Saturday, March 17, 2012
Three Japanese tourists came unstuck on their planned Australian holiday on Thursday when they abandoned their hire car in Moreton Bay after they tried to "drive" to North Stradbroke Island. The low tide and a GPS navigation system lured them into the bay at Oyster Point at Cleveland. A firm gravel surface quickly gave way to the renowned bay mangrove mud and the Hyundai Getz was soon up to its axles, but not before they managed to travel about 500 metres.
Their planned adventure to Straddie ended at 11am and the incoming tide soon forced them to seek help and abandon the vehicle. By 3pm the car was stranded in two metres of water and the subject of much amusement from onlookers on the shore and passing boat and ferry traffic. The Tokyo students had wanted to take a day trip to Straddie and believed their GPS unit would be able to guide them there.
The GPS forgot to mention the 15 kilometres of water and mud between the mainland and the island. Yuzu Noda, 21, said she was listening to the GPS and "it told us we could drive down there. It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck . . . there's lots of mud." Yuzu and and her travel friends Tomonari Saeki, 22, and Keita Osada, 21, were all looking forward to a day trip to the island, but headed back to the Gold Coast courtesy of a lift from the RACQ tow truck driver who was called to the stranded car.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Amid a nationwide wave of Tide laundry detergent thefts, Orange County authorities confirmed Wednesday that a Vons in Mission Viejo also has seen the big brightly colored bottles stolen off its shelves.
Ronald Ledesma, 54, is being held on $1-million bail at Men's Central Jail in Santa Ana on 10 counts of related commercial burglary, authorities said.
A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday, according to Orange County Dist. Atty. spokeswoman Roxi Sotomayor. The criminal complaint says Ledesma also has at least two "serious and violent" felony convictions.
In what authorities characterized as a bizarre series of events, Ledesma walked into the Vons on Feb. 7, headed straight to the detergent aisle and loaded a cart with nine bottles of the liquid formula. Then he allegedly strolled out the door without paying.
Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said Ledesma fled in a Ford Explorer after being confronted in the parking lot by a store manager. A short distance later he collided with an off-duty Orange County Fire Authority ambulance, injuring a paramedic.
Ledesma kept driving, Amormino said, but was followed by a witness who called authorities and kept them abreast of where the suspect was. Ledesma eventually was arrested near Jeronimo Road and Cherry Avenue in Lake Forest.
Talk about an over reaction. Slapping a $1 million bail on a junky for stealing a few bottle of laundry detergent. Like he is behind the sudden trend of exchanging stolen bottles of Tide for drugs.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
He may be the best basketball player in America, no make that the world but no one seems to like him. When you google 'I hate LeBron James' you get almost 20 million results.
People hate James because he personifies everything that stinks about sports today in America. Everything was fine when he was a Cleveland Cavaliers. It was triggered by his ill-advised exhibition of ego, in which he appeared on “The Decision,” ESPN’s horrendous prime-time show, to announce that he were leaving Cleveland to take your talents “to South Beach.”
It was not the fact that he left Cleveland but how he left. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and the other players who helped to establish the NBA 20 or more years ago showed ample respect for the game. James exploited his move to keep the attention focused on himself and put himself before the sport.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The company which had scheduled an upcoming appearance at the Toronto Convention Centre for Cheney said the former VP had cancelled the engagement, citing safety concerns.
He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high. In September, Mr. Cheney was speaking at a private club in Vancouver when protesters massed outside the front door harassing ticket holders and in one instance, choking a security guard. The former vice-president was reportedly held inside the building for more than seven hours as Vancouver Police in riot gear dispersed the demonstrators.
Maybe angry Canuck fans mistook Cheney for Bruins forward Brad Marchand.
Four years ago Brian Burke vowed to cure Toronto of the cursed 'Blue and White Disease' and end of the culture of complacency and losing. Evidently that's not so easy.
