Troopers Seek Public’s Assistance With Solving Fatal Pedestrian Collision- Wilmington – Delaware State Police


Date Posted: Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Wilmington- The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit requests the public’s assistance in solving a fatal pedestrian collision.

On September 8, 2021, at approximately 4:14 a.m., troopers received a report of a pedestrian located in the right thru northbound lane of DE SR 100 (South DuPont Road), within the area of the intersection with Taft Avenue. The investigation determined an unknown vehicle was traveling northbound on DE SR 100 in the right thru travel lane when it struck the pedestrian. The vehicle continued traveling northbound towards the intersection of DE SR 100 and Faulkland Road to an unknown destination.

The victim identified as Jason Gooden, 34, of Wilmington was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Troopers request anyone who witnessed this collision, resides in the area who may have doorbell or surveillance footage, or any suspect vehicle information to contact Master Corporal John Breen by calling 302-365-8486 or emailing John.Breen@delaware.gov. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of a crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll-free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at Debra.Reed@delaware.gov.

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Presented by Public Information Officer, Senior Corporal Jason Hatchell

Released: 101421 0916

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Texas women travel to other states to seek abortion services | News


SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – The nation’s most restrictive abortion law is driving many women from Texas to seek services as far away as Oklahoma and Kansas.

The Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport is among the clinics seeing a major arrival of Texas patients. On a recent Saturday, more than a dozen women arrived at the single-story brick building while some came alone.

Others brought their children because they were unable to get child care, but all were seeking to end pregnancies. One of the patients was a 33-year-old woman who already has three kids. She said adding a baby to the family would take time and resources away from her other children.



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Police seek leads in Polk County man’s disappearance


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Seventeen years after Glenn Pennie disappeared, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating what happened.

Pennie, 56 at the time, was last seen by a neighbor at his house in rural Polk County southwest of Monmouth on Oct. 3, 2004. He lived on the 14000 block of Airlie Road. 

Polk County sheriff’s Detective John Williams said the office is trying to renew public awareness of Pennie’s disappearance in hopes that it could yield new information.

Pennie had been planning to leave Oct. 4, 2004, for Oakland, California, for a hearing about his late father’s estate, but his Toyota Tacoma was still in the driveway a few days after his planned departure. He stood to inherit more than $1 million, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Investigators found no sign of a struggle and no signs that other vehicles had been in or out of Glenn’s driveway,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a post on its website. “Glenn’s pickup was found to be packed with a suitcase, snacks, and other travel items for his planned trip to California.”

Pennie was divorced and working as an electrical contractor. He had asked neighbors to feed his cat, and he’d called his cousins in California on Oct. 3 to let them know he was leaving first thing the next morning.

Arrests in case of missing Salem woman: Woman charged in killing of Tonna Purnell 

After Pennie disappeared, authorities unsuccessfully conducted a “massive search” covering 53 square miles. Pennie’s bank accounts and cellphone records haven’t turned up any clues, either. 

“Those that knew Glenn told investigators that he would not have simply walked away from his father’s inheritance,” the Sheriff’s Office said. 

Pennie was due to get 75% of the properties in his father’s estate while his brother, Dale, was due to get 25%. Any collectible coins would be split 50-50 between the brothers.

After Glenn’s disappearance, the estate was divided between his daughter and Dale. The value of the properties in the estate diminished because they weren’t maintained, and lawyers’ fees also ate up much of the money, Williams said. 

A decade ago, the Sheriff’s Office renewed its efforts to investigate Pennie’s disappearance with help from other police agencies, but didn’t get much out of that effort, Williams said.

In 2017, the case was featured on the TV show “Cold Justice” and police had hoped that would help turn up some new information. Nothing came of that, either.

“We’re just kind of running out of ideas,” Williams said. “Since we don’t have a body, we don’t know what happened to him. Nobody’s talking. We have people of interest that we’ve looked at again and again and again, but their stories never change and we just can’t move past it. We’re just kind of stuck at this point.”

For subscribers only: Salem’s Willamette Town Center to get a makeover

“There’s never been any direct evidence that showed anyone did anything to Glenn,” Williams said. “It’s just like he vanished.”

