Archive for August, 2013

Killer’s family seeks DNA of Hannah Anderson

Photos of James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson released by authorities during a weeklong search for the accused killer and kidnapper. (AP)

Photos of James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson released by authorities during a weeklong search for the accused killer and kidnapper. (AP)

The family of a man accused of killing an 8-year-old boy, the boy’s mother and kidnapping 16-year-old Hannah Anderson wants DNA evidence from the children to prove he is their biological father, according to CNN and other media.

Suspect James DiMaggio, 40, killed 44-year-old mother Christina Anderson and Ethan Anderson Aug. 3, police say. Their bodies were found inside his burning home near San Diego. DiMaggio then kidnapped Hannah and, after a weeklong search, was shot to death Aug. 10 by an FBI agent in the Idaho wilderness. Hannah is now living with her father.

DiMaggio’s sister, Lora, is making the DNA request.

“We are going to be requesting from the Anderson family that we try to get DNA samples from Hannah. … If they have anything left from Ethan … we [want] a DNA sample,” said family spokesperson Andrew Spanswick on San Diego’s …

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Survey: Georgia nicest, Alabama ugliest

Georgia: Chock full of nice. (AJC photo)

Georgia: Chock full of nice and purty. (AJC photo)

The nicest state in the U.S.?

Despite the muscular middle fingers you may have seen in Atlanta traffic this morning, that title belongs to Georgia. Actually, we share it with Minnesota, which, last I checked, had to cheat to win their last World Series.

The survey, published by Business Insider and mentioned this morning on WSB radio, has a series of interesting maps you really ought to check out.

Like most surveys, this one is flawed. Unlike many, it is entertaining.

Unless you live in Alabama, the alleged “ugliest people” state in our otherwise beautiful union.

Since I don’t want to surrender Georgia’s “nicest state” ranking to those cheating Minnesotans, I won’t tell you the truth about Alabama (there is no “most honest state” award), but let’s just say there’s a lot of kids there that have to wear soup bones around their necks to get the family dog to play with them.

Here’s some more highlights of the survey: (Note: I will …

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Dad defends gun rights after child fatally shot

There are people that love children and people that love guns.

Some people love both, and will admit as much even in the throes of tragedy.

A 3-year-old Michigan boy, Damon Holbrook, died from a gunshot wound Sunday after finding a loaded gun in a bedroom closet.

Family friend Joshua Michael Greenhill, who lived with the Holbrooks, is charged with Careless Discharge of a Firearm, punishable by up to two years in prison. Police said more serious charges are likely forthcoming. The Detroit News reports Greenhill was released on a $1,000 bond.

A man believed to be Damon’s father, Brian Holbrook, posted a message on Facebook Monday affirming his belief in the right to bear arms.

“I will still support the Second Amendment,” wrote Holbrook. “All I ask is that everyone please, please safety first lock it up and put it out of reach of anyone that has no business being around a gun especially kids.”

“Gun safety people! My boy would still be here if it was put away like it should have …

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Beer No. 1 in medical emergencies

The First Aid aisle should be moved closer. (AP Photo for unrelated story)

The First Aid aisle should be moved closer. (AP Photo for unrelated story)

Maybe Budweiser’s famed Clydesdale horses should consider pulling an ambulance?

According to a study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Budweiser is the No. 1 beverage behind alcohol-related emergency room visits.

That shouldn’t be too surprising — Budweiser is the No. 2 selling beer in America, behind only Bud Light, which ranks 5th on the “this is gonna need stitches” list.

But the following stat is shocking: “Nearly a third of injury visits to Level I trauma centers were alcohol-related and frequently a result of heavy drinking.”

That’s a lot of medical care someone is having to pay for, and I bet it’s not the alcohol industry.

Don’t get me wrong. I like beer so much I make large vats of it for personal consumption. Thanks again Jimmy Carter! Thankfully, I don’t go to the hospital after sipping a few ordinary bitters.

Budweiser, being the highly successful company it is, produces …

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Police: No ‘Zodiac Killer’ investigation in DeKalb

UPDATE: I’ve removed links and images from this blog because the website has been taken down. Commenting has been disabled.

The Internet is a microcosm of the world, only with a greater concentration of weirdos.

Most often, web weirdos are harmless,  funny or otherwise entertaining.

Sometimes they are like the person running a website that claims the Zodiac Killer lives near Tucker.

I learned about the website from a Reddit thread where someone said fliers (see photo inset) were being distributed in a DeKalb neighborhood that said “one of your neighbors is the Zodiac Killer” and “DeKalb police know who he is” but “refuse to investigate him.”

I contacted DeKalb police. I am sure they initially thought I was pulling a prank.

The police spokesperson asked investigators if they knew of the ZodiacFinders website or of any local investigation into the “Zodiac Killer.”

