EFFL Re-Echoes Calls for Systemic Audit of Sirleaf’s Gov’t

first_imgCOCUBOMB and EFFL leaders in the #BRINGBACKOURMONEY protest back in September 2018, Monrovia-Says better late than neverIncessant calls for an audit of the 12-year administration of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf have gone unheeded by President George Weah, whose administration seems to be feeling the effects of what critics perceive as a gross misstep or inaction.According to the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL), the alleged missing money scandal, which is having an adverse impact on the livelihood of the Liberian people, especially the impoverished masses, is the result of rampant corruption and glaring mismanagement that permeated the Sirleaf-led government.With the adage, “better late than never”, the EFFL has again called on the Weah Administration to do a forensic and systematic audit of the Sirleaf Administration, to enable the country and its international partners understand the financial activities of the previous government.The group, which seeks to stand as a force for a new Liberia, had earlier this year recommended to President Weah a complete systematic audit of the last regime which, it is believed, received billions in bilateral assistance, but has little to show for said assistance.“This country is poor, not because we lack the resources or finances, but because we continue to elect self-centered and morally bankrupt individuals to power. We have also failed to do the right thing over the years—holding past and current leaders accountable for the stewardship of the state,” EFFL Deputy Secretary General, Ernest Moibah, said in a release recently.Moibah added, “The EFFL is here to stop this entrenched business as usual attitude and advocate good governance for our people. President Weah must audit the past regime so that it gives account of how our country was governed during its 12 years in power.”Weah, a soccer legend, came to the presidency with a sermon: “Our country is broke and our economy broken”, though his predecessor later debunked such assertions, indicating that in spite of the harsh economic realities the country faced during the latter phase of the Johnson-Sirleaf government, she had left over US$100 million in the national coffers.Fast forward, reports of missing containers containing L$16 billion from the Freeport of Monrovia, the main gateway to the country’s economy, has brought to public glare what many have termed as the high level of insincerity on the part of the Weah-led Administration, who had given the public the impression that the country was really broke.But according to Moibah, the claim and counterclaims between the current and past administrations can only be settled if the Weah administration musters the courage to audit the Sirleaf Administration as well as many of her officials whose images are blemished with corruption allegations.The group urged the government to muster the courage to fight corruption if it is to succeed, though the EFFL expressed reservation that there are alarming factors of the Weah Administration’s lacking the ability to adequately run the country, let alone fight corruption.Mr. Moibah (R)“In his inaugural speech, the President promised to fight corruption, but from all indications, the government lacks the political will to fight corruption as well audit the past government, especially as it relates to the missing billions.EFFL also recommends a reawakening of the corruption scandal and other financial malpractices of former Deputy Finance Minister James Kollie. This has to do with the operation of an allegedly clandestine account by Dr. Kollie and few of his cronies at the ministry for the payment of domestic debts—an account that was used to siphon millions of dollars out of the mainstream financials programs of the government.As part of what it says are efforts aimed at ensuring a corruption-free society, the group wrote the Justice Ministry about a certain special committee report that needs to be taken seriously.“In the letter dated October 3, 2018, and addressed to Minister of Justice Cllr. Musa Dean, EFFL requested full implementation of the report on corruption, which found many guilty, including Kollie and others from the finance ministry, for opening and operating special accounts for the payments of domestic debts without using the government consolidated account,” Moibah said.According to the report, Dr. Kollie and the Finance Department of the MFDP paid millions of United Stated Dollars to unknown businesses, including US$500,000 allegedly diverted to personal accounts, though noting that it was paid to the owner of the land where the Nancy Doe Market is situated in Sinkor.“The Marshall family didn’t receive the US$500,000, but was paid to unknown individuals and said payment was sanctioned by Dr. Kollie who was then serving as acting minister. We are concerned about this report and encourage this court to prosecute all those individuals mentioned in the report and that they are made to repay said funds that were allegedly stolen,” the release said.Those at the center of the scandal were Dr. Kollie, Robert S.K. Doe, Jeremiah Jargbo, Abubarka M.S. Kiawu and Madison C. Kelgbeh. Some of those indicted are reportedly serving top positions in the Weah Administration.“We are informed that Jeremiah Jargbo is within the employ of Liberia Revenue Authority and Madison C. Kelgbeh is employed at the Ministry of Finance, while Mr. S.K Doe’s and Kiawu’s locations remained unknown.However, nothing has been done concerning this report, and it is part of the many reasons while the EFFL has called for the forensic audit of the past government.Dr. Kollie was involved in another financial scandal— the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI). A project established in 2014 at MFDP to provide loans to Liberian-owned Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs), the initiative was diverted by a few top officials, including Kollie, who was the principal administrator of the program.The loan was meant to financially strengthen Liberian-owned businesses.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LAUSD high schools make gains in latest API rankings

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Elementary schools ranked 5 and above increased 10.8 percent since 1999; middle schools increased 3.7 percent and high schools 8.1 percent. “I think the slight decline (at elementary schools) was reflected early on when test results came out last August, because the third grade scores were flat, and I think that is reflected here,” said Esther Wong, assistant superintendent of planning, assessment and research at LAUSD. “Elementary schools are improving at a more rapid pace and we’re getting more up in the two highest state ranks of 9 and 10, middle schools are improving at a steady pace and for high schools between 2004-05 saw an increase, so I’m hoping the 2006 scores will show the increasing trend for high schools.” Education officials attributed the strong performance of high schools to the emphasis placed on having students pass the California High School Exit Exam. The CAHSEE results are included in API results for high schools. “For high schools to increase the state rank…shows they are making some gains. Because they’re passing the CAHSEE contributed to the scores going up,” Wong said. “I think our high schools are on the right road. They have a long way to go, but continue to improve.” Statewide, schools continued to make strides toward reaching the goal of 800 points on the state achievement test, which scores between 200 and 1,000 points. The percentage of the state’s schools at or above 800 rose from the year before, with 31.6 percent of elementary schools at or above the benchmark; 20.7 percent of middle schools and 11.8 percent of high schools. San Fernando Valley Schools continued to show impressive gains over last year. About 49 percent of the valley’s elementary schools scored 6 or above on the rankings as did 35.7 percent of middle schools and 31.8 percent of high schools. High schools showed the most impressive gains, with nearly 7 percent more schools ranked 6 or higher. The number of LAUSD elementary and middle schools that scored a 1 increased over last year. About 18 percent of the elementary schools and 37 percent of middle schools scored a 1 – both up three percentage points from last year. High schools bucked the trend, with 25 percent scoring a 1, down five percentage points from last year. There will always be schools ranked 1 and 10 because of the nature of the decile system. Ten percent of schools will always be in each decile, but the range of scores included in each decile has increased over time. In neighboring Ventura County, roughly 75 percent of schools posted APIs of 800 or better, up from 33 percent last year. Conejo Valley Unified, Moorpark Unified and Oak Park posted districtwide scores over 800. Of those 186 local schools, thirty five scored in the top 10 percent of schools statewide. Twenty-four schools are currently ranked in the top 20 percent in the state. Overall, 60 percent of schools scored in the top half of the statewide ranking. “The results show again that our schools are performing better than the average school in California,” said Charles Weis, county superintendent of schools. “I’m very pleased and proud … the schools are doing a great job.” Weis said he was particularly impressed with how the high schools are performing. Foothill Technology in Ventura, Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley and Moorpark High School in Moorpark are perfect 10, 10s. “Our high schools are doing amazingly well,” he added. In Conejo Valley, three of four middle schools – Colina, Sequoia and Redwood – posted a pair of 10s.— Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 naush.boghossian@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Reflecting statewide trends, the number of Los Angeles Unified elementary and middle schools scoring in the top half of California’s annual Academic Performance Index ranking dropped slightly, while high schools made stronger gains. The rankings released today showed that the number of elementary and middle schools that scored 6 and above on a scale of 1-10 remained steady or dipped slightly compared to last year, but more high schools were able to move into the top 40 percent of the state’s schools. The district’s schools struggled to reach the benchmark of 800, with a total of 96 schools – out of 629 schools districtwide – reaching the goal, and the majority were elementary schools. Lasat year, 69 schools had reached and exceeded 800 points. But overall, the district’s elementary schools – the target of widespread policy, resources and professional development aimed at increasing achievement – continue to show the greatest improvement in rank since the state accountability test began in 1999, district officials said.last_img read more

