From the daily archives: Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another Earthquake hit Southern California Moving up Fault line Closer to Los Angeles. Strongest since the April 4th 7.2

Magnitude 3.0
  • Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 23:59:29 UTC
  • Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 04:59:29 PM at epicenter
Location 33.409°N, 116.490°W
Depth 11.3 km (7.0 miles)
  • 21 km (13 miles) NNW (329°) from Borrego Springs, CA
  • 23 km (14 miles) SE (134°) from Anza, CA
  • 32 km (20 miles) NE (53°) from Lake Henshaw, CA
  • 42 km (26 miles) SW (215°) from Indio, CA
  • 46 km (29 miles) S (175°) from Palm Springs, CA
  • 93 km (58 miles) NE (41°) from San Diego, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 1 km (0.6 miles)
Parameters Nph= 87, Dmin=14 km, Rmss=0.38 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2

The Fourth of July weekend was anything but leisurely for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the ports of entry along the California border with Mexico. CBP officers seized more than 6,500 pounds of marijuana, 116 pounds of cocaine, eight pounds of methamphetamine and nearly seven pounds of heroin. Officers also processed 10 wanted individuals, including one murder suspect sought by Los Angeles authorities who was featured on the America’s Most Wanted website.

Two of the largest drug seizures occurred Monday at the Otay Mesa port cargo facility. One incident occurred around 1:45 p.m., when a tractor-trailer hauling boxes of Mexican squash was stopped and inspected by officers.

During inspection, a CBP officer noticed anomalies in the boxes and summoned a K-9 team to the trailer. The narcotic detector dog alerted to the trailer which subsequently led officers to investigate further.

A bale of marijuana was hidden inside this box of squash being imported from Mexico.

Officers uncovered 560 packages of marijuana hidden within the boxes of produce.

The total weight of the marijuana was over 4,000 pounds and had an estimated value of more than $2 million dollars. CBP seized the tractor-trailer, produce and drugs and turned over the driver, a 35-year-old Mexican male, to agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This box of peppers being imported from Mexico concealed a large bale of marijuana.

Minutes later at around 2 p.m., another truck arrived at the Otay Mesa cargo facility driven by a 37-year-old Mexican male. It, too, underwent a similar inspection and CBP officers discovered more than 122 packages of marijuana hidden within boxes of pepper produce. The total weight of the marijuana was over 1,630 pounds with an estimated value of over $816,000.

Another significant cargo seizure occurred on Saturday when a suspected smuggler attempted to deceive CBP officers at the East Calexico port cargo facility. A 29-year-old Mexican male driving a tractor-trailer presented officers with a manifest of concrete furniture articles.

Officers referred the vehicle to undergo a more intensive inspection by a K-9 team. The narcotic detector dog alerted to the vehicle, leading officers to investigate further. After a closer inspection, CBP officers discovered 50 packages of marijuana concealed within concrete tables and benches. The marijuana weighed more than 376 pounds and had an estimated value of $377,000.

According to Calexico Port Director Billy Whitford, a seizure such as this is the result of highly professional CBP officers combined with the use of technology.

“When CBP officers trust their instincts and back it up with the use of drug detector dog teams, they prevent dangerous narcotics from entering our country and getting into our communities,” said Whitford.

Among the border crossers with outstanding warrants captured over the weekend at the ports of entry by CBP officers was a fugitive wanted by authorities in Los Angeles. On Saturday at about 2:40 p.m., Jesus Catalan, a U.S. citizen, was being deported to the U.S. through the San Ysidro port of entry by Mexican law enforcement personnel. Catalan provided CBP officers with a bogus name but was quickly identified by fingerprints as a fugitive with an active warrant for murder issued in November, 2009, by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Catalan was featured on America’s Most Wanted as a suspect in the brutal murder of a transgender woman in Hollywood, Calif., in August 2009.

