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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Drunk man finds shelter in Dandenong Magistrates’ Court

Courtesy of: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/outer-east/drunk-man-finds-shelter-in-dandenong-magistrates-court/story-fnrwkhlp-1227294436010

australian mag ctA drunk man looking for a warm spot to take a nap on Thursday decided his best bet was the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.

Dandenong CIU detective Senior Constable Tony Lavars said a man allegedly smashed a window and crept into the courthouse about 3am on April 2, setting the alarms off in the process.

Police arrived shortly afterwards and found the man asleep in one of the meeting rooms.

A 43-year-old Dandenong man was arrested for being drunk.

“We don’t believe his intent was to burgle the premises,” Sen-Constable Lavars said.

“I believe he was heavily alcohol-affected and possibly seeking shelter.”

Sen-Constable Lavars said no charges had been laid but the man had been interviewed in relation to the damage to the premises.

Ohio Woman Stabbed Boyfriend Because He Ate All the Salsa, Police Say

Courtesy of: http://www.people.com/article/woman-stabs-boyfriend-salsa-police-report?xid=socialflow_facebook_peoplemag

phyllis-jefferson-01-435Police in Akron, Ohio, say that a woman repeatedly stabbed her boyfriend following a salsa-related dispute.

According to a police report, officers arrived at the scene of the incident and found the victim, a 61-year-old man, clutching his stomach. He said his girlfriend, Phyllis D. Jefferson, 50, of Canton, Ohio, had become angry because he ate all the salsa and then she apparently stabbed him repeatedly with a pen.

Jefferson then allegedly fled but was pulled over by police on Interstate 77, west of Akron. The report states that Jefferson stabbed her boyfriend “because she wanted to leave.” She has been charged with felonious assault and criminal damaging.

Cleveland’s WJW News described the victim’s injuries as “non life-threatening.”

Pot-Tax Refund

Courtesy of: http://www.newser.com/story/201907/all-coloradans-may-get-pot-tax-refund.html


illegal-drugColorado’s marijuana experiment was designed to raise revenue for the state and its schools, but a state law may put some of the tax money directly into residents’ pockets, causing quite a headache for lawmakers. The state constitution limits how much tax money the state can take in before it has to give some back. That means Coloradans may each get their own cut of the $50 million in recreational pot taxes collected in the first year of legal weed. It’s a situation so bizarre that it’s gotten Republicans and Democrats, for once, to agree on a tax issue.

Even some pot shoppers are surprised Colorado may not keep the taxes that were promised to go toward school construction when voters legalized marijuana in 2012. “I have no problem paying taxes if they’re going to schools,” says one shopper, though another, a 50-year-old carpenter, says taxes that add 30% or more to the price of pot, depending on the jurisdiction, are too steep. “I don’t care if they write me a check, or refund it in my taxes, or just give me a free joint next time I come in. The taxes are too high, and they should give it back,” he says. The governor’s budget writers predict the pot refunds could amount to $30.5 million, or about $7.63 per adult in Colorado, although lawmakers still have to decide whether the refunds will go to everybody or just marijuana buyers.

DDS now offers license reinstatement online

courtesy http://www.ajc.com/news/news/dds-now-offers-license-reinstatement-online/nbqHP/

The Department of Driver Services is offering new online services that could save you a trip to the DMV.

Customers can check their driving reinstatement eligibility, view, print or email a list of their specific reinstatement requirements and pay fees, DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell said Tuesday.

“A high priority has been to improve the license reinstatement process which is the most time consuming transaction for our DDS team members and customers,” Mikell said in a release. “Not only will this online service save time for many who need to reinstate a license, but it should directly impact our service levels at all customer service centers.”

The DDS processes more than 200,000 license reinstatements per year, according to the release, and offering the process online should decrease wait times at service centers statewide.

In order to access the services, a customer must have a license that is suspended, revoked or canceled, have their Georgia’s driver’s license number and have or create a DDS online account.

