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Spectra donates to FSJ Hospital for CT Scanner

first_imgPhoto: Shown here are Janice Isberg, Executive Director of the Foundation; Don Lacey of Spectra Energy; Charlene Cavers, Foundation Board Member; and Darlene Giesbrecht, head of Diagnostic Imaging at the Fort St. John Hospital – Hospital FoundationFriday Spectra Energy made a donation towards the CT Scanner campaign of $25,000. – Advertisement -Renovations for the installation of the CT Scanner have begun in the anticipation that the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation can raise the $1.3 million needed by January 1.AdvertisementMore information about the status of the campaign will be available Friday September 19th as the Hospital Foundation has called a press conference.last_img read more

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Endings bring out caution flag

first_imgIt’s impossible to predict how the end of the race would have transpired. But Greg Biffle clipped David Reutimann’s car with seven laps to go and caused a legitimate caution period. Then on the final dash of the race, Kevin Harvick, one of the race leaders and top drivers in the race, the Daytona 500 winner looking to win back-to-back races, cut a tire and had to pit. He dropped from second to 17th in the closing laps and ended a promising day in disappointment. That would have been an exciting enough way to end the race. It wasn’t as exciting as the end to the Daytona 500, with cars flipping, crashing and burning on the last lap, and with two cars drag racing to the finish line. But not every race can end that way. Just like not every baseball game ends with a home run. Not every football game ends with a touchdown pass. California Speedway has a reputation for being a fuel-mileage track. Teams try to get the most laps out of their cars and stretch their fuel as much as possible. It has created some unlikely winners. It has also created some heartbreaking races. Reed Sorenson should have won last year’s Labor Day race at California Speedway, but in trying to stretch his fuel as much as possible, he ran out of gas on the final laps and lost to Kasey Kahne. Kahne’s not complaining. Neither is Kenseth, who won the latest race at California Speedway. But some drivers are starting to raise their eyebrows. “It does seem like it does happen,” said Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. “I really don’t know what happened. You’ll have to ask someone else.” Johnson, who saw his chances of winning the race slip away when the caution flag flew with 23 laps to go, was just as skeptical. “I hate it and wish it didn’t take place,” said Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. “But it does seem like it happens.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! There were more than 100laps of green-flag racing before the debris caution came out on lap 227. There were also 13lead changes. Some of those came during pit stops. But apparently 102 laps of green-flag, caution-free racing is unappealing. To whom it is unappealing is up for debate. The drivers certainly don’t find uninterrupted, green-flag racing all that unpleasant. The team owners don’t mind seeing their race cars complete lap after lap in one unmolested piece. The crew chiefs don’t complain about having their finely tuned engines endure miles of abuse. Take Sunday’s California Speedway race, for example. With 23 laps to go, the debris caution came out. Jimmie Johnson was leading the race. The cars came into pit and Jeff Burton beat Johnson out of the pits. Burton beat everyone out of the pits. Johnson lost four places. Matt Kenseth came out with the best adjusted car and passed Burton for the lead on lap 228. center_img Not to suggest that NASCAR is trying to manipulate the end of its races, but the caution for debris comes out way too often. And at very suspicious times. last_img read more

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Director of elementary report card says rankings push educators for higher performance

