Friday, June 28, 2013

Acquitted Sumter officer: "Only God's grace kept me for that two - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Acquitted Sumter officer: "Only God's grace kept me for that two - - Columbia, South Carolina |: "Monday afternoon, a Sumter County jury took only one hour to find former Sumter Police officer Alex Williams not guilty. That verdict came two years to the day then-Chief Patty Patterson fired him."
"...Williams says prosecutors offered him a deal: take a plea to the charge and walk away with a fine. Williams says he wanted a jury to prove his innocence.
"When I'm right and I know I'm right and I can stand on my right, then that's what I do," said Williams. "That's who I am and that's who I always will be. That's how I was raised and nobody can change that..."

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

House Spent About $2M of Taxpayers’ Money on Coffee, Pastries, Foundation Finds - ABC News

Editor: This is outrageous, especially when everybody else is cutting back. 

House Spent About $2M of Taxpayers’ Money on Coffee, Pastries, Foundation Finds - ABC News: "Most Americans start their day with at least one cup of coffee, maybe paying $2 to $5, but many might be surprised to know they also treat their members of Congress to some joe and a bagel or two, as well.
The Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group advocating for government transparency, crunched the numbers for ABC News and found that the House of Representatives spent nearly $2 million on coffee and food in 2012 for events in and around the Capitol."
"The biggest spender in the House was No. 3 Republican Kevin McCarthy of California. On his Facebook page, pictures of meetings include fruit, bagels, croissants and coffee. (Read his bio here)

McCarthy’s 2012 grand total – $95,000, with an additional $4,000 being spent on bottled water – was enough to pay the salaries of two mid-level staffers on Capitol Hill."
"When ABC News approached him as he walked down a hallway in the Capitol to ask about the nearly $100,000 spent to cater meetings and dinner, he responded: “You noticed. We cut it out.”
"You noticed. We cut it out."
Actually, what ABC News noticed were the leftovers from a meeting McCarthy had just attended. A staffer even offered a bagel.
While McCarthy said he was making cuts, his office did not provide any numbers."

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Suspect in Dragging Death Identified Columbia Police Need Your Help

Suspect in Dragging Death Identified | "At some point, officers believe Zuniga-Torres got in his van and started to drive away. Investigators say it appears one of the men got injured as the vehicle moved away, but Smith got tangled underneath the trailer. Smith was then dragged 1,600 feet."

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Snowden: Hero or Villain



Snowden: Hero or Villain free polls 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hong Kong: Snowden has left for third country - CBS News

"The HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden's departure."
"Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong."

Hong Kong: Snowden has left for third country - CBS News

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Connecticut gun maker moving to South Carolina, in wake of tighter state gun laws | Fox News

Connecticut gun maker moving to South Carolina, in wake of tighter state gun laws | Fox News: "A Connecticut gun manufacturer is moving to South Carolina after Connecticut lawmakers passed stricter gun-control laws in the aftermath of the fatal Sandy Hook School shootings.

PTR Industries will make the formal announcement next week at a ribbon-cutting to be attended by South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, according to The Sun News of Myrtle Beach.

The company is going to Horry County, which includes Myrtle Beach, and has already approved a resolution setting out the terms of the company's move."

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SUMTER, SC: Sumter School Board briefed on SLED investigation of high school | Crime | The State

SUMTER, SC: Sumter School Board briefed on SLED investigation of high school | Crime | The State: "As part of its own investigation conducted while testing was underway, auditors with the education department said they found several significant procedural violations, and a spokesman for the department described the conditions during the exit exam for high school students as “one of the worst and unprepared buildings to give a test that they have ever seen.”"

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DVIDS - News - Sumter bids farewell to Lt. Gen. Brooks

Sumter bids farewell to Lt. Gen. Brooks"Brooks, who was Third Army/ARCENT’s first commander after the headquarters moved here from Fort McPherson, Ga., in 2011, added that he was proud of Third Army/ARCENT’s positively affect on Sumter and the surrounding areas.

