Boynton Beach Police officer Arrested, On multiple charges

January 31, 2009 by  
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BOYNTON BEACH — A Boynton Beach Police officer was arrested early this morning by his own department and charged with domestic violence, the second time he has been in trouble with the law.

Officer Thomas Jones

Officer Thomas Jones, 30, was suspended with pay, according to Boynton Beach Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.

Jones was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail about 6 a.m. Saturday. He was charged with felony battery or domestic violence with strangulation, as well as battery. Details of the incident were not released Saturday.

In October 2001, Jones was stopped by police after he injured a fellow law enforcement officer in a car crash. Earlier in the evening, Jones and investigator Scott Caudell played pool and drank a few beers. At about 3 a.m., Jones hit Caudell’s motorcycle when Caudell stopped to avoid a pickup. Caudell’s ankle was cut severely. Both were off-duty at the time.

Police did not arrest Jones, but an internal investigation said that the police officers did not ask enough questions and should have arrested Jones.

Prosecutors say they did not file charges against Jones because there wasn’t sufficient evidence, and there had been a delay between the accident and blood tests to determine alcohol levels. Jones’ blood alcohol level was not taken until 1 1/2 hours after the crash. His blood alcohol level was 0.9. According to state law, a person is assumed to be too drunk to drive when his blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent.

At the time Police Chief Marshall Gage suspended Jones for three weeks

Job cuts exceed 100,000 for the week

January 31, 2009 by  
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Pfizer, Caterpillar and Boeing reporting massive reductions.

NEW YORK ( — In a brutal week for the job market, an assortment of companies across various industries announced more than 100,000 job cuts.

The bulk of the job loss news occurred on Monday, when several major U.S. companies announced sweeping job cuts, pushing the day’s total to more than 70,000.

“The picture is still pretty glum out there,” said David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poor’s, noting that January is often a bad month for the job market, because companies want to include the reductions in their annual tax returns.

Pfizer (PFE, Fortune 500), the leading drugmaker in terms of annual pharma sales, and Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500), a heavy equipment manufacturer based in Peoria, Ill., each said they would cut 20,000 jobs. These are the biggest reported eliminations among U.S.-based companies.

New York-based Pfizer said the cost-saving restructuring would occur before and after its merger with Wyeth (WYE, Fortune 500), to be completed later this year.

Caterpillar Chief Executive Jim Owens blamed the “rapidly deteriorating global economy” in his quarterly earnings report. Later, on Friday, Caterpillar added another 2,110 job cuts to its previously announced reductions, bringing its tally to more than 22,000.

Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) announced its massive layoffs on Wednesday. The Chicago-based airplane manufacturer said 10,000 workers, including 4,500 previously announced reductions, would lose their jobs. The company blamed this on dwindling demand for its aircraft.

Chico’s (CHS), a retailer of women’s clothing based in Fort Myers, Fla., said on Friday that it was cutting 180 positions. The retail industry has been hard-hit in recent months by a slow-down in consumer spending, partly because so many people have lost their jobs.

Also on Friday, the newspaper publisher A.H. Belo (AHC) said it was cutting 500 jobs. Chief Executive Robert Decherd, in a letter to colleagues, blamed the “rapid deterioration in the U.S. economy.”

The U.S. economy lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, according to government reports. This includes 21,137 mass layoffs, a seven-year high. In a mass layoff, 50 or more workers are laid off at a time.

The job market isn’t expected to get any better any time soon. The Council Board forecast two million job losses for 2009.

“[The job losses] are going to continue until sales stabilize and that might not become apparent until the summer,” said Moody’s chief economist John Lonski. “There’s every reason to believe that the magnitude of job destruction will rise yet again in February and March.”

Not everyone agrees that job losses will continue at their current pace. Robert Brusca, chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics, said that “when the pace of the loss is this severe, the period of severity isn’t very long.” He said companies might be overzealous in reporting their eliminations, lessening the need for further cuts down the road.

While opinions differ about the severity of cuts, nobody’s talking about job growth for the foreseeable future.

“There’s no reason to anticipate a hiring frenzy any time soon,” said Rich Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research, in an email to “Labor usually accounts for about 75% of a company’s costs, and if the outlook remains bleak, they slash jobs. There is no reason to believe this trend will stop any time soon.”

Revenge Plot Leaves Teen in Frigid Wildnerness

January 31, 2009 by  
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NORTH BERGEN, N.J. – A 19-year-old woman who thought she was going to a party was instead driven to a rural wooded area and abandoned in 8-degree weather in a long-planned attack by three friends who were angry with her.

The victim was wearing only a dress and one shoe, having lost the other in a struggle as she was dragged from the car, said Lt. Frank Cannella of the North Bergen police.

A motorist soon stopped and let the victim use a cell phone but refused to give her a lift.

The victim used the phone to call one of the women who abandoned her, Cannella said.

She spent more than an hour in the freezing cold before flagging down another motorist, who took her to a hospital, he said.

