02/19/14

Councilman David Greenfield wants government to charge lazy homeowners for not clearing sidewalks of snow

Snow on sidewalks illustration 
By: Hydar Tomar

(Scroll down for video) New York City Councilman David Greenfield announced that he would like the government to charge lazy homeowners for not clearing their sidewalks of snow, according to a statement released by his office.

After receiving numerous complaints from residents about snow and ice coated sidewalks in front of commercial and residential properties throughout New York City, Councilman Greenfield is proposing changes to the city’s laws to better protect pedestrians.

Currently, property owners receive a fine starting at $100 if they fail to clear their sidewalk within four hours after a storm ends.

However, even when this fine is issued, the sidewalk often goes unshoveled and remains dangerous to pedestrians, especially children and senior citizens. Under Councilman Greenfield’s proposal, the city would use its municipal workers to clear the sidewalk and would then bill the delinquent property owner $250 or more for the work, depending on the size of the property.

This would ensure that the hazard is remediated at no additional expense to the city while still holding the property owner accountable for breaking the law.

“We all have a responsibility to our neighbors to make sure that the sidewalks in front of our homes and stores are cleared and passable four hours after the snow stops falling. Unfortunately, many people don’t care and ignore the law. Simply issuing a fine to the property owner really doesn’t solve the problem, as many of these tickets are ignored. That’s why I am proposing to amend the existing law so that the city can perform the work itself, which would actually result in ice-free sidewalks and additional revenue,” said Councilman Greenfield.

In many cases, the neglected sidewalks are in front of properties such as abandoned or stalled construction sites, vacant houses or empty storefronts.

With these summonses often going ignored and unpaid, allowing the dangerous condition to persist, Councilman Greenfield is proposing to overhaul the existing law so that it better meets the ultimate goal of getting the sidewalk cleared on behalf of pedestrians.

Under his proposed law, owners of commercial and residential properties who fail to clear their sidewalk would be charged a fee starting at $250 and rising depending on the size of the property for the city to perform the work.

The city would use the revenue to fund the hiring of additional temporary snow laborers used to clear public areas such as street corners and curbs, which would create more jobs while leading to safer, clearer sidewalks for the public.

The city already has a database of temporary snow laborers it calls on during major snow events, with pay starting at $12 an hour and rising to $18 an hour after working 40 hours in a week. Councilman Greenfield envisions an expansion of this program through the hiring of additional workers to clear sidewalks as part of his new legislation.

“It’s vital that all residents can get around safely, especially in a community like ours with so many families and seniors. This winter has made it clear that the current law does not provide enough motivation for many property owners to do the right thing. My law would increase the fine against those who flout this important responsibility, while also achieving the goal of making sure that every inch of sidewalk in New York City is safe and passable,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Councilman Greenfield is proposing this law after receiving numerous complaints from residents about snow and ice covered sidewalks throughout Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst and after personally seeing several elderly constituents slip and fall.

Last week, he worked with Senator Simcha Felder to remind all property owners of their responsibility to keep the sidewalk clear and warned of an impending Department of Sanitation crackdown against those who fail to do so, Greenfield said in a statement.

Mother of unconscious 3-year-old testifies against Palestinian rock throwers

Adele Biton 
By: Anav Silverman

The mother of a terror victim spoke in court about terrorist throwing rocks at innocent civilians, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

The five Palestinian suspects arrested in connection with the rock attack that left three-year-old Adele Biton from the Yakir community in critical condition nearly one year ago, heard from Adele’s mother during their trial last Thursday, February 13.

In March 2013, three-year-old Adele Biton was critically injured following a Palestinian rock attack on her mother’s car, which had also moderately injured her two sisters, Avigail and Naama. Palestinians had hurled rocks at the family’s vehicle on Route 5 near the city of Ariel, causing the mother, Adva to crash into an oncoming truck.

Since the attack, Adele has been hospitalized and is now at the Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Ra’anana, where she remains unconscious to this day. Her third birthday was celebrated last year when she was in intensive care. Both her mother and father take turns spending every hour of the day at their daughter’s bedside.

Last week, Adele’s mother testified against the Palestinian assailants at the Megiddo military court. She spoke of the tragic consequences that the rock attack had on her family and on Adele, who was two-years-old at the time.

