FILE – In this May 21, 2020, file photo, people in San Francisco’s Dolores Park sit inside painted circles designed to help them keep a healthy distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A new analysis published in the journal Lancet on Monday, June 1, 2020, provides reassurance that masks and social distancing help but hand washing and other measures are still needed to control the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File) “This puts all that information clearly in one place for policymakers to use,” said study co-author Dr. Derek Chu of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Researchers concluded single-layer cloth masks are less effective than surgical masks, while tight-fitting N95 masks provide the best protection. A distance of 1 meter (more than 3 feet) between people lowers the danger of catching the virus, while 2 meters (about 6 1/2 feet) is even better. Still to come are results from more rigorous experiments in Canada and Denmark that are testing masks in randomly assigned groups of nurses and the general public. Until then, the new study in the journal Lancet provides reassurance that masks do help. Related: PPE in EMS Moving Forward With the coronavirus still new, health officials have relied on studies involving its cousins, severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome. The findings come from a systematic review of 44 studies, including seven involving the virus causing COVID-19. The remaining focused on SARS or MERS. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Eye protection such as eyeglasses or goggles can help too. None of the strategies work perfectly and more rigorous studies are needed, according to the analysis published Monday. Masks and social distancing can help control the coronavirus but hand washing and other measures are still needed, a new analysis finds. Public health officials have given conflicting advice about masks. The World Health Organization, which funded the new analysis, has said healthy people need to wear a mask only if they are caring for a person with COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants everyone to wear at least a cloth mask when grocery shopping or in similar situations where keeping distance is difficult.
Next Up Bennett Edwards, 76, of Port Arthur passed away Saturday, December 3, 2016. A native of Palmetto, Louisiana he was a longtime resident of Port Arthur and a member of St. James Catholic Church. He retired from Texaco Refinery, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Survivors include his wife, Inetta Edwards; two sons Vincent Edwards (Melissa) and Rev. David Edwards; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a host of cherished family and friends.Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at St. James Catholic Church with visitation from 9 a.m. until service time. The rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Gabriel Funeral Home.
Responding officers announced their presence, stating “police department” as they moved through the home. Then, as they moved toward the master bedroom they reportedly saw Rogers emerge from the adjoining bathroom. The suspect was wearing a red beanie, grey shirt, black pants and had a bandana covering his face.Rogers, the officers stated in the warrant, raised his right arm while holding a silver revolver-style handgun.At the sight of the gun, the officers backed to a safe spot as Rogers reportedly told them to stop and “that he was going to commit suicide.” Officers then heard the sound of window blinds rustling.One of the officers went outside and saw Rogers running from the scene and jumping a fence, and that’s when the foot chase began.The officers followed the suspect, the warrant stated, while identifying themselves as police and telling him to stop.At one point Rogers ran across FM 365, where he reportedly raised his gun toward an officer “as if attempting to discharge the handgun” before tucking the gun in his waistband. BEAUMONT — A LaPorte man who police say pointed a handgun at pursuing officers while running across FM 365 following a Nederland burglary was indicted on several charges this week.Zachary James Dean Rogers, also known as Zachary Dean Rogers, 24, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury for attempted aggravated assault on a peace officer, a second degree felony; burglary of a habitation, a second degree felony; and evading arrest/detention with previous convictions, a state jail felony.According to probable cause affidavit for his arrest, Rogers was found inside a home in the 2300 block of Montagne on July 11 when Nederland police answered a call of a possible burglary. Officers were able to reach Rogers, place him on the ground and handcuff him. After he was in handcuffs, a black Smith and Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun was found at his feet.Police noted the gun Rogers reportedly aimed at them while at the home was found on the ground next to the window he escaped from.An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.
