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Stinger, Lincoln County Face Off in Lawsuit Following CEO’s Death

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Two years ago, Paul Rumelhart, with the Kootenai River Development Council, was an eager supporter of Stinger Welding, Inc. Today, when you ask about the relationship between the company and Lincoln County, Rumelhart will refer you to a lawyer. In the weeks following the death of Stinger Welding owner and CEO Carl Douglas, a legal dispute between the Lincoln County Port Authority and the Arizona-based company has spilled out into public view. The lawsuit, filed in October 2012, says Stinger failed to comply with a 2009 development agreement that would have brought more than 200 jobs to the area. The disagreement came to the forefront last week when Steve Patrick, vice president of Stinger’s northwest operations, wrote an editorial in the Kootenai Valley Record stating that Lincoln County failed to support the company since the beginning. On the night of Dec. 18, 2012, Stinger Welding CEO Carl Douglas was flying from Coolidge, Az. to Libby, when the small plane he was piloting crashed just miles from its destination. Douglas and Stinger employee John Smith both died in the crash on Swede Mountain. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. In the weeks following Douglas’ death, the company changed hands to his widow, Stephanie Jordan. On Jan. 15, the company was voluntarily put into receivership, where a court-appointed receiver manages the company until the ownership situation is resolved. As of early January, Stinger had 69 employees, far short of what the company said it would employ when it first arrived in 2009. That year, the company was working closely with the Lincoln County Port Authority and the Kootenai River Development Council, headed up by Rumelhart, to develop the former Stimson Lumber Co. site in Libby. On June 26 of that year, Lincoln County and Stinger Welding signed a 24-page development agreement to bring a bridge-building facility to Lincoln County. At the time, it was hailed as a fresh start for one of the most economically depressed areas in the state.But according to court documents filed by Lincoln County, problems arose almost immediately. Part of the development agreement stated that Stinger would construct a large welding facility on the Stimson site and, once complete, the port authority would purchase it at the cost of construction and lease it back. According to court documents, Stinger failed to obtain funding for the facility’s construction and in July 2009 the county provided a $3.4 million grant to the company to start the project. Attorney Allan Payne said at that point the port authority still planned on purchasing the facility from Stinger, minus the $3.4 million.“They certainly didn’t just give that money to Stinger,” Payne said. “We say the port owns it and they say Stinger owns it and that’s what we’re trying to sort out.”Stinger completed the building in May 2011. In hopes of repaying loans, Stinger sought funding through the New Market Tax Credits program. During that process, according to the lawsuit, Stinger allegedly misled the port authority by claiming it needed the title to the property it occupied. On July 18, 2011, the port authority conveyed the title to Stinger for $186,000. Payne said Stinger also failed to bring the high-paying jobs to Libby that it promised in the 2009 development agreement. “Stinger didn’t fulfill its obligation,” Payne said. “There was a commitment to bring (more than 200) well-paying jobs to Lincoln County and that never happened.”On Nov. 1, Stinger filed a counter lawsuit against the Lincoln County Port Authority, denying most of the initial allegations and accusing the agency of fraud, slander and deceit, among other things. Less than two months later, Patrick wrote a letter to the editor in the Jan. 22 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record, demanding the county drop its “bizarre lawsuit.” In the letter, Patrick wrote that Lincoln County failed to gather the funds and grants to purchase the building and that Douglas felt betrayed before his death. “Is Stinger Welding going to survive and continue to pump a multi-million dollar payroll into the community?” Patrick wrote. “These answers largely reside in whether Lincoln County drops its lawsuit against Carl Douglas and Stinger Welding. Carl is dead and Stinger is operating in receivership … spending scarce dollars defending against an admittedly bizarre lawsuit is the last thing Stinger needs in its quest to continue operations and provide jobs in Lincoln County.” Payne balked at the idea of Lincoln County dropping its lawsuit, adding if Stinger believes it’s in the right, the company should welcome it. “If they were in a position of strength, they wouldn’t be demanding the county drop this,” he said. Patrick disagrees, though, saying the county is not being truthful with its people or Stinger. In his editorial, Patrick said the lawsuit would only hurt the people employed by the welding company. “This is not economic development on the county’s part, it is economic strangulation,” Patrick wrote. Payne expects the case to go to trial sometime in 2014. CORRECTION: This story has been changed. The price of the building’s lease was originally reported as $1 annually, which is incorrect. It also should have said Stinger planned to create 202 jobs, not 250. Emaillast_img read more

