Springfield News-Sun : 2019-02-11

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A6 | SPRINGFIELDNEWS-SUN | MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019 COMPLETE. IN-DEPTH. DEPENDABLE. FROMPAGEONE BREXIT Norway’s hard border offers lessons for Brexit has been testing anew digital clearance system to speed goods through customs by enabling exporters to submit information onlineuptotwohours before a truck reaches the border. At her desk in Orje, Chief Customs officer Nina Bullock was handling traditional paper border clearance forms when her computer informed her of an incoming truck that used the Express Clearance system. “We knowthe truck number, we knowthe driver, we know what kinds of goods, we know everything,” she told The Associated Press. “It will pass by the two cameras and go on. It’s doesn’t needtocomeinto theoffice.” That allows Customs officers to conduct risk assessments before the vehicle even reaches the border. in a customs union with the bloc, eliminating theneedfor checks until another solution is found. But pro-Brexit British politicians say thatwould stop the U.K. from forging new trade deals around the world. Technology may or may not be the answer, depending on who you talk to. “Everyone agrees thatwe have to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland, and ... technology will play a big part indoing so,” said Northern Ireland Minister John Penrose. ButEUdeputyBrexitnegotiator Sabine Weyand said on Twitter: “Can technology solve the Irish border problem? Short answer: not in the next few years.” TheCustomsofficeat Orje, on the road connecting the capitals of Oslo and Stockholm, on by some in Britain as a way to overcome border-related problems that threaten to scuttle a divorce deal with the EU. But the realities of this northern border show the difficulties that persist. A divorce deal between Britain and theEUhas stumbled over howto guarantee an open border between the United Kingdom’s Northern IrelandandEUmemberstate Ireland after Britain leaves the bloc on March 29. The Irish border areawas a flashpoint during decades of conflict in Northern Ireland that cost 3,700 lives. The free flowof people and goods across the near-invisible Irish border nowunderpins both the local economy andNorthern Ireland’speace process. The EU’s proposed solution is for Britain to remain ByDavidKeyton andJillLawless AssociatedPress With fresh snowcrunching under their bootsanda handful ofpapers to be checked and stamped, truck drivers from Latvia, Sweden and Poland make their way across Norway’s Orje customs station to a small office where their goods will be cleared out of the European Union and into Norway. While many border posts in Europe have vanished,, Norway’s hard border with the European Union is clearly visible, with cameras, license-plate recognition systems and barriers directing traffic to customs officers. Norway’s membership in the European Economic ORJE, NORWAY— Vehicles entering Norway are randomly checked, and thecountry’shardborderwith theEuropeanUnion is equipped with cameras and barriers that direct trafficto Customs officers. DAVID KEYTON / AP Area (EEA) grants it access to the EU’s vast common market, and most goods are exempt frompaying duties. Still, everything entering the country must be declared and cleared through customs. Technological solutions being testedinNorway todigitalize customs procedures for cargo have been seized Wounds continued fromA1 Montgomery counties had the highest per capita rates of gunshotwounds of all 88 counties in the state, according to data from the Ohio Trauma Registry report. Franklin County, home to Columbus, recorded 420 gunshot injuries, or 33 per 100,000 residents, according to the recently released report. Clark County, which is a little more than one-tenth the size of Franklin County, had 42 gunshotwounds, or 31 per 100,000 residents. Montgomery County had 152 gunshot wounds, or 29 per 100,000 residents. About 13 Ohio counties recorded no gunshot injuries in 2017. The Ohio Trauma Registry collects and reports data about patients from all the trauma center and hospital registrars across the state. Some gunshot injuries recorded by the registry occurred out of state but the patientswere transferred to an Ohio hospital or trauma center for treatment. The registry does not try to identifywhether the injuries were intentional, accidental or self-inflicted. Peoplewho died at the scene of a shooting and not hospitalized are not included in the numbers. Falls and automobile crashes were the leading causes of severe and traumatic injuries statewide and in Clark and Montgomery counties and in 2017, the registry data show. The majority of gunshot victims inMontgomery and Clark counties windupat the MiamiValleyHospital’sLevel I trauma center, said Peter Ekeh, a surgeon and medical director of the trauma program. The Trauma Center, the only Level I in the Dayton area, provides care to the most critically injured patients in 17 counties in southwest Ohio and eastern Indiana, the hospital said. Many gunshot victims are released from the hospital the same day, sometimes