Authorities urged to drop all charges against detained TV cameraman

first_imgNews to go further TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information News Organisation November 11, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics”center_img Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists Reporters Without Borders, the Tunis Centre for Press Freedom, the National Union of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Article 19 are very disturbed by the charges brought against Mourad Meherzi, an Astroloabe TV cameraman who has been arrested for filming an egg being thrown at a government minister.The five organizations call for Meherzi’s immediate release. He has been held since 18 August in response to a complaint filed two days earlier by culture minister Mehdi Mabrouk, the target of an egg thrown during an event in Tunis marking the 40th day after well-known actor Azzouz Chennaoui’s death in a car crash.Meherzi is accused not only of filming the incident and disseminating his footage, but also of complicity with the person who threw the egg, filmmaker Nasredine Sihilli.“The fact that a cameraman who filmed embarrassing footage in the course of his work was accused by a government minister of complicity, and that the prosecutor general then immediately began an investigation, constitutes an extremely disturbing and dangerous development for freedom of information in Tunisia,” the five media freedom organizations said.“Public figures must expect to be the subject of media coverage and must not turn on media personnel who happen to witness the problems they encounter or public attacks on them,” the five organizations added, calling for the charges against Meherzi to be dropped.The charges against Meherzi listed in the indictment are absurd. He is facing a possible seven-year sentence on several charges including promoting a conspiracy to commit violence against government officials (article 120 of the criminal code) and causing prejudice to other persons or disturbing their tranquillity “by means of public telecommunications networks” (article 86 of the Telecommunications Code).The five media freedom organizations firmly condemn the use of the criminal code in this case because it ignores the fact that article 79 of a new press law promulgated on 2 November 2011 says that all legal provisions that conflict with the new law are automatically repealed. Article 245 of the criminal code, cited in the indictment, even refers to article 57 of the old press law, concerning defamation.Reporters Without Borders, the Tunis Centre for Press Freedom, the National Union of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Article 19 point out that the new press law, Decree-Law 115-2011, makes no provision for sanctions against media professionals who cover an event, official or otherwise.Instead, article 13 of the new press law says that journalists “cannot be prosecuted in connection with their work unless a violation of this decree-law is proven.”The five organizations added: “Automatic recourse to the criminal code in media cases is an old reflex dating back to the Ben Ali era ­that must be ended for good.” Follow the news on Tunisia News RSF_en December 26, 2019 Find out more August 29, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities urged to drop all charges against detained TV cameraman News November 12, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

The Last Howl: Will The Red Wolf Go Extinct This Year?

