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  • Ebola Victim’s Nephew Says Uncle Died for a Simple Reason: ‘He’s a Black Man’ Without Insurance
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:45 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (457)

    Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola inside the U.S., died on Wednesday, and as questions surrounded his treatment (or lack thereof), a family member implied that racism and callous disregard for the poor were responsible for Duncan’s death.

    This 2011 photo provided by Wilmot Chayee shows Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., at a wedding in Ghana. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Duncan was being treated for the disease, on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 said Duncan has died. (AP/Wilmot Chayee)

    FILE – This 2011 photo provided by Wilmot Chayee shows Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., at a wedding in Ghana. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Duncan was being treated for the disease, on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 said Duncan has died. (AP/Wilmot Chayee)

    On CNN’s “OutFront” Saturday morning, Duncan’s nephew Josephus Weeks speculated that race played a role in the Texas hospital’s decision to release his uncle while the man had a raging fever.

    “He’s the only person that has died from Ebola here in America,” Weeks said. “He’s a black man. He’s poor, didn’t have insurance.”

    Another American who contracted the Ebola virus, the white Dr. Kent Brantly, survived with the help of dramatic medical intervention.

    Weeks noted the disparity.

    “Had [Duncan's] been another name, you know, or another color, he would probably be living today and he would have survived it,” Weeks told CNN. “And that’s what’s really hurting me the most is because they treated him the way they did because of the color of his skin, and that’s very upsetting and disturbing, and know that you stand a chance if you’re white, but you don’t if you’re black.”

    (H/T: Mediaite)

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Alleged Violation of Voluntary Isolation Leads New Jersey to Issue Mandatory Quarantine for NBC Crew Exposed to Ebola
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:15 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (14)

    New Jersey officials have issued a mandatory quarantine order for members of an NBC crew that was exposed to a cameraman with Ebola.

    The order went into effect Friday night after they say a voluntary 21-day isolation agreement was violated.

    Officials with the state Health Department told The Associated Press the crew remains symptom-free and there is no reason for concern of exposure to the deadly virus to the community.

    Citing privacy concerns, department officials wouldn’t give further details, including who violated the voluntary agreement and how the state learned of the violation.

    The NBC crew included medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman, who lives in New Jersey. She was working with Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman who was infected in West Africa. He is being treated in Nebraska.

    A cameraman films the entrance of the Ebola treatment centre of aid agency Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) on October 3, 2014 where NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, 33, who has been infected with the Ebola virus is being treated. Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

    An NBC representative told the AP it fully supports the guidelines set by local health authorities.

  • One Look at the Back of His Truck and You’ll Probably See Why the Cop Pulled Him Over
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:49 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (290)

    Police abuse is in the eye of the beholder, it seems.

    In a video posted to YouTube by Raymond Morgan back in January, a man berates a New Jersey police officer, yelling, ”I’m not trying to be a d**k here,” as he argues that he should not have been pulled over.

    The video description labels what the cop did an “abuse of power” and “clearly wrong,” calling for YouTube to make the video “go viral.”

    Now it is going viral…and backfiring on the man who got pulled over.

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    Of the 1,400 votes on the video on YouTube as of Saturday morning, only 101 of them were positive, while over on Reddit hundreds of commenters are amusedly noting the obvious: The cop remains calm during the encounter, and the man yelling at him doesn’t seem to be justified.

    In the video, the cop explains that the passenger wasn’t wearing his seatbelt properly, that he saw the driver flicking ashes out of his truck and, most importantly, that the driver’s rear view was obstructed by the load he was carrying.

    “There is nothing hanging out of that!” the man shouts, taking the camera around the back of the truck. “There is nothing wrong with that!”

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    “As soon as I saw the mountain of s**t in the back of the truck I lost it,” one commenter wrote on Reddit. “What a dumba**!! That looks so unstable.”

    Watch the video and decide for yourself whether the police officer or the driver was in the wrong.

    (Content warning: strong language)

    Despite being originally posted back in January, the video was still gathering viral steam on Saturday.

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    TheBlaze was not immediately able to ascertain whether the man had successfully argued against his tickets in New Jersey court.

    This story has been updated to include a poll.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Tom Brady’s Biggest Fan Has an Insane Mugshot — Especially Seen From the Side
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:57 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (70)

    His alleged crime, purchasing synthetic marijuana or “Spice,” isn’t exactly noteworthy.

    But his mugshot is priceless.

    Image via WBZ-TV / St. Petersburg Police

    Image via WBZ-TV / St. Petersburg Police

    The Smoking Gun reported Friday on the story of 46-year-old Victor Thompson, a man whose love of the New England Patriots runs a little more than skin-deep — deep enough for permanent head tattoos.

