Knoxville TN June 8 2012 A Tennessee man killed himself by self-immolation Wednesday morning after learning that he would not be receiving finances he had anticipated, police told FoxNews.com.
Investigators believe Michael McReynolds, 61, doused himself with gasoline before lighting himself on fire at his west Knoxville home, Darrell DeBusk, the Knoxville Police Department’s public information officer, said. Fire crews responded within minutes and managed to put out the flames.
Authorities are waiting for an autopsy report to determine if McReynolds was still alive when rescuers arrived.
McReynold’s wife was home during the incident but his children were away, police said. Fire officials believed his wife placed the 911 call, but could not confirm.
Police began an investigation but do not expect foul play. McReynolds was employed, his home did not face foreclosure and police are unaware of any history of mental problems, DeBusk said.
The financial assistance was not any type of government handout and described by authorities as important assistance from a private organization.
Police are looking for Deandra Marquis Lee, 22, who was out on bail on felony gun and robbery charges when the killings occurred Tuesday. He has been charged with three counts of murder, Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said.
Authorities believe the slayings happened on a dirt road where the bodies were found. All three victims had been shot, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation said Thursday night.
It was unclear if Lee knew any of the victims or their families.
Authorities previously identified Lee as a person of interest in the deaths of 9-year-old Jordan Dejerinett and his sister Taylor, as well as 73-year-old Jack Mac Girdner.
Girdner was a family friend who watched the children for their mother while she was at work. Authorities said Girdner had known the family for about three years after meeting them at the church they attended in Montgomery.
Girdner was an anesthesiologist in California before retiring and moving back to his home state a few years ago, Tesmer said.
Investigators found the bodies Tuesday a few miles from the man’s home in Hope Hull in central Alabama. When the twins’ mother returned from work, there was nobody at the house, said Lowndes County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy James Martin.
The ABI said late Thursday that Girdner’s 1988 Mercedes Benz was found in Dallas County and that all four doors had been removed.
Lee was arrested Dec. 15 in Dallas County and charged with a felony count of possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and violation of a license to carry a pistol, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Lee fought with officers who stopped him in Selma, Jackson said, though it wasn’t clear why he was initially pulled over.
On Feb. 9, in neighboring Lowndes County, Lee was arrested on a third-degree robbery charge stemming from a strong-arm car theft in July 2011, said Chief Deputy James Martin. He was released on bond in that case, too.
“It’s up to the judge. We can’t refuse to release them,” Martin said.
The car theft occurred about four months after Lee was acquitted in Dallas County on two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted murder in a 2008 shooting, Jackson said.
Lee was riding in a car with three fellow gang members when a dispute erupted over a gun, Jackson said. Two men were slain and a third man was wounded, and jurors acquitted Lee after he and the survivor each accused the other of the slayings.
“There was a big dispute about who did the killing in the case,” he said. “It was a hung jury for like three days and he finally got acquitted.”
The ABI said Lee is believed to be in the Selma area of Dallas County, and is likely armed and extremely dangerous. U.S. Marshals are assisting in the search.
“We have been working closely with the ABI and other agencies in the hunt for Mr. Lee,” Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley told The Selma Times-Journal on Thursday. “We have received tips that claim he is in this area or that area and we are aggressively chasing those leads down.”
Lee most recently lived in Montgomery.
SALEM OR June 8 2012 – The electronic tax return of a Salem woman accused of swindling more than $2 million from the state was manually approved by reviewers, and the Oregon Department of Revenue said Thursday it will re-examine big refunds to ensure there were no additional blunders.
Authorities allege 25-year-old Krystle Reyes used Turbo Tax — the popular tax preparation computer program — to file a faked 2011 income tax return with the state in which she reported earnings of $3 million and claimed a refund of $2.1 million.
Turbo Tax issued Reyes a Visa debit card with the full refund amount, and she used the card to spend more than $150,000 before her arrest.
Krystle Marie Reyes was booked into the Marion County Jail for investigation of aggravated theft and fraud, jail documents show.
Derrick Gasperini, a Revenue Department spokesman, said the size of the refund claim triggered the woman’s return to be flagged for an inspection.