To access the services, visit the DDS website atwww.dds.ga.gov.

Mugged by a Mug Shot Online

courtesy http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/business/mugged-by-a-mug-shot-online.html


In March last year, a college freshman named Maxwell Birnbaum was riding in a van filled with friends from Austin, Tex., to a spring-break rental house in Gulf Shores, Ala. As they neared their destination, the police pulled the van over, citing a faulty taillight. When an officer asked if he could search the vehicle, the driver — a fraternity brother of Mr. Birnbaum’s who quickly regretted his decision — said yes.

Six Ecstasy pills were found in Mr. Birnbaum’s knapsack, and he was handcuffed and placed under arrest. Mr. Birnbaum later agreed to enter a multiyear, pretrial diversion program that has involved counseling and drug tests, as well as visits to Alabama every six months to update a judge on his progress.

But once he is done, Mr. Birnbaum’s record will be clean. Which means that by the time he graduates from the University of Texas at Austin, he can start his working life without taint.

At least in the eyes of the law. In the eyes of anyone who searches for Mr. Birnbaum online, the taint could last a very long time. That’s because the mug shot from his arrest is posted on a handful of for-profit Web sites, with names like Mugshots, BustedMugshots and JustMugshots. These companies routinely show up high in Google searches; a week ago, the top four results for “Maxwell Birnbaum” were mug-shot sites.

The ostensible point of these sites is to give the public a quick way to glean the unsavory history of a neighbor, a potential date or anyone else. That sounds civic-minded, until you consider one way most of these sites make money: by charging a fee to remove the image. That fee can be anywhere from $30 to $400, or even higher. Pay up, in other words, and the picture is deleted, at least from the site that was paid.

To Mr. Birnbaum, and millions of other Americans now captured on one or more of these sites, this sounds like extortion. Mug shots are merely artifacts of an arrest, not proof of a conviction, and many people whose images are now on display were never found guilty, or the charges against them were dropped. But these pictures can cause serious reputational damage, as Mr. Birnbaum learned in his sophomore year, when he applied to be an intern for a state representative in Austin. Mr. Birnbaum heard about the job through a friend.

“The assistant to this state rep called my friend back and said, ‘We’d like to hire him, but we Google every potential employee, and the first thing that came up when we searched for Maxwell was a mug shot for a drug arrest,’ ” Mr. Birnbaum said. “I know what I did was wrong, and I understand the punishment,” he continued. “But these Web sites are punishing me, and because I don’t have the money it would take to get my photo off them all, there is nothing I can do about it.”

It was only a matter of time before the Internet started to monetize humiliation. In this case, the time was early 2011, when mug-shot Web sites started popping up to turn the most embarrassing photograph of anyone’s life into cash. The sites are perfectly legal, and they get financial oxygen the same way as other online businesses — through credit card companies and PayPal. Some states, though, are looking for ways to curb them. The governor of Oregon signed a bill this summer that gives such sites 30 days to take down the image, free of charge, of anyone who can prove that he or she was exonerated or whose record has been expunged. Georgia passed a similar law in May. Utah prohibits county sheriffs from giving out booking photographs to a site that will charge to delete them.

But as legislators draft laws, they are finding plenty of resistance, much of it from journalists who assert that public records should be just that: public. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argues that any restriction on booking photographs raises First Amendment issues and impinges on editors’ right to determine what is newsworthy. That right was recently exercised by newspapers and Web sites around the world when the public got its first look at Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard gunman, through a booking photograph from a 2010 arrest.

“What we have is a situation where people are doing controversial things with public records,” says Mark Caramanica, a director at the committee, a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Va. “But should we shut down the entire database because there are presumably bad actors out there?”

Mug shots have been online for years, but they appear to have become the basis for businesses in 2010, thanks to Craig Robert Wiggen, who served three years in federal prison for a scheme to lift credit card numbers from diners at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Tallahassee, Fla. He was looking for another line of work, according to news articles, and started Florida.arrests.org.

