South Dakota killer wants to drop death sentence appeals

Monday, August 28, 2006

A 24-year-old Texas man is set to be the first person executed in South Dakota in 59 years after asking to fire his lawyer and drop further court appeals.

Elijah Page of Athens, Texas, may die by lethal injection tomorrow for the brutal murder of Chester Poage, 19, in Higgins Gulch, in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

The court will weigh whether or not Page is competent to fire his lawyers and drop appeals, and a decision is expected today.

Page, along with Briley Piper, 25, of Anchorage, Alaska, pleaded guilty in 2001 for the March 13, 2000, killing. Both were sentenced to death. A third man, Darrell Hoadley, 26, of Lead, S.D., also pleaded guilty and testified against Page and Piper. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Hoadley told prosecutors the men planned to steal a stereo, TV, and other items from Poage’s mother’s house. Prosecutors said Piper and Page killed Poage because they wanted to eliminate a witness to the theft.

Hoadley described brutal details to authorities how Piper stabbed Poage three times in the head and neck and Page then kicked Poage 30 to 40 times and then tore Poage’s ears off. Page then bashed Poage’s head in with large rocks. Hoadley finished the job by striking Poage with two large rocks.

Piper and Page then threatened to kill Hoadley if he told police about the crime, Hoadley told authorities.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said it is rare for someone to receive a death sentence after they’ve pleaded guilty to the crime. But in this case, the judge, Warren Johnson of Deadwood, opted for the death penalty, saying he considered the crime to be “vile and depraved”.

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Wikinews interviews candidate for New York City mayor Vitaly Filipchenko

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

In early May, Wikinews extended an invitation to Vitaly Filipchenko, an independent candidate in the 2021 New York City mayoral election, set to take place November 2nd, alongside other candidates. Filipchenko answered some questions about his policies and campaign during a phone interview.

Filipchenko, registered on the New York City Campaign Finance Board as Vitaly A. Filipchenko, is the first Russian candidate for New York City mayor, being born in Tomsk, Siberia in 1973, according to news agency Sputnik. He has since naturalised as a United States citizen. According to the web site, Filipchenko has been educated in road construction and maintenance and owns a moving services company; he describes himself on his web site as a “small business owner”. On his web site’s platform page, he says that “[m]y English may not be perfect – but my platform is.”

Incumbent Democrat mayor Bill de Blasio, who won re-election in the 2017 New York City mayoral election by 66.5%, cannot run for a third term under term limits. As of April 28, 22 candidates are currently running, the majority of whom are also Democrats. Ahead of the June Democratic primary for New York City mayor, a poll conducted May 23 and 24 by WPIX and Emerson College of 12 Democratic candidates with a margin of error of 3.2 per cent has former commissioner for the New York City Department of Sanitation Kathryn Garcia and Borough President of Brooklyn Eric Adams leading with 21.1% and 20.1%, respectively.

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Heart Of The Home Faux Finishes For Kitchen Cabinetry

By Jay Dorman

Faux finished cabinets are finding a welcome home in today’s kitchens. From the most timeworn distressed looks to high-end lacquered finishes, a decorative painter can add just the right touch from his artist’s pallet to create the exact design and style most appropriate for your dream kitchen.

As we all know so very well, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s our source of comfort and joy. Whether we’re preparing a meal for our loved ones or just hanging out with our friends, the kitchen is the place everyone loves to be the best. And these days, the makeup of our kitchen environs is getting the attention it deserves.

Older kitchens are being remodeled and expanded. The kitchens in new homes are bigger than ever and are more accessible, too. Everything that goes into making a perfect space is being included — professional cooking equipment, granite countertops, sophisticated lighting, and especially important is stunningly beautiful cabinetry.

Giving the kitchen a particular feel can be easily achieved through decorative painting on the cabinets — whether the look is farmhouse French, Swedish country, or even slick contemporary.

