RANTS  &  RAVES  2019             Older R&R


    "Quote Of The Day"

    "Personally, I have violated no rules of Professional Conduct, nor have I made public any facts that haven’t already been made part
    of the public record by the District Attorney."
    Michael Aubule, defense attorney for Chris Shellhammer, responding to heraldstandard.com* over the filing of a motion by the Fayette County
    District Attorney to gag players and one potential witness from discussing the case and criticizing the county lead prosecutor for charging
    Shellhammer with homicide, in a shooting that happened 13 months ago, after Shellhammer was beaten, suffered a broken jaw, broken nose and
    closed head injury concussion and then shot one of two people beating him in the head, to save his life.
    * "DA's office requesting gag order in McClellandtown man's homicide case"

    DA files motion to gag defendant's mom
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of sheer disappointment that an assistant district attorney earlier this week filed a motion in court to gag
    and silence an outspoken parent, critical of the county prosecution of her adult child. Read More.

    Judge orders Fay DA off criminal case of Dem
    party committee man contractor, transfer to AG
    RANTS that citizens stiffed by a county Democrat committee man, working as a home improvements contractor a few years ago are amazingly
    close to breaking records of times being jerked around by the courts and denied due process, as only people such as Fay Commish Angela
    Zimmerlink, Chris Shellhammer, Diane and Terry Kriss, former editors of the extinct blog Not Enough Said, David Munshinski, and a few others
    have been. Read More.

    "Quote Of The Day"  that deserves the attention of bankruptcy court administrators
    "The hotel is definitely getting business. I don't think that's what the problem is. People are staying there..."
    Greg Lincoln, Connellsville mayor, offering input to the below hotel bankruptcy filing piece in today's Daily Courier

    Connellsville hotel files bankruptcy
    RANTS the Cobblestone Hotel in Connellsville has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and local businesses are still owed close to $700,000 for
    carpeting and construction materials and costs, as per today's Daily Courier*.

    RANTS if investors who filed suit against the hotel's primary investors last year never got their profits, as well.

    Much of the controversy behind the civil suit filed last year among investors is unspoken publicly. It is known that some public funds were used to
    help fund development for the hotel at one time, since these funds were discussed at the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority meetings. The
    Authority is not involved in the civil lawsuit.
    *"Hotel owner files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy"

    "Quote Of The Day" on Fay election campaign violations
    "You, the people, must call them out for their unethical actions. Angela has done it for years, but as one person and a fellow commissioner, she
    gets disrespected and called a "crybaby" making a fuss over "something so petty," but it's unethical and wrong! They would call her out on it in a
    heartbeat if she did that. It's time for the people to say, 'No! Enough is enough!"
    Janice Snyder, long-time Democrat Fayette County Clerk of Courts, chiming in on a social media chat about Fayette County Commissioner Vince
    Vicites sporting his election campaign shirt to a county business meeting and the alleged distribution of political campaign fund raiser event
    information in the courthouse by some candidates seeking re-election;

    Snyder, referencing Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink in the post and urging citizens asking Zimmerlink to expose the election campaign violations
    to take action themselves and stop depending on the commissioner solely to address and stop unallowed political activity in the courthouse;

    Snyder, who a few weeks ago also took to social media declaring that "evil has won," when Zimmerlink announced she would not seek re-election,
    and completing her 26th and final year as the county's chief clerk of courts, speaking out against all things rotten for the first time  

    Update on the update of civil rights violations at the county jail
    RANTS that the truth of the matter in the cancelled clergy visit to the jail is because someone in charge forgot to write down the date and time of
    the scheduled clergy visit. Although there was an incident at the jail going on at the same time, as a prison board member was told, the full, true
    account was not shared with a prison board member earlier who jumped to help with the limited truth shared with her.

