MRU Sets Target: Wants Zero Case in 60 Days

first_imgAn extraordinary Summit held recently in Conakry, Guinea of leaders of the three countries worst hit by Ebola, along with their Ivorian counterpart represented by its Foreign Minister, committed themselves to achieving “Zero Ebola Infection” within the next 60 days beginning last Sunday, February 15, 2015.This commitment, the three Mano River Union (MRU) leaders noted, cannot be achieved in isolation.  Therefore they have appealed to the International Community to provide all necessary support to achieve their objective of zero Ebola cases by mid-April 2015According to a Dispatch from Conakry, Guinea, the commitment was contained in a Declaration of MRU Heads of State and Government on the Eradication of Ebola and Post-Ebola Socio-Economic Recovery, during an Extraordinary Session to adopt common strategies to end the Ebola virus disease epidemic in the sub-region, and address the post-Ebola socio-economic development recovery needs.The Summit brought together host President Alpha Condé of Guinea, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Representative of President Alhassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Charles Koffi Diby.The leaders approved the strategy for reaching and sustaining “Zero Ebola Infection” in the sub-region with special emphasis on infection prevention control, social mobilization, community engagement, surveillance, cross border collaboration, instituting robust and sustainable social protection programs, providing mental and psychosocial support and ensuring coordination.The MRU Heads of State and Government recognized that to get to and stay at zero will depend on their collective political will to provide the enabling environment to translate intervention strategies into action, the dispatch noted.They advocated that international partners should plan and manage their exits responsibly dictated by the epidemiology while ensuring that capacity is transferred adequately to national institutions; and achieve seamless flow of information amongst nations at all levels.Meanwhile, the MRU leaders have endorsed the Post-Ebola Socio-Economic Frameworks prepared by Ministers in order to mobilize required resources for implementation.  They acknowledged the emphasis on instituting sustainable healthcare delivery systems, reopening of educational institutions, revitalizing the agriculture sector, addressing the needs of women, children, youth, orphans, survivors and persons with disabilities.   MRU leaders equally sanctioned implementing the Mano River Union-African Development Bank Initiative on critical infrastructure needs and improving governance.They have directed their Ministers to harmonize and consolidate the regional and country specific documents, including the costs of intervention to be presented at the European Union Ebola Conference that is expected to take place in the Belgian Capital, Brussels on March 3. The Brussels conference is aimed at mobilizing support for the region. The MRU leaders also appointed President Sirleaf as their Spokesperson at the conference. The MRU leaders, also at the Summit, welcomed planned meetings by bilateral and multilateral partners and urged them to adopt the MRU and country specific strategies. They called upon them to go beyond ties and relationships in supporting the affected countries.They welcomed the World Bank’s proposal to establish a Post-Ebola Recovery Marshall Plan with dedicated resources and agreed that this is the best way forward.  They urged development partners to utilize country systems for disbursements and implementation of Post-Ebola Recovery activities. The MRU leaders called on the International Community to provide direct budget support and debt cancellation for the affected countries.They called on partners to renew their commitments to Mutual Accountability and ensure full disclosure of all resources committed to the fight against Ebola; as well as renew their commitments to the New Deal Principles and country-specific Mutual Accountability Frameworks as the main levers to guide post-Ebola recovery interventions.They agreed that in support of post-Ebola recovery, Member States will allocate a proportion of their public investment to local Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. They believe that this decision will improve the resilience of their economies by supporting national production and creating employment opportunities.The leaders expressed their deep condolences to the families of the victims across the three countries especially those healthcare personnel who were in the forefront of fighting the epidemic. They also expressed their concerns about the wellbeing of their populations and the risks associated with their development agendas.They appreciated the solidarity manifested by Côte d’Ivoire through ECOWAS Initiative in deploying healthcare workers to the affected Member States.The Heads of State and Government thanked all airline carriers that have maintained flights to the affected countries and particularly commended Member State Cote d’Ivoire for the early resumption of Air Côte d’Ivoire flights and called on other regional carriers to emulate this good example.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Grande Prairie RCMP arrest two people in connection with human remains discovery

first_imgTwo people have been arrested in connection to human remains that were found last week in Grande Prairie.Grande Prairie RCMP say a 19 year old Grande Prairie man and a 14 year old Grande Prairie girl are each facing one charge of Indignity to a Body (Section 182(b) of the Criminal Code) in relation to the discovery of human remains at a south end wooded area in Grande Prairie on Sunday June 21.The male is also facing 3 charges of Breach of Recognizance. At news release time, both were awaiting Judicial Interim Release hearings at Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment.- Advertisement -Cause of death and positive identification of the individual have yet to be confirmed by the Medical Examiner’s office.  Police advise that the Autopsy on the remains was conducted on June 23rd, 2009. Police continue to canvass the public for information, as well as pursue a variety of investigational avenues. If the public has information regarding this investigation, they are encouraged to contact police at (780)830-5700 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.  The RCMP say they should have another press release later today about this case.last_img read more

