Monday, November 17, 2014

Bill Cosby, A Moving Target? ~by Legal Pub

  Scott Simon of NPR Weekend Edition has been busy tweeting. Simon recently interviewed icon Bill Cosby. Cosby is 77-years-old, but the comedian is still a target for accusations and criticism.  Cosby recently refused to answer questions about multiple sexual assault allegations that keep popping up.  Simon asked Cosby about the "serious allegations raised" against him.  In a Christ like move, Cosby remained silent, shaking his head "no." After he was again asked by Pilot...  I mean Simon, Cosby again shook his head.
Simon's tweets apparently are designed to explain his line of questions during this interview which was suppose to be about charity.  Now, Cosby's publicist, David Brokow, announced Bill Cosby will decline to appear on the Nov. 19 episode of The Late Show With David Letterman. Cosby allegedly cancelled an October 30, 2014 visit to The Queen Latifah Show after comedian Hannibal Buress brought attention to rape allegations during an earlier stand-up routine.
At this point, allegations are merely allegations. Whether they have merit or not; what does become clear is that African American Role models appear to be targets at a time when children need role models not tabloid stories. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rodgers City Attorney Clashes With City Hall ~by Legal Pub

What happens when a city attorney in Arkansas does not see eye to eye with the mayor?  Folks in Arkansas may get an answer.  The Rogers city attorney, Ben Lipscomb, has sued city leaders in Federal Court, claiming that the city broke the law by stripping him of many of his city attorney duties.  (Mayor Greg Hines and city council members are defendants included in the suit.)  The city denies liability and claims that the city council ordinance passed last month is lawful.
The U.S. District Court in Fayetteville may host a jury trial, as well as a bench trial to determine whether the ordinance is constitutional.  A key question may be whether the ordinance unfairly singles out one person, Lipscomb.  Will it be easy to determine if the city attorney was stripped of duties as “punishment?” Clearly, the September 23, 2014 Rogers City Council Ordinance appears to specifically deal with the city attorney’s duties involving proprietorial matters. Furthermore, a new staff attorney, Chris Griffin, has assumed control over many civil matters and is serving as a legal adviser to the city.   These are roles exclusively of the city attorney, according to Lipscomb. Given that change has occurred, why were the changes in job duties put in place?
Lipscomb was initially elected city attorney in 1997.  At the time, the duties outlined by city ordinance apparently included all civil and criminal matters. The duties also included representing the city and acting as a legal adviser on city issues.  Lipscomb was recently reelected in 2010. It appears that Lipscomb was involved in a criminal investigation.  Specifically, a special prosecutor, Marc McCune, apparently investigated whether Lipscomb broke any laws by using a city badge to gain entry into a VIP tent at a concert over the summer.  McCune announced September 5, 2014 that Lipscomb would face no criminal charges concerning the concert incident.  Yet, Mayor Hines allegedly told the news media (5 NEWS) that Lipscomb’s actions were “egregious” and “troubling.” Hines reportedly told 5 NEWS:
“The greater concern is an elected official thinking it’s OK to use his position to gain access to a restricted area for the sole purpose of obtaining a cocktail,” Hines said. “If getting a drink is so important, buy the VIP tickets.”
Qualifications of Chris Griffin do not appear to be an issue.  Griffin served as the deputy city attorney from 2005 to 2008.  Consequently, the issue appears to revolve around constitutionality and alleged punishment for an innocent that resulted in no charges.
All allegations remain unproven in any lawsuit until there is a determination by a court of competent jurisdiction as to the merits.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Michael Skiadas is Added to the "What Was He Thinking" List. ~by Legal Pub

Some men have a ridiculously low tipping point.  Dr. Samson killed his wife after their wedding reception. LINK.  Now another man has been added to the "what was he thinking list."  In Long Island, Michael Skiadas murdered Frank Panebianco and then committed suicide in front of 28 year-old Jessica Kasten..  Why?  

Is there ever a real reason?  Kasten previously dated Skiadas.  Skiadas started dating Panebianco. Kasten and Panebianco were leaving a bar around 11:20 pm when Skiadas confronted them.  He apparently left only to return with a shotgun. Jack Schneider tried to calm Skiadas down unsuccessfully.  Panebianco and Kasten attempted to drive away but Skiadas fired two shots at them. One of the shots fatally wounded Panebianco.   WCBS.

