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Heroism in deadly northern Manitoba inferno

first_imgAPTN National NewsST. THERESA POINT, Man.–A band constable in a northern Manitoba community is being hailed a hero after pulling a 16-month girl from a deadly house fire that killed a two-month old infant.RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said band constable Timothy Mason pushed his way in through a bedroom window to rescue one of two girls trapped in the bedroom of a house on St. Theresa Point First Nation, Man.Mason, whose clothes caught fire, then tried to rescue the second, younger child but was pushed back by the flames, said Karpish.“He went out and got the chainsaw and poked a hole through the house and was able to get the two-month-old infant that was still in the home,” said Karpish.The two-month-old child, however, died from smoke inhalation. The 16-month-old girl was flown to Winnipeg for treatement.Karpish said Mason was “heroic” in his efforts.“That he managed to be that quick, to be able to get in, reach out to those two children, is nothing short of heroic, in our view,” said Karpish.Karpish said the RCMP is working on recognizing Mason for his bravery.Four older children in the house escaped the blaze, said Karpish.The fire started while a lone adult, who was taking care of the children, was at a next door neighbour’s house, police said.The cause of the fire is still under investigation.St. Theresa Point, a community of about 3,000 people, sits about 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg. It’s an impoverished community accessible only by air and ice road in winter. Many houses there, including the one that burned, have no running water.Band Chief David McDougall said the reserve’s fire department never responded to the fire.“People were using snow to try and put out the fire,” he said.last_img read more

Senators urge Liberals to act on privacy security issues with automated cars

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal Liberal government needs to take the wheel when it comes to the development and testing of self-driving cars on Canadian roads — or risk getting run over by the fast-approaching high-tech revolution, a Senate committee warns.In a report released Monday, members of the Senate’s transport committee described how different departments and levels of government are taking contradictory approaches to automated vehicles: some are hitting the brakes out of safety concerns, while others hope to drive innovation by stepping on the gas.The federal government needs to better co-ordinate action to avoid playing catch-up the same way provinces and cities had to do with ride-hailing services like Uber, the report says.It recommends giving the privacy commissioner greater reach over how car companies use drivers’ information, including whether personal information can be monetized, and giving federal cybersecurity officials a bigger role over protecting the new technology from hackers.The committee also said the government must invest more in its own research to deal with questions of safety, such as how to ensure a driverless car can safely navigate a snow-covered road.Sen. Dennis Dawson, the chairman of the committee, said government action must be stronger than in the United States, but must also strike a balance to prevent spilling over into the private sector.“We’re not trying to stifle progress, and we can’t,” Dawson said.“The Americans … believe that we should trust enterprise, and I believe that we should trust enterprise, but the government in Canada has a more interventionist role and we want them to be able to plan on how they’re going to be using that power.”The committee unveiled its 16 recommendations on the same day that Transport Minister Marc Garneau met with his provincial and territorial counterparts in Ottawa. The group agreed to work on a plan to allow for automated cars on Canadian roads, and a federal plan will be made public in the coming months, Garneau said.Speaking after the meeting, Garneau said he intends to make sure governments don’t fall behind. “We have to certainly work as quickly as possible, but we will not do so if it means sacrificing safety, which I think is paramount for Canadians.”Fully autonomous vehicles may still be a decade or more away, but companies are already testing prototypes on Canadian and American roads. Carmakers have also introduced assisted-driving features on newer model cars like adaptive cruise control and automated parking.The committee’s report, which Garneau requested shortly after taking office, said that self-driving cars could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost productivity and limit the number of collisions caused by human error.But it could also lead to job losses in transportation sectors where some 1.1 million people are employed, including truck, bus, and taxi drivers. The Liberals, the committee said, must put in place job re-training programs for those whose jobs will be affected, and ensure sectors like after-market companies can maintain a foothold as new, automated cars hit the roads.last_img read more

