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Samukai: Liberia’s Security Forces Ready for UNMIL Drawdown

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first_img“I don’t perceive any altercation in the wake of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown prior to the holding of 2017 presidential and legislative elections,” Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukai has said. “I know there will be challenges in the national security sector due to budgetary constraints, but there is no tangible reason to keep UNMIL perpetually as the country’s security forces are now to fill in the gap.” Minister Samukai gave the assurance on Friday when he appeared on the ELBC Super Morning Show, where he discussed a number of wide range national issues highlighting the country’s security concern. He however said the presence of UNMIL couldn’t stop anything negative happening with internal threats. “Get away from the age-old dependency syndrome with UNMIL presence; let us train and have confidence in our own security forces by directing our priority instead of depending on UNMIL to do all for us,” Samukai warned. According to him, Liberia security is not 100 percent prepared, but adequately prepared to take over responsibility for the nation’s security after UNMIL’s mandate ends by June this year.“Even with the full presence of UNMIL here, there were deaths of people under mysterious circumstances, there were thefts, and all sort of crimes committed, but thanks to the quick response from officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP), who have equally been trained in the wake of rising tide of Al-Qaeda that poses threats because of the proximity to our country from where they now operate in the sub-region,” Samukai declared.It may be recalled that unidentified gunmen recently killed at least 21 people at a beach resort in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast. Grand Bassam is 25 miles east of the Ivorian capital, Abidjan; less than 50 miles from the country’s coastal border with Ghana; and over 250 miles from the Liberian border on the other side.Ivory Coast was seen as a model of stability in West Africa until a civil war erupted in 2002, which pitted the mainly Muslim north against the largely Christian south. Since then, peace deals have alternated with renewed violence.With that latest development in neighboring La Cote d’Ivoire, Minister Samukai said, “Liberia needs to take her security to the next level with appropriate budgetary support,” and that, “our military is ready to take over responsibility.” He said the more than 2,000 strong military personnel have been undergoing various types of trainings including counter-insurgence, anti-terrorism, among others, in preparation for the UNMIL drawdown. “From our side, we believe that the roles and responsibilities that we have are easily executable because we have been doing the preparedness a little over a year and a half,” Samukai said. “We are at the point where all of our forces, all of the 2,000-plus personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have been going through different kinds of training, operations, different kinds of scenarios exercises, including our participation in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). So, we are very confident in the competence of the AFL,” he assured.Additional personnelSamukai said the military graduated about 154 additional personnel recently after they completed their advanced individual training (AIT) to prepare the army for the different roles and responsibilities they would play as a result of the drawdown of UNMIL. “With our military capabilities, we recently deployed just a platoon of our soldiers along the Liberia/Ivorian border in the Southeast, particularly in the forest of Grand Gedeh, who arrested 10 Ivoirians and 11 Burkinabes that illegally entered Liberian soil and planted cash crops, which our soldiers have uprooted,” Minister Samukai disclosed.Those arrested, according to Samukai, had extended their journey into the country by 5km and had planted Cocoa on the Liberian soil, which could last them for the next generations to come.“Though the situation has been brought under control, we turned those arrested to authorities of the Bureau of Immigration for Naturalization (BIN) which is expected, along with the locals, to do proper vetting and investigation of those reportedly involved.2017 ElectionsSamukai denied that the trust factor in the presence of the international community implies that the Liberian military is incapable of maintaining the nation’s security on its own.Though Minister Samukai made an open declaration to support the presidential bid of Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, he said, “The military has no influential part to play in the electoral process, adding, “The military simply has unique capabilities in terms of logistics and transportation and the facilitation of individuals from one point to the other.“The military cannot and will not be able to influence the outcome or the process of the elections that will be held in 2017. So, the preparedness of the military is simply to suggest its capacity to manage the security situation, come 2017 along the border and the frontiers of our country.”In that respect, the defense minister said the military is already playing a more positive role through its contribution to the reconstruction of the country where its engineering company is now involved with civil works such as reconditioning of roads and bridges.It has been suggested that about US$100 million would be needed to get the Liberian security sector ready to take over from UNMIL, which has been in the country since September 2003, to monitor a cease-fire agreement between belligerent forces. This followed the resignation of President Charles Taylor and the conclusion of the second Liberian civil war.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ramson resigns as MP

