Governor Pence Directs State to Increase Emergency Operations Center Staffing Due to Severe Weather

first_imgIn light of the severe weather risk facing much of the state and at the direction of Governor Mike Pence, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) will increase the staffing in the State of Indiana Emergency Operations Center (EOC) beginning at 7 p.m. today.Storms may produce straight-line winds, hail, tornadoes and flash flooding, especially in the northern and central portions of the state beginning early this evening, and nearly all parts of the state will experience some type of storms, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.“We stand ready to assist local communities whenever severe weather makes its way through the state,” said Governor Pence. “The Indiana Emergency Operations Center will be monitoring conditions and is ready to coordinate emergency response efforts as needed.”The State EOC will be also staffed by members of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the American Red Cross and the Fire Chiefs Association.The additional staff members will assist the Emergency Operations Center manager and IDHS watch officers with situational awareness, and coordinate with local public safety professionals, including emergency management, emergency medical services, firefighters and law enforcement. EOC personnel will also assist with coordination of assets for utilities, road safety, sheltering needs and other needs that may arise.Hoosiers in need of non-emergency assistance are encouraged to call their local emergency management agency. Contact information for each emergency management agency can be found at http://www.in.gov/dhs/2797.htm.Staffing needs will be continually assessed as the summer storm progresses.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Ginsters links with Levi

first_imgGinsters has partnered up with Dragon’s Den star and food entrepreneur Levi Roots to launch an exclusive range of Reggae Reggae products.Three spicy pasties ranging from mild to hot have been produced, with Caribbean Lamb, Reggae Reggae Chicken, and Hot Chilli Beef fillings. An additional Reggae Reggae Beef wrap has also been created, with all products available from grocery and convenience outlets from this month.Andy Valentine, head of brand marketing, Ginsters, said: “This partnership is capitalising on the snacking expertise of the Ginsters brand and the Caribbean flavours of the Levi Roots brand to bring even greater excitement and depth of variety to the snacking fixture.”Levi Roots added: “Legend has it that pasties came to the Caribbean centuries ago, and there is still a county in Jamaica called Cornwall. These recipes are my own unique interpretation of a classic Caribbean dish.”last_img read more

