Nimba Senator Clarifies Road Project Dilemma

first_imgAs doubts brew over the fate of a stretch of road from Ganta to Yekepa, Nimba County Senator Thomas S. Grupee has clarified that there is still hope for its pavement.Senator Grupee, in an interview with the Daily Observer on December 17 in Sanniquellie during the second graduation convocation of the Nimba County Community College (NCCC), said he is disappointed about the delay of the pavement of the road.However, he told the Daily Observer that things have been worked out and there’s hope that the project will recommence very soon.According to the Senator, ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) had a “gentleman’s agreement” with the Government and people of Liberia that does not form part of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).He said delays in construction of the road came when AML said it could no longer invest the US$43 million promised for the road’s pavement because of the drop in the price of iron ore.Senator Grupee said the cost of abandoning the road as a result of AML’s decision would be more than continuing the project, “and therefore, we have to take money from our Highway Fund to continue the project. The work was interrupted during the rainy season, but now the project is on course.”He disclosed that the Liberian government has invested US$13 million in the road project to continue until the economic condition affecting ArcelorMittal Liberia can improve to enable the company to resume its promise.The government’s investment, he said, has reawakened the construction company, Campagine Sahelienne D’Enterprises (CSE), to continue the project.He meanwhile noted that the price of iron ore that once went down to US$30 per ton has climbed up to US$80, which he said is a “good sign” that by next year the steel giant will be able to make good on its promise.As to whether the government would demand for reimbursement from AML, he answered in the negative and said the government has already made the commitment to continue the project whether AML comes in or not.He stressed that the company’s initial commitment cannot be used against it but noted that the Liberian government anticipates a gesture in good faith from the company for the pavement of the road.The MDA between the Liberian government and ArcelorMittal Liberia indicates that the steel company will provide a financial report on the quantity of iron ore produced and sold every calendar quarter, and a report on all operations and activities at the end of each financial year.It will also construct, maintain and operate health facilities in the concession area with modern equipment and with internationally accepted procedures. According to the agreement, AML is also to provide US$75 million over the 25 years of the agreement to support socioeconomic development in the country.It is also to provide an annual social contribution of US$3 million to be managed and disbursed for the benefit of communities in the counties of Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa by a committee formed by the company and the government.Within this amount, US$1.5 million is allotted to Nimba County every year for its social development.The construction of the highway came as a gesture from ArcelorMittal Liberia to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, which is not part of any legal agreement binding on the company.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Suddie Police lock-ups escapee still on the run

first_imgA prisoner who escaped from the Suddie Police Station lock-ups on Wednesday last is yet to be recaptured.This was confirmed by Police Public Relations Officer Jairam Ramlakhan.The prisoner, 24-year-old Leon Prince, of Onderneeming Sand Pit, Essequibo Coast, escaped the lock-ups between 04:00h and 15:00h on the day in question.The escapee was remanded to prison having been charged with simple larceny and three other offences and was required to make another court appearance today at the Suddie Magistrate’s Court.The Police are hunting for the fugitive.last_img read more

OSB-Plant Shutdown Ends

first_imgThe one week shutdown at Canfor’s local Peace Valley OSB plant is over.The down time was part of a strategy to keep the plant afloat, by keeping productivity up and, it ended last night.Now, an industry analyst is suggesting forestry workers in BC should feel a little more comfortable, as lumber prices have started to recover.- Advertisement -Russ Taylor is with International Wood Products and he says, by cutting production, the industry has helped push prices about 25 percent above the lows experienced earlier this year…[asset|aid=150|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=Taylor-Lumber prices_1_Pub.mp3]Numbers recently reported by Credit Union Central show sawmill lumber production, from the start of 2008 to the end of May, has dropped by 24 percent in BC, as compared to the same period last year.Advertisementlast_img read more

Primary purpose

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! THERE are some obvious drawbacks to the prospect of moving up the California presidential primary: The ads – starting, no doubt, as early as Christmas for the February primary. The candidates – tying up traffic with their security and media entourages. And yet another election day in this vote-happy state. But that’s the price of democracy, isn’t it? Under the current system, we might be spared much of the politicking, but only because we’re irrelevant. The rest of the nation has chosen its candidates before we even get a vote. So we should all be glad that, with the state Senate’s overwhelming approval Tuesday, California is that much closer to moving its presidential primary up to February. Better to be bothered than to be ignored!last_img read more