Multiple people looked at the electronic document and erroneously approved the massive refund, said Gasperini, adding that the highest-level reviewer is ultimately responsible.
“We do not have that many $2.1 million refund claims,” he said. “It absolutely should have been caught and was not.” Reyes was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated theft and computer crime.
She has been released from the Marion County Jail and has a court date scheduled for July 5. She could not be located for comment and it is unknown if she has hired a lawyer.
Because of the mistake in approving Reyes’ return, Gasperini said the Revenue Department, which processes $7 billion in tax returns each year, will review its internal controls to make sure a similar error does not happen again.
Moreover, reviewers will take another look at all large-dollar refunds to determine if the state authorized other incorrect and expensive refunds.
“We’re looking at the largest ones and working down the list to the smaller and smaller ones,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure where we are stopping.”
She used the card for a variety of purchases, including a 1999 Dodge Caravan, and $800 for wheels and tires. By then, she was under surveillance and video shows her swiping the debit card, the affidavit said.
Derrick Gasperini, a Revenue Department spokesman, told the Oregonian that he couldn’t comment until after a Reyes’ court appearance scheduled Thursday.
He said it is common for the tax preparation company to issue prepaid debit cards to clients who get refunds using their software. When the state issues refunds, it typically does so with a check or a direct deposit to a bank account, he said.
The Department of Revenue processes about $7 billion in tax returns each year on computer systems designed in the 1980s, the newspaper reported
A woman in Bristol, Tenn., says she was just praising the Lord, although at high volume.
Bristol Police said 54-year-old Betty Jones was violating the city’s noise ordinance.
WCYB-TV reported police cited her on their first visit. She told them she spent five hours on Sundays praising and dancing to music by Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson and The Judds.
After more neighborhood complaints, officers went back May 28 and arrested Jones, charging her with disorderly conduct and violating the noise ordinance. She spent the night in jail.
Jones told the station she was praising God in her own home, but conceded that on the second police visit she was “going off and cussing.”
PORTSMOUTH VA JUNE 8 2012
Authorities say that an indictment was handed down on Thursday charging a school security administrator with allegations that he approached a 16-year-old female student about sexual encounters, police said.
Kevin Brown, who is the assistant director of student services at the Stephen H. Clarke center, an alternative school on Turnpike Road, was indicted on four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a supervisory relationship, a police statement said.
Investigators spent a month on the case, according to a news release. The indictments allege that the offenses happened between November and April and there was no actual physical contact between the administrator and teen.
Brown, 48, of Suffolk, was arrested at the school.
Brown is now on unpaid leave, according to the division.
As assistant director of student services, Brown supervised the division’s security staff and crossing guards, and he heard student disciplinary hearings.
Brown was hired Aug. 14, 2003, as principal of the division’s alternative middle school. He served in that role through the 2006-07 school year.
The school system conducted a criminal background check on Brown when he was hired.
HOUSTON TX June 8 2012 —Johoan Rodriguez was sentenced to 55 years in prison Friday for the intoxication manslaughter death of Houston police officer Kevin Will.
The jury began deliberating the sentence Thursday afternoon.
Rodriguez had pleaded guilty in the case before the trial began. Prosecutors were hoping for a life sentence.
Rodriguez had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he raced through a police roadblock on the North Loop near Yale at an estimated 90 miles an hour on May 29, 2011.
Officer Will and other HPD officers were investigating a motorcycle crash and had closed the highway. Police dashcam video played for the jury during the one-week trial, and again during closing arguments, shows Rodriguez’s Volkswagen hitting Kevin Will; severing both legs and killing him instantly.
Defense attorneys asked the jury to take the suspect’s life history and his lack of a criminal record into account, and asked that he only be given 15 to 25 years in prison.
Rodriguez was brought to the U.S. illegally by his parents when he was 8 years old. His father, Juan, disappeared under mysterious circumstances when Rodriguez was 11 and was found murdered a few months later. Rodriguez was raised in Houston and went to Houston-area schools, until he dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. He has been deported from the U.S. twice.
Dozens of HPD officers filled the court each day to witness the proceedings.
During closing arguments, when prosecutors said none of this would have happened if Rodriguez had just stayed deported, Rodriguez sobbed and shouted that he just wanted to get back to the U.S. to see his sick grandfather.
