ISIS Communication Battle: Better than Its Military Accomplishments

first_img Its strategy is aimed at imposing the Sharia throughout the Syrian and Iraqi territories. ISIS already controls a great deal of these territories, as we can see in the following picture. The advance over Mossul adds up to the cities already seized by early 2014, as well as big areas in the Ambar province. A few months ago, ISIS combatants coming from the Syrian province of Rakka arrived in Ambar, west of Iraq. In January, they settled in the city of Faluya, seized Iraqi Army’s arsenals, and resisted attacks by government troops. In regards to funding, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s organization is also concerned about getting their supplies conveniently. In June this year, the mayor of the city of Mossul reported that ISIS had seized $450 million from a local bank. ISIS combatants continue advancing towards Baghdad, fighting against the security forces and Shiite militias. The fighting takes place about 80 km from the capital, but there are certain forward factions that occur half the distance to the capital. ISIS also has heavy military equipment, such as tanks and helicopters. In Syria, combatants are already funded from the extortion on Christians, which remain in their households, in exchange for protection. Also, they control the largest oil refinery in the country, capable of processing about 320,000 oil barrels a day. The terrorist organization is strong there, where the population is divided and Sunni Muslims are the majority. They were well received by the mostly Sunni opposition in Syria, who oppose President Bashar al Asad, an Alawite labeled as “enemy of the enemy.” In Iraq several Sunnites consider the situation from the same point of view. They feel discriminated against by the Government of Baghdad, dominated by Shiites. As a result, the terrorist militia may advance easily, and local rebels are joining their troops. The Strategies of Its Leader Alleged rivals executed by decapitation in an attempt to generate an impact on the population so they do not join troops in favor of the Government, propaganda videos where different leaders explain the Jihad’s aim – or Holy War -, the use of Twitter to announce the execution of 1,700 Shiite soldiers, the issuance of statements, investments in marketing – t-shirts with images alluding to the cause – all stimulate a communication strategy carefully studied and aimed at specific audiences, which has been fruitful and that the Iraqi Government has only censored on the Internet, in an attempt to stop it. Censorship has not worked effectively in any country, and it is not the most efficient way to combat this sort of threat. For a long time, small and less powerful forces were able to attract the attention and support of external audiences to their cause, by means of communication techniques. This forced military decisions to be extrapolated that could be adopted to counter their offensive. In the case of ISIS, despite its current relative military supremacy that is attacked by resources and help sent by Coalition nations, there is a high interest for the existence of a communication planning made by the Iraqi Government, so it can be possible to have a panorama of the current events in Syria and Iraq from a different perspective. ISIS has made an effort to reach audiences, not only by means of sympathy but mostly by terror. If this is not carried out by means of strategic communications planning, the influence over the population affected by ISIS, no matter how large the military force is to control the territory under Jihadist rule, should be addressed immediately by the Iraqi Government, supported by the Coalition. Extraordinary analysis, very enlightening. Several sources mention that ISIS has between 7 and 8 thousand combatants in Iraq, and another 5 thousand in Syria. Reports state that there are several foreigners among their troops. Chechnya, Afghanistan, Europecenter_img Chile seems to be far away from the serious events that are taking place in stricken Iraq and fragile Syria with the emergence of a group that has been fighting against Al-Qaeda over the leadership of the global Jihad: ISIS. However, its communication actions are leading to conflict all around the world, including marketing techniques as part of its communication strategy, which has even surpassed its military maneuvering capabilities. Al-Qaeda’s successors have experienced varied transformations over time; these variations have been very diverse, such as belonging to a branch of the already mentioned terrorist organization. The origins of ISIS can be traced back to a small Jordan extremist organization founded in 1999, which returned to Al-Qaeda in 2004. Later, in 2006, it made its comeback as the Islamic State of Iraq. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since 2010, and he raises mystery and speculation. Little is known about him. It is speculated that he was born in the late 1970s in Samarra, Iraq, and that he obtained a PhD in Education at the University of Baghdad. In 2011, Baghdadi perpetrated a series of suicide attacks against targets, most of whom were Shiites. He decided to send his combatants to Syria, to increase his control over territories. Not even the constant threats of Zawahiri, then leader of Al-Qaeda, made him withdraw. He named his organization as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and he also focused his efforts on destroying or absorbing other Syrian rebels, organizing several actions, in addition to taking advantage of oil sites, instead of confronting Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Asad directly. Since 2011, several insurgent factions emerged from Baghdadi’s organization. After the group was able to control western Iraq in the first four months of this year and made a series of accomplishments in northern Iraq in June, it decided that it was the right time to start its most dramatic phase. The establishment of a caliphate was announced: a universal Islamic State led by a successor (Caliph) of Mohammed – in this case, Baghdadi – and the name of the group was again changed to the Islamic State (IS), or ISIS or ISIL, as it is now known. The communication battle, part of the military strategy By Dialogo September 12, 2014last_img read more

