuts." In e-mail messages, voicemail messages and telephone calls, outraged people are calling the measure the equivalent of treason and vowing never to visit Vermont.
· Dr. Phil: I regret talking about Spears. Television's "Dr. Phil" McGraw says he regrets talking about Britney Spears' mental health after visiting her in the hospital, but insists he didn't violate the family's trust. McGraw said he visited the pop singer as a family friend. The Spears family has accused McGraw of betraying their trust by making an "inappropriate" public statement about the singer's hospitalization.
· Pot vending machines take root in Los Angeles. The city that popularized the fast food drive-thru has a new innovation: 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines. Patients suffering from chronic pain, loss of appetite and other ailments that marijuana is said to alleviate can get their pot with a dose of convenience at the Herbal Nutrition Center, where a large machine will dole out the drug around the clock.
· City sues man for canceling trash service. A man who claims to have reduced his waste to nearly nothing out of concern for the environment now faces a lawsuit from San Carlos, California for canceling his garbage-collection service. Eddie House, 53, says he was shocked when he was served with a lawsuit Sunday.
· Mother Defends Dog After Attack on Son. Two-year-old Noah Newbold is lucky to have the sight in his left eye after being mauled by his family's mastiff-staffordshire cross. Deep cuts and scratches cover the left side of his face. But, the toddler's mother, Alicia Cottier, said she was keeping the dog despite the attack because it had been provoked by her son pulling the dog's ears.
· Mexico drops extradition warrant for 'Dog.' A Mexican judge has ruled TV star Duane 'Dog' Chapman cannot be extradited to Mexico to face kidnapping charges - ending a lengthy legal battle. The star of reality show Dog The Bounty Hunter traveled to Mexico to capture serial rapist Andrew Luster - the heir to the Max Factor cosmetics empire - in June 2003.
· Obama takes big risk on illegal immigrant driver's license issue. Sen. Barack Obama easily won the African American vote in South Carolina, but to woo California Latinos, where he is running 3-to-1 behind rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, he is taking a giant risk: spotlighting his support for the red-hot issue of granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Clinton stumbled into that minefield in a debate last fall and quickly backed off. First she suggested a New York proposal for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants might be reasonable. Then she denied endorsing the idea, and later came out against them.
· Giuliani To Drop Out, Endorse McCain At L.A. Event. CBS News confirmed that Rudy Giuliani, who finished a disappointing third in Tuesday night's Florida GOP primary, will drop out of the presidential race and endorse friendly rival John McCain in California on Wednesday. Giuliani's master plan backfired when he banked his entire campaign strategy on winning in Florida.
· John Edwards to quit '08 race. Former Sen. John Edwards is quitting the Democratic race for president, two sources inside his campaign told CNN Wednesday. He is expected to make the announcement in New Orleans at 1 p.m. ET. Edwards does not plan to endorse either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama at this time, an aide said, but he may do so in the future.
· Man wins, then loses, then wins lottery. An Australian retiree won a $1.8 million lottery prize, then lost it, and then won it again Wednesday through a court ruling. Werner Reinhold bought the lottery ticket at a newsstand in Australia's largest city of Sydney on Sept. 19, 1995. His original ticket did not print correctly, so he asked for a new one, which turned out to be the winner.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
· Air Canada diverts flight after disruption, forces co-pilot off plane. An Air Canada plane was forced to make an unexpected landing in Ireland on Monday after the co-pilot apparently had a mental breakdown in the cockpit. Passengers reported the co-pilot needed psychiatric care after the he kept "swearing and threatening people - and asking for God."
· Cops Release Description Of Reno Kidnapper. Reno police investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Brianna Denison say they are looking for a suspect whose DNA has been linked to the crime scene as well as the scene of the kidnapping and assault of a University of Nevada, Reno student in December.
· Man made 13-year-old girl do schoolwork before having sex. Police said a 20-year-old former Portage resident set to ship out with the Marine Corps on Monday admitted dating a 13-year-old, making sure she finished her schoolwork before they had sex.
· Cops: Drunk Took Mower To Store In Snow. A man was charged with drunken driving after going through two bottles of wine, cutting through a snowstorm on his lawn mower and riding down the center of the street to reach a liquor store, authorities said. Police found Frank Kozumplik, 49, homeward bound on a John Deere tractor Saturday night, toting four bottles of wine in a paper bag, officials said.
· U.S. mayor stuck at California airport uses magazine to prove ID to guards. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones had a problem as he tried to go through the security gate at a California airport: he had misplaced his driver's licence and the expired one in his wallet wouldn't do.
· Hollywood couple sentenced in maid 'slave' case. A former top Hollywood studio lawyer and his wife were on Monday sentenced by a Los Angeles judge after admitting to mistreating their Filipino maid in a case of "modern-day slavery," a court heard. US District Judge Dale Fischer ordered James Jackson, 53, a former vice-president of legal affairs at Sony Pictures to perform 200 hours of community service for admitting a charge of alien harboring.
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."
· Passengers Allowed to Strip Naked on a German Airline. German nudists will be able to start their holidays early by stripping off on the plane if they take up a new offer from an eastern German travel firm.
· Mom to be charged as baby dies in explosion. A 1-year-old girl was killed in an explosion and fire Monday night in Colorado Springs and authorities said they have enough evidence to charge the child's mother with the death.
· NY Judge Denies Foxy Brown's Travel Plea. A judge has denied Foxy Brown's request to get out of jail early so she can go to California for an ear examination and for repair of an electronic ear implant. Prosecutors say Brown can get the treatment she needs in New York, but her attorneys say she requires the treatment of specialists at House Clinic.
· Foreclosures up 75 percent in 2007. The number of foreclosures soared 75 percent in 2007, according to a report released today, with the once red-hot Sun-Belt markets reporting the worst losses. More than 1 percent of all U.S. households were in some stage of foreclosure during 2007, up from 0.58 percent the year before.
· Foreclosed Homes Sell At Auction For As Low As $3,500. About 17,000 families lost their home in Cuyahoga County last year because of foreclosures, but now some of those properties have new owners. The most expensive property at the auction went for $500,000 for a home in Chargrin Falls. The least expensive were homes in Cleveland that went for $3,500, said auctioneer Bret Richards.
Monday, January 28, 2008
· Carjackers Frustrated By Stick Shift Car Shoot Victim In Face. The search was on Monday morning for two carjackers who shot and killed a man in Orlando. Police said they think the victim was shot because the thieves weren't able to steal his car.
· Seattle Man Invents Serial Killer Board Game. A Seattle man has put together a controversial new board game featuring some of the most notorious serial killers in history. Players advance pieces and win the game by answering trivia questions about the killing sprees of Ted Bundy and other well-known murderers.
· Update: Steamy messages prompt Detroit mayor's aide to quit. Christine Beatty, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's chief of staff, said today she is resigning amid allegations that she and the mayor lied under oath about an affair. In a letter to Kilpatrick that was released by his office, Beatty said she believes she can no longer effectively carry out her duties.
· Small Vermont town to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney. Brattleboro, Vermont residents will vote at a town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.
· Jury Selection Begins In Microwaved Baby Case. Investigators believe China Arnold killed her infant daughter by putting her in a microwave oven. Arnold's attorneys argue she had nothing to do with the baby's death in 2005. Jury selection for Arnold was scheduled to begin today.
· Police Cars Ticketed. A Middletown, NJ police officer spent his last day on the job writing tickets for 14 patrol cars that had expired inspection stickers. Cpl. Frank Holden says he was just doing his job.
· Update: Airstrip Driver Sought Speed Advice From Bloggers Before Crash. An 18-year-old driver who lost control during an apparent high-speed joy ride, killing himself and four others at an airstrip runway, sought advice online how to make his high performance vehicle go even faster. Joshua Ammirrato wrote bloggers about problems he had when he was driving his new $82,000 BMW M-5 at speeds above 140 mph.
· Man Arrested for DUI On Way to Pickup Drunk Ex-Wife. A Vermont couple was arrested this weekend for drunk driving in two separate incidents in one night. Police say 33-year-old Tanya Laporte was involved in a collision and processed for DUI and drug possession. Authorities say an hour later she called her ex-husband, 47-year-old Michael Laporte, to pick her up. On his way to the station, he rolled his car, where he was later arrested for drunk driving.
· Ledger's body flown to Australia after LA service. The body of Hollywood actor Heath Ledger was being flown back to Australia on Sunday following a private Los Angeles service for close family and friends, US media reported. Ledger's ex-fiance, "Brokeback Mountain" co-star Michelle Williams, and former girlfriend Naomi Watts were among the mourners at the Los Angeles service.
· Countrywide CEO to give up $37.5 million payoff. Countrywide Financial Chairman and Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo, a lightening rod for criticism over the subprime-lending meltdown, said he's giving up his $37.5 million severance package.
· Woman Arrested For Punching Police Horse. A woman was arrested after punching a police horse in the neck, according to Tampa police. Police said Angelica Rene Ayala punched a horse named Buddy early Sunday morning.
· Official Orders Casino Facade Removed. The burned exterior facade along the roof of the Monte Carlo hotel-casino will have to be removed or secured before the Las Vegas Strip resort can reopen, the chief county building inspector said Saturday.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
· Airstrips are for airplanes. Five young men on an apparent joy ride were killed early Saturday when a BMW they were riding in flew off an elevated runway at an airstrip and was split into several pieces, according to police. The vehicle was speeding in excess of 100 mph when it left the ground and traveled 200 feet into a large tree.
· Jailed 'sickos' to go free by New York governor. A doctor's note would be a get-out-of-jail-free card for many violent felons under a new cost-savings plan in Gov. Spitzer's budget. Proposed legislation buried deep within Gov. Spitzer's budget plan last week would allow the state to free scores of seriously ill and incapacitated inmates now crowding prison hospitals - saving the state $5.4 million in annual medical costs.
· Jamie Lynn Spears agrees to give up her baby. Jamie Lynn Spears has reportedly agreed to give up her unborn baby. The 16-year-old star of Nickelodeon show 'Zoey 101' will reportedly give the child to her mother Lynne as soon as it is born, so she can focus on her career. Jamie Lynn will be back at work and trying to "remind people of her talent."
· Dog chews up Super Bowl tickets. Sometimes Alpo just doesn't cut it. Buddy, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever opted for high-end snacks - two Super Bowl XLII tickets. Face value: $900 each. The mishap occurred Wednesday when Chris Gallagher requested that a courier leave the anticipated package under the doormat of his Avondale Arizona home. The courier instead slipped the envelope under the front door. Buddy accepted delivery.
· Chuck Norris charity CEO found guilty of stealing funds. The former chief executive of Chuck Norris' martial arts program for inner-city children has pleaded guilty to stealing from the charity, the U.S. Attorney's office said. James D. Brasher, 47, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of uttering a forged security.
· UK's youngest female councillor, 18, poses in raunchy photos. She became Britain's youngest female councillor when she was elected last year at the age of 18 on a promise to prove young people are "not all hood-wearing yobs getting drunk." But a series of risque pictures on the internet show that Laura Pye seems to have taken her own manifesto less than seriously.
· Jury vindicates fired city worker. A Honolulu jury awarded a former Oahu city employee more than $3 million yesterday in a whistle-blower, wrongful-termination lawsuit. Nancy Olipares was the executive director of the Oahu Workforce Investment Board, which oversees the distribution of millions of dollars the federal government gives to the city to conduct job training. Olipares contended the city did not renew her annual job contract in 2003 because she blew the whistle on the misuse of some of that money.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
· Bare bottom could cost ABC $1.4 million. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC Television Network stations over a 2003 broadcast of cop drama NYPD Blue. The fine is for a scene where a boy surprises a woman as she prepares to take a shower. The scene depicted "multiple, close-up views" of the woman's "nude buttocks" according to an agency order issued late Friday.
· Update: Remains not that of Stacy Peterson. The decomposed body of a woman discovered in a suburban Chicago industrial area is not that of Stacy Peterson, who disappeared October 28, Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Saturday. Police have said the woman appeared to have reddish-blonde hair. An autopsy was to be done Saturday.
· FBI: Craigslist Used In Murder-For-Hire Case. A Michigan woman is under arrest after being accused of using Craigslist to find someone to kill a Northern California woman. Federal investigators said 49-year-old Ann Marie Linscott contacted several people through Craigslist.org. On two occasions, she offered $5,000 to "eradicate" an Oroville woman.
· New Mexico wants to tax TVs, video games to fight fat. A Democratic lawmaker in New Mexico wants to tax televisions and video games to raise funds to fight childhood obesity and improve education in the state, officials said Friday.
