Articles from August 2008



Shucks, there goes the Washington Nationals’ play-off hopes.

They’ve been mathematically eliminated for the wild-card slot.

They’re 51–85 if you haven’t been paying attention.

Fire Groh!

What moron schedules a game against #3 USC? How insane do you have to be?

I was predicting a 30 point win for USC — they managed to win by 45! ESPN:

Mark Sanchez threw three touchdown passes in his first game as Southern California’s true No. 1 quarterback and the third-ranked Trojans rolled over Virginia 52-7 Saturday.

The Trojans lead 21-0 after just 11 minutes and weren’t tested, allowing coach Pete Carroll to keep things simple in advance of a home game against No. 2 Ohio State in two weeks.

Virginia had former stars Tiki and Ronde Barber and Chris Long in attendance and a Scott Stadium record crowd of 64,947 on hand, but the Cavaliers had minus 15 yards on their first three offensive series and needed 25 yards in penalties on their lone scoring drive.

In other news, #17 Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina (who?) 22–27.

Maryland beat Delaware 14–7.

Navy beat Towson 41–13.

Donna Blanton gets life.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Donna Blanton was sentenced to life in prison and fined $100,000 today in Caroline County Circuit Court for the murder of her husband, State Trooper Taylor V. Blanton.

Circuit Judge Horace A. Revercomb III said he concurred with the jury’s recommendation in the case.

UPDATED & BUMPED: Donna Blanton to be sentenced today; will update. Donna Blanton gets life!

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

A Caroline County woman will be sentenced today after being convicted a second time of killing her state trooper husband.

In March, jurors recommended that Donna L. Blanton, 42, be sentenced to life in prison, one day after convicting her of first-degree murder.

UPDATE: The Free Lance–Star‘s headline on their site says the defense might request a postponement for the sentencing but the story doesn’t say anything about it. Consider this gem of stupidity from the story:

The jury recommended life in prison and today’s hearing will give the judge an opportunity to either dole out the jury’s recommendation or lower the prison sentence. He can not increase the time behind bars.

Uh, how in the hell do you “increase the time behind bars” above life in prison?

Does that mean — in this hypothetical scenario — that after Blanton dies, that the prison would retain her body for another twenty years?

Jesus Christ, that’s about the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in The Free Lance–Star — and that’s saying a lot!

UPDATE: Donna Blanton gets life.

Caroline County man suspected of involvement in shooting at Ashland party turns himself in.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

A 21-year-old man accused of firing a gun during a shooting incident in Ashland turned himself in yesterday to town police.

Vodell Dupree Tillman of Caroline County is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and with firing a gun in Ashland.

Police said last week that while Tillman is accused of firing a weapon during the incident on Aug. 17, he is not accused of shooting anyone.

Weekly News Media Briefs – Week Ending August 23, 2008

From the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office:

On August 17, 2008, Deputy P.H. Blasiol responded to motor vehicle crash in Ruther Glen. After investigating, Charles J. Smithers, 59, of Ruther Glen was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Driving on a Restricted license. He was held on a $1,000 secured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 17, 2008, Deputy J.K. Miller stopped Scott A. Roberts, 47, of Potomac, Maryland for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, Roberts was charged with Driving Revoked-DUI related. He was also served with an outstanding Capias out of Loudoun County. He was held on a $2,000 secured bond and a court date of August 20, 2008 was set.

On August 19, 2008, Sgt. R.L. Hixson stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, a passenger in the vehicle, David W. Monahan, 41, of Ruther Glen was charged with Possession of Marijuana. He was released on a summons and a court date of October 1, 2008 was set.

On August 19, 2008, Deputy G.J. Hamilton stopped Travon T. Thomas, 21, of Doswell for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, Thomas was charged with Driving Suspended and Defective Equipment. He was released on his own recognizance and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 19, 2008, Animal Control Deputy S.M. Jessee responded to Ruther Glen for an animal complaint. After further investigation, a Ruther Glen man was charged with three counts of No County Dog License. Keller was released on a summons and a court date of September

On August 20, 2008, Deputy T.P. Connolly was on patrol in the Ruther Glen area when he encountered Matthew E. Pribramsky, 22, of New Jersey, Amanda M. Hewitt, 20, of New Jersey, and Richard R. Barlow, III, 25, of Richmond. After further investigation, all three subjects were charged with Trespassing and were released on a summons. A court date of October 1, 2008 has been set.