The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about Pennie’s disappearance to call the tip line at (503) 623-1878 and refer to Case #04-2879.



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Cathedral City man accused in serial rape cases, prosecutors seek additional victims


A Coachella Valley man is accused of grabbing women on Orange County running trails in order to sexually assault them. Law enforcement officers believe there may be other victims and are setting up a hotline to gather more information.

The Orange County District Attorneys’ office reports that “since January 2020, at least three women have been snatched off running trails in an Aliso Viejo park and choked unconscious in an attempt to sexually assault the women. One of the women was raped.”

The cases date back to January of 2020. A task force has been working to find the suspect and Monday, the District Attorney’s office announced an arrest.

Prosecutors now say Robert Daniel Yucas, 51, of Cathedral City, is the man they’ve been searching for. Yucas is now in custody in Anchorage, Alaska. Prosecutors also connected Yucas to an alleged crime in San Diego county. District Attorney Todd Spitzer says DNA evidence is providing a link between several cases.

Investigators say Yucas travels for work as a commercial cargo pilot. Because of his ability to travel, they are concerned there may be “many other victims.”

A tip line has been established: 714-647-7419

“He moved from Aliso Viejo to Cathedral City,” DA Spitzer said.

News Channel 3 interviewed Yucas ahead of the September 11th anniversary. An image from that interview was used in the news conference. “That is the best picture we have of him,” of what he looks like presently, said the District Attorney.

“He did that interview voluntarily and while people were looking for him,” DA Spitzer said.

Watch the Orange County District Attorney explain the new developments below.

Orange County deputies are looking for a man who may be responsible for three sexual assaults near a popular walking trail at an Aliso Viejo park.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department released these two images following an August report of an assault.

Stay on top of breaking news and headlines across the Coachella Valley with the new KESQ / CBS Local 2 news app.

App Store: Get the app here Google Play: Get the app here

You’ll get alerts when news breaks and when we uncover new developments to ongoing stories.



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Waits up as more seek COVID tests for work, school, travel


California’s summer case spike has driven up demand for the once-scarce, then-ubiquitous COVID-19 tests — resulting in long lines, long wait times for results, and lots of frustrated folks anxious to learn if the delta variant has infected them.

New rules for testing at schools, workplaces and large events are contributing to a crush of demand at testing sites like the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, and leading some of the Bay Area’s biggest health providers like Kaiser to warn results could take three days.

“We got the earliest appointment we could,” said Christine King, 50, from San Jose, who came to the fairgrounds with her family the day after a friend told them they had caught COVID-19. King and her son also got swabbed a few weeks ago, after her son’s friend had a mild fever following a sleepover. They tested negative that time, but she noticed a difference: The testing site was busier since her last visit.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 25: Patrick Garcia, right, an LVN, licensed vocational nurse, administers a COVID-19 test to Christine King at the free COVID-19 testing site in Expo Hall at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

“We just figured testing is going to be part of life for a little bit of time now,” King said.

California’s COVID-19 testing rate per 100,000 people had dropped from a high of 895.7 on Jan. 18 to a low of 252.6 on July 4 before climbing again to 752 as of Aug. 25, roughly mirroring the state’s fall and rise of infections through the year, according to the California Department of Public Health. Tests, which were in high demand but short supply in the early months of the pandemic, were so little-used by mid-summer that experts worried we were losing our ability to track the virus. But now demand is back with a vengeance.

The recent testing increase is straining the network of health care systems and laboratories processing the samples for evidence of the virus. The California Department of Public Health shows average weekly turnaround times for test results that dipped from 0.9 days in late March to 0.7 days in June have since climbed to 1.2 days. The department says results for the most reliable and commonly used molecular tests are “most effective” when turnaround times are within two days.

While most of the commercial, public health and medical center affiliated labs are meeting that turnaround time in the vast majority of cases, there are several others with a significant percentage of results coming after three or more days.

Among them is Kaiser in Northern California, where state health department data show 21% of results in the past week took three days or more.

