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News Scan

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Murders, Shootings on the Rise in Chicago:  The first three months of the year in Chicago have seen a 40 percent increase in shootings and 29 percent more homicides following last year's record low numbers.  Aamer Madhani of USA Today reports that the the Police Superintendent believes gun laws are making it "too easy for dangerous criminals to get access to illegal weapons," who often travel to the less restrictive neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana to purchase weapons. ownership.  Chicago police have recovered over 1,500 illegal guns this year and arrests for illegal gun possession are up 22 percent.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the city needs more police and changes in the law.

Aerial Surveillance Fights Crime:  Persistent Surveillance, a company in Dayton, Ohio, is utilizing airplanes and high-powered cameras to capture footage of crimes from above, tracking criminals from crime scenes to their residences.  Alex Pena of CBS News reports that high-tech cameras capture images within a 5-mile radius in every direction and have surveilled in high crime areas such as Camden, New Jersey and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  The ACLU opposes the surveillence, arguing that it is contributing to a "totalitarian" country, but Persistent Surveillance only goes where crimes are reported.  They have submitted contracts with various governments in the U.S. and abroad worth millions of dollars.

Chowchilla Kidnapper Granted Parole:  One of the three men who kidnapped and buried alive a busload of 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver in the 1976 ransom attempt in Chowchilla, California has been granted parole at his 20th hearing.  Tim Sheehan of the Fresno Bee reports that the decision to parole James Schoenfeld will go through an internal review and will take another four months.  Many victims of the kidnappings, still traumatized as adults, have written letters and sent senior prosecutors to the hearing to argue against his release.  Schoenfeld's parole is likely attributed to the statewide effort to reduce prison overcrowding.  Schoenfeld's brother, Richard Schoenfeld, was paroled in 2012 and the other kidnapper, Frederick Woods, is up for a hearing this fall.

Three Parolees Accused of Violent Crimes:  Three repeat offenders recently paroled in Missouri, two of them multiple times, have been arrested for committing violent crimes such as robbery, assault, and murder shortly after their release.  ABC 7 News reports that repeat offenders continue to be paroled because there are not enough prison beds to accommodate them.  Boone County Detective Tom O'Sullivan says it's frustrating that "a relatively small number of people" are responsible for most of the problems.

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Chicago PD, of course, being the agency that was busted last year for lying like the proverbial Persian rug and hiding all kinds of crimes, including murder. So the increase this year is probably only a return to more-oe-less honest bookkeeping, not a real increase at all. But we'll blame it on guns anyway, only now it can be those guns from....Indiana!

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