Wednesday, September 29, 2010
One of the more out-of-the-ordinary press conferences held in Washington this week consisted of former Air Force personnel testifying to the existence of UFOs and their ability to neutralize American and Russian nuclear missiles.
UFO researcher Robert Hastings of Albuquerque, N.M., who organized the National Press Club briefing, said more than 120 former service members had told him they'd seen unidentified flying objects near nuclear weapon storage and testing grounds. Star & Stripes quoted former Air Force Capt. Robert Salas, who was at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana in 1967 when 10 ICMs he was overseeing suddenly became inoperative - at the same time base security informed him of a mysterious red glowing object in the sky.
Robert Jamison, a retired USAF nuclear missile targeting officer, told of several occasions having to go out and "re-start" missiles that had been deactivated, after UFOs were sighted nearby.
Similar sightings at nuclear sites in the former Soviet Union and in Britain were related.
CBS Affiliate KSWT describes "Britain's Roswell," a case of unidentified phenomena in December 1980 incident near two Royal Air Force Bases in Suffolk, England.
Several U.S. Air Force personnel reported seeing a strange metallic object hovering in Rendlesham Forest near RAF Woodbridge, and found three depressions in the ground.
Speaking at Monday's press briefing, retired USAF Col. Charles Halt said that in December 1980, when he was deputy base commander at RAF Bentwaters, strange lights in the forest were investigated by three patrolmen.
Halt said they reported approaching a triangular craft, "approximately three meters on a side, dark metallic in appearance with strange markings. They were observing it for a period of time, and then it very quickly and silently vanished at high speed."
Two nights later, Halt investigated another sighting near the base when he was told by the base commander, "It's back."
Halt found indentations in the ground, broken branches, and low-level background radiation. He and his team also witnessed various lights moving silently in the sky, of one which was "shedding something like molten metal." Another shined a beam of light down towards them.
The incidents were never officially explained.
Several of the ex-servicemembers speaking Monday said when they'd brought their concern of such appearances to superiors, they'd been told it was "top secret" or that it "didn't happen."
Hastings suggested the presence of such phenomena meant that aliens were monitoring our weapons, and perhaps warning us - "a sign to Washington and Moscow that we are playing with fire," as he was quoted in the Telegraph. Hastings predicted a "paradigm shift" in the mindset of humanity owing to the existence of alien life.
"Traditional institutions such as religions, governments, other social institutions may be threatened by what is coming. That is just the logical consequence of what is about to occur."
The U.S. Air Force ended its 22-year-long "Project Blue Book" investigation of UFO sightings after investigating 12,618 sightings; all but 701 were explained, and the reminder categorized as "unidentified" due to sketchy
reports, a Pentagon spokesman said in 1997.
"We cannot substantiate the existence of UFOs, and we are not harboring the remains of UFOs," said Pentagon spokesperson Kenneth Bacon in 1997. "I can't be more clear about it than that."
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!
I, in my bathrobe
With a cat in my lap
Had cut off the TV
Tired of political crap.
When all of a sudden
There arose such a noise
I peered out of my window
Saw Obama and his boys
They had come for my wallet
They wanted my pay
To give to the others
Who had not worked a day!
He snatched up my money
And quick as a wink
Jumped back on his bandwagon
As I gagged from the stink
He then rallied his henchmen
Who were pulling his cart
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart!
'On Fannie, on Freddie,
On Biden and Ayers!
On Acorn, On Pelosi'
He screamed at the pairs!
They took off for his cause
And as he flew out of sight
I heard him laugh at the nation
Who wouldn't stand up and fight!
So I leave you to think
On this one final note-
IF YOU DONT WANT SOCIALISM
GET YOUR butt OUT AND VOTE!
Hampton police spokeswoman Allison Quinones said that city's courthouses reopened around 11:15 a.m. The Newport News Courthouse reopened at 11:45 p.m. Portsmouth remains closed.
In Hampton, police closed the blocks of King and Lincoln Streets and Pembroke Avenue surrounding the courthouses. In Newport News, police have shut down 25th and 26th streets as well as Huntington Avenue to West Street.
The headquarters will be kept supplied with campaign signs and literature as well as important voting information such as: registration forms, change of party forms, absentee ballot applications, early voting information and facts about all Republican candidates.
The phone number is 410-213-1183. Voters are welcome to stop in and pick up materials, sign up to work at the polls and/or request information.
For additional questions, contact Pat at 410-726-1234.
"It's an incredibly difficult time" for members of the aquarium staff who care for the dolphins, said Brent Whitaker, deputy director of biological programs at the aquarium. "These animals become their families. … Anybody who has an animal or a pet knows what we're talking about."