Twins born to ‘Housewives’ actress

first_imgIt’s fraternal twin girls for Marcia Cross. The “Desperate Housewives” actress, 44, gave birth to Eden and Savannah Mahoney in Los Angeles on Tuesday, her spokeswoman said Wednesday. Cross is married to stockbroker Tom Mahoney. “Mother and babies are all doing well,” publicist Heidi Slan said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Cross, who was expecting the twins in April, was put on bed rest in January. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Producers of “Desperate Housewives,” in which Cross stars as the persnickety Bree, decided last month to move production of her scenes to her Los Angeles home, according to a recent story on TV Guide’s Web site.last_img

UC race-blind admissions mark 10 years

first_imgMeanwhile, Florida, Texas and Michigan have rewritten admissions rules, and colleges nationwide are bracing for more change with Ward Connerly, the UC regent who started it all, taking his campaign for race-blind admissions to more states next year. “The legacy of California’s consideration of this issue … has been a national front on the issue of equity in American society,” said David Hawkins, public policy director for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “This debate just will not go away.” Connerly agrees. “If things unfold the way I am predicting they will unfold, I think we are witnessing the end of an era,” he said. The debate over affirmative action begins with how one defines the term. To Connerly, it’s a system of “racial preferences” that he argues only drives a wedge between people. To his opponents, it’s a way of recognizing that not every student starts out with the same advantages – that poor schools, often attended by high numbers of minorities, may not have enough teachers, textbooks or even desks to go around. The debate came to UC in 1995 when, in a bitterly contested 14-10 vote, the system’s governing Board of Regents voted to stop looking at the race of applicants, a change effective for graduate students in 1997 and for undergrads the following year. In 1996, Connerly took the movement statewide, chairing a successful Proposition 209, which banned consideration of race in public hiring, contracting and education. A similar measure passed in Washington state in 1998. Texas affirmative-action policies fell in 1996 with a federal appeals court ruling. In Florida, Connerly launched a campaign similar to Proposition 209. Then-Gov. Jeb Bush opposed the measure as divisive, but implemented his own “One Florida” plan eliminating the use of race or gender in public hiring, contracting and higher education. Affirmative action struck back in 2003 with what seemed to be a major victory. The Supreme Court, ruling in two University of Michigan cases, said race could be used to a limited extent in college admissions. But Connerly and his supporters promptly countered with a successful initiative campaign last fall banning consideration of race in Michigan admissions. What has it all meant? In Texas and Florida, lawmakers guaranteed eligibility to high school students who graduate at the top of their class (top 10 percent in Texas, top 20 percent in Florida). UC has a similar program, but on a smaller scale, guaranteeing eligibility to the top 4 percent of graduating classes. In Florida, figures released last fall showed that black students made up 13.7 percent of enrollment in state universities, compared with 14.2 percent when One Florida was implemented in 1999. Hispanic enrollment increased from 14.1 percent to 16.9 percent. At the University of Texas at Austin, minority enrollment dropped after the 1996 federal court ruling, but has since rebounded. Last fall, 1,914 black students enrolled compared with 1,911 in 1996. At the University of Michigan, officials say they won’t defy the ban on race-based admissions, but they won’t give up on diversity. “We don’t believe that we can deliver a 21st-century education if we’re not a diverse learning community,” said Julie Peterson, associate vice president for media relations and public affairs. The year Brooks became a critical mass of one, there were 14 other black students admitted to UC’s Boalt Hall School of Law, but none attended. He’d been admitted the year before but deferred admissions, putting him in the doubly uncomfortable position of being the last black student admitted under the old affirmative-action policies. Boalt has made changes since 1997, stepping up recruitment, asking students to write longer personal statements and looking at students’ socioeconomic background. Last fall, 13 black students enrolled in the incoming class, a big increase from 1997 but still below the mid-’90s totals of 20 or more. “The bottom line on Proposition 209, from where I sit, is it has continued to suppress enrollment,” said Ed Tom, director of Boalt admissions. “It certainly has not expanded the number of African-American applications we have received over time.” Does it matter if the numbers of black students dip at elite campuses? “Not to me it doesn’t,” said Connerly, “as long as all of our kids have an equal chance to get an education.” UC administrators have responded to the tumbling numbers by revising admissions policies to take a more comprehensive view of candidates by considering their economic background and whether they overcame hardship. But critics say the campuses still don’t represent California as a whole. And more blacks and Hispanics are graduating from high schools now than 10 years ago, meaning the gap between those numbers and UC enrollment has widened. “When segments of the population are missing in the classroom, it’s less than what we consider to be ideal,” said Susan Wilbur, director of UC’s undergraduate admissions. “We are no better today as a proportion of our total class than we were in 1995.” Interestingly, Asians, who did not benefit under affirmative action, now make up 36 percent of admissions, up from 33 percent in 1997. At Berkeley, Asians are the biggest ethnic group, making up 39 percent of last fall’s freshman class. That makes Asians overrepresented, since California is roughly 44 percent white, 35 percent Hispanic, 12 percent Asian and nearly 7 percent black. Connerly thinks the growth in Asian admissions since ’97 shows they were being discriminated against before. These days, Brooks can stroll the halls of Boalt Hall without qualms. His first visit wasn’t so easy. Administrators helped to alleviate outside pressures by screening mail and dealing with numerous interview requests. And he survived, making friends, passing classes and becoming president of his third-year class. After the first year, another black student transferred in. Still, the pressure never really went away. Brooks remembers sitting on the law school steps looking at a sheet of Boalt bar passage rates broken down by race. “I remember thinking, `Well, that’s going to be fun when I take the bar,”‘ he said. “It’s either going to be 100 or zero.” In 2000, he did pass the bar (“I studied doubly hard”) and began working as a lawyer. Partly because of his experiences, he became active in diversity issues, serving on the state bar’s ethnic minority relations committee for some years. Brooks says affirmative action may change, but he doesn’t think it’s time to banish the concept. “I think that it’s useful in that it remedies past discrimination,” he said. But Connerly thinks “most Americans are with me. They realize that this thing has probably outlived its usefulness and it’s just a question of how it’s going to end and when it’s going to end, not whether it’s going to end.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BERKELEY – A fit of spring cleaning led Eric Brooks to a box of old newspaper clips. Inside were stories from 1997, when he was the lone black student to enroll in UC Berkeley’s incoming law school class after the end of affirmative-action admissions. He didn’t read those newspaper clips. The box doesn’t hold pleasant memories. “I felt bad for myself at the time because of my situation, but worse for the people who were denied admission,” Brooks said. “That ate at me for my entire time there.” Ten years later, a lot has changed. The numbers of black and other underrepresented minorities at the University of California have rebounded at the undergraduate level, although they haven’t kept pace with high school graduation growth for those groups. At the same time, there’s been a redistribution within the system, with more blacks and Hispanics going to lesser-known branches of the 10-campus system and fewer to the flagships of Berkeley and UCLA, a trend that troubles some. last_img