Mysterious bee killer imperils nation’s diet

first_imgEven cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being “stuck with grains and water,” said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA’s bee and pollination program. “This is the biggest general threat to our food supply,” Hackett said. While not all scientists foresee a food crisis, noting that large-scale bee deaths have happened before, this one seems particularly baffling and alarming. U.S. beekeepers in the past few months have lost one-quarter of their colonies – or about five times the normal winter losses – because of what scientists have dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem started in November and seems to have spread to 27 states, with similar collapses reported in Brazil, Canada and parts of Europe. Scientists are struggling to figure out what is killing the honeybees, and early results of a key study this week point to some kind of disease or parasite. Even before the disorder struck, America’s honeybees were in trouble. Their numbers were steadily shrinking, because their genes do not equip them to fight poisons and disease very well and because their gregarious nature exposes them to ailments that afflict thousands of their close cousins. Pulitzer Prize-winning insect biologist E.O. Wilson of Harvard said the honeybee is nature’s “workhorse – and we took it for granted.” “We’ve hung our own future on a thread,” Wilson, author of the book “The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth,” told The Associated Press. Beginning this past fall, beekeepers opened up their hives and found no workers, just newborn bees and the queen. In past bee die-offs, dead bees were found near the hive, but this time they have just disappeared. The die-off takes just one to three weeks.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BELTSVILLE, Md. – Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation’s honeybees could have a devastating effect on America’s dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet. Honeybees don’t just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have. Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. They also pollinate lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons. In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. last_img read more

Lebanese troops battle Islamic militants

first_imgTRIPOLI, Lebanon – Fierce clashes erupted between Lebanese army soldiers and Islamic militants in the vicinity of a Palestinian refugee camp here on Sunday, leaving 22 Lebanese soldiers and 17 militants dead and dozens injured in one of the most significant challenges to the army since the end of Lebanon’s bloody civil war. The confrontation with the Islamist group, Fatah Islam, raised fears of a wider battle to rout militants in the rest of Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps, where radical Islam has been gaining in recent years. That, in turn, raised the possibility of a deadly conclusion to the crisis, placing strains on the embattled government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. While anxious not to seem weak in the face of the militant challenge, military experts say, the government and the military also want to avoid any scenes that might draw comparisons to the Israeli attacks on Palestinian camps in the West Bank and Gaza. Many of the complex cross-currents of Lebanon’s politics were on display in the crisis. The army, under an agreement with the Palestinian leadership and Arab countries, was not allowed to enter the camp. Lebanese citizens, who hold the Palestinians responsible for sparking the civil war in 1975, cheered the army on the streets of Tripoli and outside the camp. Syria, which Lebanon accuses of backing Fatah Islam, closed several border crossings in the area. And the fighting broke out just as the Security Council had taken up a resolution to try suspects tied to the February 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Syria has been accused in previous investigations of ordering the killing, but vigorously denies any connection. Tensions rose further late Sunday night when a car bomb exploded in a nearly empty parking lot in a Christian section of eastern Beirut, killing one person, wounding 12 others and sparking fears of an orchestrated terrorist campaign. Last month, Lebanese authorities charged four members of Fatah Islam with bombing two commuter buses carrying Lebanese Christians in another Christian district. Fatah Islam has been a growing concern for security authorities in Lebanon and much of the region. Intelligence officials say it counts between 150 and 200 fighters in its ranks and subscribes to the fundamentalist precepts of al-Qaida. The group’s leader, Shakir al-Abssi, is a fugitive Palestinian and former associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaida in Mesopotamia who was killed last year in Iraq. Both men were sentenced to death in absentia for the 2002 murder of an American diplomat, Lawrence Foley, in Jordan. In the six months since he arrived from Syria, Abssi has established a base of operations at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp on the northern outskirts of this city, and the scene of the fighting on Sunday. What began as a raid on several homes in Tripoli in pursuit of suspected bank robbers connected to Fatah Islam quickly escalated into an open confrontation with the group at their stronghold in the camp. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Arsene Wenger insists it is ‘too far’ to speak about the title after Arsenal defeat Manchester City

first_imgArsene Wenger believes it is too soon to talk about his Arsenal side winning their first Premier League title since 2004, despite beating Manchester City 2-1.Mesut Ozil starred as he layed on his 14th and 15th assists of the season for Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud before Yaya Toure pulled one back for the visitors.Arsenal now sit four points clear of third-placed City and only two points behind table-toppers Leicester City and Wenger believes results like this will only add to the growing belief of his players.“It is important to fight at the top (of the league) for belief,” said Wenger.“This type of game strengthens the belief of the players, our environment and our fans.“What we can guarantee is to go for it and to want it. After that it is too far to speak about championships now.“What we have to realise is you earn your right to win these games and we put the effort in today.”last_img read more

