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Thaiday hits back at contract talk

first_imgPhoto by: Shane Myers. Copyright: NRL Photos.Broncos veteran Sam Thaiday. Reports emerged this week that Broncos coach Wayne Bennett would not be renewing Thaiday’s contract at the end of next year, but Thaiday insisted his current contract was always going to be his last after re-signing with the club in 2015. Thaiday will be 33 years old at the end of the 2018 NRL season and it will mark 16 years in the top grade and possibly over 300 NRL matches. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and Thaiday recognized it might be time to move on from the game when his contract expires. “It’s a bit of a funny one. It’s been talked about that I’m not going to be offered a contract. I haven’t even asked for one,” Thaiday said.  “I don’t know why it’s even a story in the first place. I might just get the paper and use it to start a fire because it’s getting a bit cold out in Samford.”I’ve got things in place going forward, I know what I’m doing. It’s no surprise to me at all. But I’m sure it’s a surprise to a lot of fans out there. “I’ve had a fantastic run and it just means I’ve got this year and next year to work really hard and hopefully we can do something as a team here at the Broncos.”Interestingly, the 33-year-old said he is unsure if he will definitely retire at the end of 2018, saying it is a decision he will take plenty of time to make. “It’s hard asking a footballer that question [about retiring] because at the end of the day, none of us want to stop playing the game that we love,” he said.”It’s a very, very tough decision that has to be made. But it’s not a decision I’m making now or making lightly, either. “My full focus and full attention is with the Broncos this year and putting ourselves in a fantastic position where we can do something coming to the end of the year.”It may be hard for Broncos fans to imagine Thaiday in another team’s jersey, but like Petero Civoniceva before him, it remains an option. Civoniceva played his last year for the club in 2007, moved on by Bennett to the Penrith Panthers after 215 games for Brisbane. Civoniceva was turning 32 when told his services would no longer be required, but instead of retiring he proved he had more to give, playing 74 games for Penrith before returning to the Broncos in 2012. Thaiday is yet to decide whether he will follow in Civoniceva’s footsteps and said his family would have a huge influence on this decision. “I don’t know. There’s 15 other clubs out there as well. Who knows what will happen,” he said.”I have to sit back and assess and see how the body’s feeling. It’s more of a discussion now that I’ll have with my family and we’ll make a decision going forward. “I’ve got two young girls now that I have to look after and provide for the rest of my life. “Whether the body can deal with a bit more banging around is something that I’ll assess come this time next year.”last_img read more

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CHELSEA VS CRYSTAL PALACE,

first_imgCHELSEA (4-2-3-1)COURTOIS, IVANOVIC, ZOUMA, CAHILL, AZPILICUETA,FABREGAS, MATIC,PEDRO, WILLIAN, HAZARD, COSTAPALACE (4-1-3-2)MURRAY, ZAHA,SAKO, PUNCHEON, CABAYE, McARTHUR,SOURE, DELANEY, DANN, WARD,McCARTHYChelsea finally got their first win of the season, winning 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, but the victory came at a cost with John Terry red-carded for the fifth time in his career.The three points takes the Blues to 10th in the Barclays Premier League and their four points is eight points fewer than at this stage last season and their lowest return after three games sine 2000 – when they went on to finish in sixth place.By contrast, south London rivals Crystal Palace are in fifth place after winning two of their first three – and five points more than they had after the first three a year ago. It is, indeed, the Eagles’ best start to a Premier League campaign since 1997.Palace are causing problems from dead-ball situations; since the arrival of Alan Pardew as manager Palace have scored 16 set-piece goals, more than any other Premier League side during that period.And the Eagles, who did not score a single own goal in the Premier League last season, have already scored two this campaign.Palace’s record at Stamford Bridge is poor. In six Premier League visits they have lost five, drawn one (in March 1995), scored just five goals and conceded 16.last_img read more

