New Boston top cop on leave over domestic abuse allegations

first_imgBOSTON (AP) — Boston’s new police commissioner has been placed on leave after domestic violence allegations from more than 20 years ago surfaced days after he was elevated to the job. Dennis White was sworn in as the city’s top cop on Monday after William Gross, the city’s first Black police commissioner, abruptly retired. White, a 32-year veteran of the department, previously served as Gross’ chief of staff. White was placed on administrative leave late Wednesday after The Boston Globe raised questions about allegations found in court documents that White pushed and threatened to shoot his then wife in 1999.last_img read more

Minority students at SMC struggle to find mental health resources

first_imgEditor’s note: This is part three of a three-part series on mental health services at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Follow these links to find part one and part two.Imán Omar, a Saint Mary’s senior, feels the pull of many strings: she is a black, Muslim, South African woman who spent the past four-odd years at a predominantly white institution.“It’s a constant battle where I feel like I don’t belong anywhere and have had to create my own identity,” Omar said. She struggled to feel a sense of belonging at Saint Mary’s — and she is not the only one. Minority students at the College often have to try harder to find mental health and wellbeing resources that cater to their unique needs.In terms of staff, Saint Mary’s counseling center is better off than most higher-ed institutions. The national average for mental health professionals to students is around 1:1,000-1,500, while the ratio of counselors to students at Saint Mary’s is about 1:460.But for many minority students, it’s difficult to find common ground with professionals who lack expertise in multicultural or international counseling. As of the spring 2020 semester, none of the three mental health counselors at Saint Mary’s specialized in this area.Omar said this is why she sometimes felt misunderstood by the counselors at Saint Mary’s.(Editor’s Note: Omar is a former News Writer for The Observer)“I had an experience with a counselor [at Saint Mary’s] where I was explaining how I felt isolated in terms of identity, which is normal for international students,” Omar said. “But I’m also Muslim and African, and all these identities affect me. She just kind of went, ‘Well, you chose to come to a Catholic college.’ Which was valid, but that’s not what I’m trying to hear from a counselor.”Notre Dame has three senior counseling staff members who specialize in multicultural counseling, but while students in the tri-campus community are encouraged to take advantage of academic and extra-curricular resources from all three institutions, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross cannot receive counseling at Notre Dame.These services are reserved for “degree-seeking students” at the University, according to the University Counseling Center (UCC) website.UCC director Christine Conway said Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students are not eligible for UCC services because the colleges “offer their own counseling services.”Tom DeHorn, director of counseling and health at Holy Cross, offered a similar explanation. “Students have [a health clinic] here and they’re paying tuition to utilize these services,” he said. “They’re paying for our services because they’re a Holy Cross student.”Available resourcesSaint Mary’s offers a number of other resources specifically for multicultural and international students, many provided through the International Student/Scholar Services office in the College’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership.However, Omar said these resources are often not enough to support all students who need them. As a result, minority students sometimes have to look in unconventional areas to get the help they need.“It shouldn’t be all on the students to get everything they need, especially because I feel like international students get used so much for diversity advertisements,” Omar said. “You’re advertising that you’re diverse and inclusive, but this means that you should take care of the diverse students on campus.”Students sometimes turn to residence hall staff for mental health support instead of seeking professional help directly.“Many students visit hall directors to talk about a variety of things including mental health,” Holy Cross Hall director Ally Straeson said. “Some turn to their RAs or the hall MA for support, but there are many who come directly to their hall director. Whether a student turns to a hall director, an RA, or an MA, they are always provided with resources and referred to the Health and Counseling Center or other campus resources including Campus Ministry and BAVO.”Saint Mary’s hall directors are not trained to provide mental health counseling. Instead, Straeson said, they’re taught to connect residents with the appropriate resources when they need help.“The Health and Counseling Center does not have on-call counselors, but students have the opportunity to see a counselor from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the off hours, hall directors respond … and will be involved every step of the way,” Straeson said. “The only time Residence Life would no longer be involved is if the student was transferred to a mental health facility off campus or no longer a resident of campus.”While Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students cannot receive counseling at Notre Dame, the University’s Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) is open for students across all three campuses. Director Arnel Bulaoro said MSPS works directly with the University Counseling Center and the McDonald Student Center for Well-Being (McWell) to create programs that serve underrepresented student populations.“In 2008, the University Counseling Center partnered with MSPS to serve as one of several campus locations for a program titled ‘Let’s Talk,’” Bulaoro said. “A more recent program, ‘Stock Your Toolbox’ … is a skill-based workshop designed to assist students as they face the everyday stress of life on the Notre Dame campus.”Bulaoro said MSPS serves as a bridge between minority student groups and institutions across the University. In order to connect students with mental health resources, Bulaoro said MSPS first helps students realize they are not alone, while also addressing the crisis of identity many may feel at the University. “One of the biggest hurdles we run into is the stigma students have of meeting with professionals,” he said. “Faculty also have their own struggles, and shared stories add perspective that make a student realize, ‘it’s not just me.’”Bulaoro sees MSPS as an entry point for students looking for resources all around campus. He said it is a “natural place for first encounters,” and a space for “all students in the tri-campus community.” Looking aheadHannah Simpson, president of the College’s Black Student Association, said Saint Mary’s could do more to support mental health for minority students.“There is still an issue of a lack of representation that should still be taken into consideration for the purposes of supporting underrepresented students,” she said.Students at Saint Mary’s are taking notice. In February, the Black Student Association held a round table event to break the stigma surrounding mental illness in the black community. Students met to discuss stigma, prejudice and lack of resources available to the black community, which can prevent students from reaching out to receive the care they need.Omar said she is unsure if resources for minority and international students will ever become more accessible in the tri-campus community. “It kind of feels hopeless in a way,” she said. “As an international student, I feel like I’ve screamed a lot of these issues to people and they’ll say ‘I hear you, but we’re not going to do anything about it.’”Tags: counseling, counselors, Health and Counseling Center, Mental health, minority, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, University Counseling Centerlast_img read more

