Archive for December, 2004

30 minutes left!

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Earthcam has live webcam coverage of New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

A very gay New Year’s Eve on CNN

Friday, December 31st, 2004

A drag queen named “Sushi” just called Anderson Cooper “the sexiest man on TV” live on CNN. Ah, the subtext.

49 minutes till 2005 in Times Square… 2:49 to go here!

UPDATE: Now the “naked cowboy” is being interviewed live on CNN! Man, this Anderson Cooper special is going to become the gay community’s favorite New Year’s show if they keep this up! :)

Happy New Year Newfoundland & Labrador!

Friday, December 31st, 2004


90 minutes till the ball drops in NYC…

The sun sets on 2004

Friday, December 31st, 2004

A beautiful finale to the old year here in the far eastern Phoenix Valley:

The new year begins in just over six hours here. In New York, just over four hours until the ball drops.

It’s already 2005 on the other side of the pond. In a few minutes, at 8:00 PM EST, the Canary Islands and eastern Greenland join the party. (Time zone map here.)

Cardinals outlast Broncos

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Louisville beats Boise State in a great Liberty Bowl game, 44-40. BSU’s perfect season ends; the nation’s longest winning streak now belongs to USC!

P.S. In other news, the Pac-10 looked rather better today than yesterday, as Arizona State beat Purdue in the Sun Bowl. Meanwhile, the SEC looked overrated (which it is, this year) as Florida and Alabama both lost.

Newington police officer dead

Friday, December 31st, 2004

BREAKING NEWS: Newington police officer Peter Lavery is dead, and the man who took him hostage has committed suicide, according to sources quoted by local ABC affiliate WTNH Channel 8. Excerpt:

A police officer who was shot after responding to a domestic dispute is dead, and the man who allegedly shot him and took him hostage took his own life, sources tell News Channel 8.

Police were expected to hold a briefing for reporters later this afternoon to provide more details. …

A source tells News Channel 8 the hostage taker, whose name has not been released, was terminated by the state Department of Correction in July of 1999 for weapons possession violations. News Channel 8 is told the man served time in jail on those weapons charges.

Three SWAT teams, dozens of state troopers and officers from surrounding towns converged on the neighborhood. A five block area around the house was been evacuated and residents were taken by bus from the scene.

Newington Mayor Thomas McBride says Lavery is a 19-year veteran of the force.

News Channel 8’s Erin Cox reports Newington Police were planning to remove Lavery’s body, draping it with a flag. An honor guard may also be at the scene as his body is removed.

I pray that WTNH’s sources are wrong. The story was filed at 3:38 PM EST, more than an hour ago. So far, no one else is reporting this.

My dad reports via IM, “a helicopter just headed for Htfd (definitely a copter this time) & another one is hovering”

UPDATE: WVIT Channel 30 now confirms, on air, that Lavery is dead, according to my dad.

MORE: Lavery leaves wife & 2 children. Suspect shot self in head. (According to state police spokesman Vance, live on the air, via my dad.)

AND MORE: (Joe Loy reporting) – townspeople interviewed on WVIT-TV Channel 30 (NBC affiliate) make clear that Officer Lavery, 47, was well-known to, and beloved by, many Newingtonians. He helped many people in many ways. He was also a 20-year veteran of the National Guard. / May God receive his soul, and comfort his family & loved ones. And all the people of this terribly saddened little town.

Hostage situation still ongoing in Newington

Friday, December 31st, 2004

The Hartford Courant reports that, as of two hours ago, Newington police officer Peter Lavery was still being held hostage by a heavily armed man.

A town police officer remained a hostage of a former corrections officer 10 hours after he was shot and wounded while responding to a domestic call at a house. …

Sgt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman, said that it was still a “very critical and active scene” when he spoke to reporters at 8:30 a.m.

UPDATE by Joe Loy, 1:00 PM EST: About 15 minutes ago, WFSB Channel 3 reported situation still ongoing; hostage Officer Lavery believed to have been shot in the chest. Courant has somewhat-updated story here, including report that “Police were flooding the basement with water, among other tactics, to try and force the hostage-taker out…”.

