Saturday, December 6, 2008

Unwanted horses a drain on economy

Experts wonder who will take on the costs of caring for the increasing number of unwanted animals if a proposed federal ban on slaughtering and export for human consumption passes.

Former Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas said Friday that the consequences of a proposed federal ban on processing horses for people to eat would further exacerbate an existing economic problem for the growing number of unwanted horses.
"When a horse is unwanted, something has to happen to that horse," Stenholm said during a talk at the Kansas Livestock Association's convention at the Hyatt Regency Wichita. "We don't believe it should be used for human consumption, and we've made that clear.
"But it's private property. No one should tell you what you should do with a horse except to treat it humanely."
In 2006, the year before state laws in Texas and Illinois closed down the nation's final three facilities that slaughtered horses for human consumption, there was a $65 million export market for horse meat, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Now it has dried up to almost nothing.
Horses are now largely taken to slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada. Horse meat is consumed by humans in countries such as France, Belgium and Japan. Part of the proposed federal legislation would ban transportation of horses to the Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses.
But Stenholm said the economic fallout has gone beyond the loss of the export market.
He said there are more than 125,000 unwanted horses in the United States. Another 33,000 wild horses roam federal land in 10 Western states and have drained the Bureau of Land Management's budget, he added.
"There's a cost to this," Stenholm said after speaking to an audience of about 350. "There's going to have to be money appropriated from states and Congress to deal with unwanted horses.
"What do you do with them when one turns up on the country road and you're the sheriff? Who pays for the feed? Some people are just letting their horses starve."
Stenholm, who spent 26 years in Congress and is now a consultant for various agricultural groups, said it can cost $200 to $2,000 to have a horse euthanized and disposed. In Wichita, the price is closer to $170.
Jason Kaiser, a Wichita veterinarian, said his Equine Surgery and Medicine clinic charges $40 to euthanize and an additional $40 for a trip charge.
Darling International, the only renderer in the Wichita area, charges $87 to haul off a horse. The two solid-waste transfer stations in Sedgwick County said they don't accept dead horses.
Kaiser confirmed Stenholm's concern about increased abandonment of horses.
"It's been a lot more in the last year, especially with hay prices up and the economy bad," he said.
Kaiser said often people will turn horses loose near Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization north of Wichita.
"Then animal control has to feed them and find what to do with them," Kaiser said. "No one wants them.
"The horse market is down. Cheap horses are free. There have been (livestock) sales where you just hope someone puts their hand to take the horse for free."
He said he believes the cause of the situation is the lack of slaughterhouses.
"There's a base value for a horse if there is a slaughter," he said. "It would be more humane than to let them starve to death."
Ted Schroeder, a livestock marketing economist at Kansas State University, said the situation is an animal welfare "nightmare."
"It's an emotional issue," he said. "It's hard to be for slaughtering horses. How do policymakers sell that?"
But Stenholm said it's an issue that must be tackled.
He said horse slaughter facilities may start to spring up on Indian reservations. He said he knew of one with definite plans.
"This can't be ignored," Stenholm said. "These are issues that need to be resolved in a less emotional way."

My take:

I don't see why the horse slaughterhouses are so bad. I mean, really. If there are so many unwanted horses, and there are people who would eat their meat, then why not kill them? In our society we already slaughter cows and pigs. So what difference does a horse make? A lot of people would tell me I'm sick and cruel. But if you think that, then you need to stop being so narrow minded. There are more societies than our own. And they all have their own rules and customs. So you have to think about the rest of the world, and not just your own little one.

There are postitve effects of having horse slaughterhouses. They help to remove unwanted horses. Why should a horse be left out to starve if its owner doesn't want it anymore? Why not just kill the animal? It may seem cruel, but it keeps the horse from suffering. It's like when a race horse is killed after it breaks a leg and can't run anymore. If the horse is no longer wanted, then why keep the thing around? It's just a waste. Plus, there are people who eat horse meat. So by killing the horses, there is food that is now provided to people. And why would you want to cut off someone's food supply? I just think that in general, it would be a better idea to kill the horse if it's unwanted so that someone else can enjoy it.

