Trustee, attorney offer legal help for armed self-defense

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 @ 6:22 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 @ 6:22 PM

A local attorney and a township official have started a business venture offering legal and financial resources for armed self-defense.

Both say they are filling a need in response to thousands of Ohioans obtaining or renewing conceal and carry permits annually and rising gun and ammunition sales.

The program is the only one in the country that gives comprehensive legal and financial resources for people for armed self-defense, according to attorney Sean Maloney of Liberty Twp. and West Chester Twp. Trustee George Lang.

The two have been friends for years and began talking about opening a shooting range about three years ago.

Lang said he already had a criteria for his next business and thought there should be a better way to help people that was not just a retail venture.

Thus, Second Call Defense was launched in February. About 500 members have signed up nationwide with more to come, Lang said.

“The really cool thing is it is not prepaid legal services and not insurance, it is a membership program,” Lang said. The men noted each brought something to the table when planning program - Maloney specializes in Second Amendment issues and Lang has an insurance background.

Maloney said prosecution for armed self defense is not unusual.

“It’s just too easy for law-abiding people to find themselves in trouble if they happen to defend themselves with a gun,” said Maloney. “Nearly every state allows people to use lethal force in self defense, but when you do you are often considered guilty until proven innocent. It puts people in an impossible situation.”

Maloney stressed Second Call Defense does not intend to defend criminal behavior.

“What we do is help you exercise your rights legally, and we offer legal and financial protection if you have any legal issues after using a gun in self defense.”

Lang, who stars in the company’s online video, said he was sold on the idea after seeing so many stories of people who legally and responsibly defended themselves with a gun, but found themselves in trouble anyway.

This year, in Butler County a grand jury exonerated a 84-year-old man who shot an intruder in his home and a Hamilton shop owner who fatally shot a man during a robbery.

Maloney said while people may ultimately not face any charges, they can still face bills for attorney fees.

He added it is not just shooting in self-defense that can put people in legal hot water, he has defended people against threat claims for just brandishing a gun and telling the aggressor, “I have a gun leave me alone.”

“It can get turned around and people end up in court when they have done nothing wrong,” Maloney said.

Second Call Defense offers comprehensive set of benefits, including training and education on legal firearm use, emergency resources including a 27 hour hotline and upfront cash for attorney retainers and bond, and insurance coverage for criminal and civil protection that is backed by the NRA endorsed insurance program.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he believes not only his office, but a grand jury should review self-defense cases.

He said there may be some misconception about the “Castle Doctrine” and self-defense shootings.

“It does not mean they have the right to shoot willy nilly for whatever the hell they want,” Gmoser said.

“If someone is legitimately scaring the hell out of you, climbing in the window of your home and you fire your weapon you have a legal presumption of self defense,” Gmoser said.

But he said a resident who kills an intruder when they don’t appear to be in danger could face criminal charges.

Depending on the option they choose, members of Second Call Defense can get up to $10,000 upfront for an attorney retainer, immediate cash for bond up to $250,000, up to $500 per day wage compensation while in court, up to 40 sessions of psychological support, and up to $250,000 accidental shooting protection, $50,000 criminal defense reimbursement, unlimited civil suit defense protection, and $250,000 civil suit damages protection.

Memberships range from $8.95 to $35.95per month.

Carlisle baby alive at birth, prosecutor says after teen mom in court

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 9:48 AM
Updated: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 6:16 PM

Carlisle baby alive at birth, prosecutor says after teen mom in court

An infant whose remains were found buried last week in a Carlisle backyard died more than two months ago but was alive at birth, not stillborn, court records and prosecutors revealed Friday.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, the 18-year-old mother now charged with reckless homicide, spent just more than two minutes in a Warren County courtroom Friday.

On Friday evening, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said the charge “is based upon evidence that the infant whose remains were discovered at the defendant’s residence in Carlisle one week ago today was born alive and was not a stillborn baby.”

Brooke Richardson attorney Charlie Rittgers talks about his client after court appearance

“Law enforcement is continuing to treat this as an active and ongoing investigation.”

Richardson was whisked in by her parents into Franklin Municipal Court just as the Friday afternoon session began. Moments after they were seated, her case was called before Judge Rupert Ruppert.

