Smoky Mountains National Park to Demolish 29 Historic Cabins; Preserve 19 Others

first_imgElkmont is a historic portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park once home to a resort and logging community.Residents of the community have been gone for decades, but the cabins built to house them still remain as visible reminders of a bygone era.The National Park Service allowed the families who owned these cabins to retain them until the early 1990s. Since then, the cabins have sat vacant, slowly deteriorating.Now, big changes are in store for the historic structures as NPS has announced its intention to demolish 29 of the cabins and restore and preserve 19 others.“They are stabilizing those structures, and by the end of this year we hope that they will be open for public access,” said park spokeswoman Dana Soehn.Of the cabins slated for razing, Soehn said, “we hope to have the contractor selected by early March and then start that demolition process.”According to Soehn, park officials are taking special precautions to preserve hardware within the cabins, things like window seals, lighting fixtures and door knobs that are unique to the era in which they were built, before the demolition takes place.Once the project is underway a few popular trails in the areas of Jake’s Creek and Little River will be temporarily shut down.last_img read more

Read more on Smoky Mountains National Park to Demolish 29 Historic Cabins; Preserve 19 Others

Paraná Leads in Marijuana and Crack Seizures in Brazil

first_img Officials have made stopping the escalating use of crack throughout Brazil one of their top priorities in their fight against narcotics. Crack, which is derived from cocaine, can be smoked or injected directly into the bloodstream. The body quickly absorbs the drug and sends the toxins directly to the brain, making crack one of the most addictive drugs in the world. “Crack causes major damages to society,” says Riad Braga Farhat, an officer of the State Narcotics Division (DENARC). “It destroys families and keeps the user outside the labor market.” Last year, Federal Police seized more than 17 kilograms of crack in the Foz do Iguaçu/Cataratas International Airport. In 2010, the PRF confiscated almost a ton of crack nationwide, including 546 kilograms (1,201 pounds) seized in Paraná. That’s why the Federal Police’s (PF) major precinct in Brazil is located in Foz do Iguaçu. “The triangle formed by Foz do Iguaçu, Guaíra and Cascavel receives huge investments from the federal government,” says Marcos Koren, a PF agent who has worked on the border with Paraná for 14 years. “We work with motorboats, vessels and now with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which overflies the region seeking drug traffickers.” But marijuana isn’t the only narcotic seized by the PRF in Paraná. The PRF has confiscated 312 kilograms (686 pounds) of crack in Paraná, which is more than double the amount seized during the same period in 2009. Law enforcement agents have seized 568 kilograms (1,249 pounds) of crack nationwide this year. In the state of São Paulo, which is considered a big market for narcotics, no more than 178 kilograms (391 pounds) of crack has been seized. By Dialogo May 27, 2011 Authorities strive to combat crackcenter_img “That happens because the drug that is being stopped is replaced by another one, more powerful and cheaper – as happened with crack and now with a new drug, oxi,” he says. “Police units’ work must be backed by other strategies. Drugs must be treated more like an education and public health issue.” Schneider acknowledges officials can’t take days off if they are to win the fight against narcotics. “Drug traffickers migrate when they begin to find too much resistance,” Schneider says. “We always need to pay attention to the changes and improve.” Wilson Martines, a PRF inspector in Paraná, attributes the state’s success in its fight against narcotics to the training police officers receive. “Besides having good training, they develop that kind of [instinct] that allows them to suspect certain situations,” Martines says. “Those professionals account for 50% of the success [in the operations].” Martines said the remaining 50% is attributed to the advancements made in technology, intelligence and other resources, like the use of drug-sniffing dogs. But communication and interaction among the security forces, especially the Military and Federal Police and PRF, are also critical for success. “Drug trafficking develops more easily when security forces work separately,” Schneider says. “We have to share information.” The seizure – the second-largest in the country in 2010 – led to the apprehension of 11 supposed “mules,” who were trying to transport the drug in suitcases with false bottoms and inside the soles of shoes. And seven of the suspects had swallowed the drug, which they planned to deliver in Belgium, Spain, France, Portugal and Switzerland. “We succeeded in Paraná, but the fight [against drug trafficking] will never end,” Farhat says. The “vicious circle” in drug trafficking worries Pedro Bodê, the coordinator of Studies in Public Security and Human Rights at the Federal University of Paraná. The reason? Because as soon as law enforcement agents have success in stopping one kind of narcotic, a new one surfaces, Bodê says. CURITIBA, Brazil – The state of Paraná, which is on the Paraguayan border, has emerged as a narco-trafficking corridor because of its many highways providing access to Southeastern Brazil. “Narcotics traffickers enter the country by crossing the border, most of them trying to take products to São Paulo,” says Ricardo Schneider, the chief-inspector of the Federal Highway Police (PRF) of Foz do Iguaçu, a city located on the triple-border region of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The PRF in Paraná has seized 4.6 tons of narcotics this year, accounting for 46% of the 11 tons of drugs seized nationwide. The PRF also has seized 52 tons of marijuana in the state of Paraná in the past year, including a bust in July 2010 that included 21.5 tons of the drug. The marijuana seizures in Paraná account for more than 50% of the 90 tons of marijuana confiscated by law enforcement agents nationwide in 2010. As Paraguay has many marijuana plantations, the drug traffickers try to enter Brazil through the city of Foz do Iguaçu, in Paraná state, Schneider says. last_img read more

