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Intoxicated Sheriff Who Damaged 2 Boats When Trying to Dock Sentenced to Home Confinement

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An Arizona county sheriff pleaded guilty Thursday to driving a boat and hitting two others trying to dock the boat while intoxicated and was sentenced to probation and two days of home confinement, according to The Associated Press.

Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes, 48, was trying to help a friend dock a boat on Lake Powell in August with a blood alcohol well level over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

He was sentenced to one year of probation, two days of home confinement, about $500 in fees, and was banned from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which houses Lake Powell, along with not being able to drink alcohol while on probation.

Rhodes allegedly tried to park the boat multiple times with a blood alcohol level that tested at 0.119 percent and 0.113 percent, hitting two other boats nearby which the police report estimated to cause about $2,000 in damages. Rhodes said he paid for the repairs that totaled about $400.

The sheriff in his first term said he deeply regrets the mistake and has completed the required boating safety course and substance abuse treatment program that was part of the plea agreement.

“I should have said no and I didn’t, and that’s my responsibility,” he told U.S. Magistrate Judge Camille Bibles, hearing his case. “Not accepting responsibility was never an option for me.”

Bibles said she appreciated that he took responsibility for his actions and didn’t try to use his position of authority to avoid punishment. The judge added she would potentially consider ending his probation early if it goes smoothly.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

This photo taken Aug. 10, 2017, then-Yavapai County sheriff’s Chief Deputy David Rhodes, right, speaking with then-Arizona U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, center, during a tour of an area threatened by a wildfire. Rhodes pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol at Lake Powell.
Bob Christie/Associated Press File

Rhodes received two citations — one for operating a boat under the influence and another for operating with a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent, the legal limit for driving a vehicle in Arizona.

Each misdemeanor citation carried a maximum of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Rhodes, a Republican, ran unopposed last year and is accountable only to the public. He cannot be disciplined or fired.

Rhodes said he was drinking with family members and friends at the lake on the Arizona-Utah border and they had designated boat operators who weren’t drinking.

When his friend had trouble docking a boat, Rhodes said he tried to coach him and they tried to get someone from the marina to help but were told everyone had gone home for the day.

Rhodes tried to do it himself but had difficulty operating the boat amid swirling wind, according to a Coconino County Sheriff’s Office report.

The owners of the damaged boats did not seek restitution through the court.

Rhodes, who has worked for the sheriff’s office for 28 years, issued a statement days after he was cited, acknowledging wrongdoing.

His lawyer, Stephen Glazer, said that made it a little difficult to defend Rhodes.

“He makes public statements admitting liability — not necessarily great for his defense — but that’s just the way he is wired,” Glazer said during the hearing. “A wrong was committed, he’s going to accept responsibility and make it right.”

Bibles said she considered his lack of criminal history, cooperation with law enforcement and taking responsibility in accepting the plea agreement.

“That is something I would expect from an individual in your position,” she said.

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Insecurity in schools: NSCDC sensitizes education stakeholders

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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

To forestall the increasing spate of insecurity in schools across the country, the Benue State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has stressed the need for all security guards in all schools in the state to be duly registered and trained by licensed private guards. 

State Commandant of NSCDC, Dr. Philip Okoh stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting with key actors in the educational sector held at the state command of the Corps recently.

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Okoh, while addressing the stakeholders, said the training became necessary following reports of kidnapping and other vices linked to security guards in schools around the country and the need to prevent such occurrence in Benue.

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CBN slashes electronic transfer, ATM fees, others

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has slashed its electronic transfer, ATM and card maintenance fees.

The new charges were contained in the latest Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions just released by the CBN

The CBN said bank customers will now pay N10 for electronic transfers below N5,000, N25 for electronic transfer between N5,000 and N50,000, and N50 for electronic transfer above N50,000.

Previously, bank customers pay N50 charge for electronic transfers below N500,000.

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The CBN also slashed charges for cash withdrawal via Other bank’s ATM to “maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month” from “N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month”.

Also, the CBN removed Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, among others.

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COVID-19 impact: Enugu govt partners AUDA-NEPAD on farmers’t

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The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has taken measures in furtherance of its efforts to cushion the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people and the economy of the state.

Enugu State office of the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD), yesterday, held an interactive meeting with stakeholders in the state on the agency’s agricultural project aimed at empowering small holder farmers and boosting food production to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the stakeholders, Enugu State Commissioner for Special Duties and State Coordinator/Focal Person in charge of AUDA/NEPAD, Enugu Office, Mrs. Mabel Agbo, disclosed that AUDA-NEPAD Continental Office in collaboration with some international agencies took bold measures to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the citizens by initiating the project, entitled “Innovative Strengthening of Small holder Farmers Capabilities Towards Productive Land Restoration Amid COVID-19 in Nigeria”.

Mrs. Agbo said “this project as the title connotes is aimed at empowering small holder farmers in our different communities in all agriculture value chains and segments (crops and livestock) to boost their capacity for food production, especially in the aftermath of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our economy.

“To reduce the negative impact of this pandemic, we must step up efforts to enhance the capacity of our farmers to provide food for the wellbeing of our citizens.”

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She said both the African Union (AU) and Governor Ugwuanyi had ensured that the funding for the project was available.

She urged traditional rulers of autonomous communities in Enugu State and the presidents-general of town unions to ensure that lands were made available for use by the potential farmers.

Also speaking, the representative of the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Afam Ngene, described the project as laudable, commending the AUDA-NEPAD for the initiative.

The commissioner equally lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for ensuring that the programme reaches all the nooks and crannies of Enugu State, for full actualization of the objectives in the interest of the farmers in particular and the state in general.

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