MORE: Carlisle mom, 18, arrested, charged in Warren County baby-remains case

The arraignment was just as quick. Ruppert continued her $15,000 bond and set an Aug. 1 preliminary hearing date, and Richardson was then quickly was led out of the courtroom by attorney Charles M. Rittgers of Lebanon. A not guilty plea had already been made for her.

On Friday evening, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said the charge “is based upon evidence that the infant whose remains were discovered at the defendant’s residence in Carlisle one week ago today was born alive and was not a stillborn baby.”

“Law enforcement is continuing to treat this as an active and ongoing investigation.”

Rittgers spoke to the media outside of the Franklin Municipal Building and referred to Richardson by her middle name Skylar. He said Richardson is a good student who just graduated from high school a few months ago and is planning to go to college at the University of Cincinnati this fall.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Anthropologist examining remains of baby found in Carlisle yard

She didn’t drink. She wasn’t a partier or a smoker. By all measures a very good girl who helped children… She’s by all means a very good person,” Rittgers said as he described Richardson.

He said she helped kids with disabilities at a cheer camp and worked at the YMCA with children.

Rittgers, retained Friday, said he was “going to refrain from giving any more comments until I learn more about the case.”

Richardson faces one to five years in prison, if convicted.

The case became public July 14 when investigators, acting on a tip from a doctor’s office, found an infant’s remains buried in the backyard where Carter lives in Carlisle. Investigators returned to the house on Thursday, and arrested Richardson.

A criminal complaint filed Friday provided more of a timeline.

FIRST REPORT: Remains found behind home in Carlisle believed to be stillborn baby

Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandi Carter wrote in the complaint: “On or about May 7, 2017, one Brooke Richardson … did recklessly cause the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.”

Warren County Sheriff’s Lt. John Faine said his office is still waiting for the final report from the county Coroner’s Office regarding the death of Richardson’s baby.

This news outlet was told that the search warrant of what investigators were looking for had been sealed by the court.

Investigators went back to Richardson’s home on Eagle Ridge Court on Thursday to obtain more soil samples and additional evidence as part of a forensic anthropologist’s work on the investigation, according to Doyle Burke, Warren County Coroner’s chief investigator.

MORE: Stabbing victim, suspect both recorded deadly incident, police believe

That backyard dig included a fire pit and the area around it.

“We have learned more. That’s why we’re back out here,” Burke said.

The samples, placed in buckets investigators brought to the scene, were taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

About 8 p.m. Thursday, Richardson was charged with one count of reckless homicide and was transported to the Warren County Jail, where she was later released on bond.

Rittgers said of his client, “She’s taking it in the way that you’d expect: it’s shocked her. It’s a tragic situation.”

Man sues after lottery officials refuse to pay $5M prize because underage son bought ticket

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

Tips on Winning the Lottery

A man is suing the California Lottery Commission, claiming officials refused to pay a $5 million prize because his underage son purchased the ticket.

Ward Thomas sent his 16-year-old son into a Mobil gas station in Long Beach to exchange winning scratcher tickets for more tickets in October, the Los Angeles Times reported. The store employee did not ask the teen for ID, the suit alleges.

The son handed the tickets to his father, who discovered that evening that one of the tickets was a big winner. Thomas validated that the ticket was a $5 million winner at a 7-11 store and at a California Lottery district office, the suit claims.

>> Read more trending news

But the lottery commission never made a payout to Thomas. The suit alleges that the lottery commission withheld the prize money because his underage son bought the ticket. One has to be at least 18 to participate in the state's lottery. The lottery commission reviews all jackpot winning tickets, including reviewing security footage from the purchase point. The state and lottery commission are accused of failure to discharge a mandatory duty.

Thomas also names the gas station as a defendant, claiming there were no signs stating that one had to be 18 to purchase lottery tickets, even if they were purchasing on behalf of someone else who was of age. The gas station is accused of breach of express and implied contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and negligence, according to lawsuit documents.

Thomas is seeking more than $50,000 in general damages.

Verizon backpack giveaway 2017: Some locations giving away free backpack with school supplies

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 1:15 PM

Back-To-School Do's And Don'ts

Certain Verizon Wireless Zone locations will be giving away free backpacks full of school supplies on Sunday. 

Through the “School Rocks Backpack Giveaway” program, Wireless Zone, along with TCC and the Culture of Good, have prepared more than 235,000 backpacks to be handed out to children in locations around the country.

The backpacks are free on a first come, first serve basis.

