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Messages - Lepard LLC

Local News / JB King's letter to the County Commissioners.
« on: August 03, 2007, 02:23:40 PM »
Aug.2, 2007

Honorable Members of the Pulaski County Commission


During the ice storm of January 2007 we gained a good deal of knowledge about emergency operations over an extended period of time. One of the lessons we learned is that the existing generator that supplies the Pulaski County Courthouse is completely inadequate to handle that job. It cannot supply sufficient power to fully operate the Sheriff’s Department much less the rest of the Courthouse.

There are many reasons why this deficiency needs to be corrected. The three major reasons are as follows,

The daily operation of the Pulaski County government comes to a stop without power. It does not matter if it is a simple power outage of a few hours or a major ice storm, tornado, etc. that knocks out power for days. Even a simple outage can affect us badly. In 2006 we had a murder trial by jury in progress when the power went out for hours. The law enforcement operations of the Sheriff’s Department are severely hampered without sufficient power.
The safety and comfort of the inmates ordered to our care by judicial authority suffers. This is an area where we are mandated by law to provide for the inmates, our failure to do so can have consequences.
The lack of power limits the use of the Courthouse as an emergency shelter by the Pulaski County Office of Emergency Management.
I am sure we could find other concerns to point out but the simple fact is that we need to act to alleviate this problem. Therefore I am requesting that the Pulaski County Commission solicit bids for a brand new state of the art, automatic start generator capable of powering the entire daily courthouse electric load. I would also suggest a continuous fuel supply be part of the bid requirements.

The purchase of a new generator should qualify as an improvement to the courthouse and thus could be funded from the Courthouse sales fund.


Sheriff J. B. King

National Political Opinion / Re: Why Bush will be a winner
« on: August 03, 2007, 01:54:36 PM »
You must admit that Bush is building bridges in Iraq more than he is here. They get new bridges as ours collapse.

I would like to switch gears a bit and talk about something I heard in the news this morning.  It looks like the Faaaaaaar Left has now blamed the bridge collapse in the twin cities on Bush.  I've said it several times already, but I'll say it again.  We have folks out there that hate Bush so much that they would rather see us fail in Iraq or anywhere for that matter, just to make Bush look bad.  Why else would they continue to push some of the committees they have in Congress where they have found zero evidence of Bush administration wrong doing!  It's because they want to win the Presidency so badly they just want to keep those issues alive in hopes that it will influence more voter's to vote Democrat in Nov 2008.

Music, Bands, Concerts? / Re: Music of my Youth
« on: August 02, 2007, 11:31:18 PM »
Thanks for making me feel young.

While in high school I wore out a couple of Cream 8 tracks.  Then went and bought them again.  I can still hear all of the riffs in Crossroads.

A lot of Ventures music.  Used to listen to it as I went to sleep.  That and Chubby Checker's Limbo album.  i don't know why I just like that one.

In college I was turned on to the Allman Brothers Band.  I have everything they have ever done.  Southern Rock for many years and recently into Surf Bands and Ventures again.  I may be nostalgic for them cause I was in a band that played instrumental stuff like that.

Still into Surf stuff.  But, Listen to most anything.  But the new rock/country.  That sucks as far as I am concerned.  Old country from my childhood I still like.  That's bout it.

Have fun everyone.

National News / 7 killed in Minneapolis bridge collapse
« on: August 02, 2007, 04:35:19 AM »
7 killed in Minneapolis bridge collapse By PATRICK CONDON and GREGG AAMOT, Associated Press Writers

MINNEAPOLIS - An interstate bridge jammed with rush-hour traffic suddenly broke into huge sections and collapsed into the Mississippi River Wednesday, pitching dozens of cars 60 feet into the water and killing at least seven people.

The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis artery, was in the midst of being repaired and had several lanes closed when it crumbled.

"There were two lanes of traffic, bumper to bumper, at the point of the collapse. Those cars did go into the river," Minneapolis Police Lt. Amelia Huffman. "At this point there is nothing to suggest that this was anything other than a structural collapse."

Jamie Winegar of Houston was sitting in traffic shortly after 6 p.m. when all of a sudden she started hearing "boom, boom, boom and we were just dropping, dropping, dropping, dropping."

