Local Salvation Army collects library fines

first_imgPhoto: Members from the Fort St. John Public Library and the local Salvation Army celebrate the amount of food raised during November – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.caThe Fort St. John Public Library overdue user fines are warming the bellies of those less-fortunate.The library wrapped up its sixth-annual Food for Fines fundraiser on Wednesday morning. During the month of November, the library erased user-fines, in return for a non-perishable food item.- Advertisement -Program Coordinator for the local library, Janice Closson says the Library chose the Salvation Army as the recipient of the donations. She says the library has a firsthand experience in dealing with those less-fortunate.[asset|aid=2192|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=0003b56d2c95d5f0938a8dfa93542fab-Janice 1_1_Pub.mp3]And while she says donations were slightly down this year, it took more than five people to haul the load of food out to the Salvation Army truck.Photo: Captain Isobel Lippers checks out the donated food on Wednesday. She says the Salvation Army’s food bank always needs breakfast items like cereal – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.calast_img read more


American Airlines plane suffers blowout at CJIA

first_img…China Harbour threshold lights cause accident – AirportAnother American Airlines flight was delayed on Wednesday morning after the aircraft suffered a blowout from a raised runway light at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), leaving over 100 passengers stranded. The incident occurred just after midnight as American Airlines flight AA1512 was taxiing down the runway for takeoff to Miami.Guyana Times understands that the aircraft ran over the temporary runway lighting, which damaged the wheels of the plane.The temporary lighting system was installed to facilitate current extension works at the CJIA runway.Earlier this month when there was a failure in the runway lighting system, a senior airport official had explained to this newspaper that the runway light cables are usually run underground and the lights into the ground but because of the ongoing extension works, temporary cables are being used.“That is just a temporary arrangement but when the runway is extended fully, [the cables and lights] will go back down underground as it would normally be,” the official had stated.However, in a statement on Wednesday, American Airlines said that the temporary runway lights were not visible, hence the aircraft, an Airbus A319, ran over the cable and damaged some tyres.“The cable appears to be part of a temporary runway light solution which was not visible to the crew and no previous notice was issued to pilots… No injuries were reported and passengers were bussed back to the gate,” the missive from the US-based airline detailed.But the CJIA in a statement also on Wednesday insisted that the appropriate Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was previously issued on the temporary lighting systems being used.The appropriate Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was previously issued to advise of these works and for pilots to exercise caution when in the vicinity of the threshold,” the CJIA said.Nevertheless, after Wednesday’s incident, all 128 passengers and five crew members aboard the American Airlines aircraft were transported via buses from the aircraft back to the Terminal Building.The CJIA said the runway was reopened at 04:40h for flight operations after the aircraft was relocated.According to the American Airlines statement, the flight was rescheduled to leave at 02:00h on today.In the meanwhile, the airline is in contact with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which has been called in to probe the incident.Additionally, the CJIA said an internal investigation has also been launched to determine the circumstances leading to the aircraft coming into contact with the lights.This is the second incident involving an American Airlines flight in the last two weeks. Last week, passengers on another American Airlines flight faced delays after the plane experienced compression issues while in air, forcing it to return to Guyana. Those passengers were transported the following day.These issues come as American Airlines is gearing up to expand services here in Guyana with the commencement of non-stop flights from Georgetown to New York City in December. Currently, the airline only operates flights to Miami.last_img read more


More gunshots reported outside of apartment building

first_imgAn incident on Saturday where shots were fired at a vehicle is being investigated by the Fort St. John RCMP as a top priority.Suspects allegedly used a firearm on a vehicle in a parking lot in the 8500 block of 86th street.The two people in the car received no injuries, and the suspects took off immediately in their own vehicle – which is described as a ‘newer model greenish-grey GMC crew cab pick-up.’- Advertisement -RCMP believes this is a targeted shooting and that there is no danger to the general public. As well, they suspect it is related to the apartment shooting on Thursday night.Police are now asking anyone who may have seen the suspects or has information about this case to contact them at 250-787-8100 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.last_img read more


