Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper is apologizing after falsely claiming during a pubic meeting that blowing a hairdryer up your nose can cure the coronavirus. Video captured Culpepper bragging about his paramedic background before telling the meeting you can blow a hairdryer up your nose to kill all the viruses inside. He also said the “cure” came from a coronavirus expert but Facebook users slammed the commissioner, saying he was “dangerously ignorant.” Culpepper says he will not give any more suggestions that have not been “tried and proven.”
After weighing the costs involved with the permits and permissions that would be required for such a project, Mayor John “Jay” Coffey said that moving the nest again would not be feasible or worthwhile for the borough.“We are good with where they are,” Coffey said, noting that the soccer teams had already found another field to use.The nest was better left alone and hopefully the birds would eventually move on, Coffey said. “Now, can we get away from the ospreys?” he said, referring to the governing body’s agenda.While the Blackberry Bay Park nest will remain where it is, across town on Riverside Avenue, another osprey nest will soon be moved from a distribution pole to a specially built nesting platform by Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), part of an expanded effort by the utility company to move nests from potentially hazardous utility poles.Expanding this program to relocate and discourage ospreys from nesting on electrical equipment is a practical one, said JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano.“It prevents harm to birds and prevents damage to our equipment that could cause potential outages to our customers,” he said. The company has moved several nests over the years, including two in 2016 and another one in Oceanport in 2013.“The success of moving nests led us to look in other areas where there was potential, which is why we’ve expanded this program,” Morano said, noting that the company’s work includes identifying likely areas where ospreys might nest and installing equipment to discourage or divert them to safer places.Ospreys, distinctive raptors with a speckled brown and white plumage, return to the same nests, year after year. They seek high roosts, like utility poles and streetlights, and often nest within sight of the coastal waterways where they dine primarily on fish.Oceanport’s network of water ways makes it a popular nesting spot for ospreys, who use available materials such as grass, sticks, seaweed and often trash to build large nests that can weigh as much as 200 pounds. The birds’ inclination to build heavy stick nests on dangerous electrical equipment and other utility structures presents unique challenges for coastal towns and conservationists alike. Once an osprey has settled on a particular pole, moving it is not always easy, partly due to the bird’s protected status.The New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife listed the osprey as endangered in 1973 after pesticide use caused a sharp decline in the state’s osprey population. Since then, the osprey has steadily regained a foothold along the shore, thanks in large part to a passionate group of advocates that has tracked, recorded, repaired and sometimes built platforms for nests.The increased efforts by JCP&L to move nests to safety has been praised by conservation groups including the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, a nonprofit that works with the state on osprey management and conservation. In a release in December, Ben Wurst, habitat program manager at Conserve Wildlife Foundation, praised JCP&L’s proactive protections for a growing osprey population in the state.“To an osprey, a utility pole near the coast seems like an ideal spot to perch or build a nest, but it could jeopardize their health,” he said in the statement. JCP&L’s program “will help ospreys coexist with the demands of our modern society.” Unfortunately, due to the ospreys’ protected status by the state, the proximity of the soccer field to the ospreys’ new nest prevented the recreational use of the field from April to August – the birds’ nesting season. This led Councilman Stuart Briskey to suggest yet another move for the nest. By Jenna O’Donnell |OCEANPORT – The logistics of moving an osprey nest gave rise to a mix of amusement and vexation at a recent borough council workshop.For some time a breeding pair of osprey were nesting at Blackberry Bay Park on top of an emergency siren in the parking lot. Four years ago, the nest was moved from that roost to a specially built platform closer to the water, but within about 100 yards of a small athletic field at the park.
