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Tue, 28 Nov 2023
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Cloud Lightning

Storm cellar saves Alabama couple, as neighbors perish

© Reuters/Tami Chappell
Brenda Roberts reacts after her wedding ring was found in the rubble of her home destroyed by a tornado in Phil Campbell, Alabama, April 30, 2011.

Travis Roberts invited his neighbors into the storm cellar he built for $600, but they figured they would ride out the twister bearing down on them.

Five were killed and two critically injured when it struck, splintering their homes, but Travis and his wife Brenda survived below ground in their storm-rocked concrete shelter.

"We did not respect the warning enough," said Roberts of the tiny Alabama town of 1,100 people, which was largely flattened in the deadly tornado outbreak that killed at least 350 people across seven states.

Heart - Black

US: Pennsylvania Girl, 10, Charged with Murder in Death of Baby

A 10-year-old central Pennsylvania girl who allegedly caused a baby's death by violently shaking him and throwing him into a crib was charged with third-degree murder.

The charges filed against the fifth-grader on Friday in Franklin County came after a coroner's inquest into the death of 11-month-old Heath Ryder. The girl was released into the custody of her parents and ordered not to have unsupervised contact with children under 5.

"This is not a kid that has a mental health disorder. She does not have a personality disorder," the girl's attorney, Jason Kutulakis, told The Public Opinion of Chambersburg. "She is not a bad person. She has no history of behavioral problems or school problems."

Also charged Friday was 56-year-old Dottie Bowers, who was babysitting both children at her home near Shippensburg, Pa., when the shaking allegedly occurred on July 29.

Bowers was charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly failing to seek medical care for the infant. Ryder died of traumatic brain injury at a hospital on Aug. 2.


France: Investigators find black box from Air France crash

© The Associated Press / BEA, Johann Peschel
This photo provided Sunday May 1, 2011 by France's air accident investigation agency, the BEA, shows the flight data recorder from the 2009 Air France flight that went down in the mid-Atlantic. In a statement, the BEA said the black box was 'localized and identified' on Sunday morning. The statement included photos of the recorder, a red cylinder partially buried in sand on the sea floor. Investigators hope that the black box will help determine what caused the June 1, 2009 crash of Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the French capital, Paris. All 228 people on board were killed when the aircraft plunged into a remote area of the Atlantic during a thunderstorm.
Investigators have located and recovered the missing memory unit of the flight data recorder of a 2009 Air France flight - a remarkable deep-sea discovery they hope will explain why the aircraft went down in a remote area of the mid-Atlantic, killing all 228 people on board.

France's air accident investigation agency BEA said a search by a submarine probing 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) below the ocean's surface located and recovered the unit Sunday morning. The unit is now aboard the Ile de Sein, a ship that's helping conduct the probe, the statement said.

The statement also included photos of the recorder - a red cylinder partially buried in sand on the sea floor. Judging from the photos, the unit appeared to be in good condition.

Still, BEA officials have warned that the recordings may yet prove unusable, considering the pressure they were subjected to for nearly two years.

"We can't say in advance that we're going to be able to read it until it's been opened," a BEA spokeswoman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. She did not give her name in accordance with her agency's policy.

Last month, the agency said the undersea search had identified the "chassis" that had held the recorder, but the memory unit was still missing. Detached from the chassis, the memory unit was found nearby, the spokeswoman said.

Bizarro Earth

US, Alabama: In a small town, tornado took all there was

Reporting from Hackleburg, Alabama - The tornado that destroyed Hackleburg attacked the little town's first line of defense.

alabama, tornado
© Dusty Compton / Tuscaloosa News
It leveled the town's tiny police station and crushed the police cruiser of Officer Jeremy Marbutt, who emerged unscathed after taking cover in the old town jail, built of steel and concrete.

It destroyed the fire station and blew away the roof of the town hall, where 69-year-old Mayor Douglas Gunnin survived to continue serving the town's 1,500 constituents.

Heart - Black

US, Memphis: Two boys removed from home after admitting to raping toddler

© Dream Catchers for Abused Children
A 2-year old girl was raped by boys 7 and 9 and have been removed form their homes

They are freshed-faced little boys who should be busy playing their video games and little league. To look at them you would never begin to imagine what they are capable of. Two young boys, age seven and nine, admitted that they raped a two-year old little girl.

After a trial last month in which the boys both pled guilty to the sexual assault, the controversy begin of what to do with the boys. Psychologist Dr. Charlotte Freeman has worked with children for more than 15 years and said it's not uncommon for young children to be curious about their body or the body of others. "As children grow they may encounter and engage in sexual play but as they get older, when we look at children who have an age gap of more than five years then we start to consider other issues in terms of what they have been exposed to. Children will have sexual play but as they grow older and the dynamics is different in terms of their age we start to consider another avenue," said Freeman.

