ABC News(NEW BERN, N.C.) — Hurricane Florence is pummeling North Carolina, making landfall with life-threatening storm surges and wind gusts.The storm hit Wilmington, North Carolina, Friday morning with a 105 mph wind gust, the strongest wind in the city since 1958.In Wilmington, a tree fell on top of a home, sending one person to the hospital, police said.Flood conditions will worsen through the relentless rainfall over the next couple days, officials warned.“The sun rose this morning on an extremely dangerous situation, and it’s getting worse,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, calling Florence a “thousand-year rain event.”Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous agreed, telling ABC News, “I see a biblical-proportion flood event that’s going to occur. I see the beach communities being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic.”Here’s the latest:As the rough winds toppled trees and power lines on Friday, power was knocked out to more than 600,000 North Carolina customers.More than 30 inches of rain have fallen in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. If confirmed by the National Weather Service, that would break the state record for rainfall from a tropical cyclone.In Bayboro, North Carolina — one of the areas under evacuation — resident Kim Dunn stayed behind. She was trapped in her truck surrounded by rising water Friday as her boyfriend and his cousin were stranded on a paddle boat less than a mile away.The water was as high as street signs, and “we have no way to get to them,” Dunn told ABC News Friday morning.“They’ve been out there for about six hours now, just screaming for help,” she said. “Only communication we have with them is just me flashing my lights to them, and I think they have a flashlight they’re flickering back to us.”Dunn — the mother of a 10-month-old, a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old — said she made a decision to stay behind while others fled.“We were trying to figure out if we had enough finances to get out, and if we were to get out, were we going to be able to get back home? So we made a decision to stay,” she said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to be before the water actually starts to come into the apartment.”In nearby New Bern, where water levels reached at least 10 feet overnight, 150 people requested a rescue. Volunteers are using private boats to pitch in and help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said.The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater.New Bern resident George Zaytoun chose not to evacuate and is trapped inside his home.“It’s like a bomb has gone off,” Zaytoun told Good Morning America Friday. “Everything around us is underwater.”Zaytoun now regrets his decision, he said.“I think we kind of let our guards down,” he said of his community’s response to the storm being downgraded to Category 2 from 4.Florence “is twice the size of Hurricane Hugo,” which tore through the Carolinas in 1989, New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told Good Morning America.Gov. Cooper said Friday, “As soon as it is safe, first responders will make sure they go and rescue people who need to be saved from this storm.”Some people were arrested for breaking into cars as Hurricane Florence approached North Carolina Thursday night, Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram told ABC Wilmington affiliate WWAY-TV.“If you seek to prey upon the citizens of Brunswick County, we’re going to do everything we can to lock you up,” Ingram warned. “I made sure ahead of time that we had adequate space for anybody that wanted to try that.”The rainfall is forecast to reach up to 40 inches in some areas over the next several days.Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state. River flooding may be worse than Hurricane Floyd in 1999.“We are expecting several more days of rain, and our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger and then we will shift to putting our communities back together,” Cooper said Friday.“I know North Carolinians. We’re going to make it through this because we’re going to stick together and we’re going to work together.” Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
FBI Charlotte(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The man suspected of sexually assaulting and killing 13-year-old Hania Aguilar was connected through DNA to a rape from 2016 — but investigators never followed up on that DNA evidence, and if they did, that likely would have saved the girl’s life, prosecutors said Wednesday.“This hurts,” Robeson County, North Carolina, District Attorney Johnson Britt told reporters. “This is like taking a punch to the gut and not being prepared to get it.”Michael McLellan, 34, is accused of abducting and killing the teen in November. Her disappearance sparked a massive manhunt and her body was found in Robeson County weeks later.Britt said he met with Hania’s mother and stepfather “to explain to them what had happened to express my regret, and our regret, that this had been missed. And that in all likelihood had this gone forward and we established a case against him at that time, Hania would not have died.”The missed opportunity came in 2016 when a victim’s rape kit — for a case in which there was no suspect — was sent for analysis, Britt said.The kit was analyzed in 2017, and Britt said the district attorney’s office was told there was a hit from the Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS, meaning that DNA found from the 2016 victim’s rape kit possibly matched DNA of someone already in the system.CODIS contains DNA samples of known offenders convicted of felonies. McLellan had been convicted of first-degree burglary in January 2007, a class D felony, according to the North Carolina Department of Corrections’ website.Britt said an email including that information was sent to the sheriff’s office, copying the district attorney’s officeAt that point, Britt said that information should have given the sheriff’s office probable cause to seek a search warrant, obtain a DNA sample from McLellan and compare that sample to the 2016 rape kit.As Britt held the CODIS report in his hand Wednesday, a reporter asked him if the information on that paper could have saved Hania’s life.“Potentially yes, and probably yes,” Britt responded.Britt said his office and the sheriff’s office are trying to determine how this evidence was overlooked.Hania was abducted outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home in Lumberton on the morning of Nov. 5.She had taken the keys to her aunt’s SUV to start the car when a man dressed in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face forced her in the car and drove away, police said. The stolen SUV was found three days later in Lumberton.Britt said Wednesday that, through the recovered car, McLellan became a suspect in Hania’s kidnapping one week after she vanished, though he was not officially named a suspect until weeks later. By that time McLellan was in custody for a different crime, prosecutors said.Evidence from Hania’s recovered body also linked McLellan to the crime, Britt said.McLellan is charged with 10 felonies in Hania’s case including first-degree murder, first-degree forcible rape, statutory rape, abduction of a child and first-degree kidnapping, the FBI said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Released by Boston Police(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — A Rhode Island man is facing federal kidnapping charges for allegedly abducting a young woman who was found dead in his car.Louis Coleman III, 32, of Providence, Rhode Island, faces one count of kidnapping, which resulted in the death of Jassy Correia, a 23-year-old Massachusetts woman last seen leaving a Boston nightclub, authorities said on Sunday.Correia, who has a 2-year-old daughter, was last seen Feb. 24 leaving Venue Nightclub, where she was celebrating her birthday. Her body was found in a suitcase in the trunk of a car stopped by police on a Delaware highway last week.Investigators said she was seen getting into a car with a man later identified by police as Coleman.“The interstate kidnapping resulting in death is the most applicable charge and carries the highest possible sentence. It’s a mandatory life charge and a death-eligible charge,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said.Police searched Coleman’s Rhode Island apartment last week and obtained surveillance that appeared to show him entering the building carrying a body wrapped in a blanket, authorities said.“I can’t tell you how upsetting this is,” Boston Police Commissioner William Gross told ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV. “No family should ever, ever have to go through this.”Correia’s cousin, Katia Depina, said at a news conference last week that the family was “all devastated by what happened.”“She did not deserve this. She went out to celebrate her birthday and never returned home,” Depina said. “We want justice for her death.”Coleman was arrested Thursday and was held at a jail in Delaware. He’s expected to make an initial appearance in federal court later Monday. It’s unclear whether he’s retained an attorney. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock(ATHENS, Ga.) — A fraternity at the University of Georgia has been suspended after video allegedly showing members whipping someone and referring to them picking cotton surfaced on social media.Georgia’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon was suspended by the national chapter and the video was condemned by the university. The frat also announced it had expelled four members who were involved in the video on Saturday.“Tau Kappa Epsilon is disgusted, appalled and angered by the remarks shown in the video,” the national chapter said in a statement. “TKE does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory, and/or offensive.”“Since 1899, our fraternity has taken much pride in the diversity and uniqueness of our membership,” the statement continued. “Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause in our membership. Our founders believed, as we do today, in the personal worth and character of the individual, not his wealth, rank or honor.”The video, which has circulated on social media at the school, shows a member of the fraternity lightly hitting another with a belt and saying, “Pick my cotton, b—-.” The person being hit responds, “I’m not black.”Another person in the room says, “You’re not using the right words,” to which the member with the belt says, “Pick my cotton, n—–.”All four members in the video have been kicked out of the fraternity.The school chapter said the video was not filmed during an official fraternity function and did not take place on the chapter’s premises. It referred to the video as “racist,” “discriminatory” and “offensive.”The university also released a statement condemning those involved and said an investigation was being conducted. For now, the members remain enrolled at the school.“The University of Georgia condemns racism in the strongest terms,” the school said in a statement. “Racism has no place on our campus. We will continue our efforts to promote a welcoming and supportive learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.”“The fraternity has been suspended by its national organization,” it continued. “Whenever we receive complaints of racist or discriminatory conduct, we refer such matters to our Equal Opportunity Office in accordance with applicable laws and policies.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Daytona Beach Shores Dept. of Public Safety(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — A woman in Florida is facing charges including neglect after her 3-year-old son nearly drowned in a Daytona Beach resort hot tub while she was allegedly intoxicated, according to authorities.Apryl Connolly, 36, of Deltona, Florida, was with the boy and his twin brother and the children’s father in a hot tub at Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort in Daytona Beach around 10 p.m. Sunday.The father was swimming with the boys in the hot tub when they were alerted that the pool area was closing. He then took the boys to a table where Connolly was so he could pack up the family’s belongings, according to an affidavit from the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety. “At the time, he left both children in the custody of the defendant who was seated at the table,” the affidavit said. “A short time later, he saw people jumping in the hot tub and exiting the water with the victim.”Surveillance footage released by authorities, which has no sound, showed the children standing unsupervised on the hot tub’s interior seat before one boy steps into the middle of the hot tub and goes underwater.Wanda Van Blarrume, the resort desk clerk, was watching the surveillance video from the lobby and alerted staff member Michael Johnson that the boy may be drowning, the incident report said.About two minutes after the boy initially went underwater, the footage showed Johnson turning the hot tub’s jets off, jumping into the tub and pulling the child out.“Mr. Johnson initially began CPR and was later joined” by the children’s father, the affidavit said. According to police, the 3-year-old did not have a pulse and was not breathing.Another woman who was at the resort took over CPR until the child began to breathe on his own. The child was rushed to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in serious condition, police said.“While people are attending to the victim, the defendant can be seen pacing the deck around the hot tub,” the affidavit said.In addition to being charged with child neglect, Connolly was also charged with destroying/tampering of evidence after officers reviewing the surveillance footage saw her throw something from her purse in the garbage.As officers looked into the garbage can, according to the affidavit, “the defendant began to laugh and stated, ‘They must be looking for the blue pill I threw out.’”Authorities said a blue pill was later found in the garbage can and it was submitted for testing. Connolly allegedly told officers that the family had arrived to the hotel earlier that day and that the adults had consumed alcohol before and while in the pool area. She told police she did not know what the pill was but had gotten “nervous” after her son was found in the hot tub and tossed it, according to the affidavit.“The defendant admitted to feeling ‘buzzed’ and that she thought other people were watching over her kids and that she could relax,” the affidavit said.Police said that in subsequent interviews with investigators Connolly and the children’s father each had allegedly admitted to consuming marijuana, alcohol and oxycodone. She also admitted to consuming Suboxone, the affidavit said.Connolly was arrested and is in jail without bond, the incident report said. No lawyer was listed for the suspect in court records.Police told ABC News on Tuesday that the boy is in stable condition and is doing fine.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Alex Stone/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — In an effort to protect the delicate flowers, officials at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve have be working hard to keep selfie-seeking guests on the paths and out of the fields. Little did they know they had to watch out for helicopters, too.On Monday afternoon, a couple flew over the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve and landed their helicopter in the poppies, according to California State Parks PIO Jorge Moreno. The incident was captured by a poppy field guest.“We never thought it would be explicitly necessary to state that it is illegal to land a helicopter in the middle of the fields and begin hiking off trail in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, but recent events have shown that we were wrong,” the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve said in a now-deleted Facebook post.When law enforcement officials tried to approach the couple, the pair ran back to their helicopter and flew off.This season’s super blooms across California have drawn massive crowds determined to get a glimpse of the beauty. The influx of visitors has not been without challenge to the communities and their poppies.Over the last two weeks, for example, the city of Lake Elsinore has struggled to keep its poppy fields open. On March 17, it said on its Facebook page that the fields had been closed due to a lack of resources. A few days later, however, they reopened with new plans in place to control vehicle and foot traffic.The California State Park staff have been preparing for this year’s bloom for months, and created the #DontDoomTheBloom and #BeautyITheBloom to create social awareness and responsibility, according to Moreno. They’ve noticed visitors both at the park and on social media educating each other on how to properly enjoy the blooms.“This year’s bloom is spectacular and we understand that visitors want to take that great photo but going off trails or laying on the flowers causes irreversible damages to the natural habitat,” Moreno told ABC News.Those who stray from the path could be fined, Moreno said, noting that fees will vary.“We understand this may not seem like the crime of the century, but it only takes the actions of a few to wreck the scenery for years to come,” Antelope Valley Reserve said on Facebook.As for the two who landed their helicopter, Moreno said that California State Parks is continuing to investigate the incident.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Courtesy Pagnini family(NEW YORK) — Hanging out and taking selfies on the beach is hardly an unusual pastime for a 13-year-old girl. But Megan Pagnini never expected a day at the shore to turn into the nightmare of being attacked by a sea lion.The teen was in Pismo Beach, California, along the state’s central coast, last Friday evening when her and a friend walked down to the water after dinner.“I was at the water, I was just playing around, jumping — having fun,” Pagnini told ABC News’ Good Morning America in an interview airing Friday. “And I was taking silly pictures, when all of a sudden, it came out of nowhere and bit my leg.”The “it” she was referring to was a very angry sea lion.The animals are common in the region, and Pagnini said she thought nothing of the animals swimming in the area.“I thought they were just so cute and little and mostly just like little like beans that were just swimming around being cute,” she said. “I thought they were just the most adorable little things. They’re just the puppies of the sea.”“And now I think they’re really scary. I don’t want to get near one or see one ever again,” she added.In video her friend was filming at the time of the attack, Pagnini is seen playing in the shallow water when she suddenly shouts and grabs her leg.“I just thought to just scream and try to get help because I didn’t even know what was happening,” she said. “My brain couldn’t really process it.”Pagnini suffered a deep gash to her leg and was rushed to the emergency room. They kept the wound dressed with bandages, while dead tissue was removed Thursday and the wound was finally stitched up, she said.“It’s very unusual to have a sea lion attack on a human,” Todd Tognazzini, patrol captain for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told ABC News. “There are many thousands of surfers that use the water every day in California; there are many people who go into the water and this type of event is extremely unusual.”Tognazzini said the animal tested positive for domoic acid poisoning. Domoic acid is produced by algae and accumulates in the shellfish and small fishes consumed by sea lions. It can cause neurological damage, and the strange behavior seen in the sea lion that attacked Pagnini, he said.“We knew that the girl had been transported to the hospital, so our concern was whether the animal was gonna cause harm to someone else,” Tognazzini said. “Our officer spotted what he believed to be the correct animal, it was behaving very strange, it actually exited the water and was in a state of stupor. It was biting sticks along the beach and actually worked its way up to a lifeguard tower on the beach, and it’s metal, and it bit the base of the lifeguard tower.”He called the attack “a complete anomoly,” and said, “There was nothing this young lady could have done to stop this from happening.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Jose Jimenez/Getty Images(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Police in Puerto Rico deployed tear gas near the governor’s mansion in San Juan late Wednesday after someone on the protesters’ side tossed fireworks nearby.There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths. Police earlier had requested protesters leave the area immediately in front of the mansion. Residents, officials and authorities in San Juan earlier in the day were gearing up for large demonstrations in the Puerto Rican capital, as protesters went back to the streets to continue demanding the resignation of embattled Gov. Ricardo Rosello.San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told ABC News in a call on Tuesday night that she expected Wednesday’s planned protest to be the largest they have seen yet — with 20,000 people marching from the Capitol building to the governor’s mansion. She credited the involvement of musical artists who had called for protests.On Saturday, the nonprofit journalism group Center of Investigative Journalism published nearly 900 pages of conversations from a leaked group chat between Rosello and several top aides that detail efforts to manipulate public narratives, operations to discredit negative press coverage and criticism of opposition leaders.The conversations, made through the Telegram app, also contain sexist, homophobic and misogynistic comments from the members of the group, according to the report. These messages have not been independently authenticated by ABC News. After the revelation of the messages, Rossello announced the resignation of a number of government officials including Luis Rivera Marin, the secretary of state.“I have not committed any illegal acts, or corrupt acts. I committed an improper act,” Rossello said of the Telegram chat group messages.But by Monday, the Old San Juan streets surrounding the governor’s mansion were filled with hundreds of protesters calling for Rossello to leave. Clashes left nearly two dozen police officers injured.On Tuesday, Rossello apologized for his involvement in the messaging but insisted that he would not resign.“I’m not proud of what I did. Those were merely comments, but they were hurtful comments. And I apologize for what I’ve done. But, I need to move forward, continue on with the work I’m doing for Puerto Rico,” he said.He said he understood Monday night’s protests were a direct message against him and his administration.“I will continue in my job,” a defiant Rossello said from the governor’s mansion, adding “my commitment is to keep on working.”On Wednesday, Royal Caribbean said that a second cruise ship — this time, the Harmony of the Seas — would not be stopping in San Juan because of concerns about the demonstrations.“Due to the ongoing civil unrest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we have cancelled Harmony of the Seas’ call to San Juan. Harmony will now sail to St. Maarten, her next scheduled port of call. Concern for the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew members is our top priority,” the company said.The previous day, Royal Caribbean said it that had canceled a planned stop to the city by its Empress of the Seas and would be rerouting to Tortola.“Our guests will receive refunds for prepaid shore excursions. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will make adjustments as necessary,” the company said in part.In response to the news that the Empress of the Seas would not be docking in San Juan, Cruz told ABC News Tuesday night that there are times where one has to “forego a little today to ensure a lot tomorrow.”White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a written statement on Tuesday that the latest political developments on the island “prove the President’s concerns about mismanagement, politicization, and corruption have been valid.”The governor responded to the White House’s comments, saying “Corruption is a social evil. It’s a social evil in the private sector, it’s a social evil in local government, it’s a social evil in the federal government.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
MivPiv/iStock(NEW YORK) — The family of James “Whitey” Bulger signaled its intent Friday to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Justice Department, nearly a year after the Boston gangster was beaten to death in federal prison.Bulger, who was 89 when he died last October, had been moved into the general population of the federal penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, where he was attacked within hours. “We believe that James Bulger was deliberately placed in harm’s way,” the family said in a statement provided to ABC News by their attorney Hank Brennan. “There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country’s most violent federal penitentiaries.”According to Bulger’s family, he had anticipated being moved from U.S. Penitentiary Coleman in Florida to a medical facility better equipped to manage his failing health. “Instead, he was transported to USP Hazelton, where he was murdered within hours of arrival,” the family’s statement said.The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment, citing pending litigation. The FBI has been investigating Bulger’s death, but has yet to bring any charges. The family said its notice of claim is meant to get answers.The lawsuit is seeking $200,000 in damages, but the family noted that they expect no financial benefit since any award to Bulger’s estate is subject to forfeiture orders.Bulger, an FBI informant, had been serving a life sentence for crimes committed while head of the Winter Hill gang.He had been linked to 11 murders. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock(LOS ANGELES) — A grand jury in Boston on Tuesday returned additional charges against 18 people tied to the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal.The new charges affect 11 of 15 previously charged parents, including actress Lori Loughlin, and seven university officials. Mossimo Giannuli, Loughlin’s husband, is also included in those facing additional charges.The jury in the District of Massachusetts is alleging that 11 defendants — Gamal Abdelaziz, Diane Blake, Todd Blake, Mossimo Giannulli, Elisabeth Kimmell, Lori Loughlin, William McGlashan Jr., Marci Palatella, John Wilson, Homayoun Zadeh and Robert Zangrillo — “conspired to commit federal program bribery by bribing employees of the University of Southern California (USC) to facilitate their children’s admission,” according to the Department of Justice statement.The charges, announced in separate statements by the U.S. Department of Justice, may not have come as much of a surprise after prosecutors had warned parents who didn’t plead guilty that they could face additional charges, attorneys involved in the case told ABC News.Wilson, of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, additionally has been charged with two counts of substantive federal programs bribery in connection with efforts to use bribes to get his children into Harvard University and Stanford University.The indictments also include more charges against McGlashan Jr., Wilson, Zangrillo and Joey Chen, who stand accused of fraud and honest services wire fraud in connection with previous charges.The new charges apply only to parents like Loughlin who have opted not to plead guilty to the initial indictment. Parents who’ve already pleaded guilty or agreed to pleas were spared additional charges.There are no immediate court appearances associated with the new charges. The main effect is to expose the accused parents to additional prison time at sentencing should they be convicted.“Today’s charges are the result of ongoing investigation in the nationwide college admissions case,” Andrew E. Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Our goal from the beginning has been to hold the defendants fully accountable for corrupting the college admissions process through cheating, bribery and fraud. The superseding indictments will further that effort.”The seven university officials facing additional charges are: Gordon Ernst, Donna Heinel, Jorge Salcedo, Mikaela Sanford, Jovan Vavic, Niki Williams and William Ferguson.They’re accused of “conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and honest services mail and wire fraud, in connection with the previously charged scheme to accept bribes and engage in other forms of fraud to facilitate cheating on standardized admissions tests and to secure the admission of students to elite universities by designating them as purported athletic recruits or members of other favored admissions categories,” according to the statement.Ernst, Heinel, Salcedo, Sanford, Vavic and Williams also “face substantive wire and honest services wire fraud charges in connection with the scheme,” the DOJ said. Additionally, Ernst, Heinel, and Salcedo are facing new charges of “conspiring to commit federal programs bribery by soliciting and accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of students to the universities where they worked: Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, and The University of California — Los Angeles.”Ernst also has been charged with “substantive counts of federal programs bribery and money laundering,” the statement said.There are no immediate court appearances associated with the new charges, but the main effect is to expose the parents to additional prison time at sentencing should they be convicted.Those now facing additional charges were arrested earlier this year, or in 2018, for their roles in the $25 million college admissions scandal allegedly masterminded by William “Rick” Singer.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
DNY59/iStock(NEW YORK) — A New York trial judge on Thursday denied a motion by Harvey Weinstein’s defense team to recuse himself from the case after vigorously scolding the Hollywood producer earlier this week and threatening to revoke his bail for using a cellphone in the courtroom. In a 15-minute ruling read aloud from the bench, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge James Burke defended his admonishing of Weinstein, contending the producer was “defiant and challenging to court officers” on Tuesday when he was ordered to stop using his phone in court. Burke went on to acknowledge that “I was just trying to scare him” into ceasing use of the phone. Burke noted that he has repeatedly warned Weinstein to not use his phone in court, but his exasperated warning on Tuesday — in which he asked Weinstein “Is this really the way that you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?” — prompted Weinstein’s attorneys to seek his recusal, for the scolding and for a number of other rulings adverse to the defense. The motion seeking Burke’s recusal cited “comments [that] were so inflammatory, biased and prejudicial that they have virtually gone viral.”On Thursday, the judge defended his behavior. “Let me first just state the obvious,” said Burke, after denying the motion. “There’s nothing prejudicial or inflammatory for scolding the defendant. If using strong or even hyperbolic language succeeds after stern admonitions have failed, then the court has accomplished its goal.”Burke said Weinstein brought the censure on himself.“Your client was noncompliant and defiant and challenging to court officers when asked to put away one of his phones,” he said, referring to Tuesday’s dust up. “Ironically, I was concerned that there might be a perception that Mr. Weinstein was getting better treatment and more chances than other defendants, but I didn’t worry about that too much, because the reality is — judges seems to always give at least three strikes, and then one final transgression.”“And your client is certainly at that place,” Burke added.Weinstein is facing five felony counts for allegedly raping one woman in 2013 and forcibly performing a sex act on another. Jury selection continued on Thursday following Burke’s ruling and is expected to continue into Friday. “I certainly never actually meant that I was going to put your client in jail for life,” Burke added. “We are obviously [going to] great length to obtain for Mr. Weinstein a fair and impartial jury, which is to say in plain language: All I meant to do was scare him enough for him to discontinue the use of his phones.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The Northeast is expected to have another hot and humid day with flash flooding possible. A Heat Advisory has been issued from New York City to Hartford, Providence and Boston with temperatures near 90 degrees and, with humidity, it will feel like its 90 to 100 for most of the I-95 corridor. Thankfully much cooler and drier air is moving into the Northeast Thursday and into the weekend. In addition to the heat, a flash flood watch has been issued from Virginia to New Jersey including Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Already Wednesday morning, areas just southwest of D.C. have seen 2 to 4 inches of rain with flash flooding reported there. As a very slow moving cold front stalls in the area, more flash flooding is expected in the Mid-Atlantic states and some areas could see up to 4 inches of rain in a short period of time.Meanwhile in the West, it’s very dry, windy and extremely hot. The Grizzly Creek Fire continues to burn in western Colorado and Interstate 70 is still shut down after several communities in the area had to be evacuated on Tuesday. The wildfire is now down to 3,200 acres and no containment with 211 personnel fighting the fire. Also, a brush fire broke out outside of Los Angeles Tuesday, near Chatsworth, right next to freeway 118. Up to 150 personnel were fighting the fire and it was finally under control by the evening hours. There is bad news for wildfire fighting in the west as more dry, gusty winds are now forecast. Most of the western states from California to Montana are now on alerts for either fire danger, extreme heat or gusty winds. Temperatures are expected to hit close to 120 by the end of the week in the Southwest from southern California to southern Arizona.Elsewhere, Tropical Depression 11 could become Josephine later Wednesday which would make it the earliest “J” named storm in recorded history in the Atlantic Ocean. At this time, it is expected to strengthen with winds of 60 mph by Friday morning, but the good news is that it looks like it will miss the Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico.After that, conditions are expected to become unfavorable and the system is expected to weaken and possibly recurve and miss the U.S. completely. It is still worth watching, however, since this has been a very active year in the Atlantic Ocean.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 979,000 people worldwide.Over 32 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 6.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 202,563 deaths.California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 797,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 743,000 cases and over 693,000 cases, respectively.Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least six of which are in crucial phase three trials.Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:Sep 24, 4:33 pmFrance reports record case increaseThere were 16,096 new COVID-19 cases reported in France on Thursday, marking the highest one-day rise since the beginning of the outbreak, French health authorities said.The nation now has over 497,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19.The death toll increased by 52 on Thursday, bringing the fatality total to 31,511.France reported 4,258 new hospitalizations in the last week, including 718 patients in intensive care.France on Wednesday announced new restrictions to combat the rise in cases.Starting Monday in Paris and seven other major cities, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Bars must shut their doors at 10 p.m., gyms will be closed and sporting events will be limited to 1,000 spectators.Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Guadeloupe are enacting stricter rules; starting Monday all bars and restaurants will be closed.ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfoud and Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.Sep 24, 3:38 pmCDC forecasts 214,000-226,000 deaths by Oct. 17The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasts that the U.S. will lose another 3,400 to 7,400 lives to COVID-19 by Oct. 17, bringing the nationwide death toll to between 214,000 and 226,000.The national death toll currently stands at 202,404, according to Johns Hopkins University.ABC News’ Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.Sep 24, 3:29 pmBoulder bans gatherings for 18 to 22 year oldsIn Boulder, Colorado, people ages 18 to 22 will soon be banned from all gatherings, whether indoors, outdoors, or with people outside that age range, the Boulder County Public Health Department announced.This comes after nearly three weeks of cases rising in Boulder County, “with the vast majority” connected to 18 to 22 year olds, “particularly those attending the University of Colorado Boulder,” the department said.