Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rocket Launch From Wallops Flight Facility

Rocket launch scheduled for today has been scrubbed.

 NASA's Wallops  Flight Facility persons  say that the launch has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Window tomorrow is 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Mistrial In Pocomoke Murder Trial

Written by
Jennifer Shutt
SNOW HILL -- The trial of a 19-year-old on charges he committed murder with an assault rifle ended in a mistrial, with jurors unable to agree on a verdict.

Prosecutors said they planned to refile felony charges against Skylor Dupree Harmon, 19, of Pocomoke City after the jurors in his trial told a judge they could not deliver a unanimous verdict.

Harmon had been charged with first- and second-degree murder in the death of Reginald Handy Jr. After hearing from the jury, which had been discussing the evidence for four hours, Circuit Court Judge Thomas C. Groton III declared a mistrial.

Harmon will continue to be detained at the Somerset County Detention Center until another trial date can be set, according to Deputy State's Attorney Paul Haskell.

The jurors had heard hours of testimony and a lengthy closing statement from the defense on Thursday before beginning to deliberate on a verdict.

Jurors were tasked with weighing the testimony of Rasheema Schoolfield, who testified she saw Harmon within yards of where the presumed murder weapon was found, and a few feet away from where a casing from the .223-caliber Bushmaster assault rifle was later discovered. She never told police, or testified, she saw Harmon touching any gun. The Bushmaster is on the Maryland State Police list of 45 assault weapon, and is a regulated firearm, which means anyone seeking to buy one legally in the state has to apply to the state police for permission.

Police officers testified they reviewed text messages sent to Torrance Davis, Handy's cousin, in which Schoolfield admitted to seeing Harmon with a gun. That was something Schoolfield adamantly denied on the stand during the trial.

Jurors also had to decide whether the military-style weapon found approximately 65 yards away from where Handy was shot in the back was, in fact, the gun that killed him.

A ballistics expert, Jaimie Smith, told jurors during he could not conclusively say the bullet that killed Handy had been fired from the weapon found by police. Smith is the expert who told police casings from a .380-caliber or a .45-caliber handgun were not linked to the fatal shot.

Harmon's uncle, Alexander Crippen, was originally charged with the May 2010 murder, but his charges in the Handy case were dropped before Crippen's trial. When Crippen was originally charged within weeks of the murder, police and witness testimony placed him within feet of Handy, shooting a handgun.

Police had originally believed shell casings from a .380- or a .45-caliber weapon caused Handy's death. Then Smith told authorities his analysis of the crime scene suggested those weapons were ruled out.

After the mistrial was declared, Harmon's lawyer, Sandra Fried, requested Harmon be moved from the Somerset County detention facility, where he has been housed since being arrested to the Worcester County Jail. Groton denied her motion, saying those types of decisions are left up to the warden.

Garry Mumford, warden of the Worcester County Jail, said it is "more feasible for us to house him in Somerset County." Mumford said he could not comment further because of security concerns.

Source;|newswell|text|Worcester County Times|p

James Ballard Sentenced To 30 Years

SNOW HILL — James Edward Ballard will spend the next 30 years behind bars for stabbing and killing Russell Matthew Bailey, the maximum possible sentence for his crime.

Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Groton sentenced Ballard during a court hearing Friday.

Ballard was charged with first-degree murder last fall for stabbing Bailey after an altercation in Pocomoke City. He was found guilty of second-degree murder at trial.

New Operating Hours For Worcester County Transfer Stations

 Starting July 1, 2011, new hours of operation went into effect at the Berlin, Pocomoke and Snow Hill Transfer Stations in Worcester County.

The standard operating hours are as follows:
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday - 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday – closed
  • Sunday – 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

While the operating hours at the transfer stations have changed, the services available to homeowners have not. Any resident with a valid homeowner transfer station permit may take household trash, yard waste and recyclables to the Berlin and Pocomoke transfer stations during standard operating hours. Household trash and recyclables may also be brought to the transfer station in Snow Hill; however, yard waste is not accepted at this location.

The central landfill in Newark is open to the public six days per week as follows and closed on Sundays:

Homeowners with permits - Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Commercial haulers and other cash customers – 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
For moreinformation, contact Ron Taylor, Recycling Manager, at (410) 632-3177.


