Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammate Jordan Clarkson during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The stars will be out in Los Angeles, on the basketball court and all around it.The NBA’s All-Star festivities are back at Staples Center, with the usual events on All-Star Saturday night and a new format for the game Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings LATEST STORIES Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Some things to watch as Los Angeles hosts the All-Star Game for a record sixth time:LEBRON IN L.A.: James refuses to discuss his free agency during the season, but figure on it coming up in Los Angeles since there’s been such speculation about him signing with the Lakers. The Lakers, after a trade with James’ Cavaliers last week, would have enough salary cap space to offer a maximum contract to James and another star if he opts to become a free agent and leave Cleveland this summer.HOMECOMING KINGS: The Los Angeles area is home to a number of All-Stars, including 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City and runner-up James Harden, along with Oklahoma City’s Paul George and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.SIDELINED STARS: James’ team will look much different than the one he drafted after a number of injuries. DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love, John Wall and Kristaps Porzingis all were forced to pull out. George, Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic and Kemba Walker were added as injury replacements by Commissioner Adam Silver.DUNK LIKE DAD: Larry Nance Jr., one of the players who went from Los Angeles to Cleveland in the four-player trade at the deadline, will be back in his former home arena to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’ll try to follow in the footsteps — or flight path — of his father, who won the NBA’s first slam dunk title in 1984. Rookies Donovan Mitchell of Utah and Dennis Smith Jr., and Indiana All-Star Victor Oladipo round out the field.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed MOST READ BIEBS IS BACK: Bieber will return to play in the celebrity game on Friday night after winning MVP honors in the 2011 game. He will play on Team Lakers, co-coached by actor Michael B. Jordan. They will play against Team Clippers, who feature Academy Award winner Jaime Foxx.ALL-STAR SINGERS: Fergie will sing the U.S. national anthem and Barenaked Ladies will perform the Canadian national anthem. Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D will take the stage at halftime. Kendrick Lamar also is set to perform Friday night in Los Angeles as part of the weekend festivities. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Arellano stuns Perpetual, nears NCAA men‘s volleyball crown UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry drafted players from the pool of All-Stars and the winning team gets a $350,000 donation from the NBA to the charity it chose. The league is hoping the new format that replaced the traditional East-West matchup will make it more competitive after a couple of lackluster games the previous two years.Perhaps the players can heed the words of Kobe Bryant, who won the MVP award on his home floor when the All-Star Game was last in Los Angeles in 2011.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“I feel like we have a sense of responsibility and we are voted in for what we do during the season, which is play hard,” Bryant said following that game. “And we come here, that’s what the fans want to see. They want to see us go at it and see us compete and that’s what I try to do and that’s what I try to tell my teammates to do.”Bryant is gone now but Beyonce and Jay-Z, Jack Nicholson and Justin Bieber are among the celebrities who attended that game and are scheduled to be back for at least some of this weekend. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano View comments
Panama captain makes history with country’s first-ever World Cup goal Senegal and Japan drew 2-2 earlier Sunday and lead the group with four points each.Mina out-jumped the Poland defense to head in the opening goal from James Rodriguez’s cross, rewarding a spell of domination by the Colombians.Rodriguez’s through ball after Poland lost possession in midfield led to the final goal. Cuadrado collected the pass and rushed toward the box, timing his shot perfectly to beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.Poland got off to an aggressive start in the hot and humid Tatarstan capital, pressing high and winning most of the duels in the opening minutes.Colombia gradually settled in, though, with Quintero providing attacking width and Cuadrado proving dangerous with his subtle moves on the edge of the box.Colombia slowed the pace in the second half, showing good counterattacking qualities. Quintero came close in the 56th minute on the break, but his goal-bound shot took a deflection.Cut off from the rest of his teammates, Robert Lewandowski had a few attempts but could not convert his rare chances.GROUP DYNAMICSColombia is still alive ahead of its final match against Senegal and can still win the group, while Poland can only hurt Japan’s chances of advancement.KEY TO SUCCESSES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 “We always hope that he can score and hope that he can be fit as he was today, and we want to help him,” Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. “I think the fact that he scored was very important, not just for today but for the matches to come.“He is a symbol of the national team. He is a symbol of Colombian football.”Playing some scintillating soccer in Kazan, Falcao scored with the outside of his foot in the 70th minute after a superb pass from playmaker Juan Quintero in the back of the defense.Yerry Mina scored the first goal in the 40th and Juan Cuadrado completed the win in the 75th.Both teams lost their Group H openers and knew another loss would end their hopes of advancing. Colombia will next face Senegal on Thursday in Samara with a chance to win the group, while Poland will play Japan in Volgograd.ADVERTISEMENT Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town “It’s a dream goal,” Falcao said. “I’m happy for the victory, for the team’s performance and the goal that I scored, which I’ve been waiting for for many years.”The victory kept Colombia in the running for a spot in the round of 16 and knocked out Poland, the first European country to be eliminated.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownFalcao, Colombia’s all-time leading scorer with 30 goals, made sure he would stay healthy for this year’s World Cup by sitting out several matches with his Monaco club this season.So far, so good. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Given his first start after fully recovering from a calf injury, Rodriguez lived up to expectations. He pressed relentlessly, tracked back and delivered an assist for Mina.Rodriguez has now been directly involved in nine goals in seven World Cup appearances for Colombia, scoring six and assisting on three. He formed an excellent partnership with Quintero to create some beautiful play for Colombia.Besides scoring, Mina was also excellent in containing Lewandowski throughout the match.POOR POLANDPoland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.The team was overwhelmed in midfield and looked clueless in attack in another error-ridden display that resulted in an early exit.Poland has now failed to keep a clean sheet in its last 10 World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986.“The Colombian team was a much better team,” Poland coach Adam Nawalka said. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Colombia’s Radamel Falcao, right, celebrates after scoring the second side goal past Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the group H match between Poland and Colombia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)KAZAN, Russia — Four years after Radamel Falcao was supposed to lead Colombia at the World Cup, he’s doing just that.Falcao missed the tournament in Brazil with a knee injury and had to wait until arriving in Russia to score his first World Cup goal. It came in Colombia’s 3-0 victory over Poland on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees MOST READ
