GARDAI HUNT GANG WHO ATTACKED PENSIONER

first_imgGardaí fear a foreign crime gang was behind a vicious attack on a terrified pensioner in which they beat him up and demanded cash.Detectives are examining CCTV footage in Bundoran as part of their investigation after the man was attacked at Roughey walk over the weekend.The man in his 60’s was walking Roughey at the rear of the Great Northern Hotel at around 9.45pm on Saturday night last when he was set upon by three men in their 20’s who demanded cash from him. The victim fought off the attackers who fled the scene on foot towards the town before raising the alarm.The terrified man was later treated at Sligo General Hospital for minor injuries.The three attackers are believed to be in their late 20’s and of Eastern European origin.Gardai have confirmed that their investigations are continuing with door-to-door inquiries being carried out today. They are also renewing their appeal for witnesses to contact Ballyshannon Garda station on 0719858530.The Mayor of Bundoran, Cllr MIchael McMahon has condemned the incident.“This is a shocking incident considering an elderly man minding his own busienss was attacked. I have no doubt that the Gardai are doing all they can to bring these culprits to justice,” he said.EndsGARDAI HUNT GANG WHO ATTACKED PENSIONER was last modified: October 19th, 2011 by BrendaShare 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:attackbundoranGardalast_img read more

MTN launches R8.1bn shares scheme

first_imgMTN is implementing Zakhele, its BEE deal. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MTN, the biggest mobile phone operator in Africa, has finally launched its R8.1-billion (US$1.1-billion) broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) shares scheme in South Africa.This is welcome news for current and potential investors, as the deal has been on the cards for two years now and looked set to be plagued by further delays in July 2010, when it was announced there were “severe constraints in financial markets”.The name of the new BEE scheme is Zakhele, which means “built it yourself” in local Nguni languages. It came into effect on 30 August.MTN is inviting share applications from previously disadvantaged black South Africans, which by law includes African, coloured, Indian and Chinese citizens. Individuals and groups can apply for shares.The 4% equity deal will increase the group’s BEE ownership, which currently stands at 29.9% when combined with its other economic empowerment initiatives like the Asonge scheme facilitated by the National Empowerment Fund in 2007.MTN Zakhele is the largest empowerment deal in South Africa’s telecommunications industry history, following Vodacom’s R7.5-billion ($1-billion) BEE scheme in 2008. The Vodacom deal also targeted previously disadvantaged black South Africans and benefited the group’s partners, Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Thebe Investment Corporation.“MTN believes that broad-based BEE participation is important to its future success as a group,” MTN president and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko said in a statement.The group has supported black empowerment since 1994 and will seek to provide long-term and sustainable benefits to black South Africans, Nhleko said.“It is for this reason that we have structured the new MTN BEE transaction through an offer to the black public, acting as far as possible within the letter and the spirit of the codes and empowerment requirements for South African businesses.”Karel Pienaar, MTN South Africa managing director, said in July that the empowerment transaction “will enhance MTN SA’s BEE credentials and supplement other areas of the BEE scorecard such as preferential procurement, skills development, employment equity and enterprise development”.Black investors who qualify for the scheme are being offered shares at R20 ($2.70) apiece. The minimum investment amount is 100 shares, which is worth R2 000 ($270).MTN and the Public Investment Corporation have made 75-million shares available through the Zakhele scheme, which is planned to run for six years.MTN black employees will also benefitThe group said it will offer about 0.1% of its issued share capital to its Employee Share Ownership Plan to benefit BEE-eligible employees. Management and directors of the JSE-listed company will not be allowed to participate in this scheme.MTN is a big player in South Africa and creates stiff competition for other local operators like Vodacom and Cell C. It’s a multinational firm, operating in 21 African countries and the Middle East. In 2006 it had 40-million subscribers, and this number has been growing ever since.last_img read more

