Of books, trees, and knowledge

first_imgTo Ling Guo, a curator for the Beijing Botanic Garden, one of the best places to learn about Chinese crab apples is half a world away, in Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library.Guo was wrapping up two months at the Arboretum as a visiting scientist and a recipient of the Jewett Prize, which supports researchers studying flowers and fruits.Guo, one of the world’s foremost experts on crab apples, has been creating an updated checklist of all the world’s varieties for use by her home institution as it takes over the rotating role managing the international crab apple registry, which helps monitor and assign names for new varieties.“Here, we say, is the crab apple’s motherland,” Guo said. “That is why I have come to make my checklist. They have a huge collection of books, even back more than 200 years. It’s really amazing.”Monographs on crab apples are just a tiny portion of the Arboretum’s library, according to Head of the Library and Archives Lisa Pearson. Occupying the third floor of the Arboretum’s Hunnewell Building, the library and companion archives contain 40,000 volumes, covering topics including plant and garden history, plant disease, landscape design, soil science, and dendrology. The collection includes biographies of important figures in botany, the papers of Harvard scientists, the records of Arboretum plantings, as well as copies of botanical journals, monographs, and other scholarly works. In addition, 60,000 more Arboretum volumes are currently held in the larger Harvard University Botany Libraries in Cambridge.Among the library’s most prized holdings are 47,000 photographs. Many are on glass plates, portraying a visual record of exploratory expeditions to China that were begun by famed plant explorer Ernest H. Wilson. There are other photos from around the world. The earliest photos, Pearson said, date to about1885, shortly after the Arboretum’s founding, and show the Arboretum itself more than a century ago.Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman, the Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, said that the Arboretum’s photographic archives are an important resource, valuable for botanical, horticultural, ethnographic, and environmental scholars, and that the library itself, though an important resource for modern scholars, looks much as it did in the decades after the Arboretum’s founding.“These extraordinary images of China, Korea, and Japan, taken by a series of intrepid Arboretum plant explorers a century ago, document not only the amazing plants of Asia but also the landscape, diversity of cultures, and architecture,” Friedman said. “And standing in the library, which is much as it was when Charles Sprague Sargent presided over the founding and first 50 years of the Arnold Arboretum, is to be transported back in time.”To Pearson, who was appointed head librarian last year after starting there as an intern from Simmons College in 2001, an Arboretum gem is its rare books. Her favorite is a large 18th-century copy of Mark Catesby’s “The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands,” which describes, in words and colorful plates, plants and associated insects and birds.“The library is a place of learning, not only for the staff and researchers, but for me, too,” Pearson said. “I literally learn something new every day, and if I can then put that knowledge to work to teach the history of the Arboretum, or of plant exploration, or help a staff member locate an obscure fact in the archives, I think I have done a good day’s work.”To scholars around the world, one of the library’s major strengths is the fact that its holdings reflect the living collections outside its walls, planted on the Arboretum’s grounds.The Arboretum itself is a 281-acre, living museum of botanical specimens that doubles as a public park. Designed by Sargent and Frederick Law Olmsted, and operated in partnership with the city of Boston, the Arboretum is a National Historic Landmark whose diverse plantings of trees, shrubs, and vines contain a heavy representation of both North American and temperate Asian species.Scholars interested in particular species or groups of species — such as crab apples — can find historical and scientific information in the library, archives, and the herbarium, and then walk outside and examine living specimens, a combination that has exerted a powerful pull for at least a century, Pearson said.“One Chinese scholar who was here in 1915 said in a newspaper interview that it’s much easier to come and do research at the Arnold Arboretum, where Chinese plants were growing and where the herbarium was complete,” Pearson said. “He said it would take him years and years to see all of the different Chinese plants he would want to see in his country.”The Arnold Arboretum has posted its fall schedule of activities, including a guided tour of the Arboretum’s landscape at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 30.last_img read more

