Gov’t Dedicates National Honors to Ebola Heroes

first_imgThis year’s investiture ceremony, a formal ceremony held annually by the government to confer distinctions of various ranks on individuals who have made outstanding contributions or distinguished themselves in their areas of work in the Liberian society, was dedicated to individuals and institutions that stood tall in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD).They included those who lost their lives, while on the ‘frontlines’ of the Ebola fight.The nation’s highest distinctions were conferred on 42 individuals, humanitarians, institutions and organizations who worked fervently to rid the country of the deadly virus.Others are institutions that remained committed to the provision of services, while their colleagues were pulling out of the country during the height of the crisis.Also honored were religious institutions that unceasingly interceded on behalf of the nation, pleading with the Almighty for His Divine intervention and the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) that helped significantly in disseminating the anti-Ebola awareness messages.The ceremony, which officially kick-starts the nation’s independence celebrations, took place in the theater of the Monrovia City Hall, marred by poor attendance, mainly government officials.In the sparsely audience were few high-ranking government officials headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Speaker Alex Tyler and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Foreign Minister Augustine NgaFuan, Representative Saah Joseph and one Senator. Also present were a few members of the diplomatic and consular corps, while a majority of guests were well-wishers and family members of the honorees.Some of the most prominent amongst those honored include Rep. Joseph, Dr. Francis Kateh; Minister Tolbert Nyenswah; Dr. Jerry Brown, and U.S. Ebola survivor, Dr. Kent Brantly. Few of those honored posthumously included Dr. Samuel Brisbane; Dr. Abraham Borbor, Dr. John Taban Dada, Dr. Thomas Scotland, and Dr. Patrick Nshamdze.The Grand Master of the Orders of Distinction, President Sirleaf, in remarks, said the honors were awarded for “devotion, sacrifices, and altruism.”She emphasized that several of the honorees, in the discharge of their duties and in their response to service, paid the ultimate price of life.“Though we cannot bring them back we will forever cherish their memories,” the President lamented.She acknowledged those, who despite the risks, put country before self, taking on the challenges to reach out and administer to those afflicted by an unknown enemy. “We owe much to our doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and healthcare workers who stood by us in those terrifying days,” she recalled.President Sirleaf extolled Liberia’s foreign friends, who left the comfort and safety of their countries and families to join and stand by the country in the Ebola fight. “I cannot say enough for the leaders and people of our own regional institutions – ECOWAS, AU – several countries like brothers’ keepers where here despite the obvious risks.” She stressed that although the virus is still around government is confident in its capability to respond to and defeat it.On behalf of the honorees, Tolbert Nyenswah, said it was significant that they were being recognized for their services to country. He recalled that when Ebola struck, government was almost ill prepared to handle the outbreak, but they all stood together as a team – courageous, willing, committed and brave – and went the extra mile.Mr. Nyenswah said even though they fought the disease from different angles, with different titles and responsibilities, the main objective was to save lives, to rid Liberia of Ebola and free the citizens of anguish. “The significant impact that the team has made can be attributed to meaningful contributions of communities and the government.”He paid tribute to the healthcare workers who lost their lives in service to the nation and thanked all of those who supported their efforts in the fight against the EVD.Those admitted into the Order of the Star of Africa, with the rank of Grand Commander included, Dr. Francis Kateh; Humanitarian, Rev. Trevor Cockings; Tolbert Nyenswah; Medical Doctor at the ELWA Hospital, Dr. Jerry Brown, and Medical Director and Humanitarian, Dr. Kent Brantly.Others were Bomi County Health Officer, Dr. Gobah Logan; Head of Case Management, Dr. Moses Massaquoi; Sinoe County Health Officer, Dr. Wilmot Frank; the ETA Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Dental Surgeon, JFK Memorial Hospital, Dr. Markandu Kanagasabai. Some of them were Dr. Philip Zochonis Ireland of JFK; Liberia Council of Churches; Dr. Soka Moses of JFK; Active Case Finder, Dr. Mosoka Fallah; and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Liberia Chapter.Those admitted into the Order of the Star of Africa, with the rank of Grand