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10 things that should keep credit union CEOs awake at night

first_img 88SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Best Financial technology service expert John Best crushes the reiterated maxim “thinking outside the box” to tiny particles, leveraging his lofty, yet proven, financial technology “innovativeness” for credit unions nationwide. Recently … Web: big-fintech.com Details This week I happened to be talking to the CEO of a $3 billion dollar credit union (who will remain nameless) about speaking to their board regarding innovation and technology horizons. During the course of the discussion, he mentioned several things that “keep him up at night” that were not the usual things I have heard in the last 10 years. I found them fascinating and asked if he would mind if I shared them. What follows are his 10 things (in bold) and my added comments just below them.Ten things that keep me awake … but thankfully I only sleep 4 hours a night.1. Major disruptors that make our business irrelevant, i.e. iTunes, who is eliminating the need for record stores. How do we prepare for what’s next? We will not be in the same business in 10 years. Will we be ready?We are all worried that we are about to be “Netflixed,” and I think it is a valid concern in the financial industry. Payments and lending are two areas where we already see disruption. Apple’s entry into payments included biting off interchange from our models. Companies such as the lendingclub.com are proving you don’t have to be a bank to understand lending. His question about how to prepare is important. I believe there are two approaches to this question.First, if you can’t beat them, buy them. We, as an industry, need to be ready to move into some areas we are uncomfortable with, such as providing VC for upcoming financial innovations, outright buying a fintech company to own its intellectual property. Second, create an innovation budget. Start innovating in these spaces yourself or partner with other likeminded financial organizations.2. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. We worry about the impact to our business and having the ability to secure it. There are numerous companies who have had their Bitcoin accounts ransomed in healthcare this past year. We will make for much larger targets.I’m glad to see the CEO of a credit union this size has taken notice of Cryptocurrency. Paypal now accepts Bitcoin and according to coindesk.com, by the end of this year, more than 100,000 companies will accept Bitcoin as payment. I am more interested in the block chain portion of this. I believe Bitcoin is about block chain technology, and this will be a future wave of digital wallets.“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates3. Cyber Security. Nothing makes you lose your appetite faster than the Director of the FBI saying there are two types of people: those who have been hacked and those who do not know they have been hacked. I’ve literally placed my fork down and pushed my plate away.The US Postal Service, Home Depot, Target, TJ Maxx … the list goes on. It is more than enough to make you lose your appetite and maybe dry heave a bit. Right now, at this very moment, someone or, more accurately, something (like a bot) is trying to break into your credit union website. It probably won’t succeed because it’s just the bad guys checking to see if you locked the doors. Imagine that a bad guy checks your physical branch front doors 24/7/365, just waiting for you to make a mistake so he can walk right inside. This is the virtual equivalent of what is what is happening online.4. The Cloud. I hear all the positives but where are the guarantees from the negatives. The bad guys are actively trying to find ways to own and control that data and ransom information. How will we protect it?These days, we almost can’t do without the cloud. There are many types of clouds: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). In my opinion, credit unions have been very successful with IaaS using the CUSO Ongoing Operations (full disclosure: they are a partner of BIG). Now we need to start looking at how to expedite our services and development via SaaS and PaaS. Security will be a top concern, but it can be overcome. Bottom line: The cost savings and speed from this approach will be too big to ignore.5. The number one reason a member chooses a PFI: the branch is close and convenient. And yet fewer branches are being built and are smaller as members