Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011
Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

State Troopers Recover Body of Missing Missouri Woman in Gasconade River; vehicle was submerged

Gasconade River near Riddle Bridge between Waynesville and Dixon


Searchers find body of missing woman from Dixon in Gasconade River

May 11, 2011


WAYNESVILLE, Mo.(AP) — The body of a south-central Missouri woman who disappeared nearly two weeks ago has been recovered from a river along with her Jeep Wrangler.
Family members reported 54-year-old Deborah Cirrincione (sih-rihn-see-OH'-nee) missing April 28, after she left home in Dixon to shop in nearby St. Robert and failed to return.
KYTV reports that state troopers were sweeping the Gasconade River with electronic instruments Wednesday when they registered what appeared to be a vehicle on its side. Divers were brought in to help pull the Jeep and the body from the river.
The recovery took place near a bridge between Waynesville and Dixon. The official cause of death has not been determined.

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. -- State troopers recovered the body of a 54-year-old woman from Dixon who disappeared on April 28.  Divers found Deborah Cirrincione's body and her Jeep on Wednesday afternoon.  It was submerged in the Gasconade River near Riddle Bridge between Waynesville and Dixon.
Wednesday morning, troopers were sweeping the Gasconade River with electronic instruments when they registered a strong image that appeared to be a vehicle on its side in a deep pocket of water. Due to the swift and strong current at that location, they requested additional divers to increase the safety factor for the troopers when they entered the swift water.
Divers entered the water about 2:30 and were able to remove the Jeep and the body.  Pulaski County Coroner Mikel Harkness was on scene and immediately notified the family of the search results.
Pulaski County Sheriff J.B. King thanked all the volunteers who came out to support this search.  He said Cirrincione's family also appreciated their efforts.

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5.3 Earthquake Hits Lorca, Spain: Eight Killed RAW VIDEO



Eight dead after earthquake hits Spain

By CNN Wire Staff
May 11, 2011

Madrid (CNN) -- Thousands of residents of the southeastern Spanish city of Lorca slept outside Wednesday night, hours after the city of about 80,000 was struck by an earthquake that killed eight people, state radio reported, citing authorities.
"It was a strange sensation," said a press office worker who was in his office in the regional capital of Murcia, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Lorca. He estimated the duration of the quake from five to eight seconds.
The 5.3-magnitude quake occurred at 6:47 p.m. (12:47 p.m. ET) and was centered about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Murcia, near the Mediterranean coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. That is about 350 kilometers (218 miles) south-southeast of Madrid.
It was preceded at 5:05 p.m. (11:05 a.m. ET) by a 4.5-magnitude temblor centered in the same area, the survey said.
At least one of the deaths occurred in a building collapse in Lorca, state-run EFE said.
Television pictures showed the belfry of an old church collapsing soon after the earthquake, as well as fallen bricks on top of damaged cars there. Buildings with broken windows and piles of rubble in the streets of Lorca could also be seen.
The press office said a hospital in Lorca had been evacuated as a precaution.
Many of those who were spending the night outside said they were afraid to return to their houses or had been advised not to do so, state radio said.
The quake occurred during an election campaign for Spain's 8,000 town mayors and most of its regional governments, with voting scheduled for May 22. The two major parties called for a suspension of campaigning on Thursday out of respect for the victims.

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Joshua Moosman of Washington, Mo. Sentenced to 7.5 Years Prison for illegal possession of a firearm


A Washington man is sentenced to 7.5 years in jail for illegal possession of a firearm.
Today the United States Attorney's Office announced that 30-year-old Joshua Moosman of Washington was sentenced to jail because of his previous criminal history.
Moosman pled guilty February of this year to one felony count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He is by law, forbidden to own or posses a firearm of any kind.
Moosman appeared in court today in front of a United States District Judge. The case was investigated by the Franklin County Narcotics Unit as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Man Indicted on Federal Gun Charge