    So... RANTS that someone in jail administration forgot to record the scheduled appointment and forgot all about it. That type of negligence does
    result in someone's rights being violated in the long run. Lets hope they get it right next time.  (8 Feb 19)

    Editor's note: Since publication of the below piece yesterday about a minister being denied entrance to the county jail after arriving for a pre-
    arranged, pre-scheduled visit, word was received that something happened at the jail that stopped visitors from entering. Why then was that
    statement not the only thing the minister was told promptly upon arrival yesterday -- or during last month's scheduled visit that got cancelled
    with no explanation at the door?

    If all visits are cancelled due to situations that suddenly just came up inside the jail, why waste upwards of an hour searching for the staff, who
    initially scheduled the visit in the first place, to tell the visitor waiting at the door that the appointment must be cancelled?  

    As ACLU, fed cases linger, religious rights denied
    County jail: civil rights violations ridiculously still status quo
    RANTS with all the federal civil court prison-related settlement talks, about consolidating or not consolidating the ACLU's law suit with a separate
    case of three female, former inmates, it's concerning that far more serious cases have yet to be filed and were even ignored when the ACLU was
    building its case against the county prison administrators.

    RANTS, in other words, that the worst is yet to come that way.

    Why, for instance, today --  while these other known suits from last year are being settled in pricey Pittsburgh law offices, and the Munshinski
    case is yet to be settled -- why, oh, why, is the county still allowing civil rights violations to occur all too regularly or at all, today at the county jail?

    Why can't a detainee awaiting trial have a private conversation with his spiritual minister? Something so simple. Something that, supposedly, was
    supposed to have been scheduled, arranged, a few times in the last 13 months, but never was yet.

    RAVES of hope that the county gets its pathetic act together in this matter. It has been one year since two commissioners gathered for newspaper
    photos with 49 ministers to ask for help and invited the spiritual leaders to visit the jail to help minister inmates or provide hope of some type to
    them that they can turn their lives around. What a crock!

    RANTS that a minister with a pre-approved, pre-scheduled visit, waited to no avail outside the jail to enter, and that civil rights violations,
    ridiculously, still happen today. (7 Feb 19)

    RIP: Kris B.
    RANTS of the saddest kind that opioids and heroin overdoses have decreased, but not enough to stop what has become an all too familiar period
    of heartbreak and prayer, as news is received again that another person or family we know or know of lost someone so dear.

    On behalf of Rants&Raves, this website and the Pittsburgh musicians, whose articles one brave newspaper editor once allowed us to write and
    publish, whenever we seemed to want, on her Sunday paper Lively Arts section cover page for a few years, our deepest sympathies are extended
    to Cindy Ekas, former Herald Standard editor and current editor of The Daily Courier, who this week composed her 27-year-old daughter's
    obituary that made us all have to take a break after reading.

    These kind of days  just can't help but break our hearts for the young life lost, the parents, families and friends. (7 Feb 19)   

    5,000 annually guilty of pre-meditating homicide in Fay
    RANTS, thinking as the assistant district attorney did aloud during a homicide suspect's preliminary hearing a few months ago, because some
    5,000 county residents each year now must be guilty of pre-meditating homicide in Fay.

    In political campaign re-election information, the county sheriff states that 5,000 new permits were issued in each of the past three years in
    Fayette County - so many that he said he needs to expand his work hours to accommodate those applying for permits to carry concealed

    We have no reason to doubt his count. Rants&Raves stresses that the sheriff has nothing whatsoever to do with the goofiness of the next
    paragraph or any reference to the goofiness of the assistant district attorney's logic.

    So, recalling that unforgettable statement a few months ago from an assistant district attorney -- i.e., that having a permit for a conceal carry
    weapon automatically means guilt of premeditating homicide -- RANTS that Fay Co must have a spike of 5,000 new citizens annually pre-
    meditating homicide. We should all lose sleep thinking about it, no?

    Sound ridiculous?

    You bet it does... just as ridiculous as it sounded in court a few months ago, when the assistant district attorney prosecuting the Christopher
    Shellhammer homicide case said it.

    It sounds ridiculous enough, though, for citizens to contact the county district attorney's office and ask for clarification about. (2 Feb 19)

    ADA: having conceal carry gun permit means one is
    guilty of   premeditating homicide
    RANTS that Fay judges buy this stuff.

