Monday, April 20, 2015

Wyoming Highway Patrol suffers from low morale

Wyoming Highway Patrol

Casper Wyoming April 20 2014
High turnover, harsh disciplinary actions and supervisors with little accountability have created a morale problem among Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers, according to an employee survey and interviews with troopers.
“Morale is as low as I have ever seen it.”
Ten employees with the patrol penned that comment on the agency’s most recent employee survey, performed in 2013. Although the survey was taken two years ago, recent interviews with troopers suggest the problems persist.
“I would have to say that inconsistencies in treatment between troopers and the higher-ranking individuals within Highway Patrol probably put a bigger strain on the agency than anything,” one trooper, who has been with the agency for several years and spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Star-Tribune this month.
The agency’s top official says vacancies, which aren’t unique to the patrol, are to blame for low morale. Col. John Butler doesn’t deny there are disputes over disciplinary actions within the agency but said they are rooted in rumors rather than fact.
“People make these assertions based only on what they’ve heard,” Butler said. “We strive to do the best we can with consistency in discipline.”
Butler announced his retirement from highway patrol on Thursday, effective June 1. He was not available for comment on the announcement.
The highway patrol conducts the employee survey every two years and posts the results online. In 2013, 251 employees completed the survey.
The agency has 375 positions, of which 208 are legislatively allotted for peace officers.
There are now about 30 vacant positions for troopers, said Major Perry Jones. That’s six more openings than the patrol had at the end of last year.
At the end of 2012, the agency had 97 percent of its trooper positions filled. Now, 86 percent are filled.
“Vacancies, over time, can weigh on morale,” said Butler, head of the agency.
The anonymous trooper said employees leave the agency because they feel they’re being disciplined for issues that are out of their control.
“They want us to be robots. They want a cookie-cutter trooper,” a second anonymous trooper, who has been with the agency for several years, told the Star-Tribune.
For example, if a trooper damages his patrol car during a pursuit, a disciplinary letter will go into his file labeling the incident as a preventable crash, the first trooper said.
“These guys have so many things stacked against them that they’re just quitting,” he said. “We’re losing troopers faster than we can replace them.”
But, the trooper said, there’s no consistency when it comes to the accountability for patrol employees.
“Once you make lieutenant, you’re golden,” the trooper said. “These higher-ranking people get protected illegally.”
On the employee survey, 22 percent of people said they disagreed with the statement: "My supervisor is held accountable for what he/she is supposed to do." In 2011, 14 percent of survey respondents said they disagreed with the statement.
“It seems like at times they try to cover things up when it involves a supervisor,” the second anonymous trooper said.
Butler said the disciplinary letters are meant to document behavior that is not tolerated and needs to be corrected. All punishments are personnel matters and are discussed only between the trooper and his or her supervisor, he said, so complaints about inconsistency are likely rooted in rumors.
The colonel said he doesn’t think troopers are leaving because they’re unhappy with the patrol's direction. He said troopers quit because they want more than the agency is able to offer, such as pay increases, job relocation or opportunities to specialize.
“We can provide an environment that they can be successful in,” Butler said. “It’s up to them what they take from that. You can’t provide everything for everybody. That challenge is always going to be there -- to meet everybody’s needs.”
Thirty-six percent of respondents to the most recent survey said they disagreed with the statement “I am satisfied with the overall direction the WHP is taking.” Two years earlier, 28 percent of people disagreed with the statement.
Butler said he has worked to improve morale within the patrol by closing pay gaps, which were a prominent complaint on the employee surveys.
Improvement also means understanding the complaints. Last year, the colonel visited the patrol’s divisions throughout the state in order to better understand the concerns of each. He said he’s striving to keep an open mind rather than focusing on traditional law enforcement practices.
However, Gaylan Wright, a retired trooper who was with the agency for 18 years, is worried the current administration is unwilling to change, and the only way to improve is to heed troopers’ concerns.
“I think that the administration, I think they were doing the best that they could," he said. "But I think that they got to the point that all they’d ever done was be on the highway patrol, and then how could you expect it to be a progressive-type organization?"

TSA Behavior Detection Being Taught at Theme Parks

Featured photo - Exclusive: TSA’s Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists

Orlando FL April 20 2015
A new report claims the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) trained workers at SeaWorld, Disney World, and Busch Gardens in using behavior detection techniques to identify potential terrorists.

According to The Intercept, part of the TSA's $900 million behavior detection program involved theme parks.

Last month, The Intercept obtained a copy of a TSA document that listed dozens of behaviors TSA agents are taught to look for at airports.
The website claims in its most recent report that agents trained security personnel at theme parks using the same list.

"TSA has trained security teams from SeaWorld, Disney World and Busch Gardens to use the same checklist of behavior indicators, which includes 'wearing a disguise,' 'whistling,' 'exaggerated yawning' and 'excessive laughter,' according to interviews and documents obtained by The Intercept," .
Called the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, the program is now called the Behavior Detection Analysis, reports The Intercept. The report says the TSA trained local Florida law enforcement and security representatives from SeaWorld, Disney World, and Busch Gardens in 2009.

"They have plainclothes people at SeaWorld and Disney doing the same behavior detection, looking for the same indicators we look for at the airport," an unnamed source told The Intercept.
The same system is used at Orlando International Airport and other airports across the country.

The TSA has come under fire in recent weeks because of misconduct. In one case that was reported in March, TSA officers permitted a former member of a domestic terror group to use airport security fast lanes last summer.

In another incident reported this week, two TSA agents at Denver International Airport were fired after partaking in a conspiracy that allowed a male agent to grope male passengers under the cloak of a security pat-down.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the TSA was ill-equipped to detect and stop a "thermite-based incendiary device," which the FBI called "the greatest potential incendiary threat to aviation."
The TSA was formed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

NewsMax. com

Woman Arrested in Fond du Lac for Shoplifting, Assaulting Security

Two people were arrested after a fight broke out at a Kohl's store in ...