FINISH LINES: Gulfstream Park today has a mandatory payout on its Pick 6 with a pool that likely will reach $5 million . . . Santa Anita’s $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 begins in today’s sixth race, while the $150,000 guaranteed Pick 6 starts in race four . . . Fans can visit Xpressbet on YouTube for workout videos of 2015 Kentucky Derby contenders . . . Victor Espinoza has withdrawn his appeal of a three-day suspension issued March 7 and will serve his ban May 8, 9 and 10 . . . GOOD NEWS!! Scully, a 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Tale of the Cat, broke his maiden for an $8,000 claiming tag in today’s fourth race at Pimlico. Named for Dodger Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully, he paid $7.40, $4 and $3.20. A special thanks to Dodger Publicity wag Steve Brener for alerting Santa Anita Publicity after the race was made official. MANDELLA DOUBLES DOWN IN SUNDAY’S WILSHIRERichard Mandella expressed cautious optimism about Moulin de Mougin and Indecise when they run in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 and up, at one mile on turf.Indecise was second in the restricted Wishing Well Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on the turf Feb. 8, while Moulin de Mougin was ninth breaking on the outside going a mile against males in the Thunder Road on April 4. It was her first start in seven months.The Wishing Well was run Feb. l8, and was the first race for Indecise in almost a year.“I haven’t seen the rest of the field so I don’t know how tough it is, but my two are pretty good in their own right,” Mandella said. “Moulin de Mougin has proven herself to be that good. The other mare is working her way up.”Mike Smith rides Moulin de Mougin, while Mandella protégé Flavien Prat pilots Indecise.“He was only 18 the first year he came to ride at Santa Anita, and he’s 22 now,” Mandella said of the up and coming Frenchman. “This is the fourth winter he’s spent with us, and each year, we hated to see him leave.“Now his visa is good for five years so he’ll be with us for the duration. He’s great kid and a real star in the making. I can’t take too much credit for his success. Anybody would want to ride him.”The Wilshire, the seventh race on an eight-race program: Moulin de Mougin, Mike Smith, 4-1; Thegirlinthatsong, Corey Nakatani, 8-1; $2,000 supplemental nomination Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez, 8-1; Blingismything, Tyler Baze, 9-2; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Sky Treasure, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Indecise, Flavien Prat, 9-2; and Birdlover, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2. DORTMUND, BAYERN PUT BAFFERT ON CLOUD NINEBIG JOHN B, ABBEY VALE TOUGH IN LAST TYCOONFESTIVE KENTUCKY DERBY PARTY AT SANTA ANITAMANDELLA OPTIMISTIC FOR SUNDAY’S WILSHIRE TOC CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORSThe Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) Nominating Committee has announced a slate of six candidates for five open seats in the 2015 Board of Directors election, including incumbents Bob Baffert, Ed Moger, Mike Pegram and Kathy Walsh and new nominees Allen Aldrich and Gary Fenton.Baffert, who has served on the TOC board since 2007, is an owner-trainer representative and member of the Racing Affairs Committee. Moger has served on the board since 2010 and also represents the owner-trainer category as well as Northern California members. He serves on the Executive and Racing Affairs committees. Pegram, who has been on the board since 2010, is board Chairman and serves “ex officio” on all TOC committees. Walsh was first elected in 2012 and serves as chair of the Racing Affairs Committee.Aldrich, a resident of Northern California, has been a licensed owner since 1978 and averages more than 100 starts per year. He had an ownership interest in Eclipse Award winning champion She’s A Tiger.Fenton is a managing partner of Little Red Feather Racing, which presently owns 16 horses in California. A Southern California resident, he has been an entertainment attorney for almost 20 years.Ballots, including full candidate statements, will be mailed to the TOC membership on May 15. The deadline for returned ballots is June 15. BAFFERT HAPPY WITH DRILLS BY DORTMUND, BAYERNBob Baffert was on Cloud Nine, literally and figuratively, Saturday morning after two ofhis star runners, unbeaten Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund, and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, worked at Santa Anita under regular rider Martin Garcia.Dortmund, in his final major drill for next Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby, worked six furlongs in company with Lady Bull in 1:13.60. Lady Bull was clocked in 1:15.40.Bayern and stablemate Cat Burglar worked six furlongs in company from the gate, each timed in a bullet 1:10.80.