“While there has been little evidence of spread of the virus beyond the 18-22 age group, the continued increase in new cases in the city of Boulder prompted the Public Health Order to help prevent the spread to other community members,” the department said.The health department also calls out 36 addresses where the department claims residents “repeatedly engaged in activities that violate public health orders.” Those residents must stay in their homes for two weeks, only leaving for essential services, according to the Health Department.The order will last for two weeks, beginning at 4 p.m. local time on Thursday.Residents in the 18 to 22 age group are exempt for exercising outside alone, studying outside alone and going to work if they don’t live in one of the homes with stay-at-home requirements.Young adults can interact with relatives they live with, and those in high school can participate in school activities, the department added.“While there has been little evidence of spread of the virus beyond the 18-22 age group, the continued increase in new cases in the city of Boulder prompted the Public Health Order to help prevent the spread to other community members,” the department said.ABC News’ Jennifer Watts contributed to this report.Sep 24, 1:47 pmUK reports highest number of new daily casesThe United Kingdom reported 6,634 daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, reaching a new record high.The U.K. now has over 412,000 coronavirus cases and at least 41,951 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins data.ABC News’ Mike Trew contributed to this report.Sep 24, 1:02 pmContact tracing app launched in England, WalesThe United Kingdom’s long-awaited contact tracing app launched in England and Wales on Thursday.The app, available to download for free on iPhones and Androids, alerts users if they’ve come into contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.“The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case,” the Department of Health and Social Care said. “It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.”The BBC reported that over 1 million people have already downloaded the app.ABC News’ Mike Trew contributed to this report.Sep 24, 12:15 pmAfrica sees steady decline of new casesAfrica has seen a steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported across the continent since July 20, the World Health Organization said Thursday.Over the past four weeks, there were 77,147 new cases recorded in Africa, down from 131,647 reported in the previous four weeks. Some of the continent’s most-affected countries including Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa have all seen infections drop every week over the past two months. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have also remained low in the region.Africa was the only region in the world to report a decline in both new COVID-19 cases and deaths for the week of Sept. 14-20.The WHO credited the decline to “a variety of socio-ecological factors as well as early and strong public health measures taken by governments across the region.” The socio-ecological factors include low population density and mobility, hot and humid climate and lower age group.“The downward trend that we have seen in Africa over the past two months is undoubtedly a positive development and speaks to the robust and decisive public health measures taken by governments across the region,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in a statement Thursday. “But we must not become complacent. Other regions of the world have experienced similar trends only to find that as social and public health measures are relaxed, cases start ramping up again.”Africa’s COVID-19 cases have largely been among a younger age group and more pronounced in a few nations rather than continent-wide, suggesting country-specific aspects are driving the pattern of disease and death. About 91% of infections in sub-Saharan Africa are among people below the age of 60, while over 80% of cases are asymptomatic, according to the WHO.Although African governments have made efforts to improve COVID-19 testing, the level remains low. Nevertheless, the WHO said missed COVID-19 cases are largely because they are asymptomatic and that there is no evidence of miscalculation of death figures.“Africa has not witnessed an exponential spread of COVID-19 as many initially feared,” Moeti said. “But the slower spread of infection in the region means we expect the pandemic to continue to smolder for some time, with occasional flare-ups.”Sep 24, 10:40 amRussia sees highest daily caseload since JulyRussia confirmed 6,595 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day increase since July.An additional 149 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded in the past day, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.Meanwhile, Moscow reported more than 1,000 new cases over the last 24 hours for the first time since June. The Russian capital also registered 15 new deaths.Russia’s cumulative total now stands at over 1.12 million confirmed cases — the fourth highest caseload in the world — and nearly 20,000 deaths.Last month, Russia became the first country in the world to officially register a COVID-19 vaccine and declare it ready for use. The Russian government approved the vaccine before completing its final Phase III trial, and no scientific data has been released from the early trials so far.ABC News’ Alina Lobzina contributed to this report.Sep 24, 10:09 am870,000 more Americans filed for 1st-time unemployment last weekAnother 870,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.While the number of people filing for unemployment insurance in the United States has stagnated in recent weeks, the latest figure shows a concerning uptick of 4,000 compared with the previous week’s revised figure. It is also the 27th straight week of historically high weekly jobless claims.Despite the number falling significantly since March, when 6.9 million people applied for unemployment benefits in a single week, the latest figure also shows that workers are continuing to be laid off at an unprecedented rate some six months into the coronavirus pandemic.More than 26 million Americans are still receiving some sort of unemployment insurance benefits as of the week ending Sept. 5, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For the same period last year, that figure was 1.5 million.ABC News’ Catherine Thorbecke and Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.Sep 24, 8:17 amSwiss authorities quarantine university’s undergraduate studentsSwiss authorities have ordered a quarantine for the entire undergraduate student population of a prestigious hospitality management school after “significant outbreaks” of COVID-19.Health officials in Switzerland’s Vaud canton, or region, announced Wednesday that all 2,500 undergraduate students at the “Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne” (EHL) must self-quarantine until at least Monday, whether they live on- or off-campus. Those who develop symptoms are advised to get tested for COVID-19, if necessary.“Significant outbreaks of infection have appeared in several levels of training, making it impossible to close more targeted than that of the 2,500 students concerned,” health officials said in a statement, adding that student parties are suspected to “be at the origin of these numerous outbreaks of infection.”Classes will continue online in the meantime.Health officials said the school’s administrators are taking “all the necessary measures” to ensure that learning isn’t disrupted and to reinforce health measures on campus.ABC News has reached out to the school for comment.Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health has reported at least 51,492 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,809 hospitalizations and 1,776 deaths.Sep 24, 6:43 amIsrael moves to tighten restrictions as cases climbIsrael’s government has decided to tighten coronavirus-related restrictions as cases continue to climb, despite a second nationwide lockdown.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted early Thursday to close all nonessential businesses, including open-air markets. The cabinet also agreed that prayers and political demonstrations should be limited to open spaces with a cap of 20 people and that participants should not be allowed to travel more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from home to attend either.The new measures are set to go into effect Friday afternoon, as the Jewish state shuts down for the weekly Sabbath ahead of Yom Kippur on Sunday and Monday. The restrictions on demonstrations, however, are subject to approval by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.Israel has seen one of the world’s highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks. The country entered a second lockdown last Friday and it’s slated to last until mid-October.Sep 24, 5:57 am22 US states and territories in upward trajectory of new casesAn internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night shows that 22 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of COVID-19 infections, while 13 jurisdictions are at a plateau and 21 others are in a downward trend.The number of new cases and the number of new deaths recorded in the United States are both increasing in week-over-week comparisons. There also continues to be a steady rise in the number of hospitals nationwide where more than 80% of beds in intensive care units are filled, according to the memo.In Alabama’s Limestone County, 90% of ICU beds across two hospitals were in use. The Alabama Hospital Association confirmed that a shortage of nurses is a statewide issue in both hospitals and universities due to a lack of faculty, facilities and funds, the memo said.Florida’s Leon County reported a 20% increase in COVID-19 cases among children since Aug. 10, around the start of the new school year, coinciding with a 20% increase in pediatric hospitalizations, according to the memo.Meanwhile, the number of new cases recorded in Kentucky have increased by 21% since Sept. 13. The state’s seven-day fatality rate has doubled since then, from 13.4 to 26.4 per 1 million population. The number of COVID-19 tests being conducted statewide declined by 45.2% during the week ending Sept. 17, compared with the previous week, according to the memo.Michigan’s seven-day case rate increased by 154.4% from Sept. 13 to Sept. 20. The state also reported a 38.1% week-to-week relative increase in COVID-19 testing on Sept. 17. Officials attribute the surge to schools and colleges, with 20-year-olds making up the largest portion of total cases, the memo said.Sep 24, 4:51 amUS records over 1,000 new deathsAn additional 1,098 coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the United States on Wednesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Wednesday’s tally of COVID-19 deaths is lower than the country’s record set on April 17, when there were 2,666 new fatalities in a 24-hour reporting period.There were also 36,330 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed across the nation on Sunday, down from a peak of 77,255 new cases reported on July 16.A total of 6,934,205 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 201,909 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then.An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night shows that the number of new cases and the number of new deaths recorded in the United States are both increasing in week-over-week comparisons.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Kuzma/iStockBy KARMA ALLEN and LUKE BARR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allegedly discussed taking similar action against Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam over his COVID-19 restrictions.The men — Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta — appeared in court on Tuesday as prosecutors outlined why they should be locked up pending trial. They were charged with attempting to take Whitmer and others hostage at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, last week.A spokesperson for Gov. Northam said the FBI had previously notified his security team about the plot.“The FBI alerted key members of the Governor’s security team throughout the course of their investigation. Per security protocols for highly-classified information, neither the Governor nor other members of his staff were informed,” the spokesperson said. “At no time was the Governor or his family in imminent danger. Enhanced security measures have been in place for Governor Northam and his family for quite some time, and they will remain.”The suspects are allegedly part of a larger group of self-proclaimed militia members from around the country who met online earlier this year to discuss plots against elected officials. The plan to go after Northam allegedly came up during a July 18 meeting in Dublin, Ohio.During questioning by federal prosecutors, FBI Special Agent Richard Trask detailed specifically how seriously the men were about carrying out the plot. They also played videos and showed photos of the men during what the FBI describes as training for a possible event.Trask detailed the plot to allegedly surveil the governor’s home, which included timing the response from law enforcement to her house and blowing up a bridge that connected law enforcement to her residence.Prosecutors also went into specific detail about the code names that were allegedly used by the six men, and how they enlisted the help of the Wolverine Watchmen — another group that was brought up on state charges — to allegedly carry out the planned attack.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
kali9/iStockBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News(TAMPA BAY, Fla.) — A 14-year-old boy was run over and killed by a woman in her 20s who herself sustained a gunshot wound following a physical altercation with the teen, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The incident occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. in the Carrollwood neighborhood of Tampa Bay, Florida — just 6 miles north of where the Super Bowl was being played the same evening — when authorities were dispatched to The Place at Carrollwood apartment complex following reports of an incident.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies learned that the female driver and the teenage boy had gotten into a physical altercation just minutes before the boy was run over. Authorities say that the driver of the vehicle is believed to have been involved in the initial confrontation.“At some point, shots were fired toward the driver, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “The woman, in her early twenties, was transported to the Citrus Park Emergency Room, where she is currently in critical condition.”The 14-year-old boy died after being struck by the vehicle but it is unclear whether he died at the scene of the incident or if he was taken to the hospital.“We are extremely saddened by the tragedy that resulted from a meaningless fight,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “A child is dead because of the irresponsible actions of adults who engaged in a verbal dispute and allowed it to escalate. Our detectives are processing the scene, interviewing witnesses, and working to determine who fired the shots. At this time, no arrests have been made and the motive is under investigation. Those who saw or heard something are urged to come forward.”It is not currently known if the two people involved in the incident knew each other but the case is still under active investigation and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has asked anyone with information to contact them regarding the case.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
The trial has wrapped for the day.Mar 29, 5:27 pm3rd witness, who told Chauvin to stop kneeling on Floyd, testifiesDonald Williams, the professional mixed martial arts fighter who can be heard in a witness video criticizing Minneapolis police officers during their encounter with Floyd, was called by the prosecution as its third witness Monday.Williams was walking around the corner from the Cup Foods when he heard a commotion and saw Floyd on the ground with Chauvin kneeling over him, he testified.Floyd “was speaking in a distressed way” when Williams got there, vocalizing to the officers that he was in pain and that he wanted his mom, Williams said.“His breathing was getting tremendously heavy,” Williams said, adding that it was apparent that he was struggling to gasp for air.At one point, Floyd’s eyes then “slowly rolled to the back of his head” and his nose started bleeding, and soon after he was “lifeless,” Williams said.Williams said his experience as a fighter led him to believe that Chauvin’s position on Floyd’s neck was putting Floyd in imminent danger.Another witness on the scene who is a paramedic told the officers multiple times to check Floyd’s pulse, but no one did, Williams said.Mar 29, 3:54 pmProsecution calls 2nd witness, employee of store across the street from Cup FoodsAlisha Oyler, a shift manager for the Speedway located across the street from Cup Foods, first noticed police officers “messing with someone” when she began watching the encounter involving Floyd, she told prosecutors Monday.Oyler took seven separate video recordings on her cellphone but could not immediately recall details, stating that it had “been so long.”Mar 29, 3:48 pmDefense tries to establish that 911 dispatcher was not an expert on use of force policiesDuring a cross-examination, defense attorney Eric Nelson walked 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry through the timeline of the encounter and pressed her on her knowledge of Minneapolis Police use of force policies.Nelson seemed to want the jury to know that Scurry was not familiar with how police handled such incidents.Scurry acknowledged that she has only seen police incidents play out live on monitors in the dispatch center three to four times in the seven years she has been a dispatcher.ABC News’ Whitney Lloyd contributed to this report.Mar 29, 1:44 pm“My instincts were telling me that something was wrong,” 911 dispatcher saysJena Scurry, the Minneapolis 911 dispatcher, told the court she had a “gut instinct” that something was wrong.Scurry said she continued to take calls but noticed that the squad car in front of the Cup Foods did not have officers surrounding it.The next time Scurry looked up, she saw the officers placing Floyd in the back of the car.Scurry said she later knew “something might be wrong” when she saw Floyd on the ground.When Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank asked what made her think something was amiss, Scurry said dispatchers rarely see videos of active scenes on those cameras. Moreover, the fact that Floyd went from the back of the squad car to the ground and officers had not requested additional assistance worried her, Scurry said.“I took that instinct and called the sergeant” who supervises police officers, she said.Court recessed for lunch after Frank was done questioning Scurry.Mar 29, 12:37 pmProsecution questions first witnessJena Scurry, a 911 dispatcher who watched Floyd’s encounter with police unfold on a fixed police camera, was the first witness to take the stand Monday.Scurry began by explaining the tools she utilizes to do her job. She said dispatchers have access to cameras that are placed around the city.Mar 29, 12:10 pmOpening statements have wrapped.Mar 29, 12:00 pmFloyd was struggling with officers before Chauvin arrived, defense saysFloyd was struggling with officers who were trying to get him in a squad car when Chauvin arrived on the scene, Nelson said.After Chauvin asked whether Floyd was under arrest, he assisted the other officers in their attempts to get Floyd in the car.The struggle was so profound that the squad car could be seen rocking back and forth in a fixed police camera. The image caught the attention of a police dispatcher, Nelson said.Chauvin then used what is called a “maximal restraint technique” to restrain Floyd, Nelson said.“You will learn that Derek Chauvin did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19-year career,” Nelson said.Mar 29, 11:54 amThe evidence goes beyond the video, defense saysEric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, emphasized during his opening statement that the evidence for the case is “far greater than 9 minutes and 29 seconds.”The evidence has been collected “broadly and expansively” and includes several police experts and at least 200 civilian witnesses, Nelson said.Nelson will spend the trial talking about “reason and common sense and how that applies to the evidence,” Nelson said.The store clerk at Cup Foods who accused Floyd of making a purchase with a fake $20 bill will be among those who testify, Nelson said.Attorneys will also question one of Floyd’s friends who was in the Mercedes-Benz after he left the store. The friend previously stated that Floyd consumed what she believed to be two Percocet pills before police arrived. Floyd then fell asleep, Nelson said.When officers arrived, Floyd put drugs in his mouth in an effort to conceal them from police, Nelson said.Mar 29, 11:29 amThree witnesses “called the police on the police” during Floyd encounter, prosecutor saysThree people who witnessed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck called 911 on the officers who were at the scene, Blackwell said.A first responder, who was distressed that the officers were not checking Floyd’s pulse or performing chest compressions on him, called the police, Blackwell said.Another man, who Blackwell described as a “very focal” bystander with a background in security and mixed martial arts, also called the police.The third person was a 911 dispatcher who could see the encounter through a fixed police camera on the scene.The incident was “so unusual, and for her, so disturbing,” that she called a sergeant at the police department to alert him to what was happening, Blackwell said.Mar 29, 11:42 amChauvin watches intently as prosecutor plays witness videoBlackwell played a portion of the 9 minute and 29 second video taken by a witness on May 25, 2020.“For half of that time, Mr. Floyd was unconscious, breathless and pulseless,” Blackwell said.Blackwell said Floyd can be seen repeatedly heaving his right shoulder into the air. This move was an attempt by Floyd to expand his ribcage so he could breathe, as he was “pancaked” between the hard pavement beneath him and Chauvin on top of him, Blackwell said.Chauvin watched intently as the video was played in the courtroom.Mar 29, 11:05 am“Mr. Chauvin betrayed his badge,” prosecutor saysDerek Chauvin failed the responsibilities that come with the badge he was given by the Minneapolis Police Department when he pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck and killed him, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said in opening statements Monday.Part of the oath Minneapolis police officers take is to enforce the law “courteously and appropriately,” while “never employing unnecessary force,” Blackwell said, adding that Chauvin violated both when he engaged in the “grinding and crushing” of Floyd “until the very life was squeezed out of him.”“Mr. Chauvin betrayed his badge,” Blackwell said.Floyd was unarmed, in handcuffs and did not present a threat to anyone, Blackwell said.“He was completely in the control of the police,” Blackwell said. “He was defenseless.”Blackwell vowed to give Chauvin a fair trial, but stated that he was “anything but innocent” on May 25, 2020 — the day that Floyd died.The prosecution plans to prove that Chauvin engaged in “force that he applied without the regard for its impact,” Blackwell said.Mar 29, 10:50 amAttorneys for George Floyd’s family speak ahead of trialThe civil rights attorneys representing the family of George Floyd — Benjamin Crump, Antonio Romanucci and L. Chris Stewart as well as Rev. Al Sharpton — spoke to reporters Monday morning.“Today starts a landmark trial that will be a referendum on how far America has come in its quest for equality and justice for all,” Crump said, with Floyd’s family present.Crump stressed that the evidence against Chauvin speaks for itself, saying this “murder case is not hard.”“We’re not asking for anything extraordinary,” Crump said. “We’re asking for equal justice under the law.”Mar 29, 10:36 am15th juror to be excusedHennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill will excuse the 15th juror chosen for Chauvin’s trial as court gets underway.The first 14 jurors are present and will be sworn in and seated.Eight jurors are white and six are people of color, including four jurors who self-identify as Black. There are nine women and five men.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Courtesy Ben Crump LawBy JULIA JACOBO, ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS) — The trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, begins Monday in Minneapolis.He faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder.The trial is expected to last four weeks. Mar 29, 5:39 pm
Previous Article Next Article Strong pound could hit BMW investment plan• BMW could be forced to scrap its plans to build a new medium-sized car atRover’s Longbridge plant, near Birmingham, because of the soaring pound. Groupproduction director Peter Forster said even if the European Commission approvedthe Government’s £152m aid package the planned £1.5bn investment at Longbridgecould be cancelled if sterling remained at its current level – more than 40 percent higher than when BMW bought Rover six years ago. “We believe thestrong pound step by step erodes the manufacturing base and makes itincreasingly difficult to manufacture in the UK,” he said. His commentsare one of the strongest pleas from a foreign industrialist for ministers totalk down the pound. Guardian UnlimitedAll energy company eyes turn to sale deal• Energy-to-telecoms group United Utilities triggered another round ofupheaval in the electricity supply industry by appointing Goldman Sachs tohandle the sale of its electricity and gas retail business Norweb Energi. Thecompany, which has about two million electricity and 400,000 gas customers isexpected to fetch between £350m and £400m. It is likely to attract theattention of major energy companies seeking to build major supply operations inBritain. This Is LondonRolls-Royce vows to keep up pre-tax profits• Rolls-Royce has promised it will continue to deliver double-digit earningsgrowth despite “challenging” conditions. The aerospace, marine andindustrial power group reported an 11 per cent jump in pre-tax profits for 1999on Thursday, towards the top end of market expectations. The group said pre-taxprofits rose to £360m, driven largely by a strong performance from its civilaerospace business, which accounts for almost 56 per cent of total sales of£4.74bn. Industrial power activities continued to be loss-making. Analysts werelooking for profits in the range of £335m to £368m. FT.com This week’s business round upOn 7 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. HR professionals may have to review grievance procedures to comply with the new Acas code of practice, due to come into force next month.David Yeandle, Engineering Employers’ Federation deputy director of employment policy, told Personnel Today he is “concerned” about some elements of the code covering the right to be accompanied in grievance procedures.The code of practice, which updates the existing one on disciplinary practice and procedures, comes into effect on 4 September. It is also aimed at complementing the new statutory right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union official under the Employment Relations Act.But Yeandle said the code allows an individual accompanying an employee to ask questions and encourages them to take part in proceedings.“It seems the code is moving them closer to the role of representatives. HR departments will have to look closely at procedures to ensure they comply.“They will also have to get used to taking a more hands-on approach. This law could give unions direct influence on workplaces everywhere.”www.acas.org.uk Acas code calls for policy reviewOn 22 Aug 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Movers and shakersOn 1 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Who’s doing what on the national employment law scene? We give the low-down on this year’shigh-fliers, as chronicled in the latest Legal 500Once again employment law has seen a year of dynamic change, both in termsof substantive law and the market, with many firms enlarging their teams tocope with the continuing developments in this increasingly important practicearea. Heading the table again this year, two firms stand out in terms of both sizeand long-term commitment to employment law. Baker & McKenzie, ably led bypartner Christine O’Brien, has not been as adversely affected as was expectedby the departure in April 1999 of Fraser Younson. Among the work of the fivepartners and 21 assistants last year was the successful defence of a £9mwrongful dismissal case in Wheatley v Control Techniques and Emerson ElectricCo, and winning for bankers JP Morgan in an indirect sex discrimination casebrought by former female vice-president Aisling Sykes. Simmons &Simmons has an outstanding team, with four partners and 20assistants led by the high-profile Janet Gaymer and the other partners, WilliamDawson, Simon Watson and Mark Hewland, all highly respected practitioners. Inthe last year, the group has significantly expanded its financial servicescapability with new clients including Deutsche Bank, alongside existing clientsFirst National Bank of Chicago. Eversheds, with a national reputation for employment law, is a strong forcein London. The dynamic Elaine Aarons heads up a team of 14 assistants alongwith partners Roger Steel, Helga Breen and Rob McCreath. In the past 12 monthsthe firm has advised the FSA on the creation of the Financial Ombudsman schemeand advised CGU on its reorganisation following the merger between CommercialUnion and General Accident. Fox Williams is home to heavy hitters Ronnie Fox and Jane Mann. Fox is knownas a tough negotiator with a distinctive style, while Mann is the incumbentchairperson of the Employment Lawyers Association. The firm successfullydefended a sex discrimination claim for Charman Underwriting Agencies and alsoacted for the former managing director of Saga Petroleum in a discriminationsuit, illustrating both employer and employee expertise. Lewis Silkin’s employment team of five partners and ten assistants is jointlyled by Michael Burd and James Davies, strong players with complementary skills.The past year saw it act for Kamlesh Bahl in her dispute with the Law Societyand advise the Interpublic Group on the employment implications arising fromthe merger of The Lowe Group and Lintas, two of the UK’s leading advertisingagencies. Lovells’ London team of ten assistants is headed by Andrew Williamson andalso boasts partners David Harper, Naomi Feinstein and Elizabeth Slattery, whohas recently returned from an in-house secondment at Barclays Group. In thepast year the firm has been heavily involved in a number of significanttribunal cases for clients including Ford, Texaco and Esso, while on thecorporate side, it was involved in the Trinity/Mirror and Aegon/Guardian RoyalExchange deals. At Rowe & Maw, partners Julian Roskill and Nicholas Robertson are bothhighly regarded and in the past year, the firm has advised Reuters and VirginRail on corporate employment matters, as well as acting for Derek Wanless onhis departure from NatWest. Allen & Overy enjoyed a successful year, reporting 30 per cent growth inthe employment department, and recruiting high-profile Karen Seward fromPinsent Curtis. Mark Mansell leads a growing team of 14 assistants who workpurely on employment matters. New clients include CSFB, Cable & Wirelessand Coca Cola. At CMS Cameron McKenna, well-liked Simon Jeffreys heads a team of nineassistants with fellow partner Anthony Fincham. While corporate support workmakes up roughly one third of the practice, the firm advises and litigates forclients in a range of industries, including financial services,pharmaceuticals, retail, defence and engineering. Its client base includesAmazon.com and the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. Well-regarded David Green heads up the team at Charles Russell, whichconsists of 11 assistants along with fellow partner Lisa Mayhew. The firm actedsuccessfully on behalf of Suresh Anisetti in his high-profile racialdiscrimination case against Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank and also has a good corporateclient base. Clifford Chance LLP has three partners and 17 assistants. Department headChris Osman is ably assisted by partners Bruce Hedley and Chris Goodwill andwhile roughly one third of its practice is corporate support, Clifford ChanceLLP dealt with approximately 200 employment tribunal cases against the OpenUniversity. Following the merger of Denton Hall and Wilde Sapte, Denton Wilde Sapte nowboasts an employment team of five partners and eight assistants, led by therespected Stephanie Dale and Guy Fifield. Strong in entertainment, energy,banking, projects and insolvency, the new firm’s clients include Old Mutual plcand the World Professional Snooker and Billiards Association. Herbert Smith’s employment group has ten assistants and three partners, ledby the capable John Farr. Particularly strong on contentious matters, the firmacted for David Montgomery on his departure from the Mirror Group, litigatedagainst CSFB on the Flaming Ferraris affair and advised the government on theemployment implications of creating the Greater London Authority, involving thetransfer of 55,000 employees. The past year saw Linklater’s employment group, consisting of 16 assistantsled by the astute Raymond Jeffers, boost its contentious practice. Litigationpartner Mark Humphries has aligned his practice with the employment group andappeared for the AEB in the Court of Appeal in Humphreys v University ofOxford, an important Tupe decision. The firm also has an enviable corporateclient base which includes ABN Amro, Vodafone Airtouch and SmithKline Beecham. A firm with a strong national reputation for employment law, Osborne ClarkeOWA has three partners and 11 assistants based in London, with further plansfor expansion. Led by Christopher Southam, the firm counts Prudential and theProfessional Golfers Association among its client base. At Ashurst Morris Crisp, Caroline Carter heads a young and dynamic team. Thefirm acts for the new management at Arrows Formula One and was involved in theOne2One transaction on behalf of Deutche Telekoms. Beachcroft Wansbroughs is the acknowledged market leader for employment lawin the health field and in Elizabeth Adams, head of the national employmentdepartment, and Rachel Dineley, has two highly respected practitioners as wellas a team of ten solicitors. DLA has an excellent national reputation for employment and fields a team offive partners and 15 assistants in London, headed by Tim Marshall. Particularlyrecommended for discrimination cases, the firm has set up an HR consultancy inthe past year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is particularly strong on corporate work. Thefirm acted on the Hewlett-Packard demerger which involved the transfer of50,000 employees across 40 jurisdictions. Partners Peter Jeffcote and NicholasSquire are well regarded. Fraser Younson and David Dalgarno have got off to a strong start atMcDermott, Will & Emery, since beginning the practice in April 1999. Withseven assistants and plans for further expansion, clients include DresdnerKleinwort Benson, Levi Strauss & Co and Marks & Spencer. The first USfirm to invest heavily in employment, this is definitely one to watch. At Olswang, partners Catherine Taylor, Julia Palca and Sarah Keeble lead ateam of nine assistants with plans for expansion. Particularly known for itsmedia work, clients include Granada and the Guardian. Paisner and Co lost long-standing partner Stephen Levinson to KLegal inspring 2000 – a high-profile departure which will affect the department. But itretains a strong client base and a team of eight assistants led by partnerAlexandra Davidson. With a nationally respected employment practice led by Leeds partner Dr JohnMcMullen, Pinsent Curtis has expanded in London. However, the loss of respectedpartner Karen Seward to Allen & Overy is a blow. Clients include ThistleHotels and British Gas, while financial services is becoming an increasinglyimportant area for the firm. At Slaughter and May, the respected Howard Jacobs leads a large team whichis particularly recommended for corporate matters, while Speechly Bircham,headed by Alan Julyan, is also recommended. Kate Brearley and Tom Flanagan of Stephenson Harwood have excellentreputations. Brearley is known for her expertise in restrictive covenants,while Flanagan is an authority on Tupe and employee consultation. Taylor Joynson Garrett, where partners Andrew Granger and Carolyn Saundershead up a team of eight assistants, is recommended. The firm won Legal BusinessEmployment Team of the Year award 1999 for its work on the National Buslitigation. Theodore Goddard is also respected in the marketplace. In addition to the expertise available at the firms recommended here, otherfirms with good employment practices include Biddle; Lawrence Graham, whereGeorgina Keane of Richards Butler has joined Yvonne Gallagher as head ofdepartment; Clyde & Co; Field Fisher Waterhouse; Garretts; Glovers;Harbottle & Lewis; and Jones & Warner, where David Warner is building astrong niche reputation.