    RANTS of the most frustrating kind, because, try as we may for a few months now, we have not found one shred of evidence to support an
    assistant district attorney's statement in court, that merely having a permit to carry a concealed weapon makes one automatically guilty of pre-
    meditating homicide.

    When we say we've looked quite extensively to locate another to agree with the assistant district attorney, we do mean extensively. We have read
    too many law books, asked others far more intelligent and knowledgeable of the law to review the law and offer opinion, and polled a few hundred
    who possess a conceal carry permit.

    Try as we may, we could not locate one who shares opinion and believes the assistant district attorney has a valid point or legal rule in what too
    many saw as a biased, foolishly expressed matter.  

    The alarming and seeming to be untrue declaration from the assistant district attorney was mentioned in a recent media interview with a local
    attorney and television reporter when discussing his client's case.  (1 Feb 19)

    E Street Band: Sports greatest 13 minute video
    RAVES that the best, most entertaining 13 minutes of sports history and excitement were excellently preserved for bitterly cold, snowy, icy winter
    days such as this, these nine years later.

    RAVES, because any time watching these best 13 minutes of sports video is a good time to dance. RAVES this ninth anniversary of the
    making of this best sports video ever. (1 Feb 19)

    DA's star witness against videographer charged in
    beating of another man she met online
    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note that the district attorney's star witness expected to testify against Chris Shellhammer -- AKA videographer
    Chuck U. Farley -- in his upcoming homicide trial, today, herself, was charged and held without bail in the kidnapping and beating of another man
    she met online one week ago in her Masontown home. Read More.

    County director on leave while investigation continues
    RANTS that some county workers are in such a tizzy over their boss' suspension on administrative paid leave that they conveniently forget some
    things. This might not be what some of them want to hear, mind you.

    Unless the boss is a chronic alcoholic already experiencing irreversible mobility and neurological damage, staff have to deal with reality of a boss
    whose behavior was embarrassing and inappropriate in front of customers. County staff helped create the monster, after all, by refusing to
    cooperate with county investigations in the past, and by partying with their boss on paid work time every single chance they got.

    One even tried to stir the pot in the past by lying and running with a bogus story that the boss was plastered on a day the boss truly was not

    So, given the past roles everyone shared in creating this fine mess, Rants&Raves offers up sincere hope that they stop using civilians and
    outsiders to do their dirty work... and that at least one of them offers to gas up the car and tries to talk the boss into going for treatment. (29 Jan

    "Quote Of The Day"
    "I want some common sense to take over, and I want my son released from that jail."

    DA rants over Fay's homicide "spike"
    RANTS that this morning's pleasant tea and coffee fest had to be unpleasantly interrupted by another disturbing 2018 regional homicide summary
    in one of the local papers. Where is the logic and wisdom of county officials promoting misleading statistics for personal or questionable

    It's one thing for a self-claimed, award-winning journalist -- who days before election released a desperate film, falsely claiming his friend and
    business partner's political opponent pushed, shoved and assaulted a female -- to call Fay "FayNam" in a weekly newspaper column or promote a
    violent, poor region image... but RANTS that today's pleasant tea and coffee fest reading included a horrifying headline of a spike in county
    homicides, in interview with the district attorney.

    RANTS because someone seems not to understand that the spike might just be a spike in the writing of wrongful charges and judges indulging
    the prosecution process of cases, even when police and witness changed weak stories three times.   

    RANTS that the grim statistics being shoved down our throats this morning over breakfast reading did not mention the number of homicide
    charges that were withdrawn or dropped for a lack of evidence or the number of pre-trial conferences in which a judge questioned the charges.

    Nor did the DA mention today any number of pending homicide cases that he's trying to plea down from homicide to avoid trial.

    RANTS that the time spent in interview and en vogue for another newspaper photo might have been better spent working to get all evidence
    under discovery to those awaiting trial. A few recent news articles have mentioned that those defense teams have not received this needed
    information and are entitled by law to receive it. (27 Jan 19)