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Barbershop conversation in Wentzville about Connecticut shootings ends with shots fired

Image
© Wentzville Police
Lester Davis, 57, of Wentzville, was charged after he allegedly shot at a barber shop customer during a conversation about the Newtown school shootings on Dec. 18, 2012.
Missouri - A barbershop patron accused of firing three times at another customer discussing the Connecticut school shooting has been charged with three felonies.

Lester Davis, 57, of the 400 block of Highland Meadows Place, is facing charges of first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon.

According to police, Davis was at the All Cuts Barber Shop, 102 West Pearce Boulevard, about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with five other people.

One of the patrons was discussing last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and commented that the incident "makes me want to murder the suspect," police said.

For unknown reasons, Davis took the comment as a threat and asked, "You want to murder me?" Davis then walked out to his Volkswagen sedan, retrieved a loaded Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol and fired three times in the customer's direction, police said.

Pistol

Elementary school employee put on leave after bringing loaded gun to work for protection


Minneapolis - A staff member who was worried about safety after the tragedy in Connecticut brought her own loaded gun to an elementary school on Wednesday.

It happened at Seward Montessori in south Minneapolis.

Police were called after the staff member told a teacher, who then told the principal.

"It's unnerving to have that type of call come in when your children are there, and you hope they're safe," said Jeanette Wiedemeier-Bower.

Wiemeier-Bower's 10-year-old son, and 13-year-old daughter attend Seward Montesorri. When she got a call from the school saying a loaded gun had been found, she was shocked and scared.

"I broke down," she aid. "I had a little mini-breakdown at my work and then I pulled it together. The message said don't come, everything is fine. So I knew they were okay."

Police say a staff member in her late 50s brought a .357 magnum revolver into the school. It was loaded with five rounds. She put it in a locker in a faculty lounge and told a teacher. That teacher then told school officials, who alerted police.

Investigators say this is extremely rare.

"This is the first instance that I can think of that involves a staff member," said Sgt. William Palmer of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Bulb

Beauty queen accused of causing massive power outage

Sarah J. Richardson
© Las Cruces Police Department /Dona Ana County Detention Center
Sarah J. Richardson
On Sunday Sarah J. Richardson channeled all her beauty pageant training into a radiant mug shot.

Hours before, the reigning Miss Las Cruces, New Mexico, crowned just last month, had been arrested and charged with drunk driving after allegedly smashing her PT Cruiser into a light pole and knocking it over - a domino effect that resulted in a major area power outage.

As ABC News reports, nearly 1,700 customers were plunged into darkness for several hours that not even a 1,000-watt smile could repair.

Nearby hotels were forced to give thousands of dollars in refunds to angry customers and some have yet to repair all the electrical issues caused by the crash.

To make matters worse, hotels were packed with visitors in town for New Mexico State University's commencement ceremony.

But the crowning achievement of the night occurred when a number of cars that passed through the area of the accident got tangled in the mess of wires lying on the road.

Take 2

Videogames under fire, Hollywood lays low after school shooting

video games
The multi-billion-dollar videogame industry came under scrutiny on Wednesday after Hollywood canceled, postponed or played down a slew of movies and TV shows with violent content in the wake of last week's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

In Washington, Senator John Rockefeller called for a national study of the impact of violent videogames on children and a review of the rating system.

Although investigators in Newtown, Connecticut, have given no motive for Friday's shooting rampage, some U.S. media have reported that the 20-year-old gunman played popular videogame Call of Duty - in which players conduct simulated warfare missions - in the basement of his home.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, killed himself at the scene after gunning down 20 young children, six school employees and his mother.

Rockefeller said he had long been concerned about the impact of violent games and videos on children.

"Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children. They have a responsibility to protect our children," Rockefeller said in a statement.

The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the $78 billion U.S. videogame industry, on Wednesday offered its "heartfelt prayers and condolences" to the Newtown families.

But it said in a statement that "the search for meaningful solutions must consider the broad range of actual factors that may have contributed to this tragedy.

"Any such study needs to include the years of extensive research that has shown no connection between entertainment and real-life violence," the association said.

Stormtrooper

'I swore to defend this country from all enemies': California Marine stands watch outside local elementary school

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© modbee.com
Marine Sgt. Craig Pusley, 28, is standing watch outside Hughson Elementary School in Hughson, Calif. The school is around the block from his home.
One day after Nashville Marine takes post outside children's school, a Marine and expecting father in California has done the same.

Another Marine has taken up a post outside his local elementary school.

Marine Sgt. Craig Pusley, 28, of Hughson, told the Modesto Bee he decided to stand outside Hughson Elementary School after reading a Facebook message urging soldiers to guard their local schools after Friday's horrific Sandy Hook school massacre.

"When I enlisted, I swore to defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic," he told the newspaper.

The young father, who has a 3-year-old son and another on the way with his wife, Kristina, is dressed in combat fatigues, but isn't armed.

He said he doesn't need a weapon.

"I don't have a fear in the world that if someone came here, I'd have the strength and the ability to protect (the school)." he said.

Arrow Up

Body armor for kids: sales surge after Sandy Hook massacre


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Body armor companies are having a surge of sales for bulletproof backpacks following the Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., massacre.

Although the nondescript, black, child-size backpacks sold by the Massachusetts body armor company Bullet Blocker look like regular backpacks, a sheet of body armor is sewn inside each bag as "another protective layer."

