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Thursday, 2 July 2015

30 Year Old Woman Jailed For Having Sex With Her 17 Year Old Student

The sentence handed down today? - 22 YEARS!!

Jennifer Fichter, who is now 30 years of age, was a teacher at Central Florida Aerospace Academy in Lakeland (Polk County).

Jennifer Fichter, the 30-year-old Polk County Teacher convicted for 22 years for sex with her students

She had pleaded guilty to having sex with at least three former students, who had come forward to claim she had a sexual relationship with them when they were 17-years-old.

According to prosecutors, one of these relationship had resulted in an aborted pregnancy.

A total of 33 witnesses testified at Fichter's sentencing hearing. At least one of these was a parent of one of the victims.

Fichter apologized to the victims at the hearing. When she addressed her own family she broke down in tears... "I'm sorry for the dishonor, to you, to them," she said.

A total of 37 criminal charges were accorded to Fichter, with each one carrying up to 15-years-in prison.

It should be noted that before her job in Polk County, Fichter had resigned from a position in Orange County under similar suspicions... One might rightly wonder how she made it back into the education system??

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Something Fishy About This Drug Smuggler

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Miami International Airport, a 38 year old 'would be' drug smuggler concealed more than two pounds of cocaine in some fried fish.

The woman arrived from Jamaica Saturday morning and was carrying the fried fish with her luggage. I'm guessing that the officers smelled something fishy from the get go.

Upon X-ray examination of the fish, anomalies were noticed in some of the cooked fish. Officers said "the bellies of some of the fish were sewn together and certain fish felt thicker than the rest".

That's when they found 2.3 pounds of cocaine hidden inside the fish. The woman has been arrested and her name has not been released.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

2015 Hurricane Season – The Time To Prepare Is Now!

The 2015 Hurricane Season began on June 1st and runs through until November 30th.  Although forecasters are anticipating a ‘below-normal’ number of storms, they are also telling us “that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.”

Be sure to watch the video at the end of this article - extremely scary but true!! Project Phoenix...we MUST be prepared!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates that this season will witness the formation of six to 11 named storms. They’ve set the likelihood for that many storms at 70 percent.

Storms are named when they have winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those six to 11 storms, forecasters anticipate three to six could become full-blown hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. Up to two major hurricanes – with winds of 111 mph or higher – could form.
Now – where would be the most likely place for these major hurricanes to make land fall? Hands down, the experts all agree that the most likely AND the most vulnerable would be Tampa Bay.

What The??!!

It’s been more than 90 years since the last major hurricane came onshore in the Tampa Bay area and experts are warning that complacency may prove costly in lives and property.

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor, Kerry Emanuel, “We’ve been kind of lucky… In the Tampa region, an Andrew-sized storm could cause more than $200 billion in damage, according to a local government study in 2010.”

Meteorologists say areas like Tampa, Daytona Beach and Houston should get hit with major storms every 20 to 40 years or so. The last major storm to strike Tampa hit way back in 1921. Although Hurricane Frances passed through the area in 2004, it was diminished in strength by the time it hit the Bay.

Emanuel was quoted by the U.S. News & World Report, “It’s just the law of statistics… Luck will run out. It’s a question of when.”

Even a Category 1 storm would cause more than $2 billion in damage around Tampa if it were to strike directly, according to estimates from Hillsborough County, where more than 110,000 structures (most of them residential) sit in an evacuation zone.
Upgraded building codes that call for shatter-proof windows and hefty wind resistance mean new construction stands a better chance of holding up in a storm.
"The things that we are building are going to be more resilient than they have been in the past," said Bryan Koon, the state's emergency management director.
"Building codes … have actually reduced the (potential) damages (from a hurricane)," said Graham Tobin, a geosciences professor at the University of South Florida.
Upgrades, though, have limited reach, as many structures predate the standards. More than half of the homes in Pasco were built before the Florida Building Code was enacted in 1994, according to the county.
Tampa Bay is also full of mobile homes — more than 100,000 across Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando. Even with improved durability (the result of Hurricane Andrew, which left chewed-up double-wides strewn across South Florida) such structures are often broken up by cyclones and tossed about like autumn leaves in the wind. A 2013 state analysis found that there were more than 850,000 mobile homes in Florida.
Building stronger, more expensive structures is not always the best way to mitigate financial loss, according to Watson, who has worked in hazard modeling since 1989 and has advised a panel that seeks to ensure Florida adequately assesses its risks from hurricane damage. For instance, he said, the destruction of a modest, older home along the water still costs less than repairing a million-dollar mansion that is damaged 25 percent.
A more pragmatic view, he said, would be to assume that "if something is on the coast, it's going to get knocked down."