first_imgIt’s their howl,” says Kim Wheeler, president of the Red Wolf Coalition. “That’s what keeps me going. It’s a sound that falls somewhere between the deep baritone of the grey wolf and the yip of the coyote. It’s their call to life. And now, because the program to protect them is under such scrutiny, there’s a very really possibility that their voice will be silenced.”Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States, the red wolf almost vanished 50 years ago. After being named an endangered species, a captive breeding program began in 1973. As the captive population grew, scientists considered where the red wolf could be reintroduced.10977060066_2533315a09_o_FIXPhoto by Ryan Nordsven/ USFWSIn 1987, six pairs of wolves were released in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge located within a five-county region—Beaufort, Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde and Washington—of eastern North Carolina. Those 1.7 million refuge acres are now home to the only wild population of red wolves in the world, managed for the last 29 years by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program. Until recently, it has been one of the most successful wildlife recovery programs in the country’s history.But today, both the program and the wild red wolf face possible extinction once more. In the last few years, the wild population has decreased from over 120 wolves to 45— mainly due to shotgun mortality. Red wolves can resemble coyotes—especially at night—and a handful of local landowners have balked at hunting restrictions to protect red wolves. At the request of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and pro-hunting landowners, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has temporarily suspended the red wolf reintroduction and adaptive management program.Voices both for and against the red wolf have demanded immediate action; in September, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will announce whether they will continue the recovery program or remove the last remaining wild red wolves.“The situation has gotten so much more dire,” says Brett Hartl, Endangered Species Policy Director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “We didn’t expect the population to drop as quickly as it has. We’re at a crisis point. They won’t last much longer unless there’s a change in course.”8703620077_41e11de394_o_FIXThe red wolf stands just over two feet tall, with pointed ears, long legs, and large feet. Red wolves weigh up to 80 pounds, and some of its fur has a reddish tint. Shy and reclusive, red wolves roam the woods at night in search of food such as rabbits and raccoons as well as insects, berries, and occasionally, deer.“Red wolves are not unlike our human families,” Wheeler says. “They have puppies, they take care of them, they eat, they often travel in packs and they do their normal wolf activities.”In 1988, the first wild litter of red wolf pups was born on the Alligator River Peninsula. As the population grew, scientists attempted to establish wild red wolf populations in other areas, including St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge in Florida (in 1990) and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (in 1992). But none of the other wild populations thrived, and all have subsequently ended.Meanwhile, the North Carolina population increased under the watchful eye of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program. On the Alligator River Peninsula, the wolves have over one million designated acres to roam. But from their first days, they wandered onto private land. And that’s where the resistance began.“The program has been controversial throughout its existence,” says Pete Benjamin, Raleigh Field Supervisor for U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS). “Generally I’d have to characterize it as successful. It was the first effort of its kind to restore a large carnivore to its historic range, and this program was the model for other predator re-introduction programs, including the grey wolves to Yellowstone.”Indeed, for the first fifteen years of the program, the human and red wolf populations co-existed in relative peace. Sightings were rare, but tourists still traveled to the area in the hopes of seeing the elusive animals. USFWS worked with farmers who encountered red wolves on their private lands; the red wolves, for their part, often helped control predator populations during farming seasons.USFWS monitored the red wolves, implementing various programs including the sterilization of coyotes to prevent a ‘coy-wolf’ hybrid population. Red wolves live an average of six to seven years in the wild; the Alligator River Peninsula population peaked at an estimated 130 red wolves.7747777230_674b89a7fc_o_FIXBut in the last five years, that number has plummeted. One major reason: gunshot mortality. Coyotes and red wolves are similar in appearance, and the two have sometimes bred.Coyotes have moved eastward across the United States, and when they arrived in the Alligator River Peninsula, hunters did not want them preying on deer or local livestock. Private landowners, often confusing