Preacher gets lighter sentence for rape because he’s a “man of god”

❝ A pastor facing life in prison for raping his 14-year-old daughter was shown mercy by a judge who was impressed by his alleged religious faith.

David Richards, 41, was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Thursday in Knox County Tennessee for raping his adoptive daughter – 60 years less than the maximum term sought by prosecutors. As he handed down the lenient sentence, Judge Steve Sword cited Richard’s work as a pastor and the Bible study he began in jail as mitigating factors…

Richards was found guilty of rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority figure for abusing his daughter, Amber Richards, for two years beginning when she was 14…

Throw away the key!

Bird flu found in Tennessee chicken breeder farm used by Tyson

A strain of bird flu has been detected in a chicken breeder flock on a Tennessee farm contracted to U.S. food giant Tyson Foods Inc, and the 73,500 birds will be culled to stop the virus from entering the food system…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this represented the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza in commercial poultry in the United States this year. It is the first time HPAI has been found in Tennessee, the state government said.

Tyson, the biggest chicken meat producer in the United States, said it was working with Tennessee and federal officials to contain the virus by euthanizing the birds on the contract farm.

In 2014 and 2015, during a widespread outbreak of HPAI, the United States killed nearly 50 million birds, mostly egg-laying hens. The losses pushed U.S. egg prices to record highs and prompted trading partners to ban imports of American poultry, even though there was little infection then in the broiler industry…

The facility in Tennessee’s Lincoln County has been placed under quarantine, along with approximately 30 other poultry farms within a 6.2-mile (10 km) radius of the site, the state said. Other flocks in the quarantined area are being tested…

The USDA said it would inform the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and international trading partners of the outbreak.

Some strains of avian flu are guaranteed dangerous to humans and might be spread by humans. Most of the strains I’ve read about this year have endangered humans contaminated by blood from birds being slaughtered. The trouble with viruses of this type is that they can mutate easily and sometimes often.

Keep an eye on the topic.

Half-dressed female clown charged with chasing cars


Orange looks good for a clown suit

❝ A woman was arrested Thursday after numerous witnesses called 911 to report that a partially nude woman wearing clown makeup was chasing cars and jumping in and out of traffic on a country road in Cunningham.

Candice A. Kreidel, 37, was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and making non-emergency 911 calls.

❝ According to an arrest warrant, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene after “a series of calls about a white female wearing clown-like makeup, a stocking cap, and was either partially or completely nude that was running up and down Louise Road, chasing cars and jumping out in front of other cars.”

While a deputy was on the way to the scene, 911 received four calls from Kreidel “in which call takers were berated, threatened and cursed,” the warrant states.

❝ When the deputy went to Kreidel’s home on Louise Road, he found her in a sports bra, pajama-style bottoms, a stocking cap and wearing clown makeup on her face and body. She was also holding a beer.

❝ Kreidel was determined to be intoxicated and a danger to herself and others and booked into the Montgomery County Jail on $1,500 bond.

Not certain in what order this woman determines her priorities. No doubt, there is some confusion.

Scientists turn CO2 Into ethanol easier than they ever thought

❝ Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol, potentially creating a new technology to help avert climate change. Their findings were published in the journal ChemistrySelect.

The researchers were attempting to find a series of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a useful fuel, when they realized the first step in their process managed to do it all by itself. The reaction turns CO2 into ethanol, which could in turn be used to power generators and vehicles…

“By using common materials, but arranging them with nanotechnology, we figured out how to limit the side reactions and end up with the one thing that we want,” said Adam Rondinone.

This process has several advantages when compared to other methods of converting CO2 into fuel. The reaction uses common materials like copper and carbon, and it converts the CO2 into ethanol, which is already widely used as a fuel.

Perhaps most importantly, it works at room temperature, which means that it can be started and stopped easily and with little energy cost. This means that this conversion process could be used as temporary energy storage during a lull in renewable energy generation, smoothing out fluctuations in a renewable energy grid.

“A process like this would allow you to consume extra electricity when it’s available to make and store as ethanol,” said Rondinone. “This could help to balance a grid supplied by intermittent renewable sources.”