On August 20, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood responded to Ruther Glen for a disturbance involving a firearm. After further investigation, Waverly T. Coleman, Sr., 42, of Ruther Glen was charged with three counts of Attempted Malicious Wounding, two counts of Felony Child Neglect, three counts of Brandishing a Firearm and one count of Reckless Handling of a Firearm. He was ordered held without bond and a court date of August 21, 2008 was set.

On August 20, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood was on patrol in the Ruther Glen area when he encountered Kevin L. Smith, 21, of Montpelier, Matthew A. Tate, 21, of Ashland, and Joshua J. Labarbera, 22, of Ashland. After further investigation, all three subjects were charged with Trespassing and were released on a summons. A court date of October 1, 2008 has been set.

On August 20, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood was on patrol on the Ruther Glena area when he encountered Denise M. Lewis, 39, of Richmond, Justin M. Snead, 22, of Mechanicsville, and Danyel K. Hirschler, 23, of Richmond. After further investigation, all three subjects were charged with Trespassing and were released on a summons. A court date of October 1, 2008 has been set.

On August 21, 2008, Deputy S. Mullane stopped Michael C. Green, 46, of Hanover for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, Green was charged with Felony Habitual Offender, Drinking While Driving, Altered/Forged License Plates, Improper Registration, Fail to Obtain Registration and Unauthorized Use of an Inspection Sticker. He was held on a $3,500 unsecured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 21, 2008, Deputy C.M. Hall responded to Bowling Green for a report of an assault. After investigating, Antonio J. Wilson, 39, of Woodford was charged with Assault and Battery. Deputy G.J. Hamilton arrested Wilson on August 23, 3008. He was held on a $2,000 secured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 22, 2008, Deputy T.P. Connolly was on patrol in the Ruther Glen are when he encountered Karly R. Loan, 28, of Glen Allen. After further investigation, Loan was charged with Trespassing. She was released on a summons and a court date of October 1, 2008 was set.

On August 22, 2008, Deputy C.M. Polliard stopped Christopher M. Scott, 28, of Ruther Glen during a Project Checkpoint Strikeforce checking detail. Upon further investigation, Scott was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol-2nd Offense, Drinking While Driving, Possession of Marijuana, Obstruction of Justice and Illegal Window Tint. He was released on a $3,000 secured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 22, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood was on patrol in the Ruther Glen area when he encountered Dana N. Philpy, 32, of Richmond. After investigating, Philpy was charged with trespassing. She was released on a summons and a court date of October 1, 2008 was set.

On August 22, 2008, Deputy P.E. Ford stopped Sonya E. Weaver, 43, of Hanover during a Project Checkpoint Strikeforce checking detail. Upon further investigation, Weaver was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Refusal to Submit to a Test. She was held on a $1,500 unsecured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 22, 2008, Sgt. R.L. Hixson stopped Theophilus E. Rollins, 27, of Hanover for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, Rollins was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol-2nd Offense and Driving Suspended-DUI related. He was held on a $1,500 secured bond and a court date of September 5, 2008 was set.

On August 23, 2008, Sgt. S.L. Cary responded to Ruther Glen for a Disturbance. Upon further investigation, Eli L. Shirley, 35, of Ruther Glen was charged with Assault and Batter, Destruction of Property and Threats by Phone. He was released on a $2,000 unsecured bond and court date’s of August 29, 2008 and September 2, 2008 were set.

On August 23, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood responded to Port Royal for a disturbance. Upon further investigation, Caleb A. Brooks, 19, of no fixed address was charged with being Drunk in Public and Underage Consumption of Alcohol. He was held on a $1,000 secured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

On August 23, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood was on patrol in the Ruther Glen area when he encountered James R. Hulo, 38, of Ruther Glen and Jennifer A. Kulp, 25, of Ruther Glen. After further investigation, both subjects were charged with Trespassing and were released on a summons. A court date of October 1, 2008 has been set.

On August 23, 2008, Sgt. R.L. Hixson stopped Dewayne L. Coates, II, 25, of Spotsylvania for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, Coates was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, 2nd Offense. He was released on a $1,500 unsecured bond and a court date of August 29, 2008 was set.