Skiadas then reloaded his shotgun and killed himself. Kasten was not physically injured. If men are to earn respect in this world, such unhealthy behavior needs to stop.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Enterovirus D68 Is A True Halloween Predator! ~by Legal Pub

Enterovirus D68 is a rare, deadly viral infection.  It comes with little warning and often ends in respiratory failure. Its symptoms are hard to distinguish from a common cold: cough, runny nose, a low-grade fever. Yet, the virus is deadly.  Since September, five children have died after getting the virus know as Enterovirus D68.  Enterovirus D68 was first recognized in the U.S. in 1962.  The virus can cause respiratory problems and low blood-oxygen levels. The effects of the virus are much more harsh for children. At this point, death is still considered a rare event.  But for the 5 families who have lost children this year to the virus, that is of no consolation. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Indiana Doctor Weds Wife Than Kills Her and Himself ~by Legal Pub

You can't write scripts any more bizarre than reality. Dr. George Samson, an anesthesiologist,  married his bride, "Kelly," who was a nurse at Union Hospital in southwestern Indiana.  The couple lived in a gorgeous house at 4025 Creal Street in Vigo County.  After a beautiful wedding and reception at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute, the couple left separately for what was suppose to be an after hours celebration at their home.  Unfortunately, a murder-suicide ruined the weekend.  Just what triggered the dispute?  It appears that the good doctor's credit card was rejected at the reception.  Could it be that his new bride charged the card over its limits?  Officially, the Vigo County Sheriff's department is still investigating what appears to be a murder suicide.  But behind the scenes, folks say the relationship was troubled even before the red wedding. Apparently, the couple did not see eye to eye on money issues and the topic apparently surfaced at the reception and again when they returned home.

A 911 call originated around 1:20 am Sunday. An excited woman said her new husband had threatened to kill her.  The line went dead.  The woman called back and then gun shots could be heard. (Chilling audio tape of the 911 calls are  available on the internet but will not be posted here.) When police arrived, a woman was dead.  The man had barricaded himself in the basement. An elder couple (relatives) and a fifth grade boy (son of the woman) were removed from the home.  After a robotic camera search of the house, it was revealed that the man in the basement had taken his own life.

The name of the male and female was not initially released.  However, it did not take long in the Terre Haute community for the word to get out that the doctor was George "Scott" Samson and the woman was Kelly Ecker Samson.  This was the doctor's second marriage. It was apparently Kelly's third or perhaps her fourth.  Samson was a 54 year-old anesthesiologist who collected guns.  He had many guns in the house and a federal dealers license. Kelly was 50 years-old.  Her ten year-old son was inside the home at the time of the tragedy. Fortunately, the young man was not physically harmed.  Vigo County Sheriffs Deputy Clark Cottom served as a spokesman for law enforcement.  Cottom is running for sheriff in neighboring Sullivan County, Indiana and has been recognized on "Cold Cases." While the investigation continues, it is unlikely that any reason other than rage will surface as the motive for this tragedy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Adrian Peterson Legal Troubles Trigger Punishment v. Discipline Debate? ~by Legal Pub

