Paradise residents struggle to celebrate holidays after Camp Fire devastation

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(PARADISE, Calif.) — This holiday season has proven especially difficult for Paradise, California, residents where the Camp Fire reduced homes, businesses and lives to ashes.Nicole Hoenig and her 2-year-old daughter Mira celebrated Christmas as best they could, but the stark reality of loss made it hard to have a normal holiday.“We’re trying to have a Christmas, you know, in any way shape or form that we can,” Hoenig told ABC News. “It’s just everyone doing the best they can, trying to give your kids whatever you can to help them feel normal.” After being displaced by the fires, Hoenig and her family, like many Northern California residents, could not spend the holidays at home. Hoenig spent Christmas at a friend’s pool house, where she has been staying.Her father Jim Hoenig was living in his RV in a Lowe’s parking lot in Chico, California, about 15 miles away from Paradise.“I came into this world with nothing, I’ll leave with nothing and in between is the stuff that I can do and help other people with,” Hoenig’s father said. “I’m perfectly set.”The Hoenig’s were just three of the nearly 50,000 people in Butte County displaced by the Camp Fire — which authorities deemed the most destructive and deadliest in California history.The inferno claimed all but a single box of their family mementos.“The sentimental value of it is more than anything I could ever explain. Because it’s the only thing I’ll ever be able to give her,” Nicole Hoenig said of the now prized possessions. “It means the world to be able to pass some of that stuff down to her.”Jim Hoenig drove his RV back to his burned out property on Christmas Eve. There, amid the rubble, he found his cat Rusty who had been missing since the fire broke out — it was a Christmas miracle.When the Camp Fire started on Nov. 8, neighborhoods quickly went up in flames, torching cars, burning down homes and leaving little more than ashy debris.This was unlike an ordinary fire, with winds reaching speeds up to 50 mph, which helped to fuel the flames and sent sparks flying through the air, creating a firestorm.The fire burned the area for 17 days, scorched over 153,000 acres and killed at least 86 people, hitting the town of Paradise the hardest.The rapidly shifting fire forced many residents like Nichole Jolly to evacuate with only the clothes on their back and drive through blinding smoke and flames.Jolly told ABC News that in the moment of her escape, she didn’t think she was going to make it out alive.“I knew I was going to die if I stayed in my car,” she said. “I called my husband and just said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it out of this. It’s coming in too fast,’” she recalled days after the fire. “I thought I was going to die right there.”Luckily she escaped thanks to a heroic pair of firemen.“I couldn’t breathe, the air was so hot, it was burning my lungs, you couldn’t see anything,” she said. “The back of my pants were on fire and two firemen picked me up, extinguished my pants, put me into their fire engine and put a fire blanket over me.”Jolly said she told her husband, “I’m alive. I’m here and I love you.” In the following weeks, she returned to her childhood home that had burned to the ground.“It’s so sad,” she said. “I’m happy that I got out with my life.”Her family lost nearly everything.“It’s awful just terrible to see everything that we worked so hard in our lives just gone,” Jolly said crying.The emotional toll coping with their loss around the holiday season has been especially difficult.“This was the glue to our family was this house,” Jolly said of the home where they used to celebrate Thanksgiving.But this year, Jolly “didn’t have Thanksgiving” she said, because “We couldn’t fit a turkey in our motor home oven.”Jolly plans to rebuild, but her home was one of 14,000 destroyed by the Camp Fire and the surrounding housing market is dire.Ed Mayer, the executive director of the Butte County Housing Authority, said the lack of property is a “secondary crisis.”“Everything is in upheaval mode right now,” Mayer said. “Fire’s out but now we’re dealing with a secondary crisis — Not enough housing.” According to Mayer, 14 percent of homes in Butte County were decimated by the fire, exacerbated by the already high demand for homes in California.He said that before the Camp Fire, the housing authority thought there “was around one and a half [to] two percent vacancy rate.”“All of those units were instantly absorbed by those coming out of the fire. So there really is no housing availability locally at all. Nothing,” he said bluntly.Mayer also said that price gouging and bidding wars have become the norm for residents who lost everything, but have the means to rebuild.“We’ve had clients coming in saying landlords have proposed $500 a month rate increases,” Mayer said. “There is a cap on rent increases, but we’ve seen the local ‘For Sale’ market kind of go crazy. We have folks bidding houses well above asking price on a regular basis.”Affordable housing is also now hard to come by, especially for those hardest hit like the elderly and the poor, who are left to decide between transitional housing or shelters.“There’s really no other place for them to go. There’s no other place in California that offers affordable rents and proximity to services,” Mayer explained. “So this is going to be a very, very difficult situation to work through.”FEMA has roughly 2,000 temporary trailers on standby ready to deliver to Butte County, but the problem is on the local level and finding available space for the trailers.“Not everyone wants to have a FEMA-manufactured home complex behind their house,” Mayer said.Residents have been cautioned against moving trailers onto their properties without basic infrastructure where their homes once stood because much of the areas may contain toxic ash.Additionally, not everyone is qualified for federal help.Daniel Wynne, an external affairs technical specialist at FEMA, said the process can be confusing but ultimately FEMA is there “to assist in long-term recovery.”“It is a confusing process, but we are not the first responders,” Wynne said. “You have excellent first responders in your community. We are here with state and county to assist in long-term recovery.”One assistance facility in Chico, California, averages 800 people per day, all of whom are seeking help to move forward.Residents of Paradise didn’t lose just their homes, they also lost businesses and jobs.The Feather River Hospital where Jolly worked closed after suffering extensive damage, leaving her and hundreds of other nurses out of work.“I am not able to work right now. The hospital is going to rebuild, they said. But it’s going to be at least a year if not two before they are up and moving again,” she explained. “I’m looking for work, but so [are] 300 other nurses.”Jolly said she spent her last moments at Feather River helping get patients to safety as flames engulfed the property.“We put tape on the doors when we knew that that room was evacuated, we shut the door so nobody went in there, we got the whole hospital out,” she recalled.Jolly started a GoFundMe page, like thousands of others, to help those left in the wasteland they used to call Paradise.“I want to help every one of them and I know they want to help me. But it’s hard because we’re all – we’re all on the same page. We’re all in the same boat,” she said. “We can’t help each other because we can barely survive ourselves.”Pleas for help have been heard by many statewide.The Spirit of Liberty Foundation flew up from Southern California with Santa to deliver gifts in time for Christmas. Paradise residents were overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers who brought the joy of Christmas to the Silver Dollar fairgrounds turned Red Cross shelter.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