The idea soon spread, and today there are more than 80 mug-shot sites. They Hoover up most of their images from sheriffs’ Web sites, where rules and policies about whose mug shot is posted and for how long can vary, from state to state and from county to county.

The sites are designed for easy ogling. Some feature a running scroll of the famous (Lindsay Lohan), the infamous (James E. Holmes, accused in the Aurora, Colo., mass shooting) and the obscure but colorful (a man with an American flag painted on his face and bald head).

The owners of these sites can be hard to find, or at least to reach on the phone. An exception is Arthur D’Antonio III, 25, founder of JustMugshots, which is based in Nevada (though he declined to be more specific). Mr. D’Antonio was eager to combat any suggestion that there was something illicit or unethical about the mug-shot posting business in general and his Web site in particular.

“No one should have to go to the courthouse to find out if their kid’s baseball coach has been arrested, or if the person they’re going on a date with tonight has been arrested,” he said. “Our goal is to make that information available online, without having to jump through any hoops.”

A few years ago, one of Mr. D’Antonio’s friends turned up on a mug-shot Web site, and Mr. D’Antonio, who has been earning good money writing software code since he was 12, spotted a business opportunity. JustMugshots began in 2012 and now has five employees, two of whom spend all their time dredging up images from 300 sources. The site has nearly 16.8 million such photos, according to Mr. D’Antonio. He would not discuss revenue or profit, except to say, “We’re seeing some growth.”

JustMugshots has a “courtesy removal service,” allowing people who have been exonerated, or never charged, or even those who can demonstrate that they have turned around their lives, to get their image taken down free. Mr. D’Antonio declined to say how many people had been granted mercy deletions.

The opposite case — a person who is guilty of a terrible crime and has the money to remove his or her face from the Web site — presents another sort of quandary. If the point of JustMugshots is to inform the public, why should the rich and convicted get a pass?

“That’s where it gets tricky,” Mr. D’Antonio said. “We review paid orders and we have refunded paid orders, if, after doing some research, it becomes clear that there is a reason to do so.”

He would not say how many times JustMugshots has returned money of a customer deemed too awful to delete. Nor did he seem uncomfortable being the arbiter of who is shadowed by a mug shot and who is not. He also passed on the opportunity to be photographed for this article. Better to keep a low profile, he said.

Having his face online could create problems.

JUSTMUGSHOTS is one of several sites named in a class-action lawsuit filed last year by Scott A. Ciolek, a lawyer in Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Ciolek argues that the sites violate Ohio’s right-of-publicity statute, which gives state residents some control over the commercial use of their name and likeness. He also says the sites violate the state’s extortion law.

“You can’t threaten to embarrass someone unless they pay you money,” he said, “even if they did exactly what you are threatening to embarrass them about.”

Lance C. Winchester, a lawyer in Austin who represents BustedMugshots and MugshotsOnline, both named in the lawsuit, says Mr. Ciolek’s lawsuit is a stinker because the United States Supreme Court has ruled time and again that mug shots are public records.

“I understand people think there is a dilemma presented by a Web site where you can pay to have a mug shot removed,” he said. “I understand that people don’t like to have their mug shots posted online. But it can’t be extortion as a matter of law because republishing something that has already been published is not extortion.”

Like JustMugshots, the Web sites operated by Mr. Winchester’s clients also say they will take down an image, at no charge, for qualified supplicants. But many who qualify for this pass to get off the site free don’t use it, largely because they don’t believe that the offer is real. One of them is Dr. Janese Trimaldi, 40, a physician who recently completed her residency in Tampa, Fla.

On a terrifying evening in July 2011, she says, she locked herself in her bedroom to hide from a drunken, belligerent boyfriend. He went into the kitchen, retrieved a steak knife and jimmied open the door.

