Following earthquake, significant road damage around Southcentral Alaska

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Public Safety | SouthcentralFollowing earthquake, significant road damage around Southcentral AlaskaDecember 1, 2018 by Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk Share:The Minnesota Dr. airport off-ramp buckled by an earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, on Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo by Nat Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)For the latest information on road conditions, visit the Department of Transportation’s website. Significant road damage remains following the 7.0 earthquake that struck Southcentral Alaska on Friday.As of Saturday morning, the state Department of Transportation had documented over 40 damaged sites. DOT reports that many aftershocks have continued to cause cracking and settling.DOT spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy said there are two areas in particular drivers should be aware of. She points to one area on the Glenn Highway.“Because we are having these continuing aftershocks, the Mirror Lake and Thunderbird Falls area, damage is continuing to spread and it’s moving into the driving lanes,” McCarthy said. “We have two detours set up, people can get through, but it is awfully slow.”McCarthy advised drivers to add significant time to their commute if they plan on traveling through those areas.The other area drivers should be especially aware of is the Seward Highway, south of Anchorage. McCarthy said the road is open, but aftershocks are causing rockfall and they are not recommending travel unless it is an absolute necessity.The interchange in Palmer remained shut down as of Saturday morning. There is also a detour in Eagle River to get around the northbound Eagle River bridge.To make matters more complicated, McCarthy said the weather service alerted DOT that poor weather conditions are on the way.“We’re going to get snow, we’re going to get rain, we’re going to get high winds,” McCarthy said. “So this might be a time… just plan on extra time, no matter what.”McCarthy said DOT workers and contractors are working on repairs around the clock, but at this time she did not have a good estimate on when that work will be finished.She also didn’t have an estimate of how much repairs will ultimately cost, but she said it’s safe to say it will be in the millions of dollars.Construction began immediately to repair the ramp at the intersection of International Airport Road and Minnesota Drive after it collapsed during a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Friday, November 30, 3018 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Share this story:last_img read more

As budget debate draws out, a deadline for state layoff notices approaches

first_imgCrime & Courts | Economy | Education | Politics | Southcentral | Southwest | State GovernmentAs budget debate draws out, a deadline for state layoff notices approachesMay 23, 2019 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivering his first State of the State address to the Alaska Legislature on Jan. 22, 2019. He’s flanked by Senate President Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, and House Finance Co-Chair Neal Foster, D-Nome, who was then serving as temporary House speaker. Dunleavy, the Senate and the House all have different proposals for permanent fund dividends, which could prove to be a problem as the June 3 deadline to notify state workers of potential layoffs approaches. (Video still from Gavel Alaska)Alaska legislators are hoping to avoid layoff notices for state workers before a June 3 deadline. But it’s not clear that they’ll be able to resolve differences over Alaska Permanent Fund dividends by that date — or in time to avoid a state government shutdown on July 1.The Legislature is more than a week into a special session to resolve differences over the budget and other issues. The House of Representatives agreed to changes to a major crime bill, and the Senate is set to consider these changes next week. But progress has been slow on PFDs.Both House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, a Dillingham independent, and Senate President Cathy Giessel, an Anchorage Republican, want to avoid layoffs.Giessel said legislative leaders are talking with Gov. Mike Dunleavy about the dividend.“We are still in discussions with the governor trying to reach a conclusion to that,” she said. “It is not our intention that any teachers, troopers or truck drivers get pink slips this year. There’s no reason for it. We need to reach agreement with the governor, and that’s what we’re endeavoring to do.”Dunleavy spokesperson Matt Shuckerow said the governor hopes to have the budget resolved in time, and the governor’s office is focused on getting a budget in place. As for details about how layoff notices would be handled, Shuckerow said that “that’s not information that’s publicly out there” at this point.Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Press Secretary Matt Shuckerow answers reporters’ questions after a briefing in the governor’s cabinet room in the Capitol in Juneau on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Teachers and other school employees also don’t know if they will face layoffs, but the cause of their layoffs would be somewhat different than it would be for state workers.The Legislature and Dunleavy’s administration disagree about whether education funding for next year, included in a law passed last year, is valid. Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson issued an opinion that the Legislature couldn’t fund schools a year ahead of time, considering that the state government didn’t have the cash on hand when the law was enacted.Edgmon said school employees shouldn’t be worried about receiving layoff notices. That’s because he feels the funding for two years in one bill is a well-established practice.“Well, they absolutely shouldn’t be,” Edgmon said. “The Legislature appropriated the money for (fiscal year) ’19 and (fiscal year) ’20, and we stand firmly behind the fact that that money was appropriated in a manner that the Legislature has been doing for many years.”Shuckerow noted that it’s school districts’ responsibility to issue layoff notices to employees. But it’s not clear who would inform districts of their responsibility to issue notices when the Legislature and administration disagree about whether school funding has already been passed.The school funding issue may be resolved in court, since both sides are relying on contrasting legal interpretations.There are also different positions on PFDs.House majority caucus leaders have said they support a dividend of roughly $1,600, which was the amount last year and would require a roughly $250 million draw from state savings accounts like the Constitutional Budget Reserve.The Senate included in its version of the budget a dividend of roughly $3,000 under the formula established in state law in 1982. But the Senate budget doesn’t say how it would pay for about $1.2 billion of the budget.Dunleavy has said he would veto a budget that didn’t include the full statutory dividend of $3,000. He proposed $1.6 billion in cuts and tax transfers from municipalities.But lawmakers have proposed much lower cuts and haven’t advanced the tax transfer bills. Members in both chambers have expressed concern about the long-term effects of drawing more from permanent fund earnings to pay for dividends than was laid out in a law passed last year.Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks during a House floor session, March 11, 2019. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)There’s a new House Finance Committee proposal for a full dividend this year, but it would also change state law to have lower dividends in the future. The proposal was opposed by nearly all Alaskans who provided public testimony on Thursday morning.David Hurn of Wasilla was among the opponents to reducing the dividends.“I’m sick of your socialist propaganda surrounding the PFD,” Hurn told committee members. “It’s not yours.”Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman has introduced a separate measure, House Bill 1002, focused solely on paying the full dividend this year. Most of those who mentioned the bill in public testimony supported it.The committee continued to take public testimony Thursday night.Watch the latest legislative coverage from Gavel Alaska: Share this story:last_img read more

