Volusia ‘Santa Claus’ bank robber pleads no contest

A man who authorities say robbed a Volusia County bank last year while dressed as Santa Claus pleaded no contest Thursday to robbery.
Mark London, 63, a former manager for a company that provides mall Santa Clauses, also pleaded no contest to displayin…

Missing: Wife And Mother Goes Out To Run Errands, Never Returns

Jennifer Huston is 38, a wife and a mother and police say she’s missing. According to KOMO News, Jennifer left her home last Thursday to run errands, but she never returned.

Since she vanished, Jennifer’s family and friends are pounding the pavement, including launching a social media campaign to help generate leads. The Find Jennifer Huston Facebook page has reached over 12,000 followers in a short period of time.

Investigators and Jennifer’s husband attempted to track her iPhone, but according to reports, the phone has been turned off.

KOMO News says the only activity on any of her accounts was a purchase for gas on Thursday. It appears that purchase may have been made as she was out running errands.

Jennifer was last seen driving a green Lexus SUV. She stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and is average build. Jennifer has blonde hair and green eyes. The last time she was seen, Jennifer was wearing black yoga pants and pink and black Nike shoes.

If you know anything about this case, or if you’ve seen Jennifer, please call 911.

Read more:  KOMO News

Read more:  Find Jennifer Huston Facebook

Suspect wounded in Antioch police officer-involved shooting

Suspect wounded in Antioch police officer-involved shootingKTVU San FranciscoA police officer shot and injured a man who resisted being detained Monday morning, according to police. The shooting was reported at 8:51 a.m. at a home in the 4100 block of …

  July 28, 2014  

Historic Clean Water Act Settlement Will Prevent Millions of Gallons of Sewage Discharges into San Francisco Bay

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, July 28, 2014

Historic Clean Water Act Settlement Will Prevent Millions of Gallons of Sewage Discharges into San Francisco Bay

Seven East Bay Communities, Municipal Utility District to Repair Systems, Pay Civil Penalties


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Clean Water Act settlement requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay communities to conduct extensive system repairs aimed at eliminating millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay.  Under today’s agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500 mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period.  The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion.  The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law.

 

Since 2009, EPA, state and local regulators and environmental groups have worked to reduce sewage discharges from East Bay communities.  During that period, interim actions required EBMUD and the East Bay communities to improve their sewer maintenance practices and gather information to identify priorities for investment.

 

The San Francisco Bay covers 1,600 square miles and is the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas, a host for millions of migratory birds and a hub of commerce and recreation for more than 7 million Bay Area residents.  Unfortunately, the bay is under threat from many sources of pollution, including crumbling wastewater infrastructure that allows sewage to escape from the system.  During rainstorms, in particular, older sewer systems can be overwhelmed, releasing rivers of sewage before fully treated.

 

In addition to polluting waterways , raw and partially treated sewage can spread disease-causing organisms, metals, and nutrients that threaten public health. Sewage can also deplete oxygen in the bay, threatening fish, seals and other wildlife.

 

“For many years, the health of San Francisco Bay has been imperiled by ongoing pollution, including enormous discharges of raw and partially treated sewage from communities in the East Bay,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  “Many of these discharges are the result of aging, deteriorated sewer infrastructure that will be fixed under the EPA order.”

 

Today’s settlement is the result of a Clean Water Act enforcement action brought by the EPA, U.S. Department of Justice, State Water Resources Control Board, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board, San Francisco Baykeeper and Our Children’s Earth Foundation.

 

“This settlement will result in major reductions of sewage discharges into the San Francisco Bay,” said W. Benjamin Fisherow, Chief of Environmental Enforcement in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.  “These improvements will help reach our goal of eliminating pollution in the neighborhoods in these cities and in the bay so that citizens may rest assured that they reside in a safe, clean environment.”

