29/04/2009

Other NI News In Brief

Yellow Buses On NI Agenda

The NI Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured meeting MP David Blunkett - and his guide dog - in Belfast, yesterday. David Blunkett is Chair of the innovative 'Yellow School Bus Commission', which has examined the potential benefits of introducing the USA-style iconic yellow school buses to the UK. They met to discuss the potential economic benefits of this scheme, and in particular the possible commercial opportunities that this may offer to businesses in Northern Ireland.

'No Complaints', Says Victims Commissioner

A court decision that the original appointment of victims champion Bertha McDougall was wrong has led to her taking the step of stressing there were "no complaints" over her year-long stint as an interim commissioner. Now one of the four such permanent commissioners, she was commenting after a court ruled her initial appointment was "not lawfully made". The verdict - against former Secretary of State Peter Hain - was a matter for the Northern Ireland Office: "Essentially, the whole process of the appointment would be their responsibility," she said. See: Courts Reject Victims Commissioner's Appointment

Fermanagh Alert Ends

Some 18 families have been allowed back to their homes in Co Fermanagh following a hoax bomb alert. The houses in the Dernawilt area were initially evacuated following reports that a bomb had been left on the Rosslea to Donagh Road. It turned out to be a hoax and the police said dissident republicans were responsible.

£35K For Part-Time Derry Airport Boss

A three-day-week manager at the City of Derry Airport has been paid almost £35,000 in the four-month period since he began working there, it was revealed yesterday. Albert Harrison was hired in January on a flexible contract of an initial three days per week, with provision for a phased reduction in the number of days worked. However, the airport defended the salary, saying its proposals for increased commercial activity and improved income targets are supported through his appointment.

Army Cadets 'Cycle' Road To Dublin
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Cadets and adult associates from Glengormley Troop Army Cadet Force will be 'cycling away' from Newtownabbey to Dublin on a 'virtual cycle ride' taking place 'in situ' at the Fitness Suite Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick this Saturday 3rd May. According to the Detachment Commander Lieutenant John Read: "Both Cadets and Adults are committed to raising much needed funding for this worthy cause and have been in training for a substantial period of time. Cadets are supportive of other young people and keen to promote the fact that young people can be productive and an asset to local communities through charity and community service work." Participants will cover over 20 miles each over the day to complete the 100-mile plus journey 'virtual' journey. The event is in aid of the Charity NSPCC with the monies raised going towards providing telephone help line services to young people in Northern Ireland. The Glengormley Detachment have raised over £3,000 pounds over the previous year for local worthy charities such as The Poppy Appeal, Children In Need and are committed to engaging with the local community as the Army Cadet Force nears its 150th Anniversary.

Ritchie Confirms Fort George Repair Works

Over £3m is to be spent on remedial and infrastructure work at the former army base, Fort George in Co Londonderry. NI Regeneration Minister Margaret Ritchie said this the first practical step in preparing the site for the market. Works will include the removal of polluted sand, silt and other debris from the Pennyburn Channel and repairs to the quay wall on the River Foyle and remediation of the bank of the Pennyburn estuary following dredging. Repairs will also be carried out to the surface of the concrete jetty dating from World War II, including the installation of lighting and new steel railings. This will lead to the opening of the jetty to pedestrians and cyclists as an extension to the foot and cycle path.

Playground Vandalism Condemned

An East Belfast MLA , Robin Newton has condemned those who smashed up playground equipment in the children's playground adjacent to the Avoniel Leisure Centre in his constituency. "I can only describe those who cut down a playground swing and smash a play cradle as vandals who have no thought for the many young children who make use of this popular playground. These items have just been replaced following a spate of vandalism and for them to be replaced and again vandalised is taking much needed funding away from the local community."

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