Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Woman dies retrieving cell phone from house fire

Posted: Jul 29, 2014 8:36 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 29, 2014 8:41 PM EDT

BARTONVILLE, IL (WHOI/CNN) – An Illinois woman is dead after escaping a fire then going back into her burning home to get her phone.

Crews were called to the fire after calls that a person was trapped inside.

Police say an officer tried to rescue the woman, but had to retreat because of thick smoke.

When firefighters arrived, they were able to get her out.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her name has not been released.

An officer was also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Copyright 2014 WHOI via CNN. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DeKalb's School Board - Like It or Not

From Crossroads News:  Only two of Gov. Nathan Deal’s six appointees to the DeKalb School Board – Dr. Michael Erwin and Joyce Morley – will on the new board when it is sworn into office on Jan. 5.

In the July 22 runoff elections, two appointed board members – Dr. Karen Carter and Thad Mayfield – lost their seats. Two of the appointed board members – John Coleman and David Campbell – did not seek election.

Morley, who represents District 7, won her seat in the May 20 election.

They will join Stan Jester, District 1; Marshall Orson, District 2; and Dr. Melvin Johnson, District 6, on the new 2015 School Board. Jester was unopposed in District 1.

Erwin, a college professor, was the only victor among appointees in Tuesday’s School Board runoffs. He won his District 3 seat with 59 percent of the vote over challenger Atticus LeBlanc.

On his Facebook page, Erwin extended “heartfelt gratitude” to everyone who supported his first run for elected office.

“I look forward to serving as your representative to continue building upon the momentum created over the past 17 months,” he said.

Because of redistricting and the reduction of the School Board to seven seats from nine, Carter was pitted against elected incumbent Jim McMahan in the District 4 race. McMahan took the seat with 58 percent of the vote.

In the District 5 race, Mayfield lost to private school founder and operator Vickie Turner, who got 59 percent of the vote.

Turner said it was a long and very hard-fought race.

“I’m grateful to my campaign team for its counsel and to my family, but most of all, the voters of the 5th District,” she said.

The current board members’ terms expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

Deal appointed the six board members in March 2013 after removing six elected members for governance issues after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the district on accreditation probation in December 2012.

Scientists Call on Government to Protect Public from Wireless Radiation Exposure

More than 50 scientists from 18 nations called on government to minimize the public's exposure to the radiation emitted by wireless devices including cell and cordless phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters and baby monitors.

PRLog - Jul. 9, 2014 - BERKELEY, Calif. -- Today, fifty-four scientists from 18 nations who study the effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation submitted a declaration to Health Canada calling on government's need to minimize the public’s exposure to this pollutant which is emitted by wireless devices including cell phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors.

The scientists signed a public declaration in which they raise serious concerns regarding Safety Code 6 guidelines finding them obsolete and inadequate to protect the public from RF radiation. The regulatory standards based upon these guidelines allow for wireless devices that emit RF radiation at levels that have been found in many studies to cause cancer, DNA damage, stress responses, and other harmful effects in humans. The document notes that the World Health Organization classified electromagnetic fields at both extremely low frequency in 2001 and RF ranges in 2011 as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Currently, RF exposure guidelines in four countries. China, Russia, Italy, and Switzerland, based on biological effects, are 100 times more stringent than Canadian (and U.S.) guidelines.

Unfortunately for their citizens, many nations do not adhere to the Precautionary Principle which is employed when serious risks to the public or to the environment exist but scientific consensus has not yet been established.

Epidemiological studies in humans show links between RF exposure and cancers, neurological disorders, hormonal changes, and symptoms of electrical hypersensitivity (EHS).  Laboratory studies show increased cancers, abnormal sperm, reproductive risks, learning and memory deficits, and heart irregularities.

People who suffer from functional impairment due to RF exposure are increasingly unable to find places where RF exposure is minimal. The medical community in North America is largely unaware of the effects of RF exposure and does not know how to treat those who become ill. Moreover, the typical methods to alleviate symptoms and promote healing are no longer working, in part, due to increasing levels of RF exposure everywhere.

The scientists urgently call upon Health Canada to intervene in this emerging public health crisis, to establish guidelines based on the best available scientific data, and to advise the public to limit their exposure and especially the exposure of children.

For more information about electromagnetic radiation safety, see my EMR Safety website at

In addition, twenty Canadian physicians signed a statement today calling on Health Canada to raise awareness about microwave radiation impacts and minimize exposure in schools and other places where children are commonly exposed.

Further information about these declarations is available from Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST):

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences

L. Lloyd Morgana, , , Santosh Kesarib, Devra Lee Davisa

Open Access funded by The Saudi Society of Microscopes
Under a Creative Commons license
To read the full report, click here.

•  Children absorb more microwave radiation (MWR) than adults.
•  MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen.
•  The fetus is in greater danger than children from exposure to MWR.
•  The legal exposure limits have remained unchanged for decades.
•  Cellphone manuals warnings and the 20 cm rule for tablets/laptops violate the “normal operating position” regulation.

