Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Run Ronald Run!

My! Someone had their heart set on a hamburger didn't they?

Not 'lovin' it,' he shoots Mickey D's drive-through
Man fired sawed-off into window after being told menu was breakfast-only.

By Erin Alberty
The Salt Lake Tribune

A McDonald's drive-through was shot up early Sunday after a customer was angered that the restaurant had shifted from the lunch menu to the breakfast menu, police said.

The driver of a white Dodge Intrepid pulled into the drive-through at about 2 a.m. at McDonald's at 210 W. 500 South in Salt Lake City and ordered food from the lunch and dinner menu, police said.

When a clerk told her the restaurant was serving only items from the breakfast menu, the woman drove to the second window, police said. Two men got out of the car, and one pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of the trunk, police said. He fired once or twice into the drive-though window before the two men and the woman left on 500 South and turned north on 300 West, police said.

The Intrepid was last seen going west over the viaduct on 400 South. The shooter was described as Polynesian, 6 feet 1 inch tall, with long hair in a ponytail, a beanie cap and a white T-shirt, police said.

No one was injured in the shooting, police said. Officers did not know how many employees were in the restaurant at the time.

Too stupid by half

You gotta admit the would-be robber is either really really stupid, or totally clueless.

Perhaps both, now that I think about it.

'Dumbest criminal' in cop convention hold-up

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A retired police chief said he was robbed by "probably the dumbest criminal in Pennsylvania," at a police officers' convention on Friday morning. John Comparetto said as he came out of a stall in the men's room, a man pointed a gun in his face and demanded money. There were 300 narcotics officers from Pennsylvania and Ohio at the gathering.

Comparetto gave up his money and cell phone. But when the man fled, Comparetto and some colleagues chased him. They arrested a 19-year-old man as he was trying to leave in a taxi.

The suspect is also awaiting trial on four previous robbery charges.

The suspect was arraigned and taken to Dauphin County Prison. When a reporter asked the suspect for comment as he was led out of court, he said, "I'm smooth."

Nuts to you (not)

Do not eat the pistachio nuts.

You know, the ones which are basically addicting.

Yeah, You, put them down and step away from the bag. NOW!

(Man o' Law is now craving pistachio ice cream)

FDA says to avoid pistachios amid salmonella scare

Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- In another food scare sure to rattle consumers who watched the national salmonella outbreak in peanuts unfold, federal food officials are now warning people not to eat any food containing pistachios, which could carry contamination from the same bacteria.

The Food and Drug Administration said central California-based Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., the nation's second-largest pistachio processor, was voluntarily recalling more than 2 million pounds of its roasted nuts shipped since last fall.

"Our advice to consumers is that they avoid eating pistachio products, and that they hold onto those products," said Dr. David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food safety. "The number of products that are going to be recalled over the coming days will grow, simply because these pistachio nuts have then been repackaged into consumer-level containers."

Two people called the FDA complaining of gastrointestinal illness that could be associated with the nuts, but the link hasn't been confirmed, Acheson said. Still, the plant decided to shut down late last week, officials said.

The recalled nuts represent a small fraction of the 55 million pounds of pistachios that the company's plant processed last year and an even smaller portion of the 278 million pounds produced in the state in the 2008 season, according to the Fresno-based Administrative Committee for Pistachios.

California alone is the second-largest producer of pistachios in the world.

According to the company's Web site, Setton Pistachio is in the corporate family of Commack, N.Y.-based Setton International Foods Inc. The company sells nuts, dried fruit, edible seeds, chocolate and yogurt-coated candies.

The FDA learned about the problem last Tuesday, when Kraft Foods Inc. notified the agency that it had detected salmonella in roasted pistachios through routine product testing. Kraft and the Georgia Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the next day.

The FDA contacted Setton Pistachio and California health officials shortly afterward, in what Acheson called a "proactive move."

By Friday, grocery operator Kroger Co. recalled one of its lines of bagged pistachios because of possible salmonella contamination, saying the California plant also supplied its nuts. Those nuts were sold in 31 states.

Fabia D'Arienzo, a spokeswoman for Tulare County-based Setton Pistachio, said the company was only recalling certain bulk roasted in-shell and roasted shelled pistachios that were shipped on or after September 1.

Because Setton Pistachio shipped tote bags of nuts weighing up to 2,000 pounds to 36 wholesalers across the country, it will take weeks to figure out how many products could be affected, said Jeff Farrar, chief of the Food and Drug Branch of the California Department of Public Health.

"It will be safe to assume based on the volume that this will be an ingredient in a lot of different products, and that may possibly include things like ice cream and cake mixes," Farrar said. "The firm is already turning around trucks in transit to bring those back to the facility."

Salmonella, the most common cause of food-borne illness, is a bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever and cramping. Most people recover, but the infection can be life-threatening for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

For nuts, roasting is supposed to kill the bacteria. But problems can occur if the roasting is not done correctly or if roasted nuts are re-contaminated. That can happen if mice, rats or birds get into the facility.

Last winter, a national salmonella outbreak was blamed on a Georgia company under federal investigation for flouting safety procedures and knowingly shipping contaminated peanuts.

The outbreak is still ongoing. More than 690 people in 46 states have gotten sick. Nearly 3,900 products made with peanut ingredients from Peanut Corp. of America have been recalled.

California public health authorities have taken hundreds of samples at Setton's processing facility, but lab results have not yet determined whether salmonella was found at the plant, Farrar said. The food companies' own tests of the contaminated products isolated four different types of salmonella, but none were the same strain as the one found in the peanuts, Acheson said.

Out of the mouth of babes

Its a vital function. Stopping clerks from selling alcohol to minors.

It will only get worse as the Summer tubing season comes upon us.

Good job TABC and NBPD.

BTW I know it probably galls LT. Penshorn a/k/a 'Baby-face' Penshorn cause he gets carded all the time.

Seven local clerks charged in alcohol sting
-The Herald-Zeitung

The New Braunfels Police Department over the weekend charged seven local business clerks with selling alcohol to minors — part of its “Operation Intervention” crackdown on underage drinking.

The latest round of stings were conducted Saturday with the aid of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission as teenagers and undercover officers attempted to purchase alcohol from 17 local gas stations and liquor stores.

Seven clerks were taken into custody and charged with selling alcohol to minors, a Class A misdemeanor that brings with it a fine of as much as $4,000 and as much as a year in jail. A few of the businesses will be fined administratively by the TABC, according to police.

Since it was first launched in August 2007, Operation Intervention has resulted in 38 clerks being charged with illegally selling alcohol to minors.

Those selling alcohol say the program does serve as a deterrent, even if the majority of clerks aren’t purposely trying to sell to minors.

“Most people I know aren’t intentionally trying to break the law,” said Crystal Combs, manager at D&B Wine and Spirits, one store that had a clerk ticketed and arrested Saturday. “Everyone has an off day. But it does make you remember to be careful about what you’re doing and who you’re selling to.”