He said Shiloh, who measured 9 feet long and about 400 pounds, was not responding to treatments and had stopped eating before doctors made the decision to have her euthanized. She died in the medical pool late Sunday morning surrounded by three doctors, two veterinary technicians and eight trainers.
Whitaker said doctors who specialize in comparative medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are conducting an autopsy.
He said tests conducted over the past few months showed that Shiloh — one of the first six dolphins to be displayed in the new Marine Mammal Pavilion when it opened in 1990 — was suffering from an infection and iron storage disease. He said "next to nothing" is known about iron storage disease in dolphins, but it appeared that Shiloh was accumulating excessive amounts of iron in her liver, and treatments had begun about a year ago.
She was one of the aquarium's nine dolphins, ranging in age from 2 to 38 years. Whitaker and Sue Hunter, director of animal programs, said life expectancy for a bottlenose dolphin is about 25 years. Shiloh was captured in the Gulf of Mexico in 1981 and was estimated to be 2 or 3 years old at the time, said Whitaker. The dolphin was captured in the wild, a practice condemned by animal rights groups. Whitaker said the aquarium's policy has since changed, and "we don't condone capture of bottlenose dolphins for display."
Hunter described Shiloh as a "gentle" and "calm" dolphin who was attentive to the other dolphins and helped to raise the calves born at the aquarium, showing "very motherly behavior and instincts."
In March 1992, Shiloh gave birth to Chesapeake, the first dolphin to be born at the aquarium.
Brandon Rhode, 31, was convicted in 2000 of killing a father and his two young children during a burglary in Georgia's Jones County, state authorities said.
He was declared dead at 10:16 p.m. after an execution witnessed by family members of the condemned, a member of the clergy and a paralegal, said state prison authorities.
He made no special request for a last meal and was given a chili hot dog, fruit cocktail, round potatoes, coleslaw, carrots and a slice of cake, the authorities said.
The execution at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification prison near Jackson, central Georgia, was delayed from 7 p.m. while the Supreme Court considered a final request for a stay, said Sara Totonchi, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights.
Earlier, the state supreme court rejected an appeal for a stay. That court had granted a stay last week after Rhode was discovered in his cell having slashed his throat in a suicide attempt and was hospitalized.
"This is a particularly grizzly case. They rushed him to the hospital to revive him only to reschedule his execution," said Laura Moye, spokeswoman for Amnesty International, USA.
"He is not an innocent man but he is a human being and it is outrageous for the state of Georgia to execute him without determining his competency," Moye said in an interview.
Rhodes is the 25th inmate executed by lethal injection in the state. The drug sodium thiopental was used in the execution as part of the lethal cocktail.
The auction can be found by clicking on Rick.com and then on the "Dees Sleaze" tab. Items that have yet to sell include a signed sonogram, a diaper bag signed "Octomom" and the octuplets' handprints and baby blankets.
As of Monday afternoon the item with the highest bid, $280, was the red bikini Suleman wore on the cover of Star Magazine.
The auction and yard sale were dreamed up by radio personality Tattoo, of the Rick Dee's Internet radio show Tattoo and Crew, in a last-ditch effort to keep his friend Suleman, and her 14 kids, off welfare.The yard sale, held Saturday at her La Habra home, drew so many people that police had to close off her street to vehicle traffic.Items sold included a sofa billed as the sofa where Suleman was sitting when she first heard the news that she was pregnant with octuplets. Someone paid $150 for it. Others paid to have their picture taken with La Habra's most famous resident.
"She was very happy ... we are talking about someone who didn't have that money the day before," Tattoo said.The goal, though, is to raise $10,000. Suleman is facing foreclosure and said Saturday, while sitting on the sofa before it sold, that if she becomes homeless she will have no choice but to go on welfare. Tattoo is arranging for her to make a club appearance this weekend for money.
"At the end of the day, Nadya is an attraction," Tattoo said.He's also trying to get her a gig guest hosting on his radio show. "I'm not politically correct," he said.
A man who terrorized his estranged wife for months, threatening her with a knife and telling her she would end up in the morgue, killed the woman and four of his stepchildren during a middle-of-the-night rampage, police said Monday.
Patrick Dell, 41, and his wife, 36-year-old Natasha Whyte-Dell, had been going through a bitter divorce, and it appears he targeted her and his stepchildren, police said. However, Dell spared his biological 1- and 3-year-old children. A fifth stepchild, 15-year-old Ryan Barnett, also was shot in the house but was expected to survive.
