Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kinda like Hogan's heroes?

An unfortunate black-eye to law enforcement in the State of Texas.

However, they are being brought to justice.

17 from Texas jail charged in drug, sex crimes
By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A former sheriff and several ex-jailers were among 17 people named Friday in a 106-count indictment on charges ranging from having sex with inmates to bringing them drugs at a now-closed county jail.

Former Montague County Sheriff Bill Keating was charged with official oppression and having sex with inmates, according to the indictment. Keating was defeated in a primary election last spring.

Several female jailers were charged with having sex with inmates and bringing them drugs, cell phones and cigarettes, while several male jailers were charged with drug possession and with bringing inmates banned items, according to the indictment.

Several inmates also were charged with drug possession, according to the indictment.

State District Judge Roger Towery has sealed the names in the indictments until the suspects are arrested, but their jobs and charges were made public.
Keating's attorney, Mark Daniel, told The Associated Press his client would surrender "in due time."

The charges against Keating are "kind of silly in the face of the federal investigation, like piling on," Daniel said.

Keating, 62, has pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation in an unrelated case involving the sexual assault of a woman. He is to be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison in May. Keating told a woman she would be jailed on drug charges unless she had sex with him.
Montague County District Attorney Jack McGaughey said none of the jailers indicted Friday still works there, but the inmates were in custody.

The FBI last year raided the Montague County jail, about 65 miles northwest of Fort Worth, but authorities have declined to say what led to the investigation.

Sheriff Paul Cunningham closed the jail and transferred inmates to a nearby facility hours after he was sworn in Jan. 1. He said he discovered that surveillance cameras' cords had been disconnected; recliners were in cells; some bathrooms and cells could be locked from the inside; and inmates had made partitions out of paper towels to block jailers' view inside their cells.

If convicted, Keating could face up to a year in jail on the official oppression charge, and up to two years on the charge of improper sexual activity with someone in custody.

Providing drugs or other prohibited substances to inmates and drug possession in a jail carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison

Justice can seem to move at a snail's pace

I'm sorry she is frustrated, hopefully the investigation will be over soon and her frustration with the process ends.

Woman 'so frustrated' by recent crime spree

By Scott Sticker -Herald-Zeitung

As police continue to investigate a criminal scheme in which at least four New Braunfels businesses were robbed of several thousand dollars, a local woman says she had the information to locate the suspect for almost two weeks — and had told police.

Carol Brietzke says $1,600 was stolen from her purse on Feb. 13 while she was working in the kitchen at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in New Braunfels.Brietzke was able to gather the name, license plate number, address and other information of the woman she alleges took her money.

Since the incident, she has attempted to contact the New Braunfels Police Department repeatedly to no avail, she said.“I’m just so frustrated,” she said. “Here I am with all this information that I just want to share with police to help them. I don’t understand. Why don’t they check this out?”

Brietzke said she filed a police report on Feb. 14 — five days before a woman with a similar description took credit and debit cards from behind a cash register at Max’s Haus Mercantile.She has not been contacted since then, Brietzke said.

Brietzke said she most recently tried to contact the Police Department on Thursday after she read in the Herald-Zeitung about a woman suspected of stealing from local shop owners. The description of the woman and the vehicle used matched that of the woman Brietzke suspects of taking her money.

“When I called, the detective assigned to my case said he had not even glanced at the report,” she said. “I filed the report on (Feb. 14). Not one person has called me back.”She also said when she requested a copy of the report she was told it was privileged information and that she was not allowed to see it.Police Chief Ron Everett said Friday that detectives are actively pursuing the case.“We had a detective working on the case today,” Everett said. “We do have a suspect in this case, and we are trying to continue to develop sufficient sources.”

When asked, Everett would neither confirm nor deny that the suspect identified by police was the same as identified by Brietzke.Police spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said Friday that Brietzke’s case would be a difficult one to follow.“Since cash was the only thing that she said was taken, it could be hard to prove,” Penshorn said. “Short of personal physical evidence or actually seeing the person commit the crime, it makes it difficult to say it was a specific person.”Penshorn added it was likely the same person involved in the other thefts but that the burden of proof fell on the Police Department.

Brietzke said she has taken the situation into her own hands, calling the victimized shop owners to compare descriptions and trade information.

Shop owners from three of the shops that were hit described a similar subject: a short, dark-skinned or Hispanic woman.Marcia Kelly, owner of My Sister’s Closet, said the woman she suspects of stealing from her came back into her store on Wednesday to apply for a job.“She came back on Wednesday of this week,” Kelly said. “I didn’t recognize her at first because she dyed her hair a different color, but she looked familiar. When Carol and I compared names, though, it was the same exact name.”

Comal County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Mark Reynolds said nothing similar has been reported in the county and that he hasn’t heard anything else from local police.The thefts remain under investigation, and police ask that anyone with information contact them at (830) 608-2179.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Would you like a little more sauce?

This goes to show you don't mess with the law, or the wife of the law.

Good job Ms. Basinski, but please be careful.

70-year old Elyria woman fights off 4 robbers with Emeril Lagasse pan

ELYRIA — The 70-year-old wife of a Lorain County Family Court judge meted out a little domestic justice of her own Tuesday afternoon when she fought off four robbers with her favorite saucepan.

Ellen Basinski refused to be intimidated by a man and three boys who forced their way into her house on Columbus Street and demanded money.

"One of them picked up my purse and just dumped it out," she said Wednesday. "Now, my purse is like Fibber McGee's closet, it's got everything in there. I got very angry."

Before she even gave much thought about what she should do, she grabbed an Emeril Lagasse 5-quart saucepan.

"I picked up the saucepan and smacked him right on the head," she said. "He looked at me and said, 'Lady, why did you do that?' And I hit him again."

The robber's friend threw a bottle of Jack Daniels at the woman, striking her on the foot. He told police he was trying to distract the woman so his friend could get away from her.

The intruders realized Basinski was no easy prey and ran. They didn't get far. The four were quickly caught by police, with the help of neighbors who told officers where they ran.

Police arrested Patrick Kostal, 18, and three juveniles, ages 17, 16 and 15. All four are from Elyria and were charged with a felony count of aggravated burglary.

"We have a great neighborhood watch group," Basinski said. "They helped the police, who were also fantastic, and they caught them."

Basinski was on the phone with her husband, Judge David Basinski, when the robbers broke in."We talk every day around 3 p.m.," he said Wednesday. "We tell each other about our day. While we were talking, my wife said, 'David, what are those four boys doing in our driveway?' The next thing I heard was the door being pushed open and someone yelling, 'Give me your money.' "

The judge told his secretary to call 9-1-1 and he and his bailiff, Tony Piwinski, jumped in a car and drove toward the house.

The courthouse is just a few miles from his home, but they got stuck in traffic.

