WAYNESBURG, Ky. - Miss America 1944 has a talent that likely has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle's tires and stop an intruder. ADVERTISEMENT
Venus Ramey, 82, confronted a man on her farm in south-central Kentucky last week after she saw her dog run into a storage building where thieves had previously made off with old farm equipment.
Ramey said the man told her he would leave. "I said, 'Oh, no you won't,' and I shot their tires so they couldn't leave," Ramey said.
She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.
"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it," she said. "If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now."
Ramey then flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911.
Curtis Parrish of Ohio was charged with misdemeanor trespassing, Deputy Dan Gilliam said. The man's hometown wasn't immediately available. Three other people were questioned but were not arrested.
After winning the pageant with her singing, dancing and comedic talents, Ramey sold war bonds and her picture was adorned on a B-17 that made missions over Germany in World War II, according to the Miss America Web site.
Ramey lived in Cincinnati for several years and was instrumental in helping rejuvenate Over-the-Rhine historic buildings. She returned to Kentucky in 1990 to live on her farm.
"I'm trying to live a quiet, peaceful life and stay out of trouble, and all it is, is one thing after another," she said.
Southern U.S. town proud of its mandatory gun law Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:17PM EDT
By Matthew Bigg
KENNESAW, Georgia (Reuters) - The Virginia Tech killings have set off calls for tighter U.S. gun laws but anyone wanting to know why those demands likely will make little headway should visit Kennesaw, a town where owning a gun is both popular and mandatory.
The town north of Atlanta had little prominence until it passed a gun ordinance in 1982 that required all heads of a household to own a firearm and ammunition.
Kennesaw's law was a response to Morton Grove, Illinois, which had passed a gun ban earlier that year as a step to reduce crime.
But it also was an affirmation of what gun advocates say is a blanket U.S. constitutional right, under the Second Amendment, for citizens to keep and bear arms. Gun opponents challenge that right and say the language in the Constitution is open to interpretation.
The Kennesaw law has endured as the town's population has swelled to about 30,000 from 5,000 in 1982.
"When the law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime ... and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then," said police Lt. Craig Graydon. "We are sure it is one of the lowest (crime) towns in the metro area.
Residents say they are comfortable with the image the gun law projects on the city as a bastion of gun freedom.
"There's been no move to get rid of the law. Why would you?" said Robert Jones, president of the Kennesaw Historical Society. "The law is a great tourist attraction. It's the town with the Gun Law.
"People in Europe feel they need to be protected by the government. People in the U.S. feel they need to be protected from the government," said Jones, the owner of a .357-caliber Magnum.
Many U.S. citizens see gun ownership as an essential freedom on a par with free speech and the view is particularly strong in rural areas and the South where sport hunting is often a family tradition.
In a bid to expand gun rights, a bill was introduced in Georgia's state legislature to allow individuals with no criminal record or history of mental illness to conceal a weapon in their car.
The state Senate adjourned debate on the bill on Tuesday, fearing it would send the wrong message in the wake of the Virginia rampage.
Dent "Wildman" Myers, 76, styles himself as a keeper of the flame when it comes to Kennesaw's gun ordinance. His downtown shop contains a cornucopia of artifacts, including old uniforms and dozens of flags of the Confederacy that fought the Union in part in defense of slavery in the Civil War. At the back is a Ku Klux Klan outfit with a noose and a hood.
There also are posters praising defenders of the white race, White Power CDs and a sign that reads: "No Dogs Allowed, No Negroes, No Mexicans." Someone had crossed out the first part of the sign and added "Dogs Allowed."
Myers said he wanted to protect the values that made the town and the South distinct from other parts of the United States.
GUNS AS TOOLS
"They destroyed anything historic and replaced it with the PC (politically correct) stuff. It's become a cookie cutter town," Myers said, his hands resting lightly on two .45-caliber guns at his hips. He said he considered his guns to be tools, much like a rake or a shovel.
Since the Virginia Tech shootings, some conservative U.S. talk radio hosts have rejected attempts to link the massacre to the availability of guns, arguing that had students been allowed to carry weapons on campus someone might have been able to shoot the killer.
Without guns the students of Virginia Tech were "26,000 sitting ducks," said Chris Krok of Atlanta's WSB radio in a view echoed by many residents of Kennesaw.
When the town's gun law was passed, about 70 percent of households likely owned a gun, Graydon said. But Atlanta commuters have since swelled the town's population and gun ownership now is about 50 percent.
An amendment to the gun ownership law grants exceptions to convicted felons, conscientious objectors and those who cannot afford a gun. No one has ever been prosecuted for failure to own a firearm, Graydon said.
The law may deter criminals but proactive policing and close police liaison with community and business groups were the main reasons why crime has stayed low, he said.
Some residents said they found the law objectionable or silly and simply ignored it.
But Linda Warman, who works in a Kennesaw shop, said she lived alone and was taking no chances.
"I wouldn't hesitate to use it," she said of the gun she keeps loaded with hollow-point bullets. "My little .22. It'll do whatever I want it to."