Called as a character witness, the defendant’s mother, Maria Rodriguez, pleaded for mercy.
“I beg you for my son’s life. I know he made a mistake. But he is good,” she said. “He would have never wanted to do this. It was an accident.”
“He told you through his guilty verdict ‘I did it. I’m guilty’ and you heard him apologize the first chance he had. That is worth something in the face of life in prison,” said defense attorney Rick DeToto.
But prosecutors, driving several members of the jury to tears in their closing arguments and by playing the accident video again, said Rodriguez should be judged by the choices he made that night. He also had a small bag of cocaine in his pocket when he was arrested after the crash.
“If there’s a ton of bricks coming down on this defendant, it’s because on May 29, 2011, he put every single one of those bricks over his head. He made choices. That ton of bricks is his own making,” said prosecutor Catherine Evans.
Sandy Springs, Ga. June 8 2012
A man who was shot several times at Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs on Thursday night has died.
Investigators said Melvin Vernell III was found shot inside a car that was parked in the second-level parking deck off Hollis Cobb Drive adjacent to the Northside Hospital Women’s Center.
A nurse told Channel 2′s Amy Napier Viteri the man was rushed to the emergency room. Police confirmed later in the evening the man died from his injuries.
The hospital was put on lockdown for more than an hour. Officers are currently looking for the shooter.
Friday morning, police told Channel 2′s Darryn Moore that they still have not found a reason why Vernell, 19, was shot and they do not know why he was at the hospital.
Police said Vernell is also known as Lil’ Phat.
Detectives are scouring surveillance footage from the parking deck for clues. Witnesses said two men ran from the parking deck after the shooting.
A hospital spokesperson said the shooting is not connected to the hospital.
One of the visitors who found themselves caught up in the lockdown was state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton.
“We arrived around 6:30 to visit my brother and sister-in-law; my wife’s family had baby today at Northside Women’s Center. And, as we arrived, there was a disturbance in the parking lot,” Bethel told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a phone interview.
“As we entered the hospital, we were escorted to an empty patient room with other visitors,” he said. Hospital officials, he said, “just asked us to go, close the doors and stay away from the windows.”
The visitors were still there at 8 p.m., waiting for someone to explain what was happening and tell them it was safe to come out.
“My brother-in-law upstairs says a nurse told them there apparently was a shooting in the parking lot,” Bethel said. “Another family said that as they were beginning to leave, they heard shots and were hurried back into the hospital.”
The Green Bay City Council on Wednesday rejected a plan to outsource all crossing guard positions to Per Mar Security Services of Davenport, Iowa.
The move would have saved the city about $40,000 a year.
But crossing guards opposed the change, and aldermen voiced concern that the city would be cutting corners in an area that involves the safety of school children.
Alderman Jesse Brunette said he is impressed by the work of the city’s 44 crossing guards, who are employed through the police department at about $12 an hour.
“They do an outstanding job with the protection of our children,” Brunette said.
City staffers had proposed the outsourcing as a cost-saving measure intended to help close a $700,000 deficit in the city’s 2012 budget. Represented by the Teamsters Union, crossing guards cost the city about $380,000 a year.
Crossing guard Jerry Krausert, who serves students at Elmore Elementary School, said he feared that Per Mar would cut salaries and shift guards away from their chosen schools.
Krausert was relieved aldermen had killed the outsourcing idea.
“I feel great,” he said.
Alderman Tom Sladek proposed sending the issue back to committee for more discussion. But others on the council said they were eager to decide the issue.
With the school year ending, Alderman Joe Moore said, “It makes no sense to have these people walking on eggshells all summer.”
Source:green bay gazette
Andrew Gesslein II, 42, of Hamburg — who was not supposed to be armed — fired a handgun several times, killing 23-year-old Michael M. Randolph of Allentown, officials said.
A six-week investigation revealed Randolph had no weapon and there were no witnesses or evidence saying he even pretended to have one, authorities said Thursday.
Gesslein, a guard for Eye in the Sky Security in Whitehall Township, was charged Thursday with voluntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony, said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin.