"Elyria High School had just let out and there were people and cars everywhere," he said. "We saw police cars and an ambulance rushing by, and that's when I was really frightened. We got there about 12 minutes later and my wife was standing on the front lawn with police. She was upset that she had to turn over her favorite saucepan as evidence."

Later, they realized that they had hired one of the suspects to shovel their driveway several weeks ago. "My wife gave them a big tip, so they thought we had money," he said. "It's sad when that's what you get for trying to help someone."

He is grateful things ended as well as they did, but he said he had a long talk with his wife.

"She did all the things I told her never to do in that kind of situation," he said. "We've been married 47 years and she raised our five sons. She's not afraid of anything."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gone nuclear?

Why is this being posted here?

Because I think allowing Iran to become a nuclear power would constitute a crime against humanity.

If you don't agree and believe they are only doing this to develop peaceful uses for nuclear energy, I hope you're right.

BTW Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren't real either.

Iran conducts nuclear plant test

Iran says it has successfully carried out a test run of its first nuclear plant, a move that will raise concerns in the West over Tehran's atomic ambitions.

The long-delayed reactor, in the southern port city of Bushehr, could come on line within months, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said on Wednesday.

"Today was one of the most important days for the Iranian nation,'' Aghazadeh said.

"We are approaching full exploitation of this plant."

Iran is also expanding its uranium enrichment programme, with the number of centrifgues at the Natanz enrichment site increasing to 6,000 from 5,000 last November, Aghazadeh said.

His claim defies a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, which said Iran was slowing down its uranium enrichment programme, increasing the number of centrifuges by only 164 since November.

The announcement of the test run followed Russian officials earlier saying that the plant's construction was complete.

Weapon fears

The move is Iran's latest defiance of the UN's demands that Tehran suspend its enrichment programme because of fears it could be used to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran has maintained that it only seeks to create nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The Bushehr power plant was built with Russian help and will run on enriched uranium imported from Moscow.

This has worried the West because the spent fuel could be turned into plutonium, a potential material for nuclear warheads.

Alireza Ronaghi, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Iran, said there is still some way to go before Iran has a fully functioning nuclear reactor.

"It's just a step towards the final implementation which is still very long away. It doesn't mean that they are only a few buttons away," Ronaghi said.

"They have told us that they need at least 50,000 centrifuges at Natanz and they only have 6,000," he said.

'Bad news'

Aghazadeh said: "We are doing what we need to do in Natanz on the basis of a specific time schedule."

He said tests on the Bushehr plant should take between four and seven months.

"And if they go smoothly, then it [the launch of the plant] will be even sooner," he said.

Yigal Palmor, Israel's foreign ministry spokesman, said the test run was "bad news".

"Iranians are showing again that they are making progress in their nuclear race."

"This should be understood as very bad news for the whole of the international community," he said, and called for, "immediate and very determined steps in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power."

Information please! (2)

Anyone with any information please call 830-608-2197

Police investigate early-morning shooting
- Herald-Zeitung

When Erica Saenz was startled early Wednesday morning by a rapid-fire blast, the last thing she expected was gunfire in her New Braunfels neighborhood.

That is, until she woke later that morning and found four bullet holes in the side of the manufactured home where she lives with her five children.

The New Braunfels Police Department said more than nine spent bullet casings were found Wednesday morning near the intersection of South Castell Avenue and West Merriweather Street.

Police responded to the 1100 block of South Castell around 3 a.m. Wednesday for a call of shots fired, police spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said.

He said the scene was dark and that police found no evidence.

“When they were called out the next morning, they found several empty bullet cases,” Penshorn said. “The bullets had struck residences and some vehicles in the area.”

He said the bullets came from a small-caliber gun, but he said he did not know the make of the gun or if it was automatic or semi-automatic.

“I heard about nine shots fire off real fast,” Saenz said. “At the time, I didn’t know they were bullets. It was real quiet outside just before it happened.”

Saenz said she had lived in the manufactured home for about two months and that the shots had left her scared.

“I definitely don’t feel safe here now,” she said. “I just never would have imagined this would happen in New Braunfels. I was in complete shock when I saw those bullet holes.”

Just minutes before the incident, she said, she was on the patio of the house.

“I could have still been outside when that happened,” she said. “It’s just really scary. I live here with my five kids. Who knows what could have happened if the bullets could have hit just an inch over.”

Penshorn said it could have been a drive-by shooting but that police still are investigating the case. No suspects have been identified, he said.

Police encourage anyone with information to call (830) 608-2179.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On the brink?

Another sign that the situation in Mexico is nearly out of control.

After threats, Juarez mayor in El Paso

El Paso Times

EL PASO -- Police are investigating threats against Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz, who moved his family to El Paso for safety, El Paso police Detective Carlos Carrillo said Monday.

"We received information that the Juárez mayor lives in El Paso, and that possibly they were going to come to El Paso to get him," Carrillo said. "He has not asked us for our help, but it's our duty to protect any resident of our city who may be under threat."

Juárez police said written threats against Reyes Ferriz and his family were left in different parts of Juárez after the police chief, Roberto Orduña Cruz, resigned Friday. The threats were written on the kind of banners and posters that the Juárez drug cartel has used to send messages to police and others.

Meanwhile, Mexican authorities were unraveling a shooting Sunday in Chihuahua City that killed one of Chihuahua Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza Terraza's bodyguards.

Alejandro Chaparro Coronel died

High taxes?

If it is legalized then tax the heck out of it. It probably would raise a whole bunch of money. I don't see this happening anytime soon though. LOL

Taxing Pot could become a political toking point
By Eric Bailey - LA Times

Reporting from Sacramento -- Could Cannabis sativa be a salvation for California's fiscal misfortunes? Can the state get a better budget grip by taxing what some folks toke?

An assemblyman from San Francisco announced legislation Monday to do just that: make California the first state in the nation to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California's biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature.

"I know the jokes are going to be coming, but this is not a frivolous issue," said Ammiano, a Democrat elected in November after more than a dozen years as a San Francisco supervisor. "California always takes the lead -- on gay marriage, the sanctuary movement, medical marijuana."

Anti-drug groups are anything but amused by the idea of California collecting a windfall from the leafy herb that remains illegal under federal law.

"This would open another door in Pandora's box," said Calvina Fay, executive director of Save Our Society From Drugs. "Legalizing drugs like this would create a whole new set of costs for society."

Ammiano's measure, AB 390, would essentially replicate the regulatory structure used for beer, wine and hard liquor, with taxed sales barred to anyone under 21.

He said it would actually boost public safety, keeping law enforcement focused on more serious crimes while keeping marijuana away from teenagers who can readily purchase black-market pot from peers.

The natural world would benefit, too, from the uprooting of environmentally destructive backcountry pot plantations that denude fragile ecosystems, Ammiano said.

But the biggest boon might be to the bottom line. By some estimates, California's pot crop is a $14-billion industry, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion). If so, that could mean upward of $1 billion in tax revenue for the state each year.