red wolves for coyotes, began shooting red wolves. From 2012-2015, an estimated 30 of 65 red wolf deaths were attributed to shooting.Hyde County Manager Bill Rich owns over 3,000 acres in the area. “There was never really a problem with the introduction of the red wolf,” Rich says. “But it was the red wolf going onto private land and the attraction of the coyote. Now, the coyotes have taken over.”In 2012, in an effort to control the booming coyote population, North Carolina instituted a policy allowing night hunting of coyotes, which is the most effective time for hunting them—but also when it’s hardest to distinguish between a red wolf and a coyote.In response, conservation groups the Defenders of Wildlife, the Red Wolf Coalition, and the Animal Welfare Institute enlisted the Southern Environmental Law Center to sue the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), a state agency funded in part by hunting and fishing licenses. They argued that, by authorizing the shooting of coyotes within the recovery area, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission was causing red wolves to be shot and killed in violation of the Endangered Species Act. On May 13, 2014, the plaintiffs won when a federal court banned all coyote hunting in the recovery area.“That really cemented what had been kind of a simmering local resentment and opposition to the red wolf program,” Benjamin says. “That act of taking away the ability of landowners to hunt coyotes at night galvanized local public opposition to the recovery effort—and that has prompted and led to the chain of events that has us taking a look at the program.”In November 2014, the plaintiffs and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission went back to court and asked the federal judge to amend his order in November 2014, to limit his ban only to night hunting of coyotes. The judge complied.Despite this concession, the controversy did not end. At the request of several private landowners, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission then asked U.S. Fish & Wildlife to terminate the reintroduction program and remove the wolves from all private lands.“As long as U.S. Fish & Wildlife has a red wolf program, we’re obligated to collaborate with them,” says Brandon Sherrill of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “But the commissioners asked to terminate the program because of impacts that it’s had on private landowners. Wolves were originally released on federal lands only, but animals can’t see property lines.”In response, USFWS hired the nonprofit, independent Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) to take a closer look at their program through the lens of three main areas: supporting science, program management, and human dimensions, to examine whether it should be continued as well as what changes might need to occur.After a lengthy examination, WMI recommended that the program should continue, but with some improvements.  “WMI concluded that the recovery program management could have been improved if a more interdisciplinary approach was used to better respond to public concerns and information needs,” wrote WMI president Steve Williams. “We also concluded that the rules established for the recovery program were not always followed.”WMI submitted a list of recommendations for how the program might be improved. But USFWS, under political pressure, has ignored those findings.“What we’re seeing is the program getting slowly shut off, bit by bit, which is really disappointing since this was once one of the most successful and innovative programs in the history of restoration,” Hartl says. “I think there’s a lot of pressure from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission which is opposed to the red wolves.”With the red wolf program languishing, in November of 2015, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) filed another lawsuit, this time against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. On June 20, they also filed an emergency motion with U.S. District Court to stop USFWS from capturing and killing red wolves. The litigation is pending.“The state didn’t like our win on coyote hunting, and they pushed back hard—so hard that they asked for red wolves to be declared extinct and removed from North Carolina,” explains Sierra Weaver, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “After that point, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scaled back a lot of its efforts to protect and recover the species, giving in to a lot of pressure from the state and a small number of vocal landowners.”One example: the allowance of landowners to shoot a red wolf on their property via permit from USFWS. In 2015, a landowner shot and killed a female red wolf who was known to have given birth to multiple litters and was exhibiting denning behavior at the time that she was killed.USFWS has also removed red wolves from private lands when landowners have requested it. “They have issued those permits for no reason other than the wolves are there and the landowners don’t like it,” Weaver says. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is failing to comply with the Endangered Species Act’s requirements to not only ensure that the species doesn’t go extinct in the wild, but to actually make sure they recover. They aren’t basing their management on the best available science, and they haven’t looked at the current status of the species on the ground in North Carolina.”Indeed, in the past year, the USFWS has eliminated the recovery coordinator position for the program, stopped reintroducing red wolves into the recovery area, ended coyote sterilization and removal, and stopped their popular and successful education programs about red wolves. Instead, they have issued permits allowing landowners to kill individual red wolves. And despite USFWS acknowledging in a 1999 briefing paper that removal of red wolves may be detrimental to the species’ recovery, they began honoring requests from landowners for red wolf removals—and those numbers have skyrocketed.According to the motion for emergency relief filed by the SELC in late June, “Internal documents show that by October 2014, engendered by a campaign by a handful of landowners opposed to red wolf reintroduction, the Service had received over 400 requests from private landowners for removal of wolves and for authorization to kill wolves.”One of those requests came from Lynn Clayton, who owns about 550 acres in Hyde County. “We used to have a lot of deer on our property—where woods were across the field, you could see 100 deer, easy,” Clayton says. “Now you ride through, and if you see one or two, you’re lucky. I used to see more deer than coyotes, and now I see nothing but coyotes.”Clayton said he recently caught a red wolf on his property on a Tuesday, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service retrieved and took back to the refuge. But the refuge land, Clayton says, is largely flooded, leading the wolves to once again enter private lands. He caught the same wolf on his land less than a week later. “I don’t think people want to do away with an endangered species, but people are just tired and want the whole thing done away with,” Clayton says. “We’re tired of being lied to by the government. We’re tired of losing property rights. This has been a big imposition on the people here.”Nearly everyone agrees that for the red wolf recovery program to work long-term, landowner cooperation is essential. “Our refuges, while big, aren’t big enough in and of themselves to sustain a population of red wolves,” Benjamin says. “The wolves need access to those private lands. So without support of the community, the program can’t effectively move forward.”Most landowners still back the red wolf program. In late January, more than 100 private landowners in the five-county recovery area signed and sent a petition to U.S Fish & Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, expressing their support for keeping endangered red wolves on their land.“The program, for the most part, has been supported on the ground, even by private landowners who have wolves on their property,” says Ben Prater, Southeast program director for Defenders of Wildlife. It’s been only a small and vocal group of anti-government landowners opposing the red wolf recovery.Some of those landowners may be more difficult than others to persuade. “When you go out at night, you hear nothing but packs of coyotes howling,” Rich says. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get rid of the coyotes.” For these few landowners, that means getting rid of the wolves, too.But conservation groups have pointed out alternatives, including the sterilization of coyotes and a robust red wolf population. “A healthy red wolf population naturally pushes the coyotes out,” Prater says.Another possible solution, Prater says, lies in monetary incentives for landowners. A similar program was recently launched in Florida to protect the endangered panther and has seen early success. “Some type of incentive or payment plan—where landowners are compensated  for every wolf pack they have or every acre of habitat they provide—it can work. It has worked elsewhere. We just need to start these conversations.”As the recovery program’s hiatus continues, the red wolves slide closer to extinction. Several conservation groups issued an emergency petition urging action from USFWS. “There is support in the region—and across the country— for the red wolf,” Harti says. The petition also asked that the USFWS honor its original 1990 recovery plan document and establish two additional populations of red wolves in other southern states, a recommendation the WMI consultants also included in their 2014 findings.The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision is expected in September. Now is the best—and perhaps only—chance for the public to help save the species.“The recovery program was successful—and it can be again—if given the resources it needs,” Prater says. “The red wolf is the most endangered mammal on the planet. There are fewer red wolves than pandas, elephants, and Siberian tigers. Recovery is not only an option, but the only option.”The future of red wolves will be decided next month. Sign the petitions to save the red wold at Defenders.orglast_img read more

