Firefighters Ball raises over 65000

first_imgWinn added that the atmosphere was extra special this year, especially since the firefighters began their charitable society in 2016 to help residents with travel medical expenses. He added that the vast majority of the money raised will be staying in the local area. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The 10th Annual Fort St. John Firefighters Charity Ball brought in an estimated $65,000 after expenses on Saturday night.Firefighters Charitable Society President Adam Winn said that though the final exact tally isn’t in yet, but that at least $65,000 was raised for two causes at the event, after the ball grossed around $111,000. Winn said that the ball was raising money for the local firefighters charity that supports Fort St. John residents cover travel expenses for medical treatment outside the Peace Region. The ball also raised money for the Firefighters Burn Fund.Winn said that the he was stunned at the amount of money the sold-out event raised, especially considering that the local economy has not quite recovered to levels seen five years ago. For the tenth anniversary celebrations, Winn said that firefighters aimed to make the event more lively than in years past, with live music from CC Brooks and the Roadside Distraction and the Montney Coulees making live music a debut at the ball.last_img read more

Casablanca Beaches are Now At Public Companies Hands

Rabat – The Casablanca City Council signed four conventions with a public company for environment and beach management to organize beach entertainment programs starting this summer.Starting in May, Casablanca beach-goers will no longer have to worry about paying exorbitant prices to rent an umbrella, table, or chairs, as the Casablanca City Council has decided to bring the beaches, which are overseen by private companies, under public management.The poor conditions caused by mismanagement at the Lalla Meriem, Ain Diab, and Ain Sebaa beaches of Casablanca have caused the City Council to sign a three-year agreement to transfer management to public organizations dedicated to protecting the environment, reported Assabah on Friday. In addition to setting prices higher than necessary, the same source adds that the private management companies did not comply with the government’s decision to divide public space, allotting 30 percent to business owners, while leaving the remaining 70 percent for citizens. read more

Northern Kosovo remains a flashpoint of tensions top UN envoy warns

22 January 2010Northern Kosovo remains a flashpoint amid continuing tensions between Kosovo Serb and Kosovo Albanian communities there despite a greater understanding over reconstruction of destroyed housing by the communities, the top United Nation official there said today. “Even this peace remains tenuous,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Lamberto Zannier told the Security Council, noting that Kosovo Serbs recently hurled rocks and set a truck ablaze when they thought Kosovo Albanians were building beyond what had been agreed in talks facilitated by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). “It is clear that UNMIK must continue to shepherd the reconstruction process and monitor the situation closely to ensure that all communities respect existing arrangements to preserve stability and that effective communication is maintained at all times.”UNMIK administered Kosovo from 1999 when North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid bloody ethnic fighting between Serbs and Albanians, but it gave up its administrative role in 2008 when Kosovo Albanians declared independence. Serbia rejects this and continues to expect a robust role on the part of the Mission. “Over the years we have learned that dealing with the situation in northern Kosovo requires sustained effort, constant engagement with the communities on the ground, and continuing consultation and coordination with all relevant actors,” Mr. Zannier said.In his most recent three-monthly report released earlier this month, Mr. Ban noted that while tensions had significantly decreased in the community of Kroi i Vitakut/Brdjani, inter-ethnic incidents continued to occur in northern Mitrovicë/Mitrovica – “a cause for concern.” Mr. Zannier said that while returns of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees rose significantly in comparison to previous quarters, they were still low in absolute terms due to tensions, lack of economic prospects and concerns over freedom of movement.“Kosovo’s leadership states that it is committed to a multi-ethnic Kosovo and open to returns. Nevertheless, more needs to be done to make this a realty,” he added, noting that UNMIK is staying in contact with authorities in Pristina and Belgrade, the capitals of Kosovo and Serbia, to encourage returns.He also cited a greater understanding and tacit acknowledgement by the Kosovo authorities of UNMIK’s potential role in promoting economic development and stability.“The longer-term stability and development of Kosovo lies in a successful process of reconciliation between the communities,” he said. read more