Fond du Lac WI April 20 2015 A Marquette County woman was arrested after an incident outside a Kohl’s store on West Johnson Street in Fond du Lac.
The incident happened on Saturday just before 3:00 p.m.
The Fond du Lac Police Department says the woman left the store with a significant amount of merchandise and physically assaulted a security guard.
Authorities say the woman tried to leave in her vehicle and refused to get out. Police followed her out of the store’s parking lot and onto North Pioneer Road. Officers were not sure if she was armed or had weapons in her vehicle so police formed a shield and removed her from the vehicle.
The 32-year-old Montello, WI woman was arrested for a number of offenses including shoplifting and battery. The investigation is ongoing.

Youngstown man charged with drive-by shooting at Eastwood Mall

NILES, Ohio - April 20 2015 
An argument that started inside the busy Eastwood Mall ended with a drive-by shooting outside the shopping venue.
Niles Police received a call of shots fired outside Eastwood Mall just before 7 p.m. Tuesday from Mall Security and other witnesses.
Captain Ken Criswell is with the Niles Police Department. "Our cars arrived and mall security explained that they had escorted two males and a female from the mall and as they were escorting them the female was on a cell phone with somebody and that person is probably the person who drove up and did the shooting," said Criswell.
Police say a gold Yukon drove past and fired one or two rounds out of the passenger window. No one was hurt.
Joe Bell is the spokesman for the Cafaro Company. "Everybody fled the scene within a matter of seconds. Niles Police arrived very shortly thereafter. Our own security people got a good license plate number on the shooter and that's why he's sitting in the Trumbull County Jail today," said Bell.
The man accused of firing shots at the Eastwood Mall appeared in court Wednesday morning.
Stashan Williams was arrested by Youngstown Police following the incident at the mall. He is charged with improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle. His bond is set at $5,000.
An Eastwood Mall spokesperson says in addition to adequate human security, there are electronic measures in place to keep the public safe.

Man sexually abused as student sues Pittsburgh schools and police

Pittsburgh PA April 20 2015
A McKees Rocks man who said he was among a group of boys sexually abused in the 1990s at a North Side middle school by former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer Robert Lellock has sued the district, saying its leaders should have suspected Lellock was a predator and didn’t do anything to stop him.
In a federal suit filed Wednesday, the 29-year-old man claims he was 13 when Lellock pulled him from class at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School 20 to 25 times during the 1998-99 school year and abused him in a janitor’s closet, where prosecutors said he had abused other boys.
Lellock is serving 32 to 64 years in prison for his crimes at the school.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not name victims in sex cases, but the plaintiff testified against Lellock at his sentencing in 2013 and said he had been expelled in 1999 for bringing a knife to school because he was afraid of Lellock.
In addition to Lellock, the suit names as defendants former Superintendent Dale Frederick, former school principal Ronald Zangaro and the school board.
The plaintiff said Lellock routinely pulled boys from classes, without authorization, yet no teacher or administrator challenged him. He also said that in May 1998, Mr. Zangaro caught Lellock getting up from the floor with a student in a storage room, after which Lellock admitted taking boys there. His explanation at the time was that he took them into the room to “wrestle” with him, according to the suit.
The man says the district and its leaders should have looked into what Lellock was doing when he was pulling students from classes repeatedly, often for an hour at a time.
“This was the ultimate failure of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the supervisory defendants,” the suit says. “They were charged with the welfare and protection of the children entrusted to them, and they failed these children repeatedly and systematically by turning a blind eye to the obvious signs of abuse being perpetrated by defendant Lellock.”
The man, who says he has suffered severe psychological damage from the incident, said the district’s failure constitutes a violation of his rights.
A similar suit filed in federal court last year by another of Lellock’s victims also claimed that school officials knew what Lellock was up to but took no action. A judge dismissed all of the defendants in that case except Lellock, saying the plaintiff failed to prove the district had knowledge of Lellock’s conduct yet allowed it to continue.

