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As a pair of 13-year-olds face murder charges in deaths of 2 firefighters, outrage grips California town

first_imgiStock(LOS ANGELES) — As a pair of 13-year-old boys await arraignment on murder charges in the deaths of two firefighters who were killed battling an arson blaze that destroyed a rural California town’s library, outrage has erupted in the community over state laws barring the prosecution of the juveniles in adult court.The tragedy has left residents of Porterville, a town of roughly 60,000 in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, grieving over the deaths of Capt. Raymond Figueroa and firefighter Patrick Jones, and angry that the two young suspects could face as little as 10 years in a juvenile facility if convicted.“Even if we are not big fans of the law, we still have to follow it,” Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said at a news conference announcing the arrests of the juvenile suspects.The suspects, whose names have not been released, were each charged with murder on Friday for allegedly setting the fire that destroyed the town’s 67-year-old library and ended up killing Jones and Figueroa when they rushed inside the burning structure to search for victims.In an unusual move, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward released a video statement before the charges were even filed to explain the “significant limitation” his office faces in prosecuting the boys in the California juvenile justice system.“I know it may be frustrating, but 13-year-olds cannot be tried as adults in California, even for crimes such as murder,” Ward said in his statement. “I’m certain this information may be met with outrage. This is why myself, and many district attorney’s across the state were against these changes to the law.”“When criminal justice reform advocates and legislators consider the mistakes that juveniles often make, I suspect they’re talking about shoplifting and beer runs,” Ward added. “Nevertheless, justice reform holds consequences and today we may be witnesses to that.”He said legislation signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown not only eliminated the ability to prosecute offenders as old as 15 in adult court, but it also put severe limitations on the punishment that can be doled out.“In any juvenile case in this state, even if the most serious charges of murder are filed and found to be true, 13-year-olds cannot be held in custody once they reach the age of 25. That is simply the law of Califonia,” Ward said. “Not surprisingly, current law drops that age to 23 for many crimes we all consider to be serious and violent.”Ward added that a law that went into effect on Jan. 1 changes the state’s felony murder rule to further limit the criminal exposure for suspects of dangerous felonies, who are not the actual killer or who did not act with the intent to kill.“As we move forward, know this: My office will be dogged in the pursuit of justice for the destruction of the Porterville library and the tragic deaths of two brave firemen,” Ward said. “But as we do so, we will be constrained within the parameters of the law and I will also be limited from sharing with you legally enough information.”The deadly fire broke out inside the 18,000-square-foot library around 4:14 p.m. on Feb. 18, officials said.Jones, 25, and Figueroa, 35, were part of the Engine 71 crew that was first to arrive on the scene as heavy smoke poured from inside the library, officials said. Uncertain that everyone was evacuated, the two firefighters entered the burning building to search for victims. Shortly after they radioed a “mayday” call from inside.Figueroa was quickly found by a search crew and removed from the burning structure, authorities said. But heavy flames and the collapsing roof of the building forced rescuers to retreat before they could find Jones.Capt. Figueroa died at a hospital while Jones’ body wasn’t recovered until early the next morning, officials said.Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said investigators were told by witnesses that two boys were seen running from the library as the fire erupted. He said the two suspects were quickly tracked down and arrested.“Our investigation determined that these two juveniles did start the fire intentionally,” Kroutil said.Kroutil, like prosecutors, said new laws protecting juvenile suspects made the investigation “challenging.”“Once we determined that they were suspects in the crime, there was no more questioning for the juveniles,” Kroutil said. “We have to rely on other investigative means to confirm their involvement.”The suspects are being held at a juvenile facility and are expected to be arraigned in juvenile court on March 11.“In my opinion, if this were 17-year-olds then they would be tried as adults in criminal court and facing extremely lengthy prison terms,” Kroutil said. “That’s not going to happen in this case. By law, it cannot.”Local residents took to social media to vent their frustrations at the state’s criminal justice system.“These boys should go to jail for life!!! Those boys knew what they did was wrong! No excuses!!” one local resident wrote on the Facebook page of the Visalia Times-Delta newspaper.Another resident wrote, “They MURDERED 2 people. They are old enough to be held accountable and charged as adults. Period.”Michael Mendoza, national director of the criminal justice reform group #cut50 in Oakland, California, told the Washington Post that while he understands the outrage in Porterville, the laws were changed in California to protect young children.“We still have the opportunity to intervene in and impact the lives of two 13-year-olds, who are kids,” Mendoza told The Post.The families of Figueroa, a father of two children, and Jones, who was engaged to be married, released statements on Sunday focusing on how the men lived.“Patrick was a shining light in this world and will continue to shine down on us from above,” the statement released by Jones’ family and fiancée reads.Figueroa’s family’s statement recalled the captain’s motto in life: “I am far from knowing it all, but I am driven to learn it all.”“Although we are heartbroken, we find comfort knowing he died doing what he loved in the accompaniment of a fellow brother (his Jonesy),” the Figueroa family statement reads. “We are so proud of all he accomplished and he will always be our HERO.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

HR strategy: What are your people worth?

first_imgHR strategy: What are your people worth?On 24 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today This week Personnel Today tackles the holy grail of HR –measuring human capital. Some companies have started to grasp the human capital challenge, as ourresearch with Deloitte & Touche confirms, but how many take it seriously? Thefigures are not encouraging. Most organisations are struggling to measure the worth of their peoplebecause human capital is such a complicated asset to value. Add the fact thatannual reports to shareholders do not have to include this information makesavoiding it more compelling. But human asset accounting will become a standard benchmark in annualreports and could become a legal requirement too. Another certainty is that the current economic climate will force companiesto take metrics more seriously. Fundamentally, businesses are about people andthe bursting of the technology bubble and debacle over creative accounting onlyunderline this. In this issue, our wealth of coverage on human capital should inspire you.Finding a way to measure the people value of your business is a significantopportunity. Get it right, and it will be a powerful argument for HR to beincluded as a key strategic player. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Academic deal gives soldiers a chance to train

first_img Comments are closed. The British Army is partnering with Northumbria University to allow soldiersto study for a certificate of higher education in applied management. The two-year, part-time qualification, due to start in September, has beendeveloped for the Army in partnership with the University’s Newcastle BusinessSchool and has been specially designed to take account of the operational andmanagement needs of senior non-commissioned officers. The online course hopes to further develop the management understanding andabilities of senior soldiers, giving them a professional qualification andproviding knowledge and skills that can also be transferred to the civilianworld. Major Liz Brown, of the Army’s Directorate of Educational and TrainingServices, said the Army had a commitment to provide the best training andeducation opportunities, and the course would allow soldiers to further theircareer in the Army and help with their future careers. The deal with Northumbria University represents a central part of the Army’sstrategy to develop partnerships with universities and professional bodies. The Army also offers the opportunity of part-time e-learning foundationdegrees in business and management, delivered by Bournemouth and LeedsMetropolitan universities. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Academic deal gives soldiers a chance to trainOn 13 Jul 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Neptune Energy commences final well campaign on Duva

first_img Neptune Energy commences final well campaign on Duva. (Credit: C Morrison from Pixabay) Operator Neptune Energy and its partners today announced drilling has begun on four production wells on the Duva field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.The wells are being drilled by the Deepsea Yantai, a semi-submersible rig operated by Odfjell Drilling. All four wells were pre-drilled and cased off at a depth of 2,500 metres, prior to starting the final drilling campaign.Duva is a fast-track project being developed as a subsea installation with three oil producers and one gas producer, tied back to the Neptune-operated Gjøa semi-submersible platform.Neptune Energy’s Director of Projects & Engineering in Norway, Erik Oppedal, said: “This is the final phase of the Duva development project, and we are currently working to accelerate the start-up date. An efficient drilling campaign forms an integral part of achieving this. Duva will both increase production and extend the operational life of our operated Gjøa platform.”The Deepsea Yantai is now set to drill the reservoir sections, install the lower completions and execute well clean-up activities. The drilling work is estimated to take around 110 days.Duva is scheduled to come online in the third quarter of 2021 and will add approximately 25,000 barrels (gross) of oil equivalent per day (boepd) to the Gjøa facility.The subsea works associated with Duva were successfully completed in 2020, with the four subsea trees installed in March 2021, successfully overcoming significant challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.The Duva oil and gas field was Neptune’s first discovery in the Norwegian North Sea, a strategically important area supporting the company’s growth. It is located 14 km northeast of the Gjøa field, at a water depth of 360 metres.Licence partners on Duva, PL 636: Neptune Energy (Operator and 30%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (30%), PGNiG Upstream Norway (30%), Sval Energi (10%). Source: Company Press Release The wells are being drilled by the Deepsea Yantai, a semi-submersible rig operated by Odfjell Drillinglast_img read more

UK: Lusty to Play Major Role in Joint Warrior

first_img View post tag: Navy View post tag: Scotland View post tag: Naval View post tag: Lusty Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious is to play a major role in a Royal Marine amphibious exercise over the weekend as part of Exercise Joint Warrior. The Portsmouth-based landing platform will be providing the base to send hundreds of Marines from 42 Commando into Luce Bay in Galloway on the west coast of Scotland.RAF Chinooks and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Sea Kings will drop the Marines several miles inland to attack two guerrilla-style targets at around 1.30am on Saturday morning.A further contingent of Royal and Dutch Marines will be launched from HMS Bulwark and HNLMS Rotterdam onto the beach to push forward until they meet up with their colleagues.“We will be defeating the enemy at one target and the Dutch will hit the second,” said Major David Ethell, second-in-command of 42 Cdo.“For us this is the first time we have properly been on board a ship and it is all about us getting back to our amphibious capability.“As a Marine this is what we joined up for, so completing these exercises to validate our role as the Lead Commando Group is hugely important.”As the LCG, 42 Cdo remain at high-readiness – or five day’s notice to move – as a response to rapidly unfolding world events. The LCG is reinvigorating their core amphibious fighting skills under exercise Joint Warrior which is currently off the coast of Scotland.A bi-annual exercise there are more than 30 warships and 65 aircraft taking part from participating countries such as the UK, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Canada and Sweden. These are all practising their own quick reaction tri-Service force – the Response Force Task Group.The LCG forms an integral part of this by using HMS Illustrious and HMS Bulwark as their main bases to launch attacks and provide logistical support.In this scenario, the two ships will get the Marines as close as possible to the shoreline without being detected by exercise staff.“We are the entry force,” said Commanding Officer of HMS Illustrious Captain Martin Connell.“We can fight our way in if necessary but maintaining the element of surprise is my preference and then the Marines can launch their operation ashore from our onboard aircraft.“From there we have a sustained role where the aviation can either stay on Illustrious or they can stay ashore where they have the ability to set up their own headquarters as support.”For Exercise Joint Warrior there are Fleet Air Arm Merlin and Sea King helicopters, RAF Chinnoks and Arm Apache and Lynx all working together on board HMS Illustrious as part of the flying operations.“I think this is indicative of how the UK Armed Forces will work in the future, as entirely interoperable,” said Capt Connell.“Exercises like this are ideal for that because we must all learn each other’s constraints, capabilities, issues and opportunities and there is a healthy respect of each in terms of what each of us can provide.“Joint Warrior is a fantastic opportunity for commanders to capture all the tactical elements and combine that with things like live firing. This is a scenario that allows that to be done in a realistic manner.”Once the LCG are ashore they will stay on the ground for several days before the Army’s 2 Parachute Regiment take their place for the culmination of the exercise to validate their own operational training.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, April 19, 2013; Image: Royal Navy View post tag: UK View post tag: Sea Kings April 19, 2013 View post tag: Joint UK: Lusty to Play Major Role in Joint Warrior View post tag: play Training & Education Back to overview,Home naval-today UK: Lusty to Play Major Role in Joint Warrior Share this article View post tag: Warrior View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Exercise View post tag: major View post tag: rolelast_img read more

ESPS Navarra Assists Yacht in the Gulf of Aden

first_img View post tag: News by topic ESPS Navarra Assists Yacht in the Gulf of Aden View post tag: Naval In the early morning of Friday 19 September, EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra, came to the assistance of a stricken yacht in the Gulf of Aden. Authorities September 23, 2014 View post tag: africa View post tag: Assists View post tag: Gulf of Adencenter_img Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today ESPS Navarra Assists Yacht in the Gulf of Aden View post tag: ESPS Navarra View post tag: Navy The yacht had been detected on the warship’s radar in the early morning. ESPS Navarra’s Bridge team initially tried to hail the yacht via their VHF radio. After several attempts a member of the crew finally answered the call. He said that they were running very short on water and fuel, but still had some distance to travel in to the Indian Ocean.This is the second time that the Spanish frigate has helped a yacht that has gotten into difficulties in less than two months.ESPS Navarra’s Boarding Team was tasked by their commanding officer to launch and provide the much-needed water and fuel.The Spanish crew then invited the master of the yacht to re-consider his route so that he would avoid sailing into waters where the piracy threat is still considered to be present.The present combined threat assessment of International Naval counter-piracy forces is that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the High Risk Area (HRA) or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom. Yachts remain extremely vulnerable to attack.[mappress]Press Release, September 23, 2014; Image: EU NAVFOR View post tag: yacht View post tag: europelast_img read more