Two killed 7 injured in accident

Two people were killed and seven others were injured following an accident between a car and a bus in Nawagamuwa this morning.According to the police media unit, the private bus was transporting garment factory workers to Biyagama on the new Kandy road when it collided with a car. The victims were a 49 year old lady and the 29 year old driver. Another 17 year old girl and a 22 year old girl are receiving treatment in hospital.The police also said that five passengers of the bus suffered minor injuries. Following the accident all four people in the car were admitted to hospital and two of them later succumbed to their injuries. Meanwhile, in another accident also this morning two people were killed when a private bus collided with a van along the Kandy-Colombo road in Kegalle this morning.The police said that another six people who were travelling in the bus were injured in the accident. (Colombo Gazette) The car was heading to Kaduwela from Malabe with four passengers. read more

UN treaty to fight corruption worldwide should be ready by autumn

The progress came at the sixth session of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption in Vienna from 21 July to 9 August. The panel is scheduled to meet again on 22 September to settle several elements of the draft that still need to be elaborated before the treaty is submitted to the UN General Assembly for final approval.”We are very close to an agreement,” said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). “Indeed, the session achieved major breakthroughs on the most politically sensitive issues: a clear sign that Member States – all of them, rich and poor countries, whether having a history of corruption or not – want this Convention, and they want it very badly.“That gives us grounds for optimism that the negotiations will be successfully completed in September, so the Convention will be presented to the General Assembly this fall, and subsequently to the Ministerial Signing Conference to be held in Merida, Mexico, from 9 to 11 December,” he added.The requirement for Member States to return assets obtained through bribery and embezzlement to the country of origin represents a new fundamental principle in international treaties. In a number of countries, corruption has led to the depletion of national wealth. Some of those countries, whose former dictators have stolen hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars, have made a great contribution in the search for new rules, including the Philippines and Nigeria.The agreement on preventive measures includes norms of conduct for public officials, greater transparency based on public access to information on government businesses, and stricter procurement regulations and measures against money laundering.Progress was also made on other outstanding issues, including dual criminality – whether a particular action has to be considered a crime in both countries in order for the latter to cooperate, and differences over the definition of “public official.”Once adopted, the treaty will enhance cooperation between governments and help standardize the way in which individual countries deal with corruption in their national legislation. read more

UN special adviser calls for end to harmful impunity in Côte dIvoire

At a news conference at the end of his four-day visit to Côte d’Ivoire, Juan Mendez said his mandate was not to determine whether there had been genocide, but to prevent it.He said he was delighted that no massacres had been recorded since June, even though the situation remained tense. In that regard, however, the serious violations of human rights and the inter-communal hatred in the rebel-held north and Government-ruled south had to be monitored, he said.He deplored the climate of mistrust, as well as the misinformation and rumours spread by those in positions of authority and those in the media, fuelling division and hatred. He urged both of those groups to ensure that they did not pour oil on the fire by making or relaying irresponsible statements.Besides that, the massacres that have aroused the indignation of the international community have met only a local political impasse and persistent impunity. Noting the presence of many illegally-armed and well organized militias across the country; Mr. Mendez called for their immediate disarming.The Special Adviser pleaded in favour of the settlement, in a transparent manner, of the issue of national identity in order to allow for free, democratic and really representative elections. The identity question has played a part in fomenting years of political unrest and inspiring a failed 2001 coup.The relevant authorities should work towards holding exams as soon as possible, Mr. Mendez said, emphasizing that schooling helps prevent human rights violations since it helps students and young people to direct their future towards peace instead of joining armed groups.Mr. Mendez, who arrived in Côte d’Ivoire on Tuesday, travelled to the west of the country and to the zone under the control of the rebel Forces Nouvelles, in addition to meeting the Ivorian head of the State and several other politicians. read more

Commentary Ohio State mens basketball facing major issues as postseason play nears