· Stallone: HGH increases the quality of your life. Sylvester Stallone says he used human growth hormone to get buff for the new "Rambo" movie, and defends its use. "HGH (human growth hormone) is nothing," the 61-year-old actor tells Time magazine in its Feb. 4 issue. "Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed."
"Testosterone to me is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older," he says. "Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases the quality of your life.
· Photo of Clintons: Obama Achilles Heel on Other Foot? An undated photo of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and her husband posing with Chicago landlord, and former Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko, raised eyebrows. In the Democratic debate, earlier this week in South Carolina, Clinton called out Obama for taking part, while he was an Illinois state senator, in a land deal with the man she described as a "slum landlord." Although Obama has severed ties with the businessman, Rezko's trial, on charges of attempted extortion and money laundering, starts next month.
· Detroit Mayor lied under oath. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff lied about their relationship last summer at a police whistle-blower trial that has cost the cash-strapped city more than $9 million, according to records obtained by the Free Press. The false testimony potentially exposes them to felony perjury charges, legal experts say.
· Wheelchair-bound Man Shoots Attacker. A homeowner who is confined to a wheelchair shot and wounded a man who confronted him on his door step, Atlanta police told 11Alive News. The homeowner was on his way out of his house on Flat Shoals Avenue Friday morning when he ran into a man at his door. The homeowner asked the man to leave, but the man started to assault the homeowner, authorities said. During a struggle, the homeowner grabbed a gun and shot the attacker in the arm and chest.
Friday, January 25, 2008
· Prison Guards Had Sex With Inmates. Eleven people, including nine who worked at Coleman Federal Penitentiary, have been accused of taking bribes to bring contraband into prison and having sex with an inmate, officials said on Friday.
· Man charged with electrocuting wife during kinky sex. A kinky sex escapade ended this week with the electrocution death of a Pennsylvania woman and the arrest of her husband for manslaughter. According to cops, Toby Taylor, 37, first claimed that his wife Kirsten was shocked by her hair dryer. But he then admitted that the couple was "into weird sexual behaviors."
· Update: 4 calls to Mary-Kate Olsen instead of 911. The massage therapist's first call on finding a lifeless Heath Ledger wasn't to 911. Nor was her second. Nor her third, police said. A day before a Friday private viewing for the 28-year-old actor, police said the masseuse spent nine minutes repeatedly ringing "Full House" actress Mary-Kate Olsen before calling authorities for help.
· Teenager arrested in suicide hijacking plot. Authorities have charged a teenage boy who said he planned to hijack a commercial jetliner in an attempt to commit suicide, an FBI spokesman told CNN late Thursday. The teen wanted to crash the plane into a Hannah Montana concert in Lafayette, Louisiana.
· Corporate Casanova’s dirty secrets seeping out. In a cluster of lawsuits gathered up by The Associated Press, the former chief financial officer of health insurance giant WellPoint Inc. is depicted as a corporate Casanova — a world-class, love-’em-and-leave-’em sort of guy who romanced dozens of women around the country simultaneously, made them extravagant promises and then went back on his word with all the compassion of a health insurance company denying a claim. One woman says David Colby got her pregnant and harangued her via text message (“ABORT!!”) to terminate the pregnancy. He also allegedly gave some of his girlfriends sexually transmitted diseases, and proposed to at least 12 women since 2005.
· Can Photo Clues Lead to Camera's Owner? An East Village bar which was the last piece in a puzzle to track down the owner of a Canon digital camera Erika Gunderson found in a New York taxi on New Year's Eve.
· Ohio judge orders man who stole kettle from Salvation Army to spend night homeless. A judge in Ohio ordered a Salvation Army worker who stole a holiday kettle containing about $250 to spend the night homeless Thursday.
· Deer Hunter Accidentally Shoots, Kills Friend. A Bay County man accidentally shot and killed his friend while deer hunting in the Florida Panhandle, according to wildlife officials. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Matthew Curenton and Matthew Riley were both wearing orange hunting caps, but couldn't see each other through the rain and haze that blanketed the private property.
· Publisher sues Imus for $4 million. Don Imus is being sued for $4 million by an advertiser on his former show who says the radio shock jock badmouthed the company and called its commercials for a book by the late President Gerald Ford "cheesy."
· Casino machine gives $20s instead of $5s. The Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation is trying to recover funds lost when a Regina, Canada, casino self-redemption kiosk gave out $20 bills instead of $5 bills. The company said $13,400 of the $27,500 taken by patrons who were mistakenly issued the twenties instead of fives at Casino Regina has been recovered.
· Obama delivers Letterman's top 10 list. Sen. Barack Obama is making some campaign promises we can be pretty sure he won't keep. Appearing Thursday on the "Late Show With David Letterman," the Democratic presidential candidate delivered a tongue-in-cheek list of his top 10 campaign promises, including a pledge to rename the tenth month of the year "Barack-tober."
· Flight instructor gets $5 million for catching '20th' hijacker. A Minnesota flight instructor who notified his bosses of student Zacarias Moussaoui's suspicious behavior received a $5 million reward Thursday from the State Department, two government officials told CNN. Clarence "Clancy" Prevost was an instructor at the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota, when Moussaoui was a student there.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
· "Pet" girl kicked off bus for wearing leash. A bus company has apologized to a girl who is led around on a leash by her boyfriend and describes herself as a human pet after one of its drivers threw her off a bus.
· Update: Snipes warned IRS agents: Back off or face 'increased collateral risk.' Less than two months after being indicted in 2006, actor Wesley Snipes sent a document to the Internal Revenue Service declaring he was a "nonresident alien" of the United States, refuting his Social Security number and warning that continued prosecution could lead to professional consequences for federal employees.
· Couple protests FAA with rooftop sign. The skies won't seem especially friendly to anyone taking off from Philadelphia International Airport if they notice what a suburban couple wrote on the roof of their home. "(Expletive) U FAA," the message reads, though one letter of the profane word is substituted with an underline. Below that it is a picture of a plane with a slash through it and the words "no fly zone."
· Teacher Tried Smuggling Drugs Into Jail. A Miami-Dade County school board teacher remained jailed Thursday morning after she tried to smuggle marijuana and cocaine into the Metro-West Correctional Facility, where she was assigned to work, Miami-Dade police said.
· Congress ready to cut you a check. U.S. taxpayers would get checks of several hundred dollars from the government under a plan to stimulate the economy, sources said today. Sources on Capitol Hill and at the Treasury Department said negotiators agreed to cut checks for $600 per individual and $1,200 per couple. Checks could be in taxpayer mailboxes by June.
· New Orleans' record on rebuilding firehouses: 0-22. New Orleans has yet to rebuild a single fire station more than two years after Katrina destroyed or damaged 22 of the city's 33 firehouses. Appalled by the city's lack of action, an actor is leading the way in reconstruction of the fire stations. "I gave up on ever hoping that politicians in this country - local, state or federal - would step in to help these guys," actor Dennis Leary told CNN.
· Laughing jailhouse phone call gets woman tough sentence. A judge sentenced a woman to nearly the maximum prison term for negligent homicide after hearing a recorded jail conversation in which she made light of the bicyclist she killed. During the conversation, a man told Melissa Arrington, 27, that an acquaintance believed she should get a medal and a parade because she had "taken out" a "tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot." Arrington laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, "No, it's not."
· Plane crashes after flight safety meeting. At least seven people were killed Wednesday when a Polish military transport aircraft carrying passengers who had attended a flight-safety conference crashed in northwest Poland, military officials said.
· Illinois ex-cop Drew Peterson was ready for dating game. A former police officer suspected in the disappearance of his wife was ready to take part in a radio competition in which women would vie to date him before station officials canned the idea Wednesday. Station manager Peter Bowen said Drew Peterson and his lawyer called Steve Dahl's morning show unsolicited and proposed the "Win a Date with Drew" game.
· French bank finds $7.14 billion fraud. French bank Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a $7.14 billion fraud — one of history's biggest — by a single futures trader who fooled investors and overstepped his authority.
· Masseuse who found Ledger called Mary-Kate Olsen. A massage therapist who discovered a lifeless Heath Ledger in his Manhattan apartment made her first call to Mary-Kate Olsen, according to an in-depth timeline police released Wednesday of the moments surrounding the Australian-born actor's death.
· Producers reveal title of new James Bond. "Quantum of Solace" is the title of the new James Bond film, the 22nd Bond adventure. The title was revealed to reporters Thursday at Pinewood Studios outside of London, where the movie is being filmed.
· Britney Again Skips Custody Case Hearing. Britney Spears came to a courthouse Wednesday in cocktail party attire, stepped in the door and then bolted before a hearing began that could have restored her right to visit her children.
· Online Auctioneer EBay Shifts Gears. Calling eBay Inc. her "baby," outgoing CEO Meg Whitman is promising a smooth transition to a new corporate leadership team as she gives up day-to-day control of the online auction company she has led for 10 years.
· Autopsy: Slain Marine's fetus not born alive. A slain Marine's fetus was not born alive, according to preliminary findings from a military autopsy, an Onslow County, North Carolina, district attorney said.
· Bank robber fails to plan proper getaway. A bank robbery suspect was arrested while waiting at a bus stop to make her getaway, police said. Channel Monae Gaskin, 22, was arrested Wednesday after a police officer saw her waiting for a bus and matched her to the description of the robbery suspect. "That just wasn't too bright," Sandy Springs police Lt. Steve Rose said of the escape plan.
· Scary movie making viewers sick. "Cloverfield" is the first adrenaline-pumping monster hit of the year, bringing in more than $40 million dollars on its opening weekend. The thriller is told from the point of view of five young New Yorkers using their handheld camera. But for some viewers, being "part" of the movie is making them sick - literally.
· Freed man: Detective's big ego stole half my life. Tim Masters isn't bitter. No, it's more like a seething rage, directed at the police detective who pursued Masters since he was 15 for a murder he insists he didn't commit.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
· 'Ferry to nowhere’ draws scrutiny. Of the more than 11,000 earmarks jammed into two federal budget bills passed late last year, few have drawn as much scrutiny as the $20 million budgeted for the Alaska ferry project. The $20 million earmark, placed in the defense bill by U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, helps pay for an experimental, U.S. Navy-designed vessel that will serve as a ferry from Anchorage to Point MacKenzie.
· NASA Photo Shows Humanoid Figure on Mars. Arm outstretched, head tilted in mid-stride — is this mystery figure the final proof that life exists on Mars? The intriguing image was captured by Nasa’s six-wheeled robot explorer Spirit during its three-month mission to study the surface of the Red Planet.
· Police Clear Man In Missing Teen Case. Police have cleared the man wanted for questioning in connection with the disappearance of a Reno teen. Investigators said the man gave Briana Denison, 19, a ride early Sunday to the home where she was last seen. After questioning, officers were able to eliminated him as a suspect in her disappearance.
· Bookworm: Woman accused of strangling mother so she can read in jail. An arvada woman was arrested Thursday for allegedly strangling her mother, inside the home they shared on Newcombe Street, so she could go to jail and have time to read.
· Westboro Baptist Church to picket Heath Ledger’s funeral. That didn’t take long. The same day that actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment, the apparent victim of a drug overdose, Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church announced that it would picket the funeral of the Brokeback Mountain star. "God hates fag-enablers," the WBC proclaimed in a news release issued yesterday.
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.
· NYPD narcotics unit shaken up. New York Police Department officers on the graveyard shift in a narcotics unit are under suspicion of stealing cash and drugs and taking sexual favors. The investigation began last fall when a detective, Sean Johnstone, not realizing his wire was still active, allegedly bragged on tape about seizing 28 bags of cocaine in a buy-and-bust operation and turning in 17.
· Fugitive Marine visits cousin in Mexico. A cousin of suspected killer Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean told CNN Tuesday that he saw the wanted man near Guadalajara a week ago. Juan Antonio Ramos Ramirez said he did not know at the time the Marine visited him at his liquor store in Zapopan that Laurean was being sought by authorities for murder.
· Steak house may go from strip steaks to strippers. Detroit's venerable Carl's Chop House has served New York strip steaks to generations of upscale Detroiters for more than 75 years - but it soon could convert into a strip club.
· Suicide craze linked to social networking site Bebo. The deaths of seven young people from the same town in South Wales could be linked to a suicide craze sweeping a social networking internet site, British police believe.
· 'World's Greatest Dad' Mug Seen In Nixzmary Trial. Nixzmary Brown may have bought her stepfather, accused of killing the 7-year-old girl, a mug that read "World's Greatest Dad," a defense attorney said. But a prosecutor said Tuesday that her stepfather was anything but, given the abuse the girl experienced in his care.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
· Actor Heath Ledger dead. Heath Ledger, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for his role as a gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain," was found dead today in a Manhattan apartment, New York police told CNN. A possible drug overdose was suspected. Ledger was 28.