Virginia Alcohol Agency's Arrest Powers Under Scrutiny

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Police patch
Richmond VA April 20 2015  A Virginia alcohol-law enforcement agency that has sparked public outrage over two high-profile arrests has investigated three complaints of excessive use of force by its officers in the last five years, according to data obtained by The Associated Press under an open-records request.
Details of those incidents, however, remain sealed. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Department declined to release the reports, citing personnel records exemptions in the state's Freedom of Information Act.
This much is known: None of the use of force complaints involves the first incident that brought attention to ABC's police tactics. No such complaint was formally lodged in 2013, when a University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly's car was swarmed by plainclothes ABC agents _ including one who pulled a gun and another tried to break her SUV window with a flashlight _ as she left a grocery store with a carton of sparkling water the officers mistook for beer.
Daly faced charges for grazing officers with her car as she fled in panic, but the case was dropped after a public outcry and she later settled a lawsuit against the state for $212,500.
``I still can't understand the degree of aggressiveness they treat these kids with,'' said Jim Thorsen, the attorney who represented Daly in her lawsuit. ``I think they've lost the right to claim they can adequately enforce these laws.''
The alcohol agency announced a package of reforms in response to a Virginia State Police investigation, but less than two years later its police force is under scrutiny for another arrest at U.Va. Photos and video of ABC agents holding down student Martese Johnson, bleeding from a gash on his head, spread quickly on social media.
Johnson, who is black, can be heard in the video accusing the officers of racism. While his arrest provoked racial tensions on campus, ABC figures show 18.5 percent of the people it arrested over the last four years are black _ slightly below the state's black population of 19.7 percent.
Whether the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement loses some of the authority it has used to make thousands of arrests annually is a major topic to be considered by a panel being assembled by state Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran. The initiative is part of an executive order issued by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in response to Johnson's arrest. Moran said it is scheduled to conduct its first meeting May 4 and make recommendations before the end of the year.
``Hopefully the governor and the Legislature will be able to resolve the issue so we can continue to enforce the laws of the commonwealth and do it in a way that doesn't bring unwanted attention,'' Moran said.
The ABC law enforcement arm's authority over licensed sellers of booze appears safe because even the agency's critics say local and county police are ill-suited for that role. Whether ABC's 130 sworn police officers continue to patrol bars to arrest people for underage drinking or showing a fake ID is another matter.
``The case still needs to be made to me to understand why they need to have those full arrest powers and, more particularly, why they ought to be involved in policing consumers of alcohol in addition to the licensees,'' said state Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax.
ABC declined to take a public position on the issue, saying in a written statement that it will be addressed by Moran's review panel.
Statistics compiled from ABC's annual reports show that its law enforcement agents conducted nearly 56,000 criminal investigations and made more than 10,000 arrests over the last five fiscal years. The Daly and Johnson incidents raise questions about whether the three use-of-force complaints paint an accurate picture.
``I suspect that for every one reported there may be some number more unreported,'' said Simon, who noted that Johnson's arrest might have gotten little attention had it not been captured on video.
After the Virginia State Police investigated the Daly debacle, the ABC announced 14 policy or procedure measures, including a still-unfulfilled pledge to outfit its agents with body cameras and additional training.
Scrutiny by elected officials is nothing new for the ABC, which has survived periodic proposals to turn the state's lucrative liquor business over to private interests. In the last five years, the agency that operates the state's 350 liquor stores _ one of 18 state alcohol monopolies nationally _ has funneled more than $1.8 billion into the Virginia treasury.

Cincinnati man assaults teacher and school security officer

CINCINNATI OH April 20 2015-- Police said a young man walked into a local high school and attacked a security guard and then a teacher.

18-year-old Timothy Hawkins faces an assault charge. He was accused of punching the guard at Western Hills High and then trying to punch a female teacher. He grabbed the teacher by the neck then slammed her to the ground.
Police have not said if they know a motive for the attack.

Starpoint School District substitute teacher arrested for sexting student

PENDLETON, N.Y. April 19 2015- A substitute teacher in the Starpoint School District has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, after police say he exchanged inappropriate texts and had inappropriate conversations on social media with a female student.
Twenty-seven-year-old Nicholas Panepinto is now banned from subbing at Starpoint, and is not allowed on school property.
Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour told 7 Eyewitness News his office investigated after parents reached out to them. He says Panepinto and the female student were in contact in a number of ways.
"We're talking about Twitter, we're talking about Snapchat, we're talking about Instagram, we're talking about text messages," he explained.
Voutour also said it appears the contact has been going on for months. The sheriff's office will examine both Panepinto's cell phone and his victim's cell phone to learn more. He says they'll determine if more charges should be filed.
"We send our kids to school, we expect them to be safe there. We expect them to be safe amongst the adults who are teaching, and that was breached," he said.
The district sent an automated call to parents Wednesday, which directed them to information on Starpoint's website.
After being arraigned, Panepinto was taken to the Niagara County Jail on $1,000 bail. Jail officials told 7 Eyewitness News Panepinto was out on bail Wednesday evening. He's due back in court at a later date.
Starpoint parents say Panepinto helped coach the school district's hockey team. His LinkedIn resume lists him as both a substitute teacher in the district, as well as the Director of Outside Operations at Park Country Club.
The country club released the following statement:
“Park Country Club has learned that one of our seasonal employees, Nick Panepinto, has been arrested on a matter unrelated to the Park Country Club or his position here at the club. While we respect the judicial process, Park Country Club will conduct its own investigation. In the interim, the employee has been placed on an unpaid administrative leave. The results of the legal and the internal investigation will determine our next steps. Other than this the club has no further comment at this time.”

Everest College grads want loan forgiveness for 'worthless' diploma

Karen Zahoruk says the diploma she earned from Everest College is 'useless.' She wants the Ontario government to forgive her student loans.

Ontario Canada April 20 2015 Former students of defunct Everest College say their diplomas are "worthless" and the Ontario government should forgive their thousands of dollars in student loans.
Some recent Ontario grads of the now closed private career college are joining a growing movement in the United States. They're asking for loan forgiveness for their studies with Corinthian Colleges, the American company that owned Everest and other private colleges in the U.S.
"It's a dirty diploma," declares Karen Zahoruk, who graduated from Everest's Hamilton campus just weeks before the college's collapse in the province.

"If I mention Everest to anyone who has any knowledge of news, they say, 'Oh, Everest,' and it's not a good, 'Oh Everest.'"
In February, Ontario's superintendent of private career colleges suspended Everest's licence due to financial concerns, effectively shutting down the school's 14 Ontario campuses.
The next day, Everest's owner, Corinthian, filed for Canadian bankruptcy protection.

The move followed U.S. federal and state investigations and lawsuits alleging Corinthian preyed on low-income students and falsified job placement data, student grades and attendance at its U.S. schools. Corinthian claims many of the allegations are "unfounded."
 Zahoruk, who got a medical lab assistant diploma, earned high grades. But she says she can't land even a minimum-wage job in her field, because, she believes, Everest's reputation is tainted.

"Stigma is a pretty significant thing," she says.

Patience, who graduated in December, agrees. She asked that we withhold her last name because she worries speaking out will further hurt her career prospects.

"Everybody knows about [Everest's reputation]. It leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth," she says.

"It's worthless," she concludes about her addictions and community services diploma from the college's Hamilton campus.

