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Women sues Inglewood police over alleged rape

first_imgBy The Associated Press A Florida woman who claims she was raped by an Inglewood police officer sued department officials, contending the department’s policies created an “unrestrained, undisciplined and out of control” atmosphere, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, contends that the 23-year-old woman was in town to visit relatives on Dec. 15 when she was stopped by two officers while walking to a fast-food restaurant. The officers accused her of being a prostitute and followed her back to her motel, where according to the suit, one officer insisted that she take him to her room and forced her to have sex. No criminal charges have been filed in the case but the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was investigating her claims. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The suit names the two police officers and top department officials, including a former chief. In addition to faulting the department’s hiring, training and retention policies, the lawsuit contends the woman was sexually assaulted and falsely imprisoned, and that her civil rights were violated. Calls to the department seeking comment were not returned Wednesday.last_img read more

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Fire Danger Increasing in Western North Carolina

first_imgThe U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are warning the public of increasing fire danger in western North Carolina.Last weekend’s rainfall was not widespread and not enough to alleviate the dry conditions and persistent drought that has resulted from low rainfall in the past few months. Fuels in the forest will readily burn if ignited. Fire danger is predicted to remain high for the rest of October and into December.Both agencies would like to remind the public to use caution in any outdoor burning. Even when burn-bans are not in effect, conditions may not be advisable for outdoor fires. The public is discouraged from burning yard waste during periods of low humidity or high winds.For people who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:* Always consider alternatives to burning.* Obtain a burning permit at an NCFS office or online athttp://ncforestservice.gov/burn_permits/burn_permits_main.htm* Check the weather – don’t burn on dry, windy days.* Know your local burning laws.* Be prepared with water, a shovel and phone.* Stay with your fire until it is completely out.Studies have shown that taking these and other measures can greatly reduce wildfires and the loss of property associated with them. Take time now to prepare your home against wildfires. Tips on protecting your property can be found at www.firewise.org.Additionally, campfires can be a source of wildfires. Follow these guidelines to help prevent wildfires:* Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible* Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones* Pour until hissing sound stops* Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel* Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers* Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch* If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers.* Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool.* Do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.last_img read more

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Surplus food for the starving

first_imgA Bread Buddies sandwich, donated byone classmate to another, comes with aspecial message: “Your greatestpleasure is that which rebounds fromhearts that you have made glad.” Feedback’s Cape Town branch has fivedrivers and five trucks, one of which isrefrigerated. Freddy Janeke presides over the dailymorning planning meeting before thedrivers head off. Abuyile Tsitsa (15) helps unloadsandwiches at Mokone Primary Schoolin Langa.Words and pictures by Jennifer SternMost of us have childhood memories of being faced with pile of green and disgusting-looking – but healthy – stuff on our plate. And being admonished by a stern parent to think of all the starving children in the world, and eat it up.The starving children can have it, we would think – but there’s no way to get it to them. Now, a South African organisation called Feedback Food Redistribution has come up with a way of taking unwanted food and distributing it to the hungry.South Africa is marked by extremes in wealth, from affluence to deep poverty. While it is one of the few countries in the world fortunate enough to produce more than enough food for its population, people still starve. It’s a matter of redistribution.Feedback, which started off with one truck and two staff members in Cape Town in 2000 and has since grown to have branches in Johannesburg, Durban and Pietermaritzburg, is just one of the non-profit organisations tackling this problem.Feedback redistributes surplus food from farmers, caterers, restaurants, corporate canteens and retailers to institutions that care for vulnerable people in some of the most impoverished communities in South Africa. And as most of these organisations help individuals get back on their feet again, it’s a hand-up, not a hand-out.In the last financial year, 1 March 2007 to 28 February 2008, Feedback distributed 3 799 412kg of food. Considering they work six days a week, that’s over 12 metric tons of food a day.The organisation tackles not only the problem of immediate hunger, it also addresses long-term food security needs by offering nutrition courses and assisting in the setting up of food gardens.LogisticsIt’s a pretty hectic operation. At the Cape Town base, distribution coordinator Freddy Janeke starts his day by checking what needs to be picked up where, and then assigns drivers and vehicles to the various routes.Each driver will start the day off doing a pick-up and then, depending on the nature of the food donated, it will either be transported directly to one or more of the beneficiary organisations, or it will be taken to Feedback headquarters for sorting and storage.The type of food donated ranges from left-over cooked meals from university residences or vegetables and bread approaching their sell-by date, to breakfast cereals in underweight boxes that can’t be sold. These are the easiest to deal with, as they have a shelf life of months, so they can be stored and distributed when there is less of the more perishable foodstuffs available.The Cape Town branch has five drivers and five trucks, one of which is refrigerated, so Janeke has to think on his feet and do some quite intricate juggling to assign the right truck and driver to the right route. The other four trucks are fitted with thermo-cubes on the back so they are sufficiently well insulated.And it’s not just about feeding the hungry. Excess food is a major problem in its own right. If it weren’t for Feedback, over 3 800 tons of good quality organic material would have ended up in landfill last year. And it almost certainly would have quietly fermented to form a vast amount of methane, a greenhouse gas that traps far more heat than carbon dioxide.Care 2 CarryFeedback’s primary task is food redistribution, but this innovative organisation is initiating new schemes to improve the lot of both people and the planet. While unequal distribution of food and other resources is a major problem facing society in general, poverty, pollution and inadequate education are equally important. And that’s why Feedback’s Care 2 Carry campaign is so clever.Speaking of landfill, the biggest culprit there has to be the ubiquitous plastic supermarket bag. So, they’ve thought of a way of tackling that problem, too. Granted, sturdy paper shopping bags are not exactly a new idea, but these ones are a little different. There are 10 designs, all painted by children at the Luzuko Primary School in Gugulethu. The bags are available on the website or from Fruit and Veg City stores for R10, R2 of which goes to Feedback.It seems that every good initiative by this organisation just seems to spawn another. The Book People, a subsidiary of Don Nelson Publishers, donated 250 books to the Luzuko school library as a way of thanking them for their participation in the Care 2 Carry programme, and each child that took part in the competition also received a book – even if their art was not chosen for a bag.But this idea didn’t just spring out of nothing. Luzuko Primary is a beneficiary of one of Feedback’s subsidiary programmes, called Bread Buddies, which distributes sandwiches to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. These children often arrive at school hungry, without having had much in the way of breakfast, and – if it weren’t for school feeding schemes – they’d leave hungry too, which is not conducive to good learning.Bread buddies enables children from relatively affluent homes to bring an extra sandwich, and pop it into the waiting Bread Buddies crate when they arrive at school. These are then distributed to schools in less affluent areas.In the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, 53 schools are involved in the Bread Buddies programme, and – between them – distributed 123 332 sandwiches in the last academic year.A growing number of corporate bread buddies have taken the programme on board, as they realise it is a relatively simple and effective way to make a difference at grassroots level.Interestingly, Bread Buddies has also had some unexpected spin-offs. Many of the more affluent schools participating in the programme have partnered with their less fortunate counterparts to create an ongoing relationship that is mutually beneficial.“Also,” says Dean Hand, managing director of Feedback, “it’s good for these children to know where their extra sandwich is going. It’s not too much to say that this contributes to nation building.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesSocial development in South AfricaGlobal food crisis addressed‘Miracle’ rice fights African hunger Useful linksFeedback Food Redistributionlast_img read more