 

The seven East Bay communities in the EBMUD settlement are:

 


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City of Alameda


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City of Albany


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City of Berkeley


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City of Emeryville


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City of Oakland


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City of Piedmont


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Stege Sanitary District (serving El Cerrito, Kensington, and a portion of Richmond)

 

“The public has been required to repair their own sewer laterals for over two years now, so it is past time that the local agencies aggressively repair their sewer systems,” said Bruce Wolfe, Executive Officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board.  “This settlement spells out how the agencies will work with the public over the next 21 years to do just that and protect the bay.”

 

“Baykeeper will be watching the progress of these repairs closely to ensure that pollution of San Francisco Bay is reduced and eventually eliminated, and we will take action if the repairs fall short,” said Baykeeper Executive Director Deb Self. 

 

On an annual basis, hundreds of millions of gallons of raw and partially treated sewage are discharged directly to San Francisco Bay.  Also, as much as 600,000 gallons of raw sewage from community sewer systems is first discharged onto streets and other public areas—through outlets such as manhole covers—before it drains to the bay.

 

As part of the agreement, EBMUD and the seven communities will:

 


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repair and rehabilitate old and cracked sewer pipes;

 


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regularly clean and inspect sewer pipes to prevent overflows of raw sewage;

 


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identify and eliminate illegal sewer connections;

 


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continue to enforce private sewer lateral ordinances; and

 


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ensure proactive renewal of existing sanitary sewer infrastructure.

 

EBMUD will also immediately begin work to offset the environmental harm caused by the sewage discharges, which are expected to continue until these sewer upgrades are completed, by capturing and treating urban runoff and contaminated water that currently flows to the bay untreated during dry weather.

 

Keeping raw sewage and contaminated storm water out of the waters of the United States is one of EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives.  The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.  Read the settlement at:

www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html

 

Learn more about EPA’s national wastewater enforcement initiative at: 

http://go.usa.gov/5pak

 

EPA is working to restore San Francisco Bay, learn more at:

http://www2.epa.gov/sfbay-delta

 

14-790

Environment and Natural Resources Division

  July 28, 2014  

Dearborn man charged with murder, torture in sister’s slaying

Dearborn man charged with murder, torture in sister’s slaying
WDIV Detroit
AND STILL IN SHOCK AS THE SEARCH FOR THE KILLER OF A TEENAGER GIRL CONTINUES. AND A MURDER INVESTIGATION AS A WOMAN INSIDE OF HOME KILLED. IT WAS THIS AFTERNOON, AND A WOMAN ON BEACON STREET IN WEST …
Dearborn man charged with murder, torture in sister’s killing Port Huron Times Herald
(UPDATED) Dearborn man arraigned on murder, torture charges in connection Dearborn Press and Guide

  July 28, 2014  

Police: Woman Found Dead In Farmingville Home Was ‘Victim Of Violence’

Police: Woman Found Dead In Farmingville Home Was ‘Victim Of Violence’
CBS Local
The body of 36-year-old Monica Lino was discovered by her nephew on the first floor of her Berkshire Drive home just after 3 p.m. Sunday. Lino was pronounced dead at the scene. Police declined to reveal how she was killed or what type of weapon was …
Police investigate murder of Long Island mom WABC-TV
Woman found dead in her Long Island home was ‘victim of violence’ New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV

  July 28, 2014  

Vascular Solutions Inc. to Pay $520,000 to Resolve False Claims Allegations Relating to Medical Device

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vascular Solutions Inc. to Pay $520,000 to Resolve False Claims Allegations Relating to Medical Device

Vascular Solutions Inc. (VSI) has agreed to pay $520,000 to resolve allegations that it caused false claims to be submitted to federal health programs by marketing a medical device for the ablation (or sealing) of perforator veins without FDA approval and despite the failure of its own clinical trial, the Justice Department announced today.  VSI is a medical device company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

“The FDA approval process and clinical studies serve an important role in ensuring that federal health care participants receive devices that are medically appropriate and necessary,” said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “We will not permit companies to circumvent that process and put profits over patient safety.”

