Pooler GA Sept 9 2011 One woman died and at least eight other people were hospitalized after being exposed to an odor at a McDonald’s restaurant in eastern Georgia, a police chief said Thursday.
Police and fire personnel were called to one of the chain’s restaurants in Pooler, just west of Savannah, about 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew said.
Upon arrival, first responders found two people unconscious in the women’s restroom and also “became stricken (by) an odor,” according to Revenew.
Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons said crews “immediately backed out and put on their breathing apparatus,” at which point they re-entered the bathroom.
The stench notwithstanding, Revenew said, authorities were able to bring the women outside and begin providing medical attention, including CPR.
Nine people, including three firefighters, were transported to a local hospital. The nine included Anne Felton, 80, of Ponte Vedra, Florida, who died.
The police chief said that although an investigation is under way, authorities do not anticipate filing criminal charges.
“It appears to be an accident,” Revenew said.
The chief did not offer any other details, including the cause or nature of the toxic fumes. And in a statement released through McDonald’s corporate offices, franchise owners John and Monique Palmaccio said “authorities have been unable to determine the cause of the incident.”
The owners noted that the restaurant reopened Wednesday afternoon after authorities, following a “thorough investigation,” “deemed (the location) to be safe.”
“(We) are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” the Palmaccios said, adding that they are continuing to work with authorities. “The safety of our customers and employees has and will continue to be our number one concern.”
MANCHESTER NH SEPT 9 2011 — A Manchester man who worked as a substitute teacher at Hillside Middle School was arrested Wednesday on sexual assault charges, Manchester police said.
Chad Lawrence, 27, of 272 Grove St., was charged with two counts of felonious sexual assault. Police said Lawrence had sexual relations with a girl under 16.
The crimes allegedly took place in his car in 2007 and 2008.
Police said the investigation started in July, and warrants were eventually issued. He was arrested Wednesday at his home.
Lawrence was held at the Valley Street jail on $2,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned in Manchester District Court today.
BOISE ID Sept 9 2011 — An Ada County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a mountain lion near St. Alphonsus Medical Center early this morning.
A security guard reported the animal on the grounds of the hospital at about 3:15 a.m., police report.
Boise police and sheriff’s deputies were already nearby searching for the cat after previous reports of the animal in the area. Officers were able to corner the mountain lion against a fence in a parking lot adjacent to the connector, police report. Because of the immanent threat to public safety, the animal was shot two times from a distance of about 20 to 25 feet.
The Ada County Sheriff’s sergeant who shot the mountain lion spotted the animal crouched near some shrubbery along a fence near the Boise Interstate connector, according to a sheriff’s office statement. The animal appeared to be positioned to pounce. In order to protect himself, another officer and Saint Alphonsus security staff who were nearby, the sergeant fired two rounds from his duty weapon. The mountain lion died instantly.
An Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officer picked up the mountain lion not long after it was shot. The conservation officer says it appeared to be a juvenile male cat with an estimated weight of 80 pounds, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office reports.
ATLANTA GA Sept 9 2011 — Atlanta police say three men who attempted to steal over 200 gallons of diesel fuel were arrested late Wednesday night.
It happened at an Exxon station on Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard SW.
The station manager noticed a pickup truck carrying two 55 gallon drums sitting at a pump for more than 15 minutes, according to Atlanta Police Captain Van Hobbs. Later, a tow truck pulled up to the same pump. That’s when the manager called police to investigate.
When a police officer arrived, he detained the occupants of the tow truck, then spotted the pickup with the drums still on the back and pulled it over.
Police say the men were working together and had manipulated the pump to prevent it from registering the dispensing of the fuel.
All three were charged with theft by taking and may face additional charges.
BRUNSWICK, Ga.Sept 9 2011 — Federal authorities have opened a new training center in Georgia to prepare special agents and officers to enforce immigration and customs laws.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center director Connie Patrick opened the ICE Academy during a ceremony Wednesday.