Weather predicted for today:   Sunshine - Lower Humidity - Comfortable temperatures!
GREAT weather for spending the afternoon into the evening at MELSON POWER SHOW

Truck and Tractor Pulling
Lawn Mower Pulling

 200 Foot DIRT DRAG
Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the shade or take a seat at one of the picnic tables. Refreshments available for sale

Note to drivers:

Admission: $5.00 - Children under 11 years FREE!

9343 Guy Ward Road
Parsonsburg, Maryland


Friday, July 8, 2011

For The Saturday Early Riser



Saturday  July 9, 2011
7:00 AM  until  NOON

The ladies auxiliary will be selling breakfast foods and later hot dogs!


Salisbury Maryland IS NOT Business Friendly

A close friend of mine has a mechanic shop in Salisbury. His shop is joined with several other units with a adjoining neighbor that has a body shop.

About two months ago the Salisbury "Task Force" of about 8 or 9 people visited the facility to inspect the units, the "Task Force" said that they only come out when someone calls and makes a complaint. Later on the same day a man from the Salisbury "Health Department" also visited the facility to inspect the units, he also stated that he was there via a complaint that people were "urinating on the exterior of building"

Now what makes this interesting is that it's my understanding that these two business's have a neighbor across the street that also does auto repair and auto body work. From what I have gathered this person doesn't want the competition of the two tiny business's this close to his business and is doing everything he can do to run the little business's out and away from his business and that he is the person that made the complaints, that business is Kelley's auto body.

Fast forward to yesterday. Not hearing from the city in 2 or 3 months after their visit and assuming from what the task force said while doing their inspection, and what the health inspector said that he found nothing in violation, the two small business's thought everything was a-ok until yesterday. To their surprise a person from the city taped a bright orange piece of paper on the outside of each business and literally ran away after posting the piece of paper.

What was the bright orange paper? I'll get to that in a second. Let me explain how the building is set up. This is a large L shaped block building with nine units with six business's but only two that do auto repair.

Now to the orange piece of paper. The bright orange notice read,

Public Notice
This building is deemed unsafe
for public occupancy
under section ________116 #4________of the building code
of the City of Salisbury, Maryland
30 DAY VACATE                 SIGNED William Holland

 My good friend called Mr Holland to find out what this was all about, Mr Holland just kept repeating that he should get a letter tomorrow, finally Mr Holland said it was because that there were no firewalls, and people were "pissing on the building" (those were his exact words) and numerous "life threatening violations" OH PULEEEEZE!!! "life threatening violations", "people pissing on the building"??? you have got to be kidding Salisbury. Isn't it strange that the only units to receive the vacate notice were the two that are repairing vehicles?  

Now the City of Salisbury is closing down two honest very small business's because of numerous frivolous complaints from the owner of Kelley's auto body and auto repair which is a very large business. I guess Kelley's is afraid that the two little business's will take a biscuit off his plate.

Now thanks to Salisbury the big business can have his extra biscuit and several families will not be able to feed their families.  

Thanks Salisbury

A Hope For Balanced News

'If It Doesn`t Fit, You Must Acquit!' The Late Great Johnny Cochran 
By John G. Kays

Why is it that the defense called in more FBI scientists to testify than did the prosecution? Why is it that Gerardo Bloise performed more tests on the trunk of the Firebird, and comes up with nothing?

And how could Arpad Vass have been proven wrong when exclaimed: "Chloroform levels were shockingly high, unusually high!"

The answers to these questions will help to explain why the jury found Casey not guilty.

I`m playing back Jose Baez`s closing argument to see if I can isolate exactly where he clearly converted the jurors (who were unanimous) in their belief of reasonable doubt.

The most important reason is that the cause of Caylee`s death is unknown.

Baez brings up some other things too. How did she die? Where did she die? When did she die? Why did she die?

Prosecution argues it`s because she wanted to go party! Here`s their Achilles Heel. Prosecution chooses the shakiest argument they could find for Casey`s motive in killing her daughter.

This alone may have lost them the case. Family issues with George and Cindy, a burning resentment toward her parents, would be a motive I would have picked. Partying doesn`t cut it, and the jurors sensed this.

And Baez cornered George on the duct tape. George is the only one who is directly connected to the duct tape at all crossroads. And George lied about not having an affair with Crystal Holloway.

I heard the jurors were buying Jose`s relentless attacks on George. And don`t think Baez didn`t score some points when he blurted out: "This smiling guy here" comment.

A constantly smirking Jeff Ashton peeved me off endlessly and I suspect it had the same effect on the jurors. I heard Jeff`s retiring. Jose single-handedly boots the veteran prosecutor out on the street! 