Country values and the Amish furniture boom

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporterOhio has been home to the Amish since 1808, when the first settlers moved west from Pennsylvania to settle the scenic, rolling eastern Ohio. Today, roughly 60,000 Amish reside in Ohio across more than 50 individual settlements and over 400 church districts.The Amish culture is known for its agrarian nature, but as farm technology has changed, food safety practices have evolved and farmland availability has become an issue for some Amish communities in recent decades, the Amish have looked to new areas of enterprise to make a living, including making furniture. The now booming Amish furniture industry started simply with just a handful of barns and shops. As more English discovered the value and craftsmanship of Amish-made furniture the niche business took off and now there are more than 80 regional locations that bridge the logistical, transportation and technology gaps between Amish craftsmen and modern shoppers. One such business is Oak Creations of Millersport that is celebrating 25 years of working with the Amish and the English. This Buckeye Lake region storefront is a testament to the owners’ passion for high-quality Amish furniture — for which they have a sharp eye — and their loyal customer base who appreciates the individualized attention offered by owners and operators Mike Finlaw and Rosann Franks, and their daughter, Emily Finlaw.They sell beautiful Amish handcrafted solid wood furniture in oak, cherry, maple, and other hardwoods, specializing in high-quality home furnishings at affordable prices in a wide variety of styles, wood types, finishes, and custom designs. Oak Creations attributes some of their longevity to the strong business and personal relationships they have with their Amish builders, with whom they deal directly.“We are passionate about our relationships with both our customers and our builders, and we need builders who are passionate about what they do. Our craftsmen have the same values as we do; and their passion for and pride in their product shows,” Rosann said. “Their respect for family values and strong work ethic goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing with our business.” Mike has been around wood his entire life, working in his family lumber business, Finlaw Lumber of Zanesville, and managing building supply companies in Columbus prior to getting into the furniture business. And this skill and expertise from a life of woodworking gives him discerning vision for well-wrought pieces. The direct relationships with the talented builders are important.“We have very solid, long-term relationships with our builders. I try not to deal with a middleman and I deal directly with over 150 Amish builders. We have worked with some of them for over 20 years, and they are like extended family,” Mike said. “We always help them out and we are very loyal to our builders. We try to stick with Ohio builders, and most of our products come from Stark, Holmes, Tuscarawas, and northern Coshocton counties.” At least two trips a week are made into Ohio’s Amish country to touch base with craftsmen and to pick up product.“I make 10 to 20 stops throughout Amish country every Monday. I place orders, transport furniture to finish shops, pick up hardware, and freight small finished products back to the store. These weekly business stops are also good for business relations, as lack of access to telephones for some in the Amish community can make communication a challenge,” Mike said. “The box truck goes up to Amish country on Wednesday and we then do deliveries Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.”The heirloom Amish furniture industry and Oak Creations itself have changed greatly over the past twenty-five years.“In the beginning, the demand was for only oak furniture with designs coming from a very limited catalogue. But the industry has exploded over the last 25 years and there has been great change in what is wanted and offered,” Mike said. “When we first opened, our products were coming from suppliers in Michigan that my cousin Roger, who had a furniture store in Kalamazoo, used. We quickly outgrew this, began dealing directly with our builders, and started doing more custom jobs and working with other wood types and design styles.”Once quality products are secured, Oak Creations then relies on quality customer service to match the right places with the right furniture. Rosann and Emily, who has a background in Interior Design, work with customers on a sense of proportion and creative insight that helps customers conceptualize what is needed and what would look best to really pull a room together.“Mike has an eye for how furniture should be built and good design work. For custom work, which consists of over half of our business, he can envision what a customer needs and what the finished product will look like. Our vision for what is needed and what may look best is a gift we give the customer. Our job is to educate the customer about quality and design, let them know what they should be looking for in a product, and then let them decide,” Rosann said.Long-standing customer loyalty is a boon to Oak Creations, which strives to provide personalized attention to patrons of the furniture shop.“With our furniture, we are creating a look that is both current and timeless. Certain people want to go more contemporary and others want to be more traditional, and we can accommodate either taste,” Emily said. “We design a lot of our own furniture, as well, and we strive to create a beautiful piece that is solid and well-constructed, but also at a reasonable price. Our furniture is not the most expensive and not the least expensive, but it is the best value. We are selling great quality, hardwood furniture for less than imports can be bought.”The business connects the niche production of Amish craftsmen and the consumers who appreciate and value those products.“There is a niche of people who appreciate and enjoy quality furniture and may want to pass it down. We cater to people who embrace the home as a place for family and friends. Our tables bring a lot of families together at the start of the day and at the end of the day,” Roseann said. “If it was just about money, I would have gotten out of the business a long time ago.”Today, Oak Creations’ sole location in Millersport is a 6,400 square-foot showroom adorned with beautiful furniture and filled with an array of unique country decor that is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. A visit to Oak Creations shows the Finlaws’ expertise in both furniture and hospitality and this year’s Holiday Open House will be held Nov. 1-10. Located at 2474 Blacklick-Eastern Road, Oak Creations is a study in Amish craftsmanship and down-to-earth country values. They can be reached at 740-467-2600 or at www.oakcreationsofmillersport.com.last_img read more

