Friday, July 31, 2009

Look Ma...No Hands,... No Feet..., No Brains, ...No Job,... In Jail,...Come Visit

Texting and talking NY trucker hits trifecta: a car, a house and a backyard pool.

Jul 31 2009

Sgt. Kevin Locicero, left, and Capt. Bruce Elliot, of the Niagra County Sheriff's Department, examine a flatbed towing truck that drove into a swimming pool in Lockport, N.Y. on Thursday, July 30, 2009. Police said that the Buffalo-area tow truck driver was juggling two cell phones, texting on one and talking on another, when he slammed into a car and crashed into the swimming pool.

Niagara County sheriff's deputies say 25-year-old Nicholas Sparks of Burt admitted he was texting and talking when his flatbed truck hit the car Wednesday morning in Lockport, which is outside Buffalo.

The truck then crashed through a fence and sideswiped a house before rolling into an in-ground pool.

Police say the 68-year-old woman driving the car suffered head injuries and was in good condition. Her 8-year-old niece suffered minor injuries.

Sparks was charged with reckless driving, talking on a cell phone and following too closely. It couldn't be determined Thursday whether he has a lawyer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Use For Coconuts Discovered By Florida Bicyclist

Man charged with attacking roommate with coconut

Jul 30 2009

Authorities said a West Palm Beach man trying to get money from his roommate hit him with a coconut, a porcelain bowl and a wooden carving. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reported that the 44-year-old man was charged with robbery with a weapon and false imprisonment after Saturday's attack. The roommate eventually got away and called for help.

Deputies reported finding the man riding a bicycle near the home. They say he smelled like alcohol and appeared to be drunk.

He was being held on $4,000 bail.

South Carolina Man Mounts Horse, But Not in Customary Manner.

Horny SC man has sex with horse

Jul 29 2009


(AP Photo/Horry County Detention Center)

This photo was provided by Horry County Dentition Center of Rodell Vereen, 50, who was arrested Monday July 27, 2009, and charged with buggery. Police said Vereen was captured on surveillance video having sex with a horse at a stable near his home in Longs, S.C.

The horse's owner caught the act on videotape, then staked out the stable and caught him at shotgun point, authorities said Wednesday.

But this wasn't the first time Rodell Vereen has been charged with buggery. He pleaded guilty last year to having sex with the same horse after owner Barbara Kenley found him in the same stable and was sentenced to probation and placed on the state's sex offender list.

Kenley said she noticed several weeks ago her 21-year-old horse Sugar was acting strange and getting infections again. She noticed things in the barn had been moved around _ dirt piled up and bales of hay stacked near the horse's stall at her Lazy B Stables in Longs, about 20 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach.

"Police kept telling me it couldn't be the same guy," Kenley said Wednesday. "I couldn't believe that there were two guys going around doing this to the same horse."

She spent several nights at the stables, which are about four miles from her home, but didn't find anything. So she installed surveillance cameras, and when she reviewed the footage from July 19, she couldn't believe she was seeing the same man doing the same thing to her horse.

Kenley didn't call police because she was certain the man would come back to the stable, and she wanted to make sure he was arrested. So she staked out the barn and caught Vereen inside Monday night, chasing him to his truck and holding him with her shotgun until police came.

"He said he wasn't there to do anything, and I said, 'I know you were. I have you on tape.' And then he said he was sorry if he hurt me," Kenley said.

Vereen, 50, was first charged with trespassing, but police added a buggery charge after watching the surveillance tape. He faces up to five years if convicted. Vereen was already on probation after pleading guilty to buggery last year and was sentenced to three years of probation, ordered to stay away from the Lazy B Stables and declared a sex offender. He remains in jail, awaiting a hearing Monday to determine if he violated his probation.

Officials said they did not know if he has an attorney.

Vereen has had mental problems for several years, but seemed to get better after getting court-ordered treatment last year, said his brother, the Rev. James Vereen, who lives just down the street from his brother and the stables.

"He's done all right when he was on the medicine. I don't know if he is still taking it," said James Vereen, who added his brother has kept to himself a lot in the last few months.

Horry County police don't often investigate animal sex allegations, spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler said. In fact, he said the last person charged with buggery in the county was Rodell Vereen in late 2007.

Kenley said she caught him then too. She stopped by her stable on Thanksgiving Day and found a man asleep in the hay by her horse, who had been locked in her stall, a mound of dirt and a stool behind her.

She said she thought about shooting Vereen both times, but didn't want to go to prison.

"Everyone around here has horses," Kenley said. "And they all said the same thing. You should have shot him."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sex Professional Makes Bid to Join Sex Amateurs in Nation's Capitol

Porn star mulling La. Senate race has a tough week

Jul 29 2009

By CAIN BURDEAU - Associated Press Writer

It's been a tough week for porn actress Stormy Daniels _ complete with a domestic violence charge and a car explosion _ as she continues to mull a U.S. Senate bid that could make life uncomfortable for incumbent first-term Louisiana Republican David Vitter, still recovering from a sex scandal.

Daniels was arrested Saturday on a domestic violence battery charge after she allegedly hit her husband at their home in Tampa, Fla., during a dispute about laundry and unpaid bills.

Her arrest came two days after her political adviser in Louisiana, Brian Welsh, said his parked 1996 Audi may have been blown up by someone on July 23 outside his apartment in an upscale downtown area of New Orleans.

"It's something out of The Sopranos," said Edward E. Chervenak, a professor of politics at the University of New Orleans. "Very weird."

In May, Daniels announced that she was interested in a 2010 run for the Senate seat held by Vitter, whose family-values reputation was marred in 2007 when his name was linked to a Washington prostitution ring.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Gregory Clifford, has not officially declared herself a candidate, but has continued to express an interest. She has acknowledged that she hasn't lived in Louisiana for years and would need to re-establish residency to run for Senate. The 30-year-old Louisiana native kicked off a second "listening tour" in early July.

Daniels was arrested Saturday at 3:18 p.m. after her husband, Michael Mosny, reported that Daniels hit him several times, according to a Tampa Police Department report. Police said neither Mosny nor Daniels were injured.

Mosny told police that Daniels was upset "about the way the clothes had been done" and then "got more upset about some bills that had not been paid," the police report said.

The police report said Daniels allegedly "threw a potted plant at the kitchen sink," hit Mosny on the head several times and "threw their wedding album onto the floor and knocked candles off coffee table, breaking them."

The bad week, though, started on July 23 when her political adviser's car blew up in suspicious circumstances in New Orleans.

Welsh, a Democratic adviser and manager of the Stormy Daniels Senate Exploratory Committee LLC., said his Audi convertible exploded into flames around 11:15 p.m. July 23, a Thursday, while he and his wife were walking their dog nearby.

He said he became suspicious after reviewing surveillance tapes of the street where his car was parked, wedged between other vehicles.

On fuzzy security tapes that Welsh posted on YouTube, a person in a white shirt can be seen loitering around his car and apparently getting into it shortly before the car explodes in a ball of flames.

Firefighters responded to a 911 call at 11:23 p.m. and put the fire out by 12:06 a.m., said Michael Williams of the New Orleans Fire Department.

Welsh's car was parked Wednesday in the same spot where it caught on fire, on a little-used street near the New Orleans convention center.

New Orleans police and the FBI did not immediately comment.

Welsh said he had no suspects, but feared someone caused the explosion.

"Maybe there is a reason, more of an intentional reason for the car blowing up," Welsh said. "I want to get more facts."

Welsh said he was uncertain if the explosion was connected to his work with Daniels.

"Clearly, if someone tried to blow up my car, it's cause for concern; it's not cause for me to stop doing my job, stop me from talking about the things that are important," Welsh said. "If anybody had been walking by when that car blew up, they would have been seriously injured or killed."

"I really wish this had not happened," Welsh, 38, said. "I need a car."


