Iconic Comic Book Artist George Perez Announces His Retirement


Iconic Comic Book Artist George Perez Announces His Retirement

Iconic Comic Book Artist George Perez Announces His Retirement

Over the weekend, legendary comic book artist George Perez used his Facebook page to announce his retirement. Perez, whose career in comics goes back to 1974, noted that his health issues played a part in his decision.

“With respect to future published work in comics and such … while I know it’s been no secret that I’ve been dealing with a myriad number of health issues (diabetes, heart ailments, vision issues, etc.), they have indeed have forced me to, for all intents and purposes, formally retire from the business of creating new comic stories,” wrote Perez.

Perez first rose to prominence as the artist for Marvel’s Avengers in the ’70s. Following his initial stint at Marvel, Perez left for DC and had a run on Justice League of America. He went on to co-create the New Teen Titans alongside writer Marv Wolfman. In the mid-’80s, Wolfman and Perez re-teamed for the Crisis on Infinite Earths event miniseries. That epic tale united all of DC’s multiverses into a single reality, and infamously killed off the Flash and Supergirl. Perez followed that event with a long run as the writer and artist of Wonder Woman.

Iconic Comic Book Artist George Perez Announces His Retirement

In the ’90s, Perez returned to Marvel and illustrated the first three issues of Infinity Gauntlet. That story served as an inspiration for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Perez also returned to the Avengers for a second run on that title. While Perez eventually left Marvel for CrossGen Comics, he included a contract provision that allowed him to illustrate his dream project: a crossover between the Avengers and the Justice League.

Perez re-teamed with his second Avengers writer, Kurt Busiek, for JLA/Avengers, a four-issue crossover, in 2003. Perez remained active as a writer and an artist in the years that followed. He also wrote the Superman relaunch for DC’s New 52 reboot in 2011. His last published work, Sirens, was released in 2016 by Boom! Studios. In his retirement statement, Perez indicated that he would also step away from touring conventions after this year.

“Long story short, I will be just fine,” wrote Perez. “I’ve had a wonderfully good run doing exactly what I have wanted to do since I was a child. Now I can sit back and watch the stuff I helped create entertain whole new generations. That’s a pretty nice legacy to look back on. And so much of that is thanks to all of you, the GREATEST fans in the world. I am humbled and forever grateful.”

Share your favorite George Perez memories in the comment section below!

Iconic Comic Book Artist George Perez Announces His Retirement





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Hobbs Police Chief announces retirement after 20 years of service


During his tenure, Chief McCall also volunteered and served with many nonprofits and on many Boards, including the Lea County Communications Authority Board, Community Drug Coalition of Lea County, Executive Board for the New Mexico Association of Chiefs of Police for over 5 years (from 2014-present as the President), Crime Stoppers Board, Hobbs Rotary Club, Red Cross Local Hero’s Selection Committee Member, Lea County Drug Task Force Board, and many others throughout the county and state.



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Maximum 401(k) Contributions Climb for 2019. Here’s What That Means for Savers. — The Motley Fool


The maximum amount you can contribute to your 401(k) retirement savings plan is climbing by $500 in 2019. If you’re younger than 50, the maximum is now $19,000 rather than last year’s $18,500. If you’re 50 or older, it’s now $25,000 versus last year’s $24,500.

What does that mean to you? Frankly, the hike in the amounts themselves aren’t too significant. The 401(k) contribution limits have always been generous enough so even assiduous savers don’t come within throwing distance of meeting the maximum. If you do max your account out, though, you can save $500 more this year. If you don’t come close, it’s still good to be reminded of how dynamic retirement vehicles 401(k)s can be. Here are the benefits of 401(k)s as we head into 2019.

401(k) plan statement, with figures.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

1. Saving in a 401(k) helps you prepare for a comfortable retirement.

Many people planning for retirement think first of Social Security, even though the average yearly Social Security benefit is just $17,532, or $1,461 every month — and that includes a recent cost-of-living adjustment. This isn’t enough for most people to live on, meaning it’s likely you will need to draw on your retirement savings or work at least part time during your retirement, or a mix of both. By utilizing a 401(k), you’re doing yourself a big favor for the future by bulking up your nest egg.