A sophisticated and experienced faux finisher has at his command many finishes and materials that can fit the needs of the interior designer, homebuilder and homeowner. He is able to provide information on the best colors and most suitable techniques, plus bring unique artistic insights to the job.


Some of the faux effects that are popular in kitchens these days include one or a combination of the following:




Stains and paints

Ragged glazes

Metallic finishes

Antique distressed finishes

Pricing for the finishes depends upon the level of complexity and the material used to get that ‘just right’ look. If your kitchen cabinetry is freshly painted, then a simple dry-brushed finish may be all you need, and is usually inexpensive. However, the more steps that are involved in a process, the more the price goes up. A knowledgeable faux finisher can work within your budget while giving you the best possible look to complete your dreams.

I encourage you to contact an experienced professional faux finisher for a free consultation when you are ready to begin your kitchen project.

Discuss your ideas with a faux finish expert — look at colors, styles, techniques and samples. Then develop the perfect combination for your dream kitchen. Ask detailed questions, get references, ask to see photos, and if possible go to a kitchen the faux finisher has completed to check out his quality and level of competence.

Make your heart of the home as perfect as you deserve.

About the Author: Jay Dorman is the owner of Greystone Artisans, a decorative painting and faux finishing company. This Houston-based company has been in business for eight years and has worked in many of the finest homes locally and in other cities in Texas. This team of talented artists is available for travel to locations outside of Texas, too! Consultations are available upon request and are at no cost. Hundreds of samples including cabinetry finishes and wall finishes of all types can be seen at our showroom. The showroom, which houses our workroom as well, is open by appointment. Please visit us on the web at:


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Interview with Ton Roosendaal about Elephants Dream and free content movies

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Three days after the Internet release of the free content 3D short Elephants Dream (see Wikinews coverage), we exchanged e-mails with Ton Roosendaal about the reaction to the film, open source filmmaking, and the changes to Blender that resulted from the production. Ton Roosendaal is the lead developer of the Blender 3D rendering and modelling software that was used for the movie. He is also the chairman of the Blender Foundation, a non-profit organization which was formed in support of the software and projects like Elephants Dream.

How much money did the Blender Foundation spend on producing the movie? Has the money been fully recouped by DVD orders and donations?

We still have to finish the final bookkeeping for this project. It has been executed in co-production with the Netherlands Media Art Institute, and we each had our own internal budgeting for the project. When you exclude expenses of pre-production and producer personnel, the total budget was about 120,000 €, of which we covered half. Our contribution was roughly covered half by the DVD sales, and half by European Union support ( consortium).

One of the most common criticisms of CGI films is focus on technology over content. For instance, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within flopped with audiences, in spite of being an undisputed technical milestone. I’ve seen many reviews that criticized the plot of “Elephants Dream” as too bizarre or confusing. In retrospect, are you happy with the story development process?

Haha, I knew the story and plot would get a mixed acclaim. There’s a couple of reasons I’d like to mention for it.

First of all; the criticism resembles how people witness Blender itself, too. Many people expect that Free Software is an easy accessible mass audience product. We get a lot of complaints by non-artists that they can’t get into the software easily, whilst the complexity of commercial products like Maya or Houdini is perceived as a confirmation of its “quality”. Apparently an Open Movie created similar expectations with the audience.

Luckily we also got many positive reviews of the artistic result of the movie. It is quite abstract, but definitely has many layers of information, inspiring many of the viewers to see relevant real life messages hidden here.

For this project we’ve teamed up with the Netherlands Media Art Institute, internationally renowned as a resource for video art. So for Elephants Dream, we’ve had the luxury to challenge ourselves to create real independent artistic content as well. The artists had a lot of freedom from the start; they were responsible for the concept, story and creative development of the entire movie. This has resulted in a lot of quite personal choices, based on what the artists liked to do themselves. I really cherish such an approach, it has resulted in a very motivated team working crazy hours the last months to get it all realized.

