Female Commander Seizes a Ton of Cocaine

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán / Diálogo April 21, 2020 On her first day as commander of the Colombian Navy Pacific Naval Force’s Coastal Patrol Vessel ARC José María Palas (PM-103), Lieutenant Yerliza Rodríguez coordinated a maritime interdiction, on February 1, 2020.After receiving relevant intelligence, Lt. Rodríguez deployed an operation at the mouth of the Naya River, Valle del Cauca department, where authorities intercepted a vessel, seized a ton of cocaine hydrochloride and 500 gallons of fuel, and captured three members of the remnant armed group E30, consisting of former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish).“I’m part of the solution; I’m on the positive-thinking side. I firmly believe that we will achieve our goals only if we do the right thing,” Lt. Rodríguez, the first woman in the Colombian Navy to serve as commander of a patrol vessel in the Pacific, told Diálogo. This mission deprived the criminal structure of $33 million, the Navy told the press.Lt.. Rodríguez deployed to Antarctica to provide logistics support for research project development, on board the ship ARC 20 de Julio, between 2018 and 2019. (Photo: Colombian Navy)Five days later, Lt. Rodríguez and the 22 crew members aboard the PM-103 seized 441 pounds of marijuana in the Pacific. “The fight is frantic,” she added. “We never stop; counternarcotics operations are constant.”In 2008, Rodríguez, who was only 15, enrolled in the Admiral Padilla Naval Academy. It was a tremendous feat for her family, originally from Quibdó in Chocó department, a region known for poor living conditions, extreme insecurity, and criminal groups that ravage the community.“In 2011, I got a degree in Naval Sciences and became one of the 35,000 service members that make up the Colombian Navy,” Lt. Rodríguez said. “Now I’m part of the forces that fight the evils in my region.”After 13 years of service, she says this was the best decision she’s made.Her gender, she says, was not important during her training. “I’m not treated better or worse for being a woman,” Lt. Rodríguez says. “We are trained and are expected to give our best; they expect the same from us as from men. With gender inclusion, the armed forces have made a lot of progress.”The Navy has 1,078 women. “This has to do with our advances in integrating military women,” said Colombian Navy Rear Admiral John Fabio Giraldo, commander of the Pacific Naval Force. “We started an internal process that aims at making space for them in special operations commands, with very good results.”Standing out at every stage of her career prepares Lt. Rodríguez for important missions. Between 2018 and 2019, she deployed with the 5th Colombian scientific mission to Antarctica to provide logistics support for research project development on board the ship ARC 20 de Julio (PZE-46).Lt. Rodríguez is part of a process of opening up that started in 1984, when the first women joined the Navy. “Every mission I take part in helps me adopt a wider vision of the responsibility I have taken on for my country,” she said.With increasingly active gender inclusion, the Colombian Navy is moving forward to consolidate and have a comprehensive force with women who will play a decisive role in the armed forces of the future. “It’s teamwork, because I couldn’t do anything, even with all the energy and the willingness, if it weren’t for my cohesive crew,” Lt. Rodríguez concluded.last_img read more

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Perkins, Goodwin help Saint Louis beat Bethune-Cookman 77-67

first_img WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US Associated Press Television News Javonte Perkins scored 21 points, Jordan Goodwin had a double-double, and Saint Louis beat Bethune-Cookman 77-67 on Sunday night.Goodwin finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and two steals. The 6-foot-3 junior guard has grabbed double-digit rebounds in seven of his last eight games – including a career-high 19 in a win over Southern Illinois on Dec. 1 – and is averaging 13.9 per game over that span.Hasahn French had 15 points and three blocks for Saint Louis (11-2), which earned its fifth straight home victory.Wali Parks had 16 points for the Wildcats (6-8). Cletrell Pope added 11 points and 19 rebounds – his third game this season with 19 boards. Leon Redd had 11 points.Isaiah Bailey, whose 15 points per game coming into the matchup led the Wildcats, tied his season low with four points on 1-of-9 shooting.Saint Louis plays Duquesne on the road on Thursday. Bethune-Cookman faces Norfolk State on the road on Saturday.___For more AP college basketball coverage:___Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, FOLLOW US COMMENTcenter_img First Published: 30th December, 2019 10:33 IST Written By LIVE TV Last Updated: 30th December, 2019 10:33 IST Perkins, Goodwin Help Saint Louis Beat Bethune-Cookman 77-67 Javonte Perkins scored 21 points, Jordan Goodwin had a double-double, and Saint Louis beat Bethune-Cookman 77-67 on Sunday night.last_img read more