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first_img…says to facilitate studies in oil and gas managementPeople’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarian Charles Ramson Jr on September 30 tendered his resignation as a Member of Parliament in order to pursue a Masters in Oil and Gas at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.In his letter to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland, the young parliamentarian explained that he applied to pursue a Masters in Oil and Gas Enterprise Management given that Guyana was moving in the direction of becoming an oil and gas producing nation.Charles Ramson Jr“It is absolutely critical for our national development that we have Guyanese who are technically trained in the oil and gas sector. This is particularly important for us as a nation in this preparatory phase as we frame the relevant policy, law and vision if we are to avoid the often cited ‘resource curs’ commonly associated with oil and gas producing nations,” he stated.Notably, Ramson was also awarded a full scholarship from Chevening, a prestigious scholarship competitively awarded on a global scale funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.The PPP/C has already been engaged in consultations to find a replacement MP.DisappointmentsMeanwhile, in his resignation letter, Ramson expressed disappointment over two pertinent issues which prevailed during his time in Parliament.Firstly, he was deeply concerned over the lack of youth representation at the parliamentary and cabinet levels.“This is particularly regrettable given the youth drive leading up to the election and now young people feel betrayed and voiceless,” he stated.Secondly, he said there needs to be a stronger commitment for national unity:“The current APNU/AFC Government has made it pellucid that it is not committed to the realisation of the most fundamental desire of the Guyanese people – national unity – by demonstrating its unflinching position of not sending bills to a Parliamentary Select Committee despite the pleading from us on the Opposition side. Sending bills to a Parliamentary select committee happened virtually as a matter of course especially in the last eight years under the PPP/C Government.The squandered opportunity which cannot now be regained would have framed the success of politics by forging a working relationship among political leaders in a country plagued by divisions in politics and race or a combination of both. Admittedly, this may have slowed the process but being able to work together despite differences is the extolled virtues of a democracy. This is really what the Guyanese people would have wanted first and foremost from us Parliamentarians – lasting unity forged in struggle rather than notional unity spoken in the abstract.”last_img read more

Mid-Summer Derby Horse Race meet for July 22

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first_imgOn Sunday, July 22, at the Bush Lot United Turf Club, the country’s top locally-bred horses will burst into action at the “Rock and come in” Mid-Summer Derby where over $2 million in cash and other prizes will be up for the taking.Arianne Brown, Lynton Luke and Narissa Gopaul at the launch of “Rock and Come In” Promotion’s Mid-Summer Derby Horse Race meet at the Giftland MallNarissa Gopaul, one of the organisers, disclosed on Wednesday at the Giftland Mall that the meet would cater only the ‘L Class’ of horses. The winner of the featured event will pocket $400,000 while the horse coming second is set to ride away with $200,000 and third place, $100,000.Prizes will also be given to the champion jockey, trainer and stable. Gopaul pointed out that the event has been receiving tangible support from the corporate community, listing ANSA McAL under its STAG Beer Brand, Republic Bank, Giftland Mall, Pas Cargo, Park Square Fun City and Jumbo Jet as some of the sponsors of the event.STAG Beer representative Lynton Luke noted the delight his company has taken in assisting the organisers along the way.Gopaul encouraged everyone to support the meet, telling the media that an unforgettable day of racing is promised. Admission to the venue is $1500.last_img read more

New curriculum for BC students will offer more ‘personalized learning’

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first_img“We’re insuring that, as we have this Aboriginal content, it’s really talking about what’s been good in the province of British Columbia, and even what’s been bad. It’s about being accurate as we go forward with our Aboriginal content in the classrooms.BC now has 1,581 public schools and 350 independent ones, and full-time enrollment estimates are running slightly above 521,000 students. The Ministry of Education says total funding to school districts in the coming fiscal year will reach $5.06 billion, and says that means it is up 31 per cent since the Liberals took control of the government in 2001.The new Education Minister is Peace River South MLA, Mike Bernier – Among other things, he inherits the job of launching a three year transition to a new curriculum.He says the new focus is on flexibility – still giving students the core subjects, but allowing them to participate in projects related to their interests, and targeting real life employment situations.- Advertisement -“We’re still focusing on the basic, it’s still around the reading, writing and arithmetic,” said Bernier.“What’s really exciting about this new curriculum is along that personalized learning, more flexibility in the classroom for our children. We want to make sure our education system is flexible, to help them.”The three year transition process to the new curriculum starts with kindergarten to grade nine students, and there will also be a renewed emphasis on accuracy – particularly when it comes to the aboriginal component.Advertisementlast_img read more