“To see a child connected to a million pipes is very difficult. Her life has been destroyed because of the rock throwing. It is difficult for me to cope with the fact that my daughter will be handicapped in every way because of such an act” Adva Biton told the court during her testimony.

“All her joy, all her life was taken from her at the age of two.”

Her mother further explained that Adele cannot laugh, eat or do anything on her own. “It hurts me to see her confined to a wheelchair, not engaging with the world. It’s a daily trauma to see your child gasping with her head hanging down and you can’t do anything.”

“I am not home anymore, I am not available for my three kids,” said Adva, recounting the toll on her family. “I’m supposed to be a mother but I live in Levenstein Hospital. My husband has not really been home in over 10 months.”

Biton is fighting to keep her daughter’s story in the public consciousness, according to a report in Ma’ariv. She also aims to take Adele’s case to international courts as well.

According to the official blog of the Israel Defense Forces, Palestinians directed more than 2,400 rock throwing incidents at Israelis in 2013. Thirty percent were directed at civilian vehicles and 116 civilians were injured because of these attacks.

Be prepared for the end of the world: prepper basics

Prepper kit illustration 
By: Devansh Dutt

The survivalist or doomsday prepper mindset is defined by the desire to anticipate the worst scenario and properly prepare.

While some consider this way of thinking to be extreme, it is not all that different from preparing for other personal disasters such as losing your job, or locking your door at night to prevent theft.

Take the steps to ensure you and your family are safe in the event of an unexpected disaster, and prepared to cope with issues such as food and water supply, food storage, electricity, and shelter. Responsibility is key, and it’s crucial to anticipate any imminent disasters. By planning ahead, you and your family will be in a better position when something bad happens.

Food and Water

Reliable potable water source is one of the most important resources during an emergency. Learning how to purify water is important as there is no guarantee that your tap water won’t be contaminated. If there is no tap water and you use water from one of these sources, you will need to know how it should be purified:

Natural springs
Lakes
Rainwater
Rivers and streams
Ponds

Washington State Department of Health offers information how to boil water or add bleach to it, in order to make water safe for consumption.

While many preppers focus on amassing large quantities of food, it is hard to know how much food you will need, or how long it can be safely stored. Purchase food kits like the Wise Company’s one-year kit, or research what food items you will need to store. The Provident Living website offers a handy food calculator that will give you an idea of the basics you will need. Focus on long term food storage and short term water storage. Once a disaster occurs, you don’t want to be scrambling for supplies.

While storing food is important, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Learn how to grow your own food to ensure longevity in your survival plan. Invest in good, organic seeds, such as the non-GMO, heirloom organic seeds from Seeds of Change. Even if you live in an apartment or high-rise, you can grow vegetables using an indoor aquaponic system, and if you have a balcony, you have enough room to grow your own fruits and vegetables.

Self Defense

It won’t do you much good to have clean water and a safe food supply if you can’t defend it. In times of disaster, you can never be too sure where the danger might lie—in fact, it could come from your very own backyard and from your neighbors. Learn a martial art to prepare physically and mentally for hand-to-hand physical confrontation. Go a step further by having a cleaned and loaded gun reserved for emergencies only, and ensure you and your family are aware of the gun safety basics.

Take advantage of an online resource like Penn Foster, which offers online courses that teach the proper cleaning, care and repair of your firearms. This precaution will ensure that your family is one step closer to being ready to defend your home and survive.

Boy, 11, decides against getting cancer treatment and prepares to die

Reece Puddington 
By: Aarav Sen

A boy made the decision not to continue cancer treatment and is preparing to die.

Reece Puddington is only 11 years old, but he has already been through a lot in his short life.

Puddington of the United Kingdom, who has been fighting cancer for many years, revealed on his online blog that he and his family have decided not to seek further treatment to prolong his life.

Puddington was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2008.

Although he was told that he might never be cured, in 2010, he beat the disease and was cancer free.

However, tragically, in 2012, doctors found a tumor in his liver, and this time the cancer was terminal.

Now, Puddington of Whitstable, Kent, has delivered the news that he has opted against taking a new drug to possibly prolong his life in order to start preparing for death.

