20-Injured In Mass Stabbing At PA High School

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

They can take all of the Guns… and we would still have THIS!


 

MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) – At least 20-people have been injured in a stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld says 19-of the victims are students, one of them is a school security guard.

A school security guard called in the stabbing at 7:13 a.m.

Seefeld wouldn’t detail the carnage beyond saying, “The juvenile went down the hallway and was flashing two knives around and injured the people.”

Police say the 16-year-old male student suspect is in custody and is a sophomore at the high school.

He was transported from the Murrysville Police Department by police car, and reportedly taken to a local hospital for superficial wounds, and then returned.

Investigators haven’t determined a motive, but Seefeld said they’re looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn’t specify whether the suspect reportedly received or made the call.

Jeff Dahlke with the security company who provides security for Franklin Regional High School says the suspect was armed with two knives.

“The alarm went off, and students started rushing outside, the security guard outside rushed in, and came upon his supervisor, and a vice principal who had the suspect in custody on the ground and was trying to control him, and try to get the weapons away from him,” Dahlke said.

Police say that security guard was stabbed in the abdomen.

Two student victims were in critical condition, according to Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Regional Medical Center.

The CEO of Forbes Hospital tells KDKA’s Heather Abraham that one-student applied pressure to an injured classmate, possibly saving student’s life.

Several local hospitals report patients were taken to their hospitals. Here is the breakdown of victims.

–8 at Forbes Regional Hospital
–5 at UPMC East
–4 at UPMC Children’s Hospital
–1 at UPMC Mercy
–1 at UPMC Presby
–1 at Allegheny General Hostpital

Hospital officials say patients range from 15-to-60-years old.

UPMC Presby says the 17-year-old male student they have there is in critical condition with chest and abdominal injuries.

According to a witness, the stabbings happened in the science wing of the building.

“One of the students pulled the alarm, my daughter said, after the incident happened to clear the school. She reported to me it was a 10th grade student,” parent Tim Graham told KDKA.

The chief said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed. Although that created chaos, he said, it also resulted in students running out of the school to safety faster than they might have otherwise.

“The fire alarm being pulled probably assisted with the evacuation of the school and that was a good thing that that was done,” Seefeld said.

Several students tell us that Franklin Regional student Nate Scimio pulled the fire alarm and was stabbed.

 

Franklin Regional School District says the high school will be closed for the next few days, but the middle school and elementary school will be open tomorrow.

Westomreland County Public Safety spokesman Dan Stevens said, “We haven’t lost a life. That’s what we have to keep in mind.”

Governor Tom Corbett issued a statement that reads:

“I was shocked and saddened upon learning of the events that occurred this morning as students arrived at Franklin Regional High School. As a parent and grandparent, I can think of nothing more distressing than senseless violence against children. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.”

“I have directed the Pennsylvania State Police to assist local law enforcement in its investigation in any way possible. Other state resources will be made available to the community, if needed. I assure the citizens of Murrysville that they have the full support of my administration.”

Related:

Homeland Security drill simulates dangerous World Series scenario at PNC Park
Law enforcement groups converge on Pittsburgh Pirates’ ballpark for training exercise

Obama / Holder DOJ wants gun owners to wear ‘smart gun’ bracelets

April 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

………. That is unless you are a Mexican Drug Cartel member. How are these men still in office???

 

Attorney General Eric Holder wants to explore “common sense” gun reforms, like mandating that gun owners would have to wear bracelets before they could activate their firearms.

Holder made his remarks while testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee on Friday. He acknowledged the existence of the Second Amendment, which gives people the unqualified right to own and carry weapons, but nevertheless expressed support for several gun control measures that he described as “common sense reforms,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

“One of the things we learned when we were trying to pass those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and talked about how guns can be made more safe by making them either though fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon,” said Holder, referring to so-called “smart gun” technology.

“It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights while at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things we see on a daily basis, where people, kids especially, are struck down.”

A smart gun requires the shooter to be wearing a bracelet or watch with an RFID chip that communicates with the gun and allows it to fire. (RELATED: ‘Smart gun’ would require shooter to be wearing watch before firing)

The National Rifle Association opposes such technology, writing last year that “we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire.”