December 10, 2010

A man who was arrested last month in a meth lab investigation at a Washington home is facing a federal charge for a weapons violation.
The U.S. attorney's released information Wednesday about a federal grand jury indictment charging Joshua J. Moosman, 30, with illegal possession of a firearm.
Moosman, because of his previous criminal history, is prohibited by law from owning or possessing firearms, the U.S. attorney said.
A tip led police and narcotics task force officers to a home on East Fourth Street, less than a block from Washington City Hall, Monday, Nov. 15, where they seized evidence of a methamphetamine lab and took an 11-year-old boy into protective custody. A woman also was arrested but had not been charged with a crime.
Moosman was charged in a state warrant with one felony count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and was on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
In addition to meth-making components and ingredients, police officers also seized two rifles and a loaded handgun. At the time, Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, commander of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, said investigators planned to seek federal charges for possession of guns by a convicted felon.
If convicted of the federal charge, Moosman could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
Moosman also could face state drug charges after a laboratory analysis is completed on items seized from the home.

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Missouri Senate Passes Bill to Expand Conceal and Carry Rights


Bill expanding conceal and carry rights clears Missouri Senate

May 11, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY • The age requirement to obtain a conceal and carry firearm permit would change from 23 to 21 under a bill passed Wednesday by the Missouri Senate.
The measure passed 27-6, with all “no” votes coming from Democrats.
The House passed a similar version of the legislation in March and can now either pass the Senate’s bill or ask for a conference committee to iron out the differences.
In addition to lowering the conceal and carry age requirement, the bill would also allow more people to carry a concealed firearm inside the Missouri Capitol building. Currently, only legislators are allowed to carry guns, but the bill would expand that privilege to include legislative staff members and statewide elected officials as well.
The training to obtain a conceal and carry permit would include time at a firing range with both a revolver and a semiautomatic pistol. In order to pass, the applicant must hit targets with both types of handguns.
The Senate version, which was sponsored by state Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, originally would have lowered the conceal and carry age to 18. Democrats, especially those from urban districts, expressed concerns that lowering the minimum age that much would put guns in untrained and unsafe hands, and ultimately, increase gun violence in the state.

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45,000 U.S. Troops Still in Iraq withdrawal deadline set for December 2011


