Alumna uses experience with cancer to help others

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Thuy Thanh TruongAs she chuckled at the irony of the situation, Thuy Thanh Truong confessed her shock when she received the news in September of last year.“I was like, what? How is that even possible? The person who goes to the gym every single day and doesn’t even smoke,” Truong said.She initially went to the doctor for back pain and had planned a meeting later that day. Even after the diagnosis, she had no intention of missing it. After she presented, they spoke about moving forward with the project, but she trailed off, contemplating what she had just heard from her doctor: Stage 4 lung cancer.Born in Vietnam, Truong immigrated to the United States in 2003 with her parents to pursue her education. After graduating from USC in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, she moved back to Vietnam against her parents’ wishes to continue her career as an entrepreneur. Now at 32, she’s already been deemed “Vietnam’s startup queen” by BBC and featured in Forbes Vietnam’s “30 under 30” list.On the day of her diagnosis, Truong recalls speaking to her cousin, a surgeon.“He said, ‘If you’re going to stay in Vietnam, you’re going to go for more procedures here,” Truong said. She recalls how she replied decisively, “No, let me go back to the U.S.” Two weeks later she was at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles beginning her treatment.“You just want to be at a place where you feel at home, and USC Norris feels like my home,” Truong said. During her undergraduate career at USC, Truong founded Hackathon at the University of Science at Vietnam National University, an event for tech students to network and show off their app-building skills. After graduation, she went back to Vietnam and immersed herself in various business ventures to hone her entrepreneurship experience.  Today, Truong continues to formulate dynamic enterprises which make an impact while she undergoes treatment for lung cancer. She and Peter Kuhn, a USC professor of medicine and biomedical engineering, developed an initiative for another Hackathon, Hack for Health,  this time with cancer resources in mind. She credits her motivation for the event to the uncertainty of what the future held.“I used to spend two years developing an app, but I don’t know how much time I have left, so instead of developing 20 apps in two years, I’ll develop 10 apps in two minutes,” Truong said.Truong is also working with a team of volunteers for her recent non-profit program, Salt Cancer Initiative, designed to bring support to cancer patients in Vietnam. The lightbulb for SCI went off while she was taking a yoga class during her treatment at USC Norris. “When I first got diagnosed, I went to the class every week and got inspired by the teacher and the class,” Truong said. “I thought, I wish that they had a class like that for cancer patients in Vietnam.”Today 100 SCI volunteers host monthly meet-ups throughout Vietnam for patients, weekly yoga classes at upscale fitness clubs and coloring, singing and drawing activities for children battling the disease in hospitals — each owned or organized by USC alumni.With the average salary in Vietnam less than $2,000 annually, the membership fee to the fitness club where SCI hosts yoga classes for patients is higher than what most people can afford. Truong said she chose this club in particular not only because it was owned by a USC alum, but also because of its state-of-the-art facilities.  “It’s something very few people in Vietnam have experienced before,” Truong said. “Because they have cancer, we don’t know how much time they have left. They could have three months left, six months left, three years left. It doesn’t matter — I want them to experience something they’ve never experienced before.”Truong’s roots are strong in Vietnam; after graduation, she returned to start her first company, a frozen yogurt shop. The shop lasted three years and expanded to five stores, but Truong eventually shut down the company, citing lack of experience. Truong didn’t, however, let her first unsuccessful business run slow her down, and quickly switched gears to her next venture.In 2013, she and a former classmate from USC developed GreenGar, a mobile application and development team that created the popular application Whiteboard, allowing users to work collaboratively from various devices.GreenGar became the first company in Vietnam to be accepted to the 500 Startup Accelerated Program in Silicon Valley, but after a year of not being able to fundraise and scale up the business, Truong went back to the drawing board to start her third company, Tappy, a social messaging app.Tappy quickly rose to success when it was bought by Weeby.co, a cloud-based game building software in Mountain View, Calif., for a seven-figure sum. Truong stayed involved with the company for more than a year before she became restless for yet another new experience. She decided to leave for a two-month solo road trip across the U.S., from California to New York, visiting national and state parks. It was after the cross-country trip that Truong received her lung cancer diagnosis. Truong is currently undergoing treatment for a target drug she qualified for after DNA testing at USC. If the drug is not effective, she will soon begin chemotherapy.“I have the Trojan Family who support me in everything I do,” Truong said. “It’s a real family. Once you’re a Trojan, you’re Trojan for life.”When discussing the fight ahead of her, Truong references the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who accomplished debatably his most esteemed work while being treated for cancer before his death.“There are a few things that the world wants to have before they take me away,” Truong said. “I don’t know what it is yet, but I hope for the best.”last_img read more