SBPD aims to strengthen trust amongst community

first_imgWhy would you call the police?It’s an important question that South Bend Police Chief Ron Teachman and his department face, as they seek to stimulate civic engagement and strengthen relationships between police and the community.The answer is a simple word, but it expresses a state of confidence difficult to achieve — trust.“Trust is our goal,” Teachman says. “It’s our destination.”Developing positive relationships that lead to trust in a community can be challenging when most of the department’s contact with citizens involves responding to crisis and conflict.“Most people don’t engage with us in a positive way, and we need to find ways to amplify those positive or at least non-adversarial contacts because most of our contact is adversarial,” Teachman said. “We pull you over for a traffic violation. We go to your house and do a drug raid. We go to Notre Dame houses to squelch loud parties.”That last relationship, at least, has started to change in recent years, Teachman said.“Before I came here, there was a shift in our relationship between this department and the Notre Dame students that live off campus,” Teachman said. “I’m told it was rather adversarial, confrontational, not long ago.”Teachman and other representatives of the department meet with student government officials and campus police to have “conversations about our expectations of each other” in an effort to better interact with students, Teachman said.Strengthening trust remains an ongoing process for the department. When people don’t trust the police, they won’t consistently call to report certain crimes.People tend to report property crimes because of the insurance incentive to do so, Teachman said.“The relationship the individual victim has with the police department is almost irrelevant because you have an insurance motivator that requires you to report,” Teachman said. “You could hate the police. You could hate the chief. … But in order to get your insurance premium, you have to file a police report.”But with other crimes, that’s often not the case. In instances of assault or rape, a victim’s perception of the police matters, particularly when the assault was committed by someone the victim knew, Teachman said.“You’re just going to see a male uniform, and he’s going to ask you these very personal questions about your relationship with this guy, and maybe you’ve had intimate relations before, so why is it rape tonight?” Teachman said. “And society’s judging you, and what were you wearing, and what did you do and were you drinking, were you leading this guy on? And all that stuff going through your head, why would you call?“If you didn’t believe that the police department was empathetic, professional and competent, why would you call?”Because of this, the department has worked with organizations such as the YWCA to improve its response to such incidents, Teachman said.Gun violence also often goes unreported. After the department installed ShotSpotter, a program that uses an acoustic system to detect gunfire, it discovered that instances of gunshots recorded by ShotSpotter often weren’t reported by the public.Teachman describes four reasons why people wouldn’t report gunfire: recognition (unsure whether they heard a gunshot), redundancy (they think someone else will call), retaliation (they fear retribution for being a “snitch”) and resignation (they are desensitized to gunfire).In an effort to combat these problems, the South Bend Police Department has engaged in “collaborative policing,” efforts to better serve and protect by increasing community involvement.“There’s never going to be enough money to effectively police a community without community involvement,” Teachman said. “There can never be enough police officers, and we’re never going to arrest our way out of this. The answer is that the community engages in its own public safety program.”The department has adopted a number of strategies to ignite this kind of community engagement. For example, in schools, the department has sought to increase positive, “non-adversarial contact” by taking time to read with kids or play sports at recess.“When kids see the officer who comes to school, whether it’s the police chief or a captain or the officer on that beat, regularly comes to school and engages with them, now when they see that same uniform after school and out of school, it’s not an adversary, but it’s a friend,” Teachman said. “It’s a supporter. It’s someone who cares about them. We think that translates. That’s why we wear a uniform in the first place.”A change in departmental practice — the regionalization of beats — has played a key role in the collaborative policing strategy, Teachman said. Officers are assigned to beats based on geography rather than time of day so that they become familiar with the areas they police. Knowing neighborhoods keeps officers safe and helps residents get to know their police.“You get to have a relationship,” Teachman said. “You’re not just some guy driving by in a squad car with tinted windows, [and] you never get out of the car unless you’re going to arrest somebody or yell at them.”Quantitatively measuring the success of such measures can be difficult. The crime rate might even seem to increase as people feel more comfortable reporting crimes they wouldn’t have before, Teachman said.But so far, the department has seen positive outcomes, including an increase in citizens reporting gunfire. Public reporting of gunfire has increased to over 25 percent, more than the national average, Teachman said.Strengthening trust in a community requires participation from all its parts, and Notre Dame students can contribute as well, according to Teachman.“Regardless of your field of study, citizenship requires community engagement,” Teachman said. “There are innumerable opportunities to volunteer here in South Bend. There are also unlimited possibilities of expanding your study field by using South Bend as a petri dish, as a laboratory, whether it’s entrepreneurship, whether it’s working with a nonprofit to help with their business model.“… If you want to say, ‘Let me prove my model, let me experiment, let me do some research, let me volunteer,’ lend your expertise and your skill sets to the city, and I think you can find a way to engage.”Tags: Notre Dame and police, reporting crimes, Ron Teachman, SBPD, South Bend Police Chief, South Bend Police Departmentlast_img read more

