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Newspaper Stories of 2011


An American Apollo
More than just a dancer's life, Jacques d'Amboise's memoirs
are the story of City Ballet's coming of age

By Lauara Jacobs
Halfway into the irresistible memoir "I Was a Dancer," it can begin to seem as if the life of Jacques d'Amboise—born Joseph Ahearn, in 1934, in Massachussetts—was composed in the key of G. His mother, who gave him purpose and a pathway, was Georgette d'Amboise. His wife, who gave him four children and a partnership of 53 years, was Carolyn George. And his boss, who gave him an incomparable career at the New York City Ballet (NYCB), was George Balanchine. The key of G, because it is easy-going, is often called the "people's key," and that's not a bad way to look at Mr. d'Amboise, who was very much the people's classical dancer. If not the first American classicist, he was certainly NYCB's first home-grown male star, having come up through its School of American Ballet, which he entered at age 8. City Ballet's co-founders, Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, set out to build a company based on American energy, athleticism and unself-conscious elegance. In Jacques d'Amboise, with his roguish cheekbones and aw-shucks shock of dark hair, they found their perfect team player and campus hero. In 1958, when Balanchine choreographed "Stars and Stripes," he placed Mr. d'Amboise in its climactic pas de deux.

It turns out that the dancer is also a writer. If Mr. d'Amboise had finished high school—in 1949, at the age of 15, he accepted a position in the company of the year-old NYCB—his skill with the quill might have been discovered. The opening sentences of this memoir don't just pull you in; in a mere three lines they capture the essential dynamic between Andrew Ahearn and his feisty wife: "My father would tell us, 'She thinks she's Sarah Bernhardt, the queen of the theater, putting on airs.' My mother relished the comparison, ignoring the slur Pop intended. She did resemble pictures of the great actress, and acted the part as well." This is a woman who, in 1946, convinced her husband to change his surname, and that of their four children, to hers. (First names were Gallicized as well; thus Joseph became Jacques.) She argued that "it's aristocratic, it's French . . . and it's a better name." Pop was Boston Irish and mother, 4-foot-9 and dubbed "The Boss," was French-Canadian.

The book begins with tales of the parents' parents and the tough but picturesque lives they led in cold, snowy places. Like so many immigrants and first-generation Americans in the early 20th century, Mr. d'Amboise's parents were nomadic. With every move, they hoped to inch a bit closer to the American dream, and for Georgette that dream lived in New York City, where, she was always saying, "the arts are." She wasn't a grasping, Mama Rose sort of stage mother. She believed that the arts were the height of civilization, worth every penny of training. The family moved to Washington Heights (in Manhattan's northern reaches), where young Jacques was slowly seduced—by jumps and spins—into his sister's ballet class. Within a year, Georgette had them both at the School of American Ballet. She also bartered stuffed chickens for piano lessons and enrolled them in acting classes. Did she know her youngest son was hanging with street gangs during the hours he wasn't doing pli@eacute;s? Or that in winter he and his friends rode Hudson River ice floes from 178th Street to 25th? ("This gave the harbor police," he notes, "plenty to do.")

Charmingly, Mr. d'Amboise links his adolescence and coming of age with that of NYCB's. Seamlessly, Georgette hands him on to George. Balanchine and Kirstein wanted American dancers for their American company, and they especially needed men who could handle the thoroughbred ballerinas that Balanchine was developing. When he joined the company, the teenage d'Amboise was 6-foot-1 and 145 pounds. "A broomstick," he says of himself. "A lamppost with feet and teeth," the choreographer Jerome Robbins called him. Don't let the humor fool you. His physique was Apollonian and his technique honest, airy and effortless, a classicism without fear or tension. Just take a look at Mr. d'Amboise on YouTube, in the dream ballet, for instance, from the 1956 film "Carousel": those floating cabrioles, the nimble tours en l'air, the light touch that is a facet of American style—he's a natural. In 34 years, Balanchine made him 24 new roles. (This is extraordinary given that the considerable number of roles Mr. B choreographed or reworked for Suzanne Farrell, his consuming inspiration of many years, was 23.)

Mr. d'Amboise's long tenure with NYCB, and his privileged view of its inner workings, is the most historically important part of the memoir. He kept diaries, and his countless memories, anecdotes and observations are precious pieces to the puzzle of Balanchine's genius (and also a welcome antidote to the gulag portrayed in the recent film "Black Swan"). He discusses the oft-overlooked primacy of Diana Adams to Balanchine's art. The least known of his important muses, this cool, contained brunette obsessed the choreographer through the 1950s and early 1960s—and made a habit of derailing his dreams for her. When the married Adams became pregnant before a premiere in 1963, she taught the role to the baby-faced Farrell. Balanchine's next muse was born.

Mr. d'Amboise also revisits the glory of the lost ballet "The Figure in the Carpet," built around the unattainable Adams. It was Kirstein's idea— "George! What about a ballet about a Persian rug?"—and its interweaving of Near Eastern motifs was said to be spectacular. Because of a miscarriage, Adams never danced it, which is perhaps why Balanchine let it disappear.

As for Kirstein, d'Amboise is fascinating on the relationship between George and Lincoln (self-confidence versus self-questioning), and he sheds new light on the succession of leadership at NYCB after Balanchine's death. Even the lyrics that Balanchine wrote for a tango— "Why not I, when you were passing by? / Why not you, when I was passing through?"—offer an inroad to the master's heart. And Mr. d'Amboise dares to give us Balanchine's answer to the question: "Who of all your ballerinas do you consider the most talented?" (You'll be surprised.)

One of Mr. d'Amboise's nicknames in the company was "Daisy," because he was "always optimistic and sunny." Another was "Georgette," because the dancers often called each other by their mother's names. And so we return to the key of G, not just the people's key but also that of benediction. After he retired in 1983, Mr. d'Amboise devoted himself to the National Dance Institute, a nonprofit enterprise he had founded in 1976 to introduce the art of dance to children around the world. What his mother brought to her two youngest, Mr. d'Amboise has brought to hundreds of thousands. Dance was good to Daisy and he's returned the favor many times over. With "I Was a Dancer" he has struck a satisfying balance: this memoir is exuberantly dishy, yet unkind to no one.

Wall Street Journal 6 January 2011
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Wounded soldier from Belton back in Texas
"It's only been a week since the accident, but it feels like a year," said Joe Brooks, father-in-law of Lt. Lewis Larkin O'Hern, the former Belton resident who was severely wounded in Afghanistan on Dec. 30. "At first we took it minute by minute, then hour by hour, and now we feel we can take it a day at a time," Brooks said Tuesday. Lt. O'Hern has had to undergo multiple surgeries and three amputations from the result of an IED explosion in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. O'Hern's wife, Rachel, flew courtesy of the Army to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany on Monday to be with him during his recovery.

Thursday the family received a phone call from the Army indicating O'Hern would arrive at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio sometime before midnight Friday to continue his recovery and rehabilitation, which could be anywhere from a year to two years, Brooks said. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks left Saturday morning for San Antonio to be with the couple, and. O'Hern's parents were scheduled to arrive late Saturday from Germany.

Temple Daily Telegram 9 January 2011
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Woburn teen killed in N.H. crash
A Woburn teenager died from his injuries last night after the SUV he was a passenger in rolled over on Interstate 93 in Windham, N.H., police report. New Hampshire State Police report rushing to the single-car crash at 5:15 yesterday afternoon. The crash blocked the southbound lanes of I-93 near Exit 3 where police said a 1998 Isuzu Trooper rolled over onto the driver's side. The driver, identified by troopers as Kyle Ahearn, 19, and four passengers, Joseph Briere, 19, Shshank Samual, 20, Ethan Ahern, 15, and Patrick Raistrick, 18, all of Woburn, were rescued and treated by Derry, N.H. firefighters.

Briere, who was transported by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital, died of his injuries. The other four victims, who received non-life threatening injuries, were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. According to police, it appeared that the vehicle struck a guard rail which caused the vehicle to rollover but the investigation is ongoing.

Boston Herald 12 January 2011
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Woburn teen dies in I-93 crash
Woburn, MA — Woburn has suffered another tragedy. Joseph Briere, 19, of Woburn, was killed last night when the SUV in which he was a passenger rolled over on southbound I-93 near Exit 3 in New Hampshire, New Hampshire State Police have confirmed. He was taken by medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Briere was one of five young people from Woburn who were riding in the 1998 Isuzu Trooper, which police said was driven by Kyle Ahearn, 19. Ahearn and the other three passengers, Shshank Samual, 20, Ethan Ahearn, 15, and Patrick Raistrick, 18, were first treated by Derry Fire and Rescue, then taken by ambulance to area hospitals with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries. Police said they responded to a call about a single-car rollover about 5:15 p.m. and found the SUV rolled over on its driver's side, blocking both southbound lanes.

The investigation is ongoing; however it appears that the Isuzu Trooper left the right side of the roadway and struck the beginning portion of a guard rail causing the vehicle to roll back into the roadway, police said. Interstate 93 south was closed for over an hour and rush-hour traffic was diverted off Exit 4 in Londonderry and rerouted to the north by way of an emergency crossover north of the collision scene. One lane remained closed for about two hours while troopers reconstructed the accident, gathered evidence and removed the vehicle and debris from the roadway. Troopers were assisted with traffic and clean up at the scene by Department of Transportation.

Winchester Star 12 January 2011
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Teen passenger dies in I-93 rollover
WINDHAM — A 19-year-old from Woburn, Mass., was killed and four others were injured when an SUV rolled over on Interstate 93 Tuesday night, police said. According to a New Hampshire State Police press release, the single-vehicle crash happened at 5:15 p.m. on I-93 south in Windham. Police said a 1998 Isuzu Trooper rolled over and was on the driver's side, blocking both lanes of the highway when they arrived at the scene. The driver and four passengers in the SUV, all from Woburn Mass., were treated at the scene by Derry Fire and Rescue. One passenger, Joseph Briere, 19, was airlifted by a DHART medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, police said. The other four: Kyle Ahearn, 19, who was the driver; and passengers Shshank Samual, 20; Ethan Ahearn, 15; and Patrick Raistrick, 18, were taken "by ambulance to area hospitals with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries," according to police.

Police said an investigation is ongoing. The press release said it appeared the SUV "left the right side of the roadway and struck the beginning portion of a guard rail , causing the vehicle to roll back into the roadway." The road was closed for more than an hour and traffic was diverted off Exit 4 in Londonderry and rerouted to the north by way of an emergency crossover north of the collision scene, which the New Hampshire Department of Transportation said happened at mile marker 8.8. "I haven't moved an inch in two hours," said Rob Buck of Methuen, Mass., who was returning home from his Manchester job and telephoned the New Hampshire Union Leader about 7 p.m.

Police said a lane remained closed for approximately two hours for accident reconstruction and debris removal. The Department of Transportation assisted with traffic and clean up at the scene, police said. The accident was the second between exits 3 and 5 on I-93 Tuesday. A rollover crash on I-93 North about 8:10 a.m. happened just south of the I-293 split in Londonderry.

Union Leader 12 January 2011
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Police: Woburn teen died after I-93 crash
WINDHAM — A Woburn teen died after a single-car crash on Interstate 93 Tuesday night. New Hampshire State Police early yesterday said Joseph Briere, 19, was a passenger in a 1998 Isuzu Trooper that rolled over on the highway about 5 p.m. Tuesday. The accident occurred on the southbound side of the highway, between exits 4 and 3, just one mile north of the state weigh station. The highway was shut down Tuesday night so emergency personnel could tend to the injured and a DHART helicopter could land to transport Briere to Boston. Briere was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital from the crash scene, but was later pronounced dead, according to New Hampshire State Police.

Briere was with four other young men — driver Kyle Ahearn, 19, and three other passengers, Shshank Samual, 20, Ethan Ahearn, 15, and Patrick Raistrick, 18, all of Woburn. Everyone was treated at the scene and the other four victims were taken by ambulance to Parkland Medical Center in Derry and Elliot Hospital in Manchester with non-life-threatening injuries. The accident occurred at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, when traffic is often heavy on I-93.

Police said they believe the sport utility vehicle went off the right side of the road and came in contact with a guardrail, which sent the Isuzu onto the driver's side, landing in the middle of the two lanes. Traffic backed up for miles immediately after the crash. Interstate 93 south was closed for about an hour and southbound traffic was diverted at Exit 4 and rerouted north via an emergency crossover north of the scene in Derry. Alternate routes were soon clogged with drivers trying to reach their destinations or heading back in the direction from which they started.

State police Lt. Chris AuCoin said later yesterday there was no additional information available. The police technical accident reconstruction team remained at the scene for hours Tuesday night. Their work meant one southbound lane remained closed for about two hours. The accident drew police, fire and rescue personnel from Windham, Derry, Londonderry and Windham. Some eight state police cruisers were still in the area more than three hours after the crash. AuCoin credited the state Department of Transportation for its help. The DOT provided personnel, traffic cones and message boards, warning motorists of the accident and the traffic problems that resulted. He also spoke highly of local police, fire and rescue personnel.

"A lot of what we do as state police, we can't do without our local partners. They're incredible," AuCoin said. "We don't take their help lightly. We really appreciate it." The highway reopened just past 9 p.m. Tuesday, almost four hours after the fatal crash

Eagle-Tribune 13 January 2011
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[photo]
Ahern to undergo hip operation due to arthritis
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern will undergo a hip operation today, a result of the rheumatoid arthritis to which he recently attributed his decision to step down from politics. Mr. Ahern has cleared his Dáil schedule until February 3, but a well-placed source last night said the minister expected to be back at work much sooner than that. Mr. Ahern will remain in hospital for a few days after the operation, returning home next week to convalesce for a short period. But he will have his laptop and files with him at home, will be fully accessible to his department and the Cabinet, and will be fulfilling his ministerial duties as normal, the source said. "For a few days post-op, he won't be able to work, but after that, he will be fully back at work."

It's understood Mr. Ahern was allotted to take questions on his portfolio in the Dáil next week, as all ministers are obliged to do at regular intervals. That has now been rescheduled to February 3 with the consent of the opposition. Mr. Ahern informed ministerial colleagues of the operation at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the first of the new year. Mr. Ahern announced last month he would not contest the general election. After 13 years as a minister and 32 years as a public representative, Mr. Ahern said he arrived at the decision because of his medical condition. "In the last 18 months, I have been diagnosed with a painful medical condition necessitating heavy medication. I have been advised that a change in my pace of life is essential in coping with this condition," he said.

Irish Examiner 14 January 2011
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Working with youth helped keep Trimble teacher young
A popular local educator, Bannon O'Hearn enjoys life at age 92.
Born in Chatham, he is the youngest of nine children born to Patrick and Annie (Connors) O'Hearn. His father ran a farm for the religious sisters who owned Hotel Dieu Hospital; the Chatham Airport was built on the land that was formerly Patrick O'Hearn's own farm. Bannon enjoyed the usual boyhood pursuits of that time, and one thing emerged very quickly: he was a bright student. Education was (and remains) the highlight of his life, and he pursued a career in the classroom with an education degree. His own performance as a student saw him finish school at an accelerated pace and continue his studies at St. Thomas University, then located in Chatham. During World War II Bannon went to work at the Chatham Airport as an accountant. Airport personnel were subsequently transferred from Chatham to Neepawa, Manitoba for the duration of the war, after which Bannon returned to New Brunswick, working for War Assets disposal and eventually got into teaching. His first stop was Moncton High School for approximately two years. Harrison Trimble High School was just being built at the time, and once that new facility was ready, he made the switch, remaining there as a teacher for about 32 years. In 1983 he received an honorary teaching recognition from the Canadian College of Teachers. But he did much more than just teach. He was "heavily involved" with musical productions at Harrison Trimble. In addition to drama, music was always a passion and even after retirement he "did two musical productions for Riverview High," He took that love of music to seniors as well, leading the singing group, "The Incredibles," who entertained at senior residences throughout the area, a practice he abandoned only five years ago. Helping others was really Bannon O'Hearn's favourite thing to do. When Bannon and Pat O'Hearn moved to Riverview in the 1950s, it was a community still being built. Pat O'Hearn recalls that busy time in her husband's life. "There was the Fire Department to start, there was the home and school to start, the Bridgedale School he started, the first Catholic church (Immaculate Heart of Mary in which Bannon was very active) - all those different things he was involved in. It was a busy time." The O'Hearns were also raising a family. Bannon married Margaret (nicknamed Pat) Card in 1944, and the couple have three grown children, Maureen, Robert and Richard; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Later, travel for Bannon and Pat (March Break and summer), included England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Venezuela. After seeing their first Tattoo in Scotland. They "never missed a year" at the Halifax event. Now making their home in Royal Court and enjoying the several activities there, the O'Hearns are also active with the Bridgedale Seniors. Keeping active is the key to happy longevity, according to Bannon O'Hearn, as was his association with youth. "I worked with younger people," he says, "and today I just feel as young as I did 25 years ago."

Times & Transcript 18 January 2011
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Growing Criticism of Labor Leader Who Doubled His Salary
By Steven Greenhouse
Two years after Jack Ahern won the presidency of the New York City Central Labor Council on the strength of his pledges to clean up the troubled labor coalition, the council has fallen into disarray, with top aides leaving and union leaders expressing growing frustration over Mr. Ahern's leadership. The council's communications director, its political director and a government-affairs strategist have resigned in recent weeks. The national A.F.L.-C.I.O. has told Mr. Ahern that he acted improperly in doubling his salary to $80,000. Other labor leaders questioned why Mr. Ahern did not speak up to rebut attacks on the city's municipal unions, particularly criticism of the sanitation workers' union over snow removal last month. Mr. Ahern, 57, who had been the council's executive vice president, was seen as a welcome presence after the council's former president, Brian McLaughlin, was convicted of embezzling more than $2 million and sentenced to 10 years in prison. But union leaders and supporters of organized labor have recently voiced disappointment over the performance of the council, an umbrella organization representing more than one million New York union members. "People used to look to the New York Central Labor Council as the leader in the nation, but no one looks to it now," said Joshua Freeman, a labor historian at the City University of New York. He added: "It's not what they're doing, it's what they're not doing that is the big problem. They just haven't been a presence in a year when pressures on public-sector unions and the whole union movement have been great."

The brunt of the criticism has been directed at Mr. Ahern, particularly after he pushed the council's board to double his salary to $80,000 a year. That is on top of the $250,000 he receives each year as president of a 4,000-member Queens-based local of the operating engineers' union. In November, the Rev. Brian Jordan, an activist Catholic priest heavily involved in labor matters, called on Mr. Ahern to resign in light of his doubled salary. "Thousands upon thousands of union workers are out of work, and you as a leading figure in the N.Y.C. labor movement have the audacity to demand a 100% increase in pay," Father Jordan wrote to Mr. Ahern. "Shame on you!" Mr. Ahern did not respond to several requests for interviews. But Tom Kelly, a lobbyist and consultant he hired for $5,000 a month, vigorously defended Mr. Ahern. "Jack was brought in by the affiliates to lead the charge in cleaning up, and I think he's doing a lot of great stuff," said Mr. Kelly, who said he was reducing his pay to $2,500 a month and would step down in February. "No one is as back-stabbing and back-biting as trade union people, which breaks my heart. A lot of this stuff is scurrilous."

Last week, after the A.F.L.-C.I.O. told Mr. Ahern that he had received his raise in violation of the council's constitutional provisions, the council sent its 700 delegates a letter, saying they are to vote on Thursday on whether to approve Mr. Ahern's increased salary. In the fall, around the time that Father Jordan objected to Mr. Ahern's pay increase, the council's chief of staff, Vincent Alvarez, quit. In recent weeks, three other top aides have also handed in their resignations: Carolyn Daly, who had been the council's communications director for 12 years; Vincent Montalbano, a government-affairs aide; and Sharada Polavarapu, the political director.

Privately, several union presidents who serve on the council's board spoke with frustration last week that Mr. Ahern had not responded more vigorously to attacks over municipal pensions and wages, or to accusations that the sanitation workers' union engaged in a work slowdown after the Dec. 26 blizzard. Mr. Ahern is also being investigated by James R. Zazzali, a former New Jersey state judge who is the independent ethics officer of the operating engineers' union. Several members said the investigation involved construction work done at Mr. Ahern's house in Old Westbury. Mr. Ahern has denied any wrongdoing.

In June, The Village Voice wrote that Mr. Ahern had hired a stretch limousine to take him and family members to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. He subsequently repaid the council the $1,200 cost of the limousine. Mr. Kelly said Mr. Ahern had earned his pay and was committed to standing up for unions and their members. "What Jack does is beyond a full-time job," he said, adding, "Jack really wants to deflect some of these attacks on workers."

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said, "Now more than ever we need an effective council, especially when we're the No. 1 city in the country in terms of income disparities." One union leader who opposed Mr. Ahern's salary increase, Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, which represents CUNY faculty members, said Mr. Ahern had agreed at the council's December board meeting to donate 25 percent of his council salary to charity. "I don't think we should focus on the stipend as the central issue," Ms. Bowen said. "The main issue is for the Central Labor Council to use its position and huge membership to build labor power." She added: "It's not antilabor to demand the best of union leaders. In fact, it's a responsibility of the labor movement to demand the best of their leaders."

New York Times 19 January 2011
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Dennis O'Hern won a party tray at Chick-fil-A's grand opening and ribbon cutting. Pastor Dave Rader was the emcee of the opening and said it was the best ribbon cutting he had ever been to. Did you know Chick-fil -A is closed on Sundays because owners want it to be a family day?
Orange County Register 19 January 2011
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First of three rape and murder trials begins for Gwynn Oak man
Man accused of repeatedly attacking women
Prosecutors and police say DNA evidence reveals William Vincent Brown to be a repeat rapist and murderer, who sexually assaulted two prostitutes and a 15-year-old girl in separate incidents over an 11-month period beginning in 2003. The 44-year-old Gwynn Oak man is charged with killing two of the victims and attempting to kill a third, dumping her battered, comatose body in Leakin Park. He's scheduled for three trials on the charges this year, the first of which — involving the lone survivor — began late Wednesday. The case is expected to last through the end of the month and could shed light on a series of killings and assaults — many against sex workers — that took place a half-dozen years ago, raising questions of whether a serial attacker was on the loose.

Brown's attorneys say police and prosecutors pegged the wrong man. Two other men had already been charged and acquitted in the teen's death, for which Brown is scheduled to stand trial in April, and the surviving victim previously identified someone else as her attacker. Brown's criminal history shows him to be a run-of-the-mill drug dealer given repeated chances to turn his life around by a Howard County Circuit Court judge, who punished Brown's drug charges with suspended prison sentences and probation. Court records show Brown followed most of the rules he was given, held down a full-time job, paid his fines, and passed drug and alcohol screenings. "Mr. Brown is innocent" of the assault and attempted-murder charges in Wednesday's case, Assistant Public Defender Filia Morgan-Xavier told the jury Wednesday. However, prosecutor Diana Smith identified him as the "person who brutally beat, strangled and [sexually] assaulted" the surviving victim on April 13, 2003.

The Baltimore Sun is not identifying the woman, a former prostitute and drug user, because of the sexual nature of the crimes against her. During a preliminary hearing in the case, held more than a year ago, the woman, now 38, tearfully took the witness stand and identified Brown as the "hack" cabdriver who picked her up in his burgundy Nissan 300ZX along Edmondson Avenue that spring evening in 2003. He drove her to Leakin Park, she said, choked her, raped her and nearly severed her ears from her head. "He raped me, cut me and left me for dead in the park," she said. She had earlier identified another man as the assailant, but a 2008 DNA report allegedly linked Brown to the crime and two others that followed shortly thereafter. In June 2003, a 25-year-old homeless woman named Emma O'Hearn was found comatose outside Calverton Middle School; she died six months later. And in March 2004, the strangled body of 15-year-old Antania Mills was found wrapped in bed linens along the 2500 block of Talbot Road. Police have said that DNA collected from the victims were matched to Brown in 2008. And on Wednesday, Smith, the assistant state's attorney, promised to present similar evidence to the jury in the present case. Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy Doory said the trial would be lengthy, though he told jurors it would conclude by Jan. 31. Brown's next trial date, in the O'Hearn attack and killing, is set for March 14.

The Baltimore Sun 19 January 2011
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Guardsman prepares for fourth deployment
By Jeff Wolfe
New Castle, Del. — Master Sgt. Joseph Ahearn has been through this before. But that doesn't make it any easier. Ahearn, a Ridley Park resident and Garnet Valley High School graduate, was one of 14 airmen of the Delaware Air National Guard to take part in a special Call to Duty deployment ceremony Wednesday at the Air National Guard Base. This is Ahearn's fourth deployment, but his first since 2003. Ahearn will be the squad leader for 12 other members of the 166th Airlift Wing's Security Forces Squadron in Afghanistan. He and the 12 others will leave Sunday from Philadelphia International Airport for training at the U.S. Air Force Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state. The other member will leave for Iraq Friday. But leaving a family behind is never easy, no matter how many times a person goes through it. In fact, it may be harder for Ahearn this time. "We've known about this for a year, so for about the last year, we've been preparing," Ahearn said. "You don't really think about it then, but before you know it, it is here. This is hard, too, because it is a long deployment. We have three months of training, then six months overseas."

A lot has changed for Ahearn since he returned from his last overseas deployment. He has a wife, Susan, whom he married in 2003, and a second daughter, Annarose, who is 5. His oldest daughter, Samantha Powell, 17, remembers going through this before. "I was little back then and I made him a huge poster," said Powell, a junior at A.I. Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del. "This time, I was a kind of worried that he was going, but I know he'll come back." This mission will be a little different, and Ahearn admits, a little more risky. Ahearn and his squad will be providing security for missions outside the wires, meaning they won't have the normal protection of doing their work inside a military base. "This time, we are going out, and you pretty much have to expect anything," Ahearn said. To help them prepare, Ahearn and his squad will experience some intense training. They will first go through the Evasion and Conduct after Capture course and then do the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training course. That training will last about two months, then they will have about one month of combat training. "It's very physical," Ahearn said of the training. "The first school teaches you what to do if you are captured and the second teaches you how to escape."

Hopefully, those skills won't be needed. Ahearn's squad will work solely on the ground and be transported in armed Humvees and MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles made for special missions. "They are designed for explosions and they can take an impact," Ahearn said. Ahearn also understands the impact he can have as a squad leader. He knows it's not all about him. "It's a little more demanding, because you are not just looking after yourself," he said. "You are looking after 12 other people."

While Ahearn is away, it will leave Susan to look after Annarose as well as the family business, Dutchman Fountains, in Aston. Susan and Joseph met in June 2001 and began dating. Like most everyone, they knew the world would be changed after the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11 that year. It was not long after that when Joseph received his first deployment. "Little did I know this would have such an impact on me," said Susan Ahearn, who is originally from Ireland. "So, we've been apart, but it's the first time he's gone overseas since we've been married." While Susan has had a glimpse of Joseph not being home when is away once a month for National Guard weekend training, she knows this is a much bigger adjustment. "You've got to take each day as it comes," she said. "You know you can do the things that have to be done, but you miss that support. I know I can mow the lawn or shovel the snow, but he's not going to be right there with you to share that moment with you." What she will have is plenty of help. "I know I'll have a lot of support," she said. "His family is very popular in Aston, and I know I'll have a lot of family and friends that will be available to help. So, I'm very comfortable with that part of it."

Wednesday's ceremony included a special arrival of the honored airmen as they marched into the Loeffel Room with a large Call To Duty poster on the video screen in front of them, the reciting of the Security Forces Prayer and remarks from Brig. Gen. John Wayne Merritt, the assistant adjutant general — Air, Delaware National Guard, and Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, the adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard. "They are part-time warriors, but full-time patriots," Vavala said in his speech. "Most of all, we pray that God will protect you and bring you safely home after the successful completion of your mission."

