History-making Olympian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn

first_imgConsidering herself an unyielding soul, history-making double Olympic silver medallist Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn had no doubts that she would win a parliamentary seat as throughout life – in athletics as well as everyday pursuits – she has never settled for anything but the best.Cuthbert-Flynn earned double Olympic silver medals in the 100m and 200m at the 1992 Barcelona Games in Spain and copped bronze four years later in Atlanta, United States, as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m women’s team.”I didn’t settle for second (1992 Olympics). It is what it is. Anything that I do, anyone who knows me knows that I am going to try to do the best that I can and not going to ever do anything half and half. Never!” she stressed.The 51-year-old on Thursday became Jamaica’s first Olympian to win a seat in Parliament.She emphatically upstaged two-time parliamentarian Paul Buchanan for the St Andrew West Rural constituency.Cuthbert-Flynn, running in her first election, polled 9,742 votes to Buchanan’s 7,517.ALWAYS CONFIDENT”I was always confident of victory because I was putting in the work. I was walking sometimes six, seven days a week, and I was walking for five to six hours a day. I walked off two pairs of sneakers. The bottoms fell off,” she told The Gleaner in an interview.Though many would consider her a celebrity and international star, Cuthbert-Flynn contends that she still joins lines in public places like banks and lives a low-key life.”Representing your country in track and field, it’s little bit different. I think it’s going to be little bit different representing the people of the country in Parliament because when you are running, you’re running for yourself in a lot of ways and the country gets the glory, but I think in this race and in this instance, it is a little bit different. It’s not just for me. It’s not really about me, It’s really about the people. That’s how I look at it,” she pointed out.Cuthbert-Flynn describes her journey in life as an Olympian and politician as an important one, one that has inspired and motivated people, but she adds that she now considers herself a public servant.”I think just seeing the things that I’ve seen on my journey, it gives me that extra push where I must give a hundred per cent and I must do for the people. I must work for the people. There is no half and half … I want to leave a legacy just like I have in track and field,” she remarked.”I have left a legacy in track and field that no one can ever take away from me. They can tell me that I got second, but I am in the history books forever and ever,” she added.last_img read more

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Sports Briefs

first_imgBlatter still in chargeZURICH (AP):Sepp Blatter told his staff he has done “nothing illegal or improper” and has no immediate plans to step down, the FIFA president’s legal team said yesterday.Blatter was back at FIFA headquarters three days after being interrogated by Swiss investigators at the scandal-battered governing body’s headquarters.Blatter is expected to hand over power in February when an emergency election is held, triggered by the president’s resignation statement four days after being re-elected for a fifth, four-year term in May.But the 79-year-old Blatter does not appear to be planning any sudden exit despite being the subject of a criminal investigation over his management of world soccer.”President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA,” Blatter’s attorney, Richard Cullen, said in a statement.Everton rally to beat West Brom 3-2BIRMINGHAM, England (AP):Romelu Lukaku scored two goals and set up another against his former club as Everton rallied from two goals down to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 yesterday in the Premier League.Lukaku slotted in the winner in the 84th minute with his second attempt after a cross from Gerard Deulofeu to complete the second-half comeback and lift Everton to fifth in the standings.Saido Berahino and Craig Dawson had put West Brom 2-0 up by the 54th minute, a lead that a Tony Pulis-managed team had never before allowed to turn into a loss in the Premier League. But Lukaku started the fightback almost immediately when he headed in another perfect cross from Deulofeu, who provided a constant threat down the right flank. Lukaku then turned provider with a perfectly weighted pass through the West Brom defence to set up Arouna Kone for the equaliser in the 75th.last_img read more