New coaching staff and quarterbacks take the field

first_imgFootball spring practice opened Tuesday afternoon, and the team’s focus is on improving everyday. Everyone had some first day kinks, but players said that it felt good to be back on the field.“It feels great,” senior wide receiver Darreus Rogers said. “I’m playing faster. This is probably the smoothest I’ve been since I’ve been here.”Junior wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster agreed but also mentioned the quick turnaround from hard workouts to full practice.“My legs are kind of tight and sore,” Smith-Schuster said. “Yesterday was our first day squatting, so then to come out here full speed running … but it feels good.”Coaching TurnaroundWith first-year head coach Clay Helton at the helm, a slue of new coaches has been added to the staff including his brother, quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton.“It was a great first day,” Tyson Helton said. “A lot of excitement, a lot of focus which is the way it should be. There’s a lot of talent out here, and I’m looking forward to working with them every day.”The coaches have been well-received by many players who are saying that they are totally on board with the new staff as well as their new implementations.“This coaching staff is amazing — they make me want to work hard and be perfect,” Rogers said.Offensive players said there was going to be a lot more action for the receivers on offense this year to create a more balanced offensive scheme.“We have new signals and plays, so we have to adjust to that,” sophomore tailback Ronald Jones II said. “The team likes the new plays and new systems. There are a lot more receiver sets because we don’t really have a fullback yet. It looks like we’re going to be a lot more balanced this year, which is good.”Quarterback FrenzyFour quarterbacks saw significant reps for the Trojans on day one including redshirt junior Max Browne, redshirt freshman Sam Darnold, redshirt sophomore Jalen Greene and true freshman Matt Fink. Tyson Helton said he was impressed with his quarterbacks for where they were at the beginning of the season.“Quarterbacks were about where you’d think for a first day; there’s a lot of things we need to correct but pretty good overall,” Helton said. “There were a couple jitters early, but once they got in the groove, I think they realized ‘Hey, this is just like anything I’ve always done.’”Browne and Darnold are expected to be the frontrunners in the quarterback competition, but Greene received a significant amount of reps during practice as well. Helton said he was specifically impressed with the play of Browne, Darnold and Greene.“They understand the plays and the mechanics of the plays, we just have to get better and better on the technique side of things,” Helton said. “The young freshman Matt Fink, it’s his first day out here, so limited reps, but we wanted him to have some success, so we put him in certain situations, and he took advantage of them.”Dealing with the different quarterbacks is a challenge for receivers according to Smith-Schuster, but he had nothing but praise for them after practice.“Max Browne has a cannon that we have to get used to,” Smith-Schuster said. “Sam Darnold has that accuracy, and Jalen Greene, who has that speed, but also throws with his left hand. Trying to catch from different quarterbacks is kind of hard, so I’m glad we’re doing it at the beginning of spring.”last_img read more