“He was more than 6 feet tall, and weighed 250 pounds,” she said by phone in Tampa. “I’m 5 feet and at the time I weighed about 100 pounds. So when he got in, he lifted me by my arms, the way you lift a child, and threw me six feet backward.”

The screams and commotion caused a neighbor to call the police. The boyfriend — whom Dr. Trimaldi did not want named for fear that he would stalk her — contended that a bleeding scratch on his chest had been inflicted by Dr. Trimaldi with the knife. (It was from one of her fingernails, she says.) She was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery domestic violence.

The state dropped the charges, according to a document signed by Mark A. Ober, the state attorney in Hillsborough County, Fla. A few months later, her booking photograph turned up on a Florida mug-shot Web site and with it another mug shot from a 1996 arrest on an accusation of possession of marijuana and steroids. The authorities had raided her apartment on suspicion that a different boyfriend — this one a bodybuilder — was illegally selling the steroids. Records show that she was quickly released, and a certificate of disposition from the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida shows that she was not prosecuted for either charge.

She paid $30 to have the images taken down, but they soon appeared on other sites, one of which wanted $400 to pull the picture.

“I’ve read accounts of people paying and not having the photos removed,” she said. “Or they pay and appear on other sites. The whole thing is a racket.”

Now studying for her medical boards and $200,000 in student loan debt, she is gearing up for a job search and worries that two photographs could wreck years of hard work to practice medicine.

“If I wasn’t a level-headed, positive person,” she wrote in an e-mail to Mr. Ciolek, the lawyer in Toledo, “I would have seriously considered ending my own life.”

Legislators have heard dozens of stories like Dr. Trimaldi’s and scrambled for remedies. Jennifer Williamson, an Oregon state representative from Portland, helped to draft her state’s bill, and she is the first to acknowledge that it is far from ideal.

“All approaches have significant shortcomings,” she said, referring to laws in other states. “I don’t know what the perfect tool is, but I’m sure we’ll be back at the drawing board soon.”

The trick is balancing the desire to guard individual reputations with the news media’s right to publish. Journalists put booking photographs in the same category as records of house sales, school safety records and restaurant health inspections — public information that they would like complete latitude to publish, even if the motives of some publishers appear loathsome.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press favors unfettered access to the images, no matter how obscure the arrestee and no matter the ultimate disposition of the case. Even laws that force sites to delete images of the exonerated, the committee maintains, are a step in the wrong direction.

“It’s an effort to deny history,” says Mr. Caramanica, the committee director. “I think it’s better if journalists and the public, not the government, are the arbiters of what the public gets to see.”

People eager to vanish from mug-shot sites can try a mug-shot removal service, a mini-industry that has sprung up in the last two years and is nearly as opaque as the one it is intended to counter. “I’m not going to go into what we do,” said Tyronne Jacques, founder of RemoveSlander.com (Motto: “Bailout of the Internet for good!”). “Whatever works.”

Removal services aren’t cheap — RemoveMyMug.com charges $899 for its “multiple mug shot package” — and owners of large reputation-management companies, which work with people trying to burnish their online image, contend that they are a waste of money.

“Their business model is to find someone willing to pay to take down their image, which marks them as a target who is willing to pay more,” says Mike Zammuto, president of the reputation company Brand.com.

Princess Matthews, a mother of four who lives in Toledo, tried the budget approach to remove mug shots from a handful of sites. During a tumultuous period in her life, she was arrested on charges of assault, drug possession and theft, among other crimes. All but one of the charges — for attempted petty theft — were expunged or classified as criminal mischiefshe says. Now out of an abusive relationship, she is starting a nonprofit group called Project No More Pain, to combat domestic violence.

Yet her mug shots linger. A few months ago, she made a deal with a local lawyer: he would try to have her mug shots deleted, and she would pay him $100 and clean two apartments that he wanted to rent. She was assisted during that afternoon of scrubbing by her daughter, who attends a middle school where online mug-shot browsing had caught on. Her daughter was taunted when her mother’s image surfaced.