SecretaryGeneral deplores deadly suicide attack in Afghanistan

6 November 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today denounced the suicide attack that killed more than 40 civilians and injured scores of others in the northern Afghan town of Baghlan – one of the deadliest the war-torn nation has witnessed in recent years. “The Secretary-General strongly condemns this heinous attack and sends his profound condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, as well as to the Government and people of Afghanistan,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson. Mr. Ban “once again expresses his continuing anxiety regarding the unstable security situation throughout Afghanistan.” Just yesterday, both Mr. Ban and the UN General Assembly voiced their deep concern about the security situation in Afghanistan. Mr. Ban, in a statement, called on States assisting the fledgling democracy to maintain their commitments so that Afghanistan does not again become “a host for terrorist and extremist groups.” Likewise, the Assembly strongly condemned the upsurge of violence in Afghanistan, including the rising trend of suicide attacks, owing to the increased violent and terrorist activity by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups. In resolution adopted by the 192-member body, the Assembly called on the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, “to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups as well as by criminal violence.” read more

Veteran French diplomat named UN special envoy for assistance to Pakistan

24 August 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed the current French Ambassador to the United Nations as his Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, a newly-created position, it was announced today. In his new capacity, Jean-Maurice Ripert will, in concert with the Pakistani Government and international partners, promote a “strategic, coherent and comprehensive approach to supporting the humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction needs of crisis affected areas,” according to a press statement accompanying the announcement. The position was created by the Secretary-General to help the Government and the international community to respond to needs in the wake of Pakistan’s displacement crisis, which at its zenith earlier this year had forced over 2 million people from their homes in the South Asian nation’s north-west. Among Mr. Ripert’s tasks will be creating a comprehensive approach among bilateral and international financial institutions, as well as mobilizing resources and support. The veteran diplomat, who started his career in the French foreign service in 1980, “brings to this challenging assignment a wealth of experience in the international fora and a solid track record in consensus building,” the press statement noted. Prior to his current posting, Mr. Ripert served as France’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, and from 2003 to 2005 he was the Director of the UN and International Organizations section at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris. Last week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that around 1.6 million of the over 2 million people displaced by conflict in north-west Pakistan have returned to their villages, citing Government figures. read more

UN Womens Orange the World kicks off 16 days of activism to

Photo: UN Women/J Carrier Mr. Ban, observing the Day for the last time as Secretary-General, thanked the audience for being a part of a decade of global activism to end violence against women and girls.“You have defended the vulnerable and fought impunity,” he said. “The United Nations and I, personally, have stood with you.”“This is truly a matter of life and death,” he added. “In some countries, as many as 70 per cent of women report having experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. In some countries, intimate partner violence accounts for between 40 and 70 per cent of female murder victims.” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka thanked the Secretary-General for his advocacy and leadership, emphasizing that violence against women was not always discussed in the public domain. She called for improvements to laws and implementation, and said that while there are costs to such changes, “the price of no change is much higher, and unacceptable.”She highlighted examples of recent improvements from Timor-Leste and Uganda and encouraged society to work together to address inequality and prejudice by scaling up prevention and services as well as working with allies throughout different sectors and civil society.“Together, we can begin to bend the curve down and bring the scourge of violence against women and girls to an end,” the Executive Director said.In his concluding remarks, Mr. Ban reminisced about his conversations with girls and women at the HEAL Africa hospital in Goma and meeting with “one of the world’s great advocates,” Malala Yusafzai. “Some of the most impactful and inspiring moments of my entire term as Secretary-General occurred in the context of our struggle for women’s empowerment,” he declared. “The statistics almost defy belief. What is even harder to understand is why: why men prey on women and girls; why societies shame the victims, why governments fail to punish deadly crimes, why the world denies itself the fruits of women’s full participation,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a UN Women-hosted Orange the World event at UN Headquarters in New York to raise money to end violence against women and girls, and kick off 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.The campaign http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-… begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The event began with remarks from Mr. Ban, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Karel van Oosterom of the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN, and UN Trust Fund programme participant Aiturgan Djoldoshbekova. It also included a musical performance from The Color Purple, Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival, and a panel discussion on sustainable financing to end violence against women and girls.“The extent to which violence is embedded in society means that uprooting it is also a job for all of society. That includes men and women, the media and the religious community. We can work together to address the inequality and prejudice that enable and enflame violence against women and girls,” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka told an audience that wore orange in support of ending violence against women. read more

