FBI busts marriage fraud scheme; 7 arrested in Jackson and Swain County

first_imgThe FBI arrested seven people including the Deputy Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Cherokee Agency are accused of participating in a marriage fraud scheme in Jackson and Swain counties. 12 defendants total were named in a Grand Jury Indictment filed June 7th. It was made public on Wednesday.Allegedly, Ruth McCoy and her husband Timothy Taylor, would act as sponsors immigration applications in exchange money. According to the indictment, McCoy arranged the marriages between US Citizens and non-citizens for which she was paid a total of $4,500. . Marriages were performed in Sevier County, Tennessee. People were allegedly paid to participate in the fraudulent marriages a sum between $1500 to $3000.Others named on the indictment are Kaila Nikelle Cucumber, Jessica Marie Gonzalez, Jordan Elizabeth Littlejohn and Kevin Dean Swayney, Ilya Dostanov, Ievgenii Reint, Shaul Levy and Yana Peltz.Former Principal Chief Patrick Lambert made a social media post regarding the current FBI investigation into Qualla Housing Authority and the forensic audits of the ECBI Tribe on Wednesday stating, “Today the FBI arrested at least seven people. One of them is the Deputy Superintendent of the BIA and also a few local business owners here in town. These individuals are charged with some heinous crimes against our communities and individuals and crimes they have committed against Cherokee families and for their connections to elected officials who have stolen and continue to steal from the people. A few of these individuals have used their criminal activity to fund the political careers of some political officials and this investigation is going to expose those misdeeds”.WRGC Radio has reached out to Bureau of Indian Affairs Cherokee Agency and Principal Chief Richie Sneed for comment but were not available at press time.More developing on this story.last_img read more

Auburndale boys basketball upends Pittsville

first_imgApaches end four-game losing skidBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterPITTSVILLE — Caleb Weinfurter made five 3-pointers and scored 19 points to help the Auburndale boys basketball beat Pittsville 51-48 and snap a four-game losing streak on Thursday night at Pittsville High School.Luke Olsen added three 3-pointers and 11 points, and Dylan Peplinski also scored 11 points for the Apaches, who are now 4-10 overall and 2-7 in the Marawood Conference South Division.Aron Masanz had five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Pittsville (11-7, 6-4 Marawood South).Auburndale’s win, combined with Stratford’s victory over Wisconsin Rapids Assumption and Marathon’s win against Wausau Newman Catholic, clinched the Marawood South title for Marathon.Auburndale hosts first-place Marathon on Tuesday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Apaches 51, Panthers 48Auburndale 24 27 – 51Pittsville 19 29 – 48AUBURNDALE (51): Nicholas Steele 1-3 0-0 2, Luke Olsen 3-7 2-3 11, Logan Willfahrt 1-4 0-0 3, Caleb Weinfurter 7-13 0-0 19, Collin Hawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Colton Wright 1-2 1-2 3, Christian Firnstahl 1-3 0-0 2, Dylan Peplinski 4-9 3-6 11. FG: 18-41. FT: 6-11. 3-pointers: 9-22 (Weinfurter 5-11, Olsen 3-5, Willfahrt 1-4, Steele 0-1, Wright 0-1). Rebounds: 30 (Firnstahl 12). Assists: 8 (Olsen 3). Record: 4-10, 2-7 Marawood Conference South Division.PITTSVILLE (48): Aron Masanz 6-9 0-0 17, Donovan Grossman 0-1 1-2 1, Jake Allind 5-18 2-3 12, Paul Downs 3-7 1-2 8, Aidan Masanz 1-4 0-0 3, Matthew Carlsno 2-8 2-2 6, Isaac Baker 0-3 1-2 1. FG: 17-50. FT: 7-11. 3-pointers: 7-12 (Ar. Masanz 5-8, Downs 1-2, Ai. Masanz 1-2). Rebounds: 16 (Allind 6, Carlson 6). Assists: 8 (Carlson 3). Record: 11-7. 6-4 Marawood South.last_img read more

