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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2007

Sergeant Karen Ahern gave officer Fred Coriano a hug yesterday on their last day with the Municipal Police Department. She had been on the force 10 years.
For municipal police, it's the end of the line
City merges division with Boston department
Sergeant Karen Ahern had turned in her gun, her baton, and her riot gear. She saw no reason yesterday to don the navy uniform she had worn for 10 years as a Boston municipal police officer. It no longer had any meaning. Her last shift was to end at midnight yesterday , the same time the armed division of the Boston Municipal Police Department, a 25-year-old institution headquartered in Dorchester, would close. Ahern and about 30 other officers would be out of a job, while 33 of their colleagues would head to the Boston Police Department, which accepted them last month after they passed background checks and physical and psychological exams. Yesterday, Ahern, dressed in jeans and sneakers, spent her shift turning in other officers' equipment to her managers and hugging colleagues as they left. Her time on the obstacle course in a physical agility test had been 13 seconds too slow. "It's just a really gloomy day," she said.

The city's police department has been forced to absorb the officers after Mayor Thomas M. Menino ordered a merger with the municipal police as an economical way to supply the city with patrol officers. The human resources division of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance approved the transfer of the 33 officers, according to a Dec. 28 letter to the city's department of human resources. The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, which also opposes the merger on the basis that municipal officers were hired without taking the civil service test every Boston police officer has had to pass, plans to appeal that decision, a lawyer for the union said yesterday.

Joe Coppinger , a leader of the Boston Municipal Patrolmen's Association, said he would call on the state Civil Service Commission to transfer to the police department the 31 officers who were not accepted. Coppinger , who failed the psychological exam, said the background checks and tests administered were unfair and that the union has hired a lawyer to fight the city's decision. He said the union plans to obtain the support of the city council and the public by telling community leaders that Boston streets will be less safe with 31 fewer armed police officers. Other union members vowed to fight Menino's decision. "I'm ready for the long haul," said Patrolman Ric Alfred Jr. , who said he had been rejected because of a restraining order filed against him in 2003 that was later rescinded. "It's going to get nasty. It's going to get hot."

Dorothy Joyce , Menino's spokeswoman, defended the decision to merge. "The city will be as safe," she said. "The duties that were done by the municipal police are now the responsibilities of the Boston police force. We did this as an effort to put more money into the Boston Police Department instead of sharing the resources." She said those officers who failed the tests and background checks could reapply in April or take jobs as unarmed security officers in the city. "There will be no one unemployed unless they choose to be," Joyce said.

But becoming an unarmed officer is unappealing because they make about $200 less than armed patrol officers, whose top weekly pay is $891 , said Coppinger , who was set to become president of the municipal officers' union at midnight. He said he would accept a security position because he needs health insurance. "It's either that or collect unemployment," he said. He said the union hired a psychologist who had evaluated the municipal officers who failed the Boston Police Department's psychological exam. The union psychologist determined that the officers are fit to serve, Coppinger said. The physical agility test discriminated against older officers, he said. "If the roles were reversed, half of the Boston Police Department wouldn't have made it to the Boston municipal department," he said.

Joyce said the municipal officers had months to prepare for the tests. "Boston police officers who go on leave for any type of injury have to retake the same type of physical examinations, including people who are older," she added. She noted that the rejected municipal officers are at the top of hiring lists the state has sent out to other police departments. But Coppinger said they could be rejected again if they fail those departments' tests or background checks. "You're guaranteed to go through the hiring process," he said, "but you're not guaranteed to get hired."

Ahern, 35, suggested other departments might stigmatize those who failed the city's criteria, saying: "Are other departments going to say, 'You didn't make it to Boston police. You think we're going to take you?' "

The Boston Globe 1 January 2007
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Away from the manger: Thieves steal baby Jesus, sheep from St. Mary's nativity scene
Thieves and vandals have taken aim at a Brookline Village church this holiday season, stealing baby Jesus and a sheep from its manger, and trashing planters outside the church doors. The rash of robberies began about two weeks before Christmas when a sheep was noticed missing from the nativity scene on St. Mary's of the Assumption's lawn on Dec. 14. When the Rev. Jack Ahern, pastor of St. Mary's, left on the evening of Dec. 13, all was right at the Linden Street church, but by the next morning, the manger was missing a sheep. The low stone wall that surrounds that elevated lawn was not enough to dissuade the robbers. "People just think it's a kids' prank," said Ahern, who reported the missing sheep to Brookline Police on Dec. 14. "An ugly prank."

Selectwoman Nancy Daly, a longtime parishioner, said the incident doesn't diminish her enjoyment of Christmas, but called the theft "mean-spirited." "I think the meaning of Christmas is inside the church, but I can understand that this really upsets people," Daly said. Just two weeks later, thieves struck again and stole the baby Jesus. Parishioners and staff found him missing on Dec. 29 and reported to the police. Police suggest the same culprit could be responsible for both manger nabbings. "I would assume that it's one in the same kid or kids who did this," Police Capt. John O'Leary said. "It could just be a prank." O'Leary noted a statewide spate of stolen baby Jesus figures at Christmastime this year, including one in West Roxbury. "I think they see this on TV, it makes a splash in the news and they think ĎLet's do that,' Daly said of the thieves. "It's really unfortunate."

Ahern said the same sheep and cherubic Christ sat cozily sat in the manger every Christmas since he arrived at St. Mary's 13 years ago. "The kids are just so disappointed," Ahern said. "They usually make a big deal of it when they come out. "Some of the kids thought maybe he was taken because it was too cold out," Ahern added with a disappointed laugh.

Parishioner Hank Hryniewicz, who first heard about the theft in an announcement at Mass, said if it was a prank, it was a "lousy" one at that. "I think it's pretty sad that someone would stoop to such a level," Hryniewicz said. "Not that I can justify any kind of vandalism, but that's a pretty low act." Meanwhile, two large planters outside the church doors were found "pulverized" on New Year's Day, Ahern said. Parishioners who left St. Mary's at 11:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve noticed that the planters were intact then. Like the thefts, the vandalism was reported to police. O'Leary, who said following national headlines of stolen baby Jesus figures, police at first believed it to be a copycat incident — but now wonder why the planters were smashed. It's also not clear, O'Leary said, why St. Mary's was targeted. He's not aware of any other churches that reported thefts of vandalism as of late, which leaves the church wondering what happened, and whether it will occur again. "People are just sick about it," Ahern said. The two missing figures cost an estimated $200-$250 each, and the planters run $500 each, according to Ahern.

Brookline TAB 4 January 2007
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John and Breeda Aherne, Leixlip, wish to announce the engagement of their daughter Ashling to Damien, son of Robert and Anne Ellis, Sallins.
The Irish Times 20 January 2007
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Four charged over armed robbery
Four men have been charged over an armed robbery in a Melbourne Tattslotto newsagency last night. Police say one was armed with a handgun during a robbery of a Gaffney Street newsagency in Coburg, in Melbourne's north, about 7pm (AEDT) yesterday. The men allegedly stole a large sum of cash before fleeing in a stolen red Commodore which was later found dumped in Vincent Street, Coburg. The four men were arrested nearby, police said. Detectives have charged Dwayne Matthews, 28, of Reservoir, Frank Waghorn, 53, of Preston, Dennis Ahern, 29, of Bundoora and William Ahern, 33, also of Bundoora, over the incident. The men have been remanded to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court tomorrow.
News Digital Media 21 January 2007
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Sarah L. O'Hearn, 22, of 48 Longview Terrace, Marshfield, pleaded innocent to a charge of Oxycontin possession. She was released on her promise to return to court March 20. Marshfield police charged O'Hearn on Jan. 16.
The Patriot Ledger 22 January 2007
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Danvers students named to NSCC dean's list
DANVERS—The following Danvers students were named to the dean's list for the fall semester at North Shore Community College.
 . . . Heather Ahern, Amory N. Ahern,  . . . 
The Salem News 24 January 2007
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Ahern: I was just keeping tabs on Rose, not stalking
Democrat Brian Ahern, who has been accused of stalking Rep. Ray Rose, R-Montrose, around the state Capitol this week, said the assertions that he has been following the Western Slope lawmaker are simply not true. Rose told The Daily Sentinel on Wednesday he had seen Ahern following him around the Capitol, causing him to believe his safety might be in jeopardy. Citing Ahern's June arrest on suspicion of domestic violence and menacing, Rose said Ahern has "proven himself to be a violent person (and) that gives me cause for concern."

Ahern said he has been at the Capitol during the week, meeting with Democratic lawmakers and friends, but he said he was not stalking Rose or following the Montrose lawmaker in any way. Ahern admitted he had been keeping tabs on Rose and the lawmaker's committee and floor votes. "I do want to know what he's up to and what he's voting on issues," Ahern said, citing his right to know what's going in the Legislature. Ahern said he thought Rose was simply trying to "get headlines" by making a big deal out of his presence at the Capitol. "I'm just floored. I have no idea where Ray came up with this," Ahern said. "He shouldn't flatter himself. There are plenty of other lawmakers who are more interesting than Ray."

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Jeff Goodwin said Wednesday he was aware that Rose had asked a member of the Capitol security detail to intervene when Ahern came in contact with the lawmaker. Goodwin said nothing resulted from that conversation. Ahern said The Daily Sentinel's coverage of the "alleged" confrontation between himself and Rose was perpetuating the rumors that have forced him to move off the Western Slope and to the Front Range. "I moved down to Denver to get away from this (expletive)," Ahern said. Citing press coverage of his run-ins with the law, including his court files from his ongoing domestic violence case, Ahern said he was the victim of "being a Democrat in a predominantly Republican district."

Ahern claimed the arrest affidavit from the alleged domestic violence incident was illegally released to the media, including The Daily Sentinel. Ahern's arrest affidavit was not sealed by a judge and, under Colorado's open-records laws, it is open to the public either through the police department or the court clerk's office. When confronted with the fact that those court records are open to the public, Ahern persisted in his claims, comparing his prosecution to the recent controversial, botched Duke University lacrosse team rape prosecution. Rose defeated Ahern in the November election, garnering 16,408 votes to Ahern's 9,871.

Grand Junction Sentinel 25 January 2007

By Brian Ahern
January 28, 2007 04:35 PM
Since both Ray Rose, and Trooper Goodwin denied this ever happened and simply was not true, I have reuqested [sic] a formal apology from Rep Rose. It would the responsible thing to do for the Grand Junction daily sentinel too set the record straight with a correction or retraction. The Montrose daily press News Editor Katharhynn Heidelberg quoted the State Patrol spokesmen as saying "It's not something that even came out of my mouth" referring to your article and subsequent followup article.
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Ahern, Rose deny altercation reports
DENVER—The conflict between Montrose Rep. Ray Rose and his former opponent might still be simmering, but did not result in an altercation, both sides say. Rose initially told the Daily Press Tuesday of concerns prompted by the presence of his former Democratic opponent, Brian Ahern, at the state Capitol building. Rose said Placerville resident Ahern, with whom he fought a bitter campaign, seemed to be far from home and without apparent business at the statehouse. "Mr. Ahern has been in the Capitol today and has been around observing my actions," Rose told the Daily Press Tuesday. At the time, he said it prompted enough concern to trigger certain security measures.

Ahern was again at the Capitol Wednesday. Rose said Thursday he'd been in the public gallery and attended one of his committee meetings. "It's perfectly acceptable and legal," Rose said. "He has every right to be there." Ahern, a former Marine, said he was at the statehouse because it was veteran's appreciation day. "I've been in Denver the last two weeks. There's a bunch of things going through committee that I wanted to watch," he said, expressing interest in a session on water quality and Rose's voting record in that regard.

While at the Capitol, Ahern said he visited other legislators and a staff member from Gov. Bill Ritter's office. "I've got friends in the House of Representatives and Senate and people in the governor's office that I know. Nobody else seemed to think that I'm a violent man and they needed to have security follow me.  . . . Yes, I was in the same room as Ray Rose, but so were several other people. He totally trumped this up."

The two men sparred on the campaign trail, when Rose brought up Ahern's arrest on allegations of menacing and domestic violence involving Ahern's fiancé. October proceedings ended in a mistrial because of alleged defense counsel conduct, but charges remain in effect after Ahern's attorney unsuccessfully argued for dismissal on grounds of double jeopardy. Rose previously said the allegations reflected poorly on Ahern's character; Ahern said Rose's mention of the case during September's Club 20 debates had been politically motivated.

Both men denied reports of a verbal altercation at the Capitol, as did a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol, which operates the executive security unit at the Capitol. "There was no verbal confrontation whatsoever," Rose said. "I've spoken to him once as we passed in the hallway. That's been our only contact. My only contact was, I spoke to him. I just said, 'Hi, Brian.' If he responded, I didn't hear him." Ahern said he ran into Rose and greeted him. "That was it. We said hi to each other. I don't care about Ray Rose."

The executive security unit handles security at the Capitol and for the governor's family. CSP Sgt. Jeff Goodwin said he was not aware of a confrontation and denied mentioning one to other media. "I know that has stirred the pot, to say the least," he said. "It's created a lot of firestorm. It's not something that even came out of my mouth. If it came from somebody else, that's fine. "There has been no conflict of record. We've never responded to an incident. Nothing like that has ever occurred." Goodwin said the unit would have responded if a threat had been made. "We would have contacted Brian and done our usual checks and balances before making a decision," he said. "But that never occurred."

Rose said his initial concerns had diminished. Since Tuesday, he said he learned Ahern might have moved to Denver. "Then he has reason to be here. That's fine. My cause for concern has diminished. When I believed he still lived in Telluride, it gave me rise for question. When you question, there is reason for concern." Ahern said he hasn't moved to Denver, but that he and fiancé were planning to have their baby there. "We came here to have a little privacy while we enjoy the time we're first-time parents," he said. Ahern said he felt excluded from the Capitol. "It's no one's fault but pretty much Ray Rose's, for creating this entire story. I think there is a formal apology to me that is owed by Ray Rose."

Montrose Daily Press 26 January 2007
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Former premier humbled
ONE of Queensland's most respected political and business leaders, former National Party premier Mike Ahern, has been made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO). Mr Ahern's recognition will attract applause across the political spectrum, an acknowledgement of the widely held view that he is a "good bloke".

Mr Ahern, born at the dairy township of Maleny just north of Brisbane and brought up on the family dairy farm, was the first National Party minister to have a university degree. He served in the Bjelke-Petersen government in the portfolios of primary industries, industry, small business and technology; health and environment; and was premier and treasurer. He successfully challenged the corrupt leadership of Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1987 to become premier, but Mr Ahern's honesty played a significant part in his short tenure. Mr Ahern gave a public commitment to introduce "lock, stock and barrel" the reform recommendations of corruption commissioner Tony Fitzgerald, who had conducted a two-year inquiry into police and political corruption in Queensland. That commitment saw five National Party ministers, and several dozen police, including commissioner Terence Lewis jailed for corruption.

The subsequent animosity directed against "Honest Mike" led to him being toppled months before the 1989 election, which was won by Labor's Wayne Goss. Mr Ahern left politics in May 1990 after 22 years, and has since thrown himself into philanthropic, charitable and business pursuits. The respect that he has generated across all sides of politics was shown by his appointment by the Labor Beattie Government as Queensland's Special Trade Representative in Africa, the Middle East and India. His community involvement included chairmanships of the board of governors of the Queensland Community Foundation; the Australian Liver Foundation; the Crawford Fund, dedicated to raising awareness of the links between food, environment and the world's poor; and the Indigenous Grants committee of the Viertel Foundation.

In the research sector, he chairs the consultative committee of the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technology, and is amember of the board of governors of the ATSE Clunies Ross Foundation. Speaking from his home in his old electorate of Caloundra yesterday, Mr Ahern said he was "humbled but pleased" to receive the award, and regarded it as recognition also of the sacrifices his wife, Andrea, and children had to make to allow him to serve politics and government in Queensland. "There are a lot of people with whom I have worked and who have contributed to any success I have achieved, and it is personally pleasing to appreciate that some of those people are the ones who put me forward for this award," Mr Ahern said. "It is something I will always value."