“I’m really happy with how they went,” Baffert said en route via air to Kentucky where tomorrow he will supervise a five furlong workout at Churchill Downs by Derby favorite American Pharoah, who will have Garcia aboard.“Dortmund just cruised around there. He’s pretty fit and doesn’t need much. He’ll gallop into the Derby.”Bayern, who has not raced since winning the Classic at Santa Anita last Nov. 1, likely will make his 2015 debut in the Grade II, $400,000 Alysheba Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on May 1, although the son of Offlee Wild is also nominated to the Grade II, $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes at seven furlongs on May 2. Crack sprinter Private Zone is likely to run in that race.“He’ll probably run in the Alysheba,” Baffert said of Bayern.Also at Santa Anita on an overcast Saturday morning, Sunland Derby winner Firing Line, twice beaten a head by Dortmund, worked five furlongs with Gary Stevens up in 1:02.20.“I’m very happy,” said Simon Callaghan of Firing Line, a son of Line of David owned by Arnold Zetcher. “It was just to stretch his legs. He’ll get on the plane early tomorrow morning so we didn’t want to overdue it. He’s fit, looks good, everything seems ready.”Callaghan plans to leave for Kentucky on Tuesday.Reflecting on Firing Line’s two narrow defeats by Dortmund, in the Los Alamitos Futurity and the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, Callaghan said, “Our horse is doing very well; obviously, he’s run against very good company.“Dortmund won the (Santa Anita) Derby extremely well and I think our horse has progressed since then, so I think we’re going to Kentucky with a very good shot.”D’AMATO GOES FOR LAST TYCOON GOLD WITH DUOBack in the glory days of Army football, the Black Knights of the Hudson had thedynamic backfield duo of “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside,” Felix (Doc) Blanchard and Glenn Davis.Phil D’Amato hopes for an equine version some 75 years later when he sends out Big John B from the No. 1 post position and Abbey Vale from the outside eight hole in today’s Grade III, $100,000 Last Tycoon Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf.Big John B, a 6-year-old gelded son of Hard Spun owned by Michael House, hasn’t raced since Nov. 1 when he finished ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, having made the most of his outside No. 12 post position in the mile-and-a-half race.Abbey Vale, a 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Moss Vale owned by Andy Ellis, JR Riley Stables and Michael Sim, has won two of three starts in the U.S., each time coming from within shouting distance of the pacesetters.“I don’t think they’re going to hinder each other at all with their styles,” D’Amato said. “Abbey Vale might have a little more speed than Big John B, but it’s time to get him started. He signaled in his last two drills he’s ready to go.“Abbey Vale has always been highly thought of, so we’re going to give him a shot. He won pretty nicely the other day, so I think they’re both ready to go.”KENTUCKY DERBY GALA AT SANTA ANITA SATURDAY Fans can join the biggest Derby party west of Kentucky at Santa Anita next Saturday, May 2, a day filled with world-class racing, hat contests, mint juleps and live racing.Festivities include an Infield Beer-fest with live music from Seedless and a party in the Premium Gallop Out in the Club House East. Purchase a Trackside Package for a prime seat and your first drink in a commemorative cup featuring Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund, plus all the fun and excitement of racing’s best 3-year-olds in the 141st Kentucky Derby.First post time next Saturday is 11:30 a.m. Gates open at 7:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at santaanita.com.
