In the thirty-eighth edition of In The Spotlight, Australian Men’s Open player, Mat Bird, speaks about what it means to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup and the biggest influences on his Touch Football career. Name: Mat BirdNickname: BirdyAge: 25Affiliate: BulldogsOccupation: Fire FighterPosition: WingDebut for Australia: 2005 Youth World Cup 2010 Men’s Open Trans TasmanCareer highlights so far: Vawdon Cup/State Cup double in 2007, Aussie Men’s Open debut in 2010.How you got involved in Touch Football: Family friend.Favourite player: Daniel Walsh.What does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup: A massive privilege, not too many people can say they have represented their country. I’m blessed with the opportunity to be able to do this.Biggest influence on your Touch Football career: Pete Forrester and Daniel Walsh.Favourite sporting moment: Dragons 2010 premiers and Michael Jordan’s entire career. What do you know about Scotland: Great golf courses, castles, coldness, and William Wallace.Any superstitions: None that i know of.Funniest Australian teammate: Ziade (Anthony)Favourite quote: “Dare to dream.”Any travel plans for after World Cup: Running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain then winging it around Europe for five weeks with mates.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every Open’s player travelling to the World Cup. With less than a month to go until the 2011 Federation of International Touch World Cup, be sure to be regularly visiting the Touch Football Australia website to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information. Don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup to find out all you need to know about Australia’s World Cup campaign: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus
Yesterday was of course Mother’s Day, and Penn State linebacker Nyeem Wartman elected to give his mother a very special gift this year. On Sunday, Wartman announced via Facebook that he was officially changing his name to Nyeem Wartman-White to honor his mother, Veronica White, and stepfather. A pretty amazing gesture from Wartman-White, who recorded 75 tackles last season, second-best on the Nittany Lions. It’ll be hard to top that Mother’s Day gift going forward, but seeing his new surname on the back of his jersey will be an awesome treat for his mom and stepfather come September.
The City of Fort St. John also today announced that the Grand Opening of the new Spray Park, which was planned to take place on Friday, has been postponed. The City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the ceremony was postponed due to inclement weather that was forecast on Friday. Harvey added that a new date for the ceremony has not yet been announced, but that an announcement should be expected early next week. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John received another cheque from the Rotary Club of Fort St. John for the renovations to the Rotary Spray Park.Mayor Lori Ackerman was on hand at the Rotary Club’s meeting on Thursday to receive a $20,000 cheque on behalf of the City. Both clubs raised the money over the last year through a number of fundraisers, including the Mega Lottery, Drive-thru Breakfast, and from selling the bricks that ring the newly-renovated spray park next to the North Peace Arena.Scott Wisdahl with the Rotary Club said that with today’s $20,000 donation, the Club reached a milestone with a cumulative total of $100,000 in donations for the spray park’s upgrades.
This option is the second shortest route of the three considered, meets provincial design and safety requirements, and includes a longer bridge at the Cache Creek crossing.Hydro said that compared to the two other options that were considered, the selected route:has similar or lower impacts to archaeological and heritage sites, andhas lower impacts to private lands and agricultural lands than the most northern route evaluated.BC Hydro will be continuing work for this portion of the realignment, including geotechnical investigations and drilling. Full construction on this segment of the highway realignment is expected to be underway by 2020.Hydro said that construction activities for the western four kilometres of the highway realignment at Cache Creek/Bear Flat, which is not affected by the alternate realignment options that were studied for the eastern section of this segment, will begin at the end of this month. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro announced Tuesday that it has selected a new realignment for Highway 29 in the Cache Creek/Bear Flat area, following consultations with Indigenous groups and local property owners.Premier John Horgan announced that the provincial government was proceeding with building Site C following a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission last December.That same month. the Province asked Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation to work with Treaty 8 First Nations and local property owners to redesign the Highway 29 realignment at Cache Creek/Bear Flat to reduce the effects on potential burial sites and areas of cultural importance identified by First Nations. In January, Hydro said it began engaging with Indigenous groups and property owners to share information and get feedback on two alternate realignment options. Indigenous groups and property owners were provided with the draft evaluation criteria that would be used for selecting a new realignment and were invited to comment on the criteria.A third realignment option was developed in early March as a result of the consultation process and became one of the realignment options that BC Hydro assessed.A higher-resolution map of the realignment can be found here: https://www.sitecproject.com/sites/default/files/highway-29-realignment-options-map.pdf.Hydro said that several Indigenous groups conducted ground-truthing investigations and reported on their findings over the spring and summer.In late July, BC Hydro said it met with five Indigenous groups and seven property owners to share and seek feedback on the preliminary findings of the investigations and evaluation criteria.The selected realignment option – which was developed through consultation – is located north of the original route and is approximately 240 metres away from a potential burial site and 370 metres from an area identified to be of cultural importance.