The negatives of the slaughterhouses are very few in my opinion. The only con i can think of is that too many people may abuse the use of the slaughterhouse and kill too many horses. Of course if this happens, the horse population in North America will severely drop and that would be a bad thing. But honestly, I can't really think of any other bad things about slaughterhouses. It all goes back to what I said before, the only reason why americans look at slaughtering horses as being bad is because we don't typically eat horses. It's all based on society. I'm certain there's someone in Asia who thinks Why do those american mother fuckers eat those poor cows? We think nothing of it because our society finds the slaughter of cattle to be perfectly normal and humane. It's like here there are people who think How can those crazy japanese bastards eat a poor horse? Obviously in their society, it's acceptable. So we should accept that our customs aren't the only ones for the world. There are many differences in customs around the world and people need to recognize it.

To get back to my main point, if a horse is unwanted, then why not just kill it?
One man's trash is another man's treasure, right?
So our trash, the horse, may mean something else to someone in another part of the world.
So why not just kill it?
It keeps the animal from starving and it also feeds other people.
So it's like a win-win situation.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ronnie Radke Continues To Attack Max Green

Ronnie Radke has written another blog to Escape the Fate bassist Max Green apologizing for everything ... Actually, this blog is meaner than ever!

"I didn't say anything about this before ... But you really are trying to be like me ... Fu--ing my ex girlfriend now, huh!!? So ... tell me ... How does my di-- taste?? ... Aaaaand my microphone?? How is it living my life?? Must be pretty rad ... I would know... Don't get used to it. When I get out, there won't be much left for you to live in cause the real deal will be back ... But hey, maybe you could sing back up in my band!!" Radke wrote to new Escape the Fate singer Craig Mabbitt on his MySpace blog from prison.

You think that's terrible, right? Well ... there's more ...
"You may say you are over 'IT'... But 'IT' has only just begun ... A storm is coming, and you can't stop it ... I would rather be in prison and happy, because I know who I am and what I have become, then be in a band with a bunch of liars and backstabbers ... Like I said before ... I am your foundation ... No matter where you go and what you do I'll ALWAYS be IN YOUR HEAD!! You must not remember the day we were all at Omars and you all walk in with your sea shell necklaces and Quicksilver t-shirts! After I got finished, you left looking just like ME ... Cause that's what you will always be, an image of me and what I made you ...," Radke wrote to Green.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ronnie Radke's Message From Inside Prison