An international non-governmental organization (NGO), BRAC-Liberia, has received 2.7 million United States dollars from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for the implementation of health services around Liberia.The country Director of BRAC Liberia, Mr. Mohammed Adams Salam, said this was a new activity that will affect more than 539,000 people. It will create awareness related to improving health, while increasing knowledge of maternal mortality, and child health, through local health forums, meetings, and programs.He explained that since 2008, improvements in the delivery of health services in seven counties have positively affected many young people. An impressive reduction in maternal mortality, has been made as a result of BRAC’s intervention, we were told.He said that the US$2.7 million allotted by the Ministry of health and Social Welfare to improve health services in the country, will be used for the intended purposes.We have been working with many communities in ensuring that those areas received the education required about health. Also speaking at the launch of the National Advocacy campaign, program manager Lugemwa E. Patrick, said the organization (BRAC) would use a community-based approach to addressing maternal and child health care in 15 targeted counties in Liberia, with 106,000 women and adolescent girls as its main beneficiaries.According to Patrick, the organization has targeted Lofa, Margibi, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Bong and Grand Cape Mount, within three years with the aim of improving basic health care services in those places.The manager also assured the public that 55,000 pregnant women within the targeted areas will received the right information before child-birth. He added that women and girls will be empowered to make choices about pregnancy and made knowledgeable about family planning. He explained that BRAC has targeted 200,000 house members around the country through community awareness activities who stand to benefit directly and indirectly.Speaking on behalf of MOH&SW, Tolbert G. Nyenswah, Assistance Minister for Preventive Services, commended BRAC for their role over the years in improving health services around Liberia.Minister Nyenswah said that aspects of reproductive health as outlined by BRAC/Liberia and other health services are keys issues for citizens.He explained that young people must receive the necessary education about reproductive cases, newborn, and child health-care, that allow many young people to make informed decisions for their families and the future of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
An estimated 2,800 prospective students have begun an 11-day orientation as part of a series of programs marking the reopening of Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) after the a two-year closure. The orientation which began yesterday, June 13 will continue until Friday, June 24.According to Boakai Jalebah, the orientation process will include several activities, such as a tour of the new facilities and meeting the instructors.Mr. Jalebah is responsible for technical and vocational training-related schools across the country. He said other activities during the orientation include an indoor program, students and teachers’ interactions, team building and signing of behavior bonds by the students.Others are distribution of MVTC uniform T-Shirts, Volunteer Community Service Day, and various recreation activities.“Classes will formally begin on Monday, July 4,” said Min. Jaleba. “Even though the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) did not allow us to open MVTC in 2014, the lack of funds also played a major role in the prolonged closure of the institution,” Jaleba said. “Currently, government has allotted US$97,000 to MVTC, but we all know it is quite impossible to run this school with that amount. Therefore, we have searched around to open the school and will continue to search in other places to continue the smooth operation of MVTC,” said Jaleba.He said MVTC, as the largest vocational and technical school in the country, deserves the best of opportunities considering its importance. He said that the institution will not shut down again, “whether the budget helps us or not.”MVTC Director, Wilfred Massaquoi, told the Daily Observer that this year’s cycle has been designed to manage the large numbers who have enrolled, categorizing them into two groups.“The first category includes 892 students who completed the initial three months of common core before the eruption of Ebola. The old students will continue on the trade track after a one month refresher,” Wilfred said.The second category, he said, will include about 1, 900 new students, who will begin the common core as a requirement to progress to the next level. The common core is a series of interrelated basic introductory courses designed to provide general program overview and to prepare students for tradeshops. Some examples of common core are basic numeracy, literacy, and ethics.“In order to accommodate this large number of students, we have designed a new school schedule. That is, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the instructors will concentrate on basic formal education while Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are selected for theory and trade practical instruction.”The decision to reopen the MVTC was finally made recently on the school campus in Paynesville following a week-long meeting that brought together Youth and Sports Minister, Charles Saah N’Tow, Deputy Minister for Administration, Dr. Nancy Freeman, and other senior staff.Courses that will be offered will include Architectural Drafting/Auto Cad, Graphic Arts, Masonry, Plumbing, Carpentry, Computer Education and Electricity.Others are Electronics, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, Auto Electricity, Auto Mechanics, Heavy Duty Mechanics, Welding and Fabrications.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In light of growing concerns about the safety and security of citizens living and working along the border communities who complain of increasing attacks, particularly from the Venezuela-based Sindicato gang members, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said that security forces were adequately equipped with resources to defend the border and protect citizens, but at the same time, they were struggling to determine the credibility of the reports they receive from those areas.“I would say that the disciplined forces there – the Police and the Army – they have the resources to respond quickly to these reports … the important thing is to getMinister of State, Joseph Harmonthese reports to them as quickly as possible so that they can respond.” And this, according to Harmon, is proving to be a challenge.The Minister of State told reporters at Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that the security forces in the hinterland, particularly along the border communities, were struggling with regard to the time it takes for reports of attacks to get to them. He explained that often times when attacks occurred, the victims usually would make contact with relatives, friends, or even the media first before the security forces were able to get to the locations where the incident occurred to investigate.