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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2000


Operating Engineers (IUOE) Member Arrested for Picketing New York Local
Int'l Union of Operating Engineers' Local 30 member Chris Hackett to adopted labor's own tactics—he picketed his local for being blackballed. His N.Y. City union had him arrested. Hackett, a member for eight years, described himself as a loyal union member who always attended monthly meetings and showed up for picket-line duty when asked. But when he wound up on the losing side of an internal union fight, he said, union officials ignored his inquiries about work assignments and refused his phone calls. "All lines of communication were down. I had no place to go," Hackett said.

On Nov. 4, the second day of Hackett's one-man picket line outside Local 30, business manager Jack Ahern called the police, who hauled Hackett away on disorderly conduct charges. At the next union meeting, Ahern denied asking the police to arrest Hackett. But members produced the criminal complaint signed by Ahern stating that Hackett was "cursing, yelling, banging on windows [and] harassing the female workers." Hackett's supporters jammed a Dec. 29 hearing, where a judge dismissed the charge after the arresting officer testified he witnessed no misbehavior on Hackett's part. Ahern failed to appear at the hearing. This comes after a federal judge last summer found Ahern and Local 30 guilty of violating the free-speech rights of another member, Richard Perez, who had criticized the leadership.

Daily News 10 January 2000
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A Coach For The Ages; Whether Analyzing videotape or conveying knowledge,
Frank Ahern retains enthusiasm for working with young athletes
By Craig Smith
His idea of a good time is helping a basketball player position his feet for a jump shot. Or showing a sprinter the proper angle between thigh and calf in the starting blocks. Or watching hours of videotape to correct a hurdler's technique. Meet Frank Ahern, the Methuselah of Seattle high-school coaches, a revered urban legend in his second half-century of helping city youth. At 72, Ahern has been head coach or assistant on more than 20 state-championship high-school teams in basketball, cross country and track. As the sports odometer turns to 2000, Ahern's coaching career chugs on like a vintage car, as constant and strong an influence on the lives of young athletes as he was when Harry Truman was president. Ahern's influence has touched team after team, athlete after athlete during a remarkable career that spans seven decades. This season, he is an unpaid assistant coach with unbeaten Garfield, the state's No. 1-ranked Class 4A boys team and early favorite for next week's state tournament. Decades of experience are etched in Ahern's kind face. He has lively blue eyes. His thinning, red-brown hair routinely is covered with a baseball cap, even when he is indoors. Ask Ahern's athletes, former or current, about him and their voices take on a tone of reverence. "I would do anything for him," said ex-Garfield great Joyce Walker, who starred in basketball at Louisiana State and later became the first woman to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. "He inspired me to work way beyond anything I could have dreamed."
1948 and counting
Ahern (pronounced "uh-HURN") launched his coaching career in 1948 at Seattle Prep. Name a school in the Seattle area, and Ahern has coached there, it seems. He has been at Franklin, Cleveland, Asa Mercer Junior High (now middle school), Seattle Community College, O'Dea, Highline Community College and now is in his second stint at Garfield. Other coaches have come and gone, but somehow the games and athletes never passed Ahern by. Many players soar higher and the shorts droop lower, but Ahern prides himself on adding the latest techniques and technology to his bedrock of fundamentals. His main teaching aid for two decades has been a video camera. He videotapes his athletes and watches the tape with them. He points out flaws in technique, then pulls a video from his extensive library to show proper technique. He is 5 pounds above his 1958 wedding-year weight of 170 and still has the dexterity to demonstrate proper rebounding position or correct follow-through in the shot put. "I never, ever think of myself as being old," he said. Mark Phillips, who has coached Holy Names Academy to two consecutive Class 3A state girls track championships, calls Ahern "the greatest" and "my idol." Phillips set the all-time state record in the 300-meter hurdles in 1986 at Garfield (36.57 seconds) and ran on the state-record 400 relay team (41.34) the same year. Both records still stand. "He's a model for me," Phillips said. "I walk around with my video camera. I use the same sayings he used to use. I train the kids the same way. I make them watch videos for hours."

Ahern's lessons go beyond the courts and playing fields to the classroom. He remains a teacher and father figure as much as a coach. "He made me go to class," Phillips said. "He made me stay longer at practice, and he was there at all times. He was like a father away from home. He sincerely wanted you to get better as a person, an athlete and a student. . . . I succeeded because of him. If it weren't for him, I guarantee you that I wouldn't have any state records."

Ahern has taught 13 subjects in his career and now teaches two physical-education classes at Garfield as a long-term substitute. The head coach is Wayne Floyd, who played for Ahern at Asa Mercer in the 1970s. "Frank is a fundamentals coach, and I stress fundamentals," Floyd said. "He's a technician." If Garfield advances to the Class 4A state tournament in Tacoma, Ahern will be there — with his video camera. RoyDell Smiley, a standout on this year's Garfield team, said players figure anything Ahern says is gospel. "He's been there," Smiley said. "He's worked with a bunch of great players. He takes you individually and tells you what we're doing wrong. . . . He'll watch a tape frame by frame and know if you're setting your feet wrong when you shoot."

Jim Harney, 64, played for Ahern at Seattle Prep and then went on to start on Seattle University's 1958 team with Elgin Baylor that finished second in the NCAA tournament. Harney spent 40 years coaching basketball, the final 24 at North Kitsap High School, before retiring in 1997. "Frank is the finest teacher of fundamentals of sport that I know of in the state of Washington," Harney said. "Everything I tried to do as far as teaching the fundamentals of the game of basketball was from Frank."

