Hapeville GA July 9 2011 A tropical holiday weekend vacation ended tragically for a Hapeville family.
Edmund Diorio, his wife Sonia Torregrosa-Diorio, their grandchild Rosarito Villa Gomez, 19, and Sonia’s brother Antonio Torregrosa Sanchez, 68, are all presumed dead after the small prop plane they were flying in last Friday disappeared in a storm off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico. The body of 13-year-old grandchild Mario Villa Gomez Jr., who also was aboard the plane, already has been found.
“She was an angel,” Torregrosa-Diorio’s niece, Rose Rivera, said Friday of the 68-year-old woman.
Likewise, Edmund “Ed” Diorio’s boss remembered the 58-year-old sanitation worker fondly.
“He was a steady rock,” said Lee Suddeth, the community services director for the City of Hapeville. “If something ever went wrong, you knew not to look his way.”
A rescue mission for the passengers of the Cessna single-engine plane took a grave turn Monday when searchers found Mario’s body floating near the harbor of Yabacoa, Puerto Rican Emergency Management spokeswoman Melina Simeonides told the AJC.
“We don’t have track of any other person, so maybe they are [still] inside the plane,” Simeonides said.
The Diorios and their grandchildren traveled to Sonia Diorio’s native town of Salinas, on the southern shore of Puerto Rico, to visit with Sanchez and other family members for a two-week vacation.
On July 1, as the vacation was winding down, Sanchez, a life-long pilot, flew the five to the island of Culebra, east of the city of Yabucoa for a daylong trip, Rivera told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“But by the end of the day, no one had heard anything from them,” she said, noting that it wasn’t until Saturday that family back in Georgia became worried. “It wasn’t uncommon for them to extend a trip.”
Rivera’s cousin Sonia Villa Gomez, the children’s mother and Sonia Diorio’s daughter, began calling around for them, and eventually notified Puerto Rican authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday.
“Her world came tumbling down,” Rivera said of her cousin. “She lost both her children, her mother, her step-father and her uncle.”
In Hapeville, city workers and neighbors remained poised to help where they could. As Rivera checked the mail at her aunt and uncle’s home Friday afternoon, a city sanitation truck drove by and the driver stopped to ask if she needed anything.
“No, I’m OK,” Rivera said.
And the dependable Diorio was an uncommon, but noticeable, absence from his second job as a security officer.
“They couldn’t believe he would just miss work,” said Suddeth, who delivered the news to Diorio’s supervisors at the night job.
Suddeth said they will await Villa Gomez’s return to Georgia before they try to reach out.
“Whatever they need,” he said.
Torregrosa-Diorio was a nurse who, with her husband, had adopted eight homeless Chihuahuas that family members had to find new homes.
And Diorio’s co-worker Lemuel Eubanks said he would miss the bond they shared over brake times watching documentaries on the History Channel.
“It’s funny … he was Italian, and loved watching documentaries about the Italian mafia,” Eubanks said. “It’s a shocker to come back from vacation and hear that Ed’s gone.”
Rivera lamented that Rosarito and Mario Jr. were lost at such young ages, as those searching extended their wishes.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the aircraft passengers,” Capt. Marc Stegman, acting commander of the Coast Guard’s Sector San Juan, said in a statement.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the plane crash.
“There was bad weather [on Friday],” Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad told the AJC. “But it’s not clear if that is what caused the plane to go down.”
Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne and response boats from the San Juan boat station have continued to search, along with local authorities and Puerto Rican Emergency Management. The Federal Aviation Administration tracked the plane’s radar history to its last point of contact, approximately a mile off the Yabacoa coast.
Still, Simeonides said searchers are stymied a week after the plane went missing.
“They haven’t found any wreckage or debris,” she said.
Suddeth and Rivera, who also lives in Hapeville, agree that the passengers will be missed by more than just the family.
“To us, it’s a huge loss,” Rivera said. “But to the city it’s big, too. They knew a lot of people.”
Source:Atlanta Journal Courier
Beaumont TX July 9 2011 The Beaumont Police Department early Saturday identified the officer killed in the line-of-duty Friday night as a 36-year-old man with 10 years of service.