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Former Supt Predicts Dark Cloud over Liberia’s Food Security

first_imgFormer Nimba County Superintendent, Robert Kamei, says Liberia will in a few years be forced to import all of its food needs to keep its citizens and residents fed—if government does not increase support to agriculture.Speaking to the Daily Observer on his farm in Nimba on New Year’s Day, Mr. Kamei, an agriculturist, said that farmers are producing a small quantity of rice at a very high cost without subsidy from government.At the same time, government is subsidizing imported rice which is drawing many to join in the importation of the product, rather than its growth, he said.He noted that because government is more attentive to the importation of rice and not   domestically produced rice in the agriculture sector, it is highly probable that 100% of food needed for Liberians to eat will be imported.Liberia’s staple food is rice, but much of the rice needed to feed the citizens is imported from China, India, Thailand, and sometimes the United States.Rice importers also complain of high cost of custom duties, and have petitioned government to introduced duty free import, but it is yet to work.  This has contributed to the increase in the price of rice depending on the grade.For instance, American parboiled rice and others, said to be of high grade from exporting countries, are sold for US$40 or $50 depending on the location.  Low-grade 100lbs of 25kg is sold for under US$20.Liberians, for a protracted period, have engaged in subsistence farming that allows a farmer to produce a small quantity to for himself for a few months.The former Nimba Superintendent said that producing rice has become expensive; so farmers are now shifting from growing food to producing rubber—a cash crop that brings income at any time.He said that equipment such as tractors and other machines could change the shift, dropping the cost of food dramatically.“During an Agriculture Fair in Nimba, in 2006, we told the President we do not want ‘gifts.’ We opted for tractors and land-clearing machinery.  We are yet to get any result from this request.Preferring rubber to food has caused land-conflicts since some cash-croppers plant at random, with little regard to the rights of others to a farmland.This, coupled with other land issues, has put the Land Commission on its feet, sensitizing citizens to Land Rights Laws of Liberia amid violence that over the years has been reported in Nimba, especially.Mr. Kamei lauded the Ministry of Internal Affairs for identifying districts in the counties to carry on Agriculture experiments which according to him is taking place in the Kparblee District of Nimba, his native county.Also commenting on animal farming, Mr. Kamei intoned that almost every Liberian eats beef; however, less than ten Liberian farmers engaged in cattle production with the rest coming from neighboring countries. He said this signals a bad omen for food-security in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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‘Sivans’ Reflect on the Past

first_img40 long years after graduation from one of Liberia’s most famous high schools, the Ricks Institute in Virginia, outside Monrovia, members of the “class of Siva” last Thursday January 23, 2014 gathered in the home of Ms. Muna Stubblefield at the James Spriggs Payne Airfield to bid their colleague, Mr. Othello Nance of Texas, USA, farewell.The farewell comes in the wake of the recent burial of the younger brother of Mr. Nance, the late Reginald Nance, in Bensonville, outside Monrovia.“Reggie,” as he was affectionately known, died during the Christmas season after a brief illness, having contributed his quota to the nation in various professional fields.Members of the “class of Siva” were brought together through the instrumentations of Caesar Hall, a noted national basketball coach in Liberia. Mr. Hall organized the few Sivans still residing in the country as well as other school mates.Amongst those gathered for the fond farewell were Mr. Alfred Harris, former Administrative manager at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC); Monroe Theophilus Weeks, Alias “Railroad Cowboy;” former technocrat at the Ministry of Public Works, Sando Johnson; and Merkel Greene, son of the late vice President of Liberia James E. Greene amongst other.While the Sivans were reflecting on life in the 1970s at the Ricks Institute, they proudly declared the Baptist run Educational Institution continues to promote quality and holistic education that attracts thousands of students thanks to the vision of the late President of Liberia and head of the Baptist Missionary and Education Convention (LBMEC) Rev. Dr. William Richard Tolbert, Jr.Dr. Tolbert Jr. became the president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) a development leader in the country that is currently run by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay. The BWA remains unwavering in creating an enabling learning environment that provides quality education with the requisite professional instructors and staff.The wake-keeping and funeral services of the late Reggie Nance took place at the First United Methodist Church on Ashmun Street in Monrovia. The occasion brought together brothers, sisters, cousins, and sympathizers who shared vivid reflections of Reggie. Reggie’s passing was also a catalyst for reuniting the “class of Siva” and the Ricks Institute family as they continue to make progress in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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GDF rank charged for snatching cellphone from teen

first_imgA Guyana Defence Force (GDF) rank was on Wednesday ordered by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan to be placed in the care and custody of his commanding Officer after he was charged with simple larceny.Hyasi Jones, 18, pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stated that he stole a cellular phone, valued $60,000, from a 13-year-old.The Police are contending that Jones and an unknown accomplice while being armed with a broken glass bottle attacked the teenager while she was on her way home, threatening her before relieving her of her cellphone.The teen was not present in court for the hearing but she was represented by her stepfather. The case will continue on June 2.last_img read more

