Saturday, June 6, 2009
According to Delaware State Police, at 8:30 p.m. a staff member of the Midway Movies in Lewes was viewing the surveillance video system in the theaters when they came across two young ladies in one of the hallways.
Police say the girls were observed taking off their clothes and snapping photographs of themselves with their camera enabled cell phones.
According to detectives, these acts were done in public and witnessed by several other patrons walking by.
Troopers arrived on the scene and took custody of the suspects. They were taken back to Troop 7 on charges of disorderly conduct and their parents were contacted.
Investigators say that the two girls were taking their clothes off and snapping pics of themselves as they intended on electronically sending their racy photos to their friends- memorializing their behavior.
DSP says this incident underscores the dark contrast of how technology can both benefit and adversely impact our youth.
Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh says, "The purpose of this news release is not to simply notify the public of this incident, but to encourage parents to engage in serious and meaningful conversation with their kids about the dangers vs. the benefits of technology. As silly as incidents such as this may seem on the surface, there are real concerns afoot. Once a digital image is sent across the information highway, it no longer belongs to the sender."
" Photos, such as the ones taken last evening, all too often end up on various web pages and file sharing sites. It is not until the original sender learns how many people have seen their pictures, including strangers that the realization of their decision to send the photos in the first place sets in. This is why parents need to talk to their kids. This is why the conversation needs to be meaningful and serious," Whitmarsh says.
Why would the police tell him to zip his jacket? Why can he not have his jacket zipper fastened?
If what’s on a tape captured outside a bar in Passaic, is what really happened, then a police officer in New Jersey has some big explaining to do.
The tape shows a cop getting out of his car and getting more than a little rough with a man standing on a street corner.
One week after the beating, Ronnie Holloway’s eye is still black and blue. But it’s an improvement.
Read entire article
City officials are planning to keep the tax rate for owner-occupied homes at 75 cents per $100 of value and 76 cents per $100 for other real property.
The proposed budget of $7.45 million is slightly less than the current operating budget. A major part of the budget is the ambulance fund at $828,248. Of that amount, $117,748 will come from city funds, with the balance coming from Worcester County, transport charges and other sources.
The largest part of the budget, $4.55 million, is for the general fund, with the balance for the water and sewer fund. There will be no increases in water and sewer rates, but the trash disposal fee will be increased 50 cents to offset an increase in the county tipping fee charged to Pocomoke and other towns for solid waste.
One major capital expense for the water fund is the construction of a new well off Clarke Avenue at $365,000. However, City Manager Russell W. Blake said he had applied for a federal stimulus grant to cover the cost of the project. He expects an answer on the grant this month. Without the grant, the money will have to be borrowed.
Another stimulus grant in the works is $500,000 to upgrade the town's sewer plant. The balance of the funding for the upgrade will come from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund.
With the reduction in outside income, the town's employees will see no increases in cost of living or step raises. With a lieutenant in the police department retiring, his position will not be filled immediately, and a position in the Public Works department will be eliminated.
The town is looking at a significant increase in hospitalization insurance costs of about 13 percent. Another major impact on the budget is the current year's increase in gas and oil prices and in heating and electric bills -- 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The city manager expects these increases to continue.
Photos From the Front
A collection of U.S. Army photography from the build up of troops in England, to the beaches and airborne landings in France.
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U.S. Army Divisions in the Normandy Campaign
A listing of the American Divisions involved in the Normandy Campaign and contact information for their active divisions and retiree associations.
View the DivisionsView the D-Day American Assault ForcesView the Allied Order of Battle for the Normandy Campaign
Descriptions and maps of the Normandy beachheads the Allies invaded.
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General Eisenhower's Message
Both text and the actual reading (.mp3) are provided of General Eisenhower's Message.
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WWII Poster Gallery
A selection of World War II posters available in high resolution to download.
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A collection of news articles related to the D-Day invasion at Normandy.
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Friday, June 5, 2009
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington , DC
Mr.. Obama:I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an adequate representative of the United States of America collectively or of me personally.You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America .
You are responsible to the citizens of the United States .. You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care about their status in the world.
Sir, what do you think the First World War and the Second World War were all about if not the consideration of the peoples of Europe ? Are you brain dead? What do you think the Marshall Plan was all about? Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century?Where do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States?
This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly from this heritage. Do you not understand this?Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the king of Saudi Arabia.
You didn’t show Great Britain, our best and one of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the king of Saudi Arabia . How dare you, sir! How dare you!You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time to visit a mosque in Turkey .. You offended our dead and every veteran when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the German people from themselves.
What’s the matter with you? I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.You are so self-righteously offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic,the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything?
I seriously doubt it.What about the U.S. House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses to their staff members on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my employer. You haven’t said anything about that.
Who authorized that? I surely didn’t!Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that’s $45 million more than the AIG bonuses.. In fact, Fannie and Freddie executives hav e already been awarded $51 million not a bad take.
Who authorized that and why haven’t you expressed your outrage at this group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right now.I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.Sincerely,Every Real American
Ms Kathleen Lyday
Fourth Grade TeacherGrandview Elementary School
11470 Hwy. CHillsboro, MO
Sears Holdings Management Corp., the parent company of Sears and Kmart, settled a case to stop enticing customers to sign up for a software that spies on them. It must also instruct customers how to uninstall the software that monitored their spending across the web, even on sites that are supposed to be secure, and destroy the data that was collected. The Federal Trade Commission brought the case against the Sears Holdings.
Sears was unapologetic and admitted no wrongdoing in settling the case. In a statement, the company maintains that it was above-board with participants.
"Sears Holdings takes the safety and security of our customers' private information very seriously. The company conducted a research project nearly two years ago with a small panel of consumers who were recruited online to better understand the surfing behavior of US retail customers," the company's statement said. "The panelists were informed upfront of the nature of the work being conducted and were paid for their participation in the study. At all times, Sears Holdings ensured the privacy and security of the personal information of all participants who enrolled in the program. We also worked to ensure best practices of its disclosures and notifications to panelists."The company said that all the personal information gathered has already been destroyed and that the software was removed, adding, "No tracking software is being deployed on any of Sears Holdings' sites or communities."You can decide for yourself. Read the marketing materials here.
Recently Chevez said "Comrad Obama" was "farther left" of himself and Castro.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he and Cuban ally Fidel Castro risk being more conservative than U.S. President Barack Obama as Washington prepares to take control of General Motors Corp.
