Society's ChildS

Gold Bar

Fort knox of Texas: Texas takes step toward secession with Rick Perry's plan to hoard gold

Rick Perry
© Unknown
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and freshman state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione have a plan to create a "Fort Knox of Texas" so that the state can start hoarding gold.

Giovanni has filed a bill to establish a Texas Bullion Depository to store the $1 billion worth of gold bars that are owned by University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which are currently being housed by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Perry said that lawmakers were in the process of "bringing gold that belongs to the state of Texas back into the state." Beck has been a longtime paid spokesperson for the precious metal seller Goldline, which agreed to refund up to $4.5 million to former customers last year after being sued for marking up gold more than 50 percent.

"If we own it, I will suggest to you that that's not someone else's determination whether we can take possession of it back or not," Perry told Beck.

Former Rep. Ron Paul on Thursday explained to The Texas Tribune that the gold would be safer in the hands of Texans.

"If you think gold is a hedge, or a protection, you always want it as close to the individual and the entity as possible," Paul said. "Texas is better served if it knows exactly where the gold is rather than depending on the security of the Federal Reserve."

For his part, Capriglione said that he had gotten the idea while attending a tea party rally with Perry in Tarrant County earlier this year


Third teen charged in Torrington High School sexual assault investigation

A third student has been charged in the Torrington High School sexual assault investigation, and police say even more charges could be on the way.

The third student is a 17 year old male who cannot be named due to his age, according to Fox affiliate WTIC-TV in Hardford, Connecticut. His charges follow the arrests of Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, two 18-year-old football players who are accused of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old girls in February, in a case that ultimately led to the girls being harassed by fellow students.

Gonzales and Toribio were both arrested in February. Police and school officials announced the arrests, along with the charges for the unnamed third individual, at a media briefing on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Lt. Michael Emanuel cautioned that there may yet be more arrests forthcoming. "It's very complex, but [the case is] under control," he said, according to The Hartford Courant. "I'm not minimizing this."

Eye 1

Maryland cop probed for installing camera in boys' school bathroom

A police officer in Maryland has had his "police powers" suspended after he was accused of installing a camera in the boy's restroom at Glen Burnie High School.

A spokesperson for the Anne Arundel County Police on Thursday confirmed that the 14-year veteran had installed the camera, according to WJZ. Details of what had been recorded and why were being investigated.

Police said that a boy discovered the hand-held camera in the top corner of the restroom and reported it to school officials on Wednesday morning.

"We do not know that the officer's intentions were," Lt. T.J. Smith explained. "That's an important issue that we're trying to get to the bottom of."

An initial investigation determined that the Special Services Bureau officer purchased and installed the camera without getting permission from the department or school officials.


Los Angeles holds earthquake drill to prepare for the 'big one'

© AFP Photo
Emergency teams staged a mock operation to respond to a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude quake in Los Angeles, saying the West Coast megalopolis needs to be ready for an "overdue" Big One.

Some 300 people took part in the office-based drill on Thursday, organized by LA County's Office of Emergency Management, based in a center especially built to withstand a major earthquake, and serve as a hub to coordinate disaster services.

Los Angeles sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire," which circles the Pacific and has produced a number of devastating earthquakes, including Japan's March 2011 quake and tsunami that killed thousands of people.

But a Big One is overdue in California.

"It is not meant to scare people, but they need to prepare for this," said Margaret Vinci, head of the Office of Earthquake Programs.

Bizarro Earth

Drones eyed by paparazzi, journalism school teaching reporters how to fly them

© Jaime CookeJournalism students at the University of Missouri School of Journalism practice flying "J-Bots", or journalism drones, which are being used to gather coverage in news reporting.
Reporters looking to get close to a crime scene, take video footage of a raging wildfire, or chart the changes in an ecosystem may soon turn to drones, the little flying helicopters used mainly by the military.

In fact, the emergence of drone journalism is expected to become such a mainstay of the media industry in the next few years that undergraduate journalism students at the University of Missouri Journalism School, in Columbia, Mo., are now taking courses how to use drones to report stories.

"We have a class here of journalism students who are learning to fly J-bots, for journalism robots, or drones," said William Allen, a professor of journalism who pioneered the course.

"So they learn to fly them, and also do what reporters do: brainstorm ideas, go out and do reporting, do drone based photography and video. We're trying to see if this is going to be useful for journalism," he said.

The university course emerged from a growing interest in the variety of ways civilians can use drones, including farmers who want drones to spray pesticides or monitor crops and livestock on sprawling acres of land; cops who want to use drones to help search for suspects or missing chidlren; and energy companies who want to keep watch over oil or gas pipelines.

Bizarro Earth

Police: Georgia infant shot to death while mom pushed him in stroller; suspects between 10 and 15

Shot dead as he slept: Little Antonio Santiago was in his stroller near his home when the young robbers approached
A young boy opened fire on a woman pushing her baby in a stroller in a Georgia neighborhood, killing the 1-year-old boy and wounding the mother, police said.

The woman, Sherry West, told WAWS-TV that two boys approached her and demanded money Thursday morning. Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said the boys are thought to be between 10 and 15 years old.

