PETA video accuses seafood plant of lobster cruelty

Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 @ 1:48 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 @ 1:48 PM

Animal rights organization PETA is accusing a top seafood plant in Maine of killing lobsters and crabs in a painful method, violating the state’s cruelty-to-animals statute.

PETA says this video was shot by an undercover investigator at Linda Bean’s Maine Lobster plant in Rockland. It shows lobsters and crabs being dismembered and disposed of while they’re still alive.

PETA released the tape Tuesday, and now it says its looking to file a complaint against the company with local police for what it believes is a violation of Maine’s animal cruelty laws.

According to CBS: “The animal rights group says the company should be using readily available technology that electrically stuns the animals or subjects them to hydrostatic pressure before they're dismembered. Both methods kill the crustaceans almost instantaneously.”

Maine law criminalizes the intentional killing of animals by any method that does not cause instantaneous death, and there is no part of the statute that exempts lobsters and crabs from the list of protected animals. (Via Maine Legislation)

The owner of the accused plant, Linda Bean, was called "one of the major players in the state's lobster industry" in an article published earlier this year by the Bangor Daily News. She has yet to comment on the video, but according to the Kennebec Journal the attorney who represents Bean says he or she can’t comment “ … because nothing in the video identifies where it was shot.” (Via Kennebec Journal)

PETA plans to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to show the video and answer questions about the group’s investigation.

- See more at Newsy

One suspect accused of dumping woman’s body in Kettering has court date

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 1:13 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 6:38 PM

            Charles E. Hall.

One of the suspects accused of dumping the body of a Middletown woman found dead of an apparent overdose in Kettering on Sunday is set to appear in court Wednesday morning.

Charles E. Hall, 64, who was initially booked on suspicion of tampering with evidence was released under 48 hour rule Tuesday, but was subsequently charged with receiving stolen property and is being held on $75,000 bond, according to court records.

It is unclear if the misdemeanor is related to his initial booking. Hall is scheduled to appear at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Kettering Municipal Court.

Hall, and David Detrick are accused of removing the body of Tiffany Argo, 28, from their residence and dumping it on a neighboring street.

RELATED: 911 caller on Kettering body: ‘Looks like someone threw her out of a car’

Here is what we know, and what we’re trying to find out about these three people and overdoses in Kettering.

1) Who was the victim?

Tiffany Argo, 28, was a resident of Middletown and attended Middletown High School—though she did not graduate from that school. We’ve reached out to friends and family to help us learn more about the victim.

2) What is Argo’s relation with the two men accused?

Kettering Police Officer John Jung said it appeared Hall allowed Detrick and Argo to stay at his home on Willamet Road. Kettering police said they are still trying to determine what the relationship was between the three, beyond residency.

RELATED: Arrests linked to dead body in Kettering: What we’re trying to find out

3) Kettering overdoses for 2017

Jung said Kettering EMT’s have been dispatched 105 times so far this year for overdoses. Those 105 calls aren’t always opiate-related Jung said.

Jung also said Narcan has been administered 83 times this year as well, though Jung said the number is not associated with the 105 calls for overdoses. Death tolls were not immediately available by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office due to confirmation by toxicology reports.

4) Who are the suspects?

Hall, 64, and Detrick, 39, were in Montgomery County Jail today on suspicion of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Detrick, 39, was still being held in the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. There was no information available on a court date for him.

Hall has been arrested at least 12 times in the past 10 years, most recently in March on drug-related charges, according to court records. He has been arrested several times for felony drug charges including possession of drugs and possession of drug abuse material.

Detrick’s criminal history includes several felony arrests related to forgery, theft and fraud. Before Sunday, Detrick was most recently arrested in 2014 in Warren County for criminal trespassing and theft.

Ariana Grande back in Florida hometown after concert bombing

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 5:36 PM

Ariana Grande has reportedly returned to her hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, after her Manchester, England, concert was the site of a terrorist bombing on Monday night.