New developer purchases Station 44 land in Fort St. John

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first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Over 207 acres of land in the southeast corner of Fort St. John has been sold to another developer.The Station or as it has been known in the past, Station 44, is a section of land behind the UFA Cardlock along the Alaska Highway in Fort St. John.Since the early 2000’s the property has been bought and sold several times. Each developer has proposed to build a mix of residential and commercial/retail in the area.- Advertisement -The Monark Group of Surrey now owns the property.  Developers Monty Sikka and Mark Catroppa are the founders of the company and in a press release, said they would develop the city’s only master-planned community.The developers are proposing to build single-family, duplex, and row homes along with condominiums and apartments and integrate them with commercial and retail spaces.The new owners, the Monark Group, have not said when construction will start on the property but are currently looking for investors and possible homeowners.  You can learn more about the project at www.fortstjohn.comAdvertisementlast_img read more

Landis maintains innocence in letter

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first_imgAnze Kopitar scored three goals to help the Kings rally for a 7-6 win over Red Bull Salzburg in an exhibition tournament in Austria. The Austrian champions went ahead 3-0 in the opening four minutes, but Mike Cammalleri, Ladislav Nagy and Kopitar evened the score within 10 minutes. Kopitar added another goal later in the period. Derek Armstrong scored on a penalty, and Nagy and Kopitar secured victory. ETC.: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen is recovering from open heart surgery and is expected to be released from a Cleveland hospital within days. The 39-year-old Finn said he could return to the Sabres by December. He had surgery last week to repair a faulty valve. … Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely was hired as a vice president of the NHL team. Motorsports Carl Edwards was docked 25 points because his race-winning car failed inspection at Dover International Raceway. The penalty drops Edwards from third in the Chase for the championship standings to sixth. He’s now 28 points behind series leader Jeff Gordon. Team owner Jack Roush, who celebrated his 100th win Sunday with Edwards’ victory, also was docked 25 owner points and crew chief Bob Osborne was fined $25,000. Edwards’ No. 99 Ford was deemed to be too low following post-race inspection. Although NASCAR determined the height infraction was not intentional, the team still was penalized in accordance with NASCAR’s strict inspection policy. ETC.: Tony Raines was fined $15,000 and docked 25 Busch Series points for throwing his helmet at Robby Gordon. Raines was angry at Gordon after Gordon knocked him out of Saturday’s race at Dover International Raceway, and he waited on the track for Gordon to pass by under caution. He then hurled his helmet at Gordon. Tennis Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore., will host the Davis Cup final between the United States and defending champion Russia from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. The U.S. Tennis Association planned to announce the site formally today. It’s the first Davis Cup final in the United States since the country won the 1992 championship by defeating Switzerland at Fort Worth, Texas. In the stands for that matchup? A 10-year-old Andy Roddick. “It changed my life,” said Roddick, who helped the United States beat Sweden in the semifinals last weekend. “It changed the way I viewed tennis, especially the way I viewed Davis Cup.” He is expected to join fellow top-10 player James Blake in singles against Russia, with the top-ranked doubles pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan completing the U.S. team. ETC.: Top-seeded Venus Williams cruised into the second round of the Korea Open in Seoul, defeating American qualifier Abigail Spears, 6-2, 6-3. … German veterans Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler won rain-interrupted matches to advance to the second round of the Mumbai Open in India. Kiefer defeated third-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-4, 6-3, and Schuettler downed seventh-seeded Julien Benneteau, 7-5, 6-3. … Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli beat defending champion Alona Bondarenko, 6-3, 6-2, in the first round of the Fortis Championships in Luxembourg. … Ivo Karlovic used 23 aces to defeat Feliciano Lopez, 7-6 (2), 6-3, at the Thailand Open in Nonthaburi. Fifth-seeded Carlos Moya was upset by Benjamin Becker, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Third-ranked Novak Djokovic withdrew from the event, citing a back injury. Basketball Corliss Williamson, a reserve forward for the Sacramento Kings last season, is set to retire from the NBA and become an assistant coach at Arkansas Baptist College, the school’s athletic director said. Williamson, who led Arkansas to the 1994 national championship, has played 12 pro seasons with Sacramento, Toronto, Detroit and Philadelphia. ETC.: Former Milwaukee Bucks assistant Mike Sanders was hired to replace Dell Curry, who stepped down as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats. Soccer FC Barcelona is sticking by Ronaldinho, who has been accused in the media of spending too much time in nightclubs. The Brazilian playmaker has had a lackluster start to the season and was substituted in three games. There were also questions in the media about the legitimacy of a calf strain that sidelined him this week. “Everyone can say what they want, but the Barcelona press has surprised me with this, always on this topic,” Coach Frank Rijkaard said. “We are all human, him too, and when he feels completely recovered we will see the Ronaldinho we all know.” Barcelona president Joan Laporta added: “I have not spoken with him (about his private life) because it is a question for the dressing room. The players know how far they can go in their private lives.” Before joining Barcelona, Ronaldinho fell out of favor with Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Fernandez, who disapproved of his nightlife habits. Weightlifting Russian weightlifter Natalia Zabolotnaya broke her own world record in the 165-pound division, lifting 289 pounds to win gold in the snatch at the World Weightlifting Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. She beat her old record of 287. But Cao Lei of China defended her overall title in the 165-pound division with combined lifts of 281.6 in the snatch and 347.6 in the clear and jerk to finish with a combined 629.2 Zabolotnaya took silver with a combined 619. Miscellany Former Brazil striker Casagrande was released from the hospital after recovering from a car accident over the weekend. Casagrande, who played in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, was briefly in a coma after the car he was in rolled over and struck several parked vehicles late Saturday night on a Sao Paulo street.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “If any good has come out of this, we have shown that the anti-doping system is corrupt, inefficient and unfair,” he wrote. “The content of this decision unfortunately highlights this once again. The straightforward and clear dissent in support of my case contrasts sharply with the scientifically flawed and illogical majority decision against me. “I still have hope that the system can, and will be, changed so that no other athlete has to suffer through this process only to be denied a clean chance at justice,” he continued. He thanked the thousands of small donors who contributed to the Floyd Fairness Fund, helping raise part of the more than $2 million that his defense cost. “I can sleep well at night knowing that I won the 2006 Tour de France fair and square,” he wrote. “I hope that my campaign to clear my name still means something to all of you who have kindly donated to my legal defense fund. Every single contribution to the FFF made a real difference. For your constant support and generosity, I thank you.” Hockey From news services Floyd Landis addressed his fans in a letter on his Web site, saying that having his 2006 Tour de France title stripped by an arbitration panel served some good because “we have shown that the anti-doping system is corrupt.” Last week, an arbitration panel voted 2-1 to uphold Landis’ positive doping tests from last year’s Tour de France. It means he is stripped of the title and banned from cycling for two years, retroactive to Jan.30. Landis said he is considering his options, which include a possible appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport or legal action. last_img read more