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Future Friday: Is there a lesson in Pokémon Go for motivating employees?

first_imgThe Pokémon Go craze is in the news practically every day. It is almost impossible to go anywhere without spying someone walking around trying to catch Mewtoo, Dragonite, Psyduck or one of the other creatures in the game. As I observe this behavior and how quickly it caught on it made me wonder if there is a lesson in this for motivating employees.Gamification is the trendPokémon Go, while a currently popular game, is not the trend. It is one more indication however, that gamification is the trend. Gamification has been around for quite a while. Who has not played games? Its popularity however has expanded greatly with the use of mobile devices. Companies try to influence consumer behavior by the use of games. McDonald’s use of games would often drive consumers to their stores with the promise of big prizes. Currently FourSquare uses gamification, as does Starbucks in order to reward frequent shoppers who participate. All of us can think of consumer oriented companies that may use some sort of gamification to drive business there way. However, it becomes harder to find companies that use gamification to increase employee participation. Marcus Buckingham is working of gamification use in management, as I wrote here, and I did a podcast with Mike Tinney about the use of gamification in wellness programs. However, I don’t find a lot of examples for the use of gamification in the day-to-day business of most companies. Why?Why?If gamification can drive people to walk around looking for imaginary creatures and drive people to pick a particular restaurant to have their lunch why wouldn’t it, why shouldn’t  it, be a powerful tool to drive employee behavior on the job? I think it would be, but there are steps to follow in instituting gamification and increasing challenges as you use it. This may be the roadblock! First we have to decide what behavior we want to change. Then we have to create the game that drives it. Then we have to get employees and managers to use it. Plus we have to get over the roadblocks that may be thrown in our way from the government in the use of the game. But if a game can drive the kind of behavior we see in Pokémon Go wouldn’t it be worth it?The Gamification SpectrumI came across an excellent paper written by Dr. Michael Wu that was published by Lithium. In this whitepaper Dr. Wu talks about the Gamification Spectrum and the nine patterns that builders and users of gamification need to be aware of in it use. These include:1.       Gamified behavior- do you want a single action from a single user or multiple actions from multiple players2.       Underlying metrics- you have to be able to track player behavior and that becomes increasingly difficult and complicated3.       Susceptibility to cheating- Easy actions make it easy to “game” the system. I have a friend who games FourSquare by checking into a location that he just happens to be driving by rather than actually visiting. He is atop the leaderboard every week.4.       Ideal visibility and scope of feedback- This deals with badges and the time they are visible. Newer players may get discouraged with long standing, yet easily earned badges.5.       Value of rewards- Do you want to reward simple behavior by a single player or the behavior of a team?6.       Sustainability- You have to have something that stands the test of time in order for it to be effective.7.       Implementation- Do you want simple badges or will you require custom tools?8.       Extinction period- this is tied into sustainability9.       Engaged population- The more difficult the game the smaller the number of dedicated players.Dr. Wu says that you need to have a three step strategy that include:1.       Step one- Identify the effective timescale of your desired behavior2.       Step two- Find a gamification tool with a feedback timescale ≈ your effective timescale3.       Step three- Build a level-up ladder by filling in the gaps with tools that have successively longer feedback timescale along the gamification spectrum. Always start with immediate feedback (e.g., points) to achieve scale Fill all gaps (so the ladder is easy to climb) in order to maintain the scale as your players level up to the final rung of the ladder (i.e., the tool with feedback)Obviously I cannot do justice to Dr. Wu’s explanation, so I suggest you read this whitepaper to more completely understand his explanation.OpportunityI do believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for the use of gamification in human resources. It will take a coordinated effort between HR, game designers and probably some of the bigger software systems but I believe it may be worth the effort.Who is willing to give it a try? Originally posted on Omega HR Solutions Blog.last_img read more

