A father in Georgia was arrested, jailed and charged with theft after he plugged his electric car into an exterior outlet at his son’s school for a quick charge totaling about five cents worth of “juice.” WXIA’s Doug Richards reports.
By Daniella Silva, NBC News
A Georgia man found himself in handcuffs after charging his electric car outside a middle school where his son was playing tennis in what police alleged was unlawful theft of county power worth roughly five cents.
Kaveh Kamooneh, of Decatur, said he was attending a Saturday morning tennis practice session for his 11-year-old son on Nov. 2 when he plugged in his electric car at a power outlet outside Chamblee Middle School.
Kamooneh, 50, said he was alarmed when, soon after, he saw a police officer inspecting his Nissan LEAF.
According to a report from the Chamblee Police Department, an officer responded to a called complaint of the white Nissan LEAF left parked and charging at the school. In the police report, the officer said he could not find the vehicle s owner but found the car doors unlocked and picked up a piece of mail on the car floor showing a Decatur address.
He told me he was going to arrest me for theft, Kamooneh said, who said he charged his car for roughly 20 minutes. Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group, says that is roughly the equivalent of a nickel’s worth of electricity, WIXA in Atlanta reported1.
On Nov. 13, Kamooneh said he was met at his door by police, who handcuffed him and took him to the DeKalb County jail, where he was held for about 15 hours.
I quickly realized it was from the events that had happened 11 days back, he said. The officer did threaten that he would do that. I guess I didn t quite believe that he would go through with it.
Kamooneh was officially charged with theft by taking what the officer said was theft of power by not seeking permission from the DeKalb County School system to charge his car there, according to the police report.
Police said, according to the report, they met with Chamblee Middle School employees, who confirmed that Kamooneh was not authorized to plug his car into any school socket.
Sgt. Ernesto Ford of the of the Chamblee Police Department declined to discuss the incident further with NBC News, but told WXIA that Kamooneh broke the law. He stole something that wasn t his.
A theft is a theft, he added.
But Kamooneh said he believes he committed no crime. He said in his experience as an electric car driver, seeking permission was often an informal exchange and that he had never encountered a problem before.
Of course I agree that theft is theft, what I don t agree with is that every taking of something without permission is theft, he said, adding that there was no one at the school to ask permission from at the time.
The DeKalb County School District said in a statement that it has cooperated with the police investigation and will continue to do so.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Todd Dameron, a backing instructor for C.R. England Trucking, left, works with lead backing instructor, Mike Bemis, lower right, as they practice a straight line back up at C.R. England’s driving course in Salt Lake City Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. The company is looking to hire 3,500 military veterans this year as drivers. Dameron is a Marine veteran who served from 1983-1990 and Bemis is an Army veteran who served from 2003-2009.
C.R. England Salt Lake trucking company working to fill dual needs in the community.
Since veterans need jobs and trucking companies are seeking new drivers, a program designed by Salt Lake City-based C.R. England Global Transportation to recruit and train veterans seems like a natural fit.
“Drivers are an important item not only to us but to every trucking company in the world,” said 94-year-old Gene England, whose family owns and operates the company. “We want veterans to meet the requirements for the best training. We want to treat veterans with the honor that they are entitled to.”
Veterans interested in training to become a truck driver should contact C.R. England military recruiter Mike Lynch, a retired Army command sergeant major, at 866-219-6080 or apply online at www.crengland.com/vets1
England ought to know. He is a veteran himself, having served in the 77th Infantry Division in Okinawa during World War II. He received the Bronze Star for his bravery.
Thus far, England has hired about 2,000 drivers who are veterans. The company has participated in 85 veterans job recruiting events across the country. It hired Mike Lynch, a retired Army command sergeant major, as its senior military recruiter. And it began offering veterans a $3,000 tuition waiver at its five driver schools, including one in Salt Lake City.
“Many veterans did not have the financial backing to come and go through training,” said Lynch. “England did not want that to keep them from having a CDL.”
Michael Tucker, a 25-year-old Army veteran who was injured in Iraq and served six years, took advantage of the program. He said he dreamed of either being a fireman or a trucker as a child, and that his war injuries made it impossible to be a firefighter.
When he noticed a C.R. England truck advertising its training program, the resident of Easley, S.C., called and signed up.
He went through what he called truck boot camp and qualified for his license. He now runs a route up and down the East Coast. His only complaint is that he occasionally has trouble getting paid on time.
“I am staying running and staying busy,” Tucker said. “I love C.R. England. In a dog-eat-dog world, I am treated good.”