California murder probe prompts Amber Alert for 15-year-old girl

first_imgLos Angeles County Sheriff’s Department(LOS ANGELES) — An Amber Alert was issued Thursday for a California teenager after investigators learned she was last seen with her mother and a man who are suspects in a murder and considered “armed and dangerous.” Alora Benitez, 15, was last seen around 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Torrance, California, accompanied by her mother, Maricela Mercado, and Roman Cerratos, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Mercado, 40, and Cerratos, 39, are suspects in a homicide that occurred on Tuesday in Carson, California, according to the sheriff’s department. The victim, whose name was not released, was found dead in the front seat of a white Audi near a business district in the Southern California town.“They are considered armed and dangerous,” sheriff’s officials said of Mercado and Ceratos in a statement. Alora was last seen leaving Torrance with her mother and Cerratos in a white 2013 BMW, four-door sedan with the Nevada license plate MARIMAR.“Los Angeles County Homicide Bureau is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Alora and safely returning her to her family,” the sheriff’s department statement reads. “Please do not take independent action, call 9-1-1 and alert local police or sheriff’s officials.”Homicide detectives learned that Alora was last seen with her mother and Cerratos while investigating the homicide Tuesday morning in Carson.The murder victim, whose name was not released, was found bleeding about 3:30 a.m. inside a car parked in a business district, according to the sheriff’s department. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff’s officials initially said the victim had been stabbed to death but later told reporters that the cause of death was pending an autopsy.Anyone with information on the missing girl can contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Coronavirus live updates: Fauci says lack of truthfulness ‘very likely’ cost lives