The give-away will be held Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at each location. The child must be accompanied by a parent to get a backpack.  Call your local store ahead of time to verify participation in the program. 

Click here for more information. 

Below is a list of locations participating in the program.

Connecticut

  • 68 Newtown Rd, Danbury, CT 06810 | 203-798-0008
  • 712 North Main St, West Hartford, CT 06117 | 860-231-8001
  • 1188 Farmington Ave, Bristol, CT 06010 | 860-940-6569
  • 1105 Killingly Commons Drive, Dayville, CT 06241 | 860-774-2000
  • 361 Boston Post Road, N. Windham, CT 06256 | 860-456-7000
  • 351 North Frontage Rd. Ste 11, New London, CT 06320 | 860-439-1000
  • 220 Rt.12 Ste 4, Groton, CT 06340 | 860-448-9000
  • 119 South Main St. Colchester, CT 06415 | 860-537-1000
  • 695 Main Street, Monroe, CT 06468 | 203-459-1661
  • 228 South Main Street Suite #6, Newtown, CT 06470 | 203-748-4704
  • 100 Main Street North, Southbury, CT 06488 | 203-405-3093
  • 842 Queen Street, Southington, CT 06489 | 860-276-1044
  • 960 White Plains Road, Trumbull, CT 06611 | 203-459-2600
  • 1051 Wolcott Street, Waterbury, CT 06705 | 203-755-6629
  • 128 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT 06801 | 203-628-7312
  • 1071 Boston Post Road, Darien, CT 06820 | 203-202-2966
  • 25 Glen Ridge Road Suite 4, Greenwich, CT 06831 | 203-531-8800
  • 139 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 | 203-966-6400
  • 572 Main Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851 | 203-529-3220
  • 1285 East Putnam Ave, Riverside, CT 06878 | 203-637-5441
  • 385 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880 | 203-221-0000
  • 711 Canal St Suite 120R, Stamford, CT 06902 | 203-442-4988
  • 330 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477 | 203-799-8110
  • 207 Kennedy Drive, Putnam, CT 06260 | 860-928-5400
  • 290 Hope St, Stamford, CT 06906 | 203-764-2163

Washington D.C.

  • 703 8th St, Washington, DC 20003 | 202-364-1911
  • 3307 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 | 202-791-0553

Delaware

  • 122 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, DE 19707 | 302-235-0402
  • 302 Suburban Drive, Newark, DE 19711 | 302-283-9991
  • 935 N Dupont Hwy, Milford, DE 19963 | 302-424-1900
  • 17146 S Dupont Hwy Floor, Harrington, DE 19952 | 302-398-6040

Florida

  • 923 N. Collier Blvd, Marco Island, FL 34145 | 239-394-2010
  • 2724 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040 | 305-296-8300
  • 5800 Overseas HWY Suite 21, Marathon, FL 33050 | 305-998-4046
  • 3280 Tamiami Trail Ste 55B, Port Charlotte, FL 33952 | 941-235-9700
  • 7335 Radio Rd #108, Naples, FL 34104 | 239-513-0100
  • 325 Jacaranda Blvd, Venice, FL 34292 | 941-412-3490
  • 2119 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470 | 352-351-2585
  • 7272 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34601 | 352-796-9919
  • 2105 S. Parrott Ave Ste 101, Okeechobee, FL 34974 | 863-467-2919

Illinois 

  • 106-C N. Northwest Highway, Barrington, IL 60010 | 847-852-7050
  • 1515 Butterfield Road #101, Aurora, IL 60502 | 630-820-5800
  • 131 W Ogden Ave, Westmont, IL 60559 | 630-541-3461

Indiana

  • 724 N Burkhardt Rd, Evansville, IN 47715 | 812-202-1264
  • 529 N Line Street, Columbia City, IN 46725 | 260-244-2929
  • 9924 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46804 | 260-387-7956
  • 4201 Coldwater Rd #312, Fort Wayne, IN 46825 | 260-471-2022
  • 3084 John Williams Blvd, Bedford, IN 47421 | 812-277-1900
  • 3313 16th Street, Bedford, IN 47421 | 812-279-3353
  • 8300 Bell Oaks Drive Suite C, Newburgh, IN 47630 | 812-858-7100