Dozens of convicted criminals have been hired as cops in rural Alaska. Sometimes, they’re the only applicants.

first_imgA key part of the problem: There aren’t enough state troopers or other state-funded cops to go around. When it comes to boots-on-the-ground law enforcement, village police officers (VPOs) and tribal police officers (TPOs) working in Alaska villages are at least as common. Yet no one keeps track of who these officers are, where they are working, if they’ve passed a background check or if they’ve received any training.The state agency that regulates Alaska police has suspended efforts to solve this mess. Mike said he is ready to go back on patrol any time the city needs him. He figures street smarts must count for something.“I’ve done my time, now all I want to do is work and make money,” he said. “I’m a pretty good cop.”For now, the state of Alaska hasn’t caught up with Mike’s change in job status. The official state sex offender registry database still lists his employer as “City of Stebbins.”ProPublica research reporting fellow Alex Mierjeski and Anchorage Daily News reporters Alex DeMarban, Tegan Hanlon, Jeff Parrott, Michelle Theriault Boots and Annie Zak contributed to this report.Story editing: Charles Ornstein (ProPublica) and David Hulen (ADN). Photo editing: Anne Raup.Share this story: Alaska Police Standards Council Director Bob Griffiths said his agency barely has the time to fulfill its regular duties of juggling complaints and appeals involving certified police officers. It doesn’t have enough money to also visit rural Alaska so it can research ways to fix police hiring practices. That effort will come in the fall, at the earliest.Yet the stakes are high. The same Alaska towns that have no police, or criminals working as cops, are in areas with some of the highest rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in the country.When a case relies on an arrest by an untrained cop who has a criminal record, prosecutors sometimes do not want to put that person in front of a jury and instead might drop or reduce felony charges, Griffiths warned. “I could see felony domestic violence assault cases that end up being pleaded down to harassment or coercion.”Nome District Attorney John Earthman agreed that sometimes happens, and that cases involving untrained officers sometimes lack key evidence such as recordings of initial interviews. He said public defenders have raised concerns about some police because they have defended those same officers on recent criminal charges.“I’ve been out here almost 20 years and some of these are realities that you just don’t see in the city,” Earthman said. Still, the hiring of Mike as a village police officer came as a surprise.“If he’s the only one who took a statement from a suspect or a defendant, that may be an issue.”Salmon dries on racks along the Norton Sound coast in Stebbins. (Bill Roth / ADN)‘You are absolutely desperate’The story of how Alaska communities came to quietly hire criminals as police officers, without consequence or oversight, is the story of how cash-poor local governments found themselves without law enforcement and few options.There are several different forms of police in rural Alaska.The best trained and best paid are state troopers. More than 300 work across Alaska, but just one-third are based off the road system.Next is a class of cops unique to Alaska: village public safety officers (VPSOs), who are nearly as well-trained as troopers and are also paid by the state. But the number of VPSOs appears to be at an all-time low, with just 42 officers statewide this year, compared with more than 100 in 2013.On the same day the federal government announced millions in emergency funds for Alaska rural police in June, Gov. Mike Dunleavy revealed he had vetoed millions from the VPSO program, saying the money was for vacant positions.Dunleavy, a Republican, has declared a “war on criminals” and vowed to punish sexual predators. “If you hurt Alaskans, if you molest children, if you assault women, we’re really going to come after you,” Dunleavy said at a July 8 crime bill signing.Asked moments later why the Alaska Police Standards Council has suspended efforts to revamp law enforcement hiring regulations, given that men convicted of sex crimes are working as police in some villages, Dunleavy offered no specifics but said he planned to hold meetings over the summer with “stakeholders.”Bahnke, the head of the Nome-based nonprofit that employs VPSOs, said that only five of the 15 communities in her region have VPSOs and called on the state to spend unused salaries on equipment, housing and other amenities that would make it easier to recruit new officers.Alaska Native leaders once sued to force the state to provide armed, trained police in villages, but their lawsuit failed in state court. That leaves VPOs and TPOs to pick up the slack. They tend to be younger, paid less and have less training than traditional police.VPOs, such as those in Stebbins, are mainly expected to enforce city laws such as curfews and misdemeanors. In practice, however, they must sometimes handle life-and-death encounters such as standoffs and suicide threats. TPOs perform a similar role but are employed by federally recognized tribes and are not regulated by the state.Of the emergency village law enforcement funding announced in June by the attorney general, $4.5 million will go to hire tribal officers who will not be required to undergo background checks.But lack of funding for cops isn’t the only problem. Many villages have no housing for police, no secure jail cells or no public safety building. When Barr visited the state in May to see the problem for himself, he called the lack of services one of the most pressing public safety needs in the United States.Our review also found that villages have routinely ignored — or said they were unaware of — laws that require training and bar people with certain criminal records from being hired.Sen. Lisa Murkowski and U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr tour a jail holding cell in the Western Alaska village of Napaskiak on May 31. Barr later declared a federal emergency related to public safety in Alaska villages. (Marc Lester / ADN)Last year, the Daily News reported on isolated cases of people with criminal records working as police in remote Alaska villages. That story focused on a case at the edge of the Arctic Circle, in the tundra village of Selawik, where the city employed an officer who had been convicted of bootlegging and faced a pending charge of giving alcohol to a minor when he sexually assaulted an underage girl. The 16-year-old died the night of the attack, and the city settled a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit for $300,000. (The officer pleaded guilty to rape and furnishing alcohol to a minor in that case but was not charged in her death. He has not responded to numerous interview requests.)What happened in Selawik is far from an isolated example, our comprehensive examination shows. Between January and May, ProPublica and the Daily News identified 50 city and tribal governments that employ officers. Some would not provide names, but of the 159 officers identified, more than 42 have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to assault or another crime, most often domestic violence, that is typically a bar to working in law enforcement.Leaders in some communities, including Stebbins, say they have little alternative but to hire anyone they can.