From Russia with love… Brief stories from the World Cup

first_imgGerman astronaut Alexander Gerst keeping tabs on the World Cup from space© AFP MICHAEL GOTTSCHALKWorld Cup holders Germany received a morale-boosting message from the heavens after their shock opening loss to Mexico. Astronaut Alexander Gerst posted on Twitter from the International Space Station: “The first game is only to get your bearings. I’m crossing my fingers for you from the ISS.” With the words of encouragement was a selfie of Gerst in a Germany shirt, floating in front of a television watching the game.Olivia gets it wrongJapan’s match winner Yuya Osako foils Olivia’s prediction of defeat to Colombia© AFP Filippo MONTEFORTEAt the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Olivia, a grey parrot who calls home a zoo north of Tokyo, was spot on when she predicted great things for runners-up Japan. Three years later, she appears to have lost her touch after heretically suggesting defeat by Colombia for Japan in their World Cup opener. “She hesitated a moment so perhaps it will be a very close game,” said her zoo minder Nozomi Oikawa before kick-off. History records a famous 2-1 win for Japan, to avenge their 4-1 loss to the South Americans four years earlier in Brazil.Al dente NeymarNeymar’s latest look attracts plenty of comment on social media© AFP Pascal GUYOTAs well as being the most expensive player in the world, Neymar has earned himself a reputation for natty haircuts. The Brazilian’s latest blond reincarnation for the World Cup has triggered plenty of comment on social media. Manchester United great Eric Cantona posted on Instagram a caption:: “Neymar style….spaghetti al dente” alongside a picture of himself with a plate of pasta on his head and a photo of Neymar in his hands. On Tuesday the Brazil captain was seen with the noodles-bits chopped off.Sainsbury a 33rd-minute hitAustralia’s Trent Sainsbury sparks quick interest from European clubs© AFP Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVAustralia may have lost their opening match against France but defender Trent Sainsbury reportedly impressed one European club so much that his agent fielded an offer 33 minutes into the fixture. “I’ve never experienced it before and I’ve done 26 transfers overseas,” agent Tony Rallis told the Sydney Morning Herald. Melbourne’s Herald Sun reported that a total of five clubs, two of them English, had expressed interest in the 26-year-old. Sainsbury is in the final year of his contract with China’s Jiangsu Suning but spent most of last season on loan with Grasshoppers Zurich in Switzerland. Rallis said Sainsbury was concentrating on Australia’s World Cup campaign, with the Socceroos due to play Denmark in Samara on Thursday, and would not decide his playing future until the team’s tournament is over.Moscow’s rain ruseRain in Moscow, but not on parades© AFP Mladen ANTONOVMoscow makes sure nothing rains on its parades or other big days by artificially dispersing clouds before they reach the Russian capital. But weather service chief Roman Vilfand says no such plans are being made for the June 15 final in Luzhniki Stadium. “We are not going to artificially influence the weather,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Russia fans outside the St Petersburg Stadium celebrate after seeing their team take a three-goal lead in the crucial match. Photo/REUTERSMOSCOW, Russia, June 19 – AFP Sport takes a look at some of the stories you may have missed at the World Cup:Germany’s floating viewerlast_img read more


