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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2005

Man arrested in connection with stolen vehicle
A stolen vehicle was recovered by officers of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office early Wednesday morning after a Horatio man called to complain about a vehicle parked on his property. Franklin Chandler called the dispatcher at 2:33 a.m. Wednesday and requested a deputy to check on a vehicle parked at his residence at 300 Fox View Road. Chandler said that Timothy Ahern had asked if he could sleep there, but he wanted him removed. Deputy Omar Cervantes responded to the complaint and found Ahern, 47, and Jason Jarka, 22, asleep in a gold Ford Ranger.

The deputy advised the men to go to the Horatio EZ Mart if they needed to sleep, and as they drove off, he noted the Florida license plate on the vehicle. Dispatchers ran the tag and discovered the truck had been reported stolen. The deputy contacted Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department for assistance, and the two officers went to the Horatio EZ Mart and took the men into custody. Ahern has been charged with theft by receiving, and the vehicle has been impounded. No charges have been filed against Jarka.

The DeQueen Bee 16 January 2005
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Dry, warm days are back
Children frolicked in parks and grown-ups found time to wash their cars. Yep, the weather Southern California is known for finally returned—at least for a while. The first two weeks of 2005 brought a rare deluge to Southwest County as more than 8 inches fell in most parts and the sun barely shined. But since the second half of the month began, blue skies have abounded and daytime highs have hovered near 80 degrees.

 . . . Even those who enjoyed the rain, such as 23-year-old Elizabeth Ahern of Temecula, liked being able to spend some time outside Monday. Ahern had some extra time before heading to work and spent some of it soaking up some sun at the Duck Pond Park. "It feels good since it's not as hot as it gets during the summer," she said. The Duck Pond was just one of many outdoor spots teeming with activity Monday after being nearly barren just last week.

North County Times 17 January 2005
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Man cleared of having stolen boxer shorts
Robert Ahern (28), 164 Greencastle Road, Coolock, Dublin 17 pleaded not guilty at Swords District Court to possession of the stolen shorts at Baskin Lane, Kinsealy on September 6, 2003. The court heard another man had already been convicted of possession of all 120 pairs of shorts, which had been stolen from Dunnes Stores, Donaghmede. Judge Bryan Smyth dismissed the case
Fingal Independent 21 January 2005
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Sex crime Web site not to set up dates
Important notice to all the state's registered sex offenders: The now publicly available Megan's Law Web site is not an online dating service. Glen Westberg, 35, of Cupertino, a convicted child molester, recently found that out. He's expected to be charged today with a misdemeanor for trying to set up trysts with other convicted sex offenders he found by searching the database, available on the Internet since December. Westberg allegedly even referred his potential dates—about four or five other men—to his own picture and profile on the site, for him a for sex offenders.

Here's how the police caught on in a case that appears to be a first of its kind in the state. Westberg logged on to the site from a public library, he told police. The Web site, meant to allow the public to learn of registered sex offenders living near them, lists more than 63,000 criminals, many with photos. Westberg sent a letter suggesting a meeting to one man who was on probation and uneasy about the offer. He showed it to his probation officer, who told him to turn it over to the San Mateo County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force.

Bill Ahern, commander of the task force, called Westberg, implying he was the man who received the letter. Then they set up a date to meet last Thursday at a Starbucks in Redwood City. Ahern brought along an officer who resembled the letter-receiver. Soon Westberg—a warehouse worker who was convicted of child molestation in 1992 and 1998—was at the sheriff's station, admitting what he had done, Ahern said. It's against the law for convicted sex registrants to contact others from the Web site, Ahern said, because the government doesn't want them conspiring to abuse others. If convicted, Westberg faces up to six months in county jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

The Mercury News 3 February 2005
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Dungarvan link with new business venture
John Ahern, a businessman in Dungarvan, is one of the people behind a new venture to help Irish business owners seeking to sell or acquire a business. Already over 50 businesses with a combined estimated turnover of €17.5m are listed for sale or are seeking investment on the new web site.

Set up by John Ahern and John Ryan is set to become the first port of call for anyone who wishes to buy, sell or invest in an Irish business. Currently the types of businesses listed for sale range from fast food outlets to financial services companies. They include a Health & Fitness Club in Ennis, a School of Motoring in Galway and Internet Operations Company in the Leinster area. The sale prices being sought range from €40,000 to €350,000 while the turnover ranges from €40,000 to €750,000. "Based on the stats we currently have 2,000 visitors a month", said John Ahern one of the businessmen behind the venture. "In the first two weeks of officially launching the site we had 940 visits. The numbers are growing dramatically week-on-week. The range of businesses listed and the level of enquiries is providing a unique view of the movement of Irish businesses and will help us build-up a profile of the most popular type of businesses being sought or being put up for sale", said John Ahern.

This is the first venture of its kind in Ireland and it will be invaluable to those wishing to buy or sell a business and those sourcing franchise opportunities. It will also interest the private equity market as the site listings will attract investors seeking businesses and businesses seeking investment. will fill a void in the Irish business market. It will considerably reduce the time and cost involved in the first step of sourcing businesses for sale or in placing a business on the market.

John Ahern is the founder of Go2mobile, the first company in Ireland to deliver a range of mobile messaging solutions to the corporate sector. John Ryan, is the Technical Manager for Go2mobile. The costs for placing a business for sale, seeking a business or franchises varies depending on length of time a business is advertised. The standard rate is €149 per month for a three-month listing, with a special rate of €49 per month for small businesses. The amount of information given in relation to any business is at the discretion of the person placing the advert. There is also a free mobile/text alert service. Anyone registered with the site can be informed immediately if a business matching their requirements comes up for sale or if a buyer matching their requirements logs an interest.

Waterford News & Star 4 February 2005
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Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries
DALTON—Nancy Ahern Glynn of Dalton and Thomas Edward McGill of Pittsfield announce their Sept. 19 marriage. The bride is the daughter of Virginia Ahern of Walker Street, Lenox, and the late Philip Ahern. The bridegroom is the son of the late Catherine and James McGill. The Rev. Christopher Malatesta performed the 2 o'clock ceremony on Sept. 19, 2004, at St. Agnes' Church in Dalton. A reception followed at The Pillars Carriage House in New Lebanon, N.Y. The bride was escorted down the aisle by her son, Gregory Glynn. Maid of honor was Kathleen Mary Glynn, daughter of the bride. James McGill, brother of the bridegroom, was best man. Usher was Richard Ahern, brother of the bride.

The couple honeymooned in Nantucket and reside on Pollock Avenue in Pittsfield. The bride is a retired teacher of the Pittsfield Public Schools. She earned a master's degree from Lesley University in Cambridge and a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Conn. The bridegroom is a retired Taconic High School English teacher. He received both a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree from the former North Adams State College.

Berkshire Eagle 6 February 2005
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WALLINGFORD, Conn.—A local business man has been charged with stealing natural gas for decades with a gimmicked pipe. Donald R. Ahearn, 77, was arrested Monday and charged with bypassing meters with an illegal pipe connection at his business to get free natural gas for the last 40 years.

Ahearn, who owns Ahearn Development Corp., was charged with first-degree larceny and was released after posting a $5,000 bond. Police received a complaint from Yankee Gas several months ago that Ahearn was using an illegal gas line to bypass meters at his business. Yankee Gas told police that it had no record of a gas meter ever being installed in the building. Ahearn has been at the location for about 50 years and police estimate he was receiving free gas for about 40. Yankee Gas spokeswoman Sandy St. Pierre said she did not know exactly how much money Ahearn owes Yankee Gas for services over the past 40 years, but she said the amount was "significant."

The Boston Globe 8 February 2005
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Con artist has paid his debt to society, but not his victims
by Mike Nichols
As local con artists go, James O'Hearn was without peer. People loved the man; were convinced he was more than a financial guru. He was a good and trusted friend. "He certainly did have charisma, at least as far as I was concerned," says one Washington County woman who was swindled out of more than $60,000 and remains embarrassed to this day. "He certainly pulled the wool over my eyes. He made me feel more like a friend than a client." One West Bend woman whose family lost more than $350,000 said back in 1999 that her children once felt so badly for him when he injured his arm that they baked him a cake. It was only later that they found out he had taken their school money. Whether the injury was even a legitimate one is hard to say. A federal prosecutor once said that as a way of putting off suspicious investors, O'Hearn claimed he couldn't retrieve records because he'd smashed his hand. "Other excuses included illnesses or deaths by relatives or close friends," charged prosecutor Steve Biskupic in an offer of proof back in 1999. "O'Hearn even said that he himself had a brain tumor."

O'Hearn, Biskupic charged, actually had a couple basic schemes. Despite not having a securities license, he convinced more than 80 people, many in Ozaukee and Washington counties, to invest in a variety of financial funds. Then he embezzled some of the money and used it to pay bills for a buffalo farm he had along Western Ave. in the Town of Jackson. Other folks knowingly invested in the farm, Biskupic charged, because of false representations. O'Hearn claimed the enterprise was about to go public, that it held a patent on an "embryonic transfer" technique that would make possible the breeding of buffalo through cows, that restaurants and sports teams were lining up to buy his buffalo meat. Never has the word buffaloed been so apt.

All told, O'Hearn stole over $2 million, much of it from folks without a whole lot more to give. Federal Judge Charles Clevert, who sentenced O'Hearn to 71 months plus three years of supervised release, would have liked to have given something more himself. "If I had the option of imposing a longer sentence I would have done so," I heard Clevert tell the man at sentencing. "People talk a lot about drug dealers and bank robbers and people who commit certain violent acts. But oftentimes people who commit crimes such as yours are ignored in the banter. In my view what you did here is as serious as anyone delivering crack cocaine on the streets of our cities. You hurt a lot of people, and in this particular instance I want it to be clear that this court finds your conduct was not only a breach of trust and a great disappointment for a lot of people, but in my view reprehensible."

Although Clevert handed down the sentence in May of 1999, he had already revoked the man's bail and ordered him taken into custody the preceding Feb. 23 - which means O'Hearn's 71 months were up three weeks ago. I found out this week that he was actually released from the federal prison at Oxford last spring. O'Hearn has been out already about 10 months. Those have, quite coincidentally, been decent months for his victims - though not as the result of anything O'Hearn himself has done.

A class action lawsuit filed before he went to prison finally settled in Ozaukee County Circuit Court shortly after he got out. Although O'Hearn was listed as a defendant, the money came from a variety of financial institutions that, the suit alleged, O'Hearn used to carry out his schemes. Those financial institutions denied any wrongdoing, but did agree to out-of-court settlements - the largest coming from Fortis Investors Inc., which paid $1.4 million.

George Kersten, who represented the victims, said that after costs and fees were deducted, the victims recouped about half the money that was stolen from them. "I think as a general matter, the members of the class were very pleased and happy they were able to recover something," said Kersten. For many of them, he said, the stolen money "represented a very substantial part of their life savings." One guy was a janitor at a church. Others earned hourly wages at factories. Some were retired.

Whether O'Hearn has paid any of the more than $2 million Clevert ordered in restitution is difficult to know. Federal authorities decline to say where he is living and contend they are unable to release any information about whether he is making payments. In theory at least, according to court documents, he is supposed to be paying $500 per month - which means his debt will be paid in approximately 400 years. Literally. Victims aren't holding their breath. One man, who initially lost $85,000, said he thinks the money he recouped through the class action was "most likely the final payment." "Initially, I was very bitter about it," he said when I called him the other day, "and I guess I still am. I trusted this person and he stole from me." Financially, he has moved past the loss - although he still laments the fact O'Hearn got to serve his time at Oxford, which he describes as a "country club."

The Washington County woman swindled out of $60,000 said she hasn't seen anything directly from O'Hearn either - although she hasn't totally abandoned hope. "I'm hoping," she said. "My impression before this was that he was a very trustworthy person - but that definitely did not prove to be true."

Since I couldn't find O'Hearn, I'm going to do my best to be fair and note how he responded to such comments the day he was sentenced. "I know that you're angry with me and I know that that anger will remain with you a long time. I hope that one day you can find it in your heart to forgive me," he said. "I am sincerely sorry." Those were, as far as I can tell, the very last words James O'Hearn has ever publicly uttered. Those, actually, and a few more. "I want to make restitution," he claimed, "and I would like very much to make restitution in full. And I hope that I can do that as soon as I'm discharged from prison." That, I just wanted to point out today, would be now.

Journal Sentinel 13 February 2005
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House fire victim recovering from loss
TRENTON—A woman who was left homeless after a fire gutted her rental home in Trenton is doing OK thanks to a little help from her friends and the local Red Cross. According to Red Cross volunteer Rob Gaiser, the woman, identified as Anne Ahern, has been put up at the White Birches, and the Red Cross has donated clothing, cleaning supplies and toiletries to help her get on her feet again.

"Actually, I'd say she's doing quite well, considering," says Mr. Gaiser. Ms. Ahern could not be reached for comment. Her plight was the result of a fire that reportedly started near the woodstove of her Bayside Road home the night of Friday, Feb. 4. According to assistant Trenton Fire Chief Steve Corson, Ms. Ahern tried to extinguish the blaze herself; being unable to do so, she called 911 around 7:30 p.m., after which she fled the house, which was filling with smoke. Volunteers firefighters from Trenton, Lamoine and Ellsworth managed to get the fire under control within 45 minutes, but not before Ms. Ahern's two cats perished from smoke inhalation and extensive damage was done to the house and her personal belongings.

"Most of the damage was in the downstairs living area and the kitchen," says Chief Corson, "but it also burned a good five-by-six-foot hole through the second floor." He says Ms. Ahern was understandably distraught about not being able to rescue her pets, but that she was very fortunate to have escaped harm, herself. Chief Corson says he believes the fire was caused by improperly installed wall material near the woodstove that became overheated and eventually ignited. The house belongs to Laura Starr, who reportedly lives nearby.

Bar Harbor Times 14 February 2005
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A saber and a fireball
On dangerous Iwo Jima, Army officer battled Japanese on a beach and outside a cave.
By David Venditta
This is the second of two articles marking the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, a costly but key U.S. victory in the march toward Tokyo.

Scanning the beach for footprints, 2nd Lt. James J. Ahern couldn't hear the shouts of alarm from his men atop a cliff as a barefoot, shirtless Japanese soldier clutching a saber charged at him across the sand. A brisk April wind blew in from the Pacific, muffling the frantic calls. The sun shone, but it was cool enough in this rocky, northernmost section of Iwo Jima that Ahern wore his field jacket. He had told the men of his Army platoon that he would check the beach alone. But the wet sand was smooth, revealing no telltale signs of the enemy. At the water's edge, he turned toward a cave in the rock face 150 feet away and saw the Japanese man racing toward him, both hands gripping the hilt of his saber. Though surprised, Ahern reacted coolly. He had time to get off a shot with his carbine. He raised the rifle to his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened. His heart pounding, he pulled back the bolt. A live round ejected from the chamber. He had ammunition. Why wouldn't the gun fire? The safety was on! He'd always kept it off. It was a rule the 23-year-old officer followed and that he impressed on the men. In combat, you have to expect the unexpected. You have to be ready to shoot at a moment's notice, or it could mean your life. The Japanese was almost upon him, poised to swing his saber. Precious seconds had passed.

A fireball on a ledge
Ahern had faced death before on this tiny island, where he was leading a rifle platoon of the 147th Infantry Regiment. The Marines had landed on Feb. 19, 1945. Ahern's unit arrived on March 21 to help secure the island from what initially were thought to be a few hundred Japanese. But there were far more than that, hiding in tunnels and caves, and their resistance proved intense. In two months, Ahern's regiment alone would kill 1,600 and capture 800. Danger was everywhere. One day in mid-April, a few weeks before the sword-carrying man came at him on the beach near Kitano Point, Ahern was firing a flamethrower into a cave from a ledge on a steep ravine. A Japanese soldier inside tossed a concussion grenade that landed at Ahern's feet. When it exploded, the blast knocked him off-balance, jerking him around so that the stream of flame shifted from the mouth of the cave to the rock wall beside it. The terrific force of the flame striking the wall created a fireball that whooshed back at Ahern and set his legs and chest ablaze. He tumbled headfirst down the slope, his back and arms slamming into rock, and landed on a ledge 20 feet below on his head and back. His helmet and the flamethrower still strapped on him blunted the impact. He was hurt, in shock and still burning. Some of his men clambered down the precipice to reach him. They beat out the fire with their hands and splashed water onto him from their canteens. Using a poncho as a stretcher, they carried him to the battalion surgeon's tent. The burns blistered, keeping him out of action for a week.

Now on the beach, backed up to the ocean's edge so that water covered his shoes, with the safety preventing his carbine from firing, Ahern had to save himself. The Japanese reached him and swung his saber like a baseball bat. Ahern pressed his thumb to the button beside the trigger, disengaging the safety, and pulled the trigger just as the saber's blade swept in an arc below his raised gun, toward his stomach. This time the carbine fired, sending a .30-caliber bullet into the attacker's chest.

Ahern's field pack got in the way when he searched small caves, so he wasn't wearing one. Instead, he carried his food, a carton of K rations, tucked inside the front of his field jacket, above his pistol belt. The carton—10 inches long, 4 inches wide and 2 inches thick—held biscuits, cheese, cigarettes, powdered coffee and milk. When the Japanese got hit, the tip of his saber ripped Ahern's jacket and sliced through the box of rations, opening a can. The man fell dead. Ahern was unscathed. He felt queasy at how close he had come to losing his life.

His men, who had witnessed the attack from atop the 200-foot cliff, congratulated him for the kill. He'd had a pact with them to raffle off any sabers they took as booty, and no man could get more than one. But the platoon members said there'd be no lottery for this prize. Their lieutenant should keep the sword. He'd earned it. They did, however, kid him for not having his carbine ready to fire. He never could explain why he'd had the safety on.

Safe haven for B-29s
By the time he arrived on Iwo Jima, Ahern had been familiar with weapons and the military for seven years, since before America entered World War II. The youngest of eight children born to a Philadelphia policeman and a former knitting mill worker, he joined the Pennsylvania National Guard when he was 16, too young to do so legally, using an older brother's identity. His father had died when he was a child, and the $3 a month he earned drilling with a cavalry regiment helped support his poor family.

He graduated from St. Thomas More High School in Philadelphia, left the Guard and worked at a clothmaker and at the Navy Yard as an apprentice toolmaker. In 1942, with the nation at war, he joined the Army. High test scores sent the 6-foot, 170-pounder to Officer Candidates School, where he earned a commission as a second lieutenant of infantry. Shipping out as a replacement, he joined Company F of the 147th Regiment on what was then British Samoa, now Upolu. More than a year later, his unit landed on Iwo Jima under the command of the 3rd Marine Division. Its mission was to roust the Japanese so that damaged B-29 bombers could land there safely.

The island reeked of sulfur and the waste produced by tens of thousands of men. Swarming blowflies blackened mess kits as soon as they were opened. Malaria, dengue fever and a fungus-produced rash called ''jungle rot'' plagued Ahern and many others. Soft, black volcanic ash made walking difficult, so Ahern sometimes used his carbine as a crutch to keep his balance. For cover, the men piled up rocks and hunkered down behind them. Mines with hidden trip wires maimed and killed.

A 'suicide' survivor
One of Ahern's experiences on Iwo Jima was so unusual, it turned up in a newspaper article and, decades later, in a Japanese officer's memoirs. On the last day of March 1945, Ahern took his platoon on patrol near rocky Kitano Point. Walking along a cliff, he looked down a ravine and saw a cave with two Japanese officers standing on each side of its opening. An interpreter with Ahern yelled at the officers to surrender or they would be killed. They ignored him. But one soldier did come out of the cave with his hands up. Enraged at his cowardice, each of the two officers threw a grenade at him. Fragments from the explosions almost severed his feet, but he was still alive. Ahern promptly shot both officers in the head, killing them, then had his radioman call for the battalion surgeon. Four men climbed down the cliff to the wounded Japanese. They put tourniquets on his mangled feet and carried him on a poncho up to Ahern's narrow ledge. The man screamed in agony. Ahern gave him a few jabs of morphine.

Capt. Ralph ''Doc'' Golden arrived, looked at the Japanese and said, ''Oh boy, this is really a textbook case.'' He sedated the man, reached inside his canvas bag and pulled out a fine steel surgical saw that had been taken from a cave the Japanese used as a hospital. A cigarette dangled from Golden's mouth as he worked. ''The ashes are sterile,'' he explained. ''They won't hurt anything.'' With Ahern holding one leg and a private holding the other, the doctor sawed off what was left of the man's feet. An ambulance took him to a field hospital near Mount Suribachi.

In the mid-1990s, while visiting the University of Hawaii library, Ahern found an article about the incident in a 1945 issue of the Mid-pacifican, an Army newspaper. It was headlined, ''Iwo Jap Saved By Army Medic and Sharp Saw.'' The story contained no names. More revealing was a Japanese officer's account. A former U.S. intelligence officer Ahern had met on Iwo Jima gave him an English translation of the memoirs of 2nd Lt. Yasuhiko Murai, a general's son who had been wounded and captured on the island in April 1945.

In his story, which came to light in the mid-1980s, Murai said that when he was in the field hospital near Suribachi, he saw someone he knew from his infantry battalion—Paymaster Sgt. Hayashida, who was about 35 and had lost both feet above the ankle. The two Japanese met again at a U.S. Army prisoner-of-war compound in Hawaii. Hayashida had been fitted with prostheses. ''You know that the Japanese would never do the same for a U.S. soldier,'' the amputee said.

Murai wrote that the paymaster had survived a suicide attempt. Hayashida had explained that when Americans discovered him and the officers at a cave, a lieutenant standing with him exploded a grenade, killing himself but not Hayashida. So Hayashida had convinced Murai that he expected to die in the grenade blast with the lieutenant. That twisting of the truth allowed him to save face among his countrymen. In the Japanese military mindset, surrender was the ultimate shame and dishonor. Hayashida lived to be an old man with his American-made ''feet.'' He died in Japan in 1985.

Mourning a good soldier
After two months on Iwo Jima, now 1st Lt. Ahern was among officers from the 147th Regiment flown to Okinawa for still more fighting. He was injured again, this time by grenade fragments in his back, and suffered a recurrence of malaria and dengue fever. The diseases were so debilitating, he could hardly walk after the battle was over. He spent months in hospitals on Saipan and in Hawaii and California.

Back in Philadelphia in the spring of 1946, three weeks after he was relieved from active duty, he married Mary Eells. He had met her in 1943 while home on leave after getting his commission. She worked with one of his sisters in an insurance office. When he was overseas, he always looked forward to her upbeat, newsy letters. The couple had two sons and a daughter. They moved to Emmaus in 1953 and to Bethlehem a year later, with Ahern working for an insurance company and later running a small book publishing company. He and his wife also owned a Catholic bookstore on New Street. A reservist, Ahern retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1981.

He is 83 now, but Iwo Jima is still with him. He writes about his regiment, researches the battle and organizes his records, photos and correspondence. His son in California has the saber that almost slashed his stomach. His other son, in Montgomery County, has a ''rising sun'' flag Ahern took from a Japanese soldier he killed. But there also are the memories in his heart. One is of Ernst Lippold, a private in his company who was Jewish and in his early 20s. He was quiet, polite and unassuming. He didn't complain. He was a good soldier. Ahern wondered why Lippold never got any mail or wrote any letters. He spoke with him and learned that he was Austrian. About the time Nazi Germany annexed his homeland, he came to America to study. After Pearl Harbor, he was subject to the draft even though he wasn't a U.S. citizen, and so he entered the Army. Lippold believed that the Nazis had killed the family he left behind in Austria, that he alone survived. He had no one. Ahern liked him and became his friend. But he couldn't grant Lippold's request for a transfer to Europe, where he could search for his relatives. That just wasn't possible.

One day in April 1945, Ahern asked for a volunteer to check out a report of a possible mine, and Lippold said, ''I'll go.'' Walking down a small trail, he tripped the wire on a ''bouncing Betty'' mine, which flew up and detonated. He was mortally wounded and died soon afterward at a battalion aid station. Ahern had heard the explosion and knew what it meant. Tears filled his eyes. He accompanied the body to the cemetery near Mount Suribachi, where a Catholic chaplain prayed in Hebrew as two Marines lowered Lippold's sack-enclosed body into the ground. The Army had no one to contact with the news about Lippold. His death on a stinking piece of rock in the Pacific, unmourned by a family that had probably perished in the Holocaust, weighed on Ahern for many years. He tried to find out if anyone had ever claimed the body. No one had. But it was disinterred and reburied in 1950 in Arlington National Cemetery, America's most hallowed ground. At least there was that. ''I think often of this quiet man, this good soldier who gave his life for all Americans,'' Ahern once wrote to friends. ''May God have mercy on his soul.''

