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USCG Cutter Paul Clark Offloads Seized Marijuana

first_img View post tag: News by topic View post tag: americas View post tag: Marijuana August 18, 2014 Share this article View post tag: Offloads View post tag: Naval The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark offloaded approximately 900 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated wholesale value of nearly $800,000 at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, Florida. View post tag: Cutter Authorities View post tag: Paul Clark The cargo was recovered from the water off the coast of Cap Du Mole, Haiti, after it was dropped from a go-fast vessel by suspected smugglers. The crew of a Customs and Border Protection Air Marine aircraft spotted the go-fast vessel on Tuesday evening. The Coast Guard Cutter Paul Clark located the go-fast vessel and launched their smallboat crew to investigate.Upon detecting the Coast Guard crew, the suspected smugglers aboard the vessel jettisoned numerous bales of contraband into the water and began to flee. The Paul Clark smallboat crew was unable to apprehend the suspect vessel, but were able to recover the jettisoned cargo from the water.[mappress]Press Release, August 18, 2014; Image: USCG Back to overview,Home naval-today USCG Cutter Paul Clark Offloads Seized Marijuana View post tag: USCG View post tag: Seized USCG Cutter Paul Clark Offloads Seized Marijuana View post tag: Navylast_img read more

Commentary: Make America Great Again, But For Real

first_imgBy John KrullTheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe Donald Trump will make America great again.Just not the way he thinks.On Monday, after a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump held the single most disastrous press conference in American presidential history. He argued, again and again, that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election was a threat to America and the world. He said, again and again, that he believed Putin rather than U.S. intelligence advisors, including former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, whom Trump cited by name.The reaction was swift.Trump’s abandonment of U.S. interests and embrace of a Russian dictator and murderer was too much for many Republicans.Coats issued a dignified but stern rebuttal, saying he would continue to defend American security and interests. Coats implied he would do so despite any presidential attempts to deter him from his duty.U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, also issued a statement saying he supported all attempts by intelligence and investigatory agencies to protect America’s security and interests, a rebuke to President Trump.Other Republicans around the country joined in.Feeling the heat, Trump on Tuesday tried to walk back what he’d said on Monday. Reading from a written statement, he said he “misspoke” – that he meant “wouldn’t” when he said “would.” This explanation satisfied few who paid attention because it ignored the president’s repeated insistence that he accepted Putin’s assurances and doubted the facts presented by his own advisors.And there was the reason to doubt Trump even meant it.By Wednesday, he was walking back his attempted walk-back. Via Twitter, Trump’s preferred medium, the president insisted his meeting with Putin had been a great success and that Russia was a true friend to the United States.This typically Trumpian befuddling episode provoked expected reactions.The Trump haters who think of this president as a liar, a knave, and a buffoon now had a new term – traitor – to add to their list of epithets for the man.And the president’s band of defenders made clear that there is no reassurance, however preposterous, Donald Trump offers them that they won’t accept. If Trump tells them that, like so many other dictators who illegally invade other countries and either murder or imprison dissidents, Vladimir Putin is merely misunderstood and desperately in need of kindness and friendship, they’ll not only swallow it.They’ll ask for seconds.But the reactions from Coats and Young add something new to the dynamic – a growing awareness that this situation has grown beyond standard political gamesmanship.When Trump read from his written statement Tuesday, he edited in, in his own handwriting, an assertion that there was “no collusion.”It was a revealing addition.In the president’s mind, this whole thing is about him – his reputation, his brand, his interests, his inconvenience.But it isn’t about him.Vladimir Putin and Russia didn’t attack just Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.No, as Dan Coats pointed out, they attacked the United States. They attacked all of us.They hoped to gain instability within the one nation on earth with the means and the might to check their abuses. They got that. They also hoped to fracture alliances that might contain their ambitions to exert control over other parts of the world. They also have achieved that.Whether they were able to do this because this U.S. president is too compromised or simply too naïve to understand the nature of the threat Vladimir Putin presents is important, but it’s less important than the fact that Putin and the Russians are trying to attack us again.And we must stop them.The president won’t help us with this.He’s too wrapped up in his own drama to notice anything else.That means it falls to the rest of us to do our duty as Americans and protect our country.One of the things that have made this nation special has been our ability to either resolve or put differences aside in times of trouble and danger.That quality made us great in the past.And it can make us great again.FOOTNOTES: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.  This article was posted by the City-County Observer without bias, opinion or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

