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Leahy marks Sunshine Week with FOIA hearing

first_imgThe Congress has also made good progress in strengthening FOIA.  Last year, the Senate unanimously passed the Faster FOIA Act ‘ a bill that Senator Cornyn and I introduced to establish a bipartisan Commission to study FOIA and to make recommendations to Congress on ways to further improve FOIA.  We will reintroduce this bill later this week.  As Americans from every corner of our Nation commemorate Sunshine Week 2011, they have many good reasons to cheer.  I am pleased that one of President Obama’s first official acts when he took office was to issue a historic new directive to strengthen FOIA.  Just yesterday, the Department of Justice launched the new FOIA.gov website, which compiles all of the Department’s FOIA data in one online location. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing Tuesday on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation’s premier open government law.  The nation is celebrating Sunshine Week, an observance of the importance of an open and transparent government.The Vermont Legislature is going through the process of rewriting its open meeting and open records laws (ACLU explantaion). ‘The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy,’ said Leahy.  ‘Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives.  Without public access to government information, officials can make decisions in the shadows, sometimes in collusion with special interests, escaping accountability for their actions.  In the digital age, FOIA remains an indispensable tool in protecting the people’s right to know.Leahy is a longtime advocate of open, transparent government, and has been a leader in Congress in pushing for reforms to update and strengthen FOIA.  He is the co-author of the OPEN Government Act, which was signed into law in 2007, and which made the first major reforms to FOIA in more than a decade.  He is also the co-author of the OPEN FOIA Act, which required greater transparency for legislative exemptions to FOIA.  The legislation was signed into law in October 2009. Member statements and witness testimony, as well as a webcast of the hearing, are available online. # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Committee On The JudiciaryHearing On ‘The Freedom Of Information Act:  Ensuring Transparency And Accountability In The Digital Age’   March 15, 2011Today, the Committee holds an important hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  When Congress enacted FOIA more than 40 years ago, this watershed law ushered in a new and unprecedented era of transparency in government.  Four decades later, FOIA continues to give citizens access to the inner workings of their government and to guarantee the right to know for all Americans. I hope that the Congress will quickly enact this good government legislation.  There is also reason to cheer the recent unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., concluding that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy under the Freedom of Information Act.  I am pleased that, in reaching this decision, our highest court honored congressional intent about the narrow scope of the personal privacy exemption to FOIA. These FOIA victories have made our Government more open and accountable to the American people.  But, our Government is still not as open and accessible to its citizens as it could ‘ and should ‘ be.Implementation of FOIA continues to be hampered by the increasing use of exemptions ‘ especially under section (b)(3) of FOIA.  Last year, Senators Grassley, Cornyn and I worked together on a bipartisan basis to repeal an overly-broad FOIA (b)(3) exemptions in the historic Wall Street reform bill, so that the American public will have access to important information about the state of our financial system.It is also essential that the American people have a FOIA law that is not only strengthened by reform, but properly enforced.  A report released yesterday by the National Security Archive found that, while there has been some progress in implementing the President’s FOIA reforms, only about half of the Federal agencies surveyed have taken concrete steps to update their FOIA guidance and assess their FOIA resources.  FOIA delays also continue to be a problem.  Twelve of the agencies surveyed had pending FOIA requests that were more than six years old, according to the report.  That is simply unacceptable.I am pleased that we have representatives from the Department of Justice and the Office of Government Information Services to discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to address these concerns and strengthen FOIA.  We are also fortunate to have a distinguished panel of FOIA experts to provide valuable perspectives on the importance of FOIA in guaranteeing the public’s right to know. I have said many times before ‘ during both Democratic and Republican administrations ‘ that freedom of information is neither a Democratic issue, nor a Republican issue.  It is an American issue.  I value the bipartisan partnership on FOIA matters that I have shared with Senator Cornyn over the years.  I will continue to work with Senator Cornyn, Senator Grassley and others on this Committee to advance freedom of information, so that the right to know is preserved for future generations.  I thank all of the distinguished witnesses that are appearing before the Committee today.  I look forward to today’s discussion. The Attorney General has also issued new FOIA guidance to help make our government agencies more open to the American people.  Last year, the Obama administration also issued another FOIA memorandum instructing federal agencies to update their FOIA training and guidance. The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy.  Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives.  Without public access to government information, officials can make decisions in the shadows, sometimes in collusion with special interests, escaping accountability for their actions.  In the digital age, FOIA remains an indispensable tool in protecting the people’s right to know. WASHINGTON (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) ‘  # # # # #last_img read more