After failing to find a job, Patience is pursuing a second diploma at another private college, adding to her debt. Patience wants the province to forgive what is at least $17,000 in student loans she racked up attending Everest.

Zahoruk owes an estimated $6,000 and wants that quashed. "I am going to have to earn money to pay back the debt of a useless diploma," she says.

The Ontario government is offering financial assistance to the 2,400 students who were still attending classes and were stranded after the Everest shutdown.

The recent grads say the government should also be on the hook to help them.

Last July, Corinthian was forced to start selling off most of its more than 100 schools as a result of a crackdown by the U.S. Department of Education.
​Its Everest Ontario campuses immediately went up for sale. The grads say by that point the province should have stepped in to protect students.

"They should have caught this sooner," says Patience.

The Ontario government claims it made all the right moves.
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities says the superintendent of private colleges had been closely monitoring Everest since June 2014 when financial concerns surfaced.

The superintendent didn't take further action because Corinthian was shopping for an Everest buyer, explains the ministry.

"Any regulatory action taken at that time may have impeded a sale or have indirectly resulted in its closure," says ministry spokeswoman May Nazar in an email.

Nazar also noted that Everest's licence was immediately suspended once it became clear a sale wasn't likely.

Corinthian says many of its grads have managed to land jobs.

"We have tens of thousands of graduates who completed their studies, passed their certification exams and found employment," says spokesman Joe Hixson in an email, referring to the company's entire private college chain.

Not every post-secondary grad quickly finds a job, argues Serge Buy with the National Association of Career Colleges in Ottawa.

He says that there are recent Ontario Everest grads who are working in their fields.

"I think the job placement rates were actually not too bad with Everest," he says, adding that he doesn't have actual statistics.

In the U.S, about 100 displeased Corinthian current and former students are taking more extreme measures. They have gone on a debt strike, refusing to pay back their school loans.

They argue that the U.S. government should have better monitored the schools and made students more aware of growing concerns.
Their cause was recently bolstered by nine U.S. attorneys general who have asked the federal government to relieve Corinthian students of their debt.

Zahoruk says she's not about to join the debt strike and ruin her credit rating.

"It's just going to make me out to be a deadbeat," says the Everest grad.

But she's not giving up the fight. She's organizing a protest next month in Toronto and has already started an online petition and website with the headline, "Everest Grad Tuition Forgiveness!"

Volunteer Pennsylvania ambulance service shuts down

Ambulance Service Delivery - 5 2011 Medix Type II Silverhawk Ambulance ...BETHLEHEM, Pa April 20 2015 A private volunteer ambulance company announced it will close down due to a lack of volunteers.
At one point Metro Ambulance Service Inc. worked with 20 volunteers, but is now down to a staff of two, Leigh Valley Live reports.

“It has become harder and harder to find volunteers to man the service,” President and Chief Eugene Brown Jr. said.

The volunteer service began in 1979, and has provided basic life support to the area. It was previously dispatched by Northampton County 911, but recently has relied on direct telephone requests for service. Metro Ambulance also served as backup to Bethlehem EMS and on standby at Bethlehem Area School District events.

“I want to thank all who have supported us in the past,” Brown said.

Los Alamos National Laboratory security force in contract dispute

Los Alamos NM April 20 2015
Labor negotiations between the security workers who protect Los Alamos National Laboratory and the private company that employs them appear to be at a standstill, and replacement guards are preparing to deploy around the nuclear lab to protect employees and high-security weapons as early as next week.
The contract covers about 230 workers at the Los Alamos site, a high-security area with nuclear materials that is under guard 24 hours a day.
“For people who work at the lab and come to lab, it’s going to look just like business as usual,” said Kevin Roark, a spokesman for LANL.

Roark said the private company that is hired by the federal government to operate the laboratory — Los Alamos National Security LLC — is not involved in the negotiations, which are strictly between the union representing the workers and SOC LLC, the private contractor hired by the lab to provide security.

Los Alamos National Security is itself a consortium that includes Bechtel National Inc., Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group; the University of California, and URS Energy and Construction Corp. The group has the management contract for the nuclear weapons and research facility at least through 2017.

The labor contract between SOC and the union, International Guards Union of America, Local 69, expires April 25. Neither SOC, based in Chantilly, Va., nor the union immediately returned phone calls seeking comment Friday.

According to its website, the company is “a security contractor supporting the U.S. Departments of Energy, Defense” in the United States as well as Kenya, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“SOC is a company of more than 5,000 highly trained and experienced personnel running some of the most sensitive and complex assignments around the world,” the website says.

The Los Alamos Monitor reported on its website that the three-year contract for security at LANL was awarded to SOC in 2010 for $251 million, but there were two optional extensions.

Roark added in a statement that LANL is still hoping that the labor situation can be resolved, but “in anticipation of a possible work interruption, SOC-LA has developed a comprehensive contingency plan to fully address physical security needs at the Laboratory. Members of the augmentation force have begun training to assume post and patrol duties on April 25, if necessary.

“In a work interruption, SOC-LA and the Laboratory are fully prepared to execute the contingency plan and will ensure the Laboratory remains open and secure and that national security interests are protected — including the safety and security of special nuclear materials,” Roark added in his statement.

El Monte elementary school teacher arrested for showing children porn

An El Monte elementary school teacher was arrested Friday on suspicion of displaying pornographic images to a small group of children in a classroom.

Around 1:50 p.m., El Monte Police Department detectives arrested Jeff Ha, 42, at Columbia Elementary School. He faces charges of exhibiting harmful matter in the presence of a minor.

The investigation was coordinated by the El Monte City School District. Detectives are investigating the incident.

Decatur Walmart employee charged in $200,000 theft

Walmart Theft 1
Decatur TX April 20 2015 A Decatur Walmart employee has been charged with stealing more than $200,000 dollars from the retailer.
50-year-old Nacina Walker worked in the customer service area and is accused of creating hundreds of fake returns over the past several years and then pocketing the refunds.
Police say Walker told them she used the money to pay bills. Walker had worked for Walmart since the early 1980’s.

