Even as law enforcement officers swarm the roadways to nab intoxicated drivers this New Year’s holiday, Los Angeles County officials said they also will be watching for any potential drunk drivers among the ranks of their own Sheriff’s Department. Despite a series of efforts, nearly two dozen off-duty sheriff’s employees have been arrested on drunk-driving charges every year since hitting that peak in 2004 – up from an average 10 to 15 a year, according to an annual department review. “The Sheriff’s Department has taken a multipronged approach to address this, including increasing the disciplinary penalties for drunk driving off-duty,” Office of Independent Review Chief Attorney Michael Gennaco said Friday. “But so far, what they have tried has not decreased the level of arrests. So we are going to continue to watch it carefully and see if there can be some sort of a decrease in this troubling, off-duty behavior.” Officials with the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs could not be reached Friday for comment. But Audrey Honig, the department’s chief psychologist, said sheriff’s officials have been working with Gennaco to address a “culture that supports the use of alcohol as a means of dealing with the stress of the job.” The department has formed a DUI task force of commanders and also recently increased the penalty for a drunk-driving arrest from a seven- to 15-day suspension to a standard 15-day suspension. The department plans to send its 15,000 employees a message today, encouraging those who drink alcohol to find designated drivers and to store their off-duty weapons in a safe place. The department also is developing a training video and is using special goggles that simulate the effects of alcohol to teach deputies how drinking impairs their ability to use their guns. “You might speed 12 times and not get caught, but eventually we’ll get you,” Honig said. “The same is true with alcohol offenses. Your luck will run out, and you’ll get caught. And the time no longer exists when another officer will excuse your behavior and let you go home.” Tony Bell, spokesman for county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich – an outspoken supporter of the Sheriff’s Department, said the supervisor wants to encourage the department to continue to reach out to deputies to address the issue. “Obviously their efforts have been proactive in education and in increased penalties,” Bell said. “These are measures that will reduce the number of deputies involved in these incidents. “This will protect the public and discourage deputies from drinking and driving.” Gennaco’s report comes as former sheriff’s Chief Michael Aranda pleaded no contest earlier this month to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated in his county vehicle. Aranda of Palmdale was placed on three years of probation and ordered to attend an alcohol-education program. In his report, Gennaco found more than half of drunk-driving arrests of sheriff’s employees involved young deputies in their first assignment with the department, typically in the county’s jails. The department has hired hundreds of deputies in the past few years to reduce violence in the overcrowded jails and reduce crime in unincorporated areas and cities throughout the county that contract with the Sheriff’s Department. This year, more than 1,000 new deputies graduated from the sheriff’s academy. Among its anti-DUI efforts, the Sheriff’s Department also is encouraging fellow law enforcement officers not to extend “professional courtesies” to sheriff’s employees pulled over for driving while intoxicated. In such cases, fellow officers often would waive an arrest and instead drive the intoxicated colleague home, Gennaco said. “One thing that may be going on is that the days of professional courtesy where an officer would treat an off-duty officer differently have ended,” Gennaco said. “Unfortunately, some of these new deputies don’t understand yet that those days have ended.” Gennaco’s report examined 97 sheriff’s employee arrests over five years, as well as 27 non-DUI incidents ending in arrests of employees for alcohol-related fights, disturbances and disputes. A small fraction of the alcohol-related incidents involved brandishing or alleged brandishing of firearms by department members, Gennaco wrote. The report follows a Daily News report last month that found a growing number of off-duty shootings involving the Los Angeles Police and Sheriff’s departments. Since 2000, sheriff’s employees have been involved in 41 off-duty shootings. Last year, there were seven – up from four the previous year. Concerns about off-duty drinking and shootings in the Sheriff’s Department first arose in the mid-1990s when Special Counsel Merrick Bobb analyzed 28 off-duty shootings and found six involved deputies who had been drinking. In 1996, a federal jury awarded $750,000 to the family of a Rowland Heights man who was killed by an intoxicated, off-duty sheriff’s deputy. “Off-duty firearms and alcohol don’t mix,” Gennaco said. “While we don’t endorse restricting off-duty weapons, for safety and security reasons, deputies have to understand that their judgment can be clouded when firearms and alcohol are both in the same room.” Honig said that while some of the recent cases have involved deputies brandishing firearms and badges while drinking, she said she doesn’t recall anybody actually getting shot in recent years. “That’s a very positive thing because in years past, we had a significant number of alcohol-related offenses involving guns – only it wasn’t brandishing, it was firing,” she said. “So a number of years ago, at least eight, we implemented a very concerted effort – and it took a couple of years to overcome – that if you are going to drink, then don’t carry your firearm, period. Store it. It’s safer for you, and it’s safer for everybody else.” Honig said she is more concerned about the possibility that deputies who drink and drive can injure or kill other people. “We’ve had some over the years where people have died and the sheriff’s personnel has gone to prison,” Honig said. “It periodically happens. “The most common is a regular DUI. The second is a single-car spinout where they crash their own car, and the next is when they shoot somebody else but it’s a minor injury. “The least common is where it becomes vehicular manslaughter.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Arsenal starlet Tafari Moore has joined FC Utrecht on a season-long loan deal.Moore, 19, has been at Arsenal for seven years but is yet to make his senior bow for the club.So the Gunners have decided to send the England youth international out on loan so he can get his first taste of first-team football.The full-back will link up with Dutch club Utrecht, who finished fifth in the Eredivisie last term, and he will remain there until next summer. Tafari Moore in action for England Under-18s 1
Geraldine Diver’s pic over ChurchillYOU can’t beat a free lights show – and there’s one right now over Donegal.Here’s some of your pictures from the Northern Lights.Cathal Casey is enjoying the show in AnnagryThe Plough and the Lights. Pic Geraldine DiverGerard O’Kane’s stunning image this evening on the Donegal-Derry borderDonal Sharkey in the Lower RossesAdam Rory Porter took this wonderful image in InishowenThe view in Falcarragh as captured by Sarah Sayers Thanks to all of you for the pix. Superb.PICTURE SPECIAL: THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN DONEGAL TONIGHT was last modified: March 6th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalnorthern lightspicture special
Irish soccer fans will be allowed to consume alcohol on Good Friday when Martin O’Neill’s side take on Switzerland in an international friendly at the Aviva Stadium.No licensed premises are allowed to serve alcohol on Good Friday, and all bars shut down for the day. However, the Aviva bars will be allowed to open because it’s a friendly match and is not governed by UEFA.So all bars inside the stadium are allowed to served alcohol from 5.30pm onwards.It’s an added bonus for some fans who enjoy a few pre-match pints as part of their pre-game build-up for international matches.The decision has been angrily in some quarters, while others have praised the decision and have described it as progressive. Licensed Vintners’ Association have already called the Good Friday ban to be lifted.LVA chief executive Donal O’Keefe told The Irish Independent, “Every Good Friday we have tens of thousands of tourists wandering around Dublin asking why they can’t go into a pub for a drink,”“Now we are going to have up to 50,000 soccer fans facing the same problem.“Not to mention the tens of thousands who will want to watch the match in their local pub.”GOOD FRIDAY BOOZE BAN LIFTED FOR IRISH SOCCER FANS was last modified: March 8th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AvivabanboozeGood FridayIrelandLiftednewsSport
Letterkenny man Frank Larkin has vowed to work against disability hate crimes in Donegal and across Ireland.Frank LarkinMr Larkin has just returned from Budapest where he attended a training event and conference on hate crime with my particular focus being on disability hate crime.There were people from 14 European countries participating and Frank says the depth of experience and expertise was invaluable. “The training element concentrated on such things as Data collection and verification, Categorisation of incidents and Bias Indicators, Reporting Hate Crime, Media Monitoring, Victim Support, Models of Cooperation between civil society organisations, Police, Local authorities and government and how advocacy can help to combat hate crime,” said Frank.The speakers at the conference included Paul Giannasi, Police Superintendent from the UK ministry of Justice & Joanna Perry, Hate Crime Officer OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).Frank added “One of the most useful things in the conference was in learning that there are ways in which you can have the likes of disability hate crime dealt with despite there being no legislation that specifically deals with it in this country.“The most important thing for me is to implement the training and deliver it to civil society organisations as a whole so that we can ensure that the issue is dealt with as there tends to be a rise in disability hate crime and all other hate crime in times of austerity.” And he vowed “I will continue to work with the Gardaí at local level and hope that appropriate steps can be taken to ensure that hate crimes are made visible.“My hope is that it can be dealt with appropriately with the recommended guidelines until such time as it is dealt with by appropriate legislation.” DONEGAL DISABILITY CAMPAIGNER VOWS TO CONTINUE WORK AFTER ATTENDING CONFERENCE was last modified: March 28th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DISABILITY HATE CRIMEdonegalFrank Larkin
The Boyle family make their cheque presentation to the Donegal Alzheimer’s Group.A well-known Donegal family has given their mother 8,200 reasons to show her how much they love her.The Boyle family from Manorcunningham wanted to thank the Donegal Alzheimer’s Society for the care they have shown their mother Ethna.So all twelve siblings decided there was only one way to raise some much-needed cash for the group and that was to climb Errigal! And in doing so the family has managed to raise a whopping €8,200.This is their touching story.“On a very wet Saturday morning at the end of August, twelve people gathered at the foot of Errigal for a climb they had been planning for a few months.“Two had come home from England, two home from Scotland and the other eight from their homes in Donegal. “Only a few other hardy souls were on the mountain that day; but the six brothers and six sisters were determined to make the climb for the first time as a family together – some for the first time ever.“The climb was a tribute to the lady who they have watched for the past four years climb her own personal mountain as she struggles to live with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease – their mother, Ethna Boyle of Errity, Manorcunningham.“They aimed to raise a few hundred euros each in sponsorship to donate to support the Letterkenny Social Club each Tuesday at the Clanree Hotel organised by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (Donegal Branch) and their Home Care service throughout the county.“Helena, Manny, Bella-Marie, Rosaleen, Joan, Jemmy, Lorraine, Angeline, Peter, Marty, Paddy and Brendan would like to thank all those who supported, encouraged and donated to them and helped to raise nearly €8,200.“The beginning of the trek brought back happy memories of all playing together outside in the rain. “However, the boggy foot of the mountain also reminded them of something less pleasant – their initial reaction to hearing the news of their mother’s diagnosis: the disbelief, the denial, the anger that their mother was the person effected. Just as the boggy ground slowed their progress, so those feelings stopped them from finding the best way to help their father Seamus to look after their mother.“There still persists a sense of unfairness that a woman who had dedicated her life to helping others as a HSE Home Help, mental health nurse and through volunteering with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association should now need help with the activities of daily life.“Just as with the climb, different family members progressed at different speeds and with different degrees of difficulty. Although their mother’s illness has brought the family together, no group of twelve people see everything from the same point of view or have the same attitudes.“There can be tensions heightened by the stress that they feel as they watch their mother gradually having to give up many aspects of her life – driving, working, baking, smoking, travel, overseas holidays in the sun. “As they proceeded up the mountain, the mist came in at about half-way up. The dense mist blocked their view of anything more than a few feet in front of them and mirrored the growing confusion that has surrounded their mother as time progresses.“The poor weather made the climb take longer than normal and the sense that the summit would never be reached was felt by many of the climbers – a feeling that they knew only too well from watching their mother gradually deteriorating as she progresses through the seven stages of dementia.“As they reached the summit, they had to decide whether it was safe to cross the final small path to the actual peak. Having come that far, they decided that they had to go all the way despite the dense fog. With varying levels of trepidation, they took the final few strides in small groups to complete the promise they had made to the people who sponsored them.“They took a few moments to think of their mother and said aloud “this is for you Mammy we hope we made you proud”. They all realise that despite how tough it is for them to watch their mother as she progresses through the illness, it must be much tougher for their father to watch his wife grow increasingly less capable, frail and distant.“Seamus is Ethna’s main carer and is grateful for those who still call to visit Ethna, especially her close friend Susan, who is a regular visitor. The family know the importance of good neighbours who know about the illness and helped the family when their mother went through periods of wandering.“She still listens to music on the radio but no longer demonstrates any emotion in reaction to it. She enjoys the music and stimulating activities at the Social Club each Tuesday and still goes to the shops.“As anyone who has climbed Errigal knows, the journey back down is sometimes as nerve-wrecking. The fear of losing one’s footing can sometimes make the journey down as long as the climb.“But they knew their mother would be waiting on them at the foot along with their father and it was quite emotional when they saw her sitting looking out through the window at them. Even when the distressing phases of dementia such as constant repetition and challenging behaviour have passed, the physical stress can be replaced by the emotional stress of not being remembered by someone you have been so close to all your life.“Ethna is now more content and particularly enjoys the company of her devoted dog, Monty. She can no longer talk to her children and recognises a familiar friendly face rather than being able to name her son or daughter, or her several grandchildren aged from four months to twenty-one years.“They miss being able to talk with her; her wonderful baking & cooking are just a memory that none of them seem able to duplicate. But she is still their mother, she is still at home with her loving husband and they know that she loves them just as much as they love her.”DONEGAL FAMILY PROVE NO MOUNTAIN IS TOO HIGH FOR A MOTHER’S LOVE was last modified: October 29th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Boyle familycharityclimbDonegal Alzheimer’s SocietyErrigalEthnaManorcunninghaMOTHER
Khris Davis will spend the final day of this Chicago trip out of the lineup, a trend that could last through the A’s two-game trek to San Francisco.Davis is mired in a strange slump in which he’s making promising swings and contact at times and reverting back into bad habit mechanics at others.“When you go through injuries, and you’ve sat around and DL and try to work through an injury, at times you get into some bad habits and you try to figure out your mechanics,” manager Bob Melvin said. …
