State Lawmakers Favor Spending on Teacher Raises, Tourism and Affordable Housing

first_imgAs state lawmakers move closer to finalizing a $92 billion budget, they are also monitoring the global spread of the coronavirus, which could end up disrupting the anticipated revenues needed for major items in their spending plan.“It’s a serious concern,” says Republican House Speaker Jose Oliva. “It’s a concern because we are making some strong spending commitments in areas that everyone can support, but they’re strong recurring spending commitments.”On Saturday, lawmakers agreed to put more than $500 million into teacher pay raises, which is a three percent across-the-board raise for state workers. They also decided to preserve the full $387 million in the affordable housing trust fund and to set aside $50 million for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing organization.Each one of those initiatives could instead see cuts if the coronavirus affects tourism.“We’re all concerned primarily for the lives of Floridians and all of our brothers and sisters around the world,” says Senate budget chief Rob Bradley. “The governor and his team are on the case and they’re being very aggressive in dealing with it.”DeSantis recently asked lawmakers for $25 million to help fight the threat of the coronavirus, which has already resulted in two deaths in the state.However, Oliva says people should go about their lives and not give in to “panic” over the virus.He adds, “There is a difference between legitimate concern – and we should all be very legitimately concerned – and panic. When we begin to act in a panicked way the structures of things around us begin to crumble and then we get ourselves into a situation that a special session cannot repair.”last_img read more

Red dawn: Orange heads to New Jersey to take on Rutgers

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Justin Pugh has only been around the Syracuse football program for two years, but he’s well briefed on its rivalry with Rutgers. It’s something the Holland, Pa., native Pugh is familiar with, having been recruited by both schools and now having friends on each side. ‘There’s that little rivalry,’ Pugh said. ‘There’s that bad blood between the two schools.’ Looking to rebound from last week’s home loss to Louisville and become bowl eligible, Syracuse heads south to Rutgers this weekend — a place SU players have recently described as ‘heated’ and ‘hostile.’ The Orange handily defeated Rutgers inside the Carrier Dome a year ago in a game that some players believe has only added fuel to the fire for this Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPNU). And because of that, some see Syracuse-Rutgers as a battle for the rights to claim tri-state supremacy. ‘They see this as a big rivalry game,’ senior defensive tackle Andrew Lewis said. ‘It’s New Jersey vs. New York. … The hype behind this game, you feel it all week, you hear about it all week and you read it on the Internet all week.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Lewis recalls last year’s game specifically because of the crowd, the nine sacks the SU defense collected and the 60-yard scamper by Averin Collier that iced the 31-13 win. It was the first time SU beat Rutgers since 2004. The win helped rejuvenate the New York-New Jersey football rivalry that had sat dormant for years. Both teams have an agenda this year. Rutgers perhaps has revenge on its mind, and the Orange hopes to clinch bowl eligibility and avoid a pressure-filled final two games at home. ‘It’s coming down to the wire,’ sophomore quarterback Ryan Nassib said. ‘As the games get closer and closer to the end of the season, they get more and more important.’ Making the matchup even more intriguing is the former teammates who will be on each side of the ball. Middle linebacker and New Castle, Del., native Derrell Smith said he has two former high school teammates who will be dressed in Rutgers uniforms. Pugh, linebacker Doug Hogue and Nassib each know players on the other side as well. With the rivalry, friends and acquaintances have become enemies. Former teammates are now on different sides of what the players believe is becoming a legitimate Big East rivalry. ‘Obviously we were disappointed we couldn’t get that seventh win in front of the home crowd,’ Pugh said. ‘But a lot of us are from this area and were recruited by Rutgers, and it’s definitely going to be exciting going down there.’ A year ago, Hogue had his breakout game after he moved to the defense as a converted running back. His 3.5 sacks earned him the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week award as he dominated the Scarlet Knights. Reeling from a home loss to Louisville, Hogue expects this Saturday to pose two concerns for the Orange: rebounding from the loss and doing it in a place he expects to be rocking. ‘We know Rutgers is going to come at us with everything they’ve got,’ Hogue said. ‘We just have to execute.’ For the Orange to prevail, it must shake off the poor offensive line play that plagued SU during last week’s loss to Louisville. Pugh is expecting a similar defensive scheme this weekend and said Rutgers’ experienced front four is among the best in the league. Like last week, the margin of error is very small for the Orange. In what is expected to be a hostile environment Saturday, SU head coach Doug Marrone said the defense must create turnovers and the offense must capitalize on them. Something SU was unable to do against the Cardinals. And the Orange must win the special teams battle. On the road, Marrone understands the importance of doing so. And with Syracuse now on the cusp of clinching bowl eligibility for the first time in six seasons, the Orange will be in store for a game with the feel of a street fight. Pugh referred to it as a ‘heightened intensity,’ and Hogue noted that this will be a ‘big game’ for the Orange. This Saturday, Syracuse heads into unfriendly territory with one goal in mind: coming out with a victory and clinching bowl eligibility. ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to get that seventh win,’ Hogue said. ‘There’s no doubt in my mind.’ Published on November 10, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more

