Scott's : Breaking News

2:53 PM

Sister Barbara Markey Pleads Guilty For Money Stealing


Sister Barbara Markey Pleads Guilty For Money Stealing

Sister Barbara Markey, N.D., Ph.D., could face up to 20 years in prison for stealing over $300,000 from the Omaha Archdiocese.

She pleaded guilty yesterday, and admits to having gambled most of the money away, while using the rest for gifts and trips.

Curiously, a June 30, 2007 article in the Omaha-World Herald, says Ms. Markey was originally accused of stealing $820,000.

The 73-year-old nun Sister Barbara Markey is an internationally known clinical psychologist who helped develop the FOCCUS marriage-preparation program. She was fired in 2006 as Director of the Catholic Family Life office.

Source: By Was That My Outside Voice

The Archdiocese of Omaha released a statement of satisfaction with Sister Barbara Markey's guilty plea.

The Archdiocese of Omaha is satisfied with Sister Barbara Markey�s guilty plea to theft by deception today in Douglas County District Court. The case relates to funds taken from the Archdiocesan Family Life Office and FOCCUS, Inc., a Nebraska non-profit corporation affiliated with the Archdiocese, while Sister Markey was the director. Financial irregularities discovered in 2006 resulted in Sister Markey�s termination.

The Archdiocese is finalizing a settlement agreement resolving civil lawsuits related to the case. Under the agreement, Sister Markey will make restitution of $125,000 to the Archdiocese and the Archdiocese will not object to any recommendations that Sr. Markey be sentenced to probation.

Rev. Joseph Taphorn, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, says it was clear that the Archdiocese would not recover all of the missing funds. Taphorn added, �Sister Markey�s willingness to plead guilty and make some restitution will hopefully bring this matter to a close. We�re ready to move on.�

Source: Archdiocese of Omaha News

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10:04 AM

Virgin and Google to put men on Mars, via Virgle


Virgin and Google to put men on Mars, via Virgle

Jack Schofield


Richard Branson gets his logo boosted, and his ego


As Sir Richard Branson writes on the Official Google blog: "Virgle's goal is simple: the establishment of a permanent human settlement on Mars. Larry Page, Sergey Brin and I feel strongly that contemporary technology is sufficiently advanced to make such an effort both successful and economical, and that it's high time that humanity moved beyond Earth and began our great, long journey to explore the stars and establish our first lasting foothold on another world."

Anything really good out there today?

As usual, the most complete list is probably here.

For newspaper readers, the Daily Telegraph has a short roundup.

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9:49 AM

Jefferson man pens full-length graphic novel

Business Gazette, USA
by Connor Adams Sheets | Staff Writer
Rafer Roberts celebrated the realization of a longtime dream Saturday at Beyond Comics in Frederick.
The release the Jefferson comic book artist�s first full-length graphic novel, ��Plastic Farm: Sowing Seeds on Fertile Soil,� found Roberts sipping soda and waxing philosophical behind a folding table with fans, close industry friends and collaborators, and his supportive wife, Nan.

The fully illustrated, 300-page book, which he calls a ��corruption of the natural world,� tells the tale of Chester Carter�s descent to madness.

The book, which he calls a ��love story,� is replete with hillbilly cannibals, zombie cops and dinosaur horses. It explores themes such as ��what it means to be a real person � to be completely self-aware without the pressures of a society telling you what you should be � making your own reality.�

The heady book, whose release party fell on Roberts� 32nd birthday, comes from the mind of a man whose wife describes as ��a twisted genius.�

Growing up in New Jersey, Roberts read Fantastic Four and other Marvel titles. He created his first comic in fourth grade. He earned a degree from Clemson University and now works as a pre-press operator at Phoenix Color Corp. in Hagerstown.

He moved to Frederick County in 1999, and has led a life that allows him to spend hours at a time working in what he and Nan call ��the office� � a cluttered, comic-packed room in their home with an antique drawing table.