Andy Karl, Barrett Doss, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Andrew Call and Raymond J. Lee of the Broadway musical Groundhog Day will celebrate the release of their original cast album with a CD signing and in-store performance at Barnes & Noble on the Upper East Side in NYC. The event will take place on May 19 at 4:30pm. The album is now available both digitally and on CD via Masterworks Broadway/Broadway Records.Groundhog Day began previews on March 16 and opened on April 17 at the August Wilson Theatre. The musical features a score by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin. Matthew Warchus directs with choreography by Peter Darling. Groundhog Day is currently nominated for seven 2017 Tony Awards.Based on the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day stars Karl as TV weatherman Phil, who reluctantly covers the story of Punxsutawney Phil for the third year in a row. Making no effort to hide his frustration, he covers the story and moves on, expecting his job to be finished. However, he awakes the “following” day and discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and the fun happens again and again and again. He soon realizes he must take advantage of it in order to secure the love of coworker Rita (Doss). View Comments Andy Karl in ‘Groundhog Day'(Photo: Joan Marcus)
Companies that help Target Corp process payments could face millions of dollars in fines and costs resulting from the unprecedented data breach that struck the retailer over the holiday shopping season.By Ross Kerber, ReutersInvestigators are still sorting through just how thieves compromised about 40 million payment cards and the information of about 70 million Target customers. But people who have reviewed past data breaches believe Target’s partners could face consumer lawsuits and fines that payment networks such as Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc often levy after cyber security incidents.Target’s partners “have deep pockets and are intimately involved in certain aspects of how Target gets paid,” said Jamie Pole, a cyber security consultant in Asheboro, North Carolina, who works for government agencies and the financial industry.Fines and settlement costs could reach into the millions of dollars for individual companies, he said, though much will depend on how the ultimate liability for the breach is determined.Boston attorney Cynthia Larose of Mintz Levin said Target would likely seek to add its partners as defendants to lawsuits already filed over the breach. “These class-action lawsuits start to bring everyone in at some point,” she said.After its systems were penetrated by hackers in the mid-2000s, retailer TJX Companies Inc agreed to pay up to $40.9 million to cover fraud costs in a settlement with Visa. Visa also issued penalties of $880,000 against Fifth Third Bancorp of Ohio, which processed transactions for TJX.Asked about the business relationships and possible costs, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation and pending suits. A Visa spokeswoman declined to comment. A MasterCard spokesman said the company could not discuss an ongoing investigation. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Former Gopher qualifies for 2019 US Amateur ChampionshipPersons spent eight years playing professionally throughout the United States and Canada. Nolan O’HaraJuly 17, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintWhen the 2019 U.S. Amateur Golf Championship heads to historic Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in just under a month, former University of Minnesota golfer Josh Persons will be in attendance. Persons qualified after placing first at a qualifier event in Fargo, North Dakota. “I’ve just kind of been solid and steady, nothing flashy, I’ve just kept myself out of trouble. We’ll see if I can do that at a little tougher course down in North Carolina,” Persons said.Persons, a Fargo native, shot a 1-under-par 71 in his first round and an even-par 72 in his second to finish 1-under-par at the Fargo Country Club. His consistent play was enough to carry him to a first-place finish and secure a spot at the U.S. Amateur. “It went good, obviously, for me. They have qualifiers all over the country, the one that I did was in my hometown in Fargo,” Persons said. “There was about 50 guys, they let in two spots. It happened to be a windy day on a course that I was familiar with and I just played solid golf. I was able to sneak through.”The U.S. Amateur takes place August 11-18 in the Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina. It’s the oldest United States Golf Association championship and features some of the world’s best amateur players. Many previous champions have gone on to have successful careers on the PGA Tour, including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and most recently Viktor Hovland. This year’s event will once again feature young amateurs with PGA Tour aspirations, but Persons is pursuing this event with a different mindset. “I already gave it a good go. I played professionally for eight years,” he said. “I kind of already put in my time, I’m just able to still spend some time playing golf when I’m not working. I do it for the enjoyment now, but also for the competitive side of it.” While Persons is no longer pursuing a career on the PGA Tour, his desire to compete continues. He is also excited about the possibility of connecting with another former Gopher, Ben Greve. Greve also qualified for the U.S. Amateur; he finished tied for second in the qualifier at the Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights. “I’ve already been texting with Greve a little bit, so we can hook up down there and play once or twice while we’re down there,” Persons said. “It should be a fun time.”Persons’ connections, like the one he has with Greve, are what stands out to him from his time at the University. He continues to keep in touch with friends and teammates. “There’s plenty of memories. You know, the coolest parts about it, I can text Greve. He’s playing in it,” Persons said. “I’ve been talking to Justin Smith, who’s now the head coach. He was there kind of at the same time as me. Just reminiscing with all the guys you’ve become close with over the years.”
