January 12

Dawson Creek man in jail for extortion

first_imgBy Energeticcity.ca staff A Dawson Creek man has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Thursday. 37 year old Kevin Patrick Cooke was found guilty of extortion, assault and uttering threats against a South Peace man last year. – Advertisement -Police say Cooke is also being accused of a number of unspecified sexual offences. Cooke is currently serving his sentence and is awaiting trial for those offences.last_img

January 11

Dodgers taking the fifth

first_imgFor some clubs, the fifth spot in the starting rotation is a veritable afterthought. It often is destined to be filled by some poster boy for mediocrity who can tolerate being skipped every time there is an off day. For the Dodgers, who officially open spring training on Friday in Vero Beach, Fla., the battle for that final starting job will be the most compelling story of the next six weeks. And that alone speaks volumes of how far the team has come in the past year. That’s why the only thing left to hash out is who gets to pitch on the rare day when neither Jason Schmidt, Derek Lowe, Randy Wolf nor Brad Penny is scheduled to start. The Dodgers’ own version of “Survivor” will start with six contestants. Two of them, veterans Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko, have the luxury of knowing there is a bullpen spot waiting if he doesn’t land in the rotation. “Whatever happens in the competition for the fifth spot also will have an impact on the competition for bullpen spots,” Colletti said. The rest – Chad Billingsley, Hong-Chih Kuo, Eric Stults and long shot D.J. Houlton – know they could start the season in the minors. It’s impossible to identify a favorite at this stage, but club officials probably are rooting for Billingsley. The Dodgers’ top pitching prospect for several years struggled in his big league debut last season despite going 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA. His problems stemmed from throwing too many pitches and walking too many batters (58 in 90 innings), an issue that has plagued him throughout his professional career and might not be fixable. But Billingsley, still just 22, potentially is devastating as a power pitcher, a fact that makes all those deep counts a little more tolerable. Kuo, 25, was awful out of the bullpen last year in going 0-4 with a 5.34 ERA. But he turned in six scoreless innings in his first career start on Sept. 8 against the New York Mets and stayed in the rotation thereafter with a 1-1 record and 3.07 ERA. He also displayed more poise than Billingsley, a fact that might make Kuo the odds-on favorite going into the spring. He could be helped by the fact he would give the Dodgers a second left-hander, with Wolf, in the rotation. For that matter, so would Hendrickson, 32, who went to the bullpen when Kuo became a starter. At that time, Hendrickson was 1-7 since being acquired from Tampa Bay on June 27. Thereafter, as a reliever, he allowed just one run in 10 appearances. Tomko, whose career has been a testament to unfilled expectations, agreed last July to go to the bullpen after going 6-6 with a 5.12 ERA as a starter. But he made the switch believing he eventually would work into a prominent, late-innings role. He instead pitched mostly in middle relief. Stults, another left-hander, made two impressive starts last season, but he is 27 and not a top-tier prospect. The odds of him making the rotation are long. Houlton also is 27 and didn’t pitch in the majors at all last year after a mediocre rookie season in 2005 when he had to stay in the big leagues because he was a Rule 5 pick. He’ll need a phenomenal spring, much like he had two years ago, to win this battle. If none of these candidates distinguishes himself, the job still could fall to veteran Elmer Dessens. But that seems highly unlikely. “We like him in the (middle relief) role we have him in now,” Colletti said. tony.jackson@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img In 2006, the Dodgers went to camp after being quickly patched together by new general manager Ned Colletti, who got the job only after several others withdrew from consideration because of the organization’s league-wide image problem. Colletti and his hand-picked manager, Grady Little, rebuilt the club not only to the point that it made the playoffs last fall, but to where it arguably boasts the league’s deepest rotation. last_img read more