Dad the freedom fighter
Ahern learned his tireless work ethic and eternal optimism not from another coach, but from his father. Dan Ahern was an Irish freedom fighter who began working for less than a nickel an hour in 1916 at a dairy farm in Kent. The farm was operated by the Christian Brothers, the same Catholic order that operates O'Dea High School. Dan Ahern returned to Ireland in the early 1920s, then returned to Kent, where again he worked 12- to 16-hour days. "I was 14 before I saw my father take two days off in a row," Frank Ahern said. "My father was always optimistic. He never complained, and he always said things would work out." Frank, the second-oldest of four children, attended Briscoe School in Kent, which was run by the Christian Brothers. There were no time-outs for Ahern in school. He played every sport, starred in school plays, sang in the choir and even tap-danced. "The Christian Brothers had us active all the time," he said. "The time and effort the Brothers put in was unbelievable. Briscoe was my Camelot." Ahern went to O'Dea, where he played basketball and graduated at age 16. At Washington State, he played varsity basketball for two years. He claims that wasn't much of an accomplishment because World War II had started and all that were left on campus were "17-year-olds and 4Fs."

At Washington State, Ahern met another pivotal person in his life, Jack Friel. Ahern's one-word description of Friel is telling: "scientific." It's a word others might use for Ahern. Friel imbued an appreciation for the physics of sport into Ahern, along with the strong belief that proper technique brings the best results. "What we had was a great coach in Jack Friel," Ahern said. "I thought that if anybody would just listen to him, they were going to get better." This attention to detail led Ahern to begin assembling his library of books, articles, films and instructional videos in basketball and track.

Ahern's cramped but organized study in his Rainier Beach home is packed with shoe boxes of videos. No Oscar performances can be found in Ahern's unique library, which includes titles such as "Common Errors and Hurdle Corrections" and "Progressive Teaching of the Women's Discus."

Frank's trophy room
"You have a trophy room?" a visitor asked. "Sure, here," he said, leading the way to the living room and pointing to photos of his six adult children on their wedding days. Ahern's list of accomplishments begins not with his athletes, but with his family. All of the Ahern children, now ages 33 to 40, made deans' lists in college. He has 15 grandchildren. Paul, the only son, earned 12 letters in high school and was a state diving champion for Kennedy, the parochial school in Burien attended by all the Ahern offspring. All participated in a variety of sports. On this day, father and son have been on a 15-mile bicycle ride through the Green River Valley. "I couldn't have had better parents, I couldn't have had a better brother and sisters, I couldn't have had better children, and I won the wife lottery," the old coach likes to say, referring to his wife, Dona, who taught at Kennedy when the children were there.

Where are the plaques commemorating Ahern's induction into various halls of fame, including the state track coaches, state cross-country coaches and Seattle Prep? "They're up there," said Ahern, pointing to a face-down stack atop a bookcase in the den. After two years at WSU, Ahern went into the Army during World War II but didn't serve overseas. He eventually resumed his studies at Seattle University, where he was a 5-foot-8 guard on Chieftain basketball teams. SU Coach Al Brightman once said Ahern was "as good a perfectionist as I ever expect to see."

In 1948, Ahern began his Seattle Prep coaching career as a basketball assistant while completing his studies at Seattle U. He was promoted to head coach at Prep in 1952 and two seasons later became the first Prep coach to win a title in the old Cross-State League, which stretched from Tacoma to Bellingham and across the Cascades. He moved to Franklin High School in 1958 and won his first state championship — in cross country — in 1964. In the 1970s, Ahern was at Asa Mercer, where his basketball team won 68 consecutive games. Four of those players — Jawann Oldham, James Woods, Carl Ervin and Eli Carter — were on Cleveland teams that won the 1975 state AA championship and the 1976 AAA title. The 1976 team was selected team of the century by The Seattle Times.

Ahern believes strongly in the value of sports, especially in city schools where sports can be the magnet that keeps students from dropping out. Leave it to Ahern to cite statistics, a staple for any coach, to support his argument. "Less than 2 percent of students who become actively involved in interscholastic activities drop out of school," he said.

Bloom where you are planted
Ahern doesn't smoke, drink or swear. He remains a straight arrow who can set an example for his players no matter what the standards are. He likes sayings. One of his favorites: "Bloom where you are planted." He doesn't know where he first saw it, but it was particularly pertinent at Asa Mercer, where at first he didn't like being reassigned to the middle school. Later, he grew to cherish his years there. One year, 92 percent of the students in his physical-education classes passed the Marine Corps Fitness Test. Ahern knows he made the right choice with his life. "If you work with these kids and put a lot of time in with them, it's something neither one of you forgets," he said. Why does he keep working when most men his age are retired? His wife says he needs to stay busy with sports and kids to be happy. One of his "Ahernisms" provides the best answer: "When your vocation is your avocation, you never work a day in your life." By that definition, Ahern has been taking it easy. "If I had the choice of being anybody in the world," the old coach said, "I'd like to be me."
Ahern at a glance
Age: 72
Height: 5 feet 8. Weight: 175 pounds
Birthplace: Seattle
Residence: Rainier Beach area
Coaching stops: Seattle Prep, Franklin High School, Asa Mercer Junior High, Cleveland High School, Seattle Central Community College, O'Dea High School, Highline Community College, Garfield High School
Sports: Has coached basketball, track and cross country. He is now a volunteer boys basketball coach and boys and girls track coach at Garfield High School
Wife: Dona
Children: Theresa, attorney; Rosemary, teacher; Jeanne, commercial real-estate broker; Paul, Boeing engineer; Ruth, program director for convalescent center; Mary, teacher
Honors: State cross-country coaches' Hall of Fame, state track coaches' Hall of Fame, Seattle Prep Hall of Fame
Playing history: Played basketball at O'Dea High School and at Washington State and Seattle University
The Seattle Times 27 February 2000
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Even on Parade Day, Ill Cardinal Stays In
Yesterday, for the first time in 16 years, the cardinal was unable to publicly celebrate Mass for St. Patrick's Day, or to greet marchers on Fifth Avenue as they filed past the cathedral that is named for the saint.

