Gov. Wolf Announces 13 Counties will Move to Yellow Phase of Reopening on May 15 May 08, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release, Public Health Today Governor Tom Wolf announced 13 Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 15. Those counties include Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.On May 1, the governor announced the 24 counties moving into the yellow phase of reopening beginning today. And, last evening, he and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed new orders – one for yellow phase reopening and one to extend the red phase counties’ stay-at-home order, which was set to expire last night, to June 4. The red phase stay-at-home order extension does not mean that other counties won’t move to the yellow phase in advance of June 4.“The reopening plan prioritizes the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians by using a combination of factors to gauge how much movement a location can tolerate before the 2019 novel coronavirus becomes a threat,” Gov. Wolf said. “I’d like to emphasize that this plan is not a one-way route. We are closely monitoring the 24 counties in the yellow phase and will re-impose restrictions if danger arises.”Gov. Wolf reminded residents and business owners that yellow means caution and that everyone needs to continue to be mindful of their actions and how they affect not only themselves, but their families, friends and community.“Every contact between two people is a new link in the chain of potential transmission,” Wolf said. “And if the new case count begins to climb in one area, restrictions will need to be imposed to prevent local medical facilities from becoming overwhelmed. So, Pennsylvanians should continue to make good choices.”Law enforcement remains focused on achieving voluntary compliance through education, but citations are possible for violators depending on the specific circumstances of an investigation.In addition to the possible criminal penalties levied by law enforcement, there may be additional licensing consequences for violators, in part, through complaints filed by employees on the Department of Health portal that allows any employee who feels their employer is not providing a safe work environment to fill out an online form.The Department of Health vets the complaints and investigates internally or sends the complaint to the appropriate state agency for investigation. For example, restaurant complaints are handled by the Department of Agriculture, which inspects those facilities; complaints about nursing homes are handled by the Department of Health, which inspects and licenses those facilities. Other involved agencies are the departments of State and Labor & Industry.Concerns about a business reopening that may be in violation of stay-at-home or yellow phase orders should be made to local law enforcement non-emergency numbers or a local elected official.Read Gov. Wolf’s Plan for PA here.Read business guidance here.Read CDC guidance for child care centers here.Read FAQs here.View the Carnegie Mellon University Risk-Based Decision Support Tool here.View this information in Spanish.
By Andrew SpearsAT THANKSGIVING WE celebrate the wonderful plenty that we enjoy in our nation. In spite of natural calamities and our own environmental missteps, we benefit from a spectacular abundance of food relative to other nations thanks to our Creator’s grace, Nature’s design, and farmers’ toil. When we witness abundance in nature, we find reassurance and hope that nature’s survival impulse is ultimately victorious. The bird world provides magnificent glimpses of bounty that are cause for celebration…gatherings of such great numbers that they beg us to pause and revel with them in their species’ success. New Jersey is fortunate to host a number of annual bird concentrations of such awesome numbers that they truly qualify as natural spectacles.Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge’s Brigantine unit near Atlantic City hosts brilliant hordes of Snow Geese in November, great white masses that peel from the marshes and form dense white clouds that roll and tumble against the slatey autumn sky only to softly settle again among the reeds and tidal creeks. The beautiful explosion of sound when an Eagle or other predator spooks these geese is a symphony that both deafens and delights the lucky observer. The annual spring stopover of shorebirds along the Delaware Bay as they gorge on Horseshoe Crab eggs before the last leg of their northward journey is another such spectacle. Red Knots, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstones, and other sandpipers blanket the narrow shorelines of Cape May and Cumberland County at places such as Reed’s Beech, Moore’s Beach, East Point, and Thompson’s Beach. When you hit it at its peek in late May, you will be rewarded with a jaw dropping display of such density that the sand beneath the birds is barely visible. The migrants, most in their bright breeding plumage, form a carpet of red, black and white that slides back and forth with the lapping waves, frantically collecting the exposed crab eggs each time the water retreats.This spectacle repeats itself closer to home along Sandy Hook Bay, usually around Memorial Day. A similar concentration of migrating shorebirds, albeit in much smaller numbers, can be encountered at Union Beach’s Conaskonk Point and the pebbly coves of Atlantic Highlands. The shorebirds’ fattening contributes to their breeding success rates. New Jersey’s moratorium on Horseshoe Crab harvest is believed to have helped stabilize the Red Knot numbers in recent years. Other striking bird displays occur locally in late fall as sparrows, Robins, and blackbirds move through our fields and forests in impressive waves. Also, the stage is set for numbers of waterfowl to funnel into our bays and rivers and form into large rafts to feed through early winter until ice sets in.These and other notable bird events are curious if not miraculous. One cannot help but wonder how these birds assemble and organize into such marvelous masses. Their breeding and wintering grounds are dispersed across hundreds of miles yet somehow as part of their annual survival cycle they benefit from flocking together. Certainly food supply plays a pivotal role…birds gather where the eating is good. But other factors must certainly play a part. Safety in numbers is often true in the bird world. A bird has better odds at surviving a predator’s strike if it is melded in a sea of brethren. Navigation challenges might also contribute to flocking behavior. It is easier to find your way in the company of others going the same way. Or, perhaps, it is phenomenon simply steeped in tradition, much like Thanksgiving, when birds gather in a way their species has done for generations.
