Canyon County jail provides tablets for inmates

Inmates in the Canyon County jail now have access to tablet devices, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

The Telmate Tablets allow inmates to stay in contact with the outside world through secure messaging, photos, content, music and games, according to the sheriff’s office. They also allow inmates to access paperless grievances, requests, crime tips and Prison Rape Elimination Act reports.

Capt. Daren Ward, Canyon County’s jail commander, said there were some initial concerns that the tablets could be weaponized. But since the inmates started using the tablets on Oct. 20, it hasn’t been a problem.

“Inmates are more engaged with news, entertainment, and music on tablets, which makes them less stressed and less inclined to cause trouble,” Ward said.

The Telmate technology helps authorities manage and monitor information that goes in and out of the jail, and the tablets serve as a behavior modification tool for inmates, according to the sheriff’s office.

According to Telmate, the tablet is offered at no cost to facilities or local governments.

Nothing can go wrong there right? And they are no cost? Like free? Not a chance! Taxpayers are paying that somehow.

Another police chief put down to satisfy the haters…….

Chicago police chief fired

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has been fired, the mayor of Chicago announced Tuesday.

McCarthy has come under fire after video was released of teen Laquan McDonald being shot more than a dozen times by a white police officer.

“Public trust in the department has been eroded,” Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said in announcing the firing.

Emanuel announced the firing of McCarthy only days after the top Chicago cop insisted to reporters that the mayor had his “back.”

Protesters have been calling for McCarthy’s dismissal for days in response to the handling of the McDonald shooting. The black 17-year-old was shot 16 times by a white police officer in October 2014.

The city released police dashcam video of the shooting only after a judge ordered it to be made public. Its release last week set off several days of largely peaceful protests. Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder.

The audio-free video shows McDonald walking down the middle of a four-lane street. He appears to veer away from two officers as they emerge from a vehicle, drawing their guns.

Van Dyke opens fire from close range and continues firing after McDonald crumples to the ground. Police have said McDonald was carrying a knife, and an autopsy revealed that he had PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, in his system.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has said the 3-inch blade recovered from the scene had been folded into the handle.

Defense attorney Dan Herbert says his client feared for his life, acted lawfully and that the video does not tell the whole story.

Van Dyke was released from jail Monday after paying the $150,000 required of his $1.5 million bail.

Prior to his arrival in Chicago as police chief in 2011, McCarthy was police director in Newark, New Jersey, after rising through the ranks of New York City’s police department.

Protesters shut down part of Michigan Avenue in Chicago Nov. 27, 2015, in protest over the shooting of Laquan McDonald.


In an interview with CBS Chicago, McCarthy said recently he was aware the whole situation — from the shooting itself to the more than year-long delay in releasing the video of the shooting — would be “trouble.”

He said he viewed the dash-cam video of the fatal shooting within a couple of days of McDonald’s death.

“It’s obviously a terrible video, and obviously a terrible tragedy. When I learned the circumstances of Mr. McDonald’s life — that he was a ward of the state at the time — and the troubles that he had had growing up, I thought that the whole thing was a tragedy,” McCarthy said.

As for his officer, McCarthy said, “I knew that it was problematic for the officer because it’s going to be hard to articulate why you fired so many rounds.”

The superintendent says he immediately stripped Van Dyke of his police powers. Legally, McCarthy said, that’s all he could do.

“I couldn’t fire him. I couldn’t put him in a ‘no pay’ status. I couldn’t discipline him. That’s the law,” he said. “It was not the Chicago Police Department investigating this incident.”

The Independent Police Review Authority was investigating the incident at the beginning, which is the normal protocol when an officer shoots a suspect. IPRA alerted federal and state investigators after reviewing the dash-cam video.

In addition to the criticism of the the timing of the video’s released, there have been accusations of police tampering in the case. A manager for the Burger King near where McDonald was shot claims Chicago police officers erased footage of the shooting.

Mayor Emanuel on Tuesday also announced the creation of the Task Force on Police Accountability. It will review oversight and training that is currently in place for Chicago’s police officers.

Japans mystery death boats…….

Fishing boats carrying decomposed corpses have washed ashore in Japan in recent weeks, leading to speculation they are rickety North Korean vessels that have strayed dangerously far from port under the impoverished nation’s push to boost its catch.

There has been no mention from secretive North Korea of any missing boats, but its leader, Kim Jong Un, has put a high priority on fishing as a way of earning foreign currency and providing a sustainable food source that is not reliant on harvests and weather.

The Japanese coast guard and police reported 12 incidents of wrecked wooden boats, including some that were in pieces, on the country’s shores and waters since October, containing 22 dead bodies, including five skulls.

Japanese authorities declined to comment on the origins of the boats or the possible identities of the dead, but a hand-written sign identified one boat as belonging to unit 325 of the North Korean army, according to footage from Japan’s NHK Television. Tattered cloth was found aboard the vessel that appeared to come from the North Korean flag, the video showed.

Defectors and experts say fishing boats under the command of the Korean People’s Army may have succumbed under pressure from Kim to catch more fish, drifting off course and ill-equipped for rough seas.

TV images of some of the boats showed relatively large but otherwise primitive-looking motorized craft and the coast guard said they did not have GPS navigation systems. Those aboard could have died of starvation and exposure to the cold after getting lost.

Although Japan’s Meteorological Agency said there was not unusually bad weather in the Sea of Japan this November, the waters are rougher at this time of year due to the onset of cold, northwesterly winds.

October through February is also prime season for squid, sandfish and king crab off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, and it is not unusual that there would be high numbers of boats at sea, said Kim Do-hoon, a professor of fisheries science at Bukyong National University in Busan.

“Kim Jong Un has been promoting the fisheries, which could explain why there are more fishing boats going out,” he said.

“But North Korean boats perform really poorly, with bad engines, risking lives to go far to catch more. Sometimes they drift and fishermen starve to death,” he said.


Over the years, North Korean boats seeking the rich fishing grounds of the Sea of Japan have washed ashore in Japan as well as on the deserted beaches of the Russian Far East. North Koreans looking to defect, on the other hand, typically flee by land into China, or, less often, via coastal waters to neighboring South Korea.

Fishing is a vital industry in a country where millions cannot find enough to eat. North Korea’s 1.2 million-strong army is heavily engaged in food production, including fishing.

“Some of the boats belong to Korean People’s Army fishery stations, possibly operating to catch sailfin sandfish,” said An Chan-il, who served in the North’s army as a junior officer before defecting to South Korea in 1979 and now heads a private think tank on North Korea in Seoul.

“Kim Jong Un is pushing hard to produce more fish. So these boats must have been stranded after overworking,” he said.

Kim, North Korea’s young leader, has made boosting food production a priority for the isolated country since taking office after his father died in late 2011, and recently visited a KPA fishing station on North Korea’s east coast, calling for the facility to be upgraded, the official KCNA news agency said.

“Modernization of the station will help it catch more fish, (Kim) said, adding: The station should be turned into an up-to-date fishery base which can be boasted of in the world, thus making our ongoing efforts produce good results for the service persons and civilians,” the Nov 25 report said.

Lee So-yeon, a North Korean army defector who arrived in Seoul in 2008, said fish products are a key export for North Korea’s army, which hires civilian fishermen to make money.

“North Korean army units and security agencies are running many businesses to earn foreign currency from mining gold to catching fish on the west and east coasts,” said Lee.

Lee Jong-won, professor of international relations at Japan’s Waseda University, added: “The North is introducing an incentive system for producers. Fish is one of the main export products to China, which can be a way to get foreign currency…There is a possibility this incentive system led people to take more risks.”