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Old January 29th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #21
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When's the Last Time Someone Has Seen....

Has anyone actually seen Matt Millen or Mr. Ford Lately?

Life goes on around body found frozen in vacant Detroit warehouse

Charlie LeDuff / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- This city has not always been a gentle place, but a series of events over the past few, frigid days causes one to wonder how cold the collective heart has grown.
It starts with a phone call made by a man who said his friend found a dead body in the elevator shaft of an abandoned building on the city's west side.
"He's encased in ice, except his legs, which are sticking out like Popsicle sticks," the caller phoned to tell this reporter.
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"Why didn't your friend call the police?"
"He was trespassing and didn't want to get in trouble," the caller replied. As it happens, the caller's friend is an urban explorer who gets thrills rummaging through and photographing the ruins of Detroit. It turns out that this explorer last week was playing hockey with a group of other explorers on the frozen waters that had collected in the basement of the building. None of the men called the police, the explorer said. They, in fact, continued their hockey game.
Before calling the police, this reporter went to check on the tip, skeptical of a hoax. Sure enough, in the well of the cargo elevator, two feet jutted out above the ice. Closer inspection revealed that the rest of the body was encased in 2-3 feet of ice, the body prostrate, suspended into the ice like a porpoising walrus.
The hem of a beige jacket could be made out, as could the cuffs of blue jeans. The socks were relatively clean and white. The left shoe was worn at the heel but carried fresh laces. Adding to the macabre and incongruous scene was a pillow that gently propped up the left foot of the corpse. It looked almost peaceful.
What happened to this person, one wonders? Murder in Motown is a definite possibility. Perhaps it was death by alcoholic stupor. Perhaps the person was crawling around in the elevator shaft trying to retrieve some metal that he could sell at a scrap yard. In any event, there the person was. Stone-cold dead.
A symbol of decay

The building is known as the Roosevelt Warehouse, once belonging to the Detroit Public Schools as a book repository. Located near 14th Street and Michigan Avenue, the warehouse burned in 1987 and caused something of a scandal as thousands of books, scissors, footballs and crayons were left to rot while Detroit schoolchildren -- some of the poorest children in the country -- went without supplies.
The building was eventually sold to Matty Moroun, the trucking and real estate mogul who is worth billions of dollars and is the largest private property owner in the state of Michigan. Among other properties, Moroun owns the decrepit Michigan Central Rail Depot that squats directly next to the warehouse. The train station has become the symbol of Detroit's decay. Like much of his property in southwestern Detroit, Moroun's warehouse and the train station are gaping sores.
The warehouse is so easily accessible, a person in a wheelchair could get in with little effort. There are holes in the fence and in the side entrance. The elevator shaft is wide open. It appears no one has ever tried to close the bay doors.
A colony of homeless men live in the warehouse. Wednesday morning a few fires were burning inside oil drums. Scott Ruben, 38, huddled under filthy blankets not 20 paces from the elevator shaft.
"Yeah, I seen him," Ruben said. The snow outside howled. The heat from the can warped the landscape of rotting buildings and razor wire.
Did he know who the dead person was?
"I don't recognize him from his shoes."
Did he call the police?
"No, I figured someone else did," he said.
"There's lots of people coming through here with cameras and cell phones. I don't got no phone. I don't got no quarter. Things is tight around here."
His shack mate, Kenneth Williams, 47, returned at that point with an armload of wood.
"Yeah, he's been down there since last month at least."
He was asked if he called the police.
"No, I thought it was a dummy myself," he said unconvincingly. Besides, Williams said, there were more pressing issues like keeping warm and finding something to eat.
"You got a couple bucks?" he asked.
Waiting for a response

