Catholic school teacher sues after being fired for using in vitro fertilization www.privateofficer.com
Emily Herx’s lawsuit accuses the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and St. Vincent de Paul school in Fort Wayne of discrimination for her firing last June. Herx, 31, of Hoagland, Ind., says that the church pastor told her she was a “grave, immoral sinner” and that a scandal would erupt if anyone learned she had undergone in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
The Roman Catholic Church shuns IVF, which involves mixing egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring a resulting embryo into the womb. Herx said she was fired despite exemplary performance reviews in her eight years as a language arts teacher.
Legal experts say Herx’s case illustrates a murky area in the debate over separation of church and state that even the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to clearly address.
Diocese officials said in a statement issued to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the lawsuit challenges its rights as a religious institution “to make religious based decisions consistent with its religious standards on an impartial basis.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in January that religious workers can’t sue their employers for job discrimination because anti-discrimination laws allow for a “ministerial exception.” But the justices failed to define who was and who wasn’t a religious employee.
“The Supreme Court didn’t give us a kind of neat little on-off test as to who’s a minister and who isn’t,” said Rick Garnett, associate dean and professor of law at Notre Dame Law School.
In a similar case in Ohio, a federal judge last month gave the go-ahead for a trial in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by a parochial school teacher who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination, which the church is also against. The archdiocese fired Christa Dias in 2010, saying the single woman violated church doctrine.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Spiegel said in his March 29 ruling that the ministerial exception did not apply because Dias was a non-Catholic computer teacher with no role in ministering or teaching Catholic doctrine.
However, Garnett said he believed the ministerial exception cited by the Supreme Court could be applied to most parochial school teachers.
“A lot of Catholic schools, including my own kids’, every teacher brings the kids to Mass, is involved in sacramental activities. … It’s not just one teacher who teaches religion, religion is pervasively involved,” Garnett said. “The key question is whether it would interfere with the religious institution’s religious mission, its religious message, for the government to interfere in the hiring decision.”
Herx’s attorney, Kathleen Delaney of Indianapolis, disagreed.
“She was not a religion teacher. She was not ordained. She was not required to and didn’t have any religion teaching. She wasn’t even instructed about the doctrine that she violated,” said Delaney, noting the ultimate decision would be up to the courts.
The school found out that Herx was using IVF because she told them about it when she used sick days for the treatments, according to the lawsuit. School officials didn’t indicate until later that there was a problem, the lawsuit says.
Delaney would not say if Herx was able to get pregnant using IVF.
The diocese said that teachers, even those such as Herx who aren’t Catholic, are required by their contracts to abide by Catholic tenets and “serve as moral exemplars.”
Pope Benedict XVI as recently as February urged infertile couples not to use in-vitro fertilization or other forms of artificial procreation, which the church views as an affront to human dignity and the dignity of marriage.
The church believes that procreation should be limited to marital sex, said Dr. John Haas, director of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. Also, clinics routinely fertilize more eggs than are implanted, and extra embryos may be destroyed. The church believes those lives are sacred, Haas said.
“To have a child by in vitro almost invariably results in the death of a number of embryos as one works to bring one to term,” Haas said Wednesday.
Herx’s lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, alleges the diocese violated the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against Herx based on gender and on infertility, which is considered a disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission upheld Herx’s complaint in January.
Winston Salem NC April 27 2012 An employee of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, who told hospital security guards on April 12 that an armed man was in the hospital, was charged Wednesday with making a false report to police.
Lisa Hall Shore, 38, of 3540 Ralph Road in Boonville, also was charged with misdemeanor larceny, Winston-Salem police said in a news release.
Shore was fired Wednesday after she was charged, medical center officials said in a statement. Shore had worked in the hospital’s Eye Center as a receptionist, said Marguerite Beck, a hospital spokeswoman.
After Shore told the medical center’s security officers that she saw a Hispanic man with a gun on the sixth floor of Janeway Tower in the hospital, parts of Wake Forest Baptist were locked down for about two hours as police searched for an armed man.
No shots were fired, and no armed man was found, authorities said. No one in the medical center was ever in danger, police said.