Catalan was transported to the San Diego jail to await extradition to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Paul Morris, San Diego CBP director of field operations said, “I am proud of all the professional men and women at our ports of entry who worked diligently during this Fourth of July weekend protecting America by keeping dangerous drugs and criminals from entering our country and contaminating our communities.”

In fiscal year 2009, CBP officers at the ports of entry along the California/Mexico border apprehended 1,925 persons with active warrants for their arrest.


Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced today that California’s ground-breaking familial DNA search program — enacted in April 2008 — led to the identification and arrest of the man accused of being the “Grim Sleeper” serial murderer.

“This arrest provides proof positive that familial DNA searches must be a part of law enforcement’s crime-fighting arsenal. Although the adoption of this new state policy was unprecedented and controversial, in certain cases, it is the only way to bring a dangerous killer to justice,” Brown said.

“This is an extraordinary piece of detective work accomplished by our skilled forensics team at the Department of Justice,” Brown added.

Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., 57, was arrested this morning by Los Angeles police, and the Los Angeles District Attorney planned to charge him later today with 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, all with special circumstances.

The suspect would still be at large except for a controversial policy change Brown pushed through, over concerted opposition, that allowed familial DNA searches where there is great risk to public safety. California is the first state to use familial searches, and today’s arrest is proof that the new technique works.

The familial search process involves using the DNA of family members to find suspects through the state’s DNA Data Bank. Last year, the DNA of one of Franklin’s family members, who had been convicted of a felony weapons charge, was entered into the DNA Data Bank. Last month, a familial search was conducted, and late last month, investigators established a familial connection between the family member and DNA collected at the murder scenes. That connection was used to identify and arrest Franklin after his DNA was obtained.

Familial DNA searches are done rarely – and only under rigorous guidelines established by Brown. They are only allowed in major violent crimes when there is a serious risk to public safety and all other investigative leads have been exhausted.

Brown will reveal more details tomorrow at a press conference in Los Angeles.


By Bob Hurst
Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden gave New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez and earful in April after Rodriguez ran across the mound while returning to first base.
On Monday, Braden was ripping into the A’s marketing department for a t-shirt that’s been on sale in the A’s gift shop, in advance of this week’s series with the Yankees.
The phrase printed on the shirt is “Get Off My Mound,” the words Braden shouted at Rodriguez in a game at Oakland on April 22. It also has a silhouette of a left-handed pitcher, but not Braden’s name.
“I think we all understand where they are coming from, but it’s just a serious, gross, lack of tact,” Braden said on Monday. “At the end of the day, I hope I do not become associated with that kind of approach.
“They didn’t ask anybody that would potentially be involved in it.”
Braden said his teammates did not want the shirts sold, or the incident revived, and that the player’s union voiced its objections.
Although Braden didn’t find any humor in the shirts, the Yankees did.
Robinson Cano had one of the shirts in the visitor’s locker room before Monday night’s game, causing laughter from his teammates.
“I hope I get a cut (of the sales),” Rodriguez told reporters.
Reds explode in seventh: There’s nothing that can ruin the traditional celebrity singing of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” at Wrigley Field in Chicago, unless it’s a big seventh inning by the visiting team.
That happened twice in games in the past week between Cincinnati and the Cubs.
The Reds scored nine runs in the top of the seventh on July 2 en route to a 12-0 win, and eight runs on Sunday in a 14-3 rout.
In last Friday’s game, seven Reds runs were scored in the inning after two outs. There were 58 pitches by three Cubs hurlers; six walks (all scored); an error and a passed ball. Cincinnati sent 13 batters to the plate. There was only one earned run, thanks to the error and passed ball.
“That shows how fast an inning can get away,” Cubs starter Ryan Dempster said. “I throw four pitches in a row to the pitcher that don’t hit the strike zone and the doors fall off.”
On Sunday, it was the long ball that did the Cubs in. The Reds slugged four home runs in the seventh inning, accounting for seven of the eight runs. Cincinnati had seven homers on a day that featured 20 mph wind gusts blowing out of the park.
Brandon Phillips, Jonny Gomes, Corky Miller and Drew Stubbs hit blasts in the seventh. Stubbs had three home runs for the game, and Paul Janish added a late homer for the Reds. Tyler Colvin accounted for all of the Cubs runs with two home runs of his own.
“You could tell in BP it was going to be a good day for hitters,” Stubbs said. “The wind blowing out the way it was, all you’re looking to do is get pitches up and try to be on the ball.”
Strasburg left off All-Star team: There was a lot of speculation that Washington Nationals’ rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg would make the NL All-Star team, despite just beginning his career.
But Philadelphia Phillies and NL manager Charlie Manuel chose not to select the 21-year-old Strasburg, who is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in six starts with 53 strikeouts and eight walks in 36 2/3 innings.
The bet here is that Strasburg will make plenty of All-Star teams in the future.
Final vote for All-Stars: Fans have until Thursday, July 8, at 1 p.m. Pacific to vote in the last two players for next week’s All-Star Game in Anaheim.
The White Sox’s Paul Konerko, Yankees’ Nick Swisher, Red Sox’s Kevin Youkilis, Twins’ Delmon Young and the Rangers’ Michael Young are on the AL ballot on The vote for the NL is between Heath Bell of the Padres, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, Joey Votto of the Reds, Billy Wagner of the Braves and Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals.
Home run derby: Next Monday’s Home Run Derby in Anaheim will feature Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells of the AL, and Corey Hart and Matt Holliday of the NL. More participants are to be announced.
Wells was fifth in the AL on Tuesday with 19 homers while Ortiz was tied for seventh. Hart ranked third in the NL with 19 home runs.
StatsWatch: Only four teams since 2008 have hit seven home runs in a game, and they’re all from Cincinnati.

