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10/10/2014

Wedding day horror: Groom kills bride and then himself

It was supposed to be the couple’s happiest day: Kelly Ecker, a nurse, and Dr. George Scott Samson married Saturday afternoon in Terre Haute, Indiana.

By their wedding night, both were dead.

Samson, an anesthesiologist at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, shot his bride and then himself in their home just hours after they exchanged vows, authorities said.

Some wedding guests noticed tension between the couple almost immediately after each said “I do,” said Vigo County Sheriff Chief Deputy Clark Cottom.

“Some guests are telling us the bride and groom didn’t speak to each other at the reception,” he said.

After the reception, the couple hosted members of the bridal party at their home outside Terre Haute, Cottom said.

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Not long after the last guest left, the county dispatch center received a 911 call, according to a transcript and tape provided by authorities.

The 911 calls

The first call was made at 1:25 a.m.

The caller, said to be Kelly, is only able to give an address, then the call cuts off.

In a second call made a minute later, the caller says, “he is beating the s*** out of me” and then says “he has guns” and identifies Scott Samson by name.

By the third call, at 1:27 a.m., Cottom said it’s clear the situation has escalated because the caller’s voice is in more distress. She says “oh my God!” and then gunshots are heard.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they were met at the door by an elderly male relative of Samson’s, authorities said.

“He directed the deputies to the bedroom where they found Kelly’s body,” said Cottom.

She had been shot multiple times, he said.

Robot finds Samson

In addition to the male, two other individuals were found in the home: Ecker’s 10-year old-son was in the bedroom where his mother’s body was found, and he was unharmed, Cottom said.

An elderly female relative was in the home at the time of the shootings, and she also was unharmed, authorities said.

Samson was still inside when deputies arrived, so they made it a priority to get those three individuals out of the home and to safety immediately, Cottom said.

The elderly male witness told police that Samson had run from the bedroom to another part of the house to get more ammunition, and then ran to the basement, authorities said.

Deputies surrounded the home immediately.

“The house is near a wooded area and a cornfield and we didn’t want an armed man running deep into the woods,” Cottom said.

A special response team used a robotic device equipped with a camera to gain entry into the home, he said.

When it located Samson in the basement, it was apparent what had happened.

“Samson was unresponsive. We saw a bullet wound,” Cottom said.

Samson’s body was found near his gun safe where he had earlier removed other weapons, said Cottom. Samson was a gun enthusiast who had a federal firearms license, Cottom said.

This week, deputies were still taking inventory of the weapons inside the home. Cottom said several dozen of them had been removed.

 

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04:38 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

08/10/2014

St Andrew's to defy ban on conducting gay weddings

A Wellington church says a national directive from its highest body banning ministers from conducting same-sex marriages is appalling and disturbing and it will defy the order.

St Andrew's on The Terrace opposes the decision by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The General Assembly - which sets the policy and the direction of the church and approves the various regulations - spent the past four days deliberating in Auckland and announced its decision yesterday.

In the eyes of the assembly, it was acceptable for gay and lesbian people to be in the congregation but not to be married by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Marriage was the loving and faithful union of a man and a woman, the assembly said.

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St Andrew's Parish convener Sonia Groes-Petrie said the ban was disturbing and deeply disappointing.

"We strongly dissent from it," she said. "The Presbyterian tradition is for ministers to have freedom to make decisions about whom they will marry.

"There is a range of opinions on same-sex marriage within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and today's decision does not reflect that diversity."

Interim minister Jim Cunningham said he was appalled by the decision. "We see sexual orientation and gender identity as irrelevant in the celebration of a couple's union. It is the quality of the relationship, the love and commitment that matters," he said.

"St Andrew's has been blessing the relationships of same- sex couples for over 20 years, celebrating civil unions since 2005 and marriages since August last year."

St Andrew's Parish councillor and General Assembly representative Paul Barber, who was in Auckland, said it was embarrassing that religious organisations were the only stumbling block to full equality for same-sex couples.

Despite the order, St Andrew's had committed to be an inclusive church, faithful to the gospel message of love and justice, Barber said.

"We have ministers within our community who are registered as civil celebrants and we will continue to be able to provide a welcoming place for any couple who wishes to marry," he said.

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand General Assembly Moderator the Right Rev Andrew Norton said the decision was an affirmation of the church's long-held understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman. No other type of contractual, covenantal or legal sexual relationship - no matter how loving, stable or sincere - could ever be regarded by the Christian church as marriage in the true biblical sense.

No immediate action would be taken against St Andrew's but if there was a complaint it would step in.

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05:13 Publié dans wedding | Tags : weddings | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

06/10/2014

TapSnap photo can 'bring' dinosaurs to a wedding

This is not your grandfather's photo booth.

Stand against a green background and smile, and with a click, your picture appears on a 42-inch computer screen. A touch of the screen, and you're in front of the Eiffel Tower, Jennifer Lawrence at your side, a man-eating shark heading your way.

Another touch, and your digitally-customized image is winging its way to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the world.

"It's 'phototainment,'" said Ed Rojcewicz, of Rutland, an account manager for TapSnap of Worcester. "Once people start photographing, it's the life of the party."

Mr. Rojcewicz was at The Manor restaurant and banquet facility Oct. 1 for a demonstration of the TapSnap system that is described as a "photo booth without walls," reinvented for the social-media age.

Vancouver-based TapSnap, providing what it describes as "open-air photo entertainment" for weddings, parties, and corporate events, has more than 100 locations across the United States and Canada.

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picture: bridal dresses

Since Bob Petipas of West Boylston acquired the TapSnap franchise for Worcester County earlier this year, he has done weddings in the area, as well as the annual Chowder and Chili Challenge hosted by the Rutland Fire Brigade.

Mr. Petipas went into the photo entertainment line on his return to Massachusetts after running an antique store in Manhattan for 30 years. "I wanted to get into something fun, with social media attached to it," he said.

His experience pitching a business began early. Fifty-four years ago, as an eight-year-old in Norton, Mass., Mr. Petipas said, he was the youngest licensed auctioneer in Massachusetts, helping his father run auctions of department-store overstock out of the family barn.

To promote his latest venture, Mr. Petipas and two account managers set up their green screen, camera and touchscreen computer kiosk in a function room at The Manor this past Wednesday night and invited people to try out the system.

Amy Sequeira of Worcester and Katlyn Everitt of West Boylston, servers at the Draught House Bar & Grill, posed in front of the green screen as if they were screaming.

Then, on the 42-inch Dell touchscreen, a tyrannosaurus was dragged and dropped into their picture. "Oh, I like that one a lot," Ms. Sequeira said of the finished image, which she said she planned to post to Facebook.

Another visitor, choosing from a range of settings and digital props, edited his picture to incorporate giant eyeglasses and a pterodactyl, against a backdrop of the Egyptian pyramids.

The aim is to give guests an event an enjoyable way to create — and share — lasting memories. "Everybody likes to get their picture taken," said Mr. Petipas: "Everybody has fun with it."

Mr. Petipas said it takes about a half-hour for two people to set up the photo kiosk at an event, and the same amount of time to take it down.

He said the cost to rent the TapSnap system for an event is "pretty much the same as what a conventional photo booth would cost," ranging from $250 to $400 an hour.

He employs two salesmen and two part-time event attendants at TapSnap of Worcester, which is one of three TapSnap franchises in the state and goes by its franchise number, TapSnap 1059, on Facebook.

"There's nothing like it on the market," Mr. Petipas said. "If you've never seen it, it's a good time waiting to happen."

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04:45 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)