Jenkins announces 2020 ND Forum theme

first_imgThe ND Forum theme this year will be Election 2020: Think. Engage Respectfully. Vote., University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in an email Tuesday.The annual forum was created in 2005 by Jenkins with the purpose of encouraging the campus community to reflect and focus on various topics and issues, including the Church crisis and response, globalization, sustainability and immigration. Numerous events are sponsored each year to facilitate conversation around the theme’s topics.Jenkins encouraged ND community members to take part in these events, and encouraged students and faculty to add their own events to the collective calendar by contacting“Let us all engage thoughtfully with the many important issues facing our nation during this election year, and when we disagree, let us do so honestly but with comity, never demonizing or denigrating those whose perspectives might differ from our own,” Jenkins said. “And, please, exercise your right and privilege to vote on Tuesday, November 3.”Tags: Election 2020, Fr. John Jenkins, ND forumlast_img read more

Colombia, Peru, and Brazil Agree on Joint Military Actions on the Border

first_imgBy Dialogo October 25, 2010 Colombia, Peru and Brazil have decided to carry out joint operations against drug traffickers and guerrillas in their shared border in the Amazon – operations that have been undertaken before on a bilateral basis. “We have decided that in the future, we will carry out three-way operations to fight drug trafficking and terrorism on our shared border,” said Gen. Francisco Contreras, chair of the joint chiefs of staff of the Peruvian armed forces, at the conclusion of a meeting with his counterparts Edgar Celi (Colombia) and Jose Carlos de Nardi (Brazil) in the Colombian border town of Leticia. According to Contreras, such operations have already been carried out with good results, but only bilaterally, Colombia with Peru and Colombia with Brazil. During the four-hour meeting held on 21 October, the military commanders fleshed out the details of mechanisms for border cooperation and strengthened the ties among the armed forces of the three countries, the Brazilian general de Nardi maintained. The Colombian admiral Celi emphasized that at the meeting “cooperation mechanisms to protect the border region were set in place, and communication channels were established to close the three-way border to crime and drug trafficking.” In addition, he stressed that from now on, “the exchange of information and of training and skills development for the members of the armed forces of the three countries” will play a larger role. “Beyond increasing our footprint in the region, it’s a matter of establishing more effective mechanisms for cooperation and work,” he said. According to military sources, the three countries have assigned nearly 3,000 military personnel to the Amazonian border region, of which the largest component belongs to Colombia with around 1,600, followed by Peru with nearly 1,000 and Brazil with around 450.last_img read more

