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.”

Teen Decapitated by Six Flags Coaster

A teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after he hopped a pair of fences and entered a restricted area Saturday at Six Flags Over Georgia, authorities said.

Six Flags officials are uncertain why the unidentified 17-year-old from Columbia, S.C. scaled two six-foot fences and passed signs that said the restricted area was both off-limits and dangerous to visitors, spokeswoman Hela Sheth said in a news release.

Authorities were investigating reports from witnesses who said the teenager jumped the fences to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Batman roller coaster, said Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce. Police have declined to release the teenager's name until an autopsy is completed.

Six Flags said it closed the roller coaster after the Saturday afternoon accident out of respect for the teen's family. The ride was expected to reopen on Sunday, according to a Six Flags news release.

Police said the ride was going full-speed when the teen was struck. The ride's top speed is 50 mph, according to the park's Web site.

No one riding on the roller coaster was injured, Sheth said. The teen was with another boy who also entered the restricted area but was not injured, Pierce said.

The teen and his parents were at the park with a group from the Oakey Spring Baptist Church near Springfield, S.C., police said.

In May 2002, 58-year-old groundskeeper Samuel Milton Guyton of Atlanta was killed after he wandered in a restricted area under the Batman roller coaster's path and was struck in the head by the dangling leg of one of the ride's passengers. The ride was closed for a day to allow the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to inspect the ride. It was deemed safe for passengers.

In June 2007, a teenager's legs were severed when cables snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Ky. Doctors were able to reattach Kaitlyn Lasitter's right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and subsequent surgeries.

State officials blame a faulty cable and slow response by an amusement park ride operator in the accident. Her family is suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, claiming the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure riders' safety. The amusement park has denied liability in court filings.

Dog found in river had throat cut

The body of a partially decapitated dog has been found in the River Waveney in Suffolk, the RSPCA has revealed.

The lurcher dog, which had its throat cut, was found by canoeists on the river between Mendham and the Norfolk border at Harleston.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "It is not known how the dog died but it was almost decapitated and may have been in the water for several days."

The RSPCA are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.

The animal, which had a black leather collar, was found with a black plastic bin liner around its head.

Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £20,000.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz Says New Album May Sound Like AC/DC And White Stripes -- Or Not

'It's early, but the ideas we've got right now, they're really guitar-riff-heavy,' bassist says. Hey, bloggers! Pay attention, because Pete Wentz is about to make things very easy for you.
Here's what he has to say about Fall Out Boy's new album — you know, the one that may or may not have an Iggy Pop & the Stooges-meet-the Smiths feel to it? The same one they're currently working on with producer Neal Avron? Anyway, yeah, here's how Wentz describes it. And again, we urge you to have your OMGs and WTFs at the ready.
"It's early, but the ideas we've got right now, they're really guitar-riff-heavy. A lot of other bands, like AC/DC or the White Stripes, you know their songs by the opening guitar riff," Wentz told MTV News. "So basically, I want our record to be like an AC/DC album or a White Stripes album. I want to make sure the bloggers say that. Actually, I'm just kidding about that. Well, I was kidding about the White Stripes part. Not AC/DC."
So there you go. The new Fall Out Boy record is going to be heavily influenced by the fret-shredding heroics of Jack White and Angus Young. Except that it probably won't, because, as Wentz points out, pretty much every song the band has ever written has gone through about, well, 30 different permutations. And, like he said, it's still really early.
"We've put down, like, three to four songs, but they're just ideas right now. This is how we do our songs. They go through, like, 30 changes. 'Sugar [We're Going Down]' went through 30 changes, and then it just went back to the way it was when we first started, so I don't know if these ideas we've got now will change or end up just like they are now," he explained. "Right now, we've got a bunch of great parts surrounded by a web."
And they're weaving that web at Avron's home, which has perks the average recording studio wouldn't ("He's got a trampoline built into the ground, a pool and a really awesome kid. So it's really easy to do test marketing, because if his kid says it sucks, we know it sucks," Wentz laughed). And as for how the pre-production process works? Well, Wentz is quick to explain with a "Wizard of Oz" metaphor (why not?).
"The way it works is, Patrick is kind of like Dorothy from 'The Wizard of Oz,' and we're all the supporting characters. I'm like the Tin Man, Hurley is Toto, and Trohman is definitely the Lion, because he's got big hair and he's very boisterous," he laughed. "I go over there after I leave the set of 'FNMTV,' and usually before too. Usually twice a day. Patrick is always there, working on new stuff. We keep him chained in the basement."
So when can fans expect to hear the new album? Well, Wentz said FOB hope to start recording it this summer, and that it will hopefully be in stores before the end of the year. Then again, that wouldn't be the first time he's said something like that.
"I think we're gonna start recording this summer, because it's 116 degrees in Los Angeles, and I need to be someplace with extreme air-conditioning," he said. "But I always say that, and then we screw it up, so we'll see."
Source: MTV NEWS