come in less. There are more online transactions. How do we maximize our retail spaces and continue to grow in a manner that fuels the engine?I like to point to Seattle’s BECU as the winner in this space. Many years ago they began to minimize their branch footprint choosing to go with more retail spaces that are less about transactions and more about financial services. The CEO who wrote this list and I were discussing the fact that these sites almost serve as billboards for your credit union. As much as I love digital, I have always recognized that our people are our best asset. Creating a network for them to interact with our members is as important as the digitizing process. Bottom line: You need both.6. Talent acquisition. We are becoming more complex. As such, we are forced to fight alongside best-in-class industries for the same talent. How do we win that talent, retain that talent, and grow at a pace that provides continued opportunity for them in our organizations.This is so true. How do we get some young developer to stay at our shop when the coolest project you have on your books are adding a new field to the loan app and making changes to the e-statement process? The workforce has changed to attract this new talent.We need to rethink traditional workforce paradigms. Remote employees will need to be a major component of your plan. You will need the tools to allow this group to work from anywhere (the coffee shop, the airport, the back of the train). Have HR start working on how to hire out-of-state people. Start planning for your organization to understand time zones and truly be a national company. Also, you may want to try to desensitize yourself to piercing gauges, tattoos, and other body art. Judging the next generation’s skills by their cover would be a huge mistake.7. The continued growth in the administrative burden of legislation. Ignore the true pluses or minuses of each decision. The only guarantees are the need for more resources, the cost to meet these regulations and fighting to keep these costs from being passed on to our members by remaining lean and mean and maximizing technology.True. Nothing to add here.8. Entry of non-traditional competitors who change the way business is done. Walmart. Check cashing centers. Amazon. Ebay. Quicken. P2P loans. Consumer expectations are being revised based on experiences with these other businesses sectors. They expect your website to be at that level, call centers to be available 24/7, phone apps to be able to scan a car’s VIN and offer you a loan on the spot. You know what? I agree with them. We need to quantum leap our business models.This is always a discussion topic when I work with credit unions. You are no longer just being compared to other financial institutions. You are now being compared to every technology and retail company out there. It’s a major hurdle to get and keep the next generation of digital natives. They will not be tolerant of our excuses for not having the latest technology. They will also not accept service trade-offs (“we can do it in the branch,” or “contact the call center to complete this transaction”).9. Reputation risk. It’s hard enough to manage your reputation, but if there is a breach, your members are confused. They believe you are to blame even though you do your best in communicating.For example, while it may be because Home Depot was hacked, when they receive a replacement credit card in the mail, they’ll assume the credit union was hacked.10. The list is infinite. But so is the opportunity. So which area do I attack first?I like the elephant analogy here. If you view all this as one goal that your CU’s future depends on you will most likely fail. You must attack the elephant one bite at a time. The key is which pieces to eat first.last_img read more

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$10B of PPP funding set aside for CDFI lending

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Thursday it is setting aside $10 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Round 2 funding to be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses.As of May 14, there are 324 credit unions certified as CDFIs, out of 1,142 total CDFIs.The PPP ran out of its initial $349 billion in funding, and Congress approved a second round of $310 billion in April. Of that, $60 billion is allocated to insured depository institutions with below $50 billion in assets. The $10 billion set aside for CDFIs announced Thursday comes out of that $60 billion.last_img read more