"Having just closed a $42-billion budget deficit, generating new revenue is crucial to the state's long-term fiscal health," said Betty Yee, the state Board of Equalization chairwoman who appeared with Ammiano at a San Francisco news conference.

Also in support of opening debate on the issue are San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey and retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a longtime legalization proponent.

"I'm a martini guy myself," Ammiano said. "But I think it's time for California to . . . look at this in a truly deliberative fashion."

He sees the possibility of an eventual truce in the marijuana wars with Barack Obama now in the White House.

A White House spokesman declined to discuss Ammiano's legislation, instead pointing to a transition website that says the president "is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana."

Several cities in California and around the nation have adopted laws making marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority, including Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Denver and Seattle.

Oakland went even further in 2004, requiring pot to be taxed if it is legalized.

But where Ammiano sees taxes, pot foes see trouble.

They say easier access means more problems with drug dependency among adults, heavier teen use and an increase in driving while high.

"If we think the drug cartels are going to tuck their tails between their legs and go home, I think we're badly mistaken," Fay said.

"They're going to heavily target our children."

When did the stabbing pain first appear?

/sarc "Well, I guess that will show his son to be more respectful in church and to his father." /sarc

Police: Man stabs son in left buttock

BALTIMORE (AP) — Police said a 58-year-old man stabbed his teenage son after he refused to take off his hat at church earlier in the day. The father and his 19-year-old son got into an argument on Sunday afternoon. That's when police said the father went to a car, got a knife and stabbed his son in the left buttock and fled.

The son was taken to University of Maryland Medical Center for treatment. The father's name was withheld pending his arrest.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Go to a Police Academy

We've written about this guy before; back when he was arrested for pulling an off-duty police officer for speeding.

Well, I guess he really, really wants to be a policeman in the worst way.

Man in jail for impersonating cops charged again

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A man already serving time for impersonating an officer apparently hasn't learned his lesson. Joshua D. Kay, 30, was charged with a new count of impersonating an officer. At an initial court appearance Friday he stood mute so the court entered a plea of not guilty.

Prosecutors said Kay has been telling other inmates he's actually a sheriff's deputy, working undercover to investigate other deputies. Online court records didn't list an attorney for Kay on Saturday.

Kay is serving an eight-month jail sentence for three misdemeanors. Among them was a 2007 conviction for turning on flashing red lights and a siren on his personal car to try to stop a speeder. The other car was being driven by an off-duty police officer.

Bench warrant

It sounds like he was bench-warranted to a different jurisdiction to stand for judgment.

Good luck.

Arsonist Milburn dies while in prison

Milton Merle Milburn, convicted of one of the largest acts of arson in Comal County’s history, died Sunday in prison.

The San Antonio native was serving a 50-year sentence after being found guilty in 2002 of robbing and intentionally setting fire to a barn owned by Carl Doeppenschmidt, a blaze that caused more than $500,000 in damage and destroyed numerous classic automobiles and family heirlooms.

“Everyone should feel better knowing that he’s not going to be out, and we won’t be watching our backs,” said former Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford, who was the chief investigator on the case. Manford said he received word Monday from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice of Milburn’s death.

After a weeklong trial in May 2002, a jury found Milburn guilty of theft and arson after he allegedly stole items from the Doeppenschmidt barn off Texas Highway 46 and then doused the barn in gasoline and burned it to the ground on Dec. 18, 2000.

Among Doeppenschmidt’s possessions lost in the fire were a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air, a mahogany power boat built in 1937 and a 1954 Cadillac ambulance — one which had been had been used in the family business for many years.

“It’s something you never forget,” Doeppenschmidt said Monday of the incident.

He said the barn had been rebuilt in the nine years since it was destroyed, but out of $500,000 worth of belongings, the only things that survived the fire were a pair of spurs and two cowbells.

Milburn’s arrest came after a yearlong investigation that eventually used DNA evidence, witness testimony and a hat owned by Milburn found at the scene of the crime to convince a jury that he started the fire.

Milburn was already on parole for an armed robbery in San Antonio, and then-District Attorney Dib Waldrip described him as a menace to society.

“This is a man who has spent far more time in prison than out,” Waldrip, now a district judge, told the Herald-Zeitung in 2002. “I think you’ve got an individual who is not able to live amongst the rest of us in society, an individual who has no respect for the law, no respect for other peoples’ bodies and no respect for other peoples’ property.”

Manford, now retired, had written letters to the parole board as recently as a month ago to make sure Milburn would not be released from prison. He was denied parole a final time two weeks ago before dying on Sunday. A cause of death was not released.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Look it me!! Over here look at me!!

You just had to post it for everyone to see.

You know that includes the police don't you?

Well you do now.

Pot grower caught by police after posting video of crop on You Tube

The 25-year-old was arrested after officers saw footage on the website documenting the stages of growth.

The man made his arrest even easier after using his real name as his "internet handle".

Police searched the house and seized one large cannabis plant and associated hydroponics equipment used to maximise heat and light conditions.

PC Adrian Peck, of Avon and Somerset police, said: "The male had been videoing the growth of the plant over a number of months and uploading his horticultural endeavours onto the site to document it – providing us with fairly conclusive evidence.

"The cultivation of cannabis is illegal. If you break the law and are foolish enough to then advertise your criminal activities on the internet, it makes it very easy for the Police to catch you."

Police said the cannabis produced by the single plant could have had a potential street value of up to £500; both the plant and growing equipment will be destroyed.

The man admitted the offence of cultivating cannabis, now a Class B drug, and received an official police warning.

The force said it was not its policy to release the names of people who are warned.

11 year old killer

Then on the other hand you have a case like this involving an 11 year old.

Pa. boy, 11, charged with killing pregnant woman

WAMPUM, Pa. - An 11-year-old boy has been charged in the shotgun death of his father's pregnant girlfriend, who was found slain in a bedroom of her western Pennsylvania farmhouse, authorities said Saturday.

Jordan Brown was charged as an adult in the shooting death of Kenzie Marie Houk, who was 8 months pregnant, Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo said at a news conference.

Brown, the son of Houk's live-in boyfriend, was charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child, Bongivengo said.

Police said Houk's 4-year-old daughter found her mother's body Friday morning in a bedroom of their home in a wooded area in the community of Wampum. Houk's other daughter, who is 7 years old, later told police that Brown killed her mother, Bongivengo said.

Police said the boy had been arraigned in district court and placed in the county jail.

The home, located at the end of a half-mile-long driveway along a road scattered with abandoned and burned-out trailers, was cordoned off with yellow police tape and a Pennsylvania State Police vehicle was parked out front early Saturday afternoon. Next to the house was farm equipment and a barn filled with hay.

A neighbor, Cameron Tucker, said Houk was engaged and had been renting the house for no more than a year. Tucker said he had never met Houk's fiance, but that both of them had children.