Whiteout

first_imgThe crackle of the fire hypnotizes me.  Flames lick up and consume each piece of chopped birch. It’s been a perfect day: friends converging on the slopes of Snowshoe Mountain.  My trashed quads tell the story of just how hard I played on my skis.Six inches have already fallen, with eight more expected overnight. It’s as if nature is creating an exclusive playground for us while we sleep, and all we need to do is wake up and clip in to our ski boots.This experience could not have come at a better time for me. Over the past few months, I have been dealing with one of the most difficult challenges of my life. It started with a headache that lasted for over two weeks straight. I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t focus on work, couldn’t think, couldn’t smile. Finally I broke down and went to the ER. A CT scan uncovered an unfamiliar mass in my brain. It was seven millimeters in diameter, about the size of a fingernail.It didn’t make sense. I had put so much emphasis on personal fitness and health. Why would this happen to me?I was flooded with fear. What if my twenties was as far as life would take me?  What would I miss out on?A visit to the neurologist and an MRI were the next steps. I had recently turned 26 and gone onto my own health insurance plan. The costs were racking up at an alarming rate. Worse still was the uncertainty and mental turmoil as I waited to hear the prognosis.More MRIs followed and nothing was decided with any certainty. “We need to keep an eye on this over the next few months and see if it grows,” the docs said. As my hopes for a life full of adventure and adrenaline waned, I sunk deeper into despair.Then I received a call from my sister: “Let’s plan a ski trip together,” she said.A few weeks later, here I am. I step out onto the porch to grab more firewood, and I am greeted by the profound silence of a winter night. It’s like being in a professional recording studio; it is nature’s audio damping. I stick my tongue out just like I did when I was a kid to catch some flakes in my mouth. The foot of perfect powder on the porch is growing every second.I throw another log on the fire, and my thoughts extend only to tomorrow and no further. Tomorrow, the powder conditions will be absolutely perfect. The Mumford and Sons song, “White Blank Page,” comes into my head, and I realize that is what we are going to have: a clean slate of powder and the ability to make completely fresh tracks.I close my eyes and imagine what it will be like tomorrow: one fist punching in front of the other as my poles lead the way, the repetitive loading and releasing of energy through the edges of my skis, back and forth, back and forth—it’s such a simple but addictive motion.Chris GragtmansSometimes, when skiing powder, I leave the earth. I pick up speed until I silently lift into the air, carried by the mysterious certainties of gravity and physics, down the mountain, airborne over the snow.Tonight, the falling snow is soothing some sharp emotions inside me.  There are things that I have control over in life, and there are things beyond my influence. I can’t do anything about the mass beneath my skull, but I can do something about the thoughts that flow through my brain. I can make a choice to keep living life to the fullest or allow fear to cripple me.One thing is certain. I know that I have packed everything that I possibly could have into the quarter century of my existence so far. I don’t want my story to end yet, but if it does, I will close my eyes without a single regret.I spread the ashes of the fire, take one last look out at the blizzard, and walk to bed. As I drift off to sleep, my last thought is of the rope dropping at the top of my favorite run.  I sprint out in front and carve the first tracks into an immaculate mountain of powder. •last_img read more

Colombian Soccer Legend Faustino Asprilla and His Family Flee Death Threats from Los Rastrojos