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Cop nabbed with several passports at home under “open arrest”

first_img…still on the job but not at immigration office – Crime ChiefThe police constable who was earlier this month nabbed by law enforcement officials with several passports in his possession at his home is presently under “open arrest” and still remains employed as a member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).This is according to Deputy Police Commissioner Lyndon Alves, who told Guyana Times during a recent interview that investigations into the matter are still ongoing but in the meanwhile, the duties of that policeman have been changed.“He is still on the job since the investigation has not been completed as yet. But he is not at the Immigration (Office). He is now under open arrest.”According to the Crime Chief, the police constable had initially been placed under “close arrest” where his freedom was restricted and he had been confined.However, based on the investigations, he was subsequently placed on open arrest.“Like I said, he is under open arrest but still, we are investigating so I cannot say what the outcome is at this point. Open arrest is where you move around and you can perform your duties but there is still limited freedom. So at this point, he is performing duties assigned by the GPF but has been removed from the location where his alleged involved with the passports reportedly occurred,” Alves explained.Earlier this month, based on information received, Police ranks swooped down at the constable’s home in Stevedore Housing Scheme, Georgetown, and discovered a quantity of Guyana passports. The rank was at work when he was confronted about the find and arrested.Meanwhile, the Crime Chief noted that he was not in a position to disclose whether the passports were expired or not.“I don’t know if they were machine-readable or not. I am not presently able to say if they were expired or could be used. But I will definitely have to speak to, and will be speaking with, the Immigration Office to find out such details,” he added.last_img read more

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Minister’s company awarded Govt contract

first_imgNew scandalThe dust has not settled on revelations of a Minister’s husband getting contracts from her Ministry, when more revelations have been unearthed about another Minister whose private company is allegedly the recipient of lucrative contracts from the Department of Energy.Opposition Chief Whip Gail TeixeiraThis time, the Minister at the heart of this controversy is Public Telecommunications Minister, Cathy Hughes. Guyana Times was told that Videomega Productions, a company which is owned by Minister Hughes and managed by Russel Lancaster since 2015, received contracts from the department.According to information reaching Guyana Times, the contracts in question had to do with radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) for the department, which is coordinating preparations for Guyana’s oil and gas sector.It is understood that the company has also been contracted to produce brochures. It is unclear at this point of time what, if any, tendering process the Minister’s company went through to get these contracts.ProfiteeringAddressing the matter in a video broadcast on Tuesday, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira likened the matter to Housing Minister Valarie Patterson-Yearwood and her husband, Godfrey Yearwood.Telecommunications Minister Cathy HughesYearwood was awarded contracts to construct houses on behalf of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), which falls under his wife’s Ministry. The issue of the CH&PA contract award came to the fore last week when Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo disclosed that the Minister’s husband had sub-contracted the works and the person whom he hired is complaining of not being paid for works done to date.In fact, the construction worker, a resident of Victoria Village from the East Coast of Demerara, had written President David Granger four times over the past year for his intervention but only got acknowledgement responses so far.“We have learnt that the Department of Energy has issued a multimillion-dollar contract to Videomega productions to do brochure, TV and radio ads for that department,” Texieira said. “What is particularly interesting and people may not remember, is that Videomega Productions is owned by Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes.”“Also, there are other members of the (Alliance For Change) such as Beverly Alert, who are part of that company and Russel Lancaster. So here is a company being given a major contract, multimillion-dollars, (and) to a Minister who is in charge of that company. Whether that contract was awarded by tender, one does not know.”When it comes to the CH&PA, Teixeira also alluded to reports carried in sections of the media that the Minister Patterson and another relative in the same department have been collecting money on her husband’s behalf. She expressed much concern over the two cases.Videomega Productions main office, which is also home to the Midtown Café“So we have more and more now, this combination of incestuous relations within the Government, where family members and extended family members are benefiting and profiting from taxpayers’ money, in violation of the procurement laws in some cases and in other cases, by undermining and tampering with the process.”“Videomega Productions, by the way, was given major contracts by the APNU/AFC during the 2015 elections, to produce campaign material for them,” Teixeira said. “So one has to wonder, at this point, whether the contract for Videomega Production relates to campaign material that will be used by the APNU/AFC Government.”When contacted, Department of Energy head, Dr Mark Bynoe declined to answer questions about the award of the contract.However, Minister Hughes, in a statement late Tuesday evening said that Videomega Productions indeed received a contract to produce brochures, as well as Radio and TV PSA’s for the Department of Energy“In May 2015 upon my assumption of the role of Minister of Tourism I relinquished any involvement in the day to day running of Videomega Productions. Russel Lancaster was appointed Manager and is responsible for the operations of the company. I have since been informed that the contract was for the production of three sixty second television Public Service Announcements. The value of the contract is $ 832,200. The award of this contract was never brought to my attention neither would I have been aware of it in the normal conduct of the company’s business,” the minister said in a statement.last_img read more