Pete Wentz opens a bar, and Ashlee shows off baby bump
The Wentz’s were seen in Chicago at Pete Wentz’s bar opening, as Ashlee showed off her baby bump.
Newlyweds and parents-to-be Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz attended Wentz’s bar opening in Chicago this weekend.
Simpson-Wentz displayed her pregnancy for all to see in a fitted black dress and high heels, but only allowed a few pictures before stepping inside with her in-laws. Husband Wentz stayed out to field the hundreds of questions given by interviewers about the future for the happy family. He even revealed that he would rather raise a family in Chicago, rather than their home in L.A.
People quoted, “I think I would rather raise a family here than L.A.’ you go to your own coffee shop, you go to the dog park, it's smaller and I appreciate that.”
He also added that he is willing to do everything for his wife during her pregnancy: “oh year, I do the whole nine [yards], anything to keep her comfortable — massages, the works.”
Their night continued with a birthday photo montage for Wentz, followed up by a bulldog-shaped cake, a tribute to their bulldog, Hemmingway, who was the ring bearer at the wedding.

Woman Dead 42 Years Before Someone Noticed

We're not sure what was on TV in 1966 in the former Yugoslavia, but it was the last thing seen by a woman whose remains have only recently been found.
Hedviga Golik, who was born in 1924, was discovered by police in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, long-dead and sitting in her arm chair in front of her black and white television.
The deceased had been reported missing 42 years ago, and neighbors say they thought she had moved away to live with relatives. Oddly though, the police only recently broke in to try to determine who owned the apartment and they still have not figured out how the woman could have been reported missing so long ago without anyone checking the residence.
"When officers went there, they said it was like stepping into a place frozen in time," a police spokesman said. "The cup she had been drinking tea from was still on a table next to the chair she had been sitting in ... Nothing had been disturbed for decades, even though there were more than a few cobwebs in there."
A neighbor, fittingly, remembered Golik as "a quiet woman who kept herself to herself."

Potent Quotables: Katy Perry's Crush Confession
"I'm kinda saving myself for Miley Cyrus."--Katy Perry
The 'I Kissed A Girl' singer insists that she is holding out for the 'Hannah Montana' star.

Don Imus on Adam Jones: 'What Color Is He?'

Don Imus, the radio jock who was fired last year for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," has once again put his foot in his mouth in comments related to the world of sports.
When one of Imus's on-air partners, Warner Wolf, discussed Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones' legal troubles, Imus asked, "What color is he." When told that Jones is African-American, Imus said, "Well, there you go. Now we know.
The full transcript is below.

Wolf: "Defensive back Adam 'Pacman' Jones, recently signed by the Cowboys. Here's a guy suspended all of 2007 following a shooting in a Vegas night club."

Imus: "Well, stuff happens. You're in a night club, for God's sake. What do you think's gonna happen in a night club? People are drinking and doing drugs, there are women there, and people have guns. So, there, go ahead."

Wolf: "He's also been arrested six times since being drafte

d by Tennessee in 2005."

Imus: "What color is he?"

Wolf: "He's African-American."

Imus: "Well, there you go. Now we know."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jamie Lynn Spears gives birth to a girl

Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth to a baby girl Thursday morning at a south Mississippi hospital, according to a friend of the Spears family. The friend, who asked not to be identified because the family had not yet announced the baby's birth, told The Associated Press that the baby was named Maddie Briann and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
The 17-year-old Jamie Lynn was the star of Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101," a sitcom about prep school friends, and is the younger sister of pop star Britney Spears. The Spears family announced in December that Jamie Lynn was pregnant. The father is Casey Aldridge, a pipe-layer from Liberty, Miss. The couple is not married but announced an engagement several months ago.
Ellen Brannan, spokeswoman for Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center, in McComb, would not give out any details. "We understand everybody's interested, but we don't give out information on anyone. Everyone's entitled to their privacy," she said.
The younger Spears lives near Liberty with Aldridge, 19, and has been seen around the small south Mississippi town often as her pregnancy became more apparent. Her family owns a home across the state line in Kentwood, La.
Spears announced her pregnancy through an article in OK! Magazine and was expected to receive a large payday for exclusive pictures of the newborn.
Nickelodeon issued a statement about the birth on Thursday, saying, "We wish her and her family well." Nickelodeon spokeswoman Marianne Romano said that filming of the fourth and final season of "Zoey 101" was completed last summer before Spears became pregnant.
Spears portrayed Zoey Brooks, a student at Pacific Coast Academy, a campus that had been an exclusive all-boys boarding school until Zoey and a handful of other girls arrived. At the end of the series, Zoey gets the boy — longtime crush Chase (Sean Flynn).