· Ringo Starr walks off 'Regis and Kelly.' Ringo Starr is known for being the amiable Beatle, but the rock star showed his tough side Tuesday when he walked off the set of "Live With Regis and Kelly" rather than cut short one of his songs.
· Dozens of Minneapolis bridge victims prepare to sue. Dozens of victims of last summer's bridge collapse in Minneapolis — from surviving spouses to the parents of children riding on a yellow school bus — have filed preliminary paperwork to sue the state. Bridge victims don't stand to get much from the state because of a law limiting the government's liability to $1 million per incident.
· New York prosecutor accused of sex with boys. A former suburban prosecutor and mother of four has been indicted on charges of statutory rape, sex abuse and endangering children. Beth Modica, who is married to a police chief, is accused of having sex with high schoolers. She also is accused of giving alcohol and marijuana to several teenage boys.
· Man Busted After YouTube Video Shows Him, Father Playing With Stolen Taser. A Wisconsin man is feeling the heat after police say he stole a Taser from police officers assisting him and later posted a video on YouTube of himself and his father using the device, the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday.
· Church's Sexual Billboard Shocks Passerbys. Sexually themed billboards have shocked some drivers traveling in Jacksonville, Florida, but more surprising than the billboards themselves is what they're advertising - a church.
· Unhappy home buyer, feeling misled on price, sues agent. Marty Ummel believes she paid too much for her house. So do millions of other people who bought at the peak of the housing boom. What makes Ummel different is that she is suing her agent, saying it was all his fault. Ummel claims that the agent hid the information that similar homes in the neighborhood were selling for less because he feared she would back out and he would lose his $30,000 commission.
· Gunman in Pamela Smart case seeks sentence reduction. William Flynn depicts himself as a do-gooder, a member of the Jaycees who has a wife and teenage stepdaughter and likes to play softball. At least that's how he'd like to be seen by a judge, who's considering freeing Flynn early from the 28 years-to-life prison term he got for killing his lover's husband as a teenager in the notorious Pamela Smart murder case.
· Man convicted of murder expected to be freed. Tim Masters is expected to walk out of prison Tuesday after spending more than nine years incarcerated for murder - and despite the prospect of a new trial, a local district attorney says Masters may no longer be a suspect.
· Three Arrested In Slaying Of 94-Year-Old. A 94-year-old man who went missing over the weekend was found dead Monday morning with his hand severed and three people have been charged in what may have been a botched robbery. Willie Lee Morgan "died a horrible death," Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnigan said. After going missing Saturday, Morgan was found in a thicket of bushes on Monday morning, beaten and with his left hand cut off.
· Man Attacked With Hammer, Killed. Dennis Freeman, 36, and his wife should be celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary today and his wife’s birthday, but instead the Freeman family is mourning Dennis’ death. Police said Freeman was bludgeoned and murdered after Freeman told the suspect, Roger Brown, to stop urinating in front of his wife and kids.
· Tiger on 'lynch' controversy: Enough. Tiger Woods says Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman meant no harm when she used the term "lynch" during television commentary about him, and he regards the issue closed as he returns to work this week. The topic was cranked up a notch last week when Golfweek magazine put a noose on the cover of its Jan. 19 issue.
· Fred Thompson quits presidential race. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson quit the Republican presidential race, after a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states. "Today, I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," Thompson said in a statement.
· Maine woman, 87, gets a sweet response. When Elizabeth Emerson confessed to a newspaper that her only real indulgence has been an occasional chocolate bar during her 87 years, she wasn't prepared for the sweet response that followed.
· Britney Spears attends deposition. Britney Spears showed up. The pop star went to a deposition Monday in her dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline over the custody of their two boys, according to published reports.
· 6 accused in cheap-gas scheme. A gas station clerk is accused of defrauding her boss out of nearly $50,000 by selling fuel to her family and friends for a tenth of a penny a gallon. The station's owner told police last week he had noticed a significant drop in his income and found receipts that listed the deeply discounted rate.
· Sammy Davis Jr. widow sues over legacy. The widow of Sammy Davis Jr. is suing two former business partners over the rights to the Rat Pack entertainer's life story and management of his legacy. Altovise Davis says in a lawsuit filed in federal court that the two men exaggerated their show-business credentials and defrauded her into signing away some rights to her husband's estate.
· Oil sinks to 6-week low on U.S. recession fears. Oil fell to a six-week low on Tuesday, dragged lower by a stock market plunge and fears a slowdown in the United States could have a much wider impact than previously thought. U.S. crude fell to a low of $86.11 a barrel.
Monday, January 21, 2008
· Bill Clinton takes a nap during MLK award presentation. Bill Clinton showed yesterday why he made it into the book "The Art of Napping." During an appearance at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, the former president was caught nodding off. Clinton was there during a service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., while his wife was nearby at Abyssinian Baptist Church, where she was endorsed by its minister, Rev. Calvin Butts.
· Oliver Stone to make "fair" movie about George W. Bush. Director Oliver Stone, who has made movies about Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, is developing a project about the current occupant of the White House, but promises it will not be a hatchet job, Daily Variety reported on Sunday.
· Inmates want their executioners named. Lawyers for five death row inmates are pressing Missouri to identify members of its execution team after a newspaper revealed that a nurse on the team was once accused of stalking.
· Hapless thieves steal bag of bread rolls. A pair of thieves who stole what they thought was $30,000, ended up with a bag of bread rolls. Described as keystone robbers by a judge, one of the robbers accidentally shot his accomplice, then tried to use his keys to open the wrong car during their getaway.
· Polanski sex scandal film shakes up Sundance. Thirty years after director Roman Polanski fled the United States and a conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, a U.S. filmmaker has reopened the sensational case in a documentary that is shaking up the Sundance Film Festival.
· Global markets plunge on U.S. recession fears. European and Asian stock markets plunged Monday following declines on Wall Street last week amid investor pessimism over the U.S. government's stimulus plan to prevent a recession.
· Candidate's Campaign Doctors Photo, Puts His Head on Skinnier Body. Some politicians talk about cutting the fat, but this one was serious. Congressional candidate Dean Hrbacek appears slimmer than usual in a new campaign brochure because a photo of his head was affixed to the image of a different body. While the mailer sent to voters this week by the former Sugar Land mayor says "Dean's record speaks for itself," his physique clearly does not.
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].
· L.A. Times editor fired for refusing budget cuts. The Los Angeles Times fired its top editor after he rejected a management order to cut $4 million from the newsroom budget, 14 months after his predecessor was also ousted in a budget dispute, the newspaper said Sunday.
· Today is the most depressing day of the year? There's a lot to feel down about this month: the subprime mortgage crisis, stormy, unpredictable weather, rising gas prices, presidential primary free-for-alls. So, it would be easy to believe the theory set forth by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher from Cardiff University, that the third Monday of the month (Jan. 21, this year) — a day he calls Blue Monday — will be our most depressing day of the year.
· 'Gen. Butt Naked' says he caused 20,000 deaths. One of Liberia's most notorious rebel commanders, known as Gen. Butt Naked, has returned to the nation his troops terrorized to confess, saying he is responsible for 20,000 deaths.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
· Update: Attorney who keyed Marine's car gets misdemeanor plea agreement. Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine's car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, got his day in court last week. Grodner was late to court for the second time in the case, and after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor plea agreement, will do 30 hours of community service and a $600 fine - and no jail time. The felony charge was dropped even though he caused $2,400 in damage to Sgt. McNulty's car.
· Grandmother Arrested At McDonald's Drive-Thru. A 75-year-old woman was arrested at a Clearwater McDonald's drive-thru, because police say she waited at the window for her coffee and fries rather than pulling her car forward as an officer requested. Jean Merola was handcuffed behind her back and put in a police cruiser then taken to jail where she was searched, photographed and fingerprinted.
· 'Don Vito' Gets Probation for Possession. Vincent Margera, known to MTV viewers as "Don Vito," was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to violating bond conditions for cocaine possession.
· Mother, boyfriend arrested after infant tested legally drunk. A Muncie woman and her boyfriend are behind bars after allegedly giving alcohol to an 11 month old baby. Police say the little boy's blood alcohol level was 0.118.
· 16-Year-Old Boy Runs Up $3,500 Bar Tab But Had No Cash. A teenager who posed as a wealthy playboy and went on an extravagant spending spree at a Japanese nightclub has been arrested after trying to skip out on his bill, police said. Over the course of six hours, he ordered two bottles of Dom Perignon champagne as well as 60 glasses of whiskey and beer.
· Suzanne Pleshette dies. Suzanne Pleshette, the beautiful, husky-voiced film and theater star best known for her role as Bob Newhart's sardonic wife on television's long-running "The Bob Newhart Show," has died, said her attorney Robert Finkelstein. She was 70.
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].
· Woman, 53, with black belt in martial arts, tackles burglary suspect. A would-be burglar met his match when he tried to elude Margo Foster, a marathon runner with a black belt in karate who also knows kickboxing and kung fu, police said. After a seven-block-long chase, the intruder began to climb a 6-foot-high wooden fence, when she "grabbed him by the neck, ripped him off the fence, threw him to the ground, and put her knee to his chest."
· Teen 'Bhutto assassin' arrested. A 15-year-old detained near the Afghan border has confessed to joining a team of assassins sent to kill Benazir Bhutto, officials said, announcing the first arrests in the case since the attack that killed the opposition leader.
· Border Patrol Officer Killed In Attempt To Stop Rogue Vehicle. A Border Patrol officer was run over and killed on Saturday as he attempted to lay a spike strip to stop a speeding Hummer in the sand dunes of Imperial County.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
· Women turn on ‘traitor’ Oprah Winfrey. America's favorite television host is paying a painful price for her intervention in the presidential campaign last month. Oprah Winfrey has been dubbed a “traitor” by some of her female fans for supporting Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton. Winfrey’s website, Oprah.com, has been flooded with a barrage of abusive posts since the queen of daytime chat shows joined Obama on his campaign tour.
· Banks Urged To Disallow Caps, Sunglasses. Responding to a more than one-third hike in bank robbery, the Florida Bankers Association is urging its members to adopt new rules. Not additional guards or cameras, but a dress code for customers. The group rolled out a "No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses" program, which includes lobby signs asking customers to remove those items before approaching a teller.
· Woman: Burglar hid in closet - with me. A woman hiding in a closet from burglars was shocked when they opened the doors - not once but twice - and never saw her. The burglars spotted police and scrambled. One jumped into the bedroom closet, inches from Brittney. "He was standing right there. I could have kissed his cheek if I'd stood on my tippy toes," she said.
· Dr. Phil Apologizes For Britney Spears Visit. Dr. Phil is sorry. The TV physician has issued a statement apologizing for his controversial visit with Britney Spears while the singer was in the hospital on January 5, as well as a subsequent press release he issued about the incident. A complaint was filed against McGraw earlier this week that accused him of violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
· Man accused of breaking into same home twice to grab 14-year-old girl's underwear. A man who is accused of climbing through a 14-year-old girl's bedroom window twice Wednesday and stealing her underpants was arrested by sheriff's deputies as he walked through the neighborhood.
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."
· Outrage Follows Release of Police Tapes. There is new outrage following CBS 2's exclusive report on tasteless phone calls made by police officers as a homeless man was found dying along a desolate road. Rene Perez's brother Anival Perez said the officers joked as if his brother was an animal, not a human.
· 11-year-old booked with armed robbery. An investigation into an armed robbery in which cheesy bread and buffalo wings were taken from a pizza delivery driver in LaPlace last week led authorities to an unlikely suspect: a hungry 11-year-old boy.
· A hero called Coward: BA pilot declares it was his deputy who landed stricken flight. The real hero of the Heathrow crash landing was revealed yesterday as a man named Coward. Straight after the drama Captain Peter Burkill was praised for safely bringing down his stricken Boeing 777 with 136 passengers on board. But Captain Burkill admitted yesterday that Senior First Officer John Coward was at the controls when the plane suffered a catastrophic power failure in both engines 40 seconds from landing.
· Minn. health system purges drug trinkets. When an operator of hospitals and clinics purged the pens, notepads, coffee mugs and other promotional trinkets drug companies had given its doctors over the years, it took 20 shopping carts to haul the loot away. The purge underscored SMDC's decision to join the growing movement to ban gifts to doctors from drug companies.
