NEWS OF THE FORCE: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - Page 2

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NEWS OF THE FORCE
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - Page 2

 
Purple Heart medal to be returned soon
By Jim Corvey, News of the Force St. Louis
Purpleheart.jpg    
    A Purple Heart medal that ended up at a western New York Goodwill store will soon be returned to the family of the World War II soldier who earned it.
    Goodwill employee Richard Zuehlke found the medal while unpacking donations in Lockport, N.Y., in June. With it was a photo of Pvt. James Roland. Goodwill posted both on Facebook, leading a member of the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle organization to begin searching for Roland's family. She found a cousin _-Westover, Pa., Mayor Mary Roland Struble.
    Goodwill will give the medal to the Patriot Guard today. They'll present it to Struble at Roland's grave site in Westover on Saturday.
    Roland was killed at Anzio, Italy in 1944. He once worked in New York, but how the medal got to Goodwill is a mystery.
 

                   Join the Annual Conference conversation! if you haven  t done so already, be sure to establish Twitter and Facebook accounts & download the apps onto your smartphone through your app store before  the conference. Everyone is encouraged to use the conference hashtag #confCAP to share photos and comments about their conference experiences, as well as to ask questions.

 
U.S. Coast Guard news
CGMark W.svg    
    It may not be on an ocean coast, but one of the nation’s last legacy U.S. Coast Guard stations is on Lake Tahoe, and it is getting critical upgrades.
    Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the company's fourth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC), USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753), on Saturday. "Launching a ship involves quite a bit of logistics, and our team pulled this off in a very safe and efficient manner," said Ingalls' NSC Program Manager Jim French. "It's a week-long process to first translate the ship across land into our floating dry dock and then going through an extensive ship-wide check-out process to launch. The team's performance was outstanding, and now we can focus on completing the ship and getting her to the Coast Guard next year." NSCs are the flagship of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet, designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters, which entered service during the 1960s. Ingalls has delivered three. "The NSC is a proven hull, and our Coast Guard customer is pleased with the performance of the first three ships currently operating in the fleet," French said. "We continue to improve across the board in the construction of these cutters and this trend should continue." Hamilton will be christened on Oct. 26 in Pascagoula by ship sponsor Linda Kapral Papp, the wife of Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. Keel laying for Ingalls' fifth NSC, USCGC James (WMSL 754), took place on May 17. The ship is currently 32 percent complete and will launch the spring of 2014. Ingalls has started construction on nine units for NSC 6. An advance long lead material procurement contract has also been awarded for a seventh NSC. NSCs are 418 feet long, with a 54-foot beam, displacing 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110. The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High Endurance Cutter. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft. It is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. This class of cutters plays an important role enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.
    Boat crews from U.S. Coast Guard Station South Padre Island, Texas, seized two launches and detained eight Mexican nationals caught illegally fishing in U.S. waters, on Aug. 8, in the U.S.' Exclusive Economic Zone. The captain of a charter fishing boat contacted Station South Padre at 7 a.m., to report that a lancha was spotted retrieving fishing gear from the water 10 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. Station South Padre launched a boat crew aboard a 33-foot Law Enforcement Special Purpose Craft to confirm the report. Once on scene, the crew was able to determine that the four Mexican nationals onboard had been fishing illegally, having caught approximately 250 pounds of snapper and 300 pounds of shark. Another charter fishing crew spotted and reported that a second lancha was seen illegally fishing at 12 p.m. Station Padre Island launched another boat crew and detained another three Mexican nationals and seized 150 pounds of snapper. The seven Mexican nationals were turned over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP agents for repatriation, the vessels were seized and the catch was disposed of at sea. "Unfortunately, illegal fishing incursions are not uncommon to our area of responsibility," said Lt. Joshua Sagers, commanding officer of Station South Padre Island. "However, we are committed to protecting the marine resources of the U.S. in the offshore region, along the international border." "We greatly appreciate the cooperation from the commercial fishing fleets for calling the Coast Guard today," said Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. "That initial call allowed us to get on scene quickly and respond to these incursions. This was a joint effort. Together we can protect the fish that America depends on."
    A small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, Fla., experienced a laser burst. A laser pointed at any aircraft is a federal offense, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The boat crew underwent eye exams after someone on land aimed a laser at their boat.
    And officers from the Costa Rican Coast Guard on Sunday seized 963 kilograms of cocaine from a fishing boat near the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean. Public Security Minister Mario Zamora yesterday said the seizure was part of a joint patrol with the U.S. Coast Guard. Zamora said at a press conference that the crew of three Costa Ricans and one Nicaraguan was arrested and sent to Ecuador for booking. Public Security Ministry officials have requested that Ecuador send the three Costa Rican nationals to be tried in Costa Rica. The minister said officials also are performing background checks on the detainees to verify if they have criminal records. Last November, agents from Costa Rica's Drug Control Police captured the same fishing vessel, named Capitán Pearson, with 1,081 kilograms of cocaine on board, Zamora said. At the time, four people were arrested after transferring the drug shipment from an Ecuadorian boat. However, a judge ordered the boat returned to its owners pending trial in that case.
 
