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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Massacre Suspect's Neighbor: 'I'm Counting My Lucky Stars'

Kaitlyn Fonzi put her hand on the doorknob of the apartment upstairs from hers around midnight Thursday, irritated by the blaring electronic music inside.

The upstairs neighbor didn't answer when she called through the door. He'd cranked up the stereo, the deep bass of the music reverberating through the floor into the apartment Fonzi shared with her boyfriend.

The door felt unlocked, but Fonzi decided not to open it.


Taxpayer Identity Fraud More Than Doubled In 2011

A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reveals that that taxpayer identity theft more than doubled in 2011, skyrocketing to 641,052 taxpayers affected as compared to 270,518 the prior year. 

As Eileen Ambrose of the Baltimore Sun explains, once a fraudster has someone's Social Security number, all they have to do is "make up W-2 information, submit a return before the legitimate taxpayer files and receive a refund directly deposited on a debit card."


9-year-old Boy With Massive Tumor, Living In One of Mexico’s Most Dangerous Cities, Is Brought to U.S. For Treatment

U.S. agents took the boy across the border from Juarez to New Mexico to get treatment for the large tumor on his shoulder and neck

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 9-year-old boy with a massive tumor was whisked from a dangerous neighborhood in Mexico in an armored vehicle by U.S. agents and taken across the border for treatment in New Mexico, his family said.

The boy and his parents were snatched Thursday from the gang-infested neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez — one of the deadliest cities in the world — after members of a New Mexico Baptist church saw him near an orphanage and sought help.




‘So Grateful’: ‘Octomom’ Reportedly Off Welfare Thanks to Her New Career in Pornography

Nadya Suleman, better known as “Octomom,” upset many Americans with the announcement that she had decided to go on welfare back in April.

The mother of fourteen, eight of whom she gave birth to in 2009 through in-vitro fertilization, defended her decision at the time, saying: “I still am working as hard as I possibly can to support them.”

She added that she was reluctant to accept public assistance, but concluded: “[My] priority is my children, their health, their well-being, their safety…Who cares how I feel?  Who cares about me?  It’s 100 percent about my children.’’


Aurora Shooting Suspect James Holmes Jailed in Solitary: ‘All The Inmates Were Talking About Killing Him’

'He was spitting at the door and spitting at the guards,' a just-released inmate told the Daily News. 'He's spitting at everything. Dude was acting crazy.'

 Movie massacre suspect James Holmes remained unapologetic and irrational Saturday in  a Colorado jail where his life was at risk from inmates bent on revenge.

Holmes, held under suicide watch in solitary confinement, remained in his murderous “Joker” persona after arriving at the Arapahoe Detention Center, a jailhouse worker told the Daily News.



PSC Approves Rate Hikes For Pepco, Delmarva

Maryland regulators on Friday rejected a large portion of the Potomac Electric Power Company's request for a 4 percent rate increase, citing the company's history of substandard performance.

The Maryland Public Service Commission rejected $50 million of the $68 million increase requested by the company. The $18.1 million increase approved by regulators amounts to a $2.02 rise in a typical residential monthly bill, the PSC said. The company's full request would have meant a $5.56 increase per month.


At Least 21 Treated For Burns After Attempting ‘Fire Walking’ at Tony Robbins Event

Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that at least three people went to a hospital and most suffered second- or third-degree burns.

Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called “Unleash the Power Within” at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass.


Finally! Veil Lifted on Muslim Rape Epidemic

For years there have been reports on blogs, personal testimonials and the like, about what looked like a literal epidemic of rape by Muslim men of both women and children, especially in northern European nations where the Muslim immigrant population is high.

But the disturbing reports rarely rose to the level that would make the general population aware of the dangers that were becoming evident. After all, such a report would be blasted for attacking Islam and discriminating against Muslims.


Cove Point Lighthouse Opens its Doors for Overnight Guests

If area residents are looking for a unique vacation destination close to home, there's one place that will always leave the light on.