Dalvin Cook kicks into ‘extra gear’ in Florida State’s 45-14 blowout win over Syracuse

first_imgSet up in an I-formation, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook ran up to take the handoff from quarterback Deondre Francois midway through the second quarter. As soon as the ball was placed into his stomach, he planted his left foot in the ground and cut to the right, running diagonally toward the sideline.As soon as fullback Freddie Stevenson got the block down on safety Daivon Ellison on the outside, Cook planted his right foot and cut back up the field. He scampered into the end zone untouched.“We knew he was very dangerous when he gets to the perimeter and uses his speed, so instead of letting him get lateral as much as he likes to, we tried to keep him between the tackles,” linebacker Zaire Franklin said. “Obviously it didn’t go to well today.”Syracuse (4-7, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) got blown out at home, losing its third straight game. Although the defense played well in spurts, it couldn’t find a way to stop Cook, one of the best running backs in the country. He ended up with 225 yards and four touchdowns on the ground — the most rushing yards and touchdowns SU has allowed to a single player all year — and was the catalyst of No. 17 Florida State’s (8-3, 5-3) offense in its 45-14 victory over the Orange on Saturday.MORE COVERAGE:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFlorida State put a beat down on SyracuseDino Babers said Eric Dungey hasn’t received second opinion on injurySyracuse’s offensive line struggled to protect Zack Mahoney Cook flashed his skills on his first carry of the game. Starting from SU’s 21-yard line, he took the second-down handoff left and seemed surrounded by Orange jerseys near the line of scrimmage. Syracuse fans started cheering, thinking SU would force the Seminoles into a third and long.Instead, Cook bounced off his tight end, Ryan Izzo, who was blocking for him, turned toward the middle and ran for a gain of 6. Orange fans went from excited to disappointed with one explosive cutback.“He has great feet,” linebacker Andrew Armstrong said. “Even when we do keep contain, he’s good with his footwork cutting back.”On the next drive, his second carry of the day went for 41 yards. That passed the 19 yards he needed coming into the game to become FSU’s all-time leading rusher.When Syracuse over-contained to try and keep Cook inside the tackles, he’d rush straight up the gut. When SU plugged up the middle, Cook would bounce to the outside and run past whoever was there.As the game progressed he wore out the SU defense. In the first quarter, he had six carries for 55 yards, with the majority of them coming on that 41-yard run. In the second quarter, he got seven more for 49 yards and the touchdown.“The tailback, he’s an ‘OMG’ guy,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said.Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo EditorBut the first half was just an appetizer for Cook. Coming out of the break with a 21-7 lead — and right after SU had scored on a Hail Mary to end the first half — the Seminoles scored two touchdowns on their first two possessions. Both times it was Cook running untouched and both runs were for more than 10 yards.Cook became just the seventh FBS player this season to run four touchdowns and 200 yards in a game. He also became the first player in ACC history to clear the 4,000 career rushing yard marker in just three seasons.After SU scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 35-14, kicker Cole Murphy tried an onside kick that was recovered by Florida State. The drive ended with Cook’s fourth touchdown of the game.“He has an extra gear,” linebacker Troy Henderson said. “He has an extra gear that I don’t think anybody in the country can catch him when he gets to the sideline.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on November 19, 2016 at 10:30 pm Contact Tomer: | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

