Saturday, October 30, 2010
We saw all kinds of scary creatures of all ages from strollers to questionable if they were of the maximum age. We were met with every type of scary monster and bogeyman imaginable from little dogs to a monster truck and everything in-between. They were all well thought-out as we saw a lot of handmade costumes this year.
Here's where we began the evening and it looks as though many others did the same.
In our travels I encountered an ice-cream sunday among the bunch of ghouls and goblin's
The ice-cream sunday was also traveling with a friend.
And as we walked through foreboding streets we came across this 'monster' truck guarding it's palace.
And the 'monster' trucks masters looking for fresh blood to feed the massive engine of the 'monster'
And as the evening sun slowly faded away (and the candy) so did the ghost, goblins, vampires, zombies, and even the sunday retreated to their lair.
We here at PPE hope everyone had a great Halloween and just a reminder, check your child's candy very good, if it's open or just doesn't look right to you throw it away because sadly we just never know what kind of people we are dealing with these days.
Don't Forget --
Trick-Or-Treat at Midway on route 13 south of Pocomoke.
Events at Delmarva Discovery Center in downtonw Pocomoke.
The Haunted Forest- sponsored by the New Church Vol. Fire Dept., Firehouse Ave., New Church, Virginia (This is really scary)
Friday, October 29, 2010
The court briefs are below to back-up what I say here. Our court system needs to hold these criminals accountable for their actions, until then the criminals know they will be on the street to commit their next crime before the arresting officer has his paperwork filled out. Something needs to change here. Not ONE person was sentenced to serve any jail time.
The following cases were heard in Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill by Judge R. Patrick Hayman on Oct. 8 and Oct. 12, 2010.
Michele L. Wilkerson, 29, of the 6000 block of Willing Drive, Salisbury, was charged with bad check/utter/non-sufficient funds/under $500 and theft of less than $1,000 value. Nol pros was entered for both charges.
Dorothy Sturgis, 36, of the 1000 block of Ellis Street, Greenbackville, Va., was charged with vehicle/rented: failure to return. Nol pros was entered.
Orval Whaley, 32, of the 500 block of Bay Street, Berlin, was charged with assault second degree. The charge was placed on the stet docket.
Derek John Wood, 27, of Bloomington, N.Y., was charged with dangerous weapon - conceal. The charge was placed on the stet docket.
Jessica Paige Therres, 20, of the 10000 block of Adkins Road, Berlin, was charged with possession of alcoholic beverage under 21. The verdict was probation before judgment.
Jessica Paige Therres, 20, of the 10000 block of Adkins Road, Berlin, was charged with malicious destruction of less than $500. Nol pros was entered.
Lakeisha Faye Salaam, 24, of the 800 block of Lynnhaven Drive, Pocomoke City, was charged with theft of less than $100. The verdict was not guilty.
Douglas Eugene Lesher Jr., 21, of the 700 block of Walnut Street, Columbia, Pa., was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia. Nol pros was entered for both charges.
Jorma John Wilson, 25, of the 1000 block of Adams Avenue, Salisbury, was charged with assault second degree. Nol pros was entered.
Randy Antonio Torres-Quinones, 19, of the 1000 block of Madison Road, Stockton, was charged with theft of less than $1,000 value and burglary fourth degree theft. Nol pros was entered for both charges.
Randy Antonio Torres-Quinones, 19, of the 1000 block of Madison Road, Stockton, was charged with theft of less than $1,000 value and unauthorized removal of property. Nol pros was entered for both charges.
Keshawn Jermaine McNeil, 26, of the 5000 block of Onley Road, Girdletree, was charged with possession of marijuana. Nol pros was entered.
Jessica Rose Weinberg, 23, of Samaritan Ministries, 800 block of Fourth Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with theft of less than $100. The verdict was probation before judgment.
Lakesha Faye Salaam, 24, of the 800 block of Lynnhaven Road, Pocomoke City, was charged with trespassing on private property. The verdict was guilty.
Zachary Alex White, 20, of the 600 block of 142nd Street, Ocean City, was charged with possession of alcoholic beverage under 21. The verdict was probation before judgment.
Arthur Lee Hemmeain, 59, of the 900 block of Clarke Avenue, Pocomoke City, was charged with alcoholic beverage/prohibited place drink. Nol pros was entered.
Marion Levstek, 73, of the 800 block of Cedar Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with theft of less than $100. Nol pros was entered.
Breon Odale Ayres, 19, of the 500 block of Bonneville Avenue, Pocomoke City, was charged with trespassing on posted property. The verdict was not guilty.
Alexander Michael Rettig, 25, of the 60 block of Cresthaven, Berlin, was charged with willfully acting in disorderly way. The verdict was not guilty.
Donovan Michael Lange, 18, of the 100 block of Louis Se Terrace, Glen Burnie, Md., was charged with possessing fictitious license. Nol pros was entered.
Visit the Eastern Shore's #1 haunted attraction!
Just a few evenings left to visit the Haunted Forest
Sponsored by the New Church Vol. Fire Dept.
" Take a stroll past the old abandoned camp site. Wander down the twisting trails. Creep through old town and the cursed cemetary but try not to wake the dead! Then join us at the twisted carnival. You will die laughing!!!!! Come face to face with your worst nightmares!!!!!"
Tonight October 29th, Saturday night, October 30th, Sundaynight, October 31st.
