Monday, November 30, 2009

Las Vegas Thanksgiving 2009


Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to visit. It helps that there is family and friends there, but even then there is so much to do and see. And I do not even gamble and yet I find plenty to keep me entertained. The 2009 Thanksgiving visit was no different.

Getting there can be half the fun. You just never know what you will get when you cross the dam road. It may be backed up due to dam tourists running across the dam road or it may be smooth sailing. Or bighorn sheep may be right along side you on the trek. The traffic on the road can be a bit crazy. This should improve when the bypass is completed. Until then you can watch the progress of the project. The Hoover Dam itself is an incredible feat of engineering and human perseverance.

We always enjoy our trips to the Vegas area. Whether on the Strip, Fremont Street, or beyond, there is always something to do. This time found us the ever changing displays at the Bellagio. Never know what they will have set-up, but we have not been disappointed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Police Standoff 11142009

Police Standoff 11-14-2009

Man barricaded in southside home
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - A man has barricaded himself inside a home in the southside.
Police are on scene of a home in the 3700 block of East Sun View. Investigators say a man made suicidal statements to his family, prompting them to call 911. Police believe he's alone and apparently refusing to come out. Swat teams are on scene trying to get him to surrender. 11/14-2009 6:05 PM

Such excitement in the neighborhood on a Saturday! It all started at about 3:00 PM when we heard what sounded like a PA system from the backyard. I went out front and saw several police cars and police tape, just west of the house, in the other cul-de-sac. Grabbed the camera, and the wife, and went to investigate. The police notified us that a man had threatened to release gas into his house and kill himself. All the neighbors had been evacuated in that area. The police were trying to contact him via the PA system, which is what we had heard.

We met several of the neighbors as they were hanging out on the street corner waiting to see what would happen. The process stretched on as the Fire Dept and Southwest Gas folks arrived to shut off the gas and water. Later the SWAT and Bomb Squad folks arrived. Throughout the event windows were broken, pepper balls were dispersed, window security bars were cut, and finally the garage door was peeled back like a banana.

This allowed the tactical folks to send in a couple of robots. Right around 8:00 PM it was determined that the man they were looking for was not inside. It was reported early on that one of the neighbors saw him entering the house as the police arrived. I had joked that he had ran out the back door and was sitting a local bar, drinking and waiting to see his house on the news. Not sure it that was the case, but he was not inside his abode after all the excitement. That explains why he did not respond to the police. My favorite line was, “Come out of the house with your hands up. Come out NOW!” Guess you had to be there… ;-)

Links are to my photos posted on local news channel website

Tucson man arrested for criminal damage over weekend
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 11.16.2009
A man who police thought to have barricaded himself inside his south side home — only to end up nowhere to be found when officers entered — was located Sunday night and booked into the Pima County Jail on suspicion of criminal damage, police said.
Willie Rose, 40, was found Sunday in the area of West St. Mary’s Road and North Grande Avenue, said Sgt. Diana Lopez, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.
Police had been searching for Rose since Saturday evening, when SWAT officers entered his home near South Alvernon Way and East Valencia Road to find it empty, authorities said. Police had evacuated the neighborhood around Rose’s home at 2:30 p.m. Saturday after the smell of natural gas was detected coming from the house, said Officer Linda Galindo, a TPD spokeswoman. Preliminary reports indicated Rose was inside the home and was upset over a pending divorce and was trying to use the gas to commit suicide, Galindo said. The criminal damage charge against Rose stems from damage found inside the home after police entered, Lopez said.