first_imgSecondary School ratings are set to be released on May 14, 2015. He says improvement in student success could be the result of numerous different factors, some of which may not be a direct result of the school, but Cowley argues that it “behoves every principal and every teacher to find out” the factors at play.“Improvement is possible. It can be done in any part of the province; it doesn’t matter where you start – well below average in some cases [or] well above average in other cases,” says Cowley. “The only thing that matters is the direction you’re going in, and it should be up.”“Who benefits when the direction has gone up? The kids – and that’s what public education and education in general is all about.”Other schools in the Peace River North School District with above average scores were Baldonnel at 7.6, CM Finch at 7.3, Bert Ambrose at 6.2 and Alwin Holland at 6.1.Advertisement Here in the northeast, nine schools topped that average, led by JS Clark Elementary in Fort Nelson with a 9.5.Upper Pine got the highest ranking in the Peace, and its score of 8.0 put it on a list of the 50 schools showing the most significant academic performance improvement.This year’s rankings are for the 2013-14 school year, and Peter Cowley, the Institute’s Director of School Performance Studies, has high praise for Upper Pine – arguing it is now worthy of benchmark status.- Advertisement -“Here’s the thing; you got 50 schools out of the 978 in this report card that has shown statistically significant improvement over the school year of 2009-10 until the most recent school year, 2013-14,” explains Cowley. “Every principal in this province and every teacher in this province should say, ‘Is there anything I can learn from the schools that have shown improvement?’”In the North Peace, Cowley uses Upper Pine as the prime example.“They moved from 4.9 out of 10 in 2009-10 to 8.0 out of 10 in 2013-14,” Cowley goes on to say. “This is a pathfinder school – got to find out what happened.”Advertisementcenter_img G.W. Carlson in Fort Nelson matched the Baldonnel score at 7.6 and Tumbler Ridge Elementary and Frank Ross in Dawson Creek both moved into the above average category, improving to 6.5 and 6.2, respectively.However, it should be noted again that this study is annually the subject of wide-spread criticism led by the B.C. Teacher’s Federation, a position Cowley calls “silly and self-serving.”“We’ve heard the criticism that there’s no point in ranking the schools or showing differences between individual schools because all the schools have excellent staff – they do a terrific job, and so any differences at all between the schools, the teachers union will say it’s not because of our members,” explains Cowley. “Well they won’t say what it is, but you have to infer what they’re talking about. If it’s not us, it must be something else that’s causing low performance in the low performing schools.”“That’s either the families or the kids themselves, which I think; it’s an awful thing to say.”“How do you improve?” asks Cowley. “That’s the question, because often times the teachers union is afraid of what it will do to the morale of low performing schools if they get a poor rating from the Fraser Institute.”Advertisementlast_img read more

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Will Simpson get life term?

first_imgThe kidnapping charge accuses the men of detaining each of the men “against his will, and without his consent, for the purpose of committing a robbery.” Fromong, a crucial witness in the case, was in critical condition in a Los Angeles hospital Tuesday, after suffering a heart attack Monday, according to a spokeswoman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Beardsley has said he does not want to pursue the case. Simpson’s lawyer, Yale Galanter, said he planned to ask for Simpson’s release on his own recognizance. “If it was anyone other than O.J. Simpson, he would have been released by now,” Galanter said. Simpson has insisted that he was not armed and that he went to the hotel simply to retrieve property that had been stolen from him. “You can’t rob something that is yours,” Galanter said. “O.J. said, `You’ve got stolen property. Either you return it or I call the police.”‘ Witnesses and authorities have said that they don’t believe the former USC player had a gun but that some of the men who accompanied him during the confrontation were armed. Two others named in the complaint, Walter Alexander and Clarence Stewart, have been arrested and released. A fourth suspect, Michael McClinton, 49, of Las Vegas, surrendered to police Tuesday. Police describe him as “a key player” in the suspected theft. Police were seeking two more suspects, who had not been identified. Some of the missing goods, including autographed footballs, were turned in Monday by Stewart, 53, of Las Vegas, before he was released on $78,000 bail. Alexander, 46, of Mesa, Ariz., said Tuesday that Simpson may have been tricked because another memorabilia dealer who tipped him off also recorded everything on tape. “It sounds like a setup to me,” Alexander told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He said Simpson had thought the memorabilia belonged to him after getting a call from the dealer, Tom Riccio. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Kathleen Hennessey THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LAS VEGAS – Prosecutors filed formal charges Tuesday against O.J. Simpson, alleging the former football star committed 10 felonies, including kidnapping, in the armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a casino-hotel room. Simpson was arrested Sunday after a collector reported a group of armed men charged into his hotel room and took several items Simpson claimed belonged to him. Simpson, 60, was booked on five felony counts, including suspicion of assault and robbery with a deadly weapon. District Attorney David Roger filed those charges and added five other felonies, including kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, according to court documents. Simpson, accused along with three other men, faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted in the robbery at the Palace Station casino. He was being held without the possibility of bail and was scheduled to be arraigned today. According to the charges, Simpson and the others went to the hotel room under the pretext of brokering a deal with Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong, two longtime collectors of Simpson memorabilia. Once in the room, Simpson prevented one of the collectors from calling 911 on his cell phone “by ripping it out of Fromong’s hand” while one or more accomplices pointed or displayed a handgun. The complaint does not specify which of the men involved was carrying the weapon. last_img
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Watford boss Quique Flores eyes Crystal Palace midfielder as striker’s future remains uncertain