After nail-biting win, women’s soccer looks ahead to Utah in Sweet Sixteen

first_imgIt was a tense scene at McAlister Field on Friday.After 90 minutes of regulation play and 30 minutes of extra time, both the Trojans and the Texas A&M Aggies remained scoreless. The game had been physical — notching up 28 total fouls — and the Trojans leveled 26 total shots at the Aggies with no result. And after ploughing their way easily into the second round of the NCAA tourney, the Trojans were facing a shoot-out period that could send them home after only two tournament games.Now, it all came down to one shot.Senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme dove and batted away the first A&M penalty kick, and the fourth ricocheted off the crossbar. The Trojans’ third shot was blocked, but they still led by one goal.And junior Alex Anthony did what she’s done best for the Trojans this season. She stepped calmly up to the line, paused for a half second, then drove the ball straight into the back of the net, finishing when the Trojans needed it the most. The team poured onto the field, leaping on Anthony and Prudhomme in celebration.It wasn’t the prettiest win, but the team was moving on to the third round of the NCAA tourney.The Aggies were a known threat from the beginning for head coach Keidane McAlpine. After a season racked with injuries, the team was healthy, reloaded and hungry for a win. That came across in physical play, which broke up the rhythm of the possession-oriented Trojans’ offense and allowed for fast-paced counter attacks that sent both teams streaking from goal box to goal box.“They fought until the very end, obviously,” McAlpine said. “This was a team that we knew could bring it from the start, and they did that.”By the second half, however, the Trojans took control of the pace of play, outshooting the Aggies 10-5. Several no-calls on fouls and handballs in the box left the team frustrated as the game remained scoreless with the clock ticking down on regulation time. And extra time was the same — the Trojans possessed the ball in their attacking half for most of play, sending in shot after shot at A&M, but were unable to find the back of the net.But once regulation time ended, senior Kayla Mills says the team was determined to see only one outcome to the game.“We weren’t losing,” Mills said. “Our team has come so far together, this whole season and even just in the last week, and I think we just looked at each other and decided we weren’t going to lose. It wasn’t going to happen, we wouldn’t let it.”And it didn’t. With four penalty kicks and Prudhomme’s two stops, the team moved on to the next round of the tournament. Now, their attention turns to Utah, a team that Mills jokingly says “ruined” the Trojans’ season earlier this year. The teams faced off at the end of conference play, ending in a 1-1 tie that prevented the Trojans from winning the Pac-12. It was the type of game that the whole team wasn’t quick to forget.When the Trojans kick off at noon on Sunday, they’ll be looking for one thing — redemption.last_img read more

