Several hospitalized after shooting stemming from fight at Florida mall

first_imgAdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments AdvertisementAventura Police closed down the mall until further notice. There is no active shooter threat.Several people on Twitter reported crowds of shoppers leaving the mall as well as customers and employees having to lock down inside stores.shooting at aventura mall..— Naty Denegri (@natydenegri) May 8, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments RELATEDTOPICS Woman shot outside Naples Waffle House June 16, 2021 AVENTURA, Fla. (WTVJ) – Several people were hospitalized and shoppers were caught in the chaos after a shooting stemming from a fight Saturday afternoon at Aventura Mall.Aventura Police said two groups of people got into a fight near the Hugo Boss store at the luxury mall, located at 19501 Biscayne Boulevard. Someone brought out a gun, but another man drew his gun and started shooting, NBC affiliate WTVJ reports.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said they transported five people to local hospitals — one of them was taken to a trauma center — but Aventura Police reported three people were injured.Several people were detained in connection to the fight, Aventura Police said. The person who fired their weapon ran away from the mall and is at large. AdvertisementTags: aventurashootingcenter_img Deputies investigate overnight shooting in Golden Gate June 10, 2021 Advertisement Advertisement Two teens arrested in Cape Coral shooting investigation June 16, 2021 Ex-wife of Palm Beach Publix killer responds to sheriff’s criticism June 16, 2021last_img read more

JOB ALERT: This week’s job vacancies in Laois

first_img Community We bring you job opportunities this week in a diverse range of businesses – including a Chef’s role in The Gandon Inn, a Retail Sales Assistant in Telfords Electrical, a receptionist/secretary in a Portlaoise-based solicitor’s office and Healthcare positions in Oakdale Nursing Home in Portarlington.Chef de Partie – Gandon InnAs part of The Gandon Inn’s ongoing development, they are now recruiting a Chef de Partie to join the team in this long established restaurant just off the M7 at Junction 15 near Emo outside Portlaoise. See full job description here. Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding Twitter Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleVanhalla – Camper Heaven, a fun new blog from local writer that wants you to join in the journeyNext articleDeaths in Laois – Sunday, April 22, 2018 LaoisToday Reporter Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest Rugby Council Laois County Council create ‘bigger and better’ disability parking spaces to replace ones occupied for outdoor dining Facebook Twitter WhatsApp By LaoisToday Reporter – 22nd April 2018 Pinterest Health Care Workers – Oakdale Nursing HomePart-time And/Or WeekendDay/Night DutiesRequirementsPassionate about Caring for the ElderlyMust have FETAC Level 5 in Care of the ElderlyTo ApplyEnquiries & C.V. in writing to: Avril Finnerty (Director of Nursing)Or send by email to: [email protected]:  Tullamore Road, Portarlington, Co. Offaly.Phone Number: 057 86 45282SEE ALSO – Would you like to advertise a job vacancy on LaoisToday? Get in touch with a member of our team Home Jobs JOB ALERT: This week’s job vacancies in Laois Jobs Receptionist/Secretary – JP Fitzpatrick and Co SolicitorsJ.P. Fitzpatrick & Company Solicitors, based in Portlaoise, are currently seeking applications for a full-time receptionist/secretary. See full job description here. Retail Sales Assistant – Telfords ElectricTelfords Electric, the leading Electrical Retailer in the midlands, has an immediate vacancy for a Retail Sales Assistant with a passion for technology, customer engagement and being part of the Audio, Visual and IT Department. JOB ALERT: This week’s job vacancies in Laoislast_img read more