· Ridley Scott film faces $50m lawsuit as police claim 'We've been framed.' In Ridley Scott's hit film American Gangster, corrupt officers raid the home of a notorious New York drug lord played by Denzel Washington. They shoot his dog, beat his wife and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. Gregory Korniloff is the retired Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer who led the real-life raid on the home of Frank Lucas, a drugs kingpin, in a leafy suburb in New Jersey on January 28, 1975. “It's a total fabrication,” he told The Times yesterday, from his home in Las Vegas. “I did not shoot his dog, beat his wife or steal his money.
Friday, January 18, 2008
· Ex-Snipes tax adviser testifies in trial. A financial adviser has testified that he warned Wesley Snipes that he could get into trouble if he didn't pay his taxes. The 45-year-old actor allegedly stopped filing returns, illegally sought refunds totaling $11 million for 1996 and 1997 taxes paid, and drew fake checks to pay the U.S. Treasury. Prosecutors say Snipes paid taxes in the '90s, but changed his mind after meeting co-defendant Eddie Ray Kahn, founder of the tax protest groups American Rights Litigators and Guiding Light of God Ministries, in 2000.
· Update: Golfweek Magazine Replaces Editor. Golfweek apologized Friday for putting a noose on the cover of its magazine to illustrate the controversy over a Golf Channel anchor's use of "lynch" in a comment about Tiger Woods. The editor responsible for the cover was replaced.
· Chess Master Bobby Fischer Dies at 64. Bobby Fischer, the reclusive chess genius who became a Cold War hero by dethroning the Soviet world champion in 1972 and later renounced his American citizenship, has died.
· Police: Tiger attack victim was intoxicated, taunting. One of the three victims of San Francisco Zoo tiger attack was intoxicated and admitted yelling and waving at the animal while standing on the railing of the cat's enclosure, police said in court papers. Toxicology results for Paul Dhaliwal, 19, showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.16 - twice the legal limit for driving, according to the affidavit.
· Golfweek noose elicits strong reaction. The editor of Golfweek magazine said he was overwhelmed by negative reaction to the photo of a noose on the cover of this week's issue, illustrating a story about the suspension of a Golf Channel anchor for using the word "lynch" in an on-air discussion about how to beat Tiger Woods.
· 13-year-old Alaska girl arrested for 'touching boys over their clothes.' A 13-year-old Sutton girl is being held in the Mat-Su Youth Facility after two boys said she sexually assaulted them on a school bus. The boys, also 13, of Sutton, said the girl touched them over their clothing, Palmer Police Det. Kelly Turney said. Police went to Palmer Junior Middle School Jan. 9 and arrested the girl.
· Matthews: I Wronged Clinton With Remark. With protests rumbling, MSNBC's Chris Matthews said Thursday that he was wrong to say last week that the reason Hillary Clinton is a senator and a candidate for president "is that her husband messed around."
· Lohan to work in morgue as punishment. Lindsay Lohan is about to see dead people. The 21-year-old actress will soon be working at a morgue as part of her punishment for misdemeanor drunken driving, her attorney, Blair Berk said.
· Paraplegic man dumped in LA gutter sues hospital. A mentally ill paraplegic man filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a hospital that dumped him in a gutter on Los Angeles' "Skid Row" - a case that highlighted the plight of the city's vast homeless population. Gabino Olvera, 42, sued the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center for negligence and elder abuse after it discharged him and took him across town in a van and left him in a soiled hospital gown without a wheelchair in the heart of the city's homeless area.
· Data Lost on 650,000 Credit Card Holders. Personal information on about 650,000 customers of J.C. Penney and up to 100 other retailers could be compromised after a computer tape went missing. GE Money, which handles credit card operations for Penney and many other retailers, said Thursday night that the missing information includes Social Security numbers for about 150,000 people.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
· NC Man Arrested For Bad Pickup Line. For four months, local authorities have been searching for a man who told women he was a deputy or narcotics officer with the McDowell County Sheriff's Office. 33-year-old Aaron Melton said that he did it to impress the ladies. Melton said he thought it would help him get ladies to date him, and it sounded better than telling them that he was a plumber.
· Court plucks people off street to serve on juries. With only 39 out of 200 people summonsed for jury duty in Greeley, Colorado showing up Wednesday, court officials with emergency jury duty subpoenas headed to the street to randomly pick 50 people to serve on juries. Witnesses told television stations that administrators approached people walking on the sidewalk, at a grocery store and even a nearby gym, where people in their workout clothes headed to court under a threat of a contempt of court citation.
· Family Killed When Car Crashes Into Lake. Georgia State Patrol has confirmed a mother, father and child were killed when their car crashed into a Haralson County lake Wednesday evening during wintry weather conditions.
· 14-year-old boy takes out burglar with baseball bat. A 14-year-old boy came face to face with a burglar ransacking his Mesa, Arizona home on Tuesday and used a baseball bat to level the playing field.
· Psychology Board Investigates Dr. Phil. TMZ has obtained a copy of a complaint against Dr. Phil which was lodged with the California Board of Psychology, alleging the TV doc was illegally practicing without a license when he paid a visit to one Britney Spears. Dr. Phil has never been licensed to practice in California, and he retired his Texas license in 2006. Practicing without a license is a felony in California.
· Girl next door lands on the Internet. Chances are you'll recognize Alice Fraasa, but you won't know from where. Fraasa, a 19-year-old sophomore at Auburn University, is the face of Snorg Tees, a successful Georgia-based company that sells T-shirts online imprinted with funny, occasionally rude, comments. The company says about 500,000 people a month click on ads featuring Fraasa. The brothers who launched the company 3 1/2 years ago credit much of its success to Fraasa, who's paid only in free T-shirts.
· Former GOP congressman charged in terror conspiracy. A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan. The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.
· O.J. Released From Jail on Doubled Bail. O.J. Simpson again walked free from a Las Vegas jail late Wednesday, hours after a judge blistered him for "arrogance or ignorance" for breaking bail terms in a robbery case.
· Muslim athlete disqualified over uniform. A high school track star has been disqualified from a meet because officials said the custom-made outfit she wears to conform to her Muslim faith violated competition rules. The custom-made, one-piece blue and orange unitard covers her head, arms, torso and legs.
· David Faustino Drug Charge Dropped. Prosecutors have dropped a drug charge against David Faustino, best known for playing Bud Bundy on the TV series "Married With Children." Faustino was charged in May 2007 with misdemeanor marijuana possession after he was arrested during an argument with his estranged wife. A disorderly intoxication charge was dismissed later that month, and Faustino agreed to complete a drug treatment program.
· Murphy, Edmonds 'Friends,' Not Spouses. The wedding ceremony between Eddie Murphy and film producer Tracey Edmonds two weeks ago was only symbolic - and that's as far as they plan to go, they announced Wednesday. Murphy, 46, and Edmonds, 40, traded vows on New Year's Day on a private island off Bora Bora in French Polynesia in a ceremony that was not legally binding.
· FDA: Cold Medicines Too Risky for Tots. Parents may be left with only love and lots of liquid to give their sniffling babies and toddlers now that the government is declaring over-the-counter cough and cold medicines too risky for tots. The Food and Drug Administration was issuing that warning Thursday to parents of children under 2.
· N.H. Primary Democratic Re-Count Under Way. Secretary of State William Gardner says his office is ready for Wednesday's re-count of New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary. Democrat Dennis Kucinich has paid $27,000 to Gardner's office to start the re-count.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
· Judge doubles O.J. Simpson's bail. A judge doubled O.J. Simpson's bail to $250,000 Wednesday after learning he never paid any money to a bail bondsman when he initially was released. Simpson attorney Yale Galanter said Simpson planned to use his Miami, Florida, home to secure bond. But the judge insisted that he put down 15 percent in cash - $37,500.
· Disgraced Duke prosecutor bankrupt, lists $180 million in liabilities. Disgraced and disbarred, Mike Nifong is now bankrupt. The former North Carolina prosecutor, whose career imploded with his botched handling of the Duke University rape case, today filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities in excess of $180 million.
· University of Phoenix parent guilty of fraud. Apollo Group Inc., the for-profit company that owns the University of Phoenix, fraudulently misled investors about its student recruitment policies, a federal jury ruled Wednesday, and was ordered to pay shareholders about $280 million.
· ACLU: Sex in Restroom Stalls Is Private. In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy.
· Actor Blake appeals wrongful death award. The jurors who found Robert Blake liable for damages in his wife's death after he was acquitted of murder were out to get him even before the civil trial began, the actor's attorney said Tuesday as he appealed the case. The jurors, who ordered Blake to pay the survivors of Bonny Lee Bakley $30 million for her 2001 death, were incompetent, guilty of misconduct and issued an award "so grossly excessive that it shocks the conscience."
· Amazon.com challenges French competition law. The online retailer Amazon.com said that it would pay a daily fine of $1,500 rather than eliminate its offer of free shipping on book purchases, said Xavier Garambois, director of Amazon's French subsidiary. Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of the company, based in Seattle, said in an e-mail to French customers "As unbelievable as it appears, the free delivery of Amazon.fr is threatened. France would be the only country in the world where the free delivery practiced by Amazon would be declared illegal."
· Michigan GOP Congratulates Wrong Candidate. The Michigan Republican Party mistakenly sent out a news release congratulating John McCain for winning the state's GOP primary. It quickly issued a second statement praising Mitt Romney for his win.
· Huckabee says crying toddler must be for Romney. Confronted by crying toddler on Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee quipped the child must be for his rival Mitt Romney. "He's not the happiest boy today," Huckabee said, smiling for a picture with the boy and his brother and sister. "I think he must be a Romney voter. Look at him. He's so sad."
· Jobs Reveals Tiny New Laptop. Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs took the wraps off a super-slim new laptop at Macworld Tuesday, unveiling a personal computer less than an inch thick that turns on the moment it's opened. At its beefiest, the new computer is .76 inches thick; at its thinnest, it's .16 inches.
· Matthew McConaughey going to be a dad. Matthew McConaughey is going to be a dad. The actor and his girlfriend, Brazilian model Camila Alves, are expecting a baby, publicist Alan Nierob said Tuesday.
· Troubled Actor Brad Renfro Dies at 25. Actor Brad Renfro, whose career began promisingly with a childhood role in "The Client" but rapidly faded as he struggled with drugs and alcohol, was found dead Tuesday in his home.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
· Design flaw cited in bridge collapse. Undersized gusset plates in the Interstate 35-W bridge in Minneapolis were "the critical factor" in the bridge collapse last year that killed 13 people and injured 100, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday.
· Autopsy: Marine died of head injury. A 20-year-old pregnant Marine who disappeared in December died from a head injury, authorities said Tuesday, formally rejecting claims by the key suspect in her death that she committed suicide.
· Oprah Winfrey Getting Her Own TV Network. Discovery Communications and Oprah Winfrey announced a deal Tuesday where the Discovery Health network will be turned over to Winfrey next year, becoming OWN - the Oprah Winfrey Network.
· Arrest in Chandler rapist case fuels illegal immigrant debate. As Chandler, Arizona residents regroup following a man's arrest in the rapes that terrorized the city for 18 months, immigration advocates are bracing for the angry tide over illegal immigration to wash over the Valley again. From talk radio to lunch-time talk, Santana Batiz Aceves' status as a Mexican national who was deported twice before his weekend arrest in the "Chandler Rapist" case will be cited by both those who advocate a hard-line stance on immigration and those who are sympathetic to the plight of undocumented immigrants.
· Court says Spears cannot visit sons. Britney Spears finally went to the courthouse Monday but abruptly left without attending a hearing in her child-custody battle with her ex-husband, missing a chance to try to persuade a commissioner to restore her visitation rights to her two little boys. Commissioner Scott Gordon then ruled that a January 4 emergency order suspending her visitation rights and giving custody to Federline would remain in effect.
· Dennis Quaid Says Hospital Misled Him. Dennis Quaid said staff at the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center misled him while his newborn twins were being treated there, telling him the children were "fine" even as doctors scrambled to reverse a blood thinning medicine overdose. The Quaids' lawyer, Susan E. Loggans, said the hospital was slow to provide full documentation, and that her clients have not made a decision about whether to add the hospital to a lawsuit against the heparin manufacturer who supplied the drug.
· Orlando Woman Records Proof Of Maggots In Hershey's Bars. An Orlando woman went to a gas station for a snack, but what she got was anything but appetizing. She said she found bugs crawling across her Hershey's bar and videotaped the proof.
· Dozens in Texas town report seeing UFO. In this Texas farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported sightings of what many believe is a UFO. Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.
· German experts crack Mona Lisa smile. German academics believe they have solved the centuries-old mystery behind the identity of the "Mona Lisa" in Leonardo da Vinci's famous portrait. Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, has long been seen as the most likely model for the sixteenth-century painting. But art historians have often wondered whether the smiling woman may actually have been da Vinci's lover, his mother or the artist himself. Now experts at the Heidelberg University library say dated notes scribbled in the margins of a book by its owner in October 1503 confirm once and for all that Lisa del Giocondo was indeed the model for one of the most famous portraits in the world.