“It requires time (for the reports) to get to the security forces where they are based, for them to respond and to go to deal with these matters… And so, while there’s some build-up of information in Georgetown, sometimes the Policemen and the Army at Eteringbang and those locations there, they are not told right away,” the Minister noted.Added to this, Harmon, who also holds the portfolio of Secretary to the Defence Board, went on to say the security forces were faced with wastage of resources in verifying the reports of attacks that were being received.“There are also sometimes nuisance reports where persons who actually have private scores to settle make these reports to security forces and have them going after persons… So, all of these are matters which when these reports come, you have to make a careful analysis of the information before you consider it to be what you call actionable intelligence upon which the forces can be deployed,” the State Minister noted.Over recent months, there have been increased reports of attacks on Guyanese along the western border. In addition, there are also reports of the Venezuelan Army conducting exercises on its border with Guyana, raising security concerns among citizens here.However, Minister Harmon explained that without any credible evidence, Guyana was unable to approach international authorities regarding the reported actions taken by the neighbouring country to undermine its territorial sovereignty.“We cannot, as a nation, approach the international agencies, we cannot approach the United Nations with hearsay. We have to have credible information upon which we can file these reports, upon which we can dispatch note verbales, that is, things that are happening that affect the security of our borders and our citizens. But we have to have – and I want to emphasise this – credible information.“Imagine you have a report and in the era of “fake news” and all these things that are going on, and you take that and you go to the United Nations to say look this is what is happening and then you have the other side saying something like this never occurred. So, we have to have credible reports that are verifiable reports about things occurring on our border,” Minister Harmon stressed.Nevertheless, the Minister of State emphasised the importance of protecting the country’s border, and urged citizens in frontier communities to report incidents or attacks but to ensure that it is credible information and not hearsay.“Anything that occurs on the border is a matter of concern and we must pay attention to it, because we cannot have activities which threaten the territorial integrity of Guyana that goes unreported,” Harmon noted.Furthermore, in highlighting the importance of the safety and security of citizens along the border in light of these recent attacks, the Minister of State disclosed that the National Security Council earlier this week discussed the issue and coming out of that meeting was a high-level security visit to these border areas.“A very high-level delegation has gone in there, commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), a senior superintendent from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources… They’ve had specific briefings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that basically deal with matters in relation to the border and the need for them to exercise caution in dealing with these matters.” He related.Meanwhile, a Parliamentary Oversight Committee on the Security Sector team, led by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, recently visited the region. During that visit, the Committee, which comprises elements from both the Government and the Opposition, as well as personnel from the National Assembly, spoke with the ranks and the citizens in those border areas, assuring them that Central Government was addressing their concerns.Of recent, President David Granger has been visiting frontier communities along the border with Venezuela and has announced several measures to beef up security in those areas, including an increased presence of Community Policing Group (CPG) members.
The Trackers made sure to take quick advantage of home ice, scoring within the first three minutes of the opening frame, courtesy of Kody McManus’ first goal of the series.However, the Barons showed some great resiliency, tying the game at the 13 minute marker of the first, concluding the opening period with the score deadlocked at 1-1.The remainder of the game belonged to the hometown Trackers. With time winding down in somewhat of a sloppy second period, Wyatt Gale tipped in a point shot with 1:25 left in the second, providing not only the go-ahead-goal, but the eventual series winner. – Advertisement -Entering the third with the 2-1 lead, the Trackers refused to let up, continuing to push the offensive pace. Trevor Whynot tipped in his first of the series six minutes into the third, followed by back-to-back goals from Gale to complete the hat-trick, concluding the game 5-1, and providing the Trackers a birth into the second round. Round two of the post season will pit the Trackers against the Grande Prairie Sherpa Safety Storm, who finished first in the North Black Division, the same division the Trackers played in.Following the game, Trackers head coach Brennen Giroux talked about the importance of scoring first in the game.Advertisement “It’s huge. You always want to get that first goal, just to get the momentum on your side and to establish that presence.”Trackers goalie Michael Chute played a great game in net for the home team, playing with confidence and making numerous timely saves to maintain the lead for his team. Coach Giroux says it’s because of that confidence and solid play that Chute will continue to get the start in net.With Grande Prairie on the horizon, Giroux says success in the upcoming series revolves around effort.“The last time we played them they beat us 4-0, so we really need to come prepared to work next week. It’s going to be a really good series, and I hope our players come out strong. Grande Prairie is a good team, so we just have to come prepared.”Advertisement
An increasing number of Fort St. John area residents are using an organization to get to their out of town medical appointments.Hope Air is a national non-profit organization that provides free flights to residents who need to attend non-emergency appointments, in larger city centres. For Fort St. John residents, those specialized centres are usually Vancouver and Edmonton.- Advertisement -The organization relies on seat donations by regional or national airlines as well as pilots that volunteer their time and planes to fly residents to their medical appointments. Occasionally, the organization will also purchase seats on commercial flights for patients, says Doug Keller-Hobson, the organization’s executive director.Keller-Hobson says the organization also receives funding from the B.C. government to help it purchase seats for residents.The funding does not appear to come without good reason. Last year alone, he says Hope Air organized 3,700 flights across Canada, 2,000 of which were in B.C.In the Fort St. John area, the number of residents using the organization’s services has been steadily growing. In 2008, the organization provided 57 flights from Fort St. John to Vancouver, which increased to 144 in 2010. Similarly, the number of flights provided from Fort St. John to Edmonton increased from 16 in 2008 to 46 in 2010.Advertisement He says Hope Air primarily provides flights for residents based on their financial need. The second criterion is that someone must be going to a confirmed medical appointment that is covered by the province’s medical services plan.He says the organization does not discriminate based on age or illness and has flown residents to many different appointments from cancer treatments to transplants, to treatments for eating disorders.For more information on the organization, click here.