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Pochettino confident ‘suffering’ will benefit Spurs

first_imgBut Pochettino was just relieved to see his side stop the rot with a battling draw against Watford after playing most of the second half at Vicarage Road a man down following Davinson Sanchez’s red card.“You can’t win games easy, especially in this league, but you learn a lot about the character,” said Tottenham manager Pochettino.“It was important for us to change the feelings. We were disappointed after our last game at Leicester (a 2-1 loss in midweek).“We are in a period now where we are suffering things against us. It is good for the group to try and learn. It is a long-term project. It will be good for the future. You want to win, but in tough moments you learn.“In the last few games we have deserved more. You can’t question the performance or character.“It’s so difficult to play with one man less. The good thing is we didn’t concede and we were also close to scoring. We handled the game well as we played for 50 minutes with 10 men. But we were brave and went forward and didn’t concede chances.” The game was evenly poised, with Son-Heung Min cancelling out Christian Kabasele’s early headed opener, when Colombian defender Sanchez saw red for an elbow on Watford winger Richarlison.Spurs then held on to a point despite soaking up heavy pressure from the Hornets.Pochettino said he was undecided on whether Spurs will launch an appeal regarding Sanchez’s dismissal, with the player facing a three-match suspension as things stand.“I’m not going to complain but the player said it wasn’t his intention,” the Argentinian boss explained. “We will have to analyse it in private.”Watford had conceded 13 goals in three home league games against Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. Yet despite an on-going defensive crisis, they restricted Spurs to just one goal after a tough run of fixtures.The Hornets are currently in the top half of the table but manager Marco Silva insisted he was fully focused on preserving their top-flight status in the second half of the season.“Everybody knows what our hope is — to remain in the Premier League,” he said. “I want everybody to keep their feet on the floor. We need to improve and keep working. My players continued to give me everything and I can’t ask more from them.”Richarlison was a thorn in the Tottenham’s side throughout and Silva is aware his £11 million ($15 million, 12 million euros) pre-season signing could attract interest during the January transfer window.“He is a key player for us. It’s normal that his name will be mentioned with other clubs, but it’s just rumours,” said Silva.Share on: WhatsApp Tottenham boss Mauricio PochettinoWatford, United Kingdom | AFP | Mauricio Pochettino believes his Tottenham Hotspur side are coming of age despite their already-fading hopes of Premier League title glory suffering another setback with a 1-1 draw away to Watford.Saturday’s result was Spurs’ fourth successive league game without a win they’ve now gone from vying for the title to facing a battle to qualify directly for next season’s Champions League in recent weeks.last_img read more

