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Thursday, November 25, 2004

The wild outdoors part 2

I got to drive to Michigan in probably the worst Thanksgiving storm in recent history. Only about 4 inches of snow stuck but it was wet and slushy and combined with the previous rain it turned into a layer of ice. The Thanksgiving drive is usually the longest drive of the year, normally adding about an hour and a half to my 5 1/2 hour drive time. With the weather, the drive turned into an 11 hour trip.

Emus are invading the North Shore. Police are hunting around the Skokie Lagoons for an Emu believed to be wandering the North Shore. The birds first showed up behind an apartment building in Elmwood Park. A man there said that his brother had been transporting four emus to Kenosha but a broken truck brought them there. The man said that he would put them in his garage where that they wouldn't escape but soon after, two were captured in nearby suburbs, Glencoe and Winnetka. On Monday, there were reports of three Emus running around in the Skokie Lagoons. Police were able to capture two but are still searching for the third. How many Emus are there, 4 or 9? If it can be proved that the birds were dumped in the forest preserve (Skokie Lagoons), the culprit could face up to a $1000 fine and 6 months in prison for abandoning animals in the forest preserve.

The deer hunting murder story in Wisconsin has devolved into a he said, he said. Chai Vang, the murder suspect, claims that one of the hunters whose tree stand he was in shot at him first after he got out of there tree stand. Friends of the deceased claim that the one hunter with a gun in the group "wouldn't hurt a flea". Mr. Vang is a National Guard Veteran who had earned a sharpshooter ribbon and was qualified in the use of an M-16. Police also have records that state that they have been to his house five times for domestic disputes since 2003. He has never been charged because his wife has never pressed charges. What do I think happened? The hunting group saw Mr. Vang in one of their stands, cussed him out, and told him to get down. He got down and the insults and racial slurs continued. He was insulted and being an Army Veteran hothead with a gun, he did what came naturally, he "took care of the problem". Police are now investigating a possible deer hunting murder from three years ago which they think involved a trespassing dispute. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Hmong deer hunters don't recognize private property and will hunt anywhere that they think will be good hunting.

The American military has lost one more brave soldier this month bringing the monthly total to 109 and the total for the war to 1230. In December 2003, 40 Americans lost there lives in Iraq which brought the total up to 482. The names of these men and women are as follows:

December 1: Spc. Uday Singh

December 2: Spc. Raphael S. Davis, CWO Clarence E. Boone, Sgt. Ryan C. Young

December 5: Spc. Arron R. Clark

December 7: Ray J. Hutchinson

December 8: Spc. Christopher Jude Rivera Wesley, Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff, Ssgt. Steven H. Bridges, PFC Jason G. Wright

December 10: Ssgt. Aaron T. Reese, Spc. Todd M. Bates, Ssgt. Richard A. Burdick, PFC Jerrick M. Petty

December 11: Spc. Marshall L. Edgerton

December 12: Sgt. Jarrod W. Black, PFC Jeffrey F. Braun

December 14: Spc. Rian C. Ferguson, Ssgt. Kimberly A. Voelz

December 15: PFC Kenneth C. Souslin, Spc. Nathan W. Nakis

December 17: Spc. Christopher J. Holland

December 18: Sgt. Glenn R. Allison

December 19: PFC Charles E. Bush Jr.

December 22: 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz, PFC Stuart W. Moore

December 24: Com. Sgt. Maj. Eric F. Cooke, Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer, Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski, Sgt. Benjamin W. Biskie, Maj. Christopher J. Splinter

Christmas: Ssgt. Stephen C. Hattamer, Ssgt. Thomas W. Christensen

December 26: Ssgt. Michael J. Sutter, Sgt. Michael G. Mihalakis, Spc. Charles G. Haight

December 28: Sgt. Curt E. Jordan Jr., Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco, Pvt. Rey D. Cuervo

December 30: Spc. Justin W. Pollard

The details on these soldiers may be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.


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