In a post titled "The beginning of the end," he wrote: "As you know after the last scan results, I was sent home to rest and think about the two options. I could opt for another trial, but it would mean a lot of traveling to the hospital and deal with the side effects. However, it could also extend my life, or it could simply do nothing. I could choose to stay home and let nature take its course, which would lead to me losing my life a little earlier than if I had more treatment.”

After much thought, the boy asked his mother Kay, 40, who is his full time caretaker, and his father Paul, 48, to “let him go.”

He made the decision not to get treatment and he is preparing for death.

The 11 year old is now at home spending time with his family and he will let nature take its course.

Police beat deaf man after gesturing that he cannot hear

Deaf man communicating illustration 
By: Aarav Sen

(Scroll down for video) A deaf man was beaten by police officers who didn’t know that the suspect they were trying to arrest was hearing impaired, a lawsuit filed in a California court states.

The incident began when Jonathan Meister was moving boxes and bags that were stored in the backyard of his friend's house in Los Angeles. A neighbor, who didn’t know Meister, asked him what he was doing, and because he didn't answer, he decided to call the police.

The neighbor said that there has been a series of robberies in the neighborhood.

Police officers who responded to the scene, saw Meister as he walked through the door, out the back yard and bringing some of his personal belongings to his car.

When Meister saw the police, he approached them and gestured that he is deaf. However, the police officers grabbed his wrists and turned him around. That is when a fight broke out.

A police officer who arrived at the scene during the fight, said that Meister was trying to break free. Meister also allegedly punched and kicked the police officers and pulled their hair.

However, the lawsuit states that the incident occurred in part because police officers did not receive proper training in regards to deaf suspects.

Woman stabs her neighbor with broken plate because she didn't keep clean

Broken plate illustration 
By: Hydar Tomar

A woman who was fed up with her messy neighbor, stabbed her with a broken plate, a court in Nigeria has heard.

Lagos Police said that 22-year-old student Mathias Stephenie, was arrested on Tuesday, after being accused of stabbing her neighbor with a broken plate.

The defendant, who resides at 3 Silifat Abioye Street, Oke-Ira, Ogba, faces one charge of assault.

Stephenie stabbed her neighbor, Angel Wisdom, with a broken plate, following a dispute about not cleaning her property.

According to the initial police investigation, before the attack, the defendant was washing some dishes, and when the dispute broke out, Stephenie broke one of her plates and stabbed Wisdom in the stomach, face and hand, causing serious bodily injury.

The suspect was before the Lagos Magistrate’s Court for a bail hearing where she was released on N50,000 ($300) bail.

Man jailed after telling tattoo artist to draw penis on his friend’s back

Man getting a tattoo illustration 
By: Sanvi Rizvi

(Scroll down for video) A man is behind bars after telling a tattoo artist to draw a penis on his friend’s back without consent, prosecutors in Australia said.

The tattoo artist drew a 40 centimeter penis on the back of an unsuspecting man.

Christopher Michael Lord was sentenced to 12 months behind bars on Friday.

The tattoo artist, Matthew Francis Brady, is already serving a jail sentence for assault.

A court was told that Lord persuaded the victim, a 21-year-old who is disabled, to get a Ying and Yang tattoo.

However, instead of getting a Ying and Yang tattoo, he received a penis tattoo along with an obscene phrase.

Lord pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm in the district court of Ipswich.

Texas nurses run over to local park and help woman in labor

Baby illustration 
By: Sanvi Rizvi

(Scroll down for video) Janna Oehlschlaeger and her husband, checked into the Inanna Birth & Women's Care facility after she went into labor with her son.

A doctor told Oehlschlaeger that she was 5 centimeters dilated.

Thinking that they had a lot of time, the couple decided to go for a walk in the local park.

While they were on the grounds surrounding the Texas Women's University, Oehlschlaeger’s water broke and she suddenly felt the need to push. She knew that her baby was about to be born.

Her worried husband tried to take her back to the birthing center.

Meanwhile, the couple's friend, ran into the building to alert staff to what was happening.

Nurses made ​​their way over to Oehlschlaeger and helped deliver the child. A healthy Henry Tod was born in the middle of the park.