During one of Chavez's customary lectures on the "curse" of capitalism and the bonanzas of socialism, the Venezuelan leader made reference to GM's bankruptcy filing, which is expected to give the U.S. government a 60 percent stake in the 100-year-old former symbol of American might.
"Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right," Chavez joked on a live television broadcast.
During a decade in government, Chavez has nationalized most of Venezuela's key economic sectors, including multibillion dollar oil projects, often via joint ventures with the private sector that give the state a 60 percent controlling stake.
Obama has vowed to quickly sell off General Motors once the auto giant is back on its feet, but the government will initially control the company after a $30 billion injection of taxpayer funds.
Chavez, a vehement critic of the U.S. "empire," has toned down his rhetoric since Obama took office in January and the two men shook hands during a summit in Trinidad and Tobago in April.
It's expected to bring 750 badly needed jobs. But construction has yet to begin.
The site of the distribution center, which has been fenced in, is on Revells Neck Road. But there's been no groundbreaking.
WBOC called Wal-Mart, but so far we've heard no word on when construction will begin.
Customers at a barber shop in Princess Anne have been talking about the Wal-Mart distribution center. The only question they have is when.
James Leatherbury says,"We want it to come. We want it to hurry up and get here."
Leatherbury says the 750 jobs are badly needed in Somerset County and he plans to apply for a job when the facility is built.
"For beneficial reasons. You know I have kids and I need benefits just like every other person," Leatherbury says.
Danny Stevens from the Princess Anne Chamber of Commerce says, "Any sort of center would have an impact, an immediate impact."
Stevens says he hasn't heard any updates on the project's status. Stevens says the center would help the town and the Eastern Shore.
Stevens says,"I think it would bring more businesses to town and the surrounding area."
But so far they've seen no construction. Leatherbury says it's frustrating.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 5) - Authorities say they've arrested two suspected bank robbers after their getaway vehicle ran out of gas.
Daytona Beach police say 38-year-old Randall Fredric Walker went into the Riverside National Bank Tuesday afternoon and demanded money from a teller. After leaving the bank with the money, authorities say Walker jumped into a Jeep Cherokee driven by 35-year-old Jason Warren Dietrich. The two didn't get far before the vehicle ran out of gas.
The men got out of the sport utility vehicle and left the area separately. But police found the abandoned SUV and traced it back to Dietrich, the registered owner.
Both men face bank robbery charges. They were being held on $50,000 bail.
A criminal complaint says 48-year-old John Zaubler called 911 Saturday and said he was going to kill Sotomayor by "blowing her up" because he did not want his girlfriend to go to federal prison.
The complaint also says he wanted to kill Obama by "blowing him up."
Zaubler did not enter a plea in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Judge James Gibbons ordered Zaubler held without bail and ordered a psychiatric examination. He scheduled a hearing for July 6.
Zaubler's lawyer, Fran Hoffinger, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
At age 80, Marian Almond will be more than four times the age of most of her fellow graduates when she accepts her GED degree at Liberty University.
Almond dropped out of school when she was 16 to begin working in retail. She got married the following year.
"I just felt like I wanted to work," said Almond. "I didn't like school."
She never looked back and went decades without earning a diploma. It wasn't until Almond was rejected for a literacy volunteer opportunity that she felt compelled to return to school.
She hopes youngsters will avoid her path if they are on the fence about completing school.
"Heavens, don't quit school, go to graduation," said Almond.
She plans to celebrate with a bottle of champagne that's been stored in her refrigerator for years.
Jonathan Taylor, a city resident and blogger, filed a complaint against Councilwoman Terry Cohen. The complaint also named Councilwoman Debbie Campbell, who Taylor said advocated health insurance benefits for herself during an April 28 budget work session. The second complaint filed by Taylor alleged that both Cohen and Campbell discussed the council health insurance at a May 19 budget work session. The third complaint alleged that Cohen voted for the budget ordinance at the May 26 City Council meeting, when the budget ordinance included funding for health insurance for herself.
Cohen denied any wrongdoing, saying she is entitled to vote on the budget and was not voting on the restoration of her health benefits. Funds for the benefits had been restored with an amendment to the budget.
The Ethics Commission held a hearing on the complaints on Wednesday and on Friday afternoon ruled that neither Campbell or Cohen violated the city's municipal code when they participated in a discussion about health insurance at either one of the city's budget work sessions.
"The Ethics Commission finds that the city has a long-standing policy of providing health insurance coverage to City Council members, and that discussion of health insurance coverage for council members at a budget work session is necessary to determine the correct amount of funding for that category in the budget ordinance," the Ethics Commission stated in its published decision.
The Ethics Commission also determined that Cohen did not violate the municipal code when she voted on the budget that includes health insurance coverage for her.
"The Ethics Commission finds that health insurance coverage for City Council members is permitted by Maryland Code and by the long standing benefits policy of the city, and that a vote on the funding of the health insurance coverage as a component of the budget ordinance is not a violation of the city ethics code," the Ethics Commission said.
The Ethics Commission further stated that a vote by a council member on the budget ordinance- which includes an expenditure for council member health insurance- is a necessary exemption under the municipal code, in order to permit passage of a budget ordinance by three or more favorable votes, as required by the city charter.
In addition to rendering its decision, the Ethics Commission issued an advisory opinion that recommended the mayor and City Council appoint a compensation review committee to study the benefits, including health insurance, that is offered the mayor and council.
"The review committee should recommend a future approach regarding these benefits to the mayor and council. The benefits, including health insurance, should be the subject of a written policy or a section in the city charter or code," the Ethics Commission said.
A junior student picked up a rock that had previously been inside the fish tank and was removed for cleaning. the student threw the rock at another student missing his target. The rock missed and struck the 55 gallon fish tank full of water and fish and busted the tank.
Water and fish went everywhere of course, the water destroyed a school laptop and others personal belongings, notes school papers etc.
It took students and school employees over 2 hours to clean up the flooded classroom and the health of the fish are not known at this time.
Proving that he's got a playful streak (he is, after all, a canine and still a puppy) Bo sniffed out the camera crew surrounding him on the White House lawn and decided that one particular microphone looked the tastiest.
As far as misbehaving goes, Bo's playfulness is mild and good-natured compared to some other presidential pets! (See below.)
Watch as he romps with the microphone and gives it a few good bites before it's rescued.