· Controversial Wind Farm Gets Major Boost. It's a 2,000-page preliminary report of Cape Wind's proposal to put 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. The draft environmental impact statement from a federal agency within the Department of Interior gives the controversial wind farm a thumbs up. It is a huge step forward in what has been a hard fought battle against opponents who argued the turbines would wreck the environment, harm rich fishing grounds and ruin the Sound's natural beauty. The federal Minerals Management Service has basically concluded that Massachusetts can't afford not to have Cape Wind.
· Greenspan to join New York hedge fund firm. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is set to join hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co. as an adviser, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Greenspan has been criticized by some for keeping the trendsetting federal funds rate at a low 1 percent from June 2003 through June 2004, which some say contributed to a housing bubble that is now bursting.
· Planes collide taxiing at San Francisco airport. The FAA is sending accident investigators to San Francisco International Airport to look into last night's near catastrophe. They'll be trying to find out why two passenger jets collided while taxiing from their gates.
· World's Biggest Plane Rolls off Runway in Singapore. Singapore Airlines' A380 superjumbo jet sustained superficial damage when it rolled onto grass as it left an airport terminal in the first glitch for the world's biggest passenger plane since going into service in October, the airline said Friday.
Monday, January 14, 2008
· Six D.C. employees to be fired in slain kids case. At least six child welfare employees will be fired for improperly handling concerns about a woman's care for her four daughters, who were later found dead in their home, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said Monday. The decomposing bodies of the girls - ages 5 to 17 - were found Wednesday when deputy U.S. marshals served an eviction notice at the apartment. Their mother has been charged with murder.
· Mom Left Boy, 3, In Locked Car While Shopping At Flea Market. A Central Florida mother was arrested Friday, accused by authorities of leaving her 3-year-old in a locked vehicle with the windows rolled up while she shopped at a flea market.
· Drywall compound used as disguise. Masking his appearance with a coat of drywall compound wasn't enough to protect the identity of a bank robber, authorities said. A NASCAR plate on the getaway car led police right to him.
· Japanese man's underwear yields marijuana in Philippines. A Japanese man was arrested at the Philippine's main international airport after 34 marijuana cigarettes were found in his underwear, an aviation police report said Monday. Nishi Kenechi, 55, was arrested Sunday at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a policeman who frisked him during a routine body check felt something on his buttocks.
· Parade Changes Possible After Boy's Death. The death of a 9-year-old boy who was run over by a Christmas parade float while throwing candy to onlookers could have been prevented, a report has found. The city report released Friday said Plant City leaders should change the parade rules, that Jordan Hays was too young to walk the parade route, and that officials should consider banning the distribution of beads and candy in parades.
· Spears Due in Court for Major Hearing. Britney Spears' best chance of regaining visitation rights with her two sons is in court - but whether she'll be there is anyone's guess. Spears is scheduled to appear Monday morning for what an attorney described Sunday as "the most significant hearing in the case so far" in the pop star's effort to regain visitation rights.
· Man reels Hummer Limo out of Lake Texoma. One local man planned to spend the day at Lake Texoma with his family, and hoped he might get a big catch. He never expected what he found fishing at Juniper West. Boating on Lake Texoma seemed like just another day for Bob Faulkner, until he reeled in what he calls the biggest catch of his life. He never expected that his big catch would turn out to be a stretch Hummer limousine.
· Giuliani Turns to Prayer in Florida. With his plan for winning the GOP presidential nomination riding largely on a Florida victory at the end of the month, Rudy Giuliani asked an evangelical congregation for prayers instead of votes Sunday and quoted scripture to evoke a message of hope and perseverance.
· Sri Lankan man spends 50 years in prison without trial. A Sri Lankan man has been released from prison after spending 50 years on remand, his lawyer said Monday. D.P. James, now 80, was arrested in August 1958 for attacking and wounding his father with a knife. He was sent to jail, then moved to a psychiatric hospital, and then discharged back to jail - where he was forgotten about.
· Glitz gone amid strike. Unlike a crippling writers strike that has dragged on for months, Hollywood's first big awards show was over in a flash, with no key winners, no stars in sight and no real fun for fans of show business glitz.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
· Man killed in fall after escalator stunt. A man died after falling several stories in a Hollywood shopping mall while apparently attempting to slide down the banister of an escalator, authorities said. The victim's friends told officials investigating the Saturday night incident at the Hollywood & Highland Center that the man "had been drinking quite a bit."
· Interpol boss faces charges, quits. South Africa's embattled police commissioner resigned Sunday as president of Interpol, a day after he took an extended leave of absence from his police duties, the international crime-fighting agency said in a statement. Interpol's Secretary-General Ronald Noble is alleged to have accepted at least 1.2 million Rand ($177,000) from Glen Agliotti, a convicted drug smuggler, over a 5-year period.
· Customer Brought Grenade Into Waffle House. Police have arrested a man who they said brought a grenade into a Waffle House restaurant in Alcoa. Capt. Rick Arnold said Jack Hensley ordered breakfast on Friday morning, began eating and then set the grenade with the pin still in it on the table in front of him.
· Man makes suicide attempt with castor beans. Maryvale Hospital was temporarily closed after police responded to a 10 p.m. call regarding a man who may have attempted suicide by ingesting the beans, which contain a toxin that can be lethal to humans. Castor beans can be used to make ricin, which can be used in a biological weapon.
· Train Riders Take Off Pants For National Stunt. Dozens of people riding on TRAX on Saturday were caught with their pants down - despite the January chill - as part of a national stunt. Riders were encouraged to ride light rail without pants in conjunction with a comedy organization based in New York City.
· Memo: Don't use obscene check to pay parking ticket. A man who wrote a vulgar message on the memo line of a check he used to pay a $5 parking ticket has apologized in writing, leading police to drop a disorderly conduct charge against him.
· Ex-Holloway suspect in talk show spat. A former suspect in the disappearance of an American teenager in Aruba threw wine in the face of a crime reporter after they appeared together on a talk show and the reporter challenged his honesty.
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.
· Breach Worries Online Porn Industry. When operators of sex-oriented Web sites gather at the Internext convention starting Sunday in Las Vegas, a major leak at a little New Jersey company is likely to be a big topic. Freehold-based Too Much Media, which sells accounting software for adult Web sites, told its customers last month that a security breach on its computers allowed hackers to access various adult Web sites' subscriber lists. Keith Kimmel of Norman, Okla., who runs two Web sites that feature porn, said the breach has the potential to embarrass.
· Man Sodomized Stepson in Revenge. A father sodomized his 18-year-old stepson to avenge the teenager's alleged rape of the man's 8-year-old daughter, police said. When the stepson was arrested, the man warned his wife not to get the teenager out of jail. She posted bond for the teen's release. When he called home Jan. 3 after getting released, the father took the call and picked him up, police said. Instead of taking the teenager home, the Arlington man drove to an abandoned house in Fort Worth, beat his stepson with a baseball bat and sodomized him with a metal tool, police said.
· Clinton advisor charged with DWI. A senior adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was arrested and charged with aggravated drunken driving a day before the New Hampshire primary. Nashua police say Sidney Blumenthal was arrested after an officer pulled over a car traveling 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
· San Francisco Zoo in new animal escape alert. A leopard and a polar bear came close to escaping from enclosures at San Francisco Zoo, reports said Friday, less than three weeks after a visitor was mauled to death by a tiger at the facility.
· Buddy Holly's widow may sue over 'Peggy Sue' memoirs. Buddy Holly's widow is trying to keep the woman whose name was made famous by the 1950s hit song "Peggy Sue" from selling a book about her friendship with the rocker. Maria Elena Holly says Peggy Sue Gerron's "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?" is unauthorized and will harm her late husband's name.
· Priestly passenger's 'holy sand' is drugs. A man dressed as a priest caught at Amsterdam's airport with three kilos of cocaine under his vestments claimed to police that his packages contained "holy sand", Dutch police said.
· Man accidentally hangs self in stunt. A 23-year-old man was recovering in a Vancouver-area hospital after an attempt to film a mock hanging as a stunt accidentally became the real thing, police said on Thursday.
· Man wins breathalyzer challenge, claiming too 'cheap' to be impaired. A man has won a court challenge of his breathalyzer test, after telling a judge he is too "cheap" to buy enough drinks to be impaired. In a written decision, territorial court Judge Cunliffe Barnett dismissed impaired driving charges against Thomas Wood, who argued that he could not have consumed enough beer to have had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08.
· Ace employee makes $152 million accounting error. Ace Hardware discovered that a mid-level employee made innocent but enormously expensive and incorrect entries in ledger books that eventually led to a $152 million accounting error, Ace Hardware CEO Ray Griffith said today.
· NBA orders replay of final 51.9 secs. For the first time since 1982, the NBA is sending two teams back to the court for a do-over. The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat must replay the final 51.9 seconds of their game last month because the official scorer ruled incorrectly that Shaquille O'Neal fouled out, the league said Friday.
· Update: O.J. Simpson jailed over recorded message. O.J. Simpson was in jail Saturday, accused of violating terms of his bail in an armed robbery case, after a bondsman told authorities the former football star tried to get him to pass a message to a co-defendant. A prosecutor claims that Simpson left a tape-recorded message saying: "I just want, want C.J. to know that ... I'm tired of this (expletive)," Simpson is quoted as saying in the documents. "Fed up with (expletives) changing what they told me. All right?"
· Hmmmm. Did I leave the water running? Overwatering your plants is never a good idea, especially if they're illegal. Police were called to a three-family house in New Haven Wednesday on a report of a water leak from a second floor apartment into the first floor. Firefighters responded to the apartment, where they say they found a large marijuana growing system operation with a leaking watering system. State and local police returned with a search warrant Thursday and found more than 331 marijuana plants with a street value of about $1.6 million, police said.
· Pregnant Marine's grave apparently found. Investigators hoped to find the remains of a pregnant Marine on Saturday by slowly scraping dirt from a shallow grave at the home of a comrade whom she said raped her. Authorities said they found evidence inside the house that suggested Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach had been killed, even though the prime suspect left a note insisting she committed suicide, Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said. After some slight digging Friday in a fire pit discovered in the yard of Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean, detectives found what "appeared to be burnt human remains."
· 'No chance' ex-Beatles will play together: Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr said Friday he would not be reuniting with the other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney, not even during their native Liverpool's year as European capital of culture. "There's no chance that Paul and I will go and get back together," Starr said.
· Snipes' Attorney Says Client Just Asking IRS Questions. Did the action-movie star duck and roll under the tax system, or was he simply asking the Internal Revenue Service for help in filing his returns? On Monday morning, federal prosecutors, defense attorneys and a judge will sift through dozens of prospective jurors from four Central Florida counties with the goal of seating a 12-member jury. If convicted, he faces up to 16 years in prison. An October 2006 federal indictment states that Snipes, along with two men who ran a tax-fraud scheme, filed for $11.4 million in false tax refunds.
· Nicole Richie has a baby girl. Nicole Richie and her rocker boyfriend Joel Madden are the parents of a daughter, the couple's rep at Handprint Entertainment tells PEOPLE. Harlow Winter Kate Madden was born Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Friday, January 11, 2008
· Transit worker fights back at 4 attackers, fatally stabbing one. An off-duty subway conductor, apparently jumped by a knife-wielding mugger and three other thugs as he walked home, pulled his own blade and killed one of the attackers after being stabbed, police said.
· Former Olympic Champion Marion Jones Sentenced to Prison. Marion Jones was sentenced Friday to six months in prison for lying about using steroids and a check-fraud scam, despite her plea that she not be separated from her two young children "even for a short period of time." The sentence completes a stunning fall for the woman who was once the most celebrated female athlete in the world.
· Missing pregnant Marine is dead. Missing pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach is dead, the Onslow County sheriff said Friday. The suspect in the case is Cpl. Cesar Armando Lauren, 21, a fellow Marine whom Lauterbach had accused of sexual assault.
· Unknowing twins marry each other. A set of British twins who were separated at birth went on to marry each other without realizing they were related, the UK Press Association reported Friday. The brother and sister, who were adopted by separate parents, were given an annulment after a High Court judge ruled that the marriage had never been valid.
· FBI wiretaps yanked after bills go unpaid. Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time. A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.
· Giuliani staffers forgo paychecks . About a dozen senior campaign staffers for Rudy Giuliani are forgoing their January paychecks, a sign of possible money trouble for the Republican presidential candidate and last year's national front-runner.