Notre Dame Quiz Bowl team advances to Intercollegiate Championship

first_imgShowcasing their knowledge of topics ranging from Greek mythology to Civil War battles, the Notre Dame Quiz Bowl team went undefeated in the National Academic Quiz Tournaments Great Lakes Sectional, securing their spot in the 2019 Intercollegiate Championship. The Division II team competed against 17 other schools and is one of only 28 teams to be invited to the national competition.“We knew we had a good shot at winning but we also knew we wanted to have a good time,” sophomore Ricky Rivera said. “You kind of have to treat it like every other tournament.”Members of the team who qualified for the Intercollegiate Championship include sophomores Rivera, Alex Hymes, Nicholas Mungan and Spencer Brown and freshman Alexander Kuptel. The competition features a variety of different question categories including literature, science, music, geography and sports. Kuptel said he appreciated the diversity of interests among his teammates.“It’s far better to have a team where each player has deep individual knowledge about a specific subject than a team where everyone is a generalist,” Kuptel said.Mungan said the team encourages each other to follow their interests, especially when studying for classes or reading for pleasure.“More serious teams would actually prescribe subjects for people to study but we don’t like to do that,” Mungan said. “Everybody just studies what they want to learn and what they love.”The Quiz Bowl team meets for two hours twice a week to prepare for upcoming tournaments, running through practice questions and competing against each other to sharpen their skills.Many members of the team have been involved in quiz bowl competitions since middle school. Each person has a unique reason for joining the team, including freshman Grace Ma.“One of the main reasons I like Quiz Bowl is because you learn a lot of stuff in class but you don’t always get to apply the stuff you really care about or more obscure pieces of knowledge,” Ma said. “Classes can be pretty general but in Quiz Bowl, if you know detailed information, you get points for that. I really like that.”Freshman Blaise von Ohlen said he admires the competitive aspect of quiz bowl and he enjoys the reward for his hard work and studying.“There’s a really great payoff when you know something obscure and no one else knows it in the room,” von Ohlen said. “It’s a very rewarding feeling.”During study breaks, senior and one of the team’s co-vice president Alaina Anderson said the team possesses natural chemistry and often feels like a family.“We do a lot of bonding outside of practice,” Anderson said. “We go to Legends Trivia Nights and we all hang out afterward. We go out of our way to make it a very welcoming and friendly group.”The team will arrive at the Intercollegiate Championship in Chicago on Saturday, April 6, with hopes of returning home with a victory, Rivera said.“I can say we’re pretty confident,” Rivera said. “We have a mental toughness where we know we can beat anyone on the schedule.”Tags: intercollegiate championship, Notre Dame Quiz Bowl, quiz bowllast_img read more

Suit Claims Jamestown Brewing Company Owes $1,000s In Back Rent, Seeks Eviction

first_imgWNYNewsNow File Image.JAMESTOWN – A lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to evict the Jamestown Brewing Company from their downtown location after the company allegedly failed to timely pay rent.The suit was filed in Erie County Supreme Court by Buffalo attorney Matthew Miller of Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC on behalf of GPatti Enterprises who owns the building the brewers rents at the corner of Third and Washington Streets.GPatti Enterprises says the brewery owes more than $85,000 in base rent.The suit says that the brewers made partial rent payments in November and December. “Despite trying to work with JBC, only a tiny portion of the base rent due has been paid,” the lawsuit states. “By way of context, JBC also has failed to pay any of its other rent obligations required by the lease agreement, including the construction rent, additional rent, percentage rent or TI interest. Similarly, JBC has failed to make any of its contractual utility payments or tax payments.”“Left with no option, GPatti hereby seeks to exercise its right under the lease to, ‘through summary proceedings reenter and take possession of the premises, repossess the same, expel (JBC) and those claiming through or under (JBC), and remove the effects of both or either.”Owners John McClellan I and John McClellan II first entered into a lease agreement in August 2017.The brewers first opened for business in July, but closed briefly after not receiving a liquor license. The license was eventually obtained later in the year. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Andy Kelso on How Kinky Boots Changed His Life and What He’ll Miss