REVEALED: FERRY TAUGHT SEX EDUCATION IN SCHOOL AND WORKED FOR YOUTH ORGANISATION

first_imgCHILD sex monster Michael Ferry was a youth club official for Foroige and also taught sex education and religion at Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair, it emerged today.Both positions pre-dated his sickening sex attacks while working as caretaker for Colaiste Cholmcille where he was re-hired as an odds job man after a previous conviction for child sex crimes.Foroige is understood to be examining files to see if the 55-year-old convicted sex abuser was a volunteer in the 1980s when the club was based in Derrybeg. Incredibly Colaiste Cholmcille, which runs Irish language summer courses at the building, has also admitted the former school caretaker helped with classes even after being found guilty in 2002 of abusing a child.Gardai have confirmed they are widening their investigation amid fears of a paedophile ring.Another alleged victim has come forward in recent days, claiming more than one perpetrator was targeting children in the Gaoth Dobhair area of west Donegal.Locals said the former Ard Scoil Mhuire building – where school caretaker Ferry raped and abused children for more than a decade – was the base for the Foroige youth club.Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty, who grew up beside the school which is owned and run by Colaiste Cholmcille said there was clearly a cause for concern.“While I never attended Foroige as I was too young at the time, it’s my understanding that Mickey Ferry was one of the participants and indeed leaders in the Foroige group at the time there,” he said.Foroige has confirmed it is trawling through records to establish if Ferry was connected to the youth movement.Donegaldaily.com can confirm he did work there as a volunteer. He also volunteered for the Order of Malta.As the HSE launch a range of services aimed at helping victims, it has also been revealed that Ferry – who raped five boys at the former Ardscoil Mhuire premises – actually taught in the area’s main secondary school in the mid-1980s.The former student priest, kicked out of Maynooth because of lewd sex acts, landed a substitute teacher’s job at Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair teaching religion and sex education.One former pupil said: “It makes my skin crawl now; to think he was preaching to us about religion and then a few years later he went on to carry out those attacks on those poor boys. It is sickening.”Gardai are launching a widespread investigation into claims that Ferry has dozens of other victims.There is massive support for the four young men who stood up to Ferry, crimes for which he was jailed for 14 years on Monday past.One of them Derek Mulligan (pictured above) has been singled out for praise for going public on the affair.REVEALED: FERRY TAUGHT SEX EDUCATION IN SCHOOL AND WORKED FOR YOUTH ORGANISATION was last modified: July 21st, 2011 by gregShare 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:jailedMichael Ferrypaedophilesecondary schoolyouth clublast_img read more


CASE AGAINST DONEGAL CIVIL SERVANT ACCUSED OF PASSING ON INFORMATION ALMOST READY

first_imgThe case against a civil servant accused of accessing information at the Department of Social Protection to pass on to a third party is almost ready, a court has been told.Rory Lenihan, 47, appeared before Letterkenny District Court today facing a total of 64 charges.The offences are alleged to have taken place at the Department of Social Protection at Oliver Plunkett Road in Letterkenny between January 8th and October, 2010. Garda Inspector David Kelly told the court that a book of evidence in the case is almost ready.He asked for the case to be put back until October for hearing.Lenihan, of 2A Ballaghaderg, Letterkenny, was present in court.The court also heard a request to relax Lenihan’s bail conditions as he was taking up a driving job.The application was granted by Judge Paul Kelly.The accused is currently on bail having surrendered his passport and signs on at Letterkenny Garda station each week.CASE AGAINST DONEGAL CIVIL SERVANT ACCUSED OF PASSING ON INFORMATION ALMOST READY was last modified: July 28th, 2014 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:Department of Social Protectiondonegalpassing informationRory Lenihanlast_img read more


Corcoran easily extends unbeaten record

first_imgUnbeaten welterweight prospect Gary Corcoran showed his potential with an easy first-round stoppage of Ross Payne at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.The 21-year-old landed a number of eye-catching shots before his opponent was forced down onto one knee.Payne was allowed to continue after taking a count, but a follow-up barrage of punches from Corcoran prompted the referee to step in and end the contest.Corcoran, from Wembley, now has a record of 5-0 with two of his victories coming inside the distance. 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