Johnson Charles is ready for CPL17 Cricket Tournament

first_imgThe St Lucia Stars had the most successful cricket season last year. Much of that success was as a result of Johnson Charles’s impressive season with the bat.Definitely excited“2016 was a big year and 2017 is definitely going to have more hype and I am looking forward to doing my thing. I am definitely excited and you know the excitement is immeasurable.” Johnson said as we count down the days to the opening match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground,” Charles said.When asked about what is required for the Stars to go all the way this year Charles was confident. “All we have to do now is maintain and improve on our performances. It is going to take a lot of work because all teams are coming after us. It is a hard competition. So, we just have to maintain and give our all.”Confident in his teamCharles is full of belief in his team and his own abilities. “Last year I was number two in the run scoring charts. So, this year I am just looking to start at number two and get up there to number one. It will take a lot of hard work because every batsman is coming out there to perform and get the most runs.”Speaking about the development Hero CPL and the changes players faced in the opening years, Charles said: “When we started in the first year you could have seen that guys were not really into T20 and did not really know much about the game, but as it progressed you could see everybody getting a lot better in their games and game planning.Hero CPL pushed career“Hero CPL has pushed my T20 career forward in that it has exposed me to more of the world stage and it has definitely marketed my name. It has helped me a lot and I am hoping to use this as far as possible.”last_img read more

NBA Draft: Emmanuel Mudiay believes experience in China will spur NBA success

first_imgMoments after he released the ball from his hands, Emmanuel Mudiay would hear one or two things.The Lakers coaching staff sang Mudiay’s praises as he sank countless jumpers. When those shots clanked off the rim, the Lakers’ assistants ranging from Mark Madsen, Paul Pressey, Larry Lewis and Thomas Scott provided positive reinforcement.Amid all the buzz surrounding Mudiay’s first NBA pre-draft workout on Saturday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, the possible No. 2 prospect tried addressing the main concern talent evaluators see in his outside shooting. But even if he shot only 37.4 percent from 3-point range and 57.4 percent from the foul line last year with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, Mudiay believed that experience alone will accelerate his NBA development.• Video: Emmanuel Mudiay meets with media after workout “I wasn’t nervous, but anxious. I was ready to get out there to do what I had to do,” said Mudiay, who tried to show his athleticism. “As the workout kept going, I got comfortable.”The 19-year-old Mudiay showed more than just his on-court skills. He also showed his mature mindset on several different things.Mudiay stayed in China after injuring his right ankle 10 games into the season out of obligation both to rehab and support his teammates. Mudiay downplayed comparisons to Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell, who is also projected as a top-five pick. Mudiay also downplayed any learning curve adjusting to Kobe Bryant’s demanding expectations or sharing ball-handling duties.“I have a winning attitude. When you like to win, everything else takes care of itself,” Mudiay said. “I’m competitive just as much as (Kobe’s) competitive. He wants to win. I want to win.”It helps Mudiay grew up a Lakers fan. But his favorite Lakers player remains Magic Johnson. Mudiay also considers his two older brothers as his favorite basketball players. So as Mudiay worked out to show off his potential and address any weaknesses, he sounded determined he could offset the Lakers’ weaknesses after finishing last season with the worst record in franchise history.“They didn’t want to have that season,” said Mudiay, before eying the 10 of the 16 Lakers’ NBA championship trophies in Jeanie Buss’ office that oversees the practice court. “You see the trophies in the window. You see the names. Everybody has a winning attitude. So I know the coaches want to change that. Mitch Kupchak wants to change that immediately. That’s what I’m about.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “The physicality over there was ridiculous,” said Mudiay, who played against former NBA players Michael Beasley and Stephon Marbury and under a 24-second shot clock. “My maturity level improved in learning how to come into the game as a professional.”But Mudiay’s decision to play overseas instead of keeping his commitment at Southern Methodist University went beyond X’s and O’s. “It was for my mother. She was struggling at the time. So I wanted to help her immediately financially,” Mudiay said. “After that, it played a big factor that I was going to be playing against older and more physical men.”Mudiay provided plenty of signs that could pay off.He averaged 17.7 points on 54.5-percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists in the CBA. Mudiay impressed NBA talent evaluators with his speed, athleticism, playmaking and defense. He has sparked enough buzz that most NBA mock drafts project him as high as the No. 1 pick and as low as the No. 4 selection. So after his Lakers workout, Mudiay plans to train with New York on Tuesday as well as Minnesota and Philadelphia next week. Meanwhile, the Lakers will work out six prospects considered for their 27th and 34th picks on Monday morning, and hope they can have another individual workout that afternoon for a No. 2 prospect. last_img read more