Friends and neighbors said Whyte-Dell time after time took the man back — even though he had installed cameras to keep an eye on her and stalked her when she went to work and nursing school. She filed a restraining order against him in May after learning he was trying to get a gun.
The horror that unfolded around 2 a.m. Monday was the culmination of a lengthy dispute that came to a head Dec. 20, when Whyte-Dell said her husband came after her with a knife, slashed her tires and scratched an "X" into the concrete driveway.
He made a particularly chilling threat: "You will be going to the morgue," he told her, according to a police report. "Your family is going to cry today."
After that incident — five days before Christmas — Whyte Dell told police she feared for her life. Dell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief. But he was released hours later without bond, said Riviera Beach Police spokeswoman Rose Ann Brown.The Department of Children and Families investigated after the knife attack, but closed the case in February without removing the children, spokeswoman Elisa Cramer said.
Still, time after time, friends said Whyte-Dell took her husband back, hoping things would get better.
"She was supposed to stay away from him," Lydia Smith, a friend of the victims, said Monday as she stood in front of the crime scene crying. "He was extremely jealous, obsessive and possessive."
Dell seemed paranoid, a neighbor said, always thinking someone was against him. On Sunday, while he was at a club, he was asked to leave after making a drunken threat.
"He was talking about chopping up somebody," said neighbor Keisha Gordon, 30.
Gordon said she left the club with Dell and went to a nearby park, the last place Gordon saw him before the shootings.
A police officer was checking a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. when he heard what sounded like muffled gun shots, Riviera Beach Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said. When officers approached the home, Dell went outside and shot himself, she said.
Inside the home, officers found the bodies of the woman and her four children: 10-year-old Daniel Barnett; 11-year-old Javon Nelson; 13-year-old Diane Barnett; and 14-year-old Bryan Barnett.
The small home where the killings happened was a popular hangout for neighborhood kids, who loved using the front-yard basketball hoop and closeness to a trim cemetery across the street that often was used as a park. Just a few doors down sits an immaculate red-brick church.
On Monday, a silver chain-link fence had been tangled with yellow crime-scene tape. A black mailbox was on a post outside with a single balloon in the shape of a red heart tied to it.
Neighbors said gunshots had become an all-too-common sound in the area. Jeanette Walker, a 56-year-old hairstylist who lives nearby, said she thought nothing of the gunfire because she heard no sirens.
"They over there shooting at each other again," she remembered thinking.
The NOAA reported that the damage was 30 yards wide and one quarter mile long.
In that swath sat the remains of a mobile home off Langford Parkway. A brown recliner stood in the middle of what was the living room. It was also the spot where an 86-year-old man rode out a possible tornado.
"He was home. He was sitting in the chair, and he actually said he used his laptop to protect his head," said Assistant Chief Adam Zieger of the Eastville Fire Department.
The man walked away with just a bump. However, it wasn't until the World War II vet shut off the gas and called his family did he call 911."It was called in as a house exploded," said Zieger.
Viewers sent daylight photos to WAVY.com which showed the roof gone and the walls collapsed. Two sheds in the backyard were destroyed.
"You can see the trail through the tomato fields south of where that house is. You can see a path through the woods where the tree branches and tops of trees taken off," said Zieger.
It's not everyday nature's fury pays a visit to the Eastern Shore. Zieger said something like this hasn't happened since he was a child. "..You start seeing tree roots uprooted, pieces of the man's trailer roof," said Zieger.
The man is currently staying with his family.
Frustrated by sophisticated and often encrypted phone and e-mail technologies, U.S. officials say that law enforcement needs to improve its ability to eavesdrop on conversations involving terrorism, crimes or other public safety issues.
Critics worry the changes are an unnecessary invasion of privacy and would only make citizens and businesses more vulnerable to identity theft and espionage.
The new regulations that would be sent to Congress next year would affect American and foreign companies that provide communications services inside the U.S. It would require service providers to make the plain text of encrypted conversations — over the phone, computer or e-mail — readily available to law enforcement, according to federal officials and analysts.
The mandate would likely require companies to add backdoors or other changes to the systems that would allow a wiretap to capture an unscrambled version of a conversation.
Those affected by the changes would include online services and networking sites such as Facebook and Skype, as well as phone systems that deliver encrypted e-mail such as BlackBerry.
"The way we communicate has changed dramatically since 1994, but telecommunications law has not kept up. This gap between reality and the law has created a significant national security and public safety problem," said Valerie E. Caproni, the FBI's General Counsel.
She said the changes would not expand law enforcement authority and would involve legally authorized intercepts on calls or e-mails sent by terrorists or other criminals. The changes would allow companies to respond quickly to wiretap requests from local, state and federal authorities.
