Cough syrup found in Pimp C's hotel had no label
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
HOUSTON � The prescription-strength cough syrup found in rapper Pimp C's room was half empty and did not bear a prescription label, a coroner's spokesman in California said Tuesday.
Pimp C's death was ruled accidental Monday by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said the combination of codeine and promethazine found in the rapper's system, coupled with the sleep disorder apnea, caused his death.
Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time while sleeping.
Besides the cough syrup, the rapper, born Chad Butler, had two labeled prescriptions in his room at the time of his death, coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said. The first prescription,clorazepate, is most commonly used to relieve anxiety. It can also be used to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal and seizures. The second, acyclovir, is most often used to treat herpes.
The abuse of codeine-laced cough syrup is so prevalent in Houston that the city has been nicknamed "The City of Syrup" and Pimp C often rapped about using the drug recreationally.
A sleep-disorder specialist said people with sleep apnea should not take codeine-laced cough syrup because the sedatives in it inhibit respiration.
INDIANAPOLIS -- A 2-year-old boy was pronounced dead after he was found unresponsive beneath his passed out mother at an Indianapolis motel room early Wednesday morning, police said.
The boy, identified as Sheldon Bartley Jr., was taken to Community East Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m., police said.
According to Indianapolis Metro police, the boyfriend of Latasha McMorris, 24, called 911 at about 12:30 a.m. when he found McMorris passed out and lying on top of the child in room 104 of the EconoLodge Motel in the 3500 block of North Shadeland Avenue.
The boyfriend, whose identity was not immediately released, told police that the boy was not breathing when he found him.
Investigators said they think McMorris had been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when she passed out.
Police said they are treating the case as a homicide and that McMorris was being held on a charge of felony neglect. An autopsy was planned Wednesday to determine what caused Bartley's death.
Investigators said McMorris was convicted of child neglect in July 2007. Child Protective Services removed McMorris' children, including Bartley, from her custody when she was convicted, police said.
According to officials, McMorris also has several prior arrests on alcohol-related offenses.
Marshals say attorney's handshake was an assault
A private attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has been charged with physically assaulting a federal prosecutor.
The weapon? A violent handshake, federal marshals allege in an arrest report.
Kathy Brewer Rentas spent Thursday night in solitary confinement, but was released Friday morning on a $100,000 bond. She was ordered to get a psychological evaluation, too.
The incident started after a hearing at which she defended her husband, Anthony Rentas, who is on federal probation in a New York drug case and admitted violating his probation, according to reports.
After the hearing, marshals contend, Kathy Rentas insisted on shaking hands with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keene. That's when, according to the arrest report, Kathy Rentas shook Keene's arm and hand so violently that it nearly sent the prosecutor to the ground.
US to try to shoot down spy satellite
BY LOLITA C. BALDOR
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
US to try to shoot down spy satellite
US plans to shoot down broken satellite
WASHINGTON -- Taking a page from Hollywood science fiction, the Pentagon said Thursday it will try to shoot down a dying, bus-size U.S. spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel on a collision course with the Earth.
The military hopes to smash the satellite as soon as next week - just before it enters Earth's atmosphere - with a single missile fired from a Navy cruiser in the northern Pacific Ocean.
The dramatic maneuver may well trigger international concerns, and U.S. officials have begun notifying other countries of the plan - stressing that it does not signal the start of a new American anti-satellite weapons program.
Military and administration officials said the satellite is carrying fuel called hydrazine that could injure or even kill people who are near it when it hits the ground. That reason alone, they said, persuaded President Bush to order the shoot-down.
"That is the only thing that breaks it out, that is worthy of taking extraordinary measures," said Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a Pentagon briefing.
He predicted a fairly high chance - as much as 80 percent - of hitting the satellite, which will be about 150 miles up when the shot is fired. The window of opportunity for taking the satellite down, Cartwright said, opens in three or four days and lasts for about seven or eight days.
"We'll take one shot and assess," he said. "This is the first time we've used a tactical missile to engage a spacecraft."
Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey discounted comparisons to an anti-satellite test conducted by the Chinese last year that triggered criticism from the U.S. and other countries.
"This is all about trying to reduce the danger to human beings," Jeffrey said. "Specifically, there was enough of a risk for the president to be quite concerned about human life."
There might also be unstated military aims, some outside the administration suggested.