Escape the Fate's former lead singer, Ronnie Radke was on trial Monday, August 4th. He has since been sentenced to 4 years in prison for violating probation. Also, he has begun blogging from prison. And he is very, very angry.
Radke had some choice words in his recent MySpace blog about the family who put him away: "Hope you guys are all happy ... You finally got what you wanted. Sitting there laughing at me in the courtroom ... thanks for that. Your snickers and laughs only make me stronger as a person, but just know that an innocent person is going to prison for some sh-- he didn't even do, and that would be me. If you think that I'm the guilty one, then you're all just as bad for taking away my life. If revenge is what you want, then why don't you dig a little deeper and find the real root of all evil instead of blaming the one it's easiest to point the finger at, 'cause you're not justifying ANYTHING by putting me away ... telling people you're there for support and hoping that I get better ... Well I hope all you fu--ing people get better. And to think I still feel sincerely terrible for what I witnessed ... it would send you into cardiac arrest. But did you catch that word I just dropped, WITNESSED, not fu--ing killed, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for letting someone go down for the crime when I wasn't even the one who pulled the trigger. Man you guys must sleep great at night."
Radke also posted a threatening message to [Escape the Fate bassist] Max Green, who was supposed to visit Radke in jail on August 4 but failed to show, perhaps igniting his anger even more. "I found out the reason why you didn't come ... you were talking to that kid's mom the whole time, stabbing me in my back. She said she went to your house the day before my court date, but I wouldn't have shown up either if I was playing both sides. YOU are the real reason I'm in here, because you're too scared to fix your own problems. I just want to let you know Maxwell, that your time's coming. Trust me, your gunna get what you deserve! I'm more clean minded than ever. Escape the Fate is ME and will ALWAYS be ME. And YOU will forever live in MY shadows"[After Radke's arrest, Green decided to keep ETF together, instead of breaking up. Since then, Craig Mabbitt, formerly of Blessthefall, has taken over on vocals.]
I am sure you are all speechless at this point, but there's another message from Radke, posted only minutes after the first two, and this one is dedicated to YOU. "TO ALL YOU WONDERFUL FANS: who stood by my side, I appreciate you. And I get out in December. These court people are keeping me from going to Virginia to record my next album ... but I'll have this figured out by then. I've had alot of time to sit by myself, and write the most ridiculous lyrics I've ever heard. I think you're all going to love it, and you can all write me at the Clark County Detention Center. Just go on their website, get the address and my inmate number, and you can send me pictures or whatever you want ... It's always great to have someone to write to, and thanks so much to all of those who have been writing me. I have hundreds of letters to respond to with all the time in the world to do it. I LOVE YOU ALL."
UPDATE: Max Green has responded to Radke's claims in his own MySpace blog.
Before jumping parole, Radke had originally been sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to battery charges related to a brawl [involving guns] that lead to the death of a boy named Michael Cook.

Okay, I am totally going to write to Ronnie. He is, in my opinion, one of the best songwriters. He has so much talent and I am so glad that he is planning on getting back into the music industry. I personally think that Ronnie shouldn't have gotten the probation to start with. Like he said, he didn't pull the trigger. I think he was innocent. But different people have different thoughts and views. I am just so excited to write Ronnie. I am a loyal fan of his, and I will stay by his side. I found it somewhat interesting when he said that he was Escape the Fate. I mean, he started it with Max. And the name Escape the Fate reffers to a group of people [the band]. I'm curious about what Ronnie meant by that. Could it be that he said it because he wrote the songs? Afterall, no band is complete without songs. Heck, the purpose of a band is defeated if there aren't songs. He did name the band. Maybe Ronnie is trying to say that the band is nothing without him. Which, I can somewhat agree with. Brian, Max, and Robert are all very talented. But when you add Ronnie to the mix with them, then they become golden. I don't think that Ronnie should take full credit for the band. Really, if he didn't have Max, Brian, and Robert there, then it wouldn't be as good. I am also very curious about Ronnie's new cd he's working on. Is he going to go solo with it? Personally, I don't know if that is the best choice for him. But you never know, Ronnie might surprise us all. Yes, I do plan on posting updates.
[sorry that part was really sloppy and so poorly written. it's not very focused on a topic. but i'm trying to improve. and sorry it has been so long since my last blog entry. i'm getting back into the swing of things and i had gotten messages from friends asking why i hadn't updated anything. so i will be working on that as well. and i want to say thanks to all the people who do come and check this blog regularly. you guys are amazing!]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Marijuana Farm Busted on Girl Scout Camp

