All 13 Southland Volleyball Teams Open 2018 Season Friday

first_imgAbilene Christian is the first team with a chance to begin the season 1-0 as the Wildcats challenge Georgetown for an 8:30 a.m. CT matchup at the Georgia Tech Hyatt Regency Invitational in Atlanta. Defending regular-season champion Stephen F. Austin is the final team to initiate the new year, facing Memphis at 7 p.m.The Ladyjacks are picked to repeat as regular-season champions, according to a poll of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. If accomplished, it would be the first time since 2007 the program has won consecutive championships; SFA capped a four-year run of claiming at least a share of the title that season.Northwestern State plays host to the 2018 Southland Conference Tournament on Nov. 16-18. The Lady Demons last welcomed the tournament in 2014 when they defeated Central Arkansas in five sets to win the championship as a No. 5 seed.Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks – Preseason Ranking: 1 | 2017 Record/Place: 26-8 (14-2 SLC), 1stLeading the league in preseason all-conference selections with four, Stephen F. Austin picked up 14 first-place votes to claim the top slot in the preseason poll, voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors. Reigning Katrinka Jo Crawford Southland Coach of the Year Debbie Humphreys returns more than 90 percent of its offensive production from last season and near 70 percent of its front defense from last year’s regular-season championship side. Last season’s All-Southland First Team picks, senior outside hitter Haley Coleman and junior middle blocker Danae Daron, will lead the charge for a program searching for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006.Central Arkansas Sugar Bears – Preseason Ranking: 2 | 2017 Record/Place: 27-5 (13-3), 2ndFourth-year head coach Jeni Jones Chatman leads a Central Arkansas volleyball program coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance and most recently receiving 11 first-place votes in the Southland preseason poll. The Sugar Bears bring back the 2017 Southland Player of the Year in senior right side Samantha Anderson. The six-foot, three-inch product from Tyler, Texas, downed 317 kills to lead the team a season ago. She is one of two preseason honorees as junior setter Elizabeth Armstrong runs the offense once again, coming off a 2017 season in which UCA led the league in kills (1,612) and hitting percentage (.248).Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders – Preseason Ranking: 3 | 2017 Record/Place: 15-14 (11-5), T-3rdTexas A&M-Corpus Christi fell just short of its third straight bid to the NCAA Tournament, dropping out of the 2017 Southland Tournament in the semifinals to eventual tournament champion Central Arkansas. With the graduation of two of the most prolific Islanders players, setter Kristyn Nicholson and Brittany Gilpin, the Islanders will look to preseason first-team awardee junior outside hitter Madison Green to lead the offense. A&M-Corpus Christi will hit South Carolina, Clemson and 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifier East Tennessee in the first weekend of action.Houston Baptist Huskies – Preseason Ranking: 4 | 2017 Record/Place: 21-10 (11-5), T-3rdHouston Baptist tied for third with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last season, earning the No. 4 seed in the Southland Tournament. The Huskies will stay close to home in the season, opening this year’s campaign hosting the Marriott Houston Westchase Invitational before competing at the Rice Adidas Invitational and the Houston Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup. HBU notched a single spot on the Preseason All-Conference First Team in senior middle blocker Kayla Davenport. She ranked sixth last season in the conference for blocks per set (1.07) and seventh in hitting percentage (.310).Abilene Christian Wildcats – Preseason Ranking: 5 | 2017 Record/Place: 13-18 (7-9 SLC), T-8thIn its first season of Division I postseason eligibility last year, then first-year head coach Angela Mooney made the team’s presence known immediately. Abilene Christian became the first No. 8 seed in a Southland Tournament to upend the No. 1 seed, defeating Stephen F. Austin in five sets (16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12) and making a run to the tournament final. The Wildcats return all starters from last year, including their three selections to the preseason all-conference teams: Senior setter Kendall Bosse, senior outside hitter Jacey Smith and senior middle blocker Lauren Walker.Northwestern State Lady Demons – Preseason Ranking: 6 | 2017 Record/Place: 15-17 (10-6), T-5thReturning 14 of its 15 letter winners from last season, Northwestern State is poised to defend its home court come November’s postseason tournament. Fourth-year head coach Sean Kiracofe brings back his star of the back row last season, Southland Libero the Year Channing Burleson. Senior outside hitter Reagan Rogers, a preseason all-conference pick, leads a Lady Demon offense that returns all players who registered a kill last season.Sam Houston State Bearkats – Preseason Ranking: 7 | 2017 Record/Place: 14-16 (10-6), T-5thSam Houston State picked up two Preseason All-Conference First Team spots in senior middle blocker Taylor Cunningham and senior setter Jaclyn Ward. Cunningham was one of just two players in league-only matches last season to rank in the top 10 for both kills per set and attack percentage. Ward averaged 10 assists per set in conference matches in 2017, placing three players in the Southland’s top 10 for kills per set. The Bearkats will have to replace the outside hitting dynamic duo of Jordyn Vaughn and Brooke White, shifting senior Amanda Gooch to the outside and freshman Breanne Chausse stepping up to handle the start on front row.McNeese Cowgirls – Preseason Ranking: 8 | 2017 Record/Place: 19-13 (10-6), T-5thLast year’s season was McNeese’s best since 2007, and the Cowgirls will look to improve upon that through the nine letter winners returning. One of the biggest gaps fifth-year head coach Ashleigh Fitzgerald will have to fill this season is at middle blocker. Shanna Spree, who was a second team All-Conference member last season, medically retired but will serve as a student assistant this year. Outside hitter Keegan Nelms enters her junior season following a sophomore campaign in which she led the team in kills (306) and was second for digs (372).Incarnate Word Cardinals – Preseason Ranking: 9 | 2017 Record/Place: 8-15 (7-9), T-8thSamantha Dabbs takes over at the helm for an Incarnate Word team who just missed out on the 2017 Southland Conference Tournament, losing the tiebreaker to Abilene Christian for the eighth and final spot. Senior Autumn Lockley received preseason honors behind a junior season tallying 240 kills and averaging 2.86 per set. The Cardinals travel to New Orleans to open the new era of Cardinals volleyball, facing UTEP and Louisiana on Friday before competing against host Tulane on Saturday at the I-10 Challenge.New Orleans Privateers – Preseason Ranking: 10 | 2017 Record/Place: 12-16 (6-10), 10thFamiliar faces will hit the court for head coach Millicent Van Norden as New Orleans lost just two student-athletes from last season. Senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Grice was selected to the Preseason All-Conference First Team after leading the conference in hitting percentage (.339) and finishing second in blocks per set (1.23) last season. The Privateers open the season hosting Omaha, Houston and Murray State in the UNO Invitational. The tournament is one of two UNO will welcome this season.Lamar University Cardinals – Preseason Ranking: 11 | 2017 Record/Place: 4-22 (2-14), T-11thInterim head coach Michelle Kuester brings back 75 percent of Lamar University’s points from last season, including Preseason All-Conference honoree Tomar Thomas. The senior from Houston pulled in a second team award after a junior season saw her finish second in the Southland in kills per set (3.66) on a 9.44 attacks per set average. The Cardinals will see Mercer, Jacksonville State and Little Rock in the first weekend of play before hosting the 2018 Cardinal Classic on August 30-31.Nicholls Colonels – Preseason Ranking: 12 | 2017 Record/Place: 4-25 (2-14), T-11thJay Van Vark embarks on his first season at the reigns for Nicholls volleyball. The Colonels contest tournament host North Texas on Friday at noon to roll out the new campaign. They will also face Kent State, Grambling and Northeastern opening weekend. The program is searching for its first Southland Tournament appearance since 2014.Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions – Preseason Ranking: 13 | 2017 Record/Place: 2-27 (1-15), 13thTen players from last year’s squad return in 2018 for sixth-year head coach Jim Smoot, including scorer Elyssa Purcell and her setters, Haley Baker and Michelle Mirachi. The Lions hope to return to the Southland Conference Tournament after a three-year run was snapped last year. Week One NotesFRISCO, Texas – Year 37 of Southland Conference volleyball commences Friday when all 13 teams in the league take the court in opening weekend tournaments.last_img read more