“We’ve done things in the community here; we’ve made a difference in the lives of people,” Brooks remarked. That kind of spirit - that’s on fire here. And being a part of that, being able to see that - what a thrill!”"

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Sumter jobless rate at 9 percent - The Item: Local News

Sumter jobless rate at 9 percent - The Item: Local News: "Sumter County unemployment climbed to 9 percent in May, as nearly 400 people entering the local labor force pushed the area rate upward.
Despite the 0.7 percentage point increase reported by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, Sumter County's unemployment rate remains well below where it stood at the same time last year, when it was 10.3 percent."

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SUMTER, SC: Sumter pastor charged with molesting church members and forgery | Crime | The State

SUMTER, SC: Sumter pastor charged with molesting church members and forgery | Crime | The State: "Durant was charged with two counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct - with a minor between the ages of 11-14- and four counts of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct.

He is also charged with forgery after allegedly forging the name of one of the victim’s grandmothers on a Quit Claim Deed and filing it with the Sumter County Register of Deeds office, police said."

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BISHOPVILLE, SC: Probation for Columbia man convicted of animal cruelty | Crime | The State

BISHOPVILLE, SC: Probation for Columbia man convicted of animal cruelty | Crime | The State: "Lee County Assistant Public Defender King Cutter told Cothran that Stewart was disabled in 2005 and began breeding the dogs shortly thereafter.

“It just got out of hand,” Cutter said. “He kept the house as best he could, but it got out of hand. He did not intentionally mean to harm these animals.”"

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Countdown to Supermoon


An Extreme Supermoon occurs when the new or full moon is at 100 percent greater mean perigee. The view of the moon this weekend will therefore be an Extreme Supermoon as it passes 356,991 kilometers away from the Earth, compared to its "typical" distance of 384,400 kilometers. Skies over the Desert Southwest and the lower Ohio Valley into the mid-Atlantic and southern New England will have the clearest skies for viewing the moon. The Upper Midwest will have the poorest conditions as rain and thunderstorms will sit above the area overnight. Showers will also affect part of the Northwest and pockets of the Plains and Deep South, but will die out as the night goes on. The rest of the United States will have times of clear skies with patchy clouds obstructing views at times.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Alternative Solutions to the Hazardous Products You Bring into Your Home

Read the Labels on the Products you use Virtually Everyday

Then Purchase this Sign and Post it in Front of Your Home

By law, a hazardous material is "any product that corrodes other materials, explodes or is easily ignited, reacts strongly with water, is unstable when exposed to heat or shock, or is otherwise toxic to humans, animals, or the environment." Hazardous materials can include explosives, flammable gases and liquids, poisons and poisonous gases, corrosives and caustics, nonflammable gases, oxidizers, water-reactive materials, and radioactive materials. 