Iraq War Facts, Results & Statistics at March 31, 2011

4,444 US Soldiers Killed, 32,051 Seriously Wounded

For your quick reading, I've listed key statistics about the Iraq War and occupation, taken primarily from data analyzed by various think tanks, including The Brookings Institution's Iraq Index, and from mainstream media sources. Data is presented as of March 31, 2011, except as indicated.
Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $900 billion of US taxpayers' funds spent or approved for spending through November 2010.
Lost & Unaccounted for in Iraq - $9 billion of US taxpayers' money and $549.7 milion in spare parts shipped in 2004 to US contractors. Also, per ABC News, 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47 rifles.
Missing - $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)
Mismanaged & Wasted in Iraq - $10 billion, per Feb 2007 Congressional hearings
Halliburton Overcharges Classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported - $1.4 billion
Amount paid to KBR, a former Halliburton division, to supply U.S. military in Iraq with food, fuel, housing and other items - $20 billion
Portion of the $20 billion paid to KBR that Pentagon auditors deem "questionable or supportable" - $3.2 billion
U.S. 2009 Monthly Spending in Iraq - $7.3 billion as of Oct 2009
U.S. 2008 Monthly Spending in Iraq - $12 billion
U.S. Spending per Second - $5,000 in 2008 (per Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on May 5, 2008)
Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq - $390,000 (Congressional Research Service)
Troops in Iraq - Total 47,000 U.S. troops. All other nations have withdrawn their troops.
U.S. Troop Casualties - 4,444 US troops; 98% male. 91% non-officers; 82% active duty, 11% National Guard; 74% Caucasian, 9% African-American, 11% Latino. 19% killed by non-hostile causes. 54% of US casualties were under 25 years old. 72% were from the US Army
Non-U.S. Troop Casualties - Total 316, with 179 from the UK
US Troops Wounded - 32,051, 20% of which are serious brain or spinal injuries. (Total excludes psychological injuries.)
US Troops with Serious Mental Health Problems - 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems within 3 to 4 months of returning home
US Military Helicopters Downed in Iraq - 75 total, at least 36 by enemy fire
Private Contractors in Iraq, Working in Support of US Army Troops - More than 180,000 in August 2007, per The Nation/LA Times.
Journalists killed - 146, 97 by murder and 49 by acts of war
Journalists killed by US Forces - 14
Iraqi Police and Soldiers Killed - 9,889 as of Jan 31, 2011
Iraqi Civilians Killed, Estimated - On October 22, 2010, ABC News reported "a secret U.S. government tally that puts the Iraqi (civilian) death toll over 100,000," information that was included in more than 400,000 military documents released by Wikileaks.com.
A UN issued report dated Sept 20, 2006 stating that Iraqi civilian casualties have been significantly under-reported. Casualties are reported at 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualities at over 600,000.
Iraqi Insurgents Killed, Roughly Estimated - 55,000
Non-Iraqi Contractors and Civilian Workers Killed - 572
Non-Iraqi Kidnapped - 306, including 57 killed, 147 released, 4 escaped, 6 rescued and 89 status unknown.
Daily Insurgent Attacks, Feb 2004 - 14
Daily Insurgent Attacks, July 2005 - 70
Daily Insurgent Attacks, May 2007 - 163
Estimated Insurgency Strength, Nov 2003 - 15,000
Estimated Insurgency Strength, Oct 2006 - 20,000 - 30,000
Estimated Insurgency Strength, June 2007 - 70,000
Iraqis Displaced Inside Iraq, by Iraq War, as of May 2007 - 2,255,000
Iraqi Refugees in Syria & Jordan - 2.1 million to 2.25 million
Iraqi Unemployment Rate - 27 to 60%, where curfew not in effect
Consumer Price Inflation in 2006 - 50%
Iraqi Children Suffering from Chronic Malnutrition - 28% in June 2007 (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)
Percent of professionals who have left Iraq since 2003 - 40%
Iraqi Physicians Before 2003 Invasion - 34,000
Iraqi Physicians Who Have Left Iraq Since 2005 Invasion - 12,000
Iraqi Physicians Murdered Since 2003 Invasion - 2,000
Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 1 to 2 hours, per Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (Per Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2007)
Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 10.9 in May 2007
Average Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 5.6 in May 2007
Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 16 to 24
Number of Iraqi Homes Connected to Sewer Systems - 37%
Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies - 70% (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)
Water Treatment Plants Rehabilitated - 22%
RESULTS OF POLL Taken in Iraq in August 2005 by the British Ministry of Defense (Source: Brookings Institute)
Iraqis "strongly opposed to presence of coalition troops - 82%
Iraqis who believe Coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security - less than 1%
Iraqis who feel less ecure because of the occupation - 67%
Iraqis who do not have confidence in multi-national forces - 72%

Iraqis to Discuss Whether Some U.S. Troops Should Stay
May 11, 2011 

BAGHDAD — As American troops break down their bases and prepare to head home, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said Wednesday that he would meet with Iraqi leaders to discuss whether the United States military should remain after the end of the year.

If a solid majority of Iraqi lawmakers and political leaders back a continuing American presence, Mr. Maliki said he could support asking the United States to keep some of its remaining 45,000 troops in Iraq past a withdrawal deadline of this December.

“This decision would be binding on everyone,” Mr. Maliki said at a news conference.

Mr. Maliki refused to say whether he wanted American forces to remain in Iraq, saying that reporters and “superpower nations have been unable to take my personal opinion regarding this matter.”

But he signaled that he was leaving the door open for just such a possibility. His comments marked a continuing shift from several months ago, when he said that Iraq was able to defend itself, and that there was no need for any American soldiers to stay beyond the deadline.

Mr. Maliki said he would sit down with rival Iraqi political leaders by the end of the month, and make a decision on whether to seek a troop extension before August.

