The City of Tamarac, Fla., has set up a red-light camera across from a local hospital to photograph and ticket motorists who are rushing to the ER with an emergency.
People with real medical emergencies have had their tickets upheld by a local magistrate, whose salary comes from city income such as ticketing.
“I really couldn’t breathe, I was sweating, just a lot of things going on,” motorist Jacob Alcahe told Local 10. “I was just kind of scared and I wanted to get to the hospital as soon as possible."
Alcahe soon received a $158 ticket in the mail for running the red light at the hospital’s entrance.
Back in February, Shelley Rappaport was suffering a kidney stone attack, ran the same light to get to the ER and was ticketed.
She challenge the violation at city hall, but lost.
"I had all expectations that it was going to be thrown out," she told ClickOrlando.com. "It was literally a life-or-death situation."
However, Tamarac Mayor Harry Dressler defended the ticketing outside the ER.
“The city is not condoning anything,” Dressler told Local 10. “Neither are we preying on anyone.”
When asked if people should wait for a green light during an emergency when they're having trouble breathing, Dressler refused to answer.
“Okay, it’s two minutes before my meeting," Dressler stated. "You’re going to have to excuse me. Please tell your viewers it’s illegal and it’s dangerous."
"The person that's acting as the judge is paid by Tamarac," Fort Lauderdale ticket attorney Ted Hollander countered. "Tamarac is the same city that's giving the ticket so why wouldn't that person say, of course, Tamarac gets the money?"
By its own count, the City of Tamarac has issued 494 red-light violations at the intersection since the camera was turned on in August 2013.
Rob Weber recently got a shock when a bird, possibly a hawk, flew into the windshield of his small airplane during a flight last Saturday.
Weber had a camera inside his plane, which caught the collision on video (below).
After the bird smashed into the windshield, Weber was forced to land his 1986 Piper Saratoga plane at Page Field in Fort Myers, Fla.
“I always wondered what it’d be like to have a bird strike take out your windshield, and now I know," Weber told WINK News.
Weber was flying at 170 m.p.h when the bird imploded on his windshield. All that was left was a leg.
“I didn’t even see the bird coming,” Weber told the News-Press. “He managed to miss the prop and ended up with me inside the plane and then he was out.”
“It was a total shock,” added Weber. “I have a had a lot of close-call bird strikes, but this was the first hit.”
“Everything went cattywampus. At first, it kinda knocked it out of me, startled me,” said Weber. “The wind got my eyes real bad, and I tried to cup the mic so the controller could hear me.”
Weber suffered a minor injury to his head, but showed a sense of humor by wearing an Angry Birds T-shirt while speaking to the News-Press.
This week the Dallas City Council voted to approve changes to a law that banned protesters from carrying signs within 75 feet of a major freeway.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the approved changes now also ban “individuals carrying signs, wearing costumes, or engaging in other activities intended to draw attention to their signs or themselves.”
The new law will also “prohibit all conduct intended to distract motorists by individuals standing within the lateral curb lines of the highways, including adjoining service or frontage roads, as well as on bridges or overpasses over the highways.”
Council member Philip Kingston, who voted against the law, said it was “against free speech.”
Kingston noted that the City of Dallas has already been sued over the original law and there is a state law to protect drivers.
Courthouse News reported in October 2013 that six protesters sued the City of Dallas twice after they were arrested for holding signs that read "I [heart] the Bill of Rights" and "I love the First Amendment" on a street corner.
But law enforcement supports the speech ban because the state law supposedly isn't strong enough.
“We don’t believe state law application is going to cover the behavior of protesters over overpasses, hanging signage,” stated Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
Council member Dwaine Caraway claims the new law “is not anti-protest,” but is “pro-safety.”
However, the City of Dallas has failed to prove that the protesters have endangered anyone.
A man who created a TSA parody video claims that a TSA official recently called him and demanded he remove the video from YouTube.