The boy who sees in pictures

first_img21 July 2011“Captain” Kgaugelo Mabjwe is one of eight students of the Umuzi Photo Club, based in the Johannesburg suburb of Braamfontein, who are currently exhibiting their work at the prestigious Gallery@Oxo on London’s South Bank.The Wembley to Soweto exhibition is a visual depiction of how photography helped the eight teenagers to unleash their talent and realise their dreams. The exhibition runs until 24 July, and admission is free.The brainchild of internationally renowned photographer John Cole and actor/director David Westhead of Wilton Pictures, the project is also supported by Kweku Mandela, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.Mabjwe attended his first workshop with Umuzi (isiZulu, meaning “village”) in 2009. The photo club had been started in the same year by financial analyst David Dini, “to give a voice to young people through the medium of photography”, said Emily Coppel, the project’s facilitator.But the really big break for Mabjwe, Patience Ndhlovu, Siyabonga Sepotokele, Tshepang Masemola, Joao Nzina, Shoneez Cassim and Thapelo Motsumi came when Cole and Westhead approached Umuzi Club.Cole is the photographer who took a shot of the Free Mandela concert, held in 1988 at Wembley Stadium to mark Mandela’s 70th birthday, and which is now on display in the Nobel laureate’s home in Johannesburg.Witness to the World CupEarly in 2010 Cole and Westhead held an in-depth four-week workshop with the eight students, before asking them to be official witnesses to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which took place in South Africa in June and July that year.The aim of the project was to teach disadvantaged young people how to feed their families with their cameras, said Cole on the exhibition’s website.The teenagers attended the official World Cup opening and recorded some extraordinary images with the wide-eyed innocence and honesty so typical of people their age.Now, the Wembley to Soweto exhibition, which opened on 7 July, is showing 52 of the best pictures.An excited Westhead spoke to Leicester Square Television (LSQ TV) before the opening, relating how this “small” project has snowballed into other projects and opportunities for the eight youngsters. He believes great things are still going to come from them.“The pictures speak for themselves. It’s wonderful. It warrants being exhibited. They [the students] are absolute dynamite.”In the same interview, Cole described his experiences with the group, noting that he was constantly surprised in the best possible sense by what came out of the project.“Some of these pictures are really gritty, really gutsy – the kind of reportage that I cut my teeth on and what makes me love photography so much.”Three of the eight, Thapelo Motsumi, Patience Ndhlovu and Shoneez Cassim, attended the exhibition’s official opening in London. While in the city, they also had the chance to impart some of their photographic knowledge to other kids, this time in London’s East End areas of Streatham and Newham.The young travellers also attended an exclusive photo shoot with renowned actor Alan Rickman, better known for his portrayal of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series.As Cassim said in during a LSQ TV interview: “Now when I take a picture it is not just about taking a photograph anymore – it is about asking myself, what can I tell, what will people see when they see it?”International exposureMotsumi was interviewed by Outlook, a programme on the BBC World Service with a listenership of 40-million, where he was able to share the experience of growing up in Johannesburg’s bustling Yeoville suburb, and feeling the weight of a real single-lens reflex camera in his hands for the first time.That was in 2009, when he joined Mabjwe and the group for a workshop at Umuzi. Up to that point he did not think much about photography, he admitted, rather seeing himself as becoming an artist one day.He now refers to his camera as his baby, his friend. “A camera is a powerful tool. You can change people’s lives with it. You can make a difference, you can tell stories with it.”As a result of the Wembley to Soweto exposure, Motsumi has already successfully completed several paid assignments for Marie Claire women’s magazine, South African Breweries, mobile provider Vodacom and Parliament. He continues to do workshops and assignments for Umuzi.Said Cole: “If this has given them some confidence, then I have succeeded. That’s really the important thing. Photography is almost secondary.”On site in AlexMeanwhile, back at home in South Africa, Mabjwe and the rest continue with workshops and programmes offered by Umuzi, and identify for themselves the social issues they wish to address through the lens.Over the July school holidays, the Umuzi team was on site in Alexandra township, east of the city, to record the problems of school drop-outs and teenage pregnancies at the Alex East Bank Clinic.It is an issue close to the heart of the group because it is one of the community’s biggest challenges.“Here in Alex, teenage pregnancy is a big problem, especially at the East Bank High School,” said Precious Ntlabathi, who is doing her first Umuzi workshop.She attributed the problem to kids not knowing enough about the risks, peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse. “Through my photographs, I hope to raise awareness.”“The idea is for students to start thinking critically about issues affecting them and to become advocates for change through their eyewitness accounts,” added Coppel.Recently, students did a presentation to Parliament on the lack of service delivery in the country. They’ve also exhibited their work in galleries in New York, Antwerp and Johannesburg.After the workshops, exhibitions are usually held in the community to create social awareness through the evocative images.“The hope is to engage the media and people to talk about these issues affecting young people and to bring about some change,” said Coppel.Becoming an Umuzi studentUmuzi participants undergo an intensive selection and interview process. Club staff visit schools in the Johannesburg area, usually at morning assembly, where they introduce the club to the pupils. Afterwards, application forms are handed out to interested scholars.Those selected show enthusiasm and an aptitude for photography. But, said Coppel, it should not be to the detriment of their school work. The target group is Grade 10, pupils around 16 years of age.From the basic workshops, teenagers showing potential in photography can follow Umuzi’s Leadership through Photography course. The club also assists, through various sponsorships, in putting some of the students through formal photographic courses.“The idea is that they learn to become professional,” said Coppel.And today, young Mabjwe, for one, sees himself as someone with a future. From a Diepsloot youngster with no real plans for the future, he now harbours big dreams.“I love photography. Every day I think about taking good pictures. I see myself overseas, working as a freelance photographer one day.”And he has this to say about his work: “I can speak with my pictures. There are many stories inside my pictures.”MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Ideas swirling around – on Microcontent applications