first_img1 Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has revealed he expects to soon sign a midfielder, but is yet to make a decision on Matej Vydra’s future.The Hornets boss, whose team host Southampton in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, has been linked with several high-profile players – Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli and free agent Yoann Gourcuff included – but said that for now a more defensive midfielder is his priority.“We have three players, [Ben] Watson, [Etienne] Capoue and [Valon] Behrami, in this position so we are a bit weak,” Sanchez Flores said. “The season is very long and we need to replace injuries and suspensions. Maybe we have news in a few days in that position.“The [end of the] market is close, there will be a lot of players going in the last moment and some going to come in the last moment.“I like [Crystal Palace’s Adlene Guedioura]. I checked him in matches at the end of last season. He was one of the main players in the squad, but I don’t exactly know what is his situation now because this changes every day. He is a good player but I don’t know about the possibility of bringing him back.“Inside the club we didn’t talk about Balotelli. It is more of a possibility in the media than in the club. We didn’t talk about him.“I don’t know if [club owner] Mr Pozzo was offered [Gourcuff]. But I do like players of this kind of quality.”Nottingham Forest have enquired about signing Vydra on loan, but Sanchez Flores is yet to decide whether he is prepared to allow the 23-year-old Czech to leave, raising the possibility of another forward joining the club before then.“We didn’t make an official decision in the case of Vydra,” said Sanchez Flores. “We wait a little bit more to decide, maybe three or four days. It depends on a lot of things, a lot of things can change.“Always the players want to play. Sometimes players who are not playing, their passion is not so big. The league is very long and you need to have the patience to wait for the opportunity. Some players can wait for a long time, some want to leave.“Players are sometimes looking for other options and we respect the ideas of the players. We know the brain sometimes has the idea to change and look for other clubs. I respect that. The final decision is on the club.“If players move, from Watford, more players will come in to use this position. We have to wait as it is only speculation now.“[Vydra] has different qualities and I watch him in training every day, but we take a decision on him soon.” Adlene Guedioura last_img read more

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McCONALOGUE SLAMS DELAY IN DONEGAL eFIBRE ROLL-OUT

first_imgCharlie McConalogue TD has accused the Minister for Communications of neglecting homes and businesses in Donegal as many towns across the country are still unable to connect to an eFibre service. Protracted negotiations between the telecom providers and COMREG (the Communications Regulator) have stalled the roll out of the service, leading to much frustration and anger from customers.Deputy McConalogue explained, “The introduction of eFibre in Donegal has been completely mismanaged and we are now left with a situation whereby some suburbs have a full connection while many town centres are relying on traditional broadband connections. It makes no sense. “According to COMREG, the problem is related to the type of connection in the building. The majority of businesses in the town centres are directly connected to local exchanges, which are currently unable to connect to the eFibre network. This has left hundreds of shops, offices, restaurants and pubs with a second rate system and is understandably a source of frustration among these business communities.”He added that companies in Donegal have a right to expect a fully functioning high speed eFibre service, but once again find that they have been left behind.“It is essential that the telecom providers come together and resolve their ongoing issues and secure agreement on the roll-out of this essential service.“I have written to COMREG in relation to these negotiations and they have indicated that they hope to have agreement on this issue in the coming weeks. Access to this service is vital for the expansion of our local businesses and I will be continuing to push for urgent progress on this issue”.  McCONALOGUE SLAMS DELAY IN DONEGAL eFIBRE ROLL-OUT was last modified: May 5th, 2015 by StephenShare 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:broadbandCharlie McConaloguedonegaleFibrelast_img read more