Man United go top as Man City slip up

first_img MISERABLE START LONDON (AP): Manchester clubs traded places at the top of the Premier League yesterday after a buoyant United beat Sunderland 3-0, and early pacesetters City slipped to second after being thrashed 4-1 at Tottenham. Dutch signing Memphis Depay scored his first ever Premier League goal, and Wayne Rooney notched his first league goal of the season as United eased to a comfortable victory at Old Trafford. Juan Mata added a late third as United went top for the first time since August 2013. With 16 points from seven games, Louis van Gaal’s United are one point ahead of a City side whose flying start with five straight wins has now come to an abrupt stop. A second consecutive league defeat for the club made it three losses in four matches in all competitions. However, City are not the only big-spending club going through a rough patch. Chelsea’s title defence continued to misfire yesterday, with Jose Mourinho’s champions needing two late goals to scramble a 2-2 draw away to a Newcastle side that is already a candidate for relegation. West Ham remain third after drawing 2-2 with Norwich, while Alexis Sanchez scored a hat-trick as Arsenal rose to fourth after coming from behind to hammer Leicester 5-2. Elsewhere, the pressure on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers eased after England striker Daniel Sturridge scored his first goal since March in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa. Southampton beat Swansea 3-1 and Stoke edged Bournemouth 2-1. A gleeful Stretford End was chanting “We are top of the league” after United took full advantage of City’s miserable start to the day. Depay, who joined United from PSV Eindhoven for £31 million (then US$48 million) in June, slotted home in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time after a deft cutback by Mata. Just after the restart, Rooney moved level with Denis Law as United’s joint-third leading league scorer with 171 goals, after a pass from Anthony Martial struck the captain’s knee and went in. Mata rounded off the scoring by driving home Ashley Young’s cross in the final minute. In the Tottenham-City encounter, the latter dominated the first half and took a deserved lead through Kevin De Bruyne in the 25th minute. But Eric Dier rifled in a long-distance equaliser on the stroke of half-time and Erik Lamela curled over a free kick for Toby Alderweireld to head home five minutes after the restart. Kane, who had scored 31 times for Spurs last season, ended his drought in the 61st and Lamela was rewarded for a fine performance with a goal on the break in the 79th. Arsenal had managed just five goals in their first six league games but matched that total during an entertaining afternoon at Leicester. Sanchez’s hat-trick was his first goals of the season for the Gunners, while Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud also netted as Arsene Wenger’s side built on its midweek League Cup win over Tottenham.last_img read more