Ten Donegal companies are hoping for ultimate success next week after they succeeded in being shortlisted for the final of the Enterprising Donegal Business Awards.Michael Tunney of Donegal Enterprise BoardThe awards, organised by Donegal County Enterprise Board, are the most prestigious business awards in the county.And no doubt there will be some anxious moments as the short-listed finalists await the results at the gala black-tie affair at the Villa Rose Hotel Ballybofey on Friday, March 22nd next. The ten short-listed companies this year are: Castlefin Partnership Initiative; Letterkenny Community Childcare Ltd; Efficient Heating & Plumbing, from Cockhill in Buncrana; Stateside American Restaurant, Letterkenny; Boyce Chartered Physiotherapist, Letterkenny; Lough Derg, Pettigo; Gibson & Associate Solicitors, Letterkenny; Roadteam Ltd, Pettigo; Lone Star State Ltd, Letterkenny and Inishowen Tourism Society Ltd.Donegal County Enterprise Board CEO, Michael Tunney, praised all of the finalists for demonstrating the type of commitment to succeed necessary to run a really successful business.“As usual the adjudicators had a difficult job in finalising a short-list for the awards finals, but the ten businesses represented there have shown the kind of passion and desire that was spoken of so often during the recent Enterprising Donegal Business Week events,” he said.As well as the category awards for Community Business Award, Emerging Business Award and Business Achievement Award, one business will walk away with the coveted overall Business of the Year award and will go on to represent Donegal at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin. Previous winners of the overall award include Inishowen Country Kitchen, The Swilly Group, Gartan Technologies and DS Environmental Services.Tickets for the black tie gala are €25 and are available by contacting the Donegal Enterprise Board Office on 074 9160735 or by e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgCounty and City Enterprise Boards are funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Union under the EU Structural Funds 2007 – 2013.The Ten FinalistsInishowen Tourism Society Ltd Inishowen Tourism has been in existence for over 20 years and is made up of a team of six full-time employees, with the capacity to manage strategic digital tourism development and marketing and fully exploit potential of tourism growth in the Inishowen region.With a 200% increase in trade membership in the past 3 years and affiliated partnerships with Failte Ireland, Donegal County Council, Derry City Council and Derry Visitors Convention Bureau, the organisation is a hub of activity for tourism product development, marketing, digital, trade liaison and support and visitor services.Its key aim is to improve the visitor experience and maximise the potential of tourism for the region.According to Marketing Manager, Kathleen Gill, with trade membership increasing year on year, Inishowen Tourism is representative of the key stakeholders within the local tourism industry and therefore can measure, monitor and review the impact of national tourism strategies and developments has at local level. And she says they are keen to build on the key projects and developments they have already undertaken and they are currently implementing a €150,000 national digital and marketing campaign called “My Inishowen” www.myinishowen.com which will showcase Inishowen’s unique visitor experiences.“We have designed and developed a new destination website visitinishowen.com and over the coming months we expect to add an online arts and craft shop, a mobile ready site with GPS, automatic linking of events and entertainment to other regional portals and quality photography and video content.”Indeed photography has already paid huge dividends for Inishowen Tourism with national and international coverage of the Northern Lights and Inishowen Killer Whales in the past year.In addition, Inishowen Tourism has made huge strides in developing their social media strategy and growing an online community with Facebook and Twitter while their new comprehensive Visitor Guide is regarded as one of the most popular publications within the Failte Ireland Tourist Office Network.Significant work has also been done on facilitating the development of a wide range of local tourism projects and events including Amazing Grace Park and Viewing Point, Arts & Crafts Trail, Inishowen Walking Guide and Feile An Grianan.Kathleen also explains the benefits of Inishowen Tourism having a dedicated City of Culture Officer who is interfacing between Inishowen and Derry during this unprecedented year.”We will be looking beyond the 2013 Derry City of Culture event to build on the momentum that a collaborative approach has had towards promoting the region. As a unique two-centre destination, we can offer visitors the contrasting experience of the vibrancy of a historic walled city and the escapism of a stunningly beautiful peninsula”.For more information click on www.visitinishowen.com or find them on facebook or twitter.Efficient Heating and PlumbingEfficient Heating & Plumbing were established in 2010 and offers a full range of heating and plumbing services including solid fuel boilers, wood boilers and geothermal heat pumps to domestic and business clients in Donegal and the surrounding counties.The business has also acquired the distribution and installation rights for the Energie Thermodynamic Solar Panel System, a latest generation system that is capable of collecting solar energy all year round regardless of the weather. This leads to greatly reduced energy bills.Christopher Lynch of Efficient Heating and Plumbing (EHP) explained that following in-depth research and analysis the company has teamed up with LVP Renewables (http://lvprenewables.ie) to offer, what he described as “the most efficient and cost saving thermodynamic solar panel system for the Irish climate.”He added: “As the exclusive distributors, EHP are responsible for installing the Energie Solar Panel systems in both new and existing homes throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland.”Meanwhile EHP’s Jonathan Doherty says the Energie Thermodynamic Solar Panels can provide 100% of domestic hot water needs, 365 days a year.