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MORE THAN 50 DOLPHINS MAKE DRAMATIC RETURN TO MALIN HEAD

first_imgIT’S great weather for cooling off….And the dolphins of Malin Head have been enjoying splashing around in the sea.The area has now been dubbed the Dolphin Capital of Ireland. No wonder.They’re back again, putting on a show for locals and tourists alike.With more warm weather for Wednesday, there’s no better place to see them.  MORE THAN 50 DOLPHINS MAKE DRAMATIC RETURN TO MALIN HEAD was last modified: July 1st, 2015 by John2Share 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:dolphinsheadMalintouristslast_img read more

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South Africans told: ‘Go Open’

first_img17 February 2005The Go Open Source campaign is an R18-million investment by Hewlett-Packard, the Shuttleworth Foundation and the CSIR to promote the use of open source software among South African home users, scholars and small businesses.IT entrepreneur and “afronaut” Mark Shuttleworth has sponsored a number of projects to promote South African awareness, uptake and growth of open source (OS), a model of software development that challenges traditional forms of copyright and intellectual property.The drive behind the campaign is to make OS software easily available to all users that want it, irrespective of where they live or work.Shuttleworth built his company Thawte using OS software. His foundation nows sponsors a range of educational projects, including Go Open Source and Translate.org.za.The most visible aspect of this campaign is the world’s first television series devoted to open source software. “go_open” is a 13-episode series that highlights the benefits of OS techology for home users with features like “On the Web” and “Geek of the Week”.According to Go Open Source, South Africans spend R6-billion a year on software licences, and 80% of that leaves the country.To encourage the use of OS software at home, Go Open Source offers free copies of the OpenCD on its website. This CD contains a number of OS programmes that are useful for the desktop user, including OpenOffice and the graphics programme GIMP. These are full products containing all the features one would expect from expensive, proprietary programmes.‘Free, as in freedom’The term “open source” (OS) refers to software for which the source code is publicly available. Generally, the software is distributed free with the source code.Not all OS software is free, however, and advocates often qualify the term by saying: “Free, as in freedom”. With OS, the user has the freedom to view the source code, the freedom to make changes, and the freedom to distribute the software.OS refers to the ability to view the source code, which allows developers to improve, make changes or translate the programme. These improvements can then be added to the original programme, to the benefit of all users.For popular OS programmes, this means that there may be hundreds of thousands of developers contributing to and improving the programme, in a collaborative manner.This model of software development challenges traditional forms of copyright and intellectual property.One of the primary benefits that OS software development offers is the ability to translate programmes into whichever language is required with relative ease.Since its release in November 2004, the OS browser Firefox has already been translated into Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, seSotho and seSotho sa Leboa – all translations facilitated by non-profit organisation Translate.org.za.Southern SmileGovernments, including South Africa’s, are driving much of the interest in OS software around the world. For developing nations particularly, OS may offer many advantages over traditional proprietary software. The most obvious of these is cost, but OS also offers increased flexibility and reduced dependence on software vendors.This uptake of OS software in the Southern Hemisphere has been dubbed the “Southern Smile”.The SA Government Information Technology Officers’ Council has committed itself to exploring the possibilities of OS use, and to making software procurement choices based on merit, “giving OS software and proprietary software equal opportunities to be selected”.The council also recognised that “OS software offers significant indirect advantages”.Although South Africa is widely recognised as a vocal advocate of OS, the country has yet to match Brazil in terms of adoption of OS technology.In 2003, Brazilian president Lula da Silva committed the largest economy in South America to the adoption of OS software, with the head of that country’s IT Institute saying that paying software licensing fees was economically unsustainable.It is no coincidence that governmental OS use is being pioneered in the same southern nations that have called for compulsory licensing of patented medicines. In both cases, it is felt that the intellectual property rights of multi-national corporations are priviledged over the needs of developing nations.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Paying it forward with goat farming

