Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.

According to a press release from the Office of Congressman Mike Thompson, dated March 1, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today released the following statement notifying Social Security beneficiaries that beginning exactly one year from today, March 1, 2013, those not already signed up for direct deposit will start receiving their monthly benefits through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card.  “Starting next year all Social Security recipients – and all others receiving federal benefits – will get their payments directly deposited into their bank accounts – meaning folks will be getting their benefits quicker and more easily,” said Thompson. “If you haven’t set up direct deposit with the Social Security Administration, please take the time to sign up. These changes will not impact the amount of benefits you receive.”

To sign up for direct deposit, or to receive a prepaid debit card, you can visit GoDirect.org or call the Go Direct helpline at (800) 333-1795.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Elderly couple interrupt burglary

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According to a press release from the Humblodt Co. Sheriff's Office, dated Feb. 29, 2012:
On Feb. 29, 2012, approximately 8:45 {the press release did not state am or pm} a Humboldt County Sheriffs Deputies were dispatched to an attempted residential burglary interrupted by the homeowner which just occurred. The 70 year husband and wife reported a male had just broken into their home located in the 2000 block of Fieldbrook Road, Fieldbrook. The male victim heard a noise in his kitchen and entered the kitchen thinking it was his wife. The male victim came face to face with the male suspect who had just forced entry into the victims’ home via the back door. After meeting each other face to face in the kitchen, the suspect fled the home. The victim saw the suspect enter the passenger side of a white Chevy pickup truck which was backed into the victims’ driveway. There was a female driving the truck which drove towards McKinleyville on Fieldbrook Road.  Sheriffs Dispatch broadcast the vehicles description and direction of travel. A deputy responding to the call from McKinleyville saw the truck approaching from the opposite direction on Fieldbrook Road. The female driver saw the approaching patrol car and turned onto Wilson Lane to avoid the deputy. The pick truck drove into a driveway in the 300 block of Wilson Lane, Fieldbrook.  The deputy contacted and detained both occupants as they were exiting the truck. It was determined the occupants did not live at the Wilson Lane address.
The male matched the suspect description provided by the victim. The victim was transported to the scene by deputies. The victim identified the male suspect who deputies identified as Shad Lynn Sovereign, 30 years old from Eureka, who was on parole.  Sovereign is being held without bail. The female driver was identified as Reshawn Lindsay O’Kelly, 35 years old from Eureka. Deputies learned Sovereign had also gone to a neighbor’s residence just prior to the victims.  Sovereign knocked on the neighbor’s front door and asked if “Rodney lived there “.  When told he did not, Sovereign left. The neighbor and deputies believed Sovereign was checking out homes to burglarize. Sovereign was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on attempted residential burglary and violation of parole. O’Kelly was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on attempted burglary; her bail was set at $75,000.00.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or criminal related activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line 707-268-2539. If you live in the City Limits of Eureka the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Unit can be reached at 707-441-4373

According to a press release from the Eureka Police Department:
On Feb. 2, 2012, at about 3:53 pm, the Coast Central Credit Union at the Bayshore Mall was robbed.  The suspect approached the teller with a note advising the teller he was armed however no weapon was seen or brandished.  The credit union teller complied with his demands and the suspect escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.  The Eureka Police Department’s Criminal Investigative Services has developed probable cause showing 37 year old William Joseph Farrell as the suspect. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.  Anyone who knows Farrell’s whereabouts, should contact law enforcement with that information. Any close friends or relatives of Farrell should counsel Farrell to surrender on the warrant.

Click here to see the original post on this incident.

William Joseph Farrell is shown in the photo below on the right. The photo to the left is from the Credit Union surveillance camera taken at the time of the robbery.

According to a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson's Office, dated Feb. 23, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today demanded that service members who were subjected to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) chemical weapon testing be able to receive full medical care and disability compensation for their service-connected medical conditions. In late 2002, the DOD revealed for the first time that between 1962 and 1974 it had tested harmful chemical and biological agents by spraying them on ships and sailors. These tests – known as Project 112, which included Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD), exposed at least 6,000 service members without their knowledge to harmful chemical and biological weapons and included some of the most deadly chemicals on Earth: Vx Nerve Gas, Sarin Nerve Gas and E. coli.
Many veterans who were subjected to chemical tests as part of Project 112/SHAD have developed serious medical issues but do not currently receive priority care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or disability benefits because the VA does not officially recognize any long-term health consequences from exposure to the chemical agents from these specific tests. In 2010, Congress passed a law requiring the VA to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to consider the health impact on veterans that were part of Project 112/SHAD. The IOM Study committee charged with investigating these potential health impacts today held a field hearing in Sacramento. If the scientific study by the IOM finds a connection between the chemical testing and long-term health consequences, the VA will likely be compelled to provide all service members exposed to this testing priority medical care and full disability compensation. Thompson today submitted testimony to the committee. “Our country must ensure that any service member who has become sick or developed a disability because of these tests is provided with the treatment they deserve and benefits they’ve earned,” said Thompson. “We cannot wait any longer. Many brave men who served our country are now sick or have passed away because of Project 112’s chemical and biological testing. It is our duty to right this wrong and get our service members the care they need.”
In 2002, Congress directed the IOM to conduct a study of the health effects associated with the chemicals used during Project 112/SHAD.  Numerous reports by other agencies and departments within the U.S. government, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say exposure to these substances have long-term health consequences.  However, after five years of research the IOM study found no connection existed between the substances tested and the health problems now widely seen among known SHAD veterans.  As a result, the VA does not recognize any long-term health consequences from the Project 112/SHAD tests. The IOM has since conceded that the first study did not adequately sample the full universe of Project 112/SHAD veterans, and that the study panel could not obtain sufficient information to assess levels of exposure to specific agents. The initial study also failed to account for the job and duty assignments of various personnel on board all the ships and tugs involved in the chemical testing. Because of this, the first study failed to take into account the different levels of exposure.  For instance, some personnel were exposed during training and testing to multiple weapons, experimental vaccines, trace elements, stimulants, and decontamination agents, whereas other personnel would have had limited exposure because of where they were stationed. For these reasons, Congress passed a 2010 law requiring a second study.
Thompson provided testimony along with former Senior Navy Officer and Humboldt County resident Jack Alderson today at the committee. Alderson was in charge of five different light tug operations from 1964 to 1967. As a senior officer, Alderson was notified of some military chemical tests performed on animals on his ship while he was in service.  Once he started getting sick, he asked Thompson to investigate whether or not there could be a link between his health problems and Project 112/SHAD. It was found that the DOD performed experimental tests by spraying live chemical and biological agents on ships and sailors to test the Navy’s vulnerability to toxic warfare. Alderson commanded some of the ships used in these experiments. He has since been diagnosed with malignant Melanoma, several types of skin cancers, prostate cancer and doctors have found four occurrences of Asbestos in his lungs. “Jack, and all the people who served with him, deserve to know the truth,” said Thompson. “If we don’t get these service members the care they need, then how can we ask our current service members to put their lives on the line knowing that harm from the enemy may not be the only danger they encounter? It is imperative for us to right our governments past wrongs and help these brave veterans who were unknowingly subjected to these tests.”
Click here for more information on the IOM study.

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