The ICE Academy and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center collaborated on the $2.5 million renovation. The new complex houses four computer labs, nine classrooms and two electronics labs.
Santa Cruz CA Sept 9 2011 Police spokesman Zach Friend said security officers for the Santa Cruz Seaside Co. responded to a report of several subjects fighting on the street a few blocks from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
The company runs the amusement park and other surrounding businesses, including two hotels.
Security officers reported that they contacted three men involved in the fight and that one had a knife, which he brandished at them and refused to drop, Friend said.
Police secured the knife and arrested 38-year-old transient Dan O’Reilly, Friend said.
O’Reilly allegedly had begun swinging the knife at two other men after the fight escalated, Friend said.
He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing and fighting in public, he said.
His apparent combatants — Eduardo Garcia, a 37-year-old transient, and Aaron Shaffer, 31, of Utah — were arrested on suspicion of fighting in public and public intoxication, Friend said.
“Seaside security did a remarkable job de-escalating a potentially dangerous situation,” he said. “Without their quick intervention, the fight could have taken a turn for the worse.”
Waukegan, Ill. Sept 9 2011 – Miguel Juarez Middle School art teacher Joshua Rich is accused of viewing child pornography on his school computer during class at his north suburban middle school, and police are warning parents to ask their children about inappropriate behavior.
Rich, 53, an art teacher at Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan, was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of child pornography, according to Waukegan police. Rich has been with the school district for about 13 years.
Chief Daniel Greathouse said the investigation continues and “at this point we don’t have any information that any school children were victimized … However, I want to make it clear to all parents to speak to their children, and if anyone has any questions or fears a child was victimized, to contact the police department right away.”
Police were contacted by school district administrators after the middle school’s I.T. department noticed suspicious suspicious computer activity, a release from police said.
A school investigation determined Rich was using his classroom computer to access child porn websites, the release said. The school’s web filter was working, but Rich was able to shortcut the system by bringing his own flash drive with its own web browser, permitting him to bypass the school’s browser.
Rich was arrested without incident and detectives confiscated his flash drive, where they found a video containing child pornography. Police also executed a search warrant at Rich’s Libertyville home and removed his computers.
Rich allegedly provided a written statement admitting his involvement, but denied any wrongdoing involving students while working at the school.
Greathouse said, “I am not buying that this revolting behavior just started a year ago. No one initiates such a despicable behavior at his place of employment, without a precipitating event.”
Rich of of the 100 block of Austin Street in Libertyville, is being held in the Lake County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Washington DC Sept 9 2011 The D.C. police department has instituted an online reporting system that allows the public to alert authorities to suspected terrorist activity.
The program, announced Wednesday, is called iWATCHDC, and is described by police as “the next evolution in an integrated terrorism-prevention plan” that involves other forms of intelligence-gathering.
Users can log onto to iwatchdc.dc.gov and file detailed reports, including photos, of any suspicious activity they observe. The Web site contains information about how to prepare the reports and says they should take less than five minutes to complete.
“You will be prompted to enter your contact information so that a member of the Metropolitan Police Department may contact you to follow up with any additional questions about what you’ve witnessed,” the department said, adding that “every report is reviewed by analysts.”
“We encourage anyone who witnesses what appears to be suspicious or out of the ordinary activity to report this by using iWATCHDC or calling 911,” said Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in a statement. “Even though the activity may seem insignificant, it may just be the piece of information that is needed to get a clearer picture of a potential terrorist plot or criminal activity.”
Officer Stathers and his family were on their way back from vacation when a tire blew out from their 2004 GMC Envoy at around 3:55 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1. Stathers lost control of the vehicle after the blowout and the car rolled over several times on I-65 about 12 miles north of Prattville.
Stather’s 8-year-old son Shane Stathers was killed in the wreck. The accident also left Stathers’ wife Kristi Stathers and her sister with minor injuries, and Officer Stathers in critical condition.
Stathers was treated for a serious head injury in a Montgomery hospital and was transferred to UAB during the week of August 8.