SCJ Alliance Celebrates Expansion, Rebranding, Seven Year Anniversary

first_imgSubmitted by SCJ AllianceThe Olympia office team pauses from their busy schedules to commemorate SCJ Alliances 7 Year Anniversary.As SCJ Alliance crosses the plate for their seventh anniversary, looking back it’s been a homerun year. A name change from Shea Carr Jewell, rebranding, expansion to Southwest Washington and added services have produced impressive numbers.“We’ve gone from five Costco tables as desks to offices in five communities across three states,” shares co-founder Perry Shea, PE, reflecting on the firm’s beginnings in 2006. “We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to serve our clients better, as well as provide our talented staff with opportunities for growth.”Headquartered in Olympia, WA, SCJ Alliance also has offices in Wenatchee and Vancouver, WA; Boise, ID; and Westminster, CO. A consulting and professional services firm, SCJ has provided the engineering and planning expertise behind many projects in the region. Examples include Port Townsend’s recent downtown streetscape improvements, Olympia’s master planned Briggs Village, WinCo Foods stores in Sumner and Bremerton, and Bonney Lake’s many intersection improvements along SR 410.“We changed our name to reflect our expanded offerings and growth beyond the Puget Sound region,” said co-founder Jean Carr, LEED AP BD+C. “Our rebranding also reflects our broader range of services including environmental, website, information technology, communication and public relations. These complement our previously existing services like civil engineering, transportation planning and design, and land use planning to name a few,” Bob said.Co-founder Bob Jewell, PE reflects on the role diversification has played in the firm’s success. “Diversification in market sectors, project types and firm services has provided stability and opportunity. This allows us to be creative, move quickly and weather the tough economic times.”SCJ starts their next “inning” at a sprint with new, high visibility projects. “We are very excited to be involved with both the world’s largest Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas and improvements planned on I-5 adjacent to JBLM spanning five miles and four interchanges,” said Perry.SCJ also remains focused on continuing to serve existing and traditional clients like municipal and private developers. “We have been working on planning and engineering for Briggs Village since the 1990s. It’s rewarding to see that project coming to life,” said Jean. SCJ also has long term involvement with planning and design for Saint Martin’s University (SMU). SMU is the alma mater for a number of SCJ’s engineers including Perry and Bob.For SCJ, it’s a good time to be in business. “Developers are dusting off projects that have been sitting for five or six years,” says SCJ Principal Eric Johnston, PE. Eric is assisting the rural town of Wilkeson in corridor planning, creating a Town Center that will be a part of the Foothills Trail visioned to span from Tacoma to Mt. Rainier.“SCJ is committed to being an active community member,” says Principal Amy Head, PE, LEED AP BD+C. “It gives me great pleasure to work on projects of community significance like the new Boys & Girls Club, and East Bay Plaza,” shared Amy. SCJ also actively supports the missions of Rebuilding Together, Thurston EDC, multiple Chambers of Commerce, the South Sound Reading Foundation, Leadership Thurston County, cancer prevention groups and little league teams, to name a few.SCJ Alliance has been widely recognized since its founding, including the following awards:2012 Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s Spotlight on Business Award2012 Zweig Letter Hot Firm List as one of the fastest growing firms in the nation2011 Zweig Letter Hot Firm List2010 Best Firms to Work For by Civil Engineering News2010 Zweig Letter Hot Firm List2009 Small Business of the Year by the Thurston EDC2009 Best Firms to Work For by Civil Engineering News Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Juventus quarantines 121 people