 . . . Bishop Patrick V. Ahern, who helped celebrate Mass in the cardinal's place yesterday and stood with a handful of other bishops reviewing the parade from the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral, said he had dropped in to see Cardinal O'Connor before the parade. He said the cardinal appeared stronger than he had last Sunday, when Bishop Ahern dropped in to see him as the cardinal ate supper. "It's very, very hard, particularly for him, because he's so accustomed to being charged with energy," said Bishop Ahern, who first met the cardinal on a battleship in Naples, when then-Admiral O'Connor was a Navy chaplain. "What is really burdening him now is fatigue," Bishop Ahern said. "I really am very fond of the man, and am so sorry that he's so diminished." . . . 

New York Times 18 March 2000
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Unknown leads Senior Tradition
Put the corporate outings on hold. Jim Ahern is on a roll. Ahern, whose success at top-dollar golf camps far outweighs his success as a tour pro, is close to catching up. He shot a 7-under-par 65 Thursday for a one-stroke lead over Tom Kite and Walter Morgan in the first round of the Tradition in Scottsdale, Ariz. Only a handful of others were close as the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain, set up for the first Senior PGA major of the season, played tougher than Ahern could remember.

"If you drive it in the rough here, you've got problems," said the resident of nearby Paradise Valley. "They've got some thick rough. They had to be spending some money on fertilizer here, I'll tell you, because that rough is tough."

 . . . While others were making headlines, Ahern toiled in obscurity on the PGA Tour during the 1970s, never finishing higher than ninth in 60 tournaments. He lost his tour card before the 1976 season, which he considers a blessing. "I couldn't play good enough," Ahern said. "I didn't belong out there. But I think I belong out here now." He went to work as the head pro at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club in 1980 and five years later founded Executive Golf Ltd., overseeing 100-guest golf weekends for clients like Ford and Lincoln-Mercury.

But Ahern kept his eye on the senior tour, and played in 16 events last year after he turned 50 in February. He picked his spots between golf outings, won the Canada Senior Open and finished with $478,963 as one of the tour's success stories.

North County Times 30 March 2000
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Savagery as sheep are ripped apart
[photo]
THIS is the shocking sight that met Crecora farmer, Denis Ahern when he arrived to check on his sheep flock at an outside farm in Lemonfield on Holy Thursday morning. Six lambs, some of them born only in the last two months were strewn around the field, all of them savagely slaughtered. The remainder of Mr Ahern's 500 strong flock were in a very distressed state and were still under attack from two dogs. The farmer shot the two dogs and attended to the sheep. The attack took place at around 9am, and it was not the first time that stray dogs have attacked Mr Ahern's flock in recent times. The farmer who runs both dry stock and sheep enterprises on the farm once run by St Josephs Hospital has called for the enforcement of the control of dogs legislation, and has issued a passionate plea to dog owners to ensure that their animals are under control at all times.
Limerick Leader 29 April 2000
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BENNING TEAM WINS BEST RANGER
Ending a grueling three-day test of physical and mental endurance that covered 60 miles in 60 hours, Army 2nd Lts. Rick Ahern and Marc Messerschmitt of Fort Benning became the best two-man Ranger team in the world. "It was weird," Ahern said Sunday after winning the David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, "Marc and I were talking this morning and — outside of a little soreness — we both said that we felt as good as when we started."

Of the 43 two-man teams that started the competition early Friday morning, 17 finished Sunday evening. During a 10 a.m. ceremony scheduled today at Fort Benning, U.S. Army Gen. John W. Hendrix, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, will present Ahern and Messerschmitt with the "Golden Pistols" given to the winners of the annual contest. "There aren't words to describe it," Ahern said of the victory. Entering Saturday night's Land Navigation Course, which covered 20 to 30 miles, the team was in third place. Messerschmitt — hampered by a pulled back muscle he suffered during Friday's parachute jump — said he began to feel his team could prevail after Ahern's instincts led them to a navigation site that put them within striking distance of first place. "Last night, we knew we had to find 10 of 11 sites," Messerschmitt said. "We went down a trail and — while it went against my better judgment — Rick said he had a feeling about a certain trail and I went along. We found the site and, at that point, I knew we had a shot." They became the front-runners when they won the Darby Queen, a 1-mile obstacle course involving numerous rope climbs, belly crawls and leg-burning uphill runs. The unusual pairing of U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Keith Oakes and Army Capt. Jason Rowe, of the U.S. Army, had led the competition most of the first two days. On Sunday, Staff Sgt. Glen Smith and Sgt. Colin Boley, both of Fort Benning's 75th Ranger Regiment, kept up their consistent pace and the three teams spent the final day shifting in and out of the top spot. Oakes and Rowe suffered a blow in the second-to-last event of the competition. During the Helocast, in which team members are dropped from a helicopter into a pond and haul a 130-pound "poncho raft" of supplies 250 yards to the shore, their raft split when they tossed it into the water from the helicopter. The raft took on water and, by the time they reached the shore, it weighed in excess of 200 pounds. The exhausted men struggled as they pulled it ashore and had to drag it 100 yards to the finish line. Smith and Boley finished ahead of Ahern and Messerschmitt in the Helocast, setting up a dramatic finish in the final event, a 2.3 mile buddy-run. Ahern and Messerschmitt, who trained for six months while going to college full-time at night, sealed the victory by finishing ahead of the other two.

Behind the scenes and somewhat unheralded, Ahern's wife, Rita, and Myra Britt, Messerschmitt's girlfriend, spent the three days cheering and encouraging the two men, racing to the finish line of each event and urging them to push themselves. "I'm a little jealous that someone can work out and be so dedicated to what they are doing," Rita Ahern said. "We don't get to see them during their training, but it means a lot to him so it means a lot to me. "They didn't train for second place," Britt said. "I didn't give up all my time with him for second place."