On The Web:

Stormy Daniels Senate Web site: and

YouTube video of surveillance tape:

Woman Runs Over Husband and Paramour in Love Triangle With Only Two Participants

Great Falls woman charged with running over husband and another woman

By The Associated Press - 07/28/09

GREAT FALLS — A 23-year-old Great Falls woman has been charged with aggravated assault and drunken driving after her husband and another woman were struck by a car.

Unhappy woman. Probably pissed off, too.

Timysha Fisher appeared in court Monday and her bail was set at $100,000.

Cascade County Deputy Attorney Matt Robertson says Fisher drove the car at a high rate of speed and ran over her husband and another woman early Sunday. Both were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Police say there were no skid marks.

Man Attempts Suicide in a Kayak and Fails - Only Sprains Wrist.

Record-breaking kayaker risks life and limb in a 186ft waterfall drop

By Daily Mail Reporter
29th July 2009

Perched on the brink of a 186ft drop, this was the moment when Tyler Bradt probably felt the urge to start frantically paddling backwards.

Less than four seconds later, he was celebrating a world record for kayak descents.

The 22-year-old American touched 100mph as he plummeted over Palouse Falls in eastern Washington.

Amid an eerie stillness he fell 186ft in just 3.7 seconds as he touched speeds of 100mph in the terrifying descent.

After disappearing under the water at the base of the torrent, he emerged with a broken paddle. His only physical damage was a sprained wrist.

The amazing feat was captured on film and saw Brant set a new world record for kayak descents.

The previous record had been set only weeks earlier by Pedro Olivia as he plunged 127ft over the Salto Bello falls in Brazil.

Bradt admitted after his record breaking plunge he had risked his life with water rushing at 2,000 cubic feet over the falls.

'There was a stillness,' he said.

Tyler described the moment he went over as 'acceleration, speed, and impact unlike anything I've ever felt before. I wasn't sure if I was hurt or not. My body was just in shock'

Bradt, from Montana, had prepared for the attempt by plunging over 70-80ft high waterfalls in Oregon.

His previous best attempt was 107ft down Alexandra Falls along the Hay River in Canada's Northwest Territories in 2007.

He was spurred on to conquer Palouse Falls by Olivia's 127ft fall in the Amazon.

In preparation Bradt visited Palouse Falls several times to observe the water and to see if it was humanly possible to survive the descent.

The first time I saw the Palouse, I knew it was runnable,' he said.

'There’s a smooth green tongue of water that carries about a third of the way down the falls. That was my route.'

As rescue teams waited at the base of the falls Bradt calmly steered his fiberglass kayak into the raging water.

After disappearing under the water he emerged within six seconds with his broken paddle and sprained wrist.

'Considering the waterfall, the injuries were pretty minor,' he said.

Bradt said he wanted to attempt the plunge not to set a record but to show what humans are capable of achieving.

The motivating factor for all this was just that I thought it was possible. I wanted to do it, I guess, because I can.

'It was a calculated risk, no doubt dangerous but also one of the most amazing days of my life.

'It’s a personal thing and nothing exterior, especially negativity, affects that.'

Bradt has faced criticism that his stunt will encourage others to try the extreme sport of kayak free-falling.

But he dismissed the suggestions, saying: 'I hope it encourages people not to run huge waterfalls but to understand that the only limits that exist are the ones you create, no matter what you are doing.'

Read more:

Drunk Causes Ugly Scene on Intl. Flight - Convicted of Interfering With a Flight Crew

Jury convicts unruly passenger who was duct-taped into his seat

July 29, 2009

An unruly airline passenger who was duct-taped into his seat by flight attendants during an international flight has been convicted of interfering with a flight crew.

Not actual passenger, a facsimile.

James Allen Cameron, 50, of Anaheim was convicted Monday in connection with disruptive behavior during an April 23, 2008, United Airlines flight from Hong Kong to LAX. He was also charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting an off-duty pilot during the flight, but the federal jury deadlocked on that count.

Prosecutors said Cameron had been drinking and was so belligerent and verbally abusive that crew members, a passenger and the off-duty pilot restrained his hands with plastic handcuffs. Still, prosecutors said, Cameron managed to punch a flight attendant on the chin. The crew then held Cameron down and duct-taped his legs and chest, prosecutors said. Cameron was again able to get loose, and the crew eventually used several seat-belt extensions and metal handcuffs to restrain him.

The maximum prison sentence for interference with a flight crew is 20 years, but when all the circumstances are taken into consideration Cameron is likely to get a lesser sentence, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Priya Sopori.
-- Paloma Esquivel

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cat Bong Man Changes Plea to Guilty And Faces Up To One Year in The Slammer!

Many of you, well, not more than 16, may recall the story of the Nebraska man who was arrested and charged with animal cruelty last March for putting his cat inside a homemade bong, filled with marijuana smoke. He pleaded not guilty and paid a $500 fine at the time, claiming he was only trying to calm the cat, which was hyper. Mr. Schomaker was into a lot more than getting his cat stoned. When his trial date came last Monday, he changed his plea to guilty on the cat cruelty charge and also pleaded guilty to some other crimes, as related in the story below. In our earlier post in March, we showed a photo of the helpless cat inside the bong. So this time we are publishing the photo of the Pot Head who perpetrated the crime against the cat.

Nebraska Pothead pleads guilty to animal cruelty in cat bong case

July 28, 2009

Acea Schomaker, the Nebraska man who was cited in March for placing a cat in a makeshift marijuana bong, pleaded guilty Monday to animal cruelty charges in the incident. Schomaker, who recently turned 21, also pleaded guilty to charges of marijuana possession and being in possession of alcohol while he was still a minor, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Schomaker originally pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in April and has said his intention was not to harm the cat, a six-month-old female named Shadow, but rather to calm her.

Shadow, he said, had behavioral problems that included biting and scratching people. After hearing stories of animals being calmed when humans blew marijuana smoke in their faces, he decided to do them one better and placed her inside the smoking device.

One of the sheriff's deputies involved in the case said Shadow was shaking when she was removed from the device and that part of her body appeared to be covered in urine and feces. The cat was taken to a Lincoln, Neb., animal shelter, where she was reportedly in good condition after the effects of the marijuana wore off.
Schomaker will return to court Sept. 18 for sentencing; he could face up to a year in jail, according to the Journal Star.
-- Lindsay Barnett

Oh Baby, Let Me Wear You!

Man with fetish charged with stealing eyeglasses

Published - Jul 27 2009 08:16PM CDT

An Illinois man was accused of stealing more than $45,000 worth of eyeglasses from suburban Milwaukee stores because he enjoys being around eyewear. Jerry Lowery, 38, was charged with three counts of armed robbery and one count of fleeing an officer. The charges carry a maximum penalty of more than 120 years in prison and a $310,000 fine.

Prosecutors said Lowery walked into three shops between April and July and said he had a gun. They say he took more than 500 pairs of high-end glasses including Prada and Gucci brands, but didn't take cash.

The criminal complaint quotes Lowery as saying he "really likes to be around glasses." He told investigators he tries them on in front of a mirror and then discards them.

Online court records didn't list a defense attorney Monday.

Wife of Forty Years, With Option to Keep Houses or Sell Them To Keep Husband Out of Prison, Sends Hubby to Slammer For 4-8 Years

By Debra Cassens Weiss

New Jersey Home $1.9 mil

Pennsylvania Home $500 k

A 69 year-old former Pennsylvania lawyer won’t get the benefits of a plea bargain to lessen his sentence for stealing from two clients because of his wife’s change of heart.

Ralph Mirarchi, who practiced law in Main Line, was sentenced yesterday to 4¼ to 8½ years in prison after his wife apparently refused to sell a New Jersey home put in her name, to help her husband repay $1.32 million to the victims, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Mirarchi, 69, has been in prison for about 15 months.