first_img In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are often asked to sit through an exit interview with HR about their time at the company. That concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, but we love checking in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Andy Kelso, who started as a featured performer and then moved on to the leading role of Charlie Price in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, is leaving the show after a long road of (amazing!) life-changing events during the course of his run. The actor will play his final performance in the production on August 6. In his Broadway.com’s Exit Interview, Kelso reveals the highlights, milestones and cookies he adored during his five years with Kinky Boots.How did you feel when you first got this job? How do you feel now that you’re leaving?I was so excited and proud when I got this job—both when I was first cast in the reading of the show, and when I found out I was taking over Charlie Price. The creative team is FULL OUT, and I so desperately wanted to work with these people. Now that I am leaving, I am so happy to have learned from them and be able to call them my friends. Leaving is bittersweet. I am looking forward to new adventures and spending time with my family, but this role has been so fulfilling and this company is simply the best. I will miss them all.What are three words you would use to describe your experience? Completely life-changing.What was the easiest thing about this job? Because it’s on the other side of Eighth Ave, we don’t have to walk through Times Square to get to work! #winningWhat was the hardest thing? The amount of energy this role takes—both onstage and off. Also, the theater’s proximity to Schmackary’s.  What was the highlight of your time at this job? So many—both personally and professionally. Professionally, it was my first original Broadway cast, so all of the things that go with that: the cast recording, the opening night, the Tonys and getting to play Charlie. Personally, this show has seen three major milestones in my life: I got engaged on the stage, I got married about a year later, and my wife and I just had a beautiful baby boy. Pretty much the highlights have been EPIC.Which skills do you think are required for future job applicants? Endurance, leadership and humility. Also, juggling, tumbling and trapeze. What advice would you give to future employees in your job position?This role is so much fun! There are so many different things you get to do, and it never gets boring. I guess I would just say to have a blast, pace yourself and stay in the moment.How do you think you’ve grown?I am so proud of how far I have come vocally with this show.  In the out of town tryout in Chicago, I was stressing out as an understudy—the Charlie songs had changed so much throughout rehearsal and previews. They ended up being the very top/out of my range. I thought for sure I’d never be able to get through the show as Charlie—let alone be able to do it eight times a week. It took a ton of work, but I finally got there and have discovered so much about my voice and abilities along the way.Why are you leaving?Including readings, this show has been in my life for over five years. It will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I love being a part of it. But everything must come to and end, and I am ready to move on to other adventures…not the least of which is spending more time with my wife and newborn son.What will you miss the most?It’s not every day that a role like this comes along. I will certainly miss playing these scenes and singing these songs. But hands down, the thing I will miss the most is seeing this entire company day in and day out. And Schmackary’s. I will miss being so close to Schmackary’s.       Andy Kelso Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 7, 2019 Andy Kelso(Photos: Bruce Glikas & Matthew Murphy)center_img Star Files View Comments Kinky Bootslast_img read more

Peaches welcomed cold

first_img“The wind caused some damage to the foliage. We have some fields that look pretty rough right now, kind of bummed them up a little,” Torrance said. “But we had no serious damage from the recent cold.” Delicate onion bulbs can survive very low temperatures as long as the ground doesn’t freeze, he said. The last time the ground froze enough to damage bulbs was a decade ago. The cold snap hurt tender green crops like mustard and turnips, said Terry Kelley, a UGA Extension vegetable specialist. But tougher greens like collards and kale faired OK. “But that freeze is behind us, and we’re on a clean slate now,” she said.Onions fine unless ground freezes Georgia peach growers got too much cold weather too late last year. A freeze Easter weekend pummeled what was on its way to being a good crop, Taylor said, wiping out 55 percent of the crop. Right now, the trees are behind in those hours. About 90 percent of Georgia’s 15,000 acres of peaches grow in middle Georgia. As of Jan. 8, this region had received 446 chill hours. Growers like to have at least 600 hours by this time and be well on their way to getting at least 1,100 total hours by Feb. 15. “We are concerned now because the forecast is for above temperatures for the rest of month,” she said. “It looks like we will be short on chill this year if temperatures stay warm. Growers need to be ready to do something about it by the end of this month.” The plants are already on their way to recovery, he said. Temperatures in the area this week have settled into the 60s for the days and 40s at nights. That’s good onion growing weather in Georgia.Tender greens hit hard Nighttime temperatures dropped into the teens and low 20s across the state on Jan. 2. The nippy weather stuck around for three to four days and gave peach trees a much-needed dose of chill. But they need more, said Kathy Taylor, a UGA Cooperative Extension peach specialist. Peach trees go dormant in winter. During this time, they need chill hours, or hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, to properly bloom in spring and produce a lot of big fruit in summer.Behind hundreds of hourscenter_img Farmers with severely damaged fields will likely just mow back the plants. The plants will put on new leaves for another crop in 50 days. By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia peach farmers welcomed the cold snap that rolled through the state the first of this year. Their trees need more, though, but they probably won’t get it, says a University of Georgia fruit specialist. It’s never welcome. But a little freeze damage is something farmers who plant greens in the winter expect, he said, even in Georgia. “The mustard and turnips close to harvest got a pretty good lick which likely hurt quality,” he said. It’s always better to get the chill hours naturally, she said. But growers can apply chemicals and fertilizer to help compensate for low chill hours. It can cost $20 to $100 per acre to do this, though. Georgia’s official vegetable, the Vidalia Onion, likes cool winters and doesn’t mind a few days of bitter weather. But not too much, said Reid Torrance, UGA Extension coordinator in Tattnall County, where 60 percent of the Vidalia onion crop is grown.last_img read more