Keeping your strategic plan in focus

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr As we approach the end of the year, many financial institutions are wrapping up their 2016 plans and getting ready for the next phase – execution. This is where the real work begins. You’ve spent the better part of 2015 preparing for this next chapter. It’s time to put the pieces in place so those plans become actions when the calendar flips to 2016.Hopefully, your financial institution won’t fall into the trap that so many other organizations do. They breathe a sigh of relief that planning is over for a while. They tuck all of their papers and reports back into their respective folders, and they forget about most of what was discussed until it’s time to start planning for the next year.Here are three ways to help you avoid this:Make goal review part of every monthly board meeting. The first thing your board members should see in their board books/packets, even before the meeting agenda, is a list of 2016 goals with a status update for each one. Board members must stay in the know. continue reading »last_img read more

NY State Commits Promised $150 Million for Bay Park Plant

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York State is committing $150 million for a nitrogen removal system at Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway after all.The announcement by Jon Kaiman, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s storm recovery advisor on Long Island, comes one day after four Nassau County legislators, including Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), called on the state and federal government to secure the already-promised federal funding, which was absent from this year’s state budget proposal. The funding is critical, lawmakers and scientists say, to better treat the effluent that is discharged from Bay Park into Reynolds Channel daily. Nitrogen in the effluent is harmful to the all-important marshlands, which act as natural barriers and protect shorelines from erosion.“We are aware and we have been concerned about the Reynolds Channel sewage situation and the impact we face and the community faces and the region faces based on how that sewage ultimately is dispensed after its been treated,” Kaiman told reporters. “The ultimate goal from New York Offices of Storm Recovery and the state of New York and ultimately Nassau County is to rebuild Bay Park.”The funding had been approved last year as part of a Community Development Block Grant through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.Mangano thanked Cuomo for reaffirming his commitment to Nassau, and said the Department of Public Works would go ahead and include the nitrogen removal system as part of its rebuilding plan. The funds, however, have yet to be released.“This $150 million will go far to continue our efforts to clean up the western bays,” Mangano said. “In this day and age, we should not be dumping treated effluent into the bays. We already know that affects residential recreation opportunities in those bays, it affects fishing, it affects the commercial boating industry and now is the time to make this investment.”Although the county has already received more than $800 million to rebuild and harden the plant, which was knocked offline by Sandy in 2012, both Mangano and Kaiman called on FEMA to reconsider last year’s request for an estimated $550 million ocean outfall pipe, which would dump effluent away from local waterways.Gonsalves, in a statement, also urged FEMA to act.“Given the vital economic engine that Nassau is for the state and federal governments, we are prepared to fight for our fair share of funding,” said Gonsalves, who still intends to hold a hearing on the matter in the coming weeks.Additionally, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and Jamie Rubin, director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recover, penned a letter to FEMA outlining why an outfall pipe is critical to the future of Nassau.Because the effluent discharged from Bay Park “causes violations of state and federal Clean Water Act standards pre-dating Superstorm Sandy,” the project is critically important to coastal communities in the county, the letter states.The letter notes that Bay Park contributes more than 80 percent of the nitrogen discharged into the Western Bays. The state argues that if FEMA sits on the sidelines, the loss of marshlands due to nitrogen pollution will increase storm damage and future FEMA payouts if another major storm batters the Island.FEMA is sticking to previous remarks it made last year in its rejection letter.“FEMA has approved more than $800 million for the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, including $427 million in repairs and $383 million in mitigation funding to ensure it is rebuilt stronger and more resilient against storms,” FEMA spokesman Mike Wade said in a statement. “The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant ocean outfall pipe project is not eligible for FEMA public assistance funding because such an outfall pipe did not exist when Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012. Therefore, federal law prohibits spending FEMA funds on such an endeavor.”Letter from New York State to FEMA:last_img read more

Birmingham summit provides sounding board for property

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Year Two of Plastic Ban Begins, Bureau of Standards Comments

first_img Share 169 Views   no discussions Share LifestyleLocalNews Year Two of Plastic Ban Begins, Bureau of Standards Comments by: – January 10, 2020 January 2020 marked the beginning of year two of Dominica’s ban on non-biodegradable single use plastics.The Dominica Bureau of Standards is commenting that this was a good move on the island’s part.Director of the Bureau, Median LaRocque says some review has taken place and should be good news for business-minded people to fill gaps which have been identified in the products.“There are a few recommendations and concerns which have been coming back,” LaRocque said. He described the common complaint of leaky biodegradable containers saying that there are moves to introduce new distributors and manufacturers.“It’s an industry in Dominica right now. Private entrepreneurs or young innovative minds can start using our resources like bamboo and banana leaves. We can now go into those industries.”The ban on non-biodegradable single use plastics took effect on Jan 1st 2019 and includes lids, cups, single use styrofoam/plastic containers, disposable plastic cutlery, and drinking straws.LaRocque revealed that additional measures will be taken by Government in that same vein to protect the natural environment from the dangers of plastic.center_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweetlast_img read more