Met police fear violent clashes over march by farright Brexit Betrayal militants

The Met says it will adopt a “robust” policy to keep the two sides apart while still allowing them to exercise their right to free speech and assembly.It says it will come down hard on any attempts to breach the conditions of the route and provoke violence between the two sides.Groups opposing the far-right say the likes of Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, have hijacked the issue of Brexit and called on people from both sides of the debate to oppose his divisive ideology.They point out that Robinson’s march will be the latest in a series of far-right protests which have featured Nazi salutes and insignia, and which have been followed by attacks on trade unionists, a Mosque and Gurdwara.Labour’s Shadow chancellor  John McDonnell has called on party supporters to join the counter-protest and “stand firm” against “the poison Robinson is trying to inject into our politic”.He said: “This march isn’t about Brexit, it’s about far right extremists dressing up in suits and pretending to be respectable. It doesn’t matter whether you voted leave or remain, Tommy Robinson doesn’t represent you.”Professor Michael Rosen, the writer and former Children’s Laureate, said: “Two generations ago, in France and Poland, my family was ripped apart by fascists and their collaborators, with lives ended in the orgy of hate and brutality that raged across Europe. Robinson, a former member of the extremist British National Party, is a convicted fraudster and football hooligan who was also  jailed for 12 months for assaulting an off-duty police officer in 2005. Last month the leader of Ukip leader, Gerard Batten, appointed him as an official adviser. The Met’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, said: “The right to protest is a fundamental right in our democratic society, but this right must be balanced against the right of people to go about their day without fear of violence, disorder or disruption.”Experience has shown us that when groups with conflicting views come together it can create tension and disorder, not just on the day itself but in the longer term.”He warned: “We will adopt a robust arrest policy on anyone who attends and is intent on violence and disorder, or is in breach of these conditions.” “When we say, things like ‘Never again’ we must make sure we mean it and do what has to be done to stop the forces who dehumanise, persecute and murder people for no reason other than their birth, their background or their religion.” Hundreds of police officers will line the streets of central London on Sunday to keep far right activists and anti-racist protestors apart, after Scotland Yard imposed strict conditions on their right to march through the city.Metropolitan Police commanders fear violent clashes if supporters of Tommy Robinson and Ukip, who are gathering for a ‘Brexit Betrayal’ march, come into conflict with counter-protestors.Anti-fascist groups, religious leaders and trade unions have urged thousands to gather to oppose the Brexit Betrayal march, which they say will be used as a cover for racist and Islamophobic thugs to intimidate ethnic minority Londoners.Scotland Yard announced on Saturday it would keep the two rival sides apart by issuing two separate routes for them to follow though the West End.The conditions have been imposed under Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986.The Brexit Betrayal demonstration has been scheduled ahead of the parliamentary vote on Tuesday, in which the House of Commons will decide whether or not to accept Theresa May’s deal on leaving the EU.Robinson’s supporters will be kept to a route running from Park Lane to Victoria Street, before assembling in Parliament Street. Counter-protestors from Oppose Tommy Robinson in London and Unite Against Racism & Fascism will be kept to a route along Portland Place, Regent Street, Haymarket and into Whitehall. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Braden Lusk appointed as VP DynoConsult® and Applications Technology