The San Francisco Morning Call 20 February 2005
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Ashelynn Margaret-May Ahern
Ashelynn Margaret-May Ahern, daughter of Craig and Deborah Ahern of Winston-Salem, was born December 27, 2004, at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem. The baby's sister is Alexis Jeanette-Ann Ahern. The children's grandparents are Fred T. Hamm of Stockbridge, Ga., and the late Marion Jeanette Hamm; and Carol A. Ahern of Orlando, Fla., and the late Joseph Michael Ahern. The baby was named after her great-grandmothers, Margaret Fraley of Cleveland and the late Ethel May Ahern. Mr. and Mrs. Ahern work for Delta Airlines. He is a senior customer service agent. She is a flight attendant.
Winston-Salem Journal 20 February 2005
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Ahern found guilty of drunken driving charge
VALPARAISO—Westville resident Brian Ahern was found guilty Thursday on one of six charges stemming from the death of a motorcycle passenger. The only charge Ahern was found guilty of was a class C misdemeanor of operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.08, the lawyer said. Ahern was found not guilty on five counts, including three felonies, defense lawyer Larry Rogers said. The 36-year-old faced several counts of drunken driving and a count of reckless homicide.

Ahern said Thursday he was not intoxicated when he crashed his motorcycle, which resulted in the death of his 26-year-old female passenger. The Oct. 5, 2003, crash allegedly was caused when passenger Erin Schutz shifted her weight while on a winding section of Strongbow Centre Drive, he said. Ahern was the last witness to testify as the trial wrapped up Thursday. Jurors spent two and a half days listening to testimony, much of it in conflict with Ahern's version of. Ahern denied telling police he drank five beers and two shots of liquor before the crash, was driving up to 45 mph when his bike fell over or that the rear tire of his motorcycle was bald. He also disputed a description of the crash given by a police specialist. "So he's lying, too?" asked Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz. "Yes," Ahern said.

There also was a dispute about the timing of the blood sample taken from Ahern following the crash. The sample was used by police and prosecutors to charge him with drunken driving. Rogers argued the test shows Ahern's blood-alcohol concentration an hour after the accident and not at the time of the crash. This week's trial took place before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.

Northwest Indiana Times 4 March 2005
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Tournafella PTAA
There was a great turn out for the presentation night of the Tournafulla Branch of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association at Halla Tadhg Gaelach last Thursday night. Proceeding got underway with a lovely Mass from Fr Willie Russell and Fr Willie O'Gorman, both clerics were on top of their game and in great form.

Silver Pins were presented to Timmy Aherne, John Collins, Michael Harnett, Mary Leahy, Eilis Sheahan, Gerard Sheahan and Joseph Sheahan to mark 25 years as members of PTAA, pride of place went to the two people who received Gold Pins to mark 50 years as members of the association, they were Bridie Quirke and Peg Nolan.

Limerick Leader 12 March 2005
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Fire marshal worker paid to do nothing for 2 years
CHICAGO—Three Illinois state fire marshal employees have received more than $347,000 in pay over the past two years for staying home from work, according to a published report. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that the three workers were put on paid leave in April 2003 because of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Illinois State Police into possible corruption at the agency. Over the past few months, two of the employees stopped collecting state paychecks. But 75-year-old John "Jack" Ahern, former head of the fire marshal's Chicago office, remains on the payroll, collecting $7,033 a month to stay home.

Ahern, a 22-year veteran of state government, is a friend of former Gov. George Ryan's and is close with Cook County Commissioner Ted Lechowicz, the Sun-Times reported. The other two workers put on leave were Michael P. O'Donnell, regional administrator for the agency's division of fire prevention, and John T. Brennan, a fire-prevention inspector from Melrose Park. Ahern did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press on Monday, and there was no answer at a number for O'Donnell. Directory assistance had no listing for Brennan in Melrose Park.

"I know exactly what this has cost me, and I'd like to have that money to spend on investigators and inspectors, other than on these people being paid to do absolutely nothing," current state Fire Marshal J.T. Somer said. Somer acknowledged that his agency had turned over numerous documents during the investigation, which predates his tenure, but he did not say what they were.

The focus of the two-year investigation is unclear, but some people interviewed during the probe were questioned about Ahern, the Sun-Times reported. Somer took control of the fire marshal's office last April, after the three workers already were on paid leave. He expressed frustration with the arrangement but said it did not make sense to bring them back while the investigation continued. O'Donnell was fired last month from his $69,888-a-year job for falsifying time sheets, and Brennan quit in November after being presented with findings from the investigation, the Sun-Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

Rep. William Delgado, D-Chicago, a member of a House panel that oversees spending in the fire marshal's office, criticized Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration for keeping the men on paid leave for so long. "The governor is sweeping every fund he can find for money, yet he's got nearly $350,000 out there paying these guys," said Delgado, who has been a critic of Ahern.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the investigation. State Police acknowledged that it was ongoing but declined to comment further.

Northwest Herald 15 March 2005
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PLYMOUTH—A traffic stop on Marc Drive for an expired inspection sticker ended with three people being arrested on drug and assault charges. Police stopped Ryan O'Hearn, 29, of 24 Hillside Drive, about 10:30 p.m. Monday for the expired inspection sticker and discovered he was also driving with a suspended license. His passenger Cristina M. Cook, 33, of 19 Savery Ave., had warrants for larceny, police said. Police said Cook fought with officers who tried to arrest her on the warrants. She was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Christine M. Forman, 38, ran out of her nearby apartment to intervene on behalf of her friends and was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, police said. Officers who returned to the apartment to secure the door at Forman's request saw a crack cocaine pipe on the kitchen counter, police said. She was charged with cocaine possession.

The Patriot Ledger 16 March 2005
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HOPKINTON—Five Massachusetts residents allegedly involved in what authorities say was a well-organized counterfeit check scam were arrested Wednesday after a Hopkinton police officer stopped their vehicle for reportedly speeding. After a search of the vehicle by Patrolman Glenn A. Ahern, several Wal-Mart bags were found, containing newly purchased merchandise from stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, police said. Also in the vehicle were more than 15 fake identification cards that showed the suspects' pictures with different names, according to Police Chief John Scuncio. Scuncio said police believe the suspects had been involved in a scam that which targeted Wal-Mart stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, since at least December 2004. According to receipts found in the vehicle, Scuncio said one shows the suspects rented a U-haul truck prior to last Christmas to carry the merchandise they had stolen. "This is just the tip of the iceberg," he said of the investigation. He estimated those charged stole tens of thousands of dollars from stores in the tri-state area. The suspects would use fake licenses or other IDs to get checking accounts, then use the accounts to buy various items at the stores, police say.

The suspects' 1992 Honda Accord was pulled over early Wednesday morning after the vehicle was clocked going 36 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone on Main Street in Ashaway, police said. Police reports indicate the driver, Anthony E. Watson, 54, of New Bedford, Mass., had a revoked Massachusetts license. Ahern arrested him and performed a search of the vehicle where he found the stolen merchandise, checks with different names on them and the fake ID's. Ahern found some of the merchandise was recently purchased from the Wal-Mart store in Westerly, and after questioning the cashier, Ahern located the check used to purchase the goods, which matched one of the fake IDs used by one of the suspects. Although the suspects had developed a professional counterfeit checking scam, Scuncio said they made a crucial error. "They made one mistake - they drove through Hopkinton," he said.

The Westerly Sun 24 March 2005
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Silvis Marine greets Obama at Black Hawk
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., got a surprise Thursday at Black Hawk College. At the community college campus in Moline to push his plan for boosting Pell Grants, the freshman senator walked into a roomful of people and was greeted by Cpl. Seamus Ahern.
Quad-City Times 1 April 2005
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When her brothers couldn't enlist, Marjorie volunteered
Margaret "Marjorie" Ahern was one of thousands of women to volunteer for military service during World War II. She joined the Women's Army Corps when her three brothers failed their physical examinations to enter the U.S. Army. Feeling that her family should be represented, "I said I would go."

"We were a very patriotic family," 95-year-old Margaret "Marjorie" Ahern began. "My three brothers had tried to enlist, but they were unable to pass their physicals. The family felt bad that we were not contributing to the war effort, so I said I would go." And she did.

Courage is a curious rascal. When Marjorie enlisted in the Women's Army Corps in 1944, the U.S. still had a bitter war in Europe and the Pacific savaging the lives of its soldiers. The only guarantee for anyone enlisting in the armed service during this period of the war was that there were no guarantees.

Now a fragile lady sitting in her wheelchair at Olathe's Colorow Care Center, Marjorie's graying hair, petite frame and gentle mannerisms make it difficult to believe this frail lady could have worn a uniform 56 years ago. Hard to believe, that is, until you look into her deep, brown eyes and see the steely glint of her Irish heritage flash whenever she speaks about the U.S. flag. "They interviewed one of our Washington politicians on the television the other night," she said. "They asked him what color came first on our flag. He didn't know. I bet he knew how to cash his paycheck, but he didn't know what color came first on our country's flag."

Marjorie is a third-generation American. Her grandparents immigrated to America during the Irish Potato Famine that devastated Ireland in the mid-1800s. Over 3.2 million people left Ireland between 1840 and 1890. They came by overcrowded, unstable, ill-kept ocean steamers. They all came with the same dream. They were hungry and in search of America's promise. In the Eastern cities they found America's anger. "No Irish Need Apply" tagged the help wanted posters in New York, Boston and as far west as Chicago and St. Louis. Those who were fortunate enough to find jobs worked for pennies. Still, it was America. If one could get out of the ghetto and keep his head up high there was opportunity. Marjorie's grandparents believed in that and made their way West, odd job by odd job.

"I was born on April 5, 1906, in Frankfort, Kan.," Marjorie said with a smile, "and from the first grade on, we said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. We were proud of our country." The year Marjorie was born Teddy Roosevelt had bullied Congress into opening its coffers and 2,600 men were laboriously digging a canal through the mosquito-infested jungles of Panama. An earthquake rattled San Francisco for a little less than a minute. The city burned for three days afterward. Upton Sinclair published "The Jungle." The controversial book, exposing the practices of slaughterhouses in Chicago, paved the way for Congress to establish the Food and Drug Administration. It was a rapidly changing America that Ahern would grow up saluting her flag in, and she was witness to it all. "I had a job in a newspaper in Salida, Colo.," Marjorie said. "They had the old linotype. They don't use that anymore. It was hard work and the lead type was heavy, but you didn't complain. You were glad to be working, and you had a lot of pride in what you did. I guess that is how I came to be so interested in the news. "I remember coming into the paper early one morning and was surprised that the front door was unlocked," Marjorie continued. "The editor was already there. He was never in that early. It was shortly after an election. He said to save him six inches on the front page and get out the 60-point type. He would call me in a story. "He did, too! Seems that a county treasurer or commissioner or clerk or some official, I don't remember what, was caught taking funds. I remember the headline I was told to run till this day. It said: 'Hell, I'm guilty.' The man had confessed. He was later sent to Canon City. I liked working for the newspaper. Then the war broke out."

By 1944, the military's staunch stance against placing women in uniforms had waned dramatically. Not only did the Army need to free its men for combat, but women had proven they could perform the vital support duties that supplied the field units as well as, or in some cases better than, men. In a reversal of its unwavering pre-war position, the military began openly campaigning and recruiting women into its ranks. "I was stationed in Spokane, Wash., as a clerk for the Air Force," Marjorie said. In 1944, Geiger Field outside of Spokane, Wash., was the home of the 351st Bomb Group, 1st Air Division of the 8th Air Force. The mighty B-17 Flying Fortresses were trimmed and fitted for war at Geiger Field. Some bombers, just prior to leaving, found time for Sgt. Eugene Townsend to paint comic book characters or sultry, thinly clad cartoon pinup girls on the nose cones. The cartooned noses became the signature of the B-17s out of Spokane and prompted war correspondent Andy Rooney to remark: "Grim-faced Luftwaffe pilots, proud of the guts that take them within the suicide circle of the fortress formation, determined to do or die for the Fatherland, must wonder what the hell kind of air force they are up against. They come diving in, teeth clenched, hell-bent for Hitler and along with a hail of lead are greeted by the stupid grin of some absurd comic-book character, or the nude form of a Petty girl painted on the nose of the bomber they are attacking. The art was something else."

Comic book and sultry Petty girl graffiti aside, the formidable B-17s from Geiger Field flew 311 hazardous combat missions. Gunners on the flying fortresses were credited with downing 303 enemy aircraft. America lost 175 of these fabled bombers, along with their valiant crews over Africa, Europe, Eastern Asia and the Pacific. "In October of 1944 the Air Force began to close down Spokane," Marjorie said. "We were being moved to San Francisco. It took forever to close the base and a mountain of paperwork. I think in the end they threw 90 percent of the paperwork in the ocean."

Marjorie left the military in 1946 as did most of the 400,000 women who courageously stepped forward to help preserve their country in that deadly war. They left without fanfare, ribbons or benefits. Most of their jobs were not waiting when they returned to civilian life. Marjorie had seen two murderous world wars and survived a global depression. She grew up hitching a horse to a buggy and lived to see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. In 1915, it took 14,000 miles of copper wire strung on 130,000 telephone poles to link New York with San Francisco. Today, we push a button and our cell phone bounces our voice off a roving satellite hundreds of miles above the earth. She grew up in a time when the Pledge of Allegiance began the school day and classrooms had prayer. One wonders how much of herself Marjorie had to leave behind to get along with today's society and if 95 years of constant change had dulled her belief in America. Because she had talked so much about the flag, I gave her an American flag at the end of our time together. She answered my question when her brown Irish eyes suddenly sparkled and she gently kissed the flag and laid it reverently in her lap. Marjorie asked to end this story the way journalists traditionally end their columns.

Montrose Daily Press 2 April 2005
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The wedding took place on Friday, March 18 at St. Mary's Church, Tarbert of prominent Athea footballer Michael Ahern of South Clash and Therese Ryan of Tarbert. Fr. Maurice Brick, Tarbert was the celebrant at the nuptial Mass and marriage ceremony and the co-celebrant was Fr. Larry Madden, PP of Athea. Catriona Ryan was chief bridesmaid and Lisa Woods was the other bridesmaid. The best man was Gerard O'Connor and the groomsman was Patrick Ahern. The reception was held at the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine where an enjoyable time was had by all the guests.
Limerick Leader 2 April 2005
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Dr Donal Murray Bishop of Limerick will confirm Killeedy pupils on Monday, April 11 at 11am in St Ita's Church, Ashford. Pupils to be confirmed Ashford school: Colm Barry, Eoin O'Connor, Michael Twomey, Darren Mulcahy, Brian Kelly, Cora Barrett, John Friel, Joanne Murray, Christine Mulcahy, Breda Larkin and Seamus Brosnan. Pupils to be confirmed from Raheenagh School Thomas Ahern, Jack Aherne, Megan Aherne, Siobhan Barrett, Stephen Casey, Mary Cunningham, Myles Cunningham, Denise Downey, Sarah Dunleavy, Michelle Kelly, Denise Mulcahy, John Noonan, Maighread Noonan and Caroline O'Sullivan.
Limerick Leader 2 April 2005
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The final heat of the Karoke singing competition was held at the Gables Bar on Saturday, March 13. finalists chosen were Donie Lyons, Dromreask; Patricia Scanlon, Adare and Margaret Ahern, Glin Road. Eleven competitors will compete in the final on this Sunday, April 3.
Limerick Leader 2 April 2005
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Dracut man facing slew of charges
CHELMSFORD—A 29-year-old Dracut man has been indicted on a bevy of assault charges after he allegedly broke a Chelmsford police officer's toe by backing over his foot as he tried to flee a crime scene. Chelmsford police say Inspector George Tyros and Sgt. Todd Ahern tried to apprehend Christopher Jones and a female acquaintance on shoplifting charges at the Drum Hill Wal-Mart, at about 3:20 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2004. Jones, of 65 Phineas St., refused to obey the officers' commands and backed his Lincoln Town Car out of his parking space at a high rate of speed, driving over Tyros' foot, according to police. Jones then allegedly smashed into a parked car. Tyros and Ahern approached the Lincoln and forcibly pulled Jones out after a violent struggle, police said. Ahern sustained only bumps and bruises, but Tyros missed some work due to the foot injury.

Jones has been indicted on charges of armed assault to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery on a public employee (two counts), assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), and resisting arrest. He also faces a charges of driving with a suspended license, driving recklessly, shoplifting and wanton destruction of property over $250. In a separate case, Jones has been indicted for unarmed robbery, uttering a false check (three counts) and forgery (three counts).

The Lowell Sun 4 April 2005
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Barnstable hockey coach charged in beating
DENNIS—The coach of Barnstable High School's hockey team has been charged with attacking and beating a referee who sent him to the penalty box during a men's hockey league playoff game, police said. Michael Nunges, 36, of Barnstable, was arrested Wednesday at an ice rink in South Dennis. The referee—William Ahern, 48, of West Bridgewater—was treated for head and facial injuries at Cape Cod Hospital and released. Nunges was arrested on assault charges and was released on his own recognizance after pleading innocent yesterday at his arraignment in Orleans District Court. He is due back in court April 27 for a pretrial hearing. In the meantime, a judge ordered him to stay away from Ahern.

At Tony Kent Arena on Wednesday night, Nunges and a group of men were playing in an adult recreational hockey league where checking players against the boards is not allowed. With about 20 minutes left in the game, Nunges started to berate Ahern for calling a penalty on him for tripping, police said. Nunges served his penalty and returned to his team's bench. When Ahern warned him to stop yelling, Nunges hopped back onto the ice, skated over to Ahern, and tripped him from behind, police reported. Ahern told police that Nunges jumped on top of him, gouged his eyes, then ripped off his helmet and banged his head on the ice three or four times. Witnesses said Ahern briefly lost consciousness, said Captain William M. Monahan of Dennis police. Other players had to forcibly remove Nunges from Ahern, Monahan said.

An off-duty rink employee summoned police to the arena, where they arrested Nunges. The game was immediately called, with Nunges's team losing, 2 to 1, Monahan said. Nunges could not be reached for comment. A court clerk said he was not represented by a lawyer at the arraignment.

The Boston Globe 8 April 2005
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Abigail Ahearn, Joshua Riley
Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Ahearn of Ridgefield and Watch Hill, R.I., announce the engagement of their daughter, Abigail Anne Ahearn, to Joshua Thomas Riley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Riley of Hinsdale, Ill. The future bride graduated from Ridgefield High School and from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., with a B.S. in business. She is an account manager for PrimePay Inc. in Chantilly, Va.

The future bridegroom graduated from Hinsdale Central High School and from Wake Forest University with a B.A. He is an insurance accountant executive with the Shinnerer Group in Chevy Chase, Md. A September wedding in Watch Hill is planned.

Danbury News-Times 9 April 2005
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Bowdoin Receives $3.5 Million Gift for Student Scholarships
Bowdoin College has received a bequest of more than $3.5 million from the estate of Robert Louis Millea Ahern, Bowdoin Class of 1933. The Gift will endow the Robert L. M. and Nell G. Ahern Scholarship Fund, providing financial assistance to Bowdoin undergraduates studying English, History, or a similar liberal-arts field of study. "We couldn't be more grateful for this extraordinary gift," said Bowdoin President Barry Mills. "Robert Ahern was a lifelong, generous supporter of the College. His bequest will play an enduring part in the continued strength and success of the College by benefiting many Bowdoin students for generations to come."

Ahern always remembered back in 1931, when the family experienced financial hardship following his father's sudden death, that the College provided work-study opportunities and scholarships to both Robert and his brother Philip (Bowdoin Class of 1932), so they could complete their education. The indebtedness that was felt toward the College for this financial assistance was the primary motivating factor for the establishment of the scholarship fund, according to a family spokesman. A native of Boston, Robert Louis Millea Ahern attended Huntington School and Newton (Mass.) High School before coming to Bowdoin, where he majored in history and earned the American History Prize for his essay, "Woodrow Wilson and the World War." He was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity, and graduated with honors in history in 1933.

Following his Bowdoin graduation, Ahern worked as a clerk with Leviseur and Company in Boston before spending for four years as a field representative with the Gallup Poll of Princeton, N. J. In 1937 he took a job as a stock boy at The Boston Globe. When he injured his back lifting boxes, he was asked to draw on his polling experience to conduct media research for the paper. This launched a nearly four-decade career in research, promotion and development at The Globe. In 1975 he was named vice president of Affiliated Publications, Inc., The Globe's parent company.

Ahern served as chairman of the Natick (Mass.) Town Beautification Committee, president of the Natick Shakespeare Club, president of the eastern region of the National Newspaper Promotion Association, director of the United Community Services of Greater Boston, and trustee of the United Community Planning Corporation. In addition, he was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945, attaining the rank of corporal. He married Nell Giles in 1947. Ahern died in 2002 in Westwood, Mass., at the age of 92.

Nell Giles Ahern, a native of Oklahoma City, Okla., was a graduate of Hendrick College. An author and journalist, she wrote for such publications as The Ladies Home Journal, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, and Better Homes and Gardens, and was a prolific contributor of travel essays for The Ford Times. After moving to Natick, Mass., she became a writer for The Boston Globe, and created "Susan Be Smooth," an advice column for teenagers. She was the author or editor of several books, including "Susan Be Smooth", "Susan Tells Stephen", "Teenage Living", "The Boston Globe Cookbook", and "The Flavour of Concord: Menus and Traditions of an Historic Town". As a member of the ladies' committee at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, she organized and edited The Fine Arts Cookbook. Nell Ahern died in 2003 in Westwood, Mass., at the age of 95.

Bowdoin Campus News 12 May 2005
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In Richard John Neuhaus's view, a Catholic publication should never print anything that disagrees with any pronouncement ever made by any official of the church (op ed, May 16). But Catholics need a forum in which to discuss disagreements. In the magazine America under editor Thomas Reese, the disagreements did not concern core doctrines of faith, but difficult applications of faith and morals. The manner of discussion was not strident or contentious, but rather prayerful and conscientious. Reese's America was always on the side of the church the whole church, and its whole mission.

Reese practiced thoughtful obedience, with a confidence that all Catholics can participate in the church's continual process of learning. In contrast, Neuhaus advocates a church of mindless adherence, with no place for questions. Catholics should shut up and obey, or leave. Let us hope Pope Benedict does not want the same.


The Boston Globe 18 May 2005
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Writer recalls the days of shouting for Rovers when the Showgrounds featured Armstrong
Dublin-born writer Maurice B. Ahern, who spent seven years of his childhood living in Tubbercurry, recalls some of his fondest memories from the early 1950s including his favourite Sligo Rovers player of that time, the late Johnny Armstrong. Ahern was in Sligo last week with copies of his debut novel, 'Dare To Run'. Although he doesn't regard himself as such, Dublin-born scribe Maurice B. Ahern is a writer. Last week he was in Sligo, attempting to impress local bookstores into taking a chance with 'Dare To Run', his impressive debut novel. If it wasn't for his south Sligo past, the former athlete would be just another one of those self-published authors—the ones without the backing of a publisher— trying to flog their wares. But the very mention of Sligo holds a unique resonance for the 59-year-old, who spent seven years of his childhood in Tubbercurry, the key town in south Sligo.

His late father Paddy's work with the Hibernian Bank (now Bank of Ireland) brought the Aherns to Tubbercurry in the late 1940s. Happy memories were recalled, including a race with a boyhood friend, Sean Brennan, on the morning they had received their First Holy Communion. The youngsters were heading to get breakfast but when crossing the road Brennan was knocked down by a car. "He was OK," said Ahern, who uses the 'B' initial so as to avoid confusion with the other Maurice Ahern, brother of Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern, the country's Taoiseach. Among Ahern's friends at the time was Terry McCann, now a publican in Limerick, with whom Ahern maintains contact. His National School teachers were Sean Cahill and Mrs O'Hara, whose son, who is a teacher in Dublin, is an acquaintance of Ahern's wife, Mary.

Paddy Ahern's passion for sport left an indelible imprint on his only son, who has four sisters. Regular trips [to] the Showgrounds was the norm. "We used to come into Sligo town every second Sunday for Sligo Rovers' home games," said Ahern, "there would be four or five of us in the car. On the way back we would end up going to a chipper [The Carlton Café] on Castle Street. I remember wet days, going home in the car and the lovely smell of chips. It was just fantastic."