4264 Firehouse Street, New Church, Virginia
Open 7pm until 10pm
Admission: $7.00 per person
Food and drinks available for sale.
For more info call: 757-824-9724
SCARE YOU LATER !!!!!
Jae's Electric Service. http://www.manta.com/c/mms7ysh/
Boy they got it all wrong! Mr. Schoolfield is an associate minister and NOT "THE" minister at Georgetown Baptist Church, just ask Rev. Fletcher.
And....his 'troubles' were not several years ago....Mr. Jimmy Schoolfield is being sued by none other then, okay, here is where it gets very interesting as he's an electrician, owning his own business, which he has not acknowledged in news articles: Jae's Electric Service. http://www.manta.com/c/mms7ysh/
In Wicomico District Court, Charles Harris, Delmar, Maryland filed against Jimmy Schoolfield just a few weeks ago for four thousand dollars, and guess who Charles Harris is!
Charles Harris, IBEW Local 1307, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.....could Mr. Schoolfield belong to the IBEW since it's a union?? http://ibew1307.org/printable/node/425
Schoolfield HASN'T overcome anything. He's got the Worcester County Times fooled. He can be found anyday of the week placing bets on the horses in Downtown Pocomoke City. He was there the very day the paper was published.
Hat Tip; MsFactchecker
The state’s attorney is the critical link between arrest and conviction. Without a conviction there can be no punishment, no deterrence and no rehabilitation. Thus, public safety is compromised.
I am proud to have received the support and endorsement of all three of Worcester County’s Fraternal Orders of Police (Worcester County, Ocean City and Berlin), the Maryland State FOP, Chief Deputy Reggie Mason of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, Wicomico County FOP and Caroline County FOP. These endorsements are from the men and women who know best the importance of a strong and effective state’s attorney. Law enforcement is a team effort and these unanimous endorsements prove the need for immediate change in the State’s Attorney’s Office to increase public safety.
As your state’s attorney, I will execute an office-wide policy of prosecution that ensures individuals will be held accountable for their criminal behavior. All cases will be prosecuted with a hands-on, aggressive approach and in a manner that is firm, fair and consistent.
I appreciate your consideration on Tuesday. Together we will make Worcester County the first place you want to live and the last place you want to commit a crime.
Oglesby is a candidate for Worcester County state’s attorney. — Editor
Steve Green, Publisher Editor
In last week’s issue, a story was published on the State’s Attorney campaign between Joel Todd and Beau Oglesby.
A small part of the article touched on a Facebook page titled, “Crime Victims to Re-elect Joel Todd.” In the article, Oglesby questioned the site as a campaign tactic for Todd’s re-election bid and alleges Todd solicited comments from crime victims for political gain. Though Todd denied having anything to do with the page, there were questions raised as to why the newspaper did not print who created the page.
In fact, Lynn Dodenhoff, the mother of Christine Sheddy, who was allegedly murdered in Worcester County, started the social network page, and she adamantly confirmed this week.
Todd had nothing to do with its creation or the information contained on it. She said it was her idea to start the page and she continues to monitor it daily.
We regret any confusion.
Portz became the third city police officer to die in the past month and the first killed in the line of duty since 2007, when his vehicle crashed into the back of a firetruck last week.
Frederick H. Bealefeld III, the Baltimore police commissioner and a close friend of Portz's, eulogized the 32-year-old husband and father, as did two of Portz's fellow policemen and friends, Sgt. Kurt Roepcke and Officer Ricky Livesay.
He loved being an officer, and he was a damn good one," Bealefeld said.
Bealefeld said the 10-year police veteran had been recognized as an officer of the month and honored for helping to save the residents of a burning building.(Captain Jon Vise, American Airlines pilot, presents the U.S. Honor Flag, which flew during the recovery effort at Ground Zero in New York, to the family of Officer Tommy Portz at BWI. Portz died last week after his police car ran into the back of a fire truck. October 26,2010)
The commissioner's voice broke and he grew emotional as he described his friendship with Portz, which included practical jokes and games of ice hockey.
Livesay described Portz's dedication to his family and loyalty to his wife, Jessica, whom Portz met in his childhood at Sunday school.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and city State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy also attended the service. City police sat on one side of the cathedral, filling half of the pews available, with civilians and local officials sitting on the other side.After the closing hymn of "Onward, Christian Soldiers," the congregation let out onto the church grounds. Portz's family followed his coffin, draped in an American flag and carried by officers, out of the church. Outside, bagpipers played "America the Beautiful," and Portz's coffin was loaded into a hearse to be taken to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.
A light drizzle descended as the music ended and the police procession that would take Portz to his final resting place began.
The Dollar Tree has received one report of the bulb in a lantern overheating. No injuries have been reported.
The lanterns were sold from August 2010 to October 2010 for about $1 at Dollar Tree, Dollar Bill$, Occasions, Deal$ and Dollar Tree Deal$ stores nationwide.
Consumers are instructed to take the recalled lanterns away from children immediately, remove and properly throw batteries away and return the lanterns to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.
For additional information, contact Dollar Tree Stores Inc. at (800) 876-8077 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.dollartree.com.
A 38-year-old Rosedale woman who falsely claimed she was dying of cancer, and who a prosecutor said "ripped off person after person" to pay for nonexistent treatments, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison by a judge who called her a "professional thief."
Dina Perouty Leone, a former real estate agent whose license was revoked in 2007 for unrelated offenses, was ordered to pay restitution of $14,090 to two of her victims, each of whom had lost a parent to cancer before they went to Leone's aid.
Leone, who had astonished investigators with her lack of remorse and combative nature when they first interviewed her last year, was contrite and tearful Thursday before the judge, and said she had found religion.
"I didn't know I had a problem until this came up," Leone said. "It's not easy for me because I don't know right from wrong all the time. I just need a chance."
She apologized to her children — a son and a stepdaughter, both teenagers — and to her victims, specifically Jennifer Lynch, who had given her about $4,000 and who was sitting a few feet away. "Jen, I'm very sorry that I hurt you," Leone said. "I really am."
Lynch, whose mother died of cancer in 1983, told the court that she had provided Leone with affection, advice and money. Leone, she said, "played on my emotions for her own gain."
In handing down the 15-year term on a felony-theft charge — the maximum sentence — Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II referred to the defendant's previous convictions, including for petty theft in 1996, writing bad checks in 2004 and a series of mortgage scams in Carroll County that began about 2002, for which she was given a suspended sentence."That did absolutely nothing to deter you from going out and victimizing people again," Turnbull said. "I have absolutely no sympathy for you. In my opinion, you're a professional thief."
Upon hearing the terms of her sentence, Leone, who had been standing, fell backward into a chair, her mouth open in surprise. She then looked into the courtroom toward her father, Neal Perouty, tears welling again in her eyes. After the hearing, she was led away.
Her lawyer, John M. Hassett, had told the court earlier that "no rational person would ever conduct themselves this way," and said his client had "substantial psychological issues" that resulted in depression, alcohol abuse, violations of law, lack of remorse and behavior such as her "effort to replicate being on chemotherapy by shaving her head."
Hassett asked that his client be evaluated at the Patuxent Institute, a maximum-security correctional facility that focuses on psychotherapeutic care, and he said later that the judge had agreed to recommend it.
"We expected a severe penalty and are thankful that Judge Turnbull has provided the opportunity for Dina to receive the psychiatric treatment she needs," Hassett wrote in an e-mail. "If accepted, the program may grant parole at their discretion after a finding that the individual has progressed with treatment."
Leone's conviction in the Baltimore County case has triggered a probation violation in the Carroll County mortgage scam, meaning that she could be ordered to serve the full 10-year term in that case in addition to the time she received Thursday in Towson. Leone had served 49 days of the prior sentence.
Assistant State's Attorney Adam D. Lippe said that for months, Leone not only failed to admit responsibility for her actions but turned on the people whose trust she had violated, many of them old school friends from Dundalk and Sparrows Point, demanding that they be arrested for defaming her. "She becomes a predator," Lippe said, "and she doesn't care."
Vicky Squires, a breast-cancer survivor, said Leone's conduct should not deter anyone willing to help the truly sick. "What she did to me and others is horrible," Squires said. "However, it does not change who I am. I would still help anyone out that claimed to have cancer."
Another of Leone's targets, Jennifer R. Lasek, wife of the competitive skateboarder Bucky Lasek, gave her about $10,000 and paid for a trip for Leone and her family to the San Diego Zoo and Disneyland, the latter a "dying wish" of Leone's.
"Cancer hit home for me," Lasek, whose father died in 2007 of colon cancer, wrote in a letter to the court. "So when someone from my hometown — a schoolmate — said they were suffering the same fate, I wanted to help. I wanted to help her for my dad."
Leone, she wrote, "had a harrowing tale of needing money for treatment, the extreme pain she was in, how she wanted to do nice things for her children so they would have fond last memories of their mother before she passed." In the end, she said, it was all "scheming, manipulation and lies."
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I had what I thought was a good idea to send a mailer showing Joel in the community with other community leaders at various events - at the Blessing of the Combines, the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce dinner, Joel getting an award from the Berlin Mayor and Council, that sort of thing. He is very involved with the community all year long, not just at campaign time, and I wanted to highlight that. Something along the lines of "Joel Todd in the Community" was the original headline.
There were different fliers going to different zip codes. For example, Pocomoke residents probably don't care about Ocean City's community leaders, so some of the photos were specific to the area where they were mailed.
At a certain point I decided to change the verbiage and put in the headline "Community Leaders Support Joel". I had dozens of photos I was dealing with, so I had to go to each proof and remove certain photos for each zip code for those people who did not expressly give support or who didn't want their support made public.
Although the majority of the photos printed were those who support Joel, unfortunately, there were a few photos that should have been removed and I missed them. We have no campaign staff, so I did my own proofreading. Joel was very busy last week doing his job, and I did not want to bother him with a project that I thought I could handle on my own. As everyone knows by now, I screwed up. I was juggling several printed projects at work as well, and I just took on too much.
So, I would ask your readers, how many times have they seen a photo in the newspaper with the wrong person's name below it? Or the wrong headline above a story? This happens with printed materials all the time, even with major newspapers who have several editors read everything before it goes out.
Just a few days ago the State Election Board mailed the wrong sample ballots to voters throughout the county. If a big agency such as that could make such a major mistake, is it so difficult to believe that this was a mistake too?
There are those who are trying to use this mistake to their political advantage, attempting to deflect the issue from who is more experienced and qualified for the job. That is unfortunate because they are doing a disservices to the voters. I truly believe with all my heart that the people of Worcester County are a smart group and they will vote for who they believe is the most qualified and experienced person, and not base their decisions on photos or endorsements.
