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first_imgBy Shemuel FanfairThe Indian Action Committee (IAC) brought some much-needed cheer to hundreds of children on a cool Sunday afternoon at the Wales Community Centre Ground, West Bank Demerara (WBD).Santa travelled the distance to bring gifts to the children at WalesThe children and their parents were greeted by the pulsating sounds of Christmas classics as each child was given a meal and much to drink.Their eagerness overflowed with expressions of great exuberance as Santa Claus travelled the distance to Wales bearing gifts which were accompanied by a party bag of snacks. There was also a random draw where Ronaldo Jacobs was the fortunate child to have his name selected as the winner. Walking away with an oversized white teddy bear, Jacobs struggled somewhat to carry off his prize, but this did not affect the sheer excitement that rested upon his face. His mother remarked that the teddy bear would fit right into the family’s Christmas decorations.IAC Executive Member and media personality Neaz Subhan told Guyana Times that Wales was selected, given the impact the community would have faced from the closure of the sugar estate, which provided much sustenance for the area.“Wales had to be the place for us to come given the fact that the Estate has been closed and people have been laid off and we feel that being with the children, bringing some kind of cheer to them, we are hoping that in some way, we can be able to put a smile to their faces at least for this season,” Subhan told this newspaper.The IAC event has been held for more than 10 years, and the Executive Member observed that the IAC would seek out communities it considered vulnerable to support.“The IAC will continue to do things like these by going across the country to areas to work with our friends and partners who came on board and helped us get some of the items and toys, and we are very grateful for their contributions,” he noted.It was noted that Sunday’s event exceeded expectations by about 100 children. The IAC was established in 2003.last_img read more

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first_imgAlthough rice farmers in Hague, West Coast Demerara, are complaining of little improvement to several acres of rice fields, which are reportedly infested with bugs, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has confirmed that major improvements have been recorded since the agency intervened.This was related to Guyana Times by General Manager of the Rice Board, Nizam Hassan, on Thursday, while noting that there is evidence of such improvements.He however stated, “It is too early to say whether or not the crop will be of the standard when it is time for harvest, which should be just about four weeks from now”.According to Hassan, the discolouration which was first observed on the plants is now fading, as the plants are beginning to become greener, due to the treatment recommended by the GRDB and constant monitoring.One farmer, Ganga Persaud, who has 60 years of experience in the field said, “There are some improvements but not too much to be happy about. The rice, since GRDB officials from research came, they went there and they uprooted some plants and took some water samples and they looked at it and they strainedThe GRDB claims the discolouration has improved, as seen in this imagethe water and found some dead worms”.Persaud argued that the officials ‘routinely checked’ for the usual pests, something which he believes is not the real reason for the plants’ state. He said, “They did not look for is what they did not find”.The farmer said he believes the field has a soil problem. “There is a soil problem because of the three conditions the crop has to work with, the weather condition in water and mud”.He said he observed that most of the rice fields which are very low tend to attract the bugs.Persaud admitted that the GRDB has been monitoring the affected fields but still fear the bugs may get the best of the fields since other farmers have been complaining of the very same bug affecting their rice fields.The farmers initially claimed that some 120 acres of their lands were being affected by a termite infestation but GRDB later dismissed this claim, saying that advice was given to the farmers to drain the fields and apply systematic pesticides, but the farmers refused to do so.The GRDB said it determined that the farmer needed to drain the field, apply a systematic pesticide; in this instance, it was recommended that Pronto and Regional at the recommended rates be used.Hassan said a subsequent visit by the GRDB showed that the farmer had water weevils and had not been spraying with the required pesticide recommended by the team. The GRDB head claimed that the farmer also admitted to not draining his field despite being advised to do so and was, in fact, applying a contact insecticide instead, rather than a systematic pesticide. Based on a report compiledThe state of the rice field before GRDB’s interventionby an investigating team, dead water weevil larvae were found on the roots of some plants, the GRDB noted, adding that only one farmer, and 3.4 acres of rice fields, was presently affected.Guyana Times reported that close to 15 rice farmers were affected and lost much of their crop in the villages of Hague, Den Amstel, and several other areas.Omar Dhanny, a farmer who cultivates about seven acres of land at Hague, had said he and other farmers exhausted all efforts to address the situation, but to no avail.“This here affects me a lot, because this amount of rice here what damage for me, I already (gone) through all the doses of fertiliser and I already sprayed about six times. If you calculate, it is a lot of money, and nobody don’t know if we gonna get anything from the Rice Development Board,” he pointed out earlier this month.In recent years, farmers across the country have been earning reduced profits for their rice, especially with the collapse of the PetroCaribe (rice for oil) deal with Venezuela. Government has sought alternative markets such as Mexico and Panama. However, millers are delaying payments to farmers owing to challenges with ready access to payments from the foreign markets.last_img read more

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first_imgPlayers to watch: Fort St. John: Goaltending – 3-time Allan Cup winner Chad Vizzutti is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. But Vizzutti is a “big-game” goaltender, who seems to rise to the occasion and play his best hockey when the stakes are high. Along with Troy Hunt, Vizzutti gives the Flyers a dynamic one-two punch in goal, both of which can carry the load, and both of which are expected to see action in the series. Scoring – Ryan Carter was the best player for the Flyers in the playoffs last season, and has continued to contribute whenever he has put on a Blue and White jersey this year. Carter is a goal-scorer, who will be relied upon as a ‘game-changer’ in the series. The Flyers are also hoping Fort St. John native Rod Stevens will take some of the pressure off Carter. Stevens certainly has been a ‘game-changer’ in his career, but hasn’t played hockey at a high level since his retirement from the French league last season. Advertisement Starting on Thursday evening, the Fort St. John Flyers will battle the Bentley Generals, in the McKenzie Cup. This year’s series will take place at the Red Deer Arena, and will feature a best-of-five series, to be played on consecutive nights.  It’ll be a feast of hockey, and here’s what you need to know before you show up. What it means: – Advertisement -There are only six spots available at the Allan Cup, which is the national Senior hockey championship (essentially the Canadian Amateur championships). Each spring, the BC representative takes on the Alberta representative in the McKenzie Cup, which determines the Pacific representative at the Allan Cup, which this year will be played in Steinback, Manitoba. Which teams are involved: The Bentley Generals take on the Fort St. John Flyers, for the third straight year. The Generals have won the previous two meetings, and made it all the way to the Allan Cup final last year, where they lost to the host Brantford Blast.   The Generals are the champions of Alberta’s Chinook Hockey League, while the Flyers are the champs of the North Peace Hockey League. Advertisement Defence – The status of star defenceman Kip Noble is still up in the air, which is a major question mark for the Flyers. In the lineup, he provides a complete package of skating, passing, toughness, and one of the best shots in the country. Out of the lineup, he leaves the Flyers with just six defencemen, and no real standout on which to depend. Bentley: Goaltending – At this point, Scott Galenza is the number one goalie for the Generals, after winning all four of his starts in the provincial finals against Stony Plain. But, the Flyers chased Galenza in their game Two win in last year’s McKenzie Cup, before former Flyer Rod Branch suited up as a General, shutting the door for the rest of the series. This year, Branch is out of the picture, and unless the Generals can pick up a goaltender from elsewhere in Alberta, Galenza will share the duties with Mike Gilhooly and Cam Ondrik. Scoring – When healthy, Kevin Smyth plays left-wing on the top line, and can be terrifying with the puck. Smyth missed game six of the Alberta finals with an upper-body injury, but returned to score two points, including the game-winning goal, in game seven. His NHL career was cut short by injury, which has been the Achilles heel of the veteran’s career. Joining Kevin Smyth on the attack, is leading scorer Curtis Austring, Diarmud Kelly, Sean Robertson, and Jared Smyth, who all boast at least WHL-level experience. Defence – Donald Morrison and Joe Vandermeer were 2-way studs in last year’s McKenzie Cup, quietly controlling the game, and chipping in offensively as well. Joining those two stalwarts is Dion Darling, giving the Gens three D-men with AHL experience. Advertisement The Generals have the guns to make teams pay for defensive miscues, as well as a powerplay that has served them well all season (6 of their 19 goals against Stony Plain were scored on the man-advantage, including Kevin Smyth’s game 7 winner).  