Around Whittier

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsNORWALK – Monday is the last day to register to vote in the June 6 primary election. People wishing to register must be U.S. citizens and not in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony. Voters must also be at least 18 years old by election day. Voter registration forms are available at libraries, fire stations, post offices and city clerk offices throughout the county. To register online, log onto www.lavote.net. The Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk’s office in Norwalk provides election information and help from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. weekdays. For more information, call (562) 466-1310. Avocado Festival slated for Saturday LA HABRA HEIGHTS – The city’s annual Avocado Festival will be held from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the park, 1885 Hacienda Road. There will be food; bluegrass, pop and Hawaiian music; and a variety of games and other events. The festival also will include 20 agriculture-related exhibits and a $10 hot air balloon ride. Admission is free. For more information, call Carol Engelhardt, (562) 697-1258. Hospital guild to host fundraiser MONTEBELLO – Beverly Hospital Guild will hold a used book sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in at the hospital, 100 E. Harding Street. The guild will also hold a rummage sale from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. June 8 in the hospital’s guild center parking lot. There will also be a boutique and bake sale with some of the best hot dogs in town. All proceeds from guild fundraising efforts benefit Beverly Hospital’s projects. For more information, call Lillian Gaitan, (323) 721-7189. VFW post hosts fundraiser dinner LA MIRADA – Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9148, 13932 Valley View Ave., will hold a lasagna dinner fundraiser beginning at 6 p.m. tonight. A donation of $7 per person is suggested. For more information, call (562) 941-4097. Women invited to free health clinic PICO RIVERA – Women are encouraged to attend “Fiesta de la Salud,” a health fair featuring the Women’s Health Mobile Clinic and sponsored by 58th District Assemblyman Ron Calderon, D-Montebello. The event, from 9 a.m. to 2p.m. Saturday at 9406 E. Washington Blvd., at the Big Saver Foods store, will offer free comprehensive health screenings, including blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, as well as gynecological testing, pap tests and clinical breast exams. All tests are preformed in private rooms inside the clinic’s mobile touring centers. Although the event is free, organizers recommend making an appointment for screenings and tests. To schedule a time for testing, call (800) 793-8090. – From staff reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Authorities have identified a motorcyclist who died in a collision earlier this week as 25-year-old Phillip George Plasko III of Buena Park. Plasko was riding his motorcycle north on Greenleaf Avenue at about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday when he ran into the side of a pickup truck driving west on Foxley Drive. Plasko was thrown from his motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Monday is last day to register to vote last_img read more

THE HOOPS REPORT: FANS CHIEF URGES SUPPORTERS TO GET BEHIND SPL

first_imgThe general secretary of the Celtic Supporters’ Association Joe O’Rourke has issued a rallying call to fans to get behind the club to show that the absence of Rangers will not hit the Hoops this season.Mr O’Rourke was speaking as supporters of the remaining SPL teams new team Dundee have been behind a groundswell of sentiment towards the league with hopes that first weekend games in August will be sold out.If they are, it will more than make up from revenue lost from travelling Rangers fans. “We will do what we have always done, which is approach as many people as possible and encourage them to come and support Celtic Football Club,” he told celticfc.net.“The best way to do that is by buying a ticket and walking through the turnstiles.”The vast majority of Celtic fans wanted the club to vote against the parachuting of newco Rangers into the SPL and O’Rourke hopes those fans now turn up for games.He said: “What I would say to the Celtic support now is that you asked the club to behave in a certain way and conduct business in a certain manner. The vast majority of supporters asked the club to oppose a Newco parachuting straight into the SPL. “The club has done that, the club has fulfilled your wishes and, obviously, that means that Celtic will have to take a big financial hit from this, losing the guaranteed income that comes from the derby games.“We cannot ask the club to do that and then not support them ourselves.”Mr O’Rourke said that personally speaking he was shocked at the level of support for clubs from fans opposed to Rangers entering the SPL.“I have been very surprised and encouraged by just how many supporters from different clubs accepted and argued that we had to do what was right and I really hope it bodes well for the future,” he said.“I have been surprised by the level of opposition to the Newco and I genuinely didn’t expect it. “I think a lot of clubs were forced to take their strong positions on the matter by their supporters. I don’t think that’s how they would have voted had they not been told to do what was right.“I have been delighted with Celtic’s position on this and I think that the club has played a blinder. They have acted 100 per cent correctly, right throughout.”THE HOOPS REPORT: FANS CHIEF URGES SUPPORTERS TO GET BEHIND SPL was last modified: July 18th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:THE HOOPS REPORT: FANS CHIEF URGES SUPPORTERS TO GET BEHIND SPLlast_img read more