The New York Times first reported Monday about White House plans to submit the new bill next year.
Law enforcement is already able to monitor regular telephone conversations.
"In the old days, the technology was simple to wiretap," said cybersecurity expert James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "As technologies have gotten better and faster and bigger, it's harder and harder for law enforcement to intercept communications."
Lewis said law enforcement officials have long been pushing for the expanded access. He said the technology is available to make the changes and allow authorities to tap into conversations encrypted by communications companies as they move from one person to another.
Communications companies, he said, may have concerns about the costs of modifying their systems or software to allow the intercepts. The government may have to provide some funding aid.
Companies may also balk if the government tries to tell them how to alter their systems.
But Lewis said many companies are already providing similar capabilities to law enforcement in other countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Wiretapping is vital for law enforcement agencies, said Lewis, because "it provides crucial evidence that wins a lot of their convictions. As technology changes, as the Internet changes, they have to keep up or they'll lose an important tool in their arsenal."
Civil rights and privacy groups were quick to condemn the plan, warning that the administration faces an uphill battle.
"This is a shortsighted and ill-conceived power grab by some in the administration," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center. "The balance has swung radically toward enhanced law enforcement powers. For them to argue that it's still not enough is just unbelievable. It's breathtaking in its hubris."
He said that over the past 15 years — particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — the standards for warrants have been lowered. And he said law enforcement has many new technologies, ranging from biometric tracking to DNA databases, to enhance its information gathering.
Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that mandating that all communications software be accessible to the government is a "huge privacy invasion."
"Under the guise of a technical fix, the government looks to be taking one more step toward conducting easy dragnet collection of Americans' most private communications," Calabrese said. "This proposal will create even more security risks by mandating that our communications have a 'backdoor' for government use and will make our online interactions even more vulnerable."
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Monday the tax holiday will begin on Oct. 8 and run through Oct. 11.
During that time, residential consumers can save money by buying sales-tax exempt heat pumps, dishwashers, washing machines, insulation, toilets, showerheads and other products.
Items must be priced at $2,500 or less and certified as being energy efficient with the Energy Star and WaterSense designations. Used items, as well as those purchased online, also will be exempt from sales tax.
McDonnell said everyone needs to do their part to use energy more wisely and conserve natural resources.
Monday, September 27, 2010
REHOBETH — A fire that damaged three outbuildings at a Rehobeth Road property is under investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal.
The fire at 10:30 a.m. Saturday caused $250,000 in damages to two pole buildings and a masonry outbuilding on property owned by William Beauchamp III. The glow from the fire could be seen miles from the scene.
Some of the buildings housed farm equipment, vehicles, straw and hay.
Other company responding with Pocomoke Fire Dept. were: Girdletree, New Church, Marion, Princess Anne and Stockton.
No injuries were reported and the fire was brought under control in two hours.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the fire marshal’s Salisbury office at 410-713-3780.
More photos and news about all this wonderful fire department does: http://www.pocomokefire.com/
photos Pocomoke Fire Dept.
The action is the latest in a string of medical cases involving prescription painkillers, and it's also the latest salvo in a national controversy about the treatment and existence of what some refer to as chronic Lyme disease.
Dr. Geoffrey Gubb, who has a family practice in Belle Haven, was accused by the board of treating 15 patients with high-powered pain drugs while failing to monitor their condition or properly document diagnoses.
Gubb, 73, has until Oct. 16 to ask for an appeal on the matter. If he declines, the order will become final that day.
In an interview last week, Gubb said he has decided to close his family practice at the end of the month. He said he treats about 800 patients, most of whom are from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. About 600 of them have Lyme disease, he said, and many crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel from Hampton Roads to get a type of treatment that most doctors refuse to prescribe because it goes against recommended guidelines.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transferred to humans through the bite of an infected deer tick. Symptoms vary but usually include joint and muscle aches, headaches, fatigue and fever.
Most mainstream scientists and doctors say the disease, which is on the increase, can be cured with antibiotics in less than a month. But there's a group of people with long-term health problems who call their condition chronic Lyme disease. And there's a small group of doctors, including Gubb, who believe that in some cases the bacteria slip into the bloodstream and produce an ailment that can come and go, and linger for months or years.
These doctors advocate and prescribe long courses of antibiotics. Because of the ongoing pain symptoms, they say, narcotics also can be part of the treatment.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Neurology, however, say that there's no scientific evidence to support this theory, and that the prolonged use of antibiotics and prescription painkillers is dangerous.
