2014年03月17日

Save the dog


A dog that mauled a 4-year-old Phoenix boy has received thousands of pleas for mercy through a Facebook campaign ahead of a court hearing to decide his fate.

A municipal court judge could rule at a March 25 hearing on whether Mickey, a pit bull that bit Kevin Vicente in the face, nu skin should be euthanized. Kevin received injuries that will require, according to doctors, months and possibly years of reconstructive surgeries.

Since the Feb. 20 attack, Mickey has become the object of a Facebook page that has gotten more than 40,000 likes and an online petition to spare his life.

Supporters say the campaign doesn't mean they value the dog's life above the child's.

"This is not Kevin versus Mickey," said attorney John Schill, who is representing the dog in the court petition. "Having Mickey killed is not going to take away Kevin's pain or injuries. The only thing this is going to do is kill a poor, innocent dog."

Pit bulls are viewed by some as a dangerous breed, a reputation their fans dispute.

Four-year-old Kevin Vicente’s road to recovery after a dog mauling on Feb. 20, 2014, has ignited thousands of impassioned pleas.
Guadalupe Villa, who was at the scene of the attack, filed the vicious-animal petition to have the dog put down.

"I just looked at all this as this could have been my son, and I don't want it to be someone else," Villa said.

Schill said he is working pro bono at the request of The Lexus Project, a nonprofit that collects money to legally defend canines in danger of being euthanized. The organization has set up a trust for Mickey that has received more than $5,600, he said.

Schill said the person watching Kevin while his mother was at work should be held responsible.

"But for adults involved, this never would have happened," Schill said. "They're trying to put all the blame on Mickey."

Villa, whose boyfriend's mother was baby-sitting Kevin the day of the attack, said her friend is not to blame nuskin hong kong.

"She took amazing care of that little boy," said Villa, who claims in the petition that Mickey killed her dog last year.

According to Villa, Kevin picked up a bone lying on the ground near the dog, which was kept on a chain. That's when Mickey suddenly attacked Kevin, Villa said.

Villa said she can't understand the Facebook attention and doesn't see Mickey as a victim.

Kevin was hospitalized at Maricopa Medical Center with a broken eye socket, cheek bone and lower jaw bone, according to doctors.

Dr. Salvatore Lettieri, a Mayo Clinic physician and chief of cosmetic surgery at Maricopa Medical Center, said he was able to fix the broken bones and reattach the muscles that allow Kevin to open and close his eye.

"He still can't open his eye. We'll need to fix the tear duct drainage system — that is if he makes tears," Lettieri said.

Kevin left the hospital after a week with a breathing tube in his throat and another tube to feed him through his nose since he can't yet swallow properly, according to Lettieri.

A family friend said a fundraising website has received about $6,000 in donations for Kevin. The Maricopa Health Foundation also established a website that has received 50 donations.

The social media support for Mickey doesn't indicate that people care more about a dog than a child, Harold Herzog, a psychology professor at Western Carolina University who studies animal interaction.

He said it's likely that lovers of pit bulls, specifically, are driving Mickey's Facebook following. Pit bulls have been saddled with a bad rap — fair or not — of being one of the most dangerous dogs. A lot of that reputation is thanks to other mauling cases, Herzog said.

"I don't think this reflects that people like dogs more than they like kids. It's a reflection that ... this is yet another instance of their breed getting blame for something it didn't do," Herzog said. "'Blame the deed, not the breed.'"

Support for Mickey intensified after an employee at the Maricopa County Animal Control and Care Center, which has custody of the dog, cardinal manchester wrote on Facebook that Mickey was "going night night."

Melissa Gable, a center spokeswoman, said the employee will face administrative action but declined to elaborate.
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2014年03月05日

New Jersey youth to prosecute parents


Rachel Canning had sought immediate relief in the form of $650 in weekly child support and the payment of the remainder of her tuition at Morris Catholic High School, g-suite cardinal manchester as well as attorney's fees.

State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard denied those motions but ordered the parties to return to court on April 22, when they will present evidence and testimony on the over-arching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their daughter. Rachel Canning, a high school senior, has already been accepted by at least one college and is seeking to have her parents pay some or all of her tuition, attorney Tanya Helfand told Bogaard Tuesday.

Dressed in her school uniform and with several friends in the gallery, Rachel Canning didn't speak to reporters after the hearing.

Bogaard sounded skeptical of some of the claims in the lawsuit, saying it could lead to teens "thumbing their noses" at their parents, leaving home and then asking for financial support.

"Are we going to open the gates for 12-year-olds to sue for an Xbox? For 13-year-olds to sue for an iPhone?" he asked. "We should be mindful of a potentially slippery slope."

Court documents show frequent causes of parent-teenage tension — boyfriends and alcohol — taken to an extreme. In the filings, there are accusations and denials, nu skin hk but one thing is clear: the girl left home Oct. 30, two days before she turned 18 after a tumultuous stretch during which her parents separated and reconciled and the teen began getting into uncharacteristic trouble at school.

In court filings, Canning's parents, retired Lincoln Park police Chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, said their daughter voluntarily left home because she didn't want to abide by reasonable household rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend her parents say is a bad influence. They say that shortly before she turned 18, she told her parents that she would be an adult and could do whatever she wanted.