Related posts:No related photos. Theuse of personal data at work can be a sensitive issue. This summary provides aninvaluable guide to the key features of the new draft Code of Practice on DataProtection. By Joan Lewisand Linda GoldmanThenew Data Protection draft code of practice covers a very wide range ofstandards and best practice on the use of personal data at work. This summarysets out examples of some of the key areas of particular interest to OHprofessionals. Our aim is to highlight the importance of this new code that isset to come into force later this year. Afull copy of the code should be obtained from the Data Protection Commissionerso that any necessaryfull-action plans can be made by management, humanresources and OH departments. Thecode, which is a large document, is useful as a general human resources and OHguide. It proposes a more restrictive approach than is apparent from the 1998Act itself and indeed from the new Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000(RIP) and the Telecommunication (Lawful Business Practice) Regulations 2000.Thecode refers throughout to “employees” but makes special provision forcontract and agency staff so that the same standards apply.Thetable provides examples from the code. It gives a flavour of the wide range ofstandards covered by the draft that will have a direct effect on OH policiesand practice.Disciplineand dismissalMattersof discipline and dismissal are not set out in the table as these come withinthe ambit of all record keeping, particularly with reference to data beingobtained and used fairly and lawfully (Principle 1). Also, retention of recordsof former employees is covered in most other areas of record-keeping. Therecommended time limits for keeping old records are shown below.Applicationform and duration of employment–References received – 1 year–Payment and tax information – 6 years–Sickness records – 3 years–Annual leave records – 2 years–Unpaid or other special leave records – 3 years–Appraisal or assessment records – 5 years–Promotion or disciplinary records – 1 year from end of employment–References of information enabling reference provision – 5 years fromreference/end of employment–Summary record of employment – 10 years from end of employment–Records of accident or injury – 12 years from end of employmentLindaGoldman, LLB, BDS, is a barrister specialising in employment law andmedico-legal matters, and training consultant to Advisory Training andConsulting Associates Ltd and Virtual Personnel. Joan Lewis, MA (Law &Employment Relations) is a consultant specialising in employment law andrelations for ACT Associates & Virtual PersonnelDataProtection Act 1998 Occupational Health NotesPrinciple1Data must be fairly and lawfully processedApplicableto recruitmentVerification standards– Give applicant the opportunity to rebut third-party informationPre-employmentvetting – Only vet where a job offer is to be made– Ensure vetting is specific to the job and the individual and no more– Ensure compliance with at least one of the sensitive data conditions wheredata is sought about family or close associatesRetentionof recruitment records – Obtain informed consent to retention of records for use for a potentialfurther vacancyApplicableto employment recordsCollectionof information – Inform new staff what information will be kept about them, whereobtained, how used and circumstances where and to whom it may be disclosed– Obtain informed consent to use of personal data– Ensure that personal information is relevant and not excessive to theemployment relationshipMaintainingrecords – Ensure that personal information is relevant and not excessive to theemployment relationshipSicknessrecords – Only hold sickness records with explicit consent of the employee or ifone of the other conditions for processing sensitive data is satisfied– Explicit consent depends on each employee being told the extent ofinformation that will be held in sickness records and how this will beused. Obtain evidence of consent– Release of sickness records to managers should be limited to informationreasonably required for management purposesOccupationalhealth schemes– Obtain written consent to processing of data concerned with health. Theemployee must know the extent to which information given to a healthprofessional directly or indirectly is made available to and used by othersApplicableto medical testing Generalstandards– Establish the specific business reason for testing– Medical tests should be proportionate to the risk involved in failure to testwhether by risk to others or to the individual concerned or if in relation to ahealth benefit such as sick pay– Pre-employment medicals are justifiable to determine whether an employee isfit for the particular job or if eligible to join a pension or insurance scheme– Proportionate measures such as the use of a health questionnaire should begiven first preference– Only carry out tests on properly targeted employees unless blanket testing isjustifiablePrinciple2Data must be processed for limited purposes and not in any mannerincompatible with those purposesApplicableto recruitmentRetentionof recruitment records– Vetting information should be kept securely until complete thendestroyed, save for keeping a record that vetting has been carried outApplicableto employment recordsOccupationalhealth schemes– Obtain written consent to processing of data concerned with health. Theemployee must know the extent to which information given to a healthprofessional directly or indirectly is made available to and used by othersApplicableto medical testing Generalstandards– Establish the specific and genuine business reason for testingPrinciple3Data must be adequate, relevant and not excessiveApplicableto recruitmentApplicationform standards– Require minimal personal information specific to the job in question– State if information is to be taken from other sourcesPre-employmentvetting – Only carry out vetting if all other criteria for making a job offer havebeen satisfiedApplicableto employment recordsTellnew employees of their rights under the DPA 1998Collectionof information – Obtain informed consent to use of personal data and ensure that personalinformation is relevant and not excessive to the employment relationshipOccupationalhealth schemes– Obtain written consent to processing of data concerned with health. Theemployee must know the extent to which information given to a healthprofessional directly or indirectly is made available to and used by others.Data must be processed in accordance with standards set out in the ethicalguidelines of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College ofPhysiciansApplicableto medical testing Generalstandards– Ensure testing is carried out as a necessary and proportionate matter toensure there is no risk to health and safety of the individual or others or tosecure a health benefit such as sick pay– Pre-employment medicals are justifiable to determine whether an employee isfit for the particular job or if eligible to join a pension or insurance scheme– Only carry out tests on properly targeted employees unless blanket testing isjustifiable– Drugs and alcohol testing should be part of a voluntary programme fordetection of abuse– Substance testing should be by properly qualified persons Principle4Data must be accurateApplicableto recruitmentVerificationstandards– Give applicant the opportunity to rebut third-party informationVetting– Ensure vetting is specific to the job and the individual and no more– Attempt to ensure accuracy where there is justification for obtaininginformation about the applicant’s family or close associates as it will bedifficult for them to rebutApplicableto employment recordsMaintainingrecords –Ensure information in employee records is accurate and up to date. Good practice: provide every employee with acopy of his/her basic record annually and ask for identification ofinaccuracies and what amendments are needed– Incorporate accuracy, consistency and validity checks– Require emergency contact not “next of kin” Applicableto medical testing Generalstandards– Testing for drugs and alcohol should be by properly qualified persons(The commission refers to tests of “the highest technical quality”and to interpretation of results by a medically qualified person competent inthe field of drug testing)Principle5Data must not be kept for longer than necessaryApplicableto recruitmentRetentionof recruitment records – Establish and adhere to retention periods for recruitment records wherethey need to be kept for business purposes. Suggested retention periods:4 months from the date of confirmation of an unsuccessful application4 months from the date of confirmation that another candidate was appointed toa shortlisted position–Vetting information should be kept securely until complete then destroyed, savefor keeping a record that vetting has been carried outPrinciple6Data must be processed in accordance with the rights of the individualApplicableto recruitmentApplicableto access and disclosureSubject access– Ensure that information is available within 40 days of the request being madeand on receipt of the current £10 fee– Ensure that information is only released to actual data subject– Provide information on file with reasons for why it is kept and explanationof any otherwise unintelligible terms– Ensure information is not provided which identifies other persons unless thethird party consents to its releaseReferences– Ensure identity of third party is not revealed– If third-party information is integral to the reference, special proceduresare set out in the code appendix allowing for consent by the third party or theoverriding interest of the data subjectPrinciple7Data must be kept securelyApplicableto recruitmentApplicationform standards– Provide secure method of transmission for on-line applications– State for whom data is being provided and how it will be usedApplicableto retention of records generallyStandardsof keeping sickness records– Release of sickness records to managers should be limited to informationreasonably required for management purposesStandardsof security– Apply proper security standards as identified in BS7799 to protect fromrisk of accidental or unauthorised intervention leading to loss or destructionof or damage to employment records– Use system and password controls for information to be released to definedpersons on a “need to know” basis– Maintain a log and audit trail of all access to the records– Ensure reliability of staff having access to records– Unauthorised or otherwise improper access to records is a seriousdisciplinary offence and may also constitute a criminal offence– Take stringent precautions when transmitting data by e-mail or fax to ensuresecurity encryption and receipt by the individual addresseeOccupationalhealth schemesCOMPLIANCE IS REQUIRED WITH THE STANDARDS SET OUT BY THE FACULTY OFOCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE– Obtain written consent to processing of data concerned with health. Theemployee must know the extent to which information given to a healthprofessional directly or indirectly is made available to and used by others – Security measures to be appropriate to the nature of sensitive data processedin connection with an occupational health scheme. Information should not bereleased even to occupational health professionals unless on a “need toknow” basisApplicableto access to recordsDisclosureof references– Confidential references should not be given without the express consentof the subject to disclosure of the referenceDisclosurerequests– Clear policies should be established and adhered to so as to ensuredisclosure is only made to the proper subject who is entitled to access.Security measures include only accepting written requests and informing theCommissioner where it is suspected that an attempt is being made to obtain informationby deception: remember that there is nolegal requirement to disclose even where a failure to do so would prejudicecrime and taxation– Disclosure should be by staff trained in data protection procedures– Records should be kept of non-routine disclosures– Disclosure records should be checked and procedures updated regularly– Remind staff regularly that disclosure to the wrong person is a criminaloffence. It should be a disciplinaryoffence as well. Errors or deliberate releases of information should bereported to the Commissioner Principle8Datamust not be transferred to countries which do not have adequate protection.Exerciseparticular caution with any information transfers outside the European EconomicArea and seek permission from employees in these circumstances. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Avoiding the pitfalls in data protectionOn 1 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today
The number of voluntary sectororganisations facing recruitment problems has risen by half in only three months,according to a survey by recruitment firm Reed.The Reed Skills Index,which tracked the recruitment trends of nearly 1,500 organisations for thefirst three months of this year, reveals that 67 per cent of voluntary groupsreported difficulty finding suitably skilled staff. This represents a growth ofnearly 50 per cent on the previous quarter.World developmentcharity Cafod has had trouble filling editorial and facilities managementpositions. It was offering salaries between £23,000 and £25,000.Roger Morton,personnel officer at Cafod, said, “Candidates have dropped out because oursalary levels are lower than they can get outside.”He said charitiesshould tackle the problem by better targeting advertising in order to attractpeople interested in the work, for whom salary is not an issue.While voluntary groupsare hardest hit by the recruitment crisis, over half of businesses have alsobeen unable to find suitably skilled and qualified people.One in five ofemployers who have had recruitment problems said secretarial and administrativevacancies are a problem. Accountancy and sales recruitment posts are also hardto fill.Many of the businessessurveyed said skills shortages led to more pressure on existing staff. Theysaid they face reduced profits due to pressure to raise salaries and the lackof human capital to resource plans for growth.While an upwardpressure on salaries is cited by many as an impact of the current skillscrisis, this is most prevalent in the public and voluntary sectors.James Reed, chiefexecutive of Reed said, “The year-on-year rising trend indicates asteadily increasing problem for business which should not be ignored.”www.reed.co.ukBy Gideon Burrows Charity sector hardest hit as war for talent continuesOn 18 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
The management of a Scottish NHS trust has been accused of bullying tacticsand creating a blame culture by an independent health watchdog. The report by the Scottish Health Advisory Service (SHAS), called Servicesfor Mental Health in Lanarkshire, also criticised the HR department of aLanarkshire Primary Care NHSTrust for failing to adequately handle complaints. The SHAS says, “We are very worried about the management cultureexperienced by some people in the Lanarkshire services.” The report says the HR department has experienced a number of personnelchanges and that this, coupled with poor funding for the trust (the secondlowest in Scotland), has “radically reduced the HR service to the MentalHealth and Learning Disabilities Directorate during the past year”. Some investigations into staff conduct were occurring without the staffmember being informed, claims the report. It concludes, “This approach to managing complaints and the way inwhich people are choosing to raise matters of concern might be contributing tothe under-reporting of problems and staff at all levels responding defensivelywhen problems are raised. “There were hints of a long-standing, deep malaise and a subculturewhere clearly un-acceptable practice has been tolerated.” The HR director of Lanarkshire Primary Care NHS Trust was unavailable forcomment. Previous Article Next Article Watchdog criticises ‘bully culture’On 9 May 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Increasing numbers of staff in the retail sector are victims of violence,according to a recent survey by the British Retail Consortium. The eighth annual Retail Crime Survey shows that five employees in every1,000 were victims of violence in 2000 compared with four per 1,000 in 1999. The main cause of physical violence was theft by customers, which accountedfor 75 per cent of cases in 2000, compared with 53 per cent in 1999, and verbalabuse has also increased over the same period. Bruce Robertson, head of HR for Pret à Manger, thinks the retail sectorshould adopt a zero-tolerance attitude to reverse the trend. “Everyemployer has a moral duty to protect the people who work for them. Stores indifficult areas may need a security guard. This should be seen not as a costbut as a necessity.” Ray Baker, sustainable development controller for DIY chain B&Q, saideffective training and good working practices help minimise risks to staff. The survey reveals that the number of staff being threatened with violencefell from 18 per 1000 staff in 1999 to 14 per 1,000. The findings are based on a postal survey, which drew responses fromcompanies trading through 17,164 outlets in the UK. Related posts:No related photos. Call for retailers to protect staff against violenceOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today
Comments are closed. HRpractitioners need to start asking themselves how HR can effectively contributeto the business. Is HR really adding value? asks Denis W Barnard Ihave often wondered why it is that if HR needs to account for its existence,senior company officials continue to appoint HR staff in the first place? Inmany cases each organisation seems to have its own flimsy agenda for this, withspecifications ranging from company scapegoats, welfare workers, corporate axemen and backstops for feeble management.Now,after decades of trying to justify their own existence, HR practitioners shouldbe asking themselves the big questions: what are the key areas where HR caneffectively contribute to business; should HR be represented at board level –and why? Atthe heart of any responsible business there has to be an infrastructure ofcontracts and policies that have a facility for rapid updating on a continuingbasis. Apart from the compliance and clarity that these provide, there is alsothe increasingly important issue of risk containment, given the escalatingscale of remedies for cases of failure by an employer. Anymanager of any function neglects this aspect at their peril, because one lostcase can spawn a raft of like actions. To add to these core necessities shouldbe a compensation and benefits system that works for company and employeesalike, and a serviceable information system for management reporting. Second,it is essential to have a plan and operable procedure to develop the people youhave, and future ones – unless you are in a business that can afford to losestaff and replace them at no cost. Most managers want stable departments withstaff who have been around so long they can do the job blindfolded. Whatthey don’t understand is that they are not maximising the talents of thosepeople who have them and want to move on, and are losing the opportunity tointroduce new blood in the entry-level jobs. Third,an honest appraisal system coupled with a realistic development programme isneeded, realising that there will not always be room for everyone further downthe line, certainly not for those who don’t make the grade. The desired resultwill be better people moving through, up – and on occasion out – of theorganisation in a way that benefits both sides by trading performance and inputfor development, experience, reward and continued employability.Anycompany “touched” by a meaningful HR presence should be left with thelegacy of an environment of challenge and examination. Goodways of achieving this are deploying facilitation skills to assist businessteams to brainstorm new ideas or problem solving; hooking them on staff surveysto take the temperature at regular intervals (and doing something about itwhere necessary); making them analyse exit interviews to see where they arefailing and, crucially, get colleagues at all levels to stop thinking likeemployees but more like individual business people. Everyone should askthemselves “if this were my company/money, would I really do this?”Thelinks between HR and recruitment have been unravelling for some time, and maybein the near future they will effectively die altogether. In many cases, theonly expertise HR has to offer on this is selecting the medium in which toadvertise and schedule in the interviews. By all means design the bestprocesses for successful sourcing and selection, transfer the skills to theirrightful owners – the line managers – and then let it go.Imaintain that HR people can initiate the above three strategies but only untilthey are rolling satisfactorily. After implementation, the necessary skillstransfers should be effected and then it is time to move on, not start buildingbusiness empires and polishing your alloy wheels. An outsourced provider can doany or all of these aspects, and certainly after that the ongoing strategy andapplication can be purchased off-the-shelf from one.Incase anyone reading this is wondering why I haven’t mentioned aligning HR tothe business plan, I should say that many companies don’t have a business plan.Some have one but keep it secret, and others have one but having formulated it,seem to forget it exists. If you have access to one that genuinely seems todrive the organisation, the job will be made easier. The three actions outlinedabove are common for any business to succeed. Asfor HR representation on the board, I’ve yet to hear a really sound andsustainable business reason for this. To flip the matter over, I read recentlyone of the downsides of outsourcing is that it minimises the chance of HRpeople becoming directors! Perhapswe should consider: what are the areas of HR operational expertise that areeither non-transferable or unavailable elsewhere that can justify the cost of aboard director year after year? It’s a time for HR professionals to take areality check on what they are doing, how long they’ve been doing it, and ifthey can make a case for their existence in the form that they recognise it.DenisW Barnard is CFO and a founding director of hrmeansbusiness ltd. www.hrmeansbusiness.com Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Accounting for HROn 1 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today
Professional dilemmasOn 1 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Do you have an e-learning problem? Then ask our experts to find a solution.E-mail it to the address at the bottom of the page Q We’re thinking of putting some of our induction material online? Isthis a good idea and can you suggest what type of material works well online? A Yes. A common complaint from inductees is that they have so muchinformation thrown at them during their first few days that very little sinksin. The benefit of creating an interactive, online induction course is that youcan check the retention of information every few screens with short quizzes. Itcan also be accessed prior to the employee starting with the company. An online induction can be as brief or as comprehensive as you feel yourorganisation needs. You can include information on international offices,sports and social activities offered and a map of the building with keylocations indicated. Other material could revolve around IT and e-mail policies so new startersare up-to-date with these prior to joining. Progress with reading this materialcould be tracked and this could be added to staff records, which might beparticularly valuable if there were compliance issues involved. Not all induction material should be put online because it might alienatenew starters who like to feel a personal connection with the firm they arejoining. However, there are key pieces of information which many employees liketo go through a few times. By providing this online, it frees up HR personnelto concentrate on those essential areas that require personal interaction, suchas a personal welcome, introduction to team members and reviewing the staffhandbook. It may well be that you look to an external supplier to provide a bespokesolution. If this is the case, make sure you are able to edit, update and addto content yourself, as within any company, there can be frequent changes aspeople join, leave or change their jobs. If internal resources are limited,commissioning bespoke work is one option. Either way, an updateable solutionensures that your induction programme can grow with your needs. Response provided by Gail Nugent, e-learning consultant and project managerat IQdos Ltd – www.iqdos.com Comments are closed.
Related posts:No related photos. UK women not taking enough exerciseOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Four out of five British women are endangering their health because theyfail to take enough exercise, a survey by charity Cancer Research UK hasconcluded. A poll of 1,142 UK women found most exercised less than three times a weekfor 30 minutes or more, and one in four did none at all. Only one in five metthe Government recommendation of exercising five times a week or more for 30minutes. Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at the charity, said:”It is very worrying that such a large proportion of British women takeless than the recommended amount of exercise, or none at all. This could leadto serious health problems.” The survey followed a review by Cancer Research UK-funded researchers atBristol University, which showed regular exercise could cut the risk of bowelcancer by up to 50 per cent and possibly help prevent breast, lung andendometrial cancer. Nearly 40 per cent of women polled said lack of time stopped them fromexercising more often. Nearly a fifth put it down to a lack of motivation. The survey was published to coincide with the launch of the campaign toraise awareness of the 10th anniversary of the Tesco Race for Life, thecharity’s women-only 5km fundraiser. www.cancerresearchuk.orgwww.raceforlife.org
Supermarket hops on blunder busOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article At a time when supermarkets are locked in a battle for supremacy a managerat Sainsburys has made an amazing blunder after insulting its customers. Lisa Collins, head of health and beauty at the group, has been forced toapologise after branding the supermarket’s customers ‘pikeys’ during aconference. Collins was talking about Sainsburys expanding a new product range to itsstores in Hereford, Croydon and Cobham, “or, as we call them, our pikeycustomers”, she said. Sainsburys apologised for the remark, which it claimed was ‘an off-the-cuff,flippant remark’ meant as a joke, but conceded it was a serious error ofjudgement. Fran Cotton, an adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment, said the incident “shows the importance of communicationstraining for managers, especially when they are dealing with externalshareholders and the media”. Top five gaffes1. 1991: Entrepreneur Gerald Ratner described the jewellerysold in his stores as ‘total crap’2. 2003: Sainsbury’smanager issues ‘Pikey’ jibe3. 2002: Halifax claimsit doesn’t want business start-ups, market traders or taxi drivers as customers4. 1998: NewcastleUnited Football Club directors slated the fans for buying shirts in high volumes5 2002: HSBC’s CEO SirKeith Whitson upsets UK call centre staff after praising the firm’s workers inIndia Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
TUC chief hails forum for changeOn 9 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. The newly-agreed deal to give trade unions more say in reforms of the UK’spublic services will be more than just a ‘worthless talking shop’, the TUCgeneral secretary has promised. Brendan Barber said the forum of government ministers and trade unionistswould be used for serious discussions on the changes currently taking placeacross the public sector. The agreement was sealed at a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair andunion leaders in a bid to increase dialogue and avoid further tensions. “The forum is designed to ensure there is an opportunity to discussproposed changes properly. I hope that potential future policy will also bediscussed,” he said. “It is an opportunity to influence major policychanges.” He said the talks would not just focus on big political decisions, such asfoundation hospitals, but would look at ongoing reorganisation in the sector. “In some areas, there has been good change management, but in others,it has had a whiff of imposition. This is not a win or lose situation. I wantto establish a modern relationship, where the union contribution is properlyrecognised by government,” he added.
