Zach’s Story: Little Boy’s Courageous Battle Against Old Age

Monday, March 17, 2008

FRANKFORT, Ky. —  If he’s lucky, Zach Pickard will live past the age of 13.

Zach, now 13 months old, suffers from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a disease that accelerates the aging process when the child is 18 to 24 months old. Children with this syndrome die of heart disease at an average age of 13 after aging at a rate six to eight times faster than an average person.

About 100 cases have been formally identified in medical history, and the odds of being diagnosed with it are roughly one in 8 million. For now, Zach is like any other baby, learning to walk, say words like mama and papa and making his family laugh with funny faces.

With his messy blond hair, big blue eyes and infectious smile, Zach attracts attention wherever he goes. Zach was 2 months old when his parents realized something wasn’t right.

Click here for the full story which includes a link related about Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome

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Deadly Tornado Hits Georgia Saturday on Heels of Friday Storm That Ripped Through Downtown Atlanta

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ATLANTA —  Two people in rural northwest Georgia are dead and dozens injured after a series of severe storms moved through the state, producing the first-ever tornado to hit downtown Atlanta.

A woman was killed in Polk County early Saturday afternoon when a storm demolished her home and threw her and her husband into a field, while an elderly man in neighboring Floyd County was killed by flying debris as he sat in his home, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Officials have not released the victims’ names.

Click here to see photos.

Calls to the Polk and Floyd County sheriff’s departments were not immediately returned.

National Weather Service officials were expected to be in both counties later Sunday to determine whether the damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds, meteorologist Vaughn Smith said.

In Atlanta, crews began cleaning up debris and broken glass Saturday from the tornado that struck the city with little warning the previous night. The storm cut a 6-mile path of destruction through the city with winds gusting up to 130 miles per hour, leaving homes crushed by centuries-old trees and numerous windows shattered in high-rise office buildings and hotels.

In neighborhoods just east of downtown — like the historic Cabbagetown where a loft apartment building partially collapsed and homes were destroyed — residents ducked under tables and hid in closets as the twister made its way through the city.

“It was just like everyone says it is — the proverbial freight train,” said Carol Grizzel as she cleaned debris out of her yard.

Some of the cleanup in Atlanta was delayed by a series of strong storms that moved through the state Saturday, bringing torrential rain, high winds and quarter-sized hail.

Residents had about eight minutes of warning before the twister struck downtown Friday night, weather officials said. The tornado, classified as an EF2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, lasted about 20 minutes.

Catch the full story and pictures [here]

Breaking News -New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Resigns

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer Resigns Effective Monday Amid Links to Prostitution Ring

NEW YORK —  New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace Wednesday after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that shattered his corruption-fighting, straight-arrow image, saying: “I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work.”

Spitzer will be replaced by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who becomes New York’s first black governor, effective Monday. Spitzer’s minute-long statement made no mention of whether he had reached a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid charges

For Spitzer’s apology continue here

Spitzer Aides Say Wife Urging Gov. Not to Resign; Faces Impeachment Threat

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Breaking News —AP Reports N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer Will Resign Effective Monday, March 17 

(And another one bites the dust…flagranny2)

NEW YORK —  The New York Times reports Silda Wall Spitzer is urging her disgraced husband not to resign, according to close aides of the governor. This comes as the chorus grows for him to quit and state Republicans threaten to begin impeachment preceedings if he doesn’t step down in 24 hours.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer faced a crescendo of calls for him to step down Tuesday as sources told the Associated Press that Spitzer had paid tens of thousands of dollars as a repeat customer of a high-priced prostitution service.

The Associated Press, quoting unnamed law enforcement officials, said Spitzer’s running tab for the trysts could have been as high as $80,000.

Earlier Tuesday, the New York Post reported that Spitzer has been soliciting prostitutes at least since 2002, according to unnamed sources.

Spitzer is considering resigning, but there are no plans for such an announcement Tuesday, a spokesman in the governor’s office told FOX News. The spokesman also said Spitzer had not yet come to a decision on whether or not to resign.

The latest speculation over the governor’s political future came a day after reports first surfaced that Spitzer allegedly is the person known only as “Client 9” in a federal affidavit about a high-priced prostitution ring that became public last week.

According to the affidavit, Client 9 arranged to meet a prostitute from the Emperors Club VIP sex organization in Washington, D.C., last month. Spitzer’s public schedule shows he visited Washington at the same time.

Amid increasing demands for Spitzer to step down, The Wall Street Journal cited a person close to the governor saying he could resign as soon as Tuesday evening.

New York Republicans will seek to impeach Spitzer if he does not resign within 48 hours, New York Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco told FOX News exclusively. Tedisco, speaking on FOX News’ “Hannity & Colmes,” said: “We believe it is an illegal activity he has been involved with.