London bakery fined for fly-tipping

first_imgA bakery in north-west London has been fined for fly-tipping waste.Willesden Magistrates heard that workers at Afghan Bakery and Catering, trading as Afghan Bakery in Church Road, Harlesden, dumped three bin bags of rubbish outside the store on 22 April, 2 May and 15 July last year, as well as one sack and one oil drum on 16 July last year.Representatives for the business admitted four charges of depositing controlled waste on land, without an environmental permit, at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 20 May.The company was fined £100 for each offence and was ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim’s surcharge of £20, a total of £720.last_img read more

The Grateful Dead Will A Release A Daily Free Downloadable Track In November

first_imgWhat has now become tradition, the “30 Days Of Dead” free track share is set to begin this coming Wednesday, November 1st. As is custom, Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux will select thirty standalone songs from the band’s deep vaults to be released each day during the entire month of November. 30 Days Of Dead is not only for fans to enjoy—the special series also tests their knowledge by asking them to guess the date and venue that each track was performed in.The Grateful Dead Almanac confirmed the news in its most recent issue. The song selection will be released on Dead.net, who released the following statement:“You know your Ables from your Bakers from your C’s, but can your finely tuned ears differentiate the cosmic “comeback” tour from a spacey 70’s show? Each day we’ll post a free download from one of the Dead’s coveted shows. Will it be from that magical night at Madison Square Garden in ’93 or from way back when they were just starting to warm it up at Winterland? Is that Pigpen’s harmonica we hear? Brent on keys? Step right up and try your hand all November long and win prizes while you’re at it.”Never a dull moment with the Grateful Dead. Take a listen to the 2016 track selection via Spotify below:last_img read more

Boyz II Men Board Grease: Live

first_imgBaby get moving, because when Fox’s Grease: Live airs on Fox on January 31, Boyz II Men will croon Teen Angel’s “Beauty School Dropout” to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Frenchy.The R&B trio, consisting of Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris, earned four Grammy Awards in the ‘90s (when they were a quartet with Michael McCary) with albums Cooleyhighharmony and II, and tracks “End of the Road” and “I’ll Make Love to You.” Their most recent album, Collide, was released in October 2014.The Fox telecast of the iconic musical will star Broadway favorite Aaron Tveit as Danny and Julianne Hough as Sandy. Also on board are Vanessa Hudgens, Mario Lopez, Ana Gasteyer, Keke Palmer and more. Unlike its NBC predecessors, Grease: Live, under the direction of Hamilton’s Tommy Kail and Dancing With the Stars’ Alex Rudzinski, will feature a studio audience. View Commentslast_img read more

Pegg Honored

first_imgWhether food scientist Ronald Pegg is chasing coffee “from bean to cup” in Costa Rica or pinpointing the phenolic antioxidant constituents in Georgia pecans, he has a passion for inspiring an investigative spirit in his students. Pegg’s career has been defined by his enthusiasm toward his students and his unique teaching style. His main goal always has been to provide a balanced mix of engaging lectures and hands-on laboratory activities for his students to explore the concepts that are key to understanding the makeup of food and how its constituents can be analyzed. As coach and mentor to the university’s Food Science College Bowl Team, Pegg works to advise students while they’re in Athens, and many students still seek his advice long after they have left the university.  This year, he was named a Josiah Meigs Teaching Professor. In recognition of his commitment, his students have voted him UGA Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty of the Year or Graduate Faculty of the Year six times. In 2013, Pegg won the Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, becoming the first faculty member in his department to win the honor.“For more than a decade, Dr. Pegg has been able to maintain the same enthusiasm for teaching that he had when he started at UGA,” said Josef Broder, CAES associate dean for academic affairs. “That excitement is contagious and inspires a sense of curiosity in his students that never really leaves them. His work is one reason why food science graduates from the University of Georgia are sought-after by industry leaders and research institutions the world over.” “I attempt to instill in my students the desire for lifelong learning and the realization that the knowledge base of their profession is not static, rather it is dynamic,” Pegg said. “I get no greater joy than when one of my students is conducting an experiment, and I all of a sudden see a light switch on.”last_img read more