Police say the program is making a difference.

“Overall, I think the program has been a success, when you take into account the number of local establishments that sell alcohol,” NBPD Spokesman Lt. Mike Penshorn said.

Along with D&B, clerks at the Sac & Pac Drive Inn, Tiger Tote #2, Pit Stop, Rivercrest Food Mart, NB Liquor & Wine and Shell Quix were charged with selling to minors Saturday. Names of the individual clerks were not provided in a NBPD news release, and efforts to obtain them were unsuccessful as of late Monday.

Aside from undercover operations, the program also seeks to educate teens about the dangers of drinking as well as work with community groups and businesses to reduce the amount of alcohol minors can get their hands on.

“Ultimately, when we have another one of these operations, we want to have 100 percent compliance and not see any violations,” Penshorn said.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Criminally stupid



America's Dumbest Criminals -- Snohomish edition
Posted by John de Leon

Just after 3 p.m. Thursday, a man grabbed a ring from the hand of the owner of Johanna's Fine Jewelry Design, 1403 Ave. D, in Snohomish, and ran out of the store.

The owner later remembered that before the robbery he overheard the same man saying that he needed money to bail his girlfriend out of jail. The owner even heard the first name of the girlfriend.

Once police learned this information, they checked records at the Snohomish County Jail. Sure enough, a woman by the same name had just been bailed out of jail. Police contacted the bail bonds company that had arranged for the release and learned the man who paid the bond has used a ring for collateral.

Police were able to identify the robber and arrest him.

Weekend horror

More inexplicable behavior.

No recession in horrors for the past weekend.

May the girls rest in peace.

Brother's knife attack on sisters rattles suburb
Associated Press Writer

MILTON, Mass. (AP) -- With her long hair and model's poise, 17-year-old Samantha Revelus exuded confidence when she recited an original poem Saturday afternoon about a strong woman who stood up to "ignorant souls."

An hour after she finished rehearsal for an upcoming poetry reading, Samantha was dead on the floor of her family's home. She had been stabbed, police say, by her 23-year-old brother. Kerby Revelus then decapitated his 5-year-old sister as her birthday cake from the day before sat on the kitchen table, before turning on his 9-year-old sister, who called police.

Responding officers broke down the door and shot him dead. The first one inside had witnessed Bianca's beheading.

Sarafina was hospitalized Sunday with defensive wounds to her hands and stab wounds in her abdomen and one of her legs.

"In policing, we see the raw human emotion every day, but to think that a human being could afflict such an atrocious, violent act on his own family is unbelievable," Milton police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. said Sunday. "When I walked up to the first officer (on the scene), I could see the whole story right in his face. This just told me that this was something very bad."

Investigators believe Revelus had been agitated since Friday night, when he got in a fistfight with a neighbor in this tony suburb that is also home to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Revelus, investigators believe, may have targeted Samantha in the fallout from the episode.

"Blows were exchanged," Wells said. "I don't know the cause of it, but we're confident that did happen. He had been agitated in the hours that followed that, going into the day and last night."

Samantha's classmates referred to her by her nickname, "Princess," and remarked at her grace, class and friendliness. She had been one of about 20 students who had been at the high school Saturday afternoon to rehearse for a poetry jam on Thursday. Samantha also had practiced for a school fashion show earlier that morning.

"She had a stage presence like you couldn't believe," classmate Kassi Stein said.

Sobbing, she added: "She had just a soft voice and everyone would lean in to hear what she was saying."

But Samantha's poetry was bold and assertive. In "Acquaintance," she closed: "So what lousy wind brought you here? What values you offer? She's a woman, a queen, a goddess. Don't treat her like any other."

Investigators believe Revelus attacked his siblings with a household knife while their grandmother, who neighbors say lives on the first floor, was doing laundry in the basement. The children's parents were away; their mother is a nurse at a Boston hospital, Wells said.

Sarafina, a student at the Tucker Elementary School, just behind the house, called 911 just before 5 p.m. An officer on patrol in the neighborhood arrived within a minute, Wells said, and could hear an altercation inside as he reached the second floor. The 911 operator tried to persuade Sarafina to open the door, but when she didn't the officer broke through.

"As the officer entered the door, (Revelus) decapitated (Bianca) in front of him," Wells said. "He actually walked into a killing field. He walked into such carnage, as far as the atrocity of it, I've never seen it."

Within moments, four officers were inside and two of them shot Revelus as he tried to get to Sarafina, Wells said. Revelus fell, still clutching the knife.

Details about the number of shots and who killed Revelus were pending the outcome of an autopsy Sunday.

Revelus had recently served jail time on a gun charge, Wells said, but the details would not be released until courts opened Monday. Neighbors said Revelus was in a car that was pulled over by police and from which one occupant threw a gun into a sewer.

Police had been called to the family's house in 2004 after a domestic violence report that Revelus had punched a woman living there, Wells said.

A neighbor, Norm Walsh, said his daughter Kate Walsh, a Hollis, N.H., police officer, reported hearing two shots as she went outside to bring in groceries from the family car. Moments later, a blood-covered officer emerged carrying Sarafina, seeking towels to stanch her bleeding.

"It's shocking to me," said Norm Walsh, whose son is the same age as Revelus. "He played a lot of pickup hoops in the driveway."

Walsh said the family had lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and was warm. They were of Haitian descent, like many in a neighborhood where Creole is spoken alongside English.

"The family is a solid family. Both parents worked; good kids. Completely makes no sense," he said.

A two-hour grief counseling session was held at the school Sunday afternoon and will be offered Monday to students and employees.

The officers involved in the case were placed on administrative leave and were receiving stress counseling from the Boston Police Department.

Like shooting ducks in a barrel

CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) -- Police are looking into whether a gunman accused of killing eight people in a North Carolina nursing home may have targeted the facility because his estranged wife worked there.

Police Chief Chris McKenzie says investigators are looking at whether what he called domestic issues may have been the motive for the rampage Sunday in the town of Carthage.

Police say 45-year-old Robert Stewart killed seven residents and a nurse at the Pinelake Health and Rehab center and wounded three other people.

The injured included a police officer credited with ending the rampage when he confronted and fired on the gunman, who was also wounded.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nuts to you

Just gag me with a spoon.

Diners can 'have a ball' at testicle festival

OAKDALE, Calif. (AP) – The fundraising idea may seem a little nuts, but Oakdale's annual Testicle Festival is always a big hit. On Monday, volunteers with the town's Rotary Club plan to fry up 400 pounds of the private parts of bulls and serve them to diners who pay $50 apiece for the sit-down meal.

The event, whose proceeds also benefit the Oakland Cowboy Museum, has drawn an average of 450 people and last year raised $28,000.