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Redcliffe home brings the outdoors in

first_imgThe open-plan living area opens to the back patio.“The open plan kitchen that flows out onto the alfresco area because it’s just glass sliding doors that open the whole thing up,” he said.“So we put a really big pool in and an outdoor covered area around the pool, as well for the hotter days … and plenty of grass.”He says the backyard is his favourite place.Mr Piper said they would miss living in the friendly Clontarf community, but new adventures awaited them.“It’s time for us to move on and do other things.” The property is being marketed by Frank De Raadt from Kindred real estate agency. The home at 171 Duffield Rd, Clontarf“It was a mad rush to get the Christmas tree up,” says Mark Piper about moving into their just-built house in December 2015.But they made the deadline and got to enjoy the festive season in their new home.“You put a lot of time and effort into getting it right,” he said.Fast forward two years and Mr Piper, his wife, Bec, and their three daughters have an opportunity to travel overseas, so it’s time to move on and let the next family enjoy this holiday-at-home residence.Mr Piper said the home at 171 Duffield Rd, Clontarf will appeal to buyers who appreciate the great outdoors. The home at 171 Duffield Rd, Clontarf“We wanted to make a private family retreat where you can do all your entertaining under the roof,” he said.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019“That’s why we put in a big alfresco.”Mr Piper said they also wanted comfortable living, so they included modern conveniences and beautiful fittings.“Stone benchtops on every surface, European appliances all built in … coffee machine, wine cooler, high ceilings and ducted air conditioning.”He said when visitors strolled through, they loved the finishes, but it was the indoor/outdoor layout that impressed the most.last_img read more

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Alizeti enters ‘new era for the Tote’ after finalising takeover