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GECOM must strengthen laws to stop electoral fraud

first_imgDear Editor,Electoral fraud is the illegal interference with the process of an election. It can occur at any stage of the electoral cycle, sometimes even in the pre-electoral stages, where some Governments interfere with the planning process of the elections.In a narrow election, a small amount of fraud may be enough to change the election results. Even if the outcome is not affected, the revelation of fraud can have a damaging effect if not punished, as it can reduce voters’ confidence in democracy.At a recent press conference, the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Bharrat Jagdeo, emphasised the importance of strengthening electoral laws to prevent electoral fraud from political parties and GECOM. The deterrence of such practices can be achieved through consistent and effective prosecution. Elections can help despots shore up their grip on power.Holding flawed polls can enable embattled Governments to secure access to valuable economic resources, like foreign aid, oil deals etc. While the APNU/AFC Coalition Government appear to be in their death throes, they would use the ballot box to re-establish their political dominance. That is when the facade of democracy is going to be turned into a tool of oppression to satisfy this Government.As Guyanese, we cannot allow the Government and GECOM to undermine the ideals of democracy and turn elections into empty rituals wherein the Government always win, as was evident before 1992, the PNC era of rigged elections in Guyana.As the electorate, we must insist that the APNU/AFC Government, the Opposition, and GECOM move immediately to ensure that electoral laws are being strengthened and implemented, so that persons in the electoral cycles must be held accountable for any electoral fraud in Guyana.The fiasco of Lowenfield’s disappearance recently, the Returning Officers’ disappearance, fake statements of poll etc, must never recur.Sincerely,Zamal Hussainlast_img read more

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Ellen Weeps

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf broke down in tears yesterday at the funeral of Dr. Edward McClain Jr., who served as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff. He was also a long-time personal friend and confidant of the President. Dr. McClain died on Saturday, July 23, at the Wilgers Life Hospital in Lynwood, Pretoria, South Africa, following a period of illness.Fighting back tears, President Sirleaf described Dr. McClain as a dedicated, humble, selfless, efficient and loyal public servant to his country and people.She said her relationship with Dr. McClain was extraordinary because they worked together for more than 18 years in the interest of the Liberian people, with Dr. McClain instrumental to her rise to the presidency.“We worked together until the 1977 election separated us, and we later met in Abidjan. He devoted his time to work along with me in serving the people of Liberia and he showed a great sense of dedication as a servant when we returned to Liberia in 2003, which resulted to my success in 2006 when I took over as President of this nation,” she said, still in tears. President Sirleaf said their relationship grew effectively and further when Dr. McClain kept his promise and commitment by putting his country first. She lauded Dr. McClain for his contribution because he was one minister of government for whom no task or job was too big or small. Dr. McClain ignored his major health problems, she said, when he should have placed more focus on himself and did everything to work for his country and people.“We can never have someone like you Bobbin,” President Sirleaf said, sobbing, “We can never match what you represented as a true friend… surpassed by your loyalty, selflessness, dedication, and as a humble public servant.“I deeply regret your unexpected departure, which came too soon, and left to go and rest. Bobby I wish you a peaceful journey, and may your soul rest in peace.”Giving the funeral discourse under the Theme: ‘My Duty While in the Valley’ from Job 1:6-22, Rev. Charles Diggs said that Dr. McClain lived an exemplary life that impacted society, friends and family.“I urge those in higher positions to follow the example of Dr. McClain and serve your country to the end,” Rev. Diggs said. “McClain’s life was a clear picture of a humble servant, because at times he had problems with his boss, President Sirleaf, but it was never seen in the press, but was handled properly because of his diligent service to his country.” Rev. Diggs urged the family to take solace in the Lord, not to lose hope, but continue to represent the life that Dr. McClain lived, for his name to live on.The bereaved family expressed appreciation to the government of Liberia, as well as the President of Ivory Coast, who sent a representative to convey last respect to the fallen minister. The funeral brought together several government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, former officials of government and well-wishers, who paid glowing tributes to Dr. McClain’s memory at the Providence Baptist Church on Ashmun Street in Monrovia.The late Minister of State, Dr. Edward B. McClain, was interred at the Jake Melton Family Plot, in Caldwell. The Pierre matriarch was a Watts, who are close cousins of the Meltons. Dr. McClain was married into the Pierre family, most of whom are buried there.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Independent Power could benefit the Peace

first_imgAccording to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, to be released today in Vancouver, the independent power sector could inject more than 26 billion dollars, into the provincial economy by 2020.A Vancouver Sun story, by Scott Simpson, says the report commissioned by the Independent Power Producers Association of B.C., claims private sector electricity development could contribute 9 billion dollars to economic growth, over the next 11 years.It also says, governmnt revenues generated through the construction phase of potential IPP projects are estimated, at more than 1.5 billion dollars…and total employment impacts, at that level of development would reach 87 thousand person-years.- Advertisement -Geographically speaking, the report says the Central Interior would realize the greatest benefit from biomass projects. The Lower Mainland-South Coast is potentially the prime beneficiary, from run-of-river development. And, the Peace Region would realize the greatest benefits from development of wind energy.last_img read more

