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Posted on | May 24, 2013 | No Comments
A couple who purport to be psychics have been arrested on suspicion of fleecing almost a quarter-million dollars from customers, including at least one they had promised to rid of negative spirits, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.
Cindy Uwanawich, 57, and Nick Uwanawich, 56, of Twin Peaks, have been charged with three counts each of felony grand theft after eight customers came forward and said they were scammed out of more than $238,000 in total. Both have pleaded not guilty.
The couple had been conducting psychic readings since January 2010 at a business called The Psychic Door in Crestline that previously operated in Idyllwild, and at The San Bernardino Psychic, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies.
They also did readings at their homes in Crestline and San Bernardino, and at high-end hotels, sheriff’s officials said. Cindy Uwanawich told the woman during a psychic reading that a negative sprit from a previous life was attached to her, bringing negative energy that threatened her personal and professional life and her family’s safety, sheriff’s officials said.
The woman said Uwanawich told her she would clear the spirit if the woman paid Uwanawich nine pennies, nine nickels, nine quarters and $9,000 over nine days. Uwanawich said she would return the money after nine days, but she never did, according to the sheriff’s statement.
Uwanawich was arrested at the time on suspicion of grand theft and embezzlement, but she posted bail before charges were filed.
She also was found to be running an unlicensed psychic business in the mountain community of Crestline.
Following her arrest, seven more victims came forward to report they were scammed, with the loss totaling more than $238,000.
Felony grand theft warrants were issued for the couple this month. They were arrested Monday, May 20, and booked at the Central Detention Center, with bail set at $500,000 each.
They also were found to be running another unlicensed business in Yucaipa.
Posted on | May 24, 2013 | No Comments
In 2008, Obama said he could see many of our nation’s unbroken line of fallen heroes, “in the audience here, today”.
Posted on | May 22, 2013 | No Comments
The mystery behind a fallen turbine blade at the Ocotillo Wind power plant east of San Diego has led the manufacturer to curtail operations at select wind farms around the world.
Siemens, a global leader in wind-turbine manufacturing, confirmed Monday that it has convened a team of experts at a wind farm outside the desert town of Ocotillo, where a 170-foot blade broke loose and fell to the desert floor. Residents of Ocotillo noticed the fallen blade on Thursday morning.
“Siemens does not yet know the root cause of this incident and is working to determine if and how this is related to a recent similar incident in Iowa,” the company said in a written statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, Siemens is taking the step of curtailing all turbines with the B53 blade type globally.”
On April 5, a blade broke on the same model turbine at MidAmerican Energy’s 200MW Eclipse wind farm in Iowa’s central Audubon and Guthrie counties.
The B-53 blade type is used on a turbine model with about 700 units in operation worldwide — 600 of those the United States.
The curtailment meant some turbines remained in operation at slower speeds. Ocotillo Wind, an array of more than 90 turbines forming a crescent around the like-named town, remained shut down on Monday, according to Pattern Energy, the developer and operator.
“Each and every turbine is being evaluated,” said Matt Dallas, a spokesman for Pattern, a San Francisco-based wind and transmission developer with offices in La Jolla.
The fallen blade ignited new safety concerns among critics of the plant, who posted photos and videos to the Internet of the crumpled white tube amid sparse desert undergrowth, along with the idled turbine above, missing one of its three arms.
Much of Ocotillo Wind, 70 miles east of the City of San Diego, is on public land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management and remains accessible to hikers and off-road vehicles.
The blade apparently detached during the night — late Wednesday or early Thursday — meaning no one may have seen it break and fall.
The turbine blades at Ocotillo are made of a glass fiber-reinforced epoxy resin and are attached to a rotor suspended about 240 feet from the ground.
San Diego Gas & Electric buys electricity from Ocotillo under a 20-year contract at undisclosed prices. California utilities are ramping up clean-energy production under a state law requiring retailers to provide one-third of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Posted on | May 22, 2013 | No Comments
On the viral YouTube video that propelled him to a measure of fame, the disheveled itinerant dubbed “Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker” describes himself as a “home-free” surfer and musician with roots in West Virginia.
“I don’t have any family,” he tells a television reporter after describing how he stopped an attack on a utility worker in Fresno, Calif., by striking the assailant with an ax. “As far as anyone I grew up with is concerned, I’m already dead.”
But 24-year-old Caleb McGillivary, as he is legally known, isn’t from West Virginia. He was born and raised in Canada, where his estranged parents reacted with horror to the allegations their son fatally bludgeoned a 73-year-old New Jersey lawyer, Joseph Galfy, last week.
In their first interviews since McGillivary’s arrest in Philadelphia Thursday night, the parents told The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) their son has long struggled with behavioral problems and spent years in hospitals and treatment homes.
