BCFC/iStock(DALLAS) — A Texas jury rejected former Dallas police officer Amber Guyer’s self-defense claims and convicted her on Tuesday of murder in the fatal 2018 shooting of an innocent man eating ice cream in his own home after mistaking his apartment for her own.The 12-member jury reached its verdict deliberating for less than two days. Guyger stood and stared at the panel as the jury foreperson read the decision of guilty.The family members of Botham Jean, the neighbor Guyger shot to death on Sept. 6, 2018, burst into tears as the jury granted them a measure of justice.The 31-year-old Guyger, who was fired from the Dallas Police Department days after the shooting, faces a prison sentence of five to 99 years.The verdict followed a trial lasted a little over a week, in which the jury was sequestered the whole time.The Dallas County jury began deliberations Monday afternoon after prosecutors told them in their closing argument that Guyger made a series of “unreasonable decisions” that cost an innocent man his life. Defense attorneys countered that she made “reasonable” mistakes that led her to resort to lethal force because she believed her life was in jeopardy.The jury came to its decision after asking for clarification on the definition of manslaughter and a clearer explanation of the Castle Doctrine, a legal protection for a homeowner who uses deadly force inside their home against an intruder.Guyger’s defense team attempted to use the Castle Doctrine, which is similar to Florida’s “stand your ground” law, as a defense, arguing that while she was in the wrong apartment, in her mind she believed she was in her own unit, which was a floor below Jean. The prosecution countered that the Castle Doctrine did not apply in the case.Before the jurors began deliberations, Dallas County District Court Judge Tammy Kemp gave them a series of instructions, including offering the panel the option of weighing whether Guyger committed murder or manslaughter when she mistakenly entered the apartment of her neighbor, Botham Jean, and fatally shot him believing he was an intruder.In his closing argument on Monday, Dallas County Assistant District attorney Jason Fine stood before jurors and asked them to reject Guyer’s “crazy” contention that she shot the 26-year-old Jean in self-defense because she believed she was in her own apartment and that the victim, who was sitting on his couch eating ice cream, was going to kill her.Fine began by reading from a piece of paper an excerpt from Guyger’s testimony last week, in which she said, “I never want anybody to have to go through or even imagine going through what I felt that night.”“Are you kidding me? That is garbage,” Fine said, crumpling up the paper and throwing it in the trash. “Most of what she said was garbage. Ninty-nine percent of this trial has been about the defendant.”Fine asked the jury to put themselves in the shoes of both Jean and Guyger when they entered the deliberation room.“He’s eating ice cream on his couch. So, if you’re sitting and eating ice cream you get shot in the heart? Is that what we’re saying?” Fine said.“This has to do with that defendant making unreasonable decisions that put her in that seat and Bo in the ground,” Fine said pointing to Guyger at the defense table.Guyger, who had been a Dallas police officer for four years, testified in her own defense.She told the jury that on the night of the shooting she was tired from a long day at work and mistakenly parked on the wrong floor. She said the parking floors at her apartment building were not clearly marked.She reenacted how she reached the apartment door, with her backpack, lunchbox and police vest in her left hand, and testified that she heard the sound of someone walking inside.When Guyger put the key into the lock that night, she said she noticed the door was “cracked open” and that putting the key into the lock forced the door open to the dark apartment. Guyger said she had experienced problems getting the door to lock completely at her apartment.Jean, an accountant for the international auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was sitting on his couch when Guyger opened his front door and shot him without giving him a chance to surrender, prosecutors said.Guyger said she saw the silhouette of a figure, so she pulled her “gun out and I yelled at him.”She told the jurors the figure was moving around and she could not see his hands, and that the man “was yelling, ‘Hey! Hey! Hey!’ in an aggressive voice.”Guyger reenacted the next moment for the jurors, holding her right hand out as if she was holding a gun. Guyger said Jean was moving toward her when she fired.Her attorney asked why she fired, and Guyger replied, “I was scared he was gonna kill me.