Publishers urged to protect trainees from slave labourOn 25 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Publishing companies are being urged to sign up to a code of conduct beingdeveloped to protect trainee journalists from widespread ‘slave labour’practices. Anecdotal evidence collected by the Periodicals Training Council (PTC) – thetraining division of the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) – suggestssome companies either ignore or exploit the minimum wage. Tales have reportedly included one trainee who was forced to take out a£10,000 loan to support her during a six-month unpaid ‘work experience’ stinton a glossy UK magazine. In response, the PPA is devising the code of conduct, which is expected tohit HR departments in the new year. Lindsay Nicholl, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping magazine and chair ofthe editorial training committee of the PTC, said the code would cover issuessuch as expected duration of work experience, when it is appropriate to offerpay and/or cover expenses, and how to draw up learning agreements to be signedby both employers and trainees. Addressing industry delegates in London at the PTC’s New Journalist of theYear Awards, Nicholson said that if the practice continued, magazines wouldsoon find themselves faced with the ‘Selina syndrome’ – staffed only byjournalists from an upper middle-class background, because only their parentscould afford to keep them while they worked for little or no income for monthson end. Meanwhile, Alistair Campbell, Downing Street’s former director ofcommunications and strategy, lambasted declining journalistic skills andstandards in the UK. Speaking at the Marketing Society’s annual conference in London – in a rareappearance following his resignation earlier this year – Campbell said theadvent of 24-hour news had made newspapers move downmarket and had leftbroadcasters with so much space that they had nothing to fill it with. Commenting, Chris Frost, chairman of the Association of JournalismEducators, said the number of trainee journalists had probably tripled in thelast 15 years. He argued journalistic standards had increased, but agreed that manytrainees came from the middle classes and, because their parents could bankrollthem through low-pay or no-pay work experience, they were ripe forexploitation. By Penny Wilson
Comments are closed. Hospitals to trial alternative to neck physiotherapyOn 1 May 2004 in Personnel Today Around 150 people with neck pain are to be recruited into a clinical trialstudying the best way of treating the condition. Patients in the physiotherapy departments of Hull’s Royal Infirmary,Princess Royal, and Castle Hill hospitals, and High Wycombe General, will takepart in the trial, called ‘Getup’. The clinical trial will be carried out by Jennifer Klaber-Moffett, deputydirector of the Institute of Rehabilitation at the University of Hull, andSionnadh McLean, superintendent physiotherapist at the Hull and East RidingHospitals NHS Trust. They have been awarded a grant of £62,781 by the charity Arthritis ResearchCampaign, to test whether specially-designed exercises are more effective thanphysiotherapy. “Neck and shoulder exercises, incorporating postural control andco-ordination to encourage the use of the deep neck muscles, is a potential wayof treating neck pain,” said Professor Klaber-Moffett. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Financial services company Prudential had three main reasons for offshoringone of its call centres to India – customer experience, cost-cutting andflexibility. The company’s HR director Russell Martin, speaking at the Employment LawyersAssociation annual conference, said Prudential wanted to enhance the experienceof its customers and recognised that callers wanted to speak to real people. Italso wanted to improve cost competitiveness and deliver savings, as well asincreasing flexibility by extending the working day for UK customers. HR was treated as an equal partner throughout the whole process andcontinued to play a key role, Martin said. “One of the key points is that our policies in Mumbai, India, areidentical to those in the UK – for example, our dignity at work policy,”he said. “We are trying to create a sense within the organisation that itdoesn’t matter where the individual is located as to how they aretreated.” Prudential received an initial 25,000 applications when it announced plansfor the call centre, and then conducted more than 8,000 interviews – in itselfa huge challenge, Martin said. All workers in India have ‘buddies’ in the UK and are encouraged to talk tothem regularly. The next stage, Martin said, is to create real empathy between the customerand the operative. “There are problems in off-shoring, but there are advantages,” hesaid. “Actually, it can be a very positive experience.” Previous Article Next Article Prudential outlines good points of offshoring planOn 18 May 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
Reply Gabriel A carlos 11 May 2020 at 9:26 pm # 2 Responses to Risks of contacting employees on sick leave with mental health problems Previous Article Next Article Risks of contacting employees on sick leave with mental health problemsBy Rory Lynch on 2 Oct 2016 in Disability discrimination, Employment law, Sickness absence management, Occupational Health, Personnel Today Reply Following a recent legal decision, employers may need to revisit policies on contacting employees on sick leave, particularly if they have a mental health problem. Solicitor Rory Lynch explains.A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision highlights the care that must be taken by HR managers and business owners when contacting employees on long-term sick leave.More on managing sickness absenceSickness absence management good practiceHow to set absence triggers and targetsIn the case of Private Medicine Intermediaries Ltd and Others v Hodkinson, the EAT held that an employee was constructively dismissed because of the content of a letter she received from her employer while she was on sick leave.The case serves as a warning that employers could face a claim for a fundamental breach of contract if care is not taken to ensure that the contact made is reasonable and for a proper cause.The factsThe claimant, Miss Hodkinson, was an employee of Private Medicine Intermediaries (PMI). In October 2013, she was signed off on sick leave due to work-related depression and anxiety as a result of alleged intimidation and bullying by her manager and another director of PMI.Good-practice tipThe employer needs to set out how it will communicate to employees about absence triggers and targets, and their use and inclusion within a wider absence policy. The use of absence triggers and targets should be an open and transparent process and promoted as part of an overall absence management or wellbeing strategy.Absence triggers and targets should be seen by staff as a proactive way of improving the health and wellbeing of employees and reducing unnecessary sickness from work, rather than a way of putting pressure on employees to come to work when they are genuinely ill. Employers should also stress to employees that the measures will be applied consistently across the organisation.The employer should clearly lay out how absence is going to be measured, how triggers are reached and what the absence target is.If employees understand that the measurement weights short-term absenteeism, they will realise that taking the odd day off on a regular basis will quickly multiply their score, possibly triggering a review. This may have the effect of deterring them from taking sick days when they are not genuinely ill.Source: XpertHRWhile on sick leave, the chief executive of PMI sent two separate letters to Miss Hodkinson. While no complaint was made regarding the first letter, Miss Hodkinson responded to say that she was in “no fit state to communicate without breaking down”.A month later, the CEO sent a second letter, despite being aware of the employee’s health conditions. In this letter he proposed a meeting outlining six areas of concern relating to Miss Hodkinson’s work performance – none of the areas of concern were of an urgent nature and it was found later that most of them had been dealt with previously.The employee then resigned and raised claims for constructive and unfair dismissal, discrimination arising from disability, harassment, and failure to implement reasonable adjustments.While the employment tribunal held in favour of the employee, in the subsequent appeal, the EAT overturned the tribunal’s decision relating to the discrimination and harassment claims, but upheld the decision that the employee had been constructively dismissed by her employer in breach of her contract of employment.What does this mean for employers?This case emphasises the caution that needs to be taken by HR managers when communicating with an employee who is out of the office due to an illness. This, however, does not mean that contact should be avoided in all cases.Communicating with an employee during their absence may be considered fair and appropriate absence management and can, in some instances, be beneficial to the employee so that they do not feel isolated or ignored. If it is necessary to make contact, it should be aligned with facilitating the aid and logistics around the employee’s return to the workplace. Disciplinary or performance issues should not be broached in such communications.However, alarm bells should ring if the employee’s illness is due to mental health or work-related stress. The HR team are likely to be aware of the type of illness the employee is suffering from, and any non-serious or non-urgent issues or matters should not be raised until the employee returns to work.HR managers should review their existing policies on communicating with employees who are absent due to illness or injury. It is important to have regard for the nature and the timing of any contact and ensure that any contact made is appropriate and reasonable.It should be common practice that any communication with employees who are suffering from mental or work-related illness be first signed off by a superior, and this should be included in any policy.It is best to follow the common-sense approach – if you are unsure, seek advice from your manager prior to putting pen to paper. Regular training of employees to make them aware of such policies is also important. This will help to protect your organisation from potential claims of constructive and unfair dismissal of this nature.Rory Lynch is a solicitor in the disputes team at Spring Law. Related posts:No related photos. Trevor Heppinstall 25 Jan 2019 at 1:12 pm # I’m on sick leave with stress from work through harassment from my manager. They are doing a investigation on me saying I’ve breached their policies. I’ve never had a contract issued nor any policies so I didn’t know what they are. It’s to do with going on the internet. My manager gave me permission to go on it and been doing this for five years but now she’s got a bee in her bonnet and trying to get me done for it. I’ve had a meeting with HR and told them all the things she’s been doing, especially breaking health & safety with me and bullying. They are investigating everything. I’ve said it’s been nearly two weeks and I’ve not heard anything. Also they asked for my keys back for the centre I work at and I’ve told them when I got home I’ve misplaced them and once I find them I will send them back. Now I’ve got a letter from my manager stating that I’ve got to let her know whether they are lost or misplaced or she will have to inform the police and have the locks changed. She gave me two days to do this and this was the weekend. I don’t know why this as come about cos they have plenty of keys spare and doesn’t need mine. This is stressing me out so much. Can my manager do this as I’m on sick leave with stress related to my manager? I wish to enforce the payment of serverance payoff from my former employer. DO you handle employment law ?. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website
The Promenade on the Peninsula in Rolling Hills Estates, California (Google Maps, iStock)Landlords are increasingly taking on short-term debt to fix up their empty stores, hotels and apartment buildings.JPMorgan found that lenders this year had issued $4 billion of collateralized loan obligations — short-term financing popular with developers — through mid-February, a 46 percent increase from the same period last year, the New York Times reported.Commercial mortgage-backed securities, which typically have longer-term financing, declined 8 percent during that time.Read moreCMBS market faces staggering lossesValues of Class A malls down 45 percent from 2016 levels Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink For investors, the financing provides a higher return to reflect the risk they are taking — that shoppers, renters and travelers will resume pre-pandemic activities and the loans will be repaid. For borrowers, the pandemic presents an opportunity to renovate, as social distancing keeps many assets empty.In January, Philadelphia-based private equity firm Stoltz Real Estate Partners raised $45 million in collateralized loan obligations to fix up a mall in Long Beach, California. The property was 20 percent vacant, and its top two tenants, Regal Cinemas and Equinox Fitness, had closed and stopped paying rent. The mall’s owners used $8 million to repurpose some of the property into office space and spruce up the common areas and retail space.Jake Pine, development director at L+M Development, said the financing makes sense for those with vacancies. In a joint venture with other developers that predates the pandemic, L+M is repurposing a former Winchester gun factory in New Haven, Connecticut, with three-year financing.“If you can get a transitional lender that’s willing to take a bit of the risk, stay with you for a two-, three-year period, allow you to kind of come out of Covid, or rebound from Covid, it makes a lot of sense,” Pine told the Times.[NYT] — Georgia Kromrei Share via Shortlink cmbsfinancingmallsPrivate Equity
Tags Hong Kong rent has toppled over in the past year. (Getty)Rents declined on two-thirds of retail strips in the Asia Pacific region in pandemic-ravaged 2020.Hong Kong’s retail districts saw the most significant decline of any submarket in the region. Rents fell 43 percent over the year, according to a Cushman & Wakefield study reported by Business of Fashion. Still, Hong Kong remained the most expensive place in the region to rent retail space, followed by Tokyo and Sydney.Meanwhile, mainland China saw the lowest average rental declines in the region, just 5 percent, although price movement varied significantly between cities.Rents were down 14 percent for the year in Beijing’s Central Business District, while the Louhu District in Shenzhen — just north of Hong Kong’s border — saw a 5 percent increase.ADVERTISEMENTRents in some of Hong Kong’s highest-profile shopping districts hit 12-year lows last year as the pandemic worsened already declining rents. Fewer people traveled to Hong Kong than in previous years because of the pandemic and political upheaval in the territory.The overall Hong Kong property market slowed in 2020 but may be picking up again. Large real estate deals continue to close. In February, a five-bedroom unit at a luxury condo tower in Mid-Levels sold for a record $17,542 per square foot.[Business of Fashion] — Dennis Lynch Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink chinahong kongJapanRetail Real Estate
Tomo Kipp, LeBron James, Jeff Conry and the Crystal View Court Mansion. (Getty, iAero, Compass)LeBron James’ former Miami mansion has a new owner.Timo Kipp sold the waterfront Coconut Grove home at 3590 Crystal View Court to Jeff Conry, president of charter airline iAero Airways, for $12.8 million.Kipp and his now ex-wife Nathalia paid $13.4 million for the six-bedroom, 13,930-square-foot estate in 2015. Kipp formerly owned the Mayfair hotel nearby in Coconut Grove.The three-story home features eight bathrooms and one half-bath, a gym, playroom, theater, wine cellar, rooftop deck, infinity pool, island bar, concrete dock and a detached guest house, according to the listing. It was built in 2010 on a nearly half-acre lot.ADVERTISEMENTLino Morejon with Mayfair Real Estate Advisors represented Kipp in the sale.James was part of the Big Three, which included Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, when he played for the Miami Heat between 2010 and 2014. He acquired the Coconut Grove mansion in 2010 for $9 million, records show.Read moreChris Bosh sells waterfront Miami Beach mansion for $15MHeat Map: Here are the homes of Miami Heat’s eliteDwyane Wade lists Miami Beach estate for $33M Email Address* Tags Celebrity Real EstateCoconut Grovehome sales Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Conry landed on the house after flipping his waterfront Coral Gables mansion for $19.4 million in April, less than a year after paying $14.9 million for the property.Miami-based iAero Airways, formerly known as Swift Air, was founded in 1997 and calls itself the largest charter airline in the U.S.Contact Katherine Kallergis Share via Shortlink
Identical digital ionosondes (dynasondes) at Brighton Colorado and at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 864 km distant, were synchronized for bistatic sounding in multifrequency and fixed frequency recording patterns. Three propagation modes are observed, identified, and reconciled with standard propagation theory; these include one‐hop propagation by sporadic E (Es) and the F region and two‐hop (F ‐ Es). Echo phase measurements at the four spaced antennas of the dynasonde receiving array permit echolocation calculations that are in good agreement with the path mid point, although effects of ionosopheric tilts and time variations are evident. These results encourage the concept of a global real time ionospheric monitoring network consisting of about 90 instruments that perform vertically incident and coordinated bistatic soundings, to yield a total of about 320 measurement ‘locations.’
Two‐dimensional models are presented for the crustal structure of the Antarctic Peninsula, a Mesozoic‐Cenozoic magmatic arc on the southeast Pacific margin. The models are constrained by measured rock properties. The West Coast Magnetic Anomaly (WCMA) is caused by a zone of mafic plutons which is 70–150 km wide and over 1500 km long. In modelling of Bouguer anomalies, isostatic compensation is maintained by crustal thickness variations. The model Moho is deepest (35 km) beneath the mid‐Cretaceous axis of the arc and shallowest (<20 km) beneath a Late Cenozoic marginal basin. Positive isostatic residual gravity anomalies are associated with the WCMA and a mafic terrane in the Mesozoic accretionary complex. Three broad areas of consistent crustal structure are identified. The junctions of these areas are sinistral fault zones which displace the curvilinear magnetic, physiographic, and gravity patterns by several tens of kilometers.
A net sampling survey was conducted around the island of South Georgia in the austral summer 1981/1982 and again in winter 1983. This paper uses Principal Components Analysis to elucidate the mesoscale features of zooplankton distribution within the two survey grids. During both surveys the major contrast was between the plankton of the shelf and the surrounding ocean. However, within the oceanic part of each grid, localized areas of warmer water were inhabited by a fauna characteristics of warmer latitudes to the north. The biological and oceanographic evidence suggests that areas represents core rings or similar intrusions from north of the Polar Front. Not all of the characteristic warm- and cold-water species showed a clear correlation with water origin. For example, the swarming behaviour of Euphausia superba limited its usefulness as a mesoscale tracer. Likewise, the distribution of the Antarctic copepod Calanoides acutus was poorly related to water temperature during the summer survey because the timing of sampling coincided with its annual spawning cycle. Large-scale movement of oceanic fronts has already been identified as being important in dictating overall species composition around the island, but at a smaller scale these intrusions of warmer water may be an important intermediary mechanism of community advection into the area.
Internal gravity waves are frequently observed in stably stratified regions of the atmospheric boundary layer. In order to determine the statistical influence of such waves on the dynamics of the boundary layer it is necessary to compile information concerning properties of the waves such as frequency of occurrence, propagation, and spectral characteristics. Gravity wave climatologies have been compiled from relatively few locations. In this paper a climatological study of gravity waves, in the period range 1-20 min, propagating in the stably stratified atmospheric boundary layer overlying an Antarctic ice shelf is presented. An extensive set of boundary layer measurements were compiled throughout 1991. Surface pressure fluctuations were recorded from a spatial array of six sensitive microbarographs. Wind and temperature records from an instrumented mast were also available. A beam-steering technique has been used to determine wave parameters from the surface pressure data. The microbarographs detected the presence of internal gravity waves throughout the observational campaign. Root-mean-square pressure values were typically in the region 16-40 mu b, but a significant number of isolated events with amplitudes of up to 180 mu b were also found. Wave properties have been studied in conjunction with the mean wind and temperature profiles in the boundary layer. It was found that most of the wave activity did not originate locally, but from shear layers aloft, or, more commonly, from the katabatic how regime where the ice shelf joins the Antarctic continent.
Twenty-six isolates of Colletotrichum kahawae, the causal agent of coffee berry disease, from coffee in Africa, and 25 isolates, mostly of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, from coffee and other tropical perennial crops, were examined for the ability to metabolize citrate and tartrate and their molecular genetic variability was assessed using restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) and variable number tandem repeats (VNTR). Twenty-four isolates of C. kahawae were also assessed using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP). Vegetative compatibility within a collection of nine isolates, including two of C. gloeosporioides was also assessed. All isolates of C. kahawae from across Africa failed to metabolize citrate or tartrate, but all other isolates metabolized one or both. Colletotrichum kahawae isolates also showed minimal variability using the molecular techniques with two isolates from Cameroon showing slightly different banding patterns in RFLP analysis. All other isolates had variable VNTR and RFLP banding patterns. AFLP analysis failed to detect variability within 12 isolates from Kenya, but did detect differences between isolates from other countries. Five isolates from Kenya were vegetatively compatible but differed from two from Cameroon and from two C. gloeosporioides isolates. Results demonstrate some geographic variability within C. kahawae isolates, although this is small, probably due to the relatively young age of C. kahawae populations. The biochemical and molecular techniques used showed clear differences from other Colletotrichum isolates, and can be used to distinguish the species. Lack of citrate and tartrate metabolism provides a readily applicable diagnostic method.
Atmospheric gravity waves yield substantial small-scale temperature fluctuations that can trigger the formation of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs). This paper introduces a new satellite record of gravity wave activity in the polar lower stratosphere to investigate this process. The record is comprised of observations of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite from January 2003 to December 2012. Gravity wave activity is measured in terms of detrended and noise-corrected 15 µm brightness temperature variances, which are calculated from AIRS channels that are the most sensitive to temperature fluctuations at about 17–32 km of altitude. The analysis of temporal patterns in the data set revealed a strong seasonal cycle in wave activity with wintertime maxima at mid- and high latitudes. The analysis of spatial patterns indicated that orography as well as jet and storm sources are the main causes of the observed waves. Wave activity is closely correlated with 30 hPa zonal winds, which is attributed to the AIRS observational filter. We used the new data set to evaluate explicitly resolved temperature fluctuations due to gravity waves in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational analysis. It was found that the analysis reproduces orographic and non-orographic wave patterns in the right places, but that wave amplitudes are typically underestimated by a factor of 2–3. Furthermore, in a first survey of joint AIRS and Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) satellite observations, nearly 50 gravity-wave-induced PSC formation events were identified. The survey shows that the new AIRS data set can help to better identify such events and more generally highlights the importance of the process for polar ozone chemistry.
Biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude regions has a disproportionate impact on global nutrient budgets. Here, we introduce a holistic, multi-disciplinary framework for elucidating the influence of glacial meltwaters, shelf currents, and biological production on biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude continental margins, with a focus on the silica cycle. Our findings highlight the impact of significant glacial discharge on nutrient supply to shelf and slope waters, as well as surface and benthic production in these regions, over a range of timescales from days to thousands of years. Whilst biological uptake in fjords and strong diatom activity in coastal waters maintains low dissolved silicon concentrations in surface waters, we find important but spatially heterogeneous additions of particulates into the system, which are transported rapidly away from the shore. We expect the glacially-derived particles – together with biogenic silica tests – to be cycled rapidly through shallow sediments, resulting in a strong benthic flux of dissolved silicon. Entrainment of this benthic silicon into boundary currents may supply an important source of this key nutrient into the Labrador Sea, and is also likely to recirculate back into the deep fjords inshore. This study illustrates how geochemical and oceanographic analyses can be used together to probe further into modern nutrient cycling in this region, as well as the palaeoclimatological approaches to investigating changes in glacial meltwater discharge through time, especially during periods of rapid climatic change in the Late Quaternary.
The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is a network of high-frequency (HF) radars located in the high- and mid-latitude regions of both hemispheres that is operated under international cooperation. The network was originally designed for monitoring the dynamics of the ionosphere and upper atmosphere in the high-latitude regions. However, over the last approximately 15 years, SuperDARN has expanded into the mid-latitude regions. With radar coverage that now extends continuously from auroral to sub-auroral and mid-latitudes, a wide variety of new scientific findings have been obtained. In this paper, the background of mid-latitude SuperDARN is presented at first. Then, the accomplishments made with mid-latitude SuperDARN radars are reviewed in five specified scientific and technical areas: convection, ionospheric irregularities, HF propagation analysis, ion-neutral interactions, and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves. Finally, the present status of mid-latitude SuperDARN is updated and directions for future research are discussed.
The Arctic continues to warm at a much faster rate than the global average. One process contributing to ‘Arctic amplification’ involves changes in low-frequency macro-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and their consequent influence on regional climate. Here, using ERA5 reanalysis data, we examine decadal changes in the impact of seven such patterns on winter near-surface temperature (SAT) and precipitation (PPN) in northern Russia and calculate the temporal consistency of any statistically significant relationships. We demonstrate that the 40-year climatology hides considerable decadal variability in the spatial extent of such circulation pattern-climate relationships across the region, with few areas where their temporal consistency exceeds 60%. This is primarily a response to the pronounced decadal expansion/contraction and/or mobility of the circulation patterns’ centers of action. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the dominant pattern (having the highest temporal consistency) affecting SAT west of the Urals. Further east, the Scandinavian (SCA), Polar/Eurasia (POL) and West Pacific patterns are successively the dominant pattern influencing SAT across the West Siberian Plains, Central Siberian Plateau and mountains of Far East Siberia, respectively. From west to east, the SCA, POL and Pacific North American patterns exert the most consistent decadal influence on PPN. The only temporally invariant significant decadal relationships occur between the NAO and SAT and the SCA and PPN in small areas of the North European Plain.