Injury-riddled Crusaders beat McKinleyville in home opener

first_imgEureka >> In soccer, teams that are bullish in the box, sound on set pieces and solid in the net typically win a lot of soccer games.That is exactly the formula used by the St. Bernard’s Academy girls soccer team in their 3-1 victory over the McKinleyville Panthers on Wednesday at St. Bernard’s High School.The Crusaders, who were playing without five players who are sidelined due to various injuries, benefitted from goals by Maryah Tomlinson, Makenna Schoenhofer and Ally Del Grande to open up …last_img read more

Kurtenbach: One defining question for every Warriors player this season

first_imgThe Warriors have undergone some serious changes over the last few months, and as the head into what is poised to be one of the most interesting campaigns in years, I have one question for every Dubs player:Stephen CurryCan you be the best you’ve ever been?(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)It really is as simple as that for the two-time NBA MVP — can he win a third this year? The Warriors need that level of production not just to win a title, but to even make the playoffs.I’m on …last_img read more

South Africa’s most unlikely export

first_imgRodriguez wows his audiences with his 70s songs. His double album – Cold Fact, and Coming from Reality. (Images: Rodriguez website)MEDIA CONTACTS • Stephen Segerman   Owner of Mabu Vinyl, Cape Town   +27 21 423 7635RELATED ARTICLES • SA songbird wins top opera prize • Lira to usher in Obama term • Homegrown artistic talent honouredUpdate: At the 85th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 24 February, Searching for Sugarman won the award for best documentary. The film has been the favourite to win.Director Malik Bendjelloul and producer Simon Chinn were on hand to accept the golden statuette. The singer himself was absent, because he “doesn’t want to take credit for this film”, according to Chinn, speaking backstage afterwards.Lucille DavieSouth Africa’s most unlikely export must be Rodriguez, a singer-songwriter from Detroit in the US. The Mexican-American cut two albums in the early 1970s which went nowhere in his homeland but were a huge hit in South Africa, culminating in the 2012 hit movie Searching for Sugarman.On stage in Johannesburg during his February 2013 tour he said: “The last time I was this happy was the last time I was in South Africa.” That was in 2008.After his albums, Cold Fact and Coming from Reality, flopped in the US, he disappeared for decades into a working class suburb of Detroit where he still lives, continuing his work as a labourer on construction sites, until two South Africans went searching for him.The discovery of the aged hippie, now 70, has the quality of a miracle, with a man who was thought to have died, rising from the dead to become a worldwide sensation.The release of the movie has catapulted Rodriguez into a place very far from his humble beginnings, with tours to Europe, South Africa, Australia, America and New Zealand, coming quick and fast.Sugarman, directed by Sweden’s Malik Bendjelloul, has been nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary and has already won the corresponding award at the 2013 Baftas or British Academy of Film and Television Arts, plus a bagful of other awards. The Academy Awards take place on 24 February.America has fallen for him big time – he has appeared on top-flight talk shows and news channels, and fans just can’t buy tickets for his concerts fast enough.Timeless appealRodriguez’s 2013 South African tour has seen extra concerts scheduled, with tickets sold out within hours. His folk-rock songs have appealed across the generations, a phenomenon seen at the concerts where 20-somethings sat alongside balding 70-somethings.His opening line on stage is typical laid-back Rodriguez: “Thanks for stepping out this evening.”Standing there in leather pants, black vest, black hat