Poor practices prior to games, on-court chemistry struggles during games and a disengaged star player have started to derail what seemed to be a promising year for the Ohio State men’s basketball team. After losing three of five games and dropping from No. 3 to No. 10 in the rankings during that span, the Buckeyes are facing major issues as the regular season winds down. OSU has two regular season games remaining, but the postgame mood following Sunday’s 63-60 defeat by Wisconsin was that of a NCAA Tournament loss. “Somebody’s got to step up and just be that guy to say, ‘This is enough,’ and bring us all together,” said sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas. It’s clear that the Buckeyes are desperate for leadership as the calendar turns to March, but where will it come from? Conventional wisdom would say that guard William Buford, the team’s lone senior, who sat inches to the right of Thomas as he professed the need for a leader, would be the primary player to speak out and rally the team. But the fact of the matter is that Buford’s leadership style doesn’t fit the needs of the Buckeyes right now. The team needs a vocal presence, something Buford has shown a discomfort with during his four years at OSU. That’s not to say that Buford isn’t a terrific player or a good leader. It’s just that his lead-by-example approach doesn’t seem to mesh well with a team that, aside from Buford, relies heavily on sophomores and a couple freshmen. What about All-American sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, whose past success and national recognition should instantly qualify him as a team leader? Sullinger has been quiet of late, failing to hit double digits points while shooting 1-of-7 on free throws the past two games combined. He was not made available for comment following the loss to Wisconsin, quite possibly his final game at the Schottenstein Center. During the postgame press conference, Matta implied that Sullinger has seemed disinterested lately. “I know this, when Jared is playing his best basketball, he’s engaged and into it,” Matta said. The theme of disengagement was prevalent throughout the team Saturday, leading Matta to throw the Buckeyes out of practice the day before their final home game. That’s a very alarming occurrence this late in the season when a supposed championship-contending team should be locked in for the stretch run. Matta dismissed immaturity as being at the root of OSU’s problems. “My freshmen always come to practice,” he said. “They do a great job. Honestly, I don’t know the answer.” Unfortunately at this point in the season the lightly-played freshmen will be of little help to a team devoid of leadership. If the Buckeyes want to make a serious run in March, the answer will have to come from within the quartet of sophomore guard Aaron Craft, Sullinger, Buford and Thomas. The most likely candidate at this point is Craft, who took the lead on answering postgame questions from the media Sunday. Whether or not this means Craft will elevate his leadership role moving forward remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, if the Buckeyes can’t come together and resolve their issues in the next couple weeks, the disappointment of February will turn into greater disappointment come March. read more

Mens Lacrosse Ohio State selected as No 3 seed in NCAA Tournament

Ohio State senior attack Eric Fannell scored five goals in the Buckeyes dramatic comeback 11-10 overtime victory over Maryland on April 22 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsComing off their 10-9 loss to No. 1 Maryland in the Big Ten tournament finals, Ohio State (13-4) has been selected as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament. The Buckeyes will host Patriot League champion Loyola (Md.) (10-5) on Sunday. This is the sixth NCAA tournament appearance for OSU, third under coach Nick Myers.The Buckeyes received three goals from freshman attacker Tre Leclaire on Saturday, but the team lost to Maryland in the finals of the Big Ten tournament. Junior midfielder Connor Kelly had five goals for the Terrapins.Loyola is coming off its third Patriot League tournament title in four years, and its third regular-season title over that same time span. The Greyhounds will be making their 20th appearance into the tournament and sixth since 2010. The game will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday in Ohio Stadium. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Johns Hopkins/Duke matchup. read more

Four men sent to prison for blackmailing couple in NI

first_imgFOUR MEN HAVE been handed prison sentences at Belfast Crown Court today for blackmailing a couple in Northern Ireland.Gary Fulton (40), Philip Blaney (48) and Marc Briggs (40)  were each sentenced to five years imprisonment for their roles in the blackmail of a couple in March 2011. They all pleaded guilty to two counts of blackmail.Daniel Hamilton (31) was also sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting blackmail.Detective Superintendent Philip Marshall, of the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch, said sentencing was “the culmination of a complex and professional investigation”.He said that blackmail can be a “difficult crime to combat” but police have systems in place to ensure that those who come forward with complaints are looked after properly. “We will work with them to ensure those responsible are apprehended,” he added.“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that the police and partners within the Criminal Justice System will bring those responsible for terrorising people to court and that those who are made amenable can expect to receive substantial sentences,” said Marshall.last_img read more

Unemployment rate at 275 pct

first_imgGreece’s unemployment rate fell slightly in December, with 27.5 per cent of the workforce registered as being out of a job, according to the Hellenic Statistics Authority (Elstat). The figures showed the total number of people employed in December at 3,555,034, the unemployed at 1,349,495 and the economically inactive at 3,388,927.This means that the country’s unemployment figures have grown by almost one million in five years. In December 2008, as the international crisis was breaking, 434,149 people (8.9 per cent) were recorded as unemployed.The data showed that the unemployment rate for women (31.6 per cent) is higher than that for men (24.5 per cent).The region of Epirus-Western Macedonia had the highest unemployment rate (30.4 per cent), while the Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian Islands recorded the lowest rate(22.7 per cent)In terms of age group, the largest proportion of unemployed was in the under-25 age group, where 55.5 per cent are registered as unemployed, down from 61.4 per cent in the previous month.Source: enetenglish Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