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer 1 May 2000
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Norman James Ahern
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BERMUDA PROBATE JURISDICTION IN THE ESTATE OF NORMAN JAMES AHERN, DECEASED NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that all persons being creditors for or otherwise having any claims upon or against THE Estate of NORMAN JAMES AHERN, who died on the 18th August, 1999, are hereby required to forward the particulars of their debts, claims and demands to the undersigned on or before the 28th June, 2000, after which the undersigned will proceed to distribute the assets of the said Deceased amongst the persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the debts, claims and demands of which they shall have had notice; and that they will not be liable for the said real and personal estate so conveyed or distributed to any creditors, person or persons of whose debts, claims and demands they shall not then have had notice. Dated this 11th day of May, 2000. Conyers Dill & pearman, Attorneys for the Applicants
Bermuda Sun 17 May 2000
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Two Crash Victims Remain Hospitalized
At least two car passengers injured in a head-on collision in Warwick remained hospitalized last night. Trevor Lolyer, 15, who police say suffered head injuries in the Friday night crash, was listed in good condition at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Meanwhile, Nellie Dosogne, 57, was in stable condition at St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick after being treated for a broken arm, hospital officials said. The crash happened about 7:30 Friday on Lower Wisner Road. Police say a 16-year-old boy driving with five other teen-agers in his car crossed the center line on a sharp turn and crashed into a vehicle driven by Dosogne's husband, Serge. Two teens - including the driver, Robert Organ - were treated for minor injuries at St. Anthony. Another teen, Christopher Ahearn, 15, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern after the crash. His condition could not be determined last night. Police ticketed Organ for speeding, failing to keep right and allowing a front-seat passenger to ride without wearing a seat belt.
Times Herald-Record 22 May 2000
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First Communion
The names of the pupils who received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion were as follows: Castleconnell: Brendan McCarthy, Ruairi Ahearne, Jason Easton, Tadhg Twomey, Karl Monaghan, David Ahearne, Paul Mulcahy, Cian Ahearne, Shane Sheehan, Gavin Hickey, Christopher Morrissey, Shane Ankatell, Anne-Marie Brosnan, Tara Hayes, Michelle O'Connell, Maebh McCarthy, Sinead Walsh, Elaine Toomey, Michelle Kelleher, Margaret Casey, Laura Bond, Tracey Joyce, Katy Mockett, Anne Barry, Tracey Collins.
Limerick Leader 27 May 2000
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Taoiseach's Brother Wants to Clean Up Capital
Dubliners should not be surprised to see their new Lord Mayor jogging out of the Mansion House, mayoral chain swinging in the breeze. Mr Maurice Ahern, who was elected Lord Mayor of the capital last night, is a keen athlete, running up to 12 miles a day. He competed in trials for the Olympics in 1968 and now spends much of his free time coaching or running. Speaking about his priorities for the next year, Mr Ahern highlighted housing, waste management and traffic. He also pointed to the high level of litter on Dublin streets and said he was determined to succeed in cleaning up the city.

Mr Ahern (61), is the older brother of the Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern, and Dublin North West TD Mr Noel Ahern. He came to public politics late in life, taking a seat on Dublin Corporation last June. However, he is a seasoned party activist, having frequently campaigned for both his brothers. Mr Ahern studied accountancy before setting up his own business.He manufactured commercial and car batteries but now imports batteries. Married to Moira, from Northern Ireland, he has six children: Giles, Adam, Aimée, Dylan, Murray and Clive. Ms Ahern is also involved in politics at local level and has held many officer board positions over the past 20 years.

Mr Ahern takes over as Lord Mayor from the Labour councillor, Ms Mary Freehill. He was elected as part of the pact between Fianna Fáil and Labour. This pact was criticised by Mr Tony Gregory, Independent TD and Mr Christy Burke, Sinn Féin councillor, at last night's council meeting. Mr Gregory suggested this pact was a preview of what would happen at the next general election. Meanwhile, Mr Burke described the arrangement as hypocritical, given Labour's criticism of Fianna Fáil over the past few weeks. Three other candidates were nominated for the post of Lord Mayor. They were Mr Finian McGrath (Ind), Mr Gerry Breen (Fine Gael) and Mr Nicky Kehoe (Sinn Féin). Mr Ahern received 34 votes, Mr Breen nine, Mr McGrath five and Mr Kehoe four.
Irish Times 4 July 2000
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ART IN REVIEW
A change of dramatis personae in Mr. Ahearn's cast of plaster characters, impressions taken from life of his neighborhood friends, has occurred since his move in 1995 from the South Bronx to the barrio of East 100th Street. Mostly wall sculptures in half-length or head-and-shoulder images, these painted likenesses range from whimsical self-portraits to frolicking teenagers at a New Year's Eve party. At the party "Chris and Starr," a couple wearing New Year's hats are linked by Chris's arm as he toots on a toy trumpet. A boy and girl known only as "KP" are locked in a mouth-to-mouth embrace. "Steve With Top Hat" gives a mock salute as he flashes a toothy smile. And "Terrell With Top Pop," clad in a bright orange T-shirt, swigs a soda from a bottle. Their life-size plaster presences are enhanced by Mr. Ahearn's skill at conveying in paint the subtle range of flesh tones.