The bottom line is this: I screwed up. I made a mistake. I take full responsibility, not because I am his wife, but because I took on the project and assured him he could trust me to do it right. I let him down, and I am sorry for that. I am also sorry to those people who did not want their photos used in the context of supporting Joel. I truly feel bad if I put them in a tough spot.
This experience has confirmed what I already knew: Partisan politics is an ugly thing.
I have also learned two very important lessons from this experience: Multitasking is dangerous, and never, ever be your own editor.
A 4% tax increase would affect nearly 60 businesses and generate $500,000 to $700,000 per year according to Accomack County officials.
The tax would apply to food or drinks purchased from restaurants or caterers and includes items such as fountain drinks, cooked food sold at a grocery story for off-premises consumption, doughnuts that are not pre-packaged, alcoholic drinks served at a bar or restaurant and sandwiches sold for on or off premises consumption.
A recent poll conducted at ShoreDailyNews.com in June showed more than 80% of respondents would not support the Meals Tax Referendum.
This year, different towns are clustering trick-or-treating events for both Saturday night and Sunday, which is Halloween proper.
The Pocomoke City Police Department is scheduled to hold a candy safety checkpoint from 5-7 p.m. at police headquarters on Second Street, as well as having 10 officers on patrol throughout the town.
"We run a scanner over the candy to make sure there isn't any metal or anything else in there," said Angel Thornes of the PCPD. "Of course, we also tell them to throw away anything opened or damaged."
The Delmarva Discovery Center is scheduled to host a Halloween-themed family fund day on Oct. 30 from 12-4 p.m.
Games, crafts, prizes and creepy critters will be featured at the event, in addition to a costume contest at 2 p.m. Admittance will be $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and one child will get in free with the paid admission of an adult.
Snow Hill will celebrate Halloween from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 30, as well as a candy bag scanning at the police station on Green Street between 7:30 and 8:15 p.m., free of charge.
Children 12 years or younger may trick-or-treat with their parents in costume. But officials say no masks or costumes should disguise anyone older than 12, unless they are with children making Halloween visits.
Washington Street, between Federal Street and Belt Street, will be closed from 5-8 p.m. to ensure safety of those out in that area.
"The police have arranged with public works to have additional lighting at certain intersections throughout town," said Trish Greene, assistant to the town manager for Snow Hill. "There will also be extra officers on patrol."
In Berlin, police are encouraging people to trick-or-treat on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 5-7 p.m. Police will be available to scan children's candy at Berlin Town Hall, 10 Williams St., until 8 p.m. The Worcester County Youth and Family Counseling Services will be hosting a "Haunted Hallway" at their 124 N. Main St., office during trick-or-treat time.
The two men, who are related, do not own personal property in Accomack County and have never paid personal property taxes to Accomack County, one said.
Accomack County Administrator Steve Miner said he has spoken to one other Northampton resident who also received a letter, and he thinks there were others.
"I saw the article in the Eastern Shore News, and I was thinking, 'Oh, those poor people in Accomack County,' " said Craig Richardson, who lives near Seaview in lower Northampton County and whose mailing address is in Cape Charles.
Then he received one of about 35,000 letters sent by Accomack County informing him that his name and driver's license number were on the stolen laptop. He called Accomack County the same day to ask why.
"I couldn't get a straight answer from them as to why they have this," said Richardson, who moved to Northampton County about five years ago from Fairfax. His father, Robert C. Richardson, a Northampton County native, also received a letter.
Someone in the Accomack County Attorney's Office took his phone call and after checking with an information technology employee told Richardson the county got the information from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Richardson said when he moved to the Eastern Shore he went to the DMV office in Onancock, in Accomack County, to register his two vehicles, but his registrations correctly stated the vehicles are located in Northampton County and he has never received a tax bill from Accomack County. His neighbor, who has never used the Onancock DMV office, did not get a letter from Accomack.
"That's what made me think, anybody from Northampton County who has ever gone up to that office in Onancock, they've got your records," he said.
DMV spokeswoman Melanie Stokes said it should not matter to which office an owner goes to register his vehicle. She said she was unfamiliar with the issue of Accomack County having information about Northampton residents.
"We weren't asked to look at this ... DMV was just told what the data was; we did not look at it," she said about discussions held between the agency and Accomack County officials about the theft.
Miner said Monday in an e-mail that the county "is working with the state DMV to understand this list better."
Miner said the county has received a number of calls from people who received a letter "and had no apparent reason to be on our list, since they have not ever lived here and, hence, had no reason to be taxed by us."
But he said the county's priority was to notify those potentially affected by the theft, whether they were properly on the list or not.
This does not surprise me in the least! Keep those toll free telephone numbers nearby. You're going to need them for a long, long time. I made a phone call to the Accomack office to ask some questions and was told in so many words that calling the fraud hotline would be something the citizens would need to do every 92 days. Why every 92 days??....... so we don't have to pay for the service!
by Ryan Hughes
WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. - The race for Worcester County State's Attorney has been pushed into the spotlight.
State's Attorney Joel Todd is running for re-election and is seen in pictures with community leaders. The problem, officials say they're misleading. "You're sending out a piece to the voters that says look at these community leaders that support me, and he didn't have their permission to do it," said Lee McClaflin, Chairman of the Worcester County Republican Central Committee.