Your Home is a Hazardous Material Storage Area


* Deodorize your sink drains: Pour a cup down your drain, let stand about thirty minutes, then run cold water. 
* Unclog a drain: Dump 1 cup of baking soda down your drain and follow it with 1 cup of vinegar. When they mix, they foam and expand, cleaning your drain. Allow a few minutes for the mixture to do its job, and then flush with hot water for several minutes. 
* Disinfect and clean wood cutting boards: Rub with vinegar to disinfect and clean. If your cutting board has deep grooves, you can also soak the board in vinegar for 5-10 minutes. 
* Cut grease: When washing greasy pans or dishes, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your soapy dishwater.
* Clean the dishwasher: Vinegar reduces soap build up, so throw a cup of vinegar in your dishwasher and let it run a full (empty) cycle once a month or so. 
* Clean the coffeepot: Hard water can clog a coffeepot and cause yucky buildup inside it. To remedy this, pour 1 cup vinegar in your coffeepot, fill the rest of the way with water, then run it through a cycle as usual (without coffee grounds in the filter). Rinse the coffeepot out. Fill it with fresh water and run another cycle without coffee to rinse the inside of the coffee maker. 
* Loosen food grime and clean the microwave: Place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for a few minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean! 
* Clean windows: Mix 1 cup vinegar with 5 cups water and you've got a great window cleaner. If you must have blue window cleaner, just a few drops of blue food coloring! 
* Remove grease from kitchen walls: Put straight vinegar on a dishcloth to wipe grease off kitchen walls, or the stovetop. 
* Remove pet urine stains (and smells) from carpet: Mix about 1/4 cup of vinegar to a quart of water. Soak a washcloth in the mixture and blot the area several times. 
* Clean kitchen and bathroom faucets: Soak a paper towel in vinegar then wrap it around your faucet to remove mineral deposits. 
* Clean and shine no-wax vinyl or linoleum floors: Mix 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup vinegar in
a bucket, then mop or scrub your floor with the solution. 
* Inexpensive scouring powder: Combine two tablespoons each of vinegar and baking soda for an effective scouring powder. 
* Clean the toilet rim: Put straight 5% vinegar in a squirt bottle and use it to clean the rim of the
toilet. It disinfects, too! 
* Prevent mold and mildew in the shower: Wipe down tile or Formica shower walls with a
sponge or cloth dampened with water and vinegar. The vinegar will clean the walls and inhibit
the growth of mold and mildew. 
* Unclog the showerhead: Mineral deposits from hard water can cause a sputtering, clogged
shower head. Place the showerhead in a pot; add enough vinegar to completely cover it. Heat
the vinegar to just below boiling, and then remove from heat. Allow to sit for at least 6 hours. The acid in the vinegar will eat away the deposits. Rinse the showerhead well, and it's ready to go again.
* Get rid of the funky smell in that lunchbox: Soak a piece of plain bread in vinegar, then place it
in the lunchbox overnight and the smell will disappear! 
* Remove rust: To get rid of rust, soak items in vinegar (do not dilute). This will work on any metals. 
* Remove residue and styling product build up from hair: After shampooing, rinse your hair with a mixture of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 warm water to remove all the build up and get rid of that dullness. 
* Eliminate smells: Run a hot tub of water and pour in one or two cups of vinegar. Hang smelly
clothes on hangers along your shower curtain rod. This will remove smoke and other tough
* Get rid of stickers, decals and sticky residues: Rub a few coats of vinegar on the area and
allow soaking. Then wash off with a wet washcloth and the sticky will rub right off. 
* Polish patent leather purses and shoes: Place vinegar on a clean cloth, and then rub over patent leather. Wipe dry with another clean cloth. 
* Remove stains: Rub a small amount of vinegar gently on fruit, jelly, mustard or coffee type
stains and wash as usual. No more stain! 
* Clean your glasses: Place a drop of vinegar on the lens, then rub with a cotton cloth. 
* Get the smell out of your cloth diapers! Next time those cloth diapers start to smell, add a 1/2
to 1 cup of vinegar in your last rinse. 
* Polish your car: Rub vinegar on chrome to clean and shine it. 
* Remove bumper stickers: Soak a cloth in vinegar and lay it over the bumper sticker. Allow to
soak a few minutes. The bumper sticker should peel right off. Rub vinegar over the area to
remove the sticky residue, if necessary. 
* Next time you have a sore throat, try gargling with cider vinegar! 