"She was very protective of her kids," he said, adding that she seemed very excited about her pregnancy.

Tucker's wife sometimes drove Houk's daughter to the bus stop because she went to preschool with the Tuckers' 5-year-old.

WPXI-TV identified the dead woman's father as Jack Houk. There was no immediate response Saturday to a call by The Associated Press seeking comment from a Jack Houk of New Castle, a town next to Wampum.

A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.

The rural community is about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Bad Judge?

A sad ending potentially to an otherwise distinguished legal career.

Judge's sex crimes trial will be a first
By Juan A. Lozano - Associated Press writer

HOUSTON — When U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent enters a courtroom Monday, he'll be making judicial history. But it won't be the kind he'll want to remember.
Kent will join the handful of U.S. federal judges who have taken part in a trial as a defendant, and the first charged with a sex crime.

The 59-year-old Kent is accused of fondling two female court employees as he tried to force himself on the women and have them perform sex acts.
Jury selection is set to begin today. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Kent has pleaded not guilty to the six charges — five related to federal sex crimes and one related to obstructing justice, in which he is accused of lying to an investigative committee.
A gag order in the case prevents prosecutors, defense attorneys and others connected to the case from commenting.

During a court hearing last week in which he unsuccessfully tried to have the obstruction charge thrown out or severed, Dick DeGuerin, Kent's attorney, said his client wanted to testify at trial.
“Judge Kent believes his conduct with both of the (women) was mutual and consensual,” DeGuerin said.

Kent's former case manager, Cathy McBroom, filed a complaint in May 2007 and the Judicial Council of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals began an investigation. The Associated Press does not normally name alleged victims of sexual abuse, but McBroom's attorney and her family have used her name in publicly discussing the case. The other woman was identified in court last week as Kent's former secretary.

McBroom accused Kent of harassing her over a four-year period, culminating in March 2007, when she said the judge pulled up her blouse and bra and tried to escalate contact until they were interrupted.

The judicial council suspended Kent in September 2007 for four months with pay but didn't detail the allegations against him. It also transferred him 50 miles northwest from Galveston, where he had worked since being appointed in 1990, to Houston.

A Justice Department investigation of McBroom's claims led to Kent's August indictment on three federal sex charges.

Last month, prosecutors added two more sex charges and the obstruction charge, accusing Kent of trying to engage his former secretary in a sex act and then lying about it to the judicial council.
DeGuerin has said Kent and his secretary were involved in a longtime affair and that she is one of his “staunchest supporters.” DeGuerin said Kent didn't mention the incident to the judicial council out of the concern a “gentleman” would have for keeping the affair a secret.
If convicted, Kent, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, would likely face impeachment by Congress.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You dirty rat!

Always knew there were rats in the court houses but not mice.

Mice overrun Fla. courthouse, fall from ceiling

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - There are so many mice in one Florida county courthouse that they've been seen falling from ceiling tiles.

One judge at the Palm Beach County Courthouse calls it an infestation. Some staffers say they check their handbags for stowaways before leaving the building each day.

Court employees and lawyers say the rodents scuttle down corridors, munch legal papers and scratch behind the walls. Last week, one mouse ran around a courtroom floor for an hour during a burglary trial.

The courthouse facilities manager says he's put out a few dozen traps to capture the rodents. He says he's not sure there has been an uptick in mice lately but says they're getting more press than they deserve.

Far out Man

The moral of this story?

Don't smoke pot and have a pissed off teenager at home?

Seriously, I hope Mom gets help.

Girl, 15, turns in mom for allegedly smoking pot

WAVERLY, Neb. (AP) - A 15-year-old girl turned in her mom for allegedly smoking marijuana in front of her. The 32-year-old woman was cited on suspicion of child abuse and marijuana possession. The daughter called the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, and authorities executed a search warrant of her mother's home on Wednesday.

The girl told authorities where they could find the woman's drug paraphernalia and marijuana. One gram of pot was found.

The woman has two other children living in the home.

Pot shipment

Now that is a bunch of marijuana!

Maybe he had a party to go to?

Driver Busted With 1,400 Pounds of Pot

A Connecticut man has been arrested after Arizona authorities say they discovered 1,400 pounds of marijuana hidden in a semitrailer he was driving.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says 49-year-old Thomas Belliveau was taken into custody Friday on suspicion of transporting $2.1 million worth of marijuana for sale on a run from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., to Westborough, Mass.

The DPS says the big rig was stopped near New River for an equipment violation and an officer discovered the marijuana among the legitimate shipment of frozen food.

Belliveau's hometown in Connecticut was not immediately disclosed.

The truck is owned by M & G Enterprises of East Hartford, Conn., where a manager who answered the phone said he did not know about the arrest or seizure of the marijuana.

The most unkindest cut of all

Well I guess he showed himself didn't he?

And don't do it again!

I'm sure there'll be a lawsuit lurking around here shortly. (no pun intended)

MONROE -- A Monroe Correctional Complex prisoner with a history of mental illness was rushed to the hospital Thursday after his second attempt to cut off his penis.

The prisoner, 49, already had amputated much of his genitals several years ago, prison spokeswoman Cathy Kopoian said.

On Thursday the man apparently used a razor blade to cut off what remained.

He was rushed by medics to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett with serious cuts to the groin, she said. Doctors there sent the man to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the region's trauma center.

Prisoners are permitted basic necessities, including razors, under state law, she said. Prison officials didn't consider the man at risk to harm himself.

The man was convicted July 1, 1977, for aggravated first-degree murder, Kopoian said. He's serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in the special offenders unit, a part of the prison reserved for treating prisoners with mental health issues.

Self-administered penile amputations are a dangerous and painful form of self-mutilation, said Dr. Thomas Walsh, a urologist at UW Medical Center, a specialty treatment center.

"It can be life-threatening," he said.

If blood loss can be stopped, the patient usually can be stabilized. Prison officials didn't know the prisoner's condition Thursday afternoon.

Whenever possible, doctors attempt to reattach the organ, a complicated and costly procedure, Walsh said. The success rate is typically around 50 percent.

Penile amputation is a rare condition and doctors in Seattle deal with only about one case each year, the urologist said.

This kind of self-mutilation typically is caused by psychosis, said Dr. Bruce Gage, the chief of psychiatry for the state Department of Corrections.

"People who cut themselves or hurt themselves are rarely trying to kill themselves," he said.

More often they are trying to bring about some kind of change or find relief from inner pain, Gage said.

Other psychiatric problems, including personality disorders, also can cause people to hurt themselves. It's most often not associated with people with gender identity issues, he said.

Treatments vary depending on the underlying condition, Gage said.

Sympathy for the devil

The devil made him do it.

Pleased to meetcha, Can you guess my name?

Satanist inmate sues county
BY GREG TUTTLE-Of The Gazette Staff

A Billings man in prison for drug possession has filed a $10 million federal lawsuit against Yellowstone County for alleged civil-rights violations, including interference with his satanic religious practices.