    Image via WBZ-TV / St. Petersburg Police

    Image via WBZ-TV / St. Petersburg Police

    The New Hampshire native faces felony drug charges in St. Petersburg, Florida, and his mugshots reveal the extent of his love for his football team.

    His entire head is a tattooed replica of legendary Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady’s football helmet, complete with little details such as the green dot that signifies the helmet is equipped with a radio receiver.

    Image via WBZ-TV / St. Petersburg Police

    Image via WBZ-TV / St. Petersburg Police

    Read the whole police report over at the Smoking Gun.

    (H/T: WBZ-TV)

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • The Islamic State Claims an Unexpected Victim: A Cartoon Spy Agency
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:36 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (44)

    The characters on the FX adult cartoon “Archer” are about as different from the Islamic State as folks could be: hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, promiscuous and well-equipped with high-tech gadgetry.

    But the two groups had an acronym in common, until very recently at least.

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    As the Daily Beast reported late Friday, the spy agency at the center of “Archer” used to be called ISIS, but as the show gears up for its sixth season, creator Adam Reed and executive producer Matt Thompson explained that the agency would be taken over by the CIA and the ISIS acronym would be dropped.

    “We quietly did,” Reed said. “We were waiting for it to go away—at least I was. Back in Season 5, FX said, ‘This might be a thing,’ and I thought, ‘Maybe it won’t be? Maybe it’ll be the mole that I’m gonna ignore and nothing will happen.’ We got sort of lucky and could organically make a merger with the CIA, so we went back and retroactively painted out the ISIS logos in parts of the show, and we just don’t talk about it in dialogue.”

    Image via YouTube

    Image via YouTube

    Many news organizations, including TheBlaze, officially refer to the jihadist group as the Islamic State, but it is still commonly referred to by the acronyms ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

    “We won’t say ISIS anymore, and the only visual representation of it will be that sign rolling off the show,” Thompson told the Daily Beast. “It’s just the most awful thing, and we didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”

    Thompson added that they decided not to directly address the name confusion on the show because the Islamic State doesn’t exist in the show’s world.

    “There were people online saying that we should address it and say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe these guys have co-opted our name,’” Thompson said. “That’s the way ‘South Park’ would do it, coming after them and saying, ‘These a******s stole our name,’ but that’s not the way the ‘Archer’ universe works, where it’s all our own creations. In our universe, they don’t exist.”

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Abolish the IRS? A New Documentary Says It Can be Done and Replaced With a ‘Fair Tax’
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:00 am by Mike Opelka

    Comments (173)

    “Unfair: Exposing The IRS,” a new documentary hitting theaters for just one night on Tuesday, October 14, explores the rampant abuses of the Internal Revenue Service.

    Image: YouTube

    Image: YouTube

    The 1:20 film details the well-known story of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, but there are more abuses exposed. “Unfair” highlights a relatively unknown problem experienced by parents who adopt children from outside of the country, harassment of groups like the American Legion, and certain religious organizations.

    In addition to pointing out the overreaching actions of the agency, the film also hopes to jump-start a movement to abolish the bloated agency and replace it with a “fair tax.”

    On Friday’s edition of “The Morning Blaze” on TheBlaze Radio, the film’s narrator and producer, Craig Bergman spoke with Mike Opelka about the film, the variety of IRS abuses and explained the difference between a fair tax and a flat tax.

    The interview with Craig Bergman starts at the 50:00 mark of the show.

    Take our Blaze poll on the subject of abolishing the IRS.

    Watch the trailer for “Unfair.”

    __

    Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

     

  • Watch What Happens When a Mormon Missionary Gets Into a Street Dance Competition
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:50 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (453)

    You might wonder, “Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints train missionaries to do a lot more than preach?”

    Because some of these guys have some serious skills.

    This video was burning up Reddit Saturday morning, and it’s easy to see why: This Mormon missionary has some amazing moves.

    According to the video description, the missionary is Elder Gus Garcia, and he holds his own against a Michael Jackson impersonator in the streets of Barcelona, Spain.

    The dance video had more than 250,000 views on YouTube as of Saturday morning, and on Reddit, the posting had attracted more than 400 comments.

    The top comment on Reddit noted that Mormon missionaries can have a wide range of surprising skills and linked to the video below, showing a two-man missionary team playing some intense pickup basketball.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • A News Radio Station Died, and This Single Musician on Loop Took Its Place
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:45 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (62)

    KROI-FM, “Houston’s first FM all-news radio station,” is no more.

    The weird creation taking its place: an all-Beyonce radio station.

    Getty Images.

    Getty Images.

    As the Houston Chronicle reported, KROI’s final news broadcast was on Wednesday, after which 47 journalists lost their jobs and the station switched to an unprecedented all-Beyonce, all the time format.