It's common practice on cattle ranches for young male bovines to be castrated into steers, which after the initial loss, eventually makes them more docile and easier to handle. Fans of the delicacy, also referred to as "mountain oysters," come from around the state.

According to Rotarians, everyone who buys a ticket is guaranteed to "have a ball."

White lines in the road

Oh well, it will probably all 'blow' away.

Like dust in the wind.

Vice-President Biden's daughter caught up in cocaine scandal

from RadarOnline.com

An explosive video being shopped to media outlets has plunged the White House and Vice President Joe Biden into a cocaine scandal, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.

The video shows a woman, who is represented by the seller and his attorneys to be Biden’s daughter Ashley, snorting several lines of cocaine.

The tape has been viewed by a RadarOnline.com freelance reporter who confirms the woman looks identical to Ashley Biden.

Tom Dunlap, an attorney for Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver in Washington D.C. is representing the seller of the tape in brokering a deal and several news organizations have seen the footage.

In addition to RadarOnline.com, representatives for the New York Post, a large British newspaper and the National Enquirer have all viewed the tape.

The woman on the tape clearly resembles Ashley Biden, 27, who is a social worker employed with the Delaware Department of Children, Youth and Families. She is also a board member of the Delaware YWCA organization.

The tape was shot this year.

On the tape a man cuts up five lines of what is said to be cocaine. The woman who the seller says is Ashley then jokes with the man that the lines aren’t big enough.

The man hands her a rolled-up dollar bill and she proceeds to walk a few steps to a table where the cocaine is cut. She pulls her hair back, bends down and snorts a line.

Four lines of white powdery substance are clearly visible on the table, which is in front of a computer.

After she snorts the first line, the woman said to be Ashley lifts her head and wipes her nose. She then snorts a second and third line before the tape cuts off.

The tape was made without her knowledge. It is being shopped for $250,000.

The events on the tape are represented as taking place at a party in Wilmington, Delaware and the woman said to be Ashley is with a boyfriend.

The cocaine is done amid a party scene with loud music playing and several people talking at the same time.

The tape is approximately two minutes in length.

News clips show that Ashley Biden was once arrested for marijuana possession while she was a college student in New Orleans in 1999. The charges were later dismissed.

In 2002, The Los Angeles Times reported that Ashley, then 21, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a police officer outside a Chicago bar.

RadarOnline.com is attempting to reach Ashley Biden for comment.

No touch zone

A wee bit overbroad and overboard.

Don't you think?

Connecticut School Bans Physical Contact

East Shore M.S. Outlaws "High-Fives," "Hugging" And Horseplay Of Any Kind; Violators May Face Expulsion

MILFORD, Conn. (CBS) ―A violent incident that put one student in the hospital has officials at the Milford school implementing a "no touching" policy, according to a letter written by the school's principal.

East Shore Middle School parents said the change came after a student was sent to the hospital after being struck in the groin.
Principal Catherine Williams sent out a letter earlier in the week telling parents recent behavior has seriously impacted the safety and learning at the school.

"Observed behaviors of concern recently exhibited include kicking others in the groin area, grabbing and touching of others in personal areas, hugging and horseplay. Physical contact is prohibited to keep all students safe in the learning environment," Williams wrote.

Students and parents are outraged. They said the new policy means no high-fives and hugs, as well as horseplay of any kind.

The consequences could be dire, Williams warned in the letter.
"Potential consequences and disciplinary action may include parent conferences, detention, suspension and/or a request for expulsion from school," Williams wrote.

Many think the school's no tolerance policy goes way too far. Others said it's utterly ridiculous.

"Now it's almost as if it's a sanitized school. Where you have to keep your distance from everybody? And that's not what school is about," one father said.
"What if they are out on the playground at recess, or in gym class?" parent Kathy Casey wondered. "You know, gym class is physical."

5 down one to go

Find the 6th person and then 'tee' it up.

I predict it will not go well for these folks who forced mentally and developmentally handicapped patients to fight each other.

5th arrest made in Corpus State School 'fight club'
Associated Press -

CORPUS CHRISTI — The fifth of six people charged with organizing fights among mentally and developmentally disabled residents at a state school was en route to Texas on Saturday after being arrested this week in Virginia.

Guadalupe Delarosa Jr., 21, was arrested Tuesday at Fort Lee, Va., where he was on active duty, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.

A sergeant at Riverside Regional Jail in Hopewell, Va., said Saturday that Delarosa was on his way back to Texas.

Delarosa and five others were charged March 12 with injury to a disabled person after police identified them in videos of the fights, recorded on a cellular phone.

Investigators say staff members at the Corpus Christi State School organized the fights among residents. Police said those charged were the ones who could be identified in fights where there were clear injuries.

They believe the Corpus Christi State School's “fight club” went on for at least a year.

Delarosa resigned from the facility last year before the investigation, a spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disability Services said.

Gov. Rick Perry responded to news of the fights by ordering a moratorium on admissions to the Corpus Christi State School and demanding the installation of security cameras.

The Corpus Christi facility is one of 13 state schools for the mentally and developmentally disabled in Texas.

A lack of supervision on the overnight shifts is believed to have created the atmosphere for the fights, which took place in the early morning hours.

A Justice Department report in December found at least 53 patients in Texas' facilities died in 2007 from preventable conditions that were often the result of lapses in care. It also charged that residents' rights were violated.

According to state records obtained last year, 53 employees at the Corpus Christi State School were fired for abuse or neglect between fiscal year 2004 and fiscal year 2007. Another 24 were suspended.

There were 229 confirmed allegations of abuse or neglect at the Corpus Christi State School between fiscal year 2004 and fiscal year 2008, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The agency investigated 5,443 allegations of abuse and neglect at the facility during that five-year period.

The mother of a former resident of the state school has sued the department on behalf of her son in state court. The suit, filed Thursday, alleges that Armando Hernandez Jr., 21, was forced to fight other residents while he was at the facility from April 2007 to April 2008.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

Dear Readers;

Man o' Law apologizes to you for missing my posting time this morning. he had to take Mrs. Man o' Law to the Med Center to have an early morning procedure done.

I will be catching up as the day proceeds.

Thank you for being a Reader!


Man o, Law

Thursday, March 26, 2009

OMG! You have got to be kidding!

Ann, tell me your state is seriously not considering this?

Isn't this racist somehow, too?

Hahahahaha hehehehehehehe

(wiping tears from eyes) *chortle*

California to reduce carbon emissions by...banning black cars??
by Jeremy Korzeniewski -AutoBlog

In a move that will likely get California's consumers in a huff, impending legislation may soon restrict the paint color options for Golden State residents looking for their next new vehicle. The specific colors that are currently on the chopping block are all dark hues, with the worst offender seemingly the most innocuous color you could think of: Black.