Jamie Lynn Spears Baby Sparks Interest In High School Pregnancy Pact

The big news of yesterday was that 17-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth to her first child—a daughter. But the news that followed—that several girls at a Massachusetts high-school planned to get pregnant and raise their kids together in a pregnancy pact—has caused an uproar among concerned parents.
According to reports, 17 students at Massachusetts’ Gloucester High School—none of them older than 16—had made a pact to get pregnant and raise their children together. School officials learned of the pact while trying to explain how the pregnancy rate of students in the school had quadrupled over last year.
The Boston Globe has reported that the mass pregnancy has sparked discussion in the largely Catholic fishing town about the availability of contraception. The news sent shockwaves through parents and administrators.
“More students are coming in and asking about pregnancy testing,” Gloucester’s public health director, Jack Vondras, told the Globe last month. “What’s odd is that some of them are disappointed because they’re not getting pregnant.”
MTV is reporting that several of the fathers are out of high-school and well into their twenties. One is a 24-year-old homeless man from the area, the Website reported.
At a recent city council meeting, the town’s mayor inquired about filing statutory rape charges against several of the men, according to MTV.
Jamie Lynn Spears went public with her pregnancy when she was just 16 years old in a dual interview with her mother Lynne Spears. Lynne Spears said at the time that while her daughter was obviously too young to be having a child, she stood by her decision to have the baby and be as involved as possible.
Late last year, Jamie Lynn’s older sister Britney Spears experienced some parenting problems of her own. She lost custody of her two young boys to ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Teacher Accused of Burning Cross on Kids

The school board of a small central Ohio community voted unanimously Friday to fire a teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs despite staff complaints and using a device to burn the image of a cross on students' arms.
School board members voted 5-0 to fire Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher John Freshwater. Board attorney David Millstone said Freshwater is entitled to a hearing to challenge the dismissal.
Freshwater denies wrongdoing and will request such a hearing, the teacher's attorney, Kelly Hamilton, told the Mount Vernon News.
School board members met a day after the consulting firm H.R. On Call Inc. released its report on the teacher's case.
The report came a week after a family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Columbus against Freshwater and the school district, saying Freshwater burned a cross on a child's arm that remained for three or four weeks.
Freshwater's friend Dave Daubenmire defended him.
"With the exception of the cross-burning episode. ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district," he told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published Friday.
Several students interviewed by investigators described Freshwater, who has been employed by the school district located 40 miles northeast of Columbus for 21 years, as a great guy and their favorite teacher.
But Lynda Weston, the district's director of teaching and learning, told investigators that she has dealt with complaints about Freshwater for much of her 11-year term at the district, the report said.
A former superintendent, Jeff Maley, said he tried to find another position for Freshwater but couldn't because he was certified only in science, the report said.
Freshwater used a science tool known as a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students' arms in December, the report said. Freshwater told investigators he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an "X," not a cross. But pictures show a cross, the report said.
Other findings show that Freshwater taught that carbon dating was unreliable to argue against evolution.

Martha Stewart Banned From Britain
Martha Stewart has been banned from Britain -- but she got a warm welcome Friday in Poland, her grandparents' homeland.
The lifestyle guru was planning to visit Britain in the coming days for business engagements, but the Daily Telegraph and other British newspapers reported Friday that she was denied permission to enter because of her 2004 conviction for obstructing justice.
Stewart's assistants confirmed the visa denial, but they gave no other details beyond saying they hope the decision will be reversed.
"Martha loves England; the country and English culture are near and dear to her heart," said Charles Koppelman, chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. "She has engagements with English companies and business leaders and hopes this can be resolved so that she will be able to visit soon."
On Friday evening in Warsaw, it would have been hard to tell that the headache was hanging over her head.
In an elegant home goods shop in the glistening Golden Terraces mall in downtown Warsaw, Stewart was feted by fans eager for a glimpse of the homemaking expert turned business tycoon.
She was in the Polish capital to promote her Martha Stewart Living magazine, which was recently launched in Polish, and to open an exhibition of her photographs, scenes of landscapes and gardens that she took herself.
During a brief speech, Stewart made a point of stressing the link she feels to the country where all four of her grandparents were born -- and crediting its hearty cuisine for providing inspiration in the kitchen.
She said that her mother, who was "a fabulous cook," taught her to make traditional Polish delicacies like pierogies, the traditional Polish stuffed dumplings; kielbasa, the Polish-style sausage; and babka, a spongy yeast cake popular at Easter.
"As a Polish-American, I feel a strong connection to this beautiful country and to its people," she said. "This trip is a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with my heritage."
Despite her roots, Stewart is not widely known in Poland -- though her legal troubles brought her a degree of attention for the first time.
In 2004, Stewart was convicted in federal court of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements related to a personal sale of ImClone Systems Inc. stock. She got a five-month prison sentence, and also served an additional five months and three weeks of home confinement.
A Home Office spokeswoman, however, refused to comment about Stewart's entry to Britain, but added: "We continue to oppose the entry to the U.K. of individuals where we believe their presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good or where they have been found guilty of serious criminal offenses abroad."
British and U.S. citizens generally enjoy visa-free travel between their countries. However, people with certain convictions must apply for visas.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mexico Declares War On Emo