That said, Tucker said that it s a good idea for veterans to do their homework before signing up for a program. He knew one student who spent his last dollar going to the school, but after he finished the class, he was lacking some documentation and did not qualify.
story continues below
“It s different going from the military to civilian,” said the driver. “In the military, there is a brotherhood and a backup. In the civilian world, you don t have that backup.”
Colin England, director of the England s driver advocates, said he works to make certain that drivers are treated appropriately.
“We do everything we can,” he said. “It s a tough lifestyle. Our challenge is to ensure that we are doing what we can to lessen that burden.”
Lynch said that veterans often bring good skills into the workplace. In the case of the trucking industry, the biggest issue is that many military vehicles use automatic transmissions while the trucks companies such as England use are manual stick shifts.
“We have touch-point processes that drivers go through throughout their career,” said Eric Ekberg, England s manager over driver processes. “We have to figure out opportunities on how to improve those touch points. You have veterans turning to another veteran for help with the challenges. We ve seen some of those veterans come to us as an advocate for the company to make some improvements in some areas.”
That said, hiring veterans has proven to be a good fit for the company.
“A lot of them seem more prepared than some of the other students that haven t had the military training,” said Trina Loy, who manages the company s Salt Lake City driving school, adding that veterans “are used to the fast-pace, high-demand stressful situation that we put them into.”
It takes a driver between 17 and 20 days to finish training and receive their CDL. That includes over-the-road training, including driving up to 80,000 miles. Some are out training in a truck in as little as a week.
Mike Harper, a veteran himself, often trains some of the veterans who go through England s Salt Lake driving school. He said he finds veterans are often more dedicated and more responsible than other trainees and usually do well in the school.
Stacy Brewster, director of England s corporate marketing program, said veterans were honored on Veteran s Day by having a flag at their desk, a special coin, and an appreciation card.
The U.S. Department of Transportation s Federal Motor Carrier Administration is also working on a series of regulatory changes to further ease the transition of veterans into civilian jobs driving commercial motor vehicles.
November 26, 2013 rudee
Despite a recent steadying in the pace of growth, China continues to be a vibrant and dynamic trading environment and is still the world s second largest economy by a significant margin. Important initiatives like the new 29 sq km Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), are expected to drive production and boost the Asian logistics market at large. The huge warehousing facility, Shanghai Pudong Air Cargo Terminal s PACTL West, is another trade-boosting initiative which has gone from strength to strength since opening for business in 2009. Vast volumes of manufactured products continue to arrive in the UK and Eurozone from China, and there s no reason to imagine this could diminish in the foreseeable future.
But large-scale freight movements from China have attracted the interest of the scammers. BIFA has recently published a warning about emails from unknown Chinese forwarders, which we quote:
On face value these emails appear to be from independent forwarding companies looking for UK partners, by way of offering cheap ocean rates. The majority may be genuine, but for some, deep down there is criminal intent. Once an agreement is in place and business starts, all appears to be normal. This is until the cargo arrives at the UK port and no-one has received the original Bill of Lading. When contacted the Chinese forwarder then demands a large ransom for the release of the original Bills of Lading. The dilemma for UK forwarders and their customers is whether to pay, knowing the pain and cost that comes with not having the original documentation. BIFA recommends diligence and advises that whilst entering into any form of agreement, with an overseas partner, just asking for a signature on an agency agreement is not good enough.
At CCL, we agree that diligence is paramount and it s part of what we do. Our job is to take care to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is produced in a timely manner to accompany your shipments. This gives you, the freight forwarder, the security of knowing that there will be no surprises when your cargo arrives in the UK.
It s a complicated world, and it s important to proceed with caution, especially when there s money or your reputation at stake. CCL can help ensure your cargo arrives properly documented, which means it can reach its final destination in good time.
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Now retired after a career that spanned the better part of five decades, San Jose, Calif.-based Duane Brusseau is in his third year with some involvement in the cross-country haul of the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. He was the lead driver on the 2011 haul that originated in California, and last year he was codriver of the second rig pulling a standard 53-ft. van that accompanied lead driver and Senator Ben Campbell of Colorado, where that tree originated.
2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree lead driver Duane Brusseau
This year, with the 2014 Mack Pinnacle and expandable long-load trailer at a total 103 feet in length, he s had his work cut out for him on the long trek with numerous stops across the United States from Northeast Washington State, where the haul originated with the cutting of the tree in Newport. I caught up with him yesterday at the stop here in Nashville, Tenn., in the Macy s parking lot at Cool Springs Galleria south of town.