The Australian 26 January 2007
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T&G Santa Fund bounty reflects the spirit of giving
A big "Thank You" goes out to the donors of the 68th Telegram & Gazette Santa Fund for contributing the second highest amount in its history.
 . . . 
Richard and Alice O'Hearn, my parents $200
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 4 February 2007
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NORTH BROOKFIELD—North Brookfield Junior-Senior High School announces its honor roll for the second quarter.
 . . . 
Grade 9
Honors: Paul Ahearn, . . . 
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 8 February 2007
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Brian O'Hearn has been named chief nursing officer at Saints Medical Center in Lowell. His responsibilities include directing Saints' Patient Care Services Division and team of skilled nurses and caregivers. O'Hearn previously worked at St. James Mercy Health System, a Catholic Health East Hospital in Hornell, N.Y., where he served as senior vice president of patient care services.
The Lowell Sun 11 February 2007
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WORCESTER—St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic High School has released its honor roll for the second quarter of the 2006-2007 school year:
 . . . 
 . . . Brittany O'Hearn, . . . 
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 15 February 2007
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Town says good-bye to Marine Capt. Jennifer Harris
Capt. Jennifer Jean Harris, USMC, age 28 and a helicopter pilot, of Swampscott was "a woman of excellence," said her roommate at the U.S. Naval Academy, Navy Lt. Rosie Goscinski. "It took two sets of parents, loving grandparents and the entire town of Swampscott to raise a kid like you," Harris' cousin, Christina Ahearn took [sic] Harris in remarks directed to her during her funeral Monday at St. John the Evangelist Church. "You wear a different set of wings now." And Harris "has an internal light, burning bright, that was not going to settle for halfway measures," said Marine Col Michael Hudson, her commanding officer during her second tour of Iraq in 2005 and one who mourns her death Feb. 7 when what are called "insurgents" fired on the helicopter Harris was piloting on a casualty rescue mission in Iraq.

For the second time in five months, Swampscott mourned again Monday as family, friends, classmates and ordinary citizens said good-bye to the young Marine woman, who was engaged to be married to another Marine, Maj. Christopher Aaby. Ahearn addressed her remarks directly to Capt. Harris. "You were always about others but today is about you," Ahearn said during the Mass, recalling a day when Harris was unable to find her airline ticket but still "was able to fly a multi-million dollar aircraft."

Harris "worked more than any one person could because halfway was never acceptable," Ahearn said, reciting other relatives' remembrances of the 1996 Swampscott High School graduate as "a motivator" and "leader." "Jenn, there are so many wonderful things I want to say about you," Ahearn continued."We (always) knew you were special. We miss you and it hurts. We love you, Jennifer."

Swampscott Reporter 19 February 2007
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'Comfort women' survivors to hold rally
"Comfort women" survivors and their supporters will rally in Sydney on March 7, as part of a global day of action, to protest against the human rights abuses suffered by hundreds of thousands of women during World War II. An estimated 200,000 women in were forced into sexual slavery and continually beaten, tortured and raped by Japanese soldiers during the war. Anna Song, campaign coordinator of the Friends of Comfort Women in Australia group, told Green Left Weekly that the rally will call on the Japanese government to provide an official apology, payment of reparations adhering to international standards and commit making sure women never again suffer from sexual slavery during war. It will also demand that the issue of "comfort women" is taught about in Japanese schools.

Three survivors — Jan Ruff O'Hearne, Hsiu Mei Wu and Gil Won Ok — will participate in the Sydney rally, which will take place on the corner of Martin Place and Philip Street, site of the Japanese consulate, from noon.

Green Left Weekly 3 March 2007
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Reports show Officer Thomas O'Hearn left the scene of accident,
alcohol was involved.
ALBION—A recording obtained from Orleans County Dispatch by The Journal-Register through the state Freedom of Information Law along with an accident report from the Albion Village Police Department indicate that officer Thomas O'Hearn left the scene of a motor vehicle accident he was involved in at approximately 4:10 a.m. Feb. 8.

The information secured shows a connection to statements previously made by Albion officials in regards to the suspension of a village employee. According to minutes from a Feb. 16 Albion Village Board meeting, Attorney John Gavenda brought the board up to date on an "accident in question which occurred Feb. 8." Albion Police Sgt. Timothy Boyer said alcohol was involved in the accident, which also was shown on the accident report. "Alcohol was a factor but that doesn't mean that he was legally impaired or intoxicated," he said.

When asked if O'Hearn was given a Breathalyzer or if charges had been filed, Boyer said those questions would have to be answered by the village attorney. However, Gavenda could not be reached for comment Friday. According to the accident description, O'Hearn was southbound on Route 98 when he attempted to turn right onto Hazard Parkway. His 1996 Chevrolet truck then left the road and struck a stone wall on the southwest corner of Route 98 and Hazard Parkway. O'Hearn left the scene and traveled to his Albion residence, according to reports.

Though O'Hearn's vehicle sustained more than $1,000 damage, Boyer said it was inconclusive if there was damage to the wall or property. "As far as the structure itself there doesn't appear to be any damage," he said. "At this point in time it has not been determined that it's a property damage accident." If property damage is found at the scene after the snow melts, the accident report will then be amended, Boyer said.

5 March 2007
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Lowell not about to be held back
For a program that had plenty of banners to begin with, it's turning into another banner year for the Lowell wrestling team. After last night's 61-9 dismantling of Division 1 Central champ Framingham in the state semifinal, the Red Raiders are one win from their 15th state title. They will try for that Saturday against defending champion Springfield Central, a narrow 30-29 winner over Plymouth South in the other semifinal last night. "I think this group of kids, they understand the history and the tradition of the program," said Lowell coach Tim O'Keefe. "They don't want to disappoint the alumni, they don't want to disappoint the fans, and most importantly, they don't want to disappoint themselves. They want to finish what they started."

Flying high after sending a school-best seven wrestlers to New Englands last weekend and capturing the title for the first time since 1987, Lowell charged out last night at Riddick Field House and never slowed down. The Red Raiders (23-2) took 12 of 14 matches from Framingham (18-4-1), including eight by pin, clinching the victory with four bouts remaining. "You know what Lowell's like, and you know what you're going to get,"said Framingham coach Jon Kanavich. "They were just a tougher bunch of kids tonight." With the score tied at 3, the Red Raiders exploded for six straight victories, starting with lightning-fast pins from 103-pounder Brandon Gauthier (1 minute 16 seconds) and 112-pound New England champ Sean Boyle (52 seconds). Boyle, just a sophomore, is 52-0 this season. "Usually when me and Brandon get pins, it sets the momentum," Boyle said, "and we just kind of take off after that."

That's what happened, because, according to O'Keefe, Lowell's two biggest wins came in the next two bouts. Ryan Ahearn pulled out a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Jose Cirilo at 119 pounds, and 125-pounder Victor DeJesus pinned Gary Summers with 6.2 seconds left in the third period.

The Boston Globe 8 March 2007
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Bands to paint downtown green
St. Patrick's Day Festival to offer authentic Irish fun
By Lana Sweeten-Shults
Some folks like to paint the town red, but other lads prefer to paint it green, at least for St. Patrick's Day. Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. will be doing just that when it touts its second St. Patrick's Day Downtown Street Festival on Saturday. Rain or shine, you'll find downtown eateries, clubs and other businesses, along with a number of bands, under the tent and lining the 600 block of Eighth Street for the music and food event. "Last year we had almost 1,500 in the rain. This year, we're hoping to get 2,000 people," said Danny Ahern, co-owner of the downtown Iron Horse Pub who is working with nonprofit Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. to bring the festival to life. Gates will open at 4 p.m. for the Saturday event, which will feature performances by Johnny Cooper, the Radio Cowboys, Amos Staggs and Ireland's Shannon Folk.

Wichita Falls Americana/Red Dirt artist Johnny Cooper is enjoying his first radio hit with the song "Texas to You" from his latest CD, "Ignition." "Texas to You" is climbing up the Texas charts. Amos Staggs boasts an impressive resume, too. He has played music with and for Janis Joplin, Gatemouth Brown, Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn, to name a few. Artists who have recorded his songs include Santana, Garth Brooks, Don Edwards and others. The Radio Cowboys is a local band that's popular on the Wichita Falls Club circuit. The band plays country rock and classic rock. But coming furthest for the event, no doubt, will be Shannon Folk of County Clare Ireland, which has brought its traditional Irish folk music to Wichita Falls for several years for St. Patrick's Day, thanks to their friend from back home, Ahern, co-owner of the Iron Horse Pub. Shannon Folk, a four-member group, performs Irish songs with traditional instrumentation, like the tin whistle, five-string banjo, concertina and more.

In addition to all the music, Ahern said several food vendors will gather at the event, like Texas Roadhouse, Casa Manana, Brooklyn Pizza, Matlock's and Nipper's Texas Cafe to name a few, along with other vendors like an airbrush tattoo artist. The music tent for this year will include seating and tables for about 200 people, though Ahern said it's probably a good idea to bring seating. He added that parking will be available at Seventh and Indiana. "The goal is not to have people walking so far," said Ahern. Also, an ATM machine will be set up for patrons, as well, and security will be manning the event. "We'll have six hired police officers and about 50 regular staff and volunteers," he said.

Ahern, who's from Tipperary, Ireland, said his home country will be well represented at the festival. "My brother's flying in from Ireland," he said, and of course, his friends from Shannon Folk and their wives will be there, too. "Matlock's will be doing Irish stew," he added. "It's pretty authentic." The St. Patrick's Day Downtown Street Festival is just one of a number of events that Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc., a downtown advocacy group, is involved in. The group also organizes its Why Don't We Do It In the Road downtown street festival, which is scheduled for the summer.

Times Record News 11 March 2007
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Howard to raise 'comfort women' with Abe
Prime Minister John Howard will raise the issue of "comfort women" with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Mr Howard said there could be no "quibbling" over whether thousands of women were forced to act as sex slaves during World War II. Mr Abe outraged surviving victims last month by saying there was no evidence Japan's government or army had coerced the women, mainly Asians, into prostitution for Japanese soldiers.

Adelaide woman Jan Ruff O'Herne, 84, who was one of the women interned in a brothel as a prostitute, has urged Mr Howard to bring the matter up with Mr Abe. Ms O'Herne told a US House of Representatives hearing last month that she was raped "day and night" for three months by soldiers when she was just 19. Mr Howard said there was no doubt that the women had been coerced. "My concern about any quibbling in relation to this matter is known to the Japanese government and I'm sure in one way or another it will be mentioned tomorrow," he told reporters. On Sunday night, Mr Howard refused to say whether he would raise the matter after Mr Abe sought to contain the fallout from his remarks by reaffirming a 1993 government apology. Mr Howard said Mr Abe's statement had been strong but there was no room for dispute over whether the women were forced into sex. "It was an appalling episode in a tragic period in the history of the world and Australian women suffered as a consequence, although the nationals of other countries suffered in much greater number," he said. "There can be no quibbling about what happened and there can be no quibbling in my view about the level of coercion that was involved. "Any suggestion that there was not coercion is completely repudiated by me and it's been completely repudiated by other allied countries."

Ms O'Herne said the signing of a security pact with Japan was a good time for Mr Howard to raise the ordeal of the comfort women. "Justice has never been done by the Japanese government and this could all be part of that security relationship," she told ABC radio. "It's a very good time (to raise it) and wouldn't we admire Mr Howard if he did that." Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has backed Prime Minister John Howard's decision. "It is a clear-cut fact that hundreds of thousands of women were subjected to atrocities, including rape, and it is clear as day that Japan was and remains responsible," he said. Mr Rudd said he wanted to examine Mr Howard's decision to sign a new defence pact with Japan, which will make Australia the nation's closest ally after the US. "I support closer security cooperation between Australia and Japan on terrorism, in dealing with narcotics and in training but when it comes to any border defence pact I'll be putting that through the fine tooth comb before making a formal statement," Mr Rudd said. [See Australian National Archives for photo and full details.]

Sydney Morning Herald 12 March 2007
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Howard to raise 'sex slave' issue with Abe
Prime Minister John Howard will raise the issue of "comfort women" with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Mr Howard said there could be no "quibbling" over whether thousands of women were forced to act as sex slaves during World War II. Mr Abe outraged surviving victims last month by saying there was no evidence Japan's government or army had coerced the women, mainly Asians, into prostitution for Japanese soldiers.

Adelaide woman Jan Ruff O'Herne, 84, who was one of the women interned in a brothel as a prostitute, has urged Mr Howard to bring the matter up with Mr Abe. Ms O'Herne told a US House of Representatives hearing last month that she was raped "day and night" for three months by soldiers when she was just 19. Mr Howard said there was no doubt that the women had been coerced. "My concern about any quibbling in relation to this matter is known to the Japanese government and I'm sure in one way or another it will be mentioned tomorrow," he told reporters.

On Sunday night, Mr Howard refused to say whether he would raise the matter after Mr Abe sought to contain the fallout from his remarks by reaffirming a 1993 government apology. Mr Howard said Mr Abe's statement had been strong but there was no room for dispute over whether the women were forced into sex. "It was an appalling episode in a tragic period in the history of the world and Australian women suffered as a consequence, although the nationals of other countries suffered in much greater number," he said. "There can be no quibbling about what happened and there can be no quibbling in my view about the level of coercion that was involved. "Any suggestion that there was not coercion is completely repudiated by me and it's been completely repudiated by other allied countries."

Ms O'Herne said the signing of a security pact with Japan was a good time for Mr Howard to raise the ordeal of the comfort women. "Justice has never been done by the Japanese government and this could all be part of that security relationship," she told ABC radio. "It's a very good time (to raise it) and wouldn't we admire Mr Howard if he did that." Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has backed Prime Minister John Howard's decision. "It is a clear-cut fact that hundreds of thousands of women were subjected to atrocities, including rape, and it is clear as day that Japan was and remains responsible," he said. Mr Rudd said he wanted to examine Mr Howard's decision to sign a new defence pact with Japan, which will make Australia the nation's closest ally after the US. "I support closer security cooperation between Australia and Japan on terrorism, in dealing with narcotics and in training but when it comes to any border defence pact I'll be putting that through the fine tooth comb before making a formal statement," Mr Rudd said.

The Australian 13 March 2007
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St. Patrick's Day: The queen o' green
If the weather on St. Patrick's Day is as good as it has been the past two years, this year's Friendly Sons of St. Patrick parade could have its biggest turnout yet. Friendly Sons president Jeff Horn said last year's parade was the biggest in parade history with about 125 float entries and 10,000 spectators. St. Patrick's Day fell on a clear Friday, which helped. "Given that it's a Saturday this year I anticipate 125 to 150 entries," he said. "The parade got so big that we had to move the party afterward from 1 to 1:30." Big Ken and Colleen from Star 102.5 are the parade marshals. The party, which lasts until 4:30 p.m., features music by Ed Kelly's band FreeStyle, Irish dancers and a booth with hats and T-shirts from That Irish Shoppe in Valley Junction. An awards ceremony, with prizes for Best of Parade, Best Irish Theme and Best Family Clan, is at 2:30 p.m. "It's really a mini day festival," Horn said.

The queen
Look for Charlotte O'Hern, 22, at the front of the parade. She was crowned Friendly Sons queen on March 5. O'Hern, who is a dance instructor at DMI Dance Force, will greet revelers at the reception and officiate at the Friendly Sons' Leprechaun Run on March 25. Horn expects a big crowd to participate in and watch the 10k run, and especially the 5k run, which is new this year. "We're coming off the heels of winter and we're the first run of the season," he said.

DesMoines Register 14 March 2007
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Author T.C. Boyle speaks for "Laguna on the Same Page" program
T.C. Boyle visits to discuss one of his books.
by Kelly Garrison
Hundreds of locals gathered to hear author T.C. Boyle speak as part of a new citywide reading program Tuesday night. Known as "Laguna on the Same Page," the program encourages residents to read one book at the same time. Laguna Presbyterian Church hosted the program, which Latitude 33 Bookshop owner Tom Ahern said aims to provoke discussion about issues of illegal immigration and the day labor center on Laguna Canyon Road. "I think it's an awesome program," said resident Kathleen Wallstein, who said she was a fan of Boyle's work. "(Illegal immigration) is such a touchy subject, and he's not afraid of going against the grain."

Ahern began the program in January with the novel "The Tortilla Curtain" which author Boyle said narrates "the collision of opposite forces," addressing two different cultures through two couples. While his book doesn't answer the questions that some ask about illegal immigration, he said, it confronts the topic through a story. "It could not have been better," Ahern said. "He was a great speaker. Everybody had a wonderful time." Boyle, who has in the past attended many book discussions, said he was excited to be a part of "Laguna on the Same Page." At the event, he shared his thoughts on the program and read from his work. "Society is so busy and usually not reading a book in common," he said. "I love this idea of community reading. I support all who are doing this."

Traveling by train from Santa Barbara, Boyle said he has frequented Laguna Beach before. Guests chuckled as he read passages from his featured novel - one of his 20 published books. "I don't think art and politics mix very well," he said. "Anything I write doesn't have a plan or a political agenda. I don't have the solutions. I'm just meditating and creating art. "I love to engage the audience and let them have a great time. It should be a show, not some intellectual duty. I don't like to say, 'I'm giving a reading.' I like to say, 'I'm going to perform the work.' " Having lived in Los Angeles for about 15 years, Boyle said much of his book's inspiration came from living on the West Coast — particularly near Topanga Canyon — and from his love of nature and biology. He began learning about Mexican culture began as a child, he said.