Burke literally cleaned out the roster and started fresh. Everyone is gone except Nick Kulemin, Luke Schenn and Mokhail Grabovski and they began with the Leafs just two months before Burke's hiring. But he also built his roster around players that had worn out their welcome with other teams. Calgary was happy to part with Dion Phanuef, same with Boston and Phil Kessel, Buffalo and Tim Connolly, Anaheim and Joffrey Lupul, Montreal and Mike Komisarek, and Nashville and Matthew Lombardi. These players are the core of the team and represent $28.9 million in cap space. What you have is a different group of players who don't compete hard and accept losing. You can't pin this on Harold Ballard, John Ferguson or any other name from the past.
In stead of rebuilding through the draft, Burke chose reclamation projects from around the league. How many are earning their salary? Not too many. All of these players remain seriously flawed. Not what you would want as your core. In addition, they are all at their prime or even a little past. So don't expect any of these players to improve.
Forget about Burke's inability to recruit a number 1 centre or a experienced goalies. They may have helped make the playoffs but the team would have remained flawed and far from being a contender.
I don't doubt for a moment that Burke is a skilled and experienced executive. But this is the most difficult hockey market on the continent. Rebuilding is never an option when lower bowl seats go for $200. Yet no one has successfully found a short cut to building a winner. Burke's experiment has failed and he might as well contemplate ripping apart this roster.
Swiss media have taken privacy rulings to a new extreme - after they pixelated out a police pic of a wanted bank robber with a gun in one hand and a sack of cash in the other - because it interfered with his right to privacy.
The pic had been issued by Swiss police who wanted aid from the public in catching the man.
The move has infuriated Swiss MP Yannick Buttet (34) who has filed a motion demanding a change of policy from state TV station TSR that used the picture on its main news bulletin "Journal de 19h 30".
He said: "I don't know about privacy but it certainly infringes on good basic common sense."
But TSR speaker Christophe Minder refused to budge, saying: "We have decided never to show the faces of those involved in a crime, unless there is an immediate physical danger to the public." He was backed up by the Swiss TV and Radio Association (SRG) where spokesman Daniel Steiner said: "With regards to the current privacy laws we do not make public images of people needed for identification purposes unless there is an immediate risk."
Before everyone starts jumping up and down about privacy laws, you need to remember the laws are just fine. The problem is when you have boneheads interpreting them in a way that was never intended. The laws were created to protect us not criminals.
A Denver police officer arrested in the beating of his girlfriend claimed that she attacked him with a Justin Bieber doll.Officer Michael Nuanes, Jr., 37, said that his girlfriend hurled a Barbie-sized Justin Bieber doll at him, injuring his foot. He also accused the girlfriend of kicking him, biting his finger and choking him, according to an Adams County sheriff detective's sworn statement supporting an arrest warrant.
The 42-year-old girlfriend accused Nuanes of pulling her hair out and punching her in the ribs, the affidavit said. The girlfriend also said that Nuanes kicked in the locked door of a bathroom where she had taken refuge and then he hit her over the head and back with part of the broken door.At one point, the girlfriend used her cellphone to videotape Nuanes trying to drag her off a bed and the officer used his cellphone to make an audio recording of their argument, the affidavit said.
This cop is either just trying to intimidate his girlfriend or trying to work this into a disability claim and a paid vacation from work. Either way he is going to be ridiculed by his co-workers who have probably decorated his locker with Justin Bieber paraphernalia.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.
In the 1950s, having the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the bookshelf was akin to a station wagon in the garage or a black-and-white Zenith in the den, a possession coveted for its usefulness and as a goalpost for an aspirational middle class. Buying a set was often a financial stretch, and many families had to pay for it in monthly installments.
But in recent years, print reference books have been almost completely overtaken by the Internet and its vast spread of resources, including specialized Web sites and the hugely popular — and free — online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Since it was started 11 years ago, Wikipedia has moved a long way toward replacing the authority of experts with the wisdom of the crowds. The site is now written and edited by tens of thousands of contributors around the world, and it has been gradually accepted as a largely accurate and comprehensive source, even by many scholars and academics.
The Britannica, the oldest continuously published encyclopedia in the English language, has become a luxury item with a $1,395 price tag. It is frequently bought by embassies, libraries and research institutions, and by well-educated, upscale consumers who felt an attachment to the set of bound volumes. Only 8,000 sets of the 2010 edition have been sold, and the remaining 4,000 have been stored in a warehouse until they are bought.