Gesslein was arraigned by District Judge Ron Manescu and sent to Lehigh County Prison without bail. If convicted, he would face 10 to 20 years in prison, Martin said.
The charge, Martin said, is appropriate because at the time of the killing, Gesslein believed deadly force was necessary for self-protection, but that belief was unreasonable.
During a news conference, Martin explained that the killing did not qualify as first-, second- or third-degree murder because it wasn’t deliberate, premeditated or intentional, wasn’t committed during the course of another felony and wasn’t done with malice.
“A district attorney should not file charges unless all elements of an offense can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Martin said.
While the investigation showed that Randolph and two friends threatened to kill Gesslein for not allowing them into the private, after-hours club at Eighth and Tilghman streets, the shooting did not qualify as self-defense, Martin said.
Club President Robert E. Smith Jr. has said Gesslein had a run-in with Randolph weeks before the killing, but Martin said investigators found no evidence to prove that claim. He said the investigation did find altercations involving security guards and patrons in the weeks before the shooting, but none involved Randolph or Gesslein.
Since Randolph’s death, family and friends have been demonstrating in downtown Allentown because they say Randolph, a popular local rapper who performed under the stage name “Ohead,” was killed without reason and the security guard should be in jail. Calls to Randolph’s family Thursday were not returned.
Martin said the investigation was lengthy because of the number of people detectives needed to interview. Using surveillance cameras outside the club, police determined that 97 people entered that night. Police identified 26 of them and interviewed 21, he said.
Police have not talked to the two people with Randolph that night. One of them is out of state, Martin said, and police have not been able to identify the other. Investigators are still trying to identify and talk to more witnesses.
According to a criminal complaint:
Allentown police were dispatched to the club at 3:11 that morning on a report of a shooting.
Randolph was found on the ground outside the back entrance and died at the hospital. An investigation showed he was shot three times – in the back, in the abdomen and in the right thigh. Police could not determine the sequence of the gunshots.
According to toxicology reports, Randolph had marijuana in his system and a blood-alcohol content of 0.07 percent.
Police spoke to Gesslein, who admitted he shot Randolph. He told police he was working the back entrance of the club, screening guests and allowing club members and their guests inside.
Gesslein told police Randolph and two friends were outside the club trying to get in, but he repeatedly denied them access. Gesslein said Randolph and his friends threatened to kill him or hurt him. Two witnesses interviewed by police confirmed his account.
At some point, Randolph and his friends pushed their way into the club and Randolph and Gesslein got into a struggle. Gesslein said he pushed Randolph away, took three or four steps back and drew his .45-caliber handgun.
Gesslein said the three men started to head for the exit, but Randolph stopped, turned around and reached into his waistband and Gesslein opened fire. He told police he fired twice, but the investigation showed it was three times.
Another witness told police Gesslein fired as the three men were running toward the door. Surveillance video from outside the club did not capture the shooting and the club does not have cameras inside.
Martin said the video from outside the club shows Randolph and his friends entering the club, and eight seconds later, they and another person are leaving the club quickly, like a “stampede.”
Martin said he spoke to Randolph’s family before announcing the charges.
“I understand that this case may be unpopular with some people who believe that the security guard should have been charged with first-degree or third-degree murder or should not have been charged at all,” Martin said. “However, a district attorney’s obligation is to evaluate the facts as they are known to have existed at the time and the totality of circumstances based on all admissible evidence that has been found and make a decision that is in the interest of justice.
“A district attorney cannot be influenced by outside or emotional interests and should not be swayed by public opinion or protests.”
Gesslein, who is married and has a child, was licensed to carry a gun but was not hired as an armed security guard that night, according to Smith, the club president. Gesslein has worked for the Whitehall security company for less than a year and had been working security at the club for a few months, Martin said.
Calls to Eye in the Sky Security were not returned.
source-the morning call
WASHINGTON DC June 8 2012 (AP) — The chairman of the District of Columbia Council resigned Wednesday effective immediately after being charged in federal court with lying about his income on bank loan applications.
The bank fraud charge against Kwame R. Brown, one of the most influential power brokers in the D.C. government, is the latest allegation of criminal wrongdoing to roil local politics in the nation’s capital. It means further shakeup on the council.