“The solar panel system does not require any back-up from gas or oil to provide domestic hot water needs and therefore offers tremendous savings,” he said.Christopher added that the Efficient Heating and Plumbing team has over 15 years experience in the renewable energy industry installing solid fuel boilers, wood boilers and geothermal heat pumps for both domestic and commercial buildings.“All our work is completed to the highest quality and only use the best products available,” he concluded.Lone Star State LtdLone Star State Ltd is a Publisher of Transmedia Content, based in Donegal, specialising in creating original Multi-Platform Graphic Novels.The company who have their headquarters at the CoLab at Letterkenny IT produce and publish original graphic novels in print and digital format.In addition they also produce animated series, and smart phone Apps for viewing across all digital platforms for delivery, across the entire digital media space.According to Peter Campbell the core ethos of Lone Star State is simply to tell great stories, using the entire gamut of digital platforms to do so.“We have centred our operations on producing original graphic novels, which will be printed and distributed using traditional methods, and using Digital Delivery methods (Digital Publishing),” Peter explained.With a number of projects ongoing, Peter says that the the company will launch its Graphic Novel series in print and as a series of Digital Publications and Native Branded Apps.“As part of our overall business strategy, Lone Star State Ltd will be using “Transmedia” technologies to deliver the content through Digital Devices and platforms.”He added that Lone Star State Ltd is also developing an Animated Series based on an adaptation of the original Graphic Novels stories it has produced, and according to Peter, they too will utilize Transmedia storytelling to tell one large epic storyline across a suite of Apps, or “Appisodes.”Already Lone Star State has completed its first wave of products, a range of original digital graphic novels that were put on initial market release in Dec 2012.“That range was comprised of two books/graphic novels (titled Lone Star Soul), that are the first in a planned series,” said Peter.They have, he said, been distributed digitally and are available as a Digital eBook on all devices such as the iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, Kobo Reader and all Android Devices.Lone Star Soul is a western with elements of sci-fi and is also available for sale and purchase on all major storefront vendors such as Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Apple iBookstore, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books and Graphicly.“It was a good start for us and there was a terrific interest. Indeed, upon release, ‘Lone Star Soul’ achieved a ranking in the Top 30 Sci-Fi Graphic Novels Category on Amazon,” said Peter.Explaining that these products comprise of the first wave of books that will be followed by further releases, Peter has urged anyone with an interest in graphic novels and comics to keep an eye out for even further developments in the near future.“Our website will be “opening for business” on the 18th of March at www.lonestarsoul.com and as well as having their Digital Distribution strategy, and route to market established, the company also will have exclusive Printed Editions of the Books / Graphic Novels (as well as a host of other products and merchandise) available on this website,” Peter concluded.Lough Derg St. Patrick’s Purgatory, or Lough Derg, as it is more commonly known is situated on a remote little island in County Donegal. It began possibly in the sixth century and certainly by the twelfth century it was well on its way to becoming one of the most renowned places of pilgrimage in Christian world. It has attracted pilgrims from all over Europe, survived puritan persecution and remains today as Ireland’s most ancient place of pilgrimage, still vibrant and continuing to attract pilgrims from all over the world.At a time when church attendance in Ireland is slumping, Lough Derg is growing.It currently attracts in excess of 20,000 visitors annually, employing 10 full time employees and up to 60 seasonally.In the last twelve years, the site has developed from being perceived as a devout catholic place of pilgrimage to expanding its programme so that in 2013 visitors are served by a diverse range of programmes which includes the traditional pilgrimage, to interchurch services, family days, mother and daughter retreats, art workshops, youth music events, school retreats, as well as international tour groups.It has attracted much media attention in recent years due its tenacity to survive in difficult times for the Church, with US History Channel, French and German television, BBC and Nationwide just some of the media coverage enjoyed in 2012.The Island facilities can also be used for private hire for conference/meetings.Group heritage and cultural tours of the lake and Island are also offered primarily to international visitors, although there is increasing interest in this option locally.The Prior, Monsignor Richard Mohan has been Prior since 1992, overseeing a host of changes to make the site more accessible and welcoming to as wide a population as possible.Recognising the need for assistance to expand its appeal and widen its audience, he employed a Manager in Spring of 2001 (the first ever in Lough Derg’s ancient history).This was a brave and bold step considering the person appointed – Deborah Maxwell – was a Presbyterian and female in what had typically been a patriarchal organisation.Deborah now oversees all operational aspects of the Island from operations to marketing to programme development and she says efforts at creating a diverse and far-reaching menu of programmes and events will be the indication that Lough Derg is proactive and dynamic, and is trying to address the needs of today’s pilgrims.