The Cove Point Lighthouse sits on a beautiful spit of land in Lusby, Md.

"It's the longest continuously operating lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay since 1828," says Vanessa Gill, development director at the Calvert Marine Museum, which operates the site.


‘What Kind of Idiot Makes That Kind of Statement?’: Tea Partier Falsely Linked to Colo. Killings Slams ABC

In the initial reporting of the horrifying “Dark Knight” shooting, ABC rushed to report that a Jim Holmes– a name similar to that of the alleged shooter– was a member of a local Tea Party.

“There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year,” Ross said. “Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado,” Brian Ross told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”

The connection was wholly unverified, and ABC was forced to issue what some have deemed a “non-apology” retraction.


How to Protect Kids From Whooping Cough Outbreaks

Whooping cough was once a terrible menace to U.S. children, with hundreds of thousands of cases reported annually. Then a vaccine drove cases down, and the illness became thought of as rare and even antiquated.

But it never totally disappeared, and now there's been a spike in cases.

With nearly 18,000 cases so far this year, health officials say this is shaping up to be the worst national epidemic in more than 50 years for the highly contagious disease.


UN Arms Treaty Aims at Terror, But Puts Second Amendment in Crosshairs

American Second Amendment rights and U.S. foreign policy interests could be directly threatened by the latest wording of a United Nations draft treaty seeking control over international trade in conventional weapons, has learned.

A U.S. delegate argued against the provisions during closed-door talks Friday, but insiders close to the proceedings say UN approval of a final document by the self-imposed July 27 deadline remains likely.

The development comes just days after Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, warned there should be “no compromise” on the issue of a U.S. citizen’s right to own a firearm.


2012 State Test Scores Show Gains In Number Of Students Proficient In Reading, Math

The 2012 Delaware student assessment results released today show an increase in the number of students proficient in reading and mathematics this year compared to a year ago.


Loan Program Supports Growth Of Small Business In Kent County

DOVER, Del. - Governor Jack Markell joined small business owner, Andreas Janke, today to celebrate the grand opening of his new store, Frankfurt Bakery and Sandwich Shop, located at 323 S. Governors Ave., in Dover. Frankfurt Bakery was the first business in Kent County to be approved for a low interest loan through the Delaware State Small Business Credit Initiative, now marking its first year.


STARS Program To Continue At Reduced Level For 2012-13 School Year

The STARS I after-school program grant for Wicomico County Public Schools was not renewed this year, and the absence of this grant funding will force the school system to close the STARS I program.

The school system learned recently that the STARS I (Students Targeting Achievement & Reading Success) grant it has received from the Maryland State Department of Education for the past nine years was not renewed. Wicomico’s grant application was for $1.14 million over three years, and would have served approximately 340 students in eight schools.

Students grades 1-8 who participate in the program have the opportunity to engage in extended learning, receive homework assistance, participate in enrichment activities, and spend after-school time in a safe, productive place. With a nine year history in these schools, the STARS program has become part of the fabric of the school with students asking to stay and parents relying on the safe place for homework and academic enrichment for their students. Throughout the years of the program, 15% more STARS students become proficient in reading than non-participating students. It is a huge loss in many ways.

All 500 student slots for the STARS I program have been cut, along with 70 contractual staff positions. Schools that will no longer have a STARS program in 2012-13 are:

Beaver Run Elementary
Charles H. Chipman Elementary
Delmar Elementary
West Salisbury Elementary


Schedule Of 2012-13 Open Houses For Wicomico County Public Schools

Wicomico County Schools will hold open houses in late August in preparation for the opening of the 2012-13 school year on Monday, Aug. 27, for most students*. A complete schedule of open houses for Wicomico schools is below. For additional details, please contact the school.