The wife, Dorothy "Dot" Mirarchi, 69, had agreed to help her husband of 40 years in a plea bargain last April that required her to sell the New Jersey home and another residence in Berwyn, Pa. Under the deal, Dorothy Mirarchi would have been allowed to keep $600,000 for living expenses, according to the Chester County prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Ost-Prisco.

But when the Berwyn home sold last fall, netting $500,000, she used the money to pay off her Lexus rather than the victims, Ost-Prisco told the Inquirer. The New Jersey home, originally listed at $1.9 million, was pulled from the market in February. Ost-Prisco added that he was not accusing Dorothy Mirarchi of any wrongdoing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Man Posing As Cop Ties to Pull Over and Rob Real Cop - Arrested by Real Cop

Police: Fake officer tries to stop real officer

Jul. 25, 2009
Associated Press

Fake Photo of Fake Cop>>>>>>

OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland police say a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over a real undercover officer and was arrested.

Police say 21-year-old Antonio Fernandez Martinez of Oakland was arrested Wednesday in the Fruitvale district after trying to pull over an unmarked police vehicle. Martinez was driving a Ford Crown Victoria outfitted with flashing lights, a microphone and speakers.

Martinez, a convicted car thief, will have his felony probation revoked and could face a prison term.

The officer, Jim Beere, says Martinez probably thought he'd be an easy mark to rob.

Your Car or I Strip - Right Here - Right Now

Bikini-clad woman accused of carjacking in Miss.

Jul 27 2009

Police in Mississippi say a woman was carjacked by a bikini-clad suspect, who they say later tried to rob an RV dealership. Southaven Police Chief Tom Long said the 24-year-old suspect approached another woman in her driveway and demanded the car on Thursday. The woman gave up the car without a fight, asking only for time to remove her young children from inside.

Long said the suspect then drove the car to the business, where she told employees she had a gun and demanded money. The employees did not believe the claim because she had nowhere to conceal a weapon in the bikini and restrained her until officers arrived. The mug shot of the woman above was taken after she was assigned a jail uniform in exchange for the bikini.

Police said the suspect appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She was charged with carjacking and assault.


Courts Ordering Child Support Payments Could Be Endangering Children's Lives

Prosecutor: Dad killed daughter to avoid paying child support

Published - Jul 27 2009

GREG RISLING - Associated Press Writer

A father who had no interest in his 4-year-old daughter did the unimaginable _ hurling her off a 120-foot cliff to avoid paying child support, a prosecutor said Monday during the man's murder retrial.

Cameron Brown, 47, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in the death of Lauren Sarene Key in November 2000. If convicted, he could face life in prison without parole.

Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum said during his opening statement that Brown killed Lauren because he didn't want to pay about $1,000 a month in child support.

Defense attorney Pat Harris countered that it was an accident when the girl fell from Inspiration Point in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Hum portrayed Brown as an uncaring father who tried to shirk his parental responsibility at nearly ever turn. After Brown learned the girl's mother, Sarah Key-Marer, was pregnant with Lauren, he sought a paternity test that eventually proved he was the father, Hum said.

"Does he show any interest in the child he fathered?" Hum asked. "Absolutely not."

Only when he was forced to pay child support did Brown finally see his daughter _ about three years after she was born, Hum said, adding he only saw her 12 times on visits before she died.

Hum argued that Brown and Lauren went out to the cliff where nobody could see them, and he "hurled" her into the Pacific Ocean.

"This man picked up Lauren, whom he fathered but was never a father to, and threw her off a cliff into the water below," Hum said.

Brown, wearing a dark suit and a red tie, stared at Hum during his opening statement and showed no reaction.

Harris gave a different account of his client's relationship with his daughter, insisting the case was nothing more than "character assassination." He dismissed the prosecution's contention that it was a "good-versus-evil" struggle between Brown and Key-Marer.

"It was two parents trying to work out arrangements so they could have a happy child," Harris said.

Harris said Brown carried a picture of Lauren in his wallet, gave her gifts and toasted with his friends when he learned he would get visitation rights. Two weeks before her death, Brown filed court documents seeking more visits with Lauren, Harris said.

"It doesn't make sense," he said.

Brown was tried three years ago, but a mistrial was declared after a jury deadlocked on the severity of the crime. Some jurors favored a first-degree murder conviction, while others voted for second-degree murder or manslaughter.

Both sides intend to call experts to give their opinions on how Lauren died. Jurors will also take a trip to the cliff to see where the alleged crime occurred.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

But Hey, It Was Worth It......Wasn't It? I Mean Saving the Iraqis and American Lives? Shoot That MF Over There and Lets Get Some Beer.

Soldiers in Colorado slayings tell of Iraq horrors

Jul 26 2009
Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James Hunter
75th Calvary Regiment

Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Some Fort Carson, Colo.-based soldiers have had trouble adjusting to life back in the United States, saying they refused to seek help, or were belittled or punished for seeking help. Others say they were ignored by their commanders, or coped through drug and alcohol abuse before they allegedly committed crimes, The Gazette of Colorado Springs said.

The Gazette based its report on months of interviews with soldiers and their families, medical and military records, court documents and photographs.

Several soldiers said unit discipline deteriorated while in Iraq.

"Toward the end, we were so mad and tired and frustrated," said Daniel Freeman. "You came too close, we lit you up. You didn't stop, we ran your car over with the Bradley," an armored fighting vehicle.

With each roadside bombing, soldiers would fire in all directions "and just light the whole area up," said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. "If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked 'em."

Taxi drivers got shot for no reason, and others were dropped off bridges after interrogations, said Marcus Mifflin, who was eventually discharged with post traumatic stress syndrome.

"You didn't get blamed unless someone could be absolutely sure you did something wrong," he said

Soldiers interviewed by The Gazette cited lengthy deployments, being sent back into battle after surviving war injuries that would have been fatal in previous conflicts, and engaging in some of the bloodiest combat in Iraq. The soldiers describing those experiences were part of the 3,500-soldier unit now called the 4th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Since 2005, some brigade soldiers also have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, DUIs, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides.

The unit was deployed for a year to Iraq's Sunni Triangle in September 2004. Sixty-four unit soldiers were killed and more than 400 wounded _ about double the average for Army brigades in Iraq, according to Fort Carson. In 2007, the unit served a bloody 15-month mission in Baghdad. It's currently deployed to the Khyber Pass region in Afghanistan.

Marquez was the first in his brigade to kill someone after an Iraq tour. In 2006, he used a stun gun to shock a drug dealer in Widefield, Colo., in a dispute over a marijuana sale, then shot and killed him.

Marquez's mother, Teresa Hernandez, warned Marquez's sergeant at Fort Carson her son was showing signs of violent behavior, abusing alcohol and pain pills and carrying a gun. "I told them he was a walking time bomb," she said.

Hernandez said the sergeant later taunted Marquez about her phone call.

"If I was just a guy off the street, I might have hesitated to shoot," Marquez told The Gazette in the Bent County Correctional Facility, where he is serving a 30-year prison term. "But after Iraq, it was just natural."

The Army trains soldiers to be that way, said Kenneth Eastridge, an infantry specialist serving 10 years for accessory to murder.

"The Army pounds it into your head until it is instinct: Kill everybody, kill everybody," he said. "And you do. Then they just think you can just come home and turn it off."

Both soldiers were wounded, sent back into action and saw friends and officers killed in their first deployment. On numerous occasions, explosions shredded the bodies of civilians, others were slain in sectarian violence _ and the unit had to bag the bodies.

"Guys with drill bits in their eyes," Eastridge said. "Guys with nails in their heads."

Last week, the Army released a study of soldiers at Fort Carson that found that the trauma of fierce combat and soldier refusals or obstacles to seeking mental health care may have helped drive some to violence at home. It said more study is needed.