His subjects also include two physically impaired men, a smiling Pablo who sits buckled in a wheelchair wearing a yellow T-shirt, a golf hat and a tattoo, and an intense-looking Miguel, a heavyset figure with shortened legs holding a small dog. Unlike the others, both are full-length figures designed in relation to the wall. Odder characters include "Sharp," a groovy guru figure with long gray hair, multiple tattoos, a gold chain and a saintly expression. As for the sculptor himself, the only white man in the group, he portrays himself twice: as a hand-wringing clown with red nose and turned-down mouth, and in a more introspective mood with his face turned toward the wall. New in Mr. Ahearn's work are several unpainted plaster casts of many hands joined together, cast from subjects seated around a table. Suggesting the sculptural reliefs on medieval cathedrals, they add a spiritual dimension to this very human show.

New York Times 7 July 2000
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Teen Remains in Critical Condition
The family of a teenager injured in an Upper Hunter weekend horse riding accident are keeping a bedside vigil. Ryan O'Hern, who turns 18 next week, suffered head injuries when he fell from his mount near Scone on Saturday night. A Royal North Shore Hospital spokeswoman said Ryan was in a stable condition in the hospital's neurosurgery intensive care ward.
Newcastle Herald 11 July 2000
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Peaks and Valleys - B. J. Roche
On the topic of misplaced New England scenery, a perennial favorite in this column, Dennis Ahern of Acton writes: "Arlington has not been tidal since the 19th century, but in 'The Verdict' Paul Newman sets off to interview a potential witness in 'Arlington' and is seen walking up a hilly street between rows of triple deckers with the ocean in the background. It looks like Savin Hill more than Arlington."
The Boston Globe 16 July 2000
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An attack by a rabid raccoon on a Maine family's golden retrievers could have had more tragic consequences were it not for their 12-year-old son's attendance at a 4-H safe shooting course. The animal had tangled with the dogs before scampering up a tree and then returned to carry on the fight. As other family members grabbed their dogs, quick-thinking Timothy Ahern put a stop to the melee by dispatching the raccoon with a .22-cal. rifle. Fortunately, the youngster placed his shot so the animal's brain could later be tested for rabies. Unfortunately, the family still had to undergo a series of anti-rabies shots as a precaution. That proved a wise decision when animal wardens later confirmed the raccoon had indeed been rabid.
Ellsworth American 20 July 2000
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A Chairde,

As a reader, I wish to bring to your attention an article in the edition of 29 June, titled Crowley Presentation In Cork. It stated that Volunteer Tony Ahern died while transporting a bomb by car near Omagh in County Tyrone. This is not true, Tony Ahern died while planting a landmine at a border point outside Roslea in County Fermanagh, known as Mullinhainch, on the Roslea-Clones Road. His comrade, Dermot Crowley, died while transporting a bomb in a car near Omagh in County Tyrone. May they both rest in peace.

I trust that you could correct this at your convenience.

James Murray,
Roslea, Co. Fermanagh.
An Phoblacht 3 August 2000
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FORMER BRIMFIELD MAN GIVEN SENTENCE OF LIFE
A former Brimfield man has been sentenced in Dade County Court in Florida to life imprisonment after being convicted of first-degree arson, two counts of murder, and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, among other charges, after killing two people and wounding two others. Paul D. Ahern, 46, also received the following concurrent sentences: 40 years on a charge of throwing a deadly missile; 15 years on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm; and 10 years for criminal mischief. The sentences were imposed Tuesday. One of his victims was Jeffrey S. Edinberg, 30, who grew up in Worcester.

Mr. Ahern was arrested by Metro-Dade police after he fired a high-powered hunting rifle, killing two people and wounding two others after setting his Kings Creek condominium on fire Jan. 13, 1998. Neighbors said Mr. Ahern had been evicted from his apartment. Police said he set the apartment on fire shortly before 1 a.m., fired shots from the balcony before wandering through the building and firing randomly with a rifle and three pistols.

Mr. Ahern graduated in 1973 from Tantasqua Regional High School, Sturbridge, and moved from Brimfield to Springfield. He also lived for awhile in California. He moved to Florida about 1993. Those who knew Mr. Ahern locally recalled him as a good student and a hard-hitting football linebacker. His father, Edward Ahern, who died in 1996, had been a science teacher at the regional junior-senior high school in Sturbridge until the 1970s and had been president of the teachers association for a while. His mother, Ann Ahern, was a longtime teacher at Brimfield Elementary School. The couple eventually divorced. Ann Ahern subsequently moved to Springfield and then to Daytona, Fla.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette 4 August 2000
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STRADBALLY GARDA RETIRES AFTER 30 YEARS
They were hanging from the rafters last Friday night (and that was just the multitude of Gardaí: present!), even the unspoken tradition of not standing on the dance-floor was thrown to the winds, as the doors were thrown open. The occasion was the retirement party at Stradbally G.A.A. Club for Garda Mick Ahern, who is retiring after thirty years of service.