Read more on Paraná Leads in Marijuana and Crack Seizures in Brazil

Bahamas chief justice warns government on bail bill

first_img Share NewsRegional Bahamas chief justice warns government on bail bill by: – September 27, 2011 Tweet 28 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett. Image via:bahamaspress.comNASSAU, Bahamas — As part of its response to the high level of violent crime, the Bahamas government is preparing to introduce in Parliament a bill to address the issue of bail, but Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett has warned that judges will ignore any law that offends the constitution.“I am aware that the government intends to table legislation in the upcoming weeks to deal with the criminal justice system — that’s what the minister of national security said — but at the end of the day it must always be remembered that Parliament is not sovereign,” Sir Michael told The Nassau Guardian.“Parliament is not supreme. It is subject to the constitution and whatever laws they pass must be able to pass constitutional muster. They can not infringe on those rights guaranteed by the constitution which we as the members of the judiciary are sworn to uphold.”In its Speech from the Throne read by the governor general last year, the government said, “A number of persons, who commit crimes, do so whilst on bail pending trial for other offences.“An amendment to the Bail Act will be placed before you to further restrict the right to bail for persons charged with serious crimes, and to limit the circumstances under which bail may be granted.”The Bail Bill is one of several the government has promised to introduce as part of its package of crime-fighting legislation.Bills to modernize the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code are also expected.Sir Michael warned about the Bail Bill in an interview with The Nassau Guardian on Friday during which time he responded to criticisms Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest made about judges.Turnquest hit out at judges on Thursday, suggesting that some of them are too lenient in granting bail to people charged with serious crimes like murder.He said if they were elected officials they would have been chased out of town.At last report, more than 100 suspects charged with murder were on bail.So far for this year, 103 murders have been recorded.With a rising number of murder cases, the Office of the Attorney General is finding it increasingly difficult to prosecute these matters quickly, The Nassau Guardian understands.The Guardian reported extensively on Sir Michael’s rebuke of Turnquest’s comments, which the minister made at a Rotary club meeting.But he said much more.“There’s a reason judges have been given constitutional tenure, to insulate them against capricious behavior,” Sir Michael said in that interview at his office downtown.“We are there because it’s important that judges be given the security and independence to do their work as they understand the law to be.”Sir Michael said everybody must be frustrated by the high level of crime and judges are not insensitive to that.“And I think anyone would be naive to believe that there’s any one reason that causes the problems that we’ve had,” he said.“The problems that we’ve had have been developing over the years and the solution is not obvious. The solution is not so simple. If it was I think the problems would have been solved not only in The Bahamas but the rest of the world a long time ago.“The problems are complex. There are many participants in the detection, apprehension and successful prosecution [of a suspect]…There are challenges. There are challenges for everybody.”Sir Michael spoke with The Nassau Guardian just before having a meeting with Supreme Court judges to discuss challenges they face and solutions to make the judicial system more efficient.“I believe that with the additional courts and with additional judges — I do believe we are looking for persons to serve on the bench particularly those persons capable of presiding over criminal trials,” he told The Guardian. “If we can have six courts in New Providence operating simultaneously, presiding over criminal trials, that would be better than having four courts as presently exist. It’s good that we have the court in Grand Bahama presiding over criminal trials year round.”Asked what he thought of Minister Turnquest’s public criticism of judges, Sir Michael said, “I don’t know why people do the things that they do and why people say the things that they say.“All I can say is that while I respect their right to articulate their views, one must be careful in attacking the judiciary to undermine the public confidence in the judiciary.“You must be careful that when you speak that you are familiar with matters that are before the courts and we are always sensitive to the balancing act that judges must play.“And that balancing act is not simply the needs of the society. It is also the rights of persons accused of offences. We don’t have the ability to ride roughshod on those rights and we also have to guard against abuse by persons who are able to abuse.“We do still have proof of guilt at a certain standard in order to deprive a person of their liberty.”By Candia DamesNassau Guardian News Editorlast_img read more