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Ace in the Hole…Illusions

first_imgLast month I penned a piece titled; ‘Delusional’.  The column was based upon a few Pittsburgh sportswriters who were what I considered to be dishonest with their readership as well as themselves when it came objective coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now according to my Encarta e-dictionary: delusional means; 1. a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence especially as a symptom of a psychiatric condition.Or as the late comedic genius Richard Pryor might say, “them boys have lost their godd–n mind.” Well at least in regards to their continued Pittsburgh Steelers coverage.  Let’s call this piece; ‘illusions’.The definition of the word illusion is; 1. something that deceives the senses or mind, e.g. by appearing to exist when it does not or appearing to be one thing when it is in fact another. 2. a false idea, conception, or belief about somebody or something.One thing that will always keep us on the straight and narrow are numbers.  Pretty basic math like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Hey, the majority of the time numbers cannot nor will they ever be subjective because numbers will always tell the truth and nothing but the truth.  Herein lies my point.  The Pittsburgh Steelers have a won-loss record of 2 wins and 4 losses. During that time they have scored 107 points and have allowed the opposition to score 132 points. This simply means the offense has scored a measly 17.83  points per game.The Steelers defense has allowed 132 points over 6 games.  This is an average of 22 points a game allowed by the Big Nasty ‘D’.  Pittsburgh travels to the “black hole” of the late Al Davis’s Oakland Raiders to do battle with the Silver and Black . Get this, and I can’t make this stuff up, guys’ and dolls’,  the Raiders defense has allowed the same number of points (132), to be scored on them and they have scored just 2 points less, (107) than the Black and Gold.This is no time for mirages because the Steelers had better have their “high beams” on when they venture to the ‘black hole’ on Sunday because Oakland has a good defense and coupled with home field advantage, I have a distinct feeling that if the Steelers don’t get off to a fast start, this may be another heartbreaking loss for the men from the Steel City Hey now, all you sinners ,put your lights on, put your lights on. Hey now, all you lovers, put your lights on, put your lights on. Hey now, all you killers, put your lights on, put your lights on. Hey now, all you children, leave your lights on, you better leave your lights on. Cause there’s a monster living under my bed, whispering in my ear. There’s an angel, with a hand on my head  She say I’ve got nothing to fear. (Santana. ‘Put Your Lights On’ lyrics by Erik Schrody)  last_img read more

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Trinity Hall Lease Extended Without State Approvals

first_imgMIDDLETOWN – The township committee has agreed to allow Trinity Hall girls school to continue using a township-owned site, even though the state has yet to make the final call.The Township Committee on March 30 approved a lease amendment to allow Trinity Hall religion-based all girls private school that for nearly two school years now has been using the township-owned Croydon Hall, 872 Leonardville Road, in the township’s Leonardo section. Trinity Hall continues to be embroiled in a legal battle with area residents objecting to the school’s permanent campus/facility plans and who are challenging the township approval in state Superior Court. The township committee’s actions last month, however, were seemingly done without the expressed approval of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the department’s Green Acres program. Croydon Hall sits on township property that is designated as township park land in its open space inventory, requiring state approval for any non-recreational or conservation use, DEP spokeswoman Caryn Shinske said on April 16. At that point, Shinske said “To date the township has not requested nor has Green Acres approved an extension of the initial lease period.”Township attorney Brian Nelson contradicted that characterization, maintaining the original lease agreement contained a provision