Courageous Students Help Police Track Down Peeping Tom

Sep 16, 15 Courageous Students Help Police Track Down Peeping Tom

Posted by in Featured, Legal

Eight female college students are being commended for their bravery in helping police identify and arrest a man who was peeping into their windows on multiple occasions. According to local Minnesota news affiliate WCCO, University of St. Thomas student Emma Button noticed a man staring into her window on the night of Sept. 7. Upon being noticed, the man fled. In a surprising display of arrogance, however, the man returned the very next night — which is when the eight roommates decided to take matters into their own hands. “(My roommate) grabbed her pepper spray and we grabbed our phones, and we just walked out of our house,” Button said. The man fled once again. With adrenaline consuming them, the women followed the man and took pictures of his license plate with their smartphones. After returning home and calling the plate number into police, officers identified the perpetrator and arrested him on the very same block the next night. The serial peeper, John David Searle, 44, has been arrested multiple times in the past for several charges, including five prior felony convictions for harassment and stalking, in addition to several misdemeanor convictions for interfering with privacy. All the way back in 2004, Valley News Live spoke to University of St. Thomas students who claimed that Searle was violating their privacy. “I think they need to crack down on this guy,” one of the victims said, more than a decade ago. “He needs to get some help or go to jail.” In the meantime, women all over campus are rushing to secure their windows with draperies and make the proper safety precautions to prevent this from happening to them. Ramsey County Court says Searle was “shocked” and claims he was just driving his car. He is being held on $200,000 bail, and his charges carry a maximum sentence of two years in...

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New Fence Installed Where Little Girl Drowned in Coachella Canal

Aug 12, 15 New Fence Installed Where Little Girl Drowned in Coachella Canal

Posted by in Featured, Legal

According to a recent report from the Desert Sun, a new fence is being installed along the Coachella Canal after the death of a child. Seven-year-old Annie Lee Palmer, a Columbus, Ohio native, was visiting her grandmother in Niland when she was reported missing on July 28. Her body was found two days later, 15 miles east of Desert Aire Drive, in the canal. Because of the current and the steep, slippery canal walls, it took more than six hours to recover her body. Heinrich Boykins, 56, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and child neglect the day after Palmer’s disappearance. Boykins, who is married to Palmer’s grandmother, was said to be in charge of watching the child during her parents’ absence. He remains jailed on $100,000 bail. Officials have already put up over 38 miles of fencing along the 122-mile canal, but the $51 billion fencing industry can anticipate an extra 1,200 feet of extra fence sales for the area where Annie was said to have entered the canal. “Unfortunately the fence is not a complete deterrent. This is especially true in areas like Slab City where the fence is being cut in order to gain access to the canal,” said Diane Carmony, spokesperson for Coachella Valley Water District. Despite efforts to increase safety around the canal, the city still sees many people trying to use the canal to swim. Because of the increased current and steep canal walls, it’s a deceivingly dangerous swimming spot. The city implores citizens to stay away from the canal, and to alert officials of any suspicious behavior to avoid further loss and injury. Carmony adds that the fence is under constant surveillance and repair. “District personnel run this stretch of canal on a nearly daily basis,” she said, “repairing the fence as soon as a cut in the fence is...

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Pests And Poor Sanitation Endanger Birmingham City Jail Inmates

Aug 03, 15 Pests And Poor Sanitation Endanger Birmingham City Jail Inmates

Posted by in Featured, Legal

The Birmingham City Jail desperately needs cleaning, according to written complaints from more than six female inmates. Prisoners aren’t the only ones reporting problems; weeks before, the jail barely passed a health inspection. Environmental health specialist Kevin Tolbert reveals that the establishment received 68 out of 100 possible points. Fox 6 puts that into perspective: “Health officials say any score below 60 means an emergency, automatic closure.” Furthermore, “a score under 70 means a facility has to initiate a corrective action.” The poor — even hazardous — conditions are due largely in part to pests. The inspection revealed an infestation of cockroaches, including roaches crawling inside the kitchen’s ice bin and on top of the inmates’ food trays. These pests have an enormous potential for causing harm: in fact, over 33 different types of bacteria have been linked to cockroaches. Several inmates report being underfed and receiving unreasonably small portions, a possible result of contamination from the insects. Pest control professionals are now visiting the jail two to three times a week and will continue to do so until they contain the infestation. A health inspector will assess the jail for improvement on August 18. Pests aren’t the only problem in Birmingham City Jail. Mildew and mold are growing on the showers, and several toilets are in disrepair. Jail employees flush them intermittently using buckets of water. Toilet paper and feminine hygiene products are in short supply. One inmate describes the food and bathroom facilities as simply “deplorable.” “A police department spokesperson said they are working now to fix those deficiencies,” NBC affiliate 12-WSFA reports. “The department plans to improve the jail but those plans depend on getting a new budget approved...