first_imgNEWSLETTERSt. Patrick’s Church, Donegal Town Fr. Willie Peoples 074-9721026Saturday 2nd 10.00am Bill Mc Cabe – Deceased 6.00pm Brid ,John, & Anthony McHugh – AnniversarySunday 3rd 9.00am Bridget Mc Ginley – Recently Deceased11.30am Bridie Jordan – AnniversaryMonday 4th 9.30am Tuesday 5th 9.30am Hanna & Denis Lucy – AnniversaryThursday 7th 9.30am Frances Hughes – Recently DeceasedFriday 8th 9.30amSaturday 9th 10.00am6.00pm Mary McGonagle – Months Mind Sunday 10th 9.00am11.30am Paddy Rooney – AnniversaryMasses During the Week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am.Eucharistic Adoration- St. Patrick’s Church, Thursdays from 10.00am -9.00pm. All Welcome! Recent Death – Frances Hughes, mother of Pat, Golf Course Road. Funeral was in Headford on Wednesday.First Confessions for Scoil Aodh Rua agus Nuala – 11th March at 7.00pm in St Patrick’s Church.First Holy Communion – 11th May at 11.00am.First Confession for Gaelscoil na gCeithre Maistri – 21st May at 5.00pm in St Patrick’s Church.First Holy Communion – 25th May at 11.00am in St Patrick’s Church.United by The Holy Spirit – This weekend the parish community congratulates the young adults who received the sacrament of Confirmation. Pentecost saw the birth of a new community, the new People of God. This weekend those who were confirmed here are now the new young adult Christian community in the parish.FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER PROCEEDS IN AID OF ST PATRICK’S PARISH CENTREIn the Mill Park Hotel, on 12th March. Local shops will showcase a selection of garments from their current range. From sports wear to classic and fashionable lines all your fashion needs will be met. There will be musical entertainment and spot prizes to be won.Tickets are €10. Show starts 8.00 pm.St. Agatha’s Church, Clar Fr. Danny Mc Brearty 074-9721093Saturday 2nd 6.30pm Mary Geary – AnniversarySunday 3rd 10.30am Anthony O’Sullivan – AnniversarySaturday 9th 6.30pm The deceased members of the Mc Govern family – AnniversarySunday 10th 10.30am Gerry McKeown – AnniversaryMasses During the Week – Monday, Thursday & Friday 10.00am. Wednesday 7.00pm.Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament – Tuesday from 3.00pm -7.00pm in St Agatha’s Church, Clar.Prayers Requested For – Dr Malachy Mc Closkey – Anniversary.Recent Deaths – Charlie O’ Donnell, Spierstown & Ardara, funeral was in Ardara on Friday, father of Fidelma & Frank.Mary Browne, funeral was in Stranorlar on Tuesday.First Confession – For the children from St Francis School on Thursday, 21st March at 7.00pm.ST JOHN BOSCO CENTREThe AGM of the St John Bosco Clubs will be held on Friday 8th March at 8pm. Volunteers needed for bingo nights, light duties. New club members welcome, membership fee €10 per person or €48 per family. Squash Court membership for the new year due on the 28th February. Contact Sheanna on 0873581568.CHILDREN’S CRAFT CLASSES At Morna’s Patch, suitable for 3rd, 4th & 5th class pupils. 11.00am – 12.00 starting Saturday 9th March. Booking essential, contact Morna 074 9721659 between 11.00am – 5.30pm.COMMUNITY HEALTH WALKS Free and open to everyone aged 18 and over. Donegal Town, Bank Walk, Tuesdays 11.00am-12.00pm. Starting 12th March.FOUR MASTERS Underage presentation will take place next Sunday March 10th at 6pm in Doms Pier 1. This includes ladies underage players, also county players will be present.LEGHOWNEY NOTESLeghowney’s production of “It Runs is the Family” will take to the stage on Sunday 10th at 8.30sharp. It will run all week until Friday 15th inclusive with the exception of Wednesday night when there will be no play. It’s an absolutely brilliant play and one not to be missed….Next Hooley will take place on Wednesday 6th March at 