While most unit soldiers coped post-deployment, a handful went on to kill back home in Colorado.

Many returning soldiers did seek counseling.

"We're used to seeing people who are depressed and want to hurt themselves. We're trained to deal with that," said Davida Hoffman, director of the privately operated First Choice Counseling Center in Colorado Springs. "But these soldiers were depressed and saying, 'I've got this anger, I want to hurt somebody.' We weren't accustomed to that."

At Fort Carson, Eastridge and other soldiers said they lied during an army screening about their deployment that was designed to detect potential behavioral problems.

Sergeants sometimes refused to let soldiers get PTSD help or taunted them, said Andrew Pogany, a former Fort Carson special forces sergeant who investigates complaints for the advocacy group Veterans for America.

Soldier John Needham described a number of alleged crimes in a December 2007 letter to the Inspector General's Office of Fort Carson. In the letter, obtained by The Gazette, Needham said that a sergeant shot a boy riding a bicycle down the street for no reason.

Another sergeant shot a man in the head while questioning him, lashed the man's body to his Humvee and drove around the neighborhood. Needham also claimed sergeants removed victims' brains.

The Army's criminal investigation division interviewed unit soldiers and said it couldn't substantiate the allegations.

The Army has declared soldiers' mental health a top priority.

"When we see a problem, we try to identify it and really learn what we can do about it. That is what we are trying to do here," said Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, Fort Carson's commander. "There is a culture and a stigma that needs to change."

Fort Carson officers are trained to help troops showing stress signs, and the base has doubled its number of behavioral-health counselors. Soldiers seeing an Army doctor for any reason undergo a mental health evaluation.

How to Spot a World Big Shot - The Comb Factor

Scientists discover strong correlation between public hair combing and global political leadership

Deer Park, TX July 26, 2009

Following several months of intensive research in an underground cavern selected for its remote location and secrecy (only 30 million people worldwide know of its existence) scientists may have discovered an almost perfect way to determine who will win in major contested elections. And the discovery hold true everywhere, cutting across national and ethnic boundaries except in the Middle and those countries where men wear turbans. The discovery also is not applicable to female candidates, who still must go to the powder room, to freshen up.

Big name male political figures have the virtually infallible characteristic of combing or brushing their hair in public.

Scientists studied more than 300 closely contested elections in a random sample of political leaders from around the globe and discovered that 92.4% of candidates winning major elections were combers. Despite 10's of millions of dollars spent on political campaigns, including TV spots, billboards, bimbos, mailings and telephone banks, a simple, black pocket comb, available in most convenience stores for $1.29, can decide the outcome of a major election.

One of the principal scientists involved in the research, who declined to give his name because he is bald, also indicated it was too soon to draw such a conclusion from the data, but it would appear this is one of the major factors why women are vastly outnumbered by successful male political candidates.

Pictured above are six successful political figures from around the world who are public combers. Some combers hire consultants to show them just how to comb their hair in public to maximize their likeability among voters.

It is believed that there are many other political figures who are closet combers but who are afraid to come out with public combing. This research may change the minds of many political aspirants.

A spokesman for the company that manufactures the Ace brand pocket comb, said the company predicts an uptick in sales for its more popular models of combs and hopes to bring out newer models in time for the next U.S. presidential election, in 2012. "Unkempt, unruly hair has been in vogue since the 60s and 70s but the more slicked back and greased look is making a comeback," said the company spokesman.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

150 Pound Porker Is Toast (without bacon) of Florida City

Roaming Free in Florida, a Pig Gains Local Fame

Published: July 24, 2009


A feral pig in Panama City, Fla., has been eluding the authorities for five months. The animal is now a libertarian hero, but officials are concerned.

No one really knows what to call the 150-pound pig roaming free in Panama City, Fla., but by eluding the authorities for five months, shaking off a Taser and four tranquilizer darts on Tuesday, the porker has become more than just swine.

The pig is now a local libertarian hero. Supporters describe the animal as a freedom-loving outlaw with a taste for corn. His Facebook page lists more than 200 fans, like Mary K. Sittman, who asked this week, “Is the pig a symbol of our desire to live free of government controls?”

In an interview, Ms. Sittman said the pig, which lives in a lush, muddy park near her home, had “to be a real survivor.” It is this independence, she said, that appeals to residents in her mostly conservative area in the Florida Panhandle.

The pig is also frugal fun. “Now we have something free to do on a hot summer night,” said Ms. Sittman, 62, a real estate developer semiretired by the recession. “We can go pig-spotting.”

Local officials, though, see the pig as more of a hogzilla in the making.

Jim Crosby, division manager for Bay County Animal Control, said the pig charged him and his deputies on Monday and nearly tore a chunk of flesh from their calves. A woman walking her dog near the park on Thursday reported that the pig also rushed her.

“It has been fed by people and chased by some teenagers,” Mr. Crosby said, adding, “We are afraid the pig could hurt humans or could run into the road and get hit by a car.”

A family in a rural area about 50 miles away has volunteered to accept the pig, without turning him into bacon. So Mr. Crosby said he would keep trying, until he got Porky in a poke.

“We’ve re-evaluated which tranquilizers we’ll be using,” he said. “With the four darts in him Tuesday, he looked like he had a couple of good shots of tequila, but that was it.”

Narrow Minded Florida Town Elected Officials Fire "Good City Manager" Without Cause

Fla. City Manager Fired for Having Porn Actress Wife

Jul 23 2009

By BRIAN SKOLOFF - Associated Press Writer

(AP Photo/Courtesy Scott Janke)

This undated photo provided by Scott Janke shows Scott Janke, right and his wife Anabela Mota Janke. Janke, a South Florida town manager who married an adult film star last year was fired at an emergency meeting after the mayor and council members learned about it. Fort Myers Beach town council voted 5-0 to fire Janke ''without cause'' after Mayor Larry Kiker called the Tuesday night July 21, 2009 meeting.

The mayor of a small southwest Florida town on Thursday defended the town council's decision to fire its city manager after officials learned his wife is an adult film actress.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker insisted that Scott Janke's termination had nothing to do with his spouse's job, that the town was merely trying to maintain order.

"What we were addressing was a situation where we weren't going to be able to govern the town with all the disruption and interruption," Kiker said.

The plan appears to have backfired.

"I've done over 30 interviews (with media) ... I've gotten hundreds of e-mails, we're getting threatened," Kiker said. "Nobody is getting any work done around here."

Still, Kiker insisted that Janke wasn't fired because of his wife's job.

"We didn't fire him because his wife was a porn star," Kiker griped, adding that the decision wasn't a "knee-jerk reaction."

However, the mayor also noted: "It was not his job performance. We all liked Scott ... He's a good guy."

Kiker said he learned of Janke's wife's job after receiving a telephone call from a reporter on Tuesday. He said he then spoke to Janke, who agreed "this was going to be a big disruption for the town and he was not going to be able to do his job well."

Within a few hours, Kiker had called an emergency town council meeting, and the group voted 5-0 to exercise a "no-cause" clause in Janke's contract, effectively firing him.

Councilman Tom Babcock said at a council meeting Wednesday that Janke was fired because his wife's profession brought an inaccurate image to Fort Myers Beach, the News-Press of Fort Myers reported.

"When you become a public figure you are held to a different level of scrutiny and ethics," Babcock said at the meeting.

Janke told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he and his wife had their "heads held high."

"We have done nothing to be embarrassed about. We've done nothing wrong," Janke said. He said it's too early to think about what's next, and wouldn't comment on any possible legal action.

He will get a severance package worth six months salary, which comes to about $50,000, plus health benefits.

Janke said he married Anabela Mota Janke, who goes by the stage name Jazella Moore, in October. He began working for the town in March 2008.

Dan Miller, editor at the AVN Media Network, which covers the adult industry, said he had not heard of a similar case, but noted the adult film industry is "not necessarily widely accepted" in mainstream American politics.

Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry, said the firing could present legal problems for the town.

Duke said even with a "no-cause" clause in Jenke's contract, as a government employee he is still protected by the First Amendment.

"There may very well be a case here," she said.

Added Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida: "His firing may run up against Florida's law that prohibits discrimination based on marital status."

Meanwhile, the issue is the talk of the town of about 6,500.

"Everyone who lives on the island has made comments," said Jaye Duval, owner of the Sole Cafe, who listened to all the gossip as residents gathered for morning coffee and breakfast. "Everybody I've heard has basically thought he should have been able to keep his job. Most people think what his wife does shouldn't matter."

George Noakes, manager of the Sunflower Cafe in town, called it "prejudice."

"I thought the guy was doing a good job. I don't understand why his wife is even an issue," Noakes said. "Whatever she does, that's none of our concern. We shouldn't even be bothered with it."

"The mayor and city council members obviously are not in touch with their own constituents' wishes," according to a local vagrant who said he had seen Ms. Janke in several porn movies and thought she was extremely "hot." "She's great publicity for the town; they should hire her as the town's spokeswoman."

Man Grabs Restaurant Cash Register and Runs Off Down the Street

Fla. cops catch man running with cash register

Jul 24 2009

Authorities caught a Lake Worth man running down the street with a stolen cash register. Greenacres police reported that a 32-year-old man entered a restaurant Thursday afternoon and asked for change for a $10 bill. When the cashier asked to see the bill, the man reportedly began screaming, "I want change!"

Police said the man then grabbed about $40 from a tip box, picked up the cash register containing nearly $300 and ran out.

The officers who arrested the suspect after a short chase had just come from reviewing surveillance footage at a nearby convenience store, where lottery tickets had been stolen a day earlier. By chance, the officers identified the man as the thief from the footage.

The man was not difficult to identify because of distinctive tattoos mentioned by the restaurant cashier and similar tattoos appearing on the man in the surveillance tape from the convenience store.

The man was being held on $21,000 bail for multiple charges.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Return of the Body Snatchers, er...Make That Kidney Snatchers

Brooklyn man accused of buying and selling kidneys

Jul 24 2009

By DAVID PORTER and CARLA K. JOHNSON - Associated Press Writers

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn called himself a "matchmaker," but his business wasn't romance. Instead, authorities say, he brokered the sale of black-market kidneys, buying organs from vulnerable people from Israel for $10,000 and selling them to desperate patients in the U.S. for as much as $160,000.

The alleged decade-long scheme, exposed this week by an FBI sting, rocked the nation's transplant industry. If true, it would be the first documented case of organ trafficking in the U.S., transplant experts said Friday.

"There's certainly cross-national activity, but it hasn't touched the United States or we haven't known about it until now," said University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, who is co-directing a U.N. task force on international organ trafficking.

Rosenbaum was arrested Thursday, 10 days after meeting in his basement with a government informant and an FBI agent posing as the informant's secretary. The agent claimed to be searching for a kidney for a sick uncle on dialysis who was on a transplant list at a Philadelphia hospital.

"I am what you call a matchmaker," Rosenbaum said in a secretly recorded conversation. "I bring a guy what I believe, he's suitable for your uncle." Asked how many organs he had brokered, he said: "Quite a lot," the most recent two weeks earlier.

As part of the scheme, the organ donors were brought from Israel to this country, where they underwent surgery to remove the kidneys, authorities said. Prosecutors did not identify which hospitals in the U.S. received the donors and their kidneys.

"The allegations about an organ trafficking ring in the United States are appalling," said John Davis, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation.

Israel Medical Association spokeswoman Orna Cohen said the organization had no reports there of Israelis selling organs. "If it's true, then it's shocking," she said.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israel's national police force, said Israeli police were not involved in the investigation, and he would not comment further.

Under 1984 federal law, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly buy or sell organs for transplant. The practice is illegal just about everywhere else in the world, too.

But demand for kidneys far outstrips the supply, with 4,540 people dying in the U.S. last year while waiting for a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. As a result, there is a thriving black market for kidneys around the world.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, an anthropology professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of an upcoming book on human organ trafficking, said that she has been tracking the Brooklyn-connected ring for 10 years and that her contacts in Israel have called Rosenbaum "the top man" in the United States.

Scheper-Hughes said she was told Rosenbaum carried a gun, and when a potential organ seller would get cold feet, Rosenbaum would use his finger to simulate firing a gun at the person's head.

Rosenbaum was arrested in a sweeping federal case that began as an investigation into money laundering and trafficking in kidneys and fake designer bags. It mushroomed into a political corruption probe, culminating in the arrests this week of 44 people, including three New Jersey mayors, various other officials, and five rabbis. The politicians and rabbis were not accused of involvement in the organ trafficking.

Rosenbaum, 58, is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, where he told neighbors he was in the construction business.

For someone who was not a surgeon, Rosenbaum seemed in his recorded conversations to have a thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of kidney donations, including how to fool hospitals into believing the donor was acting solely out of compassion for a friend or loved one.

He was recorded saying that money had to be spread around liberally, to Israeli doctors, visa preparers and those who cared for the organ donors in this country. "One of the reasons it's so expensive is because you have to shmear (pay others) all the time," he was quoted as saying.

"So far, I've never had a failure," he bragged on tape. "I'm doing this a long time."

At a 2008 meeting with the undercover agent, Rosenbaum claimed he had an associate who worked for an insurance company in Brooklyn who could take the recipient's blood samples, store them on dry ice and send them to Israel, where they would be tested to see if they matched the prospective donor, authorities said.

Four checks totaling $10,000, a downpayment on the fictitious uncle's new kidney, were deposited in the bank account of a charity in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.

It was not immediately clear Friday who Rosenbaum's attorney was.

Dr. Francis Delmonico, a Harvard professor, transplant surgeon and board member of the National Kidney Foundation's Board of Directors, said similar trafficking is going on elsewhere around the world. He said an estimated 10 percent of kidney transplants _ 5,000 to 6,000 each year _ are done illegally. Hot spots are Pakistan, the Philippines and China, where it is believed organs are obtained from executed prisoners, he said.

Caplan, the University of Pennsylvania ethicist, said he expects the U.N. task force to make recommendations in October that would hold hospitals worldwide accountable for establishing the origins of each organ they transplant and whether it was freely donated without compensation.

"There is a black market, almost exclusively in kidneys," Caplan said. "All international medical groups and governments ought to condemn any marketing in body parts. It's simply too exploitative of the poor and vulnerable. The quality of the organs is questionable. People lie to get the money. The middle men are irresponsible and often criminals. They don't care about the people who sell."

Scheper-Hughes said her research has uncovered hundreds of cases of illegal organ transactions brokered by and for Israelis in Israel, South Africa, Turkey and other countries, with sellers recruited from poor communities in Moldova, Brazil and elsewhere.

A few transplant surgeons support changing the law to allow a system of regulated compensation to increase the pool of donor kidneys.

Arthur Matas, a transplant surgeon who directs the kidney transplant service at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said donors could be compensated with some combination of lifetime access to medical care, life insurance, a tax credit, help with college and a small direct payment.

"It would minimize the extraordinary black market and exploitation of impoverished people internationally," Matas said.

Naked Bicyclist-Rapist Gets Instructed By Victim's Dad and Cops

Naked Bicyclist Nabbed

Cops: Father found Florida man in bed with 14-year-old daughter. They were not sleeping.

JULY 23--Jose Antonio Torres, a 23 year-old Florida man, was allegedly having sex Tuesday morning with his 14-year-old girlfriend when the teen's father discovered the pair in bed. After being punched several times by the father, a bleeding and naked Torres fled the girl's home on a red bicycle.