Beau Lund FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailMike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Designated hitter Edgar Martinez, starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina, and who many call the greatest relief pitcher of all time, Mariano Rivera, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2019 class on July 21.The four star players were voted in by ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.Rivera, a New York Yankees legend who helped win five World Series titles, spent his entire career with the club, spanning from 1995 to his retirement in 2013. Nicknamed “Sandman” for his request to play the Metallica song each time he was called in to pitch from the bullpen, Rivera is often regarded as not only the greatest closer in baseball history, but one of the best pitchers overall to ever play the game.Halladay, nicknamed “Doc,” was an elite starting pitcher who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies from 1998 to 2013. A two time winner of the Cy Young along with eight all-star appearances, Halladay died tragically in November 2017 when a plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.Mussina, who spent 18 seasons devastating hitters with his wicked knuckle-curveball, won over 270 games with the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles between 1991 and 2008. Drafted in the 11th round by the Orioles in 1987, Mussina appeared in five all-star games and six times he finished in the top 5 for the Cy Young, which is awarded to the league’s top pitcher.One of the most feared hitters of his era, Martinez made seven all-star appearances during his 18 year career, spent entirely with the Seattle Mariners.The team tweeted out video of Martinez receiving the good news about his hall of fame election.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Written by January 22, 2019 /Sports News – National New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera becomes first ever to be unanimously voted to the Baseball Hall of Fame
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah (AP) — Sam Merrill had 20 points and five assists, Utah State built a 20-point halftime lead, and the Aggies defeated UNLV 82-65 on Saturday. Tags: Mountain West/Utah State Aggies Basketball February 2, 2019 /Sports News – Local Utah State rolls past UNLV with big first half The Aggies outscored the Runnin’ Rebels 27-10 over the final 10 minutes of the first half to lead 48-28. Utah State shot 55 percent in the period and UNLV hit only 31 percent. The lead reached 29 with about eight minutes remaining in regulation and the Aggies led 82-56 at 2:51 before going scoreless the rest of the way. Joel Ntambwe had 18 points for UNLV (11-10, 5-4). Kris Clyburn and Amauri Hardy scored 14 apiece, Clyburn adding nine rebounds. Written by Diogo Brito had 15 points and five rebounds, and Neemias Queta added 10 points and 16 rebounds for Utah State (17-5, 7-2 Mountain West). Utah State has won six in a row and is 10-1 at home. For the game, Utah State shot 49 percent and made 10 of 23 3-pointers (44 percent) . UNLV shot 37 percent, 9 of 24 (38 percent) from 3-point distance. Associated Press
Beau Lund Written by February 25, 2019 /Sports News – National Scoreboard roundup — 2/24/19 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Sunday’s sports events:MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALLBaltimore 9, Toronto 8Boston 8, Minnesota 5Philadelphia 10, Detroit 6Houston 5, Atlanta 2Pittsburgh 10, Miami 6Washington 12, St. Louis 2N.Y. Yankees 8, Tampa Bay 5Houston 10, N.Y. Mets 1Arizona 12, Cleveland 3Kansas City 14, Oakland 5NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONOrlando 113, Toronto 98Denver 123, L.A. Clippers 96N.Y. Knicks 130, San Antonio 118NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUEWashington 6, N.Y. Rangers 5Dallas 4, Chicago 3San Jose 5, Detroit 3Minnesota 2, St. Louis 1Calgary 2, Ottawa 1Arizona 4, Winnipeg 1TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALLHoly Cross 73, Lehigh 71UCF 95, SMU 48IUPUI 79, Green Bay 68Iona 87, Canisius 80American 77, Army West Point 66Xavier 66, (17) VillanovaIllinois St. 67, Drake 60Quinnipiac 68, Monmouth 56St. Peter’s 78, Niagara 60Siena 67, Marist 55Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Dalton Nixon had 17 points off the bench to carry Brigham Young to an 83-50 win over UNLV on Saturday.Alex Barcello had 13 points for Brigham Young (7-4). Yoeli Childs added 13 points and 14 rebounds and Connor Harding had 12 points.Jake Toolson was held to just 6 points. The Cougars’ leading scorer coming into the contest at 16 points per game, he was 0 of 4 from beyond the arc.Donnie Tillman had 13 points for the Runnin’ Rebels (4-7). Nick Blair added 10 points and seven rebounds. Cheikh Mbacke Diong had seven boards.Brigham Young faces Nevada at home on Tuesday. UNLV faces Pacific at home next Wednesday. December 7, 2019 /Sports News – Local Nixon scores 17 to carry BYU past UNLV 83-50 Written by Tags: BYU Cougars Basketball/Dalton Nixon Associated Press
January 28, 2020 /Sports News – National Fiancee of late Aaron Hernandez speaks out on his sexuality after docuseries Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailABC(NEW YORK ) — The fiancee of the late Aaron Hernandez is speaking out for the first time since the release of a Netflix new docuseries on the life of the football-star turned-convicted killer, including rumors about his sexuality.In a sit-down interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach that will air Wednesday on “Good Morning America,” Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez said that while Hernandez did not express to her in any way he may have been gay or bisexual, if he did, she “would not have loved him any differently.”Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, was found guilty of murder in April 2015 for the killing of Odin Lloyd, the 27-year-old fiance of Jenkins-Hernandez’ sister, who was found shot to death in a suburb of Boston about two years earlier. After Hernandez’s trial, and prior to his suicide in his prison cell in 2017, his alleged relationships with men became a topic of discussion.The Netflix docuseries “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” which was released in January, spoke to a high school teammate and friend of Hernandez, Dennis Sansoucie, who said the two engaged in a sexual relationship while in high school.Jenkins-Hernandez said that she knew of Sansoucie, but doesn’t know him well and he wasn’t very involved in Hernandez’s adult life.However, she said through tears, “you start to feel for people that may be hiding inside how they really feel. And I– I feel awful for that.”Jenkins-Hernandez, who was engaged to Hernandez at the time of his suicide and shares a daughter with him, said he was “certainly a man to me. There was no behavior that made me think differently.”She wishes that if Hernandez had been hiding his sexuality, he would have come to her.“I would not have loved him any differently. I would’ve understood,” Jenkins-Hernandez said. “Yes, of course, it would’ve been hard to watch somebody walk away or to live a different life. But it’s not shameful.”“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” she added. “I just– I wish I was able to tell him that.”Watch the interview on Wednesday at 7 a.m. ET on “Good Morning America.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Beau Lund
March 7, 2020 /Sports News – Local BYU Closes Series to OSU with Defeat Robert Lovell Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSTILLWATER, Okla. – BYU baseball closed out its series with Oklahoma State, falling by a score of 8-3 on Saturday.“Today the difference was Oklahoma State got big hits when they needed to and we didn’t,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “We had a chance to open up a lead with the bases loaded and no outs in the fifth and only managed one run. In similar situations they were able to get a couple extra base hits and extend the lead.“I felt like we played a very solid three-game series but obviously didn’t swing the bats like we know we are capable. I do believe we got better this weekend and will be ready going into league play next week.”Game SummaryWith the game tied 1-1 in the fifth, Oklahoma State scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, then four additional unanswered runs over the next two innings to pull awayBYU scored a run in the fifth, eighth and ninthSeven pitchers went to the mound for the CougarsPlayer HighlightsAustin Deming: 2-4, 2B, RBIAbraham Valdez: 2-3, 2B, R, BBHobbs Nyberg: 1-5, 2B, ROklahoma State was the first to score, using a walk, a stolen base and a double to bring around a run in the bottom of the third.A lead-off double by Abraham Valdez followed by a single from Mitch McIntyre and Brock Watkins getting hit by a pitch set up the Cougars with bases loaded and nobody out. Andrew Pintar’s fly ball to center almost dropped, but a diving catch by the Cowboys allowed just Valdez to score on the tag. Two subsequent outs left the runners stranded and the game tied.Oklahoma State took no time responding in the bottom of the same inning, putting runners on the corners. A triple scored two runs and a double added another to put OSU back on top, 4-1.The Cowboys added another run in the sixth and three more on a bases-loaded double in the seventh to extend the lead to 8-1.In the eighth, BYU’s Austin Deming doubled down the left field line with two on and one out to score Hobbs Nyberg, but the Cougars again left two stranded to end the inning.An RBI-single by Bryan Call tacked on another Cougar run in the ninth for the final 8-3 margin.BYU returns home to Provo for its next series, opening West Coast Conference play by welcoming LMU, March 12-14. First pitch on Thursday will be at 6 p.m. MT with the game airing on the BYUtv app, BYU Radio 107.9 FM and ESPN960 AM. Tags: BYU Cougars Baseball/Oklahoma State Cowboys
Beau Lund Written by March 18, 2020 /Sports News – National Kansas claims the final number one ranking of the college basketball season FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)(NEW YORK) — With the NCAA Tournament cancelled, the final AP Top 25 rankings for the college basketball season were released on Tuesday.The Big Twelve champion Kansas Jayhawks finished the year atop the poll, getting 63 out of the 65 first-place votes. The Jayhawks went 28-3 before the season abruptly ended. It is the fourth time they’ve finished the year at number one.“Nobody in America had better season than we did,” Self said. “How do you give credit to that effort and have it be recognized? And I don’t know exactly how we do it. Do we do it within our own fan base? Do we do it within podcasts or whatnot? Whatever we’ve come up with so far pales in comparison to the accolades they deserve.”The AP does not, however, declare a national champion because there is usually a tournament to determine that. The NCAA Tournament, however, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.Gonzaga and Dayton finished at numbers two and three, each garnering one first-place vote. Florida State and Baylor rounded out the top five.For Dayton, that finish matches the best in program history, equaling the 1955-1956 team. Duke finished the season at number 11, their first time ending a year outside the top-ten since 2007.See the full rankings:1. Kansas (63) 2. Gonzaga (1)3. Dayton (1)4. Florida State5. Baylor6. San Diego State7. Creighton8. Kentucky9. Michigan State10. Villanova11. Duke12. Maryland13. Oregon14. Louisville15. Seton Hall16. Virginia17. Wisconsin 18. BYU 19. Ohio State 20. Auburn21. Illinois22. Houston23. Butler24. West Virginia 25. IowaCopyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
September 15, 2020 /Sports News – Local Girl testifies she felt disrespected when playing football Tags: Girls Football/Laura Goetz FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah teenager who was the only girl on her school’s football team says she often faced discriminatory treatment by her coach and teammates.Sixteen-year-old Laura Goetz says she felt excluded and degraded during the two years she played football at West Jordan High School.She testified Tuesday as part of a lawsuit that aims to give girls the chance to play football on female-only high school teams.Goetz says she was forced to change in the boys’ locker room at away games. She said one coach also insisted on calling her “princess.” Written by Associated Press
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailNEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson had 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and the New Orleans Pelicans held off the NBA-leading Utah Jazz, 129-124.Brandon Ingram scored 26, Lonzo Ball added 23 and JJ Redick scored 17, highlighted by two four-point plays.Bojan Bogdanovic hit seven 3s and finished with a game-high 31 points for Utah, which lost for just the eighth time this season, but the second time in three games.New Orleans led by 14 with 3:54 left, but had to survive the Jazz cutting their deficit to a point in the final minute. Written by Tags: NBA/New Orleans Pelicans/Utah Jazz/Zion Williamson March 1, 2021 /Sports News – Local Williamson pushes Pelicans past NBA-leading Jazz, 129-124 Associated Press
The Johan Sverdrup field, which is being developed with a total investment of NOK124bn (£11.2bn), has a resource estimate of 2.2-3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent Image: The Johan Sverdrup field is now expected to begin production in October 2019. Photo: courtesy of Espen Rønnevik/Øyvind Gravås – Equinor ASA. Equinor and its partners are advancing production at the Johan Sverdrup field in the Norwegian part of the North Sea by a month to October 2019.Earlier this week, the partners secured consent from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to start production from the offshore gas field.Equinor said that the Johan Sverdrup project continues to progress well during the final stages of preparation for operations. Owing to this, the partners are fast tracking the planned schedule for production start-up.The Johan Sverdrup field is being developed in two phases and it is the first of them which is getting ready to be brought on stream.Phase 1 of the Johan Sverdrup project represents an investment of NOK83bn (£7.5bn) and has involved development of the processing platform, accommodation and utility platform, drilling platform and riser platform, three subsea installations, power from shore project, and an export pipeline to transport oil to Mongstad and gas to Kårstø.Currently, the project partners are focusing on completing the testing of the equipment and systems required for the full field centre to work and perform as one installation.The start-up of production in October will be subject to completion of all the testing without facing any issues with critical equipment.Production at Johan Sverdrup field to start only if it is safe and prudentEquinor projects and drilling technology executive vice president Anders Opedal said: “Based on the remaining known scope of work, we are increasingly confident of starting production at Johan Sverdrup soon.“At the same time, given the very size of the Johan Sverdrup development, there will always be a risk that we in the final testing phase come across unforeseen issues that end up extending the start-up period. Ultimately, we’ll only start producing when it is safe and prudent to do so.”On the other hand, the NOK41bn (£3.71bn) second phase development of the Johan Sverdrup field is targeted to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2022.Equinor is the operator of the Johan Sverdrup field with 42.6% stake and is partnered by Lundin Petroleum (20%), Petoro (17.3%), Aker BP (11.5%), and Total E&P Norge (8.4%).
Weatherford is an industry leader in traditional safety valve technology and now extending its legacy reliability to the deep and ultradeepwater market Image: The Optimax deep-set safety valve is controlled by a primary hydraulic control line. Photo: Courtesy of fancycrave1 from Pixabay. Weatherford International has announced its largest-ever contract for deep-set safety valves. Under terms of a deal with Brazilian-based multinational corporation Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., more commonly known as Petrobras, Weatherford will deliver 24 Optimax deep-set safety valves in the next four years.Weatherford, an industry leader in traditional safety valve technology, is now extending its legacy reliability to the deep and ultradeepwater market. The Optimax deep-set safety valve protects against catastrophic loss of well control by providing fail-safe closures at pressure up to 10,000 psi (68 MPa) and are rated for setting depths as deep as 12,000 ft (3,658 m). The valves are monogrammed to API-14A’s highest validation grade of V1.“The Weatherford Optimax deep-set safety valve is a victory in innovative thinking,” said Mark Hopmann, President of Completions for Weatherford. Hopmann added, “Conventional deep-set valves typically require nitrogen-charged chambers to compensate for the high hydrostatic pressure of the control line. The Optimax deep-set safety valve overcomes this challenge with a design that utilizes highly reliable, field-proven technology.”An integral part of the completion string, the Optimax deep-set safety valve is controlled by a primary hydraulic control line. Application of control-line pressure keeps the valve in the open position. When pressure is bled off, the valve closes to protect property, personnel, and the environment. A secondary upward-facing piston, plus heavy-duty power springs, enable fail-safe closure while keeping the hold-open pressure to a minimum. Source: Company Press Release
The roadmap will enable the conversion of prior agreed concessions into Production Sharing Agreements under the provisions of the Petroleum Law Shell/Exxon joint venture agrees on an initial roadmap for exploration and development of offshore Somalia. (Credit: Somalia Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources) The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Federal Republic of Somalia, today announces it has agreed on an initial roadmap with the Shell/Exxon joint venture focused on the next steps towards the exploration and development of certain offshore hydrocarbon blocks.This co-created roadmap will enable the conversion of prior agreed concessions into Production Sharing Agreements (“PSAs”) under the provisions of the Petroleum Law. This builds on the agreement signed in Amsterdam on 21 June 2019 which led to the receipt of USD$1.7 million from the Shell/Exxon joint venture from historical surface rentals and other incurred obligations on Offshore Blocks. In adherence to the Revenue Sharing Agreement, this payment was re-distributed among Somalia’s Member States for independent allocation. The processing and distribution of this sum among the member states demonstrate the strength of Somalia’s Revenue Sharing Agreement and provides a model for future treatment of funds arising from petroleum exploration and production.The Ministry is committed to creating an attractive fiscal and regulatory environment for Independent and International Oil Companies to enter offshore Somalia. The revenues from any potential resource will be shared and invested for the benefit of all Somali people.Commenting on the initial roadmap, His Excellency Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, The Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, said: “I am delighted we have agreed on an initial roadmap with the Shell/Exxon joint venture. This gives us confidence in our ability to explore any offshore hydrocarbon potential further. We have a long relationship with the Shell/Exxon joint venture and look forward to this continuing as we seek to provide the building blocks we need to grow our economy.” Source: Company Press Release
Due to the recent volatility in the markets and also the deferral of the FID on the Barossa development project, Santos and ConocoPhillips have agreed to revise the prices of the consideration Santos acquires the northern Australia assets of ConocoPhillips. (Credit: Santos Ltd) Santos has closed the previously announced acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ northern Australia and Timor-Leste assets for a revised price of $1.26bn.The Australian oil and gas producer has agreed to pay an increased contingent payment of $200m to ConocoPhillips, which will be subject to a final investment decision (FID) on the Barossa gas project.As per the original deal signed in October 2019, the consideration to be paid by the Australian firm was $1.39bn along with a contingent price of $75m for Barossa.However, because of the recent volatility in the markets and also the deferral of the FID on the Barossa development project, the parties have agreed to revise the prices of the consideration.Under the deal, Santos gains operatorship and control of what is said to be a portfolio of low-cost, long-life natural gas assets and strategic LNG infrastructure.The company’s stake in Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field in Timor-Leste offshore waters and Darwin LNG facility in the Northern Territory of Australia increases to 68.4% at completion. Santos expects the assets to give a significant boost to its 2020 production and cash flows.On the other hand, Santos’ stake in the Barossa project to backfill Darwin LNG has gone up to 62.5%.The acquisition is said to be in line with the company’s strategy to consolidate on existing infrastructure positions around its core assets.Santos CEO comments on the closing of the acquisitionSantos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said: “As a foundation partner in Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG, and an existing partner in Barossa, we know these assets well. We are delighted to assume operatorship and continue to progress the Barossa project so that a final investment decision can be made when market conditions permit.“We welcome the ConocoPhillips’ Australia-West employees to Santos and look forward to getting on with the process of integrating our two businesses to create one high performing team.”In March 2020, the Australian energy company agreed to divest a 25% stake in the Darwin LNG plant and the Bayu-Undan field to South Korea-based SK E&S for $390m. The company followed that by signing a letter of intent in April to offload a 12.5% stake in the Barossa gas project to Japan-based JERA for an undisclosed price.Following the completion of the two deals, Santos will bring down its stake in Darwin LNG and Bayu-Undan to 43.4% and in the Barossa project to 50%.
The Government has pledged to match the £50 million promised by Lloyds Banking Group in October to help increase the supply of needed new homes across the country, the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis (left) announced this week.The Housing Growth Partnership will act as a dedicated initiative alongside small builders to invest in new developments, with the ultimate aim of increasing housing supply.The latest house building data reveal that housing starts are now at a seven-year high and climbing, while the volume of homes granted planning consent has reached 261,000 – the highest since 2007.But to help “maintain this momentum and keep the country building”, Lewis said that the Government recognised that greater investment in the sector is needed.He commented, “The 2008 economic crash devastated our army of small builders, with delivery falling from 44,000 homes to just 18,000 – seven years on, companies are getting back on their feet but we’re determined to give them all the help they need.”Lloyds Banking Group said that it welcomed the Government’s announcement of support for the housing growth partnership, which will double the capability to support SME house builders.Andrew Bester, Group Director and Chief Executive, commercial banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said, “The challenge of housing supply and affordability is one of the biggest issues facing Britain today.”“It [the funding] will provide SME house builders with much needed equity to support residential development projects, to stimulate growth in their businesses and facilitate access to conventional property development finance,” he added.The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) estimate that the SME house building sector could deliver an additional 20,000 homes per year if their access to finance was improved, putting a significant dent in the UK’s housing supply requirements.Ahead of this week’s Budget, the FMB has called on the Chancellor to improve access to finance for SME house builders, which have consistently cited this as their primary barrier to building more new homes.Estimates by FMB members suggest that, output from SME house builders would increase by as much as 100 per cent if the loan to project value ratios on offer were improved to 80 per cent from a standard 60 per cent. Based on recent housing statistics, this could equate to almost 20,000 new homes being built, making a significant impact on the supply side gap in the UK housing market.Brian Berry (left), Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Conservative ministers have been incredibly successful in improving access to mortgage finance and reviving demand in the housing market, but access to finance for those in the business of supplying new homes has remained extremely difficult. There remains a reluctance by many banks to lend to SME house builders to help finance small housing developments.”He added, “Given how far behind demand we are, this issue is just one part of a much wider solution. However, 20,000 homes is a significant number. SMEs clearly have a big part to play in solving the housing crisis, but they need a financial environment which empowers them as it has done in the past. Given that our members identified access to finance as the primary barrier they face when trying to build more new homes, this measure could do wonders to help our industry.”house-builders housing development Housing Minister Brandon Lewis Brian Berry builders Federation of Master Builders funding July 8, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » £100m funding boost for house builders previous nextHousing Market£100m funding boost for house buildersSmall developers are set to benefit from greater financial support from the Government, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has revealed.The Negotiator8th July 20150639 Views
Home » News » Agencies & People » Leaders join forces with Romans previous nextAgencies & PeopleLeaders join forces with RomansLeaders and Romans merge to become one of the country’s biggest property services providers.The Negotiator24th March 20160774 Views Leading letting agents Romans and Leaders have merged to create one of the largest property services providers in the UK, with more than 40,000 properties under management.The groups, which have branches in London and across the South East, East Anglia, the Midlands and the North West, have joined forces in an attempt to capitalise on the growing private rental sector.The new collaboration between Leaders, which has 118 branches, and Romans, which has 27 branches, to form Property Services Holdings, will lead to combined revenues of around £100 million.The agents are being merged by Bowmark Capital, the private equity firm, which backed the management buyouts of Leaders in 2010 and Romans in 2013.Mark Salter, a Partner at Bowmark Capital, commented, “Leaders and Romans are outstanding businesses in their own right, and both have delivered impressive profit growth under Bowmark’s ownership.“Bringing them together creates a leading lettings-focused property services group that is greater than the sum of the parts, and is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the positive market conditions.”ICG has provided a substantial senior debt facility to support the merger of the two brands, which will continue to operate autonomously, and has committed a further £35 million to enable the new group to continue its buy-and-build strategy.Paul Weller (left), Chief executive of Leaders, said, “This is an exciting next step in the Leaders story since forming our successful partnership with Bowmark in 2010. We are looking forward to sharing expertise with Romans to take fullest advantage of the expected growth in residential sales and lettings in the UK.”Romans Chief Executive Peter Coles (right) added, “With Bowmark’s backing, Romans has continued to expand across the South East. The merger with Leaders gives us access to a national platform and deep buy-and-build expertise, creating new opportunities for both businesses as we enter the next phase of growth.”merger property service providers Leaders Romans Romans and Leaders merge March 24, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
Half of all landlords in the UK expect their agent to pass on the costs of running their property after the draft Tenants Fees Bill becomes law next year, it has been revealed.The research, which was completed by ‘deposit alternative’ start-up Reposit, also shows that letting agent fee increases are one of the most common unexpected costs among landlords, alongside repairs and renewal fees, and that a third of landlords have experienced paying costs they weren’t expecting.But the research also reveals that increased fees are not the main reason landlords leave their agent. Of the 41% of landlords who told Reposit they had left their agent in the past, only 11% said it was over raised fees. Instead, customers service (61%) and bad property care (26%) irked them more and prompted them to find a new agent.“With changes to buy-to-let legislation and a ban on tenant fees, landlord perspectives are more important to letting agent revenues than ever before and very little is known about UK landlords’ relationships with their letting agents,” the reports says.But Reposit says the increased costs of being a landlord including the recent hikes in Stamp Duty and reductions in tax breaks, are forcing over a quarter of landlords to consider a cheaper agent – although poor service and a failure to deliver on promises are also key factors.London landlordsReposit’s research, which was conducted among 600 landlords, also highlights how the UK rental market is heavily London and South East biased, with 52% of all landlords operating in these two markets. The next largest buy-to-let market is the North West, Reposit says.It’s also a middle-aged activity. Over three quarters of landlords are aged over 45 years old, although there are few plucky young investors – 1.6% of landlords are aged between 18 and 24 years old. Reposit’s research also reckons there are two million landlords in the UK who own five million properties. landlords Reposit Tenant Fees Bill deposits fees ban November 2, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » ‘Half of landlords in the UK expecting fees rise after ban’ previous next‘Half of landlords in the UK expecting fees rise after ban’But research shows higher fees are the least common reason landlords quit their existing agent or decide to self-manage.Nigel Lewis2nd November 201701,166 Views
Home » News » Tenant fees ban will cost nearly £10,000 a year per branch, says government previous nextRegulation & LawTenant fees ban will cost nearly £10,000 a year per branch, says governmentAs Tenants Fees Bill begins its journey through parliament, official assessment of likely impact reveals landlords, agents and suppliers will foot £340m bill.Nigel Lewis3rd May 201801,598 Views England’s letting agents will lose £157.1 million in revenue or nearly £10,000 per branch during the first year of the tenant fees ban, the government’s own assessment of the impact reveals.But the overall cost of the tenant fees ban, taking in all business activities including agents, landlords and suppliers, is £340 million.The figures reveal that each letting agency branch in the UK will lose on average £9,818 in lost fees in 2019/2020 when the ban is likely to go live, based on a total industry size of 16,000 letting agent branches.The same document also reveals that the government expects lettings agents to close and that jobs will be lost, and that the ban will impact many industry service suppliers such as inventory clerks.Increased demandThe only positives for the industry identified by the government is that the tenant fees ban will “drive out” the most inefficient lettings agents within the industry and that a more flexible, less expensive transactional market for tenants will increase demand for rented property.Some 1.18 million people move home within the private rented sector every year at the moment, a figure the government expects to increase to 1.4 million by the time the ban is fully implemented in 2019/2020.Increasing rents are factored into the calculations, which reduce the gain tenants will receive from the ban, the figures show, although tenants will pay £12 million a year less in deposits during the first year of the ban when they are capped to four weeks.But the main trade bodies within the industry remain sceptical of the benefits the fees ban will bring.“We do not believe the Bill will achieve its aims, as our own research last year demonstrated that tenants will end up worse off and banning fees will not result in a more affordable private rented sector,” says David Cox, Chief Executive of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (pictured). letting fees ban #feesban Association of Residential Letting Agents David Cox May 3, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
Home » News » Auctions news » Clive Emson reports sales of £14 million previous nextAuctions newsClive Emson reports sales of £14 millionThe Negotiator10th June 20190282 Views A two bedroom, bungalow Aylesford, Kent sold for £245,000. Clive Emson’s latest auction round took place across five days in five venues from 29th April to 3rd May and achieved a sale rate in excess of 70 per cent, after cataloguing 138 lots.Managing Director James Emson said, “The professional advice provided by our experienced regional teams helps to secure a vast array of varied lots which in turn attracts potential buyers to our salerooms in their droves.Torquay’s Union Street selling for £267,500.“At the core of our business is the experience and honesty to recommend realistic guide and reserve prices which makes this transparent method of sale work for both buyers and sellers alike.“Of course, some lots prove particularly popular and it is one of the joys of being in this business to witness prolonged and competitive bidding.”Enthusiastic bidding led to a well located, four storey, mixed commercial/residential premises in Torquay’s Union Street selling for £267,500. The lower two floors are occupied by an estate agent at £22,500 pa with the flat above vacant.A two bedroom, detached bungalow needing improvement but with North Downs views in Aylesford, Kent sold for £245,000 on the instructions of the Power of Attorney.Aylesford haart Kent James Emson auction Clive Emson Torquay June 10, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