“While current volume may not always lead to same day or next day results for every person, we expedite testing when needed for more urgent circumstances,” Kaiser said.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 25: Arielle Navarro, left, an LVN, licensed vocational nurse, administers a COVID-19 test to Elias Sinclair, 15, at the free COVID-19 testing site in Expo Hall at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

Some providers took issue with the state health department’s assessment of their performance. The state said commercial lab MiraDx delivered 37% of its results in three or more days over the past week, but the company, which recently moved from five to seven-day operation, said its turnaround time “remains at less than 24 hours for all sites and we have not experienced any deterioration.”

In any case, there’s little dispute that testing needs have soared, and with it, some frustrations.

Dr. Ann Petru, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, said her hospital prioritizes turnaround times by the need for urgency — a new patient needing admission to a shared room will need results within hours, but a patient scheduled for surgery later in the week can wait a few days.

But demand has grown with the list of new requirements and spread of the disease, and everyone who needs a test wants the results as soon as possible.

“It’s super complicated because almost everybody needs to be tested fairly frequently,” Petru said. “You can’t do anything without being tested.”

For starters, the list of those needing a COVID-19 test includes anyone with symptoms — fever, cough, loss of taste and smell — a group that has grown as infections have risen. It also includes close contacts — people who were within six feet of the infected for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period — even if symptom-free. Those who are ill need a negative test to come out of quarantine and return to work or school, and even the vaccinated and asymptomatic are advised to get a test after exposure.

But the list has expanded further with new worries over rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant mostly — but not entirely — among those not fully vaccinated. Nearly 45% of all Californians remain unvaccinated, among them children younger than 12 who aren’t authorized for the shots.

Many companies and government agencies are requiring tests for unvaccinated workers. California next month will require a negative COVID test from the unvaccinated for indoor events of 1,000 or more. It’s required for many international travelers and inpatient hospital surgeries.

And then there are schools, where some 6 million California kids returned to classrooms this month. Dozens of students and staff have tested positive in districts throughout the state since, and both they and their close contacts need tests to return to classrooms or extracurricular activities.

“You have all the school kids who have a slight runny nose or cold symptoms,” Petru said. “If you’re a parent, to take a kid for a test and have to wait three days for results before you can send your kids back is frustrating. Some go to the emergency room because they want an answer. The emergency room gets inundated with healthy kids who just want a COVID test.”

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 25: Arielle Navarro, far left, an LVN, licensed vocational nurse, registers the Sinclair family, from left to right, Judy, Adeline, 17, Elias, 15, and Steven, at the free COVID-19 testing site in Expo Hall at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

The state recommends that vaccinated people without symptoms be tested three to five days after exposure.

Siblings Adeline Sinclair, 17, and Elias Sinclair, 15, are both vaccinated but came with their parents to the fairgrounds to get tested because Elias was in classes with a student who tested positive. It was their second trip there in a week. The first time, they got their negative results back in a day after Adeline had an exposure at school.

Their mom, Judy Sinclair, was once again anxious for the results.

“Hopefully it will be fast again,” she said, “for the peace of mind.”

A day later, thankfully, she got her answer — and quicker than the long line suggested: negative.




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KS, MO hospitals seek travel nurses but must pay top dollar


A registered nurse hands medication to a COVID-19 patient in the emergency room at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri last November.

A registered nurse hands medication to a COVID-19 patient in the emergency room at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri last November.

Associated Press file photo

The shifts are often long, the locations unfamiliar. No family or friends may be nearby.

But the demand for travel nurses has skyrocketed as the COVID-19 case surge spawned by the delta variant is crushing hospitals across the United States.

At a moment when the number of nurses at a facility may determine how many patients can be treated, advertised positions in Kansas and Missouri top $5,600 a week. Some nurses have heard of assignments paying five figures weekly.

Hospitals in Kansas and Missouri — and numerous other states — are all scuffling to hire travel nurses, also called contract nurses. The intense competition for a limited pool of workers has led Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly to publicly fret that the facilities will be out bid. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has promised to provide hospitals with millions in financial aid, but it’s unclear how much of a difference it will make.

“Many of us get emails or telephone calls looking for travel nurses,” said Kelly Sommers, director of the Kansas State Nurses Association. “And they pay per week three times as much as a nurse who is working in Kansas in a specific job.”