The video (below) was produced by Telly Blackwood, who uses the YouTube handle "Off the Hook TV."
Blackwood created the TSA parody video for the “We Will Resist TSA & NSA Tyranny” 10K film contest sponsored by the conspiracy website InfoWars.com.
The parody video is entitled, “TSA touched my TNA,” and is set to a rap song while showing TSA agents molesting passengers with invasive searches.
Blackwood recorded the recent call (audio below) from the purported TSA official and posted it on YouTube.
The TSA has not confirmed or denied the authenticity of the call, which may or may not be real.
Blackwood writes on his YouTube page:
I received a call from a man named John on January 19 claiming to be from the TSA and had some questions for me. I asked him to call me back next day that I couldn't hear him well. He agreed and within an hour or two I download an app so I can record phone calls. Today January 20th around 5:42pm while sitting outside he called back and I was able to record the whole thing. It was a strange call but very laughable. Sounds like one irritated TSA agent had enough of my video.
“My concerns are our workers are being portrayed as criminals when they’re here to protect us from terrorists. They do that on a daily basis,” stated the TSA rep.
Blackwood asked TSA agent,“How many terrorists have you guys caught since day one of this program?”
The TSA official could not name a specific incident, but instead claimed the NSA stops “potential terrorists” every day, which he was also unable to verify.
The TSA rep. seemed to be confused why Blackwood would parody TSA agents groping passengers, which has happened numerous times.
“As federal employees we would like to request you take this video down immediately and if your not willing to comply we will pursue getting your video removed from YouTube by all legal means and take you to court for defamation of character,” stated the TSA official.
“We’re prepared to take action if you don’t comply by this and if you don’t comply, they’re going to take some serious action I’m telling you. You can say whatever you want but you can consider your name flagged when traveling the airways,” added the TSA rep.
Ford will debut its new C-Max Solar Energi car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV next week.
Ford says the C-Max Solar Energi gets the same performance via solar power (sunlight) as a plug-in hybrid with a four-hour battery charge, notes Fox News.
C-Max Solar Energi’s estimated combined city-highway mileage is 100 mpg and will reportedly reduce the average driver's greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons.
The C-Max Solar Energi car can drive about 620 miles, may be charged via electricity like a normal hybrid car and runs on gasoline.
The solar power comes from the vehicle's roof-mounted solar panels, which include a “special solar concentrator lens similar to a magnifying glass.”
However, solar-powered cars have been tried in the past and failed.
USA Today reports:
Other automakers have put solar cells on the roofs of their cars, but didn't get much power out of them. Fisker, the defunct automaker, put an array on the roof of its Karma sedan, but officials estimated it would good only for about five extra miles a week. Toyota offers a solar option on Prius, but its usefulness is limited to powering an interior fan.
Ford still has to further test the C-Max Solar Energi to determine if it’s possible for mass production.
Sources: USA Today and Fox News
Air Canada has been skewered on Twitter for requiring family members, including husbands and wives, to have the last name, which many spouses in 2013 choose not to do.
According to the Calgary Herald, the controversy started last night when Chris Turner, a writer in Calgary, tweeted about an Air Canada employee who told him on the phone that he couldn't transfer an airline voucher to his wife because she didn't share his last name.
Jalopnik.com reports that Turner tweeted:
Hey @AirCanada -- your (very helpful) phone rep tells me I can't transfer a voucher to my wife pre-flight BECAUSE SHE KEPT HER NAME. Really?
Air Canada then responded:
@theturner Hi Chris, vouchers can only be transferred to another family member before travel if they have the same family name. /cc
Chris Turner hit back:
@AirCanada Yup, got it. Maybe let your bosses know that those of us who are not married to June Cleaver find this deeply insulting.
Turner’s wife added:
@AirCanada Sooooo… Turner can transfer the voucher to our NEIGHBOUR Kelly who has the same last name, but not his WIFE. Gotcha.