51; It’s been fifty years since the first scientific paper suggested listening in on the stellar radio dial for signs of intelligence.1 Nature celebrated the occasion with two articles and an Editorial that said,2 “Despite the long odds against success, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence has come a long way.” SETI sure has come a long way in hardware and software. The new Allen Telescope Array, described in another Nature article,3 can sweep hundreds of millions of radio frequencies simultaneously – a huge advance over the first eavesdropping attempt in 1960 that listened to only one radio channel. But hardware alone cannot justify a scientific endeavor. Alchemists used the best techniques and equipment available for centuries. Surprisingly, Nature noted that SETI is “arguably not a falsifiable experiment,” and has long been “on the edge of mainstream astronomy,” because “no matter how scientifically rigorous its practitioners try to be, SETI can’t escape an association with UFO believers and other such crackpots.” The justification for continuing the search, Nature’s editors suggested, lies elsewhere – in “the enormous implications if it did succeed.” The implications of SETI are greater than those of astrobiology (which would be content to find unicellular life). A SETI success would bring to us all the implications of “finding other thinking creatures like ourselves.” (Presumably, evidence for thinking beings like God or angels, no matter how well founded, is automatically excluded.) In another Nature op-ed piece, Fred Kaplan recounted the history of SETI.4 (He used the unfortunate word “cohabitants” for the other sentient beings we might discover.) The glorious 50 years of technical advances are told against the seemingly-futile ambitions of the early searches – with snippets of the Drake equation, famous science fiction novels, and the founding of the SETI Institute – but a callout quote keeps the reader near reality: “In the 50 years since the search began, nothing has been heard.” Could he justify the search as science, then? He passed that hot potato to Jill Tarter: “She likens the nay-sayers to someone who dips an eight-ounce glass into the ocean, brings it up empty, and concludes that the oceans have no fish.” Understandable as that logic sounds, it still does not offer a basis for calling SETI a scientific quest. There needs to be some foundation for expecting success, and a metric for falsification. How many eight-ounce glass dips into the ocean would be sufficient? A well-chosen sample might answer the question about fish in one attempt. With hundreds of millions of samples collected from space already, is a final answer within reach, or will continued attempts amount to trying to explain away the negatives endlessly?1. Giuseppe Cocconi and Phillip Morrison, “Searching for Interstellar Communications,” Nature 19 Sept. 1959.2. Editorial, “SETI at 50,” Nature 461, 316 (17 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/461316a.3. Eric Hand, “Ear to the universe starts listening,” Nature 461, 324 (Sept 16, 2009) | doi:10.1038/461324a.4. Fred Kaplan, “An alien concept,” Nature 461, 345-346 (17 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/461345a.Alchemists eventually had to give up, partly because of centuries of failure, and partly because new discoveries about chemistry redirected their energies in more productive paths. We suggest that astrobiologists and SETI researchers channel their intelligence and energy into more productive paths, too. They can begin by reading Signature in the Cell and getting excited about the amazing possibilities available by working out the implications of intelligent design at the very core of life. Maybe they’ll realize that their approach has been using intelligent design concepts anyway (12/03/2005). Perhaps they will also find that what they have been looking for – a signature of cosmic intelligence – is nearer than they currently imagine.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The Nelson Mandela Bridge, with the license plates of cars blurred. An elephant in the Kruger National Park. The Toyota Prius with special StreetView camera on the roof.