Computer simulation using MRI scans of children is the only possible way to determine the microwave radiation (MWR) absorbed in specific tissues in children. Children absorb more MWR than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller.

  • MWR from wireless devices has been declared a possible human carcinogen. Children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen. Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood. 
  • The fetus is particularly vulnerable to MWR. MWR exposure can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons. 
  • MWR-emitting toys are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Digital dementia has been reported in school age children. 

A case study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed. MWR exposure limits have remained unchanged for 19 years.

All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to MWR. The exposure limit for laptop computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body.

Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children's use of wireless devices.

Why isn't the U.S. keeping pace with the rest of the world on this issue?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

GEORGIA POWER CUSTOMERS: You Can Now Opt Out of Your Smart Meter!

Click this link for details about how you can Opt Out (for a fee) of your Smart Meter Today!

We have GREAT news for every customer of Georgia Power!  

You can now CHOOSE to have a Smart Meter or CHOOSE to Opt-Out of the program, even asking for your old analog meter to be reinstalled and your (Not-so)-Smart Meter REMOVED!

Thank  you to the hard work of  www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org .  

These meters emit RF Radiation, a growing concern in the medical community for its possible link to a variety of forms of cancer.  

We are sharing the good news with you, our Get the Cell Out readers below:

Dear Get the Cell Out - Atlanta,

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe holiday.  Safety is usually a big concern in this country, and around the world.  But we here in America are especially used to laws protecting us from unsafe products.
Not so in the case of "smart" meters.  These dangerous devices, untested for human safety, continue to cause fires, ruin property, and devastate lives (in addition to emitting cancer-causing radiation, possibly raising your electric bill, and being completely hackable).  There is a video out that shows why "smart" meters are so prone to starting fires, and why you should get rid of yours immediately.  It is posted below.
You can now kick your "Spy and Fry" meter to the curb and get a safe analog back on your home by contacting Georgia Power, and paying an extortionate fee of $19 a month.  Here is a link where you can find out more (the info is at the bottom of the page, and is in answer to the last question posted there):  

Please share this information with your friends, family, and neighbors.  Fires - and "smart" meters in general - put everyone in a neighborhood in danger!
"Smart Meter Fires Explained":
Thank you and God bless!

Terri Keller, M. A.

P. S.  What do the British know that we don't?  

Check out this quote from a June article in the Telegraph: 
"Fewer than half of British households want an energy “smart meter”, research has shown, raising doubts over the Government’s £11bn plan to install them in every home by 2020. 
"The Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB), the organisation set up to drive public support for the devices, found that while 84pc of people had heard of smart meters, just 44pc expressed interest in having one installed in their home."
Word's getting out, and people everywhere are just saying "NO" to these (not-so)-smart meters!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Slimy T-mobile Now Cries to a Judge About "Proper Notification" While Still Refusing to Follow the Rules Themselves

GTCO-ATL Notes:  We find it interesting that T-mobile is taking up the issue of "proper notification" with the Supreme Court of the United States.  All across the country there have been citizens who have seen their rights trampled on by T-mobile.  The company is known for skirting local laws, especially the one that requires proper notification of the property owners near the area where they plan to build.  
Locally in Central DeKalb County - the business ethics of T-mobile have proven time and time again to be highly questionable and never on the side of doing what is right for their customers.  Those choosing to enter contracts with T-mobile should be looked at closely as these stories are often reported and well known.   No longer can a government or other official claim to "not know" what T-mobile is capable of doing.  No longer should anyone be surprise to find that, yet again, this company is in court, trying to get around the law and use loopholes in their own favor.

High Court To Hear T-Mobile's Appeal Of Cell Tower Denial

Law360, New York (May 05, 2014, 3:53 PM ET) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a T-Mobile USA Inc. unit’s appeal over whether a state or local government document denying a zoning permit to build cell phone towers without providing any specific reasons satisfies the Communications Act’s “in writing” requirement.

The Supreme Court granted T-Mobile South LLC’s petition for certiorari appealing a decision by the Eleventh Circuit that upheld a Georgia city's denial of T-Mobile South’s zoning permit application to construct a cell tower in the municipality. The City of Roswell sent the telecommunications company a denial letter without explanation two days after a lengthy city council meeting on the application.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 amended the Communications Act to say that a state or local government's denial of "a request to place construct, or modify personal wireless service facilities shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.”

The Eleventh Circuit held that a denial letter is sufficient to satisfy the “in writing” requirement where explanations or reasons are embedded in the administrative record, according to the petition.

T-Mobile South argued that there is a circuit split on the issue of what satisfies the “in writing” provision with the Eleventh and Fourth circuits breaking from the other courts. T-Mobile South' petition said the high court’s “review is urgently needed to bring uniformity to the law, and this case is the perfect vehicle for doing so.”

