Ex-deputy Bail Hiked For Facebook Post

HIGHLAND, Calif., Aug. 3 (UPI) — A former Highland, Calif., deputy, accused of having sex with a minor in a police vehicle, had his bail raised for his Facebook comments, a judge said.

Nathan James Gastineau’s bail was raised from $150,000 to $350,000 Monday for posting about “revenge” and “payback” on a Facebook page made to support the ex-deputy, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported.

Gastineau is accused of having sex with a girl he supervised as part of the Highland station’s Explorer program — a program that teaches youths police law-enforcement techniques.

“What on Earth is the matter with you?” Superior Court Judge John Martin asked Gastineau. “What do you mean by all this?”

On the Gastineau Support Facebook page, Gastineau wrote: “A philosopher once said ‘When faced with untenable alternatives you should consider your imperative.’ War is our imperative. And if right now victory seems like an impossibility, then we have something else to reach for: revenge, payback.”

Gastineau explained it was a quote from the television show “Battlestar: Galactica.”

“You never know who reads something like this. You could be setting off a chain of events you have no control over that could endanger the alleged victim,” Martin said.

Gastineau is charged with three counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child and three counts of illegal sexual intercourse with a minor, all of which he has pleaded not guilty to.

Oregon Rep. Wu Officially Resigns

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) — U.S. Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., his career dashed by sexual allegations, gave notification Wednesday his resignation would be effective just before midnight.

Wu submitted his notice to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhabe and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Roll Call reported.

“Serving as a U.S. congressman has been the greatest honor of my life,” he said in a statement. “There is no other job where you get up each day and ask, ‘How can I try to make the world a better place today?’

“However great the honor and engaging the work, there comes a time to hand on the privilege of elected office — and that time has come.”

Wu had said last week he would resign once the debt ceiling issue was resolved. That happened Tuesday when President Barack Obama signed compromise legislation hashed out in Congress.

Wu had been under pressure to quit after accusations surfaced last month he had an “unwanted sexual encounter” with an 18-year-old woman.

Kitzhaber has said he would schedule a special election to replace Wu. The primaries will be held in mid-October at the earliest, Roll Call said.

The Democratic field is expected to include state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt.

Republican Rob Cornilles, who challenged Wu last year, will run again, Roll Call said.

Al Shabab Appears Split On Foreign Aid

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A United Nations relief group has been able, for the first time in two years to land a load of supplies at a Somali airstrip controlled by Al Shabab.

While the group’s leadership remains opposed to accepting aid from western agencies, moderate local commanders appear to be more willing to accept help, The Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday. The newspaper said UNICEF had permission from commanders in Baidoa, a southern city controlled by Al Shabab,, and other agencies are sounding out local leaders.

“I think the momentum is now with the people who are saying let the aid agencies come in because of the gravity of the situation,” said Rashid Abdi, Horn of Africa analyst with the International Crisis Group. “The clan elders are also putting on a lot of pressure, saying we cannot let our people die, if you continue on this crazy path we will rise up against you.”

UNICEF released a statement Wednesday calling for more international assistance for the region. It said it has a $200 million shortfall in funding for its relief program in eastern Africa, including $120 million in Somalia.

“In all, more than 11 million people desperately need help in the nations of eastern Africa stricken by drought, conflict and rising food prices,” the group said. “If the world doesn’t act quickly enough, some 566,000 children fighting severe malnutrition could lose their struggle to survive.”

Teller Allegedly Gambles Away Stolen $70K

ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 3 (UPI) — A credit union teller in Aliso Viejo, Calif., is accused of stealing $70,000 and then gambling the money away, police say.

Alexander Buduria Flores, 36, allegedly took the money over the span of a month, The Orange County Register reported.

“He lost all the money gambling,” Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, said. “He had a plan of winning it and pay it back before being caught.”

When supervisors at Capstone Federal Credit Union audited Flores’ drawer, they discovered he had too much cash on hand and asked him to deposit it in the vault.

“He said, ‘I’m going to the restroom,'” Amormino said.

The bank supervisors waited for Flores to return for 15 minutes before finding that he had fled through a back door.

Flores later contacted an employee at the credit union to set up a meeting on Monday morning, however, he was apprehended and taken into custody by law enforcement.

“He was a trusted employee,” Amormino said. “He worked there for three years; never had a problem.”

Flores is also the main suspect in a similar case in Temecula, Calif.

Baby Born During Backup Over Fatal Crash

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A baby was born during a traffic jam in the Washington, D.C., area caused by a crash that claimed another person’s life, officials say.

Jerome Chappelle was driving his pregnant daughter Jeromeka to the hospital Tuesday when they got caught in traffic snarled by a crash involving a tractor-trailer rig and a dirt bike, The Washington Post reported.

“My daughter is having a baby,” Jerome Chappelle told a 911 dispatcher.

After being on the phone with the dispatcher for about 3 minutes, he spotted traffic officers and tried to flag them over. Suddenly, he announced to the dispatcher, “The baby just came out.”

The accident that caused the traffic jam the Chappelles were stuck in happened at 5 a.m. when a tractor-trailer was trying to make a right turn. The dirt bike pulled up behind the truck and slid underneath. The tractor-trailer ran over the driver of the dirt bike, killing him.