The journey started the 22nd of October, he says, when he and likewise California-based codriver Galon Baker (a current driver for Wal-Mart) flew to Allentown, Pa., to pick up the two specially-wrapped 2014 Mack Pinnacles they d drive on the haul. We took them to Washington State to the town of Newport up in the Northeast corner of the state, he says. We spent about four or five days there with the cutting of the tree and the involved process of placing it on the trailer. You ll remember this picture we posted here a couple weeks back1, showing what it looked like before packaging, as it were:
And here s how it s actually being hauled:
The tree weighs 10,000 lbs, says Brusseau, and is 30 ft. wide at the bottom, approximately, and 80 feet tall. Imagine the work that went into securing the tree in the binding sleeve to fit the standard-width trailer.
Following such work, Brusseau and Baker have been moving slowly across the country, after a tour through Washington State, he says, then into Oregon, Idaho, to Salt Lake City, across Texas into Arkansas and, yesterday, Tennessee. We ll be arriving in Washington, D.C., Nov. 25, Brusseau says. They ll unload the tree from the truck and they ll put it in a five-foot hole, cement it in and tether it. It will take them 5-6 days, then, to decorate it.
In the 53-ft. van Baker is hauling (pictured, right), Brusseau adds, are 80 eight-foot-tall trees from the Republic, Wash., area. They will go inside the Capitol offices. Also, there s about six pallets of ornaments made by the schoolchildren of Washington State that will go on the main tree. In addition, two 25-ft. trees in the van will go inside the U.S. Forest Service offices in D.C. and one other.
All in all, says, Brusseau, it s a capital haul for him. His wife, Bobbie, is along for the run, and it s a lot of fun, he says. On the dozens of stops the unit is making, we see the country, meet lots of great people. I m retired, so it s a great retirement project.
In the video at the bottom of this post, Brusseau talks briefly about the many signatures schoolchildren and others have added to the 80-ft. banners on either side of the trailer. Find more pictures of the truck and the Nashville signing events in the gallery here.
The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a North Carolina carrier to pay four …
A judge has ordered an Ohio-based carrier to pay two drivers deemed …
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Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. His Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog3 and via his Twitter feed4, or send tips to email@example.com.
Not so long ago, one of our editors had the slightly off-topic (for a trucking magazine) idea of polling readers on their favorite Christmas songs before, as it were, the tunes flooded every auditory synapse we have and left us all totally at a loss to differentiate between them.
So, we reached out to you this fine November. The choices here were determined over the course of several calls for reader recommendations on Overdrive Online.com as well as via our Facebook page7 over a week or two the songs receiving the most mentions were included toward building this poll. No song here received fewer than three repeat mentions out of hundreds of suggestions.
Help us get into the holiday freight-hauling spirit this year by casting your vote for the best Christmas song of all time.
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LOS ANGELES (WWJ) As General Motors unveils a new compact pickup, Ford is using its appearance at the LA Auto Show to look further into the future.
The new Chevy Colorado plays in a segment that Ford vacated a few years ago, and is now owned by Toyota and Nissan. GM calls the Colorado a lifestyle vehicle aimed more at those who are interested in taking their bikes with them, or hauling gardening3 supplies.
The Colorado is going to be positioned more at an activity, accessory type buyer, who uses it more in maybe a lighter duty type way, said GM North America President Mark Reuss.
Reuss also feels it will help General Motors to have smaller trucks, as fuel economy standards become tougher.Full size pickups4 are also becoming more expensive. Chevrolet marketing chief Alan Batey said he believes that many people who might need the utility of a smaller truck, shunned larger vehicles because they were more than they wanted or needed.
With the Ranger gone, and the Dakota on hiatus, this puts General Motors head to head with the imports.
We took the route that we really felt this was an opportunity, said Batey. We know some of our competitors are not going to go into this.
The Los Angeles Auto Show was a logical place to launch the Colorado, as California s best-selling truck is not the Ford F-150. It s the Toyota Tacoma.
There is a propensity here for a smaller truck, said Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. People want a truck, but the larger ones are hard to drive around, and fit into parking spaces in an urban environment.
Ford meanwhile has a concept version of what the next generation Edge SUV will look like. The styling is more of an update from the current crossover vehicle.
Edge has a great balance between accommodating and dominating, said chief designer Kevin George.
The concept unveiled in Los Angeles Is a combination of design and new technology. That technology includes crash avoidance systems, plus an advanced system that will allow you to get out of the car, and have it park itself.
Ford Edge Concept (Jeff Gilbert photo)
Edge marketing chief Jacques Brent wouldn t give a timetable for deployment of the new technology. But, he said it s most likely sooner, rather than later.