“Her grades dropped; she was miserable,” Ms. Matthews recalled. “She was getting into fights. When I tried talking to her about it, she wasn’t communicating.”

But the deal with the lawyer didn’t work.

“He was able to get a few of the photos removed from one site, related to charges that were expunged,” she said, “but they wanted $300 apiece to remove the other shots. And that was just one site. I don’t have that kind of money.”

AS painful as they are for arrestees, mug shots seem to attract big online crowds. Google’s results are supposed to reflect both relevance and popularity, and mug-shot sites appear to rank exceptionally well without resorting to trickery, according to Doug Pierce, founder of Cogney, a search engine optimization company based in Hong Kong. At the request of The New York Times, Mr. Pierce studied a number of the largest mug-shot sites and found that they were beloved by Google’s algorithm in part because viewers who open them tend to stick around.

“When others search your name, that link to Mugshots.com is way more attention-grabbing than your LinkedIn profile,” Mr. Pierce said. “Once they click, they stare in disbelief, and look around a bit, which means they stay on the page, rather than returning immediately to the search results. Google takes that as a sign that the site is relevant, and that boosts it even more.”

What’s curious is that Google doesn’t penalize these sites for obtaining their images and text from other places, a sin in the company’s guidelines. The idea is that Web sites should be rewarded for coming up with original material and receive demerits for copying.

If it acted, Google could do what no legislator could — demote mug-shot sites and thus reduce, if not eliminate, their power to stigmatize.

Initially, a Google spokesman named Jason Freidenfelds fielded questions on this topic with a statement that amounted to an empathetic shrug. He wrote that the company felt for those affected by mug-shot sites but added that “with very narrow exceptions, we take down as little as possible from search.”

Two days later, he wrote with an update: “Our team has been working for the past few months on an improvement to our algorithms to address this overall issue in a consistent way. We hope to have it out in the coming weeks.”

Mr. Freidenfelds said that when he sent the first statement, he was unaware of this effort. He added that the sites do, in fact, run afoul of a Google guideline, though he declined to say which one. Nor would he detail the algorithmic changes the company was considering — because doing so, he explained, could spur mug-shot sites to start devising countermeasures.

As it happens, Google’s team worked faster than Mr. Freidenfelds expected, introducing that algorithm change sometime on Thursday. The effects were immediate: on Friday, two mug shots of Janese Trimaldi, which had appeared prominently in an image search, were no longer on the first page. For owners of these sites, this is very bad news.

And, it turns out, these owners face another looming problem: getting paid.

Asked two weeks ago about its policies on mug-shot sites, officials at MasterCard spent a few days examining the issue, and came back with an answer.

“We looked at the activity and found it repugnant,” said Noah Hanft, general counsel with the company. MasterCard executives contacted the merchant bank that handles all of its largest mug-shot site accounts and urged it to drop them as customers. “They are in the process of terminating them,” Mr. Hanft said.

PayPal came back with a similar response after being contacted for this article.

“When mug-shot removal services were brought to our attention and we made a careful review,” said John Pluhowski, a spokesman for PayPal, “we decided to discontinue support for mug-shot removal payments.”

American Express and Discover were contacted on Monday and, two days later, both companies said they were severing relationships with mug-shot sites. A representative of Visa wrote to say it was asking merchant banks to investigate business practices of the sites “to ensure they are both legal and in compliance with Visa operating regulations.”

On Friday, Mr. D’Antonio of JustMugshots was coping with a drop in Web traffic and, at the same time, determining which financial services companies would do business with him. “We’re still trying to wrap our heads around this,” he said.

Apparent road rage incident sparks deadly shooting in St. Albans

Courtesy of: http://www.wcax.com/story/23531003/st-albans-police-investigate-shooting

Police Stop Blue Lights

ST. ALBANS, Vt. -Police say road rage in St. Albans fueled a deadly shooting.

