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Security exercise drill set for various ferry terminals

Ferry Terminal Exercise
Raleigh, NC - NCDOT Ferry Division is taking part in security exercise drills on Wednesday, involving its ferry terminals at Cherry Branch, Minnesott Beach, Pamlico River and Cedar Island. All vessels assigned to those routes will also be involved.

NCDOT would like to point out that the exercise is not taking place in response to any threat to the ferry vessels, terminals or any other transportation venue or facility, but rather as a learning exercise to assist in making North Carolina ferries safe for the traveling public.

Similar drills have been taking place within the Ferry Division over the last few years.

The Ferry Division and its staff will be partnering with the Transportation Security Administration's Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team, Craven and Carteret County Sheriff departments and emergency services, and the United States Coast Guard Sector North Carolina.

This is an exercise in which local and federal agencies work together to supplement existing security resources, officials say.


City and Cleveland Indians partner to conduct a full-scale emergency exercise

Baseball Field
© Scripps Media
Cleveland - Today the Indians are partnering with the City of Cleveland for a full-scale emergency exercise.

The practice drill has been in the planning stages for the past six months and is set to begin around 10:30 a.m. Downtown patrons will see members of the Cleveland Police Department, Fire and EMS, plus Cuyahoga County's office of emergency management, the Medical Examiner's and Sheriff's Department around Progressive Field.

The FBI, Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center, Urban Search and Rescue, SWAT and other agencies are expected to participate as well, however, there will be no disruption of public safety services.

The exercise has been in the planning stages for the past six months. Local officials say recent events in Boston and West, Texas, have highlighted the importance of these types of training sessions. Follow live tweets from NewsChannel 5 Managing Editor James Pollack inside the emergency exercise.


Dept. of Defense holding urban warfare exercise in Tinley Park, Illinois

Tinley Park
© Tribune illustration from Googlemaps
Map of the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center.
The Department of Defense is holding an urban warfare training exercise at the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center site tonight and tomorrow, village officials have announced.

The government training exercises "will include building breaching and helicopter operations," according to Mayor Ed Zabrocki.

"Building breaching" involves the use of small explosives that are used to take out doors, explained Pat Carr, the Emergency Management Agency's director in Tinley Park.

"The Mental Health Center grounds provide a very realistic training environment for these different types of exercises," Carr said.

Village officials are notifying the public about the training exercises to avoid frightening local citizens after the Boston Marathon bombing last week.

"The concern we have is that, when this occurs...on the hands of what happened in Boston, it's gonna make people's nerve-endings a little more sensitive," Zabrocki said.

The Tinley Park Mental Health Center will be closed to the public during the event. Carr said there shouldn't be too much noise from the helicopters or the explosives.

In the past two years, the Mental Health Center has been used during training exercises by the Illinois State Police, the Cook County Sheriff's Office, Chicago Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in addition to Tinley Park's public safety agencies.

"What's unique about this one is that it goes on multiple days and it's probably the largest of what we've had so far," Zabrocki said.

Cow Skull

America The Fallen: 24 Signs that once proud U.S. cities are turning into poverty-stricken hellholes

© Lyzadanger
What is happening to you America? Once upon a time, the United States was a place where free enterprise thrived and the greatest cities that the world had ever seen sprouted up from coast to coast. Good jobs were plentiful and a manufacturing boom helped fuel the rise of the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the planet. Cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore were all teeming with economic activity and the rest of the globe looked on our economic miracle with a mixture of wonder and envy. But now look at us. Our once proud cities are being transformed into poverty-stricken hellholes.

Did you know that the city of Detroit once actually had the highest per-capita income in the United States? Looking at Detroit today, it is hard to imagine that it was once one of the most prosperous cities in the world. In fact, as you will read about later in this article, tourists now travel to Detroit from all over the globe just to see the ruins of Detroit. Sadly, the exact same thing that is happening to Detroit is happening to cities all over America. Detroit is just ahead of the curve.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that is eating away at us like cancer, and things are going to get a lot worse than this. So if you still live in a prosperous area of the country, don't laugh at what is happening to others. What is happening to them will be coming to your area soon enough.

The following are 24 signs that our once proud cities are turning into poverty-stricken hellholes...


UK woman prescribed 'too high a dose' of anti-depressant Citalopram, admits killing friend in brutal attack

Marie McCracken
© Unknown
Marie McCracken was subjected to a prolonged and brutal attack by Torlay
A woman who suffers from depression has admitted killing her friend after she called at her house for tea and a chat.

Marlene Torlay, 61, attacked Mary McCracken, 59, with scalding water, a hammer and a knife sharpener, at her home in East Kilbride, in October 2012.