What could California possibly have against these colors, you ask? Apparently, the California Air Resources Board figures that the climate control systems of dark colored cars need to work harder than their lighter siblings – especially after sitting in the sun for a few hours. Anyone living in a hot, sunny climate will tell you that this assumption is accurate, of course. In fact, legislation already exists for buildings that has proven successful at reducing the energy consumption of skyscrapers.

So, what's the crux of the problem... can't paint suppliers just come up with new, less heat-absorbent dark paints? According to Ward's, suppliers have reportedly been testing their pigments and processes to see if it's possible to meet CARB's proposed mandate of 20% solar reflectivity by 2016 with a phase-in period starting in 2012, and things aren't looking good. Apparently, when the proper pigments and chemicals are added to black paint, the resulting color is currently being referred to as "mud-puddle brown." That doesn't sound very attractive, now does it? Windshields, backlights and sunroofs are also slated to get reflective coatings starting in 2012.

When we first heard of this issue, an internal debate immediately began as to whether this might be an elaborate early April Fool's joke, but it isn't. Read through CARB's complete Cool Cars Standards and Test Procedures here (PDF link) for more.

Biting the bullet

Ok then, thank God the ammo shortage will subside soon.

/sarc on The gun/ammo stimulus package has done remarkably well, much better than anticipated. /sarc off

Ammo shortage should subside soon
-The Herald-Zeitung

Since November, guns and ammunition have been flying off the shelves. People say fear has caused the increase in sales.

As gun owners are scrounging for ammo, officials say the shortage should subside soon.

“People are in a panic from supposed legislation,” Dietz Gun Shop and Range employee A.J. Muki said. “We don’t think anything will get passed, but people sure are scared.”

Ralph and Joyce Deitrick, who were shooting at Dietz range Wednesday morning, said that fear is real.

“People really are scared.” Ralph Deitrick said. “Since (President Barack) Obama was elected, guns and ammo are almost impossible to find. What are they scared of? It is sad to say, but it might be our own government.”

“Home invasion is also a scary thought,” added his wife, Joyce Deitrick. “Things are changing and getting dangerous. People are buying up guns for personal protection.”

People have been buying guns and ammo quicker than stores can restock.

“We’ve seen about 20 to 25 percent more sales,” Muki said. “We have a steady 35 to 40 shooters at the range every day this year. Last year around this time, we had maybe 15.”

Dietz owner Howard Dietz said he welcomes the heavy sales.

“Obama is pretty much the salesman of the year,” Dietz joked. “We’re running out of supplies and people keep buying up more than they need. Some days, there’s nothing left to sell.”

The most popular bullets are .9mm and .380 automatic colt pistol caliber for handguns, Muki said.

“It should get better within the next month,” he said. “It’s definitely not a long-term shortage.”

Law enforcement officials said the shortage has not had an effect on them.

“Sometimes we have to be a little patient or search a little harder for ammo,” Comal County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Mark Reynolds said. “But we’re going to keep doing our job. The shortage hasn’t hit us at all.”

New Braunfels Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn echoed that statement and said the NBPD has not had any shortage.

Officials with Wal-Mart said they were not able to provide their sales statistics for national comparison.

Stealing oil lamps, really?

Okay technically it was a burglary and not a robbery. It doesn't change what happened and the thieves will be caught.

Help law enforcement if you know anything about this by calling (830) 608-2179.

Freiheit store victim of weekend robbery [burglary]
-The Herald-Zeitung

A local store owner came back from vacation to find his store ransacked with several expensive items missing.

Mike Reimer, who owns the Freiheit Country Store at 2157 Farm-to-Market 1101, said the store’s back pane glass window door was found shattered when workers returned to work Tuesday morning.

According to the police report, four flat screen televisions were missing from the store along with several cases of beer, a stereo system and seven oil lamps.

“They ripped the TVs right off the wall,” Reimer said. “It’s very upsetting. I just hate thieves. I hope they catch them.”

Three fingerprints were found at the scene, which New Braunfels Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said will be processed.

“We will run the prints through our system which will give us potential suspects,” Penshorn said. “We will then compare those suspects and see what we find.”

Reimer said he thinks the thieves knew the bar and might have known he was on vacation.

“It was probably somebody that has been in there before,” he said. “We’re out in the middle of nowhere. They had to know we were there.”

Penshorn said police are doing everything they can in the situation.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the police department at (830) 608-2179.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No longer appearing on a TV near you

Anyone doubt for a minute that there is a war or clash of cultures going on?

Do you want the whole world to go the way the Saudi clerics desire?

I have no particular animus or dislike for Islam, just leave me alone and free to practice my religion and beliefs and don't impose your rules on me and everyone else.

Food for thought ladies?

Saudi clerics want women banned from TV, media

Hardline Saudi clerics have called on the government to ban women from appearing on television and to prohibit their images in print media, which they called a sign of growing "deviant thought."

In a letter to new Information Minister Abdul Aziz al-Khoja that appeared on websites this week, the 35 Islamic clerics also condemned the increase of music and dancing on television, as well as images of women in popular newspapers and magazines that they labeled "obscene."

"Our faith in you is great to carry out media reform, for we have seen how perversity is rooted in the ministry of information and culture, on television, radio, in the press, literary clubs, and book fairs," the letter said.

It cited an alleged plan to "westernise" Saudi women by "reducing their rights to a question of removing veils, wearing makeup and mixing with men."

It added that the ministry had permitted the import of "obscene newspapers and magazines that are filled with deviant thought and pictures of beautiful women on its covers and inside."

"There should be no Saudi woman on television, in any case," they said.

"There is no doubt that this is religiously impermissible."

The clerics, including justice officials and academics from a conservative Islamic university, cited several cabinet-endorsed orders and policies from years past which they said supported their argument.

They appeared to be challenging a growing push for liberalisation of tough restrictions on women, including near-mandatory use of black, full-face veils, which are rooted in its ultra-conservative Wahhabi version of Islam.

Both Saudi television and print media increasingly feature women, while Arabic-language magazines showing women in Western garb and makeup are also widely sold in the country.

The letter came in the wake of an information ministry-sponsored book fair in Riyadh in early March at which religious conservatives complained that men and women were allowed to mix freely, and that some books on sale violated Islamic principles.

The book fair was marred by the muttawam, or Islamic morality police, harassing a woman author promoting her book and trying to prevent men from obtaining her autograph.

Cruel Bastard(s)

This is just utterly reprehensible.


Looking forward to saying howdy to the perp or perps.

Cops search for dog poisoning suspects
-The Herald-Zeitung

Poisoned meatballs took the lives of two dogs this weekend in a case police are calling “unusual.”

Conny Maus said she was sitting on her back porch with her four dogs when they started growling at something.

“I walked over to the fence where they were and I noticed they were gathered around some meatballs,” Maus said.

She said later that day, the dogs began acting strangely and were clearly ill.