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Japan Nuclear Crisis: Tepco Agrees to Government Controls MELTDOWN STILL UNCONTROLLED Video Slideshow

The Images Contained Within This SlideShow Were Released on 10.05.11 


Japan crisis: Tepco agrees conditions for state aid

May 11, 2011

The operator of Japan's crisis-hit nuclear plant has agreed to drastic restructuring in return for government help paying a huge compensation bill.
The conditions agreed by Tepco include massive cost-cutting, no upper limit for compensation payouts and accepting an investigation of its management.
The move comes exactly two months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Earlier Tepco said it had found another leak of highly contaminated water into the sea but was able to halt the flow.
A Tepco spokesman said workers stopped a leak into a storage pit, which lay outside reactor No 3 and within metres of the ocean.
A similar leak at the Fukushima Daiichi plant's reactor No 2 was sealed in April with a special chemical known as liquid glass.
The plant has been leaking radiation since the 11 March earthquake and subsequent tsunami damaged cooling systems at the six-reactor plant.
More than 80,000 local residents living within a 20km (12 mile) radius of the plant have been evacuated from their homes.
Agriculture and businesses have been hit and there is no timescale yet for allowing residents to return - Tepco has said that it may take up to nine months to achieve a cold shut-down at the plant.
Tepco is seeking a 2 trillion yen ($24.8bn) loan to see it through the initial emergency. It also expects to pay 50 billion yen ($620m) in initial compensation to those evacuated around the plant.
Overall damages are unknown but are expected to be much higher.
The government is considering establishing a new body to deal with the payments in case they exceed Tepco's ability to pay.
In a statement on Tuesday, the company said it faced "an extremely severe situation" in terms of raising funds and that it needed state help so that "fair and prompt" compensation could be paid to residents.
Lifted spirits Two months since the twin natural disaster, people across the affected region held a moment of silence for the victims.
Japan's Emperor Akihito (L) and Empress Michiko visit at an area devastated by the 11 March tsunami in Fukushima prefecture Fukushima's mayor said the imperial visit had lifted evacuees' spirits
Nearly 15,000 people are confirmed dead and more than 9,800 remain unaccounted for, according to the latest police figures.
The number of people still living in evacuation centres stands at about 115,000 - mostly in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.
Earlier on Wednesday Emperor Akihito and his wife visited evacuees living in a gymnasium in Fukushima City.
Fukushima Mayor Takanori Seto said the imperial visit had lifted spirits.
"In reality, evacuees are going through serious pain. They want to go home. But in front of their majesties, they said 'Yes, we are OK.' I was moved by that," the mayor told reporters.
"At evacuation shelters, people are worried because they don't know what will happen to them in the future," he said.
"The nuclear plant has to be stabilised as soon as possible."

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'JetMan' Flies Over Grand Canyon: Swiss Adventurer Inventor Yves Rossy VIDEO


Swiss "Jetman" Yves Rossy completed an eight-minute flight along the Grand Canyon on Saturday, May 7, 2011 - one day later than planned and away from the media spotlight