The Sligo Rovers team of that era featured the likes of Tommy Oates—described by Ahern as a "great character"—Louis Dykes, Willie Bradley and Scottish-born winger Johnny Armstrong (RIP). But it was Armstrong, who passed away in February of last year, that Ahern shouted loudest for. "Johnny Armstrong was our hero at the time. He was a smashing player," stated Ahern. Indeed one of Sligo Rovers' legendary players, Armstrong was with the club for over a dozen seasons (1951-1964) his record for most League goals scored remains unbroken. Armstrong was employed at one time in Tubbercurry. Ahern revealed that he and his friends spent many lunch times in a kickabout with their favourite player. Ahern cites one game in particular, Sligo Rovers famous epic with Shamrock Rovers in an FAI Cup tie at the Showgrounds. Although Johnny Armstrong gave the home side a first-half lead, the Dubliners were on the brink of victory following two second-half goals. But a late penalty, converted Austrian international Albert Straka, salvaged a draw. Ahern's dad, Paddy, was one of thousands who savoured the result. Ahern himself was standing behind the goal when Straka scored. "To my delight the ball touched my foot as I stood on the net at the back of the goal," said Ahern, who beamed proudly that he had been part of such a memorable occasion. The replay took place three days later but Shamrock Rovers won 2-1.

Paddy also brought his son to Markievicz Park to watch Sligo's Gaelic footballers. In fact Ahern was there for the official opening of Sligo's premier Gaelic football pitch—Sunday, May 22, 1955—and he recalled seeing Christy Ring at the venue that day. Ring's Cork, the then All-Ireland Senior hurling champions played Galway (Ring was unable to play because of injury) while Sligo took on Mayo in a Senior Gaelic football challenge. The holder of Johnny Armstrong's autograph, Ahern also got that of Nace O'Dowd, the legendary Sligo Gaelic footballer.

The mid-1950s saw the Aherns move to Naas because of Paddy's employment with Hibernian Bank. Sport continued to impact on Ahern's life. Athlete Ronnie Delaney included the County Kildare town on a tour to celebrate his success in the final of the 1,500 metres race at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. The gold medallist's autograph was added to Ahern's collection which also boasted the signature of celebrated Sligo Rovers player Mickey Sweeney, a team-mate of Johnny Armstrong.

The death of Ahern's dad, Paddy, prompted a move for the family to Dublin. Ahern then worked in a bank when he left Secondary School but subsequent studies in UCD and Glasgow set him up for his life's vocation. He spent almost three decades as a Community Youth worker in Dublin city, but a triple bypass—brought on by the stresses of this draining job—saw him opt for retirement in 2000. Ahern's love of athletics which started in his late teens, not only gave him the platform to write 'Dare To Run', it also helped him form a friendship with Eamon Coughlan, the Irish athletics legend. Now president of Donore Harriers AC, Ahern spent over 15 years running for the club and was often a team-mate of Coughlan, who emerged as one of the country's greatest competitors. A decent runner, Ahern originally turned to athletics in order to get fit. "I was going to play for Home Farm!" he said, laughing at what was his teenage dream, "but I just took to running immediately and I absolutely adored it." A condition that affected his joints, Anklyosing Spondilitis, ended his athletics career. Once it was properly diagnosed, he has been able to cope although constant treatment and exercise is necessary.

When no longer a participant, Ahern, who married Mary Collins in 1981, turned to official duties. Secretary of the Donore club for 15 years, he also assisted in the promotion and organisation of international meets at Santry Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He drew on these experiences when writing 'Dare To Run', which was launched last November. Based in Ballyboden—himself and his wife, Mary, have three sons, Ciarán, Eoin and Donál—Ahern's lengthy involvement in athletics means that he counts two Sligo athletics stalwarts, Calry's Ray Flynn and Terry Hayes, a native of Inchicore, among his valued acquaintances. He also got to know Emmett Dunleavy, currently among Sligo's top athletes, and a few other locals during the week spent preparing in Leopardstown for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 1999. Leitrim's PJ Leddy, a sports columnist, like Flynn, for Sligo Weekender, is another that Ahern praised. "He [Leddy] was a great athlete. He was running at the same time that I was running but he was a much better runner."

If writing is his thing at the moment, something sparked by enrolling in a creative writing course in 2001, his athletics background has helped enormously. The designer of the striking cover of 'Dare To Run' is an athlete and Frank Greally, the force behind 'Irish Runner' magazine, is listed on the book's acknowledgements page. 'Dare To Run' centres on the struggle of Solomon Rumalo, a black South African athlete, to establish himself on the European circuit in the early 1980s. Although fictional, references are made to actual events—South Africa was then gripped by the scourge of apartheid—and part of the book is set in Ireland. There is a happy ending for the main character, although Ahern juggled with the idea of a alternative climax to this enjoyable thriller. "I had to decide whether he [Rumalo] would be bumped off or not. But he had gone through so much that he deserved a break."

Eamon Coughlan, his former team-mate at Donore Harriers, has read the book, while renowned international athletes Sonia O'Sullivan, who hails from Cork, and Paula Radcliffe, the leading English runner, have each perused it as well. All three gave Ahern's work the 'thumbs up', while O'Sullivan penned a piece for the book's back cover. "This book will appeal not only to those interested in sport, but to anyone moved by the drama of life—its hardships, joys and sorrows. I really enjoyed it," said O'Sullivan of 'Dare To Run'. Rejected by 14 publishers and not having an agent means that selling copies of his book is a gruelling process. He can be seen at athletics meets countrywide with a stall brimming with copies of 'Dare To Run', while he also had successfully approached many bookshops nationwide. Breaking into the lucrative English and American markets requires an agent. That is something he aspires to along with the writing of another book. "I would love to do another book. When you write one book you learn so much about writing. It is about confidence. You ask yourself 'can I write a novel?' "But I found the writing less difficult that I expected," he added

Ahern still keeps an eye on Sligo results. At Croke Park when Mickey Kearins and co. played against Kerry in the 1975 All-Ireland SFC semi-final—he also enjoyed Sligo's All-Ireland SFC 'Qualifier' defeat of Kildare four years ago—Ahern celebrated Sligo Rovers FAI Cup success in 1994. He might have left Tubbercurry and County Sligo 50 years ago but he retains cherished memories of Straka, O'Dowd and Armstrong. "The Tubbercurry experience was a huge experience for me but if I went to Tubbercurry now nobody would know me. I went there 25 years ago and no one knew me!"

Sligo Weekender 7 June 2005
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Hippies and the hip gather for SR Harmony Festival
by John Beck
After 26 years of tofu dogs and gravity boots, the Health and Harmony Festival is calling it quits—at least the "Health" part is. In its place arises a carefully orchestrated reinvention known as simply the Harmony Festival, a two-day celebration of "progressive culture" at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds this weekend.

"We worried about it a little bit, but then we figured if you're harmonious, you're not just physically healthy, you're spiritually healthy, musically healthy," said music programmer Sean Ahern. "One thing we had lost track of was the youth element."

Whatever the name may be, old-school hippies arrive in droves every year. But, to lure their kids (and their kids?), Ahern is bringing in bands from all over the world to play the festival's solar-powered stages. After $2 million in insurance and a few inspections by the Santa Rosa fire marshal, the Techno Tribal Community Dance comes alive Saturday night with high-wire aerialists, acrobats, stilt-walkers, fire-eaters and the hot Burning Man drum ensemble, Mutaytor. "It's kind of like a Cirque du Soleil or the Blue Man Group for a little hipper crowd," Ahern said.

International DJ collective Medivil Punditz is flying in from India to showcase block-rocking New Delhi beats with Asian Underground guru Karsh Kale. Fela Kuti protege Majek Fashek continues a comeback from his '80s heyday, pounding out Afrobeat rhythms from his native Nigeria. And the Yoshida Brothers have updated the shamisan, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument resembling a banjo, with a 4/4 rock beat. "It's become all the rage in Japan," said Ahern. "Young people are flocking to what was once a dying art form, much like the blues revival over here at one point."

Ahern, who's marking his second year with the festival, started booking shows decades ago when he was at UCLA. Since then, he has also worked with Steve Morse, Eric Johnson and Supertramp and was instrumental in putting on the first ever "sober Sabbath show," a Black Sabbath reunion in San Jose. While the Harmony Festival bill of 40 bands from 10 countries is headlined by George Clinton and the Nu Ladies of Funk, Jon Anderson of Yes fame and the Family Stone (sans Sly), Ahern also makes room for deserving local acts like Wisdom or Free Peoples. "It's one thing to bring in the big names and we're always happy to do that," Ahern said. "But we're also hoping to turn people on to a band you've never seen before. That's the buzz we want to create."

The Press Democrat 9 June 2005
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Protesters hit streets to decry education budget cuts
SANTA CRUZ—UC Santa Cruz students angry about budget cuts and fee hikes took to the streets Wednesday afternoon, one of many rallies around the state to protest cuts in higher education funding. About 125 students gathered outside the County Government Center in a rally sponsored by Action in Defense of Education, a network of students and teachers.

"This is more than enough to send a message to the regents and the legislators," said Ryan Wadsworth, a senior majoring in politics and Latin American studies. As part of the statewide effort, college students held a mock funeral Wednesday on the steps of the state Capitol, parading a student in a coffin to demonstrate their contention the state is forsaking its long tradition of ensuring access to college. The event was timed to coincide with a legislative hearing on education finances.

Arthur Sanchez, a UCSC junior politics major, said students must speak out now if they are to have any impact on the governor's revised budget, which is due for release May 13. Last year, student lobbying saved university outreach programs for minority students. Students proclaimed their message with homemade signs, saying "Make school affordable" and "Arnold owes $43B to public school system."

Others spoke about the debt students will owe on their education at UCSC, some as much as $35,000. They were joined by union leaders representing campus workers and a sprinkling of teachers, high school students and parents who brought their children. Justin Grisell, a junior at Santa Cruz High School, cut two classes to participate but considered it worthwhile. At his school, students who love music work at bingo games every Tuesday at the Elks Club to raise money to keep the band going. Students have to bring their own calculators and graph paper; those taking woodshop pay fees.

Sarah Ahern, 13, Trinity Sieraski, 9, and Annabelle Louderback, 8, stepped up to say their school, Linscott Charter in Watsonville, needs money. Sarah's dad, Dennis Ahern, said the girls notice their teachers don't have new textbooks. "Proposition 98 funding has collapsed," said Joe Urban, a special education teacher at Linscott. Kati Greaney, a junior at UCSC, encouraged her classmates to extend a helping hand to K-12 schools. "Think of how you can help without the money," she said.

Students applauded the Society for Artistic Freedom and Expression, a musical group that sang "We're talking about a revolution." They cheered slam poet Daniel "Fritz" Silber-Baker, a UCSC junior, when he said "the revolution will not be taught in classrooms—unless we teach it." Cece Pinheiro, vice president of the Santa Cruz City Schools board, said she is pinning her hopes for more funding on Bruce McPherson, the former state senator who is now secretary of state. "That's our ear," she said. "Even though I'm a registered Democrat, we can come together on this issue. The education of our kids is the most important thing."

Santa Cruz Sentinel 21 April 2005
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On meth front lines
To the editor—We serve the Lord at Calvary Mission here on the corner of Sixth Street and Central. Encounters with meth-heads far exceed those of alcoholics. Many neighborhoods are inundated with graffiti, also. The methamphetamine problem is escalating with obviously little being done about it. If the chief of police's home was vandalized by graffiti or burglarized by meth-heads, maybe the good people of this Valley would get some safety and justice then. I read in your newspaper of a drug bust in Ellensburg. Maybe we could ask the Ellensburg police to help us here with our problem in the "Valley of the shadow of meth." Yes, that's what we commonly call the Yakima Valley; also we call it "Crackima." However, nobody's laughing, huh?
Yakima Herald-Republic 20 June 2005
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Leas Cross nursing home remains an issue
After an RTE programme earlier this month highlighted serious problems at Leas Cross nursing home in Swords, Co. Dublin, the Health Service Executive announced that it was putting its own management team in to ensure residents were properly cared for. It seems now that the strategy did not work as the new plan is to move 20 public patients to other suitable accommodation. Private patients and their relatives have also been advised to make alternative arrangements. According to the Irish Times the preference of the Health Service Executive would be to remove the home from the register of approved nursing homes but that means involving the courts and could take years.

John Aherne, the owner of Leas Cross, spoke of a "knee-jerk reaction" and said he would fight closure attempts. He was supported by family members of some of the residents, who said that they were happy with the level of care in the home and did not want their relatives moved. A number of the residents confirmed this when interviewed on television. Independent groups dealing with the elderly highlighted how traumatic it can be for an old person to be moved suddenly from familiar surroundings. From the comments of some people close to the problem it would seem that patients requiring general care are well looked after but the nursing home falls down badly when specialised medical care is required.

Later a spokesman for Mr. Aherne said that the HSE could take over the home rent-free for the next six months in an effort to minimise the disruption to the lives of the residents. That offer, it seems, is still being considered by the HSE.

In a separate development it emerged that the health authorities were well aware of problems at Leas Cross as far back as 1999, when health board inspectors highlighted problems with hygiene and medical standards. The death of Peter McKenna, which featured on the RTE programme, also provided the health board with evidence of serious shortcomings. After he developed Alzheimer's the 60-year-old, who had Down's Syndrome, was moved from St Michael's House to Leas Cross in opposition to the wishes of his family. He died from blood poisoning two weeks later. It then took his family some three years to convince the authorities that an inquiry was needed. A preliminary report in the autumn of 1993 raised enough alarm bells for a full report to be commissioned from Martin Hynes, the former head of the Blood Transfusion Service. Mr. Hynes delivered a draft to the health board a year later and since then it appears that it has been passed around for all those involved to comment on, or respond to, and the final document has yet to emerge.

The whole affair has become something of a political football and was aired in the Dail on more than one occasion. It seems, however, that the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health only became aware of the existence of the Hynes report in recent days.

The Irish Emigrant 26 June 2005
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Walk of the month
Christopher Somerville is swept along the Dingle Way
John Ahern was waiting for me outside the South Pole Inn in Anascaul. John's small company, South West Walks Ireland, takes people on guided rambles all over Ireland, or provides the back-up for them to walk on their own. There isn't much about the Dingle Way that John doesn't know; I couldn't have wished for a more vigorous or conversational companion on a day when the north wind seemed determined to drive blacker and blacker clouds of wetter and wetter content in over the peninsula's mountains and out again across Dingle Bay.

When Ireland's Atlantic coast puts on this sort of display, it does it wholeheartedly. Mind you, the drenchings we got would have been laughed to scorn by the man whose name was lettered along the front of the South Pole Inn. Thomas Crean was a hard, hard man. As a teenager in the 1890s he ran away from Anascaul to join the Navy. He sailed with Captain Scott on two of his Antarctic expeditions, including the doomed journey of 1910-12. He voyaged 800 miles with Ernest Shackleton in an open boat through the Southern Ocean in a bid to fetch help for colleagues trapped by pack ice. Then he came home to Anascaul and ran the pub, spinning tales across the bar until his death in 1938, having reached the age of 61 against all the odds.

"A mighty man," agreed John as we tramped the roads westward, "but not quite as mighty as our Irish giant Fionn MacCumhaill." He pointed up to a corrie in the mountain walls darkened by rain shadow. "That's where Fionn's girlfriend drowned herself in the lake when she thought he'd been killed in a battle with another giant. But he hadn't, of course. You couldn't kill a hero like Fionn!" Black blocks of rain dragging fragments of rainbow in their skirts melted into brief windows of sunshine, making the gorse hedges glow sulphurously and the bushes of hawthorn shine blindingly white.

Down on the southern shore we passed the tower of Minard Castle - a Fitzgerald stronghold blown to ruins by Oliver Cromwell's men, said John. Gannets were planing over Dingle Bay on black-tipped wings, toppling over to plunge into the rain-pocked sea. On the far shore of the bay rose the ridges of the Iveragh peninsula, far higher and more sharply cut than Dingle's smoothly undulating backbone. Beyond the castle, hidden in a leafy dingle, we found a horseshoe of grass enclosing Tobar Eoin, St John's Well. Coins and bright white quartz chips lay in the little pool. The water was cool on my lips, sweet on the palate. Good for the eyes, John told me. Above the well a seamed old tree had been festooned with strips of rag, each tied there for a wish or a prayer.

Narrow country lanes led us on westward, climbing into the foothills past abandoned farms where trees flourished in the derelict rooms. John enlivened the miles with talk, telling me of the difficulties he'd experienced as a merchant navy radio operator with very little English. Education in the rural Ireland of the 1950s and 60s was highly politicised, and all John's schooling had been in Gaelic. That, however, hadn't stopped him developing a champion gift of the gab in both tongues, it seemed. For a short while we followed the line of the old Tralee & Dingle Light Railway. This rickety-rackety branch line, closed with much mourning in 1953, was a wonder to legions of enthusiasts. The fireman's duties included pelting coal lumps at sheep on the line.

You could run from Tralee to Dingle more swiftly than the trains would trundle. "It was a nice question," said John, "as to who took on more liquid refreshment at Camp Junction - the engine or the guard!" Now the Dingle Way left the lanes and climbed up to cross the slopes of Cruach Sceirde, the Scattered Mountain. The stones of ancient huts and field walls patterned the brown turf. We climbed above small mountain farms to a high pass in the teeth of wind and rain. Below, in a hollow of the coast, the circle of Dingle Harbour lay cradled. A pale sunset layered the sea beyond with pure silver. A long gleaming ribbon of laneway led us down out of the rainy hills, into the town where strangers and friends seem two sides of the same coin.

Telegraph 2 July 2005
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Minstrels make Hyannis' Main Street their own
HYANNIS—If not every passer-by lingered long, blame it on the clouds, the damp and the chill. For The Irish Boys, Tripping Lily and a kilted corps of bagpipers called Colum Cille spun heads on Main Street last night, sparking flashbulbs and smiles and an occasional request. ''Do you do jazz?'' a woman asked of Tripping Lily, a Cape-based but Nashville-bound string quartet hired to help supply a live soundtrack for life after sundown on downtown's main drag.

If you missed the spectacle, you can see it again next week. Sponsors TD Banknorth and the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District plan to send minstrels into the street every Thursday for the rest of the summer. The roving musicians succeed a series of summer festivals as downtown Hyannis' pre-weekend draw. Festival organizers canceled this year's street fairs in April after organizers said they couldn't meet production costs.

During yesterday's inaugural music stroll, The Irish Boys—J. P. Ryan, 24, and Stephen Ahern, 21, both of Cork, Ireland—started at the corner of Main and Sea streets. Tripping Lily, a quartet of mandolin, bass, fiddle and guitar players, began outside Banknorth, near Center Street. They'd play a few songs, then move up the street, until the groups converged and passed. Sometimes they played to no one at all, sometimes to passers-by, sometimes to sheepish tourists who'd stroll past and stop 30 feet away, tapping their feet and licking ice cream cones.

The Irish Boys, who seem to favor the music of the English band Oasis and Ireland's own U2, caught the attention of the hostess and waitresses of Hannah, a new restaurant on the south side of Main at Sea. ''He's got some lungs,'' hostess Krystle Shea said of Ryan. The Boys stopped Anthony DeRosa, 14, of Centerville dead in his tracks. He and 11-year-old cousin John Sanford were passing on skateboards when suddenly they were standing still. ''Is this a party?'' DeRosa asked. ''If I were that good, I'd be out here, too,'' he said. ''Except that I'd be playing Slayer,'' heavy-metal music.

Colum Cille, the bagpipers, appeared to steal the show. The 17-member pipe and drum band assembled outside the Island Merchant on Ocean Street and marched west up Main, drawing tourists out of restaurants and coffee shops and stares from every direction. ''It's like the old times,'' said Naz Serrenti, a visitor from Scranton, Pa. Back home, he said, ''After 9 o'clock, they take the sidewalks in.''

Cape Cod Times 8 July 2005
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Allison Ahearn, Gary Gillis Jr.
Allison Kelly Ahearn and Gary Bernard Gillis Jr. were married yesterday in the Abbey Chapel at Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Mass. The Rev. Richard A. Bondi, a Roman Catholic priest, performed the ceremony. Mrs. Gillis, 31, works in Hartford as the associate editor of Hartford Magazine and of Legends Magazine,publications of Marketing Resource Consultants. She graduated from Indiana University and received an M.B.A. from Fordham University. She is the daughter of Rose and Gerald Ahearn of Little Egg Harbor, N.J. Her father retired as a manager in Indianapolis in the engineering department of Genuity, a computer networking company. Her mother retired as a senior training associate at Eli Lily, the pharmaceutical company, also in Indianapolis.

Mr. Gillis, 37, is an assistant professor of biology at Mount Holyoke. He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., and received a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Irvine. He is the son of Carol Gillis of Bremerton, Wash., and Mr. Gillis Sr. of Pittsboro, N.C. The bridegroom's mother retired as a Defense Department supervisory computer scientist in Keyport, Wash. His father, also retired, was a financial consultant in Bremerton for Shearson Lehman Brothers, the investment firm, as it was then known.

New York Times 10 July 2005
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Former buffalo farmer sent back to prison
A former buffalo farmer who bilked investors out of more than $2 million is on his way back to prison for leaving the state to gamble. U.S. District Judge Charles N. Clevert Jr. ordered James O'Hearn back to prison for 30 days and added about a year onto his supervised release, the federal equivalent of parole. Clevert warned O'Hearn that if he steps out of line again, the consequences will be far worse.

O'Hearn, 67, was convicted in 1999 of two counts of mail fraud for running a pyramid scheme with more than 100 victims. He was sentenced to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. O'Hearn, whose securities license had lapsed, persuaded people to invest with him, then took some of the money and put it into his buffalo farm in the Town of Jackson, according to court records. O'Hearn lied to get others to invest directly in the farm, which he claimed used revolutionary technology for breeding, records say. By the time the final numbers were calculated, O'Hearn owed $2.4 million in restitution to his victims. As of Wednesday, he had paid about $1,500, according to testimony during a hearing in federal court in Milwaukee. The failure to pay restitution in a timely manner, as well as an April day trip to an Indiana riverboat casino, prompted U.S. Attorney Steven M. Biskupic to ask Clevert to put O'Hearn back in prison.

O'Hearn will have to go back to prison in two or three weeks. When he gets out, he will have to spend 35 more months on supervised release. That essentially means he won't get full credit for the 14 months he's already spent on supervision.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10 July 2005
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O'Hearn to run for Liberals in Sackville-Eastern Shore
in next federal election
Dawn O'Hearn will be the Liberal candidate for Sackville-Eastern Shore in the next federal election. She was uncontested at a nomination meeting at St. John's Church in Westphal this week. [in the election results published in The Chronicle Herald on 26 January 2006, it was reported that Liberal candidate Bill Fleming "came into the race late after nominated Liberal candidate Dawn O'Hearn dropped out suddenly due to an illness in the family."]
The Chronicle Herald 14 July 2005
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Orleans Court
In court Thursday:
AHERN, Neal, 26, Olympia, Wash.; admitted sufficient facts to possession of marijuana July 20 in Eastham, continued without a finding for six months, $226 costs and $50 fee.
Cape Cod Times 23 July 2005
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The O'Hearns
Thomas "Tom" and Helen O'Hearn of Winter Haven celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 18 at a dinner party hosted by their children at Pipinelle's in Franklin, Mass. They were married June 18, 1955, in Boston. Their children are Tom O'Hearn, John O'Hearn, Catherine Stewart, Kevin O'Hearn, Deborah O'Hearn and David O'Hearn. A son, Brian O'Hearn, is deceased. They have four grandchildren.

An alumnus of Boston College, Tom O'Hearn was employed by AT&T for many years. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Helen served as head clerk for the town of Franklin's building inspector's office prior to her retirement. She is a member of the Floridians and Swiss Village Dancers.

The Winter Haven FL Ledger 24 July 2005
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Drug dealers turn a profit preying on the vulnerable
She let the strangers keep coming back after they gave her $20. But Georgianna Richardson, 38, knew what was going on inside her kitchen and living room. The strangers were drug dealers, and they were snorting, packaging, and selling cocaine, all the while inviting outsiders to her first-floor apartment, she said yesterday. Residents say that is the problem at 14 Lyndhurst St., one of two red-brick buildings at the center of the troubled area they call the Hell Zone. Drug dealers take over some of the low-income apartments near Washington Street, and the tenants let them do it. The police know it happens. The neighbors know it. And even the landlord knows it. But despite drug busts, evictions, and community meetings, the problem does not go away.

''We've made hundreds of arrests, but we live in the world of probable cause," said Boston Police Captain Frank Armstrong, commander of Division C-11. ''If we hear of drug deals, we get down here," Armstrong said. ''My guys get set up, they observe, but they've got to see the sale." Armstrong said he knows that some of the people who live in the Queen Anne-style mansions on the Allston Street end of Lyndhurst's single block would like him to order officers to arrest everyone who looks suspicious and hangs out on the Washington Street end, at the two troubled apartment complexes there. But he said his job is to protect the rights of people living on both ends of Lyndhurst. Some residents say landlords have to do more to ensure that crime does not happen on their property.