“I checked the gums and tongue of the little one,” she said. “They were very dark and discolored. It was clear they were poisoned.”

She said two of her dogs — D.C., a 2-year-old Corgi mix, and Lady, a 5-year-old German Shepherd mix — died from the poison. The other two dogs, Peggy and Mouse, lived through it, but were ill.

“They just got back from the vet today,” Maus said Tuesday. “They’re clearly not the same anymore. They just lie around and seem sad and sick.”

Police say they have suspects and are checking into leads.

“We sent the meatballs off to a lab to be tested,” New Braunfels Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Penshorn said. “This is a pretty unusual case, but it’s definitely animal cruelty.”

He said animal cruelty is a felony charge.

“I feel like this was done personally to me,” Maus said. “Two of my dogs are dead, and I don’t know why.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the police department at (830) 608-2179.

Twittering twits

My goodness, can we say folks who cannot understand what NO communications mean cannot serve on a jury panel?

I was presiding over a multi-day trial and were in deliberations when I get a phone call from an attorney in Dallas who told me he received a phone call from his sister who was on the jury panel and in deliberations who asked him what all this 404 b nonsense was.

He was quite concerned, as I was, about her attempt to determine why some evidence was not coming in etc. I spoke with her, in the presence of the attorneys, and on the record, and despite having been told not to by the other panel members would not let it go and had called. he hadn't told her and with the agreements of the parties she remained on the panel with a strict warning about the seeking of information which was outside the purview of the trial.

As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up
By JOHN SCHWARTZ -New York Times

Last week, a juror in a big federal drug trial in
Florida admitted to the judge that he had been doing research on the case on the Internet, directly violating the judge's instructions and centuries of legal rules. But when the judge questioned the rest of the jury, he got an even bigger shock. Eight other jurors had been doing the same thing.

The federal judge, William
J. Zloch, had no choice but to declare a mistrial, a waste of eight weeks of work by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers. "We were stunned," said a defense lawyer, Peter Raben, who was told by the jury that he had been on the verge of winning the case. "It's the first time modern technology struck us in that fashion, and it hit us right over the head."

It might be called a Google mistrial. The use of BlackBerrys and iPhones by
jurors gathering and sending out information about cases is wreaking havoc on trials around the country, upending deliberations and infuriating judges.

Last week, a building products company asked an
Arkansas court to overturn a $12.6 million judgment, claiming that a juror used Twitter to send updates during the civil trial. And on Monday, defense lawyers in the federal corruption trial of a former Pennsylvania state senator, Vincent J. Fumo, demanded before the verdict that the judge declare a mistrial because a juror posted updates on the case on Twitter and Facebook. The juror had even told his readers that a "big announcement" was coming on Monday. But the judge decided to let the deliberations continue, and the jury found Mr. Fumo guilty.

His lawyers plan to use the Internet postings as grounds for appeal.

Jurors are not supposed to seek information outside of the courtroom. They
are required to reach a verdict based on only the facts the judge has decided are admissible, and they are not supposed to see evidence that has been excluded as prejudicial. But now, using their cellphones, they can look up the name of a defendant on the Web or examine an intersection using Google Maps, violating the legal system's complex rules of evidence. They can also tell their friends what is happening in the jury room, though they are supposed to keep their opinions and deliberations secret.

A juror on a
lunch or bathroom break can find out many details about a case. Wikipedia can help explain the technology underlying a patent claim or medical condition, Google Maps can show how long it might take to drive from Point A to Point B, and news sites can write about a criminal defendant, his lawyers or expert witnesses.

"It's really impossible to control it," said Douglas L.
Keene, president of the American Society of Trial Consultants. Judges have long amended their habitual warning about seeking outside information during trials to include Internet searches. But with the Internet now as close as a juror's pocket, the risk has grown more immediate - and instinctual. Attorneys have begun to check the blogs and Web sites of prospective jurors. Mr. Keene said jurors might think they were helping, not hurting, by digging deeper. "There are people who feel they can't serve justice if they don't find the answers to certain questions," he said.

But the rules of evidence,
developed over hundreds of years of jurisprudence, are there to ensure that the facts that go before a jury have been subjected to scrutiny and challenge from both sides, said Olin Guy Wellborn III, a law professor at the University of Texas. "That's the beauty of the adversary system," said Professor Wellborn, co-author of a handbook on evidence law. "You lose all that when the jurors go out on their own."

There appears to be no official tally of cases disrupted by Internet
research, but with the increasing adoption of Web technology in cellphones, the numbers are sure to grow. Some courts are beginning to restrict the use of cellphones by jurors within the courthouse, even confiscating them during the day, but a majority do not, Mr. Keene said. And computer use at home, of course, is not restricted unless a jury is sequestered.

In the
Florida case that resulted in a mistrial, Mr. Raben spent nearly eight weeks fighting charges that his client had illegally sold prescription drugs through Internet pharmacies. The arguments were completed and the jury was deliberating when one juror contacted the judge to say another had admitted to her that he had done outside research on the case over the Internet. The judge questioned the juror about his research, which included evidence that the judge had specifically excluded.

Mr. Raben recalls
thinking that if the juror had not broadly communicated his information with the rest of the jury, the trial could continue and the eight weeks would not be wasted. "We can just kick this juror off and go," he said. But then the judge found that eight other jurors had done the same thing - conducting Google searches on the lawyers and the defendant, looking up news articles about the case, checking definitions on Wikipedia and searching for evidence that had been specifically excluded by the judge. One juror, asked by the judge about the research, said, "Well, I was curious," according to Mr. Raben. "It was a heartbreak," Mr. Raben added.

Information flowing out of the jury box can be nearly as much trouble as the
information flowing in; jurors accustomed to posting regular updates on their day-to-day experiences and thoughts can find themselves on a collision course with the law.

In the
Arkansas case, Stoam Holdings, the company trying to overturn the $12.6 million judgment, said a juror, Johnathan Powell, had sent Twitter messages during the trial. Mr. Powell's messages included "oh and nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they'll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter" and "So Johnathan, what did you do today? Oh nothing really, I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."

Mr. Powell, 29, the manager of a one-hour photo booth at a Wal-Mart in Fayetteville, Ark., insisted in an interview that he had not sent any substantive messages about the case until the verdict had been delivered and he was released from his obligation not to discuss the case. "I was done when I mentioned the trial at all," he said. "They're welcome to pull my phone records." But juror research is a more troublesome issue than sending Twitter messages or blogging, Mr. Keene said, and it raises new issues for judges in giving instructions.

"It's important that they don't know what's
excluded, and it's important that they don't know why it's excluded," Mr. Keene said. The court cannot even give a full explanation to jurors about research - say, to tell them what not to look for - so instructions are usually delivered as blanket admonitions, he said. The technological landscape has changed so much that today's judge, Mr. Keene said, "has to explain why this is crucial, and not just go through boilerplate instructions." And, he said, enforcement goes beyond what the judge can do, pointing out that "it's up to Juror 11 to make sure Juror 12 stays in line."