By Laura D.C. Kolnoski |OCEANPORT – Site work has started at a 3.1-acre location on the former Fort Monmouth where footings are being poured for a 4,500-square-foot temporary homeless shelter for adult men and women to be run by Monmouth County.If construction progresses as planned, the shelter is expected to open next summer, according to County Administrator Teri O’Connor. The exact occupancy date will be based on the final municipal inspections and availability of utility services, O’Connor said.The one-story “stick built construction” structure at the corner of Courier Avenue and Murphy Drive will have a 12-bed dorm for men, a four-bed dorm for women, separate restrooms and showers for men and women, a laundry room, a clothing sorting and storage room, a counseling office and a security desk. The central resident common area has a kitchen and pantry, a 16-person dining area, a computer nook and a seating area.The construction contract, awarded in May, went to Mixalia Enterprises, LLC of Shrewsbury, in the amount of $1.895 million, which will be funded by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), the agency overseeing the fort’s redevelopment.The shelter’s services are funded by the county and administered by the Affordable Housing Alliance, an organization that has worked with the county addressing the needs of homeless residents in recent years.The shelter will offer temporary housing and other services until more permanent housing and treatment services are identified. The former emergency homeless shelter, also in Oceanport, was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy. Its population was assigned to the John L. Montgomery Center in Freehold Township. That facility was purchased by a private concern two years ago.By statute and agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the county’s homeless shelter must be located in the Oceanport section of the fort. A suitable permanent site was identified last year, accepted by county, FMERA and Oceanport officials, and conveyed to the county by FMERA for $1.Two existing structures on the property have been demolished, O’Connor said, adding that engineering, roadwork and utility relocation are also part of the preliminary work. The site already includes a paved parking area. A groundbreaking ceremony was held there Aug. 9, attended by county and local officials.“We are able to hold this groundbreaking due to an all-out cooperative effort between the county and FMERA,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “We are grateful to everyone who had a hand in getting us to where we are today for their vision and support.”Original plans called for the homeless shelter to be made from two pre-fabricated modular structures connected by a bridge portion. That plan fell through last year when county officials learned prefabricated trailers were in short supply, as they were sent to other parts of the country where natural disasters like hurricanes and fires had occurred. Rather than wait, plans were expanded to include traditional stick built construction.“This new shelter will provide a temporary safe haven for homeless adults and lead them onto a path to a better quality of life,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry, the county’s FMERA representative. “There are strict criteria participants must follow. It’s an interim place to be sheltered until they can transition into new circumstances.”The county houses a fluctuating number of about 18 up to 30 homeless adults who are required to work or look for work and permanent housing during daylight hours. Occupants are allowed to remain at the emergency shelter for a maximum of 30 days.“We are committed to providing a safe location for people who are down on their luck to get back on their feet and become productive members of society. That’s what everyone wants,” O’Connor said.This article was first published in the August 23-30, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba Didier Drogba says he is still in discussions with Montreal Impact over his future, saying a report that he had retired from playing to rejoin Chelsea as assistant to Guus Hiddink was premature.Chelsea declined to comment on a report by French sports daily L’Equipe on Wednesday night which stated Drogba was quitting playing in Major League Soccer to return to London.And the 37-year-old, who has a year to run on his contract with the Canadians, said discussions were ongoing over his future.Drogba wrote on Twitter: “Lovely to receive these messages but I have not yet announced my retirement & am still in discussion with @impactmontreal about my future.”Montreal would be reluctant to let their talisman leave, but he has emotional ties to Stamford Bridge, where he enjoyed two spells. He is highly thought of at the club by players and