Breaking: Man dies of a gunshot wound at Occupy Burlington

4:36 PM, Nov. 10, 2011

Copyright Burlington Free Press

A 35-year-old man died of a gunshot wound at the scene of the Occupy Burlington encampment, according to the mayor.

Police said it will be several hours before they know more, but did say there is no danger to the public. Police said they have recovered the weapon.

Todd Lacroix, an Occupy Burlington organizer, echoed several people on the scene who said the shooting was apparently self-inflicted.

Fletcher Allen Health Care spokesman Mike Noble said the victim from City Hall Park was being evaluated in the hospital’s emergency room as of 4:20 p.m. He said he could not identify the man because doing so would violate federal privacy regulations.

Burlington officials plan a 6 p.m. meeting in a city hall conference room with Occupy Burlington protesters to discuss the future of the encampment in the wake of the fatal shooting.

At a police briefing at the park Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee said police received a 911 call a little after 2 p.m. of a discharged firearm in the park.

“We do not believe the public is at risk,” Higbee said.

Police and rescue personnel swarmed into the park shortly after 2 p.m. A motionless man was removed from a green tent where blood was evident. About a half dozen police cars were at the scene at about 2:20 p.m. Police were seen questioning several people as others standing in the park cried and hugged each other.

Police said they were trying to get a warrant to go into the tent where the shooting apparently happened.

Higbee said a firearm was recovered at the scene, but he declined to describe the weapon.

Hayley Mason of Burlington, who said she has been involved with the Occupy Burlington movement since it established itself in the park October 28, said the man who was shot had been in the park for several days at least.

She identified the man by his first name, Josh.

“I don’t know a lot about his personality. He loves the outdoors. He’s been a member of our community,” she said.

Lacroix said he was not in City Hall Park when the shooting took place, but noted numerous people told him the man shot himself.

Lacroix and Mason said they do not know how the incident will affect the Occupy site.

“This is a crime scene and we are here to cooperate,” he said as a Burlington Police crime investigation van backed into the park.

Mason said there is a real possibility the tents and belongings of people will be removed from the park, but the Occupy Burlington movement will continue in some form.

“We’re not about to stop because of this. We’ll be doing this for Josh. We have to continue this,” Mason said.

Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss said late Thursday afternoon he does not know whether the shooting will affect the city’s policy on the occupation.

“We’re waiting for reports from police and fire,” Kiss said.

City Councilor President Bill Keogh also said no decision has been made yet on the encampment’s future. “I don’t have enough facts to make a decision. I don’t know if it was related to the occupiers or was an isolated incident, so I want more information.”

Firearms are not allowed in City Hall Park. Kiss said the shooting raises questions about the easy availability of firearms.

“We need to reflect on guns in Vermont,” he said.

Wednesday night protesters rocked to internationally known gypsy punk musicians from Gogol Bordello. Today protesters are consoling each other.

As of 3:45 p.m., most of the encampment was surrounded by yellow police tape and nobody was being allowed inside to access their tents or belongings.|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE

Man Arrested for Breaking EMT’s Leg at Occupy Wall Street

The paramedic’s leg was fractured.

By Ida Siegal, Melissa Russo and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Thursday, Nov 10, 2011

A man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a paramedic and breaking his leg at the Occupy Wall Street site Wednesday night.

Police say paramedics were called to Zuccotti Park for a man who was acting irrationally.

When they arrived, the man in question appeared to be in emotional distress and police decided he needed to be taken to the hospital. But authorities say protesters formed a human chain to block the police as the man refused to go.

“We were denied access to the patient, and people were actually blocking us from transporting,” said FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

One of the EMTs was pushed into a ladder, fracturing his leg.

The man is being charged with assault.

Earlier Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg defended the protesters as law-abiding folks who keep to themselves and don’t cause trouble.

“I will say, in all fairness to the people down there, we watch very carefully, they generally do not break the law,” Bloomberg said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Wednesday.

“When they protest, they march in a line, they stay on the sidewalks, they follow the direction of the police, they exercise their First Amendment rights… And we haven’t seen the kinds of things you see in other cities where people are running through the streets destroying commerce and reputation,” he said.

“If you go one block away from this park, you would never know it exists,” he went on. “It’s just literally — in any direction, one block away — there’s just nothing.”

Last week, Bloomberg griped that Lower Manhattan was suffering under the movement that began Sept 17.

“This isn’t an occupation of Wall Street,” he said at the time, “it’s the occupation of a growing, vibrant, residential neighborhood in Lower Manhattan and it’s really hurting small businesses and families.”

Tuberculosis Breaks Out At Occupy Atlanta’s Base

November 10, 2011 1:55 PM

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The home base for Occupy Atlanta has tested positive for tuberculosis.