for an extension and said there have been conversations with the DEP since that time, believing an additional request was unnecessary. “It depends on who you talk to down there as to what story you get,” Nelson said of DEP officials in Trenton.The school’s lease is set to expire on May 1, after initially given a two-year period, the maximum allowed under Green Acres rules, according to Shinske. The township and the school could seek one six-month extension, “upon showing good cause” for it, Shinske continued.The resolution amending the original lease allows for a two-year time in total, calculating based upon the school’s actual use of the building not on calendar days, given school isn’t in session for summers, holidays and vacation breaks. According to the resolution the lease would extend until May 31, 2016, with an option to renew it for another 365 days or until May 31, 2017, whichever occurs first. The school would pay the township $21,500 a month for the remainder of the lease.On Monday, April 20, Shinske in an email reiterated the DEP’s position that the township hadn’t been in contact with her department on this matter. But the next day, she revised the position, noting Nelson and the township administrator, Anthony Mercantante, “have indicated to us they will be working on a request for an extension with our regulations and we are confident we will reach an agreement within the next few weeks.”Nelson said on April 21 that he and Mercantante “were putting together the documents,” to send to the DEP based upon a conversation they had with the DEP in the week of April 13. He has sent a letter to the DEP’s Jessica Patterson, Bureau of Legal Services and Stewardship for the Green Acre’s program, formally requesting the extension – a full three weeks after the township formally approved the extension.Trinity Hall, a high school that has a Roman Catholic religious-based and academic curriculum, hopes to construct its permanent campus using approximately half of a roughly 67-acre undeveloped and largely wooded property on Chapel Hill Road. The plans have been mired in controversy, while proponents insist this is an appropriate and beneficial use, homeowners in the residential Chapel Hill Road area continue to object, believing a school that may ultimately be able to accommodate as many as 500 students is too intense of a use and poses environmental and traffic concerns.The township planning board, after months of lengthy and at times contentious hearings, denied the application last June. The school appealed to the Superior Court, which struck down a provision of a township ordinance remanding it back to the local board. The board on second blush approved the plans. And now objectors are fighting that approval in Superior Court.Superior Court Judge Paul A. Kapalko, who made the first ruling in this matter last year, is scheduled to hear this on Friday.“This is a girls’ high school we’re talking about,” this week said John Giunco, the lawyer representing Trinity Hall. “This is clearly a beneficial use and one that offers much for the community.”Giunco said he’s had conversations with the DEP over the course of time and believes the extension is justified given the delays caused by the ongoing litigation. “This is a self-imposed hardship, in effect,” on the school by the objectors, he said.Both Nelson and Giunco noted Trinity Hall had made about $300,000 worth of renovations to the existing structure, bringing it up to current use codes and requirements for the township’s aging and underused building.
 “The township pretty firmly believes there is such a significant public benefit for this lease arrangement we believe it’s justifiable to extend the lease,” Nelson said.Ron Gasiorowski, a Red Bank lawyer representing the objectors, said the lease agreement “is really highly unusual,” given how it’s calculated and the township’s failure to obtain state approval.“The town attempted to avoid having the DEP weigh in on this and now they kind of got caught with their hand in the cookie jar,” Gasiorowski alleged. “They should realize the rules apply to everybody.”Trinity Hall is in the process of obtaining final construction approvals for its future construction, Giunco said.– By John BurtonJohn Burton can be reached at [email protected] and 732-219-5788.last_img read more

