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Former Lifeguard Wins Age-Discrimination Verdict Against Ocean City

first_imgBy 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.last_img read more

Man, 20, arrested for murder, attempted robbery in connection with teen boy’s death

first_img Pinterest WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – May 27, 2020 0 498 Pinterest Man, 20, arrested for murder, attempted robbery in connection with teen boy’s death Previous articleCoronavirus recession could cost Indiana $3 billionNext articleBMV extends branch hours prior to primary election Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Google+ IndianaLocalNews (Photo supplied/St. Joseph County Jail) An arrest has been made in an attempted robbery which resulted in the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy.(Photo supplied/ABC 57)It happened at Hickory Village Apartments back in December of 2017. Tyshawn Taylor suffered at least one gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.TreMare Lashawn Hill, 20, was found on Tuesday and booked into the St. Joseph County Jail on murder and attempted robbery charges with a firearm sentencing enhancement.Hill is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon.The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office released the following information about Hill’s arrest and charges:The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has charged TreMare Lashawn Hill, 20, for his role in a December 26, 2017, attempted robbery and subsequent shooting that resulted in the death of 13 year old T.T. (Hickory Village Apartment complex, Mishawaka).He is charged with:Count I: Felony Murder a FelonyCount II: Attempted Robbery a Level 5 FelonyHe is also charged with a Firearm Sentencing Enhancement.Probable Cause was found and an arrest warrant ordered issued. Defendant was orderedheld without bond. St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit (CMHU) investigators, with assistance from the United States Marshals Task Force, were able to locate Mr. Hill and arrest him on this warrant earlier today at the 1855 Courthouse (112 S. Lafayette Blvd, South Bend). He was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail, where he remains in custody.He is scheduled to appear before a St. Joseph County Superior Court magistrate tomorrow, May 27th, at 1:00 p.m. for his arraignment.The sentencing range for Murder is 45 to 65 years. The sentencing range for a Level 5Felony is 1 to 6 years. A Firearm Sentencing Enhancement can add an additional 5 to 20years to the underlying conviction. Facebook Twitter Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Google+last_img read more

World Athletics to rule on Russia ahead of Olympics

first_imgYevgeny Yurchenko is the new head of the Russian athletics federation Loading… World Athletics is to decide Thursday whether to start the procedure of reinstating the new-look Russian athletics federation, as well as initiating the process to allow Russian athletes who test clean to compete under a neutral banner at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. High jumper Mariya Lasitskene has attacked Russia’s handling of the doping crisis Russia has been suspended by World Athletics (then known as the IAAF) since 2015 over repeated doping scandals – a ban upheld 12 times – and has been fighting for readmission. The last report by World Athletics’ Task Force, in November, led to its decision-making Council suspending the process of reinstating RUSAF over charges against its officials that they obstructed an anti-doping investigation. The Council also put a freeze on the system of allowing Russian athletes to compete as “Authorised Neutral Athletes”. Those decisions prompted wholesale change at RUSAF, which has a newly-appointed head in Yevgeny Yurchenko.Advertisement Coe, Yurchenko said, “will initiate the process of issuing to Russian athletes neutral status permits for their participation in international tournaments”, with RUSAF’s membership reinstatement with World Athletics “set to be launched”.That promises to be good news for three-time high-jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene, who has been vocal in her criticism of the former RUSAF regime for its handling of the scandal.Lasitskene, pole vault world champion Angelica Sidorova and men’s 110m metres hurdles star Sergey Shubenkov held a meeting with Coe last week, reportedly on relaunching the so-called “ANA scheme”, which allows eligible Russian athletes to compete as neutrals at events.Moscow’s case has been made more complicated after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in December imposed a four-year ban from all international sporting competitions on Russia over what it considers a state-sponsored programme of doping, a suspension the country took to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).CAS, the world’s highest sporting court, will now have to decide whether to confirm the WADA ban, or listen to Russia’s case against the sanction. A ruling is not expected before May, with the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to start on July 24, in just 134 days.The International Olympic Committee said CAS had to make a clear-cut decision, with no room for “any kind of interpretation”, over whether Russia was to be banned not just from Tokyo, but also the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar. Read Also: English clubs could be forced to play behind closed doors todayIn Monaco, the World Athletics council will also discuss the effects of the spread of the coronavirus, with several members, including those from outbreak hotspots China and Italy, taking part remotely by teleconference because of travel restrictions in their countries.The COVID-19 outbreak has already caused the world indoor championships in Nanjing, China, due to be held this month, to be delayed by a year, and the world half-marathon champs in Gdynia, Poland, to be re-scheduled from March 29 to October 17.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldWorld’s Most Beautiful Ceilings That Will Take Your Breath AwayWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?12 Marvel Superheroes When They Were Kids7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A VegetarianThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World15 Celebs Whose Careers Were Thwarted After One Simple MistakeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World? In one of his first conciliatory moves in the stand-off, Yurchenko sent two letters to World Athletics, the first “concerning our cooperation and in regard to scandalous situations, which had left an impact on our relations for many years”. Yurchenko said he had agreed with accusations made by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) against RUSAF on the wrongdoings in the case of high jumper Danil Lysenko, in which “forged documents and false explanations” were provided as an alibi to his whereabouts, as required by anti-doping rules. In January, the AIU, the independent anti-doping watchdog for track and field, recommended World Athletics maintain the exclusion of RUSAF and the freeze on Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag unless it failed to provide evidence in the Lysenko case, which had proved to be a tipping point. – Negative consequences – Yurchenko, who also apologised for the negative consequences from the Lysenko case, said his second letter was sent to World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe.last_img read more