first_imgOn December 7, Border Patrol agents seized more than 68 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a street value of $4.8 million concealed in a pickup truck and arrested the driver of the truck, who is from Florida. Asprilla, who played professional soccer between 1988 and 2004, led the Colombian national team to an appearance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the 1994 and 1998 World Cup, and third-place finishes at the 1993 and 1995 Americas Cups. Los Rastrojos originated in Tuluá, a major industrial and commercial center in the department of Valle del Cauca. Colombian National Police and the Armed Forces have weakened the organized crime group in recent years by capturing or killing several of its leaders; meanwhile, Los Rastrojos is also engaged in a violent turf war with another drug trafficking group, the Úsuga Clan. USS Vandegrift decommissioned after seizing nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine Unidentified men came to Asprilla’s residence to tell him he needed to meet with a local crime lord known as “Porron” about making protection payments or face violent consequences. Police have offered a reward for information leading to Porron’s arrest. At the outset of the operation, police arrested five Bolivian nationals, including a woman who is the suspected leader of the drug trafficking group. Though Berni didn’t immediately disclose when and where the captures occurred, he told reporters those arrests led to “30 searches in different places in the metro area of the federal capital, resulting in the seizure of 235 kilos of cocaine of maximum purity.” “The Peruvians sold [the cocaine] wholesale, the Colombians sold it abroad and the Dominicans sold it at the retail level in Buenos Aires,” Berni said. Argentine police dismantle international narco-trafficking ring “Today is one of the saddest days in my life,” Asprilla said in a prepared statement. “I am forced to abandon my own homeland, Tuluá, for being a victim of extortion. I have given my whole life to soccer and to represent Tuluá and my Colombia. And today, I’m running from my own land.” Costa Rican Coast Guard seizes 500 kilograms of cocaine After a seven-month deployment in the Central American isthmus in support of Operaton MARTILLO, the USS Vandegrift will return to its home port in San Diego on December 12 for decommissioning. U.S. Border Patrol agents confiscate $7.4 million in narcotics, arrest 3 suspects The 30-year-old ship’s final deployment was highly successful, as its crew seized nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine off the Central American coast since May 9, according to the U.S. Navy. Border Patrol agents in Texas’ Laredo sector recently confiscated drugs collectively worth 7.4 million dollars in two separate busts, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). On December 7, Border Patrol agents seized more than 68 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with a street value of $4.8 million concealed in a pickup truck and arrested the driver of the truck, who is from Florida. U.S. military authorities did not immediately disclose whether they made any arrests during either interdiction. Six days earlier, the USS Vandegrift and a LEDET seized about 873 kilograms of cocaine from a small boat off the Central American coast. After the Vandegrift’s helicopters spotted the vessel in an area known to be frequented by narco-traffickers, LEDET agents swooped in, recovering the 22 bales of cargo that had been tossed overboard. The bales tested positive for cocaine. Launched in January 2012, Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 10 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, who work cooperatively to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability and prosperity throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. Colombian soccer legend Faustino Asprillaand his family have fled from their home in Tuluá after receiving death threats from Los Rastrojos, one of the country’s most feared narco-trafficking groups. After receiving information from Colombian authorities, the Costa Rican Coast Guard arrested three suspects and seized 500 kilograms of cocaine from a fishing boat on December 8. The Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service (SVA) provided the location of the suspicious vessel to the Coast Guard, which interdicted the boat 3 nautical miles from Punta Burica. “I feel completely indignant,” Asprilla tweeted on December 9. “How many more people must be going through the same thing, without being heard?” Coast Guard officers captured three suspects as they tried to swim away. “The Peruvians sold [the cocaine] wholesale, the