Friday, July 06, 2007

News Items

Comments on a few of today's news stories...
Christopher Vaughn, accused of murdering his wife and three children, has been placed on suicide watch at the Will County Jail, police said Thursday after he made his first Illinois court appearance.
As my wife said, they can watch, but nobody should stop him. Wouldn't it take some pressure off our legal and prison systems to just let people in jails and prisons kill themselves? Sure, he's innocent until proven guilty, but why expend any extra effort to make sure he stays alive for his trial? Too bad he didn't commit suicide before allegedly snuffing out his entire family.
Money from leasing four publicly owned downtown parking garages will provide financing for about 100 neighborhood park-improvement projects, from new fieldhouses at five parks to new playgrounds at 50 others, Mayor Richard Daley announced Thursday.
The Chicago Reader article published yesterday about the Olympic equestrian center also presented a laundry list of desperately needed Chicago park improvements. The same day, Mayor Daley declared that all this money is going to the parks. Coincidence? Whatever -- I don't care as long as the work gets done.
A tourist from Tennessee was arrested at the Sears Tower on Thursday morning after she tried to visit the Skydeck with a loaded gun in her purse, police said.
A 56-year-old woman brought a .38 into the Sears Tower and was shocked to find herself arrested. I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for this bonehead, despite the useful quote from her neighbor that she is a "responsible pillar of the community" (sheesh!). Anyone licensed for concealed carry darn well ought to know that gun laws vary from state to state. Plus, she should have known bringing a weapon into a heightened-security venue like the Sears Tower was probably not a good idea. This case brings to mind something I thought should have been done long ago, though -- states and municipalities with restrictive gun laws should post them on major highways.
A 4-year-old Carpentersville girl who called 911 almost 300 times on her mother's deactivated cell phone finally gave up her address after dispatchers promised her a snack from McDonald's.
This is a surprisingly big problem. Some 911 centers get 5-10 calls per day from kids playing with old cell phones (a deactivated phone can still call -- and can only call -- 911). That adds up to thousands of calls per year. This particular kid was causing trouble for an entire month, up to 20 times a day. Kudos to the dispatcher who thought up the McDonald's ruse to get the kid's location.

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