Even short-handed, PK specialists Chris Martini and Kent Beagle provide a threat that can’t be ignored. Likewise, the powerplay of the Flyers could be huge. The likes of Ryan Carter, Rod Stevens, Tyler Brough, Adam Loncan, Dustin Kersey, and Todd Alexander can all put the puck in the net given half a chance, and in a series as physical as this one ought to be, there will certainly be powerplays to work with. But, while the Flyers can score with the best of teams (240 goals in a 26 game regular season), it’s their ability to keep them out that will decide this series. And that’s a hard factor to determine. Behind an arguably outmatched defensive roster, the Flyers have two stellar goalies, who are capable of stealing games and maintaining balance. Even Brian Sutter knows goaltending is huge. Sutter points to Cody Rudkowsky as a big part of Stony Plain’s success this season, likening it to Rod Branch’s performance for the Flyers in the 2007 McKenzie Cup. “[The Flyers’] goaltending was really good, and they competed really hard,” which he says made it a close series, which he fully expects again. And certainly the Flyers defensive depth will be tested.  Even if Kip Noble is 100% healthy, the Flyers have less skill and poise on the blue-line than do their opponents.  Noble’s absence will put the pressure on rookie Brett Loney, who will then be expected to play on the top pairing. Brett has silky stickhandling skills, and drew rave reviews for his performance in an exhibition series against Stony Plain in November.  Loney may be playing against his equals or betters for the first time in his life – an opportunity that can break or define any young athlete.  If Noble is in the lineup, Brett Loney will likely play on the second pairing alongside his big brother Tyler Loney – a sizeable tandem that can hit, fight, and make breakaway passes with equal grace.  The Flyers defensive corps, particularly Arlo Hadland and Mike Shipton, exceeded all expectations in the playoff run last year, but will need to be even better to survive the McKenzie Cup.   Bryan Lewis will play on the top pairing, and can be counted on for gritty, defensive zone responsibility, while Luke Middleton rounds out a blue-line as a major wild-card. Middleton was a dominant player in the November Stony Plain series, and can skate as well as anyone on the ice.  His risky and at-times casual game could cause problems, or could be a huge offensive spark from the back-end. As for the coaching matchup, it could also be a battle to watch.  Behind the Bentley bench is Brian Sutter, who boasts more than 1000 games as an NHL head coach, and won the 1990-91 Jack Adams Award, as the NHL’s Coach of the Year.  Sutter ran the bench for Bentley two years ago, but was busy coaching the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels last season.  Behind the Fort St. John bench is second-year coach Adam Brash, who is intent on keeping up with his counterpart.  And this is one series in which coaching may well be a factor.  The teams are well-matched, know each other well, and play similar styles of dump-and-chase, crash-and-bang hockey. It’s all a challenge that Adam Brash is looking forward to: [asset|aid=1165|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=023e074fea58d8dd368f25c2b0d29d7b-Brashvs.Sutter_1_Pub.mp3] Naturally, the fact that this series is entirely in Red Deer will be a factor. But, for the Flyers, it’s not a typical road trip.   Unlike in the NPHL regular season, the Flyers won’t have to deal with long bus trips before games, late nights, and work.  The Flyers will be staying at a hotel, resting on game days, and taking their families with them, for added support.  Goaltender Troy Hunt says that’s a big difference as compared to regular road trips. “When you hit the city limits, you’re there for one reason” Hunt says, “You’re there to win three hockey games, so it’s a whole different ball-game.”  Coach Brash is also downplaying the significance of playing the series away from the North Peace Arena.   “The home ice advantage stuff is going to be strictly based on fans, and line changing” says Brash, adding “We play well on the road, we like playing on the road, we concentrate better on the road, and there’s less distractions, so I think we have the advantage there.” Are the Flyers ready? According to their coach, they are: “I think we’ve been ready all year long” says Brash. The McKenzie Cup starts on Thursday, and will be broadcast live on Moose FM, and online at energeticcity-beta.mystagingwebsite.com. Games start at 7:30 MST each night, with a 45 minute M&M Meats Pre-game Show starting at 5:45 PST.Jon Zacks – Moose FM & Energeticcity.ca staff But then again… But of course, numbers and stats do not a series make.  The Flyers are hungry to avenge their previous two losses, and reach the national competition for the first time in club history.  Fort St. John will play host to next year’s Allan Cup, and so the Flyers are anxious to prove to the hockey world that they are deserving of their spot amongst the country’s best amateur teams.  The Generals, on the other hand, are twice defending McKenzie Cup champs, but may dress as few as 7 players who actually played in the McKenzie Cup last year (Galenza, Morrison, Vandermeer, Kent Beagle, Harstaad, Jared Smyth).  Since wrapping up the regular season with a 23-1 record, the Generals have played four tough playoff rounds, getting pushed the distance in both the Chinook League playoffs and the Alberta playdowns.  But like the Flyers, the Generals have spent the season trying to elevate their game, in anticipation of the rigors of April. “Like I tell the guys every night” says Coach Brian Sutter, “if you prepare for the toughest possible battle, then you’ll be ready for any challenge that confronts you.” But while they may not be a group of long-time senior hockey players, the Generals come loaded with top-end talent, and high-end experience.  Bentley’s lineup includes a dozen players who played in the WHL, a handful of varsity athletes, and even players with AHL and NHL games under their belts.  They play a tight, disciplined style of hockey, as you might expect out of a Brian Sutter team.   Bentley has a lot of size, and plays a physical game matched only by Fort St. John.   The Generals also have a lengthy roster, which coach Sutter isn’t afraid to use. “We’ve used 32 guys, and we’ve played four playoff series already,” he says, adding “We play as a group, and we know we need everybody.” Advertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgWednesday’s Supreme Court ruling banning a controversial late-term abortion procedure may be as important for who wrote it as for the decision itself. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, considered the court’s crucial middleman, came down solidly with conservatives in writing the 5-4 decision. Abortion cases are difficult for the court, and in the past they’ve been particularly trying for Kennedy. He agonized over his 1992 vote to reaffirm a woman’s right to abortion. That decision enraged conservatives, who had expected the Roman Catholic Reagan nominee to help overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a constitutional right to privacy that protects abortion rights. On Wednesday, Kennedy led conservatives in the decision that for the first time upheld a nationwide ban on a procedure that opponents call “partial-birth abortion.” The ruling also opened the way for further restrictions. Kennedy, a 70-year-old Californian and a justice since 1988, has been in the majority on all nine cases that have been decided this term by 5-4 votes. Not all have gone the way conservatives would like. One criticized the Bush administration’s handling of global warming. And over the years, he has clashed with conservative justices over issues including presidential power and gay rights. Yet to come this year is what is expected to be a landmark decision on race in public schools, with Kennedy likely to be in control. “It really is the Kennedy court,” Duke University law professor Erwin Chemerinsky said. Kennedy is not expected to support a rollback of all abortion rights, but his new analysis of how courts should handle future cases worried his liberal colleagues and abortion-rights supporters.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “In a way, it’s his attempt to redeem himself, at least halfway,” said Joseph Thai, a University of Oklahoma law professor and former Supreme Court clerk. The decision does not directly threaten Roe. It does, however, make it easier for states and the federal government to put limits on abortion, setting up more court fights that will keep the issue before the justices in coming years. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired last year, had often provided pivotal votes in close cases, including those dealing with abortion, and was more likely to strike down abortion restrictions. Now the tie-breaking vote belongs to Kennedy. “We better get used to it,” said Northwestern University law professor Robert Bennett. “Now Kennedy is right smack in the middle. I suspect he loves it.” On some of the most combative ideological issues such as abortion, church-state division and affirmative action, Kennedy fits more comfortably with conservatives, including President George W. Bush’s additions to the high court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito. last_img read more

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first_imgIn his first season in charge, Mauricio Pochettino managed to guide Tottenham to fifth place in the Premier League.It wasn’t quite the fourth place finish that would have landed them a second Champions League appearance but it was a season of promise, in the end, after some mid-season stuttering.Spurs have already sought to solve some of the problems of last year with a trio of defensive signings. Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer all come in to add strength to a backline, which was conceded a shocking 53 goals – only QPR, Leicester City, Newcastle and Aston Villa let in more.They’ve also looked to get rid of the deadwood at White Hart Lane with a number of players leaving or on the verge of an exit.Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Lewis Holtby, Benjamin Stambouli and Younes Kaboul are all at new clubs, while Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor are all expected to leave.But where do Tottenham need to strengthen this summer? talkSPORT takes a look.Current probable first XI (on July 20, 2015)Current second choice side (on July 20, 2015)GoalkeeperUnless Hugo Lloris becomes fully entangled in a possible goalkeeper merry-go-round, which could kick off if David De Gea leaves Manchester United. Spurs are well set between the sticks.Michel Vorm provides able back up, even if he has looked a little suspect since signing from Swansea City. Youngster Luke McGee will be involved too should Lloris miss the first few games of the season with his wrist injury.DefenceAfter the aforementioned treble swoop this summer, Spurs are, in fact overstocked at the back. They have quality starting centre-backs in Jan Vertonghen and Alderweireld, while Eric Dier, Federico Fazio and new signing Wimmer represent excellent cover.Vlad Chiriches is likely to