· Wine-for-Sex Arrangement Turns Sour. The 27-year-old Poulsbo woman told police officers she promised sexual favors to a man if he bought her alcohol early Wednesday morning. But after he purchased two bottles of cheap Thunderbird wine, she used one to hit him in the forehead.
· Update: Legal fight in K9 death. A Chandler police sergeant whose K-9 died in his hot patrol car this summer hopes his own animal abuse case can be dismissed by shedding light on the dog deaths of the agency that arrested him.
· Nicolas Cage's naked intruder sentenced to rehab. A naked intruder who broke into actor Nicolas Cage's waterfront home near Los Angeles last year has been ordered to undergo six months of drug rehabilitation, officials said on Thursday. Robert Dennis Furo Jr., 46, pleaded guilty to one count of felony stalking.
· School Bus Driver Charged with DUI. A school bus driver seen weaving across the road and missing bus stops while dropping off kids after school has been charged with drunken driving more than a month after the incident. Ramona Jennings, 47, of 38 Carriage Drive, was arrested Tuesday and charged with drunken driving, reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.
· Couple find nearly $12K in 'cold cash.' A Janesville, Wisc. couple are hoping they will be allowed to keep the nearly $12,000 in cash they found in their refrigerator when they moved into an apartment.
· Bank of America to Buy Countrywide for $4 Billion. Bank of America Corp. said Friday it has agreed to buy Countrywide Financial for $4 billion in stock, a deal that both rescues the country's largest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire of the nation's largest consumer bank.
· Update: Donda West Likely Died of Heart Disease. Kanye West's mother most likely died of heart disease coupled with complications after plastic surgery, but the exact cause of death can't be known, coroner's officials said Thursday. Donda West, 58, died Nov. 10 at a Los Angeles-area hospital, a day after she had breast reduction, tummy tuck and liposuction procedures.
· Man Sentenced in Cruise Extortion Try. A man who tried to extort $1.3 million from Tom Cruise in exchange for stolen wedding photographs of the actor and Katie Holmes was sentenced to two years probation Thursday. Marc Lewis Gittleman, 34, also was fined $3,000. He pleaded guilty Sept. 21 to interstate transportation of stolen property.
· Update: Flaw may permanently ground 160 jets, Air Force general says. A manufacturing defect blamed for the mid-air breakup of an F-15 Eagle fighter may cause the Air Force to ground a quarter of its fleet of those warplanes permanently, a top general said Thursday. Investigators concluded that a critical piece of the jet's airframe broke during the flight because of a manufacturing defect. A defective longeron - a metal strut that runs lengthwise down the fuselage - was cut improperly by the manufacturer, Boeing, and led to a series of cracks over the plane's lifespan.
· New Domain Name Practice Criticized. A company that sells Internet domain names is facing criticisms for holding some in reserve as a consumer-protection measure, a move that also prevents interested parties from shopping around for better prices. After weeks of testing, Network Solutions LLC began this week to grab names that people search for on its Web site but don't immediately register.
· Mom said demons possessed kids, Mother charged in grisly deaths. A 33-year-old woman in Washington, D.C., faces charges of killing four children believed to be hers after their decomposed bodies were found in her home. Banita Jacks told police that her daughters were possessed by demons and that each died in her sleep during a seven- to 10-day period, court documents said.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
· Ron Paul '90s newsletters rant against blacks, gays. A series of newsletters in the name of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul contain several racist remarks - including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went "to pick up their welfare checks."
· 'Lost' Star Released From Jail Early. Former "Lost" star Michelle Rodriguez has found her way out of jail. Authorities said that the actress Rodriguez was released from a Los Angeles County women's jail Wednesday after serving 18 days of a 180-day sentence for violating probation in a drunken driving case. Rodriguez was also released from jail early two years ago after she served just one day of a 60-day jail sentence.
· Boss fires staff for not smoking. The owner of a small German computer company has fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to disturb the peace after they requested a smoke-free environment. The manager of the 10-person IT company said he had fired the trio because their non-smoking was causing disruptions. "I can't be bothered with trouble-makers," Thomas was quoted saying. "I'm only going to hire smokers from now on."
· Deborah Lafave not going back to jail. A former Hillsborough County teacher who admitted to having sex with one of her underage students in 2005 will not be going back to jail, even though a judge admitted today she did violate her probation.
· Oregon Mayor Posed in Underwear, Tells Naysayers to "Get Over It." An eastern Oregon mayor who posed in her underwear and posted the photos on MySpace drew in a big crowd at a city council meeting Wednesday night. Usually only about 10 people attend Arlington's monthly city council meetings, but about 75 people showed up.
· Employer Of Man Accused In Officer's Death Faces Charges. The owner of a Houston company that hired an illegal immigrant who has been charged with capital murder in connection with a police officer's death has been arrested and charged with harboring an illegal alien.
· Oops! Republican candidate in Senate race withdrawing because he mistakenly registered as a Democrat. A Republican candidate for West Virginia's 16th District Senate race is withdrawing from the election because he mistakenly registered as a Democrat.
· Update: Golf Channel Anchor Suspended for 'Lynch Tiger' Remark. Golf Channel suspended anchor Kelly Tilghman for two weeks on Wednesday for saying last week that young players who wanted to challenge Tiger Woods should "lynch him in a back alley." Rev. Al Sharpton joined the fray by demanding she be fired immediately, while Tilghman was helped when Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG, said it was a non-issue and considered the matter "case closed."
· Johnny Grant, honorary Hollywood mayor, dies. Johnny Grant, Hollywood's honorary mayor, was found dead Wednesday night, Los Angeles police said. Grant, 84, appeared to have died of natural causes. Grant was chair of the committee that selected stars for the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was a familiar face in the foreground when celebrities immortalized their handprints in cement outside the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
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.
· Second New Jersey escapee nabbed in Mexico City. The second of two men who last month pulled off a daring escape from a county jail in New Jersey was taken into custody Wednesday, authorities told CNN. Otis Blunt, 32, was arrested in Mexico City, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Blunt had spoken with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist, to help negotiate his surrender.
· Seagal, ex-business partner settle suit. Steven Seagal and his former business partner Julius R. Nasso have agreed to settle a long-standing legal dispute that included allegations of contract breach and Mafia extortion, an attorney said Wednesday. Nasso served a year in federal prison starting in 2004 after admitting he plotted to have the mob shake down Seagal.
· Voter who made Clinton teary picked Obama. Many political observers are crediting Democrat Hillary Clinton's surprise win in New Hampshire to the New York senator's rare display of emotion at a Portsmouth Coffee shop Monday morning. But Clinton's tearful moment failed to win at least one Granite State voter — the very woman who prompted her response in the first place. Marianne Pernold-Young told CNN Wednesday she ultimately picked Barack Obama in Tuesday night's primary.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
· Corpse Wheeled To Store To Cash Check. Two men wheeled a dead man through the streets of New York in an office chair to a check-cashing store and tried to cash his Social Security check before being arrested on fraud charges, police said.
· Wife used bat on husband after name calling. A Florida woman hit her husband in the head with a wooden baseball bat this morning after he called her a profane name, Tampa police say. Her husband told police he and his wife were arguing about her drinking, and she got mad after he called her a "nasty skank bitch," according to the report.
· Police chief canned for stealing firefighters' beer. The Wilson, Kansas police chief was fired this week after he was convicted of stealing beer from the fire department's refrigerator. Chief Brian Hill was arrested August 1 after a surveillance tape showed him taking the beer.
· Bank of America to Buy Countrywide for $4 Billion. Bank of America Corp. said Friday it has agreed to buy Countrywide Financial for $4 billion in stock, a deal that both rescues the country's largest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire of the nation's largest consumer bank.
· Marshals serving eviction notice find 4 bodies. The deaths of four children whose bodies were discovered Wednesday in a Washington home are being treated as suspected homicides, but the remains are so badly decomposed, investigators can't determine how the victims died, authorities said.
· Paramedic Didn't Check Wreck Victim's Pulse. A paramedic failed to check the pulse of a car-wreck victim who was presumed dead and left untreated before a medical examiner discovered she was breathing, officials said. Erica N. Smith, 23, remained in the car's wreckage with a tarp over her body for more than an hour before she was taken to a San Antonio hospital. She died from her injuries the next day.
· Pregnant Marine Remains Missing. There is still no sign of a missing Camp Lejeune Marine, who disappeared three weeks ago today. Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach was eight months pregnant when her mother reported her missing on December 19th. The mother told detectives that her daughter was a witness to an incident that occurred on Camp Lejeune and was supposed to testify in the case.
· Police say woman raped 200 times in 13 months. Pennsylvania state police say a man sneaked into a woman's house and raped her nearly 200 times over a 13-month period. That has led to more than 1,100 charges including multiple counts of rape, burglary, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, and criminal trespass against 29-year-old Roy Chamberlin.
· 'Meanest mom on planet' sells son's car. Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet." After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone - by placing an ad in the local newspaper. The ad reads: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."
· Mom stuck on roof as kids drown in car. Rescuers used a front-end loader to pluck a woman and three children from the roof of a sport utility vehicle that strayed into floodwaters on a rural road. But they were unable to reach her other two young children trapped inside the SUV.
· Police: Dad tosses 4 kids off bridge. Police in Bayou La Batre have charged an Irvington man with capital murder in the deaths of his 4 children. It is reported the man told authorities he had thrown his children into the water near Dauphin Island sometime on Monday.
· Golf Channel anchor apologizes for 'lynch' Tiger remark. Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman on Tuesday declined to comment publicly about suggesting on-air Friday that young pro golfers trying to catch up to Tiger Woods should "lynch him in a back alley."
· Pat Robertson predicts violence, recession for 2008. Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, who has made predicting the future an annual tradition, predicts a recession and a major stock market upheaval are on their way for the United States. But don't unload your portfolio just yet. Robertson acknowledged Wednesday that his prophecy of a nuclear terror attack in 2007 failed to unfold. He also cited information from God when he predicted on a year go that major U.S. cities would be hit by "very serious terrorist attacks" causing "possibly millions" of deaths. Obviously, no such catastrophe occurred.
· Update: N.J. prisoner recaptured after escape that left taunting note. One of two men who escaped from a county jail in New Jersey last month was back in custody, authorities said. Federal and local authorities on Tuesday captured Jose Espinosa, 20, who broke out of the Union County Jail on December 15 with fellow inmate Otis Blunt, 32, Union County prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Spears Family Attacks Dr. Phil: You Betrayed Us. Jamie and Lynne Spears slammed Dr. Phil this morning, calling the way he handled his contact with Britney a betrayal, inappropriate and a total breach of their trust. Spears family rep Lou Taylor told Meredith Vieira on the "Today" show that it was "inappropriate" for Phil to bring up doing a show, and that the family thought it would be detrimental to Britney, adding that nobody had given him any authority to say anything.
· Officer Helps Stranded Motorist, Then Arrests Him. A Portsmouth police officer helped a stranded motorist get his car started, then arrested the driver for marijuana the officer said he found in the car.
· One day out of jail, driver leads police on chase. A day after being released from the Hamilton County Jail, an Indianapolis man led police on a two-county chase Sunday before crashing his car into a tree. Jeffrey Moseley faces new charges including reckless driving following a high-speed chase. Officals called Moseley "a risk to the motoring public" and said his license has been suspended at least 13 times since 1995.
· 3 guilty of taking bribes start federal prison terms. Operation Bid Rig became Operation Big House for three more New Jersey public officials who reported to federal prisons in Pennsylvania and West Virginia Tuesday to begin serving jail sentences for extorting bribes.
· Diana Fountain May Be Sinking. It may be London's most controversial monument, and now, the Princess Diana memorial fountain finds itself at the center of a new storm. It all began Thursday evening when Bob Monroe - a former consultant with Cirencester Civil Engineering, the firm that makes regular repairs to the fountain -- gave an interview saying that the monument was so badly built that it was now sinking.
· Clinton, McCain pull off upsets in N.H. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary Tuesday night in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House. Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
· Officers Raid Home, Take 11-Year-Old To Hospital for Aspirin. A tactical law enforcement team broke into Tom Shiflett's home and took his 11-year-old son to the hospital for medical treatment, where doctors gave the boy an aspirin for his minor head injury. "Is this Russia? I don't know what we're coming to when they think your kid needs medical help and they send a SWAT team," said a neighbor.
· Man With Knives in Pants Stabs Himself. A man who hid hunting knives in his pants to try to steal them from a western Michigan store tripped while fleeing and stabbed himself in the abdomen, police say. The suspect was hospitalized after Monday night's attempted theft from a Meijer Inc. superstore in Grand Rapids.