 Garlic Spray This recipe is for a more serious pest problem; if you see significant damage to your veggies/leaves/roots, or see the actual pests, this solution will kill/drive the majority of them away, (ants, aphids, cucumber beetles, cabbage worms, etc.). Spray on 1-2 times a day depending on the severity of the pests. Mash 5 small or 3 large cloves of garlic into a pulp in a pitcher/large measuring cup. Add water slowly, making sure you stir the garlic and water together well. When you have enough water to fill your spray bottle, pour mixture in and it's ready to go. Garlic is antibacterial and antimicrobial as well, so it can be useful for certain kinds of plant molds. Spray on 1-2 a day, directly onto leaves/veggies/flowers.  Pepper & Lemon Spray Add tsp cayenne pepper to stray bottle that is 3/4 filled with water. Then add the juice of 1/2 lemon. Shake solution and spray once a day. 
 THE ULTRA This spray will burn the pants off the most common garden pests. Crush 3 cloves garlic into a pulp, and slowly mix in water, (as in garlic spray recipe). Pour into spray bottle. Then add 1/2 cayenne pepper, 1 tsp biodegradable dish soap, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Use once a day if your problem is severe Warning Tip: It's best to spray your garden in the evening, or at least in the late afternoon when the sun isn't too powerful. Sometimes when leaves are wet at mid day or even 2 or 3 in the afternoon if it's particularly sunny, the sun will actually burn your plants, especially young or fragile leaves. 

Safe substitutes for hazardous household products
- Air freshener: Put vinegar out in an open dish. Simmer a pot of spices on the stove. Leave an open box of baking soda in the room. 
- All-purpose cleaner: In one quart warm or hot water, mix one teaspoon liquid soap, boric acid (borax), lemon juice and/or vinegar. Make stronger according to the job to be done. 
- Ant control: Pour a line of cream of tartar, red chili pepper, paprika, and/or dried peppermint where ants enter the home. 
- Bleach: Instead use a ½ cup of borax per load to whiten laundry and remove stains. 
- Detergents: Use soap flakes with ½ cup added borax as a water softener. Or use a synthetic detergent that doesn’t contain added fabric softeners or bleach. 
- Drain cleaner: Pour boiling water down the drain once a week. Use a plunger or mechanical snake. 
- Flea and tick powder: Put brewer's yeast or garlic in your pet's food; sprinkle fennel, rue, rosemary or eucalyptus seeds or leaves around animal sleeping areas. 
- Fly paper: Boil together sugar, corn syrup and water. Spread on brown paper bag and hang.
- Furniture polish: Wipe a mixture of one teaspoon lemon oil in one pint mineral or vegetable oil. 
- Glass cleaner: Mix one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in one quart water. Spray on and use newspapers to wipe dry. 
- Laundry detergent: Use natural soap flakes. If the water is hard, add 1/4 cup vinegar during the first rinse to prevent the soap from leaving a film. 
- Mildew Cleaner: Scrub with baking soda or borax for extended mold inhibition. Do not rinse. 
- Mothballs: Use cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint or white peppercorns. 
- Oil-based paints: Instead use latex or water-based paints. 
- Oven cleaner: Clean spills as soon as the oven cools using steel wool and baking soda; for tough stains, add salt (do not use this method in self-cleaning or continuous-clean ovens). 
- Plant sprays: Wipe leaves with mild soap and water; rinse. 
- Roach and ant repellent: Sprinkle powdered boric acid in cabinet edges, around baseboards and in cracks. 
- Rug deodorizer and shampoo: Deodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary. To clean rugs, vacuum first to remove dirt. Mix one quart white vinegar and three quarts boiling water. Apply to nap of rug with wet rag being careful not to saturate rug backing. Dry thoroughly then vacuum. 
- Silver polish: Boil two to three inches of water in a shallow pan with one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon baking soda and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for two to three more minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat if necessary. Another alternative is to use nonabrasive toothpaste. 
- Toilet bowl cleaner: Use a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar. NEVER mix bleach and ammonia. That combo creates a deadly gas. Environmentally Safe Stain Removal Bathtub/sink stains: Scrub with a paste made of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide.  
- Beer spills: Apply hydrogen peroxide to dried stains on white cotton. Sponge stains on colored fabrics with white vinegar. 
- Blood stains: Douse spots with hydrogen peroxide (if fabric is bleachable) or diluted ammonia before rinsing in cool water. Avoid hot water; heat will set the bloodstain. 
- Brass & copper tarnish: Mix together equal parts salt and flour, then add enough white vinegar to make a paste. Rub into stain. This may require more than one application. 
- Chewing gum: In hair, work in vegetable oil or an oil-based cream (such as peanut butter) until gum is loosened. On fabric, rub area with ice until gum hardens and most can be removed. Place waxed paper over excess gum and iron lightly over paper. 
- Coffee & tea stains: Wipe clean with a paste made of baking soda and water, or salt and white vinegar. 
- Fresh fruit & vegetable stains: Stretch fabric tight and pour hot or boiling water slowly over the stain so that water runs through the fabric. 
- Grass stains: Apply rubbing alcohol liberally to stained areas before laundering.
- Grease/oil marks: Gently rub in talcum powder, cornmeal or cornstarch; let set, then brush or sponge powder away. 
- Mildew: Scrub walls and floors with a brush dipped in borax and water. For books or papers, dust with talcum powder, cornmeal or cornstarch, let set for two days; then brush off. 
- Mustard stains: Soak stained area with diluted ammonia before laundering. 
- Perspiration stains: Rub stained areas with white vinegar before laundering. (Keep vinegar handy in a squirt bottle to saturate such stains before laundering.) 
- Pet urine: Dampen area with equal parts of white vinegar and water and blot dry. 
-Price stickers: Saturate with vegetable or baby oil before removing. Rust stains: Rub with lemon juice and salt, and then rinse thoroughly with water. 
- Scorch marks: Soak fabric in hydrogen peroxide, then rinse. Or alternate rubbing the area with a lemon slice, then wiping with a dampened sponge until stain disappears. 
- Tarnish from eggs: Rub off with table salt. 
- Vinyl that's dry: Sponge down with equal parts rubbing alcohol and water. 
- Water spots on stainless steel: Rub area with a clean, soft cloth dampened with white vinegar. 
- Wine spills: Pour club soda on the spill, then sponge up the soda and wine.  