Chances are if you aren’t emo, you hate emo. But you likely don’t hate this straight-haired, massacre-lined subculture as much as the Mexicans do. In recent weeks, a wave of emo bashings has swept across Mexico, several news agencies have reported, fuelled by punks, rockabillies, goths, metalheads and basically anyone who’s not emo.
According to Daniel Hernandez, who’s been covering the anti-emo riots on his blog Intersections, the violence began March 7, when an estimated 800 young people poured into the Mexican city of Queretaro’s main plaza “hunting” for emo kids to pummel. Then the following weekend similar violence occurred in Mexico City at the Glorieta de Insurgents, a central gathering space for emos. Hernandez also reports that several anti-emo riots have now also spread to various other Mexican cities. Via the Austin American Statesmen, several postings on Mexican social-networking sites, primarily organising spot for these “emo hunts,” have been dug up and translated. One states: “I HATE EMOS!!! They are not even people, they are so stupid, they cry over meaningless things… My school is infested with them, I want to kill them all!”
Another says: “We’ve never seen all the urban tribes unite against one single tribe before… Emos, their way of thinking is for crap, if you are so depressed please do us all a favour and kill yourselves!”
More recent reports state that the emos have begun to fight back against the other “urban tribes” and organised marches in Guadalajara and Mexico City, escalating the violence and leading to increased police presence. Also, some Mexican newspapers, such as El Porvenir, have called for government intervention to protect the emos, writing, “It’s the responsibility of the authorities to make sure the threats aren’t carried out and the aggressions are punished.”

Former Escape the Fate Singer Hunted Down By the Police
Emo kids might be getting beat up in Mexico, but in the United States, things are working out differently.
Ronnie Radke, the former singer for Escape the Fate attempted to live up to his old band’s name this week while eluding police. Radke skipped out on his parole and went on the lam before being apprehended outside of Las Vegas yesterday.
Radke was not involved with Escape the Fate’s next Epitaph album, but was apparently soliciting money while on the run to get his band back together when police nabbed him. Deputy U.S. Marshal Michael Picou said police “caught him by surprise” at a Henderson, Nevada home.
Radke’s trouble with the law began when he was charged and convicted of battery for his involvement in the murder of one Michael Cook during a fight. Another individual has been charged with the murder. Police have not stated if Radke stands to face any more charges for his brief flight.
It’s not known whether Radke plans to launch any humanitarian appeals on the basis that a singer from one of Epitaph’s newer signings doesn’t stand a chance in prison, however we’ll be sure to keep you posted should he do so.

Movie Soundtrack Features Exclusives From Aiden, The Von Bondies, Seether, and Eagles of Death Metal

Bloodsuckers and rock fans rejoice! There’s a new soundtrack for your hot, sweaty summer.
A 1987 cult hit, The Lost Boys’ soundtrack is arguably one of the most beloved movie soundtracks of the last 20 years. Armed with great, eerie songs that fit perfectly opposite the little film with a big bite, the soundtrack to the much anticipated sequel, Lost Boys: The Tribe, delivers just the same.
Helping to create a soundtrack worthy of it’s well-respected predecessor, the Lost Boys: The Tribe soundtrack includes AIDEN covering the classic anthem “Cry Little Sister” while THE VON BONDIES offer up “Only To Haunt You,” a never-before heard cut from their new album Love Hate And Then There’s You. Others include Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode fame, as well as the revamped Blind Melon.
Previously unreleased tracks include Aiden’s cover of “Cry Little Sister,” as well as Seether’s live acoustic rendition of “Burrito” and G.Love & Special Sauce’s “Long Way Down,” and The Von Bondies’ “Only To Haunt You.”
Says Aiden singer wiL Francis: "When we were approached to be a part of the new Lost Boys movie I was beside myself. Being such a fan of the original I could hardly set my excitement aside. This is a great opportunity for us to pay homage and be a part of something spectacular."
Artists’ Addiction Records is a leader in the horror soundtrack genre, releasing the popular SAW 1-4 Soundtrack CD’s. SaysAAR President Jonathan Miller: “I’m really excited to be a part of this project. I grew up with the original movie so to be involved with the second installment is amazing. We are all thrilled with the music that has been selected for the soundtrack and movie.”
Set in the shady surf city of Luna Bay, California, Lost Boys: The Tribe takes us to a world where vampires roam the night and feed on anyone who crosses their path. Into this dark world arrive Chris Emerson (Tad Hilgenbrink) and his younger sister, Nicole (Autumn Reeser). Having just lost their parents in a car accident, the siblings move in with their eccentric Aunt Jillian and become new prey for the locals’ way of life. When Nicole unwittingly falls for a local vampire, Chris must locate and destroy the gang’s lifeline before his sister’s transformation is complete; to do this Chris finds himself relying on the expertise of none other than Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman). With subtle references to characters from the original film, and cameos from returning actors,Lost Boys: The Tribe offers a homage to the Lost Boys legend while creating a sinister tone of impending doom.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Singer Wanted For Probation Jump Arrested