staff, with some suggesting his absence was a contributor to their poor form this season after his summer departure. He has been repeatedly linked with joining the Blues for a third time since Hiddink was appointed interim boss last month after Jose Mourinho left Chelsea for a second time.The former Ivory Coast striker, who watched the first match since the departure of Mourinho alongside Hiddink and owner Roman Abramovich against Sunderland on December 19, has a rich history with Chelsea.Drogba scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for the Blues, 157 of the strikes coming in 341 appearances in his first spell, which concluded with the 2012 Champions League victory in Munich.He left Chelsea for two seasons after his silverware-laden eight-year spell and has won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three League Cups with the Blues.Drogba had joined Chelsea in the summer of 2004 from Marseille and had short spells with Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray in between his stints at Stamford Bridge.He returned in opposition with the Turkish side in March 2014. 1
The Letterkenny community came together last Friday to honour the legacy of late Charlie Collins Snr.Great stories and fond memories were shared by friends and family in tribute to the well-known Letterkenny man during Community Heritage Weekend 2019.Charlie ‘Bovril’ Collins was remembered as a man of many talents, from football to boxing, dancing and entertaining. A leading Donegal sportsman and a legend in his own time, Charlie played for Derry City, Letterkenny Crusaders and Letterkenny Rovers. He was also a member of the Junior GAA team that reached Croke Park in the All Ireland Semi Final in 1952, bringing great pride to the town in the first time this team ever achieved this honour.The most poignant talk and memories were recalled by Charlie’s eldest son, also named Charlie, who in the company of brothers Martin and Liam recalled happy times in Letterkenny.Tribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyThere were tears shed and times recalled as guests listened to Evelyn Gallagher sing her Letterkenny Town. A piece of history was shown as guests watched Charlie Snr sing at a reunion dance some 25 years ago. In the company of his sister, sons and grandchildren family and friends, guests listened to numerous speakers give their memories of Charlie and his beloved Bida.Father Willie Mc Menamin and Letterkenny Mayor Ian Mc Garvey spoke of football days and the Summer cups and stories of a bygone era.Tribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyTribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyTribute event in memory of Charlie Collins Snr, Station House Hotel LetterkennyAnthony Gorman from Letterkenny Rivers and Daniel O Doherty from Derry City recalled Charlie Snr’s contribution to their clubs over the years. A great collection of pictures were shown on screen and Charlie shared a professional presentation and explanation of them all.The night was chaired by Brian Walsh and sponsored by Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh for the Heritage group.Pictured with Martin Collins is Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh who sponsored the night for the Letterkenny Heritage group.Letterkenny Community Heritage Weekend 2019 was another success for the group. Another event was held on Saturday with Comhaltas Letterkenny, in appreciation of the group’s contribution to preserving and promoting traditional Irish music and culture.The life and times of Charlie Collins Snr. celebrated at special event was last modified: May 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) Tags:charlie collins snrLetterkenny Community Heritage Group
Bus Eireann have announced schedule changes on their timetables for the Christmas holidays.The public is being advised that some night services will be cancelled during the festive season.Buses will run every day apart from 25th December, when no services will operate. New Year’s Eve will also impact local services, while Expressway services will operate as normal 24 December 2019There will be no departures on any service after 9pm on December 24th, apart from:Route 4 – 2200 Dublin Airport-WaterfordRoute 30 – 2130 Dublin-DonegalRoute 100X – 2140 Dublin-DundalkAll departures up to 2100 will operate to a normal timetable on December 24th apart from these exceptions which will not run:Route X1 – 1945 Belfast-DublinRoute 2 – 2100 Dublin Airport-Wexford; 1830 & 2030 Wexford-Dublin AirportRoute 4 – 2000 Waterford-DublinRoute 23 – 2000 Dublin-SligoRoute 32 – 2045 Dublin-Letterkenny; 1945 Letterkenny-DublinRoute 100X – 2030 Dundalk-DublinRoute 871/890 – Expressway Eurolines services to and from London25 December 2019No services26 December 2019All services will operate to a Sunday