first_imgSamara Heisz/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 97.5 million people worldwide and killed over 2 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:Jan 22, 1:43 pmUK variant may be associated with higher mortality, Boris Johnson saysMore people are testing positive for the United Kingdom’s variant of the coronavirus, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday “there is some evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.”U.K. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stressed that the data is uncertain and there is a chance the new variant is increasing infections and mortality.The U.K. has seen record daily death tolls several times this week.There were 1,401 deaths in the last 24 hours.Jan 22, 1:00 pmNew York running out of vaccines today but more on the way: CuomoNew York state has used 97% of its allocated vaccine doses so far (for weeks 1 through 5) and will run out of doses by the end of the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.Week 6 doses are currently being delivered, the governor said.New York’s positivity rate has fallen to 5.65%, Cuomo said. Hospitalizations are also on the decline.Jan 22, 10:32 am‘Patient No. 1’ in US is now ‘back to his normal life’On Jan. 20, 2020, the first COVID-19 patient in the United States, known as “patient No. 1,” was brought to a Washington state hospital.Dr. George Diaz, the head of infectious diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center in Seattle, treated that patient. Diaz would later learn how to isolate COVID-19 patients properly, how to protect hospital staff and how to treat the illness.“We used Remdesivir, which was a new anti-viral at the time. He was the first patient to receive this drug in the world, and he had a good response to treatment,” Diaz told ABC’s Nightline.“Patient No. 1” was treated for five days before being released from the hospital, Diaz said. One year later, he is “doing great,” Diaz said.“He’s fully recovered and back to his normal life,” Diaz said. “Many people survive the illness but have lots of medical problems afterwards. Fortunately, Patient One recovered well.” Jan 22, 10:10 amFrance to require negative COVID-19 test for all arrivals by boat or planeFrench President Emmanuel Macron announced that all travelers arriving by boat or plane will have to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the country.The new measure, which goes into effect Sunday, includes visitors from within the European Union as well as those outside the regional bloc. They must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test up to three days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel, according to a statement from Macron’s office released late Thursday.People traveling for essential reasons, such as cross-border or ground transportation workers, will be exempt from the requirement. People arriving from other EU member states by train or car will also be exempt.France has the sixth-highest tally of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the world, after the United States, India, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.The European nation of 67 million people confirmed another 22,848 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with an additional 358 fatalities from the disease. That brings the cumulative totals to 2,987,965 cases and 71,998 deaths, according to the latest data from France’s public health agency.Jan 22, 9:03 amFauci says lack of truthfulness from Trump administration ‘very likely’ cost American livesWhen asked during an interview Friday on CNN’s New Day about whether the Trump administration’s lack of truthfulness in some cases regarding the coronavirus pandemic had cost American lives, Dr. Anthony Fauci said “it very likely did.”“I don’t want that, John, to be a soundbite, but I think if you just look at that you can see that when when you’re starting to go down paths that are not based on any science at all,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s John Berman. “Particularly when you’re in the situation of almost being in a crisis with the number of cases and hospitalizations and deaths that we have — when you start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful.”Fauci, who was a member of former President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, had disagreed with Trump on how to approach the pandemic. At one point, Trump suggested he was considering firing Fauci.“There’s no secret, we’ve had a lot of divisiveness,” Fauci, who is now the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told CNN. “We’ve had facts that were very, very clear that were questioned. People were not trusting what health officials were saying.”Jan 22, 9:00 amNFL invites vaccinated health care workers to Super Bowl The National Football League announced Friday that it’s inviting 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to attend the Feb. 7 Super Bowl in Florida “to thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.”Jan 22, 6:12 amReports that Japan is looking to cancel Tokyo Olympics are ‘categorically untrue,’ government saysReports that the Japanese government has privately concluded that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will have to be canceled are “categorically untrue,” according to Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat of the Headquarters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.“The renewed schedules and venues for the Tokyo 2020 Games, starting with the Opening Ceremony on July 23 this year, were determined at the IOC Session in July last year. All parties involved are working together to prepare for the successful Games this summer,” the cabinet secretariat said in a statement Friday. “We will implement all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer.”The statement follows a report published Thursday evening by British newspaper The Times, which cited “a senior member of the ruling coalition” who said there is agreement that the Games are doomed and the focus now is on securing the event for the Japanese capital in the next available year, 2032.The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in Tokyo last year on July 24. But in late March, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the upcoming Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan’s prime minister announced that the event would be held a year later due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are now scheduled to open in Tokyo this summer on July 23, but doubt has surfaced as Japan — and much of the world — grapples with a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.Jan 22, 5:21 amUS reports over 188,000 new casesThere were 188,952 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Thursday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Thursday’s case count is lower than the country’s all-time high of 298,031 new cases, which were confirmed on Jan. 2, Johns Hopkins data shows.An additional 3,955 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered nationwide on Thursday, down from a peak of 4,462 new deaths on Jan. 12, according to Johns Hopkins data.COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the holiday weekend and earlier holidays.A total of 24,631,890 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 410,349 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. 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 over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before nearing 300,000 on Jan. 2.Jan 22, 4:26 am‘There is no plan B’ for Tokyo Olympics, IOC chief saysDespite rising COVID-19 infections in Japan, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Thursday that there is “no reason whatsoever” to believe the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on July 23 as planned.“This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these games safe and successful,” Bach told Japanese news agency Kyodo in an interview Thursday.However, Bach admitted he could not guarantee that the stands would be full or rule out the possibility that the Games would be held without spectators, according to Kyodo.The 2020 Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in Tokyo last year on July 24. But in late March, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the upcoming Games, the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s prime minister announced that the event would be held a year later due to the coronavirus pandemic.Now, Japan is facing a resurgence of COVID-19. The country of 126 million people reported the highest number of new cases in the Western Pacific region last week. The infection rate — currently at 32.8 cases per 100,000 people — increased by 4% over the previous week, according to the World Health Organization’s latest COVID-19 weekly epidemiological update.The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed 5,662 new cases of COVID-19 as well as an additional 87 fatalities from the disease on Thursday, bringing the cumulative totals to 348,646 cases and 4,829 deaths.Japanase Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and 10 other prefectures due to climbing case counts and growing death tolls.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Tissue distribution of retinoids in common dolphins Delphinus delphis

