SA’s children get football fever

first_imgChildren blowing plastic vuvuzelas trumpets in Alexandra to mark 200 days remaining until the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The youngsters singing South Africa’s national anthem … … and waving the flag for Bafana Bafana, South Africa’s football team. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Play Soccer South Africa +27 11 023 0877 RELATED ARTICLES • Football Fridays fever mounts • Flags fly for 32 World Cup teams • Fly the Flag for Football Toolkit • Global Fifa fan parks for 2010 • Football for Hope to unite SA Bongani NkosiWith South Africa counting down the days to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, a sports day recently held in Johannesburg‘s Alexandra township kicked off a campaign to spread both excitement and lifeskills among the country’s young people.On 23 November more than 80 youngsters, ranging from four to 14 years old, gathered for a football workshop with a difference at the township’s Football for Hope Centre.They were there to pick up tips on how to “bend it like David Beckham”, as well as learn about national pride and the values of “ubuntu” – a Southern African philosophy of fellowship and community. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the 200 days remaining until the tournament begins.The event was a joint initiative of Play Soccer South Africa (PSSA), the local arm of a US-based NGO, which gives life skills and football training to children from disadvantaged areas; the International Marketing Council (IMC); and Heartlines, which promotes good values in society.“This is a contribution made by the three organisations to say that children deserve to celebrate. It’s about introducing them to the 2010 hype,” said Kenny Hlabahlaba, PSSA’s programme manager.“It’s 28 Fridays to go,” Heartlines’ Mzamo Moloi told participants. “We’re here to play football with you, but at the same time we’re here to teach you love and respect.”They were each handed plastic vuvuzela trumpets and South African flags, after Moloi taught the crowd about the significance of its colours. “The white represents the racial diversity of South Africa,” he said.“The whole point is to partner with Play Soccer to use soccer as a means to instill values in the children. It’s about using soccer as a tool for social change.“South Africans should grab opportunities presented by the current excitement about the much-anticipated tournament to create a strong spirit of doing good for their communities.”It would be unrealistic to do this just for the month of the World Cup, he said. “We’re saying let’s build a movement to work for our communities even after the final, because life will go on.”Life lessons through footballPSSA is well established in Alexandra and hosts scores of children at the Football for Hope Centre every Monday. “We use football to teach them about HIV and Aids. Children should know about such things. They also learn their rights and responsibilities,” said Hlabahlaba.The organisation does the same kind of work in seven other areas in Gauteng, including the communities of Lawley and Fine Town, south of Johannesburg.Play Soccer’s clinics have helped 18-year-old Sello Mahlangu, an Alex youngster appointed to train the children, adopt a healthier lifestyle. “It takes us away from many bad things. Play Soccer has done a lot for Alex … we learn a lot and we play soccer,” he said.“It’s all about developing talents and unleashing the potential of the individual,” Hlabahlaba said.Drumming up support for BafanaThe timing of this initiative is perfect, as it’s preparing all South Africans to welcome the world in 2010, said IMC chief financial officer Moeletsi Mabuku. “The best we can do is welcome the people with the spirit of ubuntu, the spirit of humanity.”The IMC is also behind two other campaigns to drum up support for the World Cup and national football squad, Bafana Bafana.Replicas of the national flag have been handed out to communities across the country through the Fly the Flag for Football drive, which was launched in April. “[The campaign] is powerful and it’s growing. People want the flag. They’re flying it from their cars and everywhere,” said Loyiso Stofile, the IMC’s marketing services coordinator.South Africans are also being encouraged to wear football shirts to work at the end of each week as part of the Football Fridays concept to build spirit for next year’s tournament. “Companies are coming through and supporting it,” he added.“That people can wear the gear of any team, be it Moroka Swallows, Brazil or Russia’s Rubin Kazan, is quite relevant to the World Cup. We have people coming here and we have to show that we are a supportive nation,” said Stofile.“And as for Bafana Bafana, it really does need the nation to rally behind it,” Mabuku said. He believes the two campaigns will do a lot to inspire the team to do its best in 2010.“The only way we can support our squad is by wearing their jersey and flying the South African flag with pride,” said Mabuku. “As we consolidate our support, we hope the coach and the players can tap into that.”The IMC is supporting most “events that are milestones towards 2010”, he said.At the Alex workshop I asked nine-year-old Lebogang Molapo about his opinion of Bafana Bafana. “Bafana Bafana will win it [the World Cup],” he said proudly. “Will we beat Brazil with its champion player Kaka?” I challenged. The youngster was in no doubt as he replied: “Yes, because Bafana Bafana has Teko Modise and Siphiwe Tshabala.”last_img read more