There are at least 19,000 homeless people in Detroit, by some estimates. Put another way, more than 1 in 50 people here are homeless.
The human problem is so bad, and the beds so few, that some shelters in the city provide only a chair. The chair is yours as long as you sit in it. Once you leave, the chair is reassigned.
Thousands of down-on-their-luck adults do nothing more with their day than clutch onto a chair. This passes for normal in some quarters of the city.
"I hate that musical chair game," Ruben said. He said he'd rather live next to a corpse.
Convinced that it was indeed a body, this reporter made a discreet call to a police officer.
"Aw, just give 911 a call," the cop said. "We'll be called eventually."
A call was placed to 911. A woman answered. She was told it was a reporter calling. The operator tried to follow, but seemed confused. "Where is this building?"
She promised to contact the appropriate authorities.
Twenty minutes or so went by when 911 called the newsroom. This time it was a man.
"Where's this building?"
It was explained to him, as was the elevator shaft and the tomb of ice.
"Bring a jack-hammer," this reporter suggested.
"That's what we do," he said.
Nearly 24 hours went by. The elevator shaft was still a gaping wound. There was no crime scene tape. The homeless continued to burn their fires. City schoolchildren still do not have the necessary books to learn. The train station continues to crumble. Too many homicides still go unsolved.
After another two calls to 911 on Wednesday afternoon (one of which was disconnected), the Detroit Fire Department called and agreed to meet nearby.
Capt. Emma McDonald was on the scene.
"Every time I think I've seen it all, I see this," she said.
And with that they went about the work of recovering a person who might otherwise be waiting for the warm winds of spring.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #22
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Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, "Zombies Ahead."

Chris Lippincott, director of media relations for the Texas Department of Transportation, confirmed that a portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, near the University of Texas at Austin, was hacked into during the early hours of Jan. 19.

"It was clever, kind of cute, but not what it was intended for," said Lippincott, who saw the sign during his morning commute. "Those signs are deployed for a reason — to improve traffic conditions, let folks know there's a road closure."

"It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," he told FOXNews.com.


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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:48 PM   #23
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Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow; winter to continue






PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – The world's most famous groundhog saw his shadow Monday morning, predicting that this already long winter will last for six more weeks. Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn in front of an estimated 13,000 witnesses, many dressed in black and gold to celebrate the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl victory the night before.
"There's significant buzz from the Steelers win and quite a few Terrible Towels floating from the crowd," said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for tourism in Pennsylvania.
The annual ritual takes place on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, a borough of about 6,100 residents some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Phil was as docile as usual, but the same couldn't be said for his grumpy New York City counterpart, Staten Island Chuck, who bit Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his annual forecasting ceremony on Monday.
"It nicked his hand," said Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser.
The groundhog, officially named Charles G. Hogg, drew blood from the billionaire, but Bloomberg was told there was no risk of rabies. The 2-year-old animal was born and raised in captivity and has had no interaction with other animals.
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club announced the forecast in a short proclamation, in which Phil acknowledged the Steelers' 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says, spring will come early.
Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, hasn't seen it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
Back in Pennsylvania, Rowley said the Groundhog Day festivities are the state's largest tourist gathering in the winter. And if Phil's forecast proves correct, it should bring even more tourists to the state.
"It's six more weeks of skiing," Rowley said.

Last edited by Vegasz71; February 2nd, 2009 at 05:49 PM. Reason: took out some embedded images
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:52 PM   #24
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That ain't nothing. Would you believe, "Hog bites Mayor"?

Quote:
Everyone knows it means six more weeks of winter when a groundhog sees his shadow. But what does the future hold if he bites the mayor's hand?
According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow was seen, legend said spring would come early.
Staten Island's famous groundhog, Charles G. Hogg, inexplicably bit Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his annual holiday ceremony on Monday, drawing blood from the billionaire.
Said Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser: "It nicked his hand."
He was told there was no risk of rabies. The 2-year-old animal was born and raised in captivity and has had no interaction with other animals.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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Re-read the middle section of my post...
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 07:32 PM   #26
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Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, "Zombies Ahead."


haha - I'm glad they didn't put something that might have been taken seriously.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:44 PM   #27
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CHESTER, South Carolina — Strapped to his dying instructor a few thousand feet from the ground on his first skydive, Daniel Pharr found himself floating toward a house and some trees.

The military taught the 25-year-old soldier not to panic. And TV taught him to pull the toggles on the already-deployed parachute to steer.
So Pharr grabbed the right handle and pulled to avoid the house and tugged again to miss the trees, landing safely in a field about a third of a mile from their intended landing spot.

