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US sees big drop in violence despite economic woes


US sees big drop in violence despite economic woesBy PETE YOSTupdated 9/17/2011 4:18:13 AM ET

WASHINGTON — The number of violent crimes fell by a surprising 12 percent in the United States last year, a far bigger drop than the nation has been averaging since 2001, the Justice Department said.Only on msnbc.comSantorum makes his moveCan you really lose weight? Motivation mattersC'mon in, the water's freezingAmerica's most scenic drive, without trafficHoward Stern calls fans on New Year's EvePolice: Man may have infected hundreds with HIVGingrich becomes tearful speaking about his motherThe Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 3.8 million violent crimes last year, down from 4.3 million in 2009.Experts aren't sure why. The expectation had been that crime would increase in a weak economy with high unemployment like that seen in 2010.The reality is that "we're surprised to find how much it declines," Professor Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School said Friday.The big drop dwarfs the 3 percent yearly decline in violent crimes the nation averaged from 2001 through 2009.More than 80 percent of the decline in violent crime was attributed to a plunge in simple assaults, by 15 percent. Those assaults accounted for nearly two-thirds of all violent crimes in 2010.Long-term trend The combined total of property crimes and violent crimes was down 6.6 percent last year, from 20 million to 18.7 million.Advertise | AdChoices

The numbers come from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which gathers information on nonfatal crimes against people aged 12 or older by questioning a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.Turning to rates of crime per thousand residents, which takes into account population growth over time, it's clear that the decline in violent crime is part of a long-term trend that began in 1993.From 1993 through 2010, the rate of violent crime has declined by a whopping 70 percent: from 49.9 violent crimes per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to only 14.9 per 1,000 in 2010.Half of this decline came between 1993 and 2001. Between 2001 and 2009, violent crime declined at a more modest annual average of 4 percent, but that rate decline jumped to 13 percent in 2010.From 2001 through 2010, the rate of property crime fell by 28 percent.The rate for violent crime is based on the number per thousand population. The rate for property crime is based on the number per thousand households.Blumstein added that "the victimization survey is basically confirming" the FBI's preliminary figures from last May on crimes reported to police during 2010.Most reliable crime statistics That early, incomplete FBI data showed reported crime fell across the board last year, extending a multi-year downward trend with a 5.5 percent drop in the number of violent crimes in 2010 and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes.The FBI's final figures for last year will be released Monday.The victimization survey figures are considered the government's most reliable crime statistics, because they count crimes that are reported to the police as well as those which go unreported.Over the last decade, the government has found that only about half of all violent crimes and only 40 percent of property crimes are reported to police.Because the survey is based on interviews with victims, it gathers no data on murder.But the FBI's crime figures, based solely on what is reported to police, do provide murder figures, and they are considered quite reliable because murder has always been the least likely crime to go unreported.Murder is by far the least frequent major crime, with 15,241 cases in 2009.

100-year-old marathoner finishes race


100-year-old marathoner finishes raceAP – Mon, Oct 17, 2011

TORONTO (AP) — A 100-year-old runner became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the race in Toronto on Sunday.Fauja Singh earned a spot in the Guinness World Records for his accomplishment.It took Singh more than eight hours to cross the finish line — more than six hours after Kenya's Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year — and he was the last competitor to complete the course.But his time wasn't nearly as remarkable as the accomplishment.Event workers dismantled the barricades along the finish line and took down sponsor banners even as Singh made his way up the final few hundred yards of the race.Family, friends and supporters greeted Singh when he finished the race."Beating his original prediction, he's overjoyed," his coach and translator Harmander Singh said. "Earlier, just before we came around the (final) corner, he said, 'Achieving this will be like getting married again.'"He's absolutely overjoyed, he's achieved his lifelong wish."Sunday's run was Singh's eighth marathon — he ran his first at age 89 — and wasn't the first time he set a record.In the 2003 Toronto event, he set the mark in the 90-plus category, finishing the race in 5 hours, 40 minutes and 1 second.And on Thursday in Toronto, Singh broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances ranging from 100 meters to 5,000 meters.The 5-foot-8 Singh said he's hopeful his next project will be participating in the torch relay for the 2012 London Games. He carried the torch during the relay for the 2004 Athens Games.

