Dumbass Arkansas Corrections Department Has Inmates Making Guard’s Uniforms – Two Murderers Walk Out Dressed Like Guards

May 31, 2009

GRADY, ARKANSAS – Arkansas authorities are searching for two convicted murderers who walked out of a prison after dressing up like corrections officers.

Corrections department spokeswoman Dina Tyler says Jeffrey Grinder and Calvin Adams escaped Friday evening from a prison in Grady. Both men were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Tyler says the guard uniforms the inmates put on are made in the prison. She says the men put them on in the prison library and walked out of the prison during a shift change.

Tyler says 32-year-old Grinder and 39-year-old Adams drove away in a maroon or burgundy colored, 4-door sedan that had been left for them.

Grinder was convicted of murder in 2004, and Adams was convicted in 1995. Both men have family in Arkansas and out of state.

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Obese Wheelchair Bound Quadriplegic "Drug Lord" Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Conspiracy – No Prison Found That Can Imprison Him – Cost To Taxpayers To Be At Least $160,000 Per Year

May 31, 2009

AUSTRALIA – A quadriplegic whose disability was compared to the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve, has been jailed for up to 10 years for conspiring to manufacture ecstasy.

Paul Baker, 36, of Colyton in Sydney’s west, is the first quadriplegic in NSW history to receive a full-time custodial sentence.

District Court Judge Robert Toner’s decision last Wednesday will force jail authorities to spend thousands of dollars modifying a cell for Baker – once they find a prison that can accommodate his considerable needs.

The NSW Department of Corrective Services has admitted it is yet to find a permanent jail cell for Baker, who is morbidly obese and needs 98 hours of care per fortnight, which will be provided by an independent care agency.

He cannot eat, drink, go to the toilet or wash by himself and requires a hoist to transfer him to bed from his motorised wheelchair – which he controls with a slight movement in one hand.

In court, Baker’s lawyer compared his condition to that of Christopher Reeve, who became a quadriplegic after a horse-riding accident and died in 2004.

“We set up a committee to deal with (Baker) because we knew he would probably be getting a custodial sentence,” a Corrective Services spokesman said.

“At the moment he is in Long Bay (jail) hospital in the aged-care and frailty unit. He’ll be in there for an assessment and planning period while we look at various jails to figure out which would be most suitable to cope with his level of disability.”

The department said it would cost about $200,000 per year to look after Baker, double the cost of an average “secure” prisoner.

Some $4000 was spent on modifying a truck to convey him from court to jail last week. It will be used again when, and if, authorities decide to relocate him.

His cell will have to be fitted with a hoist, special furniture and air-conditioning because Baker can no longer control his own body temperature, authorities said.

A former director of import companies, Baker pleaded guilty in 2007 to one count of conspiring with three other men to manufacture one tonne of ecstasy.

The court heard that Baker ordered importation of glassware used in the manufacture of the drug and a pill press found in his home. These were also used in a clandestine lab at Badgerys Creek.

The drug was to be manufactured with other chemicals and combined with 11 200-litre containers of methylamine, imported from China in 2005.

Police moved in before any drugs were made, the court heard. Judge Toner sentenced Baker to a maximum of 10 years six months, with a non-parole period of three years and six months.

Baker became a quadriplegic in 1995, after a car accident.

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Vancouver Canada Police, Having Solved All Other Problems, Now Targeting Bicyclists

May 30, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA – There is good news and bad news for Vancouver cyclists.

The bad news is that during June, Bike Month in the city, traffic cops will be ticketing cyclists who violate the rules of the road.

The good news is that they’ll mostly be handing out “information tickets” aimed at educating bikers.

The fake tickets list all the possible violations bikers can commit — and just how much they’d be on the hook for if they get caught when the police are more focussed on enforcement than education.

Cyclists can be dinged for $109 for riding without a bell, another $109 for not having a red reflector on the rear of the bike or a light on the front. Talking on a cellphone while wheeling down the road is also worth $109.

Forget doubling your kid on the back; that’s another $109. And no, you can’t grab on to the back of a car for a free tow. Nor can you stand up on your pedals to get up that hill — if you don’t have your butt in the seat, that’s another $109.

If you bump into a pedestrian and cycle away without turning over your particulars, that’s considered a hit-and-run — and it’s a criminal offence.

“A lot of cyclists, and usually it’s the casual cyclist, may not realize they are subject to specific requirements under the Motor Vehicles Act legislation,” said Lindsey Houghton of the Vancouver police department.

Houghton added, “By conducting this information campaign we want to educate cyclists rather than punish them. We want to see people on bikes obeying the rules of the road.”

