Breaking down the string of attacks on Jehovah’s Witness houses of worship

first_imganouchka/iStock(SEATTLE) — A string of attacks on houses of worship used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Washington state are under investigation.There have been four instances of arson and one shooting — spanning nine months and four locations — that investigators believe are connected to one another.“As these incidents were located in close proximity to each other, it is believed that they are related,” said Jason Chudy, the public information officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Seattle division.“ATF is working closely with multiple local law enforcement agencies in these ongoing investigations,” Chudy said.Chudy said that the investigation is ongoing and they are not publicly discussing “any suspects, if any, that we’ve identified.” March 19: Two arson attacksTwo different houses of worship, referred to as Kingdom Halls, were targeted on the same day.The two houses of worship, one in Tumwater, the other three miles away in Olympia, were set on fire.“Damage to both was minor, limited to the exterior structures,” Chudy said.Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle said that the Tumwater building sustained about $15,000 worth of damage, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.May 15: ShootingA little under two months later, another house of worship was attacked in the town of Yelm.In this case, a suspect or suspects fired 35 rifle rounds at the Kingdom Hall.Chudy said the shooting caused more than $10,000 in damage.July 3: ArsonThe fourth attack revisited one of the earlier targets, as the Kingdom Hall on Cain Road in the town of Olympia was lit on fire once again.This attack “completely destroyed” the building, Chudy said.On July 18, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said that the four attacks up to this point are considered hate crimes, according to KOMO-TV.Dec. 7: ArsonAfter a five-month break, another attack was reported at the Kingdom Hall in the town of Lacey, closer to the first two targets. The building was “completely destroyed.”Snaza expressed frustration at the series of attacks.“Why is this specific religion being targeted? Why are these churches being targeted? What are they doing that is so wrong and oppressive?” Snaza said, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.“It makes you feel really ill about somebody who has some sort of animosity towards any religion, yet alone a Jehovah’s Witness of Kingdom Hall,” Snaza said, according to KOMO. “So how frustrating is it that people who find a solemn place of worship, and now it’s being destroyed?”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

By-by election after LMH online vote ‘lacks secrecy’

first_imgA complaints tribunal has called for the results of Lady Margaret Hall’s JCR by-election to be annulled after the reliability of the online voting system used was called into question.According to the tribunal’s report, several undergraduates complained to the Returning Officer during last Thursday’s election that there were “insufficient protections against electoral fraud” and that the ballot “lacked due secrecy”. Other students reported that their anti-virus software prevented them from accessing the voting page.There was also confusion on election day after it emerged that the online system allowed voters to mark the same candidate as their first and second choice. Many thought that doing this would increase the sway of their vote, when in fact it spoilt their ballot.Ashley Thompson, the JCR’s IT representative, sent an email to students just after midday on polling day to advise voters against placing the same candidate as their first and second choice.However in the same email, he wrote, “You can’t put down a first choice for VP and then leave the remaining options blank.”The preferential voting system used by LMH does not require all choices to be used, and Thompson was forced to issue a further correction later in the day.Some students expressed concern that the system did not adequately protect the privacy of individual votes after discovering that individually identifiable results were amalgamated in one spreadsheet.Thompson claims that he protected the confidentiality of individual votes. He explained, “I had the votes in a spreadsheet with e-mail addresses, voting pins and actual votes in separate columns. While I was validating e-mail addresses I had the voting columns hidden, and before I started counting votes I deleted the e-mail address/voting pin columns.”However Returning Officer Nathalie Higgs decided not to release the results of the by-election when polling closed, and forwarded the complaints she received to a tribunal formed of three former JCR officers. The complaints tribunal released its report on Wednesday, in which ex-JCR President David Tan criticises the current JCR Executive for not ensuring an effective system was in place.“The planning for this online election smacks of being naive at best, and inept at worst,” he wrote.It is the first time that LMH has held an election online. Tan suggests that the JCR Executive’s decision not to use a more traditional method was based on “saving themselves from having to sit for an hour at the ballot box.”“It is surprising that at no point did the JCR Exec think to consult the JCR as a whole as to their views concerning online voting,” he continued.Asked if he felt anyone should resign following the incident, Tan said, “You may very well think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.”JCR President Marlene Cayoun said that the vote was held online to make it more accessible.“We wanted to make it easier for people who live out, who sometimes find it hard to come into college to vote,” she said. “It’s a shame that it didn’t work out, but our motives was [sic] sound.”Higgs agreed that the move was based on good intentions. “We wanted to try and increase the turnout of voters. In the previous elections only 160 people voted out of an electorate of 400.”The College’s JCR will meet on Sunday night to decide whether to accept the tribunal’s recommendation that a “by-by-election” be held. The debacle means that the JCR is still without a Vice-President or OUSU Officer.Both positions were left vacant when the winners of the College’s Michaelmas elections resigned before taking up their roles.Alasdair Craig, who won the election for VP in Michaelmas, was forced to resign when College authorities objected to election posters that depicted him holding a carrot in his trouser flies.Georgina Day resigned as the College’s OUSU representative earlier this term, saying her position had become “awkward.”Charlotte Dyke, one of the candidates for Vice-President in the by-election, said, “Problems that arose could not have been foreseen before the election took place. It was evident that a lot of research had gone into the online system in order for it to work.”last_img read more