He was soon nabbed by Altamonte Springs cops, who spotted Torres "traveling from behind a closed business on a bicycle...the male suspect appeared to be nude," according to a police report. As seen in the below evidence photo, Torres and his getaway vehicle were corralled on someone's front lawn. Torres, pictured in the above mug shot, and clearly unclothed, was charged with a felony sexual battery charge and booked into the Seminole County jail, where he is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond.

The large beige mark on the side of Torres's head is not from falling in the sand. It is a birth mark Torres has had for 23 years.

Torres' brother, also named Torres, said he hopes his brother receives a long sentence. "That leetle girl of his one damn fine piece of meat. I take care of her while my brother in prison, where he belong. Doing her in own bedroom while father at home really stupid."

More Taser Madness - Down Under

In what is perhaps the most bizarre taser story, yet, a man shot by police with a taser gun went up in flames. Where and when will it end?

Tasered Man Bursts Into Flames In Australia

July 21, 2009

When police taser-gunned a man in an aboriginal community in Western Australia who was charging them with a can of gasoline and a lighter, he suddenly burst into flames, the BBC reports. The man, Ronald Mitchell, 36, is a known offender and his sister told The Australian that he had actually been sniffing the gasoline, the BBC notes. Police arrived at Mitchell's home in response to a complaint and are saying the immolation was spurred by the lighter/gasoline combination, as opposed to the taser. Mitchell was charged with assault, but according to the BBC, some are speaking out in his defense and against the use of taser guns:

Dennis Eggington, of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, called for an urgent review of Taser use. Aboriginal people, he said, were often in poor health, which made them particularly vulnerable to stun weapons.

A Taser works by firing two barbs which penetrate the skin and discharge 50,000 volts along two copper wires attached to the gun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Used to Be an Oscar Mayer Wiener Eater - Until One Came Crashing In My Door!

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Crashes Into Wisconsin Home

July 17, 2009

An Oscar Meyer Wienermobile crashed into the home and outdoor deck of Nick Krupp in Racine, Wis. on Friday morning, July 17, 2009. According to a witness, the vehicle was parked in the driveway. The driver lurched the vehicle forward instead of backing out of the driveway, hitting Krupp's deck and cracking the foundation of his house.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. — One southern Wisconsin homeowner is probably not in love with the Oscar Mayer wiener. The famed hot dog's Wienermobile crashed Friday into the deck and garage of a home in Mount Pleasant, about 35 miles south of Milwaukee.

Police said the driver was trying to turn the Wienermobile around in the driveway and thought she was moving in reverse. But she instead went forward and hit the home. It sat in the driveway as if it were stuck in the garage Friday afternoon.

No one was home and no one was injured. No citations were immediately issued.

Both the home and vehicle suffered moderate damage, which Oscar Mayer spokeswoman Sydney Lindner says insurance will cover.

Police hadn't been able to speak to the homeowner as of early Friday evening.

It's been said there's a sucker born every minute. The same can be said for idiots.

Yellowstone visitor gored by bison

Anyone who's ever visited Yellostone National Park knows there are prominent signs posted warning visitors to stay far away from the buffalo, as they are very dangerous. Yet, if you wait a little while you'll see one or more fools getting out of their vehicles to get a closer look at the beasts, or even a family photo with a bison or even a small herd of bison. Below is the all too frequent result.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A bull bison at Yellowstone National Park gored a 55-year-old tourist after the man got within 10 feet of the animal in a campground.

A news release from the park says the Norco, Calif., man was taking pictures of the bison when it charged him Wednesday morning.

The bison gored the man in his upper left thigh and punctured his leg. The man was taken to a park clinic and then to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson. The injury is not life-threatening, according to the park.

Park officials say the man's name was not immediately available.

The park requires visitors to stay at least 25 yards from bison. The animals can weigh up to 1 ton and run 30 miles per hour.

Used Graves for Sale at Discount Prices - Recent and Older Graves Available

For some families it's like having a replay of a death'all over again'

Authorities say they don't know when the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Ill., closed since July 10, will reopen.

July 12, 2009
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

ALSIP, Ill. — Two weeks after Charlotte Williams learned that graves at Burr Oak Cemetery had been desecrated, she's still waiting to find out what happened to the remains of her murdered brother and infant sister, whose graves she believes were among hundreds that were violated.

The once-prestigious African-American cemetery in this Chicago suburb closed to the public on July 10. A sheriff's deputy guards the entrance. Dozens of small orange flags near gravesites hint at the vast and complex investigation underway inside.

Four former cemetery employees are accused of reselling burial plots and splitting the $300,000 they made. To make room for new burials, they allegedly excavated some caskets and dumped human remains and headstones in an unused part of the cemetery. They also allegedly crushed some caskets into the ground and buried new ones on top of them.

Carolyn Towns, 49; Keith Nicks, 45; Terrence Nicks, 39; and Maurice Dailey, 59, are charged with one felony count of dismembering a human body and face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. They are being held in protective custody, separated from other detainees, and a preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 6.

The wait for news is agonizing, says Williams, a volunteer jail chaplain from Markham, Ill. The headstone marking the spot where her brother Leporter Riley was buried after his murder in 1978 is gone. She also fears that the grave of her sister Tina Lee, who was 3 months old when she died in 1968, was disturbed.

"It's like we've got to cope with a death all over again," she says.

Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office, says investigators have recovered about 200 pieces of bones and fragments from two sections of the 150-acre cemetery.

"We have to literally go through the site by hand," he says, and the bones might never be identified.

Sifting for evidence

About 25 members of FBI evidence-recovery teams, including some who worked on the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing and the 9/11 crash of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, are at the crime scene, says FBI spokesman Ross Rice.

The search is still "in the beginning stages," Rice says, and it's impossible to estimate how long the probe will take.

Other developments:

• A Cemetery Oversight Task Force appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn holds its first hearing today. Chairwoman Patricia Brown Holmes says the panel will recommend regulatory and legislative changes by Sept. 15.

"Where did our system break down?" asks Holmes, a former judge whose father and infant brother are buried at Burr Oak. She doesn't know whether their graves were affected.

• More than 200 families plan to file a class-action lawsuit against the cemetery's owners, Perpetua Holdings of Illinois. "There's a lot of grief, bewilderment and anger" among families, says Paul Shuldiner, lead attorney in the class-action effort.

• A hearing on the revocation of the cemetery's license is set for Friday.

• Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have sued Perpetua, accusing it of consumer fraud and violations of state burial laws.

• The Cook County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to sue the cemetery's owners to recover about $350,000 the county has spent on the investigation.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he doesn't know when the cemetery will reopen.

His office will soon launch a website with photos of all headstones in the cemetery, including those that were not tampered with, to help families determine the status of relatives' graves.

Dart has said that as many as 300 graves were disturbed. His spokesman, Steve Patterson, says more than 55,000 people have contacted the sheriff's department about family members buried at Burr Oak.

Blues singers Dinah Washington and Willie Dixon, and Emmett Till, an icon of the civil rights movement, are among about 100,000 people buried at Burr Oak. Their graves are intact.

Williams says people who are mourning the indignities the remains of their loved ones might have endured at Burr Oak need information from investigators and assurances that the culprits will be punished.

Then, says, "we truly do have to forgive these people for what they've done. To hold on to bitterness will only cause us more heartache."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Important Announcement - Save the Date

2009 World Congress of Bamboo

July 22, 2009

The Eighth World Congress of Bamboo will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 16-20, 2009. Representatives and presenters from around the world will be in attendance to learn about the latest issues and developments in bamboo.

The Congress will be held in Bangkok's Imperial Queens Hotel. Special rates for attendees have been arranged with the hotel but early reservations are recommended.

Room rates are: Deluxe 3000 Thai baht
Premium 3300 Thai baht

Where Can You Train for a Naked Bike Race?