8.30, with music by George Bustard. Admission just €5 and supper served.HURLING & CAMOGIEResumes Friday 8th March, Tirchonnail Park. Registration will be available on the evening U8-U10s 6-7pm (€20) and U12s and above 7-8pm (€30). All equipment supplied. Parish Bulletin e-mail address is dtkiltd@gmail.comDD LOCAL: DONEGAL TOWN AND LAGHEY PARISH BULLETIN was last modified: March 3rd, 2013 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:DD LOCAL: DONEGAL TOWN AND LAGHEY PARISH BULLETINlast_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL parents are to be offered anti-bullying training sessions under a scheme announced by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn T.D.The Anti-Bullying Parent Training Programme is being run jointly by the National Parents Council Primary (NPC-P) and the National Parents Council Post Primary (NPC-PP) to support the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying which called for training and resources for parents and boards of management.Minister Quinn said he will provide funding of €60,000 for Anti-Bullying Parent Training in 2014. It comes as schools across Donegal struggle to cope with a rise in cyber-bullying.“The training sessions are available nationwide and provide supports to parents to enable them to assist their children when issues of bullying arise,” he said.“Bullying is not a problem schools can or should be left to tackle alone. Parents, families and the wider community have an important role to play in tackling all forms of bullying and in teaching children how to manage relationships, be resilient and have empathy for others.”Last year, the Department provided funding €60,000 to support the delivery of 105 anti-bullying parent training sessions to 3,279 participants nationwide including sessions here in Donegal. The Parents Councils have also developed an information leaflet for parents and these can be downloaded from their websites.Over 90% of parents who attended the training sessions last year said that they felt more confident in supporting their child with a bullying issue following the session. Likewise, over 90% said they felt more confident engaging with their school if a bullying issue arose with their child.“I would like to thank Áine Lynch, CEO of the NPC-P, and Don Myers, president of the NPC-PP, for their work on this. I really appreciate their teams’ professionalism and commitment to this project.”“I would also encourage all parents to attend these sessions. Being informed, will empower you to help your child deal with issues of bullying,” said Minister Quinn.Áine Lynch said: “Parents have a vital role to play regarding issues of bullying that may involve their children from a variety of perspectives. Attending the parent sessions will both support parents to support their children and also to work in partnership with their child’s school to ensure schools are respectful places for all members of the school community.” Don Myers added: “I am delighted that the Minister has allocated further funding so that NPC-P and NPC-PP can facilitate further training sessions for parents. Feedback to-date from the 2013 training has been extremely positive with 98% of attendees saying that they would recommend this to others and already there is high demand for the 2014 programme. I would like to thank the Minister for his continued commitment to this so important programme and once again for putting faith in NPC-P and NPC-PP to facilitate this training which is a huge endorsement and support for parents.”MINISTER SETS UP FUND FOR ANTI-BULLYING CLASSES FOR DONEGAL PARENTS was last modified: April 1st, 2014 by John2Share 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:anti-bullyingbullieslast_img read more