The Delaware County Daily Times 20 January 2011
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Soldier from Belton injured in combat making progress
Lt. Larkin O'Hern, a Belton High School graduate severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan late last year, was moved out of intensive care and is making progress, his wife, Rachel, said. In an online journal entry, Mrs. O'Hern wrote that Larkin was supposed to be in surgery again on Wednesday at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. "Larkin has continued to make good progress over the weekend. He did get moved out of the ICU Friday night and is currently residing on the ortho floor," Rachel wrote Monday on CaringBridge.org, a website created to keep family and friends updated on O'Hern's condition.

Mrs. O'Hern said her husband was in a great deal of pain last Saturday, but he was able to take a trip down his sixth floor hallway. One of his roommates from the U.S. Military Academy and his wife arrived from Fort Bragg to visit, as did one of Mrs. O'Hern's college roommates. "I have to say, it felt wonderful to be with good friends. Saturday night we all watched the playoff game on Larkin's little hospital room TV and, quite honestly, for a while there it felt like we could be in our living room," Mrs. O'Hern said. She reports that Larkin's appetite is slowly returning.

Temple Daily Telegram 20 January 2011
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Call Me Jacques
by Alex Beam
Who knew? Jacques d'Amboise, one of America's most famous living dancers and choreographers, was born Joseph Ahearn in Dedham in 1934. Talk about pedigree; his father was Joseph P. Kennedy's personal telegraph operator, and used to travel with the family when they migrated from Hyannis to Palm Beach to winter in Florida. In his just-published memoir, "I Was a Dancer,'' d'Amboise explains how his Amy Chua-like stage mother changed her entire family's names to d'Amboise, including her husband's. Joseph's brother John became Jean Achille d'Amboise; Madeleine became Ninette, and so on. "To this day, I am dumbfounded that Pop acquiesced,'' d'Amboise writes. "To legally change the names of the entire family — including himself — is bizarre.''
The Boston Globe 21 January 2011
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Injured soldier from Belton undergoes successful surgery
Lt. Larkin O'Hern underwent a successful surgery Friday morning, according to the journal documenting his progress after being critically wounded Dec. 30 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. O'Hern was in recovery and doing well Friday. O'Hern lost his left leg and right hand in the original IED blast, and his right leg during surgery to save his life. On Friday surgeons installed plates and skin grafts on his hand. Additionally, the journal stated, they installed ACell on his right leg, which will allow them to do a skin graft in 10 to 14 days. ACell is a naturally occurring bio-scaffold derived from porcine tissue. When it is placed into a surgical site or wound, it is reabsorbed and replaced with new native tissue where scar tissue would normally be expected, according to ACell Inc.'s website.
Temple Daily Telegram 23 January 2011
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BRANFORD (AP) — Police in Branford are looking for a thief or thieves who broke into the home of a longtime firefighter's widow and stole about $10,000 worth of valuables while the woman was attending her husband's funeral. Fire Chief John Ahern tells The New Haven Register that items stolen Tuesday included a set of diamond earrings that Anthony Witkowski gave to his wife, Carol, at Christmas.

Witkowski served as a volunteer firefighter for nearly half a century, including 11 years as the captain of Hose Company 2. He died Jan. 22 at age 67. Ahern called the theft "reprehensible" and said the thief or thieves also took items of immeasurable sentimental value. Police are appealing to the public for any information on the crime.

The Middletown Press 28 January 2011
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Hampton Falls hopefuls are ready to face off
HAMPTON FALLS — The list of candidates running for municipal and school district offices has been finalized. Several incumbents are looking to be re-elected, and all seats come with three-year terms. . . . Elaine Ahearn and Eugene Hardee will run against one another for the single seat of cemetery trustee. Both candidates will run against Beth Forgione for the office of library trustee, of which there are two seats open. . . . 
Hampton Union 31 January 2011
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Boys Prep of the Week: David Ahern
M. CATHOLIC, Basketball, Junior What he did: MC's 6-foot guard rattled off 18, 27 and 16 points in three consecutive games last week, as the Wildcats laid waste to San Rafael, Justin-Siena and Tam, respectively. On the year, the Novato resident is the MCAL's fourth leading scorer at 13.7 points per game, and his 27 points against Justin set a new career best at the high school level.

What he said: "I've been trying to help the team out with scoring, passing, whatever I can do to help us get wins. (Against Justin) my shot was feeling good and my teammates were feeding me the ball. ... I think we're getting our offense going and playing great defense. We're getting a lot of contributions from different guys."

What's next: Ahern hopes to continue his basketball career at an NCAA Division I or II program, possibly Sonoma State. However, his immediate focus is on the current season as his Wildcats sit at 8-1 and in a tie with San Marin atop the MCAL.

Off the court: As a sophomore, Ahern played golf for MC's junior varsity team. But now his aim is to continue to improve his basketball game — and make time for friends and homework in the spare time he has left.

Trivial matter: Nicknamed the "Ballhandla," Ahern's passion is basketball. Not only does he excel on the hardwood, he also officiates CYO games on weekends, and hopes to coach one day.

Coach Mike Saia: "He's kind of evolved into our leading scorer. I think we have a balanced attack, but he's just evolved as one of our go-to guys. He can score, he's a good free-throw shooter. The guys are looking for him. . . . He's really worked on his game. I would imagine he's always working on his craft, seven days a week. You never see him without a basketball in his hands."

Marin Independent Journal 31 January 2011
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Family flees burning house
A CHILD'S ride-on car, a laundry basket of family photos, a mini-bike and assorted family treasures hastily stuffed in grab-bags — this is what one Tewantin family desperately seized as their home went up in flames yesterday morning. Neighbours in the private laneway off McKinnon Drive rushed to help get the occupants — including small children — out of the two-storey house as flames ripped through the top floor. Police believe five people were inside when the fire started shortly before 8am and for some terrifying moments, next door neighbour Paige Ahearn thought the blaze could spread to their property as well.

"Mum came in at ten to eight and said next door was on fire," Ms Ahearn said. "I just ran out the front and there was just a lot of smoke and then all of a sudden, the whole top bit caught on fire. "And then it was like it was going to come to our house — so it was pretty scary." Ms Ahearn believed at least three children were in the house. "They (the family in the house) were running, trying to get all their stuff out the front — we went to try and help. "I think the whole top floor has been destroyed."

Two fire units were quickly on the scene and saved the rest of what is believed to be a rental property. Ambulance officers attended the fire, but fortunately none of the family had to be treated for injuries. Police district duty officer Senior Sergeant Gavin Ricketts said the emergency call-out was around 7.55am for a fire of unknown origin that is believed to have started upstairs. "The top floor was engulfed by flames — and the people and the possessions were fortunately removed from the house by neighbours," Sen Sgt Ricketts said. "Everything's fine — about half the house has been destroyed by fire but there has been no injury or anything drastic like that. "The fire brigade was here pretty quickly and had it under control pretty quickly." Sen. Sgt. Ricketts said there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances.

Sunshine Coast Daily 1 February 2011
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War memorial on the Car Barn Lot moves to next step
Hamilton-Wenham — Members of the Town Hall and Police Station Building Committee discussed the draft Landscaping Master Plan for downtown Wenham at a regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 25. Wenham still does not have an approved plan for landscaping; however, significant progress has been made as a result of the input and cooperation of several town committees and boards. The main agenda item was the downtown Master Plan, which was presented by the consulting landscape designer, Kim Ahern of Littleton, MA, on Dec. 14, 2010. Ahern's draft plan discussed placement of trees on the Town Hall campus and made recommendations about land acquisition and landscaping around the Police Station, tree replacements around the Civil War Monument, and placement of a new War Memorial on the Car Barn Lot on the corner of Arbor and Main Streets.

Bruce Blanchard, a member of the War Memorial Committee attending the meeting, said that the War Memorial Committee is in favor of using the Car Barn Lot instead of a site on the Town Hall campus, where any location would interfere with underground utilities and drainage and above-ground Wenham Day festivities. Jim Howard, a member of the Building Committee and also the Historic District Commission, liked the idea of a memorial park on the Car Barn Lot, but wanted to know more about any structures, such as the monument itself. Chairman John Darling said he didn't think it was the purview of the Building Committee to decide on making the Car Barn Lot a memorial park; he suggested that the selectmen would have to designate that use for town-owned land. However, everyone agreed that it would be a good idea to amend the contract for Kim Ahern and get her ideas for a memorial park and monument, especially since she has prior experience with monuments, according to Darling. Darling agreed with Blanchard that any plan Ahern comes up with must use input from the War Memorial Committee, which has made a number of steps toward finalizing a design and raising money. Peter Hersee, also a member of the War Memorial Committee, asked about any known plans for Route 1A, given the traffic and parking issues raised in a number of different meetings, and the recommendations for roadside landscaping and cross walks in Ahern's report. Police Chief Ken Walsh, a member of the Building Committee, and Selectman Chairman Molly Martins, attending in the audience, said that a dialogue has started with the state.

After much discussion on wording of the motion, the Building Committee and a briefly convened meeting of the Board of Selectmen, agreed to hire Kim Ahern to define a plan for placing a War Memorial on the Car Barn Lot, using part or all of the area as a memorial park. Blanchard suggested that a memorial park can include memorials in addition to the veterans' monument. Judy LeBlanc of the Building Committee liked the idea of design options using different sizes for the park. The plan should be complete by the end of March. After the vote, the Selectmen adjourned, although all remained: Harriet Davis and John Clemenzi are on the Building Committee and Martins attended in what was posted as a Selectmen meeting as well as a Building Committee meeting. The Building Committee authorized up to $4000 for Ahern's work developing options for a memorial park on the Car Barn Lot. The approved plan had been scheduled for presentation to the Selectmen at their Feb. 1 meeting; instead, the agenda will include updates on this and the War Memorial Committee plans. Jim Howard suggested that Ahern work with the Historic District Commission as well, since the monument is a structure being placed in Wenham's historic district.  . . . 

Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle 2 February 2011
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[photo]
Ed Ahern takes Byron's top honour
More accustomed to giving than receiving, Ed Ahern of Byron Bay received one of the greatest accolades of his life when he received the Byron Shire Citizen of the Year Award at the Australia Day celebrations last Wednesday. A philanthropic businessman, Mr. Ahern who has lived in Byron Bay for 30 years, said he was humbled, but proud to receive the award. "This award is not just for me but for those who care about their town, the people and the community," he said.

Byron Shire councillor Ross Tucker, who conducted the official Australia Day ceremony (Mayor Cr Jan Barham was absent), said Mr. Ahern had inspired others in the community to give of their skills and time. Cr Tucker said Mr. Ahern had provided food and meals through his businesses to assist community events and charitable organisations. "His integrity and generosity are beyond question and there are very few charitable organisations which have not been the recipient of his support." Some of Mr. Ahern's individual contributions to the community include the employment of a person for an entire year to clean up around Byron Bay; he is a founding member of the African Leaf Organisation which supports 17 orphaned children in Nairobi, Kenya; a $5000 donation to the Rainforest Rescue/Green and Clean team; supporting local youth through employment opportunities and board member and past president of Byron United.

Byron Shire News 3 February 2011
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Diocese takes steps to retool parishes
Goal is mergers, not closings
The Archdiocese of Boston is launching a major effort to reorganize its parish structure in response to challenges that have been brewing for decades — declining Mass attendance, diminished financial resources, and a shortage of priests. Church leaders say they are committed to reversing these trends through evangelization and priest recruitment, but that the new "pastoral planning" effort is an acknowledgment that the churc's existing parish structure is unsustainable, and even counterproductive to rebuilding the church.

Under a draft proposal, neighboring parishes would be merged into a single parish, with worship at multiple church buildings. Each clustered parish would be run by a pastor, with help from a team of priests, as well as a consolidated lay parish council, finance council, and parish staff. . . . 

The archdiocese notified parishes last night that Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has appointed an 18-member Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission of priests, parishioners, and church employees to revise the draft plan, which Erikson said was the result of several years of research and consultation with priests and laity. The commission, which has already met once, will be led by Monsignor William Fay, pastor of St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, and Deacon Charles Clough Jr. of Holy Family Parish in Concord. . . . 

The Rev. Jack Ahern, a member of the new commission and the pastor of three parishes in Dorchester, said one of the most difficult aspects of his job is trying to make all the meetings of multiple parish councils and finance councils. "It's doable, but it's not efficient," he said. He said parishes in some areas, including Dorchester, have already begun meeting informally to look at ways they could work together; the new commission, he said, would bolster those efforts with a more structured approach. . . . 

The Boston Globe 3 February 2011
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Dance class gets children moving to the music
Colchester, Conn.— It appeared parents had just as much fun as their little ones as they leaped, twirled and danced at the Colchester Parks & Recreation Million Dollar Babies class. Mike O'Hearn had his camera focused on his wife, Karen, and their daughter Kendal, 3, as they participated. "I usually sit on the side. If my wife's not available, I take her spot," O'Hearn said. "It's a nice class because they play a lot of games. For little girls, it's not too overly structured. They have fun."

Alicia Krol, who attends with her son Michael, 2, also thinks the class is fun for boys. "I take Zumba and every time we meet he wants to move. He does a lot of this stuff in daycare and he loves it," Krol said. Judy Albano, of the Dance Center, teaches the class, with assistance from her daughter Nicolette, 10. "The toddlers absolutely love her and they can really relate to someone who's older than them, yet still young," Albano said. Children are introduced to dance through rhythmic games, basic dance vocabulary and spatial awareness exercises. Musical rhythm and locomotor movements are explored in a fun and interactive way. Amanda Thomson brought her daughters Josie, 5, and Lauren, 2. "We've been coming since Josie was 2. It's a lot of fun. They look forward to it every week. It's fun to be a little silly with the girls," Thomson said. Josie said she really likes the dancing, especially the leaps the group made as it crisscrossed the hall to the Russian dance "Trepak" from "The Nutcracker." "It is a really nice time for parents to have some one-on-one time with their child," Albano said. "Parents are often so busy during the week, working, running older siblings around to different activities, and this is a good relaxing time to be with their child."

Norwich Bulletin 3 February 2011
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Ahern certified as Million Dollar Advocates Forum
The Million Dollar Advocates Forum announces that attorney William F. Ahern Jr., a partner at the Cambridge law firm Clark Hunt Ahern and Embry, has been certified as a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is recognized as one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts, awards and settlements. The organization was founded in 1993 and there are approximately 4,000 members located throughout the country. Less than 1 percent of U.S. lawyers are members. Forum membership acknowledges excellence in advocacy and provides members with a national network of experienced colleagues for professional referral and information exchange in major cases. Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum must have acted as principal counsel in at least one case in which their Million Dollar Advocates Forum client has received a verdict, award or settlement in the amount of $1 million or more.

Members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum must be life members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and must have acted as principal counsel in at least one case that has resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict, award or settlement. Ahern has been approved for membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Ahern is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut School of Law and specializes in litigation of high exposure, complex personal injury and property damage cases, particularly in the areas of construction, product liability and catastrophic injuries. For more information regarding membership and qualifications, see www.MillionDollarAdvocates.com.

Cambridge Chronicle 17 February 2011
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Jacques d'Amboise talk on "I Was a Dancer" at Saint Joseph College
WEST HARTFORD—In honor of the recent publication of Jacques d'Amboise' autobiography, "I Was a Dancer," Saint Joseph College will present an evening that will feature a talk by Mr. d'Amboise which will include film excerpts from his distinguished career; a reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

Born Joseph Jacques Ahearn in Dedham, Mass., Jacques d'Amboise was a renowned principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, where ballets were especially developed for him by legendary master choreographer George Balanchine. Mr. d'Amboise has also danced in feature films including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and Carousel (1956). He founded the National Dance Institute in 1976, which has been teaching school children how to dance for more than 30 years. A documentary film, "He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'" about Mr. d'Amboise and the National Dance Institute, won an Academy Award. The NDI program often combines music and art with studies of other cultures, histories, and literature, offering a unique and comprehensive performing arts experience while fostering curiosity and a sense of achievement.

Mr. d'Amboise has received numerous honors and awards including the 1990 MacArthur Fellowship, Kennedy Center Honors, a National Medal of the Arts, a New York Governor' Award, and the 7th Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities. In addition, he has received many honorary doctorates including one from Saint Joseph College in 2003. He has served as the artist-in-residence for Saint Joseph College' summer dance program (AIMI), a collaboration with the National Dance Institute since 2004.

This literary celebration, part of The Bruyette Athenaeum Performing Arts Series, will take place on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Hoffman Auditorium on the College' West Hartford campus. Advance admission (all tickets) is $20; from March 18, $25. To purchase tickets, contact the Frances Driscoll Box Office at (860) 231-5555 or place your order online at http://tickets.sjc.edu. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one hour before performances.

West Hartford News 5 March 2011
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Eyes are smiling
Local residents go green downtown for St. Patrick's Day
As pennywhistle and bagpipe tunes filled the air, thousands of adults and children decked out in everything from green beads and top hats to checkered kilts and green plastic wigs enjoyed an evening celebrating everything Irish. Some ate Irish stew. Others drank green beer. Many cheered on musical acts. And some did all three. Food, fun and family games were abundant at the St. Patrick's Day Downtown Street Festival on Saturday.

Danny Ahern, co-owner of the Iron Horse Pub and native of Tipperary, Ireland, said all benefits from the festival went to Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. More than 4,000 people came to last year's event, which generated $15,000 in proceeds. Ahern, who has been hosting St. Patrick's Day events at his pub for more than 10 years, expected the numbers to be higher this year. "It's turned into one of our biggest fundraisers," Ahern said. "It just keeps growing and growing." Five bands rocked out at the pub's indoor and outdoor stages. In front of the outdoor stage was a dancing stage — new this year — where dancers showcased their tap, hip-hop and Irish-jig moves to seated crowds under a tent in between music sets. Among the bands were Ireland's Call, an Irish folk band from Ireland; the Dallas-based Celtic rock band the Killdares, who played Irish-inspired music; the Tejas Brothers of Fort Worth; and the Texas Blues Runners.

"Music is a universal language; everyone loves it," Charlie Rouzer of the Texas Blues Runners said. "When times are tough, it's good to have events like this to bring us back up." John Dickenson, the other Iron Horse Pub co-owner, said there used to be some downtown business owners that were opposed to the festival. But he said after they noticed what it has done for downtown and the community, over the years most of the naysayers have changed their opinions. "They used to think it was just an excuse to drink beer," Dickenson said. "But once they saw that it is a family event with good music, well then more and more came on board." More than 20 vendors came out to this year's event, twice as many as last year. After volunteering at last year's event, Clayton Lane decided he wanted to get more involved and became this year's entertainment director. "I saw the potential for the event and said, 'We can really run with this,'" he said. "We have doubled our vendors, offered new activities and food. There are so many things for the whole family down here; it's just really growing every year. It's a lot of fun."

And Iron Horse Pub wasn't alone in Irish-themed fundraisers. Just before the festival's opening, 140 runners participated in the YMCA's 5K Shamrock Run, which departed at 4 p.m. from Eighth and Ohio streets downtown. YMCA Director Erin Darche said the run raised about $1,000, which will benefit YMCA youth programs. She said she hopes to turn it into an annual event. "It's great to run the event in conjunction with the festival," Darche said. "People can get exercise here then have fun at the festival later."

As a New Yorker of Irish descent, Josh Towner said he has seen his fair share of St. Patrick's Day celebrations. He moved to Iowa Park more than two years ago and said he was impressed in how the festival brought the feeling of the holiday home for him. "I'm having a blast," a kilt-wearing Towner said while drinking a Guinness beer at the festival. "I've lived in a lot of cities and celebrated a lot of St. Patrick's Day's, and Iron Horse really does a great job with it. It's impressive."

Times Record News 13 March 2011
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Dedham woman found guilty of animal cruelty
ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Dedham woman has been found guilty of a civil charge of cruelty to animals. Jeanmarie Ahern, 42, has been ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and prohibited from owning or possessing any horses or other related hoofed four-legged animals for two years, according to documents filed in Hancock County Superior Court. Justice Kevin Cuddy, who presided over the two-day, non-jury civil trial, on March 10 ordered Ahern's animals be sold or placed for adoption by the state Maine Animal Welfare program. He also set a deadline of March 10, 2013, for paying the $1,000 fine. Ahern had gone to trial to contest the seizure in an attempt to have her six horses and two cats returned to her at her Bald Mountain Road property.

In contesting the allegations, Ahern testified last week that she had made arrangements for a friend to look after her animals while she was out of state in late September and early October 2010, when the animals were seized by the state. She said that while she was away, her friend was trying to clean up the property, a water pump broke, and her house was ransacked in a burglary. She said that when she was home, there was a barn on an adjacent property that she could lead her animals to in case she felt they needed shelter. In his March 10 decision, Cuddy wrote that Ahern did not do enough to provide shelter or care for her animals. For several months, Ahern failed to provide adequate shelter for her animals, despite encouragement from District Animal Humane Agent Christina Perry to do so, the judge wrote. Ahern lived by herself in 2009 and 2010 and held as many as four jobs in order to support herself, he added.

Ahern was summoned by Maine Animal Welfare on the civil cruelty to animals charge in January 2010 after one of two vinyl shelters she had on the property for the horses collapsed in a snowstorm. Ahern, who had been told by state officials before the structure's collapse that she needed to provide better shelter for her horses, did not repair or replace the collapsed structure. Further, when Ahern was out of state attending the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last fall, the horses were observed to be unattended and without water, shelter and accessible food, Cuddy wrote in the order. Witnesses at the trial testified that at other times, the animals were subjected to the same conditions and were known to escape into the road and onto neighboring properties, the judge wrote. The animals were not subjected to immediate, life-threatening conditions when they were seized, according to Cuddy, but subsequent medical examinations revealed multiple medical problems among the cats and most horses, including inappropriate foot treatment. The cats, he added, were underweight and suffered from roundworms and fleas.

Evidence in the trial reflected "a pattern of cruel treatment and cruel abandonment of the horses and cats," Cuddy wrote. "While the defendant may have the heart to care for horses and a sense of what should be done, she lacks either the financial ability or time to invest in caring for the horses or cats for which she has assumed responsibility."

Attempts Monday night and Tuesday morning to contact Ahern's defense attorney, Stephen C. Smith of Bangor, were unsuccessful. Efforts to contact Ahern also were unsuccessful. William Entwisle, the prosecutor in the case, said Tuesday that he agreed with Cuddy's decision to prohibit Ahern from owning horses or similar animals for two years. With her having treated the seized animals cruelly, he said, it would not make any sense to permit Ahern to get new horses right away. "I fully support that," Entwisle said. The ban "is eminently appropriate under these facts."

Bangor Daily News 15 March 2011
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Worker dies while emptying septic tank
A 27-year-old man was killed emptying a septic tank yesterday.
The dead man was named locally as Kenneth Murphy from the village of Belgooly, near Kinsale, Co Cork. Mr Murphy and a workmate were emptying the tank belonging to the Garryvoe Hotel in east Cork when the incident occurred. His 32-year-old colleague, Finbar Ahern, was reported to be in a stable condition at the Mercy University Hospital in Cork last night. It is understood the pair were overcome by fumes and were assisted by four men who were passing in a truck at the time. The emergency services were called and Mr Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene. The men were employees of Munster Drains Services, an environmental company based in Belgooly. Mr Murphy was involved with the local GAA club which was founded by his grandfather. "We are all in a state of shock," said Belgooly GAA club chairman Cathal O'Shea. "Kenneth and his family are highly regarded in the community. He was a superb person, who was a pleasure to be around. Our thoughts are with his family at this time." The dead man is survived by his twin brother, two sisters and an older brother.
Irish Independent 17 March 2011
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The 1965 Foxborough High School Class Will begins with this stanza,

      "On the fifteenth of June in sixty-five,
      Hardly a teacher had survived,
      Who wants to remember those four long years,
      In which we left them in hysterics and tears?"

The words seem to beg the question, who is the student that a teacher or an administrator may remember over time? What is the accomplishment, attribute, recollection, challenge or act of generosity that causes someone to be remembered? Leonard P. Reid, a 1965 graduate of Foxborough High School, recently received a very personal insight to the answer. The "Red Fox" yearbook remembers Leonard as a typical teenager of the times. He had several nicknames including "Professor," "Robin Hood" and "Rifle Man." He hung out at "Hanna's Restaurant" probably with "Lorinda Wilder," and his ambition was to attend "College" and pursue a career as a "Forest Ranger." But the yearbook does not reveal that Leonard had a very creative artistic talent. Nor does it point out the encouragement and nurturing of Mildred Coyne, the art teacher. It did not disclose the respect and admiration Leonard felt for the principal, John J. Ahern.

During his senior year, Mrs. Coyne presented Leonard with a piece of soapstone and invited him to create a sculptured work of art. The completed piece he titled, "The Coming of the Roads." The sculpture was a symbolic illustration of the environmental and societal changes occurring in the town resulting from the then-ongoing construction of Interstates 95 and 495; a town already traversed by Route 1, Route 140, Route 106, and the Old Post Road. The centrally located and accessible "Gem of Norfolk County" was transforming into the "Hub of Southeastern Massachusetts."

Leonard gifted the sculpture to his principal, John J. Ahern. The gift was prominently displayed in John's living room until his death on April 26, 2005. On Wednesday, March 8, the gift was returned to Leonard. When asked why he gave the artwork to John, he replied, "He was the most influential man in my life. He was fair and honest, and he treated everyone with respect." It was in 1965 when Leonard and his classmates wrote, "Who wants to remember those four long years . . . " Forty six years later, one member of the class was "gifted" with the answer.

The Foxboro Reporter 17 March 2011
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Evergreen Park golf course owner's collection up for estate sale
Porcelain figurines by the hundreds fill tables and shelves. There are clowns, golfers, animals, religious figures, Oriental icons. There are also huge collections of Irish porcelain dinnerware. Knickknacks from around the world. Marble busts. Seemingly enough wall art to fill a dozen hotels, plus golf equipment and a department store worth of clothes.

A person can accumulate a lot when she lives to be 103 years old, especially if she's wealthy and seemingly never comes across an item she doesn't want to buy. That was the case with Evergreen Park icon Anna May "Babe" Ahern, whose eclectic collection will be up for sale to the public next week. Ahern, who owned Evergreen Golf & Country Club — which her family had run since the mid-1920s — died in December, shortly after the course was sold. Her possessions are being sold as part of an estate sale to benefit the Anna May "Babe" Ahern Foundation. The items are as colorful as Ahern herself, who in her waning years stubbornly fought the Village of Evergreen Park's attempts to seize the golf course land, eventually coming out on top and winning $1.2 million from the village for her troubles.

Her early years were pretty noteworthy, too, spent growing up on the golf course grounds, where the Beverly Gardens restaurant was raided during Prohibition in 1921 and robbed by John Dillinger and his gang in 1933. One of the items in her estate belonged to perhaps the most notorious employee of the golf course: onetime head pro Vincent Gebhardi — better known as "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn, Al Capone's No. 1 hit man and likely mastermind of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. He was arrested while playing in the 1933 Western Open at Olympia Fields and spent six months in jail. The 1932 revolver given to Ahern by McGurn will have to be sold later because guns can't be sold in Chicago, said Dustin Mauldin of Chicago Luxury Sales, the company hired by trustees of the estate to run the sale Thursday to March 27 at Bizen Home, 111 W. Kinzie. But what will be available are many baseball cards, including several signed by Cubs legend Ernie Banks, a good friend of Ahern. Mauldin said Ahern let Banks play at Evergreen at a time when blacks weren't allowed at many other area courses.