But, most importantly; the main target of our project was not only to create a 3D movie short, but to experiment with ways to improve the efficiency and quality of open source development. On this aspect only, this project was just a huge success, and the main reason for our sponsors (the DVD pre-sale) to support it. I know they might have liked a cartoonish funny movie with furry animals better, but for that you get already pretty well served by the bigger 3D animation studios. 🙂

I’m the first to admit that – looking back especially – certain aspects worked out quite weakly; there’s loose ends and questionable decisions, especially in story development and continuity. That’s just the risk of doing experiments, and nothing I regret really. The five artists from our user community who were invited to make the movie were young people with no professional background in filmmaking. Their personal incentive to participate in this project was also to learn from it, and to create a good portfolio for their future career. I’ve witnessed them grow in competence in the past year enormously, something I’m incredibly proud of.

On the technical level, the only major criticism I’ve seen of “Elephants Dream” is the character animation, especially in the opening scene — many reviewers felt that the movements seemed a bit unnatural. Do you agree with these criticisms? If so, what do you think can be done to improve on that level?

Yeah, the challenge the artists set themselves – to use quite realistic personages – is also something that easily works against you. In many animation movies they introduce characters in the beginning in a way you get used to their specific characteristic movements, so you accept a certain level of non-realism easily. (Check the weird walk cycles in The Incredibles for example). Another aspect is that we’ve started work on the first scenes, and ended with the last scenes. I can clearly see the animation quality increase, and that whilst the ending scenes were done in much less time due to time constraints.

We also didn’t schedule to do 9.5 minutes of animation either…. Originally it was more like 6. But, it’s always easier to look back to define the right decisions, eh? 🙂

I’m very happy with the reviews we got so far; luckily the movie was perceived as a professional quality product, and reviewed based on comparisons with what the big studios come up with. Even when we couldn’t satisfy all these quality demands, it has luckily not been branded as a pathetic presumptuous attempt by amateurs!

Do you think there is hope for a full-length open movie project in the near future? Would the Blender Foundation be interested in such a project, or do you intend to continue focusing mainly on shorts?

I’d like to wait a little while with defining what a next project would look like. Given the constraints of “organizing projects to improve open source development”, we might have not much choice either. It would probably mean to work with a new team each time, so most likely be based on shorts only. On the other hand, there’s also clear signals that this approach works well, and creates excitement and involvement of a lot of people, also from producers and sponsors. That might enable us to set up a next project based on larger targets. For a full-length feature film however, we should involve a sufficient amount of experienced film makers as well, and/or invite the first team to participate again. That would put a lot of pressure on the required budget…. You can’t do that based on a 1000 DVD pre-sale target. Would more be like 20,000 or so…. 🙂

How did the process of making the movie feed back into the development of Blender? Are there major technical changes that were made only or primarily because of the film?

Already during the pre-production phase the artists have defined the key targets for Blender development. This then was coordinated with the online development community too. I’ve done the most crucial (re-)development mostly myself, though. Especially on the character animation tools, on the rendering pipeline and compositing tools.

It is especially the latter I’m most satisfied with. In 3D movie production the compositing stage creates a giant content bottleneck. By transparently integrating this in our render-pipeline, a very efficient workflow has been achieved. And, not to forget, Blender now also offers the first production-level open source compositor on the market!

The current summary you can find in our work-in-progress release notes.

What are the key technical features in Blender you want to add or improve for future movie projects?

Depends on what the movie is about! There’s always hundreds of features you can work on. However, we’ll have to work on that anyway, movie project or not. There’s a lot of professionals using Blender now, and they can’t wait for the Blender Foundation to do movies! Look at this studio for example:

I read that at least one proprietary software package, Reaktor, was used for the sound effects. Is this because no equivalent free software solution exists yet? Will future projects have a “free software only” policy?