within hours, if they were grazed or suffered only flesh wounds. Other shootings cause fractures and mangle Amanwas shot at a Shell station at 3613 North Main St. in Dayton on Sept. 6, 2018. Initial reports indicated there may have been an altercation between the victimand the suspect. JIMNOELKER / STAFF 2018 Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, and Sen. Rob Portman, R- Ohio, vowto press on regarding the endangered pensions. Letting the pensions fail, Portmansaid, “would hurt the entire economy.” DREWANGERER / GETTY IMAGES Pensions obligation to help because it contributed to the problem in the first place. The deregulation of the trucking industryin the 1970s — a government action — as well as market crashes because of a deregulation of Wall Street contributedtothe affected pensions’ troubles. “When you look at the roots of the problem, the government has a very heavy hand in it, which is something not a lot of people pay attention to it,” he said. Despite the committee’s failure, he’s optimistic. He said if the plans default, the government may ultimately be on the hook. “If these plans go under, where are people going to go? They’ll start relyingmore on the social safety net and government programs. One way or the other, someone’s going to pay for this.” Walden predicts that there will be little action on the issue until March orApril, as Congressdeals with the aftermath of the shutdown and basic organizational work. He said there’s beensomething of a sea change among Republicans, an urgency thatmay translate to action. “People are concerned on both sides of the aisle,” he said, but added “we’re all just kind of waiting around to see what they come up with before we make our next move.” Both he and Rita Lewis are troubled that so little attention is being paid to the issue. Whenthe government shutdown, 800,000 people lost their paychecks. While it was appropriate that so many worried about them, they argue that the pension crisis merits attention, too. “We just went and spent $11 billion on the shutdown,” said Rita Lewis, referring to the costs of closing the government for 35 days. “We could’ve used that money to secure our pensions.” changed. Last year he introduced a bill named after Butch Lewis that aimed to solve the crisis by creating a loan programfor plans in critical, declining and insolvent status. “Except for keeping the government open, there is no greater legislative priority in my mind,” he said. Portman, an Ohio Republican who also served on the committee, was named this year to chair the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, PensionsandFamilyPolicy, and said the endangered pensions are verymuch on his mind. Letting the pensions fail, he said, “would hurt the entire economy.” “I hopewe’ll be able to use this forum, this subcommittee to be able to get back to where we were at the end of last year, when we were very close to an agreement,” he said, saying that solution would likely include “shared responsibility” with pensioners, companies, retirees and the governmentweighing in to fix the problem. Elsewhere, the environmenthasshifted. WithDemocrats nowholding theHouse majority, and Rep. Richard Neal, the chair of the powerfulHouseWays andMeans Committee serving as the main House backer of the Butch Lewis bill, it seems plausible, if not likely, that theHouse will pass that bill. But its chances in the Senate remain grim The conventional wisdom is that the longer Congress waits to act, theworse it will get. Among the keyworries is the “contagion affect” — the idea that if those pensions fail, others will follow, cascading to create a financial crisis. David Brenner, senior vice presidentandNational Director of Multiemployer Consulting for Segal Consulting, said the government has an continued fromA1 agreetoremainsoutof reach. For Rita and other affected retirees, it’s a unique brand of purgatory, tempered by high hopes and deep disappointments. “We always get so close to something, then there’s a majordevelopment, whether it’s a hurricane or a disaster and the pecking order changes,” she said. “I’m told it’s a priority,” said Mike Walden, head of the Teamsters’ National United Committee to Protect Pensions. “It’s just the shutdown has taken away some things and readjusted the priorities.” Walden, a retired truck driver fromCuyahoga Falls, was amemberof theCentral States’ pension program — a multiemployer pension that allowed employers to pool resources and provideworkers with retirement security. The plans, negotiated by unions, were administered by trustees selected by the union and employers and were a key part of collective bargaining: Many of those in the Central States plan, offered the choice of higher salaries or better retirement, chose the latter. But by the mid-2000s, that choice suddenly went bad: the retirement of the baby boomers and a variety of other factors put the many pensions at risk. In 2015, Central States offered a plan that would slash retirees’ benefits. The Treasury Department ultimately rejected that plan, but the pensioners have remainedinlimboever since. Brown, an Ohio Democratwho co-chaired the joint committee tasked with solving the problem, has vowed tofight on. Evenasheweighs a bid for the White House, he insists his commitment to solving the problem hasn’t In 2017, about 17.6 percent of gunshot victims treated in Ohio spent eight or more days hospitalized, according to theOhio Trauma Registry. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF 2018 organs and blood vessels. Some gunshot victims require major surgery and can spend weeks in the intensive care unit at the hospital, Ekeh said. Depending on circumstances of the shooting, gunshot victims can suffer fromlingering psychological effects, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ekeh said. In 2017, about 17.6 percent of gunshot victims treated in Ohio spent eight or more days hospitalized, according to registry data. Only burn victims, people in motorcycle crashes and pedestrians struck by vehicles were more likely to have such long stays in the hospital, the data show. Gunshot victims are about five times more likely to require blood transfusion than other trauma patients and on average use about 10 timesmore blood, according to a study of 23,422 trauma patients by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Gunshot victims overall were 14 times more likely to die from their injuries than other trauma patients, the JohnsHopkins research found. Last year, the coroner ruled one shooting death accidental, 51 homicides, 39 suicides and four were undetermined, Harshbarger said. Gunshot wounds aren’t usually classified as an accident unless the deceased was determined to be very intoxicated or there’s clear evidence they were cleaning theirweapon. “We can’t read people’s minds” and there’s not always evidence like a suicide note, Harshbarger said. Homicides and suicides by firearm represent a fraction of total coroner cases, he said. “In total cases, they are very low but they are very hazardous because ofwhere people are hit and the speed of the bullet,” he said. Contact this reporter at 937225-0749 or email Cornelius. [email protected] Police to the report. The report goes on to say that despite the recent dip in nationwide officers, there are still more officers than therewere in1990sandearly 2000s. However, population nationally has gone up since the 1990s, too. Springfield police has 123 officers on staff, but the division hasenoughroomfor 131. Graf said there are a couple of factors that have hindered nationwide interest in becoming an officer. “This job has a stigma that has developed over the last couple of years, which is a reason younger people aren’t applying,” Graf said. “Young people also think, ‘I can make more money for less stress somewhere else.’ This is a job where you risk your life.” Because of this, Graf said Springfield isworking to take a more active role in recruitment when it comes to getting potential officers to sign up to take the civil service exam. Graf has been promoting recruitment around the Springfield area and has even taken to the division’s Facebook page to generate interest. In 2017, with limited recruitment, 100 people signed up to take the exam, 79 showed up, 55 passed and 20 people were hired, according to Graf. “Iwould love see 200 people show up for this test. That’s my goal,” Graf said. For more information about the application process, youcan visit the Springfield Police Division’s Facebook page. Applications are available online at The City of Springfield’s website. continued fromA1 Graf said. “You have to have strength, but you want to have peoplewhoworkwell with people. This job calls for a little bit of both.” Salary for the position ranges from $ 45,801 to $ 63,107 per year. According to research conducted by the job posting website Indeed, the average police officer in the United States makes $52,018 per year. Over the course of the last three years, Springfield police has struggled to keep a full staff, which falls in line with the national average. A report released in late 2018 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows there were around 700,000 police officers across the country in 2016. That’s about 23,000 fewer than in 2013, according Loan Spradlin Bros., at 2131 QualityLanein Springfield, is an industry leader in custom welding, laser cutting, fabrication, metal forming and welding repairs. The company works with manufacturers in industries throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. According to their website, Spradlin Bros. works to fulfill the needs of a variety of different customers, “from CNC Laser cutting of the blanks to CNC precision forming onto the finished welding of your product, precision and quality are easily maintained without having to send your parts to another vendor or location for additional processing.” continued fromA1 to secure the loan, Spradlin Bros. was able to net little under 1 million dollars to purchase the machine. Spradlin said that he is excited about the opportunity to hiremore employees, even if the number is small. Contact this reporter at Riley. 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