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Social Web#web center_img richard macmanus Soon I’m going to shut up and do some actual work on my Web of Ideas application. But I have to note a few interesting things that have surfaced recently on the topics of ideas and microcontent. Firstly, Erik Benson has just released his own Ideas Database. As to be expected from Erik, who created All Consuming, it’s a nifty piece of work. The user interface is crisp and clean. Entering a new idea is a breeze – enter a title, a category, and lastly the detail. Once a new idea has been entered, users can vote on a variety of value indicators including revenue potential, ease of development, cost. Currently Erik’s Idea Database seems very project-focussed – each idea is something that can be developed into a full-blown product/service. But I imagine this application is flexible, so e.g. you could use it as a database for music you want to buy or listen to. You could change the value indicators so users can vote on each music “idea” – e.g. give it 3/5 for hipness, 4/5 to indicate how much you want to buy it, etc. As to how Erik’s product relates to my own Ideas Database, what I have in mind is more focussed on microcontent. Each “idea” in my definition will be a chunk of information, which may or may not lead to something more concrete. e.g. one thing that I may enter into my db as an idea – “Investigate the progress of Chandler (the open source PIM)”. This is simply something I have in my head that I want to note down – somewhere. Currently I just jot it down in my paper notebook, or email myself a reminder, or enter it as an Outlook task or note. None of these things is satisfactory, mainly because I don’t use any one of those methods of ‘idea capture’ consistently. That’s what I’m thinking of when I refer to an Ideas Database. It’ll be topic-based, so I may want to assign values to ideas and definitely I want to be able to link ideas together. So there are simularities with Erik’s Idea Database. But I’m also focussing on the microcontent angle and ideas as information chunks, so I think it’ll be different too.Steve Gillmor has written about something similar recently. Steve wrote:“What I’m really looking for is a private Google, where I can find random notes without exposing them publicly–or more precisely, to unsubscribed (unauthorized) readers.”Steve is talking about much more than just an Ideas Database (he regularly pushes the ‘RSS will replace email’ message). But it touches on a groundswell of feeling about microcontent. Anil Dash’s famous “Microcontent Client” may be just around the corner…Let’s not forget the PIM projects too (Personal Information Management). I’ve been watching the progress of Chandler and Haystack. I’ll have to write an article about those two soon (see above).Lastly for now (I have so many ideas swirling around in me head!), I’ll briefly mention John Robb’s “Web 2.0” concept. John wrote:“What is Web 2.0? It is a system that breaks with the old model of centralized Web sites and moves the power of the Web/Internet to the desktop.”Yes this is very similar to Microsoft’s “Smart Clients”, which Robert Scoble has talked about. John cited Radio Userland as a good example of a desktop rich client. This is an interesting discussion, but I don’t think we have enough information to know where Web 2.0 is headed yet. We’ll have to wait for more Longhorn details (Robert Scoble reckons this will come at the Microsoft PDC), plus watch further products from the likes of Macromedia and see how all the independent innovators go (e.g. Userland, Broadband Mechanics).Right, now I better get to work on my own very humble development attempts. Less talk, more action 🙂 Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

German Shipbuilder Buys BlohmVoss Yard

first_imgzoom In an effort to strengthen its portfolio in the repair and refit activities for yachts, naval and commercial ships, the German shipbuilder Lürssen has acquired the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg for an undisclosed price.The contract between Lürssen and the funds of British private equity investor, Star Capital Partners has been signed and the agreement is currently subject to approval from the German Fair Trade Commission (Bundeskartellamt).“With the acquisition of Blohm+Voss we are taking over a shipyard with a strategically advantageous location and versatile production facilities. We want to use these facilities to complement our existing refit and repair activities and also to offer our customers an ever better service,” Peter Lürssen, Managing Partner at Lürssen Maritime Beteiligungen GmbH & Co. KG. said.While the shipyard is expected to continue building naval ships, the construction of yachts at the Hamburg yard will depend on the overall market situation, Lürssen added.Pending approval from the German Fair Trade Commission, Lürssen will combine six shipyards with approximately 2800 employees in Northern Germany.last_img read more