The political power struggle that engulfed Grand Bassa County in the past months which forced former Superintendent Etweda Cooper out of office has been resolved, Superintendent Levi Demah told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the weekend in Buchanan.Stakeholders in the county have now resolved to work together to move the county forward and to ensure development that the county yearns for, he told the President.There have been persistent concerns that Grand Bassa is divided on political issues based on deceptive politics which were impediments to the progress of the county.Former Supt. Cooper resigned early September 2015 following months of stand-off with the county’s Legislative Caucus over the use of the county’s development fund. Madam Cooper stated that her resignation was the best way forward for the county amid an atmosphere of calumny, invective, intense acrimony, and deliberately circulated falsehoods that typify political and societal exchanges in the county.“We have resolved all our differences and have agreed to work together for the betterment of Grand Bassa. This is evidenced by the presence of all of our lawmakers and some of our eminent citizens,” Demah told President Sirleaf at the dedicatory ceremony of the newly constructed Buchanan City Hall. The Chairperson of the Grand Bassa County Legislative caucus, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, also spoke favorably about the working relationships that now exist in the county and expressed happiness that calm has returned to ensure the development of the county.Resolving the county’s political differences was in fulfillment of a promise made by Superintendent Demah when he took office.At his induction ceremony, Demah said although expectations were high, people should be reminded that no leader could make it alone.“Our stewardship will be participatory and consultative,” he further said. “No one should feel and will not be marginalized in this new equation…”Demmah promised to avoid deceptive politics to encourage unity and regain the deserving relevance the county needed and noted that reconciliation and unity, Youth development, an improved financial management system and infrastructure development were his priorities.The return of smooth working relationship to the county between the local government and the Legislative Caucus was also echoed by the Liberia Traditional Council Chairman Zanzan Karwor. “We are happy that our children have now agreed to work together again. This is the only way our county will develop,” he said.Supt. Demah did a great job to bring all the stakeholders to agree to work together. “Madam President, our new superintendent is working hard. He has made everybody to come together to work for this county. We are happy that you brought this man here,” chairman Kawor declared.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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WASHINGTON – The House voted Thursday to expand federal hate-crime categories to include violent attacks against gays and people targeted because of gender, acting just hours after the White House threatened a veto. The legislation, passed 237-180, also would make it easier for federal law enforcement to take part in or assist local prosecutions involving bias-motivated attacks. Similar legislation is also moving through the Senate, setting the stage for a possible veto showdown with President George W. Bush. “This is an important vote of conscience, of a statement of what America is, a society that understands that we accept differences,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the only openly gay man in the House, presided over the chamber as the final vote was taken. The House bill would extend hate crimes to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability and give federal authorities greater leeway to participate in hate-crime investigations. It would approve $10 million over the next two years to help cover the cost of hate-crime prosecutions. Federal investigators could step in if local authorities were unwilling or unable to act. But Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, warned that the true intent of the bill was “to muzzle people of faith who dare to express their moral and biblical concerns about homosexuality.” The facts DEFINING HATE: The definition of federal hate crimes would expand to include gays and people targeted because of gender under a bill the House passed Thursday A HURDLE: Hours earlier President George W. Bush threatened to veto the legislation, saying state and local laws cover these types of crimes. FREE SPEECH: Social-conservative groups object to the bill, saying it could inhibit their right to express disapproval of homosexuality.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The vote came after fierce lobbying from opposite sides by civil-rights groups, who have been pushing for years for added protections against hate crimes, and social conservatives, who say the bill threatens the right to express moral opposition to homosexuality and singles out groups of citizens for special protection. The White House said state and local criminal laws already cover the new crimes defined under the bill and there was “no persuasive demonstration of any need to federalize such a potentially large range of violent crime enforcement.” It also noted that the bill leaves other classes, such as the elderly, the military and police officers, without similar special status. “Our criminal-justice system has been built on the ideal of equal justice for all,” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal but depend on the race, sex, sexual orientation, disability or status of the victim.” Hate crimes under current federal law apply to acts of violence against individuals on the basis of race, religion, color or national origin. Federal prosecutors have jurisdiction only if the victim is engaged in a specific federally protected activity such as voting.