Marion Mitchell Morrison, better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. An Academy Award-winner, Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades.
The State of Oregon v. Rain Man
An Eagle Point man was sentenced to 90 days in jail Monday for creating three illegal reservoirs on property he maintains he no longer owns.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia on Monday sentenced Gary Harrington to three months in jail for violating conditions of his probation and extended his post-prison supervision to five years. He has until April 29 to report to jail, Mejia ordered.
Harrington, 65, was found guilty of three counts of appropriating water without a permit, three counts of interfering with the use of water, and three counts of unauthorized use of water in a jury trial before Judge Tim Gerking on July 11. (Correction: Details of the conviction and sentence have been corrected in this story.)
Harrington has been repeatedly convicted over an 11-year span for illegally storing water on his Crowfoot Road property without a permit. He even pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2008, but he refuses to drain the ponds as ordered by the court, Mejia said.
"Most people, when caught in a criminal act, at least promise not to do the act again," Mejia said, adding Harrington was "willfully in violation of the orders of the court."
Harrington has had ample time to drain the reservoirs as he was ordered to do earlier last summer after his conviction, and as a condition of his probation, Mejia said.
Harrington uses dams to capture rain water that falls on his property. The water is collected in three reservoirs, one of which is 13 feet deep and close to an acre in size. The reservoirs are stocked with fish and lined with boat docks.
Harrington has maintained the ponds are a valuable fire-suppression resource in the summer. He said fire departments have pulled water from the ponds to fight blazes.
State officials counter that Harrington has illegally collected the water by building 20-foot-tall dams without permits.
State law exempts water collected off parking lots or rooftops and funneled into rain barrels, water resources officials say. If it's not gathered on an artificial, impervious surface, such as a rooftop, then a property owner needs a state water right permit to collect it.
Harrington claimed to have relinquished his property to what he called a private membership association. Harrington has said that more than 30 people have joined the organization that now owns his property.
"My wife and I are done with the ponds," Harrington said, adding he still lives on and maintains the property for the new owners.
Before a packed courtroom of Harrington's supporters, the judge took issue with Harrington's arguments that the ponds were no longer under his control.
The state prosecutor said the current ownership is immaterial to the time of the crime and for the release of the water.
"If the water's being illegally held, it doesn't matter who owns the (ponds)," Mejia agreed, adding there was no dispute regarding the ownership at the time of the violation.
Mejia said Harrington's actions to quit claiming the property's title was done solely to avoid the legal consequences of his criminal acts.
"He lives on the property. He controls the property. It's a sham," Mejia said.
Harrington, who fired his attorney and served as his own counsel during the trial, also has regularly filed last-minute motions "in order to obstruct and delay the proceedings," Mejia said.
Harrington's new attorney on Monday presented two character witnesses on behalf of his client. He asked for community service or home detention, stating Harrison was elderly, ill and not a danger to society.
August 05, 2012
South Carolina soup kitchen refuses to allow atheists to volunteer
A group called the Upstate Atheists in Spartanburg, South Carolina were rebuffed in their efforts to volunteer at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen.
“I told [the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen] we wouldn’t wear our T-shirts. We wouldn’t tell anyone who we are with. We just want to help out,” Upstate Atheist president Eve Brannon told the Spartanburg Herald-Jounal. “And they told us that we were not allowed.”
Lou Landrum, the Soup Kitchen’s executive director, told the same paper that allowing the atheists to work at the facility would be a “disservice to this community.”
“We stand on the principles of God,” she said. “Do [atheists] think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is? Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.”
Landrum said that “they can set up across the street from the Soup Kitchen. They can have the devil there with them, but they better not come across the street.”
Brannon said the group frequently works with Christian non-profit organizations. “We’ve raised money for March of Dimes, worked with the Generous Garden Project, done community park clean ups, adopted a highway, and sponsored local foster children for Christmas.”
“They are the only group that denied us the opportunity to volunteer.”
