Townsville Bulletin May 15, 2015
A 19 year old man is expected to be charged with arson after a fire at the Great Northern Hotel.
The man, who was arrested by an off-duty police officer, is currently being questioned by police over a total of seven fires in Townsville.
Police say he was one of 15 people sleeping in accomodation at the hotel.
Earlier firefighters were called the Great Northern Hotel on Flinders street about 5.11am to put out two fires, one in the basement, the other in a bin in the carpark.
One person was taken to Townsville hospital in a stable condition suffering smoke inhalation.
Half an hour later another fire started at a business on Will St while an hour later fire crews responded to another business where a fire had broken out.
Investigations are continuing.
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Brisbane Times May 14, 2015
A toddler has died on his second birthday in a house fire in south-east Queensland.
The boy’s mother and four children escaped the blaze that destroyed the Beenleigh house just before 3pm Thursday.
Police said the fire occurred while the father was picking up a sixth child, the eldest, from school.
“The mother was home with the other five and she got four out,” Acting Inspector John Hamrey told reporters.
LA Times Melissa Healy 12 May 2015
In forensic science, fingerprints and DNA are beginning to look old-school. To catch perpetrators (or exonerate the innocent), future sleuths may find themselves collecting and comparing entire colonies of microorganisms and the people and places they inhabit.
The prospect that microbiotic analysis could become a powerful tool in identifying individuals or linking them with things they’ve touched or places they’ve been, are the subject of two studies out this week. In both, researchers used machine-learning and parallel processing techniques to “teach” computers to characterize microbiotic colonies, and to recognize patterns that would link a colony in one sample to that in another.
In one new study, researchers borrowed from concepts in microbial ecology and computer science to demonstrate that people have a variety of “microbial fingerprints” that could be used to distinguish them from many others, and to show that those fingerprints don’t change significantly over time.
Link to PNAS abstract
Request the PNAS source article from Information & Research Services (QH Staff only)
Link to full text: Forensic analysis of the microbiome of phones and shoes
in Microbiome 12 May 2015
ABC News Paul Robinson14 May 2015
A crime scene has been established around a Rockhampton house, which is being searched for clues into the suspected double murder of Chantal Barnett and Robert Martinez.
Officers investigating the disappearance of Ms Barnett and Mr Martinez arrived at a house in Norman Gardens on Rockhampton’s north side last night.
Forensic officers were at the house late into the night as they carried out examinations.
Ms Barnett, 27, and her partner Mr Martinez, 26, were last seen alive in March 2013 around the Rockhampton and Yeppoon areas.
Late last year, human remains found on a 6,000 acre-property at Rockhampton were confirmed to be those of Mr Martinez.
Townsville Bulletin VANESSA MARSH May 14, 2015
CREWS are scouring bushland at Herveys Range in the hunt for the body of Townsville woman Julie Hutchinson.
Mrs Hutchinson was reported missing on April 9 and her husband has since been charged with her murder.
Today’s search will focus on an area of bush in a military training area at High Range.
Defence personnel will be involved in the search due to the operation taking place in the military zone.
A police spokeswoman said this was not the only place of interest in the hunt for Mrs Hutchinson’s body and “any other items of interest” in the alleged murder.
Qld Police Media 13 May 2015
Police are appealing for witnesses following the armed robbery of a financial institution at the intersection of Leichardt Street & Upper Edward Street in Spring Hill this afternoon.
Brisbane Times news report
QPS News 12 May 2015
Police are investigating a fire that damaged a horse stable early this morning at Calliope. A dressage horse that was inside the stable died, and a man received minor burns attempting to save it. A crime scene has been declared whilst investigations are conducted.