BREAKING: Christopher Campbell has been found safe in Minnesota. Slabbed tells the story behind the story.

First the good news folks. 5 year old Christopher Campbell has been found and his kidnapping father is under arrest. Michelle Hunter has the story for the Times Picayune:

A New Orleans man wanted for simple kidnapping in connection with the abduction of his 5-year-old son was arrested in Minnesota this afternoon, according to authorities.

Christopher Scott Campbell, 37, was taken into custody by an unidentified law enforcement agency, said Lt. Michael Fejka, an investigator with the Harahan Police Department.

Few other details were available Tuesday afternoon, but Fejka confirmed that Campbell’s son, Christopher William Campbell, has also been found and is with a Minnesota social worker.

“They found my baby,” shouted Monica Campbell, 34, Christopher William Campbell’s mother. She had been tensely waiting for news since June 27, when the boy’s father violated a court-ordered custody agreement failed to return him after a weekend visit. Continue reading “BREAKING: Christopher Campbell has been found safe in Minnesota. Slabbed tells the story behind the story.”

"BP and anyone else underestimates coast residents at their own peril"

…it’s not just those who ply their trade on the sea, or who house, feed or entertain tourists, who stand to lose. People live on the Gulf Coast because of the way of life there. They walk its beaches, sail and fish its waters, and daily draw mental and physical sustenance from what it offers. It is in their blood: a part of them.

Kathleen Koch,freelance journalist and author of “Rising from Katrina,” does what only someone who knows and loves the Coast can do. Koch “tells it like it is” in Gulf Coast folks will fight for their rights:

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our forefathers penned those simple words into the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago as a promise to every citizen of their fledgling country. Today, millions of Americans living along the Gulf Coast find those unalienable rights threatened.

I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It was a place of pristine, natural beauty. Miles of soft, sandy beaches. The gentle, warm waters of the Mississippi Sound. The bays that cut inland to rivers and streams lined with grassy marshes and bayous that served as nurseries for tiny crabs, shrimp and all manner of fish and marine life.

This weekend, as the nation celebrated, the first black tar balls and foul patties from the oil spill washed up on the beaches of my hometown. Bay St. Louis was hosting its annual Crab Fest on Friday when the quarter- to fist-size globs began rolling in. My brother called to say he’d spotted some in front of the site of our former home on South Beach Boulevard. It was sickening.

The people of the Gulf Coast are a hardy bunch. They already faced the worst nature could dish out when Hurricane Katrina hit. And just as they were getting back on their feet after years of heartache and struggle, the worst man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history smacks them back down.

That is what makes this such a difficult time for my family, friends and neighbors on the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina left them with a new sense of vulnerability. Its scars are deep. And they are tired to the bone.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t fight. It is a lesson BP executives or anyone else who would underestimate them ignores at their peril.
Continue reading “"BP and anyone else underestimates coast residents at their own peril"”

While Jimbo the Clown and his sidekick Mikey the Cook are MIA, BP claims go unpaid.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney

Donelon said that members of his staff have investigated some BP-related claims centers throughout Louisiana.

“We have done some visits to claims centers and found them to be operating smoothly, but that is not all of the claims centers and I do not know how many adjusters there are.” he said.

Donelon said his department has become skilled at knowing when claims are mishandled given the department’s experience of settling claims related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

“We had a million claims in connection with Rita and Katrina five years ago, so yeah, we do know when things are not being handled as they should be, I believe, and we are knowledgeable and experienced and staffed enough to monitor this situation from an insurance regulatory perspective, no doubt,” he said.

Meantime this is what Mike Chaney had to say about the BP claims process:


This is from David Hammer’s report in today’s Times Picayune on the tar balls in Lake Pontchartrain:

BP’s payments to spill victims — those injured physically or economically by the oil — have not kept pace with what it has spent on containment, according to newly released data. The British oil giant agreed recently to release spreadsheets detailing its claims Continue reading “While Jimbo the Clown and his sidekick Mikey the Cook are MIA, BP claims go unpaid.”

Skimming the surface – honest services, honesty, and yatchs

Although I spend the winter dreaming of “summertime, when the living is easy”, the summer months are the busy season of my “day job” – months full of days like today when there is little time for more than skimming the surface of what would otherwise be a series of posts.

For example, the conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman will not be among the “avalanche of legal challenges” expected to follow the recent USSC ruling on “honest services”.  The Court made certain of that:

In a one-sentence order, the Supreme Court instructed the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to review the convictions of  Richard Scrushy,  the former CEO of HealthSouth, and former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman…

Scrushy and Siegelman were convicted on bribery and corruption charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Middle District of Alabama in 2006. The government alleged Siegleman had improperly appointed Scrushy to a hospital regulatory board in exchange for Scrushy donating $50o,000 to a campaign for  a state lottery that Seigelman supported…

Siegelman and Scrushy have maintained their innocence. Their attorneys have argued that donations the health care business executive made to the then-governor’s lottery fund and Scrushy’s later appointment to the Alabama health board wasn’t criminal, just ordinary politics.

Speaking of honesty, Mississippi-born Jimmy Buffett recently told Anderson Cooper that he knows “liars when I hear them”: Continue reading “Skimming the surface – honest services, honesty, and yatchs”

Defending the indefensible: A Parish of shame. New revelations in the "NAZI" case Simon v Jefferson Parish and Armand Kerlec. A Guest post by Whitmergate.

Asked by McGovern (Simon’s attorney) if he thought a Jewish person would be offended by a supervisor giving the Nazi salute, Kerlec said, “I don’t know whether they would be or not. I mean … I never even thought about whether anybody would be offended by it. There were so many people (co-workers) egging me on all the time that I just figured — I didn’t think about it.

Kerlec also admitted that he probably used the word “n—-r” on the job during his 32 years as a parish employee, but not among black workers. He also acknowledged receiving extensive parish training with regard to racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace, including warnings not to use racial slurs to describe Jews and African-Americans. He testified that he did not know Simon was Jewish until Simon told him.

Not long ago Parish President Theriot found himself characterized as a modern day Nazi, a Fascist, the Hitler of Jefferson Parish whose arrogance laid bare his stupidity; but more disturbingly his contempt for human rights. “TheRiot”, as Theriot was monikered, knee-jerking imprudently and with the questionable advise of counsel, filed suit against the blogosphere. Having his feelings hurt regarding criticisms of his presumed political stature, TheRiot, salivating to find out the identify of the anonymous commentators, ran into the 1st Amendment wall of Free Speech. Very shortly thereafter, TheRiot dropped the lawsuit, put his head between his legs and waddled off with and holding the hands of his similarly entwined lawyers at Phelps, Dunbar. Continue reading “Defending the indefensible: A Parish of shame. New revelations in the "NAZI" case Simon v Jefferson Parish and Armand Kerlec. A Guest post by Whitmergate.”