Feel The Love Supreme! Coltrane Day Celebrates The Jazz Great’s Legacy & Hopes For His Huntington Home

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York John Coltrane created “A Love Supreme” inside this dilapidated Dix Hills house where he once lived.[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ike a truly innovative, modern jazz composition, the John Coltrane home in Dix Hills—where the greatest American saxophonist created A Love Supreme—is also a work in progress.But ever since the National Trust for Historic Preservation named his modest 1952-ranch-style house to its 2011 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, progress has indeed been made. Today, the house now has a new roof, new siding and new soffits. Yet so much more remains to be done before his legacy can be rightfully preserved there.With that goal in mind, this Sunday will be Coltrane Day at Heckscher Park in downtown Huntington when the Town of Huntington, The Huntington Arts Council and The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills present a full day of music workshops, jams, concerts and an evening performance featuring Ravi Coltrane, who spent his first years as an infant growing up in his parents’ house on Candlewood Path. The event is being hailed as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic album, A Love Supreme, as well as honoring the 50th anniversary of the ongoing Huntington Summer Arts Festival.“Nothing brings people together like music, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this monumental work than by inviting music lovers and musicians of all ages and backgrounds to come together, listen, play and just have fun,” said Ron Stein, president of The Friends of the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, a 501c3 tax-exempt group dedicated to restoring, interpreting and preserving the house and grounds where John and Alice Coltrane, an innovative jazz pianist and harpist, lived and raised their family. The event will also mark the launch of the Coltrane Legacy Education Project, a new music education program designed by Alice Coltrane, who died in 2007.“One of the goals of the home was to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the making of music,” Stein told the Press. “For her, it wasn’t about learning how incredible and influential John Coltrane was. It’s about getting people engaged in the process of making music.”That this suburban one-and-a-half story brick home where Coltrane composed his iconic masterpiece still stands is “almost miraculous,” according to Stein. Coltrane died of liver cancer at Huntington Hospital in 1967 and was buried at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale. Alice Coltrane sold the house and moved to California in 1972. In 2003, Steven Fulgoni, a new resident to Dix Hills and an avid jazz enthusiast, was in Huntington Town Hall researching the Coltrane property when he realized that it had recently been sold to a developer who planned to raze the home and subdivide the lot.Through his efforts, soon augmented with support from Coltrane’s family and celebrated musicians like Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock, an alarm went out to the local community and jazz fans around the world responded. The demolition was stopped in 2004, and Huntington town bought the property for $975,000 in 2005, according to news reports, and declared the site a town park. But there were no public funds to do much more than that.“When we discovered the house and took it over, it had been abandoned for two years,” said Stein, who gave this reporter a rare look inside, where a total gut-rehabilitation is in full swing, with walls torn out, no plumbing, and lots of gaping holes that need to be filled. “The bones of the house are actually in surprisingly good shape.”General contractors, architects and electricians have been donating their time to the tune of almost $200,000, according to published reports. So far the nonprofit group has received $38,310 from New York and $5,000 from the National Trust, as well as thousands more from benefits in Manhattan and elsewhere. The entire project may run more than $2 million, Stein told the Press, and his group hopes to snare more matching funds from grants and donations. But first they have to come up with their own funds to match.