first_imgFuneral services have been held for Francis Edward Irwin, 82, of North Bergen. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Nov. 23. Born and raised in New York City, Francis moved to North Bergen 50 years ago. Francis worked at Thumanns in Carlstadt for 50 years before retiring. Francis also worked at CitiField as an usher for the New York Mets. In his free time he enjoyed watching the NY Mets, NY Jets and NY Rangers. He was predeceased by his parents Ann and Joseph Irwin, his siblings Julia, Elizabeth, Laura, John, Joseph, George and William Irwin. Surviving are his wife Joan Irwin, his children Francis Irwin, Ronald Irwin, Linda Irwin, Patrick Irwin and daughter in law JoAnn Irwin, Lori Kleissler and son in law Paul Kleissler, grandchildren Jessica, Emily and Katie and numerous Nieces and Nephews.Services arranged by the Vainieri Funeral Home, North Bergen.last_img read more

first_imgA disastrous weekend for Nigerian and South African clubs in the CAF Champions League ended with all four representatives eliminated at the last 32 stage.Nigerians Kano Pillars fell to Moroccans Moghreb Tetouan despite a 2-1 second-leg victory through a late Rabiu Ali goal.Tetouan took a four-goal advantage into the return match and Mouhcine Iajour was the star of the tie, scoring a hat-trick in Morocco and another goal in Nigeria.Two-time champions Enyimba clung to a one-goal first-leg lead against Egyptians Smouha in Mediterranean port Alexandria until five minutes from time.But relentless pressure on a Nigerian outfit reduced to 10 men by the red-carding of Kingsley Sokari eventually told and they conceded two late goals.Hani Al-Egeizi converted a penalty and Hermann Kouao snatched the tie-clinching second goal in the final minute for the Champions League newcomers. Early exits are becoming uncomfortably common for both clubs with Pillars making a preliminary-round departure last year and Enyimba joining them on the 2014 scrapheap after the last-32 stage.South Africans Mamelodi Sundowns were also unable to defend a one-goal advantage on foreign soil, as they crumbled 3-1 at Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe.Goals from Zambian Rainford Kalaba, Tanzanian Mbwana Samata and Ivorian Roger Assale gave Mazembe control just before the hour mark in Lubumbashi.And the nationalities of the scorers illustrated the multi-country make-up of a Congolese side bankrolled by mining magnate Moise Katumbi.Substitute Percy Tau scored six minutes from time for Sundowns, another club led by a mining billionaire. Emerging Nigerian star Ighodaro Osaguona bagged a brace to earn Moroccans Raja Casablanca a 2-0 home win over Soweto outfit Kaizer Chiefs.Tall, thin and sporting a mohican haircut, Osaguona punished the tiring South Africans with a goal after 87 minutes and added another four minutes into stoppage time.A 50 000-plus flag-waving, singing crowd in the Stade Mohamed V created a wonderful atmosphere, but there was little goalmouth action during a cagey clash.Osaguona also scored the only first-leg goal and is joint leading Champions League scorer this season with Iajour on five.Ghanaians Asante Kotoko disappointed for the second successive season, losing 2-1 at home to Algerians El-Eulma after forcing a goalless first-leg draw. Having struggled to fund the trip to Congo Brazzaville, Kenyans Gor Mahia bowed out after a second 1-0 loss to AC Leopards with Cesaire Gandze scoring in both legs.Zambians Zesco United offered brave resistance against Guineans Kaloum in Bamako before losing a penalty shootout when Jackson Mwanza fired his spot-kick wide.Both Cameroonian clubs fell with Cosmos Bafia and Coton Sport suffering two-goal defeats away to Tunisians Esperance and Congolese Sanga Balende respectively.–Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmithlast_img read more

first_imgThe governments of Liberia and the United States of America on November 2 signed a landmark agreement through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to support key energy and road infrastructure projects totaling US$257 million.The MCC grant constitutes the single largest bilateral infrastructure grant to the country over several years, a Ministry of Finance and Development Planning dispatch stated.At a ceremony marking the signing of the compact at the State Department in Washington DC, Vice President Joseph Boakai praised the U.S. government for the gesture while reflecting on the longstanding traditional ties between the two countries.According to the dispatch, V.P. Boakai said Liberia’s MCC success showed that the country was making progress in strengthening its governance system, further demonstrating the government’s commitment to developing its democracy and improving the living standards of its citizens.Liberia passed the MCC scorecard for the first time in FY13, after several years of improving economic governance and strengthening democraticinstitutions.The scores are determined by third party monitoring reports such as Transparency International Corruption index, US States Department Human Rights Report, Report on Human Trafficking, etc.Liberia’s path to the MCC signing has not been easy, having commenced the program in 2008 and winning a threshold grant subsequently. But due toLiberia’s efforts to combat corruption as recognized in numerous assessments, including on the Control of Corruption Indicator, and together with improvements to macroeconomic management in recent years, these were indicative of the steps undertaken by the country to advance to the compact stage, the dispatch noted.The MCC agreement will fund projects including the largest contribution to the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant, rehabilitation of the water intake and pipeline from Mt. Coffee to Millsburg, construction of regional road maintenance centers in River Gee and Tubmanburg, and construction of a LEC Training Center.The Roads Project aims to improve the quality of Liberia’s road network by supporting the piloting of a new maintenance regime and building capacitywithin the sector. Improved management of the road sector is expected to decrease vehicle operating costs and provide time savings for road users.In 2010, the MCC and the government of Liberia signed a US$15 million threshold program grant agreement that focused on improving land rights and access, increasing girls’ primary education enrollment and retention, and improving Liberia’s trade policy and practices.“Growing at an annual rate of 7 percent, Liberia was well on course to fix its shattered economy, until the Ebola virus outbreak reversed the progress made during periods of sustained economic stability,” said Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh, when he signed the agreement.Konneh said that despite the constraints to inclusive growth, the country was on course to unlocking its growth potential through an ambitious development agenda, with the acceleration of development projects particularly in the road and energy sectors.“The planned investment in electricity and road maintenance will significantly contribute to our development agenda, thus helping us achieveour central goal of poverty reduction. Energy is fundamental to our growth strategy and together with roads, is critical to our goal of unlocking thegrowth potential of our economy.“Many efforts to encourage private investment in the light manufacturing sector have been frustrated by the lack of electricity and good roads. Your intervention in these areas will go a long way in encouraging investment, thus bringing in much needed capital, skills, and technology to Liberia,”Konneh stated.The signing of the MCC grant would provide Liberia additional resources to fund its signature Mount Coffee Hydro project, delayed as a result of theEbola outbreak. The grant would be used to also spend on other critical roads and energy infrastructure projects over the duration of the program.Before the signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of MCC, Dana J. Hyde said her institution was delighted to celebrate and open what shecalled “a new chapter” in the longstanding partnership between the U.S. and Liberia.“We know and have known that Liberia is an emerging champion for development and trade and investment in West Africa. The agreement that we are about to sign creates the funding that we can help take that to a new level,” she said whilst indicating that the MCC can help unlock the economic potential that exists in the West African nation.The MCC is an independent, bilateral U.S. government foreign aid agency established by Congress. It is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance and economic prosperity. The MCC applies a set of innovative philosophy to foreign aid administration.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more