A day after intense showers ravaged several parts of Pune district, Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil faced the ire of citizens on Friday, even as the death toll across the district rose to 18.Speaking here after surveying the worst-hit spots in the city and the district, Mr. Patil blamed illegal constructions and encroachments for the flash deluge that resulted in massive damage to property and loss of life.“Illegal constructions and encroachments on various canals have diverted the natural flow of streams, which led to water entering residential societies and wrecking property. The causes for these constructions have to be investigated. Moreover, why weren’t basic security measures followed at the time of these constructions?” Mr. Patil asked. Team to probe disasterHe said a team comprising senior IAS officials would be constituted to investigate the disaster. He also said all relief measures for the rain-affected in Pune would be applicable under the government resolution (GR) issued at the time of the Kolhapur and Sangli floods.On Thursday, when the city was coping with the rain damage, the Guardian Minister was in Delhi to iron out the seat-sharing issues between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena for the elections.Earlier, irate protesters blocked Mr. Patil’s convoy near Tangewala Society in Aranyeshwar area, prompting him and his entourage to leave the spot after barely 15 minutes. Five people died after the society’s compound wall collapsed owing to the relentless downpour. Protesters demanded to know what Mr. Patil was doing in Delhi when the city was being battered by flash floods.Urging him to go back, they said the Guardian Minister’s belated visit was merely a photo opportunity.Mr. Patil said those heckling him were mere “troublemakers” hired by the opposition parties. “There were no problems whatsoever. I was [at Tangewala Society] for 20-25 minutes. Genuine citizens told me about their problems. The rest were troublemakers hired by opposition parties.” He said because the model code of conduct is in place for the Assembly elections, he was compelled to put things before the aggrieved citizens in a restrained manner.Toll up to 18Meanwhile, the death toll across the district rose to 18 with at least four people still missing. There were unconfirmed reports of two more bodies being recovered, indicating a likely rise in the number of the deaths.More than 3,000 people in the city are lodged in transit camps, while teams of the fire department and nearly 2,000 municipal workers carried out cleanliness drives and relief operations.Despite the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) warnings of likely heavy rain on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, the weather remained calm throughout the better part of Friday. Schools and colleges across the city and four other tehsils of the district remained shut following a precautionary directive of the Pune District Collector.According to a release issued on Friday afternoon, the IMD has forecast light to moderate rain on Friday night to be followed by light rain over the weekend.
07Feb Rep. Theis bills protect minors involved in sex crimes State Rep. Lana Theis today introduced a bipartisan legislative package to protect young victims of sexual-based offenses, while helping local school districts better protect their students who are victims of such crimes.The legislation is in response to a recent Livingston County case involving a 16-year-old offender convicted of criminal sexual conduct against multiple victims, one as young as 12.“The details of this case are heart wrenching and expose a significant need in our state involving juvenile victims and perpetrators in criminal sexual conduct cases,” said Theis, of Brighton. “Everything from the conviction, punishment and possibility of the offender returning to the same high school attended by the victims show we have to treat this crime with the severity it deserves.”Under current law, a school must expel a student who commits criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds. The legislation would require schools to expel students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another pupil enrolled in the same school district; and prohibit an offender from enrolling in a school building where their victim attends school. The legislation also requires that if a personal protection order is ordered for the victim of sexual assaults, the offender, regardless of age, would be prohibited from entering the victim’s school.“Criminal sexual conduct needs to be dealt with more seriously, especially when it involves minors, because the punishment handed down in Livingston County did nothing – to rehabilitate the offender, get justice for the victims or protect the community,” said Theis, a member of the House Law and Justice Committee. “We need to do better in Michigan.”House Bills 5530 and 5531 were assigned to the House Law and Justice Committee.##### Categories: News,Theis News
AOL has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art, 360-degree content studio in downtown New York.The public-facing studio is due to open this autumn on Broadway and will expand AOL’s “commitment to provide an immersive live and virtual reality experience,” according to the firm.AOL Build, the internet firm’s live interview series, will be filmed at the new 13,400 square foot studio. The series currently produces some four hours of live programming each day and 75 live events per month, with more than 800 episodes having been filmed to date.Jimmy Maymann, executive vice-president and president, AOL Content and Consumer Brands, said that the new studio would connect “the physical and digital worlds for our consumer”.“The studio reflects our commitment to creating immersive live experiences and creating a studio that will serve as a cultural destination, digitally, as well as within New York City.”