Swiss 'JetMan' To Fly Over Grand Canyon

May 6, 2011

MYFOXNY.COM - A Swiss adventurer dubbed "JetMan" will try to fly over the Grand Canyon in a US first Friday, three years after he flew into the record books by crossing the Channel between Britain and France.
Yves Rossy will be dropped from a helicopter high above the world-famous landmark and make a series of loops, powered only by a winged jet-pack, before in theory landing on the floor of the immense geological fissure.
Unlike in his 2008 flight from France to Britain, the 51-year-old will not cross the Grand Canyon from one side to the other, but instead spend 15 minutes in acrobatic flight over the miles-wide gorge.
Last November he performed a similar feat in the skies above the Swiss canyon of Vaud.
In September 2008 Rossy, whose jet-pack can reach speeds of around 124 miles (200 km) an hour, gained international attention when he became the first winged person to make a successful crossing of the Channel.
He covered the 21 miles (35 km) in around 10 minutes, with his nearly 8.2 foot-wide (2.5m) rocket-powered wings strapped to his back.
In Friday's flight he will be dropped at 9:00am from an altitude of 4,200 ft (1,300m) above Guano Point, a spectacular outcrop on the western side of the Grand Canyon.
After performing a series of aerial loops he will release his parachute to float to the floor of the canyon, which is about 3,937ft (1,200m) deep, his team told AFP.
The Hualapai, a Native American tribe which manages the area, will dance and pray before Rossy takes off for his latest exploit.
A former Mirage III fighter pilot, Rossy -- whose has previously been dubbed RocketMan and FusionMan -- flies using a science fiction-style carbon-fiber attached to a rocket pack powered by four jet engines.
While his English Channel and Swiss flights were a great success, Rossy failed in a November 2009 attempt to cross the Straits of Gibraltar between Africa and Europe.
He ended up in the sea after high winds and clouds forced him to abandon the bid, although he was fished from the water safe and sound.
For his Swiss flying exploits he developed, in collaboration with the company RUAG, a smaller version of his jet-pack.
The new model has "a better aerodynamic profile, with more stability," making it able to make acrobatic maneuvers possible, he said at the time.

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'bull in a China shop' Federal Reserve Bank as Descibed by Forbes Predicts U.S. to Return Gold Standard in Next Five Years

 U.S. Government Will Adopt Gold Standard in the Next Five Years, Forbes Predicts

by  Paul Dykewicz

A return to the gold standard by the United States within the next five years now seems likely, since that move would help the nation to solve a variety of economic, fiscal and monetary ills, Steve Forbes predicted during an exclusive interview Monday with Human Events.

Such a move would help to stabilize the value of the dollar, restore confidence among foreign investors in U.S. government bonds and discourage reckless federal spending, the media mogul and former presidential candidate said. The United States used gold as the basis for valuing the U.S. dollar successfully for roughly 180 years before President Richard Nixon embarked upon an experiment to end the practice in the 1970s that has contributed to a number of woes that the United States is suffering now, Forbes added.

The only probable 2012 U.S. presidential candidate who has championed a return to the gold standard so far is Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. But the idea “makes too much sense” not to gain popularity as the U.S. economy struggles to create jobs, to recover from a housing bubble induced by the Federal Reserve’s easy-money monetary policies, to stop rising gasoline prices and to restore fiscal responsibility to U.S. government’s budget, Forbes explained.

“What seems astonishing today could become conventional wisdom in a short period of time,” Forbes said.

If the gold standard had been in place in recent years, the value of the U.S. dollar would not have weakened as it has and excessive federal spending would have been curbed, Forbes explained. The constantly changing value of the U.S. dollar leads to marketplace uncertainty and consequently spurs speculation in commodity investing as a hedge against inflation, he added.

“If the dollar was as good as gold, other countries would want to buy it,” Forbes said.

With a stable currency, it is “much harder” for governments to borrow excessively, Forbes said. Without lax Federal Reserve Board monetary policies that led to the printing of too much money, the housing bubble would not have been nearly as severe, he added.

People need to “get over” the notion that the Fed can guide the economy with monetary policy, Forbes said. The Fed is like a “bull in a China shop,” he added.

“It can’t help but knock things down,” Forbes said.

Rep. Paul could help to spur interest in the idea of returning to the gold standard during the next presidential election because he is an unabashed advocate of low taxes, free markets and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. He previously was a key member of the Gold Commission, which advocated a return to a gold standard for the U.S. currency, and he also authored a book, “The Case for Gold.”
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Nick Coppola, Weldon Spring, Mo MISSING SINCE DECEMBER 2010