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Politicians step in amid fears of poor advice for British Steel members

first_imgThe FCA’s notice to Active Wealth, restricting its permission to give pension-related adviceSource: FCA Register In his personal submission to the select committee, Tapper said: “We have found evidence of a breakdown in orderly advice in Port Talbot; we have anecdotal evidence that matters are little better in other towns where BSPS members [live].”Tapper added: “I hope that in future cases where members are asked to take choices as tough as those in [BSPS], lessons are learned and members are not abandoned to the market.”The FCA has visited advisers in Port Talbot and the surrounding area to “remind them of their requirements”. After a deal was agreed to allow BSPS to be separated from its sponsor, BSPS’ members – of which there are some 150,000 – have the option of joining the Pension Protection Fund or a new British Steel scheme.They can, however, also transfer their benefits out of the fund, an option that is available independent of the restructuring of the fund.Members had until 11 December, two days before the committee meeting, to make a decision. It today extended to 22 December the deadline for members to send their completed option form to the scheme.The scheme has also reportedly extended to 26 January the deadline for pension transfer quotes for current quotes near expiry. The committee’s special evidence session is part of its inquiry into the operation of ‘pension freedoms’.British Steel Pension Scheme was shortlisted for IPE’s 2017 Corporate Pension Fund award. IPE understands individuals claiming to be pension advisers have been approaching employees of Tata Steel – BSPS’ sponsoring employer – outside the company’s factory in Port Talbot.The politicians will also hear from representatives of steelworkers and their union, the BSPS trustees, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and financial advice firms Celtic Wealth and Active Wealth. The latter is reported to be engaged in poor advice practices, luring members to transfer out, and FCA has told it to stop accepting any new clients on pension business. UK parliamentarians are to hold a special meeting about evidence of dubious advice being given to members of the £15bn (€13.2bn) British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).In a statement the committee said it had “received evidence of questionable approaches and unsuitable advice being given to members of the BSPS, which the chair has described as a ‘honeypot for scammers’, and there are fears of BSPS members nearing retirement losing huge amounts of their life savings”.The special evidence session will inform a report that will propose regulatory and other measures to prevent similar situations.The pensions select committee of the House of Commons is to hear evidence from Henry Tapper, a director at First Actuarial, and independent financial adviser Alastair Rush. The pair have visited Port Talbot in Wales, where Tata Steel UK’s operations are based, and have reported poor advice practices and confusion about what options are available.last_img read more

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Aberdeen Standard, Jupiter firm up Brexit plans

first_imgAberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has announced plans for a Dublin office from which to manage money for its European clients, ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.The group has appointed Victoria Brown as managing director of the Irish entity, to work alongside Jennifer Richards, head of distribution for Ireland.Brown has worked for Aberdeen Asset Management since 2000, and is currently head of regional management for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She previously led Aberdeen’s operations in Luxembourg prior to its merger with Standard Life last year.In a statement, ASI said the Dublin office would “complement” its existing Luxembourg base, which manages more than 100 funds. Dublin, Ireland“The Irish hub, which will contract directly with European clients and oversee our European branches, complements our Luxembourg hub which manages funds across Europe,” Marshall said. “These two businesses, working together and with our German business based in Frankfurt, will ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our customers and clients across Europe, after the UK leaves the European Union.“It is a combination that will give clear and distinct focus to the needs and aspirations of our clients in the EU27 countries.”Ireland’s minister for business, enterprise and innovation Heather Humphreys said Aberdeen’s decision was “a great win” for the country’s efforts to grow its financial services sector. The UK is expected to exit the European Union on 31 March 2019. European regulators have emphasised that financial services companies must have a presence inside the EU in order to do business.Meanwhile, Jupiter Asset Management plans to expand its Luxembourg office ahead of Brexit. LuxembourgChief executive Maarten Slendebroek was quoted as saying this week that Jupiter aimed to hire a number of staff in Luxembourg. The company already has distribution offices in several European countries, while its Luxembourg SICAV offers more than 20 funds for European investors. In its annual results statement, published earlier this week, the listed asset manager said it had made “substantive plans” to establish a management company for its SICAV fund range, to be based in Europe.“Throughout the current period of uncertainty, we continue to maintain close dialogue and communication lines with both UK and European regulators to ensure we remain aware of and responsive to the latest industry guidance with the support of specialist experts,” the company said.center_img ASI runs more than €70bn on behalf of clients in Europe, excluding the UK. According to data compiled for IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers report last year, as of the end of 2016 the two pre-merger entities of Standard Life and Aberdeen ran a combined €394bn in institutional assets, including UK clients.Gary Marshall, head of EMEA at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said the Irish base – which is still subject to regulatory approval – was part of the company’s plan to expand its presence in areas outside the UK.last_img read more