Shore is also accused of stealing $320 worth of gift cards that were taken from a supervisor’s office April 10 or 11, police said.
Hospital officials, who conducted their own investigation of Shore’s activities, cooperated with police. Shore had no access to patients’ or other employees’ records, Beck said.
“Wake Forest Baptist commends the swift and decisive response of its security personnel and the Winston-Salem police in their continuing efforts to ensure the safety and protection of our patients and employees,” the medical center said in a statement.
Shore was released from custody on her written promise to appear in court on May 18, police said. She could not be reached for comment.
BILOXI, MS April 27 2012 A 23-year-old Senior Airman was arrested on Wednesday for one count of statutory rape, video recording a child under the age of sixteen, engaging in sexually explicit conduct and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said, Senior Airman Michael Burl, who met the teen online, was stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois before moving to Biloxi in March.
According to officials at Keesler Air Force Base, Burl was “temporarily assigned” at Keesler Air Force Base as a training student.
Authorities found out about Burl after receiving a tip from Biloxi Regional Hospital concerning a teen under the age of 16, who was reportedly sexually assaulted on Monday.
After an investigation, officials carried out a search warrant at the Country Inn and Suites, where Burl was staying. Officials said Burl could face more charges pending the Jackson County Grand Jury.
If convicted he faces 30 years maximum on one count of statutory rape, 40 years maximum for child pornography and one year for each count of contributing to the delinquency of a child in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
He is being held at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center. His bond was set at $127,000.
Columbia SC April 27 2012 Rachel Duncan pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion charges under an agreement with federal prosecutors. Both are felonies. Duncan is accused of taking more than $480,000 from the association and using the money for online gambling.
Duncan worked closely with association director Tom Sponseller, who committed suicide in February. Duncan was mentioned in Sponseller’s suicide note that said he was despondent over Duncan’s financial crime because it happened on his watch.
US Assistant Attorney Winston Holliday says agents started looking at Duncan several months ago.
“They’re continuing to talk to her and she’s indicated a willingness to provide additional information regarding that investigation,” Holliday said. “But basically anything that we’ve needed to ask her she’s been made available.”
Prosecutors say they found photos on Sponseller’s computer that portrayed Duncan in a “sexual nature.” The photos led them to believe that there was more to their relationship than suggested in Sponseller’s suicide note.
“One group of photos was the ones I alluded to of a sexual nature, they are just of her and I want to clarify that. I think some people had some questions as to that,” Holliday said.
Agents found two different groups of pictures of Duncan. “Showed bruises to her face, which are, I think, consistent of domestic abuse,” Holliday said.
But prosecutors say there is no evidence that Sponseller received any of the money that was missing from association accounts.
“We’ve analyzed his bank records, analyzed her bank records, we’ve traced the money. The Hospitality Association had done their analysis of their bank records and it is already concluded that he did not receive any of the money,” Holliday said.
When she is sentenced in June, Duncan faces up to 23 years in prison and $350,000 in fines.
Duncan is out on $25,000 bond.
NASHVILLE, TN April 27 2012 - Six state employees are out of a job following an investigation that found them selling, sharing or buying prescription drugs from each other in state buildings, the Channel 4 I-Team has learned.
The employees were caught because they used state email to make the drug transactions, according to internal records obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team.
Those records show one employee used the term “candy” to try to cover up what she was soliciting.
Another record shows an employee emailing her boyfriend, writing she was “selling to all the junkies up here.”
And another employee identified herself in an email as the contact person to collect money.
All the employees were either in clerical or administrative positions with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and made the drug transactions in the Andrew Johnson building and the Davy Crockett building in downtown Nashville.
“They were clearly engaging in activity that we can’t allow in the workplace,” said Steven Majchrzak, deputy commissioner of Commerce and Insurance
According to state investigators, some of the drugs sold were major painkillers like Soma and Neurontin.
“This was obviously some people who got into a situation and it could happen in any organization where you have people who don’t do the right thing,” Majchrzak said.
One employee who appealed the termination said she was battling Stage 3 cervical cancer and would never sell her medications.