Amid doping scandal, skeleton federation suspends 4 Russians

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? “Having the physical medal’s cool, but most of it in my opinion is the experience of everything that happens,” Antoine said. “That’s what you cherish the most.”Not having the top Russians on the World Cup circuit figures to have a major impact on the points standings.Nikitina was the World Cup women’s points leader after the first two races of the season, and was coming off a victory last weekend in Park City, Utah. Tretiakov was fourth so far in the men’s standings, including a bronze at the season-opening race in Lake Placid, New York.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Elena Nikitina of Russia celebrates her bronze medal win during the women’s skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The International Olympic Committee has banned four more Russians for doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, all competing in the sliding sport of skeleton and includes men’s gold medalist Alexander Tretyakov and women’s bronze medalist Nikitina. AP FILE PHOTOThe two Russians who had their medals from the Sochi Games stripped because of doping have been barred from competing in World Cup races, at least temporarily.It’s the latest sanction against Aleksandr Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina, who had their medals — gold for Tretiakov, bronze for Nikitina — taken away Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) after it was determined they were part of Russia’s state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Olympics. They have already been banned from future Olympics, and now may have no place to slide.ADVERTISEMENT The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation handed down the suspensions Thursday (Friday Manila time), effective immediately. Tretiakov and Nikitina were both planning to compete in World Cup races at Whistler, British Columbia, this weekend.In all, four Russians have been suspended by the IBSF. Along with Tretiakov and Nikitina, Mariia Orlova and Olga Potylitsyna — who have been racing on the lesser-tier Intercontinental Cup Circuit this season — were also banned, just as they were by the IOC. All four are expected to appeal, and the IBSF said they will be entitled to a hearing if that happens.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throne“Sport is all about who’s the best on that day and if anything compromises that, like the situations in Sochi, it taints everything and kind of undermines the fundamental belief in the system and the competition itself,” said USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele, also is a vice president with the IBSF. “This is kind of righting the ship.”The IBSF’s decision is a strong one and is in stark contrast to one made by the International Ski Federation, which is allowing Russian cross-country skiers who were found guilty of doping at the Sochi Olympics to compete in World Cup events this weekend. The FIS wants to see detailed reasons why the IOC disciplinary panel reached its decisions about the Russian athletes. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Raisman embraces role as ‘Fierce’ advocate for abuse victims Russian envoy invites PH firms to explore for oil, gas in Russia PLAY LIST 02:03Russian envoy invites PH firms to explore for oil, gas in Russia01:37Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award The IBSF isn’t waiting.“I understand that it was a difference of culture and that the Russians don’t believe they did anything wrong,” U.S. women’s skeleton veteran Katie Uhlaender said after the IOC decision to strip the medals and issue the Olympic bans was announced Wednesday. “But this was the only way to fix it.”Uhlaender will be promoted to the bronze medal spot once Nikitina, as the IOC has ordered, surrenders what had been her bronze from Sochi and the IBSF updates the results. Tretiakov was the men’s gold-medalist; the revised order of finish for that event will now have Latvia’s Martins Dukurs getting gold, Matt Antoine of the U.S. bumped up to silver and Latvia’s Tomass Dukurs, Martins’ brother, will become the bronze medalist.Uhlaender, who was fourth, will soon officially be third behind gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold of Britain and silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace of the U.S.Sliders have lauded the IOC for doing the right thing, though noted that racers like Uhlaender and Tomass Dukurs — even once they have medals in hand — will never be able to replicate the moment on a podium that they should have had in Sochi.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

SSC-Adamson semis tiff set

first_imgChe’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian thus arranged a date against top seed Akari-Adamson University in the best-of-three semifinals.Viernes announced his return to the D-League with 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Ilagan dropped eight of his 10 points in that final frame, to go with nine boards and four assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownChe’Lu-San Sebastian got a huge boost from its new recruits, with Cedrick Ablaza pouring in nine points and snaring 12 rebounds, while Jay-R Taganas had five points and eight boards.“Although they are new in our team. I feel that they were the ones who carried us in the end game,” said coach Stevenson Tiu, as the Revellers trailed 11-24 early and stared at a 52-58 deficit in the fourth. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. GAMBOA COFFEE MIX-ST. CLARE 72—Bitoon 19, Fontanilla 13, Dionisio 12, Pare 12, Jackson 11, Rubio 5, Decano 0, Hallare 0.Quarters: 16-27, 37-40, 52-56, 80-72Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Samboy de Leon remained a solid cog for the Revellers with nine points and six rebounds.Chris Bitoon kept the Coffee Lovers in the thick of things with his 19 points and seven rebounds, while Joshua Fontanilla was a surprise boost with his 13.Unfortunately, Filipino-American guard Trevis Jackson could only muster 11 points on a 4-of-12 shooting as Gamboa-St. Clare saw its dream playoff run come to a halt in the quarterfinals.In the other game, CJ Perez towed Zark’s Burger-Lyceum to a 104-95 victory over Centro Escolar University to force a winner-take-all match on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. —RANDOLPH B. LEONGSON, INQUIRER.NETFIRST GAMECHE’LU BAR AND GRILL-SAN SEBASTIAN 80—Viernes 22, Ilagan 10, Ablaza 9, De Leon 9, Bulanadi 7, Batino 6, Costelo 6, Taganas 5, Collado 4, Faundo 2, Siruma 0.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netChe’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian bucked a poor start to post an 80-72 come-from-behind win over Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare on Thursday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup quarterfinal round at Pasig Sports Center.Jeff Viernes and RK Ilagan teamed up in rescuing the Revellers, combining for 18 points in the payoff period, where they staged a 14-2 blast to seize the lead for good, 66-60, with 5:12 to go.ADVERTISEMENT Ceres-Negros aims to keep unbeaten run View commentslast_img read more