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TOURISM MINISTER DEFENDS GOVERNMENT’S INVESTMENT IN THE TOURISM SECTOR

first_img 55 Views   no discussions Share LocalNews TOURISM MINISTER DEFENDS GOVERNMENT’S INVESTMENT IN THE TOURISM SECTOR by: – February 17, 2011 Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Tweet Share GIS News by Emmanuel JosephHon. Minister for Tourism and Legal Affairs, Ian DouglasHon. Minster for Tourism, Ian Douglas, has sought to silence critics who seek to speak ill of recent investments by government in the tourism sector. The minister, while addressing a Labour Party Delegates Conference in Grand Fond over the weekend of February 13th,that recent investments in tourism is reaping tremendous benefits for Dominica.“The investment in tourism is, therefore, a worthwhile investment. Tourism, more than industry, earns its keep. So while there is talk in certain quarters questioning the rationale for the investing in this sector, let it be said that tourism provides us with the best competitive advantage in a global environment that is brutal and fierce since we have the assets, the talent and the tenacity to develop and build a world-class industry right there in Dominica.” According to the Tourism Minister, Dominica generates more than one hundred and eighty million dollars (XCD$180 000 000) per year from tourism, and more than two thousand five hundred (2 500) to three thousand (3000) people are employed either directly or indirectly in tourism-related jobs on the island.The Minister challenged citizens to find more creative ways to market Dominica as the nature island and intensify efforts to increase the country’s’ capacity in service excellence.“Many other industries here do not allow us the possibilities that tourism holds for a world class industry. However, if we are to take tourism to the next level, we will need to fashion a mind change in many of our people to set is as a service and to dedicate ourselves to quality and excellence. We will need also to increase and build linkages with other sectors especially the agricultural sector in other to increase efforts at job creation, entrepreneurship and avoid greater levels of leakage. The work is still on-going. We have to increase our capacity in service excellence, raise standards of the product and find more creative and innovative ways to market the Dominica brand, the Nature Island brand. We need also to redouble our efforts to increase airlift into the destination at a time when this is becoming more expensive and illusive, but this is an imperative that this government, as we move forward, will bring more visitors to our shores.”last_img read more

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Altidore set for Black Cats medical

first_img Press Association Sport understands the 23-year-old striker is due to fly in to undergo a medical having agreed personal terms. The Black Cats agreed a deal with Dutch club AZ Alkmaar for the United States international over the weekend and are keen to push the transfer through as quickly as possible. Press Association Jozy Altidore will arrive on Wearside on Monday to complete his move to Sunderland.center_img Altidore will become the latest man to join new manager Paolo Di Canio’s revolution as he overhauls the squad he inherited from predecessor Martin O’Neill. The Black Cats unveiled Bosman free signings Valentin Roberge, Cabral and Modibo Diakite last week having also added youngsters Duncan Watmore and David Moberg Karlsson to the mix, and the Italian has a series of other targets in his sights. However, the striking department is a priority with Scotland international Steven Fletcher having to carry much of the burden last season before injury struck, and Di Canio will hope the American is the man to provide the support. January signing Danny Graham has unable to date been unable to contribute on the goals front, while Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won have struggled to make an impression and Stephane Sessegnon’s future remains uncertain. last_img read more