Want more Bo? Click here for more videos of the presidential pup with President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama. Every time a presidential pet breaks protocol or gives in to their "bad" side, it's reported as international news. So far the Obamas' Portuguese Water Dog, has only been guilty of trying to chew on people's feet and chomping on a news camera microphone like it was a tasty treat. How have other presidential pets acted badly in the past?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Worcester County Health Department are confirming the first two cases of Influenza A H1N1 in Worcester County.
According to the DHMH, a lab confirmed two probable cases have tested positive for the H1N1 virus. As of June 4, Maryland has 83 confirmed cases.
"As we've monitored the increasing numbers of H1N1 flu nationwide, we anticipated that we would eventually see cases in our county," said Debbie Goeller, health officer for Worcester County. "The Worcester County Health Department continues to monitor reports of illness, provide preventive information to the public, and review and update local plans. We also continue to communicate with local health care providers to successfully diagnose and treat our residents who may be ill."
On that same note who and when was Pocomokes insurance implemented? Was it voted on by the council? If they have a job or retirement plan are they being paid double by insurance companies somehow? Do we have a board of ethics? Some more questions that need to be addressed here in Pocomoke. Say NO to benefits for elected officials that are not full time. It's our dime.
Questions surrounding the actions of two councilwomen named in a complaint still remained following the conclusion of a Salisbury City Ethics Commission hearing late Wednesday morning.
Both City Council members, Debbie Campbell and Terry Cohen, testified at the hearing that lasted more than an hour and a half, but the commission closed the meeting room doors in the Salisbury fire station headquarters and deliberated privately.
The five-member ethics panel, made up of city residents appointed by the mayor and approved by the council, is expected to publish a written opinion at an undetermined date.
The complaint against Cohen and Campbell, who receive health benefits through the city, was filed by city resident and blogger Jonathan Taylor early last week.
Taylor, known as The Salisbury Grinch, accused Cohen of violating the city's municipal code when she voted to pass the city's budget -- which included funds for health insurance -- in late May.
Taylor also alleges Campbell and Cohen violated the code when they discussed health insurance issues during City Council work sessions.
"I don't see any conflict of interest in the process," said Robert Gladden, who was voted vice chairman in the absence of Ethics Commission chairman the Rev. John Kennedy. "My personal feeling is there has not been any ethics violation," said the former Salisbury city councilman just before the public portion of the hearing concluded.
A third councilwoman, Shanie Shields, receives health benefits through the city; however, she was not named in the complaint.
Taylor said he declined to name Shields because she publicly stated her intent to discontinue receiving health insurance through the city.
While Taylor was not present during the meeting due to a scheduling conflict, City Administrator John Pick read Taylor's written testimony to committee members during the hearing.
"Anytime you discuss salary and benefits, it's a political thing," Cohen testified. "Do we commit an ethics violation every time we vote on the budget?"
Cohen alleges that when former mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman removed health insurance benefits from the 2010 budget, Tilghman violated the municipal code. The council's job is to create policy, and the mayor's job is to administer policy set forth by the council, Cohen said during the hearing.
"I cannot knowingly vote for a budget that contains something that was done illegally," Cohen testified.
Furthermore, Cohen said if she and Shields had abstained from what has become a controversial budget vote on May 25, the council would have been unable to take a vote because the remaining two voting members were not enough for a quorum.
Campbell was absent from the budget vote due to illness.
At the hearing, Campbell was represented by local attorney Steve Cox, who made arguments on her behalf before the commission.
Cox pointed to the conflict of interest section of the municipal code which makes an exception for elected officials, and others to whom the section applies, to participate in any city-related "decision-making process" if the individual has disclosed his or her interests and "does not create a conflict of interest."
"It is clear that the interest of Miss Campbell was disclosed," Cox said to the Ethics Commission.
While the code does not define conflict of interest, Cox said everyone knew Campbell received health insurance through the city.
While Campbell's attorney and Cohen both maintained the benefits-budget vote issue was a policy issue, Taylor asserted that it was the actions of the councilwomen that should be the focus of the probe.
"I must emphasize again this is not whether the former mayor was in her right to make the cut, it is on the actions that the two councilwomen took to re-obtain said benefits," Pick said while reading Taylor's statement to the committee. "I think this is financially irresponsible when the cost of Debbie and Terry's insurance for four years for Debbie will be $40,000 and two years for Terry will cost $20,000, which equals $60,000, or two police cars."
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Agar, Lawrence Ivey, 51, of Parksley was found guilty of attempted burglary and grand larceny and sentenced to 10 years on each count, all suspended except for three years and two months.
Derek Hairston, 38, of Parksley was found guilty of driving after having been named an habitual offender and was sentenced to two years, with one year suspended.
Rosa Justice, 49, of Mappsville was found guilty of possession of cocaine and sentenced to 10 years, with all but 45 days suspended.
Sentencing was deferred until presentence reports are prepared for Nas Askia, 34, of Boston, Mass., found guilty of armed burglary and the use of a firearm during the crime; James Mongelli, 19, of Delaware, found guilty of burglary; and Marcus Henderson, 24, of New Church, found guilty of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
Brian Brown, 30, of Horntown, charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana, was given First Offender Status, by which the charges will be dismissed if he maintains a clean record.
Sentencing was handed down for Phillip Rogers, 57, of Painter, previously found guilty of three counts of rape. He was sentenced to 15 years on each count, to run concurrently, plus three years of post-release probation.
Jarvis Scarborough, 19, of Painter, previously found guilty of robbery and use of a firearm during the robbery, was sentenced for the robbery to 10 years, with all but three years suspended, and for the firearms charge to three years, for a total of six years to serve.
Reginald Handy Jr., 21, of Atlantic was sentenced for burglary and grand larceny to three years on each count, all suspended except for three months on each count.
Included in those charges was a robbery count against a Louisiana man who was indicted two months ago for the killing of a Parksley area native.
The most recent indictment charges Jowarski Russell Nedd Jr., 28, of robbing homicide victim Albert Danny Hargis last August. At a preliminary hearing, evidence showed Nedd was seen after the murder with $3,800.
According to court records, Garrett W. Dunham, an Eastville lawyer, will not assist defense attorney Patrick Robbins of Accomac in the case. Dunham was allowed to step down due to an undisclosed conflict. The court appointed Norfolk lawyer Allan Zaleski to replace him.