“It’s easy to look at in that light, ‘How could these people hire criminals to do this job?’” said Jason Wilson, public safety manager for several Southeast Alaska villages.“When you live in a community and you’re desperate, you are absolutely desperate for some law enforcement and to have somebody step up that might have a blemished record, you are willing to say, ‘OK, I think person is still going to do OK for us.’”Asked if the criminal backgrounds of some TPOs and VPOs hamper investigations or undermine prosecutors’ cases, Alaska’s Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price said the local officers are vital to fighting crime in far-flung communities.“Our troopers regularly say that, while tomorrow they might have to arrest a VPO or a TPO, today they are critical,” Price said.‘He was our only applicant’In village after village, troubling examples abound.In Mountain Village, population 864, one recent VPO awaits trial on charges of stealing from a murder scene. Court records show five other recent VPOs in the same Yukon River community are awaiting hearings or have admitted to criminal charges including four counts of disorderly conduct, three counts of assault, two cases of neglect, two cases of drunken driving, two charges of harassment and three cases of domestic violence.The Yukon River community of Mountain Village. (Loren Holmes / ADN)Along the Norton Sound coast, the city of Shaktoolik in May hired a VPO who has pleaded guilty to five assault charges within the past 10 years. “He was our only applicant so we had no other choice,” a city employee said.Among those hired as TPOs in the fishing villages of Kasigluk and Tuntutuliak, located among the vast web of river-fed lakes in western Alaska, are registered sex offenders who admitted to abuse of a minor or attempted sexual abuse of a minor. The Kasigluk tribal administrator said he was directed by the tribal council not to talk to a reporter about the issue. In Tuntutuliak, Administrator Deanna White said the village council was willing to hire an offender on a part-time basis because of constant turnover and a lack of applicants in the high-stress job.“Every time we hired, they wouldn’t last,” she said.In the Kuskokwim Bay village of Kwigillingok, a 33-year-old man worked as a tribal police officer while subject to a long-term domestic violence restraining order. He was indicted in February on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old and is awaiting trial in a Bethel jail. He has pleaded not guilty.And in the nearby Kuskokwim River village of Napakiak, recent police hires include William Gibson Smith as a TPO.Smith was picked to patrol the village despite a complaint filed two years earlier by a young mother whose 3-year-old daughter told her that her bottom hurt. The girl later confided that Smith had touched her there, according to an application for a sexual assault restraining order filed in Bethel court. Based on a “preponderance of the evidence,” a magistrate ordered that Smith, who was not present at the hearing, stay away from the family. (Such an order is not automatically disqualifying, but the regulations say candidates must be of “good moral character.”)Despite the judge’s orders, a matter of public record and discoverable on a public court database, Smith was hired to perform police work in Napakiak. He had the power to place his neighbors in custody and to hold them against their will if he declared them to be drunk or disorderly. In October, the Alaska State Troopers arrested Smith on charges of having sex with a different underage girl, and he has been in custody since. Today he is awaiting trial in that case and in another, in which he was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in police custody. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.Jail cells inside the Stebbins public safety building on June 27. Officer John Aluska said one of the cells had been occupied the night before, following a drunken driving arrest. (Bill Roth / ADN)In Stebbins, Louise Martin said she knows all too well the toll that officers with criminal records can take on a town. She recently filed a restraining order against a current city police officer, accusing the man of threatening her in person and through Facebook messages in which he said he would beat her up. Prior to his hire, the officer had been convicted of domestic violence and bootlegging.“For him to be a cop, he shouldn’t be acting like this, especially if there’s kids + elders around,” Martin wrote in her application for the restraining order. An initial order was granted but a longer-term one was denied because Martin did not participate at a hearing.Martin, grew up in Stebbins and isn’t unsympathetic to the needs of the village. “They need a trooper in town.” But she said the city cops “hide behind their badge and harass people and drink on the job.”One of the worst jobs in townStebbins, an Inupiaq and Yup’ik village, survived a generation of monstrous sexual abuse by a Catholic priest and church volunteers. It is plagued by 12% unemployment, and its lone grocery store charges twice as much for food as it costs in Anchorage. As the lack of police data regarding missing and murdered indigenous women raises concerns nationwide, residents of Stebbins and neighboring St. Michael say the suspicious death of a local woman, 19-year-old Chynelle “Pretty” Lockwood, in 2017 remains unsolved.The city offers no benefits to part-time officers who walk into life-and-death emergencies. They are untrained and unarmed, their only equipment a cellphone and a pair of handcuffs. The police department, like most homes, has no flush toilets or running water.Stebbins Village Police Officer John Aluska provides a tour of the public safety building. Aluska has a criminal record but said it does not interfere with his police work. (Bill Roth / ADN)Leg irons hang on the wall of the public safety building in Stebbins. (Bill Roth / ADN)Next to hauling waste, residents say being a cop is one of the worst jobs in town. In 2001, the mayor of Stebbins was shot in the face as part of a robbery scheme involving a 20-year-old man who had been working as a VPO despite jail sentences for assault and animal cruelty.“I was not very fond of that (hire) in the first place,” then-Mayor Robert Ferris told the Daily News at the time, having survived the shooting. But, he reasoned, “In a place like this you take any help you can get.”After serving time in prison for his role in the mayor’s shooting, the former VPO returned to Stebbins and was eventually hired back by the city as a police officer, current city officials said.Little has changed in recent years.“Other people don’t want to apply,” said the current Stebbins city administrator, Joan Nashoanak, when asked why her local government has hired so many VPOs with criminal backgrounds. “They are willing to work.”In Alaska’s largest city, the Anchorage Police Department receives 18 applications for every cop it hires. Each recruit is subject to criminal background checks, drug tests and polygraphs.