25 Dec

Cities seek fast fix for bridge

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – Standing on the edge of the fire-destroyed Beverly Boulevard bridge Monday, the mayors of Montebello and Pico Rivera came together to talk about cheaper and quicker ways of reopening traffic through the area.In addition, Pico Rivera Mayor David Armenta announced authorities have arrested a homeless man believed to have touched off the fire Nov. 1 that decimated the bridge and triggered traffic nightmares for commuters traveling east and west through Pico Rivera and Montebello.Felony charges were filed Monday with the District Attorney’s Office against 28-year-old Nelson Gastellum. Gastellum was arrested Friday on suspicion of starting the fire, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Michael Rothans of the Pico Rivera Station.Gastellum told deputies he started the fire while trying to keep warm and the blaze sparked out of control, Rothans said.Armenta said the two cities, which share ownership of the bridge, face three options: building a temporary bridge, constructing just one lane on the span, or building a brand new bridge.“This (bridge closing) is a crisis for Pico Rivera and Montebello because Beverly Boulevard serves as a lifeline for residents, students and businesses and affects areas for miles around,” Armenta said.“The question is what to do about it. Either way, it’s going to be many months before it’s in use.”Building a temporary bridge would cost $800,000 to $1 million. Building just one lane of the bridge would cost $500,000 to $600,000.Rebuilding the entire bridge would cost $10.7 million, officials have said.All three choices would take months to complete and demand money neither city can afford, Armenta said.Montebello Mayor Bill Molinari said he is seeking the help of the U.S. military.“I’ve instructed staff to ask the military – the Army – if they have any equipment available that can help us erect something quickly,” he said.“They have those pre-made bridges that just need to be assembled. If they can fix the Santa Monica Freeway in three weeks, like they did after the (Northrdige) earthquake, we should be able to get something up quickly.”City councils from the two cities will hold a joint meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Pico Rivera City Hall. Officials from the county are expected to brief local officials on the costs and logistics of the available alternatives, Armenta said.Since the fire destroyed the Pico Rivera end of the bridge over the Rio Hondo flood-control channel last week, county and city officials have been scrambling to lessen the headaches for commuters, as well as the economic fallout from losing one of three main thoroughfares through Pico Rivera and Montebello.Nearby road construction on Whittier Boulevard in Montebello and on the Rosemead Boulevard bridge in Pico Rivera has added to the traffic congestion. pam.wight@sgvn.com(562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029last_img read more

17 Dec

A court win for co-op allows insurance patronage to continue

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag NetAfter a two-year court battle regarding the legality of it’s insurance patronage program, Sunrise Cooperative was given the green light to continue the process of making these payments, when available, to customer-owners as it has been for a decade.After the 2008 farm bill made insurance rebates illegal, Sunrise was grandfathered around the law as their insurance patronage was structured to be given to members who chose to use Lund & Smith Insurance Services, LLC (L&S) as their crop insurance provider. Sunrise owns one-third of L & S, so the payments were found to be justified.That is until 2016, when Sunrise was about to merge with TruPointe Cooperative. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) had given notice to Sunrise that those insurance patronage payments would have to stop, since TruPointe was not grandfathered in to the aforementioned law and the addition of TruPointe would change the entity structure of Sunrise.“We looked at what merging with TruPointe and losing the insurance patronage would mean for our customer-owners and it would have been devastating,” said George Secor, President and CEO of Sunrise Cooperative. “At the same time, we looked at all of the benefits of the merger which added up to millions of dollars to a total of 7,000 customer-owners of what would be the new Sunrise Cooperative.”After legal counsel sat down with both the Sunrise and TruPointe Cooperative boards, the decision was made to move forward with the merger and at the same time defend the practice of divvying out insurance patronage.The first decision came down from a district court. That ruling was in favor of the RMA, noting that the 2008 farm bill “prohibits large, abrupt increases in the amount of premium-rebating that can occur when, as in this case, a non-grandfathered entity merges with a grandfathered entity.”Sunrise then took their case to the Sixth Circuit, where they made the argument that nothing about their entity changed after the merger with TruPointe and therefore the insurance patronage should be allowed.All three judges on the Sixth Circuit panel agreed with that assessment.“It took a lot of money, time and effort to defend this right for the customer-owners of Sunrise,” Secor said. “But it was definitely the right thing to do and at the end of the day we prevailed.”AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visited with Sunrise Cooperative’s President and CEO George Secor about the court win and what it means for customer-owners. Audio Playerhttp://ocj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Sunrise-George-Secor.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