Troubles Mount for Hempstead School District

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Carmen Ayala and Patricia Spleen, elected May 15 to the embattled Hempstead School Board, are no strangers to its majority, backed by Hempstead for Hempstead, according to campaign literature and sources close to the group.The self-proclaimed founder of Hempstead For Hempstead is former Hempstead school Trustee Thomas Parsley, a registered sex offender. Parsley, 40, was removed from the school board in 2004 after being convicted of grand larceny for stealing a principal’s ATM card and withdrawing $500. In 2010, Parsley was sentenced to a year in jail for sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy, records show. Parsley couldn’t be reached for comment.Hempstead for Hempstead was represented by a lobbying group called Gotham Government Relations & Communications, whose other clients include President Donald Trump. Gotham’s CEO is Brad Gerstman, of the Gerstman, Schwartz & Malito law firm. At a Feb. 1, 2018 Hempstead School Board meeting, the members of the majority voted to retain the Gerstman law firm to investigate suspended school superintendent Shimon Waronker and commence legal action against a program he brought into the district. In April, Gotham Government Relations was approved by the board to serve as the District’s $5,000-per-month public relations firm, according to a Gotham staffer.“We cut ties with Hempstead for Hempstead when we were appointed as the public relations firm for the school district,” Gerstman says, noting that there was no overlap or conflict. “And we didn’t continue to investigate or anything related to law firm activities.”“What they need from us at this period of time is to be their mouthpiece,” Gerstman adds. “I feel good about our small part in trying to clean it up and right the wrongs that may have occurred there.”The previous board candidate backed by Hempstead for Hempstead was Randy Stith, who was back June 1 before a judge to answer for his latest criminal charges: A 13 count indictment for allegedly stealing money from the Hempstead Fire Department and forging a letter of recommendation from the department to become a Hempstead police officer. Stith, 27, pleaded not guilty and faces up to seven years in prison.An earlier criminal charge initially disqualified Stith from civil service. To persuade Nassau’s Civil Service Commission to rescind the disqualification, he allegedly filed a forged letter of recommendation purporting to be signed by another member of Hempstead’s Southside Hose 2 fire company, vouching for his character.The earlier crime was in 2010, when Stith was 19 years old. He was arrested for hitting a woman in the head with a bottle of bleach and splashing the chemical into her eyes during a dispute over clothes at a Hempstead Laundromat. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and possession of the bottle of bleach as a weapon. He pled guilty to a noncriminal harassment violation, served five days in jail, and paid $320 in fines and court fees.On April 25, hours before Stith turned himself in for the latest charges, the Hempstead School District released a statement:“Hempstead School Board Member Randy Stith is someone who has given years to public service and deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, these are very serious allegations and if the charges are proven true, then the school district and school board will have to address it immediately.”Stith could not be reached for comment. He is accused of stealing more than $6,500 from the Hempstead Fire Department while he served as treasurer from 2015 to 2018. Stith allegedly made 12 unauthorized cash withdrawals from the bank account of Southside Hose 2 and then falsified documents to cover it up. He was terminated from the department in January.Based on the recommendation he allegedly falsified, Stith became a Hempstead village police officer last year. At his swearing in, his godfather, Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan, said, “The village is confident that he will prove to be a fine addition to the village police force.”Last month, Mayor Ryan, village and school board trustee LaMont Johnson and the rest of the village Board voted not to terminate Probationary Officer Stith, opting instead to leave him on paid administrative leave as the criminal case winds through the legal system. Later, Ryan said he meant to recuse himself from the vote.Johnson did not recuse himself. The mayor’s assistant, school trustee David Gates, could not be reached for comment.last_img read more