The car she was riding in landed on top of a smaller car but did not fall into the water. She said her nephew yelled, "'It's an earthquake!' and then we realized the bridge was collapsing."

At least seven people were killed and 60 were taken to area hospitals, authorities said. Dr. Joseph Clinton, emergency medical chief at Hennepin County Medical Center, said his hospital treated 28 injured people — including six who were in critical condition.

Clinton said at least one of the victims had drowned.

The Homeland Security Department also said the collapse did not appear to be terrorism-related. The National Transportation Safety Board planned to send a team of investigators to Minneapolis, NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz said.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty said the bridge was inspected by the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 2005 and 2006 and that no structural problems were noted. "There were some minor things that needed attention," he said.

Police Chief Tim Dolan said officers were checking other bridges as a precaution.

The steel-arched bridge, which was built in 1967, rises about 64 feet above the river. An estimated 50 vehicles plunged into the water and onto the land below.

A burning truck and a school bus clung to one slanted slab. The bus had just crossed the bridge before it crumpled into pieces.

Christine Swift's 10-year-old daughter, Kaleigh, was on the bus returning from a field trip and called her mother. "She was screaming, 'The bridge collapsed!'" Swift said.

She said a police officer told her all the kids got off the bus safely.

It appeared that the center section of the bridge dropped straight down and pancaked in the middle of the river, leaving several vehicles stranded on a broken island of wreckage. As divers plumbed the waters, other rescuers searched frantically for victims amid broken, zigzagged sections of blacktop. Some of the injured were carried up the riverbanks.

Dozens of vehicles were scattered and stacked on top of each other amid the rubble. Some people were stranded on parts of the bridge that weren't completely in the water.

Many motorists could have been headed to the Minnesota Twins game not far from the bridge. Team officials decided to play the game after conferring with department of public safety officials. It was decided that sending 20,000-25,000 people back into traffic could hinder rescue efforts, said team president Dave St. Peter.

The bridge was built with a single 458-foot-long steel arch to avoid putting any piers in the water that might interfere with river navigation.

Catherine Yankelevich survived a 1994 earthquake in Northridge, Calif., and was on the I-35W bridge when it began to shake. "Cars started flying and I was falling and saw the water," she said. After her car plunged into the river, she climbed out the driver's side window and swam to shore uninjured.

Workers have been repairing the 40-year-old bridge's surface as part of improvements along that stretch of the interstate, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on its Web site.

"Obviously, this is a catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesota," said Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "And right now we are focused on making sure that we are doing everything to respond to the needs of those individuals that may have been harmed in this incident."

County Government Opinion / Re: Dangerous Road
« on: August 02, 2007, 01:31:09 AM »
Hate to sound like I'm correcting you but property taxes are being raised in a county where property values are plummeting. Pulaski County that is.

I do not believe that they will ever fix the road past the city limits. If they want someone to fix it, talk to all the builders that are putting up houses, it is their large trucks that continue to make the road worse, or maybe the county should hire someone who knows how to fix roads, because the individuals that then send to do patch work are not very effective, they fill the holes and a couple days later it has returned, GOOD JOB. Property taxes are being raised for an area that is not being maintained. Where is the tax money going to?

Restaurant Opinion / Re: Stefano's
« on: August 01, 2007, 09:10:47 PM »
Stefanos will be giving out free pizza samples at Lepard Shoe this Saturday between 11am and 2pm. Your chance to try it out.

Restaurant Opinion / Re: Chicken Bones
« on: August 01, 2007, 04:27:30 AM »
No we do not want to know, this is bull... No one is allowed to say that any shop uses dirty needles on this site, unless they have absolute stand up in court proof. Personal vendettas need to be taken elsewhere.

I bet you work in some capacity on that property. Which shop re-uses needles? I'd like to know.

Local News / Re: The Commissioners Want A Secretary??
« on: July 31, 2007, 01:16:32 PM »
Where there's a will there's a way. I guess there was no will amongst the Commissioners that the men should get the raise. Very good point.. It also asks the question were they duped? Answer?