Holder’s testimony concerned the Department of Justice’s budget requests for fiscal year 2014. Holder would like Congress to allocate increased funding — an additional $380 million — for gun safety programs. About $2 million would go toward the development of gun safety technologies, such as fingerprint-responsive mechanisms and GPS trackers. These technologies could make it easier for law enforcement to tell when guns are missing or stolen. (RELATED: New York state offers $500 reward for reporting gun owners)

However, they could also stoke fears of the federal government keeping tabs on gun owners, as some state governments do. (RELATED: Law-abiding Connecticut gun owners may face FELONY CHARGES for failing to register weapons)

Read MORE at The Daily Caller

Feds in Standoff with Cattleman in Nevada

April 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

Is Cliven Bundy a hero?

The contractors are nervous about Bundy’s veiled threats. They’ve asked reporters to come with them to reduce any chance of violence.

Bundy has lots of allies in his range war with the BLM.

And it’s easy to see why. His family has ranched the area since 1887, Before the Taylor Grazing Act was passed in 1934 and the BLM created, ranchers in the West never staked out claim to all of the land that they ran their herds on. There was no need.

They would lay claim to the land where their homes and buildings were and to the water sources. The range remained open and public property.

“Armed Rangers and several federal agencies have surrounded a 600,000-acre section of public land and are preparing to move against rancher Cliven Bundy whose cattle have been grazing illegally for the past 20 years.

Armed agents are forming a military-like staging area to prevent anyone from approaching the area.

“With all these rangers and all this force that is out here, they are only after one man right now. They are after Cliven Bundy. Whether they want to incarcerate me or whether they want to shoot me in the back, they are after me. But that is not all that is at stake here. Your liberty and freedom is at stake,” Bundy said.”

8 News NOW

“My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley ever since 1877. All these rights I claim have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and water. I have been here longer. My rights are before the BLM even existed,” Bundy said. ^2

“The federal government has seized Nevada’s sovereignty, Nevada’s statehood. They have seized Nevada’s laws and our public land. We have no access to our public land and that is only a little bit of it.” ^2

“I’ve fought this thing legally. I’ve fought it politically. I’ve fought it through the media. and I will fight it on the ground if I have to,” Bundy said. ^2

“This has become a police state, and this is an example of it right here,” Bundy said. ^2

“This is the freedom we have in America right now. You got to have your freedom inside that fence there,” Bundy said.

By TOM RAGAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Hundreds of federal officers, cowboys and helicopters descended on Cliven Bundy’s backyard Saturday, launching a roundup targeting about 500 head of cattle grazing on government land.

Bundy, the embattled Bunkerville rancher who owes the federal government tens of thousands of dollars in grazing fees over two decades, said from his ranch house about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas that it only will hurt the “city folks” in Las Vegas who have come to depend on his cattle for their beef.

Because of the government’s actions, Bundy said there’s going to be 500,000 fewer hamburgers per year from his cattle operation.

“Anything is possible,” said the 67-year-old Bundy, speculating that it might even raise the price of beef. “When you take away a rancher’s 500 head of cattle, you’re taking away 500 calves each year, and that can’t be good for anybody.

“But nobody is thinking about that. Why would they? They’re all thinking about the desert tortoise,” he said, referring to one inhabitant of the rangeland in and around Gold Butte that environmentalists say is being harmed by the cattle’s presence. “Hey, the tortoise is a fine creature. I like him. I have no problem with him. But taking another man’s cattle? It just doesn’t seem right.”

The federal government plans to auction off Bundy’s cattle once the estimated 500 head are rounded up, a Herculean task that’s expected to last until mid-May

The operation includes closing off more than a half-million acres of public land in Clark and Lincoln counties and using hundreds of federal agents, contract cowboys and low-flying aircraft.

Agents started the operation Saturday morning, corralling 75 head of cattle into trailers and taking them south to an undisclosed compound along Interstate 15 just outside of Mesquite, Bundy said.

There were no signs of Bundy supporters in the Bunkerville area Saturday, but that doesn’t mean none of them are coming in the days to come. Bundy’s story has grabbed the attention and support of other ranchers in Nevada and Utah.

In all, federal officials say there are 900 head of cattle they have to round up, although Bundy said he only owns 500.

He said each head of cattle that was seized Saturday is worth about $1,000.

He called the government’s actions “pathetic.”

“Or better yet, a form of trespassing, which they say I’ve been doing all these years,” he added.

The Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area don’t see the roundup as trespassing at all. They say Bundy is disobeying the law. And they’ve tried repeatedly to resolve the issue, both “administratively and judicially,” BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said in a news release.