We d like to think of being able to make the driver smarter, safer and more efficient, he said. These technologies are there to support the driver, and not necessarily take over the driving of the vehicle.
Ford plans to export the Edge to a number of markets globally, including China. The company s vice president of marketing, Jim Farley, says the global utility segment has risen 45 percent in the last six years.
The whole world is falling in love with the utility silhouette. It s prestigious.
Jeff Gilbert is covering the LA Auto Show. Follow him on Twitter @jefferygilbert. You can also check out facebook.com/carchronicles.
Mario Hernandez is among the truck drivers at Green Fleet Systems to stage a 36-hour strike. They began picketing Monday morning outside the company’s Carson offices.
Dozens of truck drivers for companies that move cargo in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are walking picket lines on Monday, as part of a long-running campaign by the Teamsters Union to organize truck drivers at ports nationwide.
At 5 a.m. on Monday, Truck Drivers at Green Fleet Systems 1in Carson began a 36-hour strike. A few dozen people in fluorescent orange vests began picketing outside the company with printed signs reading: Green Fleet Systems: Stop this War on Workers!
Green Fleet is a 20-year-old company that specializes in drayage moving cargo containers from ports to warehouses, rail and distribution centers. The company employs between 80 and 90 truck drivers and some of them want to join Teamsters Local 8482. Exactly how many is still unclear
We decided to join the union a year ago because we want some respect, dignity and to have a voice on our job and to have decent wages for our families, said 42 year-old Mario Hernandez, who s worked at Green Fleet Systems for four years.
If you make just a little mistake, they yell at you and you just feel so intimidated that sometimes you don t even know what to do.
Green Fleet drivers staged a similar strike in late August, and Hernandez says the strikes are about unfair labor practices. He said the company has retaliated against drivers like him who want to join the union.
In my case, they have for example, cut my hours of work and not for the people who aren t supporting the union he said.
In a statement, Green Fleet Systems accused the strike s organizers of intimidation tactics of their own.
It is not a coincidence that that in the 20 years and thousands of hours trying to organize Port truck drivers, only one company has decided to sign a contract with these groups, the statement reads. We pay very competitive wages and benefits, the statement continues. Because of this, and because of our demonstrated safety record, the overwhelming majority of our drivers vehemently and passionately have voiced their opposition to the current strike and organization effort.
Hernandez believes supporters of the union effort are in the majority, but many of his co-workers are keeping quiet and not participating in the srike.
I speak to them and they say, I wish I could be there but I m afraid of losing my job,’ Hernandez said.
Some ‘Independent Contractors’ believe they are actually employees.
The striking drivers at Green Fleet Systems and those who planned to strike at American Logistics International3 are directly employed by their companies, but the drivers planning to picket at Pac9 Transportation 4are classified as independent contractors. They dispute that status, and organizers of their labor action say more than 50 Pac9 drivers have filed claims alleging in excess of $7 million in stolen wages with the California Labor Commissioner.
“They’re told where to go, what to do, where to pick up a load, where to drop it off,” says Nick Weiner, the national campaign director for the Teamsters effort to organize the port truck drivers.
He says thousands of drivers are misclassified as independent contractors. So they don’t get hourly wages or benefits. But he says they do get hit with extra expenses the companies pass onto drivers.
“The deductions from their paychecks are for the lease payments for the trucks, for the fuel, for the insurance. And that’s how the employers have been able to shift the cost of operating the trucking company onto the back of their drivers.” Weiner said.
Pac9 driver Byron Monzon Franco told KPCC that being classified as an independent contractor costs him dearly. “If I make 2000 dollars a week, I spend 1500 in everything, payment for the truck, insurance, everything, and I take 500 dollars to my house, so this is not honest for us,” Franco said.
Labor history expert Peter Dreier, chair of the Urban and Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College says of the 12,000 truck drivers who serve the ports of LA and Long Beach, most are independent contractors, and current law doesn’t allow them to join unions. But the push to change their status is drawing attention across the country. ” This is part of a growing resurgence of the labor movement ,” said Dreier.
The companies – all with offices in Carson – have denied the allegations of union representatives and strikers. Company officials have previously stated that truckers at the ports of LA and Long Beach are among the highest paid in the U.S. They also accuse the Teamsters union of targeting drivers in order to bolster its dwindling ranks and they estimated only 15 drivers took part in a previous labor action in August.
Hollie M. Huckaby alleges she drove her 1998 Ford F-150 pickup truck south on Illinois Route 161 near its intersection with Lebanon Avenue in Belleville on Jan. 16 when defendant Christopher C. Story, who drove a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe north on the same road, disobeyed a traffic control device and struck her vehicle.
