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Lexington mayor assigns officials to investigate city’s jail, E911 center – Lexington Herald Leader

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has reassigned two top city officials so they can assess “perpetual problems” at the Fayette County Detention Center and the city’s 911 call center, he said Thursday.

The temporary appointments comprise the first hands-on step in reviewing issues that have affected the performance of both divisions, Gray said.

Deputy Chief David Boggs, a veteran with the Lexington Division of Police, will lead a management review at the jail; Glenn Brown, former jail director and senior adviser to the mayor for special projects, will investigate the Division of Enhanced 911.

The appointments did not affect any jobs at the jail or E911, city spokeswoman Susan Straub said. No concrete deadline was given for completions of the reviews.

“It’s all about assigning experienced problem solvers — good managers — with boots on the ground to go in and get their arms around the problems and offer solutions,” Gray said.

David Lucas, director of E911, said he welcomed the management review.

“Fresh eyes never hurt,” he said.

Lucas said the review did not come as a surprise. Investigations into E911 and the jail were part of the mayor’s Fresh Start Program, which Gray spoke about even before being elected last year.

On Thursday, Gray said overtime spending for dispatchers and call-takers is one of the issues that will be examined.

Lucas has said mandatory overtime is used to combat a staffing shortage.

E911 has an annual budget of $6.5 million, Lucas said. The division employs 69 people, including telecommunicators, supervisors and assistants, though that number has varied over the years. Lucas said in an interview last year that ideally he would have a staff of 76.

According to budget records obtained by the Herald-Leader through an open records request, E911 paid civilian employees $394,987 for more than 13,991 hours of overtime in fiscal year 2009 (July 2008 to June 2009), the most recent data available. Thousands more was paid to nine firefighters who filled in as dispatchers during that period, records say.

Several employees recorded nearly $20,000 in overtime, according to records. Some individuals worked more than 600 extra hours during fiscal year 2009.

In fiscal year 2008, E911 paid $322,558 for 11,471 hours of overtime. In fiscal year 2007, the amount totaled $326,596 for 12,009 overtime hours.

In addition to overtime, staffing levels, productivity and employee morale will be assessed during the E911 investigation, Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason said. Both E911 and the jail fall under the city’s Department of Public Safety.

Brown said the E911 investigation would take as long as it takes.

“If it takes six weeks, it takes six weeks,” he said. “If it takes two, it takes two.”

Once changes have been made, additional time will be taken to assess their effectiveness, Brown added.

“We want to make sure that the changes work,” he said.

Mason said officials had set aside about three months for Boggs’ review of the jail, but that could change depending on findings.

Problems at the jail — including numerous discrimination lawsuits against the jail — were highlighted last month in a Public Safety Transition Team report. Also, the jail is currently the subject of two investigations, Gray said.

One of those investigations is the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department’s annual inspection of the jail’s performance. Sheriff Kathy Witt began that inspection Jan. 11 and is scheduled to report to the Urban County Council on Feb. 25.

The Kentucky Human Rights Commission also has been investigating allegations of a sexually hostile work environment at the jail, which has faced at least three lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, sexual discrimination or retaliation by male corrections officers.

Last month, Kevin Michael Lawson, a former corrections officer, was charged with sexual abuse and indecent exposure after allegedly exposing himself to an inmate. According to court records, Lawson was on duty when he was filmed on jail surveillance video following a female inmate into a bathroom, where they remained for about five minutes. The inmate told officers Lawson exposed himself to her, records say.

During Teresa Isaac’s term as mayor from 2003 to 2007, the FBI began investigating the facility after receiving reports that jail staff members were assaulting inmates and writing false reports to cover up the abuse.

Five jail employees faced federal charges for the abuse in 2008. Three pleaded guilty, and the two who went to trial were sentenced to prison in June.

A spokesperson for the jail could not immediately be reached.

Gray declined to discuss specific problems that would be examined at the jail. Boggs said the review of the jail is in the planning stages.

“There have been sufficient symptoms to illustrate we need to give a lot of attention and the best management that we can,” Gray said.

Continue reading here: Lexington mayor assigns officials to investigate city’s jail, E911 center – Lexington Herald Leader

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico wants a Super Bowl in Chicago – ESPN

As Bears fans shift their focus from a successful — yet controversial — season to the Super Bowl, Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico seized the moment to tap into the NFL’s momentum and grab headlines.

Chico, who trails Rahm Emanuel and Carol Moseley Braun in the polls, said if he’s elected, he’ll work toward bringing the Super Bowl to Chicago.