Jason Paul Indreland claims in the U.S. District Court lawsuit that county jail staff took from him a religious medallion, denied him access to religious material and ridiculed and punished him for his religious beliefs.

The lawsuit also alleges that Indreland was denied medical care for his drug addiction, that he was placed in situations where violence was expected and that he suffered harassment and retaliation while incarcerated.

Indreland said he has been a practicing Satanist for the past decade and the confiscated medallion was a "protective symbol" in his religion. The lawsuit claims jail staff refused to return the medallion or allow Indreland access to a "Satanic Bible or Book of Satanic Rituals.

Indreland, 35, is incarcerated at Montana State Prison for a term of five years, with two years suspended, for felony drug possession. Indreland was convicted of the crime after Billings police found him with 15 grams of methamphetamine in March 2007.

Indreland has previous felony convictions in Yellowstone and Stillwater counties for bad checks and theft.

Indreland is not represented by an attorney in his suit. An attorney for the county, Kevin Gillen, said the county has not been served with the claim and could not comment.

Indreland initially filed the handwritten federal lawsuit last March while he was still held at the county jail. The lawsuit names as defendants the Yellowstone County Board of Commissioners, Sheriff Chuck Maxwell, Undersheriff Jay Bell and Sheriff's Capt. Dennis McCave, who oversees county jail operations.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby reviewed the complaint and in October issued an order permitting Indreland to file an amended complaint. Ostby said in the order that there were several legal flaws in the original claim and it would be dismissed if not amended to comply with her order.

Indreland filed the amended complaint Nov. 12. In that document, Indreland named numerous members of the jail staff he alleges participated in violating his civil rights. Among the claims, Indreland alleges jail staff placed "Christian natured greeting cards under (his) cell door describing how he was going to undertake a huge change in his life and how Jesus was ready to save and accept him."

The lawsuit seeks $3 million for alleged civil-rights violations, $2 million for "the deprivation of his rights and injuries both mental and physical," and $5 million in punitive damages.

I liked this one as well so enjoy!

Invasion of privacy

You just knew when this happened that somehow, somewhere the photo of a battered Rhianna was going to show up.

Someone's head is going to roll for this.

You betcha!

Rhianna -- The face of a battered woman and LAPD News release

Los Angeles: The unauthorized release of a domestic violence photograph immediately
generated an internal investigation.

At about 7 p.m. on February 19, 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations
Section began receiving numerous inquiries about the release of a photograph associated with a
domestic violence incident that occurred on February 8, 2009, involving entertainer Chris
Brown. The photograph appeared on an entertainment website. The photograph has the
appearance of one taken during an official Domestic Violence investigation.

The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of
victims of domestic violence.

The Department launched an immediate internal investigation and subsequently filed a personnel complaint.

A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including

Anyone with information concerning the unauthorized release of the photograph is asked to call,
during regular business hours, (213) 485-4152. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be
directed to our 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text
“CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to and click on Web Tips. When
using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”

Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fast and Furious-The Orange peel (act a fool)

Okay, maybe this isn't the "crime of the century" but it is rather amazing.

A 1993 Honda Civic doing 137 mph!! Wow!

Cops clock man driving 137 mph in '93 Honda Civic

GREENVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - State police have ticketed an upstate New York man for driving more than twice the 65-mph speed limit on an interstate highway. Troopers said a 21-year-old man was clocked doing 137 mph on Interstate 84 in Orange County on Tuesday. He was pulled over in the westbound lanes near Exit 2 in the town of Greenville, on the New Jersey border 60 miles northwest of New York City.

Troopers said the man was driving a 1993 Honda Civic.

The man was ticketed for speeding, reckless driving and having vehicle windows with illegal tint.

He's due to appear in Greenville Town Court on Feb. 25.

There was no telephone listing for the man.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bail denied

This is just a bizarre and potentially very dangerous situation.

IMHO a bond should've been denied for the safety of the community.

Woman seen tampering with baby food denied bond

TAMARAC, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Broward County judge denied bond to a woman spotted by a Publix shopper pouring an unspecified black liquid into jars of baby food inside the grocery store on the evening of Feb. 12.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the witness viewed 50-year-old Shirley W. Ybarra using a plastic syringe to transfer the unknown dye from a Victoria's Secret body splash container to an Earth's Best banana food jar inside the grocery chain's 4121 West Commercial Blvd. location.

When store employees confronted her, the suspect told them she had been mixing food for her son during the 15-minute event. While being questioned, Ybarra allegedly urinated on herself, prompting her to require a visit to the bathroom in order to clean herself up. Once in the lavatory, Ybarra allegedly placed a pair of rubber gloves in the trash and flushed Pine Glo disinfectant down the toilet.

The suspect's shopping cart held baby juice containers, several tampered jars of Earth's Best banana baby food, latex gloves, a baby syringe and paper towels.

Store officials confiscated all of the grocery products that were in the suspect's possession and checked its other area supermarkets to determine whether or not Ybarra had visited them.

BSO Detectives sent samples of the ammonia-scented liquid to the Food and Drug Administration's labs in Cincinnati for testing and identification, which is expected to be completed in two to three weeks.

Investigators do not know whom the bottles were intended for, though Ybarra did tell authorities that she is the mother of a 21-year-old who resides in Orlando.

The judge presiding over Ybarra's arraignment proceeding determined that her possession of that alleged chemical gives authorities probable cause to charge her with a first-degree felony of poisoning food or water with intent to kill. The run-in violates conditions of probation Ybarra had been placed on in connection with a 2005 aggravated battery charge. The supposedly unemployed medical worker also holds a 2007 charge for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Under Florida's Baker Act, authorities committed the 50-year-old to a psychiatric facility within BSO's North Broward Bureau jail in Pompano Beach.

Room at the Days Inn

Hey Dude! Isn't it nice?

You can get an all expense paid vacation to beautiful Lampasas County and free room and board as well. If you play your cards right you can parlay that to an all expense paid trip, including room and board, from the State of Texas at one, or more, of many exotic locations through out the state.

Hurry on up!

Seguin man wanted after string of burglaries

Published February 19, 2009

LAMPASAS — A local resident visited this Hill Country town last fall and left such an impression, they’d pay $1,000 to get him back — but no one’s promising they’d let him leave anytime soon afterward.

Lampasas Assistant Chief of Police Sammy Bailey said Steven Joseph Johnson, 26, of Seguin is suspected of taking part in a string of commercial burglaries that occurred in that community on Oct. 30 — and is believed to have returned to Guadalupe or Comal counties.

“We have several charges on him right now for burglaries of businesses and buildings in town,” Bailey said. “The Lampasas County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of $1,000 for information that leads to his arrest.”