Police found thousands of marijuana plants being grown in a remote part of a Girl Scout camp, according to court documents and a scout official.
Officials at Camp Ella J. Logan were dismayed when they found out what had happened, said Sherri Weidman, chief executive of the Limberlost Girl Scout Council.
Police found the hidden marijuana farm with plants in various stages of cultivation in a wooded swampy area of Kosciusko County, according to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend. Some of the plants were growing on land belonging to a local resident, while the bulk - about 5,000 plants - were growing on camp land. State troopers in an airplane spotted the plots.Mario Comacho, 44, Mariano Gonzales, 38, and a juvenile were arrested last week after police found the farm.
Comacho and Gonzales, both of Goshen, appeared for an initial hearing Monday in federal court on charges of possession of more than 1,000 marijuana plants with the intent to distribute. Neither man had an attorney, according to court documents.
Johnny Coy, who owns part of the land where the pot was found growing, said he wasn't aware of the operation and rarely visits the swampy area.
Weidman said the area was in a remote part of the 220-acre camp accessible only by wading through the muck or taking a canoe. The land was bought by the council to provide a safety buffer, she said.
Parents of campers were informed of the discovery when they picked up their children.

Senate Votes to Triple AIDS Funding
The Senate voted Wednesday to triple spending for a much-acclaimed program that has treated and protected millions in Africa and elsewhere from the scourges of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
The 80-16 vote committed the United States to spending up to $48 billion over the next five years for the most ambitious foreign public health program ever launched by the United States.
The legislation would replace and expand the current $15 billion act that President Bush championed in a State of the Union address and Congress passed in 2003. That act expires at the end of September.
In a statement, Bush said that when the program was launched in 2003, about 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa were receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. Today, the program supports lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment for more than 1.7 million people around the world, he said. It also has supported treatment and prevention programs that have helped HIV-positive women give birth to nearly 200,000 infants who are HIV-free.
"Traveling in Africa earlier this year, Laura and I had our most recent opportunity to witness the effectiveness of this program," he said. "We were honored to see the doctors, nurses and caregivers of all faiths working to save the lives of their fellow citizens. And we met the patients, including many children, who understand and appreciate America's generosity."
The Democratic-led Senate, rarely in agreement with the White House, gave Bush credit for initiating the program. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a chief negotiator in crafting the bill, said the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, is "the single most significant thing the president has done."
The global AIDS program will save tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of lives, Biden said, "and the president deserves our recognition for that."
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, and co-negotiator with Biden, said the program "has helped to prevent instability and societal collapse in a number of at-risk countries." He added that it has "facilitated deep partnerships with a new generation of African leaders, and it has improved attitudes toward the United States in Africa and other regions."
Biden said he had been coordinating with House leaders and was confident they could come up with a final version "within a matter of days."
The bill passed by the House in April approved $50 billion, including $5 billion for malaria, $4 billion for tuberculosis and $41 billion for AIDS. Of the AIDS money, a proportion — $2 billion next year — would go to the international Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Actual spending levels still have to be approved in annual appropriations bills.
Earlier Wednesday, the Senate, acceding to arguments that Congress must also address humanitarian issues closer to home, agreed to set aside $2 billion of the $50 billion for American Indian water, health and law enforcement projects.
"We don't have to go off of our shore to find third world conditions," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., sponsor of the amendment with Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and others. Biden said House negotiators had indicated they would accept the change.
The Senate vote came after months of negotiations with Senate conservatives wanting assurances that the new AIDS bill would continue to include programs promoting abstinence and fidelity and would not discriminate against religious groups in allotting funding.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., saying he wanted to prevent money from being diverted to irrelevant development programs, secured language that more than half the money would go to treating AIDS victims.
He said he was still concerned about how to pay for the $50 billion program. But Coburn, a medical doctor, said he believed that "this is our most successful foreign policy initiative in my lifetime. This is the most effective thing we have done to build America's prestige, esteem and respect."
Senate changes will have to be worked out with the House. Those include a measure added to the Senate bill by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., that would reverse a policy that has made it difficult for HIV-positive foreigners to visit or seek residency in the United States.
"For 20 years the United States has barred HIV-positive travelers from entering the country even for one day," said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. "Today the Senate said loud and clear that AIDS exceptionalism must come to an end."
The Senate was able to reject several proposed amendments offered by Republicans to cut the spending level in the bill. Supporters of tripling current spending said that 33 million are infected by HIV/AIDS around the world and that 13,000 people die every day from AIDS, TB and malaria."
The amount per year, about $10 billion, is less than 1 percent of this year's federal budget, and this is a small price to pay for a program that will save millions of lives and foster good will around the world," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Assisted Suicide Provokes Outcry in Germany