Chicago Sun-Times 18 March 2011
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Portrait of 'Babe' Ahern lies in her estate
A century's worth of stuff, collected by the South Side's avant-garde iconoclast, goes up for grabs Thursday. A short list of what "Babe" Ahern left behind: A nude portrait of herself, young. Racks filled with minks. An Italian revolver that belonged to one of Al Capone's hit men. Two jukeboxes. One popcorn machine. Pressed leather suitcases from 1950s Mexico. Bags full of golf clubs. Fistfuls of rosary beads. Starting Thursday, all of those things, along with the other remains of Ahern's 103 years of life, will be up for grabs in what may be the strangest estate sale Chicago has ever seen. "One lady, all this stuff," said Dustin Mauldin as he climbed the stairs down into the basement of 111 W. Kinzie St. on Tuesday. "It's unbelievable. We ran out of table space."

In a 15,000-square-foot basement formerly occupied by a furniture store, Ahern's century stretched through room after room while Mauldin and a team of organizers labeled, priced and marveled. "She liked the bling," said Mauldin. She liked sequins on her dresses, gilt on her Louis XVI desk. She liked big shiny earrings and big brass lamps. If she bought one of something, she was likely to buy two. Or six. She owned enough landscape paintings to furnish several cheap motels. "She never gave anything away," he said. Not, it seems, a TV or a lamp or a fork.

Anna May "Babe" Ahern lived her entire life on the green acres of the Evergreen Country Club in Evergreen Park. She inherited it from her mother, who had turned it from a farm into a golf course in the 1920s. She once said she knew every blade of grass by its first name. She died in December, a few weeks after selling it to a developer. For much of the 20th century, Ahern was a legend, good and bad, in her patch of the South Side. She was famous most recently for fighting the village of Evergreen Park's attempt to take over her land. By the end, she was variously known as a tough old bird, a feisty dame and a word or two not fit to print. But hoarder? That came as a surprise.

How did her wood-frame bungalow disgorge so much stuff? The Irish stuff and the Asian stuff, the expensive stuff and the cheap stuff, the silver, crystal and scores of Hummel figurines? "That little shack she lived in didn't seem big enough for it all," said Ald. Danny Solis. Ahern was in her 90s when a friend took Solis golfing at her course. He'd never heard of her. He'd played a few holes when one of her Mexican workers drove over. "Are you Ald. Solis? The owner wants to see you." They sat and talked that day. She said she'd seen him on the news. She liked seeing Mexicans do well.

Chicago Tribune 22 March 2011
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Pub workers broke into car after day of drinking
Two pub workers who broke into a car and caused nearly €800 worth of damage had spent the day drinking and their memory of the incident is very "sketchy", a court heard. Conor Ahern (18) and Conor Loughran (20) said they got into a lot of trouble with their parents who were not at all happy with their behaviour. Judge Patrick Brady ordered the two men to pay €800 compensation for the damage to the car, and ordered them to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of six months in jail.

Ahern, of Mount Drinan Crescent, and Loughran, of The Crescent, Melrose Park, both in Kinsealy, admitted before Swords District Court to charges of criminal damage and unauthorised interference with a vehicle. The incident took place at Aspen Park in Kinsealy on September 29 last year. Garda Killian Leydon said he was on mobile patrol shortly after midnight when he received a call about two males who were acting suspiciously beside a 1995 Dublin-registered vehicle. Garda Leydon said Loughran ran from the car when he saw the gardaí, but was caught hiding in a nearby garden. Ahern was arrested in the car. The garda said there was damage to the door lock and to the cowling of the car. The total cost of damage was €792.

The court heard Ahern has seven previous convictions, mostly for public order matters, while Loughran has four previous convictions, for public order and theft offences. Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Ahern works as a lounge boy and lives at home with his parents. She said he was willing to pay compensation for the damage he caused. In relation to Loughran, Ms D'Arcy said he works as a barman in the same pub as Ahern, and was also willing to pay compensation. She said both men had had too much to drink on the day in question, and their memories of the incident were sketchy.

Judge Brady fined the men €750, and ordered them to pay compensation of €792 as well as witness expenses of €200. The defendants were also ordered to complete 150 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison.

Evening Herald 24 March 2011
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Appeals court reverses conviction of man in city police shootout
Darryl A. White Jr. was accused of weapons charges
in 2008 incident in which two men died.
Maryland's Court of Special Appeals has struck down the conviction of Darryl A. White Jr. on weapons charges stemming from a 2008 shootout with police in which two men died outside a Fourth of July party in Southwest Baltimore. In the judges' opinion, there was not enough evidence to prove that White was armed or that he knew the two men with him were armed and that they intended to use the weapons against the police. White, 25, will not be retried. Mark R. Cheshire, a spokesman for the Baltimore state's attorney, said that because the appeals court based its reversal on insufficient evidence, prosecutors are barred from trying him again. White was the sole survivor among a trio who had attended a raucous party in a union hall near Carroll Park in the early hours of July 5, 2008. As the men were leaving, Raemond P. White, 21, and another man, Haywood T. White, 18, fired several shots into the air to celebrate the holiday, according to an account of the incident from three police officers sitting in a patrol car nearby. Police said they were not sure whether the three men were related. The three then got into a white Ford Taurus "to evade arrest by the police," as the lone survivor later admitted. The police car pulled up behind the Ford, at which point shots were fired through its rear window toward the police officers, they later recounted. The Ford then sped away, made a U-turn and headed for the officers. "Shots were still being fired from the car as it was moving," according to the judges' summary of the state's case. "The officers could not identify who was shooting from the front seat. The officers continued to fire shots at the white car until the shooting from the car ceased when it crashed into a parked car." Darryl White, who had been sitting in the Ford's front passenger seat and was shot in the hand, was ordered from the car and arrested. Haywood White was found in the driver's seat, gravely wounded by a bullet in the head. He and Raemond White, who was in the rear seat and had been shot in the chest, died later. The three officers — James L. Brooks, Christopher D. Ahearn and Bernadette C. Mosher — were unhurt. A .45-caliber Colt handgun was found in Haywood White's pants pocket, and a .40-caliber Sig Sauer pistol was recovered from the trunk of the car, which had ended up in the middle of Hamburg Avenue, across from the union hall.
The Baltimore Sun 24 March 2011
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Woodview's Rick feels impact of earthquake in Japan
LIMERICKMAN Rick Ahern, originally from Woodview Park, and now working in Hamamatsu city, one and a half hours from Tokyo, was caught up in the huge 8.9 magnitude earthquake that stuck Japan. Rick, employed as a co-ordinator for International Relations in Hamamatsu City, told the Limerick Post: "I was working in the Hamamatsu Multicultural Centre, which is on the 9th floor of a building, when the quake hit. At first I felt a bit of a rumble, I found it a strange sensation and thought I was fainting, but I looked up and everyone in the office was giggling. "The Japanese people are surprisingly relaxed about them because they get little ones so frequently But, when it went on, and on, and got stronger, people started to get a bit edgy. I was terrified. Sweating buckets and shaking like a leaf, I actually thought that was it. With Christchurch fresh in my mind, I had never felt such fear in all my life. "After three or four aftershocks, everyone calmed down, the Japanese knew we were not in a whole lot of danger as in Hamamatsu, the readings were only a magnitude of 3, versus over 7 further north." "I was then called back to city hall to help out at the disaster prevention department. I translated tsunami warnings for the mail service and broadcasted emergency warnings in English over the radio for the English speaking population. I stayed on in work for a coupe of hours helping out in any way I could. We were very lucky not to be affected here in Hamamatsu".

Rick is the second Limerick man in a matter of weeks to be caught up in a earthquake, Ewan Fenton, from Corbally, was living in Christchurch when the quake hit there two weeks ago.

Limerick Post 24 March 2011
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Weekly Police Blotter
ALCOHOL
Gail J. Ahern, 46, of 237 High St., Highwood, was arrested at 1 a.m. Saturday at 2221 Central St., and charged with open alcohol. Ahern is due in court April 11.
Evanston Review 24 March 2011
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Georgina and twins love life on road with Westlife
Georgina Ahern is celebrating her twins Rocco and Jay's fourth birthday early as she and her hubby, Westlife's Nicky Byrne, make the most of their time in the UK. The glamorous brunette explained how she's enjoying spoiling her sons before their birthday on April 20, as they join their famous dad and his bandmates on their Gravity tour. Georgina (31) told the Diary how she wants to enjoy her last few months of having the boys all to herself before they start school in September. "The twins are fine, they're happy and already preparing for their birthday," Georgina explained. "They're going to be four next month. They're great. I'm just enjoying having them around before they go off to big school. "We love being on the road with the guys and then they'll be back in Dublin next week so we're looking forward to that," she added.

The close-knit family were spotted enjoying a day out in Sheffield yesterday, ahead of their gig at the Motorpoint arena last night. The down-to-earth daughter of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also had an opportunity to catch up with fellow Westwife Jodi Albert, whose band Wonderland are supporting the boys on tour. Georgina went on to reveal how she and her other half are still in shock following their big win at last Friday night's Peter Mark VIP Style Awards, where they were crowned the Most Stylish couple in Ireland. "It's an amazing honour," the glamorous mum said. "We weren't expecting it at all. It must have been all the fans voting. "I really thought my mum and Terry [McEvoy] were going to win," she added.

Evening Herald 30 March 2011
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FOOD & DRINK
Gluten-free Irish soda bread
If you're can't eat gluten, then you may have thought you'd never get to eat Irish soda bread again. Well, thanks to industrious gluten-free bakers such as Seattle's Shauna James Ahern and her husband Danny Ahern, any recipe can be de-glutened. For St Patrick's Day, the couple created an Irish soda bread, inspired in part by Darina's mother-in-law, Myrtle Allen. The key with this recipe is measuring your flours. See bit.ly/glutenfreesodabread.
Irish Independent 2 April 2011
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NYC filmmaker Charlie Ahearn returns to Bronx
for NY African Film Festival flick 'Bongo Barbershop'
It has been more than 30 years since filmmaker Charlie Ahearn headed to the Bronx to capture New York's world of beats and rhymes in "Wild Style," his 1983 film about DJs, graffiti taggers and the then-underground hip-hop scene. Ahearn recently went back to the neighborhood where it all began — 183rd St. and Jerome Ave. — for "Bongo Barbershop," a short playing the 18th New York African Film Festival, which runs today through Tuesday at the Walter Reade Theater through the Film Society of Lincoln Center. "'Barbershop' takes place only a few blocks from the parks where hip hop was born, with Kool Herc," says Ahearn. "But it also has a global [perspective], with a guy from Tanzania looking for 'real hip hop' in the city. And that's real, in terms of people wanting to get in touch with a notion of 'New York hip hop.' "Here it's also a kind of fairy tale, with an MC from Tanzania meeting one of the pioneers of hip hop, Grandmaster Caz and the two having at each other in a barbershop."

Ahearn, 59, moved to Manhattan from Binghamton, N.Y., in 1973, "the same year hip hop was born," though he wouldn't turn a camera to it until seven years later. "The gulf then between youth culture and what was happening on the street was huge," says Ahearn. "What was considered 'street culture' was in a completely untouchable world. In terms of hip hop, it was borough versus borough. "And people into skateboarding were in one area, punk/new wave was in another and the kids doing shows in Bronx gymnasiums were another. There was a huge gulf between what would happen on the street and what would happen, say, in a movie theater. "Now, everyone has access to film and has the ability to distribute media. If you have something to say or can't wait to shoot, there's no real excuse any longer."

Ahearn recently shot a video performance piece called "All City" with the Bushwick-based rappers Nine 11 Thesaurus, filmed on the Brooklyn Bridge. He says that "Bongo Barbershop" has even one more layer of poetry in it. "We filmed in a neighborhood barbershop and the barber there was Easy Mike, who was Grandmaster Flash's DJ and a pioneer in his own way. That was an inspiration in itself — learning about Easy Mike as a barber."

This year's African Film Festival is focusing on films of Africa and the Diaspora and includes the features "Viva Riva," a Congolese crime drama; "A Trip to Algiers," about the 1962 war in Algeria; and "Africa United," a family drama centered on the 2010 Johannesburg World Cup competition.

New York Daily News 6 April 2011
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Anne Kitfield Holt is engaged to marry Ryan John Ahearn
[photo]
Anne Holt and Ryan Ahearn
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Holt of Manchester by the Sea, Mass., have announced the engagement of their daughter, Anne Kitfield Holt, to Ryan John Ahearn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Ahearn of Ridgefield and Watch Hill, R.I. The future bride is an alumna of Manchester High School and graduated magna cum laude from Colby College with a bachelor of arts in art and art history. The future bridegroom is an alumnus of The Taft School, and graduated cum laude from Colby College with a bachelor of arts in religious studies. Anne and Ryan are teaching at the Telluride Mountain School in Telluride, Colo. Anne is the Lower School art teacher and Ryan is the Upper School humanities teacher. A July wedding in Manchester by the Sea is planned.
The Ridgefield Press 8 April 2011
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Sparks fly at blaze as angry man attacks fire training photographer
OXFORD — As they put out a barn fire that started in the chimney yesterday, firefighters were forced into the role of peacemakers when they pulled an enraged man off a photographer. The fire started at 11 a.m. at 157 Old Webster Road. Property owner Robert J. Pollett Jr., 52, allegedly attacked photographer James Ahern. Mr. Pollett demanded that the photographer, whose identification card said he is with Uxbridge Fire/EMS, get off the property. "This isn't a circus," he yelled before telling the photographer he wanted his film. When Mr. Ahern refused, continuing to walk toward the street, the man tackled him. Police and firefighters ran toward the altercation. The photographer suffered a cut to his head. The wound was bandaged at the scene, and he was given an icepack. A woman who appeared to be living at the property apologized to Mr. Ahern. She refused to identify herself to a reporter. Mr. Ahern said he did not want to pursue charges against the man, who wasn't wearing shoes. Neighbors urged the photographer to seek further medical treatment because of the possible aftereffects of a head injury. "I've been to many fires, and have never seen that," claims adjuster Andrew Berger said of the assault.

Patrolman Kevin Lebreton said Mr. Ahern takes pictures for fire department training and had identified himself to the man. Police Chief Michael C. Hassett said the department would likely bring charges against the man, who sat in the back of a police cruiser for several minutes but was let out by authorities. He then drove a pickup truck off the property. Police last night said the case is still under investigation. Chief Hassett said authorities are seeking an official statement from the victim. Fire Lt. Kenneth J. Sellers said smoke and flames were coming from the center of the building when they arrived. The fire extended onto the first floor. The building is salvageable because of a quick and aggressive response, he said. Auburn and Dudley Fire departments provided mutual aid.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette 8 April 2011
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Man allegedly stopped at two Charlestown doughnut shops — to rob them
A Charlestown man was arrested and charged with robbing two Dunkin' Donuts shops, both in Charlestown, early Thursday morning — attacks that took place within 15 minutes and one mile of each other, Boston police said. John Ahearn, 30, was arrested Thursday night and charged with armed robbery after workers from both stores identified him from a photo array, police said. Shortly after 5 a.m., police received notice of a robbery in progress at a Dunkin' Donuts at 5 Austin St. When police arrived, workers told them a man in his 30s had approached the counter, displayed a screwdriver, and gave them a note that demanded money, Boston police said in a statement. After the robber saw one of the store employees arming himself with a kitchen knife, he fled the store, police said. About 15 minutes later, police received word that another Dunkin' Donuts at 99 Cambridge St. had been robbed. Police said workers described a man in his 30s who showed a weapon, jumped the counter, and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash he took from the register. No injuries were reported in either robbery.
The Boston Globe 8 April 2011
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A wary Irish welcome for O'Malley, the Visitor
Dispatched to Dublin to assess the clergy abuse crisis,
the cardinal has won over many with his warm presence.
The harder challenge is the church's — retrieving the estranged
By Lisa Wangsness
DUBLIN — Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley's assignment here did not begin well. Asked by the pope to review the Archdiocese of Dublin's response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis, O'Malley began by introducing himself at a Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral last November. He spoke about his own family's Irish roots and offered to meet with people who wished to talk. Skeptics were immediately worried. Standing at the altar alongside O'Malley were two of the auxiliary bishops who had been criticized in a devastating government investigation of the archdiocese. "That was perceived as an appalling lapse of understanding by the victims," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of One in Four, a leading sexual abuse prevention and victim support organization. But O'Malley — who had not been involved in planning the service — is used to walking into messes.

In 1992, he was assigned to Fall River, where the Rev. James R. Porter had been accused of molesting more than 100 minors. In 2002, he was transferred to Palm Beach, where two of his predecessors had been accused of abuse. A year later, he was named archbishop of Boston, where Cardinal Bernard F. Law had resigned over an abuse scandal that triggered a national crisis. In Dublin, drawing on his experience in the United States, he set about meeting with virtually everyone who requested to speak with him. O'Malley and a team of Boston aides met with more than 200 people during three weeklong visits in November, January, and February. They began early each morning and continued late into the evening, rarely venturing off the grounds of All Hallows College, a Catholic school on a grassy campus in central Dublin. They offered all who met with them a rare opportunity: to convey a message, albeit indirectly, to Pope Benedict XVI.
 . . . 
O'Malley's mission was pastoral as well as analytical; part of his job was to express the pope's personal concern for people in Ireland. Some of his liveliest and most personal conversations in Dublin seemed to be with priests. "He wanted to know about our morale and the well-being of priests in the midst of all the revelations," said the Rev. Joe Mullan, who led a delegation of Dublin priests who met with O'Malley. For many priests, speaking freely in complete confidence with a senior church official was a unique and unexpectedly satisfying experience. Some shared the acute pain they felt about the crisis, others their frustration at what many feel has been an incoherent response from the church. Still others spoke about their urgent concern that the church find its way in an increasingly global and secular society — and quickly.

The Rev. Seamus Ahearne, pastor of a parish in a working-class neighborhood in Dublin, was among a number of priests who said they raised concerns that the language and modes of worship feel impossibly archaic and inaccessible to younger people, and that the church — with its all-male, top-down governing structure — must change. "I live in a place where 4 percent of people to go church," he said. "I said [to O'Malley], 'This Gospel and this church have to make sense to the other 96 percent.'" Reform-minded priests hope Ireland's Catholic church can somehow find new vitality, with or without the visitors' help. "I'd like to see the clerical church die, and the proper church emerge, the church of the people," said Cullen. "That's really where we should get our strength. Not this big great organization, but rather a worshiping community that comes together and looks after one another."

The Boston Globe 10 April 2011
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Iconic Laguna Beach bookstore for sale
LAGUNA BEACH — After running Latitude 33 Bookshop for 15 years, Tom Ahern is ready to retire, and he's hoping he can find a book lover to take over the business. Ahern, who turns 70 this year, will be helping his wife with health problems. Since he doesn't want to shut the shop's doors, he's hoping to sell the business. "You do it because you think having an independent bookstore is of value to the community," said Ahern, who describes himself as a believer in books. With his Laguna on the Same Page program, Ahern has encouraged the community to read a book together, culminating with a presentation from the author. In past years, "Tuesdays with Morrie" author Mitch Albom and T. C. Boyle, author of "The Tortilla Curtin" have spoken.

By Ahern's count, Orange County has five independent book stores, and as a whole, independent sellers are important in stocking books by young or unknown authors. "If the independents aren't there to find the real nuggets, you're not going to have interesting new authors," he said. Though the economy has taken its toll on the shop, like many of Laguna's downtown businesses, he said his business has cut costs so it can exist on fewer sales. He's hoping to get involved in e-books and said smaller stores can fill the void left by failing large chains. 'We're actually cheaper than Amazon for most Lagunans," he said.

Orange County Register 11 April 2011
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D'Amboise leaps over bullies, grabs stars
NEW YORK, April 12, (RTRS): It was really about the bullies. Joseph Ahearn began ballet lessons in the 1940s not to better his basketball game or impress girls but to overcome the bullies who tormented him. The young Ahearn, who became the celebrated dancer Jacques d'Amboise, dreamed of bounding over the heads of his childhood tormentors in the Washington Heights section of New York. Perhaps studying dance would give him the agility to escape bullies and amaze his friends with feats of strength, he thought. It worked. The former 'street boy' rose rapidly through the classical ballet ranks. He traveled the world with choreographer George Balanchine, appeared in movies such as 1954's "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and choreographed for the New York City Ballet. Along the way, d'Amboise founded the National Dance Institute, giving a new generation the skills to soar over their persecutors. He spoke to Reuters about his new memoir "I Was a Dancer," his childhood name change and technology's impact on classical ballet.

Question: Why did your mother change the family's name to d'Amboise from Ahearn?
Answer: "She was 4 foot 9 (145 centimeters) and stubborn and determined and dreaming, always dreaming, of her children being on the stage as actors, actresses, dancers, singers, whatever. "She thought the name d'Amboise was aristocratic and we should have that name. So she persuaded my father to change his name as well. He didn't have to. Why did he go along with it? It was a twisted form of love, a form of masochism  . . .  his masochistic offering to his wife."

Q: What did you think about "Black Swan"?
A: "It's not a ballet film. It's a horror story about obsession and a woman being tormented. It happened that this plot takes place in the incredible world of ballet but you could do the same in a hockey team. It could be anything. It could be the first violinist in an orchestra who is playing a piece that's being premiered and imagining that the conductor is coming on to her. "The characters are drawn as if they're cartoon characters and slashed with a cliche. I can take one look at Natalie Portman's leg and know it's not a ballerina's leg. It's a psychological thriller and they did it amazingly well. The choreography was wonderful."

Q: Has the apex of classical ballet been reached? Where does it go from here?
A: "Where will classical ballet be in the next 20 years when we all have computers in our brains? I wear two artificial knees. I have toes webbed because they're all broken. We have pacemakers, we have corneal implants. We are more and more melding with machines. What will classical ballet be when a leap can be 30 feet (10 meters) high because you have a metal implant in your joint?"

Q: Is this a problem for the art?
A: "I believe that part of what makes us human is the desire, the yearning to be better, superior, more enhanced. We want to climb the mountain, to leave the ground. Then we climb it and look at the ionosphere and say, 'I want to get up there!' It is part of our humanness to dream of getting out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. The art of ballet epitomizes that."

Q: How does ballet speak to our modern lives?
A: "Ballet is a world where there aren't bad smells, bad manners, yelling, screaming and violence. The world of the ideal — of the classical ballet — is good manners, chivalry, romance. It is the human body carried to its most beautiful form, doing what we ordinary people have not achieved. "I think people are coming to realize what an incredibly form of communication dance is. It stands next to music as a global way of communicating."

Arab Times 13 April 2011
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Providence Day names new athletic director
David Ahern will take over as athletic director at Providence Day School this summer. Ahern will start July 1, replacing Barbara Fricke, who is retiring from Providence Day at the end of the year. Ahern has 26 years of experience as an athletic director and has coached basketball, football, lacrosse and golf. He currently is the athletic director at St. Andrews School in Boca Raton, Fla., and serves on the Florida High School Athletic Association Representative Assembly. He also served as athletic director and physical education chairman at Monsignor Pace High School in Florida, where he coached two state-championship basketball teams. "I am truly excited for the opportunity to lead the well-established athletic program at Providence Day school," said Ahern in a statement. "I never expected to leave my home state of Florida until I personally witnessed the beautiful campus, excellent coaching staff and the positive vision of the incoming headmaster."
The Charlotte Observer 13 April 2011
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Natick 13, Weymouth 3: A flipped script
[photo]
Natick's Sean Ahern (left) celebrates with Cam Brown after scoring
during the Red and Blue's blowout win over Weymouth.
NATICK — Almost a year ago to the day, the Natick boys lacrosse team suffered a humbling 10-3 loss to Bay State Conference rival Weymouth. This year, the result was much different. The Red and Blue handed Weymouth a 13-3 beating behind five goals from senior attack Sean Ahern and improved to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in the BSC. According to Natick coach Nate Kittler, this was just the second win over the Wildcats in the program's history. "These seniors remember their experience from last year," said Kittler. "They gave us a pretty good licking, but we are playing really well right now. We have to work even harder to keep this going." Ahern got the ball rolling for Natick with three goals in the first quarter. Two were unassisted and one was set up by Erik Swanson. "Everyone on the team knows, when Sean Ahern is hot, give him the ball," said Kittler.
The MetroWest Daily News 13 April 2011
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Brothers hit gardaí after mum fell over
JAILED: Trio 'lost control' and punched officers in face
THREE brothers attacked gardaí in a violent street brawl, raining punches on the officers when they "lost control" because their sick mother had fallen in the melee. A garda was left with a broken tooth when one of the brothers, who runs an inner city football club, struck him repeatedly in the face. Another officer had bruising and abrasions on his face when a second brother, a former boxer, punched him. Dublin District Court heard the men reacted violently after their mother (61), who has cancer, became involved and fell. Judge Bridget Reilly jailed Daryl Brady for 10 months and his brothers Adam Brady and James Brady for 13 months each at Dublin District Court.

The incident happened at Sean McDermott Street in the north inner city on August 22, 2009. The accused, all with the same address at Champion's Avenue, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to violent disorder in the incident. James Brady (36) also admitted two counts of assault on Garda Brian Ahern and obstruction. Daryl Brady (22) admitted assaulting Garda Conor Cooper and failing to obey garda directions, while Adam Brady (23) pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Ahern and two counts of obstruction.

Sgt Ronan Dunne, of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station, told the court two gardaí were on duty at 6.20pm when they came across a verbal altercation between two groups of men. The men refused to leave the area and gardaí Mark Deasy and Brian Ahern arrived as back-up. James Brady kicked the door of their patrol car when it arrived, hitting Garda Ahern as he was getting out. He then punched the garda on the nose, causing it to bleed. Brady violently resisted arrest by Garda Deasy, who was assaulted by other members of the group. Sgt Dunne said it was a busy thoroughfare and the melee put members of the public in fear. Adam Brady punched Garda Ahern in the face several times, breaking a tooth which required a crown. He then ran away and was only apprehended after a chase. Daryl Brady refused to leave the area when directed to do so and struck Garda Cooper on the face a number of times, causing minor bruising and abrasions. The court heard James Brady had 52 previous convictions, Daryl had 25 and Adam had no criminal record. "I have been instructed to offer an unreserved apology to the members present on my clients' behalf for their appalling behaviour," their barrister Emmet Nolan said. The court heard Daryl Brady had been the victim of an assault on the evening and later encountered the people who had attacked him. The family home was nearby and the accused's mother came out and "intervened in an inappropriate manner" with the garda. In the melee, she fell to the ground, causing Daryl Brady to "lose control of himself" when he was approached by the gardaí. His two brothers "came to his assistance". The court heard the accused came from a family of 10 siblings.

Evening Herald 13 April 2011
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Injured Belton soldier Larkin O'Hern to be honored with park dedication, concert
[photo]
1st Lt. Lewis Larkin O'Hern III, a Belton graduate, recovers from wounds received in an IED explosion that occurred in December in Afghanistan.
BELTON—Less than a week after the country settled a score with its Public Enemy No. 1, a local war hero returns home from the frontlines of battle at the beginning of his own personal struggle. 1st Lt. Lewis Larkin O'Hern III, the 2004 Belton High School graduate who lost his legs and right hand in an IED explosion last December in Kandahar, Afghanistan, will be honored at 10 a.m. Saturday during a ceremony at the new pavilion behind The Gin along Nolan Creek in downtown Belton. A benefit concert set for 7 p.m. at The Gin will raise funds for O'Hern and his recovery effort.
Temple Daily Telegram 4 May 2011
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Conn. Dept. Uses Donated Funds to Fight Lawsuit
May 7—KILLINGWORTH—The Fire Department voted this week to dip into the company fund, built up by donations and fundraisers, to back the fire chief after an ousted volunteer firefighter filed a lawsuit against him and the department. Firefighter Brian Ahern was dismissed from the volunteer department in early April for "fits of rage, violent outbursts and profanity," in addition to confronting the fire captain about a hazmat situation that Ahern said was not handled safely. Ahern's attorney, John R. Williams of New Haven, said that Ahern was a whistleblower in the potentially hazardous situation in which Fire Capt. Donald Venuti III brought a 55-gallon barrel of kerosene back to the department, where Fire Chief Arnold Moore said he would handle it. According to Williams, the barrel with a rag stuffed in the top, was placed next to a water well for 10 days.