She said her parents are abusive, contributed to an eating disorder she developed and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship. They say they were supportive, helped her through the eating disorder and paid for her to go to a private school where she would not get as much playing time in basketball as she would have at a public school.

Helfand told Bogaard in court Tuesday that Rachel Canning learned her behavior from her parents, particularly her mother, with whom she has a difficult relationship.

"These people who call themselves loving parents paint the most disgusting portrait of their daughter" in the court filings, she said. "They are pointing the finger to avoid their parental responsibilities."

A cheerleader and lacrosse player who hopes to become a biomedical engineer, Canning wants the judge to declare that she's non-emancipated and dependent as a student on her parents for support

Attorney Laurie Rush-Masuret, representing the Canning parents, called Rachel Canning's claims "outrageous" and said that by leaving — and by the fact that she is 18 — Rachel Canning "emancipated herself" and shouldn't count on her parents' support.

"There is no abuse. There is no neglect g-suite," she said. "They are not unfit parents. She could come home tonight."

Rachel Canning has been living in Rockaway Township with the family of her best friend. The friend's father, former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, is paying for the lawsuit.
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2014年02月11日

A new round of snow


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who was criticized for his response to the Jan. 28 storm that paralyzed the Atlanta area, is preparing for another round of snow.

ATLANTA — Just two weeks ago, Atlanta became a national punch line when a few inches of snow crippled the city. Comedians said the gridlocked highways looked more like a zombie apocalypse than the South's bustling business hub Ergonomic seating.

On Monday, officials were quick to act as the winter weather zeroed in, determined not be the butt of jokes like the Saturday Night Live parody that referred to the "devil's dandruff" and "Yankee's slush." Before a single drop of freezing rain or snow fell, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal had declared a state of emergency for nearly a third of the state, schools canceled classes and workers were told to stay home.

Still, people were skeptical the state would be better prepared this time.

"I'm not counting on it. I've been in Georgia on and off for 20 years. It's usually the same scenario, not enough preparations and not enough equipment," said Terri Herod, who bought a large bag of sand and a shovel at a Home Depot. She said her sister told her to also buy kitty litter in case her car gets stuck on an ice patch.

The memories of the Jan. 28 storm were too fresh for some. Students were trapped on buses or at schools and thousands of cars were abandoned along highways as short commutes turned into odysseys. One woman gave birth on a jammed interstate. In the chaos, though, there were stories of Southern hospitality — people opening up homes and businesses to help the stranded. Officials reported one accident-related death.

This storm could be worse this time. A one-two punch of winter weather was expected for Atlanta and northern Georgia. Rain and up to several inches of snow were forecast Tuesday, followed by sleet and freezing rain Wednesday. Downed power lines and icy roads were a major worry.

Other parts of the South were expected to get hit as well. Alabama, which saw stranded vehicles and had 10,000 students spend the night in schools during the January storm, was likely to get a wintry mix of precipitation. Parts of Mississippi could see 3 inches of snow, and a blast of snow over a wide section of Kentucky slickened roads and closed several school districts. The Carolinas were also in the storm's path g-suite cardinal manchester.

Atlanta has a long and painful history of being ill-equipped to deal with snowy weather and people were not taking any chances, even though officials promised the response would be different this time.

"We're not looking back, we're looking forward," Deal said. "The next three days are going to be challenging. We want to make sure we are as prepared as possible."

Schools announced early that they would close Tuesday, and tractor-trailer drivers were handed fliers about the weather and a law requiring chains on tires. People around Atlanta planned to stay off the roads, which couldn't be treated last time because there were too many cars stuck on them.

"Basically, everyone from the office is going to be working from home" on Tuesday, Dakota Herrera said as he left a downtown car park on his way to the office Monday.

Deal was doing many things differently. He opened an emergency operations center and held a news conference hours before the storm. When the Jan. 28 storm hit, Deal was at an awards luncheon with Mayor Kasim Reed, who was named a magazine's 2014 "Georgian of the Year."

This time, the mayor made no such predictions. Instead nuskin hk, he said he was in contact with school leaders and the city had 120 pieces of equipment to spread salt and sand and plow snow.

"We are just going to get out here and, flat out, let our work speak for itself," Reed said.

During the last storm, Deal and Reed didn't hold their first news conference until hours after highways were jammed.

Much is at stake for the governor, a Republican who is up for re-election, and Reed, who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and has aspirations for higher office. Both took heat from residents, forecasters and even comedians during the last storm.

Saturday Night Live spoofed a storm "survivor" with a thick Southern accent. "The sun will rise again," the character said at one point. Jon Stewart quipped: "The ice age zombie doomsday apocalypse has come to Atlanta."

The governor apologized and announced the formation of a task force to study the problems. He also called for various reviews and wants a new public alert system for severe weather, similar to what's used for missing and endangered children.

Aaron Strickland, emergency operations director for Georgia Power, said the utility was bringing in crews from Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Michigan.

"Ice is probably one of the worst events we face," Strickland said. "When you look at the types of ice we are talking about, it's catastrophic."
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