''Where are they?" asks Shirelle Gomes, who lives just two houses away from the Hell Zone. ''Why are they letting these people in their buildings?" ''I'm trying to clean it up," said Ted Ahern, who purchased 12 and 14 Lyndhurst Street last August for more than $1.1 million, according to state registry records. Since he purchased the 12-unit building, Ahern, a lifelong Dorchester resident, said he has evicted 10 people, including Richardson, whom he kicked out last month because of her involvement with drugs. Ahern rents to those willing to pay the market rate and to those who receive government assistance, including recovering addicts. But before he lets them in, he said, he runs a criminal background and credit check. And if there is any sign of trouble, Ahern said, he tries to find legal cause for eviction, such as an arrest record, he said. But that does not stop new dealers from moving in.

Sitting on the stoop of her old apartment building, Richardson, who said she was visiting friends, said she was a recovering addict. She began living on Lyndhurst Street when her treatment center recommended it to her three years ago as a low-income option. ''I looked outside my window for weeks, and all I saw was drugs, people selling drugs, people doing drugs," said Richardson, who now lives in a homeless shelter. ''I'm a recovering addict. This place is not healthy for me." But the dope dealers, she said, prey on the weak. At first, Richardson refused to let the strangers into her apartment. A female drug dealer stabbed her in the arm. The woman also punched a hole through her window. The hole is still there. Eventually, the dealers got in, she said. ''What they do is they knock on the door and ask to use your bathroom," she said. ''Then when they leave they hand you a $20 bill. They get you because they know you're in the heat of an addiction. They say here take this."

Richardson does not think she should have been evicted. ''We're the users, not the dealers," she insisted. ''I mean, I know I'm part of the problem, but I'm not the problem." Drug dealers are among the problems the Rev. Bruce Wall has vowed to clean up during his weeklong occupation of Lyndhurst Street. Yesterday, in response to a challenge from a man who warned Wall not to bring his people to Mora Street, Wall surprised the residents of Mora by showing up with police, including Commissioner Kathleen M. O'Toole and members of the Nation of Islam. ''You can't tell me that I can't come here," Wall said.

The Boston Globe 3 August 2005
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Crash kills teen driver, injures 4
A St. Charles East High School student was killed Saturday night and four of his schoolmates were injured in a one-car crash after a birthday party. Christopher Ahern, 17, of the 900 block of Pheasant Trail, St. Charles, was killed while driving the car that slammed into a tree at a high speed about 10 p.m. Saturday, according to authorities.

Family members said Ahern might have been speeding to make a 10:30 p.m. curfew for one of those in the car. They said Ahern, an incoming senior at St. Charles East, had earlier hosted a birthday party for a friend, Jose Rodriguez, one of those injured in the crash that occurred on Foxfield Drive by Blackhawk Trail in the far west suburb. "There's some indication, based on witness accounts, that speed may have been a factor," but an accident reconstruction team had not finished its report Sunday, said St. Charles Police Chief James Lamkin.

Alexis Lata, 17, of West Chicago; Bailey Sone, 15, of South Elgin; and Alex Mata, 17, of St. Charles were being treated at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, authorities said. Their conditions were not released because family members requested that their statuses be kept private, said hospital spokeswoman Mindy Kolof. Rodriguez, 16, of St. Charles, was treated at Sherman Hospital in Elgin and released, a nursing supervisor said.

Family members said Ahern hoped to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "This was just a really good kid; he had no history of any misbehavior," said Mary Jo Harper, Ahern's aunt. "For this to happen to an incredibly gifted, responsible young man, to his family, is unfathomable."

Tom Hernandez, a spokesman for Community Unit School District 303, said counselors will be available Monday and Tuesday for seniors registering for the school year, and officials will consider making additional counselors available to sophomores and juniors when they register later in the week.

Witnesses described a horrific scene after the crash and said all those in the car appeared to be severely injured. Greg Godee, who lives near the intersection, said he was driving east on Foxfield Drive just before 10 p.m. Saturday when he noticed a car passing him going about 70 m.p.h. "When it passed the car in front of me, he lost control and slammed into the tree," said Godee, who described the crash's aftermath as "complete carnage." Witnesses said the two girls and one of the boys had been in the car's back seat, and one of the girls was ejected through the back window. In the minutes after the crash, neighbors--some of them classmates of the injured teens--who heard the crash ran to try to help.

On Sunday, Allison Townsend, 15, and her father, Ernest, who live four doors from where the accident occurred, visited the scene with plastic buckets wrapped in green cellophane for several bouquets of carnations and roses that people had left at the site. After hearing the crash and running to the scene, Allison Townsend realized the girl who had been ejected from the car was a friend of hers. Neighbors said they have tried for years to persuade St. Charles officials to introduce traffic-calming measures on Foxfield, where the speed limit is 25 m.p.h. at the crash site, because young people frequently drag race on the road. "You can't ride your bike out safely without worrying about being hit," said Ernest Townsend.

Chicago Tribune 8 August 2005
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St. Charles teen killed in car accident
A car smashed into a tree Saturday night near Charlestowne Mall in St. Charles killing the 17-year-old driver and hospitalizing the four teenage passengers. Crews extricated the five inside the mangled 1997 Eagle Vision, which crashed shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday at Foxfield Drive and Blackhawk Trail, St. Charles police said. The crash killed St. Charles resident Christopher Ahern. Ambulances took Alex Mata, 17, of St. Charles; Alexis Lata, 17, of West Chicago; and Bailey Sone, 15, of South Elgin, to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. They were listed in stable condition, a nursing supervisor said. Paramedics took a fourth passenger, Jose Rodriguez, 16, of St. Charles, to Sherman Hospital in Elgin. The teen's father, Jose Rodriguez, said his son was released from the hospital Sunday. "We wish everyone the same luck," Rodriguez said. "It's terrible."

St. Charles police Chief James Lamkin said the car lost control, spun and slammed into the tree. He added speed may have contributed. Residents have complained about speeding cars in that area, where the speed limit is 25 mph, Lamkin said. Speed bumps have been discussed in the past, he added. Alcohol did not appear to be a factor, and police continue to investigate the crash, Lamkin also said. The teens routinely spend Saturday nights at a neighborhood pool, the older Rodriguez said. The car was returning from the pool, on its way to one of the teens' homes, he added. "It was a normal Saturday night," Rodriguez said.

Tom Hernandez, director of communications for St. Charles Unit District 303, said Ahern was a student at St. Charles East High School. Rodriguez confirmed all five in the car, including his son, attended the same school. Counselors will be available at St. Charles East on today. They also will be available during the school's regularly scheduled senior registration hours Tuesday, Hernandez said. If needed, the counselors will be available at the school on Wednesday and Thursday as well, he said. Lamkin could not compare the accident to any in recent memory. "For us it's tragic with the loss of a life," he said. "We certainly extend our sympathies to the families." The pending funeral arrangements for Ahern will be handled by Conboy Funeral Home in Westchester.

Daily Herald 8 August 2005
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St. Charles teen killed in crash remembered as selfless, outgoing
Chris Ahern spent the past few months working as a lifeguard at Pottawatomie Pool in St. Charles and bussing tables at a banquet hall to save money for college, hoping to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after graduating from St. Charles East High School in 2006, family members said. The outgoing 17-year-old had made many friends since moving from Schaumburg to St. Charles two years ago to live with his father. He was driving with four of his friends at 10 p.m. Saturday when he lost control of his 1997 Eagle Vision, crashing into a tree at Foxfield Drive and Blackhawk Trail, police said. Ahern was pronounced dead an hour later in the emergency room of Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. His friends also were hospitalized, though at least one has been released. Alex Mata, 17, of St. Charles; Alexis Lata, 17, of West Chicago; and Bailey Sone, 15, of South Elgin were taken to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield on Saturday night. Lata was scheduled to be released Monday night and Sone remained in stable condition, according to a nursing supervisor. No information regarding Mata was available. Jose Rodriguez, 16, of St. Charles was released from Sherman Hospital in Elgin on Sunday.

All five attended St. Charles East. Ahern was less than three weeks away from starting his senior year; Lata and Sone, members of the school's drill team, are incoming sophomores. School counselors were available Monday and will be again today for St. Charles East seniors registering for classes for the upcoming school year, said Tom Hernandez, a school district spokesman. Friends, family members and passers-by who did not know the accident victims stopped Monday to leave flowers and write condolences on a poster set up next to a white cross at the accident site. A white lifeguard whistle hung on a poster that reads, "We will miss you Chris." Bits of glass, plastic and other car parts were gathered at the base of the tree that Ahern's car crashed into. Large pieces of bark were torn from the tree. "I don't know you but you were taken away too soon," wrote Diane Coartney of St. Charles. "You are now with God." Coartney, who has lived in a nearby subdivision for more than a year, drove to the accident site with her 7-year-old daughter, Danielle, to pay her respects. "It's very sad," Coartney said. She said she often sees cars speeding down Foxfield Drive and other streets behind Charlestowne Mall despite the posted 25 mph speed limit. "People go flying down the street," she said.

Members of the Charlemagne Homeowners Association board discussed the accident at their regular meeting Monday night. They are scheduled to meet with Mayor Don DeWitte, Police Chief Jim Lamkin and other city officials at 7:30 p.m. today. The board's acting president, Steve Carroll, said members of the board have sought traffic calming help from city officials for six years. Residents said Monday they would like the city to consider installing speed tables—a wider type of speed bump—or stop signs. They also want police to better enforce the speed limit. "I've spoken with the past three mayors about this (speeding) issue," said Sandy Wagner, a resident of the Foxfield subdivision. "I've received responses like 'someone has to be killed' and am yet to hear anything from the current mayor."

Friend Courtney Herr, 16, stopped by the accident site Monday afternoon. She described Ahern as someone who was always kind to others. "He was so selfless," she said. Ahern's grandmother Kathleen Greco of Chicago said he was a straight-A student who wanted to study architecture or engineering in college and had taken architectural courses in high school. He also loved playing baseball and football with his 8-year-old brother, Jack, and had played soccer and football during his high school years. "He was a good kid every way you look at it," Greco said.

Visitation for Ahern will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. today at Yurs Funeral Home, 405 E. Main St., St. Charles. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 2900 E. Main St., St. Charles. Burial will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. Ahern also is survived by his father, Mike Ahern, of St. Charles; his mother, Sandra Lemar, of Schaumburg; two sisters, 17-year-old Stephanie and 8-year-old Sarah; another brother, 16-year-old William; a grandfather, David Rezendes; and another grandmother, Sarah Lemar.

Daily Herald 9 August 2005
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Vatican stops diocese in taking parish assets
Millions at stake as O'Malley must get OK of pastors
The Vatican, in a blow to the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, has concluded that archdiocesan officials erred in claiming the financial assets of closing parishes and must now ask pastors to voluntarily turn over millions of dollars in bank accounts and real estate holdings that the archdiocese had planned to take.
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One of the affected pastors, the Rev. John J. Ahern of St. Mary of the Assumption in Brookline, said the priests have been talking among themselves about how to proceed. ''All of us are fairly cautious, and we want to be deliberative, and getting our finance councils together during the summer isn't easy," he said. Ahern said that, in his case, as much as $4 million in cash is at stake. Ahern said his parish, a vibrant congregation in an affluent town, does not need the money; he also pointed out that a few years ago, when the parish did have financial problems, the archdiocese voluntarily gave it the assets of another parish that had closed in town, St. Aidan.
 . . . 
The Boston Globe 11 August 2005
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Two motorcyclists hit by car in Chelmsford
CHELMSFORD—Two motorcyclists received minor injuries after their bike was rear-ended in an accident yesterday afternoon., Todd Tripodi of Burlington was driving the motorcycle eastbound on Route 40 yesterday around 5:30 p.m., with passenger Allison Raney of Westford sitting behind him, said Sgt. Todd Ahern. As he approached the intersection of Groton and Main streets, Tripodi slowed to turn right onto Main Street. That's when a car driven by Jessica Levasseur of Dracut hit the bike from behind, police said. Both of the motorcyclists were conscious when an ambulance arrived, and both complained of slight pain, Ahern said. They were taken to Lowell General for treatment. Levasseur was shaken up but not injured, and her car did not require a tow. Police gave Levasseur a citation for speeding and failing to grant the motorcyclists the right of way.
The Lowell Sun 12 August 2005
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Firecracker incident brings another charge
Man told police plate was stolen; they say it wasn't
A Glen Rock man who told police he had no involvement in driving past an accident scene and throwing lighted firecrackers at fire-police officers is now charged with falsely reporting that his license plate was stolen. State police Trooper Brian Torkar on Aug. 1 charged Phillip G. Aherne, 25, of 12 Argyle St. with making false reports to law enforcement, a third-degree misdemeanor. According to charging documents in District Judge Vera Heilman's office, Codorus Township fire police reported that while they were directing traffic around a crash on July 4, a small white car drove past the scene, threw firecrackers at them and fled. They took down the car's license plate number and gave it to Torkar, who determined it belonged on a GMC Jimmy owned by Aherne, police said. Torkar tracked down Aherne, arrested him on unrelated warrants and took him back to the Loganville barracks, where Aherne claimed he wasn't involved and that his license plate had been stolen, according to his arrest affidavit. The trooper asked if he wanted to report the plate stolen, and Aherne said yes, according to police. Stopped in Maryland: On July 29, Torkar was notified that Hampstead (Md.) Police had pulled over a white Ford Probe for going 55 mph in a 40 mph zone along Lower Beckleysville Road, and that the car had Aherne's stolen license plate on it. Hampstead Patrolman First Class T.N. Pheabus arrested the man driving the Probe. That man, he said, was Aherne.

"He admitted to me that he falsely reported his tags (stolen)," Pheabus said. "The real kicker was, when I started to question him, he told me one plate got stolen but that he still had the other plate. But we're close enough to the state line to know that Pennsylvania is a one-tag state." Torkar said the Probe belonged to one of Aherne's friends. Aherne lent that friend his license plate, and the friend subsequently lent Aherne the car, the trooper said.

Pheabus said Aherne claimed it was the friend who threw firecrackers at Codorus Township fire-police officers. Torkar said Aherne won't be charged in the firecracker incident because police can't prove who was in the Probe at the time. Instead, Aherne must answer for falsely reporting his license plate stolen, Torkar said. Other charges: He also faces a number of charges in Maryland, according to charging documents there, including speeding, not wearing his glasses while driving, not wearing a seat belt, driving an uninsured car, displaying a registration plate issued to another vehicle, unauthorized display or use of a registration plate and operating an unregistered vehicle. Pheabus said he also charged Aherne with personal possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after the officer allegedly found a small amount of pot and a pipe in the car's center console.

York Dispatch 15 August 2005
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Boaters put on show at lake
SYLVAN BEACH—It is not every day you see boats full of people wearing hula skirts and caveman outfits floating down the Erie Canal. That was the sight many people were treated to on Saturday at this year's Blues'n'Boati Gras Festival. For the second consecutive year Boati Gras was held in conjunction with Sylvan Beach's annual Canal Fest.

"I think it went awesome," Sharon Ahern said. Ahern founded Boati Gras with her husband, Kim, Ahern 12 years ago. For ten years Boati Gras was a small boat parade held every year at the Ta-Ga-Soke campground on Fish Creek. Each year the Aherns invited one band to play at the festival in exchange for a review in their magazine, Blues Connection. "It was just a music thing to have fun, and we put it into a Mardi Gras theme," Sharon Ahern said. The festival has been steadily growing, and this year 31 boats competed in the parade, which started at the Ta-Ga-Soke campground and finished at the canal wall in Sylvan Beach. There were multiple boats decorated with Hawaiian themes, and one with men dressed as construction workers.

This year's band, which floated by with everyone else, was Built For Comfort, a blues band from Syracuse. "It's a lot better than playing in a smoky bar," said guitarist Morris Tarbell. "It's a little more of a relaxed atmosphere," added singer Matt Tarbell. Matt and Morris Tarbell are cousins who have been playing in bands together for more than ten years. Built For Comfort played mostly covers and some blues classics to the crowd on Saturday.

Tracy and Paul Streiff, of Baldwinsville, participated in the parade on a Hawaiian-themed boat with their friends and family. They threw beaded necklaces to the crowd in true Mardi Gras fashion. "The parade was awesome. We had a great time," Tracy Streiff said. It was the Streiff's second time participating in the parade. The winning boat in the parade was Midnight Rider, which featured many people dressed in Flintstones-style caveman garb, and a person in a gorilla outfit. According to Sharon Ahern, they won because everyone was in character, and they had the best overall decorations. . . . 

Oneida Daily Dispatch 15 August 2005
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Troopers arrest seven in connection with burglary
State Police at Ellenville have arrested seven people in connection with a burglary that occurred in the Town of Rochester in Ulster County. When police received a report of a burglary in progress at 59 Rochester Center Road, they responded and found the seven walking in the area of the crime. Police determined they had been involved in the burglary, in which household items had been stolen.

Charged with second-degree burglary were Shawn Corcoran, 20; Christopher Gray, 19; and Christopher Litwinenko, 19, all of Kerhonkson; Heather Ahearn, 19, of Kingston; Megan Green, 18, of Kerhonkson, Christopher Ahearn, 16, of Kingston; and Karen Hopkins, 16, of Kerhonkson.

Hudson Valley News 18 August 2005
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Military News
Army Reserve Pfc. Timothy M. Ahearn, grandson of JoAnn Etheridge and brother of Angelique Ahearn, both of St. Petersburg, has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Sill, Okla.
St. Petersburg Times 24 August 2005
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Branford Girl Saves Babysitter After Seizure
Ten-year-old Olivia Bergemann and her brothers, Alec and Ian, were playing in the family pool. The three were happy to have mom and dad gone for the night, under the watchful eye of family friend and babysitter, Katie. The evening turned from a typical summer night of relief from the heat to a siren-filled drama in a matter of minutes. Olivia's parents, Lauren and Michael, were away for the evening visiting friends out of state. Their usual babysitter, Katie, who the family knew had a seizure condition, was in charge of the three Bergmann kids for the evening. They were outside playing in the pool, trying to quell the oppressive heat that had descended on the shoreline that weekend. Then Ian, the youngest, began to get upset and ask for Katie. That's when Olivia and her brother noticed that their friend was lying still in the grass.

"At first I thought she might have been on her hands and knees looking for something, but then right away we knew something wasn't right and Alec wanted to call Charlie," says Olivia. Charlie is the Bergemanns' next-door neighbor and friend Charlie Ahern, son of Branford Fire Chief John Ahern. From past experience, the family has relied on the Aherns for help in emergencies. About six years ago, Michael Bergemann fell from a tree in their yard and fractured his femur. Jack Ahern and his family helped out with that situation.

John Ahern, Charlie's older brother and an MRT, took the call and he urged the children to call 911. He then rushed across the yard to begin emergency treatment. Olivia called 911 right away and was able to relay the information quickly and calmly to the dispatcher. "We had never seen her have a seizure, but we know and we were going to wait until she got up, but because she had an [recent, unrelated to her condition] operation, we were worried," says Olivia.

The kids all ended up back at Katie's relatives for the night and the babysitter is doing fine after the ordeal—more embarrassed than anything, according to Olivia's mom. "The poor thing, she is only 22 and is really kind of embarrassed. She was only upset that she might have scared or worried the kids," says Lauren Bergmann. Lauren added, "We are all very lucky that we have a lot of people around here who are good to us. They all came over and asked to help and to ask about what happened." But there was a lot of excitement that evening—the neighborhood was filled with police cars, fire trucks, and emergency personnel, all of it a huge excitement to the kids, especially when their friend and babysitter regained consciousness and was smiling.

Says Olivia of the night, "It was surreal—it seemed like it couldn't happen. I would never think that it would really happen." Chief Ahern was impressed by Olivia's quick response to the situation. "Olivia handled herself like a 20-year-old," he said. "She was cool, calm, and collected. In spite of the mayhem going on around her, she clearly could tell the 911 dispatcher what was happening and what help was needed."

Chief Ahern also urged all parents to instruct their children in how to contact emergency personnel as the Bergemanns have. "I wish that more parents taught their kids as Olivia's parents have. It would go far in helping to save more lives," Ahern said.

Even a week later, the children were still excited by the commotion and the intensity of the event. The Bergemanns are just happy their friend is okay and that Olivia and her brothers' quick response made for a happy story instead of a sadder one. "It was upsetting to get a call like that while we were out of town, but the kids are fine, Katie's fine, and that's what matters," says Lauren. Olivia adds, "The three of us are kind of like troublemakers, so other neighbors were like, 'What have they done now?'"

The Sound 25 August 2005
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Burlington woman among suspects in rash of area burglaries
Police hope a string of arrests will help curb a rash of burglaries both in homes and cars in the past months. Matthew Desrochers, 32 of Dracut, was charged with breaking and entering in daylight hours with the intent of committing a felony after police found him stealing jewelry in a Rangeway Road home, according to Police Sgt. Roy Frost. Ryan O'Hearn, 30, of Lowell, was discovered on his bike a short distance from the scene and charged with conspiracy to commit a felony. O'Hearn and Desrochers were both arraigned in Lowell District Court and released, Frost said. Desrochers, who was released on bail, is due back in court for a pretrial hearing Sept. 6. O'Hearn was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug. 29. Frost said Billerica police were also planning to charge Ryan Murphy, 25, of 83 Baldwin Road along with Gina Deangelis, 25, of Burlington Aug. 24 for a string of burglaries in East Billerica. Murphy is expected to be charged with breaking and entering in daylight hours with intent to commit a felony, Deangelis with conspiracy. . . . 
Burlington Union 25 August 2005
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Questions raised over selectmen's St. Mary's ties
Some residents are crying foul over the selectmen's recent move to give an extra $1 million to the St. Aidan's redevelopment project, claiming that two board members neglected to disclose a potential conflict of interest. Selectmen Robert Allen and Nancy Daly are parishioners of St. Mary's Church, the parish that sold the St. Aidan's property. Rev. Jack Ahern, the priest for St. Mary's, gave to both Allen's and Daly's campaigns. Ahern donated $100 to Daly for her recent election and $100 to Allen in 2003. Ahern did not donate to any of the other current selectmen in their recent elections. Now some residents are complaining that Allen and Daly didn't disclose their ties to St. Mary's before selectmen recently voted to give the Planning Office of Urban Affairs an extra $1 million for construction cost overruns and also cover the $300,000 paid to St. Mary's to delete a controversial clause that set aside three affordable housing units for St. Mary's parishioners. St. Mary's controlled the land after St. Aidan's closed in 1999.

"To me, it's just unseemly that you have two selectmen who are parishioners of St. Mary's which is gaining financially from this," said Town Meeting member Patricia Connors, Precinct 3. POUA, the developer of St. Aidan's and the archdiocese's development arm, eliminated the set-aside clause as a result of public pressure and an investigation for claims of fair housing discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. POUA also now plans to sell 14 of the 50 planned affordable units at market rate to make up for the rest of the $4 million budget overrun.

"I'm disturbed they don't even ask the question [of whether there is a conflict of interest]," said Town Meeting member Regina Frawley, Precinct 16, who first brought up her concerns with residents who were denied requests for public comment before the vote for the $1 million allocation was taken.

Ahern told the TAB that the political contributions did not come from parish funds. Ahern said he is interested in local politics and has personally donated to many campaigns in the past 25 years. Allen said he is unaware of specific campaign contributions because the returned mass mailing requests for donations are sent directly to his campaign treasurer. He said he was also unaware that he received campaign donations from neighbors on the opposing side of the issue. Steven and Susan Feinstein, neighbors who have accused the developer of mismanagement and advocated for the three set-aside units to be eliminated, gave Allen $250 when he last ran for re-election.

But campaign donations are not included in the state's conflict of interest law, said Pamela Wilmot, executive director for Common Cause Massachusetts, an organization that advocates for open government. "The conflict of interest law doesn't cover everything," said Wilmot. "Nor should it. It's really the community's responsibility to hold elected officials accountable for their decisions." The conflict of interest law bars government officials from involvement in decisions in which they could benefit financially. There is no indication that Allen or Daly have directly received money from the St. Aidan's project. But the law also mentions the appearances of conflict of interests, in which politicians have ties to an organization without a financial benefit. In those cases, politicians can protect themselves by disclosing their ties publicly, said Wilmot. "Whenever there's any question of conflict, disclosure is the way to go," said Wilmot.

None of the selectmen disclosed conflicts before the vote on the St. Aidan's development. But Allen said he doesn't cater to individuals and aims to serve everyone in the town equally. Allen was baptized at St. Mary's but attended the now-closed Infant Jesus Church in South Brookline through his childhood. He said he attends the church because it's the only remaining parish in Brookline. "I always do what I think is best for the town of Brookline, and my position has never shifted in the entire six years that I've been on the board," said Allen.