Houghton said that 3,730 violation tickets at $29 a pop were issued to cyclists without helmets between Jan. 1, 2008, and May 1, 2008.

Arno Schortinghuis, president of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, said many cyclists are infuriated by the campaign.

“It’s discriminatory. You would never see a police officer pulling over a car to hand out the rules of the road to a driver.”

Schortinghuis said he believes the campaign is misguided, and would prefer a campaign that addresses both drivers of vehicles and cyclists.

“Yes, cyclists are breaking the law if they don’t follow the rules of the road, but it’s not the cyclists that are going to kill or injure the driver of the car,” he said. “We want cyclists, drivers and pedestrians to be very well-educated and get where they are going as safely as possible.”

He said the money might have been better spent by policing bike routes for drivers who speed or cut around diverters meant to keep the routes car-free.

Schortinghuis complies with all VPD and city cycling bylaws, he said, including a few he considers ridiculous.

“The bell rule is totally absurd,” he said. “A bell is going to do nothing to alert a car that you’re coming. The biggest focus should be on changing behaviour of drivers.”

He said Vancouver could use improvements, such as vulnerable road user legislation, to protect cyclists, but “it’s probably safer than a lot of people think.”

He recommends bikers educate themselves through safety courses such as the one the cycling coalition offers called Streetwise.

Houghton said that during Bike Month while the information campaign is under way, real violation tickets will be issued “with a very high degree of discretion.”

While he agrees that drivers also need to be educated, he said the focus of the campaign is on cyclists. “If we save one life, it’s worth it.”

SOME CYCLING OFFENCES

Offence Ticket amount

Cycle without helmet: $29

Ride cycle on sidewalk: $109

Ride two abreast on roadway: $109

Ride while not astride seat: $109

Carry passengers on cycle: $109

Ride while attached to vehicle: $109

Ride without hands on handlebar: $109

Cycle without due care and attention: $109

Cycle without reasonable consideration: $109

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Connecticut Runs Out Of Money, Plans To Close Courthouses, State Parks, And Legalize Keno

May 30, 2009

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT – Gov. M. Jodi Rell offered a supplemental budget Thursday that would cut $1.3 billion in spending over two years, close some courthouses and state parks, consolidate agencies and legalize Keno gambling to balance the state’s two-year budget.

The new budget would require no new taxes or cuts in education aid for municipalities and would reduce spending by 1.4 percent below the level for the current fiscal year.

The Keno games, which would be run by the state’s lottery corporation, would generate an estimated $60 million per year in new state revenue if Connecticut joins neighboring New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in legalizing the electronic gambling game.

Rell’s budget proposes closing courthouses in Manchester, Norwalk, Putnam and Derby. Those would be in addition to her earlier call to close courthouses in Meriden and Bristol.

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The supplemental budget represents additional cuts beyond the ones that Rell offered in February, and is designed to combat a plan by Democratic legislators to raise taxes by more than $3 billion over two years.

In contrast, Rell says her budget requires no new taxes or tax increases, particularly in the state income tax. If the state can avoid tax increases, it will have a competitive advantage when the recession ends, she said.

“The top income tax in New York and New Jersey is nearly 9 percent, and Rhode Island’s is just under 10 percent, while Connecticut’s top rate is still 5 percent,” Rell said. “If we hold the line on taxes and make the tough decisions now, we will make our state infinitely more affordable for business and infinitely more appealing for investment.”

Democrats expressed immediate skepticism, saying they believe that the state would still have a budget deficit even with the additional cuts.

Rep. John Geragosian, a New Britain Democrat who co-chairs the legislature’s budget-writing committee, said he felt blind-sided by the cuts because he had been negotiating with the governor’s office. The negotiations ended unexpectedly Wednesday after Rell objected to a Democratic amendment on how the state’s budget deficit is projected.

“We’re not going to make irresponsible cuts on the backs of the poorest in Connecticut” without also asking for tax increases on the wealthiest, Geragosian said.

Rell intends to save $1 million per year by eliminating 200 summer jobs in state parks. However, the state’s biggest shoreline parks — like Hammonasset in Madison and Sherwood Island in Westport — will remain open. Even without staffing, some state parks will remain open if lifeguards are not necessary. Putnam Park in Redding, for example, will remain open even without staffing, and any closings would be on a case-by-case basis.

“Many inland state parks will be closed and gated with minimum maintenance performed,” the budget summary said. “Park naturalist and environmental education programs for inland parks will be suspended. Six inland freshwater, state-operated boat launches will be closed with the closure of associated state parks.”