She said the cattle are “unauthorized” to graze on the land, and that both the BLM and the Park Service have made repeated unsuccessful attempts to put a stop to it.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, whose police department is not participating in the roundup, talked and commiserated with Bundy but also encouraged him to work it out with the federal government so that no violence would erupt.

A similar roundup was scheduled in 2012, but federal officials worried that it could lead to violence and backed off.

Bundy said the land in question might not be his but he has inalienable rights to it. It’s more the state of Nevada’s than the federal government’s, he said.

His family has been raising cattle on that land since 1877.

“The rights were created for us,” Bundy said. “I have the right to use the forage. I have water rights. I have access rights. I have range improvement rights, and I claim all the other rights that the citizens of Nevada have, whether it’s to camp, to fish or to go off road.”

However, conservation groups hailed the decision to rid the land of the cattle, saying that federal judges “again and again” have ruled that the BLM has the right to protect the tortoise by removing the cattle.

“We’re heartened and thankful that the agencies are finally living up to their stewardship duty,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, which had filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government for a lack of action. “The Gold Butte area has been officially designated as critical habitat for threatened tortoises — meaning the area is essential to their long-term survival as a species.”

Bundy said it’s ironic that the tortoises are pushing out his cattle operation. He considers himself an endangered species as well.

He has managed to hold out this long while dozens of cattle operations pulled up stakes starting in the early 1990s, mostly due to what he sees as an overreaching, micromanaging government as it applies to public land.

“I’ll never get it,” he said. “If it weren’t for our cattle, there’d be more brush fires out here. The tortoises eat the cow manure, too. It’s filled with protein.”

But mostly, he said he’s worried about the cows having calves.

“I hope they’re protected,” he said. “I hope nothing bad happens to them. I’m already wondering how I’m going to get water out to some of them.”

Henry Brean contributed to this report.

Alleged Fort Hood gunman vented on Facebook about Sandy Hook shooter, Iraq

April 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

 

(CNN) — Spc. Ivan Lopez vented about a range of subjects on Facebook before his shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas, including his outrage at Adam Lanza’s mass school shooting in Connecticut.

He wrote of experiencing overpowering fear after an insurgent attack in Iraq and the hatred that consumed him after getting “robbed.”

Lopez took his own .45-caliber handgun onto the sprawling post Wednesday and killed three people and wounded 16 more before taking his own life, according to authorities.

They are trying to piece together what in his background and psychiatric treatment could have triggered a new round of bloodshed at the same Killeen post where an officer killed 13 people in 2009.

A 34-year-old Iraq war veteran with a history of depression and anxiety, Lopez was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder before his shooting spree. He arrived at the post in February after being transferred from Fort Bliss in El Paso.

His Facebook posts, which were obtained from a Lopez family friend, appeared under the account name of “Ivan Slipknot,” a reference to a heavy metal band. A family spokesman confirmed the account belonged to Lopez.

 

Fort Hood shooting
Fort Hood shooting
Images of Spc. Ivan Lopez taken from a Facebook page.
Images of Spc. Ivan Lopez taken from a Facebook page.

 

It is unclear whether his posts might help explain his mental state or a possible motive in the shootings. Authorities have said the motive is not known.

“Given that the alleged shooter is deceased, the possibility does exist that we may never know exactly why the alleged shooter did what he did,” said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

In early March, around the time investigators said he purchased the .45-caliber pistol used in the shootings, Lopez wrote: “My spiritual peace has just gone. Full of hate. Now I think I’ll be damned. Last night I was robbed and I’m pretty sure there were 2 skinny ones. Green light and thumb down. That easy.”

The details of the robbery are unknown. Killeen, Texas, police said the records department was closed Saturday.

In another Facebook post, Lopez talked about Lanza, 20, who killed his mother, Nancy, before fatally shooting 20 children, six staff members and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December 2012.

Three soldiers slain at Fort Hood identified

Lanza wanted his minute of fame, Fort Hood shooter writes

Lopez wrote that Lanza “pretends to be a victim of a mental illness followed by addiction to violent video games” and that the shooter sought “international attention” and a “minute of fame as a villain.”

He added, “It is stupid to me that anyone can have easy access to a powerful weapon without being mentally evaluated. This makes the government indirect accomplice… These bastards have perfected their way of attacking studying previous massacres to gain publicity and their minute of fame as a villain. But thanks to Hollywood and the sensational profiling by the media [they] give more power to those intelligent cowards.”

