11th Hour IC News September 1st, 2006

(News graphic & background designed by Nysie)








SOUTHEAST - Local DC traffic reporters, as well as several officers, have commented to the media that in the last couple of months or so, there have been some unexplainable traffic snarls in the Waterfront area, especially around the South end of the Capitol and all the way extending to Half Street and beyond.

DCPD has reported a record number of calls from drivers claiming to be lost, stranded, stuck down one way streets the wrong way, and other odd events in the area, especially during rush hour. Fender benders are up 75% in Southeast compared to the average for the last decade. Over 20 street signs have been replaced in the last six weeks.

The DC Department of Transportation has done an audit of the area and can find no discernable cause for the mass confusion.





MIDTOWN -- WBDE (93.1 FM, "The Blade") is hosting an upcoming live radio show from local curio shop "The Final Word," a bookstore and coffee shop in Midtown DC. On-Air Personality Lear "Nyx" Christiensen will be hosting the special event, which is promoting Spirit of Washington Cruises' upcoming October "Ghost Tour" of DC, which will take a group of up to 100 participants on a guided all-night cruise up through the Tidal Basin and Monuments area, and back down past Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, then returning to the Pier in Old Town.

Groups of 15 or more attendees will be given a group rate discount on tickets, which are normally $25 and include unlimited soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres, with a cash bar.

The live broadcast will cover some of Christiensen's typical weekly material on the paranormal and occult, as well as spotlight The Final Word bookstore, one of the sponsors of WBDE's live broadcast from the Ghost Tour boat. Listeners are encouraged to call in or appear in person at the shop. 5 Tickets for the cruise will be raffled off for $2 apiece, with the profits going to a local charity.








NORTHEAST -- Detective Antoine "Tony" Laike, once a model officer in the DCPD, has again been relieved of duty for the second time in as many years following a botched arrest attempt last week which resulted in the death of a prime suspect in the Little Death case, prompting a call for internal investigations into the vetting process for disabled officers.

While investigating a call to an abandoned building in Northeast two years ago, Laike's partner, Detective John Moran, was brutally murdered in front of Laike, who had been incapacitated, in such a cruel way that profoundly affected the seasoned veteran of violent crime cases. Laike was traumatized by the event, coupled with many years on the force working some of the most harsh and inhuman cases the city has had in decades.

Laike was relieved of duty due to health reasons related to the incident, and remained there until earlier this year when he was deemed fit to return to work. However, he was placed on desk duty rather than street, which according to some of his co-workers did not sit very well with the restless Laike.

Unable to confine himself to paper duties, Officer Laike responded to a Virginia B&E call that came over the police band radio, involving two assailants at a private residence in the town of Clifton, Fairfax County, Virginia.


According to statements taken from the residents of the home, Laike entered the house, shot at one assailant who was established as unarmed, left said assailant unsecured with two of the victims in order to chase down, shoot and kill the second attacker. The first attacker then escaped in the meantime.

Statements also claim that Laike did not secure the crime scene, allowing one of the victims to disturb evidence crucial to the investigation.

In addition, crossing jurisdictional lines in pursuit of a crime can complicate matters and possibly invites additional charges for Laike.

Internal Affairs issued a brief statement through the media office stating simply that Laike was put back on medical leave of absence with pay until the matter can be addressed.

Calls to Laike's home went unanswered.





GWU Undergraduate Harmony Neal was found dead in her dormitory last Sunday. Neal was last reported as having been seen by school acquaintances on the Metro heading home from the club, and was found in her room, having been raped, with one lung punctured. Prelimary post-mortem exams indicate that Neal was killed by a clean knife or razor cut of the throat post-coitus.
Neighboring rooms recall hearing the sound of something tipping over in the middle of the night, assumed it was her fumbling around in the dark, trying not to wake up her roommate since she got in so late.

Neal's roommate, whose name is being withheld, was off with family for the weekend.

There were no direct witnesses, though several students recall seeing an unknown white or Hispanic male of varying descriptions jogging away from the dorms at approximately 2:30 am.






NORTHWEST DC -- George Washington University Campus Police were alerted when passing students noticed the abandoned power access-way by the construction site at 23rd and K Streets, N.W. was compromised earlier last week.

Safety officials did their best to re-secure the site, as it was reported that soon after the breech, a previously undiscovered secondary level under the access room had collapsed and caved in on itself.

No students were injured in the cave-in. The site has been re-enforced with a heavier steel door to prevent further vandalism.







NORTHWEST -- An unnamed male co-ed was the victim of a B&E theft last Sunday. Two antique items were stolen. Descriptions are being withheld pending investigation.

Campus police say that the graduate student's room was forced open, ransacked, and some personal items of worth stolen.

Such pranks are common amongst college students, and reports of such mischief are up 10% from this time last year.

Police currently have no evidence of a correlation between the thefts, the vandalism and the murder in the freshman dorms, all of which have occurred since the opening of school after Labor Day.








