Agus said the birds were caught by illegal hunters and were about to be sold in birds market in Medan. The team also arrested two men allegedly involved in the smuggling.The executive director of bird conservation group FLIGHT Protecting Indonesia’s Birds, Marison Guciano, said bird poaching remained rampant in Mount Leuser National Park’s protected areas.The group has recorded more than 14 million bird smuggling attempts from Sumatra, including Mount Leuser, to various bird markets in the country, especially in Java.“If we let the illicit practices take place, it can bring harm to the ecosystem and the bird population in Mount Leuser,” Marison said, adding that birds played a pivotal role in their natural habitat by helping the regeneration of plants and balancing the food chain. The team members then combed busses heading to Medan, finally stopping one that carried packages filled with the protected small passerine birds in Babalan district, Langkat regency in North Sumatra on Thursday.“We found hundreds of birds inside 30 cardboard boxes that do not have official documents. We seized all the birds,” Agus told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.Read also: Mt. Leuser park rangers save two young orangutans from smugglerOf the 1,266 birds, 556 had died inside the sealed boxes. The team released the remaining birds into the wild in the Sibolangit area in Deli Serdang regency on Friday. The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s rapid response team for the environment, the Leopards, has thwarted alleged attempts to smuggle hundreds of protected typical white-eyes that were illegal caught in Mount Leuser National Park in Aceh.The team, under the North Sumatra Environment and Forestry Protection and Law Enforcement Agency, secured 1,266 birds that are locally known as pleci as they were allegedly being smuggled in a public bus heading to Medan, North Sumatra.Leopard team chief Agus Siswoyo said the authorities received a tip from local residents on the alleged transportation of protected wild animals using a public bus from Takengon, Banda Aceh, to Medan. Topics :
MATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoAfter playing out six of its first eight Big Ten matches at home, the Wisconsin volleyball team will have to prove its true worth in the next two weekends as the Badgers play their next four away from the University of Wisconsin Field House.This weekend could serve as a bit of a warm-up to the Badgers (15-2, 7-1 Big Ten), as they visit middling Michigan State (9-9, 2-6) and Michigan (9-8, 3-5). With two ranked teams on the horizon in No. 3 Penn State (17-2, 8-0) and No. 20 Ohio State (12-5, 5-3), Wisconsin will have to work out any kinks in their game before these true tests at the end of the month.League Leaders: Fortunately for head coach Pete Waite and the Badgers, who moved up a notch in the polls to the seventh slot this week, there are not too many kinks.When considering all matches played, Wisconsin, following three-game victories over Northwestern (11-7, 2-6) and Indiana (8-12, 1-7) from last week, ranks in the top three in the Big Ten in six of the seven major statistical categories.This year, UW’s success has started with the blocking game, anchored by senior co-captain Sheila Shaw and sophomore Taylor Reineke. Wisconsin leads the conference with 3.65 blocks per game this season. Shaw and Reineke lead in individual blocking with 1.69 and 1.64 blocks per game, respectively.A potent blocking game typically takes stats away from a team’s defensive unit, but Wisconsin has managed to excel in the digs column as well. With 16.85 digs a game — second-best in the Big Ten — UW has one of the longest active individual streaks in the country with libero Jocelyn Wack’s 48 consecutive double-dig matches. Wack is now just 15 matches off the all-time longest streak, held by Griselle Lopez-Pereira of Virginia Commonwealth. Wack is fifth in most digs per game in the conference this season, with 5.02.Another way to justify Wisconsin’s success this year is hitting percentage. Wisconsin is hitting .275, and its opponents are hitting just .124. Both are good for second in the Big Ten. Reineke is sixth overall in the conference at with a .350 percentage.Led by redshirt freshman Audra Jeffers with 3.53 kills a game, the Badgers have the third-most kills in the league with 16.51. Wisconsin has benefited from five Badgers averaging at least 2.4 kills a game.Setter Jackie Simpson, with just under 12 assists a game, paces the Badger offense, which contributes 15.25 assists as a team, third in the conference.A Packed House: Wisconsin continues to be one of the most watched volleyball teams