Barrios says SBP will appeal Fiba sanctions

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments After the suspensions, the SBP withdrew from the Asian Games slated this month.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will appeal the decision of world cage body Fiba regarding 10 Gilas Pilipinas players with the next games in the World Qualifying tournament fast approaching.Executive director Sonny Barrios confirmed this on Friday, saying “definitely we will appeal the decision and we will do so before the deadline” set on Aug. 14 by Fiba.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWscenter_img After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Asiad: What a difference a gold makes Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gilas’ next game is slated Sept. 13 in Iran before playing Qatar at home four days later.Only three players in the Gilas lineup—June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer—avoided sanctions from Fiba as a result of the ugly brawl vs Australia at Philippine Arena in Bulacan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Naturalized player Andray Blatche was canned for three games and Calvin Abueva drew the longest suspension with six.Fiba also slapped a fine worth more than P13 million on the SBP and more than P500,000 on coach Chot Reyes even as it scheduled the Filipinos’ next home game, against Qatar, behind closed doors. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

MFDP Audit Admits Kiazolu’s Role in US$82,000 Disbursement

first_imgThe Ministry of Finance & Development’s Internal Audit Agency’s (IAA) investigation into the alleged financial management malpractices that has caused the dismissal of two employees has refuted Minister Boima Kamara’s claim that the two men misinformed the Comptroller and Accountant General, Hanson Kiazolu, that he gave his approval for the opening of the account in the disbursement of US$81,265.At a press conference last Wednesday, Minister Kamara told journalists that Mr. Emmanuel Togba and Herbert Sorbor stole US$82,000 from a US$1m project fund intended for the upgrading of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).However, an investigation by the IAA, involving the Reforms Coordination Unit (RCU) at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has established that the Comptroller and Accountant General (CAG), Hanson Kiazolu, was aware and participated in the transactions relating to the execution of theIntegrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) upgrade project.The report said, contrary to what Minister Kamara has told the media, the Comptroller General Kiazolu authorized the opening of the program’s accounts at the Afriland First Bank without informing the Minister.The IAA said there was a breach of the public financial management regulations that was overlooked by the RCU Coordinator and the CAG while opening the IFMIS Upgrade Account. “It is instructive to note that this breach of the regulation had existed in MFDP during the previous administration. Moreover, there was also significant breach of existing controls relating to disbursements amounting to US$81,265,” the report said.Minister Kamara on February 8 fired Mr. Emmanuel Togba, the Coordinator of RCU, and Deputy Herbert Sorbor for the money which auditors said was spent outside requisite financial controls.The IAA findings further said: “The investigation revealed that the RCU Head, Mr. Emmanuel Togba, sent a written communication to the Comptroller and Accountant General, (CAG) Mr. Hanson Kiazolu, to open checking accounts for the PFM Reforms – IFMIS Upgrade at Afriland Bank. We noted that the account (*OZOI 197102-06) was opened based on written instruction from the CAG (Kiazolu) to the bank and that the CAG (Kiazolu) copied the Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Mr. Adolphus Forkpa.” According to the report, this has always been part of the bank’s transaction profile of the Comptroller General as required by law on spending entities. The audit revealed that US$10, 000 intended for the IFMIS upgrade was paid to nine individuals for completion of reconciliation and closing balances and preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statement at the request of Comptroller General Kiazolu.The report also said US$8,000 was disbursed as ‘Christmas bonus’ to motivate staff for IFMIS related work on checks released from the office of the Comptroller General, Hanson Kiazolu. The check number is 00239392.According to the IAA, there was also a US$49,840 payment made on December 30, 2016 representing procurement of assorted goods, with Kiazolu’s involvement.Meanwhile, Mr. Kamara has ordered Togba and Sorbor to restitute the US 82,000 disbursed from the project account, or face prosecution.On Sunday the two affected officials in a statement accused Minister Kamara of attempting to sway public attention from “his dismal performance in the management of the economy and attempting to capitalize on the prevailing public anger about corruption by linking us to the wave of corruption he presides over at the ministry.” The two men said in their statement: “We are obligated to provide the following information to clear our good names, protect our professional characters, by pointing out the falsity of the claims against us.”They said the accounts were opened by and through the appropriate authority and channels supported by laws and practices that predated their employment. “We opened the accounts within the governing laws because we know that the Finance Ministry has always been an institution of law and not of persons. In addition to being supported by law, precedence, norms, and practices, the opening of these accounts was done by the Comptroller and Accountant-General of Liberia (Mr. Kiazolu) based on our request.” They said all withdrawals from the accounts under discussion were made in consultation with the Comptroller and Accountant General of Liberia, who is component manager for IFMIS under the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP). They said Minister Kamara did the appropriate thing by commissioning an audit of the RCU and “we fully cooperated with the audit because we had thought that the learned minister was interested in finding facts that would inform any objective analysis and decision(s). Interestingly, however, the findings of the audit (whatever they may be) were not mentioned by him in his diatribe against us. “The Internal Audit Agency (IAA) auditors did present their findings to the minister prior to his hasty decisions. Why, then, did he deliberately leave out the auditors’ findings and recommendations? Don’t his actions imply that he had expected something dramatically different from what the auditors’ findings and recommendations turned out to be?”They also accused Minister Kamara for assigning himself the roles and functions of the judiciary, justice and immigration by rendering judgment against them without due process rights as Liberian citizens.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“We are vindicated” – Jagdeo