Money quote:

Sue Erwin, who lives nearby but was not evacuated, said she heard shots and booms throughout the night. She also saw neighbors coughing [from the tear gas used] as they were evacuated at about 11:30 p.m.

It’s just weird. This is not typical Newington,” she said.

UPDATE by Brendan Loy, 4:20 PM EST: From the latest AP article:

Early Friday morning, the mayor had said Lavery was “very much alive.” But by early afternoon, more than 13 hours into the standoff, [Sgt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman] said the hostage’s condition was unknown. He said officers at the scene were “moving methodically and slowly to preserve any possibility of life.”

Here’s a photo of a state trooper outside the house:

More photos here and here. WFSB has video.

Bowl update

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Heading into this weekend, when most bowls will take place, here are the records of the major, mid-major, and non-conferences thus far . . .

Big Ten 1-0 (5 to be played)
SEC 0-0 (6 to be played)
Big 12 3-1 (3 to be played)
Big East 2-1 (2 to be played)
WAC 2-1 (1 to be played)
C-USA 2-2 (1 to be played)
Mtn. W. 1-1 (1 to be played)
1A Ind. 1-1 (0 to be played)
ACC 1-2 (3 to be played)
PAC-10 1-2 (2 to be played)
MAC 2-3 (0 to be played)
Sun Belt 0-2 (0 to be played)

. . . Just in case anyone was wondering.

Officer held hostage in Newington

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Newsday has the scoop:

NEWINGTON, Conn. — A town police officer who was shot while responding to a domestic call was being held hostage early Friday as state troopers and police from surrounding towns swarmed the scene.

Mayor Thomas McBride identified the injured officer as Peter Lavery, a 19-year veteran of the force. The extent of the officer’s injuries were not released.

“He’s very much alive,” McBride said.

Lavery was shot at about 10:30 p.m. while responding to a home on Mountain View Drive. He was still in the home early Friday, but the shooter’s wife escaped.

A state correction officer owns the home and was holding the officer hostage in the basement, WTIC-AM and The Hartford Courant reported.

A Lifestar medical helicopter landed at the scene.

Just before midnight, police appeared to try to enter the house to rescue the officer. Rifle fire and a blast that sounded like a concussion grenade were heard a short time later.

State troopers, area police and a police emergency response team came to Newington’s aid when the officer did not respond to calls from his colleagues late Thursday.

No other information was available.

My dad said the helicopter (probably the standing-by Lifestar chopper) is back, possibly after refueling.

Previous posts here and here (or just scroll down).

UPDATE: That Newsday story is actually an AP article. You can view the latest bulletins as they’re sent out over the wire here.

Meanwhile, WFSB has more:

Officer Peter Lavery responded to a call just after 10:30 p.m. of a domestic dispute between a state corrections officer and his wife.

The corrections officer shot at Lavery; the wife was able to escape out of the back of the house.

Police SWAT teams surrounded the house and were in a standoff situation with a man who was holding Lavery hostage inside the home.

Several police departments from around the area also responded to the scene and set up command posts, sealing off streets. Police shot tear gas into the home and were searching the home for the wounded officer and the armed man, who were believed to be in the basement.

Lifestar medical helicopter was called out to the scene; a helicopter was standing by to take the wounded officer to the hospital.

The wife, who was shot, was taken to Hartford Hospital by ambulance.

FINAL UPDATE FOR TONIGHT: The Hartford Courant now has its own story:

Officer Peter Lavery, a 19-year veteran of Newington’s police department, was still being held in the basement by the home’s owner, a correction officer, at 1:30 a.m. today, Mayor Thomas B. McBride confirmed. A police SWAT team was inside trying to rescue Lavery.

“He’s very much alive,” McBride said.

The extent of Lavery’s wounds could not be determined. He was reportedly shot with an automatic weapon about 10:30 p.m. The shooter’s wife escaped.