Another post dealt with his time in Iraq: “Celebrating life. It has been exactly 1 year and 2 days since left Iraq seeing in Fallujah the most brutal explosion… I was left paralyzed and started a discussion over the radio… I was only focused on breathing deeply so that I don’t lose focus and continue the mission. [Those] were hours of agony waiting for an attack by the insurgency but we were able to exit Fallujah all alive. I was in vehicle #6.The worst was that #5 was a diesel truck, the perfect target. And I was only thinking about getting back with my family.”

Lopez added: “To be in the line of fire is f—– up but even more f—– is the suffering of the families.”

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post’s commanding general, said Lopez did not experience direct combat in Iraq.

“So far, we have not discovered any specific traumatic event, wounds received in action, contact with the enemy or anything else specific that he may have been exposed to while deployed,” the general said.

Grey said authorities had “credible information” that Lopez “was involved in a verbal altercation with soldiers from his unit just prior to him allegedly opening fire.”

Messages left Saturday by CNN for Grey about the Facebook posts were not immediately returned.

In a statement Friday, Lopez’ father, also named Ivan, asked for prayers for all those affected. He described the soldier as “a calm family man” and “a good son.”

“My son could not have been in his right mind,” he said. “He was not like this.”

Lopez was Iraq vet being treated for mental health issues

Looking for clues into GI’s actions, motive

Before Wednesday’s shooting, Lopez stopped at the post’s personnel office to pick up a leave form, according to the sister of one of the soldiers injured in the attack.

Armetra Otis, sister of Sgt. Jonathan Westbrook, said on CNN’s “The Lead” that her brother “was at work and a guy came in and asked for a leave form.”

The soldier was told he would have to come back later, Otis said.

“And apparently I guess he didn’t want to hear that, so he came back and just opened fire, ” Otis said.

Westbrook was shot four times, but released from a hospital Friday, his sister said.

Law enforcement sources told CNN that investigators were searching for possible motives, including whether Lopez was angry over canceled leave.

If Lopez sought a leave this week, it wouldn’t be his first.

Glidden Lopez Torres, a family spokesman, said Lopez’ mother, Carmen, an emergency room nurse in their hometown, died of a heart attack in November. A month earlier, Lopez’ grandfather had died in Guayanilla, a tight knit seaside community of 22,000 on the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

The spokesman, not related to the soldier, said Lopez attended the funeral but was disappointed that it took about five days for his 24-hour leave to be approved by the military.

In Friday’s statement, the soldier’s father said his son’s medical treatment, the recent deaths of his mother and grandfather and changes related to a transfer of military installations “surely affected his condition.”

Again, a female cop is hero at Fort Hood

Judge dismisses drone lawsuit against Obama administration over killed U.S. citizens

April 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

 

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Obama administration officials for the 2011 drone-strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including an al Qaeda cleric.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said the case raises serious constitutional issues and is not easy to answer, but that “on these facts and under this circuit’s precedent,” the court will grant the Obama administration’s request.

The suit was against then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then-CIA Director David Petraeus and two commanders in the military’s Special Operations forces.

Permitting a lawsuit against individual officials “under the circumstances of this case would impermissibly draw the court into ‘the heart of executive and military planning and deliberation,’” Collyer said. She said the suit would require the court to examine national security policy and the military chain of command as well as operational combat decisions regarding the designation of targets and how best to counter threats to the United States.

At oral arguments last July, the judge challenged the Obama administration’s position repeatedly, pointedly asking, “Where was the due process in this case?” for the now-dead U.S. citizens targeted in the drone attacks. When an administration lawyer said there were checks in place, including reviews done by the executive branch, Collyer said, “No, no, no, no, no” and declared that “the executive is not an effective check on the executive” when it comes to protecting constitutional rights.

But in Friday’s ruling, it was clear that the administration’s arguments had a strong impact on the judge, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.

The government argued that the issue is best left to Congress and the executive branch, not judges, and that courts have recognized that the defense of the nation should be left to those political branches.

Anwar al-Awlaki’s classification as a key leader raises fundamental questions regarding the conduct of armed conflict, Collyer’s 41-page opinion stated. The Constitution commits decision-making in this area to the president, as commander in chief, and to Congress, the judge said.

U.S.-born al-Qaida leader al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, an al-Qaida propagandist, were killed in a drone strike in September 2011.

Al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, was killed the following month.