On August 23, 2008, Deputy C.A. Heywood was on patrol when he encountered Lance D. Boldon, 30, of Ruther Glen. Upon further investigation, Boldon was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. He was released on a $1,500 unsecured bond and a court date of August 27, 2008 was set.

Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Wrap Up

According to Sheriff Tony Lippa, Caroline Deputies made 10 drug arrests, 5 DUI arrests, 8 domestic violence arrests, and 120 other criminal arrests during the past week. The deputies served 261 civil papers, issued 287 traffic summonses, handled 4 motor vehicle crashes, responded to 36 alarm calls, and dealt with 9 juvenile offenders. The Sheriff’s Office Communications Center dispatched 627 calls for service and handled 2,033 telephone inquiries. The CCSO also logged 55 calls assisting outside agencies and had 253 self-initiated calls.

Mike Huckabee: Just ignore what the supreme court says.

You know, I thought I had seen/heard the last of the Huckster after he opened his mouth and removed any doubt of his stupidity by making a joke about someone aiming a gun at Barack Obama.

Alas, we weren’t that lucky.

He’s talking specifically about Mitt Romney and how Romney should have ignored a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that declared a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional (Hot Air).

You know, you can say what you will about Supreme Courts decisions — not just ones from the Massachusetts Supreme Court — but the last I checked this isn’t a dictatorship.

There are plenty of Supreme Court decisions I disagree with (take your pick) but if you have the member of the executive office — be it Governor or President — ignoring what the judicial branch of government says, you cease to have a system of check and balances. Soon the executive will be ignoring the legislative branch, and then we are are on our way to a grand old dictatorship.

And while we are on the topic on Supreme Court decisions and Mike Huckabee, maybe someone can explain to me why the Huckster seems to think a Supreme Court of the United States decision finding a constitutional right to sodomy “probably was appropriate” (Ann Coulter #1 & #2)?

The last time I did a read-through of the United States Constitution, I sure enough didn’t see a provision involving sodomy; what about you guys?

The fact that people support this idiot (Huckabee) just goes to show the collective stupidity of certain people.

Ace of Spades HQ has more.

I hope the cops slashed the tires, ripped the bumpers off, and let hobos use the car as a toilet…

New York Daily News:

In the annals of shameless lawsuits, this one takes the cake.

A Coney Island businessman is suing the city for damaging the Bentley he was driving when he killed a Brooklyn dad in a hit-and-run accident.

Harry Shasho, who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, says the NYPD failed to safeguard the battered black 2005 Bentley GT luxury sedan that was impounded as evidence of the fatal crash. He’s asking for at least $190,000.

[…]

Shasho, 38, who owns a fancy Coney Island car detailing shop, struck Couch and left the scene without stopping Oct. 1, 2005. He later surrendered to cops and was sentenced to five years’ probation and community service.

[…]

Shasho says the Bentley was in “excellent condition … with no noticeable defects or damage” when he turned himself in, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The police report tells a different story.

It describes the car as crumpled and the windshield “depressed and fractured” by the violent impact with Couch that left his body parts strewn across the street.

The suit seeks damages from the city, the NYPD and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

It accuses the NYPD of failing to properly care for vehicles, “particularly those which require special care and treatment due to value, style [and] model.” Noticeably missing from the suit is any mention of why Shasho was arrested. It doesn’t even mention Couch, 54, an assistant manager at a Duane Reade drugstore.

[…]

Reached by the Daily News, Shasho denied filing a lawsuit and hung up. Shasho’s lawyer refused to comment.

Remember the Caroline County Board of Supervisors and their secret subcommittees?

Read the previous coverage here.

Well, Colonial Beach has done the same thing as Caroline County (The Journal Press):

The Spring of 2008 witnessed the Town of Colonial Beach ushering in a new regime – three new council members, Burkett Lyburn, Ronald “Sparky” Ridgely and Karen Payne; and one new mayor, Fred Rummage. Almost immediately the composite of the Council changed again when Council Representative Linda Crandell resigned and Planning Commission Chair, David Coombes, was appointed in her place.