But her firing was upheld, and the five others resigned, and now the TBI is investigating all the employees after a request from the district attorney and the Department of Commerce and Insurance.
“Anytime you’re talking about prescription drugs, not over the counter, now you’re talking about potential criminal violations,” Majchrzak said.
The Channel 4 I-Team is not identifying the employees because we could not reach them for comment and they haven’t been charged criminally.
A spokeswoman for the TBI said their investigation is ongoing
Atlanta airport employees allowed to hire workers without completing background security checks because of delays www.privateofficer.com
ATLANTA GA April 27 2012 — Employers at Atlanta’s airport have been allowed to hire workers without completing background security checks because of delays in the process, federal officials said.
In the past, new employees were required to undergo a Transportation Security Administration criminal background check and a security threat assessment, partly because they have access to secure areas.
“To allow for a continuity of operations, TSA has provided airports and airlines with interim regulatory relief,” TSA spokesman Jon Allen said in a statement. “At no time was security at risk, and all new employees will still undergo identity verification and be subject to watch list matching.”
Changes to a system used to process background checks were implemented nationwide, and the impact of resulting delays varied by airport, the TSA said in a separate statement to The Associated Press. It does not indicate whether other airports were granted the relief given Atlanta’s airport, the world’s busiest.
In Atlanta, the change allows workers to have security access while their background checks are being processed.
Because of “extended delays” in criminal history records checks and security threat assessment processing, the TSA began allowing employers to hire workers without the completed checks, according to an April 20 memo from the airport informing employers and others of the change. The memo was obtained by WSB-TV, which first reported on the issue.
If a new employee’s security threat assessment is rejected or placed in the “do not issue” status, his or her security badge will be deactivated immediately, the memo states.
Security expert Brent Brown of Chesley-Brown Security believes the move could be a potential threat to airports.
“You can’t put unsecured people or people that you haven’t checked in a secured environment,” Brown told WSB. “By that very definition, you’ve breached security.”
Violent shoplifter who bit a chunk of flesh from a security guard’s arm given jail www.privateofficer.com
PETERBOROUGH, Ont.April 27 2012 — Biting a chunk of flesh from a security guard’s arm during an LSD-fuelled fight was only one of many steps Derrick Bonneau took during his bid to escape arrest.
The 19-year-old then faked a seizure, got police to take him to the hospital, and gave officers a fake name, all while trying to beat the rap on a shoplifting charge.
Bonneau pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault, assault causing bodily harm, obstructing police and two counts of breach of probation.
The trouble began Jan. 25 at a Zellers in Peterborough, Ont., when a security guard caught Bonneau ripping the tags off PlayStation 3 video games and shoving the merchandise down his pants, Crown attorney Kelly Eberhard said.
Two security guards followed him out of the store, Bonneau said, confronting him over the stolen items.
Bonneau began arguing with them and a scuffle between the three broke out, court heard.
The two female guards tried to pin Bonneau to the ground. Bonneau kicked one guard in the head. He then latched on to the second guard’s arm with his teeth. Eberhard said the guard had to hit him in the head to get him to release his bite.
The resulting wound was about two by 1 1/2 cm, court heard.
“It’s literally a chunk out of her arm,” Eberhard said.
Because of the bite the guard had to undergo an extensive antibiotic regiment for 28 days to prevent the spread of disease. Eberhard said that medication took a toll on the woman’s health.
Morgan said the photographs of the guard’s injury were “shocking.”
“The skin is missing,” Justice Rhys Morgan said. “It’s not just a laceration that can be repaired by closing the wound.”
The guards managed to get Bonneau cuffed, Eberhard said, but when police arrived he told officers he’d had a seizure, couldn’t walk and needed to go to the hospital.
He also told police his name was “George Moore,” a ruse discovered when another officer spotted Bonneau at the hospital and recognized him.
Bonneau was caught red-handed, Morgan said, and when arguing with the guards didn’t work, he resorted to violence.
When that didn’t work, Morgan said, he resorted to sickness.
Even if he was high on LSD, Morgan said, he clearly knew enough to take the tags off the video games, to hide the merchandise, and to try and argue his way out of the situation.