REDWOOD CITY , Calif. , - April 18, 2007 – Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that the NFL's 2006 Rookie of the Year Vince Young will appear on the cover of Madden NFL 08 , the latest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the official video game license of the NFL and its players. The Tennessee Titans quarterback's appearance on the cover of Madden NFL 08 makes him the youngest NFL star to grace the cover. Last year's Madden NFL 07 sold over 7 million copies and was the number one selling game in North America in 2006*. Madden NFL 08 will be available for purchase beginning August 14.
“It is truly an honor for me to be on the cover of Madden NFL 08 , every NFL player dreams of being on the cover,” said Young. “After being named Rookie of the Year and going to the Pro Bowl my first season – this is a perfect way to start my second season in the NFL.”
As the first rookie quarterback to go to a NFL Pro Bowl, Vince Young has already emerged as one of the most exciting athletes in the NFL. The 2006 NFL Rookie of the Year was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, and started in 13 games for the Titans. Young ranked second on the team with 552 rushing yards and tied a team high with seven touchdowns. The Houston native also became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to exceed 500 rushing yards.
Coming into its 18 th year and with more than 60 million copies sold and having generated over $2 billion in retail sales, Madden NFL Football continues to stand out as one of the most popular videogame franchises of all time. Developed in Orlando, FL by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 08 will be available in August on the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® videogame and entertainment systems, PLAYSTATION®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, Wii™, PC, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system. For more information check out www.madden08.com . CHECK OUT "DO YOU FEAR THE MADDEN CURSE" IN THE MIENFOKINGLINKS SECTION !
Mexican magnate becomes world's second richest man Apr 11 07:16 PM US/Eastern
A Mexican telecoms tycoon has become the second richest man in the world, pushing US investment guru Warren Buffett into third place and breathing down the neck of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Carlos Slim Helu quietly slipped past Buffett at the end of last month thanks to his rising stock, and was valued at the close of trade Wednesday at 53.1 billion dollars, 700 million dollars more than Buffett, Forbes.com reported Wednesday.
Now only Gates, valued as the richest man in the world for the last 13 years, is ahead of Slim.
And while slim may be catching up, Gates, who stepped aside as Microsoft chief in 2000 to devote his energies to the philanthropic foundation he runs with his wife Melinda, is still sitting on a nest egg of 56 billion dollars.
Slim, 67, has added a staggering 23 billion dollars to his personal fortune over the last 14 months, thanks largely to a strong Mexican economy and a stock market that jumped nearly 50 percent last year.
He accrued four billion dollars of that just since Forbes unveiled its annual rich list in early March, giving Slim the equivalent of roughly seven percent of Mexico's annual economic output, according to Forbes.
The tycoon has brushed off criticism that his Telmex company is effectively a monopoly, saying earlier this year: "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered."
He has derided Gates and Buffett for giving away so much of their wealth, reportedly saying: "Poverty isn't solved with donations," according to Forbes.
Building businesses, he reportedly said, did more for society than "going around like Santa Claus."
Outrage at India menstrual form By Monica Chadha BBC News, Mumbai
All India Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2007 The form asks for a "detailed menstrual history" Women civil servants in India have expressed shock at new appraisal rules which require them to reveal details of their menstrual cycles.
Under the new nationwide requirements, female officials also have to say when they last sought maternity leave.
Women civil servants say the questions are a gross invasion of privacy. One told the BBC she was "gobsmacked".
Annual appraisals and health checks are mandatory in India's civil service. The ministry was unavailable for comment.
But one of its most senior bureaucrats was quoted in the press as saying the new questions had been based on advice from health officials.
The questions at the root of the controversy are on page 58 of the new appraisal forms for the current year issued by the federal Ministry for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
I have no intention of telling them anything about my personal life Sharwari Gokhale, Maharashtra environment secretary
Women officers must write down their "detailed menstrual history and history of LMP [last menstrual period] including date of last confinement [maternity leave]," the form says.
Women working in the civil service told the BBC the government had no need for this kind of personal information.
"I am completely shocked!" said Sharwari Gokhale, environment secretary in western Maharashtra state.
"I have absolutely no words to describe how I feel and I have no intention of telling them anything about my personal life.
"It's gob smacking."
Ms Gokhale said she had also served in the personnel department at the ministry which drafted the new forms and, while the health of officials was always a concern, asking such questions never crossed their minds.
Maharashtra's joint secretary for general administration, Seema Vyas, agreed that the new questions were uncalled for.
I assume this will help evaluate the officer's fitness Satyanand Mishra, Personnel department secretary
"Menstrual cycles are a natural phenomenon, they are not an aberration. One does not object to questions related to fitness levels - they are important as they can affect work.
"But there is no need for these details as this does not have any bearing on our work," she told the BBC.
"When we apply for maternity leave, we put in the appropriate application and the government already has those records so why ask again?"
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She said she and her colleagues were thinking of writing a letter to the authorities protesting at the questions.
Despite repeated attempts, the BBC was unable to speak to the head of the personnel department, Satyanand Mishra.
The Hindustan Times newspaper quoted him as saying the questions were based on advice from the Ministry of Health.
"We sought the ministry's help to draw up a health-history format. I assume this will help evaluate the officer's fitness," he told the paper.