FORMER DJ TO SUE AFTER HIGHLAND FAIL TO PAY FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL CASH

first_imgHighland RadioA former Highland Radio DJ is to take the station to court after they failed to pay him €26,000 in compensation he won in a constructive dismissal case.Former afternoon show host Steven Lynch obtained a determination against the Letterkenny station on 20th October 2015 at an Employment Appeals Tribunal. This has not been paid by Highland Radio despite the fact that a six week period for an appeal has since passed.Mr Lynch has now referred the matter to the workplace relationship commission to have the determination enforced through the courts.Mr. Lynch told Donegal Daily that he is “extremely disappointed” that he has had to embark upon these further proceedings against his former employer.Asked if Highland may have lodged an appeal in the case, Mr Lynch said he has checked with his legal team and no correspondence has been filed.“I honestly thought that after all I had been through that this was the end of the matter. But even after winning the case, I am still no better off,” he said.Former Highland Radio DJ Steven Lynch.The well-known Inishowen broadcaster took the case for constructive dismissal at an Employment Appeals Tribunal held at the Silver Tassie Hotel on four separate dates last year.Both sides set out their cases at the tribunal which gave details of Mr Lynch’s working conditions and arrangements at the station.Mr Lynch claimed he was forced to leave the station in April 2013 claiming he could no longer survive on his salary after the use of a company car and a sales position were taken from him.The Employment Appeals Tribunal found that Highland’s behaviour justified Lynch resigning and claiming constructive dismissal saying there had been a “fundamental breach of contract.”The tribunal found however, that Mr Lynch’s attempts to find alternative employment was mainly limited to broadcasting which they said was too restrictive an approach at the time.They then found in favour of Mr Lynch and recommended the awarding of €26,000 by Highland to their former presenter.BACKGROUND TO THE CASELynch, 37, from Carndonagh, had been employed by the Letterkenny-based station since 2004 until before he left in May 2013.He quickly became a popular presenter on its afternoon show and his show’s listenership was second only to the flagship Shaun Doherty Morning Show.He earned a basic wage of €394 for presenting his show but also had the use of a company car from Monday until Friday and was also on 20% of any adverts he sold to a list of between 40 and 50 clients.The car was one of a pool of three cars which were sponsored by Inishowen Motors in return for €10,000 worth of advertising on the station each year.When the company was sold to the Rabbitt family in 2008, a series of cost-cutting measures were introduced.Former station manager Collins told the tribunal that the business had turnover of €2.5 million with a profit of €750,000 at the time.However, despite a turnover of €2 million in 2009, this was the year the recession started to bite and staff were asked to take a 10% pay cut.Mr Collins said he thought this was excessive as the station was still in a very healthy state.He added that during 2009, the company paid more than €700,000 in bank debt as well as €100,000 to agents for the sale of the station.Local auditors were also replaced by outside agencies leading to another substantial cost.In his evidence, former station manager Collins told how marketing manager John Clancy, who joined the company in 2012, was constantly raising the issue of Mr Lynch and how he had become “obsessed” with him.His client base on the Inishowen peninsula was eventually reduced to 15 and the use of the company car was taken from him and taken over by Mr Clancy.Mr Collins said he told the radio presenter to go and spend time with his father who was dying at the time saying “Highland Radio will still be here when you get back.”The tribunal was told that Mr Lynch was looking for an extra €200 to compensate him for the loss of both the car and his position within sales.Mr Collins took this to the board but they rejected it.Solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin said his client estimated he was at a loss of €67,294 since leaving the station in May 2013.The tribunal was told that Mr Lynch was immediately replaced by another presenter Gary Gamble who was still employed at the station.HIGHLAND Radio has had hundreds of thousands of euro pumped into it to save it from closure, its owners have said.Members of the Galway-based Rabbitte family spoke out as they gave evidence in an employment tribunal held at the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny yesterday.Gerry Rabbitte and his son Tim both told the tribunal that claims by former manager Charlie Collins that they had taken huge amounts of cash out of Highland when staff were hit with ten per cent pay cuts were wrong.Former DJ Steven Lynch is suing for more than €75,000 in lost income since he left the station in May 2013.Mr Lynch has alleged that Gerry Rabbitte’s son-in-law and marketing boss John Clancy had “chipped away” at him until he quit.He claimed his wages were cut from an average of €611 per week to €390 after most of his advertising sales clients were taken off him in January 2013.He also had access to a pool car stopped, increasing the cost of driving to and from his home in Carndonagh.Mr Lynch left saying he could not support his wife and children on the €390 he received for presenting his popular afternoon show.However Tim Rabbitte said that while Mr Lynch was a good presenter “it was clear his sales were not good enough but I wanted him to remain as a presenter”.Tim Rabbitte told the hearing: “I offered him €450 and suggest he think about it; a lot of our DJs would do other things outside work using the Highland name and thought that would help.”Highland claimed that Mr Collins had already made his mind up to leave the station and launch a rival bid for the franchise and that Mr Lynch was part of this.“It was clear his mind was elsewhere,” said Tim Rabbitte.He said the station had expected a response to an offer given via Mr Collins of €450 plus a €50 fuel allowance.“We would have considered it had he come back asking for more,” said Tim Rabbitte.But the company didn’t get a response, he said. Instead Lynch quit.“If Mr Collins came back with a compromise figure we would have looked at it; but he never came back – that was the point at which it perished; that was the end of it,” said Tim Rabbitte.He said the station was in a difficult position. Revenue was down forty per cent.He denied claims that €700,00 a year taken out of the company was for other companies or the family.“My family have never taken a penny out of that company – this was an attempt to blacken the name of Highland radio,” said Tim Rabbitte.“The money all went back to pay loans.”Gerry Rabbitte repeated this in his evidence in the case.He said they had paid too much for the station and had bank loans to pay.He accused Mr Collins of making claims that money was taken out of Highland for other companies.“I want to categorically deny this. This was planted out there by Mr Collins that we were taking money out of Highland to pay off another company; we were paying nothing other than the loan we took to buy Highland Radio.“We are there seven years now and we’ve never taken a cent out. We have put hundreds of thousands of euro into the station otherwise it would have been gone,” he said.Mr Rabbitte said he didn’t know at the time that Mr Collins was planning to launch a bid for the radio license.“In hindsight we were very gullible at the time. Mr Collins later tried to take our business off us.”He also refuted claims by Mr Lynch that he got a phone call from a member of staff at Highland Radio on the day his dad died asking him to leave the pool car to Buncrana for use by another DJ.“Nobody from our company made that call and the member of staff wants an apology for that,” said Gerry Rabbitte.Mr Lynch’s solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin responded: “It happened and I can assure you she won’t be getting one.”Mr Rabbitte confirmed his son-in-law was no longer with Highland Radio.Mr McLaughlin asked him if this was because of his role in this case.Mr Rabbitte denied this, saying Mr Clancy had taken up a better paid position elsewhere.Mr McLaughlin then asked why there had been no negotiation with Mr Lynch who had been offered €450 at that stage plus €50 diesel allowance.“I told Mr Collins he could negotiate. A child of eight could understand that,” said Gerry Rabbitte.FORMER DJ TO SUE AFTER HIGHLAND FAIL TO PAY FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL CASH was last modified: January 7th, 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) Tags:donegalHighland RadioSteven Lynchtribunallast_img read more

Today’s area football capsules

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the WeekSite: Riverside.Time: 5 p.m.Records: Palomar 3-2, Riverside Community 3-2Outlook: Both teams were idle last week. This is an opener in Mission Conference, American Division play. Palomar last played against No. 4 in the nation El Camino, losing 31-20. It has posted wins over West L.A., Los Angeles Harbor and Orange Coast. The offense is directed by sophomore QB Josh Somerville (45-96, 703), whose main target has been freshman Tyler Fenton (9-72). Sophomore S Adam Tenney and sophomore LB Liummotu Suianunoa are the top defenders. The Comets feature two local players – wide receiver Graham Middleton (A.B. Miller) and OT Everett Verigan (Yucca Valley). RCC depends much on its RB tandem of San Bernardino native Richard Murrell (59-340) and Joshua Miller (59-421). It also has a formidable passing combo in Anthony Andre and Dion Toliver. Defensive standouts are freshman ILB Deylan Marrow, sophomore DL Jeff Benjamin and sophomore Andre Saulsberry (Rialto). Victor Valley at Southwestern Site: SouthwesternTime: 1 p.m.Records: Victor Valley 2-4, 1-3; Southwestern 2-4, 1-3Outlook: Victor Valley boasts the top rushing team in the conference with Antoine Randolph (90-504); Erik Hardeman (37-256); Theodore Snodgrass (45-253) and QB Mark Moore (72-285) figuring most prominently. But the Rams are next to last in passing. They rank second to only Chaffey in rushing defense and are first in pass defense. Leaders on that side of the ball are Kris Barron and Jonny Halas. Jonathan Carrawway and Richard DeShawn both returned fumbles for touchdowns last week in a 27-0 win over Antelope Valley that snapped a four-game losing streak. Southwestern is led by RBs Larry Richardson (94-459) and Michael Byrd (56-291) as well as QB Robert Riggs (67-109, 832) and WR Antuan Bloom (26-354). Southwestern is looking to snap a three-game losing streak and is coming off a 27-14 loss to Desert. Mt. San Jacinto vs. San Bernardino Valley Site:n San Bernardino Valley CollegeTime: 1 p.m. Records: Mt. San Jacinto 4-1, 2-1; SBVC 2-3, 1-2 Outlook: The Eagles had a bye last week. They beat Antelope Valley 19-0 when they last played. The catalyst of the offense is freshman QB Matt Ticich (69-123, 1,154 yards, 10 TDs) who leads the conference in passing. His favorite target is Chris Kehne (23-300). The team’s leading rusher is freshman Kevin Slaughter (66-327, 4 TDs). Two of the Wolverines’ three losses have been by a field goal, including a 28-25 loss to San Diego Mesa last week. RB Kendrick Harris returned last week and rushed for 137 yards. Nathan Acrey is also a threat out of the backfield. QB Ryan Rising fared better last week, with Marquis Smith emerging as his favorite receiver. But the strength of the team has been the defense, keyed by LB Foaki Fifita. Palomar vs. Riverside Community 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Whitter vs. Redlands Site: Ted Runner StadiumTime: 7 p.m. Records: Whittier 2-2, 0-2; Redlands 2-2, 1-0 Outlook: It will be homecoming at Redlands. Whittier had a bye last week, but played No. 6 Occidental tough in losing 28-20 last time it took the field. Its other conference loss was to Pomona-Pitzer. The Poets average 166.8 rushing yards per game and 178.8 passing. The starting QB is Josh Scurlock (61-118, 714 yards, 7 TDs), who is also the leading rusher. Senior Alex Jones is a versatile performer who lines up at various positions. The leading tackler is freshman LB Jared Izidoro, with sophomore LB Jacobo Limon, junior DB Chasen Eddow and and junior DB Dustin Jones also key players. Whittier has two locals – freshman DL Chris Martinez (Chino Hills) and freshman TE Matt Reaber (Sultana). The Bulldogs continue to fight the injury bug with QB Nick Brown (knee); DB Brad Smith (neck/shoulder); LB Adam Brown (knee); WR Kyle Godfrey (knee) and S Tommy Bright among those sidelined. Junior Chris Saras, who did an admirable job last week, will relieve Brown. Solid defensive efforts last week were chalked up by DE Corey White, DB Conor Drake and DB Richard Green. Radio: KTIE 590-AM last_img read more

Oakland broadcaster dies following surgery

first_img King was the lead radio broadcaster for the Golden State Warriors and Oakland Raiders and worked for a time on the San Francisco Giants’ broadcast team. “Bill was a great friend, a brilliant performer and an exceptional man,” Raiders owner Al Davis said. “I say this with great admiration and love that Bill becomes one of the people that I give the cloak of immortality. Time never stops for the great ones.” “I think he was just a member of the family for almost 50 years in the Bay Area. He was the greatest sportscaster I ever heard,” Korach said. “He brought an immense amount of passion and dedication to every broadcast and touched so many people. They remember certain times in their lives because of him. For over 50 years, he was a constant in people’s lives.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! At spring training in March, King tripped over some luggage in his Phoenix hotel room and had been struggling to get around all season — missing a number of road games and relying on crutches and later a cane. But he reported about the A’s with the same fervor he demonstrated for years covering not only the A’s, but other pro sports teams in Northern California. He joined the A’s broadcast staff in 1981. “It’s a devastating thing,” said Ken Korach, King’s partner in the booth the past 10 seasons. “It’s almost hard to believe. It’s pretty sad. He just meant so much — a true icon, a renaissance man, a one-in-a-million kind of a character, and I mean that in a positive way. He was one of a kind.” His death came as a shock to the sports community, which considered King with his carefully groomed curled-up mustache as much a ballpark staple as the players and the popcorn. King, a native of Bloomington, Ill., had surgery Friday and all indications were that he would recover. Korach received an e-mail from King’s daughter Friday night that he “came through the surgery fine.” center_img OAKLAND — Longtime Oakland Athletics radio voice Bill King, whose signature call of “Holy Toledo!” was a household phrase for decades in the Bay Area, died early Tuesday from complications following hip surgery. He was 78. The A’s said King died at a hospital in San Leandro, three days after undergoing surgery for an injury sustained earlier this year. last_img read more