Also indicted were:
•Thomas Lee Bailey, 21, of Temperanceville on a count of grand larceny in connection with the July 27, 2007, theft of property belonging to Lance Godwin Fisher;
•Gladene Walden Banks, 55, of Atlantic on a count of possession of cocaine on Feb. 14;
•Cecil M. Brown, 43, of Nassawadox on counts of breaking into the home of William Cullen and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on March 2;
•James William Bruce, 24, of Keller on a count of child neglect and endangerment in connection with a Jan. 27 incident in which a child was burned with hot water;
•Tony Kevon Cuffee, 18, of Accomac on counts of breaking into Trina Allen’s home on Dec. 19, 2008, and breaking into Sheikesha Jackson’s home two days later;
•Marcus Mitchell Davis, 23, of Atlantic on four counts of maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle on March 20;
•Clyde Roger Evans, 67, of Tangier on a count of aggravated sexual battery involving a 13-year -old between July 1 and 8, 2007.
•Pierre Cheyenne Gore, 26, of New Church on a count of eluding an officer on April 15;
•Kerwin Antwon Harmon, 29, of Nelsonia on a count of malicious maiming on Jan. 23;
•James Lamont Johnson, 34, of Belle Haven on a count of credit-card fraud between July 24 and 29, 2008;
•Arthur Alexander Jones III, 25, of Bloxom on a count of leaving the scene of an accident on March 9 in which Dynel Taran Downing, 21, of Greenbush died;
•Christopher James Justis, 20, of Parksley on counts of burglary and grand larceny in connection with incidents at Latinos Market on Sept. 30, 2008, Accomack Little League’s concession stand on Oct 5, 2008, North South Sneaker store on Oct. 2, 2008, and the home of David Matthews on Oct. 16, 2008; and on a count of stealing William Crowe’s property on Oct. 23, 2008;
•Crystal Tipton, 31, of Quinby also was indicted in connection with the incidents at the concession stand, sneaker store and Matthews’ home. Julia Marie Vermeal, 19, of Parksley was indicted in connection with the incident at Latinos Market and the concession stand; and Bobby Young III, 19, of Bloxom was indicted in connection with the incident at the Matthews home.
•Keith Cornell Kellam, 20, of Nassawadox on a count of assault and battery of Trooper S.N. Kulick on Feb. 8;
•Mario Kellam, 22, of Norfolk on counts of robbing Edward Sherwood Gunter on Nov. 22 and use of a firearm in the incident;
•Daniel Steven Kovach, age unavailable, of Virginia Beach on a count of embezzling from American Legion Post 159 in Chincoteague on Oct. 18, 2008;
•James E. Logan, 25, of Melfa on a count of possession of cocaine on Jan. 31;
•Andrew Wesley McDonald Jr., 33, on counts of eluding and assault and battery of Chincoteague Officer Ryan Daisey on March 14;
•Ray Phillip Padgett Jr., 35, of Parksley on a count of shoplifting from Fresh Pride in Parksley on March 13;
•Robert Wayne Poulson, 53, of Keller on a count of receiving stolen property on March 7;
•Robert Revels, 22, of Horntown on a count of stealing firearms belonging to Thomas and Keith Harmon on Dec. 10, 2008;
•Jason Michael Rienerth, 19, of Onancock on counts of burglary and grand larceny of Zununs on Sept. 29, 2008, and burglary of the Hospice Thrift Store in Onancock on Oct. 5, 2008;
•Marquita M. Savage, 33, of Belle Haven on a count of credit-card fraud and forgery on July 28, 2008;
•William Carlton Taylor, 58, of Bloxom on Jan. 31 counts of possession of cocaine, having a firearm while possessing a controlled substance and possession of firearm after having been convicted of a felony.
Charles E. Furst, 19, and Matthew A. Depaolis, 20, both apologized for their actions before pleading guilty in Circuit Court Monday to one of the 13 charges against each of them. The charges held them responsible for the destruction of the Young Street maintenance garage on Oct. 5.
"I know it was stupid," Matthew Depaolis said. "It was stupid to do it, and I apologize."
The third defendant, Matthew's brother Nicholas J. Depaolis, 22, was sentenced at a plea hearing in May to 18 months in jail, 36 months of probation and a $1,000 fine for a malicious destruction of property.
Furst had 42 months suspended of the five-year penalty for first-degree malicious burning of property. The Pocomoke City resident -- who confessed to law enforcement officials that he started the fire -- will also pay $286,000 to the city in restitution and serve 36 months of supervised probation.
Matthew Depaolis received the same sentence as his brother.
The State's Attorney's Office did not prosecute any of the other charges, which included burglary, theft and -- for Furst -- a count of second-degree arson.
Circuit Court Judge Theodore R. Eschenburg Sr. warned the men that they were getting off lightly with only 18 months in jail for what he called very serious charges.
"Guys, I am shocked to even see you here at all," Eschenburg said, looking down on the young defendants. "I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting three guys with no (criminal) record."
Eschen-burg seemed especially disappointed at Furst for his role in the incident. The Pocomoke High School graduate served in the JROTC for four years, and was appointed to the rank of 1st Sergeant as a senior. He aspired to join the U.S. Marine Corps, but was unable to for health reasons, said his former commander Sgt. Maj. Ron Trostle, who testified on Furst's behalf.
"I cannot believe you would do something so completely and utterly stupid," Eschenburg said after looking through a folder of Furst's ROTC awards and letters supporting his character. "You were on your way to being somebody."
Pocomoke police arrested the men in January after an anonymous tip lead investigators to search the Cypress Road house where they were living. There, they found the missing radios.
The town is still in the process of replacing all of the equipment and the building, said Mayor Michael McDermott, who called the arson a "malicious act."
"In tough economic times, this is such a tragic event," the mayor said. "This is not a time as mayor that I want to fund replacing equipment when there was nothing wrong with it."
Authorities arrested Canitchell Mills, 48, Darryl Whaley, 52, and Dvaughn Miller, 22, all of Berlin. All were charged with distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine.
State's Attorney Joel J. Todd says the drug arrests were a part of the undercover operation announced at the "Take Pride in Berlin" meeting.
The meeting held on May 21, at the multipurpose building on Flower Street, unveiled the undercover operation to target Berlin's open air drug market in the area's of Bay Street and Flower Street.
The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation say they will continue their attempt to locate the other targets that have active warrants.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Two high school football players made a special new friend in a high place while traveling back to Maryland from a recruiting trip to the University of Nebraska, according to a report from nbcwashington.com..