January 6

Injured Reus sits out Germany training ahead of Russia friendly

first_imgReus has a history of sitting out Germany duty due to injury. Torn ankle ligaments ruled him out of their 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil and a groin injury sidelined him for Euro 2016 in France.For the match against 2018 World Cup hosts Russia, Germany coach Joachim Loew is already without Schalke striker Mark Uth, who has a leg injury, and Paris Saint-Germain winger Julian Draxler, who drops out because of a family bereavement.Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is expected to join the squad later in the week for next Monday’s Nations League home match against the Netherlands in Gelsenkirchen, which the Germans must win to stay in Group One.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Germany forward Marco Reus (R) sat out Tuesday’s training session in Leipzig with the national team, ahead of Thursday’s friendly against Russia, with a bruised foot after scoring twice for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. © AFP/File / Roman KruchininLEIPZIG, Germany, Nov 13 – Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus was forced to sit out with a foot injury as Germany were put through their paces in training Tuesday ahead of an upcoming friendly against Russia.The 29-year-old playmaker bruised his foot on his way to scoring a brace for Dortmund in a 3-2 Bundesliga win over defending champions Bayern Munich on Saturday.last_img read more

December 26

GARDA REVEAL REPLICA GUNS STILL MISSING AS BURGLAR GETS FIVE YEARS

first_imgGardai caught a gun thief after he dropped a cigarette butt at the scene of a daring heist in which 20 high-tech replica guns were stolen.The theft of the guns from the Donegal Airsoft gun range in Newtowncunningham in August 2010 sent shockwaves through the local Garda force.The weapon haul included seven Tauras pistols – almost exact replicas used by the emergency response unit across the country. Gardai feared the guns were going to be sold to the highest bidder and used in robberies and other subversive crimes.Details of the burglary were given at Letterkenny Circuit Court as Robert Orr faced charges in connection with the incident.The court heard how Orr, 24, of Gaeltex, Oldtown, Letterkenny and two other men used a sledge hammer to smash their way into the premises on the night of August 23rd, 2010.Garda Sergeant Michael Galvin told the court how smoking was strictly banned at the premises because gas was used in the guns.He said Gardai could trace the cigarette butt found back to Orr and also revealed that hidden CCTV cameras showed footage of Orr in which he was very recognisable.A distinctive tattoo of a scorpion on his neck also singled the accused out.Acting ion information Gardai tracked Orr to an address at Glenwood Park in Letterkenny where they discovered a number of white pellets used with airsoft guns outside the home of a relative of Orr.Orr arrived in a taxi and was arrested by Gardai but was completely unco-operative and denied all knowledge of the robbery.A follow-up operation uncovered 13 of the stolen guns from an attic in a derelict house in St Johnston a couple of days later.Garda Galvin, a former detective, said they were relieved to find the weapons which were valued at €5,184.“These pistols (the Tauras) are almost identical to the real thing. I was ten years with special branch and if that weapon was pointed at me I would be taking a certain course of action,” admitted Sgt Galvin.He also revealed that a number of the weapons are still unaccounted for and also that one was used in another robbery.Garda Galvin said that despite being interviewed a number of times, father-of-three Orr has refused to say where the remaining weapons are.Defence barrister Fiona Crawford said her client simply did not know where the other replica weapons are now.Judge John O’Hagan said that up until now Orr’s previous offences are for ‘run of the mill’ crimes such as no insurance and public order.“This one is a biggie – a big, big offence and it is recognised as carrying a 14 year sentence by the Oireachtas,” he said.He added that these replica weapons are the same as the real things to any unsuspecting person such as a postmistress or someone working in a bank or a supermarket.“To be confronted by someone with one of these would be a harrowing experience and they would not know it would be anything other than the real thing,” he said.Judge O’Hagan also heard how Orr also viciously assaulted another man with a wooden stick at a flat in Letterkenny on July 5th last while out on bail.He sentenced Orr to three years for the burglary and another two years for the assault and ordered the sentences to run consecutively meaning Orr was sentenced to five years in jail.AT HEARING © 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comGARDA REVEAL REPLICA GUNS STILL MISSING AS BURGLAR GETS FIVE YEARS was last modified: November 10th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:burglaryDonegal AirsoftGardaiRobert Orrlast_img read more

