March 31, 2008

Southern California Highway Shootings

A fatal freeway shooting Sunday morning in Southern California is under investigation at this time, according the International Herald Tribune.
A second nonfatal highway shooting was already under investigation in Long Beach at the time of Fernando Valley freeway crash, according to the Herald Tribune. The man shot in that accident was hospitalized and treated for non-life-threatening injuries and told authorities it was a case of extreme road-rage.
Rescue crews responded to reports of a rolled over vehicle and finding the man had been shot in the head, they transported him to the hospital in critical condition, where he later died, reported the International Herald Tribune.
Los Angeles police officer Norma Eisenman told reporters that there are “no witnesses, no information� at this time.
The victim of the fatal crash was unidentified except as being a 25 to 30 year-old man, according the LA Times.
These two incidents are the latest in a string of highway shootings, according the International Herald Tribune.
A 46-year-old man was shot while driving on a freeway northeast of Los Angeles in late February.
A 26-year-old man was killed after a shooting in San Fernando Valley on March 1. Two weeks later a 54-year-old woman was found shot in the head in a car crashed on a freeway in eastern Los Angeles County.

March 9, 2008

Brother Arrested in Memphis Mass Murder

Police arrested the 33-year-old brother Saturday of one of the six victims of a mass murder that took place earlier this week in Memphis, reported the New York Times.
Jessie L. Dotson, the brother of Cecil Dotson,one of the victims, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to the Times.
Among those killed were two children, ages 2 and 4, both Cecil’s, and four adults, Cecil Dotson, 30; Hollis Seals, 33; Shindri Roberson, 20; and Marissa Rene Williams, 26. Three of Cecil’s children survived the attacks, ages 7, 4 and 10 months, Memphis Director of Police Larry A. Godwin said at a news conference Saturday, according to CNN News.
According to Godwin, the two brothers began arguing last Saturday afternoon and the argument ended in the shooting of the six victims early Sunday in the rental home of Cecil Dotson, reported CNN.
Jessie Dotson was released from prison in January after serving 14 years in prison for second-degree murder in 1994, according to CBS News affiliate WREG.
Verle Jones, Shindri Roberson’s aunt, told WREG that the actions of Jessie Dotson were not those of a brother, but of a “cold-blooded, cold-hearted person.�
“Destroy your own brother and his kids and whoever else is around, that is not a brother. That man is possessed by a devil,� Jones said.
According to CNN, prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty against Dotson.

February 21, 2008

FEMA MIsspent MIillions

Government investigators have discovered that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, misspent millions of dollars, reported the Associated Press.
During a three-month review of FEMA last summer, the inspector general found that more than $13 million in proceeds they received from selling used trailers purchased after Katrina, was spent on sport utility vehicles, travel expenses, purchase card accounts, tree-removal services, agency decals and banners, and global positioning systems, according to the AP.
According to USA Today, the proceeds from those sales, under law, should have been returned to the U.S. Treasury or used for purchase of other trailers for hurricane victims.
James McIntyre, FEMA spokesman, said an immediate hold was put on spending of those funds early last year after officials within the agency recognized the spending problems, reported USA Today.
McIntyre added that while changes have been put in place to assure that funds aren’t misspent in the future, the funds from the sales of used trailers were used for what they were originally intended for — disaster relief and emergency assistance, according to USA Today.

February 12, 2008

Russian Bombers Fly Over US Aircraft Carrier

US fighter jets deployed Saturday to escort two Russian bombers that flew over a US aircraft carrier in the western Pacific, reported the Agence France Presse Monday.

According to the AFP, a US defense official wishing to remain anonymous said four F-18 fighter jets intercepted the Russian planes after they had flown over the USS Nimitz. The US planes escorted the Russian bombers out of the area, the official said.

A US official said one of the bombers flew over the aircraft carrier at 2,000 feet with the second bomber at the same altitude alongside it.

A Russian bomber has not flown over a US aircraft carrier since an incident involving the USS Kitty Hawk in July 2004, according to the AFP.

Earlier another pair of Russian TU-95 Bear bombers was intercepted by Japanese F-15 fighters and escorted out of the area. In response to a Japanese protest to Moscow, Russian officials denied that their aircrafts had crossed into Japanese airspace, reported the AFP.

The BBC reported that Russia resumed long-range bomber flights last August, a move they said was “regarded as a flexing of military muscle.�

According to the Associated Press, this incident comes among growing tension between Russia and the United States involving US plans for a missile defense system.

Russia Today reported that the flights took place in neutral waters and adhered strictly to international rules.

It was unknown if the United States followed suit with the Japanese in issuing any protests with the Russian government, reported the AFP.

February 11, 2008

Sixth Body Found in Sugar Refinery Fire

A sixth body was found Sunday at a Georgia sugar refinery plant that suffered a massive explosion Thursday, reported the WCCO news.
Two workers were still missing and dozens more were sent to the hospital with injuries after the explosion.
Officials said they had searched most of the plant, but had not yet searched the part of complex that was still burning. Firefighters hope to put out the remaining fire tomorrow.
The Imperial Sugar complex was one of the largest employers in the city of 5,000.
Officials said that sugar dust in a silo is likely the cause of the explosion. The dust can become combustible when it’s too dry and builds up static electric charge, reported WCCO.

February 3, 2008

Five Dead in Suburban Shooting

Five women were shot to death during a robbery in a clothing store in Tinley Park, Ill. Saturday morning, reported the Kenosha News.
The shooter fled the scene after the shootings, prompting police to begin an intense search of the strip mall and surrounding area. The search included helicopters with infrared devices and surveillance tapes from stores within a mile and a half of the Lane Bryant where the robbery occurred, the New York Times reported.
The Lane Bryant involved in the robbery was not equipped with surveillance cameras. A witness saw a man flee the store, and gave police a general description, reported the Kenosha News.
Shoppers in the area were taken aback by the violent and fatal event. Tracey Jackson, of Matteson, Ill. described Tinley Park as “a friendly place with a relatively modest crime rate,� reported the New York Times.
The names of the victims had not been released by late Saturday, but at least one was identified as an employee of the Lane Bryant store.
The victims ranged in age from 22 to 37, the Kenosha News reported.
The Chicago Police Department said they distributed the description of the suspect to all police districts.