But when it comes to the act of rape where penetration is involved, that is cause for serious alarm. That is not normal behavior for children of this age. "That's when you should really be concerned when you see children who are inserting objects into other kids, when you see when there is constant touching of other kids. That's when you should really be concerned," said Freeman.

Heart - Black

US, Colorado: Mother accused of trying to drown toddler in toilet

samantha salaz

Samantha Salaz, age 19, accused of trying to drown her toddler in toilet. Photo via Colorado Springs Police Department.

Two women have been taken into custody and held at the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, Colorado, accused of trying to drown a 20 month old toddler girl. One of the women is reportedly the toddler's mother, Samantha Salaz, 19 and the other is a caregiver, Mary Horsley, 50. It is not yet known Horsley's relationship to the victim or her mother. One of the women apparently called police to report that the toddler may have drowned in the toilet. When police arrived, they found the unconscious tot who was brought to a local hospital and admitted into the pediatric ICU.

According to police, the toddler's body showed numerous signs of abuse as reported by the Denver Post. It was later determined that the baby had been severely abused and the near drowning incident was likely a botched attempt at murder. Police arrested the two women on felony child abuse charges and attempted murder. Both women are held on $500,000 bonds and have a preliminary court date today at 1:30pm in Colorado Springs.

Heart - Black

US: Police find grisly discovery, evidence of child abuse at home in Gloucester, Virginia


The Gores have been charged in felony child abuse and now murder over the body of a child found in their yard, photo via

Police were responding to a home in Gloucester, VA on a burglary call, instead what they found caused Gloucester Sheriff's Maj. Darrell Warren to remark; I've done this for 20 years, and I've never seen anything like this in my life."

What authorities found when entering the home was a little girl, perhaps 5 or 6 trapped in a crib, as though it were a jail cell. There was a heavy piece of wood on the top of the crib in an apparent attempt to prevent her from escaping. The child was covered in feces.

The child was in guarded condition at a Norfolk hospital Friday. A month-old boy was found unharmed. Both children were turned over to the county Department of Social Services.


US: You Come for Our Unions We Come for Your Corporate Mega Churches

© Irregular Times
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka gave a rousing speech this week about the need for a mobile, global labor movement to counter-act the attacks on workers around the globe. He pointed out that in a declining economy, politics become vicious and the viscous attack. And most importantly, he noted that the CEO backed Republicans attacked unions and collective bargaining because the unions are weak right now. The Republicans thought it would be an easy kill.

They were wrong.

But instead of just fighting to hang on, we need to fight for the rights of all workers, we need to fight to grow union labor and grow workers rights if we are to save the middle class. We need to grow an army of people dedicated to workers rights who can and will protest peacefully and memorably as they did in Madison at the drop of a hat. We need to take the Madison spirit, the Egyptian spirit, and the Tunisian spirit - and plant it, feed it, nurture it.


US: Two Los Angeles Police Officers Make Porn While on Duty

City officials failed to discipline two traffic officers who appeared in a pornographic film while on the job, NBC4 LA has found.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has opened an investigation into the behavior of two uniformed, on-duty officers who appear in the sexually explicit movie. The investigation was prompted by the NBC4 LA exposé.

"It's absolutely disgusting," said Amir Sedadi, general manager of LADOT, after viewing a copy of the movie shown to him by NBC4 LA. "Immediately, we will conduct a full investigation. This is not acceptable to me."

The video, which is available on a popular adult subscription website, tracks the interactions of a porn actress as she approaches men in a range of work environments.


US: Illegal semi-automatic pistol that 8-year-old boy tried to sell in school used by dad for protection

The illegal Taurus 9MM semi-automatic pistol that an eight year-old swiped from his father to sell at school.
The Queens third-grader who sold his father's loaded handgun to a classmate for $3.50 plucked it off the top of a shelf where his dad hid it for protection, officials said yesterday.

Three live rounds were in the illegal 9-mm. pistol when the 8-year-old boy brought it into Public School 107 in Flushing and sold it Thursday, cops say.

The gun's serial number had been scratched off, police said.

Ignacio Galvan, 54, was arraigned last night in Queens Criminal Court on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. He was being held in lieu of $3,000 bail.

The boy faces weapons possession charges in Queens Family Court.

"I can't believe my son took it to school," Galvan told cops, according to court papers. "Thank God no one was hurt. It's all my fault."