Lawmakers gathered in Berlin today to discuss legislative steps for a new law that would outline Germany's position on the right to die.
The meeting, which had been scheduled some time ago, came only a few days after a widely publicized suicide that caused public outcry here.
Earlier this week, Roger Kusch, a German campaigner for assisted suicide, admitted publicly that he'd helped a 79-year-old woman from the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg after she'd decided to commit suicide.
He told reporters at a news conference in Hamburg that he had counseled the woman about how to commit suicide but that he did not administer the deadly drugs.
Kusch said he actually left the room after she drank a poisonous brew, which contained the anti-malaria drug chloroquine and a sedative called diazepam.
He returned to the woman's apartment three hours later to find her dead on her bed.
"She has died with dignity, a peaceful death for which she had decided of her own free will," he said. "Her last words were "auf Wiedersehen," or farewell.
The woman, Bettina Schardt, a retired X-ray technician, was single and apparently had no family to look after her.
Kusch said that she was neither terminally ill nor suffering acute pain but her life was unpleasant.
He showed reporters a video tape on which the woman was heard saying, "I can't really say I'm suffering, but I find it extremely hard to care for myself."
Kusch also said that she had trouble moving around in her apartment and hardly ever went outside.
"She knew her physical condition was deteriorating, she figured life in a nursing home would soon become her only option, and she was not going to accept that," Kusch told ABC News in a telephone interview today.
"That thought was simply unbearable for her. She has decided of her own free will that she would rather die than live in a nursing home."
Kusch is a trained lawyer who formerly served as a secretary of justice in the Hamburg city council.
He knew to be careful about actively assisting the woman, and he videotaped the entire process by remote control as proof to avoid legal prosecution.
Neither suicide nor passively assisted suicide is illegal. But euthanasia, or killing on demand, is a punishable crime in Germany, which can blur the line.
Germans are struggling with the issue because it brings back horrible memories of the Nazi's euthanasia program, which was responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
Kusch, who is also the founder of an organization called Assisted Death, told ABC News, "Most people simply want to die in their own beds; most important, they want to die with dignity. Why not help those who decide of their own free will they want to commit suicide? Every person has the right to choose to die, even if they are not terminally ill.
"Mrs. Schardt had already decided to commit suicide when she first contacted me in April," he said. "She was a very analytical person, there was no question if she would kill herself but only how she would proceed in taking her life. She left a goodbye letter thanking me for helping her to die in dignity."
Other European countries have more flexible rules when it comes to assisted suicide.
In Switzerland, it is legal to actively assist a person committing suicide, provided a doctor has been consulted and the patient is fully aware of the consequences of his decision.
A Swiss euthanasia group called Dignitas claims it offers a dignified death to terminally ill people by administering lethal injections to end their suffering.
In the past decade, about 500 Europeans, many Germans among them, are said to have traveled across the Swiss border to find help to end their lives.
Chancellor Angela Merkel told German TV station ARD she was absolutely against any form of assisted suicide, and her government is almost unanimously on her side, calling for strict legislation.
Lawmakers today postponed their decision on a new law until October 2008, but they ruled that law and justice enforcement authorities should put a break on commercial ventures that make money by helping people kill themselves.
They suggested that any commercially assisted suicide should be considered a punishable crime that will be prosecuted, and offenders can be sentenced to three years in prison.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Russia may ban Halloween

Russia's State Duma is currently considering a package of laws aimed at protecting the morality of its children and preventing youth suicide and alcoholism. Some of the ideas kind of seem like overkill:
Together with proposals to combat child alcoholism and pornography, the policy project outlines a raft of draconian measures such as a 10 p.m. curfew for all school-age children and a ban on tattoos and body-piercings.Under the new measures, schools would be prohibited from celebrating Western holidays like Halloween and St. Valentine's Day, which are deemed inappropriate to "Russian culture." Toys in the shape of monsters or skeletons would be banned as "provoking aggression."
The proposal also sets its sights on teenage subcultures such as emo, a style of hardcore punk, and goth, which lawmakers accuse of "cultivating bisexuality." Both styles, the legislation implies, are social scourges on a par with the skinhead movement, and must be eliminated from the social landscape.