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Expert testimony bill moves

first_img March 15, 2012 Regular News Expert testimony bill moves Expert testimony bill moves ( Editor’s Note Update : The expert testimony bills referred to in the following story died in the waning days of the legislative session. A complete update will be included in the April 1 News. )Bills changing the Florida Evidence Code to require judges to weigh in on expert testimony passed the Florida House as the 2012 legislative session entered its concluding weeks and were considered by a Senate committee. The House passed HB 243 on February 24, while the Senate Budget Committee unanimously passed SB 378 February 29.The bill brings what is called the Daubert standard to determining whether expert testimony will be allowed, replacing the Frye standard established by the Florida Supreme Court.Under Daubert, expert testimony must be based on sufficient facts, as well as reliable principles and methods, and must be reliably applied to the facts of the case as determined by the judge. With Frye, the testimony must be based on information that “is generally accepted in the field from which it emanates,” according to Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis, sponsor of the House bill.Opponents said it would lead to more evidentiary hearings over expert testimony, allow well-heeled litigants to prolong litigation and raise costs for their opponents, and give jurors less of a say about cases they are deciding. Supporters said it would bring more predictability to the law and reduce the use of “junk” science.The House rejected an amendment from Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, to appropriate $1.2 million for state attorneys to pay for the greater number of hearings expected under the Daubert standard.Metz conceded that more money might be needed, but he said the provision should have gone through the regular appropriations process.Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, said the bill removes the jury as the fact finder for the validity of scientific evidence and substitutes the judge.“We are basically eliminating a large portion of the right to a jury,” he said. “Are we going to put this in the hands of a jury, or are we going to put this in the hands of a judge? I ask that we keep this the way our founding fathers wanted, and that is with the jury.”But Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Ft. Walton Beach, said the bill places a higher value on the “science” of the Daubert approach, instead of the “theatrics” that can prevail under Frye. “I’ll choose science over theatrics,” he said.The House approved the bill 77-34.last_img read more

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Perpetuus Tidal gets planning consent for onshore facilities

first_imgLocal Planning Authority has granted an outline planning consent for the onshore elements of the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) on the Isle of Wight, southern England.A planning application was submitted to the Isle of Wight Council in November last year for a substation and associated infrastructure located in Ventnor, Isle of Wight.The planning committee has passed outline plans for it to be built on existing development land close to Flowers Brook.This represents the first phase of the project, with an application for the offshore elements being considered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).Mark Francis, Project Manager, said: “We are delighted with today’s decision. We are working closely with the Marine Management Organisation and we expect a decision later this year.”Francis added that the company is hoping to have the site operational by 2018.PTEC has submitted an application to the Marine Management Organisation and Isle of Wight Council for permission to construct and operate a tidal energy demonstration site in January this year.The total electrical output from the site is expected to be around 65.000 MW/h per year which will provide enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of over a quarter of Isle of Wight homes, PTEC’s press release reads.In January, the project was backed by UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron.The company behind PTEC is Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre Ltd – a consortium which includes Perpetuus Energy Ltd, the Isle of Wight Council and TB Partners LLP.[mappress mapid=”491″]Image: PTEClast_img read more

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Bath Estate man remanded on eleven firearm related charges

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share LocalNews Bath Estate man remanded on eleven firearm related charges by: – January 25, 2013center_img 101 Views   12 comments Leslie Akim LangfordLeslie Akim Langford of Bath Estate has been remanded at the State’s Prison, after he was charged with eleven fire arm related offences at the magistrate’s court in Roseau on Friday, January 25th.Langford was charged in connection with a shooting incident at the Cove in Canefield in the early hours of Christmas Day last year, which resulted in three men; Albert Stevens Junior and Arthur Bozel of Goodwill and Carlon Nicholas of Grand Bay being injured and treated at the Princess Margaret Hospital. A search warrant was executed at Langford’s home on January 23rd and two firearms and ammunition were found in his possession, therefore he was arrested.Langford, who appeared before magistrate Ossie Lewis for his arraignment, was charged with three counts of shooting with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and endanger life, three counts of possession of a firearm on December 25th, three counts of possession of a firearm on January 23rd, possession of fifteen 9 millimeter live rounds of ammunition and possession of 6.38 live rounds of ammunition.He was not allowed to plead as these are indictable offenses. The prosecution objected to the defendant’s bail application on the grounds that at the time of the incident, the Cove was heavily populated.He further noted that one of the alleged victims was still a patient at the Princess Margaret Hospital and it is believed that if the defendant is granted bail he would not make himself available to the court for trial.According to the prosecution, some new developments had come during the course of their investigations and police needed time to investigate.Magistrate Ossie Lewis upheld the objection and remanded the defendant. His bail application will be reviewed in fourteen days. The trail has been scheduled for 27th May.Dominica Vibes News Sharelast_img read more

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Former Arizona Lawmaker’s Fatal Actions Preceded by Unusual Behavior

first_imgThe former Democratic Arizona representative resigned from that position in 2008 after being arrested in a domestic dispute with his wife. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Before his arrest in a southeast Alaskan slaying earlier this week, former Arizona lawmaker Mark DeSimone raised concerns with Facebook friends with odd posts. Alaska authorities report DeSimone had been in Alaska for a month, working as a day laborer and “couch surfing”. That was weeks before Sunday’s events, wherein DeSimone was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 34-year-old Duilio Rosales at a remote cabin about 35 miles NW of Juneau. He and Rosales had been part of a hunting party staying at the cabin and the incident where DeSimone allegedly shot Rosales twice in the back of the head reportedly happened after a day of drinking. The 53-year-old had messaged Alaskans saying he was looking for work, even odd jobs, ahead of posting cryptic apologies to “everyone for anything” he may have done while in office. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail.last_img read more

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