RARE DONEGAL BUTTERFLY INCLUDED IN NATIONAL SURVEY

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first_imgA national survey of the rare marsh fritillary butterfly is currently being commissioned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the National Biodiversity Data Centre – with half of the species here in Donegal.Butterfly expert and ecologist Dr Eugenie Regan of the National Biodiversity Data Centre described the survey as “the least we can do” for the only legally protected insect in Ireland out of about 12,000. She also pointed out that the marsh fritillary is in danger of becoming extinct across parts of its European range.A recent report released under the EU habitats directive revealed that this endangered butterfly currently faces “unfavourable conservation conditions” in Ireland. According to the NPWS the contract for conducting the survey is currently under tender and will be awarded next month. Work is expected to start immediately, and is expected to end in March 2012.Experts estimate that a total of around 60 survey sites around the country will be included, and a provisional list of 30 sites spanning counties Donegal, Clare, Sligo, Cavan, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon and Monaghan has already been drawn up.The marsh fritillary favours wet grassy habitats, but its population has come under increasing pressure through land drainage for agriculture.RARE DONEGAL BUTTERFLY INCLUDED IN NATIONAL SURVEY was last modified: May 15th, 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)last_img read more

SPUD DELIVERY MAN CLEARED OF DRIVING WITH PHONE AFTER TELLING JUDGE: ‘I WAS PICKING AT MY TOOTH’