A few cautionary notes: DO NOT mix anything with a commercial cleaning agent. When preparing alternatives, mix only what is needed for the job at hand and mix them in clean, reusable containers. This avoids waste and the need to store any cleaning mixture. If you store a homemade mixture, make sure it is properly labeled and do not store it in a container that could be mistaken for food or beverage.

Toxic driveways? Cities ban coal tar sealants

Toxic driveways? Cities ban coal tar sealants:
Could your driveway be making you sick? Mounting research suggests it could. It's prompting more cities, states and businesses to ban a common pavement sealant linked to higher cancer risks and contaminated soil.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Secret History of NSA Contractors - ABC News

The Secret History of NSA Contractors - ABC News: "Like contracted mercenaries hired to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence contractors were given access to government information and resources.

"There are millions of contractors inside the nation's intelligence agencies," said Angela Canterbury, director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight. "The U.S. intelligence community is rife with outsourcing.""

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Haley, husband report $284K in earnings - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Haley, husband report $284K in earnings - - Columbia, South Carolina |: " South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and her husband earned $284,000 in her second year as the state's CEO, with $175,000 of that as the remaining advance on her memoir.

That's according to 2012 tax returns she allowed reporters to view in her office Monday."

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Sex scandals, covered-up crimes hit at State Department: memo - Washington Times

Sex scandals, covered-up crimes hit at State Department: memo - Washington Times: "The memo comes from the State Department’s inspector general, CBS reported.

“We … uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases,” said Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s inspector general’s office, in the CBS report."

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Claims that Principal Harris Lied

Principal Sterling Harris disputes those claims. He says Sumter had no issue preparing materials for testing in advance.
In a memorandum to the board, Harris said they had state personnel on site for the final two days of testing at his request. The state Education Department says that's a lie, because they sent personnel after they heard complaints. Observers found just one hall monitor for 39 teacher assistants and 800 students, not to mention the food fight that erupted and students rushed through lunch because of late starts.
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