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Afternoon News- Biker traveling to Arctic Circle for the children : Friends of biker killed in police chase hold tribute ride : Vaiusu bikie brothers refused bail in NSW

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Home Town Volusia New

Biker traveling to Arctic Circle for the children

  • By Tom Holton

In the early morning hours of June 13, Carl Sutter, 75, will climb on his 800-pound Yamaha motorcycle and embark on a 12,000-mile round-trip to Alaska’s Arctic Circle region.

It will be the New Smyrna Beach motorcyclist’s sixth annual long-distance ride to raise money to support children’s programs sponsored by the Southeast Volusia Kiwanis Club.

And, he admits, the thought of making such a rigorous trip at his age can sometimes be overwhelming.

“I must admit I have more than my share of fear on embarking on this ride,” said the veteran biker, who likes to point out that the circumference of the earth is 24,900 miles and “I’m on my second trip around.”

But fear also can be a motivational factor, he said.

“The fear of failing will drive me to accomplish the riding and fundraising goals that I’ve set,”  Mr. Sutter explained. “The primary purpose for this arduous ride is to raise money for Kiwanis’ efforts to aid children. My thoughts during the ride are constantly on the mission to help kids who deserve assistance in life.”

As on all of his Kiwanis fundraising rides, friends and supporters will gather for a traditional coffee kickoff between 8 and 10 a.m., Saturday, June 9, at Hottie’s Coffee at the corner of Mary Street and U.S. 1.

Extensive planning and preparation for what Mr. Sutter calls his “most daring ride” have been ongoing for about nine months.

“My training has involved painful gym workouts, three or four times a week in an effort to be in the best physical shape a 75-year-old man can be for the grueling ride,” he mused. “I may be crazy as some people have suggested, but I am not nuts. I will be prepared.”

That goes for his trusty motorcycle, too.

“The Iron Horse is ready to go, as this rider,” he said. “Damien, owner of the Rusted Wrench Cycles, my good friend and trusted motorcycle mechanic, has carefully gone over the bike and officially certified it for the ride to Alaska.”

Ann Sutter, his wife, has agreed to come out of retirement and will accompany her husband on the exhaustive journey, but in the comfort of the chase car, he said.

The couple will keep a long list of supporters and followers informed about the trip via daily posted emails and on the Kiwanis Facebook page.

Kiwanis Club President Bryan Tudeen said Carl Sutter’s annual motorcycle ride is one of the major fundraising events the club relies on to fund its children’s and education projects.

“Through Carl’s ride and our other fundraising event, Strike it Rich, we raise tens of thousands of dollars each year. It all goes to the benefit of kids in Southeast Volusia,” he said. “This year we will donate $15,000 to our Bob Noss Teacher’s Grants project where we fund teacher projects in Southeast Volusia schools, and we also designate funds for over 30 other projects.

Funds are raised by donors pledging donations of one or two cents per mile or for any other dollar amount.

“The whole idea is to raise money for the kids,” Mr. Sutter said, “It’s for them.”

The veteran biker, who has logged more than 500,000 miles over a 57-year span, completed a 10,771-mile round-trip “long ride” in 2016 to Canada’s Yukon Territory, fortunately, avoiding serious injuries when he had to lay his 2006 Yamaha Roadstar Midnight Silverado down only a hundred yards from the halfway point in Dawson City.

Mr. Sutter was pinned under the big bike after narrowly avoiding a utility pole. He was treated for injuries and began the return trip home a few days later.

A transplanted skier from upstate New York, Mr. Sutter is the self-published author of a novel, “An Iron Horse Saga,” the story of an adventurous cross-country motorcycle ride by “a deeply in love husband and wife.” He and Ann, his wife of 38-years, moved to Florida and New Smyrna Beach to take advantage of the warmer climate and pursue his second passion of motorcycle riding.

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ABC 57 News


MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Friends of “Indian” Johnny Williams held a tribute bike ride Tuesday night after he was killed in a police chase early Saturday morning.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office reports that Mishawaka police were called to a fight at the Phoenix Bar in Mishawaka a little before one o’clock in the morning Saturday.

Upon arriving, officers discovered that the alleged assailant was a female, who had just hopped on the back of 46-year-old Williams’ motorcycle.

Williams took off as police yelled out that they were chasing them.

A pursuit ensued and lasted until Williams crashed his motorcycle right next to the Marathon gas station near AM General off of Jefferson Road in Mishawaka.

Williams died due to his injuries.

His female passenger escaped with non life-threatening injuries.

Tuesday night, his biker community decided to remember how he lived.

“I think that you’re not even seeing a tenth of his friends right now. This street couldn’t hold the amount of people and bikes that loved Johnny Williams,” said Johnny’s friend since the 70’s, Danny West.

West called him a “rolling stone,” “shooting star,” and independent.

He was a rolling stone. He was a shooting star.”

“You could talk to hundreds of people, and they’ll all call him his best friend, because he was that kind of guy,” said West.

“Indian Johnny” was a lone-wolf Harley rider who was happy with his life despite stage four cancer, according to his friend.

“He’d be here for us, and we’re here for him,” said West.

He says the local biker community will never be the same.

“That’s what I want everyone to remember him by, the way he lived. He lived a good life,” said West.

As per protocol, the Mishawaka police officers on the FACT squad called to investigate recused themselves, but the commander says it shouldn’t affect manpower.

Williams’ funeral will be held Thursday, May 31 at Palmer Funeral Home in River Park.

The viewing begins at 10 a.m.

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9 News

Vaiusu bikie brothers refused bail in NSW

Two brothers face multiple charges following the massive seizure of $2.75 million in cash, 13 firearms and illicit drugs, with one of the alleged bikies nabbed at Sydney airport as he returned to Australia.

Peter Vaiusu, a 34-year-old Commanchero associate, was arrested as he arrived from New Zealand on Thursday, with the handcuffed man lashing out at police as he was led through the airport.

Officers jumped on his back and restrained him after he swung out at the police camera filming the arrest before he was loaded into a waiting police wagon.

His arrest followed a raid the previous day at a storage facility at inner-city Waterloo.

Officers from Strike Force Raptor and the Drug and Firearms Squad allegedly seized the huge sum of cash, drugs and firearms, including five sub-machine guns and two semi-automatic pistols.

AAP understands the guns will be tested to see if they are connected to crimes including underworld murders and robberies.

A video taken and shared online by Vaiusu in February, at the funeral of slain Commanchero kingpin Mick Hawi, appears to show him filming himself in a stand-off with police and accusing Strike Force Raptor of searching a group without justification.


Vaiusu’s social media profile shows him waving wads of $50 notes and talking about making his parents proud as he lives “life on the ligit (sic) lane”.

His younger brother, Henry Vaiusu, 32, was arrested by tactical police during a vehicle stop near the airport on Thursday afternoon.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Smith alleged the men were connected to crime gangs operating in Australia.

“Criminal groups are quite interesting. In NSW they work in each others’ company at times, they move in amongst other criminal gangs and groups,” he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

“These two are obviously connected, the investigation established that and they were arrested – they are certainly participating with others.”

Supt Smith wouldn’t confirm police used tear gas to subdue Henry Vaiusu, but said he made no apologies for Raptor’s harsh treatment of organised crime.

Police also raided at a home unit at Homebush, seizing items relevant to the ongoing investigation.

The brothers faced Sutherland Local Court on Friday facing a slew of charges.

Both have been refused bail until their next scheduled appearance at Central Local Court on July 26.