Colombians sold it abroad and the Dominicans sold it at the retail level in Buenos Aires,” Berni said. Police in Argentina dismantled an international narco-trafficking ring by confiscating 235 kilograms of cocaine and capturing 27 suspects, including the alleged leader, Security Secretary Sergio Berni told reporters on December 9. Six days earlier, the USS Vandegrift and a LEDET seized about 873 kilograms of cocaine from a small boat off the Central American coast. After the Vandegrift’s helicopters spotted the vessel in an area known to be frequented by narco-traffickers, LEDET agents swooped in, recovering the 22 bales of cargo that had been tossed overboard. The bales tested positive for cocaine. Police started investigating the ring in 2013, after Argentinian police arrested a Spain-bound drug mule with a kilogram of cocaine in his body at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. The previous day, Border Patrol agents arrested two women after finding $2.6 million worth of cocaine in the car they were driving in Gatesville, Texas, about 515 kilometers from the U.S. border with Mexico. “This is another example of the enforcement mindset and dedication from our CBP officers,” Laredo-based Acting Port Director Joseph Misenhelter said. “I am very pleased with all of their efforts which resulted in the interception of these hard narcotics.” Unidentified men came to Asprilla’s residence to tell him he needed to meet with a local crime lord known as “Porron” about making protection payments or face violent consequences. Police have offered a reward for information leading to Porron’s arrest. Police in Argentina dismantled an international narco-trafficking ring by confiscating 235 kilograms of cocaine and capturing 27 suspects, including the alleged leader, Security Secretary Sergio Berni told reporters on December 9. Border Patrol agents in Texas’ Laredo sector recently confiscated drugs collectively worth 7.4 million dollars in two separate busts, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “Today is one of the saddest days in my life,” Asprilla said in a prepared statement. “I am forced to abandon my own homeland, Tuluá, for being a victim of extortion. I have given my whole life to soccer and to represent Tuluá and my Colombia. And today, I’m running from my own land.” Costa Rican Coast Guard seizes 500 kilograms of cocaine The Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service (SVA) provided the location of the suspicious vessel to the Coast Guard, which interdicted the boat 3 nautical miles from Punta Burica. Berni didn’t release the names of the second group of suspects either, saying only they were from Peru, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. The previous day, Border Patrol agents arrested two women after finding $2.6 million worth of cocaine in the car they were driving in Gatesville, Texas, about 515 kilometers from the U.S. border with Mexico. “I feel completely indignant,” Asprilla tweeted on December 9. “How many more people must be going through the same thing, without being heard?” The Vandegrift is a frigate named in honor of General Alexander Vandegrift, a Medal-of-Honor recipient who led Marines in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II and later served as the 18th commandant of the United States Marine Corps. However, frigates are being gradually replaced by faster and more maneuverable ships that can patrol in shallower waters. At-sea interdictions are highly coordinated, with the security forces of the participating countries partnering to identify, stop, and search suspicious vessels. “This is another example of the enforcement mindset and dedication from our CBP officers,” Laredo-based Acting Port Director Joseph Misenhelter said. “I am very pleased with all of their efforts which resulted in the interception of these hard narcotics.” To remind the authorities, extortion has been going on in Tulua for 15 years. The prosecutor’s office has the files of the accusations. Many families were left bankrupt because they had to flee and leave their businesses behind. No government has made the effort to help the displaced persons. Launched in January 2012, Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 10 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, who work cooperatively to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability and prosperity throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. By Dialogo December 12, 2014 The USS Vandegrift’s last reported interdiction occurred on November 20, when it teamed with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) to seize 907 kilograms of cocaine from a small vessel off Central