As one would expect with a new council and mayor at the helm of Colonial Beach, changes have been made and some of them not necessarily for the better. What was once a fairly open style of government has been slowly moving towards the side of privatization.

One of the largest and most notable changes that has occurred is the eradication of the three-person committee. Whereas previously the Town of Colonial Beach had been utilizing a three-person committee made up of Council members, and on some committees members of the public as well, to oversee particular areas such as public works and public safety, a single member is now being designated as being “responsible for the oversight of”.

The reason this is of such importance is because of the number 3; three council members together in one place discussing council business constitutes a meeting which means that it must be advertised and the public must be allowed to attend. This is so that government business, the government business of Colonial Beach, is discussed in an open forum that provides residents the opportunity to make themselves aware of what their government is doing.

This also makes it possible for journalists to attend and obtain information and relay it to the public, again so citizens are aware of what their government is doing. This is specified in 2.2-3700 of The Virginia Freedom of Information Act; “By enacting this chapter, the General Assembly ensures the people of the Commonwealth ready access to public records in the custody of a public body or its officers and employees, and free entry to meetings of public bodies wherein the business of the people is being conducted.” A committee of one, in theory, might not have to make the public aware of when they are conducting business.

The reason for this thought might be perhaps because the term “meeting” under 2.2 -3701 Definitions under FOIA, is designated as “the meetings, including work sessions when sitting physically, or through telephonic or video equipment pursuant to 2.2-37-8 or 2.2-3708.1, as a body or entity, or as an informal assemblage of (i) as many as three members or (ii) a quorum, if less than three, of the constituent membership, wherever held, with or without minutes being taken, whether or not votes are cast, of any public body.”

This change to one person committees, however, is also of note, because at this year’s Town Council’s FOIA review session conducted by the Town Attorney, Andrea Erard, the Mayor joked that the FOIA was the reason he had established things this way. On August 14th Agenda #52-08, Resolution – Approval of Mayor’s Monitoring Appointments of Town Council Members was voted and approved.

Almost immediately after approving the monitoring appointments, the mayor appointed a committee of two, Steve Kennedy and Sparky Ridgely, to look into complaints regarding the public works department. And although no jokes were made about this committee being able to meet in private and fly under the radar, the assumption is there. So it needs to be remembered that this two-person committee, just as the oversight positions, was voted into being by the rest of the council, in other words, approved by the public body itself, to conduct business on its, the council’s behalf.

The vote that was taken establishes this two-person committee, just as it did the oversight positions, is an extension of the public body, thereby making them public bodies themselves. It says so, again in 2.2-3701 under the definitions for FOIA; “Public body” means any legislative body, authority, board, bureau, commission, district or agency of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including cities, town and counties, municipal councils, governing bodies of counties, school boards and planning commissions; boards of visitors of public institutions of higher education; and other organizations, corporations or agencies in the Commonwealth supported wholly or principally by public funds. … and (ii) any committee, subcommittee, or other entity however designated, of the public body created to perform delegated functions of the public body or to advise the public body. It shall not exclude any such committee, subcommittee or entity because it has private sector or citizen members….”

This is not to say that all council business has been conducted in secret, Vice Mayor Trish King has opted to hold her economic development group meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at Town Center, Council Member Burkett Lyburn has also kept the public forum for Public Safety and Dave Coombes holds the Planning Commission meetings in public as well, but how about when he meets to handle a special assignment? And what of those representatives in charge of the budget, roads, water and sewer? When and with whom have they been meeting?

According to Maria Everett, with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council, “These committees of one, or two, composed of council members, are subsets of the larger body created to advise and as such all their meetings should be advertised and open to the public.” They do not however have to keep minutes. Everett said that if the intent was to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, the effort has been unsuccessful. The advisory council can be reached at (804) 225-3056.

It should be noted that these changes have occurred on the heels of a campaign where multiple promises, in fact portions of campaign platforms, consisted of pledges towards transparency and openness of government.

The pointy-haired boss of Virginia [Tim Kaine] redraws state boundaries.

Our esteemed Governor seems to think that the Commonwealth of Virginia borders Delaware:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV-mB3Wjuqs

Did we take over the People’s Republic of Maryland when I wasn’t looking?

H/t: Black Velvet Bruce Li, Virginia Virtucon, Hot Air