Friday, March 28, 2008

God Speed Trooper Iwaniec

A sad day for the PA State Police. Rest Easy Brother.

Pa. trooper killed in head-on crash in Chester County
By TERRI SANGINITI • The News Journal • March 28, 2008

The trooper was identified as Kenton Iwaniec, 24, of Lancaster, Pa.

State police spokesman Cpl. Steve Ranck said the crash occurred about 10:20 p.m. Thursday on Pa. 41 at Mosquito Lane.

Ranck said 40-year-old Kristina M. Quercetti, of Landenberg, was driving south on Pa. 41 when she crossed the center line into the northbound lane and her 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe hit the driver’s side of a 1997 Chevrolet Silverado before plowing head-on into the trooper’s 2005 Hyundai Elantra.

The driver of the Silverado, Larry Keith, 64, of Ephrata, was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

The trooper, who was also wearing a seat belt and whose airbag deployed, was flown to Christiana Hospital in Stanton where he was pronounced dead.

Ranck said the trooper was returning home when the crash occurred.

Quercetti suffered only minor injuries.

A 5-year-old passenger seated in a car safety seat in her car was not injured.

Both were taken by West Grove Fire Company’s ambulance to Christiana Hospital for treatment.

The cause of the fatal crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed pending the outcome of the investigation.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash or the events leading up to it to call Ranck at (610) 268-2022.

Contact Terri Sanginiti at 324-2771 or

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mumia Abul Jamal Should Die!

This is BS! Mumia murdered Danny Faulkner in cold blood and deserves to die for his crimes NOW! If it wasn't that he has become the poster child for the Anti Death Penalty crowd he'd have nothing to keep up his appeals with. I hope the judge can see that he still needs to die 26 years after he murdered a fine police officer. My prayers go out to his widow & the rest of his family. I used to work with his brother Tom who was a fine individual.

If you want the real story behind this murder check out,
Pa. court orders new penalty hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Associated Press * March 27, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court today upheld Mumia Abu-Jamal's conviction for murdering a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, but agreed with a lower court that he cannot be executed without a new penalty hearing.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Abu-Jamal's conviction should stand, but that he should get a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions.

If prosecutors don't want to give him a new death penalty hearing, Abu-Jamal would be sentenced automatically to life in prison.

The former Black Panther had appealed his conviction, arguing that racism by the judge and prosecutors corrupted his 1982 conviction at the hands of a mostly white jury. Prosecutors, meanwhile, had appealed a federal judge's 2001 decision to grant Abu-Jamal a new sentencing hearing because of the allegedly flawed jury instructions.

A Philadelphia jury convicted Abu-Jamal of killing Officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, after th e patrolman pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother in an overnight traffic stop.

Since his trial, Abu-Jamal's name has become a rallying cry for activists of many stripes to take to the streets in both the United States and Europe.

Hundreds of people protested outside the federal building in Philadelphia in May and an overflow crowd - including legal scholars, students, lawyers, the policeman's widow and Abu-Jamal's brother - filled the courtroom when the appeals court heard arguments about the case.

The officer's widow, Maureen Faulkner, has kept her husband's memory alive over the years, and recently co-wrote a book about the case. The book, "Murdered by Mumia: A Life Sentence of Loss, Pain and Injustice," written with radio talk-show host Michael Smerconish, came out in December.

Few expect the fervor that permeates the case on both sides to die down, even with the appeal court's decision.

"Regardless of the decision, if anything it will heat up the outcry from people in the public," Mumia's lawyer, Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco, said in March. "I think the support from people not only here, but all across Europe will escalate."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

4 to 20 Years for Theft?

OK, I realize that what she did was a crime and she broke the public's trust etc. However, I do feel that 4 to 20 is a bit harsh for what she did. Yes she stole a huge amount of money and even though she was ordered to pay restitution she will never be able to pay it all back but, 4 years in jail? I am sure that the space could be better used for someone who is a danger to society and deserves to be locked away. 4 years of house arrest or something along those lines maybe but not 4 years in a state prison.

Ridley woman craps out, gets jail in swindle           
By Marlene DiGiacomo         
Carol Ackley, a former Ridley School District employee, was sentenced to 4 to 20 years in jail for stealing more than $570,000 from the district.

MEDIA COURTHOUSE - Carol Ackley gambled - and lost.
Ackley, 57, of the 300 block of Seventh Avenue, who ripped off the Ridley School District to the tune of more than half a million dollars to feed her gambling habit, lost more than money.