After a hurricane, when the wind dies down, the water begins to rise. In Tampa Bay especially, storm surge poses a significant threat. If a strong hurricane hit, 20 feet of water could rush into downtown Tampa, flooding miles of land and pulling splintered homes out to sea when it receded.
 "We can make things safer from the wind," said Harold Wanless, a geology professor at the University of Miami, but "there is so little you can do to make something safer from the storm surge. The risk is just huge."

Experts are particularly worried about the potential casualties a major storm in the Bay area would create.

Christopher Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in Miami is reported to have said, “My worry is that we’ll have hundreds or even thousands dead in the next major hurricane that hits the Tampa Bay area.”

Tampa Bay area residents can keep up with storm activity by bookmarking the National Hurricane Center’s website. Residents readying for the season can get tips and advice on the federal government’s website. For local weather and severe weather alerts, visit the National Weather Service online.
All residents throughout the Bay area are urged to create emergency kits, know whether they reside in evacuation zones and brush up on the safest routes out of town should evacuations be called for.

Following, is a county-by-county breakdown of where to go for important hurricane information:

Pinellas County

The county has put together an extensive list of resources available to residents on its website. Residents can follow these links to access information on:
The county’s full 2015 hurricane guide is also available for download by following this link.

Sarasota County

Residents will find the county’s emergency management website is the place to go for everything they need to know about surviving the season.
Follow these links for specific information on:

Manatee County

Manatee County Emergency Management office provides a wealth of information on its website. Follow these links for specific information on:
The county also has a 2015 disaster planning guide available for download.

Hillsborough County

The county’s Office of Emergency Management website offers everything residents here need to know to weather a storm. Follow these links for information on:

Pasco County

The county’s Office of Emergency Management website offers a variety of resources for the storm season. Follow these links for specific information on:
The county has also prepared a Hurricane Guide that details what residents need to know. Download it by following this link.

According to the National Hurricane Center, there’s more to it than just stocking up on water and nonperishable food.

Here’s a checklist of things the center recommends residents do before storms arrive:
    • Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
    • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In some circumstances, the safest areas may not be in your home, but within your community.
    • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
    • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
    • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
    • Post emergency telephone numbers beside your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911. (You can also add emergency numbers to your cellphone contact list for easy reference.)
    • Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
    • Stock nonperishable emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit.
    • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every six months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
    • Take first aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Source: National Weather Service

Hurricane Phoenix: The Tampa Bay Region's Worst Case Scenario. An eye-opening & frightening look at the potential effects of a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane making a direct landfall on the Tampa Bay metro area.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

No Drugs, No Alcohol - Just Plain Good Old 'Whacko'!! - Video

There were apparently no drugs or alcohol inspiring this guy's behavior - just a good old dose of 'crazy'! However, according to the offender he has never been diagnosed with any mental health condition.

I'm guessing he could have chosen a more 'dance friendly' radio station

So what drove Christian Radecki of Cape Coral to first bump his car into the back of a Lee County Sheriff's Office marked patrol vehicle, then start dancing on the vehicle's roof to Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl" and Supertramp's "Goodbye Stranger"?

According to the Cape Coral Police report, Radecki said it all began when a "woman with fangs" came to his door, threatening that a human sacrifice was about to occur involving vampires. "Therefore, Radecki made the conscious decision to get the Sheriff of Nottingham to help him stop the slaughter of small children," the report states.

WAIT A SECOND??!! - no mental health conditions?

Redecki, a convicted sexual offender, was arrested on April 7th for Disturbing the Peace and Criminal Mischief after neighbors called police.