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Northern rodeo competitors excel in Quesnel

first_imgAlong with a variety of individual awards, a group of competitors from the North Zone earned themselves spots to represent the Province at the upcoming National Championship, taking place at the end of June Gallop, New Mexico.The northern competitors heading to New Mexico include Jenna Heibert, Keatton Collet, Derek Hadland, Tommi-Sue Little, Dexter Keith and Jordan Wolsley.The upcoming National Championship will feature riders and their horses from four Canadian provinces, 46 American States as well as riders from Australia. Some of the awards earned include:Dexter Keith – Rookie Cowboy of the Year awardTommi-Sue Little – Rookie Cowgirl of the Year and Barrel Racing Champion- Advertisement -Chance Bolin – Reverse Champion Cowboy and the number one ranking in the province for Chute Dogging.Derek Hadland and Jenna Heibert – Provincial Ribbon Roping Champions.Chance Bolin and Keatton Collet – Team Roping Champions.Advertisementlast_img read more

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NEB Hearing for Canada’s first liquefied natural gas export licence

first_imgThe National Energy Board has announced that it will hold a public hearing in Kitimat next month, to consider an application submitted by KM-LNG Operating General Partnership, for a 20-year licence to export natural gas in the form of liquefied natural gas.The majority of the proposed export gas will come from the shale reserves located in this area Northeast B.C.If you’re interested in attending the NEB hearing, it is set for 7p.m. to 9p.m. on March 1, at the Riverlodge Recreation Centre in Kitimat, but there will also be a two hour information session prior to that.- Advertisement -The natural gas would be liquefied at the proposed Kitimat LNG Terminal, and transported by tankers to markets primarily located in Asia Pacific.KM-LNG has requested authorization to export up to 468 billion cubic feet per year, and if the licence is approved by the Board, it would be Canada’s first export licence for liquefied natural gas.last_img read more

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Wounded LAPD officer, spouse make comeback