According to E News, Grande and her mother Joan Grande were greeted at Boca Raton Airport earlier today by boyfriend and musician Mac Miller. Sources from People magazine reported that as she departed the private jet, the 23-year-old singer “looked distraught and like she has been crying. They hugged for a while before they headed to a waiting car.”

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The Daily Mail reported that she was taken to the home of a family member in a gated community.

Grande, who had just finished her set at the Manchester Arena before the explosion that killed at least 22 people and injured more than 50, had previously tweeted her disbelief at the situation, saying,“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry.”

According to TMZ, Joan Grande, who was at the Manchester show with her daughter, helped get some scared young fans sitting near her in the front row backstage to safety.

Related: Manchester explosion: Ariana Grande's mother reportedly helps fans to safety

The suspect who detonated a suicide bomb near one of the exits has been identified by police as Salman Abedi, 22. The ISIS state has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shortly after Monday’s explosion, Grande reached out to longtime friend Misha Lambert, whose father, songwriter Dennis Lambert, said, “No sooner had I heard the first reports when my daughter Misha called to say she was in touch with Ari and all of her people are safe and unhurt.”

Ohio moves a step closer to changing how congressional lines are drawn

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 1:50 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 3:53 PM

Ohio step closer to changing how congressional lines are drawn

An effort to reform how Ohio redraws congressional district lines every 10 years moved forward this week after the petition for a state constitutional amendment was certified by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The next step is the Ohio Ballot Board, which must approve the proposed language before supporters can begin gathering the necessary signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

Changing the process for how congressional districts are drawn has gathered momentum since Ohio voters in 2015 approved an amendment reforming how state legislative districts are drawn.

“What’s good for the Statehouse is good for Congress,” said Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio, one of the coalition partners in Fair Districts Fair Elections, the group seeking the reform measure.

The new proposal would essentially mirror what voters approved for the state legislature with a few modifications, said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, another coalition partner.

RELATED: Ohio may change the way congressional lines are drawn

States must redraw both legislative and congressional districts after each 10-year U.S. Census to reflect population changes. States use different methods to determine which voters are represented in each district, though few states are immune from allegations of politics tainting the process.

In Ohio, Democrats have long argued that districts are unfairly drawn. They say Republicans, who have controlled the process through several Census cycles, pack Democrats into a few districts while keeping Republican districts safe. Of the state’s 16 congressional districts, 12 are held by Republicans.

RELATED: How many Republicans and Democrats can you shove into a congressional district

Gov. John Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted — both Republicans — have said the process is in need of reform, but not all Republicans agree with them. Some have argued to hold off and see how legislative redistricting reform works out before moving ahead on changing how congressional districts are redrawn.

RELATED: Kasich backs redistricting reform

Because Husted is chairman of the Ohio Ballot Board, he said he would withhold specific comments on the reform proposal until the board’s review is completed. But, he said, “as a longtime advocate for redistricting reform…we’ve got to change the incentive for partisanship that gerrymandering creates.”

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against North Carolina’s state legislature in a racial gerrymandering case. Other cases too are pending before the high court.

RELATED: High court ruling may give voter rights groups a strong tool

DeWine certified the petition for the Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment, which had the required 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters and a “fair and truthful” summary of the proposed amendment. The group had amended an earlier petition that had been rejected by DeWine’s office.

Within 10 days the petition will go before the Ohio Ballot Board, which will determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues.

Once that is done the group can move forward to gather the necessary 305,000 signatures needed to put it on the November ballot. If the signatures are gathered by July 5 it would go on the 2017 ballot. Otherwise the group would push for November 2018, Davis said.

“The reality is we need to get this reform done before the lines are redrawn in 2021. So practically this needs to get done by 2020,” she said.

RELATED: Issue One would change how legislative lines are drawn

1 charge dismissed against Fairfield teacher charged with sex crimes

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 1:32 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 6:05 PM

One felony charge has been dismissed against a Fairfield High School teacher accused of sexual conduct with a teen student.