The evening was organised by the Gardaí, (thanks went to Damian Ryan who pulled it all together), who issued an open invitation to the people of Stradbally to attend the celebrations. Teddy Barry's fingers flew across the keys while they arrived in unheard of numbers to honour the man who earned the respect of Stradbally over the years.
Waterford News 13 October 2000
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Medina — Elese Martin at about 1:30 in the morning, shuffled to the bathroom flicked on the light and spotted a five-foot boa constrictor slithered out of her toilet. "I screamed loud enough for the whole city to hear," she said. Martin slammed the bathroom door, called 9-1-1 and waited. She breathed heavily. She heard a ker-splash and a thunk. Police arrived, flung open the door, and - saw nothing. The room was empty, the toilet seat down. Mike Abshire, a maintenance employee at Martin's apartment complex arrived and plunged his hand into the toilet and seized the reptile's tail. Police officer Joseph Ahern then arrived to find the snake coiled around Abshire’s arm. "I don't do snakes," Ahern said. "I'll call for backup" which he did.
Cleveland Plain Dealer October 2000
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Personal Insolvency
Bankruptcy Orders
AHERN, Thomas, whose residential address is unknown and trading from 15 Beechwood Avenue, Bangor, County Down, BT20 3JA, as a Wholesaler of Food and Beverages, Compass Express.
Date of Bankruptcy Order 13th October, 2000.
Date of Presentation of Petition—21st August, 2000.
No. of Matter—W2000 B2354.
Whether Debtor's Petition or Petition other than Debtor's—Creditor's.
The Belfast Gazette 20 October 2000
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Felony Arrests
Child endangerment — Blaise Ahern Schomaker, 30, of 308 N. Ivy St., Medford. Schomaker was arrested by Medford police Friday and charged with child endangerment, abandonment and mistreatment. She was lodged in jail on $14,000 bail.
Mail Tribune 29 October 2000
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Gay Catholic Priest Resigns Citing Isolation by Church
Back in mediaeval times, the Catholic Church burnt non-believers at the stake. These day, punishment for those who challenge church doctrine is more subtle but equally effective, says gay priest Julian Ahern. Yesterday Father Ahern faxed his resignation to Melbourne's Catholic leader, Archbishop George Pell. "In light of my personal and public love for the church, I guess it is the hardest decision I've ever made." He explained yesterday why he had no choice but to quit. Since "coming out" in 1997, he was increasingly isolated by the church hierarchy and attempts to discuss the issue of gay clergy with Archbishop Pell were fruitless. First he lost his parish work, then his stipend was stopped - which left him without income. Since then he has survived on government sickness benefits, fighting depression brought on by the church's rejection of his sexuality.

"The archbishop has basically said I must accept the church's teaching in general, with the implied threat that I accept the doctrine against homosexuality in conscience. It rips my heart out how something that represents God can be basically irrational, if not mad," he said. Father Ahern said he might be Australia's first openly gay priest to resign because of his fight against a doctrine that condems homosexuality as evil. "If the church is not listening to its clergy and the clergy don't have the courage to say who they are, then the whole church will fall apart." In May the Vatican invited him to a conference on faith and learning. Now, as he looks at the photo of him at a mass with Pope John Paul, Father Ahern smiles wryly. "It's bizarre, how someone can welcome you on one hand and reject you at the same time."
The Age 6 November 2000
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HERO FROM ABOVE
WWII pilot Jack Ahern of Atlantic Beach stays at the controls of doomed B-17, saves village
by John Woodhouse
As his crippled B-17 bomber fell through the foggy Sunday morning skies over southern Britain on Dec. 16, 1944, U. S. Army Air Force 2nd Lt. John J. “Jack” Ahern Jr. of Atlantic Beach had a decision to make. With one engine on fire and another disabled, Ahern, 22, ordered the eight members of his crew, including co-pilot 2nd Lt. Fred Barley, to parachute to safety. But Barley wasn't buying it. Twelve days earlier, Barley, Ahern and the seven other crewmen, all new arrivals from the U. S., had flown their first mission as a new crew on a borrowed B-17. The crew flew together two more times, on Dec. 9 and 11, before they were assembled for their fourth and fateful bombing mission on Dec. 16. On that same day, the Battle of the Bulge began and Germany launched its counteroffensive in the Ardennes.

As the parachutes if seven of the crew fluttered to the ground near Bozeat, England, a small village near an airfield, Ahern assured Barley that he would be right behind the others. Barley bailed out, Ahern never did. And the rural farm village of Bozeat—and its 1,100 residents—were spared from destruction because of Ahern's decision not to leave the controls.

“The co-pilot wanted to stay with my brother, but he ordered him out too,” said Fred Ahern, who was 17 when his older brother Jack was killed piloting the fully-armed B-17. The bomber crashed and exploded on contact in a field outside Bozeat. “What happened was they were flying across the English Channel, and all of a sudden they lost one of the engines. And as they brought it back they lost a second engine,” Fred Ahern said in an interview this week. “Whatever the problem was they couldn't regain altitude.”

The ultimate sacrifice
According to a 1944 newspaper account. the chief air raid warden of Bozeat said the doomed plane was headed for the center of the village in a low glide when it suddenly pulled up and went over the town. “The plane was headed right for the church,” Ahern said while looking over newspaper accounts of the crash in his real estate office off South Third Street. “More than 1,000 people lived in the village. A substantial number of them would have been killed. No question about it.”

Just outside Bozeat at Red Gables farm, Mrs. Phylis Drage was outside the kitchen when she saw the plane make its final approach. She ordered her two boys to lay down in the front yard as the B-17 passed over her house and crashed, leaving a huge crater behind. Bombs and incendiaries from the plane detonated over the fields, but the Drages were unharmed. Ahern's body is believed to have been thrown clear of the wreckage. “If the plane had crashed in town, there seems to be little doubt that the village would have been flattened,” a British newspaper reported. It's believed Ahern was headed for the Poddington Airfield, one of four air bases in a 20-mile radius of Bozeat, including his own base at Kimbolton. “From our house in Easton Lane, you could see these large bombers landing and taking off at Poddington,” Bill Silsby, a farm worker, recalled in a 1994 interview. “They took a battering, they did. Came back all in pieces. Something was wrong with this one. . . . Two men parachuted out when it was low to the ground. One engine also fell near them. They said it was white hot when it hit the ground.”

The day of reckoning
According to British aviation researcher Jack Boatman, Ahern's crew was awakened at 4:45 that morning for a mission targeting German marshalling yards. The plan would involve 116 aircraft from Kimbolton, including 39 from the Eighth Air Force's 303rd, 379th and 384th bomb groups. Ahern's crew was on of many from the 379th approved for takeoff that morning at 9. The mission was scheduled to last approximately seven hours. An hour into the flight, the mission was scrubbed due to deteriorating weather. Ahern's bomber had been sent to Kimbolton as a replacement aircraft on Sept, 26 of that year. The plane had flown 23 operational sorties when Ahern's crew boarded it on Dec. 16.
Before the fall
Ahern had arrived in England in October of '44 and flew his first mission as a co-pilot on Dec. 2 in an aircraft known as “White Lightning.” More than 300 combat missions originated out of Kimbolton from May 1943 until July 1945, with all of them intended for targets in Germany and other parts of occupied Europe.