Oregon DHS employee charged with stealing $66K

Danielle A. Straw, 29, shown in a jail booking photo, is accused of stealing a minimum of $66,000 from Oregon DHS.

PORTLAND, Ore. April 20 2015  – An Oregon Department of Human Services employee is accused of stealing money from the state while misusing confidential information, court documents state.
Danielle A. Straw, who also goes by the name “Danielle Anna May Straw,” was indicted by a Multnomah County grand jury last week. She is charged with five counts of identity theft, one count of felony computer crime, six counts of theft by deception, five counts of first-degree theft, 12 counts of unlawfully obtaining public assistance and one count each of misuse of confidential information and first-degree official misconduct.
Court documents state that between July 1, 2009 and Nov. 28, 2014, Straw did “unlawfully and knowingly obtain and attempt to obtain public assistance for the benefit of herself.” Court documents show Straw is accused of stealing a minimum of $66,000 between May 2009 and December 2014. The named victim in the theft is the state’s Department of Human Services.
The specific nature of the alleged offenses has not been released. However, the indictment said Straw did “unlawfully, with intent to deceive and defraud, obtain, possess, transfer, create, utter and convert to (Straw’s) own personal identification” of another person.
Straw was arrested by Portland Police Tuesday and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center Straw was released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to be arraigned in court Wednesday morning.
Straw’s father, Gregory, declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday. Court records show that she is recently separated and had four children. Records also show that she has been living off of food stamps and cash assistance.
Gene Evans, a DHS spokesperson, said Strawn worked at DHS from June 15, 2011 to January 20, 2015, when she was terminated.
Her duties, according to Evans, would include:
  • reviewing applications for benefits submitted online;
  • schedule appropriate intake appointments for applications submitted;
  • conduct client interview and determine applicants eligibility for expedited Food Stamps and other state benefits;
  • screen forms for completeness; verify information given by applicants;
  • explains rules, regulations, procedures, applicant/recipient rights and responsibilities;
  • date stamps materials received and forward forms to appropriate branch worker;
  • issue Oregon Trail (EBT) cards and PINs to clients; and
  • other duties as assigned.

Lebanon School District teacher charged with sexually assaulting female student

Lebanon PA April 20 2015 A Lebanon School District teacher was charged Friday with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female student from Lebanon, police said.
Jonathan Ruppert, 30, of Hamburg, was arrested at 3:30 p.m . Friday at his home and returned to Lebanon, where he is currently in Lebanon County Central Booking awaiting arraignment on charges of institutional sexual assault, sexual assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor. The charges are a result of an investigation into an incident that occurred on Wednesday at 07:40 a.m. in a classroom at Lebanon High School. The investigation was conducted by the Lebanon Police Department and the Lebanon County District Attorney's Office with cooperation from the Lebanon School District. State police arrested Ruppert at his home.
Lebanon Daily News

W.Va. State Police won’t carry heroin-O.D. reversal drug

New WV State Trooper patrol cars.

Charleston WV April 20 2015 West Virginia State Police officials don’t plan to have troopers carry naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Some police in counties with lots of deaths from overdoses are looking into carrying the drug; some say they haven’t considered it.
Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill to allow police, firefighters and friends and family members to administer naloxone to people overdosing on heroin or prescription pain pills. Previously, only paramedics, doctors and other medical professionals could legally administer the medication. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the bill into law last month.
West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the United States. Nearly 500 people died of drug overdoses in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources.
State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous wrote in an email that the agency has no plans to carry the drug because of the “uncertainty” of several factors, including cost and training.
“How to store it is another issue that has to be considered, as well,” he said.
Asked how often troopers encounter people who are overdosing, Baylous said, “We don’t maintain stats on that issue.”
State Police in Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island carry the drug, according to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, a naloxone advocacy organization.
The Pennsylvania State Police is distributing the drug among its troopers, according to Trooper Adam Reed, that agency’s spokesman.
“The cost to our department was nothing,” Reed wrote in an email.
He said several insurance companies offered to foot the $100,000 bill to equip each cruiser with one kit, which carries two doses.
Reed said officers were trained online.
“The curriculum consisted of what the drug does, when to administer it, and how to administer it,” he wrote.
Naloxone is administered by injecting it into the muscle, vein or under the skin, or sprayed into the nose. It reverses depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system.
Police overdose-response training typically lasts 40 to 90 minutes, according to a naloxone toolkit from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. The toolkit suggests training be provided by the staff of a local hospital or another health facility, health department, EMS service or another community-based organization that provides naloxone.
The cost of one intranasal rescue kit typically ranges from $22 to $60. In some cases, state health agencies have helped police pay for the costs, while other agencies have paid for the drug themselves. Federal grants also are available.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance said naloxone can be stored in the cabin of a vehicle.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, said the Mountain State’s Office of Emergency Medical Services, part of the Bureau of Public Health, would be happy to provide the training when local EMS providers don’t and would be equipped to provide training for the State Police.
He said the training wouldn’t be that complicated and that the device used to administer it is “pretty much like an EpiPen,” a pen-like needle used to counteract allergic reactions that people can administer to themselves.
Gupta has been an advocate for the use of naloxone.
“This is a strategy that has been well-researched and well-vetted nationally,” he said, “and we are just proud to have this ability in this state to offer this particular option.”
He cautioned, though, that it’s only one step toward targeting the state’s drug problem.
“This is what keeps people alive, in order for them to enter a treatment program or rehabilitation program,” he said.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department already has been in touch with the county’s ambulance authority about obtaining naloxone and the training to use it, according to the department’s spokesman, Cpl. Brian Humphreys.
Kanawha County had the third-most heroin-related overdose deaths in 2014, with 17, according to data provided by DHHR. Cabell and Berkeley counties had more, with 27 and 23, respectively.
“We are still in the planning stages,” Humphreys said. “We understand the reason why the Legislature passed the law and we are exploring it, and we hope it’s a successful project without an undue burden of training for the deputies who carry it.”
Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster said his department is still trying to learn more about what carrying the drug would entail, and he also mentioned cost and training.
“I think we will, in time, use it,” Webster said.
He said that allowing police officers to carry the drug could be a bigger deal in rural areas, where paramedics are more scarce or farther away.
“CPD is in a much better position than most other places, because we have several local hospitals and our paramedics will continue to handle 95 percent of the naloxone administration,” he said in an email. “I think funding could be an issue for most of the smaller agencies, and maybe us, too, but again, I really envision the paramedics continuing to handle the heavy bulk.”
In Fayette County, Sheriff Steve Kessler said deputies would carry the drug “if we can get our hands on it.”
“I’m sure, somewhere along the line, it will probably save someone’s life,” Kessler said.
Fayette had 14 drug-overdose deaths in 2014, but none were from heroin, according to the DHHR. The county had nine heroin-related overdose deaths from 2001 to 2014.
Kessler also mentioned cost.
“Nobody’s just going to give us that stuff,” he said.
Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster said his department hasn’t looked into procuring the drug but that he’d be interested.
“It’s pretty new to us, as to carrying it,” he said. “It’s not something we budgeted for. We’d have to see how much and where we can get it from.”
Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas couldn’t be reached, but he previously told the Herald-Dispatch that he had concerns about his deputies carrying the drug, including storage and liability.