be offloaded too now Trippier has signed. The ex-Burnley man will fight hard for a first-team spot with Kyle Walker and Dier can cover there too should injuries strike. On the left side, Danny Rose will start with Ben Davies being his able deputy.MidfieldAfter a number of sales, Spurs are now looking lightweight in the middle. The general consensus is that a dominant and experienced defensive midfielder is needed to allow Nabil Bentaleb a bit more freedom, while Ryan Mason, Thomas Carroll and Dele Alli will be battling for central positions and starts in cup competitions.It’s unlikely there will be too many changes further forward with Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela looking like the three men to start, with Andros Townsend and Alex Pritchard covering. Spurs still may look to add another wideman with Kevin Mirallas one player linked with a switch.This season could also see Spurs play USA starlet DeAndre Yedlin as a right winger. He had previously been considered a right-back but is currently playing further forward for his national team and could represent a fresh attacking threat with his blistering pace.AttackBoy wonder Harry Kane will be the automatic starter up top at White Hart Lane unless he suffers injury or Spurs make a major signing. He will, though, need more able back up than Adebayor and Roberto Soldado.The former could find himself at Aston Villa sooner rather than later and, while the latter might not be pushed out the exit door, Soldado could also be off if the price is right. Expect at least one and probably two strikers to sign this summer. 1 Tottenham Hotspur players celebrate last_img read more

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first_imgWhen the call came out over the unit’s radios that there had been a death, one soldier would later tell investigators he suspected it was Scheuerman. Playing GI Joe Scheuerman spent his early years on military posts playing GI Joe. The middle child, he divided his time after his parents’ divorce between his mother’s house in Lynchburg, Va., and his father’s in North Carolina where he went to high school. He was nearly 6 feet tall and loved to eat. His mother, Anne, said sometimes at 10 p.m. she’d find him defrosting chicken to grill. Likable and witty, he often joked around – even dressing up like a clown one night at church camp, said his pastor, Mike Cox of West Lynchburg Baptist Church. But he had a quiet, reflective side, too, and sometimes withdrew, Cox said. “You always knew how he felt. He wore his emotions on his sleeve,” his mother said. “If he was angry, you knew it. If he was upset, you knew it.” Scheuerman liked military history and writing, but decided college wasn’t for him. After a short stint in landscaping, he followed what seemed an almost natural path into the military. His mother had spent a year in the Army, and his father, a physician’s assistant, retired as an Army master sergeant. One of his two brothers also joined and is now in Afghanistan. He enlisted in 2004 and was sent to Iraq from Fort Benning, Ga., in January 2005 with the 3rd Infantry Division. On leave a few months later, Scheuerman told his father he was having a hard time with combat and killing people. “I’ve seen war,” his father said. “I told him that a lot of what he was seeing was normal. That we all feel it. That we’re all afraid.” No improvement Back in Iraq, things didn’t improve. One soldier – whose name was blacked out on the documents like most others – said he saw Jason put the muzzle of his rifle in his mouth, and told investigators other soldiers had seen him do something similar. “He said it was a joke,” the soldier said. “He said he had thought about it before but didn’t have a plan to do it.” Scheuerman was reprimanded for not bathing or shaving and spending too much time playing video games. He misplaced a radio and didn’t wear parts of his uniform. Sometimes, Scheuerman was singled out for punishment, one soldier told an investigator. “I don’t know why,” the soldier said. Another said his noncommissioned officers were yelling at him “more days than not.” His platoon sergeant said in a disciplinary note that Scheuerman’s actions put everyone in danger. “If you continue on your present course of action, you may end up in a body bag,” he wrote. In another, his squad leader said, “You have put me into a position where I have to treat you like a troublesome child. I hate being in this position. It makes me be someone I don’t like.” Scheuerman was made to do push-ups in front of Iraqi soldiers, which humiliated him. As he was punished, “it appeared as though he was out of touch with reality; in a world all his own,” his platoon sergeant said in a report. After the punishment, Scheuerman slept on the floor of his unit’s operation’s center in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. An Army chaplain who met with him about a month before he died said his mood had “drastically changed.” He said Scheuerman demonstrated disturbing behavior by “sitting with his weapon between his legs and bobbing his head on the muzzle.” He told Scheuerman’s leaders to have his rifle and ammunition magazine “taken from him immediately” and for him to undergo a mental health evaluation. Scheuerman checked on a mental health questionnaire that he had thoughts about killing himself; was uptight, anxious and depressed; had feelings of hopelessness and