Stathers died from his injuries sustained in the wreck this afternoon, confirmed Kimberly Mayor Craig Harris.
Information about his funeral services will be added to this story when they are announced.
FORT PIERCE, Fla.Sept 9 2011 — Police arrested a suspected shoplifter Tuesday they say was part of an organized effort to use receipts to steal store merchandise.
Michael Anthony Walters and an accomplice were seen buying sheet sets and Leap Frog toys from a Walmart on Okeechobee Road, then returning the items for $72 cash. The Walters was seen returning to the store sheet section, picking up similar but more expensive items worth $244 and then exiting the store without paying for them.
Police searched Walters’ vehicle and reported finding $600 in similar merchandise apparently stolen from a Walmart in Port St. Lucie earlier.
Walters was charged with organized scheme to defraud and grand theft. Michael was eventually transported to St. Lucie County jail.
FRIENDSWOOD, TX Sept 9 2011 – A local teacher has been arrested on drug charges, along with two other people.
Friendswood police arrested Timothy Todd Porter, 45, of League City, for delivery of a controlled substance, involving steroids and cocaine. He was arrested at his League City home around 6:30am Wednesday.
Porter’s charges include three felony delivery of a controlled substance charges in Harris and Galveston counties. A $10,000 bond has been set on the Galveston County charge. Bond information relating to the Harris County charges is pending.
Two other men are also in custody and have been charged. Geoffrey Winlock Taunton, 45, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and Joshua Todd Decker, 21, is charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. Taunton was stopped as he was leaving Porter’s home and Decker was inside the house when the search warrant was served. An 18-year-old Friendswood Clear Springs student, who arrived at the residence driving Porter’s vehicle, was released without charges.
Friendswood police say Porter is a physics teacher and volleyball coach at Clear Springs High School. Internet websites also indicate that Porter is involved with local area youth volleyball programs and clubs.
Following the local arrests in League City, US Drug Enforcement agents in Dallas executed a search warrant at a Dallas area compounding pharmacy connected to the case. Around 9:30am, federal agents raided the Healing Hands Compounding Pharmacy located in Murphy, Texas. The Healing Hands Compounding Pharmacy website lists Joe Gallucci, R, Ph, as the pharmacist/owner and Michael Morgan, as the business manager/owner. Police say the pharmacy will be the focus of a continuing federal investigation and it is possible that some officials at the company could face federal charges.
The Friendswood Police Department urges parents to talk with their high school age children to determine if any improper student-educator relationships may exist, including possible steroid use and sales involving student athletes. Parents are urged to contact Officer Lisa Price at 281-996-3313.
SALEM MA Sept 9 2011 — An employee of Target on Highland Avenue found herself a target when store security personnel began to suspect she was stealing from the retail chain’s “cash room.”
According to police, Sandra Flanagan, 43, of 1 Bradstreet Ave., Danvers, wrote and signed an “admission,” confessing to stealing what she thought was as much as $6,000 over a three-month period. She has been charged with larceny over $250.
Target security personnel, who said they kept careful track of the losses, including dates and amounts, believe the amount stolen was closer to $5,300. Their investigation began in mid-May.
Yesterday morning, employees Suleica Anziani and James Mansour say they had Flanagan under surveillance as she went about her duties, which include counting money in the cash room.
According to the police report, they noted that as Flanagan counted out the money, she left some of it “in the cash bag and then went onto the sales floor. Once on the sales floor, Flanagan took the cash out of the cash bag and put it into her pocket. Today, Flanagan was found to have $300 cash in her pocket that was the property of Target.”
By the time Patrolman Erik Manninen arrived to arrest her, Flanagan had already signed the confession, according to police.
TUCSON, Ariz. Sept 9 2011- Security guards attempted to stop two shoplifting suspects at a Walmart, but one of them pulled a handgun.
Police say the man and woman took some items and tried to walk out of the store near Midvale Park and Valencia without paying. The store’s loss prevention staff claim that the items were concealed inside a purse.