3 Dec

Gangster Munna Bajrangi’s wife had flagged threat to his life

first_imgMore than a week before Purvanchal gangster Munna Bajrangi was murdered in a Baghpat jail on Monday, his wife Seema Singh had alleged that the Uttar Pradesh police along with some political leaders and officials were conspiring to get him ‘eliminated’ outside the jail in a ‘fake encounter.’ She had requested Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to step up her husband’s security.“The officials of the U.P. STF, U.P. police and some influential ‘safedposh’ people are part of the conspiracy. My husband’s life is under threat,” Ms. Singh told journalists at the Lucknow Press Club on June 29.Ms. Singh also said that during his stay at Jhansi jail there had been an attempt to poison him. While on Monday she was not available for comment and Bajrangi’s brother and nephew had their phones switched off, his lawyer Vikas Shrivastava, who was in Baghpat, echoed Ms. Singh’s theory. “It is a planned murder and done by the administration. Some politicians and criminals are behind it,” he alleged.In March 2016, Bajrangi’s brother-in-law Pushpjeet Singh, a lawyer who even pursued his legal cases, along with a friend was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Lucknow. This followed the murder of Bajrangi’s close aide Mohammad Tariq last year. A native of Puredayal village in Jaunpur district, Munna Bajrangi was born into a Thakur family as Prem Prakash Singh. After dropping out in class 5, he soon discovered his fascination for weapons and as per people who knew him, aspired to become a “filmy don.” He was barely 17 when he was arrested for possessing illegal arms. “After he came out of jail, he got involved with a local mafia don called Gajraj Singh and started working for him. On Gajraj’s call, he committed a couple of murders early on [first he murdered a local businessman in Jaunpur followed by the killing of a BJP leader]. He aspired to be a gangster,” said a distant relative of Bajrangi, requesting anonymity.In the 1990s, Bajrangi, who had by then become a notorious figure in Purvanchal with his extortions and murder cases, started working with jailed MLA from Mau and alleged gangster Mukhtar Ansari. In 1998, he even miraculously survived an encounter by the Delhi police.In 2005, he was accused of executing the brutal and sensational murder of former BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai at the behest of Ansari, who is still facing trial in the case. Around 400 bullets were fired at the MLA’s convoy by the assailants armed with AK47 rifles. The murder was allegedly a retaliation in the rivalry between Mr. Ansari and another Purvanchal gangster Brijesh Singh, with whom Rai was associated. The State had then declared a bounty of ₹7 lakh on Bajrangi, who was arrested in Mumbai in 2009. He faced over two dozen criminal cases, including those for murder, attempt to murder, extortion and gangster activities. .Over the years, Bajrangi had also developed political ambition and in 2012, while he was lodged in jail, he contested the Assembly election from Mariyahu seat in Jaunpur as an Apna Dal candidate. Though he lost, he stood third with a respectable 21% vote share. In 2017, his wife Seema Singh contested from the same seat but unsuccessfully.UP ADG Jails, Chandra Prakash, said it was a “big lapse” on the part of the officials that a revolver had been sneaked in. While police are investigating the motive behind the murder, Mr. Prakash said the accused Rathi himself faced several criminal cases, most of them in Uttarakhand. Rathi, himself an alleged gangster, had been shifted to Baghpat jail recently.last_img read more

28 Nov

Prove CWG detractors wrong: South African President

first_img“Prove them wrong as we did!” is what South African President Jacob Zuma told a visiting Indian delegation, commenting on the detractors’ views who believed it was a wrong decision to give the Commonwealth Games to India.Zuma was reacting to the concerns expressed by many countries over India’s level of preparedness for the Commonwealth Games starting in New Delhi on Sunday.”Like India, we faced the naysayers who doubted our ability to host a successful tournament,” he said at a banquet last night to mark the end of the first regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Africa.”Earlier this year, we hosted the first and I might add, very successfully hosted the first FIFA 2010 World Cup on African soil. If ever there was proof of our country’s ability to deliver, then that was it,” Zuma said to a loud applause from the South African and Indian guests that included Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Minister of State for Human Resources Development D Purandeshwari.”I take this opportunity to wish India well on the hosting of the CWG,” the President added.Before the World Cup, there had been many negative reports, especially in Western media, about South Africa?s readiness for the biggest sporting spectacle in the world.In the end, the two-month spectacle not only went off without a hitch, but also united the people of the country in an unprecedented way.- With PTI inputslast_img read more