Metro police have arrested the former lead singer of a Las Vegas band who was wanted in connection with jumping parole.
Ronnie Radke, who was wanted in connection with jumping parole, was arrested Tuesday.
Radke was charged and convicted of battery in the death of Michael Cook.
A little more than two years ago, Cook was shot and killed near Shadow Ridge High School at 5050 Brent Lane.
The charges against the alleged killer were dropped, because Chase Rader, 22, had a viable claim of self-defense, police said.
This stemmed from a fight. Ronnie Radke, who was involved, was charged and convicted of battery, but police said he jumped parole and is a wanted man.
Radke was once part of the band Escape The Fate and still has a fan site on MySpace.

Boston Cheers as Celtics Rout Lakers

The sights, smells and happy chaos were familiar, as if borrowed from another era and another arena: Stale cigar smoke filled the air. Champagne soaked the locker-room carpets. Green and white confetti was everywhere.
Red Auerbach was not present for the moment in which the Boston Celtics restored their lost glory, but the party they threw Tuesday night at TD Banknorth Garden was unmistakably stamped with his outsize personality.
The Celtics did not just beat the Los Angeles Lakers, they crushed them – and left no doubt that the Larry O'Brien trophy belonged back in Boston after a 22-year hiatus.
Accompanied by chants of "Seventeen!" the Celtics routed their longtime rivals 131-92 to close out the finals in six games. Sixteen green-and-white banners will soon have company in the rafters.
Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce – three stars who had known individual glory but not gratification – will soon have their first championship rings. So will Coach Doc Rivers, who deftly blended their talents after they were united last summer.
It took Pierce, the longtime Celtics captain, 10 years to get here. Garnett waited 13 years for the moment, Allen 12. They all checked out of the game together, with 4 minutes 1 second left. They could not hug each other enough.
"Knowing that you were at rock bottom a year ago today, and to climb all the way to the top, this is a dream come true," said Pierce, who averaged 21.8 points in the finals and was unanimously named the most valuable player. "I'm going to cherish this forever."
They earned the moment with relentless defense that held Kobe Bryant, perhaps the game's premier scorer, to 40 percent shooting in the series. He had 22 points in the finale but just 11 points in the final three quarters.
Unbridled emotion came over the Celtics as the final buzzer sounded. Eddie House, the sharpshooting reserve, fell to his knees at one free-throw line. Garnett kneeled at center court and kissed the Celtics logo.
"I just want to say, other than my kid being born, this has got to be the happiest day of my life right now," said Garnett, one of the greatest power forwards of his era, whose intensity helped transform the Celtics this season.
In the din and the smoke, the Celtics paid homage their franchise patriarch.
"This win is for Red Auerbach," Wyc Grousbeck, the managing partner, said during a raucous trophy presentation on the court.
Moments earlier, Grousbeck had been shown on the video scoreboard chewing on a cigar, to the delight of the crowd.
After a taut series of wild comebacks, near-comebacks and tense fourth quarters, the finale proved anticlimactic – albeit exhilarating for the 18,624 green-clad fans, who hardly used their seats all night.
The Celtics had an 11-point lead in the middle of the second quarter, a 23-point lead at halftime, a 31-point lead by the middle of the third and very little to worry about for most of the night.
Allen buried the Lakers with his 3-point stroke and finished with 26 points. Garnett set the tone with a 10-point first quarter and finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. Pierce had 17 points and 10 assists.
The Lakers never did win a road game in the series, and the Celtics finished their run with a 13-1 record at home. The 39-point margin of victory was the largest for a title-clinching game.
"We're disappointed," said Lakers Coach Phil Jackson. "Our fans are disappointed. I think everybody is disappointed that we didn't get a game out of this, give ourselves a chance."
The game was lost in the first half, when the Lakers failed to grab a single offensive rebound and shot 29.6 percent from the field. Garnett mowed over Pau Gasol, Allen bounced back from a poked eye (courtesy of Lamar Odom) and the Celtics put the game away early, with a 35-14 second quarter.
"We just didn't have it in us, I guess, tonight to be able to match that effort and that intensity," said Gasol, who finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
The story of the series, and the season, was the Celtics' commitment to relentless defense. They turned Bryant into a jumpshooter, made him work for every point and forced his teammates to do something spectacular. With few exceptions, they were not up to the task. Odom and Gasol seemed to shrink in the face of the Celtics' ferocity. A young bench anchored by Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar seemed overmatched and outwitted by a Boston bench that featured the savvy veterans P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell.
After much prodding, Bryant conceded that the Celtics' defense was the best he had seen in the playoffs.
"Just upset more than anything, frustrated," Bryant said. "But I'm proud. I'm proud of the way that we performed all year. I'm proud of my guys. I'm proud of the effort that we gave."
The city was primed for the moment. The arena boomed with "Beat L.A." chants in the first quarter. They booed Bryant's image on the scoreboard even earlier — during the national anthem. Fans amused themselves early in the fourth quarter by singing "Where is Kobe?"
The championship was ready to be claimed Tuesday, if only the Celtics could fight through exhaustion, attrition and whatever Bryant unleashed upon them. Over 48 hours, the Celtics had endured a sobering Game 5 defeat, a delayed flight and a sick child, all layered on top of the accumulated aches from a long playoff run.
Allen's youngest son had fallen ill in Los Angeles two nights earlier, which led him to miss the team flight back to Boston. Pierce played the final five games of the series with a sprained knee. Center Kendrick Perkins finished the series with shoulder and ankle injuries and point guard Rajon Rondo with a sprained ankle.
It took 26 games for Boston to win the championship, an NBA record. They were not always the most convincing contenders, going 3-9 on the road and requiring seven games to beat Atlanta and Cleveland in the early rounds.
But the Celtics were persistent, and unified, staying true to the South African theme of "ubuntu" that they established last fall. The word, introduced to the team by Rivers, literally means "I am because we are" and was invoked when the Celtics opened training camp, with the newcomers Garnett and Allen joining Pierce.
"They came in with no egos," Brown said. "Everything was about one thing — they came here to win a championship. It went throughout the whole team. Everybody bought in."
As an added bonus for the Celtics, they denied Jackson a 10th title, which would have broken his tie with Auerbach. That was, Danny Ainge admitted, a fringe benefit: "We wanted to keep Red's nine championships intact and not let Phil pass him."
Ainge was a vital role player when the Celtics won their last title in 1986 and is now their general manager. He absorbed Auerbach's wisdom, acquired the kinds of players who were worthy of his legacy, then watched them dismantle the franchise's greatest rival.
"Beating the Lakers," Ainge said, "is an added bonus. Yeah."