Among the cuts, Rell is reducing Medicaid rates for nursing homes by 1 percent. She will also reduce payments to other Medicaid providers by the same 1 percent as of the new fiscal year on July 1.

After scrutinizing the budget for months, Geragosian said many of the cuts are simply not acceptable.

“Respectfully, I’ve spent about 100 times more on the governor’s budget than she has,” Geragosian said. “It’s almost June 1, and now we’re hearing about Keno. It doesn’t sound like a real solution.”

House Speaker Christopher Donovan said his “first blush” reaction was that Rell’s proposals “really tend to hurt those who are hurt most in our recession. If you’re looking at those who are affected by the recession — those who are looking for jobs, those who are looking to get new skills, those who are losing health care — you are affected adversely by her proposals. … We’re disappointed in that, and we certainly see our role as fighting to protect the citizens of our state from some of these devastating cuts.”

“We’re going to keep working,” Donovan said. “We would like to have a budget done by next week,” when the legislative session is scheduled to end. “But, given the fact that we just got these today, it’s going to make it hard.”

Donovan said Rell’s proposals highlight “the difference between the Democrats and Republicans. … The Democratic proposal largely looked at those with higher incomes in order to reach some of the gaps in the budget, plus we had some cuts that were out there, as well. The governor has left those upper-income people in the state unscathed. … Those on the lower end are taking a big hit.”

Geragosian said Rell “can’t get off saying she has a no-tax budget” with her proposal, because she wants “hundreds of millions of dollars in [increased] fees. … If you ride a bus in this state … if you ride a train in this state, she’s raising your taxes.”

Nonprofit agencies were not pleased with the cuts.

“The latest budget proposal from Gov. Rell would do severe damage to community providers and constituents who require provider services,” said Terry Edelstein, CEO of an association of nonprofits. “It starts by cutting annual funding by 1 percent in each of the next two years. These cuts will have a direct impact on the ability of providers to deliver services to people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance-use disorders.”

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US National Archives Can’t Find 2 Terrabyte Hard Drive Containing Sensitive White House Information – Offers $50K Reward

May 30, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – The US National Archives offered a cash reward of up to 50,000 dollars Friday for the recovery of a missing computer hard drive containing sensitive personnel data from the Clinton administration.

Described by the archives as a “Western Digital MY BOOK external hard drive” with a 2-terabyte storage capacity, it contained copies of backup tapes from the White House dating back to president Bill Clinton’s tenure in the 1990s.

The drive was discovered missing on March 24 from an archives processing room in College Park, Maryland.

The disappearance of the drive, which included social security numbers and other personal information of White House employees, is being investigated by the US Secret Service.

The archives said it had not yet determined whether the drive had been lost or stolen.

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Maine State Police Raid Charity Event, Seize Money They Raised To Feed The Poor

May 30, 2009

BUXTON, MAINE – Buxton police raided a building where people were trying to raise money to give free food to the needy.

It happened at the Narragansett Pythian Sisters Temple on Route 22 where people were playing the card game Texas Hold’em to benefit the Buxton Community Food Co-op.

But state police said the game was illegal.

That’s because whenever a gambling tournament is held to raise money for a group and takes place at its headquarters, a permit is needed and the co-op didn’t have one.

So, state police seized cards, poker chips and $500 in cash — money the food co-op desperately needed.

A member of the co-op, Joann Groder, said she is very, very sad about what happened.

“We’ve had a lot of people who come here — people who are out of work, people who have cancer. We have a lot of people,” said Groder.

But state police are standing by what was done.

“In this particular case they weren’t licensed, and they knew they weren’t and they knew they needed one,” said Lt. David Bowler of the Maine State Police.

The money from the co-op’s card game is currently being held as evidence while the investigation continues.

Groder now plans to hold a pot roast dinner to raise money for the co-op.

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Teen Slashes Tires On 4 Mission Kansas Patrol Cars, Then Calls 911 And Tells On Himself – Duh…

May 30, 2009

MISSION, KANSAS – It turns out that calling police to brag about slashing the tires on four patrol cars isn’t such a good idea.

Police in the Kansas City suburb of Mission announced Friday afternoon that they had arrested Jesse L. Sellers Jr. The 19-year-old Overland Park man is accused of slashing the tires Wednesday while the cars were parked in a department lot.

He faces one municipal count of criminal damage to property.

Police said they stopped Sellers for a traffic violation earlier on the same morning that he is accused of slashing the tires.

Police said the voice on the dash cam video in the police cruiser matched the voice on the 911 call that bragged about slashing the tires.

Mission police Maj. Mark Sullivan said it cost $1,000 to fix the tires.

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