Keane to the rescue as The Heath are crowned U-20 ‘B’ champions

first_img Twitter Keane to the rescue as The Heath are crowned U-20 ‘B’ champions Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results The Heath 0-11 Clonaslee-St Manmans 0-10U-20 ‘B’ Football Championship Final The Heath had a one point win of Clonaslee-St Manmans in Mountmellick this afternoon but the win didn’t come too easily.It was a an entertaining second half which looked as though the game would be pushed to extra time but The Heath’s Neil Keane came to the rescue.Although Clonaslee-St Manmans went in as favourites, it was the Heath who were off to a strong start.Leon Holland, Dylan Kavanagh and Neil Keane split the posts to put their side ahead by three points after 12 minutes.A minute later it was Clonaslee-St Manman’s first score of the game which came off the boot of Paddy Hyland but it was soon cancelled out by a Conor Booth point.Clonaslee-St Manmans towering mid fielder, Sean Condon struck over a lovely point but The Heath held their lead thank to a Jake Ratcliffe point and Booth free.The trailing side began to find to their feet in the build up to half time and scored three consecutive points thanks to the sharp shooting of Dunne and Hyland.Hyland was the architect behind the sides last point of the half from Dunne before Conor Booth pushed The Heath’s lead to two points at half time.The second half was very entertaining and was point for point heading for the final minutes, and has all the potential to see extra time being played.The Heath increased their lead as a result of a Leon Holland free in the opening minute of the half and hero of the day, Neil Keane claimed his second point.A Hyland point for Clonaslee preceded two Downey points in a row in the opening 10 minutes.Conor Booth brought one back for The Heath before a monster free from Clonaslee-St Manman’s centre-back, Jack Owens.Sean Dunne was next up to raise the white flag and while both sides had multiple chances in the final minutes to take the win, it was seven minutes later when the winning points came from Neil Keane.The trophy was one of the last outing for Tom Jones, who presented his club with their accolade before will officially step down from the Laois County Board executive at the County Convention next month.Clonaslee St ManmansTom Jones with The Heath’s captain PJ DalyThe HeathSCORERS – The Heath: Conor Booth; 0-4 Neil Keane; 0-3, Leon Holland; 0-2 (1 free), Dylan Kavanagh; 0-1, Jake Ratcliffe; 0-1. Clonaslee St Manmans: Sean Dunne; 0-3, Paddy Hyland; 0-3, Bob Downey; 0-2, Sean Condon, Jack Owens; 0-1CLONASLEE ST MANMANS: Barry Kelly; Ethan Cusack, Liam Senior, Ciaran Fitzgerald; Oisin Murray, Jack Owens, DJ Callaghan; Sean Condon, Cian Barrett; Daragh Hogan, Sean Dunne, Jack Hilliard; Tom Horan, Paddy Hyland, Bob Downey. Subs: Ryan Kehoe for HilliardTHE HEATH: Ali Rasool; James Whelan, Conor Fitzpatrick, Jordan Ratcliffe; Dylan Kavanagh, Garrethh O’Brien, Jack Reddy; PJ Daly, Liam Kinsella; Jake Ratcliffe, Neil Keane, Conor Hyland; Aaron Thorton, Leon Holland, Conor Booth. Subs: James Phelan for HylandSEE ALSO – Athy/Rathangan Tennis Club runners up in Leinster LeagueSEE ALSO – Books, jerseys, hats – the LaoisToday store is now open Twitter WhatsApp TAGSThe Heath GAAThe Heath v ClonasleeU-20 Football final WhatsApp GAA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Home Gaelic Football Club Football Keane to the rescue as The Heath are crowned U-20 ‘B’ champions Gaelic FootballClub FootballSportGAAThe Heath GAA Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Pinterest Previous articleAthy/Rathangan Tennis Club runners up in Leinster LeagueNext articleRemember The Game: Star-studded Portlaoise topple Stradbally Parish Gaels in 2000 U-12 final Aedín DunneAedín graduated from University of Limerick with a degree in Journalism and New Media. She is a proud Townie with a passion for all things sports and doesn’t like to speak about the 2016 blip in Portlaoise’s bid to 10-in-a-row. Facebook By Aedín Dunne – 30th November 2019 GAA Pinterest 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshin GAA last_img read more

