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Sculpture Tour Eau Claire art stolen, recovered

Farm Fireball one of more than 30 pieces of art making up the 2016 Sculpture Tour Eau Claire that was reported stolen has been recovered.

The steel piece, by artist Eva Asplin of Fargo, N.D., was recovered early Tuesday in a downtown parking lot by Eau Claire police, according to Julie Pagallo, executive director of Sculpture Tour Eau Claire. Eau Claire police said the sculpture was found at 12:30 a.m. by a security guard in front of Building 12 at Banbury Place, 800 Wisconsin St. Paggallo reported there was no further damage to the scuplture when recovered.

The piece was the fifth sculpture to be stolen since the Sculpture Tour began in 2011. Pangallo reported the theft to Eau Claire police at 10:18 a.m. Friday, according to the department s dispatch log. The sculpture had been on display at the corner of East Grand Avenue and South Barstow Street but had been taken down after it had been damaged, said Pangallo, noting it was the seventh piece to be damaged in the 2016-17 season.

Pangallo and Asplin discovered the theft Friday when they went to pick Farm Fireball up from where it was being stored so the artist, who was in town to deliver a commissioned piece, could repair it. Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is working with the Eau Claire Police Department on ideas to better protect sculptures, said police spokesman Kyle Roder. One of the suggestions included Sculpture Tour Eau Claire partnering with businesses along the tour route to put up cameras dedicated to the pieces of art.

Vandalism and theft are huge issues, and they make artists think twice about being part of the tour, Pangallo said. These are one-of-a-kind pieces and need to be protected. The artwork making up the 2016 tour range in price from $1,850 to $66,000, according to the Sculpture Tour Eau Claire website.

The sculptures that are part of the current tour are scheduled to come down in mid-April, Pangallo said, and the three dozen pieces making up the 2017 Sculpture Tour are set to be put up May 10.

We are really excited about the new season, Pangallo said. We have a lot of fun pieces coming.

Since 2011, several sculptures have been damaged, and five, including Farm Fireball, have been stolen. The four others were taken between August 2012 and July 2014. They were:

All in the Same Boat, a mixed-media sculpture featuring various types of civilian, government and religious buildings on a listing, off-balance oil tanker, was taken from its mounting outside Mayo Clinic Health System s downtown campus in July 2014 and was found a day later in a backyard near where it was taken.

Rock-N-Roll, a bronze sculpture of a monkey on a skateboard, was reported missing in June 2014 from its base outside Mogie s Pub & Restaurant, 436 Water St. It turned up later that evening in the alley behind the business and was put back on display.

Mother and Child was stolen in May 2013 from a granite welded pedestal in front of Stella Blues, 306 E. Madison St. It was recovered on Dec. 10, 2015, by a county employee, who found it in a wooded area in the eastern part of Eau Claire County.

Rain Coat Kids, a statue of two children splashing in puddles, was broken free from its base in front of Acoustic Cafe, at the intersection of Gray and South Barstow streets, in August 2012 and put into the trunk of a car. Police recovered it within 15 minutes of a call from a witness.

Contact: 715-830-5838,

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist


Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist

HALIFAX More than a decade after racial profiling was identified as a festering problem among some police forces, it is now being addressed in another sector: retailing. After years of complaints about retail staff who routinely follow, search, ignore, insult and provide poor service to visible minorities, one province has decided to do something about it in a big way. On Monday, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission launched a free, online training program aimed at preventing a problem that has sparked a growing chorus of complaints across the country.

The 20-minute interactive course for front-line service staff described as the first of its kind in Canada has already attracted attention from businesses in other provinces and the United States, and plans are in the works to roll out a national campaign.

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist
Lennett Anderson, senior pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, speaks as Justice Minister Diana Whalen, and Christine Hanson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, look on in Dartmouth, N.S. on Monday.