SA unearths new human ancestor

first_imgThe skull and skeletal fragments of the juvenile male fossil Australopithecus sediba, a newly discovered species of hominid. Human evolutionary tree showing the position of Australopithecus sediba, by Peter Schmid of the University of Zurich. (Click on image to enlarge.) MEDIA CONTACTS • Professor Lee Berger +27 11 717 6604 +27 71 864 0860 Lee.Berger@wits.ac.za / profleeberger@yahoo.com • Professor Paul Dirks +61 74781 5047 + 61 429 566120 paul.dirks@jcu.edu.au • Institute for Human Evolution + 27 11 717 6695 evlyn.ho@wits.ac.za RELATED ARTICLES • African human genomes decoded• SA unearths 18 new species• World Heritage in South AfricaLucille DavieAs I stare at the skeleton of this human ancestor in its glass case I find the idea difficult to grasp: this boy walked this very area of the earth almost 2-million years ago.An entirely new species of hominid, or ape-man, has been described following the discovery of two 1.9-million-year-old fossilised skeletons in the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg.• View and download high-resolution images of the discoveryNamed Australopithecus sediba, the creatures had long ape-like arms and short powerful hands, so they probably retained their ability to climb trees. But they also had a more advanced pelvis and long legs that would have allowed them to stride and possibly run like modern humans.The skeletons, of a boy between 11 and 13 years and an adult female in her late 20s or early 30s, were unearthed by a team from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), led by professors Lee Berger and Paul Dirks. Berger is a palaeoanthropologist at Wits and Dirks a geologist based at the James Cooke University in Australia.Fragments of the boy’s skeleton were on display at the announcement of the find on 8 April at Maropeng, the visitors’ centre of the  Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.Berger believes Australopithecus sediba is likely to be the transitional species between the southern African ape-man Australopithecus africanus, such as the Taung Child and Mrs Ples, and either Homo habilis or even a direct ancestor of Homo erectus – Turkana Boy, Java man and Peking man.The australopithecines are believed to be the ancestors of species in the genus Homo, which includes modern humans. The find, which Berger describes as the Rosetta Stone of human evolution, promises to turn the palaeontological world upside down. Homo habilis will have to be re-examined, and textbooks rewritten.“It is estimated that they were both about 1.27 metres, although the child would certainly have grown taller,” Berger said. “The female probably weighed about 33 kilograms and the child about 27 kilograms at the time of his death.“The brain size of the juvenile was between 420 and 450 cubic centimetres, which is small when compared to the human brain of about 1 200 to 1 600 cubic centimetres, but the shape of the brain seems to be more advanced than that of [other] australopithecines.”Australopithecus sediba‘s environment would have been a mix of open savannah grassland and forest.The fossils were deposited in a single debris flow and were found together in the remains of a deeply eroded cave system. It’s likely that they died at about the same time, and could have known each other, or even been related.Berger, whose 11-year-old son Matthew found the first fossil, expects many more fossils to be excavated from the site. With 130 bone fragments recovered, they are the most complete hominid skeletons ever found. And Berger is confident that the site will yield the missing pieces.Sediba is Sesotho for spring, fountain or wellspring, and the species so named because it is hoped that “a great source of information will spring from the fossils”.The find is the cover story of the prestigious journal Science, with two articles, written by Berger and Dirks, published on 9 April 2010.“I am having the adventure of my life,” Berger said.International team of scientistsBerger and Dirks have assembled a team of around a dozen international scientists to work on the find. In total, some 60 scientists from around the world have been involved in unravelling the discovery.The first step was a geological study, to help determine the age of the fossils. Other dating techniques included assessing the uranium lead components in the rock, establishing its magnetic polarity, which changes over time, and studying the site’s rate of erosion.Dirks studied the context of how the fossils landed in the cave, taking a series of sedimentary deposits and making a detailed description of different rocks up to two metres deep.“It is a hole in the ground – it must have been a cave,” he said.Investigation revealed that the fossils were deposited by a muddy flow of water, which probably carried the two bodies at the same time, because they were found together. Other fossils found were a 1.5-million-year-old sabre tooth cat, and 2.36-million-year-old wild cats and dogs.The erosion rate of the opening was measured, and it was established that it had been between 30 and 50 metres deep.“The animals probably smelled the water in the cave, and fell into the cave trying to get to it,” said Dirks. They would have died almost immediately, and their bodies carried down into a deeper chamber of the cave, joining others that suffered the same fate. This is supported by the fact that the fossils have no scavenger or insect damage.Excavations have not yet begun, says Dirks, only the surface has been cleared.Using Google Earth to find fossilsThis adventure began some 18 months ago, in early 2008, Berger said. He first charted the area on Google Earth, finding 600 new sites in the Cradle of Humankind, and then walked it with his dog, Tau.On the day the first fossil was found he and Matthew, then nine, were walking with post-doctoral student Job Kibbii and Tau. They walked to the edge of a pit, and Berger encouraged the others to look around.“Within one and a half minutes Matthew called out that he had found something,” said Berger. At first he thought it was a fragment of antelope, a common find. Then he recognised the fossil as the collar bone of a hominid.He soon found other fragments – a scapula or shoulder blade, normally never found because it is so fragile and erodes quickly – and arm bones, while two hominid teeth “fell into my hands”.Matthew said he has been on sites with his father more than 20 times, and intends to become a palaeoanthropologist too.Treasure chestProfessor emeritus Philip Tobias, present at the announcement, described the area as a “treasure chest”“I am thrilled that our expectations of the cradle area have so soon been realised,” he said. “This evidence a kilometre or two from Sterkfontein has yielded several hominid individuals and that is something to get very excited about.”Describing the find as “ä great joy”, Tobias said that the fact that two skeletons had been found means that it allows scientists to study a family or community which is much more valuable than studying individual fossils.Children in South Africa have been invited to come up with a name for the skeleton of the boy.The fossil will be on display at Maropeng until 18 April, and will then move to Cape Town for the launch of Palaeo-Sciences Week from 19 April. It will again be on display at the Origins Centre at Wits during May.last_img read more