Allen said Daly has also supported the St. Aidan's project over the years, first as an Advisory Board member and now as a selectman. Daly did not immediately return a call for comment. But Connors argues that Allen and Daly should have recused themselves from voting or at least disclosed their ties to St. Mary's. Connors applauded Board of Appeals member Inid Starr for revealing her volunteer ties to the church before a recent appeals hearing vote on the development and encouraged more officials to follow suit.

"When I heard this, I was like, 'Geez, this is refreshing,'" said Connors. Other Town Meeting members near the St. Aidan's site don't agree with the conflict of interest charge against Allen and Daly. Allen has been supportive of the St. Aidan's project from the beginning, said Town Meeting Craig Bolon, Precinct 8. Said Bolon, "I don't know that he has anything beyond that, that is a conflict of interest."

Brookline Tab 25 August 2005
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WESTERLY—Flashing a handgun, Chris Ahern approached Matthew Dowding, swung and knocked his bleeding adversary to the ground. Peering through a Canon XL video camera, Dan Dowding captured the encounter. He shouted, "rolling," then "action," and Ahern, in a long black jacket, police badge and holster, repeated the sequence with Dan's younger brother, Matthew, a Westerly High School sophomore. As the sun lowered over the parking lot of Elm Street's Central Baptist Church Friday afternoon, they re-shot the action around 10 times, stopping to debate improvements. With fellow Westerly High School graduates and Savannah College of Art and Design students William Fonda, 19, and Michael Derrig, 20, Ahern, 19, and Dan Dowding, 19, form Escape Into Cinema independent production company.

Over the past four months, the group—also including Flynn Papandrea, 19, of Virginia, and Alex Winter, 19, of Hanover, Mass.—has been at work on a Session of Shorts (SOS) project around town. Filming three of the four short films, they have been spotted in locations including Wilcox Park, downtown High Street and the Dunes Beach jetty. The aspiring filmmakers, all incoming sophomores at the Georgia professional arts college, planned to cap their summer on the set of Ahern's short, "The Day the World Changed." The film follows a police officer "driven over the edge" as he searches for his wife's murderer.

Moving on to the next shot, Dowding used a jib, or crane supported on a tripod, to smoothly pan the camera as Ahern stepped over Dowding, walked around a sporty black Honda Civic and knocked out Winter. "That was sick," exclaimed Dowding. "I felt pretty good about that." The process took time. One scene, or 20 minutes to an hour of footage, typically requires a full day, starting with pre-production around 8 a.m. and wrapping between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., Ahern said. Friday afternoon's work, he added, will probably amount to two minutes of the film.

By 4:30 p.m., Dowding had to run to work at Dunes Park Beach. The students all hold jobs to support their craft, build their resumes and enter film festivals. Dowding said they put their earnings into equipment over the past six years and estimated they now have around $10,000 worth at their disposal. "It helps our films look a lot more professional," he added. Money also goes into costumes, props, securing locations and even hiring police to be on site for scenes that require firing pistol blanks, they said.

While they currently spend what they take in, they have fun and look ahead to a payoff. "(I do it) because I don't want to work a job I hate in the future," Dowding said. Most said they delved into filmmaking prior to high school, progressing from comedies to action/dramas. "Everyone knows them in town as the filmmakers," said friend Liane Boyko, a Westerly High School senior. She said they are famous for their parodies of popular commercials, shown at school talent shows.

Dowding's short film marks a departure from earlier works. He expects to complete "It Became Obsession" by May. The story follows company member Lara Dennis, 18, as a young woman who turns to drugs and spirals downward after her fiancé leaves. "It's about how obsession can destroy people's lives," he added.

At school—where the film and television and media and performing arts majors share conjoined apartments—they plan to finish the project. They have also eyed winning Savannah's annual guerilla film festival, where participants are given a topic and 24-hours to create a five to 10 minute movie. Dowding said they rely upon word of mouth and filming weddings and other special events. "We're just trying to get noticed and recognized for the things we do. I think we have a good chance of being seen in theaters in the future," he added.

To get there, [they] hold nothing back. By 5 p.m., Papandrea had taken control of the camera, shooting as Ahern chased Winter across the parking lot and hurdled a fence, knocking a post loose. "It looks so intense," Papandrea yelled. Winter, a mixture of corn syrup and crimson food coloring dripping from his nose, said they do not use stunt doubles. "If we get hurt, normally it means the take is good," he said. "It looks better on camera, the harder you go at it."

For more information or to see trailers and film clips, visit

The Westerly Sun 27 August 2005
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St. Albert's reopens one year after 'last Mass'
One year after parishioners gathered for what many feared would be the last Mass at St. Albert the Great, worshippers filled the church for another Mass officially celebrating the reopening of the parish. At the Mass and the party following, they greeted familiar faces and rejoiced in familiar surroundings, while recognizing that the events of this past year have forever changed the parish community of St. Albert's.

"A year ago when we announced our vigil, no one knew if our challenge would succeed. We showed resolve and a steadfast, strong spirit, with faith in God and the future," said parish council member Mary Akoury. "We are a different parish than a year ago. We are stronger spiritually, with more lay involvement and a strong sense of ownership. We are a work in progress." Throughout the ten-month vigil held by parishioners to keep the church building open, council member Lou Rizzo said the goal always was to reopen the parish as it was. "We are a fully functional, vibrant, faith-filled St. Albert Catholic church." Rizzo thanked the Reverend Ronald Coyne, pastor at the time of the closure, for "empowering" the laity to challenge the decision and guiding parish members "to prove our merit" to the archdiocese. "If not for what he has given us, we wouldn't be here," he said. Rizzo also thanked the Reverend Laurence Borges "for having the courage to intervene on our behalf."

Fr. Borges formerly served at St. Albert's as a priest and returned as pastor from 1994 to 1999. He obtained permission to offer Christmas and Easter Mass at St. Albert's this past year and has been appointed pastor of the reopened parish. Fr. Borges was joined on the altar for the reopening Mass by Fr. Coyne and the Reverend Jack Ahearn, who served at St. Albert's in the 1980s. . . . 

Weymouth News 31 August 2005
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Comments taken out of context
The TAB article "Questions raised over St. Mary's ties" does not in any way reflect the discussion I had with the reporter. Add my complaint to those who say: "My comment was taken out of context."

I'll say! For the record: I never discussed or even mentioned the subject of campaign contributions with the reporter—not St. Mary pastor Jack Ahern's, or anyone else's, either! Indeed, I not only never knew that he contributed monetarily or materially to Ms. Daly's or Mr. Allen's campaign, I do not think it relevant. Most crooked contributions probably aren't even listed! No. My comments concerning a potential conflict of interest involved two other factors: First, that the pastor likely exerts undue influence over his congregants; Second, since it is the duty of parishioners to pay for capital expenses of the parish, any "outside" financial contributions (even from the town) to the stewards of the St. Aidan's project (that is, the St. Mary's Parish is the steward "entitled" to benefit from the sale of any parish property, which St. Aidan's was once it "merged" with St. Mary's, thereby creating one cohesive "parish") would clearly lessen the financial obligation of its parishioners/selectmen: To wit: Bob Allen and Nancy Daly.

Some might reasonably wish to scrutinize this question under the Conflict of Interest statute. However, the reporter never cited my two concerns. Instead, she wrote about "Campaign Contributions" which I never was apprised of, discussed or even considered, yet which gave the Gentle Reader the false impression that my comment addressed. Let me be clear: Pastor Ahern may legally donate to anyone he pleases, and I shall never object. I trust the TAB will set the record straight.

Regina Millette Frawley

Brookline Tab 1 September 2005
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Notice Of Appointment Notice To Creditors Notice To Unknown Heirs

Notice is given that FREDERICK A. RAAB, 606 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 100, Towson, Maryland 21204, was on August 18, 2005, appointed personal representative of the estate of Mary Janes Ahern a/k/a Mary J. Ahern, who died on July 20, 2005, with a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment or to the probate of the decedent's will shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 18th day of February, 2006. . . . 

The Daily Record 2 September 2005
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Brenda L. Ahearn and John F. Cote Jr. of 17 May St., Spencer, are engaged. Miss Ahearn, the daughter of Linda J. Ahearn of Inverness, Fla., is a graduate of North Brookfield High School and attended Becker College, Worcester. She is a state employee. Mr. Cote, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Cote Sr. of Spencer, is a graduate of David Prouty High School, Spencer, and attended Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester. He is employed by Worcester Envelope Co., Auburn. A May wedding is planned.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 4 September 2005
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Mix of coffee, do-it-yourself pottery keeps growing in Moline
The combination of good timing, a great location and a couple of open minds can be explosive. And that is what happened at the high-traffic intersection of Avenue of the Cities and 16th Street in Moline. As it goes with most successful businesses, Fireworks Coffeehouse & Pottery Painted by You has a story behind it:

Jim and Janet O'Hern of Moline were on vacation in Florida about nine years ago when they discovered a newly opened art studio that provided all the supplies customers needed to paint their own pottery. "I lost Janet, and most of our vacation money, to that art studio," Jim O'Hern said. "She was there the whole six days." The preoccupation paid off. Several years after that artistic Florida vacation, the O'Herns bought the former Frank Mahar Real Estate building on the corner at 16th Street and Avenue of the Cities. They gutted the inside, fashioned a studio for pottery painting and bought supplies for coffee.

That was 5½ years ago. Fireworks have been going off ever since. The modest-sized painting studio has grown to at least twice its original size. Two kilns for firing pottery grew to three kilns. The little coffee shop became a full-service café and a meeting room that seats 80 has become a popular draw for customers who have no need for painting or coffee. "We do a lot of bridal showers and, because we have a wireless internet connection, we're getting more business meetings," Jim O'Hern said. "When Christmas comes, though, we'll also use the meeting space for studio spill-over." Though Fireworks initially occupied just part of the 4,000-plus-square-foot brick building, it has expanded into the entire structure. The airy, contemporary space invites the indulgence of young children as easily as the retirement set that enjoys a newspaper with a window view.

"We started bringing live music in a few years ago and the musicians really love it," he said. "There's no smoking and it's a family atmosphere. "The first time the Metrolites played here, they stopped about halfway through the first song and said, 'Would you all stop looking at us?'" he remembered with a laugh. "They weren't used to such a captive audience."

The O'Herns have become experts at adapting to new things. Next on their menu is a second location—this one exclusively for Fireworks' increasingly popular specialty coffees. By late fall, O'Hern said he hopes to have the former Forest Hill gas station at 27th Street and Avenue of the Cities in full operation as a drive-up version of the Fireworks café. A pastry chef is on board and employees have learned the science of a proper espresso. "It's like making a fine dish every time you make an espresso," he said. "When people pay four bucks for a coffee, it should be handcrafted. "We haven't even come close to reaching the saturation point with coffee in the Quad-Cities," he said.

Given O'Hern's ever-expanding resume of business projects, it seems unlikely that, at 43, he will reach a saturation point anytime soon, either. Fireworks general manager Amy Beauchamp said the variety of jobs to do and the pending opening of a second location make going to work fun. "That's what keeps me focused—it's changing all the time," she said. "I enjoy that. I like that we appeal to all people," she added. "We have so many things to do that we appeal to every generation."

The Quad-City Times 5 September 2005
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Woman injured when car catches fire
CHELMSFORD—A Southboro woman was transported to a hospital yesterday with second-degree burns after the SUV her family was traveling in exploded in flames on Route 3, police said. The car was fully engulfed on Route 3 south, between Route 40 and the Drum Hill rotary, when police arrived. A woman was transported by ambulance to a hospital with second-degree burns on both of her arms, Lt. Dan Ahern said. State police also responded and described the burns as minor.

Ahern said she was traveling with her husband and two small children. The husband and children were also transported to the hospital by a passerby.

The Lowell Sun 6 September 2005
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Man identified in fatal Chelmsford cycle crash
CHELMSFORD—Speed may have caused of a fatal motorcycle accident at North Street and Parkhurst Avenue Sunday night, police said yesterday. Richard Bongiorno Jr., 34, of Tewksbury, died when his motorcycle went through a stop sign and collided with a pickup truck about 10:30 p.m. Bongiorno was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the pickup, a 2002 Chevy K-33, was uninjured and was not cited by police.

"The preliminary investigation shows the operator of the motorcycle was possibly speeding, causing him to slide through the stop sign at the intersection of Parkhurst and North Road," said Lt. Dan Ahern. Bongiorno was traveling west, coming from the direction of Drum Hill. The driver of the pickup was traveling northbound on North Road. The motorcycle collided with the rear dual wheel of the pickup. Bongiorno was wearing a helmet, which was destroyed in the crash. Police said they do not believe alcohol was a factor in the accident, which is under investigation.

The Lowell Sun 6 September 2005
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Dark side revisited
by Stuart Rintoul
SOMETIMES the ghosts come to Ryoko Adachi in the night. Then she can see the brutality. In her mind's eye, she can see Bart Benschop, a child again, watching his mother being beaten to death. She can see Jan Ruff-O'Herne, her dark eyes pleading as she is raped day after day in the House of the Seven Seas. She can see the beheadings and the torture, the sadism. And then she cries out: "How could you do such terrible things?" A Japanese journalist who has lived in Australia for the past 20 years, Adachi is the co-author of a new book about Japan's wartime atrocities, Shadows of War. For Adachi, it has been a dark odyssey in which she has sought out the Australian victims of the Japanese and recorded their memories. "The voices," she calls them. "The voices that Japanese people must hear."

Here is Ruff-O'Herne, who had hoped to become a teacher and a nun, sitting in a church hall during a visit to Melbourne, talking to Adachi about being forced into sexual slavery at Semarang, in Java, at the age of 21: "We were there for one purpose. For the Japanese to have sex with us. We were forced into prostitution. I trembled with fear, my whole life was destroyed ... As we prayed we could hear more military arriving at the house. We were ordered to go to our rooms but clung to each other. That moment still comes back to me in nightmares."

Here is Benschop talking to Adachi at his home in Perth about the murder of his mother: "We were not entirely sure how or why it happened ... We heard from some Dutch people that she had been taken to the Kempeitai [Japan's military police] and we went there and found her ... She was taken out and tied to this post with her hands behind the post and on her knees ... "It started late in the morning and went on for the whole day, and the next morning she was dead. Yes, we watched her being beaten and then we saw her dead and when she was buried. That was in 1943. We were just totally beside ourselves, I didn't talk for weeks, didn't speak to anybody." Benschop, whose father had been designing roads and bridges in the Dutch East Indies, was four years old and a prisoner of the Japanese with his mother and two of his sisters, Wytske and Hansje, in an extermination camp. His father had already been tortured and killed. A 12-year-old brother, Pietre, had been sent to a separate men's camp. They would be reunited after the war. A 13-year-old sister, Doop, had not survived the first day of captivity; she had been raped and killed. Wytske, who might have been 10 or 11 when their mother was beaten to death, "still lives in the camp in her mind", Benschop tells Adachi.

Here is Lawrence Armstrong, who fought the Japanese from Milne Bay to Madang in New Guinea and at Jacquinot Bay in New Britain, writing to Adachi: "We hated them then and still do ... The Japs were not human, subhuman even, but were vermin and will never be any different. Nothing has happened to change my mind. They should have been bombed until there was nothing left. Amen."

At her home in Melbourne, pages of correspondence attest to the painful course Adachi has navigated in seeking out the victims of the Japanese. Working with her Australian journalist husband Andrew McKay, she has asked Australian ex-servicemen and women and former prisoners of war and their families to record their sharpest memories, feelings and impressions. Sometimes the responses are curt. Sometimes, much longer, written with trembling hands that betray age as well as emotion. Accounts of atrocities, barbarity that beggars the imagination, spill out of the pages. More than half of those who have responded justify the use of atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a response Adachi says would shock many Japanese. But there is also forgiveness and determination not to be destroyed by hatred.

Adachi has grouped the responses under the headings "anti-Japanese" (by which she means unforgiving) and "not anti-Japanese" (forgiving). Some fall in that uneasy terrain between the two, where there is recognition that time has passed, but also ingrained suspicion. She finds the lack of forgiveness understandable, the forgiveness inspiring.

Here is Ruff-O'Herne again: "I realised right from the word go that unless I was able to forgive I could not get on with my life ... Forgiveness has to come from the victim. They have to say, 'I forgive'. And by doing so they give the perpetrator the opportunity to respond and say, 'I am sorry also'."

Others have come to it more reluctantly. A few years ago, Adachi found herself sitting opposite Phil Rhoden, one of the heroes of Kokoda, where 500 Australians threw themselves against a Japanese force of 5000 and turned back the tide at a place called Isurava. It will be said that the Australian nation was baptised in blood at Gallipoli and saved at Kokoda. It is remembered in this week's Battle for Australia Commemoration. Adachi was the first Japanese Rhoden allowed into his home. There was much reflection. Allowing a Japanese through his door was not something Rhoden had anticipated or considered. The decision surprised and even shook him. At one point, he looked keenly at Adachi and, after a silence, said: "I have done something this afternoon. A few years back you might still be out on the street, waiting to see me, but you have come into my home, my feelings. I have taken a big step during this last couple of hours." Rhoden was 85. He died soon after.

There was also Adachi's meeting with Australia's last surviving World War II winner of the Victoria Cross, Ted Kenna, who ended their meeting with a kiss on the cheek. Adachi was born in Japan during the war. She grew up as part of the generation shaped by Hiroshima. It was also a generation deliberately reared in ignorance. Successive Japanese governments encouraged a collective amnesia about the sort of war Japan waged and now, 60 years after the war, the teaching of the dark side of history is cause for contention in Japan. While historian Saburo Ienaga fought a 30-year battle against the censorship of his textbooks for emphasising the dark side of war, and Yuki Tanaka chronicled Japan's atrocities in Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes in World War II, a University ofTokyo professor, Nobukatsu Fujioka, mounted a counterattack, demanding an end to "dark history".

In 1997, a group of Japanese professors formed the reactionary Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, supporting Fujioka and saying that what was being taught to Japanese children was "masochistic" and made them feel shame for the past. They claimed it was undermining Japanese society and was at the core of a national malaise. In 2001 they produced The New History Textbook, which whitewashes Japan's war crimes and insists that "history stop being treated like a court where the figures and actions of the past are called to judgment". It was an argument that echoed, in effect, the counterattack by conservatives in Australia against the teaching of a "black armband view of history" in relation to Aboriginal dispossession.

Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi treads a careful political path. Sixty years after the end of the war, Koizumi expresses "deep reflections and heartfelt apologies" for Japan's aggression, especially to Japan's Asian neighbours. With tensions acute in Japan's relationship with China and South Korea, he forgoes a pilgrimage to the bleak, stony ground of the Yasukuni Shrine, where the spirits of war criminals reside.

Adachi and McKay's book Shadows of War, which they hope to next publish in Japan, stands squarely on the dark side, although it ends with Australian and Japanese children finding understanding and reconciliation. For Adachi, accepting the truth of those atrocities has been "very, very difficult". Many times, as she listened to the recordings of her interviews with survivors, she wept. "[But] knowing the facts and acknowledging them is cleansing," she says. Of her own journey into the darkness of Japan's wartime history, through the unfading memories of its ageing victims, she says: "I felt very privileged, because I was allowed to go into their hearts."

The Australian 6 September 2005
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Grandmother's shock as car screen is shattered
A City grandmother was horrified when the rear windscreen of her car was shot through while her two year-old grandson sat in the back seat.
Deborah Ahern, aged 42, feared for little Harvee's safety after the window shattered into the back of the car as she drove through Conniburrow Boulevard. Fortunately the toddler, who was left shocked, escaped injury—along with his grandmother and mother Carly, who was also in the car.

"I was going round the roundabout by the shops when we heard a loud bang and then the window went through," said Deborah. "I just wanted to get Harvee out of the car, he was screaming and we didn't know if he was hurt. It could have been a very different story—whatever they shot could have hit him. How could anyone do that when there is a small child in the car? They must have seen him in his baby seat!—It must have had a lot of force to put the window through. If it had gone through the side window it could have seriously hurt or even killed Harvee."

It is understood to be the latest in a string of air riffle attacks in recent weeks. Mrs Ahern added: "One woman was shot in the leg when she was near the shops, and a boy was shot at while riding his bike, it left a big dent in the frame."

Police were called after the latest attack at about 12.30pm on Thursday, but were unable to find any pellets in the car. "They said it must have been a gas gun, but couldn't find any trace—I doubt they will be able to do anything," Mrs Ahern added.

Milton Keynes Today 8 September 2005
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Northern women, Tech men run to wins
ISHPEMING—The Northern Michigan University women's cross country team placed seven runners in the top 10, cruising to an easy victory at the Wildcat Open at the Al Quaal Recreational Park in Ishpeming on Saturday. NMU finished the meet with 21 points, followed by Ferris State with 51, Michigan Tech with 62 and Finlandia with 120. Stephanie Howe paced the Wildcats, finishing seven seconds off the pace set by Ferris State's Jenny Irwin. She won in 19:07.7, while Howe finished 19:14.8. Teammate Jane Stieber came in nearly a minute later, while Wildcat Kelly Ahern finished fourth for Northern in 20:28.1, just ahead of Brooke Rediger in 20:.29.5.
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The Mining Journal 11 September 2005
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Ahern—DeHaven NEWPORT, R.I.—Danielle deHaven and Michael Ahern , both of Newport, were joined in marriage at Channing Memorial Church in Newport by the Rev. Amy Freedman. A reception followed at Easton's Beach Rotunda in Newport. The bride, daughter of Nancy and Gary Howard of Longboat Key, Fla., and Frank and Roberta deHaven of Laconia, N.H., was given in marriage by her father and stepfather to the son of Darleen Ahern-McElroy of West Yarmouth. Trina Papa of Boston was the bride's maid of honor. The bridesmaids were Maureen Peterson of Geneva, Switzerland, sister of the bridegroom, Jude Ahern of New York City, sister of the bridegroom, and Jennifer Hyde of Canton, Mass. The flower girls were Kelsey and Hanna Peterson of Geneva, nieces of the bridegroom. Mark Ahern of London, England, served as his brother's best man. The ushers were Matthew Ahern of West Palm Beach, Fla., brother of the bridegroom, Tad deHaven of Wolfboro, N.H., brother of the bride, Shannon Price of Marshfield and Brian Shea of West Palm Beach.

The bride graduated from Manchester, N.H., West High School and from the University of Tampa. She is a vice president of sales, Northeast division, for Cross Country in Boca Raton, Fla. The bridegroom graduated from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School and from the University of Miami. He is television director for NBC television WJAR, Cranston. Mr. and Mrs. Ahern honeymooned on Nantucket and Key West, Fla. They are residing in Newport.

Cape Cod Times 11 September 2005
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Relay honours for Wanganui
HARRIERS: Not a single runner let the side down when the Wanganui Harrier Club claimed line honours in the Marton to Wanganui Relay on Saturday. Despite losing Glen Daly just prior to race day, Wanganui were able to conjure up sufficient resources to head off reigning champion Hawera Harriers by more than five minutes in balmy spring conditions.

Club captain Roger Morrison was unable to hold off fellow clubmate Clive Dugdale and Egmont's Matt Bennett on the first leg, but from the time Aaron White took over on leg two it became apparent that the other teams would have to work hard to head off Wanganui's A team. Neil Mayo and Jim Green then shouldered the lion's share of the work, allowing Rob Parsons, Don Humphrey and Mark Cornaga to put the foot down when required on their respective legs. Although Hawera was without some of its better-performed runners, it still kept Wanganui up to the task with the likes of Richard Brewer, Matt Stone and Tony Ahern keeping them in the hunt. The dominance of these two teams was apparent, with more than 32 minutes back to the third-placed Levin team.

Wanganui Herald 12 September 2005
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Police: Necklace led to stabbing
LOWELL—A fight over a gold-chain necklace ended in bloodshed yesterday, police said. Ryan O'Hearn, 30, of 5 Hanover St., was flown to Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston for surgery. His condition was not available last night. "He lost a lot of blood, but I think the main concern was trying to save the arm," said police Lt. Randall Humphrey. O'Hearn insisted he cut himself, but police do not believe his story. They have charged Angelo Maio, 45, who lives in the same apartment building, with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as well as a default warrant for failing to appear in court for a past charge.

"Evidently, it was over a necklace-type chain," Humphrey said. O'Hearn was bleeding "profusely from an arterial laceration," Humphrey said. Police found the knife in a hallway locker in the building. The blade is about 12 inches long, police said.