County Commissioner Bud Church is one of them. Now, officials say Todd committed a breach of trust. "He shouldn't have tried to draw other people in and use other people's political capital for his gain," said McClaflin."He had nothing to do with the final approval, he never saw it, he's busy doing his job," said Anita Todd, who designed the mailers.
Anita is Todd's wife and says she is the one responsible. She was balancing four other projects, and the final result stems from multi-tasking. "All the verbiage was the same on all of them, but I did need to make some changes with photos and I did forget to do that," said Anita.
Anita takes full responsibility and says the wording was intended to say Todd with community leaders, not community leaders support Joel Todd. Now, she hopes her mistake does not cost her husband the election. Todd himself declined to comment on the situation.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
She asks him why he is staring. He replies: 'I have a question to ask, but I don't want to offend you.'
She answers, 'My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything.
I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.'
'Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.'
She responds, 'Well, let's see what we can do about that:
#1, you have to be single and
#2, you must be Catholic.'
The cab driver is very excited and says, 'Yes, I'm single and Catholic!'
'OK' the nun says. 'Pull into the next alley.'
The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.
But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.
'My dear child,' said the nun, 'Why are you crying?'
'Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess; I'm married and I'm Jewish.'
The nun says, 'That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party.'
Hat Tip; Kack
By Jennifer Shutt
BERLIN — Worcester Republicans say they’re upset with State’s Attorney Joel Todd for sending out campaign materials falsely implying he’d gotten endorsements from key figures in their party.
Lee McClaflin, chairman of the Worcester County Republican Central Committee, held a press conference Wednesday to draw attention to recent election mailers, sent by Todd’s campaign, which showed him pictured with several people under the heading “Community Leaders Support Joel Todd.”
Many of the people on the mailers were not aware they were on it, McClaflin said, and do not endorse Todd as a candidate for re-election. Todd, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican candidate Beau Oglesby.“We are not saying, because they didn’t want to be on campaign materials, that they do not support Todd; nor are we saying that means they endorse Beau Olgesby,” said McClaflin. “We are saying it was unethical to use names and pictures in a political mailer without their permission.”
Anita Todd, Joel Todd’s wife and his campaign manager, said she is responsible for the mailer. Joel Todd never saw or approved a final draft of the flyer, she said in an interview.
“I screwed up, and should not have had those four photos under the word ‘support,’” says Anita Todd. “There was no malicious intent, no intent to misrepresent.”
Four different versions of the mailers were sent out to different parts of the county. Several prominent people from each region are featured on the mailers, including Pines police chief David Massey, Worcester County Sheriff Charles Martin, Circuit Court Clerk Stephen Hales, County Commissioner Louise Gulyas, County Commissioner Bud Church and Pocomoke City police chief J.D. Ervin.
"I don’t endorse anybody but myself,” said Gulyas, in an interview. “It’s over and done with, and it really doesn’t bother me.”
At the forum featuring 18 candidates and incumbents, State's Attorney Joel Todd defended himself from questions about photos that appeared on campaign mailers sent to voters county-wide.
"How do you ethically justify using pictures and names as if they support you in your political mailers without that person's knowledge or without their consent?" asked Lee McClafflin, chairman of the Worcester County Republican Central Committee.
"Somehow, in the haste to get that to the press, the wrong draft was sent to the printer. It was an honest mistake, nothing more," said Todd.
Todd, a Democrat, also said there were several people pictured on the mailer who did endorse him. The photo caption was supposed to say "Joel Todd with community leaders" but appeared as "community leaders support Joel Todd," he said.
Todd and Republican opponent Beau Oglesby, Deputy State's Attorney for Caroline County, traded barbs for an audience of about 50 at American Legion Post 166.
Todd, 55, touted his prosecution of three dozen murder trials and 25 years experience."Change for the sake of change is not good," he said. "The question is, how do you tell whether it's time for a change or not? I would indicate to look at the record."
Oglesby said his 14 years of experience as a prosecutor in Caroline, Dorchester and Wicomico counties has taught him the ways a state's attorney's job should, and should not, be done.
"Just because someone has done something for a very long time does not mean that it's being done the best way, and it does not means it's being done by the best person," Oglesby said. "I have a more well-rounded perspective of looking at the office."
Oglesby, 41, also touted endorsements from several Lower Shore fraternal orders of police.
"I promise you, my endorsements are genuine, and there are people who stand behind them," he said. "I suggest to you those endorsements speak volumes."
Candidates for Worcester County Sheriff also spoke. Sheriff Chuck Martin will not be seeking re-election.
Democratic candidate Bobby Brittingham, 52, a retired Worcester sheriff's deputy, said he wanted to be "proactive, not reactive" in the office.
He said he would make the issue of bullying in schools a priority for law enforcement, and would work with state and federal agencies to ensure drug dealers aren't living in publicly subsidized housing.
"Our schools and our children are suffering," he said. "They're suffering from bullying by their peers to deal drugs, to commit crimes."
Republican candidate Reggie Mason, 65, now the chief deputy for the Sheriff's Office, said his office recently formed a partnership with law enforcement in Virginia that has already yielded several significant drug busts.
"It's all about teamwork," he said. "It's not about one individual agency. We're going pull together our resources, and we're going to work hard to continue to make Worcester County safe for all."
Vehicles will be arranged to allow children to trick or treat from trunk to trunk and receive candies and goodies. Refreshments will be served and games will be played. A costume contest will be held every hour. Trick or treat bags will be provided with additional goodies inside.