Councilmember Phil Mendelson confirmed to The Associated Press that Brown had resigned. He had submitted a resignation letter by the end of the day.
“I have made some very serious mistakes in judgment for which I will take full responsibility,” Brown wrote in a letter Wednesday to the Council secretary, a copy of which was obtained by the AP. He added later, “I have behaved in ways that I should not have. I was wrong, and I will face the consequences of that conduct.”
Council chair pro tempore Mary Cheh said in a statement Wednesday night that she wanted to assure D.C. residents “the work of the Council will continue uninterrupted.” She said she would convene a special council meeting for June 13 to elect an interim chair.
Brown becomes the second councilmember to face criminal charges since January. His departure comes as federal authorities continue investigating the 2010 campaign of Mayor Vincent Gray.
The 41-year-old Brown was charged in a criminal information, a document that generally signals that a defendant has agreed to plead guilty. A plea hearing is set for Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington.
On Wednesday, he declined to answer questions or comment on the case following a closed-door meeting with fellow councilmembers. Brown’s lawyer, Frederick Cooke, declined comment, and the U.S. Attorney’s office said it would have no comment.
Brown is charged with a single count of bank fraud, accused of overstating his income by tens of thousands of dollars on applications submitted for a home equity loan and for a boat. Though federal bank fraud carries up to 30 years in prison, Brown is likely to receive a much shorter sentence for his cooperation with prosecutors.
Federal authorities had also been investigating Brown for alleged financial improprieties in his 2008 campaign, but Wednesday’s charge is unrelated and focuses solely on his personal financial dealings.
“I’m shocked by the news; I am disappointed and saddened,” Gray, who preceded Brown as council chairman and served alongside him, said in a written statement. He added, “I served with him my entire time on the Council. Never would I have imagined something like this would occur.”
Political consultant Tom Lindenfeld, who is friends with Brown, said the criminal charge did nothing to clean up perceived municipal corruption since it dealt with Brown’s personal, rather than public, life.
“I think that if we’re going to take people who have been arrested out of office, it should (be for) public corruption, and I don’t see it here,” he said.
Either way, the charge and Brown’s resignation create further tumult in D.C. politics.
It comes six months after then-Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 in government funds earmarked for youth sports and arts programs. He resigned and was sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Thomas was replaced on the council in a special election last month.
Two former Gray campaign aides pleaded guilty in a separate investigation last month on charges stemming from illicit payments made to encourage a minor candidate in the 2010 race to criticize then-incumbent Adrian Fenty. One aide, Howard Brooks, admitted lying to the FBI about the payments while the other, Thomas Gore, admitted to funneling the payments and destroying evidence of the transactions. Gray has denied wrongdoing.
The D.C. Council is an unusual governmental body, functioning as both a municipal board and a state legislature. Its 13 members vote on legislation and a multi-billion-dollar budget that touches all corners of city life. The chairman has special powers as well, doling out committee assignments, convening meetings, overseeing the budget process and introducing legislation at the mayor’s behest.
Under D.C. regulations, the Board of Elections would certify the seat as vacant within five working days of receiving notice of Brown’s resignation. An interim council chairman will be selected from among four at-large councilmembers at a meeting scheduled for June 13.
A special election to fill Brown’s seat would likely take place in this fall.
D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham, speaking before the council meeting, said the charge ends what had been a period of uncertainty.
“It’s an opportunity for real change,” he said, adding that he was hopeful about the future.
“I believe, though, optimistically, that we have the resources within the council, within this government, to pull out of this and to reach a point … where something positive is going to happen,” he said
Brown, a native Washingtonian who says he’s worked to revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen environmental laws, was elected to the council in 2004 and ascended to chairman in January 2011, after Gray became mayor.
He stumbled early last year, when he gave back under pressure a fully loaded Lincoln Navigator SUV that he had specifically requested and that cost the city nearly $2,000 a month. His staff had already rejected one SUV because it didn’t have the interior he wanted. A report from a fellow councilmember found that Brown had “inappropriately requested” the SUV and that city officials broke the law by leasing it to him.
Bob Welch, a former member of Fleetwood Mac died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound www.privateofficer.com
Police spokesman Don Aaron said Welch was found dead with a chest wound by his wife at their home on West Oak Highland Drive in Nashville around 12:15 p.m. Thursday.