A deadly dispute on the roads left a woman shot multiple times on the side of North Main Street in St. Albans.

“We believe this was a case of road rage that went awry and turned violent,” said Lt. Ron Hoague of the St. Albans Police Department.

Police say at about 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect, Matthew Webster, 30, of Swanton, ran a red light and nearly hit another car. They say the woman driving that car followed him and when they got out of their cars to confront each other up the road, Webster shot her.

“It’s pretty shocking. I’ve been a police officer for 23 years now and I’ve seen violence of all different kinds, but even after all that it’s still shocking to see something like that happen to two people who seemed not to know each other until they met,” Hoague explained.

Witnesses say they heard the gunshots and came upon a gruesome scene.

“You could see two bullet holes through the back that came out the back and it looked like she had been shot in the head,” Nathan Elwood said.

The 31-year-old woman from Highgate was taken to the hospital where she died. Webster was arrested a short distance away with the gun police say was used in the shooting.

Police say Webster’s wife was also following her husband in another car and witnessed part of the incident. They say problems at home may have pushed Webster to the breaking point and a complete stranger was caught in the middle.

Residents are concerned that the violence is moving closer and closer to their backyards.

“It’s coming to our doorstep now. You hear about it in other parts of the country and the state, but now it’s happening right here. It’s pretty crazy. It’s got to stop,” Elwood said.

Webster is expected to be in court Thursday morning, where he’s expected to face second-degree homicide charges. Police have not yet released the woman’s name.

Wife’s shooting death was a joke gone awry, Seminole County husband says

courtesy http://newsok.com/wifes-shooting-death-was-a-joke-gone-awry-seminole-county-husband-says/article/3881622

 A husband told investigators he had been drinking whiskey and taking medication when he pointed a revolver at his wife as a joke to scare her before he pulled the trigger and killed her.

Prosecutors in Seminole County have filed homicide charges — ranging from manslaughter to first-degree murder — against Melvin Darrell Streater, 74, in the Sept. 4 shooting death of his wife, Trevia Sue Streater, 73.

The charges state he also fired two shots at his granddaughter who was at the scene. Dana Streater was not hit by gunfire.

Melvin Streater was arrested after the shooting at the couple’s home at 1422 S Seminole and was taken to the Seminole County jail. Trevia Streater was taken to a hospital in Holdenville, where she died.

An affidavit filed in Seminole County District Court states Melvin Streater said he had two glasses of whiskey and had taken medication when he took a .38-caliber revolver outside to clean it. He shot once at a tree stump. His wife told him to put the gun down and stop shooting, he told investigators. He said he then raised the gun and pointed it at his wife. He said he “wanted to play a joke on Trevia and scare her when he pulled the trigger, striking her once in the stomach,” the affidavit states.

Dana Streater, who lives on the property, said she saw her grandmother lying on the floor in the house with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Her grandfather fired two rounds at her through a window, the affidavit states. She was not hit.

Seminole County Assistant District Attorney Paul Smith was not available for comment Wednesday.

Feds seek 27-year sentence for Mass. man who chatted online about kidnapping, eating children

Courtesy of: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/17/feds-seek-27-year-sentence-for-mass-man-who-chatted-online-about-kidnapping/


A Massachusetts man who authorities say chatted online with other men about their mutual desire to kidnap, rape, kill and eat children is facing a long prison sentence.

Prosecutors plan to ask for a 27-year prison term for Geoffrey Portway of Worcester when he is sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Worcester.

Authorities say they found a dungeon, homemade coffin, butchering kit and other tools in the basement of Portway’s home.

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors say the 40-year-old Portway solicited people for help to kidnap a child with the intent of raping, killing and eating the child.