The travel positions are so lucrative that when nurses join the field, traveling can be a “great opportunity” if they don’t have ties to their local community, Sommers said. “And you can’t fault them for wanting to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Kansas and Missouri hospitals were collectively seeking to fill more than 1,700 open positions through travel nurses as of Monday, according to data from Aya Healthcare, a leading travel nursing agency, Kansas had 407 open positions and Missouri had 1,350.

Hospitalizations have been rising in both states since late June or early July. Kansas hospitals reported nearly 800 COVID-19 patients last week; Missouri had nearly 2,500 patients. The patient counts haven’t been this high in either state since January.

Missouri has just 19% of its inpatient beds remaining, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Kansas has at least 39%, according to the Kansas Hospital Association. Still, 14 Kansas hospitals — roughly 14% of facilities in the state — reported last week that critical staffing shortages are anticipated.

Not only are beds filling up, but many of those patients need extraordinary levels of attention, exacerbating staffing challenges. COVID-19 patients often require intense, round-the-clock care that limits the number of bed each nurse can safely cover.

Staffing shortfalls, combined with growing patient loads, are causing more hospitals to turn to travel nurses in an attempt to fill the gap.

And the price keeps going up.

“There’s nothing any hospital…can do to keep our staff from moving over to agency, because they’re offering some of these folks really, pretty nice salaries and hourly wages if they’ll move over,” said Truman Medical Centers CEO Charlie Shields. “That’s hard to compete with.”

01_KCM_TrumanMedicalCentervacc
Emergency departments at Kansas City area hospitals, including Truman Medical Center/University Health, are overwhelmed, and hospital officials are asking people with non-emergency needs to seek help elsewhere. File photo by Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

‘Bidding war’ feared

Before the delta wave, the travel nursing market was returning to its pre-pandemic dynamics, said Sophia Morris, vice president of account management at Aya. Travel offered a way to experience a different hospital, live somewhere attractive or get closer to family. Those reasons were beginning to resurface.

But the variant is once again refocusing travel on hotspots where hospitals are struggling to care for a flood of patients. Roughly 180 clinicians — which include nurses and other positions — booked through Aya are currently working at hospitals in Kansas. In Missouri, the company is providing about 940 at the moment.

The true number of traveling staff working in the two states is almost certainly higher because Aya is just one of several agencies trying to place nurses.

Pay packages run $1,000 a week to upwards of $5,000, Morris said. Hospitals in areas with extreme outbreaks, such as Texas, Florida and areas of California. are often starting at $3,000 a week and going as high as $6,000

Morris listed a number of factors that could be contributing to the higher rates, including delta as well as the decision by many hospitals to continue many elective surgeries it suspended earlier in the pandemic.

“We are seeing rates that are higher in some areas and fairly standard in other places,” Morris said.

And there are anecdotal reports of sky-high weekly rates. Heidi Lucas, director of the Missouri Nurses Association, said in an email that some assignments pay $10,000 a week.

Kelly has voiced worry that Kansas hospitals can’t compete in luring travel staff. At a news conference Friday to draw attention to rising patient numbers, the governor compared the situation to the first few months of the pandemic, when states fought over limited masks, ventilators and other supplies.

“Right now, we’re sort of in the same situation,” Kelly said, adding that “we’ve got states like Texas and Florida paying a fortune — twice what we pay contract nurses. So we’re going to end up in a bidding war with other states.”

Kelly said her administration is looking at what it can do, but didn’t offer any details.

01_KCM_KellyhospitalAug202021m (2)
With hospitals across the state and country overflowing with COVID-19 patients, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, right, on Friday urged Kansans to get a COVID vaccination to help prevent further spread of the virus. Kelly’s comments came during a press conference at St. Luke’s South Hospital in Overland Park. Afterwards, she visited with Dr. Andrew Schlachter, left, and Dr. Dena Hubbard, who also spoke out against disinformation and the need for everyone to get a vaccination. Rich Sugg rsugg@kcstar.com

The Kansas Hospital Association has floated several options, including additional funding to offset the cost to retain and recruit staff. The money, which would presumably go toward pay and benefits for staff, would help “keep these burned out staff members across our communities retained,” said Cindy Samuelson, an association spokeswoman.