"'The Tortilla Curtain' became popular because of its topicality," Boyle said. "Everyone was talking about (illegal immigration), and I felt I should address it." Ahern said he plans to continue "Laguna on the Same Page" with more citywide reading of the same books and discussions. He hopes for more guest authors.

Orange County Register 14 March 2007
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Ahern autopsy reveals four bullet wounds
MURDERED IRISHMAN Michael Ahern died from head trauma caused by repeated blunt force, a court heard was told this week. Albufeira court also heard that four bullet wounds and numerous skull fractures were discovered during the autopsy on the victim. The medical examiner (ME), who performed the autopsy, said three bullet wounds were too shallow to cause death and one was more likely to have caused paralysis rather than death. The ME said the head injuries were consistent with repeated kicks. Marks on Ahern's neck could have been caused by rope, he said, and were sustained before death. It was not definitive that a v-shaped mark on his hand, which could have been caused by a hot iron, occurred post mortem. The ME speculated that a mark across Ahern's hand could have been caused by a person closing the trunk of a car on it. Ahern's body was in rigor mortis when it was found and the ME told the court that this could occur between 12 hours and 24 hours after death, depending on temperature. The medical examiner could not determine conclusively whether some of the fractures were sustained post mortem or whether the bullets were fired before the blows were delivered.

Findings. The head judicial police investigator for the case detailed his findings at Figueira's apartment, where Ahern's body was found. It smelled of bleach and looked thoroughly clean. Bin bags and bleach were found in the bathroom along with a bag of bloodied clothes. Ahern's BMW was discovered in the garage of the apartment block, with blood drops on the ground. The inside windows, seats and roof were covered in blood as was the trunk. The investigator added that they did not find bullet holes in the car. Englishman David Figueira confessed to firing a weapon at Ahern in September 2005 but claims it was self defence. Ahern's body was then stored in a large freezer in Figueira's apartment. If police had not acted quickly, the prosecution believes that the victim's body would have been cut up and disposed of using the bin bags, which were found at the scene. Prosecutors are trying to establish premeditation, with money as the motive. They believe that not only should Figueira be held accountable but Irishmen Brad Curtis, Kevin McMullen, Brian Murphy and Alan O'Sullivan should also be convicted of murder. Prosecution witness Denise Murphy, Brian Murphy's wife, opted for her right to refuse to testify.

Under Portuguese law, if a witness for the prosecution is linked to the defence, they do not have to take the stand. The last of the prosecution witnesses will be heard during the next court date, on March 22.

15 March 2007
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Uncomfortable truth for Japan
By Ellen Goodman
THE NAME is what first grabbed my attention. Comfort women? What a moniker for the sexual slaves who were coerced, confined, and raped in the Japanese military brothels strung across Asia during World War II. The very name reduces the women to the sum of their service. What kind of comfort did they supply? The label is only marginally more humane than the other words for the women listed on the procurement rolls: "items" and "logs."

Now comfort women are back in the news. They're back because California Representative Mike Honda held hearings on a bill asking Japan to finally "acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Force's coercion of young women into sexual slavery." They're back because the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, chose instead to deny that the women were coerced or that the imperial government was to blame.

Abe was hardly the only one in his ruling elite to make such a gaffe. They don't even consider it a gaffe. Another lawmaker, Nariaki Nakayama, breezily dismissed the government's procurement of some 100,000 to 200,000 young women by describing it as a private enterprise. "Where there's demand," he said, "business crops up." Honda, himself a Japanese-American who spent childhood years in internment camps here, said, "Prime Minister Abe is in effect saying that the women are lying." Mindy Kotler of Asia Policy Point puts it more baldly. Abe, she said, called these elderly survivors "lying whores."

Koon Ja Kim, a Korean, remembers to this day what she was wearing — "a black skirt, a green shirt, and black shoes" — when as a 16-year-old girl she was taken to a brothel where she comforted 20 or more soldiers a day. Jan Ruff O'Herne, a Dutch woman taken at 19, remembers beatings and rape even by the doctor who paid calls to the brothels checking for venereal disease. Lee Yong-soo left with venereal diseases and shame for over half a century. Liars all?

This time the denial of history threw Japan's image back 15 years, prior even to the Kono statement, a half-hearted apology to the women, composed in 1993 by a Cabinet member. But it's also a reminder of the distance the world has come on these issues. This is women's history month, when attention is often focused on founding mothers like Susan B. Anthony. But this year, the comfort women are showing the long way we've come from victim to heroine. For millennia, rape was seen as a side effect, even a perk, of war. As recently as World War II, the Free French gave Moroccan mercenaries license to rape enemy women in Italy. In the 1990s there were rape camps in Bosnia, and sexual assault is a grisly routine in African conflicts. Nevertheless, wartime rape is becoming less a matter of personal shame and more a matter of international outrage. It's designated as a war crime by the United Nations. And more than one comfort woman, like O'Herne, spoke out after seeing stories about the Bosnian camps.

There are few countries that haven't been complicit in this war crime. But the Japanese military actually planned and managed a vast system of forced brothels complete with scheduled "comfort" appointments for soldiers, visits by doctors, and government-issued condoms named "Attack No. 1." Undeniable? "There is a right wing in Japan," says Kotler, "that we would think of as equivalent to the Holocaust deniers." But Japan is not the only country that wants to rewrite history. If some Japanese leaders talk about the World War II syndrome, some of our leaders talk about the Vietnam syndrome. In 2001, a revisionist Japanese textbook excising wartime atrocities caused a furor across Asia. The revisionists argued that history should make children proud of their country. Maybe telling the hard truths would make those children proud.

Abe has backed off his denial inch by inch. On a Japanese television show he even expressed formal, if offhand, sympathy for "the injuries of the heart" of the comfort women. But as Andrew Horvat, an American professor in Japan, says, "If someone has to provide sexual services for 20 soldiers a day, she comes home with more than just 'injuries of the heart.' She comes home sterile, infected with a stubborn STD, and in a state of psychological trauma."

So we have a shrinking, aging cohort of women standing on the cusp of history. It is long past the time for modern Japan to fully apologize and claim responsibility for its past. Maybe there is no final comfort for the comfort women, but there should be justice.

The Boston Globe 16 March 2007
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Things get wild at annual breakfast
NASHUA—Overall, the usual suspects did a good job with recycled material, mostly provided, once again, by the city's mayor and No. 1 straight man. But a stand-out stand-in told the two best jokes and delivered some of the best lines Friday morning at the 16th-annual Wild Irish Breakfast political roast. At least when Mary Nelson told her jokes, the audience didn't beat her to the punchline by a half-hour, which certainly wasnít the case with the first Irish joke told by Mayor Bernie Streeter. But with the Wild Irish Breakfast, thatís OK. In the spirit of the day, Streeter again sacrificed himself to the good humor of a half-dozen speakers, including Gov. John Lynch, for the pleasure of a Crowne Plaza Hotel audience of 450. . . . 
"Irish wit" Bob OíHearn places an Irish hat on businessman Dan Chan as Chan presents the "Worst Humor Award" during the Wild Irish Breakfast political roast Friday morning at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Festivities began with a blessing from Major Carl Carville of the Nashua Salvation Army. Carville also managed to skewer the mayor as "St. Bernard." Bob Baines, former Manchester mayor, led an Irish sing-along, and "Irish wit" Bob OíHearn, husband of former Nashua Republican state Sen. Jane OíHearn, was awarded the "Dan Chan Worst Humor Award." While Chan, a businessman who speaks in a thick accent, was talking, OíHearn stood behind him acting like he was interpreting his remarks in sign language.
Nashua Telegraph 17 March 2007
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Animal instinct
As a piglet, Edgar won Pam Ahern's heart. A good 300 kilos later, an eponymous mission is campaigning for the rights of animals like him. It has been three-and-ahalf years since I last saw Edgar. I needed a piglet as a prop for a photoshoot for The Age of James Cromwell, vegan animal activist and actor who played the farmer in George Miller's film Babe. Fellow activist Pam Ahern, who was assisting Cromwell, bought Edgar from a piggery before he became bacon. After his splendid effort on Cromwell's knee, Edgar was led up the Parliament House steps and other places on a leash by Ahern as part of a protest about the confinement of sows in stalls.

"He was such an endearing character with his own unique personality," she says. "And we were really in need for someone to advocate a better deal for pigs. I took him out to lots of places and people would ask me what I was doing with the pig. It was a great dialogue opener because when you go out with a petition people run a mile, but they were coming up to us. It made me think the best ambassadors for change are the animals themselves. When people can meet the animals they start to join the dots."

She couldn't part with him and he is the star attraction of Edgar's Mission, near Kilmore. Ahern, a vegan, oversees 24 hectares that is home to 100 ducks, sheep, goats, dogs, chickens, cows, horses, a turkey and of course pigs. They all have names and individual personalities according to Ahern.

As I step from the car, two large pigs run towards me, grunting and rubbing mud over my jeans as a form of greeting. Sheep, goats and even a chicken come to welcome me. Edgar is flat on his back snoozing. He's muscled up by about 300 kilos since I last saw him.

There are posters of animals with captions such as "please don't drink my milk" and "I'm not a lamb chop" pinned on outside walls. Ahern has done intrusions on battery hen farms and piggeries in the past — "I never wore a mask and I always gave my real name to police" — but insists that at Edgar's Mission the positive is accentuated. The sanctuary has open-days and hosts school groups and visits by appointment.

"I never ask anyone if they eat meat," she says, sitting in her office as she cares for a sickly lamb and ignores the rooster pecking and poohing. "If you actually tell someone meat is murder, stop eating it, they are not going to. "(But) we do confront people with what was going to happen to these animals. Edgar doesn't have to be bacon; Chicquin (the rooster) is much more than a chicken sandwich. He is interested in life. His life has meaning and purpose. What right have I got to take that away from him?"

What purpose has he got? "To be a chicken. To do his own thing, to make choices. Alice, the sow who came from a factory farm can choose whether she goes out in the sunshine or whether she stays in her straw bed. Before her life was dictated to her, she lived on concrete and never saw sunshine or soil. Not only is it cruel to animals but I think it takes away from our humanity if you can do these things to sentient beings and not think about it."

As a girl Ahern, 45, worked with Animal Rescue and Animal Aid when she was living in Woodend. She attended antifur rallies with her mother but was still eating meat. Then she read Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. It recounted his horror when as a guest of a chapter of the RSPCA they served ham sandwiches.

"And the light went on for me. I thought — I am caring for one animal and not another. We know discrimination is wrong, we know bullying is wrong. Yet every time I was sitting down to eat I was discriminating against an animal because I liked eating it. Why is the pig any different from the dog? Why eat one and not the other?"

A strict Catholic upbringing unintentionally gave Ahern insight into her developing values. "My Catholicism failed me in that they told me lies. One of the nuns told me that when a bird dies God takes the colour back, but I've actually seen dead birds with colour and I challenged her and that got me thinking about other things they told me that were wrong. And that got me questioning what made sense in my life. That was the foundation for me challenging popular thought."

Ahern teaches horse riding and is involved with equestrian events, that, she says, her horses enjoy. Last year she won the Garryowen at the Royal Melbourne Show. For 10 years she worked in a factory, filling bags of sweets, so she could concentrate on her animal work, but quit to work at Edgar's Mission full-time last August.

As Ahern and I walk around the sanctuary we pass signs of inspiring quotes by philosophers, humanitarians, writers and politicians such as Winston Churchill, Ghandi and John F. Kennedy posted on fences. "All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of a single candle." "There's always hope," Ahern says stroking a lamb. An array of tree stumps — are "stepping stones to kindness "with slogans pasted on them including animals are our friend, and respect. Edgar is still sleeping on a comfortable bed of straw in his pen. He grunts like a disrupted spoilt child and barely opens one eye as we approach. "You are so handsome," she says, stroking a spot on his hind leg, "that's his favourite." Ahern, who has a partner but no children, greets a flock of sheep excitedly as they run towards us. "Hello George, Curly, Spotty, hi Nelson, Peter, Martin." Chicquin, the rooster, brings up the rear. He follows her wherever she goes.

Ahern is earnest in her concern but bright and cheery in disposition. With her motherly enthusiasm for every animal on the mission it is surprising that she baulks at the notion of loving these creatures. Surely she loves Edgar. "I'm passionate about him, passionate beyond belief," she says, "Love is such a huge abstract thing. My love is different to your love, which is different to (the pigs) Josie's love and Nancy's love. I guess I love animals. I respect them, incredibly. People think I'm this passionate animal lover that (needs) animals and loves hearing cute animal stories. It's more a sense of justice. I think animals are the most mistreated and maligned creatures in our existence. And they need our compassion and care." [Visit Edgar and the animals at]

The Age 19 March 2007
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Smuggled as a child from Colombia, now he's a Harvard grad and doctor
Big Town Big Dreams: Stories about immigrant New Yorkers
who make this town the great place it is
James Ahern, a captain in the New York City Fire Department, was on his way to work last year when he realized that the uneasiness he felt was not the flu, as he'd thought, but something far more serious. "It was a heart attack," he says. "I've seen enough of them in my career to know." Ahern went to see his physician, who immediately transported him to St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, in Roslyn, L.I. Within 45 minutes, a team headed by Dr. Harold Fernández was performing ultimately successful quintuple-bypass surgery on Ahern. "I just can't say enough about this guy," Ahern says. "The best [doctor] just happened to be in the room when I needed him to be there."

Ahern wasn't aware at the time that the man who had just saved his life had arrived in America — and attended Princeton University — as an undocumented immigrant. Fernández was only 13 when his parents, already in the U.S., arranged for him and his younger brother to be smuggled there from Medellin, Colombia — a congested South American city of 3 million where children are often recruited into the deadly drug-trafficking trade.

"We left Medellin on Sept. 13, 1978," recalls the now 41-year-old Fernández, who lives with his Colombian-born wife and their two young children in Huntington, L.I. "We made stops in Panama, Jamaica and then the Bahamas, and then went to a little island called Bimini. The plan was to cross over that night and reach Florida, where some friends would call my parents and we would get on a plane to New York." It was hurricane season, though, and another two weeks passed before the two boys, crammed onto a small boat with a dozen other illegal immigrants, left Bimini, dodging the Coast Guard and the treacherous waters along the way. "Each time the boat would come down," re-members Fernández, "we thought it was going to split in half. Everyone in the boat was praying and becoming sick."

Living in West New York, N.J., and understanding no English, Fernández naturally felt out of place in high school. But he was driven to buckle down in his new home, and within six months, he was transferred from English as a Second Language classes to regular classes. When he graduated, Fernández was named class valedictorian. Academically he had everything it took to be accepted into the best colleges, but Fernández admits now that he gave Princeton phony Social Security and residency cards in order to pass as a legal U.S. resident. He lived in a cloud of fear, knowing his ruse could be discovered at any time. Then one day it was.

"I had been there about a year and a half when I got a letter from the office of the dean for foreign students, asking me to go to her office. She wanted to see my residency card," he recalls. Fernández had not only lied to get into the school but was scheduled to receive government grants to help pay for his education. "I had broken the Princeton student code, which they're very strict about," he says. But because he was such an exemplary student, Fernández's bid to remain at Princeton was championed not only by several professors and deans but by then-New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean and Sen. Bill Bradley, both Princeton grads. The school agreed to allow him to continue studying.

"They changed my status from being a U.S. student to being a foreign student from South America. In doing that, they canceled all my grants from the government and changed them to university loans. And they also granted me a pardon." Finally, Harold Fernández was free to pursue his dream: becoming a doctor. "I never wanted to be anything else, from the time I was a little kid. Even though there were no doctors in my family, I always wanted to help people. But a lot of times I wouldn't tell this to people because they wouldn't see it as a possibility."

He graduated from Princeton magna cum laude, went on to Harvard Medical School and then began an eight-year residency in surgery at the NYU Medical Center before going to work at St. Francis in 2001. Some nine years after landing on the Florida shore, while at Harvard, Fernández became an American citizen. Now he's writing a book about his early experiences. Fernández is calling it "Journey of Hope." "I hope," he says, "that by other people reading my story, they at least get a feeling for the human side of this situation. There's no easy solution to the issue of immigration, but I can tell you that no one loves this country more than the immigrants who come here to look for a better life."