Forecast Clear for Doo Dah Parade on Saturday

first_imgThe Ocean City (NJ) Doo Dah Parade starts at noon Saturday, April 12, and travels from downtown Asbury Avenue to the Ocean City Boardwalk.The National Weather Service forecast calls for sun and a high temperature  of 58 degrees on Saturday (April 12) for Ocean City’s 29th annual Doo Dah Parade.With the ocean temperature still in the mid-40s, air temperatures in shore towns will be cooler than on the mainland, but there’s no chance of precipitation for the parade.The Doo Dah Parade, Ocean City’s tribute to humor and legendary comedians, starts at noon Saturday and travels from downtown Asbury Avenue to the Ocean City Boardwalk.The parade is the highlight of a weekend that includes other comedy events, the Basset Hound Olympics and a massive Easter Egg Hunt on the beach.The Doo Dah Parade begins at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue. It proceeds to 12th Street and from there turns to the Boardwalk and ends in front of the Ocean City Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace. That’s where there is an awards ceremony and the PieAsco is held.The PieAsco is a tribute to the late, great pie-in-the-face comedian Soupy Sales, who attended the Doo Dah Parade for many years. Folks (this can be you) sit in grand stands and smoosh each other with Shaving Cream Pies, the kind Soupy used on his syndicated TV show. If you participate, you receive a certificate praising your smooshing abilities.Grand Marshal this year will be Peter Funt, longtime host of TV’s legendary “Candid Camera” program. Peter will host a retrospective program, “Six Decades of Smiles,” on Friday, April 11th at the Music Pier starting 7 p.m. This will be a review of great Candid Camera episodes. Admission will be a donation of canned or dry food for the Ocean City Food Cupboard.Also on Friday April 11th at noon, the Tri State Basset Hound Rescue League will hold its hilarious Olympics at the Tabernacle Grounds, Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue. The floppy-eared doggies will leap over hurdles (sort of) plod through tunnels and then settle down for a well earned nap. The Rescue League raises money for bassets in need of a home.Over 600 Bassets, some in fancy and humorous garb, will be featured in the Parade on Saturday along with costumed characters, unusual brigades, bands, clowns and other funny entries plus an outstanding display of balloon sculpting by Robert Archer called “Aliens with a Flying Saucer.”Another Doo Dah event is scheduled for Friday. “The Positive Power of Humor, Hope and Healing,” will be presented by Dr. Joel Goodman, founder and director of the Humor Project, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Dr. Goodman has talked to audiences on all seven continents of the world. Learn how humor can increase the quality of your life. The program is free and will be presented at the Ocean City Library, 17th and Simpson Ave. at 2 p.m. on Friday. This will be Goodman’s tenth visit to Ocean City, all well received. Admission is free.Following the Parade on Saturday, there will be a Tribute to the Abbott and Costello Fan Club at the Library starting 3:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall N110.The free program will feature the world’s leading impersonators of Abbott and Costello, Bud Palmer and Lou Sciara, performing “Who’s on First,” and a showing of the classic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.” There will be a special appearance by legendary vocalist, TV and movie actress, Pretty, Perky, Peggy King who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame and a cameo appearance in the movie. For information call (609) 525-9300 or (609) 364-4010.The first of two big Easter Egg Hunts will be held after the Doo Dah Parade on April 12 and the second after the Woofin’ Paws Pet Fashion Show on April 19. Both start at 2:30 p.m. and extend from 11th to 13th streets on the beach.There will be five age groups: Up to 2 years and 3 year olds at 11th St., 4 year olds at 12th St., 5 year olds at 12th St. and 6 and 7 year olds at 13th St. Over 180,000 Eggs with candy and toys will be given away. Rain dates are Sun., April 13 and Sun., April 20. The event is sponsored by the Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association.— News release from Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soiferlast_img read more

OCHS to Host Virtual Job Fair

first_imgThe job fair will be livestreamed on April 14. Ocean City High School will be hosting its first Virtual Job Fair next month and is in search of local businesses to participate.The decision to implement this as a virtual opportunity was made to maintain the safety standards set forth by the Cape May County Department of Health, according to a school news release.Event organizers and staff believe this platform is the most effective way to allow students and employers to connect for summer/seasonal employment safely, the release stated.The job fair will be livestreamed on April 14 between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.The goal for this event is to enable businesses to interact with students, post their applications, links, website information, among other important items.It is also described as an opportunity for students to develop career-readiness skills, develop their resume and gain fiscal responsibility and independence.These skills are directly aligned with the Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skill standards set forth by the New Jersey Department of Education.Students will begin to prepare for the job fair in the days leading up to the event by determining what employers/positions they are interested in applying to, as well as updating or creating their personal resume.Students will receive a list of businesses about a week prior to the event.The event is free to business participants who sign up in the online forum, Booth Central.Vendor facts, sign up information and other important information can be found on the school website at or by clicking here.School updates will be posted via SwiftK-12 messaging, social media, as well as the OCSD website.The current Hybrid Plan, Return to In-School Instruction Plans and additional COVID-Prevention guidelines can be found on the district website, read more