Meanwhile, in Forestville, Md., a six-car pileup on the Capital Beltway resulted in the deaths of two other people.

Man Charged With $565,000 Postal Theft

HOUSTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A Texas man who worked as a civilian in a post office at a U.S. base in Kuwait has been charged with stealing $565,000 in money orders.

Delmus Eugene Scott Jr., 34, of Humble was arrested Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported. He was named in an indictment handed up July 27.

The investigation began last year when a bank near Humble reported someone had made an attempt to deposit hundreds of postal money orders. Investigators determined the money orders were from Camp Buehring in Kuwait.

Scott allegedly stole the money orders, all for $1,000, and sent them to a woman in Texas. Between December 2009 and June 2010, the woman, who was engaged to Scott at the time, allegedly deposited or tried to deposit 565 money orders into her bank account or his.

Man Convicted In 1964 Racial Killings Dies

JACKSON, Miss., Aug. 3 (UPI) — A man convicted in 2007 for the 1964 killing of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi has died in a federal prison, authorities said.

James Ford Seale, 76, serving three life sentences at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Ind., died Tuesday, the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger reported.

He was convicted in the abduction, beatings and killings of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee in May 1964.

The case had been reopened in 2005 by then-U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton of Jackson, Miss., at the urging of Moore’s brother Thomas, and Seale was convicted by a jury two years later.

Testimony at the trial described Moore and Dee being beaten by Klan members in woods near Natchez and questioned about rumors of black residents of the area planning an armed uprising.

The two 19-year-old were thrown into a car trunk and driven to a Mississippi backwater near Vicksburg where they where weighted down and thrown alive into the river, testimony said.

Their mostly skeletal remains were discovered weeks later.

When told of Seale’s death Tuesday, Thomas Moore said, “Ain’t no rejoicing in it. I do offer my sympathies to the family.”

High Mold Air Alert Issued For Midwest

MELROSE PARK, Ill., Aug. 3 (UPI) — The Midwest had the highest mold count for the season Wednesday and an air alert was issued for the Midwest, a Chicago-area allergist says.

“The daily count was 59,000, and the threshold for dangerous levels is at 50,000 (for outside air),” said Dr. Joseph Leija, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, says in a statement. “Chicagoans are experiencing stuffy noses, post-nasal drip, scratchy throats, headaches and fatigue due to the high mold count in the air. The mold count is dangerously high for those with chronic conditions such as lung or heart disease as well as asthma and breathing conditions.”

The mold count had already been high in the past few weeks due to torrential rain and flooding this summer.

“The Midwest has suffered from repeated flooding and many homes may have toxic levels of mold due to the damp,” Leija says. “In addition to stagnant water, many sewer systems backed up and overflowed adding additional health risks.”

Leija says homeowners who have experienced flooding may want to purchase a hygrometer — a device that measure indoor humidity which causes mold — are under $40 and readily available in most electronic and home goods stores.

Leija performs the official allergy count for the Midwest for the National Allergy Bureau, a section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology that measures pollen and mold levels.

Search For Possible Assault Victims Ended

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 3 (UPI) — Minnesota authorities say an investigation of a man convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl failed to turn up any additional victims.

Police said they believed long-distance truck driver John Heuer, 48, might have other victims across the country after women’s underwear was found locked in a safe in his home and thousands of pornographic photographs of children were found on his computer, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday.

But despite police suspicions, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office investigators said, no more victims have turned up.

Testing of the undergarments found no bodily fluids of anyone excerpt Heuer’s and contact with law enforcement agencies across the country did not find any open cases where descriptions of suspects matched Heuer, county public information officer Paul Sommer said.

The investigation of Heuer is now considered “inactive,” he said.

“That does not mean the case is absolutely, 100 percent closed to new victims. If there is new information, he would still be on the radar,” Sommer said.

Heuer pleaded guilty July 27 to charges of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl in May from a St. Paul laundromat and sexually assaulting her at his Spring Lake Park home.

His sentencing is set for Sept. 23 and he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Eagle Killed On Washington State Bridge

SEATTLE, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A well-known bald eagle that frequently hung around Washington’s Interstate 520 bridge was struck and killed by a bus, officials say.

A King County Metro bus hit the eagle, nicknamed “Eddie” by many, at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, The Seattle Times reported.

Metro spokeswoman Linda Thielke said the bus was in the middle of the bridge, moving at about 50 miles per hour when the eagle started to fly in the same direction as the bus.

“The bird very, very suddenly took a turn and smashed into the windshield,” cracking it, Thielke said.

The driver kept moving and reported the accident shortly after.

The enforcement captain at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bill Hebner, said the eagle killed was more than likely the male of a pair that nested at Seattle’s Broadmoor Golf Club.

“I think the lesson learned here is, as motorists, whenever you see wildlife along the road … be cautious, be defensive, slow down and know they will often do the unpredictable,” Hebner said.

Although the body of the bird was mangled, its feathers will be delivered to a repository in Denver, and then sent out to Native American tribes, a standard practice when a bald or golden eagle dies.