timetable, although the following Sunday Expressway services will not be running on 26 December: Route X1 – 1815, 2015, 2115, 2215 & 2315 Dublin-Belfast; 0530, 1945 & 2200 Belfast-DublinRoute X2A – 1015, 1615, 1715 & 1915 Dublin-Belfast; 0645 & 1445 Belfast-DublinRoute X5 – 0930, 1130, 1330, 1530, 1730 & 1930 Dublin-Newry; 0815 & 1015 Belfast-Dublin; 0915 Belfast-Newry; 0715, 1315, 1515 & 1715 Newry-DublinRoute 32 – 0030 Letterkenny-DublinRoute 40 – 0940 Cork-Waterford; 1040 Cork-RosslareRoute 51 – 0725 & 0835 Limerick-Cork; 0725 & 0825 Limerick-GalwayRoute 64 – 0625 Donegal-Sligo; 0635 & 0810 Letterkenny-Derry; 0735 Sligo-DerryRoute 871/890 – Expressway Eurolines services to and from LondonThere will also be additional services on 26 December on the following Expressway routes:Route X1 – 0445 Belfast-Dublin; 1715 & 1915 Dublin-Belfast27 to 30 December 2019All services will be running to a normal timetable31 December 2019Until 2200, all services will be running to a normal timetable, although the following Expressway Eurolines service will not be running on 31 December:871/890 – Expressway Eurolines services to and from LondonAll services due to start after 2200 will not be running on 31 December, although the following services will be running normally:All Expressway services will operate as normalRoute 220 – Services will resume from midnight on 1 January 2020 and operate a full timetable1 January 2020All services will operate to a Sunday timetable More information is available on www.buseireann.ieBus Éireann announce timetable changes for Christmas and New Year was last modified: December 9th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:bus eireannCHristmasNew Year
22 July 2015A professional photographer was on hand to capture the sight of a lifetime when a kudu bull jumped several metres into the air after he was spooked by a warning call from a Franklin.Arno Pietersen, who was on safari in the Kruger National Park, captured a series of eight frames of the animal’s massive leap, on 19 July.“On Sunday, we were on the H3 road near Kwagga Pan and there was a group of six kudu bulls, which were all crossing the road and moving towards the artificial watering hole,” he said.“The one that I got a picture of was actually the last of the group and sadly it had the smallest horns of them all,” Pietersen said.“It was about 5m from the road when the call of a Franklin spooked it. Usually they call when a predator is around and the bull just ran towards the road and leapt. It was crazy at the time, I didn’t see much through my viewfinder and only when I was looking through the frames afterwards did I see how high it actually jumped.”A great responseSocial media users are awestruck. “Now all those road signs make sense!” wrote Dylan van Zyl on Kruger’s Facebook page.Others expressed their admiration for the country and the photographer.Charlie Cawood described it as a classic photo. “The beauty of our natural heritage continues to impress us. What a leap!”Amalia Keen van Rhyn wrote: “Well done to the photographer.” And Patrick Walsh joked of the kudu: “Thinks he is a Springbok. Should be entered in the Olympic Squad.”Kruger National ParkThe park was established in 1898 to protect South Africa’s wildlife and is nearly 2 million hectares in size.It is home to 336 species of tree, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibian, 114 species of reptile, 507 species of bird and 147 species of mammal.Source: News24Wire
Tags:#Google#news#NYT#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… frederic lardinois Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Google just launched the Google Public DNS. Just like OpenDNS, Google Public DNS will allow users to bypass their ISPs Domain Name Servers (DNS). DNS servers are, in many respects, the backbone of the Internet. DNS allows you to type a domain name like www.senate.gov into a browser instead of a machine-readable IP number like http://220.127.116.11/. Google argues that it wants to give consumers an alternative to their ISPs’ DNS services in order to make the Internet “faster, safer and more reliable.” According to Google product manager Prem Ramaswami, the company’s engineers have been working to improve DNS over the last few months. Instead of performing DNS lookups on an ISP’s DNS server, Google will use its data-center and caching infrastructure to resolve these domain names. After SPDY (which augments HTTP), this is Google’s second major project that touches upon the core infrastructure of the Web. Using Google Public DNSGoogle Public DNS uses 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 as its IP addresses. Advanced users will surely have no problem making the necessary changes to enable Google Public DNS. The company has also released a set of step-by-step instructions for