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Prez Sirleaf Makes Several Appointments in Gov’t

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday made several appointments in government affecting the ministries of Finance, Information, Agriculture, Internal Affairs, as well as the Land Authority, Small Arms and Anti-Corruption Commissions. Appointed as the Land Authority’s chairperson is Dr. Cecil T.O. Brandy while Ms. Ellen Pratt is Vice Chair for Administration and Customer Service and Mrs. Kau Kidau Fahnbulleh, Commissioner for Land Use and Management. Also appointed are Attorney J. Adams Manobah , Commissioner of Land Policy and Planning and Dr. Samuel A. Gooding, Commissioner, Land Administration.Ms. Bennietta Jarbo becomes a member of the National Commission on Small Arms. The President has also appointed Ms. Sheba Browne as Commissioner of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).At the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jeddi M. Armah is appointed Deputy Minister for Public Affairs while Mr. Ricks W. Barsi-Giah will become Deputy Minister for Technical Services and Ms. Joyce C. Kenkpen -Assistant Minister for Culture. Attorney Philomena Williams is appointed Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture and Mrs. Seklau E. Wiles, Deputy Minister for Technical Services. Ministry of Finance and Development Planning appointees include Mr. Anthony G. Myers as Assistant Minister for Budget Division and Mr. Theophilus Addey, Assistant Minister for Regional and Sectoral Planning and Coordination Division.President Sirleaf appointed Mr. John Ballout, as Ambassador without naming his post. Mrs. Lucia Massaley Yallah is appointed Deputy Minister for Social Outreach at the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection.At the Liberia National Police (LNP), the President appointed Ms. Sadatu L. M. Reeves as Deputy Inspector General for Administration, Mr. William K. Mulbah – Deputy Inspector General for Manpower and Development and Mr. Simeon F. Frank, Inspector General for Crime Services. The President appointed Dr. Jerry B. Nyangbeh as President of Sinoe Community College.Among her latest appointments at the Ministry of Internal Affairs the President named for Nimba County Mr. Dorr Cooper, Assistant Superintendent for Development, Mr. David L Jacob, Statutory District Superintendent, YarwinMehnsonoh Statutory District, Mr. Abednego Pikawo, Development Superintendent, Yarwin Mehnsonoh Statutory District, and Mr. Josephus Mehnweeleh, Commissioner, Mehnsonoh Admin District, YarwinMehnsonoh Statutory District. Other Nimba County appointments are Mr. Sam Freeman, Commissioner, Zahnlah Admin. District, Yarwin Mehnsonoh Statutory District, Mr. Kumgbe McGill, Commissioner, Blinlon Admin District, Yarwin Mehnsonoh Statutory District and Mr. Moses Gbakun, District Inspector.The rest are Mr. Levi Bainboe, Land Commissioner, Mehnsonoh Admin. District, Mr. Joseph Yarbah, Land Commissioner, Zahnla Admin. District and Mr. Little Belleh, Land Commissioner, Blinlon Admin District. Appointees for Grand Gedeh County are Tarley A. Weh – County Inspector, Mr. Josephus K. Garley, Relieving Commissioner, Mr. Moses C. Neah, Statutory Supt., Konobo Statutory District and Mr. Abraham G. Gbarduo, Administrative District Commissioner, Tchien Administrative District.Others are Mr. Joseph W. Tarlue, Administrative District CommissionerGlio/Twarbo Administrative District, Mr. DwedsonDweh, Township Commissioner, Tarlueville, Tchien Administrative District, Mr. George B. Gbarwea – Township Commissioner, B’hair Admin. District, Mr. Isaac H. Gweh, Township Commissioner, and Karley Farley, Township Commissioner, Glio/Twarbo Administrative District.Appointees for Gbarpolu County areMr. Thomas Ezike, Asst. Statutory District Supt. for Development, Gbarma, Stat. District; Ms. Teresa Gbanjah, Statutory District Inspector, Gbarma Stat. District; and Mr. Momo Binda, Relieving Commissioner, Gbarma Stat. District.Others are Mr. Alfred S. Morris, Asst. Stat. Dist. Supt. for Dev., Bopolu Stat. District; Mr. John Sulonkolo, Stat. District Commissioner, Bopolu Stat. District and Mr. Varkpanah Wymon , Relieving Commissioner, Bopolu Stat. District. The President’s appointee for Bong County is Madam Viola N. Cooper, – Mayor, of Gbarnga City.These appointments, are subject to confirmation by the senate where applicable, according to the Presidential announcement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Atletico Madrid latest team linked to Arsenal and Tottenham target

first_img1 France star Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid are the latest team to have been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham target Antoine Griezmann.As reported by talkSPORT on Tuesday, Monaco are considering a move for the Real Sociedad forward, who they think can help replace James Rodriguez, who was sold to Real Madrid.But now, according to reports in Spain, Atletico are desperate to keep Griezmann in Spain and will approach their La Liga rivals about a deal for the France international.The 23-year-old hit 16 goals in 35 league outings last term and impressed with his link-up play for Sociedad.Arsenal and Tottenham are both big admirers of the star, who looks destined to leave this summer, and it has been reported that both have already made bids for Griezmann.But they could be in danger of missing out with Atletico ready to make their move as they bid to strengthen their squad ahead of their battle to retain the La Liga title.last_img read more

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The quest for the next best tree

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With everything from cell phones to seed corn, it is natural for many businesses to continually seek out the next best thing. On Matt Mongin’s Greene County farm, this applies to Christmas trees too.His quest started nearly 30 years ago. Mongin worked as an accountant at a firm in Cincinnati when he and his wife, Jane, decided to move their family to a farm. They purchased the 20-acre property and started planting Christmas trees in 1986.“I was 40 and I was tired of being in the office all the time on a computer. I wanted to be outside and using my hands more, so we took this on. At the time it was a corn field and before that it had been a cattle pasture for 100 years,” Mongin said. “We knew we had a limited amount of money and we could only afford 20 acres. That, realistically, was all we could handle anyway.”The Mongins quickly discovered a learning curve even steeper than the hilly terrain of their new property. It did not take Mongin long to learn, though, about the importance of finding the right trees for a profitable operation.“We started with Scotch pine. We learned the hard way that Scotch pine trees are a mecca for disease problems and they are lower-priced trees. They are just not worth it. We had terrible losses from disease,” Mongin said. “Then we got into a fairly large stand of Douglas fir. They turned out beautifully, they grow fast and people liked them, but they have too many spraying requirements because of Swiss needle cast susceptibility. As we grow Christmas trees and think we have something that will make us money, we learn they become susceptible to disease and other problems. You have to watch your back because when you get a problem it will go through the stand pretty quickly. You always have to keep looking for the next best tree.”It was around that time that the Canaan fir came onto the scene and changed Christmas tree production in Ohio. It was originally developed by researcher Jim Brown at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster and combined the traits of a Fraser and Balsam fir that were appealing toMatt Mongin stands by “Lady Jane” a towering Concolor fir with a very unusual and striking blue color that is being used for seed production.customers and better suited for Ohio’s heavier soils. Canaan fir is the top tree now for Mongin’s Spring Valley Tree Farm (and most Christmas tree farms in Ohio). The farm also offers white pine, Concolor fir, Norway spruce and white spruce. Mongin has found that these work well on the farm, but he is constantly looking to improve moving forward to stay ahead of diseases, insect problems and ever-changing customer demand.“We are working to find what grows well here. We are looking hard at Nordmann fir, Turkish fir and hybrids with Canaans. I am excited about Canaan corkbark, for example,” he said. “We have transplant beds full of different types of trees to find the next Canaan fir.”Mongin is visually distinguishing different subspecies of Canaan fir and other types of trees on the farm. He is reserving some trees to collect seed from to use in the development of new tree types with more specific, desirable traits. The process is slow and tedious, but the results could one day be extremely valuable to the farm. Maybe the most notable example is “Lady Jane,” a towering Concolor fir with a very unusual and striking blue color. Seed from Lady Jane could lead to the next big thing in Ohio Christmas tree production. Mongin thinks he is maybe 10 years off from having commercially viable transplant trees to sell for other farms to plant.“Trees are genetically diverse. Genetics for seeds bought by big nurseries are often collected from squirrel caches in national parks, so you never know quite what you are getting,” he said. “We planted 3,000 seedlings that we evaluated and we can, though careful selection, find the kind of trees we like and develop those and sell them for doing what we are doing. It is all about getting trees that genetically will thrive in the environments we intend to plant them. There are not enough people doing this.”New tree variety development is one component of a broader effort nationally to expand R&D in theThis tree nursery is home to different subspecies of trees selected to desirable characteristics on the farm.Christmas tree business thanks to a newly implemented Christmas tree checkoff. The 2016 Christmas season is the second year Christmas tree growers will market trees under the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order (otherwise known as the Christmas tree checkoff). After an arduous process, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the measure and authorized a board to manage a program of promotion, research, evaluation and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace.“We had voluntary contributions from the national association for 30 years and two years ago we had a vote and the USDA said OK. Now 15 cents per tree goes to the checkoff. If you sell less than 500 trees you’re exempt,” Mongin said. “The beauty of most checkoff programs is that there is a middle guy who keeps track of what you sell. There is no middle person for the most part in the Christmas tree industry so we are on the honor system. We have to say, ‘Here is how many I sold and here is my check.’ This will have to grow with time.”The initial emphasis with the checkoff funds will be promotion, but there will be a greater research emphasis moving forward in terms of tree varieties and production.“Marketing is the emphasis now. First and foremost they need to get a savvy marketing company to develop a pitch for a real tree. How do we improve sales? Second, we need research into tree genetics to help farmers be more successful in production,” Mongin said. “The checkoff can help us, but I take the long view. I don’t expect results next year or the year after. If we see measureable results in 10 years I will think it is worthwhile.”Mongin feels like another important role of the checkoff will be researching and promoting improved production practices.“For us, the production was the hardest part of getting started. We started from scratch with knowledge. We read a lot of books and there is a lot that is published about this industry that is half right or just plain wrong,” Mongin said. “From 1986 through 1990 all the literature said you hand plant trees with a spud bar, but when you do that, you smash the roots and you effectively kill the tree in two years. It is a terribly wrong thing and that is what the literature said. If you are in soft garden type soils you can get away with that but in heavier soils it is just wrong. There are many other examples of things like that. It takes a while to learn how to do this. For us, marketing has always been secondary. The challenge was production.”Through the years of trial and error and talking with other tree growers, Mongin has been able to really hone tree production practices.“The Christmas tree industry has been open and welcoming about sharing information freely. We grew trees and customers came,” he said. “Lots of mistakes are made early on and fortunately we didn’t make too many.”Tree planting is another area where Mongin has really emphasized improvements.“With planting, soil prep is essential. You can’t just plant trees in an open, grass-covered field an expect them to survive. I am unhappy if 95% of my plants don’t thrive,” he said. “When we first started, 50% survival would have been good. We had the expense and time of putting trees in and then they didn’t survive. We work hard at soil prep and planting. I want the tree to find at least a foot of soft soil around the roots and we mulch around them with chipped up Christmas trees.”The planting process is labor intensive. Strips are sprayed in the fall to kill weeds the following spring and prepare for planting.“In an inter-planting situation where we are replacing missing trees in between growing trees, we plant with a six-inch auger and dig a hole eight or nine inches down. Then we follow that with a larger hand auger and pulverize the soil 12 inches in diameter. We don’t want big clods of dirt. They create a lot of air space and the roots may die,” he said. “The people planting the trees make a cone of soil in the bottom of the hole and place the tree roots around it, then add 18-6-4 fertilizer tablets in the hole, and gently pack the soil in around the tree. Then a few days later we follow that with mulch in a 12-by12-inch circle around the tree a couple of inches deep. You want to keep the sun off the soil around the tree.”In addition to the labor-intensive planting, the trees are all trimmed in the summer months to get conical, but not manicured-looking trees. Weed control is a summer-long endeavor and, at 70 years old, Mongin is also always looking for the next best thing in terms of mechanization and reduction of labor.And while there is always a need for the next best thing, some of the old best things work pretty well, too. In terms of marketing, word-of-mouth has always been the best tool for reaching customers.“Word-of-mouth has proven to be the most effective form of advertising and after 30 years we have built up a good customer base. We use direct mailing too. When someone buys a tree we get a name and address and send a brochure out to everyone to remind them to come and start their Christmas season out here,” Mongin said. “We have a manger scene and cider, hot chocolate and cookies — the kids remember that. That may be one of our best advertising strategies. That still seems to work pretty well.”For more about the farm, visit springvalleytreefarmllc.com.last_img read more