We’ve limited the “Open Source tools” requirement to our own Studio Orange only. That was what we could keep in control at least, and I can tell you it was not always easy even… 🙂

For sound and music we’ve decided from the beginning to seek an external sponsor. We have chosen to work with the best quality studio and composer we could find, preferably using open source, but not as a prerequisite.

My own competence is solely within the CG [computer graphics, Ed.] side of movie making. When it comes to music editing, or video encoding and DVD authoring, I could only decide to choose to work with external parties with proven competences in that area. I have to be practical in projects like this, especially to ensure it will be realized.

Hopefully, now we’ve got so much attention world wide, we can involve more non-CG open source next time, too. I will definitely strive for the maximum here, but it will fully depend on the amount of professional support we can get.

Blender itself was originally closed source freeware, until it was “liberated” through a fundraising campaign. If you could choose one proprietary application to “set free” where such a goal could be realistically achieved, which one would it be?

Well, the “realistically achieved” demand makes it quite difficult. 🙂 Looking back at similar cases, like Mozilla and, it was always very circumstantial. It just happens sometimes, you can’t organize something like this to happen in advance. The only common denominator is “a company in troubles”… so, who’s in trouble now?

What is your personal favorite computer-animated full-length film?

Uuuh… that differs every week! Probably Ice Age (the first one). Mostly because they didn’t overdo showcasing 3D technology so much, but created truly adorable characters and great funny gags.

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US dog attack owner charged with involuntary manslaughter

Friday, March 25, 2005A Spotsylvania County woman, whose three dogs allegedly attacked and killed her elderly neighbor, was freed Wednesday by posting a $10,000 bond. Dianna Large, 36, received one felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and three misdemeanor charges in an indictment issued last week.

In her first appearance before a judge, she answered Circuit Court Judge William H. Ledbetter questions with simple “Yes sir.” and “No sir.” responses. The short hearing, held Thursday, formalized the charges against her. The involuntary manslaughter charge, a first in the severity of punishment being sought on a dog owner in the Virginan state of USA, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

State procecutor Wiliam Neely said that Large knowingly let her three Pit Bull dogs run free, and that an animal control agency person had warned her to keep them under better control. She also a violated a county ordinance requiring owners of dangerous dogs to post a warning sign to visitors. The prosecution also noted that none of the three male dogs were neutered.

The Animal Control Department of Virginia maintains a dangerous dog registry. It contains a list of owners whose dogs are deemed dangerous to society. The link to the registry was moved to a more prominent position on the county web page following the attack.

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Adhesives Uses And Safety Tips

Adhesives – Uses and Safety Tips


Charles Kassotis

An adhesive is something that helps you stick objects onto something else. This can be gluing googly eyes on a walnut, gluing pictures into a scrapbook, or even gluing two pieces of wood together. Adhesives are very helpful in many ways and they can be used to do a great many things. Adhesives can even include tape, like duct tape, which are used to make repairs. There are many different ways to use adhesives, and different types of adhesives to fulfill a variety of uses.

Some adhesives, like most glues, take some time to dry. This can be quite useful if you are worried about making mistakes. That way, if you glue something down and realize that you need to move it, you can take it off without worrying about tearing something. Other adhesives bond almost instantly. This can be convenient if you are in a situation that requires that you have the bond immediate so that whatever it is you are gluing does not slide down. However, if you make a mistake with something, you may have to start all over again. You should choose your adhesive carefully, taking special steps to make sure that you have the kind of drying speed that you need to get the job done most effectively.


Additionally, some adhesives are stronger than others. Super glue and gorilla glue are two examples of strong adhesives that are difficult to remove once they are used. You can use a solvent to disolve the glue, but it is difficult to clean off, and sometimes can stain clothing and other fabrics. Weak adhesives are easy to remove, even after they dry. Glue sticks are notorious for being weak. Even after the glue from a glue stick dries, it is possible to pull whatever you glued right off, without tearing or ruining anything.