It does not always work out that way. Seth A. McDowell, a data support specialist who lives in Albuquerque and works for a financial advising firm, said he was serving on a jury last year when another juror admitted running a Google search on the defendant, even though she acknowledged that she was not supposed to do so. She said she did not find anything, Mr. McDowell said. Mr. McDowell, 35, said he thought about telling the judge, but decided against it.

None of the other jurors did, either. Now, he said, after a bit
of soul-searching, he feels he may have made the wrong choice. But he remains somewhat torn. "I don't know," he said. "If everybody did the right thing, the trial, which took two days, would have gone on for another bazillion years." Mr. McDowell said he planned to attend law school in the fall.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Break time

Spring break time in New Braunfels and Comal County and car break in time apparently as well.

If you can't leave the stuff at home please lock the stuff in your trunk, out of view.
City sees high number of vehicle burglaries

New Braunfels police are encouraging residents to keep their vehicles locked and valuables out of sight after a recent string of vehicle burglaries over the weekend.

From Friday morning through Monday morning, there were 10 reports of vehicle burglary in New Braunfels. And while Lt. Mike Penshorn with the New Braunfels Police Department said that many reports in a short period of time may seem high, it’s not out of the ordinary.

“We normally have anywhere between three to five, maybe as many as 10 during any given week,” Penshorn said. “Just the fact that we did have that many in short period of time might not be anything abnormal.”

While the incidents still are under investigation, Penshorn said at least some of the burglaries were committed by the same person or people.

“We do track these very carefully — based on the location that they occur, based on the frequency that they happen. There are a number of factors that come into play,” Penshorn said. “Plus, there are a number of people that we know may be known burglars that may be operating in the New Braunfels area.”

Penshorn said some of the suspects had similar descriptions. He encouraged people who may know of anyone involved in vehicle burglaries, or people who have been victims, to come forward and contact the New Braunfels Police Department at (830) 608-2179 or Crime Stoppers at (830) 620-TIPS (8477).

“We always encourage people to keep their vehicles secured,” Penshorn said. “A high number of vehicle burglaries occur because vehicles are not locked. We also encourage people not to keep valuables in their vehicle, especially within view because they are essentially setting themselves up to be a victim.”

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad fortune

I bet his fortune cookie wasn't very good either.

Man Charged With Robbing Eatery As Cops Dine
Robber Foiled At Chinese Restaurant, Police Say

(AP) LAWRENCE, Mass. -- A Massachusetts man had some misfortune when he allegedly tried to rob a Chinese restaurant.

Four plainclothes police officers were enjoying their dinner at the time.

Anthony Whitcomb of Methuen was arraigned Thursday in Lawrence District Court on charges of unarmed robbery, larceny, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest.
Authorities say he went into the Golden House Restaurant in Lawrence on Wednesday night and asked the cashier to change a quarter. When she opened the register, Whitcomb allegedly grabbed $150.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that the owner yelled "Robbery, police." Sgt. Robert Michaud, officers Ivan Resto, Marco Ayala and Jaime Adames chased Whitcomb out of the restaurant and captured him after a brief foot chase.

To egg or not to egg....that is the question

Carried things a wee bit too far I'd say.

I bet alcohol or marijuana consumption was involved as well.

3 teens arrested after prank gets out of control
Helen Eckinger Sentinel Staff Writer

Three Groveland teens were arrested on March 19, 2009, and charged with vandalizing this 2008 Mitsubishi. They called it a prank. Authorities are calling it a felony.

A group of Lake County teens is learning the hard way that actions have consequences. Three of them were arrested yesterday for allegedly vandalizing a Webster girl's car earlier this month.Blake Harper, 18, Kyle Grindrod, 18, and Justin Walls, 18, all of Groveland, were each charged with one count of felony criminal mischief. All three were released from the Lake County Jail last night after posting $5,000 bond."

They caused over $1,000 worth of damage so it's a felony offense," said Sgt. John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office. "We take those seriously."

Authorities say that the three were part of a group of a dozen teens between the ages of 15 and 18 who trashed the 17-year-old victim's 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse on the night of March 7. Four juveniles who were involved in the incident will also face charges, Herrell said.

According to a police report, the victim was at a friend's house in Clermont, and when she came outside, she found her car covered in silly string, syrup, oatmeal, toilet paper, and plastic wrap. One of the suspects later told a deputy that the teens also keyed the car, wrote expletives and drew obscene images on it, and urinated in its air vents, according to the report.

"It was mean and hateful," said the victim's mother, Amber Ramirez, 34. "If any of their parents were in my shoes they would feel the same way."

Ramirez said that the teens caused $1,250 worth of damage to her daughter's car.

One of the suspects told deputies that that the teens targeted the victim because she is the ex-girlfriend of one of the group's members.

A woman who answered the phone at Harper's home declined to comment. Grindrod's home phone number has been temporarily disconnected. Walls could not be reached for comment.

"I'm sure that none of those kids thought they could go to jail for this," Ramirez said. "I would hope that they learn from it."

Crocodile tears

Its hard to gin up a whole bunch of sympathy here however that being said the defendants are entitled to due process and the aid of competent counsel in my opinion. Take the attorneys off of the appointment list and get them new ones.

Also, how about more seminars to teach the attorneys how to properly do these writs and only allow those who take these courses to get put on the appointment lists?

Vital deadlines in death row cases missed by lawyers
By Lise Olsen - Houston Chronicle

Three men on Texas' death row — and six others already executed — lost their federal appeals because attorneys failed to meet life-or-death deadlines, essentially waiving the last constitutionally required review before a death sentence is carried out.

Johnny Johnson, executed last month for a Houston murder, was the most recent: His lawyers missed a federally required filing deadline by 24 hours.

One of his attorneys made the same mistake in the case of Keith Steven Thurmond, a former Montgomery County mechanic now on death row, according to case records.

In both cases, the lawyer waited until after business hours on the last day an appeal could be filed and then blamed a malfunctioning filing machine for his tardiness, according to a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion issued last week. The court chastised the attorney for using the same excuse twice.

The opinion pointed out that based on the problems in the previous capital case, the lawyer already knew the machine was broken and could have easily filed electronically by using his computer.

Most of the late filings came in death row cases overseen by federal judges in the Southern District of Texas. In an interview, U.S. District Judge Hayden Head, the Corpus Christi-based chief judge of the Southern District, said he was unaware of the problem and could not comment.
The Houston Chronicle reviewed records in nine appeals that were filed too late. In some cases, lawyers or judges appear to have miscalculated or misunderstood the dates of the deadlines, which generally fall one year after state appeals are concluded. In others, computer failures or human foibles are blamed, records show.