first_imgExposure to organochlorines induces retinoid deficiency in mammals; hence, retinoids are potential biomarkers of the impact of these pollutants. Appropriate target tissues to monitor retinoids in cetaceans have not been properly identified because of a lack of information on the contribution of each tissue to total body retinoids. Therefore, we have addressed this issue by studying the contribution of the main body tissues to retinoids in 21 common dolphins obtained from incidental catches and in apparent good health and nutritive condition. Although concentrations in the liver were highest, those in blubber were also high and accounted for 43% of the total retinoid load of the compartments examined. As blubber can be obtained using non-invasive biopsy techniques, this tissue is proposed as a reliable indicator of retinoid status in cetaceans. However, blubber topographical variation in structure and composition requires standardization of sampling sites. Retinoid concentrations did not differ significantly between sexes or with body size for any of the tissues, but the lipid content of blubber strongly influenced these concentrations. Biopsies from healthy, free-ranging individuals are preferred to samples from stranded animals. Further research on the influence of factors (age, sex, reproductive condition, diet) that potentially affect retinoid levels is required to implement the use of retinoids as biomarkers of pollutant exposure in cetaceans.last_img read more

Athletics Equipment Service Technician (on-call)

first_imgOpen Until FilledYes Summary Remove from Web * Are you a Christian?YesNo Quick Link to Posting State and Federal law permit California Baptist University todiscriminate on the basis of religion in order to fulfill itspurpose. The University does not discriminate contrary to eitherState or Federal law. Nondiscrimination Statement Performs a wide variety of tasks including non-technicalmaintenance, repair, adjustment, and setup of Athletics facilitiesand equipment related to athletic contests and special events. Willidentify unsatisfactory and/or unsafe conditions within the scopeand work area, and collaborate with other University departmentsand/or vendors to attain successful resolution. Supervisory Responsibilities Classification Title Other Knowledge Skills and Abilities This position could be responsible for assigning work and/or givingdirection to part-time Student Workers, in order to complete workassignments. Education and/or Experience * Do you attend church regularly?YesNocenter_img Open Date10/05/2017 Other duties may be assigned.1. Perform preventative and as-needed non-technical maintenance onfacilities and equipment.2. Replace, repair and adjust mechanical equipment related toathletic contests and special events.3. Assemble pursuant to written or verbal instruction equipmentrelated to athletic practices/contests and special events.4. Setup game and practice equipment according to pre-determinedschedules and as instructed.5. Regularly assess the facility and equipment for unsatisfactoryand/or unsafe conditions and report those observations forresolution.6. Request parts and supplies as needed to complete tasks.7. Document services provided and maintenance performed, usingexisting reporting formats.8. Work cooperatively with other Events Center staff and employeesfrom other departments.9. Instruct and oversee student workers performing maintenancetasks at the Events Center.10. Instruct and oversee the work of contract vendors providingservice to Events Center facilities and equipment.11. Perform general custodial and janitorial tasks asnecessary.12. Possess and maintain a valid California Driver License. Supplemental QuestionsRequired fields are indicated with an asterisk (*). Special Instructions to Applicants Posting NumberS524P Posting Details Essential Duties and Responsibilities High school diploma or general education degree ( GED ); or threeto six months related experience and/or training; or equivalentcombination of education and experience. If no, please explain (required):(Open Ended Question)* Are you both familiar with and not in conflict with thefundamental doctrines and practices of the California SouthernBaptist Convention as stated in the Baptist Faith and Message datedJune 14, 2000? (Please see above link for more information)Yes (I am familiar and not in conflict)No (I am in conflict or not familiar) Job TitleAthletics Equipment Service Technician (on-call) To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able toperform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listedbelow are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilityrequired. Ability to read and write at a level appropriate to the duties ofthe position. Ability to understand the operation of simple mechanicalprocesses, identify proper/improper function of those processes,and devise appropriate corrective action. Ability to use hand and power tools applicable to the workdescribed above. Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impartconfidential information. Ability to gather data, compile information, and preparereports. Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability towork effectively with a diverse faculty, staff and studentbody. Ability to supervise and train staff, including organizing,prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments. Strong organizational skills and detailed oriented. Ability to maintain confidentiality. Ability to interpret, adapt, and apply guidelines andprocedures. Ability to develop and maintain recordkeeping systems andprocedures. Ability to resolve customer complaints and concerns. Ability to investigate and analyze information and to drawconclusions. Ability to understand and follow specific instructions andprocedures. Ability to read, understand, follow, and enforce safetyprocedures. Applicant DocumentsRequired Documents Optional DocumentsResumeCover LetterOther DocumentOther Document 2last_img read more