    “This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested,” reads the message on KROI’s website. “Unfortunately, the market hasn’t shown a sustainable appetite for news radio.”

    The market likely won’t have a sustainable appetite for 24/7 Beyonce either, which is likely why the format is temporary.

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • After He Bought the House, He Got a Nasty Surprise and Had to Make a Tough Choice. Once You See the Photos, You’ll Agree With His Decision.
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:15 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (98)

    In the age of McMansions and outsourcing, it turns out there are still plenty of Americans willing to pour their own blood, sweat and tears into a home.

    After reading the story of a massive Arizona home renovation, TheBlaze reader Cecil Stinemetz reached out to share his own story of taking a home in West Des Moines, Iowa, from bad…

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    …to beautiful.

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    “I bought the house in Oct 2012 for $38,000 to repair and resell,” Stinemetz told TheBlaze. “I knew it needed a lot of work but was willing to take it on and thought within 3 or 4 months I could put on the market.”

    That’s when he got a surprise.

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    “While I was pulling up the floor I saw where [someone had] shimmed it up about 5 inches and further inspection under the crawl space found the foundation had sunk and [was] breaking apart (couldn’t see this from the outside),” Stinemetz wrote. “So I had a choice to patch it back up and make quick buck or take the time and money to do it right.”

    He chose to do it right.

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    He worked with contractors on the foundation, outside walls and shingles, Stinemetz said, and tackled the rest of the labor with his family.

    “My wife was the great interior designer,” he recalled, “and the kids helped a few days when they were up.”

    It was no easy task…

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    …but soon the house started coming together.

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    The home started to look better inside and out.

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    After more than a year of work and $100,000 invested, Stinemetz and his family had built a home to be proud of — and he said they sold it for $3,000 more than what he asked for it.

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Possibly the best part of the story: Stinemetz said he doesn’t have an extensive background in contracting work.

    “I was raised on a farm where my Dad and Mom taught me how to think and do for myself,” Stinemetz said. “I learned a lot from my Dad by watching him. So I am self-taught and after seeing the foundation was bad decided it needed done, so I just decided to do it right. I don’t have extensive background [in home building], I just like taking on challenges.”

    Stinemetz shared a few words of wisdom inspired by the project.

    “As the Bible says if the foundation is bad your house ain’t going to stay standing (paraphrasing Matthew chapter 7!),” he said. “So next time do a better job of checking out the foundation! And in the end do what’s right not what will make you the most money.”

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Image via Cecil Stinemetz

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Rand Paul Just Said This Is ‘the Biggest Mistake We’ve Made.’ Would You Agree?
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 6:05 am by Zach Noble

    Comments (346)

    Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky who is widely thought to be gearing up for a presidential bid, spoke with CNN from Ferguson, Missouri, on Friday evening, and he claimed that the GOP’s “biggest mistake” in recent history is a racial blunder.

    “I think in the Republican Party, the biggest mistake we’ve made in the last several decades is we haven’t gone into the African American community, into the NAACP and say you know what, we are concerned about what’s going on in your cities and we have plans,” Paul said. “They may be different than the Democrats, but we do have plans and we do want to help.”

    Paul implicitly acknowledged the electoral stranglehold Democrats have over urban areas (and the black vote in particular) but he argued that the country would be better off if Republicans fought for votes in unfriendly territory.

    “If both parties are competing for votes, if both parties are bringing alternative ideas to the cities then maybe some good will happen,” Paul said.

    Paul also took the opportunity to note some positions he holds in common with the NAACP, including ending mandatory drug sentencing and supporting job training for nonviolent drug offenders.

    (H/T: Mediaite)

    Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

  • Which Potential 2016 Presidential Candidate Are You?
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 2:10 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (104)

  • Hundreds Join Missouri Protest of Police Shootings as Tensions Flare
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 1:47 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (128)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of people protesting the death of Michael Brown and other fatal police shootings in Missouri and elsewhere stood inches from officers in riot gear late Friday before demonstrators dissipated, anticipating a long weekend of events.

    Organizers of the four-day Ferguson October events expected 6,000 participants, but the initial protest Friday outside the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office in Clayton didn’t draw nearly that amount. Later Friday, tensions increased, with hundreds of protesters gathering outside the Ferguson Police Department and chanting anti-police remarks such as, “Killer cops, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?” as a wall of about 100 officers in riot gear stood near them.

    Soon after, most of the crowd left, with organizers urging people to avoid arrest so that they could come back for more protests throughout the weekend.

    Protesters renewed their call for prosecutor Bob McCulloch to charge Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson officer, in the Aug. 9 death of 18-year-old Brown, who was black and unarmed. A grand jury is reviewing the case, and the U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown’s death and a broader inquiry into theFerguson police force.