To make the event a success, Midway is requesting the help of community businesses.
Any business can sponsor a trunk by decorating the trunk, providing candy for up to 750 kids and having personnel to man the trunk during the event from 1-4 p.m.
For more information, contact Talia McCleish or Andy Linton at 410-957-2222.
Three years ago, the then 15-year-old Mee developed hiccups that came 50 times a minute, causing her to miss school. Dubbed "Hiccup Girl," she tried many remedies, including medication, hypnosis and acupuncture -- all without success -- until the hiccups went away, on their own, after five weeks.
"We knew her before and during the hiccups," Kelly Cook, Mee's friend and former legal guardian, told AOL News. "I think she was mentally exhausted because of some things that were going on, [and] I feel that is how her body reacted. We took out of town one weekend and everything was fine, then all of a sudden they started to come out again.
Now 19, Mee, of St. Petersburg, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the weekend killing of Shannon Griffin. Two others, Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, were also charged in the slaying.
Cook says she is torn between sympathy for the victim's family and her belief that Mee lacks the mental capacity of a young woman her age.
"I am a mom, so I look at this as there is a mom out there without a son. But, I also look at this knowing Jennifer and knowing that her mom said that her [mentality] is [that of] a 12- or 13-year-old, [which] is totally true," Cook said.
According to Cook, the problems Mee experienced in connection with her hiccups spilled over into other parts of her life and caused her to have a difficult time in school.
"[She] didn't get to go to class anymore," Cook said. "She would go and sit in a room by herself with one other teacher ... and she did the work on the computer. ... Instead of home-schooling at home, it was inside the school in a classroom by herself. What 16- or 17-year-old wants to be doing that?"
A former classmate and friend of Mee's says she noticed a big change after Mee began receiving national media attention for her ailment, which included appearances on NBC's "Today Show."
"I used to hang out with her before she became the 'Hiccup Girl,'" Kayla Ann Labonte told AOL News. "I was the one [who] was with her the day it started. We had hung out the night before and we were great friends, but than she just drifted away. I guess [she] started to hang with people I did not like."
Mee's mother, Rachel Robidoux, told the "MJ Morning Show" on WFLZ Radio-Tampa on Monday that the hiccups became a "curse" for her daughter. She made similar statements to Tampa Bay Online, saying she noticed a "big change" in her daughter.
When the hiccup ordeal finally ended, Cook says Mee came to live with her for a brief period of time and she attempted to get the girl back on track.
"[We] tried to help," Cook said. "My sister and I were put down as legal guardians so she could go to school, [but] she wasn't going, so we called the school and took [ourselves] off as her legal guardians. You can go to jail if your kid is not going to school, ... so we told her she couldn't live with us. I feel bad because I wish I could have done more, but I have my own kids and they came first."
Cook believes Mee is naive and easily swayed to do what people ask of her.
"She would probably do anything a boy told her to do and not even ask questions," Cook said. "Even if I told her to do something, she may not ask questions. She may not even understand what I was saying but she would probably still do it."
Mee's father, Chris Robidoux, also told Tampa Bay Online that his daughter is easily manipulated. "She is not very intelligent [and] she is easily duped," Robidoux said.
Speaking on NBC's "Today Show" today, Maj. Mike Kovacsev of the St. Petersburg police said Mee had lured Griffin to a home, where the two other suspects robbed him at gunpoint. Griffin, 22, was killed during a struggle. "She ultimately admitted that she met the victim at a social networking site and ultimately made several phone calls back and forth and had him come down and meet her," Kovacsev said. "When he arrived at that location, she brought him to the rear of the residence where the other two individuals were waiting at that time. There was supposed to be a robbery, [but] obviously it went awry and our victim in this case was shot."
Kovacsev did not identify the social networking website that Mee had used but did say that it was not Facebook or MySpace, where Mee reportedly has two online profiles.
In her now-defunct MySpace profile, Mee described herself as a Christian from "St. Pistol," Florida.
"My name is Jennifer, I'm almost 19 but don't let the age fool you, the struggles I've been through has made me grown up so much," Mee wrote in the "about me" section. "I'm always havin fun chillin or vibbin to some Gucci. I'm a down a-- chick and all the others will never compare so don't try me like I'm the next hoe. I've lived in Florida for a while now but my heart is still in Vermont? I'm trying to better myself and just move on in life."
Mee's Facebook profile has not been updated since late last month. In it, she discusses partying and, on one occasion, going to a strip club.
"You can tell by looking at her [online profiles] that she is naive, but she is also just a girl who -- from things that happened to her in her past, which I assume will come out in the trial -- has an extreme need for men [and] attention," Cook said. Cook did not elaborate on those past experiences.
Labonte also believes Mee is easily influenced and said she would do whatever she thought was "cool."
"I think she just did it so she could make whoever happy," Labonte said. "She kinda was anything someone wanted. She tried to do for them [and] she didn't think for herself much."
According to Kovacsev, Mee lived a transient lifestyle before her arrest, moving from one location to another. Cook says Mee was able to support herself with Social Security checks that she received.
"I don't know [what it was for] but she had Social Security," Cook said on "Today." "She did live for a while in one apartment [and] that is when I tried to let her watch my kids again. Then [the landlord] finally evicted them for not paying and then she lived in the motel."