“It’s incredibly important for our department to uphold those standards because they are key to upholding the public’s trust in law enforcement,” said APD Chief Justin Doll, who serves on the Alaska Police Standards Council board. “If the public looks at a law enforcement officer and sees a lengthy criminal background, it undermines that trust.”Anchorage police pay starts at $33.61 an hour plus benefits, retirement and a union.In Stebbins, Nashoanak said it’s impossible to avoid candidates with a felony or a misdemeanor within the past five years, who should be prohibited from serving as cops by law, because of constant burnout and turnover. Officers are paid $14 an hour.Factor in small-town politics and the pressure to look the other way when an influential person or family gets in trouble, and it’s easy to see why officers are constantly quitting.“It’s a problem, but it’s never really been addressed,” Nashoanak said. “We can’t find anybody else without a criminal background.”A former city administrator, Doreen Tom, says she has complained to the city about the officers’ conduct and rap sheets.“These guys are criminals,” Tom said of the VPOs. “There’s qualifications to be a police. What you can’t be and what you can be. You can’t have a misdmeanor within five years and these policemen, there’s police who were charged with rape. People who were charged with assault.”One recent Stebbins VPO is 24-year-old Harold Kitsick Jr., who has worked off and on over the past year despite a conviction for spitting in the face of a police officer in nearby Kotlik in 2013. The victim in that case said Kitsick had threatened to kill him, his 6-year-old child and his wife and vowed to burn down his house. The Kotlik officer said that he could smell gasoline around his home and that he waited out the night with a gun handy, afraid for his life.Reached by phone, Kitsick denied that he threatened the police officer but admitted to attacking him. “I assaulted him, I hit him. I spit on him and kicked him. That was it.”The Kotlik VPO quit being a police officer soon after the encounter with Kitsick. He asked not to be identified because his wife still works in the region. He, too, was a VPO with a criminal record, he said. The city of Kotlik recruited him despite an assault charge that should have prevented him from being hired under state law.“There’s really no background checks to it,” he said.Stebbins city records show Kitsick stopped working as a police officer on May 28 after two years on patrol. He sometimes tried looking for different work with better pay and more hours, he said, but jobs are scarce in the village.“Then (the city) asked me to go back. I was, like, ‘Well, might as well,’” said Kitsick, who is currently awaiting trial on two new charges. Troopers accused him of punching a woman in the face and punching fellow Stebbins VPO John Aluska in two separate 2018 incidents. He has pleaded not guilty to both.Tania Snowball cuts up salmon after a day working as the village health aide. As a first responder who relies on village police officers to handle emergencies at her side, Snowball said she couldn’t do her job without the local village police officers. (Bill Roth / ADN)Aluska, who himself was convicted of domestic violence in 2010 and 2014, said he hasn’t been in trouble in years and is part of a roster of about seven officers who some Stebbins residents said work well together.“The current ones we have are pretty good,” Stebbins health aide Tania Snowball said of the police force. While she spoke, Snowball cleaned a gleaming chum salmon, hauled moments earlier from the Bering Sea. “The ones in the past, they never answered their phones.”As a health aide, Snowball said she partners with VPOs. If there were no police — or if the city couldn’t hire people with criminal records — Snowball said there would be no one to assist her in emergencies such as suicide attempts or shootings. She would quit the clinic.“You have to have somebody help respond, because most of the people that call are intoxicated. There’s four-wheeler accidents or serious injuries,” she said. “VPOs gotta be available.”‘I’m a pretty good cop’A few hours after the health aide finished cutting fish along the foaming shoreline, Aluska began the midnight to 4 a.m. patrol. Rain beaded on his four-wheeler, a Honda shared by the entire police force.Aluska circled the village in a wide loop. There are no stoplights and no paved roads in Stebbins. Most homes rest on stilts; red foxes and berry bushes hide in the knee-high grass. All groceries and vehicles arrive by plane or barge, and trailer-sized shipping containers in primary colors dot the yards. Aluska has lived here all his life.Village Police Officer John Aluska tells children to go home at 12:45 a.m. on June 27. Village police officers mainly enforce city ordinances, such as curfew, and prevent drunken driving. They are also first responders to emergencies and domestic violence calls. (Bill Roth / ADN) Substitute Village Police Officer Robert Kirk, 25, walks past boarded windows in the Stebbins public safety building. Police said the jailhouse is a former library where evidence is stored and officers can hold people in three cells at a time. (Bill Roth / ADN) “Go home!” he hollered to a crowd of middle-school-age kids outside the gymnasium. More than 40% of the village population is younger than 19, and parents said it’s hard to keep them indoors this time of year, when the sun dips low and red but never really sets.“Don’t make me tell you again,” Aluska warned. A boy in a hoodie shuffled his feet, walking with exaggerated slowness.The Honda engine clicked and popped as he turned off the ignition. The real trouble usually starts later. Everyone knows when the VPOs go off duty.If someone is driving drunk, getting in fights or becomes a danger to themselves, they are held in one of three cells in the city jail. The building used to be a library, but it was converted when someone broke the fuel line at the old jail house, soaking the building in heating oil.Aluska likes the new jailhouse. No one has broken out yet.“In my time it was easier,” Aluska said.VPO John Aluska walks to the door of the Stebbins public safety building. The jailhouse is a converted library, residents said. (Bill Roth / ADN) Crime & Courts | Public Safety | WesternDozens of convicted criminals have been hired as cops in rural Alaska. Sometimes, they’re the only applicants.July 22, 2019 by Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica Share:This article was produced in partnership with ProPublica as part of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. This is the second article in a continuing series, Lawless: Sexual violence in Alaska.STEBBINS — When Nimeron Mike applied to be a city police officer here last New Year’s Eve, he didn’t really expect to get the job.Mike was a registered sex offender and had served six years behind bars in Alaska jails and prisons. He’d been convicted of assault, domestic violence, vehicle theft, groping a woman, hindering prosecution, reckless driving, drunken driving and choking a woman unconscious in an attempted sexual assault. Among other crimes.