H5N2 virus identified in Canadian turkey outbreak

first_imgFeb 4, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health authorities in Canada yesterday announced that an H5N2 avian influenza virus was responsible for a recent mild illness outbreak on a commercial turkey farm in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said in a news release yesterday that preliminary tests indicated that the H5N2 strain involved in the outbreak is a low-pathogenic one. Winnipeg’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases conducted the tests.So far 36 sites have been quarantined as precautionary measure, the CFIA statement said.The outbreak at the farm in Abbotsford, southeast of Vancouver, began on Jan 20, according to a Jan 24 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The turkeys had respiratory symptoms but no significant mortality. The CFIA said about 60,000 birds were destroyed to stop the virus.So far the virus has not turned up in any other flocks within a 3-kilometer surveillance area, the CFIA said.In March 2004 a large outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza hit as many as 40 commercial farms in the Fraser Valley, which led to the culling of 17 million birds. In November 2005 a low-pathogenic H5 virus was found on a poultry farm in the same area.In other developments, agriculture officials in France reported a low-pathogenic H5N3 avian flu outbreak at a duck farm in Vendée department on the country’s west coast, according to a notice today from the OIE. The virus, first detected on Jan 29, struck 90 of 5,022 ducks. The remaining birds were destroyed on Feb 1.Investigators have not determined the source of the virus. They said no poultry have entered the farm recently and that no poultry or eggs have been moved from the location.Germany reported nine H5N3 outbreaks in mid through late December 2008, according to OIE reports. Most of those outbreaks involved farms near Cloppenburg, in the northwestern part of the country.Elsewhere, veterinary officials in Bangladesh reported that the H5N1 virus struck another farm in Rajshahi division in a northwestern area near the border with India, according to a report yesterday from the OIE. The disease hit 5 of 595 backyard birds; animal health workers destroyed the rest of the flock. Bangladesh has reported several outbreaks since October 2008.See also:Feb 4 OIE report on French outbreakFeb 3 OIE report on Bangladesh outbreakJan 26 CIDRAP News story “Canada confirms avian flu outbreak on turkey farm”last_img read more

Ryanair will fly to Zadar again on July 01

first_img“Ryanair is pleased to announce the re-establishment of 10 routes from / to Zadar, starting on 1 July 2020, as part of the summer flight schedule. We are especially looking forward to reuniting friends and family, and bringing in thousands of tourists to help develop the regional economy and preserve many jobs.She pointed out Olga Pawlonka, sales and marketing manager for Southeast Europe, adding that this is also an opportunity for those passengers whose spring flights have been canceled due to travel restrictions to use their Ryanair vouchers and book their trips. Europeans can now look forward to affordable holidays in Croatia and enjoy the sun and beautiful beaches at their favorite summer destinations, while Croatian travelers can already achieve the much-desired vacation, regardless of at home or abroad, Ryanair points out. “To celebrate the lifting of passenger restrictions and the reintroduction of 10 lines to Zadar, Ryanair has launched a ticket sale of just € 23.99, for trips in July 2020, which must be booked by Thursday, 11.06. at midnight.Pawlonka concluded. Photo: Ryanaircenter_img Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, announced yesterday, as part of the 2020 summer flight schedule, that it is re-establishing 10 routes to / from Zadar starting on July 01st. We look forward to re-establishing Ryanair flights to Zadar, said Josip Klišmanić, Director of Zadar Airport. ”This year, Zadar connects with 10 destinations that will bring our dear guests closer to the natural beauties of Zadar and Croatia. Beautiful nature, healthy food and unforgettable memories is what each of our visitors will find in the Zadar region.” last_img read more

Trump approval dips amid mounting coronavirus death toll, trails Biden by 8 points