Some adhesives are especially suited to specific tasks. Interestingly enough, most of these types of adhesives are easy to identify, as they explain themselves in the kind of adhesive they are. Wood glue, as one might expect, is used for gluing wood. It is helpful when one is setting up a project. It holds the pieces in place, and lets you see how something works before you begin nailing it together and setting it more permanently. Craft glue is ideal for crafts. It is especially suited for making things like wreaths and homemade jewelry. An adhesive like rubber cement may not provide very good clues, but it is good for scrapbooking. It won t seep through and ruin pictures when you put it on the back, and it works well with the acid free paper used in scrapbooking projects.

Adhesives are of great use. They can be used for a variety of things, and they help us hold things together. They are great for repairs, craft projects, and even for building projects. A special kind of adhesive is even used to hold dentures in many people s mouths. Without adhesives, the world would certainly not hold together as well as it does.

Learn more about glue, tape, and other adhesives by visiting

the Adhesive Guide

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KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

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Record number of bicycles sold in Australia in 2006

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bicycle sales in Australia have recorded record sales of 1,273,781 units for 2006, exceeding car sales by 32 percent. It is the fifth year in a row that the bicycle industry has sold more than one million units, a figure yet to be realised by car manufacturers.

The Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) spokesman Ian Christie said Australians were increasingly using bicycles as an alternative to cars. Sales rose nine percent in 2006 while the car market stalled. Mr Christie said people were looking to cut their fuel costs and improve their fitness.

Mr Christie said organisations were beginning to supply bicycles as a company vehicle. “There is an emerging trend towards people using bikes as their official company-supplied vehicle in place of the traditional company car,” he said.

“Some of Australia’s biggest corporations now have bicycle fleets, and when you add in government organisations, we now know of at least 50 organisations which operate fleets of bikes.”

“Although the company bicycle is a long way from taking over from the company car, it’s an important trend when you consider that nearly half of all cars sold are to company fleets.”

The CPF claims most commutes to work are less than 5 kilometres (3 miles) making bicycle travel a viable alternative.

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Tyrus Wong, Bambi artist, dies at 106

Monday, January 2, 2017

On Friday, Tyrus Wong, a Chinese-US painter who inspired the style of Disney animated film Bambi, died at home of natural causes in Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles, according to his daughter Kim Wong.

Born on October 25, 1910 in Guangdong province, China, Tyrus Wong left the country with his father at the age of nine under fake names “Look Tai Yow” and “Look Get”. Wong’s father taught him the art of calligraphy using water instead of ink on newspapers.

Wong used to work as a houseboy after school in Los Angeles earning half a dollar per day. Wong’s principal in junior high school helped arrange a scholarship in Otis Art Institute for his art skills. At Otis, Wong studied Western art and graduated in 1935. In 1934, a landscape of Wong’s appeared in an exhibition organised by the Art Institute of Chicago which also featured a Pablo Picasso etching, “Two Nudes”. For two years, from 1934 to 1936, he worked for the Works Progress Administration to create paintings for public buildings.

In 1938, Wong began work in the Disney animation studio as an in-betweener — creating hundreds of intermediate images for the appearance of motion. Walt Disney noticed his work. Wong’s forest paintings of deer strongly influenced the style of Bambi. Wong worked at Disney for only three years before he was sacked in 1941, following an employee’s strike in which Wong did not participate. Next year, Wong became a Warner Bros. concept artist, drawing storyboards and set designs for live-action films. Films he drew concept art for included The Sands of Iwo Jima, Rebel Without a Cause, and The Wild Bunch. After more than a quarter century at Warner Bros., Wong retired in 1968. Wong gained US citizenship in 1946.

Wong influenced animator Andreas Deja, the creator of Lilo from Lilo & Stitch and Jafar from Aladdin. Wong also worked as a janitor, designed greeting cards, and picked asparagus during the lows in his career.

Wong was named a Disney Legend in 2001. Wong is survived by three daughters and two grandchildren.