Illinois AG Says Catholic Church Failed To Disclose Abuse Accusations Against 500 Priests

first_imgMadigan began her investigation in August after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a 900-page report detailing horrific abuses by 300 Catholic clergies against more than 1,000 victims. Since then, 36 dioceses have publicized self-reported lists of clergy “credibly accused” of abusing minors. (There are 197 dioceses in the United States.)But advocates for survivors of sexual abuse have challenged many of the lists, calling them incomplete or evasive. Few of the lists detail exactly when the abuse claims were made, or what was done about them. Madigan’s criticism seems to lend credibility to those accusations.“The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself,” Madigan said. “Allegations of sexual abuse of minors, even if they stem from conduct that occurred many years ago, cannot be treated as internal personnel matters.”Based on their review of the Illinois dioceses’ internal files, the dioceses have received sex-abuse-related allegations for approximately 690 clergies, according to the attorney general’s report. But they publicly reported just 185 of the allegations.Nearly 75% of the allegations were either not investigated or were investigated but not substantiated, according to the report.In many cases, the dioceses said they had not conducted investigations because the priest or clergy member was dead or had already resigned by the time the allegation was reported to the dioceses, according to the attorney general’s office. It did not specify which of Illinois’ six dioceses were responsible for the unreported accusations.In other cases, the dioceses failed to “substantiate” an allegation when it came from only one survivor, even when church officials had reason to believe that survivor and reason to investigate further, according to the report.“The dioceses also often found reasons to discredit survivors’ stories of abuse by focusing on the survivors’ personal lives,” the report says.  In a statement, the head of Illinois’ archdiocese, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, said that since 2002, the archdiocese has reported all allegations — regardless of whether the accused is living or dead — to civil authorities.The Diocese of Joliet said that it has “received no formal or informal indication from the Attorney General that we failed to adequately investigate any allegation of abuse and/or report it to authorities. The Attorney General has also not informed the Diocese of Joliet of any inaccuracies or omissions in our files that would prompt additions or corrections to the list of priests with credible allegations that is on our website.”The six dioceses in Illinois are Chicago, an archdiocese, and Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield.“The Dioceses of Belleville, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield did not take the basic step of publishing a comprehensive list of clergy who had been credible “accused until the Office became involved,” the report says.Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield said his diocese has cooperated with the attorney general’s investigation, but the decision to withhold names in the past was done with “a virtuous intent.”  “Reviewing these past cases has also reminded us that many years ago people didn’t publicly discuss the kind of salacious allegations documented in these files,” Paprocki said in a statement.“A virtuous intent to protect the faithful from scandal, unfortunately, prevented the transparency and awareness that has helped us confront this problem more directly over the past fifteen years. We are continuing to learn and strive to improve our assistance for those who are victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.”Cupich, a close ally of Pope Francis, is one of the dozens of Catholic bishops who will meet in Rome February 21-24 to address the clergy sexual abuse scandal, which has rocked the church on several continents.In December, the Society of Jesus, popularly known as the Jesuits, released lists from four provinces of more than 230 priests who had been credibly accused of abusing minors. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Illinois AG Says Catholic Church Failed To Disclose Abuse Accusations Against 500 Priests And Clergy By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion EditorIllinois’ dioceses have released lists publicly identifying 185 clergy members who had been credibly accused of child sex abuse. But state Attorney General Lisa Madigan said preliminary findings in her ongoing investigation reveal that the church failed to disclose sexual abuse allegations against at least 500 additional priests and clergy members. “The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors.” FOOTNOTE: CNN’s Rosa Flores contributed to this article. In many cases, the accusations have “not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all,” Madigan’s office said in a statement Wednesday. What’s more, the statement added, the church often failed to notify law enforcement authorities or state Department of Children and Family Services about the allegations. “By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners, and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said in the statement.last_img read more