despair; felt guilty; and was having work problems. But in person, the psychologist said, he denied having thoughts of suicide. Less than a week later, Scheuerman’s mother got an e-mail from her son telling her goodbye. She contacted a family support official at Fort Benning and later received a call saying her son had been checked and was fine. Later, her son sent her an instant message and said her phone call had made things worse. The same day as her call, Scheuerman’s company commander requested a mental evaluation, noting that the private was a “good soldier” but displays “distant, depression-like symptoms.” Visiting with the psychologist for the second time, Scheuerman said he sometimes saw other people on guard duty that other soldiers do not see, suggesting that he was hallucinating. And he said that if he wasn’t diagnosed as having a mental problem, he was going to be in trouble with his leader. Yet he again denied being suicidal, the psychologist reported. The psychologist determined that Scheuerman did not meet the criteria for a mental health disorder, and that a screening test he had taken indicated he was exaggerating. He told Scheuerman’s leaders he was “capable of claiming mental illness in order to manipulate his command.” Still, when he sent Scheuerman back to his barracks, he told the private’s leaders that if Scheuerman claimed to be depressed, to take it seriously. He recommended that Scheuerman sleep in an area where he could be watched, that most of his personal belongings and privileges be taken away for his safety. The evaluation “created in the leaders’ minds the idea that the soldier was a malingerer all along,” an officer from his unit evaluating the case as part of a post-suicide investigation would later determine. Shortly after the psychologist’s determination and a few weeks before he died, Scheuerman’s Internet and phone communication were shut off. His parents did not hear from him again. The night before he shot himself, his rifle – which had since been returned to him – was found in a Humvee. The next morning, one soldier said Scheuerman “was quiet and seemed depressed. He said he had a rough night and didn’t sleep well.” Later that day, he was punished again and given 14 days of extra duty. Scheuerman had tears in his eyes, but one of his noncommissioned officers said he was surprisingly calm before he went to his room, weapon in hand. “I told him to go upstairs and clean his gear and change his uniform,” his squad leader told investigators. “I was so angry with him, I went outside to smoke and talk to someone so I didn’t blow up.” Less than an hour later, he said he heard someone yelling that Scheuerman had done something. “At that point, I knew I was already too late,” he said. Scheuerman’s body was discovered in a closet, blood streaming from his mouth. Investigating death Initially, Scheuerman’s father said he trusted that the Army would investigate his son’s death and take action. “I did not want to believe that it was as bad as I thought it was, so I chose not to make hasty judgments,” Scheuerman said from his kitchen table, sitting beside his ex-wife, whom he plans to remarry. “I chose to systematically try to get all the information that I could and once I received all the information I could, my worst fears were realized.” Each document that arrived brought more pain. When a copy of his son’s suicide note appeared, Scheuerman broke down crying. In the note, his son said he wanted to say goodbye, but his ability to contact the family was taken away “like everything else.” He said he’d brought dishonor on his family and his Army unit. “I know you think I’m a coward for this but in the face of existing as I am now, I have no other choice,” Scheuerman wrote. “As the 1st Sgt said all I have to look forward to is (misery) in jail, not much of a future.” Chris Scheuerman wants to see a more thorough investigation, and some of his son’s leaders punished – perhaps even criminally charged – and the psychologist brought before a medical peer review committee. “We will not see a statistical decrease in Army suicides until the Army gets serious about holding people accountable when they do not do what they are trained to do,” he said. Citing privacy, Maj. Nathan Banks, an Army public affairs officer, declined to discuss the case. Eventually, Jason Scheuerman’s father sought the assistance of Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., who spoke with Army Secretary Pete Geren on Oct. 1 and asked him to initiate an investigation by the Inspector General’s Office. Geren agreed. The Scheuermans say they hope the investigation will bring about changes that will prevent other suicides. “The people that I trusted with the safety of my son killed him, and that hurts beyond words because we are a family of soldiers,” Scheuerman said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champWhat the soldier’s father, Chris, would learn about his son’s final days would lead the retired special-forces commando, who teaches at Fort Bragg, to take on the very institution he’s spent his life serving – and ultimately prompt an investigation by the Army Inspector General’s Office. The documents, obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests filed by Chris Scheuerman, reveal a troubled soldier kept in Iraq despite repeated signs he was going to kill himself, including placing the muzzle of his