    “We are here to demand the justice that our people have died for,” chanted protest organizer Montague Simmons of the local group Organization for Black Struggle. “We are here to bring peace, to bring restoration, to lift our banners in the name of those who’ve been sacrificed.”

    “We are here to demand the justice that our people have died for.”
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    In Clayton, officers escorted the several hundred demonstrators through the suburb’s downtown as they marched past high-end restaurants, jewelry stores, banks and law offices, before the protests moved to Ferguson. After theFerguson demonstration broke up, some protesters planned to go to the site of a police shooting in St. Louis.

    Meanwhile, the St. Louis Police Department announced it had encrypted its radio communications system, saying tactical information relayed to officers had been compromised during recent events, putting officer and the public at risk.

    Tensions remain high in the wake of another black 18-year-old’s shooting death by a white police officer Wednesday night in St. Louis. Police say Vonderrit D. Myers shot at the St. Louis officer, who was in uniform but working off-duty for a private neighborhood security patrol. Myers’ parents say he was unarmed.

    The officer’s name hasn’t been released.

    “It’s important for this country to stand with this community,” said protester Ellen Davidson of New York City, who was making her second trip to the St. Louis area since Brown’s death. “This community is under siege. … The eyes of the world are watching.”

    On Saturday, the protests shift to downtown St. Louis, hours before the Cardinals host the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the National League Championship Series. And on Monday, a series of planned — but unannounced — acts of civil disobedience are to take place throughout the St. Louis region.

    “I’m not planning to get arrested,” said Davidson, who was meeting up with other protesters from Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Tennessee. “But I do plan to do what I believe are in my rights as a protester. If I get arrested, that’s on the people who arrest me.”

    “I’m not planning to get arrested”
    Share:

    Brown’s parents, the local chapter of the NAACP and other organizations called for peaceful protests ahead of the demonstrations.

    St. Louis police arrested eight people Thursday as hundreds gathered to protest Myers’ death. At one point officers used pepper spray to force protesters back. A police spokeswoman said one officer was struck in the arm after someone threw a brick, and several cars were damaged.

    Black leaders in St. Louis want the Justice Department to investigate Myers’ shooting as well. Police said the officer fired 17 rounds after Myers shot at him. Preliminary autopsy results show a shot to the head killed Myers. The officer wasn’t injured.

    Online court documents show Myers was free on bond when he was killed. He had been charged with the unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest in June.

  • Watch Michelle Obama Make Key Mistake While Campaigning for an Iowa Senate Candidate
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:58 am by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (179)

    First lady Michelle Obama repeatedly mispronounced the name of a candidate she was campaigning for in Iowa Friday.

    While delivering remarks at an event for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley, the first lady referred to him multiple times as “Bailey.”

    Obama was ultimately corrected by a member of the crowd, Fox News reported.

    “I’ve been travelling too much,” she said after realizing her mistake.

    Yet, that wasn’t the only blunder the first lady had during the campaign stop. She also referred to Braley as a Marine Corps veteran, which he is not, Fox News noted.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

     

  • When a Flight Attendant Refuses to Hang Up a U.S. War Veteran’s Coat, It Resulted In a Social Media Firestorm
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm by Jon Street

    Comments (309)

    Passengers on board a U.S. Airways flight from Portland, Oregon to Charlotte, North Carolina Thursday said a flight attendant refused to hang up a decorated American war hero’s coat because he wasn’t seated in first-class.

    When some of the first-class passengers offered to trade seats with First Sergeant Albert Marle, the flight attendant said no, passengers told WSOC-TV. Another flight attendant later took Marle’s coat to hang it up.

    marle

    But even that didn’t stop several people from expressing their frustration on Twitter:

  • This ‘Amazing Wedding Event’ Is Exactly What These ‘Girls Dreamed’ of, But Probably Not Something They Ever Wanted to Do
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (46)

    It was an “amazing wedding event” that these three “girls dreamed” of — yet, it’s probably not something they ever wanted to do.

    Kaitlin Peters, 21, and her two sisters, 13-year-old Isabella and 15-year-old Kendle, always envisioned sharing a father-daughter dance with their dad Kelvin at their actual weddings.

    However, when a sudden diagnosis of terminal cancer gave their father only a few months to live, the Peters sisters knew what they had to do. With the help of several local vendors, Kaitlin, Isabella and Kendle put together a mock wedding to share the special moment with their dying dad.

    Image source: Vimeo

    Image source: Vimeo

    The entire event was documented in a video published online Thursday, showing Kelvin take photographs with his daughters, as well as sharing an iconic dance with each of them.

    “I needed this, and even though my sisters probably don’t know it, they needed it too,” Kaitlin told NBC News. “They’re not thinking about kids or spouses right now, but I didn’t want them to miss out on a milestone I think all women should have.”