The lawsuit was filed by Nasser al-Awlaki – Anwar’s father and the teen’s grandfather – and by Sarah Khan, Samir Khan’s mother

Allowing a lawsuit against the individual officials “would hinder their ability in the future to act decisively and without hesitation in defense of U.S. interests,” she added.

Al-Awlaki had been linked to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting U.S. and Western interests, including a 2009 attempt on Christmas Day on a Detroit-bound airliner (Debunked HERE!) and a 2010 plot against cargo planes.

“The )fact) is that Anwar al-Awlaki was an active and exceedingly dangerous enemy of the United States, irrespective of his distance, location, and citizenship,” Collyer said. “As evidenced by his participation in the Christmas Day attack, Anwar al-Awlaki was able to persuade, direct and wage war against the United States from his location in Yemen, without being present on an official battlefield or in a hot war zone.”

She said that the U.S. government moved against al-Awlaki as authorized by the defendants and she said the officials acted in accordance with the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was enacted by Congress after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Read more:  Washington Times

General Tells Congress Troops Are Willing To Sacrifice Pay

April 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas, Economy

In testimony to Congress last week, military leaders told Congress that military personnel are understanding as to why they must take pay cuts.  The officials told Congress that troops are ready and willing to sacrifice their pay.  The officials said that pay cuts must come first over making cuts to equipment and training, and that the troops understand this best.

____________

Senior Pentagon officials told Congress on Tuesday that troops are willing to sacrifice portions of their pay and benefits if it means keeping and improving the training and equipment needed to do their jobs.

Vice Adm. William F. Moran, chief of naval personnel and deputy chief of naval operations, told lawmakers that sailors he has met with over the past six months have spoken more about “the quality of the service” they’re able to do than anything other topic.

The view was shared by other officials, including Sheryl E. Murray, assistant deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs for the Marine Corps.

“I would emphasize our Marines do enjoy a good quality of life. Our Marines love being in the Marine Corps family,” she said. “Most of all, they want the right equipment. … They want to be trained, and they want to be ready. That is the overriding desire.”

Full Article

Post Drill Shooting Confirmed at Fort Hood Army Base (Updates)

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

I have CONFIRMED that this posting below was legit.  In fact the phone message says they are recruiting for an upcoming “Military Training Exercise” Gadsden or Gaston? Alabama NEXT. – Jack Blood

From KILLeen Craigslist – up 22 days before the shooting

CL >killeen-temple >all jobs >government jobs

Posted:

Role Players for Military mock simulated disaster (Ft Hood)

compensation: $100 per day
Government contractor is seeking individuals to act as role players to participate in a ” mass casualty exercise ” on the FT Hood military installation. Role players will participate in an exercise that will replicate civilians in the area that have been injured during a disaster that is used in the scenario. Role players will be medically treated during this exercise at numerous locations on Ft Hood. The objective of this exercise is to train and assess medical units with regards to civilians that have been injured during a disaster.We are seeking individuals to take part in this exercise on March 17, 18 & 19 Individuals must be at least 18 years of age and legal to work in the United States. You will be paid upon completion of the exercise on the last day of work. Please contact Michael Boyd at (xxx)294-0526. An appointment will be set up to meet and further information will be given.
Also: THIS is a separate Drill from Sept. 12th Last Year / 2013 (what good are these drill then? – It may cause the Troops at Ft Hood et al,,, To drop their guard thinking that everything is a “drill”)
Fort Hood conducts mass casualty training

—–

Multiple people have been injured and the search for the gunman is underway after a shooting at the Fort Hood Army post Wednesday afternoon.

Reports of an active shooter triggered a lockdown at Fort Hood with local sheriff’s deputies and the FBI immediately responding to the threat.

A U.S. Army official at Fort Hood confirms that a shooting has occurred at the base, though the number of people injured and the severity of their injuries has not been confirmed.

NBC News reports as many as eight people may be injured and that there may be two people responsible for the shooting.  One of those is believed to be “down” while the second is at-large.

Full Article

 

The Fort Hood military installation in Texas is locked down after a shooting that left at least four people dead and injured an unknown number, according to authorities.

Four people were killed, according to government officials. It’s unclear at this moment if the four dead includes the shooter, who officials have confirmed was killed, but that number is believed to include the shooter.

Fort Hood, which remained locked down at 8 p.m., reported that there were multiple injuries after the shooting. However, Fort Hood officials said the number of people injured had not been confirmed.