Following the incident, Venuti said that Ahern "verbally abused" him and Moore then terminated Ahern's membership in the fire company, which he appealed, but the decision was upheld by the board of trustees. Last week, Ahern filed a lawsuit against Moore and the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company, which says that he was protected as a whistleblower under the First Amendment. According to Secretary Rick Albrecht, the Fire Department voted to use up to $20,000 from its fund to back Moore against the lawsuit if needed. Ahern, who did not attend the vote, was upset by the proposed expenditure. "I don't think people in town appreciate the money being spent on lawyers to throw people out of the Fire Department," said Ahern, who was a 39-year member of the department. Ahern said that the department gets an average of $20,000 in donations each year, which is usually spent on new equipment. "Every year, we send out a letter asking for donations. People should know what that money is going to," said Ahern. "When I was fire chief, I was proud that I created an automatic defibrillator program."

According to Ahern's son, John Ahern, who was present during Monday's vote, there were about 30 members who voted to back the chief with the money, and only he and his brother opposed the motion. "Emergency Medical Service is one of the things I like to focus on because we get so many calls for that now, and there are these automatic CPR machines that we could with that money," said John Ahern. "You could be going down the road in an ambulance trying to do CPR and you hit a bump, so it's not consistent, but this machine would make that possible. It costs $17,000 to get, but we need something like that instead of wasting this money."

Moore declined comment when asked where the money was coming from, in addition to whether an attorney is representing him. "My girlfriend said that her grandparents live in town and donate every year, and they'd be pretty pissed to know that this money is going toward keeping my dad out of the department, who they like," said John Ahern. Albrecht said he did not recall a situation similar to this in his time at the department.

New Haven Register 8 May 2011
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In other action in Shawnee County District Court:
—Ernest Arceneaux, 46, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, is to be sentenced May 25. Arceneaux made the plea April 26 in the death of Joanne M. Ahern, 36, who was killed Nov. 2 at her apartment, 3304 S.W. 29th Terrace. The slaying focused on $40 that Ahern owed to Arceneaux for the purchase of crack cocaine consumed a day earlier, a witness testified. Nelson testified Arceneaux was angry because Ahern hadn't repaid him. Arceneaux strung up Ahern, then kicked out the chair she was standing on, leaving her to hang from a ceiling fan, the witness testified.
Topeka Capital-Journal 9 May 2011
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Pathlight students participate in District Arts Festival
[photo]
Performer Kenny Ahern from the US performing with Pathlight school student.
FOR the first time ever, students at the Pathlight School, which is for children with autism, get to enjoy street performances as part of the Central Singapore District Arts Festival (DAF), which is organised by the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC). Japan's Pepper Zero and American Kenny Ahern were at Pathlight School on May 11, not just to perform, but also to teach a class of 12 children, aged between 12 to 13 years old, to balance peacock feathers on their fingers, chin, and even their nose. The performance, which was attended by around 400 children from the school, included a straitjacket escape by Pepper Zero, as well as a ladder balanced on Kenny Ahern's chin. Many children were beside themselves with delight, jumping up to cheer for the performers as well as their peers and teachers, who were volunteer performers.

The DAF programme, which allows local and international street entertainers to go 'mobile' and perform at hawker centres, hospitals, shopping malls and schools, is in line with the Arts and Culture Strategic Review Committee's goal of increasing participation by Singaporeans in arts and cultural events. This is the fourth year the DAF is being held. Ms Denise Phua, President of the Autism Resource Centre and Supervisor of the Pathlight School Board, is glad that Central Singapore CDC is including the school in the Festival. She said: "Today's event is not just a simple workshop, or a simple performance, but also sends a message that these children are included in our society."

The Straits Times 11 May 2011
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Playtime turns to tears for Oscar
[photo]
Oscar Ahern
PLAYTIME turned to tears for a tot—because of the antics of mindless vandals. Two-year-old Oscar Ahern excitedly ran to the rides in a children's play area, at Buckingham Way, Timperley, on Saturday. But the little lad's smile soon disappeared, after he went to get on a rocking horse and put his hands in engine oil that had been smeared over it. Oscar's dad, Peter, who had taken him to the park, said: "Oscar was horrified and has since been traumatised by the affair" refusing to go to any park anymore, where once he would have asked to go to the park first thing every morning that he woke up. "No park! "'No park!' he called out as we drove past Pickering Park this morning."

Secondary school teacher Peter, of Brook Lane, Timperley, added: "It is a sad state of affairs if our children can't feel safe and secure in our parks and playgrounds  . . . sadder still that they should deem it acceptable to ruin these facilities for others, even the youngest and most vulnerable in our society." Executive councillor John Reilly said: "Fortunately incidents such as this are few and far between in Trafford, however no-ones enjoyment of a public park should be ruined by vandalism. "This is why our officers inspect all our equipment on a daily basis to ensure that any issues can be dealt with swiftly. "Further to this, if there are any particular areas being targeted by vandals our community safety officers can increase patrols in particular areas to act as a deterrent to vandals. "I would encourage any resident who comes across anything like this to contact the council immediately."

Timperley Messenger 14 May 2011
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New Rochelle garden honors city's fallen police officers
by Ned P. Rauch
NEW ROCHELLE—As communities across the area mark Police Memorial Week, the city has dedicated a pair of memorials to its fallen officers: a garden in the lawn in front of the Police Department and Court complex and a plaque bolted to the northwest corner of the building's exterior. Eight New Rochelle police officers have been killed in the line of duty. The first was Patrolman Maurice Ahearn, who died while interrupting a burglary in 1903. The most recent was Officer Gary Pagano, killed in 1982.

The plaque, which bears the names of the fallen officers, was rededicated after being moved from the city's former police headquarters on Beaufort Place; it had been in storage since 1998. The new garden is the work of Paul Carbone, a senior at New Rochelle High School, who designed and created it for his Eagle Scout project. "This is my gift to the city for all it's done for me," Carbone said Monday at a ceremony with city officials. "I will do whatever it takes to make sure this project stays in such pristine condition." Carbone will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall and plans to study international affairs.

Mayor Noam Bramson called Carbone's project a "contribution to the spirit of the city." "He's a great kid," Police Commissioner Patrick Carroll said. "We all wish we had a kid like that."

The Journal News 17 May 2011
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Flavor from the farm, Maine-style
[photo]
Ladleah Dunn, right, Farm Manager at Salt Water Farm, displays freshly made cheese to Donna Ellis of Boxford, Mass., as they prepare to enjoy a dinner of lasagna at the conclusion of a cheese-making workshop held at the Lincolnville farm on Saturday, May 14, 2011.
The slow-moving fog crept in from Penobscot Bay into the lush green fields of Salt Water Farm in Lincolnville. It was May, but it felt more like early April — and inside the well-appointed kitchen and dining room in the post-and-beam barn where Annemarie Ahearn and Ladleah Dunn cook and teach each week, it felt as cozy as a winter's night. Pots of raw whole milk simmered on the stove becoming cheese as Dunn added rennet and acid. Ahearn methodically chopped onions and basil, and boiled noodles for lasagna. Irene Yadao, operations manager for the farm, zipped around the kitchen, snapping pictures and assisting the 10 guests from Maine and beyond, who were assembled there to learn from Dunn and Ahearn how to make ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and then eat Ahearn's carefully prepared dinner.

Ahearn, Dunn and Yadao have, for the past two years, offered cooking and food preparation classes and elegant meals at Salt Water Farm, the 17-acre oceanfront property owned by Ahearn and her family. Events are offered year-round, but from May to September, Salt Water Farm turns into a kind of summer camp for locavores, with an array of daylong to three-day-long workshops teaching participants how to do everything from beekeeping and beer brewing to pig butchering and preserving and canning. All accompanied by fabulous meals, cooked by Ahearn and Dunn. "I think the thing we're really passionate about is, pretty simply, good, real food," said Dunn. "Maine, especially, has such a history of farming and fishing and living off the land, and we want to share that and learn from that as much as we can. It's something that's so important, and a lot of that way of life has been lost. We're trying to hold onto that."

Dunn and Ahearn have very different backgrounds, but many crucial similarities in their ideas about food. As a child, Ahearn, 29, who grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., spent summers in Maine on her parents' blueberry farm in Dresden. Her family purchased the property in Lincolnville, formerly a sheep farm, in 1999, and slowly converted it into tillable land for vegetable farming. After attending Colorado College and the Institute for Culinary Education, or ICE, in New York City, Ahearn had stints working for Saveur magazine, and cooked in Paris, Barcelona and New York. She worked for a time at Dan Barber's James Beard-award-winning Blue Hill restaurant in New York; she also was a personal assistant to Tom Colicchio, owner of the widely acclaimed Craft restaurants and head judge on "Top Chef." "I knew New York was the food capital of the country, and I wanted to go there and get my foot in the door and build a foundation of knowledge about food," said Ahearn. "It was at the ICE that I wrote up my business plan for what is now Salt Water Farm. I knew I wanted to teach, and I had this beautiful property in Maine. I just needed credentials and cash."

In 2009, after years of networking and amassing knowledge in the United States and Europe, Ahearn decided to forgo the fast-paced life of New York kitchens and slow it down a bit. Salt Water Farm was unveiled for the summer of 2009. "I was ready to do my own thing, but I didn't want to do it in New York. It's incredibly competitive, and, well, there are no real farms in New York [City] itself, even if people are doing rooftop farms," said Ahearn. "It's not the same pace of life I was looking for. I knew I could have it here." Not long after that, Ahearn met Dunn, a Maine native with a wealth of experience in all the areas Ahearn wanted to explore with Salt Water Farm.

Dunn grew up on Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont and on Vinalhaven, as well as on tiny Pine Island off the coast of Florida, learning farming, fishing and marine skills at a very young age. After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy in 2000, she did everything from studying fish populations in Vancouver to sailing throughout the Caribbean to working for Outward Bound's Hurricane Island program off the coast of Maine. She settled down in the Lincolnville area in 2006, and opened Kalliste Yacht Services with her husband, Shane, restoring and refinishing boats. In 2009, she was looking for a way to use her considerable skills and passion for local foods — and meeting Ahearn was just the ticket. "We have similar skills, but came to them from very different angles," said Dunn. "We have the same ideas about food, and the same passion for sustainability. Annemarie has all this training and all these connections in the food world, and I've just amassed a lot of hands-on experience over the years. We complement each other very well."

Yadao formed the final piece of the puzzle, as a New Mexico transplant to the midcoast, who previously wrote for Waldo County's Republican Journal. While Yadao runs the day-to-day operations of Salt Water Farm, Ahearn and Dunn lead workshops and dinners all year. Some of the regular yearly events include three-day workshops in June, July and August, in which participants stay in the area and learn a variety of skills, from cooking to small-scale gardening. There also are the one-off events, such as specific skill workshops, cookbook signings and field trips to local islands for foraging. And then there's the weeklong Maine Event in August, an extravaganza of cooking and learning, in which chefs from New York City come up to the farm to work with Ahearn and Dunn and their students. Salt Water Farm's monthly Full Moon and Sunday Suppers have become popular quickly. Tourists and local residents have picked up on the unique nature of the suppers, which feature all-local ingredients, some of which were grown on the farm. This month's Full Moon Supper, held on May 17, featured, among several dishes, local crab on toast with chive mayonnaise, freshly harvested radishes and greens and a rhubarb jam cake, all containing Maine springtime ingredients. Different farmers and purveyors are featured at each dinner, such as lamb farmer Perry Ells of Union, sea urchin diver Brad Scott and organic apple orchard owner Bob Sewell of Lincolnville. All dinners through September are sold out, as each one only seats 20, and word of Ahearn's and Dunn's skills has spread far beyond Knox County. Write-ups on their project in the Boston Globe, and Down East and Food & Wine magazines have brought foodies from all over the state and the country to their table. "I'd love to keep it at this small, intimate level, but it's just not sustainable. The interest has been too big," said Ahearn. "What we'd really like to do is expand the cooking class portion of what we do to be more of a farm-to-table school. You come for a week at a time and spend half a day on the farm and half a day in the kitchen, learning lost culinary arts and things like composting and chicken raising. Or you can come for just a day and learn one specialized thing. It's like the Maine Media Workshops [in Rockport], just for food. You come to learn."

A full schedule of events all year long can be found online at www.saltwaterfarm.com. Daylong classes and events range in price from $35 to $75, and dinners are $65. The three-day events start at $425 and include lodging.

Bangor Daily News 17 May 2011
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Schoolboy's bolt from the bluegrass
WHAT A WAY to win the National Folk Festival's Young Instrumentalist of the Year Award — without realising you were even in the running for it. Armidale High School Year 12 student, Stephen O'Hern, won the prestigious Chris Wendt Award at Canberra's Exhibition Centre, where he performed with the Supper Club. "I didn't know it existed to be perfectly honest," the guitarist said. "It was an honour considering I was chosen and didn't have to compete for it."

After performing with Andrew Clermont's Supper Club — a cross-genre folk group of musicians from a variety of traditions — the group's organiser asked Stephen to 'stick around'. The next morning he received a call from Joe Ferguson saying that he'd been chosen to receive the award, inviting him to perform at the Folk Festival's Award ceremony. "It was a great atmosphere," Stephen said. "The session bar was crammed with musos who would jam 'til about 2am. "We performed each night and during each performance Andrew allowed for me to perform solo. "Each group there was a different genre: there's gypsy jazz, bluegrass, Irish and Scottish — all different aspects of folk music. "I like how varied folk music can be — it's such an accepting genre of music, even if a style doesn't strictly fit in."

Despite his success to date, Stephen is adamant his music education will continue with each development program, concert and festival inspiring him with new goals. If you want to check out Stephen's guitar work, you can see him in two Supper Club performances: 7.30pm on Saturday at McCrossin's Mill, Uralla; and 7.30pm on Sunday at the North Tamworth Bowling Club.

The Armidale Express 18 May 2011
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Thug who murdered a woman in Wythenshawe
over chip wrapper found hanging in cell
A sick thug who murdered a woman after she asked him to pick up his chip wrapper has been found hanging in his cell. Stuart Aherne was 18 when he plunged a knife into Jean Ryder, 45, in Wythenshawe in 2003. He was sentenced to life in prison later that year after a court heard he attacked Mrs. Ryder as she bent down to pick up the litter herself.

Aherne, now 26, was discovered at HMP Lindholme, South Yorkshire, yesterday morning. (SAT) Staff attempted to save him but he was pronounced dead 10 minutes later. The Prison Service say they have launched an investigation. Aherne struck on Greenbow Road after Mrs. Ryder had calmly asked him to pick his rubbish up. He swore at her and then stabbed her in the back with a knife engraved with the word 'Judge' as she crouched to collect it herself. Mrs. Ryder, from Baguley, was found lying face down in the street and died later in hospital. Aherne was arrested after he told a friend what he had done while they watched the notorious 70s film Deliverance. He was also convicted of a separate wounding charge at Manchester Crown Court, relating to an attack a week before Mrs. Ryder's death.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "As with every death in custody, the prisons and probation ombudsman will conduct a full investigation."

Manchester Evening News 19 June 2011
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Probe underway as murderer dies in Doncaster prison
An investigation has been launched after a convicted murderer died after he was found hanging in his cell at a Doncaster jail. Stuart Aherne was locked up for life in 2003 after stabbing a woman to death in Manchester after she asked him to pick up his litter. The 26-year-old was found hanging in his cell at HMP Lindholme on Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead ten minutes later. A Prison Service spokesman said: "As with every death in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct a full investigation."
Thorne and District Gazette 20 June 2011
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Litterbug killer is found hanged in cell
A VICIOUS prisoner jailed for stabbing a woman after she told him to pick up his litter has been found hanged in his prison cell. Stuart Aherne was aged just 18 when he was jailed for life for killing 45-year-old mum Jean Ryder in 2003. Aherne, 26, was found dead in prison on Saturday morning and the prison service has confirmed an investigation has now begun. Staff at HMP Lindholme, in Doncaster, attempted to revive the prisoner but he was pronounced dead 10 minutes after he was discovered. Aherne had killed Mrs. Ryder in Manchester after she had asked him to pick up his discarded litter and he told her to pick it up herself. She picked it up and put it in the bin before he stabbed her in the back. A neighbour found the mum dying on the pavement. A Prison Service spokesman said: "As with every death in custody, the prisons and probation ombudsman will conduct a full investigation."
The Star 20 June 2011
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Police Blotter
Criminal trespass
William Ronald Nolan, 37, Elkland, reportedly attempted to walk home from an establishment in Elkland Borough on June 19 and became disoriented due to his high level of intoxication and found his way to the residence of John W. Ahearn and Carole A. Ahearn. Nolan reportedly let himself in the residence through the front door which was unlocked. Once inside, Nolan helped himself to a soda and some cheese from the refrigerator. At some point Nolan was stumbling around the residence which awakened the Ahearns. John Ahearn went out to see what the noise was to find Nolan standing in the living room. Ahearn reportedly tried to converse with Nolan, however Nolan was so intoxicated that he could not speak coherently. Ahearn called 911 and waited for the police to arrive. Nolan was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with felony criminal trespass and placed in the Tioga County Prison.
The Wellsboro Gazette 21 June 2011
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Worcester man charged in assault; wife allegedly killed dog
WORCESTER—A Dixfield Street man has been charged with domestic assault after his wife, who allegedly admitted killing their dog, claimed he punched her in the head. Peter R. Ahearn, 40, of 47 Dixfield St., was arrested Saturday on charges of assault and battery, according to court records. Police found Mr. Ahearn sitting on steps in the backyard of his apartment building. Near him was a blue tarp, which police discovered to be wrapped around a dead Siberian husky, according to court records. When questioned, Mr. Ahearn told officers that he had fought with his wife and then she left, court records said. Police found Mrs. Ahearn at a friend's house, where she admitted to police that she had killed their dog, and said she wished to harm herself. She then accused her husband of punching her, prompting police to arrest Mr. Ahearn. It was unclear yesterday whether the dog was killed before or after Mr. Ahearn allegedly struck his wife. He was arraigned Monday and ordered held on $500 cash bail. His next court date is July 19. Mrs. Ahearn has not been charged in the dog's death.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 23 June 2011
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FBI shame casts a long shadow
By Kevin Cullen
Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Boston, could be forgiven for sounding a bit miffed the other day, when he was forced to respond to the inescapable reality that a lot of people don't necessarily buy the FBI's version of how Whitey Bulger's 16 years on the lam came to an end. After all, DesLauriers has been in town for just about a year, not nearly long enough to be infected with the cynicism that is virulent when it comes to anything involving the FBI and Whitey. "Any claim that the FBI knew about Mr. Bulger's whereabouts prior to the FBI's publicity efforts this week are completely unfounded,'' DesLauriers said in a remarkable statement issued Friday, just hours before Whitey flew in from the Left Coast. "When we learned his location, he was arrested promptly.'' OK. If you say so. But then, nothing in this case has ever been as it first appears.

DesLauriers seems like a decent, sincere guy, so I hate to break the news to him, but the FBI has little credibility in these matters with many people, including me, because in this town, the only things that last longer than winters are memories. The FBI never told the truth about anything involving Whitey Bulger, so it's not really surprising that so many of us don't necessarily believe the FBI now. We love our history in Boston, so maybe I can fill DesLauriers in on some history that might explain the skepticism he finds so exasperating.

In 1988, the Globe's investigative unit, the Spotlight Team, published a four-part series about the Bulger brothers, Whitey the gangster and Billy the politician, which included the bombshell revelation that Whitey Bulger had a relationship not just with the FBI, but with FBI agent John Connolly, a self-acknowledged Billy Bulger protege. The FBI vehemently denied the Globe's contention that Whitey was an informant. Jim Ahern, the FBI's special agent in charge in Boston at the time, angrily demanded a meeting and a retraction. We met with him at the Globe, but when we said we couldn't retract something we knew to be true, he was furious.

Nine years later, a very fine federal judge named Mark Wolf forced the FBI to admit what we all knew was true: Umm, yes, Whitey Bulger had been an FBI informant, since 1975. Oh, and for good measure, they kept him on as an informant for three years after the Globe exposed him. I'm sure he was very effective in those three years. As for the FBI's record on tracking down fugitives connected to this case, consider the saga of Johnny Martorano. Johnny, you may remember, was Whitey's favorite assassin. Johnny went on the run to avoid arrest in a horse race-fixing scam in 1979, but he earned frequent flyer points as Whitey sent him to kill whoever needed to die. Johnny hightailed it to Florida and there he remained, when he wasn't flying around whacking people, for 16 years — does the number sound familiar? — with the FBI in charge of trying to find him. They never did. Then one day in 1995, two state cops, Stevie Johnson and Mike Scanlan, got a tip that Martorano was in Florida, so they flew down. They spotted him in 24 hours. Johnson and Scanlan called Boston to report their breakthrough and were advised to hold off on the arrest until an FBI agent could fly down to join them. When the FBI agent showed up, Johnson asked him to use his FBI credit card to rent a different surveillance car so Martorano wouldn't make them. The FBI agent replied, "I'm not authorized to do that. I'm just here to keep an eye on you two guys.''

Johnson and Scanlan, backed by local cops, made the collar and flew back to Boston. The agent stayed behind to help prepare the press release which gave the FBI top billing. I tell that story, not to say the FBI hogs credit for big pinches, but because the FBI never found Johnny Martorano because they didn't want to. He was the guy who, when he flipped in 1998, was able to show that not only was Whitey murdering people while working for the FBI, but that corrupt FBI agents actively assisted Whitey in murdering people who were in a position to reveal the sordid relationship between Whitey and the FBI. The FBI did nothing to help, and plenty to frustrate, the long, complicated process that culminated three years ago in Connolly's murder conviction in Miami for fingering a guy who Connolly said would roll and expose the Bulger-FBI axis. An FBI agent sat in the courtroom throughout the trial, never revealing herself. She wasn't there to assist, but, again, just to keep an eye on other law enforcement agents.

Look, none of the FBI agents in the Boston office today were around when a lot of this stuff was going down. I know some of those agents, and they are good, conscientious guys. Taking Bulger down is a chance to start fresh. But if anybody in the FBI is really surprised that so many people really don't believe them when they say something about Whitey Bulger, they shouldn't be. It's going to take years for the FBI to gain its credibility back on anything Whitey-related. Arranging Whitey Bulger's reluctant homecoming was a good start. There's a long, long way to go.

The Boston Globe 26 June 2011
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Joe O'Hearn sheds light on local history regulalry [sic] from his Burt Avenue home
By Dick Case
[photo]
Joe O'Hearn publishes the monthly O'Hearn Histories out of his Auburn home. He has more than three thousand subscribers. The newsletter explores the history of Auburn and Cayuga County. Joe O'Hearn is the history guy in Auburn. He's publisher, editor and contributor to "O'Hearn's Histories," a pamphlet of 12 pages that he distributes each month free around Cayuga County, and other places. Joe is 73. His Histories is in its 12th year. His wife, Evelyn, helps out with the ads, which keeps the little publication above water. Joe claims he seldom leaves his house on Burt Avenue, where the front door is decorated with a handsome sign, "O'Hearn's Histories." The O'Hearns do most of the work in a converted office at the center of the two-family house, which used to be the dining room. There's a smaller room at the rear of their home where Joe keeps some of his books and his late father's collection of Auburn city directories (he has the first in 1857) and other books. He says he has about 380 publications about Cayuga County and Auburn and tons of computer files on local history. Joe prints 3,000 copies of O'Hearn's Histories a month. He started with a run of 850 and four pages. Production expanded rapidly because of the demand for advertising. Some clients sign on for a year at a time.

Joe grew up in Auburn and dropped out of school in the 10th grade to go to work. His father was George O'Hearn, who went though most of his adult life short one leg; the limb was amputated after a hit and run accident that left him lying in the street. Joe's mother, Carrie, did fancy stitching for Dunn and McCarthy, Auburn's famous shoe-maker. Carrie spent the last years of her life living in an apartment on the second floor of Joe's house. She died at 90. Joe says his mother used to pick up the newest copy of his newsletter and say, proudly, "This is the best you've ever done."

Joe was a shy lad growing up and spent a lot of time reading. History, of course. At 17, he joined the Navy, intending to sign up in the Merchant Marines after four years. His plans were derailed after he was assigned to the aeronautics unit. After discharge from the Navy, he worked at several area companies, including General Products in Union Springs. He says he decided to retire at the age of 60 "because I didn't want to do it anymore." His retirement project was trying to write a novel about the Patriot's War of 1837-38 and the role of a local photographer in the rebellion in southern Canada in which the United States intervened. He has a lot of research on the war, including accounts for an Auburn newspaper he video-taped at Seymour Library, but he eventually gave up the project because he had difficulty with writing in a 19th century voice.

He found his true vocation in "O'Hearn's Histories." Joe credits his daughter, Katie, with challenging him to try the pamphlets. He originally thought about putting his histories on discs to sell but gave up on that idea when Katie, who was selling ads for a Seneca Falls radio station at the time, offered to try to sell advertising for a newsletter. "It caught on with the first issue," which was in April 2000, according to Joe. A prototype came out in 1994.

His daughter married, had four sons, but died in a car crash in 2008. The July issue of "O'Hearn's Histories" contains a tribute to Katherine O'Hearn Gehring by her dad: "It was only through her skills as our sales representative that we were able to publish our paper. She is responsible for most of the businesses who have continued to advertise with us to this day." Joe says he was "meant to do what I'm doing." He says he spends eight hours a day at his computer — "my brain," he says, pointing to the machine — which is framed by shelves of his mementos, including a row of antique cameras he's collected. "I study all the time," he goes on, saying "I don't sit down and put together an issue until a week before publication. Its never been a business for me."

Early on, "O'Hearn's Histories" was printed on an old Xerox machine he bought. Then Joe took his business to Staples. Now it's produced offset at Finger Lakes Press, right in Auburn. The next issue — his 149th — is due out this Friday, July 1. That same day Joe expects to sit down with five of his Auburn cronies at the bookbindery and book store run by his friend, and fellow historian, Jim Meyer, on Market Street downtown. The men will chew over the new issue and history in general for an hour or so. Last September, Joe says he was "touched" to receive an honor from a group of professional historians from Auburn, the Millard Fillmore Award for "outstanding contributions to local history." He says he doesn't think he's a professional, just a "student of history, sharing what I'm learning."

Want to see more? You can find more about "O'Hearn's Histories" at ohearnshistories.com.

The Syracuse Post-Standard 26 June 2011
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Small quake recorded in N.H.
A small earthquake was recorded this morning in New Hampshire, but local authorities said no one had called to report the earth shaking. The 2.3-magnitude temblor was recorded at 9:53 a.m. in Gilmanton, N.H., the US Geological Survey said. The quake originated about 7 miles down. Gilmanton is a few miles south of Lake Winnipesaukee. One person reported feeling the earthquake in Wolfeboro, the agency said on its website. A 1.8-magnitude aftershock was also recorded at 10:10 a.m., the agency said.