Because of the collision, Huckaby incurred medical costs, suffered great pain and mental anguish and missed numerous working days, according to the complaint filed Oct. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
Huckaby blames Story for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, failed to keep a proper lookout, drove too fast, failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision and disregarded a traffic control device.
In addition to Story, Huckaby names Mark A. Childress as a defendant, saying he owned the 2004 Honda Accord Story was driving at the time of the collision.
In her complaint, Huckaby seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.
Gary A. Mack of the Law Offices of Gary A. Mack in Belleville will be representing her.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-555.
Don Wilson, Executive Director at Alberta Motor Transport Association, stands where 61st avenue southeast dead ends in Calgary. A long promised 61st Avenue S.E. flyover over the Stoney Trail ring road was never built, making access for truckers much more difficult.
Photograph by: Gavin Young , Calgary Herald
When the southeast ring road finally opens after its construction delays, it will boast nine major interchanges and a special flyover that will, for several months, lead to nowhere.
Street lights and curbs are installed over the bridge that spans the eight-lane freeway, but then the 61st Avenue S.E. flyover built to soothe trucking industry protests dead-ends a couple hundred metres before the nearest city road, a two-lane rural path lined with farm fences and wood power poles.
Although the $769-million ring road leg could open within days, the flyover that was supposed to link Calgary s largest cluster of trucking firms on one side of Stoney Trail to Foothills Industrial Area on the other where most of the truckers freight sits won t be open or useful for anybody until the spring, when the city can complete a now-broken link.
According to a key trucking industry executive, major firms have been going ballistic after recently losing their key link out of their logistics park at 84th Street and Glenmore due to ring road construction, only to see a replacement bridge get built that they won t be able to use for a while.
People in this area more or less assumed that if there s a flyover and we can see it from here, everything s hunky and dory, said Don Wilson, executive director of the Alberta Motor Transport Association.
In the spring, the city plans its interim workaround: to finish the avenue to that dirt road at 68th Street S.E., and pave it to handle trucks snaking around headed to a nearby paved road.
A straight route from the 61st Avenue flyover from the trucking centre to Calgary s industrial heartland won t come until at least 2015. That s in part because a trailer camp for flood-displaced High River residents sits right in that future road s path.
That s not been the only barrier the city has faced in making 61st Avenue a flyover to somewhere, according to roads director Ryan Jestin.
A wetland sits at the end of the provincial road corridor, and the city parks division is sensitive about that, he said. Then, private property sits right in the route, and the temporary road will have to skirt north of it.
Add to those problems the fact that Alberta Transportation only announced a flyover for 61st Avenue in 2009 a year before the ring road construction began, and long after the city and province had planned connections to other new Stoney Trail off-ramps, on-ramps and bridges. At first, the city wasn t sure of the need for the flyover, but had a change of heart when the province changed its own mind.
Our concern was the optics of having the thing basically hanging there, kind of ending 200 metres from a city road, Jestin said.
For the truckers that are kind of isolated on the other side of Stoney, we re going to make sure they re going to be able to use it by, I m hoping, spring next year.
But to Trevor Fridfinnson, whose Bison Transport bases 350 tractors in the business park, the flyover was a mere substitute for the 61st Avenue interchange the province has initially acquired land for there.
Many landowners out there made their purchases based on that fact, the Bison senior vice-president said of the business park just over Calgary boundaries in Rocky View County.
Several other major firms have trucking bases there, including Federal Express, Rosenau Transport and Canadian Freightways. Now, they all must cram onto Peigan Trail to the north, or Rocky View s narrow 100th Street to reach Glenmore Trail to the south.
For people that work out here, it s added a tremendous cost from time and fuel and the rest of those impacts that come in with spending more time in your vehicle and driving almost quite literally in circles, Fridfinnson said.
The city s interim fix will be a welcome relief until the permanent 61st extension is complete, Wilson said.
The province didn t have a guaranteed timeline for the city s link to the flyover.
I m not going to criticize the city. I know they ve had quite a few things to deal with, as we have, said Transportation Minister Ric McIver, a former southeast Calgary alderman.
Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
Monday, November 11, 2013 10:47 a.m. EST
WAYLAND (WKZO) — Greenway Trucking Company in Allegan is looking at its options now that a weekend fire has destroyed its repair shop. Co-owner Roger Van Bolkinburg says it may be a while before a cause is determined due to how much damage was done. Greenway Trucking owners plan to rebuild. They will have to rent a temporary location for the repair garage and lost thousands of dollars worth of equipment in the Saturday morning fire.