5 April 2005Former South African president Nelson Mandela will attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on Friday, SABCnews reports.Also attending the funeral will be Deputy President Jacob Zuma, leading a South African delegation.Mandela, who said this week that he had been deeply inspired by the Pope, will join 200 world leaders at Friday’s mass, the Vatican has confirmed.In a statement released by the Nelson Mandela Foundation following Pope John Paul’s death on Saturday night, Mandela said he joined the millions of Roman Catholics around the world in mourning the death of Pope John Paul II.“We know that millions more people of all persuasions and backgrounds join us in this shared sense of loss and bereavement”, Mandela said in the statement.Describing the Pope as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the era, Mandela said he “gave moral direction and guidance in an age whose scientific and technological progress was not always matched by equal progress in compassion and universal caring.“Pope John Paul II was a consistent voice articulating the need for moral regeneration and caring for the poor and marginalised”, Mandela said.“We were highly privileged to have met with His Holiness on a number of occasions and were always inspired by his wisdom, compassion, humility and deep spirituality. The world is undoubtedly a better one for the legacy and the teaching he leaves behind.”Tutu praises Pope who ‘spoke out’Former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined Mandela in paying tribute to Pope John Paul II, praising him for speaking out against apartheid and for his attempts to unite humanity, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks in New York.“He spoke out against the unjust international economic system that benefited some and doomed others to lives of poverty, squalour and deprivation, a fertile soil for nurturing terrorism”, Tutu said.Following the September 11 attacks, the Pope invited leaders of different faiths from around the world to pray for peace at a summit in Assisi.“In a polarised world, this was a not insignificant push for recognising that we ultimately belonged together and would prosper only together”, Tutu said. “Anything else meant we were doomed.”SouthAfrica.info reporter
The Department of Water Affairs will belaunching courts that will address watercrimes that threaten the securityof supply to lawful water users.(Image: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com.For more free photos, visit the image library) South African Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica announced on 11 August 2010 that environmental courts will be set up to address crimes that threaten the quality and supply of water.Sonjica, speaking at the Agri SA water conference in Johannesburg, said her department was concerned about the impact of deteriorating water quality in South Africa, as it’s among the most water-scarce countries in the world.She said the new courts would help deal with all water-related crimes, but that role-players in the agricultural industry should also come up with ways to protect the country’s water supplies. She named agricultural practices, mining and urban development as the main contributors to water pollution.“It’s a serious matter for us and you will soon be invited to the launch of the first courts because we want to strengthen our regulatory bodies in this regard. I understand that water pollution is one of the areas of great concern for the agricultural sector today,” she said at the conference.The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) will be working closely with the South African Police Service and the directorate of public prosecutions to address water crimes that threaten the security of supply to lawful water users, the minister said.She added that unauthorised or illegal water abstraction was also a problem, and the department was strengthening its enforcement capacity to deal with such offenders.She said 14 water-management inspectors had been recruited and trained, and that the capacity of the compliance, monitoring and enforcement directorate had grown significantly.“We will intensify this aspect of our work to ensure that we bring all offenders to book.”Incentive schemesTurning to the issue of municipal waste-water, Sonjica spoke about the Green Drop Certification Programme, which encourages municipalities to comply with drinking-water and waste-water legislation put forward by the DWA.Being awarded Green Drop status implies excellent waste-water management and a respect for the environment and the health of the community.“Currently we have more than 50 qualified assessors conducting consultative audits on the management of the waste-water treatment works to guide local authorities in the direction of excellence,” the minister said.According to the Green Drop Report (PDF, 1.22 MB), released in 2009, 203 of the 449 waste-water systems assessed scored better than 50% when measured against the set criteria for quality and management, while about 7.4% of all waste-water systems were classified as excellently managed.Sonjica said the department was well on its way in meeting the 2010 target of assessing all the municipal waste-water treatment works in the country.She added that the design competency of some of the waste-water systems was stretched to capacity due to population and economic growth, which compromised the quality and management of the waste-water systems.“Shortcomings in the local government funding model as well as the skills deficit in the labour market exacerbate the problem even further.”In closing, Sonjica urged the farmers attending the conference to work with the department to fight illegal water abstraction.“Without effective regulation, your water may dry up or the quality may deteriorate significantly,” she said.
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