The last time Cook saw Mee was in August, when she went to take the teen out for her birthday.
"We took her out for her birthday and she was living at a motel," Cook said. "I tried asking her, 'Are you sure you don't want to come stay back with us?' Where [she was] staying was not good; ... it was a really seedy part of town. It just wasn't somewhere for her to be."
Mee would occasionally baby-sit for Cook, but all that changed when she went off on her own, Cook said.
"[With] the lifestyle she was living in I couldn't have her watching my kids. I couldn't stand that kind of stuff when it comes to my kids. My kids came home one time and told me stuff about her boyfriend -- stuff that was being said or done in the house while they were there -- [and] that was it. I cut her off. I didn't even call her. I called her mom and told her."
Investigators do not believe Mee was involved in the actual shooting and investigators "have an idea who handled the gun," Kovacsev told "Today."
Although police do not believe Mee was involved in the actual shooting, she is accused of being an accessory to a robbery that resulted in a death, which under Florida law, means she faces a murder charge. If convicted, she faces a possible sentence of life in prison, police said.
Kovacsev acknowledged it is possible Mee's attorney will blame her alleged involvement in the case on attention she received as the "Hiccup Girl." Kovacsev also said it is possible her lifestyle could be used by the defense.
"Hiccups are a symptom of Tourette's," Trevena told the AP, declining to elaborate about how the condition might have affected his client's behavior. Trevena also said Mee still suffers from periodic bouts of the hiccups. "They'll always continue," he said.
Mee is being held in a protective confinement wing at the Pinellas County Jail with no bail set.
"I don't want people to think that I think she is an evil person, but ... I also don't want people to think I am defending her actions," Cook said. "I do think her actions were wrong and I think she did cause him to die, but I [also] think she may have been victimized in this."
Cook added: "Crime like this, it happens all the time but nobody seems to care except for now that she is the 'Hiccup Girl.' "
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
My opponent, Reggie Mason, with his staff, has for some time been under investigation by the Maryland Attorney General's Office for violating the Hatch Act, passed in 1939 and redefined in 1993.
It states: No one shall engage in any political activity while on duty, in government office, wearing an official uniform or in the use of a government vehicle.
Photos and other evidence have appeared recently on blogs showing my opponent and uniformed deputies campaigning while on duty. Mason refuses to step forward and explain or defend himself.
Instead, he has sent his henchman to attack me personally. They do not attack my policies on crime, of which my opponent has none. Instead, they call me names. I have had more than $600 worth of campaign signs stolen from the northern part of the county in the last two weeks, which is where my opponents and his henchmen live.
To anonymous writers who criticize me and not my stance on issues? You are afraid the "good old boy" way of running things are coming to an end.
To my opponent: You hide behind your henchmen and refuse to tell voters where you stand and what you plan to do for them. Why?
To Worcester County voters: Look at your candidates well; see what they will do -- fight for you or hide from you?
Visit www.bobbybritting hamforsheriff.com and vote on Nov. 2.
In the 2007 special session, I voted against all tax increases. However, in the House of Delegates both Jim Mathias and Norm Conway took a different position and voted for HB 2. The bill contained a 25 percent increase in corporate taxes, an income tax increase, a new recording and transfer tax, and a new "combined reporting" tax on Maryland business.
Though I opposed all tax increases, the "combined reporting" tax was especially egregrious because it would damage our Maryland-based poultry companies. In my opinion, we must maintain a strong, viable poulty industry here on the lower Eastern Shore. It is a foundation of our local economy.
I encourage voters to go online to verify the voting record of all candidates. Though we can respectfully disagree as legislators, voters should know how we voted.
To view this information, go to http://mlis.state.md.us/ 2007s1/votes/house/0033.htm.
Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus
Stoltzfus will retire from the Maryland Senate, District 38, at the end of his current term in January. --Editor
Duane Hammond says it's what got him fired.
Hammond is a union stagehand who was part of the crew that built the platform for the Obama event on campus.
Hammond's son is in the Navy, currently serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H. W. Bush.
Hammond says he was not trying to make a political statement.
He says he got the sweatshirt and hat during a visit to the aircraft carrier on Family Day.
The back of his sweatshirt has a large drawing of the ship.
He says he wore it to show how proud he is of his son.
That didn't go over well with his union supervisor.
Hammond says he was told to take off the sweatshirt, or he would have to go home.
He refused. They told him he was fired from the job.
James Wright, a business representative from IATSE Local 33, says the union is still investigating what happened.
"If he was sent home because of the sweatshirt, he will be paid for the day," he said.
The United States Honor Flag will be presented to the family of Officer Tommy Portz on Tuesday. Portz died last week when he crashed his police cruiser into a city fire engine that was stopped on a highway.
The flag is controlled by a nonprofit group that transports it around the country to honor police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty.
In addition to Portz, the flag is intended to honor Detective Brian Stevenson, who was slain earlier this month, and Officer James Fowler, who died last month in a car accident.
Two other top Hussein aides also were sentenced to hang by Baghdad's High Criminal Court.
Aziz, 74, who also served as foreign minister under Hussein, was condemned to the gallows after being found guilty of "liquidating religious parties," according to the National Iraqi News Agency. Also sentenced to hang were former Interior Minister Saadoun Shaker and Abid Hamoud, the executed dictator's secretary.
