Archive for May 13, 2008

Mother and Two Children Found Murdered and Mutilated in Tampa Home

TAMPA, FL (AP) — A woman and her two young children slain north of Tampa were found mutilated and dismembered in a crime scene that investigators described as one of the most gruesome they had ever seen.

Lisa Freiberg and her children, 7-year-old Zachary and 2-year-old Heather Savannah, were found dead in their mobile home Monday morning. The 26-year-old woman’s live-in boyfriend was found hiding under some clothes in a closet and was taken to a hospital after claiming he had ingested an unknown substance, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said Tuesday.

At least one of the victims had been decapitated, and the bodies were in such bad shape that visual identification was impossible, Gee said. The family’s white German shepherd also was killed.

For investigators, the mobile home in Lutz is an “extremely tough crime scene, emotionally and logistically,” Gee said.

The boyfriend has not been charged and remains at the hospital under guard, Gee said.

The sheriff said more than one weapon had been used, but he would not elaborate, and he did not discuss possible motives.

Neighbors said that Freiberg had met her boyfriend on the Internet, and that he had recently moved in. He was not the father of the children.

Gee said the bodies were found by Lisa Freiberg’s mother, who checked on her daughter after becoming concerned when she didn’t hear from her on Mother’s Day.

Source: First Coast News

It’s one thing for a person to risk their own life on an internet romance but if there are young children involved, a background investigation of the on-line lothario is in order. Seriously.

If the intended romantic partner objects to that, there’s probably a very good reason: His or her background has some very unsavory incidents in it.

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South Korean Elementary School Students down 34%

The number of elementary school students has fallen by more than one-third over the past 28 years as married couples have become more reluctant to have children because of high childcare and education costs.

With the decreasing number of children, the nation will likely suffer from a labor shortage in the near future, weakening its economic vitality and growth potential.

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), Tuesday, the number of young people aged 6-21 totaled 10.2 million nationwide this year, down 29 percent from 14.4 million in 1980. In particular, children aged 6-11, who attend elementary schools, numbered 3.64 million, down 33.7 percent from 5.5 million 28 years ago.

The number of adolescents aged 12-14 dropped 20.3 percent to 2.07 million from 1980, while the country’s high school students totaled 2.03 million, down 24 percent from 2.67 million over the same period. The number of young adults aged 18-21 who mostly enroll at universities has decreased 24.2 percent to 2.47 million from 3.63 million.

With fewer elementary, middle and high school students, the ratio of students to teacher has fallen to a record low. One teacher was responsible for 23 students on average at elementary schools last year, down from 30 in 2000.

“Korea’s birthrates have fallen to the lowest level in the world as a growing number of women here opt to have fewer babies amid rising costs of childcare and education. The bigger problem is that the trend will likely continue and we will see the youth population draw a steeper downward curve,” an NSO official said.

The country’s birthrate, the average number of babies that a Korean woman aged between 15 and 49 gives birth to during her lifetime, stood at 1.08 last year, down from 1.13 in 2006.

Amid the falling birthrates and rapid population aging, the country is expected to have one of the highest percentages of elderly people in the world by 2050, as on top of having fewer babies Koreans are living longer than their counterparts in other nations. Also, the population is forecast to decline to 42 million by 2050 from the current 48 million.

Koreans’ life expectancy is projected to average 79.1 from 2005 to 2010, substantially higher than the world’s average of 67.2, according to the statistical office. Japan will top the list with its citizens living for 82.6 years on average, followed by Hong Kong with 82.2 and Iceland with 81.8.

The elderly over 65 will account for 38.2 percent of the country’s population in 2050, higher than the world average of 16.2 percent. The portion of people aged below 14 will decrease to 8.9 percent from 19.2 percent in 2005.

Koreans aged over 80 accounted for 1.4 percent of the population in 2005, compared with the global average of 1.3 percent, but the ratio is expected to increase to 14.5 percent in 2050, higher than the average 9.4 percent in developed countries.

Source: The Korea Times

The cost factor in raising children is considerable. Indeed, my daughter has two sons and would like a third child but will be paying the hospital costs not covered by insurance for another two or three years.

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Calmer Winds, Higher Humidity Should Help Firefighters

According to the news and weather reports, the fires should soon be completely under control as a change in weather brings warmer temperatures, but with that change also comes higher humidity and lower winds. I hope that the fires are brought under control soon, but I also know that large fires create their own climate and winds.

The picture is from the Orlando Sentinel, illustrating how people are fighting to save their neighbors’ homes from the fires with shovels, water hoses, and with buckets of water carried in when the water lines are shut down.

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