I just don't see how they can come up with the money to get a secretary. They keep telling the men at the road and bridge department that they couldn't get better raises because they had no money, couldn't get better insurance because they have no money!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now if they can tell these men no money for this and no money for that then how the hell can they pay a secretary? I also don't feel like they should be paying someone new more money than these men make, It is the men that are out doing the work!!!!!!!!!! I say pay the men more not get someone to answer the phone.

« on: July 31, 2007, 06:08:55 AM »
Well she wasn't banned for what was written on this thread. I recall some weird attacks, not sure where and what, been too long ago.. Any one who has ever been banned knows why, and knew it was coming when they wrote what they wrote. Not one regret for me, I lost sleep years ago allowing things to stay on here, now I remove it and sleep like a baby...

Rick, thank you for banning cynicistforever. I just read this thread for the very first time tonight and she even made me mad. As for as hawkeyehaven, get some real foolproof evidence and present your case to the people that can truly do something about it. If you can't do that then please take this topic a different route. Do I think it's a whole bunch of BS? Absolutely, especially when we have kids out here serving our county in the law enforcement aspect and they can't even get their insurance paid for by the county or even a pay raise for that matter. Much less to have a fairly well off man raping the taxpayers dollars. Hopefully you will be successful in you mission!! Good Luck!! Just make sure that your door step is swept before you start sweeping your neighbors!!

911 has all the money, they should buy. LOL

Heck, I'm just trying to get Rick over there, thought he might spring for lunch, hahaha.

Phoenix Violent Crime Rate per Capita:
Murder Is 2.24 times the National Average 
Forcible Rape Is 1.03 times the National Average
Robbery Is 1.20 times the National Average
Aggravated Assault Is 1.04 times the National Average
All Violent Crime Is 1.16 times the National Average 
Phoenix Property Crime Rate per Capita:
Burglary Is 1.43 times the National Average
Larceny or Theft Is 1.32 times the National Average
Car Theft Is 3.05 times the National Average
Arson Is 1.05 times the National Average
All Property Crime Is 1.58 times the National Average

But he is saving money on jail expenses.

That's Gary Carmack spin. LOL

Rick where are you questioning how hard the dispatchers work or how important the service is ?

Oh wait your not ! Why does it always get turned into that? It's all about the spending .   LOL

Pulaski Enquirer / Re: The Good Old Days
« on: July 30, 2007, 08:49:28 PM »
And who benefits the most from this many Christmas gifts? The Chinese economy.

I remember pouring a pack of peanuts in my Coke.  And penny candy!  And saying yes sir  and no sir and may I.  And getting 4 or 5 presents for x-mas not 50!  Ahhh the good ole days!

Restaurant Opinion / Re: Chicken Bones
« on: July 30, 2007, 02:52:16 PM »
We use brand new bags at my store for every shoe sale. That makes us special.. We also throw in the shoe laces at no extra cost. These are just some of the scare tactics we used to get business..

Local News / Re: A Hospital in St. Robert?
« on: July 30, 2007, 02:47:20 PM »
It is not his fault no one wants to locate in Waynesville. I know nothing about the packets.

What exactly is he doing?  As he's been in the position for 2 years now and not ONE new business has come to the area.

I know when he originally took the position he was all for getting new business, but I've not seen much happen yet.  Also it's the old timers on the city council that I'm referring too.  That are too lazy to go down and pick up their council packet from the city hall and would rather utilize the police department to run around the packets to them.  That's an effective use of our law enforcement isn't it?  How are they actively working on doing anything productive for this community if they can't even get out long enough to pick up their own agenda?

National Political Opinion / Ron Paul 2008 on YouTube
« on: July 30, 2007, 02:45:14 PM »
[youtube=425,350]FmKwlE3fO-Y[/youtube] Watch this video.

Local News / Re: A Hospital in St. Robert?
« on: July 30, 2007, 06:45:01 AM »
Sorry but I must disagree, I know City Administrator Bruce Harill personally, and he's working every angle to attract business.

No, I think that the council is responsible for no new business in Waynesville AT ALL.  They make poor business decisions, don't offer any incentives, nor do they actively seek out businesses to come here.  I'd run in a heartbeat if I lived in the city limits.  They need new blood.

