Archive for April 15, 2008

Central Florida Has Nation’s First Ethanol Pipeline

Florida will soon be home to the nation’s first ethanol pipeline.

The 104-mile Central Florida Pipeline has carried gasoline from the Port of Tampa to the Orlando International Airport since 1965. Workers have been upgrading the 16-inch pipeline in preparation for its first batch of ethanol, slated for the third quarter of this year.

The booming U.S. ethanol industry is watching the project closely. If successful, it could lead to a boom in ethanol pipeline projects nationwide, since shipping by pipeline is significantly cheaper than shipping by train, barge or truck.

“It’s a test for us, and everybody else, to see if we can make it work,” said Joe Hollier, spokesman for Kinder Morgan. “It will be a big advantage if we are able to move ethanol by pipeline, obviously.”

Kinder Morgan’s Central Florida Pipeline Co. has already begun cleaning the pipeline and replacing seals, gaskets, pumps and other equipment. Kinder Morgan, based in Houston, is one of the largest pipeline and terminal operators in the United States. The company plans regular shipments by the end of the year.

Source: Tampabay.com

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Coast Guard Returns 247 Haitian Immigrants to Haiti

The U.S. Coast Guard sent back almost 250 Haitian migrants to their homeland Tuesday after the agency intercepted two over-crowded sailboats at sea over the weekend.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane repatriated 247 migrants to Cap-Haiten, Haiti’s second-largest city, on Tuesday. The separate groups were spotted on Saturday and Sunday.

Crew members aboard the Harriet Lane located a 23-foot sailboat about 17 miles west of Great Inagua, Bahamas, early Saturday morning. One hundred and sixteen Haitian migrants were found on board.

A day later, the crew members spotted a 35-foot sailboat some 20 miles southeast of Great Inagua. The crew decided to wait until sunrise before attempting to transfer the migrants aboard the cutter for safety reasons. The flimsy boat was carrying 131 people.

In accordance with United States policy, all migrants interdicted at sea will be immediately repatriated.

The migrants’ voyage underscores the desperation in Haiti. In recent weeks, soaring food prices have spurred violent riots, which have left at least six dead and more than 60 injured.

Source: Miami Herald

It never ends….

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Man Steals Truck, Dies When it Runs Over His Head

ROYAL PALM BEACH — (AP) — Palm Beach County authorities say a man who jumped out of a stolen U-Haul truck died after it ran over his head.

A sheriff’s office report says Willie Lee Thomas III was taken early Monday morning to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The 24-year-old from Riviera Beach was trying to flee police after someone called 911 to report that his truck had been stolen. The caller said he was following the thief.

Authorities caught up to the U-Haul and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away. He then jumped out and was run over by the truck.

The truck then crashed into a tree. Police found a gun inside.

Authorities are looking for the 911 caller.

Source: Miami Herald

Note to Truck Thieves: Put the truck in “P” for “park” before jumping out.

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Dave Barry: How Your Taxes Turn Into Manure

I do not know how I could have missed this wonderful article. Oh, right, my anniversary and out of town relatives.

Anyway, here are Dave Barry’s tax tips to help you get the deductions you need, or maybe that’s a one-way trip to the penitentiary. At least you’d have a roof over your head.

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Jacksonville Police Need Help Identifying Homicide Victim

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With a homicide victim still unidentified nearly a year after the body was found in a wooded area near St. Johns Bluff Road and Beach Boulevard, police are asking the public for help.

Police said they believe the victim was homeless and living at a transient camp when he was killed. They have not said how he died.

The victim was described as a white man between 30 and 49 years old with brown hair beginning to gray. He was around 5 feet 5 inches tall and had upper dentures. When the victim was found he was wearing a yellow down-style jacket and gray shorts.

If you are missing a member of your family that may fit that description, please visit News4Jax to look at a reconstruction to view what the man may have looked like.

Anyone with any information about the identity of the victim or the crime is asked to contact Detective Bodine at 904-630-2632 or Crimestoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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Escapee Returned to Florida Prison After 32 Years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Russell Trawick was married, had kids and was described as a good employee who even did volunteer work in his community. But Trawick had a secret that came crashing down when detectives knocked on the door of his Missouri home last November.

Trawick, now 53, escaped from a Florida prison in Putnam County in 1975. Almost 33 years later, he is back in Florida and back in prison.

“He kept it a secret,” said attorney Robert Shafter. “He had secret communications with family members, but I don’t think he ever expected this to really happen.”

Trawick escaped from the state prison while he was setting up an Alcohol Anonymous meeting at the facility. He was serving a 10-year sentence for stealing $150 in money orders.

When Trawick escaped, he headed to Tampa. He then went to Indiana and Michigan before finally settling in Missouri.

Over the years, he met his wife and started a family.

Shafter said Trawick was, “Living a total, wonderful life; paying his taxes, doing everything he is supposed to do. Then the state of Florida knocked on his door and said, ‘You owe us nine years.’”

While Trawick is back behind bars serving the remainder of his sentence, his parents in Nassau County have petitioned the state clemency board asking for his release.

The family says his wife is now sick with cancer and he has not done anything wrong.

Trawick has also written to the board saying, “I have lived a good life for the past 30 years and I desperately want to go back to my wife and the life we have made together. My every concern is for her welfare and safety.”

Trawick is not being prosecuted for the escape and Shafter said the original sentence was too harsh and would never happened if tried today.