Man robs Fla. Circle K store -sexually assaults clerk

MANATEE FL April 20 2015 -- The suspect who allegedly stole money from a Manatee store and tried to rape an employee on Tuesday was arrested in Ohio Wednesday night, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Maurice Feliciano Delapaz, 30, of Dade City, was arrested in Trot Wood, Ohio and charged with attempted sexual battery, armed robbery and false imprisonment, according to a report.
Delapaz entered the Circle K store in the 8400 block of U.S. 301 N. on Tuesday at 2:30 a.m., walked around the counter and removed $40 from the cash register, deputies said.
He then reached under his shirt and told the victim he had a gun, according to the report. After removing the money, he tried to sexually assault the victim, deputies said, and the victim got away from him and ran out of the store.
Delapaz then ran away on foot and fled the state, according to the report, where he was arrested on outstanding warrants by the Trot Wood Police Department.

Read more here:

Mothers accused of shoplifting, leaving kids at Houston Walmart

HOUSTON TX April 20 2015                
Shoplifting at a store like Walmart isn't unusual, but the details surrounding two cases at a Houston location on Tuesday still have people shaking their heads.
"I just think that it was wrong and it should never happen again," says shopper Wayne Miller.
Mary Helen Brown, 20, and Bianca Nicole Murrell, 21, are both charged with shoplifting and abandoning their children. Investigators say the pair walked into a Walmart on South Post Oak Boulevard near the 610 Loop -- each with a 5-year-old child.  They are accused of taking food off the shelves, feeding it to their kids, then stuffing the empty wrappers back on the shelves.
But store security workers say they didn't stop there.  The two reportedly picked up other items, scanned them at the cash register, and then allegedly stuffed them in their purses after canceling the sales. When Walmart security approached the women, they say the ladies ran from the store and left their 5-year-olds behind.
"They were probably terrified," says shopper Carol Hamilton.  "People chasing their mommy.  And wondering, 'Why did my mommy leave me?'"
"First of all they're wondering, 'Where's my mother?'" says Wayne Miller.  "And, 'Who's gonna help us or who's going to save us?'"
Brown and Murrell returned a short time later, and police arrested them for shoplifting and abandoning their children.
"I don't know if they'll ever understand what they did to their children in that act," says Hamilton.
Brown also was charged with giving a false identity to police because she had outstanding warrants.
Brown and Murrell are expected to appear in court Thursday.​

Halifax Regional hospital security help nab car burglar

Roanoke Rapids NC April 20 2015 RRPD arrested a Roanoke Rapids man Thursday evening for allegedly breaking and entering into a motor vehicle in the Halifax Regional parking lot.
The department received information around 8:45 p.m. about a breaking and entering of a vehicle at Halifax Regional. The hospital’s staff were on a routine patrol of the parking lot when they found a subject inside a vehicle.
The suspect allegedly ran on foot when he noticed a security officer.
Lt. J. Baggett, Sgt. R. White and Officer R. Cross were already at the hospital and were notified, so they gave chase.
They caught and arrested Cody Ryan Roundtree, 23, and charged him with breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and damage to property.
Roundtree received a $10,000 bond and has an Wednesday court date.
“HRMC security staff did a great job of finding this crime in progress and getting the information quickly to the Roanoke Rapids Police staff that was at the hospital so this crime could be solved so quickly. Officer Davis Cullom and Westry Thorpe are great assets that the hospital has on staff,” Police Chief Chuck Hasty said in the press release.

1 dead, security officer shot, 2 others wounded in SC shooting

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. April 20 2015 -- One person was killed in a shooting early Sunday morning at a sports bar just outside the town of Walterboro in Colleton County. Two other people were wounded, authorities said.
According to officials, deputies responded to a shooting a few minutes before 1 a.m. at a sports bar on Hampton Street.
Officials said one man was shot in the chest. The man was taken to Colleton Medical Center where he later died, officials said.
A security guard was also shot in the arm and taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
A woman sitting in a car was also injured by glass after a bullet shattered one of the car's windows.