(Images: Google) MEDIA CONTACTS • Rishon ChimbozaAfrica Practice+27 11 022 6561RELATED ARTICLES • SA Google Earth layer is tops • Google Earth zooms in on SA • Google with South African flair • Google to pur Africa onlineJanine ErasmusGoogle Street View has finally gone live in South Africa – several weeks after its initial scheduled launch date, but still in time for the kick-off of the 2010 Fifa World Cup on 11 June. The country is the first on the continent to offer the Street View service.The search giant announced in September 2009 that South Africa would be its next destination for Street View, which is a component of Google Maps, appearing as the lowest zoom level.The technology offers a 360-degree horizontal and a 290-degree vertical panoramic view of the selected regions.Google South Africa’s country manager Stephen Newton said at the time that Street Views will contain geographic-related local information, allowing a user an all-around view of typical South African surroundings, from road signs to parks and buildings.“People will get a preview of what [the country] looks like in a real environment,” he said.Using trikes, similar to the old-fashioned ice-cream carts, and Toyota Prius cars fitted with rooftop cameras that take photos in all directions simultaneously, the Street View team travelled some 64 000km to collect images in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban and 22 other towns around the country. The Prius was selected because of its environment-friendly characteristics and economical use of fuel.South Africa follows on the heels of the US, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and some European and Scandinavian countries whose scenery is now available at street level and in 3D.Street View may be accessed from within the Google Earth application, or on the Google Maps website. Users with smartphones can also enter Street View through the mobile version of Google Maps.Popular attractionsIn Google Maps, the user will know when Street View images are available when the Pegman icon, found on top of the zoom bar at left, turns yellow.Pegman is the Google Maps Street View guide and is used to enter Street View simply by dragging it to a street. The mascot is also seen in a life-size version that appears in Google’s instruction videos.Users will not only be able to see street-level images captured in South Africa’s main cities, but a number of popular tourist attractions as well.These include the Wanderers cricket stadium and Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg; Chapman’s Peak Drive on the Cape peninsula; the Motlatse (formerly the Blyde River) Canyon in Mpumalanga province; big names from the Cape winelands such as Klein Constantia, Meerlust and Morgenster; and the world-renowned Kruger National Park.Football fans are in for a treat, as all 10 World Cup stadiums have been modelled in 3D, allowing fans to explore them from pitch level right to the top floors.Privacy concernsSome sources speculate that the delay was caused by concerns over privacy, but Google’s stance is that technical issues were the reason for the late roll-out.Although the image-capturing and processing technology automatically blurs faces and number plates, and only displays scenes of public property that are visible to anyone from the street, there were said to be invisible violations in the form of personal data collected from open wireless networks by the Google vehicles as they drove around. This has happened in other countries as well, and the issue is still under investigation.Although there have been instances where Street Maps has featured private roads, this was only done after getting permission.Tourism boostAccording to Google South Africa’s communications manager Julie Taylor, South Africans have reason to be excited about the new development. “They can now explore the country in new ways, whether a local neighbourhood or a coastal route they’ve never travelled along.”Taylor added that the local tourism industry will receive a huge boost as people are now able to view actual street scenes and famous attractions, especially with the World Cup just hours away from kick-off.Tourists will also be able to plan their trips more efficiently by familiarising themselves with their surroundings before they even set foot on South African soil. Once in the country, they will be able to navigate on their own, around the Street View cities, with ease.The Kruger National Park’s William Mabasa said: “Kruger is an iconic South African destination, and the launch of Street View in South Africa means that we can bring Kruger’s spectacular wildlife to even more people around the globe. In fact, our elephants are the first elephants ever on Street View!”The local real estate market, too, is said to be excited about the facility, as it will add a new dimension to their listings and will make it easier for house-hunters to find that perfect property. Businesses can enhance their websites by embedding the Street View code right into their pages.