“Caleb had a real tough life,” said Gil McGillivary, 57, a former probation officer who lives in Hawkesbury, Ontario. He and Caleb McGillivary’s mother, Shirley, divorced when their son was 4.
“He was in treatment homes until he turned 18 and then they cut him loose and washed their hands of him,” Gil McGillivary said. “Caleb made accusations that he was physically and mentally abused at one of the homes. The system let my son down.”
The suspect’s mother, who spoke on the condition her last name be withheld, acknowledged her son’s behavior problems but disputed his father’s claim that he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He graduated from high school, Shirley said, and took college classes. As a little boy, she said, he was a “delight.”
She said she hasn’t spoken to her son since last fall. At the time, he was still living in Canada. She said she does not know how or when her son illegally crossed the border to travel around the States.
She wept while watching McGillivary’s notorious television interview, which was uploaded to YouTube in February and swiftly drew several hundred thousand hits. Since the arrest, the number of views has climbed to nearly 4 million.
Shirley, who lives on a farm in St. Paul, Alberta, said her son’s claim his family didn’t care about him isn’t true.
“He has a family that misses him,” she said. “He has a family that loves him. There have been some attempts, but we have no way of contacting him. He knows my number. My number hasn’t changed. If he calls and wants our help, we’re there for him.”
McGillivary has been in a Pennsylvania jail, held without bail, since he was arrested Thursday at a Philadelphia bus station. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking to extradite him to New Jersey, where he will face murder charges in the death of Galfy, a Clark resident and partner in a Rahway law firm.
The two met by chance in Times Square May 11, then returned to Galfy’s home, Prosecutor Theodore Romankow has said. McGillivary allegedly beat Galfy to death Sunday evening.
Authorities have not released a motive. In a Facebook post, McGillivary claimed he was drugged and sexually assaulted, but did not provide specifics. Romankow has called the comment “self-serving.”
On May 10, McGillivary wrote a disturbing Mother’s Day essay on his Facebook wall in which he alleged that he was beaten by family members from the age of 2 and locked alone in a room for 20 hours a day. When he acted out, according to the essay, he was hit with brooms and pushed into cold showers.
His mother said the claims are untrue and the essay was a manifestation of her son’s mood disorders. She said she did not want to elaborate on the nature of his behavioral health issues.
In a YouTube video posted yesterday by a Kai supporter, there is a montage of archived interview clips in which McGillivary describes his troubled past and states that he was raped at age 17.
(Warning: Disturbing Subject Matters And Accusations)
Meanwhile, a petition called “Free Kai Caleb Lawrence” has been created on Change.org.
“It’s innocent until proven guilty,” Gil McGillivary said about his son. “Where’s the murder weapon? When did it happen? These are the questions that boggle my mind.”
He said he was stunned when he first heard his son’s name in connection with the killing.
“I tried to put Caleb on the straight-and-narrow growing up, but this situation here, I can only tell him I still love him. He’s been wandering around lost because he hasn’t given his life to the Lord.”
Gil McGillivary said that prior to his divorce, he and his son spent time together camping, attending air shows and going for motorcycle rides.
“He loved to play guitar and play the drums at the music stores. He was a really talented musician. That was his dream, I thought, to be a rock star.”
Gil McGillivary lost custody of his son after the divorce. He said the boy spent his teen and preteen years hospitalized for behavioral problems.
He said he last saw his son in December 2010. “He showed up to the door unannounced to spend Christmas with us,” said the father, who is remarried with two daughters and a son.
“When Caleb came over here, he wanted me to run away with him to have some sort of father-son relationship.
“I believe that Caleb didn’t like the fact that I remarried, that I didn’t rescue him from the treatment home, that I have three kids from my present wife,” Gil McGillivary said. “But my children, they love their brother, and they’re shocked at what has happened.”
The father said he last spoke to his son in February after the television interview went viral.
“Caleb didn’t want to have anything to do with me,” he said. “He thought I was trying to get into the public notoriety of his rise to fame because of being his dad. That wasn’t the way it was going to happen, but I respected his wishes because he’s an adult.”
Posted on | May 16, 2013 | No Comments
Anger has mounted online against clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch due to comments made by its chief executive and its strategy of not making women’s clothing in any size above large.
The most recent high-profile criticism is a viral YouTube video posted by recent USC graduate Greg Karper.
Along with a friend, the 26-year-old made a two-minute film in which he distributed the company’s clothes to homeless people on Los Angeles’ skid row in an attempt to affect the brand’s teeny-bopper image.
Karper was inspired to make the video after seeing media coverage of an interview Abercrombie Chief Executive Michael S. Jeffries had with Salon magazine in 2006 that resurfaced and went viral.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” Jeffries said in the article. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
Karper’s video follows him as he visits a Goodwilll store in search of used Abercrombie clothes. After picking up a carload Karper takes the clothes to skid row and distributes them among the people. At the end he encourages viewers to scour their closets for Abercrombie gear and donate it to local shelters.