Welch was a guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He formed the British rock group Paris in 1976, and had hits including “Sentimental Lady” in 1977 and “Ebony Eyes” in 1978.
Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham did backing vocals on “Sentimental Lady.”
Aaron said Welch apparently had health issues recently. He said a suicide note was left.
Idris Bridgeforth, 39, was the girl’s basketball and track coach at Ashburn Community Elementary School, where she is in eighth grade, according to court documents. The two have known each other for several years, the documents state.
Bridgeforth has been charged with indecent solicitation of a child and criminal sexual assault, authorities said. He was ordered held on $250,000 bail today by Criminal Court Judge Donald Panarese, according to court records.
Bridgefoth was a staff member at the school and coached sports there, but has been removed from his duties with pay, pending a hearing next week, said Marielle Sainvilus, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Public Schools. CPS employment records show Bridgeforth worked at the school IN 2007, that year as a special education assistant, and has worked there continuously since at least 2009, most recently with the official title of guidance counselor assistant, with a salary of $32,000 a year. He has been with CPS at least since 2006, according to records.
He was arrested Wednesday morning after the girl’s mother discovered “numerous” text messages of a sexual nature on her daughter’s phone, the most recent one sent late Tuesday night, according to a police report.
In some of the text messages, Bridgeforth said he wanted to have sex with the girl, according to prosecutors.
The mother confronted her daughter and the girl said the messages had been sent by her gym teacher, police said. The mother notified officials at the school in the 8300 block of South St. Louis Avenue Wednesday morning and police were called, the police report said.
Court documents filed today by prosecutors accuse Bridgeforth of assaulting the girl “on multiple occasions” while giving her rides to and from sports events and practices between December and this month. Bridgeforth also “admitted to having inappropriate contact and sexual conduct” with the girl, the documents alleged.
Bridgeforth, of the 14500 block of South Parnell Avenue in Riverdale, turned his phone over to police, officials said.
Atlanta GA June 8 2012 (CNN) — Two people were killed and two were wounded Thursday near Atlanta while attending a funeral for a murder victim, police said.
The funeral was for Ryan Guider, 19, who was killed in DeKalb County last week, county police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said.
Parish said a man arrived as mourners gathered in the parking lot at Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain, just east of Atlanta, and began shooting.
“Everybody hit the ground,” one man told CNN affiliate WSB. “Everybody was just screaming and hollering and just running.”
One woman told the station she hid in the bushes.
Parish said people at the funeral shot back and killed the man, but WSB reported that police were still looking for the shooter and had detained three other people.
Scott PA June 8 2012 Rosslyn Farms residents will experience a changing of the guard, so to speak, as Scott prepares to take over as the borough’s contracted police service Aug. 1.
Following a special public session May 29 in which the police chiefs from Carnegie and Scott made Power Point presentations, Rosslyn Farms council voted unanimously to award a three-year contract to Scott. The cost for 2013 will be $50,000 — about $4,000 less than Carnegie’s bid.
“No matter which way we went, we couldn’t go wrong,” Rosslyn Farms Mayor Jim Stover said. “We just decided on Scott.”
He cited department size and call volume as the two deciding factors. Scott has 20 officers and Carnegie has 14, but the latter has a larger call volume.
Scott Police Chief Jim Secreet said his officers are “psyched” to take on Rosslyn Farms — a 0.6 square-mile residential community of fewer than 200 homes and a population under 500.
“I’m lucky,” he said. “I have a good department. All the guys are really proud that another community picked us.”
Chief Secreet, a 30-year police veteran who has been Scott’s chief for five years, added that he was impressed with the friendliness of the people he met in Rosslyn Farms when he drove around to familiarize himself with the borough.
“Our main goal is to keep it like it is,” he said, noting his officers will train with Rosslyn Farms Chief Larry Fischio and that taxpayers in both communities would see some financial benefit from the contracted arrangement.
“I view it as a partnership, and I want to be there forever,” Chief Secreet said.
Carnegie Police Chief Jeffrey Harbin, whose department also polices Pennsbury Village, declined comment except to say, “We appreciated the opportunity to make our proposal.”