AG Hill Warns Hoosiers Considering Timeshare Memberships

first_img FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Curtis Hill is advising individuals to act with caution and look for any false statements or hidden fees when signing up for timeshare memberships.With school out for the summer, many Hoosier families are planning summer vacations. Timeshare rentals are a common lodging option. However, Hill is asking Hoosiers to beware when signing up for timeshare memberships.Many Hoosiers will receive invitations to a free dinner at a hotel or restaurant with the catch that they listen to a presentation regarding timeshares. Following the presentation, they’re pressured to sign a contract on the spot, not allowing the appropriate amount of time to look over and think about the agreement. These contracts often have stipulations such as annual maintenance fees hidden deep in the contract that Hoosiers aren’t aware of because they didn’t have time to review the agreement due to the pressure to sign the contract on the spot.The Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (CPD) encourages individuals to take time when considering signing a timeshare membership contract. The CPD suggests Hoosiers should wait for at least 24 hours before signing an agreement. Consumers should also be cautious of any ongoing fees associated with the membership, regardless of what the salesperson says. The CPD also wants consumers to know that they have a three-day right to cancel any timeshare membership contract.Hoosiers are encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General if they have been scammed. You can reach the CPD by visiting or calling 1-800-382-5516.last_img read more

Carrie Merritt Honored as “Citizen of Year”