December 25

Boat owners decry tickets, evictions

first_img Lehman said he’s received about 15 tickets since 1999 for unseaworthiness or exceeding time limits at public docks and has lost three boats. Meanwhile, Bob Varni, a 59-year-old songwriter and artist who lived on a floating home at the marina for years, said that in 2000 the lessee claimed he was a day late with his rent, evicted him and destroyed the houseboat. Varni bought another boat, but without a slip to dock it wound up with nearly 30 citations for overstaying time limits at public docks. Ultimately, he lost four boats at the marina and now lives out of a van. “Everything I own, my art studio and all my belongings, were gone,” he said. tag! Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 troy.anderson@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Hoffman said that in January the marina manager issued a notice to vacate his boat slip because the dock was being rebuilt. The notice stated applications were being taken for slips at the new docks, though applicants could not be guaranteed a lease. On March 4, Hoffman said the marina notified him that his lease would be terminated May 6. Unable to locate an alternative slip, Hoffman said he was notified the county would seize his boat unless he left. “I just spent thousands and thousands of dollars to gut and move the boat to a dry dock in Gardena,” Hoffman said. Klein – president of the Coalition to Save the Marina, which has gathered 800 signatures opposing further development at the marina – said he received a $270 citation for an “unseaworthy” vessel in 2000. After he paid the fine, he said, the lessee placed a lien on his 34-foot cabin cruiser under a lease clause that prohibited unseaworthy vessels. Klein said he ultimately was evicted and the lessee sold the boat, which Klein estimated was worth $15,000. After spending years living on his 35-foot U.S. Navy lifeboat, Dr. Stuart Hoffman, 53, is now living out of boxes at a friend’s house in North Hollywood. Retired airline captain Al Lehman, a 60-year-old San Pedro resident, said he’s been ticketed more than a dozen times and lost three boats at the marina. Donald Klein, a Marina del Rey electrical contractor, lost his boat after receiving an “unseaworthy” ticket. Hoffman and Klein are among plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the Coalition to Save the Marina that alleges county officials have illegally seized and destroyed hundreds of small boats at the marina in recent years to make way for high-end development and bigger, more expensive yachts. Lehman is a class member in the suit. last_img read more

December 24

Overseas Bulldogs Update – Jan. 18

first_img Reed Timmer (6’1”-PG-95, graduated ’18, currently in Germany), who plays in the German ProA (second division) was not able to help Walter Tigers Tuebingen (7-11) in their game last Friday. Despite Timmer’s very good performance, Walter Tigers Tuebingen was edged 84-83 on the opponent’s court by the much higher-ranked Rostock (#3). He was the second best scorer with 17 points. Timmer also added 7 rebounds in 29 minutes. Timmer has individually averages 17.3ppg, 3.4rpg and 3.1apg.  Joshua Young (6’1”-G-88, graduated ’10, plays in Germany) was not able to help Rasta Vechta secure the victory in their last game against Ratiopharm Ulm (5-5) in the German BBL. He scored 7 points in 18 minutes. Rasta Vechta was edged out (81-80) in Ulm by the lower-ranked Ratiopharm (#9). It is still an early in the season and there is plenty of time to turn the season around. Young has relatively good stats this year, averaging 11.4ppg, 2.0rpg and 2.5apg. Experienced AJ Calvin (6’7”-F-85, graduated ’07, plays pro in Germany) couldn’t help ETB Wohnbau (3-13) in their game against SC Rist Wedel (11-5) in the German ProB (third division). He recorded 6 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 22 minutes. The 12th-placed ETB Wohnbau (3-13) was crushed 79-56 in Wedel by the leading SC Rist in the North group. It was ETB Wohnbau’s eighth consecutive loss in a row. Calvin has relatively good stats this season 14.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.6apg and 1.5spg. Print Friendly Version The Drake University men’s basketball program has a long and storied tradition of preparing players for long and prosperous basketball careers overseas in international competition. Currently, nearly a dozen Bulldogs are competing across the globe. Here are some of the top performances by former Drake standouts in the last week courtesy of Eurobasket.com Josh Young (6’1”-G-88, graduated ’10, plays pro in Germany) led Rasta Vechta to a victory over the closely-ranked Brose Baskets (10-5) 85-67 in the German BBL on Saturday night. He was MVP of the game. Young recorded 19 points and had 3 steals in 20 minutes. Rasta Vechta (11-5) is fourth in the BBL. It was his team’s eighth consecutive victory in a row. Young is averaging 11.6ppg, 2.0rpg and 2.9apg. Jacob Enevold (7’1”-F-94, graduated ’17, plays pro in Denmark) was not able to secure a victory for Svendborg (10-5) in their last game. Despite his good performance the fourth-placed Svendborg (10-5) was crushed 102-80 in Horsens by the second-ranked Horsens IC in the ProA group. Jensen scored 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. This year Jensen averages 9.4ppg, 5.9rpg and 1.1bpg in 15 games.  Ben Simons (6’8”-F-91, graduated ’13, plays in Spain) could not help Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB (6-10) in their last game. Despite Simons’ good performance, Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB was edged 84-83 on the road by the lower-ranked (#14) Baloncesto Fuenlabrada. He was the second best scorer with 14 points. Simons is averaging 10.3ppg, 2.3rpg and 1.1apg in 11 games he played so far. last_img read more