Two factors led Rosslyn Farms officials to consider outsourcing its police department: economics and the upcoming retirement of Chief Fischio, a police veteran of more than 41 years. They believe as much as $150,000 could be saved annually by contracting for police service. The change will leave Rosslyn Farms officer Scott Kercher and four part-time patrolmen without jobs.
Because Rosslyn Farms residents are used to high visibility and one-on-one relationships with their police, Chief Secreet intends to continue that. He said Scott has divided its police patrol routes into three zones and that Rosslyn Farms will be added to Zone 2, which also covers Glendale and East Carnegie neighborhoods. All zones are patrolled around-the-clock.
A specially marked police car for Zone 2 will carry the inscription “Serving the Residents of Scott and Rosslyn Farms.”
But his men will mark reports that involve the borough specifically as “Rosslyn Farms” instead of by zone, which is usual practice. Rosslyn Farms typically has about 110 calls annually, many of which are home alarms, he said.
Last week’s decision marks the conclusion of many months of public discussion about how to handle the borough’s policing needs. Besides Carnegie and Scott, Crafton, Heidelberg and Robinson submitted proposals for the police contract. In April, Rosslyn Farms council voted to disband its department and consider proposals submitted from Carnegie and Scott.
Mayor Stover, who said both departments gave excellent presentations, acknowledged that the contractual arrangement will be a change for residents.
“I think public safety will not skip a beat, but we will miss our two officers and seeing the same people every day,” Mayor Stover said, adding the community will thank and honor Chief Fischio in a celebration most likely to take place in late August.
Philadelphia PA June 8 2012 A 26-year-old off-duty police officer was shot in the foot early today when he went to aid a security guard during a dispute outside a Crescentville bar and the guard’s gun fell to the sidewalk and went off, authorities said.
As the officer headed to a hospital in a private vehicles, the two men involved in the dispute with the guard went to a parked SUV, retrieved a weapon and sprayed the bar with at least a dozen bullets, wounding a 23-year-old woman in the leg.
Both victims are expected to recover.
Police said the shooting erupted about 2:50 a.m. outside at Candela’s Bar & Restaurant on the 700 block of Adams Avenue.
According to police, the unarmed off-duty officer saw the security guard struggling with one of two men outside the bar and went to help.
As the officer walked out the door, the security guard’s gun fell and went off, police.
Wounded in the foot, the officer got in car and went to Nazareth Hospital. (He was later transferred to Temple University Hospital.)
The two men in the meantime went to a Toyota RAV, grabbed handguns and fired at the security guard, missing him but wounding the woman, police said.
Police are seeking the assailants, who fled after the shooting.
North Myrtle Beach, SC June 8 2012 - U.S. Security guards working for Tidewater Plantation aided in the arrest of a suspect and the recovery
At 2:30 am security guards observed a GMC truck driving extremely slowly north on Little River Neck Road. Cautious because of two past robberies at the storage yard, the two guards, Stout and Watson, monitored video cameras at the storage yard. They observed the truck pull into the entry and stop. Watson called North Myrtle Beach Police and Stout drove the security vehicle to the storage yard and blocked the truck from leaving.
North Myrtle Beach LCpl Rogers and PSO Jones responded to the call and located the truck, ran its plates and found it had been reported stolen. The driver, a white female, was taken into custody. Officers found a small bag of marijuana and pipe in her purse. During the truck inventory, the suspect squeezed through the cage of the patrol vehicle and escaped into the woods where she was subsequently located and re-secured. When the truck was processed, police found cocaine.
The suspect had no source of identification and gave officers the name of Welch which did not appear in police records. Using fingerprints, North Myrtle Beach Police identified the woman as 30 year old Almeria Rene Page of Myrtle Beach.
Page was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest, and possession of stolen goods, marijuana, crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. J. Ruben Long Detention Center shows an August, 2011 booking for burglary, larceny, receiving stolen goods, card theft and card fraud.
Nashville TN June 8 2012 Frank Turner Jr. has turned his life around.
The longtime felon is a volunteer with Men of Valor, a Nashville-based nonprofit that ministers to people in prison. He’s written a book about his struggles with drugs and crime in the hope that others will learn from the mistakes he’s made. He also started his own masonry business.