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Arsenal fans must get behind Wenger, says Gazidis

first_img“I want the atmosphere to be united,” Gazidis said at a fans event on Friday. “It has been a struggle because we haven’t had that.“There has been disagreement. There has been a lack of unity and dissatisfaction. The board knows that.“I beg you, please come together and give our manager and this team support.”Gazidis, whose own relationship with Wenger was reported to have become strained last season, promised fans that the club were aiming to secure ‘top-quality’ new faces.However, they have seen a big money bid for French international striker Alexandre Lacazette rejected by Lyon and their only signing so far has been Bosnian international defender Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer from Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.They also face a battle to retain their star player Chilean Alexis Sanchez — who inspired them to salvaging their season with victory in the FA Cup over champions Chelsea — as he has been increasingly linked with a move to Manchester City.“We’re looking for top-quality players,” said Gazidis.“We’ve got three times as many scouts as we had four years ago. I believe that to be a world-class football club, you’ve got to be world class off the pitch.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lifts the FA Cup trophy at Wembley stadium on May 27, 2017 © AFP/File / Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 30 – Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Friday urged fans to cease their heckling of Arsene Wenger and unite behind the long-serving manager.Despite speculation about his future the 67-year-old French coach finally signed a new two-year contract after the end of last season in which Arsenal finished fifth.last_img read more

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Campus tension persists

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Classes resumed Monday at Golden Valley High School, but some tension remained from last week’s lunchtime brawl that authorities said was fought along racial lines. Seven students were arrested Friday on suspicion of battery on school grounds in a fight that started between two boys and quickly developed into a melee among an estimated 20 more. The seven were later released to their parents. William S. Hart Union High School District officials said the fight erupted as a sequel to one at a private party a few days earlier. Fearing another flare-up, some parents decided to keep their kids home from school Monday. Castellanos said Golden Valley teachers on Monday talked with students about tolerance and told them to alert adults when troubling situations occur. He had no immediate count of how many Golden Valley students stayed home Monday. He noted that some parents kept Hart High School students home after a fight on campus in August. The superintendent said he hopes Golden Valley parents and students will keep Friday’s fight in perspective. “I just want people not to push the panic button that things are going to hell in a handbasket, when that’s not the case at all,” he said. Canyon Country father Frank Adams said he’s upset with the way Golden Valley and district officials have responded, and doesn’t know where to turn for help for his son, who is black. Adams said his son, a sophomore football player, was defending himself Friday after weeks of tolerating threats from others. Adams said his son was previously surrounded and threatened in a school bathroom by boys who stopped only when an adult walked in. Adams said witnesses told him his 15-year-old son was jumped on campus Friday in behavior that sparked the larger fight. On Monday, school officials sat down with the 15-year-old and his parents to hear his side of the story. Officials are now deciding whether to take disciplinary action against him and others. Adams said his son was asked at the meeting whether he should have handled the situation differently Friday. “How else do you handle it when someone swings on you?” the father remarked. “They said he should have gone to a counselor.” Principal Jacque Snyder and the district’s diversity coordinator, Greg Lee, did not return phone calls seeking comment. Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 sue.doyle@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “Whether or not it happens, I don’t want to take that chance,” said Dan Milliken, who kept his 15-year-old son home. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were on standby during lunch periods, but all remained quiet at the school. Milliken said his son, a school football player of mixed racial heritage, and some of his friends have had racial slurs hurled at them on campus for months and have been threatened with violence in the school bathrooms. Milliken fears that the day will come when his son will be unable simply to walk away from these situations, and he wants his son transferred to another school before that happens. The father met this month with school officials, who told him they are investigating the racial-slurs claims. Whether in bullying or name-calling, Golden Valley High School hasn’t had more problems with race than any other school in the district, said Jaime Castellanos, the district superintendent. last_img read more

