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January 22, 2018

Blaze on New York's Fire Island destroys 2 well-known gay resort landmarks; firefighters hurt

By Frank Eltman, The Associated Press

MINEOLA, N.Y. – An early morning blaze on Fire Island destroyed several structures, including two well-known landmarks in a historic gay resort, and required dozens of firefighters to respond by ferry from the mainland of Long Island, fire and police officials said Friday.

The fire, which was reported at about 1:30 a.m., ruined an apartment complex known as Holly House, as well as the Grove Hotel, and left three firefighters with minor injuries, said Craig Williams, Cherry Grove assistant fire chief. A nightclub attached to the hotel called the Ice Palace avoided serious damage, Williams said.

Cherry Grove has been known since the late 1940s as a sanctuary where gay writers, actors and businesspeople from New York City and beyond escape to relax, hold hands and show affection in public.

“This is the largest fire we have had here in well over a decade,” said Williams, a volunteer who lives near Hackensack, New Jersey, and drove to Long Island early Friday to respond to the blaze.

The Suffolk County police arson squad and the town of Brookhaven’s fire marshal’s office were conducting routine investigations to determine the cause.

Two private homes were destroyed and three others also were damaged, Williams said. None of the structures or homes near the downtown business district in the primarily summer beach community was occupied.

The nearby Cherry Grove Community House and Theater, which opened in 1948 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, was not damaged, Williams said.

More than 100 firefighters from 22 departments responded to the blaze; some were taken by the Sayville Ferry Service across the Great South Bay to the scene on the barrier island about 60 miles east of Manhattan. It was not immediately clear whether the time to cross the bay to fight the fire contributed to the amount of damage inflicted by the blaze.

Williams and others noted that the historic Cherry Grove community, like many of the hamlets and villages along the 30-mile long barrier island 5 miles off the southern shore of Long Island, is primarily deserted this time of year.

“Thank God it wasn’t the height of the season,” Diane Romano, president of the Cherry Grove Community Association, told The Associated Press after touring the devastation Friday afternoon. “Everyone would not have gotten out of that hotel. It is devastating and will take a lot of work to build it back, but the spirit of the people in Cherry Grove is very strong and we’re all going to help each other.”

Notable Cherry Grove visitors and residents have included poet W.H. Auden; playwright Tennessee Williams; author Truman Capote; actresses Nancy Walker, Tallulah Bankhead and Hermione Gingold; comedian Kaye Ballard; and New Yorker journalist Janet Flanner.

Source article – 

Blaze on New York's Fire Island destroys 2 well-known gay resort landmarks; firefighters hurt

Looking for something competitive to do in February (and get a weekend away)? Here’s a few ideas

Feeling the urge for a bit of competition in the coming month? We’ve got you covered with these few suggestions.

Here, we’ve gone for cycling in west Clare, running through mud in north Dublin or doing your first duathlon – and having an excuse to head down to Cork.

So dust off the lycra, pump up those tyres and fill up that tank.

Junior Tour Sportives

What? The Junior Tour is by far and away the best race on the Irish domestic racing calendar for 16-18 year olds. In its 35+ year history the event has attracted some of the best talent from around the world – many of whom have gone on to have long and distinguished careers.

However, the race has run into financial difficulty with the organisers announcing last year that this year’s event – and indeed the future of the race, is in jeopardy as main sponsors have withdrawn their support and there isn’t the requisite funds to run it.

Three cycling sportives have been organised this month in an effort to raise the money needed to keep the race alive.

There’s one in Dublin this Sunday (enter here) featuring 2 routes of 100 and 50 kilometres, respectively while on Saturday week there’s one in Derry, details to be found here and later in the month, there’s a third one in Whitegate, Co. Clare. Details for that can be ascertained here.

When? Sunday, 1 February (that’s tomorrow), Saturday, 8 February and Saturday, 28 February.

Where? Baldonnell, Co. Dublin and Bellaghy, Co. Derry and Whitegate, Co, Clare

DUATHLON

Fota Island Challenge Series Sprint Duathlon

What? A duathlon is a three-part race and this event consists of a 4.8 kilometre run followed by an 18 kilometre cycle and another 4.8 kilometre run to finish.

It’s only the second year of the event but such was the success of the inaugural race in 2014 that it’s now a part of the National Series. The standard will be a real mix, with the top competitors competing for points in respective age groups, and those just out for a bitta craic having the opportunity of a good workout in a stunning location.