Model Ruslana Korshunova's 'suicide' conspiracy theories
Police have ruled that catwalk model Ruslana Korshunova's death was a suicide as conspiracy theories as to why she ended her life flood the internet.
The 20-year-old was found dead outside her downtown Manhattan building on Saturday afternoon after eyewitnesses described seeing a body plunge nine floors from a balcony.
Friends have since cast doubts that the successful Kazakh would have had reason to end her life however.
"There's no way she would have killed herself," Kira Titeneva, a friend from Korshunova's home town, told the New York Daily News. "She loved life so much".
Investigators have reportedly found no signs of a struggle inside Korshunova's apartment and a spokeswoman for New York's medical examiner said that Korshunova died from blunt impact injuries.
Theories blaming the Russian mafia for the model's death have swept the web.
It has been suggested that the model may have been desperate to get out of the fashion industry but been prevented from doing so by murky underworld bosses who manage the Eastern European models.
There is more to suggest that the model may have been depressed though, with recent blog posts hinting at hidden angst.
In one message three months ago she wrote: "I'm so lost. Will I ever find myself?"
The New York Post quoted a friend of Korshunova claiming she had just returned from a modeling gig in Paris and seemed to be "on top of the world."
"There were no signs," he said. "That's what's driving me crazy. I don't see one reason why she would do that."

Russia warns Lithuania on US missile defense
Russian lawmakers warned Lithuania against agreeing to place U.S. missile defense sites in the Baltic country, saying Wednesday that such a move could trigger a Russian military buildup in the region.
Russia could deploy more troops to its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad if Lithuania offers its soil for the deployment of U.S. missile interceptors, said a statement approved unanimously by the Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma.
Lithuania's Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas was in Washington on Wednesday for talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he did not know if the two were discussing the possibility of placing missile-defense components in the former Soviet country on Russia's northern border.
But on Tuesday, the Pentagon had said Lithuania would be a "good alternative" to Poland if negotiations with Warsaw collapse. Poland has demanded increased U.S. military aid in exchange for approving the deal.
Russia is fiercely against the U.S. plans to deploy components of a missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying the move would undermine its nuclear deterrent.
The Duma statement said that placing U.S. interceptors in Lithuania would "lead to a change of the Russian Federation's approach to military security in the Baltics, which is currently based on the principle of minimal sufficient military presence."
The lawmakers said using Lithuania in the missile-defense plan "will lead to an adequate modernization and strengthening of a grouping of Russian forces deployed to the Kaliningrad region."
Kaliningrad, Russia's westernmost region, is located on the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania.
The Duma statement also criticized a Lithuanian law passed last month banning the public display of Soviet and Nazi symbols. It said the law insulted the memory of the Soviet soldiers who fought the Nazis in the World War II and amounted to an attempt to "rewrite history."
The Soviet Union annexed independent Lithuania in 1940. Nazi Germany quickly seized the Baltics after invading the Soviet Union in 1941, and the Soviet army drove Nazi troops back in 1944.