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Former Escape the Fate frontman Ronnie Radke is wanted by police for ESCAPING THE FATE. Apparently, he was involved in a fight a couple years back, that led to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Cook. Though charges against the shooter, 22-year-old Chase Rader, were dropped on the ground of self-defense, Radke was convicted of battery in the case, but has since skipped parole:
“Still waiting for justice … Now to have Ronnie on the loose is another slap,” said Cook’s mother, Setta Freeman.
Cook’s mother said her hope is that Radke turns himself in.Radke has some unique physical traits, including a tattoo on his neck. It’s a bird with the word “Dad,” along with a spider web and skull. He also has a scar on his left wrist. Anyone with information is asked to call 775-684-2644.

Tokio Hotel Makes Teens Swoon
Move over Jonas Brothers, the Kaulitz twins are moving in.
The 18-year-old Kaulitz brothers comprise half of Tokio Hotel, a German glam-pop quartet that is creating Beatles-like hysteria among the teen set in their native land. They've sold close to 3 million CDs and DVDs in their country, and are hoping to replicate that rabid fan base in the United States.
"They're the stepping stone between the tween stuff and My Chemical Romance," says Andrew Gyger, senior product manager for Virgin Entertainment Group, a few days after the foursome appeared at Virgin's Times Square store in New York in May to promote its English-language album, "Scream."
"The in-store was massive in terms of sales and the amount of girls that showed up," Gyger says, relaying stories of at least one girl fainting and screaming teens lining up around the block for the event. "The band seems to have come out of nowhere."
Actually, Tokio Hotel came out of the Internet. A YouTube search shows 123,000 video listings compared to 88,100 for the Jonas Bros. or 21,000 for a grizzled veteran like Bruce Springsteen. To further sate their young fans' appetite, for the last six months the band has produced weekly episodes of Tokio Hotel TV for its U.S. Web site.
For Tokio Hotel, the visual is as vital as the vocals and is propelled by lead singer Bill Kaulitz's anime look: straightened, teased black hair; heavy eye makeup that accentuates his delicate, androgynous, doll-like features; chain necklaces and vintage rock and roll T-shirts. He's so thin he appears almost one dimensional on stage, adding to the cartoon-like appeal. But to hear him tell it, his look comes by way of Transylvania, not Japan.
When he was 10, Bill Kaulitz dressed as a vampire for Halloween and adopted the styling year-round.
"After that, I started to color my hair and polish my nails. I started to wear makeup and stuff. I'd never heard of (anime)," Bill Kaulitz said in an interview at the Avalon Hollywood before to the group's sold-out show in Los Angeles. He, his brother, bassist Georg Listing, 20, and drummer Gustav Schafer, 19, are squashed together in a leather booth in the lounge one floor above the Avalon stage. Both he and Tom speak very good, albeit heavily accented, English, although an interpreter stands by in case any translation is needed.
Tom Kaulitz, the older brother by 10 minutes ("A lot of people think Bill is the boss, but I am the boss," he laughs), developed his hip-hop/dreads look when he was seven or eight, in part as a way to differentiate himself from his identical twin. "When we were six, we looked the same," Tom Kaulitz said. "We had sweat shirts with (the names) Bill and Tom so that teachers had a chance to know who's who."
The Kaulitz brothers began playing guitar when they were seven - the instruments were gifts from their musician stepfather. By the time they were in their mid-teens, they were playing in clubs, often to less than five people, and Listing and Schafer had joined the band.
Their mother's backing was not only desired, but vital: "We needed the support of our parents because we had no car, no money," Bill Kaulitz says.
Mom has long since stopped driving the band to gigs; they have people who do that for them now as they have accumulated a team during their meteoric rise. The group's first single, "Through the Monsoon," went to No. 1 in Germany in 2005, a pair of No. 1 albums and sold-out European tours followed.
The fan frenzy in Germany has reached epic proportions, such as when a group of teen girls delivered a fan letter that was more than seven miles long. After seeing a young fan repeatedly at shows in different cities, the band later learned that she was a runaway who had left home to follow the group. "It's still crazy to us," Bill Kaulitz says of the distaff attention.
After witnessing the spectacle at the band's February appearance at New York's Gramercy Theatre, Amy Doyle, MTV's senior VP of music and talent, became a convert. "I could not believe the line outside of screaming teen girls," she said. "It reminded me of the audience of the late '90s and 2000 for Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync."
Following that performance, MTV added the video for "Ready, Set, Go" into heavy rotation, as well as highlighted the band online, on mtv2 and on "TRL." Tokio Hotel writes a tour diary for, which, Doyle says, had elicited more reader comments than any previous tour diary.
But the band has a long way to go before they reach Backstreet or 'N Sync like sales - since the group's CD was released in May, it has sold just over 23,000 copies. Tokio Hotel's U.S. label, Cherrytree/Interscope, has yet to take the first single, "Monsoon," to radio, but Doyle says the whole package is the band's selling point.
"Radio always helps, but there's a connection that clearly is made when the audience sees them that you can't connect with just a song; fans are making an emotional connection."
Tokio Hotel already has Madison Square Garden in its sights, but also knows it had to put in the footwork. On this trip, they went to the vaunted venue; not to perform, but to see Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.
Indeed, at the Avalon show that evening, teenage girls packed up against the stage so tightly that security guards started a regular procession of lifting them over the railing as several teen become overcome by the nearness of their heroes and the pressure of those pushing behind them.
"It's so cool that we have fans already here. But we are at the beginning," Bill Kaulitz. "We really want to be successful in America, we really want to try it. There are not so many German bands who get the chance to come to America to play."
"It's a dream to play there," Tom Kaulitz says, shaking his head up and down. "Maybe in two years. You need goals in your life."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Suspect Leaves Trail of Dead Husbands