Nearly 100 leading property industry figures are to meet in East London tonight to raise in excess of £50,000 for homelessness charity Centre Point.The Negotiator will be there to report on the Great Agent Sleep Out event, which will include 800 people from other industries.The list of those braving the chill November air to sleep rough at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park includes many of the industry’s best-known names.These include former NAEA President Katie Griffin, current President Lauren Scott, Victoria Pinkerton, Valerie Bannister from Your Move, Kristjan Byfield from Base Property, Richard Payne from Clive Emson, Propertymark Chairman Chris Hamer, ARLA President Phil Keddie, consultant Mark Bentley plus James Munro, head of the Trading Standards Estate Agency Team.Many organisations and property firms within the industry are being represented including Howsy, Strutt & Parker, Goodlord, Rentify, London Residential, TDS, Compass Residential, John German, Portico, Ashtons, SDL Auctions, Tenant Shop, Century 21 and JD Alexander.“I have learned a lot about the work that Centrepoint does and there are so many reasons that people find themselves without the basic stability and comfort that the rest of us take for granted,” says Lauren Scott.Phil Keddie (left) says: “In these uncertain times, it can be very easy to overlook the homeless and take the basic amenities we have for granted.“Centrepoint is working to change this by helping the young and vulnerable and giving them the protection and help they need to have another chance. This sleepout is an opportunity for the industry to give something back, to a part of society that has become lost and desperately needs our help.”If you would like to help those attending smash their £50,000 target then donate via the official Just Giving page. So far, the event has raised £380,000 in total across all the industries.Full list of companies attendingActive PipeAlexander Reid & FrazerAmax Estates and Property Services LtdAringtonAshtonsAshtonsAvrilloBase PropertyBreckon and BreckonCastlenauClive EmsonCompass Residential LimitedDutton GregoryFine HomesGoodlordHelen Breeze Property Management LLPHowsyJackie Quinn & CoJames AlexanderJohn GermanKings AccommodationLettings PartnershipLines & JamesLondon ResidentialMark Bentley ConsultantsMy AuctionNeil Martin LtdParamount PropertiesPennington Surveyors LtdPinkertonsPorticoPropertymarkRentifyRodgers & Finney Estate AgentsRSPASawdye & Harris (Land & Estate Agents) LtdSDLStrutt & ParkerTenant ShopThe Expert PropertyTrading Placestrading standardsWatsonsWatts and MorganWestradeYour MovePhil Keddie Lauren Scott Kristjan Byfield NAEA propertymark ARLA Centrepoint Your Move 2019-11-21Nigel LewisAny comments? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Associations & Bodies » Wrap up warm! 100 industry figures prepare to sleep rough tonight for CentrePoint Wrap up warm! 100 industry figures prepare to sleep rough tonight for CentrePoint21st November 20190549 Views
Winkworth has launched a business that plans to make hay from the demise of Britain’s high streets as development and commercial investment switches to creating homes within former offices and retail space.The company has hired Adam Stackhouse, who for the past seven years has worked at Bective Leslie Marsh heading up its Land and New Homes division in central London.Winkworth says his team will be looking at development and commercial opportunities created by shifts in the economic environment and the lack of footfall to high streets.But it also hopes to profit from the changes in planning legislation designed to speed up the delivery of new homes in former office and retail spaces following the extension of Permitted Development Rights.Initially the team will operate within Zones 1-6 in London followed by further expansion into commuter areas such as Guildford, Godalming, Woking, and Reading.Planning reforms“Planning reforms are creating a huge opportunity to regenerate the link roads leading to the high street, where there are boarded up shops which are no longer sustainable.,” says Stackhouse.“These buildings will be very attractive to investors for conversion into homes, revitalising the streetscape and bringing more residents into the area.“This will then create more demand for a more concentrated area of retail in the high street.“The demand for office buildings is also changing, as a result of Covid-19, where buildings may be suitable for residential or for reconfiguring into spaces for a new way of working, where people may not be in the office every day.”Read more about permitted development.adam stackhouse permitted development winkworth September 18, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » New Winkworth team to advise on office and retail residential redevelopment previous nextAgencies & PeopleNew Winkworth team to advise on office and retail residential redevelopmentAgency says changes in permitted development rules, Covid and online shopping mean retail and high street can only go one way.Nigel Lewis18th September 202001,261 Views
View post tag: Navy View post tag: EPC Share this article Training & Education View post tag: News by topic The multinational training exercise Eurasia Partnership Capstone (EPC) 2012 concluded during a ceremony held at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center, Dec. 14.During the weeklong exercise, more than 80 representatives from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Ukraine and the United States conducted a variety of shipboard exercises and classroom training including environmental protection, maritime law, non-commissioned officer leadership courses, boarding training and applying NATO techniques to maritime interdiction operations (MIO).“I like the way the people come here and share their national habits, procedures, and tactics about maritime interdiction operations,” said Hellenic navy Ensign Alexander Tsaltas. “What we’re trying to do is gather all the different techniques and procedures from all the nations and build up the most efficient way to conduct these operations.”EPC is an effective tool for enhancing relationships between partner nations throughout the Black Sea region and focuses on building strategic partnerships for future MIO.“The Black Sea is a region of critical importance in terms of trafficking and illicit substances,” said Lt. Joshua Aisen, director of Eurasia Partnership program. Aisen also said the U.S. routinely conducts port visits in the Black Sea throughout the year with partner nations to help maintain stability in the region.Annually hosted by the U.S. Navy, EPC aims to increase maritime safety and security through open and transparent sharing of information in an informal environment such as workshops and seminars. Nations participating in EPC include Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Greece, Ukraine and the United States.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, December 18, 2012; Image: US Navy View post tag: completes View post tag: Training USA: EPC Completes Training Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: EPC Completes Training December 18, 2012 View post tag: Naval
View post tag: News by topic Handing Over Reins in Bahrain View post tag: Navy September 30, 2013 After two years at the helm of the UK Maritime Component Command in Bahrain, Commodore Simon Ancona is handing over his responsibilities and moving into a new role.At the US Naval Headquarters in Bahrain, Cdre Ancona thanked his staff for the “superb job” they did before handing over his responsibilities as the UK Maritime Component Commander and Deputy Commander Combined Maritime Forces to Commodore Keith Blount.Cdre Ancona will shortly join the Ministry of Defence in the rank of Rear Admiral.Royal Navy warships have maintained a constant presence in the Persian Gulf since September 1980 and in recent years have played a significant role as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a Bahrain-based multi-national naval force drawn from 29 nations with missions including counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and the maintenance of security in and around the Persian Gulf.Regarding his Royal Navy responsibilities in the 2.5 million square mile Joint Operating Area, which encompasses the majority of the Middle East, Cdre Ancona said:“There is no doubting the importance and relevance of the work being done by the Royal Navy in the region.“It is impossible to name another area of the globe that has such a direct effect on UK security and prosperity.“The men and women who deploy here do a superb job in often very difficult circumstances and it has been a pleasure and honour to play my part.”With regard to his Combined Maritime Forces responsibilities, he added:“The CMF is a remarkable organisation – perhaps the largest maritime cooperative that has ever existed – it continues to marshal forces from across its 29 nation membership to contribute to security and stability in a region of global importance.“I have been privileged to have been a part of it.”The UK has had strong defence links with the Persian Gulf region for many years. Enhancing these links even further through military relationships is at the core of the UKMCC responsibilities.The Gulf States are a source of economic and political influence and the UK, through the enduring RN presence continues its engagement with them to address a range of international issues.[mappress]Press Release, September 30, 2013; Image: Royal Navy Share this article View post tag: over View post tag: Defense View post tag: Naval Back to overview,Home naval-today Handing Over Reins in Bahrain View post tag: Reins View post tag: Defence Authorities View post tag: Handing
Authorities View post tag: Navy View post tag: Cardiff View post tag: Visitors Share this article View post tag: UK Navy View post tag: News by topic Visitors Board Warships in Cardiff September 10, 2014 View post tag: Naval Back to overview,Home naval-today Visitors Board Warships in Cardiff Six ships – including the Royal Navy’s latest front-line Type 45 destroyer – were berthed in Cardiff Bay at the heart of a ‘military village’ in Britannia Park, which also featured equipment, displays and personnel from the Army and RAF.And on a hot, sunny Sunday the people of South Wales turned up in their thousands to see what today’s Armed Forces have to offer – one estimate put the total number of visitors throughout the day at more than 80,000.The ships had travelled to South Wales in support of the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Hotel in nearby Newport, during which Duncan hosted a formal dinner on board for 28 NATO defence ministers.She and the other five warships – La Motte-Picquet (France), Skudd (Norway), Kursis (Lithuania), Urk (Netherlands) and Viesturs (Latvia) – were joined in Roath Basin by two Archer-class patrol boats, HM Ships Biter and Express, in welcoming visitors on board.Duncan saw more than 4,000 members of the public cross her gangway, while the two patrol boats – each with a ship’s company of just five – had attracted more than 200 people by early afternoon.Those stepping onto the destroyer’s flight deck in the morning were greeted by a dalek borrowed from the nearby BBC film studios – although this particular dalek sported an HMS Duncan cap and crest and was operated by a midshipman from Birmingham URNU, Michael Hooper.The event – formally opened by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones on board HNoMS Skudd – was a joint effort between the local authorities and the military, with the Naval Regional Commander for Wales and Western England, Cdre Jamie Miller, and his team putting in months of planning to ensure the event ran as smoothly as possible.Many elements of the Naval Service and wider Naval family were represented – members of the Royal Marines Band CTCRM played in small ensembles on the flight deck of Duncan and ashore, RN, RM and Maritime Reserves recruiters were evident and Cardiff branch of the RNA also manned a stall.[mappress]Press Release, September 10, 2014; Image: UK Navy Visitors flocked to a flotilla of NATO warships when Cardiff hosted a Meet the Forces day – although those stepping aboard HMS Duncan were confronted by one of the most dangerous aliens in the universe. View post tag: europe View post tag: Warships View post tag: board
View post tag: changes Back to overview,Home naval-today USS O’Kane Changes Command View post tag: Command View post tag: Naval View post tag: americas View post tag: Navy View post tag: USS O’Kane December 8, 2014 Authorities Cmdr. Gina McCaine relieved Cmdr. James Juster as commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77) during a change of command ceremony at sea, Nov. 19.McCaine, the former executive officer of O’Kane, became the ship’s 11th commanding officer since the ship’s commissioning Oct. 23, 1999.For Juster, the ceremony marked the end of a successful 18 month command tour highlighted by a nine month deployment to U.S. 5th and 7th fleets where O’Kane conducted numerous demanding missions with various carrier strike groups. He reported to O’Kane in October 2011 as the ship’s executive officer prior to taking command in May 2013.Juster’s next assignment will be a staff position at the Pentagon.Press release, Image: US Navy USS O’Kane Changes Command View post tag: News by topic Share this article
Lockheed Martin Corp. received a $10,2 million modification to delivery order 0020 previously awarded under Basic Ordering Agreement for the accomplishment of USS Freedom (LCS-1) fiscal 2015 dry-docking selected restricted availability. A dry-docking selected restricted availability includes the planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities.Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by October 2015.Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $ 10,276,743 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, California, is the ordering/contracting activity.[mappress mapid=”15642″]Image: US Navy Lockheed Martin Wins Further USS Freedom Works Authorities View post tag: americas View post tag: USS Freedom View post tag: News by topic April 13, 2015 Share this article View post tag: Naval Back to overview,Home naval-today Lockheed Martin Wins Further USS Freedom Works View post tag: Navy View post tag: Lockheed Martin
Back to overview,Home naval-today Diving Teams Train for CSS Georgia Salvage Authorities View post tag: americas June 19, 2015 View post tag: train View post tag: Navy View post tag: News by topic Share this article View post tag: Naval Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 6 conducted joint training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLC-FS) June 16.Sailors participating in the training are preparing for the salvage of the Civil War Ironclad CSS Georgia.Senior Chief Navy Diver Steve Askew, a Master Diver assigned to MDSU 2, said:The purpose of this training was to take EOD Techs, who are already qualified divers, and make them proficient in surface supply diving for the job we’re about to undertake in Savannah, Georgia.The job in Savannah, Ga. Askew refers to is the salvaging of the CSS Georgia, which currently rests on the bottom of the Savannah River. Divers from MDSU 2 and EODMU 6 Technicians will be working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to bring up parts of the ship’s armor systems, steam engine components, small structure pieces and all her weapons, which include four cannon and upward of 50 projectiles, which are either rifle shells or cannon balls.During the first two weeks of the job, there will be one Navy Diver and one EOD Technician diving together to retrieve unexploded ordnance and various artifacts, said Askew.The joint training this week wraps up three months of training for the salvage operation, scheduled to take place from 21 June until 11 September.[mappress mapid=”16271″]Image: US Navy View post tag: teams Diving Teams Train for CSS Georgia Salvage View post tag: Diving View post tag: Salvage View post tag: CSS Georgia
January 19, 2016 Op Atalanta warships train with Djiboutian Navy sailors During the recent port visit to Djibouti, Operation Atalanta warships ITS Carabiniere and FGS Erfurt carried out maritime training alongside their colleagues from the Djiboutian Navy.The training was designed to mimic intense firefighting situations and the Djiboutian Navy trainees conducted a series of damage control exercises and firefighting procedures.Operation Atalanta warships regularly engage in joint activities together with regional states. This training allows for the continued development of all parties’ capabilities and skills to ensure counter-piracy operations can continue successfully.[mappress mapid=”17603″] Authorities Share this article View post tag: EUNAVFOR View post tag: Op Atalanta Back to overview,Home naval-today Op Atalanta warships train with Djiboutian Navy sailors
Sonar and waterside security systems company Klein Marine Systems teamed with Israel-based international defense electronics company Elbit Systems to conduct mine countermeasure exercises in the Mediterranean Sea. The exercises were used by the companies to test their recent products. Klein put its 5900 mine hunting side scan sonar to the test while Elbit tested its new Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV).Klein said the duo detected and classified all detectable moored and bottom Mine Like Objects (MLO’s) during the exercises.During the trials which were conducted in depths of up to 85 m, the 5900 sonar enabled MCM area survey at speeds of 8-9 knots.The company said the 5900 from Klein Marine systems, Inc., is a high resolution, dynamically focused, multi-beam, side scan sonar designed specifically for small object detection with bottom coverage, while being towed at speeds up to 14 knots.According to Klein, the system employs advanced signal processing techniques, motion compensation and acoustic design to provide high-resolution, imagery performance. Remote control software, Swath Bathymetry and a Nadir Gap Filler capability are subsystem options available on the 5900 System.The Seagull USV from Elbit Systems, Inc. is a newly introduced 12-meter Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) designed with replaceable mission modules. Two Seagull vessels are capable of being operated and controlled in concert using a single Mission Control System (MCS), from manned ships or from the shore. Authorities View post tag: Elbit Systems March 16, 2016 Back to overview,Home naval-today Klein, Elbit meet for mine counter measure drills in the Mediterranean Klein, Elbit meet for mine counter measure drills in the Mediterranean View post tag: Klein Marine Systems Share this article
The German Navy recently shared a video of its giant 7,000-ton frigate FGS Baden-Württemberg conducting further firing tests.This is the second video of the lead ship of a new class of F 125 frigates firing its weapons in the North Sea’s Helgoland shooting range.The previous one showed the Baden-Württemberg testing its guns and close-in weapon systems.This time, we are treated to the frigate’s RAM and Harpoon missile firings. The RAM (short for Rolling Airframe Missile) is guided missile weapon system used for ship self-defense. The Harpoon is an over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system.Firings of the RAM start at 2:00 while fast forwarding to 3:50 of the video will bring you to a cool slow motion of the Harpoon missile launch. The frigate’s crew launched a total of four RAM and one Harpoon missile during this test.With this test, the Baden-Württemberg certified her weapon systems and is now set for further functional tests before being officially transferred to the German Navy this summer.F 125 frigates are a new class of ships set to replace the eight Bremen-Class frigates currently in service with the German Navy.The four frigates are comparable to destroyers in size and are, with a length of 149 meters and a displacement of 7000 tonnes, the biggest operational ships in the German Navy.According to the German Navy, the new frigates require only half the crew necessary to operate the Bremen-Class frigates. They will be able to stay at sea for up to 24 months and thereby reduce the transit times for the crews. The crews will swap in regular intervals directly in the areas of operations which means that the ships will have to make fewer port visits. April 21, 2017 View post tag: FGS Baden-Württemberg Video: German F 125 frigate tests RAM, Harpoon missiles Back to overview,Home naval-today Video: German F 125 frigate tests RAM, Harpoon missiles View post tag: F 125 View post tag: RAM View post tag: HARPOON View post tag: German Navy Share this article Authorities
USS Theodore Roosevelt pulls into Singapore View post tag: US Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Theodore Roosevelt pulls into Singapore US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) arrived in Singapore for a scheduled port visit on April 2 after supporting operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel over the previous four months.USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Singapore with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102).“It is great to be back in the US 7th Fleet and have the ability to visit another port here during deployment, and we couldn’t be more excited to be here,” said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9. “The US and Singapore have a strong navy-to-navy relationship and we look forward to our time in port to continue to build on that connection in many ways.”During the port visit, sailors and marines will volunteer off-duty time to assist local charitable organizations and participate in community relations and the leadership of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) will welcome ship visitors while moored at Changi Naval Base.“US 7th Fleet port calls are both rich tourism opportunities for the crew and important relationship-building opportunities with the host nations,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “Sailors have an opportunity to get some well-deserved rest and enjoy the vibrant cultures as they continue deployment.”After the scheduled visit, the TRCSG will continue training in the US 7th Fleet area of operations. TRCSG returned to 7th Fleet after completing more than four months in the Arabian Gulf and US 5th Fleet area of operations supporting maritime security, theater security cooperation, and operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel.Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of CSG 9, left its homeport of San Diego, October 6 and is currently underway with Bunker Hill, Sampson, USS Halsey (DDG 97), and USS Preble (DDG 88) for a deployment to US 7th and 5th Fleets. The TRCSG deployment is an example of the US Navy’s routine presence in waters around the globe, displaying commitment to stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations. View post tag: USS Theodore Roosevelt April 3, 2018 View post tag: CSG 9 Authorities View post tag: Changi Naval Base Share this article
Notes to Applicant: Official transcripts are required for afaculty appointment and will be requested upon selection of finalcandidate. All positions at the University of Houston are securitysensitive and will require a criminal history check. The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering offers abroad range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses andoccasionally has openings for part-time Lecturers to teach coursesbeginning in the 2017-2018 academic year. Interested and qualifiedcandidates are invited to apply to be considered for thesetemporary, part-time positions. Please indicate the courses thatyou are interested in teaching. Lecturer appointments are made on asemester basis.The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/AffirmativeAction institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons withdisabilities are encouraged to apply.Qualifications : PhD or an equivalent doctoral degree
The Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Applied Mathematicsand Statistics, in collaboration with the Mathematical Institutefor Data Sciences, seeks applicants for a lecturer position in DataScience commencing July 1, 2021 on the Homewood campus.The selected individual will be a member of the faculty in theDepartment of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, but will mostlybe expected to participate in the master’s program in Data Scienceby teaching two courses per semester over a two-semester academicyear. The selected individual will also be expected to be involvedin the program’s academic leadership and in the evaluation ofstudent applications to the program and, and to advise students whoare enrolled in the program. Successful candidates must have astrong academic background, with a doctoral degree in one of thefollowing: Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, ElectricalEngineering, Computer Science, or a related discipline. They areexpected to have a strong commitment to, and excellent credentialsin, teaching subjects that are relevant in Statistics and DataScience, including its mathematical foundations.More information about the Department of Applied Mathematics andStatistics can be found at https://engineering.jhu.edu/ams/, about the Mathematical Institute for Data Sciences at https://www.minds.jhu.edu and aboutthe Whiting School of Engineering at https://engineering.jhu.edu/ . Adescription of the Data Science master’s program may also be foundat https://engineering.jhu.edu/ams/data-science-masters-program/.Applications will be reviewed as they are received and willcontinue to be accepted until the position is filled. Applicationsreceived by December 31, 2020 will receive fullconsideration.All applicants should submit their application online at apply.interfolio.com/80105Electronic applications should include a cover letter describingthe principal expertise of the applicant, a statement of teachinginterests, a complete resume, and at least four referenceletters.The Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity/affirmativeaction employer that actively encourages interest from minoritiesand women and is committed to recruiting, supporting, and fosteringa diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students.All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply. TheJohns Hopkins University is an EEO/AA Employer.The Johns Hopkins University is committed to equal opportunity forits faculty, staff, and students. To that end, the university doesnot discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, marital status,pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age,disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity orexpression, veteran status or other legally protectedcharacteristic. The university is committed to providing qualifiedindividuals access to all academic and employment programs,benefits and activities on the basis of demonstrated ability,performance and merit without regard to personal factors that areirrelevant to the program involved.The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to apre-employment background check.If you are interested in applying for employment with The JohnsHopkins University and require special assistance or accommodationduring any part of the pre-employment process, please contact theHR Business Services Office at [email protected] For TTYusers, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.The following additional provisions may apply depending on whichcampus you will work. Your recruiter will adviseaccordingly.During the Influenza (“the flu”) season, as a condition ofemployment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employeeswho provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care orclinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination orpossess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meetthis requirement may result in termination of employment.The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas,laboratories, working with research subjects, or involvingcommunity contact requires documentation of immune status againstRubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella(chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received theTdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may includedocumentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicellavaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratorytesting. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases areordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except forthose employees who provide results of blood tests or immunizationdocumentation from their own health care providers. Anyvaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no costin our Occupational Health office.Equal Opportunity EmployerNote: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online untilfilled.EEO is the LawLearn more:https://www1.eeoc.gov/employers/upload/eeoc_self_print_poster.pdfImportant legal informationhttp://hrnt.jhu.edu/legal.cfm
Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine is currentlyseeking an Advanced Practice Nurse to join its Department ofGeriatrics and Gerontology, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry. Thesuccessful candidate will have the opportunity to work as anintegral part of an interdisciplinary team serving Geriatricpatients across a broad spectrum of settings including AssistedLiving, Subacute/Skilled Nursing and Long-term Care. In support ofthe School of Medicine’s mission and vision, this is a facultyposition, with opportunities to teach.Working collaboratively with our Geriatric Psychiatry team, theAdvanced Practice Nurse provides care and education to patientsacross the continuum of care environments. The APN also provideseducation to staff in those facilities and participates in qualityimprovement initiatives.Candidates must meet the following requirements:Valid NJ Nursing License with Prescriptive AuthorityAdvanced Nursing Degree (APN)CDSDEACertification in Psychiatry Mental HealthAdvertised: Dec 14 2020 Eastern Standard TimeApplications close:
Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, doesnot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age,gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, maritalstatus, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder,learning disability or physical disability, political belief,veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information ornon-position-related criminal record. We welcome applications fromwomen and historically underrepresented minority groups. Inquiriesregarding Title IX, Section 504, or any other non-discriminationpolicies should be directed to: Alison Williams, Vice President forEquity & Inclusion/ Title IX Officer, 860-685-3927, [email protected] Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse,energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking andpractical idealism go hand in hand.Position DetailsThe Department of Psychology at Wesleyan University invitesapplications for a visiting faculty position at the assistantprofessor level in neuroscience. The initial appointment is for oneyear, and is renewable for a second year based on performance. Thevisitor course load is five courses per academic year. The coursestaught will contribute to both the Psychology Department as well asthe interdisciplinary Neuroscience & Behavior program.Responsibilities include teaching survey courses in the candidate’sarea of expertise, statistics, and a small seminar for first-yearstudents as well as contributing to a team-taught core course inBehavioral Neurobiology. In addition, service to the department andprogram will include advising undergraduate majors. The PsychologyDepartment currently has 18 full-time faculty members in the areasof neuroscience, psychopathology, cognitive, developmental,cultural, and social psychology. Wesleyan faculty have a strongcommitment to both scholarship and undergraduate teaching. Theappointment will begin September 1, 2021.Minimum QualificationsCandidates must have a Ph.D. in Psychology, Neuroscience, orrelated field in hand by the time of appointment to be hired as anAssistant Professor; a successful candidate may be hired as anInstructor if the candidate does not have a Ph.D. in hand at thetime of appointment, but will complete the Ph.D.in Psychology,Neuroscience, or related field within one year of hire.Special Instructions To ApplicantsA complete application includes: curriculum vitae, researchstatement, teaching statement, teaching evaluations if available,and no more than two reprints. In the cover letter, applicantsshould describe how they will embrace the college’s commitment tofostering an inclusive community, as well as their experienceworking with individuals from historically marginalized orunderserved groups.You will also be asked to provide the email addresses of threereferees from whom we may obtain confidential letters ofrecommendation (please double-check the accuracy of the emailaddresses of the referees you name to insure that you have the mostup-to-date email addresses for each one).After you have submitted all of the required documents, you willsee a confirmation number. At that point, each of your refereeswhose email address you have provided will receive anautomatically-generated email requesting that he or she submit aletter of reference for you.Additional InformationReview of applications will begin immediately and will continueuntil the position is filled.Inquiries about this position can be sent to Professor BarbaraJuhasz, Search Committee Chair, at [email protected] for Interfolio users:We gladly accept letters of recommendation from Interfolio. Fromyour Interfolio account, please use the “web delivery” method toupload your letters directly to our online application.For further instructions, look here:http://product-help.interfolio.com/m/27438/l/266289-confidential-letter-uploads-to-online-application-systems
Sarah Karacs goes behind the scenes at rehearsals in Keble. The Flu Season runs at the Burton Taylor in 3rd week, from 29 January to 2 February, at 7:30 pm.