    Image source: Vimeo

    Image source: Vimeo

    The mock wedding had an emotional impact on Kelvin.

    “This was a special event that I could give each of my girls that hopefully will provide a positive memory when the time comes and I’m not around,” he told NBC News.

    Image source: Vimeo

    Image source: Vimeo

    Kelvin added that he was able to avoid breaking down until the moment before the first dance.

    “The youngest, Isabella, she broke down in tears, and that’s where I broke down.”
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    “The youngest, Isabella, she broke down in tears, and that’s where I broke down,” he told NBC News. “And then Kendle broke down in tears, and again, I broke down because I wasn’t expecting that from the two of them. They are very solid girls.”

    Image source: Vimeo

    Image source: Vimeo

    According to NBC News, Kelvin also recorded video messages for the daughters to play during their future weddings and gave each one a special gift. He also recorded a message for his future son-in-laws.

    The family has now setup an online fundraiser to help Kelvin’s wife and children financially after he is gone.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Ohio Officials Say Unmanned Drones Will ‘Improve’ Prison Security
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm by Jon Street

    Comments (51)

    Ohio might have just found another way the government can use drones.

    Technically an unmanned blimp, the Buckeye State will begin using what it calls an “aerostat” to monitor what’s going on inside of and outside of two of its rehabilitation and correctional facilities, Gizmodo reported.

    The Aerostat is equipped with a high definition camera with an infrared device allowing it to see through the walls and roofs of the Lebanon and Warren facilities.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    State officials said the new technology will be helpful while trying to detect when prisoners try smuggling in contraband items or tossing those items over the fence to outsiders.

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections would test the equipment for six months in order to evaluate whether the technology can improve security in a cost-effective way.

    Gary Daniels of the ACLU’s Ohio chapter said the idea doesn’t raise many concerns for him. The ACLU is much more concerned about the government using drones to spy on free citizens, he said.

    Ed Voorhie, the DRC managing director of operations, said the technology would not put any current prison jobs at risk.

    “This is meant to augment and improve our security envelope in what is a very real issue for us which is keeping the bad guys inside of the fence and keeping other bad guys from coming onto our property to do bad things, which is convey contraband,” Voorhie said.

    (H/T: Gizmodo)

    Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

  • Mother Furious Over What School Officials Directed Her 5-Year-Old Daughter to Do When She Drew Something That ‘Resembled a Gun’
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (251)

    An Alabama mother is furious after she says her 5-year-old daughter was forced to sign a “safety contract” promising she wouldn’t kill herself or others.

    “This isn’t right,” Rebecca, who didn’t want her last name made public, told WPMI-TV. “She’s 5-years-old.”

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    According to Rebecca, officials at E R Dickson school in Mobile had the child sign the contract after drawing something that “resembled a gun.”

    “According to them she pointed a crayon at another student and said, ‘pew pew,” she told WPMI.

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    School officials apparently became worried and had the 5-year-old fill out a questionnaire to evaluate whether or not she struggled with suicidal thoughts.

    “(They) asked her if she was depressed now,” Rebecca told the NBC affiliate.

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    A mother is furious after she says her daughter was forced to sign a contracting promising not to commit suicide. (Image source: WPMI)

    “While I was in the lobby waiting they had my 5-year-old sign a contract about suicide and homicide,” she added.

    As WPMI noted, minors cannot legally sign a contract, according to state law.

    “There should be a different way to handle this situation. If this is protocol it needs to be looked at again,” Rebecca said.

    “There should be a different way to handle this situation.”
    Share:

    “My child interrupted us and said, ‘What is suicide mommy? Daddy what is suicide?” she added. “As a parent that’s not right. I’m the one should be able to talk to my child and not have someone else mention words like this in front of her at all.”

    Rebecca told WPMI school officials have additionally recommended her child see a psychiatrist for professional help.

    The mother, however, does not think that is necessary and said she will fight to have the incident removed from her daughter’s record.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • 10-Second Video Demonstrates Exactly How Dangerous Riding a Motorcycle or Moped Can Be
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (67)

    A video published online late last week shows the inherent dangers one undertakes when operating a motorcycle or moped.

    The footage shows a vehicle circle a roundabout when a man on a moped zooms through and strikes the car.

    That individual was immediately thrown off his bike and tumbled a couple dozen feet through the street. Luckily, it appeared the individual escaped the incident okay — he was seen at the video’s conclusion standing to his feet.

    According to Charlie Yzf, who filmed and posted the video, the incident took place earlier this month on a Friday night.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Here Are the Two Candidates Millennials Would Pick to Run Against Each Other in 2016 Presidential Election: Poll
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm by Fred Lucas

    Comments (200)

    If there were a primary among 18 to 34 year olds right now, Democrat Hillary Clinton would be facing Republican Paul Ryan for the White House, according to a Fusion “Massive Millennial Poll” that surveyed 1,200 likely voters in that age group and also found fewer are ready to support Democrats than in the 2012 presidential election.

