Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Too bad homeowners didn't start a fire.

Teen rescued after 10 hours in chimney of Ga.

Associated Press

NORCROSS, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta-area authorities say a teenage burglary suspect was pulled from a chimney by firefighters after being stuck there for more than 10 hours.

Police say the 17-year-old boy was taken into custody after being freed from the chimney around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home in Norcross, northeast of Atlanta.

Gwinnett County police Cpl. Jake Smith tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the teen was charged with burglary and giving false information to a police officer.

Smith said a neighbor heard someone yelling for help from her neighbor's chimney.

Authorities tell the Gwinnett Daily Post the teen was screaming when fire crews arrived and told the firefighters he had been stuck there since 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Firefighters freed him by lowering a rope from the top of the chimney.

Another Santa Claus wannabe.......

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The only way to fly................

Bay Area woman trapped in airport for eight days–all for lack of a $60 baggage fee

By Chris Lehmann | The Lookout

Sure, hurricanes and unseasonal blizzards can create major delays in air travel. And the ordinary air traveler faces plenty of exasperation via the heightened, and not always rational, security measures of the Transportation Safety Administration.

But Terri Weissinger, a native of Sonoma County, Calif., has suffered a new scale of airport indignity: Seeking to start a new life in Idaho, Weissinger was condemned to eight days in the limbo of the San Francisco International Airport--because she was unable to pay the fee her airline assessed for an additional piece of checked baggage.

As Michael Finney, a correspondent with the local ABC news affiliate KGO, reports, Wessinger, "was broke" when she left for the airport. (You can watch Finney's report in the video clip above.)

"She had nothing but an airline ticket and $30 in her pocket." She also hadn't traveled by air in the last five years--meaning that when she stepped to the ticket counter to check her bags, she was in for a serious case of sticker shock. The U.S. Airways agent checking her in told her that it was cost $60 to check both her bags. Weissinger offered to pay the fee when she arrived in Idaho, but the agent declined. She also offered to leave one bag there at the San Francisco Airport. That, the agent explained, would be in violation of security regulations.

Wessigner's next move was to try to scare up the full fee by calling friends in the area. She came up empty, and by the time she'd finished working the phones, she missed her flight. That's when things started to get truly Kafka-esque. To get a new flight "she'd have to pay her bag fees plus $150 in change fees," Finney notes. Without a place to stay nearby, Weissinger stayed the night at the airport. She awoke to more bad news: U.S. Airlines explained that, since she couldn't pay a change fee, she'd have to book a new flight from scratch. That would run about $1,000.

For the next week, Weissinger could do nothing but wander up and down the San Francisco air terminal. At one point, she says, she was treated for anxiety at the terminal's medical clinic; when she sought police assistance, she reports, she was nearly brought in on vagrancy charges. Her ordeal stretched out over eight days--and it only came to an end with the generous assistance of parishioners at a chapel called "The Airport Church of Christ." They gave her $210 that covered the original fee arrangement that Weissinger was able to restore with U.S. Air--the $150 change fee together with the $60 to check her bags.

Weissinger says that she never saw any baggage fee notification when she booked her flight on the online travel service Orbitz--nor did her travel itinerary carry any such notification. There is, however, one small silver lining in this whole grim Tom Hanks-style saga: Weissinger was traveling in April, and since then, federal rules have forced online travel services and airline reservation sites to feature prominent notification of baggage fees prior to booking a flight. As for U.S. Airways, an airline representative told Finney that "We have apologized to Ms. Weissinger, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund. When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger cannot travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements."

Translation: A U.S. Airways apology and $60 will get you two checked bags.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I guess I would be in Jail.....................

Texas Mother Given 5 Years Probation for Spanking Her Daughter

Rosalina GonzalesRosalina Gonzales, a mother of three from Corpus Christi, Texas, was sentenced to five years’ probation, a $50 fine, and parenting classes after pleading guilty to spanking her two-year-old daughter on the rear-end last December under the charge of “Injury to a Child.” Gonzales did not use an object to spank her daughter, and the spank did not leave a bruise, but when the child’s grandmother noticed red marks, she took the child to the hospital.