Cyclist arrested while training for naked bike race, police say

By Vincent Tuss, Star Tribune

July 20, 2009 - 10:39 AM

A Minneapolis man who was cited Thursday for indecent exposure told officers that he was training for a naked bicycle race.

Johann Scott Scrimshire, 42, was arrested about 6 a.m. near Calhoun Parkway after a 911 call about a man on a bicycle exposing himself to walkers and joggers.

The officers who responded said Scrimshire told them he was training for a bike race on the West Coast in which participants ride nude, said Sgt. William Palmer, a Minneapolis police spokesman.

The officers said Scrimshire was wearing a skirt-like garment or a pair of shorts with the crotch area removed, Palmer said.

"It clearly looked intentional," he said.

Scrimshire posted $50 cash bail at the Hennepin County jail on Thursday and was released at about 11 a.m., according to jail records. He is scheduled to appear in Hennepin County District Court on July 30.

Reached by phone Thursday night, Scrimshire said, "The charges are ridiculous, and the facts will come out in court."

Scrimshire is an attorney. A search of Minnesota records for disciplined lawyers found no record that Scrimshire has ever been publicly disciplined.

Palmer said police had received a similar report in the area 10 days earlier but they were not sure it was related to this case.

"If you go to a park, you shouldn't expect to be faced with this kind of behavior," Palmer said.

What to Do With a Worthless Dead Shark?

Dead shark dumped in Miami street after unsuccessful attempt to peddle it to fish markets for $10.

Jul 22 2009

A City of Miami Crime Scene Investigator photographs a dead shark shark that was discovered in the middle of NW 5th Ave. in Miami late Tuesday evening, July 21, 2009 after two men tried, unsuccessfully to sell it to several fish markets. The men apparently carried the five or six-foot-long fish around on the city's Metromover downtown train, prompting calls to police. Wildlife officials later determined the animal was a nurse shark.

News footage Tuesday night showed the dead animal in the street with police officers and cruisers nearby. Two stations reported that a pair of men had tried to sell the animal to at least three fish markets for around $10.

Rob Orta, an employee at Casablanca Fish Market, told television station WSVN that the men offered his business the shark.

"But we don't buy sharks off the street," Orta told the station. "You don't know where that shark's been or for how long.

Wildlife officials later determined the animal was a nurse shark. The case could result in misdemeanor charges of improper killing and disposal of an animal and selling a shark without a license.

One resident of the area where the shark was dumped said he didn't know what was going on at first.

"It was a relief that it was a shark," said Keith Smith. "When I first saw it, I thought it was a body because of all the shootings that have been going on. Dead sharks we get all the time."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is It Southwest Airlines or Just Bad Karma?

Scorpion stings passenger on Phoenix-to -Indianapolis flight

Only a few days ago on this blog we published a story about a SW Airlines flight from Nashville to Baltimore that sprung a hole in its roof at 30,000 feet, enabling some passengers to look up into an unobstructed view of the universe. A few passengers were thrilled by the prospect of sudden death, others not so much. Now comes the following account of a family of poisonous scorpions that hitched a ride from Phoenix to Indianapolis and bit a passenger for good measure just before arrival. Are these two seemingly unrelated incidents due to pure chance or something more sinister?

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Southwest Airlines says an Arizona man was stung by a scorpion that hitched a ride on his carry-on luggage and delivered its sting just before his flight landed.

Forty-four-year-old Douglas Herbstsommer of Gilbert, Ariz., wasn't seriously injured Sunday when he was stung by a venomous Arizona bark scorpion while going through his luggage.

He was treated at Indianapolis International Airport.

Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the Arizona bark scorpion and five baby scorpions hitched a ride from Phoenix to Indianapolis aboard Herbstsommer's luggage.

The scorpions were killed after the flight landed, in a naked display of vengeance, and the jetliner was fumigated as a precaution. Bark scorpions are venomous, but their sting rarely causes death, except maybe their own.

Housing Trends in the New Downsized Economy: Small Is Beautiful

July 21, 2009

Tiny Houses Battle Rising Housing Costs

Thirty six years ago, E.F.Schumacher, a British economist, published a small book a titled: "Small Is Beautiful." In it Schumacher made the argument for ending the trend towards bigger and bigger everything. He was ahead of his time and his ideas about minimizing the material world we live in were treated as interesting and novel curiosities, but unrealistic.

The recent meltdown of the U.S. financial system, the virtual free fall of housing prices, the loss of employment for millions, and the crippling of the retirement portfolios of most Americans, has brought about a renewed interest in things small; from cars, to boats, to vacation cruises, and to houses.

After decades of steady increases in average house sizes, a precipitous drop in size has begun to catch the interest of the buyer of modest means: the so-called tiny house. For a couple, accustomed to living in a 2200 sq.ft. townhouse, adjusting to a new home with less than 90 sq. ft. can be a bit of a shock. But soon there may not be affordable alternatives.

The two tiny houses pictured above include a minimalist 65 sq. ft. house on the left, while the house on the right is more than a third larger at 89 sq. ft.

Prices shown do not include land.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well Isn't That Just Peachy - He's Sorry. Wants to Be A Role Model? Yeah, Sure. For Whom, the Cosa Nostra?

Rihanna and Chris Before Beating>>>>>>>>>>>>

Rihanna After Facial by Chris

Chris Brown apologizes for Rihanna beating

Jul 20 2009

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY - AP Entertainment Writer

Chris Brown on Monday publicly apologized for the beating of Rihanna, saying in a two-minute video that he's still seeking help and wants to live his life as a role model.

Brown released the video on his Web site apologizing to fans and saying he is sad and ashamed of his conduct. He also tells viewers that he has repeatedly apologized to Rihanna.

Brown was arrested Feb. 8, hours after he fought with his then-girlfriend in a rented sports car after a pre-Grammy party. According to a police affidavit, Brown tried to push the 21-year-old Barbados-born singer from the car and repeatedly hit her and choked her.

He left the scene and later turned himself in to authorities during the Grammy Awards, where he and Rihanna were slated to perform. He was later charged with assault likely to cause great bodily harm and making criminal threats. He pleaded guilty to the felony assault charge last month and faces sentencing Aug. 5.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Connecticut Man Puts Legal Training to Bad Use - His Own

Law student at U. Connecticut ran international drug operation

John Belanger, who appeared to be a rising 3L at the University of Connecticut, will likely be deferring his third year of law school. He has some bigger legal issues to deal with.

Belanger, 27, was arrested last week for his role in running an international drug ring.

Federal authorities have charged more than 45 people nationwide over their alleged roles in an international drug-smuggling operation that moved $1 billion worth of marijuana.

The two-year investigation exposed a pipeline moving thousands of pounds of marijuana each month from the north country to numerous U.S. cities, including Boston, New York and Miami, prosecutors said. The crime syndicate is alleged to have moved the marijuana, which came from Canada through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County and near Churubusco in Clinton County, over the past four years..

Zachary Gouchie, 24, of Montreal, Edward Kener, 31, of Weston, Fla., and John Belanger, 27, of Hartford, Conn., were accused of recruiting people and directing the movement of the marijuana along the East Coast.

Given that this started four years ago, it looks like Belanger decided to go to law school in order to give legal advice to his drug cartel. Those with knowledge of Belanger tell us about his exploits at UConn and his special interest in American Indian law.

The DEA seized $6 million in cash, more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana and 55 pounds of cocaine last week. According to the DEA press release, Belanger, along with others, is being charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to import more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments:

In addition to acting as a courier himself, BELANGER was responsible for recruiting, employing, and coordinating couriers, who typically used rental vehicles and traveled in tandem with "blocking" vehicles which scouted ahead for law enforcement, communicated potential problems to couriers, and intentionally violated traffic laws to protect couriers. The organization transported the marijuana in heat-sealed bags inside large duffle bags labeled with a number and customer identification or destination.

How did he have time to study?

Apparently, he made time to focus on his important classes.