“My record, I thought I had no chance of being a cop,” Mike, 43, said on a recent weekday evening, standing at his doorway in this Bering Strait village of 646 people.He was wrong.On the same day Mike filled out the application, the city of Stebbins hired him, handing him a policeman’s cellphone to answer calls for help.“Am I a cop now?” he remembers thinking. “It’s like, that easy?”Nimeron Mike, 43, worked as a village police officer for his hometown of Stebbins from Dec. 31 to March 29. Mike was hired even though he is a registered sex offender and had served six years behind bars in state jails and prisons. (Bill Roth / ADN)Stebbins, Alaska (Graphic by Kevin Powell/Anchorage Daily News)The short answer is yes. With low pay and few people wanting the jobs, it is that easy in some small Alaska communities for a convicted felon, even someone who has admitted to a sex crime or who was recently released from prison, to be hired with public money to work as a city police officer.It’s also a violation of state public safety regulations, yet it happens all the time.In Stebbins alone, all seven of the police officers working as of July 1 have pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges within the past decade. Only one has received formal law enforcement training of any kind.The current police chief pleaded guilty to throwing a teenage relative to the ground and threatening to kill her after drinking homebrew liquor in 2017. (Alcohol is illegal in the village.) He was hired a year later. He declined to answer questions in person and blocked a reporter on Facebook.Two men who until recently were Stebbins police officers pleaded guilty to spitting in the faces of police officers; one was the subject of a 2017 sexual assault restraining order in which a mother said he exposed himself to her 12-year-old daughter. (The officer named in the restraining order said he was busy and hung up the phone when asked about his criminal history; the other officer admitted to the crime.)The seven-man police force has served a combined six years in jails, prisons and halfway houses on dozens of criminal charges. That doesn’t include Mike, who was terminated on March 29, city records show. He says he wasn’t given a reason, but the city administrator said it was because he wasn’t responding to calls and didn’t get along with another officer.Children play on the main road of Stebbins, a Bering Strait village that is home to 646 people. It has no Alaska State Troopers post or state-funded village public safety officer. The city employed seven village police officers as of July 1. (Bill Roth / ADN)ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News reported in May that one in three Alaska communities has no local cops of any kind. In June, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr declared a “law enforcement emergency” in rural Alaska, announcing $10.5 million in Justice Department spending to support village police.In the villages where there are cops, a different problem has emerged. A first-of-its-kind investigation by the Daily News and ProPublica has found that at least 14 cities in Alaska have employed police officers whose criminal records should have prevented them from being hired under Department of Public Safety regulations. The news organizations identified more than 34 officers who should have been ineligible for these jobs. In all but three cases, the police hires were never reported by the city governments to the state regulatory board, as required.In eight additional communities, local tribal governments have hired tribal police officers convicted of domestic violence or sex crimes.All 42 of these tribal and city police officers have rap sheets that would prevent them from being hired by the Anchorage Police Department and its urban peers, as Alaska state troopers or even as private security guards most anywhere else in the United States. Many remain on the job today.“It’s outrageous that we have a situation where we have a, such a lack of public safety that communities are resorting to hiring people who have the propensity for violence,” said Melanie Bahnke, a board member for the Alaska Federation of Natives, which represents 191 tribes. “And placing them in a position where they have control over people and possibly could victimize the victims further.”“That’s like a frontier mentality,” said Bahnke, who is also chief executive for Kawerak Inc., a Nome-based tribal consortium that oversees state-paid police in the region. The 42-year-old said he got into his share of trouble when he was younger. Making homebrew. Escaping custody. “It’s been years ago now since I last went to jail.”Asked if he had ever been convicted of domestic violence, Aluska said he had, in 1998, but the charge was dropped. State court records show he also pleaded guilty to domestic violence-related assault charges in 2010 and 2014.Aluska doesn’t think his record makes him any less able to keep the village safe. Same for his colleagues.“Not really,” he said. “I get a call and, if you’re drunk and doing bad things, I’ll come get you.”The next afternoon the rain disappeared, replaced by a damp heat that sent kids splashing between gillnets.At city hall, the Stebbins City Council gathered for a monthly meeting. Chairs ringed a cafeteria table beneath property maps of village landmarks: The Old Church. The Elder Center. The New School. Skin drums and a bingo scoreboard (proceeds help pay police salaries) adorned the adjacent community hall.Mayor Morris Nashoanak Sr. leads a Stebbins City Council meeting, where each village police officer presented a monthly report and talked about ways to improve public safety in the village. (Bill Roth / ADN) A handmade sign in the Stebbins public safety building, where village police officers, hired by the city, hold inmates and prepare for village patrols. (Bill Roth / ADN) One by one, the police officers gave monthly reports and brainstormed public safety ideas. Officer Delbert Acoman suggested police begin wearing small body cameras purchased from Amazon; the police chief admitted he can’t bring himself to shoot dogs when an animal needs to be put down. One officer who is the subject of a current restraining order wondered about turning a vacant building into a teen center.At 45, Acoman said he’s worked as a Stebbins police officer off and on for two decades. During that time, court records show, he has been convicted of a dozen crimes, including three counts of domestic violence. His last no-contest plea to assault came five years ago and Acoman said he’s turned a corner — trying to provide for his wife and kids. A steady job makes that possible.Acoman headed home as his colleagues prepared for overnight patrols. Middle schoolers chased rebounds on an outdoor basketball court as two young men sat wrenching on a four-wheeler, fanning mosquitoes.At the edge of town lives Nimeron Mike, the registered sex offender. While he was working as a police officer he could never shake the feeling that visiting state troopers might take him away to jail, instead of the people he arrested.Stebbins police chief Sebastian Mike, left, and fellow officers leave City Hall. Two officers patrol the village each night until 4 a.m. (Bill Roth / ADN)last_img read more