first_imgA couple of 97 East Coast Crips got blasted by a rival crew the night before, and the gang officers of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Station fear retaliation. The cops head north on McKinley Avenue, then swing left onto East 98th Street. Everyone keeps their lights off as they cut hard onto Avalon Boulevard, then make a right on East 97th Street, where they race to the middle of the block. A half-dozen squad cars converge in front of a nondescript bungalow. There’s a crowd out front, and as the cruisers screech to a stop, it quickly disperses. Some people disappear inside, and the door slams shut. A few stand frozen in the yard. One nonchalantly saunters away. Pearce points to him and calls out, “Watch out for that guy.” He leaps out. The big cop strides forcefully toward the man. Pearce sees something sketchy about the way he’s sidling off. “Excuse me, brother,” Pearce says. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” Southwest Station On another day, another first time back, Ripatti heads into her old station. She’s returning to the scene that changed her life, part of the routine procedure for officer-involved shootings. She and her partner, Officer Joe Meyer, have filed endless reports on that long-ago June3 night when she tackled 52-year-old James Fenton McNeal, a longtime criminal who had just added gas station robbery to his lengthy r sum . At the station, Meyer helps Ripatti into a black-and-white, then dismantles her wheelchair and loads it into the trunk. They drive two blocks to Leighton and LaSalle avenues, followed by Capt. Regina Scott. Ripatti eagerly scans the streets where she once worked, remembering long-ago arrests and altercations. The cops eye a cluster of gangsters and keep their pistols close at hand. Ripatti and Meyer get out and describe to Scott the incident they’ve both relived dozens of times. At this corner, Ripatti saw McNeal scuttling across the street suspiciously. She gave chase, and he bolted and almost got to his home nearby. After a short struggle on the porch, he drew a .22 and shot her in the armpit, missing her bulletproof vest and nailing her spine. He squeezed off two more shots into her gun arm and was preparing for the kill when Meyer rushed up, drew his weapon and fired. McNeal fell, dead. Meyer stuck his hand in Ripatti’s bloody chest wound and called for help. Her life in a wheelchair began. “I can guarantee you he didn’t have that gun in his hand when I first saw him,” Ripatti tells Scott. They approach the porch. Her blood has been scrubbed off the steps, and duct tape covers the bullet holes in the wall and ceiling. It looks like a nice, quiet place to live. “I was 99 percent sure that I killed him,” Meyer recounts, mimicking his Glock .45 with his thick hands. “He fell, and he didn’t make any noise.” As they describe the incident, an ice cream truck cruises slowly by, its speaker playing an eerie “Turkey in the Straw.” 97th Street The man plays it cool and freezes up. Pearce pats him down. He whispers to him, locks his handcuffs around the man’s wrists to be safe. He keeps his other hand on his pistol, just in case things go sideways. The man waits patiently, and everything seems OK until an officer produces a shoulder holster from the bushes. Suddenly, the cool night air feels warmer. They poke through the bushes and search for a weapon, but there’s nothing. No one saw who threw the holster, and there’s no pistol to go with it. It looks like the young men may be free to go. “Whoomp! There it is!” a cop calls out, echoing a line from a 1990s hip-hop song. A dull, black automatic sits behind the rear tire of a nicely kept-up Ford Expedition. There’s a sudden commotion. The man, now handcuffed and subdued, begins to run. Leighton Avenue Satisfied with the incident retelling, Scott thanks Ripatti and Meyer for their help, and everyone returns to their cars. The two old partners take a nostalgic cruise through their former territory on the way back to the station. “Hey, whassup?” a long-haired doper greets them, leaning over to smile at Ripatti as she eyes him from the passenger seat. “I heard what happened to you – that’s (messed) up. I was in jail when it happened, but I read about it in the newspaper. Damn. You take care, all right?” Ripatti gives him a hint of a grin. “OK, you, too,” she says. “And stay away from that crack. That stuff’s no good.” On the next block, they encounter three young men dressed in the deep blue of the Rollin’ 30s Crips. One recognizes the pair and lifts his chin to say hello. “Ripatti and Meyer?” he says, a little surprised. “Aw, man, you again?” Ripatti draws her shoulders back, staring out from the car. “Yeah, man,” she says, voice hard. “We’re back.” But only for a moment. East 97th Street Pearce sprints after the man, his heavy gun belt jingling. Footsteps echo as the pair recede from the glare of the streetlight. In seconds, the guy is on the ground, Pearce’s knee pinning him to the cold concrete. “What are you doin’, man?” he says, tone exasperated. “Why you runnin?”