Tuesday, January 4, 2011

12 yr old Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Murder

On Tuesday afternoon a 12-year-old Kosciusko County boy received a 30-year sentence with 5 years suspended for his role in the death of his friend's stepfather.

"I'm sorry for what happened to Mr. Danner and for what the Danner family must be going through. I'm very sorry for my actions," Paul Gingerich told the judge Tuesday.

In November, a judge accepted a guilty plea from Gingerich. He pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit murder charge in exchange for the prosecution dropping murder and aiding in murder charges.

His friend, 15-year-old Colt Lundy, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. He received a 30-year prison sentence.

Police say the boys killed Lundy's stepfather, 49-year-old Phillip Danner, in April. They then drove to Illinois, where they were arrested.

Another 12 year old, who was outside the house when the shooting happened, will be in a juvenile detention facility until he turns 18.

On Tuesday the judge recommended that Gingerich be placed in a youth incarcerated as adults facility.

Read More from WSBT.com

Man Fired From His Job For "Liking" Page On Facebook

Fired over facebook?: wane.com

WABASH, Ind. (WANE) - Drew Stith is looking for a new job. He told NewsChannel 15 he lost his because he posted a message on facebook saying that he didn't like the popular drink 5 Hour Energy. The catch is he worked for Living Essentials, the company that makes 5 Hour Energy.

“There was a facebook page called '5 Hour Energy Sucks' and, you know on facebook you can "like" things? So I "liked" that page,” he said. “I don't really like the product that they make. I mean it doesn't work for me.”

Stith said he made a post on the page about a month ago and then, last week, he got called into the main office.

“I was pretty shocked,” he said. "They had printed off my homepage, my facebook page, also with the '5 Hour Energy Sucks' (page),” he explained. “I just didn't understand just because I don't like their product, that shouldn't matter."

But it does matter said Anthony Juliano, an Account Executive at Asher Agency Inc. He specializes in social media and told News Channel 15, the Internet is almost never a safe place to post.

“Employers have an obligation to protect their brand and that includes what's being said about them,” he said.

Juliano said companies can use sites like Openbook or Facepinch to check up on employees.
He added that before the consequences, it’s important that both employees and employers are clear about Internet policies.

read more from wane.com

Police Officer Suspended For Making Joke About President Obama

A Manatee County Sheriff's sergeant was suspended without pay for making a joke about the Bible and President Barack Obama.

The incident happened at the Manatee County Jail in Palmetto.

In September, Corrections Sergeant Matthew Neu used a Bible inside his office meant to be distributed to the inmates and used it for a joke.

Neu wrote a note about a Bible verse and called it "The Obama prayer." He then put the piece of paper inside a Bible and placed it on a coworker's desk.

When Sergeant Martha Nash opened the bible, she found Psalm 109, Verse-8 circled, which states: "Let his days be few, may another take his place of leadership."

In a newly released Internal Affairs report, Sergeant Nash said, "she was shocked by the finding and thought whoever left it wanted Obama dead."

An investigation revealed Sergeant Matthew Neu, who is outspoken about his political beliefs, and has worked for the sheriff's office for 16 years, was behind it.

Sergeant Neu said he received an e-mail about the verse and thought it was funny. He said he circled the verse as a joke and it was not meant to offend Nash or anyone else.

In the report he stated, "his intent was to take the Bible and show it to others but he got busy and forgot about it."

He also said: "Do I like Obama as a President? No." However, he said, "There's no racial hate or anything like that involved in it."

He went onto say, "In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the smart thing to do."

The sheriff's office agreed and found that Sergeant Neu violated a code of ethics policy. He was suspended for three days.

read more from BayNews9.com

Obama To Sign Historic Food Safety Bill Into Law

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday was expected to sign the most sweeping overhaul of America's food safety system since 1938.

The legislation would give the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to impose new rules to prevent contamination and allows the agency to order, rather than simply suggest, the recall of tainted foods. It also would authorize the creation of a food tracking system to quickly pinpoint the source of outbreaks.

The legislation requires producers to assess ways in which their products could be contaminated and to take steps to prevent such problems. It also requires importers to verify the safety of all foods they bring into the country.

The result will be a fundamental shift in the FDA's approach to food safety from reacting to foodborne illness outbreaks to preventing contamination in the first place, agency Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a telephone briefing on the bill Monday that the legislation will give the FDA power for the first tiime to require proven, science-based policies that will reduce contamination of food grown and produced both in the United States and abroad.

Most food safety experts agree that the legislation will ultimately make breakfast, lunch and dinner safer for Americans.

But the most immediate impact may be higher food prices, said Craig Hedberg, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

"In the near term, we may see some of the cost of implementing this bill passed on to consumers," he said.

That may be the most tangible aspect of the legislation for most people, Hedberg said.

While the legislation will help improve safety practices, most of its work will be invisible to consumers, who likely will notice few changes in food packaging or retailing, Hedberg said.