Eight San Antonio police officers sued after man dies in police custody

San Antonio TX April 20 2015 Eight San Antonio police officers are being sued by the widow and son of a man who died in police custody.
Police claim Jesse Aguirre died because he was high, but the newly filed lawsuit says he was suffocated.
On April 12, 2014, police had been called to help Aguirre's estranged wife, Blanca. She wasn't available for comment Friday night.
A police report of the incident states Blanca told police Aguirre "was acting crazy and told her that he was going to kill them."
The report also says she also told police he was high on cocaine and drank two malt drinks, known as Four Loco.
The police dashcam video picks up as Aguirre is walking on Highway 90, as he's trying to get away from police. Officers approach him with guns drawn and handcuff him. The three officers flip him over the concrete barricade and Aguirre ends up face down on the hood of the patrol car.
For the next 1:44, he remains on the patrol car, at some points, struggling with police. He ends up on the ground, with a growing number of officers trying to restrain him. At times he can be heard moaning.
For the following minutes, he remains on the ground until what appears to be medical equipment is brought in. The police report states paramedics were called. When the nearly 15-minute long video ends, the man is still on the ground.
The lawsuit names the city and eight officers.
The San Antonio Police department says it can't comment on this because of the on-going lawsuit.
Agurrie's widow is suing on behalf of her son. The damages include suffering, loss of economic support, and funeral expenses.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Atlanta police officer arrested for exposing himself

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. April 19 2015-- An Atlanta Police officer is charged with public indecency after asking a stranger if "she liked to massage penises".
The responding police officer reported the 19-year-old woman had a "worried and fearful expression on her face" as she described what happened. She was in her car in the parking lot of the NCG Cinemas in Stone Mountain on Wednesday, March 25. A driver in an SUV parked next to her got her attention. She said he looked like he was trying to ask her a question.
When she rolled down the window, she told police he asked her if she liked to massage penises. He lifted his shirt, and according to the police report, was "actively masturbating". She quickly rolled up her window, and he drove away. She was able to capture a good description of the SUV, including the license plate. Surveillance video also captured video of the SUV.
Police tracked the vehicle and description to Christopher Todd Maddox. He's an Atlanta police officer.
A spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department confirmed Maddox is an officer assigned to Zone One but currently on administrative duties "pending the disposition of criminal charges." Maddox was already relieved of duty from a previous arrest. The most recent incident was his second arrest.

Man robs Alabama store wearing President Barack Obama mask

Wellington robber.jpeg
Smiling President Barack Obama Adult Mask for Sale !

Calhoun County AL April 19 2015
The Calhoun County Sheriff's office has arrested a man believed to have robbed an Wellington, Ala. Dollar General using a rifle and a mask depicting President Barack Obama Thursday.
Stevie Dwayne Dodd, 22, of Wellington, is charged with robbery in the first degree, according to CCSO. He is accused of stealing the store's cash drawer and employee's phones.
"The arrest was possible due to the fast actions of a citizen that observed the get-a-way vehicle," a release from the CCSO said. "The citizen's bravery and willingness to get involved allowed for an accurate description of the vehicle."
Sheriff's deputies found the suspect vehicle in Jacksonville and took him into custody. The sheriff's office said they've also learned new information about other crimes in Jacksonville.
Dodd has a May 28 court date.

Long Island teacher allegedly ‘knocked out cold’ by a student’s mother

Teacher allegedly ‘knocked out cold’ by a student’s mother

Long Island NY April 19 2015
A teacher was allegedly attacked by a parent in the hall of a Long Island middle school — and in a disturbing surveillance photo can be seen knocked out cold.
Teacher Catherine Engel­hardt was pummeled by a parent and a 14-year-old at the Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempsted Wednesday, police said.
“It’s not like I thought a parent would do something, but I knew something violent was going to happen,” Engelhardt told WABC/Channel 7 from her home.
“I’ve warned them time and again that the children have no respect for adults. Yes, I fear for my safety. They can’t control the kids.”
Irate mom Annika McKenzie allegedly pushed her way past security at the middle school to confront Engelhardt.
McKenzie was angry about an incident earlier in the day in which she claimed the teacher grabbed her 12-year-old daughter.
The teacher called security when McKenzie confronted her, and the mom allegedly went ballistic.
She allegedly put the teacher in a chokehold, shoved her into a wall and decked her, Channel 7 said.
Then some kids, including McKenzie’s daughter and 14-year-old niece, allegedly started kicking the teacher, the report said.
Engel­hardt was taken to Winthrop University Hospital and later released.
McKenzie was arrested and charged with felony strangulation and assault.
The 14-year-old girl was charged with assault, police sources said.
New York post

Amherst doctor wrote illegal prescriptions for controlled substance to prostitutes

AMHERST, N.Y. April 19 2015- An Amherst doctor was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of writing illegal prescriptions for controlled substance, like Oxycodone, Percocet and Hydrocodone.
Prosecutors say between January 2010 and March 2014, 36-year-old Albert Cowie, a radiologist, wrote prescriptions for three people who then filled them at local pharmacies. Those who filled the prescriptions allegedly then provided Cowie with some of the pills for his use.
Cowie is also accused of spending $200 a day to support the heroin habit of a prostitute whom he met at a strip club and developed a relationship with. He allegedly injected her with heroin on one occasion. Prosecutors say he also wrote the prostitute prescriptions for Xanax and Percocet.
Finally, prosecutors say Cowie advised a witness to lie to insurance investigators about the prescription fraud.
Cowie is charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance by fraud, and conspiracy to commit a drug felony. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

St Louis security officer shot in the face

ST. LOUIS MO April 19 2015 -- A security guard was shot in the eye Friday night in north St. Louis, police say.
It happened in the 4100 block of N. Newstead.
Neighbors at the scene say the man lives in the neighborhood and was in uniform on his way to work when the shooting happened.
A witness says he heard roughly five shots and saw the guard in the street.
No word yet on any suspect information.

