Thursday, October 27, 2011
Someone shot at a school bus carrying Southwest High football players on Friday night, and some people say Kansas City school officials didn't really do much afterwards, Joe Robertson writes. The coach didn't file a police report about the incident until Sunday:
In the police report, Southwest coach Tim Johnson stated he had not filed a report sooner because he thought district administrators were going to report it.
According to multiple people familiar with the situation who did not want to be named, the district did not inform parents by phone calls or letters about the situation, and a crisis team was not sent into the school to talk with students until Wednesday.
I was working that night and heard the initial report. (The shooting happened near the Afrikan Centered Education Collegium Campus.) Police said they couldn't find any victims on the scene and called it an "unfounded" report, initially at least. The district says there was a breakdown in communication.
In Ohio, a 5-year-old girl was worried because her mom wasn't at their house when the girl got home from school. Naturally, she decided to go looking for Mom by hopping behind the wheel of their Lincoln Navigator, the Associated Press reports.
The girl managed to back the vehicle across the street, but then got out and called 911.
She needed help putting the vehicle back in the driveway before Mom got home and saw what happened. (Since we're reading this, I guess the police felt compelled to let Mom in on what happened.)
The appeals court found that Missouri municipalities may by ordinance make additional rules of the road or traffic regulations to meet their needs, as long as the laws are not contrary to state law. It found the city’s ordinance was a civil ordinance properly enacted pursuant to the city’s police powers for regulating public safety and did not violate Missouri law.
An Ohio woman is accused of hitting speeds of 128 mph during a police pursuit earlier this month, the News-Herald reports. According to police, she wore a G-string, high heels and a fishnet tubetop when she was arrested. You know, the standard uniform for police-chase suspects.
Police have said that the family has not allowed the boys, ages 8 and 5, to be interviewed since Oct. 4, the day Lisa’s parents reported her missing from the family home. The boys reportedly were in the home the night she vanished.
The boys will probably give DNA samples, too. "A police spokesman said that is primarily being done to obtain 'elimination' samples that can be compared with any unknown DNA samples obtained during the investigation."
Ruth Madoff is scheduled to appear on this weekend's episode of "60 Minutes" and will talk public reaction to her husband Bernard's scheme to cheat his customers out of their life savings. Apparently, the feedback was quite negative.
Federal officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction related to an Aug. 8 fire at an Overland Park apartment complex.
The fire at the Evergreen Apartments, 9209 W.79th St., destroyed six units and did about $750,000 in damage. The exact cause has not been determined but investigators call it suspicious, according to Overland Park police and firefighters.
A Taco Bell in Albany, Ga., was allegedly firebombed by a customer who thought his chalupa didn't contain enough meat, authorities tell the Associated Press. A restaurant manager said they received a call from someone who threatened to "redecorate" the place.
The good news? The bomb caused only a small fire.
An Alabama family has spent the last 30 years believing their brother was killed by John Wayne Gacy.
Nope, Harold Wayne Lovell actually moved to Florida because he was having arguments with his mom and stepdad. His family learned of his non-death when they saw one of Lovell's recent booking photos online.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Cauis Veiovis, a Massachusetts man who has a forked tongue, horns and a 666 tattoo on his forehead, is a suspect in three murders. He wrote the newspaper there to clear the air about his name, though: He did NOT get his name from the "Twilight" books.
“My first and middle chosen names were inspired and taken from the great Roman emperors Caligula and Nero, my last — from an ancient Etruscan daemon,” wote Veiovis.
A former Southern Illinois University student has been convicted of making a terrorist threat after police found a note in his car, reportedly demanding $50,000 or there would be a Virginia Tech-style shooting on campus. The authorities produced other evidence that helped make the case, one juror told the Belleville paper:
On Thursday night, Alton Police Detective Michael Bazaar, who is a member of the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force, found a previously undiscovered file on one of the computers seized from Oduwole's apartment after his arrest.
The Microsoft Movie Maker file, deleted in June 2007, contained a caption with similar language as the note but with a demand for $200,000 and stated more people would die than during the massacre at Virginia Tech University that occurred on April 16, 2007.