Pirates crowned MTN 8 champions

first_imgShortly before the break, Klate raced into the box and beat Mathibe, but then fired past the post. 4 October 2010 “I am pleased for everyone, especially our chairman [Irvin Khoza] who has worked so hard at building the club and at last we can show him a reward.” The Buccaneers triumphed 4-2 from the penalty spot after the teams had ended regulation time level at 1-1. Daine Klate was handed the responsibility of the spot kick and he responded well by sending Mathibe the wrong way to put Pirates ahead. Orlando Pirates broke a 10-year knockout competition title drought when they captured South Africa’s MTN 8 Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night after a penalty shootout win over Moroka Swallows. “I am relieved, but I am a happy man now that we have ended Pirates’ 10-year drought without a knockout trophy”, Krol said afterwards. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material While Andile Jali was named man of the match and Moneeb Josephs excelled in the shootout, Krol had words of praise for Ezenwa Otorogu, who won Pirates a penalty in the first half. “I think Otorogu did a fantastic job for us up front,” he said. Pirates’ R8-million reward was the biggest prize in the club’s history, while Swallows, along with the other six teams that qualified for the competition, each took home R800 000. In the 19th minute, however, the big Nigerian won the Buccaneers a penalty after a sweet build up had set him free to take on the Birds’ goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe in a one-on-one. Otorogu got the better of the goalie, but was brought down and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Dikgang Mabalane then had an opportunity to beat the Swallows’ goalkeeper, but his shot was narrowly wide. EqualiserWith only four minutes remaining on the clock, the Birds made Pirates pay for their missed chances earlier in the match by equalising. Morgan Shivambu got onto the end of a free kick taken by Gareth Ncaca and headed the ball past Josephs and into the goal. It all came down to penalties in the end. The teams were level at 2-2 when Nomvethe missed for Swallows. Isaac Chansa then netted for Pirates to give them the advantage. When Kagiso Mashishi missed for Swallows it gave Lucky Lekgwathi a chance to win the game. He scored and Orlando Pirates celebrated.center_img ‘I am relieved’ Second halfIt looked as if the game would follow a similar pattern in the second half when Pirates came out of the blocks strongly, once again exerting their tempo on the game. Swallows, however, appeared more resolute in defence and it took some time for Pirates to create a chance. Pirates came closest to winning the game in extra time, but Greg Etafia, who had replaced Aubrey Mathibe at half-time, saved superbly from a long range shot by Clifford Ngobeni. Pirates set the tempo from the opening kick off and showed good movement as they placed their Soweto rivals under pressure. Big things are always expected of Pirates by the club’s fans, so the silverware would have undoubtedly taken some pressure off the shoulders of coach Ruud Krol. The first half belonged almost exclusively to Pirates, with Swallows looking short of ideas and answers to the Sea Robbers’ pressure. Otorogu, who shone in the first half, spurned the first chance of the contest when he headed over the crossbar from close range. Mabalane was wide with a shot and it was Swallows who were the first to have a shot on target. It came courtesy of veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe whose volley at the back post was well saved by Josephs in the Pirates’ goal. ‘The whole team impressed me’“The whole team impressed me. They did what I asked them to do,” he added. Penalty Swallows were under the cosh, but they almost levelled matters a few minutes later. Bucs’ net-minder Moneeb Josephs needed to show sharp reflexes to stop a cross that turned into a shot by Keegan Ritchie. Great chanceThulasizwe Mbuyane had a great chance to double Pirates’ lead after 27 minutes, but he fired tamely at Mathibe, who pulled off a good save.last_img read more

