Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January14, 2010 - 3A
Detroit Police call
on texting tipsters
to tackle crimes
Detroit Police officials are hop-
log a new campaign aimed at
generating anonymous tips will
inspire residents to think of a four-
letter word whenever they witness
Authorities say the city's
"CRIME. See it. Text it." campaign
will be announced yeserday and
allow reluctant witnesses to use
their cell phones to anonymously
pass along license plates, suspect
information and other tips.
Officials say texts sent to
"847411" will be routed through
an independent third party, which
will not be forwarded to police.
Officers seeking further informa-
tion must request it through the
third party. Tipsters and officers
will not have direct contact.
Spokesman John Roach tells
the Detroit Free Press that the
$158,000 campaign is funded with
drug forfeiture money.
SANTA ANA, Calif.
Pastor indicted on
visa fraud charges
A California pastor has been
indicted on charges of helping for-
eigners fraudulently obtain stu-
dent visas for a university where
some say they never attended
The U.S. attorney's office says a
federal grand jury indicted Samuel
Chai Cho Oh in Santa Ana yester-
day on 10 counts of visa fraud and
two counts of engaging in mone-
tary transactions with criminally
Authorities say Oh helped
obtain visas for students who
never took classes at Califor-
nia Union University in Fuller-
ton, which he owns. They say he
charged students $600 to $10,000
over the last decade to file paper-
work on their behalf.
Oh is to be arraigned Jan. 19.
His attorney says Oh client is not
attempts to trade
child for gun
Authorities say they have
arrested an Arizona woman who
traded her 2-year-old daughter
for a gun.
Maricopa County sheriff's dep-
uties arrested 33-year-old Tanya
Nareau of Mesa on Tuesday after
receiving a tip.
Deputies say they spoke with a
family friend who had the child
and confirmed Nai-eau gave the
girl to him for gun.
Deputies say Nareau felt the
friend would do a better job rais-
ing the child than she would.
Authorities say Nareau has
been charged with the unlawful
sale of a child and solicitation to
possess a weapon by a prohibited
It was unclear if Nareau had
Escaped zoo hippo
M still roaming free
A 2-ton hippo who escaped
from a flooded private zoo in
Montenegro was roaming free
yesterday but returning to the zoo'
owner's restaurant to eat bread
I and hay.
Officials disagreed over wheth-
er to kill the hippo, considered
one of the world's most dangerous
species. Nikica, 11, escaped this
week as heavy rains sent water
flooding through the zoo, rais-
iig the water level in her pen and
allowing her to swim over the top
of the cage surrounding it.
A spokesman for Montenegro's
natural disasters commission,
which responds to floods, said
the law required animals that can
endanger human lives to be killed.
But state veterinary authorities
said they were not entitled to kill
Zoo owner Dragan Pejovic
insisted Nikica is not danger-
ous, "unless someone attacks and
He said her movements are
being tracked by the zoo's private
security and that she is "tame and
Pejovic added that Nikica now
had nowhere to return since the
zoo, on a small island in a lake
south of the capital, remains
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
FEARED DEAD IN HAITI
capital in ruin
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)
- Dazed survivors wandered past
dead bodies in rubble-strewn
streets yesterday, crying for loved
ones, and rescuers desperately
searched collapsed buildings as fear
rose that the death toll from Haiti's
into the tens of thousands.
The first cargo planes with food,
water, medical supplies, shelter and
sniffer dogs headed to the Western
Hemisphere's poorest nation a day
after the magnitude-7 quake flat-
tened much of the capital of 2 mil-
Tuesday's earthquake brought
down buildings great and small
- from shacks in shantytowns to
President Rene Preval's gleam-
ing white National Palace, where
a dome tilted ominously above the
Hospitals, schools and the main
prison collapsed. The capital's
Roman Catholic archbishop was
killed when his office and the main
cathedral fell. The head of the U.N.
peacekeeping mission was missing
in the ruins of the organization's
Police officers turned their
pickup trucks into ambulances to
carry the injured. Wisnel Occilus,
a 24-year-old student, was wedged
between two other survivors in a
truck bed headed to a police sta-
tion. He was in an English class
when the earth shook at 4:53 p.m.
and the building collapsed.
"The professor is dead. Some of
the students are dead, too," said
Occilus, who suspected he had
several broken bones. "Everything
Other survivors carried injured
to hospitals in wheelbarrows and on
stretchers fashioned from doors.
In Petionville, next to the capi-
tal, people used sledgehammers
and their bare hands to dig through
a collapsed shopping center, toss-
ingaside mattresses and office sup-
plies. More than a dozen cars were
entombed, including a U.N. truck.
Nearby, about 200 survivors,
including many children, hud-
dled in a theater parking lot using
sheets to rig makeshift tents and
shield themselves from the sun in
At a triage center improvised
in a hotel parking lot, people with
cuts, broken bones and crushed
ribs moaned under tent-like covers
fashioned from bloody sheets.
"I can't take it anymore. My
back hurts too much," said Alex
Georges, 28, who was still waiting
for treatment a day after his school
collapsed and killed 11 classmates.
A body lay a few feet away.
"This is much worse than a hur-
ricane," said doctors' assistant Jim-
itre Coquillon. "There's no water.
There's nothing. Thirsty people are
If there were any organized
efforts to distribute food or water,
they were not visible.
The aid group Doctors Without
Borders treated wounded at two
hospitals that withstood the quake
and set up tent clinics elsewhere
Bodies of earthquake victims lay ona street in Port-au-Prince. The magnitude-7 quake devastated much c
leaving its 2 million inhabitants in chaos.
to replace its damaged facilities.
Cuba, which already had hundreds
of doctors in Haiti, treated injured
in field hospitals.