��Frederick�s diverse culture enriches Rafer�s abilities, while the rural setting enables him to focus on his craft,� said Takoma Park illustrator Jake Warrenfeltz, a longtime friend of Roberts� who did the artwork for some ��Plastic Farm� issues that Roberts chose not to draw.

And Roberts� craft is honed, though it manifests itself in a form that readers tend to either love or hate. He has a host of loyal readers and fans, but critic Johanna Draper Carlson, of industry blog Comics Worth Reading, had the following to say about the twisted comic: ��I still don�t get it ... and what I do get disgusts me.�

Roberts shrugs off such criticisms, saying that ��Plastic Farm� refuses to be limited by standard comic book expectations, and instead explores today�s world in unconventional ways.

��What if Jesus came back as an 18-year-old drug addict?� Roberts asked as a thought exercise. ��Nothing is off-limits in �Plastic Farm�.�

His work has also garnered rave reviews from heavy hitters in the comic world, including one of his main influences, fabled comic writer Dave Sim, of ��Cerebus� fame, who reads every issue and called ��Plastic Farm,� ��a really strange, really engrossing good comic book.�

The book is a compilation of his individually released comics, accompanied by about 40 pages of new and un-released material. Roberts publishes his work independently, and is not employed by any comic company or label.

��I do it myself. I�m 100 percent self-published,� he said. ��That�s the beauty and the curse of comics. It�s very open and anyone can make them. If you have an idea for a comic, there�s no reason you can�t make a comic.�

Nan, who met Roberts online, said she sees little of him when he�s getting ink under his nails in ��the office.�

��Art is his life, and I�m kind of like a baseball widow or a football widow. I�m just a comic book widow. I have to have interests for when he�s doing comics, which I do,� she said. Nan writes poetry and has published a book called ��12 Angry Love Poems.�

Roberts, who wore a shirt promoting Ween, one of his favorite bands and obsessions, and a colorful, cone-shaped party hat to the release party, said he will no longer print single-issue ��Plastic Farm� comics, as printing costs are prohibitive.

Instead, he plans to release the series� second feature-length installment as another graphic novel.

�Plastic Farm�

��Plastic Farm: Sowing Seeds on Fertile Soil� is available at Beyond Comics in Frederick and at

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9:19 AM

An April Fools' mystery

Arizona Republic, USA

An April Fools' mystery

Mar. 31, 2008 08:31 PM

It's going to be one heck of an April Fools' Day at Graphique Communications Design Inc. in Scottsdale.

The owners are planning to punk their employees, big-time. (They gave The Buzz permission to let readers in on the joke.)

This morning, a "police officer" is set to arrive at the office and tell workers there's been a murder in the building, and evidence points to someone at the company.

Employees will be questioned and then taken away as possible suspects. When appropriately worried, they'll be let in on the joke and taken to lunch. Then, the owners plan to sneak out of the restaurant and stiff workers with the bill.

"I think April Fools' and Halloween are our two favorite holidays," co-owner Stephanie Krinetz said.

The Buzz thought most Valley HR departments had put the kibosh on April Fools' pranks, but plenty of companies still believe the day encourages office fun.

In a recent survey, 32 percent of workers said they'd either planned or were the target of a workplace prank.

Whether to sanction April Fools' depends on a company's culture, said Aaron Witsoe, president of Creative Business Resources in Phoenix. "If all year long, your office is goofing around, you have a real tight-knit, small organization, to put a memo out saying, 'Don't do anything for April Fools' ' would seem counterculture," he said.

Need a last-minute prank? CareerBuilder collected a couple from past years:

� "Placed a pair of pants and shoes inside the only toilet stall in a men's room to make it appear someone was using the stall. It sat there for hours until someone called security to check if the person had died."

� "Posted a sign on the bathroom door saying, 'The company ran out of toilet tissue; please use your own resources.' "
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