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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Illinois State Police barry a brother today

Whats On The Sarges Mind is giving a moment of silence and a prayer to the fallen brother.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

A funeral will be held today for Illinois State Trooper James Sauter, who was killed in a fiery crash last week on the Tri-State Tollway.
On Monday, troopers in full dress uniform greeted mourners for a wake at Moraine Valley Church in Palos Heights. The parking lot was packed, and nearly half the cars were marked or unmarked vehicles from about a dozen police agencies.
Outside the church, Trooper Raymond Kurut said he met Sauter when the two entered the police academy four years ago, recalling his classmate's enthusiasm for the dangerous work of patrolling the highways.
"We have a term in the state police for patrol, called being a 'road dog,'" Kurut said. "Jim loved being a road dog out here more than anything else."
Sauter, a pilot, liked patrol so much that he asked to be taken out of state police air operations and was transferred back to the road shortly before the crash, state police said.
About 11 p.m. Thursday, he was in his police cruiser parked on Interstate 294 south of Willow Road in Glenview when a semitrailer truck hit the car from behind.
Both vehicles burst into flames, and Sauter was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 28.
The driver of the semi was ticketed for improper lane usage, authorities said. His name has not been released because of the pending investigation, state police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.
Sauter, a trooper since 2008, is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his parents. He lived in Vernon Hills but grew up in Chicago Ridge and attended Richards High School.
Sauter was still a cadet when he saved the life of a woman badly injured in a motorcycle crash on Interstate 80. He saw that no emergency vehicles had arrived, so he parked his car, grabbed a medical kit and ran across several lanes of traffic to reach the woman, Kurut said.
Sauter was able to clear the woman's airway, which was blocked with blood. She was airlifted to a hospital and survived.
"I talked to Jim that night," Kurut said. "Jim was just overjoyed he had the training and the tools and the ability to be in the right place at the right time."
Sauter was awarded the state police's Lifesaving Medal in October 2008.
Caryn Tatelli hardly knew Sauter — Sauter's wife was a baby sitter for Tatelli's three children several years ago — but she said the muscular, warmhearted trooper made an impression. When Sauter and his future wife, Elizabeth, were dating, Tatelli invited the couple to join her family at a water park in the Wisconsin Dells.
Her children, 3-year-old twins and a 7-year-old at the time, still remember Sauter.
"They all wanted to go down the water slides with (Sauter)," she said. "They still remember that feeling of being safe."
The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Moraine Valley Church, 6300 W. 127th St.

Lyons Police officer ives his life to save others

About 14 hours after Lyons police Officer Charles Wright rescued two residents from a smoke-filled apartment building, he sat in his home Monday afternoon and downplayed his death-defying effort.
"We help people; that's what police officers do," said Wright, a 29-year veteran of the department who grew up in Lyons. "It's just routine."
Tenants of the building disagree. And while Wright's may have been the most dramatic example of heroism at the fire in the six-unit apartment building, others joined him during and after the blaze.
Lyons police officer fire rescueIt began shortly after midnight when Wright was patrolling near 45th Place and Prescott Avenue in the western suburb. He noticed flames shooting from a basement apartment window and radioed for help. Then he left his car and pounded on the building's windows and a door before arriving at another apartment entrance.
Wright said he heard voices on the other side of the door. He and neighbor Mike Campos, who had seen the fire and run to the building, pulled it open. Thick black smoke flowed from the opening, Wright recalled, and he didn't stop to think.
"It was just like: Get them out," Wright said.
He stuck his head in the door, then told Campos to run around the building and try to wake people up, Campos said Monday afternoon. While Campos started shouting and pounding on windows, Wright walked inside and helped a man and young boy escape before the officer became overcome by smoke.
Lyons police officers Rob Zieman, Richard Brown, Jeff Studlow and Jennifer Markowski arrived moments later, followed by firefighters. The four officers stood by a first-floor window and persuaded tenant Mary Jones to break it and lower her toddler daughter to them, Lyons police Cmdr. Brian Kuratko said. Jones followed her daughter out the window.
Although the building was damaged extensively, all tenants survived. Authorities said the fire started in a basement apartment but had not determined the cause.
"I would say we probably all would have been trapped" if it hadn't been for the efforts of Wright, Campos and the other officers, Jones said later Monday. "No one inside knew what was going on."
Gestures of generosity occurred hours later, when Kathy Van Driska, of nearby Countryside, drove to the apartment parking lot, her small car nearly overflowing with four stuffed toy animals. She'd seen TV news reports on the fire and was moved by the plight of the four children who had to leave their homes early Monday morning, Van Driska said.
"It's just a little something for the little kids," added Van Driska, who took the toys to the Lyons Police Department. Kuratko said a local Lions Club also offered to help apartment tenants. "If something like this happened to me," Van Driska said, "I would hope someone would step up and help me out because this is terrible."
The early Monday blaze was the third time Wright, who was raised in Lyons, rescued someone trapped in a building fire. He received a congressional commendation in 1996 after he and two other Lyons officers rescued a 77-year-old visually impaired amputee from his burning home.
In addition, Markowski saved a life exactly three years ago, while working as a Westmont police officer. She and Westmont firefighter Brendan Sullivan leapt into a retention pond to help pull out an elderly couple whose car had plunged into the water.
After his rescue efforts Monday, Wright was treated at a hospital for a few hours, then went home to sleep. In his living room hours later, he said the headache and sore throat from inhaling smoke was nothing compared with the satisfaction of having done what he was meant to do.
"It's a special job, being a police officer," he said. "It takes a lot of heart to put up with some of the things we do. All the guys I worked with, I'm very proud of what they did."