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Chhattisgarh election | Widows of slain politicians in Dantewada by-election face-off

first_imgThe Dantewada Assembly by-election in Chhattisgarh is headed towards an emotionally charged battle with both the Congress and the BJP fielding widows of regional stalwarts slain by Maoists on separate occasions. The contest, to be held on September 23, became imminent after BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi was killed in a Maoist attack while on the stump in April, two days before the Lok Sabha election in Bastar, where he held ground as the lone BJP MLAs amid 11 Congressmen. Now, riding high on sentiment, his wife, Ojaswi Mandavi, has resolved to “carry forward her husband’s political legacy” and taken on former MLA Devti Karma, widowed after former Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma was killed in 2013.With both the parties locked in a see-saw battle for the seat, Mr. Karma won it in 2003, the first contest after the State was carved, while Mr. Mandavi wrested it the next election. In 2013, the seat wound up in the Congress kitty, after an emotionally high-strung battle went in Ms. Karma’s favour, who garnered sympathy votes. Yet in 2018, Mr. Mandavi snatched it back with a margin 2,172 votes. The stakes are high for the BJP, scrambling to gain a toehold in the Maoist-hit region, which went against the wind to pick a Congressman in the Lok Sabha election, when the BJP won nine of the 11 seats in the State. Having faced a drubbing in the Lok Sabha election months after winning 68 of the 90 Assembly seats, the Congress is looking to cement the party’s grip over the region. “The Congress is dependant on leaders from Bastar region like Minister Kawasi Lakhma and State Congress chief Mohan Markam,” said State Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi. “The BJP is trying to make an emotional appeal to voters. But, let’s be clear, while Mr. Karma was killed despite requests for adequate security cover for him, Mr. Mandavi broke the security protocol and was killed.” Claim rubbishedState BJP spokesperson Sanjay Shrivastava meanwhile rubbished the Congress claim that several BJP workers had switched over. “They have already lost the election and are trying hard to conjure up a negative perception against us.”last_img read more

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JAMPRO Intensifying Efforts to Source Markets for Country’s Products