    In this Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 file photo, supporters cheer for Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., while he speaks at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.  (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)

    “Our sample was screened for the people who actually vote in midterms, which is a small percentage of the overall millennial population,” the Fusion press release said. “Just 23 percent of millennials are expected to cast a vote in the midterms, according to Harvard’s Institute of Politics.”

    Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 vice presidential candidate, got 16 percent of young voters, beating out former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 9 percent. That’s perhaps somewhat surprising, given Paul’s libertarianism and his effort to court young voters. But clearly the Republican contest is pretty tightly contested in this age group.

    Not so among Democrats, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wins 58 percent of the millennial vote. Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second at 13 percent and Elizabeth Warren is a fairly close third at 9 percent.

    In the 2012 presidential election, the youth vote broke 67 percent for Obama, according to the International Business Times.

    So, for the 2014 midterm elections, 47 percent support could seem disappointing. Still, Democrats has a decisive advantage over Republicans, which gets 32 percent of this age group. Undecided make up 21 percent.

    Reason for hope among Republicans: Millennial voters identified the economy, debt and spending, and terrorism are the most important issues for them – all issues that traditionally favor the GOP.

    But on several of the issues asked about, the young voters seemed to lean left on, as 56 percent oppose military weapons for police; 84 percent back marijuana legalization for medical reasons; 68 percent of millennial voters support gay marriage; 59 percent say gun ownership should come with “reasonable restrictions,” though just 9 percent supporting banning guns. Meanwhile, two-third of young white voters trust police officers to treat them fairly, while fewer than half of young black voters expect the same.

    Young Independent voters are the most likely to smoke pot than young Republicans or Democrats.

  • A Friend Told Him She Was Doing an Interview for a Project. That ‘Interview’ Changed Everything.
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (73)

    The locals love him.

    Avi Gandhi, owner of Center Lane Stationary in Levittown, New York, is revered by his customers as a kind, passionate small businessman.

    “My favorite thing about Avi is the way he cares about Levittown,” one customer said.

    “He’s just really kind and giving,” echoed another. “I love him. We all do.”

    Avi owns the Center Lane Stationary store in Levittown, New York. (Image source: YouTube)

    Avi Gandhi owns the Center Lane Stationary store in Levittown, New York. (Image source: YouTube)

    However, despite a loyal base of customers, Avi recently became engulfed in financial turmoil. His wife recently survived a battle with cancer, leaving the couple with a pile of medical bills.

    “I just work here 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s just the reality of all the store owners like me. We are all a one man show,” Avi said. “Last few years — I have no moment with Bharati. Even I will say, I was not with her — during those bad days.”

    “I just work here 12 hours a day, seven days a week.”
    Share:

    Even while his wife Bharati was in the hospital, Avi remained at the store to keep them financially stable.

    “I was not with her,” he said. “I feel very guilty.”

    Yet, despite his best efforts, financial problems may still prove too much for Avi — he may be forced to close his beloved shop.

    Craig Dennis organized the cash mob with his wife Celeste. (Image source: YouTube)

    Craig Dennis organized the cash mob with his wife Celeste. (Image source: YouTube)

    His loyal customers have decided to do something.

    “We had just spent a couple of hours in there, I was looking at things. And I just said it,” customer Craig Dennis said. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we got all these people that come here to come and clear the shelves?”

    “He deserves to know how loved he is,” he continued. “I think he knows a little bit, but I don’t think he knows how loved he is.”

    Dennis and his wife, Celeste, decided to throw Avi a “cash mob” — a day where all the loyal customers would gather and clear out Avi’s shelves.

    On the day of the event, Craig said about 100 people turned out.

    “This is a surprise. Don’t say anything. It’s all a surprise,” he told participants before they started streaming into the store.

    The flood of customers took Avi by surprise.

    “What is going on today? What have you done?” he said, in absolute shock. “Something is not right! No, no — I want everybody to take everything free today!”

    Avi was stunned by the outpouring of support. (Image source: YouTube)

    Avi was stunned by the outpouring of support. (Image source: YouTube)

    “This is not real, this is not real,” he continued. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t do anything right today.”

    “That’s okay, you tell me and I’ll do it,” his wife replied.

    Avi was stunned by the outpouring of support. (Image source: YouTube)

    Avi was stunned by the outpouring of support. (Image source: YouTube)

    At the end of the day, Avi addressed all of his customers.

    “I love you all. Please help pray for me that I can get a new lease and I can sell you to my last moment,” he told them. “That’s what I want. Believe me.”