Family, friends say missing man changed before he vanished

May 11, 2011

WELDON SPRING • Five months since his friend vanished, Jeff Ponder wonders what happened to the fun-loving guy who liked to tell oddball jokes at parties.
"All you really have is the hope that he's still out there," Ponder says of Nick Coppola, who disappeared in December.
Coppola, 25, was last seen in Warren County on his way home to Weldon Spring from Columbia, Mo.
And while authorities say they have no reason to suspect foul play, relatives and friends say the circumstances that surround the disappearance of the normally affable Coppola are as odd as his behavior in the months beforehand.
They are wondering not only where he is but, because of suspicions that he might have been in the midst of a spiritual awakening or experimenting with drugs, if he is still alive.
Coppola, a 2004 Francis Howell High School graduate who used to love playing interactive video games in the basement and cheer for the St. Louis Blues, was trying to finish his bachelor degree at the University of Missouri. He had taken the fall semester off because of a broken hand but remained in Columbia.
On his way home for a visit Dec. 12, he ran out of gas in a traffic backup on I-70 in Foristell. He walked away from the car, leaving behind his wallet and cell phone, police say.
He apparently tried to find shelter on the bitterly cold day at a home near the highway, where a resident became upset that he was trespassing.
From there, Coppola walked to a grocery, got a ride with a woman across the interstate to a Wright City gas station, where he spent an hour in the bathroom. A police officer arrested Coppola there on suspicion of trespassing and peace disturbance involving his run-in at the nearby house. Coppola was taken to the Warren County Jail where he was booked and released at 5:40 p.m. after the homeowner declined to press charges.
Police told Coppola's family he made no phone calls, and they did not see anyone pick him up after he walked outside. But he hasn't been seen since.
Foristell Police Chief Douglas Johnson, whose department has been leading the missing person's investigation because Coppola's car was abandoned within his jurisdiction, said "it's still an active case." But Johnson also said an adult who disappears of his or her own free will has not committed a crime.
"I do believe at this point that he is alive and well," the chief said. "I have nothing to suspect foul play in any way, shape or form. He has just chosen not to make contact with any of his family. ... All they want is to know he is safe and OK."
Johnson said it would have been relatively easy for Coppola to hitchhike his way along I-70, or to beg for bus fare out of Warren County.
"Upon his release (from jail), what he did, I don't know," Johnson said.
Those who know Coppola say he gradually began to withdraw from them in the months before his disappearance. Calls, emails and social networking messages dried up. He stopped showing up at gatherings and parties hosted by old friends.
Ponder, his friend, thinks Coppola wanted to disappear.
"I think he up and left. I really feel like someone came and picked him up," said Ponder, 26, of Maryland Heights. "He's not the type of person just to wander out into the woods."
A hefty kid growing up, while in his 20s Coppola lost about 100 pounds and converted to vegetarianism. His friends also said he used to have a great sense of humor. One friend said Coppola reminded him of the late comedian Chris Farley. But in the months just before he vanished, Coppola stopped showing up at the annual parties of old high school friends and neglected to make plans for customary lunches with old pals.
When Justin Wilson, 24, of Berkeley, first heard about his friend's disappearance, "my mind went to the worst place," and he worried Coppola had wandered out into the cold after he couldn't find a ride.
"For me, it was out of left field," Wilson said. "I just don't see how it could be so premeditated. I don't see how you could really plan all this. ... I just hope he's OK."
His family says Coppola may have been going through a spiritual awakening. Before he vanished, he had become engrossed by "The Celestine Prophecy," a New Age book detailing nine tenets for leading a fulfilling life. Their other theories are that he may have joined up with a traveling religious group or hooked up with fans of a Grateful Dead tribute band, The Schwag. They also heard he may have started taking hallucinogens.
Coppola also talked about going to California or New Mexico, his parents said, to start anew.
"He had something going on in his mind," father Gene Coppola said. "It's like he was just done with society."
"It was a move away from this life," said Coppola's mother, Nellie.
Despite the changes in his behavior, Coppola's parents said he has never vanished before and they continue to search for him.
"We're trying to believe in Nick, and Nick said he would call," Gene Coppola said.
The Coppola family is offering a $3,000 reward for information about Nick's whereabouts. Anyone with information can call the Foristell police department at 636-463-2123.