“We need to be sure to carefully employ staff who can share the message of hope strongly with pilgrims, so those that come, go away renewed and refreshed and with a more optimistic message and positive feeling,” she concluded.Gibson & AssociatesGibson & Associates is a firm of Solicitors established in Letterkenny in July 2009, having developed from the firm of Gibson & Kelly.The firm has developed at an exceptional rate, with its most recent expansion including the acquisition of Colgan & Co Solicitors, an established Dublin based firm.With a highly skilled team of Solicitors specialising in a number of areas of law, the local firm has branches based in Donegal, Dublin and London, allowing them to provide services locally, nationally and internationally.Daireann Gibson, has, in a three year period, grown the business from employing two people to one now employing 14, noting that he had spotted a gap in the market for a high end legal service at a reasonable price when he established the firm of Gibson & Kelly Solicitors in 2007.That partnership evolved into Gibson & Associates Solicitors, growing hugely in the process over a three-year period, partly he suggests due to the highly-skilled team now at their disposal.“We have a highly skilled team of Solicitors offering advice in a number of areas of law, in particular, Insurance/Arbitration, Insolvency, Immigration and Commercial Litigation. A testament to the quality of legal advice and excellent standard of care provided in these areas is the number of clients that have engaged and are continuing to engage with the firm since 2009. The firm not only has an established client base within this Province but has developed a national and international client base of over 4000.”With investment in staff training and a high degree of focus on ensuring transparency in terms of fees, he adds that the firm places a huge emphasis on communication with their clients.“We believe that client communication is paramount and ensure to keep our clients up to date on all aspects of their case. We adopt a policy of copying our clients on correspondence relating to their case and returning calls within the day, so that that client is fully up to date with their case, as and when required. We are dedicated to understanding the business of our clients and the issues that they face, which consequently allows us to build a relationship with them and quickly work towards a successful and practical solution.”Having already successfully identified a number of different market niches the firm is confident that they can continue to identify emerging areas that do not at present exist, and develop these as a first to the market, for the benefit of both its new and existing clients.The Donegal firms maintain a strong local and community ethos as well and the firm has provided free legal advice to several local sports clubs and charities, but they are ambitious too and future plans see them aim to develop the brand of Gibson & Associates, so that it is instantly recognisable and a market leader both regionally and nationally.“Our ambition is to become one of the top 30 Law firms in Ireland within 3 years and top 25 within 5 years,” Daireann concluded.Boyce Chartered PhysiotherapistSince November 2012, Lorraine Boyce has provided Physiotherapy services at the central location of O’ Boyce’s Corner, Letterkenny.Lorraine graduated with a BSc (Physio) degree from University College Dublin in 2007, and despite graduating third in her class with a first class honors degree, she was faced with limited job prospects in Ireland as fewer basic grade physiotherapists were being recruited in the lead up to the recession. When an employment opportunity arose within a busy Physiotherapy practice in New Zealand, Lorraine seized the opportunity to work in her chosen field and gain experience.“With intensive mentoring, I gained valuable skills in treating a wide range of injuries and disorders, including spinal injuries, sports injuries, overuse and repetitive strain injuries, postural dysfunction and nerve injuries,” she explained.Her stay in New Zealand also saw her act as Physiotherapist for Paraparaumu Rugby Football Club, and she furthered her interest in Pilates by training as a Pilates Instructor.Since returning home from New Zealand, she accepted the role as Honorary Secretary of the North West Branch of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists for two years and has undertaken a Graduate Diploma course in Acupuncture with University College Dublin, balancing a busy clinical schedule with weekend lectures.With post-graduate training in Spinal Manual Concepts, Biomechanics and general Musculoskeletal Therapy, Lorraine believes in provision of quality care that is evidence-based. ‘I believe that it’s very important to not just treat the symptoms of an injury, but to consider what contributed to its development in the first place and what can be done to prevent its recurrence in the future’, she said.Lorraine offers Pilates classes ranging from beginner to advanced level at Letterkenny Community Centre and Optimal Fitness. As a Chartered Physiotherapist, Lorraine’s attention to detail when it comes to instructing participants in technique and control, is one reason why her provision of this service has expanded substantially, with the introduction recently of men’s Pilates classes and Pilates for teenagers.Lorraine is readily able to address any core conditioning issues someone may be experiencing. “Weakness of the Core Muscles can arise in various situations, whether it be in relation to sport, pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy or chronic low back pain to name but a few,” she said. “For the injured sports person, Pilates core stability exercises can be a key factor in their rehabilitation that allows them to return to sport with confidence” she added.Many new opportunities are on the horizon for Lorraine Boyce Chartered Physiotherapist, as she looks forward to providing post-surgical rehabilitation to clients within the orthopaedic department of a private hospital in the coming months.Despite challenging economic times, Lorraine has shown that there is great potential for young entrepreneurs and small local businesses. “Establishing a new business is a daunting prospect, but I appreciate the network of support that is available through the Donegal County Enterprise Board, the Chamber of Commerce and the Women in Business Network, and the positivity there has been in general from fellow health care professionals and local businesses,” she concluded.Stateside RestaurantWith a strap-line of “A real Taste of America,” Stateside American Restaurant aims to offer customers, not just American-style food, but also excellent service, fun themed décor and buzzing atmosphere.Owned by Patricia Hill and her husband Tommy, the popular Letterkenny restaurant employs 28 people, including six full-time staff and projects that to increase even further this year.Patricia moved into the restaurant business after a career in banking, but says she always wanted to run her own business and after several visits to America believed an American-style restaurant would work in Letterkenny.