“We’re really gearing up to raise money in a very big way these next six months,” Stein said. “They’re going to be very important.”In March, an architecture and historic preservation team of students from Columbia University was onsite conducting research to help the home become a living museum. The garage where Coltrane kept his Jaguar XKE—his one indulgence, Stein said—will be converted to a temporary visitors’ center. What happened to that car is unclear. At the moment, the garage is far from finished.In the basement where the Coltranes were building a studio, the mold looked like “a coral reef,” Stein recalled when he first went down there. The hope is not only to restore the studio—the ledge where Coltrane rested his saxophone in an archival photo looks just like it once did—but make it fully functioning so new music can be recorded there again. On the first floor in the family room, the grand piano is long gone, but some of the architectural touches, like the special paneling, remain.But more amazingly, the original purple carpets are still in the master bedroom as well as the yellow, red and orange carpeting in the large meditation room—the colors of the chakras, according to Alice Coltrane, who had become a devoted follower of Eastern philosophy and religion.The upstairs room where Coltrane channeled the material for his breakthrough album in the summer of 1964 still has the original floral print wallpaper. But the view from the window has certainly changed, because now it’s just an acre or more of overgrown woods tangled with vines. Once the renovation is completed, it should look out over the Alice Coltrane Memorial Garden, which will have paths and flower beds.“We’re going to make that one of the high points,” said Stein.As Alice Coltrane recalled, one day her husband came downstairs from this upstairs room “like Moses coming down from the mountain,” holding the musical manuscript in his hands. According to Ben Ratliff, a jazz critic for The New York Times, the complete outline for this new suite was formally prepared unlike any other previous Coltrane composition, and it showed his thoughts: “Make ending attempt to reach transcendent level with orchestra…rising harmonies to a level of blissful stability…last chord to sound like final chord of Alabama.”Then he got to work with his group of musicians until he was ready to go into the studio in Manhattan. Recorded in one day, Dec. 9, 1964, A Love Supreme is “not just another cusp in a series of cusps,” Ratliff writes, “but the fulcrum of his career, setting the outline for understanding both his past and future work.”“Throughout his life,” writes Branford Marsalis, a jazz superstar, in his introduction to a biography John Coltrane: A Sound Supreme, “Coltrane was so engaged in the creative process that his growth as a musician closely paralleled his own personal and spiritual development. For this reason, there is an emotional depth to Coltrane’s music, an almost unearthly quality to his tone, that can leave the listener stunned, if not thoroughly seduced and moved in extraordinary ways.”Album cover: A Love Supreme (Photo courtesy of Jason Hickey/Flickr)In the near future, that’s the effect the Friends of the Coltrane Home hope to recreate in the suburbs of Suffolk County.“Look, we know when we get this house rebuilt it is part shrine, part museum,” Stein said. “Musicians who are Coltrane disciples are going to be traveling from around the world to come to this location and experience the site. And that’s why making the outside landscape as beautiful as possible is a big part of it.”In fact, that homage has already happened.“We discovered a musician who had hitch-hiked all the way up from Florida who was sitting outside with a saxophone playing up to the house,” Stein said. “We get that.”The all-day music festival at Heckscher Park, 164 Main St. (aka Rt. 25A), in Huntington, kicks off on Sunday, July 5, at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. There will be music impro and percussion classes led by Shenole Latimer, Terry Greene II, Jerry Liggon and Napoleon Revels-Bey, plus workshops led by Funk Filharmonik’s saxman John Scarpulla and percussionist Steve Finkelstein; rap/hip-hop by Clifton Torres; electronic music by Mikah Feldman-Stein; and blues jams led by Willie Steel. Bangalore Breakdown, led by Premik Russell Tubbs on sax and Uli Geissendoerfer on keyboards, take the stage at 12:30 p.m. Mala Waldron, a talented vocalist and keyboardist, hits the stage with her quartet at 3 p.m. Her well-known dad, Mal Waldron, had played piano with Coltrane early on. At 7:30 p.m. the Ravi Coltrane Quartet starts its evening performance with a discussion about A Love Supreme.last_img read more