Police say Officer Bryan Mitchell Hebert was killed when he was attempting to place out a spike belt on Dowlen road in west Beaumont to assist in stopping a man leading other officers on a chase.
At a 4 a.m. press conference, Beaumont Police Chief Frank Coffin says his department is seeking to file a capital murder charge against the driver because witnesses say the suspect appeared to have deliberately swerved at the patrol car.
Police say the suspect was a 30-year-old man from Beaumont driving a maroon Dodge Nitro. Officers say he earlier assaulted his mother and grandmother in the 5900 block of Chisholm Trail.
Officers say the man was spotted by police near Kohl’s Department Store on Dowlen Road. The man fled, leading officers down Old Dowlen Road, onto Eastex Freeway southbound, onto College Street westbound and then back onto Dowlen Street north. The accident happened just north of Phelan.
Police say the man swerved and hit Officer Hebert’s patrol car that was parked in the center lane on Dowlen. Hebert was behind his patrol car removing a safety vest and the spike belt from the trunk when the car was hit head-on.
The suspect was last reported to be in fair condition at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth.
FROM BEAUMONT PD Press Release:
Officers were pursuing a 2008 Maroon Dodge Nitro, driven by a 30 year old white male from Beaumont. The driver had assaulted his mother and grandmother on a call at 6:00pm in the 5900 block of Chisholm Trail.
The 36 year old white male officer was in the 4000 block of Dowlen Rd and was about to deploy a stop stick when the suspect vehicle swerved and struck the officers patrol unit head on. The officer was behind the patrol unit at the time of impact and was struck during the collision.
The officer was transported to Christus St Elizabeth Hospital by EMS and died from the injuries.
The suspect was transported to Christus St Elizabeth Hospital with non life threatening injuries.
Detroit MI July 9 2011 A Canadian truck driver says he was one of two men who helped pull a Detroit police officer to safety early this morning when the officer’s patrol car burst into flames following a crash.
The Detroit police sergeant lost control of his patrol car at 4:30 a.m. on I-96 near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It struck another vehicle and crashed, an official familiar with the investigation told the Free Press.
Wally Senkow, 56, said he was hauling a load from Wisconsin Rapids to Mississauga, which is outside Toronto, when he drove up to the crash. He said another man had stopped his truck on the freeway, and as he drove closer, Senkow could see the patrol car.
He said he parked his tractor trailer about 200 to 300 feet away and ran up to the scene, where the patrol car was already smoking.
“We knew it was on its way there,” Senkow said of the growing fire. “The smoke was increasing.”
Senkow — whose hometown is Steinbach in Manitoba, Canada — said he and the other man approached the patrol car.
“Luckily, this fellow is a lot bigger than me because we had a problem getting the door open,” he said of the other Good Samaritan. The door “was rubbing against the pavement itself.”
Once the door was opened, the police officer moved his steering wheel and gestured that he wanted to get out, Senkow said. He said they moved the officer to the curb.
The other man left, and paramedics and fire officials arrived, Senkow said.
Senkow said an official with the Detroit Fire Department asked the officer questions like, “What day is it?” and “Do you know who the president is?”
“He did not know,” Senkow said of the sergeant.
Senkow said when he left the scene, about eight to 10 minutes after he first drove up, police still hadn’t arrived.
Detroit resident James Clark, 38, ran from his house to the accident scene and said he saw a man pulling on the driver’s side door to help get the officer out. The front of the car was sparking, he said.
“I think it’s going to blow!” Clark yelled.
The sergeant was released from the hospital today, police said.
He is a 17-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Eastern District, but it’s unclear why he was on the west side, according to the official, who also said the officer told police he couldn’t remember anything.
Michigan State Police are investigating the accident and were at the scene gathering evidence this morning, Michigan State Police Sgt. Nathaniel McQueen said.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The driver of the car struck by the officer’s vehicle told police he saw a small fire under the hood of the officer’s car before it became engulfed in flames, the official said.
Clark said he ran back to his house after the crash and grabbed his video camera. The car was on fire within minutes, he said.
“It burned so fast,” he said.