“As a proud African Nova Scotian and seventh-generation Canadian … I am acutely aware of the problems associated with navigating race relations in our society,” Rev. Lennett Anderson of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia told a news conference at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

“The need for a campaign such as this is a desperate one … It is worthy of our celebration.”

The retail sector is Canada’s largest employer, with over two million people working in an industry that generated $59 billion in payroll in 2015.

“The need for a campaign such as this is a desperate one … ”
Rev. Lennett Anderson

Christine Hanson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, said the need for such a training program was reinforced in 2013 when the commission released a groundbreaking report that concluded aboriginal people and African Canadians more often reported being treated poorly by retail staff than did any other group.

“In fact, people from all racialized groups, including Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern people, reported being treated poorly by staff far more than did white people,” the report said. “In the focus groups, several participants commented on being made to feel ‘lower class’ or like ‘second-class citizens’ when shopping.”

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist
Christine Hanson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, announces an online training course dealing with consumer racial profiling to educate retail businesses, in Dartmouth, N.S. on Monday.

The report went on to say that aboriginal people, African Canadians, and Muslims were all targets of offensive language and were treated as if they were physically threatening and potential thieves.

“A person who is a member of a visible minority group is three times more likely to be followed in a store, and four times more likely to be searched,” Hanson said. The online program, called “Serving All Customers Better[1],” includes a quiz about immigration and visible minorities. It also cites statistics from the 2013 report and clearly spells out what the law says. The course also cites some examples, at one point quoting a worker who said: “I worked for a retailer who said, ‘The eagle has landed,’ when a black person walked into the store. I quit my job over it.”

Examples of consumer racial profiling continue to make headlines across the country.

In October 2015, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario agreed with a woman who said she faced discrimination as a black person when she was confronted by a Shoppers Drug Mart employee who demanded to search her backpack on suspicion of shoplifting. The tribunal ordered the store to pay Mary McCarthy $8,000. And in February 2015, Calgary university student Jean Ventose said he was racially profiled when he was followed by a security guard inside a local Walmart, apparently for no reason. He posted a video on the encounter on Facebook, which received more than one million views and 10,000 reactions in two days. In August 2016, one of Canada’s largest grocery chains withdrew its appeal of a human rights decision that found an employee of Sobeys had discriminated against a black customer in May 2009 after falsely accusing her of being a repeat shoplifter.

Sobeys said it reached a settlement with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and would apologize to Andrella David, pay her $21,000 in compensation, and develop a staff training program on racial profiling. The company faced a boycott by a group of 19 churches in the province. As well, Nova Scotia’s first black lieutenant-governor, Mayann Francis, came forward to reveal that she, too, had been the victim of repeated racial profiling while shopping. At the time, Francis said Nova Scotia was in a state of denial when it came to racial profiling, saying she had often been the victim of “shopping while black” since she left her viceregal post in 2012.

“It does not matter how successful you are, it still can happen to you,” said Francis, who had previously served as CEO of the province’s human rights commission.

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist
Former lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, says she has experienced racial profiling while shopping.

“It’s just so wrong and so hurtful and I know how I feel when I’m followed in the stores … They’re stalking you.”

Earlier in the year, the Hudson’s Bay Company agreed to educate its staff about racial profiling as part of a settlement in the case of a now-deceased Nova Scotia grandmother allegedly accused of shoplifting a rug from a Zellers outlet in 2008.

“It’s just so wrong and so hurtful and I know how I feel when I’m followed in the stores … They’re stalking you.”
Mayann Francis, First black lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia

Anderson, the pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hammonds Plains, N.S., said the new online course in Nova Scotia marks a big step forward for visible minorities.

“Today, we are engaging in a courageous conversation,” he said. “We have decided that it’s time to confront major issues in our society … Race is not a card we play, it’s a life we live … This campaign is not about behaviour modification, it’s about a societal transformation.”