The mother and baby were then taken into the birthing center, where they were cared for.

Drunk man bites off actor’s ear in hotel room because he was asked to keep quiet

Ear illustration 
By: Anika Rao

(Scroll down for video) A popular actor had his ear bitten off after asking a drunk man to keep quiet, police in the United Kingdom said.

Clive Mantle had a substantial portion of his ear bitten off in a hotel, a court has heard.

Mantle, 56, woke up at 4:30 a.m., after Philip McGilvray, 33, and Alan French, 32, were screaming in the hallway outside his hotel room on the ground floor.

Mantle twice asked the two to keep quiet, and when he decided to go to the Travelodge reception desk to complain, he was thrown to the floor and beaten.

At some point during the attack, one of the suspects bit off the actor’s ear. The two suspects fled from the scene before police arrived.

The two men tried to book a room at a different hotel, but they were unsuccessful and returned to the Travelodge. Police arrested them at the scene.

The suspects told the court that they were attacked by Mantle and they were defending themselves.

The suspects stayed at the hotel to visit family.




Three boys charged with murder but no one died

Queens Market 
By: Devansh Dutt

Three boys were arrested and charged with murder despite the fact that the victim is still alive, a court in the United Kingdom has heard.

Scotland Yard investigators told the court that Rashid Naeem, 29, a cellphone retailer in East Ham, London, will die from stab wounds he suffered when he was attacked in broad daylight on Sunday.

The boys, two 14 years olds and one 16 year old, will appear in Stratford Youth Court, to face charges of murder.

The attack began after the victim, who owned a mobile phone shop on Green Street, recognized the three teenagers as the robbers responsible of stealing phones from his shop.

Police said that the victim confronted the group and was stabbed during a fight. Naeem was taken to a hospital in East London.

“The victim remains in critical condition at the hospital. However, his injuries are fatal and therefore, the three boys have been charged with murder,” a police spokesperson said.

Woman hangs herself because she didn’t want to be the center of attention at her wedding

Wedding ring on finger illustration 
By: Aarav Sen

A woman committed suicide just weeks before her wedding because she was too anxious about being the center of attention.

Leanne Baker, 35, was discovered by her fiance after hanging herself at their home in Huddersfield, West Yorks, United Kingdom.

Baker, who worked as a retail manager, had suffered in the past from depression, but had recovered with treatment and medication.

However, her anxiety and stress returned as her wedding day drew closer.

According to a police investigation, she was worried about her impending marriage ceremony abroad and she did not like being the center of attention. Her wedding was scheduled to take place in Lindos, Greece.

Baker told a mental health professional that she had no doubt about spending the rest of her life with her partner David Jackson.

Last year, Baker overdosed on drugs and attempted suicide. She was admitted to the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for two weeks.

However, two weeks later, her fiance left her home alone to visit his mother and when he returned, he found her hanging.

Man claims ability to make small breasts grow by squeezing them with his holy god-hands

Woman getting a massage illustration 
By: Hydar Tomar

A man was arrested and charged with sexual assault after he falsely claimed to be able to make small breasts grow with his holy god hands, police in Spain said.

Barcelona Police said that the painter believed he had god powers to cure small breasts and numerous bodily malformations.

The 54-year-old worked only with women because he only has power to heal women, both physically and emotionally.

He claimed to be able to diagnose diseases, including fibromyalgia, tumors, deformities and future deafness.

He treated small breasts and genital disorders by massaging them with his special hands and blowing on the areas with his special breath.

His wife and daughter were also in on the scam, as they made appointments with girls as young as 13.

The suspect charged patients 10 euros ($13.75) per hour.

The suspect was charged with sexual abuse and breach of trust. He has been released on bail.

Pregnant 17-year-old charged with the murder of a police officer who came to help her

Police officer illustration 
By: Anika Rao

(Scroll down for video) A Utah teenager was arrested and charged with the murder of a police officer.

Meagan Dakota Grunwald, 17, was pregnant and high on methamphetamine when she and her boyfriend shot and killed a sheriff's deputy.

At 1:00 p.m., the officer stopped to help the two when he thought they were having car trouble on the side of a road.

However, when Deputy Cory Wride went over to the car, which was driven by the 17-year-old, he realized that she was high on drugs.