Bailey said Johnson and Christopher Brian Herbold are believed responsible for the burglaries. Herbold, 25, was taken into custody in Seguin after a scuffle with Wal-Mart employees, who confronted him after he allegedly stole an Xbox 360 headset. Herbold, purportedly an “Ultimate Fighting” competitor, was booked on charges of robbery, burglary and possession of marijuana. He has since surrendered to Lampasas authorities.

The pair are alleged to have broken into the Shooting Star Christian bookstore, Storm’s Restaurant, Lampasas Hardware, Diamond G. Concepts, the Peddler’s Alley shoe store and Mr. Gatti’s Pizza. In most of the burglaries, cash was taken out of registers. At the bookstore, a necklace also was found missing. At Storm’s, the burglars hit a safe, Bailey said. Other charges are possible.

As far as Lampasas police know, Johnson hasn’t been back since the burglaries, but they’d like to talk to him.

Seguin Police Detective Lt. Johnny San Miguel confirmed the department is actively looking for Johnson and wants anyone who knows his whereabouts to call (830) 379-2123.

If anyone has information, wants to collect a reward but wishes to remain anonymous, calls may be placed to Lampasas County Crime Stoppers at (512) 556-2769 (ARMY).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Whose fault was this?

Which sub had the green light and the 'right of way'?

Who is going to sue whom?
Defence Editor

BRITAIN and France tried to cover up the nuke subs crash that could have sparked a massive disaster, it emerged last night.

The navies of both nations were forced to come clean about the incident yesterday after The Sun’s exclusive revelation swept the world.

For almost two weeks the Royal Navy had REFUSED to discuss anything about the collision which damaged ballistic missile carrier HMS Vanguard.
Vanguard ... Navy did not discuss the collision

Vanguard ... Navy did not discuss the collision

And the French had PRETENDED their sub Le Triomphant hit a container that fell off a ship.

Triomphant ... French said she hit a container

Triomphant ... French said she hit a container

But yesterday Navy boss Admiral Sir Jonathon Band confirmed the vessels “came into contact”.

Sir Jonathon, the First Sea Lord, was forced to deny fears that Britain lost its nuclear strike capability during the incident.

He was speaking at a London press conference, arranged to mark 100 years of naval aviation but which was hijacked by questions over the crash.

The Admiral, who at one point sat with his head in his hands, said: “Both submarines remained safe and no injuries occurred.

“We can confirm that the capability remained unaffected and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety.”

He added that HMS Vanguard had returned to the submarine base at Faslane, on the Clyde in Scotland, under her own power.

The boats were carrying as many as 32 nuclear missiles at the time of the mid-Atlantic smash earlier this month.


Each of their multiple warheads has a blast yield of up to 3.8 megatons — eight times as powerful as the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Both subs were on top-secret “silent” patrols and when in stealth mode they move as slowly as 1mph to make them impossible to detect.

Last night MPs from all parties demanded answers with Angus Robertson, Westminster leader of the Scottish Nationalists, saying: “The MoD needs to explain how it is possible for a submarine to collide with another in the middle of the world’s second-largest ocean.”

Lib Dem defence spokesman Nick Harvey said: “The people of Britain, France and the rest of the world need to be reassured this can never happen again.”

The MoD was still refusing to say how much damage the £1.25billion Vanguard had suffered.

In contrast, French officials admitted the final bill for repairing Le Triomphant could top £50MILLION, with intricate missile guidance systems and navigation controls having to be replaced.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament called the crash “a nightmare of the highest order”, the worst incident since Russian sub Kursk sank with 118 crew in 2000.

Business and law enforcement co-op

A good effort.

Hopefully many in the area will participate.

City businesses urged to help deter crime

The New Braunfels Police Department is reaching out to local businesses to help keep the city safe.

NBPD Chief Ron Everett on Monday touted the importance of local business owners in crime prevention to members of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

By forming watch groups, using online resources and utilizing training from the NBPD, he said the more than 2,000 businesses in New Braunfels can better make sure their property, and the community, are safe.

“Having businesses be our eyes and ears will help deter crime in our city, help us apprehend suspects and overall just make this a better place to live,” Everett said.

He encouraged business owners to use online tools such as to receive updates of criminal activity in the city and to use to receive a better idea of what crimes have taken place in their area. Business owners also can have the NBPD evaluate their alarm systems, help train their staff or check to make sure their office, restaurant or warehouse is as safe as it could be.

And like residents, businesses also are encouraged to alert the NBPD if they see any suspicious activity.

“New Braunfelsers over the years have always partnered up to make this a better place to live, work and play,” Chamber President Michael Meek said. “The Police Department certainly understands the importance of the businesses helping prevent business crime.”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Letting your inner self shine

Stop! or I'll drop trou!

Bum Bid for freedom

A Chinese thief who was chased into a dead end tried to scare off his pursuers by dropping his trousers and mooning at them.

Passers-by gave chase after the man forced open a motorcycle pannier and stole a woman's purse in Fuzhou city.

Shoppers and traders chased the thief into a cul-de-sac after the victim, Ms Wei, raised the alarm, reports Straits News.

"Just as we were about to catch up with him, he suddenly dropped his pants and flashed his butt towards us, shaking his waist," said Ms Wei.

The shocked pursuers didn't know what to do for a second before one man stepped forward and grabbed the thief, telling him to pull up his pants.

The criminal reportedly told police that he had realised he was trapped and came up with the escape plan when he realised many of his pursuers were women.

"I thought that if they covered their eyes out of modesty, I could then grab the opportunity to escape," he said.

Bicycle not built for two?

Jesus! How stupid was this?

Just buy him a bike or give him cab fare. Don't 'borrow' a grad student's bike.

End of today's lecture, Professor.

USF professor on leave after he is captured taking a bike from campus

TAMPA -- A University of South Florida dean is being investigated after surveillance video captured him taking a red bike from the loading dock of the Johnnie B. Byrd, Sr., Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute.

Dr. Abdul Rao, senior associate vice president for research at USF College of Medicine, said he took the bike on Monday to help a "nearly homeless'' friend and intended no harm.

Video of the theft has been posted on YouTube.

Rao, who joined USF in 2006 ,draws a $269,280 salary plus four administrative stipends of $115,000.

He is on leave while university police and the administration review the matter.

"This issue for us," university spokesman Michael Hoad said, "is the error in judgment."

Rao said in an interview today that he allowed a man who does yardwork for him to take the bike so that he could go to the DMV to replace a lost Florida ID.

"Initially, I was reluctant," Rao said. "But he is trustworthy and he is an extremely hard working guy. He is just one of those guys who can't get off the poverty bubble."

Rao said he did nothing to conceal the fact that he was taking the bike. In fact, he said, he advocated for video surveillance on the dock last year and was aware he was being filmed.

On Wednesday, he said, he was in a meeting when campus police asked him to step out. They questioned him about the bicycle, which belonged to a graduate student. Rao said his friend had already returned the bike by then.

USF police Lt. Meg Ross confirmed the bike had been returned. She said no charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.