first_imgShare Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Betfred extends World Snooker Championship deal until 2022 August 17, 2020 John Williamson to oversee UK Tote Group’s international growth August 28, 2020 Submit The UK Tote Group, the consortium of racing-backed investors formerly known as Alizeti, has revealed that it will begin a ‘new era for the Tote’ after confirming the completion of its acquisition of the UK’s pool betting operator for horse racing, making the group the sole owner. Outlining its plans for brand development, the Group has placed a particular focus upon the modernisation of the 90-year old British racecourse institution which will include the launch of a new Tote website and the return of Tote Ten to Follow in a new modern format.Alex Frost, UK Tote Group Chief Executive, commented: “Today marks the start of an exciting new era for the Tote. Pool betting plays a leading role in racing jurisdictions around the world and we believe the Tote can play a similar role in the UK, while supporting and growing British racing in the years ahead. I would like to personally thank Fred Done and his team at Betfred for their invaluable help over the last 18 months.“I would also like to recognise and thank all those across the industry who have been instrumental in our journey to acquire the Tote. We have received tremendous encouragement and support from owners, trainers, breeders, racecourses and those in the administration of the sport, for which we are enormously grateful.”In addition to contributing to the Horserace Betting Levy, the UK Tote Group has confirmed that it has signed a new agreement Britbet which will operate the Tote across 55 British racecourses, taking over ownership from Betfred. It is expected that this will see the Tote contribute a minimum of £50 million to the sport over the next seven years. Frost continued: “Our partnership with Britbet and its member racecourses is now well established, and we look forward to working even more closely with Neil Goulden, Nigel Roddis and the Britbet team to deliver an innovative and enhanced pool betting experience across the Britbet racecourses.“We also look forward to continuing to operate the pool at Ascot Racecourse for Bet with Ascot and building on the success of World Pool earlier this year with them and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, who will continue to be one of our most important commingling partners from the strategic perspective of the Tote’s global connectivity.“The racing world has huge respect for British racing and we are very optimistic about its future. As the new stewards of this iconic British institution, we are focused on remaining true to the founding principles of the Tote, while modernising the business to secure its future relevance.”This morning’s update sees Betfred close its association with the Tote, an asset the bookmaker acquired through a 2011 UK government auction for £265 million. It had been reported earlier this month that Betfred was expected to continue to manage the Tote’s services for the next 12 months.Fred Done, Founder and Chief Executive of Betfred, added: “Through our ownership of the Tote we have made a significant contribution to racing over the last eight years. We wish Alex Frost and his team all the best and they have been very fair to deal with.”Neil Goulden, Chairman of Britbet, which will now operate the pool betting outlets across 55 British racecourses said: “We welcome today’s news which provides clarity on the future of the Tote. We look forward to continuing to work with the UK Tote Group team to deliver the innovation and investment that will allow pool betting to flourish and, in turn, serve the sport we love. Along with the new technology we have rolled out across the 55 Britbet racecourses since July last year, today’s news gives us the scope to develop the racecourse experience for customers.”The UK Tote Group, formerly known as Alizeti, has undergone a major management reshuffle in the last 18 months in its bid to revamp its retail and digital offering as well as pursuing ‘ambitious growth plans.’  The consortium is said to have taken part in ‘constructive conversations’ regarding the extension of international partnerships, which will focus upon the sale of Tote products through retail and digital outlets, as well as with overseas pool betting operators. Eamonn Wilmott, UK Tote Group Chairman, added: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has been part of helping us get here. As well as supporting British racing, we want the Tote to make an ever-increasing contribution to ‘UK Plc’. We have our headquarters in Wigan and we aim to expand further, as well as building the Tote’s global connections.“We have assembled a top-class executive team with a rare combination of passion, experience and expertise, who are entirely focused on ensuring the Tote has a bright future. We’re at the start of our journey to make the Tote into a successful, socially responsible business which truly cares about its customers and staff and gives back to the sport we love – a renewed Tote in which we can all take great pride.”Nicholas Cooper, Chairman of the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), concluded: “We are proud to be investors in the Tote. The ROA is here to support the interests of racehorse owners throughout the UK and we are delighted to see the Tote is now owned by people who care passionately about the future of British racing. “We believe a rejuvenated Tote will be of significant long-term benefit to the finances of British racing which is a positive development for racehorse owners and the 85,000 people who work in the sport. We would encourage everyone in British racing to back the Tote.”last_img read more

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Alpena County Undersheriff resigns; Sheriff cites ‘general lack of trust’

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. —Alpena County Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski has released a redacted version of the letter he sent to former Undersheriff Terry King that led to his resignation. In the letter, Kieliszewski outlines several cases which he says led to the decision to terminate King’s employment.In total six separate incidents are outlined including one the sheriff refers to as a “major incident” during the Ella White gunmen complaint in March 2018.Kieliszewski states that King was accused of sending a text to an individual that advised them that a person close to the investigation should avoid taking a polygraph as requested by the Alpena Police Department. According to the sheriff, he then made it clear to King that if these allegations were true that it would be a very serious matter that would lead to termination.The letter states that King said he would not blame the sheriff for doing so, as well as that King denied ever sending the text.The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards conducted an audit of the county’s background investigations, and found no significant violations.Kieliszewski concludes the letter by saying he no longer has faith in King’s decision–making ability, and offered him the option to either resign by the end of business hours on June 24th or be terminated. King resigned and also announced his campaign for sheriff in 2020 in a release sent out late Monday afternoon.In the release King states that it was clear to him Kieliszewski intended to terminate his employment, based upon what King calls “good–faith reporting of regulatory violations” that he wished to address.King added that he has taken pride in serving the community over the years, and looks forward to demonstrating to Alpena County voters that he is the best candidate for sheriff in 2020.Both Kieliszewski’s letter and King’s release can be viewed below.  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alpena County Sheriff’s Department, Steve Kieliszewski, Terry KingContinue ReadingPrevious The Salvation Army is filling a hearty need for children this summerNext Scammers target northern Michigan resident with past due tax debtlast_img read more