The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact.

“Over the last three months were have been two persons who have resided in this facility who have been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected infectious tuberculosis (TB),” said Fulton County Services Director Matthew McKenna in a written statement to CBS Atlanta. “One of these persons was confirmed to have a strain of TB that is resistant to a single, standard medication used to treat this condition. All person(s) identified as positive have begun treatment and are being monitored to ensure that medication is taken as directed.”

The Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless has indicated that two cases have been made public knowledge to the group, the first coming from someone who contracted the disease in September. The identities of the people who have contracted the disease, however, have not been disclosed by the health department to this point.

The news of the tuberculosis contractions could force Occupy Atlanta to move once again. WGCL reports that more than 100 protesters made the move to the homeless shelter Oct. 30 after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed evicted Occupy Atlanta from Woodruff Park, citing that they were no longer allowed to camp out overnight. The homeless shelter is also facing an eviction of its own from the city.

Messages left by CBS Atlanta for Occupy Atlanta and the Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless were not immediately returned.

Sandusky rumored to have been pimping out young boys to rich donors

Jerry Sandusky Rumored to Have Been ‘Pimping Out Young Boys to Rich Donors,’ Says Mark Madden

by Michael Hurley on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 1:50PM

In April, Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden wrote a story revealing Penn State for much of the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky‘s alleged child rape that has been exposed in the past week. While it didn’t raise many eyebrows back then, six months later it looks to be incredibly accurate.

On Thursday morning, just hours after legendary head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were fired by the school’s board of trustees, Madden was asked on The Dennis and Callahan Show what he believes the next piece of news will be.

What he said was twice as shocking as anything that’s been released thus far.

“I can give you a rumor and I can give you something I think might happen,” Madden told John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. “I hear there’s a rumor that there will be a more shocking development from the Second Mile Foundation — and hold on to your stomachs, boys, this is gross, I will use the only language I can — that Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile were pimping out young boys to rich donors. That was being investigated by two prominent columnists even as I speak.”

After the news spread, Madden later explained via Twitter why he went public with the rumors.

“I normally abhor giving RUMORS credence,” Madden wrote. “But whole Sandusky scandal started out as a RUMOR. It gets deeper and more disgusting all the time. One of state’s top columnists investigating. That adds credence. I am NOT rumor’s original source. [Why does] Sandusky deserve benefit of doubt?”

Madden also spoke more definitively on Dennis and Callahan to the cover-up efforts at the school and beyond that he expects will be made public soon.

“The other thing I think that may eventually become uncovered, and I talked about this in my original article back in April, is that I think they’ll find out that Jerry Sandusky was told that he had to retire in exchange for a cover-up,” Madden said. “If you look at the timeline, that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

“My opinion is when Sandusky quit, everybody knew — not just at Penn State,” Madden added. “I think it was a very poorly kept secret about college football in general, and that is why he never coached in college football again and retired at the relatively young age of 55. [That’s] young for a coach, certainly.”

Video at link

By phoebe53 Posted in Crime

Penn State Students riot after Paterno firing

Riots Erupt at Penn State After Legendary Coach Paterno Fired

Published November 10, 2011


Violence erupted on the campus of Penn State Wednesday night after the school’s board of trustees ousted its legendary football coach and university president in the wake of a widening child sex abuse scandal.

Riot police were deployed in State College, Pa., late Wednesday as thousands of Penn State supporters vented their anger at the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier over the school’s handling of child sex abuse allegations against a former coaching assistant.

  • psustudents

    November 9, 2011: Students walk along a street in State College, Pa., after the Penn State board of trustees fired football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier amid the growing furor over how the school handled sex abuse allegations against an assistant coach.

Paterno’s Career at Penn State

Joe Paterno, who reigned as Penn State’s head football coach for 46 years, was fired on Wednesday amid allegations a child sex abuse scandal occurred under his watch.

At around 12:20 a.m. local time Thursday, the university issued an official police dispersal order through Facebook, warning students to vacate downtown State College immediately. It came after several violent scenes in which protesters flipped over a media van and destroyed other property.

About 2,000 people gathered at Old Main and moved to an area called Beaver Canyon, a street ringed by student apartments that were used in past riots to pelt police, Fox affiliate WTXF-TV reported.

The disorder escalated after the school’s board of trustees held an emergency meeting Wednesday night and later announced that they had dismissed Paterno, the longest-tenured coach in major-college football, and Graham Spanier, the school’s president for the past 16 years.

Both were ousted by a board of trustees fed up with the damage being done to the university’s reputation by a child sex-abuse scandal involving Paterno’s one-time heir apparent, Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period through a charity he founded for at-risk youth.

Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, vice president for finance and business, have also been charged with perjury in connection with their testimony before a grand jury considering the evidence against Sandusky. They failed to notify authorities about the abuse, prosecutors said. Curley and Schultz have maintained their innocence.

While several arrests were made in State College Wednesday night, the disorder was controlled amid a strong presence from state police.

Hundreds of students gathered at the HUB-Robeson Center, the student union, to watch the board of trustees’ news conference on a big screen. When the announcement came that Paterno would not coach again at Penn State, students gasped and hushed. Women began to weep.

John Surma, the board’s vice president, said he called Paterno at home Wednesday to deliver the news. He said the board’s vote was unanimous.

About two hours after the firing, Paterno came out of his house to greet about 200 students who had gathered there, WTXF-TV reported.

“Pray for the [sexual abuse] victims,” he told the crowd. “We love you.”

He also issued a statement, obtained by Fox News, saying that he was disappointed with the board’s decision but would have to accept it.

“A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed,” his statement said. “I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm, and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.”

Paterno added, “I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt.”

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno had announced that he would retire at the end of the season.

He had planned to coach Saturday against Nebraska in what is the team’s final home game of the season. Just before 4:00 p.m. local time, he left his home to attend football practice.

“At this moment, the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” he said. “They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.”

Paterno, 84, major-college football’s all-time wins leader, had come under criticism for how he responded to learning of an alleged incident involving Sandusky and a child in 2002.

Sandusky, a Penn State coach from 1969 to 1999, has been charged with 21 felony counts of sexually abusing eight boys over a decade and a half. Sandusky has maintained that he is innocent of the charges.

Upon hearing of the incident from a witness, later identified as Mike McQueary, who is now the team’s wide-receivers coach, Paterno reported it to athletic director Tim Curley but not to police, according to state prosecutors.

Although Paterno has not been charged in the case, Pennsylvania state police commissioner Frank Noonan suggested there was a “moral responsibility” to contact police about potential sexual abuse involving children.

Assistant coach Tom Bradley will take over from Paterno in an interim capacity, while the school’s executive vice president and provost Rodney A. Erickson will replace Spanier as president.

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By phoebe53 Posted in Crime

Rick Perry campaign takes a light-hearted approach to damage control

By Chris Moody | The Ticket

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s enormous memory lapse at Wednesday’s debate put his campaign in immediate damage-control mode. But not even the candidate–who was unable to recall the third federal agency he would eliminate if he were elected president–is shying away from poking fun at himself for the mistake.

At the CNBC Republican presidential debate, Perry stole the show when he tried to name the three agencies he would close, but could only come up with two. It was a 53-second made-for-YouTube mistake that some say could sink his campaign.

But at least in front of the curtain of Perry’s campaign, it’s all laughs. On Twitter, Perry joked that he “stepped in it” at the debate.

Perry’s Twitter account

On Perry’s website, campaign staff posted a poll asking supporters to name the part of the federal government they “would like to forget the most.”

Screenshot from


Perry even sent a letter to supporters to raise money off the debate performance:

“We’ve all had human moments. President Obama is still trying to find all 57 states. Ronald Reagan got lost somewhere on the Pacific Highway in an answer to a debate question. Gerald Ford ate a tamale without removing the husk. And tonight Rick Perry forgot the third agency he wants to eliminate. Just goes to show there are too damn many federal agencies.”

On Thursday morning, Perry appeared on four networks, where he vowed not to drop from the race anytime soon.

“I’m human like everyone else,” he said on NBC’s Today Show. “We all make mistakes.”

Crowd at GOP debate ranks Mitt Romney, Ron Paul as favorites

9:41 PM, Nov. 9, 2011

When the Republican presidential debate began tonight, a crowd of about 400 people gathered at a watch party in Oakland University’s student center ranked Mitt Romney and Ron Paul as their favorites.

Yet, as the debate went on, Newt Gingrich kept getting high marks from people for his answers, including from Paul Thomas, 35, of Rochester.

“He just seemed to have better specifics,” Thomas, a Republican auto supply company executive said. “He was more sure of himself.”

For two hours, nearly 400 students, faculty and community members graded the candidates – using electronic clickers to rate them on each answer.

Romney and Gingrich dominated the rankings – with each gaining big favorable numbers on a multiple questions. Also going strong were Ron Paul and Herman Cain.

Cain got big marks and loud applause from the audience for his response to questions about sexual harassment accusations being made against him by multiple women.

“He handled it perfectly,” said Mark Coleman, 57, of Detroit. “I’m planning to vote for him and this hasn’t changed anything for me.”