first_imgDyno Nobel, a global leader in commercial explosives, announces that Braden Lusk has joined Dyno Nobel as Vice President DynoConsult® and Applications Technology, effective August 1, 2018. Lusk comes to Dyno Nobel with extensive technical experience in the blasting and explosives industry and is considered an industry leader in his field. In addition to earning a BS and PhD in Mining Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Lusk has been the Professor and Chair of Mining and Nuclear Engineering at Rolla since 2016. Prior to this, Lusk was Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Mining Engineering at the University of Kentucky where he was promoted through the ranks of Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor from 2006 to 2016.Lusk has substantial work experience from 1997 to 2003 with leading companies including Cargill Salt, Dykon Blasting, Marston & Marston, and Hutchison Salt. He is very well published with nearly 100 publications, conference papers, book chapters, technical reports, and research papers. He holds of many blasting and explosives related certifications, and is a Professional Engineer in the States of Kentucky, Ohio and Missouri. Lusk has held many influential positions with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, BATF, ISEE, and SME. “We are looking forward to having Braden join the Dyno Nobel team,” said Len Smith SVP of Marketing and Channel Management.last_img read more

Woman accused of assisting in suicide is in court today

first_imgA DUBLIN WOMAN is appearing in court today, accused of assisting in another woman’s suicide two years ago. It’s believed to be the first case of its kind in the State.Gail O’Rorke, from Kilclare Gardens in Tallaght, was charged last month with assisting the suicide of 51-year-old MS sufferer Bernadette Forde in Dublin between 10 March 2011 and 6 June 2011.Assisting another person to end their own life is a criminal offence in Ireland.  Section 2 (2) of the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 states that anyone who aids, abets, or procures the suicide of another person – or the attempt by another person to take their own life – can be sentenced to up to fourteen years in jail.Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not contain either a right to suicide or to arrange for the end of one’s life following the court battle by former university lecturer Marie Fleming.Fleming, who is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, had taken a case to test whether her family would be prosecuted if they helped her to take her own life.Additional reporting, Christine Bohan.Supreme Court: Ireland has a right to life, not a right to die >Poll: Do you think the law should be changed to allow for assisted suicide? >last_img read more

Accused mall shooters jail suicide detailed in reports

first_imgEVERETT — The reasons suspected mass shooter Arcan Cetin decided to end his own life April 16 at the Snohomish County Jail may never be known. But the means he used — finding a way to exploit a weakness jail officials believed had been addressed — is now part of the public record.The man accused of shooting and killing five people at Cascade Mall in Burlington last year hanged himself by fashioning a noose from a strip of blanket. It was tied to a bunk in his cell, according to police reports obtained by The Daily Herald under public records laws.Detainees at the jail in Everett are not issued sheets, which can be easy to tear and weave into rope.Instead, as part of reforms to make the jail safer, they are provided two blankets marketed as tear-resistant.“We don’t have a sheet in this place anymore. None,” County Corrections Bureau Chief Tony Aston said in an interview earlier this year.Cetin, 20, somehow pulled a 4-inch-wide strip from one of the blankets he was issued, the records show. He used it to hang himself while alone in his cell in a maximum-security area of the jail.The accused mass shooter managed that even as corrections staff were monitoring his status roughly every 30 minutes. His cell also had been searched just hours earlier, an investigation by major crimes detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office found.last_img read more

