News Items

W. Va. troopers hand out cash instead of tickets

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:51

By Samantha Perry Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W. Va.

PRINCETON, W. Va. — Elizabeth Bittle showed obvious concern when she saw the West Virginia State Police trooper and his blue lights behind her in a traffic stop in a parking lot off Route 460 in Glenwood.

Bittle, a Bluefield resident, was slightly speeding when Senior Trooper D.B. Whited pulled in behind her. Her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia, was in the back seat along with German shepherd Max.

Five minutes later, Bittle’s worry turned to tears of joy when she was given a warning and handed a crisp $100 bill.

In what has become an annual tradition at the State Police Princeton detachment, “Santa stops” were conducted Friday by troopers who handed out cash instead of tickets.

Bittle called the unexpected gift “a blessing.”

“It’s amazing,” said Bittle, a single mother to four children. “I was getting ready to take my paycheck and spend it on Christmas — but it’s not enough. This will provide Christmas dinner or stocking stuffers.”

Bittle said she had no idea the Santa Stops were underway. “I was speeding … trying to get everything done for Christmas.”

Throughout the interview with Bittle, Senior Trooper Whited smiled in the background.

Santa Stops have been conducted by troopers at the Princeton detachment since 2014 when an anonymous donor brought in ten $100 bills and asked that they be given out to random drivers. The tradition has continued since then.

Initially, troopers were able to pull over any motorist they felt could use a little extra cash. But a 2016 Supreme Court ruling put the brakes on that practice. In a memo to law enforcement agencies at that time, then-Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash pointed out that these stops are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, even though officers are simply committing “random acts of kindness.”

The high court case did not involve a “Santa stop,” but an incident in Monongalia County in which an officer stopped a motorist to ask him if he had seen a suspect in a domestic violence incident who was on foot. The motorist was then cited for driving on a revoked license and driving under the influence.

Ash said in 2016 that if a local trooper or officer pulled someone over to give them cash or a gift card and then smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath, any DUI charge would likely be thrown out of court.

“Building community relations, particularly during the holidays, is a terrific idea,” Ash stated in the earlier memo. “I hope you can continue this custom in a creative way that does not invoke the Fourth Amendment.”

State troopers have done just that.

On Friday, Whited was looking for expired stickers and tags. He found just that on Glenwood Park Road.

Todd Bailey was en route to pick up his son, Jordan, at Glenwood School when the blue lights came on behind him. His expression showed shock and amazement when he was handed cash instead of a ticket.

“I had a dead tag and got a $100 bill,” Bailey said.

His wife, Juleigh Bailey, said it was a “nice surprise” at Christmas.

Juleigh then hesitated, and noted, “We’re OK. Could another family use it more?”

After a conversation with Whited, the Baileys said they would be donating the money to the Salvation Army.

Whited said he enjoys doing the Santa Stops because it allows him to interact with residents in a favorable situation. Normally, State Troopers are called in when negative events occur.

“For me, it’s different to get to interact with people in a positive way,” Whited said. “It’s a way to give back to the community. I love doing it. That’s why I volunteer every year.”

Whited’s final stop of the day was Caren East, who was also slightly speeding on Route 460.

East, of Orlando, Fla., was born and raised in Spanishburg and “home for Christmas.”

The passenger in the car was her sister, Stacey East.

Both East women were enthusiastic and smiling after the $100 gift, and said it would come in handy after a day of shopping for their parents.

“We’re here for Christmas,” Caren East said. “But we’re doing a surprise 50th anniversary party for our parents tomorrow. We were out shopping, and just dropped $200 at the store.”

Whited finished his Santa Stops Friday afternoon. Pulling back into the Princeton detachment parking lot, he was still smiling. “It’s great to get to be positive with people.”

Sgt. M.S. Haynes, Cpl. P.H. Shrewsbury and Trooper First Class J.R. Tupper also participated in the Santa Stops.

©2017 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Border Patrol 'duped' into providing security for cartel wedding

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:38

By Kristina Davis The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — When Brian Houston wed his Mexican fiancee in a surprise ceremony during a rare opening of the steel gate on the U.S.-Mexico border fence last month, he said it was because he could not cross into Tijuana.

Now we know why.

Houston, a U.S. citizen, is awaiting sentencing in San Diego federal court on a drug smuggling conviction — a fact that the Border Patrol says it did not know when it ran a background check on him clearing him to participate in the cross-border event at Border Field State Park.

Houston was arrested in February as he crossed through the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Found hidden in his Volkswagen Jetta were 43 pounds of heroin, 47 pounds of methamphetamine and 43 pounds of cocaine, according to the complaint.

“The agents are upset, feel like they were taken advantage of, feel like they were duped,” said Joshua Wilson, vice president and spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613. “Turns out we provided armed security for a cartel wedding.”

The incident could put future “Door of Hope” events in jeopardy. The event is closely monitored and choreographed, with a handful of vetted families on the U.S. side allowed to embrace and greet family members on the Mexican side in three-minute reunions under the watchful eye of Border Patrol agents. The encounters are held on a small strip of land owned by the Department of Homeland Security known as Friendship Park.

The enormous border gate has opened with fanfare like this six times since 2013.

The event is organized by the Border Angels nonprofit group, run by executive director Enrique Morones. He gives questionnaires to interested families who cannot cross the border legally for whatever reason, and the forms are then provided to the Border Patrol for approval.

“Border Angels has never done any background checks, as the Border Patrol advised us they will do all background checks and advise us which families have been cleared,” Morones said in a statement Wednesday.

Twelve families were approved for the Nov. 18 opening — including Houston — although one family did not show, Morones said.

Border Patrol spokesperson Takae Michael said Houston was “screened through an internal vetting process based on biographical information provided to us” by Morones. “A review of the provided information, through our DHS systems, did not indicate criminal activity,” Michael said.

The wedding between Houston and Evelia Reyes was a surprise to agents. The couple — in only a few minutes — signed documents from the Tijuana municipal authorities, posed for pictures and hugged. The nuptials were widely covered by news outlets on both sides of the border, including The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“It’s a statement that love has no borders,” Houston told reporters at the time. “Even though we are divided by a giant fence here, we can still love each other on both sides of the fence.”

He said his wife was working with an immigration attorney to get a green card to live in the United States.

Wilson, the Border Patrol union rep, said Morones should have alerted the agents to the wedding.

“They showed up dressed for a wedding,” Wilson said. “The agents there were powerless to stop it. We were certainly put on the spot.”

The Border Patrol said that after the wedding, “a subsequent review of Houston’s information was completed and confirmed a match for a previous arrest for drug smuggling.”

Morones said he plans to meet soon with San Diego’s new Border Patrol chief, Rodney Scott, to discuss the incident and future events.

“We were shocked to learn this past week of Brian Houston’s very serious criminal situation. That goes against everything Border Angels stands for,” Morones said. Border Angels is a humanitarian group serving immigrants that started decades ago by leaving water and other supplies in the desert for border crossers.

Houston, who had a SENTRI pass, which allows expedited clearance on arriving in the United States for preapproved travelers, approached the port of entry at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 28 and said he had nothing to declare, according to the complaint. But the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer smelled a strong chemical odor while inspecting the trunk and noticed scrapes that suggested the lining of the compartment had been tampered with, the complaint states.

Under the lining, several plastic-wrapped packages could be seen, the complaint says. The car was driven through an X-ray machine and several more packages were detected in all four doors, rear quarter panels and the spare tire. There were 67 packages in all.

After his arrest, Houston was granted release on $20,000 bond secured by the signatures of his parents and a 15 percent cash deposit, according to court records. He was also not allowed to enter Mexico and had to surrender his U.S. passport.

He pleaded guilty in May to importing the drugs. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23.

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune


Categories: Law Enforcement

NHC Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion

NWS Weather - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:35

000
AXNT20 KNHC 241735
TWDAT

Tropical Weather Discussion
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
1235 PM EST Sun Dec 24 2017

Tropical Weather Discussion for North America, Central America
Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, northern sections of South
America, and Atlantic Ocean to the African coast from the
Equator to 32N. The following information is based on satellite
imagery, weather observations, radar and meteorological analysis.