Anna Nicole Son's Death Unnatural


NASSAU, Bahamas - The death of Anna Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son was termed "suspicious" Wednesday by the coroner's office, which scheduled a formal inquiry that could lead to criminal charges.
Authorities said at least one other person was in the hospital room when Daniel Wayne Smith died Sunday while visiting his mother, a reality TV star and former Playboy playmate, three days after she gave birth to a baby girl.
The person was not a member of the hospital staff, Reginald Ferguson, assistant commissioner of the Royal Bahamian Police Force, told The Associated Press. He refused to reveal the person's identity, saying he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

Daniel Smith flew in Saturday to visit his mother and three-day-old sister at the private Doctors Hospital in Nassau. The following morning, the 20-year-old was dead.





SOUTHEAST - Stephen Byrne, aka "Loki," owner of Southeast nightclub Dark Asgard, has been keeping such a low profile of late that sources are beginning to wonder if he has merely retired from stage life and not announced it, much to the possible chagrin of his fans.

As he has stated in interviews in the past, he chose his stage name after the Norse god of mischief and misdirection, his favorite mythological figure since childhood. It is his belief that causing mischief and misdirection cause people to think and look at things from new and different angles.

Born in London from an American mother (who passed away at childbirth) and a British father (with a high position within HM’s government), he moved to Paris on his own in his late teens.

By the time he was 20, he released his first recording, an EP (The Trickster God), under his own independent label, Ragnarok Records.

The EP’s popularity was limited, but he caught the ear (and eye) of famed French songstress Marianne Sers; who took her under her wing. Sers produced his first LP (Shedding Layers Of Skin), and it was during the recording of that album that the two artists became lovers.

Thriving under Marianne’s patronage, Loki released his first LP in early 2001, and toured the US and Europe as opening act for one of his favorite bands, Depeche Mode, during their Exciter tour. By mid-2001 he released his second album, a two-disc (Dreams Of A Trickster God), in which his style took a shift to a more electronic-based sound, including some remixes of songs from his first LP.

By early 2002 Loki embarked on a world tour to promote his second album, playing in Europe, North America, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia. Success seemed to mark every one of his projects, so much that he grew out of Marianne's shadow... in fact, most observers point out that he straight-up overshadowed her own fame. Marianne didn't like that, and the couple broke up, with Sers disappearing from the public eye.

Sources say that the break-up was traumatic for Loki, who dropped his third album in mid-recording; an event which was followed by countless reports of his abuse of alcohol and drugs, particularly cocaine.

His downward spiral continued, and he, too, dropped from sight, not releasing even one single since Dreams, and refusing to perform in public. A confidential inside source at St. Croix hospital in Paris has reported that he almost died of a heroin overdose on New Year’s Eve, 2005.

What is it that keeps Loki off the stage? No one knows for sure, aside from the obvious love dramas and drugs. Byrne refuses interviews at every turn, but it seems that his change of environment has been doing him some good.

Reports have also surfaced in recent weeks of an unnamed blonde ingénue with whom Loki has been spotted several times in the club since his late summer Fetish Masquerade Ball, and also rumors that he is back in the studio working on a secret project. His label denies the latter, and no comment could be gotten on the former.










FBI looking for missing cruise tourist


MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- Authorities were investigating the disappearance of an Ohio woman who was reported missing Monday from a Carnival Cruise Lines ship.
The 36-year-old woman, whose name was not released, had been on a four-day cruise to Key West and Mexico.
The Miami-based cruise line said relatives last saw the woman Saturday night, but did not report her missing until Monday, when the ship returned to Miami. FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said, however, that she was not aware of any delay in reporting the disappearance.
"It doesn't look like foul play," said Orihuela, whose agency is investigating the case.
The disappearance from the Carnival cruise ship Imagination was the latest missing person case involving a cruise this year.
Elizabeth Galeana, 22, of Naples, Florida, apparently fell off a cruise ship in July and drowned. Her body was found off the coast of Italy last month. In May, Daniel DiPiero, 21, of Canfield, Ohio, fell off a cruise ship to the Bahamas after a night of heavy drinking with friends.
One of the highest profile cases involving a cruise ship disappearance occurred last summer, when George Allen Smith IV, 26, of Greenwich, Connecticut, vanished from his honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean after an apparent late night of drinking. Bloodstains were found on a canopy that covers lifeboats. No one has been charged and no body has been found.