West said she insisted she didn't have any money and tried to protect her son, Antonio, before shots rang out. She had been walking near her home in this coastal city about 80 miles south of Savannah.

"I put my arms over my baby and he shoves me, and then he shot my baby right in the head," West said.


New York man freed 23 years after wrongful murder conviction

© Michael Appleton for The New York TimesDavid Ranta after being released from prison on Thursday.
A New York man convicted of killing a Hasidic rabbi more than two decades ago was freed on Thursday after his conviction was vacated as a miscarriage of justice.

David Ranta, 58, spent 23 years in prison until the conviction integrity unit of the Brooklyn district attorney's office concluded after a year-long investigation that the case against him was fatally flawed.

"Sir, you are free to go," acting state Supreme Court Justice Miriam Cyrulnik told Ranta at a Brooklyn courthouse as relatives, including his daughter who was an infant when he was jailed, erupted in tears and shouts of joy.

Prosecutors had joined Ranta's defense attorney, Pierre Sussman, in asking Cyrulnik to vacate Ranta's conviction "in the interest of justice."

"The evidence no longer establishes the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," said Assistant District Attorney John O'Mara, the chief of the conviction integrity unit.


Highway pileup near Edmonton leaves 100 injured

© Courtesy of Derek FildebrandtDerek Fildebrandt snapped this picture of the pileup while he was on a Red Arrow bus to Edmonton.
Most injuries reported to be minor to moderate, 1 serious

Alberta Health Services confirms that 100 people were injured - one seriously - in a multi-vehicle pileup on Highway 2 south of Edmonton, near Leduc, that occurred during a spring snowstorm which caused havoc on area highways.

Earlier in the day it had been reported that 300 people were injured.

Those requiring medical treatment were being transported to hospitals in Edmonton, Red Deer, Leduc, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Devon, Wetaskiwin, Stony Plain, Lamont and Camrose.

AHS says that EMS staff will treat and take the most seriously hurt patients to hospitals by ambulance; the rest will be transported by bus

The number of vehicles involved in the pileup has not been confirmed.

The Leduc crash wasn't the only incident tying up roads and police. Highway 16 eastbound between Range Road 13 and 15 has been closed due to the number of collisions, including one which left a semi-trailer blocking several lanes.

Another collision involving transport trucks is causing traffic tie-ups in both directions on Highway 16 at Highway 60.

Highway 2 was closed near Wetaskiwin after a multi-vehicle crash north of the Highway 13 overpass. RCMP said that northbound traffic was being redirected onto Highway 13.

Black Magic

Dog dies in 'ritualistic execution,' nearly 40 others mysteriously vanish

© John Moore/Getty Images
Twin Falls, Idaho - Idaho authorities are investigating the mysterious disappearances of nearly 40 dogs, including one that died in a suspected ritual killing.

Reuters reports the dogs have gone missing over the past few months in the Magic Valley region.

"The dogs seem to vanish into thin air," Debbie Blackwood, director of the Twin Falls animal shelter, told Reuters. The dogs have reportedly been lured into vans and never seen again.

"They saw them loading them in their vehicle," Blackwood told KPVI-TV. "They let their little dog out, next thing she knows a red van pulls up and she has to race out and retrieve it, an older person in the dark."

One German shepherd was found with its head crushed with a stone and its body covered with a purple blanket in what authorities say was a "ritualistic execution." Other dogs were found with their mouths duct-taped shut and their teeth filed off.

John Goodwin, head of animal cruelty policy for the Humane Society, told Reuters that these dogs were most likely not used for dog-fighting.

The Humane Society has offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the missing dogs.


Maine man gets 20 days jail time in Zumba paid-sex case

© AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, FileIn this Jan. 18, 2013 file photo, Mark Strong Sr., leaves the Cumberland County Court House in Portland, Maine. Strong, was convicted earlier this month of 12 counts of promoting prostitution and one count of conspiracy. Prosecutors are seeking a 364-day jail term while the defense is asking for no more than 14 days in jail. His sentencing is Thursday March 21, 2013.
An insurance agent who helped run a prostitution operation out of his mistress's Zumba studio and watched secretly videotaped sex acts was ordered Thursday to spend 20 days in jail in a scandal that rocked a community better known for its beaches and sea captains' homes than for crime.

Before being sentenced, Mark Strong Sr. apologized for the pain he'd caused his family, and his wife broke down in sobs while making a plea to the judge for leniency.

"I do apologize for each of my selfish actions and the harm that I have caused many. Most importantly I want to apologize to my wife, my two sons and my entire family because I've caused so much hurt in so many ways, emotionally, physically and financially," Strong said, his voice choking.

Prosecutors say Strong was involved in every facet of the Kennebunk operation with fitness instructor Alexis Wright, monitoring her calendar, reviewing her ledger, collecting dossiers on clients and watching the sexual encounters streamed to his office computer 100 miles away in Thomaston.

Strong even suggested ways to boost profits by marketing to higher-paying fetish clients and engaging in paid sex acts with multiple men at the same time, prosecutors said.