Full Article

———-

 

MORE MSM COVERAGE:


WAR COMES HOME: ANOTHER SHOOTING AT FORT HOOD...
UPDATE: 4 Dead, Including Gunman...


ID'd As Ivan Lopez...
'Mental Health Issues, Was Being Treated'... 'Depression, Anxiety'...
Prescribed Ambien...

Connection between violence and SSRI medication emerges yet again...


Shooter angry at Army over refusal to let him attend mom's funeral...
FACEBOOK Page Tribute To Heavy Metal Band... (Our friends SLIPKNOT)
GOP REP: Troops should be armed on base...
EPIDEMIC: At Least 22 Veterans Commit Suicide Each Day...
Stress Disorder...

Students protest ‘war criminal’ Cheney at American University

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

More than two dozen students protested a talk by former Vice President Dick Cheney at American University, and a handful of them called him a “war criminal” as they stormed out.

video from the March 27 event shows students walking out on Cheney, and one can be heard yelling, “Walk out on war criminals.” The speech was hosted by The Kennedy Political Union. The school’s newspaper, The Eagle, reported that Cheney denied that his actions while in office amounted to war crimes.

Cheney was one of the most vocal supporters of the George W. Bush administration policies after September 11, including waterboarding, placing detainees in stress positions, and other practices that are sometimes referred to as “enhanced interrogation” tactics.

Full Article

Wealthy Child Rapist Given Probation As Judge Felt He Would ‘Not Do Well’ in Jail

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

The heir to the du Pont fortune pled guilty in 2009 to charges of raping his three-year old daughter, but never spent time in jail

Newly released documents reveal that in 2009 a Delaware judge sentenced a wealthy heir to probation after he admitted he had raped his 3-year old daughter, saying the rich white man would “not do well” in prison.

Robert H. Richards IV, one of the heirs to the du Pont fortune, admitted in June 2008 that he had raped his 3-year old daughter, Delaware Online reports. The girl told her grandmother about the 2005 alleged abuse, and said that her father had said it was “our little secret” but that she didn’t want “my daddy touching me anymore.” Richards was originally charged with two counts of second-degree rape, but accepted a last-minute plea deal on fourth-degree rape charges, a class C violent felony that usually comes with over two years of jail time. Prosecutors sought only probation, and Judge Jan Jurden agreed, sentencing him to an 8-year prison sentence but commuting all the prison time in favor of probation.

Full Article

Philly Artist Fights City Hall Over Eminent Domain Abuse

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

Philadelphia’s James Dupree is an accomplished artist whose work has appeared in museum all over the world, including his hometown’s Philadelphia Museum of Art and African American Museum.

In 2005, Dupree bought a dilapidated warehouse in the City of Brotherly Love’s Mantua neighborhood and worked to turn it into a studio that hosts his personal workshop, art classes, and even visitors through Airbnb.

That’s all being threatened by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), a local government agency that is supposed to revitalize distressed neighborhoods.

PRA made plans with Aquinas Realty Partners to convert the block that Dupree’s studio is on into a multi-use area with retail shops and a high-end grocery store. PRA designated the studio as blighted and moved to take it via eminent domain, the government’s right to seize property for public use. It planned to give the property to the private developer Aquinas. Part of the eminent domain process is that dispossessed property owners must be offered fair and just compensation. PRA offered Dupree $640,000 for his property even though the estimated market value is $2.2 million.

Taking private property and then giving it to a developer constitutes abuse of eminent domain, says Institute for Justice senior attorney Scott Bullock. “A grocery store is like any other private business,” he explains. “It is about as far away from a public use as one could imagine.” Historically, eminent domain was used to build things such as roads, public schools, and hospitals. Increasingly, though, it’s being used by governments to give favored developers sweetheart deals.

Bullock was the lead counsel in the 2005 Supreme Court case Kelo v. New London, which involved a municipal government in Connecticut seizing property and giving it to a private developer to build a hotel complex. The high court ruled that it was constitutional as long as the government said they were trying to increase tax revenues. The Kelo decision was highly controversial and led many states and municipalities to pass tighter restrictions on the use of eminent domain.

Ironically, the inefficiency of municipal bureaucracy may give Dupree his best chance of winning his case. When PRA classified Dupree’s property as blighted, it ended up condemning only two of the three addresses his property sits on.

Dupree has begun an online petition and has taken PRA to court. A decision is expected later this year.

About 5 minutes.

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