Commander are the PUL; Dr. Senga Omeonga of Catholic Hospital, who is also a survivor; and All Health Care Workers.Those admitted into the Order of the Star of Africa, with the Grade of Commander include: Royal Air Maroc; Brussels Airlines; Dr. Izuchukwu Cosmos Aroh of Catholic hospital; Dr. Fanta Kibungu, Catholic Hospital and a survivor; Coordinator, Presidential Advisory Committee on Ebola (PACE), Dr. Emmanuel Dolo; Nurse and Ebola Survivor, Ms. Barbara Bono; and Administrator, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital and a Survivor, Joel Williams.Samuel T.Nimley, Jr. was admitted into the Order of the Star of Africa, with the Grade of Officer.Those admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption, with the Grade of Knight Commander include: National Muslim Council of Liberia; Firestone Natural Rubber Company; National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia; Representative, Saah Joseph; Liberia National Red Cross Society; Samaritan Purse; and the Head of the Ebola Burial Team, Mr. Mark Korvayan.Those posthumously admitted into the Order of the Star of Africa with the Grade of Grand Commander respectively included: Medical Doctor and Humanitarian, Dr. Samuel Brisbane; Head, Internal Medicine, JFK Memorial Hospital, Dr. Abraham Borbor; Gynecologist and Surgeon, Dr. John Taban Dada; Medical Director, JFK Memorial Hospital, Dr. Thomas Scotland; Hospital Director, Catholic Hospital, Dr, Patrick Nshamdze; and Medical Director, JFK Memorial Hospital, Dr. Thomas Scotland.All health care workers who died of Ebola were admitted into the Order of the Star of Africa, with the Grade of Commanders, respectivelyOthers posthumously admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption, with the Grade of Knight Officer, respectively included: Spanish Priest, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, Rev. Fr. Miguel; Nurse, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, Rev, Sis. Chantell, and Pharmacist, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, Br. George Combey.The Investiture Ceremonies will continue at the J. Dominic Bing refurbished City Hall in Sinoe County during the official independence celebration on Monday, July 27, where the national Orator, Ambassador Charles A. Minor, will be honored.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Blame game in Iraq conflict

first_imgBAGHDAD – In their first direct talks since the Iraq war began, U.S. and Iranian envoys traded harsh words and blamed each other for Iraq’s crisis Saturday at a one-day international conference that some hoped would help end their 27-year diplomatic freeze. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki opened the conference with an appeal for all participants to help ease his country’s plight and prevent the violent conflict here from spilling over into the entire Middle East. But the conference underscored the wide gulf between American and Iranian views over the nature of the crisis and the ways to end it. During the talks, U.S. envoy David Satterfield pointed to his briefcase which he said contained documents proving Iran was arming Shiite Muslim militias in Iraq. “Your accusations are merely a cover for your failures in Iraq,” Iran’s chief envoy Abbas Araghchi shot back, according to an official familiar to the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, only said that American delegates exchanged views with the Iranians “directly and in the presence of others” during talks, which he described as “constructive and businesslike.” But Labid Abbawi, a senior Iraqi Foreign Ministry official who attended the meeting, confirmed that an argument broke out between the Iranian and American envoys. He would not elaborate. Before the talks, U.S. officials said the Baghdad conference would allow all sides to spell out their positions frankly and pave the way for more substantive discussions on resolving the Iraq crisis. Al-Maliki, a Shiite, appealed for international help to sever networks aiding extremists and warned that Iraq’s growing sectarian bloodshed could spill across the Middle East. Khalilzad also urged nations bordering Iraq – which include Syria and Iran – to increase their assistance to al-Maliki’s government, saying “the future of Iraq and the Middle East is the defining issue of our time.” “(Iraq) needs support in this battle that not only threatens Iraq but will spill over to all countries in the region,” al-Maliki said. Al-Maliki urged help in stopping financial support, weapon pipelines and “religious cover” for the relentless attacks of car bombings, killings and other attacks that have pitted Iraq’s Sunnis against majority Shiites. Underscoring the security crisis, at least two mortar shells exploded near the Foreign Ministry where the talks were held but caused no casualties. A suicide car bomber also killed 20 people in the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City. Tehran seeks