Former City Council candidate faces jail time for illegal tree removal

A former South Carolina City Council candidate faces five days in jail for the chopping down of two trees in an attempt to increase the value of a property. Isle of Palms resident Jonathan Gandolfo was found guilty on Tuesday of removing two Oak trees – one deemed “significant” and the other “historic” - the Moultrie News reported. A … Continue reading “Former City Council candidate faces jail time for illegal tree removal”

A former South Carolina City Council candidate faces five days in jail for the chopping down of two trees in an attempt to increase the value of a property.

Isle of Palms resident Jonathan Gandolfo was found guilty on Tuesday of removing two Oak trees – one deemed “significant” and the other “historic” - the Moultrie News reported.

A judged sentenced Gandolfo to two 30-day terms on two counts related to the tree removal. Both sentences were suspended upon his service of one day in jail on the first count and two weekends in jail on the second.

"I'm trying to remain aloof from it," Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll said. "I will say that I think Isle of Palms sent a clear message that we protect our trees."

Authorities arrested Gandolfo – who lost a bid for one of two open seats on the City Council in February – in 2016 after he contracted someone to chop down the trees to increase the value of a property he was poised to purchase. The sale never went through.

He was found responsible for the arbor removal after a series of text messages between him and the person he paid to cut down the trees surfaced.

"You're gonna have to be a ninja about it and quick so the code guys don't interrupt you," Gandolfo said in one text.

"OK I would remove the trees first and then remove debris. In case someone stops by you can claim it was down and you are just removing debris. Need to go quick before heat comes down," Gandolfo continued.

"Need to make sure every twig, leaf, wood chip, and piece of debris is completely out of that yard and the neighbors. Can be zero signs of any tree work," Gandolfo added.

In addition to jail time, he faces $1,100 in fines and was ordered to perform community service for two weekends. He could face more fines from the city for violating its tree-removal ordinance. Last year, the city attempted to recoup $80,000 from Gandolfo, which include the cost to replace the trees.

"It was a split vote, but to me the bottom line is it says Isle of Palms is not going to let people walk away from cutting down significant trees," Carroll said. "Again, I think justice prevailed… I think you're going to see more municipalities, after seeing this, start cracking down harder."

Former NFL player tackling Seven Summits in turnaround from lowest point of his life

A former NFL player used one of the lowest points of his life to propel him forward into doing something no other football player has ever done – climb the Seven Summits.

Mark Pattison, 56, played three seasons in the NFL with the Los Angeles Raiders, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, but football didn’t appear to be in his DNA. According to Houston's KHOU-TV, Pattison went on to found a gaming company, a digital media company and a retail company.

It wasn’t until 2011 when things started to get tough for Pattison.

In that year, he and his wife of 24 years split up. Soon after, his father passed away from a stroke. Pattison said it was years before he was able to turn it around and turned to nature to help him.

“My mind was always like, ‘How did I get here?” Pattison told KHOU. “Finally after a couple of years, I was just like … I’m stuck. And you can’t move forward to do anything unless you get unstuck.”

Pattison then embarked on a journey to become the first player to climb the Seven Ssummits. They include Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa; Mount Elbus in Europe; Mount Kosciusko in Australia; Aconcagua in South America; Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) in North America; Mount Vinson in Antartica; and Mount Everest in Asia.

“It’s not about the summit, it’s about the journey,” Pattison said.

Since 2013, he’s completed five of the seven summits. He plans on completing the final summit, Everest, in 2020, according to KHOU-TV.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Dramatic video shows hunters rescuing buck deer from frozen lake

Two hunters rescued a deer stranded on a frozen lake in Pennsylvania — and the dramatic sequence was all caught on video.

Josh Davis and Ed Schmalzle found the eight-point buck laying helplessly on the ice of Greeley Lake “over 100 yards” from shore on Saturday, just two days before hunting season.

The two men didn’t want to see the animal suffer, they said, so they performed a rescue mission to save him.

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"He must have made it out that far, slipped and fell, and couldn't get back up," Davis told WNEP.

Schmalzle carefully slid out onto the ice in a boat then tied the deer up with rope and was towed back to land while photographer Jeff Sidle captured the whole thing on camera.

"I wouldn't want to see the deer suffer. I am a hunter. There's a giant difference between an animal being harvested humanely and one being left out to die on the frozen ice," Davis said.

The hunter said that even if someone kills the deer during hunting season, which began Monday, at least it would feed a family instead of going to waste.

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"People don't realize that just because hunters go out and kill that they're not humane or they don't have those feelings about animals and the environment. That's the way we are. It captured who we are," Sidle said.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

‘Jeep Death Wobble’ reported on new Wrangler

An old problem has surfaced on the all-new Jeep Wrangler.

