October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.
The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, police Lt. Lawrence Valliere said. Read more
October 11, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Magic Johnson says he’s outraged that a pair of Minneapolis talk radio hosts accused him of faking AIDS.
KTLK’s Chris Baker and Langdon Perry made the remarks during Baker’s conservative talk show on Wednesday.
The context for the remarks wasn’t clear. According to a partial transcript and audio clip posted on a media watchdog site, mediamatters.org, the remarks came after a caller complained about demands on workers. Perry responded by asking about treatable diseases that a person can live with for a long time “if you just get some basic drugs.”
Baker responded, “Like Magic Johnson?”
Perry replied, “Like Magic with his faked AIDS. Magic faked AIDS.”
Baker said, “You think Magic faked AIDS for sympathy?”
Perry replied, “I’m convinced that Magic faked AIDS.”
“Me too,” Baker said.
Johnson issued a statement Thursday saying he was “outraged that Chris Baker and Langdon Perry would minimize such a serious and deadly issue.”
“Millions are dying from HIV/AIDS, and the fact that they would make jokes about my status is unbelievable,” Johnson said. “Chris, Langdon and KTLK should use their power in a more positive light by encouraging people to get tested for this disease instead of making up such ridiculous lies.”
Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and retired from the NBA at 32.A KTLK program director didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.
October 8, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Almost half the members of the Opec oil cartel are considering an emergency meeting in Vienna next month as oil prices dropped to their lowest level in nearly a year.
Almost half the members of cartel have in the past few days called on the group to act to halt the slide before their next official meeting scheduled to take place in Algeria in late December.
Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Iraq, Venezuela and Ecuador, whose economies tend to be most dependent on high oil prices and whose ministers are among the most hawkish of the 13-member group, have all lobbied for the cartel to drop output.
Their calls came as oil consuming nations moved to bolster their economies in a co-ordinated interest rate cut.
Oil prices on Wednesday resumed their slide towards $85 a barrel, a level last reached in December last year.
Nymex November West Texas Intermediate fell $3.06 to $87 a barrel, while ICE November Brent slid $2.96 to $81.
Opec’s next meeting was scheduled for December 18 in Algeria, but ministers are now saying they could meet on November 18 in Vienna, site of the group’s headquarters.
Opec controls nearly 40 per cent of the world’s oil supply, and at its meeting last month pledged to reduce its production by about 500,000 barrels a day in an attempt to boost prices. So far the group’s reduction has fallen far from that mark, but slowing production often takes more than a few weeks.
The world consumes about 87m barrels a day of oil.
October 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
With a winning bid of just $1.75, a Chicago woman is getting an abandoned home in Saginaw.
The Saginaw News reports 30-year-old Joanne Smith recently was the top bidder for the home during an auction on eBay. Her bid was one of eight for the home, which she says she wants to resell.
Smith says she hasn’t seen the property or visited Saginaw. The newspaper says she also must pay about $850 in back taxes and cleanup costs.
August 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Plane Strikes Car On Interstate 40 While Attempting Takeoff
The pilot of a homebuilt Titan Tornado was killed Tuesday morning when his plane struck a car on Interstate 40 near Needles, CA.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Barstow Desert Dispatch the aircraft (type shown above) landed in the westbound lanes of the Interstate, and then attempted to takeoff to the east. The plane got about three feet off the ground before it struck the car.
The pilot was ejected from the aircraft, Gregor said, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The three people inside the sedan suffered minor injuries, but apparently refused medical treatment.
There is no information available about the plane’s origin, or why it landed on I-40. The pilot’s identity has not been released.
As of 12:30 PDT, both westbound lanes of I-40 about 10 miles west of Needles remained closed.
August 10, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Traffic was backed up on both sides of the Bay Bridge this afternoon in the aftermath of a three-vehicle crash that sent a tractor-trailer truck hurtling into the waters of the Chesapeake early this morning.
The crash, shortly before 4 a.m., left the truck’s driver dead and two people from a passenger vehicle hospitalized with injuries, officials said.
Mountaire Farms, a poultry processing company based in Selbyville, Del., owns the truck, according to company spokesman Roger Marino. He said he did not know the driver’s name or what the truck was hauling.