Seniors Terrence Stephens and Jason Ankrah were flying in coach class when they began chatting with the fellow traveler and Cornhuskers fan sitting next to them. They had no idea at the time that their companion was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The star gridiron players from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, MD. didn't recognize the justice until the plane landed. They were so excited that they asked their principal to invite Thomas to be the graduation keynote speaker.
"I was amazed this guy knew so much about us as football players and as people," said Stephens. "That was shocking. I felt honored to be known by someone of his caliber. He was just a regular old guy, sitting in coach, which really shocked me."
Thomas said he was so impressed with the students that he made a rare exception and skipped a court session to speak at the high school and embraced Stephens and Ankrah as they came on-stage to receive their diplomas.
"These young men had no idea who I was as I formed my first impression. I was just another stranger to them. They were wonderful ambassadors for your school and for their fellow students," said Thomas at the Quince Orchard graduation ceremony.
For more on this story, check out nbcwashington.com.
Paul Baldwin, 49, told a judge Monday he plans to plead guilty to the assault, along with trespassing and alcohol charges. He said he's had a long battle with alcohol and was trying to correct the problem during his most recent one-year jail term, which ended last week.
The Foster's Daily Democrat newspaper said Baldwin's record dates to 1984 and includes 152 other arrests, eight trespass orders, 75 citations, four Social Security aliases and 17 name aliases.
Prosecutor Rena DiLando said she didn't have time to read Baldwin's full criminal record because it's so long
This supposedly happened after an adjoining neighbor had just been robbed, or attempted to be robbed by the same subject. After the shooting the gunman left with a laptop and few items.
Police are looking for a suspect wanted for shooting a man in the chest during a Wednesday morning home invasion-robbery in Salisbury.
Salisbury police say that at around 4:46 a.m. officers responded to a on the (700 block of Baker Street for the report of a home invasion-robbery. Upon arrival the officers observed that a victim had sustained a gunshot wound to the upper left chest. The victim, identified as 21-year-old Jonathan Michael Duvall of Salisbury, was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.
Witnesses told Salisbury police detectives that a lone suspect had entered the rear of the home and confronted the victim. The suspect pulled out a handgun and fired a single shot that struck the victim. The suspect then took several items from the home and ran out of the home.
Police described the suspect as a black male, 20-25 years of age, 6-foot-1, thin build, wearing a black pullover style hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black shoes.Anyone with information about this crime should call the Salisbury Police Department at (410) 548-3165 or Crime Solvers at (410) 548-1776.
SALISBURY, Md.- Authorities are looking for two armed suspects wanted for holding up a Salisbury convenience store late Tuesday night.
Detectives with the Wicomico Bureau of Investigations say the crime occurred at around 10 p.m. at the Countryside Market on Nanticoke Road.
According to police, two armed suspects entered the store and demanded the clerk to open the cash register. Both suspects were able to obtain an undetermined amount of cash during the robbery. The store clerk was unharmed.
Police say one of the suspects was described as a black male, wearing a black colored short sleeve T-shirt, black jeans, tan colored boots, black knit hat, blue colored bandana and armed with a sawed-off shotgun. The other suspect was described as a black male, wearing a black colored zippered hoody, black colored jeans, black colored tennis shoes, blue colored bandana and armed with a handgun.
Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to contact Detective Nick Gismondi of the WBI at (410) 548-4898 or Crime Solvers at (410) 548-1776.
The Long Island store owner provided the bat-wielding man with $40 and a loaf of bread and made him promise never to rob again.
"This was a grown man, crying like a baby," Mohammad Sohail, owner of the Shirley Express convenience store about 65 miles east of New York City, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
The man dropped the bat, picked up the bread and tucked the $40 into his waistband before fleeing, said Suffolk County police Sgt. John Best.
Sohail, who moved to the United States from Pakistan about 20 years ago, said he was getting ready to close his store shortly after midnight on May 21 when the man in his 40s entered with a bat in his hand. Sohail said he tried to stall for a moment and then grabbed a rifle he keeps behind the counter and ordered the assailant to drop the bat.
The would-be thief dropped to his knees and begged for forgiveness, Sohail said.
"He started crying that he was out of work and was trying to feed his hungry family," he said. "I felt bad for him. I mean, this wasn't some kid."
He said he tossed $40 to the man, who then stood up and told Sohail he was inspired by the act of mercy and wanted to become a fellow Muslim. Sohail said he led the man in a profession of Muslim faith and the two ended up shaking hands.
Sohail said he went to the back of the store to get some milk to give to the man, but when he returned the man had fled. He said he called police and reported the attempted robbery, but he doesn't want to press charges if the man is ever caught.
Best said detectives have reviewed a store surveillance video of the attempted holdup, but said it would be difficult for anyone to identify the suspect because he was wearing a mask.
Sohail, who said he had never been the victim of a robbery attempt, said he didn't expect any accolades for what he had done.
"I'm a very little man. I just did a good job," said the married father of one. "I have a good feeling in my heart. I feel very good."
Off-road vehicle use is allowed on a small section of the southern end of Assateague Island for visitors who have obtained the proper permits. This enhances their ability to participate in surf fishing, which is an increasingly popular activity on the refuge. The incremental closure of public access to this small area is necessary to protect the piping plover and other migratory shorebirds. However, in the fall, the beach will reopen to public access after all young birds are able to fly.
According to refuge Manager Lou Hinds, “The needs of wildlife come first on all wildlife refuges. On Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, piping plover management dictates that we protect these threatened shorebirds during the breeding season.”
The Hook and Overwash areas of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge abound with prime sites for a variety of beach nesters. Currently there are approximately 18 pairs of piping plovers, a species listed as threatened since 1986, 14 pairs of American oystercatchers and nesting colonies of foresters and least terns as well as black skimmers. Shorebirds such as red knots, ruddy turnstones, and a variety of sandpipers use this area as a critical feeding and staging area during their long distance migrations.
Other wildlife species also need access to undisturbed shoreline in order to survive. In recent years, an increase in sea turtle nesting has also been noted in these areas.
The late-night comedy talk show host moved into the hour vacated by Leno last Friday on 'The Tonight Show' -- a change that has been five years in the making. Leno, of course, will begin his prime-time slot in the fall.Skip over this content
O'Brien joined a line of predecessors — Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno — on television's most historic late-night franchise.