After spending the first hour of the debate at Oakland University, John Yob, Michigan senior strategist for Cain’s campaign, arrived at O’Connor’s Public House to joined the newly formed Friends of Herman Cain group nearly an hour and a half after the debate began.

Eager to get Cain’s campaign going in Michigan, he is one of a handful of staffers working here for Cain. Yob pointed out that Cain is the first Republican presidential candidate besides Romney to establish a Michigan office.

“I think he’s able to bring new people in to the process to vote,” said Yob, who worked for Gov. Rick Snyder’s campaign.

According to an Oakland University poll taken right after the debate by those grading the candidates, Romney went from getting 25% of the 400 people in attendance to vote for him to 40%. Also making a big climb was Gingrich, who went from having 11% of the crowd’s support to 25% of the crowd.

On the other hand, Marsha Millen, 23, of Detroit, said she wasn’t happy with Cain’s response, either at the debate or before.

“He’s just brushing them off,” she said. “There just too many people coming forward for it not to be true, or at least a bit true.”

Going into the debate, OU sophomore Tina Marks wanted to hear what the candidates had to say about making college more affordable.

She got her wish nearly 90 minutes into the debate. The crowd overwhelmingly said they like Gringrich’s and Paul’s responses, which focused on cutting federal student loans.

Marks didn’t like that.

“So how am I supposed to pay for school then?” she said. “I already a ton of hours, but can’t cover all the costs. Do they just want only rich people to go to college?”

Many in audience said they were pleased OU was selected for the debate.

“It’s a once in a lifetime event,” said OU senior Jeff Valley. “We’re not going to have another one here ever. I’m just happy I get to experience it.”

Penn State Ousts University President, Paterno

Now here’s a twofer you can rejoice.
Published November 09, 2011

The Penn State University’s Board of Trustees announced late Wednesday night that it had ousted school president Graham Spanier and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno, amid a child sex abuse scandal under their watch involving a former assistant coach.

“These decisions were made after careful deliberations and best interests of the university as a whole,” said John Surma, vice chairman of the university board, during a news conference held following the board’s meeting.

“The past several days have been absolutely terrible to the Penn State community,” Surma said. “But the outrage is nothing compared to the psychological suffering that took place.”

“I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value,” Paterno said in a statement after the announcement.

“I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt,” he continued.

Tom Bradley, an assistant coach and defensive and cornerbacks coach, has been announced as the interim head coach ahead of Penn State’s Saturday game against Nebraska.

Paterno’s former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, is accused of molesting at least eight boys between 1994 and 2009.

The status of a witness to one of the alleged acts, Mike McQueary, remains unchanged. At the time McQueary was a graduate assistant, and currently is a receivers coach for the team.

“I am heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt and have deep convictions about the need to protect children and youth,” Spanier said in a statement after his firing. “My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who may have been victimized. I would never hesitate to report a crime if I had any suspicion that one had been committed.”

“Penn State and its Board of Trustees are in the throes of dealing with and recovering from this crisis, and there is wisdom in a transition in leadership so that there are no distractions in allowing the University to move forward,” he continued. “The acts of no one person should define this university.”

Before the announcement, Paterno announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of the season, saying, “I wish I had done more” to help the victims of alleged sex abuse by his former assistant.

“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case,” Paterno said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.”

“It is one of the great sorrows of my life,” Paterno said. “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

The 84-year-old Paterno has been besieged by criticism since Sandusky was charged over the weekend with sexually abusing eight young boys between 1994 and 2009. Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault.

“Right now, I’m not the football coach, and that’s something I have to get use to,” Paterno said to students after the announcement outside of his home Wednesday night.

The U.S. Education Department said Wednesday night that it is investigating whether Penn State failed to report incidents of sexual abuse on campus, as required by federal law.

Though Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing, he has been questioned over his apparent failure to follow up on a report of the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sodomized a 10-year-old boy in the showers at the team’s football complex. A witness, Mike McQueary, is currently receivers coach for the team but was a graduate assistant at the time.

McQueary told Paterno about the incident the next day, and the coach notified Curley and Schultz, who in turn notified Penn State president Graham Spanier. Curley and Schultz have been charged with perjury and failure to report the incident to authorities, as required by state law.

Both men, as well as Paterno, testified that they were told that Sandusky behaved inappropriately in that 2002 incident, but not to the extent of McQueary’s graphic account to a state grand jury.

“I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today,” Paterno said in the statement.

“That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address,” he said.

Paterno, who earns about $1 million annually from the school, has been head coach for 46 years and part of the Penn State staff for more than six decades, and his old-school values pervade every corner of the program.

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By phoebe53 Posted in Crime