Friday, April 12, 2019

Indian Motorcycle Factory Catches Fire

Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA (April 12, 2019) BSB — Spirit Lake Fire Chief Patrick Daly said crews responding to a Wednesday morning fire at the Polaris Indian Motorcycle factory were immediately confronted with heavy smoke, but the actual fire was relatively minimal.

Firefighters were paged at around 10:15 a.m. the chief said, and entered the building soon after arriving.

"At that time, we called in Arnolds Park/Okoboji, because we knew we needed more manpower and more (self contained breathing apparatuses) to get into the smoke," Daly said. "The building's so big, and you only have so much air. They came up to help us, and we finally got to the source of the fire."

He said crews typically send firefighters in to situations in pairs, with another pair waiting outside in case something should go wrong. Wednesday's operation was large enough that Daly called the AP/O Fire Department for mutual aid and additional manpower. The fire chief said the flames were largely contained to the paint booth area of the motorcycle manufacturer's plant.

The paint booth was being removed and the process sparked the fire as work was being done on the chimney section.

"This morning, a minor fire occurred in a vacant section of our Spirit Lake facility," Polaris spokesperson Jess Rogers said, thanking the Spirit Lake Fire Department for its fast response. "The facility was evacuated. There are no injuries to report, and the facility will resume normal operations tomorrow."

Spirit Lake firefighters responded to a fire at the Polaris manufacturing plant in Spirit Lake Wednesday afternoon. The crews called for mutual aid from Arnolds Park-Okoboji Fire and Rescue, due to heavy smoke and the size of the facility. Photos by Seth Boyes

Daly went on to say the fire spread into the styrofoam insulation in the facility's roof, and firefighters ultimately cut a hole in the roof to stop the damage from spreading.

"Once we got the styrofoam out, we could start venting the building," Daly said. "Actually, we had a really good breeze coming through there, so it was natural ventilation. Once we got in there, we could get right to the machine."

The paint booth's own fire suppression systems were triggered, according to Daly, but couldn't stop all of the flames.

"They had sprinkler system in there, but it didn't get up through the styrofoam where we were at," he said. "It put the fire out that was down below. It just made so much smoke you couldn't see anything."

Firefighters cut a hole in the facility's roof. Fire Chief Patrick Daly said the morning's gusty winds helped ventilate the smoke. Photo by Mike Ehret - Dickinson County Emergency Management

Daly said Dickinson County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Ehret assisted on scene with the county's drone, which was fitted with an infrared camera. Ehret was able to provide firefighters with photos of the roof as they attacked the fire. Crews had the fire under control at around 1:30 p.m., according to Daly.

"Polaris' evacuation system worked very well. Everybody was out of the building when we got there," he said. As of Wednesday afternoon, Daly said Polaris' maintenance staff was still ventilating the building.

"It's pretty clear," Daly said. "But you can still smell it in there, so they want to make sure that's all out of there before they send their crews back in to work."

SOURCE: Dickson County News

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

DA dismisses remaining 24 Twin Peaks biker cases

Waco, Texas. USA (April 2, 2019) BSB — Almost four years after nine bikers were killed and 20 were injured during a shootout at the former Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said Tuesday he will dismiss all criminal cases against the remaining 24 defendants charged in the midday brawl.

Johnson inherited the Twin Peaks cases when he took office in January, and said he has spent 75 percent of his time since then with a team of prosecutors and investigators trying to determine how to resolve the remaining cases.

Johnson's decision Tuesday means that no one will be held accountable for the multiple deaths or injuries or for the chaotic battle between heavily armed, rival motorcycle clubs waged in a crowded shopping center parking lot while families were on their way to lunch after Sunday church.

In announcing his decision, Johnson said it is time to "end this nightmare that we have been dealing with in this county since May 17, 2015."

"There were nine people who were killed on that fateful day in Waco, Texas, and 20 injured, all of whom were members of rival motorcycle clubs, and the loss of life is a difficult thing," Johnson said. "But after looking over the 24 cases we were left with, it is my opinion as your district attorney that we are not able to prosecute any of those cases and reach our burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

About 200 bikers were arrested after the shootout on identical charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and held on $1 million bonds each. Former McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna sought indictments against 155 bikers on those identical charges and chose to try Jacob Carrizal, the Bandidos Dallas county chapter president, first.

Carrizal's case ended in mistrial in November 2017, with most of the jurors in his case favoring acquittal, and no other defendant has been tried since.

The way Reyna handled the Twin Peaks cases was the centerpiece of Johnson's campaign, and he defeated Reyna in the March 2018 Republican primary by 20 percentage points. After the primary, Reyna dismissed all but 24 of the remaining Twin Peaks cases. The special prosecutors appointed to handle four of the cases after Reyna recused his office also were critical of the manner in which the cases were handled and dismissed them, also.

Reyna sought to re-indict the remaining two dozen, mostly on riot charges. Other charges that may have been possible arising out of the melee, such as attempted murder, aggravated assault or felon in possession of a firearm, were barred by three-year statutes of limitation before Johnson took office, he said.

"Following the indictments, the prior district attorney had the time and opportunity to review and assess the admissible evidence to determine the full range of charges that could be brought against each individual who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl, and to charge only those offenses where the admissible evidence would support a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Johnson said in a statement.

"In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl. Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day," he said.