There goes another childhood memory. When I was growing up every household had a set of encyclopedia. Never mind the that the information was dated by the time the editions were printed. The printed word was the only game in town and Britannica was the gold standard. I remember when my daughter was growing up buying her an encyclopedia in a CD format. I do admit to using Wikipedia on a regular basis but I remain suspicious of the accuracy of the website. It certainly does not undergo the type of scrutiny that Britannica was known for. Everything in the digital age is not better but that's progress.
For many long-time residents of this rural town, the quest to change the name of Jew Pond is much ado over a muddy, manmade body of water not used for much of anything besides ice skating and fishing. For more recent transplants and the town’s health officer, though, it’s a way to banish an offensive title that’s recorded on at least one official map.
Mont Vernon’s approximately 2,400 residents will have a chance to vote Tuesday at a town meeting on whether to ask the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to officially change the Jew Pond moniker, which appears on a 1968 map but not on any town signs.
Town officials say Jew Pond, which is what most people call it, got its name in the 1920s. Town health officer Rich Masters recently took up the cause to change the name after it appeared in a news report about an algae bloom there.
“I, frankly, find it to be inappropriate, disrespectful to some people,” he said, “and I feel it needs to be changed.”
Over the years, the pond, near the center of town, has been called by many names, including Carleton Pond. A nearby sign says Carleton Park Recreation Area, though that refers to the land rather than the pond itself. The pond originally was named Spring Pond, said Masters, because the owners of a hotel there created it by digging up a spring to irrigate their golf course. They made clear in a brochure that Jewish guests were not welcome.
The rest of the story is a bit murky, but it’s generally believed that the body of water became Jew Pond when two Jewish businessmen from Boston bought the hotel. They intended to make the pond bigger and rename it Lake Serene, town officials say.
“That was when Jews were openly discriminated against,” Masters said, saying the Jew Pond name could not have been anything but pejorative.
But Mont Vernon Historical Society member Zoe Fimbel, who has lived in the town for 31 years, said there’s nothing bigoted about the Jew Pond name. She said it was more about long-time residents in the 1920s being annoyed by out-of-towners trying to turn the pond into something it was not.
The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that says it was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” sees it differently. ADL regional director Derrek L. Shulman wrote a letter to the chairman of the town’s Board of Selectmen asking for a name change.
“The very name ‘Jew Pond’ triggers memories of a time in our past that we can learn from — but ought not to perpetuate,” he wrote. “This represents an opportunity to send a message to the rest of the world that Mont Vernon is a place of inclusion and respect.”
Robber who bragged on Facebook about bank heists (even BEFORE he committed them) admits crimes in court
A prolific but stupid robber was caught after he was found boasting about his heists on Facebook – before he had even committed them!
Jesse Hippolite, 24, posted ‘I Gotta Get that $$$$$ Man!!!!’ on the social networking site just 45 minutes before he terrorised a Chase branch in Brooklyn, New York, last July.
The fool also wrote ‘crime pays my bills’ and ‘I wanna promote a heist… who wid it?’ – as well as appearing in three photographs where he posed with wads of $100 bills.
And he ranted: ‘What If We All Got Fed Up With This Recession And Started Running Inside Every F****** Bank To Give Us The Money That Belong To Us???’
Police detained him when, after another heist, a bank employee noted the license plate number of the car he used – which had been borrowed from a friend.
Using the FBI and NYPD’s license plate reader camera system to determine where it had been stopped in the previous weeks, they found it had been near 19 banks that had been robbed.
They then checked his page on the social networking site.
Hippolite, who changed his Facebook name to bandit Willie Sutton Jr in honour of his idol who would disguise himself when robbing, pleaded guilty yesterday to three bank robberies.
An additional 16 heists are being taken into account and he faces up to 60 years in prison.
It's a wonder the police don't catch every criminal out there. I hate to be generalize but they are pretty stupid. You think you've heard the dumbest crime then some moron goes out and does one better. Posting your crimes on Facebook is pretty good and it's cheaper than running a notice in the local paper.
A gunman held up a Key Largo convenience store Sunday afternoon before fleeing with only $2 -- from a customer, according to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office report.