The leaked surveillance video shows the boogie fever, Redecki breaking the patrol car's windscreen wipers and the final apprehension by police as he tries to steal a neighbor's flag.

He was transported to Cape Coral Hospital for medical clearance, then transferred to the Lee County Justice Center in apparent good health.

Watch the entire video:

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Please Think Of Our Kids in Tampa - The Pedestrian Danger Index

Recently, I've become very concerned with the speed at which motorists have been barreling through our neighborhood - and looking at the statistics, I have every reason to be worried.

Here in the gated community of 'The Eagles' in Odessa (north west Tampa), there are many kids walking and playing around the footpaths and the suburban roads.

Please beware - whilst driving, you are in control of a deadly weapon
Although there are signs posted everywhere with reduced speed limits, telling motorists to slow down and watch for children playing and regular stop signs to regulate the vehicles at intersections, speed demons oblivious to it all continue to ignore the dangers to children, and fly down the streets and blow through the stop signs.

The posted speed limit in our street is 18 mp/h (around 29 km/h), however through my own observations and those of other neighbors - it's been a popular discussion point on our local community Facebook page - we estimate that speeds often average anywhere between 35 mp/h to 60 mp/h. At this speed, it would be impossible to stop while coming around one of the bends if there was a young child crossing the road (recently in some instances, drivers have failed to negotiate the bends and have damaged letterboxes - at least that's better than colliding with one of our children).

The signs are posted everywhere in our neighborhood and cannot be missed
We would like to presume that all of these offenders are visiting The Eagles and are not aware of the speed restrictions (and in desperate need of an eye check), but unfortunately we have also observed that members of this small community - our own neighbors - are constantly endangering the lives of pedestrians.

It is also noted that the speeding is not restricted to any particular age group - we see teenagers right
up to those of a more advanced age, seemingly using our streets as their personal Formula One track.

Of course, I understand that as parents we need to educate our children on the dangers of playing in the vicinity of any road or street and teach them appropriate behaviors to cross a street safely. This does not give any driver a reason or excuse to break the law and put our kids' lives at risk!!

The security of The Eagles community and local law enforcement do, from time to time, monitor speeds and intersections in the area and we receive reports on how many tickets and warning notices have been issued (quite an alarming number, actually), but it seems that these activities are restricted mainly to the roads leading in and out of the main bottom entrance (9 Eagles Drive) where the posted limit is 30 mp/h, and stop well short of the roads where we actually live and play.

Last Sunday while the kids were roller-blading on our front driveway and down the footpath, I started to take note of cars rounding the bend in front of our home and crossing the intersection a few doors up. Perhaps one in every ten cars that went past were clearly speeding well above the 18 mp/h limit and at least one in five not only failed to stop at the 3-way stop sign but did not even brake on the approach.

It is only a matter of time until there is a serious accident and/or serious injury to a pedestrian.

With the boys very unhappy with me because there is no cement to skate, I made them play out the back instead of exposing them to the risk of one of these thoughtless motorists losing control and running up our driveway or footpath.

Now for the very alarming statistics - Tampa is the second most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians - and not just by a little bit!!

Data from the "Dangerous by Design" study by Smart Growth America tabulates Pedestrian Deaths broken down by states and metro areas. The rankings are measured on a scale known as the 'Pedestrian Danger Index' (PDI). The PDI is measured by comparing the latest five years of data on pedestrian fatalities with the share of local commuters who walk to work. "Unlike the total number of pedestrian deaths, the PDI gives you an idea of how likely you are to get run over while walking in a given area".

"While Florida tops the PDI ranking and stands alone with an index score three times the national average, a map of the top 10 states is particularly revealing: they are almost completely clustered on the East coast (Arizona being the only exception):"

So there you have it folks... for all of your loved ones (especially our kids), slow down and be aware of pedestrians!!

When traveling in areas where it's common for kids to play, take extra care - you are certainly the more experienced and driving in a potentially deadly weapon!

If you visit or live in The Eagles community - it's 18 mp/h on the streets and roads for a reason. Follow the roadside instructions, watch for kids and please, stop at stop signs.

View all of the statistics and analyses here