There's still trouble in River City, my friends
    
    CAP Col. Rick Franz, as chief of staff of the Kansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and later as wing commander, was aware of several inappropriate relationships that were ongoing inside Kansas, a source has told NOTF.
    The most striking of these was a relationship between two male cadets. Now, CAP regulations do not cover cadet dating as the CAP would have no control over cadet members outside normal meeting/activity times. It was general knowledge in the wing that these two cadets where having a “relationship." However, in 2010, one of the two cadets turned 21 and transitioned over to the senior member side of the house, while the other one stayed a cadet for a couple more years. Yet the relationship and knowledge of this inappropriate relationship went on even after one became a senior member. The Kansas IG was contacted on multiple times over this fact, and the wing membership at a commander’s call was told that, “The wing commander is aware."  But no action was taken at all. In fact, the situation escalated.
    The senior in question was Mitch Edwards, of the Kansas Wing. He started to have cadet male members’ sleep over at his house, even going so far as to talk openly about it in front of the wing commander and other staff members assigned to wing functions.
    Col. Franz recently appointed the Salina squadron a new commander. This member, Maj. Doug Dutton, has been in the CAP for only a handful of years, yet was selected over members better qualified with decades (or more) experience. Maj. Dutton is also the Kansas Wing's head of finance and the CFO of the embattled St. John's Military Academy. Maj. Dutton’s wife is the relatively new wing commander of cadets, and her first action in that position is to promote her cadet daughter cadet commander of the "cadet advisory council." Her daughter is unqualified, shows no leadership abilities, and in fact her former squadron commander refused to promote her until such time as she showed initiative and passed a PT test (which she has yet to do).
    Cronyism runs rampant in the Kansas Wing under Col. Franz. A former member of the IG team was removed from that position because he spoke out against a local unit, “Wier School Squadron 802,” getting their SUI pushed back several different times. In fact, that unit has yet to receive an SUI inspection since it opened up, while other units are given no leeway with inspections.
    Col. Franz (and others in authority positions in the Kansas Wing) has shown a pattern of disregard and contempt towards Civil Air Patrols rules and regulations. "No one is willing to speak up over these situations, as we are all afraid of the reprisals that will come our way if we are caught speaking about it," the source told us.
    "The summer national conference is going on in Denver. Colo. My contacts inside those meetings state that this information (from the previous letter) is once again being swept under the rug. It is time for the national commander to make a change in the leadership in the Kansas Wing to save a once very prosperous wing and make all the members feel safe again," the source added.
    (Ed. note: This is the second recent article regarding the CAP's Kansas Wing. Thus far, there has been no response from the CAP, the Kansas Wing or the wing's commander.)
 
Today in history
    On Aug. 13, 1521, Tenochtitlan, now known as Mexico City, was conquered by conquistador Hernan Cortez. In 1913, Albania crowned Otto Witte its king, and Brearley produced the first stainless steel. In 1918, for the first time, women were allowed to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1960, the Central African Republic (CAR) gained its independence from France. In 1969, the astronauts of Apollo 11 were awarded the Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon. In 1996, Microsoft introduced its Internet Explorer 3. And in 2010, Michael Phelps won his 13th career Olympic gold medal - the most gold medals ever earned by an athlete.
 