Windows, Mac and Linux users that can be found here. A First for Google: Phone Support for a Free ProductIn addition, Google is also offering phone support, which, to our knowledge, is unprecedented. Given that a mistake in changing your DNS settings could easily make accessing the Internet impossible, this is probably a good solution in this specific case.PrivacyAccording to Google’s FAQ, the company will only keep temporary logs and erase all the information it collects through the public DNS service within 24 to 45 hours. The company promises not to keep any information that is linked to IP addresses in its permanent logs.As of now, it doesn’t look like Google offers any additional services besides the pure DNS lookup. Unlike OpenDNS, it doesn’t block malware sites or present users with a list of alternative addresses (and ads) if it can’t resolve an address. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend with the Gold Cup. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Better by far to savour the moment, if or when it finally arrived, and this success was a testament, too, to Mullins’s loyalty to his jockey. Townend and Al Boum Photo were involved in a bizarre incident at Punchestown last spring where horse and jockey suddenly veered off at the final fence with a Grade One race seemingly at their mercy. There was never any question, however, that Townend, the long-standing number two to Ruby Walsh at the stable, would keep the ride.“The early [Gold Cups] were probably disappointing but you get used to it,” Mullins said. “I had probably resigned myself to never winning a Gold Cup, so I didn’t really obsess about it or get too disappointed about it. Racing has been very good to me. I have a fantastic life in racing and I resigned myself to thinking, ‘If I never win, so be it.’ You only get one chance to win it each year and, when three of them were gone, I thought it was another year like that and so I probably had all my disappointment out of me early in the race.” Read more Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest With a circuit of Cheltenham still to run here on Friday Willie Mullins’s hopes of filling the infuriating, Gold Cup-shaped hole in his record-breaking career at the Festival were hanging by a thread. Three of his four runners in this season’s race, the latest of more than two dozen Mullins had sent to the start over the years, were already out of the running. Kemboy, the best of them according to the betting, got no further than the first.Having saddled the runner-up no fewer than six times, Mullins feared the worst. But when he trained his binoculars to Al Boum Photo, the last member of his squad still standing, he quickly realised that 2019 might finally be his year after all. Willie Mullins Share on Messenger Cheltenham Festival 2019 Two fatalities on Gold Cup day dampen spirits at Cheltenham Festival View gallery “With three of them out before the first circuit had finished I was just thinking, another year of disappointment,” the trainer said afterwards. “But looking at the field, every time I came to Paul [Townend], I realised he was so well-balanced on the horse, with a loose rein and the horse just going along in a rhythm, fence by fence. I thought, we have a life here.”There was still a good deal of ground to cover. Native River, last year’s front-running winner, was at the head of the field once again and apparently still full of running. Clan Des Obeaux, the King George winner, was hugging the rail under Harry Cobden and tracking the leaders going well, while Presenting Percy, the favourite, was still close enough to make an impression if he could find his Festival-winning form from 12 months ago.Yet Al Boum Photo, unraced since winning at tiny Tramore on New Year’s Day, was going best of all. “About the fourth or fifth last he needed a jump,” Mullins said. “You could see a long stride coming and Paul asked for it, and he got it. I thought, wow, there’s plenty of petrol left in his tank. And I know Paul’s body language, so I knew he hadn’t at all gone for anything and he still thought he had plenty left.” Cheltenham Festival Share on LinkedIn There was so much left that Al Boum Photo hit the front turning in and quickly opened a useful lead. Native River dropped away while Clan Des Obeaux could find no more inside the final quarter-mile and another Irish-trained runner, Anibale Fly, was the only danger at the last. He stayed on strongly up the hill but, while the gap was slowly closing, Al Boum Photo had more than enough left to get home by two and a half lengths.