Why Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Won’t Lead to Action on Climate Change

first_imgGenerational reformEarly in the 20th century, the United States went through an era of profound concern over urban disasters that seemed to threaten city life itself.In December 1903, the Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago killed over 600 audience members due to faulty construction. Just over a month later, in February 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire consumed 140 acres of the city. That same month, a major fire ravaged Rochester. In June of the same year over 1,000 people died due to a fire aboard the General Slocum steamship in New York City.Newspapers of the era were full of anger and fear over the dangers of fire and the unscrupulous actions of greedy builders and shipping line operators. Despite the intensity of this 1903-04 disaster cluster, Americans would see many more such disasters (San Francisco 1906, Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 1911) before consequential reforms in fire safety were passed into law.Eventually those reforms did arrive, but not all at once, and not with one bill. The reforms were distributed in building codes, city plans, and product safety standards that came into place by the 1930s. The disasters defined moments in time; reform was generational.The aftermath of September 11, 2001, provides another telling example. The disaster led to multiple investigations and studies, including the best-selling 9/11 Commission Report. Perhaps the most lasting effect of September 11 was the restructuring of government that created the Department of Homeland Security.However, we should be careful when we leap quickly from disaster to reform. The federal response to 9/11 appeared swift and decisive but was in fact following a script set in place over the previous decade through repeated attempts by some policymakers to reshape the government’s capacity to respond to the terrorism threat.It took years for scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to finally explain the exact causes for the collapse of the Twin Towers. And in doing so, they uncovered fire, structural, and evacuation vulnerabilities in the towers. These flaws were first witnessed in the 1993 bombing but dated back to the 1960s when the buildings were designed and built. The September 11 reforms did come, but only as part of a broad continuum of concern, research, and debate over policy choices that had long preceded that terrible day. Taking the long viewIt’s frustrating for people who want quick government action on climate change to be told they should play a “slow disaster” game. And why shouldn’t they be angered if they have experienced the loss of a loved one or a home in the disasters of these past weeks? Still, it’s useful for us to see that even the most devastating disasters are probably points on a longer timeline — one that might lead to reform if and when broad-based political action prepares the way.Indeed, disaster victims making common cause with scientists and engineers has been one proven way to bring about a type of learning from disaster that might be more effective towards achieving ambitious changes. These could include the United States re-entering the global community on climate action and the passage of laws that would require climate change planning to affect future construction.But the hurricanes of Harvey and Irma will be a catalyst for a new age of realism regarding the hazards of climate change only once civil society and our politicians recognize them as part of a pattern that stretches over decades, not weeks. Our urgency to learn from disaster is important, and it is a moral imperative. We would be wise to harness this urgency to form a generational commitment to reducing the suffering from disasters. It’s easy to view disaster history in this cause-effect way — to hop in time from disaster to disaster and spot the reforms as though they naturally emerge from adversity and commitment to change. But as a historian with a focus on risk and disasters, I can say this view can be misleading. Slow-moving disasters versus eventsThis brings us back to Harvey, Irma, and the climate change connection. We have not seen any storm-day conversions on climate change in the Trump administration — indeed, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt remarked that it was “insensitive” to even broach the topic while the storms were still active.There is plenty of evidence in social psychology to indicate that individual perceptions of risk — or individual commitments to an ideology — cannot be easily shaken by external factors, even factors as dramatic as storms like Harvey, Irma, or even Katrina.This fits the historical pattern: Clustered disasters might sharpen our senses to the risks in our midst and even disturb our complacency, but they will not necessarily lead directly to new legislation or personal ideological shifts. Strong commitments to land use, profits, and real estate development have historically militated against calls for caution, restraint, and mitigation, even though these types of laws make Americans safer from disasters. This dynamic will not be altered by two hurricanes, no matter how terrifying their effects.Better indicators of change, drawing from history, have proven to be events that cluster over much larger stretches of time. A “slow disaster” frame allows civil society and scientific researchers to build a case for change that is strengthened by disaster events. For example, the red alert about the toxicity of DDT raised by Rachel Carson in 1962 had immediate effects, but that was only one early step in a series of events that followed. It should be seen as part of a much more impactful and slower process of reform that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and a wave of environmental regulations that took effect in that decade.This relationship between discrete disaster events and slow disaster eras is a critical one for us to understand. We might just now be at the very beginning of such an era in the public consciousness over the connections between disasters such as hurricanes, fires, and droughts, and the slow disaster of climate change. RELATED ARTICLES center_img Scott Gabriel Knowles is a professor of history at Drexel University. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. By SCOTT GABRIEL KNOWLESIt’s not easy to hold the nation’s attention for long, but three solid weeks of record-smashing hurricanes directly affecting multiple states and at least 20 million people will do it.Clustered disasters hold our attention in ways that singular events cannot — they open our minds to the possibility that these aren’t just accidents or natural phenomena to be painfully endured. As such, they can provoke debates over the larger “disaster lessons” we should be learning. And I would argue the combination of Harvey and Irma has triggered such a moment.The damages caused by the storms will undoubtedly lead to important lessons in disaster preparation and response. For many, though, the most urgent call for learning has been to acknowledge at long last the connection between climate change and severe weather.Will this cluster of disasters provide the lever that will move climate change in the United States from a “debate” to an action plan? Half of All Americans Worry About Climate ChangeThe Paris Agreement on Climate ChangeThe Connection Between Obesity and Climate ChangeArchitects Show Leadership in Addressing Climate ChangeClimate Change Is Just a TheoryTaking Action on Climate Changelast_img read more