Similar spacecraft re-enter the atmosphere regularly and break up into pieces, said Ivan Oelrich, vice president for strategic security programs at the Federation of American Scientists. He said, "One could be forgiven for asking if this is just an excuse to test an anti-satellite weapon."
A key issue when China shot down its defunct weather satellite was that it created an enormous amount of space debris.
"All of the debris from this encounter, as carefully designed as it is, will be down at most within weeks, and most of it will be down within the first couple of orbits afterward," said Jeffrey. "There's an enormous difference to spacefaring nations in ... those two things."
He and others dismissed suggestions that this was simply an attempt by the U.S. to flex its muscles, and that officials were overstating the toxic fuel threat.
Left alone, the satellite would be expected to hit Earth during the first week of March. About half of the 5,000-pound spacecraft would be expected to survive its blazing descent through the atmosphere and would scatter debris over several hundred miles.
If the missile shot is successful, officials said, much of the debris would burn up as it fell. They said they could not estimate how much would make it through the atmosphere. They said the largest piece that would survive re-entry would be the spherical fuel tank, which is about 40 inches wide - assuming it is not hit directly by the missile.
The goal, however, is to hit the fuel tank in order to minimize the amount of fuel that returns to Earth, Cartwright said.
A Navy missile known as Standard Missile 3 would be fired at the spy satellite in an attempt to intercept it just before it re-enters Earth's atmosphere. It would be "next to impossible" to hit the satellite after that because of atmospheric disturbances, he said.
Known by its military designation US 193, the satellite was launched in December 2006. It lost power and its central computer failed almost immediately afterward, leaving it uncontrollable. It carried a sophisticated and secret imaging sensor.
Software associated with the Standard Missile 3 has been modified to enhance the chances of the missile's sensors recognizing that the satellite is its target. The missile's designed mission is to shoot down ballistic missiles, not satellites. Other officials said the missile's maximum range, while a classified figure, is not great enough to hit a satellite operating in normal orbits.
"It's a one-time deal," Cartwright said when asked whether the modified Standard Missile 3 should be considered a new U.S. anti-satellite technology.
He said that if an initial shoot-down attempt fails, the military would have about two days to reassess and decide whether to take a second shot.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told reporters that analysis shows the hydrazine tank would survive a fall to Earth under normal circumstances, much as one did when the Space Shuttle Columbia crashed.
"The hydrazine which is in it is frozen solid, as it is now. Not all of it will melt," he said. If the tank hits the ground it will have been breached because the fuel lines will have broken off and hydrazine will vent out, he said.
Jeffrey said members of Congress were briefed on the plan earlier Thursday and that diplomatic notifications to other countries were being made by the end of the day.
"It should be understood by all, at home and abroad, that this is an exceptional circumstance and should not be perceived as the standard U.S. policy for dealing with errant satellites," said House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton.
Dad tells cops he strangled girl over text messages
NEW YORK � A father who said he was upset with his teenage daughter for text-messaging a boy was arrested Saturday on charges of killing the girl, whose burned body was found stuffed in the boiler of his apartment building, police said.
The 34-year-old man called 911 Saturday morning, claiming he had strangled his 14-year-old daughter the night before because of the text messaging and had dumped her body in a wooded area, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The girl had been visiting Miguel Matias but lived in Pennsylvania with her mother and two sisters. The parents were separated, and Matias had visitation rights. He had a history of emotional problems and was institutionalized after trying to set a car on fire with children inside in Pennsylvania, Kelly said.
Popularity of 'choking game' with youths raises alarm
CDC says lethal pursuit to get high is on the rise
By JENNIFER LEAHY
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
It's a potentially fatal pastime known by many names "the blackout" game, the pass-out game and most commonly the "choking game."
The activity, which is gaining popularity among preteens and teenagers in both Houston and across the country, requires that a youngster choke himself or another person to get high. The activity creates an euphoric state as blood rushes back to the brain.
For the rest of the story, click here.
Official: Theft attempt cut power
An unidentified man who attempted to steal copper wire from an electricity substation was seriously burned and caused power to go out for about 7,300 customers in East Austin on Wednesday afternoon, Austin Energy spokesman Ed Clark said.
The man, who had burns over 100 percent of his body, could have received 80,000 volts of electricity, Clark said. The man was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, which has a burn unit, and was in critical condition. The incident was at the Kingsbury substation, near Springdale Road and U.S. 183.
For the rest of the story, click here.