Local News / Re: The Commissioners Want A Secretary??
« on: July 30, 2007, 05:32:08 AM »
OK I did some research, it seems that what I believe to be the owner of Sins In Time put this comment on his message board that most people know nothing about, and we won't mention here. Here is his comment, I cut and pasted from his page. The Rudy who he refers to is Commissioner Farnham.

""Since you're still awake, Rudy .... I was told today that Thornsberry has a major problem with what he considers "comments by the uninitiated, uninformed and uneducated citizenry" (my words, not his) on the county's e-media. Has anyone ever suggested that, instead of just lurking, he take the high road and explain (or at least rationalize) the mysterious actions sometimes taken by the commission? He gripes about people complaining - yet he's griping himself about a "problem" which he could address on his own, and maybe clear up any misconceptions.
I suspect, though, that he'll instead continue to lurk, and foster the "I, of course, know what's good for you better than you do" mystique which he seems to cultivate into an art form.
If my perception is wrong, however (and it wouldn't be the first time), I'd welcome the chance to debate it with him along with everyone else on here, and I'd readily admit my mistake and give him the benefit of the doubt.

Local News / Re: The Commissioners Want A Secretary??
« on: July 30, 2007, 05:15:51 AM »
What's even funnier is the claim that Dennis Thornsberry wrote that.

Great minds think alike!  I too just got back from and miriamwebster online, and the encyclopedias.  When I Googled it, I did get a few entries though. . .  Though it did ask first if I really meant to type that.

Local News / Re: The Commissioners Want A Secretary??
« on: July 30, 2007, 04:38:14 AM »
Unitiated?  LOL... WTF?
At first I was like "Unitiated? Maybe I am not as smart as most." So I ask Mylisa who has a degree in English what it meant, and she said that's not a word. I looked in and it agreed. If nothing else I got a good laugh out of it. Even spell check on this site rejects it.

So I have decided to make my own definition for the word unitiated. It now means someone who tries to join an organization but at the last minute is denied entrance.

Well I just read where Mr. T has referred to citizens on the forums as uneducated, unitiated and uninformed.  His words.  since he is lurking out there, I want him to know most of us are far superior to what his opinion is of us.  He seems to know what is best for us or at least he and Billy seem to have that attitude.  So come on Dennis give up ALL your dirty little secrets, not only about why having a secretary deserves merit, but who you guys intend to hire.  And we know you have someone, a good buddy in mind.

Restaurant Opinion / Re: The Hub
« on: July 29, 2007, 07:15:18 PM »
I consider it in at least the top two eating Establishments in town.

Been to the Hub twice, first time i told myself i wouldn't ever go back. Went back the second time because the wife begged me to take her there( so i did). Will not go back for a third time.  First time I ordered the jager schnitzel, the second time the saurbraten. Was disappointed with the food both times,  schnitzel was mainly all fat, and saurbraten was bland.  The spatzel tasted like water, no flavor to it what so ever.  Maybe i just happen to get lucky to go on nights that they were having a bad day.

Pulaski Enquirer / Re: The Back Fence
« on: July 29, 2007, 01:04:40 AM »

well where is everyone at? sorry i have not been posting> been busy fighting with hubby>

Sneak Peek Sheriff's View / Re: Sneak Peek Sheriff's View
« on: July 28, 2007, 11:51:36 PM »
The Sheriff’s View #31, Week of July 30 to Aug. 3, 2007

Welcome aboard for one more trip around Pulaski County with the Deputies of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. There is a fair bit of news that I can write about this week And I need to start with a correction. I made a mistake a few columns’s ago and gave you some wrong information. You may recall that I was explaining that we did not house inmates in Laclede County because they were not in our circuit and they charged more money per day. It was pointed out to me that Miller County is also outside of our circuit and we do house inmates there.

OK, I should have said that a County outside of our Judicial Circuit MAY charge us more simply because they are outside of the circuit. But Miller County wants help in paying off their new jail so they agreed to match the daily price of Phelps County in order to get our business. They could ask for more but that would mean I would send all of our inmates to Phelps County. So for the want of business income they took a lower fee. Now I can already hear the question, why do we need two other jails to hold our inmates?