La Kindle Fire en Europe cet été

first_imgLa Kindle Fire en Europe cet été ?Les rumeurs sur l’arrivée prochaine de l’Appstore Android d’Amazon sur le Vieux Continent se font de plus en plus pressantes et accompagnent celles évoquant l’arrivée de la Kindle Fire.Si pour l’instant l’Appstore Android d’Amazon reste cantonné aux États-Unis, le site All Things Digital, relayé par Clubic, évoque sa probable arrivée en Europe prochainement. Une source proche de l’entreprise parle même de la soumission d’applications hors des États-Unis dès la semaine prochaine. Une arrivée qui pourrait bien coïncider avec celle de la dernière tablette Amazon, la Kindle Fire. En effet, l’Appstore Amazon est étroitement liée à cette machine.D’ailleurs, cela irait dans le sens de la logique, après qu’Amazon ait lancé successivement ses Kindle et Kindle Touch. Prochaine étape donc, le Kindle Fire. Un autre indice va dans ce sens, l’érosion des ventes du Kindle Fire outre-Atlantique, qui sont passées de 4,8 millions à 750 000 unités entre la fin 2011 et le début 2012. La société de e-commerce a donc tout intérêt à pénétrer de nouveaux marchés afin de relever ses ventes.Le 12 juin 2012 à 20:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Did Vigo Turn This Alberta Towns Water Into Psychomagnotheric Slime

first_img Someone needs to get over to the art museum in Onoway, Alberta stat… because it sure as heck looks like someone sent a painting of Vigo the Carpathian there and he brought plenty of psychomagnotheric slime with him.Monday night the residents of Onoway — a town about 40 miles outside of Edmonton — started flooding the public works department with calls after their faucets started spewing something that looked very much like the mysterious ooze that Ray, Egon, and Winston had to wade through in Ghostbusters 2.So what’s going on? Is this small, Alberta town so incredibly un-Canadian that all the ill-will there has taken physical form? To quote Balki Bartokomous, “of course not, don’t be ridiculous.” The actual explanation is far less sinister and much more deeply-rooted in science.Image: Facebook via CBCThe culprit: potassium permanganate, a strong oxidizing agent that used for cleaning wounds and treating some forms of dermatitis. It’s also commonly used in water treatment because it can get rid of iron and hydrogen sulfide build-up.And when a valve gets stuck open at the water treatment plant during routine maintenance, well… that maintenance can produce results that are anything but routine. Say, an entire town turning handles and watching bright pink liquid shoot into their sinks.As bizarre as it looked, Onoway residents weren’t in any danger. Mayor Dale Kasnow told the CBC “we were never advised by Alberta Environment to issue a public advisory,” and he noted that things are getting back to normal now that the excess permanganate has been flushed out of the system. Watch: ‘Drunk’ Raccoons Stumble Around Canadian NeighborhoodWatch: Archaeologists Explore 170-Year-Old Shipwreck ‘Frozen in Time’ Stay on targetlast_img read more

Floating the future of WareHouse 23

first_imgTwo weeks ago, WareHouse ’23 made its first official expansion.With “some paint and some labor” and flourishes of reclaimed wood, owner Mark Matthias said, they rebuilt some event spaces at the former Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay. The renovation took about four days of work and cost $10,000.“Let’s say it looked extremely tired,” he said.Matthias said the work was worth it. WareHouse ’23 has been thriving since it opened in July 2016, which Matthias ascribes to a waterfront view, a good menu and a sea change in Vancouver’s restaurant scene.Even with the successes, looming development at the waterfront means the restaurant can’t get too comfortable.“The outside hasn’t changed a lot because at some point you have to quit throwing dollars at a building we all know is going to go away, down the road,” he said.When the Port of Vancouver eventually starts its mixed-use waterfront project, Terminal 1, it will likely replace the building and could put the restaurant on hiatus for months. But Matthias said they will cross that bridge when they get to it.Quay to successWareHouse ’23’s recent expansion was made official less than two weeks ago, when it amended its lease with the Port of Vancouver. It pays more rent now, but it added event space.last_img read more