first_imgAt best, Vecchia Signora will return to work on March 25, after the 14 days of mandatory isolation, like Inter, its latest rival in the Italian league, whose players will be quarantined at home. April 4 is the date on which Series A should resume after the break due to the emergency: this is a very optimistic forecast, considering the desperate Italian situation. “I’m fine, don’t worry,” said the player, “I only invite you to respect the rules.” Bianconero Rugani was the first Serie A footballer to suffer from the new disease (today it was learned that Gabbiadini from Sampdoria also tested positive), and he did not suffer any particular symptoms: on Tuesday he suffered from a fever and, as a precaution, the doctors submitted the test, which was positive. Rugani isolated himself in the J-Hotel, the structure where the youth gatherings take place, and he will stay there for 14 days: some of his colleagues decided to follow him, others will be with their families.Cristiano will follow the sanitary measures from PortugalCristiano Ronaldo will continue in Madeira, where he was to visit his mother, and will stay there until the team can train again. All the players will undergo the coronavirus test, and Juve put a total of 121 people in quarantine, including managers and employees. President Andrea Agnelli himself is isolated at his home, and with a video on Twitter he announced a fundraiser for health structures in the Piedmont region.last_img read more

New Kingston to rebound in Race 3

first_imgWith the $4 million Pick-9 having been caught by a lucky punter at Caymanas Park last Saturday, it starts anew with a guaranteed minimum of $1 million.Both Super-6s offer guaranteed minimums of $750,000, the first embracing races one to six, the late Super-6 from race six to 11.We look at the first Super-6 on the O&S Tack Room-sponsored programme, the opening race confined to $180,000 claimers over 1820 metres. ABOVE THE RADAR, with Rayan Wilson aboard, steps down two classes after his disappointing performance behind BATIDOR D’MUNDO over the distance last Saturday, but is expected to rebound among these lesser lights.He finished a floundering last over what is considered his pet trip. But now back among his peers and only CUTTER and POCKET MONEY capable of testing him in an eight-horse field, ABOVE THE RADAR, now taking orders from trainer Lawrence Freemantle, should score easily.TARANIS, who was a beaten favourite behind ROAD WI SEH in the August 8 TOBA Trophy over 1400 metres, is tipped to recoup losses with Shane Ellis aboard in the second race for three-year-olds over a raceTARANIS hurt his chances by rearing at the start in the TOBA Trophy and finished 10 lengths fourth in what was a fast-run race. He continues to look sharp at exercise under the watchful eye of trainer Richard Azan, however, and only needs a clean break to upstage the unbeaten course winner ANOTHER BULLET (Paul Francis up) and WAHEED NAJMAH (Shamaree Muir) in a field of 10.NEW KINGSTON, having won two of his last four races and finishing a good third to CLASSY PROSPECT in the Emancipation Trophy over 1300 metres on August 1, steps down to $450,000-$400,000 claiming for the third race and should have little difficulty in winning over a mile. The evergreen nine-year-old gelding from the stables of champion trainer Wayne DaCosta is clearly a cut above his nine opponents and with former champion Omar Walker taking the ride should lead home the recent winner OUR CREATION.PRINCESS SHEMIKA, with Walker up, only needs a clean break to topple rivals in the fourth race over 1300 metres to be contested by 10 starters. She has secured a good draw on the outside of the field and with third generation trainer Steven Todd enjoying good form, having posted a double last Saturday, PRINCESS SHEMIKA gets the nod over GREAT BROWN and GENUINE FRIEND.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by ROUGH PATRICK under former champion Wesley ‘Callaloo’ Henry and FLASHY MAMA MIA with apprentice Marc Griffiths aboard. Their respective dangers are COURT CALL and GOLD CHARM.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) ABOVE THE RADAR/CUTTER(2) TARANIS/ANOTHERBULLET(3) NEW KINGSTON(4) PRINCESS SHEMIKA/GREAT BROWN(5) ROUGH PATRICK/COURTCALL(6) FLASHY MAMA MIA/GOLD CHARMlast_img read more

