People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.. ~George Orwell

Friday, January 31, 2020

Zent wants to honor vets with highway designation

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (January 31, 2020) VRI — Rep. Denny Zent, R-Angola, on Jan. 27 in the Statehouse presented a resolution urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename a section of U.S. 20 as the Indiana Medal of Honor Memorial Highway.

Rep. Denny Zent, R-Angola, left, on Jan. 27 presents a resolution urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename U.S. 20 in honor of Hoosier Medal of Honor recipients at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Zent, a U.S. Army and Air Force veteran who serves on the House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee, said designating a national Medal of Honor Memorial Highway is a coordinated effort among the 12 states impacted by U.S. 20. The highway runs through the two counties Zent represents, nearly all of LaGrange and Steuben counties.

“We can never fully repay the debt owed to those who protected our state and nation,” Zent said. “Indiana is the Crossroads of America, and it is only fitting for us to join the other states from Oregon to Massachusetts in creating a national Medal of Honor Memorial Highway. By doing so, those who travel along the 163 miles of Hoosier roadway will be reminded of the freedom we have and the sacrifices made by these distinguished veterans.”

Since being established in 1861, more than 3,500 veterans have been given a Medal of Honor, with 100 of those service members from Indiana. To receive a Medal of Honor, military members must have distinguished themselves by personal acts of valor far beyond the call of duty.

For more information about House Concurrent Resolution 11, visit

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Veteran collapses after learning value of Rolex

West Fargo, North Dakota, USA (January 29, 2020) VRI — The “Antiques Roadshow” guest kept his cool as an appraiser said his watch, snagged decades ago in the Air Force, was no ordinary Rolex. Informed that it was a lot like a model once worn by Paul Newman that auctions for $200,000, the camouflage-bandanna-clad owner just nodded.

David on Antiques Roadshow

Then the appraiser noted the tiny word “Oyster” inscribed on the clock’s face. That made the trinket “extremely, extremely rare,” the kind of watch that sells for $400,000.

The man toppled backward to the ground with enough force that his feet flew up into the air.

There was laughter and a mildly concerned “You OK?” — but also more good news to come. The Rolex was also in nearly perfect condition, the grinning watch-owner heard next. The discount purchase that set him back $345.97 in 1974 — in the range of a month’s military salary — was now worth between $500,000 and $700,000.

Appraiser Peter Planes declared it one of the greatest watches he’d ever seen on “Antiques Roadshow.” The moment, filmed on tour in a North Dakota pioneer town, would top the season’s finds and would delight staff who said they’ve never seen a guest literally floored, even on a TV show that thrives on stunning people with the value of objects often tucked away for years.

“It’s one of the rarest Paul Newman models, and in this condition, I don’t think there’s a better one in the world,” Planes said in Monday’s kickoff for the program’s 24th season.

The watch’s owner, whom “Antiques Roadshow” has identified only as David, greeted the final dollar estimate with closed eyes and a word that was bleeped out.

David explained on Monday’s show that he became interested in a Rolex while stationed in Thailand in the 1970's, working to clear roads of land mines and to clean up munition storage spots. He noticed that airline pilots seemed to wear the watches — but they were out of his price range.

A fan of scuba diving, he said, he eventually decided to spring for a watch that could survive under water and ordered a Rolex through his base exchange at a 10% discount. But when the fancy accessory arrived, he ended up locking it away in a safety deposit box.

“I looked at it and I said, ‘you know, this is really too nice to take down in the salty water, ” David said.

He claims he only took it out two or three times until the summer that “Antiques Roadshow” came to the Fargo area’s historic Bonanzaville. That’s part of what makes this particular Oyster Cosmography, also known as a Daytona, so valuable, said Planes, of Luxe Auctioneers. The numbered foil sticker on its back, normally the first thing to wear off, was still intact.

Also a boon, he said: the fact that Newman popularized the Daytona Rolex in the 1969 drama “Winning.” The watch became intertwined with the actor and race car driver’s image, as Travis Andrews reported for The Washington Post:

“The mechanical watch radiated coolness, much like its owner. It was a constant companion to Newman’s left wrist in magazine shoots, paparazzi photos and while he was speeding around in his racecars. The model, which was ‘made famous by him thanks to this very timepiece,’ was eventually nicknamed the ‘Paul Newman Daytona,’ Phillips Auction House said in a news release.”

Newman’s actual watch was auctioned off in 2017 for a world-record-breaking $17,752,500 after 12 minutes of bidding.

The “Antiques Roadshow” guest’s watch might not have graced a star’s wrist, but it’s actually more special than the model Newman wore, Planes told David. The word Oyster indicates that this accessory had a particularly water-resistant case, he said.

And with the immaculate condition and the saved paperwork to boot — the blank warranty paper alone is probably worth about $2,000, Planes guessed — the watch was a season highlight.

“Unbelievable,” David said on the show.

Friday, January 17, 2020

VFW leader set up hidden camera to record minor

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (January 17, 2020) VRI —The state adjutant for Indiana’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is facing federal charges.

Authorities say Steven McDanield, 55, secretly recorded a minor in the bathroom of his Carmel home. He’s facing seven counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography.

In addition to his job as state adjutant, McDanield also serves as director of operations for the VFW state headquarters. He previously served as the commander for VFW Post 10003 in Carmel and is currently listed as a Trustee on the Post’s website.

In December of 2019, someone spotted a camera in his bathroom and alerted Carmel police. That bathroom was primarily used by a minor. It was suspected that McDanield was able to use his phone to access the camera, because it was observed that he would use his phone when someone was in that bathroom.

According to a federal complaint, when McDanield was confronted about the device, he claimed it was a WiFi network extender. Shortly after the confrontation, “McDanield locked himself in the bathroom for approximately one hour. After exiting the bathroom, the device was no longer there,” according to court documents.

Police interviewed McDanield on Jan. 13. He allegedly admitted to having captured photos of the minor using the hidden camera. Federal officials say he also admitted to being sexually attracted to teenagers, as well as seeking and possessing child abuse material from online sources including darknet sites.

McDanield admitted to taking photos while having sexual contact with the minor, according to court documents.

While executing a search warrant, authorities found a hard drive with abuse images of the victim. Some of the pictures were taken while the victim “appears to be unconscious,” according to court documents. The hard drive was locked with the password, “8675309.”

David Capshaw, Interim State Commander for VFW of Indiana, issued this statement:

“We were shocked and frankly disgusted to hear of the cause for the investigation of one of our state level leaders. While this remains a fluid situation, this individual ha been prohibited from participating in all VFW activity. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities during their investigation.”


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