New York Daily News 22 March 2007
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Ms. Suzanne Childs Hogan of Weston, MA and Mr. Daniel Hogan of Wellesley, MA are pleased to announce the engagement of their son Michael David, to Sarah Elizabeth O'Herron of Charlotte, NC. Sarah is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy Clarke O'Herron of Raleigh, NC. Sarah graduated from Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC in 2001. She received a Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2005 and is currently teaching at Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, NC.

Michael graduated from Taft School in Watertown, CT in 2000 and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Vermont Kalkin School of Business in 2004. Mr. Hogan trades fixed income securities for the Bank of America in Charlotte, NC. The couple is planning a June 2007 wedding in Raleigh, NC.

The Boston Globe 1 April 2007
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Jeff Aherne to seek Dail seat for PDs in Kildare North
The Progressive Democrats have announced a 30-year-old local entrepreneur as their general election candidate in the Kildare North constituency. Jeff Aherne, from Celbridge, is standing in place of Senator Kate Walsh, who will not be contesting the forthcoming election due to ill health. Mr Aherne contested the local elections in the Lucan area of Dublin three years ago, but failed to win a seat on South Dublin County Council.
Belfast Telegraph 17 April 2007
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Jewel thieves target Indian households
The day after a shopping trip, Navpreet Singh and his wife, Ashima, discovered that thieves had broken in to their Chelmsford condominium and had stolen more than $22,000 worth of gold and diamond jewelry. A few days later, they got another surprise. Through a random exchange of e-mails, the Singhs learned that similar burglaries had occurred over the previous seven months in Andover, Billerica, and Lexington. In each case, thieves targeted Indian households, though the victims did not know one another. There were no signs of forced entry, and the thieves mostly took jewelry — none of it insured. Police in the four towns are not divulging details of their investigations, but do say they are not treating the break-ins as random acts.
 . . . 
In all of those cases, the culprits were able to get into the homes without bashing in the door or damaging the lock. Police reported finding metal shavings and graphite particles on the locks or doorknobs. "This was done with some sophistication," said Chelmsford police Sergeant Todd Ahern. "The victims all said they locked their doors. Still, the burglars were able to get in without leaving any visible signs that they had broken in."
The Boston Globe 19 April 2007
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HARDING: Time for the truth
by Robert Harding
I, like those at The Journal-Register, noticed how quick the situation involving state Judge Amy Fricano developed in Niagara County. Fricano hit a tree and left the scene. Thanks to witnesses and police officers who are corruption-free, the situation is being handled  . . .  under the public eye. It's also been reported on by the media. But that is not the case for those in Albion, from the top of the government ladder to those in the Albion Police Department. It's been about two months since the incident involving Officer Thomas O'Hearn occurred on Feb. 8., and still no answers. There shouldn't be any debate whether it is or isn't a cover up. It became a cover up when it went unreported that night.

Several things should happen as a result. O'Hearn should resign from the Albion Police Department. He can no longer be trusted to uphold the law since he broke it himself. If he fails to resign, he should be removed from his post. If that was any common citizen, we would've been in The Journal-Register police roundups for leaving the scene of an accident. O'Hearn doesn't deserve any special treatment for committing a crime. Also, the ethics of the village government in Albion should be called into question. They have tried to sweep this under the rug and refused to divulge any information about the incident. I hope the citizens of Albion remember this when Mayor Michael Hadick and his Village Board are up for reelection.

I have heard of witnesses who saw the incident but don't wish to come forward. Somehow they fear that the Albion Police will ticket them for going a mile over the speed limit or that their incompetent government will do something to shun them. My advice to those people? Don't be afraid. It's obvious the people involved in the cover up are cowards. They have failed to tell the truth and they shouldn't be rewarded with silence from their constituents. Please come forward. You'll be doing yourselves and your community a huge favor. And to the government of Albion, the Albion Police Department and the Orleans County Sheriff's Department, you have done your community a huge disservice. This issue would've been a small issue if it was dealt with immediately and appropriately. The Journal-Register probably would be on to other news by now and you would not be receiving the negative press you are now. You've chosen this path for yourselves. Now start acting like professionals instead of little children who are keeping the truth from their parents.

I don't know about the rest of Orleans County, but I'm sick of this type of behavior. The tolerance of corruption and closed government is ridiculous. It's time that it ends. According to New York State law, Officer O'Hearn should be facing a $250 fine or up to 15 days in jail for his crime, or both. Unfortunately, that's not the case. His buddies are covering up for him and he's remained silent. It's time for the truth, Albion. You owe the village nothing less. You also owe The Journal-Register nothing less. They have labored hard trying to report on this incident, and the people in your village would like answers. It's time to stop being gutless and start being straight. I hope this situation is opened to the public immediately. If not, it will be yet another of a long list of crimes committed by a local government on its people. Robert Harding is a Medina native and a student at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

The Journal-Register 20 April 2007
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Studio/gallery provides art shows, instruction
Northwest Side residents can enjoy fine-art shows and even take art classes at Toscana Studio and Gallery in Oro Valley. Oro Valley sculptor Linda Ahearn opened the gallery last August at 9040 N. Oracle Road in hopes of bringing the arts closer to home in her community. "There aren't a lot of things to do in Oro Valley, so I want to create a place where people can see art from a variety of artists," said Ahearn, 45. With a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and sculpture from Holy Names College in Oakland, Calif., Ahearn taught art classes at Copper Creek Elementary School in Oro Valley and out of her garage before opening Toscana, a working art studio and gallery. She now teaches oil painting and sculpture to children and adults there.

Housed in a former office space of only about 900 square feet, Toscana is half studio — complete with paint-spattered smocks and works in progress — and half gallery, featuring changing shows of local, national and international artists. Toscana's current show features two Northwest Side artists, Rebecca Bushner and Angela Rose, and runs through June 30. "I think the Toscana Gallery is really a hidden gem," said Rose, who does oil painting on metal. "Linda has her heart and soul in the place, and you can feel it. I think she's going to help enliven the art scene and the night scene in Oro Valley."

Ahearn also coordinates gallery shows of her students' work. Robert Gay, whose 8- and 10-year-old sons take sculpture classes from Ahearn, said he's glad there is a place his children can supplement the once-a-week art instruction they get in school. Toscana will host a free indoor and outdoor art walk from 7 to 9 tonight Ahearn said she hopes to eventually establish a regular art night in Oro Valley and to expand her gallery and open a larger art school.

Arizona Daily Star 26 April 2007
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A verdict was expected on Friday in the case of four Irish criminals who had been before a court in Portugal charged with the murder of an associate. At the hearing, the court announced that the verdict would be delayed for 12 days; no reason was given. In September 2005, Portuguese police, responding to reports of suspicious activity, found the body of leading drug dealer Michael "Danser" Ahern (38) in a freezer in an Algarve apartment. According to a report on RTE, Ahern, originally from Mallow, Co. Cork, lost his temper and produced a gun after he accused an associate of failing to contact him in time when his Brazilian girlfriend had a miscarriage. In an ensuing struggle the gun was knocked from Ahern's hand and one of the gang picked it up and shot him in the head. He was then dumped in the boot of a car and driven off. He didn't, however, die from his wounds and when it was considered that he was making too much noise his friends decided to finish him off.
The Emigrant 29 April 2007
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Tinley Park boys honor for raising, donating $20,000 from lemonade stand
Sean Carey and Danny O'Hearn have raised nearly $20,000 over the past four years hawking lemonade from a corner stand in their subdivision in Tinley Park's Fairmount Village. Not bad when you consider a cup of lemonade and a bag of popcorn sells for a quarter. The majority of their customers know where the money goes and give more — much more. Most of the money has gone to buy wagons, toys and electronic gadgets for sick children staying at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. The rest has gone to help build the new Ronald McDonald House at Hope Children's Hospital. For their effort, the fifth-graders at Bannes School in Tinley Park have been selected to be among seven local Jefferson Award honorees. They are among eight local "unsung heroes" selected for their community service. Their story will air at 6 p.m. Friday on WMAQ-TV (Channel 5).

Sean Carey spent some time at Hope Children's Hospital several years ago for bacterial pneumonia. When he returned home, he remembered how his second-grade teacher Jan Mullen stressed service to community. Sean bounced the lemonade stand idea by Danny, and the partnership was started. John Carey, Sean's dad, said the duo haven't set a date for this year's event, but it's usually right around the time school lets out for the summer.

Daily Southtown 2 May 2007
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Syracusan witnesses dawn of new day of hope, peace in Ireland
by Sean Kirst
Pat Ahern had his father's passport in his pocket. He kept it there Tuesday as he stood in a crowded hall at Stormont, seat of Northern Ireland's parliament, while events unfolded that Ahern often doubted would happen before he died. Ahern, a retired Syracuse police officer, traveled to Belfast for the chance to be there as Catholic and Protestant ministers of Northern Ireland's rival parties were sworn into office. He watched on a big screen, in a crowded adjacent room, as a power-sharing government was finally restored.

Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, a man hated for decades by many Irish Catholics, was sworn in as first minister. Martin McGuinness, of Sinn Fein, long reviled by many Irish Protestants, accepted a role as Paisley's first deputy. "We are making this declaration," Paisley told the audience. "We are all aiming to build a Northern Ireland in which all can live together in peace, being equal under the law and equally subject to the law." Ahern went to Belfast to hear those words. He was allowed into Stormont because Rep. James T. Walsh, R-Onondaga, made calls on Ahern's behalf to Gerry Adams and other leaders of Sinn Fein. Adams met Ahern during a visit to Syracuse. He remembered Ahern's loyalty to Ireland. "Pat always held the flame," Walsh said Tuesday. The congressman, involved in Irish peace efforts for many years, was invited to the ceremonies but chose not to attend. Right now, he said, his focus needs to be in Washington. He said he received phone calls Tuesday from both McGuinness and Bertie Ahern, prime minister of the Irish Republic, who is not related to Pat. Walsh said both men expressed appreciation for the role played by Americans in the slow, step-by-step quest for peace. The feeling was summarized, Walsh said, by one statement from McGuinness: "We've just put an end to 800 years of conflict."

That same belief is why Pat Ahern entered Stormont carrying the passport of his Irish-born father, Jack Ahern, who died in Syracuse years ago. "I couldn't help but think of my family and all the tragedies we've had in our past because of 800 years of tyranny," Ahern said. "It was so bad that when many (Irish immigrants) came here, they never wanted to talk about Ireland again, and they never passed it down to their own children, or their children." In his home, Ahern said, he heard the stories. He was told how his grandmother's sister, Kathleen O'Connor, was murdered as a schoolgirl by the Black and Tans, an armed force sympathetic to the British. Ahern said his great-aunt was attacked one day, her throat slit, as she rode a bicycle home from school. That story was handed down among the Aherns. It stayed with them whenever they learned of new violence, from one side or another, in Northern Ireland. It spoke to a brutal and enduring truth of war: Generations upon generations inherit the seething fury built upon a child's death.

That kind of legacy, coupled with what Ahern sees as betrayals by the British, often left him skeptical of any imminent, lasting peace. "The dream for all of us, for all these immigrant Irish, was that someday England would be out of Ireland," Ahern said. With Tuesday's agreement, a new administration took control of its own nation. Ted Kennedy, senator from Massachusetts, was a witness. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prime Minister Ahern, of Ireland, also were there. The chance to be in Stormont for that moment — to be a guest inside a building seen by Catholics, for years, as a symbol of oppression — was enough to cause Ahern, who turned 62 last week, to get on a plane and travel alone to Belfast. To him, it was a profound birthday gift. He has spent much of his life remembering and strengthening his sense of Irish heritage, which he describes as "a consciousness of the heart and mind." When Walsh would travel to Syracuse with political figures from Ireland, Ahern often greeted them by saying, "Tiocfaidh ar la" (pronounced "Chuckee ar la"). In Gaelic that means, "Our day will come."

Unionist supporters, certainly, would argue the rights and wrongs of Irish history with Ahern. But he makes one point that is indisputable: We are at a weary point around the globe. Countless groups or nations seem impossibly, violently estranged: The Jews and Palestinians. The Sunnis and the Shiites. The United States and much of the Islamic world. It is hard to imagine any healing for those wounds, created by intertwining histories of pain, bloodshed and death. Yet it was equally hard to imagine peace in Northern Ireland. That said, Pat Ahern takes nothing for granted. He's seen too many Irish peace "agreements" that fell through. Tuesday, speaking by telephone from his hotel, he kept returning to one emotion that seems archaic in these times: Hope. "It's a new day," Ahern said, "a brand-new day in Ireland."

The Post-Standard 9 May 2007
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Museum Director Retires
John D. O'Hern, the longtime executive director and curator of the Arnot Art Museum, announced Wednesday that he is retiring effective Friday. The announcement comes just as the museum is entering a $258,000 renovation that will close the museum this summer. The museum board of trustees has been considering laying off staff while the facility is closed, a controversial issue. Mila Meier, board president, said O'Hern's retirement won't affect the renovation plans as the museum staff has the expertise to make sure the job is done properly. "We're still planning," said Meier about the renovations. "We're working with the contractors to see how much time they need. It's a very interesting process."

O'Hern said last month that artworks must be kept in a controlled environment at all times. "It's a huge process," Meier said. "We have to be so careful." She explained that old artworks may have paints that could react with the chemicals used during the renovation. The works will be moved to the museum's controlled environment vault and then moved back again at the conclusion of the renovations. Meier praised the work that O'Hern did at the museum. "John O'Hern has been with the Arnot Art Museum for 18 years, some of the most productive years in the history of the Museum," She said. "He has curated a number of extraordinary shows, has developed many wonderful programs and has brought national attention to this museum. The board and the community are so grateful for all he has done for our museum and we wish him well in his retirement."

Meier said Mary C. Hickey, chief operating officer, will be the interim director. O'Hern, 63, said Wednesday that he has been considering retiring for some time. The impetus was finding out recently that a house has become available for him to rent in Santa Fe, N.M., close to friends he has in the city. Since the housing market is very tight and expensive in Santa Fe, O'Hern said the sudden availability of the house in the middle of plans to close the museum for the summer seemed propitious. "It's time," he said. Although O'Hern said he is looking forward to many weeks of idleness in his new Southwest home, it probably won't last long. He will continue his writing, including his work as sculpture editor and columnist for "American Art Collector Magazine" and also will be a major contributor for the soon-to-be-launched Western Art Collector Magazine. He would also like to continue putting together art shows as a guest curator and might also become an artist's agent. O'Hern has a home in Elmira, his fourth, that he has restored. He hopes he may be able to do similar restorations in Santa Fe. He came to Elmira from Buffalo, where he was the first resident curator of Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House of the University at Buffalo. The Martin House was named a National Historic Landmark under O'Hern's curatorship and he still is a consultant for the Martin House.

O'Hern said Wednesday that despite being an outstanding young clarinetist (he was principal clarinetist for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and also attended the Tanglewood summer music festival), he decided he didn't want a musician's life. Although he majored in English in college, he decided his passion was to work at a museum. He first realized that dream doing public relations for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. He also did course work for an architectural degree that led to the Martin House appointment. Although he no longer plays the clarinet, O'Hern said his early education as a musician has benefited his career in museums. "From ensemble playing, I learned the importance of working together," he said. O'Hern said he was attracted to the Arnot Art Museum by its potential. "I hope the community comes to realize how important it is to Elmira and also to the wider art world," O'Hern said. Meier said O'Hern's leadership has given the Arnot a national reputation for its collection of modern realistic art, and the board will most likely be looking for a new director to continue that direction for the museum. She said the search will probably take months. She said the museum will be looking for someone who will continue to develop the trustees' vision for the museum and also will be able to guide future fundraising.

Star-Gazette 10 May 2007
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Saturday, May 19
Irish Family History Forum
With genealogist Dennis J. Ahern, an officer of the Ahern Clan Association, volunteer at the National Archives regional branch and past vice-president of the Arlington Historical Society, Massachusetts. Using the Internet for Irish Genealogy at 10 a.m., Buttons and Boycotts: Repeal Protests in Mallow in 1844, 11:15 a.m. Bethpage Library, 47 Powell Ave., Bethpage. Call 931-3907.
Old Bethview Herald 11 May 2007
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Evergreen Park man killed in motorcycle crash
A 64-year-old Evergreen Park man was killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a sport utility vehicle in front of a church and cemetery in Lemont Township on Sunday afternoon. William O'Hearn was driving a 2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle east on Archer Avenue when it collided with a 2001 Ford Explorer, which was westbound on Archer and turning left toward the entrance of St. James of the Sag church and cemetery, sheriff's police spokeswoman Penny Mateck said. O'Hearn was pronounced dead at the scene about 4 p.m. Sunday. O'Hearn was wearing a helmet. The motorcycle erupted in flames after the crash. The SUV driver was not hurt and no tickets were issued.
Daily Southtown 14 May 2007
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Naval Bomb Squad Investigates Attic Find in Waldoboro
Not everyone who cleans out the attic finds an unexploded piece of naval ordinance. After Norma Osier and Marie Bird's mother died, the family set about cleaning out the attic of her School Street home in Waldoboro. The curious, slightly rusted, two foot long five-inch diameter torpedo looking shell was something their father brought home sometime near the end of World War II, right around the time Brunswick Naval Air Station was built. Their father, Nick DePatsy Sr., worked for W.H. Hinman Construction, said Bird, the outfit that built the runway at Brunswick Naval Air Station. For a while she said, the shell was quite a living room conversation piece.