first_imgH2H legal challenge…says H2H a “complete waste of time and money”Less than two hours after acting Chief Justice, Roxane George delivered her decisions in the challenges to the ongoing House-to-House Registration exercise, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said that his party feels vindicated for advising their supporters and Guyanese at large not to take part in the exercise.Opposition LeaderBharrat JagdeoChief Justice George on Wednesday ruled that while the H2H Registration process is not unconstitutional and refused to set a definitive date for General and Regional Elections as mandated by the Constitution following the passage of the December 21, 2018, motion of no confidence, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) cannot remove the names of persons who are already on the National Register of Registrants (NRR). In light of that significant pronouncement, Jagdeo said that it is exactly what they fought for.“So we are vindicated in telling people not to register. Your names cannot be removed from the register whether they have participated in the enumeration exercise or not, whether they live abroad, or they have gone in the interior and not at home. Nobody, not even GECOM, can now remove your name from that database and so this is key for us,” he said.“That is what we were fighting [for] all along because we felt that they were going to deregister thousands of people. Removing their names simply because they couldn’t find them at home or that they have gone abroad on vacation or something of that sort. So now that’s the key thing,” Jagdeo added.Jagdeo made the statements at a press briefing following Wednesday’s ruling.This decision not to remove names from the present NRR and Official List of Electors (OLE) undercuts the major argument of the Government that they are “bloated” by some 200,000 names, which the H2H programme was supposed to winnow out. It is very certain that the new list will be even larger than the old one and will need the Claims and Objections period the Opposition had recommended in the first place to clean it up.The former President said the ruling is a major step forward and that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) hopes that GECOM will now respect the CJ’s ruling and move swiftly in the direction of the Claims and Objections period so that the Official List of Electors (OLE) can be updated.Complete waste of time and moneyThe H2H Registration order was published in the Official Gazette on June 11 and came into effect on July 20 some two days after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that then Chairman, Justice James Patterson was unilaterally appointed using a flawed process.However, GECOM under the guidance of Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield went ahead with the H2H process in order to extract a new OLE. The Government supported the move by claiming that young persons are disenfranchised and that the list is bloated by over 200,000 names, a claim GECOM rebuked.CJ George on Wednesday ruled that Guyanese previously registered and residing overseas could not be removed from the database unless they are dead or becomes disqualified based on Article 159 of the Constitution.In light of that, Jagdeo said that the entire H2H exercise has been a waste of time and money.“The entire House-to-House exercise as done so far has been a complete waste of time and money because they cannot remove people from the NRR who have already registered…. So that means that the NRR what we have used to extract the OLE for all elections before remains intact and when the enumerators come around now whether you’re home or not, whether you registered or not, once your name is on the NRR and you voted in the last elections then they cannot remove your name. Your name will be on the updated NRR and the OLE extracted from that NRR,” he noted.The Opposition Leader said that they are not re-litigating the issue of having the courts set a definitive date for elections. He pointed to Article 106 of the Constitution which mandates elections three months after the successful passage of a NCM. He said that the PPP/C was being lenient in accepting September 18, 2019, as the date for the end of the three-month period but since the Government refuses to acknowledge that, they are now forced to revert to the March 21, 2019, date.“The Government has been unconstitutional and a usurper since March 21 and that makes everything they have done from that period null and void. Now we have a longer period to look back at their actions…the CCJ said that the Constitution does not need glossing over. President Granger needs to honour our Constitution with integrity…we only have to deal with him because we need somebody who has constitutional authority to move things forward based on Article 106 (7),” Jagdeo said.There is the possibility to determining GECOM’s next plan of action when newly appointed Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, meets with all the Commissioners for the first time today.last_img read more