Additional measures proposed by KHA include helping small, sometimes rural, hospitals keep acutely ill patients in their facilities. This could involve more extensive consultations between doctors at larger hospitals that have handled many COVID patients and those at smaller facilities with less experience.

KHA has also discussed finding ways to refer more rural patients transferred to large hospitals back to their small community hospitals after they improve, as well as providing flexibility around licensing to make sure professionals coming from out-of-state can begin working quickly.

In a letter Wednesday, Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, an Olathe Republican, urged Kelly to act on a “serious shortage of nurses” in hospitals. He raised the possibility of using federal COVID funds for sign-on bonuses, overtime pay and other incentives.

Missouri providing aid

The current delta wave has been especially trying for nurses, after a period of relative calm that sparked hopes that the worst of the pandemic was in the past. The vast majority of those currently hospitalized are also unvaccinated, frustrating nurses who know the crisis could have been prevented.

“They go through mad, sad, quiet,” said Carol Perry, chief nursing officer at Stormont Vail Health in Topeka. “I have nurses that say, ‘I came to work tonight and both of my patients died.’”

Shawnee County, home to Topeka, declared an emergency over COVID-19 last week, with local officials warning hospitals are being pushed to the limit. “Our hospital is full,” Stormont Vail CEO Robert Kenagy said in an online update Monday.

Stormont Vail is not currently using travel nurses, Perry said. Instead, for the past four years the hospital has brought in international nurses. The number fluctuates between 20 and 40, she said.

“They stay in our organization. They don’t come and go. They are part of this culture, they are part of the organization,” Perry said.

But for other hospitals, travel nurses are simply a reality.

“We’re all facing a registered nurse shortage in this country,” said Betty Jo Rocchio, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Mercy, which operates hospitals and clinics in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Parson on Aug. 11 announced Missouri is providing $15 million to boost hospital staffing. The smallest hospitals, those with up to 25 beds, can receive up to $50,000. At the high end, hospitals with 401 beds or more are eligible for up to $200,000.

“We’ve consistently heard from our health care partners that staffing is one of the biggest challenges we continue to face,” Parson said at the time.

But there’s uncertainty about how far the money will go. Relative to their bedspace, small hospitals will get more aid, about $2,000 per bed for small facilities compared to less than $500 for the biggest.

Mercy, for instance, is paying up to $200 an hour for travel nurses, according to Rocchio. That’s $8,000 a week for five, 8-hour shifts, though in practice longer shifts are common.

Rocchio emphasized that she’s appreciative of the money and said everything helps, but downplayed its likely impact.

“No, it’s not going to scratch the surface of the additional labor force that we’re gonna have to hire,” she said. “These RNs, you can see the rate that we’re paying them right now, it’s going to add up pretty quickly.”

The travel nursing industry has gotten “out of control” and should be rethought, said Patricia Pittman, director of the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University. While the system has its advantages, it’s unfair to hospitals with fewer resources, many in rural and underserved areas, she said.

“It’s just sort of exacerbating the inequities in terms of resources across the country,” Pittman said.

Hospitals that hire travel nurses also risk making staff nurses feel devalued because of the massive pay gaps, Pittman warned. Ultimately, she contends, working conditions are at the heart of the nursing shortage. Pay needs to improve, but nurses must also have hospital leadership that listen to them.

“Producing more bodies that are just going to wash through this leaky bucket is not really the solution,” Pittman said. “The solution is rethinking how nurses work.”

Shields, the Truman Medical Centers CEO, said the hospital will “absolutely” apply for funding and said it will help. But simply devoting more money to the problem won’t solve it, he contends.

“The underlying problem that I think everybody is facing, though, is it’s not even a financial issue at the root cause of this. There’s just an extreme workforce shortage right now,” Shields said. “So, you know, at some point, while the money is helpful, it doesn’t fix the bigger problem which is you just can’t find these people.”