"I think I've timed this move perfectly," he said in his opening monologue. "I'm on a last-place network, I moved to a state that's bankrupt and 'The Tonight Show' is sponsored by General Motors."
O'Brien spent 17 years as host of NBC's "Late Night" in New York before his move to the early 'Tonight.'
O'Brien christened a new studio on the Universal City lot with a handsome art-deco look. The stage has a blue glass background for the opening monologue, before O'Brien retreats to a desk in front of a sparkling backdrop of Los Angeles
From the top, O'Brien showed the silly comic style that sets him apart from Leno, with more comedy skits filmed earlier and less reliance on jokes in front of the studio audience. The first one showed O'Brien marking off a to-do list for his new show. "Move to L.A." was the last item, as a camera panned a New York skyline outside his window.
A frantic O'Brien went out in the street to find a cab. When he couldn't, he began running. He ran out of New York, and sprinted across the country — across Wrigley Field in Chicago, past the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, by the Rockies and through the desert to Las Vegas. Finally he arrived at the locked door to his new studio, only to realize he'd left his keys behind.
In other segments, O'Brien commandeered a tram filled with tourists on a Universal Studios lot tour and took his used green Ford Taurus for a ride into Los Angeles' car-obsessed culture. Fabio complimented him on his ride.
O'Brien appeared nervous at the long-awaited opening night, pacing onstage during his monologue and mugging with his red pompadour.
"I remember watching Johnny Carson when I was a kid and thinking: That's what I want to be when I grow up," O'Brien said. "I'm sure right now in America there is likely a kid watching me, thinking: 'What is wrong with that man's hair?'"
Longtime sidekick Andy Richter slid smoothly into the role Ed McMahon once played for Carson, standing at a podium to the side of the stage and loudly laughing at his boss' jokes.
Over at CBS, David Letterman slyly mentioned NBC's transition.
"I'm still here," he said. "I knocked off another competitor."
He said he got a call from his mom and she said, "Well, David, I see you didn't get 'The Tonight Show' again," a reference to Letterman losing out to Leno to become Carson's successor.
Comic Will Ferrell was O'Brien's first guest, his appearance less manic than some of his memorable "Late Night" visits. He offered O'Brien some "tips" for L.A. living, including a good burger joint in Pasadena "called Burger King."
Pearl Jam was the musical guest, debuting a song off an upcoming album.
Ferrell sang his own song in tribute to O'Brien, a version of "Never Can Say Goodbye" that "bewildered" the host. Why sing a goodbye song on the first night?
"Don't get me wrong," Ferrell said. "I'm pulling for you. But this little thing is a crapshoot at best."
Its not clear how many sites Gumblar has infected, but security firms seem to agree that it accounts for about 40 percent of all new malware infections right now. According to ScanSafe in just the first two weeks of May over 3,000 Web sites were compromised and spreading the worm. Most sites have been quick to clean up the infections as best they can, but, even if all the infected pages were removed, Gumblar would still have an army of infected PCs (see botnet) to inflict further damage. Already infected PCs could be used to hijack even more Web sites, by searching out logon information for Web servers and uploading their malicious payload. Compromised PCs can also be instructed to install Trojans that steal data and passwords.The danger posed by Gumblar is so great that ScanSafe suggests a full reformat and reinstallation of Windows to clean out an infection. It also suggests changing all of your passwords and usernames after securing your PC.Detecting an infection is complex, and not fool-proof. According to ScanSafe the best way to find out if your PC has been hijacked by Gumblar is to follow CNET's well laid out steps:
1) Locate the file sqlsodbc.chm in the Windows system folder (in Windows XP open My Computer then go to Local Disk (C:) --> Windows --> System32)2) Obtain the Sha1 of the installed sqlsodbc.chm using FileAlyzer, a free tool for obtaining the Sha1 of a file. If you've never heard of Sha1 before, don't panic. It's a sort of automatically generated digital identifier for files designed by the NSA, and used by security applications to confirm that a file is what it is supposed to be.3) Compare the obtained Sha1 code and the file's size to the list located on the ScanSafe STAT Blog.4) If the Sha1 and corresponding file size do not match with a pair on the reference list, it's a potential sign of a Gumblar infection.If you're still not sure if you're safe from Gumblar, or the method for detection has left you staring at the screen slack-jawed and sratching your head, then now might be the time to get on the phone with that tech-savvy cousin of yours and have him check it out. [From: CNET]
(June 2) -- British police are investigating what one resident has called a "terrible tragedy" -- the apparent suicide of a couple whose 5-year-old son died of natural causes.
The bodies of Neil and Kazumi Puttick were spotted Sunday at the base of Beachy Head, a notorious suicide spot in East Sussex, London's Daily Mail reported. The couple had placed the body of their son, Sam, in a rucksack before they jumped, police said, and it was found next to them.
Sam, whose spinal cord was injured when a car hit him at age 1, was paralyzed from the neck down and used a ventilator 24 hours a day, the newspaper said. He had been hospitalized with pneumococcal meningitis, an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and was discharged Friday so that he could die peacefully at home, a hospital spokesman told the Mail.
Sam died that night. Police said that the Putticks made the 100-mile trip from their home to Beachy Head on Sunday. There were two rucksacks found near Neil and Kazumi's Puttick's bodies. One contained their son, and the other held some of his toys.
Police are investigating whether the Putticks "were so overcome with grief at their son's fairly sudden death that they decided they could not bear to go on without him," a source told the Mail.
The family's neighbors were stunned by the deaths.
"It is a terrible tragedy and I can't believe it has happened," one told the newspaper. "This is too shocking for words."
Another said that Kazumi, 44, and Neil, 34, were devoted to their child. "They were a lovely couple and they did 150 per cent for that boy."
The Daily Mail has more details on the probe.
The ceremony to celebrate the opening of the store, Classic Collections, at 132 Market St. will take place at 5:30 p.m. tonight.
Good luck on the new adventure, I hope your store does well.
Police said a resident of Boston Road reported that shots had been fired at his home late in the night of June 1. A suspect, Travis Parsons, 22, of Pocomoke, was identified, police said, but a 90-minute search of the area failed to find him, although Parsons had been seen on foot nearby at the time of the shooting.
Sheriff's deputies then set up a watch of Parsons' truck. When Parsons and another man, Stephen Petitt, 22, of Pocomoke, appeared at the truck and drove off around 3:20 a.m., police pulled them over and made the arrests.