Based on 1200 UTC surface analysis and satellite imagery through
1715 UTC.

...Gale Warning for the coast of Colombia...

High pressure over the Atlantic will continue to tighten the
pressure gradient over the south-central and southwest Caribbean
Sea supporting minimal gale-force winds off the coast of Colombia
at night through tonight. The high pressure will weaken on Monday,
but will maintain strong trades over the Central and SW Caribbean
through Thursday, with near gale force nocturnal winds near the
coast of Colombia. Please read the latest NHC High Seas Forecast
under AWIPS/WMO headers MIAHSFAT2/FZNT02 KNHC for more details.

...ITCZ/MONSOON TROUGH...

The monsoon trough enters the Atlantic Ocean through Nigeria and
and continues to 03N at the Prime Meridian to 03N12W. The ITCZ
axis extends from 03N12W to 05N20W to 03N30W to 03N40W to NE
Brazil near 02N51W. Scattered moderate isolated strong convection
is within about 150 nm N of the ITCZ axis between 27W and 43W.
Scattered moderate convection is from 05N-08N between 43W-50W.
Similar convection is also along the Equator at 47W.


...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...

As of 1500 UTC, a cold front extends from the Florida Big Bend to
near 26N90W where it becomes stationary to the central Bay of
Campeche near 18N94W. Currently, gentle to moderate northerly
winds are noted behind the front while light and variable winds
are ahead of the front N of 22N. Seas are generally in the 4-6 ft
with the exception of 7-9 ft across the SW Gulf based on recent
altimeter data. E of the front, a ridge from the Atlantic Ocean,
extends across Florida into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with a
1023 mb high pressure located over south Florida. This system is
bringing mostly clear skies, light winds, and warm temperatures
across South Florida. The northern half of the front will drift
east this afternoon, ahead of a reinforcing cold front moving
across the northern Gulf waters. The fronts will merge this
evening and reach from SW Florida to near Veracruz, Mexico Mon
morning, before stalling and weakening from the Straits of Florida
to near Veracruz late Mon. Fresh to strong N-NE winds will follow
the reinforcing cold front with seas building to 6-7 ft across
the north and SW Gulf.

CARIBBEAN SEA...

Latest scatterometer data continue to show fresh to strong winds
across the central Caribbean, while moderate to fresh NE-E winds
are noted across the remainder of the basin. Seas of 10-11 ft are
in this region with the strongest winds near the coast of
Colombia. Please, see Special Features section for more details.
Patches of low level moisture embedded in the trade wind flow are
producing isolated to scattered passing showers over the Greater
and Lesser Antilles from time to time. Showers carried by the
trades are aslo affecting parts of Central America. Little change
in this weather pattern is forecast over the next two or three
days. Fresh to strong NE winds are expected through the Windward
Passage on Tue and Wed. Large E swell will build seas to 9 ft E of
the Lesser Antilles along 55W beginning on Mon night, with these
swells reaching the E Atlantic passages on Tue evening and
continuing through Thu evening.

...HISPANIOLA...

Low-topped trade wind showers will continue to move across the
island from time to time. Mostly dry and stable conditions are
expected to persist over the next couple of days under the
influence of a mid-upper level ridge and associated strong
subsidence.

ATLANTIC OCEAN...

A ridge extends across the Atlantic waters, including the Bahamas
and the State of Florida, with a 1023 mb high pressure situated
over south Florida. A weak trough extends from 31N59W to 28N60W.
The ridge will retreat eastward tonight as a cold front moves off
the NE Florida coast accompanied by fresh to locally strong
veering winds from SW to NW across the waters N of 30N. The front
will reach from 31N73W to south Florida by early Monday afternoon,
then stall from 31N63W to the Northern Bahamas on Tue while
gradually weakening. The remainder of the Atlantic will continue
under the influence of a ridge, anchored by a high pressure
located near the Azores. This system will undergo occasional
intensity fluctuations, resulting in a rather tight pressure
gradient across the waters N of the ITCZ/Monsoon Trough between
the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles through at least
Wednesday. In addition, this high pressure has displaced the
monsoon trough/ITCZ farther south.

