Is Cocopa Nightmare Over?

first_imgAs the management of Cocopa Plantation completes the final payoff of aggrieved workers under the management of the Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI), which is almost at the point of closing, many are wondering whether the nightmare at the plantation is finally over.On Thursday, December 1, the Managing Director of Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and also Chief Executive Officer of NRI, Harrison Karnwea, told reporters in Ganta that the payoff process at the plantation was almost over.He said that upon the completion of the payoff, the company will begin the process of recruiting so as to immediately begin work at the deserted plantation.“We are completing the payoff exercise and immediately after the exercise we will start with the process of recruiting a minimum size of workforce to begin work,” he said.Mr. Karnwea in a happy mood said the company will take care of all the damages at the plantation, upon resumption of work. “When I first took in charge of the plantation in the ‘90s, nothing was there to refer to as an office or place to dwell and we were able to restore everything that was looted from the concession.”While the Cocopa Plantation is being revived, there are no facilities in operation; neither schools nor medical facilities, are open at present. Nearly all the facilities at the plantation were looted or vandalized by angry workers, which rendered the concession area a ghost town.But, Mr. Karnwea assured the public that everything will be restored as soon as the recruitment exercise is over, and said school will resume by next academic year.The Cocopa nightmare began in March this year, when the workers refused to work and started blocking roads in demand of salaries and other benefits.The trouble continued until October when the Government of Liberia deployed armed police at the plantation to calm down the situation, after all the facilities had been looted or vandalized by either the aggrieved workers or unidntified persons. The Cocopa Plantation had about 1200 employees, 400 of which were tappers, while the majority worked in other departments which the management could not maintain, especially as rubber prices fell.Mr. Karnwea said the money to pay off the employees was provided by the present management, the NRI and added that the company will be recruiting about 430 persons, including staff and tappers and skilled workers, until things can improve.However, another problem: those that were retired are yet to be settled according to their pension. But Mr. Karnwea said it will be taken care of by the government; for now, they are concentrating on workers. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NA Prison escapee recaptured hours later

first_img…protocols breached, 3 officers suspendedHours after 21-year-old Rameshwar Prakash of Skeldon, Corentyne, Berbice escaped from the New Amsterdam prison on Tuesday while working on the farm of the correctional institution, he was recaptured and taken into custody.Prison escapee: Rameshwar PrakashThe house which the prisoner entered and removed cash and other itemsThe New Amsterdam PrisonHe will be processed for court shortly where he is expected to be slapped with an escaped from lawful custody charge.He made good his escape at about 07:30h, but not before entering the dwelling place of a female prison officer and removing $17,000 in cash and an electronic tablet.He was convicted on a simple larceny charge and was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. He was due to be released in June 2020.Based on reports received, the escapee along with 12 other prisoners were taken from the New Amsterdam Prison by two female officers to work at the prison farm which is situated opposite the Prison Officers’ Club.However, while working, Prakash requested to use a washroom that is on the opposite side of the road from where he was working. He reportedly scaled the fence and made his way to a prison officer’s house where he entered through a window with the aid of a ladder.It was there that he removed the items and escaped. After some time had elapsed and the prisoner did not return, an alarm was raised. After hours of search, there were no signs of the convicted thief. In light of this incident, three prison officers were relieved of their duties pending a thorough investigation.Guyana Times understands that the prisoners would normally work on the farm with little or no supervision.Meanwhile, the Guyana Prison Service said initial investigation suggests that there were breaches of Standing Orders and as a result, three officers have been relieved of their duty.last_img read more

Gordon holds lead in raising campaign cash

first_imgBURBANK – With an election to fill the seat vacated by former Councilwoman Stacey Murphy a couple of weeks away, a local optometrist leads the campaign fundraising pack, followed by a former Burbank mayor. Since September, David Gordon has raised just over $13,000, followed by businessman Bill Wiggins, who’s raised $10,100. Attorney Vahe Hovanessian has brought in almost $4,200, and the other two candidates, attorney Amy Lawrence and former air traffic controller Michael Dontanville, both have filed papers saying they won’t raise any campaign cash. “I’m very pleased because I didn’t anticipate such strong support for my campaign at the beginning,” said Gordon, whose total war chest includes his own $4,000 loan. “People from across the community have stepped forward to support my campaign.” Wiggins, a former mayor and current Bob Hope Airport commissioner, said even though voters will choose a new council member soon, the race is far from over. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “I think we got an election to go through,” said Wiggins, who’s money came from Burbank residents and business owners. “We’ll wait and see how it ends up. I feel real good when I walk and talk with people, but the Christmas holidays are here and the ballots haven’t gone out yet. We’ll wait and see what happens.” The candidates will report their contributions twice more before the election period ends Jan. 24. City officials will mail ballots Jan. 3 for the all-mail special election to more than 54,000 registered voters. The open seat was vacated by Murphy, who resigned Aug. 30 after being charged with drug possession and child endangerment in a case connected to the Vineland Boys gang. Hovanessian said most of his campaign money so far has come from family loans. “To me, this is a content-based campaign,” he said. “It’s not about the money.” Wiggins said when he first ran for council in the early 1990s, he amassed nearly $60,000. It was a time when the city had no limits on how much an individual could kick in to a campaign. Since then, the city has imposed new rules, limiting individual contributions to $250 per person. Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more