And why did Dr. Garavaglia take away the Caylee case from Dr. Schultz? Why? Because Dr. Garavaglia was in close cahoots with the media and with law enforcement.

Jan could spin the case against Casey and provide `smoking mirror science,` where homicide can be determined by not calling 911, when there`s an accidental drowning.

Dr. Schultz refused to deem it a homicide, so he was removed from the case (Schultz was loyal to forensic science).

Don`t get me started on HLN. They`ve been spinning this case negatively towards Tot Mom for three years straight.

This is not news reporting, it`s pure propaganda! Cheney Mason scolded the media yesterday, bitter after all this bile and vitriol from the media.

Okay, so the defense celebrated a tidbit after their victory, they deserved it. The press is not a court. HLN is not prosecuting this case, so they have no right to do so.

This is a victory for a hope of balanced news also. The jurors knew better, knew to file away to a lost folder HLN`s ruthless spins. 

I still find it hard to believe that the prosecution used the hocus pocus video of Dr. Warren, where he finds a pic of Caylee and Casey, then proceeds to photoshop a piece of duct tape on Caylee`s mouth.

Snow-job technology that backfired in a big way. Phantom stains, phantom searches, phantom heart sticker. Autopsy? What autopsy? Dr. Spitz - discoloration in the back of the ears wasn`t present.

Therefore, it rules out suffocation. Duct tape on the face as the cause of death, out the window. Here`s some real forensic science for you!

And now people are bitter because Casey got off. How many of these people watched all the witnesses?

How many looked at all of the evidence?

And how many merely blindly tuned in HLN and (stupidly) took in a completely slanted point of view, without attempting to criticize what HLN was selling them? Very few, I must suggest.


Sex Offender Wanted By Police Turns Himself In

SNOW HILL – The Worcester sheriff's office said a 20-year-old man on the sex offender registry who was wanted for failing to tell authorities his new address after a move has turned himself in.

Delmar Cubbage, 20, of Bishopville went to the Worcester County Sheriff's Office on July 7, sheriffs said.

He was held without bond pending trial. In Maryland, registered sex offenders have to report a new address to police within three days of moving, and police post current addresses on file in a list of convicted sex offenders.

A few days ago, the sheriff's office said Edward Lee Robbins Jr., 28, of Ocean City was also wanted for failing to re-register.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111 or Maryland Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.


Navy To Cut 16,000 Jobs

Being a good Sailor just isn't enough these days.

In the era of shrinking defense budgets, the Navy is now looking to axe about 1 percent of its workforce, all from mid-level enlisted ranks, and even some close to retirement.

"I think it's a shame. Anybody with that much time obligated that they have already done, that they would have to go out," said Gunnar Godjonsson.
Godjonsson is just one of the many retired miilitary vets who frequent VFW Post 392 in Virginia Beach. The former Marine major couldn't imagine being forced out of the career he loved.

"It just shows anybody interested in military service that, hey, it's not 100%t that you are going to be able to do good and stay in for 20 years," he says.

16,000 Sailors will be on the chopping block, from 31 different jobs that the Navy has deemed overstaffed.

All will go in front of a retention board this summer, and the 3,000 at the bottom will be forced out of the service next year.

Bob Wolfarth, a retired Navy senior chief, thinks the Navy will be using more contractors to fill those positions, a mandate coming down from Washington.

"What they are doing is not taking in more military people, keep that force down, because you are talking long range, high benefits, where the contractors, they get no benefits, just get a fee," he says. "Our system is based on civilian control of the military, so yes, ultimately it is all political."

At the VFW, we met two current Sailors. They didn't want to be identified, but both have been selected for possible dismissal.

They tell us 75% of enlisted sailors in aviation groups at both NAS Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk are in danger of being cut.

And all are worried sick about what the future holds.

"I'm sure many people have to consider that, where they are at, what they are gonna do, because you go on the outside today, the jobs just aren't out there," he said.


Rural Sign Painter

Coordinator Hired To Promote Pocomoke

Alot of Pocomoke citizens are looking forward to seeing what ideas Ms. Manos has for promoting Pocomoke!

Written by
Jennifer Shutt
POCOMOKE CITY -- During a recent municipal election, the question of how to revitalize downtown and attract new investment was a hot-button issue.

Now, for the fiscal year that started July 1, Pocomoke City has hired a downtown coordinator who will work part-time to promote what the city has to offer and hopefully attract new merchants.