around the country.The Badgers have accumulated an average of 3,846 spectators per match, the third-highest in the country. Only Hawaii and top-ranked Nebraska have attracted greater attendances in 2005.Even when playing on the road, Wisconsin is likely to be greeted by large crowds. Other Big Ten powers Minnesota, Purdue and Penn State rank in the top ten in attendance this season, all bringing in over 2,200 fans a match.The Field House has played host to two of the 20 most-attended individual matches of the season this far. In a losing effort to Penn State, Wisconsin had the support of 6,774 spectators, the third-highest this year.Just two weeks prior, however, 5,226 Badger fans were treated to Wisconsin’s five-game upset of the Golden Gophers, which put UW higher than Minnesota in the rankings for the first time this season. This match is No. 18 on the 2005 attendance list.Relief Efforts: Aside from Wisconsin’s seven customary starters, several Badgers have seen considerable playing time off the bench.Supporting Wack in the backcourt, sophomores Megan Mills and Amanda Berkley have played major roles in UW’s stingy defense. Berkley has averaged 1.79 digs per game, while Mills has chipped in 1.60 a game, in addition to hitting 14 aces in her last 11 matches.Waite has employed a two-setter system at times this season. Most recently, Simpson got the night off against Indiana, giving way to junior Katie Lorenzen. Lorenzen responded with 50 assists, upping her season average to 8.79 assists per game. She also has 15 kills, is hitting .414, and has contributed 1.74 digs a game.Other Badgers seeing limited court time of late include middle blockers Morgan Salow and Maya Carroll, opposite hitter Amy Bladow and defensive specialist Faye McCormack.
Although the Wisconsin softball team was unable to get a win when they hosted Nebraska this weekend, it was still a special experience for the Badgers’ three seniors.After dropping both games in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Cornhuskers, Wisconsin took on Nebraska Sunday in front of a sellout crowd that was treated to a ceremony before the game honoring Badger seniors Marissa Mersch, Maria Van Abel and Megan Tancill.Unfortunately for the Badgers, Nebraska catcher Steph Pasquale soured the celebration quickly, hitting a three-run home run in the top of the first inning to give the Cornhuskers a 3-0 lead in would eventually turn into a 9-0 victory.While the Badgers would have hoped for better results in this weekend’s three-game series, the electric atmosphere provided by Sunday’s sellout crowd allowed the senior weekend to still be a memorable one for Wisconsin.The 1,612 in attendance Sunday was good for the second-most attendance game ever at Goodman Diamond.Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy praised the fans for their tremendous support and attributed the large turnout to the popularity the seniors have earned with fans through having local ties.“I think having a crowd like that has a lot to do with three local kids on the field that are seniors. We’ve got two Wisconsin kids and a Chicago kid, I think that really helps.” Healy said. “That’s the atmosphere that every girl grows up dreaming to play in front of.”Senior outfielder Maria Van Abel also spoke after the game about how much she and her teammates appreciated the turnout.“It was amazing. You couldn’t ask for more your last home series, series weekend. To see extra bleachers in the outfield, the stands literally filled with red, that’s all our team can ask for,” Van Abel said. “It was a pretty special day, and we’re excited that there were so many people here to share it with us.”Van Abel has come a long way since coming to Wisconsin as a freshman. The senior Badgers outfielder started out as a walk-on her freshman year before ultimately earning a scholarship. Van Abel’s story parallels that of the Wisconsin softball program, which has grown immensely since head coach Yvette Healy took over in 2010 and led a program turnaround that culminated in a Big Ten championship in 2013.“When we came in, the culture was changing, the coaches were doing their best to kind of get things back on track, and what they’ve done in the past five years has been unheard of really when you think about where the program was,” Van Abel said. “It’s on the rise so that’s really exciting knowing that we’re leaving the program in such good hands.”In addition to enjoying the packed house, pre-game ceremony and beautiful weather, Van Abel said she appreciated just playing with her fellow seniors, who are all extremely close with each other, as much as anything else.