Those of us who must travel to get to our jobs — and that’s most of us — have little recourse but to drive. That means having the wherewithal and funds to purchase a vehicle. It also means bearing the cost of insurance and maintenance, and having a state authorized license to drive.The lack of a valid license plays out most publicly in the Latino community, where undocumented drivers, needing to get to work to survive, say they have no recourse but to do so illegally since they cannot obtain a valid license.Latino advocacy groups bemoan the fact that penalties accrue for repeat violators, and could lead to deportation. Certainly, that is an extreme punishment. But let’s not overlook the facts in our zeal to find a solution.One in every five fatal car crashes in the United States each year involves a driver who does not have a valid license, according to a highly reputable study released just a week ago. The report, “Unlicensed to Kill,” released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, concluded that 8400 people die each year in crashes with unlicensed drivers. It also found that 28 percent of the law-breaking drivers had received three or more license suspensions or revocations in the three years before their fatal collisions.Rhetoric aside, these are not victimless crimes.A recent court decision turned back a deal Suffolk County had with federal immigration enforcement officers to lease holding cells to house repeat offenders, a practice that had been harshly condemned by Latino advocacy groups. But the AAA study cited above illustrates the downside of leniency. People are maimed, innocent folks die, and lives are ruined. At its worst, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle can be a violent attack on an innocent victim with a lethal weapon. Those responsible should be punished to the full extent of the law. There are no mitigating circumstances. They belong behind bars. What’s to be done? Clearly, informal carpooling already takes place, but an effort to expand it would probably run afoul of livery laws. The county needs to ratchet up its public bus schedule to be sure; but towns, always willing to blame the county for public transportation woes, need to foot some of the bill for a system that works locally and meshes with neighboring municipalities. Every worker should have an opportunity to board a public bus in the morning and another to get home at night, and it is a cost that should rightly be at least partially underwritten by all taxpayers. Share
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The crews of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Charles Sexton and Paul Clark teamed up this week in the first drug interdictions performed aboard the 154-foot fast response cutters, seizing an estimated 2,100 pounds of marijuana and 35 kilograms of cocaine worth a combined wholesale value of more than $3 million.Coast Guard Cutter Charles SextonThe crew of the Charles Sexton successfully stopped a go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea on the evening of May 3, with five people aboard. The Sexton’s crew spotted the suspect vessel and launched their smallboat crew to investigate.Upon seeing the Coast Guard crew the suspects aboard the vessel jettisoned bales of contraband into the water and attempted to flee. The Sexton smallboat crew successfully stopped the fleeing suspects and took all five into custody. The Sexton crew recovered approximately 1,895 pounds of marijuana and 35 kilograms of cocaine with a combined wholesale value of approximately $2.8 million from the water.On May 2, a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew located a similar go-fast vessel in the vicinity of the Bahamas. The crew of the Paul Clark launched its smallboat crew, which was vectored to the suspect vessel’s location by an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew. The suspects fled, and abandoned their vessel off the coast of Haiti.The Paul Clark crew arrived on scene and recovered approximately 220 pounds of marijuana from the vessel with a wholesale value of approximately $199,600[mappress]USCG, May 9, 2014