Ervin, Graessle receive Foundation Medals of Honor

first_imgRobert M. Ervin, a former president of The Florida Bar, recently received The Florida Bar Foundation 2003 Medal of Honor for a lawyer for his dedication to improving the administration of justice and as a leader in fostering programs and institutions that continue today to advance the interests of the public and the legal profession.Lois Thacker Graessle was also honored with a Foundation Medal of Honor for her “lifetime of selfless volunteer service in the pursuit of justice.”The awards were presented at the Foundation’s 27th annual reception and dinner in Orlando in conjunction with the Bar’s Annual Meeting.Ervin, admitted to practice in 1947, demonstrated his commitment to serving the poor early in his career as chair of the Legal Aid Committee of the Tallahassee Bar Association at a time when pro bono service by lawyers received little emphasis. Among his many posts since then are president of the Tallahassee Bar, The Florida Bar, and the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society. He served for a quarter century as a member of the ABA House of Delegates and shaped the leadership of that association in many ways. He chaired the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section and later served as deputy chair of the special committee that implemented the ABA’s Standards of Criminal Justice. He then turned his efforts to securing adoption of the ABA’s Code of Judicial Conduct. As Florida Bar president, he was the driving force in establishing a permanent home for the bench and bar of Florida through creation of The Florida Bar Headquarters in Tallahassee, and he shepherded creation of the Bar’s Clients’ Security Fund, a then revolutionary and controversial program.A director in the early days of The Florida Bar Foundation, Ervin was its first fellow.“Soft spoken and gentle, he is a brilliant strategist, an academic, a formidable advocate, a trusted counselor to clients, and a wise mentor to aspiring lawyers,” said William Thompson, Jr., the Foundation’s immediate past president. “In service to the public, the law and our system of justice, Robert Ervin typifies the highest ideals of the legal profession.”Lois Thacker Graessle, the only woman in her University of Florida College of Law graduating class of 1941, has been honored as one of Florida’s First 150 Women Lawyers.“But, the gender discrimination pervasive at the time prevented her from becoming a practicing lawyer,” Thompson said. “Instead, after she raised her five children, she plunged into volunteer work in the turbulent era for societal change of the 1960s and quickly became a visible community leader.”Thompson said advocating for those least able to protect themselves, Graessle has put issues on the table for public debate that few others dared to raise. As chair of the Jacksonville Mayor’s Child and Youth Care Study, her committed effort led to significant improvements in how her community responded to the needs of its disadvantaged and troubled youth and particularly racial minorities and the poor. Personally involved in implementing the study’s recommendations, she worked with her church to establish its first ever child care center and helped establish two emergency shelters for abused children. A co-founder of Hospice of Northeast Florida, Graessle successfully challenged the hospital lobby to ensure passage of legislation permitting the terminally ill to receive hospice care in their own homes.“More than once, she used her respected position in the Jacksonville community to safeguard legal aid’s effectiveness as an advocate for the poor when city leaders threatened its credibility and funding in retaliation for advocating unpopular causes,” Thompson said. “A feminist, a liberal and a philosopher, she persists in her mission today, renewing her call that the community focus its energies to meet the challenge of making life more equitable for all its citizens.” Ervin, Graessle receive Foundation Medals of Honor Ervin, Graessle receive Foundation Medals of Honorcenter_img August 1, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more

Low-Income Designation vs. CDFI

first_imgby: Stacy AugustineCredit unions that serve moderate- to low-income individuals and distressed communities lacking access to capital sometimes benefit from extra funding to help them serve these communities. Unfortunately, there’s some confusion between two designations—the low-income designation (LID) and the community development financial institution (CDFI) designation—that require different paths to gain funding.The confusion between the two designations stems from two things: First, both LID credit unions and CDFIs serve low- to moderate-income consumers. That means teachers, nurses, police officers and just about every enlisted military member falls into this category. This is working class America, in many cases people who are already your members or who chartered your credit union. A lot of credit unions think they’re not eligible for assistance in serving low-income people, but may well qualify when you look at the specific criteria.Second, both designations require some type of regulatory approval. While the approval comes from two different sources, both are governmental authorities.This confusion has posed hurdles for credit unions that might benefit from funding to help individuals and communities. Here’s how a CDFI designation is different from a LID: continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

How to create a successful ERM program

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Credit unions seek to accomplish their strategic objectives within the framework of their mission. Once management has determined their strategic objectives, they set about creating strategies to achieve their objectives. Having a solid ERM framework applied in the strategy-setting process allows the credit union to identify and mitigate or accept the risks in pursuit of their objectives.Utilizing an ERM framework helps the credit union provide reasonable assurance to the board of directors and management related to the achievement of the credit union’s objectives. This assurance is based upon the understanding of risks related to the objectives, and furthermore, that the risks have been reduced to acceptable levels. continue reading »last_img read more

Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital on rises of COVID-19 cases in Bradford County

first_img“They’re spreading it in the community,” Dr. Scalzone said. “Because unknowingly they feel fine but do have the infection.”  The Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital says about three weeks ago. They have seen a rise in hospitalizations as well. Scalzone also mentioned the most important thing people can do is to continue to wear masks in public and avoid large gatherings. The hospital has added dedicated areas just for COVID patients.  Hospital staff says they have about three times as many patients with COVID as they did in the spring.  SAYRE, Pa (WBNG) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health says Bradford County has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. Dr. Michael Scalzone, Chief Quality Officer, says the rise in hospitalizations is from people who are asymptomatic. last_img read more

