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Black Cat

Pageant Mom Pathology - Are Toddlers and Tiaras mothers DOPING their daughters?

Viewers of Toddlers and Tiaras were left in shock yesterday after a pageant mother described the means they use to get their children ready for the stage.

Six-year-old Alana Holler, and her mother June, from McIntyre, Georgia, are the subjects of this week's show.

Mrs Holler, a self-proclaimed 'Coupon Queen' told producers that she has tried various products to excite her daughter, including feeding her with Pixie Stix - tubes of powdered sugar referred to as 'pageant crack' - but an unidentified 'special juice' is her new secret weapon.


Comment: Sugar is a highly addictive and dangerous substance. Parents who feed kids large amounts need to know they are priming their children for potential obesity, diabetes and a host of other diseases. See:

Sugar Addiction is Real
The Links Between Sugar and Mental Health
Is America Too Sweet On Sugar?
A Spoonful of Sugar... Is Toxic?


Info

US: Soldier Charged with Having Explosives at Airport is Released

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© unknown
Sgt. Trey Scott Atwater
Sgt. Trey Scott Atwater, who faces a federal charge of trying to bring explosives onto an airplane, was released Friday on bond after his first court appearance in Midland, Texas.

Federal Magistrate Judge David Counts released Atwater on a $50,000 unsecured bond, court documents show. He was released into the custody of his supervisor at Fort Bragg, N.C., where the demolitions expert is stationed. Two members of the U.S. Army were in Midland to escort Atwater back to Fort Bragg, according to the office of U.S. Atty. Robert Pitman, who agreed to the conditions of the soldier's release.

Atwater, who completed three tours in Afghanistan, was also ordered to possess no firearms or explosives, consume no alcohol and to submit to a mental health examination, court documents show. His travel is restricted to North Carolina and Texas.

Atwater is charged with trying to bring C-4 onto a airplane flying from Midland to Dallas, according to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for West Texas. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.

Eye 1

FBI's Expanded Definition of Rape Will Recognize Men as Victims

Joe Biden
© unknown
Joe Biden
The Obama administration expanded the FBI's more than eight-decade-old definition of rape Friday to count men as victims for the first time and to drop the requirement that victims must have physically resisted their attackers.

The new definition will increase the number of people counted as rape victims in FBI statistics, but will neither change federal or state laws nor alter charges or prosecutions.

The expansion was long awaited because policymakers and lawmakers use crime statistics to allocate resources for prevention and victim assistance.

The issue got top-level White House attention starting last July, when Vice President Joe Biden raised it at a cabinet meeting.

Biden, author of the Violence Against Women Act when he was in the Senate, said the new definition is a victory for women and men "whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years." Calling rape a "devastating crime," the vice president said, "We can't solve it unless we know the full extent of it."

Info

US: California Lawmaker Gets Probation in Shoplift Case

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© The Associated Press
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, right, talks with her seatmate, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.
A judge sentenced a California lawmaker to three years of probation after she pleaded no contest to stealing leather pants and other merchandise, thefts that her attorney blamed on a benign brain tumor.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi was arrested on Oct. 23 after surveillance cameras at a Neiman Marcus store at Union Square showed her walking out the doors with unpaid merchandise in her shopping bag. She was accused of stealing nearly $2,500 worth of clothing.

She entered the plea in San Francisco Superior Court Friday after the judge reduced a theft charge against her from a felony to a misdemeanor at a prosecutor's request.

In addition to probation, Judge Gerardo Sandoval ordered her to pay $180 in fines and court costs, and told her to stay at least 50 feet away from the Neiman Marcus store.

Shortly after her arrest, a spokesman for Hayashi had explained that she was distracted by a cellphone call and forgot to pay for the merchandise.

Santa Hat

US, New York: Man Broke Into Elderly Brooklyn Woman's Home, Stayed For The Holidays

While Joyce King Was Away, Intruder Took Up Residence, Brought In His XBox


An elderly woman from Brooklyn who has lived alone for years suddenly found herself with a roommate. A stranger slipped into her apartment while she was away for the holidays, and made himself right at home.

The freeloader not only broke into 82-year-old Joyce King's East Flatbush apartment, he moved in, eating in one of her chairs, watching TV, setting up an XBox, all while King was visiting family between Christmas and New Year's.

Whoever it was, however, was long gone by the time King returned home from her 10-day visit, leaving her home intact.

Heart - Black

3-Hot air balloon crash kills 11 in New Zealand

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© unknown
  • Balloon catches fire before plunging to ground
  • No survivors in worst NZ aviation disaster in 33 years
  • Investigation under way, police notifying next of kin (Adds details and quotes, changes dateline)
A hot air balloon burst into flames and crashed in New Zealand on Saturday, killing all 11 people on board in the country's worst air accident in more than three decades.

Police said the balloon appeared to have clipped powerlines and caught fire before crashing into farmland near Carterton, about 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Wellington on New Zealand's North Island.