HC stays AAP govt order scrapping management quota in nursery

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) In a setback to AAP government, Delhi High Court today upheld its single judge order staying its decision to scrap management quota as well as 11 other criteria for nursery admissions in private unaided schools of the national capital.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed the appeal of Delhi government against the single- judge order, saying, “The appeal is devoid of any merit and the same is accordingly dismissed.”The bench concurred with the findings of its single judge February 4 interim order, staying the AAP governments January 6, 2016, order on 11 admission criteria scrapped by it.”The single judge is justified in arriving at a prima facie conclusion that the order dated January 6, 2016, issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) is without authority of law. Consequently, the order dated January 6, 2016, has been rightly stayed by the single judge,” the division bench said.The bench also said, “The interim stay has been granted with respect to 11 criteria out of the 62 and the management quota,” making it clear that the allegations of malpractice should be investigated and taken to their logical conclusion.The 11 criteria include those relating to the proven track records of parents, their proficiency in music or sports, their empirical achievements, the gender of the child and whether the kid was the first-born or adopted.The single judge was of the prima facie view that Delhi governments January 6 order, scrapping a total of 62 criteria and management quota, was “issued without any authority” and was in “direct conflict” with the Lieutenant Governors 2007 order on nursery admissions in private unaided schools.advertisementThe judge had also said the court was of the prima facie view that “there is nothing in the 11 criteria which would show that they are unreasonable or based on whims and fancies and/or they can lead to mal-administration.”DoE had contended before the division bench that its January 6 order scrapping many admission criteria and management quota “was validly and lawfully” issued to ensure that admissions to entry-level classes like nursery are made in a “fair and reasonable” manner.It had claimed that the decision was taken “without any view to interfering in the autonomy of private schools”.The single judge order had come on the pleas filed by Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools and Forum for Promotion of Quality Education For All, seeking quashing of governments decision to scrap management and all other quotas, except for EWS in Delhis private unaided schools for nursery admissions. PTI PPS ABA ARClast_img read more