Portway’s lawyer says the chats were only fantasies. He plans to ask for a sentence of about 18 years, at the low end of the range in a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Washington, DC may institute 24-hour waiting period for tattoos and piercings

courtesy http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/washington–dc-may-institute-24-hour-waiting-period-for-tattoos-and-piercings–183010474.html

tattoo artist

If you had to stop and think about it for a day, would you still get that giant dragon tattoo across your back?

That’s the question being raised by health regulators in our nation’s capital, where Washington, DC officials are considering a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before getting a tattoo or body piercings.

“The licensee or operator of a body art establishment shall ensure that no tattoo artist applies any tattoo to a customer until after twenty-four (24)hours have passed since the customer first requested the tattoo,” reads the language of proposed language of new regulations from Washington DC’s Department of Health.

“We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’ Washington DC Health Department Spokeswoman Najma Roberts told the Washington Post.

In other words, the potential new regulation would largely be aimed at stopping people from getting a tattoo while drunk, or under the influence of other drugs.

“They can’t be responsible for themselves, as well as the person doing the work on them,” Roberts said.

Once largely relegated to the counter culture, tattoos have become mainstream in recent years. A 2010 Pew Research Study found that more than 23 percent of people in the U.S. have a tattoo .

However, getting a tattoo can still carry a social cost in some circles. For example, a recent New York Times story found that 61 percent of human resource managers say a visible tattoo could hurt someone’s job prospects . Interestingly, that number is actually up from 57 percent in 2011.

The DC Health Department said the proposed regulation is also aimed at reducing the cases of Hepatitis B and other potential risks. However, a number of local tattoo parlor owners tell the Post that a waiting period would be devastating to their businesses.

“Overregulation will kill the profession and drive it underground and make it less safe for everybody,” British Ink tattoo parlor operator Paul Roe told the Post. “Why not 24 hours’ waiting time before shaving your head?”

Technically, DC is one of the few largely unregulated tattoo markets in the nation. New Mexico and North Dakota are the only two states without some form of body art industry regulations. A 2012 city council resolution required DC tattoo artists to be licensed.

The actual 66-page draft proposal of new regulations was released on Friday and contains a number of provisions for ensuring health and safety standards in body art locations within the District.

The Mayo Clinic says that any person considering a tattoo or other permanent body art should carefully consider whether the location they are visiting has high health standards.

The proposed regulation still has several hurdles to clear before becoming law. In DC, there is a 30-day period where the public is allowed to weigh in on any proposed new regulations. And the office of Mayor Vincent C. Gray said he “has serious doubts about the regulations as proposed.”

Ohio man finds load of marijuana stashed in gun safe

Courtesy of: http://news.yahoo.com/ohio-man-finds-load-marijuana-stashed-gun-safe-022707095.html


TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) – A man in western Ohio found nearly 300 pounds of marijuana stuffed into a Mexican-made gun-storage safe that he recently purchased on the Internet, authorities revealed on Sunday.

The 1,000-pound steel safe, ordered from Champion Safe Co. of Provo, Utah, was made in Nogales, Mexico, and shipped by truck from Mexico to Champion’s warehouse near Mansfield, Ohio, Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart said.

The safe was delivered on June 19 to the customer in western Ohio by an independent driver working for Champion, Lenhart said.

The marijuana, tightly wrapped in 10, 28-pound packages, has an estimated street value of $420,000, according to Lenhart. He said the truck’s shipment contained 25 to 30 safes, and that all the others were free of drugs.

Lenhart said his office has been working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the case and had decided not to reveal it publicly to avoid impeding the investigation. Authorities are not releasing the name of the customer for personal safety reasons.

The driver who delivered the safe to the customer has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but the driver who delivered the shipment from Mexico to Ohio is missing, according to Lenhart.

He said the DEA normally would not be interested in what is considered by federal agents to be a relatively small amount of marijuana. But the DEA is interested in learning more about the delivery method and size of such an operation.

“It’s a pretty decent way of smuggling,” Lenhart said. “My guess is that it’s not the first time it’s happened.”