Heroes Corporate Fellowship Academy Launches at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

first_imgFacebook10Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Pacific Mountain Workforce DevelopmentOn January 12, sixteen transitioning service members from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) began their 13 week fellowship through the newly launched Heroes Corporate Fellowship Academy.  This one of a kind program will provide fellows an opportunity to learn through hands on experience with a corporate leader in the Seattle area, and additionally through 120 hours of in classroom corporate management training at City University of Seattle.“The Fellowship Academy is a first in the nation program for transitioning service personnel.  It represents the very best in collaboration between the military, the public workforce system and corporate America.  The program matches talented individuals with the needs of our businesses.  They previously served our country and now can serve the local economy….triple win!” – Cheryl Fambles, CEO of Pacific Mountain Workforce Development.This Fellowship developed in partnership between Camo2Commerce, a program of Pacific Mountain Workforce Develop, and Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will provide transitioning service members with at least 10 years of leadership experience the opportunity to gain familiarity in the civilian market prior to transitioning.  Each of the Fellows will be hosted by a participating corporate partners – ThyssenKrupp Aerospace NA, Amazon, Starbucks, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, Compass Group, Thurston Economic Development Council, TrueBlue, Inc., Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, and Williams-Sonoma.“The overarching goal in providing this enhanced educational fellowship opportunity with select industry partners is to provide a transition service that currently does not exist.  The Heroes Corporate Fellowship Academy provides educational, networking, training opportunities, and potential employment within a wider array of industries for experienced transitioning service members.” – Justin Constantine, wounded veteran and senior consultant at the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program.Starting this week on JBLM, the 16 service members from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, will be spending four days in the classroom beginning to transition their military leadership skills to what they will need for their next mission of working for corporate America.  Following the first week through the end of the Academy, the Fellows will spend Monday through Wednesday with their host, learning through hands on experience.  They will have the opportunity to not only learn about the company, and refine their networking abilities, but will be working on projects that will hone their skills.  On Thursdays, the Fellows will be back in the classroom gaining additional knowledge that will supplement their learning in areas such as project management, business writing, and other topics necessary for success in their transition.  Fridays will be available for each of the Fellows to continue their service obligations, and efforts needed to transition.  The 13 weeks will culminate with a graduation.Ultimately we believe this experience will enable these Fellows the opportunity to maximize their experience in serving us proudly by learning the skills needed to be successful in transitioning into careers in corporate America.“This project could not be successful without the partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, as they provided much needed expertise that supplements, what Camo2Commerce brings to the table and, of course, the ongoing support from the Command Staff at JBLM, who saw the vision in this project.  Along the way, we have also received support in developing this program from ThyssenKrupp Aerospace, the Washington State Employment Security Department, Combat Power Essentials, Tacoma-Pierce Chamber of Commerce, WorkForce Central and additional funding support from Operation: GoodJobs.” – Sean Murphy, Camo2Commerce Project Director.Additional Information can be found at:  Camo2Commerce.com/heroes/Camo2Commerce: This full service transition program is a U.S. Department of Labor funded pilot project working to integrate the public workforce system into the JBLM transition process.  Working with transitioning service members from JBLM on a one-on-one level, Camo2Commerce has successfully placed over 250 service members into employment.Hiring Our Heroes: Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employmentlast_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Nelson Midget Leafs

first_imgMallard’s Source for sport would like to honour the Nelson Midget Leafs Hockey club with Team of the Week accolades following the recent run to the Nelson Midget House Tournament Title.The team includes, Trainer- Lenny Popoff, Head Coach, Rick Lane, Tyler Lakeman, Jordan Lane, Jayden Maida, Cole Bendis, Jake Popoff, Jesse Popoff, Assistant Coaches- Doug Harrison and Roger May, Bryce Twible, Marco Falcone, Chase May, Casey Harrison, Allison Bendis, Connor Comishin, Kyle Patton, Cassidy Kiraly and Andrew Falcone. A tournament sweep of the opposition.Out scoring their opponents 38-13.And, to top it all off, the Midget Hockey Tournament Championship.last_img