The file was found on Oduwole's girlfriend's computer, which he had borrowed. He also had her set up a PayPal account for reasons unknown to her.
"The little note itself wouldn't have done it," the juror said.
The defense had argued the note was actually notes for a rap song.
Hat Tip: Many thanks, Mad Keith!
Now, keep in mind: Getting stuck inside a hollow tree is not a crime. It is hilarious, though, and it will make you Internet-famous.
AP Photo/Orange County Fire Authority
About 12,000 police officers will have been laid off by the end of the year, USA Today reports, citing a Justice Department report. This is the first time in 25 years that U.S. law enforcement, as an "industry," has seen a drop in its employment numbers. (And that's not counting the 30,000 open positions that many agencies are carrying.)
Naturally, there's a political element involved here. The White House's jobs plan includes money for local police, but some Republicans are arguing that -- given the nation's declining crime rate -- maybe it's not the end of the world if there are fewer positions for police.
What do you think? Should police and sheriff's departments be protected from government budget cuts?
Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day -- a holiday that seriously needs a nickname or a catchy acronym. (Pill-Dropping Day?)
Members of the public can drop off their old, unused prescriptions so the pills can be destroyed. And thus prevents the meds from being abused or given out accidentally as Halloween candy.
The Washington Post has some lovely coverage of a Virginia dogwalker who stood trial after allegedly failing to clean up a dog's mess. Best Part? The dog owner's reaction to photos of the "crime scene" ...
A Pennsylvania man is accused of stealing a safe from his sister's house and using his nephew's skateboard -- also allegedly stolen -- to escape with his loot, authorities tell the Delaware County Daily Times.
Dear Criminals: If you have to haul the safe away from your burglary, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong with your plans.
A man in Vallejo, Calif., was trapped on a playground for nine hours after his legs got stuck in a child's swing, police tell the AP. He did this on a $100 bet.
He got into the swing with the assistance of dish soap and some friends -- who were maybe not "real" friends because they abandoned him there. Firefighters freed him. No word on whether he got his $100.
Welcome back to the Open Thread, our blog's space for off-topic comments and discussion. If you've seen an interesting story somewhere else, feel free to post a link below.
As always, please follow our standard rules: Please sign your comments, and please avoid profanity, as well as racially and sexually abusive language. And when you sign your comments, please use only one nickname. If you need to reach me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again, and have a great day!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Authorities say a 3-year-old southwest Missouri girl died after she found a loaded handgun and shot herself. The authorities say Maycen A. Coberley found the handgun Saturday inside her family's home in northern McDonald County. She was pronounced dead at a Joplin hospital.
HBO is developing a show called "Wichita," inspired by the life of murdered abortion provider George Tiller, the Eagle reports. (I don't think the main character is going to be named "George Tiller," though.) One of the principals is Alan Ball, who created the channel's "True Blood" series, the Hollywood Reporter notes.
A federal judge has blocked Florida's law that requires drug tests for welfare recipients, the AP reports. A man there has filed suit against the law, saying it constitutes unreasonable search and seizure. The block is temporary, while the case makes its way through the court system.
The drug test can reveal a host of private medical facts about the individual, Scriven wrote, adding that she found it "troubling" that the drug tests are not kept confidential like medical records. The results can also be shared with law enforcement officers and a drug abuse hotline.
The New York Times writes about the U.S. effort to spy on Mexican drug cartels -- and how they've been able to place informants in some very sensitive places. It's not clear, though, if they're really hindering drug exports to America. I thought the Mexican attitude to American involvement was interesting:
“The Mexicans sort of roll their eyes and say we know it’s happening, even though it’s not supposed to be happening,” said Eric L. Olson, an expert on Mexican security matters at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
In Michigan, state police arrested an 87-year-old man who was allegedly hauling more than 100 bricks of cocaine in the bed of his pickup, ClickOnDetroit reports. Maybe there was just a terrible mixup at the home-improvement store?