Shirley Dorin, 86, said she and her husband had decades of frustration after allowing an oil well to be drilled on their property near Didsbury in central Alberta in 1970.There was constant flaring that lit up their house, she said, and she developed Parkinson’s disease.Production equipment was eventually removed a few years ago but the site, which has had several owners, still remains.“We didn’t know what it was like to have your life controlled by an oil company and we really didn’t know what we were in for, that’s for sure,” Dorin said. CALGARY, A.B. – A coalition of Alberta landowners, researchers and former regulators say it could cost as much as $70 billion to clean up more than 300,000 orphan oil and gas wells in Alberta.The Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project released the numbers Monday in Calgary.“Fiscally and environmentally, this is a ticking time bomb,” lead researcher Regan Boychuk told a news conference. “We want it gone.”Her son, Mark, is president of Dorin Land and Oilfield Management and is a member of the coalition.“We can’t develop our land,” he said. “Albertans simply can’t afford to wait another four years for variable solutions as the mess continues to grow.” “They sit idle and they may look harmless, but they’re not. All wells leak eventually and that’s why it’s so important they are plugged and reclaimed properly.”Boychuk said it’s not too late to make well clean up a campaign issue before the April 16 provincial election.“This is the moment when politicians are the most receptive,” he said. “The day after the election is when politicians are the least receptive to public concern. That’s why we are making this data public today to try and influence this debate.”He said most political parties are talking about boosting Alberta’s resource sector but not about the environmental costs involved.“We can either spend money on drilling more wells or spend money on cleaning up.”Boychuk said about $200 million is being held by the Alberta government as a deposit to pay for the cleanup of unreclaimed wells. The problem gets worse once the additional costs of tailing ponds, mines and pipelines are included.
Washington DC: A 31-year-old Indian national has been sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison on Monday for his involvement in a major call centre scam under which he and his co-conspirators extorted money from American residents by impersonating tax officers, the US Department of Justice said. Nishitkumar Patel, who had pleaded guilty to the charges on January 9, has also been asked by a Florida court to pay USD 2,00,000, forfeit cash and a 2015 Land Rover that was seized in October 2018. According to court documents, Patel connived with the US-based co-conspirators and the India-based call centres to extort money from American residents by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers between 2014 and 2016. The IRS is the revenue service of the United States federal government. During this period, they mislead the victims in believing that they owed money to the IRS and would be arrested and fined if they did not pay their alleged taxes back immediately, as per the documents. The conspirators collected the fraud proceeds by withdrawing cash from prepaid cards purchased and funded by victims; hiring other conspirators (runners) to retrieve money wired by the victims to those runners; and/or hiring runners to open bank accounts into which victims deposited fraud proceeds, revealed the documents. The defendants collected the proceeds by providing the runners with the victims’ names, locations, and amounts paid. The runners were directed to retrieve the fraud proceeds in cash and turn the funds over to the defendants, often less a payment to the runner for opening the account or conducting the transaction, according to the documents. Four others have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme. On March 25, Alejandro Juarez was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. Hemalkumar Shah, Sharvil Patel and Brenda Dozier are currently awaiting sentencing. “We here at IRS CI recognise the heartache and concern these crooks cause innocent people. This is why we are eager to team up with our law enforcement partners to track down these impersonators in whatever corner of the globe they may be hiding in,” said special agent in-charge Mary Hammond of IRS Criminal Investigations, Tampa Field Office.
Rabat- It seems that the war between the Benkirane Government and the High Commission for Planning (HCP) will not cease any time soon.Sources quoted by daily Al Massae in its Monday, January 27th issue, revealed that powerful voices within the governmental coalition are pushing towards overthrowing HCP boss Ahmed Lahlimi Alami whose recent figures and his gloomy forecast in his predictions regarding the state of the economy did not please the PJD-led government.The same sources added that these powerful voices inside the Benkirane cabinet suggested transforming the High Commission for Planning, a constitutional institution, into a directorate subordinate to the Ministry of Economy and Finance in charge of planning and statistics. This move aims to avoid any future figures released by the HCP that will do harm to the government and its image in the eyes of international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).Other sources, however, suggested working around the proposed constitutional challenges if the government were to attempt a transformation of the HCP into a directorate and appoint a technocrat director on top of the HCP instead of Lahlimi whose socialist background is believed to be responsible of the Commission’s recent figures.The same sources went on to add that an IMF committee will arrive in Morocco in the coming days in order to address the recent figures released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the HCP about growth rates, the deficit, and unemployment.The paper’s sources said that the International Monetary Fund is following with deep concern the “war of figures” between the government and the HCP. The war erupted last week in the wake of Lahlimi’s figures, which predicted that the growth rate will decline in 2014 to about 2.4 % and that the budget deficit has stabilized during 2013 at 6%.The government’s responded as soon as the HCP figures were released by publishing a statement which said that the budget deficit in 2013 had stabilized at 5.4% not 6%, as Lahlimi’s HCP has claimed.Controversial deputy Minister in charge of General Affairs and Governance, Mohamed El Ouafa also intervened in the “war of figures” by describing Lahlimi’s figures as both childish and medieval.Edited by Matthew Osborn