Source:detroit free press
Ontario Provincial Police visited a number of establishments on Canada Day and July 2nd to enforce the Private Security and Investigative Services Act.
The charges include 22 counts of working as an unlicensed security guard, 44 counts of employing an unlicensed security guard and four counts of being an unregistered business.
The OPP says two charges were laid for operating an unlicensed business entity.
Cash strapped City of Flint Michigan must pay $3.8 million in discrimination case www.privateofficer.com
The 48 current and former police officers sued the city in 2006, when then-Mayor Don Williamson formed a special unit mostly with black officers.
A three-member panel of arbitrators ruled Wednesday that race was a factor in the promotion of the officers to Williamson’s Citizens Service Bureau, and the plaintiffs were awarded a total of $2.6 million in damages and $1.2 million in attorney fees.
Individual awards to the officers ranged from $25,000 to $150,000.
“Our clients were vindicated,” said attorney Glen Lenhoff, one of three attorneys who represented the police officers. “It is a real evil in American history when African Americans are discriminated against and it’s an equally egregious evil when a white person is discriminated against.”
Flint City Attorney Peter Bade could not immediately be reached for comment.
The arbitrators’ award is likely a blow to the city of Flint’s budget. Bade has said the city has only $2 million budgeted this year in its self-insurance fund, which funds lawsuit payments among other expenses.
Many of the police officers had also sought punitive damages against Williamson, which would have come out of Williamson’s own pocket, but the arbitrators ruled that the former mayor’s actions weren’t severe enough to warrant that kind of punishment.
The arbitrators did say, however, that Williamson “failed to be open and honest in his testimony,” according to the 26-page written ruling.
“We are deeply disturbed by Defendant Williamson’s apparent refusal to honor his oath,” the ruling states. “His deception stands as persuasive evidence that he is now cognizant that his actions ran afoul of the law.”
Williamson declined to comment on the ruling or the arbitrators’ comments on Thursday.
In testimony, Williamson denied intentionally hiring black officers for the unit.
The officers sued the city for damages for lost wages, lost pension entitlement, emotional distress and attorney fees.
In addition to the award and interest payments, the city already has spent at least $300,000 defending the case, Bade has said.
The city can’t appeal the decision because the parties agreed to enter binding arbitration instead of holding individual trials because of the number of officers involved. The decision to go to arbitration likely saved the city time and money, Bade said last month.
Among other claims in the lawsuit, the officers said the mayor created the unit as an election-year ploy and to quell criticism about the lack of women and minorities in leadership positions.
At the time, Williamson said the Citizens Service Bureau officers were appointed to make the city’s police command structure more available to the public, according to Flint Journal files.
Four of the five officers Williamson chose for the bureau were black men and one was a white woman.
The bureau was disbanded in March 2008.
The city had previously lost another related lawsuit in 2009. Officer Keith Speer, who is now retired, was awarded $305,000 in damages and attorney fees after a jury decided race was a factor in the promotion of the Citizens Service Bureau officers.
BEECH GROVE IN July 9 2011 - Beech Grove is considering paying a private company to help with security at its three city parks. One in particular has been a source of concern for parents like April Smith.
Smith said her four children love to play at Bolton Park, but she usually doesn’t feel safe taking them here. She said she worries about “something happening to my babies.”
As her kids played nearby, someone shot fireworks from a truck before quickly leaving, but it’s what happens at other times, especially weekends that has her most concerned.
Smith said there are “lots of fights, hollering and screaming and some very foul language.”
Mayor Dilk’s spokesman Joey Fox, said stepped-up patrols have helped curb some of the problems, but added, “It’s starting to eat into the overtime to have them here so much.”
He said while security guards wouldn’t have enforcement powers, they couldn’t arrest anyone. They would be an extra set of eyes and ears for police.
“They would serve as a deterrent and presence in the park to let people know the city is serious about keeping them safe,” said Fox.
Hearing of the plans, Smith said, “As long as there’s security, that would make me feel safer.”
Cheryl Meierdierks, who likes to read at Bolton Park agrees. “The parks are so important. Children and families need to be protected.”
But she wasn’t so sure about one of the firms mentioned as taking on the job.
“I think it’s a conflict of interest,” she said.