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Virtual Bank Plans for Apps – And Wants Your Input

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#cloud#news Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting adrianne jeffries BankSimple, the potentially disruptive Web-based banking service started by Twitter forefather Alex Payne, wants your input.The company announced it will be launching an API for use by third-party developers at the same time it releases its first Web- and mobile-accessible banking service to users. But first, BankSimple has created a listserv using Google Groups to get feedback.The company wants to harness the attention it’s received thanks to high-profile press coverage. “We’ve decided to launch this group before publishing our stable API to get a better sense of the use cases that people are looking to support through our API,” CEO Josh Reich wrote in the Google Group, which has more than 50 members so far.More than 20,000 people have signed up for invites, the company told the Wall Street Journal this week.BankSimple could eventually allow a customer to make a deposit by taking a picture of a check with his or her phone, eliminate ATM fees and help users organize their finances, similar to Web-based persnal money management services like Mint. It is not a replacement for brick and mortar banks, which will take care of logistics like interest-crunching and federal deposit insurance for BankSimple’s customers.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Bapus words

first_imgA theatrical depiction of the real life events between the Mahatma and an ordinary man, Tarkeshwar Pandey, Samagam Foundation presented Gandhi tum zinda ho a play at Surtal, Taalkatora Gardens on 3 November. The play was conceived designed and directed by Raj Upadhyay. It was a mega production by way of sound, light and special effects on stage. More than 40 actors participated in this mega production. The play aspires to give impetus to the Mahatma’s ideology. A ripple effect of calm and tolerance spread through the despair and gave people hope. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The  main aim is to understand and incorporate the values of one of the greatest social thinkers and reformists, Gandhi, the Mahatma, in turbulent times such as today. The audience gave standing ovation at the end of the play and appreciated the level of production and also the acting talents of the lead actors.  Also present at the play were Prakash Javadekar, Vijay Goel, Abha Dalmia, Raj Upadhyay, Veena Chaddha, Rashmi Malik among others.last_img read more

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Books in the age of Candy Crush

first_imgWhen Jane Austen declared that ‘after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!’, she of course had never imagined something like a Facebook and Instagram. Technology has taken over our world. Go to a mall, a park, a subway, anywhere and you see everyone bent over their phones. Communication or face to face communication rather, has taken a backseat, and so has the simple pleasures of life. Like walking in the park and noticing a blooming flower, like riding to work and noticing fellow passengers and their lives on the bus, like reading a book. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Books have taken a backseat and the proof is the gradual disappearance of bookshops, book clubs and library cards. Honestly, when was the last time you used a library card (if it hasn’t already expired) for just the pleasure of going to the library and browsing through some old favourites? What happened to the book clubs that used to be such a rage in school?Somehow Internet, chats and social media has taken over the good old pleasure of sinking deep into a engrossing piece of literature. Instead of learning to read from picture books, toddler know how to operate an iphone. Reading extensively has been replaced by scrolling through posts on tumbler, memes have taken over comic books. Life has become more about instagramming than about actually enjoying it. Books are not discussed at home where family meetings are held in front of the television sets and a new Xbox or a selfie stick has become a better Christmas gift than a good old hard-cover. We may plead guilty and blame the scarcity of time as the reason for the withdrawal from books, but the lack of literature in life has its own disadvantages. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe kind of wing that words give to imagination is inconceivable through any other medium, written words penetrate the mind more than visual images as they stay there and cultivate ideas.Of course, books are being written and published still. Of course bookworms can still be found curled up in bed with a book, instead of livetweeting their lives, but they are a dying breed. Technology has indeed made the world an easier place to live in but let’s not sacrifice the simple pleasures of life over it.Between The Covers is a weekly column on reading up and rating downlast_img read more