County park blues fest

first_imgLast year’s festival raised $1,400 for Samaritan Center and for the Coalition to End Family Violence. “We sponsor and organize charitable events for local charities that don’t get the federal funding they need,” said Goldie Thomas, founder of Write 4 Hope. “The first year we had around 700 people for the (blues) event, and we’re anticipating we’re going to double the turnout this year. We have really great acts,” said Thomas, who expects it to be Ventura County’s biggest blues festival. “There are a lot of blues fans in Ventura County,” she said. “And last year we had people driving all the way out from Long Beach. A lot of people love the blues and are really excited about it.” “It’s a lot of really top-quality musicians,” she said. “They are coming out of the goodness of their hearts.” Thomas said Simi Valley has a sizable – but relatively invisible – homeless population that camps in the hills and along the arroyo, sleeps in cars and seeks haven at winter shelters. “The Samaritan Center plays a real vital role in Simi,” she said. “We have a lot of families that need clothes and shelter. You might not see them but they are there.” The acts slated to appear in the festival include Coco Montoya, the Delgado Brothers, Blues Stew, Gino Matteo, Jeff Jensen, BB Chung King, Toni Dodd, Southland Blues, and Michael John. Actor and musician Mickey Jones, who lives in Simi Valley, will be master of ceremonies. “I’m really high on this whole thing. I applaud the Samaritan Center and totally support their cause,” he said. “Coco Montoya is one of the greatest blues guitar players around. He’s at the top of the game,” said Jones, who has played drums for Bob Dylan, Trini Lopez, Johnny Rivers and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Jones toured as the drummer in Europe with Dylan in 1966 and recently produced the documentary “1966 World Tour: The Home Movies,” using footage he shot himself on the controversial tour, during which Dylan shocked his fans by changing his style from folk to electrified rock ‘n’ roll. Jones has also appeared in television shows and films, including Kevin Costner’s “Tin Cup,” for which Jones helped create the song “Double Bogey Blues.” “We all need to do what we can to help the homeless,” Jones said of the Simi Valley blues festival. “We’re trying to help them get a leg up. This festival is made up of people from the area that is served by the Samaritan Center. When we get a chance to benefit folks in our own backyard, we love to do that.” Virginia Nelson, director of the Samaritan Center, said she was grateful for the support. “Last year was their first year, so we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it was great,” she said. “The musicians were great. Goldie is just wonderful. She has taken us under her wing.” Nelson said there is enough variety in the festival to appeal to people of all ages. “People dance and sing along. Everybody has a great time,” she said. Nelson said homeless people who use the Samaritan Center help with the festival, making sure the trash is picked up and the park clean at the end of the day. eric.leach@dailynews.com (805) 583-7602 If you go The Write 4 Hope Blues Festival will be held 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. April 28 at Oak County Park, 901 Quimisa Drive in Simi Valley. Tickets are $15; $5 for ages 5-12; free for children under 4. Call (805) 289-4855 or go to www.write4hope.org. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY The city isn’t known for its blues music or as a haven for transients, but a group of musicians wants to put Simi Valley on the map for both by hosting a blues festival to benefit the homeless. The Write 4 Hope Blues Festival is planned for April 28 at Oak County Park, less than a mile from the spot along the Arroyo Simi where officials disbanded a homeless encampment last month. Proceeds will benefit Samaritan Center, which provides food, showers, clothing, employment assistance and social services to scores of homeless people in Simi Valley. last_img read more