The Lowell Sun 13 September 2005
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Welcome to new priest
Father Niall Ahern has taken up his appointment as new parish priest of the Ransboro/Strandhill area. We all welcome him to the area and wish him well.
Sligo Weekender 13 September 2005
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Palmer firefighter honored
PALMER—Led by three bagpipers, Emmett F. Ahearn and his wife, Gloria, entered the Amvets hall in Three Rivers. There they were greeted by nearly 200 people, who turned out for Ahearn's retirement party Sept. 8. After all, with 52 years, he was the longest-serving member in the Palmer Fire Department's history. There were retired firefighters, current firefighters, even some from other towns. "I was surprised there was that many," Ahearn, 74, said.

Everyone spoke about Ahearn's commitment and dedication. Ahearn—known by his nickname "Em"—also took some time to talk about himself and his family's history with the department, which goes back to 1905 with his grandfather Michael J. Farrelly. His father John Ahearn was also a firefighter. "I covered 100 years," Ahearn said. "I reminisced about a few good times we had, . . . about Chief Roy, how I would try and play tricks on him."

While Ahearn is known for the stories he writes, he said the one for his retirement party was the hardest because it was all about him. The fire department is like the show "All in the Family," Ahearn said. He retired officially in May, but continues to be a familiar face around the station. Palmer Fire Chief Alan J. Roy said Ahearn comes in every morning to "see what's going on." "I stop there every day. I try and keep the chief on his toes," Ahearn said.

When firefighters were at a Labor Day blaze on Breckenridge Street, Roy said he spied Ahearn across the street, checking out the fire. Three years ago on Memorial Day, Ahearn managed to find a suspect that had jumped into the Quaboag River. Roy told Ahearn to stay by the truck, as firefighters were getting ready to get on a boat. "I look over and I don't see him anymore. . . . Then he's way across by the brush. Sure enough, he has the guy by the arm," Roy recalled. "The person in the water must have felt some kind of trust in Em."

Ahearn became a dispatcher at age 64, the result of a loophole that Roy found. Firefighters, once they turn 65, face a mandatory retirement, so Ahearn was reclassified as a dispatcher, a job he held for nearly a decade. A clock, restaurant gift certificates, fireman's plaque and a watch were some of the gifts he received at his party. He was also recognized with a resolution from state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, and Rep. Todd M. Smola, R-Palmer. Ahearn still holds the special Badge No. 1, traditionally given to the longest serving member. Roy got Ahearn a special frame for it. Ahearn is now department chaplain.

The Republican 14 September 2005
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Lowell man allegedly stole $100G in computers
LOWELL—Police believe Jose Cotto stole more than $100,000 worth of computers before they arrested him at his Lowell home last night. He has been linked to break-ins in Chelmsford, Lowell and Billerica, police said. "We're talking at least probably $100,000 worth," said Lowell Police Capt. Robert DeMoura. "At the break at 55 Technology Drive there was a pallet full of computers ready to go out the door when the alarm went off."

Cotto, 35, of 290 Westford St., did not stray far from home when committing the break-ins, police allege. Alleged thefts at Bard Electrophysiology and Pinnacle Systems on Technology Drive are within sight of his apartment building in Pisto Plaza near Drum Hill. Other break-ins occurred at nearby Courthouse Lane in Chelmsford. "He would walk in as if he was a custodian, walk around, see some laptops, put them in a plastic bag and walked out with them," DeMoura said. "Nobody ever suspected him." Sometimes Cotto would follow somebody in a secured door after they swiped an identification badge, he said.

It was unclear last night how many break-ins he is linked to in Chelmsford and Lowell. Police said he allegedly committed one in Billerica and that another town they would not name is investigating him for possible break-ins. Chelmsford police know of at least four break-ins in office suites but in each case Cotto allegedly broke into several smaller offices and each one is considered a break-in, Ahern said. The case started to develop Sunday night when Chelmsford police officers stopped Cotto after other motorists complained he was driving erratically. They arrested him for driving with a revoked license.

"Through an inventory of the vehicle they found some drugs and stolen (laptops) that were traced back to breaks in the area," said Chelmsford Sgt. Todd Ahern. Investigators then used his fingerprints to link Cotto to break-ins dating back as far as June, Ahern said. "We got lucky with a few print matches which you don't get too often," he said. Police said they did not find the stolen computers in Cotto's apartment last night. It was unclear what happened to the equipment. "That's the 50-cent question," DeMoura said.

Chelmsford was booking Cotto last night and the exact charges were not available. Along with expected larceny and breaking and entering charges he was being booked for outstanding warrants, said Lt. Daniel Ahern. "It was a nice little piece of police work," he said. "Several area police departments were looking for him." Billerica police last night said they were not aware of the arrest.

The Lowell Sun 16 September 2005
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Cork criminal murdered in Portugal
It was reported from Portugal on Friday that police had discovered the body of an Irish criminal in a freezer, in an apartment in the Algarve region. It appeared that Cork-born Michael "Danser" Aherne had been beaten to death in the resort town of Albufiera, as a result of some sort of drug dispute. Police in Portugal quickly arrested four Irishmen, two from Cork and two from Coolock in Dublin, and a Portuguese national. gardaí in Dublin also moved into action, arresting three men and a woman. In the process they recovered cocaine worth more than EU1m as well as about EU80k in cash and two firearms.

The dead man was described as a 37-year-old career criminal from Cork city. Reports suggest he left Cork between three and ten years ago when gardaí became too interested in his activities. His partner and two teenage sons remained in the city.

The Emigrant 18 September 2005
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Man to be charged after major cocaine haul
A man is expected to be charged this morning in connection with a major haul of cocaine in Dublin over the weekend. The man is believed to be the second-in-command of a gang which has been left reeling by two separate police investigations in Ireland and Portugal. Police in Portugal arrested five members of the outfit following the murder of gang member Michael "Danser" Ahern in the Algarve last Friday. His body was found stuffed into a fridge in an apartment in the town of Albufeira. He had been badly beaten and reportedly shot.

Four of the five arrested are Irish, while a fifth is a Portuguese man, carrying a British passport. The Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU), which had been carrying out a long-running surveillance operation on the gang here, had to move earlier than they planned as a result of the murder in Portugal. Up to 14 searches were carried out last Friday including on the home of the gang boss, who had only recently returned from Portugal. No drugs were found at his house and officers had insufficient evidence to arrest him. But a search of an address in Balbriggan, north Dublin, resulted in the seizure of 12 kilos of high purity cocaine, 50 to 60kg of mixing agent and a huge quantity of cash, estimated to be in the region of €500,000 and €1 million.

Gardaí are expected to pass the cash and intelligence to the Criminal Assets Bureau who could use it to target the wealth of the gang boss. The 12 kilos of cocaine would be worth around €840,000 on the street. Given the high purity, gardaí said it could be worth three times that when cut down with the mixing agent.

GNDU officers caught the gang boss's right-hand man in the apartment. They confiscated a large number of mobile phones. When the man's own address in Blanchardstown was searched, gardaí confiscated another three kilos of cocaine and arrested a father and son, aged in their 50s and 20s respectively. A flat belonging to the sister of the gang boss was raided in Ballymun, north Dublin and a shotgun seized. All three people were later released.

The GNDU is understood to have had 15 members of the gang under surveillance. The gang supplies large quantities of cocaine to the Dublin and Cork regions as well as other areas. It was the third time in just over a month that the GNDU hit the gang. It was speculated yesterday that Corkman Michael Ahern was suspected of being an informant for gardaí and was murdered on the orders of the gang boss.

Michael Ahern
The life of the Cork drug dealer may have come to a violent end after he came under suspicion of being a garda informant. The gang he worked for had been hit twice in little over a month. Significant quantities of cocaine, totalling 47 kilos, had been confiscated in two separate seizures in August. The drugs, worth €3.25million on the street, hit the gang boss hard. It caused him to suspect that someone in his outfit was talking to the gardaí and more consignments could be intercepted, with further arrests and prosecutions. This may have led to an order to his crew in Portugal to murder Ahern.

"Danser" Ahern, aged 38, had a long history of involvement in drug dealing. Born in the village of Bweeng, near Mallow, Danser was a talented boxer and won an under-16 boxing title. He also developed a taste for crime and received convictions for joyriding and burglary.

Irish Examiner 19 September 2005
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Irishman found dead in fridge was victim of feud
Five quizzed over cocaine gang slaying
An Irishman whose body was found inside a fridge in an Algarve apartment was the victim of a feud in one of the Republic's major cocaine smuggling gangs. Michael "Danser" Ahern, from Churchfield in Cork city, was well-known to gardaí and had been sought in connection with a serious drugs matter and a vicious assault. He was thought to be living in Spain after disappearing from Cork over three years ago—but his badly-beaten body was discovered stuffed in a fridge in a luxury apartment on the Algarve last Thursday.

Portuguese police are now liaising with the gardaí, Spain's Guardia Civil and Scotland Yard over the questioning of five people including four Irishmen detained after the Algarve apartment was raided. Two are from Cork, two are from the Coolock area of Dublin, while the fifth is a Portuguese national. The two Cork natives are from the southside and are known associates of a Cork drugs gang. At least two of those being questioned in the Algarve are known associates of the murdered drug dealer.

Follow-up raids have also been conducted in Dublin and Cork with a total of four people—three men and a woman—being questioned under drug trafficking legislation. gardaí have recovered over €1m worth of cocaine—the bulk of which was seized in raids in Balbriggan and Blanchardstown. Three kilos of cocaine were found in a car in Blanchardstown while 12kg of cocaine was found in a house in Balbriggan. A large quantity of cash—almost €100,000—was also recovered while, in two subsequent sweeps, gardaí recovered two firearms. The three men being questioned are all aged in their late 20s to early 40s. A woman in her early 50s is also being questioned.

Senior Cork gardaí last night said that it is now believed one of Ireland's major cocaine smuggling pipelines has been smashed. "From what we've heard from Portugal, there are strong links being investigated to South America. We're hoping this will fill in a lot of the blanks for us because we've known for some time that there was a major smuggling network in south Munster bringing cocaine in from South America," he said.

However, detectives remain baffled as to the motive for the brutal killing of Michael Ahern. "It's obviously a feud or falling-out of some kind. But we just don't know the precise details as yet," one Cork garda source said. A native of Gurranabraher, Ahern was associated with one of the city's most notorious drug gangs. The gang has ruthlessly controlled the Cork and south Munster cocaine and Ecstasy market for over a decade—thanks in part to its supply network for cocaine via southern Europe to South America. And while not as high-profile as their violent Dublin and Limerick rivals, the gang doesn't hesitate to kill to protect its rackets or to exact retribution for unpaid debts.

The murdered man had been closely associated with the drug network—together with a number of other associates from Cork's north side and inner city. He left Ireland around three years ago after gardaí sought to question him about a drugs matter and a serious assault. It was thought that he alternated between homes in Holland and Spain.

Belfast Telegraph 19 September 2005
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Hockey Canada loses 1964 hockey appeal
Hockey Canada has lost its appeal of the 1964 Olympic ice hockey results which denied Canada a bronze medal. The International Ice Hockey Federation had initially agreed to consider a request to award the Canadian team world championship bronze medals, not Olympic medals. In 1964, the Olympic tournament also doubled as the world championship. However, the IIHF changed its mind after discovering the minutes of a meeting held in 1964 which they claim shows the required number of council members had indeed voted in favour of changing the rule which ultimately decided how ties were broken in the final standings.Hockey Canada officials appealed but according to the Globe and Mail were informed a few days ago that the appeal was denied and the results would remain unchanged.

"I'm disappointed and disappointed for the players," Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson tells the Globe. "When I go through the minutes, I certainly feel they deserve the medal." The controversy began when IIHF president Bunny Ahearne convened a last minute council meeting and introduced the rule change which stated all results from the tournament—not just those involving teams that were tied— would determine the final standings. None of the four teams who were in contention for a medal at the time—the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Canada and Sweden—voted in favour of the change. But Ahearne managed to get enough votes to push the rule change through.

A loss in the final game of the tournament to the Soviets left Canada tied with Czechoslovakia and Sweden for second place at 5-2. Based on the last minute rule change, Sweden was awarded silver and the Czechs were placed ahead of Canada for the bronze. "I think the IIHF lacks a little bit of courage," former team member Paul Conlin tells the Globe. "They were afraid to admit the mistake. I don't think they have the courage to admit that Mr. Ahearne deliberately set out, in my view, to see that Canada didn't get a medal at those Olympics and changed the rules when it became apparent we were likely going to medal." Canadian officials say they were not asking for the Czechs to be stripped of their bronze medals but that a second set of medals be awarded.

TSN 21 September 2005
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Couple fears for safety
Violent Queens County man a no-show at halfway house
LIVERPOOL—Gordon and Linda O'Hearn go about their daily routine with an edge of anxiety, knowing the man who shot at least a dozen bullets around their house as they lay huddled on the floor in the dark is now on the loose. Jamie Ross Kempton was sentenced in February to two years in a federal prison for the shooting outside the O'Hearns' home in Buckfield, Queens County. He was released to a halfway house in the Annapolis Valley on Aug. 3, but didn't show up, prompting police to issue an arrest warrant.

"It's not easy, you know, knowing he was here and he's out there again," said Linda O'Hearn. "I'm a little nervous if he's out there again." Mr. O'Hearn said while the police do a tremendous job, he questions whether the judicial system supports their efforts. "Is our justice system really working for the victims? He's sentenced to two years, he's out in six months and this is the second time he's escaped."

Mr. Kempton lived next door to the O'Hearns and was arrested by an emergency response team hours after the shooting stopped in the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2004. He was released into his parents' custody the next day but failed to show up for a court appearance in Liverpool on Jan. 25. Police picked him up on a warrant in Halifax two days later. "He knows the system and he's playing it," Mr. O'Hearn said.

But disquiet and unease now mark the elderly couple's lives. "We're obviously concerned because of the reason he was incarcerated to start with," Mr. O'Hearn said. Though he dutifully attends his weekly meetings at the Masonic and Eastern Star lodges, he worries about his wife while he's there. "This hasn't been an easy thing for us," he said. The couple was told to fill out forms if they wanted to be notified of Mr. Kempton's release dates and if he escaped custody. "I ripped them up," Mr. O'Hearn said. "I was quite insulted. It tells me again how serious the cracks are in the judicial system. As victims, we should automatically be notified."

At Mr. Kempton's sentencing, his lawyer, Alan Ferrier, supported the federal prison term saying the services and counselling his client needed were not available in the provincial jail, where he would have been sent if his sentence had been less than two years. He said Mr. Kempton, who has a criminal record dating back to 1994, primarily for offences involving drinking and driving, needed help to deal with his drinking and his anger.

The shooting happened at about 2 a.m. two days before Christmas. Mr. Kempton had a sawed-off shotgun belonging to a relative of his common-law wife, and he called Queens RCMP to come and get it. He began drinking heavily when he couldn't get hold of a police officer right away, fired off four shots, then hid the gun. He went to Mr. O'Hearn's house to call the police at about 2 a.m. Mr. O'Hearn wouldn't let him in, so Mr. Kempton banged on the door, then pulled out the gun and started shooting into the air around their house. He then went home and fell asleep. He was arrested at about 7:30 a.m. Throughout the ordeal, the O'Hearns lay on the floor of their rural Queens County home in constant contact with a 911 operator until they were finally told it was safe to get up.

Anyone with information about Mr. Kempton's whereabouts is asked to contact the Queens RCMP detachment at 354-5721 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The Halifax Herald 21 September 2005
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Detectives reveal drug dealer's brutal end
THE Cork drug dealer murdered in Portugal could only be identified by his fingerprints, such was the violence inflicted on him, the local police said yesterday. Michael "Danser" Ahern was shot four times to the right side of his head at point blank range. His body was found inside a large freezer in an apartment in Albufeira, on the Algarve coast. The 38-year-old father-of-two was subjected to severe beatings by a gang before he was shot. "He was covered in blood. There was a lot of violence on his head. All his bones were broken. There were four shots into the right side of his head," said police chief Carlos do Carmo.

He said the gang—made up of four Irishmen and one Englishman—had destroyed his identification documents. "The only way we could identify him was fingerprints. We had the co-operation of the Irish police through Interpol and compared his fingerprints," said Mr do Carmo. The gang is thought to have been ordered by the boss, who had just returned from Portugal to Dublin, to murder Ahern over a dispute involving drugs.

Five men were arrested after police stormed an apartment in the Orada complex in the marina area of Albufeira last Thursday. They found a man's body inside a large freezer just inside the door. "Inside was a man looking face up in a kind of foetal position with his hands facing out in front," said Mr de Carmo. The freezer, which was shown to the Irish Examiner yesterday, is brand new and is about six foot wide and three foot high.

Ahern, a well-known drug dealer from Knocknaheeny, Cork city, had been violently abducted by the gang from Lagos, a town 50km west of Albufeira, overnight last Wednesday. Police based in Portimao suspect Ahern had siphoned off part of a cocaine shipment for his own purposes and had refused to hand it back to the gang.

The five arrested were brought before court last Saturday and placed in preventative custody pending a full investigation, which could take between eight and 12 months. The four Irish arrested were named as Dublin man Brian Murphy, 40, from Coolock, and Corkmen Alan O'Sullivan, 27, from Douglas Road; Kevin McMullen, 27, from Blackrock Road and Brad Curtis, 30, from Passage West.

Irish Examiner 22 September 2005
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Drugs syndicate murdered gang member
Police have arrested five alleged drug traffickers who murdered a member of their syndicate and kept his body in an Albufeira apartment. Authorities believe that the dead man, 38-year-old Mike Ahern, had been withholding the proceeds of cocaine sales from the other dealers, prompting their decision to murder him. His body was then dismembered in a rented apartment in Orada (Albufeira).

Ahern, a member of the gang that had links in Ireland, Spain, England, Germany and Portugal, was being pressured by his accomplices to hand over money. Police believe that he had refused and had threatened to abandon the syndicate. But, according to a police source, the gang needed fresh money in order to go in search of a cargo of cocaine in Seville. For this reason, they decided to kill Ahern. Last Thursday (September 15), around 11pm, Ahern was abducted near Lagos, bundled into the back of a dark blue BMW car and viciously beaten. Somewhere between Lagos and Albufeira, he was executed with four shots to the head, fired from different weapons. In apartment C002 in Orada, they froze Ahern's body in a refrigerated trunk before dismembering it and disposing of it in plastic bags. Gang members then handed over his head to the leader of the drugs cartel.

The members of the Portuguese branch of the drugs cartel had been living in the Algarve for some time, renting different houses in order to avoid suspicion. Police from various countries had been tracking the international movements of the cartel. The Polícia Judiciária in Portugal were monitoring the Algarve branch of the ring, an operation that led to the rapid arrest of the criminals. The five individuals now in custody, four Irishmen and an Englishman, are described as extremely dangerous. The victim, Michael Ahern, was believed to be equally dangerous, under investigation in the Irish Republic for drug trafficking and alleged involvement in a journalist's death.

The Algarve Resident 22 September 2005
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Police chief tells of hunt for drugs gang
The Irish drug gang did not realise the Portuguese police were on to them for the last six months. "This group was under surveillance," said Carlos do Carmo, police chief in Portimao, on the Algarve. "They were not being watched every day, every hour. That's not possible. But we had a lot of information about this group." He said the gang was involved in "international trafficking of cocaine".

Mr do Carmo, who is the head of the Policia Judiciaria, or the criminal investigation unit, in the area, said officers were not tracking the movements of the gang when a violent row broke out between gang members and Michael 'Danser' Ahern. The fight occurred late last Wednesday after 11pm behind a private hospital in Lagos, a town along the Algarve coast. "There was a lot of violence, and a lot of blood. We found a tooth there, belonging to Michael," said Mr do Carmo. Fortunately for the police an eyewitness saw the fight. "She saw three men, who put the body of a man in a trunk of a car," said Mr do Carmo. "That witness saw some numbers on the registration plate." It was an English-registered BMW.

"At this stage we get involved. We did not know who the people involved were," said Mr do Carmo. "We had uniformed police out looking for English-registration BMW. We looked in Albufeira, Portimao, Faro, Lagos, and other places." He said they also contacted police in Lisbon who were able to provide some information. "We work all through the night. We can't stop, we don't know if the victim was alive or not." The next day the police traced an English-registered BMW to the Orada apartment complex in the marina area of Albufeira, a popular tourist town on the Algarve. "We see the car. There was blood under the car," said Mr do Carmo. The police viewed footage from the cameras in the complex and saw images of two men carrying a large freezer into a ground-floor apartment. Later they saw one of the men come out of the apartment and be heavily sick. The police noticed two men in two cars, the BMW and a Peugeot.

When plain clothes armed officers stormed the apartment at 7.30pm they came across two men. "When we entered we saw a big refrigerator inside the door, which is not usual," said Mr do Carmo. "When we opened it there was a body of a person, in the foetal position, face up."

The two arrested in the apartment were named as Brian Murphy, from Dublin, and David Feguaer, a Portuguese man with a British passport. Two other men, Kevin McMullen and Brad Curtis, both from Cork, were arrested at their cars. A fifth man, Alan O'Sullivan, also from Cork, was arrested in another apartment in Albufeira. The inside of the large freezer, which was about six foot long and three foot high, contained Ahern's bloody body. "He was covered in blood. There was a lot of violence on his head. All his bones were broken. There were four shots into the right side of his head," said Mr do Carmo. The apartment itself was spotless. "They clean everything. They put clothes of the victim and suspects into bags to destroy," said Mr do Carmo. He said they had already destroyed all of the victim's identification documents. Officers had to identify him through his fingerprints, which they sent to Interpol, who checked them with gardaí.

Police found a pistol and a number of shells in the apartment. They believe that the victim was "probably" shot in the apartment. Mr do Carmo said police "did not know" if the gang had planned to chop up the body to make it easier to dispose. "We know they were prepared to destroy the BMW and the body, how we don't know, but we can think of how they might." All five are now in 'preventative custody', pending a full investigation, which could take a year

Asked why Michael Ahern was killed, Mr do Carmo said: "We think he was murdered because he did not do what the group wanted. He kept drugs from a shipment of cocaine for himself, to use or sell. He refused to return the drugs or money, so he was killed."

Irish Examiner 23 September 2005
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Scholarship is Renamed to Break Its Link to Priest
The Rev. Francis A. Giliberti was one of their benefactors. And, unbeknown to them, he was also a child molester. In a postscript to the Philadelphia grand jury report on Catholic priest abuse, West Catholic High School officials have renamed the school's $100,000 Giliberti scholarship fund to distance it from the school's onetime chaplain, who was one of 63 priests identified as perpetrators in the report. Brother Tim Ahern, the school's principal, said he told the 68-year-old priest last week that the name of the Giliberti Fund had become a problem. Giliberti—who lives under supervision in a church retirement home—agreed, but noted that he had endowed the money in his father's memory. So the fund has been recast as the Michael and Anna Giliberti Scholarship Fund, in his parents' names. The school, which administers the fund, will still award scholarships from it to needy students— but no longer in the priest's name, which Ahern said would be "inappropriate" because of the credible abuse allegations.
Philadelphia Inquirer October 2005
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Due to Molestation Charge, School Alters Scholarship
A Roman Catholic high school changed the name of a scholarship fund endowed by a priest identified in a Philadelphia grand jury report as a child molester. Brother Tim Ahearn, principal of West Catholic High School, said he told the 68-year-old Rev. Francis A. Giliberti that the name of the school's $100,000 Gilberti scholarship fund was troublesome since Giliberti had been one of 63 priests identified as perpetrators in the grand jury report.

He said Giliberti, who lives under supervision in a church retirement home, agreed, but pointed out that he had endowed the fund in memory of his father. The fund was renamed the Michael and Anna Giliberti Scholarship Fund, the names of the priest's parents, and will still award scholarships to needy students. Giliberti endowed the fund 17 years ago after winning a $1 million slot machine jackpot at the Trump Castle casino in Atlantic City.

Associated Press 4 October 2005
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Woman digs in to fight eviction
When Mary Cummings reluctantly evicted her cat, Boo, she thought her Hollywood housing troubles would be over. She had been threatened with eviction from the Orangebrook Mobile Homes Estates, and thought giving up Boo would reinstate her tenancy and allow her to live in peace. But almost six weeks later, she again faces eviction over Boo. A court hearing this month will decide her fate.

''I knew I was breaking a rule, but there are many other cats here,'' said Cummings, 53, who owns her mobile home and pays $425 a month to rent a space for it. Cummings cannot work because she suffers from several medical disabilities, including diabetes, heart disease and a rare joint disorder that impairs her walking. She gets around with a motorized scooter.
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Pets aren't the real problem, said Cummings. She feels the management is retaliating against her and other residents for forming a homeowners' association. Cummings, the association's secretary, said management refuses to recognize the group. Management even tried to prevent the group from meeting in the park's common room, a dispute that was resolved in the association's favor by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Another Orangebrook resident and association member, Robert Ahearn, was also threatened with eviction if he did not pressure-clean his mobile home, though Ahearn lives in Massachusetts during the summer and will not return until this month.

