Tag Archives: Christmas

‘Cop Killer’ Manhunt Goes Nationwide

29 Dec

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The manhunt for a “cop killer” was expanded today to a nationwide dragnet to find the suspected bank robber who fatally shot a Mississippi police officer two days before Christmas, according to the FBI. Tupelo Police Department officer Gale Stauffer and another officer were hit by gunfire Monday when they confronted suspected bank robbers during their getaway in the city. As the officers approached suspects in a vehicle, which was stuck in traffic at a railroad crossing, at least one of the suspects opened fire at close range, according to an account posted online at the Officer Down Memorial Page. The suspects fled, leaving Stauffer fatally shot and another officer critically wounded Stauffer “has made the ultimate sacrifice for his community,” Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said, urging the public to help “so that the criminal or criminals responsible for this horrendous act can be brought to justice.” After reviewing bank surveillance video from the robbery of a BancorpSouth bank in Tupelo, authorities are looking for a thin, possibly African-American man with light complexion, standing between 5-feet-9 and 6-feet tall, according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The suspect seen in the surveillance video was wearing khaki or cargo-style pants, white Converse tennis shoes, a long-sleeved jacket and a blue ski mask, the state public safety department said. A charcoal-colored, medium-sized sedan might have been used as a getaway car. As part of the investigation, authorities also released a photo (shown below) of a “person of interest” standing in what appears to be a convenience store minutes before the robbery at the bank. Police did not discuss any possible connection to the bank shooting.More than 100 agents, officers, deputies and marshals worked through Christmas to track down the suspects, an FBI official said. The FBI, BancorpSouth and others are offering more than $152,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
Stauffer was a combat veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard, and he had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was married with two young children.

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American Legion Says Veterans Denied "Christmas" Cards from School Children

27 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Handwritten Christmas cards
from schoolchildren were denied distribution to veterans at the Dallas VA Medical
Center this week because they referenced the holiday by name, and American Legion
National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger is not happy about it. Neither is the
Liberty Institute, which has sided with the Legion in opposing a number of other
attempts to prevent free expression of speech and religion.

Also this week, the VA hospital in Augusta, Ga., announced a new policy that turned
away high-school students who intended to sing Christmas carols to veterans, as they
traditionally have in past years. And in Iowa City, American Legion members were
told they could not hand out presents to veterans if the wrapping paper said Merry
Christmas, a problem they solved by filtering the gifts through the VA chaplain.

The American Legion has asked VA Central Office for an explanation of why it appears
that Christians are being singled out for restrictions, especially when the holiday
honors the birth of Jesus Christ.

“First of all, VA’s decision to prohibit the delivery of Christmas cards that
mention Christmas is ludicrous,” Dellinger said today after Texas teacher Susan
Chapman was told Monday that her students’ cards would not be delivered to veterans.
“Second of all, VA has been down this road before, and recently. VA has been warned
through a federal court decree to stop denying freedom of religious expression at
its facilities. It’s pretty obvious the Dallas VA did not get that memo.”

When high school singers arrived last Friday at the Augusta, Ga., VA Medical Center,
officials reportedly gave them a list of 12 approved, secular holiday songs.
Unprepared to sing them, the students opted not to perform. “That’s censorship, pure
and simple,” Dellinger said of the rejected carolers. “Every Christmas, every
religious holiday, Christians are more and more often targeted for censorship and
restriction at VA facilities. Veterans in these hospitals fought to protect such
freedoms.”

Chapman, the wife of a U.S. military veteran, has requested that the Dallas VA
Medical Center immediately rescind its discriminatory policy and allow her and her
students – and any others in the future – to distribute Christmas cards
that say “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You” or mention Jesus. Writing to VA
Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA North Texas Health System Director Jeffery L.
Milligan, Liberty Institute set a deadline of Friday, Dec. 27, for confirmation in
writing “that Mrs. Chapman and her students may distribute cards that contain the
phrase ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘God Bless You,’ or that contain other religious
references to veterans at the Medical Center and at all other VA hospitals, and that
the holiday card policies of the Department and the Medical Center (are) brought in
line with applicable law.”

“Of course, for this year’s schoolchildren, it’s a little late, and that’s really
disappointing,” said Dellinger, who leads the 2.4-million-member American Legion,
largest veterans organization in the country. “VA needs to let those children
deliver cards to the veterans now, and those who wrongly banned them owe an apology
to the children, the teacher and the veterans who were supposed to get them Monday.
This is a clear case of discrimination on the basis of religious expression; the
courts have already ruled that such policies are unconstitutional. The American
Legion fully concurs with that interpretation.”