The best example would be a murder case we still have waiting for trial. There were three people charged with this crime. For a very large number of reasons we could not or should not house them together in one jail. So one inmate went to each jail and we lived happy ever after with no fights or other problems in the jail. The court case has not been compromised in any way because the defendants were able to directly communicate.

I just checked with dispatch and our calls for service/case number count stands at 4,924 at 3:15pm on July 28, 2007. This was an increase of 198 case numbers over last week’s count. Summer is here, more activity by people and more people in trouble so the count climbs. Sometimes those of us in law enforcement remember that great quote by that Forrest Gump fellow, “Stupid is as stupid does” or whatever it was he said. The key word was stupid. We see a lot of very stupid behavior during the summer.

A few months ago I mentioned that the Sheltered Workshop in Richland had a great 911-address sign and post combination for sale that would help us to locate your home in an emergency. I ran into the Director of the Workshop a few hours ago at Old Settlers Day in the Waynesville City Park. Linda told me sales had been brisk after I mentioned them in the column. She also told me that they are now using reflective materials in the sign to make the new ones even better. If you would like to ask her a few questions the number is 573-765-2500. I am not exactly running an ad for them, I do not care where you buy your address sign, and I just want to see one on your lawn or house so we can find you in an emergency.

In last week’s column I made the remark in humor that I hoped my Deputies had not seen the inside of the Taney County jail during a training trip. Several of you notified me that my sense of humor is still going OK and you wanted to know if they failed. No, they did not. Sheriff Jimmie Russell of Taney County said they were not in his jail but some of his Deputies were at the same training and he thought we did well.

One of the things that always seem to occur whenever I attend one of these all Sheriff’s training conferences is that we are reminded that the Office of Sheriff is the only real law enforcement position that you the people make the choice to fill. Under current Missouri law that statement is not exactly accurate because a handful of small towns still have the election for town marshal. However these small tows are becoming fewer each year as the town marshal system is slowly fading away. So in a real sense yes, the Office of Sheriff is the only position that you the citizens truly decide. Next year every Sheriff’s Office in Missouri is up for election except for the St. Charles County position. Many years ago when they adopted their new form of County government they set a date for the election of their Sheriff and they dropped out of the statewide cycle.

So in some respects one of the jobs that each Sheriff in Missouri must attend to next year is the business of asking for and receiving permission from the voters to run the Office for another four-year term. If you lose the election, you are out of the law enforcement business. Bluntly stated that has both good and bad aspects to it but in another sense it does that matter. That is the system and to be a Sheriff you must work with the system. So next year, those Sheriffs who want to continue in office shall do the election cycle once again.

While I was at the conference in St. Charles I talked to Sheriff Don Blankenship of Phelps County quite a bit. Don tells me that he has 64 employees at this time. His budget is $4.2 million and he holds about 136 inmates each day of the year. Don went on to tell me about the breakdown of his officers and the special training they have received. I did not make notes so there is no way I could repeat this information. But I do not need to, Don has decided to take a page from my book and he has started a bi-weekly column for the Rolla Daily News. If you want more details on the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department you can find the Rolla Daily News online and the story is on the front page.

In other news the St. Robert Police recovered a stolen vehicle that we entered into the NCIC system a few months ago. This occurred on Friday and I do not have any more details other than our Detective unit processed the car. We also solved a Dixon burglary and recovered the stolen guns with a search warrant in the Waynesville area. I did send out a press release on this case and it should be in the local papers soon.

I seem to have hit the magic number on the word count; actually I am over, so I think I better close out for this issue. Please remember to drive careful and to stay legal. We can find room for you at the jail but we do not want you at the jail. However, if you must visit us the staff is waiting and the jail lights are ON!