For additional information please visit
http://www.hurricanes.gov/marine

$$
GR
Categories: Weather

Man Shot Multiple Times, Suspect At Large: FWPD

Media - KXAS NBC5 DFW - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:29


A Fort Worth man is recovering Sunday morning after being shot multiple times overnight, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5

I-81 NB just past Exit 16 - US 11; Nedrow; Onondaga Nation(Onondaga),right lane closed due to pothole repairs @ 12:20PM for over 4 hrs. Onondaga Co.

State - NY - NYALERT - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:28
I-81 NB just past Exit 16 - US 11; Nedrow; Onondaga Nation(Onondaga),right lane closed due to pothole repairs @ 12:20PM for over 4 hrs. Onondaga Co.
Categories: Current Incidents

Fire & Iron MC Surprise Lowcountry Firefighter’s Family With Christmas Cheer

SCOnFire - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:26
Berkeley County, SC – This year’s Christmas wasn’t going to be easy for one lowcountry firefighter, whose youngest son is currently hospitalized awaiting a heart transplant. The situation was brought to the attention of the Station 28 chapter of the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club who decided something needed to be done. Gathering donations which ...

Elderly couple arrested with 60 pounds of pot, says the drugs were Christmas gifts

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:14

By Julie Johnson The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

YORK, Neb. — An 80-year-old Lake County man and his wife road tripping to the East Coast, were arrested in Nebraska on suspicion of hauling about 60 pounds of cannabis in the vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

The odor of marijuana tipped deputies off to the stash during a Dec. 19 traffic stop in York County in eastern Nebraska, authorities said. York County sheriff’s officials said deputies pulled the 2016 Toyota Tacoma over after the driver failed to signal a turn and drove left of the center line.

When asked about the smell, Patrick Jiron, 80, and his wife Barbara Jiron, 70, both of Clearlake Oaks, told Nebraska deputies the bags of marijuana were Christmas gifts for friends and family in Boston and Vermont, York County sheriff’s officials said in a news statement.

The marijuana — with an estimated street value of about $300,000 — as well as “multiple containers of concentrated THC” were found in the “truck topper,” officials said.

The Jirons were cited on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and a drug tax charge, a state program intended to tax people selling illegal drugs for a certain value of the contraband, which for marijuana is $100 per ounce. Nebraska has no medical marijuana program.

York County authorities released a booking photograph of Patrick Jiron. A local news outlet, the York News Times, reported that only he was booked into jail before being released on bail, and his wife was given a citation to appear in court “due to some medical issues.” The sheriff’s office initially reported incorrect ages for the couple, the York News Times said.

The Jirons couldn’t immediately be reached Saturday for comment.

©2017 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Elderly couple arrested with 60 pounds of pot, says the drugs were a Christmas gift

Police One - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 11:14

By Julie Johnson The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

YORK, Neb. — An 80-year-old Lake County man and his wife road tripping to the East Coast, were arrested in Nebraska on suspicion of hauling about 60 pounds of cannabis in the vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

The odor of marijuana tipped deputies off to the stash during a Dec. 19 traffic stop in York County in eastern Nebraska, authorities said. York County sheriff’s officials said deputies pulled the 2016 Toyota Tacoma over after the driver failed to signal a turn and drove left of the center line.

When asked about the smell, Patrick Jiron, 80, and his wife Barbara Jiron, 70, both of Clearlake Oaks, told Nebraska deputies the bags of marijuana were Christmas gifts for friends and family in Boston and Vermont, York County sheriff’s officials said in a news statement.

The marijuana — with an estimated street value of about $300,000 — as well as “multiple containers of concentrated THC” were found in the “truck topper,” officials said.

The Jirons were cited on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and a drug tax charge, a state program intended to tax people selling illegal drugs for a certain value of the contraband, which for marijuana is $100 per ounce. Nebraska has no medical marijuana program.