first_imgJulia Ngwana went from being an unemployed single mother to a successful goat farmer, which has earned her enough money to send her children to schooland university. (Image: Heifer International South Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Magdalena Wos   Heifer International South Africa   +27 31 777 1374RELATED ARTICLES • Farming to fight child malnutrition • SA wine farms invest in biodiversity • Mega development for central Africa • Not just a fluffy face Wilma den HartighJulia Ngwana went from being an unemployed single mother to a successful goat farmer, thanks to the help of Heifer International South Africa, a community development organisation.After starting off small with two goats, Ngwana grew her venture over time and raised enough money to give her children a quality education. Her daughter Dakalo is now in her third year of a BSc degree at the University of Venda.Living on the breadline“My husband left us when my first born was doing grade four and I did not know what to do because I wanted my children to go to school,” she says. Suddenly, Ngwana was left without any means to support her four children.As an interim measure, a social worker was able to arrange for the family to receive a monthly 5kg package of food, as well as soap. The food parcel made a big difference to the family’s situation, but it was not enough to feed five people for the month.She also had to walk 30km every month, from Tshitavha to Thenowa villages in Limpopo province, to collect the food parcels.Without an income Ngwana was unable to pay her children’s school fees, and her first born daughter, Livhuwani, had to stop going to school. Even a letter from the chief of her area, explaining the circumstances, did not help.Paying it forwardBut things started to change when Ngwana began working with Heifer International South Africa.The organisation works with communities in an effort to end hunger and poverty in the country.Magdalena Wos, resource development officer at Heifer, says the project’s goal is to help vulnerable people in society, particularly single-parent families and women. However, male beneficiaries are not excluded.The project provides families in need with livestock and training in animal management to ensure the animals remain healthy and productive.The organisation has a unique development approach that focuses on “Passing on the Gift” – a practical way of sharing and caring, Wos explains.Every family that receives livestock agrees to pass on the first female offspring, training and skills they have acquired to another needy family, as identified by the original beneficiary.This is exactly what Ngwana did when she started working with Heifer International as part of the Saambandou Project in Limpopo in 2007. Through the project, she received training and two goats.Soon after the goats arrived, the doe gave birth to twins. Ngwana immediately passed on the “gift” to another needy family, fulfilling her commitment to Heifer International.“I looked after the goats very well and then they again gave birth to twins. I was able to sell six goats for my daughter to register with the University of Venda,” she says.Since receiving the first two goats, she has raised 12 goats. Every so often she sells a few more to generate additional income to support her family and keep her children in school. She also grows vegetables in her garden, from which she earns about R350 (US$42) per month.The family is now self-sustainable and no longer relies on handouts.Ngwana’s daughter also wants to get involved with the Heifer project. When she finishes her studies, she wants to buy four goats, two for her mother and another two for the Saambandou project, to help another poor family.“There are many fascinating stories that show how Heifer International has empowered people with tools and knowledge to build their own businesses,” Wos says.Heifer has helped more than 3 000 households in South African communities affected by high levels of unemployment, malnutrition and a degraded environment.Project manager Elizabeth Lefoka speaks highly of Ngwana: “She was struggling a lot, but she was very dedicated and she raised the goats very well,” Lefoka says.Although she has already met her commitments to the Heifer initiative, she is still passing on knowledge, skills and a positive attitude to other families in Tshitavha.last_img read more

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Touring dairy farms and FARC country in Colombia – Part I