For two decades, Al Gentry begged investigators to take another look at the mystery of who killed his brother, Harold, and left his gunshot-ridden body sprawled on the floor of the home he shared with his wife.
He visited the sheriff's office dozens of times and made just as many phone calls. And when authorities finally listened, they wound up arresting the person Gentry had always suspected: his brother's now 76-year-old former wife, who was charged last month with hiring a hit man to gun him down.
"This is something I've been waiting for for a long time," Gentry said.
But Gentry's persistence may have led investigators to a far more chilling discovery about Betty Neumar. After arresting her, authorities realized that five times since the 1950s, she was married, and each union ended with the death of her husband.
Authorities say they've notified law enforcement officials where Neumar is believed to have lived with the men. So far, no one has said whether the deaths are suspicious, but some officials are reopening the cold cases.
Al Gentry had been showing up for years at the sheriff's office and talking to anyone who would listen about the case. His brother's body, with several gunshot wounds, was found inside the couple's home on July 14, 1986.
Neumar, who was out of town the day her husband was killed, showed no emotion when she got back, Al Gentry said. When she pulled up to the one-story brick house in a quiet neighborhood that was surrounded by flashing lights and filled with police officers, he recalled, she blurted out that she had been in Augusta, Ga., the previous night - before he even said a word.
"If she had gotten out of that car with tears in her eyes and asked me why would anybody kill Harold, I would never have suspected her at all," he said. "That's where she slipped up."
Harold Gentry met Neumar - who was then Betty Sills - in Florida and they married on Jan. 19, 1968, in Charlton County, Ga., when he was 29 and she was 36. The couple moved to Norwood, about an hour east of Charlotte, in the late 1970s after he retired from the Army after 21 years of service.
Over the years, Al Gentry recalls, she told the family she had been a nurse and that her first husband died of cancer. She also said she was a beautician and had lived in Ohio, and had children from a previous marriage. At various times, she worked in a drug store, drove a school bus and waited tables while Harold Gentry worked long hours driving a delivery truck for the Royal Chemical Co.
At first pleasant, she grew to become "cold" to his brother and family, Al Gentry said. By 1986, the marriage was strained and Harold Gentry was living in a camper in the front yard.
"She was the type of person who liked fancy things - jewelry and clothes. She had the means to live like that but that wasn't enough," Al Gentry recalled. "She always wanted more, more, more. And she found a way to get it."
After Harold Gentry was killed, Al Gentry and his brother, Richard, said Neumar collected at least $20,000 in life insurance, plus other benefits from the military and sold the couple's house and other items. But as recently as a few years ago, bankruptcy records indicate, Neumar had no income other than a small monthly Social Security check - but had more than three dozen credit cards and hundreds of thousands in debt.
At a hearing earlier this month, prosecutors said she also had at least one overseas bank account.
The couple were married for about 14 years. They filed for bankruptcy in April 2000, and records show they owed $206,300 on 43 credit cards. They listed $14,355 in assets, including a 1996 Lincoln Town car, and had a combined monthly income of only about $1,800. The bankruptcy filing allowed the couple to wipe away the debts
After Gentry's death, Neumar remarried two more times. Once was to 79-year-old John Neumar, who died in October. Authorities in Neumar's hometown of Augusta, Ga., are examining the death, and detectives went to her home two weeks ago and seized an urn with his ashes, said Richmond County, Ga., sheriff's investigator Lt. Scott Peebles.
His cause of death was listed as sepsis - an illness caused by a bacterial infection of the body's blood and tissues - and his body was cremated shortly after his death. Peebles said investigators would test the remains to see if there "were any other factors that contributed to his death," including whether he was poisoned by arsenic, which can cause sepsis-like symptoms.