2. Saving in a 401(k) lowers your tax bill.

A chief benefit of 401(k) accounts is that contributions are made pre-tax, meaning you don’t pay tax on the amount you store in your account when you do it. If you make $75,000 annually and contribute $5,000, come tax season, you’ll only be taxed on $70,000 for that year. Your 401(k) amount continues to grow free of tax until you withdraw the money in retirement, when the funds are finally taxed.

For this reason, saving in your 401(k) has the potential to put you in a lower tax bracket, so you owe a smaller percentage of your income in tax. Currently, single filers making between $77,400 and $156,150 pay 22% on their income. If you are in the lower end of that range, a 401(k) contribution could move you into the lower bracket, where taxes are just 12%. If you make $80,000 per year, for example, and contribute $5,000, your resulting income of $75,000 would be taxed at 12% rather than 22%.

3. Many employers match 401(k) contributions with free money.

What’s the best kind of money? Free money. More than three-quarters of U.S. employers who provide a 401(k) plan also offer matching contributions, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). A 401(k) match can power your ability to save for retirement. What it means is this: For every amount you contribute to the 401(k) plan, your employer puts that same amount (or a percentage of it) in your account too! The most common employee contributions are between 4% to 6% of their total income, and the most common employer matches are 50% and 100% of that contribution amount, according to BrightScope/ICI. 

Say you earned $60,000 and contributed 4% pre-tax to your 401(k). In a year, you’ve saved $2,400. If your employer matches 50% of your contribution, that’s an additional $1,200, for a total of $3,600.

4. You can save via payroll deduction.

Automating your savings is the best way to save, because it happens without you having to think about it. Contributions to employer-sponsored 401(k) plans are taken out by payroll deduction and your propensity to save is 15 times greater if you use payroll deductions.

Make sure your 401(k) is up to speed.

Do some research to find out if your 401(k) plan is the best option available to you. Generally speaking, your company should offer investment options that give you real choices of where to put your money, by choosing from the primary asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and money market funds. The choices should allow you to build a balanced portfolio, with varying degrees of risk.

On average, 401(k) plans in the U.S. provide roughly 13 stock funds (about 10 U.S. funds and three international funds), according to the Investment Company Institute. If your plan offers significantly fewer, or only offers your company’s stock as an option, reconsider whether it’s a good plan. Investing in your company’s stock as a retirement vehicle doesn’t provide sufficient diversity. If your company goes through a bad patch or even goes under, it’s not prudent to have your salary, job prospects, and retirement tied up in its financial fate.

Scope out what you’re paying in fees as well. The fees on 401(k) plans in the U.S. are an average of 1%, according to the Center for American Progress. Check the fine print; if yours charges significantly more, it can erode the value of your account.

What happens if you can’t come close to the 401(k) maximum contribution, or your investment choices aren’t optimal, or the fees look high, or a combination of the three?

…and consider a traditional IRA if it’s not

Then it’s time for traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to come to the rescue! A traditional IRA also offers pre-tax savings. Your savings accrue pre-tax as well; traditional IRA funds are taxed upon withdrawal. You must start required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 70 1/2.

Nicely enough, maximum contributions for IRAs are also rising for 2019, to $6,000 per year if you’re under 50 and $7,000 if you’re 50 and over. IRAs can be opened at a bank, brokerage, or other financial institution. All offer self-directed accounts, where you decide whether you want to place your funds in stocks, bonds, or money markets.

The traditional IRA is one type. There is also a Roth IRA, which does not offer pre-tax contributions. You contribute after-tax money, but the Roth IRA grows tax-free and is not taxed when you withdraw the funds later in retirement, like the traditional IRA is.

You can also save pre-tax for retirement in both a 401(k) and a traditional IRA. If your employer does offer a 401(k) match, consider contributing enough to your 401(k) to receive your employer’s match, then fund your IRA for the year.

When it comes to retirement savings, the more you sock away using a retirement vehicle, the more you’ll ultimately have in your golden years. If you save $10,000 every year, for example, the money will compound to $156,455 in 10 years if you receive an 8% annual compound rate of return. And in 30 years? The same yearly investment total and return rate could result in a robust $1.2 million for your retirement. Sweet!





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A Successful And Secure Retirement—Spend-Down Strategies: Part 1



Ed Note: This is part one of a two-part series.  


If we live long enough our financial assets can go through five phases: accumulation, what we at Buckingham Strategic Wealth call “black-out,” spend down, final spending and legacy. Chapters 3 through 10 were all about the winning strategy in the accumulation phase. However, the knowledge required to effectively manage financial assets in the accumulation phase is not sufficient to carry you through the remaining stages. This chapter focuses on providing you with the knowledge needed to give you the greatest chance of achieving your life and financial goals as you pass through the various other stages.