The parting shots
    A Florida beach safety officer was fired on Friday after he referred to Trayvon Martin as a "thug" on his personal Facebook page. Todd Snipes, a beach officer for 15 years who was stationed about 40 minutes from where Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Fla., was initially suspended for the post he made on Facebook last month. "Another thug gone," Snipes wrote the night of George Zimmerman’s acquittal. "Pull up your pants and be respectful. Bye bye thug, r.i.p." In his termination letter, Department of Public Protection Director George Recktenwald wrote that Snipes had "engaged in behavior that threatens the respect and trust of the community and jeopardizes the perception that the department enforces the law fairly, even-handedly and without bias." The officer also had a rather callous and disparaging image of Trayvon Martin on his Facebook page where Trayvon’s holding a bag of skittles in one hand and canned iced tea in the other, with the caption, "Those skittles were to die for."
    A Scotland pub has been ordered to ditch a sign describing today’s Auld Enemy clash at Wembley as “Scotland vs. Them” amid concerns that it may be "offensive."
    A man fell approximately 65 feet from a stairwell at Turner Field, in Atlanta, Ga., on Monday night to a concrete walkway leading to the Braves' players parking lot and died. The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as Ronald Homer, 30, of Conyers, Ga. The Atlanta Police Department said Homer was transported to the Atlanta Medical Center after the incident, which occurred around 9 p.m., ET, near the start of the Braves' game with the Philadelphia Phillies, which had been delayed 1 hour 48 minutes by rain.
    The father of Scots aid worker Linda Norgrove, who was kidnapped and killed in Afghanistan, believes that scaling down the presence of Western troops in the country will lead to “a political mess."
    The "mystery priest" who appeared at the scene of a serious accident last week in eastern Missouri involving a teenager has been identified as the Rev. Patrick Dowling, KDSK and other news agencies are reporting. The Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., identified the clergyman after he stepped forward in the comments section of a story about the incident in the National Catholic Register. Emergency responders had been working on extricating Katie Lentz, 19, from her damaged vehicle for at least 45 minutes when they saw her condition was drastically deteriorating. When Lentz asked if those around her would pray with her out loud, the priest stepped forward and said he would. After emergency responders successfully removed Lentz from the wreckage and sent her off to the hospital via helicopter, they went to thank the priest and found he'd disappeared. Dowling wrote in the National Catholic Register that he was returning from Mass when he came upon the accident scene. "I absolved and anointed Katie and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not be hurt," the priest wrote. "I left when the helicopter was about to take off." The story stirred the imaginations of many across the country, including some who speculated he might have been a monk who died in 1927. Lentz is recovering from two broken femurs, a broken tibia and fibia, a broken left wrist, nine broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a ruptured spleen and a bruised lung, according to the Facebook page of her mother, Carla Churchill Lentz.
    A former North Dakota bank loan officer accused of helping companies obtain millions of dollars in bogus loans must serve more than a year in a federal prison and pay back nearly $2.8 million, a federal judge has ruled.
    A Russian surgeon has been arrested for taking a five-gram bag of heroin he found in a patient's stomach. "The doctor was intoxicated at the time of detention," police for the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk said in a statement today, adding he faced up to 15 years in prison for theft and drug possession. The doctor, who was not named, refused to answer questions without a lawyer, the police said. It was not clear whether the patient had been arrested.
    A hospital technician accused of causing a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis C will plead guilty in exchange for a prison term of 30 to 40 years, according to a plea agreement filed on Monday in New Hampshire's federal court.
    The biological father at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court custody dispute over the rights of children with Native American heritage turned himself into Oklahoma authorities on Monday after missing court-ordered appearances to facilitate his daughter's return to her adopted parents, officials said. Dusten Brown, who has Cherokee heritage and lives in Nowata, Okla., was accompanied by a Cherokee Nation marshal as he was booked into the Sequoyah County Jail on a fugitive warrant, jail operations manager Jamie Faulkenberry said.
    A defense attorney says former Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger will appeal his conviction in a string of 11 killings and other underworld crimes.
    France's government is mulling a points-based retirement credit system rather than a years-of-work tally for people in tough physical jobs, to give them more say over when they retire, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said today. Any special credits for laborers are likely to be financed by rises in social welfare contributions, with details yet to be worked out by a Socialist government which plans to reform the retirement system to help fix a ballooning pension deficit. It aims to submit the plan to Parliament in the weeks ahead.