Letterkenny road in Derry closed after four-car collision

first_imgA busy road that acts as a major link between Derry and Donegal has been closed following a road traffic accident.The Letterkenny Road in Derry has been closed in both directions, the PSNI have confirmed.It follows a road traffic collision involving four vehicles near Nixons Corner. Diversions are in place.Motorists are asked to avoid the area.Letterkenny road in Derry closed after four-car collision was last modified: November 17th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare 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:DerrydonegalletterkennyNixons CornerPSNIlast_img read more

Emergency services at scene of Letterkenny crash

first_imgEmergency services are attending the scene of an accident on one of the main routes into Letterkenny this Friday evening.The collision is believed to have occurred near the Dry Arch Roundabout at Lurgybrack shortly before 7pm.It is not known if there are any injuries.   Emergency services at scene of Letterkenny crash was last modified: June 7th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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)last_img read more

Judges Dismiss Cases Over Carbon Monoxide Deaths in Aspen

first_imgUpdate: This story now includes the information on the dismissal of cases against two defendants who were charged with criminal negligence in the carbon monoxide deaths.On November 2, a federal judge dismissed a negligence claim against Colorado’s Pitkin County that had been filed by relatives of a family of four who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in late November 2008. A day later, a Pitkin County District judge, citing an expired statute of limitations, dismissed cases against two contractors who had been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide in the poisoning deaths.The case dismissals put an unexpected, startling end to some of the legal action tied to the incident, although relatives of the deceased family vowed to pursue other legal remedies.The source of the gas was a leak in a Munchkin boiler, which in 2005 had been installed in an Aspen-area home as part of its snowmelt system. The family members, who lived in Denver, had won a stay at the home through a school-sponsored auction, and timed their stay to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday.The building had been inspected by Brian Pawl and Erik Peltonen, who were named in the negligence suit against the county along with its community development department and board of commissioners. In 2006, the county issued a certificate of occupancy for the home, which was not equipped with a carbon monoxide detector at the time the family occupied the house.Despite the judge’s dismissal of the claim against the county, however, the now-retired Peltonen, along with the subcontractor who installed the boiler, Marlin Brown, had still faced separate jury trials in the coming weeks, each on four counts of criminally negligent homicide pegged to the deaths of Caroline Lofgren, 42, her husband, Parker, 39, and their two children, Owen, 10, and Sophie, 8.Relatives of the family expressed disappointment at the dismissals.“These dismissals do not indicate innocence. Four people died,” Massachusetts resident Hildy Feuerbach, the sister of the deceased mother, told the Aspen Times. Feuerbach had flown into Aspen to attend the proceedings and said later that she and other relatives will continue to press on to find out who was responsible for the deaths..Brown’s trial had been scheduled to begin on November 28 and Peltonen’s was scheduled for December.Civil claims, dismissal motionsAlthough the county, Peltonen, and Pawl were dismissed from the one civil negligence claim in federal court, there still are seven other negligence claims in that same lawsuit that must be addressed in the state court. The defendants named in those seven claims include Brown, a construction management firm, an HVAC specialist, the development group that owned the house at the time, and Massachusetts-based Heat Transfer Products, which manufactured Munchkin boilers until January 2011, when the line was discontinued.In August, attorneys for Peltonen and for Brown had filed motions to dismiss the criminal charges on the grounds that the three-year statute of limitations on the charges had expired, the Aspen Times story noted. And a friend-of-the-court brief by Pitkin County, the city of Aspen, the International Code Council, and the Colorado Municipal League argued that because the county’s implementation of a building code is voluntary, its adoption by the county shielded Peltonen and Brown from criminal liability.In addition, as the Aspen Times pointed out in a story published on September 30, Peltonen’s attorney had argued that a Pitkin County ordinance in 2004 that included adoption of the 2003 International Building Code, the 2003 International Mechanical Code, and the 2003 International Residential Code also protects county inspectors from civil liability – which, the attorney argued, would also shield them from criminal prosecution.last_img read more