Texas tops nation in dangerous weather, study says
Texas is No. 1 in the nation in many types of severe weather, according to a report released today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, which ends tomorrow.
According to the report from the Governor�s Division of Emergency Management, Texas generally leads the nation in the number of tornadoes each year. Since 1950, the state has averaged 139 tornadoes per year � a total of 7,319 since 1953. Texas also sees the most fatalities, injuries and damage associated with tornadoes � including 504 deaths since 1953 � the report says.
The state usually leads the nation in flash flood deaths per year, the report says. Texas had 45 flood-related deaths in 2007.
Texas is second in the nation in lightning fatalities, behind Florida, according to the report.
Texas is most often struck by thunderstorms, hail storms, straight line winds and tornadoes during the spring and early summer, the report says.
Molester leaps to death from court balcony
Suicide note recovered after man jumps from 9th floor following conviction
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A 52-year-old man jumped to his death from a courthouse balcony hours after being convicted of child molestation, authorities said.
Carlos Edward Tello was facing more than 20 years in prison when he jumped from a ninth-floor balcony of the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana Tuesday afternoon. A suicide note was tucked into his clothing, authorities said.
MSNBC link to full article
More accurately, it was his conscience.
March 5, 2008, 10:55PM
Pregnant woman killed with bat during park fight
By LINDSAY WISE
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
As fists flew and gunfire erupted around her at MacGregor Park on Sunday, police said the pregnant woman was trying to usher her family to safety in the moments before someone cracked her skull with a baseball bat.
Rest of story.
Golfer says killing of bird was '1-in-a-million' accident
By TRAVIS REED
ORLANDO, Fla. Pro golfer Tripp Isenhour said it was a "one-in-a-million" golf shot that killed a protected hawk and that he was only trying to scare the bird he now faces criminal charges for killing.
Rest of story.
The hawk story reminded me of the Kite Hawks who always nested in the trees surrounding one of the greens on the Levelland Country Club's little nine hole course. During nesting season, players learned to wear heavy caps because the birds would dive bomb golfers near their nesting sites, pecking at the golfers' heads. At least a couple of golfers got in trouble when they took their guns out to do a little hawk hunting as the birds were (and maybe still are) protected.
Kansas woman spent 2 years sitting on boyfriend's toilet
Authorities are considering charges in the bizarre case of a woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for two years � so long that her body was stuck to the seat by the time the boyfriend finally called police.
Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.
Ed: you just can't make this up.
Dallas Morning Tabloid Article
Honor student suspended for buying Skittles
NEW HAVEN, Conn. � An eighth-grade honors student who was suspended for a day, barred from attending an honors dinner and stripped of his title as class vice president after he was caught with contraband candy in school will get his student council post back, school officials said.
Superintendent Reginald Mayo said in a statement late Wednesday that he and principal Eleanor Turner met with student Michael Sheridan's parents and that Turner decided to clear the boy's record and restore him to his post.
Michael was disciplined after he was caught buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate. The classmate's suspension also will be expunged, school officials said.
The New Haven school system banned candy sales in 2003 as part of a districtwide school wellness policy, school spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo said.
"I am sorry this has happened," Turner said in a statement. "My hope is that we can get back to the normal school routine, especially since we are in the middle of taking the Connecticut mastery test."
Turner said she should have reinforced in writing the verbal warnings against candy transactions.
Michael had said that he didn't realize his candy purchase was against the rules, but he did notice that the student selling the Skittles on Feb. 26 was being secretive.
Stingray kills woman on boat in Fla.
MARATHON, Fla. A 75-pound stingray killed a Michigan woman Thursday when it flew out of the water and struck her face as she rode a boat in the Florida Keys, officials said.
Rest of story.
Obese relative may have crushed toddler
LA JOYA, Texas (AP) -- A 2-year-old boy who died with a fractured skull may have been accidentally crushed by a morbidly obese relative, authorities say.
Investigators believe the woman fell on the child, who was pronounced dead Tuesday, said Bobby Contreras, Hidalgo County justice of the peace.
Why on earth would you leave a 2-year-old toddler with a "bedridden relative"??????????
Knew the relative wasn't going anywhere? Company, drink, drugs, etc not going to entice the relative out of bed! (Just trying to think like such a person.....)
[This message was edited by JAS on 03-24-08 at .]
Gretchen, My thoughts exactly!
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