Blog Review: Thriving on Low Carbon

first_imgMy carbon footprint“A few years ago, probably after reading Jim Merkel’s book Radical Simplicity, I worked through one of the carbon calculators. My carbon footprint was different than most Americans, because I lived in a house that I designed to run primarily off of renewable energy. It was eye-opening to see that four domestic airplane flights annually, three of them in the eastern US, and one to the west coast, were half my carbon footprint. Forty percent of the total was driving a car – 18-20,000 miles a year, even though it was a 40 mpg car. Over two-thirds of this was work-related, so I rationalized it, but I actually don’t like driving and therefore had a double motivation to reduce auto miles.” On teaching and lineage“In Buddhism, lineage is the line of teachers who have passed the Dharma from teacher to student in a recurring and unbroken cycle – the student becomes the teacher of the next student… Lineage is vertical and successional. In contrast, community is lateral and evolving. To continue with the Buddhist analogy, the word is sangha. Sangha is a mutually supportive community composed of members with a shared vision and set of values. The environmental/solar/energy efficient building community has been my sangha for over thirty years. I’ve made a number of my closest friends from this community, and I’ve learned almost all I know about the work I do from it.” Why heating with oil had to go“If you arrived at this blog, you don’t need to be convinced that it’s a worthy goal to burn less fossil fuels. That’s not the only reason to want the oil system gone, though. Have you ever been in a house where there has been a spill of fuel oil? It soaks into the ground below. You can smell it for decades. The cost of clean up can exceed the value of the house.” The problem with payback“At some point in every workshop or seminar I teach, whether it’s on Zero Net Energy Homes, or Deep Energy Retrofits, or Passive House principles, someone stands up and makes an impassioned speech about how all this is well and good but what’s the payback?…The quickest response I have is, if you predict the future price of energy over the lifespan of these improvements, I’ll tell you the payback. My habit when pushed to actually do some financial analysis is to present it in the form of scenario planning – I’ll often select three rates of energy inflation and do the calcs showing the Net Present Value of the investment in each inflation scenario. The longer you project it out, the more dramatic are the differences. The usual result of this exercise is that those who are the decision makers begin to act from a position of risk avoidance, because the highest inflation rates in fuel costs get scary.”center_img Marc Rosenbaum is a well-known energy consultant who for 25 years lived in a house he called Nerdwood in Meriden, NH. It was heated mostly by wood and the sun. Rosenbaum’s company, Energysmiths, took on a variety of consulting jobs, including some for South Mountain Company on Martha’s Vineyard, which developed a cohousing community there called Island Cohousing.Then, last June, Rosenbaum left New Hampshire and moved with his companion Jill and their dog to a rented house at Island Cohousing and went to work for South Mountain. They have since purchased the house and settled into the 16-house community, which describes itself as an “ongoing experiment in collaborative living.”This spring, Rosenbaum also started a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon that talks about his experiences in his new home.“As most new homeowners know, every direction you look, you can imagine a way to spend money,” Rosenbaum writes in an early blog entry. “Living as we now do in a maritime location, I can tell you that at least a house is not as bad as a boat, which I learned is an acronym for Bust Out Another Thousand$.”Still, Rosenbaum is finding plenty to do. The houses in his community were more carefully built than the average house (Rosenbaum, in fact, consulted on the specs), but there were a number of improvements that could be made. Rosenbaum hooked up his trusty blower door, got out his theatrical fog machine and went to work finding and fixing air leaks. And he removed the oil-fired boiler that had been providing hot water and heat and replaced it with a ductless minisplit heat pump. No doubt there’s a lot more to come.The subtitle for Rosenbaum’s blog is “How I’m thinking about our house, transportation, food and waste, to minimize environmental impact, while improving quality of life and having fun.”That seems about right. There is some geeky stuff here, but nothing off-putting or overly technical. Instead, it’s a readable mix of technical information and observations of a more personal nature. The tone is open, friendly and informative.Here are a few excerpts: About heating with biomass“What about biomass? Advocates often say that biomass is carbon neutral, because a tree absorbs carbon as it grows, and as it decays, that carbon is released. By burning biomass, we’re just hastening the release. I don’t think it’s quite that simple. Pellets, especially if they are made from wood chips (they used to be wood waste, less so today) need to have the wood chipped, then dried, then ground up and pressed into pellets. There is some fractional PE factor there. Firewood cut on your own place with a handsaw has a pretty low [primary energy] factor!”last_img read more