Perhaps it would help to get one's story straight before jumping on or off the "throw the book at Adrian Peterson bandwagon."  Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was placed on the exempt/commissioner's permission list which prevents him from playing or participating in any Viking activities.  The reason Peterson is blacklisted is because he was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child.  Specifically, Peterson disciplined his 4-year-old son with a "switch" in May.  The switch apparently left a number of bruises and small lacerations.
To explain the black listing roller coaster, it is best to look at the history.  The Vikings deactivated Peterson for Week 2.  Then for some reason, the Vikings reinstated him on Monday in order for Peterson to play Week 3 against the Saints. However, in the early morning hours Wednesday, the Vikings reversed their field and put Peterson on the exempt list.  These sudden change of direction by the Vikings are perhaps even more evasive then their star running back's moves on the field. The madness may not end until Peterson can sort out his legal troubles.  So how did it all get to this point?  Let's look at the history of this matter for direction.
May 18: Peterson allegedly disciplined his son after the boy pushed another one of Peterson's sons off of a motorbike video game. Unfortunately, the discipline took the form of a thin branch or rod referred to as a "switch." The so called discipline allegedly resulted in bruises and lacerations on the boy's back, legs, arms and buttocks. When the boy returned to mom, doctors examined the bruises and apparently found them to be consistent with child abuse.
Aug. 21: Peterson appeared in Montgomery County, Texas in front of a Grand Jury.
Sept. 4: The grand jury decided not to indict Peterson, apparently because it was his intent to discipline but not hurt the child. 
Sept. 11: Peterson missed  Viking practice which is labelled by the head coach as a veteran day off. 
Sept. 12, 4:36 p.m. EST: Peterson is indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child in Montgomery County. (Apparently this charge does not require intent to harm.)
Sept. 12, 5:04 p.m.: Vikings announce that Peterson will not play in week 2 against the Patriots and that he is deactivated until further notice.  
Sept. 13, 2:15 a.m.: Peterson surrenders to Montgomery, County police. Peterson is released on fifteen thousand dollars bond.  
Sunday, Sept. 14:  Vikings play without Peterson.
Sept. 15, 1:54 p.m.: Peterson makes a public statement about the accusations. 
Sept. 15, 2:46 p.m.: Vikings reinstate Peterson based on Peterson's statement that it was not abuse it was disciplining a child.  
Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.:  Peterson's history of a prior incident possibly involving abuse hits the press.  (Peterson was not charged in the incident.  The 4-year-old hit his forehead on a car seat while being disciplined.)
Sept. 15, 8:12 p.m.: Radisson suspends its limited sponsorship of the Vikings.
Sept. 16: Mark DaytonMinnesota governor, says Peterson is innocent until proven guilty. But he also called Peterson's actions "a public embarrassment.  Governor Mark Dayton went on to say that Adrian Peterson should have been suspended by the team over the recent allegations of abuse.     
Sept. 16: Anheuser-Busch expresses concern over  Peterson's legal trouble.
Sept. 17, 2:00 a.m.:  Peterson is placed on exempt/commissioner's permission list.  
Sept. 17, noon: Vikings owners address the media. By 12:15 pm, Nike and Castrol suspend their sponsorship of Adrian Peterson.
Sept. 19, 4:15 p.m.: A petition for protective order barring Peterson from having any unsupervised contact with his four-year-old son is filed in court.
Sept. 21: Pro Football Talk reports that Adrian Peterson will request an expedited trial in an attempt to salvage some of the 2014 season.
So when does discipline become punishment? Punishment is an intervention that uses a penalty for a child’s offense. Too often the punishment comes as a result from a parent’s feelings of frustration and desperation. It is often a desperate attempt for a parent to maintain control.  It is trying to prove to the child that “I’m in charge."  There can be several problems with punishments. One problem is that children are not taught how to behave. For example, if a child hits his brother and then receives a spanking, he is not taught what to do the next time he feels angry with his brother. Punishment also sends the message that parents must manage a child's behavior and feelings because the child is not able to do it on his or her own. Punishment may lead children to grow up with a lack of ability to make good decisions because all their decisions have been made for them. When children receive a punishment, they often focus on anger directed at their parents instead of thinking about how they can learn from their mistake.

Discipline focuses on teaching children skills to manage their behaviors and deal with their feelings. Discipline focuses on training so that children can potentially learn from their mistakes.  The goal is to teach children better ways to solve their problems in the future. Discipline techniques include timeout to reflect on how to manage their frustration.  When given the option of negative consequences, choices make sense.  A child who does not eat all of his dinner, is not allowed to have desert.  If he wants desert the next night, he will choose to eat all of his food. Discipline may may also use praise and reward to reinforce good choices.  Discipline fosters a positive relationship between children and parents. 

So what does religion suggest?  Exodus 21:15  “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. "   Perhaps that will become Peterson's basis for a plea of leniency...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Extended Stay in Hospital May Make You Sick, Both Physically and Mentally ~by Legal Pub

We all know that extended stays in hospitals may be hazardous to your wallet; however, it may also be hazardous to your health. Recent studies suggest that staying in a hospital increases your risk of serious infection.  A University of Utah interpretation of a recent hospital study suggests that the risk of serious drug resistant infection increases 1% for each day a patient stays in a hospital.  The actual study was performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston by John Bosso.

In general, the risk of getting an infection while in hospital is about one in 20 according to Michael Schmidt PhD from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.  Furthermore, the risk of dying from infection once acquired is also 5%.  (The overall risk of infection-related mortality is only .25% which is 1 in 400.)

Bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections are all possible complications of extended hospital stay. Studies suggest there is a definite link between length of stay and the chance of getting a drug-resistant infection. The overall risk of a drug-resistant infection rose 1% a day.  The risk of bankruptcy also increases exponentially for each day stayed in the hospital.  Stay out of the belly of the beast.  Avoid extended stay in hospitals and keep your money in the bank.