Spurred in part by an investigation by the Connecticut attorney general, the infectious disease society appointed an independent panel to review its treatment guidelines for Lyme disease. In April, the panel concluded there was no scientific evidence to support the prolonged use of antibiotics. Further, the panel said, symptoms attributed to "chronic or persistent Lyme disease," such as fatigue and cognitive problems, are seen in many other clinical conditions and are also common in the general population.
"It would thus be clinically imprudent to make the diagnosis of Lyme disease using these nonspecific findings alone," the panel noted.
Dr. Edward Oldfield, chief of the infectious disease division at Eastern Virginia Medical Center, said diagnosing a condition that the society doesn't recognize is troubling on several fronts. One is the risk of misdiagnosis. The person's symptoms could be caused by conditions such as cancer or lupus, and a misdiagnosis would delay treatment. Prolonged use of antibiotics also can lead to side effects such as nausea and IV infections. Also, there's the cost of a treatment that scientific evidence has not shown is effective.
"It's not that these people do not have real symptoms, but that medicine does not have a solution for them," Oldfield said.
The guidelines were criticized by groups that advocate the long-term treatment, such as the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
In Connecticut, where Lyme disease was discovered in the mid-1970s, a law was passed last year allowing doctors to prescribe long-term antibiotics in treating "persistent Lyme disease" without fear of sanctions from state health regulators.
Earlier this year, the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association asked state legislators in Virginia to pass a similar bill. The bill, however, was passed over in committee after concerns were raised about whether the measure would lead to treatments that could mask - or cause - larger health problems.
"It's very disturbing to see clinical guidelines based in scientific evidence politicized," Oldfield said.
More than 100 supporters, however, showed up at a February hearing in Richmond on the matter, saying they must travel hours to find treatment for what they call chronic Lyme disease. Some said they live in fear that their doctors will be put out of business by medical regulators.
One key difficulty with Lyme disease is that the blood test used to diagnose it is not always conclusive and is riddled with false positives.
In some regards, the condition has similarities to fibromyalgia, another mysterious pain ailment that can be difficult to diagnose. Some critics regard these conditions as psychosomatic, at least in some cases, another frustration to those who suffer from chronic pain.
But the diagnostic fuzziness also provides an opportunity to abuse prescription painkillers, a problem one federal agency estimates has surged by 400 percent during the past decade.
Board of Medicine documents show that Gubb had prescribed narcotics for periods ranging from seven months to more than two years, failed to develop treatment plans, and in some cases did not examine the patient.
In one case, a patient had received narcotics prescriptions from other health care providers during the same period. In another case, Gubb prescribed narcotics by telephone.
Gubb said he has changed his record-keeping and taken a class in pain management. He also has "weeded out" people he believes were abusing painkillers.
"Pain treatment is a basic human right," he said. "Undertreatment and nontreatment of pain is malpractice, so you're damned if you do and damned if you don't."
The case came to the board's attention, Gubb said, after a Maryland pharmacist reported him when filling a prescription for one of Gubb's patients. He said it was the second time he's been investigated by the board.
Gubb and his lawyer, Michael Goodman, said they are still reviewing his options regarding the Virginia board's action. However, Gubb said he has already told his patients with Lyme disease he is closing up shop.
One of those patients, 45-year-old Lisa Lane, had been seeing Gubb for more than three years. She said she'd been struggling with pain and fatigue for about a year before that, and a client of hers suggested she see Gubb.
He diagnosed her with Lyme disease and put her on IV antibiotics and prescription painkillers. She moved from Newport News to the Eastern Shore to be nearer to him, so she was upset when she found out he is no longer able to treat her.
She ran out of pain patches a week ago. "I wake up in the night screaming in pain," she said.
Lane said she believes hers is one of the cases cited in the Board of Medicine investigation that led to Gubb's probation. "They say it's because of him writing the scrips, but I think they are persecuting Lyme doctors."
This year, however, the unusually hot and dry summer may put a damper on those colors in some areas, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region, southern New England and the South.
A number of factors that directly contribute to how spectacular -- or how mediocre -- a season might be, include current weather and the weather of previous months. The best type of weather during fall, when the leaves are in the process of changing, includes sunny, warm days and clear, cool nights with little wind. The worst type of weather includes little sunshine and mild nights, along with the obvious: wind and rain that will quickly strip trees of their leaves.
Even the best fall weather conditions, though, will only result in spectacular fall displays if the trees have been exposed to proper weather conditions during the preceding summer. Trees that have been stressed by outside influence, such as extreme heat or drought, will often quickly shut down in the fall, with leaves falling early after turning brown or only displaying only muted colors for a brief time.