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Villa Or Resort For Your Next Caribbean Golf Vacation

Villa or Resort for your Next Caribbean Golf Vacation


Angela Allison

Vacations are not one size fits all, everyone has their own wants and needs out of their tropical holiday and some situations that are ideal for some are nightmares for others. You want to know what is important to you in creating a magical beach vacation so you can make the right decisions as to what will fit your desires. One of the biggest choices one has to make when planning a golf holiday is whether to stay in a resort or in a private vacation villa. Both have their advantages and disadvantages so it really is just what works for you. The following article details some of the factors that are beneficial to each to help you make an informed decision.

For some golf travelers vacation home rentals are hands down the best way to enjoy a truly relaxing, rewarding and budget-friendly family vacation. These type of people feel the intimacy you get with a private villa creates the place to have a holiday you ll remember forever! Vacation homes give you the space to relax after a big day on the course of beach and provide unique and luxurious amenities and services you will not find in a hotel or resort. Also resort and hotel accommodations even the spaces found at the highest-rated resorts and hotels are often cramped in comparison to a home. Furthermore all spaces outside your guest room are public so the only privacy to be had is in your room, versus in a villa all rooms of the home are dedicated to you and your guest as well as the grounds. This carries onto the pool area where you have the privacy to dress and behave as you please without the distractions of other guests or their children. As many parents know, it is one thing to listen to your own children yet entirely another to listen to unruly children of others.

Vacation home rentals generally come with a long list of amenities including but not limited too: private pools, spas, patios or decks, fireplaces, beach access, state-of-the-art home theatres, multiple master suites and bedrooms, game rooms with amenities like billiard tables, air hockey, stand-up arcade games and more. They also offer full kitchens multiple dining areas sometimes with inside and outside dining spaces. Entertainment and electronics amenities like TVs and DVD players throughout, computers with high-speed Wi-Fi internet access and even video game systems. Villas tend to be very luxurious as well, offering the latest in finishing s and bedding, while hotels and resorts due to the sheer mass generally offer a level down.


Having access to a kitchen is extremely beneficial for many reasons, even if you were to just eat your breakfasts at home you would save significant money, but if you are to eat other meal at you villa the savings can be so substantial as to make a trip possible that might otherwise not be. Another benefit of having your own kitchen is the ability to control what you eat, golf enthusiasts are active people who like to take care of themselves, the ability to control the quality of your food and diet is very empowering on a vacation.

Having the additional space and Wi-Fi can be very beneficial to todays professionals who need to stay in touch, even if it is only for short periods a day, the ability to get online and communicate with others can allow professionals to take trips they otherwise might not be able to, or possibly even turn a one week trip into a one month trip, even generating income while on vacation.

Some villas even have staff on hand to prepare your meals and keep the place clean, giving you one of the benefits of a resort while having all the advantages of your own private space.

The cost of homes can also be less to that of a hotel or resort accommodations, when broken down between multiple couples or especially when children are involved. Homes often have the ability to sleep several children in one room while you may need multiple hotel rooms for the same number of children.

Another advantage of vacation home rentals on a golf retreat is quite, hotels and resorts are packed with people, not all of whom are considerate, loud people in hallways or heavy walkers above you can keep you up at night. At a private villa there is nothing to disturb you.

In a few words vacations homes offer exclusive luxury and unmatched privacy. Vacation home rentals give you more luxury than the top resorts plus the privacy and comforts of home.

If you feel that a vacation home rental is right for you take a look at the Pavillion, near Half Moon Bay and Montego Bay in Jamaica. This five bungalow villa complete with pool hot tub and pool side bar is just the place to base your Jamaican golf vacation.

The Pavilion is a deluxe 5 bedroom, 5 1/2 bathroom Jamaican villa that is fully staffed with a cook, butler, chambermaid, laundress and gardener. Situated on 4 acres above Jamaica\’s 400-acre Half Moon champion golf course and a mere 5 minutes from Montego Bay.

Jamaica vacation, villa rental

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