Accumulation Phase


The accumulation phase commences when we begin our careers and start to save and invest. For those who forgo college, the accumulation phase will begin in our late teens. For others, such as doctors and lawyers, it might not begin until our late twenties. This phase is the longest one as it typically continues until we stop working full-time. The goal during this phase is to save and invest as early and as much as possible. Chapters 3 through 10 have provided you with the information needed to develop the right strategy. The strategy should include a focus on which tax-advantaged accounts should be used (traditional versus Roth IRA). Chapter 10 provides a detailed discussion on this issue. The strategies learned in this chapter continue to apply throughout your lifetime.


Each of the following phases are part of the decumulation, or withdrawal, phase. The biggest difference in strategies during withdrawal and strategies during accumulation is that there is a much greater emphasis on long-term tax planning during withdrawal. Taxes are often the single largest expense for investors. Thus, to ensure that you have the greatest chance to meet your own goals, we strive to have the IRS take the smallest share of your financial assets. However, this does not necessarily mean paying the least amount of taxes in any particular year. Instead, the focus is on paying the least over your lifetime and possibly beyond.


During accumulation, taxes are dominated by your salary and/or other sources of income. The tax strategies during this phase relate mostly to how much you can save before tax, how much after tax and where you locate the different types of assets. However, planning during spend down presents different opportunities as you go through phases of low and high tax rates. Therefore, we break decumulation into four distinct phases.


Decumulation Phase


Black-Out Phase. The first phase during withdrawal, which doesn’t exist for everyone, is one with low tax rates. It typically begins with your retirement, when you are no longer generating sufficient income to meet your lifestyle needs, but have not yet chosen to receive Social Security or pension benefits. Thus, you may be in a low tax bracket and can draw on your taxable assets (at relatively low tax rates), or tax- free assets, to provide the desired lifestyle.


We call this phase black-out since the structured sources of income (salary, Social Security, required minimum distributions) are absent, or blacked out. During this phase, many retirees celebrate their low taxes after years of paying large amounts with their salaries. However, as we discuss later, this might not be the best strategy.


Spend-Down Phase. The Spend-Down Phase, so called because this is when you start spending down your tax deferred retirement plan accounts, typically begins in the year you turn 701/2 and start taking your required minimum distribution (RMD). It is a period when tax rates can jump back up from the low rates of the black-out period as you start receiving income from RMDs as well as Social Security and possibly pension benefits. An individual’s tax rate will often remain at this same high rate for the rest of his or her life. Although, increasingly, people move into one final phase during their lives.



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Judge C. Kimi Kondo retirement


From left: Judge Kondo’s clerk, bailiff Katherine Duell, Judge Kondo, former clerk Daniel O’Brien, and former bailiff Leonard Baquian. (Photo by Assunta Ng)

After 28 years of service with the Seattle Municipal Court, Judge C. Kimi Kondo retired on Jan. 11. She was the first Asian American woman appointed to the bench in the State of Washington.

Kondo earned dual degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Idaho and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Puget Sound. During law school, she worked with the Puyallup Indian Tribe. After graduation, she was in solo practice in Seattle handling family law, wills and estates, and small business cases.

She is a member of the Crisis Intervention Committee tasked with formulating revised training protocols for the Seattle Police Department as a result of the Department of Justice reform initiatives.

Kondo was honored by the Asian Bar Association of Washington with the 2005 Judge of the Year award. In 2012, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association honored her with the Trailblazer award and she received a 20-year service award from the Washington State Association of Justice.



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FMCC approves early-retirement incentives | News, Sports, Jobs


JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton-Montgomery Community College Board of Trustees on Thursday approved offering early retirement incentive packages to eligible faculty and staff members and Vice President for Administration and Finance David Morrow.

Trustee Edmund Jasewicz as chair of the personnel committee, read the pair of motions recommended by FMCC President Dustin Swanger as professional cost saving measures. The board approved the motions without any additional discussion.

Following the meeting, Swanger explained that faculty and staff members who are eligible to retire will be offered the opportunity to be maintained on the college’s healthcare plan for one year as an incentive.