Early on Tuesday afternoon, members of the Navy's Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU2) pulled an olive drab pickup truck into the driveway of the two- story School Street residence. Moments later Chiefs Dan Trout and David Ahearn climbed a six-foot aluminum stepladder into the attic. While not the primary part of the combat support unit's job description, the report of ordinance in someone's attic is serious enough that Trout and Ahearn were dispatched up the coast from their base in Newport, R.I. Some remnants of military history are not always the innocent souvenirs they appear. On occasion, Ahearn runs across Revolutionary War era cannonballs that someone has found at a flea market, or a World War II hand grenade sitting on someone's mantelpiece, live ordinance still capable of doing damage. Had the pin been pulled, said Ahearn, had the powder ignited—Bird said she used to play with the shell as a kid, unscrewing the tip and screwing it back on. That's where the fuse goes, under the tip.

The man with the Revolutionary War era cannonball, said Ahearn, thought a little drilling and a few screws would make it into an ideal base for a lamp. As the bit drilled deeper, however, the ball began to smoke. That's when he realized that maybe he could live without a lamp.

In the dim attic light, it was hard to read the faded black stencil-painted letters on the rusted shell casing. "He was a character," said Bird, recalling her father's sense of humor and the shell that used to stand in the living room when she was a kid. Then, one day the shell disappeared. The family forgot about it. Fifty years later, it has entered Bird's consciousness again, a hefty piece of explosive history, patiently sitting in an attic. The ordinance would have been fired from a Navy vessel, to bust up the beach and enemy defenses. It could do a lot of damage to a house. What it could do to a person is unthinkable. "L-A-S-T-E-R," said Trout, deciphering the black letters that hold the shell's secret. "There's no fuse," said Ahearn, unscrewing the tip of the shell. "This is just a cap." The "P" is missing said Trout, completing the puzzle. The World War Two target practice shell was built without explosives. This one was filled with plaster. On the front lawn of the house, Trout grapples with the roughly 40 pound shell, loading it into a red metal container, then onto the back of the truck before heading to Brunswick Naval Air Station, then on to Newport. Even though it's inert, said Ahearn, it will be destroyed. Down the road, it could save someone a bit of confusion.

Lincoln County News 16 May 2007
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Russell, Ahern wed
Elizabeth Russell, daughter of Ed and Jo Russell, and Adam Ahern, son of Carrie and Wally Ahern, exchanged wedding vows on May 20 in an outdoor ceremony at the Ahern farm in Madison. The Rev. Steve Vetter officiated, and Conrad Hoffman, grandfather of the bridegroom, delivered the wedding message.

Andrew Ahern, brother of the bridegroom, was best man, and Dustin Patch and Victor Nhul were groomsmen. Theresa Plote was the maid of honor, and Bria Wawrzyniak and Shannon Ahern (sister of the bridegroom) were bridesmaids. Cooper Hoffman, nephew of the bridegroom, was the ringbearer, and Summer Ahern, niece of the bridegroom, was the flower girl. Special guests included grandparents of the bride, Mr. and Mrs. Les Twedell Sr.; and grandparents of the bridegroom, Della and Conrad Hoffman. Ushers were Matt Wilson and Austin Van De Berg. A reception was held at the Ahern farm following the wedding ceremony.

The couple will honeymoon in Greece and then make their home in Roseville, Minn., where the bridegroom is a senior at Carlson School of Management and the bride, a recent graduate of St. Catherine's University, is employed by the Aveda Company.

Madison Daily Leader 21 May 2007
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Local man dies in vehicle crash
A 64-year-old man driving a motorcycle was killed May 13 after colliding with a sport-utility vehicle in front of a church and cemetery in unincorporated Lemont Township. A man identified by Cook County sheriff's police spokeswoman Penny Mateck as William O'Hearn, of Evergreen Park, died in the crash, Mateck said. O'Hearn was pronounced dead on the scene at 3:58 p.m. at 10600 S. Archer Ave., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. O'Hearn, driving a 2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle east on Archer Avenue, collided with a 2001 Ford Explorer that was traveling west on Archer and turning left toward the entrance of St. James Sag Church and cemetery, Mateck said. "We're uncertain as to point of impact," Mateck said. The accident occurred an eighth of a mile north of Route 83, Mateck said. O'Hearn, who was wearing a helmet, became separated from the motorcycle, which burst into flames. Archer Avenue is one lane in each direction, she said. The church building and cemetery were not hit by either of the vehicles. The driver of the SUV was not hurt.
The Sun 23 May 2007
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Ahern attacks prosecutors' ethics, methods
Former Democratic House District 58 candidate Brian Ahern has filed a grievance against a current and a former prosecutor for the 7th Judicial District, accusing both of "politicizing" a criminal case and prosecutorial misconduct. Ahern and his attorney, Robert Korn, have accused Assistant Attorney General Thomas Raynes and Deputy District Attorney Lou Mehlig of turning a 2006 domestic-violence case involving Ahern into a public and political spectacle, according to a June 4 letter filed with the Colorado Supreme Courtís office of attorney regulation counsel. "It is about time we have some accountability in the 7th Judicial District," Ahern said.

Raynes, who was district attorney in the 7th Judicial District during Ahern's case, joined the attorney general's office in late November. The complaint says Raynes and Mehlig leaked Ahern's court documents to the public, including his opponent's wife and the press, and allowed misconduct throughout the domestic violence trial. Ahern's 2006 candidacy against incumbent Rep. Ray Rose, R-Montrose, began to falter following a September 2006 debate in which Rose revealed Ahern's arrest on suspicion of abusing his fiance, Annie Joens, on June 10, 2006. Following the debate, Ahern's domestic violence case was mentioned in articles about the Telluride Democrat's candidacy. Rose defeated Ahern in the November election, garnering 62 percent of the votes.

Ahern's June 4 complaint emphasizes that his candidacy against Rose, who like Raynes is a Republican, pushed the district attorney's office to behave in an unethical fashion. "At trial, it was the political pressure to prosecute Ahern at any cost that dictated the (deputy district attorney) Mehlig's ethical lapses," the complaint says. Nate Strauch, spokesman for Attorney General John Suthers, said his office could not comment on the criminal case against Ahern or the grievance against Raynes. Mehlig, who was out of his office Wednesday, could not be reached for comment.

Ahern said he wants the "(expletive) storm" surrounding his case to subside, but because prosecutors continue to pursue the domestic violence charge—despite a mistrial in October 2006—he has to fight back. "I'm not stepping down. I'm not going away," Ahern said. "I know enough about (expletive) law that these guys (expletive) up. And I'm not stopping until Tom Raynes loses his job at the attorney general's office and Dale Wood, the chief of police (of the Mountain Village Police Department), resigns."

Grand Junction Sentinel 7 June 2007
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OFFICER'S ACCIDENT: State may probe O'Hearn incident,
District Attorney calls for 'objective entity' to investigate
A special prosecutor may begin investigating the incident surrounding the off-duty accident involving Albion Officer Thomas O'Hearn, Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone said. Within a matter of weeks after O'Hearn's early morning motor vehicle accident on Feb. 8, in which he slammed into a wall on Hazard Parkway and left the scene, Cardone said he contacted the Public Integrity Unit of the New York State Attorney General's Office, which handles investigations regarding the practices of state and local governments. Cardone said he became aware of the accident approximately five days after it occurred. Once the matter was explained to him, he spoke with the Albion Village Board and Village Attorney John Gavenda to gather information. While Cardone said he is unsure if anything criminal has occurred, the appropriate thing was to have a completely independent agency handle an investigation and deal with any findings as they deem necessary.

"I know early on that the Albion Police Department and the Albion Village government contacted the New York State Police about this," Cardone said. "They decided not to proceed with it." In order to avoid conflicts of interest because of his involvement with police departments throughout the county and his handling of cases from officers in each jurisdiction, Cardone said any investigation would have to be done by an "objective entity."

"I work with all the law enforcement in this area on a daily basis, so of course it would be inappropriate of me to pass judgment on the officers," he said. "It clearly has to be done by an outside agency as much removed from county government and working with the Albion Police Department as possible so one guy taking care of the other wouldn't be an issue." According to Lee Park, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, an investigation such as this would be handled by the state bureau, though he would not comment on whether or not there is an investigation currently underway concerning the Albion Police Department. "In a hypothetical, if the Attorney General was looking into government corruption, it would go to the public integrity office," Park said. "We wouldn't be able to confirm or deny if the investigation is taking place."

The Attorney General's state Web site claims that the "Public Integrity Unit brings civil and criminal actions to vindicate the public's interest in honest government and the integrity of governmental officials at the state and local level. Specifically, the unit handles complex investigations into government corruption, fraud and abuse of authority." However, Cardone is not sure who would be running an investigation into the incident because the bureau would prefer not to get involved at this point. "I did receive a call from them (Tuesday) and they are recommending the matter be handled by a special prosecutor rather than their office," he said.

The Journal-Register 7 June 2007
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Injured trooper identified
SPRINGFIELD—State police have identified the trooper who sustained serious injuries yesterday in an accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Westfield. The trooper is Jeffrey T. Ahern, said state police spokesman Sgt. Robert M. Bousquet Jr. Ahern, 48, was driving his 2004 Crown Victoria cruiser in the breakdown lane headed east in Blandford at 4:10 p.m. when he collided with a 2003 Ford turnpike service vehicle. The driver of the service vehicle, Dean G. Varelas, 41, was not injured, Bousquet said.

Ahern, who works out of the Westfield state police barracks, was brought at first to Noble Hospital in Westfield. A police spokesman said Thursday night that Ahern was transferred to Baystate Medical Center, where he was admitted and is being treated. Ahern had apparently started a pursuit and was accelerating from the side of the road when the maintenance vehicle pulled into the breakdown lane to stop, the spokesman said. Seatbelt information was not available. The accident is under investigation, Bousquet said.

Springfield Republican 8 June 2007
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For Kevin Ahern, it's all about the children
LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa—Most people in their 50s wouldn't think of going back to school. For Kevin Ahern, 53, of Elizabethtown, however, school is just where he wants to be. The former elementary school teacher now works as therapeutic staff support aide, or a TSS, in a special education classroom at East Petersburg Elementary School. As a TSS, his job is to help special education students to follow a treatment plan with goals. He records their behaviors and helps the teacher when students become difficult. "I'm there basically to support their behavior, like behavior modification," he said. "Always, the teacher is the one who's in charge."

Some of the common goals for many of the students he works with are getting them to react appropriately to being told, "No," or to switch calmly between activities. For students with autism, a goal is often "to get them to socialize more," he said. Dealing with special education children often demands patience, he said. "The kids I work with are very honest," Ahern said, noting that they will tell him if his hair looks messy or if he has a cut. He recalled one asking what "that thing" on his face was. "It was my mustache," he said chuckling. Ahern has plenty experience dealing with children. He is the third child of 12. "One Sunday we went to church and returned home after Mass. About an hour later, we got a call that we had left one of my brothers behind. He was about 5 at the time. Nobody had noticed," he said, "until we got the call from church."

Lancaster Sunday News 10 June 2007
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Inside scoop at White House
Most U.S. citizens will never have the opportunity to actually view what goes on inside the famous house that sits on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. However, Adam Ahern knows exactly what is happening at any given moment because he works in the situation room at the White House. The 1999 Batesville High School graduate joined the Army four days after graduation. Since that time, he has been stationed at various places around the world, including Argentina and Afghanistan. Two years ago, he accepted a job at the White House as a communicator. His duties are to work with a team of people from the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. "My job is to receive any incoming faxes (and classified information)  . . .  and form it into a summary for the president."

When the chief executive travels, Ahern and his co-workers visit the locations in advance and provide him with all the capabilities he has at the White House. The son of Marian and Karl Ahern Sr. states, "I see him (President George W. Bush) a lot behind the scenes (because) we have to monitor him. I've grown to really respect the man. He is a man of faith (and) when he sits down in a conference, he is in charge." The former Morris resident indicates he likes living near the nation's capital. "It's awesome. It's like the hub of it all  . . .  There's more going on in Washington than anywhere else."

Ahern recalls entering the Oval Office for the first time and being in awe, thinking about all the historical events that happened there. One advantage of his position is being able to give family and friends tours of the White House. His mother, who had the opportunity to attend the last Christmas party there, says, "Most of the people who came (to this event) brought their mom, dad, sister or brother." The young man jokingly announces, "I couldn't get them (his parents) to visit me for six years. Then I started working at the White House, and they want to come."

Some memorable moments associated with the job were running by the Eiffel Tower and seeing Notre Dame Cathedral while traveling in Paris and seeing the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts when they came to Washington, D.C. The young man notes, "The Army is a great career. The experiences I've gained, you can't get anywhere else  . . .  I've got to see the world."

The elder Ahern is very proud of his son's accomplishments, but says, "As a father, I'm glad he's in the states. When he was in Afghanistan, we never got a good night's sleep." Initially, Marian Ahern did not want her son to join the Army. Now she is very supportive of him and agrees, "The military is the best option for all young men." Adam Ahern has enjoyed his experiences working for the government, but in about six months he will be leaving the armed forces to pursue another career. He wants to attend college to become a teacher. "I've learned about who I was and what I wanted to do. It (the military) really opened my eyes to how things work and how things get done."

Batesville Herald-Tribune 12 June 2007
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Ahern gets off to Euro flyer
Flyweight Conor Ahern and lightweight Eric Donovan got Ireland's European Union Championships campaign off to a flying start before John Joe Joyce got in on the act at the National Stadium in Dublin yesterday, writes Bernard O'Neill. Ahern scored a thrilling 20-19 victory over England's Stewart Langley, having trailed by a point going into the last ten seconds of an untidy but explosive 51kg decider. He will now meet Bulgaria's Salim Salimov in tomorrow's quarter-finals.
Irish Independent 18 June 2007
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Which God to worship
   In a letter to the Beacon of June 7th, a writer takes exception to the phrase “freedom of and from religion” in remarks made by Rep. Jamie Eldridge at Boxborough's Memorial Day observance. The writer goes on to say that the Founding Fathers were a God-fearing group and unless we “acknowledge God's hand in our lives” we are doomed to fail as a nation.
   I believe that the so-called Founding Fathers had an even greater fear of a ruler who could dictate what religion must be followed. This is why they gave us a Constitution which prohibited making any laws governing religion. I take that to mean a freedom from religion as well.
   Today we are under attack by people who claim to be fighting a holy war for what they believe is the one true religion. Can our God lick their God? Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition if you must, but don't tell me what to think or say, or which God, if any, to worship.

Dennis J. Ahern
West Acton

Acton Beacon 21 June 2007
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N.H. State Police Troop A — arrest log
Jennifer Ahearn, 34, of 18 Emerson St., South Boston, Mass., was arrested June 20 in North Hampton and charged with receiving stolen property.
Foster's Daily Democrat 2 July 2007
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Michele Ahern has been named assistant principal at Penfield High School. Ahern comes to Penfield from the Midwest Regional School Support Center, where she was an instructional specialist. She will start her new job on July 23.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 5 July 2007
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Walk this way
Inventive land bridge across Route 2
could connect Walden Woods for both people and wildlife
CONCORD—The stretch of Route 2 next to the Concord landfill is among the busiest roads in suburban Boston: four lanes of fast-moving traffic, typically gathering speed as it heads to or from the sharp bend in the road at Crosby's Corner. Before long, a structure could appear above the highway that will cause drivers to slow down for a better look: A tree- and shrub-covered overpass 25 feet wide and packed with earth on its sides, serving as a passageway for both wildlife and humans.

A formal proposal for the extraordinary bridge, which would link trail networks near Walden Pond, is scheduled to be issued next month by planners and designers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. In addition to hikers, a broad range of wildlife—including flying squirrels, tree frogs, deer, and coyotes—is expected to use the passageway. Black bears also have been known to visit the expansive wooded area near Walden Pond and are potential users.