timetable The participants at the talks included all of Iraq’s neighbors – Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait – as well as the U.S., Russia, France, Britain, China, Bahrain, Egypt, the U.N., the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League. At a news conference after the meeting, Araghchi restated Tehran’s demands for a clear timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces, which he insisted had made Iraq a magnet for extremists from across the Muslim world. “For the sake of peace and stability in Iraq … we need a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces,” said Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs. “Violence in Iraq is good for no country in the region,” he said. “Security of Iraq is our security and stability in Iraq is a necessity for peace and security in the region.” Meeting a `first step’ Araghchi said he had no face-to-face, private talks with Khalilzad and that the discussions were “within the framework of the meeting.” He spoke of “very good interaction by all the delegations.” Khalilzad, too, called the meeting a “first step.” “The discussions were limited and focused on Iraq and I don’t want to speculate after that,” said the Afghan-born Khalilzad, who greeted Araghchi in the Persian language. Nevertheless, the discussions illustrated the deep differences between Tehran and Washington, although each insists that full-scale civil war is in neither country’s interest. “Regarding security, we have channels that we can put to use,” Araghchi told The Associated Press. “We are ready for any help we can give to Iraq.” Reza Amiri, a senior official at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, dismissed American claims that Tehran was destabilizing Iraq by arming Shiite militias. The U.S. military has insisted that Iranian weapons, including a new generation of powerful roadside bombs, have killed more than 170 U.S. and coalition troops here since mid-2004. “They’re lying because it is just not true,” Amiri told the AP. “Iraq’s borders with Iran are the most secure of Iraqi borders. The Iraqi government has not even once said Iran is interfering in its affairs.” But Amiri said Saturday’s conference was “very positive” because “everyone promised to cooperate with each other and to control the borders.” The delegates proposed an “expanded” follow-up meeting, which could include the G-8 nations and others, in Istanbul, Turkey, next month. Iraqi officials, however, say they will urge that the next meeting take place again in Baghdad. Iran, Washington interests For Iran, opening more direct contacts with Washington could help promote their shared interests in preventing full-scale war between Sunnis and Shiites. Iran has influence among Shiite political parties with ties to militias. “Security of Iraq is our security, and stability in Iraq is a necessity for peace and security in the region,” Araghchi said at the news conference. The Baghdad talks come as the U.S. administration has toughened its rhetoric on Iran and flexed its muscles at the U.N. over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The tough talk has been accompanied by the arrival of two U.S. carrier battle groups near the Iranian shores in the Persian Gulf. Iranians increasingly fear that a U.S. attack is imminent despite American insistence to the contrary. The U.S. and Iran severed diplomatic ties after Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran following the 1979 Islamic revolution. In the late 1990s, U.S. and Iranian envoys were part of an eight-nation group studying Afghanistan’s troubles under the Taliban, and both nations took part in meetings to establish an interim Afghan government after the Taliban’s fall in 2001. In 2000, a four-member U.S. congressional delegation met with Iran’s parliament speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, and others for informal talks during a worldwide gathering of lawmakers in New York. Iranian analyst Saeid Leylaz said the Baghdad conference would be a non-starter if it’s not followed by a one-on-one dialogue between Washington and Tehran. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Real ready to go without Ronaldo in Super Cup