The Star’s Katie Bernard contributed reporting

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Jonathan Shorman is The Kansas City Star’s lead political reporter, covering Kansas and Missouri politics and government. He previously covered the Kansas Statehouse for The Star and Wichita Eagle. He holds a journalism degree from The University of Kansas.





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Rattled by increase in airplane noise, Peaks Islanders are the latest to seek relief


A recent increase in aircraft noise over Peaks Island has residents asking officials to reduce plane traffic over their community, including from an arrival flight path recently introduced in part to limit noise disruption in South Portland.

“We have more planes coming over Peaks Island now than we have at any time in our history,” said Basil Klosteridis, whose family has owned a seasonal home on the north side of Peaks for a century and moved there full-time six years ago. “You are talking about an island community. This has never been our way of life – it has been a very quiet, serene community. It is almost like throwing jets over a national park.”

But Portland International Jetport officials suspect islanders’ complaints are a reaction to an increase in jet traffic following a travel lull during the coronavirus pandemic. Some complaints can be traced to old arrival and departure routes, and not the new approach over the north tip of Peaks Island that Southwest Airlines was approved to use last year.

Still, the jetport and its Noise Advisory Committee want to mitigate noise by keeping both departing and arriving planes over water as much as possible, Airport Director Paul Bradbury said.

Making those changes, however, could take years.

“I fully understand the frustration on Peaks,” Bradbury said. “One thing we have that other communities don’t have is the ocean, and the idea is to get these flight tracks over it. We are trying to make it better for everyone. There is no silver bullet.”

About half the flights into and out of the jetport are over less populated areas west of the airport. But depending on weather, wind and conditions, pilots land from the east, either in a straight line over South Portland, or, in daylight and favorable conditions, south of Peaks Island and down the Fore River, a route called the harbor visual approach.

Last year, Southwest Airlines received approval to use a new flight path, called the Special RNAV Visual approach, which brings aircraft in on the north side of Peaks Island and then over Portland Harbor and the Fore River. That approach can be used at night, but not in poor weather. So far, only Southwest and Delta Air Lines are approved to use it.

The route came about after some South Portland residents lobbied to reduce aircraft noise over their homes, but it has been planned for years.

The result, Klosteridis said, is that aircraft traffic and noise have been transferred from a longstanding approach path over South Portland to island neighborhoods unused to the disruption.

“It was an organized effort to shift the noise from them to us,” Klosteridis said. “We didn’t buy real estate here in a flight path – it was put upon us, and it wasn’t done with a tremendous amount of notification or due diligence.”

Noise complaints from Peaks Island have spiked in the past year. In 2018, South Portland accounted for three-quarters of the 923 complaints from the city, Portland, Scarborough and Great Diamond Island.

In 2020, South Portland’s share dropped to 38 percent of the 1,081 complaints to the jetport, while Peaks Island contributed 56 percent. The island also had 32 callers, the second-largest share behind the 48 people who complained from South Portland.

Basil Klosteridis of Peaks Island is upset with the increase in airplane traffic over the island and wants the Portland International Jetport to address the issue, which he says arose after South Portland residents agitated for a new navigation route to reduce noise in their neighborhoods. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

From January to April of this year, Peaks Island again made up more than half of the 160 complaints the jetport received.

“There is a lot of concern among islanders, especially in the summer now that everyone is here with the windows open,” said Randy Schaeffer, chairman of the Peaks Island Council. About 900 people live on the island year-round, but the population more than doubles during the summer.

New GPS waypoints are supposed to be installed off the southern part of Peaks this year, so airplanes will be less likely to fly over the island when they approach over the harbor, Schaeffer said. Island advocates also want the Southwest Airlines approach to be pushed north and east of the island and over Hussey Sound.

“The first thing we are going to do after the waypoints are installed is to ask that the noise level be assessed,” Schaffer said. “From our perspective, how the noise got here is irrelevant – now we need to figure out what to do about it.”

Bradbury, the jetport executive, thinks the cause of noise is more complicated than the creation of a new route. Four flights a day – out of up to 50 – use the new approach some islanders blame for the noise, he said. An analysis of complaints from the island indicated that flights departing over the north tip sparked more complaints than when planes were landing, Bradbury said.

The Special RNAV Visual approach designed by Southwest was outlined in the jetport’s noise compatibility program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration 15 years ago, he said.

“It has just taken years to get the approaches built due to limits to the technology,” Bradbury said. “All of this predated the discussion from South Portland and that is why the FAA was willing to move on it.”

Overall, Peaks Island still has a smaller share of flights overhead than other parts of Greater Portland. In May, about 20 percent of flights arriving from the east crossed part of the island, compared with 39 percent that crossed South Portland, Bradbury said. In the same month, about 26 percent of easterly departures went over part of Peaks and 32 percent were flying out over Portland’s West End, he added.

Airplane noise is more pronounced and disruptive on a quiet island, Bradbury noted. Generally, Americans are more annoyed by airplane noise at lower levels now than they were 30 years ago, according to a recent FAA environmental study.

The nationwide lull in aircraft travel during the height of the pandemic and substantial increase in travel this summer could help explain a rise in complaints, Bradbury said.

“I respect and appreciate you are going from a quiet summer to a noisy summer and from a quiet period to a noisy period,” he said. “It is very easy to say, ‘It’s that darn RNAV that is causing this problem.’”

For Vicki Flanagan, a full-time Peaks Island resident since 2010, the current noise levels are frustrating, but she’s concerned for the future. As navigation technology improves, Flanagan worries the route Southwest uses could become the preference for every flight, regardless of its impact on the island.

“That’s the problem: It starts out as a few planes but it could technically be 80 planes a day,” she said. “They are huge aircraft flying out of their way to fly over us – there is no redeeming value at all.”


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Police seek suspects in Mt. Oliver homicide


The Allegheny County Police homicide unit and Mt. Oliver police are seeking assistance in identifying the suspects in the May 19 shooting death of a man and the wounding of two others.

Police on Thursday released a video of the suspects just prior to the shooting at 12:12 a.m. May 19 in the 500 block of Brownsville Road. Robert P. Johnson, 29, of Pittsburgh, died at the scene.

Two other men, ages 27, and 28, were shot in the legs and were treated.

One suspect is seen wearing blue jeans with a gray, red and navy-blocked hoodie sweatshirt and black sneakers.

The second suspect is wearing blue jeans with a black sweatshirt with white lettering across the chest and black-and-gold sneakers.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the Allegheny County Police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477). Callers can remain anonymous. The department can also be reached via its social media sites.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, jnapsha@triblive.com or via Twitter .





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Covid-19 live updates: Moderna says its vaccine triggers immune response in teenagers, will seek FDA approval – The Washington Post



Covid-19 live updates: Moderna says its vaccine triggers immune response in teenagers, will seek FDA approval  The Washington Post



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Joliet Police Seek Fired Teacher Charged With Traveling to Meet a Child – NBC Chicago


Joliet police on Friday were searching for a teacher who was accused of misconduct with a child after investigators say he showed up at a McDonald’s to meet an individual he thought was a 15-year-old boy.

Jeremy Hylka, 44, was charged with traveling to meet a child and grooming.

According to police, Hylka had been communicating online with a man posing as teenage boy, and the two agreed to meet in person for sex Tuesday night.

The founder of the group “Save Our Siblings,” who would only identify himself with his first name, Shane, said he was behind the encounter. He managed to set up a meeting with the teacher in less than 24 hours.

“People say it’s stupid, what I’m doing,” Shane said. “They think its very dangerous, but no battle has been won from running from gunfire.”

Hylka taught science and religion at Saint Joseph Catholic School in Lockport up until Thursday when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet fired him upon learning of the charges. Last year, Hylka resigned from a job at Joliet Catholic Academy after the school said it was aware of online allegations against him.

Details on those allegations weren’t available Friday night.

Police, meanwhile, fear there could be other victims.

“There could possibly be,” said Detective Sean Filipiak with the Joliet Police Department. “That’s why as the Joliet Police Department, we take these allegations very seriously. I encourage people to come forward. We want to hear your story.”

Anyone with information on Hylka’s whereabouts or other potential victims is urged to call police at 815-724-3100.



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