Archive for September, 2010

George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson ...

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Hell he should have been like FUCK YEAH I SCOREDDDDD!!!!

A Rutgers University student who apparently committed suicide was the unknowing target of an internet broadcast showing him in a sexual encounter, New Jersey authorities said Wednesday.

Two other Rutgers students have been charged with invasion of privacy after they allegedly placed a camera in 18-year-old Tyler Clementi’s dorm room without his knowledge and then broadcast Clementi’s sexual enounter, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.

“If the charges are true, these actions gravely violate the university’s standards of decency and humanity,” Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick said in a statement Wednesday.

Although Clementi’s body has not been found, an attorney for the Ridgewood, New Jersey, family said Wednesday, “On behalf of the family of Tyler Clementi, I can confirm that Tyler committed suicide last week by jumping from the George Washington Bridge.”

“The family and their representatives are cooperating fully with the ongoing criminal investigations of two Rutgers University students,” attorney Paul Mainardi added.

A law enforcement source confirmed with CNN that while a body has not yet been recovered, Clementi’s wallet and cell phone were found on the bridge that spans the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York.

Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, New Jersey, and Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton, New Jersey, are each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for the September 19 broadcast, according to the prosecutor’s office. Two more counts of invasion of privacy were leveled against Ravi for an attempt to videotape another encounter involving Clementi on September 21, the prosecutor’s office said.

It is unclear exactly how Rutgers campus police learned that a camera had been placed in Clementi’s room and used to broadcast his encounter.

Both Wei and Ravi surrendered to campus police — Wei surrendered on Monday and was released on her own recognizance; Ravi surrendered Tuesday and was released on $25,000 bail.

Ravi’s attorney did not return phone calls from CNN.

According to the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office, Wei apparently had not retained an attorney as of Wednesday.

If convicted, both could face up to five years in prison.

Police at the university, which has its main campus in New Brunswick, are investigating the case, university president McCormick said in his statement Wednesday.

“I deeply regret that today we learned from the family of one of our students that they believe their son has committed suicide. We are profoundly saddened by this report, and our hearts and prayers are with the parents, family, and friends of this young man, who had started at Rutgers this semester as a first-year student on the New Brunswick campus,” McCormick said in the statement.

He added, “While there is a lot of information being communicated, we don’t have all the facts in this case.”

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

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For all you small business owners out there here you go!


* Bill includes $12 billion in small business tax breaks

* Republicans painted it as similar to bank bailouts (Refiles to capitalize M in LeMieux, graph 8)

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama signed a $30 billion small business lending bill into law on Monday, claiming a victory on economic policy for his fellow Democrats ahead of November congressional elections.

The law sets up a lending fund for small businesses and includes an additional $12 billion in tax breaks for small companies.

“It was critical that we cut taxes and make more loans available to entrepreneurs,” Obama said in remarks at the White House. “So today after a long and tough fight, I am signing a small business jobs bill that does exactly that.”

Obama is trying to show voters, who are unhappy about 9.6 percent unemployment, that he and his party are doing everything they can to boost the tepid U.S. economy.

Democrats said they backed the bill because small businesses had trouble getting loans after the financial crisis that began in December 2007. They estimate the incentives could provide up to $300 billion in new small business credit in the coming years and create 500,000 new jobs.

Republicans characterized the bill as a smaller version of the unpopular Wall Street bank rescue effort and blocked it in the Senate for weeks until two retiring Republicans broke ranks and voted to end blocking maneuvers.

Republicans are expected to make big gains in the Nov. 2 elections and hope to win majorities in one or both houses of Congress.

Obama criticized the opposition party for fighting the bill and thanked the two Republicans, George Voinovich and George LeMieux, whose support allowed it to get through the Senate.

He said the measures would have fast-acting effects on the small business community, which both political parties are courting in an effort to boost jobs.

“It’s going to speed relief to small businesses across the country right away,” Obama said. “We’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s why I fought so hard to pass this bill, and that’s why I’m going to continue to do everything in my power to help small businesses open up and hire and expand.”

New Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows trailer

Posted: September 23, 2010 by The STR in Uncategorized

Jennifer Lopez joins American Idol

Posted: September 23, 2010 by The STR in NEWS & LOCAL NEWS

An American Alligator in captivity at the Colu...

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Maryellen Mara-Christian last week caught and killed what some might perceive to be a genuine monster: an American alligator measuring more than 13 feet and weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

Now, it seems, the hunter has become the hunted. 

Her story, which played out over two chaotic hours onLake Moultrie in South Carolina, made national headlines and morning and evening news shows. They found it remarkable that a woman who stands just 5 feet 5 and weighs only 120 pounds could wrangle such a mammoth beast.

Afterward, however, some people became outraged by the methods used to dispatch the great reptile: baited fishing lines, followed by harpoons, a muzzle snare, shots from a .22-caliber weapon and, ultimately, a knife jab to the spinal cord.