When confronted, the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at the employees. Police say he also verbally challenged them.
They took off from the store and haven’t been seen since.
None of the store employees or customers were injured.
Police say the Hispanic male is in his mid-30s, 5′ 9″ to 5′ 10″ tall, 185 to 200 pounds and has black hair. He was last seen wearing a gray short-sleeved t-shirt, blue jeans and a blue baseball cap with “LA” embroidered in white lettering on the front.
The woman is described a Caucasian, in her late 20s to early 30s, 5′ 5″ to 5′ 6″ tall, 140 to 170 pounds with brown hair. There’s a possibility that she’s pregnant. She was last seen wearing a black and white short-sleeved t-shirt, black sweatpants and flip-flop sandals.
If you have any information about this case, call the Tucson police.
Police said they believe the man sprayed a chemical on food items that started one fire and at the Publix on North Atlantic Avenue. They said an employee also spotted him attempting to start a second.
“This kid is starting off now with something small — this may be his first time — but it probably won’t be his last,” Daytona Beach Police Department spokesman Jimmie Flynt said.
Police said the man walked away while store workers delayed in calling police.
Police are investigating whether the incident is related to a similar fire started in late March when two men set wooden pallets on fire just outside a Walmart. Investigators said the two men stole a newspaper and lighter fluid to start the fire.
Anyone with information regarding the fires is asked to contact police
GULFPORT, MS Sept 9 2011 – A Gulfport man is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after holding his estranged wife hostage for nearly two hours at the Winn Dixie where she works.
Police say Clayton Blanchard, 27, was heavily armed when he went to the Winn Dixie on Pass Road just east of Cowan late Thursday morning. The hostage drama prompted an evacuation of the store, a detour of traffic around the busy intersection, and SWAT team negotiators trying to safely end a dangerous situation.
Blanchard had failed to appear in court Thursday morning after he was served with an emergency domestic abuse protection order eight days ago.
He was apparently after his estranged wife when he came to the Winn Dixie armed with a semi automatic rifle, two hand guns and multiple rounds of ammunition.
SWAT quickly surrounded the Winn Dixie. Police got the initial call around 11:30: A man with a gun inside the grocery store.
“We responded to a reported barricaded individual. And upon arrival we set up a perimeter,” said Chaix.
In a matter of minutes, police officers swarmed the area.
Traffic was detoured, the police mobile command center was in place and a crowd began to gather around that perimeter.
WLOX News talked with a relieved Sam Sagers, whose wife was among the Winn Dixie employees at work when the gunman came calling.
“He just came in my wife’s pharmacy where she works and put a gun and said ‘Call my pastor.’ If there’s a silver lining, maybe they’ll talk some sense into him,” said Sagers.
Police confirm that Blanchard’s pastor was called to the scene.
The Winn Dixie was safely evacuated of its employees and customers, who were moved to a safe location.
The curious crowd quickly increased, as did the police presence and equipment.
“We had Harrison County Sheriff’s Office providing assistance, Biloxi Police Department provided assistance, and the FBI was out there providing assistance,” said Chaiz.
Around 1:25 the estranged wife hostage was released.
“He did release his hostage, and he shot himself. She’s okay. She’s unharmed,” said Chaix
The ambulance carrying the gunman left the store a short time later.
“I would say our officers did a fantastic job. We’re very proud of them. They were able to come up with a resolution where somebody was safe,” said Chaix.
WINTER HAVEN Fla Sept 9 2011 A Winter Haven woman has been arrested after throwing a tantrum and injuring an officer by kicking out a patrol car window.
Winter Haven Police arrested 22-year-old Isabell Miles after they said she kicked out the window of a patrol car, sending glass into the face of a male officer after the officer detained her for allegedly shoplifting.
A manager of the Walgreens at 805 Havendale Blvd. called police after she said she saw Miles carrying merchandise into a bathroom and leaving the bathroom empty-handed.