Pharr said he wrestled out of the harness binding him to his instructor, George "Chip" Steele, and started CPR trying to save him from an apparent heart attack.

Steele was later pronounced dead, but the tragedy could have been worse: Other instructors at the skydiving school told Pharr if he had pulled the toggle too hard, the chute would have spun out of control, and he could be dead, too.

"They told me afterward that it was amazing that I knew to do that. This is my survival instinct at that point. I just kind of did what I had to do," said Pharr, taking a break Monday from his job at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Ga.

The jump was a Christmas gift from Pharr's girlfriend. The two went to Skydive Carolina in Chester on Saturday to jump from 13,500 feet in the air while attached to instructors.

Steele, 49, gave instructions as the plane climbed. He told Pharr he loved skydiving, having jumped more than 8,000 times.

They were the last of about 10 skydivers to jump out of the plane. Pharr enjoyed a minute of free fall as the cold air rushed by.

"He pulled the chute," Pharr said. "It got super quiet. It's eerily quiet up there. I made the comment to him, 'It's surprising how quiet it is.' And he's like: 'Welcome to my world."'

A few seconds passed, and Pharr asked his instructor another question. This time, Steele didn't answer. Pharr repeated his question. No answer.
"And then I just looked up at him and he looked like he was conscious, but just talking to him, I realized something was wrong," Pharr said. "So at that point I realized I was just going to have to do what I had to do to get down to the ground and try to help him."

The pair ended up about a third of a mile from the airstrip where they were supposed to land, blocked from the spectators by trees. Pharr's CPR failed to revive Steele.

"My only thing walking away is that I wish I could have helped him," Pharr said. "I tried as hard as I could — all my training, I did everything I could."
After paramedics arrived and stepped in to diagnose Steele, Pharr asked them to call his girlfriend, Jessica Brunson, and mother, who was watching from the air strip.

Pharr's mother said all they knew at the time was from a brief message on another staffer's radio: A tandem pair was down and it didn't look good.
"It was an eternity," Darlene Huggins said, when asked how long it took her to hear her son's message he was safe. "No, really, it could have been 10, 15 minutes."

After talking to authorities, Pharr got to see his girlfriend, who he said kept her composure. "Once she saw me, she was in tears," he said.
Huggins said she asked the Lord to keep her son safe. "I just give the glory to God. He was just covered with that hedge of protection that us mamas pray for," she said.

Initial indications are Steele died of a heart attack. Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker said he would wait for a written report from Monday's autopsy before releasing an official cause of death.

Skydive Carolina General Manager James La Barrie released a statement saying it appeared Steele, a test jumper and instructor, died from a medical problem. No one answered the phone Monday at a listing for Steele in Sumter.

Pharr had to work Sunday, so he immediately went back to Fort Gordon, which is home of the Signal Corps, the communications nerve center of the Army, and deals heavily in military intelligence.

He joined the Army a year ago, leaving his job in Columbia selling alarm systems because he wanted to serve the country like his two grandfathers and get money to go to college. When asked what he does, Pharr laughed and said "can't tell you."

Fellow soldiers have been asking him about his jump for the past two days. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime story, and I told them I hope I never have to top it," Pharr said.

Pharr wants to jump again, but it looks like his first skydive will be his last.
"My family has told me I have to keep my feet on the ground," he said.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 06:34 PM   #28
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Hope the guy got his money back.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #29
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His one and only tandem jump story trumps my single effort and I thought mine was pretty good.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #30
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Two things fall from the sky. Bird shit and idiots...
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Old February 13th, 2009, 08:19 PM   #31
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Never understood the appeal of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #32
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Skydiving is something I've always wanted to do. The feeling of flying through the air, the adrenaline rush, that appeals to me.

RIP to Mr Steele. At least you got to go out doing something you loved doing.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #33
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Skydiving is something I've always wanted to do. The feeling of flying through the air, the adrenaline rush, that appeals to me.