Angela Manos, a government and public relations specialist with 20 years of experience, will work with downtown businesses, nonprofit organizations and property owners to enhance Pocomoke City, the city government announced.

"Her experience and interest make Angela a great fit for the private-public partnership Pocomoke City has been building upon," City Manager Russell W. Blake said.

Manos will work in a part-time capacity during the next year making $15 an hour, according to Blake.

Before coming to Pocomoke, Manos worked in the Transportation Security Administration following the Sept. 11 attacks. She worked as codirector of development for the agency's first public education campaign for federalization of the nation's airports.

Manos has also worked for the Department of Homeland Security and for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"In my previous experience I worked a lot with government relations and public relations," Manos said. "Now I'm promoting the Eastern Shore and Pocomoke City. It's a different subject matter, but still falls within my experience."

Manos has already expanded the Farmers and Flea Market to Fridays and Saturdays, instead of only Fridays. She said the growing number of people attending, as well as vendors and buyers voicing support for a two-day market, fostered the expansion.

During the next year, Manos plans to promote a family atmosphere within the community by creating and enhancing several events. She also hopes the opening of a restaurant next to the Delmarva Discovery Center, built on spec by the town government, can bring and keep people downtown.

"(The new restaurant) is going to be a major thing," said Mayor Bruce Morrison. "But in order for the restaurant to succeed we have to have other events and businesses downtown to attract people."

Although an opening date has not been set, Manos said she hopes the restaurant will be able to serve a variety of cuisine at varying prices.

"We do want to make it affordable to people in the area, while still offering nice cuisine," said Manos. "We are hoping to draw in some of the boaters, who can tie up and come in to get a sandwich during the day."

Manos is not the first downtown coordinator to work in Pocomoke. The position existed until three years ago, when it was eliminated by then-mayor Michael McDermott and the council at the time.

"We didn't have the money to put someone in that position until now," Morrison said . "We thought it was very important to add this position."

The job is expected to remain part-time for the foreseeable future. Morrison said if budgets allow it, he would like to eventually make the position full-time.

"We are going to wait it out and see how things go," Morrison said.


Federal Authorities Seek email Accounts in Missing-teen Investigation

By Justin Fenton
Baltimore Sun

Authorities searching for the killer of North Carolina teen Phylicia Barnes obtained search warrants for email and Facebook accounts belonging to her and at least three other people, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

The documents, filed by an FBI special agent assigned to the state's child exploitation task force, say authorities are seeking access to the accounts as part of a child pornography investigation and sexual exploitation of a minor, though the affidavits that spell out that angle remain sealed and agencies involved in the case refused to comment.

Legal experts say the move does not necessarily mean that the case has a sex crime element, but that evidence of sexually explicit material discovered during the investigation is being used as an entry into computer accounts that could provide new insight into her death. Barnes was 16 years old at the time of her disappearance.

"They're likely using that to hammer some people on the [the potential of sexually explicit material] and will use that to hammer back and find out how she died," said Harold Copus, a retired FBI agent who is not involved in the case.

The warrants seek access to two Yahoo email accounts and one AOL email account that include Barnes' first name, along with her Facebook page, records show. The court filings show for the first time some of the secretive tactics being employed by investigators, who have been tight-lipped about the case and publicly have said they have few leads.

In the May 10 federal court filing, unsealed on June 30, FBI Special Agent Jacqueline Dougher, who works from the Baltimore field office with the state's child exploitation task force, also requested access to three other Facebook pages and four other email accounts that appear to be associated with Baltimore men. At least one is linked to a man with the same name as a man previously interviewed by police.

Police have interviewed and reinterviewed those who were among the last to see Barnes alive, and the targets of the search warrant indicate that police are not through with those people. Their identities could not be confirmed, however, and emails sent by The Baltimore Sun to the accounts listed in the search warrant were not returned.

The documents say that authorities "have reason to believe that" within the accounts there is evidence related to a violation of "sexual exploitation of children" and "distribution and possession of child pornography."

The U.S. attorney's office for Maryland, the FBI, and state and city police declined to comment.

"It would be inappropriate at this point to discuss the criminal investigation or do anything that could jeopardize the case down the road," said Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman.

Russell Barnes, the girl's father, said authorities contacted him Wednesday night to inform him that the documents had been made public. But he said officials did not offer any insight into how child pornography relates to the case.

"They said some people weren't being truthful, and they had to go get some search warrants," he said.