Georgia town passes law requiring residents to own guns

ATLANTA  - A small Georgia town on Monday passed a law requiring the head of each household to own a gun as a way to keep crime down.
The ordinance, approved unanimously by the City Council in Nelson, is symbolic, however, because there is no penalty for violating it, according to Councilman Duane Cronic, who introduced the measure last month.
It serves as an expression of support for gun rights and sends a message to would-be criminals, Cronic said.
The measure was passed amid the debate over gun laws in the United States following the December shooting rampage in which a gunman killed 26 people at a Connecticut elementary school.
The Nelson ordinance exempts convicted felons, residents with physical and mental disabilities and those who do not believe in owning firearms, Cronic said.
Crime in Nelson, which has only one police officer, consists mainly of petty theft, Cronic said. Some 1,300 people live in the town, about 50 miles north of Atlanta.
Last month similar proposed gun ordinances were rejected in the small towns of Byron and Sabbatus in Maine.

Trial of former New Orleans mayor delayed until October

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin arrives at court in New Orleans February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
(Reuters) - The federal public corruption trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, which was scheduled to start in late April, has been delayed until October after a joint request by prosecutors and defense attorneys, a court order filed on Monday said.
Nagin, who had chided federal officials for their slow response after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, was accused in a grand jury indictment in January of taking kickbacks in exchange for city contracts.
The joint request for more time had said, "The nature of the present prosecution is complex and involves an extensive amount of electronic and documentary discovery."
The 21-count indictment included charges of bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and tax violations. Nagin, who now lives in Texas, pleaded not guilty to all charges in February before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan.
The trial had been scheduled to start on April 29, but was moved to October 7 under the order dated April 1 signed by U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan.
Nagin was a little-known businessman when he won election in 2002 after wooing voters with promises to think outside the box and rid City Hall of patronage. He served eight years as mayor.
In 2005, after Katrina struck and several levees crumbled, Nagin's desperate plea for federal officials to "get off your asses" and help was heard worldwide. He was widely criticized after the storm for overseeing a halting recovery.
New Orleans has a history rich with political intrigue, but Nagin is the first mayor to face criminal charges.

Conn. to place ammunition ban in to place

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2013 file photo, David Wheeler, father of Sandy Hook School shooting victim Benjamin, listens to a legislative hearing of a task force on gun violence and children's safety at Newtown High School in Newtown, Conn. Connecticut lawmakers announced a deal Monday, April 1, 2013 on what they called some of the toughest gun laws in the country that were proposed after the December mass shooting in the state, including a ban on new high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — With an announcement of sweeping proposals to curb gun violence, Connecticut lawmakers said they are hoping to send a message to Congress and other state legislators across the country: A bipartisan agreement on gun control is possible.