All three were sentenced for organizing a crackdown on members of Iraq's Shiite majority community following a failed 1991 uprising against Hussein, Agence France-Presse reported. The former ruling Ba'ath party members will be executed after a presidential council has confirmed the sentences.
This is the third time that Aziz -- a member of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Christian community -- has been found guilty of participating in atrocities carried out during the Hussein era. In 2009, he was ordered imprisoned for 15 years for the 1992 execution of 42 Baghdad wholesalers. He also was given a seven-year sentence for his role in expelling Kurds from Iraq's north.
He pleaded not guilty on all counts.
"We've been working together as a Virginia coalition since day one when we found out the Secretary of Defense wanted to close JFCOM," said Nye in an interview. "I've met with Governor McDonnell, Randy Forbes and Bobby Scott and we've united as a team and made pretty good progress pushing back on the issue."
Nye says it is Congress' job to decide whether JFCOM stays open. He also says there have been no studies to show how much money will be saved by closing the command.
"Congress makes decisions about funding the Defense Department and anything they would like to change they have to get funding," explained Nye. "We're not going to allow them to close the command without doing an analysis that shows how it could actually save any money and how we could maintain those important military functions of JFCOM without hurting our military."
According to the most recent poll sponsored by Christopher Newport University, The Virginian-Pilot and 13 News of likely voters, opponent Scott Rigell leads Nye by one half of a percentage point. Other polls have shown Rigell's lead is much greater. Rigell has also said he will fight to keep JFCOM open.
The Oct. 8 house party, which counted around 50 youth -- many of them underage -- ended with nine partygoers being taken to the hospital with symptoms of life-threatening overdose or intoxication.
Police had initially suspected that illegal substances, rather than alcohol, were to blame for the flurry of hospitalizations. All but one of those hospitalized were women, yielding concerns over date-rape drugs.
"Everything was going fine, the music was playing, people were having fun -- and then all of a sudden all the girls were puking everywhere," Katelynn Allen, a student at the party, told KOMO News. "Girls were outside on their backs."
Those girls can thank Four Loko for their infirmity. The drink, which comes in several flavors, is one serious beverage -- and one that invites competitive imbibing sessions.
Trying to consume four of the brews is a popular goal among young drinkers, and one that usually ends early.
With 12 percent alcohol and an added caffeine boost, swilling three Loko beverages is akin to drinking 18 beers, according to estimates from Dr. Mike Reihart, a Pennsylvania doctor.
Indeed, the alcohol content of Four Loko is reflected in the blood alcohol levels of Roslyn, Wash., partygoers. They ranged from 0.12 percent to 0.35 percent.
The Food and Drug Administration is already keeping careful tabs on caffeinated alcoholic beverages like Four Loko. Earlier this year, the agency sent warning letters to several companies and is investigating the risks associated with a caffeine-alcohol combo.
But doctors are already raising a red flag about the precarious combination of caffeine (a stimulant) and alcohol (a depressant).
"When people combine the two, they tend to not feel the alcohol as much since the caffeine is keeping them more alert," Dr. Alissa Rumsey told the New York Daily News. "Yet when the caffeine wears off, then the person feels the full effects of the alcohol."
WASHINGTON – The wife of a Maryland man jailed in Cuba as an alleged spy has written to Cuban President Raul Castro to apologize and plead for his release.
Judy Gross' husband Alan Gross was arrested at the Havana airport in December 2009. At the time, he was working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the government office that provides economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide.
"I recognize today that the Cuban government may not like the type of work that Alan was doing in Cuba ... But I want you to know that Alan loves the people of Cuba, and he only wanted to help them. He never intended them, or your government, any harm," Judy Gross wrote in a letter dated Aug. 4 and first reported Sunday by Reuters. "To the extent his work may have offended you or your government, he and I are genuinely remorseful."
Gross, who was able to visit her husband for the first time this summer, wrote that when she returned home she learned that the couple's 26-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"We need him, and I need him, more now than ever before," she wrote, adding that Gross' release would be viewed "as a wonderful humanitarian gesture on the part of the Cuban people."
She also told Castro that she worried about the health of her husband. He is 61, has lost more than 80 pounds since he was arrested and has developed a problem that may result in permanent paralysis in his right leg, she wrote.
Judy Gross has denied that her husband was a spy. She has said that her husband is a veteran development worker who was helping members of Cuba's Jewish community use the Internet to stay in contact with each other and with similar groups abroad. Communications equipment he brought with him was intended for humanitarian purposes, not for use by Cuba's dissident community, she said.
Gross has not been charged, but senior Cuban leaders have accused him of spying. U.S. diplomats, meanwhile, have insisted Gross was doing nothing wrong. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for Gross' release in June, saying that his continued detention was harming U.S.-Cuba relations.
But elections are also about people -- the kind of people who want to run for federal office. And we at AOL News wanted to get a better sense of just who these people are.
So rather than asking a bunch of boring policy questions, we invited candidates for the House and Senate to answer 10 mostly fun questions. We got a response rate of about 5 percent. And while the results aren't exactly scientifically valid, they are still pretty interesting. Here's one of them:
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
According to the results, 61 percent of Democrats said they are dog people, while 37 percent of Republicans candidates said they prefer canines.
Meanwhile, 26 percent of GOPers identified themselves as cat people, compared with just 5 percent of Dems. (Keep in mind that these are not scientifically valid survey results.)
www.aolnews.com Which Political Party Is Going To The Dogs?