Archive for March, 2014

Hoarder found dead under piles of garbage

A Texas man’s home was stuffed with so much garbage it took five days to find his body, police say.

Police went to the home of 67-year-old Skip Bynum after he missed church, but there was so much debris in the home they couldn’t find him, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Search dogs were initially unable to locate Bynum, potentially because of the competing odors from the bodies of two dogs and a raccoon. A Chihuahua was found alive.

Searchers cut holes in the roof to gain access to rooms blocked by 12-foot high mounds of refuse that contained milk jugs full of urine.

A search dog found the body days after a cleanup crew was hired by the city to clear the home.

Neighbors, now worried about an invasion by an “army of rats,” never complained about the home’s condition. In 2012, city officials visited three times to tell Bynum to mow his grass and he did.

A former friend described Bynum as a “a jovial little guy” who liked model trains and had trouble parting with stuff.

The …

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Report: UNC provided fake classes for athletes

A slave’s education is of little value to its master.

Researcher Mary Willingham says many college athletes in profit-making sports cannot read at the college level. (Image from CNN video)

Researcher Mary Willingham says many college athletes in profit-making sports cannot read at the college level. (Image from CNN video)

Some of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves were taught enough to understand written instructions and perform their duties, but the vast majority learned nothing from the third president of the United States.

At the University of North Carolina, players attend “fake classes,” reports ESPN in a video.

The Sporting News shows a screengrab of the video that reveals the alleged classwork of a player who received an “A” for his one-paragraph report.

It is more than a bit ironic that the report is on Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks.

As explained in the ESPN segment, North Carolina players were allegedly put in fake classes in the African-American Studies department that didn’t require regular attendance and gave a passing grade to almost anyone.

In the ESPN report, former player Deunta Williams said his …

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‘Bama sororities dodge call to integrate

The University of Alabama welcomes black athletes with open arms.

Black sorority girls get the cold shoulder.

The student newspaper, The Crimson White (I did not make that name up), says a non-binding measure supporting the integration of sororities was sent back to a student Senate committee by a 27-5 vote. Since the resolution was introduced on the last day of the session, the vote effectively shelved it until a new student government convenes.

Alabama sororities were criticized last fall after The Crimson White reported two potential black members were not invited to join all-white sororities because of pressure from alumnae, and in one case, an adviser. Four black students did join white sororities, but some believe more could be done to promote Greek diversity.

A sponsor of the resolution said it failed because student government members who are part of the Greek system voted against it.

“I think ultimately the reason that it failed to pass was it gave the impression … …

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Cops mistake tea leaves for marijuana; raid home

Search warrants have to be approved by a judge, but police know which judges to ask.

Relaxed oversight of the overzealous leads to nightmares.

In 2006, Atlanta police officers lied in a search warrant application. They said cocaine was purchased at a home they had never been to and they were awarded a no-knock warrant.

Police then kicked down the door of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston’s Neal Street home and shot her to death.

Before leaving, the officers planted marijuana in the home so their victim would look like a drug dealer and not a frightened old lady.

A story I read today out of Kansas didn’t end as badly, but it made me think about Kathryn Johnson and bad cops.

In the Kansas case, a highway patrol officer saw a man enter a Kansas City hydroponics store. The highway patrol forwarded the info to Johnson County police seven months later, in March 2012.

Johnson County investigators searched the man’s garbage on three separate occasions in April 2012. Twice, they found wet …

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Report: Poorest Americans smoke most

Smoking is bad for humans and immediately distastrous for snowmen, experts say. (AP photo)

Smoking is bad for humans and immediately distastrous for snowmen, experts say. (AP photo)

Sucking on a burning plant is bad for your health.

That fact hasn’t been news since the U.S. surgeon general first warned Americans of the dangers of smoking way back in 1964.

Since that big story broke, labels on cigarettes warning smokers of cancer and other health risks have grown larger and larger, the tobacco industry pay for anti-smoking ads on TV and Hollywood has quit paying celebs to destroy their lungs.

Smoking rates have gone down, but not so much among the less affluent, reports The New York Times, which says “smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the country, is now increasingly a habit of the poor and the working class.”

Here’s what the Times had to say about the federal smoking data released Monday:

It found that affluent counties across the nation have experienced the biggest, and fastest, declines in smoking rates, while progress in the poorest ones has …

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Report: Welfare cheats lived on Florida yacht

Hennepin County (Minnesota) Attorney Mike Freeman held a press conference on a couple that alleged took $160,000 in welfare benefits while the husband claimed to be a Scottish aristocrat and broadcast executive. (AP photo)

Hennepin County (Minnesota) Attorney Mike Freeman accused a couple of fraud in obtaining $160,000 in welfare benefits while living aboard a 83-foot, $1.2 million yacht in Florida. (AP photo)

In any large group, there’s bound to be a few bad apples.