Beyonce, Rita Ora and Cara Delevigne: The celebrities brands love the most

first_img whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Gabriella Griffith Tags: NULL whatsapp  Most celebrities don’t buy many clothes, they really don’t have to. Global brands love to use well-known faces as clothes horses – it ensures their clothes are seen in the press, meaning legions of aspirational consumers will rush to buy the same thing. But some celebrities are more sought-after than others, and thanks to Celebrity Intelligence, we’ve got a definitive list of which celebs are the best endorsers for brands.  Taking into account celebs on both sides of the Atlantic, here’s Celebrity Intelligence’s Very Important Endorsers List.   Rank Celebrity1Beyoncé2Rita Ora3Cara Delevigne4Lily Allen5Kim Kardashian West6Taylor Swift7Ellie Goulding8David Beckham9Ed Sheeran10Katy Perry Of course, brands don’t always want their clothes to be associated with celebrities. Alexander McQueen famously said Victoria Beckham couldn’t wear his clothes (but her hunky husband could) and Jersey Shore’s Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino was given a fat cheque by Abercrombie & Fitch on the premise that he stop wearing its clothes.We daresay Burberry would have given a pretty penny to Daniella Westbrook to stop wearing its iconic check back in the day – it took the luxury fashion house many years to shake off the “chav” image she gifted it. Celebrity Intelligence has also compiled a list of the most talked about celebrities. Taylor Swift is the most talked-about celebrity RankMost talked about celebrities 1 Taylor Swift2Nicki Minaj3Cheryl Fernandez-Versini4Bob Geldof5Kim Kardashian West6Cara Delevingne7Ed Sheeran8Beyoncé9Benedict Cumberbatch10Calvin Harris We’ve also been given some data about who might be the celebrity ensorsers of the future. This list represents the people who have enjoyed a sharp increase in social media mentions this year.  RankCelebrityPercentage increase in social media searches1Alexa Goddard – singer90%2Poppy Jamie – TV presenter90%3Rumer – actor90%4Mark Byron – Big Brother semi-finalist89%5Jay James Picton – singer87%6Tavi Gevinson – fashion and media personality83%7Maverick Sabre – singer83%8Tyga – rapper81%9Callum Turner – actor78%10Tabitha Somerset Webb – fashion designer71% The lists were released in conjunction with the Festival of Marketing, currently underway in London’s Tobacco Dock.   Thursday 13 November 2014 8:13 am Beyonce, Rita Ora and Cara Delevigne: The celebrities brands love the most Share by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsUndoMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoPost FunGreat Songs That Artists Are Now Embarrassed OfPost FunUndoTele Health DaveRemember Pierce Brosnan’s Wife? Take A Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like NowTele Health DaveUndoMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekUndoThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramUndoWarped SpeedCan You Name More State Capitals Than A 5th Grader? Find Out Now!Warped SpeedUndoEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorUndo last_img read more

Ukraine raises the stakes as it negotiates with bond holders

first_imgTuesday 19 May 2015 9:00 pm Express KCS Ukraine raises the stakes as it negotiates with bond holders whatsapp More From Our Partners Institutional Investors Turn To Options to Bet Against AMCvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comWhite House Again Downplays Fourth Possible Coronvirus Checkvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Tags: NULLcenter_img whatsapp Share Show Comments ▼ UKRAINE yesterday passed a bill allowing it to miss payments on foreign debts to protect against “unscrupulous creditors”.It comes as a deadline approaches on a deal to restructure the country’s debt, which was part of its bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February. If Ukraine fails to strike a deal with bond holders by mid-June, it risks not receiving a second disbursement of cash from the IMF.“In case of an attack from unscrupulous creditors to Ukraine, the moratorium will protect the assets of the state and the public sector,” the country’s Cabinet said in a statement. “We doubt that the law is a precursor to a moratorium on debts, but instead it is a way of increasing pressure on creditors to make concessions in the negotiations,” said economist William Jackson from Capital Economics. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunInvestment GuruRemember Cote De Pablo? Take A Deep Breath Before You See Her NowInvestment GuruForbesThese 10 Colleges Have Produced The Most Billionaire AlumniForbesComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorTotal PastAfter Céline Dion’s Major Weight Loss, She Confirms What We Suspected All AlongTotal PastOpulent ExpressHer Quadruplets Were Born Without A Hitch. Then Doctors Realized SomethingOpulent Expresslast_img read more

Smaller hedge funds do better during periods of financial crisis

first_imgHedge funds managing smaller pools of cash outpace their larger peers during times of financial crisis, an academic study shows. The report by Cass Business School reveals that small hedge funds left big hedge funds for dust in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.They were also found to have outperformed large funds between 1999 and 2000 after the dotcom bubble burst.“Our results clearly indicate that hedge fund managers in most sectors of the industry do not benefit from significant economies of scale, in other words, increasing size can impede performance,” professor Andrew Clare, co-author of the report said. “But perhaps our most surprising finding is that in periods of financial market distress, when one might expect size to be an advantage, it is not.”The study looked at the performance of 7,261 hedge funds between 1994 and 2014 and was co-authored by Dr Dirk Nitzsche and Dr Nick Motson. Large hedge funds have traditionally been considered to be less efficient than their smaller, nimbler peers. A 2009 study by academic Melvyn Teo showed small funds delivered 3.65 per cent more a year than large funds but the Cass study is the first to show how pronounced outperformance can be when markets are in crisis. The best performing hedge fund in the world last year was the Passage to India Opportunity Fund, managed by Arcstone Capital, which delivered returns of 225 per cent, according to Preqin. The fund has assets under management of $25m. Gatemore Capital Management commissioned the research. whatsapp Smaller hedge funds do better during periods of financial crisis Tags: Small business whatsapp Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The WrapWatch President Biden Do Battle With a Cicada: ‘It Got Me’ (Video)The WrapNew England Patriots’ Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’SportsnautPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap Express KCS Show Comments ▼ Sunday 19 July 2015 10:27 pm Sharelast_img read more