Accountant pleads guilty to pensions fraud

first_imgAn accountant who acted as a pension trustee and administrator has pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud for transferring more than £280,000 of pension funds into his own businesses and investments.An investigation conducted by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) found that 66-year-old Roger William Bessent took money from the Focusplay Retirement Benefit Scheme; this was the pension scheme for accountancy firm Gleeson Bessent, where he acted as director. Bessent was also director at professional pension trustee firm Gleeson Bessent Trustees, which governed the Focusplay Retirement Benefit Scheme.These roles enabled Bessent to gain access to the pension scheme’s funds, which he then converted into loans to support his personal business agenda. This included using more than £120,000 to buy a house for personal investment, to pay tax bills for Gleeson Bessent and the business of a client, to subsidise the running costs of a children’s nursery and to provide start-up investment capital for a relative’s physiotherapy business.Bessent further made official meeting minutes and records for the pension scheme, falsely listing other trustees as being present at meetings.So far, approximately £80,000 of the total has been repaid.Bessent pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by abuse of position and to two counts of making employer-related investments by way of prohibited loans at Preston Crown Court on 27 February 2019. TPR has asked for three other counts of employer-related investments to be left to lie on file.Fraud by abuse of position is an offence under section one of the Fraud Act 2006; this carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment. Making a prohibited employer-related investment is illegal under section 40(5) of the Pensions Act 1995 and has a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.This is the first time that TPR has prosecuted for these offences.Bessent, who is based in Lancashire, is scheduled to be sentenced on 29 March 2019.Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said: “Bessent used the pension scheme as his personal piggy bank, transferring out hundreds of thousands of pounds for his own personal benefit and to keep his other businesses going.“As an accountant, Bessent was someone that people would turn to for advice and put their trust in. He abused that trust and used his position as trustee to defraud the scheme for his benefit and the benefit of his friends and family.“Trustees play a vital role in protecting the benefits of members. We will not tolerate the abuse of such as important job.”Separate from TPR’s prosecution, Bessent is also facing legal action from the Insolvency Service. He has pleaded guilty to one count of acting as a director of a limited company while disqualified. He will be sentenced for this on 29 March 2019 also.last_img read more

Amazon creates Amazon Hub brand for locker pickup point services

first_imgAn Apartment Locker location, renamed from a Hub by Amazon location. Amazon Amazon on Tuesday said it created a new global name — Amazon Hub — for its many lockers and pickup services.Hub includes Locker, the company’s self-service pickup and return kiosks that first came out in 2011. There are also staffed pickup and return spots, many at college campuses. Those have been renamed Locker+, from Campus and Amazon pickup locations. Also part of the group is Apartment Locker, which comprises delivery lockers for apartment complexes, renamed from Hub by Amazon.Last, Amazon on Tuesday added the new service Counter in the UK and Italy, which is now also part of Hub. Counter allows customers to order goods online and then pick them up at nearby retailers and convenience stores.The name changes may help simplify customers’ understanding of all these different services and point to Amazon’s continued work expanding these services. Building up more Hub locations could encourage customers to buy more from Amazon by giving them secure places to pick up their packages and make it easier to make returns.An Amazon spokesperson said the name changes and new umbrella Hub brand are part of its continual work to evaluate its services for customers.After launching the apartment lockers in 2017, Amazon last year said they were available to 500,000 US residents. Amazon has already built out more than 2,800 self-service lockers around the US.Amazon this year expanded its partnership with Kohl’s, allowing customers to make returns at any of the retailer’s stores. Now playing: Watch this: Post a comment Internet Share your voice 0center_img Amazon What Amazon’s one-day shipping means for you 0:55 Tagslast_img read more

KTR supports differentlyabled man from Mailardevpally

first_imgHyderabad: It was a fanboy moment for Sandeep when he met TRS Party Working President KTR in Hyderabad, today. Sandeep Kumar, a differently-abled man from Mailardevpally village in Rangareddy district approached KTR on twitter asking for an employment opportunity. Sandeep’s disabilities never stopped him from honing new skills. One such skill he developed within himself was to operate a computer. He also learned to handle social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Also Read – Hyderabad: Intermediate student dies of cardiac arrest in class Advertise With Us Using his social media skills, Sandeep tweeted to KTR. During their brief interaction, KTR was astonished when he learned that Sandeep himself created his Twitter account and tweeted to him. KTR received Sandeep with a lot of affection and enquired about his health. KTR also enquired if Sandeep was receiving Aasara pension on time. Speaking on behalf of Sandeep, his mother Lakshmi requested KTR to provide an employment opportunity to Sandeep and to which KTR immediately agreed and assured to provide Sandeep a data entry job in their village. On learning that the family lives under dire conditions, KTR promised them a house under the dignity housing scheme.last_img read more