Even though he’s come so far, there’s one thing that has eluded him: the right to vote.
“I’ve been wanting to do it for the last couple of years,” Turner said. “I want to register to vote because there are some things in society that need to be cleared up, and I think that everybody’s opinion needs to be heard.”
Turner, who was convicted on an aggravated assault charge, recently joined dozens of other felons at a local workshop designed to teach them how to have their voting rights restored. While the process is free, nonprofit and civic groups such as Music City Links are working to help felons sort through the paperwork.
“We have a democratic government, we have to vote for the representative that decides what rules we’re going to be governed by. So, it’s important that they participate in the process,” said Marilyn Robinson of Music City Links, which hosted the workshop.
Tennessee is expecting hundreds, if not thousands, of felons to have their voting rights restored this year because it is a presidential election year.
Not everyone is eligible
Anyone convicted of a felony loses his or her right to vote. But most can petition to have that right restored once their sentence is complete.
Already this year, at least 238 felons in Tennessee have gotten their voting rights restored, according to the Tennessee Department of State. That number is expected to explode as the November election nears.
“You always see an increase in any election year,” said Mark Goins, elections coordinator for the Department of State.
In 2008, for example, Tennessee saw 2,500 felons have their voting rights restored — a state record and nearly triple the number of restoration cases the prior year.
Certain felonies disqualify some citizens from ever voting again, including murder, sex crimes and voter fraud. Before restoring one’s voting rights, a felon must have paid all court costs and restitution and cannot be behind on any child support payments. Once a person qualifies, he must have a Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole officer sign off on his paperwork, which is then submitted to the Tennessee Department of State. So long as the person meets the criteria, the restoration of voting rights is automatically granted, free of charge.
“It takes a little time, but it’s not a complicated process,” Goins said.
Still, the process intimidates some people, said Daniel Satterfield, an assistant Davidson County public defender who volunteered at the Music City Links workshop.
“They have every reason to distrust government, or to not want to participate in it, to be pushed on the margins of society. … That’s kind of what being a felon does is, it pushes you to the margins,” he said. “It says you are no longer part of society, you’re now part of the crime society or the felony society and we’re taking away your right to vote, we’re taking away your ability to get jobs.”
But Trent England, vice president of policy at the Freedom Foundation, a Washington-based libertarian think tank, said it should be hard for felons to have their rights restored. The group has opposed measures in other states, such as Washington, that have made the restoration of felons’ voting rights automatic upon completion of their sentences.
“The default position over history has been to not return full rights back to people convicted of felonies,” England said. “These are people who have not respected the rights of others, and it’s perfectly legitimate for society to say … we will deny you your voice in our system of government. The fact that we today are much more lenient even to the point of restoring full franchise to people who have been convicted really is a modern phenomenon and is an expression of mercy. It certainly is warranted to be cautious in how we express that mercy.”
England said that Tennessee’s restoration process is in line with the think tank’s philosophy that it should take effort to have one’s voting rights restored.
“Tennessee voters should be proud to have a system that has some checks and balances on the restoration of voting rights,” he said.
Robert Coleman, 48, can confirm that it wasn’t an easy road. Being a felon felt isolating. And the process looked intimidating. But the effort was worth it.
“New things always look intimidating, but I also realize the importance of it all,” he said. “I’m kind of excited about doing it.”
‘I want the right’
Robinson said Music City Links hopes to hold more workshops in the near future. They’re also hoping to add other services to help felons return to society once they’ve paid their debts.
“The whole idea is to be a one-stop shop,” she said. “Some need to get their driver’s license reinstated so they can have gainful employment. Some of them have a hurdle of repaying fines. This is just our preliminary step. We’re just going to continue to build momentum.”
Lisa Crutcher, 48, was appreciative for the chance to take advantage of their services. She said that she paid the price for drug addiction and she’s ready to make a contribution to society again.
“I want the right to be able to vote and have my word in an election. My vote, I believe, means a lot,” she said. “It’s just a struggle for people who have paid their dues after making a mistake. We all make bad choices in life, and unfortunately making a bad choice causes us not to be a part of society, you get left out. You get left out of everything.”