pulled down over his forehead, and large shades, he had the audience on their feet after almost every song. The quality of his voice hasn’t diminished over the years – classics like Sugar man, I wonder and I think of you are still able to take the baby boomers back to a dreamy place in the 70s.More than a prince“South Africa made me feel like more than a prince,” said Rodriguez in the movie, talking about his first tour to the country in 1998.Various music producers in the movie described him as better than the Rolling Stones, Elvis and Bob Dylan. And yet outside of South Africa and Australia, he was an unknown entity. All that changed in the late 1990s when two South Africans, record store owner Stephen Segerman and music journalist Craig Bartholomew, set out to find their hero.Rodriguez is an extraordinarily modest, humble man who has lived in the same house for the past 40 years. It was difficult to get hold of him as he didn’t even have a phone in the house, but the two South Africans persisted.They had heard stories that he had died, dramatically committing suicide on stage. Their search began in 1997 – they scoured his songs, looking for clues to his whereabouts. Eventually a clue emerged: in the song Inner City Blues there was mention of a Detroit suburb called Dearborn.In the same year the pair created a website, asking for anyone with details of Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s eldest daughter Eva, who now lives in South Africa, responded by leaving her phone number. Segerman phoned her and told her his story, and she reassured him that her father was alive.Bartholomew describes that revelation as “a euphoric moment”.Segerman left his number with Eva. That night his wife took a late-night call. It was Rodriguez. “Hello, is that Sugar?” he said. “I knew I was talking to Rodriguez, it was one of the greatest moments of my life,” says Segerman in the movie. He had been given the nickname “Sugarman” in the army because he loved listening to the song.Once they’d traced him Segerman and Bartholemew persuaded Rodriguez to tour to South Africa where he still had a huge fan base. That was in June 1998. He had six sold-out concerts in that year and has returned to tour three or four times.But if the Americans were taken aback, the local fans were even more so. It took that first audience of some 5 000 people back in 1998 up to 10 minutes to stop cheering and screaming. Said Bartholomew in the movie: “It’s like seeing someone like Elvis come back from the dead.”And Rodriguez simply said: “Thanks for keeping me alive.” His daughter Eva said: “It was beautiful, a beautiful dream.”An educated manHis three daughters describe him as an educated man with a degree in philosophy, who exposed them to art, music and culture and taught them that they could do anything they wanted. He once ran for mayor of Detroit, wanting to represent the working poor in the city, but wasn’t successful so he continued with his construction work, saying it “keeps the blood circulating, keeps you fit”.His daughter Regan says of him: “He was doing work no one else wanted to do. He was a harder worker than a lot of other fathers were.”Sugarman director Bendjelloul says of Rodriguez in a January 2013 interview: “He was very warm and welcoming and a lovely guy. I really liked him. But he didn’t like to be on camera. It’s very hard when you make a film about someone who doesn’t like getting filmed. So I didn’t get much footage with him. I went there every year for four years, and every time I got maybe 20 minutes of footage.”Of the singer’s sudden fame, Segerman says: “Rodriguez is enjoying room service,” he laughs. “He has his family with him, and it’s one big happy family. He likes meeting his fans.”Segerman has wanted to introduce Rodriguez to his Amercian countrymen since 1997, so is now “just thrilled that the whole world has discovered him and his music. The dream continues”.last_img read more