DOE Kicks Off R-5, Low-E Window Program

first_imgEarlier this year, the Department of Energy, through its Builder Technology Program, put out request-for-proposals to manufacturers and vendors interested in selling triple-glazed and low-e windows at volume and at affordable prices. The ultimate aim was to help builders and other industry professionals overcome the principal barrier to their use of R-5 and low-e windows – cost.By February 19, the proposal deadline, more than 50 prospective participants had responded. And on Thursday, May 27, 30 vendors and 23 key partners will participate in the BTP’s public launch of the Highly Insulating R5 Windows and Low-e Storm Windows Volume Purchase Program, scheduled for 3 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders headquarters 1201 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. Of more interest to most builders and remodelers is the fact that the program’s official website is scheduled to go live at the same time (check the BTP information page here for the new web address and program developments).The DOE also is presenting a free 90-minute webinar – “Cost-Effective Triple Pane (R-5) and Low-e Storm Windows: Available Now” – on June 22, which is designed to explain how the program work and to highlight the performance characteristics of the windows. The target audience, the DOE says, includes weatherization agencies, housing authorities, builders, contractors, and distributors. Although access to the webinar is free, participants must register in advance to obtain the webinar URL, an access password, and the phone number for audio. Click here for details about the webinar. Click here to register in advance.last_img read more

Were You Productive Today?

first_imgDid you make progress on your most important project? Productivity isn’t how many things you scratch off your to-do list. You can have days where you complete all kinds of tasks, none of which have anything to do with what was really important. Productivity is doing what’s important.Did you move closer to your most important goal? If what you did today did not move you closer to your goals, you may not have been as productive as you might have been. Goals are achieved by taking disciplined action day after day, not all at once. If what you’re doing isn’t aligned with your long-term goals, you may have gotten things done without being productive.Did you do the three most important tasks that needed to be done today? I like the idea of having three major tasks to get done. It seems like the right number of major tasks. Maybe three 90-minute blocks of time invested in the above projects and goals? You might be able to do more, but if you have a list of twelve major tasks to do, you are kidding yourself.Did you make a difference? Did the things you do today make a difference? Did they make a difference in your business? Did they make a difference in your personal life? Did they make a difference in someone else’s life, maybe someone who needed your help? The most important work you do makes a difference. A lot of things we do fail this test, even if it makes you feel busy.Did you invest the appropriate time and energy in one or two of your most important relationships? There isn’t anything more important in your life than the people you care about and the people who care about you. You might be so busy doing “what” you are doing that you forget “why” you are doing it and for “whom” are you doing it?Did you learn something today that will help you improve your future results? Productivity isn’t only about doing what needs to be done now. Being productive also requires that you sharpen your saw. You are the saw. You’ll become dull if you don’t take the time to do things to keep sharp.Did you take care of your physical health? This one should have probably been first on the list. You need physical energy to be productive. You also need mental energy and stamina. You won’t have these things if you don’t eat well, drink water, exercise, and sleep (likely more than you are now, and likely more than you want to). You can’t be productive if you are wiped out.last_img read more