5:19: Lab 181, Con 236, LD 36Report from the Union: Max Lewis of OCA standing on a table and claiming it was OCA campaigning that won Oxford West for the Tories. I’m off to bed. 4:54: Lab 162, Con 220, LD 35Some success for the Lib Dems at last, as they succeed in unseating Charles Clarke. That’s two former Labour Home Secretaries gone in one night. 4:51: Lab 157, Con 313, LD 33But Ed Balls survives. Just. 4:39: Lab 149, Con 198, LD 25Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been defeated in Redditch by Tory Karen Lumley by a huge majority: 5821 votes. So Evan Harris can take comfort from the fact that he didn’t do as badly has her. But then Harris’s partner didn’t claim porn films on Parliamentary expenses. 4:35: Lab 145, Con 188, LD 28We now have the figures for Oxford West. Lib Dem Incumbent Evan Harris lost to Tory Nicola Blackwood by fewer than 200 votes: 23 730 to 23 906, on a 6.9% swing. A few hours ago I thought the Lib Dems might end up controlling both Oxford constituencies. Now they have neither. Not a good night for them at all. 4:23: Lab 138, Con 179, LD 28 – Oxford West falls to ToriesNo figures yet, but Evan Harris of the Lib Dems has been defeated by the Conservatives in Oxford West. 4:16: Lab 133, Con 168, LD 26Now just two of us left in the JCR. And the other one is asleep. 4:14 Lab 130 Con 166, LD 26‘Let’s speak now to two stars of the apprentice.’ God, the BBC are getting desperate. 4:08: Lab 122, Con 155, LD 23We’ve reached the halfway point, with 330 seats now declared. 4:10 is an exceptionally late time to reach the halfway point. Vernon Bogdanor again, claiming to know how David Cameron is feeling: ‘I knew David Cameron extremely well as an undergraduate.’ Dimbleby is giving the impression more and more that Bogdanor is there not so much to explain hung Parliaments as to explain Cameron. 3:49: Lab 114, Con 133, LD 22There’s going to be a recount of the Tory and Lib Dem vote in Oxford West and Abingdon, so we can’t expect a result for a while. 3:31: Lab 112, Con 104, LD 15 – Oxford East Held by LabourMore bad news for the Lib Dems – Andrew Smith has managed to hold on in Oxford East, defeating Steve Goddard of the Lib Dems by 21,938 to 17,357. And we thought Cherwell’s endorsement would ensure victory for him…Oxford Town Hall exploded when the result was called. The sizeable, and severely sleep-deprived, OULC contingent were clearly delighted that it had gone their way.Smith thanked the students who had been involved in the campaign. He felt that their support in the previous “months and years had been really key to our victory here.”He also commented that “in the student wards I think there were far more votes for me and the Labour Party than people, including the student newspapers, were expecting.”3:30: Con 103, Lab 100, LD 14As an illustration of how disappointing tonight is for the Lib Dems, Lembit Opic, he of the asteroids and the Cheeky Girls, has lost his seat. Come to think of it, some Lib Dems might not consider Opik’s loss so disappointing after all. Nick Robinson: ‘there’s no doubt he [Cameron] will be very disappointed.’3:23: Lab 98, Con 92, LD 14Paxman’s citing reports that the Labour party is already talking to the Lib Dems about coalition or co-operation. They, by the way, are having a torrid night, and are already one seat down among those which have declared. Lib Dem dreams of 100+ MPs, or of coming second in the popular vote, are rapidly disappearing. 3:20: Lab 89, Con 87, LD 13Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at Brasenose, has just been interviewed on the BBC for the third or fourth time tonight. Bogdanor’s a big dog in the political world, but is particularly in demand tonight, both because he tutored David Cameron while he was at Oxford and because he is the world’s leading expert on the British constitution, and so one of the best people to explain what might happen in the event of a hung parliament. He says Cameron was one of the best students he’s taught, and also that he’s cool and calm under pressure, which, he says, is essential in a politician. Paxman then goes on to bully a poor Tory candidate into talking about coalitions, which he resolutely refuses to do. 3:09: Lab 87, Con 79, LD 10The Union is thinning out as people go back to their colleges, but the Cherwell team is still at work, the editors finalising tomorrow’s edition in the offices and reporters waiting at Oxford Town Hall for the results announcement, which should come some time in the next hour. A press officer told us earlier in the evening that they were expecting to be able to announce by about 2:30, but the turnout has been so great that the count is taking much longer than originally anticipated. A dozen or so people are still watching in my JCR, fighting off sleep. We’ll see how many make it to the morning. 1:58: Lab 31, Con 15, LD 4Results coming thick and fast now. Fierce booing in the Macmillan room as Gordon Brown was re-elected, and plenty of shouts of ‘down with Brown.’ The Goodman library downstairs is much more subdued, apart from the people climbing in through the windows to avoid the £4 charge. It’s not looking like quite the night the Lib Dems were hoping for. 1:07: Lab 5, Con 2, LD 1The first Tory gain of the night comes in Kingswood, and the OUCA boys immediately launch into a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen, as a certain ex-president standing on a table necks champagne from the bottle. You have to see it to believe it. 00:25: Lab 3, Con 0, LD 0 Overheard in the Macmillan Room as Sunderland Central declared for Labour: ‘fucking socialists.’A press officer at Oxford Town Hall tells me that the Oxford East results should come through some time after 2am. Turnout has been much higher than normal, but there were none of the fights or queues that happened in other constituencies. There’s a small gaggle of Labour Club people hanging around outside the counting room, but nothing like as large as the huge OCA crowd at the Union. Lib Dems nowhere to be seen, apart from Henry Curr. 23:35: Lab 2, Con 0, LD 0The Union has been nominally divided into three areas for supporters of the three political partie
Two Oxford University professors have been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for higher and further education.Vice-Chancellor Andrew Hamilton and David MacDonald CBE, founder of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, received the prize in recognition of Oxford University’s conservation research. WildCRU attempt to achieve practical solutions to conservation issues, describing their approach as “empirical, interdisciplinary and collaborative.”The prize was awarded on 24th February by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in a Buckingham Palace ceremony. Each recipient received a silver gilt medal and certificate signed by the Queen.Other winners included the universities of Nottingham, St Andrews, Plymouth and Surrey. Oxford University was awarded the prize for the eighth time, more than any other university.The Royal Anniversary Trust chairman said, “At a time when the higher and further education sectors are under so much pressure, the winners highlight the fantastic depth and breadth of research being undertaken at institutions right across the UK.
Alpacas and their enthusiasts descended upon Keble College last week for the World Alpaca Conference.Over 180 delegates from 18 different countries attended the conference which celebrates the versatility of the alpaca, an animal closely related to the llama, and the multiple uses of its famously soft fleece. It was the first time the event had ever been held in the UK.Alpaca owners came in their herds to the conference, which included events such as talks on Alpaca health, fleece testing and workshops about breeding alpacas and processing their fleece.The alpacas, meanwhile, grazed on the grass outside, much to the amusement of Keble’s students, who are prevented from walking on the lawns in Michaelmas and Hilary. Domestic Bursar, Janet Betts, conceded that “it would have been difficult to fine the animals anyway”.Later, the delegates moved inside for a fashion show in which alpaca fleece garments, including ponchos, scarves and dresses were modelled. The fleeces of the alpacas brought to the conference were also judged. “Pinkney Angelica” was labelled the winner, having already secured first place for her “Champion Fleece” in last year’s Heart of England Fleece Show.The conference, organised by the British Alpaca Society, aims to promote the use of alpaca fleece in Britain. All profits are set to go to Amanti, a charity for Peruvian children, which thanked the BAS “for their generous support”.One delegate commented that she’d like alpaca “to become part of everyone’s vocabulary”. Another delegate, Chris Goffrey, said that the conference was really “a big deal” as it was bound to put “the UK alpaca community on the map.”Kishan Koran, a first year PPEist, commented that there was “something beautiful and majestic about the idea of alpacas in Oxford”. However another student questioned whether “having an Alpaca conference in 2012 is a smart idea,” as it is a year widely regarded to be “the year of the Mayan Alpaca-lypse.”
“The whiteboard comments were individual to each person and related to their personal experience of Oxford’s inclusivity. This of course leads to a wider discussion of access for all types of minorities at Oxford.“We are simply painting a more balanced picture of the university and highlighting to people that it is ignorant individuals, and not the University of Oxford, that expresses these views.“We all stand by our response and really hope that people will take the time to read the explanation at the beginning of our Tumblr page as we feel this accurately expresses our intentions.”Chiara Giovanni, who was involved in the “I, Too, Am Oxford” campaign, said, “While I thoguht it was funny, well-timed and aptly named, I think a quick explanation of why WAAO is silencing, hurtful and belittling to the PoC who took part in the original project would have been useful. It’s a shame tha this isn’t immediately obvious but clearly it’s necessary to explain that (a) parrotting access expenditure does not equate to dedicated combatting of institutional racism while students are here and (b) white people telling the PoC who participated that they, in effect, should sit downa nd stop worrying because everything’s dine and ‘diversity’ is being celebrated.”“Some of the comments were irrelevant, but I do think that the fact this exists, along with the huge backlash to WAAO on Tiwtter at #wearealloxford demosntrates how hurtful and insulting this project is, and how it’s actually having a terrible impact on the University’s image (the opposite than intended!), which ought to be taken very seriously.”Many have reacted negatively to “We Are All Oxford” on Twitter. One tweet reads, “Oxford University outreach spend: £5.6 million. Oxford University annual endowment: £3.8 billion #wearealloxford”. Another reads, “#wearealloxford is exactly why #ITooAmOxford is needed. I cannot believe that @ousunews thought it was a good idea. Really sad.”However, others have defended the campaign. A recent tweet reads, “#wearealloxford has been woefully misunderstood. Its ONLY argument is that the original campaign is unrepresentative. Not denying it.” A new Tumblr account purporting to be, “A concise description of what’s wrong with “We Are All Oxford” has added to the controversy surrounding the “I, Too, Am Oxford” compaign.“We Are All Awful”, published earlier today, posts pictures from “We Are All Oxford” alongside captions that mock the original content.In one post, a “troll” face is superimposed onto that of a woman holding the sign, “We enjoyed celebrating diversity at the OUSU International Fair”, alongisde the caption, “This white person who ‘enjoys’ celebrating ‘diversity’”.Other features, including the fact that one person appears twice in “We Are All Oxford”, holding a different sign in each picture, are also mocked.“We Are All Oxford” was published earlier this week by Alexandra Jaye Wilson in protest on what it considered an unfair representation of the treatment of race in the university by the “I, Too, Am Oxford” campaign.She commented, “We are appalled that someone has reduced the efforts of our response to a patronising and immature parody blog. We have emphasised repeatedly that we have no intention to undermine the original campaign as it raises very important issues about people’s prejudices and misguided perceptions, which need to be challenged!“It seems as though the social media reaction is claiming that we are saying that racism does not exist, which is not the case at all. We are not naive and we are horrified that people think we are trying to suggest that these negative experiences do not matter, as many of us have faced them ourselves.“In addition to this, there has been a lot of criticism about white people featuring in the campaign. We think it is extremely important that everyone has an opportunity to express their opinion and people who are white should not feel that they are excluded from this discussion. For clarification some of the white people pictured are not White British and are in fact ethnic minorities.
Oxford City Council has removed the prohibition of rough sleeping from their proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), meaning that it will not become a criminal offence. The inclusion of a prohibitionof rough sleeping in the PSPO was part of a measure to tackle anti-social behaviour in Oxford’s city centre. However, the Oxford city council confirmed in a statement on 18th that this section has been removed from the proposal, stating, “The draft proposals to deal with pidgeon nuisance and with rough sleepers who have been provided with indoor accommodation but fail to use it have not been included in the recommendations to the CEB.“In both cases, the consultation process indicated that an Order of this type was not likely to be the most effective way of tackling these issues.”This change has been welcomd by On Your Doorstep (OYD), OUSU’s homelessness action group. Freya Turner, chairman of OYD, commented on the result, telling Cherwell, “We at OYD are very pleased that Oxford City Council has listened to our concerns and those of the sector, and has excluded rough sleeping from the PSPO.“This isbecause activism brought into relief the fact that rough sleeping, which is a product of unfortunate circumstances, should not be lumped together with practices likefeeding pidgeons, which is behaviour that anyone can choose to refrain from.“Moreover, the PSPO as a piece of legislation was clearly not designed for dealing with rough sleeping, because it was restricted to a particular area – the city centre – and therefore it would have just displaced the homeless people further out of the city, which is not a constructive way to help them and would have made it harder for services to reach them.”OYD began their campaign against the proposed prohibition on rough sleeping two months ago with a petition on change.org. The petition gathered significant momentum, gaining 72,280 signatures by the time the Council changed its plans. OYD successfully passed a motion hrough OUSU securing OUSU support for the group’s stance on the PSPO. Last week also saw OYD campaigning on Cornmarket Street against the criminalisation of rough sleeping.The Oxford City Council responded to OYD’s opposition in late April, releasing a statement in response to the petition, assuring people, “The consultation process has been widely supported and before any decision is taken, the Council will be looking closely at what residents, businesses and visitors have said.”Council Leader Bob Price commented, “The propoal has been developed by the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour team in response to complaints from city centre traders, residents and visitors about a range of anti-social and nuisance behaviour.“it seeks to provide a clear framework for city centre activities which will maintain the vibrant and active character that we enjoy throughout the year, while dealing efectively with behaviours that could damage the quality of the city centre experience for shopping, eating and entertainment. It will rprovide legal powers for the first time to tackl persistant offenders who cause a nuisance.”
By James PolstonTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—Parents, students, and teachers awaiting the results of the spring 2018 ISTEP+ tests will have to wait a little bit longer.The Indiana Department of Education released a statement Thursday saying it will not be presenting ISTEP+ results as planned at the Sept. 5 meeting of the State Board of Education. The results had been embargoed until then.In a separate statement released later Thursday, IDOE reported they have received word this week from Pearson that there are issues involving a 10th-grade mathematics graphing item and third through eighth and 10thgrade document image reconciliation associated with the final ISTEP+ spring 2018 results.Pearson Education is a British-owned education publishing and assessment service that the IDOE uses to administer the ISTEP+ test.IDOE said officials are currently working with Pearson to reconcile the data for the affected students and redeliver final data and reporting. The department also said it anticipates only a small percentage of students in third through eighth and 10th grade will be affected. Further updates will be provided as more information is made available.Footnote: James Polston is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Forum Cancellation Leads to Call For Resignation For Mayor AustinJUNE 1ST, 2018 TYRONE MORRIS EVANSVILLE, HENDERSON COUNTY, INDIANA, KENTUCKYAs talks over a possible Deaconess Health and Methodist Hospital affiliation continue drama is surrounding the process. Thursday night, Henderson City Commissioner Robert Pruitt called for Mayor Steve Austin to step down from the Methodist Board of Directors. That came after an informal public forum was canceled. Mayor Austin sits on the board independently from being mayor. He says the 24 member board voted to cancel the forum due to tight nondisclosure agreements.“Disturbing but not surprising both of those people that are bringing up issues about it are running for public office in the next election so I’m sure they are trying to get a little traction with that,” says Austin.Mayor Austin says the forum may be rescheduled once their nondisclosure agreements run out at the end of the month.For now, officials are asking anyone with questions to email them at [email protected] FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
We hope that todays “IS IT TRUE” will provoke “…honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?”IS IT TRUE that the City County Observer would like to congratulate the Evansville Courier and Press for picking up on the IS IT TRUE post that was published earlier this week about the Evansville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Holiday Gluttony Feast Part 2? …after CVB being outed 7 years ago for spending over $3,000 for a dinner event held at Biaggi’s Ristorante, the CVB may have done it again with purchasing a $1,100 roasted whole pig from Dewig’s Market in Haubstadt? …if Evansville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau CEO would had purchased this roasted pig from local vendors he may have paid a lot less for this dish? …we thought that theme for the Evansville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau was to buy local? … word in the street is that the Evansville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau also had a roasted “The Pig Fest” in 2016? …it has been reported that the total bill for the 2017 “The Pig Feast” exceeded well over $2,000, excluding any alcohol? IS IT TRUE that Bob Warren has headed the CVB for 8 years will announced his retirement around this coming May, 2018? …since Mr. Warren is in charge of bringing new visitors and investors to Evansville, we hope that were no Muslims or Jewish people that didn’t get offended by this event and stayed away because of this big fat roasted pig had its picture plastered all over Facebook? …offering mutton alongside “The Pig” may have suited those (and there are many) who do not eat pork?IS IT TRUE that its been a very long time since someone has channeled Johnny Carson in doing a “Carnak the Magnificent” imitation in making some unrealistic predictions? ….it looks like the prediction what would happen to downtown Evansville if a new convention hotel was built downtown may be some what off?…we wonder if this is the same “Carnak the Magnificent” who predicted an occupancy rate that would exceed the local averages for the downtown Doubletree? …Mole #21 tells the CCO that the occupancy rate the downtown Doubletree Hotel for the first year may be coming in below 40% which is lower than average for the Tri-State motels?…we wonder if this is the same “Carnak The Magnificent” that agreed with the power that be that the Ford Center and the Doubletree Hotel together would successfully bring lots of conventions and of big acts to town and it would pay for the Ford Center bond debt? …the reality is that there has literally hasn’t been a single act that has come to the Ford Center that Roberts Stadium couldn’t have handled?…the real miscalculation statement made by the CVB leadership was if the city would bring a big time NCAA Division II sporting event to Evansville it would fill the Ford Center and area hotels never happening?IS IT TRUE we read that Mr. Warren will announce his retirement in May, 2018 and we wish him well? ..in all fairness Mr. Warren has done a okay job with what he has to work with?…its looks like that all of subsidized fun and games nonsense will not turn Evansville into a major tourist attraction any more than a fancy bike path on North Main Street will turn it into a desirable neighborhood or the Evansville Thunderbolts will make the Ford Center profitable?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel when CVB served a roasted pig at their holiday event it attracted new businesses to locate in Evansville? Please take time and read our articles entitled “STATEHOUSE Files, CHANNEL 44 NEWS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS”. You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily. If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] EDITOR’S FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City County Observer or our advertisersFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
JERSEY CITY – In a tweet posted on Saturday night, Jan. 13, Mayor Steven Fulop reversed his campaign promise to only serve two terms.“I assure u I’m running for mayor for another term to fight for Jersey City if others want to try to stop progress for political gain. #JerseyCity mayor has no term limits. I’m thankful for 78% in the last election. I’m in good shape,” he said.
Ocean City High School senior Jake Cassidy and Ocean City Board of Realtors President Ken SedberryThe Ocean City Board of Realtors announces the awarding of two college scholarships and sponsorship of scholastic programs with funds raised at the Spring Golf Event at the Greate Bay Country Club, on Thursday, May 8.Two recent high school graduates were the recipients each of a $1,000 scholarship: Jesse Briglia, graduate of St. Augustine’s Preparatory School, and Jake Cassidy, graduate of Ocean City High School. In addition to awarding the scholarships, the Ocean City Board of REALTORS allocated funds to the After Prom Event at Ocean City High School and is a sign sponsor for the Ocean City High School Baseball Boosters. Additional funds are earmarked for future scholastic programs.Unique to this spring tournament was the opportunity to sponsor a Commemorative Pin Flag that honors graduates of Ocean City High School. The Commemorative Flag was personalized with the graduate’s name and year of graduation and sponsors were able to take the pin flag home as a memorial. Local business showed their support by purchasing hole sign sponsorships.St. Augustine Prep senior Jesse BrigliaThe 2013 Spring Golf Event funded three college scholarships and allowed for the sponsoring of school programs such as the After Prom Event and the Baseball Booster Club.“The Ocean City Board of Realtors would like to express its appreciation for the generosity of the many sponsors of the golf event: local businesses, organizations, Ocean City Realtors and family & friends of the local high schools, who all joined together to help raise funds to sponsor the scholarships and scholastic programs of our local students” said Damon Bready, chairman of the Fundraising Committee.— News release from the Ocean City Board of Realtors
Owners Maria and Bob Boyer, who bought the Chatterbox in 2014, stand in front of a historic mural that serves as a centerpiece in the dining room. By Donald WittkowskiCustomers strolling through the doors of the Chatterbox Restaurant might think they have passed through a time portal transporting them back to the 1950s.The Platters croon their 1955 hit “The Great Pretender” over the loudspeaker, old 45 rpm records tacked on the walls serve as old-school decorations and a neon Pepsi Cola sign behind the counter is faintly reminiscent of the Eisenhower era.Yo, all we need are Richie and Fonzie from “Happy Days” to stop by to make this nostalgic atmosphere complete.Although the reproduction retro-chic look may be trendy in some modern restaurants, the Chatterbox is an authentic throwback to the 1950s. Actually, it traces its roots to 1937, when the original owner, Jean Campbell, opened the family-style eatery in downtown Ocean City.The current owners, Bob and Maria Boyer, will celebrate the restaurant’s 80th anniversary on Friday with a cake-cutting gala open to the public. Slated to get underway at 11 a.m., the celebration will last as long as the free cake holds out, the Boyers said.Maria Boyer points to an old black-and-white photo of the Chatterbox’s original owner, Jean Campbell, who opened the restaurant in 1937.Jean Campbell will also be there to greet customers, sort of. She has been immortalized in an old black-and-white photo from 1941 that shows her standing in front of a delivery truck. The picture frame containing Campbell’s photo also includes an old Chatterbox menu from the 1930s. Campbell’s photo peers out over the main dining room, ensuring that she will be a permanent fixture at the restaurant.Beginning with Campbell’s ownership, the Chatterbox has been touted in its advertising slogan as the place “where the town meets.” Impossible to miss, the iconic, pink-hued, Spanish Mission Revival-style building occupies a prominent downtown location at the corner of Ninth Street and Central Avenue.The Boyers, who bought the restaurant in 2014 from the previous longtime owners, the Repici family, have kept the historic “where the town meets” slogan, but have also added their own: “Family, Food, Fun.”“We wanted to provide families with great food and a good time,” Maria Boyer said, explaining how the Chatterbox brands itself. “Family, food and fun, that’s what the restaurant is all about.”The landmark building, bathed in a distinctive pink color scheme, occupies the corner of Ninth Street and Central Avenue.The Boyers decided to preserve the restaurant’s 1950s-era décor when they took over. While that aspect of the restaurant is clearly rooted in the old days, other parts of the Chatterbox have evolved to keep pace with modern tastes.A new chef was brought in by the Boyers in 2014 to make changes with the menu that reflect the trend for healthier eating. An emphasis is placed on serving fresh fruits and vegetables bought from local farmers. Gluten-free meals are available. The Chatterbox also roasts its own meats.To keep meals affordable for families, the restaurant offers a $5.99 daily lunch special. There are other quaint, family-style touches, such as serving children’s meals in paper containers that look like vintage cars. The children can take the cars home.Dan and Lauren Jordon, of Cinnaminson, along with their daughter, Ella, 6, and son, Max, 4, had lunch in the family-friendly restaurant.For people who want to bring their family dog along, the restaurant’s outdoor dining section is pet-friendly. Inside, though, only service dogs are allowed.Individual booths and tables offer comfy seating for customers, but the Chatterbox can also accommodate large groups, the Boyers said. Altogether, the restaurant has 175 seats, including the outdoor patio area.The Boyers, who have been married for 35 years, were no strangers to Ocean City’s restaurant scene when they bought the Chatterbox. Previously, they had owned Tory’s Ice Cream Parlor, a now-gone eatery formerly located at 33rd Street and Asbury Avenue.After they sold the Tory’s property, they began scouting around for a family restaurant they could buy. The Boyers noted it took them three years of searching before they finally settled on the Chatterbox as “the right place.”As rumors swirled a few years ago that the Chatterbox might be demolished and redeveloped, they were partly motivated by their desire to save the restaurant.“We wanted to preserve the legacy of the Chatterbox,” Bob Boyer said. “It’s an iconic part of the city.”Employees enjoy a relaxing moment at the Chatterbox counter.Renowned architect Vivian Smith, an Ocean City native, designed the Chatterbox, according to the restaurant website. Smith also designed other Ocean City landmarks, including City Hall, the Music Pier on the Boardwalk and the historic Flanders Hotel.On Oct. 29, 2012, the Chatterbox suffered what may have been its biggest blow. Hurricane Sandy badly damaged the restaurant, along with other countless buildings on the island. A water line inside the restaurant shows just how deep the flooding had surged.The restaurant was gutted and remodeled. After the renovations were completed, it reopened in May 2014.Among the items saved from the floodwaters was the Chatterbox’s historic mural, which whimsically depicts a nostalgic scene inside the restaurant, right down to bobby-soxers dancing to the tunes from a Wurlitzer jukebox and a soda jerk serving up a sundae. The mural is the centerpiece of the Chatterbox’s – What else? – 1950s décor.Old 45 rpm records attached to the walls add to the nostalgic atmosphere.