weapon in his mouth multiple times. Jason Scheuerman’s story – pieced together with interviews and information in the documents – demonstrates how he was failed by the very support system that was supposed to protect him. In his case, a psychologist told his commanders to send him back to his unit because he was capable of feigning mental illness to get out of the Army. He is not alone. At least 152 U.S. troops have taken their own lives in Iraq and Afghanistan since the two wars started, contributing to the Army’s highest suicide rate in 26 years of keeping track. For the grieving parents, the answers don’t come easily or quickly. For Jason Scheuerman, death came July 30, 2005, around 5:30 p.m., about 45 minutes after his first sergeant told the teary-eyed private that if he was intentionally misbehaving so he could leave the Army, he would go to jail where he would be abused. SANFORD, N.C. – Pfc. Jason Scheuerman nailed a suicide note to his barracks closet in Iraq, stepped inside and shot himself. “Maybe finaly I can get some peace,” said the 20-year-old, misspelling “finally” but writing in a neat hand. His parents didn’t find out about the note for well over a year, and only then when it showed up in a government envelope in his father’s rural North Carolina mailbox. The one-page missive was among hundreds of pages of documents the soldier’s family obtained and shared with The Associated Press after battling a military bureaucracy they feel didn’t want to answer their questions, especially this: Why did Jason Scheuerman have to die? last_img read more

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event Under the bill, everyone who can afford health insurance must get it. This is a matter of individual responsibility, with everyone tending to their own needs. It also puts more younger, healthier people – who often recklessly forgo health insurance – into the system, thereby reducing the financial burden that the sick and elderly impose on everyone else, and reducing the overall cost of coverage. Businesses who don’t provide health insurance would be required to pay an annual $295 per employee into a state fund. And a combination of tax breaks and state subsidies would then help to cover the costs for those who can’t afford coverage. The legislation borrows some of the best ideas of the left and the right. And it sailed through a Legislature dominated by liberal Democrats, while earning the support of a conservative Republican governor. So not only has Massachusetts taught the rest of the country a thing or two about health care policy, but it’s also set the standard for bipartisan cooperation to find solutions for the people. Let’s hope the folks in Sacramento are paying close attention to their counterparts in Boston. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A bipartisan coalition of leaders in Massachusetts has shown the nation that we don’t need to wait for the foot-draggers in Washington to come up with solutions to our health care crises of rising prices and shrinking coverage. On Tuesday, the Bay State Legislature approved – nearly unanimously – a measure that will guarantee health care coverage for most if not all of the state’s residents by 2007. This is not socialized medicine, or some Draconian scheme that penalizes businesses to the point of driving jobs away. In fact, the legislation has widespread support of the business and medical communities, as well as advocates for the poor. So how did Massachusetts do it? By using carrots and sticks, and by spreading responsibility far and wide. last_img read more

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first_imgAaron & Aoibhe Foley jumping for JOY in San Francisco after the big win. Well done DonegalIT began with a month-long build-up, continued with a wonderful win for Donegal over Mayo last Sunday – and ended with a World Tour of the county with the Sam Maguire.We were inundated with pictures from you, our readers.Here’s a few more to remember a wonderful week in Donegal. A big ‘thank you’ to the Donegal squad for all their help this week.And a massive ‘thank you’ to you, wherever you are in the world.Eileen Cullen in Downings gets her hands on a Donegal heroPte Alan Syron from Mayo and Sgt Joe Doherty from Donegal in Camp Shamrock in Lebanon.Buncrana girls Amanda Banks and Elaine Amoroso met Rory Gallagher at Croke ParkDONEGAL BOSTON GFC CELEBRATE THE ALL-IRELAND WINTHE MEEHAN BOYS IN NEW YORK SHOW THEIR COLOURSSAM-WHERE OVER THE RAINBOW! LIAM FOY CAPTURED THIS LOVELY IMAGE IN BURTCIAN MCENTEE GETS TO MEET HIS HERO COLM MCFADDENRICHARD CONNEELY CAPTURED THIS IMAGE AT CROKERSMILING HAPPY DONEGAL FANS REMEMBER THE VICTORY SHARON WARD TOOK THIS PIC AS FLARES WERE LIT UP IN GLENTIES TO WELCOME HOME SAMWHEN JIM CAME TO HIS SECOND HOME IN CREESLOUGH MORE OF YOUR PICTURES FROM THE WEEK WHEN SAM CAME HOME TO DONEGAL was last modified: September 28th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MORE OF YOUR PICTURES FROM THE WEEK WHEN SAM CAME HOME TO DONEGALlast_img read more

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Many of these denials have created disabled patients who not only cannot work, (but) cannot do average daily living activities, which creates terrible hardships on the injured worker and their families,” said an office manager for a San Diego County physician, quoted in the report. Forty-three percent said at least one in four treatment denials eventually were overturned on appeal. Sixty-three percent of the doctors surveyed said they either planned to discontinue treating workers’ compensation patients or limit their workers’ compensation practices. A series of reform bills passed by lawmakers in late 2003 and early 2004 has cut workers’ compensation insurance rates for California employers by an average of about 26 percent. But the findings by the medical association are the latest sign that the changes haven’t eliminated significant problems in the 92-year-old system. “The workers’ compensation program in California remains costly, and the execution of reforms reveals hostility to injured workers and the physicians who treat them,” the report said. “Moreover, there is far too little attention to providing prompt and effective treatment that returns injured employees to their jobs.” Sam Sorich, president of the Association of California Insurance Companies, conceded there have been problems among insurers in implementing new treatment guidelines established by the legislation. But he suggested the survey wasn’t an accurate reflection of problems in the system. He also said doctors would have to adjust their treatment methods to reflect the use of the guidelines, which were issued by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “We just don’t think this is the proper way to address a problem, by conducting an internal survey and holding a press conference and making charges against insurance companies,” he said Tuesday. Nicole Mahrt, a spokeswoman for the American Insurance Association, said state regulators should crack down on any “bad actors” in the insurance industry who were improperly denying treatment or holding up doctors’ payments. Spokeswoman Susan Gard said the state Division of Workers’ Compensation plans to do its own survey of 1,200 doctors and 1,000 patients to determine if there is an “access to care” problem that is driving physicians out of workers’ compensation. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – California physicians face frustrating roadblocks in getting treatment for injured workers, and many doctors are planning to limit or abandon workers’ compensation practices as a result, according to a California Medical Association report. “It’s hard to single out one worst experience,” said a Contra Costa County physician, who was quoted but not named in the report. “In general, workers’ comp carriers lose paperwork, claim they never get it, take a long time to pay and require a bazillion more paperwork. I quit. No more workers’ comp cases for me.” Nearly all of the 250 workers’ compensation physicians who responded to the association’s survey said they had difficulty reaching an insurance company reviewer who could authorize treatment for patients who suffer job-related injuries. Two-thirds said they had to call back multiple times to reach a reviewer, and 40 percent said at least half their requests for treatment authorization were denied. Some doctors said they were told by reviewers that they had a denial quota to meet. last_img read more

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first_img Holmes, who retuned kickoffs and punts, scored a touchdown on a punt return. He also was a defensive back, leading the Cougars with seven interceptions, one for a touchdown, and 11 pass deflections. Safety Michael Carr (Royal of Simi Valley) was an honorable mention. He had 56 tackles and returned two interceptions for touchdowns. COC built winning streaks of 26 overall and 30 at home before the loss to Grossmont. Nathan Brown, (818) 713-3607 nate.brown@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It’s awesome that I got (All-America acclaim),” La Rocque said. “But it doesn’t come down to one person. It’s our schemes, and all the other things. It comes down to the team.” Gaining second-team All-America honors was versatile quarterback Marcel Marquez (Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks), the team’s only offensive selection. Marquez was the Cougars’ top rusher, with 660 yards and 13 touchdowns. He passed for 3,107 yards – 20 yards shy of Corey Miles’ school-record 3,127 yards, set last season – and 28 touchdowns. Marquez tied Kevin Carrasco’s single-season passing-attempt record, 325, set in 1998. “The guy is awesome,” La Rocque said of his offensive counterpart. “He’s just a stud.” Other second-team selections were defensive back Justin Tryon (Taft of Woodland Hills) and return specialist Ja’Vonte Holmes (Palmdale). Tryon made 39 tackles intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown. College of the Canyons’ football season ended dramatically with a 24-19 home loss in the Southern California Regional championship game against Grossmont. Although the loss kept Canyons from defending its state championship this weekend in Fresno – Grossmont, from El Cajon will face City College of San Francisco – a school-record five All-Americans were honored by JC Grid-Wire. Linebacker Joey La Rocque, from Agoura High, was a first team All-America selection after leading California’s fifth-best defense. La Rocque led the Cougars with 103 tackles – 68 unassisted – almost twice as many as the No. 2 tackler. He also made a team-best 11.5 sacks, recovered one fumble for a touchdown and returned an interception for a score. La Rocque credits teammates for his success. last_img read more