Griffin Canning might be unavailable for start of Angels’ season

first_imgTEMPE, Ariz. – Griffin Canning’s season is expected to be delayed, at least at the outset, as the Angels are still trying to determine the exact root of the issue that is causing discomfort in his ailing right elbow.Manager Joe Maddon said Sunday morning that Canning did not throw on the side Saturday, as expected, with the pitcher saying he was not up for it physically. That throwing session was supposed to be a part of a second round of testing following his MRI on Friday.“We don’t have any definitive answers yet,” Maddon said. “I think it’s Wednesday or Thursday that he’s supposed to be tested for something else. It’s like a joint vs. a ligament kind of situation and we don’t really know what it is.”It is unknown where that additional testing will take place, with Maddon calling it “another opinion.” Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Canning declined to comment in the clubhouse early Sunday.Maddon stressed that he is remaining optimistic that one of his top four starters will be a key member of the rotation this season, but he did acknowledge that starting the season on time might not be possible.“Probably, but I don’t know that,” Maddon said. “Just being pragmatic, but it would be hard to imagine (starting the season on time). I would say best-case scenario, he gets going pretty quickly after that.“I just don’t know enough. I said (Saturday) I’ve never heard stuff before. With this type of injury, the doctors are normally pretty definitive quickly, but this one it’s just not. So I prefer to be optimistic and just wait to make sure.”Canning pitched two scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday before his discomfort emerged. He was 5-6 with a 4.58 ERA in 18 appearances (17 starts) of his rookie season in 2019. He missed the last six weeks with elbow discomfort similar to what he is experiencing now. Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Three starters appear set for the rotation: Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran. Maddon once again expressed confidence that the rest of the rotation will be in good hands as he continues to see positives from Jaime Barria, Jose Suarez, Patrick Sandoval, Dillon Peters and Matt Andriese.“We have this swing component of our bullpen and we really didn’t have that in the recent past,” Maddon said. “I don’t know how that will play into the beginning part of our season right now. In two weeks we will know more, where we want to go with all of this and who we want to start this out.”ALSOMaddon was asked if he plans to address coronavirus precautions with his team and while the topic has not been discussed, it sounded as if it would be at some point. “I’ve been reading about it, we’ve all been reading about it,” Maddon said. “So every team has this nice little petri dish in there where if something were to go wrong, so we all have to be aware about it.” …Catcher Max Stassi, who underwent hip surgery in September was a late scratch Sunday from his role as a designated hitter. The late change moved David Fletcher from the split-squad game against the White Sox at Tempe to the split-squad game against the Rockies at Scottsdale. Luis Rengifo was moved into the starting lineup against the White Sox.Related Articleslast_img read more