"They've got it wide open to see what happened."

Barnes, who was from Monroe, N.C., went missing in late December while visiting her older sisters in Northwest Baltimore.

She planned to go to college here after graduating early from high school, where she was an honors student and ran track. Authorities said she vanished without a trace, until her nude body was found floating in the Susquehanna River in April.

Maryland State Police and city police are jointly investigating, and the FBI has provided assistance since the early stages. Authorities have not disclosed how she died.

Authorities must have probable cause to obtain the search warrants based on the sexual exploitation and child pornography statutes.

"It's ordinary practice for law enforcement to get search warrants on everybody and anybody who's related to it to see if there's other evidence of other crimes," said Andrew Alperstein, a Baltimore defense attorney who is not involved in the case. But, he said, "a tip is not enough for a judge to issue a search warrant — there has to be reliability to it and probable cause that a crime occurred."

"This is a very high-profile case, and I'm sure law enforcement is using every tool available to them," Alperstein said.

Copus, the retired FBI agent, believes the new search warrants, along with the fact that Barnes' body was found nude, suggests that there is a sex crime element to her death.

"Her being nude will tie back to that eventually," Copus said.

But for now, he said, investigators are casting a "wide net."

"They've got three or four names there that may have communicated with that girl, and they're casting a wide net, trying to find out if they have something else," Copus said.


Historic Palace Theatre In Cape Charles

Admission is free however,  a donation is requested that will benefit Arts Enter Cape Charles and the Cape Charles Memorial Library.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

Worcester County Sheriff’s office
and The Maryland State Police
target criminal activity in Pocomoke City

     On June 28, 2011, members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team, the Patrol Division, and the Canine Division, along with the Maryland State Police, conducted a saturation patrol initiative in Pocomoke City, Maryland. During this initiative a total of 6.5 grams of cocaine and 9.7 grams of marijuana were seized. The following individuals were arrested and charged with the following offenses:

Gerry M. Laws, Age 25, of  Pocomoke, Maryland
On View Arrest:
4th Degree Burglary

Gil Milbourne, Age 53, of Girdletree, Maryland
On View Arrest:
Possession of Cocaine
Possession of Marijuana
Possession with intent to Distribute Cocaine

Antrea Doggett, Age 36, Pocomoke, Maryland
On View Arrest:
Disorderly Conduct
Fail to obey a lawful order

George Handy, Age 33, Pocomoke, Maryland
Arrest Warrant:
Possession of Marijuana
Possession with the intent to Distribute Marijuana

Raymond Holiday, Age 40, Pocomoke, Maryland
Bench Warrant:
Fail to pay deferred payment

Charles McBride, Age 34, Pocomoke, Maryland
Bench Warrant:
Violation of Probation

Wysheka Trader, Age 22, Withams, Virginia
Body Attachment:

Donald Dorsey, Age 29, Pocomoke, Maryland
Parole Retake Warrant:
Violation of Parole


Brothers, 3 and 4, Found Dead in Car in Wisconsin

The dead bodies of 3- and 4-year-old Wisconsin brothers were found in a parked car early Wednesday morning and the boyfriend of the children's mother was arrested, Madison police said.

The children's names have not been released and a cause of death has not been determined pending autopsies, said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. He said investigators are treating the case as a double homicide and the boyfriend is their primary suspect.

Police said the boys' 22-year-old mother arrived at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon and reported she had an altercation involving a knife a day earlier with her 28-year-old boyfriend at their apartment. Police didn't offer any further details.

The Associated Press is not identifying the boyfriend because he has not yet been formally charged. Police have not named the mother.

Several hours later, the woman returned to the couple's apartment and contacted the boys' biological father. The father told the woman that her boyfriend had picked the children up from his apartment. The boyfriend told him he was going to take the boys to meet with the mother's family and go shopping for shoes.

About 45 minutes later, the mother called police again and reported the children were missing and they were with her boyfriend. Police checked various addresses and tracked the boyfriend's movements through his cell phone, Police Capt. Joe Balles said.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, the boyfriend called police and told them he was in a vehicle with a woman who had convinced him to turn himself in.

A few minutes later he pulled into a police station parking lot and was arrested on a parole violation stemming from the alleged domestic dispute, Balles said. He didn't offer any details about the other woman.

The children weren't in the car and the search for them continued. Balles declined to comment on what, if anything, the man told officers after he was arrested.