first_imgOcean City’s “Citizen of the Year,” as awarded by the Regional Chamber of Commerce, went to Carrie Merritt (second from right) with members of the Chamber staff, including (from left) Marketing Director Shawnda Lindsay, Chamber employee Justin Juliano, Executive Director Michele Gillian and Events Coordinator Mimi Cottrell. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Rumer) By TIM KELLYFor many Ocean City businesses, an entire year’s efforts are compressed into a prime season of just three months. As a result, Ocean City takes business very seriously.Well, except for one night each year.The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce took a time-out on Tuesday to celebrate some of the town’s many business superstars, and for its member businesses to celebrate each other. The annual dinner took place in the packed main ballroom of the Flanders Hotel.Carrie Merritt, an Ocean City teacher, entrepreneur, athletic trainer, mentor – among many other active roles in the community – was named the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year.During a text exchange before the event, she turned the accolades away from herself and told of making the award a teachable moment for her first grade students in the Ocean City Primary School. For a writing project, Merritt asked the students to imagine being named Citizen of the Year and to discuss ways in which they might make Ocean City an even better place to live.Merritt, Cape May County’s Teacher of the Year, also asked the students to be creative with their work and to have fun.The kids took it to heart. “Being Citizen of the Year would be easy for me,” one child wrote confidently.  “I would hand out chocolate 365 days a year.” Others stated they would promote friendship, help their peers and volunteer to help the less fortunate.“I can’t believe I’m Citizen of the Year,” a student penned. But Merritt got them thinking about by turning the spotlight away from herself and helping the students understand what being a good citizen means: “Following rules, being responsible and helping others,” she told them.Merritt’s wife, Lisa Rumer, had suggested that a reporter should look at the Facebook Page and the students’ work.“Great Idea,” Merritt replied, “I’d rather talk about my kids any day of the week than myself.”No need, as the Chamber’s membership sang her praises all evening.From left, Sally Huff, Rose and George Savastano, Janie and Scott Halliday, previous Citizen of the Year Drew Fasy, Assemblyman-elect Antwan McClellan, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian and Mayor Jay Gillian.As an educator, Merritt was a finalist for the New Jersey statewide Teacher of the Year, and won the 2016 Healthy Educator of the Year award from AtlantiCare. She is strength and conditioning coach and athletic trainer for many of the Red Raiders’ sports teams.Merritt was on a committee that crafted the “We Rock” Ocean City schools initiative, which strives to empower faculty and staff, students and the community by getting the groups together and instilling in students the realization they do matter and each child can make a difference.As an entrepreneur, she runs a personal training business, TLC Performance.  She’s an endurance athlete herself, participating in numerous distance running and triathlon events. Merritt’s not content to just participate. She serves on the Ocean City Half Marathon and Race Event Series committees and coordinates an army of volunteers to help the events run like clockwork.Merritt says that all of her physical education, therapy and athletic training endeavors center around a simple but powerful philosophy: “My belief is to help model, then motivate (the premise that) fitness and wellness are a tool to help foster a positive attitude, positive self-image, emotional and mental wellness, and (finding ways for people) to challenge themselves to be successful.”She’s certainly a role model in that regard. She can be seen literally running all over town, and bustling about the public schools working with her students and student-athletes.Merritt sometimes slows down long enough to stop at a local café to sip one of her numerous daily cups of coffee. In addition to being a wife, she is the mom of a son, TJ.Ocean City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor, standing, far right, is joined by members of the Board of Education and school administration.In her remarks during the Chamber ceremony Merritt said, “Many of my happiest childhood memories are of my time spent in Ocean City. (The city) has given me delight, contentment and fulfillment. Thank you Ocean City for helping me to realize and cultivate my calling.”Prior to Merritt’s award, the evening kicked off with Chamber of Commerce President Dave Allegretto’s welcoming comments and the introduction of dignitaries in attendance by Chamber Executive Director Michele Gillian. That duo also presided over the other night’s awards:Outstanding New Businesses: Arnie’s Butcher Shop, Dead End Bake Shop, Dry IslandBusiness Renovation/Improvement:  Bowfish Kids, Bungalow Bowls – Boardwalk, OC Escape Adventure GamesBest Website/Outstanding Use of Technology: Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, We Make it PersonalOutstanding Landscaping/Signage: Hearth & Sole, Sifting SandsOutstanding Service to the Community: Cathy Finnegan, Seagull Abatement ProgramNew Construction: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, Express Pizza, Interiors by Joann, Tuckahoe InnOutstanding Civic, Community Non-Profit Organization: Ocean City Tabernacle Son ClubMembers of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors team are honored by Cape May County Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, Mayor Jay Gillian and Chamber Executive Director Michele Gillian.The Chamber also recognized a number of businesses and organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries. These included, from oldest to most recent:  Ocean City Tabernacle, 140 years; Ocean City Board of Realtors and St. John’s Lutheran Church, 100; Boyar’s Market, 95; Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, 90; Charlie’s Restaurant, 75; Night in Venice 65; and Varsity Inn and Sack O Subs, 50.Also, Halliday-Leonard Contractors, 40; Fox Real Estate, 35; Hobby Horse Ice Cream Parlor, 25; Inn the Gardens Bed & Breakfast, 20; Harbor Outfitters, OCNJ Half Marathon and Ocean City Magazine, 10; and Yoga Ginger, 5.The event also featured the presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance to the flag by members of Boy Scout Troop 32 of Ocean City, and the singing of the National Anthem by Julia Mary Wilson.All in all, it was an outstanding night of fun and comradery by and for our business community.  And, now, it’s back to work.last_img read more