“I have travelled to America on a number of occasions and each time I ate in the States, I always asked myself “why don’t we have this in Letterkenny?” Patricia said.She realised that goal in 2011 when Stateside was opened, and since then they have grown in popularity to such an extent they even received a Tripadvisor Excellence Award in 2012.Part of the popularity of Stateside, Patricia puts down to the terrific range on offer on their menu.“We provide a safe, family friendly, good value experience for the people of Letterkenny and indeed the rest of Donegal and surrounding area. The food that we supply includes wings, ribs, steaks, burgers, chicken, salads and a Mexican style food from our “South of the Border” section. We cook fresh to order and have a fantastic kids menu.”But it’s more than just the menu that brings people back, she believes and another key factor in helping the business develop over the past few years has been the fantastic team built up at Stateside.“We have a great team within the Restaurant with Ricky McElwaine, a native of Convoy, being our Head Chef. Ricky worked along with me prior to opening and he is a priceless asset to the company. Ricky and myself worked together to build a fantastic team who all see the same vision as we do. We share an ethos for excellence and everyone works extremely well together to make things happen. We provide what the people of Donegal need in a family dining experience.”Looking to the future the Stateside owner says she is already planning new ways to diversify and possibly even expand and a new healthy options range is already in the pipeline.“We are keen to move into educating our customers as to what the Healthy Options are. This is a very exciting move as many people feel that American Food is unhealthy but all food at Stateside is fresh and cooked to order. It is produced from raw products and not re-constituted products and we will be working on re-educating our customer base and others in the locality,” she concluded.RoadteamRoadteam Ltd is a Pettigo-based road recycling company that restores road surfaces to original conditions reusing the existing road materials.Established in 2008 as a road maintenance alternative for the public and private sectors, their goal is to provide a cost effective solution for road repairs.Adrian Britton of Roadteam suggests that from an economic stance their service should see a cost reduction of up to 60% over traditional methods.He explained that, employing state of the art equipment, the road surface is broken up, crushed, graded and made ready for resurfacing.“Recycling road materials has moved steadily up the construction agenda and with increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact of road construction, Roadteam Ltd have sourced the most efficient machinery for road regeneration,” he added.And, he maintained, the advantages to the road maintenance bodies of using recycled materials are substantial and can directly reduce costs.Among the added benefits right across a project would include reduced costs and CO2 emissions, reduced need for imported materials, reduced project time and energy use and the reduced amount of heavy hevicle movements over existing roads“The process of reusing existing road materials definitely helps Roadteam offer a hugely superior service to traditional road repair methods in terms of cost, project duration and environmental friendliness,” says Adrian.The business, which employs 8 people, was awarded ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 in December 2012.Castlefin Partnership InitiativeCastlefin Partnership Initiative (CPI) was established in 1999. Since its inception the Partnership has successfully completed all phases of an extensive development project.The first seeds were sown at a meeting in October 1999 when a meeting of representatives of the various community groups active in the Castlefinn area was held.The outcome of this meeting was the establishment of an umbrella organisation representing various interest groups in the community, to be known as Castlefinn Partnership Initiative Limited (C.P.I. Ltd.)The group undertook a community needs survey to identify the needs and desires of the community. The results of the survey were analysed. From the findings C.P.I. Ltd. was established and the aims and objectives of the company were clarified.The group set about to promote and encourage the social, cultural, educational, training and sporting needs of the community and the economic development, through job creation, in Castlefinn and its environs.In addition it aimed to provide or arrange for the provision of a range of services including commercial floor space, health services and childcare facilities, which would benefit the economic and general welfare of the community.They also aimed to provide for the members of their community, a neutral venue not under the control or influence of any organisation, political or other.Today the group boasts a range of first class services and facilities including health services, childcare and training facilities, a multipurpose hall, outdoor children’s play area and the development of outdoor recreational areas. The Partnership also hosts the nationally acclaimed Northwest Garden Show and is currently developing the Whitehouse Garden, which will be officially opened on 28th June.Letterkenny Community Childcare LimitedNow open for 51 weeks of the year, Letterkenny Community Childcare Centre Limited was originally a sessional preschool founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers anxious to meet Community needs.Catering for children aged 6 weeks to 10 years, the centre has grown enormously from its early days and is now recognized as an all-Ireland centre of excellence.In November 2003 the company opened its purpose built full day-care Childcare Centre at a Donegal County Enterprise site, catering for 28 children on a full, part-time and sessional basis and employing eight people.Since then it has expanded enormously and currently 90 families and 112 children avail of the centre’s services, while there are now 18 people employed there.In addition it provides training and development for 2 Community Employment Scheme workers and 1 TUS worker.The increased staffing levels followed expansion of services that saw a second service opened in 2012 to provide sessional pre-school under the Department of Children Early Childhood Care and Education scheme, creating three full time positions in the process.Coordinator Geraldine Burke who worked as a volunteer in the organisation for around 10 years prior to becoming the first official employee, explained some of the reasons behind the centre’s success.