The grandmother has custody of Gonzalez’s three children, though Gonzales is working with local Child Protective Services to regain custody.

At the sentencing hearing, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria admonished Gonzales that spanking is not acceptable in this day and age.

“You don’t spank children today,” said Longoria, “in the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children. You understand?”

A Child Protective Services spokesperson told KZTV, a Corpus Christi station, that though the law does not forbid spanking, the practice is criminal when it injures a child.

What is your opinion of spanking as a form of discipline?

Being that I have not been a parent, but believe in strict discipline, I would have no problem is whacking my offspring on their butt, for disciplinary purpose.

If it was today, I guess they would haul Sister Mary Ambrose one of my teachers in grammar school, my Father, my Mother all off to jail.

Yes, I believe you shouldn't abuse your kids, but where does the govmint, get in creeping into our homes this much and telling you how to discipline your kids........

Friday, November 4, 2011

The wheels of Justice..........

New York City cop imprisons college student without ID for two days

By Chris Lehmann | The Lookout

Note to tourists visting New York: Don't be caught out without your ID, or you could be caught in the city's penal system for days, if the recent experience of 21-year-old college student Samantha Zucker is anything to go by.

Actually, Zucker, barely qualifies as an out-of-towner, since she hails from the Westchester town of Ardmore. And the underlying charge that led to her tour in jail was a minor trespassing citation, dismissed by a presiding judge in no time.

But no matter: A vigilant NYPD officer deemed her a sufficient threat to public safety to have her handcuffed and jailed in two different cells across the length of Manhattan.

The whole ordeal began with a trip to Riverside Park, as Zucker recounts to New York Times columnist James Dwyer. Zucker is enrolled in a design program at Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University; together with 80 of her colleagues, she spent a long day on Oct. 21 scouting out prospective employment scenarios in New York's sprawling fashion industry. After pounding the pavement, she dropped off her bags at her West Harlem hotel. From there, she and fellow student Alex Fischer decided to stroll over to Riverside Park, to gaze out on the Hudson.

There was just one problem: The two park visitors arrived at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 22, and the park is officially closed to visitors as of 1 a.m. A police car pulled up, and the officers in it informed the two students of their trespass. Zucker and Fischer explained that they hadn't known of the park's curfew, and turned around to leave. By then, however, another NYPD car appeared, and the officer driving it announced he was citing them for trespassing, and demanded their IDs. Fischer produced his driver's license and was let go--but Zucker had left her identification back at the hotel, two blocks away. She apologized, and told the officer that she could have Fischer or another friend fetch it.

But no dice. "He said it was too late for that, I should have thought of it earlier," she told Dwyer. At that point, as Dwyer writes, the wheels of justice locked grimly into gear; Zucker was handcuffed and led into a surreal maze of detention:

For the next 36 hours, she was moved from a cell in the 26th Precinct station house on West 126th Street to central booking in Lower Manhattan and then — because one of the officers was ending his shift before Ms. Zucker could be photographed for her court appearance, and you didn't think he was going to take the subway uptown while his partner stayed with her at booking, did you? — she was brought back to Harlem.

It's not against the law, of course, to be out on New York's streets without identification--but the courts can detain people without identification in jail until their arraignment in lieu of issuing them a summons. As Zucker waited in her cell for her court appearance, she heard NYPD employees marvel that the arresting officer didn't permit her the opportunity to have a friend retrieve her ID. At another point, Zucker says, she heard two NYPD staffers say that the arresting officer--identified as Officer Durrell of the 26th District in Zucker's police records--had a "short fuse." When Zucker finally got her court appearance, the presiding judge dismissed her trespassing citation in less than a minute.

Durrell apparently worked off some tension by taunting his prisoner in her cell. "He was telling me that I needed to get a new boyfriend, that I should get a guy who takes me out to dinner," Ms. Zucker said. "He mocked me for being from Westchester." (For the record, Fischer is not Zucker's boyfriend.)

The officer also instructed Zucker--twice--to refrain from calling him a profane name that she did not in fact utter. "I said, 'Sir, I never used that word.' " Then again, projection is no crime--any more than being out in a park without an ID is.