Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Murders Just Another Tragedy That Could Have Been Prevented?

While the tragedy has been labeled the "Hurricane Murders," it would probably be more appropriate to categorize the story as another case of domestic violence that perhaps could have been prevented. LINK. At the center of controversy was Leonard John Egland, a 37 year-old soldier from Fort Lee, Va., Egland was found dead from self inflicted gun shot wounds Sunday afternoon in a suburb of Philadelphia. Egland was supected of killing his ex-wife (Carrie Egland), her boyfriend, her boyfriend's son and his ex-mother-in-law (66-year-old Barbara Reuhl.) Egland had recently returned from the latest of three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Egland had no known criminal record but he apparently had enough bitter feelings concerning his ex-wife that he placed her on the same level as the Taliban in his eyes.

On Saturday night, Egland went to St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown and tried to leave his young daughter (Lauryn) with a note. After a male nurse or orderly confronted him, he flashed a pistol and the the police were called. Egland left his 6 year-old daughter at the hospital and departed in a black pickup. Just before midnight, police stopped the truck in Doylestown Township. Egland allegedly fired shots that hit a Doylestown officer in the arm and shattered a windshield that apparently cut a Dublin officer. Egland was able to temporarily evade police while everyone was preparing for Hurricane Irene. On Sunday at around 4:00 a.m., Egland's pickup was spotted at a restaurant in a Warwick Township shopping center. Shots were fired but no one was injured. Later that day, police were tracking Egland down when he apparently turned the gun on himself. A rifle and pistol were found with the body.

Compare Egland with Albert Luis Alvarez. Alvarez is also 37 years-old and has a daughter. Alvarez, a Chicago man, has been arrested 99 times. He was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison after allegedly going door-to-door with his 3-year-old daughter in suburban Riverside "looking for new victims to con." Alvarez's gig was to push a stroller around begging for money. He told strangers that he was disabled and needed money to support his young daughter. He apparently dropped bags of drugs on the ground when police confronted him. Chicago Tribune reports. Fox Chicago reports.

Police realized he had 98 prior arrests and 23 convictions, CBS. His convictions include burglary, robbery, larceny, assault, drugs and smuggling. Records are consistent with conflicting dates of birth, names and Social Security numbers all believed to be part of his different aliases. Alvarez pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for destroying drugs. Like Egland, charges of child endangerment were possible. Unlike Egland who was a soldier, Alvarez did not fire a gun at police nor did he take his own life. Perhaps in the end, Alvarez has started choosing a better path. Only time will tell.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Is the Difference Between NCAA Sports and the Stock Market?

Which has crashed more: NCAA College Sports' reputation or the stock market. Hard call? Let's start with the NCAA. The Miami Hurricanes allegedly had dozens of past and former players from 2002 to 2010 receive illegal gifts from Nevin Shapiro, a convicted Ponzi schemer and Miami booster. Yahoo Sports broke the story about Shapiro, who pleaded guilty to robbing investors of around $83 million. Yahoo Sports In addition, several Miami coaches and administrators may have tried to cover up the violations. Shapiro allegedly spent "millions" on Miami players, ranging from sex parties to jewelry. The Miami situation is so bad, NCAA president Mark Emmert said: "If the assertions are true, the conduct at the University of Miami is an illustration of the need for serious and fundamental change in many critical aspects of college sports." Miami is not alone. Auburn, LSU, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, Southern Cal. and Tennessee are also making headlines for the wrong reasons.

Automobiles, houses and even prostitutes, sounds almost like the huge financial institutes that were thought to be too large to fail. Furthermore, like the stock market, there is no reason to believe things will improve any time soon. However, here is were things differ. While the Dow Jones is down (The Dow Jones industrial average closed 424.7 points lower to 10,985.50 on Thursday), NCAA bowl revenue is up 22%! According to the SportsBusiness Journal, Bowl payout to teams increased by 22 percent over the previous year. In sum, both the economy and college sports are making headlines for the wrong reasons; however it appears that one of these entities has figured out a way to make a profit.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sara Bareilles Brings The House Down At Indiana State Fair? ~by Blond Bombshell

Normally in the business, it is customary to tell a performer to "break a leg" or "bring the house down." No one ever means it literally, so when it happened after Sara's performance, it all seemed so ominous. Saturday night, Sara Bareilles had just completed her opening for Sugarland and had received a nice ovation. Sugarland had yet to take the stage and the crowd was anxious for the feature entertainment to begin. The skies were starting to get dark. Now I have myself been a fan of different things in my life. And I suspect that I am not alone in not being a fan of weatherman when their forecast threatens to spoil the fun. However in hindsight, I suspect Indiana State fair goers wish they had followed the weatherman's advice a little more closely on Saturday evening.