“The Centre is open to all sections of the Community on a first come first served basis and works closely with the HSE and local charities by supporting families caring for children with special needs and families experiencing difficulties,” she explained.Adding that the organisation has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence in Ireland since 2008, Geraldine said she had taken the post with Letterkenny Community Childcare Ltd because she felt she could make a difference to the early sector, based on her knowledge and experience with young children.A real driving force in terms of development, Geraldine was instrumental in forming a limited company and gaining charitable status when she recognised that the organisation needed to expand to meet fully the community needs.“In 2001 the Government announced the ‘Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme’ (EOCP) funded by Europe under the National Development Plan. The aim of this initiative was to get women back into the workforce. I then project managed a grant application for EOCP to build, equip, and staff a full day-care Community Childcare Centre, working with Donegal County Enterprise Fund (DCEF) on the design of the building which was erected on their land.”The full day service opened in 2003 and the organisation is now a Company Limited by Guarantee, governed by a Voluntary Board of Directors of which Geraldine is the Company Secretary as well as Coordinator of the Childcare Centre with day to day responsibility for management of the service.Operating under the principles of Siolta the National Standards for Pre-school services and Aistear the pre-school curriculum, the Centre now has five distinct areas, babies, toddlers, pre-school full day, pre-school sessional and afterschool. Facilities also include two safety surfaced outdoor areas, a garden and an indoor physical area.TEN COMPANIES FIGHT IT OUT FOR TOP PRIZE AT ENTERPRISING DONEGAL BUSINESS AWARDS was last modified: March 12th, 2013 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:Business WeekDonegal Enterprise BoardMichael Tunney
A young Donegal girl with a rare illness has stood alone for the first time in her life thanks to her big-hearted neighbours and friends.Little Sarah McFeeley, 3, was born with a rare form of cerebral palsy called Dyskininetic CP which meant even the simple things in life proved impossible for her. But her mum and dad Ray McFeeley and Bronagh Colhoun decided they had to give their daughter every chance for a normal life.So they decided to launch a fund-raising campaign to send her to the famous Peto Institute in Hungary.The institute deals specifically with people with cerebral palsy and helps them through a special programme called Conductive Education.The community in her hometown of Letterkenny and across Donegal got behind the campaign to raise the €6,000 needed for treatment. The campaign involved everything from sponsored tattoos to beard-shaves to marathons.While in Budapest Sarah even managed to stand alone by herself for an entire 15 seconds – something she had never done before.Now Sarah has just returned from having her treatment at the centre in Budapest and dad Ray said she is ready to take on the world!Ray said the sessions, often up to three times a day, were very tough on little Sarah and on himself and mum Bronagh.“Both ourselves and Sarah have learned so much and we are going to put it to good use.“It was tough on her at times and you just wanted it to stop but we knew we had to continue on for her sake. “Even when we arrived they put her in a chair and I thought she was going to fall out but she held on. They knew exactly what they were doing.“It was worth every penny going there and we are so grateful to all the people of Donegal who helped in any way to raise the money to get Sarah there,” he said.Ray says he knows it’s going to be a long road but they are just so happy that Sarah has now been given a chance at a more normal life.“It’s going to take a lot of work but the quality of Sarah’s life is going to be so much better after going to the Peto Institute. “There are no miracle cures or anything like that but they do teach us ways of making Sarah’s quality of life so much better in ways we could never have imagined,” said Ray.SARAH STARTS HER NEW LIFE AFTER MIRACLE TREATMENT was last modified: June 29th, 2012 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:Bronagh ColhounPeto InstituteRay McFeeleySarah McFeeley
Finn Harps have been left frustrated yet again after failing to secure all three points against high-flying Shelbourne at Tolka Park.For the third game in-a-row Finn Harps have been held to a stalemate after two consecutive 0-0 draws with Cobh Ramblers and Galway United respectively.The visitors went ahead after 33 minutes when McCarron unleashed a sizzling half volley that flew into the top corner. Shels were shell-shocked and Harps bombarded them for the rest of the half and should have been further ahead at the interval.In the second-half Shelbourne upped the tempo and got back into it when they were awarded a penalty after 61 minutes.The penalty was expertly dispatched by the impressive Coughlan.Harps responded well and Sean McCarron could have added two more goals to his account in the latter stages but the Derry man saw his efforts drift narrowly wide. Next up for Harps is Wexford at Finn Park next Friday, which is a must win game for Ollie Horgan’s troops if they are to keep their promotion hopes alive.MCCARRON SCREAMER NOT ENOUGH TO EARN HARPS WIN AT TOLKA was last modified: July 26th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:Finn Harps FCnewsShelbourneSportTolka