· Old chicken bones lead to burglary charges. A trail of chicken bones left at a burglary scene more than a year ago has led investigators to a Kansas prison inmate with a long rap sheet and a hefty appetite.
· Church Protests Outside Wrong Way Crash Funerals. The memorial service for the five members of a Parkville family killed by a wrong-way truck in an Ohio highway accident includes some uninvited guests outside. Three members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, known for protests at military funerals, are demonstrating about a block from St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, the site of the service. The demonstrators say the deaths are God's retribution against the community for a recent $11 million jury award against the Kansas group.
· Update: Seinfeld, wife sued for plagiarism, defamation. An author who claims Jerry Seinfeld's wife plagiarized her cookbook sued the famous couple on Monday, finding no humor when the comedian compared the three-name author to the three-name killers of John Lennon and Martin Luther King Jr.
· Posh Spice Tops Blackwell Worst-Dressed. A decade after singling out the Spice Girls as fashion atrocities, Mr. Blackwell put just one of them - Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham - at the top of his 48th annual worst-dressed list.
· Why Some Women Wear Too Much Perfume. Women who doll up with too much perfume might not know it because they're depressed. "Our scientific findings suggest that women who are depressed are also losing their sense of smell, and may overcompensate by using more perfume," Dr. Shoenfeld said.
· Burglar leaves license in door. Police said a woman trying to break into a home left an easy calling card for them - half of her driver license. Kylie L. Grissom is charged with attempted burglary at a home last month. The attempt was discovered when the home's owner found half of the suspect's driver license in the door frame, where it apparently broke off while she was attempting to open the lock.
· Dr. Phil Criticized for Britney Brouhaha. Dr. Phil's public brand of tough love sometimes makes him tough to love, particularly among mental health professionals who are accusing television's self-help guru of making an uncalled-for house call on Britney Spears this week. Although Dr. Phil - whose full name is Phillip McGraw - announced Monday that he is shelving plans for a show on Spears' latest breakdown, some in the mental health community say just showing up at her hospital room last week was going too far.
· Update: New Jersey officially apologizes for slavery. New Jersey officially said Monday that it has "profound regret" for practicing slavery, and became the first state north of the Mason-Dixon line to pass such apologetic legislation. New Jersey, it reads, had 12,000 slaves, one of the largest populations in the northern colonies.
· For Marine's sendoff, his car is keyed. Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty - now on his way to Iraq for his second tour of duty in the war - took meticulous care of his car. But someone didn't like the Marine sticker, or the pro-military plates, and decided to stage an anti-war protest with a key on the shiny black finish of Sgt. McNulty's car that caused $2,400 in damage. According to the Cook County state's attorney's office, it wasn't an accident, but a deliberate key job, not done by some kid or street thug, but by a Chicago lawyer who apparently can't stand the military. Attorney Jay R. Grodner, 55, has been charged with a class A misdemeanor.
· Houston teacher caught with student's pants down. Shannon Kay Hrozek, 42, of Houston, was arrested after an assistant principal entered her 10th-grade English classroom after school on Thursday and found her performing oral sex on a 16-year-old male student, court records show.
· Teacher shot by his dog. A Baytown Lee, Texas teacher was shot and killed over the weekend and investigators said it was his own dog that shot him. Perry Alvin Price was hunting near Stowell on Saturday when the shooting occurred. Chambers County deputies said Price’s Labrador retriever was in the back of the man’s truck and was jumping up and down. At some point, the rambunctious dog managed to land on the trigger of a shotgun that was also in the back of the truck. The gun went off and Price was hit in the thigh.
· Law school suspends charged beauty queen. A law school student and former beauty queen accused of kidnapping, biting and threatening a former boyfriend with a gun wants to continue her studies at the University of Arizona, which has barred her from campus.
· Philly TV anchorwoman fired over cop assault. Philadelphia TV anchorwoman Alycia Lane, 35, was fired Monday for causing her own breaking news by allegedly punching out a Manhattan cop and e-mailing sexy snapshots of herself to a married anchorman. Lane will no longer work for the CBS affiliate in the City of Brotherly Love because of her off-camera "judgments," her bosses said.
· Two Children Die In 'Strange Ritual.' A Sioux City man has been charged with killing his two stepdaughters during a ritual at their home. Authorities said Lawrence Douglas Harris had told them he had been casting a spell that had gone bad and that the spell could have severe consequences.
· Man charged helped police find hiker's body. The body of a young woman missing since New Year's Day has been found, and the man charged with her disappearance led investigators to her body Monday evening, officials said. Gary Michael Hilton told authorities where to find the body of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson, the University of Georgia alumna who went missing New Year's Day while hiking in the north Georgia mountains, said John Cagle of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
· McNamee says he'd go to jail for Clemens. During the 17 minutes Roger Clemens spoke with friend-turned-accuser Brian McNamee, he kept his emotions in check. He did an even better job during the 17 minutes he listened again to the phone call in a room filled with reporters.
· Starbucks Replaces CEO With Chairman. Starbucks Corp. Chairman Howard Schultz is reclaiming the chief executive's chair as part of a major restructuring initiative to slow the company's U.S. growth and improve offerings for its customers. Meanwhile, competitors like Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's Corp. have cut into Starbucks' customer base by launching their own lines of gourmet coffee. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that McDonald's plans to add coffee bars with baristas serving cappuccinos and iced coffees at its nearly 14,000 locations.
Monday, January 7, 2008
· Dr. Phil Cancels His Britney Spears Show. Television's "Dr. Phil" McGraw has pulled the plug on plans for a one hour show that was to examine Britney Spears' latest public meltdown. In a statement posted Monday on his Web site, McGraw said the 26-year- old pop star's situation was "too intense" for him to go forward with the show.
· Man killed, cooked girlfriend, police say. A man killed his girlfriend, then filleted and cooked parts of her body before calling police to tell them what he was doing, authorities said Sunday. Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, called 911 on Saturday and told an emergency dispatcher he had killed Jana Shearer, 21, and was boiling her body parts at his mother's home.
· Dad, injured girl pull family from fire. Six people, including four children, are fortunate to have survived a mobile home fire early Sunday morning on Indianapolis' southwest side in which a father and his 7-year-old niece pulled everyone to safety.
· D.C.: 2nd Amendment Does Not Apply to Individuals. The Second Amendment's provisions protecting the right to keep and bear arms apply only to the federal government, not the 50 states and the District of Columbia, lawyers for the nation's capital argued Friday in a written brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.
· Cheerleader’s Body Found. The body of a missing Union County High School cheerleader was found in the Broad River on Saturday. Marisha Jeter, 16, was reported missing by her family on Thursday night when she did not return from a trip to McDonald’s.
· Clemens sues accuser McNamee. Roger Clemens beat Brian McNamee to court, filing a defamation suit against the former trainer who claimed to have injected him with performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens filed the suit Sunday night in Harris County District Court in Texas, listing 15 alleged statements McNamee made to the baseball drug investigator George Mitchell. Clemens claimed the statement were "untrue and defamatory."
· What $1 Million Buys In Homes Worldwide. Home prices in many parts of the world swelled last year, with Eastern European and Scandinavian markets leading the way with double-digit growth. The result? On foreign soil, $1 million buys less than ever. In London, it'll get you a one-bedroom, one-bathroom flat in Primrose Gardens. Shoppers in New York, NY don't get much more space. A 647-square-foot Turtle Bay condo, not far from the United Nations.
· Naomi Campbell: Chavez poses no threat to democracy. Supermodel Naomi Campbell has interviewed Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, describing him as a "rebel angel" who is unafraid to speak his mind but poses no threat to democracy.
· GM Researching Driverless Cars. Cars that drive themselves—even parking at their destination—could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors Corp. executives say. GM, parts suppliers, university engineers and other automakers all are working on vehicles that could revolutionize short- and long-distance travel. And Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of his speech to the driverless vehicles.
· Wikipedia founder launches search engine called Wikia. An internet search engine that draws on human recommendations is due to make its first public appearance on Monday, although even its founder warns that it will take some time to tell if the experiment can yield useful results.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
· Boy, 12, Charged With Murder In Beating Of Toddler. A 12-year-old boy beat a 17-month-old girl to death with a baseball bat because she was crying while he was trying to watch TV, Lauderhill, Florida authorities said.
· Inmate Sues Jail, Blames It For His Escapes. An inmate who twice escaped from a Colorado jail filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, alleging that guards abused him and didn't do enough to stop him from breaking out.
· Memphis Officer Recovering After Shooting Himself in Foot. Officers say someone let a pitbull loose on them when they knocked on the door of a home in the 44-hundred block of Medley lane, near the airport. The officer tried to shoot at the dog, but ended up shooting himself instead.
· Ex-minor leaguer could sue MLB. Major League Baseball could face a class-action lawsuit from former minor leaguers who believe they were denied a fair shot at making the majors because of steroids in the game. Ex-St. Louis Cardinals farmhand Rich Hartmann told the New York Daily News he is considering filing the lawsuit, and has support from former teammates. "Was I cheated of my dreams of a big-league career?" Hartmann said in Sunday's Daily News. "I don't know. But I do know there were thousands of guys who were right on the doorstep between 1990 and 2005 and they were cheated because they didn't use steroids."
· Fire Chief Under Fire Over E-Mailed Photos Of Topless Crash Victim. A suspended Central Florida fire chief could lose his job over e-mailed photos from a crash scene that included images of a 26-year-old female victim's exposed breasts. Fire Chief Richard Shirk snapped photos of the woman and then e-mailed them to surrounding fire departments, according to reports. Shirk called the photos "invaluable investigative tools."
· Guard Commits Suicide After NJ Jail Escape. A Union County Jail guard who was named in a note left by two escapees has committed suicide, his lawyer said. Corrections Officer Rudolph Zurick was found dead at his home in Sayreville, Middlesex County, said the lawyer, Michael J. Mitzner. Authorities released the note last month, but obscured the officer's name. The note, signed with a smiley face, read, "Thank You Officer ... for the tools needed. You're a real Pal! Happy Holidays."
· Dr. Phil: Britney needs psychological help, will discuss her problems on his show. Television's "Dr. Phil" McGraw said Britney Spears was released from a hospital Saturday but still needs psychological help. "My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention," McGraw said. McGraw planned to talk more about Spears on his daytime talk show this week, the press release said.
· Follow Up: Brit Blindsided by Dr. Phil. TMZ has learned Dr. Phil's visit with Britney Spears was not exactly as advertised. People on the 7th floor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center say the doctor arrived about 7:30 AM Saturday. We're told Britney did not invite him in; she didn't even know he was coming. Sources say it was Brit's parents who told Dr. Phil to go to the hospital. When he walked into her room, a blindsided Britney walked out - and eventually came back. Sources say Dr. Phil somehow convinced Brit's mom and dad to be on his show, which will tape Monday and air Tuesday.
· Houston counselor faces 20 years over $25 urine swap. A $25 payoff for a urine swap could cost a Houston drug counselor 20 years in federal prison. Prosecutors say 42-year-old Al Green pleaded guilty Friday to falsely certifying a probationer's test specimen.
· Man accused of making bike trail holes. Police said they arrested a man who acknowledged digging holes on a park bike trail as payback for nearly being run down by a cyclist. Warren John Wilson, 52, faces a single felony count of vandalism.
· Bloody clothes, hiker's IDs found; man charged. IDs belonging to missing hiker Meredith Emerson, as well as blood-stained clothing, were found in a dumpster of a convenience store, according to a criminal warrant filed Saturday. Gary Michael Hilton is charged with kidnapping with intent to cause bodily injury; the search for Emerson is no longer considered a rescue mission, police said.
· Restaurant customers in Florida are being served fake grouper. At many restaurants around Florida, the specialty of the house is a slab of grouper, blackened, grilled, stuffed or encrusted with pecans, sometimes on a roll, maybe with a slice of Bermuda onion. But not at Richard Gonzmart's place. Gonzmart, whose family has owned the Columbia restaurant in Tampa's Cuban-American Ybor City section for four generations, won't serve grouper, because he can't be sure he is getting the real thing from his suppliers.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
· Update: Britney meets with Dr. Phil, then leaves hospital. Britney Spears has checked out of a Los Angeles hospital, a day after the troubled singer was stripped of access to her two children following a late-night medical drama. TMZ and Entertainment Tonight reported that Spears left the center after a visit from TV shrink Dr Phil McGraw.
· 'Bounty Hunter' friend caught with pants down. A sidekick of TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman turned himself in to authorities Friday after a shopping center security guard reported seeing him naked in his pickup truck, performing a lewd act, police said. But Tim Chapman's lawyer insists his client spilled juice on himself and was just changing clothes Thursday night.