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'Reverse Course' Navy Halts Move to Allow Gay Unions


Navy Halts Move to Allow Gay Unions by Chaplains

May 10, 2011
Associated Press 

Under pressure from more than five dozen House lawmakers, the Navy late Tuesday abruptly reversed its decision that would have allowed chaplains to perform same-sex unions if the Pentagon decides to recognize openly gay military service later this year.
In a one-sentence memo obtained by The Associated Press, Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, chief of Navy chaplains, said his earlier decision has been "suspended until further notice pending additional legal and policy review and interdepartmental coordination."
The Navy said its lawyers wanted to do a more thorough review of the legal decision that allowed Navy chaplains to receive training to perform civil unions on military bases, but only in states where gay marriage is legal.
Military training to apply the new law allowing gays to serve openly began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by midsummer.
House members wrote to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to object to the Navy's initial ruling, saying the service was violating the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act by appearing to recognize and support same-sex marriages.
That law defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, and it also says states don't have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states where they are legal.
"We find it unconscionable that the United States Navy, a federal entity sworn to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States, believes it is their place alone to train and direct service members to violate federal law," said the lawmakers' letter, which was signed by 63 House members.
The lawmakers asked Mabus to direct the Navy to defend the Constitution, adding that individuals should not be allowed to pick and choose the laws they will follow.
The Navy's decision triggered an uproar, particularly since the Army and Air Force had not made similar decisions, and there was no overall Defense Department guidance issued on the same-sex union issue.
Navy officials had said Monday that they updated the training after questions came up about civil ceremonies for gay couples.
In earlier training guidelines issued by the Defense Department and the military services, same-sex marriage ceremonies were not mentioned and therefore not explicitly prohibited.
When first asked about the Navy's decision to allow the training, the Pentagon said the federal Defense of Marriage Act does not restrict the types of ceremonies a chaplain may perform in a chapel on a military base. And officials have repeatedly stressed that the military would not compel chaplains to perform a same-sex union if it was against their religious beliefs.
The military dust-up comes against the backdrop of the Obama administration's decision in February to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Attorney General Eric Holder said at the time that President Barack Obama concluded that the law was unconstitutional.
The Pentagon has been moving carefully to implement the repeal of the 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. Under the law passed and signed by the president in December, final implementation would go into effect 60 days after the president and his senior defense advisers certify that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' ability to fight.
Under the Navy's initial ruling, the civil union ceremonies would be allowed at military facilities such as chapel and catering centers, but only in states that already recognize same-sex unions.
And even if a marriage is performed, same-sex partners would not get any health, housing or other benefits that are provided to married couples involving a man and woman.
The Air Force and Army did not include discussion of same-sex marriage ceremonies in their training.
Under Pentagon guidelines, chaplains and other key military leaders were among the first tier of service members to be trained about the new law repealing the ban on openly gay service. Much of that instruction has been completed, so the Navy will send out updates to include the marriage ceremony provision.
Under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, service members face dismissal if they revealed they were gay.
Defense Department: http://www.defenselink.mil

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Shawn Hornbeck, Ben Ownby Kidnapper Stabbed Multiple Times in Prison


Convicted rapist and kidnapper in Hornbeck case stabbed multiple times in prison

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May 11, 2011 

(KMOV) – Officials confirmed Tuesday that a convicted kidnapper and child rapist was stabbed multiple times at the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Cameron, Missouri.
Michael Devlin was convicted of kidnapping Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. Devlin is currently serving a life sentence for the crimes.

He was attacked by Troy Fenton on April, 9, 2011, and prison officials say that inmate stabbed Devlin with a weapon made from a prong on a manual typewriter.

Fenton named the weapons used in the incidident "Ben" and Shawn" because he was upset with Devlin's crimes.

Devlin was immediately rushed to a hospital where he was treated and returned back to the facility in Cameron that same day. His wounds are said to be “superficial.”

The attack is under investigation, and Devlin and his attacker have since been separated.

Troy Fenton claims he attacked Michael Devlin.

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