“Us three seniors have been together for fours years now,” Van Abel said. “We lived together the last two, so we’re a really close group, and it was just fun to have our family and friends here.”While this season has not brought the same results as the last several seasons for the Badgers, Healy said her seniors have done an excellent job holding down the fort while paving the way for the program to have success in the future.“The class has definitely helped us stay afloat. When you’ve get a couple of local kids that are walk-ons that become scholarship kids for your senior class, it helps you find a bridge to get there,” Healy said. “I think your culture has everything to do with being good, and these seniors helped us really establish a great hardworking championship culture.”Healy also added that losing the game Sunday did not take away from how special it was to celebrate this year’s seniors.“We have a tremendous amount of respect for them and what they’ve done for the program. It’s fun to celebrate them,” Healy said. “Those relationships are what’s going to matter years from now rather than the wins and the losses.”While Wisconsin celebrated their seniors this weekend, Mersch, Tancill and Van Abel will still get to play one more series at Goodman Diamond when they play host to the Minnesota Gophers Wednesday for a doubleheader.
…urges citizens to be more proactive in demanding betterWith more companies coming to Guyana’s shores than ever before, a former Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry president is urging Guyanese to demand better from local companies and the public sector.This call was made by Vishnu Doerga, as he delivered the keynote address at the launch of construction company Emporium Investments Bureau on Friday.Doerga reminded the gathering that the citizens pay the salaries of public sectorTests being carried out on the company’s heat-resistant concrete blocksemployees through taxes, and he stressed that the best service possible should be demanded from the public sector.The business executive also noted that Guyanese have an obligation to hold local private sector companies accountable. According to Doerga, this will play a key role in the private sector raising its overall standards and getting its proverbial share of the pie from oil.“I looked at your core values, and I thought (that) if I was to choose core values for a company I have to operate with and deal with, these might have been some. So I noticed that you had listed integrity. It means when you say something you must mean it. So everything you have said today we expect you to also do. And I would like this message to resonate across Guyana,” he said.“When we say something to our customers, when we market, we have to be able to deliver on it, because that is the measure by which your customers will hold you by. Every time you barely satisfy your customer, nobody talks about that. They talkFormer GCCI President, Vishnu Doergaabout when they didn’t get what they need. It goes in the newspapers, it goes on Facebook; that becomes your permanent record,” Doerga said.And according to Doerga, customers should, by right, talk about the poor service they receive through the mediums available to them. He pointed to the possibility that while some companies are under the impression their service is competitive, the reality might be different, and they do not even know.Emporium Investments Bureau, incorporated locally in 2016, is located on Sendall Place in Brickdam. Among its services are building construction, civil engineering, and logistics. Director of Operations, Sean Thompson, who is of Jamaican descent, spoke of Emporium’s track record of speedily completing projects.According to Thompson, customers can be assured that their building constructions will easily outlive the customers themselves. In particular, he espoused the fire-resistant qualities of the company’s building blocks.“Clients should also know this is a green product. A non-toxic, mineral-based agent is used in the mixture, which produces the fire resistance in the concrete blocks….some of the benefits our home owners will enjoy with us.“It’s non-toxic, it’s environmentally friendly, and it’s fire-resistant. It’s thermal and acoustic-insulated, mould and mildew-resistant, and these are some of the benefits you would get when you build with Emporium, using our new products,” Thompson detailed.Keene Mitchell, in charge of the company’s electrical installations, noted that there are very few, if any, companies that would provide a 20-year warranty on their construction projects.He also stressed that Emporium, through its solar-powered systems, offers viable alternatives to traditional power generation.