Rajasthan High Court directs RCA to hold elections

first_imgThe Rajasthan High Court today directed the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) to hold its elections this month. The court set aside the observer’s order which had called off the polls last month.As per the court order, elections are to take place within three weeks of the issue of notification. Mehmood Abdi, deputy president of the RCA, told India Today that elections will be held on May 29.The order may have come as a jolt for the Lalit Modi faction. Modi’s son, Ruchir, was planning to contest for the top post.It has been alleged that the Modi faction wanted the elections to be called off after it emerged that the opposing faction had the backing of senior Congress leader CP Joshi.Abdi said the elections will be held as per the Lodha Committee recommendations, a demand the Modi faction had been making for long.The High Court’s order came on the petition of Bhilwara District Association president Ramlal Sharma. Sharma, in his petition, had mentioned that RCA executive members and district associations were not taken into confidence before calling off the elections.last_img read more

Pavilion Conducts Singapores First STS LNG Bunkering

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: SLNG Corporation Pavilion Energy said it has performed the first commercial ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore.The operation comprised a reload of 2,000 m3 of LNG onto a small-scale tanker at the newly-modified Secondary Jetty of the Singapore LNG (SLNG) Terminal, followed by a ship-to-ship transfer to the receiving heavy-lift commercial vessel.“Pavilion Energy’s first commercial ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations in Singapore demonstrates our strong commitment and capability to deliver a comprehensive suite of LNG bunker supply solutions to Singapore and the region,” Frédéric H. Barnaud, Group CEO of Pavilion Energy, said.“As the world’s largest bunkering port, Singapore is committed to provide a range of bunkering solutions to meet the future energy needs of the global shipping industry,” Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said.Pavilion Energy demonstrated its truck-to-ship bunkering capabilities in 2017, and further expanded its bunker logistics with the charter of its first LNG bunker vessel newbuild in February 2019.The 12,000 m3 GTT Mark III Flex membrane LNG bunker vessel is set for delivery by 2021, and is the largest of its kind set for use in the Port of Singapore to date, the company concluded.last_img read more