Elmar Uy, chief operating officer at Bullet Blocker, noticed his sales numbers were up "tenfold" on Friday, the day of the massacre, but said he didn't understand why until he turned on the news.

"When word gets out there is an option, not a complete solution, to protect their kids, parents go and seek it," he said.

Bizarro Earth

End of the world? Violence? Nervous Michigan school district closes early

Doomsday
© The Inquisitr
Rumors about violence after the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, coupled with doomsday predictions associated with the Mayan calendar, have led officials to close more than 30 schools in Michigan two days early for the holidays.

In a posting on the Lapeer school district website, Supt. Matt Wandrie said the false rumors of possible violence, coupled with the end-of-time furor surrounding the completion of the current Mayan calendar cycle, led the district to cancel Thursday and Friday's classes, along with sports events and other extracurricular activities.

"Although we in the county are reluctant to cancel school because the rumors are unsubstantiated, we feel it is the most appropriate decision given the gravity of recent events and our present circumstances," Wandrie wrote.

Telephone

Tom Cruise accused of wiretapping, brought in for questioning

Tom Cruise
© Ángel De Antonio
Tom Cruise
The actor reportedly hired private investigator Anthony Pellicano to tap into a journalist's phone conversation with his lawyer.

Tom Cruise reportedly is embroiled in a $5 million lawsuit with a magazine editor. The Jack Reacher star is accused of wiretapping telephone conversations and has been brought in for questioning on Tuesday, December 18.

According to Radar Online, Cruise, his lawyer Bert Fields and a private investigator named Anthony Pellicano conspired to unlawfully tap Michael Davis Sapir's phone. Pellicano, who is now imprisoned, had already been convicted on several charges for wiretapping numerous people.

The Sapir lawsuit, which has its roots in a different legal action, actually was filed in 2009 but Cruise was only able to be questioned Tuesday. He spent three hours at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York answering questions. "It was all very secretive," a source told Radar. "This battle has been ongoing and getting to the point where Cruise had to sit for a deposition obviously took a long time."

Sapir first dragged Cruise into legal action back in 2001. He claimed he had a video evidence of the actor in a gay activity and was willing to sell it for $500,000. Cruise sued the editor but settled it after Sapir admitted that there was no such video.

This time, Sapir claimed that Cruise heard from the conversations that Sapir's attorney believed they had a good case but worried the actor had too many financial resources for the editor to fight him. With this new claim, Sapir gained a strategic advantage in the 2001 action. However, "Cruise has denied any wrongdoing all along," the source added.

Pistol

Intended result? Wal-Mart runs out of semi-automatic rifles as handgun and magazine prices surge

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© Getty Images
A Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle. The weapon is similar in style to the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that was used during a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Firearm sales have surged recently as speculation of stricter gun laws and a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban following the mass shooting.

With President Obama endorsing sweeping gun restrictions in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, prices for handgun magazines are surging on eBay and semi-automatic rifles are sold out at many Wal-Mart Stores locations.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said Tuesday that it would continue to sell guns, including rifles like the one used at Newtown, where 26 people, most of them children, were killed on Dec. 14.

By contrast, Dick's Sporting Goods suspended sales of similar guns at its more than 500 stores.

Searches of five kinds of semi-automatic rifles on Wal- Mart's website showed them to be out of stock at stores in five states, including Pennsylvania, Kansas and Alabama. Wal-Mart doesn't sell guns online, instead asking customers to input a zip code to see if their local store carries a specific weapon.

Arrow Up

20 signs that the U.S. poverty explosion is hitting children and young people the hardest

Homeless Person
© Franco Folini
The mainstream media continues to insist that the economy is "getting better", but the poverty numbers for children and young people just continue to explode. For example, did you know that the poverty rate for families with a head of household under the age of 30 is a whopping 37 percent? Children and young people sure didn't cause our recent economic downturn, but they sure are getting hit the hardest by it. According to the U.S. Department of Education, for the first time ever more than a million U.S. public school students are homeless. That seems like an impossible number, but it is actually true. How in the world could the "wealthiest nation on earth" get to the point where more than a million children can't count on a warm bed to sleep in at night? Sadly, a huge number of American children can't count on a warm dinner either. About a fourth of them are enrolled in the food stamp program. What do you do if you are a parent in that kind of situation? How do you explain to your kids that you can't afford a nice home like everybody else has or that you can't afford to go to the grocery store and buy them some dinner?

Young people are experiencing very rough times right now as well. If you are under the age of 30, it is really, really difficult to get a job in America today. The competition for the few decent jobs that seem to be available is absolutely crazy. Unemployment among young people is at a level that we have not seen since World War II, and this is causing major problems.

Even if you do have a college degree, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get any type of a job. In fact, more than half of all college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year. There are millions of very talented college graduates that are waiting tables, making sandwiches or stocking shelves down at the local branch of a global retail conglomerate. Meanwhile, they are saddled with record breaking amounts of student loan debt.

This is easily the worst economic environment that we have seen for young people since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The number of good jobs continues to decline. Many young people are faced with the choice of taking a bad job or having no job at all.

If you are under 30 in America today, you better hope that you come from a wealthy family or that you have some really good connections, because otherwise the future looks pretty bleak for you.

The following are 20 signs that the U.S. poverty explosion is hitting children and young people the hardest...