Officers found Miles a few blocks from the store where she gave a false name and birthday. Officers were told of her real name by a Walgreens employee who knew Miles.
When she was handcuffed, Miles fell to the ground and began to thrash around. Once officers placed Miles into a patrol car, she kicked the door window breaking the glass.
The glass flew into the face of the officer, cutting his face.
Officers sprayed Miles with pepper spray, but she continued to trash around inside the vehicle. Officers then shot her with a taser, at which point Miles stopped her tantrum.
The injured officer was taken to Winter Haven Hospital where he was treated and released.
Miles was booked into the Polk County Jail and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, resisting arrest without violence, criminal mischief and retail theft.
Miles has a history of criminal charges. Miles has been charged with retail theft, resisting arrest, dealing in stolen property and other charges in the past.
Sevier County TN Sept 9 2011 A Sevier County archives employee who authorities say pawned his county-issued computer last month was arrested Wednesday.
Rodney Derrick Robertson, 38, of Sevierville was charged with theft in connection to the Aug. 9 incident in which Sevier County Sheriff’s Office authorities say he removed a Dell desktop computer from his desk and then sold it to a local pawnshop.
The son of Sevier County Register of Deeds Sherry Robertson Huskey, Rodney Robertson was booked into the Sevier County Jail at 10:20 a.m. and posted a $250 bond by 10:25 a.m., a jail deputy said. His arrest came one day after he resigned from his job, a county official said.
An investigation by the News Sentinel last week revealed Robertson, employed by the county as a records preservation specialist since 2006, allegedly pawned the computer for $60.
When contacted Sept. 1, Mayor Larry Waters’ office initially declined to confirm whether the pawned computer was county property. But on Sept. 2 the News Sentinel obtained a Sevier Pawn and Loan inventory acquisitions report that included Robertson’s name and the serial number of the pawned computer. When a reporter presented Waters’ office with the serial number of the pawned computer, a spokesman with that office then confirmed the pawned computer was county property.
The computer, worth $500, had been issued to Robertson, according to an Aug. 23 Sevier County Sheriff’s Office report.
When questioned in early August by his boss about the missing computer, Robertson said the county’s Information Technology Department, “came and got it to fix it,” according to the report written by Capt. Jeff McCarter. But the IT Department later denied ever removing the computer from Robertson’s desk.
McCarter previously said deputies discovered the computer at the pawnshop Aug. 19 but did not immediately arrest Robertson because they did not know his whereabouts. Robertson’s personnel record showed he’d taken sick leave almost every day since the day he allegedly pawned the computer. McCarter could not be reached for comment to say where and when deputies discovered and arrested Robertson.
On Wednesday, Perrin Anderson, communications coordinator for Waters’ office, said Robertson submitted a letter of resignation with an effective date of Sept. 6. The computer has since been returned to county officials.
Bridgewater NJ Sept 9 2011 Two different people were arrested for shoplifting clothing from Macy’s, and one also received a charge for having marijuana on his person.
Deon Elliott, 18, of Plainfield, was charged with shoplifting and possession of marijuana after he was found with $97.98 worth of clothing from Macy’s at 3:37 p.m. Aug. 30. Police said he was also found with marijuana in his front pants pocket.
And Wondwosse Atnafukechina, 40, of Peapack, was charged with shoplifting after being found with $468 worth of clothing from Macy’s at 5:13 p.m. Aug. 29.
Several people were also charged with shoplifting from Wegmans over a two-day period.
Tiberiu Berkovits, 58, of Bridgewater, was charged with shoplifting after being found with $6.48 worth of food from Wegmans at 12:08 p.m. Sept. 3.
And Jennifer Mitchell, 39, of Madison, was charged with shoplifting after she was found with $234.93 worth of merchandise from Wegmans.
Finally, Adam Hepburn, 18, of Ringoes, was charged with shoplifting after he was found with $79.90 worth of merchandise from Zumiez at 5:15 p.m. Sept. 2.