Violence breaks out after nightfall in D.C. as MAGA marchers bring thug tactics to the capital

first_img– Advertisement – According to the Washington Post, some 20 people were arrested, including four people on gun charges. At least one person who was stabbed was hospitalized in serious condition.Trump himself made clear on Twitter his view of the violence:ANTIFA SCUM ran for the hills today when they tried attacking the people at the Trump Rally, because those people aggressively fought back. Antifa waited until tonight, when 99% were gone, to attack innocent #MAGA People. DC Police, get going — do your job and don’t hold back!!!Trump’s narrative—and that of Trump supporters both online and at the rally—reflected the right’s long-running attempt to deflect and excuse its own violence by claiming that “the violent left” is responsible for inciting it all. It’s a profoundly eliminationist narrative, and that tendency was omnipresent throughout the “Million MAGA March,” with threats to kill or deport all their political opponents a common refrain, as well as the reflexive dehumanization of their foes as verminous threats—with Trump’s description of antifascists as “scum” leading the parade.- Advertisement – Some of the assaults broke out in the middle of intersections where protesters sometimes gathered. At other times, gangs of pro-Trump rallygoers could be seen chasing individual protesters, such as this woman, down and beating them. Proud Boys also knocked out a Black woman and left her laid out in the street.One of the people stabbed amid the melees was journalist Talia Jane, who said someone came up behind her and stabbed her in the ear. Jane was also punched by a man who simply came up to her and knocked her down. She had her wound bandaged, and continued working throughout the night.Other journalists experienced constant harassment from the rallygoers. MSNBC reporter Ellison Barber, at one point, was chased and followed by shouting MAGA fans: “The crowd here is chanting ‘fake news, fake news,’” Barber told her audience. “Not fans of ours, as you can tell. Which that’s fine as long as they give us a little space.”“It’s hostile here, at least for us,” she continued. “They’re following us and chasing us as we walk further back.”And while the right loves to portray antifascists as vandals who damaged property during protests, there was no shortage of that behavior from the pro-Trump crowd on Saturday.During the day, umasked MAGA fans could be seen tearing down signs on a Black Lives Matter memorial project affixed to the White House border wall—and appeared to have the protection of Metro Police in doing so.During the evening, a crowd of pro-Trump rallygoers were filmed tearing down six large Black Lives Matter signs on the front of the Laborers International Union of North America building, near McPherson Square, as police stood by and watched. They also stomped on and destroyed other BLM signs that they found.The eliminationist rhetoric reached a fever pitch on the Proud Boys’ social-media channels that mirrored their words and actions on the street. Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio posted an overt threat on Parler: “DC antifa ends tonight,” he wrote.At the @ProudBoysUncensored account, the mask came off altogether, as they extolled a violent neo-Nazi fantasy:This is just the beginning. Anti fascist Marxists will no longer hold this nation hostage.Anti fascists will no longer be safe while they’re terrorizing cities.The pendulum is swinging back and the day of the rope is coming for every single violent marxist in this nation.The “day of the rope” is a reference to white supremacists’ long-hoped-for racial war, the blueprint for which remains The Turner Diaries, a neo-Nazi “novel” that depicts, among other things, a day in which an angry society rises up and lynches all American “race traitors” from lampposts in a single day. Similar sentiments could be heard from the mouths of MAGA fans throughout the day Saturday.“It was not a Million MAGA on the streets of DC today, but it would be catastrophic to not take what happened today seriously,” commented researcher Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, who was present for the events. “This is a beginning, not the end. We’re witnessing the initial coalescing of a wide range of far-right forces into mass opposition.” This is a well-established pattern, one we have seen evolving and being perfected by the radical right since early 2017—primarily in liberal urban centers such as Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and the Bay Area. The politics of violent confrontation this strategy manifests may have reached a kind of dark fruition on Saturday, with a large helping hand from Trump himself, who tweeted out encouragement to the same thugs he had told on national television to “stand down and stand by.”WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Members of Antifa and Proud Boys clash in the middle of the street following the "Million MAGA March" on November 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. Various pro-Trump groups gathered in DC today for the "Million MAGA March" to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)Another MAGA fan in downtown D.C. Saturday.The violence was not pronounced during the daytime at the event, despite some fighting that broke out between anti-Trump protesters and rally participants. However, after most of the rally—estimated to have numbered in the tens of thousands—had cleared away by evening, large clusters of Proud Boys and other violent pro-Trump brawlers took to the streets of downtown Washington and began engaging in a variety of forms of violence: punching, shoving, kicking, and stabbing protesters, even as Metro Police devoted most of their energy to restraining the anti-Trump bloc.- Advertisement – Trump bolstered this narrative by retweeting a video posted by right-wing pseudo-journalist Andy Ngo, showing a Trump supporter being knocked out from behind by an antifascist protester. “Human Radical Left garbage did this,” Trump wrote. “Being arrested now!”In reality, Ngo’s video was simply another of his selectively edited hit jobs designed to demonize antifascists. A full video of the incident clearly shows that the man initiated the violence by punching and shoving a protester who had been using a bullhorn, then brawling with a number of other protesters, before he was finally given a knockout sucker punch.WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Members of the Proud Boys clash with Black Lives Matter protesters during a protest following the “Million MAGA March†from Freedom Plaza to the Supreme Court, on November 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gathered to protest the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)A policeman intervenes as two MAGA fans brawl with anti-Trump protesters.The reality on the streets bore little resemblance to Trump’s narrative. Throughout the evening, Proud Boys and other pro-Trump brawlers could be seen deliberately attacking anyone who dared protest them. Eventually police would intervene, but they invariably directed their attention to the protesters, turning their backs on the Proud Boys, and seeming to protect them.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Apple’s Tracking Tool Target of Privacy Activist Max Schrems’ New Complaints