 

VSI markets and sells medical devices that treat varicose veins by sealing the veins with laser energy (endovenous laser ablation).  Their products include consoles, which generate the laser energy, and accessory kits.  Kits include needles to access the veins, laser fibers that carry the laser energy, and sheaths that guide the laser fiber to the area to be ablated and protect the parts of veins not being ablated.  In particular, VSI marketed and sold the “Vari-Lase Short Kit” medical device.  The kit contained a sheath that was shorter than other kits, which made it easier to treat vein segments that were shorter in length.

 

VSI’s “Short Kit” was approved only for the treatment of surface or superficial veins in the leg, which run near the surface of the body, and not for perforator veins, which connect the surface veins to deeper veins in the leg muscle.  The government alleged that VSI knowingly promoted the “Short Kit” for the ablation of perforator veins even though VSI had attempted to and failed to get FDA marketing clearance for ablation of this particular type of vein, and VSI had conducted a clinical trial of the “Short Kit” for ablating perforator veins that failed to meet both safety and efficacy benchmarks.  As a result of this conduct, the government alleged that VSI knowingly caused physicians and other purchasers of the “Short Kit” to submit false claims to federal health care programs for uses of the “Short Kit” that were not reimbursable. 

 

“The settlement announced today should make it clear that the Department of Justice will pursue companies that knowingly promote medical devices for unapproved uses, causing federal health care programs to pay for services that cannot be reimbursed,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman for the Western District of Texas.

 

“Medical device manufacturers that ignore rules designed to protect patients in order to boost profits will be held accountable for their actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Mike Fields for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Dallas region.  “We will continue to work with the Department of Justice to root out all forms of waste, fraud, and abuse in our federal health care programs.”

 

The allegations resolved by today’s settlement were raised in a lawsuit filed against VSI by DeSalle Bui, a former sales representative at VSI, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private citizens with knowledge of false claims to bring civil actions on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery.  Mr. Bui’s share of the settlement has not been determined.

 

The case was handled by the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.  Assistance was provided by the Defense Health Agency, the Office of Personnel Management, and the HHS-OIG and Office of General Counsel. 

 

This settlement illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and marks another achievement for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced in May 2009 by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation.  One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act.  Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $20.2 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $14 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.

 

The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.  The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. DeSalle Bui v. Vascular Solutions, Inc., No. A10CA883-SS (W.D. Tex.).

  July 28, 2014  

Arrest made in the kidnapping of Abigail Hernandez

Arrest made in the kidnapping of Abigail Hernandez
Press Herald
A New Hampshire man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping Abigail Hernandez. Nathaniel Kibby, 34, was charged with felony kidnapping for confining Hernandez on Oct. 9 in Conway, New Hampshire “with a purpose to commit an offense against …
Abigail Hernandez case: New Hampshire man arrested, charged with kidnapping New York Daily News
Breaking: Man charged with kidnapping in Abigail Hernandez case Boston Herald (blog)
Breaking News: Arrest Made in Abigail Hernandez Kidnapping Case Boston.com
WRAL.com  - WCSH-TV

  July 28, 2014  

Prosecutor: Trenton Man Sentenced To 28-Years For Kidnapping And Sexual …

Prosecutor: Trenton Man Sentenced To 28-Years For Kidnapping And Sexual …CBS LocalIn January 2014, 20-year-old Dante Picott pleaded guilty to the 10-count indictment charging him with kidnapping, robbery and several aggravated sexual assault offenses…

  July 28, 2014  

Trial begins for woman accused of kidnapping infant, leaving him outside West …

Trial begins for woman accused of kidnapping infant, leaving him outside West …The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and HeadlinesThe trial for a woman who is accused of abandoning her nephew at a West Branch gas station has begun. Jury selection b…

  July 28, 2014