“He met the last perfectly and I looked up at winning post and what was behind,” Mullins said. “I knew that 99 times out of 100 he was going to make it this year.”He did, and two decades of disappointment and frustration for Mullins melted away in a moment. His first runner in the race, Florida Pearl, was the 5-2 favourite in 1999 but finished only third. A year later he was the first of the trainer’s famous half-dozen runners-up while in 2014 the agony was played out over the course of a 15-minute stewards’ inquiry after On His Own was short-headed by Lord Windermere, who had impeded the second on the run-in. The stewards, in what must have been a marginal decision, allowed the result to stand. Mullins, ever the sportsman, did not press the owners to appeal. Horse racing Share on Pinterest Share via Email Paul Townend repays Al Boum Photo’s owners in gold for mistake Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Mud, beer and cheers: Cheltenham Festival 2019 – in pictures news Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Topics The one sadness in the race for Mullins was that Invitation Only, a faller approaching halfway, suffered a fatal injury. Bellshill, whom the trainer expected before the race to “take a lot of beating”, was pulled up but uninjured, while Kemboy unseated Danny Mullins, the trainer’s nephew.Al Boum Photo’s victory came 33 years after Dawn Run, trained by Mullins’s father Paddy, recorded one of the most famous Gold Cup victories of all. “I didn’t get home for three or four days after that,” Mullins said. “It might take a bit longer this time.” Share on Facebook Facebook Cheltenham Gold Cup Reuse this content
THOMPSON, Man. — A judge is expected to give a verdict today in the manslaughter trial of an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba who fired a dozen shots into a Jeep following a police chase.Crown prosecutors told the trial in Thompson that Const. Abram Letkeman made only wrong choices in the lead up to the shooting death of Steven Campbell in 2015.Court heard that 12 bullet casings were found at the scene and 39-year-old Campbell, who was drunk behind the wheel, was hit at least nine times.The defence argued that all police officers make mistakes and Letkeman thought his life was in danger because the Jeep was moving toward him.Campbell’s mother, Shirley Huber, says her family hopes the judge finds that the officer’s actions were dangerous and wrong.She says, no matter the verdict, her son’s death shows how important it is for police to have dashboard and body cameras, especially in northern communities.“There has to be a way to document what really happens on those stops and maybe it won’t happen again,” Huber said in a message online.“Maybe my son would still be alive.”Letkeman, 37, pleaded not guilty to six offences, including criminal negligence.The trial heard the officer saw the Jeep being driven erratically shortly after the bars in Thompson had closed.After a failed attempt at a traffic stop, the officer started to pursue the vehicle but did not communicate that to his supervisors.Letkeman testified that he hoped to end the chase by using his police car to bump the back of the Jeep, forcing it to rotate and stop. A use of force expert testified the move was against protocol and training, and was extremely risky.The Jeep ended up on a trail for all-terrain vehicles, where it lost control and stopped. The trial heard Letkeman’s vehicle then T-boned it.The officer testified he didn’t wait for backup and walked in front of the Jeep to do a high-risk takedown. He said the Jeep started moving toward him, so he was forced to fire.Campbell’s girlfriend, one of four passengers in the Jeep, was also shot and injured.A toxicology report showed Campbell had alcohol in his system and was almost 2 1/2 times the legal limit to drive. It also showed a small amount of cocaine.During closing arguments in June, the Crown argued that Letkeman stood in front of the vehicle and fired so that the Jeep couldn’t drive away, not because he was in danger.Prosecutor Christian Vanderhooft said nothing that Letkeman did on the night of the fatal shooting was reasonable.“Each opportunity where that should have been done, the wrong decision was made. Not just wrong — negligent.”The defence argued the officer shot his gun because he had to. Lawyer Lisa LaBossiere told the trial that every officer has made a mistake. She warned that convicting Letkeman would have “a chilling effect” on all police.Campbell’s mother said he shouldn’t have been driving if he was intoxicated, but the mistake wasn’t worth his life.Huber attended the trial and called it the hardest thing she has ever had to do. But she says she won’t be there for the verdict.She says her son was a caring father to his two kids and a kind and loving friend who would give anyone the shirt off his back.“I still miss the man he had grown up to be. A mother never gets over losing a child she carried,” she said. “I miss him every day and know I always will.”Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press