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  1. ^ Serving All Customers Better (

’60 Minutes’ Reveals Undercover FBI Agent On Scene At Garland, TX Terror Attack

On this week’s broadcast of CBS News’ 60 Minutes, correspondent Anderson Cooper reports an undercover FBI agent tracking jihadists responsible for the Garland, Texas terrorist attack was on the scene prior to the commission of the act. Anderson Cooper: After the trial, you discovered that the government knew a lot more about the Garland attack than they had let on? Dan Maynard, ATTORNEY FOR JIHADIST: That s right. Yeah. After the trial we found out that they had had an undercover agent who had been texting with Simpson, less than three weeks before the attack, to him Tear up Texas. Which to me was an encouragement to Simpson.

The man he s talking about was a special agent of the FBI, working undercover posing as an Islamic radical. The government sent attorney Dan Maynard 60 pages of declassified encrypted messages between the agent and Elton Simpson and argued Tear up Texas was not an incitement. But Simpson s response was incriminating, referring to the attack against cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo: bro, you don t have to say that… He wrote you know what happened in Paris so that goes without saying. No need to be direct. But it turns out the undercover agent did more than just communicate online with Elton Simpson. In an affidavit filed in another case the government disclosed that the FBI undercover agent had actually traveled to Garland, Texas, and was present at the event. Dan Maynard: I was shocked. I mean I was shocked that the government hadn t turned this over. I wanted to know when did he get there, why was he there?

And this past November, Maynard was given another batch of documents by the government, revealing the biggest surprise of all. The undercover FBI agent was in a car directly behind Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi when they started shooting. This cell-phone photo of school security guard Bruce Joiner and police officer Greg Stevens was taken by the undercover agent seconds before the attack. Anderson Cooper: The idea that he s taking photograph of the two people who happen to be attacked moments before they re attacked. Dan Maynard: It s stunning.

Anderson Cooper: I mean, talk about being in the right or the wrong place at the right or the wrong time. Dan Maynard: The idea that he s right there 30 seconds before the attack happens is just incredible to me. Anderson Cooper: What would you want to ask the undercover agent?

Dan Maynard: I would love to ask the undercover agent– Are these the only communications that you had with Simpson? Did you have more communications with Simpson? How is it that you ended up coming to Garland, Texas? Why are you even there? We wanted to ask the FBI those same questions. But the bureau would not agree to an interview. All the FBI would give us was this email statement. It reads: There was no advance knowledge of a plot to attack the cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas. If you re wondering what happened to the FBI s undercover agent, he fled the scene but was stopped at gunpoint by Garland police. This is video of him in handcuffs, recorded by a local news crew. We ve blurred his face to protect his identity.

Dan Maynard: I can t tell you whether the FBI knew the attack was gonna occur. I don t like to think that they let it occur. But it is shocking to me that an undercover agent sees fellas jumping out of a car and he drives on. I find that shocking. Anderson Cooper: That he didn t try to stop–

Dan Maynard: He didn t try to stop em. Or he didn t do something. I mean, he s an agent, for gosh sakes. Anderson Cooper: If this attack had gone a different way, and lots of people had been killed, would the fact that an undercover FBI agent was on the scene have become essentially a scandal?

Seamus Hughes: It woulda been a bigger story. I think you would have seen congressional investigations and things like that. Lucky for the FBI and for the participants in the event you know, here in Texas, you know, everyone s a good shot there. The FBI s actions around this foiled attack offer a rare glimpse into the complexities faced by those fighting homegrown extremism. Today, the battle often begins online where identifying terrorists can be the difference between a massacre, and the one that never occurred in Garland, Texas. Anderson Cooper: People brag about stuff. People talk big. One of the difficulties for the FBI is trying to figure out who s just talking and who actually may execute an attack.

Seamus Hughes: That s the hardest part when you talk about this, right. There s a lot of guys who talk about how great ISIS is. It s very hard to tell when someone crosses that line. And in most of the cases, you see the FBI has some touchpoint with those individuals beforehand. There had been an assessment, a preliminary investigation or a full investigation. It s just very hard to know when somebody decides to jump.

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