Wipro quarterly profit beats estimates

first_imgWipro quarterly profit beats estimates8.4K views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Wipro quarterly profit beats estimates8.4K viewsBusinessBengaluru, Jan 17 (ANI): India’s third-biggest software services company Wipro reported a near-9 percent rise in third-quarter profit, slightly ahead of analysts’ forecasts, helped by a rise in clients’ technology spending. The company said revenue from its IT services business is expected to be $1.8 billion to $1.85 billion in the January-March period, representing growth of up to 3.4 percent from the preceding quarter. Wipro also announced the appointment of Jatin Dalal, senior vice president in the finance department, to take over from retiring CFO Suresh Senapaty from April.Ventuno Web Player 4.50Bengaluru, Jan 17 (ANI): India’s third-biggest software services company Wipro reported a near-9 percent rise in third-quarter profit, slightly ahead of analysts’ forecasts, helped by a rise in clients’ technology spending. The company said revenue from its IT services business is expected to be $1.8 billion to $1.85 billion in the January-March period, representing growth of up to 3.4 percent from the preceding quarter. Wipro also announced the appointment of Jatin Dalal, senior vice president in the finance department, to take over from retiring CFO Suresh Senapaty from April.last_img read more

Funding for tech startups in UAE jumped to 17 billion Careem Souq

first_imgOmar Elsahy, the General Manager of Souq.com, speaks with Reuters at his office in the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt on May 30, 2016.Reuters fileStart-ups in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) got an overwhelming response from investors last year, with the funding shooting up to $1.76 billion from 38 deals as against $111 million from 26 deals in 2015. The liberal funding also saw two start-ups — Careem and Souq — acquiring unicorn status.In an analysis of investors and ventures they funded last year, CB Insights said that Wamda Capital led the pack with 18 investments, followed by Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi.Other venture capitalists included Twofour54, BECO Capital, STC Ventures, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Womena.CareemDubai-based cab-hailing company Careem Networks FZ LLC  became a unicorn in December 2016 when it raised $350 million in a round led by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten and Saudi Telecom Company (STC). The company’s other investors are Lumia Capital, BECO Capital, Wamdo Capital and Kuwait Investment Authority. In all, Careem, which was co-founded by Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson in 2012, has raised $421.7 million in four rounds. Bloomberg had quoted Sheikha as saying that the company would go for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. “We are on a path to profitability and over time a potential listing. It would probably be in 2018-2019 when it starts to become more feasible. I don’t think we would need more money before a listing,” Sheikha, who is also CEO of Careem, said.Ankur Shah is the Chief Finance and Development Officer of the cab-hailing service that is available in 47 cities, mainly in West Asia.SouqSouq.com FZ LLC, a Dubai-based e-commerce company, retails a range of consumer products, apart from serving as a marketplace for other sellers. The firm was founded in 2005 by Ronaldo Mouchawar and has offices in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Its technical and development centres are located in Jordan and India.Reuters had reported on Wednesday that Amazon has decided to acquire Souq, citing sources.The e-commerce market size in the Middle East (West Asia for Indians) was pegged at $20 billion in 2016.WomenaThe investing firm’s profile on crunchbase says it has invested in six companies till date. It is described as an angel investment network that empowers and educates individuals to invest in promising startups in the MENA region. It was founded in November 2014 by Elissa Freiha.last_img read more

Why Did So Many Texas State Employees Quit In 2017

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /01:01 Listen FlickrNearly 19 percent of Texas state employees quit in 2017.Nearly one-fifth, 18.6 percent, of state employees left their agencies last year, most of them voluntarily, according to the State Auditor’s Office.“To have that on a statewide level, that’s pretty high,” Anthony Brown, president of the Texas State Employees Union, told Houston Matters. “That’s almost like a revolving door of a mass exit.”That’s up from 17.6 percent in 2016 and the highest turnover rate since George W. Bush was governor, according to the union.Brown blames low wages, diminished benefits and a hiring freeze that went into effect recently. As a result, he said, employees are having to do more work and are finding better jobs in the private sector.Scott Sonenshein, a management professor at Rice University, said high turnover creates problems for the state.“You’ve got to hire new people, you’ve got to train people. It might slow down other types of processes that need to happen for government to work,” he said. “And eventually that will make citizens upset if they’re not getting the level of service that they require.”Sonenshein said the auditor’s report should be a wake-up call for the state Legislature to address the root causes of the high turnover. Sharelast_img read more