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Source: 7.14.2017. NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University www.norwich.edu (link is external)More information is available at www.giv.org(link is external) or by calling (802) 865-4448. Vermont Business Magazine Norwich University welcomes 36 Vermont high school students on Sunday, July 16, for its inaugural Governor’s Institute on Architecture, Design & Building, a brand new Governor’s Institute of Vermont (GIV) program. The institute offers a residential week of hands-on learning in working with concrete, masonry and wood across the disciplines of architecture, engineering, and construction management with an emphasis on regional materials and best practices of sustainable design and craft.”This partnership between Norwich University and the Governor’s Institutes brings Norwich’s incredible teaching and mentoring resources to any Vermont high-schooler with a strong interest in the topic, regardless of their location or income,” said Karen Taylor Mitchell, who coordinates all 13 Governor’s Institutes programs throughout the state. “We’re over the moon that these young women and men are getting this chance to build confidence and try out their interests in one of Vermont’s most promising career fields.”Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools(link is external) includes all three of the primary architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) disciplines together. The School of Architecture + Art(link is external) is the only National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited architecture school in northern New England, and Norwich is the only university in northern New England teaching all the A/E/C disciplines. The College of Professional Schools includes shop facilities for wood and metal; its new “CoLab,” a design/build area suitable for building full-scale buildings like the award-winning, 1000-square foot house completed for the 2013 Solar Decathlon; and digital fabrication labs that include 3D printers, 3D scanners, a five-axis CNC mill, and a 5’x9’ three-axis CNC mill.Students will work with Norwich faculty, alumni, and undergraduate students in architecture, engineering, art, and construction management who are dedicated to a collaborative education model and project delivery. This college has a tradition of sustainable design/build projects including the Solar Decathlon DeltaT90 house; the outdoor classroom, Dutch Angle, conceived, designed and executed for Northfield High School in 2015; and CASA 802, a recently completed tiny house of 380 square feet. Other school projects include the award-winning Archistream mobile design gallery for AIA Vermont; the EMBarc, a mobile and self-powered earth-science lab created from a twenty-foot shipping container that travels in the state to teach about geology and water quality; and the recently built Wheel–pad, a modular accessible bedroom and bathroom that can be temporarily added to a residence, permitting residents to remain in their own homes during a period of recuperation.“As the global population continues to expand and urbanize there will be massive challenges for humanity and the environment,” said Cara Armstrong, director of the School of Architecture + Art and Institute co-director. She promises incoming teenagers: “Design will help you meet those challenges; it will help you think about systems, not just things, so you will learn to see that the world is not made up of individual, disconnected things but that everything is causal, interrelated and connected.”About Governor’s Institute of Vermont:At 34 years old, the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont is a nonprofit organization committed to making life-changing accelerated learning opportunities accessible to all talented Vermont teens, especially those from rural and economically disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented populations. With the help of the Vermont legislature and many donors, the Governor’s Institutes serves 630 students a year with sliding scale tuition that starts as low as $10 for a full weeklong Institute, including room and board.Other Governor’s Institutes topics include arts; astronomy; Asian cultures; current issues and youth activism; entrepreneurship; environmental science and technology; information technology and digital media; mathematical sciences; engineering; and writing. Registration for the next Governor’s Institutes, Winter Weekends will open in December.Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). VBM vermontbiz.com
Benton House will be expanding to the north.The Benton House senior living community in Prairie Village is preparing to break ground on a project that will add 14 new rooms to its memory care facilities, effectively doubling the size of its memory care operation.The expansion is the second phase of construction on the site, and was approved as part of the initial planning commission submission after Hunt Midwest bought the Somerset Elementary property in 2011.The new construction will sit adjacent to and north of the existing facility.Benton House says the addition will cost approximately $1,800,000. Construction should be complete in time for an early 2015 opening.Benton House has more than 60 residents at present, and it has 14 memory care rooms that serve residents with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia. The addition will include 12 new private memory care rooms and two new semi-private rooms.“It will essentially be a mirror of the facilities we have now,” said Benton House Executive Director Marly Mayyahi.Benton House say it expects to hire 15-20 new employees to serve residents in the new rooms.