“Hopefully a couple people will come forward and say ‘that’s enough for me to make the move,’” Swanger said. “There are a number of folks here who are ready or eligible to retire and they have some benefits in their contracts or in board policy, but are concerned about healthcare.”

Swanger said the positions of those who accept the incentives would ultimately be eliminated, saving the college salary costs and, after a year, the costs of benefits.

“It may happen that somebody comes forward that we have to replace, I’m not anticipating that,” Swanger said. “I don’t know who will come forward, but I do know that there are some people who are probably eligible, [but] that healthcare thing is scary and I get it. If we can ease that by covering them for a year, that would be great.”

Over the past few years, around 25 full-time positions at FMCC have been eliminated as the positions of retiring or departing faculty and staff members have not been refilled. These staffing reductions have followed falling student enrollment over the past few years that community colleges across the country are experiencing.

FMCC went from 1,827 full time students in fall 2011 to 1,250 in the fall of 2017 and the $19.8 million 2018-19 budget anticipated a 3 percent decline in enrollment this school year from the previous year. Enrollment during the fall semester fell by 5.5 percent with 2,463 students for a total of 1,654.13 full time equivalent hours on a goal of 1,696 FTE.

“As we look at next year’s budget, it’s no secret, it’s going to be a very, very tight budget and some difficult decisions are going to have to be made,” Swanger said.

Swanger, who announced his own retirement effective July 31 during Thursday’s meeting, is recommending that the board members take their time before they begin the formal search for his replacement, suggesting they review the school’s current administrative structure.

“I’m encouraging the board, and it will be the board’s decision, to not rush into anything given the financial situation of all community colleges, frankly. It would not be bad to take a pause and look at the administrative structure, figure out what’s the best structure that would work for the community college given the size that we are now,” Swanger said.

If the board takes up Swanger’s recommendation, the board would appoint an interim president to lead the college until a permanent replacement is hired, the individual could be a current FMCC administrator or someone from outside of the institution. The chosen individual would require approval from the State University of New York Board of Trustees.

If Morrow accepts the retirement incentive package he is being offered, Swanger said he would recommend that the board not replace the vice president’s position.

“For many, many years, this institution had one vice president, there was a president and one vice president and staff handled the other things, that may be where they go,” Swanger said.

The college currently has three vice president positions, including Morrow’s. Swanger noted the move to offer Morrow the incentive package was made following discussions over the past year as he has been considering retirement.

“He came and said with a little bit of incentive I think I could go and we talked to the board about it and it’s a good deal for the college,” Swanger said.

If the board later decided to refill Morrow’s position, Swanger suggested they wait until a new president is in place.

“A president should pick his or her team if the opportunity presents itself,” Swanger said. “They should be afforded that opportunity.”





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Estate Planning and Retirement: Entrepreneurs Find Niche Assisting Seniors Downsize – Business – Columbus CEO


A growing number of senior management companies assist with the overwhelming task.

Laura Schulman remembers how difficult it was when she, her husband and their three children pulled up roots in Chicago and moved to Columbus in 2006.

She had lived in the Chicago area her entire life and found herself a bit overwhelmed by all that was involved in the transition to a new city and home. But she enjoyed some pieces of the move, including handling the myriad details that went into organizing and packing her family’s belongings and setting up their new home.

Nine years later, Schulman drew upon those skills when she founded A Moving Experience LLC. Focused on helping seniors downsize before a move to an apartment or assisted-living facility, the company tries to take the work and worry out of a move by concentrating on the emotional and physical aspects of the process.

“I was 40 when I moved here and learned how emotional it was for me,” she says. “When it’s 40-plus years later, people are not physically at their best. It can be extremely overwhelming or even paralyzing for them to manage all of it and what to take with them.”

A Moving Experience is one of a growing number of senior move management companies in central Ohio and across the nation. They typically help organize a client’s possessions, design floor plans for new residences, schedule and oversee movers, handle sales and donations of discarded items and pack and unpack before and after the move.

And, perhaps most importantly, they provide emotional support for older persons struggling with the reality that they need to leave a place that may have been their home for decades.

“It’s such a blessing to be able to do what we do,” Schulman says.

A Moving Experience is among about 1,000 companies that are members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). That’s up from the 16 companies that founded the association in 2002, says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the Chicago-based trade group.