Stress tests thwarting German schemes’ equity investments, experts warn

first_imgSolvency “stress tests” required by law are preventing German pension funds from increasing their equity investments, industry figures have warned.According to legal investment limits, Germany’s largest Pensionskasse – the BVV, for banks and the financial services industry – is allowed to invest up to 35% of its assets in equities.Yet BVV managing director Rainer Jakubowski, speaking at the Handelsblatt annual conference in Berlin, pointed out that the scheme was not even allowed to maintain a 27% equity allocation, due to additional regulations.According to German risk-management rules, Pensionskassen have to demonstrate their solvency using a stress test, which caps the amount of risk the institution can take in equities. “This stress test, which was put in place in 2004, forces us into a relatively low equity allocation, which I think is [fundamentally] wrong,” Jakubowski said.He said that, if he had more freedom in terms of asset allocation, he would “do some things differently”.Hans Dieter Ohlrogge, chairman of the board at the IBM Pensionsfonds and Pensionskasse, agreed that the stress test was “a problem” because “it prevents a sensible real asset allocation in most cases”.At IBM, he “has more freedom than others”, he said, both in the Pensionsfonds, as this is less regulated, and in the Pensionskasse because the plan sponsor has an obligation for top-ups.“We have a higher real asset allocation than the average Pensionskasse, and we can cope with the volatility,” he added.Ohlrogge argued that regulations should provide more freedom on the liability side – by allowing temporary underfunding, for example.“But current regulation goes exactly the opposite way,” he said. “Pension funds are being driven into higher volatility and higher-risk investments because of the low interest rates, but institutions are not handed any instruments to handle the higher volatility.”Together with a shrinking discount rate in many cases, the capacity to bear risk is also lowered, which, in turn, drives institutions into non-returning asset classes – “a vicious cycle”, he said.“Eventually,” he added, “contributions have to be increased, which makes retirement provision unattractive. In fact, we are in an environment in which occupational pensions are being strangled.”Jakubowski said institutions were now being driven by continuous mark-to-market assessments, often resulting in poor asset allocation decisions.“We need the political understanding that the artificially created low interest rate einvironment is making retirement provision more difficult and that counter measures are needed,” he said.He added that, should the low interest rate continue for much longer, German pension funds would have problems achieving their minimum guarantees, as institutions are “punished by the supervisory body” for investing in most asset classes returning 3-4%, which is roughly the guarantee level.last_img read more

Low bond yields trigger review of Norwegian oil fund’s equity allocation

first_imgNorway’s NOK7.1bn (€733bn) sovereign wealth fund may see its exposure to equity increase beyond its current 60% allocation, after the government commissioned a review of its exposure to listed stocks.The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has asked a nine-strong committee, chaired by Knut Anton Mork, long-standing chief economist of Handelsbanken, to review the Government Pension Fund Global’s (GPFG) approach to equity investment, citing concerns the fund’s current exposure to fixed income no longer reduces volatility.The committee will also include a number of academics, financial markets experts and Sigbjørn Johnsen, a member of the opposition Labour party who has twice served as Norway’s finance minister.Setting out the review’s terms of reference, the ministry noted the current low-bond-yield environment across both short and long-dated debt. “The scope for further bond price gains is now limited by the low bond yield level, whilst the scope for price losses in the event of increasing bond yields are considerable,” it said.The committee, which will report in October this year, will review the expected risk stemming from, and return potential of, equity exposure other than the current 60% strategic allocation, and recommend any changes to the target.“In assessing the equity portion, the committee shall, inter alia, consider the fund’s objective, time horizon and size,” the ministry added, “as well as expected outflows from the fund.”The review comes shortly after the Norwegian government was urged to expand the GPFG’s investment remit to include infrastructure and a potentially increased exposure to real estate, currently capped at 5% of fund assets.As a result, an increase in the fund’s equity exposure is far from certain, due to the potential for its real estate exposure to rise and the possible introduction of a standalone infrastructure allocation.The sovereign fund currently accounts for a significant minority of government expenditure, around one in eight kroner spent annually, despite yearly drawdowns being limited to 4% to avoid its depletion.Any change in strategy is unlikely to be implemented for at least a year, as the government said in a statement that it would only address the matter of a revised equity exposure when the fund’s annual report was submitted to Parliament in spring 2017.At the end of September last year, 59.7% of the fund was invested in equities, 37.3% in fixed income and the remaining 3% in real estate.The fund’s current 60% exposure to equities has been in place since 2007, while the 5% target allocation to real estate was announced in 2008.last_img read more