Waitrose goes after ’great British bread’

first_imgWaitrose is set to launch a 13-strong range of crusty loaves, made with only English flour, in a bid to “make English bread great again”.The introduction of the range follows the increased sales of “more traditional breads” across Great Britain, with sales of its own speciality breads up 8% on last year, said Waitrose.Consisting of a collection of white, brown and organic breads, the English Crusty Loaf range will feature 400g, 600g and 800g loaves, including a wholegrain farmhouse loaf; Organic Heyford wholemeal tin; a six-seed barn batch; a white split tin loaf; and a white bloomer.”We want to bring back great British bread, which is why we are pledging to use only home-grown flour in our 13 English Crusty Loaf lines,” said Waitrose bread buyerJames Dickson.”We have launched the new Crusty Loaf range, because shoppers are opting for better-quality bread. These traditional and artisan loaves as well as striking a nostalgic note will appeal to today’s discrimina-ting shoppers.”last_img read more

Speech: We call for an end to the use of sexual violence in South Sudan

first_imgThank you, Madam President and thank you SRSG Shearer and Ms. Jial for your briefings.Today, on International Women’s Day, I’d like to focus on the devastating impact that the conflict in South Sudan has had on women and girls. In five years of fighting, the conflict has claimed nearly 400,000 lives, driven 4.3 million people from their homes and 1.4 million to the edge of famine. And as we have heard from you today, Ms. Jial, it is often women and girls who have borne the brunt of the violence. Women, including those in their 60s and girls as young as eight, have been subjected to brutal acts of rape and sexual assault. Yet despite the depth of the horror, time and time again perpetrators are not held to account. This impunity drives the cycle of violence.Despite the signing of a Peace Agreement in September and the welcome reduction in political violence, there has been a concerning uptick in intercommunal violence and sexual violence.We are particularly concerned by the recent UN reports warning of the normalisation and persistence of conflict-related sexual violence perpetrated by fighters from all sides including armed militia groups that have been mobilised and used by the parties in recent offensives and frequently, directly or indirectly, encouraged by Commanders. Despite calls for the Government of South Sudan to take action to identify those responsible and hold them to account, this has not happened. Instead, in some instances, the organisations that provide support to the victims have come under attack by the Government.We cannot accept these brutal acts committed against mothers, sisters and daughters and we cannot allow impunity to persist. So on this day above all, and on each and every day, in order to support a lasting peace we call for an end to the pernicious use of sexual violence and the culture of impunity in South Sudan. We call on the Government to uphold its responsibilities to protect civilians, and to thoroughly investigate all instances of sexual violence and bring those responsible for these crimes to justice. And we must all support organisations to help survivors as Ms. Jial has suggested and continue to exert pressure for accountability, whether through national courts, the Hybrid Court, or through international sanctions.But I do not just want to focus on the disproportionate impact of the conflict on women and girls. It is also important to focus on the crucial role women have to play in delivering a sustainable peace. The United Kingdom has consistently pressed for greater inclusion of women in political and peace processes, and we welcome the contributions of brave civil society actors, including those present today. We welcomed the commitments made in the September Peace Agreement to at least 35% executive representation. But this has not yet translated into action, and we call on the parties to deliver on their promises. Not for some abstract concept of quotas, but because we know that when women meaningfully participate in peace processes, the resulting agreement is more likely to last.We are grateful that Ms. Jial has been able to join us today. Civil society has played a vital role in the peace process by representing the views and voices of the people of South Sudan, and we support your call for greater engagement with these communities. We are therefore concerned that the space for civil society continues to shrink, and we encourage all parties to engage in open dialogue with civil society organisations, particularly those representing women.Finally, it is important to register that this Secretary-General’s report is the last 90-day report before the May transition date envisaged in the September Peace Agreement. We welcome the progress made to date and reductions in overall violence as set out by SRSG Shearer. The UK remains committed to supporting those working towards peace. But like the SRSG, we are concerned by the lack of progress on some of the most difficult issues alongside increases in intercommunal and sexual violence.Conflict is the main driver of South Sudan’s man-made humanitarian and protection crisis. Peace is the only solution. It is vital that the Security Council, the region, and the parties to the conflict do not allow this loss of momentum to persist and to destroy the hope of progress that September’s agreement brought. We urge all parties to bring renewed momentum to ensure the deal is implemented in full. We must work together or risk failing to deliver a future free of violence, for the people, including women and girls, of South Sudan.last_img read more