‘ The man, twisted awkwardly beneath the cop’s leg, angles his head up and speaks, tone perfectly calm. “I got scared, sir,” he replies. “C’mon,” Pearce laughs. “Scared of what?” “I thought you were gonna beat on me,” he says. “I didn’t know you were the police.” Pearce, dressed in a blue uniform with a shiny silver-and-gold badge pinned to his chest, shakes his head in disbelief. “We’re not going to beat on you,” he says, adopting the tone of a frustrated teacher. “So if I let you up, you’re not going to run, are you?” “No, sir.” The cops escort him to the car and continue the search. The now-detained gangster has placed a dealer’s paper advertisement over his license plate, hiding its true identity. Inside, they find registry in his mother’s name, a backpack full of clothes and a pornographic DVD featuring an obese woman. Another gun turns up in the yard, and another youngster, this one on probation, gets cuffed and loaded into the back of a car. The officers head back for the station. “First night back, not too bad, huh, Tim?” says his partner, Officer Dan Pearce, who’s not related. “When we first rolled up, you were like, `Get that guy!’ And I’m like: `Get out of here, that guy’s nothing! I’ve got five months in the unit, what do you know?’ And you were right. … You were right.” Tim Pearce pulls out the cell phone again and calls Ripatti. Before she got shot and their lives turned upside down, they used to compete about who could get the most guns off the street. Now, he wants to let her know he’s OK. Redondo Beach A trip to the gym. Eating dinner. Errands. Even relaxing at home. The danger never really goes away. Pearce and Ripatti always have their guards up, forever looking down the block or into the next car, in case someone comes to exact revenge for an old arrest. Earlier on the day she returned to the scene of her shooting, Ripatti found herself with a full schedule. She drove with Sgt. Deana Stark, a close friend, after rolling from her Craftsman-style home to the car. Six months earlier, she could barely get out of bed without the help of a nurse. She pulled herself into the car, nearly unassisted. “Wait,” she said. “Could you grab my gun? It’s the Colt on the top of the fridge.” She’s headed to the police station, two blocks from where she was shot, familiar but not always friendly territory. Even confined to a wheelchair, Ripatti wanted to be ready, just in case. Southeast Station Tim Pearce’s day began with a gun, as he checked out a beanbag shotgun from the equipment room and headed for Car85831. Dan Pearce walked with him. A deep breath or two and Unit18 George21 was ready to roll. “Good to be back?” Dan Pearce asked. “We’ve had some good capers lately. Got an AK(-47) out of Jordan just the other night.” That’s Jordan Downs, one of the largest public housing facilities in the country, home to law-abiding citizens and gun-toting Crips alike. Tim Pearce is tall and stern-looking in his uniform. Off duty he’s laid back, but on patrol he’s all business. Dan Pearce has spiky, blond hair and an energetic, chatty manner. He’s quick to laugh and very fast on his feet. The black-and-white Crown Victoria is beat-up and scratched, but the engine’s punchy, and Tim Pearce drives hard. As he gunned it out of the parking lot, his partner caught him up on all the recent gossip. Though their nametags read identically and they’re often mistaken for siblings, the two men are not related. Their gang opponents don’t know that, though. They’ve been told there are six Pearce brothers, each one bigger and tougher than the last. As they made their way through the neighborhood, Tim Pearce called out landmarks. “See that building up there?” he said matter-of-factly at 108th and Figueroa streets. “That’s where the guy on PCP ate that lady. Then across the street, some guy named New York got axed with an AK. Then on the other corner. … Man, four corners and a murder on every one.” Bridal shop, Saugus In one month, Ripatti and Stark’s closest friend, Ana-Maria Mejia, will get married. She wouldn’t consider not having them both there at the altar, wheelchair or otherwise. So Ripatti sequestered herself in a corner dressing room with her two friends, who helped her out of her track pants and T-shirt and into her bridesmaid’s gown. She rolled around the corner, eyebrow raised with stern authority. “Don’t laugh,” she warned. She wore a cranberry-red, A-line gown with a V-neck halter adorned with a rhinestone clasp. It showed off her toned shoulders and biceps and was cut to accommodate her torso when she leans forward to crank her chair’s wheels. A pink scar traced its way out of the dress, around her rib cage and over her shoulder blade. Beneath it, she still carries the bullet that paralyzed her. “When she tried this on, it was a brown dress,” Mejia said. “And she’s like, `Perfect, I look good in brown, we’ll do it in brown.’ I had to tell her, `It. Is. In. Red. No discussion!” Ripatti, who seems much more comfortable talking guns and gangs, squirmed in her moment of glamour. She was a knockout. Then she changed back into her regular clothes and left for a tougher locale. South Los Angeles Ripatti sat beside Stark, watching the avenues, recalling how things used to be. “Every time you hit a corner,” she said, eyes narrowed as she watched a teenager dash down the street, baseball bat in hand, “each block has a story you remember.” Like back in her days as an anti-gang officer, partnered up with Pearce. Before they got together, but as they began to fall in love. One night, they rolled up on a dope house she described as “like a 7-Eleven with weed.” Gangsters would come up to a little window on the side to buy their marijuana. Pearce and Ripatti crept up and waited, hearing the criminals’ voices before they popped up to make an arrest. A struggle broke out. “The fight’s on!” Ripatti recalled, voice excited. “We’re fighting in the house, and a loaded .45 comes out of his waistband and boom! It falls out and hits the ground. “He breaks free and runs out of the house. We chased him for three blocks before he gave up. We take him back, grab the gun and find a ton of weed. That was crazy.” For a moment, she was back in her element. The stories began to flow. Her career came back in snippets, scenes ripped from film noir and detective novels. But it was all real. Southeast Station For the remainder of the evening, Tim Pearce and the rest of the squad chased after suspects who never appeared and searched cars without finding guns or hard drugs. It was a slow night just before Christmas and no one got killed, but on every other block, they had a reminder of past violence. As Tim Pearce slouched in his chair back inside the station, his partner brought a printout on their earlier arrest. The gentleman, as they referred to him, was no stranger to jail time. “We’ve got a guy on parole associating with gang members in the presence of a weapon,” Dan Pearce said, making a tsk-ing sound. “So he’ll probably go away for a year. And in his mom’s car, too. … Better call off Christmas.” Everyone chuckled, and Tim Pearce finished a snack he was eating. He had made it through his first night back, caught a gangster and emerged unscathed. It should have been a triumphant feeling, but instead, he pondered asking for reassignment to the gang detectives, a position he would end up taking a few months later. There, he could focus on more dangerous gangsters and spend less time on the streets. He called home to his wife to check on her. She was fine. “I did a lot of soul-searching about this,” he said later. “I’ve been doing this almost 10 years, and I love the job, love the people. But it’s dangerous; the odds of getting hurt are pretty good. So I have to do something new. It would be selfish of me not to.” 110 Freeway Ripatti reclined in Stark’s car. She has been on the injured-on-duty list for nine months, returning to work only to visit colleagues. Soon, she will hit the one-year mark, when she must decide whether to return to active duty in a less physical role – or leave the force. Pearce found that less dangerous job as a detective, writing warrants for higher-profile criminals. Now, his wife considered her own future. Chief William Bratton promised her a job if she wanted one, but she doesn’t know if she can still be effective confined to a chair. She loved the adrenaline of chasing down a suspect or grabbing a gun away from a gangster. Directing operations from a desk or watching a camera just isn’t the same. “I feel like I lost my identity,” she said. “It’s a consuming job. You’re always thinking about it. And that’s why I think I have to cut the ties, instead of just hanging on because it’s comfortable. “There’s got to be something out there for me. I just don’t know what it is yet.” brent.hopkins@dailynews.com (818) 713-3738 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Officer Tim Pearce’s Crown Victoria cuts silently through the South Los Angeles night, seeking some Crips with a grudge. He drives with an eye for trouble. It’s his first time back on the street in nearly six months. He’s spent long days helping Officer Kristina Ripatti – his wife and ex-partner, paralyzed from a night on patrol – reclaim her wounded body. He’s nervous. Gripping the wheel with one hand, he pulls his cell phone from his breast pocket and dials her up. He’s headed into danger and wants to hear she’s all right first. No answer. “We’re going to come in fast without squealing the tires and revving the engines,” Pearce thinks. “Every second counts. It’s a roll of the dice … but the stakes are even higher. Kristina’s hurt, and I’m the sole provider. Oh well, this is what we do.” last_img
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