That’s because city councilor Bud Templin owns Templin-Fisher Investigative Security. While the council voted this week to allow Templin to bid, on Thursday he said, “I will not be bidding on it.”
Even though Templin said he could probably provide the service at a lower cost than his competitors, “It’s not worth it personally and to my company to be involved.”
But Templin did say he hoped to advise police on how to best utilize private security patrols.
“Private security is used in other cities. It’s been used in Indianapolis parks, so I think it makes a lot of sense,” he said.
Maria Spencer, who works for a day care that sometimes uses Bolton Park, said she wasn’t sure about the plan.
“Is it nights and weekends? There’s always a way in and around. Is this more of a PR thing? I don’t know. I just think it’s sad they have to hire extra security at a park,” Spencer said.
Ten-year-old Brianna Mills said she doesn’t care who patrols. She just doesn’t want to be scared away by “the fighting, the pushing each other and cussing each other.”
Fox said the next step was to contact companies interested in submitting proposals.
“Other companies will be contacted, absolutely. It will be a competitive process,” he said.
While Fox couldn’t provide a timeline or cost estimate, he said the plan was to move quickly with the city’s Board of Works having final say.
The Department of Homeland Security has warned foreign counterparts of the potential threat, the official said, speaking on ground rules of anonymity.
Attempts to smuggle explosives onto flights in undergarments and in printer cartridges have been traced back to the al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen, but the official would not discuss the focus or origins of the latest intelligence.
But one senior Homeland Security Department official said that the new intelligence originally surfaced about a month ago and appeared to be linked to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Asked about the new concern, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said, “The idea that terrorists have been looking for other ways to circumvent security measures in order to target aircraft is not at all surprising.” He said the latest information “did not relate to an imminent or specific threat.”
Greg Soule, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Agency, said the notifications to foreign security officials and to security agencies had been made “in recent days” but would not discuss them in detail.
Representatives for several European airlines said that they had learned about the new security recommendations only from a reporter’s inquiry.
The U.S. security official said that passengers, particularly on flights into the United States, should expect an increased security presence at airports. Security had already been heightened after the killing in May of Osama bin Laden. The official would not say whether the fresh intelligence had come from materials collected at bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
One homeland security expert, James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, said that traditional security procedures, including explosives-sniffing dogs and machines, and agents studying passengers for nervous behavior, could go far to reduce such a threat.
“When dealing with explosives,” he said, “it’s very hard not to have some kind of residue that gets on your clothing.”
Music, film, televsion, Internet providers join forces to fight illegal downloads www.privateofficer.com
Under the new “Copyright Alert System,” expected to be in place within the next several months, Internet providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have voluntarily agreed to alert and, if necessary, penalize customers whose accounts are used for online theft of film, TV shows and music.
The consequences for consumers range from emailed warnings to escalating “mitigation measures” — slowing down the speed of the customer’s Internet service, for example, or limiting Internet access to a single landing page.
Cary Sherman, president of the Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America, called the measure a “landmark agreement” and an “important step forward in the evolution of the Internet.”
In Nashville, where songwriters with the Nashville Songwriters Association International held a separate news conference at Belmont University to draw local attention to the national measure, executive director Bart Herbison said illegal file-sharing and downloading has wrought “devastation” on the economic fortunes of Nashville songwriters.
“A decade ago, we had several thousand songwriters making a good living in Nashville,” Herbison said. “Today we have — maybe — several hundred. It’s a wonder we still have a Music Row out here.”
Longtime Nashville songwriter Debi Cochran said she’d had to leave the life of a full-time songwriter behind several years ago, because of a steep drop in what had been reliable royalty checks for writing hits for artists like Ronnie Milsap.
“I’d show up to songwriting sessions with my Dillard’s nameplate still on,” said Cochran, who now works full time for NSAI. “I think the public is long past the stage where anyone can pretend that downloading music illegally isn’t wrong and it doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s been heartbreaking for many songwriters in this town.”
The agreement has been years in the making and involves corporate media giants such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable, as well as the nation’s major record labels, independent film, television and music umbrella groups and the Motion Picture Association of America.