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Rooney: The goals will come

first_img Press Association Van Gaal has decided against signing a striker in the transfer window so far because he believes Rooney can score at least 20 goals for the club. Despite letting Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao leave over the summer, the United boss is determined to stick with Rooney, Javier Hernandez and James Wilson as his three main strikers. It’s just a case of getting the chances and taking them, which I’m hopefully going to do soon. “I’ve always enjoyed playing against Newcastle, so hopefully on Saturday I can open my scoring.” While Rooney failed to bag in his ninth successive match, Memphis Depay stole the show at Old Trafford on Tuesday, scoring two and setting up Marouane Fellaini for the third goal, which puts United within touching distance of the Champions League group stages. Rooney feels the presence of the powerful Dutchman will help him break his duck. “It’s important that we all chip in,” Rooney said. “Memphis managed to get off the mark this season. I’ve had one bad game this season and everyone’s all over it. “I know, I’ve had that throughout my career but hopefully at the weekend I can get off the mark.” Despite his disappointment in front of goal, Rooney still enjoyed being part of United’s first Champions League game in 16 months. The United captain has missed playing in Europe’s top club competition and does not want to see any slip-ups from the team in Wednesday’s second leg in Belgium. “The Champions League is what you want to play in,” said Rooney, who was part of the United team that lifted the trophy in 2008. “It’s a great feeling stood there before the game when the music comes on and that’s when you know how special a tournament it is. Still, there’s an important game for us next week to go and finish the job off but Tuesday was a good result for us in terms of starting well.” And despite the recent criticism of his performances, the United captain is sure he will not let his manager down this year. “I’m an honest guy. I know when I don’t play well and against Aston Villa I was below my standards,” Rooney said after United’s 3-1 win over Club Brugge on Tuesday night. “It’s not a game which I want to look back on but obviously that happens in football. You’ll have nights like that and you have to move on. “It’s early on in the season. We are just three games in. I’ve experienced this (criticism) before and the goals will come, I know that. “I understand I have to be the one who’s going to lead that line for us and try and find the goals for us.” Rooney spent part of last season in a deeper midfield role but returned to his favoured striker’s position on United’s pre-season tour, when he scored once in four matches. Rooney insists he still knows how to operate as a lone striker, despite having not occupied that position on a regular basis for three years. “My mind is clear. I know how to play the role,” said Rooney, who will start up front for United against Newcastle on Saturday. Wayne Rooney has told manager Louis van Gaal he can still rely on him to deliver the goals for Manchester United this season despite a poor start to the campaign. last_img read more

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Deficit Surpasses $1 Trillion

first_imgSurprise! The federal deficit now exceeds a trillion dollars.According to numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office, the deficit surpassed the trillion-dollar mark in the first eleven months of the current fiscal year.To put that in perspective, that’s about $181 billion more than last year’s number.The CBO estimates the actual deficit for the year will be around 960 billion once the U.S. Treasury collects quarterly tax payments for September.Right now this massive deficit is not sustainable according to economists.Congress headed back to Washington this week once again facing a government shutdown with little time to act.Lawmakers have only three weeks to stop federal funding from lapsing. Current appropriations run out at the end of September.Facing the risk of a shutdown that could upend federal workers’ lives and drag on the economy, the Democratic-held House will push to pass a short-term bill to keep the government running. The chamber will consider a so-called continuing resolution during the week of Sept. 16.last_img read more

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Tennis Center Plans Warm-up Sessions

first_img Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 admin The Ellsworth Tennis Center will be hosting two “warm-up” sessions for the upcoming high school tennis season. Experienced and beginning players are invited to participate in the Friday sesssions from 5:30 to 8 p.m. March 20 and April 3. The cost is $15 for one session or $25 with advanced registration for both sessions for those who are not ETC members. Players are encouraged to call 664-0400 to sign up or for more information since space may be limited. Latest posts by admin (see all) Bio Latest Posts State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014 This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

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