3 December 2015The top three winning teams from around the country from the Step Up 2 a Start Up II initiative were announced on 1 December at a glamorous awards evening in Joburg.Taking the top spot:Ribane Laka High School, GautengBusiness: Fash-Tag – new age name-tags, an instrument to break down communication barriersTeam members: Anna Mathiba Machaka and Precious MasetlaIn second place:Masibambane Secondary, Western CapeBusiness: Ketcha-Fire – a product to be installed in townships to prevent firesTeam members: Ennieter Ndlovu, Sindiswa Eleki, Phumeza XuzaIn third place:Leap Science & Maths School, GautengBusiness: Witraco – a mobile application that connects commuters and taxi driversTeam members: Lerato Ranamane and Omphile SenkweteFirst awards of the evening presented by Vivian William of Regenesys Business School. #StepUp2AStartUp pic.twitter.com/0dHylK1fW5— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) December 1, 2015In the competition, the students had to adhere to the credo: “Design it, make it, sell it.”Facilitated by PrimeStars Marketing and endorsed by Proudly South African, the Step Up 2 a Start Up II initiative celebrates youth entrepreneurship. It is sponsored by the National Youth Development Agency, Brand South Africa, Absa, MTN, Sasol, Putco, and others.#StepUp2StartUp is about #BuildingIdeas #BuildingDreams @PrimestarsMarke @3M pic.twitter.com/Gr7MvSjpHR— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) December 1, 2015“The Step Up 2 a Start Up programme aligns perfectly with Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative, as it encourages young people to contribute to community development through entrepreneurship,” explained Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager for marketing.“Programmes such as Step Up 2 a Start Up ensure that young people can play their part in achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), which envisages a socio-economically transformed South Africa.“Young South Africans armed with education, skills and motivation, facilitated by programmes such as Step Up 2 a Start Up, will be critical to the success of the NDP. By playing their part, the youth contribute to a better South Africa for all,” said Ntombela.The processThe competition consisted of three phases, and students began developing their business skills in August:The production and screening of an educational film; Learners receiving an Entrepreneurs and Makers Tool Kit; A National Maker Competition, Makers Boot Camp and finally, the Awards Ceremony. See what the students had to say about it:The awardsMartin Sweet, the managing director of Primestars Marketing, congratulated the successful teams on the night.“I don’t think there has been another event this year with so many sponsors,” he said. “Today I take my hat off to the Step Up 2 a Start Up finalists who are here with their educators from the far reaches of the country.”Sweet hoped the process would be the start of a journey for learners to ignite their entrepreneurial passions and hone their business skills.Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buthi Manamela and Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu delivered key note addresses on the night. Their message was clear: South Africa needed more job creators instead of job seekers.Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Lindiwe Zulu has given our guests of honour some important words of wisdom. pic.twitter.com/JMwYlKgKBk— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) December 1, 2015Musicians such as Khanyo, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Diversity, and The Gudfella entertained the audience.SouthAfrica.info reporter
View comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s, played 179 post-season games in his career.James moves past him to the top of the list in his 212th career playoff game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingRELATED STORYLeBron on MJ comparisons: ‘There’s no similarities in our game at all’ BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Kings try to keep top 2 in sight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates his dunk in the third quarter as Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics looks on during Game Five of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 25, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP/GETTY IMAGESLOS ANGELES—Cleveland superstar LeBron James surpassed NBA icon Michael Jordan as the league’s all-time playoff scoring leader on Thursday (Friday, Manila) in the Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference finals game against the Celtics in Boston.With a three-pointer in the third quarter James, 32, took his total of playoff points to 5,989 — two more than Jordan’s 5,987. He entered the contest needing 28 points to surpass Jordan.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR
Balurghat: South Dinajpur district administration will conduct a special awareness drive for two days to encourage people to cast votes during the upcoming Parliamentary elections slated for the region on April 23.Addressing mediapersons the district magistrate Deepap Priya P said on Monday: “The district administration will organise an awareness drive for two days starting Tuesday to encourage the voters, especially the new ones, to cast votes,” she said. Priya P said the district administration was on alert to ensure free and fair polls in the region. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”The Election Commission of India has directed us to ensure voters’ participants in large numbers in the upcoming poll. We have introduced a special mask mascot to attract young generations to enlist their names in the electoral roll. We are happy to announce that our initiative has received good response from people,” she said. Answering a question about the deputation of Central forces in South Dinajpur, she said the district administration is yet to receive any information on the issue. In a significant announcement, the district magistrate said mediapersons on the basis of their applications may be able to cast Election Duty votes. “We know that the district correspondents remain busy covering the reports on poll. If they want, they can cast ED votes. This is happening for the first time in the district,” she said. She also sought cooperation from the media to ensure hassle-free polls. She said the district has 1305 polling booths and 144 sectors. Later, during the press conference she unveiled a huge election mascot.