U.S. consumer spending strong as incomes soar

first_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Leading indicators signal steady rebound: OECD Incomes surged by a record-breaking 21.1% in March after having fallen 7% in February. The big gain reflected delivery of billions of dollars in relief payments with individual payments of up to US$1,400 from the US$1.9-trillion support package President Joe Biden pushed through Congress last month.The strong gains provided more evidence that the economy is poised for a robust recovery following last year’s pandemic-triggered recession. Economists are counting on strong consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, to power a recovery this year, helped by trillions of dollars in government support, increased vaccinations which are encouraging more people to leave their homes and a surge in pent-up consumer demand.The government reported Thursday that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product,, rose at a robust annual rate of 6.4% in the January-March quarter. Many analysts believe that growth in the current April-June quarter will be even stronger, perhaps topping 10%.Friday’s report showed that inflation rose 2.3% in March compared to the same month a year ago but excluding volatile food and energy, the gain was a lower 1.8%.The Fed at this week’s meeting kept its key interest rate at a record low of 0% to 0.25%, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will not be concerned by what it expects will be a temporary blip in inflation this spring. 8508076 - close-up of payment machine buttons with human hand holding plastic card near by 123RF Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Household debt-to-income ratio fell in first quarter: Statscan Keywords U.S.,  Consumer spending,  Economic indicators Facebook LinkedIn Twitter U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in nine months while incomes soared by a record amount in March, reflecting billions of dollars in government support payments aimed at putting the country firmly on the road to recovery.Consumer spending rose 4.2% last month, the Commerce Department said Friday, the best showing since a 6.5% spending increase in June. Spending had fallen 1% in February as frigid winter weather disrupted sales. Another jump in prices tightens the squeeze on U.S. consumerslast_img read more

Jamaicans Urged to Create Protective and Nurturing Environment for Children

first_imgRelatedJamaicans Urged to Create Protective and Nurturing Environment for Children Jamaicans Urged to Create Protective and Nurturing Environment for Children UncategorizedSeptember 3, 2006 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Regional Director for the Child Development Agency (CDA), Sydney Grant, has called on Jamaicans to unite in creating a more protective and nurturing environment for the healthy development of the nation’s children.Mr. Grant, who was addressing the Sandal’s Montego Bay scholarship awards ceremony held on September 1, said that the CDA has been pursuing a more integrated approach to ensuring a safe and caring environment for children.“One such approach is the Life in Family Environment Programme, which is geared towards helping fragile families ensure a better future for their children, providing nurturing families to children, who have never been exposed to such environment and building an effective and supportive welfare system”, he pointed out.The Foster Care Programme is another initiative and Mr. Grant said that the programme has been a success, with more than 1,100 children placed in a wholesome family environment over the past few months.Meanwhile, he commended Sandals for supporting children through the scholarship programme, noting that the awards would assist in their educational development.Ten students from St. James, whose parents are employed to Sandals Montego Bay, received scholarships totaling $150,000 under the hotel’s Special Achievers Core programme.The awards are valued at $15,000 each, and the students were selected based on their recent Grade Six Achievement Test results as well as their end of year school reports.General Manager of Sandals Montego Bay Hotel, Horace Peterkin, in his remarks, noted that in addition to providing scholarships for children of hotel employees, “we have had, over the last 10 years, a Sandals community scholarship programme and. this year some 20 students from the (Flanker) community have been selected to be beneficiaries.”He noted that this marked the fourth year of the Special Achievers Core and “out of this initiative, we have launched out into a programme of employment assistance known as the Sandals Training and Recruitment Tier (START)”.Mr. Peterkin explained that START, which was initiated in February 2004 “assists the community of Flanker with fighting future crime. I believe that if we provide a solid opportunity for youngsters to gain meaningful careers, they will not be attracted to or be available for criminal activity. The idea is that all hotels with the necessary wherewithal take on at least two youngsters and embrace them in their career start, thereby guaranteeing them life-long earning”.He argued that if hotels across the country bought into this initiative, then over 20,000 youngsters could be taken off the streets every year and placed on a “fantastic path to economic stability”.The Special Achievers Core is sponsored by Sandals Montego Bay, Supreme Ventures Limited and Dehring, Bunting and Golding. RelatedJamaicans Urged to Create Protective and Nurturing Environment for Childrencenter_img RelatedJamaicans Urged to Create Protective and Nurturing Environment for Children Advertisementslast_img read more

Work Far Advanced on PPP Policy

first_imgRelatedWork Far Advanced on PPP Policy RelatedWork Far Advanced on PPP Policy FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, says work is far advanced on the establishment of a framework for a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) policy. He also announced the establishment of a PPP Secretariat in the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), while opening the 2012/13 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on May 24. In an address entitled: ‘A New and Binding Covenant for Stability, Equitable Growth and Prosperity’, Dr. Phillips said areas being targeted for PPPs include: infrastructure projects, such as port facilities, schools, transportation, and hospitals. He pointed out that given the “limited fiscal space” which the country currently faces, leveraging limited resources through targeted PPPs and through “judicious privatisation” of State assets, is an “important strategy” for the administration over the medium term. The Minister explained that PPPs are a long-term performance-based approach for procuring public infrastructure, where the private sector assumes a major share of the responsibility as regards risk and financing for the delivery and performance of the infrastructure, from design and structural planning, to long-term maintenance. He added that the value of PPPs is characterised by the engagement of private sector capital and innovation to share risks of development, while relieving the government of the financial obligation of funding the provision of urgently needed infrastructure.  “Members of the local private sector have already expressed serious interest in participating in the government’s PPP programme. We have already received attractive proposals for the funding of PPP projects in the private sector. We welcome this interest and we will be responding and pursuing these projects with some urgency,” Dr. Phillips stated. By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter Work Far Advanced on PPP Policy Finance & Public ServiceMay 28, 2012center_img RelatedWork Far Advanced on PPP Policy Advertisementslast_img read more

Gov’t Pensioners Association on Drive to Recruit New Members

first_imgGov’t Pensioners Association on Drive to Recruit New MembersJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay Photo: Mark BellPresident of the Jamaica Government Pensioners Association, Charles Jones (right), in discussion with (from left) Secretary of the association, Lucy Flash O’Sullivan ; First Vice President of the entity, Leebert Brown; Consultant for Government Business, Sagicor, Rupertia Smith; and Tanisha Weir-Grant of the Accountant General’s Department. Occasion was the association’s 47th annual general meeting, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on August 14. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail RelatedJFLL to Roll Out High School Diploma Equivalency Programme in September Story HighlightsPresident of the Jamaica Government Pensioners Association is encouraging more persons to join the organizationThe organization seeks to enhance the welfare of all government pensionersThe entity also makes appropriate representations to Government RelatedPATH Advancing Education Development of Young Peoplecenter_img RelatedSocial Protection Strategy Document Being Drafted Gov’t Pensioners Association on Drive to Recruit New Members LabourAugust 15, 2013Written by: Alecia Smith-Edwards President of the Jamaica Government Pensioners Association, Charles Jones, is encouraging more persons to join the organization, as it seeks to extend its reach to assist more retirees.“We are on a drive this year to start new chapters and to get new members to increase our income, because we have to do our part,” he told JIS News during the entity’s 47th annual general meeting, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on August 14.He stressed that it is important for more persons to join the organization, which seeks to enhance the welfare of all government pensioners, “because the subscriptions will help us in our administrative costs.”“We have been assisted by Government, but we have to think more about assisting ourselves, especially in the climate we now find ourselves,” Mr. Jones said.The President said the association is grateful to the Government, which has been “very receptive to the demand of government pensioners” over the years, not only in providing accommodation, but also helping financially.“We continue to work with the government to see how best we can get benefits for the pensioners. We know it’s tight, but we ask for an increase in pension each year (and) we have been fortunate over the past years. We hope this will continue and we also talk with government about seeking enhanced benefits under our health scheme,” he said.The entity also makes appropriate representations to Government or others in respect of matters affecting the condition of pensioners. Its functions are carried out in collaboration with the agencies with responsibility for government pensioners  – Accountant General’s Department, Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). The group also liaises with Sagicor Life, the providers of the pensioners’ health scheme.The 47-year old organisation which currently has five chapters – Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester and St. James – is registered under the Registrar of Companies and Friendly Societies.Mr. Charles informed that to become a member of the organisation, individuals must have worked with the government or statutory bodies and are in receipt of a pension from the government.For more information on joining the association, persons can visit its office situated at the A Block of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, 30 National Heroes Circle, Kingston; telephone 948-2902; or email: [email protected] Advertisementslast_img read more