"Sadly the pilot and 10 passengers on board have not survived," Wellington District Commander Superintendent Mike Rusbatch said.

The accident occurred just before 7.30 am (1830 GMT) in calm, clear weather in a region well known for hot air ballooning.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There were flames licking up the side of the basket, right up the guy-ropes," David McKinlay told state-run Television New Zealand.

Passport

US, Illinois: New Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner

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© CBS News
A new state law requires those who buy drain cleaners and other caustic substances to provide photo identification and sign a log.

It's getting a rough reception from customers and merchants alike although perhaps none more than a cashier at Schroeder's True Value Hardware in Lombard.

"They're not very happy about it at all," said Don Schroeder, one of the store's owners. "One of the customers actually threatened the (cashier) and threatened to throw the acid on her."

Although the customer did not make good on the threat, and no one called police, other employees of Schroeder's said they would call police immediately if any similar threat is made.

Bizarro Earth

US, California: Jealously eyed for possible role in murder-suicide

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© The Associated Press/Reis Family Photo
This 2011 photo provided by the Reis family shows Karen Reis, left, and her brother David Reis at his winging ceremony for the Navy. The Reis siblings were among the four people found dead in a New Year's Day shooting at a condominium in a toney neighborhood on San Diego Bay, the victims' father said Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. David Reis, 25, was an aviator in training at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar since September, and his sister was a girls volleyball coach and worked at a grocery store.
San Diego - Investigators trying to determine the motive behind a New Year's Day murder-suicide involving two Navy pilots and two other people were looking Thursday at whether jealousy might have played a role.

Authorities were looking at all aspects of what could have led up to the gunfire at a Coronado condominium, including whether there was a relationship or romantic feelings between the Navy pilot who committed suicide and the sister of the other pilot who died, sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said.

John Robert Reeves shot himself in the head, and the three other people with him, including the sister, were murdered. They included Navy pilot David Reis, Karen Reis and Matthew Saturley.

"We are looking into all aspects, including the possibility there was some type of relationship between Karen Reis and John Reeves but that has not been confirmed yet," Fraser said. "That is one reason why we are still soliciting information from the public who may know about this."

Authorities also were awaiting toxicology results to see if drugs or alcohol might have played a role.

Fraser, however, cautioned that investigators might never determine the motive because there were no eyewitnesses to the 2 a.m. shooting at the condo where David Reis and Reeves lived with another Navy pilot who was out of town at the time.

Reeves and David Reis went out to a nightclub on New Year's Eve with another unnamed friend. At the club, they met Saturley then returned to Coronado.

Reeves went into the condo first followed by Karen Reis and Saturley, Fraser said. David Reis stayed outside to chat with the unnamed friend before the gunfire erupted. Reis rushed inside as the friend called 911.

Sherlock

US: Newbury Man Among 4 Killed in California

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© Google Plus
Matthew Saturley
Family suffers two losses in six months

A man from Newbury was among four people killed in a murder-suicide on New Year's Day in California, family members confirmed yesterday.

Matthew Saturley, 31, died of multiple gunshot wounds early Sunday morning at a home in Coronado, Calif., according to the San Diego County, Calif., Sheriff's Department.

Saturley grew up in Newbury but had lived in Chula Vista, Calif., for the past several years with his wife, 7-year-old stepson and 5-year-old daughter, said a cousin, Ellen Saturley of Concord. The family also lived in Massachusetts and New York while Matthew Saturley was growing up, but she said the family always spent summers and vacations at their Newbury home on Lake Sunapee.

"Sunapee was, I think they all considered it their home base," Ellen Saturley said.

Matthew Saturley's father, Robert, died in an accident in June. He was cycling in Newbury when he was hit by a car and died at the scene. He was 64. Another cyclist was seriously injured in the accident.

People

US: 'Wild Old Women' Close San Francisco Bank Of America Branch

A group calling themselves ‘Wild Old Women’
© CBS
A group calling themselves ‘Wild Old Women’ protest outside the Bank of America Bernal Heights branch in San Francisco, January 5, 2012.
It was a slow-moving Occupy Wall Street protest, but it was an effective one. A dozen senior citizens calling themselves "the wild old women" succeeded in closing a Bank of America branch in Bernal Heights Thursday.

The women, aged 69 to 82, who live at the senior home up Mission street from the Bernal Heights Bank of America branch, decided to hold their own protest by doing what they called a "run on the bank."

Tita Caldwell, 80, who led the charge of women with walkers and wheelchairs, said that they're demanding the bank lower fees, pay higher taxes, and stop foreclosing on, and evicting, homeowners.

"We're upset about what the banks are doing, particularly in our neighborhood and neighboring areas, in evicting people and foreclosing on their homes," said Caldwell. "We're upset because the banks are raising their rates because it really affects seniors who are on a fixed income."

As they arrived, Bank of America closed and locked its doors, to the surprise and delight of the elderly protestors, who said that they had no intention of storming the bank.

The women waved signs, but didn't march or chant, with one woman on supplemental oxygen adding that the group was too old for that.