DEKALB COUNTY, GA Sept 9 2011 – A MARTA bus driver was released from the hospital Wednesday morning after she was stabbed by a passenger Tuesday.
The bus was stopped on Green Forest Drive in DeKalb County when the driver, Janet Royston, 52, was attacked.
Retired MARTA driver Charlie Lowe, lives near where the attack happened.
“After I heard the scream I looked out the window,” Lowe said.
Lowe said moments after Royston was attacked he heard her screaming for help.
Lowe said at first he thought kids were playing outside making noise but then he realized a crime had occurred. Lowe drove MARTA buses for 34 years.
He warned drivers are at risk.
“It’s a dangerous job because you’re dealing with all kinds of people. They got an advantage because you are sitting up there driving. You’re concentrating on where you’re going and the person back there is concentrating on attacking you,” Lowe said.
MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris said the passenger stabbed her more than once before robbing her and running away.
Harris said Royston was taken to Atlanta Medical Center by paramedics and was treated and released.
Royston told CBS Atlanta, “I’m sad and hurt and discouraged. It’s like my life didn’t mean anything, from the person who stabbed me to my employer.”
Harris said buses have alert systems, but he did not know if the system was activated on the bus when the driver was attacked. MARTA plans to install cameras on its buses and trains next year. The project will cost $16 million.
Rodney Blackmon, local President Amalgamated Transit Union, represents the drivers. He said safety is a big concern for all MARTA employees. “The protection of the drivers is numero uno and I would like to see those expedited as much as possible,” said Blackmon. But MARTA said the camera installation process was already sped-up.
MARTA said they continue doing everything they can to improve the safety and security of the system for their employees and passengers.
The attack alarmed other passengers.
“I think they should have more security,” said Orlando Anderson.
“That’s really sad,” added Fernando Lavandero.
The incident is under investigation. Police said no arrests have been made.
Las Cruces NM Sept 9 2011 Speeders, cell phone talkers and people not wearing seat belts are among the 80 citations Las Cruces police officers issued within a 2.5 hour time span Wednesday afternoon along Lohman Avenue and Del Monte Street.
A major cross walk located along the congested six lanes of traffic is also in a clearly marked school zone, which means large groups of kids walk across the road at some of the busiest times of day.
Crossing guards try to keep kids safe while using the crosswalk, but officers say all too often drivers make it feel like one of the most unsafe places to be, and caught violators red-handed.
“Can you tell if that girl’s on her phone in the outside lane,” an officer said over a radio to another officer down the street.
And just like that, a driver passing through the marked school zone was greeted with a ticket.
“We’ve had a lot of seat belt violations, some excessive speed, changing lanes in the school zone,” Officer Landis Hartranft said.
Undercover and dressed in a neon vest, Hartranft posed as a crossing guard.
He says it did not matter what he was wearing – drivers simply sped up through the 15 mph zone or did not stop at all as kids tried to cross the street.
“When we’re in uniform obviously people slow down, they’re a lot more careful, but without being able to see us there’s a lot of disregard for the different school laws here in the school zones,” Hartranft said.
A mother walking home with her children says ignorant drivers make it a struggle.
“When the car don’t stop, I don’t cross,” Libertad Dabila said. “They don’t want to stop but they have to because their life is important.”
Hartranft says being out of uniform allowed him to experience what crossing guards go through on a daily basis.
“A lot of speeders and with it being six lanes all the way across people don’t pay attention to what’s in the opposite lane from them, so they may miss a little kid or even the school crossing guard out there with the stop signs.”
Officers say by law, drivers are obligated to slow down and stop for anyone in a cross walk, the only sure way to avoid a worst case scenario.
“A human body or especially a kid, 50, 60 or 70 pounds, as opposed to a two or 3,000 pound car… there’s no match and so we’re trying to prevent that; we’re trying to make sure that kids arrive and go home from school safely,” Dan Trujillo, spokesman for the Las Cruces Police Dept., said.
Officers say the majority of the 80 citations issued went to drivers talking on their cell phones.