Registration is open the day before from 7am to 9.45 am and again from 5pm to 7pm while you can also register on the day in the Recreational Building at Fota, in close proximity to the hotel.

As the event is Triathlon Ireland sanctioned, a race license is required and the fee per participant is €39 and €75 for relay teams. There will be three different categories on the day from individual to relay teams and minimum age is 16.

When? Saturday, 28 February

Where? Fota Island, Cobh, Co. Cork

ATHLETICS

Swords Cross County Race

What?  Ballyheary Park in Swords hosts the very attractive-looking North Country Farmers Cross Country race the weekend after next and anyone over the age of 18 can enter.

The event is part of the Business Houses Athletics Association (BHAA) but you don’t need to be a BHAA member to race, you don’t need to be an employee of any business and you don’t even have to be a member of a running club to compete.

However, to race on the day as a non-member will cost you €15, as opposed to €10 if you are a member.

The event format sees two races happening on the same course with the same start time of 11.30am. The park has two fields with a wide foot bridge connecting both. The small lap involves a loop of the start/finish area field and the longer lap takes in the second field.

The ladies race is two mile course which is one small lap and one large lap. The mens race is 5 miles which involves 3 and 3/4 large laps. It should be noted that ladies are welcome to run in the longer 5 mile race if they wish to do so.

When? Saturday, 7 Feb 2015 at 11:30am

Where? The race headquarters is in Fingallians GAA , Swords. If driving it is recommended to take the M1 Motorway using the Exit 4 – Lissenhall interchange.

Check out the BHAA website for more details.

What else do you suggest?

Change it up with this class 15-minute abs workout

Training techniques are constantly evolving but this one has stood the test of time

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Are you watching, Jose? Kevin de Bruyne blows Bayern away with inspired performance

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Looking for something competitive to do in February (and get a weekend away)? Here’s a few ideas

Jailed grandmother demands apology

A 72-year-old woman jailed for meeting her granddaughter in breach of a court order has demanded an apology after claiming she was “treated worse than a dog” while in custody.

Kathleen Danby also believes she deserves to be compensated for her ordeal after spending two nights in prison and a third in a police cell before her three-month sentence was cut to time already served.

Mrs Danby, who was sentenced in her absence by a Court of Protection judge in April after breaching an order not to approach her granddaughter, told the Daily Mail she now felt shattered and very weak.

Claiming to have been left injured after being man-handled during her time in custody, the pensioner told the newspaper: “I want an apology from Derbyshire County Council and compensation for my ordeal and the ordeal my granddaughter has had to go through.”

The pensioner, who was arrested on Sunday while attending a Ken Dodd concert in Liverpool, alleges that she was denied pills for liver disease.

Mrs Danby was freed at Birmingham’s civil court yesterday after apologising to a judge, paving the way for a reduction in the three-month jail sentence.

However, outside court the defiant grandmother described a lengthy ordeal which had seen her being driven on a 200-mile trip between court and prison.

Wearing a large red coat, Mrs Danby said she found it difficult to believe the lengths to which the authorities had gone to bring her before the family court.

In April, a judge sentenced Mrs Danby to prison in her absence after watching CCTV evidence of her greeting the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with a hug outside a pub.

Reducing the sentence of Mrs Danby, from Kirkwall on the island of Orkney, Judge Sally Dowding told the pensioner: “I am satisfied she fully appreciates the difficulties of her position and what she must do, and I am confident she will comply in future.”

Contempt of court proceedings were brought against the pensioner by Derbyshire County Council, which is responsible for looking after her granddaughter.

The local authority alleged Mrs Danby was in breach of court orders made in September 2013, and January and April 2014.

Those orders banned Mrs Danby from having any communication, save a single supervised monthly phone call, with the teenager.

Judge Dowding said it was very sad Mrs Danby had failed to comply with the orders, which were imposed after a court heard that the pensioner had had a “very adverse effect” on her granddaughter.

The Prison Service declined to comment directly on Mrs Danby’s case, but it is understood her medication was verified for her to take during her time in custody.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We ensure that suitable facilities are provided for elderly prisoners and that individual healthcare needs are met.

“We always follow appropriate security procedures when administering medication.”

Continued here: 

Jailed grandmother demands apology