Chris Ahern, an emergency medical technician at the fire department in Pittsfield, 9 miles from the epicenter, said no one there felt the quake and no residents called about it. Kenneth Erickson, chief of the Laconia Fire Department, 10 miles from the epicenter, also said nobody reported feeling the earthquake. According to the US Geological Survey website, earthquakes with a magnitude of 2 to 3 produce only weak shaking and no damage.

The Boston Globe 29 June 2011
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Urban chicken ordinance goes into effect today, only one person applied for permit
Backyard chickens can begin calling Oshkosh home starting today.
An ordinance that allows Oshkosh residents living in single-family homes and duplexes to keep up to four chickens in their backyard goes into effect today; however, city staff has not seen a rush of people applying for a permit. Staff in the city's Planning Services Division have answered a few questions from residents about the requirements for the permit applications, but so far have only helped one resident fill out an application for a permit. That resident, Scott O'Hearn, 790 Christian Drive, is putting the finishing touches on his application for a permit to keep chickens in his backyard. "The reason I want to have them is for a hobby, something to do," O'Hearn said. "It's not so much for the eggs. It's cheaper to go buy eggs in the store."

The lack of people requesting information about obtaining a permit may be surprising in light of the heated debate of the issue while the ordinance was being considered by the Oshkosh Common Council this spring. But former Councilor Tony Palmeri, a driving force behind the chicken ordinance, said he did not expect a large turnout for chicken permits in the first year of the ordinance. He said he believes more people will apply for a permit in the future as they better understand the what goes into raising chickens. "I don't think anyone thought in the first year we would have huge number of people doing this," Palmeri said. "As years go on and as people discover in fact that backyard chickens are not a nuisance, I expect the numbers will grow."

However city staff isn't sure whether the demand for chicken permits will increase, this year or in the future. "I honestly don't think we're going to get many applications, but obviously there are people who are going to be passionate about it," said Robin Leslie, a principal planner with the city who overseeing the chicken permits. The ordinance allows residents to have up to four hens but bans roosters. Chicken enclosures must be a minimum of 25 feet from property lines and owners must include an enclosed exercise area for chickens on their property. Residents who want a permit for chickens must first obtain permission from the neighbors whose property abuts theirs. O'Hearn said he still needs to get permission from two neighbors; however one of those properties is a house that has been vacant for three years and is in foreclosure.

O'Hearn said he's been working with Leslie to get permission from the bank so he can have the chickens. O'Hearn said he understands informing his neighbors about his intent to get chickens, but he doesn't think he should be required to get their permission. Residents applying for the permit should expect a one-business day turnaround before hearing whether the permit has been granted, Leslie said.

Oshkosh Northwestern 30 June 2011
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GPC fostering young workforce
GLADSTONE Ports Corporation is leading the way in supporting the youth of Gladstone as they start their working lives, with 10% of the port's workforce being apprentices and trainees. A stint of work experience confirmed for both Zoey Ahern and Doug Kretschmer that they wanted to become a Gladstone Ports Corporation apprentice. Zoey is now in her fourth, and final, year of an electrical apprenticeship and Doug is half-way through his fitter's apprenticeship. Both say they could not imagine a better place to learn and become qualified in their respective trades. "I was involved in NRG's skills centre whilst I was at school, through this program we spent one day a week at the port for 12 months," Doug said. "During this time is when I decided I wanted to undertake my fitting apprenticeship and that I wanted to do this at the port."

Both had to apply first for the apprenticeships, complete and pass an aptitude test and finally have an interview, which determined whether they were successful or not. "I was very happy when I learnt I was successful," Zoey said. "Since working here I have noticed how lucky I was to have landed my position at the port. "The things I have learnt, people I have met and opportunities provided to me are unlike anything I could have ever imagined."

In 2010 Zoey and Doug proved why they were employed, being awarded Gladstone Port Corporation's third-year apprentice of the year and first-year apprentice of the year awards, respectively. This year was a record intake year for GPC as they formally welcomed 21 new apprentices and trainees. CEO Leo Zussino said the port now had 68 apprentices and trainees employed. "This year the port takes on four diesel fitting, two mechanical fitting and four electrical apprentices, one plumbing apprentice, two horticultural trainees, one parks and gardens apprentice, one rigger/scaffolder trainee, one warehouse trainee, one computer-aided drafting trainee and one administration trainee," Mr. Zussino says. "The group also includes three new stevedoring trainees who will complete a 12-month traineeship unique to the port. "It's a unique set of skills specific to the port and gives them a great base to learn and grow as they work through their traineeship." Helping students identify if an apprenticeship at the Gladstone Ports Corporation is the pathway for them is the port's Work Placement Scheme and Vocational Placement Scheme programs.

The Observer 15 July 2011
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Men arrested over shots at MP's house
Two men have been arrested after rifle shots were fired at the house of a parliamentarian in the outer Melbourne suburb of Berwick. The Age has learned that police recovered spent bullet casings near the house after the incident two weeks ago. It is believed the MP, whose identity and seat are unknown, found windows and a car damaged. It has not yet been established if the incident was a case of mistaken identity.

Mark Ahern, 27, and Steven Spicak, 31, both of Narre Warren, were arrested last Friday and charged with offences including reckless conduct endangering life and reckless conduct endangering persons. They are also charged with possessing an unregistered .22 firearm, criminal damage and drug offences. They appeared yesterday in Dandenong Magistrates' Court and were remanded in custody until next month.

The Age 19 July 2011
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MP's condolence note glitch
[photo]
Liz Ahearn tries not to be drawn into the light after her husband received a card stating she had passed away. It would have to be the last thing you would expect to come home to after a long day at work.

Ipswich woman Liz Ahearn was greeted by a giggling spouse holding a piece of mail — sent by her local member of parliament. A glitch at the office of Ipswich West MP Wayne Wendt resulted in a letter of condolence mistakenly being sent to Mrs. Ahearn's husband, Peter, offering him "sincere sympathy" on the loss of his wife. Although Mr. Ahearn knew the sympathy card was sent in error, he couldn't help but play along for a while. "When I walked in the door he said to me, 'I've got news for you — you are dead!'," a bewildered Mrs. Ahearn said. "He was amused by it but I suppose I saw how it could be upsetting in certain circumstances."

Mrs. Ahearn, 58, said she contacted Mr. Wendt's office immediately to "assure them that I was alive", and to make sure the family of the actual deceased person received the message. As it turns out, it was Mr. Ahearn's aunty, Kathleen "Marie" Ahearn, who had died peacefully, on July 2, aged 95. Mrs. Ahearn's real first name is Mary and the deceased woman's first name is Marie — which probably led to the confusion from Mr. Wendt's end. "When I rang the office to tell them they had made a mistake, the lady on the other end was very apologetic," Mrs. Ahearn said. "I said I hope it doesn't happen again because it could be very upsetting." Mrs. Ahearn said she recognised that her local member had the best intentions in mind. Mr. Wendt said the messages of condolence were sent to all the families of deceased people who lived in his electorate and whose deaths were mentioned in the Queensland Times death notices. The names of deceased people are normally double-checked before the mail is sent away. "I humbly apologise," Mr. Wendt said.

The Queensland Times 23 July 2011
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FdL native part of Naval salute at EAA
[photo]
Fond du Lac native Matthew Ahern, an aircraft commander for the
U.S. Navy in Jacksonville, Florida, will attend EAA this week
A Fond du Lac native will return to the area this week to participate in a special tribute to Naval aviation at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Matthew Ahern, a Naval aircraft commander in Jacksonville, Fla., and his crew will fly the Orion P-3C to EAA. The plane will be on display with other military craft on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday's EAA activities will honor the 100th anniversary of Naval aviation. Ahern said the Orion was specially painted to resemble a WorldWar PBY for the centennial. Ahern said he plans to be on the grounds all day Wednesday, meeting with visitors and showing the plane. He normally works with a crew of 11, but the Orion is expected to also carry six passengers to EAA. It will fly in today and return to Jacksonville Thursday afternoon.

Ahern said he can't wait to see family and friends. His brother, Charlie Ahern, lives in Fond du Lac. His wife, Terri (Jones) Ahern is also a local, having graduated from Goodrich High School in 1981. His cousin, Tripp Ahern, is chief executive officer of J.F. Ahern Co. Matt Ahern's father used to own Harbridge, a heating exchange and ventilation company that was later purchased by J.F. Ahern, he said. "It'll be fun to come home," he said. "I haven't been to EAA in quite awhile."

Service
Ahern said he's dedicated 25 years to the service and has flown P-3s since 1990. While growing up in Fond du Lac, he developed an appreciation for flight. He looked forward to watching air shows and attending EAA. A friend also taught him some flight skills. "I kind of got the flying bug from that," he said. He graduated from St. Mary's Springs High School in 1981. When he joined the Navy, he intended to learn how to fly and earn money for college. Ahern said he planned to pursue a commercial job in aviation once he fulfilled his duty to the military. He enjoyed the Navy so much that he stayed. He has fulfilled tours in Pensacola, Fla.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Norfolk, Va.; and Whidbey Island, Wash.
Payback
Ahern said he plans to retire from the military after this year, but he'd like to continue working in the civilian sector. Working as a commercial pilot would still require long hours, but he wouldn't have to repeatedly relocate his family, especially now that his three daughters — Katelyn, Meghan and Sarah — are teenagers. He feels that he's given as much as he can to the military and doesn't plan on advancing any further. He's ready to focus more on his wife and kids, who've adjusted to new schools and homes over the years, he said. "I've had some great opportunities with the Navy," he said. "Now, it's time to pay the family back."
Fon du Lac Reporter 24 July 2011
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[photo]
DECORATED HEROES — Sergeant First Class Ryan Ahern, with his wife Gina, kissed his daughter Rhianne, 4, after he and five other members of the US Special Forces were presented the French "Croix de la Valeur militaire" for distinguished service in Afghanistan alongside the French Task Force Lafayette, at a ceremony yesterday in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/ Associated Press)
The Boston Globe 26 July 2011
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It's Christmas in July for soldier
'Our hero Master Cpl. John O'Hearn home at last'
[photo]
John O'Hearn, second from right, was serving in Afghanistan last Christmas, so his Herring Cove parents Darlene and Rick O'Hearn wanted to share the festive season with him back home. Also pictured is John's girlfriend, Amanda Ens.
Passersby might think Christmas has come early at the O'Hearn house, but it's actually come seven months late. The Herring Cove family have pulled out all the stops to celebrate the season to honour a promise Darlene O'Hearn made to her son John before he shipped out to Afghanistan last November. "I told him when he went over that it would be Christmas in July," she said Monday. And sure enough, it was. Although they made the promise to their son, mom and dad took pains to keep the preparations under wraps until the last minute. Dad Rick slyly wove coloured Christmas lights among the shrubbery in the weeks leading up to John's return, while Darlene mentally planned the decorations, tree, presents and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for family and friends. They sprung it all on John on Sunday — "Christmas Eve" — and sat down for the festive meal Monday. "I don't think he realized the magnitude of what it would be," said Rick with a chuckle.

Needless to say, Christmas in Afghanistan was not as festive. "We were living in a mud hut with no heat and living off rations that had to get helicoptered in to us because there was no road," said John, 26, a master corporal with the combat engineers stationed at CFB Edmonton. "Between Christmas and New Year's, our job was to find (explosives). It was like Hanukkah. You got more than one present a day, except the presents can kill you." John, who returned to Canada earlier in the month, was doing his second tour in Afghanistan, having served there for about six months in 2007.

Darlene said Christmas has always been a big deal in the family. She and John always pick out the Christmas tree and enjoy an eggnog while decorating it. Rick and Darlene were so depressed about him not being home in December that they didn't put up any lights and almost didn't put up a tree. "But I forced her to," John said. "I told her to go get the damn tree." The family more than made up for it over the last few days, stringing the lights, trimming an artificial tree and getting out all the holiday-themed knick-knacks. Outside, three wise men greeted visitors on the front lawn, while Santa and some snowmen adorned a side yard.

Rick said he got some strange looks from neighbours who watched him string lights in the trees for a couple of weeks. "It's been comical," he said. "They really didn't know what was going on." It all became clear, though, after the O'Hearns put up a sign on Herring Cove Road to welcome their son home. "X-mas in July," the sign said in bright, neon green letters. "Our hero Master Cpl. John O'Hearn home at last from Afghanistan." Rick said the lights on the house and illuminated decorations have drawn a few onlookers after dark, including parents with their young ones. Tenants in a nearby apartment building have also been taking in the view from the roof of their building.

John, who is visiting for a week with girlfriend Amanda Ens, first saw the results Sunday after spending the day visiting his grandmother in the Valley. "I was shocked," said John, who also has a sister. That night he opened his presents, all Harley-Davidson-themed in honour of his love of his vintage hog. On Monday, the family expected a crowd around the dining room table for a mid-day turkey dinner. Darlene and Rick say while it's been fun to celebrate Christmas in July, the decorations will be packed away today so the family can return to summer. The O'Hearns also want to continue revelling in their son's relative safety these days. "I hope he doesn't have to go anywhere again for a long time," said Darlene.

The Chronicle Herald 26 July 2011
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Berwick Briefs
Two charged over shots
Two men have been charged after rifle shots were fired at the house of a parliamentarian in Berwick about three weeks ago. It is believed the MP, whose identity and seat are unknown, found windows and a car damaged. Mark Ahern, 27, and Steven Spicak, 31, both of Narre Warren, appeared last week in Dandenong Magistrates' Court charged with offences including reckless conduct endangering life and reckless conduct endangering persons. They are also charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, criminal damage and drug offences. They were remanded in custody until next month.
Casey Weekly 26 July 2011
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France confers rare honor on Ocala special forces soldier for combat heroism
by Joe Callahan
The mortar shell whistled from a Taliban nest atop a mountain ridge overlooking villages in the Kapisa Province of northeast Afghanistan and into the middle of an Army National Guard special forces unit. The 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces unit was providing security for the French Foreign Legion in the Uzbeen Valley as part of Operation Septentrion, protecting Task Force Lafayette troops engaged in a classified mission. The blast divided the unit. Shrapnel tore into four of the five soldiers, including one from Ocala. They were now exposed to enemy gunfire. The rest of the unit couldn't get to them. Despite injuries, one of those men — Capt. Thomas Harper, a 2002 Forest High School graduate — ran through a hail of bullets to retrieve rocket shells. Harper was determined to protect French forces at all costs. They did.

Several American soldiers, including Harper, fought for more than an hour until backup arrived and beat back the insurgent attack. For their bravery, the five Americans were awarded the Croix de la Valeur Militaire — French Cross of Military Valor — on Monday at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. Harper said he was honored to receive the prestigious award, the French equivalent of the U.S. military's Silver Star. It is an honor rarely bestowed on any solider, especially those who are not French. "They were trying to get at the French operating in the valley," Harper told National Guard officials after the ceremony. "We prevented that from happening, allowing them to conduct their mission."

The fight
The mortar round that exploded near Harper left him groggy and momentarily disoriented. As the fog in his head cleared, he discovered that shrapnel had torn through his shoulder and that he and his comrades were under heavy attack. But Harper's attention quickly turned to Master Sgt. Dave Neumer. The blast shattered both of Neumer's legs. He was unconscious with a massive head wound, and he was bleeding internally. He needed immediate help. Nearby, Sgt. Ryan Meister also was severely injured. He had wounds to his shoulder, neck and upper body and a gaping hole in his thigh. Harper, the most senior officer among them at the time, decided to move Neumer to a safe location. Though severely injured, Meister was better protected than Neumer, whose condition was worsening.

That's when Harper discovered that the medic, Staff Sgt. Casey Roberts, was bleeding from one of his eyes. Doctors later discovered that a piece of shrapnel narrowly missed Roberts' brain. Three soldiers — Harper, Roberts and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Ahern — began moving Neumer as bullets and mortar rounds pelted the earth around them. Ahern, who operated the unit's 84 mm rocket launcher, was struck in the thigh and couldn't walk but was still in the fight. If he could get hold of rocket shells, he thought, they stood a better chance of repelling the attack. It would be up to Harper to retrieve them. So he made a dash through gunfire and brought them back. Harper said he was on the radio the entire time asking for backup air support and medic helicopters, which were more than an hour away. Somehow, Harper said, he was able to get the shells without getting hit again.

Armed with fresh ammunition, Ahern began firing his rocket launcher. Harper fired his HK-416, a special forces version of the M-4 rifle. The firefight lasted an hour before backup arrived. Harper watched as the four other soldiers were loaded onto a helicopter. Harper, whose shoulder still ached from the shrapnel, stayed back with the troops.

The rest of the unit, including Harper, got back out to safety and to the military hospital about eight hours later. All five men were later flown to Germany and subsequently back home. Harper's shoulder was infected, though he was cleared for action seven months later. Neumer continues to have surgeries, but is out of the hospital. The remaining soldiers have healed. Harper said Roberts, miraculously, did not lose his sight.

Harper has been in the military since 2001. He lives for his military service and has been deployed most of the last decade on missions overseas. "This is what I love to do," he said.

Ceremony
The French Cross of Military Valor, one of the most respected decorations issued by France, was given to the soldiers during a private ceremony at French ambassador François Delattre's residence. "Through their outstanding bravery and engagement in combat, they fought at the risk of their own lives to assist French soldiers, their brothers in arms, who experienced a barrage of fire from the enemy," Delattre said, according to a Department of Defense press release.

The event was attended by many high-ranking officers, including Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is the Army chief of staff and a nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He talked about the importance of the National Guard. "The last three award ceremonies I've been to happen to have been National Guard soldiers," he said in a Department of Defense press release. "We're really one Army." Harper, 27, said the government flew his family — father Wayne Harper, mother Debbie and sisters Chrissy and Lauren — to the ceremony. "It's a huge honor for all of us," Harper said after the event. "They're completely overwhelmed. We don't normally look for this kind of recognition."

Harper said he was just glad the unit came out alive. "We had kind of a tough fight those last few days in Afghanistan," Harper said in a press release. "We were just happy to be alive. We really didn't expect this kind of honor. It's pretty overwhelming, I'll tell you."

Ocala Star-Banner 28 July 2011
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Woman faces animal welfare charges
WESTERLY—The stench of cat urine and feces repulses visitors who open the front door of 60 Ledward Ave. Piles of discarded trash, furniture, and glass collectibles are strewn throughout the house. Numerous cats, well-fed but feral, made their home here. The cats' caretaker and property owner, Patricia Ahern, finds herself in legal trouble, ordered to appear in Fourth Division District Court on Friday to answer dozens of animal welfare charges brought by the Westerly police. She is also expected to receive a town notice of housing violations.

The men who entered the house last week had donned protective suits, breathing masks and gloves. They watched their step to avoid falling over broken furniture, or walking face-first into cobwebs, or stepping into messes. But amid the clutter were reminders of an orderly life — vases in the windows, an upstairs room that was untouched and clean. Animal Control Officer Thomas Gulluscio checked traps, as he had for weeks. As of Monday this week, he had taken 23 cats from what was once Ahern's family home, bringing them to the Westerly Animal Shelter. Overcrowding at the shelter has gotten worse. It is also housing pets made homeless by the fire at the Aquastar Inn last week. More cats were taken from the Ledward Avenue traps on Saturday and Monday, Gulluscio said. Some of them had to be euthanized, he said, but many were healthy enough to remain.

A representative from Servpro, a professional cleaning service, accompanied Gulluscio and Mike Serra, the town's minimum housing director, on a visit to the house. The Servpro employee was there to provide an estimate of the cleanup cost. The town had received complaints about the cats, the overgrown property and the dilapidated outbuildings. The property was once home to a family farm and neighbors remember elementary schoolchildren being taken by bus on a field trip to visit the animals. Raspberry bushes jut out of the landscape. Someone had created a fenced-in area with bird feeders. Next door is the Bocce Club, where the sounds of talking and laughter come through the trees on a busy night. Ahern, in her 70s, lives at 58 Ledward Ave., a house located at the top of the property. A car was parked in her yard, along with a plastic wagon, which she had used to carry cat food down a lengthy path to the old house.

Ahern, who answered the door of her residence, did not want to talk in person, or during a subsequent phone call. She said she was meeting with someone from the state. She is charged with 20 counts of failure to spay/neuter an animal under Rhode Island General Laws. If an animal is not spayed or neutered within 30 days of an initial summons, the owner faces a $75 fine for each 30 days of noncompliance. She has not been charged with the cats taken out on Saturday. Ahern also faces 20 counts of failure to have her cats vaccinated for rabies. The charge, a misdemeanor, carries a penalty of not less than $200 or more than $500 on each offense or a jail sentence of no less than 10 days or no more than 30 days. The animals are subject to confiscation, as has already happened.

On Monday, Serra said that the building at 60 Ledward Ave. is "in an unsanitary condition due to the abundance of cats living in the house." He said the interior of the structure would require a cleanup and that the tall grass and weeds need to be removed. Authorities found no problems with the 58 Ledward Ave. home. Serra said the town will "require and assist" the property owners and set a time frame for completion of the work. Ahern was a longtime member of the Chariho-Westerly Animal Rescue League.

The Westerly Sun 2 August 2011
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MP 'flees shooting over son's drug debt'
A VICTORIAN Liberal MP has reportedly been forced to take refuge overseas after her house was sprayed with bullets by a man chasing a $5000 drug debt owed by one of her sons. Fairfax reports Lorraine Wreford, who won the seat of Mordialloc in November, fled to a motel in the city after the incident last month. Sen-Det Stephen Boyle reportedly told the Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday that one of six men arrested over the July 5 incident said Ms Wreford's eldest son Adrian was the target of the shooting. He said Mark Ahern, the alleged shooter, drove to Ms Wreford's Berwick home at about 5am to collect a $5000 debt from Adrian. Because of bad weather, Ms Wreford reportedly didn't hear the shots but saw bullet holes in a car when she drove to work Mr Ahern, of Narre Warren, was released on bail with a $12,000 surety.
The Herald Sun 3 August 2011
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A VICTORIAN Liberal MP has fled overseas in fear after her house was sprayed with bullets by a man chasing a $5000 drug debt owed by one of her sons, a court has been told. Lorraine Wreford — who defeated Labor's incumbent Janice Munt for the seat of Mordialloc at November's state election — was urgently moved to a motel in Melbourne's CBD after the incident last month. A court yesterday heard Ms Wreford, who has told police she has since had trouble sleeping, is stressed and ''genuinely frightened'', has ''taken leave of her duties'' and is now overseas.

Last night, the Premier's office said Ted Baillieu was aware of the police investigation and the court proceedings, and that Ms Wreford would return from an overseas break in time for the resumption of Parliament on August 16. The Baillieu government has a one-vote majority in the lower house, with 45 Coalition MPs to Labor's 43. Mr. Baillieu said today that Ms Wreford was in no way a target connected with the incident and was currently on scheduled annual leave. "There's no suggestion that (in) any way was she  . . .  a target or involved," Mr. Baillieu said. The Premier said he had spoken to Ms Wreford last week and refused to say if any special security measures have been arranged for her.

A detective told the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday that one of six men arrested over the incident on July 5 had said that Ms Wreford's eldest son Adrian was the target of the shooting. Detective Senior Constable Stephen Boyle said in evidence the man has claimed that Mark Ahern, the alleged ''shooter'', drove to the Berwick house between 4am and 5am to collect a $5000 debt from Adrian. Detective Boyle said Adrian later told him that in about 2007 he was trafficking drugs and that he had a $5000 ''debt'' to Ahern. Detective Boyle produced in court prior convictions for some co-accused and four pages of convictions for Adrian for offences, including burglary and theft and dealing in property suspected of being stolen. Ahern has no prior convictions but faces unresolved charges from a ''road-rage''.

Detective Boyle said in evidence that there were five men in a car on the morning and that Ahern had fired a number of shots from a small-calibre firearm that passed through the windows and front door as three occupants slept. He said because of bad weather, neither Ms Wreford nor the others heard the shots and it was not until she started to drive to work that morning that she saw the car's shattered back window and a bullet hole. Police recovered casings from the scene and found that at least eight shots had struck the house, door and car, and one had passed through a chair and lodged in a wall. Detective Boyle yesterday opposed bail for Ahern, 27, of Narre Warren, who faces charges that include reckless conduct that placed people in danger of death, criminal damage and firearm and drug charges. He said police had seized drugs, steroids, drug paraphernalia, a rifle and ammunition at Ahern's house.

Detective Boyle said Adrian told him that he was once travelling with $5000 to pay back Ahern when he had a car accident and left the money in the car when police arrived. Adrian said the money had then disappeared, Detective Boyle said. In opposing bail, prosecutor Hew Roberts said the biggest concern was the nature of the offending. Defence barrister Morgan McLay, with solicitor Robert Hession, noted that three co-accused had been bailed. In granting bail, Mr. Holzer said appropriate ''checks and balances'' could be imposed to reduce any question of risk. Ahern was released with a $12,000 surety and more than 10 conditions.

The Sydney Morning Herald 3 August 2011
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Bedford's Dave Ahern gets a shot at pro ball
Bedford's Dave Ahern was in the right place at the right time last month when he attended a tryout held by the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League. Although Ahern, Babson College's star outfielder and pitcher and the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Player of the Year, wasn't signed by Brockton, he was approached that day by a scout from the New York Federals, another team in the league. "I threw a bullpen session for the Federals and they called a day later and said there was a spot for me," said Ahern, who made his professional debut July 17 at Brockton, and appeared in seven games as a reliever prior to his first start on Tuesday, again against the Rox. "I was playing for the Medford Americans in the Intercity League this summer and also attended some tryouts with affiliated pro teams, and the scouts told me my best chance of getting to the next level was as a pitcher and with an independent team," said the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Ahern, who has recovered from Tommy John arm surgery that sidelined him for the 2009 season at Babson.

Ahern, a Dual County League All-Star at Bedford High, put the exclamation mark on his outstanding Division 3 college career this spring by hitting .438 with 18 doubles, 9 home runs, 36 runs scored, and 30 runs batted in. He was also 5-2 with a 1.19 earned run average and 36 strikeouts. The righthander tied or broke nine of Babson's game, season or career records this season, and holds 11 school marks overall. He also pitched two scoreless innings against Division I opponents in this year's New England All-Star Game, was named to two All-New England first teams, and was chosen as Babson's Male Athlete of the Senior Class. "Dave has worked extremely hard to achieve his childhood dream. Hopefully he can continue to develop, maybe catch a break or two and make a good run at this," said Babson head baseball coach Matt Noone. "I truly believe he has all the intangibles and mental toughness to persevere in the professional ranks."

Can-Am League teams, although professional, are not affiliated with major league franchises. The Federals, based in Westchester County, N.Y., play all their games on the road, so Ahern has been living in hotels and traveling almost daily. He has also been playing against seasoned veterans, some of whom have had the proverbial cup of coffee in the majors. "My catcher has been a pro for 10 years," Ahern said, "and he's gone as far as Triple-A," one step from the big leagues, "so I definitely listen to what he has to say because I've never faced hitters of this caliber before.

The Boston Globe 4 August 2011
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Hurlers beat Millstreet to reach semi finals
LISMIRE G.A.A: Lismire hurlers reached the semi-final of the Junior B Hurling League with a comfortable win over Millstreet in Lismire on last Wednesday evening. Early goals from Tim O'Neill and Mark Field saw Lismire setting the pace and with points from Stephen Kiely, Brian and John O'Callaghan and a goal from Maurice Hayes, Lismire went in at half time leading by 3-06 to Millstreet's 0-2. In the second half a further goal by Maurice Hayes and points from Robert Wallace, Cathal Noonan, Stephen Kiely, Tim O'Callaghan and Mikey O'Sullivan left Lismire winning in the end by 4-12 to 0-10. The Lismire team lined out as follows: Paddy Sheahan, Tim Ahern, Niall Ahern, Damien Finn, Daniel Richard Guinee, Tim O'Callaghan, Kieran Walsh, Richard Kiely, John O'Callaghan, Mikey O'Sullivan, Stephen Kiely, Brian O'Callaghan, Mark Field, Tim O'Neill, Maurice Hayes. Subs: Cathal Noonan, Robert Wallace, Gerry Nunan, James O'Neill and Mark O'Brien.
The Corkman 4 August 2011
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Man bailed over shooting at MP's home
An alleged member of a gang who sprayed a Victorian Liberal MP's home with bullets last month has been granted bail. Liberal MP Lorraine Wreford's Berwick home was shot at several times between 4am and 5am on July 5 while the three occupants slept inside. On Friday, one of a group of five men accused of involvement in the drive-by shooting was bailed. Police allege Wreford's eldest son Adrian was the target of the shooting.