Missouri leads nation in boating while intoxicated arrests
By David Catanese, KY3 News and The Associated Press
Click here to download Flash. LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. (AP) - Researchers are studying how the
Missouri Water Patrol conducts sobriety tests and makes arrests at
Lake of the Ozarks.
A California research institute is conducting the study to help
develop a standardized procedure for checking boaters for sobriety
and making arrests.
Missouri is one of only a few states that check boats for
intoxicated drivers. The patrol says nearly all fatal boat mishaps
at the popular lake involve alcohol.
Water patrol Lieutenant Nick Humphrey says Lake of the Ozarks
has led the nation in boating while intoxicated arrests over the
past several years. In 2005, Missouri ranked first in the nation
with a total of 480 arrests.
Several waterways in South Carolina and Lake Havasu in Arizona
are also being studied.

The Lake-Sun Leader:

I don't have any doubt that the dispatchers don't work hard or deserve the money they earn. That's not the point.

Rick, of course you know I always come on here and support 9-1-1, and one of the few things I disagree with you on. I think it is one of the most life-saving and valuable services. It was well planned and formed by the people. A lot of thought and hard work went into it's formation, and most of was done with full and complete transparency and one of the few organizations actually founded in modern times...with and by "the people." Nothing clandestine at all. It is not over funded at all. Would you like to go over there one day with me and meet the dispatchers. Maybe sat through a few hours on a hectic night and see what they do? I think that could be arranged, but I'm not sure. I can ask. I know we can go over for a visit, I'll have to check with Michelle regarding how long you could stay. I can tell you, when a fire, ambulance call and numerous police calls come in; which frequently is unbelievable, you talking about stress, and I am a veteran paramedic. These dispatcher deserve every penny they get, and trust me, just like our deputies, our police, my paramedics...they deserve a lot more. Come go with me Rick. We need to visit anyway.

Religion Opinion / Re: Religions and man
« on: July 27, 2007, 11:38:24 PM »
LOL SHHHH, the earth hasn't been around long enough to make fossil fuels silly.

God didn't get bored with the Dinosaurs.  They served their purpose while the earth was being made ready for humans.

I hate to go out on a limb and show how ignorant I am in this particular area of science on a public forum, but what fossils do fossil fuels come from?

Local News / Stolen Weapons Recovered
« on: July 27, 2007, 08:06:32 PM »
Press Release

Stolen Weapons Recovered

Pulaski County Sheriff J. B. King

July 27, 2007

On July 19, 2007, members of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department investigated a burglary that had occurred at 14260 Host Drive, Dixon, Missouri. A number of firearms were stolen in this burglary. The investigation in this case continued for several days. As a result of information developed during this investigation on July 24, 2007, Deputies stopped a suspect vehicle and located a stolen firearm in the vehicle. This development led to a request for a search warrant, which was later granted by the Pulaski County Circuit Court.

On July 27, 2007, this search warrant was served at a residence located at 22336 Spruce Road in Waynesville, Missouri. A number of stolen firearms were located during the search. As a result of this investigation a charge of stealing was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Michael E. Holmes, age 25, of 22336 Spruce Road, Waynesville, Missouri. At this time Mr. Holmes has been unable to post an appearance bond and he remains in the Pulaski County Jail.

National News / NASA Astronauts drunk?
« on: July 27, 2007, 02:56:03 PM »
NASA shaken by sabotage, drinking claims By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - America's space agency was shaken Thursday by two startling and unrelated reports: One involved claims that astronauts were drunk before flying. The other was news from NASA itself that a worker had sabotaged a computer set for delivery to the international space station.

It was just another jolt for an operation that has had a rocky year from the start, beginning with the arrest of an astronaut accused of attacking a rival in a love triangle.

"It's going to shake up the world, I'll tell you that," retired NASA executive Seymour Himmel said of the latest news. "There will be congressional hearings that you will not be able to avoid."

News of the two latest bombshells broke within just a few hours of each other Thursday afternoon.

Aviation Week & Space Technology reported on its Web site that a special panel studying astronaut health found that on two occasions, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a safety risk.

The independent panel also found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch — within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule, the magazine reported.

A NASA official confirmed the report contains such details, but said they were from anonymous interviews and not substantiated. The official asked that his name not be used because NASA will discuss the health report on Friday.

The Aviation Week story did not say how long ago the alleged incidents took place, nor did it say whether it involved pilots or other crew members.

At a news conference to discuss the upcoming space shuttle launch set for Aug. 7, NASA's space operations chief was asked repeatedly about the drunken astronaut report.