· Mom apologizes for Hannah Montana essay. A woman apologized for a "bad decision" in helping her 6-year-old daughter win tickets to a Hannah Montana concert with an essay that falsely claimed the girl's father died in Iraq. Priscilla Ceballos said she hadn't intended to mislead the contest sponsor but got caught up in helping her daughter "realize her dream of seeing Hannah Montana."
· Brothers in tiger attack refuse to release cell phone records. The city attorney sought permission Friday to inspect the car and cell phones belonging to the two brothers who survived tiger attacks at the San Francisco Zoo, but the victims are balking, the attorney said. San Francisco police have the phones, but the brothers, Kulbir and Paul Dhaliwal, have refused to authorize investigators to examine the contents.
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.
· Update: Spears Loses Custody of Kids to K-Fed. Britney Spears was derailed yet again in her struggle to get her life back on track, losing custody of her two sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline. A court commissioner Friday gave sole physical and legal custody of the former couple's two little boys to Federline and suspended the troubled pop star's visitation rights. Spears was hauled away from her home to a hospital by paramedics a day before, after police had to intervene when she refused to return the children to Federline after a court-monitored visit.
· Chicago man charged with making bogus 911 calls. A man from Chicago's West Side has been charged with making two phony 911 calls - reporting a bomb at a Des Plaines factory and an armed robbery in progress at a nearby restaurant, Des Plaines police said. Police said Branden Dixon, 27, made the calls on his cell phone because he wanted to watch officers respond to emergencies.
· Montgomery gets Posthumous walk star. A posthumous star honoring "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a rainy Friday ceremony. Montgomery "is probably in the heavens laughing at us as we stand in the rain," said honorary Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant.
Friday, January 4, 2008
· Accused Atlanta courthouse shooter allegedly planned new breakout. The man awaiting trial for a bloody escape at the Atlanta courthouse in 2005 is suspected of enlisting his pen-pal girlfriend, a paralegal and at least two sheriff's deputies in a scheme to break out again, according to law enforcement documents.
· Amy Fisher, husband promote sex tape. Former "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher is joining her husband in trying to market a sex tape, saying, "I always wanted to be No. 1 at something, but I didn't think it would be something like this."
· Update: Spears to stay in hospital 72 hours. Britney Spears is undergoing a 72-hour mental evaluation at a Los Angeles hospital after refusing to give her son back to her ex-husband at the end of a visit. People.com quoted a source who said Spears' court-appointed child monitor called police Thursday evening after the troubled pop star locked herself in a room with 1-year-old Jayden and refused to relinquish him to the assistant of his father, Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline.
· Intoxicated Spears hands over kids, then taken from her home on a gurney. Police were called to Britney Spears' home Thursday night in a custodial dispute that lasted nearly three hours before an intoxicated Spears reportedly turned over her children to ex-husband Kevin Federline. Spears appeared to be conscious as she was rolled out of her Studio City home on a gurney about three hours after police and ambulances arrived there.
· Man falls from skyscraper, lives to tell the horror. Doctors say they have never seen anything like it: A window washer who fell 47 stories from the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper is now awake, talking to his family and expected to walk again. Alcides Moreno, 37, plummeted almost 500 feet in a December 7 scaffolding collapse that killed his brother.
· Obama, Huckabee Sweep to Iowa Victories. New Hampshire is where Iowa's Democratic caucus victors get ratified and where its Republican winners get stung. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee headed into the Granite State on Friday as Iowa's presidential champions, one hoping to ride history's trend and the other eager to break it.
· Lawyer Says Lohan Back on Sobriety Track After New Years Drinking. Lindsay Lohan rang in the New Year drinking champagne in Italy, her lawyer says, but is "back on track" in terms of sobriety. A video obtained by The Associated Press shows Lohan, who spent much of 2007 in and out of rehab, taking a swig from a champagne bottle while in Capri, Italy.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
· New Jersey makes first move toward slavery apology. A committee of the New Jersey Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution that would make the state the first north of the Mason-Dixon line to apologize for slavery.
· Ministers Who Support Huckabee Receive Anonymous Warning Letters. Iowa pastors who support Republican Mike Huckabee for president have received letters warning them that getting involved in politics could endanger the tax-exempt status of their churches.
· Britney Spears' custody lawyers quit. Britney Spears' lawyers in her custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline are quitting. The law firm Trope and Trope asked a court Wednesday to be relieved as Spears' attorneys. The firm said there's been a breakdown in communication with the pop princess that makes representing her impossible.
· Arizona beauty queen accused of kidnapping. A law school student and former beauty queen who has posed for a racy calendar while brandishing a weapon has been accused of kidnapping, biting and threatening a former boyfriend with a handgun.
· Model sues Szul Jewelry over Web ad. A Westchester model who donned sexy lingerie and moaned in delight for a diamond dealer's online ad is suing because the video is more G-string than G-rated. The unidentified beauty has slapped Szul Jewelry Inc. with a $5 million suit on grounds it conned her into appearing in the ad. Court papers say the spot is set to "bump-and-grind" music and has "a decidedly pornographic look, feel and sound." [with video]
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.
· Chaplain shoots brother-in-law during practical joke. Police believe that a practical joke led to the shooting of a 23-year-old Ste. Genevieve police officer Tuesday. The rookie officer allegedly faked a break-in around 9:45 p.m. at his brother-in-law's home, said Festus Police Chief Tim Lewis. "He didn't tell the family he was coming and decided to sneak in the back door," Lewis said. "The resident asked him to call out who he was, and he didn't, and he shot him."
· Man cleared by DNA tests after 26 years in prison. Charles Chatman said throughout his 26 years in prison that he never raped the woman who lived five houses down from him. Now 47, Chatman is expected to win his freedom Thursday after new DNA testing that lawyers say prove his innocence and adds to Dallas County's nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.
· Late-Night Stars Leno, Letterman Return. A Republican, a Democrat and two bearded hosts walked into a TV studio last night ... and so did Robin Williams, Bob Saget, Emeril Lagasse, Chingy, Helio Castroneves and three clean-shaven funnymen as the late-night TV universe tried to right itself two months into the writers strike. David Letterman had reached an agreement to allow writers to work on his show; Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel returned without theirs.
· Priest Charged With Lying About Mob Ties. A Roman Catholic priest was arrested on perjury charges Wednesday, accused of lying about his relationship with a mobster in testimony to a grand jury investigating a casino owner's possible ties to organized crime. The Rev. Joseph Sica was arrested outside his home in Scranton.
· Netflix to Deliver Movies Directly to TV. DVD-by-mail service Netflix Inc. (NFLX) will begin delivering movies and other programming directly to televisions later this year through a set-top box that will pipe entertainment over a high-speed Internet connection.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
· Woman waits in California hospital for a bed to open up in Canada. A Canadian woman's holiday in California has turned into a healthcare nightmare. The 68-year old needed emergency surgery after her appendix burst, but now she can't come home due to a lack of hospital beds in Canada.
· Helicopter dangles from hospital roof. A medical helicopter made a hard landing at University Hospital early Tuesday morning. But the helicopter didn't make a clean landing on the pad, instead landing to the side, damaging its landing skids and tangling itself in a safety fence. The result left much of the helicopter dangling off the edge of the building.
· Family Of 6 Arrested Over Droopy Jeans. Five family members, who got involved in the arrest process of a relative because of his droopy jeans, spent New Year's Eve behind bars, according to police. Deputies said Florida State University student Franz Leger was banned from a mall last summer for wearing saggy jeans. But when Leger returned Monday, police arrested him for trespassing.
· Iowa candidates are spending $200 for each vote. An unprecedented swell of money is flooding into Iowa for tomorrow's caucuses, with campaigns on track to spend roughly $50 million. The shocking expenditures: about $200 per vote for each of the roughly 250,000 caucus-goers expected to turn out.
· Father accused of killing pregnant daughter and her family. A suburban Chicago man is accused of setting an apartment fire - killing his pregnant daughter, her husband and their young child - because the son-in-law didn't ask permission for the marriage, prosecutors said.
· Update: New Orleans getting back to normal. As of New Year's Eve, New Orleans' murder total sat at 209, making it again a top contender for the country's highest per-capita murder rate, a dubious title New Orleans held in 2006.
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.
· Alleged bank robber doesn't notice cop. An alleged bank robber in Boston should have been more aware of who was behind him in line. Police said Adam Grennan, 39, of Hull, passed a note to a teller at Mt. Washington Bank in Dorchester on Monday, demanding large bills and no "funny money." He didn't notice that officer Kamau Pritchard was in uniform right behind him.
· Car thief has very unlucky day. A man had bad luck in his choice of stolen vehicles. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Ernesto Ponce took a pickup from a Chevrolet lot in Roseburg on Friday, but had to switch vehicles when a tire blew. Ponce, 19, then allegedly took a Subaru Legacy from a driveway. He had that car for about 15 minutes before the engine overheated, causing it to catch fire at an intersection in Winston.
· Tiger-Attacked Brothers Hire Legal Pit Bull. The brothers who survived the vicious tiger attacks at San Francisco Zoo last week have hired legal pit bull Mark Geragos in anticipation of filing a lawsuit against the zoo.
· Pakistan changes story on Bhutto's sunroof. Pakistan's Interior Ministry backtracked Tuesday on its statement that Benazir Bhutto died because she hit her head on a sunroof latch during a shooting and bomb attack.
· SF Mayor Gavin Newsom engaged to actress. Mayor Gavin Newsom, 40, proposed to his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Siebel, 33, while they vacationed over the weekend in Hawaii, and she accepted, said Stanlee Gatti, a friend of the couple who spoke with the mayor after he proposed. A date has not been set, Gatti said. It would be the first marriage for Siebel, 33, and the second for Newsom, whose four-year marriage to Kimberly Guilfoyle ended in divorce in March 2006.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
· Men shoot themselves in tattoo attempt. Getting a tattoo can be a painful proposition, but usually it's just the needle you have to worry about. Two men trying to trace a loaded .357-caliber Magnum as a pattern for a tattoo accidentally shot themselves, the Otero County Sheriff's Department said Monday.
· FBI heats up search for skyjacker D.B. Cooper. The FBI is making a new stab at identifying mysterious skyjacker D.B. Cooper, who bailed out of an airliner in 1971 and vanished. The FBI this week released new details that the agency hopes will jog someone's memory.
· World Welcomes New Year With Fireworks. A million revelers cheered fireworks in Sydney. Summer Olympics organizers hosted dance and music in Beijing. And rare celebrations in war-torn Iraq. Across the globe, people gathered for parties, shot off fireworks and held out hopes for a peaceful and prosperous 2008.
· Arizona firms brace for immigration sanctions law. The law, passed days after a federal immigration overhaul died in the U.S. Senate in June, punishes first-time violators who knowingly hire undocumented workers with a 10-day suspension of their business licenses. A second offense means they lose it.
· California School Targets Mexican Students. With too many students and too few classrooms, Calexico school officials took the unusual step of hiring someone to photograph children and document the offenders illegally attending public schools in this California border community.
· Computer glitch interrupts Needle fireworks. A computer glitch led to a delayed fireworks show at the Seattle Center on Monday night as partiers waited to ring in the new year. In the last minute of 2007 the crew from Pyro Spectaculars realized that the computer file running the show was corrupted. Instead of continuing to use the bad file, the company's three-man crew, stationed in a trailer near the Needle, executed the show manually. "The whole show was supposed to last eight and a half minutes and it went for 11 and a half minutes," Mary Bacarella said.
· Morgan Stanley taps China for $5 billion. Morgan Stanley became the third top bank in a month to raise capital from a sovereign wealth fund after announcing higher-than-expected writedowns of $9.4bn because of subprime losses. John Mack, chief executive, said that the $5bn capital injection from China Investment Corporation would bolster its balance sheet and strengthen its deep ties in China.
Monday, December 31, 2007
· Sunday school teacher accused of molesting child. Police have arrested a Chandler Arizona Sunday school teacher on suspicion of molesting a 5-year-old girl while at the church, reports show. Police say Terry Greenwood, 62, a Chandler United Methodist Church Sunday school teacher, told them that he molested the girl and made her perform oral sex, police reports show.
· Diners find rare pearl in plate of clams. A Florida man was about halfway through a plate of steamed clams when he chomped down on something hard — a rare, iridescent purple pearl. At least one expert said the find could be worth thousands of dollars.
· Infant Suffers 2nd-Degree Burns In Dad's 'Flaming Brick' Plot. A man was arrested on suspicion of throwing a brick through his own bedroom window, intentionally setting a fire, which caused his infant daughter to suffer second-degree burns, and claiming that a friend of his estranged wife was responsible for the attack, according to Longwood police.