"I think it will mostly be operating behind the scenes," Hedberg said. "And if it stays behind the scenes, that may be a good thing."

Any impacts consumers might notice are likely to be felt no sooner than three years from now, Hedburg predicted, when FDA regulators finish writing rules required by the legislation and begin implementing them.

And that is only if the FDA gets the money needed to implement the bill's many provisions from a divided Congress already set to argue over reducing the ballooning federal budget deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill's provision would increase net government spending on food safety by $1.4 billion over five years.

click to read more from CNN.com

Officials Looking Into Mass Deaths Of Birds In 2 Different States

(CNN) -- Some of the nation's top experts Tuesday were looking for clues into sudden, mass deaths of birds in two states over New Year's weekend.

"This one is unusual because of the time period over which so many birds died," said LeAnn White, a field investigator with the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, is receiving samples from Arkansas, where as many as 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings fell from the sky in a square-mile area in less than an hour on New Year's Eve, according to the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission.

The center will also examine samples from Louisiana, where 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings and grackles were found dead in Labarre.

A preliminary report conducted Monday by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission found that the birds in Beebe, Arkansas, likely died from massive trauma.

There had been reports of loud sounds in Beebe before the reports of birds falling began to come in. It's possible the sounds made the birds disoriented, and they went into sudden, chaotic flights, crashing into each other and into objects, White said. "You're disturbed, you're disoriented, you're trying to figure out where you are. We have seen some stuff like this before when there's heavy dense fog, and they'll run into towers and power lines," she said.

Other bird experts agree that that's a likely explanation. Still, the sudden deaths are quite unusual. "It's kind of a freak event," said Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society. "You just don't see these kinds of mass deaths very frequently at all."

At this time of year, blackbirds are in huge roosts, particularly throughout the southeastern United States, he said. They generally don't fly at night.

click to read more from CNN.com

Repeal Of Obama Health Care Set To Begin With Newly Elected Officials

Only a few moderate or conservative Democrats remain left in the House of Representatives come opening day on Wednesday, but expect at least a chunk of them to vote in favor of the Republican plan to repeal the health care law.

As one of its first act in the new Congress, the Republican majority is calling up the law for repeal. Text of the repeal bill is already online for Americans to read and a vote is expected on Jan. 12.

Several moderate and conservative Democrats contacted by Fox News on Monday night said they wanted to first evaluate the Republican proposal hitting the House floor before deciding how they might vote.

But, at least one Democrat who voted against the health bill last year and in late 2009 is already leaning toward voting to repeal the law.

"I have not read the language yet, but I am inclined to support the repeal," said Rep. Dan Boren D-Okla. "I have voted against the measure in the last Congress and a full 68 percent of Oklahomans support repeal."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/04/house-health-care-repeal-vote-pick-dem-votes/#ixzz1A6T1KEG9

IHOP Restaruant Drops Lawsuit Against IHOP Ministry

HOP the pancake restaurant chain recently dropped its lawsuit against IHOP the church, according to court records.

The International House of Pancakes dismissed the case on Dec. 21, saying that it opted for “ongoing mediation with the defendants,” according to documents filed at a Los Angeles federal court. Restaurant spokesman Patrick Lenow told the Los Angeles Times that the two parties have agreed to not talk about the case publicly.

IHOP had filed a lawsuit against the International House of Prayer, an evangelical missions organization headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. with affiliates in California, in September over trademark infringement. Both the pancake house and missions organization share the same acronym, causing concern that the business’ customers might be confused or think that the restaurant chain was linked to a particular religion.

The court document said the dismissal is “without prejudice,” which means it could be filed again later.

click to read more from Christian Post.com

Christian Website Posts Top Anti-Christian Events Of 2010

A Christian website says their top ten list of attacks on Christian beliefs creates the case for a growing Christophobia problem in the United States.

After accepting several submissions, blog DefendChristians.org listed the Top Ten Anti-Christian Events in 2010.

The number one event on the list is the use of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to force faith-based institutions to hire non-believers. Also near the top of the list is the expulsion of two Christian students from their Master's program in counseling for their biblical beliefs about homosexuality. These are examples of a growing phobia toward Christians, said Dr. Gary L. Cass, president and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

CADC, a non-profit which champions the causes of Christians, is the organization behind the website.

"This has been going [on] for years. Seculars and non-believers have been trying to discredit Christ," Cass asserted.

And "it’s been getting more intense each year,” he maintained.

These assaults on Christians' basic freedoms to freely believe and exercise their faith illustrate a fear of Christianity, he contended. Like most other phobias, Cass said this fear is irrational.

"If these same types of actions were taken against other groups, one would call it bigoted," he said.

"Everyone says if you oppose homosexuality, you're homophobic. If you oppose Islam, you're Islamophobic. If you oppose Christianity, you're Christophobic," he argued.

The top ten list is meant to highlight to Christians episodes of irrational hate against the faith and encourage them to take a stand, he stated.

click to read more from Christian Post.com