Visiting Buckeyes will be a tall task for MinnesotaJanuary 24, 2008Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintHad it not been for a pair of overtime losses in the last three weeks, the Minnesota women would be tied for first place in the Big Ten. Instead, the 4-3 Gophers are in a four-way tie for fourth place.Minnesota (13-6 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) will attempt to right the ship, sophomore forward Ashley Ellis-Milan said, as they prepare to host No. 15 Ohio State at Williams Arena tonight at 7 p.m.“It’s all about the will to win,” Ellis-Milan said. “It’s a battle out there, and it’s all about who’s going to win it. You have to fight to the end to get that last basket or that last rebound, and I don’t think we had that mentality earlier. But we’ve focused on that in practice, and I think we’re going to get it.”The Buckeyes (15-3, 6-1) have never been an easy team to beat for the Gophers as Ohio State has won 45 of the teams’ 53 meetings, and this year shouldn’t be any easier.Freshman center Jantel Lavender leads a strong lineup in the paint, averaging 16.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game so far this year. The Buckeyes’ ability to get the ball inside has made the game easy for senior guard Marscilla Packer, allowing her to add 15.2 points to the Big Ten’s best offensive unit.The Gophers should be able to keep up with the scoring of Ohio State, but the challenge for Minnesota will be to get stops on defense. And with all the praise coach Pam Borton gave to the Buckeyes’ offense, it may not be an easy task.“They’re a very good team. They play a deliberate style of basketball, and they’re going to get the shot that they want,” coach Pam Borton said. “They want to get the ball inside, and they’re going to do whatever they can to get the ball into the post.” But despite Ohio State’s inside presence and quality guards, senior forward Leslie Knight said that slowing down the Buckeyes isn’t impossible.“I know that we can do it, but we just need to have that extra focus over that last three or four minutes of the game,” she said. “Their post players are legitimate threats, but we’ll take a look at the game plan and how we plan to defend them, and go from there.”On Minnesota’s side, offense has been the key to the Gophers’ success, as the team is leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage and three-point percentage. After an up and down start to the season, Ellis-Milan attributed the improved shooting to extra shooting drills and a level of comfort coming from getting used to the season.“I feel like we are getting into the flow of the season a little more, and we spend a little more time in the gym shooting, and it’s paying off,” she said. “We’re really starting to gel, and it’s showing on the offensive end.”The only offensive category that has cost Minnesota so far has been its free throw shooting, as the Gophers were a combined 37-61 in their three losses, and are dead last in free throw shooting percentage in the conference.But despite losing three close games, including the two overtime losses, Ellis-Milan seemed sure that the team’s confidence levels were still high heading into one of the biggest conference games of the year.“I think in the back of a lot of our minds, we are 6-1,” Ellis Milan said. “I think this is a huge game for us, not only for pride, but to make a statement. This is going to be a great game.”
The Washington Post:Joshua Tucker: The following is a guest post from social psychologists Jay Van Bavel (New York University) and Mina Cikara (Harvard University)*****As the Gaza-Israel conflict began escalating last month, there were widely circulated reports that Israeli spectators had gathered on garden chairs and old sofas to cheer as bombs rained down on people living in Gaza just a few miles away. This expression of malicious glee is hardly unique to Israelis; Palestinians have also been seen standing on rooftops and celebrating when Hamas fires rockets at cities in Israel.Though these displays of schadenfreude — in which people exhibit pleasure at others’ pain — often garner widespread condemnation, records indicate they have a long history. According to some accounts, people similarly sat in chairs on hillsides and watched the slaughter unfold during the American Civil War. A poem published in the Boston Herald in 1861 vividly captured the revelry:Have you heard of the story so lacking in glory,About the Civilians who went to the fight,With everything handy, from sandwich to brandy,To fill their broad stomachs and make them all tight.There were bulls from our State street, and cattle from Wall street,And members of Congress, to see the great fun;Newspaper reporters (some regular shorters)On a beautiful Sunday went out to Bull Run.New research in social psychology helps explain these responses and offers one way we can help restore empathy for our enemies.In a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, with our colleagues Emile Bruneau and Rebecca Saxe at MIT, we found evidence that this intergroup empathy gap — the tendency not only to empathize less with out-groups but also to feel pleasure in response to their pain — is a consequence of basic group dynamics.Read the whole story: The Washington Post More of our Members in the Media >
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Image source: Team Van OordA £6.8 million coastal protection scheme, aimed to reduce the risk of coastal flooding in Lincolnshire, has officially begun. Over the next 6 weeks, beaches at Trusthorpe, Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells, Trunch Lane, Wolla Bank, Chapel Six Marshes and Huttoft will be replenished with 350,000 cubic meters of sand dredged from designated areas 20km offshore.Mark Robinson, senior coastal adviser at the Environment Agency, said: “The beaches take the brunt of the waves’ energy, which would otherwise impact on coastal defenses such as sea walls. Storms and large waves are more frequent during winter months, leading to erosion of the sand from these beaches.”Robinson added that replacing the sand helps extend the life of the sea defenses – defenses that reduce coastal flood risk to more than 30,000 homes and businesses, 19,000 static caravans and 35,000 hectares of land.The dredger used will be the TSHD HAM 316, which carries about 10,000 tonnes of sand at a time.[mappress mapid=”23963″]