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Red Bank, Holmdel Challenge Hospitals’ Tax-Exempt Status

first_imgAccording to court filings, the total assessed values of the six locations in Red Bank amounts to $90.8 million.“We put them on notice we object to their status,” Menna said of his town’s actions.The New Jersey Hospital Association, a trade association representing health care facilities, said 35 municipalities around the state that play hosts to not-for-profit hospitals have taken the same steps.Red Bank will look to hire its own tax attorney for this matter, Menna said.Neptune has taken the same measures against Jersey Shore University Medical Center.Jersey Shore, like Bayshore and Riverview, is part of the Hackensack Meridian Health network.In response to a request for comment, Hackensack Meridian said in an email: “Hackensack Meridian values the relationships we have with the towns where our hospitals are located and we expect to maintain those relationships for years to come. We remain in discussions with Red Bank and Holmdel concerning their property tax assessments. In addition, we continue to work with the New Jersey Hospital Association concerning a legislative solution for not-for-profit hospital and host municipalities.”These actions grew out of a case in the Tax Court of New Jersey last year involving Morristown Medical Center, as Judge Vito Bianco ruled in favor of the host municipality, finding the medical center did not meet the requirements as a not-for-profit organization for at least two years. The community is required to provide services, such as police, fire, EMS and public works, to the hospital, as it would to any other property owner, often placing a strain on those services. It is the organization’s obligation to prove its not-for-profit status to justify its property tax exemption, explained Daniel J. O’Hern Jr., the former Red Bank borough attorney who did the initial tax court filings.In the Morristown case, the medical center and municipality reached a settlement with the medical center agreeing to pay $15.5 million over the next decade.There were bills in the state Legislature that would seek to strike some parity between hospitals and host communities, requiring the health care facilities to make community service contributions to the host municipalities. Gov. Chris Christie, however, asked for a commission to be established to study the issue. To form that committee requires its own legislation, which has been introduced but not voted on. Menna pointed out that within the walls of Riverview there are gift and flower shops and Dunkin’ Donuts concessions – hardly not-for-profit endeavors. “I’m sure there are a number of other portals in there that have to be addressed,” contained within the medical center, he said.“They know they take some tolls on the town, they cause pressure on our infrastructure,” Hinds said of Bayshore.But Hinds, like Menna, believes “this can be resolved without conflict.”“We want them to be a good neighbor and they are a good neighbor. We want them to develop into a first class medical center,” Menna said. “But there are inequities that have to be addressed.”Riverview contributes an annual payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, amounting to $169,316 for 2016.Bayshore does not provide compensation to Holmdel.“We don’t think this piece-meal approach – 35 lawsuits up and down the state – is the best way to resolve this situation,” said Kerry McKean Kelly, a New Jersey Hospital Association spokeswoman. The association is advocating for legislative approach that would allow for commission, she said.Of the 71 acute care medical facilities in New Jersey 64 are not-for-profit hospitals, according to the hospital association.center_img By John BurtonFollowing in the footsteps set by a Morristown court case last year, both Holmdel and Red Bank are taking steps to challenge their hospitals’ existing tax-exempt status.Red Bank, which is host to Riverview Medical Center, and Holmdel, which is home to Bayshore Community Hospital, have begun action in state tax court in Trenton against the respective facilities calling into question whether the hospitals can legally claim they don’t have to pay property tax – especially in light of the services municipalities continue to provide.“Everyone who’s got a hospital is going through this,” acknowledged Holmdel Mayor Eric Hinds.Hinds was uncertain where things currently stand with the matter. But the Holmdel Committee had retained special legal counsel, Matthew O’Donnell, a Wall Township tax attorney, to handle the situation. The New Jersey Hospital Association lists Holmdel as one of the towns challenging hospitals’ tax status.O’Donnell did not immediately respond to a phone call this week seeking comment.“It’s the only fair thing to do,” but to seek some financial redress, said Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna.Red Bank has filed complaints against Riverview over six separate properties the medical center owns in the borough which either in their entirety or portions of are deemed not-for-profit and claim property tax exempt status for them.last_img read more

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Meerwald Brings Oystering History to Atlantic Highlands