Iowa

  • 521 Industrial Ave Ste B, Grinnell, IA 50112 | 641-236-1022

Kentucky

  • 2600 US Highway 41 N Suite C, Henderson, KY 42420 | 270-826-2277
  • 13210 Shelbyville Rd. Suite 105, Louisville, KY 40223 | 502-253-5575
  • 5035 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301 | 270-689-2404
  • 35 Madison Square Drive, Madisonville, KY 42431 | 270-825-1101

Maine

  • 1209 Main St, Sanford, ME 04073 | 207-490-9000
  • 20 Topsham Fair Mall Rd, Topsham, ME 04086 | 207-729-8002
  • 570 Stillwater Ave Unit 1, Bangor, ME 04401 | 207-942-1004
  • 139 High Street, Ellsworth, ME 04605 | 207-667-8383
  • 19 Moosehead Trail, Newport, ME 04953 | 207-355-0100
  • 175 Madison Avenue, Skowhegan, ME 04976 | 207-858-0020
  • 765 Main Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769 | 207-760-5025

Maryland

  • 3229 Spartan Road, Olney, MD 20832 | 301-570-9663
  • 220 Marlboro Ave Suite 2, Easton, MD 21601 | 410-820-9455
  • 7603 Crain Hwy Suite F-140, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 | 301-627-6405
  • 1700 Kingfisher Dr Suite 12, Frederick, MD 21701 | 301-846-9663
  • 20 Maryland Ave Suite 450, Rockville, MD 20850 | 240-428-0556

Massachusetts

  • 21 Drum Hill Rd, Chelmsford, MA | 978-654-5066
  • 28 Fairhaven Commons Way, Fairhaven, MA 02719 | 508-984-8882
  • 77 West State St, Granby, MA 01033 | 413-467-9777
  • 18 Main St, Townsend, MA 01469 | 978-597-0701
  • 234 Washington St Suite 3, Hudson, MA 01749 | 978-567-9300
  • 581 Chickering Rd, North Andover, MA 01845 | 978-208-4385
  • 98A Main Street, Medway, MA 02053 | 508-533-0400
  • 95 Washington St, Canton, MA 02021 | 781-828-8886
  • 1415 Providence Highway, Norwood, MA 02062 | 781-769-8881
  • 438 West Grove St, Middleboro, MA 02346 | 508-947-8854
  • 566 Washington St, South Easton, MA 02375 | 508-230-7990
  • 169 Rt 6A, Orleans, MA 02653 | 508-255-5557
  • 162 North King Street, Northampton, MA 01060 | 413-341-3473
  • 197 Boston Post Road W, Marlborough, MA 01752 | 508-481-8001
  • 975 Merriam Ave, Leominster, MA 01453 | 978-840-1986
  • 999 S Washington Street, N Attleboro, MA 02760 | 508-699-8998

Michigan

  • 212 S. Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | 734-327-5300
  • 6877 S. State St, Saline, MI 48176 | 734-295-9620
  • 3644 Carpenter Rd Suite F, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | 734-327-5400
  • 250 North Ortonville Rd Suite A, Ortonville, MI 48462 | 248-627-2000
  • 223 North Main St., Frankenmuth, MI 48734 | 989-652-5700
  • 4104 E Grand River Ave, Howell, MI 48843 | 517-545-1300
  • 103 East Maple St., Mason, MI 48854 | 517-604-6180
  • 1031 E Main St, Owosso, MI 48867 | 989-723-9663
  • 2546 E Jolly Road Suite 3, Lansing, MI 48910 | 517-993-6333
  • 1515 N West Ave, Jackson, MI 49202 | 517-787-2020
  • 9175 Cherry Valley Ave Ste 8, Caledonia, MI 49316 | 616-891-0072
  • 4021 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 | 616-696-2395
  • 104 W. Main St., Fremont, MI 49412 | 231-335-2336
  • 1315 E. Colby St. Suite B, Whitehall, MI 49461 | 231-894-0332
  • 9290 Lee Rd Suite 101, Brighton, MI 48116 | 810-360-0767