Legislative leaders on Monday revealed proposals spurred by the Dec. 14 Newtown school shooting following weeks of bipartisan, closed-door negotiations. A vote is expected Wednesday in the General Assembly, where Democrats control both chambers, making passage all but assured.
"Democrats and Republicans were able to come to an agreement on a strong, comprehensive bill," said Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., a Democrat from Brooklyn, who called the proposed legislation the strongest, most comprehensive bill in the country. "That is a message that should resound in 49 other states and in Washington, D.C. And the message is: We can get it done here and they should get it done in their respective states and nationally in Congress."
The massacre reignited the gun debate in the country and led to calls for increased gun control legislation on the federal and state levels. While some other states, including neighboring New York, have strengthened their gun laws, momentum has stalled in Congress, whose members were urged by President Barack Obama last week not to forget the shooting and to capitalize on the best chance in years to stem gun violence.
The Connecticut deal includes a ban on new high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children and six educators dead. There are also new registration requirements for existing magazines that carry 10 or more bullets, something of a disappointment for some family members of Newtown victims who wanted an outright ban on the possession of all high-capacity magazines and traveled to the state Capitol on Monday to ask lawmakers for it.
The package also creates what lawmakers said is the nation's first statewide dangerous weapon offender registry, creates a new "ammunition eligibility certificate," imposes immediate universal background checks for all firearms sales, and extends the state's assault weapons ban to 100 new types of firearms and requires that a weapon have only one of several features in order to be banned.
The newly banned weapons could no longer be bought or sold in Connecticut, and those legally owned already would have to be registered with the state, just like the high-capacity magazines.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, a Fairfield Republican whose district includes Newtown, said Republicans and Democrats have understood they needed to "rise above politics" when they decided to come up with a legislative response to the massacre.
"At the end of the day, I think it's a package that the majority of the people of Connecticut I know will be proud of," he said.
The bill also addresses mental health and school security measures, including gun restrictions for people who've been committed to mental health facilities and restoration of a state grant for school safety improvements.
After clearing the state legislature, the bill would be sent to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has helped lead efforts to strengthen the state's gun laws but has not yet signed off on the proposed legislation. Earlier Monday, Malloy voiced support for the Newtown families and their desire to ban the possession of large-capacity magazines.
Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said his group will live with the lawmakers' decision not to ban them as other states have done. He said the leaders made their decision based on what was politically feasible.
"We have to be satisfied. There are still other things that we want, we'll be back for in later sessions," he said. "But for now, it's a good thing."
Robert Crook, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen, contended the bill would not have changed what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where gunman Adam Lanza fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle within five minutes. He went through six 30-round magazines, though half were not completely empty, and police said he had three other 30-round magazines in addition to one in the rifle.
"They can register magazines and do all the rest of this stuff. It isn't going to do anything," he said.
Gun owners, who've packed public hearings at the state Capitol in recent months, voicing their opposition to various gun control measures, are concerned they've been showing up "for virtually nothing" after learning about the bill, Crook said.
Six relatives of Newtown victims visited the Capitol on Monday, asking lawmakers to ban existing high-capacity magazines. Some handed out cards with photographs of their slain children.
Allowing magazines that carry 10 or more bullets to remain in the hands of gun owners would leave a gaping loophole in the law, said Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the shooting.
"It doesn't prevent someone from going out of the state to purchase them and then bring them back. There's no way to track when they were purchased, so they can say, 'I had this before,'" Barden said. "So it's a big loophole."
Barden and other victims' family members who visited the statehouse on Monday did not immediately respond to messages seeking their reactions to the agreement.
Jake McGuigan, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, said he wouldn't comment on the proposal until he saw it in the writing, but he questioned the mechanics of a registry for magazines.
"How will they register a magazine? It seems a little weird," he said.

North Korean president uses Nukes like toy rockets and our President has no balls to stand up to him

Tensions continue to rise with North Korea, but the question remains whether the young leader Kim Jong Un thinks he can get away with an attack on the South. David Martin reports.

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea announced plans on Tuesday to restart a mothballed nuclear reactor that has been closed since 2007, but emphasized it was seeking a deterrent capacity, rather than repeating recent threats to attack South Korea and the United States.

The state-owned KCNA news agency said North Korea would restart all nuclear facilities for both electricity and military uses.
The announcement came amid soaring tensions on the Korean Peninsula as the United States bolstered its forces in the region after a series of threats by Pyongyang to attack U.S. bases in the Pacific and to invade South Korea.

North Korea, one of the most isolated and unpredictable states in the world, conducted its third nuclear test in February but is believed to be some years away from developing nuclear weapons, although it claims to have a deterrent.


Weekend crime is one of many wildings that give enough reason to give law abiding citizens permits to carry

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talk on April 1, 2013 about the mass disturbances involving teens on Michigan Avenue on Saturday.
After a rough 2012 defending their actions as homicides soared past 500 killings, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had what they billed as good news to share Monday — violence in the first quarter of 2013 fell sharply from a year earlier.
But the two found themselves somewhat on the defensive after disturbances downtown over the weekend by large groups of teens captured national attention and reignited concerns about mayhem along or near the city's tony Magnificent Mile as warmer weather appears on the horizon.
The latest contrast shows once again how difficult it can be for Emanuel and his team to get ahead of Chicago's seemingly pervasive violence — an issue of incredible complexities that despite short-term success can quickly be eclipsed by a high-profile murder of a teenage girl or a scary robbery on a popular CTA train line.