December 22

Public must have say on Cruit Island oyster farm application – Cope

first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has advised residents and interested parties to have their say and make submissions to the Department of the Marine following the decision to open the bay around Cruit Island for expression of interests for oyster farming. His comments come following a face to face meeting with Minister Michael Creed on the matter, on foot of numerous calls of concerns from local residents of the Cruit Island and Kincasslagh area.Pat the Cope was informed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine that the department will receive public submissions regarding the Cruit Island application until the 17th of October. He said it is extremely important that those who are concerned about the future of the bay surrounding Kincasslagh and Cruit Island make a written submission to the Department.The process which was initiated by the Minister opening the waters around Cruit Island for aquaculture, is now open to the general public to make their views known by way of submissions to the department.The Donegal Deputy said it is essential that those who are concerned make the submissions by the 17th of October as failure to do so will mean they will be unable to further appeal the decision should the need arise.“I appreciate full well the importance of the bay around Cruit Island to tourism, local residents and the community stated Pat the Cope. “I am fully supportive of the local residents and their bona fide concerns regarding this application, it is in everyone’s interest to maintain the natural beauty and unspoilt nature of the area around Cruit Island.“I will maintain the pressure on the Department of Marine and the officials throughout this public consultation process in order to ensure the public will have their say on this application.“In the meantime I strongly urge the public to make the necessary submission to the department, to outline their concerns and to express their opinions about this application for an oyster farm in the waters around Cruit Island and Kincasslagh,” concluded Pat the Cope.Public must have say on Cruit Island oyster farm application – Cope was last modified: September 29th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