“We should pursue every possible avenue to bring America’s greatest sports competition to America’s greatest sports city,” Chico said Saturday. “If New York can do it, Chicago can do it.”

New Jersey will host the Super Bowl in 2014, but it’s more than weather that Chicago organizers would have to consider. Soldier Field’s capacity is just 61,500, which is considered at least 8,500 seats too small to host the Super Bowl.

“We should never allow the status quo to prevent our city from reaching for new heights,” Chico said. “A Chicago Super Bowl would be good for our economy, good for our spirit and good for Chicagoans. It should be pursued.”

Source: Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico wants a Super Bowl in Chicago – ESPN

iPhone 4 Glassgate lawsuit may affect Apple and Pro Bowl score – Khabrein

iPhone 4 Glassgate lawsuit may affect Apple and Pro Bowl score. Long at last a die-hard Apple user has lashed out at the company for knowingly uploading flawed iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Report has surfaced that the California resident Donald LeBuhn has filed a lawsuit this week.

In it Donald has accused the corporate giant of unloading flawed devices. He has done so by citing personal experience with his own iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.

Donald discussed in detail the problem that he had with his iPhone 4. It is understood that he got upset after its glass broke three weeks after he bought the device. However, in no way could Apple be involved in it. His daughter was responsible as she dropped it three feet to the ground.

The incident completely left his shocked. It appears that this was not one off incident for him. Earlier too his iPhone 3GS, however, was apparently dropped. But it was able to survive a number of drops from similar heights. He makes it a point to mention that he has dropped every generation of iPhone from many different heights, and most of them have survived.

That is why when this one broke he smelled rat and wanted to find out the real reason behind it. At once he suspected that something must be wrong with it.

Interestingly, it was broken despite the fact that Apple has been advertising from time to time that the iPhone 4′s glass is “20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic,” After this incident. Donald realized that something is terribly wrong with the device.

He has directly hold Apple responsible and said that the company that always talks about quality and other things is misleading consumers when selling the iPhone 4. In the complaint, he mentioned: “Months after selling millions of iPhone 4s, Apple has failed to warn and continues to sell this product with no warning to customers that the glass housing is defective.”

NFC Pro Bowl win:

NFF performed amazingly well to win over American Football conference. A report says, “A dominant first half performance helped the National Football Conference to a 55-41 Pro Bowl victory over the American Football Conference on Sunday. In the NFL’s All Star match, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw nine from 13 for 118 yards and two touchdowns and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson had 14 carries for 80 yards, including one touchdown, as the NFC stormed to a 42-7 half-time lead at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii”.

Source: iPhone 4 Glassgate lawsuit may affect Apple and Pro Bowl score – Khabrein

City Council to declare May 14 ‘Migratory Bird Day’ in Racine – RacinePost

The City Council will declare May 14 “Migratory Bird Day” at its meeting on Tuesday.

Here’s the ordinance:

Whereas, migratory birds are some of the most beautiful and easily  observed wildlife that share our communities; and

Whereas, many citizens recognize and welcome migratory songbirds as  symbolic harbingers of spring; and

Whereas, these migrant species also play an important economic role in  our community, controlling insect pests and generating millions in  recreational dollars statewide; and

Whereas, migratory birds and their habitats are declining throughout the  Americas, facing a growing number of threats on their migration routes and  in both their summer and winter homes; and

Whereas, public awareness and concern are crucial components of  migratory bird conservation; and

Whereas, citizens enthusiastic about birds, informed about the threats they  face, and empowered to help address those threats can directly contribute  to maintaining health bird populations; and

Whereas, since 1993 International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) has become a primary vehicle for focusing public attention on the nearly 350 species  that travel between nesting habitats in our communities and throughout  North America and their wintering grounds in South and Central America,

Mexico, the Caribbean, and the southern U.S.; and

Whereas, hundreds of thousands of people will observe IMBD, gathering in  town squares, community centers, schools, parks, nature centers, and  wildlife refuges to learn about birds, take action to conserve them, and  simply to have fun; and

Whereas, while IMBD officially is held each year on the second Saturday in  May, its observance is not limited to a single day, and planners are  encouraged to schedule activities on the dates best suited to the presence  of both migrants and celebrants; and

Whereas, IMBD is not only a day to foster application for wild birds and to  celebrate and support migratory bird conservation, but also a call to action.

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the City of Racine proclaim May 14,  2011, as International Migratory Bird Day in the City of Racine, and all  citizens are urged to celebrate this observance and to support efforts to  protect and conserve migratory birds and their habitats in our community and the world at large.

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Continue reading here: City Council to declare May 14 ‘Migratory Bird Day’ in Racine – RacinePost