Antonio Valencia set to leave Manchester United

first_imgManchester United captain Antonio Valencia is expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season, according to Daily Mail.The Premier League giants have until March to extend the Ecuador international’s contract by a further 12 months but recent reports say they have no plans to do so.Inter Milan are now leading the hunt to sign the former Wigan Athletic star in the summer.Reports in the Mirror suggests Valencia’s representatives have already began negotiating with the San Siro outfit.The Nerazurri would like to sign the 33-year-old this month but the Red Devils are reluctant to weaken Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.Valencia fell out with former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho earlier in the season, after supposedly liking a social media post asking for the Portuguese to be sacked.This has limited the right-back to just five Premier League appearances all season.Caretaker manager Solskjaer has now restored him back to the team as the former Villarreal winger played his first league game against Newcastle since September.last_img read more

ASA Urges Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia

first_imgIn advance of Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on the implications of Russia’s accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the United States, the American Soybean Association (ASA) joined more than 150 organizations from across the business community in submitting a letter urging the committee to establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia.”The pork and poultry industries, which use soybean meal in animal feed, are poised to see great success in Russia as income levels rise and the demand for meat increases. What benefits these industries benefits soybean farmers,” said ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “Those potential positives, however, hinge on further expansion of trade to Russia. The establishment of PNTR with Russia is critical to our ability to increase soybean exports into Europe’s largest consumer market and the world’s 11th largest economy.”As part of the Coalition for U.S.-Russia Trade, which comprises businesses from a wide range of industries, ASA advocates the graduation of Russia from the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, enabling Congress to approve PNTR before Russia’s expected entry into the WTO later this summer.”This legislation is crucial in order for U.S. manufacturers, service providers, agricultural producers and their employees to take advantage of the many market opening and transparency commitments that form Russia’s accession package to the WTO,” stated the Coalition. “PNTR also gives the United States a powerful tool by enabling the United States to ensure that Russia abides by those commitments through internationally binding WTO dispute settlement.”The United States has maintained normal trade relations with Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992. Growth in the Russian animal protein industry has led to a significant increase in demand for soybeans over the past decade. Russia’s main import partners, however, are Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, leaving room for growth within the market for U.S. soybean exports.”Russia is an important part of U.S. business’ global strategy to create and sustain jobs at home by enhancing our long-term competitiveness abroad. Many U.S. companies have developed vibrant, profitable and rapidly-growing business and trade with Russia, with clear strategic benefits to parent companies, exports from, and employment in the United States,” continued the Coalition. “Without PNTR, U.S. companies and their employees will be left behind our competitors in this growing and profitable market.”last_img read more

Oregons jobless rate falls to 82

first_imgMarch job-growth and unemployment figures for Washington will be released Wednesday. A similar report on the performance of Clark County’s labor market in March will be issued April 23. In the 12 months ending in February, the state added a net 65,000 jobs. The state’s preliminary jobless rate in February was 7.5 percent.In the 12 months through February, Clark County added a net 2,500 jobs. The county’s preliminary unemployment rate in February — 9.6 percent — will likely be revised upward to roughly 11 percent to account for unemployed county residents who previously worked in Oregon. A similar revision drove up January’s initial jobless rate of 9.9 percent to 11.4 percent.PORTLAND — Oregon’s unemployment rate continues to inch lower, hitting 8.2 percent last month, as employers continue to add jobs, state officials said Tuesday.The unemployment rate is the lowest since October 2008, when the nation was dropping into a severe recession that eventually uprooted 147,700 jobs in the state, The Oregonian reported. The rate that fall was 7.7 percent.A slow recovery followed, and the state’s unemployment rate ricocheted between 8.4 percent and 8.9 percent for the past year.The state has added jobs for four straight months, at an average of 3,800 a month, the state Employment Department reported.In March, though, the pace slowed, with private employers adding 2,700 jobs and government cutting 800, for a net addition of 1,900. That came after a February addition of 6,600.An estimated 167,700 Oregon workers were unemployed last month, 8,800 fewer than in February. The state’s workforce also declined, by 10,800. Neither count is adjusted for seasonal factors.last_img read more