The manager, Bill Gerstenmaier, would only say that he had never seen an intoxicated astronaut before flight or been involved in any disciplinary action related to that.

But Gerstenmaier had more news. He revealed that an employee for a NASA subcontractor had cut the wires in a computer that was about to be loaded into the shuttle Endeavour for launch.

The subcontractor, which he wouldn't name, contacted NASA 1 1/2 weeks ago, as soon as it learned that another computer had been damaged deliberately, Gerstenmaier said. Had the contractor not discovered the problem, NASA would have uncovered it by testing the computer before launch, Gerstenmaier said. Safety was not an issue, he added.

He refused to speculate on the worker's motive. He also wouldn't say where the sabotage occurred. He said it did not happen in Florida and had nothing to do with an ongoing strike at the Kennedy Space Center by a machinists' union.

NASA hopes to fix the computer in time for launch next month. It's intended to be installed inside the space station to collect data from strain gauges on a major outside beam.

Former shuttle commander Eileen Collins was as stunned as anyone to learn of the astronaut alcohol claims in the upcoming health report.

"I'm anxious to hear more details because this is very out of character from anything I have ever experienced," she said.

Collins worries this will hurt the image of the astronauts, at least in the short term. "I hope people can really look at the good things astronauts do," she said.

Astronaut Jeffrey Williams, who spent six months on the space station last year, said he's never seen or heard of anything like this. As for the effect this may have on astronaut morale, especially so close to a shuttle flight, he said, "We're trained to deal with things so we deal with them without much emotion."

Himmel, who retired in 1981 as associate director for what is now Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, wasn't surprised to learn the information was anonymous.

"Let's face it. Astronauts are a bunch of brothers and sisters, OK, and they'll cover each other's backsides because they're part of the team," he said. "And who knows what the role of the particular ones was to be. If he was just to sit in the middle seat somewhere and just be a passenger, you kind of say, 'Well, gee, I hope he doesn't vomit on the way up.'"

The independent panel reviewing astronaut health and NASA's psychological screening process was created following the arrest in February of former space shuttle flier Lisa Nowak. None of the panel members returned phone calls or e-mails from The Associated Press.

Nowak is accused of attacking the girlfriend of a fellow astronaut — her romantic rival — with pepper spray in a parking lot at Orlando International Airport. Fired by NASA in March, she has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault.

The scandal was followed by a freak hailstorm that tore into a space shuttle on the launch pad that set back the year's flight schedule. Then there was a shooting at Johnson Space Center in Houston by an employee who ultimately killed himself.

Himmel questions whether any screening or rules could weed out astronauts like Nowak. "I have personal friends who are psychiatrists and they say, 'Look, we don't know what the hell goes on and you can't really evaluate somebody overnight,'" he said.

As for astronauts who might overindulge before flight, if they're former fighter or test pilots, "it's a pretty hard-living bunch and it's a very emotionally intense thing," Himmel said. He said an old NASA colleague who worked closely with test pilots once told him, "Some of these guys are damn near on a razor's edge when they fly and in their home lives.

"The thing is that no matter how hard anybody tries, or no matter what system you devise to preclude something, there's always somebody who will find a way to louse it up," Himmel said. "There's no perfect system."

Sneak Peek Sheriff's View / Re: Question For JB
« on: July 27, 2007, 02:33:25 PM »
To quote the Sheriff. "The report on the gasoline use was not an official report from the Sheriff’s Office to the Commission. A member of the County Clerk’s office came over to the office of the administrative employee who handles our gas bills and made copies of the bills and asked a few questions of the employee. I was in Alaska on vacation and had no knowledge of this investigation of the gas bills."

JB could you post your reply again about who copied your records on gas usage by deputies.  I thought your reply was great.  Who copied the records and gave them to the commissioners?

Local News / Re: The Commissioners Want A Secretary??
« on: July 26, 2007, 04:22:34 AM »
I think they owe we tax payers an explanation as to exactly why they need one, someone to answer a phone for $30,000.00 per year sounds like 911 again. I recall Farnham advertizing if elected he would be a full time Commissioner too, then why can't he take those calls? Answer?