iNPLACENEWS Blog Has MOVED

September 14, 2008

Hey everyone!  From all the staff to all the readers of our blog and the watchers of our live news programming broadcasted live over the internet directly to your desktop, we want to thank you for all your support and participatiion.  We have relocated our blog to iNPLACENEWS.COM.  There you will find all our blogs, including the old posts, your comments you made, the place to download our free desktop player and all of the current news from around the world.  Stay up-to-date on all the current events by watching our broadcasts, reading our blogs, and watching videos-on-demand.  Again, go to iNPLACENEWS.COM for all the newest blogs and the older posts you love to go back to read.  Thank you again for your time, support, and participation.

-iNPLACENEWS

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Woman Drives Cadillac Into Store To Get Six Pack

July 1, 2008

74-year-old Lynne Rice of Norwalk drove her 1988 Cadillac into Joe’s Food Mart and Video then tried to buy a six-pack of Budweiser, according to police and the owner of the shop. The car plowed about halfway through the store but nobody was injured. Rice got out of the car, walked over to the cooler and pulled out a six-pack of Budweiser beer.

“I don’t know how she managed to walk,” the store ownder,Awada said. He added that a cashier declined the sale and instead called police. Rice was then taken to a hospital for examination because she had a pre-existing medical condition, according to police.

Later, she was also arrested for investigation of misdemeanor driving under the influence and released on $15,000 bail. Awada said the crash destroyed two 6-foot-wide glass panels. Damage was estimated to be approximately $8,000.

(The above photo is NOT from the scene)

iNPLACENEWS


Guilty of Murder By SUV and Train

June 27, 2008


A man who claimed he was attempting suicide when he triggered a 2005 rail disaster was convicted Thursday of 11 counts of first-degree murder and could face the death penalty.

Two commuter trains collided into a tangled mass of smoking wreckage littered with victims after Juan Alvarez left a gasoline-drenched sport-utility vehicle on railroad tracks in Glendale, northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Alvarez, 29, looked on stolidly as the Superior Court jury returned its guilty verdicts for the murders and one count of arson. The jury also agreed there was a special circumstance of multiple murders – making Alvarez eligible for the death penalty – but it acquitted him of a charge called train wrecking.

Jurors were ordered to return for the start of the penalty phase on July 7.

Alvarez had pleaded not guilty. He admitted causing the Jan. 26, 2005, disaster but claimed he had intended to kill himself, then changed his mind and was unable to get the SUV off the tracks.

A fast-moving Metrolink train struck the vehicle, derailed and struck another Metrolink train heading in the opposite direction and a parked freight train. In addition to the 11 deaths, about 180 people were injured.

Prosecutors denounced his claim of being suicidal as a lie and said he was trying to cause a calamity to get the attention of his estranged wife. Prosecutors said he started out that day with thoughts of killing his wife and then killed the rail passengers because she wasn’t available.

The derailment created a horrific scene of mangled rail cars. Workers from nearby businesses scrambled to rescue the injured before firefighters reached the scene.

As he lay injured in the wreck, John Phipps used his own blood to scrawl what he thought would be his last words to his wife and children: “I (heart symbol) my kids. I (heart symbol) Leslie.” He survived.

According to trial testimony, Alvarez fled the vehicle, left the scene and went to a friend’s house, where he stabbed himself with scissors. Alvarez testified he did not remember stabbing himself but did remember being in a hospital with puncture wounds.

The verdict relieved relatives of the dead.

Alberto Romero said he is reminded of his uncle Leonardo Romero’s death every day because Metrolink commuter trains run past his machine shop. Teresa Nance, whose mother, Elizabeth Hill, was killed, said that as the trial began she had nightmares of being in the train with her.

Neither Romero nor Nance, however, thought it was necessary for Alvarez to be executed.

“He needs to think about this every day of his life,” said Alberto Romero, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga.

Nance, 40, of Reseda, said a death sentence could end up being a life sentence anyway because of appeals. “He’s not going to get off, he’s not going to get out,” she said.

The defense painted Alvarez as a mentally ill victim of childhood abuse who became a drug addict. The prosecution called him a pathological liar whose claim of mental illness was a manipulative tactic.

Separately, the derailment led to a debate about the practice of running Metrolink trains in reverse, with the heavy engine at the rear being controlled from the other end by an operator in what is called a cab car.

Critics contended that the train wouldn’t have derailed if the heavy engine had struck the SUV. The railroad defends the practice.