Dodgers add the free-agent outfielder of their choice — A.J. Pollock

first_img“I think a big focus for us this offseason was ‘How do you achieve more consistency?’ … We think A.J. fits in really well with that, not just in 2019 but as we look ahead.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated there will be fewer of the “line change” platoon lineups with the addition of Pollock as an “every-day” presence in the lineup.“I don’t think you go out and sign a player like that to even bring in the word ‘platoon,’” Roberts said. “I think he’s going to play, he’s going to play every day. But the idea of giving him days off, getting ahead of things with the rigors of a long season — I think that’s something that I’m going to have a conversation with him.” PreviousLos Angeles Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly speaks to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, center, with president Andrew Friedman, left, and manager Dave Roberts holds up his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, and Corey Seager during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsFormer Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela signs autographs during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Angel Rodriguez shows off his art work on his head during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly speaks to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Fans pose for pictures on home plate during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)A Justin Turner fan wearing a red beard waits for him to make an appearance during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)A small Dodger dog during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen shakes hands with fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, right, with president Andrew Friedman, left, tries on his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, left, speak with president Stan Kasten during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman during a press conference for AJ Pollack during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, second from right, along with Jaime Jarrin, right, speak to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen speaks to the media during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela signs autographs during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Two year old Sophia Sanchez of Los Angeles high fives the Dodger mascot during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen shakes hands with fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Fans pose with the Dodger mascot during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda speaks to the media during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Fans pose with the Dodger mascot during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly speaks to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, center, with president Andrew Friedman, left, and manager Dave Roberts holds up his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 24New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, center, with president Andrew Friedman, left, and manager Dave Roberts holds up his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — A.J. Pollock donned a Dodgers cap and jersey for the first time Saturday, posing for photos as his signing with the team became official.And he also confirmed what many had suspected — he is not Bryce Harper.“Honestly I’m just concentrating on being the best version of myself I can,” Pollock said when asked about the unsigned free-agent outfielder aspirationally linked to the Dodgers all winter, a more expensive purchase the team has declined to make.“He’s a great player. That’s not a question for me. I’m just going to come in here and just do my part to help this team win a ton of ballgames.” Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Pollock has had a difficult time staying in the lineup over the past five seasons. He has played more than 113 games just once in that time due to a series of injuries.“I feel like most of my injuries — a lot of them were impact injuries, kind of freak stuff,” Pollock said. “I feel like I do a really good job of keeping my body in shape. I just have to keep trusting the process. I know some things haven’t gone my way as far as injuries, but absolutely, a lot of my injuries weren’t really overuse, just some freak stuff. I’m not even thinking about injuries. I’m ready to go.”Friedman said the Dodgers analyzed Pollock’s injuries — a broken thumb in 2018 while diving for a fly ball, a groin injury in 2017, a fractured elbow in 2016 on a diving slide at home plate and a broken hand in 2014 when hit by a pitch — and came to the same conclusion as Pollock.“Obviously he’s missed some time over the last few years and as we dug into it the question is ‘Is it predictive as you look forward?’” Friedman said. “As he said, most of them have been impact-type injuries. He’s had one soft-tissue injury. Then you get into how well a guy takes care of himself. How clean does he live, eat, and those things that factor into player health.“As we dug into it we felt good that he does everything he possibly can to stay on the field.”Pollock said as his free-agent winter played out he told his agent to do everything he could to keep the Dodgers in play.“I’m not going to lie, we were looking at the Dodgers the whole time and just thinking ‘That’s just a great fit. We love the team. We know them really well and there are a lot of familiar faces,’” Pollock said. “Honestly, when things got close, I talked to my agent over here, Brian Peters, and just said ‘Don’t lose the Dodgers I want to play there.’ And it worked out.”It worked out with a contract that includes plate-appearances markers that could allow Pollock to opt out after his third season or give him a player option that could extend the deal for five years and $60 million. It was a creative approach that allowed the Dodgers to keep their projected 2019 payroll under the competitive-balance tax threshold for a second consecutive season — something that Friedman called “beneficial” but not necessarily a primary aim.“I think right now we’re solving for being the best team we can be, both short term and long term and trying to balance that with the players we have right now with how the landscape looks going forward,” he said, saying he was “not sure” if the Dodgers would stay under the tax threshold as the rest of the offseason plays out.“Obviously we’ve got a very mature, full payroll. Next year we have a lot more flexibility in that respect. I think it’s always balancing that and not putting yourself in position where you potentially fall off a cliff. I think that’s one thing we’ve done pretty well — maintain a high level. And that’s something that’s easier said than done. There’s a lot of history in the last 10 years of some large revenue teams taking big dips down and trying to build back up. We’re trying to do everything we can do to avoid that.”center_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The Dodgers expect his part to involve anchoring an outfield that can be “elite” defensively and making their lineup less vulnerable to left-handed pitching than it often was over the past three seasons.“As we looked ahead to 2019 and beyond, we’ve got a number of left-handed hitters that are under control for a while and have some left-handed hitters coming,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Saturday. “We didn’t have as much from the right side and as we looked at 2019 specifically, we felt we were going to be a very dynamic offensive team against right-handed pitching. Against left-handed pitching we weren’t going to be quite as good.Related Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco last_img read more

Clear Lake council approves memorandum of understanding with developer of proposed Courtway Park hotel, conference center