Despite shock and surprise, the fact remains that forecasters warned of heavy rain and strong winds nearly two hours before the storm that collapsed of the stage Saturday night. Furthermore, officials had been on stage four minutes before the gust of wind to warn the crowd to seek shelter. The National Weather Service estimated winds at only 60 to 70 mph. While admittedly this is considered "high winds," concert officials still seem surprised that the metal scaffolding twisted and then fell into the "Sugarpit."

This tragedy killed five and hurt many more of Sugarland's best fans. Engineers took photos and studied the wreckage on Sunday for the cause of the failure. While engineers were busy calculating the force necessary to cause the fatigued metal to buckle, Gov. Mitch Daniels was making speeches as if he were an engineer assessing damage control: "It's not clear to me at this stage how anyone could have foreseen a sudden, highly localized gust of wind in one place." Video captures the steel scaffolding giving way, sending stage lights and metal onto fans closest to the stage.

Sara Bareilles and Sugarland cancelled their scheduled performance Sunday night at the Iowa State Fair. Jennifer Nettles, of Sugarland, posted: "there are no words to process a moment of this magnitude and gravity."

Undoubtedly, additional investigation utilizing engineers and lawyers will result in finding the words that Jennifer Nettles seems to lack and explanations that the Governor seems to ignore.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Murder-Suicide in Maryland? Fugitive Trio Hiding In Colorodo?

Anne Arundel County Police say that 33-year-old Kelly Brian Thompson killed Nina Thompson, 34, and her 15-year-old children, Taishawn Pugh and Treshawn Pugh at their home in what appears to be a murder-suicide. Shortly after arriving at the scene, officers heard a single shot at the wood street residence which apparently was Kelly Thompson ending his own life.

The tragedy was apparently foreshadowed by a despondent text message from the 33 year old truck driver to his mother. After the shootings, Brooklyn Park neighbors could not believe that Kelly would ever harm his family. While Kelly Thompson was not the biological father of the twins, he treated them as if they were his own. Kelly's wife Nina, was a nurse and devoted mother.

Kelly Thompson had recently mentioned that he had landed a new job with a trucking firm. Things may have been tough, but not this tough. Reasons for Kelly going off the deep end appear to be mere speculation. The real reason for the tragedy may never be known. But one thing is clear, this Brooklyn Park neighborhood may never be the same.

8-10-11: While the stock market is wreaking havoc on 401k plans, three siblings seem to be scaring the public. Two brothers and a sister are accused of crimes in Florida and Georgia. According to the FBI, the trio made a purchase at an outdoors store and could be headed to a rural area in Colorado.The trio are considered "armed and dangerous."21-year-old Ryan Edward Dougherty, 26-year-old Dylan Dougherty Stanley and 29-year-old Lee Grace Dougherty are perhaps the most notorious sibling fugitives since Jesse James and his clan.

The three allegedly fired 20 shots at a Florida officer after a robbery of a Georgia bank. (The officer had attempted to pull them over after a high speed chase.) A possible sighting near Interstate 25 north of downtown Colorado Springs may cause the net of scrutiny to tighten quickly. They were allegedly using a small white Subaru Impreza with the stolen Texas license plate LCS 909. They were previously believed to be driving a 2006 white Impreza. The nationwide manhunt for the siblings began Aug. 2.

The trio is suspected of wearing masks and robbing a bank in Valdosta, Ga., about 210 miles north. One robber was apparently armed with an AK-47 assault rifle while another was photographed by a security camera waving a high powered pistol. Law enforcement believes that the trio poses an imminent threat to anyone they encounter. So if you see these pleasant faces, walk away and call the police.