Internet service providers have long resisted taking on the role of anti-piracy enforcers, a position that has stalled an agreement before now. The new deal was ultimately brokered with the aid of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with input from the White House.
Cuomo began his involvement with copyright issues in 2008, when he took a lead role in persuading the recording industry — under the umbrella of the RIAA — to back off on a strategy of suing tens of thousands of teens and adults over illegal music sharing. The lawsuits against individuals proved to be bad public relations for the industry, criticized not only for its legal strategy but for being slow to embrace digital technologies.
Those tactics remain fresh in the minds of some local consumers who said they are suspicious of any strategy aimed at punishing consumer behavior rather than focusing on creating innovative ways to sustain the music industry.
“I don’t agree with downloading music illegally, but I do think the recording industry is continuing to protect an old business model that doesn’t work and infringes on your ability to use the Internet freely,” said Belmont University music business major Paul Skydeo.
Verizon Communications Vice President Thomas Dailey stressed on a conference call with reporters Thursday morning that his company regarded the new system as “educational in nature, not punitive.”
The new alert system may catch many customers by surprise, industry officials said.
“You can imagine parents who have kids downloading going through the painful process of getting their service back,” said Herbison, the NSAI president. “I see thousands of moms and dads who find out about this because they can’t get on the Internet. You can imagine those conversations all across America.”
Names kept private
Under the new system, the names of the subscribers identified as illegally downloading content will be kept private, barring a court order seeking their names.
The system also gives consumers the chance to request an “independent review” — at a cost of $30 — of any determination they’ve accessed illegal content.
Internet service providers remain bound by 1998 legislation known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows them to shut down websites or content that is brought to their attention by copyright holders. Other legislation currently proposed would give the federal government broader powers to shut down websites found guilty of violating copyright laws.
In Nashville, the NSAI is keeping the focus on anti-piracy measures, teaming up with Belmont University to create a new “Copyright Forum” in the next academic year.
The forum — an informal collaboration between the two groups — will include regular jointly hosted public events to discuss copyright issues, along with class visits and other opportunities for Nashville songwriters to interact with students, Herbison said.
Police say that on Thursday afternoon, one female and two male suspects shoplifted from a Sears store downtown.
While mall security tried to detain the female, one of the suspects pulled up in a green Impala and pointed a gun at the security officer, demanding the woman’s release.
The three suspects fled in the car, however Gadsden authorities located the Impala and the three suspects shortly after at 23rd and Cansler Avenue. Officers recovered a gun along with items stolen from stores all over town.
The suspects are in custody and the case is being investigated but police have not released the names of thoses detained.
However all three could face charges of armed robbery.
HOUSTON TX July 9 2011— Two people have been charged in the alleged beating of a former West Point cadet at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Efrem Holmes, 43, and Norma Harris, 63, are charged with assault.
Holmes is one of LaBelle’s bodyguards. Harris is her assistant and hairdresser.
Security cameras showed Houston native Richard King being beaten outside Terminal C in March.
King said three of LaBelle’s bodyguards attacked him.
King said he was waiting for his family to pick him up when he was attacked.
“As I was on my way out I was on the phone waiting to be picked up by my brother and that is all I remember,” he said. “I remember waking up the next morning with staples in my head. After that I had to figure out exactly what happened.”
The video shows two men begin to push King, eventually appearing to hit him and push him into a concrete pillar. King tries to get up and can’t, at least for a while, and even then he is bleeding badly.
“It was shocking… just could not believe that anything like that happened. Almost disturbing in a way,” he said.
King became the suspect, at least according to the original HPD report, the one filed by officers who appear to take pictures with Labelle before she leaves the scene.
King believes the officers were star-struck by LaBelle and that’s why they blamed him and reported the incident to West Point.
King was booted out of West Point because of the incident. The academy later said it would reconsider.
“I have sacrificed so much, and put so much into the last four years, it just seems like it is all down the drain,” he said.
King has filed a lawsuit in the case, which claims LaBelle actually ordered the bodyguards to attack him. LaBelle, members of her staff and Bush IAH are named in the lawsuit.
LaBelle and her management team have not commented on the case but she’s filed a countersuit against King.