December 22

Search continues for remains of three men murdered during The Troubles

first_imgThe Independent Commission on the Location of Victims’ Remains has appealed for information that could lead to the discovery of three victims who were murdered during The Troubles.The Commission was established in order to locate the remains of victims of paramilitary violence who were secretly murdered during the conflict in Northern Ireland.The remains of Joseph Lynskey, Columba McVeigh and Robert Nairac are yet to be recovered. Former Cistercian monk Joseph Lynskey went missing in 1972. A dig in 2015 in Coghalstown, Meath, was called off after no trace of the west Belfast man was found. The remains of two of ‘the Disappeared’, Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright, were discovered at the site.19-year-old Columba McVeigh from Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, was abducted and killed in 1975. Despite extensive searches, including a dig at Bragan bog in Co. Monaghan, his remains are yet to be recovered.Captain Robert Nairac was abducted in Co. Armagh in 1977 and murdered. A man was convicted of his murder in the same year. Captain Nairac was an undercover officer for the British Army, and was posthumously awarded the George Cross. He was 29 years old.RTÉ reports that local rumours that Captain Nairac’s remains were destroyed at a local meat processing plant were dismissed during yesterday’s meeting. His remains are thought to be buried in the Ravensdale area of Co Louth. The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement yesterday met with the Commission to receive an update on their investigation. Commissioners Mr Frank Murray and Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and Senior Investigator, Mr Geoff Knupfer, appeared before the Committee.Since the Commission was established, the remains of 13 of ‘the Disappeared’ have been recovered.The most recent victim to be recovered was Seamus Ruddy, a 33-year-old from Newry who taught English in Paris. Ruddy went missing in 1985. In 1995 the INLA claimed responsibility for his death. His remains were recovered in May 2017 in France.The Committee unanimously voiced its support for the work of the Commission and underlined the importance of more people coming forward with information. It was underlined to the Committee that any information is received in the strictest confidence.Committee Vice Chair, Declan Breathnach, appealed to members of the public to come forward, saying: “Any information, no matter how small, could assist the Commission in progressing its work, and bring some measure of closure to the families of the three men whose remains are still missing.” Charlie Flanagan T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality has also called for anyone with any information to come forward.“The Commission, with the support of the Irish and British Governments, has worked tirelessly on behalf of the families of the Disappeared in recent years. The Commission has been successful in recovering the remains of many of the victims and, thankfully, this has brought some comfort to the families involved,” the Minister said.“There remain, however, some cases that have yet to be resolved and it is to hoped that the Commission will be able to successfully return the remains of those still missing to their families.“The Commission’s investigations are complicated and difficult, and information from the public is absolutely crucial to its work. I call on anyone with information about any of the cases of the Disappeared to convey that information to the Commission without delay. “The Commission’s work is purely humanitarian in its objective.“The families of the Disappeared have suffered enough and anyone who can assist in bringing an end to that suffering must do so,” he concluded.A confidential free-phone service and post office box address has been set up to ensure source’s confidentiality. The Commission assures that tips will only be used to locate the remains of victims and for no other reason.For more information, visit http://www.iclvr.ie/Search continues for remains of three men murdered during The Troubles was last modified: January 26th, 2018 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Independent Commission on the Location of Victims’ RemainsNOrthern Irelandthe disappearedtroubleslast_img read more

December 22

Cancellations and Closures: Monday 12th February

first_imgA high number of schools are closed and transport services are cancelled today due to the snow and poor road conditions. Due to weather conditions, the Sheep Sale at Raphoe Livestock Mart will start at 1 p.m. today instead of 11 a.m.To give notice of community event cancellations, email info@donegaldaily.com School principals can email info@donegaldaily.com to notify of school closures.Cancellations and Closures: Monday 12th February was last modified: February 12th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cancellationssnowlast_img read more