The North Bergen woman, whom police did not identify, may need surgery after suffering frostbite to both feet Jan. 16 in Alpine, a town on the Hudson River about 18 miles north of New York City, Cannella said.

“These actions were so profound that it leads you to believe there was a tremendous indifference to human life,” Cannella said.

Maria Contreras-Luciano, 22, of Dumont, and Amber Crespo, 20, and Dyanne Velasquez, 21, both of North Bergen, face kidnapping, assault and conspiracy charges and are free on $200,000 bail.

Crespo is also charged with making terroristic threats.

The women planned the attack for more than a month, Cannella said.

The suspects wanted revenge after the 19-year-old sued Crespo’s auto insurance carrier after a car accident, he said, adding that he didn’t have details about the accident or claim.

Marvin Walden, attorney for Crespo, said his client had no idea what she was getting into and was not part of any conspiracy.

He said the dispute was between one of the other women and the victim and was about a man, not an insurance claim.

“My client thought she was going to a rap concert,” Walden said. “There was no intent on her part, or discussion beforehand, about participating in anything resembling a kidnapping.”

The victim arrived at Crespo’s home to meet up with the three women and then drive together to a party, according to authorities.

She noted that her friends weren’t dressed for a party but was reassured by their words and by an evening dress on a hanger inside the car.

The incident didn’t come to the attention of police until the victim reported it Jan. 20.

A man identified as Contreras-Luciano’s boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of hindering apprehension after he declined to turn his car over to investigators, police said.

Police believe his car was used in the attack.

Relative: Joyriding ‘Out of Character’ for Boys Killed in Crash

January 30, 2009 by  
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FONTANA — Authorities are trying to determine why a 15-year-old went on a dangerous joyride that ended with a horrific crash in a Fontana front yard, killing himself, his 9-year old brother and an 11-year old friend.

The victims are brothers Devon Keeten, 15 and Dylan Green, 9, and family friend 11-year-old Moses Guzman, according to the coroner’s office.

The Highway Patrol says an officer pulled over a 2003 Nissan Altima, driven by the 15-year-old just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, but the teen sped off as the officer walked toward the car, officials said.

The officer initiated the traffic stop after the driver ran a red light.

During the less than one-minute pursuit, the driver ran several red lights and reached 90 mph on city streets before losing control at a dip in the road on Alder Avenue at Shamrock Avenue, police said.

The car struck a brick wall in front of a house, flipped over and landed on the lawn.

The driver and his 11-year-old front seat passenger, who were not wearing seat belts, were thrown from the vehicle and were killed instantly, police said.

The 9-year-old boy was wearing a seat belt in the back seat of the car.

He later died at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

All three boys were residents of Fontana, said Officer Joe Ramos of the California Highway Patrol.

The homeowner, Deloris Pimentel, told KTLA that she was babysitting her two young grandchildren at the time and thought there was an earthquake.

She then realized there had been a horrible crash.

While heading outside, Pimentel says, she looked on her lawn and saw a body — an image that has been difficult to get out of her head. Her husband, Edward Pimentel, said he saw another body lying in the street about 20 feet from his door.

No one inside the home was injured.

The home itself was so badly damaged that a city code enforcement officer red-tagged it as uninhabitable.

Investigators said the car is owned by the underage driver’s grandmother, Lillie Green.

Green said the brothers’ mother was at work at the time of the accident. She also said that joyriding is out of character for her grandson.

“This is not like him. I don’t know what happened,” she said.

“I am never going to find out what happened. That’s the way it is.”

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Tour Bus Accident kills 6, injures 20 near Las Vegas

January 30, 2009 by  
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PHOENIX – A tour bus has crashed on a highway near the Hoover Dam on Highway 93.

Police have confirmed there are at least six dead and as many as 20 people with injuries.

Victims are being brought to UMC’s trauma unit for treatment.

The crash closed down U.S. 93 in both directions. The highway is the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The bus was carrying a Korean tour group back to Las Vegas after visiting the Grand Canyon.

I-95 Car Accident Kills PBIA Flight Attendant

January 30, 2009 by  
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PSL woman dies in I 95 crash

JUPITER, FL, — An early morning accident in the southbound lanes of I-95 delayed traffic on the interstate south of Indiantown Road.

The fatal accident occured around 3 a.m. this morning, just south of the Indiantown exit.

58 year old Barbara Carlisle of Port St Lucie was driving to Palm Beach International Airport .

She worked as flight attendant for one of the arlines operating out of PBIA.

The Florida Highway Patrol says that Carlisle was trying to avoid the overturned furniture in the road left by a collision between a Rooms to Go double semi tractor trailer and another tractor trailer.

Both trucks were had pulled over the the shoulder.

Carlisle’s car slammed into the back on one of the parked trucks.

FHP says fog did not paly a role in this morning’s deadly accident.

FHP continues to investigate the accident and Barbara Carlisle’s death.


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