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Anglers Angry Over Bahamas’ New Fishing Rules, Which Favor Bahamians

Jul 30, 15 Anglers Angry Over Bahamas’ New Fishing Rules, Which Favor Bahamians

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Proposed new fishing rules in the Bahamas have American fly fishing lovers up in arms, with some outraged anglers proposing a boycott. At Hatch Mag, incensed writer Ty Hansen described the proposed rules as “some of the most inane pablum coming from the Bahamian side the Caribbean since Columbus sailed past the northern tip of Long Island and proclaimed himself the master of the Indies.” An estimated 3.83 million Americans spend about $750 million on fly fishing in the U.S. each year, and many elite anglers prize Bahamian waters as prime hunting grounds for the silver bonefish. Now, U.S. fly anglers say the draconian new rules would place far too many restrictions on foreign anglers and guides. For their part, the Bahamian Department of Marine Fisheries says the rules are designed to prevent over fishing and help Bahamian citizens enter the local fishing industry. In a recommendation letter to the Department of Marine Fisheries, the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) recommends that foreign visitors and groups should be required to hire certified local guides at a ratio of two visitors per guide. In addition, the new rules would limit foreign ownership of fishing lodges, locations where many anglers come to stay and fish. In the future, fishing lodges would be required to have a majority Bahamian ownership. Anglers who don’t want to hire local guides, called unguided anglers (UGAs) in the letter, would be restricted to designated zones, to be determined by local guides and lodges. In effect, the rules would give the BFFIA and local fishing guides strict oversight of virtually all fishing in Bahamian waters, including the right to sell (and deny) fishing permits. “This kills the DIY game fairly handily for most of us,” wrote angry angler Bjorn Stromsness. “There would be no more exploring on your own in the Bahamas. You’d have a beat assigned to you, to walk like hundreds before you. I won’t do it.” The BFFIA maintains the rules will prevent overfishing and stimulate the local...

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Caitlyn Jenner Should Have to Sit for Deposition, Say Family of Driver Killed in February

Jul 28, 15 Caitlyn Jenner Should Have to Sit for Deposition, Say Family of Driver Killed in February

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Caitlyn Jenner may have received an award for courage, but the family of Kim Howe are calling her a coward for the fatal car accident she caused in February — and say that she has avoided questioning about the collision. The former Olympic athlete and reality star from Keeping Up with the Kardashians was involved in a four-car accident on February 7. Jenner, who at the time was known as “Bruce” and hadn’t yet come out as transgender, rear-ended Howe while driving a Cadillac Escalade down the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Howe, a 69-year-old widow, was pushed into traffic and was hit by a Hummer in another lane, which wound up killing her. Paparazzi snapped photos of Jenner moments before the accident, showing the Escalade towing a four wheeler. They also captured the exact moment that Jenner hit Howe and photographed the aftermath of the Hummer smashing into Howe’s Lexus. Howe’s family wants Jenner to sit for a deposition in order to question Jenner’s involvement in the accident. They have also hired a car accident attorney to seek a settlement; in total, road crashes like Jenner’s cost the U.S. about $230.6 billion per year. Jenner, meanwhile, said that she was being chased by the photographers, which may have played a role in the accident. Several others were also injured, including Jessica Steindorff, the driver of a Prius, who was also hit by Jenner in the accident. Steindorff, who is a Hollywood talent manager, talked to Entertainment Tonight and took a shot at Jenner for winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS a couple of weeks ago. “For an individual who is such a positive role model in many aspects of her life, Caitlyn has failed to do the right thing and take responsibility for her actions,” she told reports. Steindorff also has a pending lawsuit against...

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Man Who Killed Two Others in Red Light Crash Sentenced

Jul 24, 15 Man Who Killed Two Others in Red Light Crash Sentenced

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A Maryland man has finally been sentenced this week for his involvement in a 2013 crash which left one person in a coma, four injured and two dead. Courtney Everett, the victim who had been left in a coma, woke up two months after the crash, and has finally seen some justice for her sister Brittany, 23, and friend Brittany Queen, 21. They had been driving home from a joint birthday celebration at the time of the crash. Hayes was sentenced to six years for Brittany Everett’s death and six years for the death of Brittany Queen — a total of 12 years in prison. The Everett family stood together and cried as they watched the sentencing. “He stole Brittany’s life from her [sister] and us,” Anaya Jamison, their aunt, said. “Courtney’s birthday will never be the same.” After Hayes plead guilty of two counts of manslaughter in March, his attorney, Christopher A. Griffiths, said Hayes was “very remorseful” and “thinks constantly about the pain that he’s brought to so many people.” He added that his client “didn’t set out to hurt anyone that night.” The accident happened at the intersection of Hill Road and Central Avenue in Capitol Heights, when Hayes sped through a red light — an action which is almost universally (97%) agreed on as safety threat by other drivers — and crashed into the side of the minivan carrying four women and two children. Five people were injured, including a passenger in Hayes’s car. Hayes was driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol at the time of the crash. Police had tried to stop Hayes because his car was suspected of involvement with a shooting earlier in the evening, but he sped away when asked to stop. His car hit speeds from 73 to 80 miles per hour, and one point he had turned off his headlights to try and hide. A study from AAA found that only 11% of automobile crashes – or one out of 10...

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