Read more on Bahamas chief justice warns government on bail bill

MBB : Subpar game from Joseph, Jardine hampers Syracuse in loss

first_img Comments Published on March 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: | @mark_cooperjr NEW YORK — The ailments that plagued Syracuse mushroomed from one thread.The Orange’s two leaders, Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph, were missing in action. Fifteen turnovers, failure to close out on shooters and an inability to penetrate Cincinnati’s zone defense were the effects.‘When we played our best, Scoop and Kris have been there,’ head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘Scoop wasn’t there tonight. (Joseph) didn’t get a rebound in 33 minutes, and he’s got to be there for us and Scoop has got to be there.’For the second straight game, neither Jardine nor Joseph played at the level of expectation. The seniors combined for nine of Syracuse’s 15 turnovers and both finished in single digits in points. Joseph failed to grab a rebound in 33 minutes, and he did not attack much — all six of his shooting attempts were 3-pointers. The substandard play of the two players who normally set the tone for a Syracuse (31-2) win was a huge part of No. 2 SU’s 71-68 loss to Cincinnati (24-9) in the Big East tournament semifinals in Madison Square Garden on Friday.Jardine and Joseph struggled to ever get into the flow of the game after Cincinnati quickly jumped out to a 25-8 lead to open the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Every time I seemed like I had something go good for me, something bad happened,’ Jardine said.One possession after Jardine’s first assist of the game, he committed his first miscue.Jardine set Dion Waiters up for an NBA-range 3-pointer to cut Syracuse’s early deficit to 10-6. After Cincinnati answered with a JaQuon Parker bucket, Jardine ran a pick-and-roll with Fab Melo.The guard dribbled around the screen and the center began cutting to the basket. Jardine pulled up at the elbow and sent a pass behind Melo that rolled out of bounds at the Bearcats’ bench.‘I can go on forever telling you all the things we didn’t do to win this game,’ Jardine said. ‘But it’s a learning experience.’While Cincinnati came out on fire from 3-point range, making 8-of-10 from deep to start the game, Syracuse did not swarm the Bearcats’ 3-point shooters to stop them. Multiple times, Cincinnati’s ball movement forced Syracuse to converge and opened up a shot for Sean Kilpatrick or Cashmere Wright.In the second half, Cincinnati’s only triples came on Joseph’s side of the Orange’s zone.With Syracuse gaining momentum as it worked itself back to within five points of the Bearcats after trailing by as many as 17, Wright got the ball to Kilpatrick in the left corner. He was open, Joseph did not close on him in time, and the triple boosted Cincinnati’s lead to 58-50 with 5:21 remaining.Kilpatrick stuck a demoralizer in Syracuse from the same exact spot less than four minutes later. This time, Cincinnati broke the Orange’s full-court pressure, and Wright fed Kilpatrick. His sixth 3-pointer of the night, with 1:47 left, helped the Bearcats’ lead swell to 65-55.‘We’ve made more 3s than anybody in the Big East,’ Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin said. ‘We’re standing there wide open.’Down the stretch, Joseph and Jardine failed to get inside Cincinnati’s zone and make plays. Joseph helped ignite a comeback against Connecticut on Thursday by driving into his defender and getting to the foul line.All nine shots he and Jardine took Friday came from 3-point range. Four of them fell, but the lack of penetration forced SU to rely on outside shooting.Twenty-nine of the Orange’s 57 shot attempts against Cincinnati came from deep.‘I can’t remember the last time we saw much zone,’ Boeheim said. ‘So I think that’s one thing, we didn’t attack like we probably should and could.’When Jardine drove to the basket in the second half, it ended in a turnover. He drove around a pick from C.J. Fair and lost the ball out of bounds as he went to the hoop with SU trailing 41-29. Later, with Syracuse trailing 58-53 and on the comeback, Jardine rebounded a missed 3 and started pushing the ball.But just as quickly as he earned possession, he lost it as UC guard Dion Dixon took the ball away.By the time Jardine fouled out with 36 seconds left, he had turned the ball over five times, to two assists. And Joseph leaves New York having shot 3-of-14 in SU’s two Big East tournament games.‘Today I wasn’t really into it, I don’t know why,’ Jardine said, ‘but I think I just have to be aggressive and not really care if I have a bad game.’mcooperj@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Read more on MBB : Subpar game from Joseph, Jardine hampers Syracuse in loss