ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): Selectors have included four newcomers in the West Indies 15-member squad for the ICC Women’s World Cup starting next month in England. Teenaged Trinidadians Reniece Boyce and Felicia Walters, along with Quiana Joseph and Akeira Peters, will join an otherwise experienced unit for the June 24 to July 25 campaign. Stafanie Taylor will lead the squad again. SQUAD: Stafanie Taylor (captain), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Quiana Joseph, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shakera Selman, Felicia Walters.
Residents in New Georgia on Somalia Drive Road have alleged that some unknown individuals are poisoning wells and hand pumps “to kill [them] in the name of Ebola.”Mr. Franklin Friday, who spoke to the Daily Observer, reported that at about 4 a.m. Monday, August 4, they saw two gigantic individuals (unknown), armed with guns, using a medical syringe and attempting to drop a liquid substance into the well that is being used by thousands of homes in the area.As a result, Mr. Friday noted that people in the community are afraid, because he said many people are dying from these deadly acts and claiming that it is “Ebola.”According to him, after noticing the unusual acts by these individuals, they immediately contacted their lawmaker (Rep. Saah Joseph) to look in the matter.When Rep. Joseph arrived, he brought along with him some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and instructed them to lock the well and contact other relevant government agencies to conduct testing on these wells. If proven to be contaminated, the community will launch a serious investigation into the matter.Also speaking, Buston Kolliegbo, who resides in the area, said that the Ebola issues have become so alarming that the whole nation has been affected economically and socially. There is a complete breakdown of citizens’ health care because of the different ways in which the problem is being tackled.“Nobody is having exact information as to the diagnosis and everybody is confused. So the [well poisoning] incident that happened yesterday at the [New Georgia] junction is a wakeup call on the government, especially the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW), to test the water in every well,” Kolliegbo suggested. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Once again, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will deliver a State of the Nation Address before the 53rd National Legislature in fulfillment of Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution.Article 58 states: “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic, the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.”The Chief Executive will at 4pm today present the state of affairs of the Republic and provide her legislative agenda for the ensuing year.As Visitor to the Capitol Building on this occasion, the President has no seat in the Joint Chamber and therefore, she will be ushered into the Assembly hall by selected committee members headed by both committees of the Legislature on Executive.The President will then be escorted to the podium where she will speak to the almost four million Liberians at home and abroad, through their Representatives in the House and Senate.Before that proceeding, the Joint Legislature presided over by House Speaker J. Alex Tyler in keeping with Article 33 of the 1986 Constitution, will entertain a motion from his colleagues to invite the Chief Executive to execute the constitutional mandate of reporting to them on the state of the Republic.What to ExpectThe President’s report is expected to give prominence to the heavy blow with which the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) struck the nation and people and its adverse impact on all aspects of national life, as well as post-Ebola projections, security, peace and rule of law.Regarding the status of the economy, which has been severely weakened by the deadly Ebola virus, President Sirleaf is expected to provide an update on economic growth, the strength of the Liberian Dollar and Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).Analysts believed that not much is expected in the direction of economic growth as slow progress will be attributed to the EVD outbreak, which led to many companies partially folding their operations as the epidemic intensified. In fact, before the Ebola outbreak, the economy was already struggling with Liberian dollar chasing the United States Dollar and other international currencies. Even before and during the Ebola period, a bulk of the country’s revenue was spent on personnel salaries, fuel and lubricants and vehicles for officials.Another major problem the President is expected to deal with in her speech is education and the exploding student population compared to an inadequate budgetary allotment to solve the problem of continuing poor academic performance caused by an undersized, poorly prepared and poorly paid teacher workforce lacking books and other basic tools, sufficient classroom space and basic amenities all desperately needed to improve student performance.This time around as the country returns to an abnormal academic but cardinal education period due to the Ebola crisis, her government needs to present a more reasonable, workable and public-interest based proactive approach to ensure that less-fortunate along with all other children enroll this year. In an already “messy educational” system as indicated by Madam Sirleaf, government focus and investment must now shift to delivering quality, standardized education that will turn the corner from mass failures at elementary to university level to higher numbers of positive exam results in the Liberian school system.Healthcare delivery remains a mountainous challenge for the Unity Party-led government evidenced by the Ebola virus’ exposure of how “weak and poor” the system is to care for the millions of its citizens. The nation’s weak health delivery system and prospects for its post-Ebola overhaul with the promised support of several foreign governments and international donors will likely claim a considerable portion of the President’s address.In that direction, praises will be bestowed on many friendly nations, individuals and organizations including the United States, China and African nations, who responded in personnel, cash and kind to help Liberia fight the deadly virus.However, the question of corruption definitely cannot be ruled out of the President’s address to the nation. Some of her officials were accused of miss-directing Ebola funds and other resources to their personal use during the height of the Ebola crisis. Many believe the President has not put forth the high level of forcefulness to stamp out corruption as she vowed to do during the inception of her incumbency. This lack luster approach has weakened her image and somewhat tarnished her credibility in that direction. It remains to be heard what her explanation is for the failure to stamp out corruption and how she intends to recover the will power to do so and prove to still have zero tolerance for this cancer eating away at all sectors of the Liberian society.Relative to human rights and the rule of law, President Sirleaf is expected to highlight the wave of rape cases around the country particularly those involving children. It will be disappointing to many, if not all, if the President falls short of providing an update on the West Point shooting that claimed the life of teenager Shakie Kamara.President Sirleaf will acknowledge the passing of former Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis and the many Liberians and several foreigners, who lost their lives to the Ebola virus and most likely devote a moment of silence in memory of these and other fallen Liberians.This national assembly will bring together officials from the three branches, doyen and members of the Diplomatic Corps, international partners, Chiefs and Elders, Political, Religious and BusinessLeaders.The House Chief Clerk, Mildred Sayon, announced that Monday’s ceremony begins at 2pm with the arrival of invited guests. She noted that non-essential staffers are advised to stay home.According to a Joint Press Release from the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives only accredited journalists will be allowed in the Joint Chambers.Today’s State of the Nation address marks the 10th oration, to the Legislature since Madam Johnson Sirleaf ascended to the Presidency in 2006.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Given the history of jury performance in Liberia in both the distant and recent past, the answer to this question is, it would seem, a resounding “Yes!”All too often the state has lost major cases because wealthy defendants—or their lawyers, or both—have “taken care of the jury,” leaving the Ministry of Justice or lawyers for the prosecution looking incompetent or clownish (ignorant). The most recent example of this was the suspension by the Supreme Court last Monday of further proceedings in the ongoing economic sabotage case involving the former Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Matilda Parker, and her Comptroller, Madam Christiana Kpabar Paelay. The High Court’s decision was issued by Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie based on a complaint filed by state lawyers. They asked the High Court to mandate Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ to deliver his recent ruling in a jury tampering investigation for review.Judge Dixon last week in his jury tampering allegation refused to disband the sequestrated jury, but dropped only three of the 15-member panel—Kissi Kamara, Kebbeh Kollie and Melvin Teah Neowen—all of whom prosecutors accused of being behind a plot, exposed through a certain letter allegedly involving them, to collect money from the defendants to influence the outcome of the trial. The judge also ignored the prosecution’s plea to disband the entire panel, but ordered the remaining 12 jurors to sit on the case because, according to him, the letter did not reach them.Madam Justice Wolokollie has meanwhile instructed defendants Parker and Paelay to appear before her today, Monday, February 29.The matter is further complicated by Judge Dixon’s removal of Kissi Kamara, whose mother, Jenneh Kamara, was the person currently cooking for the jury and is said also to be implicated in the jury tampering allegation. So prosecution wondered why she, too, was not removed, but only her son. Prosecution further complained that the letter bearing the names of two of the three jurors, Kollie and Neowen, and an unnamed other were seized from Bailiffs Bendu Dukuly and Roland Nyanku, assigned with the sequestered jurors.During the investigation, it was alleged that one Peter Wisdom Fayiah, believed to be the assistant manager of the Jury Management Team, was the person who gave the letter to the two bailiffs for delivery to the panel.Prosecution further complains that the judge failed to take any action against Peter Fayiah, nor did Judge Dixon honor prosecution’s request to allow them to look at the Temple of Justice personnel list to verify whether the signature on the back of the letter resembled that of Fayiah’s.We commend the High Court for its timely action. We submit that the officials of the Supreme Court could not sit idly by, supinely witnessing such a serious allegation of jury tampering in such a high profile case—or any other case—without exercising its authority to protect the integrity of the judicial system.While we await the outcome of the investigation into the alleged involvement of the bailiffs and jurors in this case, we are constrained to revisit the constitutional principle of trial by jury. The Constitution calls for all persons being prosecuted for crime to be tried by their peers, meaning a jury constituted by the court. This is deemed a constitutional right by all party litigants in criminal trials. But who are these so-called “peers” that the Constitution talks about? Are they peers of individuals who happen to be, for one reason or the other, rightly or wrongly, accused of being in violation of the law? Or are they those who believe that the quickest way to wealth and prosperity is through their selection and appointment as jurors, waiting to seize any and every opportunity to extort money from party litigants in the deliberate, devious, corrupt and unpatriotic attempt to circumvent, frustrate and undermine the cause of justice? We trust that this latest intervention by the High Court will ensure a thorough and complete investigation into jury tampering. Where did the letter come from? How did it reach Peter Fayiah? As an employee of the Jury Management Team, a body that was created to help protect the integrity and smooth functioning of juries, how was it possible for him to receive any letter directed to the jury without the Judge’s knowledge? The recipient of such a letter should have been where the buck immediately stopped, for he should have known that it was grossly improper, even criminal, for anyone for any reason whatsoever even to attempt approaching or contacting a sequestered jury.The public is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the investigation to determine whether in truth yet again the jury in Liberia is nothing more than an obstruction of justice.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LEC staff along with WAPP and staff of Nigeria post for group photo shortly after the interviewThirty-six (36) employees of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) will depart the country on Wednesday, September 20, to undergo an intensive empowerment training in Nigeria as part of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) plan for Liberia.The West African Power Pool (WAPP) is a cooperation of the national electricity companies in Western Africa under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) working to establish a reliable power grid for the region and a common market for electricity.Mamadou Alpha Sylla, coordinator for the Capacity Building Program at the WAPP who spoke with reporters over the weekend in Monrovia, said he was delighted to work with the LEC, especially in the area of building the capacity of its staff.“The 36 staff will undergo intensive training in both Lagos and Abuja to ensure that they come back and are able to perform well. I think they have the potential to be trained and come back to deliver in their various departments,” he said.According to Sylla, WAPP hopes that beneficiaries of the training will be able to train their workmates upon their return to Liberia, adding that “This is part of our program in terms of training Liberia’s technicians and ensuring that they are unified in the electricity market.”For his part, Samuel M. Weedor, Sr., who works at the LEC’s transmission and distribution (T/D) of the substation, said he is excited for the opportunity the two-week training will afford him and his colleagues, adding, “I hope to see some of the substation equipment; looking at some of the challenges we face in Liberia. By seeing the equipment and practicing on them with expert instructors will help us to improve and be able to perform as well.“We have worked with LEC for number of years and I think that no other institution in Liberia is prepared to employ hundreds of technicians. With LEC, thousands can still be employed.”He noted that participating in the two-week training will be an added motivation for the employees and management to ensure that the work is done. Interestingly, Mr. Weedor said “We don’t have any school in Liberia that can teach you about substations and so it’s important that such training be organized for the staff.”The 36 employees who are expected to depart the country for Nigeria on Wednesday, September 20, 2017“We have all these equipment manufactured out of Liberia, and we have to only learn when the experts are installing them and doing other things on the machines or equipment. But that’s not enough to maintain the entire grid, because LEC is growing at a rapid speed,” he said.He continued: “I hope that we will be learning something new looking at the various departments the selection was made from. I was selected from substation training and believe that the necessary skills and knowledge to improve will be acquired. We feel happy that the management can think about us and also ensuring that our capacities are built to carry on the work.”LEC’s deputy managing director for the Rural Electrification Project, Zahnga E. Peabody, said he was excited to see 36 LEC staff leaving for Nigeria to participate in the two-week training. “We believe that this training will help to build the capacity where the gap is currently, and ensuring that our people get the power. We are seriously trying to develop our human capacity,” he said. “This is a USAID funded project. The 36 people were selected based on their competencies and commitment,” he added.He said the LEC management is committed to empower its staff and ensure that they grow to help the institution provide service to the people. On power generation, Peabody said, “We have capacities, but the issue is manpower. We don’t have capacity in terms of distribution. We have the power available and need to get it to the consumers by building more poles and ensuring that the people get the power.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Taking place from Wednesday Nov. 16 until Friday, Nov. 19 at the Fort St. John Curling Club is the annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel.The tournament’s opening ceremony will take place Wednesday at 6 p.m. with the first draw happening two hours prior at 4 p.m.Moose FM will be live on location throughout the entirety of the tournament for up to date scores and coverage.- Advertisement -For more information on the curling tournament, please contact the Fort St. John Curling Club at 250-785-2037.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Blizzard Bicycle Club held its 24th edition of the Mountain Bike Challenge on Sunday, September 8, at Beatton Provincial Park.Despite the course being wet and muddy from Saturday’s rain, a number of cyclists came out to participate in the Challenge.Coming in first place for the 12 km multi-loop Beatton Park classic was Ben Dawson with a time of 54:19. Lukas Brand came in second with a time of 1:02:07, while Pat Ferris finished in third place with a time of 1:23:40.- Advertisement -In the 10 km race, LT McDonell placed first with an overall time of 59:15. Coming in a close second was Trevor McDonell at 59:16, and Meg Ruddell in third with a time of 1:00:10.
But this popularity comes with a price. Warner Center is already badly congested from new development and redevelopment, such as the Westfield Topanga mall. The main arteries are jammed during commute times. That’s why City Hall must stop approving every development that comes before it, and start putting on the brakes. Before one more large-scale project is approved, the city should craft a smart-growth plan for growing Warner Center. It’s a new concept for a city that has presided over mindless sprawl, but it’s not that difficult. For starters, city leaders must consider ways to reduce car trips through mixed-use development and realistic public transportation options. Denser development doesn’t have to doom a community to nightmarish traffic. Intelligent planning can even make Warner Center a better place to live and work. But without a smart-growth plan, it will be just another Westside. DEVELOPER Ronald Simms is fighting the city requirement to set aside 25 percent of the proposed 438 units in the five-story apartment building he wants to build on the site of the Valley Indoor Swap Meet on Variel Avenue. He’s also fighting a traffic study. But there’s a larger, more troubling issue that everyone seems to be ignoring: Just what the heck is City Hall growing in the greater Warner Center? The answer is, who knows? There’s no comprehensive smart-growth plan that looks at development in terms of balancing housing, commercial and traffic needs. And without that, there’s a very real possibility we could be creating the next Westside – traffic nightmares and all. The Woodland Hills business hub was conceived as an alternative downtown. And like downtown, it’s one of the hottest places in L.A. for new development. High-density luxury condos have replaced low-density industrial buildings. Commercial and retail projects have boomed. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
More than 300,000 took part in a similar rally in the capital Ankara two weeks ago. “This government is the enemy of Ataturk,” said 63-year-old Ahmet Yurdakul, a retired government employee among the demonstrators on Sunday. “It wants to drag Turkey to the Dark Ages.” On Friday, Gul failed to win a first round of voting in parliament after opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote. The opposition then appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the result on grounds that there was not a quorum present at the time of the vote. That night, the military threatened to intervene in the election and warned the government to curb Islamic influences. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ISTANBUL, Turkey – At least 700,000 people marched Sunday in a massive protest against the possible election of an observant Muslim as president, a conflict that is pitting Turkey’s religiously oriented ruling party against the deeply secular military and civilian establishment. Waving the country’s red flag and singing nationalist songs, demonstrators in Istanbul demanded the resignation of the pro-Islamic government, calling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a traitor. Erdogan’s foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, is widely expected to win the presidential election by the country’s 550-seat parliament. “We don’t want a covered woman in Ataturk’s presidential palace,” protester Ayse Bari, a 67-year-old housewife, said in reference to Gul’s wife Hayrunisaah, who wears the Muslim headscarf. “We want civilized, modern people there.” The election has reignited a conflict over Turkey’s national identity that has brewed since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, an army officer in World War I, founded the secular republic after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He gave the vote to women, restricted Islamic dress and replaced the Arabic script with the Roman alphabet. But Islam remained potent at the grass-roots level, and some leaders with a religious background have portrayed themselves as an alternative to the secular establishment. Many, including powerful generals, fear Gul would use the presidency – a post with veto power over legislation – to assist his ally, Erdogan, in chipping away at the separation of state and religion. For example, secularists want to preserve a ban on Islamic headscarves in government offices and other public places; Gul’s wife once appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for the right to wear the scarf to a university. The military hinted it may step in to resolve the deadlock over Gul in parliament. And many Turks are calling for early elections in the hope of replacing the parliament, which is dominated by Gul’s pro-Islamic ruling party. “Turkey is secular and will remain secular!” shouted thousands of protesters, many of whom traveled overnight to Istanbul from across the country. Turkish police estimated their numbers at about 700,000 and cordoned off the protest area, conducting searches at several entry points.
He was also a board member with the North Peace Cultural Society, sitting as its secretary.“He went about all the work without making a fuss, you could always count on him,” said Ruth Ann Darnall, who chairs the PVEA, and taught with Atkins at Alwin Holland.Darnall said news of Atkins’ passing is resonating back to his family in Australia, friends on Vancouver Island, and even former students in other provinces.Dawn Ljuden, who worked with Atkins with Stage North, called him a mentor and a confidante, a man who never sought to soak in the limelight, instead preferring to quietly donate his time and his tools.“He would never admit it, but he was amazing at designing sets,” she said.Advertisement “As much as he hated being on stage, he promised me he would be in it if he had the same three lines he had in high school,” Ljuden said.“This is a big loss for Fort St. John, not just for Stage North. We’re going to feel it for years to come,” she said.Atkins integral in local fight against Site C.In a statement, Diane Culling, also with the PVEA, said Atkins in the fight against the Site C dam project from the start, and will remain so until to the end.“The fact that the PVEA executive must scramble to ensure that the many balls that Tony always “kept in the air” do not drop now, at the very time we are trying to come to terms with his unexpected death, is a measure of how important he was to the campaign to save our beloved Peace River Valley,” Culling wrote in a statement to members.“So now Tony is gone. As was Leo Rutledge, and so many people that spent that past forty years working to stop Site C. They have passed the torch to us. And we cannot let them down,” Culling continued.“Let’s put this damn dam to bed once and for all, before another person that loves that valley has to die without knowing that it is safe.” “He never looked for thanks. A lot of what he did was quiet and soft in the background, it just made him feel good. He didn’t want to be on stage. He wanted to make things happen so every one else could join.”Stage North President Gilles Francoeur said “generations of volunteers owe Tony a great debt of gratitude, for without him they literally would not have had a stage to perform on.”“Tony was a consistent and unwavering presence in my own life for the better part of twenty years,” said Francoeur.“I found him to be a profoundly intelligent and funny man. Quick with a joke or a pat on the back. He could lift your spirits with barely a word or none at all.”He may not have liked the stage, but Atkins was planning to stand upon one this season in Ljuden’s fall production of Macbeth. Atkins had a small role in the play back in his high school days. Ljuden says she’ll be dedicating the show to him.Advertisement Sloan said Atkins would always joke that he was “retired, not buried,” and remained active in the schools after his retirement.“He continued to volunteer with the elementary track meet, was the timer for the district speech contest, and even up until this year, he was active as a judge at the C.M. Finch Science Fair,” said Sloan.Atkins a founding member of Stage NorthOutside of the classroom, Atkins was an active member of the community — involved with both the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA), where he sat as treasurer since the 1980s. He was also a founder member of Stage North in 1978, where he helped bring productions to life through his set designs, and was volunteer with The Workshop Players in the 1970s.Advertisement He traded in the subtropical airs of Australia for the cooler climes of British Columbia’s Peace Country, building a reputation over decades for his dedication to his students, the arts, and the environment in Fort St. John.Long-time resident Tony Atkins died Thursday morning following a fight with cancer. He was 71.“He was just one of those wonderful people that we were blessed to have,” said Dave Sloan, superintendent of School District 60.- Advertisement -“His passing is too soon.”Atkins was just a young school teacher from Australia when came to Fort St. John with a pair of friends in the 1960s, landing a job teaching at Alwin Holland Elementary School. He would later serve as principal of C.M. Finch Elementary until his retirement.Sloan remembered Atkins for his quick wit and dry humour, and for being a pillar of support for new teachers and administrators coming into the district. Atkins mentored many who are senior staff today.Advertisement