Immature and diseased trees, as well as certain types of trees, are more susceptible to stress than others, so predicting how large stands will react to potential stress is an imperfect science.
Trees in large portions of the East and South, though, have been exposed to extreme heat and developing drought in recent months, so spectacular displays of vibrant foliage are unlikely.
This summer (June through August) was the hottest on record from the Deep South through the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic region to parts of southern New England, and every state in the entire eastern half of the country recorded one of its top 16 hottest summers.
Trees exposed to extreme heat might not be overly stressed if they had enough rain to compensate, but the heat was combined with a growing drought for many areas. Drought conditions, in some instances severe or extreme, extend from southern New England through the Mid-Atlantic region and into the Deep South.
While there will be pockets of trees in these regions that are less stressed because of local effects, such as more resistant trees, locally higher rain amounts or slightly cooler temperatures, it's likely that the season overall will not be spectacular.
Locations with typical early peaks in color include the higher elevations of New York State to West Virginia, where the best color is seen in late September and early October. Leaves are typically at their most colorful in the middle of October in the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region and Appalachian mountains, with peak color not likely until late October or even early November in the South.
The law, which was passed in April, requires drivers to use a hands-free device. It's a secondary offense, meaning you can only get a ticket for using your cell phone if you've already been pulled over for another violation.
The District and seven other states have similar bans, but Maryland is the only jurisdiction where it is a secondary offense.
The fine is $40 for a first offense, and $100 for a second offense.
The state already has a ban on texting while driving. Both the District and Virginia also have general bans on texting while driving, but only school bus drivers and drivers under 18 are not allowed to talk on the phone while driving in Virginia.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
NBC News film crews and the "Today Show's" Ann Curry visited the school Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday to gather footage for the feature.
"Our entire school felt an enormous amount of pride to have the 'Today Show' visit," Principal Caroline Bloxom said.
The school gained the notice of producers working on the series after being named one of the country's 10 NASSP Breakthrough Schools for its improvements in student achievement in 2008, and then being profiled on the U.S. Department of Education's website in 2009.
On the "Today Show" piece, Pocomoke Middle will be featured as an example of a successful public middle school in spite of the challenges it faces as a rural school with a high population of poverty. Curry interviewed Bloxom, while teachers and students were filmed sharing their thoughts on programs and initiatives -- such as its literacy program and Arts Immersion initiative -- that they thought made the school unique.
Bloxom, who is beginning her 11th year as the school's principal, said it was an exciting experience for her as well as the school's students and staff to have film crews at Pocomoke Middle.
"It's not every day that a national news network rolls into our school," she said.
She said students and staff were looking forward to seeing what producers chose to use for the three- to four-minute piece that would be aired on "Education Nation."
"They have an amazing amount to choose from," Bloxom said.
Although it's not known what time the piece will air on Wednesday, Bloxom said if it was during school hours the school would be tuned in. Otherwise, students will get to view the piece on DVD after it is broadcast.
“He was a loving and giving person,” said David Grant, chief of Atlantic Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co., where Clark was a life member and the company’s president.
Clark answered his final call on Friday evening at a raging brush and woods fire off U.S. Route 13 near New Church, not far from the Maryland state line.
Clark was one of two firefighters transported to the hospital. One was treated for exhaustion and released. Clark was pronounced dead at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.
His line-of-duty death shocked many friends and the larger regional brotherhood of firefighters.
Grant said an autopsy has been performed but a cause of death is not immediately known.
Clark’s funeral arrangements, which will include full firefighter honors, are being planned for late this week but had not been finalized by Sunday morning.
Units and personnel from numerous Eastern Shore of Virginia fire companies and three from Worcester Co., Md., responded to the 5:31 p.m., alarm at 3420 Lankford Highway, across from the Virginia Welcome Center.
Also responding were state forestry departments from Virginia and Maryland with a combined three bulldozers to help extinguish it. Some units and personnel stayed on the scene until 3 a.m. Saturday.
“It was a very fast-moving fire,” said Chief Danny Outten of the New Church Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co.
Outten expressed his condolences for the loss.
“He was a very good guy,” he said of Clark. “He will be greatly missed.”
“It was a bad day for the fire service.”
Clark was a longtime employee with the town of Chincoteague, working in its public works department, and was known for this positive attitude.
“Harold was a model employee,” said Chincoteague Mayor John H. Tarr. “He was just a great person to come on board and work for the town.
“He cared about the community and the people he worked with.”
Grant thanked those who have expressed condolences in the wake of Clark’s death.