first_img0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo trains for the first time with his teammates after returning from an extended summer holidaySKOPJE, Macedonia, Aug 7- Cristiano Ronaldo has finally returned to training with Real Madrid but the defending European champions are set to be without the Portuguese superstar in Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Manchester United in Skopje.Ronaldo’s summer has been overshadowed by accusations of tax evasion in Spain, which led to him being charged in a court near Madrid last week, while he was handed an extended summer break by his club after playing for Portugal at the Confederations Cup. He only returned to training at the weekend, meaning it would be a major surprise if coach Zinedine Zidane were to include the 32-year-old against his former club in the match at the Philip II Arena in the Macedonian capital.“He needed to rest. He has had his holidays and that was important,” said Zidane of the man whose two goals helped propel Madrid to a 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff two months ago.Real Madrid’s head coach Zinedine Zidane (R) instructs his players during a training session at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on June 2, 2017, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League final match against JuventusThat victory saw Real become the first club to retain the trophy in the Champions League era and completed a glorious campaign in which they also won La Liga.The season started with a 3-2 extra-time triumph against Sevilla in the Super Cup in the Norwegian city of Trondheim.“Real Madrid is a team, a club, an institution that has hunger. We all know where we are and when you finish a season like last year winning, it helps you try to do the same thing coming into the new season,” Zidane — whose team have Barcelona to come at the weekend in the Spanish Super Cup — said in a UEFA interview.However, his side failed to record a victory during a pre-season tour of the United States that included a high-profile friendly encounter with Jose Mourinho’s United in Santa Clara, California.That International Champions Cup encounter ended in a 1-1 draw before United won on penalties.While the Spaniards have made two relatively low-key summer signings in Dani Ceballos from Betis and Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid, United have spent big ahead of their return to the Champions League.The Europa League winners have added the defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica, the midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and they wrapped up their preparations with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Dublin.– Mourinho plays down reunion –Manchester United players celebrate their first goal scored by Manchester United’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the pre-season friendly game against Sampdoria at the Aviva stadium in Dublin on August 2, 2017This match offers a chance for United to start the new campaign on a high before their opening Premier League game against West Ham United next Sunday.In a glittering career Mourinho has not yet won the Super Cup — his Chelsea team lost on penalties to Bayern Munich in the 2013 edition.The Portuguese is coming up against the club he coached for three years until 2013 — he did not leave the Spanish capital on the best of terms but he insisted that experience is not on his mind this week.“It’s something I’ve been through many times. I left Porto and two months later I was facing them in the Champions League,” he told UEFA.com .“I left Chelsea and a few months later I was facing them with Manchester United. I never look at it in terms of taking on my former club, not at all. So I just look at Real Madrid as what they are: a big club, the European champions, and it’s a great motivation for us to play against them.”This annual meeting of the European champions and Europa League winners comes to the Balkan state after going to Prague, Cardiff, Tbilisi and Trondheim in recent years.But in contrast to the cool conditions in Norway 12 months ago, temperatures in Skopje are expected to reach 40 degrees for much of the week.The forecast is for it to be upwards of 30 degrees when Tuesday’s match kicks off at 9:45pm.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Indians hammer the Yankees with surprising ease

first_imgALDS: Cleveland’s lack of experience means little in an opening rout of New York. By Tom Withers THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CLEVELAND – At times, it looked like 1995 again. Or 1997. Or 1954. Or 1948. Back in the playoffs after a six-year absence, the Cleveland Indians came out swinging like Octobers past. C.C. Sabathia recovered after giving up a homer on his fifth pitch, Kenny Lofton drove in four runs and Cleveland homered four times to stun the New York Yankees, 12-3, in their AL playoff opener Thursday night. On an unusually warm night that felt more Indian summer than fall, the AL Central champions looked as though they just might be the team to beat as they chase their first World Series title in 59 years. “They just were hitting everything,” Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez said. “Even their outs were hard.” A-Rod will have to wait at least another day to repair his tarnished postseason image. Sabathia and three Cleveland relievers silenced his powerful bat. Today, the Yankees turn to Andy Pettitte, who is 14-9 in postseason play. Fausto Carmona, Cleveland’s other 19-game winner, will oppose him. “Let’s just get over it and lick our wounds and then we’ll figure it out,” New York manager Joe