Police Say Missing Girl's Body Is Found

The body of a missing 12-year-old whose uncle allegedly planned to force her into a sex ring the day she disappeared was found Wednesday in Randolph, not far from his house.
State Police Director Col. James Baker said Brooke Bennett's body was found about 4:45 p.m. and her family had been notified.
The uncle, Michael Jacques, has been in custody since Sunday on charges of aggravated sexual assault against a different underage girl. He has pleaded not guilty.
Brooke was last seen alive with Jacques at a convenience store a week ago.
"The painful discovery of Brooke's body today is tragic and heartbreaking," Baker said at a news conference.
He called the death "clearly suspicious" but declined to give details before a planned briefing Thursday morning.
But in an affidavit unsealed earlier in U.S. District Court in Burlington, the FBI said an unidentified teenager told investigators she was present on June 25 when Jacques, 42, tricked Brooke into thinking she was going to a party and took her to his Randolph home to be initiated into a sex ring.
The girl said she was led to believe that Brooke would "would have sex with adult males" during the initiation.
After the three got to Jacques' home, the girl said she and Brooke watched television for a while before Jacques told her to leave and took his niece upstairs. The witness, who is 14, said she left the house with her boyfriend and did not see Brooke again.
The 14-year-old said she herself had been having sex with Jacques since she was 9 as part of the sex ring.
Brooke's former stepfather, Raymond Gagnon, appeared in federal court Wednesday on an obstruction of justice charge in the case. He was denied bail and was held pending another hearing on Monday.
Police say Gagnon, 40, lives in Texas but often visited Vermont. According to the affidavit, he told police he accessed Brooke's MySpace page from a laptop computer at his home in San Antonio after getting login information from Jacques.
Police said they have evidence that postings to the account were altered to make it appear that Brooke had discussed a secret rendevous with someone identified as "Skittlemeup" shortly before she disappeared.
Gagnon also told police he had downloaded child pornography onto the laptop, according to the affidavit.
In Randolph before the announcement, Brooke's friends and family put up signs saying they missed her and were praying for her safe return. She lived in Braintree, a small town close to Randolph.
"To the community, thank you so much for all your support and help, and I hope I can keep continuing to get that," said Brooke's mother, Cassandra Gagnon. She wore a photo pin of her daughter on her T-shirt.
She said she was "very surprised" by her ex-husband's alleged involvement.

Mom Accused of Denying Son Chemo
A woman has been charged with withholding cancer medication from her 8-year-old autistic son, who prosecutors say likely will die because the cancer has returned.
Kristen Anne LaBrie, 36, of Beverly, was released on personal recognizance Monday after pleading not guilty in Salem District Court to a charge of reckless child endangerment.
Her son, Jeremy Fraser, had been in remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
He had a good prognosis when first diagnosed, with chances of recovery put at 85 percent to 90 percent, according to a police report. But his chances have dropped to 10 percent since being deprived of medication, authorities said.
Prosecutor Kate MacDougall said "in all likelihood, Jeremy Fraser will not see his ninth birthday."
"This child was in remission," she said. "His prognosis was good. This child came out of remission. ... He is not expected to survive."
Labrie declined comment to the Salem Evening News as she left court. Her lawyer, Kevin James, said Labrie had taken her son more than 100 times to Massachusetts General Hospital and "has been extensively involved in this child's care."
He said prosecutors had "a very weak case."
According to a police report, Fraser was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2006 and underwent a five-phase regimen of chemotherapy, including drugs that were supposed to be given to him at his house by his mother.
Police said LaBrie canceled at least a dozen appointments for chemotherapy treatments. MacDougall also said LaBrie did not fill at least half of the prescriptions her son was given.
In March, Dr. Alison Friedmann, the child's oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, filed a report of suspected neglect with the Department of Social Services after discovering Fraser's cancer had returned, something that should not have happened if he was on his medications.
The boy's father, Eric Fraser, now has full custody of his son in Saugus. He said Jeremy spends part of his day in a special education program.
"The kid's a peach," he said. "He doesn't do one bad thing."
Eric Fraser said he's outraged LaBrie did not have to have to post bail Monday.
"I'm pretty disgusted about the whole justice (system) and DSS," Fraser said. "Now my son's going to die."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Teenager Sam Leeson hanged himself over 'Emo' taunts