Chennai: Elections to 38 Lok Sabha seats and bypolls for 18 Assembly segments in Tamil Nadu on Thursday was by and large peaceful and the tentative turnout for Parliamentary polls stood at 69.55 per cent, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said.The turnout figure is likely to go up as data was still being collated, he said. When the figure goes up, it is expected to be more or less correspond to the final tally of 73.68 per cent recorded in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The turnout in the 18 assembly segments recorded 71.62 per cent (both LS and Assembly polls turnout were based on available data at 7 pm) and with Lok Sabha elections in Madurai segment ending at 8 pm, the data collation was still on, Sahoo told reporters here. There was no major law and order issues and a CAPF jawan fired one round in the air to disperse crowds (near Arakkonam), he added. DGP (Elections) Ashutosh Shukla said when the crowds tried to enter a polling station at Kilvisharam under Arakkonam Lok Sabha segment, a Central Armed Police Force jawan opened one round of fire in the air. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Superintendent of Police, Vellore rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control,” he added. Minor incidents of violence were reported from five towns, including Gudiyatham and Ariyalur, and the situation was brought under control immediately, he added. Police said four BJP men were allegedly injured in a clash with workers of the DMK and Congress in Kanyakumari. On complaints of technical glitches, Sahoo said 375 ballot units, 228 control units and 766 VVPAT were replaced. “Based on the low replacement rates, we can say the EVM performance has been very good.” The EVMs and VVPATs will be moved to counting centres by poll authorities and police in the presence of political parties, the CEO noted. On allegation of deletion of about a lakh of voters’ names in Kanyakumari by the Congress, he said they could give a complaint and it will be acted upon. Tamil Nadu brought out the many colours of elections when several centenarians like 102-year-old Jegadambal of Nagapattinam and lakhs of first time voters braved the scorching sun to cast their vote. From Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMK chief M K Stalin, Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan were among those who exercised their franchise standing in queues. Party leaders and top film stars including Rajinikanth, Ajit and Vijay were among the prominent personalities who turned up to vote. Indisposed 96-year-old DMK veteran, K Anbazhagan, a colleague of late M Karunanidhi was wheeled in at a booth here to cast his vote. Just after tying the knot, several couples arrived in their traditional bridal attire at the polling stations in areas including Nallampalli (Dharmapuri) and Srivilliputhur (Virudhunagar) to cast their votes. Rain and shine played spoilsport to an extent in some parts of the State in keeping voters away from the polling stations for sometime. While Chennai and other northern parts of Tamil Nadu was blazing hot, some southern parts of the State including Kanyakumari received showers. People switched to protest mode as well in a couple of regions like the villagers of Top Station in Kurangani hill ranges of Theni District to protest lack of basic amenities. “Of the 185 voters of this village, none came forward to cast their vote,” Theni District Collector M Pallavi Baldev said. Two elderly men died after casting their votes in Sivagiri (Erode) and Vedappatti (Salem) respectively. A 65-year-old man, who collapsed after emerging from a polling station, was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead in Coimbatore while an 85-year woman died while she was standing in a queue at a booth there. Deletion of names from voters list, non-issuance of voters’ slips, malfunctioning of EVMs and technical glitches delaying polling process were among the key complaints of the people. After casting his vote, Stalin alleged that there has been distribution of cash and accused the Election Commission of being an “ally” of central and state governments. Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi, and Karti Chidambaram of Congress are among key contenders. Radhakrishnan told reporters in Kanyakumari: “This is a massive democratic festival which will decide the fate of India. I have exercised my franchise… A silent revolution is happening.” AIADMK leader and state minister D Jayakumar said 13 per cent voting in the morning “is a joyous thing.” “This shows there is a wave for Amma and MGR,” he said, exuding confidence that the AIADMK-BJP combine will emerge victorious. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dhinakaran alleged “malfunctioning of EVMs is an achievement of the Modi government.” About 1.40 lakh police personnel and 160 companies of CAPF were deployed in 17,720 polling stations to manage law and order.