More thought and considerations are at offer in a follow-up interview PM did with the lead scientist, Adam Rondinone. He’s a research scientist on the public payroll at the National Lab in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. You know – doing the kind of scientific work today’s conservatives from penny-ante Republicans to Tea Party know-nothings really want to halt.

True Believers want the Bible to be the official state book in Tennessee


Tennessee Senate committee meeting

Lawmakers voted to make the Bible the official Tennessee state book…

In a 19-8 vote on Monday, members of the State Senate passed HBO615, sponsored by Republican Steve Southerland, in an attempt to “[recognize] the Bible for its historical and cultural contributions to the state, rather than as government endorsement of religion,”…

Which is how you phrase this crap to make it sound like you actually think the Constitution of the United States defines how you govern.

In the real world, this means bible-thumping opportunist politicians figure they can screw a few more votes out of folks who believe that a 14th Century book compiled by a royal committee should tell our government how to run this country. Really.

Seventeen Republicans and two Democrats voted in favor of the bill — presented just days before candidate filing deadlines for this November’s congressional elections — with six Republicans and two Democrats opposed, primarily for concerns over its constitutionality. Five senators abstained.

…To Hedy Weinberg, the executive director of the Tennessee ACLU, the bill is nothing more than a “thinly veiled effort to promote one religion over other religions [which] clearly violates both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions,”…

If the new bill is approved by Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee will become just the second state in the country to have an official state book of any kind (in 2003, Massachusetts deemed the 1941 tale “Make Way for the Ducklings” its official children’s book).

During the Civil War a significant portion of Tennessee refused to join the forces of slavery in their revolt against the Union. I wonder if there is the same level of honesty, civility and dedication to the US Constitution in today’s Tennessee government?

U.S. nuclear secrets thrown out with the trash – for 20 years


Erik Schelzig/AP

In June 2014, a worker at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee was surprised to find U.S. nuclear secrets inside a trash bag marked for disposal along with standard rubbish. Taking a closer look, the worker found 19 more documents in the bag that were either marked classified or were later determined to contain information that should have been labeled secret.

A dozen more bags of trash sat nearby, awaiting transport to an open landfill where Y-12 workers routinely dump garbage with no bearing on national security. When employees of Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services, Y-12, LLC, the contractor responsible for running the site at that time, poked inside two of these additional bags, they found more top-secret documents…

Many of the records discovered that day detailed how the department’s employees and contractors worked with nuclear explosive materials, such as highly-enriched uranium, housed at the Y-12 complex. But it quickly got worse: Further investigation by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees such work, led officials to conclude that nuclear secrets had been thrown away with lax security at the Tennessee plant for more than 20 years…

When the Energy Department investigated the items plucked from the trash, it determined some of the documents had never been reviewed by the staff responsible for making classification decisions. Those that had been reviewed were erratically categorized, according to the NNSA’s notice of violation to Babcock & Wilcox. Some were marked at higher or lower classification levels than the information warranted. Others were designated classified when they held no sensitive information, according to the notice of violation.

The documents that genuinely did contain high-consequence secrets were vulnerable to theft throughout their journey from the nuclear site and at the disposal location for unclassified waste. And they were not “destroyed beyond recognition” to assure they wouldn’t be recovered, as the Energy Department requires, according to the notice of violation. Since 2005, they were transported by a truck driver without clearances to an unprotected landfill; before then, it’s unclear where they went, but the notice says that no special precautions were taken even then for discarding the classified material…

Protection of nuclear materials and secrets at Y-12 has been under scrutiny since July 28, 2012, when an 82-year-old nun and two more peace protestors penetrated the security perimeter and advanced far enough to scrawl graffiti on a storage vault full of weapon-grade nuclear materials.

RTFA for droll answers to simple questions. This would all be good for a laugh at incompetence excepting that the other end of this two-headed-snake is the end which bites ordinary workers, researchers, individuals who are targeted for political reasons. The usual mishandling of craptastic classified materials then becomes as important as life itself — to petty bureaucrats and politicians.

