equipment

American Military Contractor Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Government Equipment from U.S. Military Base in Afghanistan

An American military contractor pleaded guilty on October 13 to her role in a theft ring on a military installation in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Varita V. Quincy, 35, of Snellville, Georgia pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of making false official statements. Sentencing is set for February 23, 2021 before Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

Quincy admitted that, between April 2015 and July 2015, she, Larry J. Green of Chesapeake, Virginia, and others conspired to steal, and did steal, equipment and property of value to the United States while working for a government contractor operating on Kandahar Airfield, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Kandahar Airfield was used by U.S. military forces to support U.S. military missions throughout Afghanistan. 

Quincy was a supervisor in the office that issued security badges required for the movement of personnel and property on and off Kandahar Airfield. Quincy admitted that as part of the conspiracy, Green identified items of value to steal, such as vehicles, generators, refrigerators, and other equipment. Green negotiated the sale of those items with persons outside of the installation. Quincy then facilitated the thefts by creating false official documents, or instructing those she supervised to prepare such documents, to facilitate the entry of unknown and unvetted Afghan nationals and their vehicles on to the military installation to remove the stolen property.  Quincy shared in the profits from this scheme. The false documents she created, or directed others to create, were used to deceive security officers and gate guards and thereby compromised the security and safety of the military installation.

Quincy’s co-conspirator Green pleaded guilty on July 8, 2020, to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit theft of property of value to the United States

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Electrical contractors install life-saving equipment

Manager at The Fort offices in Artillery Business Park, Jess Jones with electrical manager at Nexus Electrics Ady Ethelston
Manager at The Fort offices in Artillery Business Park, Jess Jones with electrical manager at Nexus Electrics Ady Ethelston

The work was carried out across the town, with one location being Artillery Business Park, an exciting redevelopment of the former World War One and World War Two military base.

The business park provides commercial units, serviced and virtual offices, and meeting room facilities to a huge range of businesses. The defibrillators are to ensure the safety of all workers in the area, meaning they are always within easy access of life-saving equipment.

Nexus Electrics, which operates out of Shropshire and Mid Wales, felt it only right that they continue to provide for their community with these life-saving installs.

Ian Hodgkiss, director of Nexus Electrics, said: “Working to help local businesses feel safe in their workplace is a huge part of what we do. The safety and welfare of the people of Shropshire is so important to us and we are proud to work with other local businesses to create positive change.

“Taking care of health and safety within businesses, so business owners can focus on their growth and getting back on their feet, is something we take great pride in here at Nexus Electrics. We are excited to see this project develop as we continue to provide community defibrillation equipment. This is another step in the right direction to make our workplaces safer and we look forward to working on further projects.”

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Texas taps federal funds to help nursing homes buy equipment to expand COVID-era visits

AUSTIN — State officials announced Friday they will help nursing homes tap $3.5 million in federal funds to buy equipment that would allow more visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday, certified nursing homes in Texas can apply for up to $3,000 each toward purchasing plexiglass barriers for expanded indoor visits and tents to accommodate more safe gatherings outdoors, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Health and Human Services Commission announced.

Texas has 1,213 such homes, said commission spokeswoman Christine Mann.

The $3.5 million is part of a bigger pool of funds the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took in after slapping fines on nursing homes that violate federal rules, officials said.

The move comes a few weeks after Abbott announced plans – which took effect Sept. 24 – for up to two “essential caregivers” to resume indoor visits, provided they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 in the last two weeks. Those visits are allowed without a plexiglass divider, as the caregivers do things such as clean hearing aids.

But the state is still requiring relatives and visitors who are not essential caregivers to be separated from the resident at all times by a plexiglass barrier.

Such visits are only allowed in a county with a COVID-19 positivity rate of 10% or less.

Cindy Goleman walks up to the window of her mother Peggy White from outside the window at The Pavilion at Creekwood, a healthcare and rehabilitation center in Mansfield, Texas on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Peggy White had a stroke in late January. Cindy Goleman is one of those people with parents and/or loved ones in nursing homes, hospitals or skilled healthcare facilities who can't visit in person. Goleman visits by looking through the window as she talks to her on the phone. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

The head of a leading nursing home trade group welcomed the state-administered federal stipends, saying “providers understand the importance” of resuming visits.

“Everyone wants to see this work,” said Kevin Warren, president of the Texas Health Care Association.

But one advocate of more rapidly expanded family visits, Mary Nichols of Forney, the state needs to stop foot-dragging by some nursing homes on allowing designated caregiver visits.

“If a facility gets $3,000, I hope they spend it all on tents — because I don’t approve of the plexiglass

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Contractor killed on NC State campus construction site after equipment collapses

A construction worker died on N.C. State University’s campus after a lift collapsed in wet ground, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

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The lift carrying the worker on Saturday was extended about 35 feet in the air when the dirt caved in around one of its tires, said Natalie Bouchard, DOL spokeswoman.

DPR Construction identified the subcontractor as Tiburcio Mendoza.

Campus police were called to the scene but are not investigating the incident and do not have a report, university spokesman Mick Kulikowski said. He added he believed the worker died of injuries at WakeMed.

The accident happened at the site of N.C. State’s new Plant Sciences building, a 185,000-square-foot project.

Ro Norman of DPR Construction said the worker was a subcontractor and the team is “deeply saddened.”

“Our focus continues to be the safety of all employees, workers and visitors on our job sites,” Norman said in an email. “The investigation of this incident is ongoing, and DPR is fully committed to working closely with investigators to help determine the details surrounding this incident. At this time, our thoughts are with this individual’s family and friends.”

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©2020 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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