The new normal of mortgage lending

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr When 2020 forced us to react to a pandemic, none of us knew how our lives would change and what our new normal would look like. The generally accepted expectation of a short stent of inconvenience slowly turned into months of disruption and it became apparent the pandemic would be here a while and it was going to be painful.Things like in-person meetings jumped to video calls. Trainings, tradeshows and onsite networking opportunities became virtual. The mortgage experience, well, it had a brief burst of process improvement to make changes that were low-hanging fruit and figure out virtual and e-closings. But lenders quickly learned that some of the changes were connected to legacy systems and that type of change did not come quickly.In the end the mortgage process didn’t change all that much. Thankfully, most of the fulfillment and origination process had already evolved to a digital experience. Borrowers have applied online for years and the online application has become better and better over time. That is not to say that the pandemic has left mortgage lending unscathed though.For the lender, the impact of the pandemic was in the nuances of fulfillment. Suddenly it became challenging to get an appraiser to wander through the house of someone they didn’t know to assess the property. It became very difficult to reach an employer to verify income. Individuals who used the internet in public places (libraries, cafes, public WiFi) lost the ability to access online portals and submit documents as those public businesses and services shuttered. The most impacted, though, was the financial market and how it approached risk mitigation in this new environment.last_img read more

Bulldogs Wrestling Season Wrap-Up

first_imgAfter placing 4th last week in the Richmond regionals, Batesville high school senior Michael Deal traveled to New Castle for the 2017 semi-state wrestling tournament.Deal faced off against undefeated senior Alec White of New Palestine.  White, a top ranked wrestler in the state, managed a quick takedown in the first period before a scramble moved them out of bounds.  Once the restart began Deal worked for the escape but could not find the right combination and eventually lost by pin to White.This loss ended Deal’s season but not before capturing over 90 wins in his high school career.The BHS wrestling team consisted of five seniors this year that led the team to 6 team victories this year.  The seniors include: Michael Deal (126 lbs), Nick Schneider (145 lbs) , Xavier King (145 lbs), Chris Schene (152 lbs), and Jon Kurtz (220 lbs).The senior class was backed by Juniors Dallas Lamping (132 lbs), Jackson Wooldridge (138 lbs), and Drew McLeod (160 lbs) all contributing to the success of the team.Following our Juniors  include our Sophomore class of Jon Vincent (138 lbs) and Abram Garcia (182 lbs) both representing the bulldogs well.The final members of our team is made up of eleven freshman which stepped up in many of our varsity matches to help us finish a great season.  These freshman include: Caleb Bischoff-Niese (106 lbs), JT Linkel (132 lbs), Jonah Chase (132 lbs), Mason Green (132 lbs),  Ethan Meyer (145 lbs), Conner Batchelor (145 lbs), Nick Nobbe (145 lbs), Malachi Kirbi (145 lbs), Axel Garcia (170 lbs), Drew Garbarini (195 lbs), and Max Foutch (285 lbs).A special thanks to our team manager Mitchell Thomas and coaches Curtis Miller and Josh Chase.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Chris Deal.last_img read more

Schumacher in Paris hospital for secret treatment

first_imgRelatedPosts Hamilton wins Tuscan Grand Prix Alonso cleared for Indy 500 after US visa hurdle Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix Formula One legend champion Michael Schumacher has been admitted to a hospital in the French capital for “secret treatment”, according to a report. The German seven-times world champion suffered serious head injuries in a 2013 skiing accident in the French Alps and has not been seen in public since. Le Parisien newspaper said Schumacher was admitted under tight guard on Monday to the Georges-Pompidou hospital, without citing its sources. The French publication said the 50-year-old would undergo cutting-edge treatment based on stem-cell transfusion by French surgeon Philippe Menasche. The treatment was scheduled to be administered on Tuesday, it added. The Paris hospitals authority, citing France’s strict medical privacy rules, said it could not comment on the newspaper’s report. There was no comment either by Schumacher’s long-time manager, Sabine Kehn. Citing sources it did not name, Le Parisien said Schumacher has been treated at least twice previously at the Georges-Pompidou hospital, admitted each time under a false name and treated by a small medical team. Le Parisien published a photo of a yellow and blue ambulance with Geneva plates that it said drove Schumacher to the hospital on Monday afternoon. Inside, he was taken to a first-floor cardiovascular unit on a gurney with a dark-blue covering that hid his face and body, it said. It said about 10 security agents, some equipped with earphones, watched over the patient. After his accident in the French Alps, Schumacher was placed in a drug-induced coma, from which he later emerged. Since September 2014, he has been cared for at home on the shores of Lake Geneva. In January, Schumacher’s family released a statement saying he was in “the very best of hands”. His family fiercely protects his privacy. Thick forest surrounding his castle-like home with high surrounding walls provides sanctuary from fan and media intrusion. Schumacher remains motor racing’s most successful driver, with a record 91 Grand Prix wins. His first two titles were with Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before going on to win five in a row with Ferrari between 2000-2004.Tags: formula oneMichael SchumacherPhilippe Menaschelast_img read more