“We’re going to give him 24 to 48 hours to do the right thing, and the right thing is to resign because he has been compromised. If that’s not the case … we’re going to ask the speaker to start impeachment proceedings,” Tedisco said Monday night.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press Tuesday that the governor first came under suspicion because of cash payments from several bank accounts to an account operated by a call-girl ring.

Spitzer was the initial target of the investigation and was tracked using court-ordered wiretaps that appear to have recorded him arranging for a prostitute to meet him at a Washington hotel in mid-February, the official said.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

The scandal surrounding the man who built his political reputation on rooting out corruption stunned the state. Calls for Spitzer’s resignation began immediately and intensified Tuesday, with the New York Daily News, New York Post and Newsday all demanding that he step down.

“Hit the road, John … and make it quick!” read the headline of the Daily News editorial; The Post called him “NY’s naked emperor.”

Spitzer retreated from public view Monday afternoon, after he appeared glassy-eyed with his shellshocked wife, Silda, at his side and apologized to his family and the public, but did not directly acknowledge any involvement with the prostitute.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong,” he said. “I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.”

Spitzer allegedly paid for the call girl to take a train from New York to Washington — a move that opened the transaction up to federal prosecution because she crossed state lines. The governor has not been charged, and prosecutors would not comment on the case. A Spitzer spokesman said the governor has retained a large Manhattan law firm.

To read the full story please click [here]

The following links are included in the article:

Click here to read more on this story from the New York Post.

Video:Click here to watch the clip of Tedisco speaking on ‘Hannity & Colmes.’

Click here to read the transcript of Tedisco’s appearance on ‘Hannity & Colmes.’

Video: Click here to watch Spitzer’s statement.

Click here for photos.

Six-Legged Octopus Discovered at English Aquarium

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

 

We’ve all heard of octopuses, but how about a hexapus?That’s what zookeepers at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre in northern England call their six-legged octopus, who was fished out of the Irish Sea off Wales last month.Henry the Hexapus, as he’s been dubbed, came about his reduced status as a result of a birth defect, not injury as is common among octopuses, squid and their cuttlefish cousins.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com’s Natural Science Center.

“We’ve scoured the Internet and talked to lots of other aquariums and no one has ever heard of another case of a six-legged octopus,” supervisor Carey Duckhouse told Agence France-Presse.

Henry’s unusual configuration wasn’t noticed until a few days ago, when the hexagonal mollusk finally attached himself to the glass wall of his tank, astonishing staffers.

He’ll be going on display soon as part of a larger octopus exhibit entitled “Suckers,” according to the Times of London.

 Click here for the AFP story, and here for the Times of London feature.

Plane Collision on Fla. Runway Kills 2, Critically Injures 2 More

Saturday, March 01, 2008
 

TITUSVILLE, Fla. —  Two people were killed and two others were critically injured after two small planes collided, then burst into flames at a central Florida airpark Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

One airplane was apparently trying to land when it crashed into another plane on the ground around 8:30 a.m. at the Arthur Dunn Airpark in Titusville, said Scott Gaenicke, public information officer and division chief for Titusville Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The collision engulfed both planes in flames, said FAA spokesman Warren Woodberry.

The plane on the ground appeared to be taxiing to a ramp area when the other plane slammed into it. Two people who were in the plane that had left the runway were killed, authorities said.

The other plane cartwheeled for about 100 yards before landing belly-up on a grass median at the airport. Bystanders aided two people who were in that plane, which also caught fire. They were flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center with severe burns.

One of the survivors is in “grave” condition and the other is in extremely critical condition, Gaenicke said.
 For the full story continue   [here]

Police: Firearms, ‘Anarchist Textbook’ Found in Ricin Hotel Room

Saturday, March 01, 2008

LAS VEGAS —  As police tried to piece together how a rare, fatal poison ended up in a motel for transients, the 57-year-old man who could hold the key lay unconscious in a Las Vegas hospital room.Adding to the mystery, police said that firearms and an “anarchist-type textbook” were found in the same room the ricin was found — two days before vials of the substance were discovered Thursday.

Click here for video.

Capt. Joseph Lombardo said at a press conference late Friday that the book was tabbed at a spot with information about ricin. Police found the weapons and books on Tuesday, after a manager at the Extended Stay America motel called police upon finding weapons, he said.

After authorities seized the book and weapons, tests for ricin were conducted but were negative, said Lombardo.

Lombardo said a 53-year-old friend or relative of the sick man made contact with motel management on Feb. 22 to inform them about pets in the room — a dog and two cats.

Earlier Friday, police Deputy Chief Kathy Suey said that the friend or relative found the vials after going to the motel to retrieve the hospitalized man’s belongings, and brought them to the apartment manager. Authorities confirmed Friday the vials contained ricin.

It was unclear how long the vials were in the unoccupied motel room, and whether they might have been overlooked when ricin tests were conducted on Tuesday.

Lombardo did not address such questions during the brief news conference.

For the complete story please click HERE