Shortly before 3 a.m., an officer discovered a gray Volvo that police believed the boyfriend had been driving earlier in the day parked in front of a medical testing lab on Madison's east side. The officer discovered the children's bodies in the car.

Balles said the lab apparently has no connection to the case and he didn't know who owned the Volvo.
Chief Noble Wray said surveillance cameras in the parking lot show the vehicle was parked there around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Online court records show the boyfriend has a lengthy criminal record.
He was convicted of felony battery by a prisoner in 2002, fleeing an officer and disorderly conduct in 2003, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety in 2004 and false imprisonment in 2006. In that case, he accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and held her in her basement with a pellet gun.

Read more: HERE

Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected; Gotta Love Texas

The Obama administration wanted to keep this creep alive

 HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Texas executed a Mexican citizen Thursday for the rape-slaying of a teenager after he and the White House pleaded in vain for a Supreme Court stay, saying he was denied help from his home country that could have helped him avoid the death penalty.

In his last minutes, Humberto Leal repeatedly said he was sorry and accepted responsibility.

"I have hurt a lot of people. ... I take full blame for everything. I am sorry for what I did," he said in the death chamber.
"One more thing," he said as the drugs began taking effect. Then he shouted twice, "Viva Mexico!"

"Ready warden," he said. "Let's get this show on the road."
He grunted, snored several times and appeared to go to sleep, then stopped all breathing movement. The 38-year-old mechanic was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., 10 minutes after the lethal drugs began flowing into his arms.

After his execution, relatives of Leal who had gathered in Guadalupe, Mexico, burned a T-shirt with an image of the American flag in protest. Leal's uncle Alberto Rodriguez criticized the U.S. justice system and the Mexican government and said, "There is a God who makes us all pay."

Leal was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda, whose brutalized nude body was found hours after he left a San Antonio street party with her. She was bludgeoned with a piece of 30- to 40-pound chunk of asphalt.

Leal was just a toddler when he and his family moved to the U.S. from Monterrey, Mexico, but his citizenship became a key element of his attorneys' efforts to win a stay. They said police never told him following his arrest that he could seek legal assistance from the Mexican government under an international treaty.

Mexico, the Obama administration and others had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay Leal's execution so Congress could consider a law that would require court reviews in cases where condemned foreign nationals did not receive help from their consulates. They said the case could affect not only foreigners in the U.S. but Americans detained in other countries.

The court rejected the request 5-4. Its five more conservative justices doubted that executing Leal would cause grave international consequences, and doubted "that it is ever appropriate to stay a lower court judgment in light of unenacted legislation."

"Our task is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be," the majority said.
The court's four liberal-leaning justices said they would have granted the stay.

Leal's attorney Sandra L. Babcock said that with consular help her client could have shown that he was not guilty. But she added, "This case was not just about one Mexican national on death row in Texas. The execution of Mr. Leal violates the United States' treaty commitments, threatens the nation's foreign policy interests, and undermines the safety of all Americans abroad."

Prosecutors, however, said Congress was unlikely to pass the legislation sought and that Leal's appeals were simply an attempt to evade justice for a gruesome murder.

Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement that the government condemned Leal's execution and sent a note of protest to the U.S. State Department. The ministry also said Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan attempted to contact Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who refused to speak on the phone.
The governor's office declined to comment on the execution Thursday.

Leal's argument that he should have received consular legal aid that could have helped his case was not new. Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state, has executed other condemned foreign nationals who raised similar challenges, most recently in 2008.

Leal's appeals, however, focused on legislation introduced last month in the U.S. Senate by Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy. Leahy's measure would bring the U.S. into compliance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations provision regarding the arrests of foreign nationals, and ensure court reviews for condemned foreigners to determine if a lack of consular help made a significant difference in the outcome of their cases.

"Americans detained overseas rely on their access to U.S. consulates every day," Leahy said after the Supreme Court decision was announced. "If we expect other countries to abide by the treaties they join, the United States must also honor its obligations."

The Obama administration took the unusual step of intervening in a state murder case last week when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. joined Leal's appeal, asking the high court to halt the execution and give Congress at least six months to consider Leahy's bill.

The Mexican government and other diplomats also contended that the execution should be delayed so Leal's case could be thoroughly reviewed. Some also warned his execution would violate the treaty provision and could endanger Americans in countries that deny them consular help.

Measures similar to Leahy's have failed at least twice in recent congressional sessions. The Texas Attorney General's office, opposing the appeals, pointed to those failures in its Supreme Court arguments and said "legislative relief was not likely to be forthcoming."