first_imgAccording to Josh Scornavacchi, the Meerwald’s chief mate, the town of Bivalve, where the Meerwald is home-ported, once had more millionaires than any other town in the state. It was Fylak who proposed the idea of hosting the Meerwald last year in connection with the society’s celebration of the 125th anniversary of the historic Strauss Mansion. Since it was also the 90th birthday of the Meerwald, it seemed like a perfect fit. “I always wondered why we didn’t have a history festival in our port,” Fylak said. “That’s when Capt. Dan Schade of Classic Boat Rides suggested I talk to the Meerwald. That started the conversation.” After purchasing the Meerwald for $1, she founded a nonprofit organization, the Bayshore Discovery Project, and launched a fundraising campaign that raised the $800,000 needed to restore the boat. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and designated as the state’s official Tall Ship by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in 1996. ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – New Jersey’s Tall Ship, the oyster schooner A.J. Meerwald, will sail into Atlantic Highlands harbor June 12 carrying a rich cargo of maritime history from the days when vast fortunes were made by the oystermen of Delaware Bay. Many of those sailors – and a few captains as well – were African American, Scornavacchi said. “It was somewhat unusual compared to the rest of the country,” he said. Even before the civil rights movement, African Americans were making a living at oystering, but often were paid less and faced a tougher climb if they sought to captain a ship. After more than a decade on the water, the boat was commandeered by the U.S. Coast Guard at the start of World War II and converted into a fire boat. Its masts were removed and it was covered in steel. The heydays of oysteringdwindled when a parasite inthe ballast water drained froman Asian ship began killingoff the oysters in DelawareBay. “A lot of the oystermengave up right there. They hadto find other occupations.” By Eileen Moon Onshore, the oysters would be bagged and shipped by train across the country, bringing a seemingly endless supply of dollars back to Bivalve year after year. In Philadelphia, Scornavacchi said, hungry pedestrians would buy raw oysters instead of hot dogs from carts on the street. Brian Keenan, executive director of the Bayshore Center at Bivalve, and the organization’s historian and curator Rachel Dolhanscyk, will talk about African American oystermen during a lecture hosted by the historical society that will take place in the Atlantic Highlands Senior Center in the harbor at 7:30 p.m. June 19. The Meerwald will travel up from its home port at the nonprofit Bayshore Center at Bivalve to spend two weeks here as guests of the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society and the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club. During the visit, the Meerwald will host a series of day and evening sails that include Thursday evening BYOB oyster-tasting cruises featuring Cape May salt oysters, a history sail and kid-friendly outings that include helping the crew raise and lower the sails. After the war, the boat was returned to the Meerwalds, still a fireboat. By then they had taken up chicken farming, Scornavacchi said, and sold the boat. It later saw service as a motorized oyster dredger, a clamming boat and finally a shipwreck festering in the water until someone pulled it out and put it in storage, Scornavacchi said. He credits its resurrection to an environmental activist named Meghan Wren, who heard some customers talking about the boat as she was bartending. The visit will begin with a meet-and-greet with the crew at the Strauss Mansion, the home of the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society, at 7 p.m. June 12. Some 500 vessels like theMeerwald plied the waters,working from dawn to dusksix days a week, droppingoff their hauls of oysters andturning around for more. A sailors’ town sprang up along the waterfront on Delaware Bay with shops and bars and restaurants ready to take in their share of the profits from the oystering trade. “It was almost like going to a strip mall,” Scornavacchi said. Sailors would come ashore for a rowdy Saturday night, attend church on Sunday morning and climb back ontheir boats. The Meerwald, too, fell on hard times. Built in 1928, the schooner had the unusual distinction of being named for a man. Most boats are named for women, Scornavacchi said. But A.J. Meerwald’s two sons named the boat for their dad as they followed in his footsteps as oystermen. Today, the town of Bivalve and its sister towns along the Maurice River are among the poorest in the state, Scornavacchi noted. “Last year, the crew broke out into sea shanties,” said Lynn Fylak, historical society president. “It was a lot of fun.” Visit ahhistory.org for more details on the Meerwald’s visit and accompanying events.last_img read more

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Leafs restore power to power play to dump Spokane 5-1

first_imgA bit of tweaking to the power play proved to be the difference as Nelson struck for three extra-strength goals en route to a 5-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Spokane Braves Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.The win was the first in a home-and-home series between the two Murdoch Division clubs.The rematch is Sunday in the Lilac City.Trailing 1-0 after one period, Nelson went to work in the second frame, scoring two special-teams goals to take over the game.“I like the way we worked out power play tonight,” said Leaf coach Dave McLellan. “We re-worked (power play) this week. . .. I like the fact we had traffic at the net and battled hard throughout.”“We dressed three lines, but really only played two-and-a-half for most of the game,” McLellan added. “So you’ve got to give our guys a lot of credit for tonight’s win.”Rayce Miller scored twice to spark the offence — both goals coming on the power play.Matt MacDonald, on a highlight reel goal, unassisted, Timothy Nichols and Sam Weber also scored for Nelson.Sean Collins gave Spokane a 1-0 lead.Nelson out shot the Braves 46-38 in the game to make a winner out of Leaf netminder Joey Karrer. The lone goal came off a teammate’s skate late in the first period.Nelson, 22-10-2-1, remains five points behind Murdoch leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks.The defending KIJHL champs, which suffered a 2-1 road loss Friday to Spokane, pounded Grand Forks 12-3 Saturday in Fruitvale.BLUELINES: Nelson played the game with only 14 skaters, including Kootenay Ice affiliate player Ainge McGeady Bruce. The Leafs hope to have defenceman Patrick Croome and winger Dylan Williamson back in the lineup next week. Forward Michael Rand, out of the lineup with a chest infection, could be back for Sunday’s game in Spokane. . . .Leaf coach Dave McLellan continued to work the phone right up until the BC Hockey roster midnight deadline Saturday with no luck.last_img read more

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