Evans Powhaton Century Farm history laced with triumph and tragedy

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The year was 1950 and there was excitement in the air on Powhaton Farm in Champaign County. The farm was one of the host farms for the National Plowing Match, sponsored by the National and Ohio Plowing Matches and the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts. It was the first “National” held outside of Iowa.Nearly 75,000 people visited the farms for the three-day, standing-room-only event that garnered headlines in newspapers around the state and nation for weeks prior to and after the event was held. The show even featured a test plot with the astounding goal of 300-bushel corn in 1950. The National Plowing Match was so noteworthy for the farm and community in Champaign County just south of Urbana that a historic marker stands to commemorate the event.That was a big day for Richard Evans in the same year he took over the family farm founded by his great-great-grandfather, Isaac Evans Jr., who had come from Virginia in 1812. Isaac’s father, at the same time, purchased land that is now home to the city of Urbana.President James Madison signed an original land grant deed to Isaac Jr. for one-quarter section for the 160-acre farm in Urbana Township of Champaign County. In 1830, Isaac received another patent deed for 161 acres adjoining the original portion of the farm.“Isaac purchased the land for $2 an acre. He had three years to pay it at 6% interest,” said Sue Evans, Isaac’s great-great-great-granddaughter and the daughter of Richard. “It was unsettled land and they probably had a single-bottom plow pulled by a horse. They had to clear trees and build a house. I am amazed at how they could do what they did. They raised corn and wheat and had cattle. A colonial farm was very self-sustaining. They raised their own food and had their own orchard. That was what they did for survival.”Land next to the original farmstead was home to a wool carpet mill and cider mill, general store, blacksmith, shoe shop, and doctor’s office in a small village named Powhaton, founded in 1847.“The next generation was William Strode Evans and he had one son, John Will who was my great-grandfather. John Will Evans married Melissa Jane Roberts who grew up just down the road in Clark County. John served in the Civil War. He farmed with his father and taught in a nearby one-room school. They had two sons, my grandfather, William Edgar, and Charles. Charles went east and opened a restaurant in New Jersey. William Edgar stayed on the farm. He was known as Ed,” Evans said. “My grandfather was known for being hard working and kind. He had one child, my father, Richard.”Richard’s life that followed was the familiar tapestry of farm life with threads of joy, tragedy and hard work woven together with a few unique things as well. The Plowing Match on his farm was undoubtedly a highlight in his farming career, but certainly not the only one.Richard’s mother (Ed’s wife) died when Richard was seven.“His mother kept him at home from school an extra year. She went to Grandview Hospital in Columbus to have surgery. My father sat on the front porch steps and watched his mother leave, looking happy and smiling. She had not been ill, but she did not survive the surgery,” Evans said. “So from then on, he grew up with just his father who never re-married. As you can imagine, they were very close.”At that time the farm was a Jersey dairy and they grew corn, wheat, oats and hay. They added a corn picker and a three-bottom plow — great advancements during this time. Richard grew up involved with every aspect of farming during that era. Richard graduated from Urbana Local High School and went on to the Ohio State University College of Agriculture to fulfill his boyhood dreams.“From the time he was a small boy, he told everyone he wanted to be a scientific farmer when he grew up, but he couldn’t pronounce ‘scientific’ and it always came out ‘scienticky,’” Evans said. “In 1930 he started college and came home every weekend to help his father on the farm. He was at OSU with Jessie Owens. Grandpa was injured, though, during dad’s senior year and he dropped out of college to come back to the farm and help. He really believed in education and always finishing what you start, but he put his goal aside and came back home and farmed.”Side-by-side the father and son farmed, growing closer all the while. Richard married and started a family. Then tragedy struck again.“My dad was plowing and my grandfather was behind him working ground with a disk and a spike-toothed harrow when a storm came out of nowhere and they started to bring the equipment in. My grandfather was driving the tractor over freshly-plowed ground standing up and he was hit by lightning and fell off the tractor,” Evans said. “My father looked back and saw the equipment circling. It had run over my grandfather three times before my father could stop it. He was 75 when he was killed. My dad was 38. I was 6.”After that, Richard continued the tradition of his forefathers farming the land. The dairy transitioned into a registered Hereford beef operation.