The growth is due in part to what’s been called the “silver tsunami” of baby boomers who have reached retirement age or will do so in the coming years. The vast majority will face downsizing decisions as they move to smaller living spaces or age in place. Buysse points to data that shows 10,000 Americans turn age 65 every day. By 2030, a projected 79 million U.S. residents will be that age or older.

The trend can be seen in central Ohio. There were 252,175 people ages 65 and older in the seven-county region in 2017, an increase of more than 62,000 compared to 2010, according to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Such gains are expected to continue over the next decade.

Buysse says NASMM members must meet strict vetting requirements. They include taking the association’s cornerstone courses, abiding by its code of ethics and submitting to oversight by the group’s Ethics Compliance Commission.

Those standards are critical in an unregulated industry in which senior move managers “get into the nooks and crannies of a private home like nobody else has,” Buysse says. “This is such an intimate relationship,” she says. “Our members take that responsibility very seriously.”

Senior move management charges can range from $40 to $120 per man hour nationally, Buysse says. The average price for a move is around $3,000, plus the cost for the moving company.

That can be money well-spent for not only seniors, but their adult children who turn to senior move managers for help in assisting an elderly parent make the transition at what often is an emotional time for all involved.

Leslie Smith and her brother, Ray, called on Schulman and A Moving Experience for help in moving their mother, Helen, in September. She left her long-time home in Worthington for an independent senior living community in Atlanta, where Smith lives.

“We needed someone who knew how to be patient and understanding of the process my mother was going through,” Smith says. “The biggest service Laura provided was her ability to talk with my mother and help her understand she would support her in this process.”

Smith and her brother also hired a senior move manager in Atlanta who worked with Schulman to coordinate things on that side of the move. “They worked together to recreate the room layout so it was similar to our mother’s home [in Worthington]. That was extremely valuable,” Smith says.

She believes it is important for family members to start planning for a move when it begins to become clear an elderly parent’s living situation no longer works. That was about five years ago in her family’s case. “We had done all the research,” Smith says. “Then it was just a matter of saying ‘let’s implement this now.’ ”

While such moves are often difficult, Karen Spiller of Smooth Transitions of Central Ohio says she tries to help her clients see the good in the moving process. She and her husband, Matt, launched their senior move management business in 2011. It is a licensee of Louisville, Ky.-based Smooth Transitions, which operates in 25 states. The company was founded by Barbara Morris, who is considered a pioneer in the field.

Karen Spiller says she learned quickly that older people moving from a long-time home need a lot of empathy from those assisting them during the transition. “We try to make it less overwhelming for them and easier for them to sleep at night,” she says. “It’s really about listening to what matters most to them. We look for ways to save something that’s important to them or honor it.”

Smooth Transitions provides everything from floor planning for the new living space to coordinating move-in day. The Spillers have a pool of about a dozen part-time workers to draw upon at peak times and work with moving companies they trust to do a good job. The company charges $50 an hour per person working on the move. “When we’re done,” Spiller says, “people tell us that’s the best money they ever spent even if they were hesitant at first.”

Some nonprofits are getting into senior move management, too. They include the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, which created Downsize with a Heart as a social enterprise venture in 2017. “We were looking for a way to serve seniors, increase furniture donations we get for families and make a small surplus to help underwrite our mission,” says Furniture Bank President Steve Votaw.

While his organization already had moving trucks to help with that part of the process, it saw the need to send some staff members through NASMM training courses on how to work with the elderly. “It’s an emotional time for them,” says John Vidosh, who oversees Downsize with a Heart. “They have all this stuff and memories from living in the same home for 40 to 50 years. Often they will tell us stories that relate to their furniture pieces. It’s a form of grieving for them.”

He says Downsize with a Heart plays the role of a general contractor, coordinating the various aspects of a move from start to finish. That includes helping clients sell items to help cover the cost of a move—it ranges from $45 to $60 per man hour depending on the season—and donate unwanted items to Furniture Bank, although that is not a requirement.

“It resonates with seniors that any surplus will go to support our mission,” Votaw says. “We’ve been successful once we’ve met with families and shared our model.”



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Joe Rogan Addresses His Future with the UFC After Contemplating Retirement


Veteran color commentator Joe Rogan still thinks about retiring from calling fights for the UFC but as of right now he’s definitely enjoying his job.

It was around the same time that the UFC sold to Endeavor for more than $4 billion that Rogan talked about potentially walking away from calling fights while pursuing different endeavors in his career.