Carrizal is among those whose cases are to be dismissed. Johnson noted that his trial cost $1 million in preparation and trial costs, plus an additional $500,000 in security and overtime pay after county officials ratcheted up security for his trial.

"To open that Pandora's Box back up and start down that road again when we don't feel that, after looking at the facts and the evidence, that we would be able to meet our burden of beyond a reasonable doubt would be irresponsible, in my opinion. Therefore, I am making the decision now to end this nightmare that we have been dealing with in this county since May 17, 2015," Johnson said.

While the criminal cases will be dismissed, more than 130 of the bikers have civil rights lawsuits pending against Reyna, former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman, the city of Waco, McLennan County and individual local and state officers who were involved in the arrests.

Dallas attorney Don Tittle represents about 120 of the bikers in their civil lawsuits.

“Maybe if law enforcement had stuck with the original plan to focus on individuals who might have been involved in the violence and let the rest of the motorcyclists go after being interviewed, things would have gone differently, Tittle said. "It’s hard to imagine that turning the operation into a dragnet wasn’t a major distraction for the investigation, not to mention a public that grew increasingly skeptical as this thing played out. All this for an ill-advised attempt to prove an imaginary conspiracy theory, which to this day there’s not a shred of evidence to support.”

Bandidos who cases will be dismissed include: Ray Allen of Krum; Jeff Battey, Ponder; Jacob Carrizal, Dallas; John Guerrero, San Antonio; David Martinez, Terrell; Tom Mendez, San Antonio; Marshall Mitchell, Longview; Jerry Pierson, no address available; Marcus Pilkington, Mexia; Glenn Walker, Copperas Cove; and Reginald Weathers, Forney.

Cossacks with cases set for dismissal include: Mitchell Bradford, Gordon; Aaron Carpenter, Gatesville; Roy Covey, Clifton; William Flowers, no address available; Rich Luther, Cossack; Wesley McAlister, Gilmer; Jacob Reese, Mount Pleasant; Owen Reeves, Bruceville; Timothy Satterwhite, Gordon; and Kyle Smith, Kilgore.

Others whose cases will be dismissed include Richard Cantu, a Machateros from San Antonio; Nathan Champeau, a Scimitar from McKinney; and Richard Lockhart, a Companero with no available address.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Biker sucker punched at stop light

Indianapolis, IN. USA (March 29, 2019) BSB – James Yacconi, a veteran of four tours of duty in Iraq, is struggling with injuries after a confrontation with another motorist. It happened on South Madison Avenue, where a moment of driver courtesy was followed by brutal road rage, all captured by a Lyft driver’s dash camera “He’s currently on a ventilator and a feeding tube,” said Yacconi’s wife. “Because they haven’t quite wired his mouth shut.“

It happened Wednesday evening, not far from Manual High School. “Great sunny day so I decide to go for a quick, small ride,” Yaconni later recalled in a Facebook post. From his motorcycle,Yacconi noticed a problem with a Lyft driver’s car and helpfully let him know. “You got a break light out on that side,” Yaconni told the driver. “Thank you. Alright," the driver responded.

Yacconi recounts: "The guy behind me was laying into his horn, came close to rear-ending and sideswiping me as he goes around and gets in front of me.“ Then, at the next red light at Madison and Pleasant Run, “I’m still behind him and I asked what his problem is. He stormed out of his car. I get off my bike I ask him what his deal was.

All I was doing was helping another guy out by telling him he had a taillight out. Next thing I know, I get double-punched by him wearing two brass knuckles. Yaconni, a U.S. Army veteran, was left with serious jaw injuries. He's in "a lot of pain" according to family. Yaconni followed the Lyft driver to get his dash cam evidence.

He later posted that the Lyft driver said he “does not know how I am still conscious.” He decribed the road rage vehicle as “junky,” a white car missing the rear bumper. Yaconni is still hospitalized, a long road ahead in healing the broken jaw. Family and friends want justice for the victim. If you have information about the incident, you're asked to call IMPD or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

World Renowned Tattoo Artist Lyle Tuttle Dies

San Francisco, California , USA (March 26, 2019) BSB — Lyle Tuttle was known as the “father of modern tattooing” and a revolutionary protagonist in the history of tattooing has died. He was born in 1931 and grew up in Ukiah, California.

He had been tattooing since 1949. At the age of fourteen he purchased his first tattoo for $3,50. He has been working for Bert Grimm and has been tattooed by him. His first shop was open in San Francisco for 35 years. He has tattooed on all seven continents and has become a legend within the industry.

Mr. Tuttle tattooed Janis Joplin, Cher, Jo Baker, Henry Fonda, Paul Stanley, Joan Baez, the Allman Brothers and many, many other notable musicians, actors, and celebrities. He officially retired in 1990 but he did occasionally tattoo his signature on a friend or acquaintance.

He also opened The Lyle Tuttle Tattoo & Museum in San Francisco. It features his own collection of tattoo memorabilia, in an effort to preserve the tattoo history for future generations. He says that “tattoos are travel marks, stickers on your luggage. Tattoos are special, you have to go off and earn them. You can go into a jewelry store and buy a big diamond and slip it on your finger and walk out. It’s not like that when you go into a tattoo shop and pick a big tattoo and pay for it. Now you got to sit down and take it.”

Lyle Tuttle died March 26, 2019 in Hospice due to complications from throat cancer, he was 87 years old.

A post shared by Lyle Tuttle (@lyletuttlecollection) on