A man wearing dark clothes, a blue hat, black gloves and sunglasses walked into the Tom Thumb convenience store at 102630 Overseas Highway with a bandana over his face at 5:25 p.m., and stood in line next to a customer, reports say.
When the clerk told him he couldn't wear the bandana in the store, he reportedly lifted his shirt to display a stainless steel or chrome handgun in his waistband. He demanded the money in the cash register, but the clerk told him there was none, so the robber ordered the customer standing in line next to him to give him his money.
"I'm desperate," he told the customer, who handed over $2, the report states.
The robber fled, driving north in a green or dark-colored Saturn he had parked about a block from the store, according to a witness who was leaving the store as the gunman was entering.
That witness, who apparently sat in his truck about 25 feet from the store and watched the man leave, tried to follow the Saturn before losing it in traffic, the report states. The witness gave deputies a description of the man and the car.
Monday, March 12, 2012
A Minnesota middle school student, with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing her school district over a search of her Facebook and e-mail accounts by school employees.
The 12-year-old sixth grade student, identified in court documents only as R.S., was on two occasions punished for statements she made on her Facebook account, and was also pressured to divulge her password to school officials, the complaint states.
"R.S. was intimidated, frightened, humiliated and sobbing while she was detained in the small school room" as she watched a counselor, a deputy, and another school employee pore over her private communications.
The lawsuit claims that her First Amendment rights were violated by employees at Minnewaska Area Middle School, in west-central Minnesota, as well as her Fourth Amendment rights regarding unreasonable search and seizure.
The Minnewaska School District denies any wrongdoing.
"The district did not violate R.S.'s civil rights, and disputes the one-sided version of events set forth in the complaint written by the ACLU," according to a district statement.
According to the complaint, R.S. felt that one of the school's adult hall monitors was picking on her, so she wrote on her Facebook "wall" that she hated that person because she was mean.
The message was not posted from school property or using any school equipment or connections, the lawsuit states.
Somehow, the school principal got a hold of a screenshot of the message, and punished R.S. with detention and made her apologize to the hall monitor, the complaint says.
She was in trouble again shortly thereafter for another Facebook post, which asked who turned her in, using an expletive for effect, the lawsuit says. She was given in school suspension and missed a class ski trip.
In the third incident, according to the complaint, R.S. was called in by school officials after the guardian of another student complained that R.S. had had a conversation about sex on Facebook.
The girl was called to a meeting with a deputy sheriff, school counselor and an unidentified school employee, the court documents states.
There, she was "intimidated" into giving up her login and passwords to her Facebook and e-mail accounts, the lawsuit says.
Deborah Fisher, a 58-year-old Louisiana woman was jailed Thursday after she allegedly stored her dead father's body in an ice chest for years while she collected his Social Security chest.
Police say Fisher's father died up to two years ago. But instead of reporting her father's death, Fisher cut off his hands so he couldn't be identified and then stored his decomposing body in an ice chest inside her apartment. The man's amputated hands were then stored in a box that was kept in her freezer.
Investigators say Fisher and her roommate, 44-year-old Heidi Todd, went to police to report the incident after Sheriffs deputies paid a visit to her apartment. Deputies were called when Fisher refused to allow apartment maintenance workers to enter the apartment.
Police believe the two women refused to report the 83-year-old man's death in order to continue cashing his Social Security checks.
When deputies found the man's body, it had begun liquefy. Investigators believe the condition of the body indicates that the man's body had been decomposing for nearly two years.
Florida man suing NY bagel company that claims filtration system can recreate NY water used to make bagels
The water that bagels are boiled in has bubbled into a $2 million lawsuit between a South Florida company and a New York franchiser.
Andrew Greenbaum, who lives in Boca Raton, is suing The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. for allegedly claiming it had a water treatment system that would transform water anywhere just like the New York borough's, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Greenbaum bought into a bagel franchise encompassing three South Florida counties, but became unhappy with the company's claims and requirements, the newspaper said.
One of his lawyers, Robert Zarco, said the company's mandates weren't achievable.
"The [company's] water filtration system is not unique and does not render water equivalent to Brooklyn water," Zarco said. "You want Brooklyn water, go to Brooklyn. You want a Brooklyn bagel, go to Brooklyn."