The dismissal came on the second day of Tyler Conrad’s trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Conrad, 27, of Hamilton, was originally charged with two counts of sexual battery, sexual imposition and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bench trial began Monday.

After the prosecution rested its case, both the defense and prosecution agreed that one charge of sexual battery had not been proven by the evidence presented. Judge Keith Spaeth then dismissed the charge, but the second charge of sexual battery, sexual imposition and contributing to the delinquency of a minor will stay.

EXCLUSIVE: Evidence questioned in Fairfield teacher Tyler Conrad’s alleged sex crime

Videos from security cameras at Fairfield High School and Conrad’s interview with Fairfield detectives were played Tuesday in the courtroom.

Fairfield Schools resource officer Kevin Harrington said he spent a week reviewing the archived tapes from late August to October 2016 from a camera pointed in the hallway where Conrad’s classroom was located.

He was looking for video of the 16-year-old girl who testified Conrad inappropriately touched her in his classroom.

Six tapes were projected for the judge to review, showing the girl and Conrad going in and out of the classroom late in the school day.

Sometimes they appeared to be walking near each other, at other times they entered and exited several minutes after each other. Other students, faculty, and a security guard were also seen coming and going in the hallway.

MORE: Teen testifies in trial of Fairfield teacher accused of sex crimes

Defense attorney Chris Pagan pointed out during cross examination that two of the classroom doors were close together and the angle was from a distance. He noted any activity in the classroom itself could not be viewed and it appeared the classroom door was never closed.

Harrington disagreed.

“On one of the videos, I believe the last one, it appears Mr. Tyler Conrad closed the door and locked it,” Harrington said.

On Monday the girl testified for nearly two hours stating Conrad’s attention began with rubbing her shoulders and touching her leg and then later he touched her private area on the outside of her clothing and an another occasion making penetration.

Penetration is an element for the charge of sexual battery, thus that charge was not proven based her the testimony and dismissed.

MORE: Fairfield teacher Tyler Conrad accused of sex crimes waives jury trial

The student said Conrad picked her up in the summer of 2016 and took her to a Ross Twp. house where he began kissing her and carried her to a bedroom. When he touched her on the outside of her private area, she said she became uncomfortable and he stopped.

The defense tried to get the straight “A” student to recall dates or a range of dates of the incidents, but she could not. Pagan also used transcripts of past interviews with police to point out her statements were not the same as the current testimony.

A friend testified Monday that the teen told her about the incident in Ross Twp. on Memorial day weekend. Pagan presented evidence that Conrad was in Florida Memorial Day weekend 2016.

When the girl reported the incident to a youth leader and it was reported to Fairfield police, Detective Rebecca Ervin said it was difficult to interview the teen in October 2016.

“She was very concerned about what was going on in school and who would ‘know’,” Ervin said during testimony.

MORE: Fairfield moves toward firing teacher accused of sex with student

After interviewing the girl, her parents and some students, Ervin said she went to interview Conrad at the school.

“He immediately pulled out his phone and started to manipulate it … I confiscated,” Ervin said.

Cell phone data from Conrad’s phone and the girl’s phone indicates from May 7, 2016 to Oct. 9, 2016, 83 calls were exchanged, Ervin testified.

In the same period of time 2,876 text messages were exchange between the girl and Conrad, according to phone records.

During a nearly 90-minute interview with detectives on Oct. 13, Conrad denied having any sexual contact with the girl.

Conrad told detective Ervin that he and the teen did talk and text “off and on” when she was upset or having difficulties.

“I just don’t understand what she would have said,” Conrad said to the detectives. He added that another teacher had told him “you better keep her away from you. She is following you around like a puppy dog.”

Looking back, he told the detective that he should have listened.

“I am sure things could have been said that she misconstrued,” Conrad said in the interview.

The trial will continue Wednesday with defense witnesses.