Bridge planners stress that humans and wildlife probably would not use it at the same time, because animals that inhabit the suburbs are wary of people. A s a practical matter, they say, humans would not be using the bridge at night, when most of the animals are likely to use it. "We believe that this has the capacity to be a very beautiful and iconic structure," said Steven Winter, senior project director for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the regional agency overseeing the project. Matt Burne, land conservation coordinator for the Walden Woods Project, said the overpass would reconnect Henry David Thoreau's Walden Woods, which is sliced in two by the highway. Motorists will find the bridge a remarkable sight, he said. "Because of the cultural and environmental significance of this area, we feel this ought to be something to behold," Burne said.

While wildlife tunnels under highways are increasingly common—there are four already on Route 2 in Concord—elaborate overhead passages, sometimes called land bridges, are rare in North America. Florida has one, over Interstate 75 in Ocala in the north central part of the state, and there are two over the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park in Alberta. Some larger animals, as well as those that dwell in trees, are wary of tunnels and are more likely to cross an overhead structure. The 2,680-acre Walden Woods is where Thoreau came to study nature, garden, and write, from 1845 to 1847. He chronicled his experiences and philosophy in "Walden," one of the best-known nonfiction works in American literature. "Some of us like to think this would be an appropriate, 21st-century innovation in the spirit of Thoreau—connecting people to the environment," said Jack Ahern, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at UMass-Amherst and leader of the overpass design team.

A Federal Highway Administration grant of just under $200,000 paid for the bridge planning. Officials said they would seek federal highway money for construction. A formal cost estimate has not been done, but Ahern speculated that the overpass would cost several million dollars. Also undetermined is who would maintain the structure. Kathi Anderson, executive director of the Walden Woods Project, suggested corporate support might be solicited in a manner similar to the adopt-a-highway maintenance programs. The state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages Walden Pond State Reservation, has voiced concern that the overpass could allow unauthorized access to the historic recreation area. Because of erosion on the banks of Walden Pond and other stresses on the environment, the department tries to limit access to the reservation to 1,000 people at a time. When the limit is exceeded, cars are not allowed in the parking lot, and pedestrians are turned away at the intersection of routes 2 and 126.

The Walden Woods Project, an educational and conservation organization founded by musician Don Henley, came up with the idea for an overpass, according to Anderson. She said the organization has been looking for a way to unite the Walden Woods. Route 2 was built through the area in 1935. "We felt very strongly that Route 2 drives a wedge between the ecological unit that is the Walden Woods," Anderson said. "This is the cradle of the American conservation movement. What better place to do an innovative transportation project that addresses the needs of a sensitive environmental area?"

On one side of the bridge would be the closed Concord landfill, which is now a green space, next to Walden Pond. On the other side is Brister's Hill, an interpretive nature center, which is linked by trail to the Concord Town Forest. Through a series of connected trails, hikers also could reach Concord Center and the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, the Bay Circuit Trail, a planned 200-mile path from Newburyport to Kingston, runs past the site of the planned overpass. Concord Selectwoman Virginia McIntyre said the project would expose many more people to the area's special history and environment. "It's an unusual project, but we do a lot of unusual things in Concord. If not here, where else?"

The Boston Globe 8 July 2007
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Sheila Walsh Ahern and Nathaniel Edward Mundy were married yesterday at the Stamford Yacht Club in Stamford, Conn. The Rev. Terry Elsberry, an Episcopal priest, performed the ceremony.

The bride, 26, is a sales executive for Prudential Connecticut Realty in New Canaan, Conn. She graduated from Fairfield University. She is a daughter of Jennifer Ahern of Wilton, Conn., and the late James F. Ahern. The bride's mother is a real estate agent. The bride's father was the director of the Insurance Crime Prevention Institute in Westport, Conn.

The bridegroom, also 26, is the vice president of Grand Prix New York, a corporate entertainment and conference center which is to open in Mount Kisco in October. He graduated from Hobart. He is a son of Sarah Hooper Mundy and Edward S. Mundy of Old Lyme, Conn. His father retired as a vice president and a senior credit officer of CitiGroup.

New York Times 8 July 2007
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Roadside bomb in Iraq kills two Special Ops soldiers
 . . . The military also said that two Fort Bragg-based members of the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion died in Iraq when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb during a patrol in Baghdad.The soldiers were identified as Sgt. Keith A. Kline, 24, of Oak Harbor, Ohio, and Maj. James M. Ahearn, 43, of California, according to the Army Special Operations Command. Kline was a signal support specialist, and Ahearn was a civil affairs officer. Kline is survived by his mother, Betty Kline, and stepfather, Allen Lipstraw, of Oak Harbor, Ohio. Ahearn is survived by his wife, Lina [sic], and their daughter, Khadijah Mariam, both of Raeford; his mother, Connie Ahearn, of Concord, Calif.; and his father, James F. Ahearn, of Phoenix, Ariz.
Charlotte News & Observer 9 July 2007
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Tragic End to A Soldier's Love Story
He was her heart and soul and now Lena Ahearn is dealing with the fact
that she has lost her loved one in Iraq
Fort Bragg Army Major Jim Ahearn known as Jimmy by many died in a roadside bombing last Thursday. Monday his wife, who was born in Iraq, spoke to Eyewitness News about her husband's life with his family—and his death.

Lena Ahearn remembers the day her husband, Major James Ahearn left for his third tour of duty in Iraq. He wrote a note to his family on their refrigerator bulletin board. "No matter how far we are apart, our hearts will always be together. I love you guys so much," the soldier wrote on the note. Jimmy died in Iraq along with another Fort Bragg soldier. Lena is Iraqi and she met Jimmy in the Green Zone where she worked in Baghdad. They fell in love instantly. "He tried to do anything... anything you want just to make you happy," Lena told Eyewitness News reporter Gilbert Baez. "Like... whenever I cry... he cried. Whenever I'm happy... he's happy. This is the man I always dreamed of but he got to go so fast," Lena said. Lena says she's the first Iraqi woman to fall in love with and marry an American soldier after the war in Iraq began in 2003. Her family received death threats after the marriage. The repercussions forced her mother and sister to flee Iraq. Lena explains, "My mother and my little sister are now living in a refugee camp in a dirty little place. She has the diabetes. She have a blood pressure and she's sick over there. My other two sisters and my brother, they stayed in Iraq and now their lives in danger too because of me."

It's easy to see why Lena loved her husband. He always left her flowers, cards and note around the house. "He put them on top of refrigerator, inside the refrigerator beside the milk where I have my coffee creamer in the cabinet in the kitchen. In the laundry room. Whenever I open my draw. When I go to the bathroom, I brush my teeth I found one on the mirror," Lena said. The couple has a 17-month-old daughter and Lena wants her to know how her father lived and not the horrible way he died. Lena said, "I'm kind of ashamed and embarrassing because he died in my country. So, I would love to be a citizen now." Ahearn was one of two Fort Bragg-based members of the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion killed last week. Ahearn was 43. [see also: video]

— 9 July 2007
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Iraqi wife mourns the US soldier she loved
An American soldier who fell in love with an Iraqi woman in Baghdad and converted to Islam to marry her has been killed by a roadside bomb. Major James Ahearn, 43, met his wife Lena during his second tour in Iraq when she was working in the Green Zone, the fortified American compound. They set up home near his base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Mrs Ahearn yesterday mourned the death of her husband and said she was "ashamed and embarrassed" he had been killed at the hands of her countrymen.

"Jimmy was the greatest gift I ever had," she said from the couple's home, where she lives with their 17-month-old daughter Kadi. "I will never regret marrying him and moving to the US." Major Ahearn was killed during his third tour in Iraq. A civil affairs officer, he worked with Iraqis on reconstruction projects to improve basic facilities. He had served in the US Army for 18 years and was due to retire in 2009. Mrs. Ahearn said her husband used his new Islamic faith to try to bridge the cultural gap between Americans and the Iraqis. "He told them there are no differences between people," she said. Before he left for Iraq a final time, he left a note on the refrigerator that said: "No matter how far we are apart, our hearts will always be together. I love you guys so much."

Mrs. Ahearn said her family had received death threats after her wedding. Her mother and sister had been forced to flee the country but she did not regret marrying a soldier and moving to America. "He was the strongest and bravest man I ever saw."

The Telegraph 11 July 2007
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Shared e-mails reveal fallen GI's dedication
Jim Ahearn wasn't sure that anyone was interested in hearing from his dead son, Maj. James Michael "Jimmy" Ahearn, killed July Fourth outside of Baghdad. Ahearn sent copies of e-mails he'd received from his son in Iraq to everyone from the president on down. Elected officials. Political candidates. Newspaper, radio and TV reporters. When we first talked earlier this week, he hadn't heard back from any of them.

"My son passionately believed in what he was doing over there," Jim told me. "Whether I completely agreed with him or not doesn't matter, and honestly I will never express my views. But in honor of my son I will express his." Maj. Ahearn was 43 years old and on his third tour of duty. During the initial battle to secure Baghdad, he received several medals for bravery. He met his future wife, Lena, around that time. She is an Iraqi and was working with the military as a translator. They have a daughter, Kadi. His father is a retired FBI agent who headed the Phoenix office during his final years on the job. Jim Ahearn watched his son rise from an enlisted man in the first Gulf War to an officer charged with developing relationships with Iraqi civilians. Maj. Ahearn wasn't a naive, wide-eyed kid. He was a mature soldier who was convinced that he understood what was at stake in the war. That's why Jim decided to share the e-mails.

We don't often listen to soldiers, however. For one thing, they don't speak with one voice. In Washington this week, politicians on both sides of the aisle were able to trot out Iraq war veterans who were opposed to the conflict or in favor of it. Jimmy Ahearn didn't have that kind of agenda. He wrote home because he wanted friends and family to know what his life was like. And why he was risking it. It's tough to "interview" a lost soldier, but I told Jim that his son deserved to be heard. They all deserve to be heard. They've earned it. The least we can do, every now and then, is to listen to one of them. Like this one:

"Just wanted to let you know that I am still alive and well, despite an ever-increasing presence of grey hair!" Ahearn wrote July 3. "It's been an exciting week, but yesterday was the best yet - we had our Fourth of July a day early. After 43 missions of nothing too exciting - a couple of firefights, but that's to be expected - we finally met up with the big, bad IED. Some jackass initiated his little bomb as my truck was passing by (somewhat little anyway) - scared the bejesus out of me, but I'm fine.  . . .  I'm getting way too old for this; tomorrow had better be a quiet day!" It wasn't. A roadside bomb killed Maj. Ahearn and another soldier, and gravely wounded a third.

"It was July Fourth there," his father said. "He knew that he was in a dangerous place doing dangerous work. But he loved the Army. And he didn't want to leave a tough job to someone else." The son explained that view in a previous e-mail, writing, "Between the four guys on my team we have a combined sixty-six years of military experience. If we were to get the hell out of here, some poor kid would be left doing the job - and we're already losing enough good kids. Besides, I know I keep saying this, and I'm not sure anyone stateside believes me, but there are a lot of good people here who really are trying to make a difference and need some help. There's no doubt in my mind that if we left, they'd all be dead. "I wish I could just sit all the Iraqi entities down in a room, pitch my plan to rid the place of Al Qaeda, and promise that the Americans will leave shortly thereafter (or at least take up positions out in the desert on the Iranian border, which the average Iraqi wouldn't mind at all). I'll figure out the whole Iran thing later. I never realized saving the world was so damned hard!"

Ahearn believed that the war could be won only by working with the people. "This neighborhood was attacked by a car bomb on 22 April, killed six, injured a couple dozen," he wrote a while back. "Why? Because of their diversity; a common technique is to commit some random act of violence as a catalyst for sectarian infighting, after which either the Sunnis or Shia come out on top. There are now large swathes of Baghdad which are homogenous as a result. "Anyway, these people reacted differently. This neighborhood (Sunni, Shia, Christian and Kurd) came together. They cared for the injured, put up the homeless, built makeshift barriers around the neighborhood to prevent such a thing from happening again. "I meet a lot of well educated, modest, polite people who couldn't care less about a Muslim religious war or global politics, they just want the electricity to come on and for their kids to be safe at school."

Jim had a bad feeling about his son's long stints in a war zone. Before Maj. Ahearn went on his last mission, his dad wrote to him: "Son, I will tell you once again that you are a good man with his head and his heart in the right place. I'm sure you're right in your analysis and never question that. Being a selfish father, I worry about you first and the rest of the world later. Get the hell out of there as soon as you can. You're pressing your luck too much."

The Ahearn family received a letter from the White House a day or so ago. Jim contacted me after he read it. It surprised him. It appears to be a standard condolence that is sent to each military family that loses someone in the war, only this one included a handwritten inscription. "I read your e-mails with Jimmy," it reads. "I was touched by your son's courage—God bless you, Sir." It's signed "George Bush."

Maj. James Michael "Jimmy" Ahearn will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C., but not for several weeks. "That wasn't at our request," his father told me. "Apparently, there is quite a backlog."

Arizona Republic 19 July 2007
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The War on the Home Front
When Sarah O'Hearn arrives in Iraq, her thoughts will likely drift home to Marshfield, to a horseback ride on Rexhame Beach. Back home, when Melissa O'Hearn's thoughts drift toward Iraq, about Sarah being in harm's way, she will likely think about the same horseback ride. They were two sisters, sharing much more than an evening ride on a beach. They were saying goodbye last week, at least for a while, in a private, memorable way that was special to both of them. "It was perfect," Sarah said of the ride, which she and Melissa took on her last night home on leave. "The weather was perfect, the water was just the right height. We rode the beach part, then rode up the dunes. It was a lot of bonding. Relaxing, riding next to each other, just talking."

Spc. Sarah O'Hearn, a 2003 graduate of Marshfield High School, is with the 772nd Military Police Company, attached to Delta Company, 1st Battalion of the 181st Infantry Regiment of the Massachusetts National Guard. Her unit, which has been undergoing desert training in Mississippi, departs shortly for Iraq, perhaps as soon as next week. Sarah, who is 22, will be in Iraq for at least a year, perhaps longer. She is among 15 women in her unit. Their mission in Iraq will include security details for dignitaries, transporting detainees and searching Iraqi women at checkpoints.

Melissa, who is Sarah's only sibling, and their mother, Marilyn, both say that the United States has a top-notch soldier in Sarah. "She is pure soldier. She volunteered for the mission, stepped up," said Melissa, who is 30. "She was hand-picked," Marilyn said. "They've got a good soldier. She's a very strong-willed girl. She knows what she has to do, and she'll just do it."

But, while the United States is sending a soldier to Iraq, Marilyn, 59, and Melissa are sending a daughter and sister. There is a full gamut of emotions that comes with that, emotions that all loved ones of troops in Iraq have to cope with, every minute of every day. For one, there is the worry. "Sometimes, when I'm alone, out of the blue, she'll come to mind and I'll start crying," Marilyn said. "I just want her to come home, sound of body, sound of mind. It is my only hope right now. Take it day by day." "When she was packing up for Mississippi, it's when it pretty much hit me, and I got really emotional," Melissa said. "In that snap of time, I was a blubbering idiot. It was, 'I may never, ever see her again.'"

Melissa and Marilyn did not know back in May when Sarah's unit first left for Mississippi that Sarah would be able to come home one more time before being deployed to Iraq. But Sarah did get six days' leave, which ended last week. There was a big party with family and friends, with plenty of stories about a mischievous, fun-loving kid who is now a young woman going to war. "Face like an angel, mind like a devil," Melissa said smiling. There was time while home on leave for Sarah to catch up with some of the people she's grown close to in Marshfield. She kept busy working different jobs after high school, including at the Rexhame General Store, as a cashier; at Leo's Bakery in Marshfield, helping make pastries and serving customers on Sunday mornings, when the bakery served breakfast; and at a Lowe's home building supply store, as a garden specialist. Sarah joined the National Guard in 2004, a year after graduation, and worked with Guard recruiters. But while there was a lot of running around to renew acquaintances while she was home on leave, there was also some quiet time for Sarah, Marilyn and Melissa, for the three of them to simply talk about old times and new days.

Sarah is not nervous about the challenges facing her in Iraq. "I feel good about it," she said. "The training we received was really good. And the people I'm going over there with, you form a really strong bond with them, really good friendships. "You get a lot of trust. I trust them completely." She added that, "my thoughts are of just being safe, really wanting everyone to be OK, to come home to their families - and making sure I can do anything I can to make sure everyone comes home safe."

Sarah acknowledges that there is some nervousness. "It's the unexpectedness. You never know how you're going to react until it happens. You can train and train and train, and some people just freeze," she said. She knows that, at home, Melissa, Marilyn and other loved ones will be worrying about her. "That is extremely important because it gives you more of a drive, to want to do whatever you have to do, to make sure I come home," she said. "Going over there in the first place is just trying to secure their safety back here at home. So, it's just that little drive to make sure you are more motivated to do what you have to do.