Homeless man's decision to return $3,300 changed his life


Homeless man's decision to return $3,300 changed his life2011-11-30, USA Today

About a year ago, a homeless man in Arizona found a bag full of cash and made a fateful decision: He returned it.

The Arizona Republic published a feel-good story today that actually feels good about the future of 49-year-old Dave Tally of Tempe.

Tally was in debt, unemployed and had lost his driver's license for DUI violations. Homeless, he was sleeping on a mat in a church-based homeless shelter when he found $3,300 in a backpack at a local light-rail station.

READ: Tally's tale of recovery

That could have gotten Tally out of his hole, but he decided that was the wrong thing to do. Instead, he tracked down the owner of the cash, a college kid named Bryan Berlanger who had planned to use the money to buy a car to replace one he'd lost in an accident.

"Meeting Belanger and hearing the student thank and praise him for his honesty and kindness made Tally feel good about himself, he says," writes Republic reporter Dianna M. Nanez. "He hadn't had that feeling in awhile."

When word got out that Tally had turned in the cash instead of keeping it, the national media came looking for him.

Donations poured in, and Tally suddenly found himself with $10,000. But he was determined not to fritter it away.

He began paying off his bills, clearing up his driving record, and taking the long road back.

He even moved into a no-frills apartment across from the shelter as "a reminder of where I've been and where I'm not going back again."

One year later, Tally has landed his "dream job," managing a community garden.

Recently, The Republic reports, Tally started overseeing an internship program that allows people who are homeless to volunteer in the garden.

But he doesn't preach to anyone. "I let them know that when they're ready to make changes, it's possible," he says.

The Real Story: Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton


The Real Story: Soul Surfer Bethany HamiltonApril 8, 2011

Soul Surfer is a 2011 American drama film about the life of surfer Bethany Hamilton. At the age of thirteen, Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack. The film details the events surrounding this attack and her struggle during the aftermath. The film is directed by Sean McNamara, who based the screenplay on Hamilton's autobiography of the same name and on the filmmakers' interviews with the family. The title refers to a term coined in the 1960s to denote someone who surfs purely for pleasure, but the word soul has a double meaning as a reference to Hamilton's Christian faith, which helped her recover her surfing career after the attack. AnnaSophia Robb stars as Hamilton, and Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt star as Hamilton's parents.Plans for a film existed since shortly after the shark attack on Hamilton in 2003 and

Born with one leg, Arizona St. wrestler wins NCAA title


Born with one leg, Arizona St. wrestler wins NCAA titleBy Gary Mihoces, USA TODAYUpdated 3/21/2011 9:25:40 AM

PHILADELPHIA — Arizona State's Anthony Robles hopped off the mat at the NCAA wrestling tournament after a perfect season. Penn State coach Cael Sanderson, familiar with perfect seasons, notched the Nittany Lions' first team title since 1953. And an ex-Penn Stater brought Arizona State another title with a pin of one of Sanderson's young stars.

By Matt Slocum, APArizona State's Anthony Robles, born with one leg, beat Iowa's Matt McDonough to claim the 125-pound NCAA Division I individual wrestling title.EnlargeBy Matt Slocum, APArizona State's Anthony Robles, born with one leg, beat Iowa's Matt McDonough to claim the 125-pound NCAA Division I individual wrestling title.Ads by GoogleGet $75 Free AdvertisingTry Google AdWords.Claim Your $75 Coupon Now! Christian DatingShare Your Life. Share Your Faith.Find True Love. Free Membership!www.christianmingle.comMichael Trasso GrapplingJiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Grappling,Photos, Videos, Articles & morewww.michaeltrasso.comBorn with one leg, Robles took the 125-pound title Saturday night with a 7-1 win over defending champion Matt McDonough of Iowa. Robles' three-day performance here earned him the Outstanding Wrestler award.For Robles, it was the finish to a 36-0 senior season and a journey begun when he took up wrestling as a high school freshman in Mesa, Ariz. He was anything but a dominator at the start."I was a terrible wrestler, only about 90 pounds, but my mom told me God made me for a reason, and I believe that reason was for wrestling," says Robles, who was given a standing ovation on the podium by a sellout crowd of 17,687 at the Wells Fargo Center.The finals were held on a mat rolled out on an elevated platform on the floor of the arena. Before his match, Robles moved briskly up the platform stairs on his crutches. Then he placed the crutches down near his coaches' seats and hopped to center mat.He took control in the first period, jumping out to a 7-0 lead with a two-point takedown and two turns that exposed McDonough's shoulders to the mat for five more points. Robles uses his gripping power on those turns."My tilting is due because I have such a strong grip, and that's because of my crutches," he said.Robles said that a few weeks ago he took inspiration from re-reading letters he had received from an elementary school in Georgia."I wrestle because I love wrestling," he said. "But it inspires me when I get kids, even adults, who write me on Facebook or send me letters in the mail saying that I've inspired them, and they look up to me, and they're motivated to do things that other people wouldn't have thought possible."