The current practising certificate fee system is crude and unfair. It is a clumsy ‘one glove fits all’ approach to collecting the funds to pay for regulation. It takes no account of the type of work done by the solicitor, whether he or she handles client money and the statistical probability of regulatory attention. I am delighted to say that this will change in October. Although work on the detail and actual numbers continues, I am confident that the profession is about to have a fee structure that is fairer and which takes greater account of regulatory risk and the likely effort for the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Change was inevitable. The Legal Services Act 2007 requires the SRA to regulate firms as well as individual solicitors. The majority of the SRA’s effort is focused on firms. Lord Hunt recognised this in his recent review of legal regulation, when he recommended “that the practising certificate fee should be clearly and, so far as possible, equitably split between an entity element and an individual element. I recommend that in-house solicitors should pay only the individual element’. The SRA held two consultations, one of them in conjunction with the Law Society, before deciding the way ahead. We have striven for a system that is: Henceforth, 40% of the SRA’s income will be raised from individual fees and 60% from a firm-based fee. Our current assumptions lead us to expect the individual fee to be around £520. We came to the conclusion that the calculation of firms’ regulatory payments should be based on their turnover (defined in England and Wales as gross fees), assessed in different bandings. All firms in private practice already record turnover as part of their annual accounts process and use it when renewing their indemnity insurance. It is an excellent indicator of how much business a firm conducts, and is a reasonable proxy for assessing ability to pay. This measure should avoid an unfair burden falling on firms where the earnings of practising certificate holders are relatively low. In recent years, in-house solicitors working in local government and in commerce and industry have made a compelling case for not paying as much as colleagues in private practice. These groups make up 14.5% of all practising certificate holders. They do not handle client funds, pose a much lower regulatory risk and create relatively little work for the SRA. Henceforth, solicitors in these sectors will pay only the individual fee, not the firm-based fee. However, this will result in an increased fee burden on private practice of about 15%. Compensation Fund fees will be split equally between individuals and firms. The Compensation Fund currently has reserves £25m higher than target, so we propose to halve the surplus in order to lighten the burden on the profession. This year, individual solicitors, including those in the employed sector, are likely to pay a flat fee of around £10 towards the compensation fund. Firms that hold client money will pay a further flat fee of around £150. fair and proportionate, particularly in relation to small and new businesses; efficient and economic to administer; as stable and simple as possible; based on verifiable data; targeted on those who tend to create the bulk of the SRA’s work; and capable of enabling us to predict future income with accuracy. Unfounded rumoursI gather there are suggestions that the reform of the practising certificate fee structure is an underhand way of raising the SRA’s income. This is nonsense. I have already undertaken to do everything possible to reduce the regulatory burden on solicitors. That remains the case. I also understand there is concern that this is an attempt to shift the burden away from the major commercial firms towards smaller practices. Again, this can be categorically denied. While stressing that the figures are provisional, I can provide examples of two firms, both with three PCs. At the moment, both would pay the same. In future, one with turnover of £286,000 should pay significantly lower fees; another with turnover of £761,000 should pay more. I accept that some City firms conducting the largest transactions, generating the highest fees, will pay more. They will have large corporate clients with substantial in-house legal departments, which will be paying significantly less. Other firms which will certainly pay significantly more are those with large numbers of non-solicitor fee-earners, or put another way, firms of any size with high revenue per PC holder. With regard to access to justice, over 60% of firms which derive half their turnover from legal aid will have a reduction in fees, while overall fewer than 5% are likely to have an increase of 50% or more. Solicitors in such firms have to recognise that the SRA now regulates not only them as individuals, but also their organisation. Change in the method of paying for regulation was inevitable, because of the new types of legal practice enabled by the Legal Services Act. We have taken the opportunity not only to revise the system to cope with these developments, if needed, but also to end various historical inequalities. I am confident that the new system, with its closer focus on regulatory risk and the use of turnover to assess how much firms should pay, will be infinitely fairer than the present one. Charles Plant is chair of the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority