Thursday, February 8, 2018

Utah may soon ban traffic ticket quotas for police officers

A Utah state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for Utah police departments to use traffic ticket quotas to evaluate police officer performance in the state. State Senator Howard Stephenson (R) explained that he was opposed to making police departments into revenue generators, as opposed to protectors of public safety. Most Utah police departments, like most police departments throughout the country, claim that the bill is unnecessary because they allegedly do not have ticket quotas. In explaining the need for the bill, Stephenson cited an op-ed published by the libertarian Libertas Institute of Utah, which set forth evidence that a number of Utah police departments do, in fact, use quota systems, contrary to the official claims of those police departments. If the bill passes, Utah would join a number of other states that have outlawed ticket quotas for local police departments, including Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York. (Fox 13 TV)

 

Texas house reported stolen was possibly repossessed

In Madisonville, Texas, Investigators say a vacation home reported stolen by a Houston couple might have been repossessed and they’re likely victims of alleged financial issues of the prior owner. Their one-bedroom cabin is missing from Madisonville, 90 miles northwest of Houston. The prefabricated home was on property they purchased last year but hadn’t checked since November. The Owners returned this past Friday (2/2) and discovered the house was gone, with blocks and pipes remaining. So they contacted the Madison County Sheriff’s Office who say they are likely victims of misrepresentation of the property when they bought it. Sherriff said deputies had served financial-related civil papers on the previous owner. Investigators are seeking that person amid concerns the structure was repossessed, not stolen. (Yahoo)

 

Woman who won $559M lottery could be forced out of anonymity

A New Hampshire woman who says she has a Powerball ticket that won a $559.7 million jackpot wants a court order allowing her to stay anonymous, saying she made a “huge mistake” in signing the ticket without consulting a lawyer first. The woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed a complaint last week in Hillsborough Superior Court in Nashua saying she signed the back of the ticket following the January 6th drawing, the nation’s eighth-largest lottery jackpot. She thought she was required to do so as directed by information on the state lottery commission’s website. Under New Hampshire law, a lottery winner’s name, town and prize amount are public information. But after the woman contacted a lawyer, she learned that she could have shielded her identity by instead writing the name of a trust. The woman hasn’t turned in her ticket yet, but she showed lottery officials a photocopy of the front. She said lottery officials told her they would be compelled to disclose her identity if someone filed a Right to Know request. Her lawyers argue her privacy interest outweighs the insignificant public interest in disclosing her name. The woman described herself as a life-long New Hampshire resident and “engaged community member. She wishes to continue this work and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars. She wishes to remain in New Hampshire and give back to the state and community that has given so much to her.” the complaint said. The filing says she has set up a trust and plans to contribute a portion of her winnings to charity. (NY Post)

 

Billionaire refuses to pay taxes because geese won’t stop pooping on his lawn

Three-time gubernatorial candidate and former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is so fed up with Canada geese turning the lawn of his upstate summer home into their own personal bathroom that he is refusing to pay $90,000 in local taxes. The businessman says he has tried using fishing line, repellent and a wolf decoy to keep the birds from pooping on the lawn of his summer home on Canandaigua Lake in South Bristol, to no avail. The tycoon said he plans on withholding the tax payment until officials in the Finger Lakes town get a handle on the pooping wild geese. The town supervisor called the move bird-brained while adding that “it’s a resident’s problem to take care of, not the town’s”. He noted that no other lakeside residents have lodged complaints about the geese. “It is a lake, after all,” Marshall said. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation said New York does have an overpopulation of the birds, which have caused issues for homeowners as well as on parkland. But the agency said the avian invasion on private property is not its responsibility, either. (Vanity Fair)

 

Russian astronauts screw up space station antenna

A record-setting Russian spacewalk ended with a critical antenna in the wrong position Friday outside the International Space Station. NASA’s Mission Control reported that the antenna was still working. Nevertheless, Russian space officials were convening a special team to see whether further action would be necessary. The antenna is used for communications with Russia’s Mission Control outside Moscow. The trouble arose toward the end of the more than 8-hour spacewalk (the longest ever by Russians and the fifth-longest overall) after Commander Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov successfully replaced an electronics box to upgrade the antenna. The pair watched in dismay as the antenna got hung up on the Russian side of the complex and could not be extended properly. The antenna had a long boom with a 4-foot dish at the end. It had been folded up before the repair work. Misurkin and Shkaplerov pushed, as flight controllers tried repeatedly, via remote commanding, to rotate the antenna into the right position. Finally, someone shouted in Russian, “It’s moving. It’s in place.” NASA Mission Control said from Houston that the antenna wound up in a position 180 degrees farther than anticipated. After removing the old, obsolete electronics box from the antenna (an original part, launched in 2000) Misurkin shoved it away from the space station. The bundle tumbled harmlessly away, 250 miles above the North Atlantic. FYI: While the Russians routinely toss old equipment overboard during spacewalks, NASA prefers to secure no-longer-needed items or, if possible, bring them inside. (NY Post)

 

Man Impregnates Biological Daughter Given Up For Adoption As An Infant

The biological mother of a young woman who police said developed a sexual relationship with her biological father has a warning for parents of adopted children. She said that if their child wants to reunite with their biological parents, they should be in therapy when they reunite because the feelings that come up during the reunion can get confused with something else. North Carolina investigators arrested twenty-year-old Katie Pladl and 42-year-old Steven Pladl, pm charges related to incest and will be extradited back to Henrico, Virginia, where they allegedly first developed a sexual relationship. “It’s a Class 5 felony if that occurs in Virginia and that means you can get up to 10 years in prison,” officials say. The man’s ex-wife said she was 17 and he was 22 when they had Katie and gave her up for adoption. But, when Katie reached the age of 18, she located her biological parents to develop a relationship. She ultimately moved in with the couple for a couple of months at their home and called the pair mom and dad, according to her biological mom. But Katie’s mom ultimately moved out when the couple separated. She said she had no idea a sexual relationship started between her ex-husband and their daughter until she read one of her other daughter’s journals where she found drawings of Katie being pregnant and found her daughter had written that her father was making her call Katie step-mom. At that point, she said she took out protective orders against Steven, so he could not go near her or their two younger daughters. She believes her ex-husband brainwashed and manipulated Katie. Her lawyer said the judge who hears the case will have some tough choices to make. A judge will have an opportunity to decide whether this statue makes this conduct illegal because of moral and religious ideas or science and increased chance of birth defects. Legal experts on both sides are wondering “What should the penalty really be for people who are both adults and consenting to a sexual relationship even though it’s illegal in Virginia and most other places?” To that point, incest is not illegal everywhere. In fact, it’s not against the law in New Jersey, and in some countries it is perfectly acceptable, but in Virginia, that’s not the case. (WTVR TV)

 

Cornell University fraternity disciplined after placing cruel sexual bets on unsuspecting women

A Cornell fraternity was put on a two-year probation after members were busted in a disturbing sex competition they dubbed the “pig roast,” the university said. The sickening game involved the Zeta Beta Tau chapter members racking up points through sexual conquests at the Ivy League campus — all by factoring in the weight of the women they slept with. School officials said they launched a probe into the frat after receiving “multiple reports” last year regarding the cruel game. Fraternity pledges were reportedly forbidden from telling the women about the contest. If there was a tie, the win would go to the member who had sex with the heaviest female, school officials said. As a result of the investigation, the frat will be required to partake in at least two events during the school’s Sexual Assault Awareness Week. They also must hire a live-in adviser for the remainder of the probation period, subject themselves to external reviews and participate in “ongoing education on sexual violence,” the university said. In a statement released Saturday, the Cornell chapter of the fraternity said it was in “disbelief” over the allegations of misconduct. “The allegations described are contrary to the values that Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity espouses and works in direct conflict with the beliefs and mission of the Kappa Chapter,” the statement said. “Our chapter has worked closely with the Zeta Beta Tau International Headquarters to draft and execute an action plan that addresses this alleged behavior.” (Ithaca Voice)

 

We Made It Back To Thursday! It’s:

  • Boy Scout Anniversary Day
  • Dry Bean Day
  • Laugh and Get Rich Day
  • National Girls & Women in Sports Day
  • National Iowa Day
  • National Kite Flying Day
  • Opera Day

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