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How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-06-30 10:55:01
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Players into refugees in a new app

bizzzza01The UN refugee agency has released a Smartphone game, aimed at raising awareness about the experiences of refugees around the world. "My life as a refugee" takes players into a scenario of fleeing conflicts and searching for family members. The UNHCR says it is based on the real-life accounts of refugees.

One analyst said the title was unlikely to have the mass appeal of games like Angry Birds, but should still find an audience. In the description of the game on its website, the UNHCR says it: "brings to life the refugee experience and highlights some of the life-changing decisions and consequences faced by millions of refugees worldwide."

By turning players into virtual refugees fleeing persecution or armed conflicts, the app takes them through a series of challenges - "true-to-life quests" while trying to find their families and reach safety.


Clerk charged with using guests' info

bizzzza02Police in Clarksville said a motel clerk stole guests' credit card numbers and gambled online. The department said an investigation began when an Illinois woman found more than $4,000 in online gambling fees had been charged to her credit card, which was still in her possession.

The probe led to a Super 8 motel in Clarksville, where the victim had stayed during a trip to Florida in November. Police discovered her credit card information had been stolen and used online. Authorities arrested 52-year-old Belinda Fay Blake, of Clarksville, charging her with illegal use of a credit card.

The investigator said Blake admitted she had also used several other people's credit card information to make purchases. Blake had been released from the Montgomery County Jail by Friday.


Tierney brother-in-law drops bombshell on congressman

Moments after learning he'll spend the next three years in prison, Daniel Eremian unloaded on his brother-in-law, Rep. John Tierney today, calling the Salem Democrat "the biggest liar in the world." "He knew everything that was going on," said Eremian, 62, the former owner of Brodie's Pub in Peabody, who now lives in Boca Raton, Fla. "He sat in the boxes with bookies at Fenway Park." He called Rep. Tierney's claims to the contrary "hogwash." Tierney did not respond to requests for comment this afternoon. Eremian, went on to say his sister, Patrice Tierney, was "forced" to enter a plea agreement with prosecutors to save her husband's political career.

Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty in 2010 to helping her other brother, Robert Eremian, file false tax returns. She spent a month at a federal prison camp in Connecticut and is on probation. At the time, Tierney was running for re-election against Boxford Republican Bill Hudak.  "She got forced to do that for him," said Eremian, referring to his younger sister. "She got railroaded." John Tierney, 60, is now seeking his ninth term in Congress, and faces a challenge by Wakefield Republican Richard Tisei, a former state senator. Asked if he was actually accusing the congressman of being untruthful in his past statements that he did not know there was illegal activity going on, Eremian repeated his claim. "All I want to do is say he knew," Eremian told reporters for The Salem News and The Boston Herald outside the courtroom. "For him to throw my sister under the bus was wrong." Eremian said he has not been allowed to talk to his sister and hasn't seen her since she testified against him during his trial last fall because of the conditions of her probation.

The bombshell tirade outside the seventh-floor courtroom came shortly after U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris sentenced Eremian to three years in federal prison, a sentence he's set to start serving tomorrow morning, over the protests of his lawyer, who had hoped for a delay. Saris sentenced Eremian's co-defendant, Todd Lyons, 38, of Beverly, to four years in federal prison, calling him the "banker" for the Massachusetts branch of the operation.  Both men, who were convicted in December of illegal gaming, racketeering and conspiracy, will serve a year of probation following their prison terms, and are already subject to forfeiture orders, $24 million for Lyons and $7.7 million for Eremian. Eremian was also ordered to forfeit property, including a helicopter.


Lufkin woman accused of switching '1' to '4' on prescription form

bizzzza04Lufkin Police arrested a woman Sunday accused of altering her prescription form on two separate occasions in order to get more refills of Vicodin in 2011. Kari Lynn Leal, 40, of Lufkin is charged with third-degree attempt to possess a controlled substance by forgery.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Leal received a prescription from a physician's assistant for 60 Vicodin and one refill on March 28, 2011, and May 18 2011. The affidavit states Leal took the form to a pharmacy and changed the number of refills to a four.

A detective spoke to the physician's assistant, who provided a copy of the defendant's chart which indicated the prescription was for one refill. The detective obtained a warrant for Leal's arrest on Feb. 13. Police arrested her on Sunday and she was released the same day on a $4,000 bond.


Arrest follows dispute over pancakes

A Muncie man was arrested this week on allegations he battered his sister after she criticized how much maple syrup he had placed on his pancakes. Joseph Eugene Perry Jr., 47, was preliminarily charged with battery and strangulation. He remained in the Delaware County jail on Wednesday under a $7,500 bond.

Police were called to a home in the 1200 block of South Liberty Street late Tuesday morning after Perry allegedly grabbed his accuser’s neck and pushed her head against a cabinet. An officer said the alleged victim had marks on the right side of her neck. She declined emergency medical treatment. Perry maintained the woman “attacked him because he used too much syrup,” according to a police report.

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