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At the end of 2015 cross-bench peer, Lord Aberdare, tabled an amendment to the Enterprise Bill. The amendment sought to protect cash retentions by placing them in a ring-fenced account. The amendment was withdrawn following a promise by the (then) business minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, to review the retention system. That review is delayed and unlikely to be published until after the election: in the meantime, on 26 April, Alan Brown MP introduced a Construction Industry (Protection of Retentions) Bill as a private member’s bill. This would have required cash retentions to be placed in trust but, again, the election has intervened.On 31 March (just gone) legislation was implemented in New Zealand imposing trust status on retention money. There is a growing recognition around the world that some form of protection is required. This comprises everything from payment bonds and bank guarantees to charges on the land (on which the work was carried out) and statutory trusts. Anything less than some form of statutory protection will not help to safeguard retention cash. The UK government’s Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter has an “ambition” to get rid of retentions by 2025 but no mechanism to achieve this. If cash retentions are to be kept in a secure “pot”, there would be little point in withholding the cash – since it cannot be used.Anything less than some form of statutory protection will not help to safeguard retention moniesA recent independent scrutiny of the accounts of the UK’s top dozen contractors revealed that they were owed £1bn worth of retention cash. Approximately 90% of the £1bn is funded by their supply chains. No other industry sector would tolerate such volume of cash being wholly at risk. In 2015 almost £50m worth of retentions was lost by SMEs following insolvencies further up the supply chain. Not surprisingly lending institutions do not consider a firm’s retention ledger as sufficient security for lending purposes.All contracting firms have their horror stories. One small plumbing company recently revealed that it had lost £150,000 worth of retention over the last five years because of insolvencies. In recent years the insolvency risk has increased because large companies are holding on to their supply chains’ retentions for a longer period. Subcontract retention release has been pushed out to two, three or more years after handover. This is to counteract the fact that main contractors can no longer simply delay release by linking subcontract release dates to some certificate stating that the main contract works are fully compliant.But contractual consent for holding back retentions (from already due payments) does not extend to their being defrayed for the purpose of satisfying the payer’s creditors. Their purpose – ostensibly – is to provide security in the event that a firm does not return (whether for reasons of insolvency or any other reason) to remedy non-compliant work. Contractors agreeing to retentions being withheld should insist on greater clarity as to the purpose for which the money is handed over.Firms concerned about the security of their retentions may be able to obtain a declaration from an adjudicator that the money is trust moneyIn effect retentions are a conditional loan; the condition being that the loan will be repaid in the event that the works are in accordance with the contract or the contractor has rectified any non-complaint work. In a 1970 case, Barclays Bank vs Quistclose Investments Ltd, Quistclose had lent money to a company to enable it to pay a dividend to shareholders. Instead the company had used the loan to pay off an overdraft owed to Barclays Bank. The House of Lords (as it then was) decided that Barclays held the money on trust for Quistclose, because it had not been used for its intended purpose.Similarly misuse of retention cash (that is, using the cash for unconnected purposes such as paying off a loan or bolstering working capital) could attract trust status. In a more recent case (Twinsectra Limited vs Yardley and Others ) Lord Millett in the House of Lords explained the Quistclose trust as follows: “[It] is a simple, commercial arrangement akin […] to a retention of title clause […] which enables the borrower to have recourse to the lender’s money for a particular purpose.”Until or unless the money is used for the designated purpose, it is branded as trust money and should be ring-fenced. Firms concerned about the security of their retentions may be able to obtain a declaration from an adjudicator that the money is trust money. As such it should be ring-fenced in a trust account.For now we await publication of the government’s review.Professor Rudi Klein is a barrister and chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group
ITALY: Celebrations were held in Milano on December 5 to mark the completion of the final sections of the north-south high speed rail corridor, which opens for revenue service with the timetable change on December 13.Completion of the Novara – Milano, Bologna – Firenze and Napoli – Salerno links brings the total length of Italy’s Alta Velocità network to more than 1 000 route-km, stretching from Torino to Salerno. Describing the occasion as ‘an Italian miracle’, FS Group Chief Executive Mauro Moretti said the high speed line would act as a ‘vertical spine’ for the country, linking most of the major cities and serving around 65% of the country’s population.Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was guest of honour at the event, along with Transport & Infrastructure Minister Altero Matteoli, as well as Moretti and FS Group President Innocenzo Cipolletta. Two Frecciarossa ETR500 trainsets conveying guests from Torino and Salerno met at Milano Centrale station for the formal inauguration.From December 13 Trenitalia will reshape its high speed service pattern, running frequent 300 km/h Frecciarossa trains on the trunk route, augmented by 280 km/h Frecciaargento Pendolino services to other destinations. Fastest journey times for the Milano – Roma trip which uses 515 km of high speed line has been cut to 2 h 45 min, with most services now below 3 h. The 720 km Milano – Napoli journey will come down to 4 h 10 min, as will the 640 km between Roma and Torino. At peak times Trenitalia says it will be operating high speed trains between Roma and Milano at 15 min intervals.