In the meantime, Marilyn and Melissa O'Hearn will support her from home, send things to make her smile, and, all the while, think special thoughts about a soldier, a daughter, a sister at war. "I'd never taken her out on a beach ride. It's something we'd always said we're going to do," Melissa said.

The Patriot Ledger 24 July 2007
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Fallen Muslim American Soldier Mourned
Major James Michael Ahearn had a near perfect life. The 43-year-old career army officer was newly married and recently became a father for the first time. On July 5th, during a routine patrol in Iraq, a roadside bomb exploded, killing Major Ahearn and his driver. For Urdu TV's Abdul Aziz Khan, VOA's Jim Bertel has more on this fallen American soldier.

A new dawn beckons at Fort Bragg Military Base in North Carolina. It is one of the most famous military bases in the United States and is home to the famed 82nd Airborne Division. There is also a small mosque at the base, and Muslim soldiers of the U.S. Army gathered here earlier this week to pray and mourn the loss of a fellow soldier. The soldier they are remembering is Major James Michael Ahearn. While in Iraq, Ahearn converted to Islam and married an Iraqi woman named Lena. In 2005, they moved back to North Carolina where they had a daughter and named her "Khadija," after the wife of the Prophet Muhammad.

Eventually, Major Ahearn was sent back to Iraq. On July 5th, he and his driver were killed when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle. Chaplain Khan was sent to inform Lena Ahearn of her husband's death. "When Major Ahearn died, the Army wanted to send a Muslim along with the casualty officer, so they contacted me," he said. "I went with them and met his wife. Obviously, it was a huge shock for her and there was nothing I could say that would take away her pain. We were without words."

His colleagues remember Major James Michael Ahearn as a very quiet and peaceful man. He was given an Islamic burial earlier this week at Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for many of America's fallen heroes.

Inna lillahi wainna ilayhi rajighoun
"To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return" (Qur'an, surah 2, verse 156)
Maj. James Michael Ahearn was a civil affairs officer assigned to 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. He died July 5, 2007, from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device attack while conducting a patrol during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. Ahearn deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of a civil affairs team supporting the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

This was Ahearn's second tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was born Nov. 3, 1963, in Florida and was raised in California. Ahearn graduated from Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, Calif., in 1988 with an associate degree in liberal arts and later earned a bachelor's degree in history from Campbell University, Buies Creek, N.C. He entered the military service in 1989 and later completed the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga. In 1994, he returned to Fort Benning and graduated from the Officer Candidate School. Following OCS, Ahearn was assigned to the 27th Engineer Brigade here. Subsequently, he served tours at Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Irwin, Calif., as well as Korea and Kuwait. Ahearn first deployed to Iraq as an engineer officer in 2003. He also served his country in Saudi Arabia and Germany.

Ahearn's military education also includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced courses at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., the Civil Affairs Officer Course and the Regional Studies Course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School here.

His awards and decorations include Bronze Star for valor, Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service medals, five Army Commendation medals, two Army Achievement Medals, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, two National Defense Service medals, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudia Arabia), Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

Ahearn is survived by his wife, Lina [sic] and their daughter, Khadijah Mariam both of Raeford, N.C. He is also survived by his mother, Connie Ahearn of Concord, Calif., and his father, James F Ahearn of Phoenix, Ariz.

Voice of America 28 July 2007
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Ahern wins silver in scholastic men's wrestling
NEW YORK—Yorktown's Mike Ahearn was the silver medalist and Edgemont's Genta Murayama won the bronze medal today in the scholastic men's 123-pound freestyle wrestling division at Mount St. Michael.
The Journal News 28 July 2007
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Army Maj. James M. Ahearn, 43, Concord; killed with another soldier by bomb in Iraq
In the final hours of his life July 5, Army Maj. James M. Ahearn was doing what he did best: looking out for the interests of others. From his quarters in Baghdad, he tried to assure family members in the U.S. that he was safe and upbeat. Then he headed across town to try to assure local Iraqis that eventually things could be upbeat and safe for them too, if everyone worked together. He was on his way to that neighborhood meeting when a homemade bomb blew up next to his truck. He was killed instantly, along with a sergeant from his 95th Civil Affairs Brigade.

Ahearn, 43, of Concord, Calif., was buried Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery. His younger brother, Kevin, delivered the eulogy, describing him as a hero in life as well as death. An 18-year veteran whose career included duty in the Persian Gulf War as an enlisted man assigned to a tank crew, Ahearn was nearing the end of his third tour of duty in the current Iraq conflict. And he seemed to understand the country like few Americans do. He learned to speak Arabic and moved comfortably among Iraqi villagers and officials. During Baghdad duty in 2003, he met and fell in love with an Iraqi woman. He brought her to the U.S. in 2005, and they married and had a baby girl.

On this tour, Ahearn was working to develop relationships with Iraqi civilians and improve relations among rival groups. There were signs that work was starting to pay off, he told family members. "Cautiously optimistic is a very good way of putting it," he wrote in early June. "The last 36 hours have been very encouraging for me: had a meeting with an Iraqi general, pitched my ideas for civil affairs projects in one of his neighborhoods. Had a meeting in the neighborhood with a bunch of local leaders who were insistent that they don't want handouts; they just need some assistance to get things going."

The neighborhood where he was killed had been car-bombed a few weeks earlier, leaving six dead and several dozen injured. The sectarian attack had been intended as a catalyst to divide residents, Ahearn explained. Instead, it had united them. "This neighborhood—Sunni, Shia, Christian and Kurd— came together. They cared for the injured, put up the homeless, built makeshift barriers around the neighborhood to prevent such a thing from happening again," he wrote in an e-mail to family members.

Ahearn had met his future wife, Lena, in Baghdad's Green Zone when he stopped by her family's home to check on their welfare. She had been working at the time as a military translator. "It was love at first sight, but we didn't want to say it," Lena Ahearn said. "Jimmy was the greatest gift I ever had." Ahearn impressed those who watched him give food to Iraqi families and things such as soccer balls to children. "He was taking care of the Green Zone where we were staying. He was very friendly, helping everybody. He saw his job as helping rebuild, not fighting," recalled Lena's sister, Mariam Ghadeer. When Lena agreed to marry him, he set out to convert to the Muslim faith so the ceremony could take place. Then he worked to bring her to the U.S.

His father, retired Phoenix-area FBI head James F. Ahearn, helped him snip through immigration red tape, eventually enlisting the assistance of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The couple settled in Raeford, N.C., near the Army's Ft. Bragg, where Ahearn's 96th Civil Affairs Battalion was based. His mother, Connie Ahearn, lives in Concord, Calif. Seventeen months ago, Ahearn's daughter, Kadi, was born. His redeployment to Iraq began in March, and he was due home in September. He planned to retire from the Army in 2009. Ahearn's greatest worry, initially, was that his daughter wouldn't remember him when he returned. But he also was concerned about the Iraqi children whom he encountered. Snapshots that he sent from Iraq nearly always depicted children, friends say. He encouraged them to ship over toys—but "no toy guns, please"—to be distributed to them. "If we can get through to the kids," he wrote, "then maybe Kadi can visit here as a tourist instead of as a lieutenant."

To the end, the American major worried more about the Iraqis' fate than his own. "There are a lot of good people here who really are trying to make a difference and need some help. There's no doubt in my mind that if we left, they'd all be dead," he wrote in an e-mail to his father. "If we were to get the hell out of here, some poor kid would be left doing the job—and we're already losing enough good kids. "I wish I could just sit all the Iraqi entities down in a room, pitch my plan to rid the place of Al Qaeda, and promise that the Americans will leave shortly thereafter—or at least take up positions out in the desert on the Iranian border, which the average Iraqi wouldn't mind at all. I'll figure out the whole Iran thing later. "I never realized saving the world was so damned hard."

Los Angeles Times 29 July 2007
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Bankruptcy Orders
AHERN, Timothy Joseph, residing and carrying on business as Timothy Ahern (actor) at 34 Hillside Gardens, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2LF.
Court—TAYLESBURY COUNTY COURT. Date of Filing Petition—T26 July 2007. No. of Matter—T310 of 2007. Date of Bankruptcy Order—T26 July 2007. Whether Debtor's or Creditor's Petition—TDebtor—Ys. Official Receiver—T1st Floor, Trident House, 42-48 Victoria Street, St Albans, AL1 3HR.
The London Gazette 1 August 2007
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Valley author cracks the tough children's book market
The world of publishing children's books, like the movie industry, can be a tough shell to crack without insider connections or celebrity. But like the children's fable about the tortoise and the hare, Gardnerville resident Carolyn Ahern is banking on her land-dwelling friend "Tino" and her series, "Tino Turtle Travels" to start steady and win over young readers and educators alike.

Ahern, who also lives part-time in Las Vegas with her husband, Don, began her self- publishing journey about four years ago. Since then, the registered nurse and self-proclaimed childhood literacy advocate can't stop talking about her "Tino," who dreams of traveling to faraway places during his hibernation to meet friends and visit historical landmarks. While some may get discouraged without a well-known publisher to open the chain store doors to her book, Ahern takes it on herself to trademark, license, bankroll and publicize her series. She became a licensed bookseller and works four to six hours daily on the project. The capital investment, a figure near $100,000, is what it took to start her own limited liability company business, Ahern said. "I could wait for someone to believe the way I believe," said Ahern, who has had positive feedback from publishers she has shown her series. "Why wait when you know you have a good product? Once you create buzz, you have leverage."

Visiting a friend
In the self-published book "Tino Turtle Travels to London, England," Tino visits a friend who takes him on the sights familiar to anyone who has traveled there and introduces those who haven't. The illustrator, Neallia Burt Sullivan, brings the friendly turtle to life using soft but vibrant watercolor depictions.

Ahern writes: "The next day, Percy and Tino begin their London adventure in another bus: a red double-decker," Ahern writes. "Percy tells Tino, 'We'll take a fun boat ride down the River Thames. This river connects London with the sea. And Tino, be sure to pronounce it tems.'" "It's a delightful way to learn about another culture," said Burt Sullivan, who lives in Henderson. "I love that there is a pen pal. In this electronic age, people forget about writing." The idea originated as Ahern traveled to nearly 20 countries with her husband, who owns the largest independently owned equipment rental business in the world, Ahern Rentals. Now the couple, who have been married for 14 years, spend half their time at their Carson Valley farm where they grow and sell timothy grass hay. To date, there are five books in the series — targeted to ages 4 to 10 — where Tino travels with the help of his Fairy God Turtle to places such as London, Paris, Kenya and Mexico. Two of the books have been published and by next summer, illustrations and self-publication on all five should be complete. There is a Web site, and Tino lollipops, a plush Turtle toy, a song, CDs, key chains, bookmarks and many more travels to come, said Ahern.

The Douglas Times 3 August 2007
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Casper at the crossroads
by Hannah Wiest
Bodies were strewn in blotches of navy blue and grey on a Pennsylvania field. Three days of combat left nearly 50,000 casualties, the most of any battle in the American Civil War. Then, as night fell, the bodies rose, stretched and set up cheesy little tents. Even hard-core re-enactors need their rest. The next morning, Casper re-enactor Bruce Berst crawled from his tent onto a snow-covered field. Fires wouldn't ignite. Men were cranky. Except one. With a masterful throw, he began an hour-long snowball fight. Berst found the fight a bit silly for grown men doing a serious re-enactment. But later that day while touring the Gettysburg Museum he saw a woodcut that changed his mind. It showed Civil War soldiers putting down their guns and chucking snowballs instead. Ever since, he has felt intensely connected to the history he brings alive as both a re-enactor and a history teacher at Natrona County High School.

Next week, Berst hopes to bring Casper's history alive as one of many re-enactors at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. The center is celebrating five years of commemorating Casper's rich history and prominent spot at the crossing of four national historic trails: the Oregon, Mormon, California and Pony Express. Through simulated wagon and stagecoach rides, hands-on activities, life-size statues and educational films, the museum annually helps more than 5,000 school children and as many adults walk in the steps of Western pioneers, said Edna Kennell, executive director of the National Historic Trails Center Foundation.

Even now, Kennell gets goose bumps when she thinks about the center's opening day Aug. 9, 2002, 14 years after the idea for such a center was born. Even through failing funds and interest the Historic Trails Center became the museum that doesn't make kids groan. "I'm in my 36th year of classroom teaching," Berst said. "Kids either love or hate history. Loving requires history be brought alive for them. It's not read this and do the questions. It's tell the story and show them the people's lives." Like the life of Dr. Dumass and his 1860s travelling medicine show. Through this informational and humorous portrayal of a "doctor" with all purpose miracle cures for snake bites, chiggers, gout, rheumatism, burns, hangnails, dropsy, drowsy [sic] and diarrhea, Berst points to the fact that pioneers really did face all these problems and more, often with no real hope of a cure.

Or the life of telegraph operators who had to fight man and elements to keep the West connected to the rest of the nation. George Ahern, Bill Sinnard and Dick Garrison, members of the Troop C Third Calvary re-enactment group (which took first place in this year's Fair Parade equestrian division), will demonstrate what "tending the talking wire" entailed in Casper, based on journal entries from a real operator. "If you can take this history and show people what's going on and not just names and dates, they'll enjoy it more, they'll remember it more," Ahern said while leading a tour of the museum for Boys and Girls Club kids recently. And the kids did enjoy it. They watched a slideshow on the Mormon trail and pretended to swim across the river on the floor. They became cowboys and ladies as they sloshed across the North Platte River in a wagon. "It was bumpy. I acted like I was playing checkers, but they went everywhere. I was screaming," said 6-year-old Aubrey Shellingcord. She got it. Pioneer life on the four trails passing through Casper was bumpy and brutal. It was full of death. But it was also full of music and joy and new beginnings that eventually led to Casper's existence on the crossroads of past and present.

Casper Star-Tribune 3 August 2007
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Rise in giant jellyfish brings scores of stings
A mysterious drifter is making its presence felt at local beaches. The black sea nettle, rarely seen along the county coastline, began its latest surprise visit a few weeks ago, when the ocean water topped 70 degrees. The burgundy-colored jellyfish, packed with stinging cells, certainly has captured the attention of beachgoers. Lifeguards along the region's more than 70 miles of coastline say they've been extra busy treating and consoling people who got stung. "I'd estimate about 200 citywide per day," said Lt. Nick Lerma, spokesman for the San Diego lifeguard service.

While the number of stings appears to have peaked at beaches in San Diego, it's rising in North County. Oceanside Lifeguard Capt. Bill Curtis said his staff used a shovel to pluck two jellies from the surf Sunday. "A single jellyfish in the surf can sting five people or so if it gets tumbled in a wave and knocked around with bathers," Curtis said. In addition, parts of a jellyfish can sting even after they've become detached from the creature's bell-shaped top. The sting causes skin irritation and redness that usually go away in less than an hour and can be painful. Some lifeguards treat the stings with a vinegar-and-water spray; others recommend washing the affected area with seawater. Two species of stinging jellyfish are actually coming ashore, Lerma said. One is the purple-striped jelly (chrysaora colorata); the other is the seldomly seen sea nettle (chrysaora achlyos). Sea nettles' bells can grow up to 3 feet in diameter, and their tentacles can dangle up to 20 feet.

Mystery surrounds the black sea nettle because it has appeared in local waters just five times since 1926. The last visit was in 2005. The species typically thrives in tropical waters. "The right conditions have to be present for them to show up, but we can't tell you exactly what those are. No one has figured it out yet," said Bob Burhans, curator of live displays at the Stephen Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. "If the currents or water temperature changes, they could be gone tomorrow," he added. The aquarium staff has collected several of the sea nettles in hopes of breeding them — as it did five years ago, Burhans said.

One of the giant jellies piqued the curiosity of Patrick Ahern while he was surfing at Windansea beach in La Jolla. "I had never seen one like this in 40 years of surfing," he said. "It's an impressive organism. It's really quite beautiful." Even though he tried to avoid touching the gelatinous blob, the sea nettle issued its familiar calling card. "Pretty soon my legs felt like they were almost on fire," Ahern said. Forty minutes later, the stinging stopped, and he was good to go. "It was manageable pain," he said. "I knew it would go away."