Swedish Ambassador Nordstrom’s Critical Charge to BWI Grads: “Value Yourselves”

first_imgMadam Lena Nordstrom, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, last Saturday challenged the graduates of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) not to take lightly their accomplishments after attaining secondary diplomas in technical and vocational skills. They should rather see themselves as shining examples to other Liberian youth. “You are now challenged,” she told the 314 graduates, “to put your skills to work for the advancement of your communities and society as a whole.”This profound and challenging advice from Ambassador Nordstrom was given on her behalf by the Swedish Embassy’s Head of Development Cooperation, Ms. Elizabeth Harleman. For reasons unknown to herself, Ambassador Nordstrom’s charge to the BWI grads starkly reminded Observer Publisher Kenneth Y. Best of one line he remembered from the Valedictory Address of St. Teresa Convent’s dux in 1950, 66 years ago.Kenneth, then a bare-footed St. Patrick’s third grader, legs shining with palm kernel oil, had accompanied his older sister Muriel, a Convent junior clad in white, to the graduation.Standing in the crowded Convent auditorium (who would offer a poor, barefooted lad a seat?), Kenneth heard the brilliant 16-year-old dux tell her wildly clapping audience, “Today, I am no longer a mere school girl, but a responsible woman in the Republic.”Cora Ann, however, did not say which “republic” she was referring to. For immediately upon graduation she entered Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), where she soon earned her Bachelor’s degree, then went on to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she took the Ph.D in Education. While atHarvard, she met and married a Nigerian chemical engineer and shortly thereafter he took her to Nigeria, where they found immediate employment. But during the Nigerian Civil War little over a decade later, the couple returned to the United States with their children. So Cora Ann was perhaps referring in her Valedictory Address to “the Republic of the World,” in the same way so many BWI and other Liberian graduates, following the 1980 coup d’état and our own civil war, are today rendering professional services all over the world. She became a senior official in the New Jersey School System.But “responsible woman in the republic”—is that not what the Swedish Ambassador told the BWI grads last Saturday? Urging them to take themselves seriously, just as Cora Ann Phelps took herself seriously 66 years ago, Ambassador Nordstrom told them: “You are a great example to other Liberian youth, and you are [challenged] to put your skills to work for your communities and your society as a whole.”Without knowing it—how could she? She is new here— Ambassador Nordstrom was telling them to follow the footsteps of such BWI graduates as Samuel Burnett and Harry Yuan, both Electricity graduates of BWI, the former in 1957, the latter in 1961, who went on to study Electrical Engineering in the USA and returned to head the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), each in his time, as Managing Director. There are so many other Liberian technical institutions that have been headed by BWI graduates. We know of several who have served as Ministers of Public Works, among them Joseph Boayue, Class of 1938 (eighth grade), Yudu Gray, and arguably the most celebrated of them all, Gabriel Johnson Tucker, Class of ‘54. Tucker ran the Ministry with considerable success. The bridge linking central Monrovia to Bushrod Island, built under his watch, is named for him.Gabriel’s classmate, Edwin Dunbar, for many years ran a successful civil engineering firm in Texas, and Gabriel joined his classmate there during exile in the USA. It is because so many old BWI boys and girls, having left their alma mater and pursued advanced training in their various technical and vocational fields, are doing so well and making money because of it in the Diaspora, especially in North America, that the strongest of all Liberian alumni associations in that part of the world is the BWI Alumni Association of North America (BWIAANA).We pray for continued peace in Liberia that will allow these and other BWI graduates to travel to Sweden, other parts of Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa for advanced training to return and help rebuild Liberia. May some of them also return to Kakata and accelerate the expansion and refinement of Agricultural, Business, Technical, Vocational and Industrial training at their beloved “Dear Booker T.” Such a patriotic initiative, on the part of BWI Alumni, here and in the Diaspora will be an important contribution towards the realization of that most encouraging and laudable pledge by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, to make the Booker Washington Agricultural and Industrial Institute (BWI) “a center of excellence.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more