York County authorities released a booking photograph of Patrick Jiron. A local news outlet, the York News Times, reported that only he was booked into jail before being released on bail, and his wife was given a citation to appear in court “due to some medical issues.” The sheriff’s office initially reported incorrect ages for the couple, the York News Times said.

The Jirons couldn’t immediately be reached Saturday for comment.

©2017 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)


Categories: Law Enforcement

Hospital steps up security after national increase in emergency room violence

EMS-1 Products - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 10:35
A study revealed that 54.5 percent of 6,504 emergency nurses have experienced physical violence and/or verbal abuse from a patient or visitor
Categories: Gear

State Police conduct underage drinking initiative in Albany county over holiday weekend

State - NY Police - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 10:28
The New York State Police, in conjunction with the State Liquor Authority and Colonie Police Department conducted an operation over the holiday weekend targeting businesses that sell alcohol.  Three people were arrested during the initiative.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Two Seriously Hurt In Wrong Way Crash In Kaufman: PD

Media - KXAS NBC5 DFW - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 10:10


Two men were hospitalized early Sunday after being seriously hurt in a head-on crash in Kaufman overnight, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5

SPC Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook

Weather - Fire Weather - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 09:53
SPC Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook
Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0952 AM CST Sun Dec 24 2017 Valid 241700Z - 251200Z ...NO CRITICAL AREAS... No changes have been made to the ongoing forecast. See the previous discussion below for more information. ..Gleason.. 12/24/2017 .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 1149 PM CST Sat Dec 23 2017/ ...Synopsis... Mid/upper-level ridging over the far western CONUS is forecast to weaken today, with cyclonic flow becoming re-established across the CONUS. At the surface, high pressure over the northern Great Basin and Rockies early today will weaken by afternoon, while another area of high pressure builds southward into the southern Plains in the wake of a frontal passage. A relatively cold air mass across much of the CONUS is expected to limit large-scale fire weather concerns. ...Southern California... While a dry low-level air mass (RH values of 5-15%) is forecast to remain over inland areas and fuels remain exceptionally dry, a weak pressure gradient will keep wind speeds relatively light (e.g., less than 10 mph). Nevertheless, terrain influences may modestly enhance low-level flow creating locally elevated fire weather conditions. However, the spotty/brief nature of the threat precludes introduction of an Elevated fire weather area. ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product... Read more
Categories: Weather

SPC Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook

Weather - Fire Weather - Sun, 12/24/2017 - 09:53
SPC Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook
Day 1 Fire Weather Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0952 AM CST Sun Dec 24 2017 Valid 241700Z - 251200Z ...NO CRITICAL AREAS... No changes have been made to the ongoing forecast. See the previous discussion below for more information. ..Gleason.. 12/24/2017 .PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 1149 PM CST Sat Dec 23 2017/ ...Synopsis... Mid/upper-level ridging over the far western CONUS is forecast to weaken today, with cyclonic flow becoming re-established across the CONUS. At the surface, high pressure over the northern Great Basin and Rockies early today will weaken by afternoon, while another area of high pressure builds southward into the southern Plains in the wake of a frontal passage. A relatively cold air mass across much of the CONUS is expected to limit large-scale fire weather concerns. ...Southern California... While a dry low-level air mass (RH values of 5-15%) is forecast to remain over inland areas and fuels remain exceptionally dry, a weak pressure gradient will keep wind speeds relatively light (e.g., less than 10 mph). Nevertheless, terrain influences may modestly enhance low-level flow creating locally elevated fire weather conditions. However, the spotty/brief nature of the threat precludes introduction of an Elevated fire weather area. ...Please see www.spc.noaa.gov/fire for graphic product... Read more
Categories: Weather

Lake Creek Pkwy / N Us 183 Hwy Svrd Nb - zSTALLED VEHICLE

| 30.461425 | -97.793557 | zSTALLED VEHICLE | Sun, 24 Dec 2017 15:20:37 GMT
Categories: Current Incidents

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