Minnesota

  • 115 Elm St, Farmington, MN 55024 | 651-344-7300
  • 919 Vermillion St, Hastings, MN 55033 | 651-437-4800
  • 3836 150th St W, Rosemount, MN 55068 | 651-423-1200
  • 740 Main St Suite 102, Mendota Heights, MN 55118 | 651-454-0707
  • 17442 Kenwood Trail, Lakeville, MN 55044 | 952-898-9663
  • 5466 St Croix Trail, North Branch, MN 55056 | 651-277-9122
  • 2034 Ford Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55116 | 651-330-0217
  • 9420 Dunkirk Lane North, Maple Grove, MN 55311 | 763-424-9660
  • 637 Ryans Way, Buffalo, MN 55313 | 763-684-4252
  • 10340 Baltimore St NE #160, Blaine, MN 55449 | 763-780-7995
  • 14303 Edgewood Drive Suite 100, Baxter, MN 56425 | 218-454-2075
  • 209 12th Street SW, Forest Lake, MN 55025 | 651-464-2388

Missouri

  • 122 Corum Rd, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024 | 816-637-5100

New Hampshire

  • 150 Bridge Street, Pelham, NH 03076 | 603-508-6900
  • 15 Freetown Rd, Raymond, NH 03077 | 603-244-1682
  • 1106 Union Ave, Laconia, NH 03246 | 603-524-1900
  • 594 Tenney Mountain Highway, Plymouth, NH 03264 | 603-536-6090
  • 62 D’Amante Dr, Concord, NH 03301 | 603-223-9979
  • 459 West St., Keene, NH 03431 | 603-357-7700
  • 19 Wilton Road Suite 7, Peterborough, NH 03458 | 603-924-3379
  • 410 Glen Ave, Berlin, NH 03570 | 603-752-3663
  • 71 Calef Hwy, Lee, NH 03861 | 603-740-7474
  • 11 Plaistow Unit 11 C Road, Plaistow, NH 03865 | 603-382-0092
  • 15 Portsmouth Ave, Stratham, NH 03885 | 603-775-7253
  • Steeplegate Mall 270 Loudon Road, Concord, NH 03301 | 603-226-3248

New Jersey

  • 329 West Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728 | 732-462-8888
  • 642 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738 | 732-530-1901
  • 87 Route 9 South Bld C, Marlboro, NJ 07746 | 732-853-1831
  • 18 West Main Street, Denville, NJ 07834 | 973-664-0404
  • 1885 Rt 57, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 | 908-852-3838
  • 353 Rt 31 South, Washington, NJ 07882 | 908-223-1470
  • 977 Valley Road, Gillette, NJ 07933 | 908-580-0800
  • 1711 Route 10, Morris Plains, NJ 07950 | 973-998-7515
  • 141 Bridgeton Pile Unit G, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062 | 856-478-6199
  • 1692 Clements Bridge Road Suite N, Deptford, NJ 08096 | 856-845-7000
  • 859 NJ Rt 45 Unit D, Pilesgrove, NJ 08098 | 856-441-2848
  • 2960 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 | 609-873-3130
  • 950 Route 33, Hamilton, NJ 08690 | 609-588-9000
  • 580 Brick Blvd, Brick, NJ 08723 | 732-864-9400
  • 578 Milltown Rd, North Brunswick, NJ 08902 | 732-846-9855
  • 424 Main Street, Spotswood, NJ 08884 | 732-723-1111
  • 117 Franklin Turnpike Unit 20, Mahwah, NJ 07430 | 201-684-0008

New York

  • 774 North Bedford Road, Bedford Hills, NY 10507 | 914-244-1800
  • 111 Independent Way, Brewster, NY 10509 | 845-279-3444
  • 50 Livingstone Ave, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 | 914-674-8800
  • 231 Halstead Ave, Harrison, NY 10528 | 914-893-5660
  • 129 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541 | 845-628-9800
  • 83 Purchase Street, Rye, NY 10580 | 914-921-1819
  • 159-20 Cross Bay Blvd, Howard Beach, NY 11414 | 718-738-2600
  • 38 Main St, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 | 518-891-7300
  • 137 State Route 104, Oswego, NY 13126 | 315-216-4430
  • 7395 Turin Rd, Lowville, NY 13367 | 315-874-4004
  • 26397 Johnson Rd, Evans Mills, NY 13637 | 315-629-6075
  • 1100 Champlain St, Ogdensurg, NY 13669 | 315-393-4300
  • 201 Market St, Potsdam, NY 13676 | 315-265-1900
  • 123 Grey Street, East Aurora, NY 14052 | 716-652-3430
  • 5883 S Transit Road, Lockport, NY 14094 | 716-439-0300
  • 231 S Cascade Dr, Springville, NY 14141 | 716-592-4756
  • 5 Franklin Plaza, Dansville, NY 14437 | 585-612-0999
  • 3193 Chili Ave, Rochester, NY 14624 | 585-247-3610
  • 17 E. Market St, Corning, NY 14830 | 607-654-7838
  • 37 Main St, Hornell, NY 14843 | 607-324-5888
  • 89 N. Middletown Road, Pearl River, NY 10965 | 845-620-3787