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, center, arrives at the capital airport for a flight to North Korea, in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Rodman is flying to North Korea to help train the national team and renew his friendship with the North?s young leader Kim Jong Un, a visit unaffected by the recent execution of Kim?s uncle in a dramatic political purge. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to help train the national team and renew his friendship with the North's young leader, Kim Jong Un, a visit unaffected by the recent execution of Kim's uncle in a dramatic political purge.
Rodman was met at Pyongyang's airport by Vice Sports Minister Son Kwang Ho. He made no public comments, but told a mob of reporters earlier at Beijing's airport that he expected, as on previous visits, to meet with Kim and make final arrangements for a Jan. 8 exhibition game in Pyongyang marking the leader's birthday.
"I know (Kim) is waiting for me to come back. So hopefully we will have some conversation about some things that's going to help the world," Rodman said.
Jang's execution marks North Korea's most serious political upheaval in decades and has sent North Korea watchers speculating over the stability of the Kim dynasty. However, Rodman's visit - should it proceed uneventfully - could be a sign that Kim is firmly in charge and unconcerned with any potential challenges to his rule.
Asked about the execution, Rodman said that had nothing to do with his visit. He said he wasn't worried about his personal safety in the North, despite the recent detentions of two Americans there, one of whom, Kenneth Bae, has been held for more than two years.
Rodman and Kim have struck up an unlikely friendship since the Hall of Famer traveled to the secretive Communist state for the first time in February with the Harlem Globetrotters for an HBO series produced by New York-based VICE television.
He remains the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from father Kim Jong Il in 2011.
Known as much for his piercings, tattoos and bad behavior as he was for basketball, Rodman has mostly avoided politics in his dealings with the North. He's mainly focused on using basketball as a means of boosting understanding and communication and studiously avoided commenting on the North's human rights record, regarded as one of the world's worst by activists, defectors and the U.S. State Department.
Defectors have repeatedly testified about the government's alleged use of indiscriminate killings, rapes, beatings and prison camps holding as many as 120,000 people deemed opponents of Kim, the third generation of his family to rule.
Rodman said he planned to return to North Korea in two weeks with a roster of 12 American basketball players, but offered no names.
"I hope this game brings a lot of countries together, because as I said, sports it is so important to people around the world," Rodman said. "So I hope this is going to engage American people, especially (President Barack) Obama, to just to try to talk to them."
A&E suspends 'Duck Dynasty' star over remarks on homosexuality
5 Horror Movies Based On Real Life
Everybody knows the terrible tale of cross-dressing, knife-wielding mama's boy Norman Bates -- but not everybody knows the character was based on Ed Gein of Wisconsin, who was arrested in 1957 for committing two murders and "digging up the corpses of countless other women who reminded him of his dead mother," which he then skinned to make everything from lamp shades to socks to a full-body "woman suit" in hopes of becoming a woman. Gein ended up dying in a mental institution (gee, ya think?!). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054215/
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Who can forget Leatherface and his cannibal kin? DAMN that movie scared the crap out of me. Anyway, Ed Gein's skin-wearing ways inspired this one, too. (As well as Hannibal Lecter, yes, in case you were wondering.) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072271/
The Amityville Horror
Based on a book by George and Kathy Lutz about their supposed real-life experience living in a house that was so freaking haunted they ran screaming after only 4 weeks. (Lots of people say the Lutzes made it all up. But considering there was a mass murder at the house before they moved in, who knows?) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078767/
The Serpent and the Rainbow
(This one's for all you Walking Dead junkies.) Based on a book by a scientist (Canadian Wade Davis) about the practice of "zombification" in Haiti involving a toxic powder which could place victims into a "death-like" state, only to be revived/controlled by evil zombie-masters. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096071/
The Hills Have Eyes
Based on the on the 15th century Scottish legend of Alexander "Sawney" Bean, the supposed leader of a 40-person clan that lived in caves and killed/ate over 1,000 people over 25 years. (Most historians think the story is a load of malarkey. Oh wait, that's Irish, not Scottish. Anyway.) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077681/
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