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Sumner County Sheriff weekly jail bookings: Aug. 11- Aug. 18, 2014

first_imgSumner Newscow report — The following are the Sumner County Sheriff weekly jail bookings for Aug. 11 to Aug. 18, 2014 Monday 0600  to  Monday 0600  WEEKLY   BOOKINGS 08/11/2014 thru 08/18/2014  Lovatto,David53Dever COI-35 mp 18 Wellington KSKHPDWS8/16/14 Bodner, Joshus A24Wichita, KS.1320 East Michigan Apt E Wellington, KsWPDCriminal Trespass, Possession of Parphernalia, Possession of Depressant8/12/14 Larson, Amanda J.36Mulvane, Ks.600 Blk., N. Logan, Belle Plaine Ks.B.P.P.D.D.U.I.8/17/14 Hand Catherine22Wichtia KSI-35 MP 21 Wellington KSKHPDUI8/17/14 Koehn, Lisa M.33Wellington, Ks502 N. Washington, Wellington, KSKHPProbation Violation8/14/14 Plummer, Patrick F.62Cypress, TXNB I-35 Milepost 16 Wellington KSKHPDUI8/13/14 Howe, Danielle R.26Wichita, KS.U-160 and Iowa St. Oxford, KSSUSOPossession of Stimulants, Possession of Paraphanelia, DWS, No Insurance, Reckless Driving8/14/14 Pierri, Chris D.29Oklahoma City, OK.I-35, mp #16KHPD.W.S.8/17/14 Dennis, Timoghty R.42Wichita, KS.Harvey County JailSUCOWarrant 10CR227 for F.T.A.8/12/14 Melton, Brian L.21Wichita, KS.1400 E. K-55 Highway, Sumner CountySUCOFelony poss. of Drugs and D.U.I.8/17/14 Jeffery, Clinton E.22Wellington, Ks9301 S US 81 Haysville KSWPDConspiracy, Agg Burlgary8/14/14 Bodner, Joshus A24Wellington, Ks9300 S US 81 Haysville KSWPDAgg Burglary, Theft, DWS8/14/14 Lopez, Damian F.18Wichita, KS.Sumner County JailSUCOBattery L.E.O X2 and Assault8/17/14 Dwyer, Michael T.28Wellington, Ks804 S C Wellington, KSWPDCriminal Damage to Property8/14/14 Veasey,Wayne36ST.Paul MNI-35 mp 12 Wellington KSKHPDWS8/16/14 Graves,Trent22Norman OK309 E Licoln Street Wellington KSWPDBurglary8/17/14         O’neal Melissa46Wellington Ks.1500 N A st Wellington KSWPDPossession of Para8/16/14 Stonehocker, Jack L52Wellington, Ks1912 North Madison LnWPDDisorderly Conduct8/12/14 Shivers, Bryce R.28Emporia, KS501 N. Washington, Wellington, KSSUSOProbation Violation8/13/14 Dunn, Samantha K.23Wellington, KsWellington Police Dept’WPDCriminall Damage to Property and Disordely Conduct8/15/14 Harge,Eric34Ark City KS1400 N k-15 Mulvane KSMPDDWS8/17/14 NameAgeHome TownLocation of ArrestAgencyChargesDate of Arrestlast_img read more