“This woman should be in jail, not on TV,” was among the tamer comments posted beneath a story on

“They tortured that alligator for hours. That’s just plain sick,” a reader chimed in.

The hunter, who is from Massachusetts and received help from her husband and a guide, defended her actions and correctly stated that hunting of gators is legal in South Carolina and a limited seasonal hunt is how the state’s wildlife agency keeps their numbers in check. 

“I enjoy nature and animals a great deal and I understand why there is a reason for hunting,” Mara-Christian told the Boston Herald. “I hunt because I want these creatures to be here forever.”

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources states in the introduction of an online hunters’ guide

“The alligator hunting season is integral to the conservation of the American alligator in South Carolina, adds to the value of the animal and allows hunters to benefit from this sustainable and renewable natural resource.”

The online guide also lists devices that can be used to attach a restraining line to the dangerous reptiles, after they’ve been baited and brought alongside the boat. They include hand-held snares, harpoons, gigs, arrows and snatch hooks.

Alligators are typically dispatched with a bang-stick or a handgun.

Mara-Christian’s gator is a serious trophy. American alligators rarely exceed 10 feet and top out at about 13 feet. The male specimen captured by Mara-Christian was estimated to be between 60-75 years old, and very near the end of its lifespan.

“I was hoping for something around 10 feet,” she told the Berkeley Independent. “We never imagined landing something like this.

Broncos WR Dies in Apparent Suicide

Posted: September 21, 2010 by The STR in NEWS & LOCAL NEWS

LOS ANGELES — The mayor and ex-city manager of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell were among eight current and former city officials arrested Tuesday in a corruption scandal that authorities said cost the blue-collar city more than $5.5 million in excessive salaries and illegal personal loans.

The district attorney‘s office said several former and current City Council members were taken into custody along with ex-city manager Robert Rizzo and Mayor Oscar Hernandez.

“This, needless to say, is corruption on steroids,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said at a news conference, standing next to a display of pictures of the suspects.

Rizzo, who was making nearly $800,000 a year, was booked on 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest. He was expected to be arraigned Wednesday, with officials seeking bail of $3.2 million.

Rizzo could face several years in prison if convicted, Cooley said. Messages left at Rizzo’s home and with his attorney were not immediately returned.

Others taken into custody were former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia, Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo, council members George Mirabal and Luis Artiga, and former council members George Cole and Victor Bello.

Requested bail amounts ranged from $377,500 for Spaccia to $130,000 for Cole, based on the amounts each was accused of misappropriating in the city where one in six people live in poverty.

Former Police Chief Randy Adams, who was also scrutinized in the salary scandal, was not arrested.

Cooley, who knew Adams when he was the police chief in Glendale, said Adams was paid $457,000 a year but there was no evidence he obtained that salary illegally.

“Being paid excessive salaries is not a crime,” Cooley said. “Illegally obtaining those salaries is a crime.”

Prosecutors allege the suspects misappropriated more than $5.5 million.

The complaint said Rizzo made $4.3 million by paying himself through different employment contracts that were not approved by the City Council, and that council members paid themselves a combined $1.25 million for what Cooley called “phantom meetings” of various city boards and agencies.

Rizzo also was accused of giving $1.9 million in loans to himself, Spaccia, Hernandez, Artiga and dozens of others, authorities said.

Cooley said his office had been investigating the officials since March — four months before the public learned they were paying themselves huge salaries to run the city of 40,000 people.

“They used the taxes of the hardworking citizens of Bell as their own piggy bank, which they looted,” the district attorney said.

He added that his investigators have pored over more than 60,000 pages of documents and more people could be charged.

Most of the arrests went smoothly, though police briefly used a battering ram at the home of Hernandez before he responded and opened the door. The door was not knocked down.

The suspects were booked into county facilities and will be kept away from other inmates for their protection, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

The arrests were the latest twist in a scandal that emerged in July with the disclosure that Rizzo was paid almost twice the salary of President Barack Obama.

It also was revealed that Adams was making $150,000 more than the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Spaccia was paid $376,288. Four of the five City Council members paid themselves nearly $100,000 a year for their part-time service.

Rizzo, Adams and Spaccia resigned and the council members reduced their salaries to about $8,000 following the disclosures and angry public reaction.

The four council members are currently the target of a recall.

Bell’s interim chief administrative officer Pedro Carrillo said the arrests marked a sad day for the city.

“It is clear that Rizzo and Spaccia were at the root of the cancer that has afflicted the city,” he said.

Last week, Attorney General Jerry Brown sued eight current and former officials of Bell, accusing them of defrauding taxpayers by granting themselves salaries he said were far higher than warranted for the jobs they were doing.

Artiga was not named in the lawsuit but Adams was.

Earlier this month Bell officials confirmed the city was also the target of a racial profiling investigation by the federal government for allegedly targeting young Hispanic drivers for traffic stops to raise revenue.