*Please note that students in grades 1-6 and grade 9 will attend school on Aug. 27.
(Exceptions: All grades will attend at Pittsville Elementary and Middle, and only grade 6 will attend at Mardela Middle and High.) All students in grades 1-12 will be in school
Tuesday, Aug. 28. During the first week, kindergarten and prekindergarten students will report as scheduled by the assigned school.


A Half-Million Eligible Voters Will Find It Virtually Impossible To Get The Necessary ID To Be Able To Vote In November

A new study by the Brennan Center for Justice reveals just how damaging Republican-backed Voter Suppression ID laws will be to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Looking at ten states that have passed restrictive voter ID laws, the Brennan Center found that about a half-million eligible voters will be will find it virtually impossible to get the necessary ID to be able to vote in November, despite claims by Republicans that is very easy to get a voter ID. That half-million is how many people live in a household without a vehicle and more than ten miles away from an ID-issuing office. Most are low-income Americans who live in rural areas without decent public transportation. According to the nonpartisan Brennan Center, one-in-ten eligible voters currently lack the necessary ID to vote, including a quarter of African Americans and 18% of senior citizens – all, of course, people who tend to vote for Democrats. These voter suppression ID laws aren't about fighting voter fraud, which, other than Romney lying about where he lived in 2010, isn't a real problem. They are, instead, all about keeping Democratic voters from the polls to rig the November elections in favor of Republicans. Let's take this as a lesson that it's time we begin the fight to guarantee a right to vote for ALL Americans.

Walgreen And Express Scripts Reach Deal

CHICAGO — Walgreen , the nation’s largest drugstore chain, agreed on Thursday to renew its relationship with the prescription benefit manager Express Scripts , opening the door for hundreds of thousands of customers to return in September for discounts and related benefits from their Express Scripts drug cards.

Express Scripts and Walgreen, which announced the new multiyear agreement, had been battling over payment issues for more than a year.

The dispute cost Walgreens more than $4 billion in annual revenue, analysts estimate, and set off a steep decline in Walgreen’s share price.

Terms of the new agreement were not disclosed. Shares of Walgreen rose 11.8 percent, to $34.62, on Thursday, while Express Scripts was up about 1.85 percent, to $58.76.


Hillary Clinton Is A Badass: 20 Photos That Show Why

If her tenure as First Lady, her run for the presidency in 2008 or her State Department travels weren't enough to make Hillary Clinton famous, this photograph helped her go mainstream.

The photo, from the Tumblr "Texts from Hillary" that imagines various conversations with famous people texting Hillary and her zinger responses, started her mid-April rise.

The rise continued with party photos in Colombia, with Hillary slugging back a beer. Then there was the hilarious, flirty rejection letter she sent actor Jason Segel.

But Clinton has starred in some awesome photographs throughout her career. We've combed the Clinton archives and found 20 pictures that could serve as the inspiration for many more memes.


Want Chick Fil-A Taste Without The Controversy? There’s A Recipe For That

Lots of people love the taste of Chick fil-A chicken sandwiches. Not all of them are thrilled with some recent comments made by the company's president. For those who want the Chick fil-A taste without having to deal with the controversy -- or maybe you just don't live near a Chick fil-A -- someone has apparently cracked the code on the recipe.

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Troopers Investigate Crash in Laurel Cemetery

Location: Odd Fellows Cemetery, Sharptown Road (SR24) and West Street, Laurel, DE

Date of Occurrence: Saturday July 21, 2012 at approximately 11:42 p.m.

Operator and Vehicle Information:

Albert R. Brittingham, 54, Laurel, DE
2002 Oldsmobile Aurora

Laurel, DE- The Delaware State Police is investigating a late night crash that sent one man to a local hospital.

The incident occurred around 11:43 p.m. Saturday night as Albert R. Brittingham, 54, of Laurel, DE was operating a 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora in a northeasterly direction on Sharptown Road (SR24) approaching West Street in Laurel. As Brittingham was entering a slight left curve, his vehicle continued straight into Odd Fellows Cemetery where it struck numerous grave sites. The vehicle then overturned and caught fire. Brittingham, who was properly restrained, was pulled from the wreckage and later transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital with minor non-life-threatening injuries.