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Family hopes DNA will solve ’83 slaying

first_imgThe victim’s mother, Mary Blystone of South Gate, was told by a detective last year they had a DNA match and the suspect denied killing her daughter but admitted to having sex with her. She doesn’t buy the story. “She had a boyfriend. She wouldn’t meet with this \ man to have sex with him and go back to her boyfriend. That is not my daughter,” Blystone said. Stacy Belcher grew up in Hacienda Heights and attended local public schools. She had five siblings and three step-siblings. Relatives describe her as very trusting and as someone who didn’t think ill of others. “She was just very friendly with people,” Blystone said. “She would just talk to people. \ she wouldn’t get in a car and drive off with anybody.” Charles Belcher of Hacienda Heights remembers when his daughter was in junior high school and she brought in a baby bird still without feathers. She didn’t like worms, he said, but she dug and crushed them to feed her young charge. “It lived for a little while. All along I told her if it survived, it would be a miracle,” he recalled. James Blystone of Moreno Valley, the youngest of Blystone’s six children, had just turned 11 when his sister was killed. He remembers she brought him treats, took care of him, and would take him with her to the store or her friend’s house. “I would hang out with her. I liked her very very much. This is the way I saw her,” James Blystone said. He considered her his best friend. His sister was into rock music and went to concerts with an older brother, he recalled. She liked the band Journey and was “all in love” with the lead singer, Steve Perry. After graduation from high school, Belcher moved in with her mother in South Gate and stayed for a couple of months. “She was just planning on going to work. She wanted to be a mother. Her main thing was she wanted to be a mom,” Blystone said. At the time Belcher worked in Rowland Heights and lived in South Gate. She told her mother it was too far to drive back and forth and later moved to Six Pence Hotel on Labin Court in Rowland Heights with her boyfriend. Belcher was last seen about 6 p.m. when she left the hotel to go across the street to buy tacos for her boyfriend. Since he’d already had tacos for lunch, she decided to get him a hamburger instead, according to Blystone. She never came back. Belcher didn’t show up for an interview the next morning for a cashier’s job at her father’s Shell Gas Station in Whittier, where her other siblings had worked, relatives said. Charles Belcher asked Blystone if she had seen their daughter. She hadn’t. They reported her missing Dec. 5. The next afternoon, a passer-by found Stacy’s body and her car in the parking lot of a Spires restaurant at Valley Boulevard and Azusa Avenue in La Puente. Someone apparently ate the hamburger Belcher bought because a wrapper was found in the car, according to Blystone. She identified the body. “She was in the back seat wrapped up in an Afghan a teacher in high school had crocheted for her,” Blystone said. Months passed, then years. No suspects. No leads. Charles Belcher said he worried the case would be forgotten, although he was told by Sheriff’s Homicide detectives they were working on it. “There was a friend of the family high up on the sheriff’s department who kept us informed. I relied more on him than detectives,” he said. All these years he kept the hope his daughter’s killing would be solved. “And when I became aware they’re doing this DNA thing, the hope went up and bingo, we got lucky,” he said. “I’m very happy it is where it is at.” Stacy Michelle Belcher is buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier. James Blystone’s daughter was born on the 10th anniversary of his sister’s death. He wanted to name his child after Stacy, but said his mother wouldn’t let him. So Crystal Blystone carries her aunt’s middle name, Michelle. A younger sister, Cami, would name her daughter Stacy years later. The family plans to be in court for Smith’s hearing. “We want closure on it and we want to be there to represent her,” Mary Blystone said. “She hasn’t had a voice.” ruby.gonzales@sgvn.com (626)962-8811, Ext. 2718160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Stacy Michelle Belcher liked kids. She helped coach a soccer team for girls, doted on her little brother and wanted to have children of her own, family members recall. But the Wilson High School graduate would never get that chance. On Dec. 3, 1983, the 18-year-old went out to buy food. She never returned. Three days later, her body was found, shot multiple times and left in the back seat of her car. More than two decades would pass before there was a break in the case. Then DNA was used to identify a suspect, 59-year-old Wayne Harvey Smith. Smith was already serving a life sentence for the 1985 stabbing death of Samedy Khiev of Norwalk at a Rowland Heights doughnut shop. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsA sheriff’s detective said the DNA match on the Belcher case was confirmed last year. Smith has pleaded not guilty to killing Belcher and will appear June 6 in Pomona Superior Court for a pre-trial conference. He’s being held at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. Smith’s attorney, deputy public defender Jeffrey Gilliam, doesn’t expect a trial date will be set at the June 6 court appearance. “We’re trying to gather all information in the case so both sides have it to ensure he gets a fair trial,” Gilliam said, declining to discuss details of the case. The District Attorney’s Office hasn’t decided if it will seek the death penalty, said spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. last_img read more