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Being hired to write an analysis report for an international bank is more adventurous than it sounds. At least that was my experience in June, when the International Finance Corporation (IFC), one of the operating divisions of the World Bank, sent me to Colombia to tour several dairy farms and consult with dairy industry personnel. My overall mission, which I accepted, was to assess the current state of the industry and share in a report my findings and recommendations on opportunities to improve the economic health and productivity of the country’s dairy herds. The IFC wanted my input on how they could best put their financing resources to work.In my travels across the country, I was accompanied by an international bank representative from Australia, a translator, and Jordan, a Colombian dairy technician from the local dairy cooperative. Jordan served as our driver.As I’ll share in this and next month’s column, we experienced a land of extremes and adventure on the way to creating my report. Initially, we visited farms near Colombia’s capital, Bogota. They had ready-access to a large milk processing plant. Typically, these farms had milking parlors, modern dairy equipment and Holstein or Jersey cattle, with a few Simmental or Normandy cattle mixed in.As it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere, temperatures in north central Colombia ranged from 45to 75 degrees. And it rained nearly every day. The southern part of Colombia is about 10 degrees warmer and was rainy until we got into the mountains. In the mountains, at 12,000 feet, it was downright chilly, requiring a warm jacket. I was surprised to find that many hectares of potatoes were growing in plateaus on the mountains.The country is beautiful, but dairymen in southern Colombia face lots of adversity, as I will describe. I first met the team in Bogota, a modern city of 10 million people and traffic jams that make the congestion of New York and LA look like a Sunday afternoon drive. From 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, traffic is restricted. Only vehicles with even numbered license plates are permitted on the city’s streets and freeways during these hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Vehicles with odd numbered plates are permitted on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This schedule alternates each week.Drivers who disregard these restrictions risk arrest. However, on their off days, motorists start lining up their cars along the streets about 6:30 p.m., poised to reclaim freedom on the freeways at 7:30.Traffic, however, is one of the least of Colombia’s worries. A few months before my trip, the Colombian government signed a peace treaty with the rebel group FARC. FARC has a 20-plus-year history of producing and trafficking cocaine while flouting the police and intimidating the Colombian army and citizenry. Plus, they have supplemented their income with other nefarious activities like kidnapping and extortion. Supposedly, the treaty will make it safe to drive and work in southern Colombia.Long before the treaty, FARC ran the army out of southern Colombia and imposed their own rules on the citizenry. Citizens not affiliated with FARC kept their heads down. Many moved away. Those who remained were tied to the land by cattle ranches, small dairy operations, and food and retail businesses.FARC and the cocaine industry permeated all parts of society. My driver, Jordan, shared through our interpreter that his neighbor was a FARC general. His and the general’s children went to school together. By his harsh, guttural tone, I understood without the interpreter Jordan’s feelings for the general.Since kidnappings were a big income generator for FARC, wealthy citizens maintained private security forces. I saw this in action on a previous trip I made a year and a half ago with my wife, Kris. That time, I presented a program at a large agricultural expo similar to our Farm Science Review.On that trip, several security personnel armed with automatic rifles followed us everywhere. When we had lunch in a restaurant with a dairyman with a large herd, the security team sat in the back, watching the front entrance, which was an open-air patio.On this latest trip, I learned that four years ago a paramilitary group of ex-military troopers organized independently to challenge FARC. Their standard policy when someone from FARC stepped out of line was murder. And they buried land mines in some areas. There are no records or reliable recollections of where the mines were placed. As a result, people occasionally lose a limb or their life.The recently signed treaty called for:FARC and the paramilitary to turn in their weapons and restore ownership of private propertyThe government to grant amnesty to outlaw groups, except for capital crimes (maximum sentences for murder were set at only three years), and provide FARC members job training for lawful careers such as farming and dairy management.Progress with the peace treaty has been slow. The FARC and the paramilitary didn’t turn in their weapons until a few days ago, which was way past the deadline. Job training programs for FARC members, however, have begun. Money and land, for the most part, have yet to be returned to local citizens. As Jordan pointed out, “It is crazy to think FARC will give people their money back.”A third group of thugs, small-time hoods called dissidents, continue extorting citizens. They were not included in treaty negotiations. Apparently, the government thought of them as part of FARC. In some places, dissidents tax local citizens 30 pesos a day (2,900 pesos equal one U.S. dollar). Obviously, it isn’t much money. But as Jordan said, shrugging, “When you live next door to a FARC general and on the other side, a dissident guy, and their kids and your kids go to school together, what are you to do?” I gathered that meant he was paying the tariff.I got my own personal wakeup call to the troubles of Colombia as we headed toward the southern part of the country. Our driver handed me what I assumed was a pager, which I just stuck in my pocket. Our translator instructed that whenever I felt my life was in imminent danger, to press the button on the device and authorities would rescue me immediately.I didn’t really take it that seriously until our driver got a phone call from the security group. They demanded that I turn the device on — now!Join me back here next month, when I continue my adventures in Colombia, including a story about crossing a river as wide and mighty as the Ohio River — in a truck, without a bridge!last_img read more

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