Merry Christmas . . .

25 Dec A Christmas Story Comes Home

The Northwest Indiana Gazette wishes each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. We pray that there is no news today that is important enough to warrant breaking this solemn occasion. We celebrate the birth of Christ in our homes and we welcome those who join us in doing so. We also welcome those who do not, and simply hope that today may be a day of peace and reflection on the message of redemption that Jesus Christ brought. So to the non-Christian we say Merry Christmas in the spirit of love, redemption and hope. Lets move on to 2014 in peace, having turned the mistakes of 2013 into lessons.

Indiana Conservation officer saves Christmas

22 Dec

Yesterday evening, shortly before 7:00 PM, EST, Josh Byrd, Pike County Highway Superintendent, was placing road barriers on flooded Pike County Road 900 East, when he heard calls for help coming from out in the flood waters. He then contacted Pike County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch. The call came at 6:52 PM. The Jefferson Township Fire Department, Pike County Deputies, and Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene.
Conservation Officers Jon Watkins and Shane Cooper had been responding to similar flood related calls throughout the afternoon and were equipped to address this type of emergency. Arriving at the scene, they were able to launch their patrol boat from the roadway and begin a search of the flooded corn field. Christmas was found around 9:30 PM, approximately 100 yards into the flood waters, clinging onto a bridge abutment. By the time of the rescue, he had been in the flood waters about three hours.
According to the victim, Christmas was on his way home from where he worked in Otwell and decided to attempt to ride his 4-wheeler through the flooded roadway. As the water became deeper near a bridge, he decided to turn around. His vehicle began to float and got caught in the current separating Christmas from his 4-wheeler. Christmas was carried some distance with the current until he was able to latch onto some vegetation and regain his footing. Due to the darkness he was unable to find high ground. Now barefoot, he returned to the bridge, the only high point he knew.
Michael D. Christmas, 30, of Velpen Indiana. was transported to Jasper Memorial by Pike County Ambulance where he was treated for hypothermia and released.

Pet Photos With Santa at South Shore CVA 12/11 and 12/18

3 Dec A Christmas Story Comes Home

Gazette Staff

The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority will once again be holding Wag Your Tail Wednesdays in conjunction with the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit. On Wednesday Nov. 27, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., well-behaved cats and dogs will be able to have their picture taken with Santa.
This unique opportunity is offered for $5 per photo and will directly benefit a local animal rescue. Participants are encouraged to bring in donations for the organizations. Additionally, $1 from each pet photo will be donated to the rescue.

In addition to Wag Your Tail Wednesdays, Santa will begin visiting the Indiana Welcome Center on Friday, Nov. 29 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visitors will be able to get their photo taken atop Santa’s Mountain from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays leading up to Christmas. Before his yearly flight around the world, Santa will be at the Indiana Welcome Center on Dec. 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Dec. 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for photos. Each 4×6 photo costs $5.

The “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, which is presented in agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will run through Sunday, Jan. 5. The Indiana Welcome Center is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at the intersection of I-80/94 and Kennedy Avenue South in Hammond.

For more information on Wag Your Tail Wednesdays, photos with Santa, the exhibit, weekend and holiday hours or special events, contact Bethany Randolph, special events and services manager for the South Shore CVA, at 219-554-2229 or visit http://www.achristmasstorycomeshome.com.

A Christmas Story Exhibit to be Featured at Riley Children's Hospital

27 Nov A Christmas Story Comes Home

Gazette Staff

A window scene from the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority’s annual “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit will be spending this holiday season at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

According to Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA, the organization wanted to share Northwest Indiana’s holiday cheer with the hospital.

“Watching the holiday classic ‘A Christmas Story’ has become tradition for many families. We wanted to provide Riley Hospital for Children’s patients and families the chance to experience the annual exhibit during their time at Riley,” said Batistatos.

In addition to providing one of the window scenes for display, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority will be coordinating several special events. The special events will offer patients and families the opportunity to experience Christmas traditions while at Riley Hospital for Children.

The “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, which is presented in agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will open at the Indiana Welcome Center on Saturday, Nov. 9 and run through Sunday, Jan. 5. The Indiana Welcome Center is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond, Indiana 46323.

For more information on the exhibit, weekend and holiday hours, special events, or the partnership with Riley Hospital for Children, contact Bethany Randolph, special events and services manager for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, at 219-554-2229 or visit www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com

More about the "buy Indiana Christmas Tree "

25 Nov

Earlier I posted about the Indiana
Christmas tree program.To locate an
Indiana tree farm that participates
**here**
The original story:
**here**