Detroit police officer arrested in shooting incident

Ray Township MI April 19 2015 A six-year veteran Detroit police officer faces multiple felony charges after he was accused of firing shots at a Ray Township home.

Clifford Earl Gullion, 32, also of Ray Township, was charged Thursday with two counts of discharging a firearm at a building, a 10-year felony along with a $10,000 fine; and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, which carries a two-year penalty upon conviction.

At his arraignment Thursday in Romeo’s 42-1 District Court, Gullion was ordered to be held on $250,000 bond. He was also ordered to wear a tether if he posts bond and is released.

According to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a report of shots fired early Thursday morning at a home in the 16000 block of 29 Mile Road near Romeo Plank.

“He stopped (his car) in front of the home and fired into the home,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “It’s extremely bizarre.”

No injuries resulted from the incident.

Police interviewed the residents of the home, a 61-year-old man and his 62-year-old wife. Police learned the woman receives in-home care for a medical condition. Her caregiver is Gullion’s wife.

The couple also told police of a dispute between the patient’s husband and the caregiver. The dispute may have resulted from a comment overheard by a third party at the couple’s home that was then relayed to Gullion, Wickersham said.

The dispute escalated with telephone calls and text messages on Wednesday, and culminated with the shots fired shortly after 2 a.m. on Thursday, the sheriff said.

Wickersham would not disclose the substance of the comment, but said it was a “minor comment that most of us would have brushed off.”  
“The suspect was not happy with a comment or the treatment of his wife,” the sheriff said. “Somebody’s feelings got hurt.”

After several attempts, officers were able to contact Gullion, who along with his wife, lives near the couple. Gullion agreed to be interviewed by sheriff’s department deputies. He was then taken into custody.

Sgt. Cassandra Lewis of the Detroit Police Department said Gullion came to work as a Detroit police officer in 2009. Pending resolution of the criminal charges, the officer will be suspended, Lewis said.

At the arraignment, Gullion said he was formerly employed with the Detroit Police Department. He said he had not worked for the department in two and a half years due to a car accident. He did not specify whether the accident was work related.

Gullion said he was going to return to work May 1, but was currently unemployed and in need of a court-appointed attorney.

Wickersham stressed that the action of which Gullion is accused were “all done outside of his role as a police officer.”

But, the sheriff also conceded, “as an officer of the law, (Gullion) should know better.”

K-9 dies in vehicle fire on way to Md. prison complex

FLINTSTONE, Md. April 19 2015 — A K-9 assigned to the Cumberland state correctional complex died in a vehicle fire that occurred on westbound Interstate 68 in the area of 15 Mile Creek at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The SUV was headed to the prison complex in Cresaptown with two K-9s when it caught fire, according to Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Service spokesman Mark Vernarelli.
“The two K-9 officers pulled over as soon as they realized the vehicle was on fire. They managed to get one dog out of the vehicle, but could not save the other,” Vernarelli said.

The dog that died had recently graduated from training.

“The DPSCS K-9 Unit is highly regarded throughout the Mid-Atlantic area and is respected for training many law enforcement agencies throughout the region,” Vernarelli said.  “Needless to say, this is a tragedy for the officers involved, who work so closely with their dogs day in and day out.”

Flintstone and District 16 ambulances were dispatched following earlier alerts for Flintstone and Orleans volunteer fire units to respond, according to the Allegany County 911 Emergency Center.

The incident occurred in the area of the 62-mile marker.
Cumberland Times News

Former Vaughn Correctional Center officer sentenced to prison

Smyrna, DE April 19 2015
A 28-year-old former correctional officer on Friday was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for scheming to smuggle marijuana and cellphones into the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.
Darryl L. West Jr., who was hired in 2013, told investigators he'd smuggled cellphones "into the prison on several other occasions," according to documents obtained by The News Journal following his arrest in May.
West pleaded guilty to manufacturing, delivering or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance with an aggravating factor, promoting prison contraband and second-degree conspiracy.
In a letter to Superior Court President Judge Jan R. Jurden earlier this month, Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe asked the judge to impose a prison sentence.
"Mr. West's criminal behavior put the safety of our staff, inmates, and visitors to our institution at risk," Coupe wrote in the letter provided to The News Journal.
"I believe that such acts, committed by a public safety official charged with enforcing our laws and protecting our citizens, merit the imposition of substantial penalties that are provided for under the law," Coupe went on to say.
The court documents explained how West planned to sneak cellphones in his boots to bypass security measures at the prison that housed about 2,500 minimum-, medium- and maximum-security inmates. It also explained how he planned to take the marijuana packages to the prison's medical area and place them in trash cans located in the prisoner bathroom, where they would be collected by someone else.
West was detained by Department of Correction authorities as he reported for work on May 17. A search of his 2006 Jeep Liberty parked at the correctional center found a quarter pound of marijuana, $700 and two new Nokia Lumia 521 cellphones in their original packaging, according to court papers.
Jurden also sentenced West to probation and a $500 fine.
The News Journal

New Lenox woman arrested for JC Penney shoplifting

New Lenox Woman Stole 8 Dresses From Orland Park J.C. Penney: Cops
Orland Park IL April 19 2015

A New Lenox woman stole eight dresses from the J.C. Penney in the Orland Square Mall, police said.
Alyssa Aguilera, 23, somehow managed to fit all eight of the dresses into her purse, police said.
A security guard stopped Aguilera after she left the store with the dresses and had her come back inside, police said.
“Once in the loss prevention office Alyssa admitted to taking eight dresses and concealing them within her purse,” police said.
According to a police report, “Alyssa said she knew this was wrong and had no excuse for it.”
The eight dresses were worth a reported $356.