Rao also released the following statement to his colleagues:

"I will be away from the Alzheimer’s Center for a time and Dr. Cliff Gooch and Mr. John Ekarius will assume responsibility for routine administrative matters. I must, with deep regret, let you know that I made an unfortunate mistake and it is now necessary for the official channels to review the incident.

"Earlier this week I gave a man who does odd jobs for me permission to use a bicycle that was parked at the center. I acted out of compassion for this nearly homeless man; but I failed to consider that the bicycle belonged to someone on our Alzheimer’s team. The bicycle was reported stolen. It has, however, since then been returned to its owner. USF police are investigating as is standard procedure. It was a terrible lapse in judgment on my part; I have no excuse. I can only say that my intention was never to bring harm, alarm, or disruption to anyone.

"Please know that I deeply regret this failure in judgment and the unfortunate attention it has generated. My first duty is to the community of scholars that is USF and to the talented people working across USF Health. If it is possible, I hope to return soon and resume my service to Dr. Klasko and you as we continue to move USF Health forward as a global leader and a respected community partner."

-- Rebecca Catalanello, Times staff writer

An honest reply

Give him credit for his honesty.
Why did you run that light? 'Because it was red'
Des Moines

Asked why he went through an intersection on a red light, a Des Moines man about to be arrested on a third drunken driving charge, allegedly answered, "Because it was red."

Travis Lyle Williams, a 29-year-old construction worker, went through the intersection of Grand and Second Avenues "without hesitation" on a red light shortly before 2 a.m., on Thursday, police said.

He is being held in the Polk County Jail on $5,000 bond.

Police said Williams admitted only to having two beers at a downtown tavern. Officers noted he had a "glazed/dazed look to him." A test showed his blood-alcohol level was .215, or well over twice the legal limit.

Williams could not produce a driver's license. Officers said he had only an Iowa ID card.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Chicago way?

How does this slip your mind?

How did he forget to mention this when asked if he was contacted to make a donation to Blago?

Just a simple and 'honest' mistake? They didn't ask me the 'right' questions? 'Mere' perjury?

I call BS.

Burris confirms request for Blagojevich donation By JOHN O'CONNOR

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Raising fresh questions about his appointment to Congress, Sen. Roland Burris admitted in a document released Saturday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother asked him for campaign fundraising help before the governor named Burris as Illinois' junior senator.

The disclosure reflects a major omission from Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

State Rep. Jim Durkin, the impeachment committee's ranking Republican, told The Associated Press that he and House Republican Leader Tom Cross will ask Sunday for an outside investigation into whether Burris perjured himself.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada also said he was reviewing the disclosure, the latest twist for Senate Democrats in Washington who only consented to seat Burris on the condition that there were no "pay to play" promises exchanged in the appointment.

Burris said he voluntarily gave the committee a Feb. 4 affidavit disclosing the contact with Robert Blagojevich because "there were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony to the impeachment committee."

The affidavit, released by Burris' office after it was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, said Robert Blagojevich called him three times - once in October and twice after the November election - to seek his fundraising assistance.

Robert Blagojevich's attorney said his client believes one of the conversations was recorded by the FBI.

Burris, a Democrat like the former governor, said he told Robert Blagojevich he would not raise money because it would look like he was trying to win favor from the governor for his appointment. But he said he did ask the governor's brother "what was going on with the selection of a successor" to Obama in the Senate and "he said he had heard my name mentioned in the discussions."

It's the second time Burris has changed his story. In an unsolicited affidavit to the impeachment committee on Jan. 6, Burris said he had only one limited conversation with the governor before accepting the Senate appointment.

Then, appearing before the committee Jan. 8, he said he told former Blagojevich aide-turned-lobbyist Lon Monk last summer that he was interested in the post.

The governor appointed Burris, a former state attorney general, to the Senate seat on Dec. 30, three weeks after federal agents arrested Blagojevich on a complaint alleging he had tried to trade the appointment for campaign cash or a high-paying job. The state House impeached Blagojevich and the state Senate removed him from office on Jan. 29.

Reid and Dick Durbin of Illinois, among other Senate Democrats, initially said they would not seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich but eventually relented after accepting Burris' impeachment committee testimony under oath that there were no promises exchanged for his appointment.

A spokesman for Durbin said the senator was overseas and had not seen the affidavit or compared it to the testimony. The White House had no comment.

State House impeachment committee chairwoman Barbara Flynn Currie, a Democrat, said she saw the affidavit earlier this week but did not have time to share it with all committee members until now. She said she was planning committee action but that seeking an outside investigation was premature at this point.

The affidavit discloses for the first time that Burris believes he likely told former Blagojevich advisers Doug Scofield and John Wyma of his interest in the post at a fundraiser in June and later asked about it when he spoke to Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris, who was arrested with Blagojevich on Dec. 9.

Scofield, Wyma and Harris were among the Blagojevich associates Burris was asked about in his Jan. 8 testimony by Durkin.

In response, Burris said he had spoken only to Monk.

"This wasn't a couple of questions that I can understand someone may forget, it goes way beyond that," Durkin said Saturday. "To say that he wasn't given the opportunity to explain himself is a load of B.S."

Durkin said he doesn't trust majority Democrats in the General Assembly to conduct a fair investigation into whether Burris perjured himself. But he said he doesn't know yet who should conduct the inquiry.

A log of Harris' calls released to the AP by the governor's office indicates Burris called Harris four times in November - the last time on Nov. 26, when the log indicates the two spoke. Burris' affidavit says he had called Harris to recommend his nephew for a state job and during the conversation asked about the Senate seat.

A spokeswoman for Burris said he would not make himself available for interviews Saturday.

Robert Blagojevich's lawyer, Michael Ettinger, said his client contacted Burris in October to ask him to host a fundraiser for his brother because Burris had contributed in the past, but Burris said he didn't want to commit before the election. Ettinger said the subject of the Senate seat wasn't raised.

Ettinger said Robert Blagojevich remembers only one other conversation in November from the governor's campaign office, which the FBI had wiretapped at the time. He said his client confirmed Burris' account that he declined the fundraiser because of the potential conflict.

But he also told Ettinger no one on his brother's staff had ever mentioned Burris as being interested in the seat.

A publicist for the former governor released a statement saying Blagojevich "acted ethically and honestly and believes Sen. Burris did too."

In explaining his incomplete testimony, Burris said in the affidavit he recalled mentioning Monk "but was then asked another question and did not mention anyone else."

His lawyer, Timothy Wright III, said in a cover letter Burris answered "truthfully and to the best of his recollection," but that the "fluid nature" of the questioning and a review of the transcript showed Burris that he "was unable to fully respond to several matters."

Exercise will kill you

Sounds like it was pretty cold-blooded and thought out.

Ohio woman pleads guilty in over-exercising death

CHARDON, Ohio (AP) - A woman has pleaded guilty to reckless homicide for exercising her 73-year-old husband to death in a swimming pool, repeatedly refusing to let him leave the water.