The Miami Herald 6 October 2005
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Diocese approves church demolition
HOLYOKE—The Diocese of Springfield has approved a $1.2 million plan to tear down Immaculate Conception Church and build a new, smaller house of worship in the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods in Massachusetts. The Rev. James J. Aherne expressed relief yesterday as he announced the plan to demolish the 78-year-old Roman Catholic church,—whose flawed "faux French Gothic" design pushed repairs beyond affordability and eventually resulted in its closure last November.

"This is a very important day for us. We're excited; we're very happy," said Aherne. Demolition will cost about $200,000 and is expected to begin in February 2006. That portion of the project will likely be done by April, and construction of a modest, modern-style church will begin in the Spring at 54 North Summer St., in The Flats section of the city. Church officials hope to celebrate Christmas Mass in the new facility, whose price tag has been pegged at $1 million, Aherne said. The money will come from an insurance check given to Immaculate Conception by Our Lady of Perpetual Help after it was destroyed in a 1999 arson fire.

The new building will be designed to hold about 350 people—more than enough for the current 240 parishioners. It will be about 10,000 square feet and include some artifacts from the old church, including statues, stained-glass windows and the original altar. Other items may be sold to help cover costs, Aherne said. The decision to tear down and rebuild goes against the grain of ongoing diocesan efforts to merge and close churches as their congregations shrink in size. But diocesan spokesman Mark E. Dupont said Immaculate Conception was given priority status by Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell.

"It's a unique situation," Dupont said. "It's one of the poorest neighborhoods in the whole diocese and the last parish in the two lower wards of the city," he said. With a growing Spanish-speaking population, the church has begun to gain attendance even as other churches are merging and closing, he said. And many of those who attend regular weekend Masses walk from their homes. "We feel we can't just send them up to another church that they won't be able to get to easily," said Dupont, himself a lifelong member of the parish.

Among recently closed churches in the diocese, which covers all four Western Massachusetts counties, are St. Joseph in Springfield, Holy Family in Holyoke and Notre Dame in Pittsfield. Recently merged or yoked parishes, which keep their buildings but share a pastor, include Sacred Heart and St. John Cantius in Northampton, St. Joseph and Holy Trinity in Hatfield and St. James and St. Stanislaus in South Deerfield. A planning process is ongoing that probably will result in more closings and yokings, Dupont said. But the lower Holyoke situation called for a different solution. Aherne said the Spanish-speaking portion of the parish continues to grow, now making up about half of the 240 members. A fluent Spanish speaker, he recently added a second Sunday Mass in the language to accommodate the crowds.

Since the main church was deemed structurally unsound, Masses have been held in the adjoining but newer chapel since last November, when an engineer's report determined the building was unsafe. Larger Masses are held across the street in the school hall. In 2003, the old church was named as one of the state's 10 most endangered buildings by PreservatiON MASS. Efforts to save the building were ultimately done in by the cost, estimated at more than $3 million. Built in 1927, the church's interior walls are brick, and a 6-inch gap separating the outer stone walls has proven an ideal spot for water to gather, causing buckling and other structural problems.

The Republican 6 October 2005
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Resident routs intruder, police chase ensues
A routine call to investigate a break-in turned into an all-day chase for Maysville police Monday. Officer Lisa O'Hearn answered a call to Lake Charles Road around 11:30 a.m. The owner of the property had scared away a suspect, who took off in a Camaro, according to O'Hearn. "The victim said they were in a blue Camaro," O'Hearn said. "The windows were tinted and the victim could not identify the driver as male or female."

According to police, the victim was asleep in the house when the suspects broke a sliding glass door to enter the home. The victim, James Sammons, saw a male in his home and fired two shots. The suspect then fled the home through the same door. The suspect had no way of knowing that Sammons is a part-time law enforcement officer and security guard. Sammons said he heard someone in the house and he thought it was his wife, but when a stranger entered his bedroom Sammons was surprised.

"I heard someone, so I slipped my hand under my pillow and pulled out my gun," Sammons said. "He was surprised to see me. I thought he had a gun." Sammons said his training as an officer had instilled in him that it is against the law to shoot a fleeing suspect. He lowered the gun and fired two shots at the ground. Even though the suspect didn't take anything from the house, Sammons said the incident was very frightening and very traumatic.

O'Hearn immediately pursued the car in her cruiser which led her to Clark's Run Road and Kentucky 10, where a Buffalo Trace Narcotics Task Force officer spotted the car. Mason County Sheriff's Office, Bracken County Sheriff's Office and Kentucky State Police were called to assist, according to police. The car was spotted on Kentucky 616, near Germantown. At one point during the chase officers implemented stop sticks in an effort to force the vehicle to stop. "They slowed down and went around the stop sticks," O'Hearn said. "Because they slowed down, we did not consider the chase high speed." After the car went around the stop sticks, O'Hearn said she lost sight of the vehicle. The car was located shortly afterwards, abandoned near a wooded area about a mile from Kentucky 616 on Kentucky 875. O'Hearn and other officers searched the surrounding woods and fields for the suspects.

"We searched through the wooded areas on foot," O'Hearn said. "It was extremely wooded areas." Detective Jeff Hord and police search dog Misho were called to the scene along with MPD's Emergency Response Team. O'Hearn said officers searched from about 12:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m before giving up the chase and heading back to the station. "It was disheartening to come back without an arrest," O'Hearn said.

Police have possible suspects which they will pursue, according to O'Hearn. She also said the investigation is ongoing. O'Hearn said the suspects may have fled to another county or they may have spent the night in the woods. Wherever they are, they could be dangerous. "We presume, according to the victim, we believe them (suspects) to be armed," O'Hearn said.

The Ledger Independent 10 October 2005
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At-risk, special-needs kids seize the chance to share their dreams
Harvest Gathering fest helps youths celebrate their talent
The backyard of Lisa O'Hearn's house was filled Saturday afternoon with nearly 30 of the happiest kids in the city. Folks walking past the nondescript house on Patterson Road heard bluegrass music, the muted buzz of nearly 7,000 bees in a glass case, and the beautiful voices of children singing. In the backyard—a magical place tough to describe—at-risk children from the East End Youth Center met up with special-needs children from the True Faces of Talent to celebrate a poignant fact: Despite the challenges they face, they have not just talent and dreams, but also opportunities.

And so Alexus Washington, 10, sang a Disney song, following it up with Girl Power from the Cheetah Girls; Stephanie Bird did a quick Britney Spears number; and 6-year-old twins Micah and Makaylah Cullen sang He's Still Working On Me. "It's true, you know," said Kobi Cooper, who runs True Faces of Talent, "God isn't finished with these children yet. His blessings are going to keep coming." It's a tough lesson to teach the children.

Only rarely do at-risk or special-needs children get a chance to have their talents explored, encouraged and celebrated. But as part of the Harvest Gathering Festival that brought them to O'Hearn's back yard, that's exactly what Saturday afternoon was all about. The afternoon was meant to be educational as well as fun. Steve Reynolds and his 17-year-old son, Tim, put up a living-history display, with their tent, their pre-1830s rifles and Tim's impressive display of hatchet throwing. John Rowley showed the children how honey is collected, and O'Hearn, dressed in her American Indian outfit (she's 1/16 Cherokee Wolf Clan), talked about the Underground Railroad and quilts with symbols designed to aid slaves escaping north.

Before the afternoon turned to evening, there was a special treat—Essa Gombert, 19, took the microphone and belted out Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA. Born with what her father described as developmental delay, she's been singing since she was 3. Her talent was obvious, even more so when her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner brought everybody to their feet, and at least two in the group to tears. "I love this," she said. "It shows people that kids with disabilities can also have talent." She has sung in front of audiences before, most memorably with the choir of Stivers School for the Arts at the Schuster Performing Arts Center, "But I don't think that if she hadn't been given the opportunities to perform, she would be as confident as she is right now," said Cooper, who had helped Essa in True Faces of Talent.

The program was brought together by O'Hearn, who runs a nonprofit called Inspire, Create and Unite, or ICU. Cobbled together with her life savings, and almost six years of effort, the program is run out of her house. She is making grant applications, hoping to expand the program, and do events like this more often. "It's all up to God," she said. For the children from the East End Youth Center, it was an opportunity to "make relationships and be part of something really positive," said Amy E. Jones, the center's program manager. "What is most important is that they get a sense of community and sense of history that they can't get elsewhere." They got all that, and more—bluegrass music, kazoos and blueberry pie. A fun afternoon.

Dayton Daily News 15 October 2005
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Elly Truitt and Tick Ahearn
Elly Rachel Truitt, the daughter of Joan S. Greenbaum of Bethesda, Md., and Thomas H. Truitt of Lexington, Va., was married yesterday to Christopher Kendall Ahearn, the son of Caroline S. Kendall of Northampton, Mass., and Kerry D. Ahearn of Corvallis, Ore. The ceremony, at the EpiCenter, a studio and gallery in Boston, was led by Robert L. Dorit, an uncle of the bridegroom, who received permission from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to officiate.

Ms. Truitt, 30, is keeping her name. She is a candidate for a doctorate in the history of science at Harvard, where she also received a master's degree in that subject. She is also a graduate fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley and has a master's in medieval history from Cambridge University in England. Her father retired as a senior partner in the Washington office of Piper Marbury, a New York law firm. Her mother, also retired, was until 1996 the associate director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington. The bride is the stepdaughter of Katherine Truitt and of Robert B. Greenbaum.

Mr. Ahearn, 31, is known as Tick. He is an assistant director for alumni relations at Simmons College in Boston. He graduated with distinction from Cornell. His mother is a legal researcher for Curran & Berger, a law firm in Northampton. His father is an associate professor of English at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The bridegroom is the stepson of Priscilla Southwell.

New York Times 16 October 2005
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Deafness doesn't deter Cal U payroll director
Jim Ahearn, 41, lost his hearing after a bout with spinal meningitis when he was a child. That doesn't deter him from getting 1,000 student workers, 300 staff and 300 professors at California University of Pennsylvania their paychecks on time. Ahearn was recently hired as payroll director at the local school. His supervisor, Gene Grilli, the associate vice president of administration, said that Ahearn's position is a critical one. Grilli pointed out that "It's a big payroll." Ahearn hasn't had any difficulties with the complexities of the job.

"Jim has pretty much hit the ground running," Grilli said. Although Ahearn works with figures and such technical details as withholding taxes, he must also be able to communicate with people. That's one of Ahearn's strong points too, Grilli said. He said the selection committee was more cognizant of Ahearn's deafness during the interview than he was, but not for long. "From the very beginning, he put the committee at ease," Grilli said. The committee was most interested in Ahearn's qualifications in any event. He has had 12 years experience in payroll with a number of top employers, including Mellon Bank and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Ahearn acknowledged, however, that "a lot of employers are intimidated hiring a deaf person at a management level." To advance his career, Ahearn returned to college, graduating from Seton Hill University last summer.

As a child, Ahearn was educated at the Western Pennsylvania School for Deaf until he was in the eighth grade, when he was mainstreamed into the public school system. He said he was "very aggressive socially" in interacting with hearing students. Ahearn once again was immersed in deaf culture when he attended the National Institute for the Deaf. When Ahearn started his position at California, he sent an e-mail to colleagues at the school. "Some of you may or may not know that I am deaf. American Sign Language is one of the methods I use to communicate. If you don't know sign language, relax," the message read. "Experience has given me excellent communication skills and soon, you will realize that communication will not be a barrier to our working relationship." Ahearn went on to explain that he is a skilled lip reader and asked that those addressing him speak at a regular rate and volume. Grilli said that he has begun to learn ASL signing through his interaction with Ahearn.

One of the biggest boons to communications in recent years between the hearing and individuals who are deaf has been the video phone. By routing a call through an interpreter with a video phone, a person who is deaf can carry on a detailed conversation. At one end, Ahearn will use ASL signing, which the interpreter repeats in spoken word to the caller on the other end. The video phones are a big improvement over an older system in which remarks were typed in on a keyboard. The interpreter relays the message at such a speed that the conversation is nearly instantaneous. Grilli said that "once you do it once or twice, you virtually ignore the interpreter." Lisa Tate, a spokeswoman for Sorenson Communications, one of the major providers of the equipment and service, says a large percentage of the deaf population already is using the system. The federal government pays for the installation of the video phone for those who quality, Tate said. For more information, access the company Web site at

Ahearn's wife, Amy, is a certified deaf interpreter. The couple lives in Greensburg, with their daughter, McKenzie, whom they adopted from China. Ahearn said the family also includes two Jack Russell terriers.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 16 October 2005
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Francis Street Boys 1994 from the IMMA Collection
CARLOW, IRELAND.—The artwork Francis Street Boys 1994 by John Ahearn, from the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, opens to the public on 17 October 2005 at the Presentation Convent, College Street, Carlow. Francis Street Boys 1994 is the result of collaboration between American artist John Ahearn, the boys of 6th Class, Francis Street CBS, Dublin, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. John Ahearn's practice involves working with community groups whose access to fine art and museum culture is often limited. The exhibition is part of the SPLANC festival and is shown in collaboration with the County Carlow Arts Office.

The process of making the series of portrait busts that go to make up Francis Street Boys 1994 involves a lengthy co-operation between artist and sitters—the development of a trusting relationship between them is central to the success of that process. The boys had to submit to having their heads and shoulders encased in quick-drying latex rubber to make the moulds from which the final plaster casts were made. The resulting portrait group of the 15 boys provides a dynamic record of the class of '94' while it also documents a very real exchange between the boys, the artist and the Museum.

SPLANC is a new festival conceived to enhance the year round programme of cultural activities in County Carlow for young people including visual art, storytelling and literature programmes. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of workshops with Ballon and Leighlinbridge National Schools and will be facilitated by artist Terry O'Farrell in response to the work Francis Street Boys 1994. Work resulting from these workshops will be exhibited alongside the work from the Collection.

The National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland. Using the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country. Francis Street Boys 1994 continues until 28 October 2005.

Art Daily 17 October 2005
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Richard Allen Ahern, 44, of Ore City, was charged Wednesday morning with possession of a controlled substance. His passenger, Charles Hilmer Nylander III, 23, of Longview, was also charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance. Ahern was driving a vehicle without headlights at Betty and High streets, an arrest report said. Police found a pipe used to smoke narcotics in Ahern's vehicle, the arrest report said. He was arrested at 1:20 a.m. When he emptied his pockets at the jail, he pulled out two bags containing residue of methamphetamines, officers reported. Ahern told police he forgot the bags were in his pocket. He was released on a $5,000 bond. Nylander was also searched and police found four bags of methamphetamines and one bag of crack cocaine in his wallet, the report said. In one bag, police reported they found six empty bags commonly used to carry narcotics. Nylander told police the bags belonged to him. Nylander is being held on bonds totaling $8,500.
Longview News-Journal 19 October 2005
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Trick-or-treating nightmare: Boy, 12, shot on Halloween
Instead of Halloween candy, a 12-year-old Melrose boy went home with a spear-shaped lead pellet lodged deep in his stomach after a carload of punks fired on him while he was trick-or-treating. His frightened parents took him to Children's Hospital, where he underwent surgery Tuesday night. "Another inch or so it would have been in his spine," said Walter Hansen, who carried his son to the doctor's office Tuesday morning after the attack. "He's not able to walk or anything. He's not able to eat or drink anything. He's in a lot of pain." Bobby told his dad on a scale of 1 to 10, his pain level is a 9.

Bobby, a seventh-grader who was dressed as a clown, was trick-or-treating with friends Monday around 8 p.m. when a Ford Taurus rolled up and fired on them. A lead pellet pierced Bobby's skin and burrowed nearly 3 1/2 inches into his body. It is embedded in the tissue of his colon and doctors are leaving it for good. "It's kind of lodged in there," Walter Hansen said yesterday. The boy will be in the hospital until at least tomorrow and is expected to recover and go back to playing sports.

Melrose Detective Sgt. Barry Campbell said a brazen carload of older youths terrorized trick-or-treaters and shot at two other 12-year-olds. One kid was beaned with a frozen paintball pellet and another hit in the arm with a lead pellet. Several middle school students came forward yesterday to say they were also hit, he said. Mark Ahern, 24, of Medford, was arraigned yesterday on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, but more charges are expected. He was held on $5,000 bail. A 16-year-old boy was arraigned on three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and marijuana possession. Nicole Luongo, 19, of Medford, was cited with vehicle charges after she allegedly fled police that night and crashed the car into a pole and a fire hydrant. Campbell said the air-powered weapon used on Bobby is normally used to kill small animals. "They weren't out just to frighten people," he said. "Their intent was to injure somebody."

Linda Hansen, Bobby's mother, said the attack sends a sobering message to parents. "We can't even send our child out on Halloween without worrying about him being shot at," she said. "It was horrible. It's a horrible feeling as a parent."

Boston Herald 3 November 2005
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Jury finds defendant guilty
BOONVILLE—Thomas Gibbs told police in February if he was going down for robbing a Sedalia U.S. Bank, he wanted to go down big. That's what prosecutor Jeff Mittelhauser told jurors Thursday, and Mr. Gibbs got his request. A jury found him guilty of first-degree robbery and resisting arrest after deliberating 12 minutes. Presiding Judge Robert Koffman read the verdict in a Cooper County courtroom, where the case was heard on a change of venue.

Earlier Thursday, Detective Phil Stewart recalled his conversation with Mr. Gibbs after his arrest. "He said he had been smoking crack for the past two weeks and wanted to get caught in a big way," Detective Stewart said. Although Mr. Gibbs pleaded not guilty in April, his attorney, Bret Kaiser, conceded in his closing argument that Mr. Gibbs robbed the bank at Broadway and State Fair boulevards. Mr. Kaiser challenged the severity of the charges, saying Mr. Gibbs did not show a weapon or threaten to use one during the Feb. 16 robbery.

"The evidence shows he came in and waited in line calmly," Mr. Kaiser said. After waiting in line at the bank, Mr. Gibbs passed a note to the teller, Kim Townsend. Written on the note was, "This is a holdup. I have a gun. Hand over the money in the draw (sic)." Mr. Kaiser had sought a lesser charge of stealing. Mr. Gibbs would have faced up to 15 years for stealing. He faces up to 30 years to life for first-degree robbery. Four more years could be tacked on for resisting arrest. Mr. Mittelhauser said the statement "I have a gun" is clearly a threat. "If that's not a threat, then what was it?" Mr. Mittelhauser said. "It's not like he said, 'This is a holdup. I have a Timex watch. Hand over the money.'"

Mr. Mittelhauser said the jury could not pick and choose charges in the case. He said Mr. Gibbs is guilty of both robbing the bank and stealing the money, not one or the other. A robbery entails a threat of violence. Mr. Kaiser also argued that Mr. Gibbs was not resisting arrest when he jumped head-first through a bathroom window at the Sunset Motel as he ran from a state trooper. Mr. Kaiser said Trooper Nate Ahern opened Mr. Gibbs' hotel room door without knocking, scaring his client, who was high on crack. "Was he resisting arrest or was he just scared?" Mr. Kaiser asked.

Mr. Mittelhauser said Mr. Gibbs saw Sgt. Ahern and Sedalia Police Chief Ted Litschauer in their uniforms and knew they were attempting to arrest him as they struggled for three to four minutes. Mr. Mittelhauser rested his case after showing a more than two-hour taped police and an FBI interview with Mr. Gibbs. Mr. Kaiser called no witnesses, and Mr. Gibbs did not testify. Mr. Gibbs stole about $2,500 from U.S. Bank. Mr. Mittelhauser said the Sedalia Police Department recovered about $1,909. A total of $1,460 was found in Mr. Gibbs' shoe at the Pettis County Jail 12 days after his arrest. Mr. Mittelhauser said it appears Mr. Gibbs used the balance of the money to buy drugs. Mr. Gibbs' sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Cooper County Courthouse.

The Sedalia Democrat 4 November 2005
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Ahearn honored
SPENCER—Ahearn Equipment Inc., 460 Main St., was among three businesses of 100 nominated nationwide to win a Dealer in Excellence award at EXPO 2005, an industry trade show for outdoor power equipment dealers. With annual sales of $8 million, family owned Ahearn was recognized in the large company category by Yard & Garden magazine. The event was sponsored by The Ariens Cos., STIHL Inc. and the Equipment and Engine Training Council. Ahearn Equipment is owned by Timothy J. Ahearn and his wife, Donna M. Ahearn. They employ 30 people.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 4 November 2005
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Students walk against war
By foot and wheelchair, Bainbridge High School students joined more than 1,000 of their area peers at Wednesday's rally in Seattle to protest the war in Iraq and military recruitment on their campuses. The afternoon march marked the first anniversary of President Bush's re-election. It was organized by the group Youth Against War and Racism. BHS principal Brent Peterson estimated that 25 local students attended the march, which went from Westlake Center to the Capitol Hill Arts Building.

"Those students who did decide to participate at this youth rally did so in a manner that was not disruptive to activities here at BHS," Peterson said. "All students will be held to our regular attendance expectations, so if a student was absent without a parent excuse, they will be held accountable." Karen Ahern, who attended the protest with her 16-year-old daughter, Mariah, and a group of BHS teens, put the island representation at more than 30 students.

"Mariah came to me and said she wanted to participate. I was the token parent," said Ahern, a veteran of anti-war protests. "It was the right thing to do and I wanted to make sure that the march was safe." Ahern expected there to be some problems, but "everyone was so respectful and everything was great. It was a real educational experience and a lesson in learning how to be good citizens." All the students who participated had energy and passion, said Ahern, and they helped older folks and each other make it up Capitol Hill.

"The students are so astute. They were all really happy with the turnout. We think at least 2,000 students were there, with a ratio of maybe one adult to nine students," she said. Students focused on two issues: the war in Iraq and the presence of military recruiters on campus. "They are upset that education money is really being diverted for war," Ahern said. "They are afraid of inheriting a huge debt from an illegal war." For Mariah Ahern—a reporter on the school newspaper—the protest was "definitely worthwhile to get your voices heard. Having recruiters on campus once a month is horribly unfair. This brings attention to that." Mariah worked until 3 a.m. the day of the rally to have a petition ready to bring with her. The petition calls for limiting campus visits by military recruiters to a minimum number of times per school year and having counter-recruitment information available when they do visit. In addition, Mariah and her friend Jessie Ballou founded Conscious World, an on-campus organization that shares facts about recruitment and other social issues.

"We give people information and they can act accordingly," Mariah said. The students' discussions on the ferry ride back home showed Karen Ahern how well-informed they are about current events. "They're ashamed of our country. They feel like it might be too broken to be fixed," she said.

Bainbridge Island Review 5 November 2005
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Restaurant manager helped save building
He shut off gas as historic structure in Golden burned
GOLDEN—The grand dame of Golden's historic structures will survive thanks in part to a quick-thinking restaurant manager who shut off the gas before fire penetrated the roof and destroyed much of the second floor. "We are very committed to renovating," Skip Ahern, one of the partners who owns the red brick building, known as the Loveland Block in historic downtown Golden, said Friday. "It's a gem and we take our historical responsibilities very seriously."

Fire officials believe Thursday's fire started on the roof while roofing contractors were working on the building, but they don't plan to declare an official cause until early next week. A representative from United Master Roofers, the company doing the work, declined to comment or give his name. Ahern said United has worked for him on several buildings. He said the roofers were trying to fix several leaks. "They didn't do it intentionally. Accidents happen," Ahern said. In recent years, the building has housed the hopping Old Capitol Grill restaurant on the first floor and six office suites on the second floor. Tony Castillo, general manager for the Old Capitol Grill, moved quickly when one of his servers smelled smoke coming from a heating vent. Castillo immediately got his workers to escort about 10 customers outside. Then he shut off the gas to the grill and broiler, which may have prevented an explosion. Castillo ran upstairs three times to warn office workers, who at first didn't seem to think the fire was a big deal. "I said, 'You've got to get out of here. Something is burning.' I yelled at them three times to get out of there," Castillo said. Eventually, after prodding from Castillo and fire officials, all the workers got out, many carrying computer equipment and files. The businesses include landscape architects, an insurance company and investment brokers.

Melissa Birks, a compliance examiner for Omaha-based Securities America Inc., said her first hint something was wrong came when she and a co-worker noticed the windows seemed grimy. Birks looked down to the street and saw people looking up at the building. Then she saw the shadow of smoke and finally figured out there was a fire. "The fire alarm didn't go off until we left the building," Birks said.

