Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ohio Minister Fatally Shot While Shoveling Snow

Police say robbery may have been a motive for the shooting of Billy Howard.

Police say robbery may have been a motive for the shooting of Billy Howard.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Neighbors thought a minister found dead outside his home was hurt while shoveling snow, but police said Wednesday that he was shot.

A neighbor saw Billy Howard outside his home on Bulen Avenue on the city's east side and said he did not realize it would be the last time, 10TV's Tanisha Mallett reported.

"My oldest son saw Bill outside shoveling," neighbor Karl Thomson said. "The next thing I know, maybe 15 or 20 minutes later, he said a squad was in front of the house."

Thomson said medics worked on Howard for 20 minutes before taking him to the Ohio State University Medical Center East where police said he was pronounced dead.

Investigators said that is when they realized Howard had been shot once in the chest, Mallett reported.

Howard's death has been ruled a homicide, and investigators were still trying to determine a motive. They said robbery may have been a motive, Mallett reported.

"There is no was to make sense of it, there is no way to make sense," said friend Mary Jenkins.

Family and friends said Howard was a minister at Columbus Christian Center Church and a friend to everyone in the community.

"He was an incredible example of a good man, a good father, a good husband, a business man and all of those things," Jenkins said.

Friends said Howard was the type of person who devoted his life to helping people turn from a life of crime.

"He was definitely a God-fearing man who understood what is means to love God first and he loved his family he was truly a provider," Jenkins said.

Family and friends hope someone will come forward with information, Mallett reported.

"It is beyond sad, it's just senseless," Thomson said.

Click to read original Article from 10 TV News

Marijuana Found inside Pictures of Jesus

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says it found marijuana hidden in framed pictures of Jesus Christ.(CNN0 -- A marijuana bust along the U.S.-Mexico border revealed 30 pounds of the drug stuffed into framed pictures of Jesus Christ, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said Wednesday.

"This is not the first time we have seen smugglers attempt to use religious figures and articles of faith to further their criminal enterprise," said William Molaski, port director of the agency's office in El Paso, Texas, in a statement.

"What some might find offensive or sacrilegious has unfortunately become a standard operating procedure for drug smugglers. This would include using religious symbols, children and senior citizens in their attempts to defeat the CBP inspection process."

Authorities said a 22-year-old woman in a Jeep from Juarez, Mexico, told federal border patrol officers that she had nothing to declare besides the framed art. The officers checked out the vehicle with Cesar, a federal drug-sniffing dog, who alerted them to three framed pictures of Jesus in the vehicle.

The officers pulled the backing off the pictures and found numerous bundles, authorities said. The woman was arrested.

The bust was one of three marijuana seizures made Tuesday at the El Paso point of entry. Officers said they seized 214 pounds of marijuana in the two other busts.

Click to read original Article from

More Churches In East Texas Set Ablaze By Arsonists

February 11, 2010 - 10:32 AM | by: Maggie Kerkman

Fire investigators are in a desperate race against time. They’re trying to catch the arsonist, or arsonists, who are setting fire to churches in East Texas. So far, there have been nine since just the first of this year. So far, no one has been hurt, but law enforcement officials are worried that as the fires continue, it’s only a matter of time.

Today we’re live in front of the Dover Baptist Church, which is one of two churches that burned Monday night. We talked to the woman who lives right next to the church. She had no idea there was a fire until she heard the frantic knocks from two people who happened to be driving by and saw smoke.

Minutes later, she watched helplessly as flames consumed the small church her great grandfather helped build. While firefighters were trying to save Dover Baptist, another fire started, just a few miles down the road at the Clear Spring Missionary Baptist Church. Both churches are a total loss.

These two churches were not the arsonists' only target Monday night. We talked with an elder at Clearview Church, which is just a few miles from both Dover and Clear Spring. On the night of the fire, someone tried to get in to Clearview. Says Monty Nations, the elder, says “I can’t imagine someone wanting to do that.” The person or persons broke the front glass doors of the church but apparently got spooked when they realized the church had an alarm system. The church had just installed the system the week before because they worried their church might be next. Other churches are now taking similar actions, installing security systems or having members guard their churches in shifts.

Why is someone targeting churches? Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives say that’s what they’re trying to figure out. They have a national response team investigating the fires. So far, many of the churches have been located in rural areas, but not all of them. The targets aren’t racially motivated and they’re not aimed at any particular faith. In Clear Spring, the last church to be targeted, the fire was started in the pulpit, something that sends chills up the spine of Pastor Brandon.

Click to read original Article at Fox News