2010, Reds, 7 HR vs. Cubs
2008, Reds, 7 HR vs. Brewers
2008, Reds, 7 HR vs. Cubs
2008, Reds, 7 HR vs. Cubs

Copyright © 2010  Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.


With the economy still not back to full strength, many families are looking for ways to stretch their vacation dollars this summer. One of the ways in which families are doing just that is by cutting travel costs and exploring what their own regions have to offer.
Though such vacations might not have the initial appeal of a trip to Hawaii or an overseas excursion, they can prove just as fun and possibly even educational as well. The following ideas can help trim travel costs this summer while still showing that fun in the summer sun can be had close to home.
Family and Friends
Families today have become geographically diverse. Rare is the family that does not have at least one member living in a neighboring state or even on the opposite side of the country. If relatives live too far to see regularly but close enough to drive to and visit, plan a trip to see them. Kids will still get to spend a night or two away from home, and parents will get the chance to catch up with siblings, cousins or even friends they have not seen in awhile.
Hunt Down Local History
Nearly every piece of land across the globe can tell a story. History has taken place all over the world, from the ancient Pyramids to the English countryside to possibly even one’s own backyard. Families can learn something about their own town or region by hunting down local history. Do some research at the local library and then take the family out on a historical excursion.
State Parks
Kids typically love going to the park, and most regions boast a host of state or government-operated parks that offer a wide range of activities at little or no cost. Affordable campgrounds are often family favorites and many even provide similar amenities to those a perons is used to at home, such as indoor plumbing and even areas to barbecue. Parents can pack along some food the whole family will like, including hot dogs, hamburgers and the camping staple s’mores, that will cost them a fraction of what a restaurant meal will run them.
When looking for a state park, seek ones that present more than just hiking and camping. Some offer swimming, fishing, kayaking, and a host of other family-friendly activities.
Amusement Park
Few destinations will make kids happier than the local amusement park. Most areas feature an amusement park within driving distance, and parents who plan ahead might even find discounted tickets or can plan to go on days when admission is reduced to entice more customers. Just be sure when planning a visit to the local amusement park that kids are old enough to ride the rides and then buckle in for a fun day.

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