RIP to Mr Steele. At least you got to go out doing something you loved doing.
It has to be one of the greatest, life affirming feelings there is for a human to go through.

At least it was for me (I woke up on my 30thd birthday and drove all by myself to do it because it was something I had put off to that point).

Once you stop free falling (at about 120 MPH for about a minute +) and you deploy your chute, for the first time in your life you will understand the beauty of silence (it is noiseless up there). Throw in the added bonus of the visual sensation of seeing Earth from that angle and it is defintely something you will not forget.

Just do it..........you only live once.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #34
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Birdshit and idiots...
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Frank Van Dusen View Post
Skydiving is something I've always wanted to do. The feeling of flying through the air, the adrenaline rush, that appeals to me.

RIP to Mr Steele. At least you got to go out doing something you loved doing.
I've got vertigo. Don't think I'll be a falling idiot anytime soon.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 11:15 AM   #36
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I did it to get over my slight fear of flying.

The best part of the whole thing was getting away (jumping as fast as I could) from that friggen Buddy Holly plane.

Still don't like flying.

Love parachuting though.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #37
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OK, I understand that this is awful on many fronts, but it is funny as hell on others...


(CNN) -- A Connecticut woman pleaded for police to "please hurry" to save a friend from an attack by a pet chimpanzee, according to emotional 911 recordings released Tuesday by Stamford police.

"He's ripping her apart," Sandra Herold, 70, tells dispatchers about her pet, Travis.

With the chimp squealing in the background, Herold cries out, "He's killed my friend!"

The victim, Charla Nash, 55, remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after the chimp, once featured in television commercials for Coca-Cola and Old Navy, attacked her Monday afternoon, police said.

Nash had just arrived at Herold's house when Travis jumped on her and began biting and mauling her, causing serious injuries to her face, neck and hands, according to Stamford Police Capt. Rich Conklin. Conklin said the attack was unprovoked, but he described it as "brutal and lengthy." VideoWatch how owner made frantic call to police »

Herold had called Nash to her house to help get 14-year-old Travis back inside after he used a key to escape.

While her friend was being attacked, Herold was unable to pull the primate off. She then called 911 before stabbing the chimp with a butcher knife and hitting him with a shovel. Neither fazed Travis, who police said had been like a child to Herold.

A Stamford police officer later shot the chimp multiple times after the primate went after him inside a police cruiser, Conklin said. Travis returned to the house, where police found him dead. Conklin estimated that Travis weighed close to 200 pounds.

Conklin couldn't confirm media reports that the chimp had Lyme disease, though he did say investigators were taking their time with the case to determine what may have provoked Travis to attack Nash. Animals often do not exhibit symptoms of Lyme disease, caused by the bite of certain types of ticks, although aggression is a possible symptom, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conklin said Nash had recently gotten a haircut that changed her appearance significantly. Conklin said the chimp had been acting "rambunctious" earlier, prompting Herold to put Xanax in a cup of tea for him to drink. He did not know if the animal had been prescribed the medicine or if Herold had ever given her pet such a mixture before. VideoWatch wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin talk about the dangers of chimps »

Conklin added that his department is not used to dealing with cases such as this, and they were trying to familiarize themselves with laws and regulations before deciding if charges will be filed.

Conklin said this isn't the first interaction his officers have had with Travis. The chimp, who was well known and liked in the community, escaped in 2003 and "wreaked havoc" on the streets of Stamford for a couple of hours, Conklin said.

Travis' body was removed from the home and taken to two locations: His head was taken to the state lab for a rabies test and the body was taken to the University of Connecticut for an animal autopsy. Conklin said this is standard procedure.

The chimp, who was known to walk around town, sometimes without a leash, also liked to surf on the Internet and was able to change the TV channel with a remote, according to a Stamford Advocate article. The paper also reported that Travis watered plants, was able to feed hay to his owner's horses, ate at a table with the rest of the family and sometimes drank wine from a stemmed glass.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #38
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that is one of the most ridiculous things ive ever read


is that serious?
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #39
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That is so awful. That poor chimp. <sniff>
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #40
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Just trying to get DanO riled up...
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