The video has already drawn more than 1 million views. That is impressive, Karper said, considering that another of his recent YouTube videos received just 71 views.
“I’m really not equipped to deal with this kind of phenomenon,” he said. “When I made the video I thought it would maybe spark a conversation. I didn’t expect this.”
Karper said he spent about $70 or $80 on the second-hand clothing. But he hoped the “relatively small investment will lead to an outpouring of donations.”
He wants people who donate Abercrombie clothes to share the experience on social media and use #FitchTheHomeless as a hashtag.
While his effort has drawn some criticism, Karper said the public reaction has been “effusively positive.”
There’s more online backlash against Abercrombie & Fitch’s policy of not making clothing in plus sizes. A petition that popped up on Change.org last week to pressure the company to change that policy has drawn 19,132 supporters and counting. Then, an open letter to Jeffries was published by Huffington Post blogger Andrea Neuser describing the reasons she won’t let her daughters buy Abercrombie & Fitch clothes anymore.
In midday trading, Abercrombie’s stock was up 33 cents, or less than 1%, to $53.99.
Posted on | May 15, 2013 | No Comments
A final video of Richard Swanson shows him smiling and happy to be at the ocean as he prepared to dribble a soccer ball along Oregon’s coastal road on a planned 10,000-mile walk to Brazil. It was the same coastal road where he was fatally hit by a pickup truck, just an hour after posting the video on Facebook.
Swanson’s trek began in Seattle on May 1. It ended on Tuesday near Lincoln City, Ore. when he was struck by a pickup truck on Oregon’s busy U.S. 101 just a few days short of his 43rd birthday.
He planned to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup for a charity.
When he arrived Monday in Lincoln City, about 90 miles southwest of Portland, it was the first time he had seen the Pacific on his trip.
Tuesday morning, he posted a video on his Facebook page showing him walking along the beach, kicking a soccer ball.
He said he was looking forward to getting out onto U.S. 101 and heading south with the soccer ball.
“Very exciting moment today,” Swanson said. “I’m going to be on the ocean for thousands of miles. This is my first taste of it and I’m very excited about this.”
In an earlier interview with Seattle TV channel Q13 FOX News, Swanson joked that he hoped he wouldn’t be run over on the coastal road.
“I’ll be on Highway 101, but I’ll also try to utilize any of the trails that run along the coast, just trying to get off the beaten path, there’s a lot of cars and just not get run over,” he said.
According to Lincoln City police, Swanson was declared dead at a hospital. The driver has not been charged and is cooperating with the investigation.
Swanson spent Monday night in Lincoln City, where he was able to soak in a hot tub, and eat a gourmet breakfast, Kristi Schwesinger, a Seattle interior designer and close friend of his, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. He posted photos and stories on a Facebook page, chronicling his journey.
Swanson set out on the intercontinental journey in part to promote One World Futbol Project, based in Berkeley, Calif., which donates durable blue soccer balls to people in developing countries. He embarked on the epic walk after being laid off from his job as a graphic designer, he said in an introductory video on his website breakawaybrazil.com.
He said he realized he was in a unique position to go on an adventure because his kids were grown and he didn’t have a job to worry about.
“It felt like I was doing what I should be doing,” he said in that video. “This was my next leg in life. I really needed to break away.”
He figured it would take him more than a year to walk through 11 countries before reaching Sao Paolo, Brazil, where the opener of the World Cup soccer tournament will be played on June 12 next year.
“One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was to go and see the World Cup,” he said in the video.
Swanson said he picked up soccer just five years ago and played on club teams.
“He loved the game of soccer,” Schwesinger said. “He stumbled on this great organization, One World Futbol, and decided this would be his passion the next year.”
People from all over the world have expressed condolences on the Facebook page of Swanson and his son.
Posted on | May 15, 2013 | No Comments
Mark Twain wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” in 1867. Almost 145 years later, the author decided to show up at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee to actually jump a frog! Unfortunately for Mr. Twain, his historic short story was more entertaining than watching his modern-day frog jump.
Jumping Frog Jubilee Thurdsay May 16th – Sunday May 19th, 2013.
Posted on | May 14, 2013 | No Comments
When sheriff’s deputies participate in an officer-involved shooting, they are automatically placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into whether the shooting was within policy.
Now the Kern County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an administrative investigation into last week’s death of 33-year-old David Sal Silva.
But the seven deputies involved have not been placed on paid administrative leave.
Officials of the department wouldn’t explain why.
“We’re following the same protocol, as far as the administrative process is concerned, that we’d follow in similar-type incidents,” was all that sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt would say about the issue.
The seven deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers tried to take Silva into custody early Wednesday morning after law enforcement received a report of a possibly intoxicated man outside Kern Medical Center, according to the sheriff’s department.