Ohio

  • 7040 Hospital Drive, Dublin, OH 43016 | 614-389-2082
  • 1586 N High Street, Columbus, OH 43201 | 614-291-9500
  • 5 Atterbury Blvd. Ste. 2, Hudson, OH 44224 | 330-571-5807
  • 990 High St. Ste. B, Wadsworth, OH 44224 | 330-696-2606
  • 4900 Delhi Ave Suite 3, Cincinnati, OH 45238 | 513-451-9663
  • 6302 Harrison Ave Suite D, Cincinnati, OH 45247 | 513-574-0029
  • 8465 S Mason Montgomery Rd, Mason, OH 45040 | 513-229-8857
  • 1440 Secor Dr Suite 120L, Toledo, OH 43607 | 419-531-1444

Pennsylvania

  • 420 Blair St, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 | 814-695-2115
  • 6684 Towne Center Blvd, Huntingdon, PA 16652 | 814-641-9663
  • 242 Chippewa Town Centre, Chippewa, PA 15010 | 724-846-1845
  • 1155 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017 | 412-564-5070
  • 92 Highlands Mall Shoppes, Natrona Heights, PA 15065 | 724-226-4590
  • 100 Tarentum Bridge Road, New Kensington, PA 15068 | 724-334-2761
  • 42 Trinity Point Drive, Washington, PA 15301 | 724-228-9663
  • 4120 Washington Rd, McMurray, PA 15317 | 724-941-2552
  • 812 Vanderbilt Road, Connellsville, PA 15425 | 724-626-1081
  • 2701 Sharky’s Dr, Latrobe, PA 15650 | 724-539-0105
  • 397 Hyde Park Road, Leechburg, PA 15656 | 724-842-0244
  • 2118 Summit Ridge Plaza, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666 | 724-691-4730
  • 208 Resort Plaza Dr, Blairsville, PA 15717 | 724-459-5737
  • 21892 Route 119, Punxsutawney, PA 15767 | 814-938-3235
  • 300 Walmart Drive #140, Ebensburg, PA 15931 | 814-472-0600
  • 170 BonAire Plaza, Butler, PA 16001 | 724-256-5556
  • 2505 W State St, New Castle, PA 16101 | 724-202-6607
  • 7A Hilltop Plaza, Kittanning, PA 16201 | 724-545-1453
  • 6885 US Route 322 Suite 5, Franklin, PA 16323 | 814-516-1643
  • 2809 Market Street #5, North Warren, PA 16365 | 814-726-4988
  • 4291 Buffalo Road, Harbor Creek, PA 16510 | 814-899-1682
  • 300 Spring Plaza, Roaring Spring, PA 16673 | 814-729-7032
  • 1071 N Front St, Philipsburg, PA 16866 | 814-343-6412
  • 114 Townsedge Drive, Quarryville, PA 17566 | 717-806-1119
  • 304 Town Center, New Britain, PA 18901 | 215-997-5000
  • 1034 Second Street Pike, Richboro, PA 18954 | 215-355-9955
  • 912 North Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA 19002 | 215-540-8005
  • 110 E Street Road, Feasterville, PA 19053 | 215-357-7357
  • 920 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 | 215-351-5252
  • 322 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 | 215-923-8255
  • 225 Lancaster Ave, Frazer, PA 19355 | 610-408-0480
  • 553 York Rd, Warminster, PA 18974 | 215-675-2228
  • 1014 Pennsylvania Ave, Tyrone, PA 16686

Rhode Island

  • 76 Gate Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852 | 401-886-8484
  • 599 Kingstown Road, Wakefield, RI 02879 | 401-783-4770
  • 1700 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI 02864 | 401-333-3007
  • 40 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston, RI 02920 | 401-463-6699
  • 25 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889 | 401-734-9559
  • 579 Atwells Avenue Suite 106, Providence, RI 02909 | 401-421-0085