News / Flight cancellations and factory closures hit South Korea trade as coronavirus erupts

first_img Coronavirus in South Korea has prompted flight cancellations and factory closures, with reports of capacity problems at ports and airports.Reminiscent of China’s sudden isolation in late January, airlines around the world have cancelled or suspended Korea flights following a surge in virus cases in the city of Daegu, North Gyeongsang province.As of today, there are 1,146 confirmed cases of virus and 12 deaths, according to local media.In a status update to customers, DB Schenker said belly capacity had been reduced from Korea to markets across Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. “There may be more, to include other APAC countries. Rate increases are expected in the near future,” the forwarder added.Singapore Airlines has stopped its SQ 611 service between Incheon and Singapore, which Schenker said would “lead to capacity constraints and rate increase for Singapore and transhipment cargo.”DB Schenker is reporting “constrained” capacity for both air and ocean freight at Busan and Incheon, Korea’s key cargo gateways.“There are cases of delays of EU import schedules due to the lack of berth capacity in Busan port,” the forwarder said. “Capacity has decreased by about 25% to 30% for both west and east-bound due to blanked sailing services by carriers.”Meanwhile, for trade with China, there has been a steep rate increase in Shanghai-bound cargo, Schenker noted, following a 50% reduction in capacity into the country.Cargo has built up around locations where freighters are operated, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin, creating “huge backlogs” of shipments from the US and Europe, Schenker said, adding that in Hong Kong there were also rate and space issues.Korea’s airlines have been forced to reduce capacity in the face of increasing international travel restrictions linked to the virus. A spokesperson for Korean Air told The Loadstar the main impact on cargo operations so far was due to the outbreak in China and production delays there.However, the domestic virus outbreak has forced Korean companies into “emergency mode”, according to local media. For example, electronics and automobile manufacturers, already hobbled by the supply chain disruption in China and resulting shortage of components, are said to have been forced to halt production at some facilities, due to quarantine measures, including a Samsung factory which produces foldable smartphones.The vast majority of South Korea’s exports are intermediate goods, however, prompting fears of a China-like factory shutdown should further quarantines take place, which would deal another huge blow to global supply chains. By Sam Whelan 26/02/2020center_img © Brad Calkinslast_img read more

Fever checks are a flawed way to flag Covid-19 cases. Experts say smell tests might help

first_img Senior Writer, Science and Discovery (1956-2021) Sharon covered science and discovery. By Sharon Begley July 2, 2020 Reprints Related: Please enter a valid email address. Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. In this case, however, a growing body of science suggests a simple fix: make smell tests another part of routine screenings. UC San Diego Health is doing that. It asks about loss of smell (and taste) when it screens visitors and staff before allowing them to enter its buildings.Because many people are unaware of their anosmia, testing would be even better than asking, Reed said.The gold-standard test is the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, called UPSIT. It uses 40 microencapsulated scents — including dill pickle, turpentine, banana, soap, licorice, and cedar — released by scratching with a pencil. The test taker has a choice of four answers for each, and the whole thing takes 10 to 15 minutes.A screening test for anosmia in the context of Covid-19 could be much simpler, experts say, especially since the idea is to identify whether individuals can smell or not, rather than whether they can discriminate different scents.“I can see several practical ways is to have people check their sense of smell as a routine matter when entering public areas,” Reed said. Medical offices could “ask people to smell a scratch-and-sniff card and pick the correct odor out of four choices. For workplaces and schools, one way is to ask people to ‘stop and smell the roses’ as they enter buildings and report abrupt reductions in their ratings of odor intensity.”To avoid cultural bias (not everyone knows what bubblegum or grass smells like), a test for anosmia in Covid-19 could have a standard amount of phenyl-ethyl alcohol (which smells like roses) on a swab or stick and have people sniff it, Reed said. A second stick could have less, testing for diminished sense of smell. A third stick could be a blank, to identify people who falsely claim they can smell. Of all the nose-to-toes symptoms of Covid-19, the loss of the sense of smell — also known as anosmia — could work particularly well as an add-on to temperature checks, significantly increasing the proportion of infected people identified by screening in airports, workplaces, and other public places.advertisement “My impression is that anosmia is an earlier symptom of Covid-19 relative to fever, and some infected people can have anosmia and nothing else,” said physician Andrew Badley, who heads a virus lab at the Mayo Clinic. “So it’s potentially a more sensitive screen for asymptomatic patients.”In a recent study, Badley and colleagues found that Covid-19 patients were 27 times more likely than others to have lost their sense of smell. But they were only 2.6 times more likely to have fever or chills, suggesting that anosmia produces a clearer signal and may therefore be a better Covid-catching net than fever.There is no definitive study on the predictive value of temperature checks for Covid-19. But there are clues from when that strategy was used during the SARS epidemic of 2003. Deployed at airports, especially in Asia, the devices fell far short of the ideal, an analysis found. Although contactless thermometers are quite accurate if used correctly, many other conditions (including medications and inflammatory disease) can cause fever. As a result, the likelihood that someone with a fever had SARS ranged from 4% to 65%, depending on the underlying prevalence of the disease.The likelihood that someone with a normal temperature reading was SARS-free was at least 86%. That suggests SARS fever checks didn’t miss many infected people. Unlike SARS, unfortunately, Covid-19 can be contagious even before an infected person runs a fever, which makes missed cases more likely. Sharon Begley [email protected] No one wants to go back to lockdown. Is there a middle ground for containing Covid-19? Tags Coronaviruspublic health Related: Related: Privacy Policy In a recent study of 1,480 patients led by otolaryngologist Carol Yan of UC San Diego Health, someone with anosmia was “more than 10 times more likely to have Covid-19 than other causes of infection,” she said. Nasal inflammation from some 200 cold, flu, and other viruses can cause it, she said, but especially during the summer, when those infections are pretty rare, the chance that anosmia is the result of Covid-19 rises.“Anosmia was quite specific to Covid-19,” she said.Fever, in contrast, has many possible causes. Temperature checks will therefore flag more people as potentially infected with Covid-19 than smell tests will. The likelihood that anosmia indicates Covid-19, called a test’s positive predictive value, increases as the prevalence of Covid-19 increases, as it is in many areas of the U.S.A key unanswered question is a smell test’s “negative predictive value”: If someone has a normal sense of smell, the chance that he or she is nevertheless infected and likely contagious. Because at least some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 will have a normal sense of smell, especially early on, even experts who believe that anosmia screening can be widely beneficial — “I hope it will be used as a screening measure for the virus across the world,” Yan said — say it should be added to fever checks or other screening tools, but shouldn’t replace them.“There is value in evaluating anosmia screening as a way to identify asymptomatic spreaders,” said Badley, the Mayo Clinic researcher. HealthFever checks are a flawed way to flag Covid-19 cases. Experts say smell tests might help Leave this field empty if you’re human: As experts have cast around for other screening tools, some have zeroed in on smell tests, which could be as simple asking people to identify a particular scent from a scratch-and-sniff card. Though not a universal symptom, loss of smell is one of the earliest signs of Covid-19 because of how the virus acts. Support cells in the olfactory epithelium, the tissue that lines the nasal cavities, are covered with the receptors that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter cells. They become infected very early in the disease process, often before the body has mounted the immune response that causes fever.“These support cells either secrete molecules that shut down the olfactory receptor neurons, or stop working and starve the neurons, or somehow fail to support the neurons,” said Danielle Reed, associate director of Monell Chemical Senses Center, a world leader in the science of taste and smell. As a result, “the [olfactory neurons] either stop working or die.”In an analysis of 24 individual studies, with data from 8,438 test-confirmed Covid-19 patients from 13 countries, 41% reported that they had lost their sense of smell partly or completely, researchers reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. But in studies that used objective measurements of smell rather than simply asking patients, the incidence of anosmia was 2.3 times higher.A Monell analysis of 47 studies finds that nearly 80% of Covid-19 patients have lost their sense of smell as determined by scratch-and sniff tests, Reed said. But only about 50% include that in self-reported symptoms. In other words, people don’t realize they have partly or even completely lost their sense of smell. That may be because they’re suffering other, more serious symptoms and so don’t notice this one, or because smell isn’t something they focus on. About the Author Reprints Travelers are displayed on a video screen walking past a test system of thermal imaging cameras which check body temperatures at Los Angeles International Airport. Mario Tama/Getty Images Workplaces do it. Newly reopened public libraries do it. LAX does it. Some restaurants, bars, and retail stores started doing it when governors let them serve customers again: Use temperature checks — almost always with “non-contact infrared thermometers” — to identify people who might have, and therefore spread, the infectious disease.Unfortunately, temperature checks could well join the long list of fumbled responses to the pandemic, from the testing debacle to federal officials’ about-face on masks.Because many contagious people have no symptoms, using temperature checks to catch them is like trying to catch tennis balls in a soccer net: way too many can get through. On Tuesday, the head of the Transportation Security Administration told reporters, “I know in talking to our medical professionals and talking to the Centers for Disease Control … that temperature checks are not a guarantee that passengers who don’t have an elevated temperature also don’t have Covid-19.” The reverse is also true: Feverish travelers might not have Covid-19.advertisement Watch: It’s not just the lungs: The Covid-19 virus attacks like no other ‘respiratory’ infection @sxbegle Pharma giants to unveil major $1 billion venture to push novel antibiotics last_img read more