The tweets were retweeted hundreds of times, and included various people slamming Air Canada, which claims their policy is supposed to prevent fraud, but other Canadian and American airlines do allow passengers to transfer vouchers to whomever they want.
Sources: Calgary Herald, Jalopnik.com, Twitter
An unidentified driver accidentally smashed his van into a concrete barrier while driving in Moscow, Russia on Dec. 20.
According to Jalopnik.com, the driver didn't see the construction warning signs and hit the concrete barrier at a fast rate of speed.
A video (below) was shot by a vehicle behind the van (which is on the left side) and uploaded by the Russian news website LifeNews.ru.
The driver did not injure any construction workers, but was hospitalized with serious injuries.
Apparently this area is prime real estate for traffic accidents, with five just in the past month that killed three people and injured four others, reports News.Minemsn.com.au.
A photographer claims that the TSA took away his Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster, which is a bulb-like device used to remove dust from dirty lenses.
A user with the handle "Surapon" recalled on CanonRumors.com that he was traveling from Greece to North Carolina, but had to switch planes in New York.
Apparently, the New York TSA agents had no idea what the blower was, but came up with their own fantasy of how dangerous it could be.
Surapon writes, "[The TSA agent's] supervisor explained to him that if someone put gun powder inside this rocket blower, it can fly like a missile."
Unfortunately, the photographer says he had to throw away his blower.
According to PetaPixel.com, Surapon has removed some decorative fins off his blowers, and has had no more problems from the TSA.
Ralph Mercado reportedly fell in front of a subway train in New York City, but saved his life by laying down in a trench between the tracks.
After the subway rolled over him (and into Union Square), Mercado was hospitalized with only a bruised left hand on Saturday, noted Gawker.com.
A video shot from inside the subway train was posted to YouTube by user "Suzannah Artist" aka witness Suzannah Troy.
Mercado, 55, told police that he jumped on the tracks to save a woman, but witnesses didn't see anyone else. They claim Mercado was the one who fell.
“I heard screaming," Troy told the New York Post. "He was reaching out to the people reaching out to help him, but there wasn’t enough time to grab him. He went back to the middle. His head turned looking at the train. [Then] he’s right under the train! He’s right here!”
Mercado is currently being held at Bellevue Hospital for a psychological evaluation.
Sources: New York Post and Gawker.com
Back in July of this year, it was reported that the TSA was authorizing valet and parking companies at airports to search people's cars without a warrant.
Some travelers found notes in their cars that read: “Your vehicle has been inspected under TSA regulations" (video below).
However, the TSA tried to distance itself from the car searches on its blog:
While we deploy numerous layers of security, TSA officers are not inspecting cars or mandating that they be searched.
While the airport security plan is approved by the TSA, it is up to each airport authority and its state and local law enforcement partners to follow the plan that has been implemented.
However, a group called "Young Americans for Liberty" recently posted a photograph on their Facebook page taken at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Nov. 27.
The sign that states: "All cars will be searched by uniformed security as mandated by BAA & TSA.”
If the car searches are indeed "mandated" by the TSA at the Birmingham, Al. airport, then that would contradict the TSA's previous claim.
Back in October, WCNC.com reported that passengers at Charlotte Douglas Airport were having their cars searched and there was not even a sign warning them of the searches.
“I was inside paying my bill. I looked through the window and saw this gentleman looking through my trunk,” said Michelle Zevola, who used the Curbside Valet Service. “He was moving things around, shining a flashlight, going through the compartments. I am so fine being searched at the airport. It’s about safety. But I am not fine with my personal property being searched without permission or notification."
In a circular defense, the Charlotte Douglas Airport claimed that the car searches were required because the Charlotte Douglas Airport's security plan required car searches.
"Our airport security plan requires those vehicles be searched," said Deputy Aviation Director Jack Christine, who admitted that the airport valet services had searched cars for a year and a half, but did not inform passengers.
Sources: Facebook, WCNC.com, TSA.gov