Parsons was charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Police said Petitt was charged with obstructing and hindering their investigation. Both men were released on their own recognizance after seeing a court commissioner.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
We’re in the best of hands.
Barack Obama has a 31 year-old student dismantling General Motors and reshaping capitalism.Unreal.
The New York Times made this stunning admission today:
It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.
But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.
Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born. A bit laconic and looking every bit the just-out-of-graduate-school student adjusting to life in the West Wing — “he’s got this beard that appears and disappears,” says Steven Rattner, one of the leaders of President Obama’s automotive task force — Mr. Deese was thrown into the auto industry’s maelstrom as soon the election-night parties ended.
FOX News’ Glenn Beck slammed Barack Obama’s General Motors Auto Task Force kid wonder and former George Soros employee, Brian Deese.This was brutal. It was honest, but it was brutal:
The New York Times reported that the 31-year-old Deese in a first government job finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.The kid’s never worked for anyone except if you count George Soros.We’re truly in the best of hands.
Here’s the transcript.
I caught a bit of that and there were these workers saying, “How come these people get to lay us off. We never elected a car czar. Yet people out of nowhere that someone just appointed get to run our lives.”
That’s what kills me most about all this stuff. We are being run by people who nobody elected, nobody wanted, and nobody with any sense would choose. And they get to mess us up. All they want.
TERROR STRIKES IN LITTLE ROCK.Muslim convert studied in Yemen before gunning down Army recruiter in Little Rock.
The man who shot dead an Army recruiter and wounded another in Little Rock trained in Yemen.Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad converted to Islam and went to Yemen to study.He told police earlier that he hated the US military.
ABC News reported:
The suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of one soldier and the critical
injury of another at a Little Rock, Ark., Army recruiting booth today was
investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force since his return
Yemen, ABC News has learned.
The investigation was in its
authorities said, and was based on the suspect’s travel
to Yemen and his arrest
there for using a Somali passport.
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad,
24, had changed his name from Carlos Leon
Bledsoe after converting to the Muslim
Law enforcement sources
said he offered no resistance when Little Rock
police arrested him today.
It looks like Robert Spencer was correct.
As of November 2007, the US had thwarted 19 terrorist attacks inside the US.Hat W.Yesterday was the first terror attack by an Islamic radical on US soil this year.It was the first successful terrorist attack against our military personnel on US soil since 9/11.
here's the outcome of his support hearing.
A man aged 29 has fathered 21 children with 11 different women, it emerged yesterday.
Desmond Hatchett’s brood came to light after authorities in Tennessee in the U.S. took him to court for non-payment of child support.
He has apparently set a U.S. record but said: ‘It just happened.’
Hatchett, who earns a minimal wage, told TV reporters he knows the names and ages of all his offspring.
Their ages range from newborn to 11 years old.
Authorities in Knoxville said they plan to take half of his monthly salary to pay for the youngsters but officials said that would work out to just over [$1.61] a week for each.
His lawyer Keith Pope said: ‘The children can’t all be supported by Desmond, so the state of Tennessee has had to step in.’Many Knoxville residents called for him to be castrated.
He even boasted of fathering four children by different women in the same year…” (source)
I have to wonder what the staunchest Libertarian, or the Cato Institute, would say about this… How many kids do taxpayers foot the bill for before those taxpayers get a say? This is disgusting
The Dr. did all the things Dr.'s do and gave him a prescription for a ankle brace/support and told us to go to Apple Discount Drugs to purchase it.
We went to the store and to the pharmacy counter and gave the young lady behind the counter the prescription. She knew immediately what it was, and where it was, and walked us right to it.
She then explained that the braces come in several sizes and that my sons ankle would need to be measured and that she was not sure that the insurance would cover the cost of the brace. No big deal it was only 39 bucks and what do you do? He needed the brace.
She then walked us over to another counter for assistance with the insurance and the size of the brace. The young lady at that counter was extremely nice also but she didn't think the insurance would cover the cost of the brace but before just saying that we had to pay for the brace like many places, she promptly asked an associate if they were aware if our insurance would cover the cost. These people at Apple Discount Drugs went out of their way to make sure we received what we needed and if, or if not our insurance would cover the cost of the prescribed brace.
After a few minuets of very pleasant service the young lady advised us that the insurance would cover the cost. They promptly took care of the paperwork and then measured my sons ankle to determine the size brace he needed grabbed a brace off the shelf and actually put the brace on his ankle and explained how to adjust it and so on.
While we were in the store being serviced I had several pleasant conversations with the stores associates, I asked them a few questions that I had while there and again they were just simply amazingly polite and professional.
Also while waiting I had a gentleman come up to me and say hello and shook my hand and said "I thought I recognized you" he was a gentleman that his son goes to school with my son and they are good friends, me not being good with faces and feeling embarrassed he refreshed my memory and we talked for a moment and he went about his business.
Now, it's really a shame to be shocked at this kind of treatment in a retail store because I remember when this treatment was normal at nearly any retail establishment. We have become so desensitized to good treatment and the norm being; "if it's not here we don't have it", or "NO! your insurance will not cover this" without them taking the time to research or even checking at all that I was shocked and actually I had forgotten what real, good service is.
My hat's off to Apple Discount Drugs you are truly a great place to do business with and have exceptional, professional, courteous employees.
Really all I can say about the service I received today is WOW!
Thank You Apple Discount Drugs employees, keep up the good--- no great work.
I wish we had an Apple Discount Drugs here in Pocomoke.
Hey Apple!! We have several very nice empty commercial buildings for sale or rent here.
PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- A former Manokin man convicted of murdering a Crisfield woman was sentenced to a total of 60 years in prison Monday by a Somerset County Circuit Court judge.
Thirty-six-year-old Joseph Olandis Walter Hayman Jr. was indicted by a grand jury in August after police found the charred skeletal remains of Rhonda Lee Parks 10 feet from the rear of a house owned by a relative of Hayman, whom he lived with at one time.
Judge Daniel Long sentenced Hayman to life in prison but suspended all but 50 years on the first-degree murder charge and 10 years on the use of a handgun in a felony or violent crime charge.
Hayman entered an Alford plea for both charges in April. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a conviction.
Parks was last seen in February 2006 at a Dash-In convenience store in Westover, and had been reported as a missing person to police. During the search for Parks, her purse, identification and jeans were located on a grassy shoulder area of northbound Route 13 in the Westover area.