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first_img 0 Comments   Share   Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away The Cardinals are off to a 4-0 start in 2012, their best start since 1974. Some of that success is due to the play of their starting quarterback Kevin Kolb. He hasn’t been outstanding but he hasn’t lost any games for the team, either. On Tuesday after practice, Kolb talked about building confidence one game at a time.“I’ve reached this confidence level before. Again, I don’t ever want to get too high or too low but the more plays and the more victories you get and the more experiences you go through, it just gives you the confidence that you can handle things.” D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories center_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke It’s been said on more than one occasion that Kolb just needs to “manage the game.” To some, including him, that may seem like a slap in the face or an insult but sometimes the truth hurts. Kolb threw three touchdown passes on Sunday against the Dolphins but also threw two interceptions, nearly giving the game away. Maybe it was Kolb’s confidence that allowed him to step back on the field and help win the game for his team after such a costly mistake.“As a team, that’s the way we approach it. That’s why we didn’t panic when we were down,” said Kolb. “We kept at it and we were able to pull it out because we’d been in that situation before.”So far in 2012, Kolb has 67 completions on 107 attempts with seven touchdowns and only two interceptions. His passer rating of 97.6 is good for ninth-best in the league after Sunday’s overtime win against the Dolphins.Hopefully Kolb’s performance and confidence continue to rise on national TV against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday.last_img read more

Legislative Update for February 4 2015

first_img – 0:00:00 / 0:00:00Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. On Wednesday’s Update, we hear from Rep. Phil Potvin of Cadillac on his plan to increase the number of allowable snow days in Michigan’s school calendar. Categories: Audio,News Legislative Update for February 5, 2015 [ 4:04 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (121)center_img playpause 04Feb Legislative Update for February 4, 2015last_img read more

Bipartisan bills increase government transparency

first_img01Feb Bipartisan bills increase government transparency Whiteford: We’re holding elected officials accountableState Rep. Mary Whiteford said today’s introduction of bipartisan legislation to make state government more transparent is another sign of the House’s commitment to be more accountable and accessible to the people of Michigan.Whiteford, of Casco Township, joined her colleagues in announcing the reform plan to make the governor and lieutenant governor subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This plan will also create a similar disclosure requirement for state representatives and senators called the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).The LORA bill exempts some records, among them letters to and from people from the district, human resource files, and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits.“It remains a top priority for us to hold the Legislature and the executive branch of state government more accountable to taxpayers,” said Whiteford, who serves as House Majority Caucus Vice Chair.“The residents of Allegan County deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent. This bipartisan package is a step in the right direction to make government more accountable and transparent to taxpayers.”“In January, the Michigan house answered the demand for increased government transparency by providing easy access for the public to view the salaries of all state representatives and House staff,” Whiteford said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues for a more transparent and accountable Michigan.”Michigan and Massachusetts are the only two states in the union where the governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature are not required to disclose their records to the public.##### Categories: Whiteford Newslast_img read more