Beyond calling UFC fights, Rogan has one of the most popular and most listened to podcasts in the world not to mention a rigorous comedy schedule that could easily keep him touring throughout the year.

While he admits that he still thinks about retiring from the UFC, Rogan says that he still enjoys his job right now and it’s helped that he’s been able to cut down on the amount of work he’s doing these days.

“I do enjoy it,” Rogan said on his podcast. “I cut way back. Cause first of all I was doing too many of them. At one point I was doing 24 a year, it was way too many. It was like half of the weekends of the year, I was flying somewhere to go to the UFC. It was too much.

“That was before the UFC really started adding a bunch of people and it took a lot of the weight off of me.”

While Rogan was a mainstay on all pay-per-view broadcasts as well as the major cards that previously aired on FOX, he’s cut back his schedule dramatically over the past few years.

Rogan now only calls the North American pay-per-views for the UFC and no longer works on any international shows whatsoever. He’s also not expected to call the fights on ESPN as he stays focused on the pay-per-views, which typically featured the biggest contests in the UFC.

That means Rogan will average around 10 events per year with the UFC typically holding at least one pay-per-view in Australia and another in Brazil as it’s been done in the past.

With the reduced schedule, Rogan says he’s not sure if he’ll ever retire because he still enjoys what he does calling the fights and having too much free time on his hands doesn’t appeal to him either.

“I don’t think about retiring because I like what I do,” Rogan said. “So I don’t think about ‘oh I need ‘X’ amount of money in the bank so I’m not going to do this very much longer’. I like all that stuff.

“I think it keeps me from going crazy. I think being active keeps me from losing my marbles.”

If there’s one part of his job Rogan would gladly eliminate, it’s calling the weigh-ins the day before a big pay-per-view event.

Rogan will typically announce the fighters as they hit the scales and then conduct interviews with the main event athletes following the ceremonial weigh-ins the day before a big fight.

Rogan says that figuring out how to properly pronunciate the names of the fighters is tough and if he could avoid doing the weigh-ins, he definitely would.

“I don’t like doing the weigh-ins,” Rogan said. “It’s stressful.”





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Lindsey Vonn contemplating retirement: ‘There’s only so much I can handle’






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Gilles Duceppe’s mother found dead in snowbank outside retirement home



Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe speaks to the media at the King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. (MICHAEL PEAKE/TORONTO SUN)


MONTREAL — A 93-year-old woman whose body was found in the snow outside a luxury Montreal seniors’ residence Sunday was the mother of former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe.

Quebec’s coroner’s office said Monday it is investigating the death of a woman who perished after leaving her building when a fire alarm sounded early in the morning. Police say she ended up locked out in the middle of a frigid snowstorm.

The coroner’s office has confirmed the victim was Duceppe’s mother, Helene Rowley Hotte.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault extended condolences to Duceppe and his family Monday.

“Isabelle and I are shattered by the death of Mrs. Rowley, Gilles Duceppe’s mother,” Legault wrote on Twitter from France, where he is on an official visit. “I offer all my sympathy to Gilles, his brothers and sisters, and to the whole family in this moment of great sadness.”

Meanwhile, Marguerite Blais, the minister responsible for seniors, said she has asked local health officials for a full briefing.

“My sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. Gilles Duceppe on the death of his mother during this tragic event,” Blais wrote. “We will shed light on this very sad story.”

A longtime friend of Duceppe, who asked not to be identified, said Rowley Hotte was in excellent physical and mental health and had dined with family members the previous evening. Family checked in with her every morning, and they became worried when there was no answer to their calls Sunday. They arrived to find her unit empty, the friend said.

Montreal police said the victim had hearing problems and likely didn’t understand the announcement that her building — one of three in the complex — wasn’t part of the evacuation order. The door locked behind her as she went into a backyard.

Const. Caroline Chevrefils said police received a call shortly before noon Sunday about a woman found dead in the snow, likely from hypothermia. They transferred the investigation to the coroner’s office after determining there was no criminal element to the death.

Duceppe declined to comment when reached by The Canadian Press.

Joannie Lambert-Roy, a spokeswoman for Quebec’s coroner’s office, coroner Gehane Kamel has been assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding Rowley Hotte’s death. According to statistics compiled by the coroner’s office, there was 121 accidental deaths in Quebec from exposure to excessive cold between 2000 and 2016 — 31 of which involved victims aged 75 or older.



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