“The fire company appreciates the tremendous outpouring of sympathy and support from the numerous fire companies from across Delmarva and the Tidewater region during this difficult time,” he said.
“It’s really hard.”
Officers will spend 24 total hours on the roof of Dunkin' Donuts at 119th Street in Ocean City. They were on their feet from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. yesterday, and will wrap it up today from 6 a.m.-noon.
"It's a spoof on the cops in doughnut shops thing, it is," said police spokesman Pfc. Mike Levy. "But you know what? I'll come to this Dunkin' Donuts every day because I know they support us and the community at large. I think it's going to be an awesome event."
Just shy of lunchtime, as the helicopter for television station WBOC hovered overhead, a gaggle of officers waved from the roof. Beside them was a costumed McGruff the Crime Dog, and Sparky, the Dalmatian firefighters' mascot. The costumes didn't last in the 80 degree heat.Two sheriff's deputies were in costumes of their own because they lost a bet.
Heather Horner, an administrative assistant with the Sheriff's Office, decided she would raise $500 for the event on her own. Some of the deputies didn't think she could pull it off and agreed to dress in drag on the Dunkin' Donuts roof if she did.
"They thought it was a joke," she said with a smile.
Horner worked the phones, grilled Facebook friends and hit the pavement. She raised $1,054 in less than two days.Detective Dale Trotter ended up doing princess waves from the rooftop, wearing a blonde wig, fuchsia nail polish and glittering eye makeup ---- not to mention the false bosom under his Torch Run T-shirt ---- while having a good laugh at his own expense. By 4 p.m. Saturday, officers had raised about $4,300 toward their goal, said police spokeswoman Jessica Waters, who said she was pleasantly surprised by the generosity."People come to Ocean City for a vacation, and they've already spent all this money to get here, all the money to stay here," she said. "Then they come in to get breakfast and they give to a community they don't even live in. It's nice to see people constantly give back."
John Trout, a morning DJ with radio station Froggy 99.9 took to the roof as well. He went on the air hourly to remind listeners that their donations were needed.
"We have seen hundreds of people stop in from all over the country," he said. "There's a lot of generosity out here, from young people driving in VWs to senior citizens, retired people coming up for the weekend. The Special Olympics knows no boundaries as far as age groups of people willing to give."
All seven Ocean City Council members stood on the roof early Saturday for about an hour. Councilwoman Margaret Pillas stayed, though, pledging not to leave the roof until the 20 friends she invited to donate showed with cash in hand.
She also initiated a side contest, starting at $50, to get Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino to eat a doughnut. DiPino does not partake in the glazed goodies. But, for the person with the highest bid, not only will the chief eat one, she will let someone feed it to her.
This is the second time for the promotion in Maryland, which originated among police in Illinois. Last year, the Dunkin' Donuts in Laurel, Md., and Laurel Police Department raised more than $7,000.
This year, Ocean City joins College Park, Glen Burnie, Laurel and Westminster among the Maryland municipalities with a Cops on Rooftops fundraiser. For next year's event, Levy said organizers would like to see police take to the rooftops of every Dunkin' Donuts franchise on the Eastern Shore.
He lauded Special Olympians for having the courage to go beyond their abilities, and for breaking down stereotypes and the image many people have of them.
"Some of the feats these athletes perform are amazing ---- they're amazing for everybody," Levy said. "Special Olympics gives them an opportunity to excel, and that's what we want to do for them, make sure they still have that opportunity."
Ocean City Police will welcome Special Olympics donations even after the event ends. For more information, call 443-235-4446.
Great job!! Sounds like it was great fun too!
The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend is held annually on the last weekend in September, and is recognized as one of the Top 100 Events in North America. The festival takes place along the oceanfront boardwalk, from 2nd Street to 36th Street. Over 500,000 visitors attend the festival each year.
The invitational sand sculpting competition with a cash purse of over $50,000 drew artists from 11 countries. The Neptune Festival invites participants who have competed and placed well in other respected sand sculpting competitions.
Love Never Grows Old by John Goudy by Photo credit: Meryl Ann Butler
Edith van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger of The Netherlands won $9,000 for first place in the TEAM professionals in the master's division for their sculpture, "Carpe Diem."
Edith has been a sand sculptor since 1993 and is her 4th year competing at the Neptune Festival. Wilfred has been a sand sculptor since 1989. They won 1st place at the 2009 International Sandskulpturen-festival Rorschach, Switzerland.
Carpe Diem Edith van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger (Eastt side) by Photo credit: Meryl Ann Butler
Carpe Diem also took the Sculptor's Choice and Neptune's Choice awards for Teams.