Press release: Up for the Cup

first_img Press office Notes to editors:Personalised registrations can be bought 24 hours a day online. A dedicated team can also help customers find the registration they want over the phone by ringing 0300 123 0883. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 4.30pm.1 Guinness World Records2 Wikicollecting Historically, football memorabilia can go for hundreds of thousands of pounds. The most expensive item sold in the UK was an original FA Cup, dating from 1871, which went under the hammer for £420,000 at Christie’s in 20051.The most expensive items of World Cup football memorabilia ever sold include2: Football memorabilia clearly has a market and this top ten highlights how much people are willing to spend on commemorating the game. But with more than 50 million registrations available on our website there are almost endless possibilities for football fans to celebrate their passion for the sport and their team, from just £250. Motorists can get into World Cup fever straight away with 18 registrations now available. Only for use by journalists and the media: 0300 123 2407 Football fans looking to secure a memento on a smaller budget could pick up a World Cup 2018 inspired personalised registration from DVLA.Fans of the beautiful game can use the website’s search facility to find the perfect football-themed plate for them with WO18 RLD, WE18 WON and FR18 NCE currently available.Jody Davies, DVLA Personalised Registrations’ Senior Sales Manager, said: Jules Rimet Trophy replica £254,500 Nobby Stiles’ 1966 World Cup medal £188,200 Alan Ball’s 1966 World Cup medal £164,800 Pele’s 1970 second-half World Cup final shirt £157,750 Gordon Banks’ 1966 World Cup medal £124,750 Geoff Hurst’s 1966 World Cup final shirt £91,750 Ray Wilson’s 1966 World Cup medal £80,750 Pele’s 1958 World Cup final shirt £70,505 Pele’s 1970 first-half World Cup final shirt £66,500 Alan Ball’s 1966 World Cup final shirt £51,755 Email [email protected] DVLA Press Office Longview Road Morriston Swansea SA6 7JL last_img read more

Oxford awards honorary degree to Faust

first_img“Penetrating mistress of the craft of history, who have advanced learning alike in your books and by your actions, I on my own authority and that of the whole university, admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.”With those words, delivered in Latin, Harvard President Drew Faust was awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University in a ceremony marked by traditions four centuries old on a campus at least twice as old as Harvard’s.The ceremonies, known as the Encaenia from the Greek word for “festival of renewal” and corresponding to the Latin-derived Commencement, span events at several Oxford colleges, with the conferral of degrees in the Sheldonian Theatre, which was the first important commission of a young Christopher Wren, and considered a great feat of design when it was built in the 1660s.Faust was among eight honorary degree recipients honored in yesterday’s ceremonies; others included neurologist Henry Barnett, author David Cornwall (John Le Carré), and Burmese human rights activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In remarks delivered as part of the ceremony, Aung San Suu Kyi described Burma as at the beginning of a road that will be “built as we go … inch by difficult inch.” She credited the “kind of values” instilled at Oxford as key in her leading the National League for Democracy, and described her years at the university as formative in appreciating differences and her approach to leadership.In the citation read as Faust was presented her degree, her roots as a Civil War historian were tied to her having been “brought up on those broad acres which gave rise to the Confederate secession,” and she was credited with groundbreaking scholarship in previously unexplored dimensions of the history of the American South. She was described as a “shrewd leader in tough times,” and to the delight of those gathered and the surprise of Faust herself, her dog Clio was mentioned as having been named for the Muse of History.Faust was joined at the ceremony by Sir Ronald Cohen, a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers and an alumnus of Exeter College at Oxford. For Cohen, the ceremonies were an opportunity to look both back — he pointed out his old bedroom window on the third floor at Exeter to Faust and her husband, Charles Rosenberg — and forward.“It is a very exciting day when Oxford and Harvard have an official connection, and I hope these two great institutions can collaborate more in the future. Drew has been honored for her great academic achievements, but it is an additional bonus that she’s also the president of Harvard. As those of who have attended our Commencement at Harvard and attended today’s ceremonies can attest, the two cultures are very close, and it’s very exciting for me, as someone who has studied at both places, to see the two come together.”last_img read more