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council Monday night approved a “memorandum of understanding” with a Johnston developer on the proposed hotel and conference center in the Courtway Park subdivision northeast of the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 122. City Administrator Scott Flory says JSM Investment LLC plans to place an 85-room, Marriott-branded hotel and an approximately 6000 square foot conference and event center on Lot 4 of the subdivision.  He says JSM intends to begin construction on the project by June 15th of this year. “They intend to invest a minimum of $13 million of real and personal property into the project. They ultimately will employee 15 full-time equivalent and part-time employees no later than 12 months after the project is opened. They will ultimately enter into a minimum assessment agreement in the amount of not less than $5 million in taxable valuation.” Flory says the city intends to enter into a future economic development agreement that would include construction incentives with an aim for the hotel to open before July 1st of next year.   He says the city would provide a $150,000 incentive to JSM if they begin construction no later than June 15, and provide another $150,000 incentive should the project be completed and have a certificate of occupancy issued by June 30th 2021. Flory says the city intends to provide an economic development forgivable loan not to exceed $1.2 million on completion of the project.   He says the forgivable loan would be forgiven semi-annually, so it would be 20 semi-annual payments on that over a 10-year period.A 10-year property tax rebate is also proposed not to exceed a total of $1.5 million. Flory says the city would capture the money back through tax increment financing as well as hotel-motel tax revenues. A public hearing on a formal development agreement between the city and JSM will likely take place in six to eight weeks.last_img read more

NSU’s Ferguson, McNeese’s Blunt Among 17 Southland Standouts Vying for NFL Jobs

first_img NSU Obinna Iheoma LB Indianapolis (May 3-5 UIW Malik Harris DL Kansas City (May 4-6) Received an Invite to an NFL Rookie Minicamp  NICH Damion Jeanpierre Jr. WR Carolina (May 10-12) MCN BJ Blunt LB Washington (May 3-5) MCN Alex Kjellsten P Chicago (May 3-5) UIW Jamarkese Williams DB Minnesota (May 3-5) MCN David Hamm RB Oakland (May 3-5) UIW Justin Alexandre DE NY Jets (May 10-12) SFA Chris Wilkerson LS San Francisco (May 3-5) NSU Jazz Ferguson WR Seattle (May 3-5) SHSU Derick Roberson DE Tennessee (May 10-12 UCA Eric Jackson DE Oakland (May 3-5) SHSU Davion Davis WR Minnesota (May 3-5) FRISCO, Texas – Seventeen Southland Conference football standouts from this past season begin their quest this weekend to play fulltime in the National Football League. Each NFL team will host a rookie minicamp either this weekend or next.Nine former Southland student-athletes are undrafted free agents who have signed with an NFL team, while eight will participate in minicamp.The list of former student-athletes is headlined by 2018 Associated Press All-Americans Jazz Ferguson from Northwestern State, BJ Blunt from McNeese, and Derick Roberson from Sam Houston State. Ferguson, an underclassman, is the reigning Southland Offensive Player of the year, while Blunt is the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.Undrafted Free Agents Who Have Signed with an NFL Team UIW Silas Stewart LB Baltimore (May 3-5) UCA Jakari Dillard WR LA Chargers (May 10-12) NICH Ronald Ollie DL Oakland (May 3-5) LU Rodney Randle DB/KR LA Chargers (May 10-12)last_img read more

LACC Indicts LPRC MD, Others over ‘Misapplication’ of Millions of United States Dollars