Steven Brent Spicak, 31, was on Friday bailed on a $12,000 surety on conditions including that he report daily to police and obey a curfew. He is charged with reckless conduct endangering death, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, possessing an unregistered firearm, intentionally damaging property and possessing amphetamines. A police summary tendered in court said the MP was in fear of staying at the home following the incident and moved temporarily to a hotel. It said she was frightened and still had trouble sleeping.

Police allege at least eight shots went through the front windows, the front door and the car parked in the driveway of the home. One of the bullets pierced a window, a desk chair and then lodged in a wall behind a computer. One of the men arrested, Mark Ahern, was bailed earlier this month. During a search of Spicak's home, police allegedly found powder believed to be amphetamine, drug paraphernalia and ammunition. Security footage around Ahern's house shows he and four others drinking and smoking what is believed to be ice. Ahern also holds what is believed to be the firearm used in the incident and Spicak is later seen placing it in the passenger seat of a car, according to the police summary.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said earlier this week he was confident Ms Wreford would be in parliament when it next sat after she flew overseas following the shooting. Ms Wreford won the seat of Mordialloc in last year's state election when she defeated Labor incumbent Janice Munt with a swing of about 5.4 per cent.

Spicak is due to return to court on October 10.

The Sydney Morning Herald 5 August 2011
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Guilty DWI suspect to return to court
[photo]
Shawn Michael Ahern, 27, of Perinton
Background
The agreed-upon sentence for Shawn Ahern, the Perinton man who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and hitting a 90-year-old woman who later died from her injuries in Fairport last December, has been delayed after he failed to complete necessary alcohol treatment. Ahern pleaded guilty to DWI after he struck Grace Allen with his vehicle on Dec. 19, 2010. Allen was crossing High Street on her way to mass at Church of the Assumption. She later died of injuries sustained in the accident on Jan. 4. In May, both sides negotiated a plea deal that sentenced Ahern to eight weekends in Monroe County Jail under the condition that he undergo rehab, but County Court Judge Francis Geraci reprimanded Ahern last week for stopping treatment. Ahern, who is also enrolled in emotional therapy, claimed he pulled out because he needed to work more hours at his job.
What's next
Geraci told Ahern to re-enroll in rehab immediately, and because of the delay, he will be re-sentenced on Aug. 31 at 9:30 a.m. Ahern's attorney John Annechino said his client will begin treatment immediately. Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles said the next sentence will not change unless Ahern fails to obey the judge's orders or is arrested on a different charge before returning to court. He will be on probation for the next five years.
Messenger Post 19 August 2011
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Stories between the pages
By John Kelly
A wag is said to have once remarked: "I love The Washington Post. You never know where you'll find a front-page story." His point was . . . well, I can't be bothered to explain his point. But it came to mind as I paged through the newspaper last week. How many untold stories sit submerged under the tiniest icebergs: a brief, a photo caption, even a classified ad?

Take the death notices at the back of the Metro section. In the "In Memoriam" section of Aug. 6, you would have seen an old photo. Now, there are often old photos in the death notices, but this was a very old photo indeed: a young woman in a high-collar lace blouse, her hair pinned up and adorned with a wide ribbon. This woman stared back from the Victorian era. Laurel's Marie Hallion estimates the photo was taken about 1900. Marie and her brother, Richard, placed the ad in honor of their great-aunt, Mary Theresa Ahern, who was born in 1876 in Boston. Miss Ahern impressed her family by going to secretarial school and working for the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Then she found her true calling: She joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, an order of Roman Catholic nuns founded in France in 1804. Rechristened Sister Marie Rita, she taught at Catholic schools up and down the East Coast, including Trinity College in Brookland and the Academy of Notre Dame on North Capitol Street. She died in 1956. Marie Hallion was 15 at the time, and her great-aunt's funeral made quite an impression. It was at the order's convent in Ilchester, Md. Marie remembers dozens of nuns lined up in the cloister, the black of their habits forming a dark woolen wall. They sang the Latin In Paradisum, then after Mass walked to the grave, the wooden rosaries hanging from their waists keeping time with every step. "It was very beautiful," she said.

In June, Marie found Sister Marie Rita's photo among some old documents and decided to place the ad on the 55th anniversary of her death. "She deserves to have somebody put something in the paper to say that she was here," she said.

Habit forming
I needed to check a few things about the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, so I called Villa Julie, a home for retired nuns in Stevenson, Md., and spoke with Sister Eileen Sweeney. "I entered in 1942," Sister Eileen, 86, told me. "I'm an antique." Sister Eileen told me about the complicated habits the nuns wore then: a full, wide skirt; a fitted bodice; long, black sleeves that were folded back; a round, white bib; a narrow, white collar; an apron; a headband of soft white linen underneath a black bonnet stiffened with cardboard — everything held in place with pins. There was also a cape. It must have taken forever to get dressed, I observed. "You would be amazed," Sister Eileen said. "We could get dressed in 10 or 15 minutes." Up at 5 a.m. for the rising bell, in chapel by 5:20. The habits were modernized starting in 1968. Bonnets that had been like horse blinders were cut back. "We had to see to drive," Sister Eileen said. "Some sisters wanted to keep the old habit, and they were allowed if they wanted to. Most went into more modern clothes." Today there are about 2,000 Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur around the world. As in most religious orders, novitiates are few. I thought of all those nuns over the years who devoted themselves to God's work, which, of course, is really man's work — and woman's work, too.
The Washington Post 21 August 2011
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Kenny declines invite to revel among redheads
TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny declined an invitation to a redhead convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork, at the weekend, but that didn't stop an estimated 500 people with ginger locks from partying to raise funds for cancer research. Joleen and Denis Cronin, whose parents run Cronin's Pub in the town, held the first redhead convention last summer. Ms Cronin said the event originated as a joke over a pint after the red-headed brother and sister team decided to invite only their follically similar peers to a birthday party. "It was a joke, where we were saying we would have a birthday party where we would only invite redheads. It just spiralled from there. It is a bit of light-hearted fun that raises funds for the Irish Cancer Society. "About 1,000 people turned up this year — 500 were redheads. We had people from the midlands and Dublin turn up, and further away. First prize in the strawberry cupcake competition went to Rachel Neglia from Canada."

Festival-goers with red locks received an Official Redhead Certificate of Genuine Foxiness, a gingerbread man and a can of red lemonade. Ginger-locked revellers were also given a free ticket to local tourist attraction Fort Camden. The events on Saturday centred on Cronin's Pub and Crosshaven farmers' market. Food consumed on the day was washed down with the event's official beer, the red-tinted "Sunburnt Irish Red", brewed by north Cork-based brewmasters Cam Wallace and Scott Baigent. Some of the day's activities included make-up and styling tips for redheads, orange lawn bowling, redhead group photographs, a red balloon race, redhead fast 'n' foxy dinner-dating, and freckles competitions.

Julie Ahern from Carrigaline, Co Cork, was crowned Queen of the Redheads, and joked on Twitter that she "always knew she was royalty". King of the Redheads was Christopher Duncan from Ballyphehane in Cork, while Alan Hayes from Palmerstown in Dublin scooped the award for best red beard. The highest percentage of natural redheads in the world live in Scotland, at 13 per cent, with Ireland close behind, at 10 per cent. According to some genetic scientists, redheads are becoming increasingly rare and could become extinct in 100 years.

The Irish Times 22 August 2011
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4 residents report being theft victims
MOULTRIE — Four Colquitt County residents and a business employee reported Monday they were victims of property theft. Items reported stolen included an air conditioning unit, tools, horses, metal parts and copper. The known value of the stolen items and damage caused during the thefts was estimated at $9,785. Those who reported being the victims of property theft were: . . .  Troy O'Hearn reported a thief knocked a hole in the garage of his property on Third Avenue Northwest and stole copper from his property between 7 p.m. Saturday and 4:33 p.m. Monday. Damage and the value of the stolen copper was estimated at $2,100.
The Moultrie Observer 23 August 2011
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Terilli's Restaurant, Whose Regulars and Loyalists
Watched It Burn, Reopens On Friday
It's been almost a year and a half since Amanda Ahern's telephone rang early one March morning, prompting her to turn on the television and witness the fire that would burn her mother's Greenville Avenue restaurant to the ground. Ahern drove to Mom's house to deliver the news, and spent some time with family before heading to the restaurant. She surveyed the damage firsthand, alongside a large gathering of employees and regulars, many in tears. Ahern cried too, but there was work to be done. Accounts needed reconciliation despite the destruction of paper records. Ahern worked from a second office, paying bills on ingredients and wine destroyed in the fire, with no revenue coming in. The work consumed the better part of a month, before she was finally able to relax and take stock of the situation.

Insurance money would keep her employees solvent while they looked for other jobs, but Ahern had a restaurant to rebuild. While she stayed back the other workers took their checks and moved on, working in other kitchens, restaurants and even on TV, most with a promise to return. Monterrey Lopez took a job at Walmart — a job he knew he could leave easily — so he could come back to his post running the kitchen as soon as Ahern picked up the phone. Tiffany Clark, a waitress, took a job at Fireside Pies and focused on nursing school. She's wrapping up the degree but will return to Terilli's too, waiting tables when she's not working as a nurse three days a week. Jennie Kelly caught the culinary bug while working at Terilli's. Some nights she'd help the kitchen staff prep instead of waiting tables out front. She'd worked at the restaurant since going to school at SMU, when a decent meal convinced her the place would make a good place to wait tables while she earned her degree. She ended up staying for 15 years, leaving just a few months before the restaurant burned, to follow her passion for cooking. She's one of the few not coming back, but she's still close friends with the staff and owners. "It's family owned," she says. "And people that are hired end up staying and joining the family."

Employees may feel familial, but you don't have to fill out a W-2 to belong. Customers who made repeat visits also talked about the communal nature of the restaurant — regulars like Larry Young, who lived in the neighborhood and ate at Terilli's almost daily. Young moved to Dallas from Chicago two decades ago, after his home remodeling company relocated him. On his first night in Dallas, he asked the front desk worker at his hotel where he could find an upscale Italian restaurant; one where you could propose to a girl and enjoy a top-end meal, as he puts it. Later that evening he was sitting at Terilli's, unknowingly kicking off a love affair that would last more than 20 years. Young's phone rang early on that Tuesday morning back in March, too. A friend alerted him that smoke was seen coming from the Terilli's building. Young, who lived just a few blocks away, ran over and watched with tearful friends and neighbors. "It was a sad, sad day," he told me. "Not because we lost an Italian restaurant, but a gathering place."

Anita Bassinger gathered there, as well. She'd stumbled upon Terrili's after a long night at Zanzibar, across the street. Terrili's became her late-night haunt, a place to sip cappuccino and listen to jazz music, and then her favorite place to eat. Bassinger works at the Dallas Police Department's property evidence warehouse, and also heard the news by phone. "My girlfriend called me and said, 'Anita your restaurant is burning down.'" She drove over as soon as she got off work to check on her friends. "It was devastating for me," she said. Despite moving from the neighborhood since the fire, Bassinger says she'll be back as soon as the restaurant reopens. "Heck-yeah!" she exclaimed in her long Texas drawl "Terilli's is my home away from home."

It's a home Bassinger might not recognize if it weren't filled with familiar faces when she returns. Ahern has spun a negative situation into an exciting new space. The kitchen is larger now, which is necessary, considering a new private dining space that seats 50-70, depending on how they configure the space. There's also a roof deck that seats 90 and a dining room that hosts another 120 diners. The whirlwind that started a year ago last March is almost over. While talking to Ahern this morning, she briefly placed me on hold. When she returned to the line, she told me she'd just received her Certificate of Occupancy. I asked her if in the midst of all she's doing whether she'd take any time to celebrate. "Thursday night we're going to take a moment to sit back and we're just going to have a glass of wine and have a toast," she told me. If all goes as planned, she said, the restaurant will reopen Friday.

Dallas Observer 30 August 2011
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Perinton man sentenced for DWI that killed woman walking to church
A Perinton man responsible for the death of an elderly woman he struck while driving drunk last year was sentenced today to five years probation and eight weekends in the Monroe County Jail. Shawn Michael Ahern, 28, pleaded guilty in May to felony driving while intoxicated as part of a deal. He initially also faced a charge of first-degree vehicular manslaughter. Ahern hit Grace Allen, 90, of Perinton as she crossed High Street to attend evening Mass at Church of the Assumption on Dec. 19. She died of complications from blunt force trauma Jan. 4 at Strong Memorial Hospital.

In court today, Ahern apologized for his actions. "You have a problem," Monroe County Court Judge Francis P. Geraci Jr. said today. "It's nice to say 'I'm sorry,' but it's a little late." Ahern was scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 10, but Geraci postponed the action until Ahern re-enrolled in an alcohol-treatment program. Ahern had quit a program because of work commitments, according to Ahern's lawyer John Annechino. Ahern also did not understand it was required before sentencing, Annechino said. Geraci told Ahern that he must complete the program and follow the conditions of his parole, or he will have to serve jail time. He will also be required to have an interlock ignition device installed on his car.

Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles in court read a letter from Allen's daughter Roberta, who did not attend the sentencing. "She lost a very important person in her life," Duckles said of Roberta Allen. Grace Allen "was a good woman, although she was elderly, she was taken before her time." Duckles said he thought the sentence was "appropriate for the circumstances." He said the deal was reached, with consent from Roberta Allen, because of a lack of evidence in the case to proceed to trial. Annechino said Ahern is still in shock and depressed about the crash. He is in counseling, Annechino said, "and is going to do whatever he can to make are nothing like this will ever happen again." Ahern's jail weekends will begin Sept. 9.

Democrat & Chronicle 31 August 2011
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Partygoers keep a very low profile at fortress Croker
By Mark Hilliard and Lise Hand
HE was the man of the moment but some people didn't want to be seen going to his party. It may have been an intensely personal birthday for Bertie Ahern, but several of his lifelong friends still ducked their heads in the back of a black Range Rover that whisked them into the car park. Between 7 and 8.30pm, the same black Range Rover and a black Mercedes made several round trips to the venue, avoiding the public glare of the front entrance. One passenger could clearly be seen sandwiching his head between his legs and wrapping his arms around the top of his head in an absurd effort to guard his identity. Who was this strangely aloof guest?

But then, maybe it just wouldn't be a Bertie moment without some element of intrigue. Bertie's girls, Georgina and Cecelia, had themed a top secret menu around moments of significance in their family's lives. The dinner consisted of three courses: a self-service starters buffet, a main course choice of seabass and steak, and for dessert, well, birthday cake. "We've travelled the world and I'd say that was the nicest cake I ever had," said family friends Rose and Alex Clarke as they left the party. "There are load of blue balloons and lots of pictures of Bertie as a young man on the walls," said another party-goer. "It's like any party that you've been to; like any family it's just a private party." Each of the tables was given the name of one of Bertie's favourite places, amongst them Old Trafford, Hill 16, Moore Street and the Dail. "I would say it (the celebration) is far more normal than extravagant," the partygoer said. "It's tastefully done: it's not ridiculous by any means." Although Nicky Byrne from Westlife was among the guests and sang a couple of songs for the birthday boy, the main music was provided by a local band. Among the songs which got the revellers onto the dancefloor were classics such as 'Daydream Believer', 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love', and 'All Shook Up.'.

Private parties and functions are common at Croke Park — they usually host over 20 birthdays in any year, as well as a lesser number of wedding receptions and anniversaries. The venue offers event coordinators to assist although last night it looked like Cecelia and Georgina had everything under control. "We've been trying to organise a party like this for years, but he hates this kind of thing and he's blaming us for all this now," laughed Cecelia. "You have to give something back to your parents when you love them. So he's being a dutiful dad and turning up," added Georgina. They insisted that this was to be no star-studded hooley but was "just his close friends and family. There's no razzmatazz," explained Cecelia. "We just wanted to theme it around things he loves, and this place [Croke Park] is his major hobby, and we both spent all our childhood coming in and out of here with him." Operating under regular licensing laws, the revellers at last night's 60th would have been served until 12.30 before bringing the political birthday bash of the year to an end.

At one stage at the front entrance, which was used by the majority of guests, there were five security guards and one guard. At the back entrance, where the high-speed Range Rover deliveries were ushered, there was one solitary security guard and a patrolling guard. At one stage, a patrol car idled in and around the car park, seemingly curious at the unusual nighttime activity in the area. Staff were not made aware of the individual guests and it is believed that a list wasn't even submitted to event organisers, although this would not be unusual.

As mystery continued to surround the whereabouts and even the when-abouts of the guest of honour, who hadn't been spotted by 9.30pm, one thing was for sure — if he had managed to slip in through one of the stadium's multiple entrances, then nobody on the outside would ever know. Even the shutters at the front of the stadium creaked open and closed as the guests trickled in. Welcome to Bertie's birthday — more impregnable protection would not even have surrounded him at the height of his political life. Brushing past reporters, photographers and protestors, the party goers kept their tickets in their pockets. Designed to look like match tickets, the invites were sent out a fortnight ago. They were sent to the party faithful shortly before it was revealed that the former Teflon Taoiseach has managed to claim €270,000 in expenses since leaving office, more than any other Taoiseach. The planned birthday bash, details of his expenses, and comments from his former partner Celia Larkin ensured that Bertie has stayed in the headlines recently. It was the second big bash in as many months for the Ahern family with Cecelia celebrating her 30th birthday last month in Il Segreto restaurant on Merrion Row. Some of the same guests attended both parties — including Yvonne Keating — but without the same level of press scrutiny at Cecilia's party. Last night they partied into the wee hours to celebrate Bertie's milestone.

Irish Independent 10 September 2011
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Changed by 9/11: Gerry Ahearn
Farmingville resident was NYPD Detective during attacks.
By Chris R. Vaccaro
At the time of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, Gerry Ahearn was a detective assigned to the Intelligence Division of the New York City Police Department. He was on a trial in Brooklyn Federal Court sitting on the Long Island Rail Road when he was notified that the towers were attacked. He made his way to his office, which was at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and was assigned to a five-man recovery team, which meant they took over a commuter ferry from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to the South Street Sea Port. "We were looking to find injured victims and then transport them to doctors at Lutheran Medical Center," he said. "There were no injured, you were alive or dead. We were able to evacuate about a 600 people, and then we made our way to the towers and started to dig."

After a few days, the New York City Police Department was able to re-group, and started working in four-man teams with the FBI. "A few days we worked on terrorist leads and then back down to the towers on a recovery team collecting body parts," he said. That lasted until Thanksgiving. By that time the city and the police department were back on their feet, and Ahearn was still assigned to the Intelligence Division, working on terrorist cases, which were confidential in nature.

As for friends that he lost that day, there were many co-workers, but three men who were close friends. The first firefighter that was killed in the line of duty was Danny Suhr. "He stepped off the rig, looked up at the towers, and said, ‘Lets go to work boys,’" said Ahearn. "At that time, unknown to Danny, a man jumped from the building and landed on Danny, and killed him." Father Judge gave Suhr his last rights and he went into the towers and he passed. "In speaking with Danny's co-workers that day they said Danny saved their lives, because as they placed Danny in the ambulance, the south tower fell, which would have killed all of them," Ahearn said. Another friend was a partner of Ahearn’s, John "Chip" Chipura. After working in the police department for 12 years, Chip rolled over to the fire department. In 1983 Chip was a young marine stationed in Beirut, the terrorists attacked the barracks he was staying in, blowing up the building, and he spent three days digging himself out, Ahearn said.

In 1993 during the first attack on the towers, Chip and Ahearn ran down there to find Chip's twin sister, and turned out to be okay on that day. In 2001 he was assigned to Engine Company 219 in Brooklyn, and responded on 9/11, and was never seen again. Then there was Capt. Timmy Stackpole in the FDNY. They grew up in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. "Timmy was a few years older than me, and was a natural leader," Ahearn said. "He was like a big brother to all of us. While out on sick leave from a previous fire, he responded to the towers and was killed in the line of duty." Stackpole’s younger brother Mike, also a fireman, was there a few days later when Timmy was found and Mike helped carry him from the pile.

— Sachem.Patch.com, 11 September 2011
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POLICE are investigating the death of a young Irish mum as she made her way home from the Planetlove music festival. Cavan mother of three Siobhan Aherne (23) died after the clubbing festival at Shane's Castle in Co Antrim drew to a close early on Sunday morning. The one day event began on Saturday at 2pm and drew crowds of dance music lovers from all over Ireland. Police in the North are now investigating the sudden death of the single mum-of-three from Lodgeview, Cootehill, Co Cavan. Ms Aherne took ill in Moneymore, Co Derry after leaving the festival grounds. It is understood she died after being taken to the Antrim Area Hospital by ambulance. Representatives for the festival said that friends and family are now comforting a member of its security staff, named as Noel, who was the boyfriend of the young mum. The exact cause of her death remains undetermined.
The Herald 12 September 2011
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Ulster mum dies after falling ill at Planetlove festival
A mother of three has died after becoming ill at a festival in Northern Ireland. Siobhan Aherne, from Lodgeview, Cootehill, Co Cavan, left behind a set of four-year-old twins and a six-year-old daughter. The single mother, who was in her late twenties, was pronounced dead in hospital on Saturday night. She had earlier attended the Planet Love music festival at Shane's Castle near Moneymore, Co Londonderry. A post-mortem examination was carried out yesterday, however the cause of death was undetermined last night.
Belfast Telegraph 12 September 2011
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Bertie upset by 60th party reports, says Westlife star
By Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor
BERTIE Ahern is upset with how his 60th birthday celebrations were portrayed, his son-in-law said yesterday. Westlife star Nicky Byrne — who is married to Mr. Ahern's daughter Georgina — defended the former Taoiseach and his family's decision to host a glitzy birthday party for him in Croke Park in Dublin on Friday night. He said the GAA headquarters was the "spiritual home" of the Ahern family. Confirming that Mr. Ahern had been dismayed by media coverage of his party, Byrne said: "Of course he is. How could you not be upset by what is going on? It would be hard not to be. It's hard for him to watch and read this sort of thing," Byrne (33) told the Irish Independent. "It's hard for him to be in a position now, where he is not at a level to defend himself because he is not in public office any more." The boyband star said there had been just "one protester" outside Croke Park for the function. "One protester — when you are listening to radio stations encouraging people to do it. This was about two girls throwing a party for their dad, then all of a sudden people are wondering why it's in Croke Park," Byrne said. "Croke Park is the spiritual home of the Ahern family. It's been known for years, even before Bertie was a minister, how important the GAA and Croke Park was to him. So it was perfect to have the party — and anyone can rent out a room there." Despite the negative coverage, the chart-topping music star said Mr. Ahern had "enjoyed" the evening and that "95pc of the public" knew his father-in-law "was a good guy".

Expenses

"Ireland is in a bad situation at the moment. Is that all Bertie's fault? And the world — that's all Bertie Ahern's fault too? It is what it is but it's hard for me to watch. But you have to move on," said Mr. Byrne, who got on stage to sing the Monkees' hit 'Daydream Believer' at the bash. Mr. Ahern is at the centre of controversy after it was revealed he had claimed €270,000 in expenses since leaving office, more than any other Taoiseach. He also aroused fury last week when he appeared in a TV3 documentary, 'The Rise and Fall of Fianna Fail', describing some members of the party as "a useless bunch of good-for-nothings". His former partner Ms Celia Larkin, who did not attend Friday's party, has advised Mr. Ahern to "shut up", as his views continue to attract controversy.
Irish Independent 12 September 2011
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Birthday bash for Bertie (60): Croke Park celebration
PAMELA DUNCAN
THE GUESTS at Bertie Ahern's 60th birthday party at Croke Park were photographed as they arrived, but there was no early sign of the main man — the rumour was that he had slipped inside without being spotted. The lights were on in the Hogan Stand and there were a few shining lights among the guests too. It was family first, with the former taoiseach's daughters, the author Cecilia Ahern and her sister Georgina, among the first to arrive along with his son-in-law Nicky Byrne of Westlife fame. His former wife Miriam was also among the early arrivals with her partner Terry McCoy, who said he was "looking for a good dinner". Mr. Ahern's brothers Noel and Maurice were also among the guests.

The political guest list included former ministers Charlie McCreevy and Dermot Ahern, and the former Fianna Fáil fundraiser Des Richardson also arrived. From the sports world there was the Dublin football manager Pat Gilroy and also former manager Paul Caffrey. Other guests included Paddy Reilly and Joe Burke. Louis Copeland, who said he had grown up with Bertie from the age of 12, joked that his lifelong buddy had better be wearing one of Copeland's suits. However, not all those outside Croke Park were on the guest list. Eamon Reid from Howth had a sign that read "Bertie's Book — how I lost me memory won at da races bankrupted da country". None of the guests were contributing to Mr. Reid's "Bertie dig-out fund", which he said was to send Mr. Ahern to somewhere hot — preferably Libya.

The Irish Times 12 September 2011
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It's sick. Bertie's birthday and the €700k for his fat cat pal
BERTIE AHERN always claimed that he would quit politics at the age of 60. "In my opinion, anybody who stays on after that is mad," he said back in 2003 when he was still known as the Teflon Taoiseach. "Whatever level I'm at then, I'll get out of everyone's hair." Now that Bertie's big 6-0 is finally in sight, we can see that he only partly kept his word. His political career is indeed over, consigned to the dustbin of history along with the party he led for 13 years. Despite this, he is still very much part of the political furniture — because we are all living with the disastrous legacy of his government's economic incompetence.

Surplus

In some countries, leaders who screw up are made to pay. Last Monday, Iceland's former prime minister Geir Haarde became the first world leader to be put on trial for his role in causing the global financial crisis. Even if the charge of "gross neglect" does not result in a conviction, the symbolism of seeing such a powerful man in the dock is at least some sort of consolation for the people he let down so badly.

What sort of rap sheet would Bertie Ahern face if a similar event were to be staged here? When he won the 1997 general election by the skin of his teeth, he became the first Taoiseach in history to inherit a budget surplus. By the time he left office 11 years later, he had overheated the public finances so recklessly that our economic sovereignty was about to go up in smoke. Bookshelves have already been filled with accounts of how Bertie blew the boom, but it all boils down to one basic character flaw. As his ex-partner Celia Larkin graphically put it on Monday night's TV3 documentary, he saw winning elections as "notches on a bedpost". In an unguarded moment during a Dail debate about corruption, he admitted: "Our only ethics are to get in here and stay in here."

In other words, Bertie saw power as very much an end in itself. His economic policies were completely driven by short-term thinking, spreading the money around to secure the maximum number of votes. He convinced the electorate that there was no longer any need to choose between public spending and tax cuts — thanks to the miracle of the Celtic Tiger, we could now have both.

Bertie's first Minister for Finance was a man who summed up his economic philosophy as: "If I have it, I'll spend it." Charlie McCreevy's control over the public finances was so total that on one occasion he simply dropped his budget speech into the Taoiseach's constituency office of St Luke's, went for a 20-minute walk and then came back to pick it up. Fianna Fail's triumphant re-election campaign in 2002 was boosted by a bumper giveaway package, while the need to rein in spending was mysteriously discovered just weeks after the votes had been counted.