South Africans come to the aid of refugees

first_img14 July 2015The KwaZulu-Natal family who opened their farm to 143 displaced foreigners last week has thanked the South Africans who heeded their call for assistance.“A farmer from Gauteng heard about this and drove all the way down with a bakkie full of potatoes. He didn’t even know our address, he just stopped in Cato Ridge and asked about us. How awesome is that?” said Rae Wartnaby, 47.“There was another lady who came and spoke to one of the refugees who stands at the gate and she discovered that his passion is playing guitar. She left and came back with a guitar for him.“People have been really awesome,” said Wartnaby, who together with her husband Andrew, 47, opened their Hope Farm in Killarney Valley to people left destitute by xenophobic attacks.The couple said they had taken in the displaced foreigners because they had heard the eThekwini Municipality had closed down the last remaining xenophobia camp in Chatsworth.A place of refugeShocked that the families had been arrested for illegally occupying the camp, and children separated from their parents, the Wartnabys offered their home to the refugees. The families, most of whom are from Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, said they did not want to live in South Africa anymore because of the xenophobic violence.On Friday, the family and their guests met lawyers and mediators. “The team have started taking down everybody’s story. So everybody has, or will get, a chance to speak to mediators.”Wartnaby said the United Nations did not visit her home on Friday, as had been anticipated.Shelter and medical careHer husband said he hoped this story showed that South Africans did care.“People have been coming here to spend time to get to know the foreigners and find out some of the stories. We and our guests are extremely grateful because we couldn’t have done it on our own,” Wartnaby said.She added that they had received a lot of food donations from various organisations.“Gift of the Givers have assisted us with disaster relief items. We received a marquee from the Islamic Relief South Africa; they were kind enough to leave it until Tuesday [tomorrow] because we are expecting to have a permanent marquee that will be up for the next few weeks.“We have another tent that was donated by a really sweet couple. What happened is that Doctors Without Borders came in and there was a couple following them and when they got in they asked us if we would like the tent and we said ‘yes’.“So they put the tent up and Doctors Without Borders have been able to have a space to work and speak to people privately. It’s amazing.” The outreach organisation had promised to return.“At the moment if anyone gets ill then we use our own medical GP who has been awesome in seeing people,” she said.Many ordinary South Africans have also committed to helping the family. Stan Goodenough and his wife Mary from Howick said they had donated a tent they were not using. “We saw the story and we were touched by it,” they said.Catherine Taylor, who is the director of BackaBuddy, a fundraising organisation based in Cape Town, said she would be looking at ways to help the family. “We assist organisations and people to raise funds through peer-funding. What we are going to do is set up a page online and we are hoping that people will see it and come forward so that we can assist the family at the farm.”Shahnaaz Paruk from Islamic Relief South Africa said when the organisation heard about the story it had a marquee delivered as a temporary shelter. “There was a request for hygiene packs as well as some groceries. We try to alleviate poverty and assist migrants in whichever way we can.”Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

April 23, AJ Baltes

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We’re hoping to get things dried out enough to maybe get the wheat sidedressed this week. It is almost 70 degrees right now and it dried out pretty well over the weekend. We got three inches last Sunday and we got more rain through the week. One or two mornings we had some snow. It looks like we are supposed to get more rain and then maybe dry out a little. Down south of us it gets a little hillier and most of the wheat has been sidedressed and they have been able to get in to get some manure spread and some field work done.The cover crops are greening up but they really haven’t taken off yet. Once it gets really warm I think they will really take off. Everything seems pretty consistent with the cover crops. There were a few spots that froze out over winter but they are coming along.I was talking to a neighbor recently and he thought May 13 was when they got started last year so this is still pretty normal. We usually don’t get in much before the middle of May.We got some corn and beans sold for in the fall when the prices went up. Now I’d guess the markets will depend on what the weather does.If we don’t get the wheat sidedressed this week that will be the first thing we do when we can get back in. Then we will want to get the fertilizer spread and get started with planting as soon as it warms up enough. We have some custom lime and gypsum applications we need to work in along with everything else.We usually end up planting beans first. We have had better luck doing that.In this area, whatever the lake temperature is, the soil temperature is pretty close. I haven’t looked lately at what it is but it is pretty cold.last_img read more