first_img Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is intensifying its marketing and promotional efforts to increase exports and source additional markets for Jamaica’s authentic food brands and products.The JAMPRO team has been tapping into various markets, including Canada, United States of America (USA), Cuba and other Caribbean territories.Highlighting the marketing initiatives, Manager for Sales and Promotion at JAMPRO, Marlene Porter, told JIS News that through its Canada Market Development programme, JAMPRO has been undertaking several activations to identify and grow exports in the various areas.“JAMPRO has been looking at the Canadian market for several years now and we have had workshops that look at that country. We have had speakers share with us on the Canadian market and doing business there. We have hosted engagements in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission, so that our local stakeholders and clients can be sensitised on the market requirements, the trends in consumer demand and other dynamics relating to the market and how to penetrate it,” she said.Mrs. Porter added that there have been workshops looking at the packaging and labeling requirements within the Canadian market as well as trade missions and shows that various local companies have participated in to network and showcase their products.“We have put some 16 companies before buyers that have come in from Canada for business-to-business meetings and visits to their facilities, so that the buyers can see that we have the capacity and can sustain a presence in the market,” the Manager pointed out.Mrs. Porter said that the market development programme for Cuba has been bearing fruit, with plans for an inward mission from Cuba to coincide with Expo Jamaica in April.In terms of the United States, JAMPRO has undertaken a number of activations in Florida, New York and Georgia, and is preparing to venture into Washington DC.“The Caribbean is an important target market, and we continue to look for the opportunities there. Late last year, we did a mission across three Caribbean markets with a number of companies, to explore even further how we can build out that market,” Mrs. Porter informed.“So, we have a number of activations planned to get our export products out there, to get brand Jamaica out there, and we are looking at special programmes as well that will help to promote brand Jamaica as we build out our individual market-penetration initiatives,” she added.Come March 13, JAMPRO will be hosting an agricultural information session geared at further promoting investments in that sector.The session is targeted at persons who have a deep interest in that industry, and those with projects and seeking investors.“In going into exports, people need to understand that it requires work. You have to take certain steps to understand the market and realise there are differences in doing exports than just selling on the local market,” Mrs. Porter said.She is encouraging persons to “seize opportunities of this kind by going into the markets, gather market intelligence and take that step of doing business and expanding exports”. Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is intensifying its marketing and promotional efforts to increase exports and source additional markets for Jamaica’s authentic food brands and products. Highlighting the marketing initiatives, Manager for Sales and Promotion at JAMPRO, Marlene Porter, told JIS News that through its Canada Market Development programme, JAMPRO has been undertaking several activations to identify and grow exports in the various areas. Mrs. Porter added that there have been workshops looking at the packaging and labeling requirements within the Canadian market as well as trade missions and shows that various local companies have participated in to network and showcase their products. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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Alec Baldwin Speaks Out For Turkeys

first_imgToday, the national nonprofit Farm Sanctuary is thrilled to announce that Alec Baldwin is speaking out for turkeys, who are among the most abused animals on Earth, as their 2016 Adopt a Turkey Project spokesperson!Alec Baldwin Speaks Out for Turkeys“Like most people, I don’t like thinking about things that make me feel bad,” said Alec. “But I also don’t like animal suffering, so I feel the need to speak out about it. At least 46 million turkeys suffer heartbreaking fear and pain before being killed each and every Thanksgiving. This year, I’m supporting Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project because turkeys are just as friendly, smart, and full of feeling as my dogs, and they deserve to be treated better. I hope you’ll join me by sponsoring.”Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt a Turkey Project has inspired compassionate conversation about society’s relationships with turkeys and the measures we can take to improve the terrible conditions they regularly endure on commercial farms. Now celebrating its 30th year, the project has saved hundreds of lives while inspiring countless individuals to sponsor a turkey who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California. For a one-time donation of $30, turkey sponsors receive a special adoption certificate with a color photo and fun details about their new friend.last_img read more

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For a better tomorrow

first_imgTo promote and find measures for the same a unique and first ever conference to deal with threats linked to survival of entire humanity is being organised in the Capital.The theme of conference is Balancing Panch-Tatwa Strategically towards Sustainability. Panch Tatwa (five elements) are the basic elements of everything in this universe, including our own body. Based on the same the conference is a fusion of modern science and traditional wisdom to restore balance in Panch-Tatwa. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The consequences of man’s action are evident in terms of various phenomenon including global warming, climate change and environmental degradation in general. Various organisations and people are already doing commendable work towards restoring the delicate balance in nature.The conference aims to unify diverse efforts being put forward by various individuals and organisations towards humanity, sustainability, Panch-Tatwa and traditional wisdom. It’s designed to serve as a common platform for various intellectuals and experts from around the world, to exchange ideas culminating into ‘collective wisdom’ and action plan. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe conference is being organised by non-governmental organisation, Aqua Foundation. The collective wisdom from the conference will be compiled as a book and will be disseminated all around the world.The conference committee is chaired by Prof M S Swaminathan renowned for his leading role in India’s Green Revolution, co-chaired by Dr. R K Pachauri serving as the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2002, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.  The proceedings of this conference and its recommendations will therefore have a far reaching consequence in making it a better world, living in harmony with nature.When: 11-13 DecemberWhere: Indian Habitat Centrelast_img read more

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