    So much for the "rubber chicken" circuit. China will ban officials from holding extravagant galas linked to official meetings that have hurt the image of the government, the latest move by President Xi Jinping to fight corruption, state media said today. All areas of the government will be barred from using their funds to organize galas, often staged with expensive celebrities, the state news agency Xinhua reported, citing a circular from the government.
    At a beef industry conference in Denver, Colo., last week, the animal health auditor for the meat producer JBS USA presented a video showing short clips of cows struggling to walk and displaying other signs of distress. The animals appeared to step gingerly, as if on hot metal, and showed signs of lameness, according to four people who saw the video.
    A clown who wore a mask of President Obama at a Missouri State Fair rodeo and encouraged a bull to run him down as the crowd cheered was banned on Monday from any future state fairs. The incident on Saturday night was denounced by leading Democrats and Republicans and fair officials as disrespectful to the president. The Missouri State Fair Commission voted on Monday to "permanently ban this rodeo clown from ever participating or performing" at the annual state fair, according to a news release.
    A Houston, Texas, man shot himself to death in his wife's hospital room on Sunday, 3-1/2 hours after she had given birth to their baby, police said. "Family members said he has been distraught recently," Houston Police spokesman John Cannon said. The man, whose identity has not been released, shot himself in a private room at Willowbrook Methodist Hospital, in Northwest Houston, on Sunday afternoon, Cannon said. He died shortly after being transported to another hospital, according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
    Dozens of guests at a Clairmont, Fla., resort near Walt Disney World were safely evacuated in the middle of the night on Monday when a large sinkhole opened on the property, swallowing a three-story building. "I was hearing popping noises and I was hearing people screaming and glass breaking. The building actually twisted and separated," Summer Bay Resort Security Officer Richard Shanley said. "It was like something from a movie."
    The J.C. Penney Co., Inc., said activist investor Bill Ackman had resigned from the board, three years after embarking on a public and at times acrimonious campaign to turn around the struggling department store operator and less than a week after demanding the ouster of its chairman and CEO. J.C. Penney's shares, which have lost a third of their value this year, rose as much as 4 percent in pre-market trading after the company named a new director and said it would add another.
    Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker seemed poised for victory today as New Jersey voters head to the polls to select party nominees in the race to fill the state's empty U.S. Senate seat. Booker, a Democrat, holds a strong lead in public opinion polls, with a 37-point edge over his nearest challenger among likely Democratic voters in one recent survey.
    Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry, Ltd., is weighing options that could include an outright sale, it said on Monday, and its largest share-holder is stepping down from its board to avoid any possible conflict of interest. BlackBerry, which pioneered mobile e-mail with its first smart phones and e-mail pagers, said on Monday it had set up a committee to review its options, sparking a debate over whether Canada's one-time crown jewel is more valuable as a whole or snapped up piece by piece by competitors or private investors.
    And in today's celebrity birthdays (Aug. 13): Cuba's former President Fidel Castro is 87; Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family, The Smoking Gun Presents...) is 53; Sebastian Stan (Captain America) is 29; Kevin Tighe (Emergency!) is 68; John Slattery (Mad Men, Iron Man 2) is 50; Singer Dawnn Lewis is 51; Singer Lacey Brown is 27; California murderer Cary Stayner (who is on Death Row) is 51; High-wire artist Philippe Petit is 63; Chad Brown (Poker Challenge) is 51; British dart champion Phil Taylor is 52; Former soccer player Alan Shearer is 42; Supercross champion Ryan Villopoto is 24; Sam Champion (Good Morning America) is 41; Pop/rock singer David Days is 21; NHL Hall of Fame center Bobby Clarke is 63; Child Internet celebrity Piper Reese is 12; Brazilian mid-fielder Lucas Moura is 20; Debi Mazar (Entourage) is 28; Pat Harrington, Jr. (One Day at a Time) is 83; NBA center Damarcus Cousins is 22; Composer Koji Kondo is 52; Scottish model/actress Freya Mavor is 19; The UFC's Demetrious Johnson is 26; James Carpinello (The Mob Doctor) is 37; Jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller is 57; Indian actress Sridevi Kapoor is 49; Former U.S. Surgeon General Rear Adm. Jocelyn Elders is 79; Movie director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) is 57; Producer David Crane (Friends) is 55; MLB's Boone Logan is 28; Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 64; German actor Moritz Bleibtreu is 41; And NFL wide receiver Brandon Gibson is 25.
 
                         Obama's on an 8 day vacation in Martha's Vineyard this week. Wonder how many times he'll play golf while he's there?
 
 
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