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first_imgA potato merchant charged with driving whilst on a mobile phone has been cleared of the charge after telling a judge: “I was just picking at my tooth.”Joseph Lynch, (47), a well-known spud delivery driver from White Hill, St Johnston, contested the charge when he appeared before Glenties District Court.He also denied a breach of the peace relating to a bad-tempered verbal attack on a Garda sergeant. Just before 1pm on December 5 last year, Gda Sgt Vincent Muldoon and Garda Darragh Heaney were driving just outside Glenties when they were passed by a white lorry being drive by Lynch in the other direction.Gda Muldoon told the court that he and Gda Heaney saw Mr Lynch holding a mobile phone to his ear, turned their patrol car around and signalled to Mr Lynch to pull his lorry over.He approached the vehicle and told Mr Lynch he had been observed using a mobile phone whilst driving.“He was shouting and roaring in an aggressive manner and he wanted me to check his phone to show that he hadn’t been using it,” said Sgt Muldoon.“While he was pointing at me, he connected with my chest area on three occasions. I told him to calm down and there was no obligation to check any phone. The offence was holding a mobile phone while driving. You don’t need to be talking,” he said.Sgt Muldoon said that Lynch was roaring and shouting:  “You’re out to get me.”“He was completely out of control; he was behaving like a mad man,” the sergeant told the court.“He claimed he was taking something out of his tooth with a tacograph device,” he said.When giving his evidence, Mr Lynch insisted: “I had my hand on my face because I had something in my tooth.”He denied driving while holding a mobile phone and he also denied breaching the peace during his allegedly aggressive reaction to Gardai.“I was only trying to declare my innocence and pleaded with him (Sgt Muldoon) to examine my phone,” said Mr Lynch“I was very annoyed. I did say to him to see this is not fair. I went to Glenties garda station that day to report it. I was upset and I was just explaining my point,” he said.Robert McBrearty, a passenger  in lorry and who works for Mr Lynch, told the court that his boss used a hands-free kit in the lorry and hadn’t touched his phone whilst driving that day.During his evidence Gda Darragh Heaney said that Mr Lynch “appeared to be holding a mobile phone.”Judge Paul Kelly said based upon Gda Heaney’s comment, he dismissed the charge.He also said he was satisfied that that had been an animated exchange of views but that this did not constitute a breach of the peace.He dismissed both charges.However he did convict Mr Lynch of driving without proper number plates on his lorry – and he fined him €100.SPUD DELIVERY MAN CLEARED OF DRIVING WITH PHONE AFTER TELLING JUDGE: ‘I WAS PICKING AT MY TOOTH’ was last modified: October 28th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:SPUD DELIVERY MAN CLEARED OF DRIVING WITH PHONE AFTER TELLING JUDGE: ‘I WAS PICKING AT MY TOOTH’last_img read more

MAJOR CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED FOR LYIT

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first_imgThe Department of Computing at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, on behalf of the Conference Chairman, Mr. Nigel McKelvey, has announced it is hosting the 2013 IET Irish Signals and Systems Conference on the 20th and 21st of June 2013, at LYIT.Over the last 24 years, the ISSC has established itself as Ireland’s premier Conference addressing all aspects of Signals and Systems.The Conference specifically focusses on Digital Signal Processing, Controls and Communications and encompasses algorithm and system modelling, design and implementation, for a wide range of applications. This year, at LYIT, the Conference will also include an additional topic on Systems and Information Security which will cover areas such as Secure Coding, Cloud Infrastructures, Mobile Security, Cryptography, Watermarking, Steganography and Digital Evidence/Forensics.The ISSC represents a valuable and high profile marketing communications opportunity for business partners and other stakeholders associated with this exciting and growing industry sector.Sponsorship and Exhibition opportunities are available and the Organising Committee would appreciate if you could provide an early indication of your interest in joining with LYIT in sponsoring and supporting the 2013 IET ISSC.For further detailed information please see the Conference website at www.issc.ie.  MAJOR CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED FOR LYIT was last modified: November 16th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:conferenceLYITlast_img read more

Kaiser pounds Jurupa Valley

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first_imgSenior running back Lonyae Miller scored three touchdowns to lead visiting Kaiser over Jurupa Valley, 56-7 in both teams’ Sunkist League opener Friday night. Miller scored on runs of 64, 47 and 5 yards. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Wilson 48, Garey 7: Wilson running back Daniel Bernal scored five touchdowns – four rushing, and one on a 60-yard interception return – to lead the Wildcats over Garey at Ganesha High School. Bernal had to leave last week’s loss to South El Monte with an injury, but was back doing what he does best on Friday. The junior rushed for 186 yards on 21 carries. Wilson also got a big game out of receiver Iran Blandon, who had five receptions for 177 hyards. The Wildcats scored the game’s first 28 points. The win improved Wilson to 4-2, and more importantly got the Wildcats off to a 1-0 start in Miramonte League play. Wilson’s defense bounced back from a bad performance last week to limit the Vikings (1-5) to 124 yards of total offense. Jamal Smith’s 20-yard fumble return and Paul Reyes’ 50-yard run got Kaiser off to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Cats (3-3, 1-0) contributed solid defense, forcing two turnovers that were returned for touchdowns against the Jaguars (0-6, 0-1). center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more