“He knew what he was doing,” Morgan said.
Bonneau has spent 91 days in pretrial custody.
Morgan sentenced him to a further three months and 21 days in jail. Once he’s released from jail he’ll be on probation for 18 months.
He’s banned from owning weapons for 10 years and most provide a DNA sample to police.
Sacramento CA April 27 2012 The city of Sacramento is proposing to lay off roughly 62 firefighters and 45 police officers to address a budget situation that is among the most dire the city has ever faced.
The public safety layoffs are part of a plan to address a $15.7 million deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1 in the city’s general fund, the portion of the budget that pays for most basic services. The cuts also include hits to parks maintenance and recreation programs.
“This is not the budget I had hoped to recommend to address next year’s structural deficit,” City Manager John Shirey said.
Shirey said he is attempting to work with the city’s labor unions “to find solutions that would avoid the need for the elimination of positions and consequently programs and services to our community.”
The focus of that effort is likely to be pension benefits. If unions agree to have their employees contribute the entire employee share of their CalPERS benefits, officials said the city could avoid layoffs.
The city picks up most or all of the employee share – in addition to an employer share – for nearly all city workers. Doing away with that arrangement would save the city $13.5 million this year, budget officials said.
Some unions have expressed interest in agreeing to pick up the entire employee share.
The firefighter union appears willing to sit down with the city.
“We’ve made it clear that we’re always willing to sit down and talk about how we can help the citizens of the city and what is the right thing to do,” fire union spokesman Todd Filbrun told me. “Obviously how we move forward is going to take some time to process and formulate.”
The police union said it is engaged in “off the record” conversations with city budget officials and would continue those talks.
“We are willing to sit and listen to any conversation that the city wants to have,” said the union’s acting president, Dustin Smith.
The proposed hits to public safety are the worst the city has seen, even after the City Council voted to lay off dozens of cops last year.
The firefighter layoffs would require the department to decrease the number of personnel on most rigs, from four to three. The fire union has argued that change would increase the time it would take for fire units to begin tackling emergencies.
The city has addressed cumulative deficits of $219 million since 2007, cutting about 1,200 positions – not all through layoffs – and slashing many services.
Falling sales and property tax revenue has played a big role in the cycle. Property tax collections are down $24.3 million since 2009 and sales tax coffers are down $8.7 million since 2007.
The cycle is expected to continue at least another year; budget officials project a deficit of $7.4 million next year.
COLUMBUS, Ohio April 27 2012 - Police said on Thursday that they identified the man who struck a security guard with a vehicle at Riverside Methodist Hospital in October.
According to police, Bryce Allen Jr., of Jacksonville, Ark., used his car to strike security guard Sgt. Chad Rosser near the Emergency Room entrance, at about 11 p.m. on Oct. 13.
Rosser was called to respond when Allen, 46, argued with a valet parker, 10TV’s Maureen Kocot reported.
Allen, 46, allegedly used his 2000 black Cadillac to push Rosser into a stop sign before fleeing the scene. Rosser suffered minor injuries because of the incident.
Investigators said that they tracked Allen down when they traveled to Jacksonville, Ark. He was charged with felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
Allen was being held in the Pulaski County Jail, in Arkansas, on a homicide charge unrelated to the Riverside Methodist Hospital incident.
According to police, Allen drove around a barricade and ran over two firefighters and a police officer who were responding to a crash involving his mother in Arkansas.
Jacksonville Fire Capt. Donald Jones was killed. Allen is facing a second-degree murder charge in Jones’ death.
Bryce Allen, Allen’s father, said that he was stunned.
“I know he was trying to get to his mother, but as far as that other part of the catastrophe, I can’t believe it,” Bryce Allen said.
Pueblo CO April 27 2012 Three people were arrested Monday following a robbery at J.C. Penney, 3301 Dillon Drive.
Christina R. Aleman, 26, Julian A. Gutierrez, 23, and Paul Sierra Jr., 21, each were arrested on suspicion of robbery.
Aleman also was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession.