The answer was no. So rest easy Tucker, there is no evidence this particular serial killer lives amongst us.

I also …

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Crazy train: Would you take a Maglev to see Braves?

Hopefully no one will be "goin' off the rails on a crazy train" if this thing becomes a reality. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Hopefully no one will be "goin' off the rails on a crazy train" if this thing becomes a reality. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Was Chipper Jones’ batting music a talisman of the future?

Those with working ears and short-term memory cells may recall the Braves slugger approached the plate with Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’ blaring.

Now, there’s talk afoot of a Maglev (floating magnetic train) line to Turner Field from the Georgia State MARTA station. My pals at MyAJC have a story with the details, which you can read free today.

As a fan of baseball and pretty much anything that appear to float magically, I think the idea is very cool, but the part of me that I sometimes refer to as my “brain” thinks it would become an economic albatross.

As a young man, I visited various cities and was enamored with public transportation. New York, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Madrid, all had pretty sweet subway systems. Madrid and D.C. were especially nice because you could walk great distances in …

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Princess charged in cockfighting ring

Federal agents said the glass slipper didn't fit Princess Irina (left) as well as handcuffs. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

Federal agents said the glass slipper didn't fit Princess Irina (left) as well as handcuffs. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

Have you seen the Disney film where the princess kisses a frog and he turns into a bail bondsman?

Me either. But, a Romanian princess living in the U.S. could have used such a plot device after federal agents charged her and her husband in a two-state cockfighting ring.

The Oregonian reports Irina Walker is accused of hosting at least 10 cockfighting “derbies” at her ranch near Irrigon, Oregon.

For the uninitiated, cock fighting is the barbaric practice of throwing bantam roosters into a confined space and watching them mutilate each other. It’s a lot like an MMA event where the participants are allowed to wear knives on their feet and fight to the death.

The FBI sweep rounded up 16 suspects in Oregon and 10 in Washington, which is just across the Columbia River from Irrigon.

Beer and food was sold at the derbies where gambling was encouraged, feds …

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Poll: Food stamps not for crab legs

Yum! Giant undersea spider legs with butter! (AJC file photo)

Yum! Giant undersea spider legs with buttered corn! (AJC file photo)

If there’s one thing Americans can agree on, it’s that we know best how other people should act.

The Huffington Post polled 1,000 presumably well-fed adults and asked them how the less fortunate should go about their business.

The results? The poor should not eat crab legs.

I’m not on food stamps, but I rarely eat crab legs for several reasons:

  • They remind me of giant underwater spiders
  • I have observed them eating dead stuff
  • I am a Cancer (but not on journalism)
  • They are expensive and I am cheap
  • They are a pain to eat
  • Shrimp is just as tasty if i get in the mood to eat underwater bugs

HuffPo asked “Do you think people who receive food stamps should be allowed to buy expensive food items, such as crab legs, using their food stamp benefits?”

54 percent said no. 32 percent said yes and 14 percent wished they had not answered the telephone.

People are more tolerant of the poor when they decide to eat …

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Roadkill: More Americans running over dinner

A bad place to play possum. (Image from Wikipedia)

A bad place to play possum. (Image from Wikipedia)

Here’s a headline that will resonate with any motorist that has flattened a ‘possum while hankering for some home cooking: “Roadkill Gains Traction as a Home Menu Item.”

The news is brought to us by The New York Times, which enjoys highlighting the refinements of rural culture for city dwellers.

In Montana,  a state chock full of delicious woodland creatures, the popularity of dining upon animals hunted by motorized vehicles has grown to such an extent that lawmakers have legalized hauling home any carcass found on the road.

The best part of the new law? You don’t have to be the one that ruins the front end of your pickup to claim the free meat.

Montana is a little late to the game however. Georgians have been legally toting home dead varmits since 2010.

The New York Times, whose recent website outage forced journalists to do their own reporting, is kind enough to point out that “eating roadkill has … been mythologized in …

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‘Pay it forward’ tolls outlawed on Ga. 400

Only those working on behalf of the state can legally ask for money along busy roadways. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

Only those working on behalf of the state can legally ask for money along busy roadways. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

UPDATE: The state has decided we can all be nice to each other. Jim Galloway has the scoop.

Original column follows …

Random acts of kindness have been outlawed at Ga. 400 toll booths, where the only constant is 50 cents of change.

AJC transportation writer Andria Simmons reports workers will no longer accept “pay it forward” donations.

Some drivers had been giving toll workers $1 and not waiting for their 50 cents in change. Instead, they had requested the extra 50 cents pay for the driver immediately behind them.

But some drivers complained that toll workers may have been pocketing the change. Thus, for the last three weeks, toll-takers have been required to return all change to drivers.

The Ga. 400 toll has a curious history.

The toll was supposed to end in 2011, but former Gov. Sonny Perdue extended it until 2020 so the state could make use of the …

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