Himachal to withdraw ‘politically motivated’ cases

first_imgThe Himachal Pradesh Cabinet has decided to withdraw all “politically-motivated” cases filed during the previous Congress dispensation, including those against the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association led by BJP MP Anurag Thakur.It decided to review all cases registered during the erstwhile Congress dispensation and withdraw those that “smack of political vendetta”.Any decision in such cases would be taken on the basis of merit, the official said.The cases over land allocation to the HPCA attained political significance as it was headed by Mr. Thakur and the decision to allot land was taken when his father Prem Kumar Dhumal was the Chief Minister.HPBL to wound upThe Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, also decided to wind up Himachal Pradesh Beverages Limited set up last year to eliminate wholesalers and handle the liquor trade, an official said.The BJP, while in the Opposition, criticised the decision of the government and alleged irregularities in procurement and sale of liquor. The government also decided to initiate inquiry into losses suffered by the government after the move.The previous government had suspended licences issued to wholesalers and designated HPBL as sole agency for procurement and sale of liquor to retail vends.The Cabinet also decided to fix the responsibility on officers, responsible for the creation of HPBL and revert to the old policy.The Cabinet also gave its nod to disengage the counsels including Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid for representing the State in various cases, including those against the HPCA.last_img read more

Videos: Louisville Owned SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays After Dominating Syracuse

first_imgDonovan Mitchell throws down dunk against Syracuse..Twitter/@theACCDNMidway through the second half of Wednesday night’s 72-58 home win over Syracuse, the Louisville Cardinals were doing whatever they wanted on offense. The dominant display was heavily featured on SportsCenter this morning, where the Cardinals had three of the Top 10 plays of the day.First up, at No. 7, this beautiful behind-the-back assist by Chinanu Onuaku.Nanu droppin’ dimes. pic.twitter.com/7MFnoY0qRb— LouisvilleSportsLive (@LvilleSprtsLive) February 18, 2016Next, at No. 4, another Onuaku assist—this time to Jaylen Johnson for a powerful alley-oop.It’s like Louisville found a “if you make the other team cry they have to let you play in the tournament” loophole pic.twitter.com/m4kMWmXva4— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) February 18, 2016And finally, Louisville took home the top play, with this ferocious alley-oop from Damion Lee to Donovan Mitchell.If you look close enough, you can see a smile on Donovan Mitchell’s face as he slams this one home for @GoCards!https://t.co/xlTSYEXZ08— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) February 18, 2016That one was just mean. Mitchell liked it so much, he made it the header photo for his Twitter profile. donovan mitchell twitterIt’s been a rough few weeks for the Cardinals. Last night’s big win had to be pretty cathartic.last_img read more