#2 SANTA GIVES AWAY $100 BILLSDec 14, 2011

I was listening to KLove radio station this afternoon and I heard a wonderful story of charity that touched my heart. In Reading, Pennsylvania last night, a Secret Santa gave away $100 bills to unsuspecting residents of the city. Every now and then there comes along a wonderful story, but this kind of charity is exceptionally rare. It was reported that the Santa handed out $20,000 to residents of the poorest district in this Pennsylvania town. The gracious donor had read somewhere that Reading, Pa was designated as America's poorest city with a population of 65,000 plus. Santa wanted to make a difference and he stayed for several hours to bless the lives of those who lived in this community. This Santa, who wishes to remain anonymous, arrived at a bus terminal in Reading and started handing out $100 bills - one right after another! One resident told the local paper, "I was brought up to believe that you take care of your family... but I can't find a job!" When he was approached by the Secret Santa, he wept as he received the generous offering. Then he said, Santa patted him on the shoulder and told him, "You're a good man!" Santa is a wealthy businessman who got this wonderful tradition from a friend who had passed away a few years ago. He will be traveling to other cities in the next few weeks to spread an abundance of faith, hope and charity to those who may be suffering in this fallen economy. Through a generous example of charity, one man has certainly lifted the burdens of many. He is the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas, for in Matthew 25: 37-40 it is written, "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."Written by Linda Sumner Urza, One fine day.

Man Is Rescued by Stranger on Subway Tracks


Man Is Rescued by Stranger on Subway TracksBy CARA BUCKLEYPublished: January 3, 2007NY Times

It was every subway rider’s nightmare, times two.Who has ridden along New York’s 656 miles of subway lines and not wondered: “What if I fell to the tracks as a train came in? What would I do?”

And who has not thought: “What if someone else fell? Would I jump to the rescue?”

Wesley Autrey, a 50-year-old construction worker and Navy veteran, faced both those questions in a flashing instant yesterday, and got his answers almost as quickly.

Mr. Autrey was waiting for the downtown local at 137th Street and Broadway in Manhattan around 12:45 p.m. He was taking his two daughters, Syshe, 4, and Shuqui, 6, home before work.

Nearby, a man collapsed, his body convulsing. Mr. Autrey and two women rushed to help, he said. The man, Cameron Hollopeter, 20, managed to get up, but then stumbled to the platform edge and fell to the tracks, between the two rails.

The headlights of the No. 1 train appeared. “I had to make a split decision,” Mr. Autrey said.

So he made one, and leapt.

Mr. Autrey lay on Mr. Hollopeter, his heart pounding, pressing him down in a space roughly a foot deep. The train’s brakes screeched, but it could not stop in time.

Five cars rolled overhead before the train stopped, the cars passing inches from his head, smudging his blue knit cap with grease. Mr. Autrey heard onlookers’ screams. “We’re O.K. down here,” he yelled, “but I’ve got two daughters up there. Let them know their father’s O.K.” He heard cries of wonder, and applause.

Power was cut, and workers got them out. Mr. Hollopeter, a student at the New York Film Academy, was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. He had only bumps and bruises, said his grandfather, Jeff Friedman. The police said it appeared that Mr. Hollopeter had suffered a seizure.

Mr. Autrey refused medical help, because, he said, nothing was wrong. He did visit Mr. Hollopeter in the hospital before heading to his night shift. “I don’t feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who needed help,” Mr. Autrey said. “I did what I felt was right.”_____________________________________________________

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