Suicide

While McCreevy put more money into almost everybody's pocket, it was the public sector that really got the gravy. The budgets for health, education and social welfare were more than doubled. Civil service pensions rocketed to crazy levels, as we saw this week when former secretary general to the government Dermot McCarthy walked away with an eye-watering €713,000 golden handshake. As the country's top civil servant, McCarthy was entitled to attend all cabinet meetings. He was chief adviser to Bertie Ahern throughout the boom and was closely associated with the social partnership process that delivered regular pay increases to the public sector. In short, he was part of the cosy consensus that got us into this disaster — and like the politicians he served, he will almost certainly never have to worry about money again for the rest of his life.

As long as the construction boom kept property taxes flooding in, this economic three-card trick carried on pulling the wool over our eyes. Shortly after Bertie's three-in-a-row victory in 2007, however, the bubble burst. The banks suddenly realised what a hole they had dug for themselves, property developers began to abandon the Galway Tent and Bertie's only response was to suggest that the doom-mongers "go off and commit suicide".

While the Mahon Tribunal forced his resignation a year ahead of schedule, there was still time for him to make one final blunder. He orchestrated the succession of Brian Cowen, a man who was totally unsuited to the job of Taoiseach and never really wanted it in the first place. As finance minister, Biffo's attempt to bring about "a soft landing" was a complete failure — and his three years of sulking in the top job only served to make the public more angry than ever. The tragedy of all this is that on a human level, Bertie Ahern is an easy man to like. He got away with those bizarre stories abou this personal finances because, deep down, people wanted to believe him. If he was to express some remorse even now for the errors he made, he might be surprised by how forgiving the Irish public can be. Instead, Bertie is starting to come across as a bitter old has-been who cannot believe our ingratitude after everything he did for us. He claims expenses way in excess of any other ex-Taoiseach (an incredible €270,000 since leaving office), whinges about the size of his legal bills and insists that his biggest disappointment is not building the 'Bertie Bowl' stadium in Abbotstown. Celia Larkin recently said, "I wish he'd just shut up" — and many of his ex-colleagues would express the same sentiment in rather more graphic language.

The invitations for Bertie's birthday bash in Croke Park next Friday have been designed to look like match tickets. With nothing but the Mahon Tribunal report left to look forward to, however, his career as a major-league player is over for good. The Teflon Taoiseach seems determined to learn nothing from his mistakes. Sadly, the rest of us don't have that luxury.

Evening Herald 12 September 2011
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Twins of mother who died at dance event
had just started school
The four-year-old twins of a woman who died after a dance festival at the weekend had started primary school just days before their mother's tragic death. Siobhan Kennefick-Aherne (23), from Cootehill, Co Cavan, died on the way home from Planetlove in Antrim on Saturday. Ms Kennefick-Aherne was the mother of three children under the age of seven. She had four-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a six-year-old daughter. The Cavan woman took ill on her way home from Planetlove at Shane's Castle, where her boyfriend Noel was a security guard. Ms Kennefick-Aherne left the festival at 9pm after her boyfriend's security shift ended. She was travelling home in a car with him when she took ill. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said Ms Kennefick-Aherne was taken to Antrim Area Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The PSNI said a post-mortem examination had been carried out, but the cause of death was undetermined. They said further tests would be carried out.
Belfast Telegraph 13 September 2011
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Tragic mother's twins had just started at school
THE four-year-old twins of a woman who died over the weekend had started primary school just days before their mother's tragic death. Siobhan Kennefick-Aherne (23) from Cootehill, Co Cavan, died on the way home from a music festival on Saturday night. Ms Kennefick-Aherne was the mother of three children — four-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a six-year-old daughter. The twins had just started school in the junior infants' class at St Michael's Junior National School in Cootehill. Ms Kennefick-Aherne took ill on her way home from the Planet Love Festival in Co Antrim, where her boyfriend Noel was a security guard. The festival was in its 13th year and ran from 2pm until 1am. About 10,000 people attended the event. Ms Kennefick-Aherne left the festival at around 9pm after her boyfriend's security shift ended. She was travelling home in a car with her boyfriend and another couple when she took ill.
Ambulance
The group called an ambulance from a service station at Moneymore in Derry. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said Ms Kennefick-Aherne was taken to Antrim Area Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Planet Love Promoter Eddie Wray extended his deepest sympathy to Ms Kennefick-Aherne's family and to her boyfriend. He said that Ms Kennefick-Aherne did not take ill, and did not receive any medical treatment, while at the festival. Northern Ireland Police said a post-mortem examination had been carried out, but the cause of death was undetermined. They said further tests would be carried out. The directors and staff at Clubsec Management Ltd, the security company at the festival, released a statement offering their sympathies to Noel and the Kennefick family. The funeral Mass will take place today at 1pm followed by burial in Cootehill.
The Independent 13 September 2011
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90-year-old man dies in Oakland house fire
OAKLAND—Despite valiant efforts by neighbors, a 90-year-old North Oakland man died in a house fire Sunday night, authorities said. Antonio "Tony" Della Riva was found dead by firefighters inside his house in the 800 block of 45th Street, where he had lived for at least 60 years. The fire broke out just after 9 p.m. Several neighbors saw the flames and used garden hoses to control the fire while another neighbor tried using a sledgehammer to break down the front door, but could not get inside. The cause is still under investigation, but it appears the fire originated in the fireplace area of the front room. Firefighters were able to contain the damage to the front area, and the blaze was under control in about five minutes, officials said. No damage estimate was available.

A family friend who did not want to be identified said Della Riva was a retired machinist who came from Italy decades ago. He said Della Riva become a widower for about eight years and has two grown sons living in the Bay Area. John Ahern, the neighbor who broke down the door with the sledgehammer and then used a fire extinguisher to try and douse the flames while other neighbors used garden hoses, said Monday, "Our efforts were in vain, unfortunately. I chopped down the door but the place was engulfed in flames" and he and the others could not get inside. He said he could see Della Riva lying on the floor. "I just hope he didn't suffer." Ahern said his roommate, Susan Riehman, was like a caretaker for Della Riva, cooking him meals and taking him on shopping trips. He had eaten dinner with them shortly before the fire broke out and Ahern said his roommate was still distraught over the death and "it still hasn't really sunk in" for her.

Della Riva was a well-known, "friendly and outgoing" fixture in the neighborhood, where he was known for his willingness to help anyone. Ahern said there was a pall of sadness hanging over the neighborhood Monday. "He was the nicest guy in the world," Ahern said. "Collectively, we're sad. It's a tremendous loss for the neighborhood."

Oakland Tribune 19 September 2011
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Gisela's 100 scarves — ready for duty
by Bill Schock
At the age of 9l, there's no sitting around wondering what to do next for Gisela Ahern, a resident at East View Apartments. She has very busy hands and they are put to very productive use. Gisela spends a considerable amount of her time crocheting neck scarves and Afghans. And right now she has over l00 scarves ready to be sent to area servicemen on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has the names of three soldiers at the present time—lst. Lt. Dan Fritz, Capt. Shannon Stokes and Capt. Richard Waggoner—and she wants more names. Gisela will send 20 scarves, and probably cookies, too, in each box. They're not all the same color, but are made with three different shades of yearn [sic], camouflage, light camouflage and black. It takes her about three days to crochet three scarves and her name and address is stuck on each scarf. Gisela keeps her inventory efficiently stacked in her apartment. She has been crocheting scarves and Afghans for as long as she can remember and began the present scarf project on Jan. l of this year. "I wanted to do something for our soldiers," she said.

Overseas servicemen are not the only recipients of Gisela's handiwork. She knitted 60-some scarves for participants in the Special Olympics held in Lincoln last year. She was a little more than somewhat peeved that she never received a single thanks. She also has knitted or crocheted for handicapped children. Every resident of East View has been gifted an afghan and scarf and she also gives them as presents for birthdays and anniversaries. Recipients are lucky—and grateful. Although there are donations of the yarn used in her meticulous work, she buys most of it herself when there are bargains to be had.

Gisela had led an interesting life. She was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, and at the War in Europe's end in l945 she married Edward J. Ahern Jr. of Shubert, who was serving in the Army. When Ed was rotated they came to the U.S. and settled on a farm south of Shubert. Gisela had attended a photography school in Germany and so opened a photography studio in Shubert. She came to Falls City often to shoot wedding and school photos. For years, she had an historic piece of furniture in their home. It was called a breakfront and it was a magnificent, hand-carved cabinet which had been shipped to Gisela by her parents. At one time it had been in the Vienna (Austria) Imperial Palace. It now is in the home of a grandson, Bryan [sic - Ryan] Ahern.

There were other projects besides her knitting and crocheting. She bought and operated the Ahern Liquor Store in Shubert and later acquired Northvue Cafe and gas station at the north edge of Falls City. At Northvue she also sold German food, such as sausage and bratwurst. Gisela has been retired for some time and has been a resident of East View for over three years. Asked if she gets out any, she replied with a mischievous smile, "Oh, yes, but I'm not going to tell you what I like to do." Her husband passed away in l984. Gisela has a son, Edward A. Ahern, living in Omaha.

Falls City Journal 22 September 2011
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FRACKVILLE—A 19-year-old Lebanon man charged with assaulting an Ashland Police officer on July 19 waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Senior Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth J. Romig, Frackville. Bryan K. Hoffer of 1023 Walnut St. was arrested by Ashland police Patrolman Mark O'Hearn and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. By waiving his right to a hearing, Hoffer will have to answer to all four charges in Schuylkill County Court. O'Hearn said Hoffer was taken into custody after an incident at Boyer's Supermarket and became belligerent, threatened to throw police officers through a window and also made sexual comments toward women. Hoffer admitted being under the influence of Bath Salts and during his time in custody assaulted an officer by hitting him on the left side of his face with handcuffs causing bleeding inside the officer's mouth and redness to his cheek. Hoffer then struck O'Hearn in the forearm with the handcuffs and kicked him in the leg as well, O'Hearn said. After being subdued with a Taser, O'Hearn said Hoffer sat up and apologized for his actions.
Potsville Republican & Herald 16 October 2011
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Gloucester Police/Fire:
Pair face drug charges after apparent OD
A Gloucester couple is facing drug charges after one of them was transported to Addison Gilbert Hospital Monday with what police are calling a non-fatal heroin overdose. A 5-year-old child was also taken from the scene by the Department of Children and Families. Police were called to a Common Way home at 6:50 p.m. Monday after receiving a 911 call reporting an "unknown problem." When police arrived, they found the door to the home left wide open and a five-year-old boy sitting in the living room by himself. The responding officers were called to an upstairs bedroom by Christopher J. Souza, 36, of 72 Granite St., Gloucester, where they found Courtney A. Ahearn, 29, of 4 Common Way, Gloucester, unconscious and not breathing.

Ahearn regained consciousness after she was administered a dose of NARCAN, a drug used to reverse a heroin overdose. Ahearn was then transported to Addison Gilbert Hospital by rescue squad where she admitted to taking heroin. Ahearn's five-year-old son was removed from the scene by the DCF because Souza was reportedly under the influence of drugs and had fresh track marks on his arms. Police found a hypodermic needle and heroin on a dresser in the home along with five prescription pill bottles. Police have filed a criminal complaint against Ahearn for charges of heroin possession and illegal possession of a Class A substance. Souza is facing charges of knowingly being present where heroin is kept.

Gloucester Times 25 October 2011
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4WD crashes into Barnsley house
BARNSLEY woman Renae O'Hearn escaped serious injury last night when a 4WD crashed through her living room. Police said the incident happened at 6.20pm when the driver of the vehicle lost control on a bend on Northville Drive. The car hit a bridge, bounced into a yard, and through the wall of the brick house. The 34-year-old woman was sitting in a lounge chair at the time. She said the impact threw her across the room and into her wine rack. She was taken to John Hunter Hospital suffering whiplash to her neck and was later discharged. Ms O'Hearn's two children, Amy, 10, and Kirra, 8, were in another part of the house at the time and were uninjured. "They would normally have been in the front room with me but we just had a new aerial installed so they were out the back,'' Ms O'Hearn said. "The first thing I did was scream out 'where are the kids?' I'm still in shock, I can't believe it.'' Lake Macquarie Duty Officer Inspector Bruce McGregor said it was very lucky no one was seriously hurt. A 59-year-old Barnsley man was charged with high-range drink driving last night. He will appear in Toronto Local Court on November 16.
Newcastle Herald 27 October 2011
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Taking it to the Brazilian max
South Americans tie for top spot in second round of World Finals. LAS VEGAS — The Brazilians stole the spotlight Thursday night in the second round at the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Finals XVIII. Rubens Barbosa and Valdiron de Oliveira each scored 90.75 to tie for the round win before 12,997 fans at the Thomas & Mack Center.
 . . . 
Jason O'Hearn of Rothbury, Australia replaced Elliott. Rothbury, who was 41st on the PBR's season money list, suffered the worst wreck of the night Thursday when he we was bucked over the top of a bull named Hot Stuff. The bull then stepped on him. O'Hearn was taken from the arena on a backboard. According to Tandy Freeman, the PBR's official doctor, O'Hearn was talking and moving around, but he was sent to the hospital for further evaluation. It is believed O'Hearn suffered a serious left knee injury.
The Pueblo Chieftan 28 October 2011
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MEMORIES OF A CHILD STAR:
Chance meeting with Will Rogers kicked off acting career for PV woman in 1920s
by Ken Hedler
[photo]
Lassie Lou Ahern, second from right, shares the limelight with the
Our Gang cast in the movie "Fast Company," released in 1924.
[photo]
Lassie Lou Ahern, 91, poses in the "memorabilia room" in her Prescott Valley
home, where she displays photos from her acting and dancing days.
PRESCOTT VALLEY—Former child actress Lassie Lou Ahern, 91, broke into showbusiness the old-fashioned way: family connections and luck. Her long career began in silent movies when she was just shy of 2 years old after she and her sister, Peggy, 94, met Will Rogers in their father's real estate office in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City. Rogers worked at the time at Hal Roach Studios, then in Culver City. Ahern, who now calls Prescott Valley home, recalls Rogers advised Fred Ahern to take his children to the studio. "He said, 'Your kids are cuter than anyone else I've seen over there,'" she recalled.

Ahern's anthology on the Young Hollywood Hall of Fame website, www.younghollywoodhof.com, shows a photo of her first appearance with Rogers in an unnamed movie circa 1922. Ahern appeared in five movies with Rogers — whom she refers to as "Mr. Rogers" — and several with Charley Chase while working with Roach, who became good friends with her father. Her "memorabilia" room in her Viewpoint subdivision home contains seven black-and-white portraits of her with Rogers and another photo of the Ahern sisters with Rogers. "You see how he is looking at me?" she asked. "My mom (Elizabeth) said he adores me." However, Ahern, a brunette at the time, said Rogers wanted blondes for a movie. She got the part by wearing a wig.

Ahern said she appeared in as many as 40 movies throughout her career, including "Call of the Wild" (1923) and several of the "Our Gang" and Helen Holmes flicks. She is most proud of her part as Little Harry in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," released in 1927. The filmmaker sought little boys for the part, but did not like any of the candidates, Ahern said. So she ended up getting it. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" took a year and a half to produce and was the first movie that cost more than $1 million to make, Ahern said. She had three wardrobe changes, she recalls. The actors spent three months on the Mississippi River from Jackson to Natchez, Miss., she said. A year after the movie's release, Ahern earned the New York Critics Award for best child actor and an award as well from "Photoplay," a fan magazine.

However, her film career halted in 1929 when the talkies emerged. She recalled her "tyrannical Irish father" opposed her acting in talkies on religious grounds. "They wanted a lot of noise," she said about the filmmakers. "The gangster era came in" with Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson. Instead, Ahern said her father opened a dance studio, where she and her sister honed their moves. She danced with Peggy as the Ahern Sisters performed in hotels and nightclubs throughout the United States and Canada through 1939. Ahern performed in some dance movies with Donald O'Connor during the 1940s. She later enjoyed several television appearances as well, including "Love, American Style," "The Odd Couple" and "Oprah." She maintained her showbusiness contacts by teaching dance for more than 35 years at the Ashram Spa in Calabasas, Calif. Students included actors Renee Zellweger, Faye Dunaway, Jim Belushi, Queen Latifah and William Shatner, singers Toni Tennille (who now lives in Williamson Valley) and Simon Le Bon, and model Cindy Crawford. Ahern was a "fabulous choreographer and dance teacher — one of the best," said Mazie Feinstein, a former tap dancer who lives in Los Angeles and is the mother of singer, pianist and music revivalist Michael Feinstein. "She can get anybody to learn to dance, which is really difficult," Feinstein said. "She just has that natural ability to bring out the best in people. She is very nice and very patient." Feinstein, who has known Ahern for 35 years, said, "It is a shame that she moved so far, but she wanted to be near to her kids."

Ahern retired at age 85 and moved to Prescott Valley to be closer to her divorced son, John Brent, who lives "five minutes away." Her daughter, Debra Hood, a retired professional dancer, moved in with her. Another son, Cary Brent, lives with his wife, Carol, in Buckeye. The Brent name comes from her 22-year marriage to the late Dixieland drummer Johnny Brent, whom she met at age 17 while living in New Orleans. She never remarried. Ahern reflected on a long, happy life. "I loved everything that I did," she said. "I loved to dance. I love my three kids and — put it all in a nutshell — I love life."

The Daily Courier 29 October 2011
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Former Nelson Bay priest loses sex case appeal
FORMER Nelson Bay Catholic priest David O'Hearn has lost his bid to appeal to the High Court over how trials of child sex assault charges against him involving six alleged victims will proceed. The priest's bid to have all six trials heard separately was unsuccessful after High Court Justices John Heydon and Virginia Bell refused yesterday to grant him leave to appeal a NSW Court of Criminal Appeal decision handed down in April. The Court of Criminal Appeal backed a NSW District Court judge's decision that while trials involving three alleged victims would be heard separately, sexual assault and indecent assault charges involving another three alleged victims would be heard together in a joint trial. Father O'Hearn has denied all allegations. In the Court of Criminal Appeal hearing in November last year the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions argued for a joint trial involving three alleged victims so that evidence from each alleged victim could be heard as part of the same proceeding. The High Court's ruling yesterday that there was no legal basis to reconsider the Court of Criminal Appeal's decision means District Court trials involving 18 sexual assault and indecent assault charges can now proceed. Father O'Hearn is charged with indecently assaulting three boys in the Rutherford and Muswellbrook areas between 1981 and 1989. He is also charged with sexually assaulting and indecently assaulting three other boys in the Muswellbrook, Cessnock and Windale areas between 1986 and 1993. The matters return to the District Court next week.
Newcastle Herald 29 October 2011
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O'HEARN UPDATE: Jason O'Hearn of Rothbury, Australia, who suffered a skull fracture when he was bucked off a bull Thursday was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday.
The Pueblo Chieftan 31 October 2011
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Sun, 'Infinite Corridor' align for their light show at MIT
By Brock Parker
CAMBRIDGE — The sun did not disappoint. Students, faculty, and the just plain curious had gathered in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building yesterday afternoon after enthusiasts had predicted that at 4:20 p.m. the sun would align with the 825-foot hallway known as the Infinite Corridor. As if on cue, a blaze of orange shone through the window of 77 Massachusetts Ave. and lit up the long corridor as about 100 spectators oohed and ahhed and snapped photos of the scene. Some had crowded into stairwells, and other stood flat against the walls of the corridor to see the phenomenon dubbed MIThenge. "It was just so gorgeous,'' said MIT freshman Micah Madison, 18. "I'm actually going to text a picture to my mom.''

The event has developed a cult-like following over the years at MIT, as students known for their mathematical know-how have tried to demystify exactly when the sun aligns with a window on the west end of the hall and sends light blazing off the shiny floors. The alignment typically occurs twice a year in November and January, but this year the phenomenon seemed to have an added portentousness because it was predicted to occur on 11/11/11. Alan Eliasen, an amateur astronomer from Colorado who has been working with MIT alumni to predict MIThenge, had believed the cosmic event would happen yesterday at about 4:20 p.m., when the sun was likely to be at an optimal altitude above horizon obstructions and below the upper limits imposed by doors and ceilings in the corridor. But after watching the sun shine through the corridor, J Baumgart, a researcher from Somerville who has worked with Eliasen to track MIThenge for several years, said it seemed like the sun was slightly high yesterday, meaning it was a near-miss and the sun might make a more direct hit this afternoon. Eliasen has said one of the biggest problems he's had with making predictions of MIThenge is that the true azimuth, or angle formed by the corridor with a point on the horizon, is not exactly known. But by using observations provided by MIT alumni Ken Olum and Lenny Foner, as well as historical photographs, GPS measurements, and video records, Eliasen said he's been able to improve the predictions. Keith Winstein, a graduate student at MIT who maintains a website about MIThenge, showed up more than an hour before the phenomenon was expected to occur yesterday to set up a camera and record the event. He spent much of his time trying to coach other spectators to the sides of the hallway so his view would not be obstructed. Other researchers placed caution tape across entry ways to keep people from interfering.

In the moments before the sun began peeking through the window, students scrambled up and down stairs trying to find a place amidst the crowd to see it from several different floors of the building. "This is exciting,'' one student said while running down a hallway. Jean Ahearn, 49, whose son, Michael Ahearn is a student at MIT, said she drove from Peabody to Cambridge just to see MIThenge. Ahearn said she didn't expect to see so many other people on hand for the event, which she termed to be a bit nerdy. When the setting sun's orange light reflected through the corridor, Ahearn snapped a photo to remember it by and said she was glad that she came. "I'm proud to be a nerd,'' she said.

The Boston Globe 12 November 2011
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College professor missing since August found ALIVE nearly four months later
[photo]
Found: Amy Ahearn, 40, who has been missing since August, was found Friday night. Her family have said they are "overjoyed" at the news An English professor who has been missing in California since August was found Friday night.
Amy Ahearn, 40, disappeared in a suburban city of Los Angeles on August 17th before being located by Los Angeles Police nearly four months later. Feared of suffering from degenerative brain condition Huntington's Disease, she was evaluated Friday night. The professor at Saddleback College in Orange County was reported missing after failing to turn up for classes on August 22nd. Her family, who mostly live in Illinois, had pleaded with people to look out for Ms Ahearn at libraries, bookstores, restaurants with internet access, and law offices in case she was seeking legal advice. They even hired a private detective to help locate her.

She reappeared temporarily in mid-September when a family saw her outside her home in Norwalk around midnight and were able to coax her to join them. Ms Ahearn had told the family that she was out there "waiting for a ride from a friend," Ana Ruvalcaba, who found her, told the Los Cerritos community news. Ms Ruvalcaba says they took Ms Ahearn to a local Motel 6 so she could get warm and have a place to stay, but she wandered off to a nearby parking lot and disappeared again until November. Ms Ruvalcaba said they had called a "Helpline Hotline" for assistance after she wondered off but were told there was 'little they could do' for her. The private investigator told the family she was also seen at an attorney's office looking dishevelled and seeking an attorney to handle estate issues and a complaint against "Police". The attorney told Ms Ahearn he could help her but she left, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Hearing the news of Ms Ahearn's second disappearance, her sister, Marjorie Ahearn, who lives near Chicago, told LCCN that she was "beyond disbelief". "How could this happen?" her sister asked, dumfounded. Hearing the news of her final reappearance, family said they were "overjoyed" at hearing the news, writing on a missing Facebook page for Ms Ahearn their thanks to investigators hired who "never gave up on her quest to find Amy". Her sister, who suffers from Huntington's disease added: 'I have cognitive and physical limitations due to my HD but [Kathie Allen]' from Allen Morris Investigations, 'kept working with me patiently to get the word out about Amy and to locate her.' The Community news learned that Ms Ahearn was going through a divorce at the time of her disappearance. Her husband is a teacher at another community college in California.

The Daily Mail 14 November 2011
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UNOS exhibit traces photographer's journey to a new heart
By ROY PROCTOR
Six months after Debra O'Hearn received her new heart, she bought a state-of-the-art digital camera. She was on a mission. The results — 12 large-scale photographs that glow with color and read across the room like abstract paintings — are arrayed on three walls in The Gallery at the United Network for Organ Sharing in Richmond. "My Journey: Embracing My Life" documents the 56-year-old's experiences before, during and after her life-saving surgery. The exhibition also pays tribute to her ties to Emily Kay Compton, whose heart beats in O'Hearn's chest. O'Hearn's atmospheric, poetic images — and the equally evocative titles and captions attached to them — are far from no-nonsense exercises in photojournalism. "I love art that makes me feel — anger, loss, warmth, excitement, joy, tranquility — and that's what Debra's photographs do," said Lisa Schaffner, who manages the lobby gallery as public relations and marketing director of UNOS, the Richmond nonprofit that runs the nation's transplant system. O'Hearn's journey began Jan. 4, 2004, when she contracted what she passed off as "simple flu" as she worked as an emergency room nurse in Boca Raton, Fla. "I felt mildly off for three or four weeks, but I didn't think much about it," she recalled as she awaited the reception opening of her Richmond show, which is her first. "It was flu season. Everybody around me was sick. "Then, about three or four weeks later, the symptoms got worse. It was very rapid. I would wake up out of breath. Something was terribly wrong. I knew what was wrong, but I didn't want to admit it. I had a viral infection of the heart. I was in congestive heart failure. How could this be happening? I had always been healthy and athletic. I was 48. This just didn't happen to 48-year-olds." O'Hearn underwent surgery, went back to work, then had more surgery six months later. "After that, I couldn't go back to work," she said. "I had two more surgeries and countless procedures in between, but nothing worked." O'Hearn was placed on the national heart-transplant list on March 27, 2007. Two weeks later, in Naples, Fla., Emily Kay Compton, a 29-year-old real estate appraiser for the Bank of America, was hit by a car. She suffered a severe head injury and died 15 hours later. "She was pronounced dead on a Friday," O'Hearn said. "I immediately got a call from the organ-procurement person at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "By 8:30 that Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, I had a new heart and a new life. I was literally given back my life. When I woke up after the transplant, with a tube in my throat, I looked at my fingers and my toes. I was so pink. Before the surgery, I had been blue before because I couldn't breathe." Today, the animated, fit O'Hearn, who lives with husband Barry Kuhnly in Ormond Beach, Fla., is the picture of health. Compton's mother, Martha, who had traveled to Richmond from Kannapolis, N.C., with her husband, Joe, for the reception, sat opposite O'Hearn. The two women started rubbing each other's hands. "When I touch Debra," Compton said, "I feel like I'm hugging my daughter. Emily was so loving and giving and caring. Debra is, too." "I love Martha and Joe like family," O'Hearn said. "They embraced me as soon as we met."
O'Hearn took her 12 photographs over 18 months.
"After the transplant, I had the urge to develop my passion for photography, but I had no formal training," she said. "I had never taken anything but snapshots. After I bought my first good camera, I started fiddling around. I was a fast learner. "I wanted to tell the story of my journey to new life and Emily's legacy and, to my mind, there was no way to tell that story in straightforward images. I had to find a way to show the life force. I had to find a way to show not only what I felt at each step on my journey but also a way to tell the story in a series of images. "In each case, I started with a concept and then found an image to express it. I didn't use Photoshop, but sometimes I did do some simple image manipulation in my computer." She often found imaginative ways to achieve her effects. One photograph, for instance, is a close-up of condensation on a glass window at night. Another was shot through rippled glass. She printed her images on metallic paper. "The particles of color in the paper give the work a more reflective and vivid surface," she said. O'Hearn received more than a new heart. She apparently has launched a new career in art as well.
Richmond Times-Dispatch 20 November 2011
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The ranks of the Occupiers at the University of Georgia Arch dwindled to nothing for a while Saturday night, perhaps in part because of the regular abuse the protesters get from some passersby on busy weekend nights. The last protester left shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday, driven off by a University of Georgia law student looking for an argument. "I like Wall Street!" the law student told the lone Occupier, a long-haired young man playing the didgeridoo. "When Wall Street is doing well, everyone is doing well!" "I don't mean to be belligerent," said the law student, whose breath smelled of bourbon, after he watched the didgeridoo player walk quickly away cross Broad Street and fade into the downtown crowds. "But any of these people could get a job. They could get one right over there," he said earnestly, pointing to the Five Guys burger restaurant across Broad Street.