Health Ministry to Step Up Public Education Campaign on HPV Vaccine

first_img The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be ramping up its public education campaign on its initiative to prevent cervical cancer, through the introduction of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme.In a Statement to the House of Representatives today (October 3), Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said experts from the Ministry have been on the airwaves explaining the vaccination campaign and will continue to facilitate any opportunity to enlighten the public.“The MOH, through the regional health authorities and the local health departments, will continue to engage the parents through the parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and the schools’ administration to ensure the dissemination of information, education and communication material,” Dr. Tufton said.He said the Ministry is aware that there are lingering concerns in the public and that such members can call the Ministry’s toll-free line 1-888-ONE LOVE or 1-888-663-5683 to clarify those concerns.The vaccine is being offered to girls in grade seven, between the age of nine and 14 years, free of cost. The vaccine is not mandatory. The target is approximately 22,500 girls, and each girl will need two doses given six months apart for full protection.To date, more than 300 students in four schools have received the vaccine, while 20 opted out of the process. The four schools are Oberlin and Papine High in Kingston and St. Andrew, and Titchfield and Happy Grove in Portland.Various stakeholder sensitisation sessions have been conducted, including sessions with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; public-sector healthcare workers; the Paediatric Association of Jamaica; Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica; National Parenting Support Commission; Jamaica Council of Churches; Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches; school nurses; guidance counsellors; and Health and Family Life Education coordinators.Dr. Tufton informed that “Dear Parent” letters and accompanying fact sheets were distributed to schools for inclusion in the grade-seven school packages at the end of the last academic year to sensitise parents/guardians to the planned vaccine introduction.Six Focus Group discussions with parents and girls were conducted in Kingston, Montego Bay and Clarendon and parent/student sensitisation sessions were done in Westmoreland, St. James, St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, Portland and St. Ann. A Media Sensitisation Forum was held on September 29.Media Interviews are ongoing with the Jamaica Information Service, IRIE FM, Nationwide 90 FM, News Talk 93 FM, RJR Group of Companies, and CVM Television. Print Placement of HPV information is ongoing and radio and television commercials will be placed.Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton highlighted that the HPV vaccines are safe, noting that more than 200 million doses have been given around the world with no major side effects.He said the most common side effects of the vaccine include redness, swelling and tenderness to the injection site. Other less-common effects include fever, nausea and upset stomach. The vaccine is being offered to girls in grade seven, between the age of nine and 14 years, free of cost. The vaccine is not mandatory. The target is approximately 22,500 girls, and each girl will need two doses given six months apart for full protection. In a Statement to the House of Representatives today (October 3), Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said experts from the Ministry have been on the airwaves explaining the vaccination campaign and will continue to facilitate any opportunity to enlighten the public. Story Highlightscenter_img The Minister further informed that the HPV vaccine was included in the national schedules of France (2007), the United Kingdom (2008), the Netherlands (2009), Canada (2007-2009), Mexico (2012), Panama (2008), USA and Puerto Rico (2006), Bermuda (2008), St. Maarten and Trinidad and Tobago (2013), and Barbados (2015), to name a few.“The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has carefully monitored the safety of the HPV vaccine and thoroughly investigated reported cases of adverse effects supposedly attributed to the HPV vaccine,” Dr. Tufton said.The World Health Organization (WHO) Committee on Vaccine Safety has confirmed that none of the conditions investigated were due to the HPV vaccine, and in December 2015 issued the following statement: “To date, GACVS has not found any safety issue that would alter its recommendations for the use of the vaccine.” he added.Dr. Tufton said that cervical cancer is a major public health problem in Jamaica, as almost 50 per cent of the women who are diagnosed each year will die from this preventable disease.He said the MOH has, therefore, introduced the HPV vaccine to provide 90-100 per cent protection against HPV types 16 and 18.The Minister noted that the HPV vaccine has been available in the private sector for several years now and is, therefore, not a new vaccine to the population.In addition, Dr. Tufton said the MOH has employed a school-based strategy for implementation to facilitate greater access to the population, as parents will not have to miss work or students school in order to benefit.He also informed that prior to immunisation, education sessions are held with the girls to be vaccinated. A brief medical history is conducted to ascertain the girls’ fitness and eligibility for vaccination.“As is customary with all outreach and school vaccination programmes, safety measures are in place to treat emergencies. Additionally, the surveillance mechanism monitors and investigates all events supposedly attributable to vaccination or immunisation,” the Health Minister said.A budget was crafted for approximately $100 million for year one of the HPV vaccine introduction, which includes social mobilisation and communication; cold chain equipment; training and sensitisation; and procurement of vaccines and vaccination supplies. The estimated annual cost after introduction is $73 million.A total of 48,000 doses of bivalent vaccine were ordered for 2017, through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Expanded Programme on Immunization Revolving Fund, at a cost of US$7.80 per dose.Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Jamaica and remains a significant public health concern. Current estimates indicate that every year, 392 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer; 185 die from the disease, with the majority of deaths occurring in women between 40 and 64 years of age.For further information, the public can email the Ministry at: hpvinfo@moh.gov.jm. Additional information is available at www.moh.gov.jm. The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be ramping up its public education campaign on its initiative to prevent cervical cancer, through the introduction of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme.last_img read more