“My father spent his life dedicated to soil conservation. He was an original board member of the watershed conservancy district and he was involved in all of the ag organizations,” Evans said. “My brothers left home after high school. One went into the Navy and was reported missing in 1961 during the Cuban Bay of Pigs Invasion, which was an unimaginable tragedy for our family. And my other brother has owned and operated a hunting and fishing resort in Ontario, Canada during his career. He now owns the farm adjacent to the bicentennial farmland. My mother passed away when my father was 80 and he continued to do all of the farming of nearly 500 acres by himself until he was 89, at which time he went into a crop-share program with a neighbor.”It was then he decided to attend to some unfinished business — his college degree.“In 2001 he visited the dean’s office at Ohio State where he was presented with a file folder containing his transcripts from 1930 to 1934. They discussed where his credits from nearly 70 years earlier would fit into today’s curriculum and he enrolled in classes at OSU to finish his degree work. Everyone else was using a laptop, and he had a yellow legal tablet,” Evans said. “He took classes one at a time, earning straight As, but then he was injured in a car accident and was unable to finish the remaining courses to complete his degree.”The accident finished his college career, but it was not the end to his interest in agriculture.“After the accident when he was in the hospital trauma center I visited him and the first thing he said when the ventilator was removed was, ‘How are the grain markets doing?’ I told him corn was at $7.42,” she said. “He immediately wanted to sell a Dec contract and asked for my help to accomplish the sale.”Evans had married a broadcaster and, for many years living out of the area, had come back regularly to help on the farm as she could from her home in Virginia.“When I retired it was my intention to come back here and be with my dad. He died three weeks before that happened at the age of almost 97. Dad and I were really close,” Evans said. “He always kept me updated on everything that was happening on the farm.”Upon returning to the farm in 2009, Evans beautifully remodeled the farmhouse — the third structure on the same foundation since the farm was founded in 1812. She is also in the process of refurbishing an old train boxcar brought to the farm in 1901 to store grain.At 72, Evans meticulously cares for the property on her own and farms the 300 acres of land on shares, marketing the grain herself and jointly making input decisions with the neighbor who farms it. She hosts a monthly “Grain Girls” meeting with a group of women farm owners and managers who meet to learn and improve their grain marketing skills. She sits on the foundation board for Clark State College that has been dramatically expanding its precision ag program in recent years. She also manages a scholarship her father started for agricultural students from Champaign County attending the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.She feels very privileged to live and work on her family’s bicentennial Powhaton Farm.“I have a son and daughter, and they will take this over when I pass on through a generation skipping trust. Neither farms. My daughter is an architect and my son is in law enforcement, but I feel very confident that they will keep the farm and continue the legacy. I have six grandchildren. I keep encouraging them to not ever let it go,” Evans said. “Every day when I wake up and look out this window, as far as I can see is land that has only ever been farmed by my family. I am grateful for my ancestors. They were upstanding, hard-working people who loved the land and cared for it. This is a rare situation, and I realize how fortunate I am. It is humbling. There is no better life, but it is not an easy life. My father instilled his work ethic in me and the desire to keep this going. I stand on very broad shoulders.” John Will and Melissa Jane Evans were Sue’s great-grandparents. They were the fourth generation on the farm. His name is written in the train boxcar (J.W. Evans Aug. 8, 1901) being refurbished on the farm. The original deed for the farm is signed by President James Madison. This is one of the original barns. This is inside the train car being restored on the farm. Evans meticulously cares for the present-day property Richard Evans, Sue’s father, was know for his efforts in conservation on the farm.This painting depicts the first home on the farm. This is a painting of the first home on the farm. Sue Evans now owns the farm. She is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the founder Isaac Evans, Jr.last_img read more