first_imgMore Americans have grown critical of President Donald Trump over the past month as the death toll mounts from the coronavirus pandemic and he now trails Democratic challenger Joe Biden by 8 percentage points among registered voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.The poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday showed that 41% of US adults approved of Trump’s performance in office, which is down 4 points from a similar poll that ran in mid-April. Fifty-six percent disapprove of Trump, up by 5 points in the same span.It also found that 46% of registered voters said they would back Biden in the Nov. 3 presidential election, while 38% would vote for Trump. That compared with a 2-point Biden lead in Reuters/Ipsos polling last week. Americans also appear to be increasingly critical of the way Trump has handled the health crisis. According to the poll, those who disapprove of Trump’s performance at the helm of the country’s pandemic response outnumber those who approve by 13 percentage points – the highest level of net disapproval since the poll started asking the question at the beginning of March.Trump initially downplayed the threat of the virus that has killed more than 80,000 people in the United States, the highest death toll of any country. He has sometimes contradicted disease specialists in his administration, promoted potential treatments that were not found effective and has accused Democratic governors of reopening their states slowly in order to hurt his re-election chances.The Republican president has defended his administration’s handling of the crisis and has accused China of failing to alert the world to the severity and scope of the outbreak, which has hammered the economy.Biden has routinely led Trump among polls of registered voters this year. But his lead had been steadily eroding until this week.The public sees Trump as the stronger candidate for job creation, while Biden is seen as better suited on healthcare issues. The poll showed that the public was split over which candidate would be better for dealing with the coronavirus response.The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,112 American adults, including 973 who identified as registered voters. It had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of plus or minus 4 percentage points.Topics :last_img read more

US carries out first federal execution in 17 years

first_imgA former white supremacist convicted of the 1996 murders of a family of three was put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday in the first federal execution in the United States in 17 years.Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, was pronounced dead at 8:07 am (1207 GMT) at Terre Haute prison in the Midwestern state of Indiana, the Justice Department said.Lee was the first of three federal inmates scheduled to die this week after President Donald Trump ordered a resumption of capital punishment at the federal level. Lee and another man, Chevie Kehoe, were convicted in Arkansas in 1999 of the murders of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her eight-year-old daughter, Sarah.According to prosecutors, the pair robbed Mueller to steal cash and guns to finance the founding of a white supremacist “Aryan Peoples Republic” in the Pacific Northwest.”After robbing and shooting them with a stun gun, Lee duct-taped plastic bags around their heads, weighed down each victim with rocks, and drowned the family,” Attorney General William Barr said. “Today, Lee finally faced the justice he deserved.”Lee — who had since renounced his white supremacist beliefs, according to his lawyers — was sentenced to death while Kehoe received life in prison. ‘Shameful’ According to Ruth Friedman, one of Lee’s lawyers, he was strapped to a gurney for four hours while the final appeals were dealt with.”It is shameful that the government saw fit to carry out this execution during a pandemic,” Friedman said, and “when the judges in his case and even the family of his victims urged against it.”Earlene Peterson, 81, whose daughter and granddaughter were killed, had campaigned against Lee’s death sentence, saying she wanted him to spend the rest of his life behind bars.Peterson and other relatives had sought to attend Lee’s execution and sought to delay it on the grounds the coronavirus crisis made it too risky for them to travel to Terre Haute.  An appeals court dismissed their suit on Sunday, and it was also rejected by the Supreme Court.Two other federal executions are scheduled for this week.Wesley Ira Purkey, 68, is to be put to death on Wednesday for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.His lawyers have filed court motions seeking to prevent the execution, claiming he has dementia.”Wes Purkey is a severely brain-damaged and mentally ill man who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease,” said Rebecca Woodman, one of his attorneys. “He has long accepted responsibility for the crime that put him on death row, but as his dementia has progressed, he no longer has a rational understanding of why the government plans to execute him.”Dustin Lee Honken, 52, is to be executed on Friday for five murders including those of two girls aged 10 and six.The death penalty was reinstated on the federal level in 1988 but had been used on only three occasions before Lee’s execution, the last time in 2003.More than 1,000 US religious leaders urged Trump last week to abandon plans to resume federal executions.Trump, who faces a tough reelection battle in November, has called for stepped-up use of capital punishment, especially for drug traffickers and killers of police officers.Only a handful of US states, mainly in the conservative South, still actively carry out executions. In 2019, 22 people were put to death.Most crimes are tried under state laws, but federal courts handle some of the most serious offenses, including terror attacks, hate crimes and racketeering cases.Among the most notable recent federal executions was that of Timothy McVeigh, who was put to death by lethal injection in 2001 for the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma that killed 168 people. “You’re killing an innocent man,” the Indianapolis Star quoted Lee, who was originally from Oklahoma, as saying in his final statement.Lee’s execution had been scheduled for Monday but was temporarily halted by a judge to allow for legal challenges to the drug that was to be used to put the federal inmates to death.US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the single drug, pentobarbital, may cause “extreme pain and needless suffering” — and violate a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, lifted the judge’s order overnight, however, and cleared the way for the federal executions. Topics :last_img read more