Originally found @ AssociatedPress.com

iNPLACENEWS

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Forget Endangered Species, Border Security is the Most Important

June 23, 2008


The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a plea by environmental groups to curb the Bush administration’s power to waive laws and regulations to speed construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has used his Congress-given authority to ignore environmental and other laws and regulations to move forward with hundreds of miles of fencing in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Earlier this year, Chertoff waived more than 30 laws and regulations in an effort to finish building 670 miles of fence along the southwest border. Administration officials have said that invoking the legal waivers, made possible when Congress authorized it in 1996 and 2005 laws, will cut through bureaucratic red tape and sidestep environmental laws that stand in the way of fence construction.

As of June, 13th, 2008, 331 miles of fencing have been constructed in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, but this specific case involved a two-mile section of fence in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area near Naco, Arizona, which has since been built.

Congressman Thompson who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee 13 other House democrats (including six other committee chairs) filed a brief in support of the environmentalists’ appeal.

Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform when it had the chance in 2007.

Thompson said, “Without a comprehensive plan, this fence is just another quick fix.”

Environmentalists have said the fence puts already endangered species such as two types of wild cats – the ocelot and the jaguarundi – in even more danger. The fence would prevent them from swimming across the Rio Grande to mate.

iNPLACENEWS


John McCain’s 300 Million Dollar Prize For a Battery

June 23, 2008

A day after his rival for the presidency, Barack Obama called for greater oversight for energy traders, John McCain is expected Monday to call for a $300 million prize for an innovation that would help the U.S. decrease its reliance on oil

During a town hall-style meeting at Fresno State University, McCain is expected to propose a $300 million prize for whomever can develop an automobile battery that “has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars. . . (the battery) should deliver a power source at 30 percent of the current costs.

“In the quest for alternatives to oil, our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure,” the prepared speech read. “From now on, we will encourage heroic efforts in engineering, and we will reward the greatest success.”

McCain also is calling for a “Clean Car Challenge” for U.S. automakers in hopes to encourage them to develop and sell vehicles with no carbon emissions. As part of the challenge, a $5,000 tax credit would be given to buyers of of such cars, making such vehicles more appealing to consumers and thus easier to sell.

iNPLACENEWS


Schwarzenegger’s Answer to Overcrowded Prisons is to Build More

June 22, 2008

A federal magistrate has rejected an attempt by the state to keep certain documents secret as courts decide whether to cap California’s overcrowded prison population. California’s 33 adult prisons were designed for roughly 100,000 inmates but currently hold 159,000. Inmate advocacy groups say the crowding has led to numerous problems, including and not limited to neglectful health care and poor mental health treatment.

A special panel of three federal judges had already set a June 27th date to convene a hearing to decide whether to go ahead with a November trial on a set of lawsuits that have been consolidated. Inmate advocacy groups that brought the lawsuits opposed the administration’s request, and federal Magistrate Judge John Moulds in Sacramento issued a ruling Friday generally siding with the plaintiffs and limiting the administration’s request.

In pretrial motions, the state sought to prohibit public disclosure of certain documents classified as sensitive communications or part of internal deliberations. The Associated Press filed written opposition with the court. This written statement suggests the administration’s motion was too broad and had the potential to improperly keep some records from the public.

The administration sought to, for example, define sensitive communications as those that include “budget change proposals for government agencies that are not defendants in this proceeding.”

Judge Moulds said only documents that clearly would jeopardize prison security if they were made public should remain secret. He also ruled that any personal information on inmates and state employees would be redacted. This seems like an even-handed distribution of secrecy when appropriate, as defined by the judge. The administration can and likely will appeal Moulds’ decision to the three-judge panel, according to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spokesperson. They are currently reviewing the decision.

The ruling comes as court-appointed mediators attempt to negotiate a settlement. Under the proposed settlement, 27,000 inmates would be released before serving their full sentences and a population cap would be set.

According to state Sen. George Runner, Republican state lawmaker who have intervened in the lawsuit will reject any settlement that includes a prison cap formula. In an almost predicatable fashion, he said Republicans agree that crowding needs to be reduced but believe it can be done by adding nearly 38,000 new prison and county jail cells through a building program approved by the Legislature last year. Spending more money on jailing the people than treating them, since much of the overcrowding comes from drug-offenders.

In addition, a federal receiver is seeking $7 billion in state money to add 10,000 hospital and mental health beds whose funding had been cut by Reagan administration.

iNPLACENEWS