Everton hot on the heels of Sunderland target

first_img Davide Astori in action for AC Milan Everton are hot on the heels of Sunderland target Davide Astori and have made an approach to bring the defender to Goodison Park.Toffees boss Roberto Martinez wants to sign at least one new centre-back this summer following the free transfer departures of Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz, as well as uncertainty over the future of full-back Luke Garbutt.The Merseysiders have made an approach to the Cagliari centre-back’s representatives over a move this summer, but Sunderland are also interested in the 28-year-old Italy international.And now, according to Tuttosport, Astori is surplus to requirements at Cagliari and the defender is also not wanted by Roma – the club where he spent the entire of last season on loan.Cagliari were relegated from Serie A last term and could release the one-time AC Milan man for as little as £3m, provided any potential suitors can convince the defender to move to England for the first time.Astori chalked up 30 appearances in all competitions for Roma last season. 1last_img read more

CREDIT UNION ASSURES MEMBERS OVER LATE FEES DURING ULSTER BANK DEBACLE

first_imgLetterkenny Credit Union has advised its hundreds of customers to ensure there is enough money in their accounts to cover pending direct debits.The credit union is one of a number of institutions across Donegal whose electronic payments are processed by Ulster Bank.Because of the ongoing computer chaos within Ulster Bank, there is now a backlog of electronic payments going into Letterkenny Credit Union. However the financial institution has assured customers they will NOT be charged for late payment fees.Letterkenny Credit Union has also stated that if members feel they have incurred additional charges because of Ulster Bank delays, they will assist members.They have contacted members by text today thanking members for their patience and stating they are awaiting the receipt of standing orders.Manager Gordon Randles told Donegaldaily that the situation has been a headache for members. However he said he hoped the debacle was now coming to an end and praised their relationship with Ulster Bank.“If anybody has any issues with whatever aspect of payment or any situation then we are here to help.“It has been a headache for our members but Ulster Bank are hopefully getting it sorted now.“I have to say that Ulster Bank on a local level have always been exemplary in any dealings we have had with them,” he stressed.  CREDIT UNION ASSURES MEMBERS OVER LATE FEES DURING ULSTER BANK DEBACLE was last modified: July 3rd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Letterkenny Credit Unionulster banklast_img read more