Rain soaks fans players at MiamiFAU game

first_img Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Heavy rains starting to come down at Hard Rock Stadium at the end of the third quarter; #Canes leading 24-10 with 15 minutes to go #BeatFAU— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) September 11, 2016 MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – Fans were soaked with rain at the Hard Rock Stadium during a football game between the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University, Saturday.The new canopy didn’t keep the rain off the fans.According to the stadium’s website, it’s supposed to provide shade and protection from the elements for 92 percent of fans.One fan posted a video on Twitter of the water falling from the roof.People at the game said the only fans who managed to stay completely dry were those watching from the luxury seats.last_img read more

HMWSSB GHMC staff conduct Swachh tour

first_imgHyderabad: 0fficers of the HMWSSB and GHMC on Friday went round several areas in the City appealing to the people to become active partners in the ‘Saaf Hydeabad and Shaandaar Hyderabad’ campaign. Water Board GM Krishna appealed to the public to cooperate with the officialdom to make Hyderabad a Swachh city. He stressed importance of the residents not wasting water, not to allow water flow on roads, when some parts of the twin cities and their outskirts were experiencing severe shortage. In view of this there was a need for rationed use of water. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us In his address, GHMC UDC Officer Ramulu advised people not to dump garbage on roads and transport it in the designated autos after segregation and also to keep their surroundings clean and green. Among those who took part in the visit were HMWSSB Manager Ramana, GHMC Swachhdooths Manasa, Swaroopa, Lakshmi, Shanti, TRS leaders Hamsaraj, Praveen Kumar, Vasanth, Mahesh, Ravichandar, Anjamma.last_img read more

Harris County Receives 44Million In Grants To Address Sex Traffickers

first_img Share Brien Straw | Houston Public MediaHarris County Sheriff Ed GonzalezHarris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Monday a $4.4-million in grants from the Texas Governor’s Office to assist victims of violent crime and combat sex traffickers. The money will also help change the way prosecutors address the problem.About one-million will be used to go after sex traffickers, while the remaining funds will be used to assist victims of violent crimes. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is putting those in the sex trafficking business on notice. “To all the offenders and predators out there, we’re going to continue to increase our resources, continue to build our collective efforts. And in Harris County we’re going to send a strong message, if you haven’t been caught yet, you will be caught. It’s just a matter of time,” said Gonzalez.Houston leads the nation in calls to the national trafficking assistance hotline, but Andrea Sparks, Director of the Child Sex Trafficking Team for Governor Greg Abbott, is hoping the grant money will change the narrative.“Let’s make it the number one city in trauma informed response to its victims,” she said.The number of staff able to assist victims will almost double thanks to the four grants, but according to Ogg, equally important is a shift to treating the women involved, into victims.“From putting prostitutes in jail over and over and over, to now focusing on the marketplace and their buyers, and more importantly their human traffickers, it’s not revolutionary but it really is a new era,” Ogg said.last_img read more

Prosecutors Drop All Remaining Charges in Freddie Gray Case

first_imgBALTIMORE (AP) — Prosecutors dropped the remaining charges Wednesday against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction.Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state’s attorney, pauses while speaking during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Gray was a black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van in April 2015. His death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement and caused turmoil in Baltimore, including large protests and the worst riots the city had seen in decades.The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver who the state considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group.A fourth officer had his case heard by a jury, who deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial.A pretrial hearing had been scheduled Wednesday for Officer Garrett Miller, who had faced assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges, but instead Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow told the judge that prosecutors were dropping the charges against Miller and the rest of the officers.Prosecutors and defense attorneys quickly left the courtroom without commenting, but both sides planned news conferences later Wednesday.After Gray’s death, the U.S. Justice Department launched a patterns and practice investigation into allegations of widespread abuse and unlawful arrests by the Baltimore Police Department. The results of the probe have not been released.Prosecutors had said Gray was illegally arrested after he ran away from a bike patrol officer and the officers failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital.State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby wasted little time in announcing charges after Gray’s death — one day after receiving the police department’s investigation while a tense city was still under curfew — and she did not shy from the spotlight. She posed for magazine photos, sat for TV interviews and even appeared onstage at a Prince concert in Gray’s honor.Three of the officers who were charged were black and three were white.last_img read more