first_imgApple accounts for one in every four smartphones sold in Europe, according to Counterpoint Research.The claims were made on behalf of an individual German and Spanish consumers and handed to the Spanish data protection authority and its counterpart in Berlin, said Noyb, a privacy advocacy group led by Austrian Schrems that has successfully fought two landmark trials against Facebook.In Germany, unlike Spain, each federal state has its own data protection authority.Rossetti said the action was not about high fines but rather aimed at establishing a clear principle whereby “tracking must be the exception, not the rule”.“The IDFA should not only be restricted, but permanently deleted,” he said.© Thomson Reuters 2020Will Apple Silicon Lead to Affordable MacBooks in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. Apple says it provides users with a superior level of privacy protection. The company had announced it would further tighten its rules with the launch of its iOS 14 operating system this autumn but in September said it would delay the plan until early next year.The complaints by digital rights group Noyb were brought against Apple’s use of a tracking code that is automatically generated on every iPhone when it is set up, the so-called Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).The code, stored on the device, allows Apple and third parties to track a user’s online behaviour and consumption preferences, vital for the likes of Facebook to be able to send targeted advertisements that will interest the user.- Advertisement – A group led by privacy activist Max Schrems on Monday filed complaints with German and Spanish data protection authorities over Apple’s online tracking tool, alleging that it allows iPhones to store users’ data without their consent in breach of European law.It is the first such major action against the US technology group in regards to European Union privacy rules.- Advertisement – “Apple places codes that are comparable to a cookie in its phones without any consent by the user. This is a clear breach of European Union privacy laws,” said Noyb lawyer Stefano Rossetti.Rosetti referred to the EU’s e-Privacy Directive, which requires a user’s prior consent to the installation and use of such information.Apple’s planned new rules would not change this as they would restrict third-party access but not Apple’s.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

West Midlands pensions chief Drever to retire

first_imgChair of the WMPF pensions committee, councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with one of the industry’s best known individuals. We wish Geik well in her retirement – she is a great colleague who will be sorely missed.”Meanwhile, Fletcher is to leave WMPF after less than a year in order to lead the LGPS Central pool’s investment team. He joins Andrew Warwick-Thompson, LGPS Central’s CEO.Since joining in September last year, Fletcher has played an active role in setting up LGPS Central, co-operating with senior staff at fellow LGPS funds for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.He also led a groundbreaking review of WMPF’s asset management costs, using a template developed by Chris Sier and now being adopted across the LGPS in England and Wales.Fletcher joined WMPF after a 20-year career at the Universities Superannuation Scheme, where he was latterly deputy CIO. He has also worked at the British Airways Pension Fund.Fletcher said: “Since joining the West Midlands Pension Fund I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the other partner funds of LGPS Central. I am delighted to have been offered one of the most exciting challenges within the industry, and to have been given the opportunity to work with our partner funds to deliver their objectives.“There is a lot of hard work ahead and a very challenging timetable, but I am convinced that LGPS Central will be successful in its ambition of providing transparent, high quality, excellent value for money investment management services to its partner funds.”WMPF is actively recruiting for its senior management team, although investment strategy implementation will pass from WMPF’s internal team to LGPS Central from April 2018.Last week another LGPS pool – Brunel Pensions Partnership – announced the appointment of two staff from one of its founder members to its senior management team. Geik Drever, strategic director of pensions at the UK’s West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF), is to retire at the end of September, the public sector scheme announced today.The £14.3bn (€16bn) local government pension scheme (LGPS) is also set to lose its chief investment officer, Jason Fletcher. He is to move to LGPS Central, the £40bn asset pool of which West Midlands is a founding member.Drever joined WMPF in 2012 after a 25-year career with Edinburgh council. In the Scottish capital Drever was the council’s chief accountant, before moving to run its pension scheme, the Lothian Pension Fund, in 2002.Rachel Brothwood, WMPF’s director of pensions, will take over from Drever from 1 October 2017, the scheme said in a statement. She joined the fund in 2015 and has since led reviews of its administration, funding, and investment strategies.last_img read more