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DUBLIN (Reuters) – Irelands finance minister warned on Sunday that a rejection of Europes new fiscal treaty in an Irish referendum next month would not only block access to Europes new permanent bailout fund, but would also put fresh IMF funds out…
Archive for May 19th, 2012
The three stuffed animals concealing parts for a handgun that a passenger tried to get past TSA checkpoints made the headlines last week, but agents also found a pocketful of firearms ammunition and a block of simulated Semtex explosive on other passengers the week of April 7.
Officers at Providence TF Green Airport in Rhode Island noticed what they thought looked like a disassembled firearm and ammunition in an X-ray of three stuffed animals in the baggage of a father and his small child. The gun parts were hidden in a stuffed teddy bear, bunny, and a stuffed Mickey Mouse doll.
Noting the gun-packing characters, TSA agents called law enforcement officers to the checkpoint, said the TSA’s Web blog. The officers searched the bag and the child’s stuffed animals, uncovering the frame of a .40 caliber firearm and a magazine loaded with two .40 caliber rounds was in one animal, and firing pin was inside another and the weapon’s slide was inside the third, said TSA. All of the necessary components to assemble a fully functional loaded firearm were artfully concealed in the three toys, it said.
News reports said the father was unaware of the gun parts in the toys and law enforcement attributed the concealed weapon as part of a domestic dispute.
TSA’s Blogger Bob Burns noted that the use of toys to carry weapons is another instance showing that “threats can appear anywhere” and why its officers look at everything. The agency has taken heat in recent weeks for the pat-down of a four-year-old child at the Wichita airport when the child had to be re-screened after hugging her grandmother in the midst of a security checks at the facility.
TSA officers using a body scanner at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport found 13 rounds of ammunition in a passenger’s front pocket as he passed through the device.
Officers at Northwest Florida Regional Airport near Fort Walton Beach found a block of simulated Semtex-H at their checkpoint. The device was for training, but the agency said it had no way of knowing that until after it had gone through all of the security motions to investigate it.
With a comparable budget to last year, the city of Cornelius is, essentially, about maintenance.
Working with $28.1 million in recommended funding to provide core services in 2013, including only a few cuts and consolidations, the city anticipates neither growing nor shrinking in the near future.
Its a tight budget, said City Manager Rob Drake. But I was conservative on estimates. Id much rather come to the end of a fiscal year having money than none.
Some variations in the coming year include changes to law enforcement: Drake has recommended funding for an additional full-time police officer, bringing the total to 14 sworn officers.
Additionally, the city will begin a trial period of merging the citys municipal court with Forest Groves court. While both cities already use the same part-time judge, court would be held in Forest Grove.
Forest Grove would also share its code enforcement officer with Cornelius for two days a week.
Due to stagnant development in the city, two positions were eliminated: director of Development amp; Operations and a support specialist.
With Cornelius lack of economic growth, in part due to the short supply of undeveloped land, neither position had as much use on the citys roster, Drake said.
An area that has grown, however, is the library, seeing nearly a 40 percent increase in checkouts during the last three years. As such, maintaining the same level of service for patrons was a big priority for budgeting.
In a partnership with Metro, the city will be looking to acquire land next year for what will become a new park.
Also budgeted are capital improvement projects, which comprise 31 percent of the citys budget. These projects include redesigning a portion of Baseline Street, planning an additional water reservoir, and purchasing a new rig for the fire department.
Overall, the city anticipates spending $20.5 million of its budget next year, with the majority of it spent on improvements and personnel services. That would leave the city with more than $7.5 million left over.
Its main priorities: achieving a more stable financial base, which could include seeking an additional property tax levy to support city services.
Another goal is to bring more commercial land into the city. With residents currently paying 74 percent of city taxes, more commercial industry would not only boost the citys economy but also residents would no longer bear such a disproportionate amount of the tax liability.
The city budget committee will review the recommended budget at its next meeting Wednesday. An official budget will be approved by the end of June.
– Deborah Bloom