Texas

  • 1100 West Business 380 Suite A, Decatur, TX 76234 | 940-626-4422
  • 404 N. Interstate 35e #110, Lancaster, TX 75146 | 972-217-3238
  • 739 SW Wilshire Blvd, Burleson, TX 76028 | 817-349-0003

Virginia

  • 13340-E Franklin Farm Rd, Herdon, VA 20171 | 571-449-3234
  • 25031 Riding Plaza Suite 125, South Riding, VA 20152 | 703-542-2546
  • 3518 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302 | 571-429-5650
  • 8191 Brook Rd Suite H, Richmond, VA 23227 | 804-553-1153
  • 24 Kingston Drive, Daleville, VA 24077 | 540-992-5220
  • 145 Holt Garrison Parkway Suite 120, Danville, VA 24540 | 434-797-2970
  • 2017 Colonial Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 24015 | 540-904-5114
  • 400 Old Franklin Turnpike Suite 103, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 | 540-352-3950
  • 3440 Orange Avenue NE Unit A, Roanoke, VA 24012 | 540-206-3886
  • 65 Westlake Rd. Unit 110, Hardy, VA 24101 | 540-266-3082
  • 294 Commonwealth Boulevard West, Martinsville, VA 24112 | 276-226-4328

West Virginia

  • 132 Thompson Drive, Bridgeport, WV 26330 | 304-848-5025
  • 2399 Meadowbrook Road #870, Bridgeport, WV 26330 | 304-848-5025
  • 9500 Mall Road #709, Morgantown, WV 26501 | 304-381-4076
  • 410 Suncrest Towne Center Dr, Morgantown, WV 26505 | 304-241-5225
  • 734 Venture Dr, Morgantown, WV 26508 | 304-381-4053
Wisconsin
  • 2521 Hils CT Suite D, Menomonie, WI 54751 | 715-231-2345
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Great American eclipse: Celestial mechanics or act of God?

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 11:32 PM

(GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
(GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)(GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Man has always looked to the cosmos for answers, with delight, in fear, and for signs.

In August, the boldest sign the universe can bring — a midday midnight — will be on display for millions of people as a total solar eclipse paints a black ribbon coast-to-coast.

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It is mechanical, an alignment predictable to the second, an event ripe for scientific study. Yet, it is also an apparition so profound that historically, and even today, a total solar eclipse is considered by some a signal from a higher power, or a harbinger of apocalypse.

“Total eclipses are so phenomenal and so overpowering and so amazing that some people have ascribed a ‘super spirituality’ to them,” said Dan McGlaun, a 12-time total solar eclipse viewer who runs the website Eclipse2017.org. “That’s why so many cultures have created stories and myths about eclipses throughout history.”

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The Aug. 21 total solar eclipse is the first in 99 years to cross the U.S., traveling from Oregon to South Carolina. Everyone in North America will be able to see the eclipse, but only those in the 70-mile wide path of totality will witness a black hole open in the daytime sky as the moon envelops the sun.

The cross-country eclipse will take 90 minutes, beginning at 10:15 a.m. PST in Newport, Ore., and ending 4:10 p.m. EST in Charleston, S.C. For two minutes, 40 seconds, darkness will reign in the strip of totality where 12 million people live and millions more will journey.

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In ancient times, mythical animals were often blamed for the darkness, eating the sun bite by bite to starve people of life-giving light. An invisible dragon swallowed the sun in China. India had a serpent head with no body munching on the bright star. Demon dogs did the deed in Scandinavia. The Mayans thought a giant Jaguar was the culprit.

Some Australian aboriginal tribes thought the eclipse was the joining of the moon and sun as man and wife, or the moon (man) pulling the curtains of the sky closed for privacy as they came together.

“That’s really the sweetest one I’ve heard,” said Lika Guhathakurta, NASA’s lead scientist for the eclipse. “Most cultures have regarded eclipses with great trepidation and fear, and you can understand why when all of a sudden darkness descends during the day and you don’t know why.”

>> Related: Best places to see the 2017 solar eclipse.

Guhathakurta said in remote parts of India people hold onto folklore beliefs that food cooked during an eclipse is poison and people bang pots and pans together to frighten away the moon so the sun can shine again. There is also a misconception that solar eclipses can harm pregnant women, who are asked to stay indoors during the event.

As recent as 1995, Guhathakurta said she saw the pots and pans ritual in India. In 1998, she saw the same thing in Mongolia.

“Even in our country, there are all kinds of ideas,” said Guhathakurta.