TSX gains on higher energy prices

first_img Related news Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors The May crude contract was up 64¢ at US$48.37 per barrel on the heels of reports of a production disruption at an oilfield in Libya and growing hopes that OPEC will extend its output cuts to the end of the year. The Canadian dollar, which often follows the direction of oil prices, lost 0.04 of a U.S. cent at US74.72¢ despite the uptick in crude. Although the price of a barrel may be getting some relief, investors shouldn’t consider this the start of a long-term run-up, said Todd Mattina, a strategist and chief economist with Mackenzie Investments. “The longer-term outlook is still clouded by the shale revolution in the U.S.,” said Mattina. “As long as U.S. shale producers can produce at a lower cost and bring new oil supply quickly to the market, when prices do start rising we’re going to see downward pressure on oil prices for the medium term. It’s important to put today’s move in context. It’s still a modest move.” South of the border, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 150.52 points to 20,701.50 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 16.98 points to 2,358.57. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index also finished higher, up 34.77 points to 5,875.14. The gain in U.S. indices is being driven by a Conference Board report that its consumer confidence index rose this month to its highest level in more than 16 years. The survey found that most Americans expect hiring and incomes to rise over the next six months, while nearly a third described business conditions as “good” in March. Economists closely monitor the mood of consumers because their spending accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity. President Trump has cited consumer confidence as evidence that his administration is succeeding. When the index increased in December, he tweeted out the figures along with the self-congratulatory line, “Thanks Donald!” Investors also seemed to strike a more optimistic tone over Trump’s agenda, despite his health-care bid failing to pass in Congress last week. “With the Trump reflation trade, even bad news is good news,” said Mattina. “After a couple of days of disappointment and a repricing of what the outlook might look like, there has been more noise about shifting gears towards the tax reform. … That’s where the markets’ focus has shifted.” In commodities, May natural gas contracts were up US5¢ at US$3.18 per mmBTU, May copper contracts added US4¢ at US$2.68 a pound and the April gold contract lost US10¢ at US$1,255.60 an ounce. With files from The Associated Press Linda Nguyen Rising oil prices helped lift Canada’s largest stock index higher Tuesday, while the Dow Jones average snapped an eight-day losing streak amid strong consumer confidence and renewed optimism about U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index gained 92.35 points to 15,598.57, as energy, metal and industrial stocks led gainers. Share this article and your comments with peers on social mediacenter_img S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector Keywords Marketwatch TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

TSX falls due to declines among three of its most influential sectors

first_imgclose up image of stock market data on a computer solarseven/123RF Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Related news Canadian Press Keywords Marketwatch In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was 100.72 points lower at 25,776.61. The S&P 500 index was down 8.09 points at 2,856.27, while the Nasdaq composite fell 34.88 points to 7,750.84.The Canadian dollar traded at an average of US74.57¢, compared with an average of US74.55¢ on Tuesday.The July crude contract was down $1.71 at US$61.42 per barrel and the August natural gas contract fell 8.2¢ to $2.57 per mmBTU.The June gold contract was up $1.00 at $1,274.20 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 3.7¢ at $2.68 a pound. Canada’s main stock index fell on declines in three of its most influential sectors and ongoing concerns about the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 99.12 points at 16,327.35 with the energy, metals and mining and financial sectors among the weakest. S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since Marchlast_img read more