“Any decent judges would be deeply ashamed of the quality of legal representation in most capital cases in Texas,” said Stephen Bright, a leading specialist in capital case law who directs the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. “The very least they could do about it would be to prohibit lawyers who miss the statute of limitations from taking another case and referring them to the bar for disciplinary proceedings.”

A federal writ of habeas corpus — a right guaranteed by the Constitution — usually gives an inmate a last chance to have the courts review errors or overlooked evidence that could invalidate a conviction or death sentence.

Jerome Godinich, the attorney in both the Johnson and Thurmond cases, appears to be the only Texas attorney to have filed too late in more than one recent death row appeal, based on the nine cases reviewed. He also filed late in a third Texas death row case, records show.

In that third case, however, a Houston-based U.S. district judge took so long to appoint Godinich that the appellate deadline already had lapsed. Court records show Godinich requested more time but took 162 days to file the appeal. The judge then ruled that it, too, was too late to be considered, records show.

Godinich did not respond to several phone and e-mail requests for an interview.

In Johnson's case, Harris County Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson said the federal district judge considered other legal arguments, though the appeal ultimately was rejected for being filed too late.

Wilson said such mistakes were rare in Harris County cases.
Thurmond, who was convicted of killing his estranged wife and his neighbor, said last week that he had never been told that his federal appeals had been denied by the U.S. District Court in Houston last year and by the 5th Circuit last week.
He said he hadn't seen or heard from his attorney in more than a year.
“So what am I supposed to do now?” he asked.

A jury concluded that Thurmond, who had no previous criminal history, shot and killed his wife and the neighbor in 2001 on the same day that his wife sought a protective order and took their son to live with the neighbor.

Thurmond says he is innocent. But the only issues raised by his lawyer in his appeal were that his trial attorney failed to investigate allegations that Thurmond was abused as a child and that a jury might have spared his life because of it.

James Marcus, an expert in capital case law who teaches in the Capital Punishment Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, said missing the deadline for a federal writ of habeas corpus — thereby waiving all federal review — is the equivalent of “sleeping through the trial.”

Federal courts, he noted, have overturned several recent Texas death cases for errors overlooked by state judges, including one involving allegations of discriminatory jury selection by Harris County prosecutors. Federal judges also awarded a new trial to another Montgomery County death row inmate this year based on new evidence presented about forensic errors in his case.

Quintin Phillippe Jones, another death row inmate who also recently lost his federal appeal because of an attorney's tardiness, said he did everything he could to alert the federal courts to problems months before his Fort Worth attorney missed his federal deadline. Jones wrote letters to the judge, filed two motions with the help of other prisoners in an attempt to get another attorney and sent two separate complaints to the state bar. Nothing worked.

“I heard he didn't file (on time) through another lawyer,” Jones said. “I'm the one who pays for his mistake. It cost a lot, and I'm paying for it.”


I just heard this on the radio this morning and found an article which is listed below; that there has been a bill sponsored which would make it a State Jail felony level offense (180 days to maximum 2 years in a State Jail Facility) if a mother kills her baby within one year of its birth and she has post-partum depression or is lactating!

The new offense is called Infanticide. It is the most irresponsible piece of crap I've heard in a long time. Okay right after President Obama's and Congress's budgets and stimuli packages.

If a mother is suffering from post-partum depression then she can claim an insanity defense and a jury can determine whether she was. making the murder of an infant a State Jail Felony is absolute Horse Dung.

Will it be open season on babies? What about other kids in the house, and spouses, and relatives and people at the mall or HEB? Where would it stop?

Okay, rant over.

Texas Could Be First State to Have Infanticide Law Bill would make postpartum disorder legal defense

Postpartum mental disorder could be used as a legal defense for women who kill their children under a bill introduced in the Legislature.

The bill was filed this month by Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, and it applies to women who commit the crime within a year of giving birth, The Dallas Morning News reported in Sunday editions. If jurors find a mother guilty of murder, they could take testimony about postpartum issues into consideration during the trial's punishment phase.

If jurors find that the woman's judgment was impaired because of childbirth or lactation, they could judge her guilty of infanticide, a state jail felony that would carry a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

If lawmakers approve the measure, Texas would become the first state to have an infanticide law, said George Parnham, the Houston attorney who defended Andrea Yates.

"It's something every civilized country has on its books," said Parnham, who supports the legislation. "The only thing that will change public attitude is education about postpartum issues."

McKinney attorney David Haynes, who defended Dena Schlosser, said Farrar's bill "recognizes the great stress that some mothers are under when they suffer from postpartum depression."
Yates drowned her five children -- ranging in age from 7 years to 6 months -- in June 2001 at her family's home in Houston. She was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2002.

An appeals court in 2005 overturned her conviction because of some erroneous testimony. Yates was found innocent by reason of insanity in July 2006 and sent to a state mental hospital.
Schlosser, who killed her 10-month-old daughter in 2004 by cutting off her arms with a kitchen knife, was recently released from the state mental hospital where she'd been sent after being found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Schlosser was released into outpatient treatment because her doctors believe she's mentally stable, a Collin County prosecutor has said. She is required to see a psychiatrist once a week, take medication, be on a physician-approved birth control and not have any unsupervised contact with children.

Shannon Edmonds, legislative liaison for the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, said the legislative proposal would have to be thoroughly reviewed.
"Anytime something novel like this is proposed," he said, "it needs to be fully vetted so that legislators can make informed decisions and be sure there are no unintended consequences."
Postpartum depression is recognized as a legal defense in at least 29 nations, including Britain, which has had an infanticide law since 1922.

"These countries have accepted the reality of postpartum mood disorders," said Susan Dowd Stone, chair of the President's Advisory Council for Postpartum Support International, a California-based advocacy group.

Postpartum psychosis is a rare condition that generally affects women with extreme sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations and a history of mental illness, Stone said.

"We do not want women who abuse children to use this defense," Stone said. "There are very clear guidelines for postpartum psychosis."

Even though Stone believes that women who suffer from postpartum disorder need treatment, not imprisonment, she recognizes that "infanticide with no jail time would not fly. Our country is not ready for that."

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Amend the Constitution!

Legalize flatulence NOW!

Go on, raise a stink.

Student kicked off bus for passing gas

LAKELAND, FL (AP) -- A Lakeland eighth-grader has been suspended from riding the school bus for three days after being accused of passing gas.

The bus driver wrote on a misbehavior form that 15-year-old Jonathan Locke Jr. was passing gas on the bus Monday to make the other children laugh, creating a stench so bad that it was difficult to breathe. The bus driver handed Locke the suspension form the next day.

Polk County school officials say there's no rule against flatulence, but there are rules against causing a disturbance on the bus.

Locke says he wasn't the one passing gas.

Whether he did it or not, he might have gotten off easy. A 13-year-old student at a Stuart school was arrested in November after authorities said he broke wind in class.