Christian forgiveness doesn’t change the recidivism rate of rapists

Tennessee police arrested 46-year-old Christian pastor Roy Neal Yoakem in Kentucky Monday for allegedly raping a 14-year-old member of his congregation.

Police say Yoakem sexually assaulted the boy at least twice, once at the New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky and once at his home in Gallatin, Tennessee. Kentucky police initially arrested Yoakem in June, but he was arrested again Monday as charges continued to mount and his past history came to light.

In 2005, Yoakem was convicted for sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy and had to register in Tennessee as a sex offender. He was eventually moved to the New Gospel Outreach Church and allowed to continue preaching because, as interim pastor Stephen Bratcher told WKRN, “The Bible teaches forgiveness and to give people chances and not to turn people away. — If there [was] anything I can do to go back and change it I would.”

Yoakem is currently charged with aggravated statutory rape, sexual battery by an authority figure, statutory rape by an authority figure and fugitive from justice.

Like the headline says.

How drunk do you have to be to try for sex with an ATM machine?

A man was arrested Friday night after he tried to have sex with an ATM and a picnic table at a local bar, according to an arrest report from the Murfreesboro [Tennessee] Police Department.

Lonnie J. Hutton, 49, of Old Lascassas Pike was charged with public intoxication around 9:30 Friday night following an incident at The Boro Bar & Grille, Officer Michael Rickard reported.

“Mr. Hutton entered the bar and walked to the ATM. Once at the ATM, Mr. Hutton pulled down his pants and underwear exposing his genitals, Mr. Hutton then attempted to have sexual intercourse with the ATM,” Rickard said.

The suspect then walked around the bar wearing no pants while he thrust his hips in the air, witnesses told the officer.

Bar staff then escorted Hutton outside, Rickard said.

“Once outside Mr. Hutton again exposed himself and (attempted to) engaged in sexual intercourse with the wooden picnic table,” Rickard said.

The officer said Hutton appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol.

Hutton was transported to the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center where he is being held on $250 bond. He is scheduled to appear July 1 in General Sessions Court.

Har!

Judge who ordered name change for baby Messiah fired – finally

A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been fired…

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of Cocke County in eastern Tennessee last August ordered a boy’s first name changed over the objections of his parents when they appeared before her seeking to settle other issues.

O. Duane Slone, presiding judge of the state’s fourth judicial district, terminated Ballew’s appointment, effective last Friday, according to court documents.

Slone did not give a reason in his order, but Ballew had previously been cited by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct for an inappropriate religious bias. A hearing is scheduled for March 3…

Craft wrote that it is the duty of the board to inquire into the “commission of any act calculated to reflect unfavorably upon the judiciary of the state.”

“The word ‘messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.

The parents appealed, and another judge held that Ballew’s ruling was unconstitutional.

…based on applications for Social Security cards…there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, more than double the 368 applications made in 2011.

Lots of optimistic Christians out there.

Federal air marshal busted for taking upskirt photos!

The federal air marshal arrested Thursday for allegedly taking cell phone photos underneath women’s dresses and skirts as they boarded a Nashville flight has been relieved of all duties, according to the Federal Air Marshal Service.

Adam J. Bartsch, 28, was charged with disorderly conduct after police said he admitted to the alleged crime…

A police affidavit said a witness grabbed Bartsch’s cell phone during the boarding of Southwest Airlines flight 3132 from Nashville to Tampa and showed it to a flight attendant.

“The Transportation Security Administration does not tolerate that sort of criminal behavior,” said Michael Pascarella, spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service, which is overseen by the TSA.

Pascarella said Bartsch had been relieved of his duties. The TSA is in the process of suspending or terminating his employment.

Bartsch was released from jail Thursday night on a $10,000 bond…He has worked for the TSA for about three years, Pascarella said.

That explains it. I thought the air marshals were actually part of some responsible police body, part of the federal government. So – they’re part of the TSA – and one step above the guys who steal from your luggage and prod your butt looking for explosives while you’re trying to catch a flight.