Stephen Hoffman, an assistant attorney general, also said evidence pointing to Leal's guilt is strong.
"At this point, it is clear that Leal is attempting to avoid execution by overwhelming the state and the courts with as many meritless lawsuits and motions as humanly possible," Hoffman said.

Prosecutors said Sauceda was drunk and high on cocaine the night she was killed, and that Leal offered to take her home. Witnesses said Leal drove off with her around 5 a.m. Some partygoers found her brutalized nude body later that morning and called police.

There was evidence Sauceda had been bitten, strangled and raped. A large stick that had a screw protruding from it was left in her body.

A witness testified that Leal's brother appeared at the party, agitated that Leal had arrived home bloody and saying he had killed a girl.

In his first statement to police, Leal said Sauceda bolted from his car and ran off. After he was told his brother had given detectives a statement, he changed his story, saying Sauceda attacked him and fell to the ground after he fought back. He said when he couldn't wake her and saw bubbles in her nose, he got scared and went home.

Testifying during his trial's punishment phase, Leal acknowledged being intoxicated and doing wrong but said he wasn't responsible for what prosecutors alleged. A psychiatrist testified Leal suffered from alcohol dependence and pathological intoxication.

Sauceda's mother, Rachel Terry, told San Antonio television station KSAT her family already had suffered too long.

"A technicality doesn't give anyone a right to come to this country and rape, torture and murder anyone," she said.

In 2005, President George W. Bush agreed with an International Court of Justice ruling that Leal and 50 other Mexican-born inmates nationwide should be entitled to new hearings in U.S. courts to determine if their consular rights were violated. The Supreme Court later overruled Bush.

Read more: HERE


Breaking News Developing; Gunman Shoots Seven People Including At-least One Child

DEVELOPING: Michigan police say the suspect who they believe was involved in a brazen, mid-day shooting that left seven people dead, including a child, is currently barricaded in an apartment with two hostages.
Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, 34, called police and said he took hostages after he reportedly gunned down seven people in two Grand Rapids locations. Police consider Dantzler armed and dangerous.

Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, 34, called police and said he took hostages after he reportedly gunned down seven people in two Grand Rapids locations. Police consider Dantzler armed and dangerous.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said officers were communicating with Dantzler, who is holding a man and a woman as hostage. Neither have been injured.

The highway chase ended when Dantzler crashed his vehicle in a ditch and fled on foot while he was pursued by Special Response Team members, the Grand Rapids Press reports.

A police SWAT team truck headed toward what appears to be the location where the suspect is believed to be hiding.
Earlier Thursday, police believe Dantzler entered an apartment by kicking down the back door, the Grand Rapids Press reports. 

Police found bodies Thursday afternoon at two separate but nearby locations. The victims were described as five women, a man and a small child. They were found at two separate locations, reported the station.
Sandra Powney lives across the street from one of the homes where the shootings happened and said she had seen Dantzler at the ranch house where she said a couple, who have been there for more than 20 years, lived along with their two adult daughters.

"I've seen him there. He would come periodically," she said.
Powney said she had been at home all day and didn't realize anyone had been killed until police converged on the cul-de-sac about 3 p.m.
"For a while we couldn't come outside," she said. "They didn't know if there was someone still inside the house."
A friend of a victim told the Grand Rapids Press that the shootings likely stemmed from domestic issues.
Dantzler has previous felonies that include felony burglary, felony damage to property in 1997, and felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm in 2000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Casey Anthony: Deputies With Gas Masks Seen at Courthouse Before Sentencing

Public outrage has been building since Anthony was acquitted Tuesday of first-degree murder and other serious charges in connection with her daughter's death in 2008.

At least two deputies have arrived at the Orange County Courthouse with gas masks in anticipation of a strong reaction following this morning's sentencing of Casey Anthony.

Other officers are patrolling on horses.

Public outrage has been building since Anthony was acquitted Tuesday of first-degree murder and other serious charges in connection with her daughter's death in 2008.

Calls to the Orange County Sheriff's Office about its preparations have not been immediately returned.

About 50 people have gathered peacefully outside the courthouse this morning for today's milestone moment.
Anthony, 25, could become a free woman today.

Chief Judge Belvin Perry will decide at a 9 a.m. hearing how much jail time — if any — Anthony will serve for her recent conviction of four counts of lying to law-enforcement.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. If she is sentenced to time-served for the 997 days she's spent in jail, she could be released from jail today.