US Seizes North Korean Bulker for Violating Sanctions

first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: Pixabay The U.S. Department of Justice has seized the bulk carrier Wise Honest, belonging to North Korea, for allegedly violating United States and United Nations sanctions by illicitly shipping coal from North Korea.The authorities filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the 17,061-ton vessel that was also supposedly used to deliver heavy machinery to North Korea.According to the documents filed in Manhattan federal court, from at least November 2016 through April 2018, the Wise Honest was used by Korea Songi Shipping Company, an affiliate of Songi Trading Company, to export coal from North Korea to foreign purchasers and import machinery to North Korea. On June 1, 2017, OFAC designated Songi Trading Company pursuant to Executive Order 13722 for its involvement in the sale, supply, or transfer of coal from North Korea. OFAC also determined that Songi Trading Company was a subordinate of the Korean People’s Army.Mid-March 2018, the Wise Honest was loaded with coal in Nampo, North Korea. In early April 2018, foreign maritime authorities intercepted and detained the Wise Honest.Despite its March 2018 voyage from North Korea, the Wise Honest had not broadcast an AIS signal since August 4, 2017.Participants in the Korea Songi Scheme attempted to conceal the Wise Honest’s DPRK affiliation by falsely listing different countries for the Wise Honest’s nationality and the origin of the illicit coal in shipping documentation.“Payments for maintenance, equipment, and improvements of the Wise Honest were made in U.S. dollars through unwitting U.S. banks. This conduct violates longstanding U.S. law and United Nations Security Council resolutions,” according to the Department of Justice.“Today’s civil action is the first-ever seizure of a North Korean cargo vessel for violating international sanctions,” U.S. Attorney Berman said.The Wise Honest is currently in the custody of the United States, having previously been seized pursuant to a warrant issued in the Southern District of New York.last_img read more