Welfare recipients, for example, are oft-maligned, but most probably follow the rules.

Some don’t.

A Minnesota couple who lived aboard a $1.2 million yacht in Florida is accused of collecting more than $167,000 in public assistance.

Colin Chisholm III, who claims to be Scottish royalty, and his wife, Andrea, are charged in Minnesota with a felony count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance.

Life was apparently good for the Chisholms, who also rented a $1.6 million home and had $3 million in various bank accounts.

Colin, 62, is reportedly the CEO of TCN Network, which claims to provide satellite TV and internet services to islands in the Caribbean.

Andrea, 54, owned a dog kennel which bred and sold championship dogs.

The couple …

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Police: Drunk, naked wife visits husband in jail

Maura Fussell, 26, of Reston, is charged with indecent exposure and being drunk in public for a late night visit to the Arlington County jail. (Arlington County Police Department)

Maura Fussell, 26, put some clothes on for her mugshot. (Arlington County Police Department)

“For better or worse” is a vow some married couples don’t take seriously.

But not in Arlington, Va., where a drunk, naked wife rushed to the aid of her husband at the county jail.

ARLnow.com reports Maura Fussell showed up at the Arlington Magistrate’s Office at about 11 p.m. last Saturday. She was there to see her husband, who had been arrested earlier in the day on unspecified charges in Clarendon.

Fussell, 26, was drunk, completely naked and refused to get dressed or leave in a cab, police said.

The Washington Post tries to piece together how this sort of thing could possibly happen.

The Shamrock Crawl, advertised as Arlington’s largest bar crawl, was held from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and though [police were] not certain the woman was a pub crawler, “anybody who was in Clarendon that afternoon was participating one way or the other.”

Fussell was arrested on indecent …

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Non-Christian teachers preferred at public school

What is the mother eagle trying to hide? (Image from Ferndale public schools website)

What is the mother eagle trying to hide? (Image from Ferndale public schools website)

Public education in the U.S. has been called expensive, unequal and mediocre. In Detroit, it is said only 25 percent of students get an “adequate education.”

Many say education would improve if students had better parents or teachers.

There’s no quick fix to creating better parents, but it seems like it would be possible to hire better teachers.

For about 40 years, a school system in the Detroit area gave hiring preference to women, minorities and, somewhat shockingly, “non-Christians.”

Are non-Christians better teachers? The Internet is all-knowing, but I couldn’t find any studies that suggest such a thing.

The school system said the “non-Christian” provision was inserted in the 1970s, but doesn’t know why.

The Ferndale school board and teachers union quickly agreed to remove the language after a reporter pointed it out to them.

The state board of education may investigate how this …

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Anti-gay pastor Fred Phelps Sr. dies at 84

FILE PHOTO -- Fred Phelps, a Topeka, Kan., preacher, makes his point outside regional Boy Scouts headquarters in Providence, R.I. Phelps' inflammatory protests across the country have offended not only gays, but fellow Baptists who agree with him that homosexuality is a sin. SEE ``ANTI-GAY'' (Newhouse), transmitted Thursday, July 19, 2001. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

FILE PHOTO — Fred Phelps, a Topeka, Kan., preacher, makes his point outside regional Boy Scouts headquarters in Providence, R.I. Phelps' inflammatory protests across the country have offended not only gays, but fellow Baptists who agree with him that homosexuality is a sin. Transmitted Thursday, July 19, 2001. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the fiery founder of a small Kansas church who drew international condemnation for outrageous and hate-filled protests that blamed almost everything, including the deaths of AIDS victims and U.S. soldiers, on America’s tolerance for gay people, has died. He was 84.

Daughter Margie Phelps told The Associated Press that Fred Phelps died shortly after midnight Thursday. She didn’t provide the cause of death or the condition that recently put him in hospice care.

Throughout his life, Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, a small congregation made up almost entirely of his extended family … continue reading.

Note: Original …

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Mysterious posters of a tattooed Sen. Ted Cruz appear

Photoshop is a powerful thing. (Image from Twitter)

Photoshop is a powerful thing. (Image from Twitter)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) probably doesn’t have a lot of tattoos, but you’d think otherwise from mysterious posters appearing in California.

The posters, according to Breitbart.com, have popped up in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles and seem to advertise “TED CRUZ’S SO – CAL BLACKLISTED & LOVING IT TOUR.”

The senator was to appear in Los Angeles to receive an award from the conservative Claremont Institute, but the posters, which feature his face atop a heavily tattooed body don’t seem to be his doing.

“Saw this, but noticed an error. So I wanted to make one thing clear: I don’t smoke cigarettes,” tweeted the potential 2016 presidential candidate along with a picture of the poster.

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