America’s Pacific Coast. Vandegrift crew members spotted the suspicious vessel and deployed a helicopter and a LEDET to stop and inspect the boat. Law enforcement officers found 14 bales that tested positive for cocaine. U.S. Border Patrol agents confiscate $7.4 million in narcotics, arrest 3 suspects Coast Guard officers captured three suspects as they tried to swim away. Berni didn’t release the names of the second group of suspects either, saying only they were from Peru, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. After receiving information from Colombian authorities, the Costa Rican Coast Guard arrested three suspects and seized 500 kilograms of cocaine from a fishing boat on December 8. Argentine police dismantle international narco-trafficking ring The Vandegrift is a frigate named in honor of General Alexander Vandegrift, a Medal-of-Honor recipient who led Marines in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II and later served as the 18th commandant of the United States Marine Corps. However, frigates are being gradually replaced by faster and more maneuverable ships that can patrol in shallower waters. Asprilla, who played professional soccer between 1988 and 2004, led the Colombian national team to an appearance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the 1994 and 1998 World Cup, and third-place finishes at the 1993 and 1995 Americas Cups. U.S. military authorities did not immediately disclose whether they made any arrests during either interdiction. At-sea interdictions are highly coordinated, with the security forces of the participating countries partnering to identify, stop, and search suspicious vessels. At the outset of the operation, police arrested five Bolivian nationals, including a woman who is the suspected leader of the drug trafficking group. Though Berni didn’t immediately disclose when and where the captures occurred, he told reporters those arrests led to “30 searches in different places in the metro area of the federal capital, resulting in the seizure of 235 kilos of cocaine of maximum purity.” In addition to participating in Operation MARTILLO, a multinational mission to crack down on illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, the USS Vandegrift was also involved in community relations projects in Panama City, Panama. For example, 36 of its crew members helped construct a workshop for the visually impaired, helped fix the building for an outreach group and participated with the “Aid for AIDS” community, according to the Navy. The USS Vandegrift’s last reported interdiction occurred on November 20, when it teamed with a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) to seize 907 kilograms of cocaine from a small vessel off Central America’s Pacific Coast. Vandegrift crew members spotted the suspicious vessel and deployed a helicopter and a LEDET to stop and inspect the boat. Law enforcement officers found 14 bales that tested positive for cocaine. Police started investigating the ring in 2013, after Argentinian police arrested a Spain-bound drug mule with a kilogram of cocaine in his body at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. Colombian soccer legend Faustino Asprillaand his family have fled from their home in Tuluá after receiving death threats from Los Rastrojos, one of the country’s most feared narco-trafficking groups. The 30-year-old ship’s final deployment was highly successful, as its crew seized nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine off the Central American coast since May 9, according to the U.S. Navy. Los Rastrojos originated in Tuluá, a major industrial and commercial center in the department of Valle del Cauca. Colombian National Police and the Armed Forces have weakened the organized crime group in recent years by capturing or killing several of its leaders; meanwhile, Los Rastrojos is also engaged in a violent turf war with another drug trafficking group, the Úsuga Clan. USS Vandegrift decommissioned after seizing nearly 9,100 kilograms of cocaine After a seven-month deployment in the Central American isthmus in support of Operaton MARTILLO, the USS Vandegrift will return to its home port in San Diego on December 12 for decommissioning. In addition to participating in Operation MARTILLO, a multinational mission to crack down on illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, the USS Vandegrift was also involved in community relations projects in Panama City, Panama. For example, 36 of its crew members helped construct a workshop for the visually impaired, helped fix the building for an outreach group and participated with the “Aid for AIDS” community, according to the Navy. last_img read more