first_imgThe Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has indicted the Managing Director of the Liberian Petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC), along with other current and former senior government officials for their alleged involvement in the misapplication of millions of United States Dollars in connection with various government transactions.Others indicted by LACC include Clemenceau Urey, former Board Chair of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL); Miatta Beyslow, former Minister of Commence and Industry; Milton Teahjay, Superintendent of Sinoe County; David Kortie, publisher of the Flash Point Newspaper;  Jusufu S. Keita, public relations officer at the Ministry of Public Works; Foday Kromah and Amos Koon, employees of the Ministry of Finance, among others. The government officials and other individuals were charged with multiple crimes including criminal facilitation, misapplication of entrusted property, illegal disbursement of public funds and making expenditures without supporting documentary evidences.Making the disclosure at the Information Ministry’s regular press briefing yesterday, the LACC boss, Cllr. James Verdier, Jr., said that his commission had forwarded the names of the accused to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for prosecution.MOJ is the prosecuting arm of the government.Cllr. Verdier alleged that the Managing director of the LPRC and the former Commerce and Industry Minister single-handedly awarded a contract of over US$1million to several petroleum companies, including Aminata and Sons, without going through the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) procedure.On the part of Superintendent Teahjay, the LACC head explained that he misapplied over US$65,000 of the county development funds. “[In] some of the cases we would give them the opportunity to restitute whatsoever amount they have allegedly mismanaged from the government,” the LACC boss stated. “If for any reason the Ministry of Justice showed its inability to handle these cases, we would take further decision,” he said.Cllr. Verdier did not however explain what ‘further decision’ his Commission would take if the Justice Ministry delays to prosecute the accused public servants.Mr. Verdier said that the “issue of corruption has been with Liberia since 1847.  This is a virus in Liberia. The more we accommodate this virus, the more it becomes difficult for us as Liberians. If resources are diverted, health institutions, education systems and others are not built, that is corruption,”   said Verdier.He maintained that “corruption led to the failure of many societies; and this government is taking steps to ensure that things get better for every Liberian.”According to him, it was important for the Liberian people to be informed and understand the difficulties and challenges faced by the commission in its efforts to fight corruption and the progress that it has made.Touching on the Code of Conduct, Cllr. Verdier noted that “all government officials, including Directors, Ministers and other heads of Agencies, were requested to start declaring their assets for the month of June, 2014 as mandated by the Code of Conduct signed June 20, 2014.”“This allowed all government officials to declare their assets before taking public office and after leaving public office to carry out assets declaration also,” said Cllr. Verdier.Commenting on the progress of his Commission, the LACC boss said, it recently arrested 25 bags of rice from Red Cross volunteers that were intended for Ebola victims and the matter was under investigation.“Three persons have been recommended to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution for theft of property and criminal facilitation,” he added.“We are monitoring Ebola funding that are being donated to all government Ministries and Agencies.  We are also monitoring money, logistics and other support that will be donated by private individuals and international partners toward the fight against the Ebola virus disease,” Cllr. Verdier cautioned.Speaking about LACC’s contribution to the Ebola fight , Cllr. Verdier said the commission provided vehicles, billboards  on Ebola awareness and other services in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. “We are pleased to hear that Ebola is receding all over the country,” he said.Cllr. Verdier said he was happy to have informed the public about  the issue of accountability of public funds by government officials even before the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Region 6 Councillors call for more pastures

first_img…as cattle continue to be poisonedThe ongoing feud between rice and cattle farmers in Corentyne, Berbice, has resulted in animals being killed. Some weeks ago, more than a dozen cattle were shot and persons were arrested but now scores of cattle are being poisoned.This has led to the call by Regional Democratic Councillors for more pastures to be made available to facilitate the thriving cattle industry in the region.When more than 300 acres of rice were destroyed by cattle in Corentyne, Berbice, last month, the rice farmers pleaded with Government to create a cattle pasture for the cattle owners but did not get the urgent response they were hoping for.Two weeks later, 14 cattle were shot and persons were arrested but as the police were getting information on the alleged weapons used, the suspects were identified as two persons with close alliances to a political party in the coalition Government. Following that, cattle started dying and a vet confirmed that they were being poisoned.Regional Councillor Gobin Harbhajan said that the animals are dying on a daily basis. He made the comments as he addressed the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) during a recent meeting.“The rice farmer is protecting their rice and the cattle farmer is saying that the savannah in some parts is fenced so they can’t take their cattle there. Some parts are occupied so they have nowhere to carry the animals. The land must become available because during the previous Administration in the 80s under the PNC [People’s National Congress] it was a communal pasture and we have to keep it that way. As a Councillor, I am asking that we look at how we can solve this. We have to engage the Lands and Survey Department and notices should be sent out to those who are there and don’t fence the savannah,” Harbhajan said while adding that both the cattle and rice industries are equally important to the region’s economy.He also called for more pasture lands to be made available.Regional Chairman David Armogan noted that the current situation reemphasised the need for a clear land use police. Failing which farmers will continue to have conflicts.However, land leases which were given to farmers for the purposes of rearing cattle are worded: “to be used for agricultural purposes only”. With rice cultivation also being a part of agriculture, some farmers then switched to cattle, hence both cattle and rice are done in the same areas.“There is a lot of vacant GuySuCo [Guyana Sugar Corporation] land. All they have to do is to develop it; put water and everything and the grass will grow. In fact, it was pasture land before and GuySuCo took the land to grow more cane for the factory that was supposed to be operable. Unfortunately, that factory is not operable anymore,” the Chairman explained.He added that lands are available but belong to GuySuCo.“So Government will have to negotiate with GuySuCo to probably take back those lands,” he added.last_img read more