Huawei opens new front in FCC fight

first_img Tags Diana Goovaerts El fundador de Huawei propugna una transición hacia el software AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 10 FEB 2021 Español FCC mulls expanded Huawei, ZTE bans Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more Authorcenter_img Huawei escalated a fight with Federal Communications Commission (FCC), filing a lawsuit seeking to reverse the US regulator’s designation of it as a national security threat.The Chinese vendor argued in a court filing the FCC exceeded its statutory authority in naming it a threat and the label was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion, and not supported by substantial evidence”.It asked a judge to scrap the FCC’s designation and “provide such other relief as this court deems appropriate”.A FCC representative told Mobile World Live the designation was “based on a substantial body of evidence developed by the FCC and numerous US national security agencies”, adding “we will continue to defend that decision”.The FCC formally named Huawei and Chinese rival ZTE as security threats in June 2020, and subsequently rejected appeals from both companies challenging their designations.Under an FCC rule adopted in November 2019, the title prevents US operators from using government funding to purchase or maintain equipment from either vendor.Huawei’s lawsuit is separate from legal action taken against the FCC in December 2019 aimed at overturning the rule.The company lost an earlier attempt to reverse US restrictions on government contractors using its products. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Related Previous ArticleSingtel commits to 5G talent pushNext ArticleZTE, China Telecom and MediaTek Jointly Complete Industry’s First E2E Commercial Verification of FAST Blog: How is chip shortage affecting US? Home Huawei opens new front in FCC fight Federal Communications Commission (FCC)Huaweilawsuitlast_img read more