Astronauts deliver addition to space station


HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- Using their ship's robotic arm, astronauts aboard space shuttle Atlantis handed over the first big addition to the international space station in more than 3 1/2 years Monday and will conduct three spacewalks to install the giant new section.
The flight marks the first time since the 2003 Columbia disaster that NASA has resumed assembly of the orbiting space lab. The newly delivered, 17 1/2-ton piece consists of a truss and electricity-generating solar panels that can rotate with the movement of the sun.
The hatch between two orbiting spacecraft was opened after Atlantis commander Brent Jett eased the space shuttle into the station's docking port at 6:48 a.m. EDT.
The rendezvous took place about 220 miles above the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
Atlantis pilot Chris Ferguson, on his first trip to space, had a wide grin as he was given a tour of the space station by its crew.
A short time later, the shuttle's robotic arm was used to grasp the 45-foot-long addition in Atlantis' cargo bay and hand it over to the space station's own robotic arm.
The crew was on schedule with all the tasks on the to-do list, said lead flight director Paul Dye.
"Isn't that beautiful?" Dye said. "It's wonderful to see it happening for real."
Early Tuesday, astronauts Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper were scheduled to make a spacewalk to connect the wiring on the new addition. The task must be performed fairly quickly so the electronic components do not get cold.
Two more spacewalks are planned during the 11-day flight, which began on Saturday.
With both the shuttle and the space station moving at 17,500 mph, the rendezvous in orbit required Atlantis to make a series of jet firings that ended with Jett taking manual control of the spacecraft about 1,000 feet from the space station.
"Atlantis is headed your way with a brand new piece of space station in its trunk," Mission Control radioed.
At about 600 feet from the space station, the shuttle executed a back flip so that the station's three-man crew could photograph Atlantis' belly for signs of liftoff damage.
That inspection, like another one performed Sunday using a 50-foot boom with sensors at the end, was added after the Columbia accident that killed seven astronauts in 2003. Foam debris from Columbia's external fuel tank broke off during liftoff and struck a wing, allowing fiery gases to penetrate when the shuttle returned to Earth.



Revenge theory in stingray attacks

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- At least 10 stingrays have been found dead and mutilated on Australia's eastern coast since "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was killed by one of the animals last week, an official said Tuesday, prompting concerns of revenge attacks on the normally docile fish.
The popular television star was killed last week when a stingray barb pierced his chest as he filmed a TV show off Australia's Great Barrier Reef, prompting an outpouring of grief in Australia and among his fans worldwide.
The dead stingrays have been discovered on two beaches in Queensland state, including two that were found Tuesday with their tails lopped off, state fisheries department official Wayne Sumpton said.
Sumpton said fishermen who inadvertently catch the diamond-shaped rays sometimes cut off their tails to avoid being stung, but the practice is uncommon.
Michael Hornby, the executive director of Irwin's conservation group Wildlife Warriors, said he was concerned the rays were being hunted and killed in retaliation for the TV star's death.
"It may be some sort of retribution, or it may be fear from certain individuals, or it just may be yet another callous act toward wildlife," he said.
He said killing stingrays was "not what Steve was about."
"We are disgusted and disappointed that people would take this sort of action to hurt wildlife," he said.
Stingrays are usually shy, unobtrusive fish that rummage along the sea bottom for food or burrow into the sand. When stepped on or otherwise frightened, a serrated spine up to 25 centimeters (10 inches) long in the animal's tail flares up.
The spines emit toxins that can kill small creatures and cause excruciating pain in humans. Few people die from the poison, but the spines can badly tear flesh and the wounds are prone to infections, including tetanus.
Hornby said people should treat stingrays with caution, but "there is still no need to ... kill or mutilate these important animals."



Japan's new prince named Hisahito


TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan's new prince, the first male heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne to be born in four decades, on Tuesday was named Hisahito -- meaning "virtuous, calm and everlasting," the Imperial Household Agency announced.
The infant, who was born September 6 and is third in line to be the country's emperor, was named during a five-minute ceremony following age-old imperial rites at the Tokyo hospital where the prince and his mother, Princess Kiko, who turned 40 the day before, are still recovering.
In the naming ceremony held at Aiiku Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, the baby's father, Prince Akishino, bestowed the name on the child.
Hisahito's name, which uses the Chinese characters for "virtuous, calm and everlasting," was chosen by his parents with the wish that the new prince has a long, prosperous life with even-tempered peace of mind, palace spokeswoman Yuka Shiina said.
The baby's name was written on special rice paper with brush and ink and placed along with his personal crest in a wooden box next to the new prince's pillow. The crest, a stylized Japanese umbrella pine, will be used to mark Hisahito's belongings.
Keeping with custom, Hisahito's name ends with the Chinese character "hito," which means virtuous person, similar to current emperor, Akihito, and his father, Hirohito.
The new royal's birth forestalled a looming crisis for Japan's century's old imperial family, which was badly in need of a fresh male heir.
The boy is Emperor Akihito's first grandson and now third in line to the throne, behind Akishino and Crown Prince Naruhito. Until Wednesday, brothers Akishino and Naruhito had three daughters between them, but no sons.
The government was set to introduce a bill earlier this year to change a 1947 law that limits the throne to only men in an all-male line to the emperor.
But that was put on ice when Kiko's pregnancy was announced in February.







LOST PET - White Persian, rare purebred, last seen in the area of Clifton Estates, VA. Answers to the name of Captain Winkles. $4K reward, no questions asked. (703) 555-1729 pls. call day or night. Wife is heartsick.