In the end she forfeited her freedom, devastated her family, and left a black mark on the district where both she and her husband earned their livelihood.

Dressed in prison red and remaining shackled, Ackley was sentenced Tuesday by Judge James Nilon to four to 20 years in a state prison to be followed by eight years probation. She has also turned over her pension benefits and other money to cover part of the restitution, which Deputy District Attorney Gregory Hurchalla expressed doubts she can ever fully repay.

Ackley was employed with the district for the past seven years and "used her position of trust" handling retired teachers' health insurance checks to steal $573,792.71, according to Hurchalla.

Ridley Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Ignatuk testified that none of the retired personnel lost any money since the district was reimbursed by its insurance carrier. He said the money involved monthly checks from retirees for payment of health benefits maintained by the district until they reached 65.

He added that during the time she stole the funds, the district lost more than $60,000 in interest on the money, which Nilon also ordered her to repay.

Defense attorney Kevin Wray argued that she had a serious gambling addiction and "needed a fix" by promptly depositing the stolen loot in slot machines from Chester to Las Vegas.

Wray also attempted to blame the auditors for not picking up on the losses over the seven-year period and noted that the district was insured.

Nilon said he was not impressed by that argument. The judge also explained that Ackley was not a "poverty-stricken" person who lacked education. He pointed out she held an associate degree in business from Temple and also had been employed previously for a bank.

Nilon termed it a "carefully set-up plan to bilk money" from the district.
Hurchalla pointed to testimony from Ignatuk that the records indicated no money was taken by her during the time when the auditors were around examining the books.

He said that proved she was not an "out-of-control gambler;" but "when the auditors are gone, it's off to Vegas we go."

Hurchalla also showed her tax returns, which in the year 2007 showed she had taken a "$75,000 hit" in gambling losses.
Ackley buried her head and sobs could be heard as her son Michael Harrison was on the stand and he began crying. "There's a hole in my heart right now," said Harrison. "She should get treatment - whatever she needs to help her."

Ackley also apologized to the township and to her family.
"Yes, it is an addiction. I was humiliated and I was ashamed ... I didn't know where to turn," she said.
The stocky Ackley, who stands just 4 feet 11 inches tall, pleaded guilty in January to charges including seven counts of theft by deception, unlawful use of a computer and forgery.

Herbert Ackley also was called to the stand by Wray. He said he and his wife of 20 years did everything together, including hitting the casinos.

Herbert Ackley, who also was employed with the district as a painter, denied knowing his spouse had taken the money. He did, however, acknowledge he was just a machine away during all of the gambling excursions, which included traveling to Nevada and spending time at pricey hotels and restaurants.

He said he was "shocked" when he found out last December about the stolen money, adding that his wife's arrest forced the family to put Christmas on hold.

"My head has been spinning ever since," said Ackley. He also expressed hope that she would receive treatment rather than imprisonment.

On cross-examination, Hurchalla questioned Ackley as to how he could be enjoying the perks of all the casino trips when the two earned about $70,000 yearly for a family of five. Ackley denied knowing the exact amount of his wife's salary.

He said he thought she was winning and he didn't have "a clue" she was using district money for their enjoyment.
Hurchalla asked Ackley whether he knew the rooms and fancy steak house dinners were being paid for by Ridley taxpayers.
"Not mine," Ackley responded.
Hurchalla told the court that during her stealing spree, she ripped off $80,000 a year.
The prosecutor indicated that her husband was not just along for the ride and suggested he may have had more knowledge of what was going on than he admitted.

Hurchalla added that Ackley was crafty in manipulating funds so that even the auditors did not detect a problem until just last year when a Wachovia banking official spotted an irregularity and the scheme began to unravel.

"She used her prior banking experience, as well as her intimate knowledge of the Ridley Township district to engage in a very clever scheme," said Hurchalla.          

Monday, March 24, 2008

Latest News from the Homefront

So Sunday morning I come home from my Part-Time gig and find that someone had driven through my front yard and destroyed my address post. I was unhappy to say the least and figured it was some idiot drunk since we live on a major roadway. So I called a friend of mine who's a police officer in a neighboring township to see if they busted any drunks. Well it turns out there is a bit more to the story, apparently there was a police chase and it came through my yard! Never a dull moment.