Torre said. The Indians’ playoff inexperience was never a factor. Cleveland’s kids were all right. “They just went out there and played the game,” said Lofton, a postseason veteran. “You don’t have to have a whole lot of experience to understand that the game hasn’t changed. That’s what I’ve been talking to the guys about: Go out there and play baseball.” Playoff newcomer Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer and rookie Asdrubal Cabrera had a solo shot off ineffective starter Chien-Ming Wang. Travis Hafner and Ryan Garko homered later, and the Indians knocked the Bronx Bombers flat. The 40-year-old Lofton raced around the bases they way he did in two previous stints with Cleveland. Casey Blake added two RBIs for the Indians, energized by a towel-waving crowd eager for more. A few Cleveland fans even turned on Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, a devoted New York fan who boldly came to Jacobs Field wearing a Yankees cap. Early on, fans sitting near James behind home plate chanted “Take off the cap,” and by the sixth inning, he did. When Hafner’s homer off Ross Ohlendorf gave the Indians a 10-3 lead, James turned to his entourage and ordered an exit. The Yankees, 6-0 against the Indians during the regular season, went nearly as fast. Down, 4-3, in the fifth, they managed only a meaningless, two-out single in the ninth after Cleveland broke away. “We needed to stop them,” said Johnny Damon, who hit a disputed homer leading off the game. “We couldn’t stop their offense. Everything they were hitting went out of the park. You definitely don’t want to see that happen in the first game.” Indians manager Eric Wedge, another playoff first-timer, was prepared to ride Sabathia as long as needed. If that meant 120 or 130 pitches, Wedge was willing to let his left-hander push his limit. Wedge never could have imagined that would come after five innings. Not only did Sabathia, who entered 1-7 with a 7.13 ERA in his career against New York, have to deal with New York’s awesome lineup, but plate umpire Bruce Froemming’s strike zone was paper thin for the left-hander, who battled through 114 pitches, allowing three runs and four hits in five innings.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

Gaeil Fhánada to host underage presentation next month

first_imgNótaí Gaeil FhánadaLotto ResultsNumbers drawn were: 08, 12, 13, 16. 19. Bonus 02. No jackpot winner. €100 Susan People’s, Kerrykeel. €50 Martha Ward, Kerrykeel.Next week’s jackpot is €1,050.  Rachel and Declan on duty next week. Wouldn’t this be nice wee lift for the Christmas!  Buy a ticket and support your Club. If you’re not in you cannot win!Important MeetingA meeting of all men players, over the age of 17, who wish to play Senior or Reserve football with Gaeil Fhánada for 2017 will take place in Fanavolty Hall next Saturday evening November 26th at 7.30 p.m. All players are asked to make a special effort to attend this very important meeting. Donegal LGFA AcademyGreg Harkin, Donegal U13 Manager thanked all the girls who attended trials over the past couple of weeks. Our own Kate Sweeney was asked to return to Colaiste Ailigh again this Saturday, registration from 9.40am.  Best of luck Kate from all at the Club.Date for your diary – AGMGaeil Fhánada A.G.M. will be held on 30th December in Rosnakill Hall at 7.00p.m.  Come along and have your say at this very important meeting of Gaeil Fhánada.  This is the most important meeting for the Club of the year.  All welcome!Under-Age Presentation Night Provisional date for under age presentation night set for 27th December, more information to follow.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page.Gaeil Fhánada to host underage presentation next month was last modified: November 22nd, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAAGaeil FhandaSportlast_img read more

More seniors to benefit from personal alarms under new scheme

first_imgA new Seniors Alert Scheme has been launched to allow more older persons to avail of the free personal monitored alarm.€2.3 million has been allocated for the new scheme to give peace of mind and security to older rural people in their homes.The main features of the new scheme include :• those eligible no longer have to be living alone• free monitoring of the alarm service for the first year• increase in administrative payment to community groups involved in rolling out the scheme. The Seniors Alert Scheme provides older persons (65 years +) with a free personal monitored alarm and is run by local groups around the country.All users have a base unit installed in their home which is connected to a national Seniors Alert Scheme helpline using landline or mobile telecommunications. When the user activates the personalised alarm it puts a call through to the national call centre which is open 24/7/365. The call centre operator talks to the person in their home and decides whether to alert a locally volunteer responder or, in potentially serious circumstances, the emergency services.Minister Michael Ring launches the new €2.3million Seniors Alert Scheme at the Third Age Centre in Summerhill, Co Meath today pic.twitter.com/jbn47Le2jM— DeptRuralCommunity (@DeptRCD) October 19, 2017Minister Ring said: “The Seniors Alert Scheme provides personalised monitored alarms to older citizens in order to provide them with security and peace of mind in their own homes.