Colorado lawsuit could ripple through US cannabis industry

first_imgDENVER – A federal trial in Colorado could have far-reaching effects on the United States’ budding marijuana industry if a jury sides with a couple who say having a cannabis business as a neighbour hurts their property’s value.The trial set to begin Monday in Denver is the first time a jury will consider a lawsuit using federal anti-racketeering law to target cannabis companies. But the marijuana industry has closely watched the case since 2015, when attorneys with a Washington, D.C.-based firm first filed their sweeping complaint on behalf of Hope and Michael Reilly.One of the couple’s lawyers, Brian Barnes, said they bought the southern Colorado land for its views of Pikes Peak and have since built a house on the rural property. They also hike and ride horses there.But they claim “pungent, foul odours” from a neighbouring indoor marijuana grow have hurt the property’s value and their ability to use and enjoy it.“That’s just not right,” Barnes said. “It’s not right to have people in violation of federal law injuring others.”An attorney for the business targeted by the suit plans to argue the couple’s property has not been damaged, relying in part on the county’s tax valuations of the Reillys’ land ticking up over time.Vulnerability to similar lawsuits is among the many risks facing marijuana businesses licensed by states but still violating federal law. Suits using the same strategy have been filed in California, Massachusetts and Oregon.Mirroring the Reilly complaint, several claim the smell of marijuana damages neighbouring owners’ ability to enjoy their land or harms their property value.The question now is whether jurors accept the argument.“They can claim a $1 million drop in property value, but if a jury does not agree and says $5,000, that’s not that big of a deal,” said Rob Mikos, a Vanderbilt University law professor who specializes in drug law. “That’s why there are a lot of eyes on the case.”Congress created the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — better known as RICO — to target the Mafia in the 1970s, allowing prosecutors to argue leaders of a criminal enterprise should pay a price along with lower-level defendants.But the anti-racketeering law also allows private parties to file lawsuits claiming their business or property has been damaged by a criminal enterprise. Those who prove it can be financially compensated for damages times three, plus attorneys’ expenses.Starting in 2015, opponents of the marijuana industry decided to use the strategy against companies producing or selling marijuana products, along with investors, insurers, state regulators and other players. Cannabis companies immediately saw the danger of high legal fees or court-ordered payouts.That concern only grew when a Denver-based federal appeals court ruled in 2017 that the Reillys could use anti-racketeering law to sue the licensed cannabis grower neighbouring their property. Insurance companies and other entities originally named in the Reillys’ suit have gradually been removed, some after reaching financial settlements out of court.The case focuses on property in Pueblo County, where local officials saw marijuana as an opportunity to boost an area left behind by the steel industry. Most Colorado counties ban outdoor grows, forcing pot cultivators to find expensive warehouse space.Pueblo officials positioned their sunny, flat plains as the alternative. They created financial incentives in hopes of drawing growers to outdoor fields or cavernous buildings left vacant by other industries.Parker Walton was among the early comers, buying 40 acres in the rural town of Rye in 2014.Barnes said the Reillys made three separate land purchases between 2011 and 2014, gradually reaching more than 100 acres. They learned about plans for the marijuana business bordering their final purchase four months after completing the sale, he said.Walton put up a 5,000-square-foot (465-square-meter) building to grow and harvest marijuana plants indoors. The Reillys filed their lawsuit in early 2015. A year later, Walton announced the company’s first harvest via Instagram, snapping a photo of a strain dubbed “Purple Trainwreck” hanging to cure in a dim room.Fewer than five people including Walton work for the company, which sells its products to retail stores, his attorney, Matthew Buck said.Buck said he’s confident jurors will decide the Reillys’ property has not been harmed. Buck warned, though, that defending against a similar lawsuit comes at a high cost for marijuana businesses while plaintiffs with support from a large law firm have little to lose.Cooper & Kirk, the firm handling the couple’s suit, has a conservative reputation, including a founding partner who worked for the U.S. Justice Department during the Reagan administration. Barnes said members of the firm were “troubled” as states began legalizing the adult use of marijuana because of the inherent conflict with federal law, and they brainstormed legal strategies.Walton created a website this month to raise money for his defence. He wrote that a loss could jeopardize “all legal cannabis operations in all states.”But some lawyers who have defended companies in similar lawsuits said those fears are overhyped.Adam Wolf, a California attorney, said he believes the suits are primarily intended to scare third-party companies into cutting ties with marijuana firms or persuading cannabis companies to shut down. But long-term, Wolf said the U.S. Supreme Court has curtailed lawsuits making civil racketeering claims against other industries.Courts could apply the same logic to cannabis, he argued.“What the plaintiffs seemed to be saying is anybody who touched, in any matter, any marijuana business is potentially liable,” Wolf said. “And that is a soundly rejected argument by the courts.”Barnes, though, said the number of racketeering lawsuits awaiting action suggests attorneys with no ties to his firm believe in the strategy.___Kathleen Foody is a member of AP’s marijuana beat team. Follow her at twitter.com/katiefoodyFind complete AP marijuana coverage here:apnews.com/tag/LegalMarijuanalast_img read more

Annual Christmas Pyjama Drive a success

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Annual Christmas Pyjama Drive in FSJ has been a success this year.Fort St. John started participating in the Christmas Pyjama Drive in 2013, the event originally started on the Lower Mainland in 2010, pyjamas were collected and distributed through various Lower Mainland Christmas Bureaus to underprivileged children.This year, the PJ drive ran from November 14st until December 9th, 2018. The pyjama drive collects new PJ’s in all sizes, for children aged 0 to 16 years. “The Drive ended last weekend and I delivered most of the PJs this morning.  There are a few more donations trickling in so we don’t know our final numbers yet, but it will likely be over 400 pairs,” said Jennifer Mc Cracken, Event Co-ordinator.Some of the organizations we have helped over the years have included FSJ Pregnancy Care Center, FSJ Women’s Resource Society, FSJ Big Brothers & Big Sisters, the Salvation Army Christmas Hampers, Community Bridge (formerly North Peace Community Resource Society) and a local Christmas hamper program organized by Phoenix Volunteer Club.To date, 2,867 pairs of Pyjamas have been donated!last_img read more