Ahern, a 1940 Fletcher High graduate and former Senator football and basketball manager, enlisted July 20, 1942, and became a flight officer in March 1944. He received his commission as a second lieutenant in September of that year. He had recently married and had an 8-month old daughter in Duluth, Minn. Fred Ahern saw his brother alive for the last time in August 1944. As the brothers rode their bicycles down Atlantic Boulevard, Jack Ahern made a haunting promise. “One thing you can depend on is that I'm not going to be a hero. I'm coming home,” Fred Ahern recalls his brother saying before he left. “He always wanted to be a pilot,” Ahern said. “Back then, any able-bodied man went into the service. It was a stigma to be 4-F. Everybody wanted to serve.”

Getting the word back home
It was just after Christmas, 1944, when Fred Ahern got the news that his older brother had been killed in a plane crash. School was out and Ahern had gone hunting across the Intracoastal Waterway with his friend Skeeter Dickson, who had a little hunting cabin about three miles south of the bridge. “A good friend of mine found out about it and came over and got me,” said Ahern, his voice cracking. “It didn't sink in with me. I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it for months. I kept thinking he was going to show up. I kept thinking maybe he got out. The whole family took it hard,” added Ahern. “A Catholic priest who came to our house waited until after Christmas to tell us.”

Over in Bozeat, villagers went house to house collecting money to send a wreath to Ahern's family in Atlantic Beach. Everyone in the village contributed. A memorial service was held in Bozeat in January 1945, in the same church the plane and pilot had avoided by the slimmest margins. A packed house heard a moving address from E. B. Lesher, an American chaplain from one of the bases near the town. “I wonder if you [Jack Ahern] realize the deep significance of what you have done,” the chaplain said. “You have brought the two nations closer together in a bond of friendship that will not soon be broken.” Lesher presented the church with a plaque commemorating that episode of the war, and today flowers are placed near the plaque at all times. A remembrance lily for Ahern is also placed in the church every Easter.

A final reunion
Fred Ahern went to the crash site for the first time in October 1999. There he met Graham Drage, who as a boy lay face down as Jack Ahern piloted his crippled craft into a nearby field. “We went out to the field,” Ahern recalled this week, “and he said, 'would you like some souvenirs of the plane?' In five minutes we had gathered up parts of the plane that were still there since 1944.”

Jack Ahern's body was buried in a military cemetery in Cambridge, England, and then brought back to the U. S. and buried in Duluth, Minn. In 1946, the Atlantic Beach City Council approved the renaming of the first street north of Atlantic Boulevard from Atlanta Street to Ahern Street, and a plaque was placed at the intersection of Ahern Street and Ocean Boulevard. Ahern's name is also included on a World War II memorial in Atlantic Beach's Bull Park. Also honored on the memorial are Navy pilot Richard Bull, Army Sgt. Bob David and infantryman Solomon Sturdivant.

As for the surviving crew of the B-17, five were killed on a bombing mission to Bonn, Germany, on Jan. 10, 1945. Tail gunner William Watkins and ball turret gunner Saul Ancelet were the lone survivors. Barley, the co-pilot on Ahern's B-17, was not aboard the downed aircraft. Fred Ahern believes one member of his brother's crew may still be alive. He'll find out in January when he attends a reunion in Savannah, Ga., for the 379th Bomb Group. “I'm going to meet a lot of guys who have been correspinding with me,” said Ahern, who keeps a photo of his brother, wearing his leather bomber jacket, in his Jacksonville Beach office. “I'm hoping that the guy who survived isn't dead.” One thing is for certain; Lt. Jack Ahern's memory is still alive in the small city of Atlantic Beach, where he grew up, and in the small village of Bozeat, England, where he died as he never intended—a hero.

The Leader 10 November 2000
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Portsmouth Man Faces Federal Charges in Bank of N.H. Robbery
DOVER — A Portsmouth man being held in connection with the June robbery of the Bank of New Hampshire has been federally indicted by a grand jury for the heist. Sean Ahern, 28, with a last known address in Portsmouth, was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office late last week on one count of armed robbery. He is currently being held at state prison, according to police Lt. Anthony Colarusso. No arraignment has yet been scheduled for the case. Ahern was arrested by police shortly after the robbery of the Central Avenue bank on June 10 for allegedly stealing a black Honda Civic in Portsmouth used as the getaway car. Moments after the heist, that car was dumped in a back lot of Janetos Market with its engine running. Police believe Ahern then jumped in a red jeep that was waiting for him on St. John’s Street and sped off toward Broadway. "The entire investigation is still active and we continue to look for evidence into whether there was more accomplices," Colarusso said late this morning. Part of that evidence includes the actual money stolen in the robbery, he added. Ahern allegedly entered the bank wearing a ski mask, and brandished what looked to be a small caliber firearm, according to police. Early in the investigation, police released Ahern’s name and photograph to local media saying they wanted to speak with him because they thought he had knowledge of the crime. A day later he was apprehended in Portsmouth by authorities there who had an outstanding warrant for him in connection to the car robbery. Prior to his arrest, Ahern was free on bail awaiting presentencing for a May 8 felony conviction of second-degree assault at Rockingham County Superior Court. The investigation into the robbery was a multiagency effort that included work by the Dover police’s Special Investigations Bureau, the FBI and Portsmouth police.
Foster's Daily Democrat 13 November 2000
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THE QUESTION MAN
Asked around town: Are you planning on traveling for the holidays?

