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Mother in danger reaches out to gas station clerk for help

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 5:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 5:53 AM

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Call 911.

Those are the first words Bruce Dean saw on the note handed to him by one of his customers at Washington state convenience store Saturday afternoon.

Then the woman told him her boyfriend had hurt her before and she was afraid he would hurt her again.  But she couldn't run because her baby was in the car. He had also threatened to hurt the child.

Dean looked out to the car and saw a familiar face. He didn't know the name, but he knew the man.  He says it was Mark Francis Valucus. Valucus is especially distinctive because he is small; 4 feet, 3 inches.  But, according to court records, he is also violent.  He has a criminal history that includes sexual assault, kidnapping, and weapons and drugs charges.

And according to his girlfriend, in recent days he had attacked her with a baseball bat, stabbed her with a knife, burned her with a cigarette, and threatened to kill her.

She was on edge when he reportedly suggested they go for a ride. That's when they rolled up to Dean's gas station.

Dean says the woman asked for a pen and paper, then handed him the note. Court documents say it read," Can you call 911," then gave her license plate number. The next line said "DV" for domestic violence, and the most troublesome line was the last:  "Baby in car."

As the woman headed back to the car, Dean was able to call 911 and give the plate number. Deputies caught up with them shortly afterwards. Court documents say they found a baseball bat and a knife in the car.

Now Valucus is in the Pierce County Jail on $500,000 bail. 

The baby was unharmed.

When Seattle station KIRO-TV found Dean on Tuesday, he had no idea what had happened after his call. We showed him the suspect's criminal history and the alleged attacks against his girlfriend. He shook his head at the violence.  But at least he knew his phone call had brought it to an end, "Well, that's good."

Letting car idle in cold weather could be illegal

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 1:55 PM

Idle Cars In Cold Weather Could Be Illegal

As temperatures dip across the country, you may want to check your state laws to find out if it is illegal to start your car and let it warm-up.

Several states, including Ohio, Texas and Georgia, have laws on the books that prohibit drivers from letting cars idle in a driveway or on a street, WYFF reported.

Law enforcement agencies and insurance companies have been warning drivers for nearly a decade that allowing cars to warm up, unattended, idling outside, as drivers wait inside, is an invitation for thieves to take the vehicles.

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If your car is stolen while you let it warm up, whether it would be covered by your insurance, depends on the company and your policy

If you want to warm the car, legally, while staying warm yourself, one community in Colorado suggests investing in a remote starter. That way, the keys stay safely with you and the car remains locked but running.

How can you find out if idling vehicles are illegal in your state? You can start by checking with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The laws differ by state, and even by municipality. There are laws in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for example, that say how long a certain types of vehicles can idle and at what temperature.

Even if it is legal to warm up your car, do you really need to let the car run before heading out on the road?
Mechanics say no.

The idea of letting a car warm up comes from old engines that had carburetors. Now, most vehicles don’t have the part that mixes gas and air to make vaporized fuel. Instead, the majority of vehicles built after the 1980s have fuel injection, Business Insider reported.

Experts said that idling a car wastes fuel and wears on the engine.

Man accused of taking manhole covers, replacing them with traffic cones

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:56 PM

FILE PHOTO
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

A Massachusetts man has been accused of taking manhole covers from roads across the town.

Police in Webster said he was kind enough, however, to cover the empty holes -- which measure from 4 to 12 feet deep -- with traffic cones so no one would run over them in their cars, The Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram reported.

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Darrin Lavallee now faces larceny charges, the paper reported.

Police were called by several eyewitnesses, who said they saw a man in a PT Cruiser taking the manhole covers. Eventually police found a car that matched the vehicle’s description and found orange cones inside. Police told The Telegram that the covers had been in the car recently.

Lavallee apparently told police that the manhole covers ended up at a local salvage yard, where police said he sold them, The Telegram reported. Police were able to recover the pilfered covers.

  

Police: Man angry over video game shoots, kills mom

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:05 PM

Matthew Douglas Nicholson
Ceres Police Department
Matthew Douglas Nicholson(Ceres Police Department)

A California man is accused of shooting and killing his mother after becoming upset over a video game he was playing, police officials said. 

Matthew Douglas Nicholson, 28, of Ceres, is charged with murder and making a criminal threat, according to records from the Stanislaus County Jail. He is being held without bail. 

Officials with the Ceres Police Department reported that officers were called to Nicholson’s parents’ home shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday after his father called 911 to report the shooting. Nicholson’s mother, Lydia Susanne Nicholson, had been shot in the head.

The 68-year-old woman died of her injuries at a hospital. 

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Detectives determined that Matthew Nicholson was in his bedroom, playing video games, when he became enraged over the game he was playing and started yelling, police officials said. His mother went into his room to check on him, and the pair began arguing. 

Nicholson broke his game headset during the argument and blamed his mother, officials said. Threatening to kill his mother and father, he retrieved a handgun, police officials said.

After firing two shots into a wall, Nicholson turned the gun on his mother, according to investigators. 

He also tried to shoot his father, Loren Nicholson, who wrestled the gun away from him, a Ceres Police Department news release said. The 81-year-old was not injured in the scuffle. 

“I understand that he would’ve killed the father, too, but the gun jammed,” a family friend told Fox 40 in Sacramento. “The father grabbed the gun (and) emptied it.”

Matthew Nicholson fled and headed to his sister’s home, in nearby Riverbank, police officials said. Officers there located the vehicle he was driving and conducted a high-risk traffic stop.

Nicholson was taken into custody without incident, the news release said.   

His sister described their mother as a wonderful person who loved her children and husband of 32 years. Lydia Nicholson worked in the local school system, Autumn Nicholson told Fox 40

“(She) had so much compassion for people and just wanted to see the best in people at all times,” she said. 

Family: 6-year-old girl hallucinates, tries to jump out window after taking flu medication

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:18 AM

Flu Medication Makes Girl Hallucinate And Attempt To Jump Out Window, Family Says

A Texas girl suffered hallucinations and tried to jump out a second-floor window after she took Tamiflu to fight off a flu diagnosis, family members told KTVT Friday.

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The family, who was not identified, told KTVT the girl also ran away from school and might have tried to hurt herself after taking Tamiflu.

“The second-story window was open, which is in her bedroom, and she used her desk to climb up onto it, and she was about to jump out the window when my wife came up and grabbed her,” the girl’s father told KTVT. “I don’t think the 16 hours of symptom relief from the flu is worth the possible side effects that we went through.”

Members of the family, from Allen, told KTVT they took the girl to the hospital, where they were told that Tamiflu carries the rare risk of nervous system problems. Dr. Glenn Hardesty, who works in the emergency room at Texas Health Prosper, told the news station that the side effects are seen in less than 1 percent of patients.

“I’ve been in practice 20 years, and I haven’t seen that particular complication,” he said.

According to the U.S. Food Drug Administration, children and teenagers who take Tamiflu have a higher risk of suffering from seizures, confusion or unusual behavior during their illness.

“These serious side effects are not common but may result in accidental injury to the patient,” according to the FDA. “People who take Tamiflu should be watched for signs of unusual behavior and a health care provider should be contacted right away if the patient shows any unusual behavior while taking Tamiflu.”

Family members told KTVT that they would not have given their child Tamiflu if they were aware of the possible side effects and urged other parents to be aware.

“Know that side effects are there for a reason,” the child’s father told KTVT. “They’re written down for a reason. I guess they can happen, and we got the short end of the stick.”

<p>5 Reasons to get a Flu Shot</p>(Bryan Erdy/News | WHBQ)