The telecommunications company argued in its petition that the Eleventh and Fourth circuits’ interpretation of the “in writing” requirement “not only badly misreads the statute but also, if left to stand, will seriously impede the prompt deployment of wireless services to consumers.”

“In particular, under the Eleventh Circuit’s approach, applicants will be forced to engage in the costly and time-consuming process of filing suit to ferret out the underlying reasons for permit denials; and judicial review will be vastly complicated as courts are required to sift through sometimes hundreds or thousands of pages of hearing minutes, transcripts and correspondence simply to discover the threshold question of the grounds of the local government’s decision,” the petition said.

However, Roswell argued the “in writing” requirement is merely a procedural issue, not an important federal question that deserves substantive review, and that there is not a true circuit split as many of the circuits are reaching a consensus on the "in writing" requirement, according to its brief against the petition.

“Indeed, the telecommunications industry has nothing to lose in this alleged conflict, but it undoubtedly has everything to gain,” the brief argued. “If the court granted the petition and decided that the Eleventh Circuit was wrong as to the interpretation of these four words, it is the local governments who would be harmed, as they would be forced to allow cellular towers based upon a mere technicality, without regard for the merits of their decisions.”

T-Mobile South had sought to build a cell tower disguised as a pine tree on a 2.8 acre, vacant parcel of property in Roswell and applied for a zoning permit, which was granted by the city planning commission pending the city council's approval, according to the petition.

The city council held a meeting in 2010 on the application that lasted more than two hours and resulted in 108 pages of transcripts, and at the end of which, the council voted to deny the application, according to the petition. The city sent T-Mobile South the denial letter two days later.

T-Mobile US Executive Vice President and General Counsel Dave Miller said in a statement Monday that the company "applauds" the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case.

“We believe local governments should clearly state ‘in writing’ the reasons why an application to build new or modify existing wireless infrastructure is denied," Miller said. "Building and improving mobile infrastructure is critical for consumers to fully benefit from our broadband economy.”

Counsel for the Roswell was not immediately available for further comment.

T-Mobile South is represented by Thomas Scott Thompson and Peter Karanjia of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

The City of Roswell, Georgia, is represented by Richard A. Carothers and Regina Benton Reid of Carothers & Mitchell LLC.

The case is T-Mobile South v. Roswell, Ga., case number 13-975, in the Supreme Court of the United States.

--Editing by Emily Kokoll.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How T-Mobile Added Millions in Bogus Charges to Cell Phone Bills

By Brian Slupski, Patch National

The Federal Trade Commission alleges that T-Mobile USA added hundreds of millions of dollars in charges to cell phone bills for purported "premium" services that customers never authorized.

The complaint filed by the FTC states that  $9.99 was added to people's cell phone bills for premium SMS subscriptions for things such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip. T-Mobile would get between 35 and 40 percent of the added third-party charges.

The FTC alleges that in some cases T-Mobile continued to bill people for years even after becoming aware that the charges were fraudulent.

“It’s wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The FTC’s goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges.”

"Cramming" is a practice of placing a third-party charge on a person's bill without the customer authorizing it.

Previous FTC complaints outlined how charges would end up on cell phone bills. The FTC has taken action against companies such as Tatto, Inc., Jesta Digital and Wise Media. T-Mobile was billing customers for the services of some of these and other companies.

In the FTC case against Jesta the company settled agreeing to pay consumers a refund and pay $1.2 million to the FTC.

Jesta would use ads telling consumers a virus was detected on a person's mobile phone. The FTC stated that if the ads were clicked on people were sent to a series of screens that included language about protecting Android devices. The screen contained a subscriber button, but if a person clicked anywhere on the screen they were signed up for a $9.99 monthly charge on their mobile phone bill for ringtones and other content.

The FTC complaint against T-Mobile states that the company had refund rates of 40 percent some months for various services. The FTC states that T-Mobile should have known that many of the charges were not authorized by customers because of the high number of complaints.

"The refund rate likely understates the number of consumers who have been crammed," the complaint states. "Only those consumers who successfully identify the unauthorized charge can even attempt to dispute it."

The FTC complaint points out that T-Mobile did not show consumers that they were paying a third-party charge on bill after bill. Instead, the charge was listed as "Usage Charges." The FTC states that the crammed items were itemized under "Premium Services." A partial sample bill attached to this post shows the Usage Charges on page one with the itemization on page 123.

And the itemization usually still masked what the charge was for with abbreviations such as “8888906150BrnStorm23918.”

In some instances, T-Mobile did not provide a refund to customers even after becoming aware that they were being charged for services they had not ordered. T-Mobile told some customers to seek refunds from the scammers, the FTC complaint states, without providing accurate information for the customers to do so.

In other cases T-Mobile claimed customers had ordered the services when the company had no proof to back up the assertion.

The complaint asks that a federal court enter an injunction against T-Mobile to "prevent future violations of the FTC Act." The complaint also asks that consumers receive refunds related to the charges.