The officer asked for her driver’s license. When the officer returned to his patrol car, the passenger, Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27, shot and killed the officer.

Grunwald then sped away, sparking an hour long police chase.

During the chase, Garcia-Jauregui shot at officers, hitting Deputy Greg Sherwood in the head. The deputy suffered severe head injuries. The officer survived.

The chase ended when officers shot Garcia-Jauregui in the head. He died the next day.

Grunwald, who was driving the vehicle, survived, and is now being charged as an adult for a dozen felonies related to the car chase and the death of officer Wride, even though she never fired a shot.

She is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Man seen on video shoving girlfriend into manhole to escape debt he owed her

Open manhole 
By: Anika Rao

(Scroll down for video) A man owed his girlfriend a lot of money, and rather than paying her back he tried to kill her.

Shocking surveillance video showed the assassination attempt in southern China.

The video that was taken in the city of Haikou, in Hainan province, showed the unidentified man removing a manhole cover and replacing it with a piece of cardboard.

Next, he was seen walking with his girlfriend into the trap he had set for her.

When she fell in, he aggressively pushed her deeper into the sewer drain and replaced the lid.

The woman, identified by her surname Guo, turned out to be incredibly tough and fought for her life.

She survived a grueling 60 hours inside the three meter deep hole before finally being saved.

The man said that he was trying to escape the nearly $16,500 in debt he owed her.

The man has been charged with attempted murder.

Men seen on video tying up thief and feeding him to insects

Man tied up illustration 
By: Hydar Tomar

(Scroll down for video) A man was caught trying to break into a home, and rather than calling police, members of the community carried out street justice.

The incident began when a thief tried to break into the home in Brazil, in broad daylight.

However, when he was caught, the locals wanted to teach him a lesson that he would remember for a long time.

The thief’s hands and feet were tied together so that he could not move.

One of the onlookers recorded the incident and uploaded the video to the Internet. The video went viral.

The video showed the man laying on the floor while he was being hogtied by angry residence.

The footage that was taken in Teresina, showed two men grabbing the thief by the rope by which he was tied up and carrying him to an area where there were a lot of insects.

They placed the man on top of the insects so that he should be eaten.

The man was forced to endure extreme pain after being caught trying to rob a house.

Wedding in England shut down after guests use pork pie as weapon in massive fight

Pork pie at wedding illustration 
By: Devansh Dutt

A wedding in England, ended with a massive fight among guests, and three people were arrested.

Ryan Barraclough and his fiancee, Wendy Carter, both 27, got married at the historic Harold Club in Bradford, on Saturday.

Their wedding reception began at 2:00 p.m., and everyone was having a good time, until people became intoxicated.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson confirmed that a number of police officers were sent to the Harold Club about 7:30 p.m., where a fight broke out among wedding guests.

According to witnesses, about 40 wedding guests got involved in a fight that began when someone sprayed a water pistol.

Others grabbed pork pie and began throwing at one another until there was pork pie everywhere.

After investigating the incident, officers decided to shut down the wedding about 8:00 p.m., to avoid further problems. Two men were taken to jail and another was given a fine.

Thankfully, the couple did not stress out over the incident. The bride said that they had a beautiful wedding and they laughed off the incident.

Lazy woman who waited for mother to die learns that she was cut out of the will

House illustration 
By: Hydar Tomar

A lazy woman chose not to work, racked up bills and waited for her mother to die to inherit her money.

The unemployed woman of the United Kingdom, made ​​no effort to find a job because she was waiting on her mother’s inheritance, a judge heard.

Christine Watts, 47, waited for her mother’s £200,000 (about $333,780) estate.

However, she was shocked to learn that her mother, Valerie, has cut her out of the will and left her nothing.

Her mother changed her will on her deathbed, leaving everything to her son, Gary Watts, 44.

Christine Watts is now challenging the validity of the will, arguing that it must have been forged.

Gary told the court that while he spent years caring for his mother, Christine Watts did nothing. She did not even not visit her 71-year-old mother while she was sick.

"I need money for living expenses," Christine Watts told the judge.

She denied the allegations that she waited for her mother to die.

The case is still ongoing.


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