Bodies were everywhere in Port-
au-Prince: those of tiny children
adjacent to schools; women in the
rubble-strewn streets with stunned
expressions frozen on their faces;
men hidden beneath plastic tarps
and cotton sheets.
Haiti's leaders struggled to com-
prehend the extent of the catastro-
phe - the worst earthquake to hit
the country in 200 years - even as
"It's incredible," Preval told CNN.
"A lot of houses destroyed, hospitals,
ple in the street dead.... I'm still look-
ing to understand the magnitude of
the event and how to manage."
Preval said thousands of people
were probably killed. Leading Sen.
Youri Latortue told The Associated
Press that 500,000 could be dead,
but conceded that nobody really
"Let's say that it's too early to
give a number," Preval said.
As dusk fell, thousands of peo-
ple gathered on blankets outside
the crumpled presidential palace,
including hundreds of women who
waved their hands and sang hymns
in a joyful, even defiant tone.
Scores thrown back in prison
after Illinois parole crackdown
Polite race to fill
seat turns negative
conditions lead to
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -
Nearly 130 parolees released
from prison early are back behind
bars because of an extraordi-
nary crackdown led by Illinois
Gov. Pat Quinn's administration,
which has been stung by denun-
ciations of a secret program that
freed 1,700 inmates weeks ahead
The Corrections Department
confirmed it has begun "intensive
compliance checks" on parol-
ees released under the program
known as "MGT Push," begin-
ning with those who committed
State records reviewed by
The Associated Press show the
department has picked up 129 of
the parolees in the last ten days,
most of them serving sentences
for unlawful weapons charges or
battery. They've likely gone back
to lockup for violating terms of
their discharge, but officials will
not comment on the reasons or
confirm how many have been
The rules they're forced to fol-
low are unprecedented in terms
of severity, according to law
The recent spate compares
with 57 MGT Push parolees
put back in prison cells from
the time the MGT Push release
started, in September, through
the end of the year.
By making the parolees
walk a straight line, the Quinn
improves public safety and
reduces the chance of a public
relations debacle that would
erupt after a horrendous crime
by one of the released prison-
Quinn is fending off vicious
attacks from political oppo-
nents over the program, partic-
ularly from state Comptroller
Dan Hynes, his challenger in
the Feb. 2 Democratic guberna-
All parolees still on the street
are being required to follow
stringent new regulations -
far stricter than anything seen
before by law enforcement offi-
cials familiar with the Illinois'
parole system. The officials
spoke on condition of anonym-
ity because they aren't autho-
rized to discuss the regulations
The new rules require
parolees to verify where they
are and what they're doing
through daily phone calls to
an automated statewide parole
system, according to a copy of
the form parolees must sign.
The form says they must visit
a parole office - in some cases,
hundreds of miles away - twice a
week, and refrain from drinking
liquor or having alcohol at their
One of the law enforcement
officials said parolees who have
committed more heinous crimes
routinely have fewer require-
ments to follow.
Januari Smith said she isn't cer-
tain all the MGT Push parolees
have to adhere to the strictest of
the guidelines, but all face more
severe rules than typical.
Officials did not immediately
respond to a question about how
much the compliance checks are
Hynes, following Quinn's State
of the State address yesterday,
said the cost of intensified scru-
tiny probably negates any cost-
savings Corrections intended by
implementing MGT Push.
"The fact that there are 100
more of these criminals back in
jail proves that they shouldn't
have been let out in the first
place," Hynes said.
With MGT Push, Corrections
dropped a long-standing require-
ment that inmates serve at least
61 days before being eligible for
up to six months' of good-con-
duct credit, or "meritorious good
The Associated Press revealed
the program's existence in mid-
December. Quinn's staff initially
defended the program. After the
AP report, the governor said he
knew about MGT Push in advance
but suspended it.
Later, he said he was unaware
of it and blamed the "big mistake"
on Corrections Director Michael
Randle. He appointed a team to
study the issue, then reinstated
the 61-day rule and announced
other reforms Dec. 31.
Legislation Quinn backs that
requires a 60-day minimum stay
and 14 days' advance notice to
local prosecutors that an offender
is getting out early went to the
governor yesterday for his signa-
ture after the Senate approved it
Parole agents are visiting each
of the offenders, starting with
those convicted of violent crimes,
Smith said. Then they must check
on them, unannounced, twice per
Some of the MGT Push parol-
ees are going back to prison for
testing positive for drug use
or even just smelling of alco-
hol, transgressions that rarely
land someone back behind bars,
according to the law enforce-
about losing pivotal
seat to pass Obama
health care overhaul
BOSTON (AP) - What for
weeks had been a polite - even
sleepy - race in Massachusetts to
fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's
Senate seat has turned negative as
the contest tightens, raising the
stakes for both parties and the
White House in next week's spe-
In a 48-hour span:
-Democrat Martha Coakley,
who had been heavily favored,
unleashed a TV ad attacking her
GOP opponent, Scott Brown, as "in
lockstep with Washington Repub-
-The national committee
crats rolled out an ad claimingMas-
sachusetts voters know little about
Brown and imploring them not to
let him "take them for a ride."
-The Service Employees Inter-
national Union went on the air
with a spot that says Brown "calls
himself independent, but voted
with Republican leadership 96
percent of the time," opposes abor-
tion rights and is backed by some
of Sarah Palin's supporters.
The late-game strategy: use
Republicans as a foil in a Demo-
cratic state to undercut Brown,
who has cast himself as an inde-
pendent and downplayed his con-
The onslaught of negative TV
ads and arrival of out-of-state
operatives underscore Democrats'
worry that their hold on the seat
in a solidly Democratic state is in
jeopardy - and that they could
lose the pivotal 60th Senate vote
needed to pass President Barack
Obama's health care overhaul and
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