San Diego Union-Tribune 7 August 2007
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Venison moves out of the wild and onto the farm
Henry Ahern, owner of Bonnie Brae Farms in Plymouth, N.H., visits some of this deer. In an effort to save his grandfather's farm from developers 13 years ago, Ahern chose deer farming because of ease of care, high venison prices and a market for breeding stock, hides and antlers.
PLYMOUTH, N.H.—When Henry Ahern's first 27 red deer ambled off the trailer and onto his grandfather's farm 13 years ago, he was just looking for a way to save the 200 acres from developers. He'd considered farming cattle, elk, bison, or even fish. But when he learned that the United States imported more than 3 million pounds of deer meat a year from New Zealand, he became convinced a niche domestic market could be created. He was right. Since he started Bonnie Brae Farms, farmed venison has become a fast-growing cottage industry fueled by strong interest in the low-fat, low-cholesterol meat with all the flavor but none of the gamey bitterness of its wild cousin.

Today, Ahern manages a herd of more than 300 red deer, which are larger and a deeper red than the white-tailed deer that roam wild through much of North America. And demand is strong enough that he frequently runs short of meat. "After 13 years, I can still stand out here and watch them all day," he said recently at his farm as he was mobbed by the 500-pound animals that nuzzled him like puppies. That is, puppies with velvety antler racks nearly a yard wide.

Eating farm-raised venison is a different experience from eating deer raised in the wild. "It's a beautiful meat," says Cory Hussey, chef de cuisine at The Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H., one of a growing number of restaurants serving domestic venison. The meat lackes the "super afterbite" of that of wild deer, he said. That's because the regular, more controlled diet farmed deer are fed, as well as professional butchering, reduces the bitterness sometimes found in hunted deer.

Just 20 years ago, the farmed venison industry barely existed in the U.S. Most meat came from New Zealand, home to half the world's farmed deer. This year the country will export $200 million worth of deer products, mostly to Europe and South Korea. But domestic farms such as Ahern's have been chipping away at New Zealand's domination. There were nearly 3,000 deer farms in the U.S. as of 2002, most of them new, according to the most recent federal data. The average deer farm has just 82 deer, according to a recent study by Texas A&M's Agricultural and Food Policy Center. That same study also said that while deer farming remains small, it is "perhaps the fastest growing industry in rural America." That's partly because deer can thrive on small — though not crowded — farms, making it easy for mom-and-pop startups. And while the federal government does not track venison sales, sales definitely are growing, says Shawn Schafer, executive director of the Minnesota-based North American Deer Farmer's Association.  . . . 

MetroWest Daily News 22 August 2007
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Screams always brighten up his day
WESTFORD—He waits for his victims in The Woods. The bodies never turn up, but the heads are hoisted on meat hooks like trophies. There's a hook reserved for you. Sort of. Andrew "Denny" Ahern doesn't really want to lop off your head. He just wants to make you scream like crazy, and have a good laugh afterward. And, if you need to change your pants after running into him, he'll reach cult status among his co-workers. Known as Denny to all he haunts into laughter, the former Acton resident is part of the creepy cast of actors at Witch's Woods Halloween Scream Park at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area. The park opens its doors for the season tonight at 6:30. The motley crew of freaks and ghouls in the Woods want to quicken your pulse and give your vocal chords a workout. "People are paying for a scare, so you might as well do it as best as you can," says Ahern, who plays a dark knight guarding the park's Castle Morbid attraction. So, go on. Enter the Woods, if you dare.

Q: What is Witch's Woods?
A: Legend has it that for centuries, a coven of witches met secretly deep in the woods of Nashoba Valley to practice magic. Their job was to guard an ancient gateway that holds back evil creatures. But the evil presence grew too strong and now the creatures have crossed over, roaming the woods in search of prey.
Q: How do you fit into this story?
A: I wear a suit of armor. Underneath the helmet, my face is really deformed. Usually people walk by and me, and don't take notice. At first they think I'm just a statue. But then I'll start to move, maybe lurch forward or fall over. Then I'll rip my helmet off and chase them. It's acting, but at the same time, it's jumping out and getting in people's faces. I chase after them for a good 30 feet, moving them deeper through the maze.
Q: Do you practice being scary?
A: I also play the part of Riff Raff in the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the AMC in Harvard Square. I've been with Rocky for six years. When I'm at the theater, I'll run up behind people and scare the crap out of them for no reason at all. It's fun, seeing the reactions you get.
Q: What's your day job?
A: I have four jobs, including this one (Witch's Woods). I'm a projectionist at the West Newton Cinema, I work at Hot Topic in Natick and at the Halloween Megastore in Westboro. I always have the weirdest assortment of jobs.
Q: Looking back to your childhood, which role would have fit you best -- the creepy kid in Sixth Sense or one of misfits in The Goonies?
A: Neither. More like Meatballs. I was that little outcast kid that not many people talked to. In junior high school, I got kind of weird, wearing all black clothes and everything. I've pretty much lived this life since I was 19. I have friends that have known me for a long time and they still think I'm 19.
Q: What did you aspire to be as a kid?
A: I wanted to get into movies. I do a lot of acting. My dad brought me to the movies four times a week when I was growing up. It's sort of ingrained in my veins. I may not be making movies yet, but at least I still get to put them together at work.
Q: What is the most underrated horror film?
A: I like Sean of the Dead and Army of Darkness. But to pick one, I have no idea.
Q: What's the best scare you gave someone?
A: I have all these different tactics. When people come around the corner, they wonder if I'm real. I'll fall a little bit, hit the wall and drag the tip of the sword's blade against the wall. If there's people still behind me, I'll hit the wall and swing again. I had a girl last year that fell backwards about seven feet. Some of the actors here go by a points system. Ten points if you make them pee. Fifty points if you make them puke. There's another option but we probably shouldn't talk about that.
Q: What scares you the most?
A: I hate snakes. I saw Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was real small. That pit of snakes just scared the crap out of me.
Q: What's the best thing about your job?
A: Besides the reactions, it's impossible to find a better bunch of freaks. You get into this tightknit group that's like family. Every night when the park closes down, you hang out and relate the scares you pulled. It's a lot of fun.

The Lowell Sun 28 September 2007
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LOWELL—The Immaculate Conception Grammar School opened its doors this school year with the addition of a new staff member, sixth-grade teacher Kelly O'Hearn. O'Hearn earned her degree in education from Keene (N.H.) State College. She has been excited about getting to know the ICS community. ICS celebrated Children's Day on Sept. 28. Each classroom was provided with a special treat, and all teachers had special projects and activities for the children throughout the day. Seventh- and eighth-graders held their first dance of the year, which was enjoyed by all who attended. Eighth-graders have been busy visiting local Catholic schools in the area as they prepare for life after ICS.
The Lowell Sun 21 October 2007
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Special prosecutor appointed in Ahern case
TELLURIDE—A special prosecutor has been approved to try the menacing and criminal mischief allegations against former political candidate Brian Ahern. The district attorney's office filed a motion for the appointment of a special prosecutor Oct. 24, which was granted Friday. "Based upon the proceedings to date in this case, it is possible that the undersigned deputy district attorney or other deputy district attorney in the Seventh Judicial District could be a witness in this case," Deputy District Attorney Keri Yoder wrote in the motion, which requested the special prosecutor to avoid the obvious conflict if any DDA were to be named as a witness.

Ahern was running for the statehouse when he arrested in the summer of 2006 and accused of threatening his girlfriend, to whom he has since become engaged. Police said Ahern destroyed items in Annie Joens' home after an argument, but Joens defended Ahern in subsequent media reports and said she intended to testify on his behalf. The arrest came to light after Ahern's opponent, Ray Rose, brought it up at Club 20 debates. Rose went on to soundly defeat Ahern in last fall's elections.

Ahern claimed—and maintains—that his arrest records were illegally released by Mountain Village Police. A mistrial in his menacing case was declared last year, but the judge ruled it had been triggered by the conduct of Ahern's defense attorney, so he could be tried again. Ahern disagreed and has filed several complaints against the Seventh Judicial District Attorney's office, including so-far unsuccessful ones against Lou Mehlig, who tried the original case.

District Attorney Myrl Serra said a prosecutor from the Sixth Judicial District, out of La Plata County, would now be handling the Ahern case. Yoder's motion specifies Craig Westberg, but it was not immediately clear whether he or another prosecutor in his office would take the case, which was set for a conference Nov. 15. The Seventh and other regional judicial districts rely on one another to furnish special prosecutors from one district when there is a conflict in another. Westberg, district attorney in the Sixth, is the current assignment coordinator for special prosecutors in the region that includes the Seventh, Sixth, 12th and 22nd judicial districts. But Westberg is facing legal troubles himself. Serra's office has been appointed as special prosecutor to handle the pending case against Westberg, which alleges driving under the influence.

The Associated Press reported Westberg was arrested Oct. 10, and that he told the Durango Herald he had taken an Ambien sleeping pill. Serra said he requested the Colorado Attorney General's Office to appoint a prosecutor for the Westberg case, to avoid any conflicts of interest that might arise because of his professional relationship with Westberg. If the AG takes the case, Serra's office will have nothing more to do with it. Serra was still awaiting a decision from the attorney general on the Westberg matter Friday.

Montrose Daily Press 9 November 2007
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Family tree farm a century-long tradition
PLYMOUTH—It's said that family-owned establishments are on the decline, but one in Plymouth is going strong with 110 years under its belt. Glove Hollow Tree Farm has gone through many transformations throughout its years, but one thing has remained constant: It has been run by the Aherns, who take pride in the fact that customers spanning several generations continue to come back each Christmas to pick out the perfect tree. "We tend to see familiar faces," said Mike Ahern, who runs the farm with his wife Karen. They are the fourth generation of Aherns to farm on the property. "People come in and say that we aren't just the place to go once, but the place to go every year to get a tree."

Glove Hollow Tree Farm opened for the season at 8 a.m. on Friday. Ahern said opening day is often very busy because it is tradition for many people to search for trees on this day. From Friday through Sunday, hours will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday the farm will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year's opening is a little different than years past, however. Glove Hollow Tree Farm is celebrating the 50th anniversary with a variety of attractions that are fun for the whole family. On opening weekend and the weekends beginning Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, there will be horse drawn hayrides. All other weekends there will be tractor rides, which Ahern said has been a long-running attraction at the farm. There will also be goats and horses to see, which Ahern said is always an attraction. He said that a new feature this year is a tree house that overlooks the entire farm. "We keep it traditional and simple most of the time," said Ahern. "But we like to change things up each year. There's always something a little bit different. I think our customers like coming back and seeing something familiar with some fun changes."

The Ahern family purchased the 300-acre farm in 1897. Soon after the purchase, they moved the farm house to higher ground along Route 3 where it is now located. In 1912 an addition was built onto the main house to provide extra rooms to rent to vacationers. These were tourists who often came from the city to experience life on the farm. In the early 1900s the Aherns purchased a 25-acre parcel of land on the north end of the farm. Located on this site was a small pond, a waterfall and a brook, which later became known as Glove Hollow Brook.

Omer Ahern, the 3rd generation owner and grandson of the original owner, along with his father operated a dairy farm with milk routes in Plymouth and Ashland. Omer also operated his own construction business with one of the first tractor backhoes in the area, which he continued until 1956 when he was appointed the assistant administrator of the Sullivan County Home in Claremont. The next year he planted the first Christmas trees, which were mostly balsam fir and white spruce. He continued to operate the farm as a Christmas tree plantation. In 1971 he sold his first retail and wholesale trees. It was the same year that they became known as Glove Hollow Tree Farm. Both Omer and wife Rosa retired from their positions as co-administrators of the Sullivan County Home in 1984.

Mike Ahern said working on the farm is something he truly enjoys. "I guess it's just in my blood," said Ahern. "I've been doing this forever. My dad still drives the tractor and helps out on the farm. He is around to keep an eye on things." Ahern said the fact that the business is family owned and the friendly atmosphere there are among the reasons customers keep coming back. He's been noticing the children of customers coming in with families of their own, he said. He noted one customer who has been purchasing trees at the farm since the 1970s, never missing a year. Ahern said most of his customers are local, coming from Plymouth, Campton, Ashland, Meredith and Laconia. "My wife and I appreciate and acknowledge that customers from the area keep coming back," said Ahern. "We are humbled by this fact. I think the way we treat our customers when they are here keeps people coming back. It's not like, here's a saw and here's a number. It's much more than that. We make it a family atmosphere to keep everyone happy."

Glove Hollow Tree Farm will be open until Christmas Eve. Ahern said they have never shut down early and don't expect things to change in their 50th anniversary year. For more information call 536-2334 or go to

The Laconia Citizen 25 November 2007
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Singing for the kids
Musicians team up for Patsy's House benefit concert
If you're looking for the true meaning of Christmas, Sunday afternoon might give you a glimpse into what the holiday is all about. That's what Danny Ahern hopes will happen during an event that aims to help Patsy's House Children's Advocacy Center and the children and families it serves. Ahern, co-owner of the Iron Horse Pub, is a member of the Knights of Columbus, and when the organization decided to put on a benefit for Patsy's House, Ahern put his ties to the music community to work. The result is an event geared toward all ages, from the youngest children to adults, and it will give three local musical acts time to shine in front of a hometown crowd.

The event starts at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Turtle Creek Road. Ahern found people willing to donate their time, talents and equipment from the beginning. When 18-year-old Johnny Cooper, whose vocal and guitar talents have made him a hit across Texas, learned about the event and that it was for Patsy's House, he jumped on board, Ahern said. "When Danny called, I was like, 'Sure, man, definitely—we'll do it,' " Cooper said. Cooper said he loves to help Ahern any way he can since Ahern has been instrumental in his musical endeavors. His music draws upon a wide range of influences, from '70s rock to more funky sounds. He also wants to do something to help the children, "anything we can do to help with kids," Cooper said. As he grew up in Wichita Falls, he learned about the time some of his teachers gave to Patsy's House, so he's familiar with its mission to help children who have suffered abuse and neglect.

The benefit grew even bigger. Texas Firehouse—a band made up of five Wichita Falls firefighters—as well as country singer-songwriter Luke Robinson quickly signed on. "That'll be cool to catch him," Cooper added. He said it's inexpensive to get in the door, and it's a good chance to hang out with friends and family, listen to music and help a good cause.

The event costs $6 at the door, and since everything—including the stage, equipment and food—were donated, all proceeds from the event go directly to Patsy's House, Ahern said. It couldn't come at a better time of year for the nonprofit agency that provides services to children who have been through a lot in their young lives. "This will help us a lot," Patsy's House Executive Director Trish Remington said. For one thing, colder weather has arrived, and high heating costs come with the drop in temperature. A major appeal campaign that has traditionally taken place at this time will also now happen in April instead to coincide with Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Patsy's House has always had tremendous help from so many people around the holidays to provide for the children, and that continues, Remington noted. The goal is to make sure each child has something for himself or herself, and also to allow the children to visit the Santa Shop to find gifts for family members. Unfortunately, the holiday season can carry some hard times for some children, for instance, when they might be exposed to family members or friends it's not necessarily best for them to be exposed to, Remington said. Once the holidays fade and school starts again, Patsy's House generally sees its numbers increase. That means providing services such as counseling for more children. Remington said Patsy's House appreciates the help from the benefit scheduled for Sunday.

Ahern looked forward to the event, which will be smoke-free and alcohol-free, to give the "younger generation" a chance to enjoy the performances by local musicians and help support the cause. Luke Robinson takes the stage from 4 to 4:50 p.m. Texas Firehouse performs from 5:10 to 6 p.m. and Johnny Cooper will be on stage from 6:20 to 7:20 p.m. Ahern and Cooper encouraged everyone to come out Sunday for the event, which is geared toward making Christmas brighter for children in North Texas.

Times Record News 27 November 2007
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Law catches up with paedo pair
A pair of perverts have been jailed for sexually assaulting two boys and police say their deeds have caused the victims psychological damage. John Murray Ahern, 55, of Elmwood Avenue, Feltham, was found guilty of nine charges of indecent assault and one of attempted buggery at Manchester Crown Court. Peter David Ward, 59, of no fixed address, was found guilty of four charges of indecent assault and one count of attempted buggery. They were jailed for seven years and five years respectively.

Former youth leader Ahern and Ward who was living in Collyhurst, Manchester, at the time, sexually abused one of their victims, now 32, between 1987 and 1988. After he complained to police, a 37-year-old man came forward to Greater Manchester Police, independently saying he too had been a victim of Ahern. The victim was a member of a social networking website who got in touch with old friends from the youth group. He noticed Ahern had sent him an email in 2005 asking how he was. This revived memories of what Ahern had done to him between 1981 and 1982 and he called police. Both men were charged with attempted buggery under old legislation as their offences date back to the 1980s. Speaking after the court case, Detective Constable Mark Watson said: "These men were a danger to young boys and have caused a great deal of psychological damage to their victims."

Richmond and Twickenham Times 30 November 2007
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