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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Manhunt continues for suspected Utah cop killer

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



The search for an alleged cop killer continues in the high desert along the border between Arizona and Utah, as the suspect, 23 year old Scott Curley, proves more elusive to authorities than anticipated.

A ten thousand dollar reward has been offered for the capture of Curley, with over three hundred law officers participating in the search. The manhunt began after Curley shot and killed Deputy Brian Harris with a rifle while the officer was pursuing the suspect on a separate charge. Curley is accused of burglarizing a nearby high school in Fredonia the night before.

Curley, a native American, is believed to be on foot, but has been successful in giving authorities the slip, leading searchers through unusually rugged terrain. During the cover of night, the suspect was apparently able to slip away from a police dragnet, covering greater distance than expected. It is believed Curley may have stashed some supplies in anticipation of his escape, suggesting the killing may have been planned well in advance.
Experts also suspect Curley may be getting assistance from friends or family. “We know someone is out there who knows where this individual is and we hope they will step forward,” U.S. Marshal David Gonzales was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune.

According to individuals familiar with Curley, rumors had been swirling for days that the suspect might be planning an attack. Others suggest the troubled young man may be delusional, and friends feared he could be reaching “the breaking point“.

Searchers, rotating in shifts, are currently focusing their efforts on an area between Fredonia and Kanab, Utah, just north of Arizona. Authorities deny they have given officers orders to shoot Curley on sight, but admit tensions are high. Still, they claim they maintain hope of capturing the troubled killer alive.



B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
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Friday, August 27, 2010

National Guard troops prepare to deploy along Arizona border

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



On Monday, the initial deployment of National Guard troops will begin arriving along the porous Arizona border separating the United States and northern Mexico. With border violence on the rise, area residents await troop arrival with measured optimism.

National Guard troops will begin arriving along the Arizona side of the border in small groups and without fanfare. It is anticipated that over five hundred troops will be deployed to the region by the end of September. Their effectiveness however, is hard to predict as the troops, although armed, will only operate as observers, lacking authority to make arrests themselves.

Still, the extra boots on the ground are expected to create an additional deterrent for would be smugglers and others who may attempt to cross the border illegally. Some experts however, believe the drug cartels will simply move their operations elsewhere, such as southern Texas, which is already experiencing an increase in drug related violent crimes.

Illegal immigration has become a key hot-button issue in recent months, especially among Republicans and Tea Party supporters. However, even long time Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain has acknowledged that the situation is not as simple as erecting a two thousand mile fence through the rocky desert or deploying troops along the border.

Arizona governor Jan Brewer has criticized the Obama administration for not doing enough to stem the flow of illegal activity along the border. Brewer recently enacted new laws designed to mitigate the situation, but several sections of the new bill, SB-1070 were ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. Brewer and her attorneys filed a brief addressing the matter earlier this morning.



B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Controversial Arizona sheriff facing Justice Department showdown


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



The US Justice Department has issued an ultimatum to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio; turn over requested documents by Friday, or face the consequences.

In a battle that has been brewing for months, the Justice Department has turned up the heat, threatening to sue the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office if the department refuses to cooperate with a federal investigation into mistreatment of detainees, including charges of racial discrimination and unlawful searches and seizures. Arpaio and his attorneys claim to be cooperating with the investigation, but the feds see it differently.

Originally, the Justice Department had given the Arpaio and the Sheriffs Department until August 17th to turn over the requested documents. Lack of compliance by the department could cost the county millions of dollars in federal funds, a risk that concerns many county officials. Withholding the funds would devastate the budget, gutting countless programs.

Arpaio, for the most part, has remained defiant and undeterred, refusing to alter his tactics, including his now notorious ‘crime sweeps’, which despite the national attention, have produced few meaningful arrests.

The seventy-eight year old sheriff began his career in law enforcement as a beat cop in the Washington DC area before relocating to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1957. He later worked for the DEA for over twenty-five years before eventually moving to Arizona.
Arpaio has held the office of Maricopa County Sheriff since 1992. He often makes headlines for housing inmates in outdoor tents during the excruciating summer heat, and feeding the prisoners green Bologna.

According to the information provided to the media by the Justice department, Arpaio and his office has until ”no later than the close of business on Friday, August 27th, 2010” to turn over the requested documents.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crews begin repairs to ruptured Tempe Town Lake dam


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor






Crews have begun making repairs to the ruptured dam at Tempe Town lake after runoff from monsoon rains delayed the start of the project for several days.

On July 20th, the day before the crews were to begin maintenance on the dam, one of the four inflatable rubber bladders located on the west end of the dam burst, sending a raging torrent, 15,000 feet cubic feet per second, enough to fill over fifty thousand swimming pools, crashing downstream. Since then, the man made lake has sat empty.

Tempe Town Lake has long been a dream of those living in Tempe and throughout the valley of the sun. In 1987, after years of research and development, the Rio Salado project, which included construction of the lake, was finally put before valley voters.
It was the beginning of what would slowly develop into Tempe Town Lake.

Eight rubber bladder dams, each 16 feet tall and 240 feet in length, were installed along the river, creating a 2-mile long lake with over 220-surface acres of water. Finally, on June 2, 1999, water from the Central Arizona canal began flowing into the Tempe Town Lake. 43 days later, the lake was officially declared full.

Ten years later, Tempe Town Lake has become the top attraction in the valley, with nearly three million people visiting the lake annually. It is the crowning achievement of a project over thirty years in the making. Each year, millions of people enjoy the lake. Some boat, while others choose to walk or jog along the miles of adjoining trails. Valley parents bring their family for an afternoon picnic. Some simply come to the lake to gaze at the beautiful oasis in the middle of the bustling desert city.

Understandably, many valley residents were saddened by the sudden loss of the lake. Thousands of fish left to die on the desert floor were scooped up and fed to alligators at a neighboring zoo. Officials predict it will be November before the lake again reaches capacity.

There is an up-side. Crews working on the first pedestrian footbridge to span the lake say work is progressing much quicker than expected without the water to contend to and predict the bridge will be ready for use by the time the lake is re-filled.





B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Cuba announces release of six political prisoners

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



A day after the Obama administration announced it was open to allowing some Cuban dissidents into the US, the Roman Catholic Church of Cuba has released the names of six more political prisoners to be freed into exile by the Cuban government.

On Monday State Department spokesman Philip Crowley confirmed to reporters that some cases were being considered, but also reiterated that so far no requests have been made. Five of the released prisoners will be heading to Spain. The sixth will be exiled in Chile.

The announcement comes on the heels of an article written by Tim Padgett in the August 23rd 2010 edition of Time Magazine questioning US President Barack Obamas commitment to restoring US travel relations with Cuba. On April 13th, 2009, President Obama spoke eloquently about “A new era in relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba.” but, many have doubts. There are a reported 1.2 million Cuban Americans living in southern Miami and the surrounding vicinity. Most are very poor and nearly all have impoverished relatives back in Cuba. Proponents see restoration of travel relations with the country as crucial for the islands gradual march toward democracy. Over 2.1 million residents live in the Cuban capital of Havana.

Following the 1959 revolution which ousted the government of US backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in favor of Fidel Castro, the country went through a period of cautious nationalism. Castro quickly established a reputation for little patience for dissention within the ranks. Nor was the bearded revolutionary known to tolerate what he perceived to be the liberal media. “Nobody should imagine that somebody on his own can write an article judging the state, the party, the laws, but especially the party. We want broad information, but nobody can assume the prerogative of judging the party.” Castro once famously stated.(attribute - ‘The Cuban Revolution - Origins, Course and Legacy - Marifeli Perez-Stable) The US issued a trade embargo against Castro and his government in 1962.

Then in the late eighties came the unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union. Cuba, long reliant on Soviet aid, found it increasingly difficult to mitigate the economic effects of the US embargo, leaving the small island country paralyzed in perpetual poverty.

In 1994 the United States agreed to grant up to 20,000 visas annually to Cubans, after 35,000 Cuban refugees poured into Florida in 1994 alone. US President Barack Obama frequently mentioned Cuba during campaign speeches, and many Cuban Americans have high hope for change.

Over the years, hundreds of Cuban dissidents have been imprisoned by the Castro regime. The six men being released, Victor Arroyo Carmona, Alexis Rodriguez Fernandez, Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares, Alfredo Dominguez Batista, Prospero Gainza Aguero and Claro Sanchez Altarriba are part of a group of seventy-five political prisoners originally arrested in 2003 on charges ranging from treason to espionage. Only twenty of the seventy-five prisoners still remain behind bars. The others have all been released by current Cuban President Raul Castro, who has served since his brother Fidel stepped down following a near fatal illness in July, 2006.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Monday, August 23, 2010

Candidates feel the heat as crucial primary elections loom

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Voters in the states of Florida, Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Oklahoma
will be heading to the polls on Tuesday, and for some candidates, the kitchen is getting hot!

The stakes are high! Contests in the states of Arizona and Florida are being watched unusually close by candidates and pundits alike. In Arizona, controversial Republican governor Jan Brewer is expected to easily secure the GOP nomination for her gubernatorial position, but times have been rough for former GOP presidential candidate John McCain, seeking his fifth term in the U.S. Senate. McCains opponent, former Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth has taken the seventy-three year old, four term Senator to task on a number of hot button issues, most notably, immigration reform.

According to the Washington Post, John McCain has spent over 21 million dollars on this campaign, a seemingly insurmountable sum for a Senate run. Predictably, the effort appears to be paying off for the former Vietnam POW as recent polls have McCain leading Hayworth going into Tuesdays primary election. Still, John McCains reputation as a maverick within the Republican party has taken some serious blows.

Florida will also be holding senate and gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday, with the results expected to have long term ramifications. The polls have many of these races too close to call. Bill McCollum holds a marginal lead over his opponent Rick Scott, in what has been a battle so ugly, only Mark Twain could describe it accurately without wincing. The pair of pugilists are vying for the position of Florida State Attorney General.

Alaska will be searching for a new governor as well, with primaries being held for both parties on Tuesday, as Alaskans look to move beyond Sarah Palin, as the former Alaska governor pursues her ambitions for the GOP presidential nomination.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment