Friday, 30 August 2013

Window Cleaning News

Community raises over $32K for fallen window cleaner: An outpouring of support continues to help the family of a man killed in an accident last weekend. We first told you about the community support on Tuesday for Justin Bass. He was working in a hydraulic lift Saturday in Dandridge when he fell from the basket of the lift to a pile of rocks 60 feet below. An Ohio man set up a relief fund for his family. Just in the past few days, people around the country have helped raise more than $32,000. Organizers hope to reach $40,000. If you'd like to help, you can donate here.

A company that sued the city over a window-washing contract issue at Denver International Airport on Tuesday received a $98,431 settlement. Carnation Building Services sued Denver after its contract to wash windows at DIA was rescinded and eventually canceled. Denver District Court Judge Kenneth Laff said "the way in which Denver pulled the rug out from under Carnation is unprecedented. Whatever caused Denver's about-face on the bid, it was undisputedly not the fault of Carnation." Carnation officials argued the contract was imperilled after they rebuffed pressure by Service Employees International Union Local 106 to use only union labor.
In March 2008, Carnation submitted a bid in a request for proposals to be the sole window cleaner at the airport. A month later, the city notified the company it was the successful bidder and signed a contract on April 30. Around the same time SEIU sent a letter to the city that included a list of what it considered were "responsible contractors," including the company that had recently lost the contract for window cleaning. "Our union shares an important interest with the city of Denver ... in maintaining labor peace," the letter said, according to a court document. The court said that the letter was "a thinly veiled threat of labor unrest should the bid be awarded to a non-union bidder," according to a court document.
Twice SEIU contacted Carnation to urge the use of only union workers. Carnation declined. A few weeks later, newly hired Aviation Manager Kim Day issued a moratorium on most new aviation contracts to undertake a review of the procurement process. Eventually, all successful bidders but Carnation had their contracts restored. In January 2009, the city put out a request for bidders for window cleaning, but this time it awarded the contract to the previous contractor that submitted a bid lower than Carnation. The court gave Carnation damages to cover the cost of a manager's time and the purchase of two trucks. The court declined to give Carnation damages for legal and lobbying expenses or damages for lost profits, as was requested. Carnation's lawyer, Jim Abrams, said the damages were not huge, but the message was. "It sends a message to other contractors that if this happens to them they should consider fighting it," Abrams said. The city sent a statement to The Denver Post about the case, pointing out that the court did not rule on SEIU's involvement in the contracting and that SEIU was later dropped from the lawsuit.

From left, Arthur Richards, coach; David Morris, sponsor; and Andrew Wheeler, head coach and founder of Hayle Boxing Academy.
Boxers look to clean up: Hayle Boxing Academy (HBA) has received sponsorship from a local businessman ahead of their official launch at the end of September. David Morris, owner of David Morris Window Cleaners, presented the new club with a cheque for £1,000. Mr Morris said he wanted to support the new club, part of St Ives Bay Amateur Boxing Club, to give something back to the community he lives and works in. He added: "I have raised three children in Hayle and I'm well aware of the need for this club as there isn't a lot to do in the evenings. 
Thanks to local support I have run and developed my business here, so when I heard Andrew from St Ives Bay ABC was starting this venture it gave me the opportunity to give something back to the community that will benefit everyone in lots of ways. "I'm delighted to help and wish the club all the very best." HBA founder and head coach, Andrew Wheeler, said that sponsorship has been vital for the club to get set up and purchase new equipment. "To have a major sponsor with the club is great news," said Mr Wheeler. "I extend our gratitude to all the businesses and organisations that donated to the venture." To mark the launch of HBA, an open day is being held at Hayle Community School on Sunday, September 22, where coaches will be on hand to provide free bag and pad tuition.
The grin never left Agnes Helmink's face – not even when the senior stepped off the edge of a 22-storey building in downtown Saskatoon. The 79-year-old rappelled down the side of Carlton Tower on 5th Avenue to raise money for Camp Easter Seal. "When I celebrated my 75th I was in Tel Aviv, so I figured before I reached my next decade I should do something exciting again," she said.
Helmink has a grandson who benefits from Camp Easter Seal. She raised more than $2,400 in pledges. She wasn't alone. The Easter Seals Drop Zone attracted dozens of brave-hearted climbers who all raised pledges for the charity. This year, the participants donned super hero costumes for their trips down the building. Helmink dressed in a modified jumpsuit with a patch on the back that said, "Poor Window Washer." Among the many superheroes spotted Tuesday at the Carlton Tower including Duff Man, Robin and at least two Batmans — was Agnes.. a humble window cleaner.

Other victims could come forward: The lead investigator said he believed there may be more of David Merrett's victims who have not come forward yet. Detective Constable Rick Milburn said several of the incidents dealt with in the past by police have stemmed from his window cleaning business. "I think there are people out there who are having their windows cleaned to save any problems," he said. "We know he has a round, but we do not have good enough justification to obtain a court order for his list. But, I would not be surprised if there are other victims who haven't come forward. "It is possible he is using his aggressive behaviour to get people to use his service. "I can understand why people don't want to intimidate him, but if anyone wants to report him or their concerns about him they can do so." DC Milburn described the attack on Mr Drummond as "sustained and aggressive". Anyone who would like to speak to the police about Merrett can contact the Falmouth station on 101. 
At Truro Crown Court on Friday, David Merrett, 45, of Trelawney Road, was jailed for 20 months for the unprovoked assault on 61-year-old Neil Drummond. Merrett had been cleaning windows at that property for a number of years. Mr Quaife said: "Mr Merrett approached Mr Drummond and said, 'Do you want a chinning?'. "With that, he threw a punch towards Mr Drummond." The victim said he would call the police, at which point, Mr Quaife said, the "atmosphere changed for the worse". "Merrett simply went berserk," he said. Merrett punched the victim, who fell to the ground where he was kicked and punched to the ribs, kidneys and face. Merrett was originally accused of wounding Mr Drummond with intent to do him grievous bodily harm but after doctors made a new statement about the extent of the injuries the charge was changed to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The window cleaner admitted the lesser charge just days before he was due to stand trial at Truro Crown Court.

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Thousands of visitors are expected to be in town as Notre Dame football kicks off the first game of the season.  The team's been preparing for months, students are back on campus and local businesses are gearing up for crowds. The window washer was hanging out at ND stadium during a press conference.


Simon Rodia (1879–1965), an Italian immigrant, working alone with window-washing tools, constructed the 17 structures known as the Watts Towers on his own property in California with pipes and rods, wire mesh and mortar, tile and glass, bed frames and seashells. It took him roughly three decades. Soon after he was done, he left the property, never to return.

Lock fall death was not suicide - A report of the inquest into the death of Devizes window cleaner Gary Smith, we have been asked to clarify that the coroner found he had no intention of taking his own life. Mr Smith, 46, from Nursteed Road, was seen to fall from lock gates at Lock 40 on the Caen Hill flight on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Devizes on the evening of March 30, 2012. This came after a lengthy drinking bout between Mr Smith and principal witness Krysia Jureczko. She saw Mr Smith stand on top of the lock gates with his arms out and deliberately fall forward into the lock.
He was dragged from the water by emergency services and airlifted to Great Western Hospital in Swindon but was dead on arrival. At the inquest Wiltshire senior coroner David Ridley said he was satisfied Mr Smith had died of drowning but had not intended to take his life. He said: “I am not persuaded Mr Smith intended to take his own life. Under the influence of alcohol, he stood astride two sections of lock gate and fell into the water. The alcohol in his system made it more likely than not that this act would be fatal. “This was a deliberate act that unintentionally led to his death.” Although Mr Ridley did not actually use the word, the verdict would, in past years, have been referred to as “misadventure”.

Ian Richards and Cheryll Rolls on their wedding day.
Romsey mayor & window cleaner Ian Richards ties knot with bride Cheryll Rolls: Attending important engagements and glittering ceremonies are a key responsibility in his busy role in office. But this was a big day on which Romsey mayor Ian Richards knew he had to look his best and know his lines. The window cleaner and retired policeman arrived at a packed Romsey Abbey to tie the knot with bride Cheryll Rolls. More than 70 family and friends attended the ceremony which ended when the newlyweds danced out to the Bee Gees hit Staying Alive to a waiting 1934 Bentley Sport car.

LBA University, a unit of LBA Group Inc., has introduced the Canada Safety Code 6 Radio Frequency (RF) Safety Awareness Training course. This latest online offering adds to courses already available from LBA for U.S. and Latin American companies in both English and Spanish. The Canada Safety Code 6 RF Safety Awareness Training course is designed to familiarize individuals with basic knowledge of RF safety as it relates to human exposure around communication towers, rooftop antennas, and other devices used to transmit high frequency signals. It is important that companies subject to the regulations of Canada Safety Code 6 insure their workers are properly trained should they encounter RF as part of their job duties. Certainly those who work on and around communications towers and transmission facilities should be trained, but there are many other job sectors where RF can be encountered. Some of these include those who spend time on rooftops, HVAC professionals, window washers, heavy equipment operators, landscapers, plumbers, and manufacturing personnel, just to name a few.

Rising House Prices in China Spark Concern: A window washer surrounded by residential towers under construction last May in Shenyang, a city in northeastern China. Fresh evidence of rapidly rising house prices underlined the role a resurgent property sector has played in supporting China's fragile growth, but also raised fears that a sharper correction would be required to bring prices into line with income. Prices rose an average 6.7% year-over-year in July, up from 6.1% in June, calculations by The Wall Street Journal based on official data released Sunday showed.

A cleaning services company has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award. MJF, of Darlington, has been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) People Management Awards in its SME HR Initiative category. MJF managers will now present to a panel of judges before finding out if they’re the overall winners next month. MJF was shortlisted for its Focus on Our People project, an ongoing scheme to nurture staff and grow the workforce, which has seen the company invest in a specialist HR team. As a result, the new HR staff have begun rolling out a number of initiatives as part of the Focus On Our People project including appraisals, staff newsletters, options to study for industry qualifications and the Employee Appreciation Award scheme to reward staff through incentives.
So far, more than half of MJF’s 100-strong workforce have registered to study for a Cleaning and Support Services qualification and many are benefiting from incentives such as gym memberships. MJF owner Martin Ferguson said: “Communication is key for us so we’re always talking to staff about their role, how they’d like to develop and how we might help them. Feedback is vital in any business so this system is working well and our staff retention rates are good. “We’re really proud to be recognised by the CIPD nationally as they’re a very high-profile organisation with exceptional standards.” Ferguson established MJF Cleaning Services in 2006, while working as a domestic window cleaner. Since starting with just two staff, MJF has gone on to create around 125 jobs as it secured prestigious contracts with companies such as Narec, Rockliffe Hall, Shepherd Construction, JD Wetherspoon and Tolent Construction.

Window cleaners on zip lines are seen as they clean the glass railings on the balconies of the "Platinum Towers" in Warsaw on May 6, 2013. Central European heavyweight Poland saw its economic growth accelerate in the second quarter of the year, official data showed.

Music in Detroit amounts to a billion-dollar industry: The actual size of the local music industry is much larger because the study relied on data for full-time work. Much of the activity in music is part-time work, be it the server at a restaurant that isn't classified as a music venue, the guitarist in a band who has a day job or someone who runs a basement studio on the side. "It's an industry that's easy to undercount because of the number of people involved in it on a part-time basis," Anderson said. "Most people fixing instruments at the school orchestra are not being counted in this data." That is unfortunate because business activity doesn't stop just because it's not counted. "Commerce occurred because you went to see your friend play guitar," he said.
One person who might not show up in the numbers is John Spurrier, a singer in Ferndale based psychedelic rock band Blue Black Hours. He works a day job as a window washer and said most of the people he knows in other bands also carry day jobs. Whatever they write down on their income tax forms for occupation, it isn't music-related, he said. Yet the work of being in a band takes up quite a bit of time. Spurrier said his band, and most bands he knows, rehearses a few times a week. That's two to four hours each meeting. Then there's the personal time taking to write songs, as well as promotion work and actually playing the shows, which his band does once a month.

Jennifer Shipp (pictured), of Mission, are not your typical couple. While they may look typical and they are very pleasant in conversation, there is much more to them than meets the eye. Meet Sam and Jennifer Shipp—inventors, entrepreneurs. After obtaining his MBA from Idaho State University a few years ago, Sam moved to the Valley so the newly-married couple could be close to Jennifer’s family. But he soon found that even with an MBA, the salaries in the Valley were not what he needed to raise a family. So he did what most people never do. He started his own business. Washing windows.
Although it doesn’t sound like a very lofty profession for someone with a post graduate degree, Sam did have bigger goals in mind. His idea has grown into a successful business, servicing clients with names like H-E-B, T-Mobile, McAllen Convention Center, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Barnes & Noble and more. He has expanded the services of his business – called Brilliant Elegance – to include janitorial and maid services and other home services such as duct and gutter cleaning. He also performs parking lot striping for large and small companies. While all that may sound like enough to keep anybody busy, Sam and Jennifer have many more ideas they intend to nurture as part of their business enterprise.
Enter the “Knife Glider,” their latest invention. The saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In this case “fear” became the mother of the Shipps’ invention. Jennifer explains, “I was cooking in the kitchen one day, and I nicked myself with a knife. I really have a fear of putting my finger on the blade to remove food.” That’s when the light bulb of imagination and creativity came on for the couple. How many other people have experienced the same thing – cutting themselves in the kitchen while preparing a meal? Unlike most people who think they have a good idea for an invention, but never do anything about it, the Shipps started working on the concept. That was back in 2010 – and today they have developed a prototype of the Knife Glider to solve all of Jennifer’s issues with knives in the kitchen, and what they feel are the same concerns for millions of others, too.
 
The Uxbridge BIA is offering local residents a chance to operate the next big business in the downtown core with its ‘win this space’ contest. The BIA announced the contest details through its website on Monday. Headed up by business facilitator Sari Pandopulos, the BIA is inviting community members to submit new business ideas for downtown Uxbridge with the winner in line to capture $1,000 a month towards the first year’s rent of a commercial building, along with a host of professional services including printing, marketing, advertising and free window cleaning.

Judith Briggs of Boston, MA, marks the first female to start a Men In Kilts Franchise.
Women in Kilts: Boston Local Becomes the First Woman to Own a Men in Kilts Franchise:  Men In Kilts recently welcomed its first female Franchise Owner, Judith Briggs, who will run operations in Boston. The opening of this location marked the fourth franchise in the US, and the 10th franchise in North America. A company that has so often been asked about its name Men In Kilts can now say that they have more than just men who know how to clean windows and perform other exterior cleaning services.  Briggs reaction to the question, “How excited were you to be the first female franchise owner at Men In Kilts?” summed it up really well. “I never really thought about it,” says Briggs, “I just saw a business opportunity and a way to diversify my current business, with a Men In Kilts franchise. There were no locations in Boston and actually only two others on the East coast so the doors were wide open for me to join in.” Founder Nicholas Brand was also excited to welcome Briggs to the clan saying “Being a male dominated company was never the intention I had when I came up with the name for the business. To be honest, I just thought it was a quick and witty name, and because it is primarily men who wear kilts in Scotland, it was just fitting.”

Your bus ride just got more artsy, thanks to a new initiative.
Now Angelenos Can See Art While Waiting for the Bus: In Los Angeles, art resides on concrete walls, buildings, billboards and more. So it's no surprise that you can now see it around Downtown LA and Boyle Heights on another public surface -- the bus bench. Through a collaboration between the non-profit organizations DoArt Foundation and Make Art Public (MAP), a few bus benches throughout the city now display the work of artist Dulce Pinzon. Pinzon's photograph of Spider Man washing a high-rise building window places an oftentimes overlook worker in a different light. "I always have ideas that take me by surprise," says Pinzon.

In Black and White: Putting spin on a bad day at the office: Clever business names, and Barry likes the lawn mowing chap called The Blade Runner. And Michael likes the window cleaner called Kiss My Glass.

Whales, bears and walrus captured in the eye of a lens: Driffield’s Josh Harrison is a famililiar face on the streets of the town as he helps his father Mally with a window cleaning round. But Josh’s real passions are photography and travel. He got to combine the two during a special trip to the frozen North Atlantic, where he got the opportunity to photograph the kind of wildlife that most people only see in zoos. “My next Arctic Photography Exhibition will take place at the Theatre Royal in York from 15 October until the 25 November. It is a public exhibition and is free to attend. There will also be a launch evening for the exhibition and if you are interested in attending please contact me for more details.” For contact information and more photos please visit his website.

One of Britain's fastest-growing alternative lenders, Zopa, is on track to double its loans this year as the peer-to-peer website takes on high street banks. After lending £20m in a month for the first time in July, the business expects total loans to hit £200m this year – more than double the amount for 2012 – and £400m in 2014. Zopa acts as an online broker between borrowers and individuals willing to offer loans. Giles Andrews (pictured), Zopa's chief executive, said: "Business is growing faster than ever. We have reached some kind of inflection point of awareness." Zopa's business is preparing to offer loans to businesses for the first time, having previously concentrated on personal loans. The government, which is keen to get finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is providing £10m of funds for Zopa to lend to sole traders – such as plumbers and window cleaners – who want to borrow up to £20,000.

Fallbrook Window Washing Co. is recognized for its 40 years in business and receives a certificate for outstanding service from State Senator Joel Anderson. At the certificate presentation ceremony are, from left, Ben Williams, Jan Williams, Rick Williams, Anderson’s representative Josaline Cuesta, District intern Eric Dowling, John Rock, and Jamie Stewart. San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn also sent a letter of congratulations to the company.

Hipsters, public servants and a lone window-washer reportedly fought valiantly in Canberra's 2013 War of "Indiependence". South Canberra has triumphed over the northside and won the war of “Indiependence” according to Wikipedia. Hipsters, public servants and a lone window-washer fought valiantly in the “2013 War of Indiependence [sic]” according to North Canberra’s Wikipedia page on Tuesday. The page was creatively edited to include a fictional and entertaining account of Canberra’s civil war. “The initial battle – between Braddon and the Inner South – saw many hipsters, public servant and a lone, heroic window-washer lose their lives in the Northern fight for freedom,” the page stated.
“What followed were many long months of attrition (including the famous Garema Place Public Art Heist by the South), finally culminating in a brutal defeat for the North after the external forces of Queanbeyan and Fyshwick joined forces with the Southerners following the aptly named Treaty of Bogan-Harlotry.” While the “Northerners” reportedly lost the battle, “they remain strong on the other side of Lake Burly Griffin, strengthening their resolve with only one thought: The North Remembers.” Don’t be disheartened Northerners –for what you lack in leafy, exclusive suburbs and roundabouts, you make up for it with hipster Mecca – Lonsdale Street, Zara and the soon to be opened Jamie’s Italian, oh, and friendly window washers. The “2013 War of Indiependence” entry has since been removed from the North Canberra Wiki page.

Superheroes Descend on Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.
LOS ANGELES – Young patients at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA were treated to a special experience Wednesday when hospital window washers dressed as superheroes descended from the roof of the building. The superhero window washers, dressed as Batman, Captain America and Spiderman, lowered themselves on a cleaning platform to the fifth floor where pediatric patients were waiting on a terrace. “Our goal is to help kids cope with being in the hospital,” manager of the Chase Child Life Program Kellye Carroll said. “If we can facilitate an event like this that gets kids out of their room, into the sunshine out on the terrace, and lets them forget where they are for a short amount of time then we’ve done our job,” Carroll added. The superheroes talked and took pictures with the children and their families before returning to the roof. The trio then descended the east-facing wall to clean windows of pediatric patients unable to leave their hospital rooms. En español.

Wonder Woman looks on as John Cooper, 4, watches Batman scale down the side of the Children's Hospital of Georgia as a surprise for the patients.
Superheroes save the day at children's hospital: Nobody believed Jahmir Barnes when he pressed his face against the glass window of Children’s Hospital of Georgia’s indoor playground and swore Spider-Man was clinging to the outside of the building above. “No way, it can’t be,” said a smirking child life specialist sitting nearby.
Seconds later, Wonder Woman came rushing into the play area and told the group of about eight children and their families that a burglar had stolen all the hamburgers in the McDonald’s downstairs. She needed their help immediately. “It’s a big guy, he’s wearing black and white and we think he has a mustache,” Wonder Woman said, hands flailing. “Have you seen him?” Barnes’ eyes widened as the Hamburglar ran into the room with a sack of Happy Meals slung over his shoulder and a red cape floating behind him. “Look at the window!” Barnes, 13, yelled next.
As Hamburglar skipped around the room, Spider-Man and Batman rappelled down ropes anchored to the top of the building, landed on the outside patio and ran into the play area to grab Hamburglar by the elbows, taking him away and saving the hospital’s hamburgers – just in time for lunch. It was supposed to be a routine window-washing appointment for Sightline cleaning company, but the group decided to spice it up by scaling down the children’s hospital windows in full superhero costume Wednesday.

Palestine police investigate potential window washing scam: Law enforcement and at least one Palestine family are warning community members of a pair of alleged scam artists who may be preying on this area’s elderly. Palestine resident and business owner Eric Musil said he contacted police after a man and a woman last week approached his wife’s 93-year-old grandmother at her home, offering to wash windows and clean gutters for a small fee. “It needed to be done and the amount they initially quoted seemed reasonable to her, so she agreed,” Musil said. “They didn’t do much of anything in the way of work and when they decided they were done, they added $400 to the original price. There’s no way they did even close to that amount of work. 
Unfortunately, (the victim) was confused and felt obligated to pay.” Musil and his wife — who happened to show up at her grandmother’s house as the pair were leaving — after hearing the entire story, tried to call the couple to rectify the situation. At the same time, they contacted the victim’s local bank to stop payment on the check but were told it had already been cashed. “We’re talking about 10 minutes from the time they left to the time we called,” Musil said, shaking his head. “They’d left a flyer, so we called to try to get them to return the money — we even offered to let them keep half, even though they certainly didn’t do anything to earn it. The woman said if I gave her my address, she’d send me a money order.” 
The family contacted the Palestine Police Department, which is  investigating the incident. “If any one you do not know just happens to show up asking to do work, the department recommends you check them out,” PPD Public Information Officer Lt. James Muniz stated in a release from the department. “Ask for references for past work and do not make a decision on the spot. Also make sure they show you proper identification such as a driver’s license and some type of company insurance or bond information. If you think you are being scammed, please call the police at once.” Muniz said if a victim was threatened or felt they would be harmed if they did not write the check for the amount demanded, the offenders could be charged with robbery which is a second degree felony. Anyone with information concerning this or any other crime is asked to call the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254 or CRIME STOPPERS at 903-729-8477.       
Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbot also is warning of another summer scam — this one from individuals going door-to-door, claiming to be selling security systems or components, or claiming to work for their security system companies conducting tests or making repairs or upgrades. “Some door-to-door salespersons may be legitimate, but others may use deceptive tactics to make a sale, taking advantage of trusting Texans in the process,” Abbott stated in a press release. Anyone answering the door to a salesperson claiming to sell security systems, components, or stating that a system needs to be tested, upgraded or replaced should protect themselves by: 
• Asking for identification. Door-to-door sellers of alarm systems must be registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Private Security Board and are required to carry and present a DPS issued “pocket” identification registration which will include the salesperson’s photo, company name and address; 
• Protecting their personal information. Texans should not provide the door-to-door salesperson with personal information about themselves or family members and should not describe their security system or acknowledge the existence – or nonexistence – of a security system; 
• Verifying the sales person. Call a security system provider’s customer service number to verify whether they sent a representative to their home.; and 
• Not making a quick decision. Some door-to-door salespeople may be aggressive and claim that Texans “must-act-now” to qualify for “free” equipment or a big discount. Instead, homeowners should check with their security system provider before making any immediate purchases or upgrades or signing any paperwork. The AG’s office said under Texas law, a door-to-door sales rep is required to advise potential customers, both orally and in writing, of the right to cancel the sale within three business days. The door-to-door seller must also provide a contract or receipt stating the date of the sale, the name and address of the merchant, and a statement of the consumer’s right to cancel the contract, which includes the address where the purchaser can send a cancellation notice. Texans should not sign a contract that contains any blanks or is undated and should always keep a copy of anything they do sign or initial.

Arraignments for brother, sister in Hackensack pellet gun shootings: A Hackensack man and his sister were arraigned today following their indictments last month in connection with a pair of pellet gun shootings in which a man was hit and a young girl was narrowly missed. Nicholas Battaglia, a pizza maker and window washer, apparently was taking potshots at people “for fun,” Detective Capt. Thomas Salcedo said at the time of the mid-March shootings. The victims were in the area of a Pizza Hut parking lot at Essex and State streets across from Battaglia’s apartment, Salcedo said. “At the time we didn’t know whether it was a drive-by or from a stationary position.” Detectives canvassed the area and hit on Battaglia’s apartment. They knocked and immediately spotted the box for an air rifle inside, Salcedo said. Battaglia was taken to headquarters, along with his sister, 30-year-old Rebecca Battaglia. Nicholas Battaglia, who turns 26 in two weeks, remains held on $75,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail. He faces six grand jury counts related to possessing, pointing and shooting the rifle. His sister remains free on two grand jury charges of trying to hide the rifle and keep police from arresting him.

Grega wants murder charge dropped for good: The attorney for John Grega said Thursday he is seeking to have the aggravated murder charge against his client dismissed with prejudice — which would close the door to any future prosecution of Grega in the 1994 slaying of his wife. Ian Carleton sent a letter to Windham Superior Court Judge John Wesley on Thursday saying he was drafting a motion he would file next week to have the murder charge dismissed forever. “The state’s notice proposes to dismiss this case without prejudice so the state can maintain the opportunity to refile charges against Mr. Grega at some unspecified time in the distant future,” Carleton wrote to the judge.
He wrote that Vermont law is clear that “under the present circumstances, dismissal should be with prejudice.” Grega, who at one time worked as a subcontractor for NASA, was working for his family’s window-washing business at the time he was arrested in 1994. Since his release a year ago from the Springfield state prison, he has been living on Long Island with his elderly mother. Carleton said Grega was taking care of his mother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. 

Falmouth councillor (pictured) stands by window cleaner son jailed for 'unprovoked' attack: The mother of a Falmouth window cleaner jailed for 20 months for assaulting a man in the town has said she will stand by her son. Falmouth town councillor Diana Merrett, pictured, was speaking after her son David Merrett, of Trelawney Road, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at Truro Crown Court, shortly before a three-day trial was due to take place. The 45-year-old had admitted causing actual bodily harm (ABH) to Neil Drummond in June last year, in what has been described as an “unprovoked” attack in Waterloo Road. He was handed his sentence at the crown court last Friday. Merrett must serve half in prison before a decision is made over whether he can spend the remainder on licence. Yesterday his mother Diana Merrett, a Falmouth town councillor, told the Packet: “Although I am his mother, I do not hold with everything he does. “I do not agree with what David did and I have always believed in the saying ‘if you do the crime, you should do the time’. 

Lynsted resident Alberta Cockcroft was robbed in her home by an intruder: Alberta Cockroft has received bunches of flowers and even an anonymous cash donation after the incident was published on the front page on July 31. The 93-year-old was sitting in an armchair in her bungalow in Cellar Hill, Lynsted, when the intruder flung open the door leading from the kitchen to the living room and told her he was collecting money for window cleaning. She stood up to confront him but he pushed her down and held her in place as he took the purse out of her knitting bag beside her. It contained about £300 in cash plus the card she uses to draw her pension from the post office. It’s believed he gained access through the back door which had been left open due to the warm weather.
Mrs Cockroft said: “I’ve been very touched by the public’s kindness. It makes you think there are still some good people about out there still. “Everyone around here has been keeping an eye on me. The cash I received didn’t cover the amount I lost but it was still a generous amount. “There was no name with it so I am unable to thank them personally but I’d like to do so through the paper. They’ll know who they are.” No arrests have been made. The man is white with dark short hair and a longish face. He was clean-shaven and thought to have been in his late 20s.

An inquest into the death of a mother and son found in their South Tyneside home was set to be held today. The bodies of Elizabeth, 73, and Robert Douthwaite, 44, were discovered on January 17 at their house in Heron Drive, South Shields. They were found after concerns were raised by a window cleaner. A report was prepared for South Tyneside coroner, Terence Carney, who was due to hear evidence from medical staff as well as police officers in the hope of determining how the pair came by their deaths. After the inquest, he will be able to issue death certificates for the mother and son. At the time of their deaths, neighbours paid tribute to the pair. Robin Johnson, 71, of nearby Wellington Drive, said: “A window cleaner spotted something was wrong. “He said a light had been on for a couple of weeks and he noticed flies up at the window.

Window cleaner fined for destroying housemartin nests: A window cleaner destroyed two housemartin nests a family had been watching being built at their home in Park View, Buckden. When Martin Rigby, 59, was challenged by the householder, he said “everyone wanted them removing,” thinking they were old or the previous year’s nests. Rigby, of Applegarth, Barnoldswick, who pleaded guilty to damaging/destroying a nest while it was in use, contrary to schedule one of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, was fined £85 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge by Skipton magistrates.
The court heard the family had been watching the housemartins, which had nests on the first floor of the house, for several weeks before they were destroyed. Rigby was interviewed by a North Yorkshire Police wildlife crime officer and said he had been aware that nests were on both windows for several months but thought they were old and decided to remove them. He was not aware housemartins were protected and he had not sought guidance before removing them. Magistrates were presented with testimonials in which people vouched for his caring nature and were told that on this occasion he had made a genuine error which he deeply regretted.

Window cleaner’s horror as beloved canine companion is mauled by Staffordshire bull terrier: A window cleaner’s beloved canine companion was very badly hurt after a frenzied attack by a Staffordshire bull terrier. Ioanna Street said Pixie, a miniature schnauzer, suffered a hole in her chest and had her fur ripped off her back when she was mauled as Ms Street’s 66-year-old mother took her for a walk in Lakenham, Norwich. Ms Street, of Queen’s Road, Hethersett, said the four-minute attack happened in front of a bus full of passengers on Cavell Road at about 5.30pm last Tuesday. She said her mother, who she asked not to be named, was taking Pixie for a walk when the terrier ran out of a nearby house and attacked Pixie.
She said: “I could see something was wrong because my mum was being dragged into the garden and she was waving her arms. “I heard my mum screaming ‘It’s killing my daughter’s dog’.” She said her mother fell to the ground and a passerby scooped her up and lay her on the bonnet of a nearby car. Ms Street said: “I was on the dog trying to get it off, bashing the dog and hitting it. “Another guy got out of a car, hit the dog, trying to get it off me. Another guy heard the commotion and came out. One guy had his hand in the dog’s mouth trying to pull its jaws open. “You can’t get braver than that. Another guy hit it on the snout 20 times to get it released.”
After the terrier let go, Ms Street said she thought Pixie was dead, but saw one of her eyes open as she cuddled her. Her mother had damaged her cruciate ligaments and broken a bone in her knee, and was confined to hospital for four days. Ms Street said she had to cancel her holiday, and her parents had to scrap plans for their wedding anniversary. Police and ambulance attended the scene and Pixie is still undergoing veterinary treatment.

Lexington Police Department: A Woodcliffe Road resident reported spotting a window-washer going through drawers in the house. As a result, William J. Mannion, Jr., 49, of 15 Lyman St., Waltham, was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a Class B substance, larceny and attempting to commit a crime. Based on the investigation, police found Mannion had taken prescription pain medication from another house in town, according to the incident report.

Two 24-year-old men, of West Allis and Greenfield, were arrested for the theft of two diamond rings, one valued at $45,000 and one at $300, from the 12500 block of North Woodberry Drive between July 31 to Aug. 2. The West Allis man, an employee of a window cleaner, had been in the home and asked at least twice to use the resident's bathroom. He reportedly took the rings and gave them to the other man to pawn. The $45,000 ring was pawned at Powers Jewelry, which had appraised the ring when purchased, for $2,000, and the $300 ring was pawned at Robert Hack Diamonds in Greenfield for $50.

The Beaufort County location of Window Genie has been purchased by Terry Gurley, according to a company news release. The company provides window tinting, pressure washing and gutter cleaning. Gurley worked as a plant manager for a manufacturing company for 14 years. He bought the Beaufort County Window Genie franchise from Bob Lowry, who remains involved in the business, the release said.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Idiots On Ladders

It’s estimated that over two million ladders are in daily use in the UK, and with falls from height still one of the main causes of death and injury in the workplace, it’s vital that these ladders and stepladders are regularly inspected and safe to use.
Idiots on Ladders: After the huge success of last year’s contest to find the biggest idiot on a ladder – which saw thousands of people tuning into the Ladder Association’s Facebook page every week to view, vote and send in pictures of the most stupid ladder use they could find – Idiots on Ladders is back for 2013. When it comes to working at height, just as important as getting the right equipment is knowing how to use it.

The Ladder Exchange means nothing if people take their new ladders home and start balancing on them on one leg, so Idiots on Ladders is on a mission to shame the worst. Taken or found a picture of ridiculously unsafe ladder use? Just either post it on the Facebook page, send it to us on Twitter, or email michael.fern@ladderassociation.org.uk with the picture attached. The voting works just like last year – the number of ‘Likes’ each picture gets on Facebook is tallied up and the winner is announced at the end of the Ladder Exchange.

It’s estimated that over two million ladders are in daily use in the UK, and with falls from height still one of the main causes of death and injury in the workplace, it’s vital that these ladders and stepladders are regularly inspected and safe to use. The annual Ladder Exchange, now run and managed by the Ladder Association, is your opportunity to exchange any dodgy, bent and broken ladders for safe, brand new ones. Simply take your old ladders to a participating partner near you and swap them at a discount. You get a new ladder at a concessionary price and everyone stays safe. And this year you’ve got an extra month to do it in!

Now extended to 31st December 2013! It’s estimated that over two million ladders are in daily use in the UK, and with falls from height still one of the main causes of death and injury in the workplace, it’s vital that these ladders and stepladders are regularly inspected and safe to use. The annual Ladder Exchange, now run and managed by the Ladder Association, is your opportunity to exchange any dodgy, bent and broken ladders for safe, brand new ones. Simply take your old ladders to a participating partner near you and swap them at a discount. You get a new ladder at a concessionary price and everyone stays safe. And this year you’ve got an extra month to do it in! 

Click to enlarge.
Is My Ladder Dodgy? It might not always be easy to tell if your ladder is in a fit state to work with, and a ladder that worked fine before could become unsafe the next time it’s used. With that in mind, here’s a checklist approved by the Health & Safety Executive that should be carried out by the user at the beginning of the working day and after a change (like dropping the ladder or moving it from a dirty to a clean area). If you are still unsure on whether your ladder is fit for use simply take it to one of the Ladder Exchange trade-in partners and they will check it over for you.

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