By Donald WittkowskiA former Ocean City lifeguard who lost his job after he narrowly failed a swimming test has been awarded nearly $128,000 by a Superior Court jury in his age-discrimination lawsuit against the municipality.Paul McCracken claimed in his litigation that city officials “concocted a scheme” to get rid of older lifeguards by imposing new fitness requirements that made the running and swimming tests required of the Beach Patrol members more rigorous.McCracken, of Linwood, who was 52 at the time, passed the running test but fell 3 seconds short of meeting the swimming requirements. He was fired in 2011 after failing the swim test, according to the suit.In a statement Wednesday, city spokesman Doug Bergen denied McCracken’s allegations. Bergen said the Ocean City Beach Patrol has maintained “an impeccable safety record in more than a century of protecting the island’s residents and visitors.”“For obvious reasons, the city maintains that it is not good practice to employ ocean lifeguards who are unable to pass the swimming test,” Bergen said. “The same standard applies to all returning guards who work on the beach.”The suit alleged that McCracken and other older lifeguards were forced to retire or take a cut in their pension benefits after the city removed $53,000 from the Beach Patrol’s budget during a fiscal crisis in 2008. The budget cut intentionally targeted the veteran lifeguards, the ligation stated.Lifeguards who “did not bow to the pension pressure” faced tougher running and swimming requirements so they could not qualify for their jobs, according to the suit.However, Bergen said the city unified the fitness requirements so that all of the lifeguards were required to meet the same standards. Previously, the requirements were based on a “tiered” system in which lifeguards took different tests based on their rank.McCracken’s suit, though, asserted that the city imposed the new standards under the “guise” that they were supposed to be a uniform test for all lifeguards.“In fact, the test was a deliberate target of the older senior lifeguards with no other purpose than to facilitate their removal from the Beach Patrol or forcing them to retire,” the suit said.Bergen said McCracken passed the new re-qualification test in 2009, but took off from the Beach Patrol the following year due to an off-season injury. Bergen confirmed that McCracken passed the running test, but failed the swimming requirements when he tried to return in 2011. McCracken then “refused” opportunities to re-take the swimming test, so he was not invited back to work for the Beach Patrol, Bergen stated.McCracken’s lawsuit went to trial in Cape May County Superior Court in July. Siding in McCracken’s favor, the jury awarded him $127,998. The award was confirmed in an order signed by Superior Court Judge Noah Bronkesh on July 27.The award was first reported on a blog run by John Paff, a government watchdog who is a member of the New Jersey Libertarian Party. The Superior Court released a copy of the judge’s order on Wednesday, the day after Paff posted the document on his blog.In an interview Wednesday, McCracken’s attorneys said McCracken was pleased with the award and felt “vindicated” by the jury’s verdict.“It came out during the trial that they wanted to get rid of older lifeguards and used the (fitness) policy to do that,” said Drake Bearden Jr., an attorney with the law firm Costello & Mains of Mount Laurel, N.J.Kevin Costello, a partner with Costello & Mains, said it was clear McCracken was mistreated.“This wasn’t a fair shake,” Costello said.But Bergen said the city believes McCracken’s claims are frivolous and chose to pursue a jury trial rather than settling the case.“With all due respect to the judicial process, we disagree with this verdict. The city is currently evaluating its options,” Bergen said.City Council, at its meeting 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, is scheduled to convene in closed session to discuss the McCracken litigation, according to the agenda. The litigation claimed that older lifeguards were targeted, but a city spokesman denies the allegations.
Arriving late one night from the West Coast Scott awoke the next morning to heartache. He realized that the old Ocean City, the one from his dreams, was slowly fading from his memory. The house next door was literally being eaten alive by a backhoe as the sun came up over the ocean. That day he took on a personal mission: to photograph these old classics.In the beginning he would quickly snap a shot and move on for fear that the owner may pop out and wonder what exactly he was doing. Now, due to the collection of photos he has amassed on his Instagram Site: classicocnj , he can quickly justify his purpose. Most homeowners are honored to be featured by Scott. Over the years he has honed his editing skills, painstakingly removing power lines and parking meters from each shot. He creates exterior home portraits owners would proudly frame and hang above their fireplace should they be lucky enough to catch Scott’s eye.Scott, a technology consultant, is all for progress. But preserving these Ocean City gems gives lovers of the island special memories to hold on to. Ocean City is a town steeped in family tradition, passing houses down, reminiscing about the boarding house where you once summered or the house with the breezy front porch where you first laid eyes on your girl. Sometimes you even may bike ride by to see if the old place you always swore would buy when you grew up is still standing. Time flies, things change, and hopefully these photos will allow all our memories of Ocean City continue. Scott’s photos were recently featured on social media by Coastal Living & he has been generous enough to share them with us. Enjoy!To Sea More of Scott’s classic home photos like SeamorewithMaureen on Facebook or follow seamorerealestate on Instagram.
Singer, songwriter Tony DeSare performs with the Ocean City Pops Big Band Sunday at the Ocean City Music Pier. (www.tonydesare.com) By Maddy VitaleTony DeSare is not just a crooner with a smooth voice that can lull a baby to sleep or liven up a concert hall with his Big Band swing.He wouldn’t be satisfied just to be all of that – even though he pleases fans around the globe.He is a pianist, a songwriter, a composer, an audio engineer, shoots, edits and records all of his own videos.“I think that is what makes me different,” DeSare said in a phone interview shortly before getting on the road Wednesday afternoon.The reason audiences pack his venues from jazz clubs, to theaters and concert halls is simple.“I tell audiences I try to cover a little bit of the last century of pop music. I love great songs – classic pop songs. I will also throw originals in,” he explained. “The idea is, I really like to think of it not so much like a concert, but entertainment. I try to make it spontaneous and unpredictable. I go from a Cole Porter song to Prince.”One of DeSare’s favorite songs to perform is one of his own creations titled, “How I will say I love you.”“If I had a most popular song, it is that one. It has been used over the years in lots of weddings,” he noted.The audience at the Ocean City Music Pier will be swooned and entertained by DeSare in his concert “Tony DeSare Fly Me to the Moon” Sunday night with the Ocean City Pops Big Band.The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $20. DeSare will perform songs by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, the Bee Gees, and Billy Joel as well as some of his own and the timeless classics of Frank Sinatra.DeSare, who grew up in upstate New York, said he will be experiencing Ocean City for the first time and is looking forward to it.“I am very excited about going there,” he noted. “We are going to have a good time. I heard the Pops are great.”DeSare didn’t surprise with his answer as to who was his biggest influence.“It is Frank Sinatra. He is the first real pop star to sing with a microphone and make it an art form. He really was the model. Before him was Bing Crosby, but Bing didn’t take it to his level,” he said.But singing and a love for jazz came after DeSare’s entrance into the musical world through his love of the piano.“My parents didn’t listen to jazz growing up. I fell in love with the piano,” he said. “I loved jazz and all the greats in the golden age of songwriters – the Great American Songbook. That model where people came up with great songs doesn’t exist the same today. Today it is more about beat and production than it is about the song.”DeSare takes his fans back to the golden age of songs, paying homage to the classics by putting a fresh twist on it, he said.He has seven albums to his credit with three top 10 Billboard jazz albums and has won critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances, according to his website.And it all started nearly 20 years ago, and times have definitely changed for the performer.“I moved to New York City in 1999. When I first moved there I would walk by the jazz club Birdland, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. I wouldn’t even have enough money to buy a ticket,” he said with a chuckle. “Over the years, I performed at every single one of them. They are definitely checked off my bucket list.”Tony DeSare loves performing the classics by Frank Sinatra. (Courtesy www.tonydesare.com)DeSare lives with his wife Daisy and their 5-year-old son Christopher in the Atlanta area and also have a home in New York City. A strong family is what keeps him grounded. he said.“I fly just about every week,” he said. “Daisy and I have been married for six years. She is very supportive of me and understands I have to travel for my job.”He carries with him one thought touring throughout the United States and Canada.“Being able to communicate with music is something very unique that you couldn’t do just by speaking,” he said. “There is something special and magical that happens with music I don’t think we even understand.”Tickets to the show Tony DeSare Fly Me to the Moon are $25 and $20. Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice. To learn more about Tony DeSare visit www.tonydesare.com.Tony DeSare performs around the globe. (www.tonydesare.com)
Ocean City Tabernacle Pastor and CEO Jay Reimer, right, is shown with Philadelphia Eagles Chaplain Ted Winsley during a service in 2019. By MADDY VITALEPhiladelphia Eagles team chaplain Ted Winsley is proud of the players.But it isn’t just because of their success on the field, not to mention the coveted 2018 Super Bowl win.It is how his players are spiritually, and the fact that many of them — about 40 percent — attend his Bible studies.The team members, he told an audience at the Ocean City Tabernacle in two programs Sunday, share a philosophy he has instilled in them over 18 years as the team’s chaplain.Out of 53 players, 22 take part in Winsley’s Bible studies.“There really is a Christian culture here,” he said of the Eagles.He has played a key role in the spiritual development and team dynamic the Philly team is known for.Winsley spoke to the Tabernacle audience about the message he imparts on the players.He gave an uplifting sermon where he had audience members recite scripture and his words to live by that flashed on the Tabernacle screens.Eagles Chaplain Ted Winsley tells the audience members that God is with them every step of the way.During an interview before his sermon, Winsley spoke about the advice he gives to his players. Some of them have become Born Again Christians during their time with the Eagles.“The idea is to create balance in an imbalanced world,” said Winsley, a married father of two. “Something I say to all of the players is football is not a purpose. It is a platform.”That platform, he said, could be used to help others. Many of the players are involved in charities and use their position to help others, he noted.“Pastor Ted,” as he is affectionately called, is a native of Dover, Del., and currently resides in South Jersey, where he is a pastor at a church in Voorhees called “The Family Church,” according to a Tabernacle press release.He showed his Super Bowl ring to the audience and with a smile gave a Sunday game prediction for the Eagles: “Win.”Winsley told the audience that, while they are not professional football players, they all have major responsibilities and hurdles.It could be a problem at work, or a health issue, but God gives a blueprint and a person’s faith will see them through, he said.The battles, he said, can be won with faith and knowing you can do it and to be strong.Winsley weaved in the 2018 Super Bowl win. It was all of the work and faith that led up to the big victory, he said.Success, he said, does not happen on the field. It happens beforehand. He credited the spiritual beliefs of many of the players who attended Bible studies.Pastor Ted Winsley speaks to an audience member after the program.Many hurdles could have set the team back. There were injuries to key players along the way, especially to star quarterback, Carson Wentz, who helped bring the team to the Super Bowl, but could not play in it.There was the thought, there was “no way you’re going to win without the starting quarterback,” Winsley noted.But, as in any other team effort, one person does not do it alone, he stressed.And then there was something — rather, someone else — who helped in a time of need.“God always has a Nick Foles waiting in the bushes,” Winsley said.Tabernacle CEO and President Pastor Jay Reimer said he was pleased to have Winsley join them to speak before the audience.“My hope today is that Eagles fans here today will hear about how the pastor works with the Eagles players,” Reimer said. “In my childhood, I read a book about different NFL players and their stories how they related to God. That is one of the reasons I became a Christian.”For more information about upcoming events, visit www.octabernacle.org.The Ocean City Tabernacle is located at 550 Wesley Ave.
Assembly Candidate: Erik SimonsenAge: 50Political Experience: Republican Mayor of Lower Township, Former Ward 2 and Ward 3 Councilman Hometown: Lower TownshipOccupation: Athletic Director Lower Cape May Regional School District, former Assistant Principal, RMT Middle School, Special Education teacher, 18 yearsOrganizations and Activities: Past Vice President of the Cape May County NAACP; former Wrestling Head Coach at Lower Cape May Regional High School Education: Master’s Degree in Education Administration, University of Scranton. Bachelor’s Degree, The College of New Jersey, Special Education Degree, Rutgers University Church membership: Ordained Deacon at Macedonia Baptist Church, Cape MayFamily: Wife, Anna, and daughters Katya, 18, and Viktoria, 14 Lower Township Mayor Erik Simonsen, left, and Ocean City Councilman Antwan McClellan are the Republican Assembly candidates in the First Legislative District. By DONALD WITTKOWSKIAntwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen, the Republican Assembly candidates in the First Legislative District, are already intimately familiar with the critical issues faced by the beach and bayside towns at the Jersey Shore.If elected to the Assembly on Tuesday, they are promising to use the experience they have gained while serving in local government at the shore to help coastal communities secure more funding, improve their infrastructure and boost tourism.McClellan, an Ocean City councilman, and Simonsen, the mayor of Lower Township, said, as assemblyman, they will push for Cape May County and Cumberland County to get their fair share of state and federal funds for bridge, road and tourism projects.“The bridges and the beaches are the lifeblood of our shore towns, especially both in Sea Isle and Ocean City, and we have to do what we can to protect that,” McClellan said.They want to use Ocean City’s ambitious capital improvement program – the largest in the city’s history – as an example of how to properly upgrade the roads, bridges and beaches throughout the First Legislative District, and even other parts of the state. “That’s one of the things that we’ve done as a Council, as a mayor and as an administration, we’ve been able to be innovative,” McClellan said. “So, we see problems and we’ve been able to get out in front of them and fix them early, as opposed to waiting until they’re a very poor or bad situation and then we’re out there begging and pleading for help from somebody else.”“So we’ve been very forthcoming with that, and I think that’s a great opportunity that we can take and spread through Trenton to help the rest of Cape May County and parts of Cumberland County,” McClellan said.McClellan explained that Ocean City has been able to save tax dollars by working in partnership with the utility companies for road and drainage projects.“Since 2012, when a new administration came in and I’ve been on Council with the other six members, we’ve done more roads and drainage than anybody else in the history of Ocean City,” he said. “We’ve had an opportunity to work with all of the utility companies and the gas companies coming in and the water company to do any type of work we do. We piggyback on what they’re doing to fix our roads and pave them.”In recent years, Ocean City has also worked with the county, state and federal governments for the new Route 52 Causeway, the construction of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge and the rehabilitation of the 34th Street Bridge.“So transportation-wise, I think we’re good,” McClellan said of Ocean City. “But there are some things we can do better as far as to try to bring people in.”Locally, McClellan praised Ocean City for its jitney service that links the southern end of town with the downtown shops, restaurants, Boardwalk and beaches.However, at the state level, Simonsen believes Cape May County is shortchanged in the amount of money it receives from New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund, which finances road, bridge and mass transit projects.He also wants Cape May County to get more money back from the state for the tourism tax revenue generated by the county. Cape May County sends close to $550 million in tourism tax revenue annually to the state, but gets only $1 million in return.“We both feel that we’re not getting our fair share,” Simonsen said. “Of all the tourism dollars we send up to Trenton, we get very little back.”Simonsen and McClellan are running with Senate candidate Michael Testa, a Vineland attorney, on the Republican ticket. They were part of a strategy session with former Congressman Frank LoBiondo, a fellow Republican, to discuss key issues in the First Legislative District. The district’s transportation needs were part of their discussion.“The major thing that former Congressman LoBiondo is trying to get across is that we have to continue to bring attention to the needs of South Jersey, to Legislative District One,” McClellan said. “If they’re not being consistently talked about or brought up by our legislators, then it’s just not going to happen.”Assembly candidate Antwan McClellan speaks during a meeting with local supporters in Ocean City.The two Assembly candidates are pushing for the extension of the Route 55 corridor from Cumberland County to Cape May County to expand the region’s transportation network. The highway’s proposed extension has been discussed for years, but has run into environmental hurdles.Route 55, if extended, would link the industrial hubs of both counties and serve as a catalyst for jobs and economic development, they said. One area that could benefit is the Cape May County Airport and the “tech village” that is being developed there to attract new companies, Simonsen said.“As we start to look at growing our businesses, one of the things you need for businesses to grow is obviously a major artery,” Simonsen said of Route 55. “Whether it’s manufacturing goods, whether it’s things for sale, you need access to and from where you’re going to produce those goods. And right now, we just don’t have it.”Simonsen noted that Lower Township and other communities are creating “opportunity zones” to stimulate jobs and attract new industry. Better highway access, including Route 55’s extension, is critical for developing those zones, he explained.Both candidates also believe that Route 55’s extension would create a new evacuation route during severe coastal storms. They cited studies that have ranked the current evacuation routes from the shore as the sixth worst in the country. That alone is reason enough for Route 55’s extension, they said.“So we all know it needs to be done, but we just want to make sure that the people are fighting to try to get it done,” McClellan said.McClellan and Simonsen also believe that Route 55’s extension would serve as a gateway for more tourism to Cape May and Cumberland counties.Both McClellan and Simonsen see opportunities, as assemblyman, to work with the Chambers of Commerce in the First Legislative District to promote tourism. McClellan cited Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian and Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio as examples of how local elected officials can partner with the Chambers of Commerce on tourism initiatives.“Fortunately, Mayor Desiderio does that and Mayor Gillian also does that, and our Chambers of Commerce work together very well along with the county Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “We need to continue to do that and to think of more innovative ways to bring people in from different states and other countries.”Assembly candidate Erik Simonsen addresses a Republican rally outside the Historic Cape May County Court House.In Cape May County, the beaches are the heart of the tourism industry and must be protected, McClellan and Simonsen stressed.“Why do people come here? It’s for the beaches and the boardwalks,” Simonsen said. “You have to make sure that your beaches are maintained. We do get a lot of erosion here. We have to make sure our boardwalks are maintained.”Simonsen was critical of Gov. Phil Murphy’s recent decision not to use millions of dollars in state funding to repair damage to Wildwood’s Boardwalk.“Getting millions of dollars cut from our boardwalks, like we did in Wildwood, does not help,” he said of efforts to promote tourism at the shore.Ocean City, Sea Isle and Strathmere will soon undergo a $31.5 million beach replenishment project to add 2.4 million cubic yards of fresh sand to the storm-damaged shoreline.According to initial figures, Ocean City will receive 800,000 cubic yards of sand to replenish the beaches in the north end of town from Seaview Road to 13th Street. Another 455,000 cubic yards of sand will help restore the beaches in the southern end from 49th to 59th streets.The project is scheduled to get underway this fall and be completed in time for the 2020 summer tourism season.McClellan and Simonsen said the knowledge they have gained from the beach replenishment projects in Ocean City and Lower Township would help them in the Assembly to focus on coastal protection.“We need to continue to evaluate everything every year,” Simonsen said. “I know from experience in Lower Township, because we have the bayside and the seashore side, we have dune replenishment. They’re actually building a berm on the ocean side from Lower Township up to North Wildwood to help with another storm such as Superstorm Sandy.”McClellan and Simonsen say beach replenishment is critical for the shore’s tourism market.Bayside communities in both Cape May County and Cumberland County should not be overlooked for shore protection projects, Simonsen added.“Especially with a town like Ocean City, Sea Isle and obviously where I’m at, and even when you go up in Cumberland County, a lot of times the bayside communities get forgotten about by our legislators,” he said. “There’s a lot of erosion on the bayside, and whether it’s fishing, water sports, etc., they’re valuable also and sometimes that gets lost.”“A lot of our towns here in Cape May County have both an ocean side and a bayside. A lot of times the bayside gets lost in the shuffle,” Simonsen continued. “We need to make sure we maintain our bayside as much as anything because it’s valuable, not only as property, but it’s also a valuable natural resource. People go there to the beach on the bayside for fishing and water sports.”McClellan pointed out that Ocean City has undertaken a major local dredging program to keep the bayfront lagoons and channels clear of mud and sediment. Overall, it is a five-year dredging plan costing $20 million.“We were able to come to an agreement with the administration and state DEP on a tip-to-tip dredging program that’s allowing us to dredge our back bays and find spots for the dredge materials,” McClellan said of the Council members. “It also allows us to do planning and maintenance on an annual basis.”In October, Ocean City’s Council introduced a bond ordinance that includes $3 million in funding for beach replenishment. The funding package also calls for the installation of a new geotube, essentially a large, synthetic sock filled with sand, to help protect an area of the dunes that is vulnerable to erosion.“We just recently approved a new geotube to be installed on our beaches along with the beach replenishment program. So we’ve been consistent with everything here for our beach replenishment program in this city,” McClellan said. “We’re doing it tip to tip and we’re going to continue to do that to protect the homes on the beach, protect our beaches and protect our Boardwalk.”“I know they’ve been working with the DEP in Lower Township to also do the same thing. So Erik and I are on the forefront of that, and we want to make sure we continue that throughout our shore district here and to work with our friends in the federal government,” McClellan added. Bios:Assembly Candidate: Antwan McClellanAge: 45Political Experience: Ocean City Councilman in Ward 2 for seven years; Former School Board member, three yearsHometown: Ocean CityOccupation: Public Information Officer and Confidential Aide to Cape May County Sheriff Bob NolanOrganizations and Activities: Manager/Coach Field of Dreams Baseball, three years; Coach Girls Junior High School Basketball, nine years, Member Cape May County NAACP, Volunteer Ocean City Historical MuseumEducation: Ocean City High School graduate in Class of 1993; Virginia State University; Old Dominion UniversityChurch membership: Shiloh Baptist Church, Ocean CityFamily: Engaged to Angela Mason
Pianist Shawn Quigley performs in December with student, Brooke Fearnhead, during a free holiday performance in downtown Ocean City. By MADDY VITALEPiano teacher Shawn Quigley and a dozen of his students will entertain shoppers in downtown Ocean City on Sunday.But the music won’t be reminiscent of the nostalgic holiday tunes performed over Christmas at the corner of Eighth Street and Asbury Avenue by the young talents trained by the Seaville resident.In fact, music chosen for the free 3 p.m. piano concert will be more contemporary — a lot more.For those who have heard of the alternative rock band Coldplay, get ready to hear some of their top ballads.Quigley’s students will be performing their take with their “Cold Play” concert. The audience will hear the band’s hits “Yellow,” “Clocks,” “Paradise,” and Viva la Vida,” among others.Here is a song the students will perform by Coldplay.And to top it off, the students will be on piano duos for each song, transforming the avenue into a mini-concert venue.Middle and high school age students will play two upright pianos simultaneously.“We want to play some different music for the community,” Quigley said. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t really be inside performing, so this gives the kids an outlet as well as benefits the public. People can come out and watch us play.”And he is hoping for some good weather. “It is supposed to be in the 50s and no rain,” Quigley said.Back in January, Quigley’s students performed their winter concert “Cold Play” outside at his home. Like Sunday’s event, they played mostly Coldplay songs.“Performing gives kids an outlet, a focus. We are happy to play for people outside and love coming to Ocean City to perform,” Quigley noted. “For the kids, it really is a form of community service that they love.”Students in Shawn Quigley’s piano classes during their Jan. 9 concert. (Photo courtesy of Shawn Quigley)
Dawn Foods’ (Evesham, Worcs) new concentrate is 97% fat free with a sodium content of less than 300mg per 100g serving.The concentrate requires the addition of flour, sugar and water, and can be used with inclusions, says Dawn. Inclusions need to be fat free so as not to compromise the total fat content of the finished product, it adds. The concentrate produces a soft muffin without the ‘rubbery’ mouthfeel often associated with low-fat products, says the company.Dawn’s premium Adore range of individually wrapped muffins includes a triple chocolate and a blueberry and redcurrant muffin. The company offers a selection of muffin sizes from mini muffins to the jumbo muffin. New flavours include lemon and sultana, oat bran and raisin, and raspberry and apple.To enable bakers to put their own signature on the basic products a semi-finished ‘Scoop and Bake’ muffin batter can hold a whole range of inclusions, says the company. It is available in vanilla, double choc, blueberry and blackcurrant and raspberry varieties.
The Irish National Bakery School is finalising details of a new degree course for the next academic year, writes Ann Marie Foley. It is also advertising short bakery courses for chefs in Ireland’s top catering magazine. This follows the popularity of last year’s short courses among people from small catering and café businesses. “This year we decided to target hotels, on the basis that many are now using frozen bought-in product. I believe it is often the same and not of top quality,” said Derek O’Brien, head of the National Bakery School. He explained chefs tend not to tackle bread-making but that the three-day course can be tailored to their needs. “In America, they offer what they call signature bread, which is specific to a restaurant or hotel. Avoca in Bray makes its own bread and you cannot get it anywhere else. So that is what we are suggesting.” The school’s full-time two year Higher Certificate course will be extended by a year to become a degree course. However, students who want to leave after the two years will still receive the Higher Certificate. The degree course is aimed at technicians and technologists and those entering the bakery industry but also the wider food industry, such as delis and cafés that offer their own bread andbakery products. The school also offers four part-time courses that are continually full: Professional Baking – Bread; Cake; Fruit Bread; and Pastry. These and other short courses receive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) qualifications under the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) of which the Bakery School is part. While the school once catered for all bakery training in Ireland, enterprise-led support body Skillnets now offers workplace courses. The DIT and all its schools such as the bakery are to move to a new Dublin location during the next few years.
All through the summer I kept receiving offers from my gas company to sign a two-year deal for a fixed gas price, which would allegedly guard me against any price increases. Being a naturally suspicious person all I could think of was ’what’s in for them?’There were rumours that gas prices would fall and as I would rather believe a rumour than a utility company, I did not sign. Well, as predicted prices have plunged (pg 5). Not that you are seeing the benefit yet. And I am sure they will think of reasons to temper reductions. I expect to see phrases such as ’guarding against the volatility of the market’ or ’demand is keeping prices high’. Yes, greed has the same effect.This week I asked Bev Hughes, MP for Stretford and Urmston, Greater Manchester, to give her view of the Northern Foods bakery closure at Trafford Park where 690 jobs are going. The bakery falls within her constituency and she has been talking to the people affected (pg 11).She makes a point that successive Tory and Labour governments have ignored – “manufacturers cannot sustain current downward pressure on prices without serious impact on jobs and pay”.On the other hand, while governments support supermarkets charging consumers low prices, the supermarkets are inevitably going to keep as much of that low price for their own profit, especially when they are competing so hotly against each other and their results are under such intense scrutiny by the national press, not to mention their shareholders.The government and the Office of Fair Trading must decide: do they want a Supermarket Code of Practice with any teeth or do they want to listen to the heavy lobbying of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents the supermarkets, and continue to do nothing? And MPs, with the exception of Bev Hughes who speaks honestly, must stop wearing two hats on this issue, nodding duplicitiously to both manufacturers and the BRC. There should be enough profit for everyone to make a decent living.Also in this issue Igor Bekaert take us step by step into making a delicious chocolate cake with healthy profit margins (pg 21). And BHS joins the coffee shop boom (pg 14) – with sandwiches made from scratch!
The Kemper Twin Star by bakery equipment integrator Eurobake (Bolton, Lancashire), is a flexible, two-row, fully automatic dough dividing and moulding machine that can produce round, long-moulded and folded rolls.Suitable for a one-man operation, the Twin Star can produce between 1,600 and 3,000 pieces an hour. The Twin Star is available in either table- or stand-mounted and wheeled versions. The moulding belt can be extended to 80cm, which can be a great help when depositing manually, says the firm.