According to an affidavit by Pueblo police officer Darren Kochis, the males paid Aleman to steal items for them at the department store.
The trio, along with Aleman’s young son, went to the store and were caught stealing at 7:54 p.m., the affidavit said.
As the group was leaving the store, they were confronted by security officers. The affidavit said Gutierrez punched one of the security officers and he, Sierra and Aleman’s child escaped in a green Nissan Pathfinder. Aleman was left behind.
The vehicle soon was located outside a vacant home in the 2600 block of Grand Avenue. The home belongs to a relative of Sierra.
The duo was found inside the home without Aleman’s child. The affidavit didn’t say what had happened to the child.
Sierra, of the 1800 block of Jones Avenue, was released on $35,000 bail.
Gutierrez, of Colorado Springs, and Aleman, of the 1000 block of Rice Avenue, each were being held in Pueblo County jail in lieu of $35,000 bail.
source:the pueblo chieftian
Police say the woman took razors and tampons from the store, 2174 W. Union Blvd., at 5:44 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities say the woman left the store and was confronted by a security officer working at the Giant.
The woman took the items out of her purse, police say, and threw the packages onto the lot. She refused to stop for the security officer and walked to her vehicle.
When he stood behind her car to prevent her from leaving the lot, police say the suspect backed the vehicle up and struck the employee before he moved out of the way and she drove off. Authorities say the worker was not injured.
Police could not provide a detailed description of the woman, but ask anyone with information to contact the Bethlehem Police Department at 610-865-7187.
Mall security called Beachwood police when they discovered a young girl in a car at about 4:36 p.m. on April 18.
Based on the temperature of the car, police said they decided to get the 2-year-old out of the vehicle. Since it was a sunny day and the child felt warm, EMS responded, but the child was alright.
The child’s father, 22-year-old Curtis Thomas, of Twinsburg, came out of the mall while police were still on scene, Beachwood police. He was arrested for child endangerment.
The girl was turned over to her grandfather. According to police, they believed she was left alone in the car for about 27 minutes.
Thomas will be arraigned in Shaker Heights Municipal Court on May 15. His bond was set at $5,000 with 10 percent allowed, and he was released
Former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe and four others charged with felony theft www.privateofficer.com
KNOXVILLE TN April 27 2012- Former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe and four others who worked for or had connections to the county are charged with felony theft.
The Knox County Grand Jury handed up four presentments against the men Thursday afternoon.
Lowe and Ray M. Mubarak are each charged with four counts of theft of property more than $60,000. In two of the counts, the alleged theft involved fake payments to Ray M. Mubarak. The other two counts involved fake payments to Tennessee Residential Services.
According to sources in the trustee’s office, between 2007 and 2008 Knox County contracted with Tennessee Residential Services for title work on tax sale property. There was $392,500 in billing.
A source says Mubarak was a ghost employee. Investigators believe someone wrote checks from the trustee’s office to Tennessee Residential Service, but the money was pocketed by someone connected to this case.
Delbert E. Morgan and Lowe are charged with two counts of theft of property more than $60,000.
John M. Haun, the former operations manager for the trustee’s office, is charged with two counts of theft of property more than $60,000,
The charges follow an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the state Comptroller’s Office and the Knox County District Attorney’s Office. TBI began investigating in February 2009.
The grand jury also recommended moving the trustee’s office and its functions into the mayor’s office, with spending and contracts to be handled through the finance department.
Plus, the grand jury suggested audits for the trustee’s office to identify waste, fraud and abuse and staff evaluations with pay based on work and experience.
Lowe served as trustee from 1994 until January 2007, when the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled to enforce term limits, which removed him from office.
Then Lowe worked for the appointed county trustee, Fred Sisk, until February 2008 when he resigned to go into real estate development.
Lowe’s attorney, Greg Isaacs, released a statement Thursday that says in part, “Our firm’s preliminary investigation, which has paralleled the grand jury’s investigation, corroborates Mike Lowe’s innocence.”
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett also released a statement, saying, “News of these indictments is certainly troubling, but I think it is important to let the judicial process work. My focus remains on doing the best job possible for Knox County residents.”