In the line of duty

A terrible tragedy in Oakland, California.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the killed and wounded police officers.

Ladies and Gentlemen of la w enforcement, please be careful out there.

Gunman kills 3 officers, wounds 4th in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A police officer was battling for his life and three more were dead after a parolee with an "extensive criminal history" opened fire at a routine traffic stop and hours later gunned down members of a SWAT team searching for him.

The gunman was also killed Saturday, capping a day of violence that the Oakland Police Department said was the worst in its history. Never before had three police officers died in the line of duty on the same day.

"It's in these moments that words are extraordinarily inadequate," said Mayor Ron Dellums at a somber news conference Saturday night.

The mayhem began that afternoon, when two motorcycle patrol officers stopped a 1995 Buick sedan in east Oakland, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The driver opened fire, killing Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, and gravely wounding Officer John Hege, 41.

The gunman then fled on foot, police said, leading to an intense manhunt by dozens of Oakland police, California Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff deputies. Streets were roped off and an entire area of east Oakland closed to traffic.

About two hours later, officers got an anonymous tip that the gunman was inside a nearby apartment building.

A SWAT team had entered an apartment to clear and search it when the gunman shot them with an assault rifle, police said.

Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, were killed and a third officer was grazed by a bullet, police said.

SWAT team members returned fire, killing 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland, Acting Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said.

Officer Hege suffered brain damage and may not survive, his father, Dr. John S. Hege, said late Saturday.

"It is a stunning thing to face," he said.

Grieving officers at the police station hugged and consoled each other. People left four bouquets of white roses under a granite memorial wall inside the building lobby that lists 47 officers killed in the line of duty. The wall shows the last officer killed in Oakland was in January of 1999.

Police said Mixon wielded two different weapons. One gun was used at the first scene and an assault rifle was used at the apartment building where he was hiding.

Jordan said Mixon had an "extensive criminal history" and was wanted on a no-bail warrant.

"(Mixon) was on parole and he had a warrant out for his arrest for violating that parole. And he was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon," said Oakland police Deputy Chief Jeffery Israel.

Police said they did not know exactly why the officers initially stopped the suspect, but said it apparently was a routine traffic stop.

People lingered at the scene of the first shooting. About 20 bystanders taunted police.

Tension between police and the community has risen steadily since the fatal shooting of unarmed 22-year-old Oscar Grant by a transit police officer at an Oakland train station on Jan. 1.

That former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer, Johannes Mehserle, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday. Violent protests erupted on the streets of Oakland in the weeks after Grant's death, further inflaming tensions.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger planned to fly to Oakland on Sunday from Washington, D.C., to meet with police and Mayor Dellums, the govenor's office said.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A tragic compiling

Government-run health care system at work?

Would a helicopter-service have helped? I don't know but it probably wouldn't have hurt.

Yes, I know other provinces in Canada do have medical helicopter services in place but look at this quote:

"Our system isn't set up for traumas and doesn't match what's available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States...."

Kinda telling, don't ya think?

Doctor: Lack of medical helicopter cost actress
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- As a steady stream of celebrities pay their last respects to Natasha Richardson, questions are arising over whether a medical helicopter might have been able to save the ailing actress.

The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, common in the United States and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal's top head trauma doctor said Friday that may have played a role in Richardson's death.

"It's impossible for me to comment specifically about her case, but what I could say is ... driving to Mont Tremblant from the city (Montreal) is a 2 1/2-hour trip, and the closest trauma center is in the city. Our system isn't set up for traumas and doesn't match what's available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States," said Tarek Razek, director of trauma services for the McGill University Health Centre, which represents six of Montreal's hospitals.

While Richardson's initial refusal of medical treatment cost her two hours, she also had to be driven to two hospitals. She didn't arrive at a specialized hospital in Montreal until about four hours after the second 911 call from her hotel room at the Mont Tremblant resort, according to a timeline published by Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Not being airlifted directly to a trauma center could have cost Richardson crucial moments, Razek said.

"A helicopter is obviously the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B," he said.

After Richardson fell and hit her head on a beginner ski slope at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec, the first ambulance crew left upon spotting a sled taking the still-conscious actress away to the resort's on-site clinic.

A second 911 call was made two hours later from Richardson's luxury hotel room as the actress deteriorated. Medics tended to her for a half-hour before taking her to a hospital about a 40-minute drive away.

Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe does not specialize in head traumas, so her speedy transfer to Sacre Coeur Hospital in Montreal was critical, said Razek.

"It's one of the classic presentations of head injuries, `talking and dying,' where they may lose consciousness for a minute, but then feel fine," said Razek.

Richardson, 45, died Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. The New York City medical examiner's office ruled her death was an accident.

On Friday evening, Richardson's husband, Liam Neeson, looked distraught but grateful for the outpouring of sympathy as he greeted grieving family members and friends who attended a private viewing for his wife.

Neeson was the last to leave the viewing at the Upper East Side's American Irish Historical Society, where he was joined by the couple's sons, - Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12 - as well as Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave, and sister, Joely Richardson. An array of famous friends came to express their sadness about the family's sudden loss.

Neeson hugged friends as he left the society's building at 8:40 p.m., after more than six hours of receiving condolences from friends including Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Matthew Modine, Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Also among the stream of visitors were Kenneth Cole, Laura Linney, Fisher Stevens, Howard Stern, Stanley Tucci, Julianna Margulies and Mathilde Krim of the American Foundation of AIDS Research - amfAR. Richardson had served on the charity's board of trustees since 2006.

"She looked incredibly beautiful," Krim said, adding that everyone appeared to be in shock and Neeson looked distraught as he received everybody.

Theaters in London's West End dimmed their lights Friday to mark Richardson's death, just as Broadway theaters did Thursday. In a tribute to the stage and screen actress, the lights were lowered before the curtains went up on evening performances.

Be careful

Our thoughts and prayers are with the deputy.

Please be careful out there.

Deputy flown to hospital after wreck

A Comal County sheriff’s deputy and another woman were flown to the hospital Friday evening after a traffic accident.

A 47-year-old woman driving a Toyota Tundra collided into the side of the 32-year-old deputy’s vehicle near the 3000 block of Farm-to-Market 2673, Emergency Services District No. 3 spokesman Captain Jeff Schultz said.

Both women were transported by Air Life to University Hospital in San Antonio with non-lifethreatening injuries, Schultz said.

The names of the two victims were not released Friday night, pending notice of the family members, Comal County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Mark Reynolds said.

ESD No. 3 and Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the scene at 5:07 p.m., and Schultz said they had it cleared by 5:54.

Nearby residents, however, said police were on the scene late into the night.

The deputy had been working at the sheriff’s office for almost three years, and had been a deputy for almost one year, Reynolds said. She was on-duty at the time of the wreck.

As of Friday night, she remained at University Hospital in an undisclosed state.