In other the head of our local 911 center is considering his career options after his 49 year old wife was arrested last week in a crackdown on "Escort" services in Philadelphia. This man is a retired Air Force Colonel so I am sure he is making enough to make ends meet but I guess his wife needed her own job. I personnally think prositution should just be legalized and taxed but I cannot imagine the embarresment of having your wife's name in the paper as an escort.

In personal news Vicki is now a diabetic, no insulin but checking her sugar regularly and just perscribed a pill to take to help her liver process the sugar better. The only good thing is the local hospital has a 3 night class for diabetics which we are taking. It seems that everyone in there was pre-diabetic for a while before being a full out diabetic which make me wonder why the insurance companies won't pay for classes like this while people are still in the pre-diabetic stage and head it off before it becomes an issue of medicine etc! The same goes for smoking, they offer nothing to stop smoking, instead Blue Cross has a health coach who calls constantly to chat even though we have nothing we need from them. They have sent us 3 magnets so far and then on Sat offered to send another one and a letter explaining the program. I had to tell the nice lady that we knew all about it and didn't need any more magnets! It's no wonder health care has become unaffordable for many because the system focuses on caring for people after they are ill instead of preventing the illness in the first place. I am sure if everyone in the class had been given the oppurtunity to take the class before becoming a diabetic 90% of them would have jumped at it and maybe 2 or 3 wouldn't be there right now.

Ohh well, if anyone is still reading my blog please let me know!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sausage Sandwich Saves I-95 From Collapse!

You really can't make this stuff up!
Sandwich-seeking engineer spotted cracked I-95 pillar
Associated Press
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 11:14 am
PHILADELPHIA - A structural engineer's hankering for a hot sausage sandwich might have helped save Interstate 95 from collapse.

Peter Kim and his colleague Tony Jen, on their way back to their office after an inspection nearby, pulled off I-95 in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood for a late lunch Monday afternoon. After eating sausage sandwiches in their car, they were driving alongside the elevated highway when Kim spotted a huge crack in a concrete support column.

Kim, who works for a Bristol consulting firm named Specialty Engineering, took pictures of the cracked column with his cell phone and called PennDOT immediately.

The 6-foot crack in a 15-foot tall column led transportation officials to close a three-mile stretch of the highway within hours of Kim's discovery.

The interstate remained closed Wednesday morning as workers erected four steel towers to take the weight off the pillar and support the highway, which carries about 190,000 vehicles a day.

The roadway was expected to reopen once the towers were finished, a task expected to take at least until Wednesday night. Workers then will set about to repair or replace the damaged column.

Kim does contract work for the state Department of Transportation and had inspected the column twice in the last three years. Its condition had always been stable but he saw that it had dramatically changed since he last saw it in December.

As a bridge inspector, Kim is constantly looking at structures, even casually, on his time off.

"I just felt like I was doing my job," said Kim, 40, of Horsham. "Definitely anybody who saw it would have reported it."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3 Doors Down Citizen Soldier

An Excellent Video for a great song.

Beyond the boundaries of your city's lights,
Stand the heroes waiting for your cries.
So many times you did not bring this on yourself,
When that moment finally comes,
I'll be there to help.

On that day when you need your brothers and sisters to care,
I'll be right here.
Citizen soldiers holding the light for the ones that we guide from the dark of despair.
Standing on guard for the ones that we sheltered,
We'll always be ready because we will always be there.

When there are people crying in the streets,
When they're starving for a meal to eat,
When they simply need a place to make their beds,
Right here underneath my wing,
You can rest your head.

On that day when you need your brothers and sisters to care,
I'll be right here!
Citizen soldiers holding the light for the ones that we guide from the dark of despair.
Standing on guard for the ones that we sheltered,
We'll always be ready because we will always be there...

There... there... there...

Hope and pray that you'll never need me,
But rest assured I will not let you down.
I'll walk beside you but you may not see me,
The strongest among you may not wear a crown.

On that day when you need your brothers and sisters to care,
I'll be right here!
On that day when you don't have the strength for the burden you bear,
I'll be right here!
Citizen soldiers holding the light for the ones that we guide from the dark of despair.
(Citizen soldiers)
Standing on guard for the ones that we sheltered,
We'll always be ready because we will always be there.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

God Speed Nick Picozzi

Today, America lost a brave hero and a family lost a Husband, a Father, & a Son. the fire service family lost a brother. While I didn't know Nick, he was still a brother firefighter.

Here's a link to the local news story.

Rest Easy Brother your work here is done.

Update: This is a great article from Phil Heron on the Delco Daily Times.