"We're not going to rule anything out until we get the results back," he said.
Neumar was charged with a single count of solicitation of murder in Gentry's death and is being held on $500,000 bond. At her first court appearance, prosecutors said she tried to hire several people to kill her husband, offering one potential hit man cash and a pickup truck to do the job.
She does not yet have an attorney and a message from The Associated Press given to a jailer went unanswered. Her daughter with Harold Gentry, who also lives in Augusta, declined to comment about her mother's arrest.
The sheriff who reopened the case, Rick Burris, wasn't leading the department at the time Gentry was killed. Burris said he reviewed the thick case file and read transcripts of interviews conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation. He said they pointed to the likelihood that Neumar had hired someone to kill her husband, but police didn't collect enough evidence at the time to charge her. He assigned an investigator, who re-examined the evidence in the file and conducted new interviews.
"She was a suspect for a long time but we didn't have enough evidence. Now we do," Burris said.
Brothers Al and Richard Gentry said the pain of his death still lingers for the family. But after the arrest, the family visited their brother's grave, where Al Gentry said he delivered a simple message: "Brother, we got her."

Tomato Salmonella Cases on the Rise
The toll from salmonella-tainted tomatoes jumped to 228 illnesses Thursday as the government learned of five dozen previously unknown cases and said it is possible the
Six more states - Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Vermont - reported illnesses related to the outbreak, bringing the number of affected states to 23.
The Food and Drug Administration has not pinpointed the source of the outbreak. With the latest known illness striking on June 1, officials also are not sure if all the tainted tomatoes are off the market.
"As long as we are continuing to see new cases come on board, it is a concern that there are still contaminated tomatoes out there," said the agency's food safety chief, Dr. David Acheson.
Government officials have said all week they were close to cracking the case, but "maybe we were being too optimistic," Acheson acknowledged.
How much longer? "That's impossible to say."
On the do-not-eat list are raw red plum, red Roma or red round tomatoes, unless they were grown in specific states or countries that the FDA has cleared because they were not harvesting when the outbreak began or were not selling their tomatoes in places where people got sick.
The FDA is directing consumers to its Web site - - for updated lists of the safe regions.
Also safe are grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached. That is not because there is anything biologically safer about those with a vine but because the sick have assured investigators that is not the kind of tomato they ate.
What if you did not go to the store armed with a list, or the store or restaurant manager cannot assure that any plum, Roma or round tomatoes came from safe regions?
"If you don't know, don't take the risk," Acheson said.
Cooking also kills salmonella, but the FDA is not formally advising people to cook suspect tomatoes for fear they will not get them heated thoroughly.
Mexico and parts of central Florida, two chief tomato suppliers, are still on FDA's suspect list. But the agency would not say they were top suspects, and in fact, said certain parts of Mexico that were not harvesting when the outbreak began are working to be cleared.
At least 25 people have been hospitalized during the outbreak, caused by a relatively rare strain of salmonella known as Saintpaul.
"At this point, there isn't a lot of data to suggest this is a more virulent strain," said Dr. Ian Williams of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No deaths have been attributed to the salmonella. But the CDC for the first time Thursday acknowledged that the salmonella may have been a contributing factor in the cancer-caused death of a 67-year-old Texas man.