Lowe and Mubarak turned themselves in Thursday and were released on $5,000 bonds. Haun and Morgan were released on own their own recognizance.
Houston middle school teacher arrested for allegedly sending inappropriate text and Facebook messages www.privateofficer.com
Paul Roberts, a Stafford Middle School award-winning math teacher, was suspended Tuesday for “inappropriate electronic communication between a teacher and students,” the school said.
He was arrested Tuesday and charged with improper relations with a student, a second-degree felony, KTRK-TV, Houston, reported. Superintendent Lace Hindt said the messages were brought to his attention by a parent who found them on her son’s phone. The messages were suggestive and full of foul language. He allegedly had sent similar messages through Facebook as well.
The school district told KHOU-TV, Houston, there were at least two students who confirmed having received inappropriate messages from Roberts.
Roberts is being held in Fort Bend County Jail in lieu of a $7,500 bond. He had started teaching at Stafford last year.
Man who cut off store security guard’s ear with a hatchet sentenced to 35 years in prison www.privateofficer.com
The Daily News reports ( http://is.gd/bh6ONQ) he was convicted last week of assault, burglary and robbery.
Security guard David Sullivan confronted Kramer in the parking lot as he was pushing a shopping cart of stolen merchandise. Doctors were unable to reattach the portion of his left ear that was cut off in the fight
According to Mayville District Superintendent Patricia Antony the district was alerted to the issue on Monday and the teacher was immediately put on non-disciplinary administrative leave. Mayville Police were notified of the alleged contact Monday afternoon according to Mayville Police Chief Christopher MacNeill.
By Tuesday morning, the Mayville Police Department sent information to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department about the issue as the alleged misconduct took place at a residence in Fond du Lac County as well as once out of state. Thus far, there is no evidence that suggest that any inappropriate contact took place on Mayville School District grounds, Antony said.
The school district sent home a letter to parents and made an announcement to all high school students informing them of the situation.
“We want our parents and guardians to know that we hold your child’s/children’s safety and well being as our highest priority and therefore wanted to advise you directly about this situation,” read the letter. “Also, we read a statement in every classroom today to inform high school students of the situation.”
The sheriff’s department will send charges of sexual assault by a school staff member and child enticement to the Fond du Lac District Attorney’s Office.
Antony said the district also will conduct an investigation into the matter.
Gilbert Garza, 46, died in January of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or heart disease, exacerbated by the fight, according to the Bexar County medical examiner’s office. The death was ruled a homicide.
San Antonio police watched surveillance video footage from inside the club, located in the 400 block of Bonham Place, and saw a security guard approach Garza around 2 a.m. and ask him to get rid of his drink, officials said.
He reportedly refused, and the guard physically escorted him away.
According to the report, Garza fell down and a second guard helped place handcuffs on him; as the three men left the club and went outside, Garza’s body became limp and he collapsed.
Garza was pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives told a reporter Garza had been out with his son and daughter, both soldiers, and a couple of other relatives but that no one in the party had that much to drink.
According to the autopsy report, Garza’s blood-alcohol content was 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit.
Reached by telephone Wednesday, Garza’s son declined to comment. An employee of the Bonham also declined to comment.
Joseph Waters of Fairfield was allegedly in possession of suspected burglary tools, including bolt cutters and a winch, and copper wiring, said Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart. The tools are suspected of having been used in recent copper wire thefts, Stuart said.
Waters was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of being in possession of burglary tools and stolen property, trespassing, Stuart said.
MANCHESTER, Ky. April 27 2012 — Police in eastern Kentucky say a county magistrate stabbed and wounded his wife and then fatally shot himself.
Hazard media reported Clay County Magistrate James Lyttle (LIT’-ul) used a large kitchen knife to stab his wife Wednesday morning. The station said Lyttle then went into a shed and shot himself. Sharon Lyttle was in serious condition late Wednesday after surgery at University of Kentucky Hospital.
Manchester Police Chief Chris Fultz said the violence was unexpected.
In addition to serving as a magistrate, James Lyttle owned a tobacco shop and worked for the local school board.