Silva struggled with them, deputies said. A canine was deployed, batons were used and Silva, 33, was pronounced dead at KMC less than an hour later after experiencing trouble breathing.
Witnesses have said Silva appeared to die right in front of them, minutes after officers struck him several times with batons.
The coroner’s office, which reports to Sheriff Donny Youngblood, said Friday that the cause of death hasn’t been determined and is pending toxicology and microscopic studies. Those studies could take as long as four months.
The CHP has said nothing about the role played by its officers. A spokesman said Monday their names won’t be released.
With the sheriff’s department investigating its own behavior in a high profile case, questions have been asked about an outside investigation.
But there was no indication Monday that outside agencies are involved — at least not yet.
A spokeswoman for the FBI Sacramento field office, which has jurisdiction in 34 counties, including Kern, said as a matter of policy, the bureau does not confirm nor deny its involvement in active investigations.
Typically in such cases, said Gina Swankie, investigations begin in the local agency’s internal affairs division.
Nick Pacilio, a spokesman for the California attorney general’s office, said in general terms, when an investigation by a local agency is not sufficient, the next step is usually the county district attorney’s office.
“A DA can ask the attorney general’s office to take on a case because there’s a conflict of interest or a perceived conflict of interest,” Pacilio said.
When that happens, the AG’s office will take the case if it agrees a conflict exists. It will decline when it disagrees, he said.
There’s long been disagreement in Bakersfield about whether local law enforcement agencies can effectively police themselves following officer-involved deaths.
Some, like local attorney Kathleen Faulkner, have long advocated that independent commissions conduct reviews following significant police incidents.
Faulkner and others have questioned whether officers can be objective in reviewing the actions of fellow officers when the outcome may adversely affect people they’ve worked with for years.
Opponents argue citizen-review boards or independent commissions may endanger officers by causing police to second-guess their decisions when split-second thinking is required. They also argue that untrained citizens don’t have the background needed.
Many agencies outside Kern County use an outside agency — sometimes the local prosecutor’s office, sometimes another police department — to review or even conduct the investigation.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, for example, keeps its hands off the main investigation. The lead investigation is always conducted by the prosecutor’s office. But local police agencies have always said they are fully equipped to handle incident reviews internally.
CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez said that agency is conducting a standard administrative investigation since there was an in-custody death. There was no third party investigating the incident, he said Monday.
The Sheriff’s Office Pruitt said the deputies involved had the following years of service in the sheriff’s department:
* Sgt. Douglas Sword, 13 1/2 years;
* Deputy Ryan Greer, 4 1/2 years;
* Deputy Tanner Miller, 4 1/2 years;
* Deputy Jeffrey Kelly, four years;
* Deputy Luis Almanza, three years;
* Deputy Brian Brock, 1 1/2 years;
* and Deputy David Stephens, 5 1/2 years.
The seizure by deputies of cell phones that witnesses used to record the incident has also led to discussion regarding the witnesses’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and their First Amendment right to publish the video they collected.
Melissa Quair’s boyfriend was one witness who had taken video of the incident and at 3 a.m. Wednesday — just hours after the incident — two sheriff’s detectives arrived at her home to confiscate the boyfriend’s phone.
Quair said the detectives pushed open the door and shut it behind them and stood in front of the door, blocking the entrance to the apartment.
“They used more force than was needed and I told them that they didn’t have permission to say who could go in or out of my house,” Quair said.
Later in the morning, Maria Melendez, mother of Quair, returned to her daughter’s house in response to a request from detectives. She was immediately confronted by the same two detectives who told her she had to turn over her phone.
Quair was concerned for her mother’s health when she saw the way the detectives approached her mother’s car and demanded the phone.
“My mom is disabled and has a lot of doctor and medical numbers stored in her phone,” Quair said. “But the detectives didn’t care and they told my mom to write all her contacts down on a piece of paper and while she did they watched her like hawks.”
Sheriff Youngblood has asked the public to remain patient while the investigation is ongoing and has said videos from the phones will be released.
Posted on | May 7, 2013 | No Comments
2007 Mother Lode Round-Up Queen Katie May Broderick opened the 2012 Mother Lode RoundUp Rodeo with the National Anthem. This gifted singer was then hugged immediately by Tuolume County Sheriff Posse Member Ty Wivell, following her performance. Ty was to quick for anyone to stop. For a complete list of this week’s Round-Up activities, log on to mymotherlode.com and type “roundup” in the keyword box.
Posted on | May 5, 2013 | No Comments
It’s Round-Up Week in the Mother Lode!!!!
These two girls will be very excited to learn that the Mother Lode Round-Up Parade returns on Saturday May 11th!!!! Look how much they loved the parade just two years ago!
For a complete listing of Round-Up events, click over to mymotherlode.com and keyword “roundup”.keep looking »