Brittingham was cited by Troopers for Inattentive Driving and No Proof of Insurance.

Estimates of the damage to the gravesites are unknown.

B&B Owners Ordered To Pay Gay Couple $4,500 For Refusing To Rent Them A Room

It's taken three years, but the owners of a B&B are now being ordered to pay a gay couple $4,500 after refusing to rent them a room at their inn, based on the fact that the men were gay. The owners argued before a hearing with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in Canada that they had a constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion on their side.

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1,600 Turtles Break Out Of Farm, Slowly Crawl To Freedom

It's like a real-life version of the movie "Chicken Run," only without Mel Gibson and much, much slower. Near Summerville, Georgia, there is a turtle farm. Thousands of adult turtles, all native species to the southern United States, live in ponds on the property. Thanks to vandals or scrap metal thieves, breaks in the fence have allowed the turtles to wander off the property, taking up residence in surrounding waterways. The operation is something like a hatchery, and about 1,600 of the 2,200 turtles that form its breeding stock have run away.

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Student Loan Bubble Eerily Similar To Subprime Mortgage Debacle

Billions in high-interest loans being handed out to people who probably shouldn't qualify for them, who may not understand the full terms of the loans, and who will likely have trouble paying the money back. Sounds a lot like the stories we were writing five years ago as mountains of subprime, adjustable rate mortgages were coming due, but now it's about the massive number of student loans written in recent years.

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No, Best Buy Employee, I Won’t Come To Your House To Get My Stolen Racy Photos Back

Just because you hand over your phone to a Best Buy employee does not mean they're allowed to pilfer your photo collection and burn said pictures onto a CD. A Virginia woman claims an employee promised to help her transfer her iPhone's contents onto a newer model, and after stealing her racy photos, invited her over to his home to get them back.

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Democrats and Republicans In The House Found Something They Can Agree On

They passed strong privacy protection legislation before a cloud of drones is released on the American public. At a hearing, members said they were worried about the potential privacy violations once local and state jurisdictions got their hands on unmanned surveillance aircraft. Local governments are clamoring for drones to do work that's too difficult or expensive for manned aircraft. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who is pushing for domestic drones, acknowledged the need for privacy safeguards.

GSA In Hot Water Again

The General Services Administration is in hot water again for another extravagant party. Lawmakers learned yesterday that GSA had spent more than a quarter-million dollars on a one-day celebration for employees. The event was back in 2010, the same year GSA had that lavish Las Vegas conference that stirred up outrage. This smaller event included an awards ceremony at the Crystal Gateway Marriott and a more exclusive commissioner's reception at the Key Bridge Marriott. The agency paid for a drum-band exercise and it gave out drumsticks to attendees. GSA's new leadership said it does not tolerate this type of spending.


A proofreading slap down from the DT's "Jeers" today. Maybe Sarah Lake still has a future somewhere!

OPM Unveils Proposed, Final Rules Expanding Benefits For Same-Sex Partners

The Office of Personnel Management is planning changes to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, proposing to allow children up to age 26 to stay covered by their parents' FEHBP plans. The rule would also apply to children of same-sex domestic partners enrolled in the program.

The proposed changes would align the FEHBP with the 2010 health care law, which allowed children to continue being covered by parents' health insurance. Expanding coverage to children of same-sex partners builds on a June 2010 presidential memo which required federal agencies to extend the same benefits to same-sex domestic partners available to opposite-sex spouses.

OPM is also proposing regulations allowing children of same-sex partners to be covered under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

OPM will take comments on the proposed rule through Sept. 18.


Senators Try Compromise To Get Cyber Bill Passed

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a revised version of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation in a last-ditch effort to pass the bill through the Senate before the August recess. The revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012 removes DHS from having sole oversight authority over critical infrastructure and shares the responsibility across an interagency council.