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Bonita 27, Walnut 0

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA VERNE, — Their streaks continued, but only one team was celebrating. The Bonita High School football team picked up its sixth straight win of the season in a victory over Walnut High, which was handed its fourth straight loss. At the core of the Bearcats’ victory was their defense, which not only shut out the Mustangs, but came up with several big plays. Sean Vasquez led the way with a pair of fumble recoveries. One set up a Bonita field goal and the other was returned 98 yards by Vasquez for a touchdown. Walnut responded quickly on the ensuing drive when Ernest Quiocho ran 39 yards to the Bonita 27. Nick Gallardo added a 23-yard run to get to the Bonita 4. The ball was then moved forward 2 yards when the Bearcats were called offsides. That was as close to scoring as the Mustangs would get. On third-and-goal from the 2, Bonita’s Pablo Garay stripped Quiocho of the ball, which Vasquez recovered and returned for a touchdown. — Aaron Ellis center_img Bonita scored on its first drive, which was sparked by a series of completions by quarterback Curtis Gold, including a 29-yard pass to Mike Bentz and 12-yard inside screen to Mike McDonald that stopped at the Walnut 1. Gold scored the touchdown on a keeper for the 7-0 lead. The Bearcats went three-and-out on their next possession, but Walnut’s Michael Vance touched the ball on a bad bounce and Vasquez came up with the recovery at the Mustangs 19. Unable to move the football, Bonita settled for a 35-yard field goal. last_img read more

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Ex-county planner gets 4-year term

first_img Taylor pleaded no contest in May to three counts of falsification of public records after prosecutors agreed to dismiss 94 other counts. Taylor had worked in the county Planning Department for 20 years before he came under suspicion in August 2000. Prosecutors said Taylor ran a private company out of his home, forged grant deeds and issued fraudulent land-division certificates that bypassed the normal public review process. The certificates were issued over a five-year period to landowners who avoided public hearings, thousands of dollars worth of fees and other requirements to subdivide property, according to prosecutors. Officials said Taylor’s activities came under suspicion when one of his clients sent him payments – so-called “consulting fees” – to a county government address rather than to his home. Taylor was fired in November 2000 and arrested two years later after an investigation by county officials, who reviewed more than 1,000 certificates of compliance dating back to the early 1990s. The investigation led county officials to question all certificates of compliance, causing delays for property owners who sought permits to build on their land. In many cases, officials said, property owners seemed to be trying to avoid setting aside part of their land for road easements. In some cases, property owners went through the usual public hearing procedure and got permission to cut their land into smaller parcels, but applied for a certificate saying the land had been subdivided years earlier. That meant they didn’t have to give up land for roads, investigators said. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A 68-year-old former Los Angeles County Planning Department employee convicted in connection with collecting $500,000 to issue illegal certificates to landowners was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison. Emmett Taylor also was ordered to pay $1.53 million in restitution to the county for the cost of investigating and correcting what he had done. “We calculated there were 347 illegal parcels. The moment the county discovered it, they had to go back and clean, repair and correct all the problems,” Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba said. If Taylor pays $250,000 within four months, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Pounders said he would consider reducing the sentence to three years in a prison restitution center, where Taylor would be allowed to work at an outside job. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals State law allows a judge to resentence a person within 120 days from the date of the original sentencing, said Robert Schwartz, Taylor’s attorney. “The center is run by the Department of Corrections for people who have been convicted of fraud or theft-type offenses and there’s loss as a result of the fraud and theft,” Schwartz said. “The rationale behind it is that the victims can receive reimbursement while the person is in prison and earning money.” Torrealba said Taylor is able to pay restitution, owning a house in Fullerton and property in Big Bear. But Schwartz noted that Taylor’s wife has community interest in those properties. “It throws a legal curve at any attempt to satisfy restitution,” Schwartz said. Taylor was accused of collecting $500,000 to issue illegal certificates to landowners for hundreds of acres in unincorporated areas including Agua Dulce and Malibu. last_img read more