“We certainly hope the governor and the Cabinet would be sympathetic with our petition, to finally say to this man, ‘We don’t want to spend $30,000 a year housing you in the state of Florida. Go on back to where you were and live a good life,’” Shafter said.

The Florida Department of Corrections’ Web site lists Trawick’s release date as Aug. 29, 2013 — although it says that is subject to change after a review of any gain time he has earned or forfeited.

Source: News4Jax

I doubt that man will spend much time in prison if he has an attorney with minimal competence. Meanwhile, don’t freakin’ try to escape again.

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Korea: Bird Flu Spreads, Takes New Pattern

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

Avian influenza is spreading in an unusual pattern, arousing fears over the possibility of the virus changing into one that infects humans and later becomes transferable directly from human to human.

Experts studying several outbreaks of the bird flu since first reported on April 2 said this time, the outbreak has seen very different patterns from before.

According to governmental reports, the flu appeared to be spread in cold weather by migratory birds visiting Korea during the period. The suitable environment for the virus to infect poultry, especially chickens, was mainly November through to March when temperatures were below 4 degrees Celsius, they said.

However, the initial outbreak this year occurred in April, which means the highly contagious flu had appeared in warmer days with summer time approaching.

The infection of ducks at farms in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, also showed that the disease is now contagious to other poultry.

The virus is spreading faster than expected. It was first confirmed in Gimje on April 2, but within two weeks, it has already been confirmed on six other farms nearby and even in the South Jeolla area. On Monday, several other suspected bird flu cases were reported at Iksan and Hampyeong, North of Jeolla Province. The authorities confirmed a total of 20 cases of bird flu as of Monday.

Officials from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries also admitted that the disease is quite different from previous patterns in 2002-2003 and 2006-2007. The fact that the exact route of infection is not identified added public fear toward the disease that has caused the government to kill millions of chickens and thousands of ducks.

Prof. Kim Woo-ju of Korea University Medical Center told Hankook Ilbo newspaper that the virus could easily turn into a pandemic influenza and that the government should set appropriate measures to deal with it.

“By far, avian flu has been found in 67 countries worldwide, where 379 people from 14 countries were reported infected. Among them, 239, or 63 percent, have died,” he said.

However, the government, which has been criticized for not taking strong measures toward active prevention of outbreaks assured people that the warm weather would kill off the virus, denouncing Kim’s suggestion.

“We need at least six months to identify where the virus came from and how it has affected other people. But by far we have confirmed H5N1 virus only, which is carried by migratory birds from the northern part of the globe,” a ministry spokesman said.

The ministry will announce its interim report on the highly contagious disease Wednesday or Thursday.

Source: The Korea Times

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Japan to Vaccinate 6,000 Health Officials for Potential Bird Flu Outbreak

TOKYO: Japan’s health ministry said Tuesday it plans to inoculate thousands of health officials with a government stockpile of vaccines to prepare for a possible bird flu pandemic in humans.

Under the plan, pending approval Wednesday, about 6,000 quarantine and immigration officials, doctors and other health workers will be vaccinated by the end of this year, Health and Welfare Ministry official Kishiko Yamaguchi said.

Bird flu is relatively difficult for humans to catch, but health authorities fear it could mutate into a form that is easily spread among humans, which could cause a flu pandemic.

The Japanese health ministry is also considering vaccinating 10 million more people, including lawmakers, police, health workers and others in “lifeline” professions, if the initial tests prove safe and effective, Yamaguchi said.

World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl called the planned vaccinations “a big roll of the dice,” but said the WHO didn’t oppose it.

“Obviously, the Japanese think there’s some benefit to be had from this, and we are not going to prevent an individual country from using their resources,” he said.

At least 239 people worldwide have died from bird flu since 2003, according to WHO. Most human cases have been linked to contact with infected poultry.

Source: International Herald-Tribune

I have been musing over the news treatment of two potential “crises”; global warming and the spread and mutation of a new and potentially deadly flu.

On the one hand, the leading hand wringers over global warming aren’t acting like it is the emergency that they say it is; they continue to live in large houses, fly around the world on private jets to “meetings” with self-absorbed people who are also flying in on private aircraft instead of, say, traveling by sailing ship and oxcarts to “meet” in some exotic vacation location (because Springfield, Missouri just isn’t a good enough place to discuss global warming, especially in the winter) in order to tell the rest of the world what everybody else should be doing and what others should be giving up to avert global devastation. Many people are convinced by increasingly hysterical press coverage that carbon dioxide is a horrible pollutant, and are not informed (either deliberately or through ignorance on the part of the press) about the lack of scientific basis for most of the global warming disaster claims.

On the other hand, while most people are ignoring or have dismissed information about H5N1 as scaremongering, the health departments of countries around the world are frantically preparing for the worst to the point of inoculating health care workers with vaccines that may or may not be safe and efficacious.

Perhaps I’m just a scaremongerer, but I believe people should be prepared with stored food/medications/supplies because, if H5N1 does make the mutation to pass easily between humans, we will in all likelihood not know until our countrymen begin suddenly sickening and dying, and we have all been placed under a mandatory house arrest to keep the disease from spreading.

Besides, I can always use the supplies during the summer indoor (if the roof stays on) camping season, also known as hurricane season.

As for global warming, after looking over the data the warming scare is based on, all I’ve got to say about that is you gotta be freakin’ kidding me. Their data is way past the questionable stage and heading into fraudulent territory. Do not buy a theory or used car from people that lie about their data.

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