The Crown accepted her guilty plea to a reduced charge of culpable homicide due to diminished responsibility.

Torlay was ordered to be detained under an interim compulsion order at Royal Edinburgh Hospital's Orchard Clinic.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that she had been prescribed too high a dose of an anti-depressant which could cause acute withdrawal symptoms, and may have missed a dose of the drug.

The court heard that Torlay was friends with Mrs McCracken, who was known as Marie and was a senior service assistant for the WRVS at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride.

Alarm Clock

U.S. airlines seek permission to keep passengers waiting on the tarmac for more than 3 hours


Now that Federal Aviation Administration furloughs have gone into effect, the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering lifting a rule that says airplanes can't remain on the tarmac for more than three hours for domestic flights before allowing passengers to deplane.

The tarmac delay rule was put into place in 2009 after a series of incidents in which passengers were stranded on airplanes for lengthy periods of time. The Department of Transportation mentions one case of a six-hour ground delay in Rochester, Minn.

Two airline industry associations filed a motion with the Department of Transportation requesting a moratorium on the rule for at least 90 days or until the FAA furloughs end. They cite the " substantial delay and disruption to air travel that will occur at U.S. airports from the FAA decision to implement daily ground delays and reduce air traffic control personnel" as part of the federal spending cuts known as the sequester.

The motion notes that about 6,700 flights will be delayed daily at 13 of the country's busiest airports now that the furloughs have started. And that doesn't take into consideration bad weather, staffing problems or " any other issues that could affect daily operations."


Media magic: not one angry person in Boston

© unknown
Shocked? Horrified? Grief-stricken? Determined? Yes, Boston residents who voiced those feelings passed through the media filters and were interviewed on camera.

But angry? Deeply angry at what happened at the Marathon and ready to give vent to it? The screeners took a pass.

I wrote about this subject after the Sandy Hook murders, and it applies to the Aurora massacre as well.

The sober sepulchral tones of media anchors, and their extreme deference to FBI, police, and politicians, form a hypnotic induction for viewers...and these leaders don't want to break the spell, which is exactly what anger does.

Therefore, it's a no-go.

Anger is a spark that fires up and spreads. So dampen it. Ignore it. Don't show it on television news. Instead, say this: "Step back, everybody, huddle in your homes, let the pros do their job, they'll catch the killers, look at the photos they want you to look at, remain calm, depend on designated officials."

This is the new American dream.


85% of U.S. teens now being affected by cyberbullying

Sheila Pott
© Michael Short / Special to the Chronicle
Audrie's mother Sheila Pott stands next to a photo of her daughter during a press conference at the Radisson Hotel in San Jose, CA Monday April 15th, 2013.
Cyberbullying among teens has shot up in frequency in recent years, from affecting just 6 percent of kids in 2000 to 85 percent today, polls show.

Among those in the 85 percent is Audrie Pott, a 15-year-old girl from Saratoga who hanged herself in September after a cell phone picture of her, unconscious after an alleged sexual assault, was circulated around her high school via texts and in person. Three 16-year-old boys were arrested last week in connection with her death.

Cell phones, in teens' hands, make the kids more likely to bully others electronically, experts say. Helping drive this phenomenon is a sense of callousness from communicating electronically and the growth of a documentation mentality, detailed here.

Heart - Black

ACLU: Detroit police dumping homeless outside city

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan says Detroit police are removing homeless people from the popular Greektown entertainment district downtown and dropping them off miles away - sometimes outside the city.

Following a year-long investigation, the ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department and sent a letter to Detroit police demanding an end to what they call a "disturbing practice."

"DPD's practice of essentially kidnapping homeless people and abandoning them miles away from the neighborhoods they know - with no means for a safe return - is inhumane, callous and illegal," said Sarah Mehta, ACLU of Michigan staff attorney. "The city's desire to hide painful reminders of our economic struggles cannot justify discriminating against the poor, banishing them from their city, and endangering their lives. A person who has lost his home has not lost his right to be treated with dignity."

The organization says it started receiving complaints last year and that the homeless are told they are not welcome in Greektown, which is popular with visitors to Detroit. The people are then forced in to vans, driven away and then deserted.

Bizarro Earth

Gosnell nurse: I saw at least ten babies breathing before they were killed

© AP
The final prosecution witness against Kermit Gosnell, the abortion doctor on trial for the capital murder of seven babies and one adult patient, was Kareema Cross, a former employee of Gosnell's. Thursday Cross testified that she saw ten babies breathe before Gosnell killed them.

The AP reports that Cross "saw the babies' chests move but was told by Gosnell they were not breathing." She also claims to have seen three of the babies move their limbs and another let out a "soft whine," before they were aborted alive.