“It is a tragic loss for the Mountaire family, because it is a close-knit company. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” he said. “We will be assisting the authorities as we wait for more information.”
The 18-wheeler, which fell about 30 to 40 feet, was upright and its top was visible in about 10 feet of water in the Chesapeake Bay.
State engineers were headed to inspect the bridge for structural integrity and safety, said Corporal Jonathan Green of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. The bridge, which is part of US 50/301, includes two spans — a newer three-lane bridge, and an older, two-lane bridge.
Late this morning, all traffic was being routed to the newer, three-lane bridge, and delays stretched for several miles in both directions. Eastbound, traffic was snarled for eight miles, starting at the Severn River, Green said. Westbound, delays stretched about six miles, starting at exit 39.
Officials did not know how the crash happened, but the tractor-trailer’s plunge into the water damaged a 10- to 15-foot-wide section of the jersey wall of the older bridge, which is typically used for east-bound traffic. At the time of the crash, traffic in both directions was moving on the older span, while maintenance work was being done on the newer span.
Green did not speculate on how traffic might be affected later this afternoon and evening, as throngs of beachgoers return from the shore to the Washington area.
“Obviously we want to have as many lanes open as possible,” Green said. But the priority is safety, he said. “We are certainly not going to open the roadway until it’s safe,” he said.
Kellie Boulware of the State Highway Administration advised drivers heading to the Eastern Shore to take detours on Interstates 97 and 95, or Routes 13 and 1.
“It’s a slow-moving process, people are getting through, but it’s going to be a while,” Boulware said.
Crews also worked to contain a spill from the truck’s diesel fuel tank. A crane was at the scene to lift the tractor-trailer from the water.
August 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Fifty-six government employees — including a police officer, a felony court clerk, two corrections officers and 27 school bus drivers and attendants — were arrested in a scam that used health insurance information to fraudulently obtain prescriptions for the painkiller OxyContin, authorities said Wednesday.
Sixty-two people were arrested in total and all face charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft, according to the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.
Authorities estimate 130 medically unnecessary prescriptions for OxyContin — more than 12,000 tablets — were presented to pharmacies. The drugs have an estimated street value of $400,000, prosecutors said.
OxyContin is a popular painkiller, delivering an instant “high” when it is crushed or dissolved and ingested.
The scam began in January 2003, when six “recruiters” enlisted a group of people, most of them employees of local government, to participate in the ring, according to prosecutors.
Those employees provided their health insurance identification information, and with that information they obtained unnecessary prescriptions for OxyContin from another codefendant, who was a physician, authorities said.
The defendants filled those prescriptions at pharmacies and sold the pills for cash to another codefendant, authorities said.
In addition, prosecutors said, the defendants submitted claims to their insurance companies for reimbursement for the OxyContin prescriptions.
“There can never be an excuse for helping put dangerous drugs onto our streets,” said Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade state attorney. “When public employees are a part of the problem and when public medical benefits are used to make the scheme work, these are shameful events. They are also crimes.”
Nine people were missing and presumed dead and four were hospitalized Wednesday after the crash of a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter Tuesday night, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Three of the injured were contract firefighters battling wildfires, and the fourth was the pilot, spokesman Ian Gregor said. The crash occurred 35 miles northwest of Redding in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California.
The chopper had gone into a remote area to pick up firefighters, Gregor said. He identified those aboard as two crew members and 11 firefighters
It also emerged yesterday that the three men went to sea loaded with three cartons of beer, a .44-calibre rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition.
Skipper Derek “Des” Batten, 56, his best mate Peter Tunstead, 69, and his brother Jim Tunstead, 63, all of Perth, disappeared on a “trip of a lifetime” near Bowen in north Queensland in April last year.
State Coroner Michael Barnes, heading an inquest into their disappearance, yesterday watched the video as the court heard of “bullet winds”, capable of knocking the vessel drastically off keel in a sudden gust. Read more
Mason County officials have decided the scantily clad baristas at a Belfair espresso stand are erotic entertainers.
Officials say the women will have to cover up or Espresso Gone Wild will have to go.
The stand opened last month and drew complaints at the July 30 meeting of the Mason County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners sent the owners a letter saying the coffee stand is not zoned for erotic entertainment. The owners said they didn’t expect the backlash and will comply with regulations.