Machine operator remanded on narco charge

first_imgKeith StevensA 37-year-old heavy duty operator was remanded to prison on Tuesday when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Keith Stevens, of Lot 54 Republic Avenue, Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD), pleaded not guilty to the charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. The prosecution is contending that on September 23, 2016 at First Avenue, Bartica, he had in his possession 14.61 kilograms of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.The court was told that on the day in question, ranks on duty were on patrol when they saw the defendant with a large garbage bag acting in a suspicious manner. As such, the ranks approached Stevens, who then threw the bag in a parked car and attempted to escape. He was, however, pursued by ranks and eventually caught.The defendant’s Attorney contended that the prosecution’s case was flawed, claiming his client was an operator and the illicit drug was found in a car that his employer sent to pick him up. The Attorney added that his client only joined the taxi upon request of his employer and had no knowledge that the drug was in the car. As such, he requested bail which, however, was denied. The matter was transferred to the Bartica Magistrate’s Court where it would be called again on October 12, 2016.last_img read more

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GoL’s Passive, Indifferent Attitude Toward Liberian-owned Businesses

first_imgAs mentioned in last Friday’s Editorial, the government of Liberia’s passivity and indifference toward Liberian-owned businesses started not with this administration but long before.This is, unfortunately, one of the legacies of President William V. S. Tubman’s Open Door Policy. It was a policy that gave great encouragement to foreign businesses and business people, including very generous investment incentives such as duty free privileges and extensive tax holidays.Take for example the rubber industry; several of the foreign rubber companies still enjoy some of these privileges but not a single Liberian rubber company. This includes the biggest of them all, Morris American Rubber Company, commonly known as “Morris Farm”. Started in the 1930s by Harry Morris, it is the biggest employer among all the Liberian rubber farms. And, currently run by his son Bill Morris, it is the only Liberian rubber planter that is processing its own product for export. Morris American does not have to sell to Firestone. Yet it enjoys none of the privileges extended to some of the foreign companies.In her meeting with Liberian entrepreneurs last week, President Sirleaf heard some constructive criticisms. Madam Isatu Gbegbe Noubibous told the President that all too frequently Liberian businesses are “sidelined” in the GoL bidding process, in favor of foreign businesses. Even if Liberian businesses win GoL bids of any scale, there is yet another hurdle. The Government of Liberia has been notorious for its history of bad debt, especially in the current administration. It has become so bad that some business people have disclosed to the Daily Observer that they no longer do business with the Liberian government. Even a local bank a couple of years ago issued an unofficial in-house policy that there were to be no loans given to government officials. This is bad news and suggests two things. First, if the people running the Liberian government have such bad credit as individuals, what is there to convince anyone else that the government as a whole is credible for business? Second, it is not as though the President doesn’t know what is happening. Remember Liberia’s debt-waiver program with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund? President Sirleaf knew exactly what needed to be done to win back Liberia’s credibility with those international partners. Is it that much more difficult for the Liberian government to win back its credibility with its own people? Is President Sirleaf simply going to treat the plight of Liberian business people with lip service? Whole day, “We hear you; we will take your concerns into consideration,” she says. But then the breakfast club jumps in the way and sways all the opportunities in favor of their foreign friends. It is not really about the money, Madam President. It is about Respect. Many of your lieutenants do not respect themselves enough to even respect the offices entrusted to their care. They insult the integrity of their positions and therefore insult the Liberian People. It is about Justice. How many corrupt officials has this government successfully prosecuted? They either abscond, are let off on judicial technicalities or are asked to resign. It is about Patriotism, for goodness sake! We know of NO other nationality that prefers foreigners before their own nationals. Sanitation entrepreneur George Howe told the President that the banks are reluctant to lend Liberians the sufficient amounts these entrepreneurs need to move their businesses forward. In Liberia, patriotism seems to be losing considerably to envy. “Why should he or she get this break and not I”, is the common mindset in Liberia. This Newspaper has always asked, how can we develop Liberia on envy? It cannot and will never happen. But we cannot, must not remain crabs in the bucket.And toiletries business man Fomba Trawally urged the President to see to it that GoL give some preference to Liberian Manufacturers. The President listened intently to the Liberian business people and pledged to actively heed to their pleadings. We count it most unfortunate that the President finds herself making this pledge in the 11th year of her administration, with scarcely two years to go. But as one of the entrepreneurs she met indicated, it is better late than never.In order to fulfill that pledge the President has a lot of convincing to do among her lieutenants. She has to convince them that it is Liberians, not foreigners, who must build Liberia. The sooner they are empowered to do so, the better. Time is running out! 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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Around Whittier

first_imgMONTEBELLO – The City Council Wednesday extended Police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez’s contract for another five years. “He’s done a great job for the city and has tremendous community support,” said Randy Narramore, interim city administrator. Couso-Vasquez said he wanted to retire as police chief for Montebello. Elks Lodge hosts fish fry today There will be signed detours in place to direct thru traffic around road closures. All businesses will have access to their buildings if needed. The following roads will be closed: Pioneer Boulevard between Los Nietos Road and Jersey Avenue; Pioneer Boulevard between Telegraph Road and Florence Avenue; Florence Avenue between Pioneer Boulevard; Studebaker Road and Orr and Day Road between Pioneer Boulevard and Florence Avenue and Telegraph Road between Norwalk Boulevard and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. The following offramps will be closed: The northbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway offramp; the northbound San Gabriel River (605) Freeway Telegraph Road east offramp and the southbound San Gabriel River (605) Telegraph Road offramp. For more information, call (562) 868-0511. Founders’ Day slated for Saturday WHITTIER – The city’s annual Founders’ Day will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Central Park, 6532 Friends Ave. A parade from City Hall to Central Park will begin the festivities at 9:30 a.m. There also will be performances from youth groups and exhibits from the Native American, Mexican and Quaker groups who resided in the Whittier area more than 100 years ago. Demonstrations and crafts from the era of Whittier’s founding explore daily life, culture and customs. Celebrate Mother’s Day at Elks Lodge The Whittier Elks Lodge #1258, located at 13620 Whittier Blvd., is hosting a Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The breakfast buffet will include eggs, bacon, sausage and omelettes and waffles made to order plus fresh fruit and pastry. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children. For more information, call (562) 696-7117. Bluebird Gallery to host reception WHITTIER – The Bluebird Art Gallery will host an opening reception for expressionistic and figurative artists Yolanda Gonzalez and Oscar Sanabria from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, 6747 Bright Ave. Yolanda Gonzalez is a Pasadena-born artist whose work has shown in numerous countries around the world. Oscar Sanabria presents a collection of paintings that are characterized by a haunting and ethereal quality, which is largely due to his literal and metaphorical use of water in his work. Daily gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call (562) 696-9493. – 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 – The Whittier Elks Lodge #1258, located at 13620 Whittier Blvd., is hosting a shrimp and fish fry today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lodge #1258, located at 13620 Whittier Blvd. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, call (562) 696-7117. Parade to force offramp closures SANTA FE SPRINGS – There will be several road and freeway offramp closures Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. because of the city’s 50th Anniversary Parade. last_img read more

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