'Toughest sheriff in U.S.' puts illegal-alien inmates in tents
The self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America" has announced plans to keep illegal immigrants separate from the rest of the inmate population at tents in Phoenix that house prisoners.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio accompanied about 200 inmates — along with members of the media — from an area jail to Tent City on Wednesday.
"This is a population of criminals more adept perhaps at escape," Arpaio said in a news release. "But this is a fence they won't want to scale because they risk receiving quite a shock, literally," he said, referring to the electric fence that surrounds the area.
A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to comment, but Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said that she thinks Arpaio could be violating the immigrants' rights by keeping them separated and that she would like to talk to the Justice Department and have staff there issue an opinion.
"Any time you treat people differently for no reason, you stand to violate rights," she said. "We treat people equally in America. I think it's wrong."
Arpaio was recently featured in a Fox Reality Channel show called Smile … You're Under Arrest!
Survey: Auto deaths drop in 40 states in 2008
The Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety departments, said Wednesday that vehicle deaths dropped in 40 states and the District of Columbia out of 44 states they surveyed. Barbara Harsha, the organization's executive director, credited high gas prices, increased use of seat belts and enforcement of traffic laws for the drop. The average decline was 10.7 percent, the safety group said. Among large states, Florida's highway fatalities dropped 6.8 percent, Illinois' fell by 16 percent, Ohio's declined by 4 percent and Michigan's were down by 7.7 percent. Georgia saw decreases of 12 percent and New Jersey's fatalities dropped 18 percent, according to the survey. Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia all saw declines of 20 percent or more. Several large states, including California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania, did not participate in the survey.
Iowa: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has placed 19 employees at a laboratory campus in central Iowa on paid leave after allegations that some used veterinary credentials to purchase low-cost medications for human use. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa's former governor, called it "a very serious situation that requires immediate and decisive action."
New Jersey: JuicyCampus.com, which publishes anonymous, sometimes malicious gossip about college students, will cease operations, founder and CEO Matt Ivester announced on the Web site Wednesday. He cited the national economic meltdown and falling ad revenue.
Washington: The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday that there were birds in both engines of the US Airways plane that ditched into the Hudson River last month.