On Friday, smoke still permeated the air downtown as Golden kicked off its holiday shopping season. Some of the 150-year-old bricks had fallen from the building's exterior, and a few windows dangled and flapped in the wind. The building is the last surviving structure with ties to Colorado's territorial government. From 1866 to 1867, lawmakers met on the second floor of the building. According to Golden historian Rick Gardner, legend has it that territorial Gov. John Evans then bribed a key lawmaker to vote to move the territorial capitol to Denver and Golden's legislative heyday ended. The building had been through an extensive renovation in 1993, but building code did not require sprinklers to be installed. Ahern plans to look into installing state-of-the-art fire mitigation technology during reconstruction that he estimated would take between six months and a year. From the outside, the building retained its historic charm, and structural engineers found that it was essentially sound. Workers were trying to shore up the walls so they could remove a corrugated metal roof that threatened to rip free in a powerful wind. On the inside, charred roof beams sagged and melted metal gave the appearance of eerie swinging sculptures.

For Ahern, the damage inside was a bleak reminder of a monumental disaster. "It's awful. It looks like 9/11 in miniature. I was in the Pentagon two days after 9/11 and obviously that was much bigger," he said. Ahern was grateful that everyone escaped the blaze. Credit for getting people out goes both to the workers inside and to the volunteer fire officials. A truck was on the scene within three minutes of the first call at 3:31 p.m. Castillo spent Friday morning trying to reassure the restaurant's 30 employees that they would be OK. His voice raspy from smoke inhalation, he told workers that the restaurant's owner, who lives in Arizona, would try to take care of them. Castillo was handing out paychecks Friday. Already, he said, other employers have emerged to offer temporary work to the restaurant staff. "A lot of people are offering to help, so that's good news," Castillo said. Sabrina Henderson, public information officer for the Golden Fire Department and the city of Golden, said that as bad as the fire was, there were several positive factors.

Rocky Mountain News 5 November 2005
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Blanche Valliere celebrated her 107th birthday last week at the Hunt Nursing and Retirement Home in Danvers. Born Nov 2, 1898, she grew up in Lynn and was the first woman in the city to get a driver's license. Among her accomplishments, she counts placing third in the Miss Revere beauty pageant. A seamstress, she was married to Charles Valliere for more than 50 years, and the couple loved to dance. She also traveled around the world with her nephew Toby Ahern. Valliere, who has lived at the retirement home since 1996, celebrated her birthday with staff and received a visit from Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis.
The Boston Globe 10 November 2005
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School district pulls slave-era folk song from concert
BERKLEY—The Berkley School District has pulled a song about cotton-picking from a school concert after a parent complained it glorified slavery. The song, "Pick a Bale of Cotton," was among several selections planned for folk music choir concert at Berkley High on Wednesday. Choir student China Montgomery and her father, Greg Montgomery—who are African-American—objected to the song last week and asked to have it pulled from the program, but the district initially refused. Montgomery then pulled his daughter from the concert.

"We never wanted to cause this much distress for a child or her family," said district spokeswoman Gwen Ahearn. The Montgomerys were pleased by the news. "I feel it was a wise decision. We felt the song was insensitive. It shouldn't have come to this," said Greg Montgomery. "There's no animosity or ill feelings toward the district. The right decision was made, and that's all that's important." Montgomery said he will allow his daughter to preform in the choir concert Wednesday at Berkley High School now that the song has been pulled from the program. Ahearn said Superintendent Tresa Zumsteg was unaware of the controversy last week and decided Monday to pull the song. "She came in this morning and said she's pulling it," Ahearn said. "It was a big surprise to us that it had become an issue." Ahearn defended the decision to originally include the song in the concert by 30 choir students, six of whom are African-American. "(The teacher) did not pick this song with the intention of offending anyone. Folk music is like an oral history" that often portrays the struggles of its era, she said. "They're more laments." The song's lyrics included "Jump down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton. Gotta jump down, turn around, Oh Lordie, pick a bale a day." The show will continue as planned Wednesday without the controversial song.

The Detroit News 14 November 2005
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Grief and heartbreak as accidents claim the lives of two young men
People in the county were left reeling this week after the tragic death of two popular young men in road accidents. Tony Ahern (26) from New Ross and James O'Leary (21) from Rathnure tragically lost their lives in recent days leaving their families and friends heartbroken and their wider communities shocked and deeply saddened. Hundreds of mourners turned out in New Ross on Sunday morning to bid a final farewell to Tony Ahern from Ard Mhicil who lost his life in a two-car collision at Artramon, Castlebridge, shortly after 7 a.m. on Thursday.
Wexford People 17 November 2005
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Watson, Ahern honored by Mass. Hall of Fame
BRUNSWICK—Bowdoin College hockey owned the spotlight at the 11th Annual Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame Ceremony on Tuesday in Boston. The event, which was hosted by Bowdoin alumni Dale Arnold (Class of '79) at the TD Banknorth Garden, featured the induction of longtime Bowdoin head coach Sidney Watson and former Polar Bear player Fred Ahern '74. Ahern, a forward, grew up playing in the South Boston Youth Hockey League, attended Boston Technical High School and went on to Bowdoin. After leaving Bowdoin in 1974, he signed as a free agent with the California Seals and became the first player from South Boston and the city of Boston to play in the NHL. Playing a total of 146 NHL games from 1975-1978, Ahern scored 31 goals and had 30 assists. After retiring, he returned to the Boston area and is currently the director of the James M. Curley Recreation Center in South Boston.
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According to the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame, nominees shall be chosen on the basis of accomplishments in the game of hockey, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to his or her teams or organizations in college, amateur or professional hockey, or on international teams representing the United States. Each nominee must have distinguished himself or herself by exceptional performance and outstanding character reflecting favorably upon the game of hockey in Massachusetts, be in good public standing in the community, an appropriate role model for young hockey players and an exemplary representative of the game of hockey.
The Times Record 17 November 2005
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Woman seeks new trial in newborn death
SHEBOYGAN, Wis.—A woman sentenced to life in prison for killing her newborn after giving birth at work is seeking a new trial because a juror said she was pressured to go along with a guilty verdict. Jennifer L. Wery, 24, was convicted in 2004 of first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Juror June O'Hearn of Sheboygan said she wanted to convict Wery of first-degree reckless homicide, which carries a less stringent penalty. O'Hearn said other jurors pressured her to change her vote. "[There was]ours and hours of, 'Your verdict is not right,"' O'Hearn said Wednesday. "'You should explain to us why you want to vote this way.' "They were yelling, they were screaming, they were saying, 'We want to get out of here."'

Jury foreman Roger Sinnen of Random Lake said jurors were upset but not unruly. "Obviously, people were getting pretty uptight. We were sitting in there a long time, but I didn't think it got out of control at any point," he said. Wery will ask for a new trial during a hearing Dec. 2 in Sheboygan County Circuit Court. Her attorney, Elizabeth Ewald-Herrick, filed a motion claiming O'Hearn lied when she told Judge L. Edward Stengel she agreed with the verdict when he polled the jury. District Attorney Joe DeCecco said other jurors may have pressured O'Hearn, but that's the nature of the process. "That's a part of jury deliberations and it's not reviewable by the court," DeCecco said. "It's as simple as that. "Juries go in there, they have to come up with a decision and there's a lot of give and take and there's a lot of emotion. She voted guilty—period—and she said that was her vote."

According to a criminal complaint, Wery gave birth Jan. 19, 2004, in a bathroom stall at Pentair Inc., a water treatment products factory where she worked. She testified she hid her pregnancy, didn't mean to kill the baby and only stuck pieces of plastic in the infant's mouth to quiet her. Prosecutors said she knew her actions would kill the baby. Wery pleaded not guilty by reason of a mental disease. The jury was told to consider verdicts on first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide. Wery faced 60 years in prison on the reckless homicide charge. The jury reached its verdict Sept. 1, 2004. The next day, the jury determined Wery was sane at the time of the crime. Before deliberations on Sept. 2, 2004, O'Hearn told Sinnen she lied when she said she agreed with the first guilty verdict. Sinnen told the judge, the prosecutor and Wery's trial attorney, Ralph Sczygelski. Sczygelski said he could do nothing about it. "A juror can't come back the next day and say, 'Oh judge, I change my mind,"' Sczygelski said. "There's a statute that essentially says that the content of jury deliberations is irrelevant as far as post-conviction motions and that kind of thing." Wery was sentenced to a life prison term with no possibility of parole for 20 years.

Janesville Gazette 25 November 2005
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Shannon Airport celebrated passenger numbers passing the three million mark for the year, the first time this has happened. Laura Ahern from Cobh reached the milestone for a flight to Atlanta yesterday. She was presented with return flights to New York from Delta Airlines and a €500 shopping voucher.
Irish Examiner 26 November 2005
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Cathedral collection box thief jailed
A DRUG addict who stole a collecting box from Worcester Cathedral has been jailed for 12 months. Louise Ahern left her fingerprints on the box which contained donations of up to £20. She also breached two drug treatment orders, obtained a bogus refund from a Worcester shop and helped her boyfriend after he escaped from an open prison. Ahern, formerly of Broad Street, Worcester, and now of River Leys, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to theft, deception and assisting a prisoner. Judge John Cavell said she should feel a sense of shame for stealing from the Cathedral. Ahern claimed she only went into the Cathedral to light a candle for someone in November last year, Worcester Crown Court heard. But she then breached the first drug treatment order and went into the kitchen shop Lakeland in Worcester where she obtained £45 by pretending she had lost a receipt for a rug which she took from a display. Two days later she tried the same trick again, said Laura Kasasian, prosecuting. But suspicious staff alerted police and she was arrested in the street.

Ahern also stole toiletries worth £45 from Superdrug and a £39 play station game from HMV in Worcester after failing to comply with a second drug testing order. Miss Kasasian said Ahern joined her boyfriend on a boat in Gloucester docks after he disappeared from Leyhill prison. She also gave him refuge at her flat. Defence counsel Tim Pole said although she failed under the drug orders, she had made progress while on remand in jail. She was now drug-free and the future was bright. All her offending had been due to drug addiction, he added.

Worcester Standard 1 December 2005
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The historic Old Manse of Concord will be the site for several holiday festivities, beginning Saturday with Karen Ahearn of Acton as a costumed interpreter reading "Tales From Holidays Past" from 2 to 4 p.m.
The Boston Globe 1 December 2005
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Worming out of a problem
On a patch of dairy country near Korumburra, a delicate and unprecedented operation has been taking place. A group of threatened giant Gippsland earthworms, living in the path of a planned road, is being moved. It is the first time scientists have tried to move an entire colony of the creatures, which can grow up to 1.5 metres long. On the last day of the operation yesterday, the team declared their mission a success, having moved more than 600. However, there was a 20 per cent mortality rate. Alan Yen, the Department of Primary Industries' statewide leader of invertebrate sciences, has been co-ordinating the project. Dr Yen said it was difficult to find the worms before digging. Ultrasound didn't work, "so we just had to roll our sleeves up. Sometimes, when you are close, you can hear them digging through the ground. It sounds a bit like a toilet flushing."

For two months, a dozen people have been carefully extricating the worms from their burrows, which spread over 25 square metres and can be up to two metres deep. It's a task requiring the steady hand of a surgeon—a worm will bleed to death if cut and, in some cases, it has taken diggers more than an hour to chip soil away from around them. Zoologist Lee Ahern said removing them from their tunnels had been a challenge. "Sometimes there can be a few in the same place and it's like snakes and ladders," he said. Mr. Ahern said the worms, found exclusively in a 30-square-kilometre area in Gippsland, behaved more like vertebrates than invertebrates, having a long life cycle and low birth rates. "Working with these animals is fabulous."

The move, about 500 metres uphill from their original home, has given scientists a chance to collect data. Each worm was weighed and measured to help determine age and life expectancy before being carried in trays to newly dug plots. Invertebrate ecologist Beverley Van Praagh, who dedicated her PhD to the species, said the worms aerated soil and helped water flow. But their value was not just in their practicality. "Some have more character than others, we had one quite aggressive one," she said. "Normally they are very gentle, graceful animals. They are, I think, quite beautiful."

The Age 2 December 2005
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Bridgett Luther, Timothy Ahern
Bridgett Leigh Luther and Timothy Christopher Ahern were married yesterday at Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. The Rev. Dr. Laird J. Stuart, a Presbyterian minister, officiated. Ms. Luther, 50, is keeping her name. She is the director of the California Department of Conservation, in Sacramento. She graduated from Vanderbilt University. She is a daughter of Capt. Ronald B. Luther of Newport Beach, Calif., and the late Barbara Luther. Her father, a former Marine pilot in Cherry Point, N.C., now is the president of Luther Needlesafe Products, a medical devices company in Irvine, Calif.

Mr. Ahern, 57, is the director of media relations for the Trust for Public Land, a conservation group, in San Francisco. From 1998 to 2001 he was the press secretary for Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. The bridegroom graduated from California State University, Sacramento. He is a son of the late June and John J. Ahern. His mother retired as a first-grade teacher at the Grand Oaks Elementary School in Citrus Heights, Calif. His father retired as a corrections officer at Folsom State Prison in Represa, Calif.

The bridegroom's previous marriage ended in divorce, as did the bride's. Ms. Luther met Mr. Ahern at a Trust for Public Land workshop in San Francisco in June 2002, when she was working for the organization in Charlotte, N.C. They and others in the workshop went out for dinner, and Ms. Luther and Mr. Ahern began to talk about what they did before joining the group. When Mr. Ahern said he had been press secretary to Mr. Babbitt, she remembered saying to him, "You must be a Democrat." "Yes, hard core," was his reply, he recalled. At which point he found out that she was a long-term and equally hard-core Republican. ("She has a picture on the refrigerator of herself in high school campaigning for Nixon-Agnew," Mr. Ahern noted.) Their differences did not stop her from seeking Mr. Ahern's help in garnering public attention for a park the trust was creating in Princeville, N.C. "The town, one of the first communities founded by freed slaves in the South after the Civil War, had been devastated by Hurricane Floyd in 1999," she said, adding, "I was so desperate for help that was I was even willing to talk to a Democrat." Their work together sparked a long-distance romance that fall and in January 2003 led them to move together to California.

New York Times 4 December 2005
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A lack of cents
By Brian McGrory
This is a little story, really. If you're looking for an epic tale or an outsized moral quandary or a penetrating analysis of important civic affairs, then you're in the wrong place. Of course, you probably knew that already. This is a story about an MBTA bus gliding to a stop in the rush-hour dusk of Davis Square. It was Monday, 4 p.m., and a nice young woman had been waiting for 20 minutes in the freezing cold with her three children after a visit to their pediatrician. The woman's name is Tina Ahern, and, as she tells it, the kids stood up excitedly when they saw the bus, for no other reason than, ''you know, they're kids and it's the bus."

The bus stopped. Ahern led the way. Her daughter is 11; her sons are 6 and 4. They fumbled on board, holding hands. Ahern put $1.35 in the fare box: 90 cents for her and 45 cents for her daughter. The younger boys, she thought, rode for free. It was the exact amount she had paid earlier that afternoon to get to Davis Square. The bus driver, an older guy with white hair and a foul attitude, snapped at her that ''you didn't pay." Ahern corrected him, pointing out that she had paid for her and her daughter. ''He said, 'No, you owe me more money,' " she said. She quickly learned that children 5 and older must pay a fare. She fidgeted through her pockets, but found no other change, having just spent it all in a vending machine to get her kids a snack. She explained to the driver that she had no other money. ''He said, 'Well, one of them has to get off the bus,' " Ahern told me, her voice growing incredulous as she related the story. ''I looked at him and said, 'You mean to tell me that you think I'm going to have one of my children get off the bus?' ''He said, 'You have to pay like everyone else.' "

The bus was crowded. A woman stood in line behind Ahern with a child in a stroller, also waiting to get on board. Ahern, flustered, asked for her $1.35 back. The driver said there was nothing he could do. So, having no idea what else to do, Ahern turned around and led her children off the bus. Once on the street, Ahern burst into tears. The bus pulled away with a long sigh. ''The kids were asking why the bus driver was angry with me," Ahern recounted. ''I said there are angry people in the world. We need to pray for them so they'll be happy." So they walked, taking over an hour to travel the 1.3 miles home, Ahern and her daughter alternately carrying the 4-year-old boy.

Ahern concedes that she didn't pay enough money. She knows that part of it was her fault. ''It was a mistake on my part," she said. But is this really what it's come to at the T, humiliating a young mother and her kids over 45 cents? I have not a moment of doubt that the vast majority of T operators are kind and courteous. I've seen them myself, joking with riders, helping them, understanding the vagaries of everyday life. But a few weeks ago, after a column about rude subway passengers who don't offer pregnant women their seats, more than a few people complained to me not just about fellow riders, but about surly T workers. Yesterday, the MBTA's general manager, Dan Grabauskas, said, ''Nobody wants to have a mother and a couple of kids not get on a bus for lack of a small amount of money." The T confirmed through the driver that an incident occurred, though the driver said he didn't kick the family off the bus. Grabauskas pointed out that the T has a rule that operators are to avoid confrontations with riders. ''This was certainly not the norm," he said. ''It's not what we're about." I'm certain he's right. But as I think about Tina Ahern walking in the cold with her three kids, I'm starting to wonder whether these situations aren't as isolated as he thinks.

The Boston Globe 9 December 2005
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Citizen soldiers return home
BENNINGTON—About 40 members of Charlie Company stood at attention in the Bennington Armory when a familiar sound, a cell-phone ring, broke the uneasy silence and elicited chuckles from those who came out to see their citizen soldiers back from Kuwait. After the soldiers were officially released from duty, a great cheer—"Hooaah!"—came up from the crowd. The Vermont National Guard soldiers have returned from a year-long deployment in the Middle East, where most of them served on military bases in Kuwait, and look forward to spending the holiday season with their families. At a ceremony several hours earlier in South Burlington, a National Guard band played "I'll Be Home For Christmas" as the first of the state's 600 soldiers returned home after supporting the war effort in Iraq.
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Master Sgt. John Ahearn of Bennington was holding one of his daughters, Colleen, for the first time in several months. She and her sisters want Ahearn to go sledding and cut down a Christmas tree this weekend. "We came from an area where there's no indication that it's Christmas time," he said. "It's great to have that holiday spirit again."

Unlike Vermont or New England, Ahearn said, the landscape in Kuwait was entirely sand or the color of sand. "I painted our room that color," his wife, Karen, said with a laugh. Ahearn managed a dining facility at Camp Navistar, located less than a mile from the Iraqi border. "You would hear gunfire," he said. "But the fighting was a good distance away."

Bennington Banner 17 December 2005
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Brendon Stalcup, 5, the son of Boston Municipal Police Sergeant Karen Ahern, helped his mother distribute presents to the homeless on Boston Common yesterday. Among the recipients were Gary Brooks and Laurie Schulte. Gifts included blankets, gloves, and toothbrushes.
The Boston Globe 25 December 2005
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WESTERLY—Holding a warm pistol, Lara Dennis stares down at the body of Jason Buckley. Lying bloodied on the living room stairs, his abdomen holds the gushing gash of a bullet hole. Nearby, a bag of cocaine lies spilled across a toppled piano bench. A knock sounds at the door. Stephanie Castaldi enters. "I called the police," she admits fearfully. "You did what?," said Dennis, twisting her face in horror as her finger itches the gun's trigger.


Watching the murder unfold from a black-and-white video monitor, 20-year-old Dan Dowding stops to discuss the next scene with 19-year-old Charles Ahern of Westerly and cameraman Alex Winter of Boston. The 20-year-old Westerly High School alumnus—now a sophomore at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia—finished the final string of scenes of his latest film, "It Became Obsession," at Ahern's home on Seabury Drive last week. The team continues to film over the next half-hour, shooting the scene from different angles to capture the expression on Dennis' face and her thin image reflected in the window of a dining room cabinet.

"Obsession" is a film about a woman whose life spirals out of control after her fiancé leaves her. The movie—which is written and directed by Dowding—stars Ahern; Buckley, 20, of West Kingston; Castaldi, 22, of Westerly; and Dennis, 19, of Norwell, Mass. Dowding—who has been making films with Ahern since high school—said the film took about $700 in out-of-pocket expenses and hundreds of hours of time to shoot. He and Ahern used a cache of equipment—about $10,000 in lighting, microphones and wires—that they have accrued over the last six years for their filmmaking efforts, he said. The duo even scored an authentic police uniform from Ahern's relative Glenn—a patrolman for the Hopkinton Police Department—with the blessing of Police Chief John S. Scuncio.

Earlier this year, Dowding and Ahern shot "The Day the World Changed"—a short feature that follows a police officer haunted by the search for his wife's murderer. Its scenes were captured at various locations throughout Westerly—including Wilcox Park and downtown High Street—over the summer. Dowding said he plans to return to school next month to take classes in art history and storyboard production, and looks forward to the school's annual 24-hour film festival in which participants have just one day to film, edit and score a complete work. "It was more of an art school than a university," he said of his decision to enroll at Savannah two years ago. "You get to study painting, drawing and 3-D color design as opposed to sciences and math, and they have such a variety of equipment to offer their students. Hopefully, I'll be shooting on 35mm film by the time I'm a senior."

Filmed digitally, Dowding said he plans to finishing editing and soundtrack work for "Obsession" early next year and submit the movie to local film events. A video trailer for [the] movie—which is rated "R"—is available at Dowding's Web site (

The Westerly Sun 26 December 2005
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Wren Boys Festival comes of age in Dublin after 21 years
Sprightly 90-year-old musician Vincent Cooney claimed the venerable stakes on age grounds. Four-month-old Genevieve Collins slept through, watched over by her mother Deirdre and parents, Mary and Derry O'Donovan. Lord Mayor Catherine Byrne, on her inaugural visit to the event, was reminded sponsorship is necessary if the Wren Festival is to survive at Sandymount Green. But founder member Tom Aherne, from Clane, Co Kildare, was defiant the Wren tradition is here to stay. The charity to benefit from the proceeds is the Holy Family Maternity Hospital in Bethlehem, situated 500 yards from the traditional site of the birth of Jesus, and run by the Order of Malta. Despite all the political upheavals, no expectant mother has ever been told there is "no room". Since 1990 more than 25,000 babies have been born there.

Meanwhile, up to 250 colourfully dressed wren boys paraded through the streets of Dingle, Co Kerry, keeping alive the St Stephen's Day tradition. Four local groups, marching to fife and drum music, went around the town shortly after lunchtime. The Green and Gold was the biggest group in Dingle. Others were John Street, Goat Street and the Quay, which was making a return to the scene this year. Wren boys were attired in costumes that included old pyjamas and straw skirts, and all their faces were masked. The morning was spent getting dressed up in local pubs and tuning musical instruments.

"We've four very good groups, proving that the 'wran' tradition is still very strong in Dingle," said Fergus Flaherty, of the Green and Gold. "People often wonder why the 'wran' has survived so well here and the reason could probably be put down to the healthy rivalry between the groups. "This is an unbroken tradition dating back to the 1880s at least, another reason for its survival," Mr Flaherty added. Most groups collected for charities, but the Green and Gold raised money for the controversial campaign to have Dingle known as Dingle/Daingean Uí Chuis rather than An Daingean, as has been officially decided by Gaeltacht Minister Eamon Ó Cuiv. A new 20-strong group in black clothes, wellington boots and King Kong masks took to the streets of Dingle yesterday. Also some of the wren boys visited the local hospital to entertain patients. Last night, the action switched to the pubs in the town. Wren boys were also out in other parts of Kerry, especially in the Listowel area of the county, and also in west Limerick.

Irish Examiner 27 December 2005
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LiveWell program lives on:
Program to continue as long as folks want to be healthy
Terry Ahern can cover miles without leaving the comfort of her own home. Ahern, this month's LiveWell winner, is now the proud owner of a stationary exercise bicycle from Health Styles exercise equipment. Ahern's postcard was randomly selected from the zillions of postcards submitted by people sticking with the LiveWell program forever, or until they're so healthy they're immortal, whichever comes first.

Ahern is a R.N. with Primary Care Partners where she's the diabetes care manager. Every day she deals with people who lived on the nutritional equivalent of chocolate soda and candy bars, then have the nerve to wonder why their health is headed south. The LiveWell program, she says, is one way to help change that sort of self-destructive behavior. "This could potentially be great for this community," said Ahern. "It encourages people to change their behavior in several small ways. "The steps to better health are small decisions, small changes, which add up to overall better living." LiveWell helps facilitate that with all kinds of events, classes, seminars, books and basically giving people an excuse to bust their bohiney off the Barcalounger and perambulate with their people—get up and walk around with other folks.

Grand Junction Free Press 28 December 2005
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This page copyright © 2005-2013 by Dennis Ahern.
This page was last updated 30 March 2013.