For two years, police had been searching for Parks. On April 10, 2008, the Somerset County Sheriff's Office received information from North Carolina concerning human remains that could be located at Hayman's previous address in the Manokin area.
Approximately 10 feet from the rear of the vacant home located on the 8500 block of Fontaine Road in Manokin, police found a 55-gallon steel drum containing Parks' burned and badly decomposed skeletal remains.
Prosecutors believe Hayman left for North Carolina in 2006, the same year Parks was reported missing. Hayman was extradited back to Maryland in July to face charges.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Kindergarten through grade 5 students throughout the county will be exposed to same-sex educational material aimed at promoting tolerance and inclusiveness.
The curriculum –– which will include lessons to introduce students to “LGBT” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) issues –– will be designed to discourage bullying and teasing based on gay and lesbian stereotypes. The plan will be implemented despite objections by parents who complain children are too young to be exposed to the material.
Many parents are condemning the lesson plan as sex education in disguise and are angered that they will not be allowed to exempt their children from the lessons. Opponents decry the curriculum plan as an effort to advance the gay, lesbian and transgendered agenda.
Those opposed to sexual orientation lessons for children are so upset they are threatening to sue the school board, ABC News reports. Promoting gay, lesbian and sexual orientation should be a parents' rights issue, parents say, and is not an appropriate topic for school children.
The Alameda school district's legal counsel, however, recommended the plan because the curriculum does not deal with health or sex education, which are topics that do require opt-out provisions.
“It was the opinion of our legal counsel that this curriculum was not health or sex education curriculum,” school board president Mike McMahon told CNS New.
“If a student responds that one family in the book is made up of a mother, a father, and two children and a cat, you may acknowledge that some families look like this, but ask students for other examples of what a family can look like.”
School Board Member Trish Spencer, who voted against the plan, said she worries that its implementation could lead to the harassment of students who have religious objections to homosexuality. She cited that bullying due to religion is a bigger problem for the district than bullying based on homosexuality.
Also adamantly opposed to the plan is Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families.
“This will be done whether parents like it or not, and it shows the hostility against parental rights and traditional family values,” Thomasson, told CNS New.
Last month, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative to make same-sex marriage illegal that passed in November.
The Alameda school board said it will review its decision to implement the curriculum at the end of next year’s school session.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Confronted by two holdup men, pharmacist Jerome Ersland pulled a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. Then, in a scene recorded by the drugstore's security camera, he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded teenager as he lay on the floor.
Now Ersland has been charged with first-degree murder in a case that has stirred a furious debate over vigilante justice and self-defense and turned the pharmacist into something of a folk hero.
Ersland, 57, is free on $100,000 bail, courtesy of an anonymous donor. He has won praise from the pharmacy's owner, received an outpouring of cards, letters and checks from supporters, and become the darling of conservative talk radio.
"His adrenaline was going. You're just thinking of survival," said John Paul Hernandez, 60, a retired Defense Department employee who grew up in the neighborhood. "All it was is defending your employee, business and livelihood. If I was in that position and that was me, I probably would have done the same thing."
District Attorney David Prater said Ersland was justified in shooting 16-year-old Antwun Parker once in the head, but not in firing the additional shots into his belly. The prosecutor said the teenager was unconscious, unarmed, lying on his back and posing no threat when Ersland fired what the medical examiner said were the fatal shots.
Anthony Douglas, president of the Oklahoma chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called it an "execution-style murder" and praised the district attorney for bringing charges. Ersland is white; the two suspects were black.
Parker's parents also expressed relief that Ersland faces a criminal charge.
"He didn't have to shoot my baby like that," Parker's mother, Cleta Jennings, told TV station KOCO.
But many of those who have seen the video of the May 19 robbery attempt at Reliable Discount Pharmacy have concluded the teenager in the ski mask got what he deserved.
Mark Shannon, who runs a conservative talk show on Oklahoma City's KTOK, said callers have jammed his lines this week in support of Ersland, a former Air Force lieutenant colonel who wears a back brace on the job and told reporters he is a disabled veteran of the Gulf War.
"There is no gray area," Shannon said. One caller "said he should have put all the shots in the head."
Don Spencer, a 49-year-old National Rifle Association member who lives in the small town of Meridian, 40 miles north of Oklahoma City, said the pharmacist did the right thing: "You shoot more than enough to make sure the threat has been removed."
Barbara Bergman, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, likened the public reaction to that of the case of Bernard Goetz, the New Yorker who shot four teenagers he said were trying to rob him when they asked for $5 on a subway in 1984.
Goetz was cleared of attempted murder and assault but convicted of illegal gun possession and served 8 1/2 months in jail.
Bergman said those who claim they used deadly force in self-defense have to show they were "in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury."
The pharmacy is in a crime-ridden section of south Oklahoma City and had been robbed before.
The video shows two men bursting in, one of them pointing a gun at Ersland and two women working with the druggist behind the counter. Ersland fires a pistol, driving the gunman from the store and hitting Parker in the head as he puts on a ski mask.
Ersland chases the second man outside, then goes back inside, walks behind the counter with his back to Parker, gets a second handgun and opens fire.
Irven Box, Ersland's attorney, noted the outpouring of support for the pharmacist, including $2,000 in donations, and said: "I feel very good 12 people would not determine he committed murder in the first degree."
Under Oklahoma's "Make My Day Law" — passed in the late 1980s and named for one of Clint Eastwood's most famous movie lines — people can use deadly force when they feel threatened by an intruder inside their homes. In 2006, Oklahoma's "Stand Your Ground Law" extended that to anywhere a citizen has the right to be, such as a car or office.
"It's a 'Make-My-Day' case," Box said. "This guy came in, your money or your life. Mr. Ersland said, `You're not taking my life.'" The gunman "forfeited his life."
Box said that another person might have reacted differently, but he asked: "When do you turn off that adrenaline switch? When do you think you're safe? I think that's going to be the ultimate issue."
If convicted, Ersland could be sentenced to life in prison with or without parole, or receive the death penalty.
Jevontia Ingram, the 14-year-old boy accused of wielding the gun in the robbery, was arrested Thursday. The district attorney on Friday filed a first-degree murder charge against him, as well as against a man accused of being the getaway driver, and another man suspected of helping talk the teens into the crime.
The charges accuse all three of sharing responsibility for Parker's shooting death.