A 13-year-old boy hanged himself after he was bullied on social networking website Bebo.
Sam Leeson was targeted because he was a fan of 'Emo' music, which is popular with many children who feel left out of the mainstream.
The term originally meant 'emotional hardcore' and was an offshoot of punk music before it evolved into something more popular.
In common with many 'emos', Sam wore alternative black or dark clothing and had long hair, which attracted the bullies.
The boy, who had four sisters and two brothers, was found hanged in his bedroom by his mother and 12-year-old sister, after months of abuse which was only uncovered after his death.
His father Christopher, 39, of Hardwicke, in Gloucestershire, yesterday pleaded for other victims of bullies to not give in.
Mr Leeson, who is a builder, said: "Please talk to someone. Change your email address and change your mobile.
"Even change your school but don't destroy the lives of your mother, father, brothers or sisters.
"Mostly think of the people who will be putting flowers and cards on the gates of your school and trying to make sense of a pointless waste of a life.
"Bullies are cowards and you can beat them. Do it for Sam's sake."
He added: "I never knew things were so bad for Sam. I feel so sad he didn't speak to me."
Sam, who was a pupil at Severn Vale School in Gloucester, was found hanged in his bedroom on June 5.
Sam's laptop computer is now being examined by Gloucestershire Police and an investigation into his death has begun.

Girl found hanged in bedroom had become obsessed with ‘emo’ culture
A girl aged 12 who was found hanged in her bedroom had become obsessed with a teenage sub-culture known as “emo”, an inquest was told yesterday.
Rachel Jarvis, a fan of the band My Chemical Romance, died in January, a few days after making a new year’s resolution not to kill herself. She joins a growing list of children whose death has been linked to their involvement with the music and fashion of the angst-ridden cult, whose followers regularly talk of self-harming and suicide.
This month a 13-year-old boy, Sam Leeson, was found hanged in his bedroom in Gloucester. He had been bullied for his alternative dress and love of emo music. In May a coroner in Maidstone, Kent, ruled that the suicide of Hannah Bond, 13, another fan of My Chemical Romance, had “disturbing” emo overtones. She had earlier cut her wrists and discussed the “glamour” of hanging with other emo fans on the internet.
Emo is short for emotional hardcore. Its adherents – in Britain usually middle-class teenagers of both sexes – wear skinny black jeans, heavy, dark make-up and often dye their hair black.
Rachel, from Hull, was known to her family as a happy and friendly girl who performed well at school. Her form teacher described her as “wonderful . . . extremely mature for her age, very confident and bold”.
After her death it emerged that in the months before she was found hanged from her bedroom ceiling she had often visited an American emo website – her online name was Emos-rule – where young people spoke about depression, self-harm and killing themselves.
She had also kept a secret diary in which she recorded earlier suicide attempts. A statement from one of her close friends, a boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, was read to the hearing at Hull Coroner’s Court. He said that the pair had bonded over their shared passion for emo music and that Rachel had confided in him that she was going to cut herself.
“Other people used to say, ‘Don’t hang around with her because she’s weird and you will get depressed if you are around her,’ but I didn’t listen to them.”
Rachel’s mother, Maggie Jarvis, a former housing adviser, said that she had been about to give her two younger sons a bath and put them to bed and went to speak to her daughter about her playing loud music. “I went upstairs to ask her to turn it down otherwise they wouldn’t get to sleep. That’s when I found her,” she said.
Police investigating Rachel’s death found long-sleeved tops with blood stains at the wrists. They also found a diary with dark poetry and entries about eight earlier suicide attempts.
The coroner, Geoffrey Saul, recorded a narrative verdict in which he noted that “the suspension was at her own hand but the question of intent remains unclear”. He went on: “The evidence shows that she had talked to friends of hers about self harm but it doesn’t seem that they were strong statements of immediate intention.”