Bagels are briefly boiled before being baked. Aficionados maintain water quality is critical to the process.
Amanda Whittaker, 27, says she has fallen head over heels for the iconic New York monument.
Amanda, who had a passionate love affair with a drum kit while still at school, said: "She is my long-distance lover and I am blown away by how stunning she is."
The 27-year-old, from Leeds, has a condition called objectum sexuality, in which people fall in love with things rather than humans.
She first fell for "Libby", as she calls the statue, when a pal in New York posted her a picture online.
Since then she has visited the 151ft statue in person four times, caressing it and leaning out of a window to kiss its hair. She has even thought about marrying it — but decided against it "because so many others love her too".
Its sign has been stolen over and over, but one thing that can't be taken away from Katies Crotch Road is its mystery. The road with the intriguing name off Route 16 connecting Embden and New Portland has had its share of vandalism and controversy, enough so that town officials unsuccessfully proposed at last Saturday's annual Town Meeting to change the name to Katies Road. But while residents are attached to the name, no one is sure which story about its origin - some more colourful than others - is the right one. Marilyn Gorman, 78, said the road has been known as Katies Crotch since long before there were street signs in town.
Gorman has lived in adjacent New Portland all her life and has researched the area's history as secretary and treasurer of the New Portland Historical Society. "I have never found anything written down about the Katies Crotch Road," she said. The most logical story she's heard about how the road got its name came from Harold "Bucky" Emery, who was ahead of her in school. Emery told her that his father told him a family with the last name Katie used to live at the intersection with Route 16, and "crotch" referred to the V shape of the intersection. "Where the house would have sat would have been in the middle of what you'd call the crotch," she said. "If that part of it is true."
People tell different stories about the name of the road, she said, but "I think they make up things." One story is that there used to be a tavern on the road run by a woman named Katie. In another story, likely made up, a woman named Katie used to live on the road and would sit on her porch while wearing no underwear.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Dave, 49, was hauled before the committee after other members complained about the stink. He was told to stop — or be barred.
Dave, a member for 30 years at Grange Villa Workmen's Social Club, said: "There's quite a bit of flatulence down the club and they seem to be cracking down — perhaps it's because women are now allowed in the bar.
"But I don't purposefully blast in front of them. In fairness it's not just me, but I'm probably the worst.
"In the past, pub landlords have given me a pint for clearing the bar at closing time, but I'm not proud of myself.
"I changed from Guinness to lager but it made no difference. Perhaps a chemist can give me something."
Dave said he held no grudge against the club — and found the matter "comical".
The club in Co Durham confirmed it had taken disciplinary action.
A 3-year-old girl was left behind by
her parents at a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant and they only realized that they had forgotten her when they saw a report about her on the evening news.
Restaurant workers only knew that the girl, identified only as Harmony, was in need of help when she went up to a restaurant worker around 8.30pm Monday night saying that she was thirsty.
The staff members told police that s
he had arrived at the Bel Air, Maryland childrens restaurant around 4pm with a large party of about 10 family members.
Her parents were among the adults at the party, and they reportedly left her behind thinking that she was with her other relatives when they left the restaurant.
One report says that Harmony was with the group as they were leaving Chuck E. Cheese’s around 8pm, but then she spotted a stray token and ran inside to play another game.
Because they had not made a reservation and paid in cash, there was no way to contact the family directly.
Restaurant workers contact the Hartford County Sheriff’s Office, and officers waited with Harmony until Child Protection Services arrived.
In an effort to find her parents, police officers made contact with local news stations who agreed to broadcast her picture and the story on the 11pm news.
A woman needing help finding the bathroom is now facing numerous charges.
Her first mistake: calling 911 for her restroom emergency.
The Pasco Sheriff's Office says 32-year-old Marcia Usher placed the 911 call Wednesday night, saying she was lost in the woods and didn't know where she should urinate.
Responding deputies found Usher not in the woods, but instead in front of her home, reportedly intoxicated and drinking a beer.
A deputy noticed a nearby open beer cooler and asked Usher if he could check inside for any weapons or drugs. According to the arrest report, Usher complied and told the deputy there was beer and a knife inside.
Instead of a knife, the deputy immediately saw a loaded handgun on top of the beer.