Raising the Age Saves Taxpayers Dollars Provides Better Outcomes for Youth

first_img24Jan Raising the Age’ Saves Taxpayers Dollars, Provides Better Outcomes for Youth Categories: Afendoulis News,Brann News,News by State Representatives Tommy Brann and Chris AfendoulisLast year, West Michigan led the nation in job growth. That’s no surprise. Grand Rapids is an innovative, hard-working community with a talent for converting barriers into opportunities. True to that spirit, we sponsored House Bills 4664 and 4969.These bills are part of an 18-bill “Youth in Prison” package, which was authored to provide opportunities to young people in our community, even those who have made mistakes as teenagers.HB 4664, by Chris Afendoulis, is one of several bills in the package that would change the definition of “juvenile” from 17 to 18 in various Michigan statutes. HB 4969, by Tommy Brann would ensure that kids under age 18 are held in juvenile detention facilities, instead of adult jails, while awaiting trial.Why are these bills necessary?Unfortunately, Michigan continues to automatically prosecute all 17-year- olds as adults. We’ve fallen behind the rest of the nation; only four other states maintain this antiquated process. Not only does the policy effectively eliminate young people from our future workforce, it also places long-term cost burdens on taxpayers.As business owners, we recognize this practice as a barrier to our community’s next generation of talent. As state legislators, our goal is to convert that barrier into opportunity.Raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 has been much debated here in Michigan. So far, the focus has been on short-term costs. That’s a mistake. No policy discussion is complete without a proper discussion of long-term costs—and consequences—of maintaining a law that is out-of- step with the ideals of our great state.The juvenile justice system, with its rehabilitative services, is the proper placement for teens. Rehabilitation is a common-sense investment in the futures of young people, creating potential for massive long-term savings and other social benefits. Youth incarcerated in the adult system remain in prison approximately four times longer than those who are placed in juvenile facilities. Most disturbingly, their chances at rehabilitation effectively end thereThis, in turn, increases crime and decreases public safety: young offenders exiting the adult system are 34 percent more likely to reoffend than their counterparts exiting the juvenile system. Worse yet, they reoffend sooner—and their crimes escalate to more violent offenses.The societal consequences don’t end there. Adult convictions, as opposed to juvenile dispositions, create life-long barriers to housing, employment and education—restricting affected youth from becoming productive, tax-paying citizens.Also, note how the current law harms Michigan citizens: if a 17-year- old resident of Ohio, Illinois, or Indiana commits the same crime, on the same day, as a 17-year- old Michigander, that out-of- state youth can later come to Michigan and gain acceptance into college, find a job, and qualify for an abundance of housing options.The Michiganders? They will face life-long barriers to education, employment, and housing. As a direct consequence, these Michigan youth will earn 40 percent less in lifetime earnings than their counterparts from Ohio, Illinois, or Indiana.By raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction, we can end these inequities while likely making a cut to the Department of Corrections’ $2 billion annual budget. The opportunity to rehabilitate young people and nurture their ability to work and pay taxes—rather than creating a reliance on public assistance upon release from adult prison—is a strong investment in Michigan’seconomy.Tommy Brann, R-Wyoming, represents the 77th Michigan House District and is owner of Brann’s Restaurants. Chris Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township, represents the 73rd Michigan House District and is co-owner of Afendoulis Cleaners and Tuxedos.last_img read more

Rep Howrylaks Advancing Michigans Future plan would help state taxpayers in wake

first_img Categories: Howrylak News,News 13Apr Rep. Howrylak’s ‘Advancing Michigan’s Future’ plan would help state taxpayers in wake of federal changes State Rep. Martin Howrylak this week introduced a plan to offset new limitations on deducting state and local taxes from individual taxpayers’ federal tax bills.Howrylak’s proposal is sparked by changes to the federal tax code made late last year.The new federal code caps the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted from federal taxable income at $10,000 annually. Howrylak’s plan would allow individual taxpayers in Michigan to donate money to the state, then claim up to the same amount as a state-level income tax credit.“This plan does not hurt state tax revenue in any way,” said Howrylak, of Troy. “It simply provides a way to help Michigan taxpayers structure their payments without harming the funding critical to our important public services.”Howrylak’s legislation would create the “Advancing Michigan’s Future” fund. Taxpayers could donate to the fund, with the money going to support public safety, roads and other services financed through Michigan’s main budget account.Taxpayers who donate to the fund could claim a tax credit of up to an equal amount on their state income taxes. Taxpayers could donate more to the state if they wish, or if a taxpayer does not claim the full credit in one tax year, the remaining credit amount could be carried over for up to five years.The legislation – House Bill 5804 – was referred to the House Tax Policy Committee.###last_img read more