    Avi was stunned by the outpouring of support. (Image source: YouTube)

    Avi was stunned by the outpouring of support. (Image source: YouTube)

    “I want to go home and just close my eyes and try to memorize what happened today,” he said. “I can never imagine myself in a situation like this. This was beyond. This was beyond.”

    “I can never imagine myself in a situation like this. This was beyond. This was beyond.”
    Share:

    Since the cash mob, organizers have taken their efforts online. At the time of publication, they have raised more than $600 to help him alleviate his financial woes.

    Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

  • Retired Navy Veteran Has Never Forgotten a Youthful Misdeed — and Over a Half Century Later, He Makes It Right
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (32)

    Retired U.S. veteran Bernard Schermerhorn has a very long memory.

    Bernard Schermerhorn's high school yearbook photo. (Image source: The Ledger)

    Bernard Schermerhorn’s high school yearbook photo. (Image source: Bay News 9)

    Among the events that have popped into the 73-year-old’s grey matter over the years is one time he did something he said was very out of character.

    When Schermerhorn was a high schooler in 1959 he gave in to peer pressure and took part in a pal’s plot to steal racks from The Ledger newspaper in Lakeland, Florida, and pocket some change. The pair then dumped the newspaper stands in a lake, Bay News 9 noted.

    But the vet’s admission concerning his youthful “high jinks” is merely the beginning.

    Schermerhorn penned an apology letter to the paper last month — and enclosed a check for $200 as compensation.

    “I wish to now return many times over the cost of six newsstands and the few papers, also the amount of approximately $10 in small change,” he wrote. “The fact that he talked me into going along with the idea doesn’t in any way lessen my responsibility for what we did collectively.”

    Schermerhorn, who now lives all the way across the country in La Mesa, California, told the Ledger that he “just got to thinking about it” and decided to send the money. “It’s just not right to not pay it back,” he added to the paper. “I thought about it many times over the years…It was just time.”

    Schermerhorn served in the Navy for 20 years and then worked as a cook for the San Diego County Probation Department for 18 years, Bay News 9 added.

    Kevin Drake, Ledger Media Group publisher, said he appreciated Schermerhorn’s honesty. “Our country would be much better off if there were more people like him who took responsibility for their own actions,” Drake told the paper.

    The publisher added that he was sending a letter of thanks back to Schermerhorn and noted that his check would be donated to Florida Baptist Children’s Homes’ Shine a Light, which helps rescue and restore child victims of domestic sex trafficking, the Ledger added.

  • Kmart Investigating Breach of Their Payment Systems
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm by Oliver Darcy

    Comments (28)

    Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. announced that it detected a data breach at its Kmart stores that started last month, affecting certain customers’ credit and debit card accounts.

    The data theft at Kmart is the latest in a string of data thefts that have hit several big retailers, including Target, Supervalu and Home Depot.

    The parent company, which also operates Sears stores, says that Kmart detected the breach Thursday but couldn’t provide the number of affected cards. However, it said that it was able to remove the malware. It also said that based on a forensic investigation to date, no personal information, debit cards, PIN numbers, email address, and social security information were obtained by the hackers. And there’s no evidence that Kmart.com shoppers were affected.

    Kmart announced Friday that they are investigating a data breach. (Image source: Shutterstock)

    Kmart announced Friday that they are investigating a data breach. (Image source: Shutterstock)

    Sears says Kmart immediately launched a full investigation and is working with a leading security firm. It added that it’s also working closely with federal law enforcement authorities and banking partners in this ongoing investigation. Kmart is also implementing further advanced software to protect customers’ information.

    The announcement comes a few weeks after Home Depot, the nation’s largest home improvement chain, said that a data breach that lasted for months at its stores in the U.S. and Canada affected 56 million debit and credit cards. That’s far more than a pre-Christmas 2013 attack at Target Corp., which compromised 40 million credit and debit cards.

    Target’s high-profile breach pushed banks, retailers, and credit card companies to increase security by speeding the adoption of microchips in U.S. credit and debit cards. Supporters say chip cards are safer, because unlike magnetic strip cards that transfer a credit card number when they are swiped at a point of sale terminal, chip cards use a one-time code that moves between the chip and the retailer’s register.

  • For Nearly 90 Years, Family Members Thought They Knew What Was Inside This Casket: ‘Decades and Decades of Efforts to Deceive’
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (139)

    Officials have uncovered new evidence that suggests there was “decades and decades of efforts to deceive” at an infamous reform institution where as many as 100 boys are believed to have died. Though many of the deaths are not believed to be criminal, some are still shrouded in mystery.

    One of the boys, 17-year-old Thomas Curry, died in 1925 while attending Florida’s Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, which closed down in 2011 due to budget issues. His cause of death was ruled as “unknown” by the coroner at the time and no one at the reform school reported the boy’s death to the state. It was later suggested that he was “killed by train” or “killed on RR Bridge Chattahoochee, Fla.”