If Perry sentences Anthony, 25, to time-served, it's unclear when she would be released from the jail, or how that release would unfold.

"Due to the high profile nature of this case and intense, emotional interest by the public, appropriate measures will be taken to release the individual into the community in such a manner so as to preserve the safety of the individual and the public," said jail spokesman Allen Moore.

This kind of release would likely be similar to the 2002 jail release of Noelle Bush, the daughter of then-Gov. Jeb Bush.

Noelle Bush had a secure transfer back to the Center for Drug-Free Living for treatment. The precautionary measure was taken because her uncle was president at the time, and the nation had begun its war on terrorism, Moore said.

A 12-member jury convicted Anthony of the four charges Tuesday. The panel found her not guilty of first-degree murder, not guilty of aggravated child abuse and not guilty of aggravated manslaughter of a child.


2nd Friday Night Out In Onancock, Virginia

It's time for a Friday Night out for Onancock's monthly art stroll with shopping, dining, wine-tastings, art, kayaking and more!

 Our shops, galleries, and restaurants appreciate your continued support! Sponsored by Onancock Business & Civic Association, ~ Make a weekend of it and visit Chincoteague's Second Saturday Art Stroll July 9 (www.chincoteagueculturalal​

Friday  July 8, 2011
5:00 PM  -  8:00 PM

At the Wharf

Mallards at the Wharf
– Menti...
on “Second Friday” and get ½ off Johnny Mo’s famous mussels.

SouthEast Expeditions at the Wharf – $10 kayak rentals, Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) demo and Kids Camp registration. 757-354-4FUN.

At Historic Onancock School – 6 College Avenue
Visit the many artists in their galleries at the Historic Onancock School.

Gailearai Ealaine – Room 115A – Open 3– 8 p.m. Enter the “creative ways” to use recycled material contest. Winner of a Roseland Theatre ticket announced in September. Refreshments served. 665-4507.

Art in Life Gallery - Room 109 – New works by Rita Whittaker, Maria Gayhart, Dan Bowen, Doug Small and Rose Jeffers. Bidding starts on “Serene Sail” and a free art lesson. 665-1480
On North Street and King Street

North Street Market
– 5 North St. – 4-6 p.m. Wine tasting of four great wines, reasonably priced. Cheese and snacks served.

The Blarney Stone Pub – 10 North St. – The Americana Lovebirds will keep your toes tapping with the music of several generations. Try the rack of lamb or the Irish filet steak.

Janet’s Café – 49 King St. – will offer light, fresh and healthy dinners during Second Friday: salads, pasta, desserts and coffee. Ice Cream season is here! 787-9495

gardenART on King St. – 44 King St. – Holly Grove Vineyard revisits the garden for a refreshing Summer Wine Tasting and Tim Trout returns with “Sea Brass” jewelry and copper marine art. 787-8818

Richardson Gallery – 24 King St. – “Onancock Scenes” by various artists, including Jack himself and Dan Lawrence, showcasing the town in all its aspects. Reception for the artists with light refreshments.

On Market Street
Inn & Garden Café – 145 Market St. – Attitude Adjustment Hour 5–8 p.m. Reservations: 787-8850

Dawn – 63 Market St. – Will be open in all her glory until 7 p.m.

Great Space ETC – 61 Market St. – Have a cold beverage and see and sit in our new furniture. New fabrics, home scents, lamps, tabletop and gifts. Great square candles too!

Eastern Shore Art League Gallery – 59 Market St. – The summer themes continue with “Shore Fun.” Light refreshments served.

Red Queen Gallery – 57 Market St. – Baltimore painter Melanie Heacock, Karen Tweedie’s new jewelry designs based on lemonade, and Christine Sanders’ “fusion art.” Light refreshments served.

Crockett Gallery – 39 Market St. - Come see Willie Crockett’s new creations and get 20% off this evening! Willie is a Tangier native and an Onancock treasure.

Purls – a yarn shop – 27 Market St. – Stop in and knit with “green” yarns of corn, milk and soy.

Edward Jones – 25 Market St. – Challenge Mary McKenna and try your luck for a hole in one on the corn hole board. You may even win a prize! Refreshments will be served.

Market Street Antiques – 20 Market St. – The store is loaded with a variety of treasures. Make sure to stop by and take a peak! Refreshments served.

Reminder:  Onancock is pet friendly!  Look for the sticker in the window........