Iceman Stenson fierce in Open victory

first_imgTROON, Scotland – As Henrik Stenson stepped to the first tee Sunday afternoon – the 40-year-old in the day’s 41st game making his 42nd start in a major – the ubiquitous gloom that had engulfed the Firth of Clyde for two days finally relented. The sunshine arrived just in time for the Swede, who would need a sunny disposition every bit as much as that machine-like swing to win his first major. Stenson is complicated. Boyishly charming off the golf course, brutally tough on himself when he’s on the clock. In 2014 at Royal Liverpool his frustration boiled over in Round 1 when he snapped a club over his knee; and at the ’13 BMW Championship he destroyed a driver and a locker after a bad day at the office. Although each time he would clear away the demons, following his meltdown in ’13 in Chicago with a victory at the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup, those types of outbursts always seemed to be boiling just under the calm surface. That frustration is born from Stenson’s desire for perfection, which is equal parts burden and blessing. “There’s three [swings], good, very good and excellent. Two of those he doesn’t like to accept,” said Stenson’s longtime swing coach Pete Cowen. “He’s comfortable just 33 percent of the time. He could be on very good, but he wouldn’t be happy. He has to try to push it to perfection. Sometimes he does.” Sometimes like on Sunday, when the darkness that can cloud his mind is peeled away through clarity of thought and a singular focus to produce something truly special, it results in a closing-round 63. A scoring record. A major. What some on this side of the transatlantic divide dubbed the “Duel in the Wind,” a nod to the 1977 Open bout between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, lived up to that lofty association right from the first hole. The Open: Full-field scores | Live daily blog | Photo gallery Full coverage from the 145th Open Stenson and Phil Mickelson, who began the final round a stroke off the lead, teed off at 2:35 p.m., by 2:47 p.m. Stenson was one back, the byproduct of a dart from Lefty at the first to a foot and a sloppy bogey by Stenson. “We bogeyed the first and I thought, ‘Oh no, not today.’ But from there on in he was unbelievable,” said Stenson’s caddie Gareth Lord. From there, the main event evolved into a high-stakes game of tag, with the duo trading the lead like a Scotsman changes socks on a cold and wet summer day. Stenson – an Orlando, Fla., resident via Gothenburg, Sweden – retook the lead with his second consecutive birdie at the third, Mickelson tied him with an eagle at the fourth and the tandem traded birdies at the sixth to move to 15 under, a touchdown shy of the nearest contender. But just as the Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday, this Open didn’t come full stride until the final two-ball turned for home into a healthy breeze. The epic exchange continued with Henry and Lefty rolling in a combined 40 feet of birdie putts at the 10th hole. Stenson blinked with a three-putt bogey at the 11th, the week’s toughest hole and his first miscue on the back nine since Thursday. Mickelson answered with a scrambling par save at the 12th that included a visit to the heather and a 25-foot Hail Mary, and Stenson countered with a 15-foot birdie at the 14th to regain the advantage. All told, there were seven lead changes on Day 4 at Royal Too Much To Be True. The idiosyncratic Iceman put the match away with a downhill 5-footer for birdie at the 16th hole to remain 2 up with two to play – dormie in match play, destiny for Stenson. “The putt on 16 was probably the most pressured one,” said Stenson, who matched the scoring record of 20 under at a major. “Phil missed his eagle putt, so it looked like it was going to go in, and I expect him to make every putt; you have to.” It was all the kind of give and take that some thought Stenson incapable of, considering his penchant for poorly timed implosions and a less-than-reliable putter. He’d won a few weeks ago at the BMW International Open on the European Tour and had certainly given himself plenty of chances to win a major, having finished in the top 5 on seven occasions; but even Stenson acknowledged earlier this week that at 40 his chances were diminishing and the pressure building at an equal clip. “I’m not going to play these tournaments forever and ever,” he said after a second-round 65. “I don’t have another 50 goes at them, so I better start putting myself in position and giving myself chances if I want to make it happen.” The dichotomy of Stenson can be striking. In one moment he can be engaging and entertaining. “I guess I’m one-third Scottish now,” he smiled following his victory. Other times he can be stoic, his emotions locked away behind the wrap-around sunglasses and an expressionless face – a persona that earned him the nickname “Iceman.” But as is normally the case with complex individuals, nothing is as it seems with Stenson. “Everyone calls him the Iceman. I can tell you sometimes he is not, but today he was,” Lord said. Given his track record in the game’s biggest events, it would have been out of character for Stenson to reveal that when he arrived at Royal Troon this week a calm born from unseen, and largely unfounded, confidence gripped him. “I felt like this was going to be my turn,” he said with the claret jug safely perched to his left. “I think that was the extra self-belief that made me go all the way this week.” Even after his bogey at the first Stenson remained convinced. Even as Mickelson, who closed with a bogey-free 65, answered every challenge, he clung to his conviction. The telling moment came quietly late on the front nine when Stenson glanced at Lord who’d just lit a cigarette. About a year and a half ago Stenson bet his bagman that if he won a major Lord would quit smoking. “I knew he felt pretty good because we were going down the seventh [hole] and he looks at me and says, ‘You better enjoy that [cigarette],” Lord laughed. It was obvious that Stenson, the quirky and complicated Champion Golfer of the Year, was enjoying every minute of his major breakthrough.last_img read more