Cliqset Transforms Social Media Feeds Into Standardized, Real-Time Data

first_imgWe’re highlighting one article about the real-time web from off-site every day, leading up to the October 15th ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit. Data normalization, Activity Streams, filtering and APIs are going to be big topics of conversation there. We hope you’ll join us for those conversations. marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Data Portability#Lifestreaming#NYT#Real-Time Web#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Social media aggregator Cliqset today announced a new beta version of its platform that aggregates activity feeds from 70 different social media sites, transforms them into normalized Activity Streams standard data and then pushes them out in real time.The company’s offers multiple ways to access the data through its API but also hopes that more users will stick with its own, now much improved, user interface. The first 200 ReadWriteWeb readers to click this link will gain access to the new beta version of the site.What does Cliqset offer that the Facebook-acquired FriendFeed doesn’t? According to Cliqset: “We’re much more standards compliant, we allow broader sharing, granular filters, a different permissions model, a much more open API and we have more services tied to ours (70 vs. FriendFeed’s 50).”The most important thing Cliqset is doing is probably transforming all these different update feeds into the standardized format called Activity Streams. That format is already being supported by Facebook, MySpace, Windows Live and Opera.Michael Calore explains what Cliqset is doing with Activity Streams as follows:A huge bonus is that Cliqset is using the emerging Activity Streams data specification to make all this happen. Activity Streams is an open-source XML-based format that uses a common actor-verb-asset model to report an activity on a social website. For example, “Amy shared a video” or “Mike rated this photo.” It’s a simple organizing principle that allows social web services to more easily talk to each other about what their users are doing.But if not everyone is reporting their users’ activity data using a common model, it becomes harder to get two services to talk to each other. And only a handful of sites are supporting Activity Streams right now.As Cliqset co-founder Darren Bounds tells Webmonkey, Cliqset is actually re-writing all the aggregated data streams into the Activity Streams format, physically cleaning up the social web’s mess as it goes.Cliqset tells us that it’s working on making a streaming API for this data available and let us in on some secret projects to bring real-time cross-platform data flowing to places around the web that it’s not available today.Right now you cannot easily pull Activity Streams feeds through Cliqset for people who have not signed up for the service themselves. It would be great if Cliqset began consuming the Webfinger protocol, for example and let me point at all my Google Contacts, discover their social media sites from around the web and then transform those into Activity Streams for consumption in other apps. That future isn’t here and it may never be, but a web user can hope.For now the company is using the long polling method and this newly normalized data to do some impressive things with its own user interface. Michael Calore goes into depth about that part of the project on Wired.com’s WebMonkey blog. We’d like to recommend his post as our Real-Time Web Article of the Day, in fact. Check it out for a closer look at the innovative effort underway at Cliqset. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

BJP, Congress push for State holiday in J&K on last Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday

first_imgThe last Dogra monarch Maharaja Hari Singh is emerging as a new rallying point in Jammu, with both the Congress and the BJP pushing for declaration of a State holiday on his 125th birth anniversary on September 23.Congress Member Parliament (MP) Karan Singh, who is the son of the late Dogra king, on September 20 said there was a strong demand to declare the birthday of the Maharaja as a public holiday, and made an appeal to Governor Satya Pal Malik.“It is due to Maharaja Hari Singh that J&K became a part of India when he signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947. Apart from that, he was a progressive and far sighted ruler who instituted many social and economic reforms. For example, as far back as 1929 he had declared all temples in the State to be open for Dalits. I urge the Governor to declare this day as a pubic holiday,” said Mr. Singh.Mr. Singh’s two sons, in the past, had moved a resolution in the State’s Legislative Council on the issue. However, J&K’s main regional parties, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been averse to the idea. Both the parties accuse the Maharaja of “anti-Muslims measures” and blame him for the killing of 22 civilians in Srinagar on July 13, 1931 outside the Srinagar Central Jail in an incident of firing. In fact, to commemorate the “sacrifices” of the 22 civilians, J&K observes a State holiday on July 13 every year.The BJP is equally supporting the initiative. The BJP’s new initiative, ‘Jan Jagran Abhiban’, will see the party hosting a number of rallies in the Jammu and Kashmir regions to highlight “the contribution of the Maharaja to the State”.“We expect senior BJP leaders to arrive in Jammu on September 22 during a Jan Jagran Abhiman rally on eve of the Maharaja’s birthday. The leaders will pay tributes to the Maharaja on the occasion. An exhibition will also be held,” said BJP leader Thakur Narayan Singh.The Jammu Bar Association has also thrown its weight behind the case for declaring a State holiday in J&K.last_img read more