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There's Very Little in the Michael Brown Shooting Incident Report
There's Very Little in the Michael Brown Shooting Incident Report
August 29, 2014

Nearly two weeks after Michael Brown's death, a police report on the shooting has finally been made public. But the glaring lack of detail is likely to increase widespread criticism that the law-enforcement community is closing ranks around Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Brown on Aug. 9.

The incident report, filed by the St. Louis County police department, contains no new information on the encounter between Brown and Wilson. There are no written details about the event. As a result, the officer's account of what transpired when the two men met just after noon on Aug. 9 remains a mystery.

And it will be for some time, according to Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County police department. Schellman told TIME that the department does not intend to release the "investigative" component of the incident report, the part that details Wilson's version of events.

Schellman said that under the Missouri State "Sunshine" Law, the department was not required to release the information during a pending investigation. As a result, Wilson's account of what happens will remain confidential unless it is presented by a prosecutor, Schellman said.

"We will not release it," said Schellman, who noted that this is the county's normal procedure. "This isn't any different than a typical larceny from a local convenience store."

Wilson never filed a report on the incident, according to the office of the St. Louis County prosecutor. The case was quickly turned over to the county at the request of local police. According to the document, the St. Louis County police entered the incident report on Aug. 19, 10 days after the shooting. It was approved for release the following morning.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Child firing Uzi at Ariz. shooting range accidentally kills instructor
Child firing Uzi at Ariz. shooting range accidentally kills instructor
August 28, 2014

A shooting instructor is dead, the victim of a gun-range accident. A 9-year-old girl is surely traumatized. And plenty of people, including many gun enthusiasts, are asking: Why give a child a submachine gun to shoot?

The deadly incident occurred Monday morning at a gun range in Arizona that caters to Las Vegas tourists, many of whom drive an hour from the gambling center to fire high-powered weapons.

Charles Vacca was accidentally shot in the head as he instructed the 9-year-old girl how to fire an Uzi, an Israeli-made 9mm submachine gun. As she pulled the trigger, the gun jumped out of her left hand toward Vacca, who was standing beside her.

"To put an Uzi in the hands of a 9-year-old ... is extremely reckless, " CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said.

Gun experts contacted by CNN on Wednesday said young children should be taught to shoot with single-shot firearms rather than submachine guns.

They also said that safe learning is connected to the ability and experience of the instructor.

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Good Day Goodies!
Good Day Goodies!
August 27, 2014

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Doug Stephan Coffee
Doug Stephan Coffee
August 26, 2014

Click the link below to find out how you can give a daily cup of milk to a child in need with your daily cup of coffee!

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Muslim community speaks out against actions of ISIS
Muslim community speaks out against actions of ISIS
August 26, 2014

Leaders from Louisville's Muslim community are condemning the actions of ISIS.

During a press conference held outside the Louisville Islamic Center off River Road, members of the Islamic faith said they do not associate or have tolerance for those who have "hijacked" their faith.

"It is not from Islam what these people, ISIS, are doing," said Wasif Iqbal, imam of the Louisville Islamic Center.

ISIS, a militant group, spans across parts of Syria and into Iraq. The organization is behind the brutal execution of American journalist James Foley. The goal of ISIS is a Sunni Muslim caliphate across Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and other parts of the Middle East. The group's methods are exceptionally brutal.

"They are militants," said Haleh Karimi, of Independent Muslims of Louisville. "They are definitely extremist and they are terrorists."

Dr. Muhammad Babar said the group had to speak out against ISIS, although there are concerns that the terrorist group may harm their families overseas.

"We strongly believe that silence is not the solution. We can not stay on the sidelines," said Babar. "Yes, there is this risk of harm, but look at thousands of the people who are already suffering at their hands."

Muslim leaders say there has not been any sort of retaliation against them in Louisville since the ISIS crisis began. They believe it's a sign that a majority of people understand that they do not support any sort of extremist behavior.

The Muslim community says their doors are open and invite anyone to learn more about their faith.

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Doug and My Cool Inventions
Doug and My Cool Inventions
August 26, 2014

Doug teams up with Akos Jankura 'The Solutionist' and John Cremeans 'The Doctor of Shopology' from My Cool Inventions Radio in a search for America's Top Invention weekday mornings at 9am (Eastern)!

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Strong California quake causes injuries, damage
Strong California quake causes injuries, damage
August 25, 2014

The San Francisco Bay Area's strongest earthquake in 25 years struck the heart of California's wine country early Sunday, igniting gas-fed fires, damaging some of the region's famed wineries and historic buildings, and sending dozens of people to hospitals.

The magnitude-6.0 quake, centered near the city of Napa, an oasis of Victorian-era buildings nestled in the vineyard-studded hills of northern California, ruptured water mains and gas lines, hampering firefighters' efforts to extinguish the blazes that broke out after the temblor struck at 3:20 a.m.

Dazed residents who had run out of their homes in the dark and were too fearful of aftershocks to go back to bed wandered through Napa's historic downtown, where boulder-sized chunks of rubble and broken glass littered the streets. Dozens of homes and buildings across the Napa Valley were left unsafe to occupy, including an old county courthouse, where a 10-foot wide hole opened a view of the offices inside.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for southern Napa County, directing state agencies to respond with equipment and personnel. President Barack Obama was briefed on the earthquake, the White House said, and federal officials were in touch with state and local emergency responders.

The temblor struck about six miles south of Napa and lasted 10 to 20 seconds, according to the United States Geological Survey. It was the largest to shake the San Francisco Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake struck in 1989, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway collapsed.

Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, where an outdoor triage tent was set up to handle the influx, reported treating 172 people in the emergency room, although hospital officials could not say how many of them were there for bruises and cuts suffered in the quake and how many for more routine injuries and illnesses.

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Attorney: New audio reveals pause in gunfire when Michael Brown was shot
Attorney: New audio reveals pause in gunfire when Michael Brown was shot
August 25, 2014

Could a newly released audio provide more clues on what led up to Michael Brown's shooting death?

The FBI has questioned a man who says he recorded audio of gunfire at the time Brown was shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police on August 9, the man's attorney told CNN.

In the recording, a quick series of shots can be heard, followed by a pause and then another quick succession of shots.

Forensic audio expert Paul Ginsberg analyzed the recording and said he detected at least 10 gunshots -- a cluster of six, followed by four.

"I was very concerned about that pause ... because it's not just the number of gunshots, it's how they're fired," the man's attorney, Lopa Blumenthal, told CNN's Don Lemon. "And that has a huge relevance on how this case might finally end up."

The man, who asked that his identity not be revealed, lives near the site of the shooting and was close enough to have heard the gunshots, his attorney said.

He was speaking to a friend on a video chat service and happened to be recording the conversation at the same time Brown was shot, Blumenthal said.

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Dream Big America - August Finals!
Dream Big America - August Finals!
August 22, 2014

Here are the finalists for August for Dream Big America...

Tom Force from ICE Medical Cards

Ron Ben-Zeev from Complete The Pair

Craig Jackson from Tiger Tiller

To find out more about Dream Big America, click the link below!

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge
What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge
August 22, 2014

From a blog by Bo Stern...

Well, we are on week two of the very-viral very-everywhere ALS ice bucket challenge. I know, I know, I can hear the groans...it started out cute and now it's out-of-control. Played. Clogging up social media sites everywhere.

I even read this article in which the author called the challenge (that has raised an unprecedented amount of money for one of the most outrageously underfunded diseases) a waste of fresh water. Another headline whined, "Is the Ice Bucket Challenge Going to Cure ALS?" Um, no (and - btw - that's a stupid bar to set for any fundraiser.) Critics complain that the challenge is really about feeding our American narcism and does nothing for ALS awareness or funding. They assert that people should just quietly donate their money and move on with their lives.



I get that they're cranky, but I think maybe they don't realize what it's like to face this insidious disease and then realize that it's nearly invisible to the rest of the world. As I watch my husband become entombed inside his own body, I feel desperate for people to understand that this sort of inhumane condition exists. But for some reason, while everyone acknowledges it's one of the worst fates imaginable, funding for research and patient care is nearly nil. I recently mentioned to a doctor that my husband has ALS and she first looked confused and then said, "Oh, that's Lou Gehrig's Disease, right?" Right. Why does she -a doctor of medicine - still only know it by Lou Gehrigs Disease? Because we humans need to associate things with people. It's easier that way. That's why the celebrity faces and personal challenges happening in the ice bucket challenge are so effective at bringing in money. And if someone gets to look good while plunking their $50 in the ALS tip jar, I have zero problem with that.



Because here's the deal: We are in for the fight of our lives with this monster, and the very LAST thing I want is for people to give quietly, anonymously, and then slink away. Raise the roof! Raise a ruckus! Call all sorts of attention to yourself! I will be happy for you and every Facebook like you receive, as you nudge ALS an inch or two closer to the collective public consciousness.



So, fear not, dear reader, this too shall pass and your Facebook newsfeed will go back to cat videos and kids singing Let It Go. Until that happens, here's a little reminder about what it's like to live with ALS and why this level of awareness is like gold to families like mine.



----------


A Mile in ALS Shoes

People ask me often what it's like to live with ALS. It's a brave question because the answers are not very pleasant. But it's also such a worthy question because understanding how this disease impacts those who suffer from it creates empathy which is so valuable; it carries us into another person's world and allows us to understand what they're feeling and how they're hurting. As I watch my strong husband struggle with things that used to be easy and automatic, I sometimes wish that everyone could see life from his perspective.



If you would like to experience just a tiny corner of an ALS life, I have a list of Empathetic Experiences for you. These are things you can do to walk for just a mile in ALS shoes. If you try one, take a little time at the end to consider that people actually living with the disease have a million miles more to go.

1. Pick up a 10-pound weight. Now imagine it's your fork and move it from your plate to your mouth repeatedly without shaking.

2. Sit in a chair for just 15 minutes moving nothing but your eyes. Nothing. No speaking, no scratching your nose, no shifting your weight, no changing the channel on the television, no computer work. Only your eyes. As you sit, imagine: this is your life. Your only life.

3. Borrow a wheelchair or power scooter and try to maneuver quickly through the aisles at Walmart, without speaking. Note the way people react to you.

4. Strap 25 pounds to your forearm. Now, adjust your rearview mirror.

5. Using none of your own muscles, have your spouse or child or friend get you dressed and brush your teeth. Write down some of the feelings you have being cared for in this way.

6. Before you eat your next meal, take a good, long look at the food. Inhale deeply and appreciate the aroma. Now, imagine never being able to taste that - or any other food - for the rest of your life.

7. Put two large marshmallows in your mouth and have a conversation with your friends. How many times must you repeat yourself? How does this make you feel?

8. Go to bed and stay in one position for as long as you possibly can, moving nothing.

9. Strap weights to your ankles and climb a flight of stairs, taking two at a time. That's the kind of strength it takes for someone with ALS to tackle the stairs on a good day.

10. Install a text-to-speech app on your phone or iPad and use it exclusively to communicate for one day.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

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