City Manager: Layoffs Necessary at Kalispell Fire Department

first_imgCity Manager Jane Howington intends to lay off Kalispell firefighters and potentially privatize the ambulance service as a way to make up for the added costs of a recent contract arbitration decision that sided with the firefighters’ union. “I hate to just paint a doom and gloom picture, but there are difficult decisions in how to deal with the impact of the arbitrator’s decision,” she told city council members Monday. “So I’m looking at downsizing and outsourcing and changing the way we do business for our fire and our EMS services.” The Kalispell City Council unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement Monday, signed by the leadership of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 547, executing the decision an arbitrator awarded the union Feb. 22, following a two-year impasse. Immediately following the vote, Howington told the council the new firefighters’ contract would cost the city an additional $690,000, necessitating either layoffs and other restructuring at the Fire Department, or deep cuts and layoffs elsewhere in Kalispell city government. “Whether or not someone agrees with my numbers or disagrees with my numbers, those are the numbers I have to operate on,” Howington said. “It’s pretty obvious that there isn’t money in there to carry any major increases.” In a statement released Tuesday, firefighters questioned how a professional arbitrator could have imposed such requirements on Kalispell that layoffs would be necessary, when arbitrators are required by state law to consider the ability of a public employer to pay when rendering a decision. “In light of the challenging economy, the firefighters did not, and would not have taken any issue to arbitration that would create an additional burden to the public,” the firefighters’ union statement said. “It is irrational to assume that a reasonable and impartial arbitrator would choose a proposal that would cause such a drastic alteration to public safety.” “The firefighters have repeatedly requested that the city provide a clear and comprehensible breakdown of how the city is calculating the monetary impacts of the arbitrator’s decision. To this point, the city has not provided this information,” the statement added. In explaining Kalispell’s inability to pay for the new firefighters’ contract, Howington painted a bleak picture of the city’s finances, and that of the Fire Department. She noted that the Fire Department’s budget is, “about $40,000 in arrears right now and we have about a quarter of the (fiscal) year left.” Her calculations also include the cost of the provision in the contract for “Kelly Work Back days,” which are when firefighters can volunteer to work extra days for straight pay. A major reason contract negotiations went on for years, Howington said, was city management’s desire for control over Kelly Work Backs, which she has previously said could cost Kalispell as much as $170,000. Additionally, the Montana Legislature is moving to freeze the entitlement payment formula for municipal governments, where it usually pays increases of 3 to 4 percent, leaving Kalispell without $130,000-$150,000 it can usually budget for the general fund, Howington said. And new population numbers from the U.S. Census showing growth in Kalispell over the last decade could increase the city’s share of payment toward the construction of the new county 911 Center by $70,000-$78,000. Health care costs for public employees, she added, are increasing by 15 percent. Completely eliminating the departments of city manager, finance director, clerk and more would still not make up for the additional cost of the firefighters’ contract, Howington said, going on to suggest that Kalispell is in a better position to handle a reduced firefighting force without sacrificing public safety due to the city’s improved mutual aid agreements with neighboring Flathead fire departments. In their Wednesday statement, however, the firefighters’ union pointed out that during contract negotiations both sides agreed on the budgeted amount for firefighter wages. “This budgeted amount was again confirmed during mediation and through testimony provided by city staff during arbitration. The firefighters worked diligently to ensure that their proposal did not exceed this budget,” the statement said. “In fact, the firefighters’ proposal included a wage freeze for last year and a zero percent increase for next fiscal year.” The vast difference between the estimated cost impacts of Howington and the firefighters clearly stumped city council members. “I cannot figure out the bottom line from either system whether or not the Fire Department is living within the budget approved by this council for this fiscal year,” Councilman Bob Hafferman said. “As I look over all of this information I have no idea exactly where we stand but we’ll know pretty soon. The end of the (fiscal) year is almost upon us.” Mayor Tammi Fisher said she has asked the firefighters whether they would be willing to reopen negotiations, but that she can’t see how Kalispell can meet its obligations under the contract and “maintain the Fire Department at its current level.” Fisher urged other council members to meet with Howington and – though a council vote is not required – collectively bear the responsibility for any decisions leading to firefighter layoffs. “I do not want this to be a hill either she or we die on unless we die on it together,” Fisher said. “I would suggest it not be something where we say, ‘That was a city manager decision.’” “Because it’s an issue of such magnitude, I think the public needs to know how we feel individually and collectively about it,” Fisher added. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more