“Alarms, which are monitored 24 hours, can be worn as a pendant or around the wrist like a watch, ensuring assistance is always available no matter where the person is in their house. Over 60,000 people have received the personalised alarm pendant from the Government under the Seniors Alert Scheme since 2010. “The Seniors Alert Scheme provides older citizens in order to provide them with security and peace of mind in their own homes. From this year on, you no longer have to be living alone in order to qualify for the scheme.“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, this scheme exemplifies what my Department is about. It exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them.“There is free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first twelve months after which the person pays a small fee.”Minister Ring called on anyone who is eligible to avail of the scheme and encouraged community groups to engage with the older people in their area to actively encourage participation in the scheme.A Donegal information session for the SAS scheme takes place on December 7th, click here to register for the free event: www.eventbrite.ie/e/seniors-alert-scheme-donegal-information-session-tickets-39077076588  Click here to find your local SAS community group  More seniors to benefit from personal alarms under new scheme was last modified: October 20th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:Seniors Alert Schemelast_img read more

Complex at the Beginning: Distant Galaxy Cluster Highly Developed

first_imgObservations from the European Southern Observatory have pointed to a “surprise” discovery: a cluster of galaxies 9 billion light-years away that is “in a very advanced state of development.”    The press release points to just how surprising is this find: “The discovery of such a complex and mature structure so early in the history of the Universe is highly surprising,” it says (emphasis added).  “Indeed, until recently it would even have been deemed impossible.”The evolutionist’s impossibility can be the creationist’s certainty, and vice versa.  Things creationists consider impossible (such as the origin of life by chance – see online book) are routinely assumed by evolutionists.  The surprise effect can help distinguish the validity of the two worldviews.  Why are evolutionists so often surprised by what they find?  Judeo-Christian creationists see this as congruent with the statement In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Solar schoolbag lights up homework for rural kids

first_imgTo make Repurpose Schoolbags, waste plastic is cleaned, debranded and ironed and then creatively sewed into stylish designs by the team of seven full-time employees at the Rethaka Trading warehouseA schoolbag that, at night, turns on the lights for rural kids to do their homework. This is the innovative brainchild of power team Rea Ngwane (22) and Thato Kgatlhanye (21) who, after four years of work, have developed and successfully launched a community-driven business producing Repurpose Schoolbags.Friends from childhood, growing up in the rural North West village of Mogwase, the pair now run their company Rethaka Trading from Rustenburg. For years the two entrepreneurs had wanted to start their own company, and got the chance when Kgatlhanye entered a competition run by SAB.The task was to create an organic product that mimicked the beautiful design of nature. Kgatlhanye’s entry was a handbag that resembled a bird’s nest, for which she won third place – and R300 000 of seed money to start her own business.The result was Rethaka Trading, a for-profit women-owned company she set up with her friend Ngwane with the purpose of combining business with social good. The company’s main product is their Repurpose Schoolbags innovation, an ingenious idea that does a lot more with less. The bags are designed for schoolchildren from underprivileged communities with little or no electricity. They are made entirely from recycled plastic, and have embedded in them solar panels which charge a lantern during the child’s walk to school. After dark, this provides a light for doing homework, with enough power for 12 hours.The waste plastic is harvested from landfills and plastic recycling bins the duo have set up outside schools and churches. This plastic then goes through an intensive process of cleaning, debranding and ironing before it is creatively sewed into a stylish design by the team of seven full-time employees at their warehouse in Tlhabane, Rustenburg.SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIn addition to running her own business, Ngwane is studying a bachelor of commerce degree in marketing management at the University of Johannesburg. She describes herself as a forward-thinker, someone who always has a curiosity about the “other”, the “what else?”As the operations and financial manager of Rethaka, Ngwane’s role is to cost-effectively and efficiently run the process from acquiring material to manufacturing, final product and inventory control. Ngwane says she is playing her part by being a social entrepreneur, one who mixes business with bettering the lives of others.