Surveillance video showed Christine Newton-John, 41, pulling James Mason around the pool by his arms and legs, said Middlefield police Chief Joseph Stehlik

The chief said he counted 43 times in which Newton-John prevented her husband from leaving the water, and Mason rested his head on the side of the pool several times while gasping for breath.

"The video is bone-chilling," Stehlik said. "The whole case is very sinister."

Mason had a heart attack on June 2 after the extended swim session. An officer who had investigated previous complaints that Mason was being abused pursued the case because he suspected there was more to the death, Stehlik said.

Newton-John pleaded guilty Thursday and faces up to five years in prison. No sentencing date was set.

Police did not immediately respond to a call Saturday seeking comment on a motive.

The video would have had a profound effect on a jury, Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce said. But that wouldn't have been enough for a conviction if Newton-John had been charged with murder.

"You can see the man struggling for his life on the tape, but there is no audio, so we couldn't hear what he was saying," he said.

Geauga County Chief Public Defender Robert Umholtz, who represented Newton-John, declined to comment.

Mason was a longtime friend of his wife's family. He knew her as John Vallandingham before she had gender reassignment surgery in 1993 and changed her name in honor of the singer and star of the hit movie version of the musical "Grease."

The couple were wed in 2006 in Kentucky, where people can change their gender on their birth certificate.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Let's roll

Budgets are stretched thin everywhere.

Will the Stimulus Bill just passed by Congress help wipe out the problems facing the Des Moines County Jail?

What about indigent inmates? Do they have the right to three squares a day?

D.M. County weighs charging inmates for toilet paper

Des Moines

County budgets and toilet paper have one thing in common: Every little bit helps.

That's why leaders in Des Moines County will consider an idea to charge jail inmates for bathroom tissue to help wipe away a $1.7 million deficit next year.

The decision was driven, in part, by a Board of Supervisors edict that gave department heads an option: Cut costs or face employee furloughs or layoffs.

The county's budget director, Cheryl McVey, said billing inmates for toilet paper could save more than $2,300.

"We have to find out if it's an allowable expense," she said Thursday. "It's certainly not going to balance our budget."

McVey said she didn't know whether inmates would be charged by the sheet, square or roll. The savings estimate was provided by the maintenance department at the jail, where officials did not want to talk about the idea or where it originated.

Curt Braby, Louisa County sheriff and president of the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association, said he wasn't aware of any counties that have toilet paper fees on the books. He said inmates probably would choose to spend money from accounts established for necessities like shampoo and soap if asked to pony up for paper.

As for Des Moines County elected officials: "They've got budget problems, and they're looking for places to cut. But what do you do for the guy who hasn't got the dollar for the toilet paper?"

So much for the safety of your driveway

I had a similar moment back about 35 years ago.

I had gone to sleep when several hours later a loud crashing noise woke my wife and I up. We looked out the window and a drunken neighbor was trying to parallel park behind my car and he kept ramming into it at about 30 mph.

Pretty shocking stuff to wake up to.

Couple wakes up to shocking car scene

When night fell Thursday at the New Braunfels home of Kathy Villarose and her husband, both of their vehicles were neatly parked in front of their garage door.

But when Villarose awoke Friday morning, she found the two vehicles practically occupying the same space, twisted into each other and smashed into the front of the garage.

Villarose said she and her husband were watching TV in their house on the corner of Fredericksburg Road and Grandview Avenue late Thursday night when they hear a loud crash and screeching tires outside.

“We live right next to a stop sign, so I thought maybe someone ran it and got into a wreck,” Villarose said. “We ran outside immediately and looked out our front door to see if there was an accident.”

The front door of the house, where she lives with her husband and daughter, points away from the unlit garage. When they looked outside, they saw no damage and no wrecked car.

But when she headed outside around 8 a.m. to take her daughter to elementary school, she said she found her two vehicles — a 1996 Ford Explorer and a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche — smashed into each other.

“At first I was very confused,” she said. “Initially it was a moment of ‘OK, I haven’t had my coffee yet. What is going on?’”

Her gray Explorer sat in the driveway with a large dent in the driver’s side. It was pushed several feet from where she said it was originally parked and now jutted into the large Avalanche next to it.

“The cars were practically fused together,” she said. “I was in shock once I realized what happened.”

Villarose said the wreck couldn’t have come at worse time.

“My husband was out of work briefly and just got a new job,” she said. “With all the layoffs going on around here, this is the last thing we need. We’ll get through it though.”

Villarose said when police arrived on the scene, they found almost no evidence of the vehicle that caused the damage.

“It might have been an intoxicated driver,” New Braunfels Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said. “We will check with the hospital and check around their residence for any suspects.”

He said anyone with information on the wreck can call the Police Department at (830) 608-2179.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Viva Viagra

Okay, now here is a real stimulus bill.

Morale in Mexico City is *ahem* rising, amongst other things.

Mexican mayor aims to add spark to flagging sex lives

MEXICO CITY: Flashing a boyish grin, the silver-haired septuagenarian fidgeted nervously. His voice dropped to a whisper. A reddish hue enveloped his face. All this because he was asked how the latest social program to be offered by Mexico City's government was affecting his home life.

"Things have changed," Angel Posadas Sandoval, 74, finally confessed, not going into specifics but nonetheless making himself abundantly clear.

He was talking, however obliquely, about the free Viagra the government is giving away to poor men age 60 and above.

With midterm elections looming in July, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has been rather creative in his attempts to make life more livable for the people of this sprawling metropolis, which finds itself clogged with traffic, overwhelmed by smog, prowled by criminals and reeling from the global financial crisis.

The mayor dumps sand at public pools to create artificial beaches. He bans cars from major roadways on Sundays and turns them into sprawling bike paths. The largest skating rink in the world, one that makes Rockefeller Center's patch of ice look puny, went up in the Zócalo, Mexico City's central square, for the second straight year over the Christmas holidays.

This weekend, for Valentine's Day, the government is sponsoring a mass kiss-in, in an attempt to break the world record and raise awareness about domestic violence. "Bésame Mucho," or "Kiss me a lot," was recently adopted as the city's motto by tourism officials, and Ebrard is expected to preside over the event, though his staff was not sure whether he would be publicly smooching his wife, a former soap opera actress.

But the free Viagra is what had Posadas, a retiree, hemming and hawing on a recent afternoon. After reading an announcement about Ebrard's latest gesture, he summoned the courage to broach the topic of his erectile dysfunction at a local government health center. After undergoing an in-depth health exam and receiving a lecture on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, Posadas recently became among the first men in the city to be issued a handful of government-subsidized pills.

Apparently, they worked. "Now, I'm able to fulfill my wife," he said. Posadas, the father of two and grandfather of six, acknowledged that his sex life had slowed somewhat in recent years.

Read the rest here: Viva Viagra!