Flamenco by Jill Harris and Thomas Koet (USA) by Photo credit: Meryl Ann Butler
The second place prize for Solo Professionals ($4,000) went to Rich Varano for "Cascadia: A Sand Fantasea."
The fourth place prize for Solo Professionals ($2,000) went to "Glory Lost and Restored" by Matt Diebert.
More amazing sand art at www.opednews.com
Michael Francis Mara of Baton Rouge, La., entered his plea to two bank robbery counts Friday, and a judge set his trial for Nov. 18. Another judge ruled that the 53-year-old Mara must remain imprisoned until trial.
Mara is suspected in 25 bank robberies in 13 states, including two holdups in the Richmond area. The FBI says the "Granddad Bandit" nickname was devised to help law enforcement and the public easily identify the suspect, whose picture was posted on billboards across the country.
Mara was arrested last month after a six-hour standoff with police at his home.
"I've broken my wrist, and I've broken all my fingers and toes four or five times," says Kauchak. "This was, by far, the worst pain I've ever felt in my life."
The shark bit the Tallwood High School graduate twice in his left leg, grabbing Kauchak around the ankle, then the knee. Just before that, it had gotten its teeth into Christopher's board shorts.
"I felt something bump my leg, and I wasn't sure what it was at first, so I didn't move," Christopher tells 13News. "Then, it came back for a second shot, and I just swung down and hit it."
"When he grabbed my knee, I thought, 'Well, maybe if my board -- hopefully, I can get out of this, because, if not, I'm going right back under," says Kauchak who hopped on his surfboard. "I didn't turn around to look. I just went straight for the shore. That's the first thing I did."
Christopher was with him. The two got back to land where a friend of theirs was waiting.
"I stayed there and held pressure on his knee until the firefighters go there, 'cause I'm actually going to school for stuff like this, so it was kind of interesting. It kind of helped me out, learned some stuff at the same time," Christopher says. "Didn't really do anything else but hold there, because that was all I knew to do. That's all they taught us so far."
Paramedics arrived just after getting the call about the attack, which came at about 4:00 p.m. They took Kauchak to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
"We've had no shark sightings or any problems with sharks or anything all this season," Chief Bruce Nedelka with Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services explains. "This is very unique, very rare for us."
Their message, however, was nearly lost in a sea of American flags held by the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle club and the more than 100 people who gathered at the right-of-way to support the family and friends of the 26-year-old soldier who died in combat in Afghanistan.
For more than an hour the counter protesters waved signs and flags, screamed pro-America chants and sang patriotic tunes in hopes of shielding the church's signs and drowning out the Westboro trio's anti-America songs.
Among the family supporters was Williamsburg resident Megan Moore who held a sign that read, "Son, friend, husband, father, hero…what you done" to honor the memory of her former Bruton High School classmate.
"I want his family to know there are a lot more people out here for him than against him," Moore said.
Watching one the Westboro picketers step on the American flag upset Jerry McCardle, but it made him wave his small one even harder.
"This really makes my blood boil, she's making a mockery of the flag and the country that's giving her the right to be out here and say these things," he said.
Vehicles traveling down John Tyler Highway honked horns and gave thumbs-up signs to the crowd at the intersection, many in it wearing "God is Love" T-shirts. Smaller flags dotted the island at the entrance to the chapel. White signs proclaiming "Support our Troops" lined Eagle Way across from Jamestown High School.
The small Kansas-based Westboro congregation announced its intention on Sept. 23 to picket Weaver's service. The group is known for using protests at soldiers' funerals to claim God hates America. The news of the congregation's plans to be in James City spread quickly around the community and many people began mobilizing groups to counter protest.
The crowd at the intersection was the largest group in support of Weaver, but several other gatherings formed along John Tyler Highway.
College of William and Mary Law School student Roxy Logan stood along the road with a "God Bless our Troops" sign.
"It's disgraceful what they're doing," Logan said of the Westboro group. "This family should be allowed to bury their family member in peace."
For the most part, the church members and the counter protesters demonstrated peacefully. However, there were times when the two groups battled each other in heated exchanges.
"Go to Iraq or Iran then," shouted one woman as the church members sang one of their songs.
Another person in the crowd quickly urged the woman to keep her composure, telling her "God will judge them in the end."
"I know," the woman said.
Several officers from James City County Police Department were on hand to help with crowd control and make sure the protest remained peaceful, said Chief Emmett Harmon.
Around 2 p.m., the Westboro members packed up their signs, loaded them into a minivan and drove away.
The members departure was met with cheers and song.
"Na na na na na na na. Hey, hey goodbye," the crowd sang as the protestors drove away.