December 18

Pilot shortage looms

first_imgOver the past few years, analysts and airline officials in the US have been predicting a shortage of qualified pilots. With the looming threat, airlines considered how to meet the challenges at the same time government officials were changing the rules to require more flight hours for prospective pilots.“I think everything that has happened has been predicted,” said Regional Airline Association President Roger Cohen. “It just happened faster. The cold reality of it is obviously worse than the prediction.”In January, the industry came face to face with the first real manifestation of those prognostications when a small regional carrier, Great Lakes Airlines operating out of Wyoming announced it would suspend service to a half dozen small cities because it didn’t have enough pilots.“Due to the unintended consequences of the new congressionally mandated pilot regulatory requirements, the Company feels it is in the best interest of our customers, communities and other employees to suspend service from these stations until we are able to rebuild our staff of pilots in order to provide reliable service,” said Great Lakes CEO Charles Howell in a statement.The shortage is attributed in large part to a recent change in rules from the US Federal Aviation Administration requiring 1500 hours and an ATP license for prospective commercial pilots. In the past, many regional carriers hired candidates with fewer hours offering the new pilots the chance to build up their hours and experience with a shot at moving on to higher pay as a pilot with a legacy carrier. The new rules went into effect in August 2013.US Aviation officials sought to tighten the standards and the training following a tragic crash of a Colgan Air Q400 in February 2009 that killed 49 people. The accident investigation found that the two pilots had not been adequately trained to respond to a stall and had violated sterile cockpit rule which limits conversation specifically to aircraft function. The incident sparked a flurry of self-examination on the part of airlines as well as government regulatory agencies. Cohen said airline representatives had worked with the FAA to ease some of the restrictions, such as an option to substitute an accredited university program for a portion of the required hours. The new 1500 hour requirement effectively “moved the goal posts” for students currently enrolled in a university program who planned to pursue a carrier in aviation upon graduation, said Cohen.“We’ve lost thousands of prospective pilots and turned off thousands going forward,” said Cohen. “There are thousands of highly trained qualified professional pilots coming out of universities that aren’t even able to interview with an airline.”In anticipation of the shortage, Cohen said regional airlines have taken aggressive steps to resolve the issue such as offering signing bonuses, raising starting salaries and establishing bridge programs with universities. But it hasn’t been enough.The high cost of gaining flight hours and certification coupled with low starting salaries has not helped attract good candidates. Young people are not enamored enough with the idea of flying to sink deeply into debt in exchange for living a dream of flight.United Airlines announced major cuts to its Cleveland hub in February, owing in part to its regional partners feeling the pinch of the new government regulations.“These new regulations have caused mainline airlines to hire regional pilots, while simultaneously significantly reducing the pool of new pilots from which regional pilots can hire,” United officials wrote in a letter to employees announcing the cuts. “Although this is an industry issue, it directly affects us and requires us to reduce our regional partner flying, as several of our regional partners are beginning to have difficulty flying their schedule due to reduce new pilot availability.”The carrier said the Cleveland hub had not been profitable generating “tens of millions of dollars in annual losses” in recent years. Some 460 jobs will be lost at the hub.Republic Airways, a regional partner with United at its Cleveland hub, announced this week is would be grounding 27 ERJs this year because the company is having trouble hiring enough pilots.In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Republic stated it was taking the action because of a “significant reduction” in the number of qualified pilots who meet the 1500 hour rule. The reduction in flying will also affect Republic’s partner, American Airlines.“The applicant flow problems continue to persist in the new year and it has become all too clear that we can no longer consider extending all our small jet contract,” Republic President and CEO Bryan Bedford stated in a letter to employees.ALPA tries to debunk shortageThe handwringing over whether there is a pilot shortage was refuted in early February by ALPA (Air Line Pilots Assn. International) which called it a “myth.” ALPA represents nearly 50,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the US and Canada.“There may be a shortage of qualified pilots who are willing to fly for US airlines because of the industry’s recent history of instability, poor pay and benefits,” said ALPA president Lee Moak in a statement. Moak said there are thousands of qualified pilots on furlough or working overseas who would gladly return to US cockpits if conditions were favorable.He cited the recent closure or US regional carrier Comair, which furloughed 800 experienced pilots who are now looking for jobs in addition to 1,154 ALPA members currently on furlough.In the US average starting salary for regional airline is $21,285 plus benefit. Starting co-pilots at Delta and United earn $61,000 plus benefits, according to ALPA.“The real solution to preventing any future pilot shortage is for airlines to produce consistently profitable results,” Moak Observed. “Congress can support this goal by implementing pro-growth aviation policies that reduce the tax burden on airlines and give industry an opportunity to compete and prevail in the international marketplace.”Republic’s Bedford agreed in part but pointed out that some 18,000 US pilots will be reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 over the next decade.“There are ample pilots for today’s needs, but these young people, who have graduated with aeronautical aviation degrees no longer qualify for employment,” Bedford told employees. “And there are not enough ways for them to get the hourly time the new law requires.”Cohen and airline officials expect there will continue to be pilot shortages and discontinuation of service to smaller communities.“We don’t need another report on what the issues are,” said Cohen, who recently announced the formation of task force of regional airline CEOs to come up with ways to maintain service. “We are focused on trying to find some short term solutions. Each day sees another headline about reduced service and those are going to continue.”last_img read more