UConn Law offers a unique course on "American Indian Law", which Mr. Belanger took, and apparently used to help navigate the transport of narcotics across Native American lands. He literally stuck around after class to ask the professor questions on the jurisdiction of federal authorities over native american lands. Now that's putting your law school education to good use!!

But Belanger had time for fun too. At the school's charity auction, he bid on and won some sort of "Dean for a Day" prize. One wonders if he bought it with drug money.

We bet the Dean is also pondering that question.

Italian Black Bear Attacks Man in New Jersey For Deli Sandwich

Man says bear mugged him for his Italian sandwich

Jul 2, 2009

A northwestern New Jersey man who lives in a rural area told police he was mugged in his driveway by an Italian black bear. Henry Rouwendal explained to authorities that while he was packing his car last Friday he suddenly was hit from behind and knocked to the ground. He said the culprit was a black bear who did not harm him at first but only grabbed an Italian sandwich he was eating.

Rouwendal said it was an expensive, Deli sandwich, so he fought back, kicking the bear in the snout and throat to try to prevent it from chewing or swallowing his sandwich. "I was hungry and I wanted that sandwich for myself," said Rouwendal.

The bear wouldn't give up either and in the ensuing struggle for the sandwich Rouwendal sustained two black eyes and other lacerations and bruises.

Rouwendal acknowledged he was no match for the bear, which was able to make off with the sandwich, pausing only long enough to scrape off the lettuce, onions and tomatoes, keeping the bread, salami and other meats. "He clearly was not a vegetarian bear," said the victim.

Vernon Township police chief, Edgar Thermostat, said it's the first time a bear has attacked a person in the rural community in more than 25 years. Rouwendal tried to file charges against the bear, for assault and battery, and theft, but authorities said there are no laws preventing bears from assaulting or stealing from a person.

He also indicated he did not think the bear was Italian and that Rouwendal's claim was based on his conjecture that the bear was attracted to his sandwich because it was Italian style. Rouwendal also hinted that the Mafia might be behind the attack, using the bear because there are no laws against bears stealing. He told authorities he intended to contact his state representative about making state criminal laws applicable to Italian bears, so they could be prosecuted like any other criminal.

Based on Rouwendal's description, a police artist produced an image of the bear that mugged him. Police asked anyone seeing the thieving bear to call them immediately and hide all Italian meats, cheeses and breads until the bear can be apprehended. They said the bear is unarmed but is considered dangerous, as shown by the photo of Rouwendal above.

The state Environmental Protection Department so far has classified it as an "incident" and not an attack.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wisconsin Man a "Porn" Loser

Cops: Woman stabs "cheater" boyfriend after catching him wanking

JULY 15--Meet Rachel Ferrara. When the Wisconsin woman, 23, arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, she discovered her boyfriend "watching pornography on the TV and masturbating," according to a La Crosse Police Department report. Chagrined, Ferrara chastized the boyfriend, Christopher Strabley, 24, called him a "fucking cheater," and kicked him in the groin. Ferrara then allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and Strabley urged her to put down the knife and talk things over. Ferrara continued to advance on Strabley and eventually cornered him and stabbed him in the abdomen. Strabley told cops that she then told him, "You deserve it," while continuing to slash away at his arms, hands and face. (Strabley eventually escaped and drove himself to the hospital, where he was treated and released).

When confronted by police, Ferrara told an officer, "I think I hurt him bad." Ferrara, who was charged with felony reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, was booked into the La Crosse County jail, where she posed for the mug shot above.

Botched Bank Robbery

NC man calls 911 to report he's robbing bank

Jul 16 2009

A man insisted on being arrested after he walked into a western North Carolina bank while on the phone with a 911 operator to report that he planned to commit a robbery. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported the man insisted on being arrested after an officer walked in behind him Wednesday at the Wachovia bank branch in Waynesville.

The man told the operator he wasn't armed and had a robbery note.

Detective Ryan Singleton said the man had quit his job as a sandwich maker and given his possessions to a roommate before going to the bank.

A police report said 52-year-old Terrence Joseph Germani was charged with felony attempted common law robbery and was in the Haywood County jail under $15,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. It wasn't immediately clear if he was sane.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Man Stocks Up On Women's Underwear.

Man arrested with panties hanging from pants

Jul 15 2009

A man has been charged with public intoxication after authorities said he was walking along Highway 11 with a pair of panties hanging out from his unzipped pants. According to The Daily Post-Athenian, 31-year-old man told deputies he had been at a pool party and stole them from a nearby home early Sunday.

A search revealed the man had stuffed some 40 pairs of female undergarments into his pants, although he had thrown most of them to the ground as a deputy approached.

The owner of the garments declined to prosecute but the man was arrested on a charge of public intoxication.


Sharp Increase in Cigarette Prices Bankrupts One New Hampshire Smoker

NH man charged 23 quadrillion dollars for smokes

Jul 16 2009

A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars, forcing him to file for bankruptcy.

Josh Muszynski (Moo-SIN'-ski) checked his account online a few hours later and saw the 17-digit number _ a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500 (twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars).

Mr. Muszynski said with the price of cigarettes going up that much he no longer could afford to smoke, so he was quitting but wanted to get that last pleasurable sensation from smoking. He then proceeded to chain smoke two packs of cigarettes, at a cost of more than 46 quadrillion dollars.

When asked by a reporter where he would get that much money, Muszynski said the tobacco industry had agreed to sponsor him as a publicity stunt to get more young people addicted to nicotine and thus ensure a future market for its deadly product. But he said he was given no indication that there would be such a large increase in cigarette prices. He said he was only paid $2,500 by the tobacco industry.

To make matters worse he also was struggling with his bank, Bank of America, for assessing him a $15 overdraft fee for insufficient funds to cover the charge. "They should have known there was something wrong because my average balance runs about $250," said Muszynski. "The bank should have realized there was no way I could ever make good on a charge of that size. What is there that could possibly cost 23 quadrillion dollars?" he said rhetorically.

The bank agreed not to charge him for the 2d pack of cigarettes.

Bank of America said only the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa referred all questions to the bank in a game of Blame the Other Merchant.

A designated spokeswoman for the BOA, Sylvia Scapegoat, who was unauthorized to say anything meaningful, said her only requests were to remain anonymous and not be tricked by reporters into revealing any details about the multiple fraudulent and illegal activities of her employer, because she wanted to keep her job, as she was a single mom and desperately needed the health insurance benefits for her two disabled children and elderly mother who suffers from emphysema.

Both requests were denied as the reporters grilled MS SCAPEGOAT mercilessly about the BOA's slimeball transactions with Timothy Gaithner, Secretary of the Treasury, which Scapegoat ultimately broke down and revealed, after which she suffered a violent epilepsy attack and had to be carried from the room on a stretcher.

On arrival at a local hospital, Ms. Scapegoat was informed her health insurance had been discontinued, as her employment with the BOA had terminated immediately after the press conference. A company henchman said Scapegoat was terminated for breach of her duty to say nothing of substance during the press conference.

When her seizures subsided somewhat in the emergency waiting room, she was escorted to the exit by a hospital security guard and told she needed to go to a charity hospital. She managed to reach a pay phone in a nearby strip shopping center where she used her last 50 cents to call her brother to come get her. She got his answering service which advised he was having an important all night meeting at home and would return all calls in the morning.

Still suffering the after effects of her earlier seizure, Scapegoat sat down momentarily, and slumped against a postal drop box, to rest and consider her options. After a few minutes she was arrested by local police and taken to the county jail where she was charged with loitering, vagrancy and public intoxication. Temporary bail was set at $2,500, pending a hearing before a magistrate the following morning.

Disclaimer: Some parts of this account may not be completely accurate because it was written by a rookie reporter who was alcohol impaired at the time. Any necessary retractions or corrections will appear in a subsequent issue of this publication.