He and his wife have two teenage sons.
Clay County Judge-Executive Joe Asher said Lyttle was well-liked in the community.
“Everyone in our community thought the world of ‘Jimbo,’” Asher said. “We had some people talk to him as late as yesterday afternoon, and everything seemed to be well.”
Neighbor Gilbert Spurlock also said there wasn’t any hint of problems between the couple.
“I thought they were happy all the time. Happy and smiling, being nice to people,” Spurlock said.
Police say the first officer at the scene met Lyttle in the driveway. The magistrate said his wife had fallen and while the officer went to check on her, he heard a gunshot from the shed.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama April 27 2012 – Huntsville police arrested a man inside the Academy for Academics and Arts overnight after school security cameras caught someone stealing equipment from classrooms.
After getting a call from Huntsville school security officials just before 2 a.m., police say they found Jerrelle Quintrez Gladden, 28, inside the school at 2800 Poplar Avenue. Security cameras showed a man entering classrooms and stuffing items in a large bag, police said.
A police dog located Gladden in the school auditorium and he was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary, according to a police report. The school property was recovered.
Spokeswoman Shirley Skeel says the man fled in a stolen vehicle late Wednesday afternoon.
Tacoma police blocked off a nearby street for several hours Wednesday evening as they searched an empty home for the man. The street later reopened.
Skeel says the security officers responded to a report of a suspicious man in a parking lot behind several university-owned houses.
Dean said the Nashville Emergency Response Viewing Engine, or NERVE, will allow residents to type in an address and see where roads and schools are closed, how to evacuate an area and where emergency shelters and food, water and clothing distribution centers are located.
“During the flood, the public really sought out road closure information, and it was challenging to provide real-time updates using our traditional communication tools,” the mayor said. “If you are trying to seek shelter or reconnect with family members during an emergency, the last thing you need is to get blocked by road closures or to spend time figuring out detours.”
The program, which also will include a Twitter feed and news releases, is available at maps.nashville.gov/NERVE. Mobile and iPad versions will be available later this year, the mayor’s office said.
Dean introduced the program during a news conference at the Metro Emergency Operations Center in advance of the second anniversary of the 2010 flood, which dumped more than 13 inches of rain on the city in two days, killing 11 people and damaging $2 billion worth of property. Dean once again praised the response by government officials, nonprofit groups, neighbors and volunteers.
“I’m proud of the way our community came together in the days after the flood, and I am proud of how far we’ve come since then,” he said.
The mayor said city officials also have developed software that helps them predict when and where flooding will occur by using rainfall data, river levels and sophisticated mapping. Called Situational Awareness for Flooding Events, or SAFE, the program helps Dean and other emergency responders make decisions in the Emergency Operations Center’s “war room.”
Nonprofit officials also spoke, led by Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Lehman said the foundation, which has been criticized at times for not giving out charitable donations for flood recovery efforts quickly enough, has now distributed or committed all of the $15.04 million it received.
She said the money, which came from more than 20,000 donations, has helped repair 11,978 homes and rebuild 592 while providing 1,239 people with rental or mortgage assistance and removing 143 tons of debris from waterways, among other accomplishments.
“Tennesseans and their families were able to restore their lives,” she said.
She said the Flood Recovery Network canvassed more than 5,400 flood-damaged homes last December to see where people still needed help. It found that 4,954 of the homes were repaired and occupied, but 80 needed additional repairs and were offered assistance by the network. The rest appeared to be vacant, had been demolished, were for sale, were occupied and in the process of being repaired, or were impossible to assess for safety reasons.
Lehman encouraged people who still need help to call 615-567-3232.
Loretta Owens, executive director of The Housing Fund, said Metro’s We Are Home program, designed to help flood victims obtain gap financing to help rebuild their homes, has established new programs in recent months. Those can help owners of damaged rental properties; victims of landslides and mudslides that occurred during the flood; people who need to elevate their homes; people working to make a down payment on a new home after accepting a buyout; and people who want to buy flooded homes that have been vacant or foreclosed upon “so we can continue the recovery of the neighborhoods.”