Teen jailed for 3 years, fined $1.4M

first_imgCJIA cocaine bustThe 19-year-old girl who was intercepted at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on July 6 having swallowed some 119 cocaine pellets was on Wednesday jailed for three years by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.Anesha HardyAnesha Hardy, of South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, admitted to the allegation and was also fined $1.4 million.Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Koniyo Sandiford-Thompson told the court that Hardy, who was an outgoing passenger destined for New York, was stopped by a CANU rank, who had received information about her.She was escorted to the hospital where an X-ray showed the pellets in her stomach. She was admitted to the hospital and subsequently excreted the pellets between July 6 and July 8.Sandiford-Thompson informed the Chief Magistrate the young woman admitted in several statements to the offence, outlining the process by which she ingested the pellets.The CANU Prosecutor also told the Court that the story is a sad instance of negligent living and the defendant was taken advantage of by a seasoned narcotics trafficker.Magistrate McLennan then handed down the sentence and the young woman broke down in tears.Based on information obtained from the teen, CANU ranks swooped down on an East Coast Demerara (ECD) premises on the evening of Friday last. During the exercise, they stumbled upon 279 pellets filled with what is suspected to be cocaine.CANU ranks have arrested an additional three persons while they were hunting another two suspects who remain at large. It was reported that one of the suspects still at large was at the ECD residence and when the ranks arrived, he managed to escape.Meanwhile, CANU issued a wanted bulletin for the two suspects Kelvien Sauers, called “John”, and Mark Sauers, called “Marcus”.Kelvien Sauers’ last known address is Lot 327 Fourth Street, Success, ECD, and Mark Sauers’, Lot 1 Ogle, ECD and Second Street, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.CANU is asking anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the two to contact them on numbers 227-3507 and 226-0431 or visit their headquarters.last_img read more

Trackers beat Vikings at Food Bank Game on Friday

first_imgWith 2:53 following the Trackers goal, the Vikings would make a goal making the score 4-2.Then with 8:09 left in the period, Noah Lang extended the Trackers score to 5-2 with a double assist by Chase London and  Kurtis Lee.Then to cap it off, at 6:00 left in the game, Devin Minard would make his second goal of the game with a feed from Owen Floriant and Jaydon Viens making the final score 6-2 over Camrose.Trackers Coach, Gerard Decaire, says it was a good game in terms of winning.Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast B.C. Yukon Trackers had a successful game on Friday as they hosted the Camrose Vikings during the third annual Food Bank Game.At 9:28 into the game, on a power play, Connor Kindrat would score on the Vikings with a feed from Kurtis Lee and Noah Lang making it 1-0.Then at 7:02 left in the frame, the Vikings would score a goal tying the score at one apiece.- Advertisement -In period two, in another power play situation at 6:43 into the frame, Devin Minard would score one for the Trackers with an assist by Logan Kimmie making the score 2-1.At 38 seconds into period three, in a power play, Nick Loewen would net a goal with an assist from Logan Kimmie making it a 3-1 lead.Then at 4:53 into the frame, in another power play, the Loewen and Kimmie duo would shoot another goal sending the score 4-1.Advertisement “The game turned out in our favour. It was 6-2. It was an up-and-down game and back-and-forth but it’s a good way to end 2018.”All food items collected were donated to the Fort St. John Salvation Army Food Bank.The Trackers are now off for the Christmas break and will return to the ice on January 4  in Leduc, A.B. against the Roughnecks. Game time is 8:15 p.m.last_img read more