A day on campaign trail: Mizoram’s richest candidate campaigns on foot door-to-door

first_imgHe is the richest candidate in Mizoram’s assembly elections with declared assets of Rs 55 crore, owns a popular football club and has a fleet of luxury cars, but Mizo National Front (MNF) leader Robert Romawia Royte says he wants to keep his electioneering modest with door-to-door campaign on foot.Royte, the main opposition party’s candidate from Aizawl East-II constituency in the state, is a first-timer in assembly polls and is fighting from a seat where the ruling Congress has fielded veteran leader and incumbent finance minister Lalsawta.The MNF leader had unsuccessfully fought the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 as an independent candidate.The 51-year old millionaire businessman, who owns Aizawl FC that bagged the I-League title in 2017, says he is following an “eco-friendly” campaign without any hullabaloo or sloganeering.Mizoram will go for polling on November 28 to elect the representatives for the 40-member assembly, while the counting scheduled for December 11.Starting with a meeting with his supporters at 6:45 am in house of an MNF cadre at Dawrpui locality of Aizawl city on Wednesday, Royte held a prayer before going out to woo the voters.The campaign team, an equal mix of both genders, carried a small packet of cards, similar to the size of a visiting card, that had Royte’s name as the MNF candidate from the constituency and nothing else. The team carried no flags, no posters, no loud speakers and went door to door on foot, unlike the common sight of bike rallies in these elections.Royte, carrying a packet of cards himself to distribute among voters, said he favours “a non-corrupt way of campaigning” and is not trying to influence voters by any other means.advertisementThe first house was of school teacher Lalruatdika, to whom Royte handed over a card and requested for two votes from his family.Because of the hilly terrain of Aizawl, each house is constructed in a unique way that has 3-4 floors below the ground level, while similar number of floors are built above ground also.This means that to meet all the residents in a building, one has to climb 5-7 floors up and down without any lift, and Royte was seen religiously following the drill.This terrain also leaves use of cars or bikes less effective while campaigning.”I want to campaign in a clean manner. I restricted all my campaigners from telling anything negative about my opponent. We are against the Congress party, but not against the individuals. Attacking them personally is not good,” Royte told PTI while continuing his door-to-door campaign early morning.The football enthusiast, who owns Mizoram’s first sports car worth Rs 50 lakh and runs a construction company, shook hands with everyone on his way including vegetable and fruit vendors in the local market of the area.As the campaign team stopped at a small shop at around 8 am to have cup cakes and fruit juice for breakfast after covering around 20 houses, Royte said, “As a new entrant, I am very committed and determined to fight dirty politics.””Allegations, mud throwing — these are very bad. Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati — all are using filthy languages. It is affecting the image of Indian democracy,” Royte said while sipping the juice through a straw.After this brief stopover of 15 minutes, Royte was back at covering more houses and said he is telling the people about his achievements and personal works.”They know me because of my works. Now, I am more popular because of Aizawl FC,” he said.Roytel was declared the Mizo of the Year in 2012 by Lelte magazine and also received Sports Club of the Year award last year for Aizawl FC from the Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Guwahati.”Since I joined MNF on September 17 this year, over 3,000 Congress workers have joined our party. Lalsawta won this seat for two consecutive terms, but this time he will surely lose,” Royte said about his rival candidate.In the 2013 assembly polls, Lalsawta had won the poll by a margin of just 177 votes over the then MNF candidate Sailothanga Sailo.Talking about the party, Royte said the MNF is surging much ahead of other parties and will form the next government.The Congress has been in power in Mizoram since 2008 and is eyeing the third consecutive term. In 2013 Assembly elections, the Congress won 34 seats, while the MNF had five and Mizoram People’s Conference bagged one.Congress and MNF are contesting in all the 40 constituencies this time, while the BJP is fighting in 39 seats with an aim to open its account for the first time in Mizoram.advertisementAfter covering nearly 35 houses till 10 am, Royte rushed to a radio station for a pre-fixed interview. The door-to-door campaigning resumed in the afternoon at 3 pm with a different team at Armed Veng area of Aizawl, which continued till around 6 pm after which the team members left for their church services and prayers.Post-dinner, Royte held a meeting with his supporters and took the day’s feedback. The door-to-door campaigning touched around 80 houses during the day.The supporters dispersed for their respective home at around 11 am, to meet again next morning for another day of door-to-door campaign in a new locality.READ | Rahul Gandhi says BJP will not come to power in Mizoram or India againALSO READ | 201 candidates in fray for Nov 28 Mizoram Assembly electionALSO WATCH | Saffron strategy: The rise and rise of BJP in Northeastlast_img read more