Is there a “third way” for pay day loans?

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Political junkies know that Tony Blair came to prominence in British politics by championing a “third way” for his Labor Party in which he argued that it would be true to the ideals of labor while adjusting its policies to reflect modern realities. Fascinating Henry, you say but what does this have to do with the tea in China?Well, when it comes to pay day loans, there are two competing camps. On one side are those who view these short-term loans with exorbitant interest rates as categorically evil. They see them as intrinsically exploitive and champion policies such as usury caps on the state level which make them illegal. In the other camp are those who argue that pay day loans reflect the individual choice of adults in a financial jam. The reality is that not everyone is in a position to put aside money for a rainy day.Is a “third way” possible, which both recognizes the utility of pay day loans while ensuring that they don’t become debt traps for desperate consumers? continue reading »last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, May 12

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWho has the courage to fix our democracy?Democracy in the United States must be flawed. What other conclusion can be made as we observe recent happenings within our government?If democracy is a form of government of, for and by the people, then we the people must choose our representatives wisely so that they may uphold the Constitution, create laws and exercise their responsibilities within our political system.Presently this isn’t happening.We all know and appreciate that no man is above the law. Our congressional representatives must cherish and protect this concept. This isn’t happening either.Shouldn’t the actions of a government be transparent to its people? This, too, is not happening.When the president selects his own attorney general, who then withholds information from the public, as in the Mueller report, and when the president ignores legal appeals from congressional committees regarding subpoenas and then dictates who should be subject to hearings, then transparency is trashed and democracy is weakened.I’m not stating, I’m asking: Isn’t our democracy strong enough to withstand a dictating president? Shouldn’t our democracy resolve lawlessness among our politicians? Is our democracy tarnished by an inactive faction of Congress? Maybe our democracy is flawed. And if it is, who among us will be courageous enough to correct it soon? Ray KnapikBallston Spa City needs to devote itself to cleaning upSchenectady city officials are a laugh a minute. They grab at straws on the one hand and vote to put fluoride in the city’s water system with the other. Fluoride is a byproduct of hazardous waste. And they say they are concerned about the environment.Recently The Gazette featured a picture of a child cleaning a city park for Arbor Day. What were the city’s sanitation workers doing at the same time? Arbor Day comes around once a year. What happens on the other 364 days? Litter needs to be picked up every day.The mayor should issue a public edict that implores all residents to help keep the city clean. Attention needs to be given to lawns, sidewalks and curbs. Bushes serve as a magnet for litter. Debris sticks to the vegetation and causes unsightly conditions.If homeowners check their properties every day, the practice will go a long way to eliminate the litter problem in the city.School campuses also need attention. Schenectady High and Oneida schools are seldom litter-free. Why? Teachers need to put anti-litter programs in their weekly lesson plans starting at the pre-K level.Litter awareness can also be included in the summer lunch program. What to do with the wrappings that contain the food is a good learning tool for all.The pictures in The Gazette of the zombie buildings are appalling. With everyone doing their fair share every day, we can rid the community of this epidemic that has fallen upon us.Mary B. McClaineSchenectady Reparations for sins of the past go too farI’m old enough to have witnessed the introduction of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Over 50-plus years, trillions of taxpayer dollars (initially diverted from the Social Security program, if I’m not mistaken) have been spent to bring equality to all, especially minorities. Some will argue that the return on investment has been mixed, to say the least.Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) contends that it’s not enough. He has resurrected the ongoing debate over slavery reparations. I have serious reservations regarding being held accountable for the sins of our fathers. I do know my (and many other) ancestors never could afford the luxury of employing slave labor.I wish to point out that a comprehensive DNA analysis will likely reveal that many of us are descendants of the international slave trade and rape victims of conquering armies and feudal lords. Where shall we proceed from there, senator?Sen. Booker, I want to make it clear that my moderate independent position is being “body slammed” to the right by current events, and I resent it. My days are numbered. My wallet is empty. The cow is dry. My sense of humor is turning to dust. Your proposal only serves to drive another nail into the coffin, so to speak. I find comfort in knowing that I’m far from being alone.In closing, let’s put this topic to rest once and for all time. It will pale in comparison to the challenges ahead.Mark RahnScotiacenter_img We can have what we need if we want toI’m reading in all the papers that the funding for Medicare will run out in 2026, and the funding for Social Security will run out in 2034.I believe that we need an adequate, good military, not a gargantuan insanely over-funded military industrial complex. I believe we could be a happy, average, not “the best” country and be perfectly safe and happy while ensuring all are adequately (not extravagantly) fed, clothed, housed and schooled. Health care for all exists in the majority of European and Asian countries and in Canada. It can be done. We can do it if enough average Americans wanted it and believed in it, if enough millionaires and billionaires would sacrifice a bit of their enormous wealth to contribute to the welfare of their fellow Americans, and if the politicians found the courage and will to stand up and say, “We must do the logical, right things.”Patsey ManningSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccinelast_img read more

The inn crowd

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Ex-Merivale Moore men make 24.5m Blackfriars investment

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Police nab syndicate members for conning health firms out of Rp 58 billion

first_imgInterpol Italy had tipped Interpol Indonesia off about the crime, he said. The information was later passed on to Bareskrim.According to a preliminary police investigation, a Nigerian-Indonesian crime syndicate had used the so-called “business email compromise” method to con the firms out of the funds.A total of 3.67 million euro ($4.34 million) was sent to the Indonesian account in three separate bank transfers, Listyo said.Read also: American wanted by FBI arrested in Indonesia for suspected child sex crimes The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) has arrested three members of an international crime syndicate for the alleged theft of Rp 58 billion (US$3.93 million) intended for the purchase of medical equipment, including ventilators for COVID-19 patients.Bareskrim head Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo told the press on Monday that the syndicate had stolen money transferred under a contract of sale between two foreign healthcare technology firms: Althea Group from Italy and Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics from China.“An individual who was posing as a general manager of the Italian firm said there had been a change in bank accounts […], which resulted in the money being redirected to an Indonesian bank account,” Listyo said. The police have arrested three suspects and have seized a portion of the recovered money as evidence.“Thanks to the cooperation between Interpol Italy, Interpol Indonesia, Bareskrim and colleagues from the PPATK [Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center], we have managed to arrest three of the perpetrators in Jakarta, Padang [West Sumatra] and Bogor [West Java],” Listyo said.“We have seized the funds stored in a sharia bank account, totaling Rp 56 billion.”He added that the police were pursuing a fourth suspect, a foreign citizen identified as DM, who remained at large.The police have also retrieved two cars, a private plot of land and a number of company documents.The suspects were charged under Article 378 of the Criminal Code, Article 85 of Law No. 3/2011 on bank transfers and Article 10 of Law No. 8/2010 on money laundering.Topics :last_img read more