No, I'm not. I'm just a half-hour away from home. I may go to Sonoma, or I may go to Sacramento where my Dad lives. I'm not sure yet.
—April Ahern, 18, student, Presidio

San Francisco Chronicle 1 December 2000
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Two members of the British boy band Five are due to appear in a Dublin court after a bar brawl said to have been sparked by a comment about rival group Westlife. Ritchie Neville and J (Jason) Brown were arrested after a fight in the Palace Bar in Fleet Street. Neil Reading, publicist for the group, said: "Ritchie Neville and J Brown were arrested following an incident in a bar in Dublin. "Brown will be charged with assault and public disorder. Neville will be charged with public disorder and disturbance of the peace."

Mr Reading said the pair were drinking with members of their touring party when the incident happened. They were held for several hours by Dublin police and then released on bail. One man was injured and two others arrested in the incident. The victim is believed to have been treated at St James' Hospital for facial injuries which required stitches. Willie Ahern, a barman at the Palace Bar, said: "There were four lads at the end of the bar. "They had been in all day and had a sandwich and a pint or two. "Then the members of the band came in. They had a couple of girls with them. "They were all having a good time and then some sort of fight developed. There was an argument and the band Westlife was mentioned. "Two lads in the band got really wound up. "The Garda were called and an ambulance arrived." The band, whose hits include Keep On Movin' and the Queen hit We Will Rock You, will still play their scheduled Dublin gigs on 21 and 22 December at The Point.

BBC News 21 December 2000
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Three girls from Manchester played vital rolls for the St. Paul's (Concord, N.H.) field hockey team that posted an Independent School League record of 12-0-0 and an overall mark of 15-2-0 under coach Heather Crutchfield. They are Ashley Ahern, Kara Lentz and senior Tribly Reeves, who will graduate with a four-year record of 55-8-2. Lentz, a sophomore, earned a spot on the US Women's Under-16 National Team.
The Boston Globe 24 December 2000
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Car Slams Into Store, Driver Killed
HAVERHILL — A 25-year-old Salisbury man, who attempted to elude police after being pulled over for speeding early Saturday morning, was killed when his car rammed through the wall of a store, state police said. State Police troopers Robert W. Gallant and Lawrence D. Richardson spotted Cameron Scott Ahern, of 204 Northend Boulevard, traveling southbound on Interstate 495 in a 1986 Plymouth at speeds of 80 to 85 miles per hour, according to State Police Lt. Paul C. Maloney.

The troopers reportedly pulled Mr. Ahern over off the ramp near Route 110 around 1:20 a.m. As the troopers left their cruiser and walked toward the vehicle, Mr. Ahern sped off eastbound on Route 110 and was quickly out of sight, Lt. Maloney said. About a minute after fleeing from the troopers, Mr. Ahern's vehicle crashed through a wall at Dunn's Equipment on 746 Amesbury Line Road. Mr. Ahern, who was traveling alone and not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene, Lt. Maloney said. Although they reported roads were wet, investigators believe that speed was the main factor for the accident, according to Lt. Maloney. Danielle Ahern, Mr. Ahern's sister, said he was heading to his home in Salisbury Saturday morning from his brother Michael's home in Methuen. Ms. Ahern said the brothers were just hanging out together.

Mr. Ahern was born in Methuen and had a 6-month-old daughter, Alexis, with his fiancee Jessica Soave of Salisbury. Mr. Ahern and Ms. Soave had been together for three years. "He was a loving brother, son and father," his sister said. "Someone who always gave to others." Ms. Ahern said Mr. Ahern loved fishing, hockey, the beach and "going out and having a good time." She added that Mr. Ahern was known to be a joker around his brothers because he loved to pull practical jokes on them. "He was always trying to make people laugh," Ms. Ahern said. Mr. Ahern worked as an indentured apprentice for Local 138 of the United Association of Pipefitters and Plumbers of Salem, Mass., and was a member of an adult hockey league that played at the Valley Forum in Lawrence.

Dan Dunn, owner of Dunn's Equipment, said he arrived at the scene within eight minutes of the accident, after being notified when the alarm system in his store was tripped. Mr. Dunn said the vehicle Mr. Ahern was driving crashed right through the office he shared with his employees and with his wife, Donna. Mr. Dunn said the vehicle left a 25 to 30 foot gaping hole in the wall and that it also caused severe damage inside the building. "It just looks like a bomb hit the building," Mr. Dunn said. Employees of the store, which carries snow blowers, generators and lawn, garden and construction equipment, were not in the building at the time of the accident. It is for this reason that Mr. Dunn said he is grateful. "I still feel like the luckiest person around," Mr. Dunn said. "It's a good thing that none of the employees were here. I think the Big Guy was looking out for us." Mr. Dunn also said he was sorry that the young father lost his life in the crash. "I feel bad for him, I feel bad for his family," Dunn said.

Other damage to Mr. Dunn's store included about $25,000 worth of computer equipment and dented structure-supporting beams in the building. The crash also knocked down electrical wires and broke the store's heating pipes, which in turn caused flooding in the store and left it without heat just before the year's most anticipated snow storm. Yet, despite the extraordinary circumstances, the store was still open for business. Relatives of Mr. Dunn's employees came in to help with the clean-up, he said. "It's just material things, you know," Mr. Dunn said. "They're monetary things that can be replaced. You can't replace people."

State police are still investigating the accident and the possibility that alcohol may have been involved, Lt. Maloney said. Personnel at the Chief Medical Examiner's office were unavailable to comment on whether there will be an autopsy scheduled for Mr. Ahern. A funeral service for Mr. Ahern will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at Island Pond Baptist Church in Hampstead, N.H., where his parents, Timothy and Frances Ahern, live.
Lawrence Eagle-Tribune 31 December 2000
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