A couple of minutes ago, my dad emailed: “I think **maybe** it’s over … the chopper (again) has disappeared — but I just saw what I think MAY have been it – much farther away – hauling ass for Hartford. (Either that or else it was a coincidental small plane flying low.) And the cop car at our intersection seems to be gone.”

I’m going to bed now. Will update in the morning if warranted.

Newington “officer-involved shooting” update

Friday, December 31st, 2004

WFSB Channel 3, the local CBS affiliate, now has a brief report online about the apparent shooting in Newington just down the street from my parents’ house:

There have been reports of a shooting in the area of Main Street and Mountainview Road.

Police responded to the scene just after 10:30 p.m. Several police departments from around the area also responded to the scene and set up command posts sealing off the area.

Lifestar medical helicopter was also called out to respond to a report of a person shot.

Scroll down or click here for my previous post. And stay tuned for the latest.

UPDATE: WVIT Channel 30, the local NBC affiliate, has more:

Newington police and officers from surrounding areas were at the scene of an officer-involved shooting Thursday night.

An officer was wounded on Mountain View Drive in Newington near Main Street.

The extent of the officer’s injuries was not immediately clear.

A townwide alert was issued, and state police brought in the Trooper One helicopter to assist in the investigation.

Via IM, my dad says, “the helicopter has either left, or landed.” He says Channel 3 also confirms, on the air, that an officer was wounded, according to Newington Mayor Tom McBride.

“15 minutes ago I heard either Firecrackers, or gunfire, from that general direction,” he adds. “[H]eard 6-7 bangs.”

Still think they belong in the Top 10?

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Although they came out on top against #3 Oklahoma State earlier this week, a second game decided by a razor-thin margin ended in a loss for those perennial Brendan Loy favorites, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. While I certainly didn’t want the Zags to lose to Mizzou, this loss does appear to, at least slightly, vindicate my earlier reluctance to participate in the Bulldog love fest. :)

Cop shot in Newington?

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

BREAKING NEWS: My dad reports by phone that “early, fragmentary reports” suggest that a police officer has been shot (but not killed) on Main Street in Newington somewhere between “our” intersection (Hartford Avenue & Main) and the town center. A manhunt is now underway; police are searching by air and on the ground for a suspect who is still at large. My dad says a state police helicopter is hovering overhead. He and my mom are both at home, and have locked the doors, and are watching the latest on the news.

UPDATE: My dad says the reported shooting was near Main Street and Mountain View Drive. Here’s a map:

(Click for slightly larger, vertical map.)

Here’s my mom’s report via email:

there’s an incident in newington
a police officer shot on main street
there’s a state police helicopter overhead shining down a spotlight now
and lifestar took somebody to the hospital
newington asked for backup from other towns

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Fog of Newington is lifting a bit. According to a WFSB report, as conveyed from my mom to my dad to me (how’s that for third-hand information?), police were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance near the intersection of Main & Mountain View, whereuopn someone was airlifted via Lifestar to the hospital; it’s unclear whether that someone was a police officer or not. Another Lifestar helicopter is standing by, a police officer is inside the house, additional officers are surrounding the house, and the situation apparently remains unresolved at this hour. So it sounds like a standoff of some kind. It’s not clear whether the helicopter that my parents can see and hear hovering overhead is a police helicopter or a Lifestar chopper. Either way, it is shining a spotlight down toward the scene of the incident.

My dad said he’ll call with any significant updates, and I’ll post ’em as I get ’em. I’ll also link to anything I find online about the situation. (There’s nothing so far).

Bad news for the Pac-10

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Things are not looking good for Cal in the Holiday Bowl right now.

UPDATE: Cal loses, 45-31. :(

A Picture Share!

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Our USC car flag has arrived! Oklahoma, here we come! :)


Thursday, December 30th, 2004

400,000 dead in Indonesia alone? That would exceed even my darkest fears. India may be underestimating the tsunami’s toll, too.