We Are Home’s website is at http://www.thehousingfund.org/floodrebuildassistance.html.
Dean also announced that Metro government has combined its community hotline and 311 line to handle citizens’ calls more efficiently during emergencies. 311 is now the one number to call.
Eric Dewey, president of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, said 211, a community services help line, also played a critical role in the days after the flood. It received more than 20,000 calls in the first 10 days, allowing United Way to plot on a map the areas that needed the most help.
Dewey said that information helped United Way decide where to put its six Restore the Dream centers, which provided long-term case management for flood victims who were working to get their lives in order. He said United Way officials who had been through natural disasters in South Florida and Louisiana flew to Nashville in the days immediately after the flood and helped the local staff devise a case management system that could look beyond the first 30 or 60 days.
“We might have been months behind on case management if we hadn’t done that,” Dewey said in an interview after speaking at the news conference. “We were doing the immediate term and the long term at the same time.”
The Restore the Dream centers, operated in partnership with several other nonprofit organizations, ultimately helped more than 1,200 families.
At about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, a man entered the “It’s a Family Affair” daycare center, located in the 300 block of Garrett Morgan Boulevard in Landover, Md., and asked to use the phone.
When the staff refused, the suspect became violent, authorities say, and a security guard at the daycare confronted him with a baseball bat.
The man took the bat from the security guard and hit him with it before leaving briefly and then returning and breaking windows with the bat. He took an employee’s car keys, and fled in that employee’s vehicle.
Police found the stolen vehicle near Barlowe Road and Village Green Drive where they apprehended a suspect, Mickel Tyrone Young.
At the time of the arrest, police say, Young appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
Young, 26, was brought to the police station where he kicked a hole in a wall and assaulting three officers who tried to control him, authorities say. He was taken to a local hospital for an emergency psychological evaluation.
The security guard was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition. No children saw the incident or were hurt.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga April 27 2012 – DeKalb County police say a driver involved in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 85 Thursday morning is an officer with the Atlanta Police Department.
Officials say that around 4:30 a.m., Christopher Niezurawski entered the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 on Cheshire Bridge Road and drove several miles northbound. Another off-duty officer spotted Niezurawski stopped facing the wrong way on I-85 between Northcrest and Pleasantdale Roads.
Police say that before officers could get to the area, a Greyhound bus loaded with 49 people struck the wrong-way vehicle. No one on the bus was hurt.
Mekka Parish, the public information officer for the DeKalb County Police Department, said Niezurawski was not in a uniform.
Niezurawski was treated and released at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Niezurawski faces charges of DUI, reckless driving, and operating a vehicle the wrong way.
The Atlanta Police Department issued a statement saying, “Officer Niezurawski has been relieved from duty with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Standards. Any criminal charges related to the incident are being investigated separately by the arresting agency.”
Niezurawski, a motorcyle officer with the Atlanta Police Department, was reportedly involved in an accident in April 2011 near Centennial Park when a driver pulled into him. The other driver was charged in that incident.
Charlotte NC April 27 2012 A 47-year-old felon will spend at least 21 years in prison for stealing video game systems used by young cancer patients at Levine Children’s Hospital.
On Wednesday, a jury found Charles Everette Hinton guilty of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny. The jury also convicted the registered sex offender of being a habitual felon and being unlawfully on premises intended for the use, care or supervision of minors.
Prosecutors said Hinton broke into an area of Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte and stole video game systems and other devices in December 2010. The stolen items were ones used by hospitalized children as they received cancer treatments.
Among the stolen gaming systems were four PlayStations, an Xbox and Nintendo DS systems, hospital officials said in 2010.
The suspect was caught on surveillance footage inside the hospital. The images showed a man carrying a book bag that police said they believed he used to sneak the gaming systems out of the hospital.
Less than two weeks later, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested Hinton. He’s been in Mecklenburg jail since his arrest, records show.
Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges sentenced Hinton to about 21-27 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Hinton, of Charlotte, had previously been convicted of rape in New York. In North Carolina, his prior convictions include indecent liberties with a child, breaking and entering vehicles and felony larceny.