    But officials eventually found a death certificate at the reform institute stating Curry’s skull was crushed by an “unknown cause.” It was the “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the teenager’s death that led to officials’ interest in the decades-old case.

    Screngrab via CNN report

    Screngrab via CNN report

    Curry’s family was delivered a casket in the 1920s containing what they thought was the boy’s remains. The casket was buried in Philadelphia and for nearly 90 years, family members believed Curry’s body was in it.

    But when anthropologists with the University of South Florida along with Pennsylvania authorities attempted to unearth and identify Curry’s remains, they discovered his body was missing.

    Instead, they found only “pieces of wood.” Officials did find, however, the remains of Curry’s great-grandparents.

    Photo via University of South Florida

    Photo via University of South Florida

    Cpl. Tom McAndrew of the Pennsylvania State Police told CNN the discovery “was a little bit of a shock.” He said a state investigation into the Dozier school was launched in 2008 and it has uncovered “decades and decades of efforts to deceive, coverups, and not just by one but by many people.”

    McAndrew said he believes the wood-filled casked further demonstrates intent to deceive the Curry family by officials at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

    More on the state investigation into the infamous reform school via CNN:

    The state investigation in 2008 and 2009 said there was insufficient evidence of abuse at Dozier, but dozens of men, many of them now senior citizens, have come forward with stories. A support group for ex-students, dubbed The White House Boys, takes its moniker from the structure where boys say they were beaten with a leather strap attached to a wooden handle.

    They were whipped until their underwear was embedded in their buttocks, The White House Boys say. Some were beaten unconscious. Crying or screaming out would earn you extra lashes, they say.

    So while this week’s exhumation didn’t answer any of the myriad questions surrounding Dozier and its missing and dead boys, it was still an important part of the ongoing investigation, researchers and police said.

    Anthropologist Erin Kimmerle told CNN her crew has already discovered 55 bodies at the site, some of whom died from things like the flu, pneumonia and a dormitory fire. She also said they are working to learn more about 22 boys who seemingly died there but are “unaccounted for.”

    Read the full report here.

  • He Was Free After Spending 15 Years in Prison. 15 Minutes Later, the Unthinkable Happened.
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm by Dave Urbanski

    Comments (90)

    Two men have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a man just minutes after his release from a New York state prison, WPIX-TV reported.

    The victim is identified as Devon Simmons, 33, who was released Thursday morning from Otisville State Prison after serving a 15-year term, WPIX said.

    Image source: WABC-TV

    Cleaning up the bloody scene at the train station. (Image source: WABC-TV)

    He was shot multiple times in the upper body, WPIX said; he was in stable condition at a hospital Thursday, according to the New York Post.

    The victim had a train ticket to Manhattan where he was supposed to go to a halfway house, WPIX said. But he was picked up by a light-colored Hyundai sedan in front of the prison, officials said.

    But 15 minutes later shots rang out about three-quarters of a mile away, WPIX reported in an earlier story.

    Sources said the shooter allegedly was angry at the victim for snitching on him, the Post reported.

    Image source: WABC-TV

    Image source: WABC-TV

    Two men in the car drove off and the victim limped a few hundred yards to the train station, bleeding heavily, and got help. A passenger at the station called 911, WPIX noted, and the victim was taken by medical helicopter to a trauma center.

    Troopers arrested Jerome A. Mack and Edgar Wilson, both 35, in Manhattan around 5 p.m. Thursday, WABC-TV reported. The pair were returned to Otisville that evening and charged with attempted murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, WABC added. Mack and Wilson are being held in the Orange County Jail without bail, WPIX said.

    Police said the victim was able to talk to investigators before surgery, WPIX added.

  • Watch the ‘Disgusting’ Wendy Davis Ad That’s Being Condemned as a ‘Historic Low’
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm by Jason Howerton

    Comments (282)

    A new campaign ad put out by Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis is being slammed as “disgusting” and a “historic low” by the campaign of her gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott.

    The ad gets personal, accusing Abbott of spending his career “working against other victims” after he was struck by a falling tree and left paralyzed in 1984. The ad states that Abbott “sued and got millions.”

    The narrator speaks over an image of a wheelchair.

    (YouTube)

    (YouTube)

    “Greg Abbott, he’s not for you,” the narrator says.

    Watch the ad below:

    The Abbott campaign responded to the ad with a stern statement condemning the Democrat’s “disturbing lack of judgement.”

    “It is challenging to find language strong enough to condemn Sen. Davis’ disgusting television ad, which represents a historic low for someone seeking to represent Texans. Sen. Davis’ ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas,” Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said.

    Davis is the underdog in the Texas governor’s race against Abbott.

    (H/T: Politico)

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