A handful of owners have reported experiencing the dreaded “Jeep Death Wobble” to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to the Detroit Free Press.

The issue, which hasn’t actually led to any known deaths or been officially deemed a safety hazard, is a violent vibration felt through the steering wheel, usually at high speeds.

Its cause is sometimes hard to pin down, but is typically blamed on loose or worn parts in the steering system for the Wrangler’s solid front axle. It’s also common in other vehicles that use a solid front axle, including heavy-duty pickup trucks and the Mercedes G-Class SUV.

Video

NHTSA told the Detroit Free Press that it is looking into the complaints. In the past, similar investigations resulted in the agency determining that the wobble did not pose a significant safety risk.

Jeep has nevertheless addressed Wrangler steering system problems through several Technical Service Bulletins over the years, which instruct mechanics how to deal with a known issue that doesn’t require a recall.

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Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

LA Auto Show: Honda Passport returns for 2019

LOS ANGELES – The Honda Passport has been renewed.

The dormant model name is making a comeback after 15 years on an all-new SUV that Honda says is its most adventurous one yet.

The 2019 Passport is essentially a two-row version of the latest 8-passenger Honda Pilot and features the same 280 hp V6 engine, 9-speed transmission and optional torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system as its big sister.

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack

But with 8.4 inches of ground clearance, the AWD Passport rides higher than the Pilot and has shorter overhangs at each end that improve its off-road capability some without ruining its manners on the street. It’s still not a rock crawler like a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it should take you further down a rocky road than any Honda SUV before it.

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack, Running Boards, Fender Flares and Towing Hitch

The Passport comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety systems that includes automatic emergency brakes, self-steering lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Front-wheel-drive Passports can tow 3,500 pounds while AWD models can be equipped with a towing package that increases the limit to 5,000 pounds.

2019 Honda Passport

The front cabin is nearly identical to the Pilot’s, but the Passport has an underfloor storage bin in the cargo area and its spare tire is mounted inside, instead of underneath the vehicle. A selection of accessories will be offered to further enhance its utility, like washable bins and a roof-mounted basket carrier.

2019 Honda Passport

The Passport is scheduled to arrive in showrooms early next year at a yet to be announced price, but expect it to land somewhere between the $25,000 CR-V and $32,000 Pilot. And while it could be seen as a replacement for the Accord, as more and more car buyers opt for SUVs, Honda Assistant Vice President of Product Planning Jay Joseph says the company expects it to add overall sales rather than cannibalize them from other models.

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Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

‘Jeep Death Wobble’ reported on new Wrangler

An old problem has surfaced on the all-new Jeep Wrangler.

A handful of owners have reported experiencing the dreaded “Jeep Death Wobble” to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to the Detroit Free Press.

The issue, which hasn’t actually led to any known deaths or been officially deemed a safety hazard, is a violent vibration felt through the steering wheel, usually at high speeds.

Its cause is sometimes hard to pin down, but is typically blamed on loose or worn parts in the steering system for the Wrangler’s solid front axle. It’s also common in other vehicles that use a solid front axle, including heavy-duty pickup trucks and the Mercedes G-Class SUV.

Video

NHTSA told the Detroit Free Press that it is looking into the complaints. In the past, similar investigations resulted in the agency determining that the wobble did not pose a significant safety risk.

Jeep has nevertheless addressed Wrangler steering system problems through several Technical Service Bulletins over the years, which instruct mechanics how to deal with a known issue that doesn’t require a recall.

FOLLOW FOX NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

‘Jeep Death Wobble’ reported on new Wrangler

An old problem has surfaced on the all-new Jeep Wrangler.

A handful of owners have reported experiencing the dreaded “Jeep Death Wobble” to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to the Detroit Free Press.

The issue, which hasn’t actually led to any known deaths or been officially deemed a safety hazard, is a violent vibration felt through the steering wheel, usually at high speeds.

Its cause is sometimes hard to pin down, but is typically blamed on loose or worn parts in the steering system for the Wrangler’s solid front axle. It’s also common in other vehicles that use a solid front axle, including heavy-duty pickup trucks and the Mercedes G-Class SUV.

Video

NHTSA told the Detroit Free Press that it is looking into the complaints. In the past, similar investigations resulted in the agency determining that the wobble did not pose a significant safety risk.

Jeep has nevertheless addressed Wrangler steering system problems through several Technical Service Bulletins over the years, which instruct mechanics how to deal with a known issue that doesn’t require a recall.

FOLLOW FOX NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.