Such angry confrontations and even violence are on the rise at the Occupy Wall Street outpost in Athens, say some of the shifting group of people who make up the weekslong occupation. Students, retirees, unemployed workers, homeless people and people with jobs who sympathize are among those who have tried to keep the occupation going 24 hours a day at the Arch. "We are encountering violence every hour," said Gretchen Elsner, a freelance artist and designer wearing clothes she had designed and made herself as she held up a protest sign on Broad Street on Friday afternoon. "I don't know why people are so hostile to us. It's not like I'm throwing Molotov cocktails or anything," she said. They hear "Get a job," so often they started keeping a count, said Elsner, pointing to a board hung under the an awning on the sidewalk in front of UGA's Hunter-Holmes Academic Building. "That's just today," she said, pointing to a chalkboard with more than three dozen tallies under "Get a job." The hostility sometimes gets physical.

One night last week, Elsner saw one young woman, a drunk college student she thought, slap one of the female Occupiers. "I got kicked in the back of the head," said occupier John Ahearn of Athens, who is looking for a job. Some Occupiers, including Ahearn, have been sleeping overnight in tents on the Athens side of the iron fence that divides UGA's North Campus from downtown Athens. A few times, people walking by have kicked the tents and the people in them, Ahearn said. And Nov. 11, the Friday night before the UGA-Auburn football game, someone slashed several of the Occupiers' tents, Ahearn and other Occupiers said. The Occupiers don't always get abuse. Some people offer encouragement as they walk by, Elsner said shortly before a well-dressed man of about 50 stopped by Friday afternoon. "I'm so thrilled with what y'all are doing. Don't give up, don't give in, just keep on going," he said.

Athens Banner-Herald 21 November 2011
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The Gilmanton Year-Round Library is pleased to announce
Elizabeth Ahearn as the new Library Director.
Elizabeth, a resident of Pittsfield, grew up in Midcoast Maine and holds an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College, and a Masters in Library and Information Studies degree from McGill University (Montreal, Canada.) She got her start in libraries while a student at Bowdoin, and later worked in the libraries of MIT, Harvard, and McGill, before moving to New Hampshire four years ago and accepting a position as Collection Development Librarian at Phillips Exeter Academy. After 14 years in academia, she is very excited to switch gears and have a chance to work with the general public.

Gilmanton residents have given Elizabeth a warm welcome, and she feels honored to have the opportunity to be a part of a young library built from the ground up by residents who identified the need for year-round library services in their community. She finds the enthusiasm of the patrons for their new library to be contagious. Elizabeth has an avocational interest in historic preservation, so she is also thrilled to be able to work in such an artfully repurposed 18th century barn.

Suncook Valley Sun 23 November 2011
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Konrad O'Hearn: Sioux Falls gunner's mate shot down Japanese fighter
[photo]
Konrad O'Hearn also served in the Caribbean, looking for enemy submarines.
Konrad O'Hearn never learned what happened to the seven white hats he was soaking in a bucket before 8 a.m. Dec. 7, 1941. He went back to look once that long, awful day had ended. All seven of the jaunty white hats and the bucket were gone. He didn't care. All that mattered was he was alive.

O'Hearn, now 91, was a gunner's mate on the USS Maryland. He had been stationed in Pearl Harbor for almost a year, and he was enjoying it. O'Hearn, 19, was 6-foot-3¼. He stood out among his fellow seamen on the Maryland. He was the youngest of Chester and Dorothy O'Hearn's three sons and the last to enlist in the military. The morning of Dec. 7, the Maryland was docked between the USS Oklahoma and Ford Island. O'Hearn was tending to mundane chores below deck, next to the compartment set aside for the Maryland's band. A young band member burst in. "He started yelling, 'The Japs are bombing us,' " O'Hearn said. "Not too long after that, the chief band master came down and grabbed that kid, and he said, 'You almost got me killed.' He was facing the kid so he didn't know" that Japanese pilots were coming in behind him, prepared to strafe the ship's deck. Then, a bugler blasted the call to general quarters, ordering everyone on the Maryland to battle stations. O'Hearn went up to his 5-inch anti-aircraft gun on the boat deck. It took three men to put in ammunition and one to direct the gun upward. O'Hearn's job was to direct the gun from left to right and back again. The quartet began aiming their gun at the Japanese planes flying overhead. "We knew we hit one," O'Hearn said. "We didn't set the time fuse, and we fired and hit the airplane. It blew up, and there were pieces all over the place. That was all that was left."

Today, O'Hearn doesn't know how long he stayed behind the gun. "Time just stood still more or less," he said. "The first attack was at 7:55, so they said. I don't know when the second one was, right after. Then the Japanese admiral decided the surprise was over so let's go home." As the planes receded, O'Hearn surveyed the devastation around him. . "The harbor was on fire from the oil that was burning on the surface of the water," O'Hearn said. "Everybody was scared to death. I could see people praying everywhere I looked. They all got religion, me included." O'Hearn could see the USS Arizona, which lost the greatest number of men of any ship during the attack. "They said it broke her back, which it did," he said. Then, the Maryland's seamen ate a hasty lunch before beginning the clean-up work on their own ship. Later that month it would travel to Puget Sound Naval Yard for repairs.

Back in Sioux Falls, O'Hearn's parents waited for news of their son. He was allowed to send one postcard home, and he had to decide between sending it to his folks or his fiancee, Beatrice Conklin, whom he had met in seventh grade. He chose to mail it to his folks and remains puzzled by what happened next. "They lived six blocks between them, and it was two weeks before she found out," O'Hearn said. Beatrice had learned of the attack through the newsreels that ran before movies at the theater next to the restaurant where she worked. [wife Beatrice died 28 March 2006]

Argus Leader 4 December 2011
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Robbery suspects surrender to Loudoun authorities
Two men sought in a Nov. 30 robbery turned themselves in to authorities Thursday, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said. Justin M. Ahearn, 26, and Morgan A. Jennings, 25, both of Sterling, were identified by Loudoun sheriff's investigators as the two suspects in a purse-snatching robbery. The incident occurred about 5:50 p.m. in the parking lot of the Dulles Crossing Plaza in Sterling, authorities said. The men were also wanted by the sheriff's office on previous charges of possession of a controlled substance, authorities said. Ahearn and Jennings surrendered after the sheriff's office released surveillance video and images from the robbery through the Alert Loudoun system. Authorities said that the robbery occurred as a woman, 33, was loading items into her vehicle in the shopping center parking lot. A small pickup truck drove by and bumped the woman's shopping cart, and the pickup's driver reached out of the driver's-side window and grabbed the woman's purse, authorities said. Ahearn and Jennings were being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.
The Washington Post 12 December 2011
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DPP to decide officer's fate
THE fate of a police officer entangled in a triple shooting drama at Devonport in October lies in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Tasmania Police has confirmed it had asked the DPP to consider if charges should be laid against the Launceston-based senior constable accused of giving a false statement on his whereabouts shortly before the shooting.

Benjamin Aherne, 31, was shot dead and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Christina Rowlands, seriously injured when they arrived at their friend Kylie Hales' house in Watkinson St. Ms Hales had called them for help after fighting with her ex-partner, John Clements, who had since left the property and parked nearby. Mr. Clements returned to the house armed with two guns when Ms Rowlands and Mr. Aherne arrived and seeing them in the driveway, shot them both before turning the gun on himself. The senior constable is believed to have been at the house shortly before the shooting and allegedly witnessed a domestic incident between Ms Hales and Clements. He left the scene but did not contact police.

Sources say he did not reveal this information in his affidavit to the police officers preparing a file for Coroner Michael Brett. Tasmania Police Professional Standards was called in to investigate the matter and the officer was suspended on full pay on October 18 pending the outcome. A Tasmania Police spokeswoman said police would await the DPP's advice as to how to proceed. The officer remains on fully paid leave.

The Hobart Mercury 12 December 2011
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Bystanders foil Manchester robbery try
MANCHESTER — Police say two bystanders captured a man who tried to rob the AMT Market at 384 Massabesic St., Friday around 11:30 p.m. According to Lt. James Soucy, a man entered the store with a handgun and demanded money. "The clerk immediately ran from the store yelling he was being robbed," he said. Two men working at a nearby garage chased the man and "subdued" him until police arrived, Soucy said. Travis Ahern, 25, of 10 Royal Oaks, Hooksett, was arrested and charged with Class A robbery. Police recovered a black BB gun at the scene, Soucy said. Ahern was being held at Valley Street Jail pending arraignment on Monday. Soucy said police discourage civilians from getting involved when there's a crime taking place, especially when there's a weapon involved. Still, he said, "Obviously, in this case, we certainly were appreciative of their efforts." Soucy said Ahern told police he decided to rob the store because there had been so many robberies in the city lately and no one was getting caught. "That's why he did it," he said.
Manchester Union Leader 10 December 2011
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Boys basketball: Marin Catholic takes tournament crown
Marin Catholic 62, Ukiah 58
HEALDSBURG — David Ahern claimed all-tournament MVP honors and capped it off by scoring 23 points to lead Marin Catholic to the Healdsburg Tournament championship over Ukiah. MC took a 19-point lead into the locker room at halftime only to see Ukiah come roaring back with 27 points in the third quarter to cut the advantage to just two points. "In the third quarter, they just came out guns-a-blazin,' all of the sudden a championship game that was gonna be a blow out turned into a nail biter," MC coach Mike Saia said. Marin Catholic seemed to regroup in the fourth quarter and were able to hold off Ukiah late. "They spent all their energy in the third quarter trying to catch up, so we kept the pressure up and were able to get some easy baskets at the end," Saia said. Patrick Conroy bottomed a trio of 3-pointers and added 17 points, followed up by Logan Stone who hit two treys and scored 10. Both Conroy and Stone were named to the all-tournament team.
Marin Independent Journal 10 December 2011
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POLICE BLOTTER
North Lebanon
CRIMINAL MISCHIEF: Karol O'Hearn, 1529 Beta Ave., told police a pot was thrown onto her pool cover overnight Tuesday, causing several tears. The cost to replace to cover was estimated at $1,169.
The Daily News 15 December 2011
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Dramatic win for Chelmsford High wrestling
Chelmsford — This one lived up to the hype. In what was expected to be one of the better wrestling meets all year, the Chelmsford High and Shawsheen Tech wrestlers lived up to the hype. It came down to the 160-pound weight class match with Chelmsford's Doug Calenda's taking on Shawsheen Tech's Nick Hoar. Calenda earned the victory giving the Lions a 36-33 victory over Shawsheen Tech. Other winners for Chelmsford included: Jake Ahern (132 pounds), Dan Huntington (145 pounds), Scott McQuaide (152 pounds), Adam Civinskas (170 pounds), Ben Melisi (182 pounds), Brandon Flaherty (220 pounds) and Lou Ferrer (heavyweight). With the win, Chelmsford improved to 4-0 while Shawsheen Tech fell to 3-1.
Chelmsford Independent 16 December 2011
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High school football: Lansing Catholic's Jim Ahern, coach of the year
[photo]
Lansing Catholic coach Jim Ahern
Last season Lansing Catholic roared to an undefeated regular season and was poised to make a deep playoff run in Division 4. The season ended abruptly, as Williamston took down the Cougars by 34 points in the first round. That just made Lansing Catholic more determined not to suffer the same fate in 2011. Coach Jim Ahern directed the Cougars to their farthest journey in the playoffs since the program won the Class C state championship in 1985, getting his team to Ford Field where it lost its only game to Flint Powers Catholic in the final. "Anytime you have that success, it brings a lot of excitement to the program," Ahern said. "Not just the players, but the school has gotten into it. And the parents were very, very supportive, and we had great fan support all year." A 13-1 finish this year gives Ahern a 28-6 record over three seasons. The year before Ahern came to Lansing Catholic to start the 2009 season, the Cougars were held to 13 or fewer points seven times.
Lansing State Journal 17 December 2011
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John Ahern has helped jail dozens of violent criminals during his 48-year career
[photo]
John Ahern is retiring after 48 years with the police
A DETECTIVE who helped solve a number of high profile murder cases during a career panning 48 years has announced his retirement. John Ahern, 65, joined the Metropolitan Police aged 17 and patrolled the Old Street area of Shoreditch, before becoming a Walthamstow-based detective four years later. He went on to serve in a number of boroughs and in the early 1970s was part of a team which caught a gang responsible for a series of robberies and rapes in the Woodford and Loughton areas. After a stint investigating international company fraud, which took him as far afield as Florida and the Bahamas, he landed his dream job as head of a murder team.

In 1998 he investigated the killing of Richard Cajee, 30, who was found lying in a pool of blood at his home in Grove Road, South Woodford, after being shot four times in the back of the head. Mr. Cajee's wife, Farah, and his step father Yusef Ali of Markhouse Avenue, Walthamstow, were later convicted of his murder. The court heard how Mrs. Cajee and Ali were having an affair and hatched a plan to kill Mr. Cajee in order to cash in on an insurance policy and run away together.

Mr. Ahern said: "That one stays with me because Farah was the most manipulative woman I ever met. She played the grieving widow so well and went to great lengths to concoct alibis for herself and her lover. "But she couldn't conceal the firearms residue on her car steering wheel and was subsequently convicted." Mr. Ahern first retired in 2000, but was back at work two days later after joining a new Woodford-based team set up following the Stephen Lawrence enquiry to look again at unsolved cases. The team revisited 230 cold cases, with the recent conviction of Wilbert Dyce a notable success. Dyce, 54, was last year convicted of murdering Norma Richards and her two young daughters in Dalston in 1982 after new DNA evidence was uncovered.

Mr. Ahern said: "These families never ever forget the death of their loved ones and the fact the Met is still interested is some comfort to them. "The unsolved cases from my time as a Detective Chief Inspector do stay with me and I feel uncomfortable I couldn't solve them." "I have had a wonderful career and worked with really dedicated detectives which enabled me to pursue the job I had always wanted to do. "It's been 48 years of my life. But it's time to go. I'm looking forward to doing other things." Mr. Ahern has a grown-up son and daughter and four grand-children.

Redbridge News 19 December 2011
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Ahern Rentals files for bankruptcy protection
[photo]
Heavy-duty construction forklifts are shown Dec. 16, 2008, at Ahern Rentals at 1200 W. Bonanza Road. Ahern filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday. Unable to escape the clutches of the recent construction plunge, Ahern Rentals Inc. on Thursday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Although the company had started to show improved operating results in recent months after instituting several cost-cutting measures and expanding its geographic footprint, it could not overcome a crushing debt burden. Its main business of buying construction equipment and then leasing it to contractors requires constant access to large doses of credit. "(W)ith approximately $620 million in funded debt, (Ahern's) business is overleveraged," Chief Financial Officer Howard Brown said in papers filed with the bankruptcy case. For more than a year, Ahern negotiated with its lenders for extensions, particularly on a revolving credit line that had a functional limit of $310 million that came due in August. Although most of the lenders gave preliminary approvals, several holdouts that ultimately forced the bankruptcy because loan changes required unanimous agreement. The company will request court approval today for access to cash to continue regular operations, including making the payroll for 1,800 people, and to open a new lending line while it tries to restructure its balance sheet.

Ahern, started in 1953, is one of Las Vegas' oldest businesses and grew with the rapid development of the valley. The company, 97 percent owned by Don Ahern, peaked in 2008 with $381.4 million in revenues and earnings of $150.1 million before taxes, depreciation, amortization and interest. Then the recession hit, leaving it with thousands of pieces of equipment with loans against them but earning little. The CityCenter project alone had required more than 4,000 pieces. As a result, Ahern opened 24 new branches — raising its total to 74 — across the country to reduce its dependence on Las Vegas and enter less-depressed markets. Revenues still dropped to $292.7 million and earnings to $53 million. For the year ended Nov. 30, revenues had started rebounding, with revenues up to $329.8 million and earnings up to $76.5 million. But this was not enough to satisfy all of Ahern's lenders.

Las Vegas Review-Journal 22 December 2011
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Meriter Hospital
Dec. 25, 2011
BLABAUM, Delaney & Michael, son.
O'HEARN, Jessica & Shaun, son.
Wisconsin State Journal 26 December 2011
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Family still frets over missing professor
[photo]
Saddleback College professor Amy Ahearn has gone missing again —
and been found again — as her out-of-state family tries to get help to her.
For the next few days, we'll catch up with some of the people I wrote about in 2011. Folks I reconnected with were pleasant, if not gracious, when I called this week, even when they didn't have a good-news update to share. To each, and to all my sources: Thank you for trusting me with your stories this year.

Missing Professor. Then: In late August, 40-year-old Saddleback College English professor Amy Ahearn disappeared, never showing up for her classes. Her family, all of whom all live in the Midwest, hired a private investigator to try and find her. They believe she suffers from dementia brought on by Huntington's disease, which runs in the family. Various clues led them to L.A. She was finally found Nov. 11 in L.A. and placed by police in an L.A. county hospital for evaluation. The family was hopeful that Ahearn would get treatment.

Now: About a week after Amy was hospitalized, authorities released her. She never signed any documents that allowed them to waive her privacy rights and share her situation with her family. She went missing again for another month, her sister Margie Ahearn told me, and presumably resumed wandering homeless in the same area. "I thought they would keep her longer than they did," Margie told me. Then, last Thursday, Amy was picked up again by L.A.-area police and again taken to a hospital for evaluation. But she still hasn't waived her privacy rights, so Margie remains largely in the dark. "It's like talking to a brick wall," she told me about her contact with authorities. Margie is evaluating the legal options for a conservatorship but at this point has no way of controlling when her sister might be released again.

Orange County Register 27 December 2011
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Boys basketball: Marin Catholic wins in a shootout
Marin Catholic 88, Napa 69
David Ahern scored 30 points, adding four assists and four steals in the host Wildcats' high-scoring victory over the Indians (5-5) in the Bambauer Tournament. Patrick Conroy scored 15 and pulled down four rebounds for MC (6-2). "We knew about Napa, they want to play uptempo and shoot a quick three when they can," MC coach Mike Saia said. "They did a good job getting us to play their game. We picked up on the press in the third quarter and got some quick easy buckets." Logan Stone added 14 points and pair of assists and steals. Defensively the Wildcats were shored up by Jordan Roggenbuck's seven reboards and J-von Lewis's six rebounds and two blocks.
Marin Independent Journal 27 December 2011
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Injured Passengers Suing Ulster Bus Company
2 drivers in crash also named
[photo]
Two passengers who were in this New York Trailways bus, seen shortly after it hit a tractor-trailer on the Thruway in October, are suing the bus company as a result of injuries they sustained in the collision.
HURLEY — Two passengers are suing an Ulster County bus company and one of its drivers, accusing them of negligence for an Oct. 18 crash that left eight people injured. John Ahearn, 52, of Accord, and Michael Coughlan, 59, of Stone Ridge, were riding on the New York Trailways bus when it slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer that morning. Both men, along with Coughlan's wife, filed a lawsuit this month against Adirondack Trailways Inc., the parent company that runs the New York Trailways line. In court papers, Ahearn and Coughlan said they suffered "severe, serious and permanent personal injuries."

The suit also names bus driver Dean Vardakis, 57, of Washingtonville, as a defendant, along with the driver of the truck that Vardakis rear-ended. Neither Vardakis nor the bus company could be reached for comment. Ahearn and Coughlan are seeking an unspecified amount of damages, citing injuries that have prevented them from working. Kingston lawyer Joe O'Connor said Ahearn and Coughlan both work in construction in New York City. They and 14 others were bound for the Port Authority Bus Terminal when the Trailways bus crashed about 5:35 a.m. on the Thruway in Rockland County. State police said the tractor-trailer had slowed to let a car enter the highway from the ramp. The bus did not yield, and it slammed into the truck. The crash held up traffic through rush hour and caused a 5-mile backup. Of the eight injured, Vardakis was the only one admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. He suffered leg and pelvic injuries, and had to be cut out of the bus. The others were treated and released, authorities said. Still, O'Connor said his clients' injuries were significant. He said Calhoun was still out of work this month, and Ahearn's knee was crushed as he sat in the front seat of the bus. "He was among the most injured," O'Connor said. "He was wedged in there."

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Trailways had a "satisfactory" safety rating. The company was last rated in November.

Times Herald-Record 27 December 2011
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Charlotte man charged with killing woman
A man faces first-degree murder charges after police found a woman dead inside of a west Charlotte home. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they were called to a home in the 2000 block of Pheasant Glen Road around 9:20 a.m. Tuesday to check the welfare of a person. When police arrived, they said a suspect — who was identified late Tuesday as Brandon Oneal Blakeney, 34 — greeted them and allowed officers to look for the victim. During the search, police said they found the body of 34-year-old Catherine Elizabeth Ahern Blakeney. Police have not said how the woman died. Neighbors told WSOC-TV that Catherine Blakeney woman hadn't been seen in weeks, the station reported yesterday. Brandon Blakeney is currently in the Mecklenburg County jail. Catherine Blakeney's is the 55th killing police have investigated this year.
Charlotte Observer 28 December 2011
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CUTTERS LOSE TOP BRONCO SIGNING
ROHAN Ahern knew straight away it was bad when he felt his leg give way. A key signing for the STM Mackay Cutters, the 23-year-old had his 2012 hopes dashed after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a social game of touch footy earlier this month. He will need a full knee reconstruction, which will cost him most of the season. "I knew straight away, I know what it feels like," he said. Ahern had a similar disappointment during his debut for the Brisbane Broncos in 2010, only he ruptured the ligament in his left leg. "It's definitely wounded me a bit, it's just really hard to come back from this injury," he said.

Ahern is in Brisbane, staying with his parents, while he awaits surgery on January 12. He will not be able to play for six to nine months while he recovers. The front-rower has first hand knowledge of the uphill battle that awaits him after surgery, however, Ahern said experience made him better equipped to take it on. "I'm prepared, I know what's ahead, what needs to be done," he said. Ahern plans to return to Mackay, where he will continue to train with the Cutters in the recovery period. Cutters coach Anthony Seibold said the squad had thrown its support behind its teammate. "We're going to support Rohan as much as possible when he comes back from Brisbane after surgery," he said. "It's a very brutal injury, so we will give him the support he needs to get on with life."

While the loss is disappointing, Seibold said the team was still in great shape with a lot of player depth. "It's a blow in that Rohan was one of our marquee signings, he's played NRL for the Roosters and been with the Brisbane Broncos for the last two seasons. We invested a lot of time getting Rohan to town," Seibold said. "He's someone we have high hopes to be a leader within the group. His testing results were outstanding." Seibold remains positive about the Cutters 2012 season, despite the loss of the prop. "We get on with life and this opens the door for younger player to put their hand up for that position," he added. Ahern has recently started a matured age carpentry apprenticeship with Reef Properties, which will be put on hold for two months following his surgery. Cutters chief executive officer Glenn Ottaway said losing a player of Ahern's quality left a hole in the squad, but he's confident the Cutters had the depth to cover the loss. "I'm not so worried from a Cutters perspective, planning was done so that we could have injury and still cover it from within our squad," he said. "All we can hope is that it goes well for (Ahern), he's a young guy, I'm sure he's strong enough to bounce back."

Daily Mercury 28 December 2011
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[photo]
Brandon Oneal Blakeney, 34.
Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office.
A Charlotte man previously convicted of assaulting his wife is now charged with murder after police found her dead inside the couple's northwest Charlotte home. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they received a report from a family member that 34-year-old Catherine Elizabeth Ahern Blakeney had not been in touch with relatives. On Tuesday morning, police went to her home on Pheasant Glen Road. When officers arrived at the home in a neighborhood off Moores Chapel Road, Blakeney's husband, Brandon Oneal Blakeney, greeted the officers and allowed them inside to search for her, police said. During the search, police said, they found Catherine Blakeney's body. Police have not said how she died or how long she might have been dead when she was discovered.

Police took Brandon Blakeney, 34, into custody and charged him with first-degree murder. He remains in Mecklenburg jail, where he is being held without bond. Brandon Blakeney's Facebook profile, in which he uses the name "Brandon Beanz Blakeney," has photos of him and his wife wearing masks at a Halloween party. Another photo shows the couple smiling as they pose for a picture at their niece's birthday party. Catherine Blakeney went by the nickname "Cathy." Another Facebook photo shows that Brandon Blakeney had a "C" for Catherine tattooed on his left ring finger while his wife had a "B" tattooed on her ring finger.

Court records show the couple had a history of domestic violence that began before they were married. In February 2010, police arrested Brandon Blakeney and charged him with assault on a female. A warrant for his arrest said he'd assaulted Catherine by kicking and pushing her, pulling her hair and punching her in the face. Days after the incident, she filed a temporary domestic violence restraining order against him. He was convicted of the assault charge, records show, and placed on 18 months unsupervised probation and ordered to participate in a batterer intervention program. The couple married on June 8, 2010.

Brandon Blakeney was active in the local music scene. YouTube videos show him interviewing local artists as he promotes the company SkyMind Entertainment. An essay on marriage written by "Brandon Beanz Blakeney" and posted on a literary and poetry website describes the struggles of marriage and recounts the author's personal experience. The essay is called "The Sanctity of Marriage . . . What do you believe?" "The mixture of variable we were exposed to as children and young adults lead to us clashing, and bumping heads on numerous occasions," the essay says. "We both had serious trust issues! It took us clawing and scratching at one another, for months, for us to finally come to the general consensus that we both came from the same place. That was the turning point of our relationship." Brandon Blakeney was arrested again in December 2010 and charged with resisting an officer, a charge he was convicted of earlier this year. An ex-girlfriend of Blakeney's, who asked not to be named, told the Observer she was shocked by the accusations against him. She said she and Blakeney dated for about four years, and that she never experienced any abuse at his hands. Catherine Blakeney's relatives couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Charlotte Observer 29 December 2011
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Man charged with kidnapping, assault
A Corvallis man has been charged with multiple crimes after kidnapping his girlfriend and holding her for six hours. Michael Dustin Ahearn, 29, was arrested Wednesday night after being subdued with taser gun. The Corvallis Police Department provided the following account of the incident. At about 9 p.m., officers from the Corvallis Police Department Oregon State Police SWAT team responded to a report of a kidnapping and assault at residence in the 1900 block of S.E. Crystal Circle. They contacted the victim who told them that she and Ahearn got into an argument earlier that day. When she tried to leave the residence, Ahearn broke the window of the vehicle she was driving and pulled her out of the vehicle. This caused the car to go forward and crash into the garage door of the residence. Ahearn then carried her into the residence against her will. Inside the residence, he choked her until she lost consciousness. After regaining consciousness, Ahearn placed a handgun in the victim's mouth and held her at gunpoint threatening to kill her and her child, who was not present at the time of the incident. Ahearn held the victim for approximately six hours. During that period of time, Ahearn choked her unconscious multiple times and struck her in the head with the butt of the handgun. After about six hours, Ahearn passed out, providing the victim an opportunity to escape. She fled the residence and was able to notify the police.
Gazette-Times 29 December 2011
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