‘STRUGGLING BILLIONAIRE’Her colleague Kgatlhanye, who refers laughingly to herself as a “struggling billionaire”, is a young South African who believes in second chances. This is the philosophy behind a book she co-authored in 27 days called “Start an empire with a brand”, and in the work she does for school kids who need a second chance at their education.As the brand and marketing manager of Rethaka, Kgatlhanye ensures that she effectively communicates the company’s green innovations and how they can turn social problems into solutions. She believes she is one of a new generation of leaders, working for change.Kgatlhanye’s remarkable career includes interning in New York with marketing guru Seth Godin. She was also selected as one of 18 South African social entrepreneurs to attend the 10 day Red Bull Amaphiko Academy in 2013, and is a recent graduate from the Vega school of branding.Plans for the future include developing a subsidiary luxury brand called Purpo, a range of fashion bags for professional woman marketed as both fashionable and concerned for the environment. The pair are also designing corporate bags for laptops, iPads and notebooks. Ten percent of the sale of these items will go towards manufacturing the solar schoolbags.Kgatlhanye says the change she wants to see in South Africa is “youth dreaming audaciously”, and the problem of funding for education being eradicated. Ngwane dreams of the day when South Africans will stop seeing differences between themselves, stop defining each other by race. Until then, these women say, they will continue to uncovering opportunities for change.last_img read more

What you need to know about water quality regulations

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Who needs to be certified?By the law and regulations created with the passage of Senate Bill 150 in 2014 anyone in Ohio who applies fertilizer to 50 acres or more must be certified. This law applies to fertilizer (material having an analysis). If it’s manure, lime or other farm residue, you do not need to be certified by this law.If all of your crop goes through an animal before it leaves the farm, you don’t need to be certified, but I think it’s a good idea if you do go to the class and get certified anyway. How do you get certified?The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will certify applicators in Ohio. If you are a Licensed Pesticide Applicator in Ohio, you attend a two-hour meeting and fill in and sign the attendance form. Ohio State University personnel supply the education for this class. We hope you pay attention and actually learn something.If you are not a Licensed Pesticide applicator, then the process is a little different. You attend a three-hour class again from Ohio State University Extension and complete and sign the forms, submit an application and then pay a $30 fee to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.If you are a Certified Crop Adviser, you do not have to attend the fertilizer applicator training. We assume you have taken the exams, know about nutrient management and are already acquiring the required five hours of CEUs for NM (nutrient management), so you have the education. But you will need to show proof of your credentials and apply to ODA for the certification.If you are a CLM — Certified Livestock Manager — same thing. You already do the education, just show proof and submit the application to ODA.Find applicator certification training sessions from OSU Extension at: http://pested.osu.edu/NutrientEducation. Can I supervise a family member or farm employee to make a fertilizer application?Yes. A Certified Fertilizer Applicator can supervise a family member or farm employee without a certificate, if they are under your control and you supply instructions on where, when and how to apply the fertilizer. However, I cannot supervise my wife, since she is never under my control and she will not take my instructions — ODA may give me some leeway on this one.This is a long way down the road, but will I need to recertify and how will I do so?Folks are actually thinking ahead on this subject, and yes there will be a recertification process. Our first goal is to get the approximately 18,000 applicators trained in the two- or the three-hour program. This will need to be completed by September 2017, so the group we trained in late 2014 and early 2015 will recertify in 2018. Again, Ohio State University Extension will do the training and ODA will be the agency who will actually certify you in this process.In the future, for Licensed Pesticide Applicators the renewal or recertification will be done together in the same year. There is only one renewal fee and that is the same $30 you pay now for your Pesticide license renewal.For the non-pesticide licensed fertilizer applicators, this will be in the year of their first certification — 2015, 2016 or 2017. Then they will renew in 2018, 2019 or 2020, respectively. They will pay a $30 renewal fee. Do I need a nutrient management plan?The quick answer is yes. But it isn’t necessarily required.Included in the SB150 law is a provision that if:You are certified to apply fertilizerYou keep the records of application and weather at applicationAnd you develop and get approved a Voluntary Nutrient Management PlanThen yes a nutrient management plan can be used as part of an affirmative defense against a private civil action. This means that if you are sued by a neighbor for movement of nutrients off-site then being certified, having records and a nutrient management plan can be used in court to defend your actions. (I am not a lawyer, this is not to be construed as legal advice, I am just trying to pass on some education in the matter. As always contact your own lawyer for legal advice).The deeper question is, “Should you have a plan to manage nutrients?”And the answer is definitely yes. One way we think we can manage the nutrient loss problem is to know what nutrients we have available in our soils to understand what risk we have for loss of nutrients and to know how much we should apply to maintain our crops. With a nutrient management plan, we can answer the concerns and better manage nitrogen and phosphorus to reduce nutrient loss from our fields.Please contact your local Soil & Water Conservation District office to learn how to get started on a nutrient management plan. In northwest Ohio, some OSU Extension offices (Defiance, Fulton, Paulding and Wood) also have put plan writers on board. For the do-it-yourselfer, OSU has a Nutrient Management Workbook to develop your own plan, designed originally as a manure management tool. This also works for commercial fertilizer. Its available in hard copy at some Extension or SWCD offices and on-line at: http://agcrops.osu.edu/sites/agcrops/files/imce/fertility/NutrientManagementWorkbookRelease3.5.1.xlsm. I want to buy manure from a nearby livestock operation and they say I need to be certified to take the material?Yes, this is now true. As of July 2015 no person may apply manure from a concentrated animal feeding facility without a permit from ODA, unless you are a Certified Livestock Manager or you are certified through the Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training through the FACT programs that Extension is providing around the state. Again this is the two- or three-hour program we provide. Schedules are available at: http://pested.osu.edu/NutrientEducation. Records – what do I need to keep?Within 24 hours of nutrient application, record: Name of fertilizer certificate holder Name of applicator working under direct supervision of certificate holder (if any) Date of application Location (field ID, farm) Fertilizer analysis (such as 11-52-0) Rate of fertilizer application (pounds per acre) and total amount applied Fertilizer application method (surface-applied, incorporated, etc) Soil conditions For surface applications only: is ground frozen or snow covered? Temperature and precipitation during application and weather forecast for day following application.Oh, and keep those records of your nutrient application for three years. One very good place to get and print off the weather records and a forecast is http://weather.gov. I live in northwest Ohio – what does Senate Bill 1 mean?For applications of granular fertilizer (defined as nitrogen or phosphorous) or manure in the western Lake Erie basin, a person may not apply:(1) On snow-covered or frozen soil(2) When the top two inches of soil are saturated from precipitation(3) When the local weather forecast prediction for the application area contains greater than a 50% chance of precipitation exceeding: one inch in a 12 hour period for granular fertilizer one-half inch in a 24 hour period for manureunless the fertilizer/nutrient is injected into the ground, incorporated within 24 hours of surface application or applied to a growing crop.This affects all or part of 24 counties in northwest Ohio. Senate Bill 1 applies to manure application as well as fertilizer. Manure wasn’t necessarily considered in SB 150. Rumors have it that SB 1 will likely be extended to all of Ohio in the not too distant future.last_img read more

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